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Clashes rage as 100,000 Ukrainians slam EU snub

MUHARRAM 28, 1435 AH

Rural China to law school is journey of inequality

‘Fast and Furious’ actor Walker dies in fiery car crash

Rooney gets United out of trouble at Spurs


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150 FILS

7Zarif14 40 20 reassures Kuwait, Gulf over nuclear deal Iranian FM meets Amir in latest outreach conspiracy theories

What difference does it make?

By Badrya Darwish


eading the news about our honorable gentlemen, you guessed right - members of parliament - who agreed by consensus to...enhance education, build parks, fountains, green Kuwait, etc, etc... of course I’m joking guys. Their proposal is to increase their numbers from 50 to 70 MPs. To do this they will have to amend article 80 of the constitution so far so good, they have the right to do it. What amazes me is the urgency of the request. For me and most people in Kuwait, what’s the urgency in raising the membership of the Assembly? What does it mean for the common man on the street? Be it 50, be it 60 or even 100 - what are the accomplishments we have seen from the parliament for so many years. I cannot blame one parliament only - even if I see the one before it and the one before it and so on, we have been watching the same role played by MPs of grilling not for Kuwait’s interests but for their own agendas. If we conduct an honest survey among Kuwaitis, I’m sure the whole nation by now is fed up with the parliament and don’t care how many parliamentarians are there under the Abdullah Salem dome. So what’s the urgency in amending the constitution and raising their numbers? May I address the honorable gentlemen? You love Kuwait. You want to serve it - the plan is clear. There are no hidden secrets. We need from A to Z. Our kids need good education, we need electricity, we need planning for our streets, we need planning for our infrastructure. So if it rains, it can support it and we don’t drown in shallow waters like during the rain God blessed us with two weeks back. We need a good airline please that is competitive with our neighbors’. We need good hospitals too that are also competitive with our neighbors’. We need, we need, we need, we need..... You are aware of our needs. I don’t have to state all of them here, as space in the paper doesn’t permit me. But you don’t care about us, be it 50, be it 70. It reminds me of Michael Jacksons’ song - God bless his soul - ‘They Don’t Really Care About Us’!

KUWAIT: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif meets HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad AlSabah at Seif Palace yesterday. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif assured Gulf Arab states yesterday his country’s nuclear deal with the West is in their interest and also announced plans to visit Saudi Arabia. “The solution to this issue serves the interests of all countries in the region. It is not at the expense of any state in the region,” Zarif said at a joint news conference after meeting Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled AlSabah. “Be assured that the nuclear deal is in favour of the stability and security of the region,” Zarif said on what was his first official visit to a Gulf Arab nation. Zarif also met HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and conveyed a message from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on ways to improve relations between the two countries, according to a report carried by the official Kuwait News Agency. The Islamic republic last Sunday struck a landmark deal in Geneva with Western powers on Iran’s disputed nuclear program. Both world powers and Israel suspect Tehran’s nuclear ambitions include acquiring a nuclear weapon, a charge Iran vehemently denies. The Geneva deal was welcomed by the Sunni-ruled Gulf Arab states, which have long been concerned about Shiite Iran’s regional ambitions. But Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) foreign ministers, meeting in Kuwait City last week, also hoped the interim deal will lead to a permanent agreement on Iran’s nuclear program. Relations between the six GCC Continued on Page 13

MPs seek to raise Assembly membership Assembly panel agrees to lift speaker’s immunity By B Izzak

KUWAIT: Kuwaiti citizen Adel Al-Huwal is received by well-wishers as he returns home yesterday after he was released by Iranian authorities a day earlier. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Political violence shakes Bangkok BANGKOK: Thai police used tear gas and water cannon to defend the besieged government headquarters yesterday as leaders of opposition protests gripping the capital gave the prime minister two days to hand “power to the people”. The ultimatum came after talks between the two sides ended in failure, with protesters vowing to keep up their campaign to overthrow Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, following street violence which left four dead and dozens wounded. The bloodshed is the latest in a series of outbreaks of civil strife to rock the kingdom since royalist generals ousted billionaire tycoon-turnedpremier Thaksin Shinawatra, Yingluck’s brother, seven years ago.

Max 26º Min 13º High Tide 10:59 & 22:05 Low Tide 04:35 & 16:18

Police repeatedly fired tear gas and water cannon as a hard core of protesters tried for hours to breach barricades and cut barbed wire protecting Government House, which was heavily guarded by security forces including unarmed soldiers. Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban later revealed that he had met Yingluck in secret in the presence of the army, navy and air force commanders but without progress. “I told Yingluck that this is the only and last time I see her until power is handed over to the people,” Suthep said in a televised speech. “I told her the only solution is to hand over power to the people. There will be no bargaining and it must be finished in two days.” — - AFP

BANGKOK: An anti-government protester shouts at police outside Government House during a demonstration yesterday. — AFP

KUWAIT: A number of MPs yesterday submitted a proposal calling to introduce the first-ever amendment to the constitution - issued 51 years ago - with the aim to increase the National Assembly’s membership from 50 to 70 lawmakers. The change requires the amendment of article 80 of the constitution which explicitly stipulates that the Assembly comprises of 50 members who are elected directly through a secret ballot. The lawmakers who submitted the proposal asked to be accorded urgent status. The Kuwaiti constitution, the first in any Gulf Arab state, was promulgated in 1962. Since then, the constitution has not been amended because the amendment process is extremely complicated because it requires the approval of a special majority of the Assembly and the

approval of the Amir. To initiate a constitutional amendment, at least a third of the Assembly ’s 50 members must approve a request which must be accepted by the Amir. The rejection of the Amir to the idea aborts the whole process. If a preliminary approval is given to the idea, the amendment must then be passed by a two-thirds majority and signed by the Amir. Increasing the Assembly’s membership is aimed at solving demographic problems regarding the distribution of voters over the five constitutional districts. Under the current distribution, voters in the fourth and fifth constituencies outnumber those in the remaining three districts. For example, the number of voters in the fifth constituency is around 120,000, while it is around 50,000 in the second and about 70,000 each in the first and third districts. Continued on Page 13

NY train derailment kills four NEW YORK: A train hurtled off the tracks in a New York suburb yesterday, killing at least four people, injuring 67 and coming perilously close to ploughing into a freezing river. New York emergency services launched a major rescue operation after the train careered off rails in the Bronx district as it headed for Grand Central station in Manhattan, with passengers giving accounts of horrific injuries. The New York fire department said four people were killed, 11 people seriously injured and another 56 had minor injuries. Officials said some of the passengers were “impaled” by debris as the train derailed. Others had to be cut free from the tangle of metal and suitcases on board. At least one passenger said the train was going faster than normal at the time the accident occurred. The train driver’s wagon came to rest only a few feet from the Hudson and Harlem rivers that join close to Spuyten Duyvil station which the train was about to enter. All seven of the train’s cars came off the tracks. Two carriages were left completely on their side after being thrown in the air by the derailment. Two others also left the track. More than 130 firefighters were quickly on the scene using air cushions to stabilize the wagons. Divers searched the rivers in case passengers were hurled into the frigid water by the force of the derailment. Three of the dead were thrown from the train, police said. Philip Banks, a top New York police official, told reporters more than 100 people were believed to be on the train which had left the town of Poughkeepsie at 6:00am (1100 GMT). The accident happened about 80 minutes later at the end of a curved stretch of track leading into Spuyten Duyvil. A freight train had derailed on a nearby stretch of track earlier this year. — AFP

CAIRO: An Egyptian student smashes a police vehicle during a demonstration yesterday. — AFP

Teargas flies in Cairo as constitution takes shape CAIRO: Egyptian security forces fired teargas in Cairo’s Tahrir Square to disperse anti-government protesters yesterday, as a new constitution that reinforces the military’s political power edged closer to approval. The draft constitution reflects how the balance of power has shifted in Egypt since secular-minded generals deposed Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July after mass protests against him. It contains language that could ban Islamist parties outright. A major milestone in Egypt’s political roadmap, the constitution must

be approved in a referendum before new elections, which Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, driven underground by security measures and a legal ban, is unlikely to contest. “ The people want to topple the regime,” chanted more than 2,000 protesters who descended on Tahrir Square, epicentre of the 2011 uprising against autocratic President Hosni Mubarak. Though it only lasted about half an hour before security forces acted, it appeared to be the biggest protest by Brotherhood Continued on Page 13



Congolese teenager stranded in Kuwait Human trafficking victim narrates ordeal KUWAIT: When 16-year-old Furaha left her home country of Congo, she thought that she finally had a place in Kuwait where she could study Arabic and learn more about her new religion. Little did she know that she was the latest victim of human trafficking in a country that has been struggling in the past few years to convince the international community that it is taking serious efforts to tackle this crime. The story of Furaha, who came to Kuwait seeking knowledge after her family converted to Islam in her home country, was featured yesterday by Al-Rai daily who offered to help make her plight public with the hope of finding a solution to her predicament that started with a phone call her father received from Kinshasa. “My father received a phone call from someone who said that he can help me receive a scholarship to learn Arabic in Kuwait, as long as we paid $1,500 for visa and travel expenses,” she told an Al-Rai staff member who was able to communicate with her in French. Furaha said that her family was anxious about her journey to Kuwait. “My father read a lot about Kuwait’s role in spreading Islam’s message in Asia and Africa,” she said, adding that her father had to borrow money to secure the expenses required. Once she arrived at Kuwait International Airport, Furaha met a person who was carrying a sign with her name on it. “The man immediately snatched my passport, then drove me to a place that I later learned was a domestic helpers’ recruitment office,” she explained. The next morning, Furaha was told to go with a Kuwaiti man who took her to his house. “I was warmly received by the family and found a private room prepared

for me, but when they started explaining the daily work duties, I could not even find a way to explain to them that this was not the reason why I came to Kuwait,” she said. Crying was the only thing Furaha said should could do during two weeks in which she stayed with the Kuwaiti family. She had nothing bad to say about the family who she said tried to calm her down “but were eventually left with no other choice but to return me back to the office”. It was there that Furaha realized that there was no

Furaha’s photo which appeared in AlRai’s report scholarship waiting for her in Kuwait, and that she was a victim of human trafficking. “After I realized that I was issued a domestic helper’s visa, I told the office manager that I refuse to work in something I did not come to Kuwait for. He replied by saying ‘we bought you so you either go back to your

employer’s house or pay the $2,500 we paid to your compatriots to bring you from your country’,” she said. The manager then took Furaha to another office after he contacted her Kuwaiti employers who were no longer willing to take her back to their house. “A person at the second office gave me a phone, asked me to call my family and ask for $2,500 to return home,” she said. “But when I told him that my father could not make the money available, he said that I have to make the money instead by working as a housemaid”. Furaha said that she was later able to escape after enduring several days during which she was subjected to physical abuse and sexual harassment. She soon arrived at the Ethiopian embassy after a female driver picked her up from the road. “The Kuwaiti woman stopped when she saw me pleading for help, and offered to help me despite being unable to understand my language,” she said, implying that the woman mistakenly thought she was Ethiopian and took her to the East African nation’s embassy. Nevertheless, Furaha was able to find someone at the embassy who could speak French, and he offered to take her to the police station where she could report her case. But once they reached there, the man left Furaha alone, and she once again had to struggle with the language barrier. “After signaling for a phone, I was able to call my uncle who lives in Sudan. At that point, two persons entered including a woman who took the phone and spoke with my uncle”. The woman is Kuwaiti lawyer Ghadeer Al-Najdi who later volunteered to take Furaha to a local newspaper’s building so that she could have her story published. “We asked about the embassy of Congo

and were surprised to learn that no such embassy exists in Kuwait,” Najdi told Al-Rai. “[Furaha] did not carry identifications or a valid visa, she has no place to go and we could not leave her prone to further risk so we were left with no other option but to go to the newspaper with hope someone might identify her from her photograph”. The lawyer said that Furaha’s uncle was unable to fully understand the problem she had gone through so as to offer help. The teenager was only able to tell her story after the newspaper staff arranged for a French-speaker to sit down with her and listen to her story. It wasn’t clear where Furaha was going to stay as she waits for a solution to her ordeal, but Najdi said that she stayed with a friend named ‘Futooh’ for a few days before she brought her to AlRai’s building. “It appears that visa or human traffickers have crossed all lines now by going as low as using religion as a means to commit their crimes,” Najdi said. “[Furaha] was only looking for an opportunity to be able to read the Holy Quran in the language it was revealed in, and thought she found what she was looking for in a country known for its efforts to spread the teachings of Islam”. “I just want to go home - what I went through is enough, and I am confident that the human traffickers will have to answer in front of Allah Almighty for what they did,” Furaha confidently answered when asked what kind of help she was asking for. The report ended with an appeal from Najdi to Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled Al-Sabah and to Interior Ministry officials to help Furaha obtain her passport again so that she can travel back home.— Al-Rai

Al-Ghanim supports cabinet reshuffle KUWAIT: National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim said yesterday he was in favor of a cabinet reshuffle to form a team of ministers who are capable of coping with the parliament and meet the aspirations of the people. In an interview with Al-Rai TV channel he said: “I’m definitely for such a reshuffle provided that it shouldn’t be made against the backdrop of criticisms of MPs to some incumbent ministers. This is not the correct reason for excluding a certain minister. “We are in need of a government team that can live up to the level of the current challenges and meet the aspirations of the citizens,” he affirmed. Al-Ghanim noted that he understands the choices made by His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak AlHamad Al-Sabah relating to the current government setup. The prime minister was on a hurr y because he had a short span of time to

form the current cabinet because of the constitutional ultimatum in this regard coupled with the Eid holiday, he noted. Commenting on reports that a new cabinet will be formed after Dec 23, Al-Ghanim voiced hope that the cabinet setup would not be based on quotas for certain tribes of factions. “It should be based on professionalism and the ability to serve the interests of the country and the citizens away from any tribal or factional grounds,” he stressed. On the parliament-government relations, he said the executive and legislative authorities are unanimous on need to work together for realizing the targets of comprehensive development. He welcomed as “a good precedence” the decision made by the majority of MPs on November 12 to scrap the two axes of grilling request raised by MP Riyadh AlAdsani against HH the Prime Minister. “What has happened in the parliament

session of November 26 shows that the MPs are empowered to exercise their right to interpellation openly provided that this right should fall within the parameters of the constitution,” he pointed out. On the criticisms levelled at the outcome of the session of Nov 12, Al-Ghanim said the session was not that of cancellation of axes of grilling; it was rather “a session for cancelling the unconstitutional axes. “The session helped correct loopholes in the interpellation in consistency with the provisions of the constitution,” he explained. Asked whether this will be the style in the next sessions, he said: “It’s not the style of the Speaker of the National Assembly who cannot decide on any matter without a parliamentary majority; so it’s the style of the Assembly. “There are some parties who don’t want to give the majority of MPs and the Speaker

a chance to succeed; we took stock of this part of the scenario beforehand. We say to whoever wants to hinder achievement: We are patient enough to continue the march,” he made clear. Al-Ghanim noted that some people challenged the ability of the Assembly to bring the government to the podium but they have been proven wrong. “Based on articles 81 and 84 of the internal statute of the Assembly, the MPs were able to set forth their viewpoints in a democratically correct process,” he pointed out. “I haven’t cast my vote for cancelling the axes of the grilling of HH the Prime Minister in the session of November 12 because I’m the Speaker of the Assembly. Were I an MP, I would vote for the cancellation,” he affirmed. Al-Ghanim added that the Assembly needs innovative thoughts to correct mistaken practices of the past and bring the political process back to the right track. —KUNA

March For Honour ‘a big success’ KUWAIT: Ram Patten’s March For Honour had the honour and privilege of receiving the support and patronage of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak AlHamad Al-Sabah and British Ambassador Franck Baker. The March For Honour began from Sief Palace and continued along the Gulf Road to the Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel, before returning back up the same route to the iconic Kuwait Towers. The March For Honour concluded its 50km distance at the picturesque British Embassy of Kuwait where official representatives, embassy staff, sponsors and selected members of the public witnessed the marchers perform a wreath laying ceremony supported by the visiting Royal Marines Commando detachment and ship’s sailors of HMS Montrose. Ram Patten, founder and director of the March For Honour lead a tree planting ceremony in the embassy gardens alongside Deputy Head of the British Embassy, Jacky Perkins, and Founder of LOYAC, Fareah Al-Saqqaf. The oranges of the tree will contribute to the homemade marmalade which is gifted by the embassy to various select members of the Kuwaiti community. Ram hopes that this will serve as a longstanding representation of the AngloKuwaiti cohesion and a legacy to the March For Honour 2013 event which raised funds in support of the Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Airmen’s Families Association (SSAFA) in the United Kingdom and LOYAC in the State of Kuwait. Ram thanks all those who embodied the March For Honour motto of Honour, Respect and Loyalty. This is the March For Honour aim to Honour the longstanding AngloKuwaiti cohesion by showing Respect for the flawless Kuwaiti hospitality and therein demonstrating our Loyalty to the esteemed people and the State of Kuwait. The March For Honour 2013 event included a large number of participants including Fareah Al-Saqqaf, Chairperson at LOYAC, Faisal Al-Haroun, the General Manager of LOYAC, Brig Gen Ed Brown MBE, Commander of the British Military Mission, Col David Pardy, Defence AttachÈ at the British Embassy, the Royal Marines Detachment of the visiting British Royal Navy Frigate HMS Montrose, the media, businessmen and a blend of British expatriate and Kuwaiti youth. The March For Honour 2013 event was equally hon-

oured to have received the invaluable and crucial sponsorship support from Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa, from Gulf Bank, from Markaz Kuwait Financial Centre, from Kiwan Combined Group and from RVOps. Ambassador Frank Baker had the following statement: “I’m delighted that the Embassy was able to support the March for Honour. The event was a fantastic embodiment of the deep and abiding ties between our two cultures, and a mark of respect to all those who have endeavoured over the years to maintain those links. It was also fantastic to see so many young Kuwaitis involved in the event - the development of young people is vital for the future of any country, and I hold the work that groups like LOYAC do in this respect in the utmost regard.” Faisal Al-Haroun stated that LOYAC’s participation in the March For Honour(r) 2013 event gave them an opportunity to understand firsthand the sincerity of the British expatriate community’s desire to express their humble gratitude

and appreciation to the people and the State of Kuwait, notwithstanding through this Armistice Day honouring of the lives of those British and Kuwaiti servicemen and women who gave their lives in defence of both nations. The fact that members of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Commandos and sailors of HMS Montrose participated is an additional confirmation of the strength in our AngloKuwaiti relationship grows stronger. Al-Haroun also stated that the March For Honour 2013 event’s key messaging and number of participants was a testament to the success of a well executed inaugural event, especially taking into consideration that the event covered an inspirational and continuous 50km distance, which was started at 2am and finished at 11am. Ram Patten looks forward to consolidating the March For Honour 2013 and he is already looking to the future with an equal determination and hope that he may be granted the opportunity to commence preparations for the 2014 event.

KUWAIT: An international team of medical engineers including Kuwaiti engineer Husain Al-Sayegh was recently awarded for winning the second place in an international competition organized by Siemens, for their project of establishing an online portal that allows doctors to view medical information and photos collectively and make diagnoses remotely.


in brief

WTO ministerial conference KUWAIT: Minister of Commerce and Industry Anas Al-Saleh is to attend the 9th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) scheduled to hold in Bali, Indonesia, Dec 3-6, with the participation of 159 member countries. AlSaleh will deliver Kuwait’s speech at the conference welcoming WTO’s new members, in addition to presenting a proposal of submitting the Arab League as an observer member at the organization. On the sidelines of the conference, bilateral agreements will be signed between Kuwait and several WTO members. Minister Al-Saleh’s accompanying delegation includes the Assistant Undersecretary for international trade organizations Dr. Abdullah Al-Owaissi, in addition to a number of ministry officials. Al-Jarallah meets diplomats LONDON: Kuwait Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Khaled Al-Jarallah met with Kuwaiti diplomats working in London yesterday and discussed developments in the region. The meeting, attended by Ambassador Khaled Al-Duwaisan, touched upon Kuwait’s international obligations in the forthcoming phase in addition to problems facing Kuwaiti citizens in Britain, a statement by the embassy said. Al-Jarallah urged the Kuwaiti diplomats to exert efforts to provide all facilities for their fellow citizens, it added. Al-Jarallah then left London following a two-day state visit during which he chaired Kuwait’s delegation to the Britain-Kuwait Joint Steering Group. $500,000 donation to Madagascar KUWAIT: Kuwait has provided, through its embassy in Riyadh, a donation of $500,000 to the Republic of Madagascar to counter the effects of the violent seasonal Haruna cyclone which hit large parts of the country. Kuwaiti Ambassador to Riyadh Sheikh Thamer Al-Jaber Al-Ahmad AlSabah handed over a cheque to the acting charge d’affaires at the Embassy of Madagascar in Riyadh. The Malagasy official expressed his deep gratitude and thanks to the State of Kuwait for its generous donation, which will hopefully alleviate the damage and loss of human lives left behind by the cyclone. He praised the role played by Kuwait in supporting humanitarian cases in various countries around the world.

Kuwaiti surgeons conduct delicate cardiac operations KUWAIT: Kuwaiti surgeons, assisted by Canadian fellow doctors, have conducted delicate cardiac surgeries at AlDabbous Cardiac Center of Adan Hospital. Dr Riyad Tarazi, the head of heart surgery ward at the center, said yesterday the team of surgeons under his supervision had conducted a chain of successful operations, adding condition of the patients was stable. The surgeons, assisted by doctors from the Canadian McGill University, have replaced an aortic valve of a patient with a larger one, with greater capacity, considering the weight of the patient. Dr Tarazi added that the surgeons conducted the “David Procedure” on another patient, affirming that the latter would be spared taking post-operation antiplatelet drugs. In the “David Procedure,” the patient’s aortic valve is kept, although it may be repaired and re-implanted, and reconnected to a new section of aortic tissue. By preserving the native aortic valve, patients avoid the need for lifelong anticoagulation therapy (Coumadin). The chief surgeon added that the doctors carried out the complicated mitral valve repair operation, through a tiny cut, adding that this patient would be able to restore normal movement capacity in only two days. The center had witnessed, in the past, such coordinated Kuwaiti-Canadian surgeries. It adopts new procedures, with respect of receiving urgent medical cases, where the seriousness of a case determines its attention by physicians on duty not its position in the cue line as was the practice previously.—KUNA

Hungary seeks closer ties with Kuwait KUWAIT: Hungarian President Janos Ader is set to begin a three-day state visit to Kuwait late yesterday, where he is scheduled to meet His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. Kuwait and Hungary look forward to promoting and developing bilateral cooperative relations in various fields. Both sides are expected to sign several cooperative agreements in the areas of public works, high education and diplomatic institutes on the sidelines of the Hungarian president’s Kuwait visit. Kuwaiti and Hungarian diplomatic relations date back to 1964, and Hungary opened a trade office in Kuwait in 1966 before having had an embassy here in 1975. Kuwait’s resident ambassador in Austria represented the Gulf country in Hungary until November 2007 and then former deputy prime minister and foreign minister Sheikh Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah opened the Kuwaiti embassy in Hungary. Kuwait and Hungary signed in January 2011 an agreement for economic and technical cooperation with a view to coping with new international laws and economic developments and to spurring joint economic, financial and banking exchange.—KUNA



KUWAIT: The Armenian Embassy and the Armenian community in Kuwait recently held an Exhibition Bazaar titled: ‘Armenia Welcoming Everyone’ at the Casa Hall, Costa Del Sol, Shaab Al-Bahri Hotel. —Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Better traffic management only way out, says expert Law limiting use of cars ‘a mistake’ By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: A plan to limit cars to two for every family in Kuwait is a ‘daydream’, if not a very unrealistic move which could only prolong

or even more at one time. What we need is better traffic management. We need better traffic managers, people who can enforce existing laws. So far, we don’t have them,” he added.

KUWAIT: For many residents, the plan to limit cars up to two for every family in Kuwait is a ‘daydream’ if not a very unrealistic move. The photo above shows one of the traffic jams in the country. —Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

the agony of road users and not solve the traffic problem in the country, said a local economist. “We are just prolonging the suffering of many road users. The real issue here is good infrastructure - roads, bridges, railways and good traffic management,” said Dr Hajjaj AbuKhudoor. “Absence of these means failure and it reflects on the government and country. Who do you think from us will drive two cars

He said implementing the law limiting the use of cars is a mistake. “Don’t suppress the economy by implementing a ‘stupid law’ that would only hurt us - we need cooperation of every ministry to sit down in a proper forum and draft a law that would benefit the whole country and not just certain individuals,” AbuKhudoor mentioned. “We are suppressing the economy - we

should go forward not backward. The reality is that we are a developing and a growing country - and if you stop importing cars, you are limiting the economic growth of the country,” he added. Mohammad, a student at Kuwait University said he does not believe the proposal will be approved. “It’s a nonsense law. It will not be approved - I am pretty sure,” he noted. Stanley, an expat and car expert from India, believes the plan is very unrealistic. “It will not reduce the traffic problem because even if I have a hundred cars, I can only drive one car at a time. I don’t see how it will help reduce traffic jams,” he said. The interior ministry recently said it will issue a decision under which drivers are only allowed to own a maximum of two cars. Those who want to own more than two will have to pay extra fees to register the third or more cars. The decision was repor tedly announced by traffic chief Abdulfattah Al-Ali, who said the proposal is included in a comprehensive study on the reasons for traffic jams that is set to be submitted to Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khalid Al-Sabah. There is no timeframe as to when the new stipulation will be put into effect, but Ali’s statements seem to suggest that it will be applied in the very near future. The ministry has already started implementing a new procedure under which a driving license is compulsory for a person to register a vehicle in his or her name. Ali’s statements came during a traffic crackdown in Khairan on Thursday night, during which he announced that the Interior Ministry has collected KD 41 million out of KD 51 million owed in traffic fines.

Two Asians held with 10 kg of drugs By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: Two Asians were recently arrested for possessing and trading in marijuana, said security sources yesterday. Case papers indicate that narcotics detectives had been tipped of about the activity of one of the two suspects who was later on arrested at his residence where the police found 2kg of marijuana. The first suspect led the police to his compatriot who supplied him with the drug. Storming the second suspect’s residence and searching it, the police found further 8 kg of marijuana. Both suspects confessed that they got the drugs concealed inside imported household utensils shipments. A case was filed and the suspects were referred to relevant authorities. Citizen stabbed A citizen was stabbed on the shoulder during a fight with others in Saad Al-Abdullah area, said security sources noting that the injured was rushed to hospital while the others involved in the fight were arrested. The sources added that the fight started because some young people were standing in front of others’ house.

By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: The Manchester United Supporters Club Kuwait (MUSC), which has over 150 members, yesterday celebrated their first anniversar y at Applebee’s restaurant on the seaside during United’s match against Tottenham. It all started in 2007, when a Facebook group was created to bring together Manchester United fans in Kuwait. “We realized that although there was a huge United following in Kuwait, the fans were totally disconnected. Hence we decided to create the Manchester United Supporters Club in Kuwait helps connect United fans with each other. In 2010 we took a legal step, and after several discussions with United, in 2011 we laid the foundation of MUSC in Kuwait. We then got an official status by Manchester United Football Club on November 27, 2012,” Abdulaziz Al-Hardan, Vice Chairman of MUSC told Kuwait Times. “In a country like Kuwait, it was very difficult to get something like this started. We had to visit various cafes in Kuwait where the games were broadcast and tried to explain the benefits of having an official Manchester United Supporters Club here. Out of the 150 members, about 30 are honorary members including formwe players of the Kuwait national team such as Jasim Yaqoub, Mohammed Karam, Bashar Abdullah and others. It also includes politicians such as Ahmad Al-Saadoun, Marzouq Al-Ghanem and Riyadh AlAdasani,” he added. The honorary membership also includes companies and institutions such as Viva Telecom, Applebee’s, Ghalia Technology and others. TV and radio shows such as Gaaylaa, Mal’ab Al-Watan and others are also members. MUSC holds various activities for their members and the non-members

are invited too. “Our main activity is meet-ups to watch the United matches at Applebee’s. We also hold draws for giveaways including souvenirs from the MU Club and others. We are the only authorized ticket seller in Kuwait for Manchester United games. Today we will have a draw for a T-shirt signed by 20 United champions,” stressed Hardan. “Tomorrow a group of 17 is flying to Manchester. Four of them are staff, while the others are members and non-members. Those who like to join our trips can register and we take them with us after paying the fees and we arrange the paperwork for them,” he added. MUSC is different from other MU fan clubs. “Our membership is not restricted to nationality or gender - any fan of Manchester United is welcomed to join the club. If somebody wants to register, he has to come personally to Applebee’s during any of our meetings or events and fill the application form after paying the fees (KD 25),” explained Hardan. The Club provides a family environment. “Usually, football matches are watched at cafes serving sheesha which is not suitable for kids. We provide a family atmosphere, and I’m glad when parents drop their kids by to watch the game with us and them pick them up after the match as they feel it’s safe for them. Also, United fans from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and UAE know this place as the headquarters of MUSC. When there is a match of United, all screens of the restaurant will broadcast it. Members and non-members can attend and watch the matches with us, but members have more benefits,” he pointed out. “We all are volunteers, and whatever income we make we reinvest it in the club. If there are no matches, the committee still meets at least once a month to discuss issues important to MUSC and its members,” concluded Hardan.

Increase in Kuwait corporate earnings KUWAIT: The Asian drug traders pictured after their arrest. 12 people rescued Shu’aiba port marine rescue forces recently rescued 12 people whose vehicles had been trapped in ponds that formed in the aftermath of the recent heavy rain in three different places.

Shuwaikh fire Shuwaikh firemen responded to a report of a fire in a Shuwaikh carpentry shop at the early hours of Sunday, said security sources noting that they arrived at the scene in a record time and managed to put out the fire before spreading and without any casualties.

AOU thanks Amir for patronizing symposium KUWAIT: Dr Moudhi Al-Homoud, Rector of the Arab Open University (AOU), has sent a cable of gratitude to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on conclusion of the First International Conference on Open Learning, hosted by the State of Kuwait, from Nov 25 to 27.

MUSC celebrates anniversary

Dr Al-Homoud, in person and on behalf of the international organizations, scholars and researchers, who took part in the symposium, expressed deep gratitude to the Amir. The Amir’s patronization of the conference, she wrote, was a key cause for its success.

Moreover, the Amir’s sponsorship of the event manifested his concern for securing all necessities for development of education and creating the incentives for scientific research. In conclusion, she expressed good wishes to His Highness and the State of Kuwait. — KUNA

KUWAIT: The earnings of Kuwaiti listed companies for the first nine months surged 14 per cent to hit KD1.16 billion ($4.09 billion) when compared to the same period last year, said a report. The financial results of Kuwaiti listed companies point to an improvement in the health of Kuwait’s corporates. Growth during the first nine months of 2013 continued to be driven by better results in both financial services and the real estate sector, according to the National Bank of Kuwait. Both had been hit severely by the financial crisis and have since made notable recoveries, the NBK report added. The reported earnings of the 170 companies listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) grew at a solid pace over the year before. Most of the growth came from a drop in total losses reported by companies that continued to suffer the consequences of the 2009 economic

slowdown, said the country’s top lender. The number of companies reporting losses and their aggregate losses continued to shrink. Only 26 companies reported that they were in the red this year compared to 48 during the same period last year. The aggregate losses reported by these companies shrank more dramatically, from KD148 million last year to only KD25 million this year, said the report. According to NBK, the bottom-line growth of profitable companies was less impressive. “Companies that reported positive profits both last year and this year saw profits shrink by 2 per cent on declining telecoms and bank profits. Other sectors saw growth in earnings,” said the lender. “This was also visible in the drop in the profits of the KSE15 index by 4.4 per cent. Nevertheless, banking and telecoms remain the largest contributors to total profits,” it stated.



Palestinian embassy celebrates UN membership anniversary

Director of the Arab World Department at the Foreign Ministry Abdulhameed Al-Falakawi (right) cuts the cake with Palestinian Ambassador Rami Tahboub.

Kuwait Times Editor-in-chief Abd Al-Rahman Al-Alyan (right) and Ayman Al-Sharaa (left) with ambassador Tahboub and his wife.

KUWAIT: Ambassador of Palestine to Kuwait Rami Tahboub hosted a ceremony to celebrate the firstt anniversary of his country joining the United Nations as a non-member state. The event took place at the Barak Ballroom in Crowne Plaza, and was attended by Director of the Arab World Department at the Foreign Ministry Abdulhameed AlFalakawi, in addition to ambassadors and other dignitaries. —-Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

(From left) Fahad Abu Shaar, Kuwait Times Editor-in-chief Abd Al-Rahman Alyan, Sheikh Faisal Al-Malik Al-Sabah, Egyptian Ambassador Abdulkareem Sulaiman and Lebanese Ambassador Kheder Hilwe.

(From left) Farah, Algerian Ambassador Khameesy Areef, Dr Fateh from the Bosnian Embassy and Amal.

(From left) Tunisian Ambassador Hesham Bayood, Lebanese Ambassador Kheder Hilwe, Jordanian Ambassador Mohammad Al-Kayed, Russian Ambassador Alexey Solomatin and Egyptian Ambassador Abdulkareem Sulaiman.

(From left) Manal, Lama Oudha and Jordanian ambassador’s wife Khoulah Al-Abdullat.

Iraqi Ambassador Mohammad Bahrulolom (left) with Anwar Al-Rasheed.

(From left) Indonesian ambassador’s wife Eva Adamhar, Thailand ambassador’s wife Rucheria, Egyptian ambassador’s wife Badriya Abu Bakr, Pakistani ambassador’s wife Ghazalah, Phune, Funzbet, Italian ambassador’s wife Nicoletti, Armenian ambassador’s wife Anna and Cuban ambassador’s wife Maribel Duarte.

(From left) Tunisian Ambassador Hesham Bayood, Majid Al-Ujail, Sadiq Al-Muatawa, Egyptian Ambassador Abdulkareem Sulaiman, Saud Al-Kharnaj, Lebanese Ambassador Kheder Hilwe, and Jordanian Ambassador Mohammad Al-Kayed.

(From left) Ambassador of Brunei Pengiran Aliuddin, Cambodian Ambassador Kim Long, Thailand’s ambassador, Nepalese Ambassador Madhuban Paude, and Majid Al-Ujail.

(From left) Armenian ambassador’s wife Anna, Italian ambassador’s wife Nicoletti, Azerbaijani ambassador’s wife Sevinj Rzayeva, Narjes Al-Shatti, Egyptian ambassador’s wife Badriya Abu Bakr, Afi Khan, and Yasmine Shuhaibar.



Drug trafficking network busted in Nugra area Man hurt in Saad Al-Abdullah brawl KUWAIT: A military man was arrested with three other men including two working in the Interior Ministry on charges of drug trafficking. The arrest took place following investigations into a drug dealer targeting teenagers in Nugra. Detectives arrested a man who was approached by a number of teenagers as soon as he stopped his car near a coffee shop in the area. The man was identified as a Kuwaiti citizen employed in the Ministry of Defense, and he confessed during investigations to selling drug pills to teenagers at cheap prices, adding that he was able to secure many customers through recommendations that teenagers made to their friends and classmates. The man gave information of two Egyptian nationals working in the construction department in the Interior Ministry, and identified them as his accomplices. The two were arrested in their respective houses where police found drug pills. The two said that they obtained the drugs through a compatriot who works in a local pharmacy. The fourth suspect was arrested and they were all referred to the authorities to face charges. Drunk man held A drunk man was arrested after he walked into the Jabriya police station to free his brother who was detained earlier for failure to carry identifications. Police had kept the young bedoon man in custody and waited until a relative brought his ID to the police station. Soon enough, the youngster’s brother showed up put police found out that he was drunk. He was put in the cell next to his brother’s to sober up before he was referred to the relevant authorities for further action. Lion cub missing A lion cub is on the loose, according to a report filed at the Andalus police station by its owner who claimed that he lost it somewhere in the area. In his statements to police Friday night, the Kuwaiti man said that he could not find his 2-month-old cub that he raised in his house in the area, and did not rule out the possibility that it was stolen. A search is on for the animal. Gangs fight A man was injured in a fight involving at least 8 persons reported in Saad Al-Abdullah Friday night. Police and paramedics rushed to the scene after the incident was reported and captured the brawlers who were all sent to the area’s police station except for one man who was taken to Al-Razi Hospital with a stab wound. The fighters were later released on parole after their legal guardians agreed to drop charges. Relative accused A woman filed a case at the Ali Sabah Al-Salem police station and accused a relative of stealing money through scam. The Kuwaiti woman explained that she trusted her relative with KD 20,000 she paid as part of a deal to start a joint project, but later discovered that she was a victim of scam. She added that the man told her that he had lost

all of her money that he invested, and that he ‘kicked her out’ of his house when she came and asked for her money back. The man is being summoned for questioning. Meanwhile, Jahra police arrested a real estate dealer who faced scam charges pressed by several clients at local police stations. According to customers’ testimonies, the man collected thousands of dinars by luring people to ‘buy’ properties in Syria for low prices given the unstable situation there, as the buyers were given promises that the prices of their properties would increase after the situation stabilizes. The man disappeared after collecting the money, but was located and arrested by Jahra detectives. Unlicensed medicines Three people were arrested on charges of selling medications without proper licenses from the relevant authorities. An investigation was opened after detectives grew suspicious of a newspaper ad that offered Chinese medications for home delivery. A company representative was arrested in a trap set up after police confirmed with the Health Ministry that their activity was not licensed. The man led police to a house in Firdous where two others were arrested. It was revealed that the two sold medications and herbs illegally through representatives who delivered the items to customers who placed orders by phone. The three were referred to the authorities for further action while the medications were taken for testing to determine any harmful effects they might have.

Riyadh postpones cooperation forum RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry said it would be postponing its First Forum on Cooperation between Arab Countries, Azerbaijan and Central Asia, which was originally scheduled for Dec 2 and 3 to a later date. The move comes according to “the Kingdom’s commitment to urgency and credibility and in order to ensure an effective participation and appropriate representation so that all parties may achieve the forum’s aspired goals,” said a ministry statement quoted by the Saudi Press Agency. The statement, which did not mention a specific date for the Riyadh-scheduled event, went on to highlight the importance of relations between the Arab world, Central Asia and Azerbaijan. It also highlighted the event’s commitment to creating joint plans and clear-cut working programmes which aim to compliment these economic, social, cultural and historical ties. Ministers of foreign affairs, finance and economic affairs of the sides, along with financial institutions, chambers of commerce and industry and business unions were all expected to attend the event. — KUNA

TEC participates in Dubai fair KUWAIT: The Touristic Enterprises Company participated in the second Kuwaiti week exhibition that took place in Dubai last month under the patronage of Dubai’s Deputy Ruler Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al-Maktoum. The exhibition focused on Kuwaiti achievements in various fields, including displays for investments, as well as medical, educational and industrial services in addition to means of cooperation between Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. The event was inaugurated by Dubai’s President of the Department of Civil Aviation Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed AlMaktoum on behalf of Dubai’s Deputy Ruler, as well as Kuwait’s Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs and Minister of Health Sheikh Mohammad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah. Acting Public Relations and Marketing Director in the TEC, Saqr Al-Badr, said in a statement that touristic facilities managed by his company serve as ‘the basis’ for tourism in Kuwait. He added that participation in the event allowed the TEC to “exchange expertise and means of cooperation in the field of tourism and entertainment”.

Burgan Bank unveils ‘Smart branch’ at the Avenues KUWAIT: Burgan Bank recently revealed a first of its kind Smart Banking branch that showcases technological innovation, conveniently located at the Avenues Mall. At the touch of a button, the new branch was officially inaugurated by the bank’s Chairman, Majed Essa Al-Ajeel, along with members of the senior executive management. The futuristic branch features extensive use of digital technology including display panels forming video walls of interactive touch-screens, and Video conferencing with Call center agents. Burgan Bank’s smart branch is located at the Grand Avenues, at the Avenues Mall, and operates from Sundays to Wednesdays from 10 am to 1 pm. The branch will recommence operations in its afternoon shift from 5pm to 8pm. On Thursdays, the branch will be operational from 10 am to 1pm. Established in 1977, Burgan Bank is the youngest commercial Bank and third largest by assets in Kuwait, with a significant focus on the corporate and financial institutions sectors, as well as having a growing retail and private bank customer base. Burgan Bank has five majority owned subsidiaries, which include Gulf Bank Algeria - AGB (Algeria), Bank of Baghdad BOB (Iraq & Lebanon), Jordan Kuwait Bank - JKB (Jordan) Tunis International Bank - TIB (Tunisia), and fully owned Burgan Bank Turkey, (collectively known as the “Burgan Bank Group”).

The Bank has continuously improved its performance over the years through an expanded revenue structure, diversified funding sources, and a strong capital base. The adoption of state-of-the-art services and technology has positioned it as a trendsetter in the domestic market and within the MENA region. Burgan Bank’s brand has been created on a foundation of real values - of trust, commitment, excellence and progression, to remind us of the high standards to which we aspire. ‘People come first’ is the foundation on which its products and services are developed. Earlier this year, ‘Brand Finance’ - the international brand valuation company- rated Burgan Bank brand as AA with positive outlook.? The rating places Burgan Bank Brand at 2nd amongst the most valuable banking brands in Kuwait. Excellence is one of the Bank’s four key values and Burgan Bank continually strives to maintain the highest standards in the industry. The Bank was re-certified in 2010 with the ISO 9001:2008 certification in all its banking businesses, making it the first bank in the GCC, and the only bank in Kuwait to receive such accreditation. The Bank also has to its credit the distinction of being the only Bank in Kuwait to have won the JP Morgan Chase Quality Recognition Award for twelve consecutive years.

‘Al-Arabi’ magazine marking 55th anniversary KUWAIT: Kuwait’s ‘Al-Arabi’ magazine is marking 55 years in publication and is still being hailed by both elite and masses as a true reflection of the concerns of the Arab people and a beacon that spreads culture, knowledge, and enlightenment across the Arab World and beyond. Since its earliest issues, the magazine served as the point of juncture of Arab cultural and intellectual creativity, a venue for exchange of views on the issue of the hour, and a collective effort against the top and common enemy Israel and all other forces of occupation. While the issues included many articles on the Palestinian cause over the years, the 50th issue presented the reader with a six-colour map of Palestine, to stress the land’s Arab identity and keep the details clear and the issue alive among the new generations. The magazine sought to inspire and kindle the spirit of resistance to occupation. It published an interview with Algerian leader Ahmed Ben Bella in the 50th issue alongside the map. The figure started the tale of his perseverance throughout his years of French imprisonment by saying the magazine was, “my companion in my isolation, my lone source of pleasure in my confinement ... Truly a precious gift.” The popularity and appeal of the magazine went beyond the borders of the Arab region and the letters from its readers often came from Europe, and one letter even came from a US reader stressing the Kuwaiti magazine topped and outshined all publications in his university’s library. The first issue of the prized publication graced news stands before the independence of the State of Kuwait and adoption of the Kuwaiti Constitution; the first pages came out of the printers in December 1958. The first Editor in Chief was Dr Ahmad Zaki, and current Editor in Chief is Dr Laila Al-Sabaan.

The latter paid tribute to Zaki for really establishing the firm basis the magazine still stands on today. Dr Zaki himself had in his forward to the issue marking the fourth anniversary of the magazine in January 1963 expressed gratitude to the Government and people of Kuwait for this great contribution. He particularly hailed the support of then Minister of Information Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah, quoting him saying, “I would finance the publication from my own pocket if needed!” The pages of the magazine were filled with the latest contributions and views of Arab intellectuals and researchers, select compositions by Arab poets and authors and men of literature, and photo-adorned features showcasing Arab countries’ rich past, cultural identity, folklore, beauties, and intellectual and literary contributions. Scientific matter also found its way to the pages of the magazine spanning the fields of health, astronomy, renewable energy, physics, scientific research, and much more. This was in addition to articles on music, theatre, and formative arts. There was also room for daring discussion and debate on social issues and challenges across the Arab World, and room was assigned for works of criticism and for criticism of publications, both original Arabic and translated works. This space, the “Book of the Month” page, was among the most sought-after content of the magazine. Fully realizing that the nation’s future depends on its youth, the magazine issued its supplement Al-Arabi Al-Sagheer (Young Arab). Content of this supplement also stressed Arab identity and rich culture, as well as introduced young readers to scientific and artistic subjects in a format and language befitting young minds.—KUNA


50 killed in air strikes in Syria

Americans don’t trust one another Page 10

KIEV: Ukrainian protesters clash with riot policemen outside the Ukrainian President’s office yesterday. — AFP

100,000 Ukrainians protest EU snub Kiev riot police use gas, truncheons on protesters KIEV: About 100 police were injured yesterday in clashes that broke out as 100,000 outraged Ukrainians swarmed Kiev in a call for early elections meant to punish authorities for rejecting a historic EU pact. The crowd chanted “Revolution!” and “Down with the gang” as it took control of Kiev’s iconic Independence Square, while protesters steered a bulldozer within striking distance of police barricades protecting the nearby presidential adminstration office. AFP reporters saw security forces outside the presidential building fire stun grenades and smoke bombs at a few dozen masked demonstrators who were pelting police with stones and what Ukrainian media said were molotov cocktails. Kiev police spokeswoman Olga Bilyk said by telephone that around 100 officers were wounded in the day-long protest. An AFP reporter saw three protesters covered in blood from head wounds and other injuries. Two AFP photographers and a local cameraman with the Lyon-based Euronews television news channel also received slight injuries in the unrest. Kiev police said a few dozen members of the nationalist Svoboda party had also taken control of an empty Kiev city hall building and set up what they described as the new temporary headquarters of the united opposition. “The government and president must resign,” world boxing champion turned opposition leader Vitali Klitschko told the Independence Square crowd to loud cheers and cries of

KIEV: A police medic helps a bleeding protester stand up after riot police cleared a street leading to presidential administration building yesterday. — AFP

“Yes!” “A revolution is starting in Ukraine,” added Svoboda party chief Oleh Tyagnybok.”We are setting up a tent city on Independence Square... and launching a national strike,” he said in dramatic scenes aired live on television stations in both Ukraine and Russia. But both leaders distance themselves from the violence outside President Viktor Yanukovych’s office and issued calls for calm. “None of our protest members attacked Yanukovych’s lair,” parliamentary opposition leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk told reporters at the rally. Ukrainian media said Yanukovych-elected in 2010 with strong backing from the Russian-speaking east of the ex-Soviet sate-spent most of yesterday huddling with his most senior advisers at a secluded suburban residence. An unnamed government source told the ITAR-TASS news agency that Yanukovych was thinking of imposing a nationwide state of emergency from Monday. The economically-struggling nation of 46 million was thrown into its deepest crisis since the 2004 pro-democracy Orange Revolution when Yanukovych snubbed EU leaders at a summit on Friday and opted to keep Ukraine aligned with its former master Russia. The government’s decision-first announced a week before the EU meeting sparked demonstrations that first turned violent in the early hours of Saturday when hundreds of rubber baton-wielding police drove about 1,000 protesters from Independence Square. A few hundred of them spent the night at the nearby Mikhailovsky Monastery plotting a pro-European campaign that includes the formation of a “national resistance task force”. Main opposition leaders such as Klitshcko-seen as one of the president’s most potent rivals in elections set for March 2015 — are now calling for early elections and an indefinite nationwide strike. Yesterday’s rally was held in open defiance of a court ban imposed late Saturday on all protests on the square and its surrounding streets until January 7. AFP reporters estimated the size of yesterday’s crowd at about 100,000 while some protest leaders and Ukrainian media put the figure even higher. There was no immediate official police estimate. Saturday’s police crackdown sparked a new round of Western condemnation of the Ukrainian government but was met with notable silence by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin. US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki called on Kiev authorities to respect Ukrainians’ right to free expression and assembly, which are “fundamental to a healthy democracy”. Ukraine’s leaders appeared to be taking steps to distance themselves from Saturday’s police crackdown by announcing a formal probe to identify and punish those responsible on both sides. Kiev’s police chief submitted his resignation at a meeting yesterday during which Interior Minister Vitaliy Zakharchenko vowed to make sure his force acted with “tolerance”. Yanukovych added in televised comments aimed directly at the opposition that Ukraine had already chosen its “historic path” by committing itself to closer EU relations. Yet he also stressed that these closer ties with the 28-nation bloc would come only when Ukraine was treated as “an equal partner that is respected and whose wishes are taken into account.” Kiev’s nuanced approach in which it seeks favour from both Moscow and Brussels was underscored yet again when the government said Yanukovych would soon travel to Russia to sign a new “cooperation roadmap”. — AFP

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Hamas cancels ’versary rally over economic woes GAZA CITY: The Gaza Strip’s ruling Hamas movement canceled its upcoming anniversary rally yesterday, saying it was inappropriate to celebrate at a time of deep economic woes in the crowded seaside territory. It was the first time the Islamic militant group has canceled the festivities since seizing power six years ago. Hamas has used the elaborate annual commemoration of its December 1987 founding to demonstrate its control, with large military-style gatherings attended by hundreds of thousands of people. The decision illustrated just how hard the Gaza economy has been hit since Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, Hamas’ main patron, was ousted in a July military coup. Morsi hails from

Iraq cafes advised on how to stop a suicide bomber BAGHDAD: As violence in Iraq has worsened with attacks hitting a wider array of targets, security officials have held an unusual seminar for cafe owners-how to stop a suicide bomber. From employing private security guards to reducing the number of open entrances, officials gave tips on spotting and deterring militants, hoping to curb the country’s worst wave of violence since 2008. Shootings and bombings have struck all manner of targets in Baghdad and elsewhere, but cafes-where football-mad Iraqis often gather to watch the latest European games-have been badly hit. Nearly 50 cafes have been bombed nationwide since unrest surged in April-25 in Baghdad alone. The most recent-a suicide bombing in the southwestern neighbourhood of Bayaakilled 15 people on November 21. “The security situation faced by cafes means they should appoint one or two guards and close all but one entrance to control the flow of people and stop terrorists who wear explosives belts and want to kill people in cold blood,” said Major General Saad Jaafar, deputy chief of Baghdad’s security command centre. Jaafar also suggested that cafe proprietors instal security cameras. “The security forces need help from Iraqi citizens,” he said, adding quickly: “This does not mean the security forces are unable to protect the citizens.” The violence has hit wide swathes of the population, from security forces and government officials to civilians visiting cafes, mosques and football pitches, with people killed at all times of day and night. In all, more than 6,000 have been killed this year nationwide and nearly 950 in November alone, according to an AFP tally of reports from security and medical officials. Measures to tackle the bloodshed include essentially barring half of the cars from Baghdad’s streets on any given day, to trumpeting operations against militants that officials say have led to hundreds of arrests and the killing of dozens more. But the violence has not ceased, hurting trade for cafe owners whose businesses are typically packed for matches ranging from Spain’s La Liga to Britain’s Premier League, as well as the exploits of Iraq’s national team. — AFP

the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas’ parent movement, and moved to improve ties with the Islamic militant group. The new military government has imposed tough border restrictions, including the destruction of smuggling tunnels that long sustained the Gaza economy and provided a key source of income for Hamas. Hamas official Ashraf Abu Zayed said funds allocated for the celebration, scheduled for next week, would be used “to alleviate the suffering” of the people. “The decision to cancel the rally is a message of solidarity recognizing the difficult circumstances experienced by our people in Gaza,” Abu Zayed said. Egypt’s border crackdown, accompanied by Israeli

left the Palestinians divided between two governments. Repeated attempts at reconciliation have failed. Despite its difficulties, Hamas maintains its rigid opposition against Israel and says it remains committed to destruction of the Jewish state. Hamas, which has killed hundreds of Israelis in suicide bombings and other attacks, battled Israel to a stalemate during eight days of fighting a year ago. It maintains an arsenal of thousands of rockets and other weapons. Abu Zayed said although the celebrations were canceled, Hamas “didn’t stop the preparation and processing for the battle of liberation and victory, God willing.” — AP

50 killed in air strikes in Syria Children escape as mortar hits French school in Damascus DAMASCUS: A two-day wave of regime air strikes on a north Syrian town has killed 50 people, a monitor said Sunday, while in Damascus a mortar round struck the French school without causing injuries. On the political front, Syria’s deputy foreign minister insisted that no solution to Syria’s conflict proposed at a January 22 peace conference in Geneva would be implemented without President Bashar Al-Assad’s approval. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that helicopters on Sunday dropped explosive-laden barrels on the rebel-held town of Al-Bab in northern Syria’s Aleppo province, killing at least 24 people, including two women and four children. Their deaths in a market area of Al-Bab came a day after similar aerial bombardments on the same town that killed at least 26 others. State news agency SANA, reporting on the conflict in the town, said “Syrian army units destroyed the headquarters of an Islamic (rebel) tribunal in Al-Bab in a special operation,” without giving further details. Large swathes of Aleppo province have been under rebel control for more than a year, and have suffered frequent aerial attacks by the regime. Meanwhile in Damascus, children escaped a mortar attack on the French school, officials said. “A mortar shell landed on the chimney of a classroom around 9:00 am (0700 GMT). No one was hurt but the windows shattered and the walls cracked,” school receptionist Bashir Oneiz told AFP. Aline Farah, a nurse at the Charles de Gaulle school in the upscale central district of Mazzeh, said students were in class when the mortar struck. “It was a miracle that no one was hurt, neither students nor teachers nor employees,” she said. “They were all crying. They

DAMASCUS: A student looks at a window cracked after a mortar shell hit the French school, without causing any injuries to children yesterday. — AFP Damascus-Homs highway. The Observatory were terrified. We took them to an under- more deadly in the past few weeks. Elsewhere, the Observatory said at least said regime warplanes carried out air strikes ground shelter,” said Farah. The attack was condemned by French Foreign Minister five regime forces were killed overnight in a on the town on Sunday, and fierce fighting Laurent Fabius, who issued a statement call- suicide car bomb attack at a police check- continued there between rebel fighters, ing it “cowardly”. The school, which is the point on the Damascus-Homs highway near including jihadists, and army troops backed only foreign school still open in the Syrian the contested town of Nabuk. The group by a pro-regime militia and Lebanon’s Shiite capital, has about 220 students, down from said a fighter from the jihadist Al-Nusra Hezbollah. The Syrian regime is trying to sever rebel a pre-war figure of 900. It caters both to Front carried out the attack, which came as Syrian students and the children of a few regime forces try to gain control of Nabuk, supply routes that run through the mounremaining foreigners living in the country as part of an operation to recapture the tainous Qalamoun region, north of Damascus, across the nearby border with despite a brutal 32-month conflict between Qalamoun region. The army has already captured the Lebanon. Amid the escalation of violence, the government and rebels. Rebels in rear bases on the outskirts of towns of Qara and Deir Attiyeh, and a Syrian Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Damascus regularly fire rockets and mortar security source told AFP troops now con- Muqdad said no solution proposed at peace rounds into the centre of the capital, with trolled 60 percent of Nabuk, which lies fur- talks next month would be implemented the attacks becoming more frequent and ther south towards the capital on the without Assad’s blessing. — AFP

SANAA: A Yemeni policeman looks at motorcycles being unloaded from a truck after they were seized as their owners violated a 15-day ban on motorcycles yesterday. — AFP

Yemen bans bikes in capital to halt spate of shootings SANAA: Yemen began enforcing a temporary ban on motorbikes in the capital yesterday to prevent “shoot and scoot” attacks as Al-Qaeda suspects on a bike elsewhere killed an army officer. The interior ministry said the ban will last until December 15 and that its aim is to “preserve security and stability” as Yemen undergoes a difficult political transition. An AFP correspondent in Sanaa reported that the ban was being strictly enforced, with no motorcycles seen on the streets yesterday. Motorbikes are a cheap form of transport frequently used as taxis in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula country. But they have also become a tool for hit-and-run shootings that have killed dozens of officials. Hundreds of demonstrators protested on Saturday in Sanaa against the bike ban near President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi’s residence, where the authorities used water cannon and tear gas to disperse them. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has been blamed for most of the motorbike attacks on members of the security forces. As the ban took effect in Sanaa, gunmen on a motorbike killed the deputy commander of the 37th brigade in the southeastern province of Hadramawt. “Gunmen on a motorbike opened machinegun fire on Colonel Ahmed Hassan al-Marfadi’s car killing him and his son and wounding one of their three bodyguards,” a military official told AFP. The official said the attackers, who managed to escape after the assault in the town of Qoton “are believed to be members of Al-Qaeda”. On Tuesday, two gunmen on a bike killed a Belarussian defence contractor

restrictions on Gaza, has caused power cuts, fuel shortages and the virtual collapse of the construction industry, a major employer in Gaza. Last month, the lack of power caused a major spill at Gaza’s main sewage treatment plant, flooding downtown streets in rancid waste. According to the United Nations, unemployment has risen since the tunnels were closed and now stands at roughly 30 percent. Nearly one half of Gaza’s 1.7 million people receive food aid from UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees. Hamas seized power in 2007 after taking the territory from the forces of Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. With Abbas now governing from the West Bank, the takeover has

and wounded another as they left a Sanaa hotel. And on November 22, Abdel Karim Jadban, a parliamentarian representing Zaidi Shiite rebels who fought a decadelong insurgency in Yemen’s far north, was shot dead in a similar attack. A security official in the capital, Colonel Yehya alAkouaa, told AFP the Sanaa ban aims to “prevent further attacks amid fears of an upsurge in such attacks as the national dialogue nears its end”. Yemen has been going through a difficult political transition since veteran president Ali Abdullah Saleh was ousted in February 2012 after a year of deadly protests against his 33-year rule. The transition is expected to culminate in a new constitution and pave the way for parliamentary and presidential elections slated for February 2014, but it still faces many hurdles. There are growing demands for the secession of the formerly independent south, in addition to on-off fighting in the far north between the Shiite rebels and hardline Sunnis. Yemen is also battling AQAP, which Washington regards as the jihadist network’s most dangerous branch. AQAP often attacks members of the security forces, despite suffering setbacks in a major army offensive last year and repeated US drone strikes targeting its commanders. In January, the authorities impounded 500 illegal motorbikes during a three-day campaign aimed at getting rid of bike-borne gunmen. There are estimated to be more than 200,000 motorbikes in the country, and police in Sanaa said at the beginning of the year that most of those machines were unregistered. — AFP



Scotland mourns pub chopper crash victims Crash casts pall over Scotland’s national day

NGOZI: This picture shows a woman standing by ballot papers at a polling station in Ngozi. — AFP

Burundi constitution change risks opening ethnic wounds BUJUMBURA: Highly controversial plans by Burundi’s government to revise the constitution has threatened a delicate ethnic balances in a nation still healing after decades of conflict, opposition parties and civil society warn. The government talks about a simple and minor “tweaking” of the constitution, but critics accuse Bujumbura of a “constitutional hold-up” that risks awaking old ethnic demons that have plagued the small central African nation, torn in the past by civil war, rebellion and massacres. Critics also see the move as a way for the president to cement another term in power. Changes would reduce the two-thirds parliamentary majority currently needed to pass a law to a simple majority-effectively handing total legislative power to Hutu MPs who form a majority in parliament. Tutsi MPs hold 40 percent of seats in the house. That percentage is crucial, since currently it not only limits the stranglehold of a single political party, but also stops the Hutu majority from having political dominance over the Tutsi minority. The planned reform would also reduce the powers of the first vice-president, who has to belong to a different party and a different ethnic group than the president, and would strip the Senate of its power to ensure the distribution of government jobs reflects the country’s ethnic balance. President Pierre Nkurunziza, is a Hutu from the main Burundian Hutu party (CNDD-FDD), while first vice-president Bernard Busokoza is a Tutsi, from the main Tutsi party, UPRONA. The key constitutional provisions are rooted in the Arusha Peace Agreement of 2000, the foundation stone of a 2006 deal that ended 13 years of brutal civil war for the country, situated in the continent’s still volatile Great

Lakes region. At least 300,000 people were killed in that war, sparked by a 1993 coup by extremist Tutsi army officers to topple the first Hutu elected president since independence from Belgium three decades earlier. “In Arusha, Burundians decided to create a consensual democracy, in which no ethnic group can make big decisions without the consent of the other,” said UPRONA president Charles Nditije. “If the CNDD-FDD has its way, it is the death of the guarantees of the Arusha peace agreement, and it opens the way for the dictatorship of an ethnic group,” he warned, noting gloomily of the “risk of a resurgence of ethnic conflict.” The agreement set down power sharing between the Hutu majority — 85 percent of the population and now in power-and the Tutsi minority, making up 14 percent, but led the country for much of its history since independence Burundi’s history is marred by bitter ethnic killings, with massacres in 1972 and 1988, as well as civil war. Tensions remain high, with rebel gunmen launching a series of attacks since the 2010 boycott of general elections by Burundi’s opposition. UPRONA party spokesman Tatien Sibomana warns Hutus want to “exclude Tutsi from decision making roles” noting that Tutsis are already in “a minority in the army and the police.” However, the constitution also provides for ethnic equality in the army and security forces. Civil society first sounded the alarm in early November, when the draft constitutional revision process was brought to light. More than 560 organisations launched a campaign called “do not touch the Arusha consensus”, which also criticises moves by the government to delete clauses blocking the president from running for more than two consecutive terms. — AFP

GLASGOW: Candles were lit yesterday as Scotland remembered the Glasgow pub helicopter crash victims, while rescuers toiled to salvage bodies from the wreckage. Emergency service workers began attempts to winch the police aircraft back through the roof of The Clutha, where it is feared further corpses will be found under its carcass, raising the death toll. Eight fatalities have been announced so far, with one victim formally named. The second body to be removed from the scene was taken to a hospital yesterday for identification, while 12 people remain in hospital with serious injuries. Well over 100 people were watching a Glaswegian ska band in the popular live music bar on Friday night when the unexplained disaster struck. The weekend was meant to be one of festivities for Saint Andrew’s Day, Scotland’s patron saint. Instead, in sombre scenes, eight candles were lit in Glasgow Cathedral during a packed memorial service which also paid tribute to the rescue effort. Reverend Laurence Whitley, who led the service, spent Saturday visiting the injured. “All we found we could do was look at each other and shrug,” he said. But he told the congregation: “We do not end this day in despair and losses.

“Our great and vibrant and irrepressible city shall stand together with our suffering ones and hand in hand go forward into the light.” Scotland’s Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and police chief Stephen House were in the pews, along with ambulance workers in uniform. At The Clutha, cranes could be seen working on the wreckage of the riverside bar in the middle of Scotland’s biggest city. One rotor blade was lifted out of the debris. “Work has begun to remove the helicopter from the site. This is a painstaking process which we expect to take some time,” Police Scotland Deputy Chief Constable Rose Fitzpatrick told reporters at the scene. “This is a difficult and complex operation and great care and sensitivity is required. “Work also continues to recover further bodies.” She urged anyone with footage or information surrounding the incident to come forward as police try to piece together how the freak accident occurred. Three people on board the helicopter-two officers and a civilian pilot and five people in the bar are so far known to have been killed. The first victim whose body was recovered from the scene was named as Gary Arthur, 48, from the Paisley suburb of Glasgow. His daughter Chloe plays football for

Scotland and Celtic under-19s. “RIP dad. you’ll always mean the world to me, I promise to do you proud, I love you with all my heart,” she tweeted. A minute’s silence was held ahead of Scottish Cup football match yesterday between hosts Hearts and league champions Celtic in Edinburgh. Reports have also named helicopter pilot David Traill, 51, and police officer Kirsty Nelis as among the dead. Some 32 people were taken away by ambulance. Those still in hospital are suffering from “chest injuries, head injuries, long-bone fractures and lacerations”, said Jennifer Armstrong, medical director of the Greater Glasgow Health Board. Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond told BBC television that three were in intensive care. Speaking of the unsearched area of the pub, beneath the helicopter, he said: “We have to prepare ourselves for the possibility that there could be further fatalities to come.” The emergency teams want to recover as much of the helicopter as possible to work out what happened. Police Scotland said the Eurocopter EC135 Type 2 passed precautionary safety checks in July 2012. Britain’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch has sent a team to the scene. — AFP

Cameron hits back at oppn with energy bill promise LONDON: British Prime Minister David Cameron promised yesterday to cut rising energy costs, seeking to regain the initiative from an opposition Labour Party that has pledged to freeze bills if it wins the next election in 2015. Cameron said his government would set out measures to cut bills by an average of 50 pounds ($81.90) a year in an economic update on Thursday which finance minister George Osborne said he would use to carry on reducing Britain’s budget deficit, even as the economy recovers. The soaring cost of household energy has dominated political debate in Britain since Labour leader Ed Miliband said in September that his party would freeze bills for 20 months if it wins power. Labour has shifted its attack on Cameron from the long flat-lining economy, which has returned to growth this year, to what it calls a cost of living crisis. Many families are squeezed by weak wage growth, rising bills and government cuts.

“Instead of a fake giveaway, we have found another way to support Britain’s hard-pressed families,” Cameron wrote in a joint article with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in the Sun yesterday newspaper. The coalition government says Miliband’s cap on bills would not work because energy suppliers would raise their prices before and after the 20-month freeze, wiping out any savings. Cameron said he would transfer the cost of helping the poorest families with energy prices from household bills to general taxation, paid for by a tax avoidance crackdown. The cost of a scheme to subsidise the insulation of houses - also included in household energy bills will be spread over a longer period to bring down its cost, he added. Osborne said the government was pressing utilities to make sure the changes helped customers. “The discussion with the energy companies is of course to make sure these are passed on to hardworking families,” he told BBC televisison. — Reuters



Americans don’t trust one another Lack of socializing, YouTube behind trust issues

BOGOTA: Undated file photo showing late Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar (left), his wife Victoria Eugenia Henau (right) and his son Pablo Escobar in Bogota. — AFP

20 years on, Pablo Escobar casts shadow over Medellin MEDELLIN: Two decades after his death, Pablo Escobar still casts a long shadow over the Colombian city that witnessed his blood-soaked rise to become one of the most feared druglords in history. Murderous sociopath or benevolent Robin Hood? Many in Medellin remain outraged at the scale and ferocity of his crimes, while others remember him fondly for his lavish handouts. Escobar “is the most alive dead guy in Colombia-because he is still with us in drug gangs and traffickers to this day,” said Cesar Cuartas, a resident of Medellin’s Comuna 1 hardscrabble hillside neighborhood. “Escobar simply has so many victims. And that pain is also very much alive, something that has not been fixed,” said Luis Alirio Call, a reporter who was present when Escobar turned himself in in 1991. The Medellin cartel founder, Escobar was famed for some of the bloodiest, most ruthless organized crime dealings, like the cartel’s “plata o plomo” policy on the street (“take a payoff, or you are dead.”) As he rose to billionaire drug lord status in the 1980s, he courted deep-rooted support by lavishing financial and infrastructure help on poor neighborhoods where government services never managed to reach. Modest beginnings, gilt excess The son of a farmer and schoolteacher, Escobar grew up in a modest part of Medellin. He came to revel in the Robin Hood element of his fame; an estimated 25,000 people, mostly residents of Medellin’s poorest districts, thronged Escobar’s funeral. He also got a charge out of his cocaine-driven ascent to the ranks of the mega-rich, enjoying collecting homes, private zoos and reputedly a steady stream of underage girls. After being detained in a deluxe personal jail nicknamed the Cathedral, complete with jacuzzi, Escobar again went on the run in 1992 after suggestions he should be sent to a regular jail. After a costly USColombian operation lasting more than a year, Escobar was located living secretly in a middle-class area of Medellin. Police pursued him and a firefight ensued in December 1993. He was shot

several times, including once in the ear. It is not known who fired the shot that killed Escobar. His family says he chose to take his own life rather than face uncertainty or potential extradition to the United States. “I’d rather be in a Colombian coffin than an American prison,” was one of his oft-repeated mottos, relatives have said. Indeed, the Medellin Cartel was founded in part to have a larger organization push for Colombia to revoke its 1979 extradition treaty with Washington. The cartel brought smaller groups together. A life of drama, contradictions Pablo Escobar’s life was full of strange twists and contradictions. It has inspired a painting by his countryman Fernando Botero, a slew of movies and a new film in the pipeline from US director Oliver Stone. Though he built an empire on the back of cocaine, Escobar went around poor neighborhoods in Colombia preaching against drug use. And he even scolded his underlings for dabbling in drugs. He could be wildly superstitious outside traditional Catholic beliefs, yet said he was deeply devoted to the Holy Child of Atocha, the same man whose empire may have taken thousands of lives. Escobar amazingly had enough popular support to win in politics despite his reputation. In 1982 he was elected as an alternate congressman. The fun did not last; the Justice Minister Rodrigo Lara charged him with illicit activities, and Lara later was killed by his hitmen. The same man whose empire was behind countless killings bankrolled development in Medellin’s poorest neighborhoods. At one of them, a sign reads “Welcome to the Pablo Escobar District. A place to live in peace!” Luz Mary Arias, 57, used to make her living picking items to recycle from a garbage dump where she lived. Then Escobar gave her the small home she calls her own. “I admire him like a Robin Hood,” she said, cradling a souvenir statuette of Escobar in Robin Hood costume, after all these years. “I lost two of my own brothers to Pablo’s people,” Arias said. “Still, I do not criticize him because he changed our lives.” — AFP

Mother on crashed plane led searchers to wreckage ANCHORAGE: A mother on board a plane that crashed in remote southwest Alaska made a frantic phone call for help resuscitating her 5-month-old baby, then left the fatally injured boy to lead searchers hampered by cold and fog to the crash site. Melanie Coffee, 25, of Mountain Village walked nearly a mile toward lights in the village of Saint Marys to meet rescuers Friday night. “I believe she’s the real hero in this,” said Saint Marys Village Police Officer Fred Lamont Jr, one of the dozens from his community and surrounding villages who responded to the crash that killed four and injured six. The Hageland Aviation Cessna 208 turboprop left Bethel at 5:40 pm on a scheduled flight for Mountain Village and eventually Saint Marys. Saint Marys, like scores of other Alaska villages, is off the state road system. People routinely use small aircraft to reach regional hubs where they can catch another plane to complete trips to Anchorage or other cities. Megan Peters, a spokeswoman for the Alaska State Troopers, said the airplane would have been flying in freezing rain with a mile of visibility and a 300-foot ceiling. Lamont described conditions as ice fog with moisture that stuck to vehicles. The airplane never reached Mountain Village. It crashed around 6:30 p.m. four miles from Saint Marys, said Clint Johnson, head of the National Transportation Safety Board in Alaska. Pilot Terry Hansen, 68, passengers Rose Polty, 57, Richard Polty, 65, and the infant, Wyatt Coffee, died in the crash. The survivors included Melanie Coffee, Pauline Johnson, 37, Kylan Johnson, 14, Tanya Lawrence, 35, Garrett Moses, 30, and Shannon Lawrence. All were seriously injured and four were in critical condition, Lamont said. All but Hanson and Shannon Lawrence are from Mountain Village, troopers said. Lamont, the village police officer, is also trained as a health aide and was working

with an ambulance driver Friday. At about 7 p.m., he said, Melanie Coffee called another on-duty health aide to say the airplane had crashed and she needed assistance. “She was trying to do CPR to her newborn baby,” Lamont said. “She called for help.”Lamont and the driver headed out in the ambulance to look for the crash. Other health officials put out the call for responders. Two state troopers assigned to the community joined the effort. People from Mountain Village and Pitka’s Point, which are connected to Saint Marys by local roads, helped search by car and snowmobile. “Whoever had a vehicle was out there looking,” Lamont said Fog hampered the search and responders could not immediately locate the crash site despite speaking to the injured. “We had no clue,” Lamont said. Coffee, who suffered chest trauma, tried whistling to alert searchers, Lamont said. She considered starting a fire to get their attention but eventually decided to start walking toward village lights. A GCI communications tower with a red strobe led her three-quarters of a mile to the village landfill. “That’s where everyone found her,” Lamont said. She led searchers back to the crash site. It was not accessible by snowmobile. Rescuers put the injured on stretchers and carried them out on foot to the landfill where they could be transported by ambulance to the village and then flown out. A Coast Guard C-130 could not land because of fog but the injured were transported by a LifeMed Alaska flight and two other aircraft. NTSB Investigator Clint Johnson said the cause of the crash has not been determined. “It’s very much in the preliminary stages at this point,” he said. Two investigators were on their way to Bethel on Saturday to meet troopers for transportation to the crash site. Reaching the wreckage would depend on weather and safety considerations, Peters said. No one was at the crash site Saturday morning. — AP

WASHINGTON: Americans don’t trust each other anymore. We’re not talking about the loss of faith in big institutions such as the government, the church or Wall Street, which fluctuates with events. For four decades, a gut-level ingredient of democracy - trust in the other fellow - has been quietly draining away. These days, only one-third of Americans say most people can be trusted. Half felt that way in 1972, when the General Social Survey first asked the question. Forty years later, a record high of nearly two-thirds say “you can’t be too careful” in dealing with people. An AP-GfK poll conducted last month found that Americans are suspicious of each other in everyday encounters. Less than one-third expressed a lot of trust in clerks who swipe their credit cards, drivers on the road, or people they meet when traveling. “I’m leery of everybody,” said Bart Murawski, 27, of Albany, New York. “Caution is always a factor.” Does it matter that Americans are suspicious of one another? Yes, say worried political and social scientists. What’s known as “social trust” brings good things. A society where it’s easier to compromise or make a deal. Where people are willing to work with those who are different from them for the common good. Where trust appears to promote economic growth. Distrust, on the other hand, seems to encourage corruption. At the least, it diverts energy to counting change, drawing up 100-page legal contracts and building gated communities. Even the rancor and gridlock in politics might stem from the effects of an increasingly distrustful citizenry, said April K. Clark, a Purdue University political scientist and public opinion researcher. “It’s like the rules of the game,” Clark said. “When trust is low, the way we react and behave with each other becomes less civil.” There’s no easy fix. In fact, some studies suggest it’s too late for most Americans alive today to become more trusting. That research says the basis for a person’s lifetime trust levels is set by his or her mid-twenties and unlikely to change, other than in some unifying crucible such as a

world war. People do get a little more trusting as they age. But beginning with the baby boomers, each generation has started off adulthood less trusting than those who came before them. The best hope for creating a more trusting nation may be figuring out how to inspire today’s youth, perhaps united by their high-tech gadgets, to trust the way previous generations did in simpler times. There are still trusters around to set an example. Pennsylvania farmer Dennis Hess is one. He runs an unattended farm stand on the honor system. Customers select their produce, tally their bills and drop the money into a slot, making change from an unlocked cashbox. Both regulars and tourists en route to nearby Lititz, Pennsylvania, stop for asparagus in the spring, corn in the summer and, as the weather turns cold, long-neck pumpkins for holiday pies. “When people from New York or New Jersey come up,” said Hess, 60, “they are amazed that this kind of thing is done anymore.” Hess has updated the old ways with technology. He added a video camera a few years back, to help catch people who drive off without paying or raid the cashbox. But he says there isn’t enough theft to undermine his trust in human nature. “I’ll say 99 and a half percent of the people are honest,” said Hess, who’s operated the produce stand for two decades. There’s no single explanation for Americans’ loss of trust. The best-known analysis comes from “Bowling Alone” author Robert Putnam’s nearly two decades of studying the United States’ declining “social capital,” including trust. Putnam says Americans have abandoned their bowling leagues and Elks lodges to stay home and watch TV. Less socializing and fewer community meetings make people less trustful than the “long civic generation” that came of age during the Great Depression and World War II. University of Maryland Professor Eric Uslaner, who studies politics and trust, puts the blame elsewhere: economic inequality. Trust has declined as the gap between the nation’s rich and

poor grows ever wider, Uslaner says, and more and more Americans feel shut out. They’ve lost their sense of a shared fate. Tellingly, trust rises with wealth. “People who believe the world is a good place and it’s going to get better and you can help make it better, they will be trusting,” Uslaner said. “If you believe it’s dark and driven by outside forces you can’t control, you will be a mistruster.” African-Americans consistently have expressed far less faith in “most people” than the white majority does. Racism, discrimination and a high rate of poverty destroy trust. Nearly 8 in 10 African-Americans, in the 2012 survey conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago with principal funding from the National Science Foundation, felt that “you can’t be too careful.” That figure has held remarkably steady across the 25 GSS surveys since 1972. The decline in the nation’s overall trust quotient was driven by changing attitudes among whites. It’s possible that people today are indeed less deserving of trust than Americans in the past, perhaps because of a decline in moral values. “I think people are acting more on their greed,” said Murawski, a computer specialist who says he has witnessed scams and rip-offs. “Everybody wants a comfortable lifestyle, but what are you going to do for it? Where do you draw the line?” Ethical behavior such as lying and cheating are difficult to document over the decades. It’s worth noting that the early, most trusting years of the GSS poll coincided with the Watergate scandal and the Vietnam War. Trust dropped off in the more stable 1980s. Crime rates fell in the 1990s and 2000s, and still Americans grew less trusting. Many social scientists blame 24-hour news coverage of distant violence for skewing people’s perceptions of crime. Can anything bring trust back? Uslaner and Clark don’t see much hope anytime soon. Thomas Sander, executive director of the Saguaro Seminar launched by Putnam, believes the trust deficit is “eminently fixable” if Americans strive to rebuild community and civic life, perhaps by — AP



Dr Swamy wins Homi Bhabha Fellowship By Sajeev K Peter KUWAIT: Dr Raju Narayana Swamy, an Indian IAS official and Kerala’s anti-corruption crusader, has been awarded the prestigious Homi Bhabha Fellowship. Dr Swamy, who is on a brief visit to Kuwait currently, was intimated yesterday about the decision of the council to award him a Homi Bhabha Fellowship. “I’m extremely elated in receiving the fellowship. It is a moment of pride and happiness for me. Being a computer engineer, it is especially heartening,” Dr Swamy told Kuwait Times yesterday. Dr Swamy arrived in Kuwait to attend the Alumni Association of St Berchmans’ College, Kuwait Chapter’s annual event as the chief guest. Dr Swamy has a post graduate certificate in Cyber Law, a PG Diploma in Environmental Law and a PG Diploma in Urban Environmental Management and Law from National Law University Delhi. An honest bureaucrat with backbone, Dr Swamy became a crusader against corruption in Kerala who gave numerous

headaches to corrupt politicians and government officials alike. He was the commissioner in the civil supplies department of Kerala until January 2013 before being removed for exposing corruption. “The canker of corruption is unfortunately eating into the moral fabric of India. Need-based and greed-based corruptions have become the order of the day,” Dr Swamy said. Dr Swamy was one of the three officers handpicked for the ‘Operation Munnar’ in 2007, which saw a number of unauthorized resorts being pulled down. “I genuinely feel that it is the duty of the civil servants to fight corruption tooth and nail so that the ‘tryst with destiny’ does not turn into a tryst with destitution,” he said. However, he is not complacent about the task he has undertaken. “I’m fully aware that I’m only a drop in an ocean and a cog in the hierarchy, but millions of drops do make an ocean,” he said talking about his crusade against corruption. Dr Swamy holds a B Tech in computer science and engineering from IIT Madras.

He is the all India topper of the 1991 batch of the IAS. Swamy has 25 books to his credit. He won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi award for a travelogue, ‘Santhimantram Muzhangunna Thazvarayil’. His other works include ‘Niram Mangiya Vazhithara’, which is a translation of ‘ The Road of Lost Innocence’, the English version of the French memoirs by Somaly Mam. Dr Swamy, who hailed from a middle class family, said, “the fruits of development in the country must reach the neglected and deprived sections of the society.” He has presented papers in a number of national and international conferences and has published more than 100 papers in journals of repute. Dr Swamy was recently in France to attend a training program on Fighting Corruption organized at ENA, Paris. Under the fellowship, Dr Swamy will work in the area of cyber law and cyber forensics. With the receipt of the Homi Bhabha Fellowship, Swamy will join an elite list of fellows including luminaries like Thanu Padmanabhan.

Dr Raju Narayana Swamy

US urges ‘immediate release’ of American held in N Korea Korean war veteran detained for ‘hostile acts’ WASHINGTON: The United States called Saturday for the “immediate release” of Merrill Newman, an elderly Californian detained in North Korea for alleged “hostile acts” against the reclusive, communist country. The 85-year-old grandfather with heart problems was plucked off a plane last month as he was leaving Pyongyang following a tourist visit. “Given Mr Newman’s advanced age and health conditions, we urge the (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) to release Mr Newman so he may return home and reunite with his family,” National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said. In addition to calling for Newman’s “immediate release,” Hayden also urged Pyongyang to free another American, Kenneth Bae. The 45year-old tour operator was arrested a year ago and sentenced to 15 years’ hard labor on charges of seeking to topple the government. “We continue to urge the DPRK authorities to grant him amnesty and immediate release,” Hayden said. “We remain deeply concerned about the welfare of the US citizens held in custody in the DPRK.” The State Department said the Swedish embassy, acting on Washington’s behalf since the United States has no formal ties with North Korea, was given “consular access” to Newman on Saturday. Earlier, Pyongyang for the first time officially admitted holding the Korean War veteran, saying he was detained for “hostile acts” after JAMMU: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Prime Ministerial candidate and Chief Minister of the western Indian state of Gujarat Narendra Modi (center) greets supporters during an election campaign rally yesterday. — AFP

India hardliner Modi pledges unity JAMMU: India prime ministerial candidate and Hindu hardliner Narendra Modi promised unity and development yesterday during a rally in the restive Muslim-majority state of Jammu and Kashmir. Modi, a popular but polarising figure, told a rally of thousands of people that he would work for the good of the whole state through increased development if he wins a general election due next May. The rally was the first for Modi in the region, racked by years of separatist violence, since he was named as candidate for the opposition Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party in September. “I am not here to talk about Hindus and Muslims. If you want progress then you need to have politics of unity and that will ensure progress,” Modi, 63, said in a speech in the Hindumajority city of Jammu. “We should have only one religionnation first. There should be only one religious text-our constitution,” he said to cheers. Security was tight in Jammu, the winter capital of India’s only Muslim-majority state, with several thousand police and paramilitary forces deployed, according to local police sources. “Security arrangements were very elaborate, not only in Jammu city but in the whole region,” Inspector General Rajesh

Kumar told AFP. A string of bomb blasts killed six people at a rally by Modi in the eastern city of Patna in October, shortly before he took to the stage. Modi is seen by critics as a divisive figure who failed to stop the 2002 riots in the western state of Gujarat where he has governed as chief minister since 2001. The riots killed some 1,000 people, most of them Muslims. Modi has denied any wrongdoing. Since being named prime ministerial candidate, he has been building his image as a pro-business administrator and stressing inclusive politics. Political leaders in recent weeks have been campaigning across the country in five state elections, which are seen as a litmus test for Modi and the ruling Congress party before the general election. Vote-counting for all five state elections starts on December 8, with results expected soon after. About a dozen rebel groups have been fighting Indian forces in Kashmir since 1989 for independence or a merger of the territory with Pakistan. The fighting has left tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians, dead. Nuclear-armed India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir, which is divided between the neighbours but claimed in full by both. — AFP

entering the country “under the guise of a tourist.” The official KCNA news agency claimed Newman had committed crimes both as a visitor and during his participation in the Korean War six decades ago, adding he had issued an apology confessing to his alleged crimes. Authorities also released video and photos showing Newmandressed in a button-down blue shirt and light, wrinkled trousers-reading the so-called apology, which was dated November 9 and ran to nearly 600 words. Parts of it were in poor English. The retired financial executive has been accused of infringing upon the “dignity and sovereignty” of the secretive state and “slandering its socialist system, quite contrary to the purpose of the tour,” the KCNA report said. The American had also masterminded espionage and subversive activities during the 1950-53 Korean War and was involved in the killing of local soldiers and innocent civilians, it added. “I realize that I cannot be forgiven for my offensives but I beg for pardon on my knees by apologizing for my offensives sincerely toward the (North Korean) government and the Korean people and I want not punish me,” KCNA quoted Newman as saying. He had intended to meet surviving soldiers and pray for the souls of the dead, KCNA said, adding he had asked his tour guide for help.

He had also criticized North Korea during his trip, it claimed. The State Department said it had seen the KCNA report which said Newman apologized for the “misunderstanding” that led to his apprehension. However, it said it had “no other information regarding the reason for his detention.” “At this time, the department recommends against all travel by US citizens to North Korea,” it said, while echoing Hayden’s calls for both Newman’s and Bae’s release. Newman’s wife Lee has said her husband of 56 years was detained on October 26 shortly before takeoff in Pyongyang. He had just completed a 10-day tour of the country, “a trip he had looked forward to making for a long while,” she added in a recent statement issued by the retirement complex in Palo Alto, near San Francisco, where the two live. Lee has said her husband takes medication for heart problems and that the family had sent drugs in the hopes it would get to him. Experts said Pyongyang may have issued the apology to accelerate judicial steps against Newman and resolve his case through dialogue. “North Korea wants negotiations with the United States on his release,” Yang Moo-Jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, told AFP. The autocratic regime has in the past freed detained Americans after visits from high-level emissaries. — AFP

Indian magazine editor in custody over sexual assault PANAJI: Indian news magazine editor Tarun Tejpal was remanded in custody yesterday after appearing in court on allegations of sexually assaulting a colleague in a hotel in the holiday state of Goa. A court in Goa ordered Tejpal remain in custody to allow police time to question the 50-year-old editor, who faces a possible rape charge over the allegations that could see him in jail for 10 years. “The police had asked for 14 days’ remand but after hearing our arguments, the court gave them six days of custody,” Tejpal’s lawyer Sandip Kapoor told reporters outside the court in Panaji, the capital of Goa. Tejpal, the founder of top investigative magazine Tehelka, was arrested late Saturday after earlier flying into the state and pledging to cooperate with police over the allegations. The editor, whose magazine is responsible for some of India’s hardest-hitting undercover journalism, did not apply for bail yesterday, after earlier being refused, and has denied the allegations. The woman, who has quit the magazine since the scandal broke, has told police her former employer molested her twice in a hotel elevator during a magazine-sponsored event in the seaside holiday hotspot last month. Police have filed an initial case against Tejpal under sections of the criminal code including rape. A stronger law introduced after outrage over the fatal gang-rape of a student last year included a wider definition of rape, and Tejpal could be jailed for 10 years if charged and convicted, lawyers say. The fatal gang-rape of the student on a Delhi bus last December sparked sometimes-violent demonstrations and a long period of introspection in India about rising crime against women and gender inequality. With India’s media newly sensitised to sexual assault cases after a further string of widely publicised gang-rape cases this year, the case has been front-page news for more than a week. It has also cast a spotlight on abuse in the workplace. Tehelka has reported forcefully on gender inequality in India, highlighting police and judicial insensitivity to rape victims as well as misogynistic attitudes in India. It has been accused of hypocrisy and trying to cover up a serious

PANAJI: Indian magazine editor Tarun Tejpal (center) is escorted by officials as he leaves a session court in Panaji, Goa on November 30, 2013. — AFP

crime after staff were sent an email last month saying Tejpal was stepping down for six months for “misconduct”. The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said in a statement to media groups on Friday that she was fighting to preserve her “integrity”. During a pre-trial hearing on Saturday, Tejpal’s lawyer argued his client was a man of “global repute” and sending him to police custody without establishing the facts of the case would subject him to “humiliation and ignominy”. But district judge Anuja Prabhudesai ordered Tejpal should not be given bail because prima facie evidence indicated he had “misused his position, betrayed her trust and violated her body”.” The material on record prima facie reveals that the applicant by his acts, which he has termed as lighthearted banter, had subjected the victim to ignominy, humiliation, and disgrace,” the judge said in her order, of which AFP has a copy. — AFP

N Korea resumes work at launch site WASHINGTON: A US research institute said Friday it has detected a new construction at a North Korean missile launch site which the institute says is being upgraded to handle larger rockets. Commercial satellite imagery shows work has resumed after a monthslong hiatus at Tonghae, on the country’s northeast coast, on what looks like a rocket assembly building and a launch control center. The findings were provided to The Associated Press ahead of publication by 38 North, the website of the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. It’s the latest sign that North Korea is pressing ahead with its nuclear and missile programs despite declaring its willingness to resume aid-for-disarmament negotiations. Overhead photos have also indicated the North restarted a mothballed plutonium reactor in late August and is working

to upgrade its other main missile launch site at Sohae. But 38 North says a rocket test doesn’t appear imminent at either launch site. Assessing the intentions of North Korea’s secretive regime and the nation’s technical capabilities is notoriously difficult. The conclusions are based on imagery analysis by Nick Hansen, a retired intelligence expert who closely monitors developments in the North’s weapons programs. Sohae, which lies on North Korea’s west coast, has been used for its recent major launches, including the firing of a three-stage rocket into space last December. That launch was viewed by the US as a worrying marker in the North’s development of ballistic missile technology. In the meantime, Tonghae has been left idle, but experts in 2012 detected construction of a new launch pad to accommodate larger rockets. That work had appeared to be on

hold since early 2013, but images taken between Sept. 16 and Nov. 18 show a roof has been built atop the new launch control center and walls erected for the rocket assembly building. There’s no sign, however, of further construction yet at the new launch pad itself and on an access road. Completion of all the new facilities at Tonghae may take until 2017, 38 North says. But combined with construction activity at Sohae, where a new launch pad for mobile ballistic missiles appears in the works, North Korea seems to be scaling up its capabilities. In February, the North conducted its third nuclear test explosion, which likely allowed it to make progress in miniaturizing an atomic device it could mount on a missile. It has also paraded mobile, intercontinental ballistic missiles that could potentially reach America, although there’s debate about whether the missiles it displayed were just mock-ups. — AP

This combination of satellite images shows what appears to be a rocket launch control center at the Tonghae site, located on North Korea’s northeast coast. — AP

NEWS Zarif reassures Kuwait, Gulf over... Continued from Page 1 nations and Tehran have deteriorated further because of Iran’s support for Syria’s President Bashar Al-Assad. After his election, Rouhani said he hoped to improve relations with neighbouring countries, especially Gulf states. Zarif said in Kuwait City that Iran was looking to open a new page in relations with the Gulf. He confirmed plans to visit regional heavyweight Saudi Arabia although no date has yet been set. “We look at Saudi Arabia as an important and influential country in the region,” he said. He also praised the outcome of a visit last week by the UAE foreign minister, saying Tehran would continue to hold discussions with UAE over disputed islands in the Gulf. Zarif said the Geneva deal does not satisfy all of Iran’s demands or “the goals of the other party, but it is important to implement it”. “We will implement the deal and are convinced that implementing it will build the trust,” he said. Zarif said the “political option” is the only solution to the Syrian conflict and warned that the civil war could cause the spread of extremism and sectarianism in the region. “We believe that Syria’s future should be determined by the Syrian people only through ballot boxes,” he said. “There is no solution to the Syrian crisis except by a political settlement. The military solution is an illusion.” Iran will attend the Geneva 2 peace conference on Syria “if invited” but will not accept preconditions, Zarif added. Zarif said Iran and Kuwait share the same future, hoping that both nations’ media would

play a constructive role in the promotion of understanding among the region’s countries. The Iranian foreign minister added his country had named its new ambassador to Kuwait, hoping that bilateral relations will be developed. Meanwhile, Kuwait’s foreign minister recalled “historic positions” between the friendly countries on both governmental and popular levels, noting that diplomatic relations were forged between Kuwait and Iran 52 years ago. This period witnessed many significant and joint events and positions, Sheikh Sabah AlKhaled pointed out. Asked if Kuwait acts as a facilitator between Saudi Arabia and Iran, he said all countries of the region are keen to have good relations based on the principles of international law and good neighborliness. “All the region’s countries are keen to have constructive cooperation for the sake of the security and stability of this region,” the minister said, adding that the region’s countries share the same interests and destiny. Zarif then travelled to Oman - which hosted secret negotiations in recent months between Iran and the United States that led to the Nov 24 landmark deal between Tehran and major powers on Iran’s disputed nuclear program. Zarif delivered a message to Sultan Qaboos from Rouhani on relations between the two countries and issues of common interest, the Omani news agency ONA said in a brief report. Oman maintains good relations with Tehran, and Sultan Qaboos was Rouhani’s first guest following his inauguration on Aug 3. He has also acted as an intermediary between Western countries and Iran in recent years. — Agencies


Teargas flies in Cairo as constitution takes... Continued from Page 1 sympathisers in Tahrir since Morsi’s fall. “With our blood and souls we sacrifice for you, Islam,” chanted some. One scaled a lamp post where he hung a picture of Morsi. Others flashed the four-finger hand sign denoting sympathy with the hundreds of Morsi supporters shot dead by the security forces when they broke up their Cairo sit-ins on Aug. 14. Some of the protesters said they were not from the Brotherhood. “I want Sisi out and a real end to army rule,” said Ramez Ibrahim, 32, a professor of political science, referring to armed forces chief General Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. Army vehicles moved in to drive the demonstrators away and later sealed off the square completely. Some passersby shouted abuse at the protesters, others waved in support. Earlier, protesters set a police truck ablaze near Cairo University. The government says it is determined to implement a law passed last week that heavily

restricts protests. Criticised by the United States, the law has hardened fears of prodemocracy campaigners about the future of political freedoms in Egypt. One of two leading secular activists detained for calling protests in defiance of the law was released yesterday. A few hundred metres from Tahrir Square, the 50-member constituent assembly was voting on the draft constitution whose provisions include a ban on parties formed on a religious basis. Islamists have won all post-Mubarak national votes. The assembly, chaired by former Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa, voted against five of the document’s 247 articles, including one requiring parliamentary polls to be held before a presidential vote. Some assembly members had called for presidential elections to be held before parliamentary ones, citing the weakness of secular political parties. The assembly, which is work-

ing to a Dec 3 deadline, was to redraft the provision later yesterday. The draft constitution widens the already broad privileges enjoyed by the army by requiring the approval of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces for the choice of a defence minister to serve for eight years from when the document is ratified. It does not indicate how the minister of defence could be sacked or who has the authority to fire him. The new constitution will replace one drafted by an Islamist-dominated assembly and signed into law by Morsi last year after it was approved in a referendum. The new text strips out Islamist-inspired additions introduced last year. The Nour Party, an ultra-conservative Islamist party that backed Morsi’s ouster, has described the draft as “satisfying”. But one Morsi ally, Gamaa Islamiya leader Assem Abdel Maged, said it was a “constitution of minorities”, and that the army had driven Egypt to the “edge of a precipice”. — Agencies

MPs seek to raise Assembly membership Continued from Page 1 An increase in the Assembly’s membership will also allow the government to appoint more ministers in the Cabinet. Under the law, the number of ministers must not exceed one -third of the Assembly membership, or 16 currently including the prime minister. So if MPs are increased to 70, the Cabinet can comprise of up to 23 ministers, thus giving

flexibility to the prime minister to appoint one minister for each portfolio unlike the current situation where several ministers hold two portfolios. Assembly Speaker Marzouk AlGhanem meanwhile said in a television interview late Saturday that he has heard about a possible Cabinet reshuffle after Dec 23 when the constitutional court is scheduled to rule on a petition challenging that the July parliamentary elections

were unconstitutional. Ghanem said he supports any reshuffle. In another development, the assembly’s legal and legislative committee yesterday approved a request by the public prosecution to lift the parliamentary immunity of Ghanem to allow the prosecution to interrogate him over a commercial misdemeanour. The decision needs the approval of the Assembly to become effective.




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The two faces of Hollande By Indalecio Alvarez


decisive action-taker ready to send French troops into harm’s way. A hapless ditherer who backtracks at the first sign of dissent. These are the two public faces of Socialist French President Francois Hollande, who in his first full year in office seems to have suffered from a split personality strong abroad, weak at home. Whether it’s been on Iran, Syria, Mali or the Central African Republic, on foreign policy Hollande has put France at the forefront with fierce diplomacy and the willingness to project military force abroad. But on the domestic front Hollande’s image has suffered from a series of backdowns and gaffes that have seen his approval rating fall to the lowest level of any modern French leader. “We have a real dichotomy in Francois Hollande,” said Frederic Dabi of polling firm IFOP. “He was firm, decisive and determined on Mali, Syria and Iran. But on domestic policy he’s been criticised as a hesitant president, who does not have a firm hand, who doesn’t make decisions and who backs down.” Hollande’s first major foreign policy decision, to send French troops to oust Islamist militants who had seized control of swathes of Mali, was widely praised and gave him a temporary boost in popularity. He was equally ready to commit French forces to action on Syria, promising Paris would take part in USled military action against President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime after a chemical weapons attack in August. Washington eventually backed down from air strikes after the regime agreed to dismantle its chemical arsenal, but Paris had marked its place as the new hawk on the international scene. A few months later France took a hard line during talks on Iran’s nuclear program, and now Paris has announced plans to send troops into Africa again. About 1,000 French soldiers are expected to be deployed for a mission to help restore order in the Central African Republic, a former French colony that has been torn by strife since a coup in March. Hollande is also to play host to some 40 African leaders in Paris on Friday and Saturday, in the biggest international summit hosted by France since he took office. The contrast with Hollande’s wavering at home is clear from two recent issues, experts said. First was his handling of a new tax on heavy trucks that had been due to take effect on January 1 but was delayed after sometimes violent protests by farmers and food workers in Brittany. Despite being supported by many Socialists and their Green party coalition allies, the so-called “ecotax” was quickly put off when opposition began to grow. Hollande has also faced widespread criticism for his decision to meddle in a deportation order that sent a 15-year-old Roma schoolgirl, Leonarda Dibrani, and her family back to Kosovo. The order triggered outrage and student protests but Hollande’s intervention - offering the girl the chance to return to France without her family - was seen as a weak compromise and criticised as incoherent and inhumane. Hollande “is always looking to find compromises, while what the country expects are decisions,” said Stephane Rozes, the head of the CAP think tank. “The ‘Hollande method’ is not going over well, because compromise is seen as surrender and hesitation is seen as an inability to decide,” Dabi said. So why is Hollande one leader abroad and another at home? Experts said the nature of the French presidential system is partly responsible. On foreign policy, the French president traditionally has a free hand to act as he sees fit in the best interests of France. Diplomacy and foreign military action are “reserved areas” for the president, where the French leader “is under practically no control and can do as he wants”, said political analyst Alain Duhamel. “He does not need to take into account the different currents of the Socialist Party, he is ‘France’,” said Dominique Moisi of the French Institute of International Relations. “His hands are as tied on the domestic front as they are free on the international front,” Duhamel said. Unfortunately for Hollande, experts said, foreign policy successes rarely translate into long-term popularity at home. With French growth stagnating and unemployment hitting record highs, Hollande will need economic growth - not diplomatic victories - if he hopes to crawl out of the basement of public opinion. —AFP

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Journey of inequality in China By Didi Tang


u Zhengwu scanned the tiny room of his childhood, part of a wood home built over a shed where cows once sent earthy odors through the floorboards. Wood planks were missing from a bare bed frame. The walls were shedding a kind of wallpaper made from pages of school notebooks. Seven Chinese characters, written in bold brush strokes, remained intact above a dusty desk: “The fragrance of winter blossoms comes from bitter chills.” “These words have prodded me along and kept me going,” Mu said on a recent visit to his family’s home in Tiaohuashan village. The words accompanied him on his arduous journey from Guizhou, China’s most impoverished province, to a prestigious Beijing law school. At first glance, the bespectacled 25-year-old might look like proof that China’s education remains a powerful social equalizer. But a closer examination of Mu’s path shows the field of education heavily tilted away from rural students and toward the wealthy urban elite, part of the widening economic and social inequalities in modern, rapidly growing China. Supposedly socialist, China has compulsory education through grade 9 but not without costs for rural families. Some endure heartbreaking sacrifice to educate their children. Mu’s own family was so poor that his equally bright older brother had to drop out from sixth grade so Mu could stay in class. He studied extra hard sometimes by streetlamp - but his advance was hamstrung by a system that spends several times more per student in Beijing than in Tiaohuashan. His chances of entering a top-notch university were further handicapped by quotas that overwhelmingly favor big-city students. Mu is the only person from his village ever to make it to graduate school. Only about 3 percent of impoverished rural students in China even make it as far as college, a Stanford University study estimates. About 84 percent of high school students in the thriving city of Shanghai advance to colleges, according to Shanghai’s government. China’s top education officials acknowledge inequities and pledge to narrow the gaps by extending more financial resources to rural teachers and students. Some top universities suggest they will give rural students a break in test scores for admissions. “Countless people have fallen on this road,” Mu said. “It’s a miracle that I even attended middle school.” The third of three sons, Mu was born in 1988 in the mountainous southern province of Guizhou, for years China’s poorest with per-capita GDP of $3,100 in 2012. He grew up in Tiaohuashan, where hay and manure litter narrow alleyways, water buffaloes bathe in muddy creeks and locals offer incense to earth deities to pray for harvests. His father supplemented farming

with a scrap-metal business. His mother was illiterate but had an unwavering belief in education. Their home was built above the stable to protect valuable animals from theft. As a boy, Mu cut hay and herded cows. He didn’t start school until age 7, and his 9-year-old brother repeated the first grade to join him in class. Three years later, the Mu brothers moved to a larger school with children from several villages. Discipline was lax. Boys began to drink, smoke and chase girls at age 10, Mu and his friends recalled. Boys pried the legs off classroom benches to brandish in a scuffle. “The teachers could not control us,” Mu said. Per-student funding in Mu’s province in 1998, when he was in fourth grade, was $34 a year, compared with $211 for Beijing. Spending has since increased, but the gap remains. In 2011, per-student funding was $552 in Guizhou and $2,985 in Beijing, according to Education Ministry figures. In 2001, the Mu family’s luck went sour. They lost much of their livestock, and money from some scrap-metal deals was stolen. Paying tuition - about 150 yuan (about $25) per semester for all three boys became out of the question. The oldest son, then in eighth grade, already had lost interest in studying, but both Mu Zhengwu and the second-oldest brother, Mu Zhengwen, wanted to stay in school. Mu Zhengwen offered to sacrifice. “I am older, so I should step back,” he recalled in an interview. “If I had insisted, neither of us would have had school to go to.” Although lower grade schools were compulsory, tuition fees at that time put education all but out of reach for some impoverished families. Grades 1 through 9 became tuition-free in 2008, but costs for textbooks remained. And

China has closed many village schools and consolidated them into regional hubs, which has added costs for travel and boarding, resulting in even higher rural dropout rates. Mu Zhengwu’s father was too ashamed to borrow money, so his mother searched for and found a creditor willing to lend 300 yuan (about $50) at 2 percent monthly interest for Mu’s annual school fee. He enrolled at the No. 9 Middle School on the outskirts of the city of Anshun in 2001. He boarded there, living on steamed rice and pickled vegetables with a weekly budget of 10 yuan ($1.50). Malnourished, Mu came down with tuberculosis after one semester. With burning lungs, he returned home to recover before resuming school the following fall. Teachers at No. 9 resorted to corporal punishment because the mostly rural kids there “were too naughty, and there were many distractions in the city, such as billboards, arcade games and pranks,” Mu said. Believing that education was his way out, Mu set his sights on the city’s best high school: Anshun No. 2. Well-off families could buy a slot there, but for Mu, testing into it was the only option. But he was at another disadvantage. At Mu’s middle school, some teachers didn’t even speak standard Chinese, let alone have proper credentials to teach English, Mu said. Without money for tutoring, a computer or study aids, Mu simply pored over his English textbooks. “Every night, I recited the textbooks under the lamppost on campus. I would be up until 1 or 2 am,” Mu said. Mu Zhengwu was admitted to Anshun No. 2 in 2005, joined by only one of his 40-plus Tiaohuashan peers. He recalled the stares on his first day of high school, when his mother accom-

panied him to register dressed in an embroidered cotton dress with a waist sash - a traditional costume out of fashion for decades. He was behind urban classmates in his studies as well. Mu moved off campus so he could avoid its mandatory power turnoff and study a few extra hours per night. “Compared to city students, we must work twice or three times harder,” said Mu, who had to help with farm work on weekends. Mu’s high school expenses were more than 10,000 yuan ($1,500) per year. China’s compulsory education does not cover grades 10 through 12, and their tuition rates are the world’s most expensive on average, according to Stanford’s rural education program. His middle brother again stepped up. Mu Zhengwen was earning several hundred yuan a month in a tyre factory, and he gave his younger brother about 100 yuan ($15) per week. To do that, he skipped breakfast, avoided socializing and bought new clothes only when old ones wore out. When his sweetheart learned of these obligations, she backed out of their marriage plans, something he says he never regretted. “Everything I have done for my brother, I have done it willingly,” he said during a late-night interview at a pastry shop near his current job, at a textile factory in the eastern city of Hangzhou. He spends 12 hours a day overseeing deafening mechanized looms on a muggy floor. He has a wife now, and a son. But tears filled his eyes when he spoke of his own interrupted schooling. “I blamed my parents. Why did they have a third child when it was enough for them to have two?” Bending over, he wept silently for a while. Mu Zhengwu remained diligent at Anshun No. 2. In 2008, he scored 605 in the “gaokao” college entrance exam, far above the 566-

In this photo taken July 16, 2013, Mu Zhengwu speaks at his high school alma mater Anshun No. 9 High School - in Anshun in southern China’s Guizhou province. —AP

point requirement for China’s tierone universities. He was accepted by Chongqing’s prestigious Southwest University of Political Science and Law. Had he been a Beijing student, he would have landed in the even-more prestigious Tsinghua or Peking universities. His annual expenses in Chongqing were about 15,000 yuan ($2,450). Mu took out student loans. His parents borrowed money from relatives and even fibbed to the government to take out a small agri-business loan. He still had less money than his urban peers, and it took time to adjust to campus life. “By the end of the freshman year, everyone in my class had a laptop computer, except me and another rural student,” Mu said. “The gap between the rich and the poor was so shocking that you naturally started to hate the rich.” The percentage of rural students in college is growing because China has encouraged the growth of independent and polytechnic colleges and lowered the threshold for admission. But scholars say students in these new schools pay twice or three times more in tuition, receive inferior education and end up with less-competitive diplomas. The top schools still overwhelmingly favor local, urban students. At Shanghai’s Fudan University, for every 10,000 eligible applicants from Shanghai, the school chose 117. For every 10,000 applicants nationally, the school chose two, according to a study by legal scholar Zhang Qianfan. Mu’s greatest success came last year, when he was admitted into the graduate law program at Beijing Institute of Technology. Mu received full state funding, and his family has begun to repay debts. Mu helped by sending home 2,500 yuan (about $400) from a summer teaching gig. During a visit home, though, his 53-year-old father chided him for that. “I don’t want him to make money,” Mu Qingdeng said. The elder Mu sat on a sofa covered with a green-and-yellow checkered John Deere blanket, two cigarettes held stored between leathery fingers. His skin was tanned and his nails bruised from decades of hard labor, in contrast to his youngest son’s fair skin and scholarly look. “He should study hard and go overseas,” the father said. “I want him to create happiness for mankind.” His mother - with a grandchild strapped to her back - chopped vegetables and mixed sauces for a family dinner. With a guest from faraway, the dinner had drawn neighbors and everyone in the family. Everyone except Mu Zhengwen, still living and working in Hangzhou with his wife. “I owe it to my second son,” the father said. Mu Zhengwu said he hopes one day to give his brother the education he sacrificed. But that’s not going to happen. “It is impossible, and I don’t want it either,” the second brother said. “I will do my best to make money for my 2-year-old boy so he would get an education. I will work every day that I can.” —AP



Sturridge out for up to eight weeks

Hull owner Allam labels protesting fans ‘hooligans’

Stevenson retains light heavyweight title

london: Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge will be sidelined for up to eight weeks with an ankle injury, manager Brendan Rodgers said yesterday as he ruled the player out of a crucial period of the season. The 24-year-old England international has scored nine Premier League goals this season and has been instrumental in helping the club make a bright start to the campaign. Sturridge was hurt in training and will now miss the busy festive period, including away Premier League matches against Tottenham Hotspur on Dec. 15, Manchester City on Dec. 26 and Chelsea three days later. “Daniel Sturridge is out for six to eight weeks which is obviously a big blow,” Rodgers said on Sky Sports before Sunday’s league match at Hull City. Sturridge came off the bench to score an 89th-minute equaliser in the thrilling 3-3 draw against neighbours Everton last weekend. —Reuters

HULL CITY: Owner Assem Allam has called Hull City fans “hooligans” and said “they can die as soon as they want” following protests over his proposal to change the English Premier League club’s name. The Egyptian-born businessman wants to rebrand the 109-year-old club ‘Hull Tigers’, a move that is deeply unpopular with supporters who have formed a protest group called City Till We Die. “They can die as soon as they want, as long as they leave the club for the majority who just want to watch good football,” Allam told the Independent on Sunday newspaper. “How can you be supporting a club when you distract attention during a game? “I’m a simple man. Do they want me to stay? If it’s ‘No thank you’, fine, in 24 hours the club is for sale ... I do not put in one more pound.” The 74-year-old Allam arrived in Hull as a student in 1968, rescued the club from the brink of bankruptcy in 2010 and has invested around 35 million pounds ($55.90 million). He changed the name of the club’s holding company from Hull City Association Football Club to Hull City Tigers in August. He believes a ‘Tigers’ brand would have more of a “global marketing impact” having previously said he considered the word ‘City’ to be “lousy” and “common”. “How can they call themselves fans, these hooligans, this militant minority, when they disturb and distract the players while taking away the rights of others to watch the football, and of companies who have paid good money for their advertising?,” Allam said yesterday.— Reuters

QUEBEC CITY: Adonis Stevenson retained his WBC light heavyweight title Saturday night by stopping Tony Bellew in the sixth round. Stevenson (23-1) knocked down Bellew (20-2-1) with a left uppercut. When the Englishman got up, he was stunned with another left, followed by a flurry of shots. Bellew was not fighting back, even though he was still on his feet when referee Michael Griffin stopped the bout. It was a second defense for the Montreal fighter since taking the belt with a spectacular first-round knockout of Chad Dawson in June. He defended with a seven-round win in September over Tavoris Cloud. In the co-feature, Sergey Kovalev kept the WBO light heavyweight title with a stunning knockout of Ismayl Sillakh only 52 seconds into the second round. The hard-hitting Kovalev (23-0-1), a Russian based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is often mentioned as a future opponent for Stevenson.After an uneventful opening round, Kovalev dropped the 15th-ranked Sillakh with a right early in the second. The Russian was jumping up and down in his corner waiting to get back as the referee gave Sillakh (21-2) an 8-count, then ran up and floored him with another right that ended the bout. — AP

McIlroy overhauls Scott to win Australian Open

JAKARTA: This handout taken and released by the Asian Tour yesterday shows Gaganjeet Bhullar of India posing with the trophy after winning the Indonesia Open golf tournament in Jakarta. — AFP

Bhullar cruises to first win of year in Indonesia JAKARTA: Big-hitting Indian Gaganjeet Bhullar claimed his fifth Asian Tour victory by easing to a three-stroke win at the $750,000 Indonesia Open yesterday. The 25-year-old stayed focused despite a lengthy delay caused by the threat of lightning as he posted a closing three-underpar 68 for a 16-under total of 268. Bhullar parred the first 10 holes before birdying three out of the next four. The players were then forced off the course but he returned an hour later to clinch the title with four more pars.

“Winning takes a lot of patience,” he told the tour after recording his first win of the year. “I’m glad I stayed patient and showed a lot of confidence. It was difficult for me when play was suspended - I find it hard to regain my momentum - but these kind of scenarios are common in Asia.” Victory provided welcome relief for Bhullar after he came last at the World Cup in Australia a week ago. Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung (66) finished tied second alongside Thailand’s Chapchai Nirat (66).— Reuters

Schwartzel wins second straight Alfred Dunhill title JOHANNESBURG: Charl Schwartzel produced a masterclass of consistent golf to win his second consecutive Alfred Dunhill championship yesterday as he held off Englishman Richard Finch by four strokes. The Johannesburg native did not record a bogey over the final three rounds as he followed up on his 12 shot victory on the Leopard Creek par-72 layout last year with another strong showing on home soil. It is his third victory at Malalane, Mpumalanga after defeating England’s Neil Cheetham in a playoff in 2004. The tournament also marked the second tournament in the 2014 Road to Dubai. His final score of 17 under was too good for Finch and the rest of the field although the 36-year-old from Hull will take heart from his best result of the year that will certainly improve his initial ranking of 441st in the world. “I had a bit of a hiccup during my first round at the 17th but after that I played almost flawless golf with no bogeys,” said the champion. “If you play some 60 holes without making a bogey, then hopefully you’re going to win. “I’ve been putting well all week and I thought a 67 or 68 would be good

enough today so I’m very pleased.” Finch had drawn level on the third hole of the final round with two birdies, but Schwartzel refused to budge and hit back with three birdies on the front nine before the Englishman creaked under the pressure. A bogey at the par-four 11th followed by a double bogey on 14 was his undoing as the South African completed his third bogey free round in succession and racked up 20 birdies in 72 holes. Fellow Englishman Simon Dyson carded a final round 67 to share third place with compatriot Ross Fischer and Frenchman Romain Wattel on 10 under, while Dane Soren Hansen was one shot further back in sixth. Former world number six Schwartzel, who won his solitary major at the 2011 Masters, was in dazzling form and carried on from his performance last week when he lost the South African Open in a playoff to Denmark’s Morten Orum Madsen. That win was Madsen’s first win on the European Tour and he shared the overnight lead with Schwartzel after two rounds only to fall out of contention with a third round 79. He finished the tournament on four under after recovering on the last day with a 69. —AFP

SYDNEY: Rory McIlroy buried his 2013 title drought in the most dramatic fashion at the Australian Open yesterday and said he thought a largely frustrating season might just make him a more complete player. The Northern Irishman had a brilliant 2012 but a change of equipment and some off-course legal distractions coincided with a slump in form that saw him slide from number one in the world down to number six. Yesterday, though, the 24-yearold re-entered the winners’ circle when he birdied the 18th hole to snatch the title away from U.S. Masters champion and home favourite Adam Scott with the final stroke of the tournament. “I think I’m more experienced, more patient,” he said when asked what he had learnt this year. “Not getting as down on myself or not being as hard on myself because golf is a long career and you can’t have too many highs and lows in terms of emotions. “You’ve just got to try and keep it on an even keel and I feel like I’ve done a better job of that this year as the months have gone past. “You know you have to go through the lows,” he added. “And I’m not saying it was a low this year, it’s not like I plummeted off the face of the earth. “I’m still sixth in the world so it’s not too bad. It’s not the level that I feel like I can play to but I feel I’m getting back there, so it’s very pleasing.” McIlroy admitted to a little guilt at the manner of his victory, which came when Scott bogeyed the last to give up a one-shot lead in a tournament he had dominated. Presented with his chance, though, McIlroy showed the nerves of a two-time major champion to

SYDNEY: Rory MacIlroy of Northern Ireland holds up the Stonehaven Cup after winning the Australian Open golf tournament in Sydney yesterday. MacIlroy defeated Australia’s Adam Scott by one stroke finishing 18-under par. — AP drain a 10-foot putt and join the likes of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player as winners of the Stonehaven Cup. “I thought worst case scenario I’d have a putt for a play off and then all of a sudden I have a putt for the win. I didn’t want to go extra holes,” he said. “All I focused on in the putt was my routine. I didn’t do anything differently. I didn’t think about whether it was to win the Australian Open or whether it was

to get the first win this year.” After missing out on the US PGA Tour playoffs, McIlroy arrived in Asia and said he immediately felt his game was improving. He plays one more tournament at Tiger Woods’s World Challenge next week before embarking on his preparations for the 2014 season. “I always said I just wanted to build some momentum for next year and I felt like I was doing that,” he said. “ The per fect scenario would have been a win before the

end of the season and thankfully I was able to do that. “I’ve still got one more tournament left to try and get that second win on the board. “That was the only thing that was missing from this little stretch. “I feel like I played well but just hadn’t quite gotten across the finish line and doing that today was very satisfying but doing it going up against one of the best players in the world right now is probably even better.” — Reuters

Florida fires Pease after losing season GAINESVILLE: A person familiar with the situation says Florida has fired offensive coordinator Brent Pease after the program’s first losing season since 1979. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Sunday because it has not been officially announced. Pease was let go a day after the Gators (4-8) ended the season with a humbling, 37-7 loss to rival Florida State. But the move had been expected for weeks, as the losses mounted and it became clear coach Will Muschamp would make changes on the offensive side of the ball. Pease was made the primary scapegoat for a dismal season that included a dreadful offense and the worst loss in school history. The Gators finished the season ranked 112th in total offense. Florida managed just 279 yards in a 2620 loss to lower-division Georgia Southern on Nov. 23 and then 193 against the Seminoles. Florida’s offense was ravaged by injuries, losing quarterback Jeff Driskel, running back Matt Jones, receiver Andre Debose and three offensive tackles for the season. Backup quarterback Tyler Murphy also missed the final three games with a sprained throwing shoulder, leaving thirdstringer Skyler Mornhinweg to start. The injuries surely were a viable excuse for this season, but they can’t be blamed for Florida’s offense being ranked in the triple digits for three consecutive years. Pease replaced Charlie Weis and handled play-calling duties the last two years. He joined Muschamp after six years at Boise State, choosing Florida over Alabama - a decision he surely regrets now. Pease was saddled with a first-year starting quarterback in 2012 (Driskel), a bungling offensive line and few, if any, playmakers. And the team’s receivers coach resigned at the beginning of fall practice. Still, the Gators won 11 games last season and earned a spot in the Sugar Bowl. Pease’s second year was supposed to be better. But Driskel (broken leg) and Jones (knee)

went down early in the season, joining Debose (knee) and right tackle Chaz Green (labrum) on the sideline. Pease was stuck calling plays with freshman and a third-string quarterback down the stretch. And it surely didn’t help that Pease spent two years running the kind of offense Muschamp wanted - a run-heavy, try-to-wear-defensesdown style that leads to close games and leaves little margin for error. “I think Will is a really good self-evaluator,” athletic director Jeremy Foley said Saturday. “He can look in the mirror and isn’t afraid to take responsibility for what’s happened. ... We look at ourselves and how we get better. Not just sit here and say, ‘Yeah, we’ve got a bunch of injuries, we’ll be fine.’ That better not be our attitude. It better be

our attitude to reevaluate every single facet of what we’re doing and get this thing fixed. “Yeah, it stinks. It stinks for every Gator fan. This season has been no fun because we care.” Florida owes Pease about $1.2 million for the remaining two years on his contract. It’s unclear what direction Muschamp will go with his third offensive coordinator in four years, but the better question is what will the offense look like after the change. “ We need to take a look at ourselves schematically with what we’re doing,” Muschamp said Saturday. “There have been some things that have happened that are very difficult to overcome, but schematically there’s no question we need to take a look at ourselves. ... I’m willing to do what we need to do to score points and win games.” — AP

BEAVER CREEK: (L-R) Michael Jaquet, Chief Marketing Officer, USSA, Bill Marolt, President and CEO, USSA, Ingolfur Hannesson, Head of Sports Rights, Winter Sports, EUROVISION, Sarah Lewis, Secretary General of FIS and Ceil Folz, President of the 2015 FIS World Championships Organizing committee address the media as the US Ski and Snowboard Association and EUROVISION, operated by the European Broadcast Union, announce they have sealed an agreement giving USSA the media rights to the 2015 and 2017 FIS Alpine and Nordic Ski World Championships during a press conference at the Audi FIS Ski World Cup at Beaver Creek yesterday in Beaver Creek, Colorado. — AP

Sheikh Jaber Al-Abdallah Al-Sabah shooting tournament begins Dec 5 By Abdellaltif Sharaa KUWAIT: Preparations are at full swing at Kuwait Shooting Sport Club for the tournament of Sheikh Jaber Al-Abdallah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah which will officially start on Dec 5 and will continue until the 13 of the same month.

The tournament which is being held at Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah Olympic Shooting Complex will include the Olympic skeet, trap, double trap 10m pistol and rifle in addition to archery. Club shooters, shooting school, National Guard and Kuwait Handicapped Club Shooters will partici-

pate in the event. KSSC Treasurer Essa Butaiban said the club is always please to organize this annual event, as it carries the name of one of Kuwait’s men who gave and are still giving for Kuwait and its prosperity. The club also remembers the contributions of those personalities in various

fields be it political, economic or social, along with their support to Kuwaiti athletes, especially when it comes to sports of heritage. Butaiban urged all participants to exert their efforts to achieve the best results while at the same time maintain good spirits towards winning this dear

cup. Butaiban said the goal chairman and board members are aiming at is prepare the shooters in a way that takes the Kuwait shooting to new heights and discover new talents, as this participation is a good opportunity for technical committees to decide the members of national teams at all levels.


S P ORT S Photo of the day

Sharks edge Ducks to top Pacific Division

Aaron Colton performs on the rooftop of the W Hotel, in downtown Dallas, TX, USA on 6 April 2013. —

Geisenberger wins season’s 3rd World Cup luge race WINTERBERG: World champion Natalie Geisenberger led a German sweep of the top three spots in the third World Cup luge race to maintain her perfect start to the season yesterday. The 25-year-old Geisenberger was fastest in both runs down the Hochsauerland course to finish in a combined time of 1 minute, 53.457 seconds for her 19th career victory. Olympic champion Tatjana Huefner overcame earlier back problems to finish second in 1:53.897, while Anke Wischnewski clocked 1:54.101 to complete the German success. Canada’s Alex Gough was fourth, 0.925 seconds behind Geisenberger, followed by Russia’s Tatiana Ivanova. United States pair Erin Hamlin and Kat Hansen were sixth and seventh. Geisenberger leads the standings with 300 points, ahead of Huefner (200) and Wischnewski (186).

However, a mistake from Geisenberger at the start of the team relay later Sunday cost Germany the chance of making it a perfect 4-for-4 in gold medals from the weekend. Italy’s Sandra Gasparini, Dominik Fischnaller and Christian Oberstolz with Patrick Gruber took advantage and won in a track record combined time of 2:25.874. Hansen and American team mates Greg West, Christian Niccum and Jayson Terdiman were second, ahead of Austria’s Nina Reithmayer, Daniel Pfister and Peter Penz with Georg Fischler. The Germans had to make do with ninth. On Saturday, Germany’s Chris Eissler was the surprise winner of the men’s singles race on his World Cup debut, and world champions Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt claimed their second doubles victory of the season.— AP

SAN JOSE: San Jose leapfrogged Anaheim to the top of the NHL Pacific Division by beating the Ducks 4-3 after a shootout on Saturday, with Joe Pavelski netting the Sharks’ winner and Antti Niemi stopping all three attempts in the tiebreaker. Also Saturday, league leader and defending champion Chicago completed an impressive road trip with a win at Phoenix, Colorado beat Minnesota in a shootout, and Max Pacioretty led Montreal over Toronto. San Jose’s Logan Couture scored his first goal in eight games while Patrick Marleau and Marty Havlat also scored for the Sharks, who finished a season-long five-game homestand unbeaten and won their eighth in nine overall. Corey Perry, Alex Grant and Ben Lovejoy scored for the Ducks, who have lost six of their past seven road games. Chicago’s Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist in a dominant first period which set up a 5-2 win over Phoenix. Blackhawks goaltender Antti Raanta made 32 saves for his second NHL win. After watching a 3-0 lead become 3-2 after a sloppy second period, Brandon Bollig’s goal with 9:11 left put it away for Chicago. Andrew Shaw and Niklas Hjalmarsson also scored for the Blackhawks, and Marian Hossa added an empty-net goal in Chicago’s sixth straight win to wrap up a seven-game trip. Rob Klinkhammer and Martin Hanzal scored for the Coyotes. Colorado’s Ryan O’Reilly scored the only goal in the shootout which secured a 3-2 win over Minnesota. Semyon Varlamov stopped 35 shots while Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon had a goal apiece for the Avalanche, which edged a rare penalty-free game. Mikko Koivu and Matt Cooke scored for the Wild, which had won six of its previous seven visits to Colorado. Montreal’s Max Pacioretty scored twice and added an assist to power the Canadiens to a 4-2 win over Toronto. P.K. Subban and Tomas Plekanec also scored for the Canadiens, who went ahead via Pacioretty inside a minute. James van Riemsdyk and Mason Raymond scored for the Maple Leafs. Boston’s Milan Lucic scored a pair of goals and Patrice Bergeron added the other as the Bruins downed Columbus 3-1. The Bruins haven’t lost at home in regulation in 11 games and have won all three meetings between the teams this season. Ryan Johansen scored a power-play goal for the Blue Jackets, who were outshot 36-14. New York’s Chris Kreider had a hat trick - doubling his season goals total - as the Rangers spoiled the return of former coach John Tortorella by beating his Vancouver team 5-2. Rick Nash added a goal and two assists and Michael Del Zotto also scored for the Rangers. David Booth and Daniel Sedin scored for the Canucks. Calgary’s Michael Cammalleri scored with 23 seconds remaining to give the Flames a 2-1 win over Los Angeles. Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin scored a goal and had three assists to lift the Penguins to a 5-1 win over Florida. Philadelphia’s Vincent Lecavalier scored the only goal in the shootout as the Flyers beat Nashville 3-2 to start a sixgame road trip on a winning note. Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin scored in overtime to lift the Capitals to a 3-2 victory over the New York Islanders. New Jersey also had an overtime win, with Steve Bernier scoring the sole goal to give the Devils a 1-0 win over struggling Buffalo. Rangers 5, Canucks 2 Left winger Chris Kreider scored his first NHL hat-trick and goaltender Cam Talbot stopped 35 shots to help the New York Rangers beat the Vancouver Canucks at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers (14-13-0) are 12-8 since Kreider and Talbot were called up on the same day from the minors on Oct. 20. New York’s victory spoiled the return of Vancouver coach John Tortorella, who was fired by the Rangers in May. Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 2 Left winger Max Pacioretty scored two goals and added an assist to help lead the Montreal Canadiens to a win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Canadiens goaltender Carey Price made 34 saves for Montreal (15-9-3), who have gone 5-0-1 in their last six games.

CARDIFF: Australia’s fly-half Quade Cooper (C) evades Wales’ No8 Toby Faletau (L) during the International rugby union test match between Wales and Australia at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, on Saturday. — AFP

Barry John laments Wales loss, hails classy Cooper CARDIFF: Barry John said Wales’s latest defeat by Australia had left them with a “World Cup-sized headache” ahead of the England 2015 edition of rugby union’s global showpiece. The Wallabies 30-26 win at Cardiff ’s Millennium Stadium on Saturday was their ninth straight victory over Wales, who’ve now won just one of their last 23 Tests against southern hemisphere giants New Zealand, South Africa and Australia. This reverse was all the more significant given Wales and the Wallabies are in the same World Cup ‘group of death’ as England. “This was a game Wales simply had to win, not just to take that southern hemisphere scalp we so badly needed but to lay down a marker with the 2015 World Cup meeting with the Wallabies in mind,” wrote John in his Wales on Sunday column. “I know it’s nearly two years out from that Twickenham game but the fact the two countries don’t play each other until then raised the stakes here.” Wales great John, widely regarded as one of rugby union’s best all-time outside or flyhalves, said the performance of Australia No 10 Quade Cooper had been decisive on Saturday. “What a player Quade Cooper is. The outside-half showed up where Wales are lacking, you often hear the term playmaker but this is what playmaking is all about. “He’s the player who can get you off your seat in a heartbeat,” added John, who thrilled spectators during both his career with Wales and as a key member of the victorious British and Irish Lions side in New Zealand in 1971. “The way he shows the ball is so tantalising for defences who tend to ball-watch because that’s the natural thing to do. “When players run off him, and these are big guys coming off his shoulder, it’s amazing to watch and he bamboozled Wales at times.” And John said Cooper’s play has shone a spotlight on one of the underlying issues confronting all of British rugby union. “The deftness of his passing is what we lack not only in Wales but in the UK as a whole.” Next year will see Wales bidding for a third successive Six Nations title but John said Saturday’s loss put the annual battle between Europe’s leading nations into perspective. “We’ve dominated it in recent years but it doesn’t mean we are good enough to beat the likes of Australia after they’ve had such a long season. “They look comfortable when they come to the northern hemisphere, they should

be tired but their pace of the game is too much and when they break the line they can score tries. “But this was our big chance to beat one of the big boysand the fact we couldn’t do it leaves us with a World Cupsized headache,” lamented John. — AFP

Devils 1, Sabres 0 (overtime) Steve Bernier scored with 40.2 seconds remaining in overtime to lift the New Jersey Devils to victory against the Buffalo Sabres. Bernier carried the puck in a 2-on-2 rush with defenseman Andy Greene, pulled up at the top of the circle and beat Sabres goaltender Jhonas Enroth with a wrist shot high to the glove side. Capitals 3, Islanders 2 (overtime) Left winger Alex Ovechkin’s goal with 2:53 left in overtime capped a stunning comeback by the Washington Capitals to lift them past the New York Islanders. The Capitals appeared headed for defeat when Islanders winger Thomas Vanek scored with 1:51 left but Washington tied it on center Nicklas Backstrom’s goal

before Ovechkin scored to give the Capitals (14-11-2) their second successive win. Penguins 5, Panthers 1 Despite being badly out-gunned, the Pittsburgh Penguins made the most of their opportunities to beat the Florida Panthers. Florida, who out-shot Pittsburgh 40-22, have lost four of their past five games. Bruins 3, Blue Jackets 1 The Boston Bruins closed out November with their fourth win in their last five games as left winger Milan Lucic scored twice and backup goalie Chad Johnson faced just 14 shots, 13 of which he saved, as the Bruins finished the month 9-4-0 and atop the Eastern Conference. Flyers 3, Predators 2 (shootout) The Philadelphia Flyers started a six-game road trip with a victory over the Nashville Predators. Vincent Lecavalier scored the shootout’s only goal as the Flyers posted their eighth win in 11 games. Blackhawks 5, Coyotes 2 The Chicago Blackhawks completed their long road trip in style, scoring three first-period goals to beat the Phoenix Coyotes. The win gave the Blackhawks a 6-1 mark on their road trip and kept them atop the NHL’s overall standings with 44 points. Avalanche 3, Wild 2 (shootout) Center Ryan O’Reilly scored the only shootout goal as the Colorado Avalanche recovered from blowing a late two-goal lead to beat the Minnesota Wild. The Wild trailed with time running out but scored twice late, with Mikko Koivu burying a slap shot with 4.3 seconds left to send it to overtime. Flames 2, Kings 1 Winger Mike Cammalleri scored in the final minute of the third period as the Calgary Flames edged the Los Angeles Kings. Cammalleri’s winner came with 23 seconds left in regulation when he backhanded a rebound home to give Calgary (9-13-4) its second win in two attempts on the Kings’ home ice this season. — Agencies

NHL results/standings NY Rangers 5, Vancouver 2; Boston 3, Columbus 1; Montreal 4, Toronto 2; Pittsburgh 5, Florida 1; New Jersey 1, Buffalo 0 (OT); Washington 3, NY Islanders 2 (OT); Philadelphia 3, Nashville 2 (SO); Chicago 5, Phoenix 2; Colorado 3, Minnesota 2 (SO); Calgary 2, Los Angeles 1; San Jose 4, Anaheim 3 (SO).

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

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

Western Conference Pacific Division W L OTL GF 18 3 5 92 18 7 4 91 16 7 4 70 15 7 4 85 13 10 5 74 9 13 4 70 8 17 2 70 Central Division 20 4 4 102 18 4 3 89 19 6 0 76 15 8 5 68 13 11 3 62 12 12 4 73 12 9 3 68 Eastern Conference Atlantic Division 18 7 2 75 16 9 1 76 15 9 3 73 13 7 7 74 14 10 3 75 10 12 4 76 7 15 5 59 6 20 2 48 Metropolitan Division 18 9 1 86 14 11 2 82 14 13 0 60 11 11 5 59 12 12 2 57 10 11 5 55 10 14 3 67 8 15 4 72

GA 60 77 58 84 75 93 93

PTS 41 40 36 34 31 22 18

76 57 52 67 75 80 70

44 39 38 35 29 28 27

55 66 57 71 73 86 91 85

38 33 33 33 31 24 19 14

64 78 66 64 63 75 80 93

37 30 28 27 26 25 23 20

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

Life’s a holiday for birthday-boy Ullrich BERLIN: Germany’s only Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich turns 40 today with the controversial cyclist insisting he has come to terms with his doping past. Ullrich, who retired in 2007 having won the 1997 Tour, admitted for the first time last June to doping during his career with transfusions, using his own blood, by Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes. The German, who also won road-race gold and time-trial silver medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, said he was motivated by the desire to compete against his rivals on a level-playing field. In February 2012, Ullrich was found guilty of a doping offence by the Court of Arbitration in Sport (CAS) and retrospectively banned from August 2011 and all his results since May 2005 were removed. Now Ullrich lives with his wife Sara and three sons on the shores of Lake Constance in Switzerland. He spends his days looking after his growing family and makes a living from professional engagements, such as taking part in cycle rides with fee-paying fans. “Overall, I feel totally happy,” says Ullrich, who looks fit enough to race still. “The life I now lead would be a holiday for many people.” But nearly seven years after retiring, Ullrich’s doping offences have never been fully explained. “I have finished with the subject,” Ullrich told German radio broadcaster NDR. “I have taken my punishment, I regret what I did and I stand behind my mistakes.” Legal troubles still hang over Ullrich, who has been taken to court in the wake of his June confession by a former team sponsor who wants three month’s of salary back.—AFP

SUNRISE: Pittsburgh Penguins center Joe Vitale (46) scores a goal against Florida Panthers goalie Tim Thomas (34) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, in Sunrise, Florida. — AP



Pakistan drops Jamshed from T20 squad LAHORE: Pakistan yesterday dropped struggling opener Nasir Jamshed and included uncapped Sharjeel Khan for a Twenty20 match against Afghanistan and two games against Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates later this month. Jamshed, 23, struggled in the twin series against South Africa in the UAE and then in South Africa, scoring 18 and 19 in the last two Twenty20

matches. He was replaced by Sharjeel, another 24-year old left-hander who has yet to represent Pakistan. Also left out are Shoaib Malik, Abdul Razzaq and Abdur Rehman. Malik and Razzaq were part of Pakistan’s squad to South Africa but were sent back after suffering injuries. Pakistan drew the two-match T20 series 1-1 but won the three-match one-day series

2-1, their first series win in South Africa. Mohammad Hafeez will lead the T20 squad. Paceman Mohammad Irfan was ruled out due to injury. Pakistan play Afghanistan in a T20 game on Sunday in Sharjah-the first-ever T20 between the two nations. Pakistan then play Sri Lanka in two T20s on December 11 and 13 in Dubai.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka will also play five one-day and three Tests in UAE, for which squads will be named later. T20 squad: Mohammad Hafeez (captain), Ahmed Shehzad, Sharjeel Khan, Sohaib Maqsood, Umar Amin, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Zulfiqar Baber, Bilawal Bhatti, Junaid Khan, Sohail Tanvir, Anwar Ali, Saeed Ajmal, Harris Sohail. — AFP

Rockets hold on to beat Spurs 112-106

KUUSAMO: (L-R) Magnus Krog, Joergen Graabak, Mikko Kokslien and Haavard Klemetsen of Norway celebrating the victory of Nordic Combined relay at FIS World Cup Ruka Nordic Opening in Kuusamo, yesterday. — AFP

Vonn putting off knee surgery in comeback VAIL: Lindsey Vonn is delaying further surgery on her right knee for as long as possible in hopes of skiing at the Sochi Olympics. Vonn partially tore one of her reconstructed knee ligaments during a crash in training two weeks ago at Copper Mountain. She is seeing if she can ski without another operation because that would all but end any chance of defending her Olympic downhill title in February. Vonn says she likely would be proceeding in the same way even if this weren’t an Olympic season. “I probably would’ve done what I’m doing right now, test it out,” Vonn said after a training session at Vail on Sunday. “If I felt like it was possible to keep skiing, I probably would’ve. Either way, at the end of the season, I have to reconstruct the ACL. “So it’s kind of like, might as well see how long it holds up. Not a lot of options. In the end, surgery is going to have to happen.” On a chilly morning, Vonn took two warmup runs followed by three aggressive passes through the super-G course in her race suit, hugging the corners tight and looking quite fast. Afterward, she said her surgically repaired knee felt “really good.” So much so that Vonn will travel to Lake Louise, Alberta, this week for downhill training on a course she usually dominates. If training goes well, she will race for the first time since tearing ligaments in her right knee during a high-speed accident at the world

championships in February. “Just trying to ski solid,” she said. “I’m not trying to do race runs. I’m trying to build into it. Not push it too hard. But I was still be able to be aggressive and confident in what I’m doing so that when I get up to Lake Louise I can hopefully have a good feeling right away.” As she rehabbed the knee over the offseason, Vonn was anticipating a return for the nearby Beaver Creek races this weekend. She was on pace, too, before her wipeout at the speed center in Copper Mountain in which she partially tore her ACL. Vonn said it’s been difficult to watch Lara Gut of Switzerland win the downhill and super-G races on a new course Vonn was very much look forward to trying out before the 2015 world championships. “Frustrating to miss the race,” Vonn said. “Definitely with this current situation, there was no way I could’ve skied that bumpy, steep course. I know it was the right decision. That gives me a peace of mind. I’m trying to look forward to Lake Louise and cheer for my team.” Asked if she planned to attend the giant slalom race on Sunday, Vonn said, “Oh, no. “My family is leaving so I’m spending a couple of extra hours with my family. Then, I’m going to pack up and get ready for Lake Louise.” Vonn needs three wins to match Austrian great Annemarie Moser-Proell’s record of 62 victories in World Cup races. — AP

SAN ANTONIO: Houston held on against San Antonio’s furious second-half rally to beat the Spurs 112-106 on Saturday, closing the gap between the Southwest Division rivals to 1-1/2 games. In the day’s other important games, Minnesota also held strong at the finish to win at Dallas, the much-improved Washington downed Atlanta, and Brooklyn deepened Memphis’ home-court woes. Houston’s James Harden scored 31 points and Chandler Parsons had 25 to lead five Rockets in double figures. Tony Parker had 27 points for the Spurs, who have lost two of three after a 13-1 start. The hosts outscored Houston 39-26 to open the second half but could not make up the entire deficit. Minnesota’s Kevin Martin had 27 points with some key late basket, helping the Timberwolves beat Dallas 112-106. Kevin Love had his usual double-double for the Timberwolves, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Martin made two free throws with just under six minutes left to put Minnesota up 94-90. Ricky Rubio then had a steal that led to a long fast-break jumper by Martin, who later beat the shot clock with a jumper and then added a 3-pointer. That stretched the lead to 10392, matching its largest, with 3:12 left. All five starters scored in double figures for Minnesota, which had lost five of its previous six games. Monta Ellis scored 26 points for the Mavericks. Washington’s John Wall had 26 points and 12 assists to lead the Wizards to a 108-101 win over Atlanta. Trevor Ariza scored 24 points and made five 3-pointers for the Wizards, who finished with eight wins in November for the first time in 29 years. Paul Millsap had 23 points and 10 rebounds for Atlanta, which cut an 18-point, third-quarter deficit to two with 9:42 left, but could not get closer. Brooklyn’s Joe Johnson scored 26 points to lead the Nets to a 9788 win over Memphis. Brook Lopez added 12 of his 20 in the fourth quarter for the Nets, who led by as many as 16 points in the fourth quarter, saw that advantage sliced to just one, but steadied to take the win. Quincy Pondexter returned after missing two games to score a career-high 22 points for the Grizzlies, who have lost four in a row at home. Cleveland’s Andrew Bynum and Dion Waiters each scored 20 points as the Cavaliers held off a late rally and beat Chicago 97-93. Utah rookie Trey Burke had the biggest game of his NBA career, scoring 20 points to lead seven Utah players in double figures as the Jazz defeated Phoenix 112-104 to post their first road victory of the season. Milwaukee ended an 11-game losing skid by beating Boston 92-85, with O.J. Mayo rebounding from a poor game by scoring 22 points to lead the Bucks. Cavaliers 97, Bulls 93 Center Andrew Bynum had 20 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks as the Cleveland Cavaliers posted a home victory over the Chicago Bulls. Big-man Bynum, who missed the 2012-13 campaign with knee issues, showed flashes of his best form as he recorded his first double-double of the season and helped the Cavs end a five-game losing skid and improve to 5-12 for the season. Timberwolves 112, Mavericks 106 Shooting guard Kevin Martin finished with a gamehigh 27 points as the Minnesota Timberwolves snapped a three-game losing skid by picking up a rare road victory. The Dallas Mavericks lost for only the second time at home this season, but it was their second consecutive defeat after blowing a 17-point lead at Atlanta on Friday.

TOKYO: Men’s under 100kg class winner Lukas Krpalek of the Czech Republic (2nd L) poses with silver medalist, Kyle Reyes of Canada (L) and bronze medalists, Tuvshinbayar Naidan of Mogolia (2nd R) and Cyrille Maret of France (R) on the podium in the GrandSlam Tokyo 2013 judo tournament in Tokyo yesterday. — AFP

Bring it on, Root tells Johnson ADELAIDE: England batsman Joe Root yesterday challenged Australian pace spearhead Mitchell Johnson to “bring it on” in this week’s second Ashes Test in Adelaide. Root, a contender to be promoted to the number three batting spot in the absence of Jonathan Trott, said it was exciting to face Johnson’s thunderbolts at the first Gabba Test. The 22-year-old Yorkshireman said he was putting faith in his ability to prepare as well as possible for another barrage from the left-arm speedster. “It was probably close to it, yeah,” Root told reporters when asked if Johnson’s 150 kmh (93 mph) offerings were the quickest he had encountered. “It’s great. That’s why you play Test cricket, is to get into battles like that, to get into confrontations like that and try to be successful in those situations. “Bring it on on Thursday. It should be good fun.” Johnson was the man of the match in Brisbane with nine match wickets for 103 and scores of 64 and 39 not out. The departure of Trott with a stress-related

illness leaves number six Root and number five Ian Bell as possible first-drop players for England in Adelaide. Uncapped pair Gary Ballance and allrounder Ben Stokes are pushing for the vacancy in the top six, with Ballance appearing to have the edge after his 55 for England against the Chairman’s XI in Alice Springs on Friday. “It doesn’t really matter to me,” Root said, commenting on where he will bat. “Just to represent my country regardless of opening, three, five, six, it’s been brilliant. “If I get the chance to do it, it will be a great experience. “I’ll just be making sure I prepare well over the next couple of days and go into that Test match, whether it be three or five, I’m comfortable and confident and ready to go regardless of the situation.” Root scored two in England’s 136 all out in their first innings in Brisbane and was unbeaten on 26 in the second, as the tourists crashed to a total of 179 and a 381run defeat.—Agencies

Nets 97, Grizzlies 88 Guard Joe Johnson scored a game-high 26 points as the Brooklyn Nets beat the Memphis Grizzlies for just their second win in their last nine games. Memphis never had a second-half lead but pulled within one-point early in the final quarter, before fading to drop their fourth straight home game. Wizards 108, Hawks 101 Point guard John Wall had 26 points and 12 assists, swingman Trevor Ariza scored 24 and the Washington Wizards survived a chaotic second half to beat the Atlanta Hawks. Washington never trailed during the final three quarters, led by 18 points in the second half, and made 12 three-pointers to fend off multiple Atlanta rallies. Bucks 92, Celtics 85 Milwaukee shooting guard O.J. Mayo scored 22 points as the Bucks snapped an 11-game losing streak with a home victory over the Boston Celtics. Long-range shooting proved a big difference as the Bucks made 8of-17 three-pointers, while Boston went just 4-of-19 from beyond the arc. Jazz 112, Suns 104 The Utah Jazz picked up their first road win of the season by beating the Phoenix Suns, a day after losing to the same team at home. Rookie point guard Trey Burke hit a big three-pointer to give the Jazz an eightpoint lead with 1:13 remaining as Utah improved to 315 overall and 1-9 on the road. — Reuters

SAN ANTONIO: Houston Rockets forward Chandler Parsons passes around San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Danny Green, left, during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, in San Antonio. — AP

NBA results/standings Washington 108, Atlanta 101; Cleveland 97, Chicago 93; Brooklyn 97, Memphis 88; Minnesota 112, Dallas 106; Houston 112, San Antonio 106; Utah 112, Phoenix 104; Milwaukee 92, Boston 85. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT Toronto 6 9 .400 Boston 7 12 .368 Philadelphia 6 11 .353 Brooklyn 5 12 .294 NY Knicks 3 12 .200 Central Division Indiana 15 1 .938 Chicago 7 8 .467 Detroit 6 10 .375 Cleveland 5 12 .294 Milwaukee 3 13 .188 Southeast Division Miami 13 3 .813 Atlanta 9 9 .500 Washington 8 9 .471 Charlotte 8 9 .471 Orlando 6 10 .375

GB 1 1 2 3 7.5 9 10.5 12 5 5.5 5.5 7

Western Conference Northwest Division Portland 13 3 .813 11 3 .786 Oklahoma City Denver 9 6 .600 Minnesota 9 9 .500 Utah 3 15 .167 Pacific Division LA Clippers 12 5 .706 9 8 .529 LA Lakers Golden State 9 8 .529 Phoenix 9 8 .529 Sacramento 4 10 .286 Southwest Division San Antonio 14 3 .824 13 5 .722 Houston Dallas 10 8 .556 Memphis 8 8 .500 New Orleans 7 8 .467

1 3.5 5 11 3 3 3 6.5 1.5 4.5 5.5 6

Test series could define McCullum’s future WELLINGTON: New Zealand’s test series against West Indies could define captain Brendon McCullum’s future with the aggressive batsman battling a chronic back injury and reports suggesting he is contemplating retirement. The 32-year-old McCullum returned home early from the tour of Bangladesh to receive treatment on his back, which has bothered him for more than two years. The Dominion Post reported earlier this week that McCullum had two protruding discs in his back and was suffering from arthritis and taking painkillers to get through games. The first match of the three-test series on his home ground at University Oval in Dunedin begins on Tuesday and will be his 80th test since he made his debut against South Africa in 2004. Apart from the physical discomforts McCullum faces, the series should define his first year in charge of the team and whether they have moved forward under his leadership. He was promoted to the captaincy late last year when coach Mike Hesson replaced Ross Taylor, which resulted in a highly embarrassing public relations crisis for New Zealand Cricket. The former wicketkeeper impressed with his aggressive and inventive tactics against England at home earlier this year and resolute batting that solidified the lower-middle order as the side came within one wicket of sealing a seriesclinching victory in the third test at Eden Park. New Zealand, however, have failed to win a test under McCullum’s captaincy though they have drawn five of their nine tests under his watch, which suggests they are becoming more competitive. The hosts, however, have not won a test series against anyone other than Bangladesh or Zimbabwe since they beat the West Indies at home in 2006 and while McCullum has said he is pleased

with his side’s progress, the fans’ patience for positive results is starting to be tested. Hesson’s side do have a handy pace bowling trio in Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Neil Wagner with Doug Bracewell, when fit, a fourth seaming option who could easily be shuffled into the front-line three if required. Corey Anderson is likely to fill the allrounder’s slot for the series though his bowling has been hampered by a rib injury and the composition of the side could be determined by what kind of pitch is unveiled. Many are hoping it will offer the bowlers more assistance than the wicket the hosts played England on earlier this year. West Indies enter the test series having been hammered by an innings in both matches in India and having only played four tests in total in 2013. Prior to their series loss in the subcontinent, however, Darren Sammy’s side had won six successive test matches, which began with a two-test sweep against New Zealand in mid-2012. The visitors will be hampered by the absence of aggressive opening batsman Chris Gayle, who returned to the Caribbean to receive treatment on a hamstring injury. Off-spinner Shane Shillingford and part-time spinner Marlon Samuels have also been sidetracked with a visit to Perth to undergo bio-mechanical analysis of their bowling actions after being reported to the International Cricket Council. Sunil Narine was added to the squad in case either were banned from bowling, with the 25-year-old off-spinner a proven thorn in New Zealand’s side. He has played just five tests since making his debut against England in 2012 and taken 15 wickets, 12 of those were against New Zealand. — Reuters



Foreign investors changing European football landscape PARIS: Asian tycoons, Russian oligarchs, Arab sheikhs, American businessmen 10 years after Roman Abramovich’s takeover of Chelsea, European clubs remain targets for wealthy foreign investors, and rarely for their love of the shirt. From Chelsea to the recent buyout of Italian giants Inter Milan by Indonesian media mogul Erick Thohir, a long list of clubs on the continent have changed hands over the last decade. The trend is most striking in England’s Premier League, where the environment is more welcoming to potential investors, with many clubs listed on the stock exchange. In total, 11 of the 20 clubs in England’s cash-rich top flight are in foreign hands. But investors have also turned their attentions to other European leagues, notably France, where clubs are not weighed down by massive debts as is often the case in Spain and Italy and are not protected in the same way as in Germany, where the law prevents any private investor from owning more than 49 percent of a club’s shares.

As a result, Paris Saint-Germain were bought out by Qatar Sports Investments in 2011 and Russian billionaire Dimitry Rybolovlev took control of Monaco in December of the same year before going on to dramatically revive the fortunes of the principality club. “The influx of money has an immediate impact on the market. The first thing these new owners do is pay huge sums for the best players. That causes inflation and sometimes a sporting imbalance with clubs who can no longer keep up,” says Didier Primault, co-director of the Centre for the Law and Economics of Sport (CDES) in Limoges, France. The CDES have produced a report for the European Union as part of their efforts to regulate the football transfer system. In their report, the CDES have noted that the greatest inflation occurred following Abramovich’s arrival at Chelsea in 2003, after Manchester City were bought by the Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008 and last summer, when PSG and their Ligue 1 rivals Monaco fought with each

other to break the French transfer record while Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona also splashed out. Fortunes have been used up to clear clubs’ debts, with 200 million Euros ($267m, £167m) of Thohir’s initial investment in Inter going on reducing the Nerazzurri’s arrears. But lavishing such sums on debt management and buying players is sometimes done without any regard for the economic logic of the state of the markets at that moment in time. The recent case of Monaco was a perfect example, with the principality club marking their promotion back to France’s top tier by spending 167 million euros in the summer transfer window. Then there was the remarkable policy of another Russian billionaire, Suleiman Kerimov, who turned unfashionable Anzhi Makhachkala from the volatile region of Dagestan into a major player on the European stage by spending big to bring in a whole host of players in 2011, notably Cameroonian striker Samuel Eto’o, who was rumoured to be

the world’s highest-paid player when he signed from Inter. More recently, Malaysian Vincent Tan has steered Cardiff City into the English Premier League for the first time, but his methods - including changing the club’s colours from blue to red and putting a family friend in charge of player recruitment - have not gone down well with supporters. “ There are different types of investors,” says Frederic Bolotny, a consultant on the economics of sport. “Some are looking for indirect benefits, as part of a political strategy, such as Qatar’s ownership of PSG. Others are more irrational. “Abramovich at Chelsea or Rybolovlev at Monaco are looking for respectability regardless of whether they can make money out of it. “Not of all of these investors can be compared.” Indeed, cases in which foreign investors actively look to make money - such as the Glazers at Manchester United - are very rare. The gradual introduction of Financial

Fair Play (FFP) rules by European football’s governing body UEFA in a bid to stop clubs spending more money than they actually generate should - in theory - prevent more instances of such irrational spending as have become commonplace. “I don’t see how all this can go on once financial fair play is in full force,” says Bolotny, who points a finger towards the “golden contract, completely out of keeping with the market” that PSG recently agreed with the official Qatar Tourism Authority and which will eventually net the French capital club 200 million euros. PSG will have to provide details of the agreement to UEFA before they consider the deal in relation to FFP. How UEFA go about curbing what seems to be a clear way of avoiding the FFP regulations remains to be seen, but if they do succeed in bringing the European game back to a healthier financial footing, will mega-rich foreign investors continue to show such an interest in the sport on the continent? —AFP

Bale crowned ‘Prince of Goals’ after first La Liga treble

BASTIA: Bastia’s French goalkeeper Mickael Landreau (R) looks at the ball during the French L1 football match Bastia (SCB) against Evian (ETGFC) at the Armand Cesari stadium in Bastia, Corsica, yesterday. — AFP

Landreau equals appearance record PARIS: Mickael Landreau equalled fellow goalkeeper Jean-Luc Ettori’s record of 602 top flight matches in France yesterday as he kept a clean sheet for Bastia in a 2-0 win over Evian. The 34-year-old French international began his career at Nantes in 1996 against Bastia while just 17, before spells at Paris Saint-Germain and Lille. He has now drawn level with Ettori, who spent his entire career at Monaco between 1975 and 1992 and picked up nine caps for France, six of them at the 1982 World Cup where the side lost in the semi-finals against West Germany. Landreau, who has played 11 times for his country, remains part of the France setup under Didier Deschamps and looks likely to appear at his second World Cup next year in Brazil following a role as a squad member in 2006 when Les Bleus lost in the final against Italy on penalties. On-loan Serbian winger Milos Krasic put the Coriscan side in front four minutes inside the second half before Tunisian international Wahbi Khazri sealed the result in stoppage time. Landreau, who was appointed captain for the match, helped Bastia move into the upper half of the table, while Evian remain fifth from bottom. Earlier yesterday, Bordeaux rumbled to their biggest win of the season as they crushed relegation threatened Ajaccio 4-0 to move ninth in Ligue 1. Leaders Paris Saint-Germain host Lyon later yesterday attempting to extend their one point cush-

ion on Lille with Monaco third a further point back after both the chasing teams won Saturday against Valenciennes and Rennes respectively. At the Chaban-Delmas stadium, Brazilian Jussie was the catalyst for Bordeaux, scoring the opening and closing goals while Gregory Sertic and Nicolas Maurice-Belay were also on target. “It’s very pleasing to score a double, as much as the victory,” said the 30-year-old Jussie, who joined Bordeaux in 2007 from Lens after beginning his career at Brazilian club Cruzeiro. “We’ve been in a bit of a black period, even if we weren’t losing much, but this relieves the pressure a bit,” added the striker, who took on French nationality in 2011 and was part of the championship winning team under current PSG coach Laurent Blanc in 2009. “When everyone does their bit, it’s a lot easier and the team worked hard in the second half. We had a great desire to win and even if we wobbled a bit, we stayed calm and continued to get forward, and scored goals.” In a feisty encounter that included six yellow cards, four or them against the Corsicans, the Girodins bounced back from their Europa League elimination in midweek with a sparkling display in front of their home fans. Ajaccio, meanwhile, remain level at the bottom of the table with Sochaux after just eight points from 15 matches has left them seven from safety.— AFP

MADRID: Real Madrid’s record signing Gareth Bale was hailed as the “Prince of Goals” after his hat-trick and assist in Saturday’s 4-0 La Liga win at home to Real Valladolid. With prolific Por tuguese Cristiano Ronaldo sidelined by injury, Bale stepped up to net his first treble since his 100 millioneuro ($136 million) move from Tottenham Hotspur and coach Carlo Ancelotti suggested the Wales winger’s adaptation period was over. “He is in good shape, he is confident and he is a very important player for us,” Ancelotti told a news conference. “He performed very well today.” Bale’s pre-season preparations were disrupted by the protracted negotiations over his transfer and he then picked up a minor muscle strain but now appears to be back to full fitness and eager to impress the Real faithful. Saturday ’s haul was a socalled “per fect hat-trick ” - a header and a goal scored with each foot - and was only the second La Liga treble by a Briton after Gary Lineker’s for Barcelona in 1987. Spor ts daily As acclaimed Bale on their front page on Sunday as “Prince of Wales” (Principe de Gales), while rival newspaper Marca went for the headline “Prince of Goals” (Principe de Goles). “I t is always a pleasure to score but even more when you are able to score a hat-trick at the Santiago Bernabeu,” Bale told reporters after grabbing a match ball and soak ing up a postmatch ovation from the Real faithful. “I am very happy here,” added

MADRID: Real Madrid’s Welsh forward Gareth Bale celebrates after scoring during the Spanish league football match Real Madrid CF vs Real Valladolid CF at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on Saturday. — AFP

the 24-year-old. “I needed time to adapt after not having a proper pre -season but now I am improving. “I want to continue improving and working hard in the matches and in training and learn from the best like Cristiano Ronaldo.” Bale still has some way to go to match Ronaldo’s incredible goal-scoring feats and the former Manchester United forward remains the undisputed king of the dressing room and a hero to the notoriously demanding Real fans. The 28-year-old has netted 14 goals in his last seven appearances for club and country and is

lead. A great passing move saw Joe Ledley play in the former Scotland international who took a touch before sending an angled shot beyond McDonald. The second came in the 21st minute when Charlie Mulgrew’s quickly-taken free kick released Commons down the right and lifted his fierce strike over the despairing keeper. Commons came close to claiming his hat-trick minutes later when he clipped a shot that looked like it was going to dip under the bar but McDonald just managed to tip it over the bar. Hearts looked like they were chasing shadows at times and found themselves three behind in the 34th minute. Stokes picked out Ledley in the box and the Welsh midfielder’s shot smashed off the base of the post but Brown reacted quickest to tap in the rebound. It was all one -traffic and Celtic inevitably grabbed their fourth in the 42nd minute when Ledley got on the end of a perfect ball across the six-yard box by Lustig to tuck the ball past McDonald. The best of the bunch came two minutes later when Lustig galloped forward and fired a superb shot off the underside of the bar and in from 25 yards out. Commons sealed his hat-trick with a 59th minute penalty. Commons earned the kick himself after the forward’s attempted pass came off the arm of Wilson and he stepped up to drill the ball into the bottom left-hand corner.—AFP

Marcelo cross for his third late on. Until Bale performs against Barca and Atletico Madrid in La Liga or the likes of Bayern Munich and Manchester United in Europe, some will remain unconvinced he can ever justify his record transfer fee. “He has not yet adapted completely,” Real great Alfredo Di Stefano told Marca this week. “He is coming from England when they tend to play a longer game and he is better suited to that,” added the 87-year-old. “Here he is having to play with the ball at his feet, with short passes and he still needs to get used to it.” — Reuters

Fulham sack Jol

Celtic humiliate Hearts to reach last 16 of Cup GLASGOW: Celtic bounced back from their midweek European elimination to book their place in the fifth round of the Scottish Cup with a record-equalling 7-0 defeat of Hearts at Tynecatle. The Hoops scored five in a blistering first half display as they took their disappointment of exiting Europe out on the Jambos. Kris Commons got the scoring started early with a third minute strike before grabbing a second in the 21st minute. Celtic Scott Brown tapped in the third before Joe Ledley finished off a good move to make it 4-0 and Mikel Lustig’s superb long range strike completed the first half scoring. The Hoops inevitably eased up in the second half but there was still time for Commons to complete his hat-trick from the penalty spot before Brown’s deflected shot sealed a 7-0 win that was the perfect way to answer their critics as manager Neil Lennon celebrated his 200th game in charge. The result equals Hearts worst ever defeat which came against Edinburgh rivals Hibernian on New Year’s Day in 1973 and heaps more misery on the administration-stricken club who languish at the bottom of the Scottish Premiership. It sets up the possibility of an Old Firm derby in the next round after Glasgow rivals Rangers defeated Falkirk 2-0 on Saturday to also reach the last 16. Celtic set the tone for the match from the start as Commons fired them into a third minute

favourite to scoop the FIFA Ballon d’Or award ahead of Lionel Messi and Franck Ribery when the winner is announced next month. Ronaldo has proven himself in key matches against some of Real’s biggest rivals in La Liga and Europe, something Bale has yet to achieve, and Valladolid turned in one of the weakest per formances seen at the Bernabeu for some time. Mired down in 17th in La Liga, their players gifted Bale his opening two goals with some woeful defending and failed to pick him up when he raced into the penalty area to clip home a

LONDON: In this file picture taken on October 5, 2013 Fulham’s Dutch manager Martin Jol reacts during the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Stoke City at Craven Cottage in London. Premier League strugglers Fulham have sacked Martin Jol as their manager, the club announced yesterday. — AFP

LONDON: Premier League strugglers Fulham have sacked manager Martin Jol, the club announced yesterday. The London side have won just three out of 13 league games under the Dutchman this season, with only Sunderland and Crystal Palace below them in the table. Fulham said former Manchester United assistant manager Rene Meulensteen, who only recently arrived at Craven Cottage as a coach to work under Jol, would assume responsibility for the first team with “immediate effect”. Saturday’s 3-0 loss away to London rivals West Ham was Fulham’s sixth consecutive defeat and chairman Shahid Khan said “supporters deserve better” than to see the club in the relegation zone. “Today I spoke with Martin to thank him for his efforts on behalf of Fulham Football Club over the past three seasons and, in particular, since my becoming chairman earlier this year,” Khan said in a statement on Fulham’s website. “Martin was very gracious and I appreciate his understanding of the situation. There is no question Martin is an excellent football man and he has my utmost respect for the commitment he made to our club,” Khan said of the former Tottenham manager. “However, our poor form and results this season are undeniable, and Fulham supporters deserve better. With more than half the season still ahead, an immediate change was necessary.” Fans had been starting to call for Jol to go and the arrival of compatriot Meuelensteen at Fulham’s, rather than his, instigation earlier this month suggested his time at Craven Cottage was coming to an end. Meulensteen spent several years at Old Trafford, rising to the position of first-team coach under Alex Ferguson before leaving the English champions when the veteran manager retired at the end of last season. A brief spell in charge of Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala followed before Khan, a Pakistani-born American billionaire businessman who made his fortune in the US automotive parts industry and who also owns the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL franchise, brought him to west London. “Rene Meulensteen was brought to Fulham to assist Martin and Sunday was offered the challenge and opportunity to step in for Martin,” Khan said. “I thank Rene for accepting and now we move forward. I have great confidence in Rene and high expectations for our squad to respond.” The 49-year-old Meulensteen, whose first match in charge will be Wednesday’s all-London clash at home to Tottenham Hotspur, was looking forward to his maiden stint as a Premier League manager. “I appreciate the faith Mr Khan has put in me and will do my very best to honour his trust,” said Meulensteen. “We aim to get Fulham back on track, starting Wednesday night.” Meanwhile Jol, in charge for nearly twoand-a-half-years, said: “It was a privilege to manage Fulham, one of the great clubs in the Premier League or anywhere in the world. “I am disappointed in this season but know there are better days ahead for Fulham and its supporters. I will always treasure my experience here and want to thank Mr Khan and everyone at Fulham for the opportunity.” —AFP



Balotelli back on target as Milan beat Catania MILAN: Mario Balotelli scored his first league goal in over two months as struggling Serie A giants Milan secured a precious 3-1 win away to 10-man Catania yesterday. Milan started their 14th game of the campaign 14 points off the first Champions League qualifying place and having been rocked by the announcement that chief executive Adriano Galliani would resign after 27 years at the club. Galliani’s future is as yet unde-

cided, after club owner Silvio Berlusconi said Saturday he would remain in his post following a restructuring. However this result, only Milan’s fourth win of the campaign, will undoubtedly prove a huge morale boost to the Rossoneri amid what has been another disappointing start to the season. Catania, who were reduced to 10 men just after the hour when Panagiotis Tachtsidis saw red for a foul on Balotelli,

started brightly and took the lead on 13 minutes when a shot by Lucas Castro deflected off Antonio Nocerino and wrong-footed Gabriel in the Milan net. Milan were soon back on level terms when captain Riccardo Montolivo rushed in at the back post to beat Mariano Andujar with a splendid firsttime strike from a cross deep on the left. Kaka spurned a chance on the half hour and minutes after the restart

Nocerino narrowly missed making contact with the Brazilian’s angled free-kick in front of goal. Balotelli, who scored for Milan in a resounding 3-0 Champions League win away to Celtic in midweek, then spurned two chances in succession to give Milan the lead after Montolivo had crossed for the striker. Balotelli, however, was not to be denied and finally ended his goal drought when he beat Andujar with a

freekick on 63 minutes. It was his first league goal since a late consolation in a 2-1 defeat at home to Napoli on September 22. Milan pressed home their advantage after Tachtsidis was given his marching orders two minutes after Balotelli’s goal and Kaka virtually secured the points when he beat Andujar with a fine individual effort nine minutes from the whistle. — AFP

Terry seals Chelsea landmark in style Chelsea 3

Southampton 1

MANCHESTER: Manchester City’s Spanish forward Alvaro Negredo (L) vies with Swansea City’s Spanish midfielder Jose Canoas during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Swansea City at the City of Manchester Stadium in Manchester yesterday. — AFP

Manchester City blank Swansea 3-0 at home Man City 3

Swansea 0

MANCHESTER: Samir Nasri scored twice as Manchester City maintained its 100 percent home record and moved to third place in the Premier League with a 3-0 win over Swansea yesterday. In-form striker Alvaro Negredo put City in front after eight minutes with a free kick into the bottom left corner. Nasri then exploited Yaya Toure’s through ball to double his team’s lead in the 58th and the French international sealed the win with a brilliant finish in the 77th.The result lifted City to third place in the standings after Liverpool lost to Hull, but the team is still six points behind leader Arsenal. City is the only team in the Premier League with a perfect home record this season - seven wins in seven matches. Swansea had a good chance to equalize just before halftime but Jonathan de Guzman shot over. City goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon, again preferred to Joe Hart, had earlier saved twice from Jonjo Shelvey. Hart might have hoped to feature after playing in the Champions League in midweek but, aside from Joleon Lescott replacing the injured Matija Nastasic, City fielded the side that thrashed Tottenham 6-0. City again raced out of the blocks with

Sergio Aguero charging through and shooting at Gerhard Tremmel inside the first minute. Tremmel was quickly in action again as Negredo forced him to tip around the post with a long-range shot. Negredo was fouled outside the area shortly afterward and stepped up to clip home the resulting free kick in the eight minute. Swansea then enjoyed a spell of dominating possession and creating a couple of chances, with Shelvey twice forcing Pantilimon to save with shots from distance. Both sides had penalty appeals as Pablo Hernandez claimed to be pulled back by Martin Demichelis and Aguero went down under a Jose Canas challenge but referee Mark Clattenburg was convinced by neither. De Guzman shot at Pantilimon and spurned an even better chance to equalize when he fired over just before the interval City’s second finally came just before the hour as Yaya Toure strode forward in trademark fashion to find Nasri inside the area. The Frenchman still had much to do but the defense could not touch him as he ran across goal and fired low into the bottom left corner. City almost had a third when Toure found Aguero and Swansea’s half-clearance fell to the inrushing Pablo Zabaleta but the fullback shot over. But there was little respite for the Swans and Zabaleta instead turned to a creator’s role by rushing onto a James Milner throughball and pulling back for Nasri to tuck home after 77 minutes. The former Arsenal playmaker, sensing a hat trick, curled just wide and Fernandinho shot over in the closing moments. — AP

Inter, Roma held as Juve sight chance to pull clear MILAN: Inter Milan and Roma were forced to settle for a share of the spoils with respective draws against Sampdoria and Atalanta, meaning leaders Juventus could pull clear of the pack later. Inter looked to have secured their seventh win of the season after Fredy Guarin had given the Nerazzurri an 18th minute lead at the San Siro. However Sampdoria, now under the helm of former midfielder Sinisa Mihajlovic, came fighting back and stunned the hosts when Brazilian midfielder Renan beat Samir Handanovic with a shot from distance. Inter’s sixth draw of the campaign and second in a row left Walter Mazzarri’s men in fourth, just three points ahead of Fiorentina, who host Verona on Monday, and in danger of trailing Juventus by 10 points if the champions beat Udinese in yesterday’s late game. “It’s the worst game I’ve seen us play since I’ve been in charge,” blasted Mazzarri in comments to Sky Sport Italia. “After taking the lead we had several chances to put it beyond reach. But Sampdoria gave it everything and were better than us. I didn’t like what I saw from Inter.” Early season pacesetters Roma had the chance to regain top spot but instead Rudi Garcia’s men were made to work for what was their fourth consecutive draw. Atalanta broke the deadlock when Roma goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis fumbled Davide Brivio’s freekick to gift the Bergamo side a 51st minute lead. Roma recently set a new Serie A record of 10 opening wins but had drawn their last three outings, including a disappointing scoreless affair at home to struggling Cagliari last week. After Atalanta keeper Andrea Consigli denied both Alessandro Florenzi and Gervinho from close range in the final 10 minutes, Roma grabbed a welcome point when Dutch midfielder Kevin Strootman

fired home a last minute equaliser. Roma had been denied a late claim for a penalty when the ball appeared to come off Michele Canini’s arm and Garcia told Mediaset: “It’s better I don’t talk about it but everyone saw it.” The Frenchman added: “If we had played the whole match as we did in the final half hour, we wouldn’t need to rely on wrong decisions from the referee.” Roma’s latest slip has paved the way for Juventus to pull three points ahead and given third-placed Napoli, who are away to Lazio on Monday, the chance to close the gap on Roma to three points. Earlier, Mario Balotelli scored his first league goal in over two months as struggling Serie A giants AC Milan secured a precious 3-1 win away to 10-man Catania. “It’s a great victory for us and has given us confidence, we’re coming off the back of four positive results, one in the Champions League and three in the league,” said Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri, whose side moved up to ninth. Catania, who were reduced to 10 men just after the hour when Panagiotis Tachtsidis saw red for a foul on Balotelli, started brightly and took the lead on 13 minutes when a shot by Lucas Castro deflected off Antonio Nocerino and wrongfooted Gabriel in the Milan net. Captain Riccardo Montolivo levelled for the visitors shortly after with a splendid first-time strike from a cross deep on the left. Balotelli, who scored for Milan in a resounding 3-0 Champions League win away to Celtic in midweek, finally ended his Serie A goal drought when he beat Mariano Andujar with a freekick on 63 minutes. It was his first league goal since a late consolation in a 2-1 defeat at home to Napoli on September 22. Kaka secured the points when he beat Andujar with a fine individual effort nine minutes from the final whistle. — AFP

LONDON: John Terry marked his 400th Premier League appearance with a second-half goal that helped Chelsea recover from the shock of falling behind after just 15 seconds to beat Southampton 3-1 at Stamford Bridge yesterday. The win saw Jose Mourinho’s second-placed side move to within four points of Premier League leaders Arsenal. But it took a stirring second half comeback to clinch three points after Jay Rodriguez had given Mauricio Pochettino’s visiting side a stunningly quick lead. Gary Cahill headed Chelsea level ten minutes after the restart before Terr y celebrated his landmark appearance with the Blues’ second goal seven minutes later. And Demba Ba rounded off the win in the 90th minute with a volleyed finish from Ramires’s cross. Having lost at Arsenal last time out, a second away defeat meant Southampton dropped to seventh place. Rodriguez’s goal came as a blow to a Chelsea side attempting to shake off the effects of a midweek Champions League defeat at Basel. Liverpool’s defeat at Hull City and Manchester United’s draw with Tottenham Hotspur earlier yesterday had handed Mourinho’s team a great opportunity to extend the gap on some of their main title rivals. But if they were to do that, they would have to improve on the dismal display in Switzerland. There was no attempt to disguise how disappointing that performance

LONDON: Chelsea’s Spanish striker Fernando Torres (R) vies for the ball with Southampton’s Croatian defender Dejan Lovren (L) during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Southampton at Stamford Bridge in London yesterday. — AFP had been with Mourinho describing the display as “really bad” in his match programme notes. Chelsea captain Terry, meanwhile, conceded the only positive from the evening was that the Blues still qualified for the knockout stages of the competition. Mourinho attempted to freshen up his side by handing Michael Essien his first Premier League start since returning during the close season from a season-long loan at Real Madrid. But the plan backfired with the Ghanaian’s first touch lifting the ball into no man’s land between keeper Petr Cech and centre-back Cahill, allowing Rodriguez to nip in on the inside of Branislav Ivanovic and place the ball beyond Cech. It was the last thing Chelsea

needed and their response during the remainder of the first half was largely ineffectual, although they did shows signs of finding their feet towards the interval. Fernando Torres began to exert a greater influence on the game, crossing for Oscar whose header drew a fine save from Artur Boruc, the Southampton goalkeeper. Then Boruc produced an even better one-handed stop to repel a Torres header two minutes before half-time. But it was the introduction of Ba in place of Essien that helped galvanise Chelsea’s attack. And with Southampton pressed back by the home side’s more convincing for ward play, it took Mourinho’s men just ten minutes to conjure the equaliser when Cahill headed home after Southampton

failed to clear a Juan Mata corner. Ivanovic rose to meet the original cross and his header was directed goalwards by Ba, whose effort struck the post and looped up inside the six-yard box, where Cahill twisted acrobatically to head home. The momentum was with Chelsea and it was no surprise when Terry made it 2-1 by meeting Juan Mata’s left wing cross with an excellent header past Paulo Gazzaniga, who had replaced the injured Boruc. Chelsea, playing with an urgency and confidence missing from their first half performance, saw Ba seal victory with a volley from Ramires’s cross after the Brazil midfielder had shown impressive persistence to create the chance. — AFP

Hanover break winless run with Frankfurt win BERLIN: Senegal striker Mame Diouf scored his first Bundesliga goal since August as Hanover broke their seven-match winless streak with a 2-0 victory over ten-man Eintracht Frankfurt yesterday. Diouf helped ease the pressure on Hanover coach Mirko Slomka when he headed home on 24 minutes for the opening goal, his third of an injury-hit season. Hungary midfielder Szabolcs Huszti then swung in a superb freekick on 68 minutes for his sixth goal of the season as Hanover picked up their first win since September to go ninth. Frankfurt were reduced to ten men for the final half hour when midfielder Martin Lanig was sent off for a harsh second yellow card after a tackle on Poland’s Artur

Sobiech following a previous booking. The defeat leaves Frankfurt 15th and just above the relegation places having also posted their last Bundesliga win in September. Borussia Moenchengladbach picked up their fifth consecutive win at home with a 1-0 victory over Freiburg, which kept their visitors firmly in the bottom three, as Brazilian midfielder Raffael scored the 63rd-minute winner to leave Gladbach fourth. On Saturday, Bayern Munich extended their unbeaten Bundesliga record to 39 games with a workmanlike 2-0 home win over bottom side Eintracht Braunschweig with Arjen Robben scoring both goals.

Having set a new Champions League record of ten consecutive victories with their 3-1 win at CSKA Moscow on Wednesday, Bayern again cruised to victory in Munich. Even with hamstring-victim Philipp Lahm, plus France’s Franck Ribery and Germany star Bastian Schweinsteiger on the walking wounded list, Bayern had too much fire-power for Braunschweig. Borussia Dortmund picked up their first win in three league games with a hard-fought 3-1 success at ten-man Mainz 05 to stay third and seven points behind Bayern. Dortmund took the lead on 70 minutes when Gabon’s PierreEmerick Aubameyang fired home a superb free-kick, but the lead lasted just four minutes before

HANNOVER: Hanover’s Marcelo-Guedes, right, challenges for the ball with Frankfurt’s Vaclav Kadlec, left, during a German Bundesliga soccer match between Hannover 96 and Eintracht Frankfurt, in Hannover, Germany, yesterday. — AP

Cameroon’s Eric Choupo-Moting slotted home a penalty. Mainz were reduced to 10 men when Colombia’s Elkin Soto was sent off for stopping the ball going into the net with his hand and Poland striker Robert Lewandowski fired home the 79th-minute penalty. Lewandowski then made sure of the points with his second penalty when he converted the 94thminute spot kick after left-back Erik Durm was up-ended. Bayer Leverkusen bounced back from their 5-0 drubbing at home to Manchester United in the Champions League on Wednesdaytheir worst home result in Europewith a 3-0 win at home to Nuremberg to stay second. South Korea striker Son HeungMin netted twice while Germany’s Stefan Kiessling hit their second after a superb back-heel from midfielder Jens Hegeler. Schalke, who have lost left-back Dennis Aogo for the rest of the season with a knee injury, moved up to fifth with a 3-0 win at home to VfB Stuttgart. Peru winger Jefferson Farfan scored twice, including a penalty early in the second-half, before US midfielder Jermaine Jones added a late third. Mid-table Werder Bremen warmed up for next Saturday’s visit of Bayern with a point at Hoffenheim in an eight-goal thriller as sub Philipp Bargfrede-with the Bremen squad number 44 — equalised in the 91st-minute to make it 4-4. Augsburg-who face holders Bayern on Wednesday in the third round of the German Cup-played out a goalless draw in the capital against Hertha Berlin. bOn Friday, Hamburg continued their revival under ex-Holland boss Bert van Marwijk with a 1-1 draw at fifthplaced VfL Wolfsburg. —AFP

Rockets hold on to beat Spurs 112-106



Fulham sack Jol


Terry seals Chelsea landmark in style

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LONDON: Manchester United’s English striker Wayne Rooney (C) scores a goal during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at White Hart Lane in London yesterday. — AFP

Spurs and United share spoils Tottenham 2

Man Utd 2

LONDON: Wayne Rooney equalised twice as Manchester United stretched their unbeaten run to 12 matches with a lively 2-2 draw at Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League yesterday. With both sides anxious to make up ground on the top four, Tottenham had most to feel frustrated about as they failed to completely capitalise on a much-improved display after last week’s 6-0 mauling at Manchester City. Kyle Walker’s fierce free kick gave them an 18th minute lead only for Rooney to equalise with poacher’s goal after Walker went from hero to zero with a terrible error. A spectacular strike by Sandro restored the home team’s lead after the interval before a rash moment

by goalkeeper Hugo Lloris handed Rooney the chance to level from the penalty spot. It was a point that left United nine points behind leaders Arsenal in eighth place, one place above Spurs, and despite not losing since September, manager David Moyes was frustrated. “But for a minute at Cardiff last week it would have been a great week for us as Tottenham is not an easy game and they had their pride to restore today, which they did with their performance,” Moyes told reporters. “But United have to win. I’m concerned that we are not closer to the top but it’s a long season and I still feel we have room to progress. It’s a busy period coming up and we want to be on the shirt tails of (the leading teams) going into the end of the year, and at the start of next year. “Undoubtedly Arsenal have been very consistent and they have got off to a great start but there will be a lot of teams now looking to chase them down and hopefully we are one of them.” But for the form of Rooney, United would have been staring at a damaging defeat as they flattered to deceive at times. “We deserved more I think,” Tottenham’s under-

pressure manager Andre Villas-Boas told reporters in a frosty press conference in which he accused some members of the media of “disrespect” following the defeat by City. “The penalty could have been another call. But it was a good response from the defeat at City, not perfect because we wanted to win, but it keeps us in touch.” Tottenham had not beaten United in 12 previous home attempts but they began the game looking determined to improve that dismal statistic and get their season back on track. With Villas-Boas pacing around his technical area from the first minute they began at a high tempo with Walker and Aaron Lennon impressive down the right flank. Lennon cut in to test keeper David de Gea with a low shot after 10 minutes. Slow-starting United, with Shinji Kagawa given a starting berth in central midfield, were nearly gifted a head start when Vlad Chiriches was robbed by Rooney who exchanged passes with Antonio Valencia but then found himself crowded out. Tottenham deservedly took the lead in the 18th minute when Jonny Evans committed a

clumsy foul on the edge of area and Walker drilled his free kick under United’s four-man wall who had jumped in unison. The home side were suddenly sweeping forward with relish and Roberto Soldado wasted a great chance being set free by Paulinho and De Gea saved well from Lennon as United wobbled. Tottenham’s momentum was then halted by a terrible mistake from Walker, the England right back diverting the ball across his own area for Rooney to smash United level after 32 minutes. The Londoners began the second half full of purpose and went back in front with an unstoppable shot from Brazil midfielder Sandro after 54 minutes. However, United were given another helping hand three minutes later, Lloris needlessly racing off his line to clip Danny Welbeck’s ankle as he veered away from goal. Rooney made no mistake from the penalty spot, hammering his eighth league goal of the season past Lloris. “Wayne was very good today,” Moyes, who was again without Robin van Persie, said. “He can score great goals but that first one was a real sniffer’s goal.” — Reuters

EPL standings LONDON: English Premier League table after yesterday’s matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points):

Arsenal Chelsea Man City Liverpool Everton Newcastle Southampton Man United Tottenham Hull City Aston Villa West Bromwich Swansea City Norwich City West Ham Stoke Cardiff City Fulham Sunderland Crystal Palace

13 10 13 8 13 8 13 7 13 6 13 7 13 6 13 6 13 6 13 5 13 4 13 3 13 4 13 4 13 3 13 3 13 3 13 3 13 2 13 2

1 2 3 2 1 4 3 3 6 1 2 4 4 3 4 3 3 4 2 6 4 5 6 4 3 6 2 7 4 6 4 6 4 6 1 9 2 9 1 10

27 24 37 25 21 19 16 22 11 12 13 15 17 11 12 12 11 11 8 7

10 11 12 16 13 18 10 17 14 16 14 16 19 23 14 18 20 24 24 22

31 27 25 24 24 23 22 22 21 17 16 15 15 14 13 13 13 10 8 7

Tigers tame title-chasers Liverpool with record win Hull City 3

Liverpool 1

KINGSTON UPON HULL: Liverpool’s Premier League title credentials were dealt a blow as they were beaten 3-1 by a spirited Hull City at the KC Stadium yesterday Jake Livermore, the midfielder on loan from Tottenham Hotspur, gave Hull a 20th minute lead with his first Premier League goal before Steven Gerrard equalised with a free-kick seven minutes later. David Meyler put Hull 2-1 ahead midway through the second half before Martin Skrtel headed Tom Huddlestone’s chip into his own net with three minutes left to seal a first victory over Liverpool for the East Yorkshire club. It was Hull’s first ever victory against

Liverpool in all competitions. Defeat dropped Liverpool from second place to third on goal difference and left them seven points behind leaders Arsenal. The visitors badly missed striker Daniel Sturridge, ruled out for up to eight weeks after suffering ligament damage to his left ankle in training on Friday. Sturridge is Liverpool’s top scorer this season, with 11 goals and the highest scorer in the Premier League in 2013, with 19 goals in total. Hull were promoted from the Championship last season and made a promising start to life back in the Premier League with seven points from their opening five fixtures but they’d lost four of their last five games heading into this home clash against Liverpool. Steve Bruce’s aim might have been for his Hull side to stifle their opponents but City gave as good as they got in the early stages and grabbed the lead, albeit with a slice of luck. Victor Moses lost possession in his own half and Livermore pounced on the loose ball. He then exchanged passes with fellow midfielder David Meyler and his shot from 20 yards hit Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel

and looped into the net over Simon Mignolet. Seven minutes later, Liverpool were level courtesy of captain Gerrard. Curtis Davies’s challenge on Jordan Henderson on the edge of the box gave Liverpool their first chance of note and Gerrard smashed his 20yard free-kick low into the corner. Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling failed to take a chance to impress as he made his first appearance since mid-October and only his second start of the season. The England winger was largely ineffective and was replaced in the 66th minute. The effort involved in their fine first-half performance limited Hull to a counter-attacking style after the break and Liverpool had the lion’s share of possession. While Liverpool controlled the play, Hull did a good job of keeping them at arm’s length and had chances of their own. Davies’s header from Robbie Brady’s delivery zipped wide and Skrtel had to be at his best to cut out low cross from the Irishman at the near post. Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers had seen enough and brought on Philippe

HULL: Hull City’s Irish midfielder David Meyler (R) tackles Liverpool’s English defender Glen Johnson during the English Premier League football match between Hull City and Liverpool bat the KC Stadium in Hull yesterday. — AFP Coutinho in place of Sterling in an effort to give his side more spark. His first contribution, in the 71st minute, was a low cross from the right that Moses met but Allan McGregor did brilliantly to claw it off the line. A minute later, Hull were back in front. Liverpool failed to clear their lines as Hull threw bodies forward and Meyler sent a crisp

low finish beyond Mignolet. Luis Suarez sent a 30-yard free kick wide with seven minutes left but Hull finished the job in 87th minute. A long ball found Yannick Sagbo, who was onside thanks to Kolo Toure being down injured. The Ivorian held up the ball long enough to find Huddlestone, whose chipped effort was steered beyond Mignolet by Skrtel. — AFP


UAE outlays $5.5bn more for development spending Page 22

ECB in spotlight again at final meeting of year


Page 23 CFC launches campaign ‘Hesbatna Al-Jadida’

Wataniya launches best 4G/LTE offers in Kuwait Page 26

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ALLAHABAD: An Indian shepherd drives a flock of sheep along a road in Allahabad yesterday. Sheep are critical to India’s economy, used to produce carpet, clothing and mutton. — AFP

OPEC to meet amid demand, Libya strains Kuwait sees no change to current ceiling in Vienna VIENNA: The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meets here this week to decide on the cartel’s oil output against a backdrop of slowing crude demand and unrest in member nation Libya. Supplying about one third of the world’s oil, the cartel is expected to maintain its output ceiling of 30 million barrels per day when it meets at its Vienna headquarters on Wednesday, even though it is currently producing under the limit. OPEC is seen sitting tight, with its dozen members largely appearing satisfied by current market prices for crude, as Brent wins strong support from rising unrest in Libya that has slashed the country’s output. Weighing on prices is a reduction in tensions over Iran following the OPEC member’s recent deal with world powers to allow tighter oversight of its nuclear program in exchange for modest sanctions relief. New York crude in particular is being hit by rising US oil inventories. OPEC will meanwhile use the meeting of its nation members from Africa, Latin America and the Middle East, to decide also on a

new secretary general, or administrative head of the organization that was founded in 1960. “Oil prices are still well within the range most of the members are comfortable with, so there shouldn’t be much case for cutting production,” Thomas Pugh, commodities analyst at Capital Economics consultants, told AFP. On Friday, New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in January, stood at $93.58 per barrel. Brent North Sea crude for January, the European benchmark, was at $110.93 a barrel. “If you take an average of these two, we’re roughly around the level of $100 that Saudi Arabia has been talking about as being the fair price,” noted Harry Tchilinguirian, BNP Paribas’ global head of commodity markets strategy. OPEC kingpin Saudi, also the world’s biggest producer of oil, argues that crude at $100 a barrel provides acceptable income for producers without weighing too heavily on consumers. Ahead of the ministerial meeting, Kuwait Oil Minister Mustafa Al-Shamali said he did not expect OPEC to alter its

production level. “I don’t expect it to be changed because the production till now goes with the needs of consumers and that’s enough,” Shamali told reporters. OPEC, pumping about 35 percent of the world’s crude, forecasts that global oil demand will stand at 90.78 million barrels per day (mbpd) in 2014. Energy-monitoring organization, the International Energy Agency, has meanwhile predicted that demand for OPEC crude will drop to 29.10 mbpd next year from 29.89 mbpd currently-on Libyan unrest and increased competition for the cartel’s oil. Libya’s output has plunged to around 250,000 bpd compared with its usual production of 1.5 million amid deadly fighting between radical Islamist fighters and the army. In any case, OPEC is facing up to increased competition from shale energy and has itself said that take-up of the cartel’s oil will drop periodically until 2017, before rebounding slightly in 2018. “The biggest challenge is rapid expansion of non-OPEC supply due to shale oil and the corresponding

decline of OPEC oil,” said Carsten Fritsch, senior commodity analyst at Commerzbank. The boom in gas, and to a lesser extent oil, extracted from shale rock found around the world, but especially in north America, has slashed energy costs for many consumers. But OPEC, grappling with political strains in Iran, still believes it has a huge role to play in meeting the world’s thirst for crude oil, despite also supply constraints. “Iran is still limited as to how much it can sell and OPEC is unlikely to change its policy before it sees any significant changes in the market conditions,” said Varengold trader Anita Paluch. The organization will decide in Vienna also on whether to replace Abdullah El-Badri as secretary general after the planned switch was postponed a year ago. Saudi Arabia is battling against Iraq and Iran for the position of succeeding Badri, who has been the cartel’s administrative head since 2007. The grouping had voted last December to re-appoint Badri, who is Libyan, for another year after members failed to agree on a new leader. — AFP

WTO faces fight for survival at make-or-break summit JAKARTA: The W TO meets for a crunch summit in Indonesia this week billed as a do-or-die attempt to salvage an elusive deal on global commerce and, with it, the 159-member trade body’s own relevance. New WTO chief Roberto Azevedo will be seeking to defy the odds and push through an agreement that could lead to relaunching the “Doha Round” of talks on slashing world trade barriers. But hopes for success are low after the WTO failed to agree on even a modest deal to put to trade ministers who will open the four-day gathering on the island of Bali on Tuesday. At stake is the future of trade multilateralism as regional pacts are increasingly favored by major trading nations, such as the Asia-Pacific-focused Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) pushed aggressively by Washington, analysts said. Sergio Marchi, Canada’s past trade minister and former WTO envoy, said “failure in Bali will be very unkind to the WTO after 12 years of missed deadlines and opportunities” on the Doha Round. “There will be a high cost to its credibility and relevance,” he said. The Doha Round, launched in Qatar in 2001, aims for a wide-ranging accord to open markets and remove trade barriers, with a focus on helping poorer countries. Azevedo, Brazil’s former trade envoy who took the WTO helm in September, has cited some estimates saying it could provide a $1 trillion boost to global commerce. But the talks have stalled repeatedly as rich countries, emerging powers such as China and India, and the world’s poorest nations spar over the give and take needed to craft a deal. The World Trade Organization’s requirement that deals be unanimously agreed by all members also has complicated matters. Negotiators had long ruled out major progress in Bali, instead working on lower-level thematic accords that could be fed into a wider package later. But despite an intense push by Azevedo and signs that diplomats were coming tantalisingly close on those accords, negotiations in Geneva stumbled last week over issues including food security and customs procedures. W TO diplomats engaged in last- ditch talks on Thursday however hailed a “breakthrough” on simplifying

customs measures to facilitate trade, indicating that poor countries would be given extra flexibility to implement new rules under discussion. But other gaps remain, and analysts warn that a limited agreement in Bali might do little to resuscitate Doha anyway. The WTO chief urged trade ministers to make a final push in Bali to get a deal “over the line” and has worked the phones in the run-up to the summit to try to bridge those gaps. But after years of WTO failure on the Doha Round, regional pacts with fewer members are in the ascendancy. Deals like the 12-member TPP-which has hit negotiating hurdles of its own-have been criticized, however, for tending to leave out poorer economies, as opposed to the WTO. The US showed its low regard for the WTO last week in Geneva when it resisted an Indian proposal on food security, said Kevin Gallagher, an expert on globalization and development at Boston University. The proposal would have allowed developing countries to subsidise grain stockpiles to help low-income farmers and consumers, but critics said such stocks could have ended up on the market, skewing trade. “By dumping the WTO unless it accedes in full to US demands, the US-despite all its rhetoric in favor of multilateral approaches-makes plain its intention to focus on trade treaties like the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” Gallagher wrote in an opinion piece to be published in several emerging market newspapers. However the Indian government may have also “hardened its stand” due to domestic concerns, making it more difficult to reach a compromise, said Pradeep Mehta, an Indian former advisor to the WTO. The ruling Congress party, which faces general elections by May 2014, fears that any agreement reached at the WTO on the issue could interfere with a landmark food subsidy program which it views as a key vote-getter. Failure in Bali may relegate the WTO to the role of merely settling disputes between its members, observers say. Some such disputes could loom on the sidelines in Bali, including a bitter row between Russia and the European Union over car import duties imposed by Moscow. — AFP

JAKARTA: Indonesian workers attending a protest against World Trade Organization (WTO) marching from the Japanese embassy to the presidential palace in Jakarta. -— AFP

Egypt turns around; Oman, Qatar rise MIDEAST STOCK MARKETS

DUBAI: Egypt’s bourse posted the biggest gain in the region yesterday, rising 1.4 percent in thin trading as the country was readying a draft constitution for a national referendum. The 50-member constituent assembly began voting on Saturday to approve the draft, article by article, and once this process is complete it will submit the document to interim President Adli Mansour, who will set a date for the referendum. The adoption of a new constitution is a key part of the army-planned political transition plan meant to lead to parliamentary and presidential elections next year. “Retail investors are reacting positively to these news,” said Mohamed Radwan, director of international sales at Pharos Securities.

Local retail investors, encouraged by the ouster of former president Mohammed Morsi in early July, have been the main force behind the rally that lifted Egypt’s bourse by about 40 percent from its late June low. The relatively smooth progress of constitutional voting has boosted the mood of those investors, helping the market rebound after last week’s 4.2 percent negative correction, a Cairo-based trader said. Oman’s main share index rose 0.5 percent to 6,758 points, led by Bank Muscat, one of the country’s leading lenders, which said it would recover the $39 million it had lost in a global pre-paid card fraud. The bank’s shares gained 2.7 percent after it said insurers had agreed to indemnify the loss, for which it had created a provision in the first quarter. — Reuters



UAE outlays $5.5bn more for development spending 10,000 houses for citizens to be built DUBAI: The president of the United Arab Emirates yesterday announced an extra 20 billion dirhams ($5.5 billion) of spending on approved development projects and launched a new scheme to build 10,000 houses for UAE citizens, state news agency WAM said. In a speech marking the oil producing country’s 42nd National Day, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahayan also said he had decided to nearly double the funds allocated to the housing of UAE citizens. “We have decided to allocate an additional sum of 20 billion dirhams to spend on the works of the projects we have already launched to achieve the desired level of luxury for our sons and brothers,” Sheikh Khalifa said in the speech carried by WAM. It gave no further details or fig-

ures on the amount that had been previously approved, but in September, the government of Abu Dhabi, the wealthiest of the seven emirates in the UAE, approved 15.8 billion dirhams worth of spending on infrastructure and social welfare projects. The US-allied UAE is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, with per capita income of $48,200 in 2012, according to World Bank figures. Dubai, another member of the federation and the Gulf ’s trading and tourism hub, last month won the right to host the 2020 World Expo, expected to trigger billions of dollars of investments. Sheikh Khalifa, who is also ruler of Abu Dhabi, added he had decided to build 10,000 new homes for Emiratis all over the UAE and to

increase the housing funds allocated to citizens under the Sheikh Zayed program to 800,000 dirhams from 500,000 now. Abu Dhabi is investing billions of dollars in industry, tourism and infrastructure to diversify its economy away from oil. Since the 2011 uprisings in the Arab world, it has also boosted spending on housing and social services for its citizens. Among the latest spending allocations are 7.4 billion dirhams to develop roads linking the city of Abu Dhabi with Saudi Arabia and Dubai. A total of 4.3 billion dirhams will go towards building a hospital in the city of Al-Ain. Other allocations are to develop the emirate’s electricity grid and waste water treatment facilities, and 3.1 billion dirhams to provide housing loans to 1,554 local citizens. —Reuters

Gold slipping further as investors turn to bourse KUWAIT: The price of gold was still slipping last week as investors’ turned their attention to bourses in several western countries, noted the latest report by Sabaek Al-Kuwait Company. The precious metals report said gold hit its lowest price since June reaching $1,227 per ounce influenced by optimism in the global market that lead investors away from the safe-haven metals to seek stocks instead. After the reaching of a long-awaited compromise between Iran and the group of P5+1 over the Iranian nuclear activity dossier, stock markets in the US and Europe boomed. Meanwhile, oil prices took a hit and lost ground over fears lift of sanctions on the country would mean it would pump additional oil and cause excess in supply. The report said the sharp decline in gold prices was still surprising, since the Iranian gold trade does not stand to really shake the market as Iranian oil could. The psychological factor seems to be the force behind the change in price rather than change in circumstance, it concluded. Analysts meanwhile stand divided on forecast for gold prices in the coming

Iraq oil exports rise for third month

COLOMBO: A Sri Lankan farmer prepares a paddy field for sowing in Dambulla on the outskirts of Colombo yesterday. The IMF expects growth for the current calendar year to be about 6.5 percent, a full percentage point lower than Sri Lanka’s central bank’s forecast of 7.5 percent. —AFP

WTO Bali meet to decide on Yemen’s accession BRUSSELS: European Union Ministers of Trade met in Bali, Indonesia, yesterday to prepare the EU position ahead of the 9th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference to be held in Bali from December 3-6. Chaired by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, Linas Linkevicius, the EU ministers will take stock of the latest developments in the negotiations on the main elements of the Bali package and adopt decisions on the overall EU position on a possible deal. “The decision on the Bali deal would have to be adopted by consensus among the ministers of

159 WTO members. Successful outcome of the Conference would be very important to the world trade and provide the necessary impetus for renewing the WTO negotiating agenda”, said said Linkevicius, whose country holds the current EU Presidency, in a statement here yesterday. The WTO ministers are also expected to make decisions on the proposals for food security, tariff rate quota administration and export competition. The decision on the accession of Yemen is also expected to be taken at Ministerial Conference, noted the statement. The main outcome of the Conference should

be a W TO agreement on trade facilitation which would streamline customs procedures, cut red tape, fight corruption, and cut costs for business. Cutting the cost of trade just by 1 per cent could bring over 30 billion euro to the world income and two thirds of this would go to the developing countries, it said. WTO Ministerial Conference is being held every 2 years. The results of the 9th Ministerial Conference are expected to define how the multilateral system develops in the coming years, added the statement. —KUNA

days. As for silver, the report said the decline in price recently was caused by the same factors that pushed gold down. It also indicated that having hit a low of $19.97 per ounce, the metal repeatedly approached but failed to rise above the $20 per ounce benchmark as a result of profit-taking. The company said it expects the metal to end the year 2013 near $25 per ounce due to increasing industrial demand, as well as brisk activity over the past few months that would probably continue for a while yet. Other metals did not go through such tug and pull, the report said, and were mainly governed by supply and demand factors. Palladium gained $5 per ounce to reach $718 per ounce, while platinum lost $17 per ounce to reach $1,366 per ounce. The local gold market was reported to have seen a boom throughout last week, with the yellow metal selling for KD11,450 per kilo. Gold articles were more popular than bullion and items in 18 and in 21 carat gold were particularly popular, as Kuwaiti investors believed prices are most likely to go up before long. —KUNA

near the port city of Basra, but a significant portion goes through a northern pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan. Exports had been lower in recent months as a result of sabotage on the Ceyhan pipeline, as well as poor weather and maintenance being carried out on the southern terminals. Iraq is heavily dependent on oil exports, and the government is seeking to dramatically ramp up its sales in the coming years to fund the reconstruction of its battered infrastructure. Officials are aiming to increase production capacity to nine million bpd by 2017, a target that the International Monetary Fund and International Energy Agency have warned is overoptimistic. —AFP

BAGHDAD: Iraq’s oil exports rose for a third successive month in November but remained below historic highs as the country looks for revenues to fund much-needed reconstruction, data released yesterday showed. Average daily exports rose to 2.381 million barrels per day (bpd), from 2.25 million bpd the previous month and 2.07 million bpd in September, according to figures released by the oil ministry. Crude sales brought in revenues of $7.32 billion, almost marking a third consecutive increase. Despite the increase, average exports remained below the recent highs of 2.62 million bpd achieved as recently as April. Most of Iraq’s crude is exported via its southern terminals

EXCHANGE RATES Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. Japanese Yen Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Srilankan Rupees Nepali Rupees Singapore Dollar Hongkong Dollar Bangladesh Taka Philippine Peso Thai Baht Irani Riyal Irani Riyal Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

ASIAN COUNTRIES 2.768 4.545 2.615 2.157 2.843 227.840 36.575 3.640 6.478 8.924 0.271 0.273 GCC COUNTRIES 75.644 77.941 736.880 753.420 77.251

ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 40.600 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 40.716 Yemen Riyal/for 1000 1.323 Tunisian Dinar 171.430 Jordanian Dinar 400.580 Lebanese Lira/for 1000 1.903 Syrian Lira 3.082 Morocco Dirham 35.006 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 283.550 Euro 388.320 Sterling Pound 467.010 Canadian dollar 269.710 Turkish lira 140.540 Swiss Franc 316.460 Australian Dollar 259.730 US Dollar Buying 282.350 20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

GOLD 244.000 124.000 64.000

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

SELL DRAFT 270.24 275.99 315.01 386.57 283.30 460.99 2.89 3.644 4.498 2.162 2.812 2.642 77.20 754.03 41.12 403.20 736.76 78.23 75.68

SELL CASH 268.000 274.000 313.000 386.000 286.200 461.000 2.900 3.800 4.890 2.600 3.400 2.770 77.600 755.3000 41.200 408.500 743.300 78.600 76.000

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 Thai Bhat

Selling Rate 283.300 270.080 464.370 386.675 312.970 748.050 77.110 78.660 76.415 399.355 41.075 2.157 4.535 2.609 3.639 6.466 695.840 3.765 09.810

Syrian Pound Nepalese Rupees Malaysian Ringgit Chinese Yuan Renminbi

3.025 3.820 88.435 46.920

Singapore Dollar South African Rand Sri Lankan Rupee Taiwan Thai Baht

0.222828 0.021887 0.001897 0.009462 0.008580

0.228828 0.030367 0.002477 0.009642 0.009130

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

Arab 0.745666 0.038098 0.000078 0.000186 0.395714 1.0000000 0.000139 0.022706 0.001201 0.730462 0.077174 0.074977 0.002173 0.166424 0.138572 0.076218 0.001288

0.753666 0.041198 0.000080 0.000246 0.403214 1.0000000 0.000239 0.046706 0.001836 0.736142 0.078387 0.075677 0.002393 0.174424 0.145572 0.077367 0.001368

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

SELL CASH Europe 0.007371 0.457591 0.006655 0.047615 0.380129 0.042369 0.081818 0.008131 0.039249 0.306541 0.138572

SELLDRAFT 0.008371 0.466591 0.018655 0.052615 0.387629 0.047560 0.81818 0.018131 0.044249 0.316741 0.145572

Australasia 0.250242 0.224664

0.261742 0.234164

Canadian Dollar US Dollars US Dollars Mint

America 0.262092 0.279450 0.279950

0.270592 0.283800 0.283800

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

Asia 0.003276 0.045175 0.034485 0.004310 0.000020 0.002685 0.003350 0.000258 0.084115 0.002981 0.002485 0.006405 0.000069

0.003870 0.048675 0.037235 0.004711 0.000026 0.002885 0.003350 0.000273 0.090115 0.003151 0.002765 0.006685 0.000075

Australian Dollar New Zealand Dollar

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 *Rates are subject to change

Transfer Rate (Per 1000) 282.900 387.500 465.350 269.000 4.535 41.062 2.156 3.640 6.466 2.612 753.500 77.100



X-cite by Alghanim Electronics wins 3 International Awards in Dubai KUWAIT: X-cite by Alghanim Electronics, the largest electronics retailer in Kuwait, has won three prestigious awards at the GITEX Annual Middle Eastern Awards, which was held in Dubai on October 22, 2013. At the awards ceremony, X-cite was recognized as ‘Retailer of the Year’ by HP, winning the award for the Printing and Personal Systems category for the entire Middle East, beating other competitors on the shortlist including Eureka Kuwait, Lulu Hypermarket, Carrefour and Sharaf DG. Xcite also won the ‘Outstanding Regional Retailer’ award from FDC, a major distributor in the region. In addition, LG/Al Babtain Electronics recognized X-cite for its 2013 outstanding growth performance in the Projectors and Monitors category. The awards were received by Joel Hanson, Xcite’s Category Head of IT. These three awards underscore the

consistent recognition that X-cite receives from vendors for its excellence in consumer electronics retailing and the multi-channel experience it provides to consumers. On this special occasion, X-cite extends its thanks to all its loyal customers who played a vital role in X-cite’s receiving such outstanding recognition. X-cite is the largest consumer electronics retailer in Kuwait and the Middle East. Headquartered in Kuwait, the award-winning retailer delivers a modern, dynamic and convenient shopping experience with the primary objective of delighting its customers. With touch and feel displays, cash and carry shopping, a highly trained multilingual sales staff and the latest gadgets and gizmos, shopping at X-cite is an unforgettable experience. Operating a network of 17 stores in addition to the region’s premier e-commerce electronics website,, X-cite’s customers are

offered an unparalleled shopping experience by having access to an amazing range of international brands under one roof. The X-cite experience is further enhanced by providing customers with Easy Credit, 24-hour shopping in select outlets and extended warranty programs with 24-hour free delivery and installation services. X-cite’s shopping experience is also available online at in both English and Arabic where customers can browse and shop for the latest in technology products. Alghanim Industries is one of the largest, privately-owned companies in the Gulf region. Originally founded in 1932 by Yusuf Ahmed Alghanim in Kuwait, the company has since grown into a multi-billion dollar conglomerate, employing over 14,000 employees in 30 businesses, and operating in over 40 countries across Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Strong US data points to Dec tapering NBK MONEY MARKETS REPORT

Dr Aref Ali Nayed

Libya congratulates Dubai on Expo win ABU DHABI: The Ambassador of Libya to the United Arab Emirates, Dr Aref Ali Nayed, and the Libyan community in the United Arab Emirates congratulate Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum and all the leadership and people of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates for winning the bid to host the world Expo 2020 in Dubai. This is indeed a proud and historic moment for the United Arab Emirates, a country that in a short span of 42 years, has

become a truly global hub for trade, finance, technology and culture. The dynamism and creativity of the United Arab Emirates is matched by a formidable cosmopolitan infrastructure that is second to none. The Expo 2020 will not only transform the United Arab Emirates but will also be a catalyst for economic transformation for the entire Arab region and towards realizing the aspirations and potential of our nations.

ECB in spotlight again at final meeting of year FRANKFURT: The European Central Bank, which recently cut its interest rates to alltime lows, finds itself in the spotlight at its final meeting of the year Thursday to disperse the specter of deflation. The ECB took financial markets by surprise last month and pared back its central “refi” refinancing rate by a quarter of a percentage point to a record low of 0.25 percent. The trigger for the move was an unexpectedly sharp slowdown in areawide inflation to just 0.7 percent in October. In November, the inflation rate increased fractionally to 0.9 percent. But analysts believe that that does not sound the all-clear and the ECB cannot simply sit back and do nothing. “The cut in rates has not markedly relieved the pressure on the central bank to take additional action to support what remains a very fragile economic recovery and head off deflation,” said Capital Economics economist Jonathan Loynes. Marie Diron at EY euro-zone Forecast agreed. “We think that the ECB needs to recognize the risk of deflation more clearly and act pre-emptively,” she said. ECB officials have been keen to stress that they believe what the euro-zone is currently experiencing is “disinflation” not “deflation”. Disinflation describes slowing price rises which remain in positive territory but reflect a stagnating economy in which growth and jobs are elusive. By comparison, deflation is where prices fall in real terms, which encourages consumers to put off buying goods in the expectation that if they wait, they will get them cheaper. That dampens demand, adding to the downward pressure in the economy as companies hold back investment, in turn impacting jobs and demand in a vicious circle seen at its worst in the 1930’s Great Depression. Key to any possible new action by the ECB will be the central bank’s own staff projections for growth and inflation in the 17 countries that share the euro, which it is scheduled to publish after Thursday’s meeting. “These will be the focus” of ECB chief Mario Draghi’s regular post-meeting press conference, said Deka

Bank economist Ulrich Kater. “At the last meeting, Draghi described the deflationary dangers as very low. The data published since then support this assessment. As a result, no new measures are expected at this week’s policy meeting,” Kater said. Berenberg Bank economist Christian Schulz said the latest inflation data reduce “any pressure for more monetary policy action, which could spark vocal opposition from the hawks on the (governing) council.” The inflation numbers, combined with a drop in euro-area unemployment, “provide welcome news (for the ECB) as they prepare” for the last policy meeting of the year, Schulz said. The data could even “strengthen the hawks’ arguments that the November rate cut may have come too early,” the expert said. Certainly, in Germany, where economic slack is far less, inflation could be heading towards the 2.0-percent target a bit sooner and that “should strengthen Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann’s resistance to further policy action,” Schulz said. “But for now, appetite for such action might be limited in the ECB as a whole.” Diron at EY Euro-one Forecast said further action from the ECB could take the form of providing clearer forward guidance as to when the next rate cut might come. The central bank could also roll out new liquidity measures, such as the long-term refinancing operations, or LTROs, which it used at the end of 2011 and early 2012 to avert a looming credit crunch. Commerzbank economist Michael Schubert also felt that “comments from ECB council members in recent weeks tend to suggest that after the rate cut at its last meeting the council will decide no further measures on Thursday.” However, he said that the ECB had demonstrated that it reacts quickly even when only little new information calls its assessment into question. “Should the ECB projections for 2015, for example, fall noticeably short of the figures the council previously assumed, the ECB might respond,” Schubert said. —AFP

KUWAIT: As it has been a short US week with Thanksgiving this past Thursday, investors have decided to shorten their trading week and enjoy a long weekend. Europe on the other hand filled the void left by the US, with a busy week in terms of data. Deflationary concerns were brought back to light when Germany reported that import prices fell further than expected in October; however on a more positive note, the final reading of Spain’s Q3 GDP was released and confirmed that the peripheral European nation has exited its two-year recession with growth of 0.1 percent. Germany also released its unemployment rate for October, which delivered no surprise when it came in line with expectations and sparked a buying of Euro across the board especially against the Yen and the commodity currencies. Indeed, the week started on a headline that a deal was struck with Iran where they agreed to slow their nuclear production, in exchange for relief from the US with oil, as well as auto parts and precious metals. Oil opened the week lower, hence putting pressure on commodity currencies. The Euro was also supported by comments coming from PBOC Governor Zhou who commented “the Euro is an important part of China’s FX reserves management.” It remains that the euro’s refusal to succumb to a cut in interest rate in November and a low inflation in Europe is the growing divide on the ECB council. In summary, The Euro traded in a narrow range this week from a low of 1.3490 to a high of 1.3622. The currency ended the short trading week at 1.3591. In Asia, the US data remain the main driver of the dollar yen direction. The Yen closed on the low side following stronger US economic data and an interest rate move higher. The pair closed on Friday at 102.44 level while the US was mostly stronger against the other Asian currencies. The Sterling Pound on the other hand was well supported this week on stronger than expected data. The move accelerated when Bank of England governor Mark Carney, said supporting mortgage lending was “no longer necessary” and Funding for Lending will be refocused on businesses from January 2014. The Pound moved from a low of 1.6134 at the beginning of the week to close near the high of 1.6368 Home sales fall October pending home sales fell -0.6 percent after the prior month was revised up 1.0 percent to -4.6 percent. Compared to the same period a year ago, pending home sales are down -2.2 percent. The National Association of Realtors noted that 17 percent of survey recipients mentioned delays to pending sales due to the government shutdown. Therefore, we may see a rebound in the series next month. In the details of the report, weakness was concentrated in the South and the West. The Northeast and the Midwest posted modest gains. Building permits on the other hand climbed in October to the highest level in more than five years, signaling potential strength for 2014. Applications for new construction rose 6.2 percent to a 1.03 million annualized rate, the highest since June 2008. Other data showed property values last quarter increased by the most in more than seven years. The Richmond Federal Reserve’s manufacturing survey came in at 13 in November versus expectations of four. October had printed at one. The index increased across the board, with shipments surging 18 points to 16. Outlook also improved as the report quoted “Producers anticipated stronger business conditions in the next six months”. The hiring out-

look improved three points to 16 and the expected-shipments index climbed 37, and the outlook for new orders gained 10 points to 33.

in gas and electricity tariffs made headline news. Nationwide says that UK house prices rose 6.5 percent y/y in November. This was the biggest rise since July 2010.

Euro-zone The question as to whether the Euro zone is heading towards deflation has been on investors’ mind since the euro-zone inflation reading experienced a sharp drop to just 0.7 percent y/y in October, from an already low 1.1 percent in September. According to analysts, despite the sharp fall in inflation in recent months, inflation expectations, the European Commission’s inflation forecast, Consumers Surveys, the ECBs’ and the Survey of Professional Forecasters, do not signal a widespread deflation concerns across Europe. This would suggest that the risk of consumers holding back spending in expectation of future price declines, which would fuel output and further price declines, is still not high, especially with the coming holidays seasons. In contrast to the state of the German economy, French industry minister Arnaud Montebourg observed that the euro was “too strong” given the Bank’s policy shift and that he would therefore like to see it fall further. Given that the EUR has risen inexorably against the USD ever since, Montebourg will be under no illusion that the fundamental forces in the Euro-area are

Asia The most interesting aspects of Australia’s Q3 capital expenditures numbers that came in slightly stronger than expectations, is strength of business intentions for the “nonmining, non-manufacturing sector” of the economy. According to analysts, the upward revision is material, but cautions against getting too bullish on that Australian Dollar on that basis. The Australian Dollar remains at the mercy of further development out of China’s growth plan. Japan Finance Minister Taro Aso was quoted this week telling a parliamentary committee that he would have no choice but to intervene in the currency market if exchange rate moves were excessive. He was also quoted as saying that authorities should be cautious about currency intervention, as deliberately intervening in the market would cause problems. He noted that the JPY has weakened as a result of Japan’s policies aimed at beating deflation but repeats that exchange rates should be determined by markets. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said the bank had “absolutely no plan” to monetize public debt via monetary policy. He

driving the single currency. After the Italian Senate expelled Berlusconi over his tax fraud conviction, Prime Minister Enrico Letta said his government would press on with its reform program. Indeed, On Wednesday, a government decree approved a revaluation of bank holdings in the Bank of Italy, aimed at helping the banks improve their capital positions. According to newspapers, Letta also plans to create a market for shares in the country’s central bank. The planned market will allow Italy’s big lenders, to count holdings in the Bank of Italy as regulatory capital. In addition, to make the stock attractive, the government will also permit the central bank to dip into reserves to raise its capital and boost shareholder dividends On Friday, Standard & Poor’s cut the credit rating of the Netherlands to AA+ from AAA. However, it also revises its outlook on Spain to stable from negative and affirms its BBB-/A-3 long and short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings. Indeed, the Netherlands has become the latest Euro zone member to be stripped of its triple A credit rating, the rating agency cited weakening growth prospects as it downgraded the country to AA+.

stressed that its stimulus was aimed solely at achieving its 2 percent target inflation. He added: “I strongly hope the government steadily proceeds with steps to restore Japan’s fiscal health.” He added that bond markets might experience volatility if confidence in the country’s finances is eroded. Finally, he concluded with his expectations that the CPI would approach 2 percent in coming years as the economy continues to expand above its potential growth rate.

UK data The strong UK data as of late continue to support the currency. GfK’s monthly consumer confidence index fell to -12 in November from -11 in October. However, as Reuters notes, the poll was conducted in the first two weeks of November, when steep rises

No brakes for gold The gold price continue to slid this week, on news that an accord had been reached between Iran and the major world powers over the former’s nuclear program. With the lack of inflation globally, the expectation of an eventual start of tapering of the QE program by the Fed and the strong up move of the equity market, investors find less and less reasons to invest in gold. Oil trending lower After the calm induced by the deal struck with Iran couple of days ago, reports showed, the US oil production exceeded the 8 million barrels a day for first time since January 1989. According to the Energy Information Administration, US crude oil stocks stand at the highest level for this time of the year since records began in 1982 Kuwait Kuwaiti dinar at 0.28270. The USDKWD opened at 0.28270 yesterday morning.



South Korea exports for Nov rise to $47.92bn SEOUL: South Korea’s exports for November rose to $47.92 billion on the back of robust sales of mobile devices and ships, official data showed yesterday. Exports, which account for about a half of the South Korean economy, increased 0.2 percent on-year while imports fell 0.6 percent to $43.11 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $4.8 billion for last month, the trade ministry said.

It was the 22nd consecutive month that South Korea-Asia’s fourth-largest economy-had posted a trade surplus. It last recorded a deficit in January 2012. The accumulated trade surplus from January to November amounts to $40.55 billion and is on course to hit an annual record in 2013, the ministry added in a statement. The previous annual record was set in

2010 when the trade surplus reached $41.17 billion. “Exports to China expanded thanks to robust sales of tech products including mobile devices, while exports to the US and the EU rose as economic recovery fanned demand for consumer goods,” the ministry said. Exports to China-the South’s largest trade partner-rose 3.7 percent from a year ago while exports to the EU climbed 6.8

percent. Overseas shipments of mobile devices made by companies like Samsung and LG surged 12.6 percent onyear, while exports of ships made by builders including Hyundai soared 30.5 percent. “The shipbuilders’ exports surged after they won orders for lucrative deals involving drill ships,” the statement said. Memory chip shipments rose 8.2 percent

as growing global production of low-end and mid-range smartphones fanned demand, the ministry added. South Korea’s economy expanded 1.1 percent in the second and third quarters of this year-the fastest pace since the first quarter of 2011. The government has predicted the country’s economy will grow by 2.7 percent this year and further accelerate by 3.9 percent in 2014. —AFP

Philippine boxing hero Manny Pacquiao shows a copy of 2008 and 2009 tax returns filed with the IRS in the US, during a meeting with journalists in General Santos City, on the southern island of Mindanao. —AFP

Philippines’ embattled taxman takes aim at the famous MANILA: The Philippines’ taxman has long struggled to compel the country’s elite pay its fair share, but a name-and-shame campaign targeting one of history’s greatest boxers and the “sexiest woman alive” is aiming to change that. A crusade against wealthy Filipinos is part of President Benigno Aquino’s high-profile effort to curb tax evasion throughout all sectors of society, a central plank of his quest to fight widespread corruption. Boxing hero Manny Pacquiao became the latest to be caught in the crosshairs when the Bureau of Internal Revenue froze his bank accounts last week for refusing to pay a $50-million tax bill related to earnings in the ring in 2008 and 2009. The boxer says he has already paid the required taxes in the United States and paying in the Philippines would equate to double taxation. While the champion appeared stunned and claimed he was being harassed, it was in fact just the latest strike by the revenue bureau since Aquino came to power in 2010 that has targeted hundreds of rich or famous Filipinos. “When ordinary people see that we are going after popular and well-known figures... it drives home the point that paying taxes is a civic duty,” Claro Ortiz, who runs the bureau’s Run After Tax Evaders (RATE) campaign, told AFP. The revenue bureau has so far filed criminal complaints or charges against 200 wealthy Filipinos it accuses of avoiding a combined 44.45 billion pesos ($1.02 billion) in taxes. Pacquiao, who is also a second-term congressman with ambitions of eventually becoming president, has not been charged. His case is currently a civil matter, with the bureau so far just demanding the money it says it is owed. Among those facing criminal prosecution are actor-model celebrities, including Solenn Heussaff, named by the Philippine edition of Esquire magazine this year as “the sexiest woman alive”. Heussaff disputes the charges that she owes 3.6 million pesos in back taxes, and has filed a legal challenge, although she also blames her accountant for any potential discrepancy. Philippine national basketball team member Jim Alapag was one of several well-known athletes charged, for allegedly under-declaring. Wealthy individuals who are away from the limelight are also being pursued, including a precious metals trader who allegedly failed to disclose more than a billion pesos’ worth of refined gold and silver sales to the central bank. A man who raised suspicion because of a low salary and a Lamborghini sports car was another to be charged. Tax evasion is punishable by up to 10 years in jail. However, those facing prosecution can

have charges or criminal complaints dropped by cutting a deal with the revenue bureau, or hope to have their case lost in the quicksand of the Philippines’ justice system. Criminal cases in the Philippines’ overwhelmed courts take an average of six years to complete, according to government data in 2010. The Philippines is also infamous for a “culture of impunity” in which the wealthy or powerful are able to bribe, intimidate or otherwise use their influence so that they are rarely held accountable for crimes. Just one person has been put behind bars for tax evasion since Aquino came to power in 2010, and her four-year prison term meted out last year stemmed from charges filed in 2005, according to the revenue bureau. Name-and-shame tactics But the government is banking on a wide range of name-and-shame techniques to fight tax evasion. It regularly publishes in newspapers lists of top taxpaying companies in various industriessuch as dining, hairdressing or accountingand asks readers whether successful businesses they know of should be there. It also releases an annual list of the country’s wealthiest individuals and companies, highlighting the huge difference between their riches and taxes paid. Occasionally there is also some direct presidential intervention. In March, Aquino warned the Chinese-Filipino community to start paying taxes or face prosecution. In an address to an annual meeting of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Aquino said just eight percent of its companies paid taxes. Sixty percent of the chamber’s individual members paid no taxes at all, Aquino said in the speech that made national headlines. The stakes are so high in the Philippines because tax evasion costs $10 billion each year, equivalent to 4.0 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, according to government estimates. Aquino says the unpaid taxes deprive his government of money to fight widespread poverty-about one quarter of the country’s 100 million people live on a dollar a day or less. The government is claiming limited success in its campaign, citing tax collections having risen by 14 percent last year. “There is an increase in tax compliance. We would like to think that the program played a role in that in terms of the fear factor,” RATE leader Ortiz said. However, the government has also acknowledged there is a long way to go before tax evasion is tamed, and that the onus rests on whoever takes over from Aquino in 2016 to continue long-term anticorruption reforms. —AFP



CFC launches new campaign ‘Hesbatna Al-Jadida’ Al-Mannai: Campaigns play key role in uplifting Kuwait car sector KUWAIT: Commercial Facilities Company (CFC) introduced its new campaign “Hesbatna Al-Jadida” which offers customers a variety of distinctive financing loans to buy new or used cars while maintaining flexible financing transactions whether from new and used car agencies, used car dealerships or individuals. This move is an extension of the successes achieved from prior campaigns “Tayahna Wahda” and “Askatna Al-Khamsa”, which were launched by the company during the past years, and received acknowledgement from many customers. Speaking about the campaign, Nasser A Al-Mannai, Assistant Managing Director of Marketing, CFC, said: “through “Hesbatna AlJadida” customers can own the car of their dreams and finance it over a tenure inclusive of one year interest free. For example, customers can finance their five year car installments with the calculated interest of only four years. The customer can also finance the four year car install-

ments with the calculated interest of three years, as well as the installments of three years with the interest of two years. Finally, when financing the car for one year, the installments are interest free”. Al-Mannai added: “With every campaign, CFC is keen to offer its customers the greatest flexibility to finance their needs, through its serious and continuous commitment of launching initiatives that focus mainly on auto financing, in addition to adopting the highest standards in customer service”. “We are sure that the new campaign will satisfy our clients, as our campaigns always played an essential role in rejuvenating the car sector in Kuwait. Continuously we have succeeded in providing the best services that will be of interest for our potential as well as existing customer,” Al-Mannai continued. Commercial Facilities Company is known in the local market for its benefits and services, including the fast track service launched for retired citizens in completing finan-

Naser Musaed cial transactions quickly and efficiently through dedicated offices located in the company’s main branch. These services are a move that strengthens the company’s commitment in providing customers with the best levels of service, with a quick response which doesn’t exceed 24 hours. Customers can submit applications at CFC’s main office in Sharq,

or at any of the company’s branches located in Hawalli, Riggae, Fahaheel and Jahra, in addition to 21 company representatives spread between the main new and used car dealerships. In addition, customers can also pay monthly installments; inquire about their account balance and next installment due date through the company’s website www.cfc- orthe CFC smartphone application that can be downloaded from the “App Store” or “Google Play Store”. Commercial Facilities Company (CFC) was established in 1977 as the first Kuwaiti closed shareholding company with an initial capital of KD3.8million ($12.7million). It specializes in providing installment credit facilities to finance consumer

and commercial products. CFC plays a major role in the development of the financial and consumer goods industry. It is one of the leading companies in offering installment credit facilities, car financing, and personal cash loans. Branching out in strategic locations, CFC has over 200 employees across its five branches and 21 representative offices.

Occupy activists buy up Americans’ personal debt Staggering US medical debt baffles officials WASHINGTON: For a year and a half, 80year-old Kentucky resident Shirley Logsdon received repeated calls from a debt collection agency over an unpaid medical bill. Then one day, out of the blue, she received a letter saying the $983 debt had been handled-purchased by Rolling Jubilee, a group linked to the Occupy Wall Street movement. “I was dumbfounded but delighted, of course,” Logsdon, who is retired along with her husband of 62 years, said. “We got a letter saying that everything had been resolved-finally it is over, you don’t have to worry, you don’t owe us anything. (...) I didn’t know these people. It was a godsend.” So what is Rolling Jubilee? The group is an outfit launched just a year ago by former Occupy Wall Street members now grouped under the nationwide Strike Debt collective. “Together we can liberate debtors at random through a campaign of mutual support, good will and collective refusal,” it says on its website, The idea? Buy up the personal debt of those who are struggling to fulfill their basic needs, like health care or housing. For the New York-based group’s first anniversary, it announced this month that in one fell swoop

it had bought up the equivalent of nearly $13.5 million in medical debt that some 2,693 people owed to hospitals and medical offices. The group purchased the debt for only $400,000 — mainly paid for by small donations made to the organization over the Internet. In the United States, when a bill is not paid within 90 days, a bank can attempt to reduce its losses by selling the loan at a discounted price to professional debt buyers. These are then resold on a secondary debt market. On its website, Rolling Jubilee says that “banks sell debt for pennies on the dollar on a shadowy speculative market of debt buyers who then turn around and try to collect the full amount from debtors.” According to Strike Debt member Ann Larson, “for every dollar of debt we abolish, we paid only two cents.” The group has no idea whose debt it was purchasing: sales are made anonymously and it’s not until the end of the transaction that Strike Debt has access to the addresses to which it will send letters, such as the one it mailed to Logsdon. Medical bills are one of the leading causes of personal bankruptcy in the United States.

In 2013, one in five Americans will have struggled paying medical bills and more than 35 million people will be contacted by debt collectors, according to a study by NerdWallet, a company specializing in personal finance and credit options. Logsdon, who was treated in Louisville for a back injury, said she had no idea what was coming financially. “I was really upset,” she said. “Almost $1,000 in debt is unreal when you have Medicare. They usually cover everything.” “I was very embarrassed,” she added. “We hit rock-bottom.” Then the reprieve from Rolling Jubilee arrived. The letter said: “It is our belief that no one should have to go into debt for the basic things in our lives such as healthcare, housing and education.” For Larson, the gesture of those who donated “really shows that people help each other and people understand that the debt system we have in America is really wrong.” Next to tackle on the group’s list is student debt. Each year, 60 percent of American students must borrow to pay for their studies. In September, the burden of student debt was more than $1 trillion in the United States, according to the Federal Reserve. —AFP

Bally unveiled the Scribe Made-to-Order service in its Al-Hamra Mall Boutique, Kuwait City. —Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Romania sees opportunity in China’s new taste for meat BUCHAREST: Hit by declining demand on the local market and in parts of Europe, Romanian farmers say China’s growing meat needs may help them out of the hole. Chinese officials earlier this week signed two agreements to import 500,000 cattle and three million pigs from Romania over the next few years. On a visit to Bucharest, Premier Li Keqiang said China also wanted to import sheep and possibly other food produce. “We can buy all you can deliver,” Li said after talks with Romanian counterpart Victor Ponta. Fast-paced urbanization and development of a middle class have radically changed the Chinese diet, with meat increasingly replacing or complementing rice and vegetables.

“In 1978, China’s meat consumption of 8 million tons was one third the US’s. Now China’s annual meat consumption of 71 million tons is more than double that in the US”, Washington-based Earth Policy Institute said, citing USDA figures. In their 2013 Agricultural Outlook, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said meat demand in China will continue to rise in the next ten years, in line with rapid expansion of household refrigerators. In rural northern Romania, breeder Dumitru Grigorean said China’s plan to import livestock was good news. “It would be a pity to miss the opportunity,” Grigorean, 44, said. “Of course I’d earn a lot more if I made

(computer) tablets like the Chinese do, but I’m only good at raising cattle,” he added. Grigorean said he invested some 80,000 euros ($108,862 dollars) in his farm, buying 70 French meat cows, and expected to start seeing a profit two years from now. “The cows thrive on the rich grass and enjoy the fresh air even when it is cold,” he said. He said that several members of his cattle breeder association, who own up to 2,000 head each, were set to export cows to China. But Dragos Frumosu, the leader of the food industry trade union, said Romania did not have enough cattle to meet Chinese demand. “The solution would be to set up joint farms with Chinese capital or encourage local farmers to expand by using more

JALALABAD: An Afghan vendor serves customers at a roadside stall selling cooking utensils in Jalalabad in Nangarhar province yesterday. Economic development is considered a vital weapon to stop the country from sinking back into civil war and to stem Islamist extremism after 100,000 international combat troops pull out next year. —AFP

European Union funds,” he told AFP. Agriculture minister Daniel Constantin said Romania’s cattle stock dropped sharply from 2.8 million in 2001 to 1.2 million this year. But he added that the government earmarked 830 million euros of public funds and European money to help breeders increase stock. Romania currently imports up to 70 percent of its beef consumption and some 50 percent of pork consumption, but also exports cattle and sheep mostly to Arab countries. During the first eight months of 2013, the Balkan country’s livestock imports amounted to $141.5 million while exports stood at $276 million, official figures show. Constantin said Romania would have no problem exporting sheep as it has a surplus of around 5.0 million heads. Shuanghui International’s recent takeover of Smithfield Foods in the United States, which owns a pork producer near Timisoara in western Romania, will partly solve the pork exports issue. The former Smithfield’s Comtim farm breeds some one million pigs, out of a total of 5.7 million raised in Romania. “Local farmers used to complain that they have no outlet for their meat,” Stefan Minea, head of the Romalimenta food industry association, told AFP. “Now they can export to China. But they must make sure quality standards are met and the price is right,” he added. Minea said the Chinese will do it their way: set up offices in Romania, inspect the farms, make sure the livestock is disease-free and if they are satisfied give credits to the breeders. “Romanian farmers have little money to invest,” he stressed. “We have to help ourselves but we also need to get subsidies, as do farmers all over Europe and in the Americas,” Grigorean said. “Because as much as we love what we do, if we see that our pockets are empty one day we might give up farming, and maybe keep just one or two cows as a hobby.” —AFP

Bally introduces Scribe MTO collection KUWAIT: Bally is proud to present the Scribe Made-to-Order service in its Al-Hamra Mall Boutique, Kuwait City. This November 25th 2013 a VIP reception was held between 7 and 9 pm to introduce the month long Scribe MTO installation. The Scribe Made-to-Order collection is the highest expression of Bally’s passion for detail. The abundance of optional styles finishes and leathers provide an exceptional opportunity for individual expression, and represent the ultimate in modern craftsmanship. This classic collection features the renowned Goodyear welted construction with internal cork insole which perfectly adapts to the wearer’s foot. The Scribe MTO is also padded at the back part of the heel for extreme comfort. Each leather sole is personalized with the injected metal Bally Crest logo, or is available in a full rubber sole with-

out the metal Crest. Finally the individual’s name or initials are handwritten on the inside lining. Each pair comes with cedar shoetrees and special customised box. Styles available to choose from include loafers, oxfords, brogues, spectators, ankle boots, Chelsea boots, monk strap, and double monk straps. The highest quality leathers and exotic skins including alligator and ostrich are offered in a multitude of colors and finishes. Also available, Bally’s Scribe Belt MadeTo-Order service. Assembled entirely by hand using the finest quality leathers including smooth calf, ostrich and crocodile, belts can be matched to Scribe Made-To-Order shoes or created as a uniquely personal gift. Available in a wide array of classic colors the bespoke Scribe belt is finished with a distinctive 925 Silver buckle and delivered within 6-8 weeks.



Wataniya Telecom launches best 4G/LTE offers in Kuwait Free LTE router with 4G/LTE internet from KD7.5 will be offered free 4G/LTE routers, generous monthly data volumes and will not be restricted by any daily limits whatsoever. The first option is to have a free LTE router with amazing 60 GB 4G/LTE internet for a monthly payment of only KD7.5. Customers can freely use 30 GB anytime, and they can use the other 30 GB at night from 1 am to 9am. The second option is to have a free LTE router with a huge 100 GB 4G/LTE internet pack for a monthly payment of

KUWAIT: Wataniya Telecom, the first private telecom operator in Kuwait, launched amazing data offers yesterday. Wataniya gives all the reasons to customers to have a great internet experience: excellent quality network at excellent prices. Customers who want to enjoy the latest 4G/LTE internet service can now have it at incredible prices. The offer launched yesterday and is available for postpaid and prepaid customers for a limited period only. With Wataniya’s offer, all customers

only KD10. The 100 GB can be used freely at any time with no daily limits applied. For heavy users, this would be an excellent choice. Extra packs are available at extremely affordable rates, transforming the experience in a truly unlimited one. Wataniya is proud to launch the best 4G offers in Kuwait and is restless to offer its customers more offers in the future to satisfy their wants and needs. This offer is available now at all Wataniya branches, Fono stores and authorized dealers.

QTA welcomes Global MICE Industry at EIBTM 2013 DOHA: Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) led a delegation of sixteen Qatari ministries, companies and organizations to EIBTM, the Global Meetings & Events Expo, the leading global event for the meeting, incentive, conferences, events (MICE) and business travel industry. EIBTM took place at the Fira Gran Via conference centre in Barcelona, Spain from 19 to 21 November,gathering15,000 MICE industry professional from around the world. At the world’s leading MICE and business tradeshow, Qatar was represented by the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage, Katara, Qatar Museums Authority (QMA), Qatar MICE Development Institute (QMDI), Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC), and Qatar Airways, in addition to a range of tour operators and hotels: Gulf Adventures Tourism, Regency Travel & Tours, Qatar International Adventures, Fraser Suites Doha, Sharq Village & Spa, The RitzCarlton Doha, Crown Plaza Doha - The Business Park, InterContinental Doha - The City, Doha Marriott Hotel, and Renaissance Doha City Center Hotel. Participation at EIBTM is one of QTA’s many initiatives to position and promote Qatar as a leading world-class events destination for the MICE sector. As Qatar gains a growing reputation for quality and excellence across different sectors, QTA is driving the development of worldclass events and the supporting infrastructure needed for exhibitions, events and business tourism. The country has proven its ability to successfully host international world scale

events, rapidly earning a reputation as the region’s hub for business, conferences and exhibitions with its world-class facilities and leisure amenities. Qatar was the proud host, last December for COP18, the United Nations Climate Change Conference at the QNCC. “Qatar is unique as it offers not only the excitement of Doha as a city destination, but also the charm that can only be found in an

APICORP symposium KUWAIT: Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP) will hold a symposium called ‘APICORP 2013’ hosting energy industry leaders and experts from across the region to discuss the key developments impacting the oil and gas industry. The ‘2013 Symposium’ will be held at Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa, Kuwait on December 9, 2013. Under the main theme ‘Trends and Challenges in Global and MENA Energy Markets’, the symposium will outline industry trends as well as vital challenges the industry faces against the background of ongoing political turmoil in parts of the region; the expanding global map of oil and gas resources; and the vulnerabilities created by the rapid growth of domestic energy markets. Key speakers include: l Roberto Sieber, Chief Economist, HESS

Energy Trading Company l Dr. BassamFattouh, Director,Oil and Middle East Program, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies l Dr. Hakim Darbouche, Commercial/Business Development, OMV Exploration & Production The event will be attended by Ahmad Bin Hamad Al-Naimi, Chief Executive and GM, APICORP. Specific issues that will be discussed include: l Oil Markets and Prices: Current Trends and Future Outlook l Shale Oil: Expected Developments and their Implications l MENA Natural Gas: Growing Shortfall and the Issue of Domestic Pricing Registration starts at 8.30am. The conference will conclude by 3.00pm.

Al Tijari announces winners KUWAIT: Commercial Bank of Kuwait held the Al Najma Account Daily draw on yesterday. The draw was held under the supervision of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry represented by Mr. Saquer Al-Manaie. The winners of the Najma daily draw are: Mohammad Shukri Al Wazzan- KD 7000, Tareq AbdulKareem Al Sayed-KD 7000, Wadhah Hussain Al Nasar-KD 7000, Zahraa Ahmad Al Salem-KD 7000, Olufunmilola Dada-KD 7000. The Commercial Bank of Kuwait announces the biggest daily draw in Kuwait with the launch of the new Najma account. Customers of the bank can now enjoy a KD 7,000 daily prize which is the highest in the country and another 4 mega prizes during the year worth KD 100,000 each on

different occasions: The National Day, Eid-Al Fitr, Eid Al-Adha and on the 19th of June which is the date of the bank’s establishment. With a minimum balance of KD500, customers will be eligible for the daily draw provided that the money is in the account one week prior to the daily draw or 2 months prior to the mega draw. In addition, for each KD25 a customer can get one chance for winning instead of KD50. Commercial Bank of Kuwait takes this opportunity to congratulate all lucky winners and also extends appreciation to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry for their effective supervision of the draws which were conducted in an orderly and organized manner.

authentic Middle East setting. A combination of world class hotels, a prime convention center and excellent accessibility makes Qatar an ideal destination for MICEtravel,” said Hamad AlAbdan, QTA Director of Exhibitions. Besides the ideal conditions and impressive facilities for business travelers, Qatar has a fascinating cultural heritage, splendid landmarks, 563 km of sandy coastline, museums hosting some of the region’s most impressive art collections, and an array of world-leading sports events. “Besides all the facilities on offer, in terms of accommodation, venues and transportation, Qatar presents meeting planners a business-oriented location combined with an exciting mix of leisure activities set alongside a rich cultural heritage, “ added Al-Abdan. Staged annually in Barcelona, EIBTM is the leading global event for the meetings, incentives, events and business travel industry. The event delivers three days of focused access to a dynamic business environment, thought provoking professional education and business networks for all attendees. Over the third quarter 2013, Qatar experienced increased tourism across all sectors. GCC visitors increased by 16.6 percent over the same period 2012, and international tourists increased by 7 percent. QTA has an important role to play in developing a sustainable tourism sec tor in Qatar so that tourism becomes a significant factor as a part of the national economy.

ICDL starts application of flexible programs with four new modules ABU DHABI: The ICDL GCC Foundation, an organization that promotes digital skills and cyber safety across the Gulf region and Iraq, has introduced an updated and more flexible structure of its international Information and Communications Technology (ICT) certification programs incorporating four additional modules catering to all users. The launching ceremony was held at the Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Resort and was attended by representatives from 300 ICDL-accredited entities and training centres from across the GCC and Iraq. During the ceremony, an orientation on the new ICDL program offered guidance on how to apply the revised structure and the additional modules. The update will affect over a million current candidates, including those who completed their ICDL certification since the program’s launch in the GCC in 2001. The updates integrate new content with the addition of four new modules to the candidates’ list of choices to ensure they have the digital skills necessary for present and future scenarios. This allows both candidates and businesses to maximize their digital knowledge and efficiency, staying ahead of emerging trends and the latest technologies. The revised structure of the ICDL program offers greater flexibility in customizing ICT skills learning in line with individual and corporate business needs through a selection of 13 available modules. Jamil Ezzo, Director General of ICDL GCC Foundation, said: “We understand that everyone uses technology for different purposes, which is why we developed the new structure and format of the ICDL certification program. It is an important step towards staying relevant in this dynam-

ic world. It will enable us to present a fresh and contemporary offering to both candidates and organizations to develop their digital knowledge, efficiencies and experiences, while facilitating their ultimate goal of lifelong learning.” EDCL Foundation, the non-profit certifying authority of the ICDL program, added four new modules - Computer Essentials, Online

Essentials, Project Planning and Online Collaboration - to the new format of ICDL certification program based on inputs from computer users, subject matter experts, and computer professionals from all over the world. The New ICDL Profile displays the successfully completed modules to date by candidate, enabling a continuous learning path that has no end date or time limit, but is rather geared towards the current functional requirements of the learner. This allows the candidate to add oth-

er modules over the years according to varying functional needs and desires to acquire the latest ICT skills. The New ICDL Profile offers three different levels of digital proficiency and certifications: the Base Profile, the Standard Profile, and the Expert Profile. The Base Profile certification follows four pre-set modules that are essential for everyone. The Standard Profile certification, on the other hand, contains all four Base modules along with three additional ones that can be selected from a list of five modules according to the needs of the candidate and current job requirements. Finally, the modules of the Expert Profile certification provide candidates with greater choice in the subject areas that can be certified through the ICDL program. Each of the 13 courses can stand on its own on as an ICDL Unit Profile certificate. “The New ICDL Profile is a notch higher than its predecessor in terms of flexibility, relevance, validity and diversity. The new content addition will ensure greater coverage of the digital skills and knowledge required now and in the near future. The revised structure allows candidates and organizations to develop digital literacy, competence, and expertise in a manner deemed appropriate by them,” added Ezzo. The groundwork is currently being laid to facilitate a smooth and consistent transition to the New ICDL Profile which will officially be released and offered starting January 1, 2014. The ICDL program was first launched in Europe in 1997 and later launched in the Arab region in 2001 by UNESCO as a 7-module program and has undergone only relatively minor revisions up until now.

Retail, jobs data to rule stocks move WALL STREET WEEKLY OUTLOOK NEW YORK: A week packed with data awaits investors eager for fresh clues on when the Federal Reserve will start to trim its stimulus program, as traditionally bullish December kicks off with the S&P 500 poised to mark its best year since 1998. Traders will also sweep through sales data from retailers after the long Thanksgiving weekend, which has kick-started the holiday shopping season. Vice President Joe Biden’s trip to Asia will increase the focus on a standoff pitting China against Japan, South Korea and the United States over air routes over the East China Sea. Employment numbers will be the highlight as traders second-guess what the data will mean for the Fed and its announced intention to gradually reduce its $85 billion in monthly asset purchases, which have lit a fire under the stock market this year. The Fed has repeatedly said its stimulus remains data-dependent, leading traders to treat soft data as a bullish market catalyst that guarantees Fed stimulus. “The whole market is trying to channel the Fed,” said Quincy Krosby, a market strategist at

Prudential Financial in Newark, New Jersey. She said volatility is to be expected because the reaction to data is more a “let’s interpret how the Fed interprets it” rather than what it means for the economy. Nonfarm payrolls for November on Friday will cap three days of jobs data that includes ADP’s November report on private-sector payrolls on Wednesday and weekly US jobless claims on Thursday. Economists expect the US economy to have created 185,000 jobs in November, down from 204,000 in October, according to a Reuters survey of economists. Other major economic indicators due this week include the Institute for Supply Management’s data on the US manufacturing and services sectors, with the ISM factory index expected on Monday and the ISM services index due on Wednesday. Domestic car and truck sales are scheduled for release on Tuesday, followed by US factory orders on Thursday and the preliminary reading on December consumer sentiment from Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan on Friday.

November marked the third consecutive month of gains for the Dow Jones industrial average, the Standard & Poor’s 500 and the Nasdaq Composite. The S&P 500 ended slightly lower on Friday, but closed its eighth positive week in a row, its longest weekly stretch of gains since a nine-week run from November 2003 to January 2004. The benchmark S&P 500 is up 26.62 percent so far this year, which would make its best yearly gain since it climbed 26.67 percent in 1998. Consumer views are a key data point as investors watch the start of the most important shopping season of the year, when some retailers make nearly half of the year’s profits. The National Retail Federation expects that up to 140 million shoppers hit US stores over the Thanksgiving weekend, slightly more than the 139 million who turned out last year. If reports start to show the numbers do not add up, retail stocks may feel some heat. “The market seems to be focused on the consumer and on retail sales. They’re going to dice up and analyze what sales figures have been for

this weekend,” said Bruce Zaro, chief technical strategist at Delta Global Asset Management in Boston. He said there is special interest in this season because there are fewer shopping days and retailers are significantly reducing prices to attract shoppers. This year’s holiday shopping season in the United States is one of the shortest in years, with less than 30 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Zaro said that however important sales and traffic numbers are, soft data should be treated carefully. “I’m not sure it’s a proxy for the overall market. There are areas of the economy doing quite well and areas of the market that are doing well beyond retailers, which are relatively mixed.” Regardless of how strong the numbers are, consumer stocks could be due for a slowdown. Retail stocks have underperformed the S&P 500 in the period from Thanksgiving to Christmas for the past three years, according to data from Bespoke Investment Group, an investment research firm in Harrison, New York.

Bespoke’s data show that since 2000, the S&P 500 has averaged a gain of 1.7 percent during that key period, with positive returns in all but three years. Retail stocks have averaged a gain of just 0.8 percent in the same time frame, with positive returns during six of the 13 years. During Biden’s visit to China, Japan and South Korea this week, he will try to ease growing tensions in the region. Last week, China established a new airspace defense zone over the East China Sea, including the islands at the heart of its dispute with Japan. China scrambled jets on Friday in response to two US spy planes and 10 Japanese aircraft, including F-15 fighters, entering its new air defense zone, state news agency Xinhua said. “This is a little bit of a brush fire, and I’m hopeful it will de-escalate in a hurry,” said Jim Russell, senior equity strategist for US Bank Wealth Management, in Cincinnati. “It’s not the season to have a geopolitical distraction on what is already a shortened and highly promotional shopping season,” he said. —Reuters



SICHUAN: The Long March 3B rocket carrying the Chang’e-3 lunar probe is prepared for launch at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Xichang in southwest China’s Sichuan province yesterday. On right a Chinese woman takes a photo of her husband in an astronaut (known locally as taikonauts) suit at the Science Museum in yesterday. — AFP

Anticipation builds for China’s first moon rover mission BEIJING: China yesterday made final preparations to launch its first lunar rover mission, the latest step in an ambitious space program seen as a symbol of its rising global stature. State media promised blanket coverage of the launch, scheduled for 1:30 am today (1730 GMT Sunday), of the Chang’e-3 rocket carrying the “Jade Rabbit” rover. It will be the world’s third rover mission to the moon but will boast more sophisticated technology than US and Soviet missions decades earlier. “The news channel will begin live coverage tonight at midnight... Spread the word!” state broadcaster CCTV said on its official account on Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter. The background of its Weibo page showed the moon’s surface in black and white with the goldcoloured rover bearing the national flag of bright red with yellow stars. During the day the news channel played footage from Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in the southwestern province of Sichuan, showing preparations for blastoff.China National Radio promised two hours of live coverage starting an hour

before the launch. “Gonna stay up tonight to watch the live coverage! Go Chang’e! Go Jade Rabbit!” wrote one Weibo user. “The news on TV about Chang’e 3 has made me incredibly proud,” said another. Only a few “narrow windows” of time are available for the launch over the coming days, some lasting only a few minutes, mission spokesman Pei Zhaoyu told Xinhua news agency on Friday. If successful, the mission-aimed at exploring the moon’s surface and looking for natural resources-will be a milestone in China’s space exploration program. It is “the most complicated and difficult task yet in China’s exploration of space” and incorporates lots of new technology, Xinhua quoted Wu Zhijian, a spokesman with the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence, as saying last week. Unlike previous American and Soviet versions, the Chang’e-3 could “accurately survey landforms at the landing site and identify the safest spots on which to land”, Xinhua has said. The Jade Rabbit can climb slopes of up to 30 degrees and travel at 200 metres (660 feet) per hour,

according to its designer the Shanghai Aerospace Systems Engineering Research Institute. China could improve on earlier rovers by incorporating technology developed in recent decades, said Morris Jones, an independent space analyst based in Australia. Optical navigation systems could provide pictures to warn of unsafe landing spots, whereas American and Soviet rovers could only rely on radar to gauge their distance from the ground, he said. Likewise The Jade Rabbit might be able to move faster because of self-navigation features, while its predecessors were controlled by time-delayed signals from Earth. “We now have have technologies available to integrate into a lunar lander that were not available in the 1970s,” Morris said. The rover’s name-chosen in an online poll of 3.4 million voters-comes from an ancient Chinese myth about a rabbit living on the moon as the pet of Chang’e, a lunar goddess who swallowed an immortality pill. China sees its space program as a symbol of its growing international stature and technological advancement, as well as of the Communist Party’s

success in reversing the fortunes of the once impoverished nation. The military-led program aims to establish a permanent space station by 2020 and eventually send someone to the moon. Since 2003 it has sent 10 astronauts into space and launched an orbiting space module, Tiangong-1. It also sent probes to orbit the moon in 2007 and 2010. The first of those intentionally crashed into the moon’s surface at the end of its mission. Data it collected was used to create in 2008 what Xinhua called “the most complete lunar hologram to date”. The second probe was sent to “verify key technology”, orbit the moon and take pictures of the landing site in preparation for Chang’e-3, Xinhua said. After completing that task it was sent into deep space to monitor an astroid. Not all Weibo users praised the latest mission, saying China’s global stature needs improving in other ways and public funds might be better spent helping its own people. “What kind of strategic significance is there?” one commentator said. “It’s a waste of taxpayer money. Citizens still bear heavy burdens and the country is still weak in foreign relations.” — AFP

Online sales soar in Black Friday frenzy Deals soar to $3bn in two days

TAIPEI: Visitors watch products at the IT Month exhibition at the World Trade Center in Taipei yesterday. The annual consumer IT trade show will last until Dec 8. —AP

US eyes phase-out of old telephone network WASHINGTON: America’s plain old telephone network is rapidly being overtaken by new technology, putting US regulators in a quandary over how to manage the final stages of transformation. Though the timing remains unclear, the impact of change and what it means for roughly 100 million Americans who remain reliant on the dated but still-functional system of copper wires and switching stations is up for debate. The Federal Communications Commission is working toward drafting rules in January to formalize the IP transition-switching communications systems to Internet protocol. And while FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler hails the technological advance, he has also spoken of maintaining the “set of values” that was used to ensure America’s universal phone service. But some argue the government should step aside and allow the marketplace to keep moving toward digital standards, given that many consumers already use voice over Internet (VoIP) lines, mobile phones or various Webbased chat systems such as Skype instead of traditional telephone service. “Almost everyone will be off this network in the next four years. It is a dead model walking,” said Scott Cleland, of the research and consulting firm Precursor LLC, noting that three quarters of the transition is done. Cleland, a former White House telecom policy adviser, said that even if people wanted to keep the old system, “they are not making the switches anymore for this. And the engineers they need to keep it alive are retiring.” As a result, Cleland said the question is not if, but when the last people will be phased out of the old system, though the transition should not be harmed by “burdensome economic regulations,” such as mandates or price caps. This is a key point for the FCC, which has long been the standard-setter for phone service and requires that it be made available and affordable to all. AT&T, which decades ago had a virtual monopoly on phone services and still operates millions of miles of phone lines, has been pressing the FCC to accelerate the transition. “Our current infrastructure has served us well for almost a century but it no longer meets the needs of America’s consumers,”

AT&T senior executive vice president Jim Cicconi said in a blog post. By ending the so-called legacy networks, AT&T and other phone companies could save vast amounts needed to maintain and upgrade those systems. A Georgetown University study estimated that regional telephone companies spent $81 billion on legacy network costs between 2006 and 2011, compared with the $73 billion spent on modern broadband infrastructure. Anna-Maria Kovacs, a visiting scholar at Georgetown’s Center for Business and Public Policy, stressed that phone companies “must be allowed to repurpose the capital that is currently deployed to support their obsolete circuit-switched networks” during the switch to guarantee a competitive edge. But fears remain that a transition end a lifeline for some consumers, particularly in poor and rural areas, and that the social values embodied in phone regulations will fade away. FCC figures show about 40 percent of residential phone lines are on IP, but less than 10 percent of business lines. “I don’t want to stop technology, but we want to make sure we still have phone service for everyone, not just for people who live in cities who can afford it,” said Harold Feld of the digital rights policy group Public Knowledge. A coalition of consumer groups, including the National Rural Assembly and National Hispanic Media Coalition, filed comments with the FCC underscoring “the challenges of many rural Americans that do not have access to wireless and broadband services.” They encouraged the FCC “to prevent telephone companies from discontinuing plain old telephone service, especially in areas that have no other means of communication.” Feld said wireless and IP phones are useful, but don’t match the reliability of copper landlines for everyday use. Some of these problems became evident after Superstorm Sandy, when local operators declined to fix the old networks and encouraged people to move to new technology. “It was not a stable system,” Feld said. Officials say the transition is likely to be gradual, without a hard deadline for flipping the switch to digital. -— AFP

WASHINGTON: Online US shopping for Black Friday deals soared to $3 billion during a twoday period beginning Thursday, with tablets and cell phones as top must-have items, estimates showed Saturday. Online purchases reached $1.93 billion on Friday itself, the unofficial start of the retail sector’s holiday season. That marked a 39 percent increase over 2012, according to software maker Adobe, which analyzed 400 million visits on some 2,000 American shopping websites. Holiday shopping traditionally accounts for 20 to 40 percent of an individual retailer’s annual sales, according to the National Retail Federation. Early online Black Friday sales, which began on Thursday, the US Thanksgiving holiday, reached $1.06 billion, up 18 percent from last year, according to Adobe. Technology giant IBM also reported increased numbers in overall online sales as it looked at 800 merchant websites. IBM said Internet sales jumped 19.7 percent over last year on Thanksgiving and 19 percent on Black Friday, with orders averaging $135.27, a 2.2 percent increase compared to last year. Online shoppers may have been wise to avoid stores, with reports of fistfights, a stab-

bing and a shooting as people elbowed their way through crowded shopping floors to snatch heavily discounted items. Purchases of smar tphones, tablets and other mobile devices accounted for 24.2 percent of online sales, according to Adobe. Tablets represented 15.6 percent of online sales while smartphones representing 8.6 percent. IBM also found that mobile devices accounted for 21.8 percent of sales. According to Adobe, of the $3 billion in total online sales over the two days, $417 million was done on iPads and $126 million was done on iPhones, while Android phones were used to buy $106 million in purchases and Android tablets accounted for $42 million. IBM said tablets were used for 14.4 percent of online sales, against 7.2 percent on smartphones. On average, tablet users each spent $132.75 and smar tphone users spent $115.63. The company also found that iPad and iPhone users spent more, shelling out an average of $127.92, compared to $105.20 for users of Google’s Android system. Adobe agreed that Apple users spent more than people using Android devices. IBM also said purchases made from Apple devices accounted for 18.1 percent of total online sales,

HP shares climb after Q4 results NEW YORK: Shares of Hewlett-Packard Co climbed after the technology bellwether posted a profit for its latest quarter, reversing a year-ago loss thanks to cost cuts from the ongoing restructuring of its business. HP’s revenue also declined 3 percent, but that wasn’t as bad as what Wall Street had expected. Its profit prediction for its fiscal first quarter bracketed analysts’ outlook: Adjusted earnings of between 82 cents and 86 cents per share. Analysts were expecting 85 cents per share, according to a poll by FactSet. The company held on to its previous outlook for the fiscal year. Jefferies analyst Peter Misek called the quarter’s results “better than feared.” He said that large, one-off PC and server deals helped the quarter’s revenue and services and printing revenue was better than expected. Like many PC makers, HP was slow to respond to the shift to mobile computing and has been feeling the effects of declining demand for personal computers. The company stumbled in recent years trying to catch up with the likes of Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics. CEO Meg Whitman is trying to turn the company around, but this will be a long-term endeavor as the company cuts expenses and focuses on more profitable areas. HP’s shares rose $1.79, or 7.1 percent, to $26.88 in midday trading. The stock has ranged from $12.22 to $27.78 in the past 12 months. — AP

against 3.5 percent for Android devices. IBM and Adobe did not examine in-store purchases. According to initial estimates of in-store sales released Saturday by retail research group ShopperTrak, Americans spent $12.3 billion during shopping over the two-day period, a 2.3 percent increase from the same timeframe in 2012. According to the firm, stores that opened on Thursday-a new trend transforming the sacrosanct Thanksgiving holiday-attracted more people than last year. Traffic in brickand-mortar shops on Black Friday, however, fell 11.4 percent, with retail sales decreasing by 13.2 percent. “The Black Friday shopping experience is changing with more shoppers choosing to go out on Thanksgiving Day,” said Bill Martin, ShopperTrak founder. “Consumers increasingly research products online before entering stores. When they arrive, customers know exactly what they want to buy,” he said. An estimate of total Thanksgiving weekend sales-including both online and in stores-is expected. This season’s holiday shopping season is a full six days and one shopping weekend shor ter than last year ’s due to the late Thanksgiving season. —AFP

Cheap Motorola smartphone available in US early NEW YORK: Motorola will start selling a cheap smartphone in the US more than a month ahead of schedule. The company says it was able to produce the Moto G phones faster than expected. The US launch was initially planned for January. But it is going on sale tomorrow. The phone starts at $179 without a contract requirement. That compares with $600 or more that people must typically pay for high-end phones without traditional two-year service agreements. With the Moto G, Motorola is trying to offer a device that is closer to what’s currently available on leading high-end phones, although it won’t work on the faster 4G LTE networks. The version out tomorrow will work only with GSM networks, the type used by AT&T, T-Mobile and most carriers around the world. It won’t work with Verizon and Sprint, which have CDMA networks. Verizon says it will offer the CDMA version early next year. There’s no immediate word on Sprint’s plans. The phone’s 4.5-inch screen, measured diagonally, is capable of high-defin-

ition video, but only at 720p, not at the better, 1020p standard found in leading phones. The resolution is 329 pixels per inch, which is comparable to the 326 pixels in the latest, 4-inch iPhones but short of the 441 pixels in Samsung’s 5-inch Galaxy S4. The $179 price is for a phone with 8 gigabytes of storage, not the 16 gigabytes typical with high-end phones. A 16-gigabyte version is available for $199. The rear camera can take images at 5 megapixels, which is less than leading phones. In the US, Motorola is targeting socalled prepaid accounts. Under those plans, customers pay for devices up front, but are not tied to two-year service agreements. Credit-challenged customers who don’t qualify for traditional plans often sign up for prepaid accounts. Motorola is owned by Google Inc. Moto G, however, won’t get Google’s latest Android operating system, Kit Kat, until early next year. The phone launched two weeks ago. It’s currently available in Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Britain, Germany, France and Canada. —AP


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

‘The Brain Forum’ to start tomorrow KUWAIT: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be hosting ‘The Brain Forum’ - a first its kind symposium in the Middle East. Some of the world’s top inspirational thinkers and pioneers in the field of ‘brain research’ and personalized healthcare will come together for a two-day conference on December 3rd and4th, 2013 at Laylaty Hall in Jeddah. Commenting on the event, Dr WalidJuffali stated: “This event convenes some of neuroscience’s greatest minds under one roof. It creates the opportunity for intellectual dialogue

and insights that can invigorate efforts to combat some of the world’s most pressing healthrelated issues referring to neurological illnesses. With over one billion people affected by some type of neurological disorder worldwide, The Brain Forum is a highly anticipated event; the two-day forum will discuss topics ranging from the progress of brain research to the latest advances, challenges and opportunities in neuroscience and personalized medicine. The Forum was set up in conjunction with a Scientific Committee which included Professor

Dr Hilal A Lashuel, Associate Professor of Neuroscience, Director of the Laboratory of Chemical Biology of Neurodgeneration, Brain M ind Institute, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, Switzerland; Professor Christopher Toumazou from Imperial College, and Dr Jamil El-Imad, Managing Director and Chief Scientist of NeuroPro, a Swiss-based medical technology research, design and commercialization company focused on bringing to the healthcare community innovative, safe and low-cost solutions to applied neural signal

analysis. Professor Saeed Bohlega, professor and senior neurology consultant at the Department of Neurology at King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh, and the President of Saudi Neurology Society, Dr Mohammed Jan, Professor & Consultant of Pediatric Neurology & Clinical Neurophysiology Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, (KAU) The Brain Forum will be broadcast live on YouTube on 3 Dec 7:00 am GMT extending free coverage of the event for global audiences.

Suu Kyi urges ‘freedom from fear’ on World AIDS Day

MIDDLETOWN: Amy Lawson, a fifth-grade teacher at Silver Lake Elementary School teaches an English language arts lessonp28. — AP

Critical thinking hallmark of Common Core class MIDDLETOWN: Remembering the plot of a short story is no longer good enough in teacher Amy Lawson’s fifth-grade classroom. Today’s students are being asked to think more critically. For example, what might a character say in an email to a friend? “It’s hard. But you can handle this,” Lawson tells them. Welcome to a classroom using the Common Core State Standards, one of the most politicized and misunderstood changes in education for students and their teachers in kindergarten through high school. In 45 states and the District of Columbia, Lawson and other teachers are starting to use the standards to guide what skills students learn and when. To hear the standards’ critics - mainly tea party-aligned conservatives - tell it, there are few things more dangerous happening in the country. But in this fastgrowing community in nor thern Delaware, it’s just another day in the classroom. The Common Core State Standards are academic benchmarks that outline the skills a student should have at each level. For instance, third-graders should know how to find the perimeter of a figure. A fifth-grader should be able to compare and contrast two characters from a story. The standards were created by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to improve academic achievement and increase accountability. President Barack Obama and his administration embraced them. That led critics, including Republican members of Congress, to call the standards a national curriculum, or “Obamacore.” The standards are not a curriculum, despite the opponents’ claims. Each state, school or even teacher can determine how to help students reach those standards. Alaska, Texas, Nebraska and Virginia

decided not to adopt them. Minnesota has adopted only the English standards. At the core of the standards is a reduced emphasis on memorization. Students now have to connect the dots and apply critical thinking. It’s what experts call higherorder thinking. Teachers say it’s preparing students for life after high school. That has made classrooms much more of a handson proposition. In teacher Melissa Grieshober’s classroom, students have set aside work sheets in favor of a game board. On their 10-by-10 grid of numbers, they are playing a version of capture the flag, using flashcards to guide their moves: a “22-7” card lets them move 15 spaces; “16-9” allows them to move 7. In pairs, the students try to reach targets on the board, not only by solving the problems at hand but by figuring out which cards would get them closer to their targets. It’s as much about probability, predictability and luck as it is about rote memorization of addition and subtraction tables. In fact, in Grieshober’s classroom, there is no right or wrong way to figure out such problems. Yes, there are correct answers. But students are encouraged to explain how they got there. “How did you reach that number?” Grieshober asked one of her third-grade students. “Show me your strategy for solving this.” But what about those who say schools exist to teach students facts, such as 15 subtracted from 20 equals five? “We are asking kids to do more, and to dig deeper,” Grieshober said after class. “We are teaching them to be lifelong problem solvers.” She knows the criticism and political punch it carries. But she isn’t ready to ditch the benchmarks. “It’s eye-opening when you come into a school,” Grieshober said. “I encourage any politician to go into a local school and see what it is.” — AP

US officials say health care website is improved WASHINGTON: The errors are fewer, the pages load faster, and more people can log on at the same time to the government’s troubled health care website, according to Obama administration officials. Yet, like doctors overseeing a sick patient, they caution that more rehab lies ahead. Amid all the problems with, President Barack Obama set a deadline for Saturday for several significant problems to be resolved. The administration planned a conference call with reporters Sunday morning to give a status report. The White House is hoping for a fresh start once the website is operating more smoothly and can accommodate up to 50,000 people logging on at the same time. A wave of bad publicity over the site’s failures has cast a shadow over the president’s chief domestic achievement. Even with the repairs in place, the site still won’t be able to do everything the administration wants, and companion sites for small businesses and Spanish speakers have been delayed. Questions remain about the stability of the site and the quality of the data it delivers to insurers. Administration officials said was “performing well” Saturday, the deadline set to have it working smoothly for the “vast majority of users,” after overnight hardware upgrades to boost server capacity. The deadline fell during a long holiday weekend when traffic to the site likely would have been slower anyway and at a level unlikely to expose new technical

issues. More hardware upgrades and software fixes planned for overnight Saturday were expected to further improve speed and reduce errors. Obama promised a few weeks ago that “will work much better on Nov 30, Dec 1, than it worked certainly on Oct 1.” But, in trying to lower expectations, he said he could not guarantee that “100 percent of the people 100 percent of the time going on this website will have a perfectly seamless, smooth experience.” The nation’s largest health insurer trade group said significant problems remain. Karen Ignagni, president and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans, said insurers have complained that enrollment data sent to them from the website include too much incorrect, duplicative, garbled or missing information. She said the problems must be cleared up to guarantee consumers the coverage they signed up for effective Jan 1. The first big test of the repaired website probably won’t come for a few more weeks, when an enrollment surge is expected as consumers rush to meet a Dec 23 deadline so their coverage can kick in on the first of the year. Avoiding a break in coverage is particularly important for millions of people whose current individual policies were canceled because they don’t meet the standards of the health care law, as well as for a group of about 100,000 in an expiring federal program for high-risk patients. — AP

SYDNEY: Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi called on World AIDS Day yesterday for an end to discrimination towards victims of the disease as experts warned against complacency in fighting the global scourge. Speaking as the UNAIDS global advocate for HIV/AIDS victims, Suu Kyi drew parallels between the plight of sufferers and her own struggle for democracy. “The fight against discrimination is an extension of our fight for freedom from fear,” said the Myanmar opposition leader and democracy icon. “My simple message as the global ambassador for zero discrimination is it all starts in the mind and in the heart. There must be less calculation and more warmth, more love, more affection, more compassion.” Suu Kyi was speaking in Melbourne at the launch of AIDS 2014, a major global health conference to be held in the city in July with 14,000 delegates from almost 200 countries. Together with UNAIDS director Michael Sidibe she unveiled a campaign targeting prejudice against HIV/AIDS sufferers, with the world’s first Zero Discrimination Day to be held on March 1. Sidibe said scientific breakthroughs and visionary leadership meant there was now an end in sight to “an epidemic that has wrought such staggering devastation around the world”. “But make no mistake, stigma, denial and complacency are still among us, putting us in danger of failing the next generation,” he said. In its annual report on the state of the global pandemic released in September, UNAIDS said new HIV infections had plummeted by a third overall since 2001 and more than halved among children. Twenty-five countries-many in sub-Saharan Africa-reported a 50 percent reduction in new infections last year due to increased availability of treatments. Last year 1.6 million people died from AIDSrelated causes, down from 2.3 million in 2005, according to the United Nations. Sharon Lewin, an infectious diseases professor and co-chair of AIDS 2014, said there had been substantial progress in the global response to HIV. But she said the world was at a crossroads with HIV. “We have come so far and there have been so many successes,” she said. “But still there are so many challenges, the biggest being that we know what works, but yet we still can’t broadly implement it.” ‘Our health and our lives depend on it’ In Rome, Pope Francis issued a World AIDS Day appeal for universal access to treatment. “We reach out to the people who are suffering, especially to children,” the pope said after the weekly Angelus prayers. “Each sick person, without exception, must have access to the treatment they need.” Worldwide, 35.3 million people were living with HIV in 2012, 70 percent of them in sub-Saharan Africa. In South Africa, the country with the world’s biggest caseload — 6.4 million HIV sufferers and millions of AIDS orphansHealth Minister Aaron Motsoaledi issued an appeal for his compatriots to get themselves tested. “We believe that somehow the momentum was dying down. We want to remind people that

AUSTRALIA: Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, left, and Under-Secretary General of the UN and UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibe attend the launch of the AIDS 2014 world conference in Melbourne yesterday. —AP/AFP photos

PARIS: Activists form a chain of solidarity for World AIDS day on the Pont des Arts. the issue of getting tested is very important and they must continue with it,” he said. South Africa has made huge progress in combatting the disease over the past decade, raising the prospect of an AIDS-free generation. In a newspaper column Patrick Gaspard, the US ambassador in Pretoria, listed milestones achieved with US help including a reduction in the mother-to-child HIV transmission rate to less than three percent, and nearly 295,000 men medically circumcised as a preventative measure. But Fareed Abdullah, head of South Africa’s National Aids Council, warned that “we still have a massive problem with new infections”, with some 370,000 for 2012 alone. “The biggest drivers of unsafe sex are structural. Older men with a greater accumulated risk of HIV exposure are infecting younger women,” he said. Infection

rates in young women aged 15 to 19 are three times higher than their male counterparts, often as a result of paid sex between poor teenagers and wealthier older men, he said. In the Democratic Republic of Congo’s troubled east, local rap outfit Black’s Power was staging an AIDS awareness concert in Bukavu to denounce the disease’s toll. Organized by African Artists for Development, with music booming out from a beaten-up old truck, the rap gig aims to condemn discrimination against AIDS victims, the plight of abandoned AIDS orphans, and the lack of available testing. “AIDS is here my brothers and sisters, We have to get tested if we are to protect ourselves,” run the lyrics to one song entitled “Ignorance is Killing Us”. “Let’s not be afraid, let’s not be ashamed, Our health and our lives depend on it.” — AFP

India craft successfully begins journey to Mars BANGALORE: India’s first mission to Mars left Earth’s orbit yesterday, successfully entering the second phase of its journey that could see the country win Asia’s race to the Red Planet, scientists said. The spacecraft was successfully flung into outer space and now embarks on a 10-month journey towards Mars that takes it around the sun, with arrival scheduled for next September. “Everything went off well. We took stock of the Mangalyaan’s health and everything is normal,” Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K Radhakrishnan said in a tweet, using the Indian name for the Mars Orbiter Mission. ISRO said in a statement the spacecraft was on course to encounter Mars after a 10-month journey around the sun. “While Mangalyaan takes 1.2 billion dreams to Mars, we wish you sweet dreams!” the orbiter mission said in a tweet. Mangalyaan could still face hurdles before reaching Mars. More than half of all missions to the planet have ended in failure, including China’s in 2011 and Japan’s in 2003. So far, only the United States, the European Space Agency and Russia have succeeded in sending probes to Mars. India, which has never before attempted inter-planetary travel, is aiming to promote its low-cost space program, with the bill for the project only 4.5 billion rupees ($73 million). The figure is just over one tenth of the $671 million earmarked for NASA’s unmanned spacecraft for Mars. It launched on November 18 to search for clues in the planet’s atmosphere as to why it lost its warmth and water over time. Both probes are expected to arrive at Mars in September. India’s gold-colored probe, the size of a small

NDIA : (FILES) This handout photograph released by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on November 6, 2013, shows the PSLV-C25 rocket carrying the Mars Orbiter Spacecraft blasting off from the launch pad at Sriharikota on November 5, 2013. — AFP car, will try to detect methane in the Mars atmos- which has an elliptical orbit-meaning it is phere, which could provide evidence of some between 50-400 million kilometres from Earth. sort of life form on the fourth planet from the Radhakrishnan hailed the successful move as a sun. India’s Mangalyaan blasted off on November major step forward in India’s space program. “(It 5 and is using an unusual “slingshot” method for is) a turning point for us, as India will foray into interplanetary journeys. Lacking enough rocket the vast interplanetary space for the first time power to blast directly out of Earth’s atmosphere with an indigenous spacecraft to demonstrate and gravitational pull, it was orbiting the Earth our technological capabilities,” he told AFP. Two until the end of November while building up out of three critical phases of the mission have now been accomplished with the third being a enough velocity to break free. Radhakrishnan said the spacecraft slingshoted successful entry into Mars’s orbit, said ISRO spaceearly yesterday out of Earth’s orbit towards Mars, port director M.Y.S. Prasad. — AFP


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

Drake & Scull International explores Kuwaiti healthcare business opportunities at MEED 2013 GCC healthcare spending to reach USD 44 billion by 2015 KUWAIT: Healthcare spending across the GCC is projected to reach a total of USD 44 billion by 2015 in light of ongoing improvements in healthcare infrastructure, healthcare cities, hospitals, specialty centres and primary healthcare centre aimed at meeting growing demand for high-profile services. The region’s market is expected to grow further by 11 per cent, driven by increased demand for hospital beds and healthcare centres which are expected to total 93,992 by 2015. Kuwait in particular is seeing an influx of projects aimed at the development of integrated healthcare facilities and modern infrastructure for facilitating healthcare services that can cater to the growing, per capita income growth, and sufficient health insurance services in the country. Drake & Scull International PJSC (DSI), a regional market leader in the integrated design, engineering and construction disciplines of General Contracting, Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP), Water and Power, Rail and Oil and Gas, has announced that it will be participating at the MEED Kuwait Projects 2013 conference to explore business opportunities in the Kuwaiti healthcare market. The event serves as an ideal platform to seek best-in-class solutions

for challenges posed by the country’s comprehensive development plans. It will discuss international best practices to help direct government expenditure plans by harnessing the potential of major industries such as healthcare, oil and gas, transport, and infrastructure. Mahmoud Sabry, Area General Manager, Drake & Scull Kuwait, said: “The healthcare sector in Kuwait and the other GCC countries offers a variety of investment opportunities. These are being driven by higher government spending and advanced legislative frameworks for boosting the contributions of the private sector to the development of healthcare facilities and integrated centres adhering to the highest international standards. During the MEED conference DSI looks to employ its portfolio of advanced engineering technologies and extensive exper tise in catering to the Kuwaiti Government’s plans for creating an integrated healthcare sector to meet the country’s ambitious aspirations.” “Strategic public-private partnerships are great additions to national healthcare development. They foster an attractive investment environment for regional and international investors to engage in modern infrastructure and facility development projects to meet the

growing demand for high-level healthcare services. The local and regional healthcare sectors represent a lot of investment potential that can contribute significantly to GDP growth,” Sabry added. “We are confident that the increase in government expenditure and the generous budget allocated for establishing hospitals and specialty medical centres will play a pivotal role in launching a series of projects across the public and private sectors. These projects are poised to greatly impact Kuwait’s standing among the leading destinations for treatment and medical services offering the highest standards of quality and excellence,” he concluded. DSI continues to enhance and strengthen its services offering with unmatched vertical integration and global footprint. The collaborative capabilities of the Engineering services (MEP and Water and Power), General Contracting, Oil and Gas, Rail and Infrastructure development continue to deliver strong performance quality work on project sites. Armed with a multicultural workforce, inherent financial strength and solid regional experience, the company’s outlook remains positive in terms of realising greater profitability and improving productivity across MENA, South Asia and Europe.

Mahmoud Sabry, Area General Manager, Drake & Scull Kuwait.


W H AT ’ S O N



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Write to us Send to What’s On upcoming events, birthdays or celebrations by email: Fax: 24835619 / 20 NHS current and new members pose for a group photo.

Al-Bayan Bilingual School hosts annual National Honor Society Induction ceremony


l-Bayan Bilingual School, Kuwait’s leading university preparatory Arabic-English academic institution, today announced that it held the National Honor Society’s(NHS) annual induction ceremony at the school theater to welcome 11 new high school members, who demonstrated high levels of achievements in the areas of scholarship, leadership, character and service, into the NHS school chapter. The annual ceremony started with the Kuwaiti National Anthem and the recitation of the Holy Quran, followed by a welcoming speech by BBS Chemistry Teacher and NHS Adviser, Sadjia Droueche, and High School Principal, Jihad Sadeddin. Droueche introduced all current nine NHS members, and explained the requirements and criteria

which students need to fulfill in the areas of scholarship, leadership, character and service in order to successfully qualify for membership by the NHS committee. In her welcoming speech, Droueche explained that “the induction of new members into the National Honor Society each year, is one of the most important traditions associated with any NHS chapter, and is also important for the students, the school and the chapter itself.” She also added: “The induction not only recognizes students for their prestigious achievements and excellence in the four areas of accomplishment, which NHS focuses on, but also provides them with endless opportunities to become active members who would serve and give back to their

BBS Director, Dr Paul Sheppard, awards new NHS members.

New NHS members recite the oath of membership.

school, and the community around them.” The speeches were followed by a short video of NHS’s major accomplishments over the years, as well as some of their future goals. The NHS milestones highlighted in the video include fundraising, donations to families in need, raising awareness on World Diabetes Day, and collecting bottle caps to help provide wheelchairs for those who cannot afford them. The event also featured the traditional candle lighting ceremony, during which current NHS members, Kareem Khodr, Faisal AlAyoub, Basma Al-Sabah and Alghaliyah AlQabandi, briefly explained each of the four characteristics which are essential to NHS membership. Co-founder of the Applied Behavior

Current NHS members

A student celebrates her appointment as new NHS member with her family.

Center of Kuwait, Psychotherapist and BBS alumni, Zaina Al-Zabin, who was invited as the guest speaker, delivered an insightful speech about her own struggle with learning English after the Gulf War, and the importance of setting goals, planning ahead, and learning from past mistakes. “Anyone who knows me well would know that I’m a big planner. Plan but be ready to change and adapt to the needs of the environment around you,” she said. She also explained the inseparable relationship between education and learning as she concluded her speech saying: “learning without education is limiting, education without learning is futile.” BBS Director, Dr Paul Sheppard, concluded the event with a closing speech in which

he announced that BBS’s application to introduce a National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) Chapter to the school has been accepted. “For me, what makes this particular ceremony a watershed event in the life of BBS and its relationship with the NHS is that it marks the year that BBS also began the process of starting an NJHS chapter.” “How exciting is it for the NHS members to know that BBS is now starting to prepare its students in middle school to take on this mantle of responsibility, and therefore, prepare to carry it on when they reach high school,” Dr Sheppard added. All 11 new members received their recognition certificates, and recited the NHS oath of membership before an audience of students, families and members of the BBS community.

Guest Spearker and BBS Alumni Zaina Al-Zabin

Newly appointed member, Jamal Khodr, celebrates with his family.

(Right) NHS Adviser, Sadja Droueche and Guest Speaker and BBS Alumni, Zaina Al-Zabin

KMA IDF Interschool Health Quiz 2013


he 4th KMA IDF Interschool Health Quiz 2013 competition was held at Kuwait Medical Association Hall. It was a great success with equal participation from audience as well as contesting teams from different schools. The students from all Indian schools in Kuwait participated with great fervor and enthusiasm .The KMA IDF Interschool Health Quiz has became an iconic event of academic and intellectual interest conducted by IDF every year since 2010. Scores of people comprising students, teachers, principals, parents, doctors and other dignitaries from Indian diaspora witnessed the event. Dr Ajay D’Souza was the compere and welcomed the guests and various dignitaries. He also engaged the audience with interesting audience round of quiz supported by Dr Anju John. Charge D’Affairs and Deputy Chief of Mission Subhashish Goldar was the Chief Guest and inaugurated the event. At his inaugural speech he acknowledged Indian Doctors Forum as an organization of immense popularity not only among Indian community but among the other expatriates and citizens of Kuwait. He appreciated IDF for its extensive outreach programs for the poor and marginalized of the society. He was pleased to know about the services of Indian Doctors in the country. IDF President Dr Amir Ahmed in his Presidential address outlined the importance of such an academic event and encouraged the students and participants. The event started with registration of the contestants of each school at 4:00 pm. From each school two students of 10, 11 and 12 grade registered for the preliminary written examination and among them 6 teams comprising two students were declared as finalists for the main quiz competition. The quiz was conducted by the quizmasters Dr Radhakrishna Panicker and Dr.Lata Rijhwani. They were assisted by Dr. Suraj V Davis, Dr Ajay D’Souza, Dr Grace Alex and Dr.Sakeer. The subject matter of

the quiz was the evolution of medical science from ancient history to the present day modern medicine with technological advances. Special importance was given to environment awareness, genetic engineering, biotechnology and bioengineering. The quiz was a portal to inspire the young generation to take up medical profession by combining the technology and modern day practice of medicine. Eminent medical personalities, their research and dedication of life for the evolution of modern day medicine were shown in the form of questions to motivate young medical aspirants. The quiz concluded by a lightening round to check comprehension, astuteness and memory of

the participants. Interesting questions put forth to the audience with attractive instant prizes. The quiz was followed by felicitation of children of Indian Doctors who scored more than 90 percent in the final board examinations of 10th and 12th grades. They were presented with merit certificates, gifts and plaque. The winners were declared by the quiz master, Dr. Radhakrishna Panicker. The team from Fahaheel Al-Watanieh Indian Private School (DPS) - Rohan Mahesh & Jeffrey Soundra Rajan bagged the first place with IDF rolling trophy. The team from United Indian School - Fiona Sunny Kurian & Esra Haroon were the first runners up and the team from Indian Educational School (Bhavans) - Mitoshi Nandi & Amal John James stood third. Trophies and certificates were given by distinguished dignitaries who had graced the occasion in presence of the Chief Guest. The event was sponsored by Gulfmart, Centerpoint, Toyota, Jabriya Indian School, AlAhlia Chemicals and Al-Mulla Exchange Company. IDF appreciated the positive role played by all the sponsors in promoting education and spreading knowledge among the community by their generous sponsorship. The mega annual event concluded by vote of thanks delivered by IDF Vice President Dr Vinod Grover.


W H AT ’ S O N Korean movie night

Amir of the Ajman Tribe Sheikh Sultan bin Salman Al-Hethleen welcomed at his dewaniya recently Islamic cleric Sheikh Dr Aiyedh Al-Qarni, who was accompanied by Meshal Al-Zahrani, Hesham Al-Ameen, and Director of the Culture Department in the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Falah Al-Ajmi.

Date: December 6, 2013 Time: 16:00-21:10 16:00: Opening Ceremony 16:10-18:21: ‘Masquerade’ 18:30-19:00: Reception 19:00-21:10: ‘Miracle in Cell No. 7’ Venue: Laila Gallery Cinescape Movies ‘Masquerade’ (2012, historical drama) ‘Miracle in Cell No. 7’ (2013, comedy) Donít miss the chance to watch the latest Korean movies!

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

GUST signs MoU with accredited business school ESC Rennes


he Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) signed a new collaboration agreement with the ESC Rennes School of Business,an Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accredited business school,in France. Dr Olivier Aptel, the Dean and General Director of the ESC Rennes School of Business (2006 - Present), attended the signing alongside Prof.Donald Bates, GUST President, Prof. Ghassan Aouad, GUST VP for Academic Affairsand Dr. Sabah Quaddoomi, GUST VP for Academic Services, Dr Lee Caldwell, GUST Dean of the College of Business and Ludovic Zmitrowicz, the AttachÈ for Academic and Scientific Cooperation at the French Embassy in Kuwait. Among the attendees from GUST were Rounwah A Bseiso, International Program Coordinator and Amani R Gaber Office Manager. The general purpose of the agreement is to establish and facilitate educational and academic exchanges between the two universities to support their students and teachers in gathering and exchanging academic and professional experience in their mutual countries. The two Institutions agreed to promote mutually beneficial activities in the areas of education, research and other academic issues, and to cooperate and work together towards the interna-

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

tionalisation of higher education. Dr Olivier Aptel stated:”We will do our best for the students of Kuwait and France with the new agreement we have with GUST.” He highlighted the importance of international education by making sure those students from France and Kuwait feel comfortable in different environments. Furthermore, he discussed the new experience and cultural impact that will be gained by both students from the different countries by saying: “StudentExchange Programs are important because they do not only introduce new educational experiences but new languages and cultural interactions

between two different worlds as well.” Prof. Donald Bates discussed the new opportunities that will come with collaboration through expanding faculty and student exchange. He mentioned: “We look forward for the new French students and faculty exchange that will be happening in the near future.” Prof Ghassan Aouad encouraged the different collaborations with outside educational institutions and how beneficial it is for the GUST community, noting: “GUST always welcomes new international collaboration for the benefit of our students and faculty. Opening the doors to exchange programs will be

influential not only for the students, only but also for our faculty to see a broadened teaching experience from a different perspective.” Rounwah Bseiso welcomed the first collaboration with a European university and how GUST students will value an educational experience in a country like France, saying: “I am pleased that GUST has officially collaborated with its first European university for student exchange. I am certain our students will benefit greatly during their study abroad at ESC Rennes in France, and we look forward at GUST to welcome their students on our campus.”

Doug Lieb reveals success of Disneyland sponsored by Future Kid


uture Kid Entertainment (Future Kid) revealed its sponsorship of the “exceptional customer service” course held in Regency Kuwait Hotel and delivered by Doug Lieb, the former head of training department of the Disneyland company, and was during his first visit to Kuwait, which concluded by visiting the headquarters of the Future Kid Compan. In this regard, director of marketing and public relations expressed, Elham Mabrouk, in a press release about her happiness for sponsoring this course which was part of the development and promotion of customer service aiming directly at increasing the company’s market share and maintain it . She explained that the course included practical workshops from the experiences of global Disneyland role of the development of skills of administrative staff and help to deal with situations and challenges appropriately which had the optimal effect in strengthen the company’s position in the competitive market in the local and regional levels. Elham pointed out that such a training session revealed the reasons for the continuation of Disneyland World’s acquisition of the hearts and minds of hundreds of thousands of employees around the world due to the values ??and principles set by Walt Disney himself, saying that the secret of success steps of Future Kid Entertainment throughout those years and being one of the largest

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

EMBASSY OF US 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

Entertainment industry companies in Kuwait and the Gulf states follow the steps resulting from the success of Disneyland World. In the same context, Elham extended her thanks to the Vigor company for organizing the course for their efforts in the success of this course and achieve its goals, pointing out that the company is going to go ahead and steady steps towards building a unique identity to set it apart from competitors.

From his part, during his visit to the company’s, Doug lieb praised the marketing innovative efforts of Future Kid (Future Kid) by expressing admiration for cartoon character campaign launch (Gerba and Scully), which will achieve a unique new adds to the identity of the new (Garbooa) character from the Kuwaiti environment, he also expressed his admiration of Discovery Agency characters (Dan and Turbo) who took a picture with them immediately upon his visit.

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:


TV PROGRAMS 00:20 Paradox 01:15 Hebburn 01:45 Absolutely Fabulous 02:15 Spooks 03:05 Last Of The Summer Wine 03:35 Luther 04:30 Hebburn 05:00 Nina And The Neurons 05:15 Poetry Pie 05:20 Mr Bloom’s Nursery 05:40 Little Human Planet 05:45 Bobinogs 05:55 Tweenies 06:15 Nina And The Neurons 06:30 Poetry Pie 06:35 Mr Bloom’s Nursery 06:55 Little Human Planet 07:00 Bobinogs 07:10 Tweenies 07:30 The Impressions Show With Culshaw... 08:00 Hebburn 08:30 The Weakest Link 09:15 Big Cat Diary 09:45 Doctors 10:20 Doctor Who: Best Of The Doctor 11:05 Walter’s War 11:55 The Impressions Show With Culshaw... 12:25 The Weakest Link 13:10 Big Cat Diary 13:40 Hebburn 14:10 Doctors 14:40 Walter’s War 15:30 Young, Foreign & Over Here 16:25 Doctor Who: Best Of The Doctor 17:10 Eastenders 17:40 Doctors 18:10 The Weakest Link 19:00 My Family 19:30 Blackadder II 20:00 Spooks 20:50 Threesome 21:15 Jekyll 22:05 David Copperfield 22:55 Young, Foreign & Over Here 23:50 Beautiful People

00:00 Marbella Mansions 00:45 The Restaurant Inspector 01:30 Cash In The Attic 02:15 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 03:35 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Specials 04:15 Antiques Roadshow 05:05 Antiques Roadshow 05:55 The Restaurant Inspector 06:40 Come Dine With Me: Supersized 08:15 Bargain Hunt 09:00 Marbella Mansions 09:45 The Hairy Bikers Ride Again 10:10 Raymond Blanc’s Kitchen Secrets 10:35 Come Dine With Me: Supersized 12:05 Masterchef: The Professionals 12:50 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Specials 14:10 Antiques Roadshow 15:05 Homes Under The Hammer 16:00 Homes Under The Hammer 16:50 Bargain Hunt 17:35 Cash In The Attic 18:20 Antiques Roadshow 19:20 Marbella Mansions 20:10 The Little Paris Kitchen 20:35 Hairy Bikers’ Christmas Party 21:30 Come Dine With Me 22:20 Antiques Roadshow 23:15 Bargain Hunt

00:05 Jungle Gold 00:55 Dynamo: Magician

Impossible 01:45 Dynamo: Magician Impossible 02:35 Dynamo: Magician Impossible 03:25 Dynamo: Magician Impossible 04:15 Dynamo: Magician Impossible 05:05 Dynamo: Magician Impossible 06:00 Mythbusters 07:00 Mythbusters 07:50 Extreme Fishing 08:40 Overhaulin’ 2012 09:30 Border Security 09:55 Storage Hunters 10:20 Property Wars 10:45 How Do They Do It? 11:10 How It’s Made 11:35 Fast N’ Loud 12:25 World’s Biggest Ship 13:15 Wheeler Dealers 14:05 Border Security 14:30 Storage Hunters 14:55 Property Wars 15:20 Flying Wild Alaska 16:10 Fast N’ Loud 17:00 Ultimate Survival 17:50 Dirty Jobs 18:40 Mythbusters 19:30 American Guns 20:20 Storage Hunters 20:45 Flip Men 21:10 How Do They Do It? 21:35 How It’s Made 22:00 Diamond Divers 22:50 Bush Pilots 23:40 Jungle Gold: Wild Ride

00:40 Dark Matters: Twisted But True 01:30 Stunt Junkies 02:00 USA Memory Championships 02:50 Superhuman Showdown 03:45 Plastic Fantastic Brain 04:35 Plastic Fantastic Brain 05:25 Human Nature 06:15 Gadget Show - World Tour 06:40 How Tech Works 07:05 Weird Connections 07:30 Stunt Junkies 08:00 Prank Science 08:25 Prank Science 08:50 Weird Or What? 09:40 The Gadget Show 10:05 How Tech Works 10:30 Human Nature 11:25 X-Machines 12:20 Bigger, Better, Faster, Stronger 12:45 Bigger, Better, Faster, Stronger 13:10 Stephen Hawking’s Universe 14:00 Futurecar 14:50 Stunt Junkies 15:20 Gadget Show - World Tour 15:45 How Tech Works 16:10 Brave New World 17:00 Human Body: Ultimate Machine 17:55 X-Machines 18:45 Smash Lab 19:35 How The Universe Works 20:30 Mighty Ships 21:20 Mighty Planes 22:10 Gadget Show - World Tour 22:35 How Tech Works 23:00 Mighty Ships 23:50 Mighty Planes

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The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody Jonas Jonas Suite Life On Deck Suite Life On Deck Wizards Of Waverly Place Wizards Of Waverly Place The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody Jonas Jonas Suite Life On Deck

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

00:40 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 01:05 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 01:30 Food Wars 01:55 Food Wars 02:20 Unwrapped 02:45 Charly’s Cake Angels 03:10 Charly’s Cake Angels 03:35 Amazing Wedding Cakes 04:25 Unique Eats 04:50 Food Crafters 05:15 United Tastes Of America 05:40 Chopped 06:30 Iron Chef America 07:10 Unwrapped 07:35 Unwrapped 08:00 Unwrapped 08:25 Unwrapped 08:50 United Tastes Of America 09:15 Unique Sweets 09:40 Kid In A Candy Store 10:05 Barefoot Contessa 10:30 Food Network Challenge 11:20 Andy Bates American Street Feasts 11:45 Cooking Christmas With Matt And Lisa 12:10 Spicy Christmas With Thomasina Miers 12:35 Reza, Spice Prince Of India 13:00 Reza’s African Kitchen 13:25 Charly’s Cake Angels 13:50 Siba’s Table 14:15 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 14:40 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 15:05 Guy’s Big Bite 15:30 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 15:55 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 16:20 Roadtrip With G. Garvin 16:45 Chopped 17:30 Barefoot Contessa 18:00 Cooking Christmas With Matt And Lisa 18:25 Spicy Christmas With Thomasina Miers 18:50 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 19:15 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 19:40 Siba’s Table 20:05 Charly’s Cake Angels 20:30 Chopped 21:20 Cooking Christmas With Matt And Lisa


John Galliano’s case to be heard in a labour court


ohn Galliano’s case against former employers Christian Dior Couture SA and John Galliano SA will be heard in a labour court. The Paris Court of Appeals rejected an appeal by Dior, which was seeking to move the case to a commercial court, and ordered the companies to each pay the fashion designer €2,500, in addition to court costs. Galliano was fired in March 2011 after 15 years as the couturier at Dior, following a number of public outbursts, including the use of racist and anti-Semitic insults. After the comments made in a Paris cafe, he was also ousted from the fashion house that bears his name. The disgraced designer blamed work-related stress and multiple addictions during the trial on charges of public insult in June 2011. The 53-year-old star is now understood to be seeking compensation of about €6 million for his dismissal. Christian Dior Couture SA and John Galliano SA have two months to appeal the ruling, which was made on Thursday. Christian Dior Couture stands by Galliano’s dismissal, stating: “The decision to fire Mr Galliano as a result of these incidents is based on fundamental principles and the rule of law. “Christian Dior Couture reaffirms its attachment to the rules of human respect and non-discrimination, which it expects all of its collaborators, without exception, to adhere to strictly.” —Bang Showbiz

Tabu Ley Rochereau, king of Congolese rumba dies


IMAGO MORTIS ON OSN MOVIES HD ACTION 21:45 Spicy Christmas With Thomasina Miers 22:10 Chopped 23:00 Siba’s Table 23:25 Siba’s Table 23:50 Food Network’s Christmas Kitchen

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Burn Notice Zero Hour True Blood Rescue Me Top Gear (US) Burn Notice Necessary Roughness White Collar Zero Hour Top Gear (US) Emmerdale Coronation Street White Collar Burn Notice Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show White Collar Once Upon A Time Revenge The Blacklist The Newsroom Rescue Me

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Covert Affairs Good Morning America Six Feet Under The Americans Emmerdale

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Coronation Street C.S.I. New York Emmerdale Coronation Street C.S.I. New York Covert Affairs Live Good Morning America C.S.I. New York Covert Affairs Castle C.S.I. New York Covert Affairs The Americans Scandal

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Bunraku Paintball Beneath The Darkness Ip Man 2 The Man Inside Legendary Assassin Biker Boyz The New Daughter Legendary Assassin Arctic Blast The New Daughter Imago Mortis

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Paintball-18 Beneath The Darkness-PG15 Ip Man 2-PG15 The Man Inside-PG15 Legendary Assassin-PG15 Biker Boyz-PG15 The New Daughter-PG15 Legendary Assassin-PG15 Arctic Blast-PG15 The New Daughter-PG15 Imago Mortis-PG15 Devil’s Playground-18

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Hard Breakers-18 Mash-18 It Could Happen To You-PG Envy-PG15 Gabe The Cupid Dog-PG Lying To Be Perfect-PG15 It Could Happen To You-PG Today’s Special-PG15 Lying To Be Perfect-PG15 The New Guy-PG15 That’s My Boy-R Hard Breakers-18

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The Key Man-PG15 Summer Coda-PG15 The Wild Hunt-PG15 Web Of Lies-PG15 The Key Man-PG15 Gandhi-PG Virtual Lies-PG15 Beneath Hill 60-PG15 The Hot Potato-PG15 Another Happy Day-18 Cleanskin-18

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Amour-PG15 The Field-PG15 Casino-18 Retribution-PG15 The Field-PG15 Ties That Bind-PG15 Departures-PG15 Oscar And Lucinda-PG15 Ties That Bind-PG15 Freedom Writers-PG15 Color Of Night-18 A Very Long Engagement-18

01:00 Young Adult-PG15 03:00 Class-PG15 05:00 Dead Lines-PG15

06:45 Klitschko-PG15 09:00 Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Dog Days-PG 11:00 Haywire-PG15 13:00 Wreck-It Ralph-PG 15:00 Arbitrage-PG15 17:00 Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Dog Days-PG 18:45 Snow White And The Huntsman-PG15 21:00 Rock Of Ages-PG15 23:15 Wrath Of The Titans-PG15

01:15 Ben 10: Alien Swarm 02:45 The Missing Lynx 04:30 Cher Ami 06:00 Curious George 08:00 The Ugly Duckling In Tales Of Mystery 10:00 Spirit: Stallion Of The Cimarron 11:30 Charlie And The Chocolate Factory 13:30 Ben 10: Alien Swarm 15:00 The Lucky Dragon 16:45 Home Alone: The Holiday Heist 18:15 Spirit: Stallion Of The Cimarron 20:00 Dr Seuss’ Cat In The Hat 22:00 The Lucky Dragon 23:45 Tommy & Oscar

frican superstar and king of Congolese rumba Tabu Ley Rochereau died on Saturday aged 76 in a hospital in Belgium, his family said. Tributes poured in for the singer-songwriter whose melodies touched generations across Africa, as his son-in-law said a state funeral would be held in Kinshasa, where Tabu Ley would also be buried. Tabu Ley, who had also been a politician, had never recovered from a stroke in 2008 and his situation deteriorated on Monday, said the son-in-law Jean-Claude Muissa. Born November 13, 1937 in a small village in the western Congolese province of Bandundu, Pascal Tabu Ley, also known as “Rochereau”, became the star of Congolese rumba in the 1960s. With his songs including “Adios Thethe” and “Mokolo nakokufa” (the day of my death), Tabu Ley helped popularise the music genre, and in 1970 became the first African musician to perform at the Paris Olympia music hall. “He was a superstar in all of Africa,” said Francois Bensignor from Paris-based music centre IRMA. He was also once acclaimed by news magazine Jeune Afrique “as the Congolese personality who, along with (former Congolese president) Mobutu, marked Africa’s 20th century history,” said Leon Tsambu, a specialist in Congolese music. At home, Tabu Ley was not just a musician, but also dabbled in politics. He had hoped to become minister of culture under president Laurent-Desire Kabila-the father of President Joseph Kabila, but eventually settled for the post of vice-governor of Kinshasa. He was forced into exile during Mobutu Sese Seko’s rule that spanned 1965 to 1997, and in 1990, the strongman’s regime banned his album “Trop, c’est trop” (Too much is too much). — AFP

00:00 Beware The Gonzo-PG15 02:00 Oz The Great And PowerfulPG 04:15 Project Nim-PG15 06:00 Rewind-PG15 08:00 Arthur Christmas-PG 10:00 Rise Of The Guardians-PG 11:45 Oz The Great And PowerfulPG 14:00 The Scorpion King 3: Battle For Redemption-PG15 16:00 Arthur Christmas-PG 18:00 Pitch Perfect-PG15 20:00 The Awakening-18 22:00 Goon-18

02:00 ICC Cricket 360 02:30 Rugby League World Cup 05:00 International Rugby Union 07:00 Snooker 11:00 Top 14 Highlights 11:30 Emirates Australian Open Highlights 12:30 Rugby League World Cup 15:00 Trans World Sport 16:00 Live Snooker 21:00 PGA European Tour Highlights 22:00 Live Snooker

00:00 Live NFL 03:00 Emirates Australian Open Highlights 04:00 World Match Racing Tour 06:00 Trans World Sports 07:00 PGA European Tour 11:30 Snooker 15:30 HSBC Sevens World Series 19:00 PGA European Tour Highlights 20:00 NFL 22:30 NHL

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Total Rugby Snooker UK Championship Total Rugby Golfing World HSBC Sevens World Series World Match Racing Tour World Match Racing Tour World Cup Of Pool World Cup Of Pool Golfing World PRO 12 Trans World Sport World Match Racing Tour ICC Cricket 360

Estefania Giraldo

Kate Moss to receive British Fashion Award


ate Moss will be given a Special Recognition award at the British Fashion Awards next week. The 39-year-old supermodel - who was discovered at the age of 14 in 1988 by Sarah Doukas, the founder of Storm Model Management - will be acknowledged for her exceptional contribution to the fashion industry over the course of her 25-year career. Kate is set to be honored at the annual ceremony on December 2 hosted at the London Coliseum by comedian Jack Whitehall, who is replacing David Walliams after he was forced to step down following issues with his health. The blonde beauty was recently confirmed to pose nude for the cover of Playboy magazine’s 60th anniversary edition and the publication’s editorial director, Jimmy Jellinek, thinks she is today’s version of Marilyn Monroe - who began her career as a model and was catapulted into the spotlight as a film star, becoming major sex symbol in the 50s and 60s. He said: “This is a massive global brand. You need a global icon in order to celebrate that that was the impetus. “This creates a heat for the brand globally. It started with Marilyn Monroe on the cover of Playboy 60 years ago, an icon for her time. Now we’ve got Kate Moss!”— Bang Showbiz

Classifieds MONDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2013


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Driver needed for Kuwaiti family, full-time or parttime. Tel: 60623330. (C 4588)


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Required English speaking maid/nanny. Please call 99824597. (C 4587) 30-11-2013

ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available one room in 2 bedroom flat, near Indian/Pakistani school in Farwaniya for working lady. Rent KD 90. Please contact: 66047733. (C 4589) 2-12-2013 FOR SALE Toyota Camry model 2013 white color, GLX full option, km 16,000, sunroof, alloy rim fog lamp, rear bumper, sensor + camera, wooden interior, cruise control, etc. Cash price KD 5,450. Tel: 66507741. (C 4590) 2-12-2013

model, in good condition, call 97277135 1-12-2013 2005 model Mitsubishi Nativa, 4x4, 6 cylinder, silver color, price KD 1,900. Tel: 66104141. (C 4586) 27-11-2013

Nissan Pathfinder, 2003

MATRIMONIAL Inviting proposals for God fearing Marthomite boy 27/174/BE, working as an Engineer in Kuwait. Please contact email: or (C 4585)

No: 16004

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (



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14:50 14:00 14:05 15:00 15:10 15:55 16:40 16:40 16:35 16:50 16:55 17:15 17:25 17:55 17:30 17:50 18:15 18:30 18:40 18:45 18:45 18:45 18:05 18:00 18:20 18:20 19:00 19:25 19:35 19:30 19:55 20:05 20:10 20:20 20:35 20:55 22:05 21:10 21:20 21:35 21:40 21:45 22:00 22:00 22:15 22:20 22:30 23:05 23:15 23:20


Departure Flights on Monday 2/12/2013 Flt Route Time 982 AHMEDABAD 00:05 981 WASHINGTON 00:55 206 LAHORE 01:05 573 MUMBAI 01:10 635 FRANKFURT 02:10 621 ADDIS ABABA 02:45 773 ISTANBUL-ATATURK 02:55 416 KABUL 03:30 854 DUBAI 03:50 383 DELHI 03:50 306 ABU DHABI 04:00 613 CAIRO 04:10 1085 DOHA 04:15 68 DUBAI 04:40 1077 DOHA 05:15 283 DHAKA 05:30 70 DUBAI 06:30 575 ABU DHABI 06:35 164 DUBAI 06:55 765 ISTANBUL-SABIHA 07:05 212 BAHRAIN 07:15 545 ALEXANDRIA 07:15 5002 SHARJAH 07:30 771 ISTANBUL-ATATURK 07:30 54 DUBAI 08:30 156 LONDON 08:45 787 JEDDAH 09:25 671 DUBAI 09:30 126 SHARJAH 09:40 856 DUBAI 09:55 302 ABU DHABI 10:05 1071 DOHA 10:10 56 DUBAI 10:20 214 BAHRAIN 11:25 541 CAIRO 11:30 165 ROME 11:50 406 SOHAG 11:50 303 KANDAHAR 12:00 404 ASYUT 12:15 103 LONDON 12:20 776 JEDDAH 12:25 6522 LAMERD 12:45 405 BEIRUT 12:55 785 JEDDAH 13:00 342 DAMASCUS 13:30 176 DUBAI 13:45 580 SOHAG 13:50 611 CAIRO 14:00 481 TAIF 14:10



872 58 1079 673 773 741 617 473 222 501 920 646 238 304 1073 858 538 641 128 511 216 184 266 554 134 93 64 402 1081 218 62 648 331 361 120 571 351 636 171 230 403 308 220 301 60 860 205 1075 575 502 411


14:15 14:30 14:55 15:05 15:20 15:20 15:30 15:30 15:45 15:45 16:50 16:55 16:55 17:35 17:40 17:50 17:50 17:55 18:05 18:15 18:20 18:40 18:50 18:55 19:10 19:20 19:25 19:30 19:40 20:15 20:45 20:55 20:55 21:00 21:00 21:10 21:10 21:35 21:50 22:10 22:20 22:20 22:30 22:35 22:40 22:50 22:55 23:10 23:15 23:30 23:55


stars CROSSWORD 386

STAR TRACK Aries (March 21-April 19) ARIES The history and culture of past- and present-day country life, in some place other than your own home, is of interest to you now. You are encouraged to study and learn all you can. This could be a country close to your own country or one that is no longer in existence such as atlantis, etc. This is just one of the few things you aim to add to your list of growing interests about new discoveries and interesting places, etc. You enjoy studying cultural differences, art from different cultures and new ideas that would benefit you and your own work. This may mean you are a tour guide, a travel director, etc. There is an opportunity to break up old habits—get out of ruts, etc. Insights into your career and practical skills may reach a high point.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) Circumstances affect you in a very direct manner. You may become disgusted at an ongoing mess around you just now. A move may be in order—an upgrade from where you are now. Whatever the case, you will change a negative to a positive or create the opportunity to move beyond any difficulties. You have a lot of mental energy now to help you in whatever sort of endeavor you seek to accomplish. If there is no part-time job to keep you busy just now, you might find that your friends are particularly supportive and will keep you company through some social activity this evening. You enjoy the support you receive from those around you. You also enjoy the study of genealogy and may do research tonight with some ongoing information.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

ACROSS 1. Endless loop of flexible material between two rotating shafts or pulleys. 5. Minute freshwater crustacean having a round body enclosed in a transparent shell. 12. Standard time in the 7th time zone west of Greenwich, reckoned at the 105th meridian west. 15. South American armadillo with three bands of bony plates. 16. To gain with effort. 17. A transuranic element. 18. Sell (something) again after having bought it. 20. Vacuum flask that holds liquid air or helium for scientific experiments. 21. The seat within a bishop's diocese where his cathedral is located adv. 22. Be a signal for or a symptom of. 24. English scholastic philosopher and assumed author of Occam's Razor (1285-1349). 26. Typical geese. 28. Characteristic of a mob. 30. A river in northeastern Brazil that flows generally northward to the Atlantic Ocean. 33. Widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions for its fragrant flowers and colorful fruits. 34. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 35. A city in southern Turkey on the Seyhan River. 37. King of Saudi Arabia since 1982 (born in 1922). 41. Follower of Rastafarianism. 44. A Loloish language. 45. The cry made by sheep. 46. The act of escaping physically. 51. A B vitamin essential for the normal function of the nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract. 52. An enclosed armored military vehicle. 54. Employed in accomplishing something. 55. A discussion intended to produce an agreement. 57. Showing characteristics of age, especially having gray or white hair. 60. (Norse mythology) A huge ash tree whose roots and branches hold the earth and heaven and hell together. 65. (Greek mythology) The winged goddess of the dawn in ancient mythology. 68. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 69. Plaything consisting of a container filled with toys and candy. 71. Soreness and warmth caused by friction. 72. An accountant certified by the state. 73. Presence of abnormal amounts of uric acid salts in the blood. 75. An independent agency of the United States government responsible for collecting and coordinating intelligence and counterintelligence activities abroad in the national interest. 76. God of the earth. 77. Chosen in preference to another. 78. Thigh of a hog (usually smoked).

DOWN 1. An aggressive remark directed at a person like a missile and intended to have a telling effect. 2. A fencing sword similar to a foil but with a heavier blade. 3. A girl or young woman who is unmarried. 4. A surgical instrument used to remove sections of bone from the skull. 5. The basic unit of money in Gambia. 6. A radioactive element of the actinide series. 7. An American doctorate usually based on at least 3 years graduate study and a dissertation. 8. Step on it. 9. A person who investigates and reports or edits news stories. 10. Any of various coarse shrubby plants of the genus Iva with small greenish flowers. 11. An organism especially a bacterium that requires air or free oxygen for life. 12. True mosses. 13. Marked by quiet and caution and secrecy. 14. The subject matter of a conversation or discussion. 19. A Russian river. 23. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 25. A musical notation written on a staff indicating the pitch of the notes following it. 27. A unit of absorbed ionizing radiation equal to 100 ergs per gram of irradiated material. 29. (informal) Being satisfactory or in satisfactory condition. 31. Inability to walk. 32. A deceitful and unreliable scoundrel. 36. A large fleet. 38. Lower in esteem. 39. Swift timid long-eared mammal larger than a rabbit having a divided upper lip and long hind legs. 40. Any of a group of Indic languages spoken in Kashmir and eastern Afghanistan and northern Pakistan. 42. A worker who fastens things by tacking them down. 43. Type genus of the Apidae. 47. Half the width of an em. 48. (especially of plants) Developed without chlorophyll by being deprived of light. 49. Not imagined even in a dream. 50. A mischievous sprite of English folklore. 53. Knock unconscious or senseless. 56. Of or in or relating to the nose. 58. A crime syndicate in the United States. 59. At right angles to the length of a ship or airplane. 61. An expression of open-mouthed astonishment. 62. Lacking in liveliness or charm or surprise. 63. A constellation in the polar region of the southern hemisphere near Octans. 64. A title of address formerly used for a man of rank and authority. 66. Any of a number of fishes of the family Carangidae. 67. Measuring instrument for indicating speed of rotation. 70. A police officer who investigates crimes. 74. That is to say.


You will find successful results from your probing questions today. You may be able to successfully complete a project that others have begun long ago. Because of some experience you have had in the insurance business, you could be called in to help with some diagnostic coding procedures for medical insurance reimbursement issues. You will teach others to become proficient in some long-ago endeavor that turned out very successful for you. Sympathy and understanding from others is of greater importance now. Give sympathy and understanding to others and you will easily have the same. It is wisdom and not knowledge that counts most now. You may spend a little time this evening mending or taking care of your work clothes.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) You are not really the one to cook when it’s time to join a gathering but there are lots of other areas in which to participate if people at work want to gather for a party soon. You might find yourself volunteering to help with refreshments. Learning how to successfully entertain requires mastering the basic essentials of style, etiquette and planning. You seem to be very organized with little time. Allow yourself the simple ways this season. People find you at your most imaginative and you have lots to offer when it comes to planning. You will also be helping to guide a group to positive results when it comes to decision making. Today’s activities in the workplace may soon point you in the direction of a raise or a better professional position.

Leo (July 23-August 22) You are interested in the telecommunications industry and may find yourself studying the emerging new technologies and products. Detailed descriptions of the public networks, data communications including local area networks, current and future products and services may become available to you now. Making your mark on the world has special significance for you. Achievement, ambition and authority take on greater importance. Ambitious schemes and the pursuit of success and status take on a high priority this afternoon. This brings a focus on the practical, the successful, the pragmatic— whatever it takes to get you ahead long term.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) This is a good time to organize and discipline your mind and methods of communication. Perhaps this is also a time for serious thinking. Education and studies of all kinds may be in order. This is a time for perspiration in the idea department. Science, philosophy or religion seems to hold the vital answers at this time in your life—if not for you, someone in your family. True wisdom lies in discovering that there are no ultimate answers, only good questions. Ideological crusades can set your head spinning; distant journeys can stir your soul. This evening you may touch upon very emotional parts of you and find yourself analyzing and psychoanalyzing. You may find yourself caring too much about what others think of you; easy.

Word Search

Libra (September 23-October 22) An important relationship, perhaps with an older person or someone in authority, may come into focus. There could be some tension or sense of opposition requiring compromise or negotiation on your part. An opportunity for understanding and even growth is available. Circumstances could dictate your taking action. Be very careful with your words and everyone will be a winner—all day long. This evening you will feel healthy and natural and may decide to encourage those around you to join you in some exercise routine. A light dinner followed by a fun dessert can be an impressive way to enjoy your evening. Yes, even those you live with enjoy being impressed from time to time. Family, home and your sense of roots in life are most important to you.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Unusual vocations may come to your attention and you may want to skirt the crowd and common job trends to head for parts unknown. However, you are beginning to feel more confident and outgoing within your own job structure. Work that was once placed to the side for another time will now take precedence. You should plan to work hard to bring out and give shape to the ideas you have inspired over these last few weeks. You are beginning to move forward now and can expect rewards for your hard work. You have a growing self-confidence. A problem in the home has your attention this evening, but not for long. Your approach to most problems is original and you develop ways of doing things that create successful and positive solutions.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Your city will hold an impounded and abandoned vehicle auction soon. Check this out and you can help yourself or a friend obtain a long-needed vehicle for driving back and forth to work. Before going off to work today, you grab a bag of books that will be gratefully received at a thrift shop this afternoon. There is more than one way to save money or to make a little extra money and you could write a book. Discovering what you truly believe in is a personal priority. Religion, law, politics, travel and higher education are some of the arenas where this takes place. You may find yourself examining and testing ideals. There is time for relaxation this evening. You may enjoy escaping realities with a good book or a little television this evening.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) You may become informed of some unusual phenomena that a few scientists have discovered. There may be some research involved in today’s work. You have some insight into ways you can be helpful. Before presenting your work, proofing or testing the work will catch mistakes you had not been aware of before now. You and others will be quite pleased with the results of your work today. Others respect your ideas as well as your good insight. Your organizational abilities and a sense of responsibility will be what guides you and proves successful. There is talk about becoming involved in some new exercise or new hobby this afternoon.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) You have an inner need for communication of all kinds but may have too many things going on to keep up with the pace you have created. You can be all over the place, always trying to make one more connection. Speaking and writing are naturals. You have a need for lots of variety. You put forth a lot of effort, in particular regarding your career. Your drive and ambitions work well with the management skills you have. You create a harmonious work environment. You are at your most efficient when it comes to dealing and working with others. Outer circumstances are favorable and it should be easy for you to see positive results from your efforts. This is a new time in your life when the past should be left behind and new doors open.

Pisces (February 19-March 20) Unforgettable, charismatic characters are what make novels and short stories into best sellers and award winners. If you are not writing today, you will be proofing the work of a very good artist. You have respect for whatever work you do. Your ambition is high and your achievements are many. A period of intellectual creativity has dawned in your life; expressing yourself with flair comes to mean more to you. Beating the odds through cleverness is appealing and may lead to an interest in all kinds of financial speculation. A lover or child who is bright and articulate plays a bigger role in your life. This is a real time for communication—by phone, letter or in person. You may want to walk or exercise this afternoon. Tonight there is romance.

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


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23915883 23715414 23726558


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N Khaitan





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


Plastic Surgeons Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalaf


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Psychiatrists Dr. Esam Al-Ansari


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Gynaecologists & Obstetricians DrAdrian arbe


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


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

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

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


lifestyle G o s s i p

Lawrence cries at sight of spiders J

ennifer Lawrence started crying when she saw a spider while filming ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’. The Oscar-winning star has a mortal fear of the eight-legged bugs, and was severely freaked out when she came face-to-face with them while shooting in the Hawaiian jungle. She said: “Everybody told me there were no spiders, so when I saw three, I started crying. Jungles are not easy when you’re afraid of everything. “I think I am a legitimate alcoholic. No, what’s it called? An Arachnophobic.” Jennifer, 23, is already filming the third part in the franchise, ‘Mockingjay’, but admits she’d like to slow

her career down a little. She added: “I would like to slow it down. You don’t want more than one or two movies out a year; people get sick of you.” Despite wanting to slow down, the star isn’t planning on taking any time off just yet. She added to the US edition of OK! magazine: “I think youth and caffeine have kept me going until now. To unwind? I do nothing other than bad TV and a couch.”

Cyrus’ restaurant treat M

iley Cyrus paid for a couple’s meal after she disturbed them in a restaurant. The ‘Wrecking Ball’ singer was reportedly noisy and caused a scene when she and a friend went into an upmarket eatery in New York, but after a couple complained, she immediately went over to apologize. A witness explained to the National Enquirer: “She went over and apologised and told the folks, ‘I’m sorry, I’ve just had too much caffeine today.’ Then she asked the couple about themselves.” The pair were celebrating their second wedding anniversary, so generous Miley left $100 to cover their bill and posed for pictures with them. Miley may be famous for her risquÈ outfits and twerking dance moves, but many people are surprised to find she is actually

very down-to-earth and polite. After she had guest appeared on US TV show ‘Saturday Night Live’, a source said: “Everyone expected Miley to show up with major attitude - but were stunned when she turned out to be a major sweetheart. “She went out of her way to be kind to everyone - just plain old nice - posing for pictures backstage and signing autographs for the crew.”

Niall Horan dating

Louise Thompson? N iall Horan has reportedly been secretly dating British reality TV star Louise Thompson. The ‘Story of My Life’ hitmaker is said have been in a relationship with the ‘Made In Chelsea’ beauty for a few months but she has kept it hidden from her fellow stars. Speaking to The Sun on Sunday newspaper, a source said: “Louise has been dating Niall - they’ve seen each other lots and talk all the time. “But it suited both of them for their nights together to be secret. He’ll sneak her into his house in north London, often when it’s dark. “She makes sure she doesn’t do anything around Chelsea to try to keep the romance away from the prying eyes of her co-stars on the show.” Meanwhile, Niall has also revealed that despite having a recent break, One Direction will be given more time off over Christmas so they can recharge after a hectic world tour. He told the Daily Star Sunday newspaper: “We had a bit of time off after finishing the world tour but the new album came out last week so we are doing all the promo for that. “Jet lag kills me. The flying is OK, I don’t mind that but the jet lag is a nightmare ... We’ve got some time off over Christmas. “It will give us a chance to relax and enjoy it with the family. We are busy but you just have to get on with it.”

Lewis goes to ‘Mystical Unicorn Land’


eona Lewis escapes to “Mystical Unicorn Land” when she meditates to cope with stress. The ‘One More Sleep’ singer said she has to avoid the “sharks and horrible people” in her career, and she does so through meditation when she takes herself into her own world. She joked to the Daily Star Sunday newspaper: “Mystical Unicorn Land is where I live. How do you not know that? Friends say I’m always in Unicorn Land where everything is funny and sweet. “This lifestyle is amazing but you also come across sharks and horrible people so I try and surround myself with Mystical Unicorn people like myself. “It’s a kind of meditating which I find thera-

peutic. If I’m about to get road rage or cry I go into Mystical Unicorn Land.” The star also revealed she has an alter-ego called Roxy who “only comes out when partying”. She added: “I also have an alter ego called Roxy who is a bit mental. It’s not a stage one like Beyonce’s Sasha Fierce. “She only comes out when partying. She’s wild and has backcombed hair and lots of hairspray. My friends know who she is.”

Penelope Cruz Elizabeth Banks ‘curses like a sailor’


he ‘Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ star admits to overusing cuss words, but she can’t stop herself, despite having a sons, Felix, two, and Magnus, 12 months, with husband Max Handelman. She told People magazine: “I curse like a sailor. My kids love this Mumford & Sons song, ‘Little Lion Man’, and it has the Fword. We just play it like it’s not big deal. We call them grown-up words, and mummy uses a lot of them.” The actress is also fond of drinking, but admits it can lead to some nasty bruises. She added: “I get mystery bruises all the time. Usually after I’ve been out drinking. Bill Murray referred to them as badges of honour, and that’s a nice way to think about it!” While she may have some bad habits, Elizabeth is a dab hand with a paintbrush. She explained: “I personally painted the ceiling of my guest bedroom a bright blue. It’s this cute little room with Woods wallpaper, so I thought it needed it.”

Styles has secret dates with Lowe


arry Styles has reportedly had secret dates with Daisy Lowe. The One Direction heart throb is said to have been getting close to the British model after being introduced by mutual friends, but they are apparently not in an official relationship at the moment. An insider told The Sun on Sunday newspaper: “When Harry met Daisy there was a real spark. When they see each other they make sure it’s in private at night or with a group of friends.” It is reported Daisy - whose romance with ‘Doctor Who’ star Matt Smith recently came to an end - has given the ‘Story of My Life’ hitmaker one of her favourite rings, and her ex-boyfriend knows about their secret dates. The source

added: “Matt definitely knows about it because he mixes with a lot of the same people.” Daisy is said to have gotten close to Harry at Alexa Chung’s birthday party earlier this month, and he recently opened up about being able to tell whether girls are genuinely interested in him or just his fame and wealth. He previously said: “I think you just know. I think it’s one of them things where you know if you meet someone who, you know, likes you just because it’s you and not because you have stuff.”

reveals diet secrets


enelope Cruz credits breastfeeding for helping her to slim down after two pregnancies. The 39-year-old Oscar-winning actress gave birth to her second child, Luna, in July, and also has a two-year-old son, Leonardo, with her husband, Javier Bardem, 44, and insists she didn’t do anything drastic to get back in shape. The ‘To Rome With Love’ star told the January issue of Red magazine: “I think I’m very lucky that I can breastfeed my children because sometimes even if a woman wants to, she can’t. “I breastfed my son for 13 months and I plan to do at least the same with my daughter. That’s an amazing thing for babies, but it’s also really good for the mother because it regulates your body again after pregnancy.” The Spanish star has also been eating “really healthily” but is still enjoying “a lot” of food. Meanwhile, Penelope is furious that YouTube censored the six-minute promotional film, ‘L’Agent,’ she wrote and directed to advertise her and her sister Monica’s Agent Provocateur collection earlier this year. She said: “It was censored on YouTube. Did you know that? There are so many violent films on there and they don’t even check your age or ask for your email address before you watch them. “We actually got a lot of hits because people were curious: ‘How come they banned this video? Is PenÈlope Cruz perverted?’ “I don’t mind. I’d rather be called a pervert for that than the violence they allow teenagers to watch.” The erotic film, which stars supermodel Irina Shayk, has been viewed more than 1.3 million times on YouTube. She added: “They gave me all the freedom and I was able to tell the story I wanted to tell.” — Bang Showbiz


lifestyle F a s h i o n

Katerine Parra

Mayra Castaneda

Liseth Valencia

BioFashion 2013 in Cali

A model presents a creation made with organic elements by Colombian designer Liseth Valencia during BioFashion 2013 in Cali, department of Valle del Cauca, Colombia. BioFashion in its seventh version presented designs made with natural elements such as live plants, flowers, leaves and branches, in order to raise awareness about the preservation of the environment. — AFP photos

Alejandra Buche

Estefania Croes

Brian Marin Estefania Giraldo

Valentina Garcia

Pamela Bocanegra

Marisol Munoz


lifestyle F e a t u r e s

Kennedy scion opens Paris debutantes ball


ressed in Dior, Kyra Kennedy, great niece of the late US president, and her father Robert Kennedy Jr opened the Paris Debutantes Ball to the sound of a gypsy waltz Saturday, at one of the social events of the year where high society meets haute couture. The glittering event saw 20 hand-picked “debutantes” dance, dine and network the night away in dresses loaned by some of Paris’s most famous couture houses. Lord George Porchester whose family owns Highclere Castle, the setting for the hit television series “Downton Abbey”, was also invited along with 18-year-old Kennedy’s father Robert-the son of John F. Kennedy’s brother Robert, who was also assassinated. Others taking part included British royal Lady Amelia Windsor, the granddaughter of one of Queen Elizabeth II’s cousins, Francesca Packer Barham, granddaughter of Australian media tycoon Kerry Packer and Romy David, daughter of Seinfeld creator Larry David. From Asia, there was Akshita Bhanjdeo of India’s Bhanja dynasty, Filipina “It girl” Monica Urquijo Zobel, and Rebecca Eu, the Canberra-based daughter of a Chinese healthcare company chief. Now in her 21st year organizing the ball, Frenchwoman Ophelie Renouard had made no secret of her quest to track down as many big names as possible. In another publicity coup this year, she secured the presence of a London taxi driver’s daughter, Lauren Marbe. The 17-year-old made headlines recently when she notched up an IQ test score of 161, one point higher than Einstein. “I read about her in the newspapers and so I phoned her up and she said ‘It is not my world but if you invite me I will come’,” Renouard said. Her father, wearing black tie for the first time, was overwhelmed. “This is a dream! I still cannot believe it,” he said. The event at the Automobile Club of France is based on the debutantes balls that were once an established part of the British upper class’s social calendar. These launched well-born young women into society and-with luck-also introduced them to a potential husband. — AFP

Kuwaiti designer goes royal for a cause By Nawara Fattahova


File photo shows Kyra Kennedy, great niece of late President John F Kennedy and daughter of Robert Kennedy Jr, gets a dress fitted at Dior.

uwaiti fashion designer Muntaha Al-Ajeel represented Kuwait at a special fashion show for the spouses of presidents from 31 countries held in the United States. This fashion show was organized by the United Nations to raise funds for women in Asia, and the participating designers donated their revenues for this purpose. Ajeel was glad to represent Kuwait in this show. “I express the cultural side of the Kuwaiti woman through my work as a fashion designer. I always try to give a good example of the Kuwaiti working woman who doing honorable work. And through my participation, I had the opportunity to help and support women in Asia,” she pointed out. The show also included a short documentary about excelling women in various fields including politics, economy, science and others. In addition, an exhibition of handicrafts made by women accompanied the event. The show was attended by personalities such as Princess Ameera Al-Taweel, the spouse of Ban Ki-moon and others. Ajeel presented a royal collection during the fashion show. “I presented a royal style to suit the invitees of this event. I used luxurious textiles and soft feminine cuts to highlight the beauty of women in a modern style with a classical Victorian royal inspiration. I also added Kuwaiti tradition and style to my designs expressing the Eastern magic through bright colors,” she stated.

Kuwaiti fashion designer Muntaha Al-Ajeel poses with Ban Ki-moon’s spouse.

Kuwaiti fashion designer Muntaha Al-Ajeel poses with Princess Ameera Al-Taweel.

Lady Gaga, manager Troy Carter split L

ady Gaga and her manager Troy Carter have split just days before the pop star releases her new album, “ARTPOP.” A source familiar with the situation confirms the two have split over creative differences. The source was not authorized to speak about the break publicly and requested anonymity. Carter signed Gaga in 2007 and the two have worked together since as the “Poker Face” singer rose from club act to international superstar. The 27-year-old pop provocateur has sold nearly 9 million albums and become one of music’s more colorful figures during their partnership. The move comes after Gaga’s tearful performance Sunday of new song “Dope” on the YouTube Music Awards and as she prepares to release her third album next Tuesday.—AP

Lady Gaga poses for photographers with a Hello Kitty doll.

Lady Gaga, left, poses for photographers with her life-sized dolls during a press conference to promote her album “ARTPOP” in Tokyo, yesterday. — AP /AFP photos

Lady Gaga look-alike doll, called Gagadoll made of silicon is displayed.



Deepika joins Stone and Scorsese at M u s i c


M o v i e s

Marrakech International Film Festival


t was a star-studded affair on the opening night of the international film gala in Marrakech, Morocco. Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone, Hollywood actress Sharon Stone, and director Martin Scorsese were some of the big names present at the Marrakech International Film Festival. Deepika, who looked stunning in a mustard colored gown, introduced the first film of the festival, Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela, with director Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Actress Sharon Stone, best known for her role in the movie Basic Instinct, was awarded a lifetime achievement presented by this year’s jury president, director Martin Scorsese. “What is the definition of stardom, not fame, but true stardom?” he asked the audience as he got ready to present the award to Stone. “I am grateful, humbled and honored to be here to receive this award at this particular time in history,” Stone said, after picking up the prize. The 55year-old actress wore a keyhole black sequined gown. She completed her look with a black cape over the

(From left) Turkish-German film director Fatih Akin, South Korean director Park Chan-wook, US actress Patricia Clarkson, Indian director Anurag Kashyap, French actress Marion Cotillard, US writer/director Martin Scorsese, Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani, Mexican director Amat Escalante, Moroccan director Narjiss Nejjar and Italian director Paolo Sorrentino, arrive for the opening ceremony of the 13th annual Marrakech International Film Festival in Marrakech, Morocco, 29 November 2013.

Martin Scrorses and Sharon Stone hold a lifetime achievement award.

Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone attends the opening ceremony of the 13th annual Marrakech International Film Festival.

French actress Marion Cotillard and American film director Martin Scorsese

The Moroccan princess Lala Salema arrives at the 13th Marrakech International Film Festival yesterday.

Sharon Stone dances at 13th Marrakech International Film Festival in Marrakech, Morocco. — AP/AFP photos

French actress Juliette Binoche holds an award that presented by French film director Bruno Dumont at the tribute ceremony made in her honor.

Japan director turns to crowdfunding for anti-nuclear film


apanese film director Takafumi Ota had a problem. He needed studio financing for a film that was harshly critical of the nuclear industry in the aftermath of Fukushima, but no one was interested in funding his project the traditional way. Large sections of Japan’s movie industry wanted nothing to do with it, and he was told that influential sponsors did not want to be associated with anything that criticised the powerful atomic sector.

This photo shows Japanese film director Takafumi Ota speaking during an interview before the film preview for his work ‘Asahi No Ataru Ie’ (The House of Rising Sun). “It wasn’t only major film distribution companies but also DVD companies-who usually get interested in investing in films to share copyright-who showed no interest in my plan,” said the 52-year-old Ota, whose previous work includes the critically acclaimed 2006 film “Strawberry fields”, which screened at the Cannes International Film Festival. “A senior film director told me ‘Don’t do this. You’ll never be able to make commercial films.’” With few options to make the film, but a groundswell of antinuclear feeling in post-Fukushima Japan, Ota turned to the pub-

lic to make his film in another example of how crowdfunding is changing the face of traditional financing. The practice sees individuals or firms raise micro-donations from small investors over the Internet. While still small, the market has been booming, with companies such as the pioneering KickStarter offering donationbased funding for creative projects. Globally, the crowdfunding market grew 81 percent last year and was on track to raise $5.1 billion in 2013, with investments in everything from business startups and philanthropic projects to films and music, according to research firm Massolution. For Ota, raising money through his blog from a public suspicious of the nuclear industry got him the crucial 10 million yen ($100,000) that he needed to make “Asahi No Ataru Ie” (The House of Rising Sun), a film about a family pulled apart by a Fukushima-like nuclear crisis. Each donor was offered the chance to see their name on the credits. “The 10 million yen budget is extremely low for a feature-length film, but actors and other staff got on-board despite low salaries,” Ota said. Careers on the line Among them was Taro Yamamoto, a 39-year-old actor who is a household name in Japan thanks to his appearances in movies, television dramas and on variety shows. Yamamoto, who became an outspoken lawmaker following last year’s national elections, began campaigning against nuclear power weeks after the nuclear crisis erupted in March 2011, hoping he could use his fame to bring further attention to the issue. But he suddenly found the oxygen of publicity-and the source of his salary-cut off. “Job offers dried up,” Yamamoto said. “Whenever my name was mentioned, sales department people pressured” producers to drop him from a cast, he told AFP. Ota’s film tells the story of a farming family whose lives are turned upside down in a chaotic and badly-managed evacuation after a nuclear accident, where government information is scarce or unreliable. Yamamoto’s character is a relative who tries to per-

suade the family to move to Okinawa, Japan’s southernmost island, as they suffer through futile efforts to decontaminate their strawberry fields and one of them develops cancer. It is now being screened at about 10 independent movie theatres and cinema complexes in Japan. The film taps into the strong feelings of critics who accused the Japanese government and nuclear industry of jointly downplaying the severity of the Fukushima disaster and dragging their heels on releasing information. Like most of Japan, Ota watched in horror as the nuclear crisis unfolded in 2011 after a huge tsunami slammed into the nuclear power plant on the country’s northeast coast. Three of its reactors went into meltdown, venting a plume of radiation that polluted land, sea and air, with tens of thousands of people living in the area forced to flee. Many are still unable-or unwilling-to return home. The tsunami drowned or swept away 18,000 people, but the nuclear crisis itself is not officially recorded as having directly killed anyone. “In March 2011, when I saw television reports of the tsunami and the developments afterwards, I felt an urge to do something for people in Japan,” Ota said. “What the government said initially-that there is no immediate risk to health-was dubious,” Ota said, echoing a now-common distrust among the public about nuclear power. Yamamoto meanwhile recently caused outrage from the nation’s conservatives by handing a letter to Emperor Akihito during a royal garden party-a breach of protocol-to let the revered royal know directly about the plight of people affected by the Fukushima disaster. The move was lightly reprimanded by the government which called Yamamoto’s behaviour “not appropriate.”But the actor-turned-politician’s future is secure-at least in the short term-while his director is in a more precarious position. “If this film is a success, I’ll be given another chance to work on something related to social issues,” Ota said. “But if it proves to be a commercial disaster, there is no future for me as a film director.” —AFP

This photo shows Japanese actor and politician Taro Yamamoto, who performed in film director Takafumi Ota’s ‘Asahi No Ataru Ie’ (The House of Rising Sun), delivering a street speech in downtown Tokyo. — AFP photos

Kuwaiti designer goes royal for a cause



‘Fast & Furious’ star Paul Walker dies in crash P

aul Walker, the star of the “Fast & Furious” movie series, died Saturday in a car crash that killed one other person outside of Los Angeles. He was 40. Walker’s publicist Ame Van Iden confirmed the actor’s death Saturday afternoon. A statement on Walker’s Facebook page said he was a passenger in a friend’s car, and that Walker was in the area to attend a charity event for his organization Reach Out Worldwide. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said that speed was a factor in the crash. Deputies found a Porsche Carrera GT engulfed in flames when they responded to a report of a collision in the community of Valencia, north of Los Angeles. Two people who were found in the car were pronounced dead at the scene. The Santa Clarita Valley Signal reported that the Porsche crashed into a light pole and tree and burst into flames. The fundraiser, to benefit victims of Typhoon Haiyan, took place at a nearby racecar shop. Attendees rushed to put out the flames with fire extinguishers to no avail. “All of us at Universal are heartbroken,” Universal Pictures, which has released the “Fast & Furious” franchise, said in a statement. “Paul was truly one of the most beloved and respected members of our studio family for 14 years, and this loss is devastating to us, to everyone involved with the ‘Fast and Furious’ films, and to countless fans.” His “Fast & Furious” co-star Vin Diesel posted a photograph of him and Walker arm-in-arm on Instagram with the message: “Brother I will miss you very much. I am absolutely speechless.” Walker rode the “Fast & Furious” franchise to stardom, starring in all but one of the six action blockbusters, beginning with the first film in 2001. The blond-haired, blue-eyed Los Angeles-native brought California surfer good-looks and an easy, warm charm to the popular street-racing series. The son of a fashion model and a sewer contractor, Walker grew up in a working class, Mormon household in Glendale, Calif. The oldest of five siblings, Walker’s mother began taking him to auditions as a toddler. He was a child model beginning at the age of 2. Walker has said the early induction to show business wasn’t to start him on a career path, but as a way to help provide for the family. After a string of TV roles as a child in the ‘80s, including small roles on “Who’s the Boss” and “Charles in Charge,” Walker made his feature film debut in the 1998 comedy “Meet the Deedles.” Supporting roles in the films “Pleasantville,” “Varsity Blues” and “Flags of Our Fathers” followed. His performance in the 2000 thriller “The Skulls” caught the eye of producer Neal H. Moritz, who cast him in “The Fast and the Furious” as undercover police officer Brian O’Conner. Adapted from a Vibe magazine article about underground street races, the film became an unexpected hit. In the sequel, “2 Fast 2 Furious,” Walker moved to center stage with Diesel temporarily dropping out. Walker, a self-described “gearhead,” kept his character’s sports car from the film. Walker starred in other films, including the crime thriller “Running Scared,” the Antarctic adventure “Eight Below” and the heist film “Takers.” Though his stardom didn’t make as much of an impact outside the “Fast & Furious” series, Walker continually drew praise from his co-stars and directors as a kind-hearted and eager collaborator. “Your humble spirit was felt from the start,” Ludacris, Walker’s “Fast & Furious” co-star, said on Twitter. “Wherever you blessed your presence

you always left a mark, we were like brothers.” “Fast & Furious” proved unusually enduring. Released in May, “Fast & Furious 6” was the most lucrative of them all, grossing more than $788 million worldwide. The seventh installment began shooting in September, with a release planned for July. The film’s production was on break with more shooting to be done. Walker stars in the upcoming Hurricane Katrina drama “Hours,” which Lionsgate’s Pantelion Films is to release Dec 13. He also stars in “Brick Mansions,” a remake of the French action film “District B13” in post-production that Relativity plans to release next year. “Paul was an incredibly talent artist, devoted philanthropist and friend,” Relativity President Tucker Tooley said in a statement. He formed Reach Out Worldwide in 2010 to aid people struck by natural disasters. A friend of Walker’s who attended the fundraiser Saturday, Bill Townsend, told AP Radio, “He was very happy. He was smiling at everybody, just tickled that all these people came out to support this charity. He was doing what he loved. He was surrounded by friends, surrounded by cars.” Walker is survived by his 15-year-old daughter. — AP

Johnson and Vin Diesellead walker’s tributes


Sheriff deputies work near the wreckage of a Porsche sports car that crashed into a light pole on Hercules Street near Kelly Johnson Parkway in Valencia on Saturday. — AFP

wayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Vin Diesel lead the tributes for their late co-star Paul Walker. The 40-year-old actor died in a car crash and his fellow ‘Fast & Furious’ actors have offered their condolences. Dwayne tweeted: “All my strength, love & faith to the Walker family during this heartbreaking time. We find our strength. in his light. Love you brother.” Meanwhile, Vin Diesel posted on Instagram: “Brother I will miss you very much. I am absolutely speechless. Heaven has gained a new Angel. Rest in Peace.” The pair were joined by a number of stars and fans paying tribute to Paul, who is survived by his 15-year-old daughter. Zoe Saldana - who appeared with him in 2010 movie ‘Takers’ - said: “A very sad day indeed. R.I.P. Paul Walker. Our prayers are with you and your family.” Liam Neeson also joined in the outpouring for the late star, writing that his “heart goes out to his friends and family”. He tweeted: “Just heard about Paul Walker... Very sad tragic car accident. My heart goes out to his friends and family. Love. #RIPPaulWalker” ‘How I Met Your Mother’ actor Neil Patrick Harris also took to Twitter, contemplating about “how things can just end so suddenly”. He said: “Such sad news about Paul Walker! It’s so tragic and crazy how things can just end so suddenly. My condolences to his family.” — Bang Showbiz

2nd Dec 2013  
2nd Dec 2013  

Kuwait Times