Page 1



Lenin monument toppled as pro-EU protests rage in Kiev

UN experts inspect Iran’s Arak nuclear plant


NO: 16011

150 FILS


SAFAR 6, 1435 AH


American almost wins ‘Arabs Got Talent’

Deulofeu late show stops Arsenal moving clear



Criminal court to rule on storming Assembly MPs say easing supervision will encourage graft

Max 21º Min 11º High Tide 03:18 & 17:20 Low Tide 10:37 & 22:59

By B Izzak conspiracy theories

Watchdog from Mars By Badrya Darwish


t was not shocking for me to learn that we dropped in the global transparency index which was recently announced by Transparency International, an anti-corruption watchdog. Last year Kuwait ranked 66 and this year we dropped three spots on the Corruption Perceptions Index. This is not surprising. Lately, I do not know what kind of virus has hit Kuwait but it seems to be of a strain of nepotism, favoritism, cronyism and corruption plus the major epidemic wasta which causes casualties every day. This disease hits every immune system. There is no vaccine to protect us from it. That is why we are all vulnerable to this virus. For example, every government official, be it a minister, a manager of a big institute or a head of an authority, when he/she gets into the new chair, he starts appointing his brothers, sisters, nephews and other family members to work with him. He thinks that the government office is one of his households and he appoints whomever he likes and sacks whoever he likes - even if it is right or wrong. He might even change the older contracts signed by his predecessor, which do not have any interest for him. He signs new contracts with the help of the new entourage in his office. Once that official is out of the cosy family office, his family sails away with him. This repeats every time and the reshuffling and rehiring starts again. Once any official or a minister gets in the ministry, he knows he is there for a couple of years and wants to benefit as much as he can in the short period of time. On the other hand, you do not see any nepotism, wasta or friendship appointments in the officials’ private businesses. There are no family ties there. Seriously, we expect Kuwait to prosper like this? Just look at the Dow deal, the fourth refinery project and the latest being Kuwait Airways. Also do not forget Project Kuwait. It has been on the agenda, supposedly, for over 20 years now. I think it is high time the government creates a watchdog supervised by people who have no family members and relations to anyone in Kuwait - be it girlfriends, nephews, nieces, children etc, etc. I suggest this to be an outside body - an NGO registered on the moon, Mars or Pluto that has zero connections here in Kuwait. This NGO should be given full authority to monitor the transparency of every ministry, governing authority or a big office in Kuwait. Please, have mercy on Kuwait!

Bid to limit umrah crush in Ramadan By A Saleh KUWAIT: Saudi Hajj Minister Bandar bin Mohammad Hajjar, said there are new arrangements to control arrival of pilgrims for umrah according to months and days, with a time schedule for their arrival and departure in order to prevent overcrowding in the Grand Mosque in Makkah. The arrangement will ensure that no more than 500,000 umrah pilgrims are there on any day of Ramadan, distributed between Makkah and Madinah. Hajjar said this will be through an online umrah portal which will control visa applications and issuance, in addition to controlling the process of arrival and departure. He said the system links the foreign, interior and hajj ministries with private sector establishments that are licensed to serve umrah pilgrims. He said his ministry will stop issuing umrah visas in the middle of next Ramadan after the start of the electronic applications.

BEIRUT: A Syrian dancing group known as ‘Sima’ celebrate after winning the reality TV show competition ‘Arabs Got Talent’ during the final episode at the MBC studio in Zouk Mosbeh on Saturday. — AP (See Page 40)

KUWAIT: The criminal court is scheduled to issue its rulings today against 70 opposition activists including around 11 former MPs on charges of storming the National Assembly building more than two years ago. The case, involving leading opposition figures like former MPs Musallam Al-Barrak, Faisal Al-Mislem, Jamaan Al-Harbash, Fahd Al-Khanna and others, has been in court for around 20 months. The court may however decide to delay passing the verdicts until another date in order to complete the sentences due to the large number of defendants in the case. Several hundred opposition activists led by former opposition MPs stormed the seaside Assembly building in the night of Nov 16, 2011 following a large demonstration outside the Assembly to demand the resignation of former prime minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. The judicial agencies could recognize only the 70 defendants although many more entered the parliament building. The defendants face charges of storming a public building, assaulting servicemen guarding the building, damaging public property and disobeying orders, for which they could face years in jail if convicted. During the trial, the defendants denied the charges and insisted that as police refused to allow them to march onto the house of the former prime minister and used force against them, they were compelled to enter the Assembly building. They also insisted that they did not destroy any items in the Assembly’s main hall which indicates that they only “entered” the building without “storming” it. Continued on Page 13

Congress whipped in backlash NEW DELHI: A stunning performance by an upstart anti-corruption party helped topple India’s ruling Congress in elections to New Delhi’s state assembly yesterday, only months before the country goes to the polls. Congress, in power at national level for a decade, also lost in three other state assembly contests after vote counting yesterday in a devastating blow ahead of next year’s general election. “I would like to congratulate the people of Delhi for starting a trend of honest politics,” said Arvind Kejriwal, leader of the fledgling Aam Aadmi Party

(Common man Party), after he unseated the capital’s chief minister Sheila Dikshit in her own constituency. Kejriwal, who only launched his party a year ago, said his movement “will not be limited to Delhi alone, but will spread across the entire country and will be successful in getting rid of corruption and inflation”. A shell-shocked Dikshit said she would “analyse later what went wrong”. “All I can say is that the people of Delhi have taken a decision which we respect,” she added. Continued on Page 13

NEW DELHI: Supporters of India’s Aam Aadmi (Common Man) Party celebrate the party’s performance in state assembly elections with brooms, the party symbol, yesterday. — AP

South Africa prays, sings for Mandela JOHANNESBURG: South Africans of all races and religions united in an outpouring of prayer and song for their beloved Nelson Mandela yesterday, hearing calls to keep his dream of a Rainbow Nation alive. Churches, mosques, temples and synagogues across the country rang out with hymn and homily - a nationwide day of prayer to begin a week of remembrance for the anti-apartheid icon. In a statement Mandela’s family implored this still deeply scarred nation, and people beyond its shores, to “keep his dream alive”. “We know and know too well that you the people of the world will not fail Mandela.” From a Methodist Church in Johannesburg, President Jacob Zuma echoed that sentiment in an impassioned plea. “He preached and practised reconciliation, to make those who had been fighting forgive one another and become one nation,” Zuma told a mixed race congregation of more than 1,000 worshippers. “He preached and believed in peace, that we should live in peace, that we should live in unity.” In the congregation Mandela’s ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and his grandson Mandla looked on, often

appearing to recede deep into their sadness. Yesterday marked the formal start of a week-long state funeral for the man who forged a new multiracial South Africa from the discredited remnants of the apartheid era he helped dismantle. Reflecting a life that transcended race and religion, prayers were said not only in the churches of the Soweto township, but also in those of the Dutch Reformed Church - once an Afrikaner pillar of the apartheid system. There is some concern that the loss of such a talismanic leader might expose social divisions that Mandela’s huge moral authority had kept in check. In the Regina Mundi Catholic church in Soweto, parish priest Sebastian Rossouw called Mandela “a light in the darkness” and praised his capacity for “humility and forgiveness”. Inside the church, once used as a sanctuary by anti-apartheid activists during police raids, a single candle illuminated a portrait of Mandela with a raised-fist salute. “He fought for us then, now he needs to rest,” said Olga Mbeke, 60, who was born in Soweto. Continued on Page 13

Scientists decode DNA of date-palm RIYADH: Scientists from Saudi Arabia and China said yesterday they have completed mapping the genome of the datepalm tree, whose fruit is a staple food in many regions. Scientists from Riyadh’s King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology and China’s Shenzhen-based BGI have been working on the project since 2008. The sequencing could help increase productivity as well as prevent and help in the treatment of diseases affecting date palms, Saudi research institute head Mohammed Al-Suwail told reporters. The palm is widely cultivated in the Middle East and North Africa. Saudi Arabia has 450 varieties of the 2,000

species known worldwide, according to scientists. There are about 100 million date palms in the world, of which 10 percent are in Saudi Arabia, which contributes 14 percent of the world production of dates. In 2010, 20 scientists from both centres decoded the entire genetic makeup of the single-humped camel, camelus dromedarius, the omnipresent native of the Arabian peninsula. Unlocking the genetics underpinning the camel’s immune system could lead to potential medical discoveries, and the genome data can also help scientists understand better how the mammal produces its highly nutritious and medically valuable milk. — AFP

JOHANNESBURG: People hold up balloon lamps bearing the image of late former South African president Nelson Mandela during a commemorative ceremony outside the late leader’s former home in the Orlando West district yesterday. — AFP



Air India Express halting services to Mangalore Hundreds of expats in Kuwait affected KUWAIT: Air India Express, India’s state-owned airline, is winding up its services from Kuwait to the south Indian destination Mangalore, throwing travels plans of many expatriates into disarray. The airline has already decided not to operate its winter schedule from February 15 to

Karnataka, Kerala and Goa. Air India Express is the only airline that operates to Mangalore from Kuwait servicing thousands travelling to the northern parts of Kerala from Kuwait. “We are facing some problems in maintaining the schedule to Mangalore. Some of our aircraft are going back on completion of a lease period,” Ajay Sinha, Air India’s country manager, told the

March end and frozen the booking for the period. Now, the airline is planning to discontinue its services to Kochi via Mangalore during the summer season starting from April 1, upsetting many Indians in Kuwait who relied on Air India Express to travel to south Indian states like

Kuwait Times yesterday. Air India Express flies to various destinations deploying 21 aircraft - a few of which were on a wet lease. According to officials, the airline has to return the aircraft as the lease period has ended. “Obviously, we are concerned about the situ-

By Sajeev K Peter

ation because many of our passengers are affected by the withdrawal of the aircraft. We are talking to the management and hoping to find a solution to the problem,” Sinha said. With Air India Express wrapping up its Mangalore route, travel woes of Indian expats are going to worsen during the summer season in 2014. This takes place despite complaints that the number of airlines flying to south Indian destinations from Kuwait is dropping. “Airlines operating services using leased aircraft is nothing new. But they usually renew the lease with the same company or reach a new lease contract with other firms so that services will not be disrupted and passengers will not be affected. Air India Express has once again proved its non-committal attitude towards passengers,” said Sathar Kunnil, a spokesman of the Kerala Airport Users Movement, Kuwait. The members of the movement contacted India’s Minister of State for Civil Aviation K C Venugopal who assured them that he would look into the problem, Kunnil said. The airline used to operate three services a week to Kochi via Mangalore. With the suspension of Mangalore service, the airline will only operate three flights to Calicut weekly, its only destination in Kerala. Air India Express has started flying to Mangalore following prolonged hue and cry and persistent demands from the Indian community members in Kuwait. “KuwaitMangalore-Kochi is one of the revenue-generating routes for Air India Express. Even from a business perspective, it is essential for Air India to maintain the service,” said a top executive at a travel servicing company in Kuwait on condition of anonymity.

Al-Othaina calls for following Dubai’s example KUWAIT: The housing problem in Kuwait will not end under the current housing care regulations, and those need to be replaced with a criteria that takes into account an applicant’s social, economic and career situation. This was stated by Minister of Housing Affairs, State Minister for Municipality Affairs Salem Al-Othaina in an interview published by AlRai daily yesterday. According to the minister, the current law ‘deepens’ the problem by allowing applicants to reject a house or location allocated to build a h ous e, a nd i nste a d a s k to d e l ay th e i r request in hope of being granted a more suitable location. “Kuwait should follow Dubai’s example which gives citizens the option of either taking the housing unit or cancel their application”, Al-Othaina said. He further criticized the housing regulations for “allowing citizens to trade the housing unit for large amounts of money that contribute in increasing property

prices to unbelievable rates”. Al-Othaina also slammed the management of the Public Authority for Housing Welfare, accusing senior directors of ‘lacking vision’ that he said “resulting in rapid increase in housing applications from 40,000 to 100,000”. In the meantime, Al-Othaina credited the authority’s work under his supervision, saying that it is currently working on “overcoming unrealistic proposals with solutions made from a different approach and allow cons t r u c t i n g c i t i e s a n d s u b u r b s f a s te r t h a n before”. “This brought the idea of establishing a new authority that handles the works which used to be handled by several state departments related to housing projects”, he added referring to independent authorities established to oversee construction of new cities. Al-Othaina also indicated that the Ministry of Housing Affairs allocated four projects that are not included in the state’s structural plan

as per the HH Amir’s orders to give priority to housing care, confirmed plans to adopt ‘vertical construction’, and denied reports which suggested that the government could give housing units with less than the 400 square meters area stipulated by law. The housing issue is set to top the parliament’s agenda on Thursday ’s session. The issue was also highlighted during an extraordinar y c ab inet m e eting la s t Thu rs day. M eanwhile, Kuwait Banks Association President Hamad Al-Marzouq warned that pending housing applications are expected to reach 425,000 by 2033 at the current rate, and said that Kuwait is the second worldwide in the housing price per annual family income ratio after Hong Kong. The KBA chief made those statements during a recent seminar in which a study for the KBA was revealed and suggest that ‘vertical construction’ and ‘a bigger role for the private sector’ are key to resolving the housing crisis.

Mega firm given notice to answer questions in trafficking probe KUWAIT: A major contracting company in Kuwait was given a one-week notice after suspicions of labor-related violations in order to avoid legal procedures, a local daily reported yesterday quoting Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor insiders. The company, which has contracts with the government to carry out ‘vital mega projects’, was recently cited after MSAL inspectors found that 3,580 workers are registered in its labor records whereas only 2,300 were confirmed to be working on the ground, said the sources who spoke to AlJarida on the condition of anonymity. “Labor department inspector carried out an unscheduled visit to a construction site supervised by the company last week, and discovered that some of the workers registered in the company’s file were not found,” the sources said. They added that other workers with visas not registered on the company’s file were found on the site. According to the sources, investigations are ongoing to determine the fate of 1,280 workers employed by the company who do not have jobs at any of the project sites that the company supervises. “The ministry is looking to verify whether those workers were left without a job after being brought to Kuwait by the company that later requested alternative labor forces,” the sources confirmed. While the report does not specify the name of the company in question, it pointed out an earlier report which stated that the Kuwait Arab Contractors Company complained of ‘no cooperation’ on the part of minister Thekra Al-Rasheedi, saying that she approved recruiting only 200 out of 650 workers they demanded. The sources explains that ministry inspectors went in their unscheduled visit to the construction site after the company’s complaint came out in the press. Meanwhile, Al-Watan daily reported yesterday that minister Rasheedi gave orders to refer files of 2,000 companies to the Criminal Investigations General Department in order to take necessary legal action on charges that include human trafficking. Speaking on the condition of anonymity as well, the ‘senior official’ said that the decision came “as part of ongoing investigations” which confirmed violations that include failure to pay monthly salaries and/or end-ofservice payments, failure to secure safety requirements at the workplace in addition to visa trafficking. Visa trafficking is a form of human trafficking in which workers are brought by work permits issued illegally through loopholes found in the sponsorship

or ‘kafala’ system that organizes the affairs of the country’s expatriate labor force. Victims of visa traffickers are mostly low-wage workers who come from Southeast Asia and other countries seeking work in the oil-rich Gulf region. Once they reach Kuwait, a worker is left with no physical job and becomes prone to hard labor, mistreatment and extortion by asking large amounts of money to renew their expired visas. There have also been reported incidents in which the ministry’s database is hacked to create job openings in a company’s file, after which those openings are used to issue work permits which are then sold to workers. As per the labor law, a company has a maximum cap on the number of labor forces it can recruit which is set by ministry departments called ‘labor assessment offices’. The ministry has closed foreign labor recruitment since 2007 in a bid to curb the state’s increasing demographic imbalance, with exception given to companies that have contracts signed with the government to carry out developmental projects. Kuwait is home to 2.7 million expatriates who make 68 percent of the country’s 3.9 million population. Official statistics indicate that there are 90,000 people living illegally in Kuwait, whereas thousands have been arrested and deported during police crackdowns since April. In the meantime, little efforts were taken to identify and arrest visa traffickers. Illegals along with workers handling menial jobs are often referred to in government rhetoric as ‘marginal labor forces’ who minister Rasheedi mentioned last March when she announced a plan to deport 100,000 foreigners every year as part of a scheme to cut the country’s expatriate population by one million within a decade with the hope of restoring the nation’s demographic balance. Kuwait has fallen under pressure from human rights groups in the past few years to abolish the ‘kafala’ system that is blamed for violations practiced against low-skilled labor forces. The parliament passed a bill earlier this year to establish the Public Labor Authority, and a news report last October suggested that the government could launch it after the beginning of the new fiscal year on April 1, 2014. The new authority is hyped as a ‘natural replacement’ for the sponsorship system by exclusively handling the affairs of expatriate labor forces including hiring in local companies. The Kuwait Trade Union Federation compared hiring under the sponsorship system in a statement last week to slavery by suggesting that it grants employers ‘full control’ over workers.

Wataniya Telecom partners with PaybyMe KUWAIT: Wataniya Telecom has recently partnered with PayByMe to deliver seamless, safe and secure payments for online digital ser vices through their Wataniya mobile. PaybyMe has wide coverage in MENA (Middle East & North Africa), Europe and CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries for mobile payments and also has unique alternative payment options. It enables next generation seamless payment options and frictionless user experience for brands of digital industr y leaders such as PayPal,

Facebook, Crytek,, Ubisoft, Steam and Trion Worlds. “Wataniya is committed to delivering the most robust payment options to any consumer in Kuwait who wants to engage with any digital content on the Internet” said Wataniya Telecom. “As Middle East boasts one of the fastest-growing active gaming populations world-wide, we’re very pleased to integrate PayByMe payment solution to our consumers, and we look forward to connecting more people through the exceptional customer experience we offer”.

Wataniya has used the latest technology exposing network APIs for third-party developers and leading payment gateway solution companies like PayByMe which will give Wataniya customers an edge to have control and security for their online transactions. “We’re very excited to be part of Wataniya Telecom” said Emre Gursoy, Managing Director and Co-Founder of PaybyMe. Offering the highest quality in digital content to Wataniya end-users is one of our main objectives”

CBK supports small projects workshops KUWAIT: The Commercial Bank of Kuwait suppor ted workshops organized by the Triple A group to improve small projects started by high school students in Kuwait. On that regard, Assistant General Manger for the Advertising and Public Relations Depar tment, Amani Al-Waraa, said that the bank ’s suppor t

reflects their commitment to “sponsoring social activities and living up to our social responsibility which serve as key to achieving social development in the country”. Al-Waraa also credited the workshops as “an opportunity for young men and women to showcase their creative ideas”.

Amani Al-Waraa

KUWAIT: Led by Hamad Al-Jarrah, a Kuwait Municipality inspection team recently conducted a cleanup operation in the area located behind the used vehicles market. The operation resulted in removing over 100 truckloads of wastes. Another cleanup operation was conducted in collaboration with the Kuwaiti Diving Team at Eshairej beach and resulted in removing four truckloads of wastes including tires, sand and lumber. —By Hanan Al-Saadoun



Projects to increase airport capacity 20m passengers Development forum held By Nawara Fattahova

VIVA launches ‘Win a car every week’ campaign KUWAIT: VIVA, Kuwait’s fastest-growing and most developed telecom operator, announced yesterday the winners of the ‘Win a car every week’ campaign. The lucky draw winners were Oria Garcia, Mohammad Omran, Haya Alshammari, Abdulaziz Shnawa Askar, Maria Nelda, and Khaled Alenezi who each won a Ford Mustang Coupe. VIVA congratulated the lucky winners and invited its customers to participate in the longest on-going campaign of its kind. With the continuous success this campaign is witnessing, VIVA is keen to further engage its customers and therefore; developed further means to facilitate the process of entering the draw, where the next draw prize will be one car, a Ford Mustang Coupe. Entering the draw can be done through one of the following options. The first option is to recharge for 500 Fils or more, and this entitles the customer to one chance to enter the draw for every 500 Fils. The second option is to subscribe to the BlackBerry KD3.9 service, which gives customers full and unlimited BlackBerry Services by sending ‘2’ to 567. This option provides customers with 7 automatic chances to enter the draw each week. The third option is to purchase the KD 2 prepaid line. Upon activating the line, customers should simply send ‘GO’ to 535, and will be presented with four chances to enter the draw each week. The fourth option is to subscribe with 500 Fils per day giving customers infinite minutes

and SMS to any VIVA line by sending ‘42’ to 567. This option entitles the customer to one chance to enter the draw each week. In addition, customers can also enter the draw by subscribing to the 500 fils local bundle which presents customers with 60 local minutes per day. This can be done by sending ‘41’ to ‘567’, and entitles the customer to one chance, or by subscribing to the 500 fils international SMS bundle, which presents customers with 100 international SMS to any country for the duration of seven days. This can be done by sending ‘53’ to 567 and entitles the customer to one chance. Last but not least, customers who choose to enjoy the prepaid internet service will receive either one chance upon subscribing to the 500 fils ‘Surf On’ service, which offers 500 MB for a day. This can be done by sending ‘15’ to 567, or two chances upon subscribing to the 1 KD ‘Surf On’ service, which offers 500 MB for five days, automatically upon activation. This can be done by sending 14 to 567. Customers can also subscribe to more than one of the options, increasing their chances each week to win the valuable prizes. In the case a customer does not win, the points will be accumulated and carried on to the next draw. Prepaid customers interested in the full, unlimited, local KD 3.9 BlackBerry offer, can send an SMS with the number ‘2’ to ‘567’. For the full menu of the prepaid offers, send an SMS with the word “V” to number ‘535’.

Kuwait hosts Geographic IT Conference By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: The seventh Geographic IT Conference was launched yesterday at the Kuwait Regency Hotel. It is held under the patronage of Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah, the honorary chairman of the Geographic IT Users Group. The greatest future challenge of the Kuwait Group of Geographic IT Users is to publish an awareness book of geographic IT terminology in Arabic language to be available for everybody . “We also aim to establish a national

Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah center for geographic IT to unify the primary base plan of Kuwait, and to issue a unified dictionary of location data that will

serve all public institutions. This should simplify exchanging location information in addition to building a base of geographic information that will serve the legislative and executive institutions,” said Sheikh Ahmad during a press conference. He also reviewed the development that took place in Kuwait in the field of geographic IT during the past 10 years. “It’s important to form a national committee to serve the goals of geographic IT. This includes unifying the criteria and measurement along with the primary base plan of Kuwait. It will also allow NGOs to benefit from geographic IT through the location IT center at the Kuwait Geographic Society. Furthermore, there should be training courses in the GIS field at the same center,” he added. “We should establish a GCC network to exchange scientific experiences of the specialists in geographic IT in the region. The ministries should be exchanging information through the e-cloud,” stressed Sheikh Ahmad. Jack Dengermond, the founder and President of Environment Sciences Research Institute (ESRI), praised holding this conference. “We should understand our world visually and complexly through geographic IT, which is the practical way of designing our future through knowing our past. Geographic IT also helps in measuring and treating environmental pollution and in developing and managing energy and natural resources by observing the changes happening to the environment. Furthermore, geographic IT helps in predicting natural disasters,” he explained.

Probe into amputation of Jahra pupil’s finger KUWAIT: The Ministry of Education’s Assistant Undersecretary for Public Education Dr Khaled Al-Rahseed stressed that the condition of a Jahra primary school pupil whose finger was partially and accidentally amputated was stable. He added that all legal measures followed in such cases had been already taken and that the school administration had immediately rushed the pupil to hospital for treatment and informed his parents. Rasheed added that a report on the accident was made to the educational area and an investigation was in process to know how the accident happened. “Students’ safety is our responsibility in schools and we work hard on safeguarding them,” he underlined. Rasheed stressed that Minister of Education Nayef Al-Hajraf was following both the child’s health condition and the legal procedures taken so far. Jahra educational area’s acting director Talaq Al-Haim explained that the pupil had been excused

to go to a toilet and that on returning to class, he stood outside watching his classmates, which caught their eyes and distracted them. Seeing that the class was looking outside, the teacher closed the door to make the class focus on the lesson instead of distractedly gazing outside. He added that the teacher was alarmed on hearing the boy scream with the door banging. He added that the school administration called the boy’s mother who took him to hospital and that he ordered a detailed investigation. Commenting on the accident, MP Maasouma Al-Mubarak said that if educational facilities like schools deviate from the right path, the way it happened at AlHareth Ibn Soraqa school, more decisive measures should be taken. Mubarak also thanked minister Hajraf for immediately ordering an investigation and called for very severe punishment for whoever ‘committed this crime’.

KUWAIT: More than 60 local and international companies from various fields are participating in the Kuwait International Airport Development Forum held on Dec 8 and 9 at the Kuwait International Fair Ground in Mishref. This forum is organized by Arabian Reach in association with Al-Jabriya Exhibition Group, and is held under the patronage of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. Besides the exhibition, the event also includes various sessions. Fawaz Al-Farah, President of DGCA Kuwait, gave a welcome speech and explained the expansion plan of Kuwait International Airport. “ This plan includes a number of mega projects such as the construction of a new passenger terminal, a new runway 4.5 km long, upgrading the east and west runways, construction of a second traffic control tower and its equipments, upgrading the navigational aid the metrological equipment, developing the new navigation procedure and system, renewing safety equipments and renewing the network infrastructure of services among others,” he pointed out. In his words, the projects aim to increase the airport capacity from seven to 20 million passengers annually. And in a later stage to 25 million passengers annually. “We hope that this plan achieves its goals in availing valuable opportunities for companies specialized in airport construction, equipment, systems, and managements to exhibit their products and services and meet officials,” added Al-Farah. Hassan El-Houry, CEO of National Aviation Services (NAS) Kuwait, spoke about the aviation services in market. “In the GCC alone, Kuwait is planning numerous new projects, Qatar just built a new terminal, Dubai and Abu Dhabi have several new projects underway in addition to the new airport in Dubai, Muscat is planning a new extension to its international airport while Jeddah and Riyadh have new extension projects. Many Asian and African countries are also planning new projects in their airports,” he noted. Gulfnet communications is also one of the participants. “We are presenting full ICT solutions, digital signs, IP megapixel cameras, access control systems, wireless solutions, professional TV for airports, Internet solutions, data center for hosting services, full backup for security, disaster recovery programs and many others. We hope to provide solutions for

KUWAIT: Fawaz Al-Farah opening the forum yesterday.

KUWAIT: Al-Farah on tour at the exhibition. — Photos by Joseph Shagra the new airport,” stressed Gary Shaw, Assistant General Manager, Commercial Ops at Gulfnet. Astronergy, a Chinese company promoting various products in the field of solar energy, participates in this event. “We present PV modules, PV cells, PV systems, project development, low voltage electrical power distribution and transmission and others. We are among the top four enterprise compa-

nies in China in our field and we have a partner here. Kuwait is ideal for using solar energy as there is enough sunshine and less rain. Also, here they like to promote renewable energy and solar energy is environment friendly. Furthermore, the usage of solar energy in 25 years will be cheaper than oil consumption,” Somnilo He, Sales and Marketing said.

Condolence messages flood S African embassy in Kuwait

KUWAIT: Dignitaries arrive at South African Ambassador’s residence yesterday to convey their condolences to the Nation’s Father Nelson Mandela who died on Friday. — Photos by Joseph Shagra By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: A book of condolences was opened at the South African Embassy in Salwa yesterday for the public to convey their messages on the sad demise of the Father of the Nation Nelson Mandela. The book of condolences can be signed at the embassy compound till Thursday. An announcement posted at the embassy says regular work is suspended at the embassy and it will remain closed until Saturday (Dec 15, 2013) or until the burial of Mandela. Since the opening of Mandela’s book of condolences, various groups of people have already visited the embassy, including ambassadors of different countries and local government officials. Some dignitaries are also visiting the South African ambassador’s residence in Mishref,

which is also open to the public. “We also have a book of condolences there. If you’re closer to Mishref, please go to the ambassador’s residence at Block 3, Street 57, Villa 131,” said an official tending to the book of condolences at the embassy. One message read, “Dear South Africa, we also mourn for the death of your beloved former president. May he rest in peace and thank you for teaching us how to forgive”. “I am proud of this guy. He helped turn the history of South Africa and the world into a better place,” a Kuwaiti visitor mentioned. A Palestinian teacher said, “Mandela is a symbol of struggle against apartheid and inspiration for peaceful struggle to achieve freedom.” Kuwait News Agency also reported that HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah on Friday sent a cable of condolences

to South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma, voicing heartfelt sorrow over the death of Mandela. In his cable, the Amir said the world has lost an anti-apartheid icon who contributed to establishing the principles of justice and equality and would be remembered by the people of South Africa and the world as a national leader. HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah also sent condolence cables to the president of South Africa. The South African Embassy in Kuwait is located in Salwa and people can visit the embassy from 10 am to 4 pm and 10 am to 1 pm Thursday. The ambassador’s residence in Mishref will be open for condolences until Tuesday, Dec 10.

Govt criticized for ‘supervision exemption’ request By A. Saleh KUWAIT: The parliament is still discussing the government’s request to exempt housing projects from prior supervision as a decision on that regard is yet to be made, MP Ali AlOmair said in a statement yesterday. The cabinet made the request during an extraordinary session last Thursday, and explained that the step - under which the Public Authority for Housing Welfare would be exempted from being monitored by the State Audit Bureau - would ensure “avoiding prolonged routine procedures; hence, accel-

erating the construction and distribution of housing projects”. “There has to be objective reasons behind the request”, MP Al-Omair said, adding that “the request will be rejected if unrealistic reasons were present”. “SAB reports had previously indicated that canceling prior supervision resulted in projects’ delay, and we demand that the government convince us otherwise”, he added. MP Mohammad Al-Hadiya argued in the meantime that approving the government’s request “opens the door for many mistakes to happen in the future and which would be dif-

ficult to overcome later”. Meanwhile, former housing minister Shuwaib Al-Muwaizri released a statement in which he blamed “widespread state corruption” for the housing crisis. “Exempting housing projects from prior supervision is wanted to provide legislations through which public funds can be stolen”, he said. The former lawmaker further indicated that Kuwait has funds and lands available to go ahead with housing projects. “If the government was serious about resolving the housing crisis it created, then they would put projects for tenders publically”, he argued.


LOCAL In my view

Women driving in Saudi

In my view


Will Egypt get back Gulf investments? Road

By Labeed Abdal






uthorities in the neighboring Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are reconsidering the decision to ban women from driving, which is considered a significant step towards addressing people’s pressing demands. Furthermore, it is considered a huge step to avoid unnecessary hardships seen in other Arab countries affected by the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ which has become undesired due to the level of outside interventions and unjustified eruption of criticism and offense, especially in social media. No one denies the level of improvement and modernity seen in the Saudi society, where many young men and women obtained high degrees from major universities in the United Kingdom, the United States, France and other countries. The road that ended with earning degrees in medicine, engineering, law, etc was certainly a long



nic mmu


In my view

Perpetuating Mandela’s Legacy By Basidia Drammeh

The sharia perspective indicates that needs and necessities must be taken into consideration when determining whether something should be considered legal or not. There are many cases in which the Saudi woman, whether she is a mother, sister, or wife, would be required to use a car, such as cases of emergency that might arise when taking care of a sick parent, sibling, child or husband for example. one, and involved a lot of travel and hard work. This travel includes driving, which Saudi women had to do abroad in order to reach schools, hospitals, etc. The sharia perspective indicates that needs and necessities must be taken into consideration when determining whether something should be considered legal or not. There are many cases in which the Saudi woman, whether she is a mother, sister, or wife, would be required to use a car, such as cases of emergency that might arise when taking care of a sick parent, sibling, child or husband for example. I am confident that the Consultative Assembly (Shura Council) of Saudi Arabia, with the experience of its members and suppor t of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, will give this issue good consideration and address cases that make women driving a realistic and necessary subject. The Arab world is going through many transformations and changes - a stage that requires bridging the gap between leaderships and societies. It is the era in which people seek to make their voice heard, and require government to listen and work to provide solutions, assurances, and ways out of dilemmas to reach success and social stability.


lthough the eventual and inevitable departure of the world’s towering figure had been widely anticipated throughout this year, the news of Mandela’s passing fell on me as a thunder as I reflected on the vacuum he is leaving behind in this troubled world. Leaders across the world immediately paid tribute eulogizing Madiba and enumerating his immense contributions for he touched the lives of many of them, including US President Barack Obama. Moments after the sitting South African President Jacob Zuma broke the news, Obama came out and read a statement in which he stated that he couldn’t imagine his own life without Mandela’s life. The US leader went as far as ordering the flying of flags at half-mast, an honor rarely given to a foreign leader. The life of Mandela should serve as a lesson for the entire world, and for Africa in particular. The man was a unifying figure brining his rainbow nation together after decades of bitterness, resentfulness and hatred as a result of apartheid rule where blacks and other colored citizens were subjected to all sorts of inhumane treatment and indignity. Had it not been for his tolerance and forgiveness, South Africa would have plunged into devastating civil strife considering the mere fact that he unjustly and unfairly spent much of his productive age languishing in jail simply because he demanded and fought for freedom, justice and equality. He was a man of peace, who preached and practised it in the truest sense of the word, which made his country a proud nation. Coincidentally, as the world was mourning

the loss of Tata, (as he is fondly called, meaning father in South Africa), African leaders were converging on Paris for a peace and security summit that would have mainly focused on the deteriorating situation in the Central African Republic. African heads of state ought to seize this opportunity to enhance their governance record to ensure peace and stability in their respective nations. Madiba’s exemplary style of governance should be a model for African leaders to learn from. His cabinet included members from all political affiliations rather than appointing only his cronies or pursuing a policy of exclusion where political adversaries are perceived as enemies and unpatriotic and hence thrown in jail as they may pose a threat to the continuity of the ruling party. Besides, despite his wide popularity in and outside the country, Tata voluntarily stepped down and handed the mantle of power to a younger generation to steer the affairs of the state, while he engaged in social activities. That was a rare occurrence on a continent where power-hungry leaders cling to power, by all means possible, and hardly relinquish it unless they are deposed or forced to do so. Tata was an embodiment of perseverance and had always had faith in Africa’s renaissance, so let’s all pursue his dream of making Africa a better place. Mandela dedicated his life to serve humanity even after he left office. He was so engaged that he famously said that he would retire from retirement. As such, he had not been selfish at all. Mandela is an embodiment of noble human values that need to be nurtured and perpetuated for generations to come.

kuwait digest

Where are the details? By Abdullatif Al-Duaij


ases of public funds, whether actual or fabricated, have lost their political viability. Mentioning robberies is no longer convincing when all projects are on hold and nothing is being executed for ‘thefts of public funds’ to happen. Now corruption has become the new ‘record’ that our politicians keep playing all the time. First of all, I am not denying that thefts or corruption are not spreading here. However, I criticize the action when someone uses these issues to cover up for their own incompetence or the actual problems that the country is going through. Incompetency is a trait shared by all political groups in Kuwait. They are either incapable of facing or combating the ongoing situations, or even adapting to them. Groups that completely oppose the present situation are unable to address the actual problems, whereas those who are in harmony with the situation are unable to adapt completely to it. Therefore, everyone hides their incompetency and political bankruptcy behind overblown cases that are either fabricated or not of much importance such as cases of public funds that national forces have been focusing on since the ‘90s and corruption cases that were adopted by the new opposition when they became unable to face the actual social and political challenges.

The Kuwait Transparency Society, which observes the corruption increase index in the country, announced recently that Kuwait has dropped in the anticorruption index, but failed at the same time to identify the sources or places of corruption as well as those responsible for and benefit from it. Opposition groups pointed fingers of blame to the government alone, and accused it of being the ‘sole sponsor of and benefiter from’ corruption that all political groups are supposed to counter. The reality however is that even the transparency society - which was not so transparent here - claimed that corruption originates from administrative departments, and found mostly in political parties, police and judiciary. The KTS says that those results are based on Transparency International reports, but did not provide details. But while the Transparency International accuses political groups of ‘improving’ corruption, we find that those groups focus their activity against the government that they accuse of being the ‘main sponsor and party responsible for corruption’. Quoting Transparency International reports without explaining the measurement method or pointing out where corruption is present, how it was originated and who is responsible for it is considered deception and ‘cheap shots’ taken against foes. —Al-Qabas

kuwait digest

KAC and bedoons By Abdallah Al-Najjar


fter providing it with 37 new and modern aircraft, 25 owned and 12 leased, the government is supposed to cancel the KAC privatization law to return the Blue Bird to the state’s cradle and not let go of Kuwait’s official carrier. This establishment does not lack a thing, and the proposal to privatize it and change it to a company was due to the old and rundown aircraft, and during the past years passengers were suffering from its malfunctions, and all were calling for the modernization of its fleet to be at par with those in Gulf countries. So after buying this number of aircraft, we do not need its privatization, especially that all countries, particularly those in the Gulf, have an official carrier that belongs to the state, in addition to private fleets and it is not realistic that Kuwait which had the oldest carrier in the Gulf to be without an official one! You really made us fed up with saying the number of expats are double those of Kuwaitis, and the following year the number of expats reached 68 percent of the Kuwait population. Some officials and MPs come up with strange statements - some of them say the situation is dangerous, others say this number rings warning bells, and some say that we must find a solution as if we are the only state in the world where the number of expats exceeds that of the citizens! Most countries around the world have more expats than sons of the soil but we do not hear such silly statements. We also do not hear about expats toppling regimes in some countries. The United Arab Emirates has expats that exceed the number of its citizens four times, and despite this they are considered the most advanced and

modern at the Gulf and Arab levels! Even the US has expats that are more than half of its population, and so do all Gulf countries headed by Saudi Arabia, so why this artificial fear? If you want the solution and reduce the number of expats, you must commit Kuwait youth to take up laborious and bothersome jobs. Why don’t Kuwaitis work in electricity, pipe fitting, satellite dish installation, tailoring, carpentry, or as blacksmiths and guards so that we do not need the number of expats. Some of our youth find themselves above the profession of clerks in a polyclinic or hospital, especially during the night shift, although they have barely finished 8th grade. If you want to reduce the number of expats by half, you must educate your children in these important professions. Our youth, in less than five years, became holders of PhD, Master and Bachelor degrees and all of a sudden became managers, officials and officers and other leading professions. And they do not want the number of expats to increase? The continued campaigns to arrest violating expats and deport them to their countries made owners of camps to fight over Asian guards as their number have gone down. The campaigns made drivers not to accept a job with a family unless their salary is not less than KD 120, because the supply down as a result of the campaigns that are attempting to reduce the number of expats. Citizens are upset with these measures because the house owner has to pay more to workers to build his new home! And now we do not know what you want - for the number of expats to increase, or for the government to reduce them? — Al-Watan

By Abdelaziz Aluwaisheg


write this week from Cairo, where the Egypt-Gulf Investment Forum was held to discuss investment opportunities in Egypt. The meeting was timely because Egypt has suffered greatly over the past two years as investment flows slowed down and investors became apprehensive about returning to Egypt, waiting for the dust to settle. Given those circumstances, it was surprising to see how well-attended the forum was. Organizers estimated that 1,400 businesspeople took part, including about 400 from GCC countries. Egypt’s Prime Minister Hazem Al-Beblawi and most of his cabinet members were also in attendance. There was an upbeat mood at the forum, which was held in a resort just outside the hustle and bustle (and daily demonstrations) of Cairo. The conclusion of the constitutional conference, known as the “Committee of 50” the day before the forum opened buoyed the mood. The committee agreed to a draft constitution, which will be put for referendum in coming weeks. Its chairman was at the forum to celebrate that milestone. Officials in particular were sanguine about the prospects for the Egyptian economy, promising wideranging changes in investment rules and regulations to attract investors and stimulate the economy. The investment minister optimistically expected foreign investment to reach $25 billion by mid-2014, an increase during the next six months of $3 billion from its current level. By contrast, FDI flows during 2012 totalled only $2.2 billion. About 50 percent of foreign investment in Egypt comes from GCC countries, according to officials addressing the forum. Beblawi, who was a well-known economist in his own right before becoming prime minister earlier this year, was more realistic about the pace of those promised reforms. He said, only partly in jest I thought, that we had to keep in mind that we were talking about the oldest bureaucracy in the world. It has not had a strong appetite for quick change in the past. Trade and cultural relations between Egypt and Arabia (including the Gulf ) go back thousands of years. As a result, the two sides of the Red Sea are almost indistinguishable from each other, physically and culturally. Even 2,500 years ago, the ancient Greek historian Herodotus found it hard to delineate the borders between Arabia and Egypt proper. However intimate and close relations are between the two sides of the Red Sea, and no matter how much political will and goodwill exist, trade and investment have logics of their own. The secret lies in matching the needs of the host country with those of private investors and traders. The host government is naturally interested in investments that create jobs, contribute to the GDP growth, and help in the transfer of technologies and best practices. On the other hand, investors are interested in safety of their capital and getting the highest returns to their investment. Gulf

However intimate and close relations are between the two sides of the Red Sea, and no matter how much political will and goodwill exist, trade and investment have logics of their own. investors are no different in this regard from Egyptians or other international investors. In addition, Gulf investors, many of whom live and work in Egypt, are genuinely interested in contributing to Egypt’s prosperity and the wellbeing of its people. Before delivering my keynote address at the forum, I spoke with businessmen from GCC countries, some of whom had been investing in Egypt for many years. Some were new to the scene and keen to explore new opportunities in Egypt, but had questions about its economic prospects, as well as concerns about stability, security and investment risks. I tried to highlight some of those concerns in the following points: First, Egypt needs to restore security and political stability as soon as possible, and project a new image to investors. Faithfully implementing the declared “roadmap” and the just-concluded constitutional conference are key elements toward that goal. Second, promote investment opportunities that fulfill government policy objectives, while providing safe and profitable returns. Directly engaging investors will help. Third, reform the business legal environment, including reform of the foreign investment law, the conclusion of more double-taxation agreements, and establishment of clear legal dispute-resolution mechanisms. It was encouraging that several officials indicated that reforms in this area were already under way. Fourth, offer investment guarantees. While legal assurances are important, financial guarantees will reassure investors more. Those guarantees can be obtained from banks and financial markets, as well as regional and international organizations. Fifth, provide economic incentives, including easing export and import procedures, reducing or removing tariffs on investment-relevant imports, and maintaining stability of the foreign exchange rate. Sixth, develop infrastructure. While slowly improving, Egypt is still straddled with an outdated infrastructure that reduces its pull for investors. Roads, ports and communications have a long way to become world class. Fortunately, GCC companies have developed a niche in this area and can help. Some of those developers were at the forum, bullish on Egypt’s future. By the end of the two-day forum, it was encouraging to note that officials and investors were on the same page. Both agreed that Egypt, centrally located and most populous Arab country, possesses great unexplored potential. It has more university-educated people than any other country in the Arab region. All of these factors should make Egypt a logical destination for investment, local and international. At the same time, while promoting some 60 major investment projects throughout Egypt, officials announced that they were ready to offer assurances and guarantees to reduce risk. They also announced improved dispute-resolution procedures that have resulted in settling 19 cases involving Gulf investors, with more on the way.



Zain Group Technology team

Main winners Zain Hackathon-from Kuwait

Zain Technology Conference ‘a resounding success’ KUWAIT: Zain Group, a pioneer in mobile telecommunications in eight markets across the Middle East and Africa, is pleased to announce the successful conclusion of its third annual Zain Technology Conference, which was hosted at the Atlantis Hotel in Dubai, from Dec 1 to 3. The event, which was held under the theme: ‘Innovating Zain’s customer experience’, saw keynote presentations delivered by Zain Group CEO, Scott Gegenheimer, Zain Group Chief Technology Officer Hisham Allam, as well as senior representatives from leading telecom technology providers including Ericsson, Huawei and NSN. One the highlights of the conference was an intriguing presentation entitled: ‘A telecom guide to crash Innovations’ presented by Dr Eric Dulkeith, Senior Executive of telecom consultancy Detecon. Apart from the keynote presentations, the highly informative conference also incorporated more than 80 interactive sessions, presented by Zain’s global technology providers exchanging views and ideas to Zain technology and product development personnel regarding the advancement and future direction of the telecom sector. In addition to formal meetings, numerous teambuilding activities were undertaken in which Zain personnel from across all its operations provided input. Also included in the agenda were sporting activities such as tennis and beach volleyball competitions, with the Zain booth being a central point for many social and brainstorming events. Commenting on the successful conclusion of Zain Technology Conference 2013, Scott Gegenheimer, Zain Group CEO said: “This has been our largest Conference to date, and we are thrilled to see how much it has grown and how

through the introduction and development of successful customer experience strategies.” Allam added: “Zain Technology Conferences are a platform for the company to showcase its implementation of the industry’s best-in-class technologies, and to engage with suppliers and partners in order to further improve upon our offerings. Technical innovation and excellence is an integral part of Zain Group’s overall success strategy, and we shall continue to reach out to the technology sector to ensure our vision is aligned to the most successful developments in our highly dynamic sector.” An event-ending ceremony saw Zain Group present 14 awards based on several criteria rang-

ing from the quality of presentations by vendors and exhibitors for their showcasing and booth creativity as well as to winners of the sporting team building activities. The highlight of the award ceremony saw the three winners of Zain’s Hackathon competition confirmed; as part of a challenge supported by Zain’s Direct Operator Billing partner ‘SLA Mobile’. The competition saw 203 entries from across all Zain operations and the winners, comprising individuals or teams, came from amongst those who were able to utilize their developer skills best. The winners were specifically flown to the event in order for them to receive their well earned recognition publicly.

Zain Group CEO presenting at ZTC 2013.

Hisham Allam, Zain Group CTO

beneficial it is to our colleagues in the technology sector as well as to ourselves. With 63 technology providers taking the opportunity to present their latest technologies and solutions, I am confident that many valuable conversations were held over the three days, and that Zain Group’s view of its future is better understood by our suppliers and partners.” Zain Group Chief Technology Officer, Hisham Allam said: “We assembled over 600 participants who shared their time, technologies, and experiences with us in what can only be described as a hub of activity and mutual information exchange. This has been a highly focused event, dealing with the challenges and rewards present

The Hackathon winners were: * Best app: ‘Zain Wallet’ created by Mohammad al Ansari and Ibrahim Khamis from Kuwait who received $10,000 * Most innovative app: ‘Donate’ created by Anes Abbas and Imane Mokdad from Bahrain who received $4,000 * Most promising app: ‘Zaincape’ created by Abdulaziz Al Musaileekh from Kuwait who received $1,000 Throughout the conference, Zain was providing live coverage of the presentations and sessions through live updates and pictures on its various social media channels using the #ZTC2013 hashtag.

Cutting the Ribbon to open ZTC 2013


Traumatised Bangui residents await full French deployment

Baghdad area bombings kill 39 Page 8

Page 9

KIEV: Protesters shout slogans during a mass rally called “The March of a Million” at Kiev’s Independence Square yesterday. — AFP

500,000 protest in Ukrainian capital Ukraine opens probe into alleged attempts to ‘seize power’ KIEV: Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians rallied in the center of Kiev yesterday in the biggest protest since 2004’s pro-democracy Orange Revolution, denouncing President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to turn away from Europe and raising the stakes in a tense political standoff gripping this ex-Soviet republic. An opposition leader said the protest had matched its billing as “The March of a Million.” Video airing on local websites taken from high above the square showed streets jammed with crowds into the distance. The Associated Press could not immediately verify Oleksandr Turchynov’s count. But AP reporters on the ground estimate that more than 500,000 crammed into and around Kiev’s central square, waving European Union flags and singing the national anthem. As the government played hardball, threatening harsh measures against the demonstrators and arresting opposition activists, protests only gained steam. “Yanukovych has lost legitimacy as president ... He is no longer the president of our state. He is a tyrant,” jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said in a letter to the crowd read by her daughter. “Don’t give in, not a step back, don’t give up, the future of Ukraine is in your hands.” The demonstrations erupted last month after Yanukovych shelved a long-planned treaty with the European Union to focus on ties with Russia. They were also galvanized by police violence and fears that Yanukovych was on the verge of bringing his country into a Russian-led economic alliance, which critics say could end Ukraine’s sovereignty. “It’s not just a simple revolution,” Oleh Tyahnybok, an opposition leader with the national Svoboda party, told the crowd in a fiery speech from a giant stage. “It’s a revolution of dignity.” A solution to the crisis appeared elusive, with the government pretending not to notice the protests, and the opposition issuing contradictory statements on how to proceed next. In her letter, Tymoshenko spoke against holding any talks with the government unless they entail early elections, even though her top ally Arseniy Yatsenyuk signaled the day before that talks were possible if Yanukovych fires his prime minister. Western diplomats have also been urg-

ing dialogue. World boxing champion Vitali Klitschko, another top opposition leader, sided with Tymoshenko in calling for Yanukovych’s ouster and early presidential elections, even though there is no legal possibility to impeach him and virtually no chance that he would resign on his own. “We will fight and we are confident that we will win,” Klitschko said. But Yatsenyuk focused more on dismissing Prime Minsister Mykola Azarov, punishing the police who used force against demonstrators and freeing about a dozen opposition activists arrested since last yestedray’s rally. He urged demonstrators to blockade the entire government district in Kiev, the capital, which houses the Cabinet, the presidential administration and the parliament. “We are extending our demonstration. We are going to fight until victory. We will fight for what we believe in,” Yatsenyuk told the crowd, which was drowning in a sea of flags. A much smaller pro-government rally was held dangerously close to the opposition march. The two crowds were separated by police, but demonstrators then mingled openly in a nearby park and there were fears of clashes. The protest in sub-zero December temperatures took place on Independence Square, known as the Maidan, in an echo of the Orange Revolution. Those protests annulled Yanukovych’s fraud-tainted victory and ushered his proWestern opponents to power. “Ukraine is tired of Yanukovych, we need new rules, we need to completely change those in power,” said protester Kostyantyn Meselyuk, 42. “Europe can help us.” The demonstrations began last month after Yanukovych shelved the signing of an agreement to deepen ties with the 28-nation European Union in order to focus on Russia, which worked aggressively to derail the EU deal. During a huge demonstration a week ago, several hundred radical protesters hurled stones and attacked police as they tried to storm the presidential office, prompting a violent breakup by the authorities in which dozens were injured, including peaceful protesters, passers-by and journalists. — AP

KIEV: Riot police separate pro-EU protesters from supporters of the ruling Regions Party (at background) during a mass rally called "The March of a Million" in Kiev's Independence Square yesterday. — AFP



India has no interest in US-style Gulf security role MANAMA: India’s foreign minister said his country had no interest in filling the breach if Washington decided to reduce its military footprint in the Gulf, and cautioned that the region would not be well-served by turning to other Asian powers, like China. “We have never played the classical role of intervening with military assistance in the same way that the US has been doing,” External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid told Reuters. “Because of the philosophical constraints that we impose on ourselves, we don’t see ourselves as a replacement for any other power,” he said on Saturday. “We certainly don’t believe that the presence of any other power, such as China or Japan, or what have you, would necessarily contribute to the security of the region.” Khurshid was speaking on the sidelines of a security conference in Bahrain, where a

main point of debate is whether the United States might reduce its commitment to safeguarding the Strait of Hormuz, through which 40 percent of the world’s sea-borne oil exports pass, as it becomes more selfreliant in oil. US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel assured the meeting that the United States had an enduring commitment to Middle East security, backed by diplomatic engagement as well as warplanes, ships, tanks, artillery and 35,000 troops. But unfamiliar strains have appeared in Washington’s relationship with the wealthy states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), partly because of a decline in US energy imports from the region. Another reason for strain is progress in negotiations on Iran’s dispute nuclear programme, a development that raises the pos-

sibility of a rapprochement between the United States and Iran, whom some GCC states view as a troublemaker. That has led some Gulf Arab analysts and officials to speculate that the GCC states - Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar - are casting around for new security partners, possibly the rising military powers of Asia that have long been the main buyers of Gulf oil. Khurshid told Reuters India would always be ready to help train, exercise and share intelligence with Gulf Arab forces, but playing security guarantor “would be a paradigm shift”. “Stationing yourself for purposes of strategic defence is another matter entirely,” he said. “India has very, very carefully and strictly adhered to certain principles and we would want to continue to adhere to those principles. We have never

join alliances and we have never joined military groups.” India plans to spend $100 billion in the next 10 years to modernise its mostly Soviet-era military, and like most Asian powers, is building its naval forces just as Western navies cut back. It also seeks to expand its influence in the Gulf, where it has old ties of trade and where millions of its nationals are migrant workers, and relies on the Middle East for more than half of its oil imports. India launched its first domesticallybuilt aircraft carrier this year, although it will not be fully operational until 2017. In November, Russia handed over a $2.3 billion aircraft carrier to India after years of delays, extending the South Asian country’s maritime reach in the Indian Ocean as it looks to counter China’s assertive presence in the region. India’s first, British-built

aircraft carrier was bought in the 1960s and was decommissioned in 1997. Another exBritish carrier, the INS Viraat, is in operation but is reaching the end of its service. India’s is also one of several navies that keep watch against Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean: others include China, Russia, Japan and South Korea. “We would want to help them (the Gulf) in logistics, including cooperation on counter-terrorism, on protection of sea lanes, on intelligence sharing, on capacity building,” Khurshid said. “These are areas where we are very happy to work with our partner friends.” “But will India be willing to step into a possible vacuum, if there might be the withdrawal of existing forces I think that is not the kind of thing that we, in terms of present strategic planning and understanding, that we would (contemplate).”—Reuters

Baghdad bombings kill 39 13 bombs leave 110 wounded BAGHDAD: A wave of bombings mostly targeting Shiite areas in and around Baghdad killed at least 39 people yesterday as surging violence spurs concerns Iraq is falling back into all-out conflict. The blasts, including seven car bombs, are the latest in a months-long rise in bloodshed that has forced the authorities to appeal for international help just months before the country’s first elections in four years. Officials have pointed the finger at Al-Qaedalinked militants emboldened by the civil war in neighbouring Syria, but analysts and diplomats say the government has not done enough to address underlying domestic problems fuelling the violence. At least 13 bombs exploded from around mid-day (0900 GMT) across Baghdad province, targeting mostly Shiite areas. They killed at least 39 people and wounded more than 110 overall, according to security and medical officials. The deadliest of the violence hit Al-Amil and Bayaa neighbourhoods in south Baghdad, with separate bombings killing five people in each area. Interior ministry spokesman Saad Maan gave a far lower toll for the Baghdad violence, saying

three people were killed and 10 wounded. Officially released death tolls are consistently far lower than those from other sources, and the interior ministry has sharply criticised media organisations for reporting figures higher than those it gives. Attacks also hit areas outside the Iraqi capital. A car bomb exploded near Baquba, north of Baghdad, killing one person and wounding four, while a roadside bomb in the northern city of Mosul wounded five people. And in Basra province in south Iraq, security officials said a roadside bomb exploded near an Aegis private security company convoy, causing no casualties. Yesterday’s bombings came a day after attacks nationwide killed 16 people, nine of whom were shot dead at alcohol shops in Baghdad. With the latest attacks, the death toll for the first eight days of this month has already surpassed that for the entire month of December last year, according to AFP figures based on security and medical sources. Violence in Iraq has reached a level this year not seen since 2008, when the country was just emerging from a brutal period of rampant sectarian killings.

Unrest spiked after security forces stormed a Sunni Arab protest camp north of Baghdad in April, sparking clashes that killed dozens of people. Members of the country’s Sunni minority, who complain of discrimination at the hands of the Shiite-led government, have held demonstrations for almost a year. The government has made some concessions aimed at placating Sunni Arabs, including freeing prisoners and raising the salaries of anti-AlQaeda fighters, and has also trumpeted security operations against militants. But daily attacks have shown no sign of abating, and violence has killed more than 6,300 people since the beginning of the year, AFP figures show. Despite a near-ubiquitous security force presence, attacks have hit targets ranging from cafes and football fields to military checkpoints and government vehicles. The violence has forced the authorities to appeal for international help, and Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki used a trip to Washington to call for the timely delivery of new weapons and increased intelligence cooperation. France and Turkey have also both offered assistance. —AFP

ISTANBUL: Turkish riot police officers take cover as Kurdish protesters shoot fireworks at them during clashes in central Istanbul yesterday. Two protesters were killed on December 6 in armed clashes with Turkish police that erupted over claims that Kurdish rebel cemeteries had been destroyed, local media reported. — AFP

Mandela funeral could ‘trap’ Rouhani TEHRAN: The funeral service of Nelson Mandela could be a “trap” for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani because he could run into US President Barack Obama, a hardline Iranian daily warned yesterday. The Islamic republic has yet to announce who will travel to South Africa for Tuesday’s memorial service and next Sunday’s funeral for the late president and Nobel laureate. Hardline newspaper Kayhan warned in an editorial that if Rouhani attends it could bring him face to face with Obama, “head of the Great Satan government”. “Some domestic and foreign media outlets are using the funeral ceremony as a pretext to push Rouhani towards a meeting with the head of the Great Satan government,” Kayhan said. Rouhani, a moderate, defeated a pool of conservatives in a June presidential election after vowing to engage with the West. Since then there has been a thaw in ties between Iran and world powers. The most remarkable development was a 15-minute telephone call between Obama and Rouhani in September, as the Iranian president was ending a visit to the US for the UN General Assembly. The call was the first contact between leaders of the two nations since diplomatic ties were severed more than three decades ago over the hostagetaking at the US embassy in Tehran.

The Kayhan editorial, headlined “Satan lays a trap, this time in Johannesburg”, recalled comments by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei after Rouhani’s September trip to New York. “Some of what happened in the New York trip was not appropriate,” Khamenei said at the time, without elaborating. Iranian hardliners and conservatives took that as indicating the supreme leader was unhappy the telephone chat had taken place. Since that conversation, Iran has struck a landmark nuclear deal with six world powers including the United States in another sign of a thawing of ties. The interim agreement reached last month following a decade of gridlock would freeze parts of Iran’s controversial nuclear programme while easing some of the crippling international sanctions against it. It is not clear if Rouhani will attend services for Mandela, but he sent a message of condolences following the death of the iconic South African. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has also tweeted a message saying: “We in Iran join the people of South Africa in mourning the death of Nelson Mandela, who inspired humanity with his courage&compassion.” Mandela, who died late on Thursday at the age of 95, had visited Iran in 1992 and again in 1999. — AFP

UN inspects Iran’s Arak nuclear plant TEHRAN: UN nuclear experts inspected Iran’s Arak heavy water plant yesterday for the first time since summer 2011, amid international concern that the half-built site may have a military purpose. No details were immediately available from the one-day inspection of the site 240 kilometres (150 miles) southwest of Tehran. The visit was made possible after a mid-November agreement that also granted the International Atomic Energy Agency access to another nuclear-related site. Iran’s atomic energy organisation spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said the two IAEA inspectors, including the head of the agency’s Iran task force Massimo Aparo, would leave for Vienna later. They arrived on Saturday and went straight into talks with Iranian nuclear officials. After the meeting Kamalvandi said Tehran had provided the agency with “required information on ongoing research” about its new generation of centrifuges that enrich uranium by spinning it at supersonic speed. The small heavy water research reactor at Arak is of concern to the international community because Tehran could theoretically extract weapons-grade plutonium from its spent fuel if it also builds a reprocessing facility. Arak has been plagued by a series of delays, however, and its stated completion date of 2014 is expected to slip back even further. But a year after it eventually comes on line, it could provide Iran with an alternative to highly enriched uranium used for a nuclear bomb.Tehran insists that its activities are entirely peaceful, and says the Arak reactor would create isotopes for medical and agricultural use. Although the IAEA does not have a permanent presence in Iran, it regularly checks work on the Arak reactor. It has also been pushing Tehran to disclose any new design detail on the reactor since 2006. Before yesterday, its inspectors had not been to heavy water plant

at the facility since August 2011. Yesterday’s inspection comes just weeks after Iran clinched a landmark deal with world powers under which it will freeze or curb some of its nuclear activities in return for limited relief from crippling international sanctions. The interim six-month accord struck in Geneva is meant to buy time for diplomacy to ease Western and Israeli suspicions that Iran’s nuclear drive has military objectives, despite repeated denials. Concern about the Arak reactor was one of several sticking points in the negotiations, since several UN Security Council resolutions require Iran to suspend work at Arak. Based on the agreement, Iran is obliged to “not commission the reactor or transfer fuel or heavy water to the reactor site” or instal remaining components at the unfinished facility. It also agreed to increase cooperation with the IAEA. A “roadmap” agreement was signed in mid-November between IAEA chief Yukiya Amano and Iran’s nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi in Tehran after years of unsuccessful negotiations. The IAEA will now also have access to the Gachin uranium mine near the Strait of Hormuz and off the Gulf. Kamalvandi said yesterday that Iranian representatives and the UN would next week probably discuss an IAEA visit to Gachin. “Details have not been discussed, but it is highly likely that the framework and a timeline for a visit to Gachin will be discussed in the talks in Vienna on Wednesday,” he told the ISNA news agency. Another nuclear site causing international concern is the Parchin military facility where the IAEA suspects Iran may have experimented with atomic weapon development. Tehran has so far denied the agency access to Parchin, saying that its military nature makes it off limits. However, the new developments in negotiations with world powers and the IAEA have raised the possibility of a visit to the site. —AFP



The right stuff: What makes a hero? JOHANNESBURG: For US President Barack Obama and millions of people around the world, Nelson Mandela was a hero. But what are heroes? Why do we need them? And will there be another Mandela, or is he the last of a breed? Delving into these questions means starting with the word itself. “Hero” is charged with mythology: it is rooted in the ancient Greek term for demi-gods like Achilles. In more modern times, the term came to describe mere mortals credited with exceptional qualities, such as Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Winston Churchill or Martin Luther King. But it may also be used for fictional characters like James Bond or Superman, even athletes who achieve a remarkable feat. This semantic stretch is a good indicator of our craving for super humans. “Heroism is a central concept of culture and society,” said Frank Farley, a lecturer at Temple University in Philadelphia. “Throughout human history we have the hero and we have heroines-literature is just rife with heroes, anti-heroes, heroism.” Asked to define what makes a hero, people share remarkably common preferences, experts have found. The list includes courage, compassion, ambition, intelligence, humour, optimism and, perhaps surprisingly, being tall.”A lot of the great heroes have the capacity of altruism, of generosity,” said Farley. “They are giving people. They may give their life to others.” Mandela, for his part, had emphasised willpower. “A man who would not break down even under the most trying circumstances,” is how he described a hero in his autobiography “Long Walk to Freedom.” According to the experts, reallife heroes tend to come in three categories. There are those who commit their lives to struggling against societal wrongs; those who put their lives at risk to save a stranger, say from an oncoming train or a burning building; and “professional heroes” like firefighters or police officers.Heroes are more than role models Heroes that fall into the first category, such as Mandela, tend to have one thing in common-they overcame great adversity, said Elaine Kinsella of the University of Limerick in Ireland. “Typically we do not want to emulate heroes due to the hardship and suffering they endured,” she said. This is one thing that makes a hero far more than a simple role model, someone whose life one would wish to imitate.

“Who would want to relive Mandela’s life?” Kinsella asked rhetorically. Mandela, who died Thursday aged 95, spent 27 years in jail under South Africa’s apartheid regime for his leading role in the fight against its racist policies. He endured solitude, separation from his family and ill-health, suffering lung and eye damage caused by harsh prison conditions. These experiences and ordeals are part of what made him unique: even if you could clone the man, you still would not have another Mandela. Indeed, the more a hero suffers, the greater he or she is likely to be revered in consequence, say expert. For psychology professors Scott Allison and George Goethals of the University of Richmond in Virginia, Mandela has nearly stellar esteem because of his almost-unimaginable triumph. “When we’ve asked people to list their most inspirational underdog heroes, the name Nelson Mandela invariably appears more often than any other,” they said in an email to AFP. The need for heroes runs deep. According to Kinsella, heroes give us a sense of security by guiding and protecting us. They make us feel better about ourselves by reminding us there are good people in the world. And they set an example of how we can live more harmoniously with others. “Sixty-six percent of people we sampled said they had at least one hero,” she said. “The types of heroes we choose may have changed over time, but it seems there remains a human need to seek out the heroic among us.” Fellow anti-apartheid fighter and Nobel peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Saturday described Mandela in terms of a universal totem. “Of course he was exceptional, but the spirit of greatness that he personalified resides in all of us,” Tutu said.”We are made for goodness, for greatness. He embodied and reflected our collective goodness, he embodied our hopes and dreams.” Who will be the next globally-recognised hero after Mandela? The experts point to Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, as a good candidate. But they also say the heroic genre faces a challenge. Mandela achieved his fame in the 1950s and 1960s, living a clandestine life before being jailed, becoming a “banned person” whose very image was outlawed by the South African regime. —AFP

Traumatised Bangui residents await full French deployment France tries to rewrite role in Africa BANGUI: Terrified Bangui residents anxiously waited for French troops to secure the city yesterday before emerging from their homes after a wave of sectarian violence killed hundreds. The French force received a triumphant welcome Saturday as it deployed across other parts of the Central African Republic in a bid to stem the chaos that has gripped the country since a March coup. The communal strife that has wracked the Central African bush for months flared in the capital on Thursday, leaving at least 300 people dead according to the local Red Cross. French forces have secured strategic locations in Bangui and were expected to face little resistance, but traumatised residents were eager yesterday to see them move deeper into the neighbourhoods. “ We’re waiting for the French to enter our districts and be sure we won’t encounter any of those gunmen,” one resident told AFP. “We’re all exhausted from living in fear. We want this to end,” said another, declining to give his name. Central African Republic President Michel Djotodia declared a three-day period of mourning from yesterday for the victims. In comments on national radio, he thanked the former colonial power for its military help, said the situation was under control and urged people to return to their normal routines. On Saturday, cheering residents honked horns, danced and banged on saucepans as some 200 French troops rolled into the western town of Bouar from neighbouring Cameroon. “Thank you” and “Save us”, yelled some of the thousands of people massed to see the convoy bristling with guns and French fighters in high-tech combat gear swoop into town. French President Francois Hollande, describing the Bangui bloodshed as “terrifying”, announced that he would send 400 more troops than previously envisaged, boosting the force to 1,600 by Saturday night. He said

BANGUI: Worshipers gather at the St Jean des Cascades church for service yesterday. — AP this number would not increase became interim president, the first has hinted he had not given up on and most troops would not stay Muslim leader of the mostly his old job, of being behind the vigmore than six months. The French Christian country. He disbanded ilantes. The Bangui prosecutor on presidency also announced that Seleka but while some militiamen Saturday announced that a “war the African Union would boost the remained loyal to him, others went arsenal” including AK47s, ammuniregional MISCA force also on the rogue and warlords soon imposed tion and bags of combat gear had ground to 6,000 troops from a a reign of terror on large swathes of been found at the home of Interior land. Local Christians responded by Minister Josue Binoua, an ally of planned 3,600. forming vigilante groups and the Bozize. In a show of strength, government was never able to French troops on Saturday ‘Quick stop to atrocities’ Hollande said the job of the assert its authority over the sprawl- patrolled Bangui and a fighter jet flew low over the city, where bodies French and African troops would ing, landlocked country. Reports have described a series still lay abandoned outside parliabe “to disarm militias who are acting like gangsters, raping women of horrors, with security forces and ment. Hollande ordered the launch and even killing people in hospi- militia gangs razing villages, carry- of operation “Sangaris”-named tals.” “I believe we can quickly put a ing out public killings and perpe- after a local butterfly-on Thursday stop to the current atrocities and trating widespread rapes. On after winning a UN Security massacres,” he said, adding that Saturday overwhelmed Red Cross Council mandate to send a peacethe long-term goal was to “re- staff continued to pick up dead and keeping force to the country. The establish stability and, when the mutilated bodies-mostly clubbed UN resolution gives the Frenchtime is right, organise free and or hacked to death-from the streets backed African force a 12-month of the capital. A surge in communal mandate and the right to use “all democratic elections”. MISCA, at its current strength of violence has raised international necessary measures” to restore 2,500 and lacking equipment, has fears of large-scale ethnic cleansing order. UN leader Ban Ki-moon told made little impact since a motley and even talk of a “pre-genocidal” French radio Saturday that he hoped the continental force could coalition of mostly Muslim fighters situation. Djotodia accused forces loyal to be transformed into a larger UN known as Seleka overthrew the exiled Bozize, who still has allies peacekeeping force of up to 9,000 Francois Bozize nine months ago. The Seleka chief Djotodia in the coalition government and troops. —AFP



US storm causes blackouts Airlines cancel more than 400 flights DALLAS: Freezing weather gripped parts of the United States on Saturday, with hundreds of thousands of people in Texas and Arkansas coping in the cold without power after a winter storm made roads impassable and caused severe flight delays. The Arctic chill was so pervasive that even Las Vegas may see snowy showers before the weekend is out, forecasters said. The coast-to-coast cold wave was predicted to spread eastward to Virginia and up to New England till today. “What’s happening across most

of the country is we’re getting a very early taste of winter,” Mike Muscher, a National Weather Service meteorologist, said. “This is something you’d typically see in January or February.” A record-low temperature for Dec 7 - 42 degrees below zero (-41 C) - was recorded in Jordan, Montana. More than 3,300 travelers were forced to sleep on cots overnight at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, where airlines canceled more than 400 flights. Nearly a thousand flights were canceled on Friday. Among the stranded travelers were Brenda and

Doug Jones, who live in a Dallas suburb and had planned to travel to Aruba for their honeymoon. After 14 hours waiting at the airport, they opted to go home. They said they found most people at the airport were in good spirits despite the conditions, cancellations and crowds. “People were trying to help each other out,” Brenda Jones said. At the height of the storm, some 267,000 electricity outages were reported in Texas, according to utility provider Oncor. That number was down to about 75,000 late on Saturday, and

LAKE LOUISE: Twilight at the ‘Morant’s Curve’ offers a view of the frozen Bow River and the Canadian Pacific Railway at Banff National park near Lake Louise late on December 7, 2013. The region’s temperatures keep around minus 36 degrees Celsius (minus 32.8 Fahrenheit). —AFP

Oncor said it hoped to restore power to “nearly all” of its customers by Sunday night. Larry Thompson and his wife, Jessica, both nurses at Dallas-area hospitals, headed to a local hotel with their four young children after losing power at home. “I couldn’t even warm a bottle,” Thompson said. “Everything is slick,” he said. “The kids were holding hands and they’re falling down, and I’m trying to hold the baby. I don’t have enough hands.” Forecasters predicted sub-freezing temperatures and icy conditions in the region for the rest of the weekend, with sleet and layers of ice up to 3 inches (7.6 cm) thick around Dallas. Roads and driveways were blocked by fallen limbs from trees heavy with ice. The city canceled a marathon planned for yestedray. A marathon for Saturday was canceled in Memphis, Tennessee, due to icy conditions and the danger of falling tree limbs, organizers said. Streets were an icy and slushy mess across the region, and at least three people were killed when their cars skidded off the road, authorities said. In Fort Worth, traffic ground to a halt on several major highways because of wrecks that blocked icy roads. The frigid air was due to roll into the northeast today. Accuweather predicted a “wintry mess” of ice, freezing rain and the season’s first snow accumulations from Washington, DC, to Boston. The cold weather system will leave the East Coast over today night, the National Weather Service said. — Reuters

Final funeral for NYC train victims NEW YORK: The last of the funerals for passengers killed when a Metro-North Railroad train derailed was held Saturday, as transit officials worked to fix the tracks for the eventual restoration of full service. Kisook Ahn, 35, was killed last Sunday along with three others when a train flew off the tracks after hitting a curve at 82 mph, (132 kph) nearly three times the 30 mph (48 kph) speed limit. The train operator told investigators he nodded at the controls and didn’t apply the brakes until it was too late. Ahn’s family traveled from South Korea for the funeral, and her friends and family said she was a loyal and dedicated nurse. She was returning home after her overnight shift at the Sunshine Children’s Home and Rehab Center for severely ill children in

Ossining, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) north of New York City, when she was killed. “She was a sweetheart. An angel. She never frowned,” former co-worker Ethelina Cox told the Daily News of New York. Ahn arrived in the United States in 2008 as part of an exchange program with a university in South Korea. She graduated from the City University of New York’s Lehman College with bachelor and master’s degrees in nursing. “She came here to pursue her dreams,” her brother, Jinwon Ahn, 45, told the newspaper through a translator. Jinwon said Kisook will be cremated. The family will also have services in South Korea. Funeral services were held Friday for two victims of the derailment. Jim Lovell was a sound and lighting expert and technician on NBC’s

“Today” show who had been on his way to work on the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. Donna Smith, a paralegal, had been going to hear her sister sing a holiday classic, Handel’s “Messiah,” with a choral group. The funeral for James Ferrari, a building maintenance worker putting his daughter through college, was held Thursday. There were 63 other injuries, 11 serious. Transit officials said work to fix the track should be completed. The National Transportation Safety Board is continuing to investigate. The MetroNorth Railroad has until Tuesday to identify places in its system with major speed changes under an order from federal transportation officials requiring an extra worker in the driver’s cab on certain routes. — AP

Venezuela municipal elections test Maduro CARACAS: Venezuela voted yesterday in municipal elections seen as a referendum on the performance of President N icolas M aduro, his standing buffeted by high inflation and frequent shortages since being elected by a narrow majority in April. The handpicked successor of Hugo Chavez, who died of cancer in March, has presented himself in recent months as a man of action in the face of a teetering economy in a country with the world’s largest oil reserves. On November 20, the National Assembly gave Maduro powers to rule by decree to fight corruption and to respond to what he charges is an “economic war” unleashed by the opposition with US backing. Maduro, who styles himself as the “avenging president,” immediately rolled out a series of measures to force cuts in prices, notably household appliances and automobiles, and threaten speculators with prison. With several days to go before the election, private polls indicate that Maduro’s display of willfulness and the populist tenor of the measures have been well received by the middle class, which appears less inclined than expected to punish his party at the ballot box. “Maduro appears to be governing for the first time (since the election,)” pollster Luis Vicente Leon told AFP. “Now his speeches are accompanied by action, so he is seen as president who, whether you like what he’s doing or not, has taken the bull by the horns.” At a time when the country is experiencing a record 54 percent inflation since January and confronts shortages of basic necessities, and an explosion in the black market value of the dollar, “a crazy paradox occurs: the one who is benefiting from the crisis is Maduro,” Leon said. In effect, said fellow pollster Miguel Velarde of the Alpha Politikos Institute, recent developments in the economic arena “have strengthened confidence in the political leadership.” ‘Historic moment’ for the opposition For the Democratic Unity Table,

or MUD, the main opposition coalition, the elections in 337 municipalities across the country will be decisive for its future. I ts leader Henrique Capriles, who lost to Maduro in April by only 1.5 percent of the vote, has called it a “historic moment” that will assess the balance of forces af ter 14 years of “Chavista” rule. “We must be disciplined with our sentiment for change and express it forcefully,” the Miranda state governor said Wednesday in one of the last opposition campaign rallies before the elections. The opposition, which now controls about 50 municipalities, would be satisfied if they were able to double that number, even if it means leaving the ruling United Socialist Party entrenched in 230 other municipalities. Its greatest challenge, however, will be to maintain control of the country’s biggest cities, and especially the Caracas metropolitan area, a “super mayoralty” composed of five municipalities, and the oil city of Maracaibo. While opposition leader Antonio Ledezma is expected to win reelection in Caracas against former communications minister Ernesto Villegas, forecasts are less optimistic for the opposition in M aracaibo. Incumbent Mayor Eveling Trejo, whose performance in the country’s second-largest city has been faulted, appears in a weak position against socialist candidate Miguel Perez Pirela, a 36-year- old Francophile philosopher whose appearances on state television have made him a celebrity. The ruling party has also plugged its candidates with endorsements by local celebrities, like former M ajor League baseball players Magglio Ordonez and Antonio “El Potro” Alvarez, and the former reality show host Winston Vallenillas. Despite the intense campaign it has waged over the past weeks, however, the government has refused to acknowledge that the outcome will be a “referendum” on its performance, especially since the powers of municipal officials are very limited in Venezuela. — AFP

Mexican military seeks to oust cartel from port LAZARO CARDENAS: Soldiers standing on the back of pick-up trucks patrol Lazaro Cardenas, one month after ousting the municipal police in this major Mexican port that had become a drug cartel’s cash machine. While troops armed with assault rifles ride in borrowed police vehicles, a vice admiral has taken over the administration of the Pacific port, which handles the largest general cargo volume in Mexico. The military was sent by President Enrique Pena Nieto on November 4 to clean house, forcing the city’s 113 local police officers to undergo vetting exams while replacing the port’s two top civilian jobs with naval officers. The government has said it received anonymous tips about unspecified corruption and “collusion” at the por t. The Knights Templar car tel has used Lazaro Cardenas to import precursor chemicals from Asia and make methamphetamines in makeshift mountain labs in the western state of Michoacan. In January 2012, 195 tons of such chemicals were seized in 12 containers from China. But the cartel has branched out, extorting container truck companies as well as exporting iron ore to China af ter illegally extracting the mineral in Michoacan, according to government and industr y sources. The deepest por t in Mexico has grown exponentially over the past decade, with cargo movement doubling to 36 million tons this year. Stacks of containers rise like metal towers, as giant cranes move them onto and out of ships heading to or arriving from Asia. Benjamin Rodriguez, president of the local Business Coordination Council, said the the military has made the city safer. “The port is a strategic point for organized crime,” Rodriguez told AFP. “There’s extortion and another resource they have recently handled is minerals. They have become mining entrepreneurs,” he said. Rodriguez said he has asked visiting Chinese businessmen: “How is it possible that they are sending raw minerals to China?” ‘A recognized problem’ Virgilio Camacho Cepeda, a local executive of global steel giant ArcelorMittal, publicly denounced the illegal extraction of minerals for a long time. In April, the interinstitutional relations director was found dead on the city’s outskirts with a

bullet in the head. Nobody has been arrested so far and investigators are tak ing testimony, said a spokeswoman for state prosecutor’s office. The motive remains unknown. The Luxembourg-based company declined to comment on Camacho’s murder, but a spokesperson said in a brief statement that “illegal mining is a recognized problem in the state of Michoacan.” A representative of a mining company, who requested anonymity for him and his employer for security reasons, said the cartel sends truck loads of illegallyobtained iron ore to the port using papers that appear legitimate. Cartel operatives steal directly from legal mines or extract minerals without permits. “It’s as if someone came to your house, settled in the backyard and did whatever he wanted,” the source said. A federal government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said authorities had “testimony from detained Templars” and evidence proving such activities were happening. The economy ministry said the illegal extraction of iron ore first emerged in 2010 in Michoacan and the neighboring states of Colima and Jalisco. “This illegal activity is fueled by the great demand in iron ore from countries like China that need it for their industrial development,” the ministry said in an e-mailed statement. “For this reason, seizing on the

proximity of the por t of Lazaro Cardenas, many companies began to stock up on great quantities of iron ore that they obtained legally or illegally, which was then loaded for export,” it said. To address the problem, the government tightened regulations, requiring exporters to have a permit showing the mineral’s origin. Extortion goes on Another major source of revenue for the mafia it the protection money it demands from an array of businesses. Two truck transport executives said on condition of anonymity that they are still receiving threats despite the military presence, with gangsters demanding 1,000 pesos ($75) per truck per month. “They ask for a ‘monthly collaboration’ which we can’t disagree with because they burn trucks” or hurt people, said one manager. Another executive said the gangs steal cargo, especially electronics. “ The army is doing nothing. They patrol the streets but we still have problems,” the executive said. But the port’s new administrator, Vice Admiral Jorge Luis Cruz Ballado, said he did not have information about illegal activities at the port and that his mission was to ensure the smooth movement of cargo. “Right now I can assure you that the port is safe,” he said. “It’s a reliable port.” —AFP

GUADALAJARA: Migrants from Central America wait for the train that will take them to the US border in Guadalajara, Jalisco State, Mexico, on December 7, 2013. —AFP



Thai crisis deepens as oppn quits Parliament Thai PM proposes referendum to end conflict BANGKOK: Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra proposed a referendum on her future yesterday and promised to resign if that was what the people wanted, as anti-government protesters prepared for a final push to try to force her from power. Protesters have been on the streets of the capital for weeks, clashing with police and vowing to oust Yingluck and eradicate the influence of her self-exiled brother, former

work with the ruling party. The leader of the anti-government protesters, Suthep Thaugsuban, a former Democrat Party deputy prime minister, has called for a final demonstration on Monday to force Yingluck out. Yingluck said in a televised statement her government was searching for ways to end the conflict. “We should conduct a referendum so that people can decide what we should do,” she said.

BANGKOK: An elderly Thai woman shouts anti-government slogans during a rally at the Democracy Monument yesterday. —AP Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The demonstrations are the latest eruption in nearly a decade of rivalry between forces aligned with the Bangkok-based establishment and those who suppor t Thaksin, a former telecommunications tycoon who won huge support in the countryside with pro-poor policies. Underscoring the divide, the pro-establishment Democrat Party said all of its members of the House of Representatives would give up their seats because they were unable

Suthep, aware that Yingluck and her party would likely win an election if one were called, has been urging the setting up of a “people’s council” of appointed “good people” to replace the government. Yingluck has dismissed the idea as unconstitutional and undemocratic. She did not spell out the specifics of any referendum but said it was in line with the constitution. “I’m willing to listen to proposals from the protesters. I’m not addicted to this title,” she said. “I’m ready to resign and dissolve parliament if

that is what the majority of the Thai people want.” Suthep has told his supporters they had to take back power from what he calls the illegitimate “Thaksin regime”, but he told them they could not rely on the army to help. The army, which ousted Thaksin in 2006, has said it does not want to get involved though it has tried to mediate. Critics of the government say it is illegitimate because it buys votes, but analysts say Thaksin has built up a solid base of support in the countryside with his populist policies, which has helped him or his allies win every election since 2001. Opposition out Thaksin fled Thailand in 2008 to avoid a graft conviction but has remained closely involved with his sister’s government. The protests were sparked last month by a government bid to introduce an amnesty that would have expunged his conviction. The protesters have missed successive deadlines for forcing Yingluck out and their numbers have been dwindling. Suthep said if they were not successful in ousting the government on Monday, he would give up his fight. A spokesman for the Democrats said all members would resign from the lower house of parliament, where Yingluck’s party has a comfortable majority, and join Monday’s march. “The party has unanimously voted that all Democrat MPs will resign because we can’t work with the government MPs,” spokesman Nipit Intarasombat told the Nation Television. “This government has no legitimate power.” Without the Democrats, the 500-member lower house will have 347 members. The government has not used excessive force against the protesters and Yingluck said on Saturday the police would act with restraint if people tried to occupy public buildings, including their main target, her Government House offices. There was no sign of any fortifications going up yesterday. Five people have been killed in clashes between rival activists and scores have been hurt, many by teargas the police have been firing to keep protesters out of government buildings. The protesters occupy the Finance Ministry and a government administrative complex. —Reuters

Kim’s uncle removed from N Korean state documentary

TACLOBAN: In this photo, Filipino groom Earvin Nierva (left) poses next to his bride Rise as they pose for their wedding pictures in the typhoon-ravaged city of Tacloban, central Philippines. —AP

One month after super typhoon, Philippines faces huge challenges TACLOBAN: A month after one of the strongest typhoons ever recorded hit the Philippines, masses of survivors are living amid rubble in rebuilt shanty homes and experts say reconstructing destroyed communities will take years. The sight of people sleeping and cooking in wasteland towns highlights the overwhelming problems as an initial, frenzied emergency relief effort transforms into one focused on long-term rehabilitation. “A lot of people have received emergency assistance, but this is just the beginning,” Matthew Cochrane, a spokesman for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the worst-hit city of Tacloban, told AFP. The Philippines endures more than 20 major storms a year but Super Typhoon Haiyan was the most destructive on record, with at least 5,796 people killed and another 1,779 missing, according to government data. Haiyan also made history as having the strongest winds ever recorded to make landfall, striking the eastern island of Samar with gusts of 315 kilometres (195 miles) an hour. But surprise storm surges proved to be more devastating than the winds, sending walls of water up to two storeys high through dozens of mostly poor coastal communities on Samar and neighbouring Leyte island. More than a million homes were damaged or destroyed, while water rushed through schools and other supposedly safe coastal buildings that were serving as evacuation centres, killing many people sheltering there. Permanent homes a top priority Cochrane said one of the top priorities, exactly one month after Haiyan struck on November 8, was building new homes and communities for roughly 500,000 families. But with the process expected to take up to five years and cost billions of dollars, many people have already left evacuation centres and started the rebuilding themselves, often using salvaged material. In Tacloban, 81-year-old Gnerio Trinidad sat at the weekend inside her tiny wooden home that was rebuilt on stilts above a putrid

swamp of debris, as her neighbours threw broken furniture and shattered coconut trees onto a fire. “I’m afraid that another typhoon will come, but there’s nowhere else to go... if the government gives us another place to live, we will move,” Trinidad said as her three grandchildren played in the house. In a neighbouring district, 18-year-old Ronnie Melaflor had recently finished erecting a makeshift Christmas tree using a bamboo pole and tinsel. It stood on broken concrete and tiles next to his family’s wooden hut. “We can’t put a tree inside, but I still want to celebrate Christmas,” said Melaflor, who escaped the devastation wrought upon his community by sheltering with his seven siblings and parents in a nearby school. Outside of the cities, the government and relief workers are rushing to help tens of thousands of farmers who lost their livelihoods in the storm. The next rice harvest must be planted this month, so urgent programmes are underway to clear farms of debris, fix irrigation channels and get seeds out to remote areas. “This is a huge issue for food security... it’s going to be an enormous challenge to meet the deadline,” Ian Bray, a spokesman for international charity Oxfam, told AFP. Hundreds of thousands of people will also need some form of help to address the mental trauma of living through what many in the mainly Christian country have likened to hell. “In a disaster like this it’s not just about meeting the physical reconstruction needs, it’s about addressing the mental scars,” said International Federation of the Red Cross spokesman Patrick Fuller. Church services on Sunday were part of that healing process, with survivors listening to sermons focused on hope and resilience. “Whatever hardships and sufferings we have had, we should try to move on and forget and start all over again,” Father Isagani Petilos told a morning mass at Tacloban’s Santo Nino Church, which still has missing windows and holes in its roof. “We have to learn to accept what happened in our lives, and we can still hope that there’s a beautiful life ahead.” —AFP

SEOUL: Images of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s uncle have been removed from an official state TV documentary, a disappearing act that appears to lend credence to Seoul’s claim that Pyongyang’s second most powerful official may have been purged by his nephew. South Korea’s spy agency told lawmakers last week that it believes Jang Song Thaek was likely sacked after the executions last month of two close associates, allegedly over corruption. The National Intelligence Service hasn’t explained how it obtained the information, and skepticism followed the claim because of past intelligence failures in Seoul regarding the inner workings of the North’s secretive government. But some worry that, if true, the purge of such a powerful figure could lead to dangerous instability. On Saturday, North Korea’s state TV repeated a documentary on Kim Jong Un’s military inspection trips. Although Jang appeared throughout the version that aired on Oct 28, images of him had vanished from the new version. North Korea has previously deleted the images of purged officials from state videos and publications, according to a South Korean government agency that tracks North Korean propaganda. In one scene in the original version, the bespectacled Jang can be seen wearing a winter parka and standing behind Kim Jong Un as the leader shakes hands with a soldier. But Jang cannot be seen in Saturday’s version, which has the same title and narration. Elsewhere in the older version, he is seen clapping his hands from a distance as a uniformed officer speaks to Kim. But the new version only shows what appear to be parts of Jang’s right arm, chest and abdomen. Pyongyang has said nothing about Jang’s fate or the new version of the documentary. Jang was last seen in state media about a month ago. Jang - who is married to Kim Jong Un’s aunt, Kim Kyong Hui, the younger sister of Kim Jong Il has held a string of top jobs, including in the National Defense Commission, the government’s top ruling body. He was considered a major influence on the young leader as he consolidated power after Kim Jong Il’s December 2011 death. Jang has reportedly been purged several times previously, only to return to power. In another development that Seoul’s spy agency is linking to Jang’s likely sacking, two people related to Jang who were serving abroad as diplomats have been recalled to North Korea, according to South Korean lawmakers who were briefed by intelligence officials. South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, which first reported on the documentary, said the original documentary was broadcast nine times in October starting on Oct 7. An official at South Korea’s Unification Ministry, which is responsible for North Korea matters and closely studies the country’s propaganda, said that 17 scenes showing Jang had been removed from the original documentary. The official spoke on customary condition of anonymity, citing department rules. The removal of Jang’s images in the documentary serves as indirect confirmation of his dismissal, analyst Cheong Seong-chang at the private Sejong Institute in South Korea said in an email. “The fact that North Korea has erased Jang’s face from the documentary ... indicates that efforts to completely root out his influence are spreading to every level.”Jang’s position will likely be better understood, analysts say, if he appears at state-organized events on Dec 17 to mark the second anniversary of Kim Jong Il’s death. —AP

KABUL: An Afghan woman and her child beg for alms surrounded by mud on a street yesterday. —AFP

Afghan law fails to protect women: UN KABUL: The UN mission in Afghanistan yesterday criticised authorities for poor implementation of a landmark law to protect women, 12 years after the repressive Taleban regime was ousted from power. Donor nations, led by the US, point to the Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW) law as a prized symbol of the success of the international effort in Afghanistan since 2001. But a report released by the UN said that prosecutions and convictions remained low under the 2009 law, which criminalises child marriage, forced marriage, forced self-immolation, rape and other violence against women. “Implementation has been slow and uneven, with police still reluctant to enforce the legal prohibition against violence,” Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said. “Afghan authorities need to do much more to build on the gains made so far in protecting women and girls.” The report comes amid fears that as the NATO-led military mission prepares to withdraw by the end of next year, religious conservatives are seeking to increase their influence and undermine advances in women’s rights. The report said that of about 1,670 registered incidents of violence against women in 16 provinces, only 109 cases-seven percent-went through a judicial process using the EVAW law. Many cases were resolved through informal mediation, which often fails to protect women from further violence, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said.

One 24-year-old witness from Nangarhar province told UN researchers how she was forced into a marriage when she was 15. “He regularly subjected me to violence including beating and abuse,” she said. “My husband gave a written statement to the police that he would refrain from violence and I went back with him. “Within a month he started beating me again. He tried to kill me when neighbours intervened to save me. “My case has been mediated three times by local elders, shuras, jirgas and the Department of Women’s Affairs. My family does not want me to do anything legal. I have suffered a lot and I want justice.” The report also said the Supreme Court had convicted 283 people, mostly women, of “attempted zina (sexual intercourse outside of marriage)” in a one-year period to March 2013. During the 1996-2001 Taleban era, girls were banned from school, and women were forced to wear burqas and not allowed to take part in any form of public activity. “Increases in reporting and registration of incidents of violence against women by Afghan authorities are encouraging,” said UNAMA head Jan Kubis. “But it is a real concern that these positive steps have not been met with increased use of the EVAW law to indict and prosecute those who commit violence. “Until the EVAW law is enforced fully, progress in ending violence against women and advancing women’s rights in Afghanistan will be limited.” —AFP

Australia rights group wins international prize SYDNEY: When Peter Clarke’s family wanted to seek justice over what they described as his “appalling and inexcusable” treatment in custody, they turned to a tiny campaign group working tirelessly for indigenous Australians. Led by founders Ray Jackson and Don Clark, with a dozen core volunteers, the Indigenous Social Justice Association (ISJA) has been dealing with death-in-custody cases like Clarke’s for more than 15 years. Its work has been largely unsung and underfunded, toiling in relative obscurity to bring justice for the families of Aboriginal men and women who die under the watch of authorities. That anonymity may soon be a thing of the past, with the award this week of a prestigious international human rights prize for its work. On December 10 — UN Human Rights Day-the ISJA will collect one of five annual awards worth a total of 70,000 euros (US$95,100) given by France’s National Consultative Council on Human Rights (Commission Nationale Consultative des Droits de l’Homme-CNCDH) in Paris. “We are quite sure that no government in Australia, at any level, would have ever even entertained the thought that the works of ISJA warranted any praise or recognition,” said Clark, 65, who added that, apart from rare donations “mostly it (funding) comes out of our own pockets”. There have been more than 450 indigenous deaths in custody since 1979-80 and little progress in the pursuit of justice, says Jackson. “Nobody has been found guilty, except the victims,” Jackson said. “There’s a culture of protection.” The case of Peter Clarke is one of the latest taken up by the ISJA since it was founded in 1997. Clarke, 56, was dying of emphysema and lung cancer when he was admitted to hospital, where his family say he had one leg handcuffed to his bed and was watched over by a prison officer. An indigenous Australian, he had spent more than three years in a Northern Territory jail for possessing and supplying cannabis. He had been due for parole a week before he died in hospital in Alice Springs in April 2012. The coroner’s report into his death in custody is expected in January. Clarke’s family, from the

Arabana people, are seeking answers to what eldest daughter Kylie called “appalling and inexcusable” treatment. “His family are desperate to get some justice and it very much depends really on what the coroner is going to say,” said Jackson. Jackson, 72, began campaigning in 1987, the same year the Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody was set up amid growing public concern after 16-year-old John Pat died on September 28, 1983, at Roebourne police station in Western Australia. An autopsy found he had sustained a fractured skull and tearing of the brain. “Thirty years on from John Pat’s shocking death and Aboriginal people are still dying in jails,” said Amnesty International indigenous rights campaigner Rodney Dillon on the anniversary, calling the situation a “national disgrace”. Amnesty acknowledges official efforts to improve indigenous lives, but says Aboriginal peoples still face “widespread and systemic disadvantage and discrimination”. According to experts, ISJA stands out due to its commitment to Australia’s disenfranchised. “It’s unique in the Australian context because it not only devotes energy to social justice in indigenous matters but also in broader terms to immigrants and prisoners,” says Macquarie University associate professor Joseph Pugliese, who specialises in social justice. “They offer a platform (for all people) to give voice to their grief and vent their trauma and call for justice.” Pugliese spoke of the “staggering statistics” relating to indigenous people, be it life expectancy, suicide, poverty. They make up nearly one third of the prison population but under three percent of Australia’s 23 million people. Indigenous youths account for 58 percent of the total juvenile incarceration rate. ISJA’s Clark will accept the prize in Paris alongside Sudan’s Sabah, for a project on protecting children’s rights in prisons; the Civic Assistance Committee which defends women persecuted in Dagestan and Chechnya, Russia; Grandir Dignement, for defending children’s rights in prisons in Madagascar; and the Chadian Association of Non-Violence for its aid project for displaced families. —AFP

Hagel backs NATO force in Afghanistan post-2014 KANDAHAR: US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told American troops yesterday that he supports a NATO force in Afghanistan after 2014, as Washington and President Hamid Karzai wrangle over a stalled security pact. Hagel travelled to bases in south Afghanistan to meet troops a day after further tensions arose over the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA), which would allow some NATO forces to stay in the country after most combat troops withdraw next year. “I believe there is a role for our coalition partners and the United States, but that depends on the Afghan people,” Hagel told soldiers in a question-and-answer session at Camp Bastion in Helmand province. “If the people of Afghanistan want to continue that relationship, then we will.” US commanders were looking at “a new phase for our mission to train, assist, advise and counter-terrorism”, he added. Meetings with Karzai have been customary over the years for Pentagon

chiefs, but Hagel had no plans to meet the Afghan president during his weekend visit. On a stop in Kandahar yesterday, Hagel acknowledged “uncertainty about what happens next” for NATO forces after 2014. “I have hope that the BSA will get signed,” he said. Since President Barack Obama’s National Security Adviser Susan Rice and top diplomat John Kerry had already had frank discussions with Karzai urging him to sign the security agreement, Hagel said on Saturday there was no point in him repeating the US position. “There’s not much I can add in a meeting with President Karzai to what’s already been said,” he said. Hagel did meet the Afghan defence minister, Bismillah Khan Mohammadi, who assured him the security agreement would be signed in “a timely manner”. Karzai, who visited Iran yesterday, initially endorsed the security pact but has since refused to sign and issued fresh demands. —AFP

NEWS Criminal court to...

Congress whipped in backlash

Continued from Page 1

Continued from Page 1

A number of the Assembly’s guards told the court that their commander ordered them to open the main gate of the building to allow the demonstrators to enter. The court also refused to summon a number of prominent witnesses like the prime minister, the former speaker and others to testify during the trial, saying it had heard a sufficient number of witnesses. On the eve of the ruling, Barrak said that if the same conditions were back today, he would have done the same thing without any hesitation. Writing on his Twitter account, Barrak said he is psychologically and physically prepared to bear the consequences of what he did. Entering the Assembly building was a symbolic political stance that led to the dismissal of the former prime minister and former Assembly speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi and this should be rewarded with pride and not prison, he wrote. In another development, a number of MPs yesterday warned that the removal of prior supervision on mega projects by the Audit Bureau will only encourage corruption. Their comments came after the government said that removing prior monitoring of the Audit Bureau will accelerate the pace of implementing housing projects to meet rising demand. “If we abolish prior supervision, we will be effectively removing the most important phase of combating corruption and aggression on public funds,” MP Abdulkareem Al-Kandari said. MP Maasouma Al-Mubarak said prior supervision safeguards public funds and does not obstruct public projects while MP Faisal Al-Shaye insisted that the Audit Bureau supervision does not delay government projects. Kuwaiti law requires that the Audit Bureau must clear government projects, legally and financially, before they can go ahead.

Aam Aadmi, which tapped into widespread anger over corruption under Congress Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, even managed to deprive the main Hindu nationalist opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of a majority. Final results showed the BJP had won 31 of the 70 Delhi assembly seats while Aam Aadmi had captured 28. Congress trailed in third with just eight, down from 43. The BJP also won by a landslide in the states of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, and secured a narrow victory over Congress in restive Chhattisgarh. The elections for the four states have been held at different points over recent weeks but the counting had been postponed until yesterday. Votes will be counted in the remote Congress-ruled state of Mizoram today. Aam Aadmi only fielded candidates in New Delhi but the results will increase expectations that it will run nationwide when the world’s largest democracy holds its general election, by next May at the latest. “We have succeeded in altering the political discourse of the elections,” Atishi Marlena, one of Kejriwal’s top lieutenants, told the NDTV network. Triumphant Aam Aadmi supporters at party headquarters waved brooms - the symbol of its pledge to clean up politics. BJP activists celebrated in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, dancing to the beat of drums, bursting firecrackers and waving the party’s lotus symbol.

The assembly votes mark the last major test before Congress and the BJP, fielding hardliner Narendra Modi as its candidate for the premiership, face off in the general election. Rahul Gandhi, who is expected to lead the Congress general election campaign, said the party understood voters’ anger and in particular would learn lessons from Aam Aadmi’s strong showing. “It’s our duty to listen to you... I want to tell you that we have heard what you have said,” said the 43-year-old, whose father, grandmother and great-grandfather have all served as prime minister. “The Congress party has the ability to transform itself, has the ability to stand up to the expectations of the people of this country. The Congress party is going to do that.” Analyst Amulya Ganguli said the chickens had come home to roost for Congress after economic growth slowed to around five percent and following a series of corruption scandals - including surrounding the chaotic 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. “Had they managed to keep the economy buoyant, then that would have at least been a buffer against the numerous scams during their time,” he said. The elections are also a test for Modi, who is popular with middle-class voters but whose reputation was tarnished by deadly anti-Muslim riots that occurred on his watch as Gujarat chief minister in 2002. Modi, 63, voiced delight on Twitter, congratulating the party’s leaders in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan for their “wonderful performance” and “historic victory”. — AFP


South Africa prays, sings for... Continued from Page 1 In Johannesburg, speaking to an exclusively white, Afrikaans congregation at Melville Dutch Reformed Church, Reverend Andre Bartlett asked them to “think back to the 1990s”, when the old order was crumbling and a newly-freed Mandela was preparing his successful run for the presidency. “Remember the fears we had over what would happen to the country: under the leadership of Mr Mandela, none of those fears came true,” Bartlett said. The extraordinary depth and breadth of Mandela’s appeal will see more than 50 heads of state of every political stripe rub shoulders with leaders across the religious spectrum and marquee names from the worlds of sports, art and entertainment during the funeral events. US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle will be among 80,000 people attending a vast memorial service tomorrow in the Soweto sports stadium that hosted the 2010 World Cup final. The commemorations will culminate with Mandela’s burial on Dec 15 in Qunu - the rural village where he spent his early childhood. Since Mandela passed away late Thursday, aged 95, large crowds have gathered day and night outside his Johannesburg residence. By night they lit candles and linked arms in silent remembrance, but then, as if to lift the mood, they burst into song danced in celebration of a life that transformed their country and inspired the world. “To me it’s not a sad day. It’s a day of hope, for us to be able to determine the future,” said Khabile Mgangame, a salesman.

Yesterday’s prayers were echoed a continent away in London, where Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, spiritual leader of the world’s 80 million Anglicans, praised Mandela for his “extraordinary” courage at a service of thanksgiving. While Mandela’s health had been in serious decline for some time, his death still came as a shock to South Africans whose attachment to their first black president was profound and deeply personal. As well as the steady pilgrimage to his Johannesburg residence, crowds have gathered at other sites linked to Mandela - his childhood home of Qunu in the Eastern Cape, his old house in Soweto and outside Cape Town’s City Hall. Mandela’s body will lie in state for three days from Wednesday in the amphitheatre of the Union Buildings in Pretoria where was sworn in as president in 1994. His coffin will be taken in a cortege through the streets of Pretoria each morning to allow as many people as possible to say farewell. Among the many world leaders scheduled to attend is Nigeria’s Goodluck Jonathan and 12 other African leaders. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, French President Francois Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will also attend. Talk show queen Oprah Winfrey and singeractivist Bono, as well as Richard Branson and Peter Gabriel are expected to be among the celebrity mourners. Mandela’s fellow Nobel peace laureate, the Dalai Lama, who has twice since 2009 been denied a visa for South Africa, will not attend, his spokesman said. — AFP




Founder and Publisher

YOUSUF S. AL-ALYAN Editor-in-Chief

ABD AL-RAHMAN AL-ALYAN EDITORIAL : 24833199-24833358-24833432 ADVERTISING : 24835616/7 FAX : 24835620/1 CIRCULATION : 24833199 Extn. 163 ACCOUNTS : 24835619 COMMERCIAL : 24835618 P.O.Box 1301 Safat,13014 Kuwait. E MAIL Website:

Washington Watch

Dog of year in US Congress whimpers to end By David Espo


arring uncharacteristically swift work by Congress, more than a million victims of the recession will lose long-term unemployment benefits over the holidays, the price of milk could shoot up in late winter and government payments might fall sharply for doctors who treat Medicare patients. There’s more much more - as lawmakers grasp the tail end of a dog of a year. Federal payments to Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands will begin shrinking, at least temporarily, on Jan 1. Tax breaks will expire temporarily for millions of people in states without an income tax, and also for the relatively few Americans who own racehorses. These routine deadlines are going unmet in a year more likely to be remembered for a partial government shutdown inspired by the hardcore conservative tea party movement, the stalling of President Barack Obama’s agenda, repeated failed Republican attempts to eviscerate the health care law and a successful move by Senate Democrats to limit opposition to White House judicial nominees. The blame game transcends all. Republicans have “made good faith, serious efforts to Senate Democrats” to resolve differences on year-end issues, House Speaker John Boehner said recently. “When will they learn to say ‘yes’ to common ground?” The House Democratic leader, Rep Nancy Pelosi of California, attacked Republicans for opposing an increase in the minimum wage, voting to cut $40 billion out of food stamps, and seeking reductions in school money and college aid for low-income families. “I mean, how unconscionable can that be?” she asked at a meeting scripted to build support for extending unemployment benefits. A much-ballyhooed year-end stab at bipartisanship is designed chiefly to ease the impact of across-the-board spending cuts that resulted from an earlier episode of gridlock. Even a compromise probably would face strong opposition from tea partyaligned conservatives in the House of Representatives whose tactics have opened a deep divide within Republican ranks. Whatever the deal might be, Milton Wolf, a tea party-backed primary challenger to Republican Sen Pat Roberts in Kansas, is against it. It will “raise spending levels by billions of dollars and continue to provide funding for Obamacare,” he said in a statement. He’s right that the health care law would survive because most Republicans have no interest in reprising a partial government shutdown that sent the party’s approval ratings plummeting this fall. But there is no deal yet, and officials in both parties say Rep Paul Ryan, the chief Republican negotiator, is insisting that any eventual agreement push deficits lower than they would be if across-the-board cuts were left untouched. With the House on track to adjourn for the year at the end of this coming week and the Senate hoping to file out a week later, much attention is focused on the talks between Ryan and Democratic Sen Patty Murray. But what might emerge from those discussions isn’t expected to address a stack of routine unfinished business, some of which probably will carry over into 2014. Lawmakers are at work drafting a three-month measure to prevent a 24 percent drop in Medicare payments to doctors, the residue of an ambitious plan for a permanent overhaul of the entire system. The cost is estimated at about $8 billion. A similar extension, perhaps for as little as one month, is the alternative to a milk price fiasco. The issue is hostage to a far broader disagreement about legislation to set spending levels for farm and feeding programs. A House measure that passed on a partyline vote calls for food stamp cuts totaling $40 billion over a decade. A Senate version, passed with bipartisan support, envisions reductions of $4 billion. Failure to resolve the broader issues would return the nation to a Depression-era dairy law and set in motion a chain of events that would potentially quadruple the price of a gallon of milk. If the prospect is for a one-month extension of farm programs, there has been virtually no public discussion about the dozens of tax provisions due to expire at year’s end. Some originally were placed into law only temporarily to mask their true impact on the deficit. Now, they are renewed periodically, and temporarily, because the cost of permanent extensions could be prohibitive. Among the more obscure is a provision that allocates to Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands the proceeds of a $13.25-per-gallon federal excise tax on imported rum. Without action by Congress, the amount to be turned over would fall to $10.50 per gallon. Other items allow racehorse owners to write off their investments relatively quickly, and permit residents in nine states that have no income tax to claim a federal deduction for the state sales tax they pay. Concern over milk prices, tax breaks and payments to doctors all cross party lines. Not so unemployment benefits, a Democratic priority. “I don’t see much appetite on our side for continuing this extension of benefits,” Republican Rep Tom Cole told reporters. —AP

All articles appearing on these pages are the personal opinion of the writers. Kuwait Times takes no responsibility for views expressed therein. Kuwait Times invites readers to voice their opinions. Please send submissions via email to: or via snail mail to PO Box 1301 Safat, Kuwait. The editor reserves the right to edit any submission as necessary.

Family, politicians battle over ‘Brand Mandela’ By Peroshni Govender, Jon Herskovitz and David Dolan


rom political posters to bottles of wine and kitchen aprons, the face and name of Nelson Mandela are a potent commercial and political brand in South Africa. Little wonder it’s so sought after - and the source of occasional squabbles. Following his death on Thursday at the age of 95, the scramble for control of the Mandela legacy both financial and moral - will involve his family, the ruling African National Congress (ANC), and the Nelson Mandela Foundation he set up to protect his broader message. At stake is the inheritance that will go to Mandela’s more than 30 children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, some of whom already use the Mandela name and image to market everything from clothing to reality TV. There are also the Mandela brands and trademarks that help fund the Foundation. And for the ANC, Mandela’s reputation as an anti-apartheid hero is worth votes for years to come. There are no available public figures of Mandela’s wealth, making it difficult to put an exact value on his estate, which includes an upscale house in Johannesburg, a modest dwelling in his rural Eastern Cape home province, and royalties from book sales including his autobiography “Long Walk to Freedom”. Several South African branding experts have declined to estimate the annual value of Mandela’s trademark and brands. Maintaining control over the copyrights is already a difficult business; protecting the Mandela brand may be even harder now that he is gone. “The beauty of the Nelson Mandela brand is that it has been lived by him exactly as it has been presented by him. His behaviour is his brand,” said Jeremy Sampson, the executive chairman of Interbrand Sampson de Villiers. “In the rush to commercialize it, we run the risk of watering down or destroying the good that the brand stood for purely with the crassness of finance,” he added. Mandela divided the management of his legacy between a series of trusts to handle his finances and the Nelson Mandela Foundation, which serves as custodian of his wider moral legacy. In total, he set up about two dozen trusts, mostly to pay for the education of his grandchildren and great grandchildren. It hasn’t all been straight forward. A legal tussle between Mandela’s long-time friend, lawyer George Bizos, and two of Mandela’s daughters became public this year as the daughters sought to have Bizos and other Mandela associates ousted from companies set up to sell his handprint for use in art and memorabilia. According to an affidavit filed by Bizos and the others, the two daughters, Makaziwe Mandela and Zenani Dlamini, had been trying to gain control of the main Mandela Trust since 2005 and eventually became trustees without Mandela’s knowledge. Mandela became angry when he found out what the daughters had done, Bizos and the other associates said in the affidavit. “Mr Mandela was shocked and used a common expression ‘Good Lord!’ He was most infuriated and wanted to know what had happened.” A portion of the revenue from the Foundation’s 46664 clothing line - named after Mandela’s prisoner number on Robben Island - and the artworks also goes to pay for family members’ education, according to Bizos. “The trust has adopted the procedure of requiring the applicant for money to furnish an invoice,” Bizos said, adding that every request accompanied by proper paperwork has been granted. But some family members have asked for a lump sum payment of 12

million rand ($1.2 million), he added. Such demands fuel the notion, widely held in South Africa, that some of Mandela’s children have exploited their father. Makaziwe, Mandela’s eldest daughter, bristles at that. “This is what we are, in a sense, entitled to, that my father worked for, and he did it with his own hands to create something for the welfare and upkeep of himself and his children,” she told the Financial Times in April. “If everybody wants a little bit of the Madiba magic, why is it so sacrilegious for the rightful owners ... to use the Madiba magic?” she said, referring to her father by his clan name. The Nelson Mandela Foundation, which runs the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory in Johannesburg, was set up as the official custodian of Brand Mandela. It owns more than a dozen copyrights and trademarks for Mandela, which it uses for fundraising and charitable works. As well as the “46664” number, its copyrights include the “Nelson Mandela” name, the clan name “Madiba” by which he is widely known, and “Rolihlahla”, which was Mandela’s given name.

the South African government that use the Mandela name. The companies appear to have no link to either Nelson Mandela, any of his relatives or any geographic area that has the Mandela name. The list includes the Gandhi-Mandela Nursing Academy, Mandela Truck Shuttle Services, Mama Mandela Marketing Company, Thanks Mandela Toiletries and Mandela’s Shed, a restaurant. The “Madiba” name has been used by more than 140 registered companies, including Madiba Truck Stop, Madiba Wines, Madiba’s Driving School, Madiba Chickens, Madiba Cash and Madiba Bottle Store. The Foundation may own the website “”, but “” belongs to a Brazilian, who told Reuters he is using it for a personal project, which is a tool for computers. There are also regularly scams where fake charities use Mandela’s name to raise funds. The South African government in mid2013 issued a statement warning people not to be duped by such groups. Against all this, the Mandela Foundation picks its battles with care, only rarely suing firms that use his name of image. “The brand

brand “Long Walk to Freedom”, borrowed from the title of his autobiography, while two of his US-based granddaughters starred in a reality television show called “Being Mandela”. The other group keen to use Mandela’s image is the ruling African National Congress. After Mandela was imprisoned in 1964, the ANC made a conscious decision to use him and his young wife Winnie as symbols of the struggle against the racist government - the first time the party had chosen to elevate the individual above the collective. When Mandela walked out of prison in 1990, he became a figure of reconciliation, calming the white minority who had been told for years he was the terrorist face of the “swart gevaar”, or “black danger”. Today the ANC needs that magic more than ever. “The ANC made the brand and the brand became bigger than the ANC,” author and political analyst William Gumede said. “Unfortunately, a lot of rank-and-file ANC leaders right now see Mandela as their own, rather than as belonging to the whole of South Africa and the broader world.”

JOHANNESBURG: A boy walks past a mural depicting Nelson Mandela during different stages of his history, outside the Regina Mundi church where a morning mass in memory of Mandela took place, in Soweto, Johannesburg yesterday. —AP Income those brands generate - “46664” runs as a charity that sells wristbands and mobile phone starter packs, for instance helps pay for the running of the Foundation’s Centre of Memory, which is the main research and archive centre for Mandela, and which often spoke on his behalf as his health faded. In all, the foundation had net income of 22 million rand ($2.2 million) in 2012 and assets of 290 million rand. In 2011 net income totalled 33 million rand and assets came to 262 million. It paid Mandela 2.8 million rand in 2011 and 2.9 million rand last year for the book it published with his help called “Conversations with Myself,” which was a follow-up to his autobiography “Long Walk to Freedom”. “We do not commercialize our trademarks, however we do undertake publications like ‘Conversations with Myself’ ... for educational purposes,” said Heather Henriques, intellectual property and governance manager at the Centre of Memory. Separately, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund has rights to use the Mandela name for fundraising. Between 1995 and 2012 the fund brought in 1.2 billion rand in income and paid out 462 million rand in grants. But not everything that uses Mandela’s name was sanctioned by him. There are at least 40 companies officially registered with

Nelson Mandela is not like the brand CocaCola. It’s huge, it’s complex, there are many sub-brands within that brand. We implement protections in a relatively small space,” said Verne Harris, the director and archivist at the Nelson Mandela Foundation. “Madiba has given permission for his name to be used by close to 50 institutions around the world. Only in the last decade there was a system put in place for managing that and a set of criteria applied and then a code of conduct developed for those institutions to subscribe to,” Harris said. Because copyrights are owned by the person who creates the work - and not the subject - copyright law does not prevent the depiction of Mandela’s image on T-shirts or other items, said Likonelo Magagula, an intellectual property attorney at law firm Norton Rose Fulbright in Johannesburg. Trademark lawyers also say there is little to stop family members using the Mandela name, as long as they link the name to themselves and not exclusively to Nelson Mandela. Makaziwe and one of her daughters have launched a “House of Mandela” range of wines, even if Mandela himself once said he did not want to be associated with alcohol or tobacco. Some of his grandchildren have started a line of caps and sweatshirts that feature his image under the

When President Jacob Zuma visited Mandela at his Johannesburg home in April, some in the Mandela family accused the current president of manipulating a frail old man to shore up his own battered image. Makaziwe called news footage from that visit showing her father resting his head against a pillow and staring vacantly as Zuma grinned beside him “undignified and in bad taste”. The ANC defended the visit. Mandela “belongs to the ANC first and then to the whole country”, ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu told South Africa’s Sunday Times newspaper. Even the opposition Democratic Alliance, still seen by many as a party of white privilege, has laid claim to his legacy, using his picture in campaign material to the outrage of ANC members. With a general election next year, both parties are likely to work hard to capture a slice of the ‘Mandela magic’. “We may be exposed to the sordid spectacle of different political parties turning Mandela into a prop,” said Aubrey Matshiqi, a political analyst at the Helen Suzman Foundation, a public interest think tank. “Turning him into a political commodity from which they can profit - that would be the worst insult, especially if political parties attach his legacy to lies that they want to tell the electorate to get votes.” —Reuters


S P ORTS Rigondeaux outpoints Agbeko to keep title ATLANTIC CITY: Cuban dynamo Guillermo Rigondeaux retained his World Boxing Association super bantamweight title with a unanimous decision over Joseph Agbeko on Saturday. Rigondeaux scored a dominating win over the challenger as all three judges at the Boardwalk Hall scored the fight 120-108 in his favour. “Every time I fight I try to improve but he was a tough rival,” said Rigondeaux, who is now 13-0 with eight knockouts. “I am improving every day and I am showing it each fight.” Former two-time champ Agbeko (29-5) has lost three of his last four fights. It marked Rigondeaux’s first fight since his dominating victory earlier this year over Nonito Donaire. Asked after the fight if he would welcome a rematch with Donaire, Rigondeaux said he looks forward to it. “Nonito is a poor man. He is traumatized after the beating I gave him. “If he wants another beating tell him to come and get it. I am Number One.” The 33-year-old Rigondeaux easily defeated Donaire by a unanimous decision in April. Rigondeaux fashioned a superb amateur career that included 400 wins and just 12 losses. As a professional, he compiled an undefeated record with the help of his superb counter-punching and defensive skills. —AFP

Police launch second UK match-fixing probe

Teen Ko grabs first professional title

LONDON: The National Crime Agency has launched a second probe into alleged match-fixing in English soccer after a Sunday newspaper claimed a player told an undercover reporter he could guarantee certain events in a Championship (second division) match. “The NCA can confirm that the Sun yesterday has passed material from its own investigation to the National Crime Agency,” it said in a statement. “An active NCA investigation is now underway and we are working closely with the Football Association and the Gambling Commission. Three people are in custody and are being questioned by NCA officers. We cannot comment further at this stage.” The newspaper said it had evidence of a player saying he arranged a booking in a recent Championship match in which another received a 30,000 pounds ($49,100) payment for getting a yellow card. The same player allegedly boasted he could also “rig” Premier League games. —Reuters

TAIPEI: New Zealand’s teen sensation Lydia Ko shot a 3-under 69 for a total of 205 in Taiwan’s Swinging Skirts World Ladies Masters tournament yesterday, capturing her first title since turning professional in October. The 16-year-old, who was just one shot behind world number five Ryu So-Yeon after two rounds, ended three strokes ahead of Ryu, who struggled with her putting on the back nine to end on 73. “I certainly didn’t expect to win in my second professional tournament. It’s great to win here and it’s a great tournament,” said Ko. “I wasn’t really sure I would win until the tap-in on the 18th hole,” Ko said, speaking of her tense race with Ryu to the finish. Despite the pressure Ko showed composure and maturity beyond her years, carding five birdies and two bogeys on the final round. Ko, who collected $150,000, said a win in Asia meant a lot to her because of her ethnicity. “I haven’t had that many opportunities to play in Asia. I played a lot of tournaments in the States and in Australia, so it’s great to have my first professional win here in Asia because my background is obviously Asian Korean,” said Ko, who has recorded five wins in professional tournaments as an amateur. World number one Park In-Bee carded 2-under 70 for a total of 209, which put her third. —AFP

Hoefl-Riesch wins back-to-back downhills LAKE LOUISE: Lindsey Vonn continued her comeback from a knee injury with an improved performance in Saturday’s Lake Louise downhill which was won by Maria Hoefl-Riesch. Germany’s Hoefl-Riesch captured her second World Cup downhill in as many days and will go for her third victory in a row in yesterday’s Super G. Two-time Olympic gold medalist HoeflRiesch clocked a time of one minute, 55.09 seconds to finish 0.34 seconds ahead of runner-up Tina Weirather, of Liechtenstein, and Austrian Anna Fenninger who placed third in 1:55.56. Vonn skied more aggressively Saturday, crossing the finish line in 1:56.35 but she was still 1.26 seconds adrift of Hoefl-Riesch. “Today’s performance is a great step forward,” said American Vonn, who finished 11th. “I could be much more aggressive on the course. I still made a couple of mistakes but I’m really happy with the run I put together today. “It gives me confidence for sure to bring into tomorrow’s race.” Vonn’s 11th-place finish was a big improvement over her 40th-place showing Friday in her first race in 10 months after tearing ligaments in her right knee at the February World Championships in Austria. Vonn said she is going to sit down next week and put together a plan to be in the best shape she can for the Sochi Winter Games in February. “My goal is definitely still to be as prepared as possible for Sochi so I’m going to look again at the schedule after this weekend,” Vonn said. “I don’t know if that means I’ll race some races or no races or all of the races. I really don’t know what that means yet. “My focus is Sochi and however I can come into those Olympics the most pre-

pared is what I’m going to do.” Marianne Kaufmann-Abderhalden, of Switzerland, finished fourth while Italy’s Elena Fanchini rounded out the top five. This is just the second time HoeflRiesch has won two downhills in a row after 2010 and it marks her fifth career World Cup downhill win in Lake Louise. “The slope was faster today but my run wasn’t as clean as yesterday,” she said. “I lost a little bit of time in the middle section, but my performance today was still good enough for the win, so I am really satisfied.” The 29-year-old Hoefl-Riesch won gold medals in the super combined and slalom at the 2010 Vancouver Games and won the World Cup overall title in 2011. She battled through bone-chilling conditions to win Friday’s downhill, snapping Vonn’s seven-race win streak at Lake Louise. Saturday’s race was held under sunny skies, but similar frigid conditions. Temperatures hovered around -19 Celsius (-2 Fahrenheit) at race time Saturday on an icy course that saw several racers crash. The race was delayed for several minutes after Nadja Jnglin-Kamer lost an edge and went down. The Swiss, who started from the 12th position, slid sideways down the steep section of the slope and slammed into the safety netting but she was not seriously hurt. The 24-year-old Weirather initially finished fifth in Friday’s downhill but was disqualified because of an equipment error. Officials penalized her for wearing a plastic forearm protector over the race suit which is against World Cup rules. “After such a bad day yesterday, it feels really good to be on the podium”, she said. “I had some anger in me and I took it into the course today and my skiing and that worked well. A third podium so far this season is great.” —AFP

LAKE LOUISE: Germany’s Maria Hoefl-Riesch, center, celebrates her victory with second place finisher Liechtenstein’s Tina Weirather, left, and third place finisher Austria’s Anna Fenninger following the women’s World Cup downhill ski race in Lake Louise, Alberta, Saturday. —AP

Officials seen with the winners

Sheikh Jaber Al-Abdallah Al-Sabah tourney concludes By Abdellatif Sharaa KUWAIT: Tournament of Sheikh Jaber AlAbdallah Al-Sabah came to a close with ceremony that was attended by Sheikh Mishal Al-Jaber Al-Abdallah who represented the tournament’s sponsor. President of Kuwait and Arab Shooting Federations Eng Duaij Al-Otaibi, KSSF vice-president Mohammad Karam, Arab and KSSF Secretary General Obaid Al-Osaimi and KSSF board members were present at the ceremony which was held at Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Olympic Shooting Complex. Shooters of the club showed outstanding talent during the strong competitions with Qatari, and Kuwait National Guard shooters. Engineer Duaij Al-Otaibi said that Sheikh Jaber Al-Abdallah is keen on ensuring the success of Kuwait shooting, and this annual tournament contributes to the success of KSSF. Al-Otaibi said Kuwait shooting is moving in a way that will maintain the success it enjoyed and keep Kuwait in the status it reached at all levels including the Olympics. Final results of the tournament of Sheikh Jaber Al-Abdallah Al-Sabah or as follows: Skeet-men: Rashid Hamad (from the Qatar Fed.), Salah Al-Mutairi, Zaid Al-Mutairi. Trap-men: Saud Al-Miqlid, Khalid AlShuhoomi, Nasser Al-Miqlid. Double trap-men: Masoud Al-Athba (Qatar Fed), Ahmad Al-Afasi, Saad Al-Mutairi. Trap-women: Sarah Al-Hawal, Shahad AlHawal, Hajar Fawzi. Skeet-women: Iman Al-Shamma, Afrah Adel, Sheikha Al-Rashidi. Skeet-juniors: Mohammad Al-Azmi, Abdelaziz Al-Saad, Nasser Al-Mutairi. Trap-juniors: Talal Al-Rashidi, Mohammad Al-Hamli, Fares Al-Mutairi.

Skeet-shooting school: Abdallah Al-Daihani, Khalid Al-Najdi, Ali Al-Bughaili. Trap-shooting school: Ali Saud, Mubarak AlMaimouni, Mohammad Al-Hajiri. Air pistol-men: Hamad Al-Namshan, Hassan Al-Mulla, Suhail Jassem. Air rifle-men: Mohammad Abdelrahman, Bandar Al-Mutairi, Ali Farhan. Air pistol-women: Huthama Al-Baghli, Iman Bouland, Sheikha Al-Obaidli. Air rifle-women: Mariam Irzouqi, Duaa AlDuwaikhi, Heba Irzouqi. Air rifle-juniors: Mohammad Abdelrahman, Ali Farhan, Bandar Al-Mutairi.

Air rifle-juniors-women: Zahra Al-Saffar, Heba Irzouqi, Kinda Al-Zayed. Air pistol-juniors: Sami Wasmi, Khalifa AlThafiri, Sultan Al-Thafiri. Air pistol-juniors-women: Sheikha AlObaidli, Dana Al-Ruwaie. Archery-men-compound: Musallam Ibrahim, Ahmad Al-Tamimi, Abdelaziz Bushehri. Archery-men-Olympic: Ahmad Al-Tamimi, Abdallah Al-Harby, Faisal Al-Rashidi. Archery-women-Olympic: Asma Al-Miqbel, Hanan Al-Mayas, Mariam Jaafar. Archery-beginners-Olympic: Ali Al-Mutairi, Mohammad Al-Mutairi, Zaid Al-Saeed.

Patrick Kueng wins super-G race BEAVER CREEK: For anyone not named Aksel Lund Svindal to win a super-G race these days seems, well, almost preposterous. The Norwegian great has been virtually unbeatable in the event, becoming the gauge for every skier. “He’s Mr. Super-G,” Hannes Reichelt of Austria said. Not on an overcast Saturday he wasn’t. Not on this tricky course with low lighting that had 21 racers spinning off the course and failing to finish. Patrick Kueng of Switzerland was nearly flawless as he raced to his first World Cup victory and halted Svindal’s super-G winning streak at four. Kueng finished in 1 minute, 21.73 seconds and then withstood a late charge from Otmar Striedinger of Austria, beating him by 0.24 seconds. Reichelt and Peter Fill of Italy tied for third, while American Ted Ligety narrowly missed the podium and wound up fifth. Bode Miller had a great run going - a hard-charging run resembling the Miller of old - before making a big mistake near the end to finish 14th. “Unbelievable,” Kueng said. “This is just unbelievable.” As racer No. 28 out of the starting gate, Kueng rushed down the course, making few mistakes, and then glanced up at the scoreboard, expecting a good result but hardly his name at the top of the leaderboard.Usually, he wouldn’t have anything to worry about, especially with the best of the best in the event already down the mountain. But he had to hold his breath as Striedinger, the 45th racer to take the course, nearly

eclipsed his time. “This just feels really good,” Kueng said. Funny, Striedinger said the same thing despite being runner-up. “When I saw second place, I just couldn’t believe it,” Striedinger said after his first podium finish. “Amazing.” The surprise on this rather gloomy day maybe wasn’t so much that Kueng finally won a race. Or even that Svindal’s dominance in super-G was snapped. No, the real attention grabber was the way Miller attacked the hill. For the first 48 seconds or so of the race, Miller was doing what Bode Miller does best - charging with aggression and taking gambles that few others would even contemplate. The risktaking rendition of Miller was back, in full fury, carving up a demanding course the way he did before missing an entire season because of a surgically repaired knee. And then it all unraveled near the end as Miller made a big mistake to lose a chance at a win and a podium. Still, Miller was pleased with how far he’s progressed. He’s quickly rounding into his familiar shape with the Sochi Games two months away. “I was skiing really well,” said Miller, who’s from Franconia, N.H. “That mistake was just unfortunate. ... I wouldn’t make that mistake but one time out of 10, or one time of out of 20. It (stinks) to make it on a day when I skied that clean on the top. “That’s what I expect of myself.” Just like Ligety is starting to expect good things in the super-G. The skier from Park City, Utah, is

quickly dispelling any notion that he’s simply a giant slalom specialist. He finished 0.48 seconds behind Kueng’s time. Ligety’s only regret? He wishes he would’ve had better light, because the course was pretty dark by the time he went. It was only after he and other top skiers glided down the mountain that the course because a little brighter. “It’s happened to me before. It happens to everybody. It’s ski racing,” Ligety said. “It would’ve been nice to be on the podium. But I feel like I skied pretty well for the most part.” Ligety will be the overwhelming favorite later yesterday in the giant slalom. After all, he is the defending Birds of Prey champion. The way he’s skiing right now, Ligety could very well be a contender in the overall title chase. As it stands, it could be a three-skier race between Marcel Hirscher of Austria, Svindal and Ligety. “Kind of looks like that,” Svindal said. That’s why races like this could come back to haunt Svindal. A day after winning the downhill, Svindal just never found his rhythm, which doesn’t happen often on a hill that’s always been kind to him. “I haven’t been off the podium in super-G for almost two years,” Svindal explained. “The other guys are too good, so if you make a mistake you’re not there.” Fill is having quite a weekend at Beaver Creek, with his second straight podium finish. “Two days ago, I’d say it’s not my favorite course,” Fill said. “Now, it’s one of my favorite courses.” —AP

BEAVER CREEK: Switzerland’s Patrick Kueng crosses the finish line to win in the men’s super G at the FIS Ski World Cup in Beaver Creek, Colorado, on Saturday. —AFP



‘Tiger Dads’ in search of China’s Tiger Woods GUANGZHOU: China is mobilising the state behind golf, but 13-year-old Ye Wocheng, the youngest player to compete on the European Tour, says officials should turn instead to the country’s “tiger” parents to find the next Tiger Woods. Golf was once banned in Communist China as a bourgeois indulgence, but its return to the Olympics has seen Beijing build a high-tech $80 million training complex and enlist its rigid education system in a search for new stars. While officials are looking to satisfy the national urge for medals, a wave of child prodigies is already emerging, tutored by foreign coaches and ingrained with an insatiable desire to succeed by their wealthy, highly-disciplined parents. Ye made history earlier this year when he played at the Volvo China Open aged just 12 years and 242 days. The schoolboy smashed the record set by compatriot Guan Tianlang, who astonished the world in April when he made the Masters cut at

the age of 14. The rise of golfers like Ye and Guan outside China’s sporting infrastructure throws up potential challenges for Beijing, which presents individual talents as state-moulded patriotic champions, rather than self-motivated sports stars. China has now introduced golf into its Soviet-like sports school system for the first time, and its ultra-modern training centre in Shandong province is expected to be a production line for future champions, with an eye on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. But Ye-who still wears teeth bracesbelieves China’s future as a golfing superpower will be down to individual hard work, along with a dose of firm parenting. “There will be lots of great (Chinese) players in the future,” he told AFP, predicting half the world’s top 100 will come from China in 20 years, a huge improvement for a country which currently has only six in the PGA’s top 1,000, with its top player Liang Wenchong at 107. “This is because in China a lot of chil-

dren play golf and they are all conscientious and hard working. They train hard and also the parents are very strict. “Sometimes, if the kids don’t play golf well, the parents will hurl abuse at them or even hit them,” he added, with a serious stare belying his age. Strict parenting is common in China, particularly with regards to education, and sometimes sport. The tough approach became a media phenomenon in 2011, when Chinese-American professor Amy Chua’s book “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” detailed how she insisted on top marks from her kids. The best golfer of recent years, Tiger Woods, a child prodigy who was on television aged two, has often praised his exmilitary father and Thai mother for helping develop his competitive edge, and said in 2007 he would be a “disciplinarian” with his own children. Ye lives with his parents-who he says are “not strict”-in the southern city of Dongguan in Guangdong, China’s most

affluent province, although the family are considering moving to the US to focus on his golf. His father, a wealthy interior designer, has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on Ye’s training, and has recruited British former professional David Watson, who coached Lee Westwood and Justin Rose when they were amateurs. Ye trains at Lion Lake Country Club near Guangzhou, a lavish dual-course complex containing China’s largest inland yacht club and a “southern California-style” clubhouse. Guan also trains there, and his image is everywhere, with his trophies on show in the restaurant. “We have an exclusive putting green just for Guan,” said club president Zheng Jingfen. “And we don’t charge him to use the course, as youngsters need an environment to develop their skills.” Club officials say several families have moved into the local area purely to develop their children’s golf. A few hours away is the enormous Mission Hills complex in Dongguan, the

world’s largest golf club with 12 sprawling courses. Ye won an under-18 tournament there in June, carding a two round two-under-par total of 142 on its World Cup course, designed by golf legend Jack Nicklaus. Its Mission Hills Golf Series Junior Tour is open to children as young as nine, and competitor Chen Geyi, 14, was born Beijing, 2,000 kilometres to the north, but said he moved to Shenzhen when he was a toddler because “you cannot play golf in the winter in Beijing”. His father Chen Daxin says the family relocated to warmer climes for “work reasons”, but admits he has spent a fortune on developing his son’s golf. “Parents basically don’t bother too much about cost when it comes to children’s interests,” said the 43-year-old, brushing off suggestions he was a strict parent. Some “give up their career and life to throw everything into their children’s future” Chen added, before taking his son’s clubs on his shoulder. —AFP

Bruins top Penguins 3-2 with late goal BOSTON: Zdeno Chara scored with 13 seconds left in regulation after David Krejci tied it late, lifting the Boston Bruins to a 3-2 win over Pittsburgh on Saturday in a game that was overshadowed by Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik getting taken off the ice on a stretcher. Reilly Smith also scored for the Bruins, who haven’t lost in regulation at home since late October (10-0-2). Midway into the opening period, Shawn Thronton was given a match

Prust each had a goal and an assist to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Alex Galchenyuk also scored and Travis Moen had a pair assists for Montreal (19-9-3), who have won five straight and nine of their last 10. Tyler Ennis and Zemgus Girgensons scored for the Sabres (6-22-2), who have just two wins in 10 games under interim coach Ted Nolan. Devils 4, Rangers 3 (overtime) Defenseman Eric Gelinas’ power-

gave the Florida Panthers a 2-1 come-from-behind win over the Detroit Red Wings at the Joe Louis Arena. Jimmy Hayes also scored for Florida (9-16-5), who won their second consecutive game after three straight losses. Shawn Matthias had two assists and goaltender Tim Thomas stopped 22 shots. Daniel Cleary scored for Detroit (15-9-7). Capitals 5, Predators 2 Captain Alex Ovechkin extended his lead in the NHL’s goal-scoring

EDMONTON: Andrew Ference No 21 of the Edmonton Oilers checks Lance Bouma No 17 of the Calgary Flames during an NHL game at Rexall Place on Saturday in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The Flames defeated the Oilers 2-1 in overtime. —AFP penalty for grabbing Orpik from behind, pulling him to the ice and punching him when he was down. Orpik appeared to be dazed by a punch, but may have also hit his head on the ice. Orpik was taken to the hospital but was expected to travel home with the team. Chris Kunitz and James Neal scored power-play goals for the Penguins, who had their season-high, five-game winning streak halted.

play goal 1:15 into overtime powered the New Jersey Devils to a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. With New Jersey on a four-minute power play, Gelinas one-timed Patrik Elias’ feed over Rangers goalkeeper Henrik Lundqvist for the game-winning goal. Cam Janssen, Travis Zajac and Michael Ryder also scored for New Jersey, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Panthers 2, Red Wings 1 Jonathan Huberdeau’s goal early in the third period broke a tie and

Canadiens 3, Sabres 2 Tomas Plekanec and Brandon

race (22) and rookie defenseman Nate Schmidt scored his first NHL goal to lead the Washington Capitals to a 5-2 win over the Nashville Predators. Troy Brouwer, Karl Alzner and Eric Fehr also scored for the Capitals (15-12-2), who have won three of their last four to move back into second place in the Metropolitan Division. Roman Josi and Eric Nystrom scored for the Predators (13-14-3), who lost for the fifth straight time. Jets 2, Lightning 1 (overtime) Mark Scheifele wasted little time,

NHL results/standings Dallas 5, Philadelphia 1; Boston 3, Pittsburgh 2; Montreal 3, Buffalo 2; Toronto 4, Ottawa 3 (So); Florida 2, Detroit 1; Winnipeg 2, Tampa Bay 1 (OT); Washington 5, Nashville 2; New Jersey 4, NY Rangers 3 (OT); Anaheim 5, St. Louis 2; Calgary 2, Edmonton 1 (OT); Los Angeles 3, NY Islanders 0.

Anaheim San Jose Los Angeles Phoenix Vancouver Calgary Edmonton

Western Conference Pacific Division W L OTL 20 7 5 19 5 5 19 7 4 16 8 5 16 10 5 11 14 4 10 18 3

GF 101 100 79 94 83 78 84

GA 84 72 62 93 80 98 105

PTS 45 43 42 37 37 26 23

Chicago St. Louis Colorado Minnesota Dallas Winnipeg Nashville

Central Division 20 6 5 19 6 3 20 7 0 17 9 5 14 9 5 14 13 4 13 14 3

110 98 81 74 81 82 67

87 66 62 74 80 88 88

45 41 40 39 33 32 29

Montreal Boston Detroit Tampa Bay Toronto Ottawa Florida Buffalo

Eastern Conference Atlantic Division 19 9 3 19 8 2 15 9 7 17 10 2 16 11 3 11 14 5 9 16 5 6 22 2

85 79 85 80 84 86 68 51

65 59 82 70 82 99 98 91

41 40 37 36 35 27 23 14

Metropolitan Division Pittsburgh 20 10 1 96 70 41 Washington 15 12 2 88 84 32 NY Rangers 15 14 1 68 76 31 Carolina 13 12 5 71 84 31 New Jersey 12 13 6 69 77 30 Philadelphia 13 14 2 64 73 28 Columbus 12 14 3 72 80 27 NY Islanders 8 17 5 75 104 21 Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L).

scoring the game-winner just 1:04 into overtime as the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 21. Scheifele’s third goal of the season came less than 20 seconds after the Lightning’s Alex Killorn appeared to beat Jets goaltender Al Montoya on a breakaway, but hit the left post with his shot. With the win, Winnipeg climbed above the .500 mark to 14-13-4. Tampa Bay, meanwhile, fell to 17-10-2. Stars 5, Flyers 1 Tyler Seguin had not scored since his four goals in a 7-3 win at Calgary on Nov. 14 but the Dallas Stars center ended that six-game drought in dramatic fashion, delivering his third career hat-trick in a 5-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. All of Seguin’s goals came in the second period. Stars backup goaltender Dan Ellis stopped 27 of 28 shots to earn his third win of the season. Maple Leafs 4, Senators 3 (shootout) Shootout goals by Mason Raymond and James van Riemsdyk proved to be the difference as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Ottawa Senators 4-3. The win ended a Leafs’ road skid at seven games without victory and extended the Senators’ home losing streak to five games. It also increased Toronto’s lead over Ottawa to eight points in the race for a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Ducks 5, Blues 2 Ryan Getzlaf scored a goal and added an assist in a three-goal outburst in the first period that carried the Anaheim Ducks to a 5-2 win over the St. Louis Blues. Goaltender Frederik Anderson, a 24-year-old native of Denmark who was the Ducks’ third-round pick in the 2012 draft, won his eighth game of the season, which leads NHL rookie goaltenders. He lost his bid for his first career shutout when Blues left winger Jaden Schwartz scored 1:18 into the third period. Flames 2, Oilers 1 (overtime) The Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames waged a bland and boring chess match worthy of the last and second-to-last teams in the Western Conference. In the end, the Flames scored late in the first period and then early in overtime to post a 2-1 victory and remain one spot ahead of Edmonton in the conference cellar. Jiri Hudler broke the tie at 2:14 of overtime on an Oilers giveaway after Edmonton left winger Taylor Hall tied it with 10.1 seconds left in regulation. Kings 3, Islanders 0 Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown and Tyler Toffoli scored goals as the Los Angeles Kings shut out the New York Islanders 3-0. Rookie goaltender Martin Jones stopped 16 New York shots for his second consecutive victory. The Kings’ record improved to 19-7-4 and extended a club record by allowing two or less goals in 15 straight contests. Goaltender Kevin Poulin stopped 21 shots for the Islanders, who lost their ninth straight game (8-17-5). —Agencies

HONG KONG: Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain, holding the trophy, poses for photos after winning the Hong Kong Open golf tournament in Hong Kong, yesterday. —AP

Jimenez wins record-equalling fourth Hong Kong Open HONG KONG: Defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez won the $1.3 million Hong Kong Open in a three-way playoff yesterday, clinching the title for a recordequalling fourth time and securing his 20th European Tour victory. The 49-year-old Spaniard birdied the first extra hole at the Hong Kong Golf Club to defeat Thailand’s Prom Meesawat and Stuart Manley of Wales and collect a winner’s cheque of $216,660. Jimenez raised his arm to the air as a fifteen-foot-plus putt dropped into the hole on the eighteenth green-much to the delight of an adoring crowd in the southern Chinese city. The victory saw the popular Jimenez match the Taiwanese Hsieh Yungyo’s four wins at Fanling in the 1960s and 1970s and break the record he set last year as the oldest European Tour winner. “It’s very nice to win a fourth title and for two years in a row,” a delighted Jimenez said. “It’s a very sweet victory.” Jimenez played the extra hole perfectly, hitting his tee shot past his opponents and into a prime position far down the fairway. “In the playoff I know I needed to make something,” he said afterwards, enjoying his trademark cigar and glass of red wine. “I thought I needed to make a birdie. I hit a beautiful drive down the middle of the fairway then hit a wedge. “To win in that style makes it even more sweet.” Jimenez started the day two shots behind overnight leader Manley but soon closed the gap with birdies at 3, 11, 13 and 14 as the Welshmen traded bogeys with birdies in an inconsistent round. As the Spaniard ticked along nicely Prom-playing in the group ahead of Jimenez-was tearing up the course to propel himself up the leaderboard.

Two eagles and two birdies put the Thai golfer in the lead on his own at the co-sanctioned European Tour and Asian Tour event before a disappointing bogey at the 14th. When the Spaniard bogeyed the 15th, the title looked to be heading Prom’s way until Jimenez bounced back with a birdie at 17 after missing a good opportunity to pull level on 16. Jimenez and Prom appeared to be set for a head-to-head in the playoff until Manley dramatically chipped in at the last for birdie and the three headed back down the eighteenth. There, Manley hit a wayward iron which struck the roof of the hospitality tent, while Prom came up short of the green. Both were heading for fours when Jimenez rolled his putt in. “It’s always hard to win a tournament,” Jimenez told reporters. “All the players are good and you have to respect all of them. “The main thing was I never stopped telling myself to stay calm, live the moment and let everything happen,” he said, adding that he would be back in Hong Kong next year to try for a fifth win. Manley, whose tie for second position was his highest in a European Tour event, said: “It was pretty special for me to even get into the play-off so I can take a lot from that.” Prom, who was two shots ahead at one stage on Sunday, said: “It’s been an amazing week for me so I don’t feel disappointed. “It’s my best finish in this event and I am pretty happy with the way I am playing right now.” Jimenez, who will turn 50 next month, won the Hong Kong Open in 2004, 2007 and 2012 when at 48 years and 318 days he became the oldest winner on the European Tour. —AFP

Woods maintains two-shot World Challenge lead THOUSAND OAKS: Tiger Woods’s even-par 72 was enough to give the tournament host the third-round lead on a blustery Saturday at the $3.5 million World Challenge. A day after the 14-time major champion hit every green in regulation en route to a majestic 10-under par 62 that equaled his own Sherwood Country Club course record, Woods found the going tougher on a day that started in cold rain and ended with the sun shining and a chilly, unpredictable wind whipping. Woods notched the last of his four birdies at the par-four 18th, balancing four bogeys as he built a 54-hole total of 11-under par 205 and maintained his two-stroke cushion over 2007 Masters champion Zach Johnson. Johnson briefly took a one-stroke lead after a birdie at the ninth, but two-double bogeys-at the par-three 12th and 15th-kept him from applying more pressure. He, too, birdied 18 to cap an even-par 72 for 207. “It was a tough day,” Woods said. “The wind was all over the place. It was really tough to pull clubs, and even though the greens were softer, they were still pretty quick.” Bubba Watson was alone in third after a 69 for 209.

Watson’s was one of just four rounds under par produced by the elite field of 18. One of those belonged to former world number one Rory McIlroy, whose four-under 68 was an impressive low round of the day but still left him 13 shots off the lead after his struggles in the first two rounds. While Woods said the tricky conditions had a lot to do with the difference in his score, he said he made a few mistakes that cost him shots. That included three-putt bogeys at the 13th and 15th. “I’m pleased at having the lead, I’m not real pleased with the way I putted today,” Woods said. “Obviously 13, threeputting there from six, seven feet, and threeputting 15 as well-I left a few out there today.” The bogey at 15 didn’t hurt Woods as much as it might have, since Johnson ended up with a double-bogey after hitting into the water hazard. In fact, eight found the water at the 15th, and three of them found it twice. “I thought Zach hit it perfect,” Woods said of his playing partner’s tee shot at 15. “He hit a little cut five-iron and it was right on the flag. “I thought it was the perfect flight to get there. Ended up just shy, obviously.” —AFP



Indiana Pacers end 11-game losing streak against Spurs SAN ANTONIO: Paul George scored 28 points to lead the Indiana Pacers to a 111-100 win over San Antonio on Saturday, ending an 11-game losing streak against the Spurs. David West had 20 points and Lance Stephenson scored 15 for the Pacers, who enjoyed a 41-34 rebounding edge. Roy Hibbert and Luis Scola each had 12 points and 10 boards. Kawhi Leonard scored 18 points for San Antonio, which has dropped three of five. Manu Ginobili added 16 points, Tony Parker had 13 and Tim Duncan finished with 10. The Pacers’ last victory against the Spurs came in

Portland Trail Blazers. Forward Dirk Nowitzki scored nine of his team-high 28 points in the final 3:40 for the Mavericks (13-8), who led by six points with 45 seconds to play. The loss snapped a four-game win streak for Portland (17-4), which got a game -high 32 points from guard Damian Lillard. Ellis’ game -winning shot came after Lillard sank a three-pointer to tie the score at 106 with 1.9 seconds left. Nuggets 103, 76ers 92 Jordan Hamilton and J.J. Hickson each scored nine four th- quar ter

Kyle Singler added 12 points for Detroit (10-10), while three players grabbed double-digit rebounds. Cavaliers 88, Clippers 82 Andrew Bynum scored 18 points and grabbed six rebounds, all in the first three quar ters, and the Cleveland Cavaliers continued their dominance of the Los Angeles Clippers with an 88-82 victory. The Cavs (7-13) have now won 13 of their last 15 games against the Clippers. Cavs forward Tristan Thompson and Kyrie Irving each scored 20 points, with Thompson grabbing a teamhigh 13 rebounds. Chris Paul had 13 points and a game-high 16 assists for the Clippers (13-8). Heat 103, Timberwolves 82 Dwayne Wade threw an alley-oop pass off the backboard to Lebron James as part of a 17-6 run to close the third quarter in the Miami Heat’s 103-82 win at Target Center. I t snapped the Heat’s two-game losing streak, while handing the Wolves’ a second straight loss. James flirted with a triple-double with 21 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists. Kevin Martin led the Wolves with 19 points.

SAN ANTONIO: Indiana Pacers’ Paul George (24) drives around San Antonio Spurs’ Jeff Ayres (11) to score during the second half on an NBA basketball game, Saturday, in San Antonio. —AP April 2007 in Indianapolis. Their last victory in San Antonio was nearly 12 years ago. Warriors 108, Grizzlies 82 Golden State halted an 11-game Memphis winning streak in the series with a 108-82 win over the Grizzlies. Klay Thompson paced the Warriors with a game-high 30 points while David Lee scored 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Steph Curry had 22 points and tied his career high with 15 assists. The Warriors (12-9) last beat the Grizzlies (9-10) on Nov. 3, 2010 and they had not won in Memphis since April 2008. Mavericks 108, Trail Blazers 106 Guard Monta Ellis’ fadeaway jumper at the buzzer gave the Dallas Mavericks a 108-106 victory over the

points as the Denver Nuggets beat the Philadelphia 76ers 103-92 to snap a two-game losing streak. Hickson finished with 12 points, including the dunk with 6:20 left that snapped the last of the final period’s four ties and put the Nuggets ahead to stay, at 88-86. Hamilton notched 13 points, including three three pointers in as many fourth-quarter possessions. Pistons 92, Bulls 75 Brandon Jennings scored 33 points to lead the Detroit Pistons to a 92-75 victory over Chicago. While extending their winning streak to four games, the Pistons ended another long streak as they had lost 14 in a row in Chicago (8-10). Jennings hit 12 of 22 shots from the field, including five baskets from three-point range.

Nets 90, Bucks 82 Brook Lopez scored a season-high 32 points and pulled down seven rebounds as the Brooklyn Nets avoided a share of the Eastern Conference cellar with a 90-82 win over the Milwaukee Bucks. Joe Johnson finished with 15 points, knocking down a pair of three-pointers, while Andray Blatche added 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds off the Brooklyn bench. Guard O.J. Mayo led the Bucks with 22 points. Kings 112, Jazz 102 Rookie Ben McLemore forced overtime with a game-tying threepointer and the Sacramento Kings dominated the extra time to beat the Utah Jazz 112-102. Center DeMarcus Cousins scored a game -high 28 points and reser ve guard Isaiah Thomas had 26 as the Kings (5-13) snapped their six-game losing streak. Utah shooting guard Gordon Hayward scored a team-high 22 points and rookie point guard Trey Burke contributed 19 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, but the short-handed Jazz (4-18) dropped their third straight. —Agencies

NBA results/standings Denver 103, Philadelphia 92; Cleveland 88, LA Clippers 82; Detroit 92, Chicago 75; Golden State 108, Memphis 82; Miami 103, Minnesota 82; Brooklyn 90, Milwaukee 82; Indiana 111, San Antonio 100; Sacramento 112, Utah 102 (OT); Dallas 108, Portland 106.

Boston Toronto Philadelphia Brooklyn NY Knicks

Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT 9 12 .429 6 12 .333 7 14 .333 6 14 .300 5 13 .278

Indiana Detroit Chicago Cleveland Milwaukee

Central Division 18 2 10 10 8 10 7 13 4 16

.900 .500 .444 .350 .200

8 9 11 14

Miami Atlanta Washington Charlotte Orlando

Southeast Division 15 5 .750 11 10 .524 9 10 .474 9 11 .450 6 13 .316

4.5 5.5 6 8.5

GB 1.5 2 2.5 2.5

Portland Oklahoma City Denver Minnesota Utah

Western Conference Northwest Division 17 4 .810 14 4 .778 12 8 .600 9 11 .450 4 18 .182

LA Clippers Golden State Phoenix LA Lakers Sacramento

13 12 11 10 5

San Antonio Houston Dallas New Orleans Memphis

Southwest Division 15 4 .789 14 7 .667 13 8 .619 9 10 .474 9 10 .474

Pacific Division 8 9 9 9 13

.619 .571 .550 .526 .278

1.5 4.5 7.5 13.5

1 1.5 2 6.5

2 3 6 6

The enthusiastic school children with KC officials.

U-16 school cricket tournament KUWAIT: Kuwait Cricket’s untiring effort in promoting cricket at the grass root level reached its zenith as they successfully organized school cricket tournaments in two categories last year, where more than 300 school children from various schools & clubs took active part in the competition. Sticking to its commitment to develop cricket from the junior level, this year too, Kuwait Cricket has launched the U-16 school cricket tournament at Gulf Consults ground at Jleeb Al-Shuwaikh where a record number of 12 teams have

registered. Traditionally, cricket has always been played on a playing field and Kuwait Cricket has provided an exciting opportunity to the school children to brush their skills thorough workout, whether they are batting, bowling or fielding and apart from being involved physically, cricket also relaxes the mind, and prides itself on being a sport with a huge social element, both during and after the game. School cricket has always been a stepping stone for any potential player to have a much wider opportunity to exhib-

Photo of the day

it their skills to catch the eye of Kuwait National team selectors as many of the current players in Kuwait’s National cricket team had represented their school teams. Last year’s Champions, Future Star cricket club, Runner Ups Cricket Coaching Club (Senior), Delhi Public school, Friends XI, Emerging Buds, Gladiators, DPS Titans, Cricket Coaching Club (Junior) Omariya Cricket Club, Allrounders XI, International School of Pakistan & Royal Coast (Juniors) are the participating teams.

(L-R) Cole Seely and Jessy Nelson take part in a testing session on the Red Bull Straight Rhythm course at Thing Ranch in Alpine, CA, USA. —

Australia push England to the wall in second test ADELAIDE: A belligerent Australia ended a rare display of defiance by England’s middle order batsmen to push to the brink of victory in the second Ashes test in Adelaide at the close of day four yesterday. Staring down the barrel of a second straight defeat, Joe Root struck a defiant halfcentury to raise a glimmer of hope for England, but his dismissal for 87 snuffed it out quickly and the tourists were 247-6 at the close, needing a further 284 runs to win or to bat through today to save the test. Following Root’s dismissal, test debutant Ben Stokes followed for 28, leaving wicketkeeper Matt Prior (31 not out) and Stuart Broad (22 not out) with the task of an improbable rescue mission on a fifth day wicket. Some rain and a possible storm is expected on Monday, but a similar forecast for Sunday failed to stop a minute of play as England dug in grimly against their opponents, who grew increasingly aggressive in their verbal exchanges as the day wore on. “We were confident with the runs we got on the board,” Australia paceman Peter Siddle told reporters. “We knew it was going to be tough. We toiled well all day. Six wickets down, and hopefully a few more early ones tomorrow. “I think the big factor is going to be the new ball. It’s still only 10 overs old.” Prior and Broad rode their luck in the final overs against the new ball, with edges soaring into the air only to land between fielders, frustrating an Australian team that had it far too easy in England’s first innings of 172. England’s batsmen finally surpassed 200 in a single innings for the first time this series and much of the credit was due to the cherubicfaced Root, who battled hard for nearly fourand-a-half hours. Spinner Nathan Lyon eventually coaxed an edge from the 22-year-old Yorkshireman that deflected off his pad and popped up for wicketkeeper Brad Haddin to clinch his 200th catch in tests. The 22-year-old Yorkshireman was given a warm ovation as he trudged off and the fighting knock may settle the debate about the

number three spot in Jonathan Trott’s absence. “Certainly we had a scrap on,” Root told reporters. “We knew we had to front up today and try and put in a performance and show we were up for a fight. “If there’s a bit of weather about I think we might be able to (avoid defeat). I think we’re obviously up against it.” Stokes also showed grit to remain for 90 balls for his 28, but the new ball proved too hot for the New Zealand-born all-rounder and he was out nicking a catch off seamer Ryan Harris straight to Australia captain Michael Clarke at second slip. Australia had set England a victory target of 531 with a declaration before the start of play and the tourists chase began disastrously, with openers Alastair Cook and Michael Carberry losing their wickets cheaply to rash shots before the first drinks break. Mitchell Johnson, who tore through England’s first innings with a spell of 7-40, struck with his third ball of the day to remove

England captain Cook for one run. Having beaten Cook for pace in the first innings with a searing delivery that crashed into his stumps, Johnson flung in a short ball that the England skipper hooked poorly, the top edge flying high to be caught at long leg by Harris. Carberry, who scored a fighting 60 in the first innings, followed soon after when he pulled Siddle to almost the same position where Lyon took another excellent catch to dismiss the opener for 14. Siddle then captured the breakthrough wicket of Kevin Pietersen (53) to end a stubborn 111-run partnership with Root, continuing his domination of the South Africa-born batsman. Part-time spinner Steven Smith struck soon after to remove Ian Bell for six when he threw up a full toss to leave the tourists on 143-4 at tea. Bell, who was a rock in England’s insipid first innings of 172, drove it to mid-on where Johnson took a sharp, low catch. —Reuters

SCOREBOARD ADELAIDE: Scoreboard at stumps on the fourth day of the second Ashes test between Australia and England at Adelaide Oval yesterday. Australia first innings 570-9 declared England second innings A. Cook c Harris b Johnson 1 England first innings 172 M. Carberry c Lyon b Siddle 14 Australia second innings (overnight J. Root c Haddin b Lyon 87 132-3) K. Pietersen b Siddle 53 C. Rogers c Prior b Anderson 2 I. Bell c Johnson b Smith 6 D. Warner not out 83 B. Stokes c Clarke b Harris 28 S. Watson c Carberry b Anderson 0 M. Prior not out 31 M. Clarke b Panesar 22 S. Broad not out 22 S. Smith not out 23 Extras (b-1 w-3 nb-1) 5 Extras (b-1 lb-1) 2 Total (six wickets, 90 overs) 247 Total (three wickets dec, 39 overs)132 Still to bat: Swann, Anderson, Panesar Did not bat: G. Bailey, B. Haddin, M. Fall of wickets: 1-1 2-20 3-131 4-143 5Johnson, P. Siddle, R. Harris, N. Lyon 171 6-210 Fall of wickets: 1-4 2-4 3-65 Bowling: Harris 17-3-45-1 (1-nb, 2-w), Bowling: Anderson 7-1-19-2, Broad 6- Johnson 21-8-53-1 (1-w), Siddle 13-40-19-0, Swann 9-3-31-0 Stokes 7-3-20- 21-2, Lyon 26-7-78-1, Watson 6-3-6-0, 0, Panesar 10-0-41-1 Smith 7-0-43-1.

De Kock leads S Africa to series win over India DURBAN: Batting prodigy Quinton de Kock hit his second successive century to set up a convincing, seriesclinching 134-run win for South Africa in the second one-day international against India at Kingsmead yesterday. De Kock made 106 in a South African total of 280 for six in a match reduced to 49 overs a side after a late start because of a wet outfield. India lost four early wickets against the South African fast bowlers and limped to 146 all out, enabling South Africa to clinch the three-match series with a game to spare. Lonwabo Tsotsobe took four for 25 and Dale Steyn three for 17 as India, the world’s top-ranked one -day team, were humiliated for the second time in four days. They were beaten by 141 runs in the first match in Johannesburg on Thursday. Hashim Amla also hit a centur y for South Africa, making exactly 100. De Kock and Amla put on 194 for the first wicket to follow up their opening stand of 152 in the first international in Johannesburg on Thursday. On both occasions, South Africa were sent in by Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. It was the third century in 15 one-day internationals for the left-handed De Kock, who turns 21 on December 17. He hit nine fours in a 118-ball innings. His successful partnerships with Amla at the top of the order have put the one-day international career of Test captain Graeme Smith in doubt. Smith was released from the rest of the three-match series in order to concentrate on his preparation for two Test matches against India, starting on December 18. Unlike in the first match, where

there was a torrent of 206 runs in the last 20 overs, with South Africa finishing on 358 for four, India fought back after breaking the opening stand with the first ball of the 36th over, the third of the batting power play. On a slower pitch than that used at the Wanderers, six wickets fell in the last 14 overs and produced 86 runs, including 20 in the last over. India got off to a bad start when Shikhar Dhawan slapped Steyn to backward point and was out without scoring. Virat Kohli survived some hostile short-pitched bowling from Steyn before being caught behind off

Tsotsobe, also without scoring. Ajinkya Rahane was caught behind off Morne Morkel for eight and India crashed to 34 for four when Rohit Sharma (19) pulled Tsotsobe powerfully and Amla held a superb reflex overhead catch at short midwicket. Both teams wore black armbands and the players and crowd stood for a minute’s silence in memory of former South African president Nelson Mandela, who died on Thursday. A rc h b i s h o p Njongonkulu Ndungane, the former Archbishop of Cape Town, said a prayer before t h e s i n gi n g o f t h e n a t i o n a l anthems. —AFP

SCOREBOARD DURBAN, South Africa: Scores in the second one-day international between South Africa and India at Kingsmead in Durban yesterday: S. Dhawan c Duminy b Steyn 0 South Africa V. Kohli c De Kock b Tsotsobe 0 Q. de Kock c R. Sharma b Ashwin 106 A. Rahane c De Kock b Morkel 8 H. Amla c Dhoni b Shami 100 S. Raina c Miller b Morkel 36 A. de Villiers st Dhoni b Jadeja 3 M. Dhoni c De Kock b Philander 19 J. Duminy run out (Yadav) 26 R. Jadeja c De Villiers b Tsotsobe 26 D. Miller lbw b Mohammed Shami 0 R. Ashwin c De Kock b Steyn 15 J. Kallis b Mohammed Shami 10 Mohammed Shami b Tsotsobe 8 R. McLaren not out 12 U. Yadav b Steyn 1 V. Philander not out 14 I. Sharma not out 0 Extras (b1, lb2, w6) 9 Extras (b4, lb1, nb1, w8) 14 Total (6 wkts, 49 overs) 280 146 Fall of wickets: 1-194 (De Kock), 2-199 (De Total (35.1 overs) Villiers), 3-233 (Amla), 4-234 (Miller), 5- Fall of wickets: 1-10 (Dhawan), 2-16 (Kohli), 3-29 (R. Sharma), 4-34 (Rahane), 5249 (Duminy), 6-255 (Kallis) Bowling: Yadav 6-0-45-0, Mohammed 74 (Dhoni), 6-95 (Raina), 7-133 (Ashwin), Shami 8-0-48-3 (4w), I. Sharma 7-0-38-0, 8-145 (Jadeja), 9-146 Ashwin 9-0-48-1 (1w), Raina 6-0-32-0, (Yadav), 10-146 (Yadav) Bowling: Steyn 7-1-17-3 (1w), Tsotsobe Kohli 3-0-17-0, Jadeja 10-0-49-1 (1w) Did not bat: D. Steyn, M. Morkel, L. 7.1-0-25-4 (2w), Morkel 6-0-34-2 (1nb, 2w), Philander 6-1-20-1, Duminy 5-0-20-0, Tsotsobe McLaren 4-0-25-0 (3w). India Result: South Africa won by 134 runs. R. Sharma c Amla b Tsotsobe 19



Casillas unhappy with World Cup draw format MADRID: Spain captain Iker Casillas has said he doesn’t believe the world champions should have been paired with Holland in their group for next year’s World Cup in Brazil. The world champions will play the Dutch in their first game on June 13 in a repeat of the 2010 final which Spain won 1-0. A highly regarded Chile side and Australia make up Group B and the draw is even more complicated for Spain and Holland as whoever finishes second in the group will most likely face tournament favourites Brazil in the last 16. “It is true that I don’t agree how they did the draw,” he said yesterday. “In any case it is not us who decide how they do it and where

they decide which team is better than another. “It was a difficult draw for the team. We start against the runners-up in the World Cup, who have also had a fantastic qualifying campaign. “Then Chile, against whom we found hard to beat in the last few years. But, in the last few tournaments, like in South Africa, we have stumbled in the first game and in the end beaten strong nations like Germany and Italy.” Casillas is though wary that knocking the reigning world and European champions off their perch could act as an extra incentive for Spain’s opponents. “We need to continue

with the intention of winning the first match and then see what happens. I can believe the others looks at us as favourites for what we have done, but we are aware that although they praise us, they are also motivated to play against us and beat us.” Casillas’ Real Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo also faces a tough task just to get through the group stage as his Portugal side were drawn against Germany, the United States and Ghana. Ronaldo almost single-handedly ensured his country’s participation next summer with a stunning individual display as he scored all four goals in their 4-2 aggregate playoff win over

Sweden last month. And having won the Champions League and league titles in England and Spain, the 28-year-old is desperate to enhance his legacy with victory in a major tournament. “I know what it is like to lift an important trophy like the Champions League. In a World Cup the feeling would be even better, something you would never forget. “My dream, like everyone here, is to win a big tournament like the World Cup or the European Championships, but we need to keep our feet on the ground and go step-bystep. Only the best can win and I hope that Portugal are amongst the best.”

The toughest task of the opening round of fixtures in Brazil though has arguably been handed to Croatia who will open the tournament against the hosts in Sao Paulo. However, Luka Modric believes his side can enjoy the experience as they have nothing to lose against the tournament favourites. “The game will be special for us because it is the opening game of the world cup and the whole world will be watching us. “Brazil is one of the favourites but I am sure we will give them a tough match. I can’t wait to play the game and especially against my teammate Marcelo. They are going to be under pressure.” —AFP

Van Persie speculation ‘nonsense’, says Moyes MANCHESTER: Manchester United manager David Moyes has dismissed suggestions that Dutch striker Robin van Persie is unhappy at Old Trafford, after a shock 1-0 loss at home to Newcastle United. The defending champions have now lost five matches in the Premier League, which is the same number of defeats as they suffered in each of the last two seasons. Van Persie returned to the starting XI for the Newcastle match on Saturday following almost a month out with a groin problem. Former Liverpool player and television pundit Mark Lawrenson has claimed that the Dutchman is not content at United and may even have submitted a transfer request. But Moyes is adamant that he has no problems with the striker and issued a forceful rebuttal of the claims. “That is absolute nonsense. I don’t know what harder or tougher word I could say, but that’s as good as I’ve got,” said the Scot. Moyes insists that United’s ongoing problems are not down to him attempting to change too much since he succeeded Alex Ferguson at the end of last season. Marouane Fellaini, a £27.5 million ($45 million, 33.2 million euros) signing from Moyes’s former club Everton, was the only major new arrival dur-

ing the close season. A small section of the United supporters booed the team off at the final whistle, but Moyes maintains that the fans accept the job he is facing. “Change it? I don’t think I’ve changed anything. It’s the same players,” he said. “I’ve brought one player in and I would have done that anyway. If I’d changed it, there might be something to be critical of, but we’ve gone along with basically the same players and introduced young Adnan (Januzaj) into the team, so I don’t think we’ve made any changes. “Manchester United supporters have been great to me and the club. They understand there’s a great transition going on here. “I don’t think they or me expected us to have lost five games at this stage of the season, but I think they understand totally that there’s a change going on. “It’s the same players that won the Premier League last year-everybody’s aware of that.” Fellaini missed the match with back bruising, while defender Chris Smalling was absent with a tight hamstring and Shinji Kagawa was still recovering from an illness he contracted after Wednesday’s 1-0 loss to Everton.

On Kagawa, Moyes said: “He was very sick after the game and did a bit of training yesterday (Friday), but all of the stats we looked at were low and we felt we would be better to not take a risk in case he got an injury. “It was bad sickness. He thought he’d eaten too much and had to get his stomach pumped, but he’s OK.” Yohan Cabaye scored the only goal of the game when he swept home Moussa Sissoko’s cut-back just beyond the hour. It was Newcastle’s fifth win in six matches, and their first victory at Old Trafford since 1972, and manager Alan Pardew rated it more highly than the victories over Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur earlier in the season. “This ranks above those, because this is a very difficult place to come,” he said. “It’s a difficult place in terms of the stadium, the aura of it, and you’ve got to concentrate for 90 minutes. Last year we were 3-2 up with nine minutes to go and it was a couple of errors in that period that cost us the win. “This time when we scored, that was what I was most concerned about. You have to concentrate and play every moment on this pitch, and we did that.” —AFP

Schalke’s Keller under pressure for Basel clash BERLIN: Schalke 04 coach Jens Keller faces a make-or-break Champion League clash against Swiss champions FC Basel on Wednesday with a third-straight defeat likely to cost the 43-year-old his job. Having been dumped out of the German Cup last Tuesday by a shock 3-1 home defeat to Hoffenheim, on Saturday Schalke lost 2-1 at fourth-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach, who opened a seven-point gap over fifthplaced Schalke in the Bundesliga. With the Royal Blues now 17 points behind Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich and out of the German Cup, a Champions League exitalbeit with entry to the Europa League if they finish third in Group E-would end their interest in all three major competitions. And it could well be Keller’s last game in charge having taken over in December last year. “You need to ask those in charge who make those decisions,” Keller replied tersely when asked about his future after

Wednesday’ match at Gelsenkirchen’s Veltins Arena. “Yes,” said Schalke’s general manager Horst Heldt when aked if Keller would be in charge for Wednesday ’s match, but he refused to comment when asked about next Sunday’s home Bundeliga game against Freiburg. Clemens Toennies, head of Schalke’s advisory board, said it is all about results now. “Now is not the time to address the question about the coach,” Toennies told magazine Sport Bild. “It’s all about winning our next few games.” Schalke are a side badly in need of a confidence boost after suffering their eighth defeat of the season in all competitions at ‘Gladbach. The Royal Blues can justifiably argue they were the victims of some harsh decisions by referee Felix Zwayer at Moenchengladbach. With the scores level at 1-1, Schalke captain Benedikt Hoewedes was sent off for a second yellow card after a shot on goal rico-

cheted off his upper arm, earning the Germany defender a red card following an earlier yellow. To make matters worse, striker Max Kruse converted the resulting penalty, on the stroke of half-time, which proved to be Moenchengladbach’s winner. “That was not a penalty, I was turning myself out of the way (of the ball) and it’s a pity the game was decided by a goal like that,” said Hoewedes. Gladbach coach Lucien Favre agreed with the Schalke defender. “The red-yellow against Hoewedes was, from my perspective, too harsh. Perhaps it’s the rules, but it wasn’t necessary,” said the Swiss coach. Only a superb save from Borussia goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, deep in extra-time, from a Kevin-Prince Boateng header denied Schalke an equaliser as their luck deserted them. Hoewedes admitted Wednesday’s game is “all-or-nothing” now with regards to their season. —AFP

KANSAS CITY: Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen, center, holds the MLS Cup as he and his teammates celebrate their 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake in the MLS Cup soccer championship in Kansas City, Kansas, Saturday. Kansas City won after a 7-6 penalty kick shootout. —AP

Sporting KC tops Real Salt Lake for MLS Cup KANSAS CITY: Aurelien Collin scored the equalizer in the second half of the MLS Cup, then drove home the deciding penalty kick to give Sporting Kansas City a dramatic victory over Real Salt Lake on Saturday night and its first league title since 2000. Alvaro Saborio, who missed the Western Conference finals because of injury, scored for Real Salt Lake in the 52nd minute, but Collin answered with a header in the 76th minute. It remained that way through regulation and 30 minutes of overtime, and then the teams engaged in the longest penalty-kick shootout in championship history - one that both sides had chances to win before Collin’s shot and Jimmy Nielsen’s save gave Sporting KC the 7-6 victory. Sporting KC’s Graham Zusi had a chance to wrap it up in the first stage of penalty kicks, but he missed high and Real Salt Lake’s Javier Morales made good to force sudden death. Real Salt Lake had a chance when Lawrence Olum missed wide, but Nielsen made a diving save on Sebastian Velasquez. Two rounds later, Collin placed his penalty kick just out of the reach of goalkeeper Nick Rimando, and Real Salt Lake’s Lovel Palmer was unable to answer him as Sporting KC players and coaches spilled off the sideline and fireworks began popping over sold-out Sporting Park. It was the third time the MLS Cup has gone to a penalty kick shootout. Houston beat New England in 2006, and Real Salt Lake topped the Los Angeles Galaxy 5-4 in 2009 for its only title. It also was the coldest MLS Cup in history with a game-time temperature of 22 degrees and a wind chill of 12, and that only dropped as the sun

set and the game pressed through overtime. Even in the frigid Midwestern weather, tempers ran hot from the start. Real Salt Lake’s Chris Wingert picked up a yellow card midway through the first half when he plowed over C.J. Sapong, and Collin earned one for a reckless tackle. Saborio picked up his yellow card for running through Sporting KC’s Benny Feilhaber, then bumping him back to the pitch. The physical nature of the first half resulted in precious few scoring chances. Real Salt Lake, taking advantage of the wind suddenly at its back, finally broke through in the second half. Collin’s weak clear was tracked down by Kyle Beckerman, and he passed ahead to Saborio, who made a nifty move around defender Matt Besler and put a shot in the corner of the net. Real Salt Lake players sprinted to the corner of Sporting Park, and Collin seemed to take umbrage with the celebration that ensued among a small but vocal contingent of visiting fans. Real Salt Lake nearly put the game away on two occasions. Beckerman first ripped a shot off the post that bounced to Nielsen, who spiked the ball in frustration. Then, Javier Morales sent a shot off the opposite post that nearly caromed into the other side of the goal. Sporting KC finally answered in the 76th minute when Zusi sent a corner kick toward the goal, and Collin leaped up and got his bald head cleanly on the ball, redirecting it into the net. Both teams had chances to end it early overtime. Zusi’s open shot from the point was deflected high by Rimando in the 93rd minute, and a header by Saborio into the net in the 105th was waved off due to offsides, keeping the game going all the way to penalty kicks. —AP

2014 World Cup fixtures guide COSTA DO SAUIPE: Programme of fixtures for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, which runs from June 12 until July 13, following a number of changes to the schedule mde by FIFA on Saturday (local time and GMT): GROUP PHASE GROUP A Thursday, June 12 Match 1: at Sao Paulo (17h00-20h00), Brazil v Croatia Friday, June 13 Match 2: at Natal (13h00-16h00), Mexico v Cameroon Tuesday, June 17 Match 17: at Fortaleza (16h00- 19h00), Brazil v Mexico Wednesday, June 18 Match 18: at Manaus (18h00-22h00), Cameroon v Croatia Monday, June 23 Match 33: at Brasilia (17h00-20h00), Cameroon v Brazil Match 34: at Recife (17h00- 20h00), Croatia v Mexico GROUP B Friday, June 13 Match 3: at Salvador (16h00-19h00), Spain v Netherlands Match 4: at Cuiaba (18h00-22h00), Chile v Australia Wednesday, June 18 Match 19: at Rio de Janeiro (16h00-19h00), Spain v Chile Match 20: at Porto Alegre (13h00-16h00), Australia v Netherlands Monday, June 23 Match 35: at Curitiba (13h00-16h00), Australia v Spain Match 36: at Sao Paulo (13h00-16h00), Netherlands v Chile GROUP C Saturday, June 14 Match 5: at Belo Horizonte (13h00-16h00), Colombia v Greece Match 6: at Recife (22h00-01h00), Ivory Coast v Japan Thursday, June 19 Match 21: at Brasilia (13h00-16h00), Colombia v Ivory Coast Match 22: at Natal (19h00-22h00), Japan v Greece Tuesday, June 24 Match 37: at Cuiaba (16h00-20h00), Japan v Colombia Match 38: at Fortaleza (17h00-20h00), Greece v Ivory Coast GROUP D Saturday, June 14 Match 7: at Fortaleza (16h00-19h00), Uruguay v Costa Rica Match 8: at Manaus (18h00-22h00), England v Italy Thursday, June 19 Match 23: at Sao Paulo (16h00- 19h00), Uruguay v England

Friday, June 20 Match 24: at Recife (13h00-16h00), Italy v Costa Rica Tuesday, June 24 Match 39: at Natal (13h00-16h00), Italy v Uruguay Match 40: at Belo Horizonte (13h00-16h00), Costa Rica v England GROUP E Sunday, June 15 Match 9: at Brasilia (13h00-16h00), Switzerland v Ecuador Match 10: at Porto Alegre (16h00-19h00), France v Honduras Friday, June 20 Match 25: at Salvador (16h00-19h00), Switzerland v France Match 26: at Curitiba (19h00-22h00), Honduras v Ecuador Wednesday, June 25 Match 41: at Manaus (16h00-20h00), Honduras v Switzerland Match 42: at Rio de Janeiro (17h00-20h00), Ecuador v France GROUP F Sunday, June 15 Match 11: at Rio de Janeiro (19h00-22h00), Argentina v Bosnia-Herzegovina Monday, June 16 Match 12: at Curitiba (16h00-19h00), Iran v Nigeria Saturday, June 21 Match 27: at Belo Horizonte (13h00-16h00), Argentina v Iran Match 28: at Cuiaba (18h00-22h00), Nigeria v Bosnia-Herzegovina Wednesday, June 25 Match 43: at Porto Alegre (13h00-16h00), Nigeria v Argentina Match 44: at Salvador (13h00-16h00), Bosnia-Herzegovina v Iran GROUP G Monday, June 16 Match 13: at Salvador (13h00-16h00), Germany v Portugal Match 14: at Natal (19h00-22h00), Ghana v USA Saturday, June 21 Match 29: at Fortaleza (16h00-19h00), Germany v Ghana Sunday, June 22 Match 30: at Manaus (18h00-22h00), USA v Portugal Thursday, June 26 Match 45: at Recife (13h00-16h00), USA v Germany Match 46: at Brasilia (13h00-16h00), Portugal v Ghana GROUP H Tuesday, June 17 Match 15: at Belo Horizonte (13h00-16h00), Belgium v Algeria Match 16: at Cuiaba (18h00-22h00), Russia v South Korea Sunday, June 22

Match 31: at Rio de Janeiro (13h0016h00), Belgium v Russia Match 32: at Porto Alegre (16h0019h00), South Korea v Algeria Thursday, June 26 Match 47: at Sao Paulo (17h00-20h00), South Korea v Belgium Match 48: at Curitiba (17h00-20h00), Algeria v Russia ROUND OF 16 Saturday, June 28 Match 49: at Belo Horizonte (13h00-16h00), 1st Group A v 2nd Group B Match 50: at Rio de Janeiro (17h00-20h00), 1st Group C v 2nd Group D Sunday, June 29 Match 51: at Fortaleza (13h00-16h00), 1st Group B v 2nd Group A Match 52: at Recife (17h00-20h00), 1st Group D v 2nd Group C Monday, June 30 Match 53: at Brasilia (13h00-16h00), 1st Group E v 2nd Group F Match 54: at Porto Alegre (17h00-20h00), 1st Group G v 2nd Group H Tuesday, July 1 Match 55: at Sao Paulo (13h00-16h00), 1st Group F v 2nd Group E Match 56: at Salvador (17h00-20h00), 1st Group H v 2nd Group G QUARTER-FINALS Friday, July 4 Match 57: at Fortaleza (17h00-20h00), winner Match 49 v winner Match 50 Match 58: at Rio de Janeiro (13h00-16h00), winner Match 53 v winner Match 54 Saturday, July 5 Match 59: at Salvador (17h00-20h00), winner Match 51 v winner Match 52 Match 60: at Brasilia (13h00-16h00), winner Match 55 v winner Match 56 SEMI-FINALS Tuesday, July 8 Match 61: at Belo Horizonte (17h00-20h00), winner Match 57 v winner Match 58 Wednesday, July 9 Match 62: at Sao Paulo (17h00-20h00), winner Match 59 v winner Match 60 PLAY-OFF FOR THIRD PLACE Saturday, July 12 Match 63: at Brasilia (17h00-20h00), loser Match 61 v loser Match 62 FINAL Sunday, July 13 Match 64: at Rio de Janeiro (16h00-19h00), winner Match 61 v winner Match 62. —AFP



Mourinho stays cool after Chelsea crash at Stoke STOKE-ON-TRENT: Jose Mourinho refused to press the panic button after Chelsea slipped to a shock 3-2 defeat against Stoke. Mourinho’s men wasted a chance to keep the pressure on Premier League leaders Arsenal as Oussama Assaidi’s last-gasp goal condemned the Blues to a frustrating loss at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday. With Arsenal in action at home to Everton yesterday, Chelsea could be seven points off top spot by the time they return to domestic action against Crystal Palace next weekend. But Blues boss Mourinho could point to Manchester United’s defeat against Newcastle and Manchester City’s draw at

Southampton as proof that Chelsea aren’t the only ones in erratic form at present. And Mourinho insists Chelsea’s third league defeat of the season won’t have serious consequences for their hopes of winning the title because most of their main challengers are also struggling. “I think we are doing well,” he said. “To be there, where we are, you see us in relation to Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham and Liverpool and we are not doing bad, even in term of points in the league.” Mourinho maintained his relaxed approach at the end of a week that saw Chelsea concede six goals in two matches. While his players wasted a chance

to close the gap on Arsenal, Mourinho still gave the squad a rare day off afterwards in the knowledge that their December schedule will be hugely demanding. Chelsea host Steaua Bucharest on Wednesday in their final Champions League group fixture with qualification for the last 16 already secured. A win would ensure Chelsea finish first in their group, but Mourinho seems more focused on his side’s forthcoming tests in the Premier League. A trip to Arsenal on December 23 will go some way to deciding how the title race will run in the second half of the season, while the visit of Liverpool on December 29 is one of four games in 10

games over the holiday period. “I don’t like to give a day off after a game and before a Champions League game but I think it’s good for their heads,” Mourinho added. “I like to do recovery from the physiological point of view but I think the mental point of view is more important. “They have a free day to disconnect because I think it’s important for them. We have to give everything to try and fight for the points.” Mourinho has clearly mellowed in his time away from England and kept his composure when questioned about his team’s tendency to concede goals in bunches-something that wasn’t a Chelsea trait in his first spell at the west London

club. His first title-winning season in 200405 saw Chelsea concede only 15 goals during the whole campaign; the three that Stoke, managed by former Chelsea striker Mark Hughes, put past Petr Cech took this season’s tally to 17 already. But Mourinho insisted: “It is not fair to compare different generations from different periods. “We are not a physical team, we are not a team who can defend against physical teams. We need to score goals.” Asked about the lack of goals from forwards Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto’o, he added with a shrug and hint of a smile: “How are we going to get the strikers to score? I don’t know.” —AFP

Destro to the rescue as Roma end winless run MILAN: Mattia Destro struck a secondhalf winner on his return from a long injury lay-off to hand Roma a 2-1 win at home to Fiorentina which reduced the gap on leaders Juventus to three points yesterday. A run of four consecutive draws, coupled with Juventus’s 2-0 win away to Bologna on Friday, had left Roma with a six-point deficit to the Serie A champions. But despite the constant threat from a Fiorentina side intent on securing Champions League qualification at the end of the season, Rudi Garcia’s men dug deep to claim their first win since the end of October. Destro, sidelined since the start of the season with injury, told Sky Sport Italia: “Being out for so long was frus-

trating but finally I’m back. To play again was wonderful and to score was the icing on the cake. “It was a great performance and we’re still unbeaten,” said Garcia. Having maintained since the start of the campaign that Roma’s main objective is a top three finish and qualification for the Champions League, the French coach sent a scudetto warning to Juventus. “Juve could win the title as well as the Champions League, and I wish them good luck for their trip (Tuesday) to Galatasaray,” added Garcia. “But we’re also in contention for the title. If we avoid too many injuries, we can have a great season.” Fiorentina remained in fifth, 13

points behind Juve but only five off Napoli, who sit third and in the first Champions League qualifying place. Coach Vincenzo Montella called it a “balanced, open game” but admitted their fourth defeat had hurt. “Roma showed what a great team they are but we showed we are on the same level,” Montella said. “Defeat hurts, because it was a crucial game in terms of results and our place in the table. But all defeats hurt.” Roma, who finished with 10 men after Miralem Pjanic saw red for a second bookable offence minutes from the final whistle, had Francesco Totti on the bench although the iconic skipper, returning from a long injury lay-off, failed to make an appearance.

ROME: AS Roma’s players celebrate after winning the Italian Serie A football match between AS Roma and Fiorentina yesterday at the Olympic stadium in Rome. —AFP

Fiorentina started brightly, Juan Vargas testing home ‘keeper Morgan De Sanctis with a low drive after Nenad Tomovic’s delivery on three minutes. However Roma soon had the Olympic Stadium on its feet when Brazilian defender Maicon controlled close to goal following good work by Gervinho at the byline to beat ‘keeper Neto at his far post. Further chances by Daniele De Rossi and Gervinho went amiss while league-leading striker Giuseppe Rossi came close for Fiorentina on 21 minutes only to fire high over. Roma’s usually stout defence had conceded only four times before this game but was found wanting on 29 minutes when Nenad Tomovic’s cutback from the byline was smashed into the roof of the net by Juan Vargas from the edge of the area. Destro replaced Alessandro Florenzi just before the hour and after Alberto Aquilani sent a first-time effort wide for the visitors Roma went on to enjoy a dominant spell. Gervinho broke through to leave the ball at Ljajic’s feet but Neto blocked his angled drive. Kevin Strootman’s strike from the edge of the area then found the upright and Maicon, sent through by Gervinho, saw his angled strike blocked by the chest of Neto. Fiorentina’s defence capitulated moments later when Gervinho zipped to the byline and cut back for Destro to beat Neto first-time at the keeper’s near post. At the other end De Sanctis hurried to parry Pasqual’s free kick as it headed for the top corner while Benatia sent another header wide of the upright from a corner. The only blot on Roma’s copy book was Pjanic’s 89th minute sending-off, following a second booking for a foul on David Pizarro, which will see the player miss next next week’s clash away to AC Milan. —AFP

Wolves floor Freiburg to extend unbeaten run BERLIN: VfL Wolfsburg extended their unbeaten run to eight matches with a 3-0 win at strugglers Freiburg yesterday to climb up to fifth in the Bundesliga table. Wolves raced into a 2-0 lead after only 11 minutes as Germany Under-21 forward Maximilian Arnold netted with a deft touch before ex-Bayern Munich star Luiz Gustavo laid the ball off for Croatia’s Ivica Olic to blast home. Freiburg squandered a couple of clear chances before Wolfsburg’s Germany defender Marcel Schafer came off the bench for Olic to score their third in added time. Freiburg remain third from bottom with a

third straight defeat and to make matters worse they had French midfielder Francis Coquelin, on loan from Arsenal, carried off with a suspected broken ankle just after the break. On Saturday, France star Franck Ribery produced a commanding display as Bayern Munich ex tended their record unbeaten Bundesliga run to 40 matches with a 7-0 away romp at Werder Bremen. Ribery boosted his claim for the 2013 world footballer of the year award, which will be announced on January 13, by creating two goals and scoring twice in the rout. Bayern, who last lost in the German league in October

FREIBURG: Freiburg’s Pavel Krmas, left, challenges for the ball with Wolfsburg’s Ivica Olic, during the German first division Bundesliga soccer match between SC Freiburg and VfL Wolfsburg in Freiburg, Germany yesterday. —AP

2012, produced their biggest win so far under Pep Guardiola, cutting Bremen’s defence to tatters. The victory was short of the Bundesliga’s 57-year-old record of 9-0 for an away win and was Werder’s heaviest home league defeat. Bremen coach Robin Dutt kept the team on the pitch for a stern lecture as they dropped to 14th after just two wins in their last 10 games. Belgium’s Daniel van Buyten, Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic plus Germany’s Thomas Mueller and Mario Goetze also joined Ribery on the scoresheet after Bremen scored an own goal. Second-placed Bayer Leverkusen stayed four points behind Bayern with a hard-fought 1-0 win at third-placed Borussia Dortmund, who now find themselves six points behind Leverusen and ten points behind Munich. South Korea striker Son Heung-Min hit the 18th-minute winner after Leverkusen’s attack pounced on a mistake by Dortmund defender Manuel Friedrich for Son to score his fifth goal in his last three games against Borussia. Both sides finished with 10 men in a tense affair. Dortmund lost both defensive midfielders Sven Bender and Nuri Sahin during the match with ankle injuries. Germany’s Bender has been ruled out of Wednesday’s Champions League game at Marseille with a sprained ankle, while Sahin has a torn ligament and is rated extremely doubtful. “Miracles happen repeatedly, but it does not look good,” said Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp. Fourth-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach drew level on 31 points with Dortmund as they picked up their sixth-straight win with a 2-1 win at home to ten-man Schalke 04. Schalke must beat Swiss champions FC Basel on Wednesday to reach the Champions League’s knock-out phase and another defeat could be coach Jens Keller’s last having only been in charge since December last year. Eintracht Frankfurt stayed just above the relegation places after losing 2-1 at home to Hoffenheim while Hamburg, who had been steadily climbing the table under ex-Holland manager Bert van Marwijk, slumped to a 1-0 defeat at home to Augsburg. Stuttgart are up to 10th after picking up only their third win in the last 10 games with a 4-2 win at home to Hanover 96. —AFP

XATIVA: Real Madrid’s Marcelo from Brazil, left, duels for the ball with Olimpic Xativa’s Jordi Marena during their Copa del Rey soccer match at the La Murta stadium in Xativa, Spain, Saturday. —AP

Real Madrid held by lowly Xativa in Cup MADRID: Real Madrid badly missed the firepower of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale as they were held 0-0 away to third tier Olimpic Xativa in the first-leg of their Copa del Rey fourth round tie on Saturday. With Ronaldo suspended following his red card in last year’s final defeat to Atletico Madrid and Bale left in the Spanish capital due to the flu, Real boss Carlo Ancelotti handed starts to young forwards Alvaro Morata and Jese Rodriguez. However, the Spanish under-21 duo failed to impress as Real failed to find the net for just the second time this season. And Ancelotti believes the artificial surface at La Murta affected his side’s performance. “The match wasn’t that bad. It is true that the artificial pitch didn’t help us, we are not used to playing on pitches like that,” he said. “We don’t need to be worried about a lack of goals. That is not a problem we normally have.” After a first-half devoid of clear-cut chances, Madrid improved markedly after the break as Isco and Morata both wastefully fired wide when presented with good sights of goal. Angel di Maria then showed his displeasure at Ancelotti as he stormed down the tunnel when being replaced by Karim Benzema just before the hour mark. However, even the French international couldn’t find the breakthrough as he flashed a shot just wide with his best opening 11 minutes from time. Madrid will though still be heavy

favourites to progress when the two sides meet again for the second-leg at the Santiago Bernabeu on December 18. Atletico Madrid began their defence of the title with an comfortable 4-0 win away to Sant Andreu. Goals from Raul Garcia and David Villa either side of an Arda Turan double mean that Atletico can already start planning for the last 16 in January. “The commitment of the team was very good,” said a satisfied Atletico boss Diego Simeone. “We handled the game very well and the result is obviously a very good one. “The more players we have scoring goals the better so it was good to see Raul score again and Arda got two.” Garcia continued his fine scoring form of late with the opener after just 12 minutes before Turan effectively ended the tie as a contest with a second away goal when he tapped home from Manquillo’s intelligent cut-back just eight minutes later. The Turkish international doubled his tally for the afternoon 10 minutes after halftime as he took advantage of some frantic defending to slot home from inside the area. Simeone had rested top scorer Diego Costa and David Villa from the start, but the Argentine showed no mercy on the lowly Catalans as he introduced his first choice striker partnership with 20 minutes to go. And Villa had time to grab his 10th goal of the season with classy finish six minutes from time to make it 4-0. —AFP

MADRID: (FromL) Real Madrid football players, French forward Karim Benzema, Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas, Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo and Brazilian defender Marcelo give a press conference to give their thoughts on 2014 World Cup draw, at the Valdebebas training ground in Madrid yesterday. World governing body FIFA on December 6 conducted the draw for next year’s World Cup, when 32 national teams will converge on Brazil to compete for the sport’s most important prize. —AFP

English FA Cup draw LO N D O N : D r aw fo r t h e t h i rd ro u n d o f E n g l i s h f o o t b a l l ’s FA C u p m a d e yesterday: Third round Barnsley v Hartlepool or Coventry Yeovil v Leyton Orient Liverpool v Oldham or Mansfield Nottingham Forest v West Ham Bristol City v Watford Southend v Millwall Middlesbrough v Hull West Brom v Crystal Palace Kidderminster v Peterborough Doncaster v Stevenage Stoke v Leicester Southampton v Burnley Newcastle v Cardiff Rochdale v Leeds Wigan v MK Dons

Charlton v Wrexham or Oxford Manchester United v Swansea Port Vale v Plymouth Norwich v Fulham Aston Villa v Sheffield United Macclesfield v Sheffield Wednesday Sunderland v Carlisle Bolton v Blackpool Blackburn v Manchester City Everton v QPR Brighton v Reading Arsenal v Tottenham Birmingham v Bristol Rovers or Crawley Grimsby v Huddersfield Ipswich v Preston Derby v Chelsea Bournemouth v Fleetwood or Burton Ties to be played over the weekend of January 4-5. —AFP

De Kock leads S Africa to series win over India



Destro to the rescue as Roma end winless run


2014 World Cup fixtures guide

Page 18

LONDON: Arsenal’s German midfielder Mesut Ozil (centre) runs with the ball during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Everton at The Emirates Stadium in north London yesterday.— AFP

Leaders Arsenal held by Everton Arsenal 1

Everton 1 LONDON: A fine 84th-minute goal by substitute Gerard Deulofeu earned Everton a 11 draw at Arsenal yesterday that prevented the Premier League leaders from moving seven points clear. Arsenal had taken the lead only four minutes earlier, through Mesut Ozil, but with a handsome advantage beckoning, on-loan Barcelona forward Deulofeu smashed home to earn his side a point that their endeavour deserved. Having seen Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United drop points on Saturday, Arsenal are nonetheless five points clear of Liverpool and Chelsea ahead

of their trip to City next weekend. Defending champions United, meanwhile, are now 13 points behind Arsene Wenger’s side in ninth place. It was another spirited performance from Roberto Martinez’s Everton, who won 1-0 at United on Wednesday and continue to stalk the Champions League contenders, sitting a point below fourth-place City in fifth. Everton were unchanged from the team that had prevailed at Old Trafford, while Arsenal recalled Kieran Gibbs, Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere and Olivier Giroud following Wednesday’s 2-0 victory at home to Hull City. Buoyed by their first win at United since 1992, Everton took the game to Arsenal from the off, with Kevin Mirallas drilling a low cross across the face of goal and Sylvain Distin hooking wide from the edge of the box. Mirallas also shot wide after a break led by Ross Barkley, before Arsenal provided

the first glimpse of their attacking capacity in the 27th minute. A sweeping cross-field move culminated in Santi Cazorla playing a low ball into the box from the right that eluded the sliding Gibbs by inches. With half-time nearing, and dissent in the crowd growing, Arsenal roused themselves, but when first Giroud and then Aaron Ramsey were sent through, Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard twice flew out to block with his legs. The assault continued in the second half, with Howard obliged to save a header from Cazorla, but Everton served a reminder of their threat on the break when Steven Pienaar extended Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny with a 25-yard shot. Back at the other end, Howard was called into action again to push away a volley from the sliding Ramsey, before the impressive Barkley stung Szczesny’s palms with a rasping drive. With 23 minutes to go, Wenger elected to twist rather than stick, introducing Theo

Walcott, Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini in place of Wilshere, Ramsey and Cazorla. Flamini thrashed a shot inches wide shortly after coming on, but Everton continued to pose a threat, with Mirallas hitting the side netting and Distin heading over the bar. The game had opened up, and with 10 minutes remaining, Arsenal went ahead. Rosicky’s deep cross was knocked back across goal by Walcott and although Giroud completely miscued his volley, Ozil was on hand to lift the ball into the roof of the net from close range. It looked destined to be the winner, but with 84 minutes on the clock, Deulofeu collected the ball on the right-hand side of the box, shifted it past Gibbs and thrashed a rising shot past Szczesny. Romelu Lukaku threatened twice in the closing stages, but Arsenal came closest to snatching all three points when Giroud rattled the crossbar with a 25-yard half-volley in added time. — AFP

EPL results/standings LONDON: English Premier League table after yesterday’s matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Arsenal Liverpool Chelsea Man City Everton Tottenham Newcastle Southampton Man Utd Aston Villa Swansea Stoke Hull Norwich West Brom Cardiff West Ham Fulham Crystal Palace Sunderland

15 11 15 9 15 9 15 9 15 7 15 8 15 8 15 6 15 6 15 5 14 5 15 4 14 5 15 5 15 3 15 3 15 3 15 4 15 4 15 2

2 3 3 2 7 3 2 5 4 4 3 5 2 2 6 5 4 1 1 2

2 3 3 4 1 4 5 4 5 6 6 6 7 8 6 7 8 10 10 11

30 34 30 41 23 15 20 19 22 16 20 15 12 14 17 11 13 14 10 12

11 18 17 15 14 16 21 14 19 18 19 20 18 28 21 22 19 26 22 30

35 30 30 29 28 27 26 23 22 19 18 17 17 17 15 14 13 13 13 8

Berbatov leads Fulham to key win over Villa Fulham 2

Aston Villa 0 LONDON: Dimitar Berbatov inspired Fulham to a 2-0 home win over Aston Villa yesterday that revived the London club’s hopes of avoiding relegation from the Premier League. The Bulgarian forward, linked with a January transfer window move away from Craven Cottage, set up Fulham’s opening goal for Steve Sidwell and then scored their second from the penalty spot. For Fulham, who hadn’t previously scored two goals at home all season, victory saw them climb one place into 18th spot but remain in the relegation zone. Rene Meulensteen’s first win as Fulham manager-and the club’s first clean sheet since October 5 — gave the Cottagers a tally of 13 points. That left them level with London rivals Crystal Palace and West Ham, the two clubs

either side of them in the table, and in the bottom three on goal difference alone. Villa’s defeat-their first in six league matches-meant both Swansea and Hull will have the chance to leapfrog them into the top half of the table when they meet at the Liberty Stadium on Monday. Former Manchester United striker Berbatov was quickly into the action, his eighth minute header tipped on to the bar by Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan. Villa, however, threatened on the counter-attack and Christian Benteke, who has gone goalless for nine games, headed wide before shooting straight at Fulham goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg. But it was Fulham who gave former United assistant boss Meulensteen, appointed in succession to fellow Dutchman Martin Jol as the Cottagers’ boss, something to celebrate in the 21st minute. Berbatov’s well-cushioned header fell for Ashkan Dejagah, who in turn sent Sidwell into the box, with the former Villa midfielder clipping the ball into the net. And nine minutes later Fulham had a somewhat controversial penalty. Alex Kacaniklic broke clear and

charged into the box where he appeared to make the initial contact with Villa’s Leandro Bacuna. But referee Mike Dean awarded a penalty and Berbatov, after selling Guzan a dummy, rolled the ball into the bottom corner. Villa’s Gabriel Agbonlahor wasted a good chance at the start of the second half when he failed to hit a square ball coming across him first time. Philippe Senderos got on the end of a well-worked Fulham corner but his header was saved by Guzan. Fulham full-back John Arne Riise proved a thorn in the side of Villa’s defence with his attacking play and was unlucky when his header from a Giorgos Karagounis cross hit the post. The home side kept pressing for a third goal but a rare Villa counter-attack six minutes from time saw Dean dismiss the visitors’ appeals for a penalty after Agbonlahor went down in the box under a challenge from Aaron Hughes. And Villa were denied even a consolation goal when, in stoppage time, Benteke’s curling shot was tipped over the bar by Stekelenburg. But there was no denying Fulham, who dominated the second half, their valuable victory. — AFP

LONDON: Aston Villa’s Australian midfielder Chris Herd (L) collides with Fulham’s Greek midfielder Giorgos Karagounis during the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Aston Villa at Craven Cottage in London yesterday. — AFP

SITA brings self-service to Kuwait Int’l airport


Page 22

Chinese exports grow on demand from US, Europe


Page 23 Ford Mustang marks 50 years

Shurooq, Dohaland Hospitality sign MoU Page 26

Page 25

TEHRAN: Iran President Hassan Rouhani (right) presents the proposed annual budget to Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani (C-L) yesterday. — AFP

Rouhani targets stagflation in first budget Iran economy contracted, Govt spending earmarked at $66bn DUBAI: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani presented his first budget to parliament yesterday, vowing to bring down inflation and boost growth to lift an economy reeling from sanctions and what he says was mismanagement by predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Inflation has soared for two years and productivity has slumped as ever tougher economic sanctions imposed to counter Tehran’s nuclear program have taken their toll. Rouhani says Ahmadinejad squandered vast oil revenues on cash handouts and housing projects during his two terms in office from 2005 and racked up enormous government debt. Gross domestic product had contracted by 6 percent over the past year, Rouhani told lawmakers yesterday, while inflation was running at 44 percent when he took office in August, a situation he described as “very worrying”. “Employment is the most important future issue for the

economy but now the biggest problem is (tackling) stagflation,” Rouhani said in parliament in an address shown live on state television. “The combination of stagnation and inflation over the past two years was unprecedented,” he said. Rouhani earmarked government spending for the year starting in March 2014 of $66 billion, calculated on an open-market exchange rate. The overall budget ceiling is estimated at about $265 billion, Iranian media reported, leaving flexibility to lift spending depending on income received during the year. Ahmadinejad’s overall draft budget ceiling for this year was about $200 billion but it was never approved. In August, officials under Rouhani indicated the spending plans faced massive shortfalls. “The (Rouhani) government has dared to present a 12month budget and that’s a bit of a risk. He’s prepared to tell people what can be afforded but he’s also showing an

Egypt rallies; most Gulf shares rise MIDEAST STOCK MARKETS DUBAI: Egypt’s bourse rallied 2.4 percent yesterday as a draft constitution gained traction and an interest rate cut boosted sentiment, while most Gulf shares also rose. Egypt’s Nour Party, the second-largest Islamist political group, said it would support a new constitution in an upcoming referendum in order to spare the country “more anarchy”. “Sentiment has improved in the market over the voting process of the constitution - it seems there is a coalition forming,” said Islam Batrawy, a Cairo-based trader. Separately, the country’s central bank on Thursday reduced its key interest rates by 50 basis points each, saying it was more concerned about boosting growth than taming inflation. Batrawy said expectations of a liquidity boost from lower interest rates, that will attract higher investment to the country, are also spurring buying activity on the market. Cairo’s benchmark index climbed 2.4 percent to 6,484 points, its third consecutive gain but approaching resistance at the year’s intraday peak of 6,510 points hit on Nov 20. The main support was heavyweight Commercial International Bank, which surged 4.8 percent to a record high. It extended gains since a price adjustment on a bonus share issue attracted buyers. In Saudi Arabia, the measure advanced 0.9 percent to 8,321 points, its third straight gain since it dropped to a four-week low. “The market is in a consolidation phase between 8,200 - 8,350 points and volumes are also low, which is a requisite of a consolidation,” said Aiyaz Hassan, senior technical analyst at Riyad Capital. The overall trend is

bullish and the index could target the 8,700 level in the three to six-month period if it breaks above the next resistance, he added. The 8,425 level is the Nov 18 intraday high of the year. Large-cap Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) climbed 1.2 percent, while food firm Savola Group rose 3.1 percent. In the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi’s small-caps lifted the market to a five-year high as local investors bought laggards. The index climbed 1.3 percent to its highest close since Sept. 2008. It is up 51.7 percent year-to-date, behind Dubai’s 88.3 percent surge in the same period. Recovery in the real estate and banking sector, an upgrade to emerging market status from index compiler MSCI and recently, Dubai’s successful bid to host the World Expo 2020 have contributed to lifting investor sentiment and a bullish outlook for the country. Small-caps Abu Dhabi Ship Building and Union cement each jumped 14.8 percent. National Takaful Co rises 14.4 percent. “There’s heavy speculative trading on small-caps which are also cheap,” said Hisham Khairy, head of trading, institutional desk at MENA Corp. “Money is pooling into these names in a shift from local investors.” Dubai’s index rose 1.4 percent to 3,056 points, a new five-year high. The market crossed the psychologically important level of 3,000 on Thursday, which is adding to the positive sentiment on the country’s bourses, Khairy said. “I would expect money to flow out of Dubai and into Abu Dhabi because the index is still lagging and there are more opportunities for investors to play up prices,” he added. — Reuters

element of financial discipline,” said Mehrdad Emadi, an Iran-born economist at Betamatrix consultants, based in Britain. Ahmadinejad presided over a period of unparalled revenue growth due to high oil prices and was able to fund ever increasing budgets until Iran’s oil receipts were targeted by new sanctions at the start of 2012. He also implemented reforms that withdrew massive subsidies on food and fuel in favor of direct cash handouts. Applauded in theory, it has been much criticized in practice. Rouhani indicated a new mechanism for subsidy payments would be put forward soon. “The crucial battle will be over the subsidies bill. Rouhani has to find a way of targeting those in need and that will be very difficult,” said Siavush Randjbar-Daemi, a lecturer on Iranian studies at Britain’s Manchester University. Rouhani secured a landslide election victory in June

promising a policy of “constructive engagement” with the outside world would help ease international sanctions on the Islamic Republic imposed over its nuclear program. Iran denies Western accusations that it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons capability. The draft budget estimates oil exports at about 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd), oil ministry website Shana said on Tuesday, indicating Tehran sees no major recovery in sales next year despite the prospect of limited sanctions relief. Iranian media reported last week that the 2014 spending assumes an average oil price of $100 per barrel, about $10 below benchmark Brent crude prices. The International Monetary Fund expects Iran’s economy will shrink 1.5 percent this year in inflation-adjusted terms, after an estimated 1.9 percent contraction last year which was the biggest since 1988, when Iran’s eight-year war with Iraq ended. — Reuters

EU finance ministers face crisis over banking union BRUSSELS: EU finance ministers face tough talks tomorrow on the next key step to a “Banking Union,” the new regulatory system to ensure banks avoid the risky excesses which brought Europe to its knees. The 28 are trying to reconcile deep differences over a Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM) meant to stabilize, and if necessary, close a failing bank before it does too much damage. The SRM will work alongside an already agreed Single Supervisory Mechanism under the European Central Bank which will oversee the largest banks directly, and the smaller lenders indirectly via national authorities. The system will see that euro-zone lenders stick to the rules and so do their proper job-lend to business to generate growth and much-needed jobs. The SSM, which non-euro countries can ask to join, took 13 months to negotiate and is due to come into effect late next year after the ECB vets the largest banks to see if they are strong enough on their own or need fresh capital. The ECB wants both mechanisms operational at the same time, since if the SSM finds a bank to be at risk, it is the SRM that has to step in to rescue or close it. “Both the SSM and the SRM are essential parts ... of the Banking Union which will help break the link between banks” and governments, and ease the problem of their refusing to lend despite a mountain of cheap funds being made available, the ECB said last month. French and German differences over scheme’s scope The main sticking point is the scope of the SRM. EU powerhouse Germany believes it is simplest if the mechanism covers the same banks overseen directly by the ECB-that is, nearly 130 lenders holding about 85 percent of all euro-zone banking assets. Critics say this reflects Berlin’s preference to retain a large degree of control over its banking system, having ensured smaller lenders remain a national responsibility in the SSM. France in contrast

ECB President Mario Draghi believes all 6,000 euro-zone banks should be included because it is often the smaller lenders which get into trouble first, bringing down their larger peers to set off a chain reaction of destruction. Non-euro Britain meanwhile remains wary, accepting Banking Union as necessary for the single currency area but unwilling to see Brussels gain any influence over London, one of the world’s largest financial markets. On Friday, Germany said it was confident of progress even as officials warned the talks will be difficult and lengthy. “We are confident that we will advance a fair bit” at next week’s talks, a spokesman said as German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble held discussions in Berlin with his French, Italian and Spanish counterparts, as well as eurozone finance chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem. At the same time, the spokesman said there was “no so-called compromise paper” on the table. SRM sup-

porters hope for an accord tomorrow so it can be finalised by EU leaders later this month, giving the European Parliament time to approve it before elections in May. If that SRM timetable slips, then the whole Banking Union framework could hang fire. The European Commission, which is expected to run the SRM despite reservations by some member states, said: “Banking Union is our top priority and we are all committed to reaching a political agreement on the SRM before the end of the year.” “That is why negotiations are taking place day and night, at all levels ... to make that agreement happen,” a spokeswoman said Friday. The 17 eurozone finance ministers meet Monday to review the economic outlook and progress in bailed-out countries, with Ireland due to exit its rescue program December 15. They join their 11 non-euro colleagues tomorrow. — AFP



How can you assess a candidate’s cultural fit? weekly report because they didn’t like the company. Moreover, when we asked professionals in the ‘Work Satisfaction in the MENA’ poll, November 2012, what they liked most about their current job, 13.5 percent of them mentioned the ‘work culture’ as the second most important factor, just after their tasks and responsibilities. Another 19 percent of MENA professionals look for a good work environment in their next job, as per the ‘Workplace Dynamics in the MENA’ poll, June 2013. In spite of the above, many recruiters in the Middle East and North Africa region fail to give cultural fit its due importance. One way to evaluate a candidate’s cultural fit would be to use the most important tool you have at hand: the job interview.

By Lama Ataya


ultural fit at work is gaining increased prominence among employers and job seekers alike. An assessment of a candidate’s cultural fit allows a hiring manager to go beneath the surface of a candidate’s CV and determine whether a candidate’s ‘on-the-job’ behavior is consistent with the values of the organization. According to the ‘Hiring Management in the MENA’ poll, August 2012, what 3.3 percent of employers look most when hiring senior executives and management is a good cultural fit. In another poll-the ‘Employee Retention in the MENA Workplace’ poll, February 2013 — 4 percent of professionals left their last job

Indeed, the purpose of questions asked during a job interview is to assess a candidate’s cultural fit. How the candidate answers the questions should be a deciding factor in employee selection. In most cases, employers assess cultural fit via a series of behavioral questions. While these questions depend on each organization’s unique culture, the following interview questions suggested by the HR experts at, the Middle East’s number 1 job site, represent a general framework for any organization to assess the cultural fit of a candidate: • Describe the work environment or culture in which you are most productive and happy. • What are the characteristics exhibited by the best boss you have ever had, or

By Hayder Tawfik

New kiosks will shorten queues


Better outlook There has been a steady upward revision for global economic growth this year and for next year. Admittedly, this revision has come from a very low base and in some places from an outright recession. Let’s not forget that the global economy was in a recession only few years ago so an acceleration in economic growth and big pickup in economic activities are very much likely in the coming years. I expect this improvement to be driven by the development economies lead by US and Europe. Safer environment Now, we can say with some degree of certainty that most of the macroeconomic crises that started in the US back in 2008 and the risk of the euro-zone breaking up last year are behind us. As markets and companies start adjusting to the normalization of economic activities hence looking for the longer-term horizon, investors should focus on those companies that have the long-term growth strategy and have the business model to back it. Investors should be assured that the macroeconomic and the monetary environments are still supportive for equity investments. First, I see economic activities accelerating and then spreading widely. Second, I do not see the Federal Reserve reversing its easy monetary policy any sooner. The reduction in the monthly bond buying operation might be reduced or stopped but as long as inflation is below the central bank’s target it is very much premature to start the tapering. As for the European Central bank, the task is very much harder and I would not be sur-

through hoops to delight a customer. • Tell us about a decision you made that was based primarily on customer needs and input. Other methods that help assess a candidate’s cultural fit are scenario role-plays or presentation demonstrations. Trial periods, or even an invitation to a team dinner or brainstorming session, are also good strategies to assess cultural fit. In conducting interviews with prospective employees, the cultural fit assessment is critical. It is important that companies schedule a cultural fit interview in addition to, and often before, the more traditional interviews to assess skills, experience, and potential contribution; a candidate who fits into your organization’s culture is likely to be more effective and create more value.

SITA brings self-service to Kuwait Int’l airport

Outlook for equity investment in 2014 quity investors that remained fully invested this year should be very happy with the performance they achieved. I can easily see another good year for equities in 2014. This should be achieved on the back of reduced macroeconomics and geopolitical risks. The focus should be placed plainly on how to pick the winners and avoid the losers in the coming years. As I mentioned in my previous articles this is not an easy task, in particular for small investors. One thing I could see happening is that the market leadership will change quite clearly. This has been already happening over the last few months. Companies that position themselves at normal times to benefit from certain and normal economic and monetary policies will and should outperform the market leaders that have been shielded from the crises over the last few years.

wished that you have had? • Describe what you believe are the most effective roles that a good manager plays in his or her relationship with reporting staff members. • Do you have a best friend at work? How do you feel about becoming friends with your coworkers? • What is the single most important factor that must be present in your work environment for you to be happily employed? • What is your preferred work style? Do you prefer working alone or as part of a team? • When you work with a team, describe the role that you are most likely to play on the team. • Provide an example of a time when you went out of your way and jumped

prised that, at some point next year it starts some kind of Quantitative Easing with a different style or call it something else. Confidence returning Usually, it takes longer for consumers and companies to start spending once they experience the first shock of any economic crises. This what I call the lack of confidence has not completely disappeared. However, investors have been returning to the market and with it building some confidence. As for companies, they have been reluctant to invest. Those with strong balance sheet have been busy buying back their stocks or increasing dividends to appease shareholders and remove any threat of take over. I expect a complete reversal and see consumer spending more, companies start investing and unemployment carry on falling. This is what I call the perfect environment for stock pickers. My advice to international investors is to focus on those companies that are cyclical by their business nature. A recovery in the global economy will be cyclical at its first stage then evolve into consumer lead recovery. As governments and companies start investing, cyclical stocks will benefit the most. Industrials and capital goods stocks will be the leaders. The perception among investors is that these companies are usually big capitalization stocks. This does not have to be the case. Investors should look for small-mid cap companies that are classified as cyclical and have good growth potential with reasonable valuations. These kinds of companies are found in countries such as US, Germany and Japan. Finally, I strongly recommend that investors should avoid defensive, high dividend yields and interest rates sensitive stocks such as utility companies. Also, not to be shy in investing in high technology stocks. —Dimah Capital.

KUWAIT: Kuwait International Airport’s seven million annual passengers will enjoy new selfservice check-in kiosks in a deal with air transport IT specialist, SITA. The new kiosks, which are in the final stages of testing, are part of an eightyear contract renewal for SITA’s AirportConnect Open passenger processing platform. Fawaz El Farah, President of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Kuwait, which sponsored the agreement with SITA, said: “Kuwait International Airport is growing at a rate of 5 percent annually. SITA’s self-service technology provides an efficient way to help manage these extra passengers, while enhancing their experience in the airport.” Mohammed Hariri, Chairman of the Airline Operating Committee, Kuwait International Airport, said: “SITA’s passenger processing platform gives us more flexibility and enhances our operational efficiency as passenger numbers continue to rise. We’re excited to take this technology one step further and offer self-service kiosks in the airport for the first time.” SITA’s AirportConnect Open enables airports, airlines and their handling agents to access their respective IT applications in real time on shared equipment. It also allows any airline to use any agent desk, gate or self-service kiosk for passen-

ger check-in and boarding. Kuwait’s AirportConnect Open renewal with SITA covers some 200 positions at check-in desks, transfer and reclaim and 12 common-use self-service check-in kiosks. Hani El-Assaad, SITA President Middle East, India and Africa, said: “The combination of SITA’s AirportConnect Open platform and the new kiosks will help reduce queues, while giving passengers more control over their journeys. In fact our studies have shown that the kiosks can help increase passenger processing speed by up to 25 percent, while making more efficient use of an airport’s limited physical space and infrastructure.” Also included in the deal are SITA’s PassengerHandler, BagManager and Passenger Bagdrop technology. PassengerHandler helps reduce the complexity of check-in and boarding transactions for ground handlers and airlines. By providing access to multiple departure control systems over a single graphical user interface, it helps facilitate on-time departures. SITA’s BagManager provides comprehensive baggage management, including delivering real-time information on baggage status and helping resolve baggage issues quickly and efficiently. It reduces the number of mishandled bags by 10-

20 percent. PassengerBagdrop is a software application that allows ground handlers who are using Common Use Terminal Equipment to quickly check bags for passengers using self-service check-in. More than 300 airlines use SITA’s AirportConnect Open to process millions of passengers every day in more than 400 airports around the world.

Greek lawmakers okay tough budget for 2014 ATHENS: Greece’s parliament on Saturday approved a tough budget for next year, aimed at ending the country’s deep recession, despite continued differences on fiscal policy with the country’s international creditors. The coalition government, which enjoys a narrow majority in the 300seat chamber, scraped through with 153 deputies backing the 2014 budget in a late evening vote. The budget measures included a further 3.1 billion euros ($4.2 billion) in spending cuts from an economy already suffering from successive austerity measures. The move came as Greece’s troika of international creditors-the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund-announced they had delayed until January their next trip to Athens. Senior auditors from the so-called creditor troika had been expected to return to Athens on Monday to resume an evaluation of pledged Greek reforms. The EU-ECB-IMF decision means talks on

unblocking one billion euros in bailout funds are postponed. The budget approved by parliament foresees a return to growth for the embattled Greek economy. But earlier Saturday a spokesman for EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said the international negotiating team would not return to Athens until next month “after the authorities have made further progress in implementation” of reforms demanded by Greece’s creditors. An agreement with the troika is necessary to unblock the one-billion-euro installment of financial aid pending since the summer. Athens has been keen to wrap up the talks before it assumes the rotating EU presidency in January. The creditors and Athens disagree on the level of a forecasted financing gap for 2014 and the measures that need to be taken to cover it. Discussions are reportedly stumbling on the issue of a new property tax, debtor property auctions, layoffs in the state sector and the slow pace of privatization.—AFP

ATHENS: Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras delivers a speech during a parliament meeting for a vote on 2014 country’s budget in Athens on Saturday. — AP

EXCHANGE RATES Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. ASIAN COUNTRIES 2.752 4.602 2.608 2.161 2.872 228.530 36.516 3.636 6.456 8.777 62.000 120.000 GCC COUNTRIES Saudi Riyal 75.537 Qatari Riyal 77.831 Omani Riyal 735.840 Bahraini Dinar 752.360 UAE Dirham 77.142 ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 40.650 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 40.660 Yemen Riyal/for 1000 1.321 Tunisian Dinar 170.570 Jordanian Dinar 400.010 Lebanese Lira/for 1000 1.900 Syrian Lira 3.077 Morocco Dirham 35.394 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 283.150 Euro 391.030 Sterling Pound 465.780 Canadian dollar 268.640 Turkish lira 140.040 Swiss Franc 321.030 Australian Dollar 260.500 US Dollar Buying 281.950 GOLD 20 Gram 231.000 10 Gram 118.000 5 Gram 62.000 Japanese Yen Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Srilankan Rupees Nepali Rupees Singapore Dollar Hongkong Dollar Bangladesh Taka Philippine Peso Thai Baht Irani Riyal Irani Riyal

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

SELL DRAFT 263.06 270.20 316.41 387.43 282.85 468.29 2.82 3.638 4.549 2.158 2.859 2.610 77.08 752.83 41.05 402.56 735.59 78.11 75.56

SELL CASH 262.000 270.000 316.000 389.000 285.600 471.000 2.800 3.800 4.860 2.600 3.400 2.760 77.400 753.7000 41.100 407.600 741.700 78.500 75.800

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

Selling Rate 283.300 268.550 467.340 386.535 314.805 748.050 77.110 78.660 76.415 399.355 41.077 2.162 4.603 2.608 3.639 6.448 695.840 3.770 09.790

Syrian Pound Nepalese Rupees Malaysian Ringgit Chinese Yuan Renminbi

Singapore Dollar South African Rand Sri Lankan Rupee Taiwan Thai Baht

3.020 3.820 88.920 46.905

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

BUY Europe 0.007360 0.456201 0.006635 0.047921 0.382863 0.041927 0.081702 0.008113 0.039521 0.311003 0.138373 Australasia 0.249594 0.228575 America 0.260835 0.279050 0.279550 Asia 0.003327 0.045109 0.034433 0.004332 0.000020 0.002673 0.003352 0.000257 0.084542 0.002976 0.002453 0.006409 0.000069

SELL 0.008360 0.465201 0.018835 0.052921 0.390163 0.047127 0.81702 0.018113 0.044521 0.321203 0.145373 0.261094 0.238075 0.269335 0.283400 0.283400 0.003927 0.048609 0.037183 0.004733 0.000026 0.002853 0.003352 0.000272 0.090542 0.003148 0.002733 0.006689 0.000075

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

0.223413 0.021369 0.001894 0.009442 0.008540 Arab 0.744605 0.037587 0.000078 0.000186 0.395147 1.0000000 0.000138 0.022650 0.001198 0.729422 0.077064 0.074870 0.002170 0.166182 0.138373 0.076109 0.001288

0.229413 0.029869 0.002474 0.009622 0.009090 0.752605 0.040787 0.000080 0.000246 0.402647 1.0000000 0.000238 0.046656 0.001833 0.735102 0.078277 0.075570 0.002390 0.174182 0.145373 0.077258 0.001368

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

Transfer Rate (Per 1000) 282.900 389.350 465.750 267.650 4.598 41.063 2.161 3.642 6.452 2.610 753.500 77.100 75.600



Chinese exports grow on demand from US, Europe Country’s trade surplus to swell

Gold options traders are most worried Weekly commodity update By Ole S Hansen, Head of Commodity Strategy, Saxo Bank


he renewed weakness in gold over the past week has triggered a rise in implied volatility on increased speculation that the current range of trading may be challenged. It is therefore not surprising to find that the skew is heavily geared towards the need for downside protection. The top ten most active trade options strikes have been evenly split between Puts and Calls. The volatility curve remains heavily skewed towards the downside with outthe-money Puts trading almost six percent above the equivalent out-the-money calls. The top ten most traded strikes over the past week are evenly split between Puts and Calls. The strike receiving the most interest was the Jan 2014 Put 1200, last traded at $13.70/oz, followed by the Feb 2014 Put 1,150 which was last traded at $12.5/oz. Total open interest on February 2014 Comex Gold options covering an 800 dollar range rose by almost nine percent over the past week to 95,300 contracts. The Put/Call ratio stands at 0.92 which indicates a slight

bullish sentiment in the market and is something that goes against the current trend and which could indicate a preference to use options instead of futures to express a bullish view considering the nearterm risk of further losses.

Insurance agents feeling left out of ‘Obamacare’ MIAMI: When insurance agent Kelly Fristoe recently spent 30 minutes helping a client pick a mid-level health plan and the federal marketplace website froze, he called the government’s hotline and tried to finish the application. But the operator refused to credit Fristoe as an agent on the application, meaning he wouldn’t get the commission or be listed as the follow-up contact if his client needed help again later. The Wichita Falls, Texas, insurance agent is one of many brokers around the country finding frustration as they try to help customers navigate the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces while earning the commissions they’ve long built their businesses around. Some insurers and insurance agents are calling on President Barack Obama’s administration to allow them to bypass and enroll consumers directly amid growing complaints about problems with enrollment information generated from the website. The so-called ‘back-end’ problems could mean that consumers who think they’ve successfully signed up for a health plan, may find themselves unable to access their coverage come January. The problems include enrollment information that’s rendered practically useless by errors, duplication or garbles. Efforts to fix the issues are underway. Nearly 70,000 agents and brokers have been certified nationwide to sell health insurance on the federal exchange. Many say they could be the troubled health law’s best ambassadors with the potential to boost lackluster enrollment figures - only about 27,000 had enrolled via the federal website nationwide in the first month. But instead, many agents said they’re continually met by obstacles. “You look at this dismal number they have of how many people have enrolled on,” said Fristoe. “If they would just relax and loosen up, because me and all of my associates across this nation want to help these consumers get enrolled into the market.” Federal health officials announced on Nov 22 that they’d fixed some portions of the website to allow more insurers and insurance agents to enroll consumers directly. The feds are asking roughly 16 insurers, agents and brokers in Florida, Texas and Ohio to test it out and give detailed feedback about the fixes, hoping to expand it to other states in the coming weeks. Health officials have been vague about the scope of the botched applications insurers are receiving and what steps they’re taking to fix the problems. One bug related to Social Security numbers, which federal health officials said accounted for more than 80 percent of insurers’ problems, was fixed last weekend. But the problems have persisted, prompting the head of the National Association of Health Underwriters to write the president Tuesday, urging him to make additional fixes a priority, saying agents have a significant backlog of clients with incomplete applications. “We want to make it clear that a number of back-end technical obstacles still exist for health insurance agents and brokers trying to actively support the federal marketplace,” said CEO Janet Trautwein. Insurance industry executives also met with Obama last month and encouraged him to let them take a more active role in

Ken Statz, a health insurance broker, and president of Statz and Associates General Agency, is shown at his office in Brecksville, Ohio.—AP enrolling consumers in the 36 states relying on the federal website. Brokers’ frustrations with the website are amplified by the pressure they face to add customers to offset reductions in their commissions under the law. Among the complaints, agents say the website isn’t always crediting brokers when they help enroll consumers - meaning they’re losing out on commissions. Once an application is started, consumers can’t go back in and add a broker’s name if they help midway through the process. Federal health officials said there are 975,000 customers who have started an application but not selected a plan. Agents say they’re also still waiting on the federal government to add a promised feature on the website that would easily connect consumers with local insurance brokers. Insurers and insurance agents are allowed to sign consumers up for health plans through a “direct enrollment” process. Even though the process may start on the insurer’s website, at some point it’s redirected to the technology-plagued website to determine if customers are eligible for subsidies, and then ideally transferred back to the insurer’s site. But various points in the process have been mired in glitches. Federal health officials said they’ve fixed some of the problems, but skeptics fear the improvements still won’t allow for a smooth shopping experience and are pushing for a way to bypass the website. Brokers face similar problems in some of the states that are running their own exchanges, such as Oregon. It’s easy for insurers to enroll customers who want a health plan and don’t qualify for a subsidy. The trouble comes when insurers and agents need to sync to federal data hubs to verify income, citizenship and other personal information. Democratic Florida state Rep. Richard Stark, who is also an insurance agent, said many of his clients have received inaccurate subsidy estimates from the federal government for clients. For example, a client with twin children was told one is eligible for a subsidy, but not the other.—AP

BEIJING: China’s exports grew far more strongly than expected in November while import growth weakened, official figures showed yesterday, fuelling the country’s biggest trade surplus in nearly five years. Exports increased 12.7 percent year-on-year to $202.2 billion, the General Administration of Customs said-compared with a forecast of seven percent in a poll of 11 economists by the Wall Street Journal. Imports were up 5.3 percent year-on-year to $168.4 billion, with the monthly trade surplus expanding to $33.8 billion from $31.1 billion in October the biggest since January 2009. The November surplus was also considerably larger than the median forecast of $21.7 billion by the 11 economists. The surprisingly strong exports data came after overseas shipments expanded 5.6 percent in October following a decline of 0.3 percent in September. “China’s November exports came in much higher than expected”, ANZ bank economists Liu Li-Gang and Zhou Hao said in a report, citing “better demand from developed economies” like the United States and the European Union. Exports to the United States rose 17.7 percent in November year-on-year, while shipments to the 28-member European Union gained 18.4 percent. The growth in imports, however, came in at less than the forecast increase of seven percent and was also below October ’s 7.6 percent growth. “Imports were disappointing,” said HSBC economist Ma Xiaoping. “Domestic demand is still tepid.” The latest trade data came after China’s economy snapped out of a first-half slump, with gross domestic product growth in the third quarter accelerating to 7.8 percent year-on-year after it slowed during the first two quarters. Earlier this month official figures showed that China’s manufacturing growth in November maintained a strong pace from the previous month to stay at a 19-month high. The purchas-

JINJIANG: Chinese workers in a process of making toys for the upcoming Christmas and Lunar New Year festivals, at a factory in Jinjiang, east China’s Fujian province. China’s trade surplus expanded last month to $33.8 billion from $31.1 billion in October, official figures showed yesterday.—AFP ing managers’ index was at 51.4, unchanged from October, the National Bureau of Statistics said. A reading above 50 signals expansion while a figure below indicates contraction. In the first 11 months of the year, China’s total trade, combining exports and imports, reached $3.8 trillion, up 7.7 percent from the same period last year, Customs said. The government’s target for 2013 is eight percent. “The data in January-November suggest that China could achieve the eight percent trade growth target for the whole year”, Liu and Zhou said.

They cautioned, however, against over-optimism, stressing what they described as “inflated export growth in the first half of the year” when companies were caught over-invoicing, which instigated a crackdown by Chinese authorities on the practice. HSBC’s Ma said the November export data may suggest the problem has not been solved. “ The State Administration of Foreign Exchange issued strict regulations earlier in the year, but lately I hear that some new methods to evade the regulations are emerging,” she said. “So maybe that’s part of the reason for such high exports.” —AFP

Malnutrition, votes drove India’s tough WTO stand Food security non-negotiable: Sharma NEW DELHI: Sixty-year-old Anju Sharma points to the family’s meagre food supplies in her one-room shanty in a New Delhi slum as she clutches her skinny two-year-old grandchild on her lap. There’s a bag of rice and a half tin of pulses in the windowless shack where daylight and pungent smells from a nearby garbage dump enter through a rusting open door. “We have food but it’s never enough for these kids,” said Sharma, gesturing to the girl on her lap and her two other grandchildren-wiry boys who appear far too short for their ages of 11 and 12. Food shortages are rampant in India, despite years of mainly galloping growth and the nation’s aspiring superpower status. To tackle what development experts call “a malnutrition epidemic” and with general elections looming, India stood firm on a massive food subsidy scheme to feed its poor at last week’s global trade talks in Bali. “For India, food security is nonnegotiable,” Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma told the World Trade Organization summit. India-home to a quarter of the globe’s hungry, according to UN figures passed a food security act in August increasing subsidized grain purchases to feed hundreds of millions of poor. But it feared a WTO rule capping subsidies at 10 percent of farm output jeopardized the 1.2 trillion rupee ($19.5-billion) scheme, the world’s largest, and demanded exemption from the rules. In the end, compromise wording allowed New Delhi to accept a deal-reeling the WTO back from failure as it clinched its first-ever trade reform agreement. India’s new food plan extends an existing scheme to 800 million of the country’s 1.2 billion population-entitling them to five kilograms (11 pounds) of rice, wheat or millet per person per month at below-market prices. The left-leaning Congress party government’s measure also guarantees midday meals for school children and calls for nutritious food for children younger than six. Critics say supplying grain at a fraction of market cost will weigh on public finances at a time when the economy has slowed sharply. Other critics see the scheme as a sop to the poor-traditional Congress core supporters. “The Congress’s DNA is populist. It believes this food scheme will help it win voters-it could not jeopardize its main electoral plank by backing down at the WTO,” Subhash Agrawal, head of think-tank India Focus, told AFP. Italian-born Congress matriarch Sonia Gandhi, who has made food security the party’s campaign centrepiece for the polls due by May, says India must implement the plan to tackle a malnutrition rate worse than in many sub-Saharan African states. “We have to figure out the means,” Gandhi,

HYDERABAD: Indian homeless eat food at a feeding program for the poor in Hyderabad. — AFP Congress party’s president and widow of slain former premier Rajiv Gandhi, told parliament in August. “The question is not whether we can do it or not. We have to do it,” said Gandhi, 66, who is believed to regard the food security scheme as her political legacy. One-fifth of Indians are undernourished, exposing them to disease and early death, says the USbased International Food Policy Research Institute. Some 42 percent of children below five are chronically malnourished, stunting them physically and intellectually, according to an NGO study last year cited by the prime minister. “This measure is to address the failures of economic growth-we need some sort of safety net guaranteeing basic nutritional requirements,” Mumbai development author Sudhya Narayanan told AFP. Economists Amartya Sen and Jean Dreze in a recent book argued India’s inability to adequately feed its population represents “catastrophic failures with wide-ranging implications not only for the people of India today but also for the generations to be born in the near future”. But economist Rajiv Kumar argues Indians need more nourishing food, not just grains. “They lack nourishment and that nourishment is not going to

be achieved with food grains but with a bigger supply of proteins, dairy, fruits and vegetables,” he told AFP. Other critics say the money would be better spent on such areas as sanitation so children are no longer afflicted by chronic diarrhoea which stops them absorbing nutrients and kills thousands yearly. And even Congress concedes India’s famously corrupt public distribution system, which already covers 100 million “below poverty line” families and another 140 million “above poverty line” families, must be reformed to ensure the grains reach intended recipients. The food is to be allocated through stateowned “fair-price” shops, which one 2005 study showed divert 58 percent of subsidized grains on to the open market. While Gandhi hopes the new scheme will win votes, many of the Delhi slum residents backed Hindu nationalist rival Narendra Modi, chief minister of prosperous Gujarat state and candidate to be India’s next prime minister. “You see what Modi’s done in his state? That’s what we want here-we don’t want Congress, they’ve done nothing,” said Rajesh Kumar, 45, waving dismissively at the decrepit shacks and dirt paths. —AFP

Bosnian Serb opposition walks out as parliament okays 2014 budget BANJA LUKA, Bosnia: Bosnia’s autonomous Serb Republic approved a budget for 2014 late on Saturday after opposition deputies walked out in protest at what they said were unclear proposals being pushed through in an emergency parliamentary session. Each one of Bosnia’s state and regional governments had to meet the International Monetary Fund (IMF) deadline of Dec. 9 to secure new funds and approve a larger standby loan.

Bosnia’s two regions, the Federation dominated by Muslim Bosniaks and Croats, and the Serb Republic, urgently need the cash to plug soaring deficits in their 2013 and 2014 budgets. The Federation passed a 2014 budget on Friday. The national parliament, comprising deputies from both regions, has yet to set a date for the vote on next year’s budget. A delay in its adoption may cause problems with the disbursement of a new 48 million euro ($66 million)

installment under an IMF two-year 385 million euro loan, and its extension and enlargement by additional 150 million euro. The IMF has asked that Bosnia’s consolidated deficit of government budgets should meet a 2 percent target in 2014. Serb Republic opposition deputies said that the budget of 2 billion Bosnian marka (1 billion euro) did not clearly set out the size of its deficit and how it will be covered. The budget revenues were pro-

jected at 1.62 billion marka and spending at 1.53 billion marka. Debt payments amounted to nearly 490 million. Long-term borrowing, including the IMF funds, was 245 million and short-term borrowing 45 million. Trade unions for public sector workers, including teachers and policemen, protested on Saturday outside parliament demanding their wages be raised 5 percent. The government cut the wages of public employees last year. —Reuters



Chevron resumes shale work in Romania despite protests PUNGESTI, Romania: Chevron yesterday said it has resumed activities to build its first shale gas exploration well in Romania, a day after protests forced the US energy giant to suspend work. “Chevron can confirm that it has resumed activities in Pungesti commune,” in northeastern Romania, the company said in a statement. On Saturday, hundreds of protesters, mainly villagers from Pungesti, broke through wire mesh fences around Chevron’s site to protest against its plans to drill for shale gas. Chevron was forced to suspend its activities for the second time in this rural Romanian village where nonstop protests have been staged for more than six weeks. Residents oppose the highly controversial drilling technique used to extract

shale gas known as “hydraulic fracturing” or “fracking”. Widely used in some US states such as Pennsylvania and North Dakota, it has been banned in France and Bulgaria because of the risks of water and air pollution. A study this year by Duke University in the US state of Nor th Carolina showed that fracking increases the risk of contaminated drinking water. Across Romania, thousands have taken to the streets to protest against shale gas over the past three months. Last Monday, Romanian riot police forcibly removed protesters from a makeshift camp next to Chevron’s drilling site in Pungesti. Greenpeace slammed the operation as “a serious abuse against the freedom of expression”. — AFP

Mexican Senate offers plan to open oil to private firms MEXICO CITY: A Mexican Senate committee unveiled a proposal Saturday to reform the staterun oil sector, opening the door to private companies and investment for the first time in decades. The ambitious plan to reform Mexico’s energy industry and state oil giant Pemex would allow the government to let private firms explore for and extract oil and gas, a practice currently banned by the constitution. It maintains however the existing ban on oil concessions. The committee will begin discussing the proposal, and expects to submit it for consideration by the full Senate this week. Changes to the oil sector strike at the heart of modern Mexico’s national identity. In 1938 then president Lazaro Cardenas nationalized the foreign-operated oil industry, a wildly popular move that asserted Mexico’s right to its own mineral wealth. Cardenas also founded Pemex, which despite its many problems remains one of the country’s

most important sources of income from exports. Pemex oil production has fallen from 3.4 million barrels per day in 2004 to 2.5 million in the third quarter of 2013. Critics say the company has failed to invest in equipment maintenance and exploration, it is riddled with inefficiencies, and its unions are bloated and corrupt. In August, President Enrique Pena Nieto unveiled a controversial reform plan to open the oil sector to foreign investments in order to increase production and modernize the state-run company. Reforming the energy sector would be one of the most outcomes of the Pact for Mexico, an agreement between the country’s main political parties and the Pena Nieto administration to move ahead a package of major structural reforms that will stimulate economic growth. The text of about 300 pages, released to the press, stated that Article 27 of the constitution would be amended to allow “exploration and extraction through allocations to productive state

enterprises through contacts” to be defined in a secondary law. Lawmakers will also have to define the standard contracts that the Mexican government could draft with private investors; the deal could allow contracts for profit- and production-sharing, along with licensing. “In each case, the state shall define the contractual model best suited to maximize the nation’s revenue,” the document said. Calling the current model “inappropriate and excessive,” it called for finding a legislative mechanism that would not compromise state ownership of oil while at the same time attract private capital to explore and extract hydrocarbons. The leftist opposition accuses Pena Nieto of trying to privatize Pemex, 75 years after foreign firms were thrown out of the energy sector. Pena Nieto rejects the accusation, saying his proposal calls for profit-sharing deals with private firms while the oil would remain Mexico’s property. — AFP

Swedes brace for cashless future STOCKHOLM: Peter, 55 years old and homeless, is standing at a Stockholm supermarket, carrying the two objects that help him make a living: a stack of magazines and a debit card reader. The magazine, Situation Stockholm, is sold by the poor to bring in some income, but for Peter and many other vendors the problem in recent years has been that cash is falling out of use, and passers-by often don’t have 50 kronor (5.70 euros, $7.80) at the ready to buy a copy. The card reader, provided by the magazine’s publishers, has come to the rescue, and Peter, who asked not to be identified by his last name, couldn’t be happier. “Customers can follow every step so that they don’t feel cheated,” he said, showing the functions of the device. “I’m impressed by this thing. It’s cool.” Mattias Stroemberg, a potential customer taking a look at Peter’s magazines, welcomed the opportunity to pay with cards: “I never carry cash around. No one does anymore.” In Sweden, only 27 percent of retail sales are made with cash, according to a recent paper by the European Central Bank. If online sales were included, the figure would be even smaller. All the Nordic countries are rapidly on the way towards a cashless society, deepening an existing divide between north and south in Europe. In Greece and Romania, for example, 95 percent of transactions are still in cash. Not everyone in Sweden cheers the transition. In a celebrated case, a wouldbe robber entered a Stockholm bank, but had to leave empty-handed, discovering that he had picked a cashless bank. Criminals are not the only ones affected. From Copenhagen to Reykjavik, the cashless society has profoundly changed the ways people live. Everything from hot dogs to taxes is paid for online, with bank cards, or by SMS. Many buses refuse cash-confounding foreign tourists-and the newly opened ABBA Museum in the Swedish capital also only accepts credit and debit cards. “Neither retailers nor banks have any obligation to accept cash,” according to the nation’s central bank, the Riksbank. “We’ll probably not see a totally cashless society in the near future, but a society where cash is reduced to a minimum and used in very few situations, is probably quite realistic,” said Niklas Arvidsson, a researcher at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, who published a study on the topic earlier this year. The big winners are the banks and card companies, but in the end, all of society could benefit as cash is more

expensive to handle than electronic payments, he said. But the elderly and rural citizens, as well as the socially marginalised with high credit risk such as the long-term unemployed, would have problems if cash disappeared completely, he argued. “If our society goes in this direction, that you basically can’t do anything at all without access to debit or credit cards ... it might even create further marginalization and exclusion,” said Leif Oeberg, development director at the Swedish Salvation Army, which offers support to people in need. “The absolute and almost immediate effect ... is that you can’t travel by bus. What we see at the other end of the spectrum is that the most marginalized get around on foot ... or travel (by metro) without a ticket, but you can’t do that on the bus. That is the stark reality for people today,” he added. There exists an alternative-pre-paid debit cards that people can later recharge at convenience stores, but with a minimum of 200 kronor (22 euros, $30) even this can pose difficulties. Arvidsson also warned that consumers’ rights might be at risk as the electronic trail every card user leaves behind could be misused for marketing purposes. “There is a concern that today’s laws are insufficient,” said Arvidsson. “The authorities must ensure that the information is used correctly.” Other losers in the cashless game are smaller shops struggling with high card fees, especially after Sweden implemented a new law in 2010 that banned imposing surcharges on customers for paying with cards. That means the retailers themselves must deal with the fees to the card-issuing companies-up to 2.50 kronor per transaction, plus an additional percentage fee. Since 70 percent of all retail transactions in Sweden are by card, both debit and credit, it adds up to a sizable sum. Retailers include the fee in the prices of their products, but for smaller shops it’s a problem because they don’t have the economies of scale and thus have a hard time keeping prices low. For reasons such as these, Swedish money is not about to go completely virtual. The Riksbank, which having been founded in 1668 is one of the world’s oldest central banks, still plans to launch new banknotes and coins in 2015. “We believe cash will continue to exist in the near future. We can’t foresee it disappearing completely,” said Christina Wejshammar, head of the banknotes and coins division at the Riksbank. “It all depends on how we act as consumers.” — AFP

SC justice denies stay in US airline merger WASHINGTON: A US Supreme Court justice yesterday night denied a last-ditch effort by a group of consumers and travel agents to stop the merger of American Airlines and US Airways. The application was denied by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the court’s public information office said. The combination of American’s parent, AMR Corp, and US Airways Group would create the world’s largest carrier and follow last month’s resolution of antitrust objections by the US Department of Justice. In their appeal to the Supreme Court, plaintiffs led by California resident Carolyn Fjord warned that “irreparable injury” could be caused to the domestic airline industry if the deal goes ahead as planned. They fear

the merger will drive air travel prices up and service down and make planes more crowded. The merger is expected to be consummated before the opening of US securities markets today. A federal judge on Friday rejected the previous attempt by the group to stop the merger.If one high court justice denies a stay request, the same application can be made to another justice but such moves are rarely successful. Usually, if a request is made to a second justice it will be referred to the full court. The case is Fjord v. AMR Corp et al, US Supreme Court, No 11-15463-SHL. The main bankruptcy case is in US Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, re: AMR Corp et al, 11-15463. — Reuters



Ford Mustang marks 50 years All-new sleek design, innovative technologies DEARBORN, Michigan: The next chapter in the life of the iconic pony car begins today as the all-new Ford Mustang - loaded with innovative technologies and delivering world-class levels of performance - is simultaneously revealed around the globe in six cities on four continents. “Ford Mustang inspires passion like no other car,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, global product development. “The visceral look, sound and performance of Mustang resonates with people, even if they’ve never driven one. Mustang is definitely more than just a car - it is the heart and soul of Ford.” Mustang’s impact goes well beyond the 9 million-plus cars sold in its 50 years of continuous production. It has made thousands of appearances in film, television, music and video games, and is the world’s most-liked vehicle on Facebook. For the first time ever, Ford will bring Mustang to customers in key parts of Europe and Asia. “We crafted this car with the goal of creating a contemporary interpretation of Mustang - an American automotive icon that symbolizes optimism and freedom for millions of people around the world,” said Jim Farley, executive vice president of Ford global marketing, sales and service and Lincoln. All-new shape The clean-sheet design of both Mustang fastback and convertible evokes the essential character of the brand, retaining key design elements including the long sculpted hood and short rear deck - with contemporary execution. “You only get one chance to make a first impression, and when you see this car you immediately see a Mustang strong and true,” said Moray Callum, Ford executive director, design, The Americas. Several key design features define the all-new Mustang, including: • A lower, wider stance with a reduction in roof height, and wider rear fenders and track • The return of Mustang fastback with a sleeker profile enabled by more steeply sloped windshield and rear glass • Three-dimensional, tri-bar taillamps with sequential turn signals • Contemporary execution of the signature shark-bite front fascia and trapezoidal grille Mustang convertible drivers will appreciate the standard multilayer insulated cloth top that gives the car a more upscale appearance and a quieter cabin. The new top lowers twice as fast as before, and has a sleeker profile when folded for open-air motoring. The information and controls an active driver needs are all readily accessi-

Activists say US trying to railroad Pacific trade pact SINGAPORE: Activists accused the United States yesterday of trying to railroad a new Pacific trade pact with 11 partners as their trade ministers entered a second day of secretive talks. The meetings, due to end Tuesday, are a last-gasp attempt to meet a year-end US deadline to forge a deal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which would cover 40 percent of the world’s economy even though it currently excludes China. International activists opposed to the TPPand corporate lobbyists including those supporting the pact-have also descended on Singapore to try to push their cases. “The TPP, which is being negotiated behind closed doors by trade bureaucrats and nearly 600 corporate lobbyists, has provoked political uproar because its text has been kept secret from lawmakers in the countries it covers,” global advocacy group Avaaz said in a statement. “If the deal is finalized, corporations will take on new powers to sue governments over regulations which threaten their future profits,” it said. “Laws designed to protect the public, including access to cheap medicines, bans on logos on cigarette packaging, clear labelling of GM (genetically modified) products, and Internet privacy could be under threat.” Activists said Washington was trying to railroad the talks to meet its selfimposed deadline. US President Barack Obama has hailed the TPP as the economic centrepiece of its strategic shift towards Asia, calling it a 21st-century agreement covering non-tariff areas such as the environment and labor standards and issues such as intellectual property. “Nearly all of the politically sensitive issues that have arisen in the secretive, closed-door TPP talks are still unresolved,” advocacy group Public Citizen said in a statement. “So, the Obama administration has resorted to extreme tactics at Singapore to try to wring out a deal,” it added. The advocacy group claimed the US has set up invitation-only “green room” meetings at which decisions on difficult issues can be “worked out”. Melinda St Louis, the group’s international campaigns director who arrived in Singapore over the weekend, said the tactic was dividing developing countries at the negotiation table. Jane Kelsey, a University of Auckland law professor also in Singapore to monitor the talks, said: “This is a very manipulative process because it marginalizes those that are potential critics and makes it harder for them to continue rejecting compromised deals.” Rodrigo Contreras, Chile’s former chief TPP negotiator who quit in March, said he thought the US wanted to close a deal now with the existing text of the proposed agreement rather than “risk” the talks extending into 2014. But he told AFP by email from Chile any agreement would not be sustainable unless it represents the interests of all the countries. Many officials from the other participating countriesAustralia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Chile, Canada, Mexico, Brunei, Vietnam and Peru-view it not only as an economic but a geopolitical tool. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in deciding to enter talks, spoke of ensuring Tokyo’s role in shaping the future of a region marked by China’s rise.—AFP

ble in the aviation-inspired cockpit, which is executed with the highest degree of craftsmanship ever found in a Mustang. Large, clear instrumentation puts vehicle information right in front of the driver in the roomier cabin, while improved ergonomics and tactile switches and knobs provide better control. The added width and a new rear suspension contribute to improved shoulder and hip room for passengers, and a more usefully shaped trunk can accommodate two golf bags. The Mustang experience The way Mustang looks, drives and sounds is key to the visceral experience that makes drivers just want to get in and hit the road. With more options to choose from, there is a Mustang to fit any lifestyle. The upgraded V6 and V8 are joined by an all-new 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine that brings state-of-the-art technology to Mustang. Mustang GT continues with the latest edition of the throaty 5.0-liter V8, now featuring an upgraded valvetrain and cylinder heads that yield more than 420 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque. A new intake manifold improves low-speed breathing for better fuel economy, idle stability and emissions. “This EcoBoost engine delivers where a Mustang driver expects it to, with a broad, flat torque curve that pours out when you stand on it for easy passing or hustling down a twisty road,” said Dave Pericak, Ford Mustang chief engineer. The Mustang EcoBoost engine uses direct injection, variable cam timing and turbocharging to deliver plenty of usable performance and projected segmentleading fuel efficiency. A unique intake manifold and turbocharger housing enable it to deliver the performance Mustang drivers expect with output projected at more than 305 horsepower and

300 lb.-ft. of torque. With at least 300 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque on tap from the standard 3.7-liter V6, even the most accessible Mustang delivers the performance customers expect. Drivers will appreciate smoother shifts from the updated manual gearbox, while a reworked automatic transmission features new steering wheel-mounted shift

The new double-ball-joint front MacPherson strut system also enables the use of larger, more powerful brakes. This is expected to be the best stopping Mustang yet, with three available brake packages. At the rear is an all-new integral-link independent rear suspension. The geometry, springs, dampers and bushings all have been specifically modified and tuned for this high-performance

paddles for drivers who want the choice between convenience and control.

application. New aluminum rear knuckles help reduce unsprung mass for improved ride and handling.

Most nimble pony ever When life throws drivers a curve, the all-new Mustang sets new handling benchmarks for the brand, delivering world-class dynamics and ride quality. “We already set a very high standard for Mustang’s dynamics with Boss 302, and our goal was to go above and beyond that with this new car,” said Pericak. Mustang features all-new front and rear suspension systems. At the front, a new perimeter subframe helps to stiffen the structure while reducing mass, providing a better foundation for more predictable wheel control that benefits handling, steering and ride.

Smarter than your average pony The all-new Mustang features a significant amount of innovative technologies providing drivers with enhanced information, control and connectivity when they want it. From Intelligent Access with push-button start to SYNC(r) and MyKey(r) in every Mustang built, plus available Track Apps, MyColor gauges and new Shaker Pro audio system, drivers will be able to customize their time behind the wheel. The feeling of freedom and confidence Mustang instills in its drivers is amplified when they can take control of

how the car behaves. On a twisty back road or a weekend track day, the driver can tap the toggle switches on the console to quickly adjust steering effort, engine response, and transmission and electronic stability control settings using the available Selectable Drive Modes to create the perfect Mustang at any time. The advanced new Ford-developed stability control system is tuned to maximize Mustang’s dynamic capabilities with features like torque vectoring that directs engine power to individual wheels to help keep the car on course. When the time comes to turn up the wick at the track, Mustang GT includes standard launch control that enables drivers to achieve smooth, consistent starts every time. When it’s time to back off and relax for the drive home, available advanced driver-assist features including Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert and adaptive cruise control can help ease the load, while SYNC AppLink lets drivers control their smartphone apps to listen to their favorite form of entertainment. 50 years of Mustang April 17, 2014, marks the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the original Ford Mustang and each 2015 model celebrates the milestone with a badge on the instrument panel that includes the galloping pony logo and the words “Mustang - Since 1964.” Mustang will continue to be built in the United States at Flat Rock Assembly Plant. “From day one, we knew if we were going to build a new Mustang, we had to do it right,” said Pericak. “We built a new Mustang from the ground up that is quicker, better-looking, more refined and more efficient, without losing any of the raw appeal that people have associated with Mustang for half a century.”

Dollar drops despite positive US data NBK MONEY MARKETS REPORT KUWAIT: The US Dollar Index dropped last week as better than expected figures from the euro-zone and the UK drove investors to sell the greenback. Additionally the European Central Bank, the Bank of England, and the Reserve Bank of Australia kept their reference rates unchanged, pushing investors to sell the US dollar further. The index reached a high of almost 81.00 at the beginning of the week and then dropped to a low of 80.23. On Friday, the US dollar recouped some of it losses, as better data from the US labor market drove investors to price in an early move by the Fed to taper its monetary stimulus. The greenback rose against the Japanese Yen following a better than expected US jobs report, though profit taking wiped out gains against the Euro and other currencies on Friday. Last week the euro hovered near a fiveweek high versus the US Dollar, having surged higher after the European Central Bank gave no indication that it would ease policy anytime soon. The single currency last reached 1.3655, having climbed to 1.3677 on Thursday. Draghi also noted that liquidity in the banking system had improved since the last cash injection, or LTRO. These comments saw short-term market rates rise, pushing the euro higher. The euro opened the week at 1.3586 and reached a high of 1.3677. The currency closed the week at 1.3706. The sterling pound showed little reaction to the BoE decision to keep interest rates unchanged. However, surveys of services, construction, and manufacturing this week showed that the British economy is getting stronger, leading investors to price in an early tightening, supporting the currency. sterling reached a high of 1.6442 and closed the week at 1.6349. The Japanese Yen declined further against the US dollar as improvements in the US economy drove investors to price in an early Fed tapering of its quantitative easing policy. The pair reached a six-month high of 103.38 after opening at 102.56. The yen closed the week at 102.91. GDP estimates The US economy grew at a faster-thanestimated pace in the third quarter. However, weak demand and an increase in business inventories supported the case for the Federal Reserve to continue with its current monetary easing policy. Gross domestic

product grew at a 3.6 percent rate annually versus the 2.8 percent pace reported a month ago, reports showed on Thursday. Posting the biggest gain since the first quarter of 2012, then again inventories accounted for almost half of the increase in growth. Economists suggested that the increase in inventories indicated the lack of consumer demand. Economists also suggest that this would likely keep the Fed cautious over trimming its assets purchase program despite recent improvements in the labor market. New home sales Purchases of new US homes surged in October by the most in three decades, signaling buyers are starting to take more mortgages despite higher rates. Sales jumped 25.4 percent to a 444,000 annualized pace, following a 354,000 rate in the prior month that was the weakest since April 2012. Meanwhile, economists called for 429,000 only. Home sales are regaining strength as gains in employment and stock prices help consumers adjust to this year’s increase in borrowing costs and property values. US job report Jobless claims unexpectedly fell last week to the lowest level in more than two months as the data becomes more difficult to adjust for seasonal variations during the year-end holiday period. Jobless claims decreased 23,000 to 298,000. Moreover, Non-farm payrolls increased by 203,000 new jobs last month. US employers hired more workers than expected in November and the jobless rate fell to a five-year low of 7.0 percent, which could fan speculation the Federal Reserve may start reducing its bond purchases this month. Trade gap narrows The US trade deficit narrowed in October as exports hit a record high, pointing to a pick-up in global demand that should help to support domestic growth in the fourth quarter. The Commerce Department said on Wednesday the trade gap fell 5.4 percent to $40.6 billion. Consumer confidence US Consumer sentiment surged in December as American’s outlook on the economy and job prospects improved.

University of Michigan’s preliminary reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment jumped to 82.5 for December, up from a final reading of 75.1 in November. This was the highest reading for the index since July, and topped the forecasts of 76.0. ECB interest rate decision The European Central Bank kept its benchmark rate unchanged at a record low after policy makers assessed new economic forecasts. The Governing Council meeting in Frankfurt left the main refinancing rate at 0.25 percent after cutting it by a quarter point last month. While ECB President Mario Draghi said the bank was ready to take fresh policy action to support a fragile recovery, he was light on details including whether the bank would use a negative deposit rate. Draghi also noted that liquidity in the banking system had improved since the last cash injection, or LTRO, and attached conditions for any repeat. BoE minutes The Bank of England left monetary policy unchanged on Thursday, standing by its commitment to keep interest rates at a record low 0.5 percent until Britain’s recovery is more firmly established. The central bank made the announcement shortly after finance minister George Osborne announced a sharp upward revision to official growth projections. Britain has had a surprisingly strong recovery since the start of the year, overtaking its euro-zone peers to become one of the fastest-growing advanced economies in the world with annu-

alized growth in excess of 3 percent. However, the economy remains smaller than it was before the financial crisis and the BoE has signaled it is in no rush to remove its stimulus. Additionally, BoE Governor Carney and other policymakers have stressed that the 7 percent threshold is not an automatic trigger after the recent growth helped push the unemployment rate down faster than the BoE had anticipated. Finally, the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee opted to leave its bond-buying program unchanged at GBP 375 billion, as widely expected by the market. Australia The Reserve Bank of Australia decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 2.5 percent at its December board meeting. The central bank decision to keep its policy rate on hold was widely expected by economists. The RBA’s most recent cut came in August when it reduced the rate by 25 basis points. In a statement accompanying the decision, RBA Governor Glenn Stevens said the Australian economy had been growing a bit below trend over the past year, with the jobless rate edging higher. He also added, “This is likely to persist in the near term, as the economy adjusts to lower levels of mining investment”. Finally, he added, “A lower level of the exchange rate is likely to be needed to achieve balanced growth in the economy.” Kuwait Kuwaiti dinar at 0.28230. The USDKWD opened at 0.28230 yesterday morning.



Vigor and Al-Gas Events bids Knowledge Club 2013 farewell ‘Learn from the Best’ conference

Honda Alghanim announces December star offer KUWAIT: Honda Alghanim, the sole distributor of Honda in Kuwait, has extended its Super Savings Star offer until the end of the year. The promotion includes a wide range of the Honda models with exceptional features and attractive prices. Honda Alghanim encourages its customers and fans to benefit from this limited time offer that will continue throughout the entire month of December. The promotion includes a selection of Honda’s modern and elegant cars all set at prices never seen before. The promotion includes the Honda Accord Sedan and Accord Coupe, both of which harmoniously merge a sense of liveliness and practicality with its elegant exterior and rich, spacious interior, factors that complement the Accord’s enjoyable drive. The promotion also includes the Honda Crosstour, known for its luxurious feel and powerful performance. The offer also comprises the Pilot and CRV, 4x4 vehicles that exude performance, solidity and practicality. Honda Alghanim has always been committed to offering its customers with the best products and services, rewarding promotions with the ability to maintain the same excellent standards

Alghanim Motors strives for. Customers are encouraged to take advantage of this limited time Super Savings Star offer by visiting the Honda showroom in Safat Alghanim. The showroom is open from 8.30am until 10 pm from Saturday to Thursday and from 9.30am until 10 pm on Fridays. Alghanim Motors, the sole distributor of Honda automobiles, power products, marine and motorcycles in Kuwait is committed to providing customers with flexible payment solutions, as well as offering comfortable amenities in its new service center located in Shuwaikh. The Alghanim Motors Service Center provides efficient and cost-effective services at all times. The waiting lounge offers customers a wide array of amenities such as an electronic gaming area, digital satellite channels, free wireless Internet access as well as relaxing massage chairs. Honda Alghanim’s customers will also enjoy excellent customer service, quality maintenance options and competitive prices on genuine spare parts, all of which are provided by a team of professional and highly skilled technicians. For more information call 1822777.

Shurooq, Dohaland Hospitality sign MoU to develop JV in Sharjah SHARJAH: The Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Dohaland Hospitality, a subsidiary of Amlak Holding. The aim of the agreement is to boost bilateral relations and mutual cooperation by establishing joint ventures for the development of projects by both parties. The signing ceremony took place at Qatar National Convention centre in Doha and was attended by Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority ( Shurooq) and Ahmed Al Hajaji, CEO of amlak Holding. The MoU was signed by Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), and Abdul Aziz Al Emadi, CEO of Dohaland Hospitality, on behalf of their respective organisations in the presence of a number of senior officials from both parties. According to the MoU, the parties agree to jointly evaluate potential investment opportunities and to invest in a number of tourism development projects that are currently being developed and managed by Shurooq. Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi expressed her satisfaction with the move, which will expand business and investment cooperation between Qatar and Sharjah while helping to serve the common interests of both parties. She acknowledged that it is in line with SHUROOQ’s goal of exploring new avenues of cooperation and promoting the Emirate’s various offerings with the aim of boosting its position as a distinguished business and investment hub in the region. Speaking on the occasion, Sheikha Bodour Al-Qasimi said: “Sharjah is witnessing dynamic development and remarkable growth in various sectors. The tourism sector in particular, which is projected to expand by 12% by 2016, benefits from exceptional support and encouragement. This MoU will aid both Shurooq and Dohaland’s approach to developing investment projects across a range of vital sectors, and will help deliver niche tourism projects to boost the emirate’s position on the global tourism map, particularly as Dohaland boasts a long and rich history in the tourism and hospitality sector.” Al-Emadi said in a statement that the

cooperation covers many areas of mutual interest, which will be beneficial to all parties: “We are delighted with the signing of this MoU, which will see Dohaland help support and develop tourism infrastructure in the emirate of Sharjah, an emirate that is experiencing economic prosperity across various sectors.” He lauded the agreement by saying that it supports GCC economic integrity, and concluded: “We are a proud member of AMLAK. Through this partnership, we will take another step forward by developing and implementing the latest tourism initiatives in alliance with SHUROOQ.” In turn, Marwan bin Jassim Al-Sarkal commented: “This agreement will see the building of joint ventures on a solid foundation, a winwin situation for both Shurooq and Dohaland. It will also pave the way for broader investment opportunities and for developing tourism, an important contributor to Sharjah’s economy. We are pleased to be collaborating with Dohaland Hospitality in developing operations and in activating the role of tourism, business and other growth sectors in the Emirate.” Dohaland Hospitality is a leader in the hospitality sector. The company manages, develops and launches hotels and hospitality projects, with a particular focus on investing in renowned hospitality brands and niche hotel properties. The organisation is structured to expand its business interests within the hotel and hospitality sector through allied infrastructure investments within Qatar and the international market. Shurooq was established in 2009 with the aim of achieving social, cultural, environmental and economic development on the basis of Sharjah’s distinct Arab and Islamic identity, and to encourage investment by adopting the best international standards in providing quality services that help attract investors from the region and the world. Shurooq’s key mission is to provide facilities and incentives to help overcome obstacles facing investment activities in the Emirate, evaluate tourism and investment related infrastructure projects, and lay down the necessary plans to complete such projects.

KUWAIT: 2013 will mark Vigor Event’s Knowledge Club closing event; Learn from the Best Conference that will take place in Regency Hotel, Kuwait. The event that acts as a closing ceremony for 2013’s Knowledge Club which included a number of exciting seminars for international speakers like Ron Kaufman, Tony Buzan, Bob Urichuck, Jack Canfield, and Doug Lipp; is also organized to pay tribute to the support and commitment shown by the sponsoring companies who have supported the Knowledge Club throughout 2013. The events will extend from the morning and until 4pm one final contribution to developing the level of knowledge in the state of Kuwait which was the initial purpose of the Knowledge Club. Renowned local and international speakers of various business backgrounds are invited to address diverse issues and share professional experiences during the seven hours conference. The six keynote speakers will discuss essential dimensions and competencies in nowadays business world. Waleed Al-Qallaf, CEO of Qualitynet Company will be sharing the company’s leadership experience under the title of “Quality Net - 15 years of leadership” where he will basically discuss all the challenges faced and lessons learnt in marketing leadership, the issue of satisfied employees & their relations with the management as well as the essentiality of customer service skills that can either make or break any brand. With more than fifteen years of experience working with local, regional and multinational organizations, the marketologist - Ali Derisavi will discuss the fact that companies have to realize their need of professional sales force under the tough economic and competitive pressures in today’s business world. In his speech, he will additionally highlights the reasons why despite all the time, money and energy invested in

developing professional sales people, many companies are still struggling in the pursuit of “happiness!” On the other hand, brand management is the core of the Global Marketing Innovation Consultant and Speaker; Davide Scaliapi’s speech. His one hour speech revolves around brand management on a global scale in an information overload era explaining how companies can survive the today’s information overload

through innovative and effective marketing strategies both on-line and off-line from a global perspective by creating interactive moments. Later on, and in a more interactive session, owner of Mars Venus Coaching in Kuwait, and Life/ Business Success Coach, Dalal Al-Janaie, opens a controversial topic about “Gender Intelligent Leadership”. The speech mainly aims to illustrate how gender intelligence competencies are essential to becoming an influential male or female leader. Moreover, the conference will also introduce Dr Leila Edwards, MD and Principal in Transformations Institute and Director of the Lead Licensed Delivery Centre for Paul Ekman International. Dr. Leila will give an overview and demonstrate some practical and powerful tools for applying positive psychology, including how to identify the universal facial expressions of emotion. To sum it all up, Carol Talbot - Professional speaker, NLP Expert & Master Trainer - will be flying from the United Kingdom to explain the methods to discovering the inner leader “from the inside out”. She will further elaborate on the evidence that those who can influence, think outside the box, create and deliver a vision for themselves and others, are today’s winners and are the ones “who make the difference” in organizations. It is also worth noting that, throughout 2013; Vigor Events’ seminars have addressed critical issues that re-directed the attention of today’s business leaders and managers. The practical value of the content delivered rested within the case studies presented by leading practitioners who deal with the real business challenges faced by professionals of all fields every day. The Knowledge Club 2013 was sponsored by Hadi Clinic, KLSC, Qualitynet, Ahli United bank, MARKAZ, Future Tech and IAA-Kuwait.

Malabar Gold & Diamonds opens 3rd outlet in Al-Khor Mall, Qatar Further expanding presence in Barwa Village & Grand Mall soon


alabar Gold & Diamonds, the leading jewelr y retailer in GCC, India and Singapore has opened its third outlet in State of Qatar. The brand new outlet in the state was inaugurated by Shaik Ali Abdulla Ahamed in the presence of Dr P A Ibrahim Haji - Co Chairman Malabar Group of Companies, Shamlal Ahamed MP - Managing Director International Operations, K P Abdul Salam Group Executive Director, Santhosh T V Regional Head, Noufal Thadathil, branch head, Ameen P A - Asst Br Head, MayinKutty C Director, Ali Palliyath, other Directors and officials of Malabar Gold & Diamonds at Al Khor Mall, Al Khoron 04thDecember 5pm. This is the 105th showroom of the brand worldwide. The showroom displays an extensive collection of ornaments crafted in gold, platinum, pearl and diamonds in exquisite designs and styles to suit the tastes of today’s customers. To add more glitter to this occasion, the jewelry retailer has announced fabulous inaugural offer - customers will be eligible to get a Scratch N Win Couponfor every QAR 3000 worth jewelry spend giving them a spectacular chance to win a guaranteed gold coin and up to 100 gold coins, this offer is valid till December 14th at their Al Khor Mall outlet.

To mark this occasion, Malabar Gold & Diamonds has unveiled more designs in their branded jeweller y segment; Era-Uncut Diamond collection, Mine - Diamonds Unlimited, Ethnix- handcrafted designer jewellery, Divine- heritage Indian jewellery, Preciaprecious gem jewellery, Starlet- kids jewellery,

Pink Chic and Jawharato suit any budget and occasion. The leading jewellery retailer is further expanding its presence in The State of Qatar, by opening 2 more outlets in the near future. The retailer will open its outlets in Barwa Village & Grand Mall.

US budget deal could bring truce WASHINGTON: A minimalist US budget deal that congressional negotiators hope to reach in coming days will do almost nothing to tame rising federal debt, but it could usher in a nearly twoyear fiscal truce, minimizing the risk of future funding crises and government shutdowns. If the accord comes together, it would blunt some of the automatic “sequester” spending cuts and set funding levels at around $1 trillion for fiscal 2014 and 2015 for government agencies and programs from the military to national parks. Such a deal would not address an increase in the federal borrowing limit, which is expected to come up again by the spring, leaving conservatives a pressure point to try to exploit. However, it might restore some order to the federal budget process, which broke down years ago and has been replaced by stopgap funding measures, accompanied by brinkmanship and shut-down risks. “If this holds together, it is a very good story,” said Greg Valliere, chief political strategist at Potomac Research Group, which advises institutional investors. “ The chances of another Washington budget crisis have diminished greatly, and I think it increases the chances that the economy surprises to the upside,” he said. Two US senators yesterday expressed optimism that a two-year budget deal could be reached soon. Republican Senator Rob Portman, who sits on the House and Senate negotiating panel, told the ABC program “This Week” that he was hopeful an agreement could be struck “by the end of this week.” Richard Durbin, the secondranking Senate Democrat, said the talks were “moving in the right direction.” Some argue that the deal, which would trade some of the sequester cuts - perhaps $30 billion to $40 billion a year - for a mix of fee-based revenues and other savings, would mark the death of ambitious efforts to reduce deficits. “I don’t really see a natural way for there to be a grand bargain during the rest of the Obama presidency,” which ends in January 2017, said Robert Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan group that urges fiscal responsibility. The negotiations under way stem from the deal that ended the government shutdown in October, which set up a House-Senate conference committee led by Republican Representative Paul Ryan and Democratic Senator Patty Murray. They

are still struggling to pin down the final details of their modest compromise before the House ends its session for the year on Dec 13. Among the proposals under discussion are a doubling of airport security fees levied on airlines to about $5 per ticket, and a plan to require federal workers to contribute a higher percentage of their income towards their pension plans, according to people familiar with the talks. Other items include funds raised by auctioning some government-held telecommunications airwaves or hiking corporate fees for the U.S. agency that protects workers’ retirement funds. Democrats have objected to the hike in federal employee’s pension contributions, which they view as a benefit cut. Republicans backed by the conservative Tea Party movement also are object-

ing to the idea that a Ryan-Murray deal could push spending levels above the $967 billion cap set by the sequester, sacrificing what they view as essential savings. If no House Democrats vote for a Ryan-Murray deal, the Tea Party group is large enough to prevent its passage. After the public relations disaster suffered by Republicans as a result of the October shutdown, few conservatives are showing any interest in a repeat performance. “I don’t think there’s any use of government shutdown threats if we can get something out of the conference committee,” Representative Blake Farenthold of Texas, a Tea Party supporter, told reporters on Dec. 3. “I think we’ll get bipartisan support on something a conference committee comes up with.” —Reuters

Caesars Travel Group offers relief to Philippine survivors KUWAIT: One of the most powerful storms on record, Super Typhoon Haiyan, stuck the Philippines early on November 8 with maximum sustained winds over 150 mph and massive storm surges, damaging more than a million homes and displacing over 3 million people. To help out the victims of this devastating tragedy, Caesars Travel Group has launched a

fund drive, including mobilizing the relief stuff to Philippines. “We have extended this support for our dear Filipinos for the victims of the flooding caused by Typhoon wherein the catastrophes are beyond imaginations” said Sukhvinder Singh, Operation Manager of Caesars Travel Group while handed over the relief stuff to the authorities.



Key security incidents that shaped threat landscape in 2013 DUBAI: Some of the revelations of the past year raised questions about the way we use the Internet nowadays and the type of risks we face. In 2013 advanced threat actors have continued large-scale operations, and cyber-mercenaries, specialist APT groups “for hire” which focus on hit-and-run operations emerged. Hacktivists were constantly in the news, together with the term “leak”, which is sure to put fear into the heart of any serious sys-admin out there. In the meantime, cybercriminals were busy devising new methods to steal money or Bitcoins. Privacy loss: Lavabit, Silent Circle, NSA and the loss of trust No ITSec overview of 2013 would be complete without mentioning Edward Snowden and the wider privacy implications of his revelations. One of the first visible effects was the shutdown of encrypted e-mail services such as Lavabit and Silent Circle. The reason was their inability to provide such services under pressure from law enforcement and other governmental agencies. Another story which has implications over privacy is the NSA sabotage of the elliptic curve cryptographic algorithms released through NIST. New “old” cyber-espionage campaigns: up to 1800 victim organizations in 2013

The majority of the cyber-espionage campaigns that Kaspersky Lab’s analysts have seen were designed to steal data from governmental agencies and research institutions - Red October, NetTraveler, Icefog and MiniDuke all behave this way. The most widespread campaign of the year was NetTraveler espionage which affected victims from 40 countries all over the world. For the first time ever cybercriminals harvested information from mobile devices connected to the victims’ networks - clear recognition of importance of mobile to hackers. Red October, MiniDuke, NetTraveler and Icefog all started by ‘hacking the human’. They employed spear-phishing to get an initial foothold in the organizations they targeted “We predicted 2012 to be revealing and 2013 to be eye opening. That forecast proved correct 2013 showed that everybody is in the same boat. In truth, any organization or person can become a victim. Not all attacks involve high profile targets, or those involved in ‘critical infrastructure’ projects. Those who hold data could be of value to cybercriminals, or they can be used as a ‘stepping-stones’ to reach other targets. This point was amply illustrated by Icefog attacks this year. They were part of


Mario back on the prowl in ‘3D World’ NEW YORK: While Sony and Microsoft are spending this holiday season asking video-game players to invest in the future - namely, their respective new consoles, the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One - Nintendo is reminding us of the great times it gave us in the past. Remember how much you enjoyed “The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past” on the Super Nintendo back in 1991? Well, how can you resist “The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds,” now out for the Nintendo 3DS? Likewise, “Super Mario 3D World” (for the Wii U, $59.99) evokes memories of “Super Mario 64,” the landmark 1996 hit that first broadened Nintendo’s tenacious plumber into three dimensions. Of course, we’re all used to 3-D Mario by now, so “3D World” doesn’t have the same impact. Nor does it deliver the gravity-defying genius of 2007’s “Super Mario Galaxy.” But it is a charming, occasionally brilliant addition to a 30-year legacy of video-game excellence. Like last year’s “New Super Mario Bros U,” Mario’s latest adventure is designed to accommodate up to four players. The four available characters have different skills: Luigi can jump higher, Princess Peach can float, Toad can run faster and Mario more or less averages them out. The distinctions are somewhat marginal, though, since each level is designed so that any one character can finish. This time, the nefarious Bowser has kidnapped a bunch of helpless fairies called “Sprixies.” The goal, as always, is to run and jump across each level, bouncing off the heads of enemies while avoiding fireballs, bullets and other obstacles. There are a few new additions to the landscape, like transparent pipes that shoot you across short distances, but the Sprixie Kingdom doesn’t look substantially different from Mario’s Mushroom Kingdom. The power-ups are mostly familiar as well, from the basic mushroom that doubles your size to the Tanooki suit that transforms you into a raccoon that can swat enemies with its tail. New to the series is the “double cherry” that turns one Mario into two, but the most radical addition is a furry cat suit that gives our heroes the ability to climb walls - an essential skill if you want to find all the green stars hidden throughout the game. You can scamper through each level without gathering any stars, but some areas of the Sprixie Kingdom won’t open up unless you’ve accumulated a certain number of collectibles. That includes the game’s final castle, which requires 130 stars; when I arrived I had just 80, so I had a lot of backtracking to do. So you want to take your time and explore each area as thoroughly as possible, while also being aware of a constantly ticking countdown clock in the corner of every screen. And you can’t dawdle if you’re playing with friends - eventually you’ll be dragged to wherever the fastest player is waiting. Indeed, whether I was playing alone or on a team, I found it most frustrating that “3D World” wouldn’t let me explore at my own pace. Granted, the countdown clock has been part of Mario games since the beginning, but it’s a tired old gimmick. Like any multiplayer-focused game, “3D World” can get chaotic when you’re playing in a foursome. But it’s a high-spirited kind of chaos, one that provokes laughter rather than the cursing you’re likely to hear in, say, a “Call of Duty” free-for-all. Played solo, “3D World” isn’t quite as endearing. It’s not exactly dumbed down, but it didn’t bend my brain like “Super Mario Galaxy.” Often, it feels like a classic 2-D Mario adventure translated into 3-D, a game that prizes familiarity over innovation. It’s solid and satisfying, but next time, I want to be wowed. Three stars out of four. — AP

an emerging trend that appeared in 2013 - attacks by small groups of cyber-mercenaries who conduct small hit-and-run attacks. Going forward, we predict that more of these groups will appear as an underground black market for ‘APT’ services begins to emerge”, - Costin Raiu, Director of the Global Research and Analysis team, Kaspersky Lab commented. Stealing money - either by directly accessing bank accounts or by stealing confidential data - is not the only motive behind security breaches. They can also be launched to undermine the reputation of the company being targeted, or as a form of political or social protest. Ongoing hacktivist activities have continued this year as well. ‘Anonymous’ group has claimed responsibility for attacks on the US Depar tment of Justice, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the web sites of various governments. Those claiming to be part of the ‘Syrian Electronic Army’ claimed responsibility for hacking the Twitter account of Associated Press and sending a false tweet reporting explosions at the White House - which wiped $136 billion off the DOW. For those with the relevant skills, it became easier to launch an attack on a web site than it is to co-ordinate the

real-world protests. Bitcoins ruling the world The Bitcoin system was implemented back in 2009. In the beginning, this crypto currency was used by hobbyists and mathematicians. Soon, they were joined by others - mostly ordinary people, but also cybercriminals and terrorists. They provide an almost anonymous and secure means of paying for goods. In the wake of the surveillance stories of 2013, there is perhaps little surprise that people are looking for alternative forms of payment. And it is gaining popularity - in November 2013, the mark surpassed the 400$ for one Bitcoin. The methods used by cybercriminals to make money from their victims are not always subtle. Apart from Bitcoins, which could potentially be stolen, ‘ransomware’ programs became a popular means of making easy money - cybercriminals block access to a computer’s file system, or encrypt data files stored on the computer. Then they warn you that you must pay in order to recover your data. This was the case with the Cryptolocker Trojan. The cybercriminals give their victims only three days to pay up, accepting different forms of payment, including Bitcoin.

Indian government wakes up to risk of Hotmail, Gmail NEW DELHI: Worried by US spying revelations, India has begun drawing up a new email policy to help secure government communications, but the man responsible for drafting the rules still regularly uses Hotmail. Like many of his peers in ministries across New Delhi, IT Minister Kapil Sibal’s office recently sent an email inviting journalists to the launch of his new personal website using the free email service. Others, including senior foreign ministry officials, the information and broadcasting minister and the health ministry secretary, also use Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo instead of their government accounts. When asked why he continued to use his Hotmail for official use, Sibal declined to comment, but a senior bureaucrat in his ministry admitted that he personally preferred Gmail because it is “just a lot easier”. “We keep moving, get different designations, go different places and with that, our emails change. You lose contacts and important emails, which you don’t need to worry about with a Gmail account,” the bureaucrat told AFP. “To be honest, the quality of our official mail isn’t that great yet. It still needs some work,” he added on condition of anonymity. Security concerns IT security expert Sunil Abraham said the use of Gmail and the like was highly risky since the American services had their servers in the US and the National Security Agency has been known to tap into their database systems. It is unclear how many state and federal public workers actively use popular email services for office, but some of the estimates are startling. “As much as 90 percent of government officials use private email (services) for official use... that’s because their official email is not as stable or speedy,” said Abraham, executive director of the Bangalore-based Centre for Internet and Society. In September Sibal’s ministry announced a new “Email Policy of the Government of India” in the wake of spying allegations about the NSA revealed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. NSA’s tentacles not only crept into the Indian embassy in Washington and its UN office in New York, but also accessed email and chat messenger contact lists of hundreds of millions of ordinary citizens worldwide, according to media reports. During a single day last year, the NSA’s Special Source Operations branch collected 444,743 email

NEW DELHI: In this photograph taken on July 25, 2010, Indian Information Technology (IT) professionals work on their laptops during an ‘Open Hack Day’ program organized by the global search engine Yahoo! in Bangalore. — AFP address books from Yahoo, 105,068 from Hotmail, month. “Making the use of a centralized govern82,857 from Facebook, 33,697 from Gmail and ment server is not the best way to proceed. Having 22,881 from unspecified other providers, The everything on one platform makes it even more Washington Post said, according to an internal NSA vulnerable to cyber attacks and hacking,” said presentation. The $11 million Indian project aims Abraham. “It also brings about new worries of the to bring some five million public employees onto NIC becoming the local snoop.” Some also predict the government’s email domain powered by the that the ambitious policy would eventually fizzle National Informatics Centre (NIC) as early as mid- out for lack of attention from ministers and bureaucrats, who work in government offices where December. It is awaiting clearances and suggestions from stacks of yellowing files and papers are still a comall ministries before the proposal goes to the cabi- mon sight. “It’s sad but most of these officials don’t net this month. J. Satyanarayana, secretary of the understand much about technology, so mastering department of electronics and IT, dismissed claims email is something that is miles and miles away,” that the policy was too late and was a response to said Vijay Mukhi, a Mumbai-based cyber security the Snowden scandal. “The policy is not a reaction expert. “These guys saw all the snooping news and to any global spying revelations, it was already in the works. It is just a mere coincidence that both suddenly they woke up and said ‘lets make an email policy’. Enforcing this is not possible on a came around the same time,” he said. Some cyber security experts say bringing mil- practical basis.” The IT ministry also plans to conlions aboard a centralized server could make a duct workshops to teach employees about email hacker’s job easier, with all critical government security such as when to change passwords and information available on a single platform. More user names and how to use email. “Every employee than 11,000 Indian websites were hacked or should know how, what and when critical data can defaced between May and August this year, with a be vulnerable... with most work still done on paper, large number of attacks on the “.in” domain whose it is important to know the nitty-gritty of using servers are in India, the Times of India reported last email,” Satyanarayana said. — AFP

This video game image released by Sony/Naughty Dog shows a scene from “The Last of Us,” a flesheating survival drama of the PlayStation 3. —AP

This publicity photo released by Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix shows a scene from the video game, “Tomb Raider.”

Spike Video game awards ditches award show staples

This photo provided by Nintendo shows the cover art on the box for the video game “Super Mario 3D World,” (Nintendo for Wii U), where Mario and friends can transform into cats. —AP

LOS ANGELES: It’s not exactly game over for the Spike Video Game Awards. With no red carpet, no podium, no television broadcast and no commercial breaks, Spike is forgoing with all the trappings of a typical awards show for Saturday’s 11th annual ceremony honoring the year’s best video games by doing away with the ceremony part altogether, instead opting for a casual affair streaming live from a space in downtown Los Angeles. The network owned by Viacom Inc. is morphing the VGAs into an event called VGX with the letter X representing the next generation of gaming. There will still be awards to game designers, but this year ’s winners have been told in advance if they’ve triumphed and been asked to create a pre-taped acceptance speech in the form of a viral video. The VGAs, which in the past featured appearances by celebs with only tenuous connections to gaming, have long suffered from lambasting by gamers and low ratings. With the next-gen Xbox One and PlayStation 4

released last month, Spike similarly felt the need to switch things up. However, the evolving media landscape had more to do with the switcheroo.”After last year’s show and organizing the VGAs the past 10 years, we re-examined everything,” said Casey Patterson, the executive vice president at Viacom in charge of VGX. “Honestly, the people who gamers really wanted to see, the heroes who are winning these awards and making these games, had 30 seconds of airtime to say thank you then they’d be gone.”VGX is being billed as an all-day, digital “gaming binge,” though the live-stream will run three hours - longer than past VGAs, on par with traditional awards shows - and feature viewer interaction via Twitter, announcements about new games, demonstrations and previews of upcoming titles like “Titanfall,” “The Witcher 3,” “Quantum Break” and “The Division.” “To be honest, it’s terrifying for someone like myself who is used to making big events with lots of celebrities, beautiful sets, pyro and all

the toys that come with it,” said Patterson, who previously produced such events as the Scream, Guys Choice and T V Land awards. “We’re really walking the walk. It used to be that producers were in a vacuum.”Despite all the changes to the show’s 10-year-old format, VGX won’t be completely devoid of celebs: “South Park” creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker will be on hand to tease their longdelayed game “South Park: The Stick of Truth,” while A$SAP Rocky, Jay Rock, Tyler, The Creator and other ar tists will per form music from “Grand Theft Auto V.” Patterson expects VGX to be seen by far more viewers than it ever was on traditional TV because show will be streamed not only across such Viacom sites as, and but also through Hulu and Yahoo, as well as on PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Twitch. A condensed version of the show will air Monday night on Spike. — -AP


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

HIV cure hopes dashed for two US cancer patients WASHINGTON: The latest hopes of curing AIDS were dashed yesterday when US researchers said HIV returned in two men who briefly eradicated the virus after bone marrow transplants for cancer. Experts described the discovery as a “disappointment,” but said it offers important new clues in the hunt for the human immunodeficiency virus’s elusive hiding places in the body. Only one person is believed to have been cured of HIV. American Timothy Brown, who suffered from leukemia, received a bone marrow transplant from a rare donor who was resistant to HIV, and has shown no sign of the virus for six years. “The return of detectable levels of HIV in our patients is disappointing, but scientifically significant,” said Timothy Heinrich, a physician-researcher in the Division of Infectious Diseases at

Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “Through this research we have discovered the HIV reservoir is deeper and more persistent than previously known,” he said. Heinrich first shared the news with fellow researchers at an international AIDS conference in Miami, Florida on Thursday. Both HIV-positive men received bone marrow transplants as treatment for a kind of blood cancer known as Hodgkin’s lymphoma, one in 2008 and the other in 2010. About eight months after their operations, HIV was no longer detectable. The patients stayed on antiretroviral therapy even after their HIV was undetectable, and eventually decided to cease taking the drugs earlier this year. In July, doctors announced early, encouraging results: one patient appeared to

still be HIV-free after being off the drugs for seven weeks and the other for 15 weeks. But signs of HIV soon returned. They were found in the first patient 12 weeks after stopping therapy, and in the second patient after 32 weeks. “Both patients have resumed therapy and are currently doing well,” Heinrich said, adding that the patients do not wish to be identified in the media. He said it was important to share the results with fellow researchers, because they signal “that there may be an important long-lived HIV reservoir outside the blood compartment.” “We have demonstrated HIV can be reduced to undetectable levels by very sensitive research assays, and the virus persists,” he said. Prior to the viral rebound, one of the patients had only about 1,000 cells in his body left with traces of HIV, and the oth-

er had just 100, according to the Foundation for AIDS Research, amfAR, which funded the study. “These two cases are telling us some information that we weren’t otherwise going to be able to learn,” said Rowena Johnston, director of research at amfAR. “As much as it is disappointing for the patients themselves, it is absolutely helping us to learn more about what it is going to take to cure HIV.” Unlike Brown, these patients’ bone marrow transplants did not come from donors that carried a genetic resistance to HIV by lacking a CCR5 receptor, so they were not afforded protection against the virus by that mutation. The two men received transplants from donors with the CCR5 receptor, which acts as a gateway allowing HIV to penetrate the cells. Researchers had

hoped that by continuing to treat the men with antiretroviral drugs during the transplant process and afterward, the medicine might have prevented the donor cells from becoming infected while a new immune system was established. Instead, it appears the virus may have been lurking undetected in their bodies, infecting the men as if for the first time once repressive drug therapy was stopped. Still, Myron Cohen, an expert on HIV/AIDS at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said it was too early to draw conclusions. “I think we need more information,” he told AFP in an email. “The reason(s) for suppressed growth of HIV in these patients is still being studied, so recurrence-if it occurredneeds to be seen as part of a continuum,” he said. — AFP

Gene therapy scores big wins against blood cancers Permanently altered cells that multiply

NANJING: Models wear surgical masks as they parade a collection of gold jewelleries at a park in Nanjing, east China’s Jiangsu province yesterday. Cities across China have been hit by intense air pollution especially in winter months, much of it caused by emissions from coal-burning power stations, with PM 2.5 levels reaching as high as 40 times WHO limits, while the country’s rapid urbanisation, dramatic economic development and climatic factors, further worsen the condition. —AFP

Obesity, liquor harm liver most NEW DELHI: Your own weight and drinking habits are your liver’s enemies, worse than hepatitis. A city hospital compiled data over the last few years, and it showed that alcoholism and obesity are causing liver failures in over 50% patients. Earlier, hepatitis was blamed for most liver diseases. “The incidence of liver diseases due to hepatitis has not decreased but there has been an increase in the disease due to obesity and alcohol,” said Dr S K Sarin, director of Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS). Over the last four years, ILBS collected data from 3,700 patients (2,622 men and 548 women), of which 51% cases were nonhepatitis, 38% patients had alcoholic liver disease (ALD), and 13% patients had fatty liver disease which is mostly seen in obese patients. Of the remaining 49%, hepatitis (B and C) was found in 25%, while an additional 10% suffered from both ALD and hepatitis. In the remaining 14%, origin of the disease was unknown. Dr Sarin added that obesity and excessive drinking cause inflammation of liver: “There are no medicines to reduce the progression of disease in ALD. In the case of obese patients, medicines are less effective.” The risk of liver failure is up to four times greater in an obese or an alcoholic

person if they catch hepatitis infection.. “Getting vaccination for hepatitis B should be mandatory for high-risk patients such as obese, diabetics and alcoholics,” he added. The liver, weighing one-and-half kilograms, is one of the largest organs in the body. It processes the food we eat after it has been absorbed by the intestines. It also neutralizes the toxins and produces proteins that protect us from and bleeding. Fatty liver disease (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), hepatitis B and C and cirrhosis are some of the common health problems that affect its functioning, often leading to its failure. Around 60,000 people die in India due to liver failure every year. “New medicines that have been developed to treat liver diseases are unaffordable for most patients in India,” said a doctor. Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, who visited ILBS recently, stressed on creating awareness about liver diseases. “Preventive measures should not be neglected. In India millions of people remain poor so we must recruit people in those areas. Besides that one should cut down their intake of alcohol and limit smoking. Smoking is one the greatest killers of human beings globally. Your illness is your own creation, so you are responsible for your problems,” the Dalai had said.

Are we self-obsessed? MICHIGAN: Are you a social media narcissist? Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of “likes,” “tweets,” and maybe even “selfies.” In this age of ever-increasing social media, the number of ways we validate our own lives seems endless. After all, who doesn’t enjoy seeing a picture on Facebook “liked” or a tweet “favorited” by another user? However, it’s worth investigating the psychology behind this emerging culture in social media. With so many ways to get positive feedback, are we becoming selfabsorbed? Or is this simply a new way to connect and share our lives with others? Are you a social media narcissist? On the one hand, a study from the University of Michigan showed that high numbers of postings on Facebook and Twitter were correlated with higher levels of narcissism in young and middle-aged adults. As stated by a researcher, “Facebook serves narcissistic adults as a mirror.” The study also found that narcissistic adults used social media differently than their more humble counterparts: those that tended to be self-involved used the platforms to “control others’ perceptions of them” and broadcast personal views. In the same vein, a study at Western Illinois University compared participants’ scores on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory to Facebook use. Researchers found that who were more self-absorbed reported more activity on the site. Elias Aboujaoude, a researcher at Western Illinois University, gave his thoughts on why there seems to be a correlation between social networking and narcissism: “As we get accustomed to having even our most minor needs met [and] accommodated to this degree, we are growing more needy and more entitled. In other words, more narcissistic.” Social psychologist Dr Susan Newman,

Ph.D., also spoke to Saludify on this topic: “The more ‘likes,’ ‘retweets,’ etcetera, that some people receive gives them a feeling of importance. They represent a form of reassurance that they are recognized by a large number of ‘friends’ in spite of the fact that they may not really know most of them.” However, Dr Newman also cautioned against attributing social media use solely to narcissism, noting that for those people that post “insipid comments in the hopes of getting ‘likes’ and ‘retweets’. ..[it] seems more about the insecurity in these cases.” The Atlantic reflected this view of the psychology behind social networking, explaining that as you get caught up in the popularity contest that comes with online participation, it’s easy to feel anxious or insecure about your status. That, in turn, may cause you to post more updates or tweets in an effort to bolster your virtual presence. On the Other Hand: Stronger Self-Esteem? Despite some of the research, it’s far from clear whether all of this time online is entirely negative. Though there’s a connection between Facebook, Twitter, and being selfabsorbed, there’s also a connection between those platforms and self-esteem. Psychology Today reported that while it has been proven that a “like” on Facebook will boost your ego, a jolt of self-esteem is not necessarily unhealthy. That conclusion was partially based on study at the University of Georgia that showed a connection between amount of time on Facebook and self-esteem. The study also suggested that it may be difficult to separate self-esteem and narcissism, noting that both qualities began to rise in the 1980s. One researcher noted that Facebook may simply be an “enforcer” of that rise, as opposed to causing it. Finally, social media has caused a revolution in the way we communicate, and connections with family and friends can be very positive.

PHILADELPHIA: In one of the biggest advances against leukemia and other blood cancers in many years, doctors are reporting unprecedented success by using gene therapy to transform patients’ blood cells into soldiers that seek and destroy cancer. A few patients with one type of leukemia were given this one-time, experimental therapy several years ago and some remain cancer-free today. Now, at least six research groups have treated more than 120 patients with many types of blood and bone marrow cancers, with stunning results. “It’s really exciting,” said Dr Janis Abkowitz, blood diseases chief at the University of Washington in Seattle and president of the American Society of Hematology. “You can take a cell that belongs to a patient and engineer it to be an attack cell.” In one study, all five adults and 19 of 22 children with acute lymphocytic leukemia, or ALL, had a complete remission, meaning no cancer could be found after treatment, although a few have relapsed since then. These were gravely ill patients out of options. Some had tried multiple bone marrow transplants and up to 10 types of chemotherapy or other treatments. Cancer was so advanced in 8-year-old Emily Whitehead of Philipsburg, Pa., that doctors said her major organs would fail within days. She was the first child given the gene therapy and shows no sign of cancer today, nearly two years later. Results on other patients with myeloma, lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia, or CLL, will be reported at the hematology group’s conference that starts Saturday in New Orleans. Doctors say this has the potential to become the first gene therapy approved in the United States and the first for cancer worldwide. Only one gene therapy is approved in Europe, for a rare metabolic disease. The treatment involves filtering patients’ blood to remove millions of white blood cells called T-cells, altering them in the lab to contain a gene that targets cancer, and returning them to the patient in infusions over three days. “What we are giving essentially is a living drug” - permanently altered cells that multiply in the body into an army to fight the cancer, said Dr. David Por ter, a University of Pennsylvania scientist who led one study. Several drug and biotech companies are developing these therapies. Penn has patented its method and licensed it to Switzerland-based Novartis AG. The company is building a research center on the Penn campus in Philadelphia and plans a clinical trial next year that could lead to federal approval of the treatment as soon as 2016. Talking with the researchers, “there is a sense of making history ... a sense of doing something very unique,” said HervÈ Hoppenot, president of Novartis Oncology, the division leading the work. Lee Greenberger, chief scientific officer of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, agreed. “From our vantage point, this looks like a major advance,” he said. “We are seeing powerful responses ... and time will tell how enduring

PHILADELPHIA: In this October 2012 photo provided by The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Emily Whitehead is checked by pediatric oncologist, Dr. Stephan A. Grupp, at the hospital. In early 2012, she was the first child given gene therapy for acute lymphocytic leukemia and shows no sign of cancer today, nearly 21 months after. — AP these remissions turn out to be.” The group has given $15 million to various researchers testing this approach. Nearly 49,000 new cases of leukemia, 70,000 cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and 22,000 cases of myeloma are expected to be diagnosed in the United States in 2013. Many patients are successfully treated with chemotherapy or bone marrow or stem cell transplants, but transplants are risky and donors can’t always be found. So far, gene therapy has been tried on people who were in danger of dying because other treatments failed. The gene therapy must be made individually for each patient, and lab costs now are about $25,000, without a profit margin. That’s still less than many drugs to treat these diseases and far less than a transplant. The treatment can cause severe flu-like symptoms and other side effects, but these have been reversible and temporary, doctors say. Penn doctors have treated the most cases so far - 59. Of the first 14 patients with CLL, four had complete remissions, four had partial ones and the rest did not respond. However, some partial responders continue to see their cancer shrink a year after treatment. “That’s very unique to this kind of therapy” and gives hope the treatment may still purge the cancer, said Porter. Another 18 CLL patients were treated and half have responded so far. Penn doctors also treated 27 ALL patients. All five adults and 19 of the 22 children had complete remissions, an “extraordinarily high” success rate, said Dr. Stephan Grupp at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Six have since relapsed, though, and doctors are pondering a second gene therapy attempt. At the National Cancer Institute, Dr. James Kochender fer and others have treated 11

patients with lymphoma and four with CLL, starting roughly two years ago. Six had complete remissions, six had partial ones, one has stable disease and it’s too soon to tell for the rest. Ten other patients were given gene therapy to try to kill leukemia or lymphoma remaining after bone marrow transplants. These patients got infusions of gene-treated blood cells from their transplant donors instead of using their own blood cells. One had a complete remission and three others had significant reduction of their disease. “They’ve had every treatment known to man. To get any responses is really encouraging,” Kochenderfer said. The cancer institute is working with a Los Angeles biotech firm, Kite Pharma Inc., on its gene therapy approach. Researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center will report on 13 patients with ALL; the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center will report about two-dozen patients with ALL or lymphoma, and Baylor College of Medicine will give results on 10 patients with lymphoma or myeloma. Patients are encouraged that relatively few have relapsed. “We’re still nervous every day because they can’t tell us what’s going to happen tomorrow,” said Tom Whitehead, 8-year-old Emily’s father. Doug Olson, 67, a scientist for a medical device maker, shows no sign of cancer since gene therapy in September 2010 for CLL he had had since 1996. “Within one month he was in complete remission. That was just completely unexpected,” said Porter, his doctor at Penn. Olson ran his first half-marathon in January and no longer worries about how long his remission will last. “I decided I’m cured. I’m not going to let that hang over my head anymore,” he said. —AP

Shot-free treatment for allergies in the offing NEW YORK: For much of her adult life, Shirley Hickey received two injections a week in an effort to tame severe allergies that caused frequent sore throats and sinus infections. Now she uses a less painful method. A Stallergenes machine acts as a pollen vacuum cleaner. The pollen is used in the drug company’s immunotheraphy treatments. “One drop under the tongue every morning, and that’s it,” said Hickey, 65, who lives in Beaver Falls, Pa. She is free of symptoms and sinus infections from her allergies to ragweed and tree pollens, she said. Injections have been used to treat allergies from inhaled substances - often known as hay fever - for 100 years, and the basic formula has changed little. But an alternative is now emerging - liquids or tablets placed under the tongue. Both Merck and Stallergenes, a French company, are seeking marketing approval for tablets to treat grass pollen allergies. An advisory committee to the Food and Drug Administration will discuss the drugs next week. The drugs are already available in Europe. If they are approved in the United States, they could make this type of therapy more broadly available, by allowing people to treat themselves at home rather than going for frequent shots. Children, who tend not to like needles, might also find such treatment more acceptable. Approval would also deliver some extra credibility to this type of therapy, which aims to funda-

mentally alter the immune system. “It’s hugely important,” said Dr. Linda S. Cox, president of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. But there are drawbacks. The shots can be tailored to match the patient’s allergies while the liquid drops and tablets are standardized. An estimated 30 million to 60 million Americans, including up to 40 percent of children and 10 to 30 percent of adults, suffer nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes or other symptoms from allergies to something they inhale. The typical treatments are antihistamines or nasal steroids. But those drugs merely alleviate symptoms. Immunotherapy, as allergy shots and underthe-tongue treatments are called, involves giving controlled doses of the allergen to teach the immune system to tolerate it. That can lead to longer-lasting relief. Some studies have shown that three years of immunotherapy provides substantial relief for two years after treatment is stopped, in some cases for longer. Some studies also suggest that immunotherapy can reduce the risk of developing asthma. But only a small percentage of people with respiratory allergies get the shots. One reason is that people have to visit the doctor for shots at frequencies ranging from twice a week to once a month for several years.

Another is that immunotherapy, while now broadly accepted as studies have accumulated, has had its doubters. “Allergists always had a bad rap,” said Dr David P. Skoner, chief of allergy, asthma and immunology at Allegheny Health Network in Pittsburgh. “We were called quacks and shot doctors. The reason was the science wasn’t there.” The allergen extracts used for the shots are approved by the F.D.A. on the basis of their safety, purity and potency. But because immunotherapy has been around for so long, extracts generally do not go through clinical trials to prove they can actually help tame allergies. Merck and Stallergenes, by contrast, have done controlled clinical trials and are seeking approval on the same basis as any other drug. That could enhance the credibility of the treatments. In Merck’s biggest trial, involving 1,500 adults and children who are allergic to Timothy grass, those who took the tablets had a 20 percent reduction in symptoms during one allergy season compared with those who received a placebo. They also used antihistamines or other symptom-relieving drugs less often. Stallergenes’ results were in the same ballpark. Still, not all allergists will welcome the tablets. That is because they make money giving shots, while the tablets would be prescribed like other pills.


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

Leukemia not a death sentence: Dr Pandita CML Day set on Dec 21 in Kuwait By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: Leukemia is not a death sentence, and just like any other cancer, leukemia has a cure, said a cancer expert. Speaking to Kuwait Times, Dr Ramesh Pandita, a consultant hematologist at Kuwait Cancer Control Center, said leukemia can be treated and cured if patients cooperate. “Leukemia, especially chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), can be treated and cured. There are lots of misconceptions about this disease - some people the moment they hear leukemia believe a final death sentence has been handed to a patient. But there is treatment available and people should know that a leukemia patient can live normally like other people,” said Pandita. CML, also known as chronic granulocytic leukemia (CGL), is a cancer of the white blood cells. It is a form of leukemia characterized by the increased and unregulated growth of predominantly myeloid cells in the bone marrow and the accumulation of these cells in the blood. CML cure depends on how patients or their families accept this disease. “Compliance is an extremely important issue in CML. Getting excellent success depends on how observant the patient is of doctors’

prescriptions,” he said. On Dec 21, 2013 under the patronage of the Minister of Health Sheikh Mohammed Al-Abduallah Al- Sabah and under the sponsorship of Patients Helping Fund Society, Kuwait CML Group and

Dr Ramesh Pandita

Kuwait Cancer Control Center will organize the ‘Kuwait CML Day “ under the theme of “We are CiMiLar!”. According to Pandita, the Kuwait CML Day will showcase activities dedicated to CML patients. “Our aim is to organize a program which helps patients accept their disease wholeheartedly and therefore live a normal

life just like us,” he said, and hence, the “We are CiMiLar” theme. “Many patients have survived many are still trying their best to overcome their circumstances. They really should because the battle against this disease can be won if patients and their families religiously cooperate with their doctors,” he said. On CML Day, leukemia patients will be invited and testimonies of those who overcame this disease will be heard. “The idea is to put them under one roof. Let them see the success of some patients and how some CML patients are living normally,” he said. “I have patients living 15 years and more with CML but they are perfectly fine,” he added. Dr Pandita stressed that a drug called “Imatinib” was the first drug to which CML patients responded positively. “A great majority of CML cases are properly managed thanks to drugs like, Imatinib, Nilotinib and Dasatinib, which are now available in the market. “We have them in the ministry of health for Kuwaitis and we are thankful that some expatriates are also getting them, especially from charity organizations. These drugs are quite expensive and are free for Kuwaitis, but expats have to purchase them. There are lots of chari-

ty organizations helping expat communities in Kuwait - one of them is the Kuwait Patients Helping Fund Society, so they are also getting the medicines virtually free,” he noted. “CML patients should live normally, since we have medication that can prolong their lives. People with CML can be productive members of the society,” he opined. CML is a clonal bone marrow stem cell disorder in which a proliferation of mature granulocytes and their precursors is found. It is a type of myeloproliferative disease associated with a characteristic chromosomal translocation called the Philadelphia chromosome. About a third of 150 cases of CML currently being treated at the Kuwait Cancer Control Center are Kuwaitis. “We have 20-25 CML cases a year from both expats and locals. We have to face the problem. We need to help families and increase awareness, so on Dec 21, we are going to show videos of patients on how they are battling with the cancer,” he said. If not treated properly, CML can be fatal. “Acute leukemia can kill a patient in a matter of days, while a chronic condition can kill a patient in a month. So we need everyone’s cooperation on this matter,” he added.

Kidney cancer prognosis linked to blood type VIENNA: A team led by Tobias Klatte, MD, of the Medical University of Vienna in Austria reviewed data from 556 patients who underwent surgery for RCC to evaluate the relationship between blood groups and clinical and pathologic variables. Subjects had a median follow-up of 39 months. Blood group O was associated with a significantly lower risk of lymph node metastases (1% vs. 4%), the investigators reported online ahead of print in BJU International. Of 16 patients with positive nodes, 14 (87.5%) had a non-O blood group. In multivariable analysis, patients with a non-O blood group had a 5.8 times increased risk for lymph node metastases compared with those who had blood group O. Of 29 patients with bilateral RCC, 17 (58.6%) had blood group O compared with 193 (36.6%) of 527 patients with unilateral disease. ABO blood group overall was not associated with RCC prognosis. Of the 556 patients, 93 died, 61 from RCC. The five-year overall and cancerspecific survival rates were 75% and 83%, respectively, with no significant difference between blood group O and non-O blood group. The researchers noted that their study did not confirm a previously

reported finding of an association between ABO blood group and overall survival. Last year, researchers published study results in BJU International demonstrating that RCC patients with a non-O blood type had a significant 68% increased death risk compared with those who had blood type O. The patient groups did not differ significantly with respect to cancer-specific survival. Dr Klatte’s group noted that their study may have been underpowered to detect a significant difference in overall survival. “Since the study population and inclusion criteria differed considerably, the two studies should be interpreted as complementary, not oppositional,” they wrote. Additionally, Dr Klatte and his colleagues observed no association between blood group and age, gender, body mass index, T stage, M stage, histologic subgroup, or Charlson comorbidity index. “The mechanisms through which blood group may influence cancer risk and progression are largely unknown,” the authors pointed out. Blood group antigens may affect cell adhesion, membrane signaling, and immune surveillance, they stated, and this in turn may influence cancer development and progression.


W H AT ’ S O N

BSK students visit Mutla’a Ridge SEND US YOUR INSTAGRAM PICS


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


group of more than seventy staff and students from The British School of Kuwait completed their Duke of Edinburgh International Award Bronze practice expedition in the Mutla’a Ridge region, completing a 30km walk over 2 days.The students were required to carry everything they needed along the route, from tents and stoves to food and first aid supplies. They successfully navigated Mutla’a in preparation for their final expedition in the Emirates early next year, where they will be hiking in Ras Al Khaimah.It was an exciting weekend for the students: their first experience of surviving outdoors with a scorching sun by day, and extreme cold by night. They all worked together exceptionally well, sharing in the joys and triumphs, as well as in the aches and the pains of trekking over rough terrain.In addition to the students, 15 members of staff were involved in the expedition, with more experienced staff training new colleagues in the ins and outs of navigation to help run an ever growing International Award. This year 130 BSK students will be completing the Award from Bronzeto Gold level, seeing trips abroad to the Emirates Nepal and South Africa. The students who completed the expedition were a credit to themselves, accepting a gruelling challenge and committing fully to the task. In doing so theyfound out more about themselves; their abilities; their personal skills and their leadership potential.

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


The International Day for Tolerance at KNES



appy Birthday to Fathima Nasreen Nooruddin! May God shower His blessings. Best wishes from loving mom & Dad Fathima Nashy, G.M. Nooruddin and relatives, friends aunty, uncle Sasisankar.

uwait National English School celebrates annually the International Day for Tolerance which serves an annual day for education on Tolerance. Various assemblies on Tolerance took place in Secondary and Primary as well as thoughts and debate on tolerance and how intolerance can degenerate into violence.

During the Secondary assembly Year 11 students the Head Girl Farah Abu Shanab and Zainab Chamka showed an excellent Power Point presentation on tolerance and the importance of respect. Madame Chantal AlGharabally, school director addressed the audience on this occasion. She explained the evolution of the meaning of tolerance over

the centuries which becamethe charter for freedom of thought and conscience. This has happened under the influence of philosophers, scientists, writers and politicians who put their landmark in the field of Human Right and Human dignity going as far as Moses, Socrates and Plato to Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa and Nelson Mandela.

Madame Chantal said that Tolerance is the foundation of Human Rights and Democracy and the necessary condition for pacific coexistence among Mankind. This was an occasion during the assembly on Tolerance at Kuwait National English School to light a candle for Peace and to stand for a minute of silence.

Announcements 6th Fitness Convention


or the 6th time in a row Al Corniche proudly announces its Fitness Convention 2013 to be held on Thursday, 12th December at the Al Corniche Club. The event is hosted by 5 key international industry experts, who will conduct seminars covering a full range of topics. Topics include why social media is now essential for your business, how does DiSC communication help in your workplace, nutrition and exercise for optimal performance, priceless global tips to run successful health club and how to create a VIP membership service option. Dr. Jim Bell will also be conducting a very special seminar for all the doctors in Kuwait on the 10th December and one for the Al Corniche members and guests, for more information please call at the Club. Presenters include: Dr Jim Bell (PhD/MS, Exercise Physiology /MBA/BS, Engineering & CEO of IFPA); Fred Hoffman, International Fitness Expert, Consultant and Personal Trainer; Bridget Rosser, Management Consultant in the UK & Certified DISC Trainer; Dave Wright CEO of CFM/MYZONE & and IHRSA speaker; Duncan Green Managing Director and Principal Consultant for MomentumBD Ltd. Our event sponsors Porsche Centre Kuwait, Behbehani Motors Company is proud to be the main sponsor of an internationally acclaimed event that focuses on health and well-being, as well as making the fitness and spa industry in Kuwait a profitable and innovative enterprise. This convention is open to the general public and all interested parties including team members and management from health clubs across Kuwait, suppliers of fitness and health equipment and services, school teachers, researchers and the Corniche Club members, are invited to attend. It is a ‘must do’ for all owners and employees of the flourishing fitness industry in Kuwait. For more details on the event please Email:

ICS presents ‘Chennai Kings’


onstop hit shows maker Indian Cultural Society Kuwait presents “Chennai Kings” a show that will bring the fragrance of India from Kashmir to Kanyakumari in Fusion & Live Concert on Friday, Dec 13, 2013 at 6:30 pm at Al-Arabi Indoor Stadium. World renowned percussionist Sivamani and his team will present foot-thumping fusion music along with noted playback singers Haricharan and Suchitra. They will rock the evening with hit numbers in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam and Kannada. Kuwait’s own talents will be a flavor of entertainment.

Farewell meeting


ozhencherry Association Kuwait bid farewell to its former President and one of its senior members Mathews Abraham Erattolil and family at a function held on 5 Dec 2013 where several members and family attended. . Mathews is leaving Kuwait to his native place in India after serving for more than forty years. Prasad Mathews (President), Mathews Koshy (Secretary), Philip Thomas (Treasurer) and several other members proposed felicitations on behalf of the association. Mathews Abraham thanked the members for their love, affection and good gesture.

Pottan Theyyam astonishes Kuwait audience


talented youth from the ‘Land of Theyyam’, Sunesh Kumar Illathvalappil , who has this vigor in him desired to present it in its traditional form in Kuwait. Accompanied by a group of dedicated and hardworking youth of Mina Abdulla National Kharafi Camp, he presented ‘Pottan Theyyam’ on the occasion of ‘Kannur Maholsavam’ organized by Friends of Kannur Expatriates, and also in an annual program of Saradhi Kuwait. An art form which gets into the blood of the Theyyam

artist through years of dedication was shown by Sunesh and his team on stage within a short span of time. Sunesh is an experienced visual media artist with equal competency shown behind and in front of the camera. He has directed various drama, documentary and short films. As a versatile theatre artist he has portrayed many challenging roles on stage. The stunning performance of Pottan Theyyam conceived, directed and presented by Sunesh and team was highly appreciated by the audience as one the

most captivating event of the evening. ‘Pottan Theyyam’ is one of the most popular traditional folklore art forms from the ‘Land of Theyyam’, Kannur. Lord Shiva appeared before him in disguise of a lower caste man ‘Chandalan / Pula Pottan’ accompanied by ‘Devi Parvathy’ and ‘Nandikesan’ with the intention to test him. Sree Sankaracharya asked him to go away from his way. Refusing to do so the ‘Pottan’ started arguing with him exposing the hollowness of caste system which proved to be the curse on humanity.

These arguments are presented as the chants in ‘Thottam’ and it holds great social messages. The verses which involves ‘the same color of blood flowing in both’ and that ‘the food served is the fruit of hardships of the so called untouchables’ are strong reminders to the futile upper caste prejudices. Finally Lord Shiva appears in his real form and blesses him in his journey. Performers use different masks to enact various characters evolving and need enormous energy to enact it with vigor.

W H AT ’ S O N Message from Cuban people, government on the occasion of Nelson Mandela’s death To Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma President of the Republic of South Africa Excellency, With profound sorrow, I send you our heartfelt condolences on the occasion of our dear friend Nelson Mandela’s death, in the name of the Cuban people and government, which we extend as well to his family, the African National Congress and the entire nation. Mandela will be remembered for the stature of his example, the greatness of his work and the firmness of his principles in the struggle against apartheid, and for his invaluable contribution to the construction of a new South Africa. We afford him profound respect and admiration, not only in recognition of what he did for his people, but for the faithful friendship he showed our country. We will never be able to speak of Mandela in the past tense. Accept, honorable President, this expression of my immense consideration and esteem. Raul Castro Ruz President of the Republic of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers

Condolences for Nelson Mandela at South African Embassy The South African Embassy in the State of Kuwait wishes to express its profound gratitude to His Highness the Amir of the State of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad AlJaber Al-Sabah, His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah, the government and people of Kuwait for the condolences and encouragement received since the passing away of our beloved Nelson Mandela. In order to pay homage to the legacy of the Father of our Nation, Books of Condolences will be opened as follows in honour of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (19182013): Condolence Book at the Chancery of the Embassy of the Republic of South Africa * Date: Sunday, 8 December 2013-Thursday 12 December 2013 * Time: 10 am - 16 pm (Thursday from 10 am till 1 pm) * Venue: Salwa - Block 10- Street 1 - Villa 91 - Entrance 3 Condolence Book at the Official Residence of the Ambassador of South Africa, Delarey van Tonder * Date: Sunday, 8 December 2013-Tuesday 10 December 2013 * Time: 10 am - 16 pm * Venue: Mishref - Block 3 - Street 57 - Villa 131 The Embassy of the Republic of South Africa will remain closed during the funeral of the late President Mandela on Sunday, 15 December 2013.


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

EMBASSY OF BANGLADESH The Embassy of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in Kuwait will remain closed on Monday, 16 December 2013 on the occasion of The Victory Day of Bangladesh. nnnnnnn

TEC entertainment program


he Khairan Resort welcomed Khaldiya residents who enjoyed a special entertainment program that included boat cruises as well as competitions for children. The guests stayed in 90 chalets booked as per an agreement between the Khaldiya Co-op Society board of directors and the Touristic Emprises Company, under which the chalets were reserved for area residents for four weekends starting from November 21.

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

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

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 inperson 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

INJAZ holds EMC entrepreneurial master class at KNES


MC, an exciting one-day workshop that aims to introduce students to entrepreneurship was held at Kuwait National English School. The event turned out to be a grand success and undoubtedly achieved the objective of helping students explore their entrepreneurial skills. Year 8 and 9 students of KNES took part in this engaging and exciting event organ-

ized by INJAZ, Kuwait. The event was held in the school theatre on December 1, 2013. INJAZ, Kuwait set up the programme with the objective to teach students the skills and attitude necessary to be selfemployed. The students were introduced to entrepreneurship by the facilitator of the event Lina Qaddoumi and assisted by the INJAZ

team. Volunteers from Al-Ghanim mentored and guided the students who were divided into 5 groups. The students presented the company they had set up and were judged by a panel of top executives from Alghanim. The students had a great opportunity to learn the basics of business start-ups and setting up business plans and they

were very creative. The judges were impressed by the business ideas that were initiated by the students. The students displayed excellent presentation skills. KNES Director Madame Chantal Al Gharabally along with the judges gave away the trophies to the winners while congratulating them for displaying good business acumen.

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 Spot’s Musical Adventures 05:45 Show Me Show Me 06:10 Buzz & Tell 06:15 Nina And The Neurons 06:30 Poetry Pie 06:35 Mr Bloom’s Nursery 06:55 Spot’s Musical Adventures 07:00 Show Me Show Me 07:25 Buzz & Tell 07:30 The Impressions Show With Culshaw... 08:00 Hebburn 08:30 Elephant Diaries 09:20 The Weakest Link 10:05 Doctors 10:35 Casualty 11:25 Famous, Rich And Jobless 12:20 The Impressions Show With Culshaw... 12:50 Elephant Diaries 13:40 Hebburn 14:10 Doctors 14:40 Casualty 15:30 Famous, Rich And Jobless 16:25 The Weakest Link 17:10 Eastenders 17:40 Doctors 18:10 Hustle 19:00 My Family: Christmas 2004 19:30 Blackadder II 20:00 Spooks 20:50 Little Britain 21:20 Jekyll 22:10 David Copperfield 22:55 Famous, Rich And Jobless 23:50 Beautiful People

00:00 Marbella Mansions 00:45 The Restaurant Inspector 01:30 Cash In The Attic 02:20 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 04:35 Antiques Roadshow 05:30 Antiques Roadshow 06:25 Come Dine With Me: Supersized 08:00 Bargain Hunt 08:45 Marbella Mansions 09:30 The Hairy Bikers Ride Again 10:00 Raymond Blanc’s Kitchen Secrets 10:25 Come Dine With Me: Supersized 12:00 Masterchef: The Professionals 12:45 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 14:15 Antiques Roadshow 15:05 Homes Under The Hammer 16:00 Homes Under The Hammer 16:55 Bargain Hunt 17:40 Cash In The Attic 18:25 Antiques Roadshow 19:20 Marbella Mansions 20:10 The Little Paris Kitchen 20:35 Nigel Slater’s Christmas Suppers 21:30 Come Dine With Me 22:20 Antiques Roadshow 23:15 Bargain Hunt

00:05 00:55 06:00 07:00 07:50 08:40 09:30 09:55

Jungle Gold: Wild Ride You Have Been Warned Mythbusters Mythbusters Extreme Fishing Fast N’ Loud Border Security Storage Hunters

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

Flip Men How Do They Do It? How It’s Made Kings Of Crash World’s Biggest Ship Wheeler Dealers Border Security Storage Hunters Flip Men Flying Wild Alaska Fast N’ Loud Ultimate Survival Dirty Jobs Mythbusters American Guns Storage Hunters Flip Men How Do They Do It? How It’s Made Diamond Divers Bush Pilots Jungle Gold

00:40 Dark Matters: Twisted But True 01:30 Stunt Junkies 02:00 Human Body: Ultimate Machine 02:50 Human Body: Ultimate Machine 03:45 Human Body: Ultimate Machine 04:35 Human Body: Ultimate Machine 05:25 Creatures Inside Us 06:15 Gadget Show - World Tour 06:40 How Tech Works 07:05 Stunt Junkies 07:30 Stunt Junkies 08:00 Bang Goes The Theory 08:25 Bang Goes The Theory 08:50 Game Changers 09:15 Game Changers 09:40 Gadget Show - World Tour 10:05 How Tech Works 10:30 Creatures Inside Us 11:25 Man-Made Marvels China 12:20 Smash Lab 13:10 How The Universe Works 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 Nextworld 17:55 Mega World 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

00:00 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 00:20 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 00:45 Jonas 01:05 Jonas Los Angeles 01:30 Suite Life On Deck 01:50 Suite Life On Deck 02:15 Wizards Of Waverly Place 02:35 Wizards Of Waverly Place 03:00 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 03:20 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 03:45 Jonas 04:05 Jonas Los Angeles 04:30 Suite Life On Deck 04:50 Suite Life On Deck 05:15 Wizards Of Waverly Place 05:35 Wizards Of Waverly Place 06:00 Phineas And Ferb 13:00 Phineas & Ferb: Across The Second Dimension 14:15 Phineas And Ferb 14:25 Phineas And Ferb 14:35 Phineas And Ferb 15:00 Phineas And Ferb 15:25 Phineas And Ferb 15:35 Phineas And Ferb 15:50 Phineas And Ferb 16:10 Violetta 17:00 A.N.T. Farm 17:20 Austin And Ally

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

Gravity Falls Shake It Up Good Luck Charlie Dog With A Blog Violetta Jessie My Babysitter’s A Vampire Wolfblood 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 Street Feasts 11:45 Cooking Christmas With Matt And Lisa 12:10 Tyler’s Ultimate 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 14:40 Barefoot Contessa 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 Tyler’s Ultimate 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 21:45 Tyler’s Ultimate 22:10 Iron Chef America 23:00 Siba’s Table 23:25 Siba’s Table 23:50 Winning Holiday Cookies

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

Zero Hour Beyond Survival With Les Victory By Design Aircrash Confidential Timewatch Beyond Survival With Les Victory By Design Extreme Engineering In Search Of The King’s Head Marley Africa Road Trip Timewatch Victory By Design Extreme Engineering Aircrash Confidential Commander In Chief Marley Africa Road Trip Timewatch Beyond Survival With Les Daredevils Extreme Engineering

01:00 UFC 04:00 Prizefighter 07:00 WWE Bottom Line 08:00 WWE Experience 09:00 Ping Pong World 10:00 US Bass Fishing 11:00 NHL 13:00 European Le Mans Series 14:00 F1 H2O World Championship Highlights 14:30 F1 H2O World Championship Highlights 15:00 Triahlon UK 16:00 WWE SmackDown 18:00 WWE Experience 19:00 NHL 21:00 UFC Unleashed 22:00 UFC

00:00 01:00 02:00 02:30 03:00 03:30


McConaughey better than ever in ‘Dallas’

CARJACKED ON OSN MOVIES ACTION 21:00 Covert Affairs 22:00 House Of Cards 23:00 Scandal 00:00 Don’t Trust The B In Apartment 23 00:30 2 Broke Girls 01:00 2 Broke Girls 01:30 New Girl 02:00 Girls 02:30 Legit 03:00 How I Met Your Mother 03:30 Go On 04:00 The Simpsons 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 The War At Home 06:00 All Of Us 06:30 Friends 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 The Simpsons 08:30 The War At Home 09:00 How I Met Your Mother 09:30 Two And A Half Men 10:00 The Mindy Project 10:30 Friends 11:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:00 All Of Us 12:30 The Simpsons 13:00 The War At Home 13:30 Friends 14:00 Go On 14:30 Two And A Half Men 15:00 The Mindy Project 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 All Of Us 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 How I Met Your Mother 18:30 Go On 19:00 Two And A Half Men 19:30 The Mindy Project 20:00 That Mitchell And Webb Look 20:30 Web Therapy 21:00 The Daily Show Global Edition 21:30 The Colbert Report Global Edition 22:00 South Park 22:30 The Big C 23:00 Legit 23:30 That Mitchell And Webb Look

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


Man vs World Monumental Mysteries Baggage Battles Baggage Battles Magic Man Magic Man

04:00 Travel Like A President 05:00 Globe Trekker 06:00 Globe Trekker 07:00 Globe Trekker 08:00 Globe Trekker 09:00 Descending 10:00 Airport 24/7: Miami 10:30 Airport 24/7: Miami 11:00 World’s Greatest Motorcycle Rides 12:00 Insane Coaster Wars 12:30 Trip Flip 13:00 The Food Truck 13:30 The Food Truck 14:00 Bizarre Foods America 15:00 International House Hunters 15:30 International House Hunters 16:00 International House Hunters 16:30 International House Hunters 17:00 Hotel Impossible 18:00 Trip Flip 18:30 Trip Flip 19:00 The Food Truck 19:30 The Food Truck 20:00 Bizarre Foods America 21:00 International House Hunters 21:30 International House Hunters 22:00 Hotel Impossible 23:00 Rock My RV With Bret Michaels 23:30 Rock My RV With Bret Michaels

00:00 03:00 04:00 07:30 09:00 10:30 12:00 14:00 15:00 17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00

Burn Notice Zero Hour The Newsroom Rescue Me Top Gear (US) Red Widow Burn Notice Fairly Legal Criminal Minds Zero Hour Red Widow Top Gear (US) Coronation Street Criminal Minds Burn Notice Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show Criminal Minds Once Upon A Time Revenge The Blacklist The Newsroom Rescue Me

Covert Affairs Scandal House Of Cards Coronation Street C.S.I. New York 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

00:00 Taxi Driver 02:00 Amphibious 03:45 Broken Path 05:30 The Avengers 08:00 True Justice: Violence Of Action 10:00 Carjacked 12:00 When A Stranger Calls 14:00 The Presence 16:00 Carjacked 17:45 Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows 20:00 The Presence 22:00 How I Spent My Summer Vacation

00:00 Amphibious-18 01:45 Broken Path-PG15 03:30 The Avengers-PG15 06:00 True Justice: Violence Of Action-PG15 08:00 Carjacked-PG15 10:00 When A Stranger Calls-PG15 12:00 The Presence-PG15 14:00 Carjacked-PG15 15:45 Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows-PG15 18:00 The Presence-PG15 20:00 How I Spent My Summer Vacation-PG15 22:00 A Dangerous Man-18

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

Girl Walks Into A Bar-PG15 Detroit Rock City-18 Sleepless In Seattle-PG Blame It On The Bellboy Who Framed Roger Rabbit Adventures In Babysitting Sleepless In Seattle-PG This Means War-PG15 Adventures In Babysitting The Brothers Solomon-PG15 Hot Rod-PG15 Girl Walks Into A Bar-PG15

01:00 03:00 05:15 PG15 07:15 09:00 11:00 13:00 15:00 17:00 19:15 21:15 23:15

StreetDance 2-PG15 Reign Over Me-PG15 Too Late To Say GoodbyeNow Is Good-PG15 StreetDance 2-PG15 Cinderella PT 1-PG15 Cinderella PT 2-PG15 Stomp The Yard-PG15 The Tree Of Life-PG15 Sparkle-PG15 Albert Nobbs-18 The Ledge-18

01:00 Resolution 819-PG15 03:00 He Got Game-18 05:15 The Woman In Black-PG15 07:00 My Kid Could Paint ThatPG15 09:00 Regarding Henry-PG15 11:00 A Better Life-PG15 13:00 Earth-PG15 15:00 The Hand That Rocks The Cradle-PG15 17:00 A Better Life-PG15 19:00 Bruc-PG15 21:00 The Ides Of March-PG15 23:00 White Irish Drinkers-18

01:30 Down The Shore-PG15 03:15 Cool It-PG15 05:00 Playdate-PG15 07:00 Five-PG15 09:00 You Got Served: Beat The World-PG15

11:00 Arrietty-FAM 13:00 One Life-PG15 15:00 Damsels In Distress-PG15 17:00 You Got Served: Beat The World-PG15 19:00 Argo-PG15 21:00 Ruby Sparks-18 23:00 50/50-PG15

01:00 Rainbow Valley Heroes 02:45 The Fantastic Adventure Of The Ugly Duckling 04:15 Jumanji 06:00 Rainbow Valley Heroes 08:00 Luke And Lucy: The Texas Rangers 09:45 Titan A.E. 11:30 American Girl: McKenna Shoots For The Stars 13:15 Rookie Of The Year 15:00 Kim The River Of Peace 16:30 Journey 2: The Mysterious Island 18:15 Titan A.E. 20:00 Vickery’s Wild Ride 22:00 Kim The River Of Peace 23:30 The Great Bear

00:00 Deadly Hope-PG15 02:00 The Double-PG15 04:00 The Odd Life Of Timothy Green-PG 06:00 Just Crazy Enough-PG15 08:00 The Three Stooges-PG15 10:00 Dead Lines-PG15 12:00 The Double-PG15 13:45 Mission: Impossible III-PG15 16:00 The Three Stooges-PG15 17:45 The Dark Knight Rises-PG15 20:30 House At The End Of The Street-PG15 22:15 The Watch-18

01:00 Futbol Mundial 01:30 Trans World Sport 02:30 ICC Cricket 360 03:00 Live Cricket Test Match 11:00 Futbol Mundial 11:30 HSBC Sevens World Series 15:00 Trans World Sport 16:00 Snooker 19:00 PGA Tour Highlights 20:00 PGA European Tour Highlights 21:00 PGA European Tour Highlights 22:00 Snooker

00:00 03:00 03:30 07:00 10:00 15:30 19:00 19:30 20:00 22:30

Live NFL WWE This Week Live NHL Snooker PGA Tour HSBC Sevens World Series ICC Cricket 360 Futbol Mundial NFL NHL

01:00 Total Rugby 01:30 Snooker UK Championship 05:30 Futbol Mundial 06:00 Trans World Sport 07:00 Golfing World 08:00 Amlin Challenge Cup 10:00 World Match Racing Tour 12:00 Snooker UK Championship 15:00 ICC Cricket 360 15:30 Golfing World 16:30 Ladies European Tour Highlights 17:30 Trans World Sport 18:30 Amlin Challenge Cup 20:30 Trans World Sport 21:30 ICC Cricket 360 22:00 Golfing World 23:00 Ladies European Tour Highlights


he best parts of “Dallas Buyers Club” are of Matthew McConaughey, as HIV-positive Texas man Ron Woodroof, bucking like a bull in a Dallas hospital he refuses to let hold him. Woodroof is a self-declared “goddamn rodeo.” He’s a cowboy hatwearing, middle finger-flipping trailer park rat who spends his time fornicating, drinking, doing drugs and evading his debtors. Our first image of him (in what he’ll later recall as the moment of his HIV infection), is spied through the panels of a dark rodeo pen while he has sex with a blonde. He’s too messed up to much notice when a large man slides in behind him. When Woodroof, an electrician, later turns up in the hospital, he’s diagnosed with HIV (this is 1985, early in the AIDS crisis). With a T-cell count of just nine, he’s told that he has 30 days to live. He lashes out that he’s no Rock Hudson. But after a bender of denial, Woodroof turns up, of all places, at a library, to study up on his disease. Woodroof rages against his fate with unexpected tenacity and smarts: the life force of a low-life hedonist. He quickly zeroes in on drugs available internationally but not approved for use in the U.S. by the Federal Drug Administration. “Dallas Buyers Club” plays out not as a fight against AIDS, but against the bureaucracy of the FDA and the coziness of drug companies with doctors. Denis O’Hare plays a blatantly villainous hospital doctor, with Jennifer Garner as his more sympathetic junior colleague. Woodruff rapidly enmeshes himself in a grassroots underworld that circumvents the FDA. He begins smuggling in less toxic drugs from Mexico, Japan and Europe. He sets up a so-called “buyers club” with members of other HIV-afflicted Dallas men paying a monthly fee for drugs that prove more effective than the FDA-approved doses of AZT. Though it may be a story of sickness and death, “Dallas Buyers Club” is about the rebirth of a homophobe. Suddenly an outcast among his heterosexual friends, Woodroof reluctantly warms to a new community - particularly a drug-addicted transsexual named Rayon who becomes his business partner. Rayon is played by an earnestly committed Jared Leto who nevertheless comes off as a theatrical drag queen cliche. They run the buyers club together out of a cheap motel, the unlikeliest pair of Bonnie and Clyde renegades yet. Quebec filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallee (“The Young Victoria”) directs “Dallas Buyers Club” with a loose naturalism, seedy environs and lively humor that prevents the film from becoming oversentimentalized. It’s a true story long in the making (screenplay by Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack) based on Woodroof’s remarkable late life. But what “Dallas Buyers Club” is, ultimately, is the apotheosis of another transformation: McConaughey’s great U-turn. A few years after sinking into rote romantic comedies, “Dallas Buyers Club” tops an astonishing streak for the 43-year-old that has included “Mud,” “Magic Mike” and “Bernie.” He lost more than 40 pounds for the role (Leto, too, is startlingly thin), and appears so gaunt as to wipe away any memory of his rosier, more superficial performances. Extreme weight loss, too, can be a superficial ploy, but McConaughey inhabits the clamoring, clawing Woodroof, whose zest for life (which McConaughey has always exuded) flourishes with the meaning of a moral cause. He stomps down hospital hallways in cowboy boots, a foul-mouthed champion against the system, spouting obscenities in a Texas drawl. In one late scene that could be either Woodroof or McConaughey, he looks in the mirror, and smiles. “Dallas Buyers Club,” a Focus Features release, is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America for “pervasive language, some strong sexual content, nudity and drug use.” Running time: 133 minutes. Three stars out of four. MPAA definition of R: Restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. —AP

Classifieds MONDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2013 66047733. (C 4589) 2-12-2013






12:30 PM 2:30 PM 4:30 PM 6:30 PM 8:30 PM 10:30 PM 12:30 AM


12:30 PM 3:15 PM 5:15 PM 8:00 PM 10:45 PM 12:45 AM


1:45 PM 4:00 PM 6:00 PM 7:45 PM 9:45 PM 12:05 AM


1:00 PM 3:15 PM 5:30 PM 7:30 PM 9:45 PM


2:00 PM 4:00 PM 6:00 PM 8:00 PM 10:00 PM


1:30 PM 3:15 PM 5:00 PM 6:45 PM 9:30 PM


2:15 PM 4:30 PM 6:30 PM 8:30 PM 10:45 PM 12:45 AM


1:00 PM 3:00 PM 5:00 PM 7:00 PM 9:00 PM 11:00 PM 1:00 AM


1:30 PM 3:30 PM 5:30 PM 7:30 PM 10:30 PM 12:30 AM


1:00 PM 3:45 PM 5:30 PM


7:15 PM 9:00 PM 11:45 PM


1:45 PM 4:45 PM 7:45 PM 10:00 PM 12:45 AM


1:15 PM 3:30 PM 5:30 PM 7:45 PM 9:45 PM 12:05 AM


1:00 PM 3:00 PM 5:00 PM 6:45 PM 8:45 PM 10:45 PM 12:45 AM


2:00 PM 4:45 PM 7:30 PM 9:30 PM 12:15 AM

AVENUES-1 JACKIE CHAN, BINGBING LI 1911 (DIG) 1911 (DIG) 1911 (DIG) 1911 (DIG) 1911 (DIG)

1:30 PM 3:45 PM 6:00 PM 8:15 PM 10:30 PM 12:45 AM


12:45 PM 3:00 PM 5:15 PM 7:30 PM 9:45 PM 12:05 AM


1:45 PM 4:00 PM 6:15 PM 8:30 PM 10:45 PM 1:00 AM


2:15 PM 4:15 PM 6:15 PM 8:15 PM 10:15 PM 12:15 AM


2:45 PM 5:45 PM 8:45 PM 11:45 PM


1:45 PM



4:00 PM 6:15 PM 8:30 PM 10:45 PM 1:00 AM


12:45 PM 2:30 PM 4:30 PM 6:15 PM 9:00 PM 11:45 PM


1:30 PM 3:45 PM 5:45 PM 8:15 PM 10:15 PM 12:30 AM


2:00 PM 4:00 PM 6:00 PM 8:00 PM 10:00 PM 12:05 AM


12:45 PM 2:45 PM 4:45 PM 6:45 PM 8:45 PM 10:45 PM 12:45 AM


12:45 PM 2:45 PM 4:45 PM 6:45 PM 9:45 PM 12:45 AM


1:45 PM 3:45 PM 5:45 PM 7:45 PM 9:45 PM 11:45 PM


1:30 PM 4:00 PM 6:00 PM 8:15 PM 10:15 PM 12:30 AM


5:30 PM 8:30 PM 10:30 PM

Saravanan Subramaniyan S/o Subramaniyan holder of Indian Passport No. G9950267 born on 2nd March 1976 (native district: Thiruvarur), residing at No. 112/219, Mariamman Kovil street, Maruthangavali, Muthupet. Thiruvarur District, shall henceforth be known as Sameer Mohamed. (C 4593) 5-12-2013 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. ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available one room in 2 bedroom flat, near Indian/Pakistani school in Farwaniya for working lady. Rent KD 90. Please contact:

Gold star no frost double door fridge, dining table 5 chairs, exercise cycle dressing table, tipois, glass flower pots, at reasonable price. Contact: 99602164. (C 4594) 7-12-2013

Toyota Camry 2003, white color, full options, KD 1550. Tel: 50994848. (C 4591)

Accountant, M.Com (Finance) Graduate. Pursuing MBA. 10 years of experience (3-1/2 years in Kuwait) in finalization of company accounts and assisting in the Audit process. Kuwait driving license, transferable visa, seeking for better opportunities. Tel: 97253248. Email: (C 4595) 9-12-2013

112 THE PUBLIC AUTHORITY FOR CIVIL INFORMATION Automated enquiry about the Civil ID card is 1889988

Pajero for sale, model 1996, color red, engine good condition, used by a lady. Contact: 97277139. 2003 Nissan Pathfinder in good condition - six cylinder (3.5 engine). Call: 97277135 4-12-2013


Prayer timings

Fajr: Shorook Duhr: Asr: Maghrib: Isha:

05:07 06:31 11:40 14:31 16:50 18:12

No: 16011

LAILA SAVING SANTA (DIG) THE HUNGER GAMES:CATCHING FIRE (DIG) CARRIE (DIG) 6th Dec 2013 Laila Cinema is booked for Festival

6:00 PM 8:00 PM 10:45 PM Korean Film

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (



Time 00:05 00:10 00:45 00:55 00:40 00:40 01:45 02:10 02:15 02:20 02:35 02:45 02:50 03:10 03:45 04:00 05:35 05:40 05:50 05:50 06:40 06:45 07:55 07:40 07:50 08:45 08:40 09:00 09:10 09:20 09:40 09:50 10:40 10:40 10:50 11:15 11:30 11:45 11:55 12:30 12:50 13:00 13:05 13:05 13:15 13:50 13:55 14:05


500 472 221 251 645 118 1072 857 303 640 510 127 215 93 284 777 542 177 786 774 742 553 405 1080 63 104 674 618 217 647 61 572 129 489 636 229 402 307 859 219 1074 59 135 239 576 975 205 327 185


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


Departure Flights on Monday 9/12/2013 Flt Route Time 982 AHMEDABAD 00:05 981 WASHINGTON 00:55 206 LAHORE 01:05 573 MUMBAI 01:10 44 CHITTAGONG 01:45 635 FRANKFURT 02:10 621 ADDIS ABABA 02:45 773 ISTANBUL-ATATURK 02:55 416 KABUL 03:30 854 DUBAI 03:50 381 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 05:15 70 DUBAI 06:30 575 ABU DHABI 06:35 164 DUBAI 06:55 765 ISTANBUL-SABIHA 07:05 545 ALEXANDRIA 07:15 212 BAHRAIN 07:15 771 ISTANBUL-ATATURK 07:30 54 DUBAI 08:30 156 LONDON 08:45 126 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 11:50 404 ASYUT 12:15 776 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 DUBAI 14:15 58 DUBAI 14:30 1079 DOHA 14:55



673 774 741 773 617 473 222 501 252 646 238 304 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


15:05 15:20 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



s ta rs CROSSWORD 393

STAR TRACK Aries (March 21-April 19) ARIES You should be feeling quite healthy and natural today. Everything points to your taking the initiative in some group endeavor. You may have a job that is part-time, perhaps as a tour guide. You could be giving assistance to newcomers in a religious group. Whatever the case, you really are involved in conversations that involve memories of the past, as well as places of interest from your travels or from reading. The elderly love to talk about these things and there are much laughter and fun conversations in your part of the world today. Taking chances on the emotional level just seems somehow natural to you. Common sense keeps you financially in check when it comes to a bit of shopping this afternoon. Do not loan or borrow money this month.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) You may be put in control of people today. Orientation, controlling a crowd and organizing people are just part of what you do well. You encourage others to ask questions and this eases any frustrations for them at a later date. You encourage and instruct and could be a good part of a team that enlists the public in education, military or any new beginnings of a number of professions. This group you are leading today will probably be full of young people. Listening to some of the young people in this country may be like listening to the sages of the ages. Anything is possible and ideas for investments in the future may be apparent. By the end of this day, you will find that you will be looking for more opportunities like this day offers.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

ACROSS 1. Characteristic of a mob. 4. 1 species. 12. A user interface in which you type commands instead of choosing them from a menu or selecting an icon. 15. Any of various primates with short tails or no tail at all. 16. The theological doctrine taught by Arius that Christ the Son was not consubstantial with God the Father. 17. Belonging to or on behalf of a specified person (especially yourself). 18. Having leadership guidance. 19. (Babylonian) In older pantheon. 20. A kind of person. 21. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 23. The 7th letter of the Greek alphabet. 24. Relating to or coming from the south. 26. (prefix) Indicating difference or variation. 28. Warm-blooded egg-laying vertebrates characterized by feathers and forelimbs modified as wings. 31. English psychologist who collaborated with I. A. Richards in designing Basic English (1889-1957). 32. A toroidal shape. 34. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 39. An elongated leather strip (or or strip of similar material) for binding things together or holding something in position. 43. (Hawaiian) A small guitar having four strings. 44. A theocratic republic in the Middle East in western Asia. 48. Knock down with force. 50. A port city in southwestern Iran. 51. The capital and largest city of Yemen. 53. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 56. A unit of absorbed ionizing radiation equal to 100 ergs per gram of irradiated material. 58. The basic unit of money in Bangladesh. 62. Italian lawn bowling (played on a long narrow dirt court). 64. In the Roman calendar. 65. (Judaism) Sacred chest where the ancient Hebrews kept the two tablets containing the Ten Commandments. 66. An ascocarp having the spore-bearing layer of cells (the hymenium) on a broad disklike receptacle. 70. The seat within a bishop's diocese where his cathedral is located adv. 71. An iron-clad vessel built by the Confederate forces in the hope of breaking the blockade imposed by the North. 73. (British) Your grandmother. 74. The compass point midway between northeast and east. 75. Place a value on. 76. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. DOWN 1. A master's degree in library science. 2. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of

petroleum. 3. English monk and scholar (672-735). 4. Cooking utensil consisting of a wide metal vessel. 5. A projecting bay window corbeled or cantilevered out from a wall. 6. A name under which Ninkhursag was worshipped. 7. Mentally or physically infirm with age. 8. Black tropical American cuckoo. 9. French revolutionary who was prominent in the early days of the French Revolution (17491791). 10. The provision of something by issuing it (usually in quantity). 11. A doctor's degree in musical arts. 12. A mound of stones piled up as a memorial or to mark a boundary or path. 13. Of a pale purple color. 14. A linen tape used for trimming as a decoration. 22. Deeply eroded barren land. 25. The bill in a restaurant. 27. A public promotion of some product or service. 29. Formally making a person known to another or to the public. 30. Living in or characteristic of farming or country life. 33. Being or moving higher in position or greater in some value. 35. Jordan's port. 36. Two items of the same kind. 37. A Loloish language. 38. Having or demonstrating ability to recognize or draw fine distinctions. 40. A rechargeable battery with a nickel cathode and a cadmium anode. 41. A town and port in northwestern Israel in the eastern Mediterranean. 42. A light strong brittle gray toxic bivalent metallic element. 45. An island northwest of Wales. 46. Genus of tropical plants with creeping rootstocks and small umbellate flowers. 47. The eighth month of the Hindu calendar. 49. Type genus of the Cariamidae comprising only the crested cariama. 52. Highly seasoned fatty sausage of pork and beef usually dried. 54. Italian film actress (born in 1934). 55. Red pear-shaped tropical fruit with poisonous seeds. 57. (folklore) A corpse that rises at night to drink the blood of the living. 59. A city in southern Turkey on the Seyhan River. 60. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 61. (Hindu) A manner of sitting (as in the practice of Yoga). 63. A unit of pressure equal to 0.001316 atmosphere. 67. The month following August and preceding October. 68. A byproduct of inflammation. 69. (informal) Of the highest quality. 72. A very poisonous metallic element that has three allotropic forms.

You set life examples for your family and friends. Today, however, you will want to leave the door open to some beneficial changes. A family meeting is the perfect time for decisions regarding the way that money is spent or the introduction of budgeting or entertaining requirements. You join the family in making group decisions about who is responsible for which decorations. You will be guiding or helping along the way but you will be pleased at the amount of cooperation and interest that you have ignited. You teach commonsense thinking when scheduling comes into play. You may also discover it is a relief to be able to share the responsibility of making decisions. An open mind and a positive attitude equal success.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) You could be looking to add a little color to your life, allowing your unique and unusual qualities to surface. It may surprise you to know that someone close to you understands you better than you thought and he or she is supportive. You could establish some new solutions or stumble on to something very inventive today. Allowing your creative and intuitive talent to evolve can bring you many nice surprises. You just somehow know that anything is possible if you can picture the end result. You are not afraid to take risks at the deepest emotional level. Optimism and faith are the two guiding words. Allowing yourself the luxury of exploring your feelings helps in understanding. Make an outline of the steps needed to get where you want to go.

Leo (July 23-August 22) Your attitude seems at peace—others only hope to become as evolved as you appear to be. You take problems as valued lessons, rather than obstacles. You seem to find a deep appreciation for responsibilities. Nurturing is a larger than usual component in your life as well. Caring for others or having them return the favor is essential to your wellbeing. Although you very seldom ask for affection, you can successfully fit the two together well. Managing and directing others wherever you find yourself seems to be your specialty. Someone in authority recognizes your talent in these areas and may decide to put in a request for your time. Today, your private life has moved into the direction of music or a religious group gathering.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) You are able to captivate and spellbind the audience today. A birthday party, a teaching lesson, a story reading class or whatever you have gotten yourself into will certainly have positive returns for your effort. The audience is appreciative and you may decide this activity is something you would like to add to your life experiences. Note that this activity was a voluntary activity and there was no paycheck. Being optimistic and having faith in yourself will assure your success in other areas of your life. The experience today is a good practice, albeit a worthy one! You are ready, willing and able to accept new emotional experiences. This could mark a time when your life path changes. You and a mate open up to better communication at this time.

Word Search

Libra (September 23-October 22) Your close friend has a business dinner to go to next week and wants to ask your loved one to go with him or her. You might smile and offer to help with a little money for an escort service instead. This is the most appropriate route to take. It will soon be time to take the next step in updating the place where you live. Take the opportunity this evening to get ideas from the rest of the family or others that live with you. Set a timetable and stick to it. This will help you to see progress all around you at all the right times. You could be feeling very optimistic this whole day. You have a great deal of faith and you enjoy living and experiencing life each day. This afternoon you make it a point to spend time with loved ones. Paint or photograph the sunset.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) It should be a breeze for you to do any work requiring discipline or organization. There may be some very serious or meditative moments and you may find yourself in a very businesslike mood, although you will not be working in an office. This could mean you are at a bazaar and will be helping to sell some fun items. Some of the items people buy are to encourage and lift the spirit with a more positive mood. Someone could be seeking you out for your sidewalk psychology. Procuring and sharing information is emotionally significant to you at this time. Communicating your feelings becomes quite essential. Take turns enjoying a massage therapy session with your lover later today. Enjoy feeling luxuriously lazy this evening.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) The emotions that you have or the way that you feel should be very clear. It’s a great time to understand your own situation, just how you feel about yourself. Things seem to be working together on the outside to help you develop peacefully on the inside—or it could be the other way around. Whatever the case, your energies are peaceful and others take their guidance from your presence. You seem to truly understand anything of a theoretical nature and know just how to present or communicate this to others. You could be performing or enjoying a performance of some type this afternoon. Keeping up-to-date with the way entertainment trends develop can be a lot of fun for you—as well as a study in humanity. Your outlook on life is very optimistic.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) A powerful need to nurture is a bigger than usual component in your life now. You could be feeling the need to care for others or to have them care for you, possibly on a public as opposed to a private level. You have needs and you sense the needs of others. Being able to piece the two together well is what will make for positive results. Accepting praise for your tastes or belongings helps to make your day even a bit more pleasant. You may not have any problem in valuing your own life situation today. This could be the perfect time to think and study. You could find yourself enjoying a long conversation, writing a letter or making a special phone call. Long-distance conversations can be productive. Study for a class is easy this evening.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) You could find yourself in or around the activities that come with a parade or some other similar high-energy activity. The positive and magical looks on the faces of children delight everyone present for the experience. The air is crisp and people are talking, laughing and pointing to all sorts of eye-catching fantasies. You help to teach others through your actions and today you might have volunteered to help a wheelchair rider or handicapped person see this event. Your friends or family members may have decided they liked your idea and joined to help you share the day with others. There is much to learn from those less fortunate. Creative energy this evening may open a door to poetry, musical lyrics, advertising jingle, etc., etc.

Pisces (February 19-March 20) Those around you are going to find it very easy to understand exactly what you mean when you speak. You should find it a good time to read a romantic novel or to take in a movie. You may decide to read a book to a young person, even though the young person is not present. A tape recorder can come in very handy for playing another day. This method would also be fun when creating a story of your own. A typist could listen to your recording and type the story into a manuscript to submit to a publisher. You may be quite eloquent in speaking or communicating. Knowing how you feel about life should make the telling of some true story fun and captivating. Picture albums, hot tea and a bicycle ride for two end this weekend with a smile.

Yesterday’s Solution

Yesterday’s Solution

Daily SuDoku

Yesterday’s Solution


lifestyle F E A T U R E S

Hilton hits out at Mandela Twitter hoax

Beckham thanks

Nelson Mandela D

avid Beckham paid tribute to the late Nelson Mandela by thanking him for being such an inspiration. The retired soccer star took to his Facebook account to post a picture of himself with the former South African President and anti-apartheid revolutionary, who died peacefully at his home in Johannesburg, South Africa, last night aged 95. In a message accompanying the image, which featured Beckham meeting the legendary figure in 2003 before the then-England captain played in a friendly fixture against South Africa, he simply wrote: “Thank you.” Beckham also posted a longer tribute to Mandela shortly beforehand and admitted it was an “honour” to have met such a “courageous human being”. He wrote on his Facebook page: “My heart goes out to the people in South Africa and Mr Mandela’s family. We have lost a true gentleman and a courageous human being. It was truly an honor to have known a man who had genuine love for so many people. Rest in peace (sic)” David’s wife Victoria met Mandela along with her fellow Spice Girls bandmates - Emma Bunton, Geri Halliwell, Mel B and Mel C - in 1997 when he jokingly

declared: “These are my heroes.” Emma led the girl group’s tributes to the great man last night, writing on Twitter: “RIP Nelson Mandela. What a legacy he has left behind. I had the honour of meeting him and his spirit was unlike any other.” Mel C tweeted: “I always feel strange acknowledging somebody’s passing on twitter but I have to say I am honored to have met the great Nelson Mandela #RIP (sic)” Morgan Freeman, who played the South African leader in the 2009 film ‘Invictus’, also paid tribute to Mandela, describing him as “a saint to many, a hero to all who treasure liberty, freedom and the dignity of humankind”. The 76-year-old actor - who some mistakenly posted a picture of next to tweets paying tribute to Mandela - added: “As we remember his triumphs, let us, in his memory, not just reflect on how far we’ve come, but on how far we have to go. Madiba may no longer be with us, but his journey continues on with me and with all of us.” South African actress Charlize Theron wrote: “My thoughts and love go out to the Mandela family. Rest in Peace Madiba. You will be missed, but your impact on this world will live forever.”

Lewis is more confident

Westwick more relaxed since


Cambridge Satchel Co eyes Carter collaboration C

ambridge Satchel Company founder Julie Deane wants to collaborate with Helena Bonham Carter. The accessory designer, who became an entrepreneurial inspiration after building her company from a home-based side project to a world renowned business, would love the 47-year-old actress - who is known for her quirky style - to design a range of satchels exclusively for the brand. She gushed: “That would be the dream, wouldn’t it? That would be fantastic - she’s done Vogue and she’s a very stylish person. We always set our bar very high.” The Cambridge Satchel Company began as an operation between Julie and her mother Freda Thomas at Julie’s home in Cambridge in 2008 and has grown exponentially over the last five years. Julie is particularly amazed by how many Hollywood stars have embraced the leather bags. Speaking at the launch of Cambridge Satchel Company’s new pop-up store in Spitalfields, London, she exclusively told BANG Showbiz: “Elle Fanning, she has a few of them. And then it was like, ‘Have you seen Emma Stone on the set of ‘Spider-Man’ wearing her Cambridge Satchel vintage bag?’ “And when the photos of Alexa Chung with her 11-inch navy Cambridge Satchel went out, that was incredible, amazing, because she can have anything and

she chose to have one of ours and that was a brilliant moment.” Cambridge Satchel bags are even a huge hit with the royal family and Julie hinted she has provided a bag for Duchess Catherine and Prince William’s fourmonth-old son, Prince George. She added: “The princesses, Beatrice and Eugenie, do have Cambridge Satchels and even the youngest members of the royal family.” After enjoying incredible success as a self-starter, Julie admits she has fielded offers from some of the top luxury companies in the world, who are all seeking to purchase the Cambridge Satchel Company. The British entrepreneur is now fielding one major offer and may have a buyer by Christmas. She explained: “I’m considering one offer at the moment. I wouldn’t sell it all out because it’s like my third child ... But the one thing that would make me consider it is if it was someone who would really open doors for us. “There’s expertise out there that we just don’t have, so if somebody said, ‘We can help you build a strong management team so you can really take on China and do it well’, then that would be fantastic.” The Cambridge Satchel Company’s new pop-up store is now open and can be located at 16 Lamb Street, Spitalfields, east London. — Bang Showbiz

eona Lewis has grown more confident with age. The 28-year-old singer insists she’s not the shy young girl she was when she first auditioned for the UK version of ‘The X Factor’ in 2006, and feels she has grown and found her voice during her time in the music business. She said: “When you’re younger, you have a lot of insecurities, but as you get older, luckily, they start to kind of fade away. I’m like, ‘You know what? I don’t care. This is me.’ I’m not insecure about the things I used to be. It gives you this confidence. All I can put it down to is being older and wiser.” The ‘Bleeding Love’ hitmaker, who is in a relationship with German back-up dancer Dennis Jauch, feels her confidence shows in her music, which she says is inspired by her own love life. She added to BANG Showbiz: “I feel like anyone who’s coming from a place ... when I first started I was 20 when I put out my first record and now I’m 28, I’ve gone through a lot of different things - relationships, life, things happen, I’ve grown up as a woman. I’m definitely more confident and I’m coming from a little bit of a different place now. I hope the music has evolved and moved on.” Leona’s new album ‘Christmas, with Love’ is out now.

Gemma Ward gives birth to a baby girl


he Australian model - who has kept a low profile since the death of her then-boyfriend Heath Ledger in 2008 - and her partner David Letts

‘Gossip Girl’


d Westw Westwick’s style is “more relaxed” since ‘Gossip Girl’. The 26-year-old actor was cast as sharply dressed teenager Chuck Bass in the hit TV series, which saw him don an array of well-fitted suits with snazzy ties and shirts for glamorous parties, but now opts for a more casual look since the show ended in 2012. He told InStyle magazine: “[My style is] relaxed. I live in Los Angeles and it’s so laid-back - and hot - I hang around in flip-flops and a t-shirt. I’ve let the sartorial side of myself down a bit. I’m a rougher around the edges. “Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a well-cut suit. During the ‘Gossip Girl’ days, I’d go to fashion shows and smarten up. In general, New York is more edgy in terms of fashion.” Ed enjoys splashing out on a leather jacket and considers it a wardrobe staple. He explained: “I’ve always been a big fan of leather jackets. I’ve just bought a vintage one by Wood Wood. It’s from his shop in Los Angeles, Shaeffer’s. I could happily spend every penny I have in there - and often do.”

have become first-time parents to a daughter, rumoured to be called Naia.The 26-year-old beauty’s friend, Nicole Trufino, revealed the news when she posted a picture of Gemma breastfeeding the baby on Instagram. The caption read: “Congratulations to my beautiful incredible friend @glouisew and her man @lettsy2106 for welcoming this little angel into the world!!!!” According to Vogue magazine, Gemma’s brother Oscar confirmed the news by posting on Facebook: “I am officially an uncle”. The Perth-born star - who shot to fame aged 15 - and her partner are thought to have emigrated to Hawaii in order to avoid unwanted media attention about the pregnancy. Gemma has made the move into acting in recent years, with a role in 2008’s ‘The Black Balloon’ and cameo appearances in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’ and ‘The Great Gatsby’. It was reported earlier this year she was planning a modelling comeback after singing with agency IMG Australia. Gemma explained her decision to shy away from the spotlight in 2011, saying: “I have taken a break from the media spotlight for the past few years and it was something spurred by Heath’s death. We first met in New York and we were both struggling with things that I won’t get into, and we bonded over that.”




Korean nabs gold, Marrakesh film fest curtain drops he film “Han Gong-Ju” for South Korean director Lee Su-jin was announced the Gold Star winner of the 13th Marrakech International Film Festival, co-organized by the Marrakech International Film Festival Foundation and Le Public SystËme CinÈma. The judging panel announced the winner Saturday night. The film “The Swimming Pool” by director Carlos Machado Quintela, a Cuban-Venezuelan production, had to share the Jury Prize with US production “Blue Ruin” by director Jeremy Saulnier. Prize for best direction went to Italian director Andera Pallaoro for the film “Medeas”. Meanwhile prize for best performance went to Swedish actress Alicia Vikander for her role in the film “Hotell”, and best actor was Moroccan Slimane Dazi for his role in “Fevers”. The winner of this festival’s Gold Star, Korean film “Han Gong-Ju” is about a high school girl who gets caught in scandal due to no fault of her own and is forced to change schools and leave her parents’ home. The film shows her plight till one new friend finds out that she is a good singer and gets her into the school singing club. This is the first time the film was screened beyond South Korea, and it is also the first feature film by director Lee Su-jin, who is also the screenwriter. Born in South Korea, his short film Papa in 2004 was invited to the 2005 Busan Film Festival and received the Korean Film Archive Award at Seoul Independent Film Festival. His following short Enemy’s Apple in 2007 was awarded Best Film at the Mise-enscene’s Short Film Festival in Korea. The awards ceremony was a star-studded event and the judging panel, headed by US director, screenwriter, and producer Martin Scorsese praised the excellence in all categories in the films considered for the prizes of the 13th festival. The judges acknowledged that the


Didier Michon and Slimane Dazi hold the prize of the best performance by an actor.

(From left) Italian director Andre Pallaoro poses with his ‘best director prize’ next to South Korean director Lee Su-Jin with the ‘Golden Star award’, Cuban filmmaker Carlos Machedo Qintella with the ‘Jury award’, Swedish actress Alicia Vikander with ‘the best performance by an actress prize’, FrenchMoroccan actors Didier Michon and Slimane Dazi with ‘the best performance by an actor prize’ during the closing ceremony of the 13th Marrakech International Film Festival on December 7, 2013 in Marrakech. —AFP/AP photos

South Korean film director LeeSu-Jin poses while holding the Golden Star award for his psychological drama film ‘Han Gong-ju’.

films touched on humane, social, and other sensitive issues and addressed difficult topics. The judging panel included Fatih Akin, a director, screenwriter, and producer in Germany and Turkey; Patricia Clarkson, an actress in the US; Marion Cotillard, an actress from France; Amat Escalante, a director, screenwriter, and producer from Mexico; Golshifteh Farahani, an actress from Iran; Anurag Kashyap, a director, producer, and screenwriter from India; Narjiss Nejjar, a director, screenwriter, and producer from Morocco; Park Chan-Wook, a director, screenwriter, and producer from South Korea; and Paolo Sorrentino, a director, screenwriter, and writer from Italy. The festival, held under the auspices of the Moroccan king, screened 15 films over eight days. The films in competition were “Yurusenai

Didier Michon and Slimane Dazi hold the prize of the best performance by an actor.

Carlos Machedo Qintella holds the jury prize.

Jury members, from left to right, film director Anurag Kashyap from India, French actress Marion Cotillard, US film director Martin Scorsese, Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani and Mexican director Amat Escalante attend the closing ceremony of the 13th Marrakech International Film Festival. Aitai” from Japan, “Pelo Malo” or “Bad Hair” from from Cuba, “The Wishful Thinkers” from Spain, Venezuela, “Blue Ruin” from the US, “Han Gong- “Viva La Liberta” from Italy, and Moroccan joint Ju” from South Korea, “Hotel” from Sweden, productions “Fevers” produced with French col“How I Live Now” from the UK, “IDA” from laboration and “Traitors” produced with US colPoland, “and “La Marche” from France. The other laboration. This year’s festival paid tribute to films were “Medeas” from the US, “ The Gambler” from Lithuania, “The Swimming Pool” Scandinavian cinema and artists, and also hon-

Select nominees for 56th annual Grammy Awards ominees announced Friday in top categories for the 56th annual Grammy Awards: Record of the Year: “Get Lucky,” Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams; “Radioactive,” Imagine Dragons; “Royals,” Lorde; “Locked Out of Heaven,” Bruno Mars; “Blurred Lines,” Robin Thicke featuring T.I. & Pharrell Williams. Album of the Year: “The Blessed Unrest,” Sara Bareilles; “Random Access Memories,” Daft Punk; “good kid, m.A.A.d. city,” Kendrick Lamar; “ The Heist,” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis; “Red,” Taylor Swift. Song of the Year: “Just Give Me a Reason,” Pink featuring Nate Ruess; “Locked Out of Heaven,” Bruno Mars; “Roar,” Katy Perry; “Royals,” Lorde; “Same Love,” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert. New Artist: James Blake, Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Kacey Musgraves, Ed Sheeran. Pop Vocal Album: “Paradise,” Lana Del Rey; “Pure Heroine,” Lorde; “Unorthodox Jukebox,” Bruno Mars; “Blurred Lines,” Robin Thicke; “The 20/20 Experience - The Complete Experience,” Justin Timberlake. Rock Album: “13,” Black Sabbath; “The Next Day,” David Bowie; “Mechanical Bull,” Kings of Leon; “Celebration Day,” Led Zeppelin; “... Like Clockwork,” Queens of the Stone Age; “Psychedelic Pill,” Neil Young and Crazy Horse. R&B Album: “R&B Divas,” Faith Evans; “Girl on Fire,” Alicia Keys; “Love in the Future,” John Legend; “Better,” Chrisette Michele; “Three Kings,” TGT. Rap Album: “Nothing Was the Same,” Drake; “Magna Carta ... Holy Grail,” Jay Z; “good kid, m.A.A.d. city,” Kendrick Lamar; “ The Heist,” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis; “Yeezus,” Kanye West. Country Album: “Night Train,” Jason Aldean; “ Two Lanes of Freedom,” Tim McGraw; “Based on a True Story ...,” Blake Shelton; “Same Trailer Different Park,” Kacey Musgraves; “Red,” Taylor Swift. Dance/Electronica Album: “Random Access Memories,” Daft Punk; “Settle,” Disclosure; “18 Months,” Calvin Harris; “Atmosphere,” Kaskade; A Color Map of the Sun,” Pretty Lights. Latin Pop Album: “Faith, Hope y Amor,” Frankie J; “Viajero Frecuente,” Ricardo Montaner; “Vida,” Draco Rosa; “Syntec,” Aleks Syntec; “12 Historias,” Tommy Torres. — AP


Melissa Etheridge and Pauley Perrette announce nominees for record of the year at the Grammy Nominations Concert Live! on Friday, at the Nokia Theatre LA Live in Los Angeles. —AP

Susan Boyle reveals she has Asperger’s


cottish singer Susan Boyle revealed yesterday that she has been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism. Boyle, a 52year-old church volunteer who became a global singing sensation, told Britain’s Observer newspaper she had been diagnosed a year ago and spoke of her relief after years of bullying for her learning difficulties. “It was the wrong diagnosis when I was a kid,” she said. “I was told I had brain damage. I always knew it was an unfair label. Now I have a clearer understand-

ing of what’s wrong and I feel relieved and a bit more relaxed about myself.” Boyle shot to fame on the TV show “Britain’s Got Talent” in 2009. A devout Catholic and lifelong singleton who lived on welfare handouts, she became an overnight sensation after her rendition of “I Dreamed A Dream” from the musical Les Miserables went viral on the Internet. Her first appearance on the show has racked up nearly 140 million views on YouTube. She has since recorded four smash-hit albums and sung for the pope. Boyle’s quirky sense of humor and golden voice won her legions of fans, but her rapid rise to fame and the huge press attention drove her close to breakdown. Asperger’s affects communication and social interaction. Sufferers have difficulty picking up on social cues and gauging appropriate behavior. Boyle was deprived of oxygen at her birth and was bullied throughout her school years, nicknamed “Susie Simple” by her classmates. But recent tests have revealed that she has aboveaverage intelligence, she told the Observer. “I was told my IQ was above average,” she said. Boyle said her Asperger’s diagnosis would not make any difference to her life, insisting: “It’s just a condition that I have to live with and work through.” But she added: “I think people will treat me better because they will have a much greater understanding of who I am and why I do the things I do.” Fox Searchlight is reportedly interested in making a film of Boyle’s rise to stardom from her humble life in the village of Blackburn, near the Scottish capital Edinburgh. —AFP

ored Sharon Stone, actress, US; Kore-Eda Hirokazu, director, producer, and Screenwriter, Japan; Juliette Binoche, actress, France; and Mohamed Khouyi, actor, Morocco. Another 110 films were also screened out of competition, which reflected different views and approaches to cinematic presentation and creativity from 23 countries. As in previous festivals, the visually and audio impaired were given opportunity to get as good a taste of the works screened as possible with special media and technology for several films. The organizers estimate that the number of people who watched festival events, whether from the main venue or via screens fitted elsewhere, is close to 350,000. — KUNA

Ryan O’Neal testifies about disputed Warhol art

ctor Ryan O’Neal told a jury Monday that he owns an Andy Warhol portrait of late actress Farrah Fawcett and it was not a secret that he had removed the artwork from her home after her death. “The painting is mine,” the Oscarnominated actor testified during a lawsuit filed by the University of Texas at Austin to determine ownership of the portrait done in 1980. The university claims Fawcett left the painting to the school as part of a donation of her artwork. O’Neal said Warhol created the portrait after shooting Polaroid photos of the actress and adding splashes of color to an otherwise monochrome canvas. The artist created two versions of the portrait - one that currently remains over O’Neal’s bed at his Malibu beach house and another that is on display at the university’s Blanton Museum of Art in Austin. O’Neal said Warhol asked him in 1980 whether Fawcett would be interested in being the subject of a portrait and that she agreed. The actor said he requested two versions since he and Fawcett kept separate homes. He said Warhol made the portrait within two weeks of a brief photo shoot with Fawcett in his New York studio. “It didn’t take long,” O’Neal, 72, said. “Doing her hair took longer than taking the pictures.” David Beck, an attorney for the University of Texas, challenged O’Neal, suggesting Warhol approached Fawcett directly about the portrait session during a luncheon in Houston in 1980. Beck said there was no mention in a journal kept by O’Neal about a deal with Warhol. The actor said some of his journal from that time period had been lost. O’Neal’s testimony was at times testy and emotional, with the actor nearly breaking down when he read a letter Fawcett wrote to the couple’s son, Redmond. After Beck asked O’Neal to read passages from his 2012 memoir “Both of Us,” the actor tersely offered to sign a copy for the lawyer. Beck also questioned O’Neal about a 1997 incident in which Fawcett caught O’Neal in bed with another woman. The lawyer has contended that changed the pair’s relationship and by the following


year, the Warhol portrait that hung over O’Neal’s bed was moved to the home of the actress. O’Neal said he asked Fawcett to take the portrait because it was making his new girlfriend uncomfortable. The portrait remained with Fawcett until her death in June 2009. She had a Warhol portrait in her living room and the other at her bedroom door. After Fawcett’s death, O’Neal returned to the condominium and removed the portrait outside her bedroom.

This photo released by courtesy of the Blanton Museum of Art shows Andy Warhol’s painting of ‘Farrah Fawcett,’ 1980. — AP Beck questioned whether the actor ever discussed removing the portrait with anyone, including a trustee charged with carrying out Fawcett’s final wishes. “Of course I did,” O’Neal said. “I’m sure I did. It wasn’t a secret.” The university sued the “Love Story” star in 2011 seeking the Warhol artwork that its attorneys have said the school wants to display with its twin in the Blanton museum. O’Neal has countersued, seeking the return of a tablecloth that Warhol drew hearts on and addressed to him and Fawcett. He told jurors that if he is allowed to keep the Warhol portrait, he will never sell it. His estate documents call for it to be passed down to Redmond O’Neal, he said. O’Neal concluded his current testimony Monday, but his lawyer Marty Singer said he expects to call the actor back to the stand later in the trial. — AP






ith its white sand beaches, tropical climate and relaxed pace, Fiji has rightfully earned a reputation as a South Pacific paradise. But it’s the friendliness of the people that makes traveling in these islands a real delight. You’ll quickly learn the ubiquitous word “bula” (pronounced boolah) which means hello and is usually accompanied with a broad smile. Not everything in paradise is perfect, however. There’s been a succession of military coups in Fiji, and the political restiveness stands in contrast to the easygoing nature of the people. And once you travel beyond the idyllic tourist resorts you’ll see that most people live in very basic conditions. That said, Fiji remains a fascinating destination. While most tourist activities come with a price tag, there are plenty of things for adventurous travelers to do and see for free.

Photo shows a guard wearing a traditional white sulu standing at attention at the gates of the Presidential Palace in Suva, Fiji.

File photo shows coconut trees surrounding homes at Viseisei Village near Lautoka in this photo in Fiji. — AP photos

5 free things to see from beaches to markets

Nadi municipal market Most travelers arrive via the international airport at Nadi. In downtown Nadi, a bustling market offers tables laden with ginger, coconuts, mangoes and jackfruit. There are also lots of stands selling kava, a plant from the pepper family which is native to the Pacific. Fijians use kava powder to make an intoxicating beverage which is drunk in ceremonies throughout the islands and even by a few people in this market. If you do decide to try it, drink it in moderation. Be warned that kava supplements have been banned from several countries due to health concerns. Fiji’s capital city Suva has a similar municipal market that also sells fruit, vegetables and fish. Viseisei village This village near Lautoka is one of the country’s oldest, believed to have been founded by some of the first settlers to arrive in Fiji by canoe more than two millennia ago. It’s also where some of Fiji’s leaders have lived and it has hosted dignitaries including Prince Charles. You’ll get a sense of village life and see things like a traditional chief’s hut and ceremonial drums. In the center of the village is a Methodist church, an important institution to many in Fiji. There’s also a monument that includes both a weapon and a cross. The weapon, a neck-breaker’s club, was used in past times by Fijian cannibals. The club is lying down with the cross on top, signifying an end to that way of life. You can walk into the village at the north end for free or pay 5 Fijian dollars ($3) at the south end and have someone show you around, which is well worth it. Avoid wearing bikinis or other skimpy clothes, which are considered disrespectful in this setting. Pacific harbor beach A fringe of coconut trees gives way to a gorgeous, pristine beach with a gentle arc. It’s the perfect place for a swim in placid waters that are as warm as a bath. Only some parts of the beach are publicly accessible, and so keep an eye open for signs or ask locals. We found access just west of the Uprising Beach Resort. The beaches in this area are less crowded than those closer to the Nadi airport. Natadola beach Another beach, but hey, this is Fiji! And Natadola is stunning in different ways to Pacific Harbor. The drive there takes you through lush, verdant bush. This beach often generates powerful waves which are good for body surfing, although it pays to be wary of the undertow. At other times you can take your mask and snorkel and explore. For a few dollars, locals offer horseback rides along the beach.

Photo shows a man playing with children at Pacific Harbor Beach in Fiji.

Photo shows bodysurfers riding a wave at Natadola Beach in Natadola, Fiji.

New Miss France says proud of ‘cosmopolitan’ country

Steve Madden launches


ranco-Beninese student Flora Coquerel has said she is proud to represent a “cosmopolitan” country after being crowned the new Miss France in a lavish ceremony. Coquerel, a 19-year-old from Orleans, beat 33 other competitors to take the title in the nationally televised competition in Dijon on Saturday night. Her victory came amid concern over a series of racist incidents in France, including slurs against the country’s top black politician, Justice Minister Christiane Taubira, who has been compared to a monkey several times in recent months. In her first post-pageant press conference, Coquerel suggested her victory was a evidence of France’s acceptance of different backgrounds. “I am very proud to represent a cosmopolitan France,” Coquerel said, adding that she hoped to use her title to promote literacy and the integration of women in the workplace. Before the competition, Coquerel, whose mother is from Benin in West Africa, told France 3 television that she believed her mixed heritage was an advantage. “It shows that today’s France is a mixed France, where there is every culture, and I think a lot of people will see

Suva waterfront Like most urban areas in Fiji, Suva, the capital, has a dilapidated feel and doesn’t immediately seem inviting. But the country’s leaders have made a point in recent months of trying to improve the waterfront promenade, an effort that’s showing positive results. The horseshoe-shaped walk extends from the city to the national stadium and has become a popular place to jog and stroll. There’s a new picnic area and sometimes you’ll see pickup games of rugby, Fiji’s national sport. Along the waterfront, take a look at the botanic gardens and the Presidential Palace, where guards stand to attention wearing sandals and traditional white sulus, similar to a kilt or skirt. You can watch the guards change over every two hours. Visit the waterfront at sunset or early in the morning, when the weather is cooler, the fishermen are out, and the light plays on the water. — AP

its exclusive fall 2013 collection for men and women


he chic US footwear brand, Steve Madden, has recently launched its fall 2013 range for men and women. For men, Steve Madden has enough styles to keep up with the active lifestyle of our dashing city-dweller. From the office to a concert, the Steve Madden man radiates effortless style that is sure to capture the attention, and possibly the hearts, of those around him. High roller The HAVEN is textured yet simple, allowing for a sharp touch to any business or nightlife ensemble.

Miss Orleans Flora Coquerel is congratulated by Miss France contestants and Canadian singer and jury president Garou and Miss France Society president Sylvie Tellier after being crowned Miss France 2014. themselves in me,” she said. Coquerel was chosen by a combination of votes from the television audience and from a jury of celebrities. The jury was this year headed by French Canadian singer Garou, after movie star Alain Delon quit as honorary president for life in October

in a row over his backing of the far-right National Front party. Organizers of the contest had berated Delon for comments supporting the anti-immigration National Front, its founder Jean-Marie Le Pen and his daughter, current party leader Marine Le Pen. — AFP

Corporate swag The M-NELSON is appropriate for both the board room during the week and date nights during the weekend. Boot up The M-TALENT is classic with supple leather lining with subtle stitch detail and panels of goring. Keep it real Steve Madden has emphasized tans, browns, and cognacs colors that blend with every outfit. The fall 2013 collection is designed for the woman who is constantly on an urban adventure: ready and willing to explore new experiences and unabashedly proud of her ability to do so. The collection features a range of wedge sneakers and boots with armored metallic details. Glambition Glittery styles like the PARTYTME are perfect for dashing across town and diving effortlessly into the evening’s affairs. Similarly disco fabulous is the DEEVAA, with the rhinestone embellishments guaranteed to draw stares. For an edgier motif, the SPYCEE offers cut-outs while the MARLENEE and DEENY exude sophistication with their glamorous ankle straps. Madd about boots A fall wardrobe is incomplete the PANELOPE which is the quintessential easy-chic boots. Whether she aims for classic and smart for lunch or bohemian for dinner, Miss Madden is simply ‘madd’ about boots for fall. City armor The metal details on the TROOPALE and the LOLLLY add a luxurious touch to the rock-chic styles.

Miss Orleans Flora Coquerel, crowned Miss France 2014. First runner-up Miss Tahiti Mehiata Riaria.

First runner-up Miss Tahiti Mehiata Riaria.

Miss Orleans Flora Coquerel, Miss France 2014, poses during the 67th edition of the beauty contest.

Kickin’ it Miss Madden continues to kick it casual to Sunday brunch in none other than Steve Madden wedged sneakers. The Steve Madden fall 2013 collection for men and women captures the essence and multiplicity of the city. Available at The Avenues- The Mall


lifestyle F E A T U R E S

Photo shows the Old Port and Old Montreal along the St Lawrence River.

5 free things to do in

Montreal File photo shows a view of downtown Montreal taken from Mount Royal park. — AP photos


t’s a taste of French culture in North America: Montreal. The city on the St Lawrence River in Quebec offers walks down centuries-old streets lined with elegant architecture and historic sites. Locals chat in French but easily switch to English to accommodate visitors. French treats like croissants, crepes and macarons are easy to find, while maple syrup, smoked meats and poutine brown gravy and cheese curds over french fries - add Canadian charm to local menus. Best of all, many of the city’s best attractions can be experienced for free, from Old Montreal to Mount Royal Park to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Here are five free things to do on a visit to Montreal. Mount Royal You can look up and see the towering trees of Mount Royal from nearly everywhere in Montreal. The nearly 500-acre (200-hectare) park tops out at 770 feet (235 meters) and boasts running, hiking and biking trails, an overlook onto downtown Montreal and a large lake. Frederick Law Olmsted, the man behind New York’s Central Park, drew the plans for the park, which was dedicated in 1876.

ing forward to welcome sailors into harbor. The origins of this ornate church date to the 1650s and the chapel visitors see today dates to the 1770s. Inside frescos, statues and altar artwork rival that of European churches. But the chapel earns its charm from the small replicas of sailing boats that hang from the ceiling like chandeliers, each with vigil candles. Note that this church at is different from the larger Notre Dame Basilica of Montreal, which costs $5 for those who aren’t pilgrims.

There’s no charge to explore its monuments, cemeteries, public art and pavilions. Highlights include the tall Mount Royal Cross, which is lit at night. The park also offers opportunities to swim, skate, ski, sled and picnic. Old Montreal and Old Port The historic Old Montreal or Vieux Montreal district stretches along the St Lawrence River in the southern part of Montreal. You could spend hours wandering the twisty, narrow walkways, where French signs dot the shops, cafes and restaurants, advertising poutine and smoked meats among other fare. Along the banks of the river at the Old Port, watch barges, cruise ships and other vessels from a tree-lined park. A walking tour (some free tours are available) could include the Notre Dame Basilica, Montreal City Hall and the historic square, Place Jacques-Cartier. Montreal Museum of Fine Arts The collection at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts ranges from the European Renaissance, Rembrandt and Monet to Inuit sculpture, Jean-Michel Basquiat and other modern and contemporary works. Admission

A vendor’s colorful carrots are displayed for sale at Montreal’s Jean Talon Market. to the general collection and outdoor sculpture garden is free but there is a charge for special exhibits.

Photo shows macaroon cookies in Montrealís Jean Talon Market.

Notre Dame De Bon Secours Chapel A large statue of the Virgin Mary stands atop this church on the St Lawrence River, lean-

Jean Talon Market Small markets dot the Montreal streets but one of the larger and more interesting is Jean Talon Market or Marche Jean-Talon. The market has both covered and uncovered stalls filled with seasonal produce, cheeses, pastries and breads and other local specialties, like maple syrups. It all makes for a colorful and lively walk past vendors speaking French and English to customers trying to find the freshest fruits and vegetables, fish and meats. Shoppers are here to spend money but the colorful photo ops are free: carrots in dark red and yellow, brussels sprouts on the stalk, macaron cookies in pastel hues, dozens of types of peppers. — AP

Photo shows macaroon cookies in Montreal’s Jean Talon Market.

Photo shows Montreal’s Notre Dame Basilica illuminated at night.

photo shows Notre Dame de Bon Secours Chapel in Montreal. A vendor sells eggs at Montreal’s Jean Talon Market.

Photo shows one of many hanging model boats that hold vigil candles at Notre Dame de Bon Secours Chapel in Montreal.

Ryan O’Neal testifies about disputed Warhol art


37 Members of the Syrian group, Sima, react after being named the winners of the pan-Arab TV program ‘Arabs Got Talent’ at the MBC television station studios in Zouk Mosbeh, north of Beirut, on December 7, 2013. — AFP photos


n American singer who cannot even speak Arabic has come runner-up in television reality show Arabs Got Talent after wooing audiences across the Middle East. The renditions of classical Arab songs by Jennifer Grout, a petite blonde from Boston, Massachusetts, ensured she was among the three finalists in the popular show. First prize in the pan-Arab contest went to Syrian dance troupe Sima for a performance portraying the autocratic rule of veteran leaders in the Middle East, MBC network announced late Saturday. But Groutóthe only non-Arab to competeócame close behind along with Palestinian artist Mohammad Al-Diri, who captured audiences by drawing portraits of prominent Arab and international figures using original and diverse techniques. The 23-year-old, who taught herself to sing difficult and popular Arab songs without speaking a word of the language, stunned audiences with her voice. She grew up in a musical home, and came upon Arab music after reading an online article about Arab diva Fairouz from Lebanon. She was enthralled by her voice and soon discovered other singers, including Umm Kalthoum, the Egyptian still considered to be the Arab worldís finest singer three decades after her death. Grout mesmerized audiences with her rendition of an Umm Kalthoum song as she appeared on the Beirut stage of Arabs Got Talent, strumming the oud as she sang. Grout told AFP that despite not speaking Arabic, she learned the lyrics to the songs after finding translations for them on the Internet. MBC said Sima won the most votes from audiences around the Arab world, but the broadcaster did not reveal who came second or third. The talent program is based on the UK show Britainís Got Talent. — AFP

The finalists gather on stage ahead of the results of the pan-Arab TV program “Arabs Got Talent”.

Jennifer Grout performs during the final episode of the pan-Arab TV program ‘Arabs Got Talent’ performing.

Members of the Sima group perform during the final episode of the pan-Arab TV program ‘Arabs Got Talent’ performing.

Members of the Syrian group, Sima, react after being named the winners of the pan-Arab TV program ‘Arabs Got Talent’.

Palestinian Mohamad Al Diri waits for the final result.

Lebanese singer Najwa Karam, one of the judges, speaks during the final episode of the pan-Arab TV program ‘Arabs Got Talent’.

Members of the Syrian group, Sima, Palestinian painter Mohammad Al Diri, and American singer Jennifer Grout, wait for the final results of the pan-Arab TV program ‘Arabs Got Talent’.

Mohamad Al Diri paints a portrait of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat using a blowtorch during the final episode of the pan-Arab TV program ‘Arabs Got Talent’.

Egyptian actor Ahmed Helmy, one of the judges, watches the acts.

9th Dec 2013  

Kuwait Times

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you