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Assembly panel demands tough action against homosexuality

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Improving bilateral ties top priority: Gul Turkish president meets Kuwaiti media delegation

Max 26º Min 16º High Tide 00:03 & 12:22 Low Tide 06:29 & 18:48

By Abd Al-Rahman Al-Alyan Kuwait Times Editor-in-Chief

ANKARA: (From left) Editor-in-Chief of Al-Rai Majed Al-Ali, Kuwait Journalists Association Treasurer Adnan Al-Rashed, Editor-in-Chief of Al-Anbaa Yousuf AlMarzouq, Editor-in-Chief of Annahar Emad Bukhamseen, Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Kuwaiti Ambassador to Turkey Abdullah Al-Thuwaikh, Head of Arab Media Forum Madhi Al-Khamees, Director of Kuwait News Agency’s office in Ankara Mohammad Al-Mutairi, Second Secretary at the Kuwaiti Embassy Tareq Al-Khashram and Editor-in-Chief of Kuwait Times Abd Al-Rahman Al-Alyan pose for a group photo after a meeting. — Photo by Hani Al-Shemmari

Govt: Cost of 9 conferences only KD 40m KUWAIT: A senior government official yesterday refuted reports in the press and social media over the cost of hosting the March 25-26 Arab Summit and other earlier meetings, saying actual spending was around KD 40 million ($142.5 million). “All information published about this issue are inaccurate,” Sheikh Mohammad Al-Abdullah AlMubarak Al-Sabah, Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs and Chairman of the Higher Coordination Committee of Conferences, told KUNA. Kuwait, under patronage of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, has hosted nine conferences since November, he said. The ArabAfrican Economic Forum, the ArabAfrica Summit and the GCC ministerial meeting which featured participation of Yemen, Jordan and Morocco were held in Nov 2013. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit was held in Dec 2013, he said. Kuwait also hosted the 2nd international donors’ conference for the Syrian people on Jan 15. The GCCRussia Strategic Dialogue was held in the same month. Sheikh Mohammad said March wit-

Panel OKs raising children allowance by only KD 15 MP proposes 3-year jail for fighting abroad By B Izzak KUWAIT: The National Assembly’s financial and economic affairs committee yesterday approved a proposal to raise the children’s allowance by KD 15 to KD 65 monthly for a maximum of seven children per family.

Sheikh Mohammad nessed three Arab League meetings. The first was of the Economic and Social Council, the second of the Arab foreign ministers and then the Arab Summit, which was held last week. “The costs of these conferences did not even reach the reported figures. The total spending...was KD 39.7 million,” which included equipment, furniture, accommodation and transportation among others, said Sheikh Mohammad. These expenses were approved by the Audit Bureau, the Central Tenders Committee, the Legal and Legislation Department and the Ministry of Finance, he said. — KUNA

ANKARA: Improving bilateral relations with Kuwait is a top priority for Turkey where the Gulf state has a special place in the Turkish people’s hearts. This was stated by Turkish President Abdullah Gul during a recent meeting with editors-in-chief of Kuwaiti newspapers who visited Turkey ahead of Gul’s official visit to Kuwait tomorrow. “Boosting cooperation with Gulf Cooperation Council states in general and Kuwait in specific has been an issue of key importance since the beginning of my political career,” Gul told the Kuwaiti delegation. “Turkey’s relationship with GCC states is important for both sides.” Gul focused during his time as foreign minister on strengthening ties with GCC states, which later resulted in signing a framework agreement of strategic cooperation between the two sides, he said. “Cooperation with Kuwait under this agreement is a top priority for Turkey,” Gul indicated. In the meantime, President Gul said that he looks forward to his scheduled visit to Kuwait, the third since he became president in 2007, saying that it is an opportunity to “discuss the future of bilateral relations between Turkey and Kuwait in light of the rapid changes in the region and the world.” The visit will also be an opportunity to discuss the latest regional developments with HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Gul said. “The region is going through a critical period which requires coordination and consultation between Turkey and Kuwait,” Gul indicated. In this regard, he acknowledged HH the Amir as “one of the most experienced world leaders on political matters,” adding that his opinions on those issues are ‘reliable’. Continued on Page 3

Rapporteur of the panel MP Mohammad AlJabri said the proposal was approved being the cheapest of all proposals submitted to the Assembly to raise the children’s allowance. Jabri said the annual cost of the proposal is just KD 83 million without including the cost of transfers to the Public Institution for Social

Security. The lawmaker said that by approving the proposal, the committee members have shown they care to fulfill the interests of the people and to safeguard public funds at the same time. Continued on Page 13

No expatriate hajj pilgrims from Kuwait By A Saleh KUWAIT: During a recent meeting between the Kuwaiti hajj mission and the Saudi hajj ministry, both sides agreed that expatriates will not be allowed to go for hajj from Kuwait and that they would have to go from their own respective countries. Both sides also agreed to limit the maximum number of expatriate workers with each convoy to only four. In addition, both sides agreed that the maximum number of pilgrims to be received from Kuwait for the next hajj season would be limited to 6,400 and that all illegal convoys and ads for cheap services would be tracked in both countries.

Egypt presidential election May 26-27 CAIRO: Egypt is to hold a presidential election on May 26-27, 10 months after the army ousted Islamist leader Mohamed Morsi from the presidency, the electoral commission announced yesterday. Retired army chief Abdel Fattah AlSisi, who toppled Morsi, is widely expected to win the vote, riding on a wave of popularity for having removed the divisive president last July. The election would go into a second round on June 16-17 if there was no outright winner, but that outcome seems unlikely given Sisi’s popularity and the absence of serious contenders. The only other main candidate is leftwing politician Hamdeen Sabbahi, who came third CAIRO: Egyptian judge Anwar Rashad Al-Assi (third left), head of in the 2012 election that Morsi won. the presidential electoral commission, announces the timetable The new president will be for the upcoming presidential election yesterday. — AFP announced by June 26 at the latest.

The commission said registration of candidates would open today and run until April 20, and campaigning from May 3-23. The announcement of the dates by electoral chief Ashraf alAsy came after Sisi resigned as defence minister and army commander last week to contest the election, pledging to eradicate “terrorism”. Egypt has been rocked by often violent protests and a spate of militant attacks which have killed almost 500 people, mostly policemen and soldiers, the government says. Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, blacklisted as a “terrorist organisation”, has said there can be no stability under Sisi as president, accusing him of having staged a coup against Egypt’s first freely elected and civilian president. Continued on Page 13

ISTANBUL: Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan casts his ballot at a polling station yesterday. — AFP

Erdogan’s party takes strong lead in election ANKARA: Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s party took a strong early lead in local elections yesterday, TV channels reported, despite turbulent months marked by mass protests, corruption scandals and Internet blocks. If the initial trend holds up, it would considerably brighten the outlook for Erdogan, who had gone on a weeks-long campaign marathon ahead of the vote widely seen as a referendum on his 11-year-rule. With over 18 percent of the municipal votes nationwide counted by early evening, his Justice and Development Party (AKP) was at almost 50 percent of the vote, the private NTV television reported.

CNN-Turk said the AKP looked to have scored around 48 percent of the votes cast nationwide, based on more than 10 percent of the ballots counted, and was ahead in megacity Istanbul and the capital Ankara. Erdogan has been eyeing a run for the presidency in August - the first time voters will directly elect the head of state - or may ask his party to change rules and allow him to seek a fourth term as premier. Despite much criticism at home and abroad over what critics have labelled his increasingly authoritarian rule, Erdogan and his party, have drawn large crowds cheering the man sometimes dubbed “the sultan”. Continued on Page 13


MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

LOCAL

Panel demands tougher action against gays By A Saleh and agencies

KUWAIT: Philippine Labor Attache to Kuwait Atty Cesar Chavez (fifth from left) and Maripol Abdullah (fourth from right) pose here with the visitors of a Filipino forum in Kuwait City on Friday. —Photo by Albert Dimaculangan

One year probation period for domestic helpers ‘very long’ Plans to improve domestic sector By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: While a probation period for domestic helper will be beneficial, Philippine Labor Attache to Kuwait Cesar Chavez said the oneyear period as proposed is a very long one. If approved, it will affect new domestic helper recruits from various labor-exporting countries such as the Philippines, Ethiopia, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Indonesia. The Philippines has about 80,000 domestic helpers in Kuwait. Yesterday, Sheikh Faisal Al-Nawaf AlSabah, Assistant Undersecretary for Citizenship and Passports Affairs said the Interior Ministry might agree to increase a housemaid’s probation period from 100 days to one year. “That is too long for a two-year contract. Maybe six months would be reasonable enough,” said Chavez. Sheikh Nawaf will meet representatives of Kuwait’s local domestic labor offices to discuss suggestions on how to improve the

domestic sector to regulate the contract between employers and domestic helpers. The employer has the right to return the domestic helper at any given time during one-year period. “I think it will prolong the housemaid’s contract - instead of just only two years, they might ask for an additional year or two,” Chavez noted. “You are virtually allowing employers to take advantage of our workers. We do not want employers to take advantage of the proposed one-year probation and let their housemaids work and later fire or return them to agencies without providing residency visas. Besides, transfer to another employer will also absolve the PRA in the Philippines,” he added. The president of Filipino recruitment agencies in Kuwait is also not in favor of the one-year probation period for domestic helpers. “That is too long, and it can be used to the advantage of employers. Even with the three-month probationary period, a day before 100 days elapse,

employers return their housemaids (to the recruitment agency) to keep their money intact,” disclosed Maripol Abdullah, President of the Filipino Association of Secretaries of Employment Agencies in Kuwait (FIL-ASEAK). “Six months is okay, but I hope after six months they send the housemaid back home instead of returning her to the agency. The only problem is what if the housemaid wants to work and transfer to a new employer. It’s really hard, but I hope they’ll study the system correctly and implement the proper mechanism to the advantage of both employer and employee,” she mentioned. Last month an Ethiopian housemaid killed her employer’s 19-year-old daughter. From then on, several moves to regulate hiring domestic helpers were discussed and heard in various forums including reactivating the Barirah Project of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs which was first introduced in 2006.

KUWAIT: MP Hamdan Al-Azmi announced that the so-called negative phenomena committee in the parliament will discuss gambling and the spread of illegal games in Kuwait, as well as crimes and cases of violence associated with domestic helpers. The panel also plans to send invitations to the interior and social affairs and labor ministries in order to discuss the two issues, Al-Azmi said in statements published by Al-Rai yesterday. Al-Azmi, who chairs the committee that was formed to study aspects considered negative or ‘strange’ to the Kuwaiti society, demanded strong action from authorities against homosexuality in Kuwait. “Social institutions are required to take a stand against the so-called ‘gays’ in order to prevent the spread of cases that are against religion, creation and human nature,” he said. Regarding the nature of action he is demanding, Al-Azmi explained that the Interior Ministry is required to “raid apartments that shelter gays and where they practice prohibited actions that cannot be accepted under any justification”. “Men who are imitating the opposite sex are required to either return back to their senses and leave the life of humiliation, or the law should be enforced firmly against them,” Al-Azmi proclaimed. He also accused the Interior Ministry of “not handling those cases as firmly as it should”, and demanded coordination with state departments to report any gay employees. Al-Azmi proposed physiological and psychological treatment for homosexual individuals “in order to return back to being normal citizens who can be integrated with the society,” while deporting expatriate gays. In other news, Minister of Housing Affairs Yasser Abul announced that an

agreement was reached during the housing committee’s meeting to allocate a parliamentary session in the current term to discuss the housing issue. The meeting yesterday focused on financing housing projects, which has been a source of concern for the government as it struggles to meet over 110,000 pending applications for housing welfare. Abul said in a statement following the meeting that the government is studying ‘alternative visions’ to supplement the Saving and Credit Bank in financing housing projects during the next few years. Abul further indicated that the Saving and Credit Bank faces the risk of falling into deficit if it was forced to provide loans to finance 12,000 housing units every year. Gulf pact Al-Rai also reported yesterday that the parliament’s foreign affairs committee is expected to reject the Gulf security pact when its members vote on the controversial agreement this Thursday. The decision is based on consultations with constitutional experts in the parliament’s head office who said that the pact was unconstitutional, said sources. The government had approved the Gulf security pact last year, but it cannot become effective until the parliament ratifies it. The parliament is set to vote on the agreement in the middle of April. Kuwaiti-Qatari panel Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Khaled Al-Jarallah considered the participation of Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad in the Arab summit in Kuwait as a sign of his support of Arab joint actions. Speaking to Qatar News Agency, Jarallah stressed that both countries had very distinguished relations and that arrangements were in progress to hold a meeting of the joint Kuwaiti-Qatari committee soon.

Indian injured in accident By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: An Indian expat sustained head injuries and bruises when he was run over by a car on Fifth Ring Road near Yarmouk. Meanwhile a six-year-old girl panicked when the lift she was in malfunctioned. She was treated on site. A 40 year old Bangladeshi expat suffered a head injury and wounds when his vehicle flipped over on Sixth Ring Road. He was admitted in the Farwaniya ICU. Ahmadi police sent Egyptian and

Pakistani expats to drugs control authorities for using drugs and alcohol. The two were arrested following a car accident on King Fahd Road. A police patrol reported a person identified by his initials TSM, posing as a policeman and manning a checkpoint in Nuzha. When arriving at the scene, the suspect was seen with a flasher in his car. When taken to Faiha police station, another flasher was found along with batons as well as a bottle suspected to contain liquor. The suspect himself was in an abnormal condition.

Kuwait gives top priority to intellectual property protection KUWAIT: Kuwait attaches much attention to intellectual property protection due to its significance to the economic development process, said a senior commerce official. “Kuwait has enacted laws and pieces of legislation aiming to protect intellectual property and boost consumers’ awareness about the perils of trademark infringement,” Undersecretary of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry Abdulaziz AlKhaldi said at a conference held here yesterday. The protection of intellectual property and trademarks will surely contribute to the preservation of consumers’ health and safety as per relevant international criteria, he addressed the event entitled: “Intellectual Property and Economic Development”. There are challenges and obstacles

KUWAIT: Outpatient clinics, third stage, dermatology, opthalmology, ear, nose and throat (ENT) pharmacy were opened at Adan hospital in the presence of Health Minister Ali Saad Al-Obaidi, and Ahmadi Governor Sheikh Dr Ibrhaim Al-Duaij Al-Sabah.

US Navy to boost long-term Gulf operations MANAMA: US Navy operations in the Arabian Gulf will go well into the middle of the century, the commander of the 5th Fleet and the US Naval Forces Central Command has said. Referring to the $580 million base expansion in Bahrain that includes modifications to accommodate the US Navy’s new littoral combat ships (LCS), due to be operational in the Arabian Gulf by 2018, Vice Admiral John Miller said that it indicated “an enduring presence.” “Some of the modifications that we are doing right now will help us get the base ready for the arrival of the littoral combat ships, which will start right around 2018,” Miller told Defence News at the Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition (DIMDEX). “Those are ships that will serve in the US Navy and this area right until the middle of the current century. We would not plan for this infrastructure if we did not plan on staying here and the second thing is that we plan on staying not just as the US Navy

but in a coalition environment.” According to Defence News, the LCS is a fast, agile, focused-mission platform designed for operation in near-shore environments yet capable of open-ocean operation, according to the US Navy. It is designed to defeat asymmetric anti-access threats, such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft. The LCS class consists of two variants, Freedom and Independence. The Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin. The Independence variant team is being led by General Dynamics, Bath Iron Works and Austal USA. The LCS seaframes will be outfitted with reconfigurable payloads, called mission modules made up of mission systems and support equipment, which can be changed out quickly. These modules combine with crew detachments and aviation assets to become complete mission packages, which will deploy manned and unmanned vehicles and sensors in support of

mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare or surface warfare missions. The US presence in the region provides expertise, might and leadership, added Miller, who replaced Vice Admiral Mark Fox as commander in May 2012. “I see this role as growing over time and will continue to grow; we provide a certain amount of technical expertise; we bring a certain amount of firepower to the maritime security force as a sort of backbone, but the most important thing we provide is leadership,” he said. “We have seen the addition of the flyover that connects us to the waterfront side of things will be completed in a few months, we continue to negotiate additional leases with the Bahrainis and we continue to see some growth there and we also have opportunities with some other partners to consolidate our maintenance activities there to allow us to be more efficient.” — Gulf News

haunting the protection of intellectual property rights in the Arab region as a result of lack of public awareness in this regard, he added. The conference is co-organized by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the GCC Intellectual Property Center and Kuwait University. The Kuwaiti official said the gathering revolves around ways and means of protecting intellectual property in the Arab region by means of sharing experience and expertise between the GCC and Arab countries and international organizations. Kuwait seeks to open up to world markets in order to bring benefits to consumers and the society and to create a competitive atmosphere to ensure a strong economy and provide more jobs, Al-Khaldi pointed out. —KUNA

List of companies owned by MPs, ministers on the way KUWAIT: The Ministry of Commerce and Industry is in the middle of carrying out a complete survey to determine companies owned by members the cabinet and parliament, and then put them in a list containing detailed information before sending it to the parliament. MP Riyadh Al-Adasani had made a question to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce and Industry Abdulmohsen Al-Modej, demanding information about commercial properties owned by MPs and ministers. The ministry sent a request later demanding the civil ID numbers for members of the executive and legislative authorities in order to be able to provide the information required. The parliament’s office recently sent lists containing full names and civil IDs of MPs and ministers, based on which

the ministry started preparing the list of properties, Al-Qabas reported yesterday. Under article 131 of the Kuwaiti constitution, members of the cabinet and parliament are not allowed to own private companies during their time in office. In another news, Al-Qabas reported that minister Al-Modej accepted the resignation of Dr Suad Al-Tarawrah as chief executive of the Protection of Competition Authority. Dr Al-Tarawrah reportedly resigned in the middle of March in protest since the authority is yet to start functioning 18 months since its establishment. She also cited ‘lack of healthy work environment’ and the board’s inability to employ and build a technical structures as reasons for quitting.

KUWAIT: Kuwait witnessed dust storm with wind speed of up to 60 kilometers per hour. Director of the Meteorological Department Mohammad Karam said the winds were accompanied with clouds and scattered rains, making visibility as low as 500 meters. He added that the wind will shift northwest causing dust on Sunday night and will continue today also. — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat and Fouad Al-Shaikh


MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

LOCAL

ANKARA: Kuwait Times Editor-in-Chief Abd Al-Rahman Al-Alyan pictured with Turkish President Abdullah Gul.

ANKARA: Editors-in-chief of Kuwaiti newspapers meeting President of Turkey Abdullah Gul. — Photos by Hani Al-Shemmari

Improving bilateral ties top priority: Gul Continued from Page 1 Gul said that stability of the Arabian Gulf region is the ‘cornerstone’ for stability of the entire region and the world. Therefore, Turkey gives top priority to cooperation with GCC states, especially in the security fields, as well as in efforts to establish peace and stability, he said. Meanwhile, Gul acknowledged Kuwait’s role within the Gulf Cooperation Council, especially when it comes to mediating between conflicting states. “Kuwait plays a pioneering role in several fields, and Turkey highly appreciates the Kuwaiti role in those fields,” he said. Describing himself as a ‘friend’ of GCC states, Gul underlined the importance of improving cooperation between GCC countries, and between them and other states, while at the same time respecting each state’s privacy and sovereignty. “It is important to say that the interest of GCC states lies in that aspect,” he said. Arab Summit and Syria On the 25th Arab League Summit that Kuwait hosted last week, Gul pointed out HH the Amir’s efforts in ‘clearing the atmosphere’ and pacifying relations between some Arab states which have been rocked recently. “HH the Amir is a veteran world leader with over four decades of experience in diplomatic and political work that enables him to clear tensions and unite conflicting Arab states,” he said. “I am confident that HH the Amir’s status in the Gulf and Arab scenes as well as his political experience will contribute in ending disputes between Arab and Gulf states,” he asserted. On the struggle in Syria, President Gul expressed ‘deep regret’ for the nonstop fighting there, and on the death and injury of tens of thousands of Syrian people. He further reiterated that Turkey has called since day one for a stop to the bloodshed and a return of normal life in Syria. “The situation in Syria is ambiguous as there are areas under the Syrian regime’s control while others are controlled by the Syrian opposition,” he said. “In the meantime, there are areas controlled by extremist armed factions that were not present in Syria before and no one knows who are behind them.” Gul also lamented the lack of development in favor of the opposition since the Syrian revolution started three years ago, accusing Western powers of “forcing the opposition in the face of a barbaric regime without providing it with the support they were hoped to give”. “This led to destruction in Syria as well as more than 150,000 dead and millions of Syrians becoming internally displaced or refugees in other countries,” he said. Gul further indicated that Turkey shared ‘excellent relations’ with Syria in most fields “until the genocides that the Syrian regime committed against its people forced Ankara to change its position and stand by the Syrian people”. He also denied accusations against his country of having a ‘secret agenda’ in Syria. Furthermore, Gul expressed belief that there are two influential powers in the Syrian crisis - Russia and Iran. “Turkey has previously contacted those countries in search for peaceful solutions for the bloody fighting in Syria,” he said, expressing hope for a ‘positive change’ in

Iran’s position under the leadership of President Hassan Rouhani that contributes to international efforts to end the Syrian struggle. Regarding the incident of downing a Syrian fighter jet in Turkey, Gul said that the Turkish armed forces performed their duty in protecting Turkey’s borders and atmosphere from the ‘risks and threats’ of the Syrian regime. He added that the incident was deliberate as the plane was warned four times before it was shot down. “Turkey is committed to keeping security and stability on its side of the over 900-kilometer-long border with Syria,” Gul said, adding that the Turkish armed forces carry out their duties “without violating international laws and treaties”. Egypt and Iraq President Gul recognized Egypt as an important country in the Arab World and the Mediterranean Basin. He added that Turkey and Egypt are two parts of an ‘important equation’ in that region. “It is important for Turkey that Egypt becomes a strong country in its geographical surroundings, and a strong shield against foreign risks threatening the Arab and Islamic worlds,” he said. In the meantime, President Gul indicated that the recent events in Egypt have affected its position in the region. Gul expressed regret for the setback that Egypt’s position in the region suffered. “We warned Egypt out of good intention from events similar to those that Turkey experienced years ago and which had serious consequences on stability and security in our country,” he said, while expressing hope that calm and security is restored in Egypt. Moreover, Gul pointed out the ‘strong relations’ between the Turkish and Egyptian people, which he said have been strong since before the term of ousted President Mohamed Morsi. On the situation in Iraq, Gul expressed concern over the escalating sectarian violence in Iraqi cities. He also said that his country’s southern neighbor lives in a state of sectarian fragmentation “unprecedented in the history of Iraqi”, in addition to lack of security and stability in many of its regions. “It pains me to see the present situation in Iraq - a country that enjoys enormous human and natural resources which if utilized for the benefit of the Iraqi people, the situation there would have been different,” he said. “Failure in development led to the current situation in Iraq,” he proclaimed. On the upcoming general elections in Iraq, Gul said that the question is whether the Iraqi leaders will be able to overcome sectarian and racial distinctions that divide the Iraqi people. “The Iraqi people’s diversity should be utilized by achieving national unity, instead of being used to fuel sectarianism,” Gul said. He added that Turkey maintains equal relations with all Iraqi sectors, in addition to good relations with both the central government in Baghdad and the Kurdish administration in northern Iraq. Fighting terrorism and the Palestinian issue President Gul reiterated that terrorism remains a real

threat that requires the entire world to stand united against. “The whole world without exception needs unit to fight terrorists and firmly thwart their evils,” he said, pointing out that terrorism “knows no religion or sector”. According to Gul, the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and the subsequent war there was the seed that bred terrorism and extremist ideology. “Our countries have unknowingly fed the growth of radicalism and fundamentalism when they supported the jihadist factions in Afghanistan that fought against the Soviet troops during the 1980s,” he admitted. Gul underlined the importance of cooperation between countries of the region to firmly reject extremism and fanaticism, “which are two ideologies associated with terrorism”. He also warned from the consequences of the spread of extremist ideologies “due to the spread of corruption and injustice and the lack of democracy and justice”. “We as Muslims are required to deal with terrorism from a religious standpoint, on the basis that Islam is the religion most negatively affected by the spread of terrorism when it is falsely associated with Islam; something that is unjust towards Muslims and our efforts to spread Islam,” Gul said. He called for joint Islamic effort to “acquit the Islamic faith from these unfair accusations”. On the Palestinian issue, Gul described it as a ‘bleeding wound’ that continues to hurt the Arab and Muslim worlds. Furthermore, he was not optimistic about the chances of a breakthrough regarding the peace process that has been on hold for years. “There are no positive indications on the horizon that give us hope about resuming negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel due to lack of seriousness from the Israeli side,” Gul said. “Jewish settlement ac tivities in Palestinian territories are ongoing in blatant violation to the principles of international laws and agreements.” Meanwhile, Gul expressed regret regarding the “weak Palestinian position against the Israeli intransigence”. “Disputes between Palestinian forces are not helping efforts to strengthen a united Palestinian position,” he said, calling for “Palestinian unity in order to face the upcoming challenges.” Economic ties Gul said that his upcoming visit to Kuwait carries a special meaning since it coincides with the ‘golden jubilee’, or 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries. He underlined the importance of the economic ties that his country shares with Kuwait in specific, and the GCC countries in general. “Kuwait is distinguished by having a long tradition of investing in Turkey, as it led the way of investment in fields like the banking sector, shopping malls, real estate and industry projects,” Gul said. “Turkey remains committed to attract more Kuwaiti investments,” he added. Fur thermore, Gul expressed hope to see improvement in bilateral economic relations in the near future, pointing out the fact that the volume of trade between the two countries is ‘not large’ in comparison to the volume of foreign trade between Turkey and other countries. Gul said that Turkey achieved ‘significant leaps’ in

Felonies, offenses dangerously rise in 2013 EPA lauds success of Earth Hour celebration KUWAIT: Director-General of the Environment Public Authority (EPA) Dr Salah Al-Modhi said Kuwait has successfully joined other countries of the world in celebrating the Earth Hour on Saturday. “The annual celebrations help promote the awareness of massive mainstream community, particularly among youths, about a broad range of environmental issues,” he said on the sidelines of a celebration held by EPA between 8:30 pm and 9:30 pm. “Though symbolic, the annual EPA celebration has a social dimension as it drew participation from government and non-government organizations as well as growing numbers of individuals,” he added.

Dr. Al-Modhi appreciated the interest of mass media in the event which aims primarily to encourage individuals, communities, households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour as a symbol for their commitment to the planet. He noted that the non-essential consumption of power has adverse impacts on environment and it is a collective responsibility to curb the global warming. Earth Hour first started as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia, in 2007, before growing to engage more than 7,000 cities and towns worldwide; the one-hour event continues to be a key driver of a larger movement. —KUNA

KUWAIT: Recent statistics about the total number of felonies and offences committed in Kuwait in 2013 showed that the number had slightly increased by one percent compared to the previous year, with a dangerous change in their nature as they varied between murder, attempted murder, break and entry and shooting at people. Statistics showed that 51 murders were committed in various residential areas and Kuwait’s deserts that mostly resulted from quarrelling and fights. Farwaniya governorate witnessed the largest number of murders. Statistics also showed that felonies and offenses filed in 2013 totaled 6477 compared to 5,983 in 2012. They also showed that 20 attempted murder cases, 195 armed robberies, 2,252 forgeries, 41 unlicensed possession of weapons and ammunition, 19 shooting, 7 kidnap, 55 suicide and attempted suicide and 5,060 robbery cases had been filed. Statistics also showed that 30 arson cases were filed and that they claimed the lives of 26 people in 2013. In addition, statistics showed that 65 assault cases were filed and that the total number of suspects who had their fingerprints scanned at the criminal evidence department totaled 1,128 citizens and expatriates. The report also stressed that most bloody incidents usually started with two sides staring at each other and blaming each other for it. In this regard, a high-ranking security official stressed that Farwaniya came first in the number of crimes committed by expatriates while Jahra came first for citizens, while Hawally, Farwaniya, Mubarak Al-Kabeer and the Capital governorates witnessed the highest number of juvenile crimes.

President of Turkey Abdullah Gul foreign trade during the past decade, saying that it jumped from $36 billion to $150 billion. He added that 60 percent of Turkey’s exports go to markets in the European Union, “the main commercial partner of Turkey.” Gul further indicated that Turkey managed to diversify destinations of its exports to include new markets in Africa and Latin America. And while he indicated that Turkey’s economy is expected to grow by 4 percent this year, Gul rejected the possibility of a drop in his country’s economic performance or increased budget deficit. “The deficit is limited and under control,” he said, “and it remains in accordance with economic standards followed inside the European Union.” Furthermore, Gul pointed out that the economic situation in Turkey is ‘a lot better’ compared to several EU nations, and expressed belief that Turkey ’s gross domestic product will reach around $850 billion “in light of increasing foreign investments in Turkey”. At the conclusion of his meeting with editors-inchief of Kuwaiti newspapers, Gul praised Kuwaiti Ambassador to Turkey Abdullah Al-Thuwaikh, acknowledging his extended efforts in boosting Kuwaiti-Turkish relations. “I know [ambassador Al-Thuwaikh] since my time as foreign minister, and have been in contact with him since then,” he said, before speaking about the ambassador’s diplomatic efforts throughout his time in Turkey. The Kuwaiti press delegation included Editor-inChief of Kuwait Times Abd Al-Rahman Al-Alyan, Editorin-Chief of Al-Anbaa Yousuf Al-Marzouq, Editor-in-Chief of Al-Rai Majed Al-Ali, Editor-in-Chief of Annahar Emad Bukhamseen and Head of Arab Media Forum Madhi AlKhamees, in addition to Kuwait Journalists Association’s Treasurer Adnan Al-Rashed and Director of Kuwait News Agency’s office in Ankara Mohammad Al-Mutairi.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Kuwait Times would like to thank Ambassador Al-Thuwaikh and his team for their efforts and support during our visit. Special thanks to Jassem Al-Najem, advisor at the Kuwait Embassy in Ankara, for his tireless efforts and support.

WA N T E D Editors & Reporters Full time, must be in Kuwait, have transferrable 18 visa and writing experience Send CV, letters of reference and 3 writing samples to jobs@kuwaittimes.net Only those who are shortlisted will be contacted


MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

LOCAL kuwait digest

kuwait digest

Vacant seat of Syria

Calling things by real names

Just felt that I am a Kuwaiti and wish you the same!!

By Dr Hasan Abbas

By Dr Salah Al-Utaiqi

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ow do you evaluate the Arab summit that Kuwait hosted recently? I personally believe that the Arab League’s various failures were embodied during the summit for several reasons: First of all, summits are organized to approve agreements and enhance relations. On the other hand, Arab summits have proven to be nothing but a waste of time for the media as well as everyone else who got stuck in traffic caused by road closures. In Europe, despite their bloody history, countries use summits to have a lot of discussions and realize important achievements in record time. Examples of this include the Greek economy crash and the situation in Ukraine on which European nations discussed how to act as a unified front against the Russians. The Europeans work according to a long-term strategic system and comprehensively on the grounds that everyone is willing to bear the consequences of their decisions, something that is completely absent here. In addition to lacking long-term vision and confidence with each other, Arab states also lack full independence. They do not act as per their personal interest and the interest of their own people. The nearest example is found in Kuwait’s summit. A group representing 22 nations and more than 220 million people failed in the most simple of its issues (by most simple, I mean more clear and agreed upon), which is the Palestinian issue. The conferees failed to even set a deadline or talk about a specific mechanism to lift Gaza’s blockade, and all because of American pressure. And then there is the Syrian issue that divided Arabs into two halves. Before speaking about it, I would like to point out that many people, especially columnists and intellectuals, complain of foreign interference (Iranian, American, Russian, Turkish, etc) in Arab countries’ internal affairs. That is correct, but have they or anyone ever asked themselves why wouldn’t the whole world interfere in Arab states’ affairs as long as we are weak and have left our doors and borders wide open for them? The Syrian issue is the largest door that Arabs have ever opened for foreign interventions. Terrorism which Arabs denounced in the ‘Kuwait Declaration’ is the same that they created, sponsored and sent here and there. Furthermore, Arab states are guilty of toppling Arab regimes and brought foreigners to interfere with them. So why are they complaining and denouncing terrorism and foreign interventions? Last but not least, Syria’s seat remained vacant during the latest summit, which means several things - it means that the opposition no longer represents the Syrian people; that the opposition does not have control over land in Syria; and that the Arab states’ belief in the opposition has changed. The most notable thing is that the Arab states changed their supportive position to the Syrian opposition to the point that President of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces Ahmad Jarba was left to ‘beg’ for Syria’s seat. The Arab’s change of position can only mean that they cannot bear the responsibility or honor commitments that they vow or sign to do. —Al-Rai

s New ldren g chi omen n i t p Acce uwaiti w sity of K t univer a

Al-Anbaa

kuwait digest

Relation between politics, religion By Fahd Rashid Al-Mutairi

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here are at least two forms of relations between politics and religion, where either politics serve religion or vice versa. The first form, however, highly appeals to those longing for the hereafter while the second appeals to those who are more concerned with worldly matters and life. The first party views religion as an end while the second views it as a means. However, the common thing between both parties is the idea calling for linking religion to all life concerns including those related to politics. Religious blocs would not have got so much popularity if it wasn’t for this totalitarian concept, neither would Islamic banks. Books about scientific miracles would not have flourished nor would religious fatwas have interfered in politics. In ancient Egyptology, a pharaoh would consult god Amon before making any political decision and got the answer in the form of ambiguous signs that can only be interpreted by his priests. In fact, they were the only ones entitled to interpret those divine signs and thus, power shifted from the pharaoh’s palace to priests’ temples, and sometimes the gods had to be bribed to get the answer they wanted. The famous Greek historian Herodotus even mentions Delphi Temple where, through revelation, Apollo responded to each question. This revelation turned out to be a woman hiding behind a curtain responding with

what each inquirer wished to hear for the right price. This was actually the beginning of ruling shaikhs in our present days with only one difference - coyness. Apollo’s maid had to hide to keep a lid on various secrets while ruling shaikhs find no harm in shamelessly appearing on satellite TV channels! In the af termath of Aug 2, 1990 when Kuwait appealed to the international community for help, we heard religious fatwas allowing seeking foreign troops’ assistance to liberate Kuwait and others prohibiting seeking such help from the ‘infidel’ West. This contradiction was not out of different interpretations of religion, but rather in utilizing religion. Fatwas for foreign troops came from Saudi Arabia and other GCC states while those against it came from countries like Iraq, Jordan, Palestine, Algeria and Tunisia, which reflects how matching religious opinion of those countries were with their political attitudes. Today, and after the Arab Spring revolutions, religious fatwas are back again but with more pace. Ruling sheikhs once more appear but more bluntly this time. Each party has clergymen who follow them. Once we hear that Archangel Gabriel prayed as an imam in front of those demonstrating at Rabea Square and on other occasions we heard that Allah has destined Sisi to restore Egypt’s religion. The funny thing is that he who believes either fatwa ridicules the other! —Al-Jarida

o inscriptions truly describe the things behind what they are written on? Does that thing necessarily change if the inscriptions do? There is a folktale about a woman who often complained of finding ants inside the sugar jar. After several failed attempts to try to prevent ants from crawling inside the jar, the woman decided to follow a relative’s suggestion of changing the label on the bowl with one that said ‘salt’. They opened the bowl the next morning but found that it was still filled with ants. She then realized that while ants cannot read, they can still tell the difference between sugar and salt! Some dictatorships put pictures of doves outside prison walls in order to give the impression that they honor freedom. But have they guaranteed freedom for their people? If a person uses clothes and plastic surgeries to cover physical defects, does that automatically turn the person physically sound? Is expressing an opposite opinion considered an oppositionist view? Is this an accurate description of the opposition? Are political groups in Kuwait considered ‘parties’ from organizational standpoints? So many questions come to my mind as I wonder why we do not refer to things by their correct names. Kuwait is home to several political groups that adopt ideas or goals that do not necessarily represent national interests all the time, or sometimes reflect foreign or sectarian objectives. If we ask the question again - are political groups in Kuwait considered ‘parties’ in all senses of the word? I believe that the answer is yes. A political party is established through an agreement of a group of citizens who carry specific ambitions and clear objectives, and who are characterized by being more active and more organized than others. Parties are different with regards to their economic, professional, cultural, scientific and religious orientations. Parties are tools through which social categories seek to achieve their goals, and they always put power as one of their objectives. Article 43 of the Kuwaiti constitution does not specifically refer to parties. It does not confirm freedom of forming political parties, nor does it ban it. But according to the custom, permissibility is prevalent, while the government’s opinion is advisory, not essential. Kuwait has many political groups that in reality are parties functioning in the dark, including the Muslim Brotherhood, Kuwait Democratic Forum, Islamic Salaf Alliance, Ummah Party, etc. While the political party experience in the Arab World is not encouraging for Kuwait to adopt, I believe that having announced political parties that function officially under the government’s eyes are better than ones that work in the dark. NOTE: Article 43 of the constitution says: “Freedom to form associations and unions on a national basis and by peaceful means is guaranteed in accordance with the conditions and manner specified by law. No one may be compelled to join any association or union.” —Al-Qabas

in my view

Saudi, US need each other By Abdulateef Al-Mulhim

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uring the beginning of the 20th century, the Americans after President Barack Obama drew a red United States emerged as arguably the most line for Syria if it used chemical weapons against its powerful nation. It speeded up the end of own people? The answer is that the Americans didn’t WWI, and was in the driving seat during WWII. interfere in Syria to end the biggest atrocities in modIronically, US didn’t want to be involved in these two ern time. Instead, they went to Iran, the country wars. During WWI, many Americans were thanking the which backed Bashar Assad and even provided him Atlantic for its separation from Europe during the and his regime with all the financial and military aid. administration of President Woodrow Wilson, who was And this is how all the political rift started between busy with internal affairs of his country. It wasn’t until Saudi Arabia and US. And this rift was not too secret. 1917 when America went to the war after the sinking The whole world noticed. This is one reason why peoof the Motor Vessel, the Lusitania. But, after the end of ple around the world are watching the outcome of WWI, US returned its focus on the home front with lim- Barack Obama’s visit to the Kingdom when he holds ited attention to the outside world. At the near end of talks with Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques King Wilson’s presidency, the world wanted US to be part of Abdullah. the League of Nations, which US didn’t want to join, President Obama’s visit is very important because even though America’s signature was in the Versailles the two countries have the capabilities to solve severTreaty (WWI Peace Treaty). al issues. The visit will strengthen the bond between When WWII broke out in the two nations. The relation 1938, US stood idle and as a is based on strategic need On Syria, where are the matter of fact, it was so neuwith mutual understanding Americans after President of each other’s interests. The tral that America was the main supplier of raw materials Barack Obama drew a red visit comes amid regional to Japan during the first years and world turbulent times. line for Syria if it used chemi- The situation in Syria is of the war. It was however Japan that cal weapons against its own becoming unbearable, Iran dragged US into the war by are not clear, people? The answer is that intentions attacking Pearl Harbor on Dec Egypt is approaching a mile7, 1941. At the end of WWII, the the Americans didn’t interfere stone in its way out of the United Nations Organization Arab Spring and Libya is in in Syria to end the biggest (UN) was formed and New chaos and most important is atrocities in modern time. York City was chosen to be the issue of Palestinian-Israeli home of this newly formed conflict. organization which was formed to end all conflicts and Riyadh and Washington had in the past cooperatprevent wars. US by now had become undisputedly the ed on many issues of global interest. The meeting super power. In any conflict or a dispute in the world between the two top leaders is expected to be candid after that it was required to mediate or intervene. and the visit is expected to find solutions to regional The world clearly saw the capability of US. The only and international issues. The Saudis and Americans country in the world that has a presence on the Seven have differences on many issues, but, like every time Seas, US became the most powerful country with a both countries will be able to navigate around these strong economy, thus adding burden on its governing issues and solve them. Saudis and Americans are administration too. In addition, the American home known for their ability to adjust the sails if they can’t front is very demanding. One third of the world’s control the wind. wealth is in US. And finally, in the past year, the world was following But, is the world changing or is it the pressing need the Obama drive to modify or change the health care sysback home that US wants to do: Governing the inside tem. It is an important issue for Americans and it is apparand forgetting the outside? Simply put, US and the ent that the health issue is taking a big part of the whole world can’t afford seeing the Red, White and American administration and may be the world events Blue out of any political formula. didn’t get the attention it should. But, US and the world In March 2012, I wrote an article in Arab News, can’t afford seeing things going unnoticed by the “Syria - Where are the Americans?” And later on I had American administration. America can’t even afford blinkto write an article, “America: Damned if you do, ing an eye. Actually, it did blink and look at what hapdamned if you don’t,” which was published on Jan. 26, pened in Ukraine and the Crimea. Or maybe we should 2013. think about more civilian casualties in Syria and the nine I ask this question again: On Syria, where are the million Syrian refugees.


MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

LOCAL

Kuwait Environment Society enters fifth decade of service Many new initiatives soon

Zain revamps Metro Mall branch KUWAIT: Zain, the leading telecommunications company in Kuwait, reinforced its leadership position in the country’s telecom sector by completely revamping its Metro Mall branch in Farwaniyah. The latest re-opening brings the total number of branches operated by Zain to over 80, the highest number in Kuwait, which is in line with the company’s ambition to conscientiously serve the largest customer base in the country. The newly revamped branch is set to maintain Zain’s high standard of customer service and convenience, while offering the latest in devices, accessories, packages, promotions, and advice. Ahmad Al-Kandari, Zain’s Sales Director said: “Zain constantly looks at ways to improve the retail experience for its customers, including providing them with the convenience of finding a branch wherever

they go. The revamping of the Metro Mall branch is further evidence of our commitment to giving customers what they want right where they are. Through our wide branch network covering all of Kuwait, our customers can benefit from easy access to the variety of services and products we offer and our expansion strategy has focused on developing deeper in-roads into the residential and commercial areas customers most require our services.” Al-Kandari continued: “Zain’s customer base is the largest in Kuwait, and we are keen to provide them with the best services and promotions, which are on par with international standards. Zain’s successful distribution channel through our own branches as well as authorized dealers, allows us to process customers’ requests and concerns quickly and efficiently.”

KUWAIT: Kuwait Municipality’s public services department began removing left overs from camps areas. Twenty-six truck loads were removed in the form of tents and furniture left behind by its owners in Mulaa area. Director Ahmad Al-Shraideh said campaigns will continue in cooperation with concerned authorities to protect the environment. —Photos by Hanan Al-Saadoun

KUWAIT: Kuwait Environment Protection Society today marks 40 years in service of the Kuwaiti environment and public awareness and interaction on issues relating to pollution and to environment in general. Society Board Chairman Dr Mohammad AlAhmad said, “the society enters the fifth decade of service priding itself on its great accomplishments, made possible by its qualified and devoted staff.” Since its establishment, he said, the society went through different phases, and all the while, continued effort and making sure all work is on track and in harmony with long-term strategy was “top priority”. As the society celebrates the anniversary, it is to launch many new initiatives, he stressed. Founded in 1974, the society organizes and takes part in seminars, programs, exhibitions, forums, and much more to both increase awareness and enhance its own capabilities as part of its training program. The call for setting up the society was well received from its earliest days and the society was founded and accredited to become a distinguished example of an NGO working along the lines of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). The society’s objectives include curbing sources of pollution, encouraging and calling for measures that would protect the environment, calling for and suggesting legislation and administrative guidelines to help protect the environment, as well as conducting and contributing to studies and research in the field. Training courses The society also considers it a priority to engage in cultural, educational, and media activities, since its goal is to ultimately increase public awareness. The society sensed a need to redouble its efforts to face the aftermath of the Iraqi occupation of 1990. In addition to an array of training courses on themes including (sewage water treatment), (collec-

tion and management of solid waste), and (environmental awareness and enthusiasm among the Kuwaiti public), the society also issues its own magazine which is the first publication in the Arab World devoted to environment issues. The society is also quick to address current concerns and issues, and has an array of documentaries produced in reaction to the phenomenon of (coral bleaching), coinciding with the (bio-rock coral reef restoration project), touching on the removal and replacement of asbestos pipes in Farwaniyah Governorate, and also shedding light on many initiatives to protect and restore endangered indigenous fauna and flora. The society also cooperates with local specialized bodies including Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) and the Environment Public Authority (EPA), and had supported calls for establishing the environment affairs committee at the National Assembly. The society’s contributions relating to urgent environment issues also included partnership in the panel formed by the Council of Ministers to look into the Mishref Water Station incident, a role in the investigation into the Ahmadi gas leak, and the issue of a comprehensive report on the problem of discarded used tires in different locations across the country upon the request of the Municipal Council. The Kuwaiti society’s achievements also include recommendations to use 12 tools or systems to bring down water consumption which are now widely used, at Kuwait Oil Company buildings and facilities for example. The Kuwaiti body was a founding member of the Gulf Cooperation Council environmental network, a member of the Arab waste management union, member in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and a partner is the International Council for Bird Preservation. It also has observer status at the Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED), and is

officially accredited with the United Nations and was granted right to participation in the Johannesburg Summit of 2000 on environment and development. —KUNA

Co-ops’ management of school canteens rejected KUWAIT: Educators recently rejected a proposal made by Minster of Education Ahmad Al-Mulaifi on having co-ops run school canteens, noting that this would be very dangerous and might lead to huge problems for school administrations. Informed sources said that various educational zones had filed reports about the proposal and that over 90 percent of school administrations were against the idea due to potential danger to students’ health as well as security problems that might result from the presence of non-school laborers, which violates schools’ privacy. The sources explained that co-ops running school canteens would be against the concept school canteens had been established for in the first place - that is having students practice selling and buying. They also warned that the proposal would deprive schools of a source of income that is necessary to finance many activities, especially since schools only get KD 3,000 in annual budgets and primary schools already suffer because of the ministry-provided meals. “Educational zones still demand 100 fils per student in view of idle canteens in the presence of free meals,” said some primary school sources.


MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

LOCAL

Three maids in hospital after carbon monoxide inhalation Hospital accused of negligence KUWAIT: Three domestic helpers were hospitalized in a critical condition after suffocating from smoke emitting from coal they left burning for heating inside their room before falling asleep Friday night. Paramedics and police had rushed to a house in Adan where the incident was reported, and found the Ethiopian women unconscious inside their room located on the roof of their employer’s house. The housemaids had reportedly failed to put out the coal before falling asleep, and sustained complications of carbon monoxide poisoning. They were rushed to Adan Hospital and admitted inside the intensive care unit. A case was filed for investigations. Hospital negligence Friends of a man who died at Farwaniya Hospital recently accused medical staff of negligence which led to the Arab man’s death. According to a news report yesterday, the man’s friends said that he had been diagnosed with a form of cardiomyopathy that required weekly checkups at the hospital. The man, who was in his forties, also complained from swelling in his feet associated with his medical condition. Despite that, doctors refused to grant him permission to stay at the hospital for further treatment or be transferred to see a specialist, according to his

friends. They added that his condition worsened on Thursday when he went to the hospital complaining from acute chest pains. He stayed for three hours before the doctor said that he can be discharged, but his bad condition forced medical staff to keep him in the internal medicine ward, his friends said. They added that when they came to visit him later, they discovered that he had already died, adding that doctors were not even aware of his death. Armed robbery Investigations are ongoing to identify and arrest two persons who committed an armed robbery at a supermarket in Farwaniya recently. According to the police report, two men who had their faces covered with shmaghs (headdresses) stormed a co-op society branch with cleavers in hand. They stole cash and phone credit recharge cards worth KD 1,000 before escaping. Criminal investigators lifted fingerprints from the scene and obtained surveillance tapes that were used during the investigations. Attempted rape A delivery man was arrested on accusations of attempting to rape a teenager in a house in an undisclosed location, according to a news report.

A security source quoted in the report indicated that the suspect tried to assault the 14-year-old girl when she came out of her house to pick up the delivery, but the man ran away when she screamed for help. Police went to the restaurant where the man works to arrest him based on the girl’s descriptions, but he was nowhere to be found. The Asian man was soon located and placed under arrest after police surrounded the area and blocked its exits. He was taken to the authorities for further action. Juveniles’ fight Jahra police arrested a teenager hours after he left his neighbor bleeding from a deep stab wound in their neighborhood in the area. Police and paramedics rushed to the scene in response to an emergency call reporting that a teenager was bleeding following a fight with another juvenile. The boy was rushed to Jahra Hospital and underwent surgery to close a deep gash in his waist. Investigations revealed that the victim was stabbed by his neighbor who used a kitchen knife he got from his house to attack him during a fight for unknown reasons. The attacker was soon located hiding at his uncle’s home, and placed under arrest. He was taken to the authorities to face attempted murder charges.

KPC keen on implementing huge oil projects KUWAIT: Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation Nizar AlAdsani confirmed that KPC, as part of its responsibility, is keen on supporting the national economy, enhancing effectively the development plan and initiating sturdily progressive steps to achieve KPC 2030 strategic directions. In a press statement on KPC participation in the second Gulf Petroleum Forum which is organized by IG Events, Al-Adsani said, “KPC pays special concern to the scientific research; therefore, it is keen on patronizing its activities; thereof, it tends to establish an international research center specialized in oil industry to develop it and underpin its status territorially and internationally.” He clarified that petrochemical industry is one of KPC priorities inside and outside Kuwait; accordingly, it seeks diligently to achieve integration between petrochemical industry and refining industry to create an added value and optimize such goal which is one of the key pivots of KPC strategy. Consequently, the corporation

seeks to bolster collaboration with international partners in this field to develop incessantly such important industry, enhance the status the Kuwaiti oil industry interna-

Nizar Al-Adsani tionally and penetrate new international promising markets. With reference to the Kuwaiti personnel in KPC and its subsidiaries, Al-Adsani said the human resource is considered one of the key elements of KPC strategic plans, adding the percentage of the

Kuwaiti personnel recruited in KPC and its subsidiaries has ostensibly increased through providing youth with job vacancies and rehabilitating them to join and perform the various phases of oil industry in Kuwait. He went on to say that human resource is the key pivot for fulfilling successful investment. It is the safety valve which helps achieve the forward-looking desires and plans, as it enables KPC to enter new promising markets particularly in Asia; in addition to underpinning its strategic partnerships with international distinguished institutions of scientific research and training. Al-Adsani emphasized that KPC is keen on implementing huge oil projects inside and outside Kuwait among which the fourth refinery project, the clean environment fuel project, and the refinery and petrochemical complex in Vietnam; the matter will enhance the status of Kuwait internationally, as such projects will help produce petroleum products in liaison with the international environment criteria and stipulations allotted in this domain; moreover, this helps create and

added value for the Kuwaiti oil industry among other industries. He added, “KPC participation in sponsoring the 2nd Gulf Petroleum Forum is among its keenness to avail of such significant forums which serve its goals and ambitions which are aimed at accomplishing more progress and devotion in the Kuwaiti oil sector.” “As we live in a world whose incidents are moving very fast, it is necessary to optimize the opportunity of building constructive collaboration among the international and national companies to be able to confront and surmount the future challenges and provide better future for energy,” noted AlAdasni. He further depicted the 2nd Gulf Petroleum Forum, in which several governmental and nongovernmental authorities, Gulf and Arab private and public oil companies along with Gulf and international oil experts take part, as a distinguished and lucrative activity which highlights the role of the Gulf oil sector and cooperation in promoting such substantial industry.

KUWAIT: Kuwait Fire Service Directorate carried out an exercise at Awtad mall in cooperation with the medical emergencies department. The exercise was to extinguish a fire at the mall that ‘resulted in several injuries, and were handled by the paramedics.’ —By Hanan Al-Saadoun

RBMP lauds Kuwait for its support BRUSSELS: Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBMP) and the African Union are organizing in Brussels on April 3 a high-level event on “Health in the Broader Development and Post-2015 agenda” on the sidelines of an EUAfrica summit. “Indirectly this high level event is organized thanks to the financial support that His Highness the Amir of Kuwait and the Kuwait Fund have given for the external relations activities of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership” Herve Verhoosel, the RBMP Representative at the United Nations, said here yesterday. “High level advocacy and political leadership are important and the participation of the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Heads of State at this event show how the work of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership is appreciated,” he said. Verhoosel said he would convey this mes-

sage to the ambassador of the State of Kuwait in Brussels, Dharar Abdul Razzak Razzooqi, tomorrow in a meeting and give him a report of activities of the partnership on behalf of Princess Astrid of Belgium who is RBMP’s Special Representative. “We hope that both the State of Kuwait and the Kuwait fund could still support us for the coming years, as we need to finish the job and we still have a lot of work to do and children to save” said Verhoosel, who will comoderate this high level event. Besides Ban Ki-moon, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia, John Dramani Mahama, President of Ghana, and Dr Fatoumata Nafo-Traoré, Executive Director of the RBM Partnership, are also expected to attend the breakfast event.

Qatar buys copters, missiles in $23billion arms deals ‘Wataniya Telecom’ sponsors Juveniles pilot program KUWAIT: “Wataniya Telecom”, a member of Ooredoo Group, is always looking for ways to encourage and inspire individuals in our community in spite of their circumstances. Wataniya cooperated with the Ministry of Social Affairs and “The Art of Living Foundation” to give a pilot program to the Juveniles Home. The program is to help the inmates to lead to a healthier, socially responsible life with help of techniques which would eliminate stress, create a sense of belongingness and restore human values. The pilot program was successfully delivered to 326 boys and 6 girls from the Juveniles Home for 3 executive days, starting from March 15. The

program also included courses to 80 employees of the Ministry of Social Affairs who are working closely with the Juveniles. The program included courses like “The Youth Empowerment Seminar (YES)” involving Yoga and Meditation to offer powerful breathing techniques, relaxation processes that help young minds to effectively handle emotions and realize their potential. It was scientifically proven that this process eliminates stress from the body. The program also enhances confidence, concentration, creativity and enthusiasm which leads to improved academic performance, better inter personal relations and good health. “At Wataniya, we have always embraced ini-

GCC industrialists conference kicks off in Oman MUSCAT: Kuwaiti Minister of Commerce and Industry Abdulmohsen Al-Madaj said he was happy to be in Oman as part of the 14th GCC Industrialists Conference which discusses the conditions of export industries in the GCC and Yemen. The minister said in a press statement yesterday that the conference which kicked off yesterday under the slogan “Export Industries, Opportunities and Challenges” will also discuss the development of export industries and the challenges facing them, including legal terms and their effects on the subject both regionally and internationally. The two-day conference is organized by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting (GOIC), Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (PEIE), the Public Authority for Investment Promotion and Export Development (PAIPED) and Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in coordina-

tion with the GCC General Secretariat, and the Federation of GCC Chambers (FGCCC). The opening ceremony was inaugurated by Representative of Sultan Qaboos, Asaad Bin Tariq Al-Saeed with the participation of GCC and Yemeni Ministers of Commerce and Industry, GCC industrialists, and international experts. It’s of great importance to develop the industrial sector since it plays a huge role in developing the countries’ economies and create job opportunities, said Omani Minister of Commerce and Industry Ali Bin Masoud Al-Senaidi in the opening speech. The conference aims to allow the countries and individual industrialists to share their experiences in exporting, exchange deals for their factories, and increase production rates, said AlSenaidi, noting that the event is also a chance to develop export projects and attract foreign investors. —KUNA

tiatives and activities which help our community and add value for people. It gives us great pride to take part in inspiring individuals and enlightening their lives. As a progressive organization we will continue to find new vistas which enhances the quality of life as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility” Wataniya stated. Wataniya has developed many new initiatives which support members of society in their endeavors to succeed. Wataniya will be sponsoring several more events in the following months which will empower different segments with services, benefits and opportunities to grow and become prominent contributors in the overall social welfare.

Kuwait hails relations with Qatar DOHA: A senior Kuwaiti official yesterday lauded KuwaitiQatari relations as being “distinguished and based on fraternity, understanding and interdependence”. Speaking to Qatar News Agency (QNA), Undersecretary of the Kuwaiti Ministry of Foreign Affairs Khaled Al-Jarallah said arrangements are underway for holding a KuwaitiQatari joint committee meeting soon. He said Qatari Amir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani’s participation in the recent Arab Summit in Kuwait reflected his keenness to further promote and cement inter-Arab relations. Al-Jarallah highly commended Qatar as a key player in ongoing efforts to ensure the promotion and development of cooperation and coordination among all Arab countries. He voiced his country’s willingness to bolster and consolidate relations with Qatar and to beef up the experiment of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) under such critical circumstances. —KUNA

DOHA: Qatar announced contracts worth about $23 billion over the weekend to buy attack helicopters, guided missiles, tankers and other weapons from Boeing Co, Airbus and other arms makers as the Gulf state accelerates its military build-up. The world’s top liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter announced deals with about 20 global companies, including firms from the United States which were awarded deals worth $7.6 billion, said a spokeswoman for a Doha defense conference where the announcements were made. The weapons purchases include large deals with Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and others. Qatar, and other Gulf Arab and Middle Eastern countries are looking to acquire new high-tech military equipment to protect themselves from neighboring Iran and internal threats after the Arab Spring uprising. Boeing confirmed that the announcement included a contract to buy 24 AH64E Apache attack helicopters and three Boeing 737 Airborne early warning and control aircraft. The deal for the helicopters was valued at 8.9 billion riyal , said the spokeswoman for the conference. In Paris, France’s Defense Ministry said Qatar had agreed to buy 22 NH90 military helicopters from a unit of European aerospace group Airbus worth 2 billion euros ($2.76 billion) and two Airbusmade refueling tankers. NHIndustries is 62.5 per cent owned by Airbus’ Eurocopter helicopter unit, 32 per cent owned by AgustaWestland, a

unit of Italy Finmeccanica’s and 5.5 per cent by Stork Fokker. Qatar also committed to buy a Patriot missile defense system built by Raytheon equipped with PAC-3 missiles made by Lockheed; advanced daytime, high-definition sensors and radars for Apache helicopters; and Javelin missiles built by a Lockheed-Raytheon joint venture, according to sources familiar with the matter. Raytheon had told analysts in January that it expected to finalize an order with Qatar in the first half of 2014 for over $2 billion in Patriot missile defense system equipment. The Pentagon approved the sale to Qatar of $9.9 billion worth of Patriot fire units, radars, and various Raytheon and Lockheed missiles in November 2012. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the US body which oversees foreign arms sales, had notified lawmakers in July 2012 of a possible sale of Apache helicopters to Qatar. A spokeswoman for the US agency had no immediate comment. Washington has been keen to deepen its cooperation with Gulf nations, which have been long-standing allies, on missile defense and increase pressure on Iran over its nuclear program. The Apache helicopters are built by Boeing and used by the US Army, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and United Kingdom. They will be fitted with Longbow radar equipment made by a joint venture of Lockheed and Northrop Grumman Corp. —Gulf Business


MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

Two Spanish journalists freed in Syria: Employer

Plane search stepped up, relatives demand answers Page 9

Page 8

RIO DE JANEIRO: A young man poses for a picture in front of an armoured personnel carrier on patrol at the Favela da Mare shantytown complex in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, yesterday early morning. More than 1,000 police backed by the military and armored vehicles occupied the vast Mare favela near Rio’s international airport at dawn yesterday, just 74 days before the World Cup. — AFP

Rio police storm vast favela in dawn operation RIO DE JANEIRO: More than 1,000 police backed by the military and armored vehicles occupied a vast favela near Rio de Janeiro’s international airport at dawn yesterday, just 74 days before the World Cup. A squadron belonging to the feared Special Police Operations Battalion, along with a dozen armored vehicles, swarmed through the notorious Mare shanty town without facing resistance, while helicopters buzzed overhead. The slum is just a few kilometers from the airport and a potential through route for tens of thousands of football fans flying in and out of the city, which will stage seven World Cup matches, including the July 13 final. Brazilian authorities have stepped up efforts to quell violence in Rio as the football extravaganza looms closer, carrying out a

huge slum “pacification” program since 2008 aimed at making the city-which also hosts the 2016 Olympics-safer. Prior to yesterday, Police Pacification Units (UPPs) had been installed in 174 Rio favelas home to around 600,000 people. On Sunday they took the initiative to enter Mare, a drugtrafficking stronghold and haven for organized crime considered one of the most dangerous places in the city. Police had their weapons trained on the rooftops, but apart from a few bars close to the entrance of Mare that remained open, the labyrinth of narrow streets was empty and dark. Unwanted presence Rio’s security secretariat said 1,180 officers were involved in the operation, backed by at

least 14 armored vehicles and four helicopters. In the operation, police seized “large quantities of drugs and weapons” that were hidden near the Olympic Village and a public school, said the GloboNews chain. According to the intelligence services, drug traffickers who left Mare -home to around 130,000 people from 16 clustered neighborhoods-after the announcement Monday of the imminent occupation could come back later, meaning authorities face a long-term battle to keep the volatile area under control. Later in the morning shops slowly began to open, but many residents in the favela were visibly irritated by the presence of security forces and journalists, an AFP reporter at the scene said.

Few living there wanted to talk to the media. “Me, I think it’s fine, the state must be present everywhere in Rio,” a trucker called Jorge-he declined to give his full name-told AFP. “Now it will depend on the police who move here because there are those among them who commit abuses.” Trafficker territory After decades battling organized crime in the favelas, the poor communities surrounding the city, authorities had hoped the slum “pacification” program had begun paying off, driving down crime. But this year, renewed violence has claimed the lives of eight police officers-four of them in “pacified” districts. Keeping a lid on crime has become key to

21 Nigerians dead in attempted jail break ABUJA: Nigeria’s secret police said yesterday that 21 detainees died during an attempted escape from custody at its headquarters, with unconfirmed reports that Boko Haram militants were involved. A security breach at the facility in Abuja, particularly by the feared Islamists, would be an embarrassment for the government and raise fresh questions about its ability to tackle the extremists. But there was no official confirmation of the involvement of the group, which has been waging an increasingly violent insurgency in Nigeria’s northeast this year. Marilyn Ogar, spokeswoman for the Department of State Services (DSS) — Nigeria’s domestic intelligence agency-said only that detainees had died during the attempt. “It has been established that 18 casualties were recorded, while two service personnel sustained serious injuries,” she said in an emailed statement. “Three other detainees who sustained gunshot injuries during the incident have also died. Meanwhile, (an) investigation is still ongoing to ascertain the immediate and remote causes.” Fears of outside help Ogar had said earlier that the incident happened at 7:15 am (0615 GMT) when one of its officers went to give the detainees food. “One of the suspects attempted to disarm him by hitting him at the back of his head with his handcuff,” she said. “His attempt to escape drew the attention of other guards at the facility who fired some shots to warn and deter others.” No details were provided on the number of inmates involved nor the reason for their detention. There was no explanation either about how exactly the 21 died. But Ogar indicated they acted in case the detainees had outside help, as roads

leading to the compound were cordoned off “to prevent possible assistance from external collaborators”. The DSS headquarters are near the presidential villa and nearby residents reported hearing gunfire on Sunday morning. President Goodluck Jonathan’s spokesman, Reuben Abati, had downplayed the incident, writing on Twitter that the head of state’s residence was not affected and there was “no cause for alarm”. “What happened at the SSS HQs has nothing to do with the (Presidential) Villa. President Jonathan is safe & well. Thank you for your concern & support,” he added. The attempted break-out, especially if Boko Haram suspects were involved, will do little to instil confidence in the government’s security operations. The government has previously been criticised for relying too heavily on conventional military means to tackling an enemy fighting a guerrilla war. Many users of social media initially believed the presidency was under attack, given its proximity to the intelligence agency. Nigeria’s military was brought in to secure the area surrounding the headquarters, which is known locally as Yellow House, and conduct searches. “Normalcy has returned to the area as the roads have been opened for free movement of persons and vehicles,” said Ogar. Boko Haram link? A security source told AFP the officer involved was shot with his own rifle

after the inmates seized the weapon. A number of Nigerian newspaper websites and users of social media claimed that the detainees were Boko Haram suspects but did not quote sources. The DSS had on March 3 paraded seven suspected Boko Haram members arrested on suspicion of killing a prominent Muslim cleric who had criticised the group before the media at their headquarters. — AFP

Rio’s bid to turn the city into an international showcase for the World Cup and the Olympics in 2016, the first Olympiad in South America. The occupation of Mare by security forces will be similar to that carried out in 2010 in the Alemao network of favelas, home to about 300,000 people. Alemao was occupied a week after 35 people had died in bloody clashes between police and drug dealers. Rio state secretary for security affairs Jose Mariano Beltrame insisted last Monday that authorities “are not thinking about the World Cup so much as the citizens of Rio, of police gunned down in cowardly fashion” on the streets. “Our response to the traffickers is to occupy more territory, to make them lose more territory” and show the state is stronger than the dealers. —AFP


MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

I N T E R N AT I O N A L

Libya struggling with progress after Gadhafi ouster TRIPOLI: When a militia holding Libya’s eastern ports loaded a North Koreanflagged tanker with oil earlier this month, the Libyan parliament sacked its own prime minister and turned to US commandos to bring its cargo back. For days the government had threatened to blow up the tanker, called Morning Glory, if it left port. When it sailed off, pro-government militiamen even gave chase on boats carrying jeeps mounted with anti-aircraft and cannons. But that failed, and when the tanker reached international waters Libya’s parliament fired Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, who fled to Europe. A few days later, US Navy SEALS boarded the tanker to end the debacle. The Morning Glory affair is one of the starkest symbols yet of how weak Libya’s central authority is. Three years after a NATO-supported revolt toppled Muammar Gadhafi, Libya is at the mercy of rival brigades of heavily armed former rebel fighters who openly and regularly defy the new state. Libya’s parliament agrees on little, its interim government has no army to enforce security let alone impose its will, and a new constitution meant to forge a sense of nation remains undrafted. In the vacuum, ex-fighters have briefly abducted Zeidan from his Tripoli hotel room, stormed the foreign ministry, and taken over the interior ministry, even before the renegades made their failed attempt to export oil. Lawmakers joke that they may need to use the secret tunnels Gadhafi built under

the capital so they can escape the marauding gunmen. “Really there is no army, I thought there was one, but then I realized there really isn’t any,” ousted premier Zeidan said from Germany where he fled. For many Libyans, the joy of freedom after decades under Gadhafi has given way to confusion. Libya has descended into a scramble over the future shape of the nation, with ex-rebel commanders, former exiles, Islamists, tribal leaders, and federalists all jostling for position. At stake is the stability and integrity of this vast North African territory, rich in both oil and gas. Neighbouring Tunisia, where the Arab Spring began, has made its uprising work. A new constitution was adopted in January, Islamist and secular parties have compromised, and elections are due this year. Libya, by contrast, is floundering. “There was a euphoria that accompanied the overthrow of the dictator that did not take into account some of the stark realities ... What is the unifying idea here?” one Libya-based Western diplomat asked. “It’s not as though removing Gaddafi was going to mean the ... box would open and out pops Dubai. All the problems that were covered over, papered over or bribed over or suppressed, they are emerging again.” Pulling teeth Working his phone to resolve another Tripoli blackout, Libyan Electricity Minister

Ali Mihirig knows better than most how hard it will be to get the country working together. Back in Libya after three decades living in Canada, Mihirig is not only in charge of electricity but has spent the past year as a mediator and negotiator among the country’s myriad factions. “It is like pulling teeth,” he said of convincing former fighters to put down their guns and abandon their bases. “It is painful, it is hard, sometimes you need anesthesia ... We have strong armed groups ... Fortunately or unfortunately, they don’t agree with each other, which keeps this process going.” The government has negotiated with militia chieftains to give up command posts they seized when they liberated Tripoli. The army is recruiting more and the government co-opted former fighters by putting thousands of them on the state payroll. But that has often empowered rival militias and created a mishmash of security forces and quasi-official military units. Even on a casual drive outside Tripoli, visitors pass checkpoints manned by guards whose ragtag uniforms are no clue to affiliation. The former rebel groups, political factions and tribes are proving more loyal to their vision of Libya than to the compromises required in a unified state. In Benghazi, in the country’s east, three key ports have been seized by a group of former oil security forces who defected with their leader Ibrahim Jathran, a former Gadhafi fighter, last summer. They want more autonomy for the region. Ethnic Amazigh, the berber people

who have long felt oppressed by Libya’s Arab majority, have also targeted the country’s oil infrastructure. Armed Amazigh shut down the vital El Sharara oilfield for two months last year to demand more rights in the new constitution. An Islamist militia, the Operations Room for Libya’s Revolutionaries, has been accused of kidnapping Zeidan and briefly snatching five Egyptian diplomats in Tripoli to secure the freedom of their commander who was arrested in Egypt. Its commander, Shaban Hadia, denied all kidnapping allegations. Rival militias are also lined up on competing sides of Libya’s divided parliament where Islamists, represented by the Justice and Construction Party, a branch of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, are deadlocked with the National Forces Alliance, a group of nationalist and liberal parties led by a former Gadhafi official. But the two most powerful groups in the country are the militias west of the capital, one in the mountain town of Zintan and the other in the port city of Misrata. Bristling with weaponry and a sense of entitlement, the rivals both claim the mantle of champions of the revolution. Each brigade is loosely allied to competing political factions, and neither shows any sign of disarming or falling in behind the government in Tripoli. “We are keeping our weapons, not because we want to end the state, but we are waiting for a real organisation to appear,” said Khalid Imohammed, a former military commander in Zintan.

The view from Zintan Imohammed was a supermarket manager during the Gadhafi years. He took up arms early in the uprising, at first to defend his town, and then to oust the Libyan leader. These days he feels a new sense of outrage. Like many in Zintan, an impoverished town of around 35,000 people some 140 km (90 miles) west of Tripoli, he complains that he has seen little of the oil riches or development he believes the capital and other cities enjoy, and laments the lack of basic services, new schools, hospitals, even a basic water supply. “Winning this war was a gift from God and made with the courage of the Zintan people,” Imohammed, dressed in traditional brown robes, said. “And what did we get? We didn’t see any change. Now we are in a different war, a political war. But they are just fighting for private gain, not like our sacrifices.” Zintan city council leader Mohammed al Waqwaq puts it more succinctly: “Zintanis felt it was a duty to fight. And that duty was not rewarded.” That’s one reason the group has not given up their greatest prize: Saif al-Islam, Gadhafi’s son, who was captured by the Zintanis, and is still held by them despite requests by both Tripoli and the International Criminal Court in the Hague to hand him over. City council leaders say Saif will be held and tried in Zintan because it is the only place that can guarantee his security. Tripoli cannot even protect its own prime minister, they say. — Reuters

Iraq attacks kill nine, one month before elections Two police officers killed by roadside bomb

JERUSALEM: Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, poses for a photo with members of Masa, a program which provides educational trips for young Jewish adults, before attending the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem, yesterday. — AP

Fate of Israel-Palestinian talks to be clear within days JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday it would be clear within “days” whether the crisis-hit peace talks would be extended beyond an April 29 deadline, local media reported. His remarks, reported by several Israeli news websites, come as US officials work around the clock to prevent a collapse of the negotiations over a dispute about Palestinian prisoners. “It could be a matter of just days,” Netanyahu reportedly told ministers from his rightwing Likud party who met just before the weekly cabinet meeting. “Either the matter will be resolved or it will blow up. And in any case, there won’t be any deal without Israel knowing clearly what it will get in exchange,” he said. “And if there is a deal, it will be put to the cabinet for approval.” With the talks teetering on the brink of collapse, Washington has been fighting an uphill battle to coax the two sides into accepting a framework proposal which would extend the negotiations beyond April to the end of the year. But the matter has become tied up with the fate of 26 veteran Palestinian prisoners who Israel was to have freed this weekend under terms of an agreement which brought about a resumption of talks. Israel on Friday informed the Palestinians they would not free the detainees, with US State Department confirming it was working “intensively” to resolve the dispute. The Palestinians say they will not even consider extending the talks without the prisoners being freed, but Israel has refused to release them without a Palestinian commitment to continue the talks, prompting a fresh crisis of confidence. “ We agreed to the fourth batch,” Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz told

reporters on Sunday, while stressing it would not happen as long as Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas was preparing to “blow up the negotiations” the very next day. But Zehava Galon who heads the leftwing Meretz party urged Netanyahu “to take brave decisions, even if they are difficult.” “The Israeli government cannot unilaterally break promises that we made under the auspices of the Americans,” she said, adding that despite the difficulty in releasing such prisoners “the government must implement the fourth phase.” ‘Ball in Israel court’ “ The ball is now in Israel’s court,” Palestinian prisoners minister Issa Qaraqaa told Voice of Palestine radio on Sunday, saying the leadership was expecting an answer from the Israeli government within 24 hours. Aside from the release of the 26 veteran detainees, Abbas reportedly wants an Israeli commitment to free even more prisoners as one of his conditions for agreeing to extend the talks. Late on Saturday, an official in Ramallah told AFP that Netanyahu had expressed willingness to free another 400 detainees and reduce its military presence in the West Bank in exchange for Palestinian agreement to extend the talks. Israeli officials refused to comment. Under a deal that relaunched peace talks last July, Israel agreed to release 104 prisoners held since before the 1993 Oslo peace accords in exchange for the Palestinians freezing all efforts to seek further international recognition. So far, Israel has freed 78 of them in three batches, and the last group which the Palestinians insist includes 14 Arab Israelis jailed for nationalist attacks-was to have been released on March 29. — AFP

BAGHDAD: Attacks in Sunni-majority areas of Iraq killed nine people yesterday, exactly a month ahead of parliamentary polls that remain in disarray after the mass resignations of election commissioners last week. The violence came hours after seven soldiers were shot dead at a checkpoint in a late-night attack by militants in the north, the latest in a months-long surge in bloodshed that has killed nearly 500 people so far this month. The unrest has been driven principally by anger in the Sunni Arab minority over alleged mistreatment at the hands of the Shiite-led authorities, as well as by the civil war raging in neighbouring Syria. A suicide bomber detonated a vehicle packed with explosives on a major bridge in Ramadi, a city west of Baghdad where security forces are still grappling to retain full control after militants took over several neighbourhoods two months ago. The blast killed seven people and wounded 10 more, and also badly damaged the Hauz Bridge, a key crossing used by civilians connecting the north and south of the city. Ramadi originally had five bridges across the Euphrates River before a militant surge earlier this year. But two are used exclusively by security forces, and two others-including the Hauz Bridge-have now been damaged to the point they can no longer be used. Civilians in Ramadi are now able to use only the Albu Faraj bridge in the north of the city. Ramadi is the capital of Anbar province, a predominantly Sunni desert region in west Iraq that shares a border with Syria. In early January, anti-government fighters seized control of parts of the city and all of nearby Fallujah, also in Anbar. But while security forces have managed to take back most of Ramadi, a stalemate persists in Fallujah, which remains in militant control. Elsewhere yesterday, two police officers were killed by a roadside bomb that exploded near their car in Tikrit north of Baghdad. Like Ramadi, Tikrit’s population is made up mostly of Sunni Arabs. Seven soldiers killed The attacks came just hours after militants opened fire on an army checkpoint near the restive northern city of Mosul, killing seven soldiers in a late-night shooting. In Mosul city itself, gunmen also killed a doc-

BAGHDAD: Al-Qaeda fighters wave Al-Qaeda flags as they patrol in a commandeered Iraqi military vehicle in Fallujah, 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Baghdad, Iraq, yesterday. Al-Qaedalinked fighters and their allies seized the city of Fallujah and parts of the Anbar provincial capital Ramadi in late December after authorities dismantled a protest camp. — AP tor. Violence has surged in Iraq in the past year, with nearly 500 people killed so far this month, and upwards of 2,200 this year, according to an AFP tally. Analysts and diplomats have urged the Shiite-led authorities to do more to reach out to the Sunni community to undermine support for militancy, but with the elections looming on April 30, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and other Shiite leaders have taken a hard line. The polls, however, have been thrown into disarray by the mass resignation last week of Iraq’s nine election commissioners, citing parliamentary and judicial interference. Though lawmakers say their resignations are unlikely to be accepted, and the commissioners have not left their posts, the sudden decision has raised the possibility of Iraq’s first elections since 2010 being delayed. “If IHEC stays this way, that means... the elec-

Two Spanish journalists freed in Syria: Employer MADRID: Two Spanish journalists taken hostage in Syria by an AlQaeda-linked group were freed after six months in captivity and were heading back to Spain yesterday, one of their employers said. El Mundo correspondent Javier Espinosa, 49, and freelance photographer Ricardo Garcia Vilanova, 42, were “freed and

handed over to the Turkish military”, the Spanish newspaper said on its website. Espinosa called El Mundo’s offices on Saturday evening and said they were in good health, it added. The paper said the two journalists would fly back to Madrid on Sunday, without specifying the time. “Pure happiness,” wrote Espinosa’s

Lebanon army vows to fight terror after troops killed BEIRUT: Lebanon’s army vowed to battle “terrorism” hours after a suicide bomber killed three soldiers at a checkpoint in the east near the border with war-torn Syria. “The army knows that it is now more than ever targeted by terrorists who want to prevent the establishment of the authority of the state and its attempts to eliminate discord,” the military said in a statement issued late on Saturday. It came as a new security plan came into effect on Sunday aimed at quelling spillover violence from the conflict in Syria. Lebanon’s north and east have seen clashes between those who support the rebellion against Syria’s President Bashar alAssad and those who back Damascus. The army command “will continue to fight and pursue terrorists, and is deter-

mined to implement the security plan... whatever the sacrifices”, the statement said. Late on Saturday the three soldiers were killed when a suicide bomber detonated his vehicle at a checkpoint at Aqabet alJurd in the Arsal region. Arsal, near the border with Syria, is a Sunni town where residents support the rebels fighting Assad’s forces. The town also hosts tens of thousands of Syrian refugees. Saturday’s attack was claimed on Twitter by a shadowy group calling itself Liwa Ahrar al-Sunna-Arabic for the Brigades of the free Sunni Muslims-which also vowed more attacks. “The next few days will see several jihadist and blessed attacks like this one. This is only the beginning,” the group said, adding that the army would be among its targets.—AFP

tion will be delayed,” Maliki warned last week, referring to the Independent High Electoral Commission. “We will enter a tunnel we might not be able to get out of,” the premier said. “Troubles will come, one after another, against the state.” The IHEC board has been frustrated with what it says is a vague provision in the electoral law that requires parliamentary hopefuls to be “of good reputation”. Based on that article, a judicial panel has barred several prospective lawmakers, including Maliki opponents such as former finance minister Rafa al-Essawi, with no obvious avenue of appeal. Parliament has meanwhile reportedly ruled that the IHEC must not bar any candidates unless they have criminal convictions, a decision an electoral official said was at odds with that of the judicial panel. —AFP

TORREJON DE ARDOZ: El Mundo correspondent Javier Espinosa (R) and freelance photographer Ricardo Garcia Vilanova arrive at the military airbase in Torrejon de Ardoz, near Madrid, yesterday. Two Spanish journalists taken hostage in Syria by an Al-Qaeda-linked group walked free after six months in captivity and were heading back to Spain today, their friends and colleagues said. — AFP

girlfriend, the journalist Monica Garcia Prieto, on Twitter early Sunday, without giving further details. “It has been a hard few months. We knew the wait would be long but you never get used to it,” said the director of El Mundo’s international pages, Ana Alonso Montes. “You never know when the moment of liberation will come, although we never doubted it would,” she told national radio. Espinosa and Vilanova were seized on September 16 at Syria’s border with Turkey, the latest of scores of journalists captured while covering Syria’s civil war. There was no immediate word on Sunday on whether any demands were made by their kidnappers or any ransom paid. El Mundo identified the captors as members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, a jihadist faction in Syria with roots in Al-Qaeda’s Iraqi affiliate. The newspaper had kept the kidnapping quiet until December while it contacted the captors via intermediaries. It said at that time that the kidnappers had made no demands. Espinosa has been a Middle East correspondent for El Mundo since 2002 and is based in Beirut. Dangerous points Like Vilanova, he has covered

some of the most dangerous points in the Syrian conflict, including the siege of Homs in February 2012. On February 22 he escaped that bloodbath in which human rights groups said 700 people were killed and thousands injured, and made it back to Lebanon a week later. Among those killed in Homs were two other Western journalists: US reporter Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik. Espinosa wrote of his escape from the city, under fire among a crowd of wounded refugees, in a compelling reportage published in March 2013. “We believe the Syrian people need our work, and that we must live up to our responsibility,” said Prieto, who is also a prize-winning journalist, in December. An online forum that frequently features statements from jihadists had also called on the militants to free the two. The Honein jihadist forum said the two journalists were a “good hand for advocating our issues in Iraq and Syria, and carrying the silenced truth”. Garcia Vilanova has contributed to Agence France-Presse and other world media such as the New York Times and the Washington Post.— AFP


MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

I N T E R N AT I O N A L

Washington mudslide death toll up, churches honor victims ARLINGTON: Churches held services yesterday to offer prayers for the victims of last week’s devastating mudslide in Washington state as the death toll from the disaster kept rising but the number of missing fell sharply. The presumed body count rose to 28 on Saturday from the March 22 catastrophe northeast of Seattle, with the official tally of those killed now 18 based on bodies extricated and identified by medical examiners. But despite the grim toll, news also came that the number of missing fell to 30 from 90 as officials were able to account for dozens of people as “safe and well.” Rescue and recovery workers pushed through wind and rain on Saturday to comb through debris a week after a rain-soaked hillside above the north fork of the Stillaguamish River gave way without warning and sent a wall of mud cascading over dozens of homes near the rural Washington town of Oso. Churches lead prayers yesterday for victims and their families as well as rescue workers who have been searching through a debris field that covers a square mile (2.6 square km). Gordy Beil, a 63-year-old photographer and painter in Darrington, about 10 miles (16 km) from Oso, said he attended the painful service at the Episcopal church. Don Little, 66, a Redmond, Washington, resident in town to visit his son, said he attended the Church of God of Prophecy in Darrington, where one of the congregants has a husband among the missing and is having a hard time grasping that he

is gone. Those at the service prayed both for the miracle of his safety and for the woman’s coming to accept her loss with a measure of peace, Little said.

DARRINGTON: Rescue workers use chainsaws and other tools to dig through a tangle of trees and mud marked as having a possible victim of the Oso mudslide along State Route 530 near Darrington, Washington. Rescue and recovery workers slogged through thick mud and debris as rain poured down on the area one week after the devastating disaster. — AP

Plane search stepped up as relatives demand answers Twenty-nine family members arrive in Malaysia PERTH: Family members of Chinese passengers on board a missing Malaysian airliner arrived Sunday in Kuala Lumpur-some angrily seeking answers and others seeking closure-as the search for the plane intensified. Eight ships-the largest number so far-and 10 planes from six countries were sweeping a vast expanse of the southern Indian Ocean off Australia for wreckage from the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, as the hunt entered its fourth week. Nothing has been seen of the plane or its 239 passengers and crew since it vanished off radar screens during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8. Officials believe it went down in the sea thousands of miles off course. Hopes of finding physical evidence of a crash have been repeatedly raised by debris sightings, then crushed as the items turned out to be random sea junk such as fishing gear. As the hunt resumed 1,850 kilometres (1,150 miles) west of Perth, Australia said its former military chief Angus Houston would head a new unit to help in the search, which involves the militaries of seven nations-Australia, China, Malaysia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and the United States. Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Houston would coordinate diplomatic contacts between search participants, and ensure families get all the information and help they need. About two-thirds of those on board were Chinese and their loved ones have complained bitterly about what they see as Malaysia’s secretive and incompetent handling of the search. Kuala Lumpur has official responsibility for the operation. Twenty-nine family members arrived yesterday in Malaysia to push for more answers, according to an official of the Malaysian Chinese Association which is providing support for them. An airline official earlier put the figure at 39. Many passengers are particularly incensed at the announcement on March 24 by Prime Minister Najib Razak that-based on detailed British analysis of satellite and other data-the plane had been lost at sea. Clinging to shreds of hope, several desperate relatives refuse to accept this until wreckage is found. “Tell us the truth. Give us our relatives back,” read one poster displayed Sunday by the Chinese relatives who traveled to Malaysia.

SUBANG JAYA: Chinese relatives of passengers from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 display banners and the Chinese flag (far R) at a hotel in Subang Jaya yesterday. Thirty-nine Chinese relatives of passengers on board missing flight MH370 arrived in Malaysia earlier in the day to press for answers about the fate of their loved ones. —AFP But not all were in militant mood. At a regular briefing by Malaysian officials for family members in Beijing, a woman said not all the group members took the trip to put pressure on the Malaysian government. “Some of the next of kin want to see for themselves the last place where their loved ones ever set foot,” she added, breaking down in tears. ‘Difficult and demanding’ search Abbott said the Australian government “won’t rest until we’ve done everything we reasonably can to get those families and to get the wider community of the world a little more peace and a little more insight into exactly what happened”. Authorities continued to pour resources into the operation, which is scouring an area about the size of Norway. An Australian ship with USsupplied equipment on board to locate the “black box” flight recorder was due to depart from Perth later yesterday. Two Malaysian C-130 Hercules aircraft were to join the operation for the first time. “Until items are picked up by a ship and assessed by expert investigators, no conclusions as to their origin can be made,” said New Zealand’s Air Vice-Marshal Kevin Short. “It’s difficult and demanding work, scanning the ocean for small items, even flying low over the water at comparatively slow speeds. It requires total concentration.” The search had moved Friday to a new sea zone after fresh data indicated the plane was flying faster than

first thought before it is presumed to have run out of fuel and plunged into the sea. Families frustrated But debris sightings by Chinese, Australian and New Zealand planes on Saturday did not yield any solid clues, compounding the frustration of families. Malaysia believes the flight was deliberately redirected by someone on board, but nothing else is known. A wreckage sighting could bring much-needed closure for relatives. And it might also help searchers find the main body of the plane and the flight recorder before its battery-powered “pinger” locator stops working. The battery normally lasts one month. But Captain Mark Matthews —- the US Navy supervisor of salvage and diving-said that while the pinger is certified for 30 days, it could last up to 15 days longer than that. Aviation expert David Learmount said the disappearance of the planewhich he called a deliberate action by either the crew or the crew under coercion-may remain a mystery forever. “I don’t think we’ll ever see either the black boxes or anything else,” he told Australia’s 60 Minutes TV programme. “We will only recover what floats.” Fifty Malaysians were on the plane and signs of mourning such as walls for leaving tributes are everywhere. Teams and spectators at the Malaysian Grand Prix Sunday afternoon observed a minute’s silence for the victims. — AFP

New party tries to woo Hungary’s Roma OZD: With elections looming on April 6, a new party is trying to win over Hungary’s largest ethnic minority, the Roma, a community scarred by deep poverty and racism and disillusioned by traditional politics. “Until now, the Roma have never had credible leaders,” said Aladar Horvath, a prominent rights campaigner and leader of the new Hungarian Gypsy Party (MCP), at a recent party event. “If we stick together, we can fix our problems. No one else will,” the soft-spoken 49-year-old told AFP in Ozd, a rusting former industrial town right on the Slovakian border. Vast steelworks once employed thousands of Roma in Ozd, a town of about 34,000 inhabitants, but today, they lie derelict. Widespread unemployment and poverty has fuelled mistrust against the Roma, and far-right party Jobbik-the country’s third biggest party-is building on that anger. Its posters are plastered across the town, while in its manifesto, it vows to stop “Gypsy crime”, create ghettoes for Roma “deviants” and place “difficult” Roma children in special live-in schools. But Horvath is pledging to fight that. Campaigning in a ramshackle community hall, he told a crowd of about 100: “I have brought good news, you have something and someone to vote for!” “We will defend ourselves from Jobbik, prevent our children from starving and guarantee free education in unsegregated schools, and normal jobs,” he said.

“She’s still hoping beyond hope that they find him alive, and everybody’s wishing for that,” he said. “Sometimes we don’t get what we really want but

Mistrust Sometimes called Gypsies, the Roma account for around 89 percent of Hungary’s 10-million population. But only four Roma MPs are in the outgoing 386-seat parliament, and three of them are from Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz Party. The fourth, Agnes Osztolykan, of the green LMP party, often complained of being a lone voice battling against Jobbik’s anti-Roma rhetoric. Battered by poverty and discrimination, many Roma harbour deep mistrust of politicians. “Always empty promises, then they just stuff their pockets once elected,” said Galambacz Peterne, a 40-year-old Roma mother of two, who lives on the outskirts of Ozd. “If they swapped places with us for one week, they’d see what it’s like without even enough bread for the children,” she told AFP in her tidy but sparsely-furnished house. “I’ve sold most of my furniture to pay bills, and buy Christmas presents for the kids.” There is widespread apathy about elections in dirt-poor Roma neighbourhoods where most people have other things on their minds. “Politicians have done nothing for us for the last 25 years, I don’t see any point in voting,” said one of a group of men hanging around on a dusty potholed street in a Roma neighbourhood. “We don’t have access to proper jobs,” said unemployed Peter Galambacz, complaining of discrimination often faced by Roma on the labour market. —AFP

we’ve got to learn to accept things.” Funerals planned Funeral preparations are also beginning for those lost in the tragedy. At the Weller Funeral Home in the town of Arlington, only a few miles from the site of the mudslide, staff members who typically plan two to three funerals weekly are preparing for 12 this week. “Some people who have come here, they’ve only found one family member, and they’re now searching for the fourth or fifth or sixth member of the family,” said Diane Wilson-simon, who helps families plan services at the funeral home. No one has been pulled alive from the rubble since the day the landslide hit, when at least eight people were injured but survived. Rescuers have found no signs of life since then. Ron Brown, a Snohomish County official involved in search-and-rescue operations, said the debris field may end up being the final resting place for some victims, who may be buried so thoroughly they cannot be found. “That’s going to be hallowed ground out there,” he said. In addition to prayers, many are offering donations of money, food, clothing and other items. At the Weller Funeral Home, Wilson-simon said she had been overwhelmed by the generosity of people who had donated to help pay for victims’ funerals. “It’s just overwhelming to see so much loss of life, but heartwarming to see so much outpouring of community support,” she said.” — Reuters

N Korea vows not to rule out a new nuclear test SEOUL: North Korea vowed not to rule out a “new form” of nuclear test yesterday after the UN Security Council condemned its latest ballistic missile launch amid simmering tensions over Seoul’s joint military drills with Washington. Pyongyang has carried out a series of rocket and short-range missile launches in recent weeks which have prompted stern reactions from South Korea and the United States. On Wednesday it upped the ante by test-firing two mid-range ballistic missiles capable of striking Japan, sparking condemnation from the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). “(We) would not rule out a new form of a nuclear test for bolstering up (our) nuclear deterrence,” Pyongyang’s foreign ministry said in a statement carried by the North’s state-run KCNA news agency. The UNSC said the North’s missile launch Wednesday was a violation of UN resolutions barring Pyongyang from any nuclear or ballistic activity, agreeing to consult on an “appropriate response”. Pyongyang slammed the UNSC criticism as “absolutely intolerable”, defending the launch as a “self-defensive” act in protest against the ongoing Seoul-Washington drills being held in South Korea. The North has habitually lashed out at the annual Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercises between the two allies-held this year from February to April-labelling them as practice for war. “The UN Security Council,

shutting its eyes to the US madcap nuclear exercises, ‘denounced’ (our) self-defensive rocket launching drills to cope with them as a ‘violation of resolutions’... It is absolutely intolerable,” said the ministry. Pyongyang also warned the US to “stop acting rashly”, saying it was ready to take “next-stage steps which the enemy can hardly imagine”. “If a catastrophic development which no one wants occurs on the peninsula, the US will be wholly responsible for it,” the ministry said. Wednesday’s tests-believed to be the first mid-range missile launch since 2009 — coincided with a summit attended by the South, the US and Japan aimed at uniting the three nations against Pyongyang’s nuclear threat. The impoverished but nuclear-armed state has staged three atomic tests in 2006, 2009 and last year. Pyongyang’s powerful National Defense Commission, chaired by the North’s leader Kim Jong-Un, threatened on March 15 to demonstrate its nuclear deterrence. But the country has shown no signs of launching an imminent atomic test, Seoul’s military said last week. The North’s third atomic test in February 2013 — its most powerful to date drew widespread international condemnation as well as new UN sanctions. The North responded angrily, putting its “strategic” rocket units on a war footing and threatening to strike targets on the US mainland, Hawaii and Guam, as well as in South Korea. —AFP


MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

I N T E R N AT I O N A L

Kerry, Russian counterpart set to talk on Ukraine PARIS: Russia yesterday set out demands for a diplomatic resolution to the crisis in Ukraine, saying the former Soviet republic should be unified in a federation allowing wide autonomy to its various regions as US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov prepared to meet in Paris in another bid to calm tensions and resolve the crisis over Ukraine. After a brief call on French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, Kerry was to sit down with Lavrov at the residence of the Russian ambassador to France to go over Moscow’s response to a US plan to de-escalate the situation as Russian troops continue to mass along the Ukrainian border. Appearing on Russian television ahead of his talks with Kerry, Lavrov rejected suspicions that the deployment of tens of thousands of Russian troops near Ukraine is a sign Moscow plans to invade the country following its annexation of the strategic Crimean peninsula. “We have absolutely no intention of, or interest in, crossing Ukraine’s borders,” Lavrov said. Russia says the troops near the border are there for military exercises and that they have no plans to invade, but US and European officials say the numbers and locations of the troops suggest something more than exercises.

And, despite the Russian assurances, US, European and Ukrainian officials are deeply concerned about the buildup, which they fear could be a prelude to an invasion or intimidation to compel Kiev to accept Moscow’s demands. In his interview, Lavrov made clear that Moscow believes a federation is the only way to guarantee Ukraine’s stability and neutrality. “We can’t see any other way to ensure the stable development of Ukraine but to sign a federal agreement”, Lavrov said, adding that he understood the United States was open to the idea. US officials have been coy about their position on a federation and insist that any changes to Ukraine’s governing structure must be acceptable to the Ukrainians. Ukrainian officials are wary of decentralizing power but are now exploring political reforms that could grant more authority to local governments. The plan that Kerry and Lavrov are to discuss covers Ukrainian political and constitutional reforms, as well as the disarmament of irregular forces, international monitors to protect minority rights and direct dialogue between Russia and Ukraine, according to US officials, who say it has backing of Ukraine’s government. Kerry and Lavrov have met several times in person and spoken by phone almost daily since the

Ruling Socialist Party hammered in French vote Far-right wins key towns PARIS: France’s ruling Socialist Party suffered heavy losses in nationwide local elections yesterday and the farright National Front claimed control of at least two mid-sized towns, the first exit polls indicated. As ballots closed, the National front (FN) said it was on track to claim 1,200 municipal council seats nationwide in what one prominent activist described as the biggest electoral success in the party’s history. Exit polls indicated that candidates backed by Marine Le Pen’s party had secured the mayor’s seat in the south-

Hollande’s government since his 2012 election. “We have had a very severe warning,” acknowledged Segolene Royal, Hollande’s former partner who is tipped for a return to government in the reshuffle that is expected to follow in the wake of Sunday’s electoral debacle. The party run by Marine Le Pen had already made a breakthrough in last week’s first round of voting by winning power in the northern town of HeninBeaumont. Its previous record was the three towns it won in 1995 local elections. “Clearly we are entering a new phase, the duopoly of French politics

HENIN-BEAUMONT: Steeve Briois (L), newly elected French far-right Front National (FN) party mayor of Henin-Beaumont, poses with French far-right Front National party’s president Marine le Pen (R) in the City Hall during the municipal council yesterday in Henin-Beaumont, northern France. Briois was elected in the first round with 50,26 of votes. — AFP ern towns of Beziers and Frejus, but missed out on key targets elsewhere. “We have moved onto a new level,” Le Pen said. “There is now a third major political force in our country.” The historic city of Avignon, where the FN had headed the first round vote, remained under left-wing control and Le Pen’s party also failed to win the northeastern town of Forbach, which had been one of its top objectives. The centre-right UMP also claimed to have had a successful night, describing itself as the principal victor in the first electoral test for President Francois

has been broken and we must reckon with a third force,” Le Pen said. Socialists and mainstream conservatives have long dominated French politics. Yesterday’s runoff round of voting came after a week that saw French unemployment surge to a new record, making a reverse of first-round losses by the Socialists unlikely and a cabinet reshuffle by Hollande possible as soon as today. Some 80 percent of the French want him to dismiss Prime Minister JeanMarc Ayrault, according to a Harris Interactive poll this week, and ambi-

tious and tough-talking Interior Minister Manuel Valls is their favourite to replace him. Veteran Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius is also seen a contender. Final turnout last Sunday was 63.5 percent - a record low for local elections in a country with a strong attachment to its mayors, who wield considerable power. Dissatisfaction with Hollande’s tenure and a string of legal intrigues involving opposition conservatives were expected to dampen turnout. Next presidential and parliamentary elections are scheduled for 2017. A high abstention rate was expected to help the anti-immigrant FN win in the depressed post-industrial north and in southern towns such as Beziers or Frejus. Striking break through Pollsters identify half a dozen FN-run towns emerging after the vote, giving the party a chance to try exercising power once more. Its attempts to run four southern towns it won in 1995 and 1997 were criticised as revealing a lack of competence. The FN made a striking breakthrough last Sunday by winning power outright in the northern town of HeninBeaumont, a former coal-mining centre with unemployment now around 18 percent. The new FN mayor, 41-year-old Steeve Briois, was officially given the mayor’s traditional tricolour sash during the first town council yesterday, to applause from his supporters. “Change was necessary,” he said in the town council chamber, packed with journalists. The outgoing Socialist mayor, Eugene Binaisse, said: “We are officially entering the resistance. HeninBeaumont is not a lab, its people are not guinea pigs.” Despite the election losses, Hollande’s government has said it will stick with economic reforms and spending cuts, including a plan to phase out 30 billion euros ($41 billion) in payroll tax on companies in exchange for hiring more workers. A government source said Paris was preparing tax breaks for households, which would raise questions over whether France can fulfil a promise of bringing its public deficit down below the European Union target of 3 percent of gross domestic product. — Agencies

Failed presidential bid deals heavy blow to Slovak PM BRATISLAVA: Philanthropist Andrej Kiska swooped in out of the blue to clinch Slovakia’s presidency by a landslide, dealing a heavy blow to the credibility of veteran leftist Prime Minister Robert Fico ahead of general elections in 2016. A non-aligned centrist who made his fortune in the consumer-credit business, the 51-year-old Kiska will be Slovakia’s first president since independence in 1993 without a past in the Communist Party. The millionaire-turned-philanthropist who has given away most of his fortune to charity has vowed to “re-establish the people’s trust in the office of president” and “make politics more human”. Kiska scored 59.4 percent of the vote against 20.6 percent for Fico, the election commission said, pegging turnout at 50.48 percent. Kiska capitalised on his untainted image and touted himself as a bulwark against a Fico power grab. Analysts had warned that as president Fico could shepherd a constitutional amendment through a compliant parliament to broaden his powers or even transform Slovakia’s parliamentary system into a presidential one. Slovaks have become increasingly leery of their political class since high-profile corruption allegations in 2011 severely eroded trust in right-wing politicians. The scandal paved the way for a landslide for Fico’s Smer-Social Democrats in the 2012 general elections, enabling him to form a one-party government backed by a strong 83-seat independent majority in the 150-member parliament. But the prospect of Fico and Smer winning control of both parliament and the presidency in Saturday’s run-off galvanised opponents in the former communist country of 5.4 million, which joined the European Union in 2004 and the eurozone in 2009. Now, Kiska’s triumph clouds the future for the leftist Fico, who previously enjoyed ironclad popularity, as he gears up for the 2016 general election.

“This election was a referendum on Fico and his government, and he clearly lost it,” analyst Grigorij Meseznikov told AFP. “Fico won’t resign, he will try to finish his term until 2016, although his authority will be weakened-authoritarian politicians like Fico don’t resign willingly.” But others like Pavol Haulik, an analyst with the independent Bratislava-based MVK pollsters, believe Fico might consider quitting following the crushing defeat. “The pressure on him will be great.” For his part, Dag Danis, a pundit with the daily Hospodarske Noviny: “For the first time, the populist Fico did not notice that the growing trend in public opinion isn’t specifically against right-wingers or leftists, but rather against politics in general, him included.” No immediate risks Fico’s defeat even featured in a YouTube video captioned “Bye Bye Fico” and offering parodied version of Pharrell William’s global pop music hit “Happy” on Sunday. In it, youths are pictured in various vacation locales jiving to the tune while holding up posters of the premier. While Kiska has no political track record, analysts believe his election signals continuity for Slovakia’s staunchly proEuropean course. Outgoing leftist President Ivan Gasparovic, who will hand over to Kiska on June 15, was a low-key head of state during his two five-year terms. Though the office is largely ceremonial, the president ratifies international treaties, appoints top judges including the supreme court chief justice and is the commander in chief of the armed forces. The head of state can also veto laws passed by parliament. “Kiska is less experienced, but is a mainstream democratic politician,” said analyst Mesezenikov, noting that the millionaire has “free-market values and his foreign policy outlook is pro-Western.” —AFP

crisis began but have not yet been able to agree on a way forward. The pair met last week in The Hague, where Kerry presented Lavrov with the proposal, which was a response to ideas Lavrov gave him at a March 10 meeting in London. Yesterday’s meeting follows an hourlong phone call Friday between U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin in which Obama urged Putin to withdraw his troops from the border with Ukraine. The Russian leader, who initiated the call, asserted that Ukraine’s government is allowing extremists to intimidate ethnic Russians and Russian-speaking civilians with impunity - something Ukraine insists is not happening. That call did little to reassure US officials that Russia is not planning to invade Ukraine after its annexation of Crimea that the west has condemned as illegal and a violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The United States and Europe have imposed sanctions on senior Russian officials in response, sparking reciprocal moves from Moscow. Dead-end strategy In the interview with Russian television, Lavrov called the sanctions a “dead-end” strategy that would not achieve results and accused the west of

hypocrisy. He said it was inconsistent for the west to refuse to recognize Crimea’s annexation, which followed a referendum on joining Russia that was overwhelmingly approved, while at the same time accepting the new government in Kiev, which was formed after the pro-Moscow president fled the country. “If they are willing to accept the first event as legitimate, then surely they are obliged to acknowledge the second,” Lavrov told Russia’s Channel One television. The two sides remain far apart, a situation underscored by the fact that the White House and the Kremlin offered starkly different summaries of the Obama-Putin call, which occurred while Obama was traveling in Saudi Arabia. White House officials described the call as “frank and direct” and said Obama had urged Putin to offer a written response to a diplomatic resolution to the Ukraine crisis that the U.S. has presented. He urged Moscow to scale back its troop buildup on the border with Ukraine, which has prompted concerns in Kiev and Washington about a possible Russian invasion in eastern Ukraine. The Kremlin, on the other hand, said Putin had drawn Obama’s attention to a “rampage of extremists” in Ukraine and suggested “possible steps by the international community to help stabilize the situation” in Ukraine. — AP

‘Craigslist killer’ says 2 victims escaped death HARRISBURG: A woman dubbed the so-called Craigslist killer suspect, who is accused of luring a man to his death through the classified ad website, claims two other men responded to her online post but failed to show up to their planned meetings, according to a jailhouse interview published yester day. The accused killer, Miranda Barbour, 19, who in an earlier interview said she had killed at least 22 people, named Big Lake, Alaska; Mexico Beach, Florida; and Raleigh, North Carolina as places where authorities might find evidence, according to the article published by the Sunbury, Pennsylvania Daily Item. “They are looking for full bodies,” Barbour told reporter Francis Scarcella in the jailhouse interview. “They won’t find any. But they will find body parts.” Barbour and her husband, 22-year-old Elytte Barbour, have pleaded not guilty to the stabbing and strangling in November of Troy LaFerrara, 42, whose body was found dumped in an alley in Sunbury. If convicted, they face the possibility of the death penalty. Prosecutors say the couple used Craigslist to lure him to a meeting, offering sex, in a shopping mall parking lot. In an interview with the Daily Item in February, Barbour said she was a member of a satanic cult. Authorities have expressed skepticism about her claims of being a serial killer, noting her petite size

and a lack of corroborating evidence. In the interview published on Sunday, Barbour said she was supposed to meet up with two other men who responded to her Craigslist ad, but they did not arrive for their dates and escaped being murdered. “I tried it a few times but it never worked out,” Barbour was quoted as saying in the interview at the state’s maximum-security women’s prison in Muncy earlier this week. “I knew we were going to do this since the day we met, and we tried, but the others just didn’t show up,” she said. Barbour said she dumped body parts of one victim in Big Lake in southern Alaska, about 13 miles from Wasilla where she once lived. Pieces of another body were left in Mexico Beach, Florida, while another body, apparently intact, was dumped along Interstate 95 near Raleigh, North Carolina, she said. According to the Daily Item, police in all three locations said they were investigating but knew of no unsolved murders from the times Barbour described. The three police depar tments could not be reached for comment yesterday. The Northumberland County, Pennsylvania district attorney’s office and the public defender representing Barbour could not immediately be reached for comment. — Reuters


MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

I N T E R N AT I O N A L

If Modi wins, neighbours can expect more a muscular India NEW DELHI: India will get tougher on territorial disputes with China and in its old rivalry with Pakistan if opposition leader Narendra Modi becomes the prime minister in May after a general election, two of his aides said. Modi, a Hindu nationalist who is the front-runner to win the five-week election starting on April 7, has taken an aggressive tone against the two neighbouring nations. On the campaign trail, he has warned Beijing to shed its “mindset of expansionism” and in the past he has railed against Pakistan, an Islamic state, for attacks by Muslim militants in India. “I swear in the name of the soil that I will protect this country,” Modi said at a rally in the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh last month, a region claimed by China. India, China and Pakistan are all nuclear powers. They are also jockeying to take positions in Afghanistan as Western troops start to withdraw from the war-torn nation after a 12-year insurgency. India has fought three wars with Pakistan and had a 1962 border skirmish with China. It came close to a fourth war with Pakistan in 2001 but since then, its foreign policy has been mostly benign. Modi has painted the ruling Congress party, which has been in power for more than 50 of the 67 years since India

became independent, as weak on national security. However, the country is one of the top buyers worldwide of military hardware, purchasing about $12.7 billion in arms during 2007-2011, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, everything from basic military goods to an aircraft carrier. Modi’s two advisers said that while his foreign policy would be muscular, it would also aim to keep a lid on regional tensions to allow a focus on reviving the economy. “Ours will be an economy-driven foreign policy and the whole idea is to build India’s economy so solidly that you can deal with other countries on our own terms,” said a strategist involved in formulating the manifesto of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). As leader of the economic-powerhouse state of Gujarat for more than a decade, Modi has courted investment from China. As prime minister, the advisers say, he would seek to steer a course between defending India’s security interests and growing business links with the world’s second-biggest economy. Modi has never clearly spelled out his foreign policy vision, but he has praised former BJP prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee - who ordered a series of nuclear tests in 1998 - for adopting a strategy based on both ‘Shakti’ and ‘Shanti’, Sanskrit for power

and peace. “The Chinese will understand the new PM is not a wimp and they won’t do anything adventurous,” the BJP strategist said. Hundreds of intrusions According to India, China has made hundreds of intrusions along their disputed border in recent years. China denies crossing into Indian territory. Adding to disquiet in India are China’s forays into the Indian Ocean and its involvement in building a string of ports stretching from Pakistan’s Gwadar to Chittagong in Bangladesh. The BJP wants a rapid naval build-up and a firmer response to border violations. It also plans to speed up construction of roads and communication lines along the land border to narrow the gap with China’s infrastructure on the Tibetan plateau. The advisers, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the BJP’s manifesto is still under wraps, said Modi would move quickly to lay out India’s core security interests in its neighbourhood, replacing what they dismissed as a reactive policy under the Congress party. Topping the list will be an early settlement of the border dispute with China, an assertion of India’s pri-

macy in the Indian Ocean, and a low tolerance of Muslim militancy that India believes is often backed by Pakistan. “You will see a more nationalistic approach on issues relating to terrorism in our neighbourhood. It is a much more hard view of these things,” said one of the advisers. Outgoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has pushed for peace with Pakistan, and had hoped to visit his birthplace in Pakistan’s Punjab province in a final gesture of reconciliation before leaving office. But his efforts were stymied by opposition at home over Islamabad’s failure to act against those India holds responsible for masterminding a 2008 attack on the city of Mumbai in which 166 people were killed by 10 gunmen from Pakistan. Rajiv Dogra, a former Indian ambassador to Pakistan, expects a more forceful policy under a BJP government, both because of domestic pressure and an uncertain regional environment as the United States pulls out troops from Afghanistan. “So far there has been a consensus in India - irrespective of the complexion and change in government - on the broad foreign policy contours,” he said. “But this time, if there is a change in government, I do expect a break from that tradition.” — Reuters

Voters rush to register for Afghan poll despite attacks Romanian soldier killed by explosive device

SOUTH CHINA SEA: A dilapidated Philippine Navy ship LT 57 (Sierra Madre) with Philippine troops deployed on board is anchored off Second Thomas Shoal, locally known as Ayungin Shoal, yesterday off South China Sea. On Saturday, China Coast Guard attempted to block the Philippine government vessel AM700 carrying fresh troops and supplies, but the latter successfully managed to docked beside the ship to replace troops who were deployed for five months. — AP

Philippines presses UN case over China sea row MANILA: The Philippines yesterday filed a formal plea to the United Nations challenging Beijing’s claim to most of the South China Sea, defying Chinese warnings, a day after a dramatic maritime stand-off with the Asian giant. Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said Manila has filed the plea before a UN arbitration tribunal to declare China’s claims over the strategic and resource-rich waters as a violation of international law. “It is about defending what is legitimately ours. It is about securing our children’s future. It is about guaranteeing freedom of navigation for all nations,” he told a news conference. China’s claims over the South China Sea, believed to harbour vast oil and gas reserves, overlap those of the Philippines as well as Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan. The Philippines announced last year that it will ask the United Nations to declare China’s claims over the area illegal under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The tribunal had given Manila until Sunday to submit its legal brief. Chief Philippine government lawyer Francis Jardeleza said he expects the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, based in the German city of Hamburg, to advise both parties on the next steps. He did not know when a ruling will be made. Both officials declined to disclose the specifics of around 4,000 pages of documents that were submitted to the tribunal. China has refused to take part in the arbitration with its foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei last week warning that bilateral relations will suffer if the Philippines pursues the appeal. Hong also said China was “committed to

managing and resolving relevant issues (in the South China Sea) through dialogue and consultation”. Manila has argued that China’s claims cover areas as far as 870 nautical miles (1,611 kilometres) from the nearest Chinese coast and interfere with the Philippines’ exercise of its rights to its continental shelf. Dramatic stand-off The Philippine filing came a day after a Filipino supply vessel slipped past a blockade of Chinese coastguard vessels to deliver supplies to, and rotate troops from, a remote and disputed South China Sea reef. The dramatic confrontation took place at Second Thomas Shoal, where a small number of Filipino soldiers are stationed on a Navy vessel that was grounded there in 1999 to assert the Philippines’ sovereignty. China had said its coastguard successfully turned away a similar Filipino attempt on March 9, forcing the Philippine military to air-drop supplies to the marines. The Philippine foreign department argues the disputed areas, including the Second Thomas Shoal, are part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone and continental shelf over which Manila has sole sovereign rights under the UN sea treaty. Both China and the Philippines are signatories to the 1982 treaty, but Beijing has repeatedly said it has sovereign rights over the entire Spratlys as well as waters and other islets approaching its neighbours. It has also accused the Philippines of illegally “occupying” Second Thomas Shoal, which is around 200 kilometres from the western Philippine island of Palawan and about 1,100 kilometres from the nearest major Chinese land mass. —AFP

Sri Lanka ruling party wins vote test with lower margin COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s ruling party won local elections, but with smaller than expected margins in a crucial mid-term test for President Mahinda Rajapakse, official results showed yesterday. The president campaigned for polls held Saturday for southern and western provincial councils, both in the ethnic majority Sinhalese heartland, which account for more than a third of the country’s electorate. Rajapakse’s Freedom Alliance party secured 33 of the 55 seats in the southern province, down from 38 at the 2009 poll, with three opposition parties winning the rest, final results from the election office showed. The president’s party suffered a bigger erosion of support in the western province where it won 56 of the 104 seats up for grabs, down from 68, with the smaller opposition parties making inroads. Elections for the councils, the highest level of local government, are seen as a gauge of popularity for Rajapakse-who has maintained an iron grip on power since 2009 — and his party ahead of parliamentary and presidential polls due in

2016. Rajapakse’s party won comfortably in his home constituency of Hambantota, with 57.42 percent of the vote, but down from 66.95 won in 2009 in that district, one of three that make up the southern province. There was no immediate comment from the ruling party or the main opposition United National Party whose vote remained steady. Two smaller opposition parties-the Marxist JVP or People’s Liberation Front, and the Democratic Party of former army chief Sarath Fonseka-made significant gains. The department of elections is expected to announce more detailed results in the coming days, including outcomes for individual candidates. The ruling party had tried to turn Saturday’s vote into a referendum on a UN Human Rights Council’s resolution last week to set up a war crimes probe into the island, a move that angered the Rajapakse government. The party asked voters to send a strong message to the UN that ordinary Sri Lankans were against an international probe into allegations up to 40,000 civilians were killed in the final months of the island’s war.

KABUL: Crowds queued up outside voter registration centres in Afghanistan yesterday and presidential candidates held large campaign rallies, six days ahead of elections that have been shaken by Taleban attacks. The vote, which will choose a successor to President Hamid Karzai, comes as US-led foreign troops withdraw after 13 years of fighting the fierce Islamist insurgency raging across the south and east of the country. One Romanian soldier was killed yesterday by an improvised explosive device (IED) in the southern province of Zabul, taking the US-led coalition death toll to 3,429 since operations began in 2001. On Saturday, the Kabul headquarters of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) was attacked when five Taleban militants occupied a nearby building and unleashed rockets and gunfire towards the fortified compound. All five attackers were killed by Afghan security forces six hours after the attack began, and there were no other casualties. “Our vote is our responsibility, people want change and we will bring that change through voting,” said Abdul Waris Sadat, a 21-year-old student waiting with several hundred people for hours outside a voter registration centre in Kabul. “The attacks by the Taleban have motivated people to come to this centre, register and vote,” he said. “This is only answer that they give to the Taleban.” Rassoul Khurami, a 60 year-old shopkeeper, added: “I know my vote counts, and this time even if I get killed I will go and vote, I’m not scared of Taleban threats.” According to the latest IEC figures, nearly 3.7 million new voters have registered for Saturday’s presidential and provincial council elections. Afghan officials, the United Nations and foreign donor nations have struck a defiant note ahead of the vote after recent attacks on IEC centres, Kabul’s most prestigious hotel and a guesthouse run by a US-based anti-landmine charity. “Thousands of people are queuing every day behind IEC offices to get voter cards, showing strength and determination that nothing will stop us,” said interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi. Candidates hit campaign trail Former World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani and Karzai loyalist Zalmai Rassoul held rallies in the northwestern province of Herat on Sunday,

HERAT: Afghan presidential candidate and former foreign minister Zalmai Rassoul (C), his first vice presidential candidate, Ahmad Zia Massoud (L) and his second vice presidential candidate Habiba Sarabi (R) greet their supporters during a campaign rally at a stadium in the northwestern city of Herat yesterday. — AFP while Abdullah Abdullah, who came second in the 2009 vote, campaigned in the southern province of Kandahar. “We will be victorious in this election-not through fraud, but based on the votes of the people,” Abdullah told thousands of flag-waving supporters. “These attacks cannot stop the people of Afghanistan, who want to have the election.” Rassoul is widely seen as Karzai’s favoured candidate, and Ghani has drawn big crowds to his rallies, but the two could split the Pashtun ethnic vote while Abdullah retains strong support from non-Pashtun communities. Eight candidates are running in the April 5 presidential election, with a second round runoff between the two leading contenders expected in late May. The IEC announced on Sunday that 748 polling stations would stay closed as they were in dangerous insurgent strongholds, leaving a total of 6,757 stations to open on Saturday. “The sites that will remain closed are in places where the observers cannot go, or there are

landmines,” said Ziaulhaq Amarkhil, head of the IEC secretariat. “We want to the people to go to polling... we want the candidates to respect the people’s votes and we want the candidates to avoid fraud.” A repeat of the violence and corruption seen in previous elections would undermine international donors’ claims that the expensive 13-year US-led intervention has made progress in establishing a functioning Afghan state. A small European Union monitoring team will assess the election, and will issue a preliminary report two days after voting. The Romanian government confirmed that one of its soldiers was killed and five injured on Sunday on a patrol with Afghan forces along the main highway from Kabul and Kandahar. On March 20, four Taliban gunmen smuggled pistols into Kabul’s high-security Serena hotel and shot dead nine people including four foreigners. The victims included Agence FrancePresse journalist Sardar Ahmad, his wife and two of their three children. — AFP

Thais vote for Senate as PM showdown looms BANGKOK: Thais voted yesterday to elect the upper house of parliament in a poll that could hold the key to the fate of the prime minister, who faces possible impeachment for negligence after months of street protests. While the Senate is officially non-partisan, in reality the two main political camps are vying for control of the chamber in the absence of a functioning lower house following incomplete February polls. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has resisted massive pressure to step down despite months of street protests and a slew of legal moves against her-including over her alleged role in a rice subsidy scheme that could lead to an impeachment vote in the Senate. Polls closed yesterday afternoon, according to an election official, who said there was no repeat of the widespread disruption caused by anti-government protesters to a February 2 general election, which was also boycotted by the main opposition party. That vote was voided by the Constitutional Court earlier this month. “Today’s (Sunday’s) election went smoothly... if the parties concerned create a stable political situation then an election can be successful,” Election Commissioner Somchai Srisutthiyakorn told reporters. With Thailand’s political crisis lurching towards its sixth month, the Senate polls have taken on fresh importance. Experts say the elected portion-a narrow majority of the 150-seat chamber-could install many pro-government senators to help bolster the administration in the face of looming legal challenges. The other, unelected senators are appointed by institutions seen as allied to the anti-government establishment, such as the Constitutional Court and the Election Commission. Preliminary results are due late Sunday but the official list of newly elected senators could

BANGKOK: A Thai woman (L) casts her vote in the senate elections at a polling station in Bangkok yesterday. Polls opened in Thailand yesterday to elect the upper house of parliament in a vote that could hold the key to the fate of the prime minister, who faces possible impeachment for negligence after months of street protests. — AFP take days to approve. At a central Bangkok clashed with the royalist establishment, fled polling station a steady streams of voters cast overseas in 2008 to avoid jail for a corruption conviction, but he is seen as the de facto leader their vote, according to AFP reporters. “Elections are best for democracy. Whatever of his sister’s Puea Thai party. Yingluck has faced months of mass rallies we do, we must have elections,” said 65-year-old demanding she step down to make way for an voter Amnuay Aransri. unelected interim government to oversee reforms. Negligence charges Political violence, often targeting protesters, Thailand has seen years of political conflict and rival street protests by opponents and sup- has left 23 people dead and hundreds wounded porters of Yingluck’s brother, fugitive former pre- in grenade attacks and shootings in recent mier Thaksin Shinawatra who was ousted in a months, although the bloodshed has abated since the demonstrations were scaled back at coup in 2006. The billionaire tycoon-turned-politician, who the start of March. —AFP


NEWS

MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

ARRABE: Arab Israelis wave Palestinian flags during a rally commemorating Land Day yesterday in this northern Arab-Israeli town. — AFP

Panel OKs raising children allowance... Continued from Page 1 The issue has been in the National Assembly for several months after a large number of MPs submitted a variety of proposals calling for the raise, but almost all were rejected by the government citing their cost. Some MPs had called for doubling the allowance and make beneficiaries unlimited, while others called for increasing the allowance to KD 75 and the number of children open and a number of other MPs sought the allowance to become KD 75, capping the number of children at seven. The government had told the Assembly that all the proposals were costly and would overburden the budget already inflated by huge salary and subsidy increases during the past few years. But MPs insisted that the increase was necessary to help parents cope with an ever-rising cost of living, but chose the least expensive proposal of all. The Assembly is expected to debate the issue tomorrow even if the government rejects the draft law. MP Safa Al-Hashem insisted that Kuwaiti citizens have the right to enjoy a state of welfare in line with the country’s wealthy status. Hashem argued that the government was not honest regarding the concerns it expressed, and is instead trying to avoid fulfilling the duty of guaranteeing welfare to Kuwaitis. “If the government wants welfare for Kuwaiti citizens, they are required to provide them with allowances and decent services,” she said in a statement yesterday. Hashem questioned the government’s arguments including one that indicated that raising the children’s

allowance to KD 75 will costs an additional KD 270 million to the state’s budget. “Kuwait hosted 4 summits within a year which cost at least KD 480 million,” Hashem said, insisting at the same time that citizens “must be given the right of an allowance for their children”. Shiite MP Faisal Al-Duwaisan meanwhile yesterday submitted a draft law calling to jail for three years people who fight abroad. The bill targets those who take part in fighting in an Arab country or in a member of the Organization of Islamic Conference. Last month, lawmaker Nabil Al-Fadhl submitted a similar proposal calling for a jail sentence of up to 30 years for those who fight outside the country or send militants. MP Yacoub Al-Sane said yesterday that he has not withdrawn a proposal to amend the constitution in a bid to raise the Assembly membership from the current 50 to 70 members. The lawmaker said that the number of MPs who signed the motion has dropped to 17 after one MP withdrew his name, “but this will not make him abandon the idea”. Sane said he still needs the signatures of five more MPs in order to officially submit the proposal to the Assembly. Under Kuwaiti law, the prior approval of HH the Amir is essential for starting the lengthy and complicated procedures to amend the constitution, which has remained without change since it was issued in 1962. The legal and legislative committee in the meantime approved the amendment of the unemployment benefits law for nationals, rapporteur of the committee MP Abdulkareem Al-Kandari said. But the panel delayed a decision on a draft law concerning arms until the government sends its opinion on the issue, he said.

Egypt presidential election May 26-27 Continued from Page 1 The Islamists have vowed to continue protests, which along with persistent militancy, threaten to further damage the country’s already battered economy. At least 1,400 people, mostly Islamists, have been killed in a police crackdown on street protests, according to Amnesty International. Yesterday, a student was killed at Al-Azhar university in Cairo, a prestigious seat of Sunni Islamic learning, in clashes between protesters and security forces, official daily AlAhram reported on its website. The student’s death comes two days after five people, including an Egyptian journal-

ist, were killed in clashes between Islamists and police in Cairo. In Sinai, militants killed a soldier yesterday, security officials said. Sisi has vowed to restore law and order and address the teetering economy, in turmoil since a popular uprising overthrew veteran strongman Hosni Mubarak in 2011. He is supported by a broad range of liberal and nationalist parties. But some dissidents who supported his ouster of Morsi, after millions demonstrated demanding the Islamist’s overthrow, now say he is reviving undemocratic practices. The retired field marshal has said there will be no return to the corruption and human rights violations of the Mubarak era.— AFP

Palestinians rally to mark Land Day ARRABA: Palestinians and Arab Israelis commemorated yesterday Land Day with rallies remembering six of their number who were shot dead during a 1976 demonstration against land seizure. In the northern Israeli town of Arraba, thousands of people turned out for the main demonstration, many waving Palestinian flags, an AFP correspondent said. A smaller gathering also took place in Sawawil, a Bedouin village in the southern Negev desert which is not recognised by Israel, with police saying hundreds participated. The annual Land Day demonstrations are held to remember six Arab Israeli protesters who were shot dead by Israeli police and troops during mass demonstrations in 1976 against plans to confiscate Arab land in Galilee. In annexed east Jerusalem, some 70 demonstrators gathered outside the walls of the Old City by Damascus Gate, throwing stones and chanting slogans, a police spokeswoman said, adding that the rally was quickly broken up and one

person arrested. Spokeswoman Luba Samri told AFP that Land Day demonstrations were “over or nearly over” by the evening and that nothing out of the ordinary took place. There were also several gatherings in the Gaza Strip, with scores of people attending a demonstration near the northern town of Jabaliya organised by the ruling Hamas movement. Among the crowd were youngsters wearing green baseball caps and makeshift tunics fashioned out of the Palestinian flag. They changed slogans and held up banners reading: “We will return to our land, no matter how long it takes.” A demonstration near the southern city of Khan Yunis drew similar numbers, among them dozens of children holding balloons bearing the Palestinian flag or scrawled with the word “Gaza”. Scattered demonstrations and sitins also took place in the West Bank, including in the southern city of Hebron where foreign peace activists also attended. — AFP

Erdogan’s party takes strong lead... Continued from Page 1 Anticipating a poll triumph, a boisterous crowd of his flag-waving followers were watching TV coverage on a large screen outside AKP headquarters in Ankara, waiting for Erdogan to give a “balcony speech”. “Once the ballot boxes are opened, the rest is only footnotes to history,” Erdogan earlier said as he voted in Istanbul. “Today it is what the people say which matters rather than what was said in the city squares,” he told reporters, as supporters chanted “Turkey is proud of you” outside. Months of political turmoil - fought out in fierce street clashes and explosive Internet leaks - have left Turkey polarised between Erdogan’s Muslim conservative supporters and a secular political camp. The premier’s heavyhanded response to being challenged on the streets and online has included a deadly police crackdown on protesters in Istanbul and blocks on Twitter and YouTube. The clampdown has alienated NATO allies and detracted from Erdogan’s much lauded record of driving an economic boom and transforming the country spanning Europe and Asia into an emerging global player.

“Our democracy must be strengthened and cleansed,” said Kemal Kilicdaroglu, head of the main opposition Republican People’s Party as he cast his vote yesterday, vowing to build “a pleasant society”. Two activists of the group Femen, which has backed the Gezi movement and protested the Twitter ban, were arrested after staging a bare-breasted protest with the words “Ban Erdogan” across their chests. Erdogan’s government has been hit by damaging online leaks that started in December, with wide-ranging bribery and sleaze claims against Erdogan’s inner circle going viral in the youthful country. Erdogan has accused Fethullah Gulen, an influential US-based Muslim cleric, and his loyalists in the Turkish police and justice system, of being behind the leaks and plotting his downfall. The spiralling crisis has sent down the Turkish lira and stock market and rattled investors’ faith in the Muslim democracy that has often been described as a model for post-Arab Spring countries. If Erdogan’s party manages to sustain its early lead as the ballot count continues, it would suggest such troubles have been largely shrugged off by many of Turkey’s over 50 million eligible voters. — Agencies


MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

ANALYSIS

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Issues

Move to forestall succession crisis By Angus McDowall

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audi Arabia’s appointment of Prince Muqrin as deputy crown prince is a first step towards addressing its biggest dynastic challenge for 50 years and forestalling a possible succession crisis in the world’s top oil exporter. The ruling AlSaud family is fast approaching the moment when it must decide how to jump down a generation from a line of brothers born to the country’s founder King Abdulaziz to their sons and nephews, a process fraught with difficulty. For a dynasty that now sees itself as governing a rare island of stability in a region aflame with conflict and political discord, and facing looming demographic challenges, that decision is growing increasingly urgent. “There is no alternative. You have no choice. There should be clarity and there should be a correct approach to succession,” said Khaled Al-Maeena, editor at large of Saudi Gazette, an English-language daily. Although any jostling for power among the 40-odd branches of King Abdulaziz’s descendents is kept carefully hidden behind the ornate doors of royal palaces, Saudis with royal connections say some members of the family worry about being sidelined. But they are keen to avoid a full-blown internal power struggle of the kind that brought down two previous Saudi dynasties in the 18th and 19th centuries, and to prevent a repeat of the administrative paralysis 18 years ago when King Fahd was incapacitated by a stroke without formally passing on his powers. “It’s putting the house in order because the king and the heir apparent are advanced in age and not in the best of health. Therefore it is a precautionary step to ensure that in case of need there is no vaccum and I think that is significant in and of itself,” said Joseph Kechichian, a historian of Gulf Arab monarchies. Abdullah looked well and sustained a vigorous two-hour discussion with Obama on Friday evening despite wearing an oxygen tube attached to his nose, US officials said, but he rarely appears in public or conducts high level meetings with foreign leaders. As princes lined up on Sunday to pay allegiance to Muqrin, kissing him on the cheek under the chandeliers of Riyadh’s government palace in images broadcast by state media, Saudi social media feeds were abuzz with rumours of further moves. His appointment bypassed Crown Prince Salman’s prerogative to choose his own heir upon taking power, and has prompted speculation of a wider deal between different wings of the family.

Generational Transition Over the past two years Abdullah has made a succession of appointments, promoting many younger princes, including his sons, to positions previously occupied by older members of the al-Saud in an apparent effort to put in place a new ruling team. Two of those men, his son Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, who heads the Saudi Arabian National Guard, and his nephew Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the Interior Minister, are seen as the strongest two candidates for future rule of their generation. What some Saudis now hope is that the decision to appoint Prince Muqrin is the opening gambit in a conversation about how to transition to a suitable candidate in the next generation, putting to bed potentially divisive debates over the succession. “It would give greater peace of mind. If there is a clear-cut direction, I think the people would welcome this,” said Maeena, adding that managing the generational shift would require great political acumen. For the first time since the 1960s, most Saudis are unable to predict with any degree of certainty the names of the next three or four princes in the unofficial line to rule. King Abdullah and Crown Prince Salman are the last active members of a group of princes who in 1964 deposed King Saud in favour of King Faisal, establishing the principle that power would move from one brother to the next. A similar unifying moment has not yet occurred for the next crop of princes, and some fear that the eventual move to the next generation will destabilise the balance of power between different branches of the al-Saud. Allegiance Council If the ruling family can cut an internal deal now, it may help to present a united front at a moment when the kingdom faces bigger external challenges than at any time in recent history, as war and political chaos reign across the Arab world. It may also be a good idea to resolve any dynastic squabbles now, while the country benefits from high oil prices, successive budget surpluses and foreign currency reserves of $717 billion, allowing it to maintain high social spending. A future government will likely have to make unpopular decisions about subsidies and high public sector employment to make the kingdom’s economy more sustainable, economists believe. Analysts have pointed to the announcement that Muqrin’s appointment was approved by the Allegiance Council, a family committee set up by King Abdullah in 2006 to help formalise the succession process. “Although it has had several meetings they have not really been at the vanguard of the succession matter,” said Kechichian. —Reuters

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: opinion@kuwaittimes.net or via snail mail to PO Box 1301 Safat, Kuwait. The editor reserves the right to edit any submission as necessary.

No breakthrough in Obama-Abdullah talks By William Maclean and Angus McDowall

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audi Arabia’s leaders hope US President Barack Obama and their King Abdullah understand each other better after talks and can stabilise a close regional security alliance after months of rockiness over Middle East policy, diplomats said. Friday’s two-hour exchange at Abdullah’s desert camp did not yield a shared statement or any evidence of policy changes, leading some Saudis to question whether differences over Syria’s war or Iran’s nuclear program were closer to being resolved. But diplomats said the mere fact Obama made the effort to visit and discuss issues “frankly” - in a US official’s words - with the king should reduce the margin for public spats and counter an impression that both sides value the alliance less. Obama visited the world’s top oil-exporter and birthplace of Islam aiming to soothe Saudi fears that the United States was retreating from its commitment to the security of Middle East allies and allowing Riyadh’s rival Iran more influence. Those concerns, revolving particularly around the cautious US approach to the war in Syria where Riyadh and Tehran back opposing sides, had led top Saudis to warn of a “major shift” from Washington and that they might “go it alone” in future. Deputy National

Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said before Obama and Abdullah met late on Friday night that the relationship had improved since the autumn thanks to better coordination on assisting Syria’s insurgents. But the comments made by a senior administration official later on Friday did not indicate any shift in areas where the two sides have disagreed. “It’s too early to judge whether the meeting is successful. Judge and jury on this is if the American policy on Syria changes quickly enough,” said Mustafa Alani, a security analyst with close ties to the kingdom’s Interior Ministry. That point was echoed by Abdullah Al-Askar, chairman of the foreign affairs committee in Saudi Arabia’s Shoura Council, a body appointed by King Abdullah to discuss policy issues and advise the government. “As you know, before the visit the relationship was a cold one, but not to a degree where it was in danger,” he said, adding that he was speaking in a personal capacity and did not have direct knowledge of what Obama and Abdullah discussed. But Askar added that although the meeting had appeared to go smoothly, it was not yet possible to judge its success. “We can figure out on the ground...if there is a change (in US policy), it means the Americans now understand the real story.”

Saudi faith in Obama was shaken by his approach to the Arab uprisings in 2011, when they wanted him to do more to protect shared allies who were unseated by popular protests, and by his failure to press Israel into ending settlement construction in occupied territory that Palestinians want for a state. Last year their anger boiled over when Obama backed away from air strikes against the forces of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad after a poison gas attack in the country’s civil war, and when Washington and five other world powers agreed a preliminary deal with Iran over its disputed nuclear program. They have been pressing for US involvement of some kind, whether air strikes or more help in turning the Syrian rebels into a competent military force, since early in the conflict but feel Obama has vacillated over how far to commit. Saudi Arabia believes it is facing a life-and-death struggle with Iran for the future of the Middle East, including in Syria, and abhors the prospect of sanctions and other pressure on the Islamic Republic being lifted. Washington’s early reassurances that it would not allow Iran more scope to be involved in Arab issues in exchange for a nuclear deal were met with suspicion in Riyadh. But as the interim nuclear accord has shown little sign of being broadened into a

permanent settlement, their concerns have diminished. Nevertheless, Riyadh had hoped for concrete developments on improving the weapons flow to Syria’s rebels, especially after US media reported last week that the White House was considering a new plan that involved providing more arms and stepping up training efforts. But a senior administration official said after the meeting that US reluctance to provide anti-aircraft missiles, seen by backers of the rebels as indispensable if they are to start turning the tables of the stalemated conflict against Assad, had not changed. Robert Jordan, US ambassador to Riyadh from 2001-03, said that normally such summits produced action on concrete measures. In this case, he said, “it’s not clear to me that either side got very much other than words and reassurances”. A Saudi source said the lack of tangible action was “expected” and that the kingdom’s rulers had lost their trust in Obama when he backed away from military action against Assad. Alani said: “The question is how fast he (Obama) is going to deliver on his promises. This is a major issue now. Especially on Syria. They will give it a month or two to see if there’s a shift. If it isn’t happening, we’ll go (back) to square one.” —Reuters

Mixed legacy for Karzai as Afghan president By Kathy Gannon

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fghans go to the polls next weekend to choose a new president, and that in itself may one day be considered Hamid Karzai’s greatest achievement. There has been no shortage of criticism of Karzai in recent years. His mercurial behavior and inability or unwillingness to tackle corruption in his government have been well documented. But in a nation hardened by decades of war, the fact that he is stepping down as president in the first democratic transfer of power ever is no small matter. It is made possible by a constitution that Karzai helped draft and that prohibits him from serving a third fiveyear term. The April 5 election “is a historical marker that will in many ways determine I think not only how he’s seen in history if he achieves that but will also be a very important indicator about the future of this country,” US Ambassador James Cunningham said last week. Cunningham said the differences between Karzai and his former American backers will most likely be relegated to a mere historical footnote. Karzai has refused to sign a security pact with the U.S. that would allow thousands of foreign forces to remain here after the end of 2014. Despite overwhelming public support for the deal, he left the decision to his successor. Many believe Karzai simply did not want to be remembered as the president who permitted foreign troops to stay in Afghanistan. Karzai inherited a broken country when the Americans and their allies chose him more than 12 years ago as a leader they hoped could cross ethnic lines, embrace former enemies and bring Afghans together. As he prepares to leave office, Afghanistan has made great strides yet remains hobbled by a resilient Taleban insurgency and fears of a return to civil war. In many parts of the country, women have more opportunities, schools have opened and nascent governmental institutions are functioning. After five years of oppressive Taleban rule, people are allowed to express their views in public. “This is one

of his greatest legacies. We are here and we can say whatever we want and we can say it to him,” said Saima Khogyani, one of 69 women lawmakers in parliament. “Whether he does what we ask is something else, but he listens.” But widespread corruption, poor governance and stubborn poverty foster support for the Taleban, who control vast rural sections of southern and eastern Afghanistan. The militants have not only shown little interest in peace but have stepped up attacks aimed at disrupting the elections. Critics fault Karzai for employing former warlords linked to massive abuses. Karzai’s defenders say he was hamstrung because the US-led coalition enlisted those warlords to fight the Taleban, empowering them. Many remember the Karzai of the 1980s, when he lived in Pakistan as the former Soviet Union bombed his homeland, napalm laying waste to the countryside. He would talk of the Afghanistan of his childhood - ruby red pomegranate orchards as far as the eye could see, tribal elders passing through his family home outside the southern city of Kandahar, his father, a Popalzai tribal elder, dispensing wisdom and making decisions with a single sweep of his hand. “What he understood as democracy was what his father practiced in Kandahar, traditional (ethnic) Pashtun back and forth, (use of) jirgas,” as a tool of governance, said Afghan journalist Ahmad Rashid. “I think it is his memories of his father and his past and how ruling and governing was done in the 60s when he was a child that has had just a huge impact on him.”

Matchmaker Shortly after the Taleban seized power in Kabul in 1996, Karzai became a matchmaker of sorts, shuttling between Afghanistan’s disparate anti-Taleban groups trying to unite them under a single umbrella. After the US-led invasion in late 2001, Karzai led a small band of men into southern Afghanistan to take on the Taleban regime. The Taleban eventually surrendered not to the Americans but to Karzai, seeking his guarantees of safe passage. Karzai was still in the mountains in Uruzgan province when he was reached by satellite telephone and told that his lifelong dream would come true: He would be the president of Afghanistan. He was to head a government cobbled together in Bonn, Germany, a collection of warlordsturned-politicians who brought with them their weapons and their mili-

tias. Afghanistan, which was a monarchy until 1973, has had other heads of state but none has been democratically elected. “There were other possible leaders, but Karzai’s role in opposing the Taleban, his personal and family sacrifices, and his role in the war set him apart,” said Zalmay Khalilzad, who served as President George W. Bush’s special representative to Afghanistan. To many Afghan officials and foreign observers, Khalilzad was Afghanistan’s de-facto ruler in those initial months after the Taleban’s collapse. He lived at the palace, crafted alliances and took center stage organizing the traditional grand councils or loya jirgas that would eventually approve Afghanistan’s constitution. “In the early days he (Karzai) was very much obligated to the Americans, in their lap as it were,” said Rashid. “Khalilzad was almost running the country. It took some time for him to emerge.” Khalilzad and Rashid agreed that Karzai’s greatest contribution was his ability to cross ethnic lines, make deals with former enemies and hold the country together. “Karzai helped communities overcome past divisions, uniting the minority groups with the non-Taleban Pashtuns,” said Khalilzad. “He enabled all communities to come together and overcome, to a large extent, the conflicts of the past. He has not put people in jail because they oppose him. He allowed freedom of expression. State structures have been restored, though unevenly.” Leadership His leadership was affirmed in a 2004 election, although his re-election in 2009 was tainted by allegations of massive ballot box stuffing. With that in mind, some candidates have raised fears about fraud and government interference in the upcoming elections. Relentless insurgent violence also could keep jittery voters from the polling stations. Time and distance have caused memories to fade, occasionally shining an unfairly harsh light on Karzai’s performance,

said Paula Newberg, a former special adviser to the United States in Afghanistan. “It’s sometimes hard to remember how isolated Afghanistan was in 2001,” said Newberg, a government professor at University of Texas. “Afghanistan from 1996 to mid-2001 was a place where free speech was absent, women were hidden, food was scarce, and healthcare almost non-existent. Afghans themselves had little opportunity to improve their lives in Afghanistan, and large numbers were leaving the country for any place that would have them.” The list of challenges Karzai faced over the years was daunting, said Newberg. “President Karzai’s tenure in office could not have been anything but challenging,” she said. “He came to office with the high expectations of others and great optimism among many Afghans and foreigners alike.” He wowed the West with his impeccable English. Even the creative force behind Gucci, Tom Ford, anointed Karzai, resplendent in his long green and purple striped coat and signature karakul hat, “the choicest man on the planet”. But the presence of more than 130,000 US and NATO troops in Afghanistan, a spike in deaths of civilians by errant bombings and a coterie of “yes” men by Karzai’s side caused the relationship to sour. He began angering Washington with belligerent statements, sometimes accusing the US of being in cahoots with the Taleban and more recently calling the Taleban “our brothers” as he sought to bring them into a peace process. Karzai resented the United States for not taking the fight to Pakistan, where he believed the war should have been fought instead of in Afghanistan. And his friends say he never forgave many world leaders for what he felt was their deeply insulting criticism of the disputed 2009 election. “He disagreed with the United States about the source of the war,” Khalilzad said in an email. “Also, he was treated personally in a way that violated his sense of honor.” —AP


MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

S P ORTS Haddin ready for a break DHAKA: Australia wicketkeeper Brad Haddin would be disappointed with his form at the World T20 in Bangladesh after outstanding test series against England and South Africa, according to coach Darren Lehmann. Haddin missed a regulation stumping chance to dismiss hard-hitting Chris Gayle when on 26 and the batsman went on to score 53 in the defending champions’ sixwicket victory on Friday that all but dumped Australia from the tournament. “His keeping has been poor. That’s okay, he won’t mind me saying that,” Lehmann told reporters. “He’s honest enough for that. He’s been fantastic over a long period of time for us. “He took a great catch (to dismiss Samuels) and missed a couple of opportunities. “At the end of the day he’s been exceptional for us. He’d be disappointed in his own form in these two games. That’s not hiding away from the truth.” Haddin was hardly alone in struggling, though, Lehmann suggested. “The simple fact is (he’s) one of our better performers and a couple of our experienced blokes - Shane Watson, David Warner for example - they didn’t have the impact, those three, that we would’ve liked,” Lehmann added. “He’s had a lot of cricket ... But at the end of the day we all have jobs, we all have a lot of cricket to play. “But he’s been fantastic around our group and we’ll stick with him because he’s a brilliant person and he will get a rest now and obviously freshen up and come back a better player.”—Reuters

Benghazi topple Ahly

Ref in penalty confusion

JOHANNESBURG: A couple of stunning goals helped Al-Ahly Benghazi eliminate title-holders Al-Ahly from the CAF Champions League this weekend. Farag Abdel Hafiz and Moataz El-Mahdy scored within seven second-half minutes to earn the Libyans a shock 3-2 triumph over their Egyptian namesakes in Cairo. Benghazi took a one-goal lead into the second leg of the last-16 tie and qualified 4-2 on aggregate for the lucrative group stage. Democratic Republic of Congo clubs TP Mazembe and Vita and Tunisians CS Sfaxien also secured places in the April 29 mini-league draw. Ahly entered the second leg at a spectator-less Air Defence Stadium in the Egyptian capital hoping to keep alive dreams of a record third consecutive title. And they were on course to succeed 38 minutes into the first half in an eerie atmosphere created by the authorities banning supporters because of previous clashes with police. Mohamed Naguib side-footed a cut-back across Benghazi goalkeeper Wissem El-Boudi into the corner of the net for the opening goal. But disaster struck three minutes later as Egyptian captain Hossam Ashour fouled Zimbabwean Edward Sadomba and Abdulrahman Fetori converted the penalty. Ahly had to score at least twice more under the away-goals rule to avoid a first exit at the qualifying stage since losing to Nigerians Kano Pillars five years ago. —AFP

ITALY: Italian World Cup referee Nicola Rizzoli was involved in an extraordinary incident when he awarded a penalty and then changed his mind after five minutes of angry protests during second-placed AS Roma’s 2-0 win at Sassuolo yesterday. Rizzoli initially awarded Sassuolo a penalty when their forward Nicola Sansone went down under a seemingly innocuous challenge by Roma defender Mehdi Benatia in the 36th minute of the Serie A match. Both teams protested the decision, with Roma angry over the penalty and Sassuolo claiming that Benatia should have been sent off. Sassuolo had already put the ball on the spot and were preparing to take the kick when Rizzoli, after consulting his assistants, changed his mind and awarded a drop ball. There were more protests at halftime as Sassuolo players again surrounded Rizzoli to protest the decision. Serie A uses the additional assistant referees system preferred by UEFA with extra match officials on each goal line. Roma had taken the lead in the 16th minute with Mattia Destro’s 10th goal of the season. Sassuolo’s Simone Missiroli was caught in possession by Radja Nainggolan and he then slipped the ball through for Destro to lift the ball over Gianluca Pegolo with a neat finish. Roma’s second came at the end of a leisurely second half when Sassuolo again lost possession in their own half and Brazilian Michel Bastos was sent clear to place his ball wide of Pergolo. —Reuters

Bruins get past Capitals

NEW JERSEY: Sergey Kovalev (left) of Russia, punches Cedric Agnew, of the United States, during the sixth round of WBO light heavyweight boxing title in Atlantic City. Kovalev won by knockout in the seventh round. —AP

Kovalev successfully defends title ATLANTIC CITY: Sergey Kovalev successfully defended his WBO light-heavyweight title Saturday night, stopping Cedric Agnew in the seventh round at Boardwalk Hall’s Adrian Phillips Ballroom. Kovalev improved to 24-0-1 with his 24th knockout, ending the bout with a powerful left jab to Agnew’s liver. Agnew (26-1) dropped to one knee in pain and remained there for several minutes after referee Samuel Viruet completed his 10-count at 58 seconds of the seventh. Kovalev had two other knockdowns in the scheduled 12-round fight. He sent Agnew to the canvas with a left hook to the jaw in the second and dropped him again with a body shot in the sixth. Kovalev did have to overcome some adversity, suffering cuts above both eyes from a head butt in the fourth and an elbow in the sixth. “I tried boxing because he has good defense,” Kovalev said. “Then I went to the body. I saw how hurt he was.” Agnew spent most of the fight on the ropes, content to absorb Kovalev’s punches before launching a counter attack. Occasionally, he was successful, catching Kovalev with some left hooks and body shots, but eventually was overwhelmed. “He had an uncomfortable style,” Kovalev said. “He has an uncomfortable style. He’s not stupid. He kept a good distance. He was patient and I understood he was trying to tire me out, but I was ready.” Kovalev, a native of Russia now living in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was making his second defense of the championship he won

with a fourth-round TKO over Nathan Cleverly in Wales on Aug. 17, 2013. In his most recent outing, Kovalev stopped Ismayl Sillah in the second round in Canada on Nov. 30, 2013. Saturday’s victory was his 11th straight win via knockout or TKO. Because of his power, the 30-year-old is regarded as one of boxing rising stars. Kovalev entered the fight with the second-highest knockout percentage among current world champions, behind only middleweight champ Gennady Golovkin. Skeptics wondered how focused he would be for the Agnew fight after a potential unification bout against WBC lightheavyweight champ Adonis Stevenson fell apart last week when Stevenson signed with HBO rival Showtime. Kovalev is under contract to HBO. “I don’t want to speak on Adonis Stevenson,” Kovalev said. Agnew, 27, entered the fight as a considerable underdog. Despite his impressive record, he had not fought anyone near Kovalev’s level in his first 13 fights. He earned his biggest win in his last fight, a 12-round decision over former middleweight contender Yusaf Mack 11 months ago. A terrific co-feature saw Puerto Rico’s Thomas Dulorme win the NABF junior-welterweight title with a 10-round, unanimous decision over San Francisco’s Karim Mayfield (18-1-1, 11 KOs). Judges Waleska Roldan (9892), Ron McNair (97-93) and Joe Pasquale (96-94) all scored the bout for Dulorme. “I’m a lot stronger and a lot faster,” Dulorme said through a translator. “I was able to take his punches and come back.” —AP

Vonn hopes to return to racing in early December BEAVER CREEK: Lindsey Vonn knows it was just some youthful exuberance when teenager Mikaela Shiffrin playfully announced she was dreaming of winning five gold medals at the next Winter Olympics. Vonn certainly appreciates such a lofty goal by Shiffrin, who captured the slalom title at the Sochi Games last month. A light-hearted warning, though. “I’m going to compete in the 2018 Olympics,” Vonn said with a laugh. “So she’s going to have tough competition in the speed events.” With four years down the road in mind, Vonn is taking it slow with her surgically repaired right knee. She said she doesn’t anticipate a return to racing until early December. The four-time overall World Cup champion had her ACL fixed for a second time in January, sidelining her for Sochi. As it turned out, there was “quite a bit of meniscus damage” in the knee and that’s caused her to push back her time frame. Vonn hopes to train on snow by October and be racing in Lake Louise, Alberta, two months later, on a hill where she’s always done well. But that’s all tentative. No sense rushing back to racing, no matter how antsy she’s growing to step back into the starting gate. “If I have to push the date back when I start, so be it,” Vonn told The Associated Press on Saturday. “To ensure the next four years go smoothly, I have to give this meniscus some time to heal.” In between rehabilitation sessions, the 29year-old Vonn is finding plenty of other things to occupy her time. She’s sneaking in some fly fishing with her dog, Leo, starting a new foundation and having coffee with skiing great Annemarie Moser-Proell, whose record Vonn is chasing. Vonn remains three wins from matching the World Cup record of 62 race victories by Moser-Proell. “She wants me to break her record,” Vonn said. “You don’t see that. I think she’s a really,

really nice person and I really enjoyed spending time with her.” Vonn ventured around Beaver Creek on Saturday to support “Ski Girls Rock,” a program that focuses on empowering girls through skiing. She met with the kids, signed autographs, posed for pictures and then called a brief timeout to sit on an outdoor couch near a fire pit to rest her knee and film a video. She put an ice bag on the knee as she settled into the couch. “The knee is coming along nicely,” she said. “It’s obviously a slow process, but I’m making progress every day, so that’s good.” Vonn has already decided she’s not even going to try to walk every hole as she trails boyfriend Tiger Woods around at the Masters next month - provided, of course, Woods even plays, given his ailing back. “We’ll see how far I make it,” Vonn said. “With my meniscus the way it is, it’s not great to be on my feet all the time.” Vonn tore two ligaments in her right knee during a high-speed crash at the world championships in February 2013. She then re-injured her surgically repaired ACL in a crash during training last November. Vonn tried to rehab the knee in time for Sochi, but sprained her MCL racing a downhill in France on Dec. 21. Even though it was difficult not competing in Sochi, Vonn said she caught nearly all of the races. However, her computer crashed just before the second run of the women’s slalom. She missed quite a recovery from Shiffrin, who overcame a major mistake to win gold. “Mikaela is skiing incredible,” Vonn said. “With her slalom, she’s in a league of her own right now.” Very soon, Shiffrin will be stepping into Vonn’s domain - the speed events. Shiffrin recently squeezed in some super-G training at Beaver Creek on Raptor, the race hill for the world championships next February. She may just ski a few speed events next season. —AP

WASHINGTON: Carl Soderberg and Jarome Iginla scored 41 seconds apart in the second period to break open a close game as the Boston Bruins clinched the Atlantic Division title Saturday with a 4-2 win over the Washington Capitals. Iginla scored twice to reach the 30-goal mark, and Patrice Bergeron added a goal as the Bruins won for the 14th time in 15 games. Chad Johnson made 31 saves, and he and Tuukka Rask have combined to allow only 13 goals over 11 games. Jason Chimera and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored, and Braden Holtby stopped 32 shots for the Capitals, who were down 3-0 before they could find any traction against the possession-minded Bruins. AVALANCHE 3, SHARKS 2 Semyon Varlamov had a seasonhigh 47 saves as Colorado clinched its first playoff berth in four years by beating San Jose. Center John Mitchell had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche, who moved past Chicago into second place in the Central Division with 100 points in what might have been a costly victory. Center Matt Duchene injured his knee injury on the opening shift Saturday when he collided with teammate Jamie McGinn near the Sharks’ blue line. He fell to the ice and then gingerly skated to the bench. Mitchell moved up to center Colorado’s top line, and came through with a big power-play goal to give Colorado a 3-1 lead at 6:32 of the second period. DUCKS 5, CANUCKS 1 Corey Perry and Saku Koivu each had a goal and an assist, and Frederik Andersen made 31 saves to help Anaheim defeat Vancouver. Luca Sbisa, Matt Beleskey and Mathieu Perreault also scored for Anaheim, while Andrew Cogliano and Daniel Winnik added two assists as the Ducks moved into first place in the Pacific Division. Brad Richardson scored for Vancouver, which remained five points behind the Phoenix Coyotes for the final wild-card berth in the Western Conference. Eddie Lack made 16 saves. WILD 3, COYOTES 1 Zach Parise scored two of Minnesota’s three third-period goals as the Wild rallied to beat Phoenix in a game with playoff implications. Phoenix nursed a 1-0 through two periods on Mikkel Boedker’s early power-play goal, but the Coyotes went 24:28 without a shot. Parise tied it from the top of the circle off a face off 8:03 into the final period, then Jared Spurgeon scored on a slap shot from the top of the right circle with 7:03 to play and Parise added an empty-net goal in the final minute. The Wild pulled three points ahead of Phoenix for the No. 7 spot in the Western Conference. The Coyotes are just a point ahead of Dallas for the No. 8 spot. RED WINGS 4, MAPLE LEAFS 2 Darren Helm had a hat trick as Detroit sent Toronto to its eighth consecutive regulation loss, the Maple Leafs’ first such streak since 1985. The Maple Leafs have 80 points with just six games remaining and might have to run the table to give themselves a legitimate shot at a second straight playoff appearance. They have two fewer games left than the Red Wings (82 points), the Columbus Blue Jackets (82 points) and the Washington Capitals (80 points) in the Eastern Conference. Cody Franson and Joffrey Lupul scored for Toronto. Gustav Nyquist also had a goal for Detroit. Jonathan Bernier, playing his third game back from a groin injury, stopped 24 of the 28 shots. Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard finished with 25 saves. KINGS 4, JETS 2 Anze Kopitar scored two goals in the first period, Jonathan Quick made 24 saves, and Los Angeles kept rolling toward the playoffs, beating Winnipeg for its sixth straight victory. Trevor Lewis and Tyler Toffoli also

WASHINGTON: Jason Chimera No. 25 of the Washington Capitals and Kevan Miller No. 86 of the Boston Bruins go after the puck during the second period at Verizon Center. —AFP scored for the Kings, who haven’t lost since March 17. Marian Gaborik and Willie Mitchell had two assists apiece as Los Angeles took a 3-0 lead in the first period and cruised to its 14th win in 17 games. Matt Halischuk and Blake Wheeler scored in the third period for the Jets, who hadn’t visited Los Angeles since Jan. 3, 1996. Ondrej Pavelec gave up three goals in the first period before getting pulled, and Al Montoya stopped 12 shots in the final 40 minutes. BLUE JACKETS 3, HURRICANES 2 Ryan Johansen scored a powerplay goal at 2:40 of overtime as Columbus beat Carolina to earn two points in its push for the second playoff berth in club history and first since 2009. Artem Anisimov had a goal and an assist and Matt Calvert also scored for the Blue Jackets. Jeff Skinner and Andrei Loktionov scored and Riley Nash had two assists for the Hurricanes, who fell to 6-11 since the Olympic break. Curtis McElhinney made 25 saves for Columbus in his second straight start in place of flu-stricken starter Sergei Bobrovsky. Brandon Dubinsky rang the left post midway through the extra session for the Blue Jackets. Goalie Anton Khudobin couldn’t cover the puck, but forward Jiri Tlusty did - drawing the Hurricanes’ first penalty of the night at 1:54. Johansen then ended it

with a snap shot that trickled past Khudobin. STARS 4, BLUES 2 Colton Sceviour got the first two goals for Dallas and Antoine Roussel scored on a breakaway in the third period to secure the victory over St. Louis. Cody Eakin had a goal and assist and Kari Lehtonen was strong in net for the Stars, who have won four of five in pursuit of a Western Conference playoff spot. Dallas entered the day three points out of a playoff spot before winning for the second straight night and saddling the Blues with just their sixth regulation home loss. Alex Steen had a pair of powerplay goals for the Blues, who had been 8-0-2 in their previous 10 at home including an overtime loss to Dallas earlier this month. St. Louis fell one point behind Boston for first place overall in the NHL. ISLANDERS 2, DEVILS 1 Frans Nielsen scored in the second period and then added a goal in the shootout to lift New York over playoffhopeful New Jersey. Nielsen scored in the first round, and Brock Nelson added a goal in the second against New Jersey’s Cory Schneider to hand the Devils their 14th straight shootout loss - 0-10 this season. Anders Nilsson turned aside Adam Henrique, who scored in regulation, and Patrik Elias to win it.

The Devils earned one point, but are still behind several teams in the Eastern Conference playoff race with eight games left. Nielsen gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead early in the second before Henrique tied it. CANADIENS 4, PANTHERS 1 Max Pacioretty had two goals and an assist to help Montreal extend its winning streak to five games with the win over Florida. Thomas Vanek added a goal and an assist for Montreal and Carey Price made 36 saves. David Desharnais had an empty-net goal. Pacioretty’s second goal put the Canadiens ahead 3-0 in the second period. Pacioretty camped at edge of the crease and tipped in a pass from Desharnais at 14:00 for his 35th of the season, a career high. Pacioretty has 11 points in his past 10 games. Brad Boyes scored for Florida and Dan Ellis stopped 15 shots for the Panthers, who have lost five of their past six games. LIGHTNING 4, SABRES 3 Steven Stamkos scored two goals, including the winner in overtime, and Tampa Bay beat Buffalo to remain two points behind Montreal for second place in the Atlantic Division. Alex Killorn and Ryan Callahan also scored for the Lightning, who have earned at least a point in 11 consecutive games. Matt D’Agostini, Cody Hodgson and Cory Conacher scored for Buffalo. —AP

NHL results/standings Boston 4, Washington 2; Colorado 3, San Jose 2; Tampa Bay 4, Buffalo 3 (OT); Detroit 4, Toronto 2; Montreal 4, Florida 1; NY Islanders 2, New Jersey 1 (SO); Columbus 3, Carolina 2 (OT); Anaheim 5, Vancouver 1; Los Angeles 4, Winnipeg 2; Dallas 4, St. Louis 2; Minnesota 3, Phoenix 1. Eastern Conference Western Conference Atlantic Division Pacific Division Boston 51 17 6 237 155 108 W L OTL GF GA PTS Montreal 43 26 7 199 189 93 Anaheim 48 18 8 239 187 104 Tampa Bay 41 24 9 221 198 91 San Jose 47 20 9 232 184 103 Detroit 34 26 14 199 211 82 Los Angeles 44 25 6 189 159 94 Toronto 36 32 8 220 239 80 Phoenix 36 27 12 206 212 84 Ottawa 30 29 14 210 246 74 Vancouver 34 31 11 184 206 79 Florida 27 40 8 179 244 62 Buffalo 20 45 9 142 222 49 Calgary 31 36 7 189 217 69 Edmonton 26 39 9 184 244 61 Metropolitan Division Pittsburgh 47 22 5 228 184 99 Central Division NY Rangers 41 30 4 200 183 86 St. Louis 50 17 7 240 168 107 Philadelphia 39 27 7 210 206 85 Colorado 47 21 6 227 202 100 Columbus 38 30 6 208 200 82 Chicago 42 18 15 247 196 99 Washington 34 28 12 214 222 80 New Jersey 31 28 15 178 192 77 Minnesota 38 26 11 186 189 87 Carolina 32 32 10 186 208 74 Dallas 36 27 11 214 212 83 NY Islanders 29 35 10 206 247 68 Nashville 32 32 11 186 226 75 Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standWinnipeg 33 33 9 208 220 75 ings and are not included in the loss column (L).


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76ers snap losing streak Howard and Pat Beverley. It wasn’t all good for Los Angeles. Blake Griffin left in the first quarter with back spasms and didn’t return, and Glen Davis missed the second half for disciplinary reasons after throwing a temper tantrum in the second quarter. James Harden led the Rockets with 32 points, and Chandler Parsons had 28. DeAndre Jordan added 20 points with 12 rebounds for the Clippers, who are third in the Western Conference.

also the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who dropped 26 straight from Sept. 12, 1976-Dec. 4, 1977. Henry Sims added 16 points for the Sixers, who hadn’t won before their home crowd since beating Charlotte on Jan. 15. Fans were into it from the start and grew louder throughout, standing and cheering for the final 45 seconds. Greg Monroe had 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Pistons, who lost for the 11th time in 13 games.

PHILADELPHIA: The Philadelphia 76ers broke their NBA record-equaling, 26-game losing streak, routing the Detroit Pistons 123-98 on Saturday to avoid establishing the longest losing streak in US major pro sports history. Michael CarterWilliams and Thaddeus Young each scored 21 points for the 76ers, who won for the first time in exactly two months and did it with surprising ease, leading by as much as 32 points. They also ended an 18-game home losing streak, which was one shy of another NBA record. Beaten badly a number of times during their skid, the 76ers got to experience life on the other side, ringing up a season-high 70 points in the first half. Their 26 straight losses equaled the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers and

CLIPPERS 118, ROCKETS 107 Chris Paul had 30 points and 12 assists, Jamal Crawford added 22 points as Los Angeles clinched its franchise-record third straight playoff appearance by stopping Houston’s five game winning streak. Houston was without injured starters Dwight

SPURS 96, PELICANS 80 Marco Belinelli scored 18 points and San Antonio never trailed after its opening possession to extend its winning streak to 17 games with the win over New Orleans. Kawhi Leonard and Manu Ginobili

HOUSTON: Darren Collison No. 2 of the Los Angeles Clippers blocks a shot by Jeremy Lin No. 7 of the Houston Rockets during the game at the Toyota Center. —AFP

NBA results/standings Philadelphia 123, Detroit 98; Dallas 103, Sacramento 100; LA Clippers 118, Houston 107; Washington 101, Atlanta 97; Miami 88, Milwaukee 67; San Antonio 96, New Orleans 80.

Toronto Brooklyn NY Knicks Boston Philadelphia

Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT 41 31 .569 38 33 .535 30 43 .411 23 49 .319 16 57 .219

Indiana Chicago Cleveland Detroit Milwaukee

Central Division 52 21 .712 40 32 .556 29 45 .392 26 47 .356 14 59 .192

Miami Washington Charlotte Atlanta Orlando

Southeast Division 50 22 .694 38 35 .521 35 38 .479 31 41 .431 21 52 .288

GB 2.5 11.5 18 25.5

Western Conference Northwest Division Oklahoma City 53 19 .736 Portland 47 27 .635 Minnesota 36 35 .507 Denver 32 41 .438 Utah 23 50 .315

7 16.5 21.5 30.5

11.5 23.5 26 38

LA Clippers Golden State Phoenix Sacramento LA Lakers

Pacific Division 52 22 .703 45 27 .625 44 29 .603 25 48 .342 24 48 .333

6 7.5 26.5 27

12.5 15.5 19 29.5

San Antonio Houston Memphis Dallas New Orleans

Southwest Division 57 16 .781 49 23 .681 43 29 .597 44 30 .595 32 41 .438

7.5 13.5 13.5 25

scored 15 points each, Patty Mills added 13 and Tim Duncan had 12 points and eight rebounds. San Antonio (57-16) extended its lead to 31/2 games over Oklahoma City (5319) for the league’s best record. Reserve guard Brian Roberts had 18 points to lead New Orleans (3241), which had its five-game winning streak snapped. Austin Rivers added 16 points, Tyreke Evans had 11 points and Al-Farouq Aminu had eight points and 10 rebounds. New Orleans was without Anthony Davis, its leading scorer and rebounder. Davis is day to day after injuring his left ankle 4 minutes into the Pelicans’ victory over Utah on Friday night. WIZARDS 101, HAWKS 97 John Wall scored 25 points, Drew Gooden had 16 as Washington inched closer to its first playoff spot since 2008 with a win over freefalling Atlanta. Washington entered the game needing a win and a loss by the New York Knicks on Sunday to make the playoffs. Wall scored 13 points in the last 7:16 of the third quarter and the Wizards finally escaped the pesky Hawks, who have lost six straight and 20 of 26. Jeff Teague scored 19 points and Paul Millsap 17 for Atlanta. Washington followed up a 13-point win over Eastern Conference leader Indiana on Friday with a win over the Hawks, who lead the Knicks by 11/2 games for the final playoff berth in the East. MAVERICKS 103, KINGS 100 Dirk Nowitzki scored 19 points and Dallas avoided a potentially serious blow to its playoff hopes by rallying in the fourth quarter to beat Sacramento. The Mavericks blew a 17-point lead and trailed by five in the fourth quarter before recovering for their 20th straight regular-season win at home against Sacramento, the longest against any opponent in franchise history. Dallas (44-30) is in a virtual tie with Memphis (43-29) for eighth place in the Western Conference, a half-game behind Phoenix. The Mavericks have eight games left and finish the regular season at the Grizzlies. Rudy Gay scored 30 for the Kings. Monta Ellis had 17 points and six assists, and Sam Dalembert added 15 as Dallas avoided a second loss to a West also-ran on a franchise-record eight-game home stand that ends Tuesday night against Golden State. HEAT 88, BUCKS 67 Chris Bosh scored 14 points, LeBron James had 13 as short-handed Miami wrapped up its three-game trip through the Midwest with a victory over Milwaukee. James Jones added 10 for Miami in place of star guard Dwyane Wade, sidelined a second straight game with a sore hamstring. The Heat also played without Ray Allen and Mario Chalmers. It didn’t matter against the team with the NBA’s worst record. The Heat led 46-29 at halftime and held the Bucks to a season low for points in a half and in a game. John Henson had 12 points and 10 rebounds for Milwaukee. —AP

MEMPHIS: Dayton forward Kendall Pollard (22) shoots against Florida center Patric Young (4) during the second half in a regional final game at the NCAA college basketball tournament. —AP

Florida first in Final Four MEMPHIS: First yet again this season, the Florida Gators want more. Much more. Try a national championship. Scottie Wilbekin scored 23 points and Florida became the first team to advance to the Final Four with a 62-52 win Saturday night over the 11th-seeded Dayton Flyers in the South Region final. The Gators reached their fifth Final Four after losing at this point in each of the past three NCAA tournaments. This time, they came in as the country’s top-ranked team and the overall No. 1 seed. Florida won its 30th straight game and improved to 36-2, topping the 35 wins by the 2007 national championship squad. “I couldn’t be prouder and happier,” Florida coach Billy Donovan said after being drenched with water in the Gators’ locker room. “In a lot of ways, outside the Michigan game, we were close to being in three out of four Final Fours right now, and that says a lot about these guys. But I think those experiences maybe helped us be a better team this year than maybe we would have if we’d have gotten to a couple of ones earlier.” Patric Young scored 12 points, and Michael Frazier II added 10 for Florida. The Gators will play either UConn or Michigan State in Arlington, Texas, in the national semifinal. The celebration was a bit muted because a regional title isn’t the Gators’ end goal. “There’s more hunger within us, within this whole team to keep going,”Young said. Dyshawn Pierre led the Flyers with 18 points, including the final 11 for Dayton (26-11). Devin Oliver added 12 points. Dayton came in trying to become only the fourth 11 seed to advance to the Final Four. The Flyers had upset Ohio State and Syracuse in reaching their first regional final since 1984. They missed their second Final Four and first since 1967 as Florida held them to their lowest scoring game this season. Coach Archie Miller complimented the Gators, saying that just being on the floor with

Florida gave Dayton a “big-time feeling.” “It’s always hard to lose the last game of the season, but in the back of my mind, I’m not sure a team in the nation captured more people’s hearts than these guys did, and they did it the right way,” Miller said. The Flyers hit one more field goal than Florida (19-18), but the Gators outrebounded them 37-26. They also had a massive edge at the free throw line (21 of 28) to (6 of 8). Florida finished the first half on a 15-1 run to take the lead for good, going up 38-24. The Flyers opened the second half with two quick 3s to pull within eight, only to watch the Gators push their lead to 17 with 11:35 left on a layup by Young. The Flyers kept coming but couldn’t get closer than eight in the second half, the last at 58-50. The Gators went cold down the stretch, once missing five shots on one possession with five offensive rebounds. Dayton missed chances to cut the lead as Oliver missed a 3-pointer with 2:07 left, then Scoochie Smith threw it away trying to pass out to Matt Kavanaugh. Miller said Pierre was completely exhausted late. “You can’t go to a guy eight times in a row and expect him to score every time, but he gave us a fighting chance,” Miller said. Then Wilbekin ended the Gators’ scoring drought at 4:39 with a pair of free throws, and he hit four of six at the line to finish the game. Dayton took over the FedExForum so thoroughly that the Gators were booed when they came out for warm-ups and pre-game introductions. Miller tried to use his deep bench, using 11 Flyers at least 5 minutes trying to wear out the Gators with sheer numbers. Donovan nearly matched Dayton by going 10 deep himself. The Gators went cold for nearly 6 minutes between a dunk by Casey Prather with 11:55 left in the half and a baseline drive by Frazier with 6:00 to go. The Flyers scored eight straight when Smith’s 3 gave them their first lead of the game at 21-19 with 6:58 remaining. —AP

VIVA offers customers chance to attend Man United match KUWAIT: VIVA, Kuwait’s fastest-growing and most developed telecom operator, announced the launch of a Manchester United Draw for both, prepaid and postpaid customers, presenting customers with the opportunity to attend the Manchester United Match at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’; Old Trafford - UK. The lucky draw winners will receive a package, which covers a roundtrip flight, accommodation and the ultimate prize; tickets to attend the Manchester United match. To enter the draw, voice customers simply need to send ‘98’ to ‘567’ to subscribe. Postpaid customers are granted 2 chances to enter the draw for every 5KD

of their bill paid through direct debit, and one chance for every KD 5 paid through direct payment. Prepaid customers are granted one chance to enter the draw for every KD 5 equivalent recharges. In July 2011, VIVA announced it official five season sponsorship agreement with the Manchester United Football Club, bringing the team closer to its fans in Kuwait through ongoing promotions, activities and surprises. VIVA invites all customers and especially Manchester United fans to enter the draw, and win the chance of a life time with premier access to attend the biggest game of the season.

Seventh Souq Sharq chess tourney launched

Right to left: Faisal Al-Qallaf, Hassan Ramadhan Jumaa (center) and Jumaa Ramadhan. KUWAIT: In cooperation with Souq Sharq’s administration represented by Dina Maaraf and chairman of Kuwait Club for Mind Games Hassan Jumaa, the seventh Souq Sharq chess tournament was launched under the patronage of the National Real Estate

Company and organized by the KCMG on March 27. The championship was held under the supervision of organizing committee chairman Faisal AlQallaf, who emphasized the support of youth skills in various fields and mental activities. He said this was the first fast

Group photo of Mind Games Club Board.

play tournament in Kuwait, adding that there are cash prices for the first 10 places to encourage them. Meanwhile, chairman of the referees committee Khalaf Al-Azmi said the tournament that was held with the participation of 63 players from various

countries including Kuwait, Egypt, India, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Pakistan, Philippines, Syria and Uzbekistan. He said the tournament followed the Swiss system with seven rounds - the third and fourth rounds were held on March 29. Azmi said com-

petition was very strong as 12 players had two points following the second round. Tournament official Zaina AlFayyadh thanked Souq Sharq administration for patronizing the seventh tournament, which achieved tangible success.


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Sato wins pole for IndyCar season-opener

HONG KONG: New Zealand’s Sherwin Stowers (top) is tackled by England’s Dan Bibby (bottom) during the final of the Hong Kong Sevens rugby tournament. —AP

NZ win Hong Kong Sevens HONG KONG: New Zealand brushed aside England 26-7 to win the Hong Kong Sevens and reclaim top spot in the overall standings in the IRB Sevens World Series, yesterday. The All Blacks Sevens, the defending World Series champions, won its third tournament this season in fine style, running four tries past a hapless England to claim their 11th Cup Championship in Hong Kong and first since 2011. First-half tries from Ben Lam and Tim Mikkelson gave New Zealand a 12-0 lead but England hit back just before the break when Tom Powell burst through to touch down from a quickly taken tap penalty to reduce the deficit to just five points. But evergreen captain DJ Forbes who had a huge impact on the final day with his bustling play at the breakdown, quickly put New Zealand back in command, stretching the lead after receiving a huge cut-out pass from Sherwin Stowers to score uncontested. “We were given a lesson by England last week (in Tokyo) but here we are on the podium. It feels good to win in Hong Kong again,” said an elated Forbes. Despite a second try by Lam being overturned, and the winger being sin-binned for

an off-the-ball offence, the men in black had too much firepower and sub Sam Dickson sealed victory with his side’s fourth try. The victory allowed New Zealand to regain the lead from South Africa who had entered the Hong Kong Sevens holding a two point lead. With two more legs remaining in Scotland and England in May, New Zealand top the standings with 136 points, seven points ahead of South Africa who stumbled badly after losing in the Cup quarterfinals to England, 14-7. Fiji are third on 112 while England fourth on 105. England had booked their berth in the Cup final with a 17-7 victory over Fiji in the semi-final. Fiji had looked impressive in the run-up and seemed on course for backto-back title as after winning in Tokyo last week but came unstuck against a disciplined English side. New Zealand’s path to the final was a 28-5 win over Wales in the quarterfinals followed by a 19-7 victory over trans-Tasman rivals Australia. Japan became the first Asian team to win a core team spot on the World Series when it won the qualifying tournament defeating Italy 26-5. Japan will play in the remaining two legs this season in Scotland and England, and all nine legs in the World Series next season. —AP

ST. PETERSBURG: Takuma Sato of Japan won pole position at St. Petersburg for yesterday’s seasonopening IndyCar Series race. Sato circled the street course in 1 minute, 0.01 seconds in Saturday’s rain-delayed qualifying session to put his AJ Foyt Racing entry out front. It was a stellar debut for Honda and its new twin turbo engine. “It’s a fantastic day. I can’t really ask any more for the start of the season,” Sato said. “A.J. said ‘Very well done,’ and he was very happy, and making him happy is a very difficult thing. So I’m pleased.” Sato also praised Honda Performance Development, which struggled mightily in this race a year ago. He said having the engine ready early in the offseason allowed his team to do needed testing in advance of the opener. “Last year, my first test was the end of February with the team,” he said. “It’s a very short time to prepare. But this year, really the winter testing started from December, so effectively more than two months ahead of what we were last year.” Tony Kanaan qualified second, 0.2951 seconds behind the Japanese driver. Kanaan, the defending Indianapolis 500 winner, replaced Dario Franchitti during the offseason following Franchitti’s forced retirement from injuries suffered in an October crash. His first qualifying session with his new team led to Kanaan’s best starting spot at St. Pete since 2010. It’s the first time he advanced to the final Fast Six round of qualifying at this course in three years. It could bode well for Kanaan, who improved seven spots to finish fourth a year ago when he drove for KVSH Racing. “It’s just qualifying. You’ve still got to make it to turn one (Sunday),” Kanaan shrugged. “I think it has been like three years since I have been in the top six. It feels really good, I can’t thank the Target Chip Ganassi Racing guys enough. A lot of people made a

KUWAIT: Group picture of Christian Nakhlé the French Ambassador, Matthew Tueller, the US Ambassador, Douglas George the Canadian Ambassador, Mrs. Frédérique Asfar the President of the UFE, Michael J Adler, Deputy Chief of Mission US Embassy, Alaa Selim, Al Jahra Copthorne Hotel Manager, and Hussain Gaber from the Sales Department of Al Jahra Copthorne Hotel.

ST PETERSBURG: (Left) Team owner AJ Foyt and (right) Takuma Sato of Japan driver of the No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Honda pose with Verizon P1 Pole Award. —AFP lot of comments over the years because we struggled so much in qualifying in street and road courses and nobody was counting on that. I like to be the element of surprise.” Ryan Hunter-Reay was third and followed by Will Power, who had won the pole the last four years. Defending IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon was fifth and Marco Andretti rounded out the Fast Six. Juan Pablo Montoya failed to advance out of his group in his first qualifying session in IndyCar. He returned to open wheel this year to drive for Roger Penske after seven seasons in NASCAR with Chip Ganassi. He’ll start 18th in the 22car field.

The qualifying session was delayed more than three hours because a heavy rainstorm drenched the course and forced the race promoter to clear the grandstands and ask fans to seek shelter in various locations around the temporary street circuit. Fans huddled inside the parking garage that serves as the garage for many teams, and at least 12 drivers passed the time by posing for a “selfie” photo similar to the star-studded one Ellen DeGeneres took at the Oscars. When the qualifying session did begin, the first group was slowed by several red flags. It infuriated Sebestien Bourdais, who replaced

Kanaan at KVSH Racing and is hoping for a strong debut in his hometown race. But Bourdais waited late into the session to go out onto the course, and the red flags limited him to just one qualifying lap. He’ll start 13th. “This is a joke,” he grumbled. “If we are going to qualify, we at least have to have a fair shot, and we didn’t. It wasn’t much of a qualifying session. Because of the track conditions we waited to go out to make sure that we had room in case something happened, so everyone else got in a lap before the first red flag. “When we went back out I got one lap at speed before the second red flag. We were too conservative and I feel bad for the crew.” —AP

KUWAIT: Gold medalists Stéphane Perves, Jean-Jacques Balcerzak, Nour-Eddine Chaouki awarded by the French Ambassador Christian Nakhlé, President of the Petanque International Federation Claude Azema and the president of the UFE Madame Frédérique Asfar.

Petanque contest brings back ambiance of southern France Competition held at Al Jahra Copthorne Hotel KUWAIT: A Petanque contest has been organized at Al Jahra Copthorne Hotel & Resort on March 21st 2014 by the UFE (Union des Francais de l’Etranger), “Union of the French abroad- Kuwait Section”, in the presence of the President of the International Pétanque Fédération — member of the French National Olympic Committee — Claude Azema, and Christian Nakhlé French Ambassador, Matthew Tueller, the US Ambassador, and Douglas George the Canadian Ambassador, Michael J Adler, Deputy Chief of Mission US Embassy. Claude Azema expressed his happiness to visit Kuwait, and his satisfaction from the well organized contest by the UFE held at the Al Jahra Copthorne. “Petanque is being played by above 17 million people in France

only and it is a simple game and does not have the complications of other sports and can be played by everyone at any age and anywhere, it provides lots of fun and a perfect way to make new friends from everywhere, It is simple and relaxing and it can develop hand and eye coordination, thinking processes, problem-solving skill and teamwork” And he added “I’ve seen good movement and efforts to promote Petanque in Kuwait and have sensed interest about the the game at the gulf area as well. It’s our aim to spread Petanque at this part of the world, I had the pleasure of meeting with the French Ambassador in Kuwait along with the President of the UFE “Union des Francais de l’Etranger” in Kuwait during my visit, we

also have discussed ways to promote the game with representatives from the Public Authority for Youth & Sports in Kuwait. And he concluded “We are ready to come back to Kuwait again in the near future to organize training courses for Kuwaiti Petanque coaches under the supervision of the International Federation of Petanque , and we are willing to arrange these courses in France as well”. Madame Frédérique Asfar the president of the UFE “the union of the French abroadKuwait Section expressed her happiness about the arrangements of this competition at Copthorne Al-Jahra, and she said “ We arrange this competition in this beautiful resort twice a year for the members of the UFE as well as the Petanque lovers in

KUWAIT : Silver medalists second overall: Sébastien Dupas, Philippe Bayle and Philippe Gray

Kuwait, we aim to encourage people of Kuwait to know about this game since it is a non-gender sport in which men and women compete on an equal basis with or against each other. It can be played outdoors or indoors in a covered terrain, without the need for a special skill or high level fitness on the part of the player, she adds “The game originated in 1907 in France and is now gaining popularity all over the world, it now has an international Federation and one day we wish that we can see a Kuwait Federation for the game” Alaa Selim the Hotel Manager of Al Jahra Copthorne Hotel & Resort said “ This annual event has become a popular social gathering and it’s our pleasure to host the

Petanque contest and the UFE open day every year in our resort in Jahra with the presence of their excellencies the ambassadors of France, United States and Canada” He added “ We are thrilled to recreate the ambiance and atmosphere of southern France here in Kuwait and set the pace for a wonderful family day in our resort, we want to take place in promoting this beneficial cultural activity. “We had more than 60 contestants formed into 20 teams during this beautiful family day, followed by a BBQ lunch by the pool and concluded by the medal awarding ceremony. The winners were awarded by the French Ambassador, President of the Pétanque International Fédération Azema Claude and President of the UFE Madame Frédérique Asfar.

KUWAIT: Bronze medalists third overall: Fabien Richard, Odile Darras and Yves Gabarre


MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

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World Twenty20 standings DHAKA: World Twenty20 Super-10 round standings after yesterday’s matches (played, won, lost, tied, N/R, points, run-rate): Group One South Africa 4 Sri Lanka 3 New Zealand 3 England 3 Netherlands 3

3 2 2 1 0

1 1 1 2 3

0 0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0 0

6 +0.075 4 +2.199 4 +0.362 2 -0.102 0 -2.176

Group Two India 4 4 0 0 0 8 +1.280 West Indies 3 2 1 0 0 4 +1.223 Pakistan 3 2 1 0 0 4 +0.893 Australia 3 0 3 0 0 0 -1.549 Bangladesh 3 0 3 0 0 0 -2.315 Note: Top two teams in each group qualify for semi-finals.

DHAKA: India’s batsman Yuvraj Singh (center) plays a shot during their ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Cup match against Australia. —AP

Yuvraj, Ashwin destroy Australia

SCOREBOARD DHAKA: Scoreboard from the World Twenty20 Super-10 group two match between Australia and India in Dhaka yesterday: Australia: India: A. Finch c Kohli b Ashwin 6 R. Sharma c Muirhead b Hodge 5 D. Warner c R. Sharma b Ashwin 19 A. Rahane c Haddin b Bollinger 19 C. White c Jadeja b Kumar 0 V. Kohli c White b Muirhead 23 S. Watson b M. Sharma 1 Y. Singh c Maxwell b Watson 60 G. Maxwell b Ashwin 23 G. Bailey c Kohli b Jadeja 8 S. Raina c Finch b Maxwell 6 B. Hodge c Jadeja b Mishra 13 M. Dhoni b Starc 24 B. Haddin c Rahane b Mishra 6 R. Jadeja run out 3 M. Starc run out 2 R. Ashwin not out 2 J. Muirhead c Dhoni b Ashwin 3 D. Bollinger not out 1 B. Kumar not out 0 Extras: (lb3, w1) 4 Extras: (lb6, w10, nb1) 17 Total (all out, 16.2 overs) 86 Total (for seven wickets, 20 overs) 159 Fall of wickets: 1-13 (Finch), 2-19 (White), 3-21 Fall of wickets: 1-6 (Sharma), 2-46 (Kohli), 3-53 (Watson), 4-44 (Warner), 5-55 (Maxwell), 6-63 (Rahane), 4-66 (Raina), 5-150 (Dhoni), 6-152 (Bailey), 7-75 (Haddin), 8-79 (Starc), 9-83 (Hodge), 10-86 (Muirhead) (Yuvraj), 7-158 (Jadeja). Bowling: Hodge 2-0-13-1 (w2), Maxwell 4-0-20- Bowling: Kumar 3-0-7-1, M. Sharma 2-0-11-1, Ashwin 3.2-0-11-4 (w1), Raina 1-0-16-0, Jadeja 41 (w1), Starc 4-0-36-1 (w4), Watson 4-0-36-1 (w3, 0-25-1, Mishra 3-0-13-2. nb1), Bollinger 4-0-24-1, Muirhead 2-0-24-1 India won by 73 runs.

DHAKA: Yuvraj Singh roared back to form with a pugnacious halfcentury and Ravichandran Ashwin grabbed 4-11 as India hammered listless Australia by 73 runs in the World Twenty20 in Dhaka yesterday. Yuvraj hit 60 off 43 balls to steer India to 159-7 after they were sent in to bat, before Australia collapsed in spectacular fashion to be bowled out for a paltry 86 in 16.2 overs. India, who had already qualified for the semi-finals, topped group two of the Super-10s with four successive wins. They will meet the number two team from the other group next Friday for a place in the final. It was Australia’s third loss in a row, leaving them at the bottom of the table along with Bangladesh. Pakistan, who beat Bangladesh by 50 runs earlier on Sunday, will clash with the West Indies tomorrow to decide the second semi-finalist from the group. South Africa have made it to the knock-out round from group one, while Sri Lanka will face New Zealand in Chittagong on Monday to determine the other semi-finalist. Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said he was not surprised at the ease with which Yuvraj batted after a poor run earlier in the tournament. “We all know what kind of a player Yuvi is and this T20 format is ideal for someone to get back into form,” Dhoni said. “He gave himself time to get set at the start and then he opened out. “There was no dew at all which helped the bowlers grip the ball well. It was a really good effort in the field. We now need a good rest before the semi-final.” India, whose previous three wins came while batting second, were given first strike by Australian captain George Bailey and found themselves in immediate trouble. India’s top order faltered after opener Rohit Sharma fell to parttimer Brad Hodge off the fourth ball of the innings and slipped to 66-4 by the 12th over. Left-handed Yuvraj, who made one and 10 in the two innings he got to bat in the tournament, launched a spectacular counterattack that included five boundaries and four sixes. Dhoni made 24 during a fifth-wicket stand of 84 off 42 balls with Yuvraj before he was bowled by Mitchell Starc in the penultimate over. Australia’s batting caved in under lights at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium with Glenn Maxwell emerging the top scorer with 23. Eight batsmen failed to reach double figures against the steady Indian spin attack in which leg-spinner Amit Mishra supported Ashwin with two wickets for 13 runs. Bailey said he was disappointed at the way this tournament was going for his Australian team. “I don’t think we have been fans of the way we have been playing,” he said. “There was a lack of game sense on a number of occasions. I just hope we can play well against the hoststomorow.” —AFP

Shehzad ton powers Pakistan to victory over Bangladesh

DHAKA: Pakistan batsman Ahmed Shehzad (left) leaps in the air to celebrate scoring a century during their ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Cup match against Bangladesh. —AP

SCOREBOARD DHAKA: Scoreboard from the World Twenty20 Super-10 group two match between Bangladesh and Pakistan at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium in Dhaka yesterday: Bangladesh: Pakistan: Tamim Iqbal b Gul 16 Ahmed Shehzad not out 111 Anamul Haque c and b Ajmal 18 Kamran Akmal c Ziaur b Razzak 9 Shakib Al Hasan c Umar Akmal b Gul 38 Mohammad Hafeez st Rahim b Razzak 8 Shamsur Rahman c Kamran b Afridi 4 Umar Akmal c Tamim b Mahmudullah 0 Mushfiqur Rahim lbw b Babar 2 Shoaib Malik st Rahim b Shakib 26 Nasir Hossain st Kamran b Ajmal 23 Shahid Afridi c Ziaur b Al Amin 22 Mohammad Mahmudullah not out 17 Sohaib Maqsood not out 1 Ziaur Rahman c Kamran b Gul 0 Extras: (b3, w9, nb1) 13 Mashrafe Mortaza not out 17 Extras: (lb3, w2) 5 Total (for five wickets, 20 overs) 190 140 Fall of wickets: 1-43 (Kamran), 2-70 (Hafeez), Total (for seven wickets, 20 overs) 3-71 (Umar Akmal), 4-154 (Malik), 5-188 Fall of wickets: 1-30 (Tamim), 2-36 (Anamul), 3-44 (Shamsur), 4-47 (Rahim), 5-91 (Shakib), (Afridi). Bowling: Mortaza 4-0-63-0 (nb1, w5), Al 6-112 (Nasir), 7-116 (Ziaur). Bowling: Hafeez 3-0-16-0, Tanvir 3-0-26-0, Gul Amin 4-0-37-1, Shakib 4-0-21-1 (w1), Razzak 4-0-30-3 (w1), Ajmal 3-0-20-2, Babar 3-0-24-1 4-0-20-2 (w3), Mahmudullah 3-0-24-1, Ziaur (w1), Afridi 4-0-21-1. 1-0-22-0. Pakistan won by 50 runs.

DHAKA: Opener Ahmed Shehzad smashed an unbeaten 111 off 62 balls as Pakistan thrashed hosts Bangladesh by 50 runs to stay on course for the semi-finals of the World Twenty20 in Dhaka yesterday. The 22-year-old from Lahore hit 10 boundaries and five sixes in his first T20 international century to lift Pakistan to a commanding 190-5 after they elected to bat. Bangladesh managed only 140-7 in reply in front of a sellout home crowd of 25,000 at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium to suffer their third successive defeat in group two of the Super-10s. With both Bangladesh and Australia out of the race, the winner of Tuesday’s last league match between Pakistan and the West Indies will join India in the semi-finals from the group. “This was a great effort from the boys,” said Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez. “Everyone knew how important this game was. It was a special knock from Shehzad. “He showed today that he has all the shots in the book. We now confidently look forward to playing the West Indies.” Shehzad, who reached his century off 58 balls in the 18th over, was caught off a Mashrafe Mortaza no-ball in the 19th after hitting the previous ball for a six. The error proved expensive as Pakistan scored 44 runs in the last two overs, with Mortaza conceding 24 in the penultimate over. Shehzad hammered 31 in an opening stand of 43 with Kamran Akmal (nine) that came off just 27 deliveries. Bangladesh fought back by taking three quick wickets, two of them by left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak, as Pakistan slipped to 71-3 by the 10th over. Umar Akmal, Pakistan’s hero against Australia when he made 94 off 54 balls, was dismissed by Mohammad Mahmudullah for no score. Shehzad gave the innings a boost by smashing two sixes and as many boundaries in the 13th over bowled by seamer Ziaur Rahman, which cost 22 runs. Shehzad put on 83 for the fourth wicket with Shoaib Malik (26) in the only substantial partnership of the innings, a lesson that escaped the Bangladesh batsmen. The hosts, looking for a bright start, lost four top-order wickets in 9.1 overs with just 47 runs on the board. Shakib Al Hasan delighted the crowd with a 32-ball 38 that included two sixes and two fours, before he top-edged a catch off seamer Umar Gul in the 15th over to effectively end Bangladesh’s challenge. Gul finished with three for 30 in four overs, while off-spinner Saeed Ajmal took two for 20. Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim blamed a batting failure for the loss. “When you are chasing a big target, you need someone from the top four to bat all the way through, but that did not happen today,” he said. —AFP

DHAKA: India’s bowler Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates victory over Australia in the ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Cup match. —AP

Hamilton wins Malaysia GP SEPANG: Briton’s Lewis Hamilton won the Malaysian Grand Prix with a pole-to-flag victory ahead of Nico Rosberg yesterday in a first Mercedes one-two since they returned to Formula One as a works team in 2010. The 2008 Formula One world champion easily pulled away from his rivals on a dry track with a three-stop strategy to win the race by 17.3 seconds, his 23rd career victory and first in Malaysia at the eighth attempt. “Incredibly happy, it’s my eighth year here (at Sepang) and finally I got that win,” the Briton told reporters after taking the chequered flag for his second win for Mercedes since he joined them last year and first points of the season. “Its quite special to get a one-two, I haven’t had many in my career, so that makes it even more special. A great day,” added the former McLaren driver. Rosberg, who won the season opener in Australia two weeks ago, started in third place but squeezed past quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel into the first corner and was able to keep the Red Bull at bay and stay top of the driver standings. It was Mercedes’ first one-two since 1955, their last year as a works team before 2010. Rosberg almost touched the wall as he took Vettel at the start and struggled to manage his rear tyres in the early stages as the two Germans remained close before the Mercedes driver pulled away over the closing laps. The second place finish moved him on to 43 points in the standings, 18 clear of Hamilton with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso third on 24 points after his second fourth of the season. Mercedes took the lead from McLaren in the constructors’ standings. “I had a really good start.. got away well and I thought Sebastian was going to put me into the wall but he stopped just before so thank-you for that,” Rosberg said. “My heart skipped a beat a little bit but it was OK. I was trying to chase Lewis but he was a bit too quick today.” VETTEL THIRD Vettel finished third, 7.2 seconds behind Rosberg, for his first points of the season following an early retirement in Australia as he struggled to make an impact on the Mercedes pair without the rain that helped

his qualifying bid on Saturday. Having endured a tricky time during off season testing, Vettel was delighted to make the podium. “Congratulations to them, they are bloody quick, the package they have is very, very strong,” Vettel told reporters. “For us there is mostly positives. It’s much better than what we expected during the winter.” Alonso was involved in a tight battle with Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg in the closing stages before finally overtaking the German although he will be disappointed that once again the Ferrari looked well short of challenging the Mercedes duo. McLaren’s Jenson Button was sixth with Felipe Massa of Williams seventh just ahead of team mate Valtteri Bottas after the Brazilian refused to yield to his Finnish team mate despite team orders to do so. The row, at a circuit where team orders blew up into a major controversy last season at both Red Bull and Mercedes, threatened to cause friction for the coming races between the new team mates. McLaren’s Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen and Toro Rosso’s Russian newcomer Daniil Kvyat rounded out the top 10 of a race that suffered just a couple of light drops of rain despite concerns about possible thunderstorms. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who was disqualified in Australia pending an appeal, missed out on points for the second race in a row after a disastrous third pit stop when he was in fourth. The Australian pulled away before his front left wheel was fully attached with engineers sprinting down the pitlane to push him back and fix the issue. Ricciardo was then given a 10 second penalty for the unsafe release but his chances of points were already over after he shredded a tyre and damaged a wing shortly before the stewards’ decision and he retired before the end. “Deep down I’m really disappointed but at the same time there’s a little bit in me which is happy because I think I’ve come out how I wanted to,” the Australian said of his start to the season. “I still want to improve but we’ve started off on the right foot. So for that I’m pleased. I know a little bit of luck will turn around soon and I’ll get my revenge and get some points.” —Reuters

SEPANG: Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain holds up his trophy after winning the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit. —AP


MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

S P ORTS

Bowditch takes three-shot lead at Texas Open TEXAS: Australian Steven Bowditch chipped in at the first two holes on his way to a three-shot lead after the third round at the $6.2 million Texas Open on Saturday. Boosted by the hot start, Bowditch continued to display an exquisite short game, recovering from some poor long shots to notch just one bogey on his way to a fourunder-par 68 at the TPC San Antonio. “I didn’t hit the ball real well today at all,” Bowditch told reporters after posting a 12under 204 total with one round left. Matt Kuchar (65) carded the lowest round of the week to storm into a tie for second on nine-under with fellow American Andrew Loupe (70), who bogeyed the par-five 18th. The event lost its biggest attraction when five-time major champion Phil Mickelson withdrew on his 11th hole, citing

a pulled abdominal muscle. His decision seemed purely precautionary, only two weeks before he shoots for a fourth green jacket at the Masters. Bowditch had never held an end-ofround lead in 110 starts on the PGA Tour before Friday, so his start to the third round was a perfect tonic to calm the nerves. He chipped in for birdie from 25 feet at the par-four first and then holed out from nearly 30 yards for eagle at the par-five second, leading comfortably for the rest of the day. “The chip on the first was pretty simple but the one on the second I was just trying to get around the hole and luckily it dropped in,” said the 30-year-old, who hit only eight greens in regulation. “I don’t even want to know how many greens I hit but I know it wasn’t many.

Hopefully tomorrow I will hit a few more fairways and a few more greens.” Bowditch was a champion junior in his homeland but it has taken him a while to find his feet on tour. He is ranked 339th in the world and while he will start the final round the man to beat, world number 11 Kuchar is brimming with confidence. Kuchar, the only player among the tournament’s top seven with more than one tour victory, had eight birdies in his round. He sank a bunker shot at the first hole for birdie and also closed in style with a tap-in birdie at the last. “It’s an exciting position to be in,” said Kuchar, who has won five times on tour. “My game’s in really good shape. The first two days I left a number of shots out there (but) today was a much better performance as far as scoring.” —Reuters

SAN ANTONIO: Steven Bowditch tees off during the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio AT&T Oaks Course. —AFP

Hamburg braced for historic drop

ITALY: Parma’s forward Raffaele Palladino (left) tries to score against Lazio’s goalkeeper Federico Marchetti (center) and Lazio’s French defender Abdoulay Konko during the Italian Serie A football match. —AFP

Lazio stun Parma as Fiorentina slip MILAN: Lazio defender Antonio Candreva struck late to secure a 3-2 win over Parma and maintain their Europa League hopes as Fiorentina’s Champions League bid was dented in a scoreless draw away to Sampdoria yesterday. Earlier, goals in either half from Mattia Destro and Michel Bastos helped Roma to a cagey 2-0 win away to Serie A strugglers Sassuolo to close the gap on leaders Juventus to 11 points. Juve are at third-placed Napoli later yesterday when they will be looking to restore their 14-point lead as they stride towards a likely third consecutive scudetto. At the Olympic Stadium Senad Lulic gave Lazio a 15th minute lead and after Jonathan Biabiany had levelled barely 10 minutes later Miroslav Klose put the hosts within sight of a precious win with a 67th minute strike. Lazio suffered a blow when a defensive mix-up saw Michael Ciani intercept a cross intended for Antonio Cassano with the ball spinning away from the defender and out of reach of ‘keeper Federico Marchetti and into the Lazio net. Parma looked to be heading for a share of the spoils but when Spanish striker Keita drove a daisycutter into the area Candreva ran in to volley beyond Antonio Mirante and into the net for a welcome injury-time winner. Parma remain sixth with a game in hand but are only one point behind fifth-placed Inter who occupy the first Europa League qualifying spot ahead of their visit to Livorno today. Lazio’s 12th win of the campaign kept them in eighth although Edy Reja’s men are now only two points off Parma and three behind Inter. Lazio’s win was tempered by a fans’ boycott in protest at current president Claudio Lotito, meaning the club’s home games have been sparsely attended. Reja played down Lazio’s Europa League hopes and admitted his side are suffering from the boycott. “It would be a minor miracle if we qualified for Europa,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “We’re still suffering from the absence of fans, although we did hear the fans who did turn up. Thanks to them, it gave us the extra spur for the win.” Fiorentina’s bid for a top three finish and Champions League qualification, meanwhile, suffered a blow in a scoreless draw away in Genoa which saw Juan Vargas smash a freekick off the crossbar and Samp coach Sinisa Mihajlovic red-carded at the end of the game for dissent. Fiorentina remain fourth but are now nine points behind Napoli in third and only four ahead of Inter. Coach Vincenzo Montella appeared com-

posed, but said: “A draw was a fair result although we’re disappointed not to take more given the chances we had, especially from Vargas’s effort.” Mihajlovic’s expulsion came after he protested a late decision vociferously into the face of the linesman. But he, too, was satisfied with a draw: “We were up against a side which plays the best football in the league. “Credit to Fiorentina, they played well but we also had our chances in the second half.” Elsewhere, 10-man Verona kept in the hunt for Europe’s second-tier club competition with a 3-0 home win over Genoa, with veteran striker Luca Toni grabbing a late brace. Marco Donadel opened the scoring with a low strike from outside the area and then Verona were reduced to 10 men when Michelangelo Albertazzi picked up a second booking on the cusp of half time. Genoa did little to capitalise on the advantage and Toni made the visitors pay with two late goals inside the space of six minutes to take his tally for the season to 15, just three shy of leader Carlos Tevez. Verona sit in ninth, only two points behind Lazio and one ahead of Torino who secured a 2-1 win over Cagliari, but Toni said the Europa League is now only a distant dream. “We’re trying not to think about it. We’re coming off a really bad period and a lot of people thought we were already on holiday,” said Toni. “But despite being a man down we knuckled down today and got the win.” —AFP

Matches on TV (Local Timings) English Premier League Sunderland v West Ham 22:00 beIN SPORTS 4 beIN SPORTS 4 HD Italian Calcio League Udinese v Catania 20:00 beIN SPORTS 7 beIN SPORTS 7 HD Livorno v Inter 22:00 beIN SPORTS 3 beIN SPORTS 3 HD Spanish League Granada v Levante beIN SPORTS 2 beIN SPORTS 2 HD

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Hearts stave off relegation GLASGOW: Hearts staved off relegation with a 2-0 win in the Edinburgh derby at Tynecastle yesterday to deny rivals Hibernian the chance to condemn them to the Championship. Cash-strapped Hearts, who were docked 15 points at the beginning of the season for entering administration, went into the match knowing their 33-year stay in the Scottish top flight could be ended with defeat at the hands of their fiercest rivals. However, Gary Locke’s youthful side showed they will not be going down without a fight as Dale Carrick finished off a good move to fire Hearts in front in the seventh minute. There was controversy in the 83rd minute

when Jordon Forster headed past Jamie MacDonald for what looked like a leveller but his effort was ruled out for offside, with television replays showing it was the wrong decision. Alan Maybury was then sent off for a second bookable offence before Billy King scored in stoppage time to compound the misery for the Easter Road side. It ended a run of four consecutive defeats for the Jambos but the win only delays the inevitable for Hearts, who are 19 points adrift at the bottom with seven games remaining, and they could be condemned to the drop if they fail to beat Aberdeen on Wednesday. —AFP

BERLIN: Hamburg have just six games left to avoid a historic first relegation from the Bundesliga as they dropped to second from bottom after yesterday’s 3-1 defeat at Borussia Moenchengladbach. As the only Bundesliga side to have never been relegated, Hamburg took a step closer to the second division at Gladbach after losing ten of their last 15 league matches. Cameroon right-wing Jacques Zoua gave Hamburg a first-half lead before Borussia equalised when captain Filip Daems tapped home a penalty after goalkeeper Rene Adler saved his initial poorly-hit effort. Gladbach made sure of the three points with two goals in the final five minutes when Brazil forward Raffael fired home a deft chip through from striker Max Kruse, then Spanish centre-back Alvaro Dominguez scored from a corner. The defeat saw Hamburg replace VfB Stuttgart, who lost 3-2 at home to Borussia Dortmund on Saturday, in 17th of the league’s 18 teams on goal difference while Gladbach are sixth. Hamburg are on their third coach this season after Mirko Slomka took charge last month following Bert van Marwijk’s dismissal in February while Thorsten Fink was sacked in September. Elsewhere, Werder Bremen’s Austria defender Sebastian Proedl headed home a 90th-minute winner to seal their 2-1 victor y at Hanover 96 to keep his side 12th and eight points from the relegation places while hosts Hanover drop to 13th. On Saturday, champions Bayern Munich dropped points for only the third time in the Bundesliga this season as they were held 3-3 at home by Hoffenheim. Hoffenheim ended Bayern’s record run of 19 consecutive Bundesliga wins, giving the Munich giants a wake-up call ahead of their Champions League quarter-final first leg at Manchester United tomorrow. Spain midfielder Thiago Alcantara has been ruled out of both quarter-final legs against United with a knee injury and is expected to miss the next six to eight weeks. Bayern leaked three goals in a Bundesliga match for the first time this season after throwing away a 3-1 first-half lead following goals by veteran striker Claudio Pizarro and Swiss winger Xherdan Shaqiri. Bosnia midfielder Sejad Salihovic curled in a 44th-minute free kick to make it 3-2 at the break after striker Anthony Modeste gave the guests an early lead. Hoffenheim equalised on 75 minutes when Brazilian left winger Roberto Firmino darted on to a through ball and his shot beat both Bayern centre -back Dante and goalkeeper Tom Starke.

GERMANY: Moenchengladbach’s Norwegian midfielder Havard Nordtveit (center) and Hamburg’s Turkish midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu (right) vie for the ball during the German First Division Bundesliga football match. —AFP Despite the draw, Bayern still remain 23 points clear at the top of the table and extended their record unbeaten Bundesliga run to 53 matches. Germany winger Marco Reus netted a hat-trick as second-placed Borussia Dortmund fought back from two goals down to win 3-2 at ten-man Stuttgart. Dortmund, who face Real Madrid away on Wednesday in the Champions League quarter-finals, found themselves 2-0 down after just 20 minutes. Christian Gentner and Martin Harnik took advantage of poor defending to net for the hosts before Reus scored all of the

guests’ goals. Bayer Leverkusen hold on to fourth place despite drawing 1-1 at home to bottom side Eintracht Braunschweig as Sami Hyypia’s side struggle for form with one win in their last 11 games. Braunschweig took a shock lead through defender Ken Reichel just after the break before Stefan Kiessling slotted home a 53rdminute penalty to spare Bayer’s blushes. Fifth-placed VfL Wolfsburg are just a point behind Leverkusen after their 2-1 win at home to Eintracht Frankfurt with Brazil defender Naldo scoring their 89th-

minute winner. Freiburg are unbeaten in their last four games as they enjoyed a 32 win at home to Nuremberg to move five points clear of the relegation zone. Mainz remain seventh but in the hunt for a European place with a 30 win at home to Augsburg while on Friday Schalke 04 were 2-0 winners against Hertha Berlin. Nigerian Chinedu Obasi put Schalke in front after 16 minutes with Dutch star Klaas-Jan Huntelaar adding the second goal just after the interval. It was Huntelaar’s 11th goal in 13 matches in a campaign disrupted by knee surgery. —AFP

German League results/standings Borussia Moenchengladbach 3 (Daems 37-pen, Raffael 75, Dominguez 78) Hamburg 1 (Zoua 28); Hanover 96 1 (Huszti 43) Werder Bremen 2 (di Santo 57, Proedl 90). Played Saturday Bayern Munich 3 (Pizarro 31, 40, Shaqiri 34) Hoffenheim 3 (Modeste 23, Salihovic 44, Firmino 75); Bayer Leverkusen 1 (Kiessling 53pen) Eintracht Braunschweig 1 (Reichel 47); VfB Stuttgart 2 (Gentner 9, Harnik 19) Borussia Dortmund 3 (Reus 30, 68-pen, 83); VfL Wolfsburg 2 (Olic 69, Naldo 89) Eintracht Frankfurt 1 (Aigner 11); Mainz 05 3 (Bungart 23, Hitz 38-og, Geis 83) FC Augsburg 0; Freiburg 3 (Krmas 23, Mehmedi 53-pen, Klaus 65) Nuremberg 2 (Pogatetz 7, Drmic 45-pen). German Bundesliga table after all yesterday evening’s match (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Hanover 28 8 5 15 36 51 29 Bayern Munich 28 25 3 0 82 16 78 Borussia 28 17 4 7 62 31 55 Freiburg 28 7 8 13 33 50 29 Schalke 28 16 6 6 53 37 54 Nuremberg 28 5 11 12 34 52 26 Bayer 28 15 3 10 47 34 48 Stuttgart 28 6 6 16 42 57 24 Wolfsburg 28 14 5 9 48 42 47 Hamburg 28 6 6 16 43 59 24 Borussia 28 13 6 9 49 34 45 Eintracht 28 5 7 16 25 50 22 Mainz 28 13 5 10 41 43 44 Note: Top three qualify directly for the Champions League, Augsburg 28 11 6 11 40 43 39 fourth goes into the play-offs, while fourth and fifth play in the Hoffenheim 28 9 9 10 63 62 36 Europa League. The bottom two sides are relegated and the Hertha Berlin 28 10 6 12 36 39 36 team finishing 16th has a two-legged play-off against the side Eintracht 28 8 8 12 35 48 32 which finishes third in the second division. Werder Bremen 28 8 8 12 33 54 32

Kalou late goal rescues Lille PARIS: Lille tightened their grip on third place in Ligue 1 with a dramatic 1-0 injury time victory over Guingamp yesterday. Ivory Coast international Salomon Kalou came off the bench to prod the ball home in the 92nd minute to snatch three desperately needed points for Rene Girard’s side. The match appeared to be heading for a goalless draw before Kalou popped up inside the six yard box to knee the ball home following a corner from the right that led to a scramble. The win extends Lille’s advantage to six points over fourth placed Saint-Etienne who are involved in the Rhone derby at Lyon in the weekend’s final match later on Sunday. Lyon are alone in fifth spot and nine points adrift of Lille and the all important final Champions League berth for next season. Earlier, Rennes made it back-to-back league wins with a confident 3-0 home success against Bastia that moved them eight points clear of the drop zone. It was the first time this season that the

Brittany outfit had picked up three straight victories following their French Cup quarter-final success over Lille on Thursday. They will now play second division Angers for a place in the Stade de France final against either Monaco or Guingamp. “It’s been a beautiful week, with three wins in three matches without conceding a goal,” said Rennes coach Philippe Montanier. “It boosts morale after the many difficult weeks. “It’s a week which has put us on the right track. We took another step towards staying in the top flight, and the perspective of a French Cup semi-final has spiced up our season.” The hosts dominated from the outset with Romain Alessandrini opening the scoring after 14 minutes and Swedish striker Ola Toivonen doubling their advantage on 28 minutes. Cameroonian midfielder Jean Makoun rounded off the scoring after 59 minutes. The victory lifts Rennes up to 12th position and eight points above the relegation zone with seven matches to play.

The Corsican outfit remain in 10th position. Monaco suffered a surprise 1-0 defeat away to Evian on Saturday to leave Paris Saint-Germain 13 points clear at the top of the Ligue 1 table with just seven games left. Toulouse missed the opportunity to leapfrog Marseille into the top six as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Ajaccio in Corsica. The visitors had fallen two goals behind as Ricardo Faty and Gadji Tallo netted for Ajaccio, but Issiaga Sylla pulled one back before Clement Chantome, the on-loan PSG midfielder, equalised. But Toulouse missed a great chance to win the game when Jonathan Zebina saw a stoppage-time penalty saved by Guillermo Ochoa in the home goal. Elsewhere on Saturday, Odair Fortes scored to earn Reims a 1-1 draw at home to Lorient, for whom Vincent Aboubakar netted a first-half penalty, while there were goalless stalemates between Montpellier and Valenciennes and Nantes and Bordeaux.—AFP


76ers snap losing streak

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Yuvraj, Ashwin destroy Australia

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LONDON: Liverpool’s Luis Suarez (right) and Daniel Agger (center) and Tottenham’s Michael Dawson (center left) lunge for the ball as Jordan Henderson, out of frame, scores from a free kick during their English Premier League soccer match. — AP

Reds beat Spurs to fire title dreams Liverpool 4

Tottenham 0

LIVERPOOL: Liverpool returned to the top of the Premier League table for the first time since Christmas with an emphatic 4-0 win at home to Tottenham Hotspur yesterday. With title rivals Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal all dropping points on Saturday, Liverpool took full advantage to enhance their prospects of a first championship win since 1990. An own goal from Tottenham captain Younes Kaboul set Liverpool on their way inside the opening two minutes and Brendan Rodgers’s side never looked back as they kept the destiny of the title in their own hands with City and Chelsea still to visit Anfield. Top scorer Luis Suarez doubled the

lead with his 29th goal of the season after 25 minutes, before Philippe Coutinho added a third 10 minutes into the second half. Jordan Henderson completed the rout 15 minutes from the end, sealing an eighth consecutive league victory. No team in the top flight has bettered Tottenham’s nine away wins this season, but Tim Sherwood’s side have now lost their last three away from White Hart Lane, as their season threatens to peter out. But while Spurs are beginning to look a spent force, Liverpool are going from strength to strength as they close in on matching a run of nine successive wins from the 2005-06 campaign, when they finished third. Liverpool manager Rodgers made one change to the side that had beaten Sunderland 2-1 in mid-week, with Raheem Sterling replacing Joe Allen. And Sterling immediately made his presence felt as Liverpool took barely 90 seconds to go in front. The winger combined with England colleague Glen Johnson, whose overlap-

ping run took him into the box and enabled him to put a low cross into the goalmouth. DAWSON ERROR Suarez and Daniel Sturridge were both lurking, but following a deflection off defender Jan Vertonghen, it was Kaboul who inadvertently got the final touch to nudge the ball over the line. It was not totally one -sided as Tottenham looked to respond on the counter-attack, but with little more than a quarter of the game gone, the Londoners-still missing injured top scorer Emmanuel Adebayor-left themselves with a near impossible task. Michael Dawson’s replacement of the injured Vertonghen should not have caused a major problem, with the longserving defender slotting back into Tottenham’s defence alongside Kaboul. But his rustiness following an injury lay-off was apparent as his misdirected pass allowed Suarez a run on goal that he exploited to the full. Getting away from Kaboul, the striker beat Hugo Lloris with a left-foot shot across the goalkeep-

er into the far corner to claim his sixth goal in four games. Kaboul’s afternoon then almost took a further turn for the worse four minutes before half-time as he almost gifted Livepool a third goal. Dallying in possession, the Spurs skipper was dispossessed by Sterling, whose cross was met by a powerful header from Suarez, which was superbly touched onto the post by Lloris. Sterling was a source of constant worry for the Londoners and eight minutes into the second half he should have put the game beyond doubt, but rather than shooting he passed to Henderson, who shot over. The end was not long in coming, though, as just a couple of minutes later Jon Flanagan carried the ball out of defence and picked out Coutinho, whose low shot from 22 yards found the bottom-left corner. When Henderson then curled a free-kick through a crowd of bodies and directly past Lloris, a repeat of Liverpool’s 5-0 win at Tottenham earlier in the season was on the cards. This time there was not a fifth goal, but Liverpool had already done enough. — AFP

Fulham 1

Everton 3

LONDON: Steven Naismith came off the bench to inspire Everton to a 3-1 success at Fulham yesterday that further enhanced their chances of qualifying for next season’s Champions League. After weathering sustained first-half pressure, Everton took a 50th-minute lead at Craven Cottage when Naismith’s deflected volley ricocheted off Fulham goalkeeper David Stockdale and into the net for an own goal. Fulham substitute Ashkan Dejagah equalised with a blistering strike 21 minutes later, only for another substitute, Kevin Mirallas, to restore Everton’s lead with 11 minutes remaining. Naismith applied the coup de grace in the 87th minute to complete a win that

Playing today Sunderland v West Ham United Liverpool 32 22 5 5 88 39 71 Chelsea 32 21 6 5 62 24 69 Man City 30 21 4 5 80 28 67 Arsenal 32 19 7 6 56 37 64 Everton 31 17 9 5 49 31 60 Tottenham 32 17 5 10 40 44 56 Man Utd 32 16 6 10 52 38 54 Southampton 32 13 9 10 49 40 48 Newcastle 32 14 4 14 38 47 46 Stoke 32 10 10 12 37 45 40 West Ham 31 9 7 15 34 41 34 Aston Villa 31 9 7 15 34 46 34 Swansea 32 8 9 15 45 48 33 Hull 32 9 6 17 33 40 33 Norwich 32 8 8 16 26 51 32 Crystal Palace 31 9 4 18 20 39 31 West Brom 31 5 14 12 36 48 29 Cardiff 32 6 8 18 29 61 26 Sunderland 29 6 7 16 27 46 25 Fulham 32 7 3 22 31 73 24 Notes: top four teams qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League; fifth-place team qualifies for UEFA Europa League; bottom three teams relegated to Championship.

Miami swings to the hits of golden oldies

Everton inch towards top four took Roberto Martinez’s side to within four points of fourth-place Arsenal, who visit Goodison Park next weekend. Everton also have a game in hand, but while their fans begin to dream of Barcelona and Bayern Munich, it is Bournemouth and Blackpool who beckon for Fulham after a defeat that left them five points adrift of safety at the foot of the Premier League table. Everton were unchanged from their mid-week 3-0 win at Newcastle United, while Fulham manager Felix Magath made three changes, surprisingly handing a first start to 17-year-old French striker Moussa Dembele. Arsenal’s 1-1 draw with Manchester City on Saturday had opened the door for Everton, but it was Fulham who took the initiative in the first half on a warm spring day in west London. After Lewis Holtby had sliced an early warning shot off target, a right-wing corner was flicked on by Brede Hangeland to Pajtim Kasami, who could only head wide at the back post. Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard was

EPL results/standings Fulham 1 (Dejagah 71) Everton 3 (Stockdale 50-og, Mirallas 79, Naismith 87); Liverpool 4 (Kaboul 2-og, Suarez 25, Coutinho 55, Henderson 75) Tottenham Hotspur 0.

LONDON: Fulham’s French striker Moussa Dembele (left) vies with Everton’s English defender John Stones (right) during the English Premier League football match. — AFP then obliged to save with his feet from Kieran Richardson, who had been played in by Dembele, before Stockdale produced a similar save at the other end to thwart Gerard Deulofeu. It was Fulham who were creating the better chances, though, and Howard was called upon to tip over a header from Holtby and gather a header from Dembele

before the interval. Everton lost Ross Barkley to a calf injury at half-time, but Naismith’s entrance in his place proved the catalyst for an immediate upturn in their fortunes. The Scottish forward claimed the credit for Everton’s opener, although the decisive touch came from the unfortunate Stockdale. — AFP

MIAMI: Miami is one of the favourite stops on the WTA Tour because of the city’s hip, youthful vibe but the final of Sony Open on Saturday was more about the golden oldies as Serena Williams and Li Na took centre stage. As the downtown core was rocking to a techno music festival, out on Key Biscayne at the Tennis Center they were savoring some old time hits as two 32-year-olds slugged it out for the Miami hardcourt title. Williams musical tastes may run more toward Mariah Carey but her play on a sweltering south Florida afternoon was more heavy metal as the world number one pounded out a 7-5 6-1 win over Li to claim a record seventh title on the Miami hardcourts. “I don’t know,” shrugged Williams, when asked to explain how two 32-year-olds have come to dominate the women’s game. “I just feel that both she (Li) and I, we just have this never give up fight and it just goes to show that you can still shine at any age.” Number one Williams and number two Li have both won two titles each this season and sit atop the world rankings as the circuit’s young guns scramble behind them. Li’s two wins include an Australian Open title and she has reached the final in Miami and semi-final in Indian Wells. Her loss to Williams was just her third of the season. With wins in Miami and Brisbane, Williams pushed her career total to 59 titles (50 more than Li) and looks poised for another season of domination with just two losses on her record. “We’re playing great tennis and we’re both one and two and we’re both the same age,” said Williams. “For me, it was just an honor to be there with her. — Reuters


Business

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Hunt on for new tigers: MINT, PPICS and CIVETS

BASEL: View of the Emporio Armani booth at Baselworld in Basel, Switzerland. — AP

Connected watches create buzz at Baselworld Jewel-covered timepieces showcase luxury, glamour BASEL: Watches that connect to your smartphone or even a satellite to ensure perfect time, regardless of where you are in the world, or alert you if you leave your phone behind? Although not on prominent display they were a hot topic of discussion this past week at Baselworld, the world’s largest watch and jewelry fair. The show in the northern Swiss city was yet again dominated by intricate mechanical watches, symbolizing centuries of tradition, and jewel-covered timepieces showcasing the luxury and glamour that never seem to go out of fashion. But there were a few new offerings for the tech-hungry crowd still waiting eagerly for their wristband to catch up with their phone or tablet. Japan’s Casio had two new high-tech models on display both set for release later this year. Its new Bluetooth controlled Edifice watch connects to smartphones, allowing it to adjust

to time changes as smoothly as the device in your back pocket, while its new G-Shock model can synchronize with precise time signals broadcasted by radio stations or satellites. “We expect huge demand, because people nowadays look for this technology more and more, so we are very confident,” Harald Schroeder, head of marketing at Casio Europe, told AFP. He stressed the popularity of a range of brightly-colored plastic G-Shock watches already available, which can control your smartphone’s alarm and music functions, let you know when your phone is ringing in silent mode and vibrate if you leave your phone behind. Several other Asian tech giants, including South Korean Samsung, Japan’s Sony and China’s Huawei, have also unveiled new connected timepieces in recent months. Swiss watchmakers are following the developments

closely, but appear reluctant to move down the same route, sticking instead to the tradition and skilled craftsmanship that have won them customers for centuries. “Technically, there are lots of things that are possible,” pointed out Marc Hayek, who heads Swatch Group’s luxury watch brands Breguet, Blancpain and Jaquet Droz. “But it’s not just because something is possible that the market will automatically be there,” he said, insisting that a watch should not seek to simply emulate the functions already available in phones and other wireless devices. ‘Don’t see big market’ “If it’s less comfortable to use ... (and) if it’s the same function, I think it will only mean disadvantages, and I really don’t see a big market for that,” he told AFP, stressing that watchmakers should instead reflect on “useful” and “intelli-

gent” new functions. Stephane Linder, head of Tag Heuer, the top watch brand in French luxury group LVMH’s stable, agreed, pointing out that a connected watch would necessarily be more difficult to use than existing devices. “With a telephone, I have a large screen, but with a watch, it’s tiny,” he pointed out. Linder insisted though on the need to keep a close eye on developments, pointing out that technology has the power to suddenly reshuffle the deck, as Apple did when it dethroned the reining mobile phone companies with its iPhone. Watchmakers must remain ready to jump into the “smart watch” fray once they see the potential to bring true benefits to users. If that happens “you will see developments in the luxury segment as well,” he predicted. Patek Philippe chief Thierry Stern said he was not worried by the smart watch hype.”We saw the same thing when the iPhone was launched.

People said it would spell the end of watches, but today watch sales are doing very well,” he told AFP. Connected watches were not a threat to the market for prestige timepieces, he insisted, pointing out that such tech objects “generally are obsolete after a year, because there is always a new version available.” “These are not objects that you keep as a watch,” he said. In fact, Martijn van Willegen, a Dutch jeweler who each year places around 80 percent of his annual watch orders at Baselworld, said he saw watches moving in the opposite direction of the phone tech drive. Fifteen years ago, people mainly wanted super precise quartz watches that you could simply replace if it stopped working, he said. “Today, we’re back to old school 16th and 17th century mechanics that really make your heart beat faster... I love that.” — AFP

Modi: Economic inspiration or illusion? AHMEDABAD: To supporters in his thriving west coast fiefdom, Narendra Modi is the inspiration behind an economic success story that India has a chance to emulate if as expected he becomes prime minister. But ahead of elections beginning on April 7, skeptics accuse Modi of claiming credit for an “illusion” in Gujarat that has mainly benefited big business and will be hard to replicate on a national scale. Governed by Modi since 2001, Gujarat recorded average annual growth rates of 10.13 percent between 2005 and 2012, according to latest figures, the second-highest pace among large or medium-sized states. And according to businesswoman Bhagyesh Soneji, it would be churlish not to acknowledge the leading role of the state’s chief minister who polls say is set to lead his rightwing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party to a general election victory. After arriving in Gujarat in 1992 from the impoverished eastern state of Orissa with just 20 rupees (30 cents) to her name, Soneji has built up a pharmaceutical group that exports to some 28 countries, has an annual turnover of around $5 million and employs 23 people. Soneji said since becoming chief minister, Modi has made Gujarat one of the few states not to be suffocated by India’s infamous red tape and has ensured that businesses which encounter obstacles get a friendly hearing. The 45year-old founder and chief executive of Ameda Pharma said Modi’s administration was characterized by a “proactive dynamism”. “We can meet principal secretaries and ministers easily to discuss issues related to industry,” she told AFP in her office in Ahmedabad, Gujarat’s commercial capital. “The bureaucracy here is businesslike, they understand the time demands of the business fraternity and corruption is also much less in comparison to other states,” said Soneji, who also serves as president of Gujarat’s chamber of commerce.

Narendra Modi

Entrepreneurial spirit “Gujaratis have entrepreneurship in their DNA,” she added, referring to the famed business talents of those who

come from the state. “The entrepreneurship spirit in Gujarat is so demanding bureaucrats cannot be lethargic.” Modi supporters point to Gujarat’s infrastructure as another sign of good governance. Downtown Ahmedabad has managed to escape the gridlock common to most Indian cities and the city has bus lanes. Power cuts are rare. But it’s a different tale a short distance away in the rundown neighborhood of Juhapura where Nadeem Jafri runs a supermarket business. Modi first came to national prominence in 2002 when communal riots erupted in Gujarat, soon after he took over as the state’s chief minister. The riots left more than 1,000 dead, most of them Muslims. While Modi himself has never been found guilty of playing any role in the bloodshed, one of his ministers was sentenced for inciting violence. When the violence broke out, thousands of Muslims took refuge in Juhapura. Two years later, Jafri quit his job in advertising to open his first supermarket in a district largely abandoned by retailers. Ten years on, Jafri now runs a chain of 12 supermarkets and supplies hotels and restaurants with his branded rice and tea products. “At a personal level, I had no help from the administration,” said Jafri. “Gujarat has been marketed well for the last five years. It has always been a progressive state with good electricity and water supply. “But giving credit for this success to just one person is not fair. Credit must go to all people.” Modi rarely passes up the chance to trumpet his state’s track record, promising at rallies to replicate its success nationwide. Every other year, Modi has hosted a “Vibrant Gujarat Summit”, inviting business leaders and politicians to celebrate its achievements. Some economists are unconvinced, saying only big businesses have really thrived. ‘Larger the company, larger the subsidy’ “This model is an illusion. Growth in Gujarat is highly unequal in the sense that certain regions, certain sectors and certain parts of population are left out,” said Indira

Hirway, director of Gujarat’s Centre for Development Alternatives. The larger the company, the higher the rate of subsidy, in terms of capital subsidies, credit, VAT subsidy, she said. Hirway said bigger companies were often granted favors in accessing land, water and natural resources. “They give very cheap water for big industries. The land is given at a very cheap rate, highly subsidized, because the state wants to be the best in terms of growth,” Hirway told AFP. Not only has the environment suffered as a result, but there has also been a knock-on effect on health while Gujarat’s education sector has been neglected, Hirway said. Literacy rates are at 79 percent, still above the national average of 74 percent, but seen as disappointing for a thriving state. In Kerala for example, run by the Communists or centre-left Congress for the last three decades, the level is 94 percent. Furthermore, there is skepticism over whether Gujarat’s successes can be repeated elsewhere given some of its unique advantages. Sebastian Morris, an economics professor at the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, said Gujarat was blessed with large amounts of real estate as well as access to the Arabian Sea. “Land essentially has emerged as a constraint all over the country and Gujarat is lucky to have a lot of land available which can ideally be used for industry” such as oil firms, Morris told AFP. Morris also warned that the style of government that the strongman leadership Modi has championed in Gujarat, bulldozing his way past critics and scything through red tape, won’t work at a national level. “It is a corporatist model where the chief minister takes charge fully and... bypasses all intermediate political levels,” said Morris. “That is not too bad a model if you’re talking of hard infrastructure like ports, roads, electricity. But when it comes to health care, education, this model no longer works because you need a greater involvement of the society which may be lagging in Gujarat.” — AFP


MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

BUSINESS

Commodities fight back from mid-month wobbles SAXO BANK WEEKLY COMMODITY REPORT up for two very important government reports on Monday which historically have created a great deal of volatility. Precious metals accounted for most of the negative performance over the past week and what was initially driven by gold weakness on reduced safe-haven demand and a hawkish US central bank later spread to palladium which after failing to penetrate $800/oz. ran into long liquidation from funds who had been betting on reduced supplies from Russia, due to sanctions, and South Africa, due to strikes. Both these factors remain supportive for palladium considering the importance of these two producers but limited liquidity in this metal can often become its biggest adversary, especially during corrections. Natural gas recovered as total inventories in underground storage facilities slumped to the lowest since 2003 below 900 billion cubic feet. Inventory levels have slumped following record heating demand this winter and it has left current inventories some 50 percent below the five-year average. Natural gas is normally stockpiled from April to October and then withdrawn from November to March to help meet peak winter heating demand.

By Ole Sloth Hansen Head of Commodity Strategy at Saxo Bank

F

ollowing a mid-month wobble, commodities approached the end of the quarter on a strong note with individual positive performances coming from all sectors apart from precious metals which continued to adjust to easing safe-haven demand and the recent hawkish signal from the US central bank. Attention next week will continue to focus on developments between Russia and the West together with the monthly release of US payroll data on Friday. The energy sector was supported by the continued drop in inventories at the US storage hub in Cushing, Oklahoma together the ongoing supply disruptions in Libya and Nigeria to mention a couple. Geopolitical uncertainty arising from the crisis in Ukraine leaves little appetite for selling at this stage. Industrial metals received a boost from Chinese-stimulus hopes with copper making a tentative recover from a 3.5-year low also on signs that demand may slowly begin to improve. Agriculture commodities recovered strongly, not least soft commodities where talk about the potential impact of a new El Nino weather event later this year supported sugar and coffee. Crop markets are gearing

Sugar supported by El Nino Sugar recovered strongly from a mid month sell-off which was driven by long liquidation after rain returned to the droughtstricken production regions of Brazil. The turnaround this week was driven by renewed concerns that the weather phenomenon El Nino may return later this year and create difficult growing conditions among several major producing nations across the southern hemisphere. Reports of increased Indian demand and drier-than-normal conditions in Thailand also lend support to the price. The El Nino creates abnormal warming of the Pacific Ocean that causes droughts in some areas and flooding in others and it could return at a time where global agriculture

prices have already rallied strongly this year because of existing droughts in large commodity growing regions from Brazil and California to Southeast Asia. Grain reports to set Q2 tone Two key US government reports from the Department of Agriculture - covering estimates for prospective planting and quarterly stocks - will be released March 31 and, if recent history is anything to go by, some fireworks in soybeans, corn and wheat can be expected. The March quarterly grains stocks figures will indicate the current pace of demand for the 2013/14 season, while the Planting Intentions Report will offer the first surveyed look at which acreage US farmers will allocate to the different crops during the 2014/15 season. In corn, the previous three reports have yielded daily price moves on the May futures contract well above 5 percent. Staying with corn, the current estimates from a Reuters survey are pointing towards a planted acreage range between 90 and 94 million acres while stocks range between 7 and 7.5 billion bushels. With expectations ranging so widely, we could once again see volatility spike higher. The downside probably poses the biggest risk considering the current elevated speculative net-long positions, especially in corn and soybeans. However, so far, we have not seen any major signs of long-liquidation, with hedge funds and money managers happily maintaining a bullish strategy, especially in corn and soybeans where the net-long is either at or near the highest in more than a year. Crude supported by Cushing, geo-politics WTI crude oil made it through technical resistance at 100.30 and reached the highest level in more than two weeks. The main driver behind this positive performance can be found at the delivery hub for WTI crude oil futures in Cushing, Oklahoma. Improved pipeline infrastructure from the hub to the

Six steps to a successful hire BAYT.COM POLL

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he costs of a bad hire are enormous as any Human Resources department can well attest. A bad hire is costly in terms of the time and resources entailed in sourcing, orientation, administration, relocation, training and upfront bonuses. Here the career experts at Bayt.com, the Middle East’s #1 job site, offer six steps to help streamline the recruiting process and avoid common pitfalls: 1. Widen your candidate pool According to the Bayt.com ‘Workplace Dynamics in the MENA’ poll, June 2013, 54 percent of jobseekers in the region are actively searching for jobs compared to 46 percent who say they are ‘passive’ in their job search, i.e. they have an online CV but do not apply for jobs. While newspapers, online and job fairs are good sources of CVs from ‘active’ jobseekers, they limit the efficacy of the hiring process by eliminating the vast pool of qualified, but passive, professionals. To augment your sourcing activities, broaden your talent pool through targeted online job sites such as Bayt.com. Bayt.com provides a rich, current and easily searchable CV database to help you capture both passive and active jobseekers. You can also use the power of your internal referrals. According to the Bayt.com ‘What Makes a Company an Attractive Place to Work?’ poll, February 2014, seven in 10 professionals don’t mind recommending their current company to their friends and relatives.

2. Be very specific about the nature of the position It is critical before embarking on a candidate search to gain an understanding of the unique requirements of the job. Managers must familiarize themselves with the objectives of the position, the roles and responsibilities entailed, and the skills, competencies and abilities required to optimize performance on the job. 3. Make the hiring decision a team effort It is very critical that the hiring decision is a team effort involving multiple decision makers, including the direct manager. Have the entire team meet with the candidate if possible. Direct managers, with the support of their teams, must take an active role in the sourcing, screening and hiring process of a potential candidate. 4. Focus the job interview on the job Job interviews must be tailored to the job at hand. Too many traditional interviews fail because jobseekers have learnt to master this type of interview and can prepare for all the correct responses. The key to a successful interview is to determine the problems and gaps a candidate will be facing on the job, and assess during the interview how they will solve the problems and fill the gaps efficiently, effectively and profitably. A candidate’s problem solving abilities and acumen in approaching a problem, thinking it through and deliver-

ing a response that is adherent to the company’s vision, mission and goals should be key to whether the candidate gets hired or not. Often the interview process is broken into two stages; the first stage is to determine the candidate’s “technical” skills, i.e. whether they can do the job effectively, and the second stage is to test “soft” skills, i.e. emotional intelligence, rapport with the team and other intangibles such as character, style and personality. 5. Allow the candidate to come to the interview prepared Since the goal is to determine whether the candidate is willing and able to do the job, allowing them to come to the interview fully prepared may be a very wise step. Giving them a full job description and the option of researching the company beforehand leaves fertile ground to test their proactivity and thoroughness at the interview. Failure to research the company and industry may well indicate laziness, sloppiness and a certain lack of willingness to adapt to the job. 6. Check references There is no substitute for a sound reference check to determine whether the candidate has indeed accomplished all that is stated on their CV. Reference checks are used by the direct manager to ask questions about the candidate that were left unanswered during the interview stage, and to ensure that the candidate has not misrepresented information in their CV.

Copper may finally be coming out of its descent to a 3.5-year low. refineries along the Mexican Gulf has result- ing March as news and economic data from ed in supplies falling to a two-year low there- the world’s biggest consumer of industrial by reducing the bottleneck which at several metals continued to deteriorate. Silver folstages over the past couple of years, drove lowed gold lower but benefited relatively WTI crude to trade at a double-digit discount against the yellow metal from this boost to to Brent crude. As a result of this current copper with the XAUXAG ratio dropping to focus on Cushing inventories, WTI crude per- 65.4 after recovering from a seven- month formed stronger than Brent crude despite high earlier in the week. Gold’s 100 dollar drop in less than two the North Sea variety and current global benchmark receiving support from supply weeks has rattled the bullish sentiment that disruptions and geopolitical uncertainty. The prevailed since the beginning of the year. strong buildup in inventories in the Mexican Safe-haven demand and momentum buying Gulf area which currently stands at a record above 1,300 USD/oz drove gold to an 18of 200 million barrels and the planned April month high on March 17 but the subsequent release of US oil from Strategic Petroleum hawkish tone from the US Federal Reserve at Reserves (SPR) should however help limit the its most recent Federal Open Market Committee meeting together with a lack of current upside potential in both crude oils. physical demand has left many speculative traders nursing losses and in need of reducCopper climbing on stimulus ing their exposure. Having dropped back speculation - gold bulls rattled Speculation that China may step in with below the technically important 200-day another round of stimulus to boost econom- moving average, gold is back looking for supic growth may help stabilize the price of HG port, something we believe will now be Copper which slumped to a 3.5-year low dur- found in the area between 1,280 and 1,262.

Emaar leads Dubai gains DUBAI: Property stocks helped Dubai’s bourse lead regional gains yesterday, while Egypt fell for a second session since former army chief Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said he would run for president. Dubai’s index rose 1.3 percent to 4,438 points, its highest close since September 2008. Shares in heavyweight Emaar rose 1.3 percent to 9.95 dirhams, a level last seen in August 2008. The developer’s stock has rallied for the past two weeks after it hiked its annual dividend and said it would list its shopping malls unit. Other real estate and construction companies, such as Union Properties, Deyaar, Drake and Scull and Atabtec Holding, were also in the black. Emirates NBD rose 0.9 percent to 8.32 dirhams after EFG Hermes raised its fair value estimate on the Dubai bank to 10.00 dirhams per share from 8.10 dirhams and upgraded its rating for ENBD to buy from neutral. EFG Hermes said it expected ENBD to reclassify its 9.4 billion dirhams ($2.56 billion) exposure to Dubai World to a performing loan, which would reduce provisioning. “We believe that it is now just a matter of time before this exposure is reclassified as a performing loan. Strong improvement in asset values and progress on asset sales has eased concerns on Dubai World’s ability to repay its liabilities, in our view,” EFG Hermes said in a note. Egypt The Cairo bourse, which dropped 2.7 per-

cent last Thursday after Sisi said he would run for president, fell a further 1.9 percent yesterday to trim 2014 gains to 19 percent. But there were signs the correction was slowing and the market closed above the intraday low. “Towards the end of today we saw a bit of recovery and obviously some profit-taking was to be expected after a strong performance year-to-date,” said Simon Kitchen, a strategist at EFG Hermes in Cairo. “From the valuations perspective, Egypt is not particularly expensive relative to the rest of Middle East and North Africa and has potential for a decent economic recovery, particularly in the second half of this year.” Sisi is expected to win the forthcoming election easily as many Egyptians consider him a strong leader that can stabilize a country in crisis. He also has the backing of most oil-exporting Gulf Arab states, which have provided Cairo with billions of dollars in financial aid. Saudi Arabia’s index added 0.4 percent as most stocks rose following the naming of Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz as deputy crown prince. This makes him second in line to succeed King Abdullah in the world’s top oil exporting nation after his half-brother Crown Prince Salman. The appointment reduces uncertainty regarding the succession, which has long clouded the local market. K ing Abdullah turned 90 last year and Crown Prince Salman is 78. Muqrin was born in 1945 a cco rd i n g to t h e S a u d i e m b a s s y i n Washington.— Reuters

EXCHANGE RATES Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. Japanese Yen Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Srilankan Rupees Nepali Rupees Singapore Dollar Hongkong Dollar Bangladesh Taka Philippine Peso Thai Baht Irani Riyal transfer Irani Riyal cash

ASIAN COUNTRIES 2.748 4.727 2.883 2.158 2.945 226.000 36.415 3.633 6.284 8.704 0.271 0.273 GCC COUNTRIES 75.363 77.653 734.150 750.630 76.965

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 39.695 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 39.922 Yemen Riyal/for 1000 1.313 Tunisian Dinar 179.370 Jordanian Dinar 399.100 Lebanese Lira/for 1000 1.896 Syrian Lira 2.014 Morocco Dirham 35.535 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 282.500 Euro 391.700 Sterling Pound 473.470 Canadian dollar 258.110 Turkish lira 129.110 Swiss Franc 322.120 Australian Dollar 263.570 US Dollar Buying 281.300 GOLD 20 Gram 240.000 10 Gram 121.000 5 Gram 62.500

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 259.98 258.85 327.41 395.49 281.25 471.17 2.83 3.620 4.608 2.155 2.888 2.758 76.64 748.57 40.40 400.29 731.43 77.67 75.13

SELL CASH 256.98 258.85 325.41 396.49 284.25 474.17 2.85 3.890 4.908 2.590 3.423 2.790 77.11 750.64 41.00 405.94 738.73 78.22 75.53

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

Selling Rate 282.100 259.115 469.305 389.690 318.405 750.835 76.780 78.365 75.700 397.560 40.430 2.156 4.702 2.875 3.626 6.200 692.895 3.760

Syrian Pound Nepalese Rupees Malaysian Ringgit Chinese Yuan Renminbi Thai Bhat Turkish Lira

2.945 3.920 86.530 45.815 9.645 128.980

Bahrain Exchange Company CURRENCY

BUY

SELL Europe Belgian Franc 0.007338 0.008338 British Pound 0.463511 0.472511 Czech Korune 0.006025 0.018025 Danish Krone 0.047971 0.052971 Euro 0.383198 0.391198 Norwegian Krone 0.043088 0.048288 Romanian Leu 0.081470 0.81470 Slovakia 0.008076 0.018076 Swedish Krona 0.039555 0.044555 Swiss Franc 0.312249 0.322449 Turkish Lira 0.126402 0.133408 Australasia Australian Dollar 0.252949 0.264449 New Zealand Dollar 0.238331 0.247831 America Canadian Dollar 0.250233 0.258733 US Dollars 0.278250 0.282600 US Dollars Mint 0.278750 0.282600 Asia Bangladesh Taka 0.003246 0.003846 Chinese Yuan 0.044297 0.047797 Hong Kong Dollar 0.034319 0.037069 Indian Rupee 0.004375 0.004776 Indonesian Rupiah 0.000020 0.000026 Japanese Yen 0.002668 0.002848 Kenyan Shilling 0.003247 0.003347 Korean Won 0.000254 0.000269 Malaysian Ringgit 0.082132 0.08132 Nepalese Rupee 0.002940 0.003110 Pakistan Rupee 0.002629 0.002909 Philippine Peso 0.006391 0.006671

Sierra Leone Singapore Dollar South African Rand Sri Lankan Rupee Taiwan Thai Baht

0.000069 0.220941 0.020773 0.001867 0.009134 0.008345

Bahraini Dinar 0.742483 Egyptian Pound 0.036799 Iranian Riyal 0.000078 Iraqi Dinar 0.000181 Jordanian Dinar 0.394014 Kuwaiti Dinar 1.0000000 Lebanese Pound 0.000138 Moroccan Dirhams 0.023421 Nigerian Naira 0.001193 Omani Riyal 0.727344 Qatar Riyal 0.076845 Saudi Riyal 0.074657 Syrian Pound 0.001751 Tunisian Dinar 0.174395 Turkish Lira 0.126402 UAE Dirhams 0.075892 Yemeni Riyal 0.001282

0.000075 0.226941 0.029273 0.002447 0.009314 0.008895 Arab 0.750483 0.039899 0.000079 0.000241 0.401514 1.0000000 0.000238 0.047421 0.001828 0.733024 0.078058 0.075357 0.001971 0.182395 0.133402 0.077041 0.001362

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) 281.950 390.650 471.550 257.150 4.712 39.985 2.155 3.628 6.267 2.878 750.650 76.750 75.300


MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

BUSINESS

GIG wins ‘Best Insurance Provider Middle East 2014’ Award

Japan shoppers brace for tax hike Demand for cars, furniture, houses likely to drop

KUWAIT: Gulf Insurance Group (GIG), the leading company in providing insurance services in Kuwait and the Middle East, announced yesterday that it has won the “Best Insurance Provider Middle East 2014 award” from Global Banking and Finance Review. The award recognizes the company’s innovative and comprehensive insurance solutions that are offered since its establishment in 1962. The award honors companies that stand out in particular areas of expertise in the banking and finance industry. Corporate Communication & Investor Relations Manager Khaled Al-Sanousi said, “Gulf Insurance Company’s successful achievements and sound track in providing an array of life and non-life insurance solutions was the main driver to receive this coveted award. The selection process recognized the company for its innovative and comprehensive insurance solutions, distinguished quality of products and superior customer service, advanced technology system that links its operations to the mainframe as well as a great moral approach to social responsibility.”

TOKYO: Japan is bracing for its first sales tax rise in years, with last minute shoppers buying up a host of goods from gold to ice cream, as the government tries to tackle its crushing national debt. Millions of shoppers are making a mad dash to stores ahead of tomorrow’s tax rise to 8.0 percent from the current 5.0 percent amid fears the increase could spark the return of a protracted economic slump. The last time Japan brought in a higher levy in 1997, it was followed by years of deflation and tepid economic growth. The upcoming hike has created a tricky balancing act for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as he tries to nudge the world’s number-three economy out of the cycle of falling prices and lackluster growth with a growth blitz dubbed Abenomics. On Friday, fresh data showed Japanese consumer prices rose again in February, suggesting Tokyo’s efforts to slay 15 years of deflation was gathering steam. But the increase was largely driven by rising postFukushima energy import costs, rather prices going up on the back of strong, across-the-board consumer demand-dubbed “good” inflation by some economists. A key worry is that Japan’s last tax rise deterred consumers and foreshadowed the drop into a cycle of falling pricesalthough other factors, including the Asian financial crisis, were also blamed. The slowdown saw Japan’s powerhouse economy descend into a protracted slump. Opinion is mixed over whether history will repeat itself. Tokyo’s special budget to counter a tax-linked slowdown and the Bank of Japan’s unprecedented monetary easing were likely to offset a drop in spending, according to some analysts. “Daily necessities may not be affected very much by the tax hike, but demand for cars, furniture and houses is likely to drop temporarily,” said Kenji Yumoto, vice chairman of the Japan Research Institute. “We’ll see whether the inflation is good or bad only after we see the impact of the tax hike. If demand later recovers, that could lead to good inflation.” Few shoppers seemed inclined to wait for prices to go up in a country where consumers have become used to paying pretty much the same, year after year, for their televisions, beer and sushi. Falling or static prices may sound great for household budgets, but Japanese wages have barely moved over the years and the cycle has meant shoppers tended to hold off buying in the hope of getting goods cheaper down the road. That, in

International investors should pick growth stocks DIMAH INVESTMENT WEEKLY By Hayder Tawfik

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ill growth stocks continue to outperform value stocks in the coming years and keep their edge? We strongly believe they will do so. Also, we believe that small and mid-size growth stocks will outperform big capitalization stocks. This may not apply when it comes to big technology stocks as they are now dominating the entire sector. We think that small to mid-cap companies should be able to generate better than average gains in the next couple of years. Small cap companies have been delivering good performances over large cap ones over the past several years. We believe that the economic and the monetary environment are near perfect for small cap companies to challenge the larger ones that have too many factors to deal with. Growth stocks are most likely deliver much better results over the next couple of years. We expect them to be able to hold on or increase profit margins and to be able to increase capital spending. This for sure will benefit some big cap technology stocks. Also, we believe that with economic activities accelerating that may lead to the normalization of interest rate curve, financial stocks should benefit too. Another area that we should expect to grow strongly is the shale gas industry. We have already seen big increase in capital spending in the shale gas industry in the US. This should benefit companies that have the right technology and the expertise in this field and not the big upstream oil companies. Investors should expect sustain demand for onshore oilfield equipment and oil service companies. One of the main reasons why these companies have been growing above the market average is the very low interest rates throughout the yield curve. For example the yield on 10 year Spanish government bonds have fallen to 3.2 percent that is an 8 years low. We can see similar low yields on most government bonds in the developed world. The low yields on 10 year bonds has been helping countries with high debt so far and at one point this low level of rates will stabilize government debt to GDP and unemployment as it has been happening in the US. There is a strong historic correlation between growth stocks and long duration assets. In the last couple of years growth stocks have outperformed the market by a substantial amount. Growth stocks tend to outperform till the time when the main leading economic indicators rise sharply, because this makes the yield on the long bond rise too which changes the valuation model completely. We at Dimah Capital do not subscribe to the view that long term yields will rise as the economy starts the recovery process because inflation is no longer a threat. Let’s not forget that throughout the developed economies unemployment is still very high and this should put a cap on wage push inflation threat. Even if

long term interest rates rises we cannot see them going back to where they were few years ago. At present, quality growth stocks offer an attractive earnings yield that is much higher than interests on cash and savings. Growth stocks always demand a higher valuation and in time of lack of growth, they demand even higher P/E multiples. Also, the quality and the sustainability of the growth push the valuation even higher. Equity investors can find growth stocks in all sectors. The perception that growth stocks always related to start ups or technology stocks has been misplaced. Growth stocks have some common characteristics. Their products are distinguished around the world and consumers have established some sense of belonging to those trademarks. This is the greatest successful marketing strategy for any company which produces consumers’ goods. Also, these companies not only come up with new products more often but they improve on them and at the same time do not abandon the older products so their fan club increasing all the time, an example here is technology companies. I always believe that successful growth companies are the ones that create demands for their products rather than create products and hope for demand to pick up and those kinds of companies are very difficult to identify in the early days of growth. My advice to investors for the coming year is to stick to the winners of the past few years and look to invest in some stocks that are extremely undervalued and allocate small portion to them. Countries that have seen their government bond yields fallen to record lows should start outper forming nicely. Investors should target small and mid-cap companies in those countries. We think some companies in Spain, France, Italy and Greece are showing good value at current levels. International investors should start looking into those economies and start building small investment exposure and wait for improvements in the fundamentals then increase the exposure gradually.

TOKYO: People are seen shopping at a department store. — AFP turn, hurt producers and slowed economic growth. Shoppers go for gold The tax rise-a seemingly modest increase compared with many countries’ consumption levies-has ushered in some less-than-typical shopping habits. Staff at jewelry chain Tanaka Kikinzoku watched wide-eyed as gold sales surged five-fold this month from a year ago with customers converging on a shop in Tokyo’s glitzy Ginza district so they could buy 500 gram (1.1 pound) bars for 2.3 million yen ($22,500) apiece. “We’ve seen unusual demand for gold,” Tomoko Ishibashi, a spokeswoman for parent company Tanaka Holdings, told AFP. “Some customers bought now to avoid the extra tax levy from April 1, but that’s not the only factor.” With prices on the rise across the nation of 128 million, some gold-hungry customers may be betting on the perceived safety of the yellow metal, she said. “Gold is known for its price stability

and people in general aim to hold it for a long period time,” the spokeswoman added. While some firms are absorbing the higher tax fearing a drop in customer traffic, many others are raising prices as a sharply weaker yen has jacked up their own import costs. Beverage giants Asahi and Suntory are raising the price of vending machine bottled drinks, while QB House, a 1,000 yen-a-head haircut chain, said prices will go up a full 8.0 percent to 1,080 yen. The company reasoned that it kept its thrifty rates capped despite the last tax rise, when the levy rose to 5.0 percent from 3.0 percent. The kids-and adults-who depend on Japan’s ubiquitous vending machines for their ice cream fix are sure to be disappointed as some of the sweet treats’ prices rise by 10 yen to 160 yen at 20,000 locations operated by Ezaki Glico. But the confectioner insisted customers will not be shortchanged. “This is not just a price hike,” a company spokeswoman said. “We will update our products with higher quality or more volume.” — AFP


MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

BUSINESS

Hunt on for new tigers: MINT, PPICS and CIVETS Countries offer growth potential but carry intrinsic risks PARIS: For more than 10 years the rise of big emerging markets has re-shaped the global economy but these are now slowing with maturity, and the hunt is on to identify which upstarts will be tomorrow’s tigers. The big five, which recently helped the world through financial crisis but are now experiencing marked growing pains, are Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, the BRICS. On their heels come the MINT, PPICS and CIVETS: acronyms created by economists and investors to describe groups of countries of similar type which could lead the next wave of emerging energy. Last week more signs of economic tensions

became evident in China and Brazil, just as the French trade insurance group Coface produced its list of what it called “neo-emerging” economies: the PPICS. This creature comprises Peru, the Philippines, Indonesia, Colombia, and Sri Lanka. All of them have strong growth potential exceeding 4.0 percent, diversified economies, are not unduly dependent on exporting raw materials and have financial systems capable of supporting growth and of absorbing a degree of external shocks. Coface came up with a second list of countries, making 10 in all, comprising Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Bangladesh and Ethiopia.

These countries also offer growth potential but carry higher intrinsic risks. Coface said that analysis of which countries, albeit smaller than the big five, could take over as leading emerging economies was needed because the big five were losing their competitive edge and had not yet become competitive in producing high valued-added goods and services. For nearly a year many emerging markets, and notably the BRICS, have been undermined notably by the winding down of easy-money policies in the United States, which has raised risk and caused large amounts of investment funding to flow out of emerging markets back to

advanced economies. In Russia, a sharp slowing of growth is now being exacerbated by the back-draft of the Ukraine crisis and an outflow of capital. Brazil has just been downgraded by the Standard & Poor’s rating agency. China is experiencing incidents in its credit system. At the beginning of March there was a payment default on some bonds, and the beginning of a minor run on a small bank, highlighting concerns about obscure parts of the banking system. The monitoring of the landscape of emerging markets has been underway for many years. In 1988 a barometer called the MSCI Emerging Markets Index was launched to follow 10 countries, and today it tracks 21 economies. The MSCI investment group has also created the MSCI Frontier Markets Index covering 26 economies expected to become dynamic, ranging from Argentina to Nigeria and Sri Lanka. Economist Jim O’Neill put the term BRIC on the map when he was an economist at US investment bank Goldman Sachs. He has now identified a new group, called MINT, comprising Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey. The Economist Intelligence Unit has let loose another animal, going by the name of CIVETS, for Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa. The limits of labels At ING IM bank, economist Maarten-Jan Bakkum said: “The thing with these fancy names is that they only last a few years”. He also observed: “There is a de-leverag-

ing process going on in the big emerging markets, and this is something the frontier markets do not have because they did not have these excessive capital inflows”. He also noted that regulatory constraints were a problem in many new emerging economies and that “liquidity really is an issue, look at Kenya or Tanzania, there simply is not much that you can buy”. He offered another perspective. “For me the big risk is China so I would distinguish between countries very sensitive to China, or less sensitive” Coface economist Yves Zlotowski said that Mexico had been described as an emerging economy in the 1980s because it was able to borrow on international debt markets, and the description had been a financial concept as were the new acronyms. For Zlotowski, the big emerging economies had not yet lost their emerging roar. “ Yes, their exchange rates are attacked but without catastrophic consequences,” he said. At Saxo Banque in Paris, analyst Christopher Dembik did not need an acronym to spot “among the leaders, Peru, Colombia and Indonesia” and two others exposed to a high level of political risk, “Turkey and Nigeria”. But none of them has a huge population and explosive growth on the scale which put the BRICS in a class of their own. “For example, Indonesia has had growth of about 5.0 percent in recent years”, far behind the growth rates of 10.0 percent or more which China achieved. “But maybe this will lead to more sustainable growth,” Dembik said. — AFP

†VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK: A file photo shows a chain of volcanoes bordering the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. — AFP

Oil quest hurts Africa’s oldest wildlife reserve GOMA: The quest for oil may be the latest threat to Africa’s most venerable wildlife reser ve, located in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and already hard hit by deforestation, poaching and armed conflict. Early in March, European Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs warned that “with oil production there would be a major risk of pollution at this site, located near the sources of the Nile.” The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and other environmental bodies, including local ones, have also voiced concern about the planned joint operation by small British firm SOCO International PLC and the Kinshasa government in part of the Virunga National Park. The whole protected territory on the border with Uganda and Rwanda covers 800,000 hectares (two million acres) and has attained worldwide renown, notably for its rare and endangered mountain gorillas. SOCO has stated that in July last year, its chairman Rui de Sousa met with WWF chief David Nusbaum, and proposed that they “work together to find the best way forward”. The firm also expressed a commitment to “improving our dialogue” with all parties “about how (its) activities in eastern DRC could affect the flora and fauna of the Virunga National Park and the livelihoods of the regional population.” Created in 1925 in the far east of what was then the Belgian Congo, the whole park was declared an “endangered” part of the global heritage by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1994. The area is exceptionally rich in biodiversity, but is located in scarred North Kivu province, tracts of which have been ravaged by successive conflicts for more than 20 years. Poachers and logging teams have damaged the reserve, as elsewhere in Africa, but the park is also criss-crossed by rival armed groups and soldiers, while local people have taken up illegal residence. A global protest campaign erupted after SOCO in 2010 won a contract from the Congolese government to jointly prospect for oil on a concession overlapping the park’s territory. International resistance proved strong enough to make Kinshasa suspend SOCO’s permit the next year, until a “strategic environmental evaluation” had been conducted. The launch of the study failed to satisfy the WWF and local organizations, which argue that such contracts and permits handed out by the state violate both Congolese law on conservation and the UNESCO convention protecting World Heritage Sites. The WWF filed a complaint against SOCO and on February 14 welcomed a British government announcement of an independent probe into the oil company’s activities in the DRC, including alleged “threats against local activists.” Opponents

denounce the fact that SOCO has functioned inside the park for several months since the government directly associated the company with its own evaluation, thus potentially biasing the outcome. ‘The curse of oil’ “No drilling has been planned or is warranted at this stage,” SOCO announced in its outlook for 2014, but it said activity would include “scientific studies involving a seismic survey of Lake Edward, environmental baseline studies and social projects.” Sceptics argue that the seismic survey is a cover for hidden oil prospection that could have serious consequences for the environment. For Kinshasa, the bottom line is the need to find oil for the economic development of the country, which misrule and conflict have rendered one of the poorest nations in the world, despite vast mineral wealth. Bantu Lukambo, director general of a non-governmental organisation named Initiative for Development and the Protection of the Environment, believes the government’s stance is a conceit. Based in North Kivu’s capital Goma, Lukambo cites damage done at Muanda, on the Atlantic coast far across the vast nation, where black gold has been pumped for about three decades. He rejects “the curse of oil”. A recent report by a French NGO, the Catholic Committee against Hunger and for Development, said that “far from constituting a manna for development”, oil production at Muanda had instead led to pollution and the degradation of the environment. Conservation offers more gains For Thierr y Vircoulon, the central African project director of the International Crisis Group, “the confirmation of oil reserves in the east would exacerbate the dynamic of conflicts” there. Disavowed by the British government, SOCO has declined to take the same position as French oil giant Total, which signed a similar deal with Kinshasa but undertook never to operate in the Virunga National Park. SOCO has pointed out that it plans to operate only within a small geographical area of “lowland savannah around Lake Edward and the lake itself”, and that it “will never seek” to enter the gorilla habitat. This is insufficent for UNESCO, which has declared that oil prospecting and production are “not compatible” with world heritage statutes. The organisation warned that part of the park may be unlisted, a prospect that horrifies wildlife activists. The WWF argues that the DRC has more to gain in economic terms by protecting the park and developing sustainable tourism, fishing and hydroelectric projects, rather than undertaking a search for oil that might not even be there. — AFP


MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

BUSINESS

Adel Abbass Abdullah Hassan Abul wins KD 200,000 in Gulf Bank’s Al-Danah draw KUWAIT: Gulf Bank announced Adel Abbass Abdullah Hassan Abul as the AlDanah KD 200,000 draw winner of 2014. Manal Mobarik Ali Al-Hoti was the winner of KD 125,000 and Yousef Ali Hussain AlLuqman won KD 25,000. The draw announcing the winners was the highlight of a special Al-Danah event that took place at the Bank’s Nuzha branch on March 27, held under the supervision of a Ministry of Commerce representative and hosted live by Zeyad Al-Rasheed, Executive Manager at Gulf Bank. About 9 winners from the customers who opened an Al-Danah account or those that have an existing Al-Danah account in the Bank’s Nuzha branch and deposited KD 200 into their account, were announced in an exclusive raffle draw for prizes up to KD 400. The event also provided attendees with instant gifts and prizes. Gulf Bank would like to congratulate Adel Abbass Abdullah Hassan Abul (KD200,000 winner), Manal Mobarik Ali Al-Hoti (KD 125,000 winner) and Yousef Ali Hussain AlLuqman (KD25,000 winner). Gulf Bank also announced the names of its winners for the week of March 16 to March 20. The AlDanah daily draws include draws each working day for two prizes of KD 1,000 per winner. The winners were: (Sunday 16/03):

Bader Matouq Awad Matouq, Fareeda Hussain Sakez; (Monday 17/03): Mohammad Amthad Allah Abdulkareem, Mohammed Ibrahim Khalil Al-Hamar; (Tuesday 18/03): Ali Saleh Ali Abdullah, Ali Ahmad Sayyed Yousef; (Wednesday 19/03): Hadeyah Muhsen Mutar Mohammed Marzuq, Sakina Bounoir; (Thursday 20/03): Abdullah Ali Taleb Bakhsh, Sheikh/ Khalid Naser Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah. The next Al-Danah Quarterly draw will be held on June 26 for draw prizes of KD 250,000, KD 125,000, and KD 25,000. Gulf Bank’s Al-Danah 2014 draw lineup includes daily draws (2 winners per working day each receive KD 1,000), as well as two additional prizes per quarter. Al-Danah’s 3rd quarterly draw will be held on September 25 (KD 500,000, KD 125,000, and KD 25,000) and the final draw held on January 8, 2015 announcing winners of KD 50,000, KD 250,000 and the Al-Danah Millionaire. To be part of the Al-Danah draws, customers can visit one of Gulf Bank’s 57 branches, transfer online, or call the Customer Contact Center on 1805805 for assistance and guidance. Customers can also log on to www.egulfbank.com/alda-nahwinners, to find out more about Al-Danah and who the winners are.

KUWAIT: Zeyad Al-Rasheed, Executive Manager, Gulf Bank and the Ministry of Commerce representative seen during the Al-Danah draw event.

KUWAIT: Zeyad Al-Rasheed, Executive Manager, Gulf Bank interacts with the crowd during the first Al-Danah quarterly draw for 2014 held at the bank’s Nuzha branch.

Burgan Bank to hold Annual General Assembly and Shafafiyah Forum KUWAIT: Burgan Bank announced yesterday that its Annual General Assembly meeting for shareholders will be held today at 12:00 pm at the Chairman’s Club Burgan Bank Tower. As part of its corporate philosophy of advocating transparency with its investors, Burgan Bank will hold its

annual Shafafiyah forum following the AGM. The forum will serve as a platform to highlight the main events of the year 2013 and an overall look into what 2014 has in store for its shareholders, partners, institutional investors and other members of the financial community.

LISBON: Protestors carry posters with the words “Government Out” during a demonstration in Lisbon. The demonstration against the government’s austerity measures was called by the youth section of Portugal’s main workers union CGTP, General Confederation of Portuguese Workers. — AP

Balancing between regulatory, developmental roles of CMA Kuwait Economic Society Report KUWAIT: Kuwait Economic Society (KES) released a commentary on the discussion of Capital Markets Authority’s (CMA) decision to apply corporate governance controls to CMA regulated companies, calling for the necessity of exploiting this discussion to enrich CMA’s role and add a further strategic dimension to its role through balancing between its regulatory mandate and the functions related to its role in the development and deepening the capital market through the adoption of innovative investment and financing instruments. At the outset, it must be emphasized that KES has always been and is still in the forefront calling for the adoption of various practices that are capable of enhancing transparency in all sectors, and the deployment of state of the art management concepts. We therefore renew our emphasis on the importance of implementing governance rules as they represent the first steps to be taken to develop the economic environment and enhance corporate transparency. We find that CMA’s Resolution No. (25) of 2013 on the implementation of corporate governance rules, is truly an example to be followed, and we are calling for its adoption and implementation in the other sectors of the State of Kuwait, not only to CMA regulated joint stock companies. Regulatory vs market development roles As much as these concepts and articles, including governance, gain particular importance and contribute to the consolidation of CMA’s regulatory role, we at the same time, call on CMA to add a further strategic dimension to its role by balancing between the fulfillment of its regulatory role and the necessary endeavor to take critical steps towards the development and deepening of the local capital market by introducing investment instruments and products similar to those used in international markets, and cater to the requirements of investors and companies in the local market. Thus it can also benefit from the accumulated expertise amassed by these companies. In the same context, the implementation of these rules must be flexible enough to enable financial institutions to create investment and financing products and solutions, instead of subjecting them to a form of strict regulation causing them to refrain from performing their natural role and functions in this field. Therefore, we propose to adopt the concept of regulation of companies with flexible rules, not by adopting strict rules which adversely affect the spirit of innovation. The development of capital market performance as part of CMA’s mandate, giving its activity a further strategic dimension, must take into account that it is necessary to reformulate indicators to measure performance related to the implementation of CMA’s strategic vision for the quantitative and qualitative development of capital markets in the State of Kuwait, whether a stock market or a market for other instruments, such as bonds, sukuk and investment funds. It is unanimously accepted that the adoption

Tareq Al-Saleh

responsible for such delay. We also find that the CMA is required to prepare ongoing follow up reviews to assess the effects of regulatory requirements on the efficiency of companies, and the impact of the implementation of those requirements on the performance of companies. The follow up studies should allow for reassessment of those requirements and to what extent they should be maintained or amended in the future, to promote the spirit of renovation and creativity. On the other hand, we call for reconsideration of the high compliance costs. This call is based on the fact that family companies, as is known, whether in Kuwait or the GCC as a whole, form the largest segment of various categories of companies. We believe that the reconsideration of this item will encourage those companies to move towards listing their shares in the stock market. This would contribute to the enhancement of transparency and provides more added value, whether for the company itself, or to the stock market and investors. As for cases which may require companies to outsource, and given the high costs of audit and compliance incurred by companies, we propose the adoption of a mechanism taking the form of a dedicated fund providing for cost sharing between regulators and companies, similar to the fund used by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the United States. Past experience has confirmed the importance of achieving integration between policies issued by regulatory authorities. Although several committees were created in certain areas for this purpose, however, we propose to create a mechanism for coordinating the formulation of policies between various agencies concerned, including the CMA, Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Kuwait Stock Exchange, to avoid duplication or conflict of resolution, which may adversely affect companies themselves.

some of the obstacles which were encountered during implementation. This prompts us to pause at the following points: Firstly, and in an aspect related to governance rules, we find that the important and essential role of the boards of directors of companies may lose some of its luster, and decline in importance particularly due to a certain exaggeration of the technical role of the independent directors. Although we totally believe in the importance and necessity of such members of the board, however, assigning to them expanded roles transcends the purpose of their appointment, and at the same time yields adverse effects. Of the other procedures steps we are calling for, timelines or time periods allowed for disclosing material information should be more flexible, particularly because some joint stock companies are actively involved with institutions in the public sector. Those institutions are known to be bureaucratic and slow to act in some instances. This is a reality which may entail the imposition of fines on companies as penalty for delayed disclosure, while they in fact are not

Communication with other stakeholders Finally, it must be emphasized that, given the exact and profound nature of CMA’s functions, and the extent to which its decisions affect a wide variety of economic sectors, we call for the deepening of the culture of communication with specialized and relevant agencies. We therefore propose as follows: It is necessary to adopt an institutional program launched by the CMA in collaboration with economy-oriented professional associations to develop human competencies in all regulatory authorities concerned with corporate interests under the umbrella of the CMA. In compliance with best international practices, to develop clear and transparent mechanism for consulting with entities concerned, technical experts and professional associations and federations when drafting laws and regulations. To ensure the flow of information between companies and regulators, we propose that the governance rules incorporate a well-defined mechanism for communication with regulatory authorities.

of the governance rules is an inevitable course of action to develop the performance of joint stock companies and underscore the importance of their role from a technical and financial perspective, not the least of which is, for example, reducing the cost of capital in the long term and consolidating investor confidence. However, this must be accompanied by a roadmap guided by some of the experiences of the world markets, including regional markets such as Saudi Arabia, and thus adopting the concept of gradual implementation. Procedural steps On the other hand, we call for the reassessment of certain procedural steps based on the experience gained during the implementation of these procedures, to allow for overcoming

Cuban lawmakers okay foreign investment law HAVANA: Cuban lawmakers on Saturday approved a law aimed at making Cuba more attractive to foreign investors, a measure seen as vital for the island’s struggling economy. Meeting in an extraordinary session, parliament replaced a 1995 foreign investment law that has lured less overseas capital than the island’s Communist leaders had hoped. Cuba’s GDP expanded 2.7 percent last year, below targets and weak for a developing nation. Government officials say the economy needs 5 to 7 percent annual growth to develop properly. “Cuba needs from $2 billion to $2.5 billion a year in direct foreign investment to advance its socialist socio-economic model, prosperous and sustainable,” said Marino Murillo, a vice president and the czar of President Raul Castro’s economic reforms. “Not using those sources would retard national development,” Murillo told lawmakers in comments broadcast on state television, where news of the approval was announced. Murillo said Cuba will especially look for agricultural investment. Foreign media were not given access to the closed-door meeting. Some details of the legislation emerged in official media in recent days. Among other things, it would cut taxes on profits by about half, to 15 percent, and make companies exempt from paying taxes for the first eight years of operation. An exception would affect companies that exploit natural resources, such as nickel or fossil fuels. They could pay taxes as high as 50 percent. Meanwhile, many foreigners doing business with the island would be exempt from paying personal income tax. Cuban-born economist and University of Pittsburgh professor emeritus Carmelo Mesa-Lago said elements such as lower taxes, a shorter timeline for approvals and the ability to invest in property send encouraging signals, but it’s too early to tell. Economic embargo “The test of the law is how it will be implemented in practice,” Mesa-Lago said. Investment projects wholly funded by foreign capital would be explicitly allowed in all sectors except health care and education, something that is essentially unheard of today.

But Murillo’s remarks suggested the government intends to continue in at least a watchdog role “so that there is no concentration of property.” “What the new law establishes is that the state must always be there,” he said. It’s also not clear that wholly foreign-owned ventures would enjoy the same tax benefits. Washington’s 52-year-old economic embargo on Cuba prevents most US trade with the island and includes sanctions to discourage foreign outfits from doing business with Havana. Cuban officials promise there will be no nationalizations of property, as happened after the 1959 Cuban Revolution, except in cases of national interest and only with compensation. The investment law is a fundamental part of Castro’s package of reforms, begun in 2008 with the stated goal of “updating” Cuba’s economic model. Hundreds of thousands of Cubans are now legally working independently of

the state in a nascent private sector, though authorities say they are not abandoning socialism. Analysts say Cuba must demonstrate that it is truly open to foreign private investment after nearly five decades of government control of the economy. Meanwhile a recent corruption crackdown led to the imprisonment of a number of foreigners, as well as dozens of Cuban officials and executives, sending a chill through the foreign business community. Former Cuban Central Bank economist Pavel Vidal said foreign investment has averaged 20 percent less than forecast in the years since Castro’s reforms began. In a recent report, he wrote that the investment law represents “the last opportunity for the reform to come close to the growth goals planned through 2016.” Cuba’s parliament usually meets twice a year, in July and December. Castro announced the extraordinary session late last year. —AP

HAVANA: Members of the National Assembly raise their hands to vote during an extraordinary session overhauling their foreign investment law at the National Assembly. — AP

Rosette Group to reach greater heights with GOExport alliance KUWAIT: Kuwait-based conglomerate Rosette Group and GOExport, a Swiss export and import company, recently announced their partnership agreement at an event held in Dubai in conjunction with Gulfood 2014, the world’s biggest food and hospitality show. The agreement encompasses a close alliance whereby the two reputable companies will exchange international experience to achieve high level of Fast Moving Consumer Goods business services in the region. The agreement was announced at Armani Hotel in Burj Khalifa on Tuesday with

the presence of Rosette Group CEO Abdulaziz Al-Anjeri and GOExport Directors Rossano Cabrino and Paolo Tossi. Present at the announcement luncheon were distinguished guests and business executives from around the globe. Among the prominent attendees were Gregg Stevens, Chairman for American Business Council; Anne Jafery, US Trade Representative; Abdulla Almulla, Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry Board Member; Dr Mustafa Behbehani, Chairman of Kuwaiti Gulf Group; Rosanna Croft, Senior Executive for Wagonhut International Travel;

and Ibrahim Alarifi, CEO of Beitak Real Estate Development, KSA. Rosette Group CEO Abdulaziz Al-Anjeri expressed his optimism of this partnership. He said, “We had looked forward to this global partnership with GoExport. There’s much to gain in terms of access to international standards of quality, techniques and expertise in FMCG.” Rosette Group is reputed for its flourishing portfolio of independent yet inter-connected businesses. It aims to develop businesses that deliver satisfying results to customers in selective world markets. To date,

Rosette Group has partnered with several innovative and ethical companies and individuals in a range of industries such as financial services, export/import, media and marketing, and others. Equally distinguished, GOExport is a global name with over 30 years of FMCG industry experience. GOExport sources products that should be exported to the world, with emphasis on Europe, Asia and the Middle East. From its offices in Lugano, Switzerland and Beijing, China, GOExport provides consultation, product assessment, rebranding, private

labeling, and all the required tasks for importing/exporting goods. Rossano Cabrino, GOExport Director and an FMCG expert, was visionary in his assessment of the potential of their new partnership with Rosette Group. He said, “We are looking forward to working with Rosette Group. They are bringing in their financial expertise and Middle East distribution knowledge. We shall be breaking new grounds in the Middle East soon. Working closely together and integrating our core competencies, we can reach great profits.”


MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

BUSINESS

ECB to hold fire on rates despite slow inflation FRANKFURT: The European Central Bank is not expected to cut its key interest rates this week, even though inflation in the euro area continues to slow, analysts said. The ECB has held euro-zone borrowing costs at their current all-time lows since November. But no further monetary easing appears to be on the cards at the banks next meeting on Thursday just yet, given recent data suggesting the regions economy is in a tentative recovery, central bank watchers said. At the moment, deflation is perceived to be the biggest threat to that recovery. Last month, areawide consumer prices edged up by just 0.8 percent, way below the ECBs target of just below 2.0 percent, with some observers warning of a destructive spiral of deflation. Deflation is a general decline in prices and can be highly damaging if consumers, expecting prices to fall further, hold off purchases. March inflation data for the entire euro-zone are not scheduled to be released until today. But data on Friday showed that inflation in Germany, the regions biggest economy, slowed to just 1.0 percent

this month, the lowest level in nearly four years. ECB officials have repeatedly said they see no threat of deflation, but president Mario Draghi reiterated last week that the central bank stood ready to act if necessary. Many measures on hand If any downside risks to (our inflation) scenario appear, we stand ready to take additional monetary policy measures that ensure our mandate is fulfilled, Draghi told a conference in Paris. In other words, we will do what is needed to maintain price stability, Draghi insisted. Elsewhere, Slovak central bank chief and ECB governing council member Josef Makuch also said the bank was ready to adopt non-standard measures to prevent slipping into a deflationary environment. The ECB has many measures on hand. In addition to cutting its interest rates, the ECB could ease monetary conditions by pumping money into the system or buy up government bonds to bring down borrowing costs. Nevertheless, analysts

believe the ECBs hand will not be forced just yet. ING DiBa economist Carsten Brzeski acknowledged that the drop in German inflation was a headache for the ECB. But he suggested the trough in German headline inflation might now have been reached this year. Key will be the new inflation data for the euro-zone as a whole, he said.We dont think that the ECB will react to a single data release but todays euro-zone inflation data could tip the balance in a governing council which does not seem to have made up its mind yet, Brzeski said. At the current juncture, we still think that the ECBs preferred next policy option is to do nothing. The most likely outcome of next weeks ECB meeting is that the ECB will continue talking the talk in order not to have to walk the walk, Brzeski said. Outside chance of action UniCredit economist Marco Valli agreed. We expect policy settings to remain unchanged, as the (anticipated) slowdown in March inflation is likely to be largely driven by temporary factors, he said.

Nevertheless, Capital Economics economist Jonathan Loynes there could be an outside chance of concrete action as early as this week. Developments over the last month have not clearly met either of the ECBs two contingencies for further policy action, he said. Nonetheless, the ongoing danger of deflation and dovish signals from several governing council membersnot least Bundesbank President Jens Weidmannsuggest that further stimulus is still in prospect. And given the ECBs recent apparent predilection for surprise, an April move cannot be entirely ruled out, Loynes said. For UniCredit economist Marco Valli, the most important issue for ECB chief Draghi on Thursday would be if and how it will decide to become more vocal about the currency. A strong euro adds to the deflationary pressures. But Valli suggested Draghi could take a softer approach here, dealing with the exchange rate only in the question and answer session and stressing that the ECB stands ready to act if currency appreciation were to endanger price stability. — AFP

14 projects partake in ‘Earth Hour’ Al-Mazaya turns off projects’ lights for 1 hour in Kuwait, UAE

SHARJAH: LuLu Hypermarket’s new branch in Maysaloon area in Sharjah was inaugurated yesterday by Sheikh Salem Abdulrahman Al-Qassimi, Director General of Rulers Court and Member of Sharjah Ruling Family in the presence of Sheikh Mohamed Bin Abdulla Al-Qassimi and Yusuff Ali MA, Managing Director of Lulu group.

Lulu opens new hypermarket in Sharjah; store count reaches 110 SHARJAH: The much anticipated new branch of LuLu hypermarket in Maysaloon area in Sharjah was inaugurated yesterday by Sheikh Salem Abdulrahman Al-Qassimi, Director General of Rulers Court and Member of Sharjah Ruling Family in the presence of Sheikh Mohamed Bin Abdulla Al-Qassimi and Yusuff Ali MA, Managing Director of Lulu group. The opening ceremony was also attended by number of officials from various government departments, representatives from business community apart from Saifee T Rupawala, CEO, Ashraf Ali MA, Executive Director, Salim MA, Director of the group. The new 100,000 sq ft hypermarket which is located near the Kuwait hospital road is spread across two levels with the food and grocery section on the ground floor and department and lifestyle products on the first floor. After the inauguration Sheikh Salem Abdulrahman Al-Qassimi and other dignitaries were led on a guided tour of the hypermarket by Yusuffali MA and other senior management team members of LuLu and briefed them about the various sections, unique features and amenities. Commenting on the new store launch Yusuffali MA, Managing Director of LuLu

Group said, “This is our fourth branch in Sharjah alone and we are extremely happy with the support and patronage we have been receiving from the residents of this great nation.” “It has been our policy to bring world class shopping as close as possible to the shoppers rather than make them drive long distance. Now with more than 37 sourcing offices worldwide including UK, Africa and Far East, we are fully equipped to serve the diverse population of this cosmopolitan country. Other highlight includes special section to promote local grown vegetables and fruits which will not only give shoppers a chance to buy fresh produce but also help the local farming community” added Yusuffali. Shoppers can look forward to the best range of not just grocery and food products but also the biggest range of lifestyle and fashion brands at most affordable prices. Another highlight would be the huge collection of latest electronics and IT gadgets which is sure to be a big hit with tech savvy shoppers. On the first day itself huge rush of shoppers was witnessed as many attractive promotions have been launched in almost all categories as part of the inaugural offer.

KUWAIT: Al-Mazaya Holding Company on Saturday, March 29, 2014 celebrated the global event “Earth Hour”, as part of its participation in the global campaign which is celebrated worldwide for one hour on the last Saturday of March each year, in order to raise awareness of the dangers of climate change. Al-Mazaya participated by turning off all lights and non vital electrical equipment in all the company’s offices and projects in Kuwait and the UAE for one hour starting from 8:30 pm until 9:30 pm, thereby joining millions of people and thousands of establishments in more than 100 countries in turning off lights on this day as a contribution to reduce the consumption of energy sources and the emissions resulting from them in order to protect the environment. In this occasion, Abdullah Al-Sultan, Chief property management Officer, said: “Mazaya’s participation in this global day comes in line with the company’s plan to raise awareness around the dangers of excessive consumption of energy sources as part of its strong belief in the important and significant role of all society establishments and in public and private sectors, in addition to enhancing the awareness of the members of the community that work in Mazaya or its subsidiaries in all of its projects in both Kuwait and the UAE.” Al-Sultan added: “As it is well known, according to global reports, the energy consumption per capita in the various countries in

Abdullah Al-Sultan

GCC, is among the highest in the world. It is therefore clear that great efforts are needed in order to change the behaviours and practices of the individual citizen with regards the community’s responsibility. We also want to highlight the efforts made by the governments of GCC countries in order to establish a strong electrical infrastructure the keeps pace with the highest standards of efficiency and quality in the region and that meets the requirements of citizens and residents and in order to access

sustainable energy sources.” Al-Sultan confirmed that GCC cash savings that have strengthened thanks to oil and gas revenues must not be a motivator to increase consumption or to reach a profligacy level in the consumption of energy sources, as according to global reports, the consumption per capita of electricity in the US is expected to increase by 0.8 percent per year until 2035, while the rate in the GCC countries is projected to reach 2.5 percent in the same period. Al Mazaya seeks within its future plans to provide the market with real estate products among special residential and commercial sectors that rationalises energy consumption, thereby providing one of the main supports and achieving the principles of green environment-friendly real estate, in order to achieve a sustainable environment and to protect natural resources and preserve them for future generations. Al-Sultan furthermore confirmed that the number of projects involved under Al-Mazaya’s umbrella that participated in the rationalization campaign for this year reached 14 projects, including a number of projects in Kuwait, such as the medical Clover Center which is located in Al-Jabriya and consists 19 floors in addition to Mazaya Towers in the heart of the capital of Kuwait which contains three towers with 28 floors, while some projects participated in Dubai, in addition to Mazaya projects in various countries.

Wataniya Telecom tailors exclusive packs for different communities in Kuwait KUWAIT: Wataniya Telecom recognizes the diverse needs of the wide variety of people who live here. Therefore it has developed special community packs that enable people to form deeper connections and easily communicate at extremely low rates with others who belong to their social circle. Wataniya’s Community Packsare specially tailored for prepaid customers. It offers them discounted rates of just 10 fils/minute on callswithin the community joined, which is the lowest rate in the country. Additionally, customers will enjoy free local and international SMS not only tomembers within their communitybut also to anyone else; plus a 25 percent discount on international calls to their selected home country or 25 percent discount on all local calls for

the Kuwaiti community pack. To join any community, customers should dial *414#. Customers can join this special pack for just KD 1/month or 300 fils/week. Once they subscribe they can pick any one of the seven communities which are Kuwaiti, Indian, Egyptian, Filipino, Syrian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani as well. The more people there are in a community the more benefits customers can enjoy. By encouraging friends and family members to join the community offer, the customer can enjoy staying in touch with their close friends at the lowest call rates in town. The Indian, Egyptian, Filipino, Syrian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani communities will get 25 percent off on calls to these countries respectively. This type of pack does not limit

customers to enjoy discounted call rates to a handful of mobile numbers but completely transfers control to the members of the community. The more members’ customers invite to their preferred community, the more calls they will be able to make at the special rate of just 10 fils/minute. Wataniya understands the pulse of the market and believes in creating experiences that answer the distinct need of each community. The Community packs are the first of its kind. As the communities grow more and more people will be able to avail these incredibly discounted rates. This new pack will give budget conscious users an opportunity to optimize their usage without increasing their expenses.

Joyalukkas, the world’s favorite jeweler, now open in Malaysia

SHARJAH: The guests are taken on a tour of the new hypermarket.

Al-Tijari announces Najma account daily draw winners KUWAIT: Commercial Bank of Kuwait held the Al-Najma Account Daily draw on March 30, 2014. The draw was held under the supervision of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry represented by Saquer Al-Manaie. The winners of the Najma Daily Draw who get KD 7,000 are: Ilaf Fadhel Abbas, Noureyah Yaqoub Al-Abdouh, Ali Hussain AlEnezi, Mahmoud Ali Mohammed, and Abdul Rahman Ahmed Hassan. The Commercial Bank of Kuwait announces the biggest daily draw in Kuwait with the launch of the new Najma account. Customers of the bank can now enjoy a KD 7,000 daily prize which is the highest in the country and another 4 mega prizes during the year worth KD 100,000 each on different

occasions: The National Day, Eid Al-Fitr, Eid Al-Adha and on June 19 which is the date of the bank’s establishment. With a minimum balance of KD 500, customers will be eligible for the daily draw provided that the money is in the account one week prior to the daily draw or two months prior to the mega draw. In addition, for each KD 25 a customer can get one chance for winning instead of KD 50. Commercial Bank of Kuwait takes this opportunity to congratulate all lucky winners and also extends appreciation to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry for their effective supervision of the draws which were conducted in an orderly and organized manner.

KUWAIT: The globally renowned jewelry retail chain, Joyalukkas, has opened their much awaited, largest jewelry showroom in Malaysia. The mega showroom located in Jalan Masjid India, Kuala Lumpur was inaugurated in the presence of Minister Dato Hasan Bin Malek, the Minister of Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism, by popular Indian celebrity and filmstar R Madhavan. Many local dignitaries and VIP’s also attended the grand opening ceremony organized by Joyalukkas for its foray into Malaysia. “Firstly, a big thank you to the esteemed Minister Dato Hasan Bin Malek for taking time off from his precious schedule to attend our opening ceremony. I would also like to thank the residents of Kuala Lumpur for a very warm welcome. We have built the biggest jewelry showroom in Malaysia to offer the best experience in jewelry shopping to residents here. Our promise is the best in choice, designs, value, service and convenience for jewelry lovers here at all times,” said Joy Alukkas, Chairman and MD, Joyalukkas Group. Conveniently located in Jalan Masjid India, the large-sized showroom offers ample parking space and features the widest range and most exquisite collection of jewelry in all precious forms, from gold, diamond, precious Stone and pearls, to platinum and silver. Joyalukkas jewelry, Malaysia offers a choice of over one million designs from around the world to meet all the dreams and expectations of jewelry lovers in Malaysia. The sales team have also been extensively trained by retail specialists to ensure a delightful experience to shoppers here.. “Thank you Malaysia for a warm welcome. I assure you with Joyalukkas you are sure of the best experience in jewelery shopping,” said Madhavan. Joyalukkas is the only jewelry brand that is spread across 10 countries

KUALA LUMPUR: Joyalukkas officials are pictured with filmstar R Madhavan.

around the world with 94 showrooms and has a following of over 10 million loyal customers world-wide. “We are delighted to open our first jewelry showroom in Malaysia and are extremely grateful to the country and its residents for the warm welcome they have given us. Our team is eager to serve jewelry shoppers here with the best and widest range in jewelry,” said John Paul Joy Alukkas, Executive Director, Joyalukkas Group. The Malaysia Joyalukkas jewellery showroom has been designed in signature Joyalukkas format with stylish and convenient interiors to offer the widest choice of jewelry under one roof. Joyalukkas is the only ISO 14001-2006 and

ISO 9001-2008 certified jewelry retail chain and has been recognized with many awards and accolades for its exceptional standards in jewelry retailing. Its popular Chennai showroom in India has been recognized by the Limca Book of records for being the largest jewelry showroom in the world. Joyalukkas has been recognized with the ‘Superbrand’ status five years in a row and in-addition to this has also been recognized by the Dubai government with its Dubai Quality Awards Program, for their strict adherences to quality and procedures in all aspects of jewelry retailing. The brand has also won the ‘Middle-East Retailer of the Year’ award from Retail ME.


MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

technology

iPhone 5 Black Diamond

GoldVish ‘Le Million’ Piece Unique

Tag Heuer Racer

Seven most expensive mobile phones in the world

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angalore: Other than just a device to meet the communication requirements, mobile phones have become status icons. Plated with gold and embedded with precious jewels these devices come with hefty price tags reaching up to seven digits. Here is a list of 7 most expensive mobile phones in the world. 7- GoldVish ‘Le Million’ Piece Unique Price $1.3 million A handcrafted cell phone made of 18-carat white gold, mounted with 120-carat VVS-1 graded diamonds; that was what the Swedish designer Emmanuel Gueit had to offer the rich world. ‘Le million’ Piece Unique was first introduced in September 2006 in Europe at the Millionaire Fair. The product was purchased by a Russian businessman and the purchase was marked in the Guinness Book of World Records as the sale declared as the most expensive and most exclusive mobile phone ever sold. GoldVish “Le Million” Piece Unique will be produced upon special request and only limited editions of hundred numbers are manufactured in a lifetime. 6- iPhone 5 Black Diamond Price: $8 million Hughes, known for crafting incredibly priced tech products, created the design for the latest Apple phone, iPhone 5, codenamed as Black Diamond iPhone 5. It includes an inlay of 600 white diamonds, a solid gold Apple logo surrounded by 53 white diamonds, 135 grams of 24-carat gold and sapphire glass for the screen. In the case of black diamond, the stone replaced the iPhone’s home button. Apart from the design, Black Diamond has similar specifications as iPhone 5. It features a 4-inch display with custom designed ARMv7 processor called the Apple A6, an update to Apple’s mobile operating system known as iOS 6. In terms of storage, it has 16, 32 or 64 GB but doesn’t support plug-in memory cards and has an 8MP camera along with various features like geo-tagging, face detection, touch focus and the like.

5 -Vertu Ferrari Price: $ 374, 000 Vertu Constellation Quest Ferrari is a mobile phone produced by Vertu, the well-known company that is specialized in designing luxurious phones equipped with unique elements. The phone boasts a sapphire crystal keypad, a titanium battery cover, and a tachometer-inspired clock. As the phone is codenamed as Ferrari, it’s pretty obvious that the phone has something related to the famous car company. And it is a Ferrari engine coating finish and a Ferrari leather trim embossed with the Ferrari logo. The titanium battery cover has the trademark Cavallino Rampante (prancing horse) symbol in stainless steel. The phone runs on Nokia’s Symbian operating system and has an internal memor y of 8GB which is expandable to 32GB via microSD. It comes with a camera of 5MP which offers dual LED flash and autofocus with a resolution of 2592 x 1944 pixels. 4- Porsche Design BlackBerry Price: $139, 000 Porsche and BlackBerry appeared to put a large amount of work especially in the craftsmanship of the phone, Porsche Design Blackberry, which made the device eye-catching. Instead of a plastic bottom, the entire body is forged out of stainless steel. The battery cover is wrapped in real leather as well as each key on the QWERTY keyboard is made of metal and the navigation buttons placed below the screen are designed of individual pieces of glass. Powered by 1.2GHz Qualcomm MSM8655 Snapdragon processor, the phone runs on BlackBerry 7.0 operating system. Along with 768MB RAM,it has an internal memory of 8GB which can be further expanded to 32GB via microSD card. The device is equipped with a primary camera of 5MP which offers various features like geo-tagging, face detection and image stabilization. The specifications are similar to those of any other BB phone, a minor difference being you get a “premium” Blackberry Messenger PIN compared to the regular PIN of other BB phones.

Ulysse Nardin Chairman

Vertu Ferrari

Gresso Luxor Las Vegas Jackpot 3- Tag Heuer Racer Price: $ 350, 000 Tag Heuer, known for its luxury brand watches has come up with an expensive phone, Tag Heuer Racer, made from premium materials, including stainless steel, carbon fiber and aeronautic-grade titanium. The casing is shockproof and certainly feels heavy and sturdy even though it isn’t waterproof. The phone is said to pack a 3D user interface and a high

speed processor of 1GHz. It comes with a camera of 5MP with auto-focus and VGA front-facing features. 2 -Gresso Luxor Las Vegas Jackpot Price: $1 million With only 3 models sold so far the mobile makes the name of the model worthwhile. One has to win the Las Vegas Jackpot to purchase one of these most coveted pieces. The phone is decorated with black diamonds found in Egypt and is coated with

Porsche Design BlackBerry pure gold. The entire panel of Gresso Luxor Las Vegas Jackpot, is made of African black wood, the most expensive wood in the world. 1- Ulysse Nardin Chairman Price: $7 million Ulysse Nardin, the Swiss watch manufacturer has come up with its Chairman Smartphone, and Guinness World Records has already awarded it the title of “Most Expensive Mobile Phone Series”. It features a capacitive

ITS launches a new shariah compliant financial services for regional customer KUWAIT: ITS - International Turnkey Systems announced the successful completion of an ICT project with KIB to upgrade its banking systems offering integrated and state-of-theart shariah compliant financial services. Within the first day of the banking system going live, Kuwait International Bank (KIB), which was awarded Best Islamic Bank in 2014, received thousands of successful financial transactions and already reported a notable performance level improvement. ITS, a specialist in developing Islamic Banking technology, led the project to deploy ITS shariah compliant ETHIX financial solutions with KIB. This plan has been applied and is currently operating in all 26 branches of the bank across the country. ETHIX will reduce operational expenditure by consolidating the Bank’s original services under one unified system which will improve customer services and experience, speed up product development and achieve greater levels of efficiency through increased control and automation. By deploying its secure, flexible and reliable ETHIX suite of financial technology solutions within the Bank, ITS will support Kuwait International Bank by leveraging their competitive edge in the market. Lamya Al-Tabtebai, Deputy General Manager Corporate Support from KIB

explained why KIB chose ITS to be associated on this project: “We deployed ETHIX because all the benefits serve the bank and our customers and ETHIX’s overall competence to boost the Bank’s growth. This announcement represents a new step on the continuous efforts from KIB to deploy the best global technology systems to serve KIB’s programs and activities which will aid in accomplishing our aims of improving the quality of customer services.” Centralized systems The ITS ETHIX suite of financial services form the core banking technology for financial institutions boosts operational and growth capabilities enabling banks to offer new customer centric solutions in the spirit of shariahcompliance. The added value from ETHIX is the fact it provides banks with an award winning comprehensive banking solution broadly recognized as one of the most flexible and scalable technology solutions worldwide. This was reinforced by Lamya Al-Tabtabai: “ETHIX provides solutions specifically designed to meet the bank’s requirements in several aspects, including managing processes of completion and executing transactions, the integration of various departments, divisions and units to ensure streamlined access to

information and swift transactions. Lastly, it connects all of KIB’s core systems together and this is vital for us. With ETHIX all our systems will be centralized and thus enable us to reduce potential risk and errors and increase the efficiency and productivity of the bank. Additionally the system helps to develop commercial finance as well as retail finance services for our clients and customers.” Hany Ramadan, Director - Global Financial Solutions noted: “This is yet another successful deployment with a leading finance institution in Kuwait and an outstanding example of our expertise in the Islamic Banking sector. In fact our flexible technology solution will empower the technology processes within Kuwait International Bank, facilitating greater control of service and the adoption of quick changes as a result from policy, regulation and competition in the market.” In reality, all of these additional benefits will allow well-timed execution of customer banking services at Kuwait International Bank, refining its customer experience and increasing management efficiency across the bank’s processes. Hany Ramadan added: “We have a strong track record of working with leading financial institutions and specifically integrating our award winning ETHIX platform with existing core banking software infrastructure”.

‘Best Technology Vendor’ ITS recently received further accreditation for its ETHIX suite of products by winning both the ‘Best Islamic Finance Technology’ conferred at the World Islamic Retail Banking Conference 2013 and ‘Best Technology Vendor’ at the CPI Financial Islamic Business and Finance Awards 2013. The shariah-compliant ETHIX solution is designed to support financial institutions to reach operational excellence, accommodate growth and achieve cost leadership in the financial services sector. ETHIX provides multichanneled corporate and retail products and services in Islamic finance and investment including core banking, trade finance, branch automation, online banking, dashboards and reports in addition to other products and services that represent an answer to the challenges encountered by the financial institutions which can only serve to enhance their competitive edge. Understanding better than any other shariah-compliant features and specificities ITS created a full suite of ETHIX solutions including ETHIX-Core, ETHIX-Branch, ETHIX-Finance, ETHIX-Trade, ETHIX-360∞, ETHIX-Connect (IFX), ETHIX-Switch Connection, ETHIX-Treasury, ETHIX (SMS), ETHIX-PCD, ETHIX-Launch Pad.

touch screen and a number pad on the front, a mechanical watch rotor on the back and is quite expensive. The 3.2-inch touch screen display, made of sapphire crystal runs on specially designed version of Android Gingerbread and has an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with flash. It is integrated with GPS 3G, with 32 GB internal memor y and comes pre loaded with Android apps for Gmail, Facebook, YouTube and Google Maps.-www.siliconindia.com

Microsoft reverses, vows not to snoop on emails LOS ANGELES: A week after saying it was justified in snooping through a blogger’s Hotmail account to track down a leaker of company software, Microsoft has changed course, saying it will refer such matters to law enforcement starting immediately. The reversal, explained by general counsel Brad Smithin a blog post Friday, follows last week’s revelation that it searched through emails and instant messages of a blogger who Microsoft believed had received proprietary code illegally. The search, in September 2012, led to Alex Kibkalo, a Russian native who worked for Microsoft as a software architect in Lebanon. Microsoft turned over the case to the FBI in July 2013. Smith now says the company “will not inspect a customer’s private content ourselves” and will refer the matter to law enforcement if it believes its services are being used to facilitate theft of Microsoft property. Microsoft Corp owns Hotmail and the cloud storage service formerly known as SkyDrive. It alleged that the services were used so Kibkalo could transfer software files to the blogger, including a fix for the Windows 8 RT operating system that hadn’t been released publicly. The case spawned a wave of criticism, and Microsoft initially responded to it by saying that it would consult with an outside attorney who is a former judge to determine if a court order would be issued in similar searches in the future. Many saw its initial response as inadequate. “Last week’s response was trying to create a mimic of due process with a shadow court that was run by Microsoft,” said Kurt Opsahl, senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy advocate. “It was good to see Microsoft reconsidered.” Smith said the company would also change its terms of service to make it clear what customers can expect, and consult with privacy advocates to come up with industry best practices going forward. Shares of the Redmond, Wash., company rose 94 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $40.30.—AP


MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

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

Global warming worsens security woes YOKOHAMA: In an authoritative report due out today a United Nations climate panel for the first time is connecting hotter global temperatures to hotter global tempers. Top scientists are saying that climate change will complicate and worsen existing global security problems, such as civil wars, strife between nations and refugees. They’re not saying it will cause violence, but will be an added factor making things even more dangerous. Fights over resources, like water and energy, hunger and extreme weather will all go into the mix to destabilize the world a bit more, says the report by the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change. The summary of the report is being finalized this weekend by the panel in Yokohama. That’s a big change from seven years ago, the last time the IPCC addressed how warming affected Earth, said report lead author Chris Field of the Carnegie Institution of Science in California. The summary that political leaders read in early 2007 didn’t mention security issues will, he said, because of advances in research. “There’s enough smoke there that we really need to pay attention to this,” said Ohio University security and environment professor Geoff Dabelko, one of the lead authors of the report’s chapter on security and climate change. For the past seven years, research in social science has found more links between climate and conflict, study authors say, with the full report referencing hundreds of studies on climate change and

conflict. The U.S. Defense Department earlier this month in its once-every-four-years strategic review, called climate change a “threat multiplier” to go with poverty, political instability and social tensions worldwide. Warming will trigger new problems but also provide countries new opportunities for resources and shipping routes in places such as the melting Arctic, the Pentagon report says. Common concern After the climate panel’s 2007 report, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wrote that along with other causes, the conflict in the Darfur region of western Sudan “began as an ecological crisis, arising at least in part from climate change. “ While the IPCC report this year downplays global warming’s role in that particular strife, saying other issues were far more influential, the report’s drafts do add that there is “justifiable common concern” that climate change increases the risk of fighting in similar circumstances. “Climate change will not directly cause conflict but it will exacerbate issues of poor governance, resource inequality and social unrest,” retired U.S. Navy Adm. David Titley, now a Pennsylvania State University professor of meteorology, wrote in an email. “The Arab Spring and Syria are two recent examples.” But Titley, who wasn’t part of the IPCC report, says “if you are already living in a place affected by violent conflict - I suspect climate change becomes the least of your worries.”

That illustrates the tricky calculus of climate and conflict, experts say. It’s hard to point at violence and draw a direct climate link - to say how much blame goes to warming and how much is from more traditional factors like poverty and ethnic differences. Then looking into future is even more difficult. “If you think it’s hard to predict rainfall in one spot 100 years from now, it’s even harder to predict social stability,” said Jeff Severinghaus, a climate scientist at the Scripps Institution for Oceanography who isn’t part of this climate panel. “Obviously that’s going to be controversial. The most important thing is that it’s going to be talked about.” Security problems Severinghaus and other scientists say this will be one of the more contentious issues as the panel representing more than 100 nations meets here and edits word-by-word a 30-page summary of the multi-volume report for political leaders. Observers said the closed door meeting went through the security and climate section Sunday, in the hurried last hours of editing. There’s an entire 63-page chapter on security problems, but most leaders will read the handful of paragraphs summarizing that and that’s where there may be some issues, he says. The chapter on national security says there is “robust evidence” that “human security will be progressively threatened as climate changes.” It says it can destabilize the world in multiple ways by making it harder for people to make a living, increasing

mass migrations, and making it harder for countries to keep control of their populations. The migration issue is big because as refugees flee storms and other climate problems, that adds to security issues, the report and scientists say While some climate scientists, environmental groups and politicians see the conflict-climate link as logical and clear, others emphasize nuances in research. The social science literature has shown an indirect link, especially with making poverty worse, which will add to destabilization, but it is not the same as saying there would be climate wars, said University of Exeter’s Neil Adger, one of the study’s lead authors. It’s not exactly the four horsemen of the apocalypse, he adds. Joshua Goldstein, an international relations professor and expert on conflict at the University of Massachusetts, sees that link, but says it is probably weaker than people think. It’s not as a big a problem as other impacts from climate change, like those on ecosystems, weather disasters and economic costs, he says. Poverty is the issue when it comes to security problems - and policies to fight climate change increase poverty, says David Kreutzer at the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington. But environmental groups such as the Environmental Justice Foundation are issuing reports that dovetail with what the IPCC is saying. Titley, the retired admiral, holds out hope that if nations deal with climate change jointly, it can bring peace instead of war to battling regions. — AP

Study backs nonsurgical way to fix heart valves Survival rates better

CONAKRY: Workers build a tent in zone where people suspected of suffering of Ebola fever are isolated at the Donka hospital where several cases were reported. — AFP

Guinea battles to contain Ebola CONAKRY: Guinea raced Saturday to contain a deadly Ebola epidemic spreading from its southern forests to the capital Conakry, as neighbouring Senegal closed its border. The European Union pledged 500,000 euros ($690,000) to fight the contagion, while the Senegalese interior ministry said border crossings to Guinea would be closed “until further notice”. The order affects crossings at Kolda and Kedougou in the south of Senegal which are heavily used by traders, particularly during a weekly market attended by thousands from neighbouring countries. Eight cases of Ebola have been confirmed in Conakry, the Guinean health ministry said late Friday, including one fatality. Across the country, “the total number of suspected cases recorded from January to 28 March 2014 is 111 cases of haemorrhagic fever including 70 deaths ... or a fatality rate of 63 percent,” the ministry said in a statement. Samples taken from 45 of the suspect cases included 19 which tested positive for Ebola. Most of the cases were recorded in southern Guinea, but the disease has spread to the capital since Wednesday. Those infected have been put in isolation to prevent the virus from spreading, while aid organisations have sent dozens of workers to help the poor west African country combat the outbreak of haemorrhagic fever. * ‘Deeply concerned’ The EU’s aid offer came after a plea for assistance from the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS). The regional bloc said it was “deeply concerned” about the epidemic which presented a “serious threat to the region”. The tropical virus-described in

some health publications as a “molecular shark”-leads to haemorrhagic fever, causing muscle pain, weakness, vomiting, diarrhoea and, in severe cases, organ failure and unstoppable bleeding. No treatment or vaccine is available, and the Zaire strain detected in Guinea-first observed 38 years ago in what is today called the Democratic Republic of Congo-has a 90 percent death rate. Sakoba Keita, who heads the Guinean health ministry’s prevention division said it remains unclear how Ebola had arrived in Guinea. Tests on the other cases of haemorrhagic fever are still ongoing to determine their origin. “We hope to get (the results) quickly as these cases should be treated like Ebola as they are also deadly,” he said. Guinea is one of the world’s poorest nations despite vast untapped mineral wealth, with a stagnating economy, youth unemployment at 60 percent and a rank of 178th out of 187 countries on the UN’s Human Development Index. The World Health Organisation said Liberia had reported eight suspected cases of Ebola fever, including six deaths, while Sierra Leone had reported six suspected cases, five of them fatal. Ebola can be transmitted to humans from wild animals, and between humans through direct contact with another’s blood, faeces or sweat, as well as sexual contact or the unprotected handling of contaminated corpses. MSF said the spread of the disease was being exacerbated by people travelling to funerals in which mourners touch the bodies of the dead. Guinea has banned the consumption of bat soup, a popular delicacy in the country, as the fruit bat is believed to be the host species. — AFP

Obamacare detours ahead for US health law WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama’s embattled US healthcare law, having survived a rollout marred by technology failures, reaches a milestone on Monday with the end of its first enrollment wave, and with the administration likely to come close to its goal of signing up 7 million people in private health insurance. But as the White House and its allies declare victory, major hurdles remain. And it will take years to determine whether the law will accomplish its mission of creating stable insurance markets that can help a significant number of America’s nearly 50 million uninsured gain health coverage, experts say. Republicans are counting on that uncertainty to play into their strategy for the midterm congressional elections in November. Their plan: Draw on public dissatisfaction with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to help the GOP win control of the US Senate and retain the party’s dominance in the House of Representatives. “We’re not really going to know whether it worked or not until the third or fourth year. And of course, that’s two elections down the road,” said Timothy Jost, a professor at the Washington and Lee

University School of Law in Lexington, Virginia. “What I worry about is that we won’t be able to figure out whether it’s worked or not until it’s too late,” he said. Even before the first enrollment period comes to a close, Republicans and some Democrats have separately proposed election year changes that could appeal to voter concerns-and would leave the law substantially altered. Republican proposals would undermine Obamacare by making health insurance optional and returning sick people to highrisk pools. A handful of Senate Democrats last week also proposed some Republicansounding ideas that would allow insurance to be sold across state lines, discontinue the employer mandate for many small businesses and allow low-premium, highdeductible plans to be sold in the marketplaces. Families USA, an administration ally on healthcare reform, plans to make its own public recommendations this week on how the enrollment drive for 2015 might be improved. “Our recommendations will build on the laudatory success of the first enrollment period,” said Ron Pollack, the group’s executive director. — Reuters

WASHINGTON: A new study gives a big boost to fixing a bad aortic valve, the heart’s main gate, without open-heart surgery. Survival rates were better one year later for people who had a new valve placed through a tube into an artery instead. The results were reported Saturday at an American College of Cardiology conference in Washington and prompted some doctors to predict that in the near future, far fewer people will be having the traditional operation. “It’s going to be very hard to tell a patient that if they need an aortic valve, surgery is going to be their best option,” said one of the conference leaders, Dr. Prediman K. Shah of Cedars Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles. A bad aortic valve can stiffen and narrow with age, keeping blood from passing through as it should. Until a few years ago, the only solution was a major operation to open the chest, cut out the bad valve and sew in a new one. That changed in 2011, when Edwards Lifesciences Inc. won federal approval for an expandable valve that could fit in a catheter into a leg artery, be guided to the heart and be placed inside the old valve. Studies showed survival was comparable to or a little better with it than with surgery, but strokes were more common after the catheter approach, making some leery of it. Earlier this year, a rival device - Medtronic Inc.’s CoreValve - was approved for treating people at too high risk to have surgery. The new study tested it in nearly 800 people less sick - eligible for the operation but still with elevated risks. One year after treatment, 19 percent of the surgery patients but only 14 percent of those given a CoreValve had died. Great leap forward Stroke rates also seemed lower, though this was not one of the main results researchers were tracking. After one year, 13 percent of surgery patients and 9 percent of the others had had a

WASHINGTON: Medtronic Inc.’s CoreValve is photographed at an American College of Cardiology Conference in Washington on Saturday. A new study gives a big boost to fixing a bad aortic valve, the heart’s main gate, without open-heart surgery. — AP stroke. Two-year follow-up is not complete, but “we are certainly encouraged” that trends appear to be continuing, said one of the study’s leaders, Dr. David Adams of New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital. There were drawbacks to the CoreValve, though - twice as many patients needed pacemakers afterward. Other complications were a tradeoff - more vascular problems with the CoreValve but more problems with a fluttering heartbeat called atrial fibrillation among those who had surgery. Still, several independent experts praised the

results. “It’s a great leap forward” for fixing valves through blood vessels, said Dr. David Kandzari of Piedmont Heart Institute in Atlanta. The study was paid for by Medtronic, and many study leaders consult for Medtronic, Edwards or other heart device makers. Results also were published online by the New England Journal of Medicine. Doctors say both companies’ artificial valves need more long-term study to see if they hold up as well as the ones implanted surgically, which typically last 20 years. Other firms are also testing catheter-placed valves. — AP

London skeletons reveal secrets of the Black Death LONDON: You can learn a lot from a tooth. Molars taken from skeletons unearthed by work on a new London railway line are revealing secrets of the medieval Black Death - and of its victims. This week, Don Walker, an osteologist with the Museum of London, outlined the biography of one man whose ancient bones were found by construction workers under London’s Charterhouse Square: He was breastfed as a baby, moved to London from another part of England, had bad tooth decay in childhood, grew up to work as a laborer, and died in early adulthood from the bubonic plague that ravaged Europe in the 14th century. The poor man’s life was nasty, brutish and short, but his afterlife is long and illuminating. “It’s fantastic we can look in such detail at an individual who died 600 years ago,” Walker said. “It’s incredible, really.” The 25 skeletons were uncovered last year during work on Crossrail, a new rail line that’s boring 21km of tunnels under the heart of the city. Archaeologists immediately suspected the bones came from a cemetery for plague victims. The location, outside the walls of the medieval city, chimes with historical accounts. The square, once home to a monastery, is one of the few spots in the city to stay undisturbed for centuries. To test their theory, scientists took one tooth from each of 12 skeletons, then extracted DNA from the teeth. They announced Sunday that tests had found the presence of the plague bacterium, Yersinia pestis, in several of the teeth, meaning the individuals had been exposed to - and likely died from - the Black Death. The findings didn’t stop there. Archaeologists, historians, microbiologists and physicists worked together to apply techniques from several scientific disciplines to the discovery. Radiocarbon dating and analysis of pottery shards helped determine when the burials took place. Forensic geophysics - more commonly used in murder and war-crimes investigations - helped locate more graves under the square. Studying oxygen and strontium isotopes in the bones revealed details of diet and health. These were, by and large, poor people. Many of the skeletons showed signs of malnutrition consistent with the “Great Famine” that struck Europe 30 years before the Black Death. Many had back injuries suggesting lives of hard labor. One man became a

LONDON: One of the skeletons found by construction workers under central London’s Charterhouse Square. Twenty-five skeletons were uncovered last year during work on Crossrail, a new rail line that’s boring 21km of tunnels under the heart of the city. — AP vegetarian late in life, indicating he may have entered an order of monks. Archaeologists were surprised to discover that the skeletons lay in layers and appeared to come from three different periods: the original Black Death epidemic in 1348-1350, and later outbreaks in 1361 and the early 15th century. “It suggests that the burial ground was used again and again for the burial of plague victims,” said Jay Carver, Crossrail’s lead archaeologist. The Black Death is thought to have killed at least 75 million people, including more than half of Britain’s population, yet the burials suggest a surprisingly high degree of social order - at first. As the plague ravaged continental Europe - borne westward by fleas on rats city fathers leased land for an emergency burial

ground. The burials were simple but orderly, the bodies wrapped in shrouds and laid out in neat rows, sealed with a layer of clay. The later skeletons, however, show more signs of upper-body injuries, consistent with a period of lawlessness and social breakdown. Archaeologists are planning a new dig this summer to learn how many bodies lie under the square. Carver says the number appears to be in the “low thousands.” And the teeth may not have yielded all their secrets. Experts in ancient DNA at McMaster University in Canada are working to sequence the plague genome found in the teeth, in order to learn more about a disease that still infects several thousand people a year around the world. —AP


MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

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

New drugs greatly lower cholesterol WASHINGTON: A new class of experimental medicines can dramatically lower cholesterol, raising hopes of a fresh option for people who can’t tolerate or don’t get enough help from Lipitor and other statin drugs that have been used for this for decades. The first large studies of these drugs were presented Saturday at an American College of Cardiology conference in Washington, and more will follow soon. Several companies are developing these drugs, which are aimed at 70 million Americans and millions more worldwide who have high LDL or “bad” cholesterol, a major risk for heart disease. Three studies of Amgen Inc.’s version of these drugs, called evolocumab (ev-oh-LOKEyou-mab), found it lowered LDL or “bad” cholesterol by 55 to 66 percent from baseline levels compared to others who took a fake drug, and by nearly that much when compared to Merck’s Zetia, another cholesterol medication. Decades old As impressive as that is, it’s still just part of the picture. Doctors want evidence that the way these drugs lower cholesterol also will lead to fewer heart attacks and deaths, because that proof already exists for statins. New studies are underway to test this, but Amgen said it will seek approval for its drug this year based on cholesterol-lowering alone. That was enough to win approval for statins

and Zetia, but use of Zetia has declined since 2008, when research showed it failed to help prevent heart attacks even though it cut cholesterol. Hopes are high that the new Amgen drug and others like it will do better. “I would be happy to see it approved” on the cholesterol results alone, said Dr. Hadley Wilson, a cardiologist at Carolinas HealthCare System. “We need additional agents other than statins” to help patients, he said. Nearly all current cholesterol medicines fibrates, niacin and top-selling statins - are decades old. Statins such as Lipitor, Zocor and Crestor curb cholesterol production. Zetia, which came out about a decade ago, helps block the absorption of cholesterol from the intestine. The new drugs block PCSK9, a substance that interferes with the liver’s ability to remove cholesterol from the blood. They have big drawbacks, though. Statins are pills sold as generics for as little as a dime a day. The new drugs are proteins rather than chemicals, and those tend to be very expensive to make. They also must be given as shots every two weeks or once a month. People can give the shots to themselves with a pen-like device. The companies developing the new medicines have not said what they might cost. “We were very, very pleased” about how well patients accepted the shots, and if they offer better results, especially for those with inherited conditions, “people will accept it,” said Dr.

Michael Koren of Jacksonville Center for Clinical Research in Florida, who helped lead two of the studies. The three Amgen studies involved about 2,000 patients in all. Doctors tested the drug in people with high cholesterol not taking other medicines, as a long-term (one-year) treatment in people already taking various medications and in combination with statins and other drugs

in people with an inherited cholesterol disorder. Very encouraging In general, side-effect rates were about the same for evolocumab vs. placebo or Zetia. In some studies, muscle aches, nausea and a few other problems were a little higher with the experimental drug.

WASHINGTON: People arrive to attend the American College of Cardiology’s conference in Washington on Saturday. —AP

Overall safety “is very, very encouraging,” said Dr. Scott Wasserman, Amgen’s executive medical director. Researchers also said: * Alirocumab, a similar drug being developed by Sanofi SA and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc., lowered LDL cholesterol by 47 percent vs. 16 percent for Zetia in a study of about 100 people not taking any other drugs for high cholesterol. * Bococizumab, from Pfizer Inc., lowered LDL 45 percent to 67 percent, depending on dose, compared to placebo in 354 people with high cholesterol also taking a statin. “There’s great interest” in all of these drugs, but doctors will wait for evidence that they lower heart risks, said Dr. Neil Stone, a Northwestern University cardiologist and spokesman for the American Heart Association. It may be easier to justify their use in patients with genes that cause high cholesterol at an early age, he said. A spokeswoman for the federal Food and Drug Administration, Sandy Walsh, suggested that might be the case. “Although we cannot comment on the likelihood of approval based solely on specific indications or populations,” two drugs recently were approved based on cholesterol-lowering for people with inherited conditions, she noted. A decision on approval also will be influenced by how much the drug lowers cholesterol, its effects on other fats in the blood and other heart signs such as inflammation and blood pressure, and its safety, she said. — AP


MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

W H AT ’ S O N

Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa dims lights for Earth Hour

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Crowne Plaza Kuwait participates in ‘Earth Hour’ global movement

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ontinuing its support to global environmental issues and in line with its social responsibility towards not just the people and community, but also towards planet Earth, Crowne Plaza Kuwait participated in the ‘Earth Hour’ Global Movement on 29th March. With minimum amount of lights switched on, the hotel management, guests and staff met at the lobby with candles symbolizing the hope for a brighter tomorrow. The idea behind earth hour global campaign is to create awareness on the effect of electricity consumption on global warming, and it aims to inspire the governmental institu-

tions, businesses and individuals to take an action to reduce climate changes. This year, the ‘Earth Hour’ took place on Saturday 29th March, 2014 and for one hour only. Switching off the lights voiced the thoughts of the people and the management of the Crowne Plaza Kuwait as they stood together in the soft glow of the candlelight towards working better for the creation of a brighter future for our planet. Taking part in the world’s largest global climate change initiative, people from all walks of life came together in celebration and contemplation of the one thing they have in common - Planet Earth.

umeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa, Kuwait’s idyllic resort, joined forces with the rest of the world and marked the annual Earth Hour by dimming and switching off lights across its property for an hour. On Saturday, March 29, at 8:30pm local time hotel colleagues gathered and formed the shape of the Earth holding lit candles to mark Earth Hour. Together with Jumeirah Group’s luxurious properties around the world, Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa turned off its facade lights, signage and those on its tress along the garden and the hotel water fountains. This resulted in saved energy of approximately 1200 kwh. Elsewhere, lights throughout the lobby, food and beverage outlets, Talise Spa and colleagues’ accommodation were all dimmed. Candles were also placed around the fountain and staircases to provide light and save power. Earth Hour originally started in Sydney on March 31, 2007, when 2.2 million people and 2,100 businesses turned off their lights for one hour. Many major cities, inspired by the collective effort, have since joined Earth Hour, which has turned into a global movement.

Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive enters partnership with Dwaliya Technical Inspection

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li Alghanim & Sons Automotive - the exclusive importer and distributor for BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce, Land Rover and McLaren in Kuwait - has announced a first-of-its-kind partnership with Dwaliya Technical Inspection. Dwaliya is a company commited to providing the Kuwaiti market with all-new services in the technical inspection of cars. Its mission is to offer the latest technologies and procedures for automotive technical

inspection, as well as innovative services that provide customers with the ultimate comfort. Dwaliya’s service delivery is characterized by providing a variety of options in one place that enable customers to undergo technical examination of their cars and renew their vehcle’s licence, being a certified center from the General Directorate of Traffic in Kuwait. Moreover, customers can also acquire

insurance documents on their vehicles and pay traffic fines, in addition to comprehensive examination and instant maintanance which takes less than 15 minutes. As part of its mission, the company also offers VIP service wherein it can take the customer’s vehicle from home or work and bring it to the service center for the required services for the car. Afterwards, the vehicle will be delivered back to the customer within the shortest possible time. These distinctive

services sets Dwaliya Technical Inspection apart from all other technical inspection companies in Kuwait. For its part, Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive provides customers with a VIP service through a special discount that is aimed at further enhancing its after sales service and in providing the ultimate comfort to customers. “We believe that our services should not be limited to our existing customers,” com-

mented Yousef Al Qatami, General Manager of Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive on this unique partnership. “Providing technical inspection and comprehensive examination services would fulfill the package of services provided by Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive.” Dwaliya Technical Inspection is located at Al Rai district - Hassan Ben Ali Al Roumi St. behind Al Shawaf Company. It is open daily from 8 am to 1 pm & from 4 - 8 pm.

ILOA shimmers in resplendent glory

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ndian Learners Own Academy students participated in the ACER IBT (International Benchmark Tests for improved learning). Students from grades three to ten participated in the English, Mathematics and Science tests conducted in the school on (date). The students have achieved such marvelous results thus bringing the school to greater heights of honor and glory. Principal

Mrs Asha Sharma and all the teachers expressed their delight on the glorious achievements of their students. The principal stated that it was a proud moment for her to see her students keep up the motto of the school with pride. The results of the IBT were announced in the school on Monday, 3March 2014. Sehen Dilush Gamehawa topped the IBT in

English in the whole of Middle East. He has been presented with a plaque, a certificate of honour and a cash award of KD 40/- He secured high distinction in Mathematics and distinction in Science. The following students secured high distinction Anaf Elamkulam (X), Muhammed Waleed (III), Sanjay M.S. (V), Arjun Biju (VI), Fadil

Abdulla (IV), Hamiya Nejeeb (IV), Diya Sanjana P. (III), Sarah I. Khot (VI), Shahzaib Tariq (III), Aparna S. Nair (IV), Gabriel A. D’Souza( IV), Samyuktha M.S (VII), M. Nawfal (VI), B. Srihari (III), M.Vishnu, V. Reddy (IX), Pooja Rajan (IX), Aparna S. Nair (IV), Faizan Wagpurawala(III), Ishaan Nejeeb (VIII), Nikhil John Jose (VI), Nameera Nasir(III), Sarah Elsa Thomas (VI) The following students secured distinction.

Shahzaib Tariq (III), Gabriel A. D’Souza( IV), Ishaan Nejeeb (VIII), Nikhil John Jose (VI), Abu(IV), Karan Sanal (VIII), Maha I. Khot(IX), Sandra Anna(VI), Sarah I. Khot (VI), Faizan Wagpurawala(III), Ishaan Nejeeb (VIII), Abu(IV), Maha I. Khot(IX), Nikitha Rajesh(VI), Samyuktha M.S (VII), Abu(IV), Nikitha Rajesh(VI), Assim(IV), Naethen Luke (V).


W H AT ’ S O N

MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

Ayman Al-Sharra Sebamed Kuwait sales manager

Sebamed rewards kids at the Perfumes & Cosmetics Exhibition By Sherif Ismail

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ebamed’s section at the Perfumes & Cosmetics Exhibition recently witnessed a flow of visiting kids and their families who came to purchase more of the products they had been brought up with.

Represented by its exclusive agent in Kuwait; Al-Sanabel Al-Thahabiya, Sebamed distributed lots of giveaway gifts and memorial photos. As the world’s premier skin and body care manufacturers, Sebamed provides a unique skin care system that has been developed to act as a protection as well as skin repair system that provides utmost care for

McDonald’s Kuwait offered 60,000 free Egg McMuffins on National Day

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cDonald’s Kuwait announced that 60,000 free Egg McMuffins were offered to customers on the morning of March 17th, 2014 during National Breakfast Day. Dubbed the World’s Biggest Breakfast, National Breakfast Day saw

more than 800 crew members in 54 McDonald’s Breakfast serving restaurants across the country serving tens of thousands of customers in just five hours. National Breakfast Day marks the second time McDonald’s has initiated

an international celebration of this scale. In the GCC alone, 230,000 Egg McMuffins were redeemed on March 17th. Dozens of other markets across Asia, the Middle East and Africa also participated in what is considered the brand’s most successful international breakfast event. Adel Fahmy, Marketing Manager at McDonald’s Kuwait commented: “We are absolutely thrilled by the positive response to National Breakfast Day across Kuwait. The goal of the celebration was to demonstrate to our busy consumers that a packed schedule shouldn’t compromise a nourishing start to the day; the volume of participation we observed during this year’s event tells us we were successful in not only meeting, but exceeding this goal.” Egg McMuffins are an iconic handheld breakfast consisting of a fresh Grade A egg, Halal chicken roll and a slice of melted cheese, held together by a freshly toasted English muffin. First introduced in the US in 1971, the McMuffin range is now the brand’s signature breakfast offering, with more than 1.2 billion sold per annum worldwide.

KTPA celebrates Global Women’s day

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uwait Tamilosai Poets Association (KTPA) grandly celebrated Global Women’s day and alternatively abled people’s day in their 95th monthly meeting held on March 7. The function was organized at Kohinoor party hall, Souk Sabah area, Fahaheel. The meet commenced with the recitation of Tamil Anthem at 10 am in the auditorium named as “Aruntharnizh Pulavar Avvaiyar Pukazharankam” to commemorate the ancient Tamil lady scholar-”Avvaiyar”. Mrs Amutha Gopal presided over the meeting keeping Mrs Chellamma Vidhyasagar as front stager in the dais. KTPA’s president Dr Kumar delivered the welcome address, Thameem-un-Ansari, general secretary of Tamilnadu Manithaneya Makkal Katchi (MMK) along with Jainulabudeen, the organizing secretary of MMK graced the occasion as the chief guests. Special poems on alternatively abled people were offered by poets Mrs Rani Mohan and Anandaravi. Singers Kalibulla, Ganesh, Pandian, Hidayatullah, baby Mahalaxmi and many more enthralled the audience by their sweet melodies. Impressive brief notes on ancient and contemporary Tamil literature were delivered by the chief guests. Eminent

Tamil peoples of March month were remembered by the KTPA’s deputy secretary Pattukkottai Sathya. A court of poetry entitled as “Penkal nam Kankal” enacted during the meet, was the pinnacle of the event. This was perfectly presided over by poetess Jhansirani and poets Vidhyasagar, Balraj and Yaqoob Ali recited poems on the topics of Women’s Educational achievements, social services and Arts & Literature respectively. Prof. Paul Manuvel, Er. Somasundaram, Gangai Gopal, Kavisaysekar and Janab Hasan Mohammed expressed well wishing notes. E. Hameed won the prize for Tamil quiz conducted by the vice president Anbazhakan. All the ladies were honored by the gents on account of World Women’s day. KTPA’s General Secretary Vittukatti Masthan was felicitated by Hon President Sadhiq Batcha and all of the members for his wedding anniversary. Masthan, delivered the vote of thanks. KTPA’s Treasurer Ajizuddin, his deputy Mannai Raja, Ashok and Master Thalib neatly made all the arrangements for the gathering. Plenty of new member families joined in KTPA. The function concluded with a delicious lunch served to all of the attendees.

sensitive skin said Ayman Al-Sharra, Sebamed Kuwait Sales Manager. Sebamed products ensure elegant looking and soft skin with nice fragrances. Sebamed is one of the skin care trademarks and all its products comprise high quality and effective ingredients to revive skin without harming its amino acids.

Pakistan National Day celebration

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akistan Academy School Ahmadi observed Pakistan National Day on 23d March 2014 “Work, work and work” is a call to wake us from slumber and work hard to achieve national goals. It is the earnest desire of every Pakistani to see Pakistani attaining the stature visualized by our great leader “Quaid-eAzam”. Each one of us should try and act up the golden principle the Quaid gave to the nation and follow him in his foot steps and thus obtain for Pakistan a respectable and dignified place in the comity if nations, emphasized Prof. Syed Zakir Ali, the Principal both to the teachers and the students in his speech delivered on Pakistan Day ceremony held at school premises. He urged the students and advised to develop a sound sense of discipline, character, initiative and solid academic background. You must devote yourself wholeheartedly to studies for that is your first obligation to yourself wholeheartedly to studies for that is your first obligation to yourself, your parents and to the state and the ambition of Muhammad Ali Jinnah. The students after recitation of verses from Holy Quran, sang mili Naghma, made speeches, present tableau and highlighted the different aspects of the day. The students focused on the personality of Jinnah whose firm determination and solid resolution made able to carve out Pakistan on the map of the world. Nothing could keep back the Quaid-e-Azam to transform the thought of Iqbal into the reality, for everybody knew that the Quaid always ,meant what he said, expressed one of the students.


MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

TV PROGRAMS 00:05 My Family: The Heart Of Christmas 00:35 Doctor Who 01:20 Upstairs Downstairs 02:15 Five Daughters 03:05 New Tricks 04:00 The Vicar Of Dibley 04:30 My Family: The Heart Of Christmas 05:00 Tweenies 05:20 Teletubbies 05:45 Jollywobbles 05:55 Me Too! 06:15 Tweenies 06:35 Teletubbies 07:00 Jollywobbles 07:10 Me Too! 07:30 The Weakest Link 08:15 Walk On The Wild Side 08:45 Friday Night Dinner 09:10 2 Point 4 Children 09:45 Doctors 10:20 Casualty 11:10 Walter’s War 12:00 The Weakest Link 12:45 2 Point 4 Children 13:15 Friday Night Dinner 13:45 Walk On The Wild Side 14:15 Doctors 14:45 Casualty 15:35 Walter’s War 16:25 The Weakest Link 17:10 Eastenders 17:40 Doctors 18:10 Being Erica 19:00 My Family: The Heart Of Christmas 19:30 Rev. 20:00 New Tricks 20:50 Spooks 21:40 The Vicar Of Dibley 22:10 Upstairs Downstairs 23:05 The Weakest Link 23:50 Eastenders

00:40 Come Dine With Me 01:30 Come Dine With Me: Supersized 03:05 Antiques Roadshow 03:55 Antiques Roadshow 04:50 Antiques Roadshow 05:40 Antiques Roadshow 06:35 French Food At Home 07:00 Cash In The Attic 07:50 Bargain Hunt 08:35 Chef At Home 09:00 Come Dine With Me: Supersized 10:40 Come Dine With Me 11:30 Gok’s Fashion Fix 12:20 Holmes On Homes 13:10 Antiques Roadshow 14:05 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 14:50 Out Of The Frying Pan 15:40 Bargain Hunt 16:30 Chef At Home 16:55 Chef At Home 17:20 Antiques Roadshow 18:15 The Planners 19:10 Nigellissima 19:35 Come Dine With Me 20:30 Come Dine With Me 21:20 Antiques Roadshow 22:15 Bargain Hunt 23:00 The Planners 23:50 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

00:05 Gold Divers: Under The Ice 00:55 Survive That! 07:00 You Have Been Warned 07:50 Robson’s New Extreme Fishing Challenge 08:40 Fast N’ Loud 09:30 Border Security 09:55 Storage Hunters 10:20 Container Wars

10:45 How Do They Do It? 11:10 How Stuff’s Made 11:35 Fast N’ Loud 12:25 Classic Car Rescue 13:15 Overhaulin’ 2013 14:05 Border Security 14:30 Storage Hunters 14:55 Container Wars 15:20 Flying Wild Alaska 16:10 Fast N’ Loud 17:00 Ultimate Survival 17:50 Wheeler Dealers 18:40 You Have Been Warned 19:30 One Man Army 20:20 How Do They Do It? Turbo Specials 21:10 Storage Hunters 21:35 Container Wars 22:00 Gold Rush 22:50 Alaska Gold Diggers 23:40 Gold Divers

00:30 Bang Goes The Theory 01:00 Food Factory 01:25 How Tech Works 01:50 How The Universe Works 02:45 How The Universe Works 03:35 How The Universe Works 04:25 Alien Planet 05:15 Food Factory 05:40 How Tech Works 06:05 Bang Goes The Theory 06:30 Bang Goes The Theory 07:00 Sci-Fi Saved My Life 07:55 Storm Chasers 08:45 The Ipod Revolution 09:40 What’s That About? 10:30 Mega World 11:20 Alien Planet 12:10 Scrapheap Challenge 13:00 How Tech Works 13:30 The Ipod Revolution 14:20 Food Factory 14:45 How Tech Works 15:10 Scrapheap Challenge 16:00 Mega World 16:50 What’s That About? 17:40 Sci-Fi Saved My Life 18:30 Joe Rogan Questions Everything 19:20 The Gadget Show 19:45 How Tech Works 20:10 Mythbusters 21:00 Mega Builders 21:50 Kings Of Construction 22:40 Sci-Trek 23:30 Space Pioneer

00:00 00:20 00:45 01:05 01:30 01:50 02:15 02:35 03:00 03:20 03:45 04:05 04:30 04:50 05:15 05:35 06:00 06:25 06:45 07:10 07:35 07:55 08:20 08:45 09:05 09:55 10:15 10:40 12:15 12:35 13:00 13:25 13:45 14:10 14:35

The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody Jonas Jonas Suite Life On Deck Suite Life On Deck Wizards Of Waverly Place Wizards Of Waverly Place The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody Jonas Jonas Suite Life On Deck Suite Life On Deck Wizards Of Waverly Place Wizards Of Waverly Place Austin & Ally Dog With A Blog Suite Life On Deck A.N.T. Farm Wolfblood Gravity Falls That’s So Raven Suite Life On Deck Violetta Austin & Ally Austin & Ally Camp Rock Hannah Montana Hannah Montana Wizards Of Waverly Place Wizards Of Waverly Place A.N.T. Farm Jessie Dog With A Blog

15:00 15:25 15:50 16:10 17:00 17:20 17:40 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

Good Luck Charlie Austin & Ally Austin & Ally Violetta Dog With A Blog Austin & Ally Gravity Falls Jessie Good Luck Charlie A.N.T. Farm Violetta Jessie Good Luck Charlie Dog With A Blog Gravity Falls Shake It Up Austin & Ally A.N.T. Farm Good Luck Charlie Wizards Of Waverly Place Wizards Of Waverly Place

Rosario Dawson wants a Dolores Huerta movie

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00:00 Party On 00:30 The Spin Crowd 00:55 The Dance Scene 01:25 Style Star 01:50 Style Star 02:20 The E! True Hollywood Story 03:15 Extreme Close-Up 03:40 Extreme Close-Up 04:10 THS 05:05 E!ES 06:00 E!ES 07:50 Style Star 08:20 E! News 09:15 Opening Act 10:15 Married To Jonas 10:40 Chasing The Saturdays 11:10 Giuliana & Bill 12:05 E! News 13:05 Extreme Close-Up 13:35 E!ES 14:30 Style Star 15:00 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 16:00 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 17:00 The Drama Queen 18:00 E! News 19:00 THS 20:00 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 21:00 #RichKids Of Beverly Hills 21:30 #RichKids Of Beverly Hills 22:00 Hello Ross 22:30 Party On 23:00 E!ES

00:05 Miranda 00:35 The Jonathan Ross Show 01:30 Emmerdale 02:25 Coronation Street 02:55 The Adventurer’s Guide To Britain 03:25 Ant And Decs Saturday Night Takeaway 04:45 Holiday: Heaven On Earth 05:15 House Guest In The Sun 06:10 The Jonathan Ross Show 07:05 The Adventurer’s Guide To Britain 07:30 Foyle’s War 09:20 House Guest In The Sun 10:15 May The Best House Win 11:10 Emmerdale 12:00 Coronation Street 12:55 Miranda 13:25 House Guest In The Sun 14:20 May The Best House Win 15:10 The Adventurer’s Guide To Britain 15:35 The Chase 16:30 Please Marry My Boy 17:25 Miranda 17:50 Miranda 18:20 May The Best House Win 19:10 Coronation Street 20:00 Holiday: Heaven On Earth 20:30 Please Marry My Boy 21:25 Miranda 21:50 Miranda 22:20 Coronation Street 23:15 Emmerdale

THE BOURNE LEGACY ON OSN MOVIES HD ACTION

00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 Saturday Night Live 03:00 How I Met Your Mother 04:00 All Of Us 04:30 The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon 05:30 Better Off Ted 06:30 Arrested Development 07:00 Late Night With Seth Meyers 08:00 All Of Us 08:30 Better Off Ted 09:00 How I Met Your Mother 09:30 2 Broke Girls 10:30 Arrested Development 11:00 The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon 12:30 All Of Us 13:00 Better Off Ted 13:30 Arrested Development 14:00 How I Met Your Mother 14:30 2 Broke Girls 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 17:00 Late Night With Seth Meyers 18:00 How I Met Your Mother 19:00 2 Broke Girls 19:30 Trophy Wife 20:00 The Goldbergs 20:30 Parks And Recreation 21:00 The Daily Show Global Edition 22:00 Girls 22:30 Getting On 23:00 Ja’mie: Private School Girl 23:30 The Goldbergs

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

Top Gear (US) Supernatural Game Of Thrones Burn Notice Suits Last Resort Necessary Roughness Top Gear (US) Suits Burn Notice Emmerdale Coronation Street Necessary Roughness Emmerdale Coronation Street Betrayal Revenge The Blacklist Game Of Thrones

01:00 02:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 07:30 10:00 10:30 12:00 14:00 17:00

C.S.I. New York Good Morning America Rescue Me C.S.I. New York Good Morning America Emmerdale Coronation Street Emmerdale Coronation Street Royal Pains Live Good Morning America Royal Pains

00:00 Primal-18 02:00 Graystone-PG15 03:45 The Bourne Legacy-PG15 06:00 Swamp Shark-PG15 08:00 Grosse Pointe Blank-PG15 10:00 The Marine-PG15 12:00 Dangerous Attraction-PG15 14:00 Grosse Pointe Blank-PG15 16:00 Red Eye-PG15 18:00 Dangerous Attraction-PG15 20:00 Blown Away-PG15 22:15 Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter-18

SHADOW DANCER ON OSN MOVIES HD

00:00 Tough Guys-PG15 02:00 Ted-18

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

The Brothers Solomon-PG15 I Think I Do-PG15 The Big Year-PG Hit List-PG15 The Brothers Solomon-PG15 The Producers-PG15 Hit List-PG15 Ghostbusters II-PG Freeloaders-PG15 Tough Guys-PG15

01:00 Matching Jack-PG15 02:45 Les Miserables-PG15 05:30 Good Day For It-PG15 07:15 A Kiss At Midnight-PG15 09:00 Matching Jack-PG15 10:45 Les Miserables-PG15 13:30 Dark Horse-PG15 15:00 Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight-PG15 17:00 Carnage-PG15 19:00 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Pt. 2-PG15 21:00 The Bling Ring-18 23:00 Neds-PG15

01:30 Cleanskin-18 03:15 Sparkle-PG15 05:15 Shadow Dancer-PG15 07:00 The Field-PG15 09:00 Drew Peterson: Untouchable-PG15 11:00 No Surrender-PG15 13:00 Flower Girl-PG15 15:00 Hold Fast-PG15 17:00 No Surrender-PG15 19:00 96 Minutes-PG15 21:00 Things We Lost In The Fire 23:00 Idlewild-18

01:00 House At The End Of The Street-PG15 03:00 Shadow Dancer-PG15 05:00 Zambezia-PG 07:00 What To Expect When You’re Expecting-PG15 09:00 Bernie-PG15 11:00 The Guilt Trip-PG15 13:00 Sky Force-FAM 15:00 Class-PG15 17:00 Bernie-PG15 19:00 The Impossible-PG15 21:00 Django Unchained-18 23:45 The Possession-PG15

01:15 Angel’s Friends 02:45 Blue Elephant 2 04:30 Cher Ami 06:00 Angel’s Friends 08:00 Pacific Pirates 10:00 Wreck-It Ralph 11:45 Tom & Jerry: Robin Hood And His Merry Mouse 13:00 Angel’s Friends 14:30 The Ugly Duckling And Me 16:00 The Great Bear 18:00 Wreck-It Ralph 20:00 Fly Away Home 22:00 The Ugly Duckling And Me 23:30 The Great Bear

00:00 01:45 04:00 06:00 08:00 10:00 11:45 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00

The Runway-PG15 Jack Reacher-PG15 Now Is Good-PG15 Chimpanzee-PG Asterix And Obelix-PG15 3 Holiday Tails-PG Jack Reacher-PG15 The Wishing Well-PG15 Asterix And Obelix-PG15 Red Dawn-PG15 Alex Cross-PG15 Scary Movie 5-PG15

02:00 02:30 06:00 07:00 09:00 11:00 13:00 13:30 14:00 17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00

Futbol Mundial LPGA Tour Trans World Sport NRL Premiership NRL Premiership Live NRL Premiership ICC Cricket 360 Futbol Mundial HSBC Sevens World Series Trans World Sport Golfing World PGA Tour Highlights AFL Premiership Highlights Dubai World Cup Carnival

01:00 02:00 05:00 07:00 07:30 13:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 21:00 23:00

Bellator MMA 2014 HSBC Sevens World Series Top 14 Inside The PGA Tour PGA Tour Golfing World NRL Premiership NHL HSBC Sevens World Series WWE SmackDown AFL Premiership Highlights

00:30 ICC Cricket 360 01:00 ICC T20I World Cup 04:30 ICC Cricket 360 05:00 ICC World T20 Highlights 06:00 ICC World T20 Highlights 07:00 ICC Cricket 360 07:30 ICC Under 19 World Cup 2014 Highlights 08:30 Big Bash League Highlights 09:30 ICC Cricket 360 10:00 ICC World T20 Highlights 11:00 ICC World T20 Highlights 12:00 Live OSN Studio 12:30 Live ICC T20I World Cup 16:00 Live OSN Studio 16:30 Live ICC T20I World Cup 20:00 Live OSN Studio Post Match 20:30 ICC Cricket 360 21:00 ICC T20I World Cup

laying renowned civil rights activist Dolores Huerta in the new biopic “Cesar Chavez” doesn’t seem to be enough for Rosario Dawson. The actress, who knows and has worked with Huerta, would now like to bring her friend’s life to the screen. “I hope with the success of this film that there’s an opportunity to tell her story, ‘cause she’s still writing it, she’s still out there on the front lines doing the stuff,” Dawson said in a recent interview. After appearing in “Chavez,” which opens Friday, Dawson said she was “very much encouraged” to produce a story about Huerta. “I did so much research about her and it was just impossible - a lot of the stuff that we filmed didn’t even make it into the cut,” she said. Starring Michael Pena in the title role and America Ferrera as his wife, Helen, “Cesar Chavez” follows the Chicano activist as he builds the United Farm Workers union and eventually forces growers to sign contracts to better the working conditions of mostly Latino field laborers. “What’s really remarkable about this movie is that it really shows how women, specially his wife, were such a big part of (Chavez’s) life and how broad the community was of people that made this movement possible,” Dawson said. “He was a very sort of reluctant hero, he wasn’t the best orator, speaker, speechwriter or any of these different Actress Rosario Dawson things, but his message was really clear - he was speaking attends the premiere of for himself, for his family and Pantelion Films and Participant Media’s for the greater community.” ‘Cesar Chavez’ at TCL Huerta is just the opposite, Dawson said: “She is very Chinese Theatre on forthright, she is very in your March 20, 2014 in Los face, she would have no Angeles. — AP problem jumping into this meeting (saying) ‘I’ve never had any experience writing a contract before but I’m going in.’” “I think they really balance each other out and I think having women be such a huge part of the movement is what helped it to stay non-violent and I just really credit (director Diego Luna) for making a film that really shows how many people were part of it and specially those women.” Dawson first met Huerta a few years ago when they collaborated about the organization Voto Latino, which was co-founded by the actress to promote the Latino vote in the United States. Since then, they’ve kept in touch. Dawson has also worked with the Dolores Huerta Foundation. When Luna met Dawson to offer her the role, the actress wanted to know exactly what his intentions were. “I knew her and I loved her, so I was (like), ‘Why are you doing this film?’” she said, laughing. Then Huerta gave the casting her blessing and the deal was done. Dawson said the hardest part about playing Huerta was portraying someone who is still alive but also who she knows and admires deeply. “I have a tendency to gravitate toward stories like that ... (portraying) particularly strong women. I like playing women who make their presence known in their community,” said the star of films like “Sin City,” “Death Proof” and “Grindhouse.” “But it’s also been really fun over the years playing, you know, sick, soft, nervous and anxious. I find being vulnerable much more difficult to do for myself as a role.” — AP

Lady Gaga performs at closing Roseland Ballroom

File photo shows Lady Gaga, center, and R Kelly perform at the American Music Awards held at the Nokia Theatre LA Live, in Los Angeles. — AP 00:00 01:00 02:00 02:30 03:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 07:30 08:00 09:00 09:30 10:00 10:30 11:00 11:30 12:00 12:30 13:00 14:00 14:30 15:00 15:30 16:00 16:30 17:00 17:30 18:00 18:30 19:00 19:30 20:00 20:30 21:00 21:30 22:00 22:30 23:00

Ancient Aliens Pawn Stars UK Storage Wars: New York Storage Wars: New York Haunted History Swamp People Pawn Stars UK Ancient Aliens Storage Wars: New York Storage Wars: New York Ancient Aliens Storage Wars Texas Counting Cars Pawn Stars Pawn Stars Storage Wars Storage Wars Storage Wars: New York Storage Wars: New York Ancient Aliens Storage Wars Storage Wars Storage Wars: New York Storage Wars: New York Storage Wars: New York Storage Wars: New York Pawn Stars Pawn Stars Storage Wars Storage Wars Storage Wars: New York Storage Wars: New York Storage Wars Texas Storage Wars Texas Pawn Stars Storage Wars Pawn Stars Pawn Stars Pawn Stars UK

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ady Gaga celebrated her 28th birthday with an energetic but short concert at the Roseland Ballroom in her first of seven concerts at the closing venue. Gaga performed for an hour Friday night in front of a feverish crowd. She started with a slow version of “Born This Way” on piano, with the audience joining in. She followed that with the jams “Monster” and “Bad Romance.” She danced and sang on the side of the stage in a red tight leotard. “Thank you so much for spending my birthday with me,” she yelled to the audience, which included her actor-boyfriend Taylor Kinney and Nate Ruess, lead singer for the band Fun. Gaga was in top form as she sang nearly a dozen of her songs, including “Just Dance,” an acoustic version of “Poker Face,” and the recent hit “Applause.” The concert’s main surprise: It was too short. After she ended, fans waited for the pop star to hit the stage again. She never did. She performed some tracks from her recent album, “ARTPOP,” which has struggled to match the success of her other releases. But onstage, she showed no signs of slowing down. Gaga closed with the new single, “G.U.Y.,” now wearing an all-white ensemble (her sixth costume change for the night). “Thanks for making this the best birthday ever,” she said. The New York-born singer will perform six more shows at the Roseland Ballroom, helping close the famed venue that opened eight decades ago. Performers in the past have included The Rolling Stones, Madonna and Beyonce, who famously performed four shows in 2011 when she was pregnant. “How many New Yorkers are in here tonight?” Gaga asked early in the show. “Do you believe in love? Do you?” The Grammy winner kept the concert tame compared to her showcase at the South by Southwest festival this month, which featured a performance artist vomiting paint on her. She thanked her fans a number of times in between songs. “When I woke up this morning I was so happy,” she said. “I couldn’t wait to get here tonight. I have so many friends here ... so many fans I’ve grown up with for six whole years, seven whole years.” Before singing the song “Dope,” she added: “Thanks for keeping me alive.”Gaga’s final Roseland show is April 7. — AP


Classifieds MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

Kuwait SHARQIA-1 SABOTAGE (DIG) SABOTAGE (DIG) DIVERGENT (DIG) SABOTAGE (DIG) DIVERGENT (DIG) SABOTAGE (DIG) SHARQIA-2 MINUSCULE: VALLEY OF THE LOST ANTS (DIG) NEED FOR SPEED (DIG-3D) 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE (DIG-3D) NEED FOR SPEED (DIG-3D) NEED FOR SPEED (DIG-3D) CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (DIG-3D) NEED FOR SPEED (DIG-3D) SHARQIA-3 NON-STOP (DIG) BLOOD TIES (DIG) NON-STOP (DIG) BLOOD TIES (DIG) BLOOD TIES (DIG) NON-STOP (DIG) MUHALAB-1 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE (DIG) NON-STOP (DIG) BLOOD TIES (DIG) NON-STOP (DIG) BLOOD TIES (DIG) CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (DIG)

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

12:30 PM 2:30 PM 5:00 PM 7:00 PM 9:30 PM 9:45 PM 12:05 AM 1:30 PM 3:45 PM 6:00 PM 8:15 PM 10:30 PM 12:45 AM 12:30 PM 2:30 PM 4:45 PM 7:00 PM 9:30 PM 9:30 PM

MUHALAB-2 NEED FOR SPEED (DIG) NEED FOR SPEED (DIG) LEGEND (DIG) (Telugu) LAMO AKHZA (DIG) (Arabic) NEED FOR SPEED (DIG)

2:00 PM 4:30 PM 4:30 PM 7:45 PM 9:45 PM

MUHALAB-3 SABOTAGE (DIG) DIVERGENT (DIG) SABOTAGE (DIG) DIVERGENT (DIG) SABOTAGE (DIG)

12:30 PM 2:30 PM 5:15 PM 7:15 PM 10:00 PM

FANAR-1 NON-STOP (DIG) MR. PEABODY & SHERMAN (DIG) NON-STOP (DIG) FACTORY GIRL (DIG) (Arabic) FACTORY GIRL (DIG) (Arabic) NON-STOP (DIG)

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

FANAR-3 SABOTAGE (DIG) SABOTAGE (DIG) DIVERGENT (DIG) SABOTAGE (DIG) DIVERGENT (DIG) SABOTAGE (DIG)

1:00 PM 3:00 PM 5:00 PM 7:45 PM 9:45 PM 12:30 AM

FANAR-4 NEED FOR SPEED (DIG) 2:15 PM 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE (DIG) 4:45 PM NEED FOR SPEED (DIG) 6:45 PM NEED FOR SPEED (DIG) 9:15 PM CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (DIG3D) 9:15 PM NEED FOR SPEED (DIG) 11:45 PM

KNCC PROGRAMME FROM THURSDAY TO WEDNESDAY (27/03/2014 TO 02/04/2014) FANAR-5 BLOOD TIES (DIG) HAUNT (DIG) THE DOUBLE (DIG) BLOOD TIES (DIG) NO WED BLOOD TIES (DIG) NO WED BLOOD TIES (DIG) NO SUN+TUE+WED CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (DIG) CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (DIG)

1:45 PM 4:00 PM 6:00 PM 8:00 PM 10:30 PM 12:45 AM 8:00 PM 10:45 PM

MARINA-1 NON-STOP (DIG) BLOOD TIES (DIG) NON-STOP (DIG) BLOOD TIES (DIG) NON-STOP (DIG) BLOOD TIES (DIG) NO SUN+TUE+WED

12:30 PM 2:45 PM 5:00 PM 7:15 PM 9:30 PM 11:45 PM

MARINA-2 SABOTAGE (DIG) DIVERGENT (DIG) SABOTAGE (DIG) DIVERGENT (DIG) SABOTAGE (DIG) CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (DIG) DIVERGENT (DIG) NO SUN+TUE+WED

12:45 PM 2:45 PM 5:45 PM 7:45 PM 10:30 PM 10:30 PM 12:30 AM

MARINA-3 NEED FOR SPEED (DIG-3D) NEED FOR SPEED (DIG-3D) FACTORY GIRL (DIG) (Arabic) NEED FOR SPEED (DIG-3D) NEED FOR SPEED (DIG-3D) CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (DIG-3D) NEED FOR SPEED (DIG-3D) AVENUES-1 MINUSCULE: VALLEY OF THE LOST ANTS (DIG) 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE (DIG) LEGEND (DIG) (Telugu) 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE (DIG) LEGEND (DIG) (Telugu) LEGEND (DIG) (Telugu) 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE (DIG)

12:30 PM 3:00 PM 5:30 PM 7:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:00 PM 12:45 AM

2:00 PM 4:00 PM 4:00 PM 7:00 PM 7:00 PM 10:00 PM 1:00 AM

AVENUES-2 FACTORY GIRL (DIG) (Arabic) FACTORY GIRL (DIG) (Arabic) FACTORY GIRL (DIG) (Arabic) FACTORY GIRL (DIG) (Arabic) FACTORY GIRL (DIG) (Arabic) FACTORY GIRL (DIG) (Arabic) NO SUN+TUE+WED

2:15 PM 4:30 PM 6:45 PM 9:00 PM 11:15 PM 1:15 AM

AVENUES-3 NON-STOP (DIG) NON-STOP (DIG) 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE (DIG) NON-STOP (DIG) NON-STOP (DIG) NON-STOP (DIG) NO SUN+TUE+WED

1:15 PM 3:30 PM 5:45 PM 8:00 PM 10:15 PM 12:30 AM

AVENUES-4 DIVERGENT (DIG)

2:15 PM

DIVERGENT (DIG) NON-STOP (DIG) DIVERGENT (DIG) NON-STOP (DIG) CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (DIG) WED CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (DIG) 360ยบ- 1 DIVERGENT (DIG) DIVERGENT (DIG) DIVERGENT (DIG) NO WED DIVERGENT (DIG) NO SUN+TUE+WED CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (DIG) CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (DIG) 360ยบ- 2 FACTORY GIRL (DIG) (Arabic) FACTORY GIRL (DIG) (Arabic) FACTORY GIRL (DIG) (Arabic) FACTORY GIRL (DIG) (Arabic) FACTORY GIRL (DIG) (Arabic) FACTORY GIRL (DIG) (Arabic)

5:15 PM 8:15 PM 10:30 PM 1:15 AM 8:00 PM 10:45 PM 2:00 PM 5:00 PM 8:00 PM 11:00 PM 8:00 PM 10:45 PM 1:00 PM 3:15 PM 5:30 PM 7:45 PM 10:00 PM 12:15 AM

360ยบ- 3 BLOOD TIES (DIG) BLOOD TIES (DIG) BLOOD TIES (DIG) BLOOD TIES (DIG) BLOOD TIES (DIG) AL-KOUT.1 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE (DIG) NEED FOR SPEED (DIG) NEED FOR SPEED (DIG) 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE (DIG) NEED FOR SPEED (DIG) CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (DIG) NEED FOR SPEED (DIG)

9:30 PM 12:05 AM

AL-KOUT.2 DIVERGENT (DIG) FACTORY GIRL (DIG) (Arabic) DIVERGENT (DIG) FACTORY GIRL (DIG) (Arabic) DIVERGENT (DIG)

2:00 PM 4:45 PM 7:00 PM 9:45 PM 11:45 PM

AL-KOUT.3 NON-STOP (DIG) NON-STOP (DIG) SABOTAGE (DIG) NON-STOP (DIG) SABOTAGE (DIG) SABOTAGE (DIG)

1:45 PM 4:00 PM 6:15 PM 8:15 PM 10:30 PM 12:30 AM

AL-KOUT.4 BLOOD TIES (DIG) BLOOD TIES (DIG) HAUNT (DIG) BLOOD TIES (DIG) BLOOD TIES (DIG) HAUNT (DIG)

1:00 PM 3:30 PM 5:45 PM 7:45 PM 10:00 PM 12:15 AM

BAIRAQ-1 SABOTAGE (DIG) NEED FOR SPEED (DIG-3D) SABOTAGE (DIG) NEED FOR SPEED (DIG-3D)

1:15 PM 3:15 PM 5:45 PM 7:45 PM

2:15 PM 4:30 PM 6:45 PM 9:00 PM 11:15 PM 12:30 PM 2:30 PM 5:00 PM 7:30 PM 9:30 PM

SITUATION VACANT An experienced person seeks an opening in accounts/stores. Call 97835420. (C 468) 31-3-2014 Lady Indian physiotherapist B.PT, M.Sc (UK) 4 years experience, transferable visa, ready to join. Please call 99651572. (C 4677) 27-3-2014 MATRIMONIAL Marriage proposal for Marathomite girl 26 years B/B in Kuwait (Ms) well placed in Kuwait. Proposals from Marthomite boys qualified and well placed in Kuwait or GCC countries. Email: jennitthomas@yahoo.co.in (C 4678) 27-3-2014

kitchen and internet facility. Contact: 97523316 / 24745162. (C 4676) 27-3-2014

FOR SALE Doctor selling Mitsubishi Gallant model 2013, done only 14000 km, like new, 4 cyl, for KD 3250 only (new KD 5400) & Jaguar X 2.50 model 2002, done only 83000 km, very good, leather seats for KD 950 only. Tel: 66572082. (C 4679) 29-3-2014

No: 16121

ACCOMMODATION Accommodation available in Kuwait city (Maliya) bed space/sharing room available for decent Goan bachelor from 1st April with kitchen facility. Contact: 50195621. 31-3-2014 Abraq-Khaitan bed space/sharing room available for decent Goan/Indian bachelor in two bedroom flat, beside the main road and bus stop. Near police station roundabout, from 1st May with

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (www.kuwait-airport.com.kw)

Airlines QTR JZR JZR JZR MSC ETH RJA GFA UAE ETD JAI THY FDB CEB MSR QTR MSC FDB DHX FDB KAC BAW JZR FDB KAC KAC QTR IRA UAE KAC ABY KAC ETD KAC FDB KAC QTR SYR THY GFA IRC MEA MSC JZR FDB JZR THY FDB UAE MSR THY KAC QTR

Arrival Flights on Monday 31/3/2014 Flt Route 1084 Doha 239 Amman 267 Beirut 539 Cairo 403 Asyut 422 Addis Ababa 642 Amman 211 Bahrain 853 Dubai 305 Abu Dhabi 576 Kochi/Abu Dhabi 764 Istanbul 067 Dubai 7694 Manila 612 Cairo 1076 Doha 401 Alexandria 077 Dubai 170 Bahrain 069 Dubai 412 Manila/Bangkok 157 London 503 Luxor 053 Dubai 206 Islamabad 302 Mumbai 1086 Doha 667 Esfahan 855 Dubai 362 Colombo 125 Sharjah 284 Dhaka 301 Abu Dhabi 344 Chennai 055 Dubai 352 Kochi 1070 Doha 341 Damascus 772 Istanbul 213 Bahrain 6521 Lamerd 404 Beirut 405 Sohag 165 Dubai 065 Dubai 561 Sohag 770 Istanbul 071 Dubai 871 Dubai 610 Cairo 766 Istanbul 538 Sohag 1078 Doha

Time 00:05 00:20 00:25 00:30 01:30 01:45 01:45 01:55 02:25 02:30 02:35 02:40 03:05 03:10 03:15 03:25 04:00 04:15 05:10 05:50 06:15 06:35 07:40 07:45 07:50 07:50 07:55 08:20 08:25 08:45 08:50 08:55 09:30 09:35 09:35 09:55 10:00 10:05 10:20 10:40 10:50 10:55 11:20 11:50 11:55 12:00 12:25 12:35 12:45 13:00 13:10 13:40 13:45

FDB GFA SVA KNE FDB KAC KAC ABY OMA KNE FDB KAC QTR RJA ETD NIA UAE FDB SVA GFA FDB JZR JZR KAC QTR KAC KAC FDB KAC ABY GFA KAC KAC JAI OMA FDB DLH MEA MSR AXB FDB ALK UAE ETD QTR GFA JZR FDB KNE AIC TAR JZR BBC PIA JAI KLM

057 221 500 472 081 788 562 127 645 460 051 118 1072 640 303 251 857 073 510 215 075 177 777 542 1080 786 104 063 618 129 217 774 674 572 647 061 634 402 618 489 079 229 859 307 1074 219 135 059 480 975 327 185 043 205 574 411

Dubai Bahrain Jeddah Jeddah Dubai Jeddah Amman Sharjah Muscat Jeddah Dubai New York Doha Amman Abu Dhabi Alexandria Dubai Dubai Riyadh Bahrain Dubai Dubai Jeddah Cairo Doha Jeddah London Dubai Doha Sharjah Bahrain Riyadh Dubai Mumbai Muscat Dubai Frankfurt Beirut Alexandria Kochi/Mangalore Dubai Colombo Dubai Abu Dhabi Doha Bahrain Bahrain Dubai Taif Chennai/Goa Tunis Dubai Dhaka Lahore/Peshawar Mumbai Amsterdam/Dammam

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

Airlines AIC JAI UAL BBC PIA JZR MSC ETH UAE FDB MSR ETD QTR CEB MSC FDB QTR JZR THY JAI FDB RJA GFA JZR KAC BAW FDB QTR IRA ABY KAC UAE ETD FDB KAC QTR SYR THY KAC GFA IRC KAC MEA JZR MSC KAC FDB KAC JZR FDB THY MSR THY

Departure Flights on Monday 31/3/2014 Flt Route 982 Ahmedabad/Hyderabad/Chennai 573 Mumbai 981 IAD 044 Chittagong/Dhaka 206 Peshawar/Lahore 502 Luxor 404 Asyut 422 Dammam/Addis Ababa 854 Dubai 068 Dubai 613 Cairo 306 Abu Dhabi 1077 Doha 7695 Manila 406 Sohag 078 Dubai 1085 Doha 560 Sohag 765 Istanbul 575 Abu Dhabi/Kochi 070 Dubai 643 Amman 212 Bahrain 164 Dubai 537 Sohag 156 London 054 Dubai 1087 Doha 666 Esfahan 126 Sharjah 787 Jeddah 856 Dubai 302 Abu Dhabi 056 Dubai 561 Amman 1071 Doha 342 Damascus 773 Istanbul 541 Cairo 214 Bahrain 6522 Lamerd 165 Rome/Paris 405 Beirut 776 Jeddah 402 Alexandria 103 London 066 Dubai 785 Jeddah 176 Dubai 072 Dubai 771 Istanbul 611 Cairo 767 Istanbul

DIAL161 FOR AIRPORT INFORMATION

Time 00:05 00:20 00:25 00:35 01:00 01:30 02:30 02:35 03:45 03:45 04:15 04:20 04:25 04:40 05:00 05:00 05:20 05:35 06:00 06:30 06:30 06:35 07:00 07:15 08:00 08:25 08:25 08:55 09:20 09:30 09:35 09:50 10:15 10:15 10:15 11:00 11:05 11:20 11:30 11:35 11:40 11:45 11:55 12:15 12:20 12:30 12:40 13:00 13:10 13:15 13:25 14:00 14:10

UAE FDB QTR GFA KAC KAC KNE FDB SVA KAC ABY FDB KNE OMA JZR RJA QTR FDB JZR ETD NIA UAE SVA JZR GFA FDB JZR JZR QTR FDB ABY GFA KAC JAI FDB KAC OMA KAC MEA MSR AXB DHX FDB ETD ALK UAE KNE QTR FDB KAC GFA KAC KAC TAR

872 058 1079 222 673 617 473 082 501 773 128 052 481 646 266 641 1073 074 538 304 252 858 511 184 216 076 238 134 1081 064 120 218 283 571 062 331 648 351 403 619 490 171 080 308 230 860 461 1075 060 301 220 205 411 327

Dubai Dubai Doha Bahrain Dubai Doha Jeddah Dubai Jeddah Riyadh Sharjah Dubai Jeddah Muscat Beirut Amman Doha Dubai Cairo Abu Dhabi Alexandria Dubai Riyadh Dubai Bahrain Dubai Amman Bahrain Doha Dubai Sharjah Bahrain Dhaka Mumbai Dubai Trivandrum Muscat Kochi Beirut Alexandria Mangalore/Kochi Bahrain Dubai Abu Dhabi Colombo Dubai Riyadh Doha Dubai Mumbai Bahrain Islamabad Bangkok/Manila Dubai/Tunis

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


34

stars CROSSWORD 503

STAR TRACK Aries (March 21-April 19) It is difficult to stay inside today. This may mean chores inside keep you from the beauty of the out-of-doors but more than likely it is just that the responsibilities of this day seem to multiply and you would rather be somewhere else; join the club. When you stop to take a break, walk away from your project and chat a while with friends or family. You may find that a card game has developed or some of your friends are up for a little ball game after you finish your project or work. Whatever the case, these friends keep you enthusiastic about completing whatever task is at hand; they may even help you. A great adventure may be in the works for later this year. Meanwhile, smile at the camera-there are a lot of worthwhile memories. Happy birthday!

Taurus (April 20-May 20) This can be one of your better days for communication and understanding. Out-of-town friends or distant family may want to visit with you and your new family. If your home or family is not equipped to handle company, perhaps a meeting place between cities can make available a get-together. Another way to handle out-of-town guests might be to pay for half the cost of a motel room. You may be of tremendous help to a stranger or neighbor today. Get outside, weather permitting, and take a walk. This will help to give your thoughts a good focus. Taking care of personal business is a major theme this afternoon. Good news comes to you from a long-distance call. You may reflect sweet romantic interests today.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

ACROSS 1. Tag the base runner to get him out. 4. Grass of the eastern United States and tropical America having spikelets enclosed in prickly burs. 12. Being nine more than eighty. 15. A self-funded retirement plan that allows you to contribute a limited yearly sum toward your retirement. 16. A flat rectangular paper container for papers. 17. Being ten more than one hundred thirty. 18. Having three dimensions. 19. North American yellow-breasted songbirds. 21. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 22. A genus of Psittacidae. 25. Harsh or corrosive in tone. 26. An official prosecutor for a judicial district. 28. (music) A notation written at the beginning or end of a passage that is to be repeated. 31. An ancient Hebrew unit of dry measure equal to about a bushel. 34. Goddess of spring and wife of Bragi. 39. A member of the Siouan people formerly living in the Missouri river valley in NE Nebraska. 41. The right to take another's property if an obligation is not discharged. 42. Capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. 44. A unit of acoustic absorption equivalent to the absorption by a square foot of a surface that absorbs all incident sound. 45. An Asian river. 47. A kiln for drying hops. 49. (computer science) A coding system that incorporates extra parity bits in order to detect errors. 50. A radioactive element of the actinide series. 51. Queen of the Olympian gods in ancient Greek mythology. 53. (British slang) Cafe. 58. Gum resin used especially in treating skin irritation. 60. Primitive chlorophyll-containing mainly aquatic eukaryotic organisms lacking true stems and roots and leaves. 61. The month following July and preceding September. 62. A French abbot. 64. The branch of computer science that deal with writing computer programs that can solve problems creatively. 70. English theoretical physicist who applied relativity theory to quantum mechanics and predicted the existence of antimatter and the positron (1902-1984). 72. Rock that in its molten form (as magma) issues from volcanos. 74. Sour or bitter in taste. 75. American prizefighter who won the world heavyweight championship three times (born in 1942). 76. Be earlier in time. 79. A zodiacal constellation in northern hemisphere between Cancer and Virgo. 80. The last (12th) month of the year. 81. A great raja. 82. A device for creating a current of air by movement of a surface or surfaces. DOWN 1. A rechargeable battery with a nickel

cathode and a cadmium anode. 2. A popular island resort in the Netherlands Antilles. 3. A small cake leavened with yeast. 4. Small yellowish- to reddish-brown pear. 5. An associate degree in nursing. 6. A state in the western United States. 7. 1 species. 8. A thin strip (wood or metal). 9. Forming a continuous series of pores. 10. Activity involved in maintaining something in good working order. 11. A rare heavy polyvalent metallic element that resembles manganese chemically and is used in some alloys. 12. Small tropical American tree bearing edible plumlike fruit. 13. Being two more than twenty. 14. Wearing or provided with clothing. 20. The capital of Bahrain. 23. A colorless and odorless inert gas. 24. A metric unit of length equal to 1000 meters (or 0.621371 miles). 27. The fleshy part of the human body that you sit on. 29. A mental representation of some haunting experience. 30. Two items of the same kind. 32. Affectedly trendy. 33. A high-kicking dance of French origin performed by a female chorus line. 35. Deciduous shrub of North America. 36. Enlarged prostate. 37. A trivalent metallic element of the rare earth group. 38. The cardinal number that is the sum of four and one. 40. At right angles to the length of a ship or airplane. 43. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 46. A metallic element having four allotropic forms. 48. The capital and largest city of Yemen. 52. Possessing or using or characteristic of or appropriate to supernatural powers. 54. Artifact made by weaving or felting or knitting or crocheting natural or synthetic fibers. 55. Any wingless blood-sucking parasitic insect noted for ability to leap. 56. A white soft metallic element that tarnishes readily. 57. A healthy state of wellbeing free from disease. 59. The southern part of the ancient Palestine succeeding the kingdom of Judah. 63. A digestive juice secreted by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. 65. The United Nations agency concerned with atomic energy. 66. (Greek mythology) Goddess of the earth and mother of Cronus and the Titans in ancient mythology. 67. (British colloquialism) An excavation. 68. A particular geographical region of indefinite boundary (usually serving some special purpose or distinguished by its people or culture or geography). 69. Very dark black. 71. A rotating disk shaped to convert circular into linear motion. 73. A magnetic tape recorder for recording (and playing back) TV programs. 77. A silvery soft waxy metallic element of the alkali metal group. 78. A person who announces and plays popular recorded music.

MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

Changes are in the air and you are looking forward to positive results. This is one of your better days for money. You will be successful-do not push too hard. Throughout today you will receive the best results for your efforts if you practice patience and perseverance. If you are thinking about a job in your home, think about the service industry. Consider doing business and research for people and agencies that do not have the time to do this work for themselves. This is one of your best business-development times. If you are artistic, allow your dreams and imagination to reach into areas that you have not explored. Regardless of your special talents, music and imagination can take you into levels of consciousness you have never reached before.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) Taking care of business is a major theme where your emotional orientation is concerned. You crave organization and practicality and you want to get things accomplished. Outer circumstances tend to work in your favor. You may find that you are more organized than before, able to reach new levels of self-discipline. This can be a smooth time during which events seem to arrange themselves to your advantage. Lunchtime spent with old friends may put you in a new light with co-workers. Your sense of humor is obvious this afternoon. Others may find you especially witty. People value you for your independence and unique qualities. This evening is a good time to socialize or enjoy the company of a loved one.

Leo (July 23-August 22) Your organizational skills come into play this morning and help you to complete a difficult project. Your intuition will lead you into important directions. A co-worker may come to visit or perhaps this person goes to the same religious setting that you attend. Listening and sharing can be most beneficial. Time spent in a restaurant is a fun time later today. Influential people are around you and will help you-if you need it. Now is the time to believe in yourself and move forward with your ideas. Your birth sign shows that advancement in the workplace will happen soon but you must be on the watch. The beginning of next week is a good time to take notes and make your professional desires known. If you miss this opportunity, there will be another one.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) As you help someone today with advice as well as your sympathy, you will be helping yourself. Rewards are for the taking at this time. You may, however, need to think things over before you sign on a dotted line. Someone will pay back a debt they owe you, or some positive monetary results are realized from a past financial investment. Also, recent improvement within the company that you own or for which you work creates an opportunity for travel. Discussions of where, when and how you might travel will become the topic of conversation with family and friends. It is time now to tend to the family. This evening is excellent for taking part in family activities. When you walk your dog this evening, try a different path. Count your blessings.

Libra (September 23-October 22) Your psychic senses are in focus today. Your creative side is active and you could come up with some wonderful ideas that will bring monetary rewards. You may perceive how to proceed with plans and decisions regarding your life situation. The romantic side in you is in full bloom. This is not the best time to engage in strenuous activity, however. Your mind is quickened, making you receptive to all external stimuli. Be practical and diplomatic in your discussions with loved ones. Take care when interacting with friends-you could be overly critical-as a critic rates a movie. You may find yourself serving to guide someone younger than you in matters of importance this evening. When you are determined to listen, you make a very good counselor.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) This is a productive day. You could be most persuasive with others and can strategize to everyone’s benefit. You may have difficulty concentrating on mundane things-but, your psychic awareness is enhanced and you will intuitively know what is being asked of you. You may find yourself relating to new people around you as though you have known them for a very long time. This is also a good time to help or just be with your friends. You draw emotional sustenance and a sense of security from ideals, friends and social involvement at this time. You will probably be happy to know that your love relationship is improving and developing nicely.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Today is a great time to be with others and to work together. Work, health, diet and the other things that take care of us if we take care of them can provide a lot of satisfaction. These things can lead to love and a new self-image, if you stick with them. This is a time to consolidate your friendships-strengthen them before they wither away. You may find a good opportunity to help someone today that gave you some help in the past. Spending some time with close or old friends is advisable this afternoonstep outside the usual routine. A neighbor or sibling could undergo some kind of transformation, or your neighborhood may be in a redevelopment phase. Relaxation techniques are most important throughout this next week.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) Taking care of some personal business is a major theme where your emotional orientation is concerned. You crave organization and practicality and you want to get things accomplished. Sometime today you may be looking for intellectual stimulation in your reading material. This could mean you get a library card or go to a bookstore. You feel healthy and natural and have the opportunity to accomplish a great deal at this time. You may be redesigning or rescheduling some of your activities. You are the one others depend on and trust. Taking responsibility in helping to accomplish some of your family goals is an important act now. There could be a new home or new property near a lake in the near future.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Your personal life calls for the solving of challenges. It takes little time for your analytical mind to move through the problems. You will be able to tackle tasks that require real discipline. You could find that you are appreciated or valued for your ability to respond where you are needed. This is a good day for building confidences! Changes in the neighborhood may get on your nerves this evening. This may mean a new music group is beginning to set up practice periods or someone has a new puppy in their backyard. These things have a way of ironing out and you try to pay attention to whatever is going on in your own home. Others may want to fill your free time with what they think you should do. Consider a movie for this evening.

Pisces (February 19-March 20) At home today, you have quick answers, great wit and a surplus of insights and solutions for whatever problem may exist. Today is a good time to write and communicate with real originality. All sorts of inventions, poetry, short stories, creative ideas and breakthroughs are possible. You have a knack for dealing with the public and may find yourself called upon to stop what you are doing and help a neighbor with a difficulty. You could easily reach an important political status this year . . . Keep good notes of the complaints citizens make and the needs they have. The work you have done toward reducing your debts has been successful and will continue to be successful-don’t give up, you are almost there.

Yesterday’s Solution Daily SuDoku

Yesterday’s Solution


MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

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

24812000

Amiri Hospital

22450005

Maternity Hospital

24843100

Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital

25312700

Chest Hospital

24849400

Farwaniya Hospital

24892010

Adan Hospital

23940620

Ibn Sina Hospital

24840300

Al-Razi Hospital

24846000

Physiotherapy Hospital

24874330/9

PHARMACY

ADDRESS

PHONE

Ahmadi

Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan

Fahaeel Makka St Abu Halaifa-Coastal Rd Mahboula Block 1, Coastal Rd

23915883 23715414 23726558

Jahra

Modern Jahra Madina Munawara

Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92

24575518 24566622

Capital

Ahlam Khaldiya Coop

Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop

22436184 24833967

Farwaniya

New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan

Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11

24734000 24881201 24726638

Tariq Hana Ikhlas Hawally & Rawdha Ghadeer Kindy Ibn Al-Nafis Mishrif Coop Salwa Coop

Salmiya-Hamad Mubarak St Salmiya-Amman St Hawally-Beirut St Hawally & Rawdha Coop Jabriya-Block 1A Jabriya-Block 3B Salmiya-Hamad Mubarak St Mishrif Coop Salwa Coop

25726265 25647075 22625999 22564549 25340559 25326554 25721264 25380581 25628241

Hawally

Al-Madeena

22418714

Al-Shuhada

22545171

Al-Shuwaikh

24810598

Al-Nuzha

22545171

Sabhan

24742838

Al-Helaly

22434853

Al-Faiha

22545051

Al-Farwaniya

24711433

Al-Sulaibikhat

24316983

Al-Fahaheel

23927002

Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh

24316983

Ahmadi

23980088

Al-Mangaf

23711183

Al-Shuaiba

23262845

Kaizen center

25716707

Rawda

22517733

Adaliya

22517144

Al-Jahra

25610011

Khaldiya

24848075

Al-Salmiya

25616368

Kaifan

24849807

Shamiya

24848913

Shuwaikh

24814507

Abdullah Salem

22549134

Nuzha

22526804

Industrial Shuwaikh

24814764

Qadsiya

22515088

Dasmah

22532265

Bneid Al-Gar

22531908

Shaab

22518752

Qibla

22459381

Ayoun Al-Qibla

22451082

Mirqab

22456536

Sharq

22465401

Salmiya

25746401

Jabriya

25316254

Maidan Hawally

25623444

Bayan

25388462

Mishref

25381200

W Hawally

22630786

Sabah

24810221

Jahra

24770319

New Jahra

24575755

West Jahra

24772608

South Jahra

24775066

North Jahra

24775992

North Jleeb

24311795

Ardhiya

24884079

Firdous

24892674

Omariya

24719048

N Khaitan

24710044

Fintas

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MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

lifestyle G o s s i p

Cameron Diaz can be ‘incredibly vain’

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he ‘The Other Woman’ star admits she has to remind herself not to focus on how she looks, but claims she doesn’t care if her fans see unflattering photographs of her. The 41-year-old actress told the May issue of Glamour magazine: “I have very little vanity - but at the same time I’m incredibly vain. If I see a bad picture of myself in a magazine, I don’t care. I’m, like, whatever. But it’s a funny thing being out in the world in the way that I am. You really have to keep yourself in check because it’s easy to lose your head.” The blonde beauty doesn’t mind getting older and is excited about taking on different roles in Hollywood. She said: “Now that I’m getting older, people have stopped asking me about proving myself and started asking me whether I’m worried that I won’t get any interesting roles any more - when, actually, older roles are the best they weren’t really ever. They were just being objectified.”

Kristin Cavallari

Kylie Minogue struggles with ‘commitment’

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he ‘I Should Be So Lucky’ singer - who broke up with her boyfriend of five years, Andres Velencoso, last year - has admitted she doesn’t like the idea of “being boxed into anything”, preferring to have her freedom. She is quoted in The Sun on Sunday newspaper as saying: “I am not the greatest with commitment. “I don’t like being boxed into anything - thoughts, clothes, being told what you are meant to do. I’m not the most naturally committed person.” Kylie revealed she broke off her romance with Andres after having an “epiphany”. She explained: “I had a true epiphany. I had a vision of a horizon with nothing on it. “Our lives never have nothing on the horizon, there is always something you are looking forward to or dreading, but there was nothing there. “I felt very calm and knew in that moment that I needed a new landscape.” Kylie also admitted she still finds it tough to talk about breast cancer - after getting the disease in 2005 and then undergoing successful treatment - and described it as “the complete unknown”. Speaking on Norwegian TV, she said: “I find it difficult. I can’t talk about it for fives minutes and then it is done. “It’s a huge experience that does go on ... You don’t want to have that experience but your life is richer because your body has gone through terror. “I’d never experienced that - the complete unknown.”

kept old shoes

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ristin Cavallari still has the first pair of Christian Louboutin heels she bought when she was a teenager. The 27-year-old former ‘Hills’ star - who is expecting her second child with husband Jay Cutler - cherishes her first pair of the designer’s shoes as they bring back happy memories for her. She said: “The oldest thing in my closet is the first pair of Louboutins that I bought when I was 18. I remember being so excited. They are simple, black open toe pumps.” While she’s nostalgic for some things she had as a teenager, blonde Kristin - who is already mother to son Camden, 19 months - would rather forget the time she dyed her hair dark. She added to Life and Style magazine: “A moment I’d like to forget is when I dyed my hair black in high school. It looked awful and ruined my hair. I had to strip my hair and then have it dark brown and slowly work my way back to blonde.” When it comes to style, the fashion designer looks to British model Kate Moss for inspiration because “she always looks so effortless and chic.”

Rihanna and Drake aren’t official

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ihanna and Drake aren’t officially girlfriend and boyfriend. The duo have been dating exclusively for a number of weeks and were photographed holding hands in London earlier this week, but reportedly haven’t put a label on their relationship yet. A source close to the 26-year-old beauty told HollywoodLife.com that she is very “happy” that the ‘Hold On, We’re Going Home’ hitmaker, 27, “belongs to her” but they are in no rush to discuss their romance. The insider explained: “She’s just happy to be in his presence and wanted by him. “Nothing is official in terms of their relationship but they’re still dating and sleeping with each other exclusively. You’ll see them out and about, holding hands and being all lovey dovey these days. It’s no secret that he belongs to her and she to him but as far as them coming out and being like, ‘Oh hey, look at us, it’s official,’ who knows when that’s going to happen?” A source previously claimed the ‘Stay’ hitmaker is besotted with the Canadian star because he treats her so much better than her ex-boyfriend Chris Brown, and they have been headed towards a relationship for a long while following their brief fling in 2009. The friend said: “Rihanna and Drake really have this chemistry and vibe with one another and that’s something they can’t explain. They’re both kind of infatuated with each other.”

Longoria doesn’t need a baby

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Martin hopes he and Paltrow can ‘rediscover’ love

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hris Martin hopes he and Gwyneth Paltrow can “rediscover” their love for one another. The Coldplay singer - whose split from the actress was announced on Tuesday is said to be keen to work on their relationship in an attempt to save their 10-year marriage. A source told the Sunday Mirror newspaper: “Chris still loves Gwyneth and would still like the marriage to survive. “He hopes they might be able to rediscover what they had years ago and would love to rebuild their relationship back to what it once was.” It has also emerged that the two former lovers plan to live in their Miami home, but in separate wings. Meanwhile, the pair were spotted having dinner with friends just days after announcing their split. Speaking to The Sun on Sunday newspaper, an insider said: “You would never have guessed they had just split up. They looked like they were getting on OK, but perhaps it was a little strained. “Chris seemed in good form and was telling lots of jokes. Gwyneth pulled a few faces but it was all in good spirits.”

Swift buys $20 million penthouse

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aylor Swift has reportedly snapped up two new penthouses in New York City for $20 million. The 24-year-old singer sparked rumors she quietly purchased ‘Lord of the Rings’ director Peter Jackson’s lavish apartments in the TriBeCa area, after being spotted going in and out of the upscale building regularly in recent days. A source told Celebuzz that the ‘Red’ hitmaker began hunting for a house in the city in January and removal men were seen moving furniture into the building, in which Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen also reside, this week. New Zealand-native Peter put his apartments in the 11unit building on the market last May for $20 million and, according to official property records, he finally sold them to a mystery buyer last month. The filmmaker bought both top floor residences in 2008 for $17.35 million. He knocked down the walls to create one huge home, with 10 bedrooms and nine bathrooms, and originally listed it as one unit last year. However after failing to attract a buyer, he separated the space into two properties again and put them on the market for $14.85 million and $5.1 million. The records show that both homes were sold on the same day for $19.95 million to one mystery buyer, rumored to be the young country singer. Another listing in the building sold for $6 million recently but an insider insisted Taylor was not the buyer. The blonde beauty, who is said to be worth over $220 million, paid $11 million in cash for her mansion in Rhode Island, New England, in 2012.

va Longoria isn’t sure if she will have children. Latin America’s Televisa media company, since the end of last year, has always wanted to have a family but admits she would only consider having a baby with the right man. She told Parade magazine: “I’ve always wanted a family. I believe in family. But children are a product of love. So I don’t think I’ll go off and have a baby by myself. I do not have that need to procreate.” The ‘Devious Maids’ producer is “attracted to humor and intellect in a man” and hinted her new relationship is going very well. She said: “Let me tell you, I’m very lucky in my life.” The former ‘Desperate Housewives’ star is set to turn 40 next March and isn’t upset about reaching the milestone. She said: “Age is something you can’t control, so why worry about it?” She added: “I would never want to repeat my 20s. I welcome age with open arms because I want to evolve as a human being, gain more wisdom. I have so much more to do! And the only way you do that is with age.” —Bang Showbiz


MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

lifestyle F e a t u r e s

Tens of thousands attend Utah Holi color festival T

ens of thousands of people gathered Saturday at a Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple in Utah for the start of an annual two-day festival of colors. The large majority of participants in the event at Spanish Fork are not Hindus, but Mormons, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. Thousands of students from nearby Brigham Young University take part in the festival, which is expected to draw 70,000 people. Revelers danced to music, practiced yoga and threw colored corn starch in the air once every hour during the all-day Holi Festival of Colors. The large majority of participants are not Hindus, but Mormons, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. Thousands of students from nearby Brigham Young University take part in the festival, which is expected to draw 70,000 people. The event stems from a Hindu tradition celebrating the end of winter and the triumph of good over evil. “It’s an opportunity for young LDS (Mormon) kids to come and celebrate their spirituality without alcohol or drugs,” said Caru Das, the temple’s priest. Das said the event feels more like a rock concert than a religious ceremony, particularly

with live music. Indra Neelameggham, a Hindu, said she doesn’t mind if young Mormons partake in the festival. “This festival has no religious significance. There are no prayers or no special services connected with it,” she said. “It has evolved in India - particularly in the south - over the years and now is mostly about tourism and marketing - like Christmas or Halloween.” Das said the event is spiritual and many attendees feel moved, but the heavy presence of young Mormons doesn’t dampen the event. The festival unites strangers in a common experience, he said. He appeared frequently on stage, exhorting crowd members to give hugs to strangers and not to think of themselves as ordinary. “Each and every one of you is lovely and brilliant. No exceptions,” he said. “This festival is to remind you who you are.” The festival gives participants a chance to gain exposure to Hindu chants and beliefs while plastering others with dust of many vibrant colors that costs $3 per bag or $12 for five bags. The hourly throwing of rainbow-hued

corn starch leaves participants drenched in color. “It’s a place for your inner child to come out,” Robynn Kirkham, an accountant who runs a construction company, told The Tribune. Ranjan Khurana and his wife, Anu, came from Boise, Idaho, because friends in the Spanish Fork Hindu congregation raved about how electrifying the event has become. “It’s vibrant and everybody is just so cheerful,” Anu Khurana said. “It’s a blessing that so many people are here celebrating the colors.” Haylee Buchanan, a BYU student, said she has attended the event with friends and likened it to a big party. “I wish that I could have read information on why and what they are celebrating,” she said, “because it was fascinating.” Buchanan said it was enjoyable to immerse herself in a cultural event very different from her own Mormon faith.—AP

Revelers with colored corn starched hands celebrate during the 2014 Festival of Colors, Holi Celebration at the Krishna Temple Saturday in Spanish Fork, Utah.—AP photos

Models parade creations of “Korean Fashion Designer Joint Collection” by South Korean designers during the bi-annual China Fashion Week in Beijing on March 29, 2014. The biannual China Fashion Week is being held in Beijing from March 25 to 31.—AFP photos


MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

lifestyle A W A R D S

One Direction, Ariana Grande win at Kids’ Choice Awards

Mark Wahlberg gets slimed on stage at the 27th annual Kids’ Choice Awards at the Galen Center on Saturday in Los Angeles. — AFP photos

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Mark Wahlberg gets slimed on stage.

(From left) Cameron Ocasio, Ariana Grande, and Zoran Korach accept the award for favorite TV show for ‘Sam & Cat’.

Selena Gomez accepts the award for favorite female singer.

he green slime flowed freely at the Kids’ Choice Awards on Saturday, where boy band One Direction and actress-singer Ariana Grande took home orange blimps handed out by youth cable channel Nickelodeon. Shot from canons, bursting forth from geysers and babbling in a river across the stage, everything and everyone, even “unslimable” host Mark Wahlberg, were soaked by the green stuff. The BritishIrish vocal group, who won favorite music group and favorite song for “Story of My Life,” avoided the slime, accepting the awards from London where they are preparing for an upcoming tour. Grande, a 20-year-old pop singer and star of Nickelodeon series “Sam & Cat” won for favorite TV actress and “Sam & Cat” was voted favorite TV show. Viewers were able to cast votes online in more than 20 categories, spanning film, television, books, music and sport for the stunt-filled annual award show on the Viacom Inc-owned network. The show, in its 27th year, is an annual stop for Hollywood stars who are popular among teenage and young viewers. It featured performances by singer Aloe Blacc and indie rock band American Authors, who closed with the hit “Best Day of My Life.” Singer-actress Selena Gomez won an orange blimp for the sixth consecutive year. The 21-year-old former Disney actress was voted favorite female singer. She had won favorite TV actress from 2009 to 2013. “I just have to say that you guys have been the most loyal, dedicated people in my life because you continuously every year bless me with the opportunity to do what I love,” Gomez said accepting the award. A running gag throughout the stunt-filled show was how “Transformers” star Wahlberg could not be doused in slime.

Wahlberg, who crossed himself and huddled to withstand the deluge. “Iron Man” film series star Robert Downey Jr. won the favorite male “buttkicker” award for last year’s blockbuster “Iron Man 3.” “I wasn’t always a buttkicker. In fact, life has kicked my proverbial butt countless times in many ways through many years until I decided one day to start kicking back,” the 48-year-old actor who struggled with addiction early in his career. “To all the kids around this wonderful blue planet, thank you for this awesome statue, and remember: when life is kicking your butt, never forget to kick it back right in the face,” Downey added. Actorcomedian Adam Sandler, 47, made it rain orange balls on the crowd with a garbled magic spell while accepting his blimp for favorite movie actor. Other winners included sci-fi adventure film “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” as favorite

Adam Sandler accepts the award for favorite movie actor.

Buttkickers, books, blimps At the show’s end, the actor was distracted by his kids and comedian Kevin Hart until the slime rained down

Dan Schneider accepts the lifetime achievement award. movie, and its star, Jennifer Lawrence, won for favorite movie actress and favorite female buttkicker, but was not on hand to accept the awards. Disney’s Oscar-winning film “Frozen” won for favorite animated movie, while comedian Hart won for favorite funny star and the youth fiction series “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” won favorite book. Dan Schneider, an executive producer of popular Nickelodeon shows over the past two decades such as “Kenan & Kel,” “iCarly” and “Sam & Cat,” won a lifetime achievement award. — AP

(From left) Lea Michele, LL Cool J and Kevin Hart .

Singers Austin Mahone and Cody Simpson get slimed onstage.

Actor Robert Downey Jr accepts the award for Favorite Male Butt Kicker.

Ross Lynch accepts the award for favorite TV actor.

Ariana Grande accepts the award for favorite TV actress.


MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

lifestyle A W A R D S

(From Left) Actors Azim Rizk, Ciara Hanna, Christina Masterson, Cameron Jebo, Andrew Gray, and John Mark Loudermilk of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

The band American Authors performs onstage.

Jim Parsons, left, presents the award for favorite animated movie to Kristen Bell.

Winners:

Ariana Grande

FAVORITE MOVIE The Hunger Games: Catching Fire FAVORITE ANIMATED MOVIE Frozen FAVORITE VOICE FROM AN ANIMATED ANIMATED MOVIE Miranda Cosgrove in Despicable Me 2 FAVORITE MOVIE ACTOR Adam Sandler in Grown Ups 2 FAVORITE MOVIE ACTRESS Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire FAVORITE MALE BUTTKICKER Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man 3 FAVORITE FEMALE BUTTKICKER Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire FAVORITE TV SHOW Sam & Kat Ross Lynch in Austin & Ally FAVORITE TV ACTRESS Ariana Grande in Sam & Kat FAVORITE REALITY SHOW Wipeout FAVORITE CARTOON SpongeBob SquarePants FAVORITE ANIMATED ANIMAL SIDEKICK Patrick Star in SpongeBob SquarePants FAVORITE MUSIC GROUP One Direction FAVORITE MALE SINGER Justin Timberlake FAVORITE FEMALE SINGER Selena Gomez FAVORITE SONG Story Of My Life by One Direction FAVORITE APP GAME Despicable Me: Minion Rush FAVORITE BOOK Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney FAVORITE FUNNY STAR Kevin Hart FAVORITE VIDEO GAME Just Dance 2014 MOST ENTHUSIASTIC ATHLETE Dwight Howard LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD Dan Schneider-www.perezhilton.com

Actress Alexa Vega

Actress Kira Kosarin

Singer Acacia Brinley

Actors Jack Reynor and Nicola Peltz speak onstage.

TV personality Willie Robertson and wife Korie Robertson with family on the red carpet.

Singer Aloe Blacc performs onstage.

Actress America Ferrera speaks onstage.

Kristen Bell accepts the award for favorite animated movie.

David Blaine gets slimed.

Kevin Hart accepts the award for favorite funny star.

Singer Todrick Hall performs onstage.

Will Arnett, left, and Jayma Mays present the award for favorite TV show.


One Direction, Ariana Grande win at Kids’ Choice Awards

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MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

Clowns pose for pictures as they take a break from the World Clowning Association annual convention in Northbrook, Illinois, north of Chicago on March 28, 2014. — AFP photos

Recession no laughing matter for clown industry I

n a global recession, being a clown is no laughing matter. That was the sombre verdict as the World Clown Association wrapped up its annual convention on Saturday after a decade which has seen their numbers dwindle. More than 230 clowns from the around the world attended the event outside Chicago, gathering to share skills and hopefully encourage a new generation to don a red nose, make-up and a pair of oversized shoes. But it’s an art pursued more as a labor of love of laughs these days than for a living. “There are very few clowns who do it full time anymore,” says Deanna Hartmier of Winnipeg, the president of the World Clown Association and a clown for 18 years. “When big companies that, for 10 years, hired 12 clowns for their Christmas party suddenly has budget cutbacks, well guess what? They are hiring less clowns.” Her organization touts 2,500 members worldwide, a nearly 30 percent decline since 2004. Most are over 40. That includes Arthur Pedlar, 81, of Southport, England, who started clowning in 1938, when he was a child. Unlike many on the circuit, Pedlar-a “tramp” clown who goes by the stage name Vercoe-does not perform at children’s parties, but mainly presents his silent comedy, often involving a unicycle and musical instruments, for audiences comprised of the deaf, handicapped, and elderly.

which are more in demand, he says. “There is a shortage in Europe of first-rate clowns,” he says. At the convention, Pedlar shows DVDs of clowning icons of the past like Emmett Kelly or Buster

how to feel an audience and to respond to them, they will not be accomplished,” he says. “You can’t just put on a ping pong ball-sized nose and draw a big clown face and you’re a clown.” Generation of clowns One of his protÈgÈs is Allie Alvarez, 12, from Orlando, Florida, who started clowning this year because she “thought it would be fun to make people laugh.” Clowning isn’t new in her family both her mother and grandmother perform. Alvarez learned new tricks through the workshops, but performed before public for the first time Thursday night. “They all laughed,” she said. Despite the early attraction, however, she expects to be only a part-time clown. “I would do it on the weekends,” she says. “It would be

Modern-day vaudeville While cruise ships have become the modernday equivalent of the vaudeville circuit, many young performers drawn to clowning opt for higher wages by becoming aerial performers,

Taylor Moss, 10, of Indiana, spins hula hoops as part of the ‘Joey’ competition for child clowns at the World Clowning Association annual convention.

Noted clown Barry Lubin gives advice to hundreds of clowns after headlining the World Clowning Association annual convention.

Clown Yurie Hioki of Osaka, Japan gives a flute performance of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” during the World Clowning Association annual convention in Northbrook.

Keenan Chalmers, 9, of Minnesota sings an anthem holding his underwear to the tune of the US National Anthem during a children’s competition.

Keaton to a new generation of clowns, aged 615. He said he wants “to expand their thinking that clowning is not just blowing up balloons or throwing a pie in somebody’s face.” It’s an art form requiring skill and concentration, he says. “The thing we can’t teach is clowning. We can teach skills but unless they know

too much work for me.” The convention helps keep clowns in touch at a time when many cannot practice their craft full-time. Many are volunteers or use the clown skills they’ve accrued for other professions, such as public speaking or standup comedy. Hartmier, 48, a full-time clown who has performed all over the world, says it often means traveling long distances for paid work. At the convention, there are seminars on a wide variety of clowning skills face painting, magic, juggling, balloon making, handling props, and developing skits. “People tend to think, ‘if I put on a clown costume, I’m a clown,’” she says. “It’s the untrained clowns that have scary makeup, that don’t know how to approach people, they’re the ones scaring the kids.” Clowning is best, she says, when it’s therapeutic. “Laughter really is the best medicine,” she says. “That being the case, clowns can really touch some people in ways that sometimes can be miraculous.” — AFP

Booming demand for shea, African ‘women’s gold’, helps reduce poverty

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he fruit of the shea tree has long been the fruit, which looks like a large green plum, considered sacred by many in Western is also a long and arduous process. It can take Africa because of its myriad health ben- several hours of processing, using over 22 efits. But now growing demand among steps, to produce a single kilogram of the Western consumers for the fruit, known as butter. Demand for shea is growing “both domes“women’s gold” by those who harvest it, is helping improve lives in some of the world’s tically and internationally”, said Sangafowa poorest communities. Sweet-lovers around Coulibaly, who wants to make the industry a the globe already consume the nut as shea “priority” because of its good prospects. Ivory butter, which is used to make chocolate, as Coast is already the fifth-largest producer of well as in products like margarine and as a shea in the world, harvesting around 40,000 cooking oil.Western companies such as tons a year, but the government wants to L’Oreal, The Body Shop and L’Occitane are more than triple that to 150,000 tons. Two factors, however, are holding the also using more and more of the product as a natural moisturizer and anti-ageing ingredient in their cosmetics. Around 600,000 tons of shea are produced each year in Africa. Of that around two thirds are exported to Europe, more than double the amount shipped 10 years ago, while the rest is consumed locally. Cosmetics companies, which purchase around a tenth of Africa’s shea exports, have been buying more to please increasingly socially-conscious consumers. And now that change is starting to help women at the other end of the supply chain. Around 16 million people in Africa-particularly women living in rural areas-are supported by Photo shows Nununa soaps, made from shea the shea industry, according to the butter in Leo, Burkina Faso. Global Shea Alliance (AGK), which held its annual congress in Abidjan last week. In many of the countries where it grows, from Ethiopia to Senegal and down to the Democratic Republic of Congo, it is a lifeline for some of the world’s poorest people. Shea provides a “substantial source of income” and an important tool for fighting poverty, said Mamadou Coulibaly Sangafowa, Ivory Coast’s agriculture minister. In northern Ghana, it “helps improve the financial independence of women a lot”, observed Stephanie A photo taken on January 24, 2014 shows Green, marketing manager for the shea nuts on a shea butter production line in Ghanaian company SeKaf, which pro- Leo, south-central Burkina Faso, on January duces shea butter for cosmetics. With 24, 2014 in Leo, Burkina Faso. — AFP photos the money generated, local women can “create small businesses” in the villages, industry back. One is the quality of the crop, which help to “eradicate” poverty their com- “which is key for market access”, said Aminata munities, she said. Shea is central to both Coulibaly Barry, who runs a group of women economic and social development in rural shea butter producers in Mali. Konte communities because it can “pull up the rural Diarratouma, who oversees the national shea economy”, said Christophe Godard, who project in Mali, agreed. She urged the creworks in Burkina Faso on behalf of the French ation of a central body representing producing countries to impose quality standards oilseed group Olvea. and improve logistics for transporting crops. Addressing the “low level of organization of A ‘priority’ crop The shea tree grows wild and untamed the stakeholders” would help Mali create a across almost 4 million square kilometers (1.5 “shea (industry) that could compete in the million square miles) of the African savanna, international market”, she said. Another is poor levels of organization in and cannot be planted. Considered sacred by many Africans, it can survive fires and the industry. Stephanie Green, who works for droughts and live hundreds of years. But it SeKaf, argued that the “domestication of the only bears fruit after 25 years, and even then shea tree and improving the conversion rate only once every three seasons, according to should be priorities”, particularly as the existAGK. Extracting the shea butter from inside ing stock of trees becomes older.


31 Mar  

Kuwait Times

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