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Domestic labor services ‘should be privatized’

Nigeria now Africa’s biggest economy



NO: 16128

150 FILS



Hamilton edges Rosberg in Bahrain F1 thriller

Sri Lanka beat India to win maiden World T20 title



Cabinet rejects justice minister’s resignation PM sends Dow file to prosecution • MP sees dissolution plot

Max 35º Min 14º High Tide 05:57 & 16:05 Low Tide 10:44 & 23:59

By A Saleh and B Izzak

Kuwait embassy in Britain warns against fake cops KUWAIT: The Kuwaiti Embassy in Britain has warned Kuwaitis in the UK to beware of thieves posing as British policemen who steal tourists’ documents and credit cards. First Secretary Meshal Al-Mudhaf said that dozens of such cases have been filed in various British police stations by Kuwaiti citizens who had been mugged and robbed by thieves who stole their personal effects. He urged citizens to demand an ID proving they are real policemen, ask them to call a police patrol to take them to the station and to notify the embassy so that it could follow up the matter. Mudhaf also warned citizens of purchasing land in Britain advertised for sale in Kuwait or even in Britain, as it may be allocated for agricultural use only. “Many such cases have been registered where citizens bought land plots for commercial use and later found they were restricted for agricultural use only, although the selling firms had verbally promised to turn them to residential ones,” he explained, again warning citizens not to make land purchases without consulting accredited lawyers. Mudhaf said the embassy has issued a number of guidelines to be followed by Kuwaitis planning to visit the UK for tourism or treatment. Continued on Page 13

KUWAIT: Minister of Justice and Awqaf Nayef Al-Ajmi (left) and Islamist MP Mohammad Al-Huwailah take part in a session at the National Assembly in this April 1, 2014 photo. —Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

MoI: Report runaway helpers within 48 hrs New recruiting company mulled By Hanan Al-Saadoun and B Izzak KUWAIT: The interior ministry yesterday said sponsors have to report within 48 hours if their domestic helpers have fled their place of work. The Interior Ministry ’s Assistant Undersecretary for Nationality and Passports Maj Gen Sheikh Faisal Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah warned sponsors will pay the costs of deportation if they do not inform police about their helpers’ absence, as well as those who harbor them. If the sponsor knows the whereabouts of the helper, he will be legally responsible, Sheikh Faisal said, adding that the return of a helper or finding him does not negate the “absence report”, as legal action will still be taken against the domestic helper and those who harbor or employ him. Sheikh Faisal said service centers and immigration detectives are ready to receive reports about absconding and runaway domestic helpers, adding they will be deported according to legal procedures and will not be allowed to reenter the country again. He said that a meeting held with representatives of agencies that bring in domestic workers at the end of March dealt with various negative aspects in order to find solutions for

them to safeguard the rights of sponsors and workers. Sheikh Faisal said many other issues including the escape of domestic workers from their sponsors, working for others, rising cost of hiring domestic workers and the lack of diplomatic representation for some of the workers were discussed. Meanwhile, Director of Public Relations and Moral Guidance and Acting Director of Security Information Col Adel Al-Hashash said new rules for domestic workers are ready for implementation. He said security information department has prepared media campaigns to inform citizens and expats about the rules of using domestic helpers, and explain the violations that sponsors commit if they do not tell authorities about the absence of workers after 48 hours. Separately, MP Kamel Al-Awadhi said yesterday that he has been informed by the prime minister that the government has agreed to establish a company for the recruitment of domestic helpers on the basis of a proposal he made last month. He said that Interior Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled Al-Sabah also supported the idea in order to recruit only trained and capable domestic helpers.

KUWAIT: The government yesterday rejected the resignation of Minister of Justice and Awqaf Nayef Al-Ajmi, who said last week that he was stepping down for health reasons. This is the second time in less than a week in which the Cabinet reiterated confidence in Ajmi, who received ministers’ backing during the Cabinet’s regular meeting last week. Notably, Ajmi’s name appeared in a report released by the US Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence David Cohen, who accused him of having a history of “promoting jihad in Syria”. Ajmi acknowledged he has taken part in fundraising campaigns for Syria, but insisted they had been for humanitarian purposes and not for the Al-Qaeda affiliate AlNusra Front as alleged by Cohen. Separately, MP Yacoub Al-Sane said yesterday that he has decided to withdraw a threat to grill Oil Minister Ali Al-Omair after Prime Minister HH Sheikh Jaber AlMubarak Al-Sabah ordered that all those involved in the Dow issue will be referred to the public prosecution. Omair meanwhile said that he was awaiting the opinion of the fatwa and legislative department, the government’s legal body, on the issue to see if any official is to be held accountable, and only then he will refer the case to the public prosecution. The new developments came after Omair met the National Assembly’s public funds protection committee to discuss details of a controversial $800 million contract with international oil major Shell. Continued on Page 13

Layoffs at KAC in the offing XP diehards to fend hackers on their own SAN FRANCISCO: People clinging to Microsoft’s ageing Windows XP operating system will be left to fend off cyber criminals by themselves come Tuesday. On April 8, the US software colossus will stop patching newly found security holes in Windows XP code that hackers could exploit to slip into computers. Despite Microsoft’s long-heralded plan to stop “supporting” the nearly 13-year-old operating system, it still powers from 20 to 30 percent of Windows machines around the world, according to industry estimates. “I am sure you have everything from police departments to banks to legal offices to restaurants,” Trustwave director Christopher Pogue said while discussing the extent to which Windows XP is still used. “Think of a business and they probably run XP; I would say everyone is in equal danger.” US-based Trustwave specializes in helping businesses fight cyber crime. Microsoft support entails regular security updates, but when it stops issuing patches to defend against freshly revealed hacker tactics aimed at XP, those using the operating system will need to enlist their own software wizards or live with mounting threats. Continued on Page 13

SEPANG, Malaysia: A picture taken on Nov 1, 2006 shows a ground crewmember taking a peek inside the cabin of a Kuwait Airways Airbus A340 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. — AFP By Velina Nacheva KUWAIT: Kuwait’s troubled national carrier Kuwait Airways will let go almost 1,000 employees as part of the company’s major overhaul undertaken in the wake of plans to privatize the airline. According to a source from Kuwait Airways who wished to remain anonymous because he is not authorized to discuss the matter, the employees whose jobs will be slashed are staff from Kuwait Aviation Services Company (KASCO), a wholly owned subsidiary of Kuwait Airways that handles the airline’s ground handling services. The source told Kuwait Times that staff members who will be affected by

the company’s downsizing include personnel of retirement age as well as under-qualified and non-performing employees. “Some employees will be offered retirement promotions and other (Kuwaiti employees) will be moved to KASCO,” the source added. Earlier yesterday, media reports quoted Kuwait Airways Chairperson and Managing Director Rasha Al-Roumi as saying that the jobs of 1,000 expat employees of Kuwait Airways who are not in senior positions will be cut this year in an attempt to reduce the company ’s losses and turn a profit. Major restructuring is at the core of the returnto-profitability plans for the airline. Continued on Page 13

In US, vaccine denial goes mainstream

KUWAIT: Minister of Health Ali Al-Obaidi (left) inaugurates the second phase of a project to reconstruct and develop the casualty department at Farwaniya Hospital yesterday. The project includes a laboratory for heart patients, a pharmacy, separate female and male observation wards, a gallstone fragmentation unit and a unit for emergency cases. Obaidi said the 4,000-sq-m project will speed up treatment response to urgent cases, which reached 809,647 in 2012. The number of urgent cases in all hospitals in the same year reached around 3.58 million. — KUNA

WASHINGTON: Kathleen Wiederman is not staunchly against vaccines. She simply believes it is better for her child to naturally battle an illness than to be vaccinated against it. “Doctors don’t know everything,” said the 42-year-old recruiter, who prefers alternative medicine and gave birth at her home in the well-heeled Virginia suburbs without the aid of a painkilling epidural. At first, she and her husband agreed on the matter, but when their marriage ended, he pushed for their daughter to get some of her recommended vaccines and Wiederman relented. Now her daughter is five and has had a handful of shots, including against chicken pox and measles, but not polio. And if her child gets sick? “Then we treat it however you need to treat it and work through it,” she told AFP. Wiederman, who has a law degree, is among a growing number of Americans who oppose vaccines, raising concerns about a

resurgence in contagious diseases like measles and whooping cough. Vaccine hesitancy is increasingly common, and not only when it comes to infant and childhood immunizations, experts say. Two in three working age adults refuse to get the annual flu vaccine and the same proportion of parents decline the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for young adolescents, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “The people we are concerned about are the people who are hesitant. The general demographic is well-educated and upper middle class,” said Barry Bloom, a professor of medicine at Harvard University. “I think they are on the rise everywhere.” In recent years, reports linking vaccines to autism have been debunked, but fears of adverse events - which experts say are rare - ROCKVILLE, Maryland: Health workers prepare an injection during H1N1 flu inoculahave proven difficult to erase. Continued on Page 13 tions in this Oct 21, 2009 photo. — AFP



KUWAIT: The images illustrate a group of students and the facilities in a school in Kuwait where children of illegal residents are enrolled.

Who wants to prolong their problem? Major steps to solve illegal residents’ limbo to be taken by 2016: Source By Velina Nacheva KUWAIT: Serious steps to solve the problem of illegal residents (bedoons) in Kuwait will be taken by 2016, said a source from the Central Agency for Remedying Illegal Residents’ Status - the organization dedicated to rectifying the problem of illegal residents which was established with a Cabinet decree on March 6, 2010. The primary focus of the agency is establishing and following a five-year roadmap that would help solve the problem of illegal residents in the country by 2016. Saleh Youssef Al-Fadhalah, chief executive of the agency, has been an outspoken supporter of finding a proactive solution to the problem of illegal residents. “A lot of work has been completed since the establishment of the agency. Many “illegal residents” have rectified their situation. They were given more benefits in addition to the ones they were already receiving. For instance, some have enrolled their children in private Arabic schools paid for by the government through the Zakat House. All of them have been receiving free healthcare and other benefits through various government agencies,” he said. From the 2014-15 academic year, 150 Bachelor of Arts seats at Kuwait University will be reserved for illegal residents. Since 20122013, an Amiri order has allowed the children of illegal residents to study at Kuwait University if they meet certain requirements. “In our line of duty, you either use your mind or your heart,” said a source from the agency who is involved with collecting and verifying the documents of all illegal residents. “Here we only check their files and verify if they are eligible for naturalization. After we process the papers, they are then forwarded to the Cabinet. One of the major hurdles for us is that many of the illegal residents provide wrong information,” the source said. The numbers According to Col Mohammad Al-Wuhaib, the Director of the Nationality Authentication Department at the agency, by the end of 2013, there were 111,266 illegal residents. According to a source from the Agency these people were wrongly called bedoons. “There are no bedoons (bedoon jinsiya or without nationality) in Kuwait. Nobody was born without a nationality,” the source said. Currently, the number of illegal residents in Kuwait is about 100,000, Al-Wuhaib explained. Some of the illegal residents who were registered in the 1965 census and who meet a list of other requirements are eligible for natural-

ization. Since 1986, some 87,279 illegal residents have provided another nationality and rectified their situation. Of them, Al-Wuhaib said, the largest group of illegal residents are from Saudi Arabia (58,770) followed by Iraq (11,958), Syria (7,879), Iran (1,856), Jordan (520) and others (6,296), including passport holders from other countries. In 2010, illegal residents accounted for almost 10 percent of the Kuwaiti population. Today their numbers are fewer but government organizations pick up the tab for the benefits they receive. Donors Zakat House alone provides food, subsidies and training courses to the illegal residents. Some 135 illegal residents cost Zakat House KD 158,300. Zakat House also foots the bill for the genetic fingerprint that every illegal resident is required to have. The tally for the DNA tests alone totals KD 814,300, the source said, adding, “Most of the illegal residents do not want to undergo DNA testing because it will expose their real nationality.” In addition to subsidies and food, Zakat House provides financial aid. In 2012, Zakat House provided financial aid worth KD 13 million to 62,590 illegal residents. Another 28,805 illegal residents were supported with financial aid worth KD 1 million. The health insurance for illegal residents cost Zakat House KD 38 million that was given to 56,547 individuals. In addition, some 56,220 illegal residents were treated in government hospitals for KD 3.7 million. Healthcare is not the primary expenditure. Education for some 14,910 children cost the government KD 4.4 million in 2013-2014. Six different institutions contribute to the needs of the illegal residents - the private Education General Department at the Ministry of Education, Awqaf Public Foundation, Zakat House, the financial department at the Ministry of Education and the Islamic Charitable Organization. Pending problem The problem with illegal residents in the country has not been addressed for decades. The establishment of the agency was the first step taken to acknowledge the problem and to deal with it. In 1986, a committee under the chairmanship of then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and current Amir HH Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah and other senior officials was formed to redeem the problem. Soon after its establishment, the committee managed to rectify part of the problem. After studying the different

aspects of the problem, the committee laid the policies and procedures to solve it, which had an impact on the number of illegal residents. Until 1990, approximately 16,618 individuals rectified their status by either returning to their country of origin or by showing their original passports. During the meeting of the Cabinet in 2010 that established the agency, a resolution was issued which stated the coverage of 11 benefits for illegal residents, such as free healthcare and education as well as the issuance of birth, death, marriage and death certificates and the issuance of authentications of wills and inheritance, divorce certificates, driving licenses and granting ration cards. Classification Currently, illegal residents have been classified into different categories with different identification cards who enjoy different benefits based on the type of card they have. The illegal residents who need to correct their status are classified in one group. “We know that some of them have passports from other countries and they need to come forward and bring them. Some illegal residents from this category have criminal records too,” the source said. Those who will be classified with yellow identification cards are illegal residents who are given residence to stay in the country but need to provide other papers that are missing. This group totals around 6,000, explained AlWuhaib. The green card holders are illegal residents who have completed all the requirements and their paperwork is currently under process by the Cabinet. “Their paperwork is being processed for naturalization,” the source, said. Those who are eligible for naturalization and whose papers are currently being processed by the Cabinet number as many as 504 individuals (as of October 2013). Although people in one of the categories have criminal records, their children attend private schools and get free health insurance. “They can go to any government hospital where they are taken care of,” the source said. “Some 5,982 illegal residents have corrected their status,” said the source, adding that they will be given more rights after bringing their (original) passports. Asked if the problem of the illegal residents remains pending due to a lack of will on the part of the government, the source concluded, “Some of the illegal residents don’t want their problem to be solved because they don’t comply with the requirements and their situation is weak. They only want to depend on the government.”

Help to boost confidence of students with learning disabilities KUWAIT: Minister of Social Affairs Hind AlSabeeh commended yesterday non-governmental organizations’ (NGOs) contributions to boosting confidence among students suffering from learning difficulties. “I believe in the contribution of the civil society with the government to the development of society, and these efforts should continue and cooperation between us should be strengthened further,” Al-Sabeeh, also Minister of State for Planning and Development, was speaking as she was patronizing the fifth ceremony of Kuwait Association for Learning Differences (KALD). She said her participation in the ceremony aimed at boosting confidence among students with learning disabilities.

Al-Sabeeh called upon KALD to carry out similar activities that would help the students succeed. KALD Chairperson Amaal Al-Sayer said the Association has given the students with learning disabilities a chance to perform on stage to show their talents with the major objective of boosting confidence among them. “In this ceremony, we have conveyed a message to this segment that we loved it and accept it as they are, and see in them good and beautiful talents, and we are always ready to support it,” she said. Al-Sayer said the ceremony included activities like drawning, coloring, decoration and other sport events.

KALD Executive Director Nouriya AlAmeeri said 20 schools participated in the ceremony this year. She said KALD was keen on the success of the ceremony, which saw vital interaction from parents. Dr Huda Shaaban, an educational expert at KALD, said the ceremony aimed at boosting the morale of students. “We always seek to boost the courage of this segment to stand on stage ... without being shy of what it suffers from ... ,” she said. KALD was established in 2007 with the aim of helping people with learing disabilities through awareness campaigns and training courses. —KUNA

Kuwait celebrates World Health Day KUWAIT: The State of Kuwait boastfully joins the international community in celebrating the World Health Day, falling today, having made substantial headways in the health and medical services’ realms. According to the World Health Organization ( WHO), Kuwait “achieved 100 percent progress” in more than eight vital health services’ sectors, in tandem with advanced nations. The health care sector has witnessed continuous development, with the authorities devoting particular concern to securing medical centers and hospitals in all the governorates. Kuwaiti Constitution guarantees citizen’s right to full health services and the Ministry of Health offers them for free for citizens in and outside the country. Moreover, expatriates are also furnished with medical care for token charges. The expanded sector includes 72 medical centers, 29 government hospitals, with a 8,000-bed capacity. It is also marked with a chain of emergency wards, centers for mothers, families and children’s care, dentistry clinics in addition to medical teams that accompany the pilgrims during the hajj. Particular attention is given to treating epidemics, dispatching patients who cannot be treated locally abroad. In 2006, Kuwait National Cooperative Projects Committee and Kuwait Cooperative Societies Union granted donations to build the Cooperative Hospital, the first specialized center for cardiac diseases in Kuwait, construction of which cost up to KD 14 million. In 2008, Faisal Sultan Bin Essa Center for Radiodiagnosis and Radiotherapy was opened, with aim of furnishing the citizens with treatment against cancer.

The Kuwaiti philanthropist Faisal Bin Issa and the Ministry of Health contributed to covering costs of the building construction and equipment procurement. The two-storey building encompasses a radiotherapy treatment room, a biomedical engineering ward, a section for public relations patient’s relations, nuclear medicine, diagnostic radiology wards, a library and a lecture hall. In 2010, Kuwait witnessed inauguration of Sabah Al-Ahmad Center for Cardiac Diseases. It was quipped with state-of-art devices. The State expenditure on health, in 2010, amounted to KD 1.02 billion and rose to KD 1.17 billion the next year. In 2012, the Ministry of Health mapped out a scheme to overhaul the health sector, envisaging construction of nine multi-storey medical centers with an overall capacity of 5,000 beds. Furthermore, the ministry is establishing an electronic medical file for pooling data and information among doctors. For sake of alleviating patients’ turn-up at hospitals and medical centers, the ministry has decided to open the medical centers at night in all residential districts of Kuwait. It is also expanding hospitals to be able to receive a larger number of patients from among the citizens and the residents. Expansion projects, costing KD 1.145 billion, cover nine hospitals and medical centers. The public health administration building is also being expanded at a cost of KD 12.5 million, in addition to spending some KD 109.8 million on overhauling and upgrading hospitals and medical centers. —KUNA

Two held for shooting at police station in Firdous KUWAIT: The Ministr y of Interior announced Saturday that the security services nabbed two men who opened fire from a machinegun at Fidrous Police Station. The two men, who were drunk, had made a botched attempt to release by force their two drunken friends who are detained before shooting at the police station in order to intimidate the policemen. A policeman was injured in the attack. The security services of Sabah Al-Nasser Police Station had earlier arrested the two drunken men for breaking into a house and

transferred them to Firdous, the Ministry’s Security Media Dept. said in a statement. The two attackers have been referred to the Public Prosecution for illegal possession of a firearm and shooting at a banned area, the statement pointed out. Acting on an arrest warrant from the prosecution, the security services intercepted the car of one of the suspected attackers; they found the firearm and a number of bullets. The statement warned that anybody who risks attacking or infringing on the security facilities or personnel will face tough legal action. —KUNA

NA panel discusses housing issues KUWAIT: Housing Affairs committee at the National Assembly discussed in yesterday’s meeting hurdles that face the progression of solving the housing issue with the Minister of State for Housing Affairs Yasser Abul. Head of the committee MP Faisal AlKandari said in a press statement that the minister affirmed the commitment of the Public Authority Housing Welfare (PAHW) to distribute 12,000 house units annually.

He added that the committee will work on amending some of the regulations that will enable the distribution of more housing units and will eliminate any obstacles that stand in the way of resolving the housing problem. The minister pointed out in the meeting that PAHW’s capital should be increased to afford funding more housing projects in the future. This suggestion will be discussed in the next committee’s meeting. —KUNA

‘Stay Dasmani -3’ completed at Fitness Center KUWAIT: Dr Fahad Al-Ghimlas, Director of the Fitness and Rehabilitation Center at Dasman Diabetes Institute, which was founded by Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences, announced the third version of a fitness and education program under the slogan ‘Be Dasmani’ . Ghimlas mentioned that the program includes educational talks about exercise and its importance to a patient with diabetes, especially Type 2, and how it is possible to combat

or control it by changing the lifestyle of the individual in the society. This is done through a comprehensive assessment of subscribers through intensive and advanced tests including full clinical examination as well as blood and urine tests, cardiogram and body composition testing. The program also contains an integrated heart-and-lung stress test to assess the efficiency of body systems to work during stress. The participants are also evaluated on their dietary program, based on which they benefit-

ed from nutritional counseling. They also attend lectures individually and as a group for diabetes and its symptoms and risks and means of combating and controlling it. In addition, the program includes daily exercise workshops for the muscles and joints. This extends for a month during which daily checks of vital functions and measuring the level of blood sugar takes place before and after exercise. Ghimlas reported that the most recent version also offers participants group and individual lec-

tures about the psychological wellbeing of a diabetic patient and how to deal with the longterm illness. The program, which began on March 25, 2014, is overseen by a cadre of specialized medical doctors and nurses and specialists in exercise, nutrition and psychology. Educational brochures were distributed to the participants to enhance awareness about the disease and how to deal with it through a healthier lifestyle. Dr Ghimlas also added that the program is open for the public and will be

repeated frequently in the future to provide this exceptional service to the largest possible number of people with diabetes. To find out more information about the program all are welcome to visit the Fitness and Rehabilitation Center at Dasman Diabetes Institute on the fourth floor or call 2224 2989. More information about the Dasmani program is on the center’s webpage: or follow the center on social media under the name frc_dasman.



KIA to finance health insurance hospitals?

KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah received yesterday at Bayan Palace, personal envoy of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The letter conveyed promoting bilateral relations in various fields.

Domestic labor services ‘should be privatized’ Time to resolve issues: Lawyer By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: Privatization of domestic labor services is one way to solve widespread domestic labor problems in the country, a Kuwaiti lawyer told Kuwait Times yesterday. Labeed Abdal, also a columnist, was reacting to a proposal by MP Kamel Al-Awadhi to create a private company to hire domestic helpers in the country. Abdal said it’s time to resolve issues of domestic labor employment. “We have tried it and witnessed the results. We have to admit the painful truth - they failed us. The Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor, as proposed by some MPs, should give up some of their administrative functions and related jobs and award the work to private corporations. The government’s role should only be to stamp the visa,” he said. Abdal urged the parliament to take necessary steps to protect foreigners in Kuwait so as to make their stay comfortable, enjoyable and safe. “There have been many proposals for the government to sponsor foreigners, but suggestions remain a proposal, so until such a time, we urge the government to take serious considerations and give due care to foreigners in Kuwait because their

population is now double that of Kuwaitis. They came to work and serve our country, but some of them are being subjected to sufferings. Very unfair indeed,” he added. The issue of domestic helpers, according to Abdal, has many flaws - from the employers to employment offices and even their home countries. “I’d like to see privatization like the UK and Germany where they give power to private companies instead of doing it themselves. The government should give up some services they are providing and let the private company do the hard work. They can provide better services perhaps,” he said. Parliamentary sources told Al-Rai daily that the government has told them about a plan to approve a law to organize domestic labor by establishing companies to recruit housemaids. The companies will hire housemaids after workers pass medical and job qualification tests. The companies will also follow regulations to protect the rights of workers and employers. “I recommend a very well-studied and well prepared system before it is implemented. Let us try this for a year and see the results,” Abdal concluded. Maripol Abdullah, President of the Filipino Association of Secretaries of Employment Agencies in Kuwait (FIL-ASEAK), said whatev-

KUWAIT: The Kuwait Investment Authority is seriously considering the option of providing necessary financing to build and operate a shareholding company that will be established to build hospitals for treatment of expatriates covered by a government health insurance program. Reports last January had suggested that the KIA planned to purchase half of the highly anticipated company’s shares that are intended to be put in an initial public offering, then distribute them to Kuwaitis as ‘grants’. But with reports indicating that the company which won the strategic investor’s share is struggling to put the project underway nine months after the auction, a report yesterday indicated that the Gulf state’s sovereign fund could step in so that the project becomes a reality. Sources quoted in the Annahar daily report suggested that financing the project would not affect the KIA’s financial status or future investment plans They further indicated that the company’s capital which currently stands at KD230 million could be raised to KD300 million. Al-Qabas reported meanwhile that the process to establish the company is going through a bumpy road after the Arabi Group Holding which had won the strategic investor’s share requested amendments on the company’s memorandum of association and statute. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry rejected the request, however,

and asked the company to contact the KIA as the ‘authorized body’ to make such changes. Arabi Group Holding was selected last August as a strategic investor in the project with a KD66.7 million offer to invest in 26 percent of the shareholding company. The government, represented by the Kuwait Investment Authority, owns the remaining 24 percent in the shareholding company. The company plans to start building after the end of the IPO with the plan to build 3 hospitals with a total capacity of 200 beds each within four years. The hospitals will offer integrated medical services covered through a government-sponsored medical insurance program in which insurance companies will handle payments for medical services at the hospital. The health insurance hospitals’ project is the first mega project included in the country’s development plan and implemented in the health sector. It includes establishing 3 hospitals with 50,000 square meter area each in Ahmadi, Amghara and Al-Dhajeej. The hospitals would provide full medical services to both Kuwaitis and expatriates covered by the government’s insurance program, while several reports indicated in the past that they will serve as exclusive medical outlets for the country’s expatriate community as the state looks to reduce pressure on currently overcrowded public medical facilities.

Labeed Abdal er the decision of the government regarding this issue, they cannot do anything but follow. “What we want is complete protection of our workers who are deployed to Kuwaiti or non-Kuwaiti employers. What is important is their safety and rights must be protected. My concern over centralized deployment is the rampant ‘wasta system’. Those who are closer to that new corporation may get the contract but many will be left out,” she warned.


in brief

Jaber Bridge project KUWAIT: Minister of Public Works and Minister of Electricity and Water Abdul Aziz Al-Ibrahim stressed that the ministry has laid special concrete layers to be used for shrimp farming in the Gulf waters. In collaboration with EPA, Kuwait University and Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), an agreement was made with the contractor executing the Jaber Bridge project to build the shrimp farms. Ibrahim added that the projec t would include 1,000 farms that would make Jaber bridge an environment-friendly project and positively affect Kuwait’s marine environment. ‘Campaign silence law’ KUWAIT: The public prosecution recently informed the ministry of information of rejecting cases it had filed against a number of local dailies for violating the ‘campaign silence law ’ by publishing parliamentary election ads and interviews with certain candidates one day before the last parliamentary elections were held in July 2013. The prosecution said that what happened was not legally incriminating and that it would not refer them to the criminal cour t. The prosecution’s decision came af ter hearing Al-Jarida’s attorney who advocated that the press and publication law does not criminalize ‘violating campaign silence’ and that clearly defined incriminating cases do not include such a felony.

KUWAIT: Saudi citizens visit their embassy yesterday to give their “Baia” (pledge of allegiance to the appointment of Prince Miqren bin Abdulaziz) as heir to the Crown Prince. — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Waste Management Conference K U WA I T: Th e Ku w a i t Fl o u r M i l l s a n d Bakery Company is the main sponsor of t h e 6 t h Ku w a i t Wa s te M a n a g e m e n t Conference and Exhibition, which kicks off April 16 at the Radisson Blu hotel. This was announced by Promedia that is organizing the two-day event under the patronage of the Municipality. Ahmad Al-Subaih, the General Director of the Municipality, is scheduled to attend the inauguration. The conference addresses the latest developments in waste management, modern recycling methods and ways to limit pollution, said Jamal Omran, the head of the event’s organizing committee. He added that Kuwait has one of the largest waste creation rates in the world, with average household waste reaching at least 4,000 tons a day.

KUWAIT: Deputy Premier and Interior minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khalid honored several officers, non-commissioned officers and civilians from all sectors of the ministry for their efforts in safeguarding security and upkeeping of the law. —By Hanan Al-Saadoun

NA panel offers gays help to ‘end their suffering’ KUWAIT: Members of a parliamentary committee are willing to welcome crossdressers and homosexuals in order to help them find a “solution to their problem,” a lawmaker was quoted as saying yesterday. “If there are homosexuals seeking to discuss what they are suffering from, our doors are open for them,” said MP Hamdan Al-Azmi, who is the president of the so-called ‘negative phenomena committee’ in Kuwait’s National Assembly. He added that ‘specialized doctors’ would be invited in order to discuss each

file individually. “Some cross-dressers are going through physiological suffering, and maybe they can be cured if they are seen by specialists,” he said in statements to Al-Rai daily. Men appearing publically in female clothing and vice versa are arrested and charged with ‘imitating the opposite sex’ under Kuwait’s Penal Code, which also criminalizes all sorts of homosexual activity. Al-Azmi invited gays “who are looking for a solution to their suffering” starting from next week.

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Fake policeman rapes girlfriend’s friend Cabby hands drug offender to police KUWAIT: A search is on for a fake policeman accused of raping his girlfriend’s friend. According to the police report, the Filipina woman had invited her female friend to her apartment. Her Kuwaiti boyfriend, who had been dating her for a while and made her believe that he was a police detective, was there at the time. The man started drinking and after he became drunk, he forced the victim into a room and raped her, according to his girlfriend, who headed to the police station and filed a case. Drug offender A taxi driver dropped a customer off at the Jahra police station instead of the man’s desired destination because the youngster was under the influence of drugs. The driver realized that the man was inebriated minutes after he

entered the car as he could not even specify a place he wanted to go to. The driver handed the man over to police, who found Captagon pills, hashish and shabu (meth) in his possession. The man was taken to the Drug Control General Department for further action. Kidnapper arrested Jahra detectives arrested a man hours after he abducted a teenager in Sulaibiya on Saturday. Investigations began after a bedoon man in his 40s reported that his son was kidnapped outside a restaurant near the area’s coop society. The suspect reportedly forced the 14year-old inside his car and drove away, but none of the boy’s friends were able to note the car’s license plate number. Detectives were able to identify the suspect a few hours later, placed

him under arrest and impounded his car, setting the boy free in the process. The Saudi national was taken for investigation to determine his motives and to face charges. Suicide attempt A nursery school worker was hospitalized in critical condition after she consumed a caustic substance in a suicide attempt. An ambulance rushed the woman, an Indian national in her late 20s, to Jahra Hospital where she was diagnosed with burn injuries in the mouth, throat and esophagus, and admitted in the intensive care unit. Paramedics and police had headed to the scene in response to an emergency call made by officials at the nursery, who found the woman complaining from severe pain. A suicide investigation was opened.

VIVA participates in Bayt Lothan activities KUWAIT: VIVA, Kuwait’s fastest-growing and most developed telecom operator, announced its participation in Bayt Lothan’s activities and initiatives in 2014. VIVA will begin its support through its sponsorship of Bayt Lothan’s KREATE initiative which commences on April 7 and is a multi-disciplinary exhibition, with different talents from various artistic fields, from paintings and graphic design, and from artisan jewelry to photography. Bayt Lothan organized the KREATE initiative as a celebration of local creativity and as part of its ongoing community projects aimed at highlighting local entrepreneurs and supporting the local Kuwaiti art scene. VIVA’s sponsorship falls under its corporate social responsibility strategy of supporting all youth related activities. VIVA is committed to supporting Kuwait’s youth through different initiatives that encourage creativity and developing their talents in arts and design. VIVA will continue to looking for unique

opportunities to contribute to the welfare of the society and help serve the youth best and shed the light on its ongoing corporate social commitment. VIVA is the fastest-growing telecom operator in Kuwait. Launched in December 2008, VIVA makes things Possible for its customers by transforming communication, information and entertainment experiences. The company has rapidly established an unrivalled position in the market through its customer centric approach. VIVA’s quest is to be the mobile brand of choice in Kuwait by being transparent, engaging, energetic and fulfilling. VIVA continues to take a considerable share of the market by offering an innovative range of best value products, services and content propositions; a state of the art, nationwide network and world-class service. VIVA offers internet speeds of more than 100 Mbps, due to the implementation of the most advanced fourth generation (4G LTE) network in Kuwait resulting in superior coverage, performance and reliability.

SHARJAH: Scenes from the ‘Clusters of Light’ oratorio.

Sharjah concludes ‘Clusters of Light’ oratorio SHARJAH: More than 15,000 people enjoyed the ‘Clusters of Light’, a spectacular oratorio that chronicles the history of Islam, which held its fifth and final show on Friday at the Majaz

Amphitheatre in Sharjah. The oratorio is based on the biography of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and was displayed using dazzling technology and special effects. The music is composed

by the Bahraini composer Khalid Al-Sheikh and it is performed by more than 200 artistes from around the world, led by top Arab stars Hussein Al-Jasmi, Lotfi Bouchnak, Ali Mohammed

Hajja and Mohammad Assaf. Several VIPs, as well as media, art and cultural personalities attended the event, organized as part of the Sharjah Islamic Culture Capital activities.

Arab countries face population growth challenges KUWAIT: Arab countries are facing real challenges, primarily population growth, in the field of human development, according to a recent report of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC). Population growth leads to high energy consumption rates, infrastructure pressure, rising unemployment, low education levels and increasing literacy rates, the OAPEC said in its monthly report. The 2012 UN Human Development Index designated Arab nations as medium human development countries, something which reflects the need to redraw population and educational policies in Arab countries, it said. The Human Development Index (HDI) is a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education and standards of living for countries worldwide. It is a standard means of measuring wellbeing, especially child welfare. It is used

to distinguish whether the country is a developed, a developing or an underdeveloped country, and also to measure the impact of economic policies on quality of life. Countries fall into four broad categories based on their HDI: very high (above 0.9), high (between 0.8 and 0.9), medium (between 0.5 and 0.8) and low (below 0.5) human development. Petroleum industries are given much significance in Arab economies,and are considered a joint and influential factor on all economic sectors and a key attractive factor for Arab human development, according to the OAPEC report. Petroleum industries are marked by international features and wide-scale geographical expansion, but require available huge capital and rely upon modern technology in all industrial stages involving exploration and production, it added. OAPEC member states shoulder the

responsibility for continuing with playing their positive role in ensuring a stable global oil market and in keeping oil as a major energy source, it pointed out. The Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) is a regional inter-governmental organization established by an agreement signed in Beirut on January 9, 1968 by Kuwait, Libya and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The three founding members chose the state of Kuwait for the Organizations’ domicile and headquarters. Recognizing the role of petroleum as a principal and basic source of its members’ income, OAPEC is concerned with the development and prosperity of the world petroleum industry by fostering close and fruitful cooperation among its members. OAPEC members are Egypt, the UAE, Qatar, Libya, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Algeria, Tunisia and Bahrain. —KUNA

Japan thankful for Kuwaiti assistance MIYAKO, Japan: Japanese Cabinet ministers renewed gratitude to Kuwait for helping a disaster-hit railway in northeastern Japan to restart its full operations yesterday. The remarks come as Sanriku Railway made a complete comeback after a three-year hiatus, with introducing new railcars purchased with financial aid from Kuwait. In a grand ceremony at Miyako Station, about 480 km northeast of Tokyo, Reconstruction Minister Takumi Nemoto said in his speech, “Since its establishment in 1984, Sanriku Railway has served as an important tool for students and elder people here. It has also helped boost tourism. We sincerely appreciate Kuwait for its great assistance.” Nemoto also asserted that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet puts a top priority on accelerating reconstruction efforts in the disaster-stricken areas. Sanriku Railway operates a 107.6-km track along the Pacific coast of Iwate Prefecture, comprising two lines-the North Rias Line and the South Rias Line, both essential for local people’s life. But it was forced to suspend operations after its train cars, rails, bridges and stations were wrecked by a magnitude 9.0quake and ensuring tsunami on March 11, 2011. Land, Infrastructure and Transport and Tourism Minister Akihiro Ota also expressed gratitude to Kuwait for its fullest support since the 2011 tragedy. “Three years after the devastating disaster, Sanriku Railway finally comes back. The resumption of railway brings local people special and distinct joy from the restoration of other transportation. Financial assistance from Kuwait enabled Sanriku Railway to buy such excellent railcars, and we all Japanese people are so much grateful to Kuwait.” Much-awaited full recovery of the both lines was achieved by the restoration of the 10.5 km-section on the North Rias Line, a day after the neighboring South Rias Line’s complete comeback. Commemorating the full-scale operations, Sanriku Railway

introduced five new railcars, each costs $1.6 million, including a retro car and a traditional Japanese house look-alike car. The new carriages were purchased with financial aid from Kuwait. In April last year, Kuwait also helped the company buy three brand-new railcars on the occasion of the partial relaunch of the South Rias Line. Kuwaiti Ambassador to Japan Abdulrahman Al-Otaibi and his wife celebrated railway’s full revival with the ministers, officials and local people. At the ceremony, the ambassador expressed gratitude for being able to attend this historical ceremony, which he described “another clear path of reconstruction.” Although the sufferings from the loss and destruction still continue, the ambassador showed confidence that the people in the affected areas are all gifted with the passion and capability in exploring ways towards even more brilliant future. “I reaffirm that our people as well as our government will continue their stand and support to our sincere Japanese friends. Please consider us a close friend who are committed to be with you all the time,” Al-Otaibi affirmed. In grateful acknowledgment of Kuwait’s assistance, Governor of Iwate Prefecture Takuya Tasso, who doubles as Chairman of Sanriku Railway, gave the ambassador a relic rail and a model train. In his speech, Tasso expressed gratitude to Kuwait’s substantial support as well as enormous efforts and cooperation by everyone concerned. “A new Ozashiki (traditional Japanese-style sitting room) train was introduced with Kuwait’s assistance. Following the 2011 catastrophe and upon directives of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Kuwait offered a donation of five million barrels of crude oil to Japan, an equivalent of some $500 million. The crude sales proceeds were given to the three hardest-hit prefectures including Iwate. —KUNA



Hotel’s support of competition helps promote Kuwait beauty Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa supports Kuwait Times art competition KUWAIT: Hakan Petek Acting General Manager Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel and Spa tells the Kuwait Times about the Jumeirah Group’s first property in Kuwait., its amenities and their give-back-to-the-community attitude as well as the importance to raise students’ awareness about the environment.

Hakan Petek KT: Can you introduce Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel and Spa to us? Hakan Petek: Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel and Spa is Jumeirah Group’s first property in the Gulf region outside the United Arab Emirates. Situated along the shores of the Arabian Gulf, the property is ideally located in the secluded area of Messilah, with easy access to Kuwait’s Central Business District, airport and major attractions. Built on the same historical site where the Messilah Beach Hotel opened in Kuwait in 1974, Jumeirah Group’s vision resulted in a truly luxurious beachfront development that brings an exciting set of new experiences interlaced with heritage and history. Following its soft opening in May 2013, the hotel has consistently experienced a better than expected occupancy rate. With its wellappointed amenities and facilities, perfectly complemented by a personalized service that is distinctly Jumeirah, the hotel continues to provide a complete destination for both the leisure and business travel segments. KT: Why did you decide to support the Kuwait Beautiful and Green students art competition? HP: Our support for this competition is aimed at promoting the beauty of Kuwait and encouraging initiatives that advocate increased greenery around the country for healthier living. Additionally, we deem it

important to raise students’ awareness about the environment. Our efforts are very much aligned with Jumeirah Group’s philosophy of being thoughtful and generous and giving something back to the community. We are very pleased to host the event’s closing ceremony in the country’s largest ballroom Badriah, which is the perfect setting for such a significant initiative. It has been organized by the Kuwait Times newspaper and held under the patronage of Kuwait’s Ministry of Education, Ministr y of Oil, Ministr y of Information and the Chairman of the Environment Protections Authority. KT: What sets apart your hotel and spa from other hotels in Kuwait? HP: Jumeirah is regarded as one of the most luxurious and innovative brands in the world and has won numerous international travel and tourism awards. The brand’s STAY DIFFERENT brand promise delivers imaginative and exhilarating experiences in culturally connected environments that offer a thoughtful and generous service. In line with this core essence, the individuality of the Jumeirah portfolio is unmistakable and encompassing. What sets Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel and Spa apart is that it is a luxurious historical landmark and is a one-of-a-kind destination in Kuwait. It delivers elegance, comfort and style as well as serenity, relaxation, rejuvenation and fun to an increasing number of discerning guests who expect no less than excellent service and quality. It offers a full range of products and services either for leisure or business travellers and for individuals, groups and families. KT: What are some of the unique features of Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel and Spa? HP: The hotel’s design has been inspired by Kuwait and its specific location. Messilah is derived from the word Massiyalah and denotes a low-lying area where waters merge and flow into the sea. As a result, water is inherent to the hotel’s identity and can be found throughout the property’s design. Water features flow from the central lobby and throughout the building to connect with streams, channels and fountains in the gardens. Water is also reflected in a series of striking sculptures and in the interior design of the hotel. In addition, the hotel’s spa has been named Talise, which means ‘beautiful waters’ in a native American language, to reflect the calming and soothing properties of water. A key design feature is the use of traditional

Kuwaiti oriel windows of Mashrabiya designs which can be found around the hotel. Mashrabiya screens are also fitted in the bedrooms and can be pulled across the windows to provide privacy and shade from the sun. Another unique feature of the hotel is the Reef room, a hidden haven with an impressive under water design that features over 7,500,000 million mosaic tiles. The 131 sq m room is perfect for VIP events, board meetings, small social events and cocktail receptions for any special event. Furthermore, the hotel offers Badriah, the largest ballroom in Kuwait. This vast, purposebuilt 1,950 sq m ballroom and wedding hall also has a private bridal suite. KT: What are the hotel’s amenities? How many rooms, restaurants and swimming pools do you have? HP: The 55,000sq m hotel is made up of 407 elegantly appointed guest rooms, including 316 rooms and suites, 79 residential suites and 12 private and luxurious villas, all equipped with modern in-room technology. It also features an impressive selection of eight exceptional dining options. There are two swimming pools and a 200 metre private beach. KT: What are some of the services your spa offers? HP: Ever since Talise spa was opened back

GCC development officials convene in Kuwait KUWAIT: The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Committee of Undersecretaries of Planning and Development Ministries and institutions convened its 30th meeting here, yesterday, in preparation of the 24th meeting of the ministerial committee. Addressing the officials, Secretary General of Kuwait’s Higher Planning and Development Council Dr. Adel AlWuqayan said the region is facing accelerating and swift changes in all fields, including higher education, healthcare, and other areas of human development. This, he stressed, requires greater attention and more concerted effort that also matches the high rate of increase in population in the GCC and that states increase their peoples’ confidence in their own abilities so that they contribute more to regional and international development.

The Gulf states constitute a power not to be ignored in today’s energy market, he said, but cautioned “the technological advances and repeated calls for a switch to clean energy from renewable resources stands to put a damper on this weight, inevitably.” This means it is more vital than ever to seek diversification of sources of national income away from oil and related sectors, “and that is an added responsibility for the planning and development bodies to address.” Global political change and upheavals continue to shadow the Gulf economies, he argued, and makes it harder to do risk analysis or draft long-term plans. The way out is to focus on research and draw different scenarios and due reactions in an objective manner to ultimately take sound and well-thought decisions.

As for agenda, the officials address issues including follow up on implementation of comprehensive long-term development strategy (2010-2025), upcoming workshops on improving GCC performance in development and planning, follow up on resolutions of the 23rd GCC Planning and Development Ministerial Committee meeting, and review of memos of the Secretariat on several dossiers and recommendations of specialized committees. An item also high on the agenda is review of member states’ progress in the field of bolstering technical and scientific capabilities, specifically related to setting up comprehensive databases and developing best access and usage of the information, as well as automated linkage. —KUNA

Stage set for TEC Chess Tournament

Khalid Al-Mutairi

KUWAIT: The Touristic Enterprises Company organizes its 3rd Annual Chess Tournament in cooperation with the Kuwait Mind Sports Club. The competition kicks off on April 15 under the patronage of TEC CEO Khalid Al-Ghanim, and KMSA Chairman Hassan Jum’ah. Saqr Al-Bader, the Public Relations and Media Manager at the TEC, said that the competition is sponsored by his company, which hosts it at the Yachts Club, while the KMSA provides technical and administrative supervision. He added that Al-Ghanim ordered a KD1,000 reward for the juniors’ team. KMSA board member Khalid Al-Mutairi expressed gratitude to the TEC for sponsoring the event, and confirmed that the all 120 members of the KMA will participate in the competition.

Saqr Al-Bader

Talks on implementing summit resolutions AMMAN: Visiting Arab League Secretary General Nabil El-Araby yesterday discussed with senior Jordanian officials preparations for an emergency Arab ministerial meeting scheduled on April 9 and implementation of resolutions of the latest Arab summit hosted by Kuwait on March 25-26. Jordanian Premiership said in a statement Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour received El-Araby, discussing regional issues and “efforts underway to tackle challenges facing the Arab nation.” The two sides discussed preparations for the extraordinary meeting, due at the Arab League headquarters on April 9, namely topics listed in agenda of the planned meeting. Regarding the US-brokered PalestinianIsraeli peace talks, Ensour emphasised support for “all efforts to achieve a just peace between the two sides, leading to an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital within the framework of the two-state solution.” The secretary general and the premier, during the meeting

attended by Jordanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Judeh, discussed the Syrian crisis “and the need to find a political solution to the conflict that guarantees the country’s security and unity.” In this context, Ensour spoke about repercussions of events taking place in Syria on Jordan, particularly “pressures the Kingdom bears as a result of hosting hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees,” the official statement said. Robust support Earlier today, El-Araby held a meeting with the foreign minister, tackling the same topics. They also reviewed, according to an official statement, outcome of the recent Arab Summit held in Kuwait, issues debated by the conferees and “need to implement resolutions of the summit.” Arab leaders, in the final resolutions of the summit, re-affirmed robust support for the Palestinian cause, rejected Tel Aviv’s bids to proclaim Israel as a Jewish state and pledged to tackle Arab-Arab rifts.

The official statement added that the Arab League chief and the minister discussed the US-brokered Palestinian-Israeli peace talks, need to support peace efforts and address challenges facing the discussions, mainly with regard to Israel’s refusal to release the fourth batch of Palestinian prisoners. Judeh reiterated Jordan’s firm stance, which calls for the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital and carved out as per the 1967 borders. The talks also covered the crisis in Syria, the importance of putting an end to violence while guaranteeing Syria’s unity and security, in addition to issues that will be discussed by the Arab foreign ministers during their meeting in Cairo. The Arab League chief stressed his keenness to continue consultations and coordination with Jordan due to the Kingdom’s pivotal role in addressing various issues, and its membership of the UN Security Council. —KUNA

in September 2013, it has been the most sought after destination for a relaxing and tranquil experience in Kuwait. It covers 3,500 sq m and offers 17 treatment rooms, two private suites and a Salarium, a Himalayan salt room. The room is built with pure crystal salt in its natural state which has been compressed for over 250 million years. This salt helps to rebalance the body’s minerals and strengthens the immune system. Upon entering Talise Spa, guests will undergo a personalized consultation with an expert therapist to customize their spa experience. From massages, body treatments and facials using quality spa products, Talise offers a number of deeply soothing and refreshing treatments and therapies. KT: What do you offer families/children? HP: As a destination by itself in Kuwait, and on top of our services and facilities mentioned earlier, families can choose from five different categories of rooms including private villas. Children can also enjoy activities at the Sinbad’s Kids’ Club and the Scene Teens Club. The Sinbad’s Kids’ Club offers a wide variety of supervised activities for children under the age of six while the Scene Teens’ Club caters to young guests between ages of seven and 14. The club offers a game zone with a

PlayStation, Xbox and Wii, and traditional indoor games such as chess, snooker and table tennis. It also includes a private cinema for up to eight children. Both facilities are fully compliant with the health and safety regulations of the country and are constantly under the supervision of professional and first aid-trained colleagues.



kuwait digest

in my view

Egypt’s tough energy question

World Water Day celebration



eau is b e f i L

By Alsir Sidahmed

By Ahmad Al-Sarraf



The subsidies that almost benefit everyone cost the treasury some $20 billion. But more seriously the supply issue became apparent and that given the ongoing instability, dried investments and the subsidies, Egypt will not be able to meet its export commitments. However, over the past four years gas discoveries in Israel accelerated and, according to industry sources, the Tamar field alone contains some 240 billion cubic meters. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Energy Minister Silvan Shalom both pushed for exporting some 40 percent of the Israeli gas, leaving the remaining 60 percent for domestic consumption. And in their calculation such an arrangement will give Tel Aviv 25 years of gas generated income as well as securing domestic needs. Egypt is one of the potential markets Israel is eyeing, a move that will twist roles, but for those who argue that mutual economic interests provide the best security and base bilateral relations on a more sound ground, nothing much has changed. Egypt used to export to Israel and now Israel is keen to do the same. But it remains to be seen whether Tel Aviv will be more willing to agree on a concessionary deal as Mubarak did. However, in the heart of all this debate is the central issue of subsidies and to what extent the state will continue to shoulder that burden. Blanket subsidies, as is the case with energy subsidies in Egypt, provide an open invitation for consumption increase at a time when even those who could afford paying higher prices don’t, but removing subsidies is a dangerous political move. It is hard to see a new regime start its rule with such a step. However, though subsidies could be a real hot potato to handle, in the end it is the tip of the iceberg for a whole lot of political, economic and social issues that have to be faced by the new regime. In announcing his candidacy for the country’s top post, Field Marshal Abdel Fattah ElSissi did not mince words when he said that rough times are ahead, that sacrifices are to be made. He enjoys an undisputed popularity and mandate that will take its formal shape in a constitutional way after May elections. And that is where the real test starts to turn that popularity into an agreed political program for Egypt’s revival.

ion Govt vis


ill the fate of new political developments in Egypt be determined by energy? That is the question in the minds of many observers as the people cast their votes to elect their president later in May and the new regime will face the tough issue of how to handle the declining supply of gas to power stations and to consumers at large from day one . Power outage even before the summer picks up became a normality, in addition to long gas lines that were the result of growing subsidies, lack of new investments and accumulated arrears that belong to supply companies. The subsidies that almost benefit everyone cost the treasury some $20 billion according to energy officials, and that amounts to onefifth of the total government spending. Moreover, because of this subsidy the government has to pay companies, including foreign ones, the difference. And all that resulted into $4.8 billion arrears that have to be handled to ensure that these companies continue to provide supplies. However, in the meantime, Cairo started to look for options like a quick import of petroleum products to the tune of $1 billion that is being mooted. Contacts are already under way with Algeria’s Sonatrach, which is known as a major gas exporter in the region to provide some gas supplies to Egypt. The figure of 400 million cubic meter a day is being discussed, though there is no concrete outcome as yet. But importing liquefied natural gas (LNG) requires establishing an LNG import facility that is not available yet. But more interesting is that Israel is showing up as a potential supplier of gas to Egypt. It was in 2008, three years before the ousting of former President Hosni Mubarak, that Egypt entered into a concessionary agreement to export gas to Israel, but that agreement became subject to criticism as it was seen under-priced. And following the toppling of Mubarak, the pipeline carrying gas to Israel was hit 14 times to the extent that it became useless to keep on repairing it.

kuwait digest

Retain glory of our society By Ali Mahmoud Khajah


ravelers usually explore new cultures and after the sudden changes to realize how a whole lifestyles they have never experienced society would look like if subjected to the same. before. They even mix their newly-gained Now, after dozens of years since the compulsory knowledge with their own and in years, this local isolation was imposed on Kuwait, it is becoming and foreign culture and tradition mixture turns impossible. A parent who would have got angry into a normal way of life within their own society. twenty years ago if his daughter demanded having That is exactly what happened when Kuwait first her own mobile and deemed it a sign of immoraliopened to other societies and that is how its peo- ty, now strongly insists that she has one and even ple grew up, probably driven by need to make a searches for the best Internet deals so that he can living which made Kuwaitis welcome and mingle communicate with the world. He can never do with other peoples. This motive turned out posi- without search engines or different forms of social tively and made Kuwait media. spearhead its neighbors in the state, What we only have left is as Nevertheless, new sciences, cultures, arts an entity, still insists on and sports to stand neck isolation, which does not to open Kuwait to weland neck with much older with real life. What come diversity the way it comply and more open countries we only have left is to open was on inception to like Egypt, Lebanon and Kuwait to welcome diversiIraq. receive various cultures ty the way it was on incepBuilt by this diversity, tion to receive various culno matter how different tures no matter how differsome people suddenly decided to close and isolate they are to our interests ent they are to our interests Kuwait by considering personal preferences. and personal preferences. and innovations as haram (forWe can simply avoid diverbidden) and looked down sity if it does not match our on poorer nationalities. Culture became a menace, preferences and choose what only appeals to us, exploring other thoughts became a crime and nor- just the way we do while shopping. When somemal inter-gender communication and relations a thing is good for our societies, it can be welcomed, disgrace. embraced and developed. The result was definitely a confused society with Kuwait has been through years of compulsory disfigured identity exactly the way when a man setbacks that cost it all leading positions it had who had accustomed his family to a cer tain achieved through openness. Chances are very good lifestyle suddenly changes that style without prior nowadays to retain that glory and rebuild the socienotice and starts forcing them to follow a new one ty correctly regardless of religious-coated threats blindly and punishes whoever disobeys him. You that wish to maintain the status quo so that they can only imagine how such a family would look can have more control over things. —Al-Jarida

he civilized world celebrated lately, out of its feeling of responsibility, World Water Day. Designating a day for this vital substance has its indicators, due to water’s utter importance, after air, in the human being’s life. Due to our lack of civilization, that occasion did not mean anything to us. Also, our respect for this substance is diminishing continuously while our consumption is increasing at a mad rate. We top the world’s countries in consumption. We did not feel ashamed at the same time from loaning a small city in Argentina $52 million to treat its water and make it drinkable, while Kuwait Municipality in the same week discovered material unfit for human consumption in the bottles of a Kuwaiti company! As usual, the company’s name was not published, nor any warning against its water, and its sale continues at cooperatives, in grocery stores and the ministries complex! The truth that many are not accepting, is that the water that reaches our homes in pipes is better than any other for human consumption, provided that it goes through simple filtration, especially if the reverse osmosis method is used, because it is cheaper than others. Companies that work in the field of purifying water have

The truth that many are not accepting, is that the water that reaches our homes in pipes is better than any other for human consumption, provided that it goes through simple filtration, especially if the reverse osmosis method is used, because it is cheaper than others. full information on the benefits of this method, or defects if they exist! But we assume that the seawater the government converts into fresh water will remain in its current condition, and its salt rates will not increase in the future, or the cost of its desalination will not rise to unacceptable levels, and that the Gulf is not exposed to pollution as a result of environmental or industrial catastrophes. This is of course a naive assumption, because all these probabilities are possible, so it is dangerous to be satisfied with reliance on desalination stations without strategic alternatives. It is necessary to think about our future needs of water in a more practical way, bearing in mind that alternatives are available including the use of solar energy, in addition to seriously thinking about searching for other sources of water that are more effective and sustainable, by importing from abroad in large quantities and storing it in a practical manner. The continued increase in population requires deep-rooted solutions and future strategies that can be depended on to meet the increasing state need of this vital substance, and not ignoring the problem as if it does not exist. —Al-Qabas

kuwait digest

Treatment of cancer in Kuwait By Dr Salah Al-Utaiqi

in my view

Palestinian frustration By Rasheed Abou-Alsamh


he interruption of the peace negotiations ings of the Arab Spring over the past three years, between the Israelis and the Palestinians and the West’s confrontation with Iran over its recently happened when Palestinian President nuclear program, have taken the world’s attention Mahmoud Abbas - frustrated with the non-release away from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. How, I of a last group of Palestinian prisoners by Israel - wonder, can the Jews of Israel, who endlessly evoke signed the accession papers asking that the state of the atrocities committed against them by the Nazis Palestine be admitted to 15 UN agencies and inter- in World War II in Europe, treat the Palestinians in national treaties, including the Vienna and Geneva the West Bank as second-class citizens with few civil, conventions. With that the mediator of the negotia- political, or economic rights? US President Barack Obama allegedly gave Kerry tions, US Secretary of State John Kerry, canceled his the green light to put the possible release of US spy trip to Ramallah and flew off to Brussels. But it was also the announcement by Israel that Jonathan Pollard on the negotiating table with the it had reissued a tender for the construction of 708 Israelis. The thought is that with his release homes in a neighborhood of East Jerusalem, which Netanyahu could release even more Palestinian prisis considered occupied and annexed, that forced oners, including 400 women and children, without the Palestinian reac tion. The Palestinians had being criticized too much by Israeli public opinion, agreed to defer asking for admission to these inter- which has not seen the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israel favorably. But it national bodies for nine is a mistake to offer Pollard months, following Israeli fears that they would critiMany are already ringing to the Israelis. He will be able to request conditional cize them in these forums, but Abbas said the the death knell of this last parole in 2015, and the Palestinians had to react to period of negotiations that entire US intelligence community has been adamant the Israeli announcement. that no American president only began in July 2013 With this latest round of since the late 1980s has parexchange of accusations after being stopped for doned Pollard because of and unilateral actions, many the thousands of pages of a re a l re a d y r i n gi n g t h e five years. military secrets he sold to death knell of this last periIsrael and other countries. In od of negotiations that only began in July 2013 after being stopped for five any case, Netanyahu has always greedily requested years. I think it’s too early to announce the end of much more when Americans have offered him a attempts to negotiate a final agreement for the reward for an act to advance the negotiations. I think Abbas and Kerry are sincere in wanting to establishment of a state of Palestine, free and independent within the West Bank, an occupied territo- advance negotiations for a final agreement that ry by Israel since 1967, and the Gaza Strip. The would see Israel’s borders with a Palestinian state biggest obstacle is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin defined. Unfortunately Obama does not seem to Netanyahu and his coalition of ultraconservative have much patience with both sides, and Netanyahu and nationalist par ties who insist that the does not take the peace process seriously. Still, we Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state; cannot allow ourselves to be taken by despair. A fair renounce their historical claim to the east and Arab solution for both sides is the only way for a safer part of Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian Middle East that is equitable for all. But we cannot be state, and that Israel will be able to leave troops in stuck in endless negotiations and keep talking just for the sake of talking. Perhaps it is time to introduce the West Bank indefinitely. These Israeli demands leave no doubt that the a negotiator other than the US, which never hid its current Israeli government does not want to see a fondness for Israel. A European interlocutor could viable Palestinian state alongside Israel. The upris- very well be the needed solution.


any people are terrorized by the mere mention of the disease’s name, despite the fact that it can be cured like any other ailment. The main problem regarding cancer is that we do not know its primary cause in order to be able to prevent it. We still do not know the exact reason that makes a peaceful cell that divides normally go out of control, become malignant and attack cells around it mercilessly. There are indicators which point out to some causes such as genes, radiation, pollution, smoking, certain foods or viruses. Cancerous cells divide and expand in untraditional ways. They appear in irregular ways, and spread quickly through lymphatic channels and blood to other cells in the body. Cancer is the second cause of death in the world after heart disease. The most common symptoms of cancer that require seeing a doctor immediately if noticed include the appearance of tumors, bleeding, change in voice, coughing for no apparent reason or unusual weight loss. The most common types of cancer are breast cancer, colorectal cancer and prostate cancer. During discussion of the treatment abroad file in the previous parliament, a recommendation came to send all cancer patients to hospitals outside Kuwait. Since the proposal is unrealistic and extremely costly, we asked for it to be referred to the health committee for further study. The parliament was dissolved before we could discuss it, however. This proposal exposes lack of knowledge in Kuwait about the fact that the country has all kinds of cancer treatments found in advanced countries. That includes surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormone therapy. Furthermore, treatment protocols in Kuwait are the same followed by the United States of America, United Kingdom and all European nations. Therefore, I hope that the proposal is not brought again for debate in the parliament as sending patients for treatment abroad could be disadvantageous for the patient sometimes, especially those who are in a terminal stage. Treatment of all types of cancer can be found in Kuwait. We also have competent doctors and advanced machines not found in many countries around the world. Successful treatment can reach 80 percent in cases of early diagnoses. —Al-Qabas


Bomb kills two Afghan election workers, destroys ballot papers

Family feud resumes in southern Egypt, killing 2 Page 8

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KUALA LUMPUR: A couple sit near to a graffiti work featuring the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, yesterday. Searchers hunting for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet were racing to a patch of the southern Indian Ocean yesterday to determine whether a few brief sounds picked up by underwater equipment came from the plane’s black boxes, whose battery-operated beacons are on the verge of dying out. — AP

Australia probes ‘encouraging’ signals in MH370 hunt PERTH: Ships searching the vast Indian Ocean for a Malaysian airliner have detected three separate underwater signals, and more ships and planes were diverted yesterday to investigate whether they could have come from its “black box”. Angus Houston, head of the Australian search mission, said the detections were being taken “very seriously” as time ticked down on the battery life of the black box’s tracking beacons. He said China’s Haixun 01 has twice detected an underwater signal on a frequency used for the plane’s flight data and cockpit voice recorders-once for 90 seconds on Saturday and another more fleeting “ping” on Friday a short distance away. A third “ping” was also being scrutinised, 300 nautical miles away in the Indian Ocean. The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 with 239 people aboard vanished on March 8 during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

Black boxes: Crucial to air crash probes PERTH: Black boxes, which record all in-flight data in aircraft, are essential tools in air accident investigations and thanks to them nine out of ten accidents can be explained. Commercial airliners must carry two black boxes. The Digital Flight Data Recorder contains information about the speed, altitude and direction, while the Cockpit Voice Recorder keeps track of cockpit conversations and other sounds and announcements in the pilots’ cabin. Actually orange in colour, with reflective white stripes to make them easy to see, each black box weighs between seven and ten kilograms (15-22 lb). Introduced into aviation in the 1960s, the flight recorders are held inside especially solid metal boxes built to survive extremely violent shocks, from intense fires to lengthy immersion in deep water. They can survive as deep as 6,000 metres (almost 20,000 feet) underwater or exposure to a very high temperature-one hour at 1,100 degrees Centigrade. They are fitted with a tracking beacon which can emit a signal for about one month. The signal can sometimes continue for several days beyond that duration, possibly an extra eight to 10 days, according to Angus Houston, the head of the Australian search mission. A frequency of 37.5 kHz is the most common for aviation flight data recorders, according to experts. It was the level at which a signal was detected by the Chinese ship Haixun 01 on April 5 as it searched the southern Indian Ocean for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. —AFP

“This is an important and encouraging lead but one which I urge you to continue to treat carefully,” Houston told reporters. “We are working in a very big ocean and within a very large search area.” “Speculation and unconfirmed reports can see the loved ones of the passengers put through terrible stress and I don’t want to put them under any further emotional distress at this very difficult time.” A spokeswoman for Britain’s Ministry of Defence confirmed late Sunday that the HMS Echo, equipped with a black box locator, had arrived in the area where the Chinese had reported a ping. “It will start its work to find the black box in the next hour,” the spokeswoman told AFP. Earlier, Houston said Australian ship Ocean Shield-also equipped with a black box locator-and Australian air force planes were being diverted to the area to help discount or confirm the Chinese signals. Ocean Shield was also investigating the signal it detect-

ed on Sunday in its current location, about 300 nautical miles north of Haixun 01, in waters far off Australia’s west coast. Houston said the Chinese finding was more promising. “I think the fact that we’ve had two detections, two acoustic events in that location, provides some promise which requires a full investigation,” he said. Time running out The hunt for the jet was refocused on the southern end of the search zone yesterday after corrected satellite data showed it was more likely the plane entered the water there. Houston said the Haixun 01 was already operating in that more southerly zone. Some analysts greeted the acoustic detections with optimism, saying a 37.5kHz signal can only be transmitted by an emergency beacon. But others were sceptical and said it was vital to find supporting evidence. Houston said Haixun 01 was in waters about 4.5 kilometres (nearly three miles) deep, meaning “any recovery operation is going to be incredibly challenging and very demanding and will take a long period of time” if the plane is found there. Houston said time was critical. “This is Day 30 of the search and the advertised time for the life of the batteries in the beacon is 30 days. Sometimes they last for several days beyond that-say eight to 10 days beyond that-but we’re running out of time in terms of the battery life of the emergency locator beacons.” Up to 10 military planes, two civil aircraft and 13 ships were scouring the remote waters on Sunday, concentrating on about 216,000 square kilometres (86,400 sq miles) of the Indian Ocean around 2,000 kilometres (1,250 miles) northwest of Perth. Houston insisted that China was “sharing everything that’s relevant to this search” with the lead authority, and sidestepped questions over the Haixun 01’s location far from the other lead vessels in the search. “China has seven ships out there, that’s by far the largest fleet of ships out there. I think we should be focusing on the positives,” he said. Hope, scepticism over signal In Kuala Lumpur more than 2,000 people including relatives held an emotional mass prayer Sunday for the safety of the passengers. Orange-robed Buddhist monks chanted mantras for almost two hours, before about two dozen tearful relatives left the event. Some family members still cling to hope in the absence of wreckage from the plane, and are desperate for leads. But Greg Waldron, Asia managing editor of Flightglobal publication, based in Singapore, said he was sceptical that the Chinese ship had picked up a pulse. “There have been a lot of false leads in this story and we need to be extremely cautious with any information that comes,” he told AFP. “I am very sceptical that the Chinese have found something so soon, given the vastness of the search area.” Ravi Madavaram, an aviation analyst with Frost & Sullivan based in Kuala Lumpur, said most beacons used in the maritime and aviation industry had the same frequency and the ping could “likely” be from flight MH370. “But the Chinese have not said exactly where the ‘ping’ is originating and where they detected it,” he said. “The Chinese had previously given false alarms, so we need to verify from others before we can confirm that we have a ping.” Malaysian authorities believe satellite readings indicate MH370 crashed in the Indian Ocean after veering dramatically off course for reasons that remain unknown. A criminal probe has focused on the possibility of a hijacking, sabotage or psychological problems among passengers or crew, but there is no evidence yet to support any of the theories. — AFP



Family feud resumes in southern Egypt, killing 2 ASWAN: Clashes between an Arab clan and a Nubian family resumed yesterday in Egypt’s south, killing two people and wounding four, health officials said, leaving the tourist city of Aswan on the edge despite a high-profile government effort to end the bloodshed. The bloody clashes, which began Friday, so far have claimed 25 lives. Gunfights spread beyond a residential area to outside the local hospital and morgue near the city’s center, a few kilometers (miles) from the tourist hotels and its commercial areas. An angry mob from the Arab clan torched more new Nubian homes yesterday after collecting the bodies of their relatives to bury. The attack pushed armed Nubians into the streets, sparking pitched gun battles. Police struggled to break up the mob outside the hospital. A military helicopter flew over the area. Locals meanwhile complained of the inability of security forces to halt the vendetta violence. Nubians burned horse carts belonging to the Arab clan in protest. A Nubian resident reached by telephone said gunmen from the Arab Haleyla clan attacked his neighborhood el-Sayel el-Rifi, on the edge of Aswan. “We are dying. They are attacking us,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he feared for his life.

“There is no government and no police in the area.” The renewed clashes came shortly after the local governor visited the area. An Associated Press photographer there said firefights broke out nearby, including outside the hospital and morgue. An armored vehicle was stationed outside the neighborhood of narrow dirt roads. Authorities closed local schools and a university over fears of renewed violence. Bloody fued In the city’s center, shops and bakeries were closed. Trains sat at the edge of town, trying to wait out the violence. The bloody feud began after a fight last week between school students drew in adults, sparking the clashes that turned deadly Friday. Police said the fight was over the harassment of a girl. Witnesses said offensive graffiti written on the school walls fueled the violence. Security officials say members of the Arab clan are involved in arms and drugs smuggling and are well-armed. The fight took on a political overtone when the impoverished Arab clan accused the ethnic Nubians of supporting the military, while the Nubians say the Arabs back ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi and are protected by officials loyal to longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

Local leaders say police were mostly absent from the streets, causing the violence to spread. The governor appealed for the military to deploy troops in the area. On Sunday, a military official said more soldiers were heading to Aswan. Egypt’s Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and his interior minister visited Aswan on Saturday to meet local leaders to end the dispute. Mahlab promised a fact-finding mission to investigate how the violence erupted. But vendettas, particularly over perceived violations of honor, are all too common in southern Egypt. Yesterday, local government official Mohammed Mostafa told private television station CBC that officials are considering emergency measures and possibly a curfew in the area. The violence in Egypt’s south adds to unrest plaguing the country since Morsi’s overthrow in July. Protests by Morsi supporters often devolve into violence and militants have launched a wave of attacks since his ouster. It also comes before May’s presidential election, in which the former powerful military chief Abdel-Fattah elSissi, who removed Morsi, will run for office and is widely expected to win. Yesterday, former presidential hopeful Mortada Mansour announced he would run for president. Mortada, widely considered a Mubarak loyalist and the head

29 rebels dead in Syria premature car blast DAMASCUS: At least 29 rebels died in a blast yesterday in the central Syrian city of Homs as they primed a car bomb for an attack, a monitoring group said. In the capital, meanwhile, two people were killed when mortar fire struck the Damascus Opera House, state media reported. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said at least 29 people were killed, most or all of them believed to be rebels, in the besieged Old City of Homs when a car bomb exploded. “ The death toll is likely to rise because there are dozens of people missing and body parts in the area of the blast,” the Britain-based group said. State news agency SANA also reported the blast, saying a car had exploded while being loaded with explosives. One activist network, the

Syrian Revolution General Commission, said the blast was the result of a rocket landing on an ammunition deport in the area. The claim could not be independently confirmed. The blast took place on the outskirts of the Old City of Homs, which is under rebel control. Some 1,400 civilians were able to leave the area this year under UN supervision, but an estimated 1,500 people remain until the army siege. In the capital, SANA said two people were killed in mortar fire by rebel fighters. “Two people were killed and five wounded by a mortar round that hit the Damascus Opera House” near key government and military buildings on Umayyad Square, it said. The attack damaged the Opera House, which was inaugurated by President Bashar al-Assad in 2004.

Mortar fire also wounded 13 people in several neighbourhoods of the capital. On Saturday, mortar rounds struck near the Russian embassy, said the Observatory. The rebel fire on Damascus comes as government forces step up a campaign to crush insurgents in its eastern suburbs, it said. Yesterday, the Observatory said five civilians, including three children, were killed in regime air strikes on the town of Douma northeast of Damascus. And additional air raids as well as fierce fighting was reported in Mleiha, southwest of the capital in Damascus province. In northern Aleppo province, the Obser vator y said two people, including a child, were killed in raids using explosive -packed barrels bombs, an army tactic that has caused dozens of deaths. —AFP

ASWAN: People walk past a security vehicle deployed near a site of clashes Saturday between a Nubian family and members of the Arab Haleyla clan, in the southern city of Aswan, Egypt, yesteray. Deadly clashes have restarted yesterday in Egypt’s south a day after tens were killed in a protracted feud and despite high profile mediation to end the bloodshed. — AP of renowned Egyptian soccer club Zamalek, was disqualified on a technicality before the 2012 poll that Morsi won. Speaking to journalists, Mansour said he would ban all protests and strikes

nationwide for one year if elected. He did not offer details on how he planned to do it. Leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi is also running in the election, scheduled for May 26 and 27. — AP

Israel threatens unilateral moves against Palestinians ‘Palestinians have much to lose from a unilateral move’ JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened the Palestinians yesterday with unilateral reprisals as the two sides prepared for last-ditch talks with a US envoy on salvaging teetering peace talks. He said Israel would retaliate if the Palestinians proceed with applications to adhere to 15 international treaties. “These will only make a peace agreement more distant,” he said of the applications the Palestinians submitted on Tuesday. “Any unilateral moves they take will be answered by unilateral moves at our end.” Netanyahu’s remarks, made at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting, came as Israeli and Palestinian negotiators prepared to meet US envoy Martin Indyk in an attempt to save the peace process from collapse. US Secretary of State John Kerry, the driving force behind the peace push, warned on Friday that there were “limits” to the time and energy Washington could devote to the talks process, as his appeals to both sides to step back from the brink fell on deaf ears. Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas rejected a plea from Kerry to withdraw the treaty applications, and Netanyahu ignored US appeals to refrain from tit-for-tat moves, asking for a range of retaliatory options to be drawn up. Israel says Abbas’s move was a clear breach of the commitments the Palestinians gave when the talks were relaunched in July to pursue no other

avenues for recognition of their promised state. The Palestinians say Israel had already reneged on its own undertakings by failing to release a fourth and final batch of prisoners last weekend, and that the treaty move was their response. “The Palestinians have much to lose from a unilateral move. They will get a state only through direct negotiations and not through empty declarations or unilateral moves,” Netanyahu said yesterday. “We are prepared to continue talks, but not at any price.” ‘Facts on the ground’ Netanyahu noted the Palestinian application to the international institutions came “the moment before agreeing on the continuation of the talks” beyond their April 29 deadline. Yasser Abed Rabbo, general secretary of the Palestine Liberation Organisation executive committee, blamed the latest talks crisis on Israel which “wants to extend the negotiations for ever” as it creates “more facts on the ground”. “Israel always implements unilateral steps,” he told Voice of Palestine radio, saying the Palestinians were already being punished by Israel. Officials from Netanyahu down have been cautious not to specify the exact nature of punitive measures Israel might take. The Knesset, or parliament, is due to meet on Monday to debate the moribund peace process. Meanwhile, media reported that Israel could prevent Wataniya

Palestine Telecom from laying down cellphone infrastructure in the Hamasruled Gaza Strip, and halt Palestinians from building in parts of the West Bank. Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, an outspoken hardliner who opposes a Palestinian state, said Israel must call on the International Criminal Court to put certain Palestinian leaders on trial for war crimes. Shurat Hadin, a non-governmental organisation that backs the families of Israeli killed in Palestinian attacks, said it would lodge a complaint with the ICC which is based in The Hague. Human Rights Watch said Washington should back the Palestinian bid to join international treaties, a step which “could help create a better environment for peace negotiations”. “The US should press both the Palestinians and the Israelis to better abide by human rights standards,” said HRW’s deputy Middle East director Joe Stork. Israel’s chief negotiator Tzipi Livni suggested that Washington scale down its “intensive” involvement in the process with the Palestinians, saying what was needed were direct Palestinian-Israeli talks. “Part of what took place in the past months was primarily negotiations between us and the US, and less with the Palestinians,” said Livni, who is also justice minister. “We need bilateral meetings between us, including between the prime minister and Abu Mazen (Abbas),” she said on Saturday.—AFP

ISIL jihadists open new front in Baghdad push BAGHDAD: A powerful jihadist group inspired by Al-Qaeda has opened a new battlefront with Iraqi security forces that could see it try to push into Baghdad, officials and analysts warn. The latest clashes, just weeks before parliamentary elections, raise key questions over the capacity of the army and police to repel militant attacks. Anti-government fighters currently hold all of Fallujah, a town that is just a short drive from Baghdad, and other pockets of territory. The push by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) into the Abu Ghraib area, sparking clashes in nearby Zoba and Zaidan, as well as a failed assault on a military camp in Yusifiyah, illustrate the group’s ambition, even with Fallujah under military siege. In perhaps the most worrying sign of ISIL’s capabilities, anti-government fighters paraded with dozens of vehicles last week in broad daylight in Abu Ghraib, just 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the capital, according to witnesses and videos posted to YouTube. “ISIL fighters are trying to ease the pressure imposed on them in Fallujah,” said an army lieutenant colonel, speaking on condition of anonymity. “They have begun moving against weak villages between Baghdad and Fallujah, and to attack army units.” A police colonel, who also declined to be identified, added: “Members of ISIL have begun launching attacks on the army deployed in Abu Ghraib, and are threatening Baghdad.” In early January, militants overran Fallujah and parts of Ramadi, two towns in the western desert province of Anbar which shares a long border with Syria. Government security forces have wrested back control of much of Ramadi. But a stalemate has persisted in Fallujah, with periodic clashes on the city’s outskirts and regular shelling of

what the army says are militant strongholds. But for around a week, soldiers have fought fierce battles in Zoba and Zaidan, which lie between the capital and Fallujah. At least three people have been killed and more than 50 others wounded in the clashes and army shelling, according to medical sources. “ The objective appears to be to use this Anbar base as a launching pad for expansive operations towards the federal government in Baghdad,” said Charles Lister, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Doha Center. Lister said the massive convoy in Abu Ghraib, in particular, “underlines the sheer scale of (ISIL’s) capacity to operate with near impunity in some Sunni areas of the country.” “Iraqi security forces face some serious challenges to confronting (ISIL’s) continued expansion in Iraq.” Senior security officials insist, however, that any move towards Baghdad by

the jihadists is doomed to failure, and that attempts to open a new battlefront are a sign of weakness rather than strength. “Entering Baghdad is impossible, this is not logical,” said Brigadier General Saad Maan, spokesman for the interior ministry and the Iraqi capital’s security command centre. “They do not have the power, and we have huge military reinforcements to stop them. Our military has launched attacks against them on a daily basis in the Fallujah suburbs, and they have suffered lots of casualties.” ISIL ‘dreaming’ Another senior security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said ISIL fighters were “dreaming” if they thought they could break through. “The siege of Fallujah will continue until their gathered forces are depleted,” the official said. “Fallujah is the last stronghold of ISIL in Anbar.”— AFP

BAGHDAD: Iraqi candidates with the United Iraq coalition, take part in an election rally ahead of the upcoming parliamentary elections in the capital Baghdad yesterday. Campaigning for Iraq’s April 30 general election opened, with Maliki bidding for a third term as his government grapples with the country’s worst bloodshed in years. — AFP



Rwanda genocide anniversary marred by row with France KIGALI: Preparations in Rwanda yesterday for the commemorations for the 20th anniversary of the genocide were overshadowed by a major spat with France amid renewed allegations that Paris was complicit in the killings. The French government announced that it was pulling out of Monday’s events after Rwandan President Paul Kagame again accused France, an ally of the Hutu nationalist government prior to the 1994 killings, of having helped the murder of 800,000 ethnic Tutsis take place. Speaking to the weekly Jeune Afrique, Kagame denounced the “direct role of Belgium and France in the political preparation for the genocide”, and said French soldiers who were sent to Rwanda when the killings started were both accomplices and “actors” in the bloodbath. Paris has repeatedly denied the accusations and insisted that French forces had striven to protect civilians. French foreign ministry spokesman Romain Nadal said he was “surprised” by Kagame’s accusations, saying they went against reconciliation efforts between the two countries. He also announced that French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira would be staying away. “France regrets that it cannot take part in the 20th anniversary commemorations for the genocide,” he said. Former colonial power Belgium, which unlike France has apologised to Rwanda for failing to prevent the genocide, said it would still be sending a senior delegation for the commemorations. Official mourning, which began three months ago with a flame of remembrance touring the small nation from village to village, culminate Monday

when the torch arrives at the national genocide memorial. President Kagame will light a flame that will burn for 100 days, the length of time it took government soldiers and Hutu militia to kill hundreds of thousands of people. Wreathes will also be laid at the national geno-

KIGALI: Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame is seen during a meeting with UN Secretary General Ban KiMoon yesterday in a United Nations handout photo taken in Kigali. — AFP

Orban strong favourite as Hungary holds elections Orban’s economic policies scared away investors BUDAPEST: Hungarians voted yesterday in elections that looked set to see political bruiser Prime Minister Victor Orban coast to victory after four turbulent years that have seen him labelled both saviour and autocrat. Opinion polls indicate that the only questions were whether Orban, 50, can retain his two-thirds parliamentar y majority and if the far-right Jobbik might beat a wobbly centreleft opposition alliance into second place. “I hope we will see a strong turnout today because that will facilitate having a strong government in place,” Orban said as he voted in an overcast Budapest yesterday morning. Surveys in 10-million-strong Hungary put the Fidesz party, created by Orban and other like-minded young student liberals in the dying days of Communism in the late 1980s, on a commanding 46-51 percent. The centre-left were trailing badly on 21-31 percent, with the anti-Roma and anti-Semitic far-right Jobbik snapping at their heels on 15-21 percent. The opposition, however, has been fighting to the last, saying the voter surveys are wrong. “I believe I will be prime minister in a few days,” the alliance’s joint candidate for premier Attila Mesterhazy told AFP. Orban has made the most of the super-majority he won in 2010, with a legislative onslaught shaking up the media, the judiciary and the central bank. Critics, including Brussels and Washington, have expressed concerns about vital checks and balances on key democratic institutions in the EU member state. The fate of the media has sparked particular alarm, with state outlets merged into one tame entity and independent publications starved of advertising. All are under the close eye of a new watchdog run by Orban lieutenants. “The Internet is where you to go to find out what is really happening in Hungary,” Aranka Szavuly, a freelance journalist fired from state media in 2011, told AFP. Many of these reforms

BUDAPEST: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (R) and his wife Aniko Levai (L) put their ballots into the box in a polling station of a local school at 12th district of Budapest yesterday. Hungarians vote today in elections that look set to give strongman Orban another term after four turbulent years that have seen him labelled both saviour and autocrat. — AFP have been written into a new constitution, meaning that even if the opposition were to win, it would need a two-thirds majority to change them. The father-of-five, keen on conservative values like family and the Church, has also been accused of cosying up to Moscow, re-writing history and failing to stop a rise in anti-Semitism. Socialist shambles Orban says his changes are aimed at turning Hungary into a “race car” after eight years of economic and political Socialist mismanagement from 2002-2010 had reduced it to an “old banger”. But despite some rosy economic data, Orban’s nationalist rhetoric and unorthodox economic policies have scared away much-needed foreign investors, economists say. Orban has trumpeted a 20-percent cut in utility prices but value-added tax ( VAT ) is the highest in the EU. Poverty rates are high and a harsh “workfare” scheme forces the unem-

ployed to perform menial work in return for benefits. The fractious opposition alliance has struggled however to make much headway, however, due in part to a new electoral law, problems getting favourable media coverage and a corruption scandal. It was only formed in January, and Orban’s campaign machine has had success depicting its hapless leaders — Mesterhazy and former prime ministers Gordon Bajnai and Ferenc Gyurcsany-as proven failures. “I am voting for Orban. Four years isn’t enough for a party to put its plans into practice,” shop assistant Belane Kovacs, 34, told AFP as she voted in Budaors outside Budapest. “I am going to vote for the leftist alliance because I hate what (Fidesz) has done to democracy,” an 83-yearold woman who didn’t want to give her name told AFP in the capital. Exit polls were expected around 7:00 pm (1700 GMT ), when voting stations close. — AFP

Persistent US efforts to destabilize Cuba denounced HAVANA: Cuba’s Foreign Ministry says that the recent revelations about the US government plan to create a “Cuban Twitter” for destabilizing purposes proves that Washington persists in its subversive plans against the

cide memorial, before ceremonies in Kigali’s football stadium, where UN Secretary-General Ban Kimoon, as well as several African presidents, is due to attend. Ban said the commemorations were a chance to remind the world to do all it can to ensure such crimes never happen again. The UN

island. According to a report published yesterday by the Associated Press (AP) news agency, the US government plan to create a communications network it called ZunZuneo was carried

QUEBEC CITY: Pierre-Karl Peladeau, left to right, Veronique Hivon, Patrice Dallaire, Clement Laberge and PQ Leader Pauline Marois raise their arms during a campaign stop in Quebec City yesterday. Quebec voters will elect a new government today following a tumultuous campaign that revived the debate on whether the French-speaking province should break away from Canada. — AP

out with the goal of gaining acceptance among young Cubans in order to later push them toward dissidency. The AP’s investigative report showed that the plan to undermine the Cuban government was promoted by the USAID agency (US Agency for International Development), through clandestine front companies, with financing routed through foreign banks. A statement from Josefina Vidal, Director General for US Affairs at Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Relations, emphasized that the information contained in the AP article is a confirmation of repeated denunciations from the Cuban government. “Once again, it shows that the United States government has not renounced its subversive plans against Cuba, designed to destabilize the country in order to provoke change in our political system, and to which the U.S. government continues to dedicate multi-million dollar budgets every year,” she said. Vidal also insisted that “the US government must respect international law and the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter, thereby putting an end to its illegal and clandestine actions against Cuba that are rejected by the Cuban people and public opinion worldwide.”

was heavily criticised in 1994 for not doing more to stop the killing. ‘Lesson for Syria, CAR’ “The scale of the brutality in Rwanda still shocks: an average of 10,000 deaths per day, day after day, for three months,” Ban said in a statement Sunday, adding that the impact of the massacres are still being felt across an “arc of uncertainty in Africa’s Great Lakes region-and in the collective conscience of the international community.” “The international community cannot claim to care about atrocity crimes and then shrink from the commitment of resources and will be required to actually prevent them,” Ban added. “People everywhere should place themselves in the shoes of the vulnerable, from Syria to the Central African Republic, and ask themselves what more they can do to build a world of human rights and dignity for all,” Ban added. Several African heads of state are expected, but it is not clear who will head delegations from neighbouring Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo, with whom Rwanda’s diplomatic relations have been strained in recent months. Rwanda has repeatedly denied allegations it backed rebels in eastern DR Congo, while Tanzanian troops last year joined a new United Nations brigade set up to quash the myriad militia forces in same zone. Many in Rwanda are remembering in their own deeply personal, quiet and reflective way. In one church in Kigali, where the congregation knelt in silence to remember those who had died in 1994, several wiped away tears as they stood up to sing. —AFP

US Navy ship reaches boat carrying sick baby CALIFORNIA: A US Navy frigate reached a sailboat in the Pacific Ocean yesterday and were preparing to rescue a seriously ill 1-year-old girl and her family, the US Coast Guard said. The USS Vandegrift and its crew “would determine the best possible course of action” for rescuing the family from the crippled sailboat about 1,000 miles (1,600 km) off Mexico’s Pacific coast, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Barry Bena. Because of weather and other factors, Bena said he could not estimate how long it would take to transfer Eric and Charlotte Kaufman and their daughters Cora, 3, and Lyra, 1, back to the US mainland in California. The Kaufman family, from San Diego, were on a cruise around the world on a 36-foot (11-meter) vessel called the Rebel Heart when the youngest child fell seriously ill with a fever and rash, prompting her parents to send a satellite distress call to the US Coast Guard on Thursday. The California Air National Guard’s 129th Rescue Wing dispatched a military transport plane from their base at Moffett Federal Airfield near San Francisco on Thursday to check on the family and provide immediate medical assistance, said spokesman Second Lieutenant Roderick Bersamina. Four men, laden with medical gear and other supplies, parachuted from the plane into the ocean, inflated

a dinghy, motored toward the boat and boarded to treat the girl. “They took it upon themselves to do whatever necessary to save her life,” Bersamina said. The child’s ailment was not confirmed but her condition has stabilized, he said. “The family is in good spirits and very thankful for the pararescuemen who are on board,” he said. “Granted, it is cramped quarters.” The family had sailed from Mexico on March 19 toward islands in the South Pacific and eventually New Zealand, according to, where they have been writing about their sometimes stormy voyage. Kaufman writes on his blog that he is a licensed USCG captain and certified divemaster. The Air National Guard had also deployed two rescue helicopters and two rescue planes that were on standby on Saturday in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, in case a rapid air evacuation is necessary, Bersamina said. The four pararescuemen will remain on board with the family in the meantime. “They will not leave the family until the infant is in the care of a doctor,” Bersamina said. The California Air National Guard is part of the state’s militia. Its primary mission is rescuing military personnel during wartime, but has been involved in scores of rescue missions involving civilians in distress, whether out at sea or lost in the mountains, Bersamina said. — Reuters



Bomb kills two Afghan election workers, destroys ballot papers

DIBRUGARH: Indian election officials work to setup a polling station inside a school on the eve of the first phase of national elections in Dibrugarh, in the northeastern state of Assam, India, yesterday. India will hold national elections from April 7 to May 12, kicking off a vote that many observers see as the most important election in more than 30 years in the world’s largest democracy. — A

Modi lashes Congress over Muslims on election eve NEW DELHI: Hindu hardliner Narendra Modi, front-runner for premier on the eve of the world’s biggest election, accused India’s ruling Congress party of failing Muslims as his own party battled claims of fuelling religious tensions. Modi, who is tipped to win power on a promise of reviving the country’s battered economy and creating jobs, also urged voters to give him a strong mandate during the marathon six-week ballot which starts today. “The problems that have plagued in you in the past 60 years, I will get rid of all those problems in just 60 months,” Modi told thousands of cheering supporters in Bijnor in the battleground state of Uttar Pradesh. His main rival Rahul Gandhi will take to the stage in New Delhi and neighbouring Haryana state later yesterday to implore voters to stick with Congress, which is tipped to suffer a crushing defeat after a decade in power. “Congress is the only party that has resonance in every nook and cranny of India,” senior party spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi told AFP. He described Gandhi, frontman for the Congress campaign and the scion of India’s most famous dynasty which has dominated politics since independence, as a “superstar campaigner” who would return them to power. Voting will begin in the two remote northeastern states of Assam and Tripura, before spreading across the country of 814 million eligible voters in a staggered process. Results are due on May 16. Modi tainted by riots Modi, who is tainted by association with antiMuslim riots, went on the attack after a row flared over accusations that his right-hand man stoked tensions against Muslims just days before the election starts. Without referring specifically to the accusa-

tions, Modi accused Congress president and Rahul’s mother Sonia Gandhi of failing to deliver on pledges to improve the lives of Muslims, who at 13 percent of the population are India’s largest religious minority. “Madam Sonia, nearly 700 (communal) riots happened in the country in one year right under your nose. And 250 of those were in UP (Uttar Pradesh) alone,” said Modi from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The comments came after Modi’s close aide Amit Shah reportedly told several Hindu leaders to seek “revenge” at the ballot box. He was speaking in a part of Uttar Pradesh hit by Hindu-Muslim violence last year that left some 50 people dead. “This election is about voting out the government that protects and gives compensation to those who killed Hindus,” Shah reportedly said on Friday. Congress has asked the Election Commission to order Shah’s arrest and ban him from campaigning. A party official accused the BJP of making “horrible” statements and “creating animosity between communities”. The BJP has said the comments have been taken out of context, while the Election Commission has so far declined to comment. Modi, the 63-year-old son of a tea-stall owner, has focused on economic reform and creating jobs, largely steering clear of promoting any Hindu nationalist agenda. But he has been tainted by religious riots in 2002 in the western state of Gujarat which he has governed since 2001. The riots there killed more than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims. He has been cleared of any personal wrongdoing. Opinion polls-fallible in the past and famously wrong when Congress won in 2004 — show the BJP likely to emerge as the biggest party in the next 543-member parliament. — AFP

KUNDUZ: A roadside bomb killed two Afghan election workers and one policeman and destroyed dozens of ballot papers yesterday, police and an election official said, the day after an election that ended without any major violence despite Taleban threats. Around 60 percent of eligible Afghan voters cast their ballots across the country in a presidential vote hailed as a success by Afghan and Western officials. Although the Taleban failed to pull off major attacks on election day itself, some fear insurgents are preparing to disrupt the ballot-counting process which is due to take weeks in a country with basic infrastructure and a rugged terrain. In the first such attack since polling closed on Saturday night, a bomb hit a car carrying election staff and ballot papers in Khanabad district of the northern Kunduz province, police said. “The car carrying ballot papers from four polling stations was hit and all the materials were burnt,” Amza Ahmadzai, an election official in Kunduz, told Reuters, adding that two staff and one policeman were killed. The Taleban have condemned the election designed to be Afghanistan’s first democratic handover of power - as a US backed sham. The incumbent, Hamid Karzai, is barred by the constitution from running again after 12 years in power. There is no clear frontrunner but the three main candidates are former foreign ministers Abdullah Abdullah and Zalmay Rassoul, and former finance minister Ashraf Ghani. The election came at a crucial time as most foreign troops prepare to go home after fighting the Taliban insurgency for more than a decade. World leaders praised the courage of voters, who came out in force to cast their ballots despite bad weather and a violent campaign of intimidation, and urged patience during the long counting process. More than 1,200 complaints had been received by the Election Complaints Commission (ECC) by Sunday morning, spokesman Nadir Mohsini said, and the number was increasing. “Complaints include late opening of polling centres, shortage of ballot papers, encouraging of voters to vote for certain candidates and mistreatment of some election officials,” Mohsini said. But in a promising sign for the stability of the process, two of the frontrunners to succeed Karzai, who is stepping down after serving a maximum two terms, said they would abide by the ECC’s rulings. Zalmai Rassoul, who was seen before the vote as Karzai’s preferred choice, told a press conference on Sunday that he had made complaints to the ECC but refused to give details. He said he was confident it would address the concerns properly but warned: “Any president elected with fraud will not be accepted by Afghanistan.”

KABUL: Afghan election workers carry out ballot boxes from a truck at an Independent Elections Commission warehouse in Kabul, Afghanistan, yesterday. Trucks and donkeys loaded with ballot boxes made their way to counting centers yesterday as Afghans and the international community sighed with relief that national elections were held without major violence despite a Taleban threat. — AP

‘Reports of serious fraud’ Former World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani, who claimed to be in the lead in preliminary results, voiced similar views. “There are reports of serious

Bomb destroys ballots A roadside bomb hit a truck carrying full ballot boxes in the northern province of Kunduz on Sunday, killing three people, officials said. Eight boxes of votes were also destroyed in the blast.

fraud in several locations but all is documented and will be passed on to ECC for investigation,” he said on his official Twitter account. Whoever emerges victorious from the lengthy vote-counting and appeals process faces the prospect of fighting the Taliban without the help of US-led combat troops. There were fears that a disputed result could spark bitterness and recrimination and put the new president in a weak position. The third leading candidate, Abdullah Abdullah, runner up in 2009’s acrimonious poll, said his team had also filed complaints. “Unfortunately, hundreds of our countrymen were deprived of their rights due to shortage of ballots. The process was not free of flaws,” he said. “We have registered complaints about fraud.” An estimated seven million people voted, according to the Independent Election Commission (IEC), more than 50 percent of the electorate-a huge increase on 2009 when only around a third of those eligible cast ballots. Preliminary results are due on April 24 and if no candidate secures more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff is planned for late May.

The Taliban had urged their fighters to target polling staff, voters and security forces. But no major attacks were reported during the day, although sporadic violence caused a number of casualties. Emanuele Nannini, programme coordinator for International NGO Emergency which runs three hospitals in Afghanistan, said they treated around 30 people on Saturday, which he said was an unusually high number. The day before the poll, Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus was shot dead by a police commander in the eastern province of Khost. US President Barack Obama congratulated Afghanistan on the largely peaceful ballot-its first democratic transfer of power-and said it was “critical” to its future and securing continued international aid. “This is their moment. The Afghan people secured this election. They ran this election, and most importantly, they voted in this election,” US Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement. The United Nations Security Council also congratulated Afghanistan and urged the candidates and their supporters to be patient and “respect the electoral institutions and processes”. The election will end 13 years of rule by Karzai, who has held power since the Taliban were ousted in 2001. Afghans have taken over responsibility for security from US-led forces, and this year the last of the NATO coalition’s 51,000 combat troops will pull out. — Agencies



XP diehards to fend hackers on their own Layoffs at KAC in the offing Continued from Page 1 Hackers might already know of new ways to break into XP-powered computers but be waiting until after tomorrow to attack because Microsoft will no longer step in to thwart them, security experts say. “You are talking literally millions of computers systems that will cease to receive regular security updates,” Pogue said. “That is obviously causing a panic because of new vulnerabilities that will be introduced.” Microsoft has released several generations of Windows since XP made its debut in 2001. The most recent version is Windows 8, tailored for a world enamored of touch-screen computers and services hosted in the Internet “cloud”. Given the rapid evolution of computer hardware and the short lifespans of devices, newer computers bought by consumers are likely running newer versions of Windows. Of concern, though, are small businesses that stuck with XP because they have grown accustomed to it and it gets the job done. Sectors thought to be more prone to holding on to XP include those with relatively unsophisticated computing needs along with emerging markets or schools where money is tight. Particular worry is being expressed for automated teller machines, many of which are reported to rely on Windows XP. ATMs could become vulnerable to hacking, particularly independent machines in small shops or bars that aren’t owned by banks which are more likely to invest in software security, according to Gartner analyst Michael Silver. “In a lot of cases, it is that Windows XP is good enough and people didn’t see the business value to spending money to upgrade,” Silver said of businesses

hanging on to XP as new versions of Windows came and went. “It is a risky attitude, given what issues they could have. These folks knew this was coming, too.” The pain of “migrating” to new operating systems includes making sure software programs depended on by businesses will continue to work. Computers running Windows XP cannot easily be upgraded to the newest Windows version, and that means the users would need to buy new machines. While Microsoft stands to benefit through sales of new devices using Windows 8, organizations resigned to the aggravation of system changes could be open to considering what rivals such as Apple or Google have to offer. “The risk for Microsoft is that people will migrate to somewhere else,” said analyst Rob Enderle of Enderle Group in Silicon Valley. “They should have never allowed it to get this bad.” The global estimate of the number of XP-powered computers may likely be skewed by the China market, where there is widespread use of pirated versions of the Microsoft software, according to a post by computer protection analyst Graham Cluley at Given that Windows software powers more than 90 percent of the world’s computers, even a small percentage of machines running XP in any country could translate to high numbers. Computers running XP will make the Internet a more dangerous place for everyone since hackers can launch cyber attacks from infected machines or valuable information about customers from businesses, Cluley argued. The good news, according to analysts, is that the latest version of Windows is far more capable and secure. — AFP

Cabinet rejects justice minister’s... Continued from Page 1 Sane said he met the prime minister and explained to him the details of the Dow case in the Audit Bureau report and that Sheikh Jaber informed him he has ordered that all those involved in the case to be referred for investigation at the public prosecution. The Dow case dates back to 2008 when state-owned Petrochemicals Industries Co struck a $15 billion joint venture with US giant Dow Chemical. The deal was scrapped by the Cabinet in Dec 2008 and the US firm took the case for arbitration, which ordered Kuwait to pay $2.2 billion in compensation. MPs have formed a probe panel to investigate why the contract carried a hefty penalty clause and why the government rushed in paying the fine when it should have sought other legal avenues to at least try and reduce the penalty.

Regarding the Shell contract, Omair insisted that the oil sector will supply the panel with all the relevant contracts and documents to allow it to conduct its investigation smoothly. He said that the contract, inked a few years ago, was signed with the international company Shell itself and not with its local office or agent, adding that only half of the contract amount has so far been paid. The minister said the scientific and technical gains from the contract have been tremendous and there have been new natural gas discoveries. In another development, MP Abdulhameed Dashti alleged yesterday that certain circles are working for dissolving the Assembly to close investigations in a number of key cases. He also claimed that certain quarters are sending messages to the political leadership that dissolving the Assembly is necessary to pave the way for national reconciliation.

Continued from Page 1 The airline’s current restructuring includes fleet expansion and cost reduction that are linked to renewed efforts to privatize the carrier. In a bid to transfer the airline into a profitable company, KAC signed a contract for its restructuring with the world’s largest aviation watchdog IATA (International Air Transport Association) last year. In the beginning of the year, Kuwait Airways signed a contract with Airbus to buy 25 aircraft (10 A350-900s and 15 medium-haul A320neos) and lease 12 other aircraft. The fleet renewal and operations optimization are pivotal for returning the airline to profitability, the source said. The source told Kuwait Times that the layoffs are linked to an integrated arrangement between KASCO

and KAC to bring the company to a more profitable state and efficiency as well as to “reduce expenses and save money”. “This is how you can bring a strategic investor to buy a percentage of the company,” the source said of the upcoming privatization of the airline. Founded in 1954, the airline has not made major hirings of administrative personnel except pilots, flight attendants and mechanics in the past 16 years, the source said, explaining that all the current staff hiring for Kuwait Airways was done through KASCO. KASCO, the source explained, has been the unit that provides Kuwait Airways with counter staff, cargo, traffic staff and others. Currently, the airline’s fleet includes 17 ageing aircraft from the Airbus family. On the possibility of further layoffs, the source warned: “If you are short of qualified staff, then you will face a serious problem.”

In US, vaccine denial goes mainstream Continued from Page 1 Some parents are troubled by the increasing number of vaccines children are given, which have risen from seven in 1985 to 14 today, a result of medical advances, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “I was stunned by the number of vaccines,” said Alina Scott, a 37-year-old project manager and mother of a two-year-old son. Scott said she began reading everything she could find on the topic, even before her child was born, and decided that vaccines were not for them. “This lasted until about a year ago, when I just felt like I wasn’t finding any new information. It’s like I hit the end of Internet,” she said. “I don’t think we will be vaccinating any time soon.” Nearly all US states require a standard list of immunizations before children can enter school, but they allow religious exemptions for vaccines. Some allow parents to opt out for personal reasons. Some measles outbreaks in recent years, including in the Orthodox Jewish community in New York City, have been linked to parents refusing vaccines. “Today you are allowed to have philosophical

reasons not to vaccinate and I think that is crazy,” said Anne Gershon, director of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Disease at Columbia University Medical Center. “The reason is that it hurts many people. It is not just your child.” Some young people cannot get vaccines, including those with cancer or immune diseases, and very young infants are vulnerable to pertussis, or whooping cough, until the age of two months when they can get begin to get doses of the vaccine. Particularly with measles, one of the most contagious diseases, outbreaks will occur unless 94 percent or more of the population is vaccinated, according to Bloom. Nationwide, vaccination rates among US kindergarteners have stayed high - near 95 percent. But a 2011 poll in the journal Pediatrics found that one in 10 parents did not stick to the recommended schedule of vaccines for their child, and a quarter of parents had doubts about vaccine safety. The United States typically sees about 60 cases of measles per year. “We don’t have a crisis, but nonetheless the trend is going up and the number of immunizations is going down,” said Bloom. — AFP

Kuwait embassy in Britain warns against... Continued from Page 1 He said citizens should abide by the type of visa issued by the British embassy in Kuwait in order to avoid legal accountability, adding that it had been lately noticed that some Kuwaiti citizens enter the UK for medical treatment or study language using tourist visas instead of the right visas for each category. He warned the British Home Office is legally entitled to deport whoever enters the UK with the wrong visa and urged all citizens to respect British laws

and regulations. Mudhaf said that British authorities have the right to ask arriving visitors to show their return tickets and noted that a number of people arriving from Kuwait had recently been deported for booking only one-way tickets. “Each country has its own laws and regulations that must be respected as a sovereignty right of all countries,” he underlined. Mudhaf urged citizens not to hesitate to call the embassy for assistance round-the-clock on 02075903400. — Al-Qabas/KUNA




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Men behind Rwanda genocide languish in Mali prison By Serge Daniel


tretching their legs in a sunkissed gravel prison courtyard in Mali, two of the architects of Rwanda’s genocide serve out their sentences far from home, 20 years after leading the slaughter. Theoneste Bagosora, bespectacled and sporting a gleaming pair of tennis shoes, cuts a far more serene figure than he did as the army chief described as “the Heinrich Himmler of Rwanda” who ordered an “apocalypse” which left 800,000 dead. His cellmate Jean Kambanda’s face is hidden by an enormous beard but he is still recognisable as the prime minister who incited one of the most extensive and brutal mobilisations of a population against its fellow countrymen ever seen. More than a dozen Rwandan “genocidaires” are housed in their own unit of the prison in Koulikoro, a garrison town on the banks of the River Niger 57 km downstream from Bamako. Serving long or whole-life terms, most are old men and will never leave. “They are very disciplined prisoners, they do not bother anyone and scrupulously respect the rules,” says a warden supervising them. A retired colonel in the Hutu extremist regime that seized power in 1994, Bagosora, now 72, took over the army and unleashed the notorious Interahamwe militia against the Tutsi population and moderate Hutus. The rate of killing was far faster than the Holocaust of the Jews in World War II - 800,000 Tutsis were slaughtered in just 100 days - as Kambanda and his ministers toured the country urging on the murderers. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) found that Bagosora had spent years “preparing the apocalypse” and sentenced him in 2011 to 35 years in prison for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Kambanda was arrested in Kenya in 1997 and admitted genocide at his trial the following year after he was accused of handing out arms to militias knowing they would be used to massacre Tutsis. ‘Lavish’ Conditions Mali signed a deal with the tribunal in 1999, agreeing to become the first foreign country to provide prison cells for the convicts as a symbol of Malian support for African unity. Other countries on the ICTR’s list of willing hosts of convicted Rwandans include Italy, Benin, Swaziland, France and Sweden. The first convicted Rwandans, including Kambanda, began arriving in Mali in 2001 and a second group of nine prisoners, including two former ministers, have been in the country since 2008 while Bagosora was sent there in 2012. Kambanda and most of the others are serving life sentences but some have fixed terms of less than 20 years and Malian officials have voiced concerns in the past over what would become of them if they were released. The Rwandans were originally held with local inmates in Bamako’s central prison but the ICTR funded a facility specifically built for them in Koulikoro, where they are segregated from Malians in an air-conditioned cell block. The Rwandans, whose day-to-day expenses are covered by Mali, are entitled to receive visits while their meals are better than those served to other inmates and they receive $2 a day to buy newspapers. Their unit boasts separate showers, a dining room and a well-appointed library, leading to complaints in the Rwandan media that the inmates are leading “lavish” lives. Genocide Convicts Free A member of the prison’s management told AFP on a recent site visit that some of the inmates express regret for “what happened in Rwanda” while others demand “justice for all victims without exception”, whether Tutsi and Hutu. Few people in Koulikoro, a town of just over 40,000, are aware of their notorious guests. “I know they are here but I do not know if one day in this country they could live peacefully, because I have the impression that the hatred still exists between Hutu and Tutsi,” said Gilbert Kone, a high school teacher in the town. A handful of the prisoners have been freed after their sentences were reduced and have stayed on in Mali, not wanting to return to Rwanda. One, released after more than 12 years, spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity, saying he did not want to be “shot in the head”. “The path of reconciliation is long here... I am free today but I cannot go to Kigali because prison, if not death, awaits me there,” he said. He accused Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame of wanting to “continue the domination of the Hutu majority by the Tutsi minority”. The Malian justice ministry told AFP it wouldn’t get into “this debate” about Rwandan war criminals at large in Mali. Amadou Sango, a spokesman for the prisons department, would say only that “if Mali is one of the countries selected to host ICTR convicts is because human rights are respected here.” —AFP

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Vote-buying rife in Indonesia despite anger By Angela Dewan


ndonesians on the remote island of Sumba happily accept chickens and pork from legislative candidates hunting for votes. But, just six months ago, vote-rigging allegations triggered bloody riots on the island. Fifteen people were killed, most hacked to death with machetes, and 75 homes burnt to the ground after accusations emerged that the winner of an election in Southwest Sumba had bribed the Constitutional Court to declare him the district chief. A string of surveys ahead of nationwide legislative polls on Wednesday show that honesty and freedom from corruption are the top qualities sought in political candidates by Indonesians weary of the country’s endemic graft. But, paradoxically, the polls also reveal that millions of Indonesians see vote-buying as acceptable. “There is this disconnect. People don’t see this practice as corruption. They don’t see that by accepting the money they’re contributing to corruption,” the Asia Foundation’s Indonesia country representative, Sandra Hamid, told AFP. A recent Asia Foundation survey found that more than 40 percent of Indonesian voters would accept cash or a gift from legislative candidates, while other surveys put the figure above 50 percent. “They see the enormous amounts of money involved in high-level corruption cases, so if they see 50,000 rupiah (around $4) in front of them, they think ‘OK, I’ll just grab it’,” Hamid said. At a recent rally in the capital Jakarta, thousands of supporters of the Golkar party the country’s second-biggest - wearing bright yellow T-shirts emblazoned with portraits of candidates were bussed in from all over the city. They devoured free lunches, ranging from rice and chicken to McDonald’s, and mimicked the pelvic thrusts of singers on stage performing “dangdut”, an Indonesian fusion of Arabic, Malay, Indian and Western pop notorious for its lewd lyrics.

Most admitted they were promised 50,000 rupiah on the bus ride back home, but said they saw nothing wrong with it. “It’s not vote-buying. It’s just for fuel and drinks,” insisted 56-year-old Djami’at Ibrahim, even though transport and drinks were provided. Targeting the Poor The handouts may seem tiny, but they mean a great deal to many in Indonesia, where half the population of 250 million

elections, which will set the stage for presidential polls in July. More than 55 percent of those quizzed in a survey by pollster Indikator in December said they would accept cash from a candidate, but not necessarily vote for them. Many take the money and don’t vote at all, disillusioned with a parliament that consistently ranks as one of the country’s most graft-ridden institutions in corruption perception surveys. A slew of lawmakers have been jailed

This file picture taken on Oct 3, 2013 shows agents of Indonesia’s anti-corruption agency KPK displaying a bag of money seized from former Constitutional Court chief justice Akil Mochtar’s house in Jakarta. —AFP people live below or hover around the poverty line of $2 a day. Many who attend rallies are young or from poorer sectors of society, and some are transported in from slums with no clean water or electricity. However, giving out money does not guarantee a candidate support at the legislative

for rigging tenders and misusing state funds in recent years, and chronic absenteeism and photographs of MPs asleep in session feature prominently in the media. Father Michael Keraf is waging a campaign to counter what he calls the “evil act” of vote-buying on Sumba, a predominantly

Christian, deeply poor island in the centre of the Muslim-majority Indonesian archipelago. “We try to teach the people, don’t just look at money. To give a very simple illustration - a chicken at the market is $5 to $10 these days. If you accept a chicken from a candidate, you’re saying your integrity is worth nothing more than a chicken,” said the pastor. “Explaining it this way has got people thinking.” Greater Internet access has provided a platform for better monitoring. A number of websites have been set up where people can report candidates who attempt to buy votes, while others do thorough background checks on candidates and expose the corrupt. In Southwest Sumba, the election commission finally admitted it made an “error” and that the incumbent, Kornelius Kodi Mete, had won. But there is a stalemate as the Constitutional Court ruled the opposite, and the district remains without a chief. The court’s chief judge, Akil Mochtar, was arrested shortly after the deadly riots, accused of accepting bribes of more than $5 million to fix 11 elections, although he has not been charged over Southwest Sumba’s poll. More Influential, More Expensive While small offerings are made to everyday Indonesians, those with influence over communities are worth a little more. Leaders of a religious minority and their partners were recently invited to the home of a legislative candidate near Jakarta. The wife of one leader, who wished to remain anonymous, said they were given clothing and envelopes stuffed with cash, and the candidate promised to push through a law to help the minority. “I would say he was trying to buy our votes and my husband’s influence. I think it’s wrong,” she said. However, she admitted that she accepted the money and would likely vote for the candidate. “But I was going to vote for him anyway. It’s nothing to do with the money.” —AFP

Germany pulls plug on onetime hit show By Frank Zeller


t has seen wacky bets performed before millions and hosted an A-List of Hollywood stars, but after a three-decade run Germany’s once top-rated TV variety show is getting the axe. A victim of plummeting ratings, a fast-greying fan base and charges that its concept has grown stale, “Wetten, dass..?” (“Wanna Bet?”) will screen for the last time in December after 33 years. Such is the dated cult status of the silly-challenge show, once Europe’s most successful program, that Sunday newspapers gave front-page treatment to the public broadcaster ZDF’s decision to pull the plug on it. The show’s concept is of ordinary people performing often bizarre tricks and stunts, while celebrity guests sponsor them and have to perform mildly humiliating acts if they lose. Since the 1980s, the show has featured a dog able to identify 77 toys named by its owner and a dairy farmer who could tell his cows apart by the different sounds they made when chewing apples. One candidate changed a car tyre while driving, and the Berlin police motorcycle squad broke a world record by forming a moving pyramid with 84 officers travelling on nine bikes over 100 m. In its heydey, the show kept German-speaking audiences glued to their sofas on Saturday nights, with viewers peaking at over 23 million in the mid-80s. The mass appeal and guaranteed ratings drew countless stars hoping to plug their latest album or movie, from Michael Jackson and Justin Bieber to Tom Cruise and Leonardo DiCaprio. Plummeting Ratings But changing audience tastes and the rise of cheaper-to-produce reality shows saw audience figures drop to an all-time low of 5.85 million in February. Program makers decided it was no longer worth the cost of at least Ä2 million ($2.7 million) per show, brought on by changing locations, sometimes as far away as the

Spanish resort island of Mallorca. Criticism has hailed down on the host Markus Lanz, for failing to replicate the small-screen magic of his predecessors, curly-haired Thomas Gottschalk and the show’s founder, Frank Elstner. Some stars on the show, which can run over three hours, were left scratching their heads, if not downright irritated, by the uniquely German take on family entertainment. The actor Tom Hanks, who was made to wear a hat with cat ears when he went on the show, later said that “in the United States if you are on a TV show that goes for four hours, everybody responsible for that show is fired the next day”. On social media, reaction to the program’s demise was a mix of nostalgic farewells and “Schadenfreude”, the gleeful pleasure at another’s misfortune. “Rest in peace,” one tweet from a competing private TV station read, while one viewer wrote that “finally the badly wounded deer is being put out of its misery”. Twitter user @DearDelight commented that “I’ll hardly miss it, but the memories of those ‘80s family TV evenings make me nostalgic”, while @ramtoka scoffed: “Wanna bet that I won’t miss this show?” Tragic Accident The beginning of the end came when a bet went tragically wrong in 2010, leaving a young man paralysed from the neck down as eight million viewers watched in horror. Samuel Koch, then 23, was wearing spring-loaded stilts as he tried to jump over five moving cars, but hit the windshield of the final vehicle, which was being driven by his father. News magazine Der Spiegel also criticised the program for featuring inappropriate advertising on what is a publicly-funded show. A growing band of critics have accused German TV generally of being shallow and relying on tired concepts, from perennial police shows and model contests to costume dramas and programs about Bavarian folk

music. Many are angry their broadcast taxes pay for programs that leave them bored and have long tuned out, opting instead for online downloads of acclaimed US series such as “Breaking Bad” and “House of Cards”. But a Spiegel Online commentary predicted that “given the poverty of ideas these days among the stations, you can be sure that in a few years there’ll be a remake of ‘Wetten, dass..?’” —AFP

This Nov 03, 2012 file photo shows American actor Tom Hanks reacting as German TV-host Markus Lanz takes part in a sack race during the German Public Broadcasting ZDF TV show “Wanna Bet....?” (“Wetten, dass..?”) in Bremen, northern Germany. —AFP



Shoaib eyes coaching career KARACHI: Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has set his sights on a coaching career after agreeing to take charge of a top domestic team. Shoaib, 38, who retired in 2011 during the 50-over World Cup, was offered the position of head coach by State bank for the upcoming domestic season in Pakistan. “Shoaib has agreed to become head coach of our team and we are very pleased he has shown interest in coaching a domestic team,” Zaheer-ulHassan, the manager of the bank team, told Reuters. “Contract papers are being prepared after Shoaib confirmed his interest in coaching our team.” State bank are one of the leading teams on the first-class circuit but have struggled to attain top position during the last two seasons. Shoaib, famous during his playing days for his raw pace, has said in the past that he was interested in a coaching career. The paceman, who took 178 test wickets and 247 one-day international wickets during his career, had even offered in the past to work with the Pakistan fast bowlers if the country’s cricket board approached him. Zaheer said he felt Shoaib was preparing for a full-time coaching career and wanted to start at the domestic level. “Once the contract is approved by our board of governors, he will certainly provide a image boost to our domestic cricket,” the former first-class player said. — Reuters

Cancellara sprints to victory

Bekele wins Paris marathon

BELGIUM: Fabian Cancellara won his third Tour of Flanders in a four-up sprint to the line following 259km of racing from Bruges to Oudenaarde yesterday. The Swiss powerhouse from the Trek team beat Belgians Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin) and Stijn Vandenburgh (Omega Pharma) in a tense sprint following some nervous jockeying in the final kilometre. Cancellara, known as Spartacus in cycling circles, joined five other riders in winning a record three Tours of Flanders. After six and a half hours of thrilling racing, the 33-year-old proved not only the strongest, but the master tactician. Van Avermaet had made an attack 31km from home with Vandenburgh, who was working for three-time winner Tom Boonen, covering the move. Vandenburgh gave Van Avermaet no help but their break lasted until the final difficulty of the race, the thigh-busting Paterberg climb 12km from the end. At that point Van Avermaet dropped his compatriot but by then, Cancellara and Vanmarcke were closing in. Cancellara had made his move 5km earlier as he attacked the chase group on the third ascension of the tough Oude Kwaremont. That group had been a minute behind the two leaders but Cancellara’s attack, which was followed only by Vanmarcke, proved devastating and quickly ate into the two leaders’ gap. Van Avermaets held on ahead of the trio behind for a few more kilometres but he was reeled in with 7km left. Vandenburgh still refused to help the other escapees but Cancellara bided his time and when it came down to a game of cat and mouse inside the final few hundred metres, he was the one who took the initiative and used his strength to attack at just the right moment and make it stick. —AFP

PARIS: Three-time Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia won the Paris marathon Sunday on his debut at the distance. Bekele completed the 42-kilometer (26-mile) race in 2 hours, 5 minutes, 4 seconds to break the race record set by Stanley Biwott of Kenya in 2012. Limenih Getachew of Ethiopia finished second, 1:45 behind. Luka Kanda of Kenya placed third. Flomena Cheyech of Kenya dominated the women’s race in 2:22:44, more than three minutes ahead of Yebrgual Melese of Ethiopia. Bekele won the gold medal in the 5,000 meters and 10,000 at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, as well as the 10,000 at the 2004 Athens Games. He has struggled with injuries over the past few years and hasn’t won a major title since the 2009 world championships in Berlin. “It’s my first marathon, I don’t have experience before,” Bekele told France 3 television. “It was very tough. Anyway, I made the time I expected.” The leading group reached the halfway stage in 1:02:09. Bekele accelerated in the 27th kilometer to break up a small group. Only compatriot Tamirat Tola was able to keep pace with him before dropping three kilometers later. Bekele had a small scare eight kilometers from the finish as he felt a strain in his left thigh. “My hamstring muscle was not good,” Bekele said. —AP

California Chrome wins Santa Anita Derby in style KENTUCKY: California Chrome stamped himself as the likely favorite for next month’s Kentucky Derby with a runaway win in Saturday’s $1 million Santa Anita Derby. The three-year-old colt lived up to his big reputation when he blew away his rivals to win one of the last major lead-up races before the 140th Kentucky Derby. Jockey Victor Espinoza, who won the 2002 Kentucky Derby with War Emblem, allowed odds-on favorite California Chrome to settle just outside the early leader before taking over entering the final straight. Once he got his nose in front, California Chrome instantly shot clear of the field and cruised to victory by five and a quarter lengths despite being eased down by Espinoza over the final half furlong. “It’s kind of spooky, I’m not used to that,” California Chrome’s trainer Art Sherman told NBC. “I’ve seen horses win by a length or two but nothing like what he’s been doing.” California Chrome’s eyepopping win was his fourth in a row this season and propelled him to

the top of the points leaderboard that will decide the final 20 runners for the May 3 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Hoppertunity finished second and also has enough points to qualify while Candy Boy battled on for third and is likely to make the top 20. An hour earlier, Wicked Strong clinched his place in the Kentucky Derby with an upset win in the $1 million Wood Memorial at Aqueduct in New York. Patiently ridden by Rajiv Maragh, the 9-1 chance unleashed a devastating late sprint to win by three and a half lengths from the previously unbeaten Samraat and the race favorite Social Inclusion. “I let the horse dictate where he wanted to be early and when I called on him, he responded,” said Maragh. “He did everything so perfect today.” The build-up to the first leg of US racing’s Triple Crown continues next weekend with the running of the Arkansas Derby and the Blue Grass at Keeneland - the last big lead-up races before the Run for the Roses. — Reuters

Masters memories inspire Scott at Augusta National AUGUSTA: Reigning Masters champion Adam Scott spent the weekend going down Memory Lane and all it took was a trip down Magnolia Lane, the driveway at famed Augusta National Golf Club. The first Australian to capture the coveted green jacket symbolic of Masters supremacy made the scene Sunday outside the clubhouse at Augusta National, where he defeated Angel Cabrera in a playoff last year with a 12-foot birdie putt at the 10th hole. “I’ve walked down the 10th hole four or five times. It’s wonderful every time,” Scott said yesterday. Bubba Watson, the 2012 winner who slipped the green jacket onto Scott’s shoulders, was also at the course practising on a cool and overcast yesterday along with such fellow past champions as Vijay Singh of Fiji and Fred Couples of the United States. Scott had arrived on Friday with his father Phil and they played an emotional round that day. “It was the highlight of his golfing life,” Scott said. “He played well but the greens got the best of him. That’s the case for 99 percent of the people who play it for the first time. “Just playing with him, for me, was fantastic.” As Scott reached the 10th hole, he turned his thoughts back to the tension and pressure that helped produce his first major title. “I was reminded to stop and think about what it was like in that playoff, what I was feeling and what the moment was like,” Scott said. “Huge emotional (moment). It has had an incredible impact on me, this event, in the past year-coming back, reliving it, redoing it.”

Scott had also played Augusta National last month after the Arnold Palmer Invitational, almost a get-reacquainted tour of the famed layout. “It was nice to come here and have a hit and not do too much,” Scott said. Masters tradition dictates the reigning champion takes his jacket wherever he likes for the 12 months after his triumph, but it then is kept on the grounds at Augusta National. Scott says he has not spent nearly enough time wearing it around in public and he really does not want to leave it in the champions locker room when he leaves after this week’s 78th Masters. “I’m quite determined not to leave it here,” Scott said. “I probably haven’t taken advantage enough of wearing it out. I’m very determined to take it with me.” The only way he can do that, traditionally speaking, would be to win it again. Such a repeat is rare. Only Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Nick Faldo have won back-to-back Masters titles. Scott was sorry to see the absence of the Eisenhower Tree, a famed landmark in the 17th fairway that was removed in February due to damage from an ice storm, but he has little doubt that next Sunday will have the same back-nine drama that has become a Masters trademark. “You can only do so much when Mother Nature is involved,” Scott said. “They are going to have the course in perfect condition. This course has a way of producing something exciting every year.” — AFP

TOKYO: World Boxing Council light flyweight challenger Naoya Inoue of Japan (right) and champion Adrian Hernandez of Mexico (left) exchange punches during their title bout. — AFP

Inoue dethrones Hernandez TOKYO: Japan’s Naoya Inoue dethroned World Boxing Council light-flyweight champion Adrian Hernandez of Mexico with a technical knockout in Tokyo yesterday in just his sixth professional bout. Inoue, who turns 21 on Thursday, remained the aggressor from the opening bell and floored the Mexican with a right straight to the face in the sixth round. Canadian referee Mike Griffin gave the fight to the Japanese fighter by technical knockout at 2:54 into the round. It was the sixth straight win for Inoue, the No. 4 WBC contender nicknamed “monster” by his home fans, since his professional debut in October 2012. No Japanese boxer before him has won a world title through such a limited number of professional bouts. Hernandez, 28, was defending his 48.9kg division title for the fifth time since he regained it by beating Thailand’s Kompayak Porpramook in Toluca, Mexico, in October 2012. It was his third loss against 29 wins, 18 of

them by knockout, and one draw. “I fought while I thought to myself that I was realising my childhood dream,” Inoue said. “I had to struggle midway through. It was the first time that I struggled since I turned pro and it was kind of fun as well. I want to fight on and aim for a bigger dream.” He kept putting pressure on Hernandez from the first round, throwing body blows to the Mexican after forcing him against the ropes. But in the fifth round, Inoue was staggered by a close-range combination from the Mexican. The knockdown came in an exchange of blows in the sixth round. All three judges-Americans Steve Morrow and Don Griffin and Guido Cavalleri of Italy-scored 10 for Inoue and nine for Hernandez in each of the first five rounds. “Inoue is a great champion,” Hernandez said of his conqueror. “His left hook hurt me most. “Inoue has great speed and he is good at dodging punches. If possible, I want to have a rematch with him,” he added. — AFP

NEWARK: Gregory Campbell of the Boston Bruins clears the puck against Damien Brunner of the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center. — AFP

Bruins down Flyers BOSTON: Johnny Boychuk scored the tiebreaking goal with 6:06 left in the third period, Milan Lucic had two goals and the Boston Bruins clinched the Eastern Conference’s best record with a 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday afternoon. David Krejci also scored for the Bruins and Patrice Bergeron extended his consecutive point streak to 11 games, setting up Boychuk’s go-ahead score. Wayne Simmonds and Jay Rosehill scored for the Flyers, who are in a tight race with a group of teams for a playoff spot. Tuukka Rask stopped 24 shots for the Bruins, who had lost their past two games. Ray Emery made 37 saves for the Flyers. Philadelphia has lost three straight. AVALANCHE 4, BLUES 0 Semyon Varlamov tied the franchise single-season record for goalie wins held by Colorado coach Patrick Roy and Paul Stastny had another big game in his hometown in a penalty-filled victory over St. Louis. Stastny had a goal and two assists and Nathan Mackinnon had a goal and an assist for Colorado, which has won six in a row and has 106 points, third-most in franchise history. Roy became the fifth coach in NHL history to win 50 games in his first season. Varlamov made 31 saves for his second shutout of the season and NHL-leading 40th win, matching Roy’s total in 2000-01. The Avalanche reached 50 wins for the second time in franchise history and tied the franchise mark with 24 road victories. The Blues fell two points behind Boston, which beat the Flyers 5-2, for first place overall. CAPITALS 4, ISLANDERS 3 Evgeny Kuznetsov scored in regulation and had the only goal in the shootout to lift preserve Washington’s playoff hopes. Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby stopped all three Islanders attempts in the shootout and Washington snapped a five-game losing streak and moved within two points of Columbus for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. Kuznetsov tied it 1-1 at 2:36 of the second period, but John Persson put the Islanders back ahead at 4:16, and Frans Nielsen made it 3-1 on a powerplay goal at 9:55. The Capitals fought back to tie it, getting goals from Nicklas Backstrom at 12:45 and Joel Ward at 15:01. Cal Clutterbuck gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead 12:55 into the first period. Holtby stopped 35 shots for Washington and Evgeni Nabokov made 26 saves for New York. DEVILS 3, HURRICANES 1 Dainus Zubrus scored twice and New Jersey earned a point in its seventh straight game. Travis Zajac scored the go-ahead goal on a deflection in the second period to help the Devils improve to 40-3 during a stretch that has given their playoff chances a significant boost. Jeff Skinner scored for Carolina, which had its two-game winning streak snapped. The Hurricanes had kept their faint playoff hopes alive by earning points in their previous five games. Cory Schneider stopped 26 shots for the Devils, including all eight he faced in the third period of his second straight victory. Anton Khudobin made 20 saves in his first loss since March 25. STARS 5, LIGHTNING 2 Jamie Benn had two goals and an assist to lead Dallas past Tampa Bay. Tyler Seguin had his teamleading 35th goal, and Vernon Fiddler and Antoine Roussel also scored for Dallas. Kari Lehtonen stopped 27 shots. Steven Stamkos and Andrej Sustr scored for Tampa Bay, aand Ben Bishop finished

with 23 saves. Benn produced all of his points in the first period, and assisted on Seguin’s score late in the period that made it 3-0. After the Lightning pulled within 3-2 in the second, Fiddler and Roussel sealed the win in the third period. SENATORS 3, RANGERS 2 Robin Lehner made 41 saves and held off a furious late push by New York to lift the Ottawa to a win that prevented the Rangers from clinching an Eastern Conference playoff berth. The Rangers needed only one point to secure a postseason spot for the fourth straight year, but were shut down by the Senators, who hold only faint playoff chances. Mark Stone and Mika Zibanejad scored in the first, and Jason Spezza made it 3-1 in the second for Ottawa, which squandered a 3-0 lead in a 7-4 loss to Montreal on Friday. Mats Zuccarello deflected in two goals in the middle period to bring the Rangers within a goal each time. Henrik Lundqvist made 31 saves in the loss. JETS 4, MAPLE LEAFS 2 Tobias Enstrom scored the tiebreaking goal late in the second period and Winnipeg held on for the win. Brian Little and Jacob Trouba scored in the first period, and Olli Jokinen had a goal in the third to give the Jets some cushion. Ondrej Pavelec stopped 23 shots for Winnipeg, which was eliminated from playoff contention on Thursday. Phil Kessel tied a career high with his 37th goal and Nazem Kadri also scored for Toronto, which remained at 84 points. The Leafs have just three games remaining and trail Columbus by one point for the Eastern Conference’s last playoff spot. The Blue Jackets have five games left. CANADIENS 5, RED WINGS 3 Brian Gionta scored his second goal of the game late in the third period to give the surging Montreal Canadiens a 5-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night. Michael Bournival, Max Pacioretty and Alex Galchenyuk also scored for Montreal, while Carey Price made 34 saves. The Canadiens are now 10-2-0 in its last 12 games.

Pavel Datsyuk, Luke Glendening and Niklas Kronwall scored for Detroit, which snapped a fourgame win streak. Jonas Gustavsson stopped 19 shots. With the score tied 3-all, Gionta was credited with his second goal of the game when his shot, which was initially saved by Gustavsson, bounced off defenseman Brian Lashoff’s skate and into the net. Galchenyuk added a fifth for the Canadiens two minutes later. WILD 4, PENGUINS 0 Cody McCormick had a goal and an assist and Ilya Bryzgalov stopped all 20 shots he faced for Minnesota. Erik Haula, Mikko Koivu, and Stephane Veilleux also scored for the Wild, who maintained a five-point cushion over Dallas for the seventh playoff spot in the Western Conference. Bryzgalov posted his second shutout since being acquired by the Wild on March 4. He was steady throughout and made a pair of outstanding saves in the second period to keep the shutout intact. PREDATORS 3, SHARKS 0 Patric Hornqvist had two goals and one assist to help Nashville put a dent into San Jose’s hopes for a division title. Backup Carter Hutton made 35 saves in his first career shutout and Roman Josi also scored as the Predators kept their slim playoff hopes alive by winning road games on back-to-back nights against Anaheim and San Jose - the top two teams in the Pacific Division. Nashville is six points behind Dallas for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with four games remaining. CANUCKS 2, KINGS 1 Brad Richardson scored with 1:23 left in regulation as Vancouver preserved its playoff hopes. Richardson took a pass from linemate Zack Kassian at the side of the goal and beat Jonathan Quick for his 11th of the season to keep the Canucks in the playoff chase, at least mathematically. Alexander Edler had the other goal for Vancouver and Eddie Lack stopped 25 shots in his 18th straight start since the Olympic break. Slava Voynov scored for Los Angeles and Quick finished with 38 saves for Kings, who are locked into the third seed in the Pacific Division. — AP

NHL results/standings Boston 5, Philadelphia 2; Colorado 4, St. Louis 0; Washington 4, NY Islanders 3 (SO); Winnipeg 4, Toronto 2; Montreal 5, Detroit 3; Dallas 5, Tampa Bay 2; Ottawa 3, NY Rangers 2; New Jersey 3, Carolina 1; Minnesota 4, Pittsburgh 0; Vancouver 2, Los Angeles 1; Nashville 3, San Jose 0. Western Conference Eastern Conference Atlantic Division Pacific Division Boston 53 18 7 251 167 113 W L OTL GF GA PTS Montreal 45 27 7 212 199 97 Anaheim 50 19 8 249 198 108 Tampa Bay 42 27 9 229 211 93 San Jose 49 21 9 239 192 107 Detroit 37 27 14 211 222 88 Toronto 38 33 8 229 248 84 Los Angeles 45 28 6 197 166 96 Ottawa 33 31 14 226 261 80 Phoenix 36 28 14 209 221 86 Florida 27 43 8 185 256 62 Vancouver 35 32 11 187 210 81 Buffalo 21 47 9 148 229 51 Calgary 33 38 7 200 228 73 Metropolitan Division Pittsburgh 49 24 5 237 195 103 Edmonton 27 42 9 193 259 63 NY Rangers 43 31 5 212 190 91 Central Division Philadelphia 39 29 9 215 218 87 St. Louis 52 18 7 243 173 111 Columbus 39 31 7 215 207 85 50 21 6 237 206 106 Colorado New Jersey 34 28 16 191 200 84 Washington 35 30 13 222 236 83 Chicago 44 19 15 255 205 103 Carolina 34 33 11 196 215 79 Minnesota 40 26 12 195 194 92 NY Islanders 31 35 11 215 254 73 Dallas 38 28 11 225 218 87 Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one Nashville 35 32 11 198 231 81 point in the standings and are not included in Winnipeg 35 34 10 220 232 80 the loss column (L).



Mets rally to beat Reds NEW YORK: Pinch-hitter Ike Davis hit a gameending grand slam and the New York Mets were aided by a favorable ninth-inning replay review in rallying to beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-3 Saturday. Brandon Phillips had given the Reds a 3-2 lead with a two-run homer off Dillon Gee in the eighth, two innings after Curtis Granderson connected for a two-run drive off Johnny Cueto, his first homer with the Mets. Trailing by a run in the ninth, Juan Lagares walked leading off against fill-in closer JJ Hoover. Anthony Recker bunted and first baseman Joey Votto threw to second base for the force play. Second base umpire James Hoye called Lagares out and Mets manager Terry Collins raced out of the dugout to ask for a challenge. After a review of 2 minutes, 15 seconds, the call was overturned by crew chief John Hirschbeck. Hoover, pitching the ninth for Aroldis Chapman who is out after being hit in the face by a line drive during spring training, then walked Ruben Tejada to load the bases. Davis, having lost his starting first base job to Lucas Duda a day earlier, was called on to hit in the pitcher’s spot and lined a 0-1 pitch to right field, setting off a gleeful celebration at Citi Field. BRAVES 6, NATIONALS 2 Julio Teheran allowed two runs in seven solid innings and had two hits, and Atlanta knocked out Stephen Strasburg in the fifth inning. Dan Uggla had a two-run single for the Braves and Freddie Freeman reached base five times with two hits and three walks. Teheran (1-1) limited Washington to three hits, including a two-run home run by Adam LaRoche. The Braves right-hander was aided by a spectacular throw by B.J. Upton, who caught a liner to medium center by Bryce Harper and threw out Jose Lobaton at the plate for an inning-ending double play in the fifth. Strasburg (0-1) allowed eight hits, three walks and three earned runs in 4 1-3 innings. PHILLIES 2, CUBS 0 Chase Utley went 3-for-3 and homered for the second day in a row, and Cliff Lee pitched seven scoreless innings to lead Philadelphia. Dominic Brown drove in Utley for the Phillies’ other run with a single in the fourth inning. Lee (2-0) allowed 10 hits and had just one 1-2-3 inning. But it never felt as if he was in trouble. He worked on the edges of both sides of the plate and kept the Cubs hitters off balance. Four of his six strikeouts were called third strikes. The Cubs wasted another strong start from Jeff Samardzija (0-1), who allowed two runs on six hits in seven innings. He walked three and struck out eight. GIANTS 7, DODGERS 2 Madison Bumgarner struck out 10 while working into the seventh inning and San Francisco hit three home runs. Yasiel Puig started in right field and batted leadoff for the Dodgers a day after he was benched for arriving late for stretching and batting practice. Michael Morse had a solo shot in the fourth inning and the Giants got back-toback homers in the fifth from Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey. Bumgarner (1-0) was charged with two runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings and struck

out 10 in his second outing. Paul Maholm (01) gave up five runs and seven hits through 4 1-3 innings in his first start for the Dodgers. MARLINS 5, PADRES 2 Jose Fernandez struck out eight in 6 2-3 innings while lowering his ERA to 0.71, and Miami won again. The Marlins improved to 51, their best start since 2009. Last year their fifth victory came in their 21st game, and they finished with 100 losses. Fernandez (2-0) improved his career record at home to 11-0 even though he was at less than his best. Giancarlo Stanton had two RBIs to increase his season total to 11, one more than teammate Casey McGehee, who began the day leading the NL. Four of the Marlins’ runs scored with two outs. Andrew Cashner (0-1) allowed only two runs in six innings for San Diego. CARDINALS 4, PIRATES 1 Yadier Molina hit his second homer of the season and Jhonny Peralta added a late tworun shot for St. Louis. Molina finished 2 for 4 and his solo homer in the sixth gave the Cardinals plenty of cushion as they bounced back from a 12-2 loss on Friday night by jumping on Pittsburgh ace Francisco Liriano (0-1) early. St. Louis used a three-run first inning to put the Pirates in an early hole then held on as Joe Kelly (1-0) wiggled his way out of trouble. The right-hander worked 5 1-3 innings, walking four and striking out four in his first start of the season. The Pirates left 11 runners on base, including seven in the first four innings. ROCKIES 9, DIAMONDBACKS 4 Nolan Arenado homered twice, rookie right-hander Tommy Kahnle picked up his first major league victory and Colorado overcame a four-run deficit. Charlie Blackmon went 3-for-4, tying the Rockies’ franchise record with nine hits in consecutive games, a mark set by Juan Pierre in September 2002. After going 6-for-6 Friday, Blackmon singled his first time up, and then grounded out to first base before adding two more singles. Paul Goldschmidt had his 26game hitting streak snapped. He went 0-for-2 with two walks as the Diamondbacks fell to 17, the worst start in franchise history. Kahnle (1-0), selected in the 2013 Rule 5 draft from the New York Yankees, pitched 1 23 innings of one-hit ball in relief of starter Jorge De La Rosa, who struggled through his second straight start. Brandon McCarthy (0-1) surrendered six earned runs on seven hits in six innings for Arizona. BREWERS 7, RED SOX 6 Khris Davis doubled in the 11th inning for his fourth hit of the game, and scored on Logan Schafer’s double. Tyler Thornburg (1-0) earned the win with a perfect 10th inning. Burke Badenhop (0-1) came in to start the 11th and gave up Davis’ one-out double, then Schafer one-hopped the Green Monster between the left and center fielders. Francisco Rodriguez struck out the side in the 11th for his second save. Jean Segura and Aramis Ramirez each had three of Milwaukee’s 19 hits. Carlos Gomez and Mark Reynolds each hit a solo homer in the second inning - the first hit of the season for Reynolds, who was signed as a free agent on Jan. 17. — AP

ST. PETERSBURG: Tampa Bay Rays’ Evan Longoria (left) scores the go-ahead run past Texas Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos on a two-run double by James Loney during the eighth inning of a baseball game. — AP

Twins pound Indians CLEVELAND: Kyle Gibson limited Cleveland to one run in his season debut after Brian Dozier led off the game with a home run, leading Minnesota to a 7-3 win over the Cleveland Indians on Saturday and giving Twins manager Ron Gardenhire his 1,000th career victory. Gibson (1-0) allowed three hits in five-plus innings as the Twins snapped a seven-game losing streak against the Indians. Gardenhire, who has managed Minnesota since 2002, joined Tom Kelly as the only managers in Twins history to reach 1,000 wins. Gardenhire is the fifth active manager to hit the milestone and the 10th in major league history to get every one of the wins with the same team. The 56year-old “Gardy” has guided the Twins to six AL Central titles. Dozier homered on the second pitch from Carlos Carrasco (0-1). TIGERS 7, ORIOLES 6 Torii Hunter homered and drove in five runs, and the Detroit Tigers withstood a five-run ninth inning by Baltimore. Rick Porcello (1-0) allowed a run and three hits in 6 2-3 innings in his first start of the season, and the Tigers (4-0) remained baseball’s only undefeated team. But the Orioles nearly pulled off a remarkable rally after trailing 7-1 entering the ninth. Joe Nathan got the final two outs for his first save with the Tigers, retiring Chris Davis on a flyout with two on to end it. MARINERS 3, ATHLETICS 1 Felix Hernandez took a shutout into the ninth inning and Dustin Ackley and Abraham Almonte hit home runs. Hernandez (2-0) retired the first 11 batters on the way to his 16th career win over the Athletics, his most against any team. Hernandez walked one and struck out eight while allowing a run on six hits over 8 1/3 innings. Fernando Rodney got the final two outs to record his first save with the Mariners. Robinson Cano had two hits. Dan Straily (0-1) allowed three runs on six hits over his six innings. He walked one and struck out seven. RAYS 5, RANGERS 4 James Loney hit a go-ahead, two-run double in the eighth inning.Loney lined an opposite-field drive off Neal Cotts (0-1) that went over left fielder ShinSoo Choo and put the Rays up 5-4. Brandon Gomes (1-0) pitched a perfect eighth before Grant Balfour got the final three outs for his first save. Yunel Escobar and Matt Joyce homered for the Rays. David Price gave up four runs and nine hits in six innings. Texas right-hander Nick Martinez allowed three runs and four hits over six innings in his

major league debut. BLUE JAYS 4, YANKEES 0 RA Dickey and three relievers combined for a shutout, and Jose Bautista and Melky Cabrera homered. Dickey (1-0) allowed six runs and five hits in his season-opening start at Tampa Bay last Monday but was much sharper against New York. The 2012 NL Cy Young winner gave up five hits in 6 2-3 innings, walked one and struck out six. Aaron Loup got one out and Brett Cecil two before Sergio Santos worked the final 1 1-3 innings for his second save in as many chances. Right-hander Michael Pineda (0-1) made his first major league start for New York since he was acquired in a January 2012 trade with Seattle. Pineda hurt his shoulder that spring and underwent season-ending surgery in May. ANGELS 5, ASTROS 1 Josh Hamilton hit a two-run home run and Tyler

Skaggs pitched eight innings of four-hit ball. Skaggs (1-0) allowed an unearned run and struck out five. Skaggs was making his Angels debut after being acquired in the offseason from Arizona in a trade that sent outfielder Mark Trumbo to the Diamondbacks. Hamilton followed David Freese’s run-scoring single with his second homer in two days, extending the lead to 4-1 in the fifth off Dallas Keuchel. Keuchel (01) allowed four runs on eight hits with five strikeouts over five innings. ROYALS 4, WHITE SOX 3 Salvador Perez hit a go-ahead RBI double with two outs in the eighth inning. Alex Gordon doubled off left-hander Scott Downs (0-1) before Perez hit Maikel Cleto’s second pitch down the left-field line. Wade Davis (1-1) let the White Sox tie it at three when gave up two runs in the eighth on two singles, a walk, a hit batter and sacrifice fly. Greg Holland worked around a leadoff walk for his second save in two days. — AP

MLB results/standings Minnesota 7, Cleveland 3; Toronto 4, NY Yankees 0; Detroit 7, Baltimore 6; NY Mets 6, Cincinnati 3; Kansas City 4, Chicago White Sox 3; Philadelphia 2, Chicago Cubs 0; Seattle 3, Oakland 1; San Francisco 7, LA Dodgers 2; Atlanta 6, Washington 2; St. Louis 6, Pittsburgh 1; Milwaukee 7, Boston 6 (11 innings); LA Angels 5, Houston 1; Miami 5, San Diego 0; Tampa Bay 5, Texas 4; Colorado 9, Arizona 4. American League Eastern Division W L Tampa Bay 4 2 Toronto 3 3 Boston 2 3 NY Yankees 2 3 Baltimore 1 4 Central Division Detroit 4 0 Cleveland 3 2 Kansas City 2 2 Chicago White Sox 2 3 Minnesota 2 3 Western Division Seattle 4 1 Houston 2 3 LA Angels 2 3 Oakland 2 3 Texas 2 3

PCT GB .667 .500 1 .400 1.5 .400 1.5 .200 2.5 1.000 .600 .500 .400 .400

1.5 2 2.5 2.5

.800 .400 .400 .400 .400

2 2 2 2

National League Eastern Division Miami 5 1 Atlanta 4 1 Philadelphia 3 2 Washington 3 2 NY Mets 2 3 Central Division Milwaukee 3 2 3 2 Pittsburgh St. Louis 3 2 Chicago Cubs 1 4 Cincinnati 1 4 Western Division San Francisco 5 1 4 3 LA Dodgers Colorado 3 3 San Diego 1 4 Arizona 1 7

.833 .800 .600 .600 .400

0.5 1.5 1.5 2.5

.600 .600 .600 .200 2 .200 2 .833 .571 1.5 .500 2 .200 3.5 .125 5

Wie, Thompson tied for Kraft Nabisco lead LOS ANGELES: Madison Bumgarner No. 40 of the San Francisco Giants lays down a sacrifice bunt to first base to advance Brandon Crawford No. 35 (not in photo) to second base in the sixth inning during the MLB game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. — AFP

Kuchar leads Houston Open HOUSTON: Sergio Garcia faltered as Matt Kuchar took command of the Houston Open with a four-stroke lead after the third round on Saturday. Six-time PGA Tour winner Kuchar put on a long game clinic and despite a closing threeputt bogey finished with a four-under-par 68 at the Golf Club of Houston. The American started the day one shot behind Spaniard Garcia, who faded with a mediocre 73 to fall into a tie for second with American Cameron Tringale (69). Kuchar has a six-shot gap on fourth-placed Matt Jones of Australia as he seeks a confidence-boosting victory heading to the Masters next week. But he is mindful that he let one get away last week at the Texas Open, where he led halfway through the final round but could only tie for fourth. “ The game plan is to play four good rounds,” Kuchar told after signing for a 15-under 201 total. “It was nice to have a great week last week and have a chance to win, and to jump right back in the saddle and have a chance tomorrow, it’s a good position to be in. “It was another good performance. I feel like my swing’s getting better and better. I

played steady golf, made a couple of putts, but there weren’t a lot of long ones.” World number 11 Kuchar did not sink a putt longer than 15 feet as he compiled six birdies and two bogeys. He saved par from six feet at the 17th hole, but missed from a similar distance at the last to at least give his rivals a glimmer of hope. Garcia, buoyed by a deft par-save after missing the green at the final hole, was encouraged that he at least remained within striking distance. “I hung on well without playing my best,” said Garcia, who is competing in Houston for just the second time. “Obviously I didn’t play as well as yesterday (65), which is difficult to match, but I didn’t feel I played that badly, other than a couple of bad shots. “Matt played really well under the conditions. It was still quite breezy and as firm as the greens were, it was difficult to hit it close.” Tringale has a holiday planned for next week, but will have to change his plans if he wins on Sunday and earns a last-minute spot in the Masters. Due to bad weather forecast, officials moved up the final round tee times, with the leaders scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. local time. — Reuters

RANCHO MIRAGE: Michelle Wie and Lexi Thompson know exactly what’s at stake yesterday at Mission Hills - for themselves and the attention-starved LPGA Tour. “I think it’s great for the tour and it’s going to be a lot of fun,” Wie said Saturday after tying Thompson for the third-round lead in the Kraft Nabisco Championship. “I think Lexi is a really entertaining golfer. I like to think I’m somewhat entertaining as well. So, I think the both of us paired together is great.” They’re each trying to win their first major title, a victory that would be a big boost to the tour that felt slighted and upstaged this week when Golf Digest put model Paulina Gretzky on its cover after long ignoring the top female players. “I know people will be really excited about tomorrow’s pairing, but I’m not really going to worry about it,” Thompson said. “I’m just going to go out and have fun.” The 24-year-old Wie shot a bogey-free 4-under 68 to match the 19-year-old Thompson at 10-under 206. The popular Americans were teammates last year in the Solheim Cup. “I really like Lexi,” Wie said. “I think she’s a really good girl.” The two 6-footers are power players, though Wie has sacrificed some distance for control and has been hitting low-flying 3-wood stingers off a lot of tees. “That’s kind of always been in my bag,” Wie said. “Kind of reintroduced it back into my game the last couple of months. It’s just something that I’ve always felt comfortable doing and I’ve played well on this golf course.” Thompson, already a three-time winner on the tour, settled for a 69 after missing a 3-foot par putt on the par-5 18th. She also missed two short birdie putts on the front nine. “I’m getting looks at birdies and just waiting for a few more to drop,” Thompson said. Charley Hull, the Englishwoman who turned 18 last month, was two strokes back along with five-time major champion Se Ri Pak. Hull birdied the 18th for a 66, the best round of the day. Pak shot 71. Both leaders said they were nervous. “I probably won’t sleep that well,” Wie said. “It’s just the chance. You want something so badly. I dreamed about this all my life, so I’m just trying to not think about it so much. I’m just trying to think it’s a normal Sunday. ... But I think that’s a good thing. It’s a sign that I’m really excited and I really want this.” Thompson agreed.

“But it’s a good nervous,” Thompson said. “This is what I’ve been waiting for and what I’ve worked my whole life for.” Wie is making her 12th start in the tournament. She was ninth in 2003 at age 13, fourth the following year and tied for third at 16 in 2006. She also was sixth in 2011. “I just go out there and I think I just really know what I need to do,” Wie said. “I think that came with experience of playing so many rounds in my life.” Wie has two victories, winning the 2009 Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Mexico and the 2010 Canadian Women’s Open. She has been in the top 16 in all five of her starts this year, finishing a season-best fourth in Thailand. On Saturday, she birdied four of the first 11 holes and parred the last seven, leaving an 8-foot birdie putt short on 18. “I’m really happy that with my placement,” Wie said.

Thompson struggled with her putting after a great day on the greens Friday in a bogey-free 64. She missed a 21/2-foot try on No. 4 and a 4-footer on No. 7. “I would say I had a few mis-reads,” Thompson said. On 18, she drove close to the face of a right-side bunker and blasted out, leaving her 145 yards on the water-guarded hole that she would normally reach in two. Her approach went long and right, and her 80foot birdie putt broke about 15 feet right to left, setting up the short par miss that cost her the outright lead and ended her bogey-free streak at 36 holes. “Not the ending I wanted,” Thompson said. Hull birdied six of the last holes. She played in the Solheim Cup last year and won her first pro title last month in Morocco in a Ladies European Tour event. “I hit it quite well,” Hull said. “My irons were pretty good and I hit some good drives. When I got myself in trouble, I was able to get out of it. I’m pretty happy.” —AP

RANCHO MIRAGE: Michelle Wie hits from the fairway on the 15th hole during the third round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship golf tournament. — AP



Italy stun Britain

Photo of the day

Seal Davis Cup last four berth NAPLES: Italy foiled Great Britain’s dream of a first Davis Cup semi-final appearance in 33 years with a battling 3-2 quarter-final win in Naples yesterday. The British were in control, leading 21 going into yesterday’s closing two reverse singles. But Italy’s world number 13 Fabio Fognini stunned Andy Murray 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 to level the tie at 2-2, with Andreas Seppi securing the decisive last point with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 victory over James Ward. Murray and Colin Fleming had put Britain in command on Saturday with a 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 win over Simone Bolelli and Fognini in the doubles. Murray had beaten Seppi 6-4, 7-5, 6-

3 to level the tie in a rain-delayed singles after Fognini had got the first point on the board for the hosts with a 6-4, 26, 6-4, 6-1 win over Ward on Friday. The Italians, who last appeared in the semi-finals in 1998, will now face either Kazakhstan or Switzerland away in the September 12-14 semi-final. Murray’s defeat to Fognini was the Scot’s first Davis Cup singles loss since 2005. It came three days after he suffered a stomach bug and against a player who has won all three of his titles on clay within the last nine months. After the rubber Murray said: “He played very well today, that’s for sure. He’s a very good player especially on this surface. “I knew it would be a tough

NAPLES: Italy’s Fabio Fognini celebrates after beating Britain’s Andy Murray during a Davis Cup World Group quarterfinal tennis match. Fognini won 6-3, 6-3, 6-4. — AP

one but unfortunately I wasn’t quite able to play well enough.” He appeared to lack sharpness throughout but said fatigue had not been an issue: “I thought I did okay. I guess the third set was the closest one in terms of scoreline. “I did okay physically. Not the best, but I’ve definitely been worse in situations like that.” Murray started well, breaking the Italian number one in the first game of the first set. But Fognini responded in positive fashion and had Murray on the ropes throughout most of the encounter on red clay. The Italian broke back twice in the first set and twice again in the second to heap the pressure on Murray. In the second set alone, Murray had 21 unforced errors and only six winners to 11 for his Italian opponent. The Scot was struggling with his serve and with a partisan Neapolitan crowd on his back throughout, never really found his rhythm. Fognini broke Murray once again during a slightly closer third set and as the Scot served to stay in the match in the final game Fognini pounced to earn three match points at 0-40. Murray saved two, but netted a forehand to hand Fognini his 12th win in 13 Davis Cup clay-court rubbers. It left Ward needing to beat Seppi in a concluding rubber postponed in the first set while the Italian led 5-4. On their return Seppi, 127 places above Ward in the rankings, clinched the first set, going on wrap up victory serving out the tie at the first time of asking. Italy reach the last four for the first time in 16 years when they went on to finish runners-up to Sweden. — AFP

Petkovic, Cepelova in Charleston final CHARLESTON: Bosnian-born German Andrea Petkovic outlasted rising Canadian star Eugenie Bouchard in a Family Circle Cup semi-final on Saturday to earn a spot in a WTA final for the eighth time. “It’s funny how destiny plays, but reaching a final of a big tournament here in South Carolina where my father went to college is an honor, and it’s nice,” Petkovic told The Post and Courier after outlasting Bouchard 1-6 6-3 7-5 in a high-standard match on the green clay at Charleston, South Carolina. Petkovic, seeded 14th, will meet Jana Cepelova in the final late yesterday, after the unseeded Slovakian edged Swiss teenager Belinda Bencic 6-4 5-7 7-6(7). It will be the first WTA final for 20-year-old Cepelova, who continued her dream run after knocking out Serena Williams in the second round. Petkovic, 26, was once ranked among the top 10 in the world but multiple injuries interrupted her career. Now

healthy again, she shed tears of joy after Bouchard blasted a forehand over the baseline to end the match. The pair could hardly have been more evenly matched, with Petkovic winning 102 points and Bouchard 101 as both players displayed dominating forehands. Bouchard had the upper hand in the deciding set after breaking in the fifth game and then holding serve to go 4-2 up, but Petkovic quickly broke back to level it. Petkovic had a match point in the 10th game on Bouchard’s serve, but was unable to convert. It proved, however, merely a stay for crowd-favorite Bouchard, who reached the Australian Open semis in January. Cepelova and Bencic were also evenly matched, as both players broke five times in a match that stretched for two hours, 33 minutes. Bencic was up 4-1 in the tiebreak but Cepelova came through in the clutch. — Reuters

Wisconsin falls short, loses 74-73 to Kentucky ARLINGTON: A record night at the foul line had Wisconsin seconds away from a trip to the national title game. What the Badgers needed was perfection. Ben Brust and Sam Dekker each scored 15 points, but Traevon Jackson missed a free throw with 16 seconds left and Wisconsin was left stunned after Aaron Harrison’s 3 from the wing with 5.7 seconds to play gave Kentucky a 74-73. It was the only free throw the Badgers missed all game, finishing a Final

nating at the Final Four. There were tears and comforting hugs all around the locker room after the game. “Our guys certainly had nothing to hang their heads about,” coach Bo Ryan said. “We played hard, we played smart all season. That’s how we ended up here.” Balanced scoring, bench contributions and clutch plays carried them into April, too. Sporting a little more firepower than the typical Wisconsin team under Ryan, the

ARLINGTON: Kentucky forward Julius Randle (30) loses the ball as Wisconsin forward Frank Kaminsky (44), guards Bronson Koenig (24) and Ben Brust (1) defend during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball semifinal game. —AP

Four record 95 percent from the line, 19 of 20. Not good enough. “That’s what you’re going to get in the Final Four: a one-possession battle and unfortunately it just didn’t fall our way,” Brust said. Jackson missed a jumper at the buzzer and the Badgers fell short in their quest for the school’s first national title since 1941. Instead, the Wildcats ended one of the most successful seasons in Wisconsin history, starting with a 16-game winning streak and culmi-

Badgers overcame uncharacteristic defensive shortcomings at times to get to the Final Four for the first time since 2000. This time, though, Wisconsin (308) lost out in another test of basketball tempos. Board-crashing Kentucky (29-10) dominated the paint and overcame the patient Badgers’ eight 3s. The Badgers withstood wave after wave of Kentucky players swooping in for dunks and tip-ins, only to get done in by a 3-pointer

from Harrison from well beyond the arc at 25 feet. But even then, Harrison had to earn it. “He was pretty deep out there. He hadn’t really looked to pull (up) the entire game,” said guard Josh Gasser, Wisconsin’s best defensive player. “I saw him to start to rise up and I tried to contest the best I could.” Until then, the game still seemed to be going their way in spite of the overwhelming edge in athleticism for Kentucky and their band of NBA-bound talent. The Wildcats had a 46-24 advantage on points in the paint. Ryan had the final minute set up perfectly - a tight game with the ball in the hands of Jackson, the junior he’s trusted in such situations for countless games. Jackson did his job in drawing a foul while attempting a 3. Missed the first, hit the next two. It was just enough of an opening for Harrison to hit his game-winner. One final chance to atone for the missed foul shot went awry. “I thought it was in. We had other ... opportunities,” Jackson said. “But the last shot was exactly what I wanted. I had him on his heels and got a good look.” The Badgers had effectively answered an earlier Kentucky punch that left them trailing by eight early in the second half. Backup forward Duje Dukan had a tip-in to help Wisconsin, and his 3 with 11:51 left had the Badgers back on top 56-55. Back-and-forth the teams went down the stretch in a tense and chippy game that wasn’t decided until the last second. Reserve point guard Bronson Koenig scored 11 in filling in for foul-plagued Jackson in the first half. Frank Kaminsky was held to eight points - 10 below his tournament average - but chipped in four offensive rebounds that helped keep several possessions alive. It might take them a while to forget this stinging loss, but the Badgers won’t be down for long. As Kaminsky trudged through a hallway underneath AT&T Stadium, carrying his gear out for one last time, the always entertaining center yelled “On Wisconsin!” — AP

Denis Leontyev perfoms at the Red Bull Plaza Opening at Bear Mountain in Big Bear, CA, USA.


Bobcats edge Cavaliers CLEVELAND: Al Jefferson scored 24 points, including seven in overtime, and the Charlotte Bobcats clinched a playoff spot with a 96-94 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night. Charlotte is in the postseason for the second time in its 10-year history and the first time since 2010. The Bobcats (39-38) are over .500 for the second time this season and hold seventh place in the Eastern Conference. Kyrie Irving scored a career-high 44 points for Cleveland. The Cavaliers (31-47) trail eighth-place Atlanta by 31/2 games for the final playoff spot in the East. Irving was 16 of 31 from the field, including five 3-pointers. He added eight assists and seven rebounds. Gerald Henderson’s basket gave Charlotte a 90-89 lead with 1:08 remaining and the Bobcats made four free throws down the stretch to seal the win. NETS 105, 76ERS 101 Kevin Garnett scored 10 points in his first game in more than five weeks to help Brooklyn beat Philadelphia. The 37-year-old Garnett missed 19 straight games since Feb. 27 because of back spasms. The Nets went 14-5 over that span. Garnett was back in the starting lineup and was sharp from the start. He scored on an alleyoop in the first quarter, made his first four shots, and had a nasty block on Michael Carter-Williams’ layup attempt that knocked the rookie guard to the ground. Garnett also passed Alex English to move into 14th on the NBA’s career scoring list. The veteran center did not play in the fourth quarter. Deron Williams had 19 points and Mason Plumlee 16 for the Nets. Thaddeus Young led the Sixers with 20 points. RAPTORS 102, BUCKS 98 DeMar DeRozan scored 15 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and Toronto beat Milwaukee to keep pace in the hunt for playoff position. Toronto and the Chicago Bulls, who beat Washington on Saturday night, are 45-32 and tied for the third seed in the Eastern Conference with five games to play. Milwaukee fell to an NBA-worst 14-63, guaranteeing the team’s worst record in its 45-year history. Greivis Vasquez tied a seasonhigh with 26 points for Toronto, which has won three consecutive games and six of seven. Vasquez, who averages

NBA results/standings Orlando 100, Minnesota 92l; Chicago 96, Washington 78l; Charlotte 96, Cleveland 94 (OT); Detroit 115, Boston 111; Brooklyn 105, Philadelphia 101; Toronto 102, Milwaukee 98. Western Conference Eastern Conference Northwest Division Atlantic Division W L PCT GB Oklahoma City 55 20 .733 Toronto 45 32 .584 49 28 .636 7 Portland Brooklyn 42 34 .553 2.5 Minnesota 38 38 .500 17.5 NY Knicks 33 44 .429 12 Denver 33 43 .434 22.5 Boston 23 54 .299 22 Utah 24 52 .316 31.5 Philadelphia 17 60 .221 28 Pacific Division Central Division LA Clippers 54 23 .701 Indiana 53 24 .688 Golden State 47 29 .618 6.5 Chicago 45 32 .584 8 Phoenix 45 31 .592 8.5 Cleveland 31 47 .397 22.5 Sacramento 27 49 .355 26.5 Detroit 28 49 .364 25 LA Lakers 25 51 .329 28.5 Milwaukee 14 63 .182 39 Southwest Division Southeast Division San Antonio 59 17 .776 Miami 52 23 .693 50 25 .667 8.5 Houston Washington 40 37 .519 13 Dallas 46 31 .597 13.5 Charlotte 39 38 .506 14 Memphis 45 31 .592 14 Atlanta 33 42 .440 19 Orlando 22 55 .286 31 New Orleans 32 44 .421 27

9.1 points, made up the scoring lost when starting point guard Kyle Lowry missed the game with a bruised left kneecap. DeRozan made six free throws in the final 24 seconds to seal the victory. Khris Middleton scored 20 points for Milwaukee, which has lost 13 of 14 games. BULLS 96, WIZARDS 78 DJ Augustin scored 25 points, Joakim Noah had 21 points and 12 rebounds, and Chicago turned a possible first-round playoff preview into a laugher, never trailing in a win over Washington. Augustin made 6 of 11 3-pointers but only 2 of 8 2-pointers - and Carlos Boozer added 16 points for the Bulls, who have won five straight and are battling the Toronto Raptors for the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. Augustin has averaged 19.8 points during the winning streak. John Wall scored 20 points, and Marcin Gortat had 19 for the Wizards, who sit in sixth place in the East. If they hold that spot, they would face the third-seeded team. MAGIC 100, TIMBERWOLVES 92 Arron Afflalo scored 18 points and Tobias Harris and Maurice Harkless added 17 apiece to lead Orlando over short-handed Minnesota. Rookie Victor Oladipo contributed

16 points and six assists to help Orlando snap a three-game losing streak. Kyle O’Quinn had 14 points and 13 rebounds. Ricky Rubio led Minnesota with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Corey Brewer had 15 for Timberwolves, who were missing many key players. Minnesota played without its three leading scorers, Kevin Love, Kevin Martin and Nikola Pekovic, all out with injuries. Chase Budinger, starting in place of Martin, left in the first minute with an ankle injury and didn’t return. PISTONS 115, CELTICS 111 Rodney Stuckey came off the bench to score 26 points and help Detroit rally past Boston. The Pistons trailed by as many as 19 points in third quarter and were down 95-85 at the start of the fourth before going on a 15-4 run that gave them their first lead since early in the game. The teams traded the lead several times before Stuckey made a pair of free throws with 57 seconds left to break a 111-all tie. Jerryd Bayless tried for a go-ahead shot in the final seconds but his 3point try rimmed out. Greg Monroe scored 21 points, Brandon Jennings had 20 and Andre Drummond added 19 and 20 rebounds to help Detroit end a two-game skid. Bayless scored 25 points and Jeff Green had 22 as the Celtics lost their eighth straight. —AP

CLEVELAND: Charlotte Bobcats’ Al Jefferson (left) controls a rebound against Cleveland Cavaliers’ Anderson Varejao (17), from Brazil, in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game. — AP



Oxford cruise to Boat Race victory LONDON: Oxford University beat Cambridge University by a crushing 11 lengths, the biggest victory margin since 1973, as they won the 160th Boat Race on London’s River Thames yesterday. The decisive point in the contest came when Cambridge’s Luke Juckett lost control of his oar and was almost knocked over by onrushing water as he came out of his seat after a clash of blades between the crews near Harrods’ Depository. After Cambridge trailed in they lodged an official protest but race umpire Richard Phelps rejected the complaint from cox Ian Middleton, having warned the Light Blues to move away shortly before the clash. Even before that key moment, it appeared Oxford, with four returning Blues (as those who’ve competed in a Boat Race are known) and four Olympic medallists, were starting to make their experience count. Oxford’s superior experience paid off, their four returning Blues and four Olympic medalists. Victory gave Oxford coach Sean Bowden his 10th win in 15 years with the Dark Blues and saw Oxford reduce Cambridge’s overall lead to 81-78 with one tie. There was nearly a clash early on as both crews went in search of the fastest water

LONDON: Members of the Oxford University’s boat race crew celebrate with the trophy after their win against Cambridge University at the end of their 160th annual Boat Race on the River Thames. — AP

before Oxford, on the Surrey side of the river and with a seeming advantage through the middle section of the winding course, started to impose themselves. But the result was still in the balance when American rower Juckett, a Boat Race debutant, came off his seat following the clash of oars and missed at least five strokes. From then on, there was no way back for Cambridge and Oxford, last year’s winners, eased to victory in a time of 18 minutes and 36 seconds. Cambridge rower Steve Dudek, reflecting on the incident that effectively saw Juckett come to a stand-still, told the BBC: “It’s a very, very difficult way to lose... That’s the nature of the Boat Race.” And there was some sympathy for Cambridge’s plight from Karl Hudspith, a member of the victorious Oxford crew. “It’s a really awful way to end a whole year of training,” he said. “I think we showed after the incident that we kept on pulling away. We put quite a big margin into them in the end. “I think we were the better crew and that did show in some of our previous fixtures as well. “Like I said, it’s just unfortunate it had to end that way,” Hudspith added. — AFP

Destro hat-trick closes Juve gap to five points

Domi Kumbela

Braunschweig breathe life into survival hopes BERLIN: Bottom side Eintracht Braunschweig breathed life into their Bundesliga survival hopes as yesterday’s 30 romp at home to ten-man Hanover 96 means four points separate the last six sides. Congolese-born captain Domi Kumbela gave Braunschweig the lead in the Lower Saxony derby before Norway striker Havard Nielsen made it 2-0 with a superb volley on 21 minutes. Hanover were reduced to ten men when midfielder Andre Hoffmann was sent off on 62 minutes for a dangerous foul before Jan Hochscheidt scored the hosts’ third just before the final whistle. “That was an important three points and for our fans it’s also an important emotional win,” said Braunschweig’s relieved coach Torsten Lieberknecht whose side face champions Bayern Munich in a fortnight. The result leaves Braunschweig unbeaten in their last three games and just two points from safety, while Hanover are two points from the relegation mire after four straight defeats. Later, mid-table Hoffenheim held Hertha Berlin to a 1-1 draw in the capital as Sami Allagui’s early goal was cancelled out by Poland international’s Eugen Polanski equaliser with half an hour gone. Hoffenheim’s Germany hopeful Kevin Volland was only denied the winning goal on the final whistle when his free-kick was palmed over the bar by Hertha goalkeeper Thomas Kraft. On Saturday, champions Bayern Munich suffered their first league defeat since October 2012 as their record 53-match unbeaten run was ended by a 1-0 defeat at Augsburg. Coach Pep Guardiola paid the price for naming a weakened team for the Bavarian derby with one eye on Wednesday ’s Champions League return leg at home to Manchester United. The Spaniard made seven changes from the side which drew 1-1 at Manchester United last Tuesday in the quarter-final first leg. Guardiola started with three teenagers in Augsburg, giving Bundesliga debuts to reserve team wing-backs Ylli Sallahi and Mitchell Weiser while Pierre -Emile

Hoejbjerg was named on the left wing. The gamble backfired when Weiser lost possession to Augsburg’s Daniel Baier who fed Sascha Moelders and the striker blasted his shot past Bayern’s goalkeeper Manuel Neuer with 31 minutes gone to claim the winning goal. This was only Bayern’s third defeat of the season in all competitions having already been confirmed Bundesliga champions ten days ago with a record seven games to spare. MORALE BOOSTING WIN Second-placed Borussia Dortmund earned a morale-boosting 2-1 win at home to VfL Wolfsburg ahead of Tuesday ’s Champions League quarter-final, secondleg at home to Real Madrid. After Croatia’s Ivica Olic gave Wolves an early lead, a Robert Lewandowski header put Dortmund level before Germany winger Marco Reus hit the 77th-minute winner. Borussia face a near-impossible task of overturning a 3-0 defeat from the first leg against Real to reach the Champions League’s semi-finals. Schalke 04 are now three points adrift of Dortmund in third as they came from behind to claim a 1-1 draw at Werder Bremen. At the other end of the table, VfB Stuttgart improved their chances of avoiding relegation with a 2-0 win at home to Freiburg to escape the bottom three with goals by Romania’s Alexandru Maxim and Austria’s Martin Harnik. Nuremberg drop to second from bottom after their 2-0 defeat at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach, who moved up to fourth and into the Champions League places at the expense of Bayer Leverkusen. Leverkusen sacked coach Sami Hyypia on Saturday less than 24 hours after their 21 defeat at strugglers Hamburg which left them facing a battle to qualify for next season’s Champions League. Hyypia, who took on his first senior coaching role last August, has been replaced by Sascha Lewandowski, the head coach of Leverkusen’s junior side, who has five games to rescue their Champions League status.— AFP

German League results/standings Eintracht Braunschweig 3 (Kumbela 14, Nielsen 21, Hochscheidt 89) Hanover 96 0; Hertha Berlin 1 (Allagui 11) Hoffenheim 1 (Polanski 30). German League table after yesterday evening’s match (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): VfB Stuttgart 29 7 6 16 44 57 27 Bayern Munich 29 25 3 1 82 17 78 Hamburg 29 7 6 16 45 60 27 Dortmund 29 18 4 7 64 32 58 Nuremberg 29 5 11 13 34 54 26 Schalke 29 16 7 6 54 38 55 Braunschweig 29 6 7 16 28 50 25 M’gladbach 29 14 6 9 51 34 48 Leverkusen 29 15 3 11 48 36 48 Note: Top three qualify directly for the VfL Wolfsburg 29 14 5 10 49 44 47 Champions League, fourth goes into the Mainz 29 13 5 11 41 45 44 play-offs, while fourth and fifth play in Augsburg 29 12 6 11 41 43 42 the Europa League. The bottom two Hoffenheim 29 9 10 10 64 63 37 sides are relegated and the team finishHertha Berlin 29 10 7 12 37 40 37 ing 16th has a two-legged play-off Eintracht 29 9 8 12 37 48 35 against the side which finishes third in Werder Bremen 29 8 9 12 34 55 33 the second division. Hanover 29 8 5 16 36 54 29 Freiburg 29 7 8 14 33 52 29

MILAN: Mattia Destro scored his maiden Serie A hat-trick in Roma’s 3-1 win away to Cagliari yesterday to help reduce the gap to leaders Juventus to just five points. Juventus are widely expected to restore their eight-point lead when they host Livorno today. But with the Serie A strugglers battling for their top flight survival the Giallorossi will hope, for 24 hours at least, that their dream of a first scudetto since 2001 is not over yet. Roma coach Rudi Garcia told Sky Sport Italia his side’s priority was to “put smiles on the fans’ faces”, but he added: “We’re five points behind Juve and 12 ahead of Napoli. Now, it’s up to them to play.” He added: “The race for the title isn’t over, but it’s not down to us. All we have right now is a tight grip on second place, and we’ll try to hold on to it until the end of the season.” Destro gave Roma a 32nd minute lead after finishing off a counter-attack with Gervinho, although the visitors were given a helping hand by Cagliari’s defence. Destro sent the Ivorian through but overplayed his pass, forcing Gervinho to turn and send the ball back towards goal where the Sardinians’ defence, despite their superiority in numbers, somehow left the Italian to tap home from close range. Destro doubled Roma’s lead 12 minutes into the second half, and once again the Cagliari defence was largely to blame. Former Cagliari midfielder Radja Nainggolan sent Destro clear down the middle, leaving the striker to drive virtually unchallenged towards goal and beat Vlada Avramov at the keeper’s right post. Destro completed his hat-trick in the 73rd minute when Cagliari’s four-man defence crumbled under the trident of Ger vinho, Alessandro Florenzi and Destro. Cagliari reduced arrears a minute before fulltime when Mauricio Pinilla beat Morgan De Sanctis from the penalty spot after being brought down by Mehdi Benatia. Destro was already Roma’s top scorer but has now taken his tally to 13 for the season, five behind Juventus striker Carlos Tevez and Torino’s Ciro Immobile, who are tied on 18. The Italian striker’s exploits are also likely to secure his call-up to Cesare Prandelli’s squad for this summer’s World Cup. But when asked about his expectations, the 23-year-old striker said: “Let’s hope so. All I can do is concentrate on doing my best to make sure we win every Sunday.” Roma have now extended their lead over third-placed Napoli to 12 points ahead of their visit to Parma late yesterday. Fiorentina held on for a 2-1 win at home to Udinese thanks to goals from Juan Cuadrado and Gonzalo Rodriguez, from the penalty spot, with Bruno Fernandes reducing arrears eight minutes from time for the visitors. La Viola remain fourth and while nine points behind Napoli in the last available Champions League spot are five ahead of Inter. Elsewhere, Alexander Farnerud and Ciro Immobile struck one apiece in a late comeback win for Torino after Gonzalo Bergessio had given hosts Catania a second-minute lead. At the other end of the table Sassuolo inject-

CAGLIARI: AS Roma’s forward Mattia Destro (left) vies with Cagliari’s defender Davide Astori (right) during the Italian Serie A football match. — AFP

Italian League results/standings Lazio 2 (Candreva 42, Lulic 73) Sampdoria 0; Atalanta 0 Sassuolo 2 (Sansone 33, 71); Cagliari 1 (Pinilla 89-pen) Roma 3 (Destro 32, 56, 73); Catania 1 (Bergessio 2) Torino 2 (Farnerud 70, Immobile 83); Fiorentina 2 (Cuadrado 25, Rodriguez 72-pen) Udinese 1 (Fernandes 82). Playing later Parma v Napoli

Playing today Juventus v Livorno, Genoa v AC Milan.

Italian League table after yesterday’s afternoon matches (played, won, drawn, goals against, points): AC Milan 31 11 9 11 Juventus 31 26 3 2 67 22 81 Sampdoria 32 11 8 13 Roma 32 23 7 2 65 18 76 Genoa 31 10 9 12 Napoli 31 19 7 5 59 32 64 Udinese 32 11 5 16 Fiorentina 32 16 7 9 51 34 55 Cagliari 32 7 11 14 Inter Milan 32 12 14 6 51 35 50 Chievo 32 7 6 19 Lazio 32 13 9 10 42 40 48 Bologna 32 5 12 15 Parma 31 12 11 8 51 41 47 Livorno 31 6 7 18 Atalanta 32 14 4 14 37 41 46 Sassuolo 32 6 6 20 Verona 32 14 4 14 47 52 46 Catania 32 4 8 20 Torino 32 12 9 11 47 41 45 ed a sliver of hope into their relegation battle with a shock 2-0 win away to Atalanta, thanks to a double from Nicolae Sansone. Sassuolo, however, remain second from bottom and are three points from safety. Earlier, Antonio Candreva and Senad Lulic struck in either half for 10-man Lazio to secure a precious 2-0 win over Sampdoria which pushed them up to sixth, two points adrift of Inter.

lost, goals for, 47 40 34 35 30 26 26 34 31 24

43 45 39 44 44 47 50 58 61 57

42 41 39 38 32 27 27 25 24 20

Candreva gave Lazio a 42nd minute lead and although the Biancocelesti lost Lucas Biglia, who saw red for a second bookable offence on 57 minutes, Lulic settled the match in the 73rd minute. Reja, who in midweek said he wouldn’t bet a euro on his side’s Europa League hopes, has since backpedalled. “I’m proud and satisfied: we’re on a positive streak and we’ll fight all the way to grab a Europa League place.” — AFP

Sevilla thump Espanyol MADRID: Sevilla kept up the pressure on Athletic Bilbao in the battle for Spain’s fourth Champions League spot when Kevin Gameiro struck twice in a 4-1 win at home to mid-table Espanyol yesterday. The victory for fifth-placed Sevilla at a festive Sanchez Pizjuan stadium closed the gap to Bilbao to three points ahead of the Basque club’s game at Levante today. Midfielder Stephane M’Bia powered in a header from a corner in the 18th minute before Gameiro scored his first of the game a minute before halftime when he controlled the ball on his chest in the centre of the penalty area and volleyed low into the corner. Espanyol pulled a goal back after Sevilla defender Federico Fazio brought down Christian Stuani in the area and Sergio Garcia clipped home the spot kick. Gameiro’s second and Sevilla’s third in the 84th minute was the pick of the goals. The Frenchman exchanged passes with Marko Marin before curling a shot past German Parreno in the Espanyol goal. Substitute Ivan Rakitic controlled a long pass from the back and fired in at the near post to complete the scoring a minute from time. Bilbao have 56 points in fourth, which would earn a place in Champions League qualifying, with Sevilla in fifth on 53 in a Europa League berth, three ahead of Real Sociedad. Espanyol are one of three teams on 40 points along with Valencia, who play at Real Valladolid later on Sunday, and Levante. Malaga are two points behind them in 11th after they thumped Andalusian rivals Granada 4-1 and

Getafe’s chances of avoiding relegation receded when they conceded a goal in the third minute of added time in a 1-0 defeat at fellow strugglers Elche. Alicante-based Elche have 35 points in 14th, four ahead of 17th-placed Getafe. The top three all won comfortably on Saturday

and with six games left leaders Atletico Madrid remain on course for a surprise title triumph with 79 points. Champions Barcelona, who host Atletico on the final day of the season, are a point behind in second, two ahead of third-placed Real Madrid. — Reuters

Spanish League results/standings Malaga 4 (Camacho 14, 36, Amrabat 50, Juanmi 74) Granada 1 (El-Arabi 77) Elche 1 (Boakye 90+3) Getafe 0; Sevilla 4 (Mbia 18, Gameiro 44, 84, Rakitic 89) Espanyol 1 (Sergio Garcia 46-pen). Playing later Valladolid v Valencia Spanish League against, points): Atletico Madrid Barcelona Real Madrid Athletic Bilbao Sevilla Real Sociedad Villarreal Valencia Espanyol Levante

Playing today Levante v Athletic Bilbao

table before yesterday’s late match (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals 32 32 32 31 32 32 32 31 32 31

25 25 24 16 15 14 14 11 11 10

4 3 4 8 8 8 7 7 7 10

3 4 4 7 9 10 11 13 14 11

70 92 90 53 59 54 51 44 35 29

22 26 32 34 47 48 38 45 40 38

79 78 76 56 53 50 49 40 40 40

Malaga Rayo Vallecano Celta Vigo Elche Granada Osasuna Getafe Valladolid Almeria Real Betis

32 32 32 32 32 32 32 31 32 32

10 11 10 8 10 9 8 6 8 5

8 3 6 11 4 6 7 12 6 7

14 18 16 13 18 17 17 13 18 20

35 37 34 26 29 28 29 32 34 28

40 68 47 42 46 53 49 50 60 64

38 36 36 35 34 33 31 30 30 22



Everton thrash Arsenal to keep European dream alive Everton 3

Arsenal 0

LONDON: Liverpool’s English midfielder Steven Gerrard (right) celebrates with Liverpool’s English midfielder Raheem Sterling (left) after scoring the opening goal from a penalty during the English Premier League football match against West Ham United. — AFP

Liverpool back on top after controversial win West Ham 1

Liverpool 2

LONDON: Liverpool moved a step closer to the Premier League title in controversial fashion as Steven Gerrard’s penalty sealed a 2-1 victory at West Ham and capped a miserable afternoon for referee Anthony Taylor yesterday. Gerrard fired Liverpool back to the top of the table after Brendan Rodgers’ side were given a dubious second half spot-kick by Taylor, who had earlier allowed Guy Demel’s equaliser for West Ham despite a clear foul on Reds goalkeeper Simon Mignolet. Liverpool captain Gerrard had given his side the lead in the first half with another penalty which was far less debatable and his second spot-kick took him past Kenny Dalglish on the all-time list of Liverpool goal-scorers. A far more significant Dalglish-related milestone is now in sight as Gerrard’s double means Liverpool are just five wins away from being crowned English champions for the first time since the Scot led them to the title in 1990. The Reds are two points clear of second placed Chelsea and four ahead of third placed Manchester City, who have two games in hand but face Rodgers’ team at Anfield

next Sunday. Liverpool are in red-hot form, winning their last nine matches to prove their title credentials, and they held their nerve impressively after West Ham’s contentious equaliser. “There were bad decisions both for and against us but we were clearly the better team,” Rodgers said. “The referee came out after the game and said he got it wrong for their goal and I think the second penalty was a penalty. The keeper gets a slight touch on it but he then brings down Flanagan.” While it was the officials who eventually stole the spotlight, all the focus before kick-off was on Liverpool’s in-form forwards. Luis Suarez has been unstoppable in recent weeks and the Uruguayan was quickly into his stride once again. He curled a free-kick just over the crossbar from 30 yards in the third minute and went even closer 16 minutes later. West Ham’s defenders switched off at a throw-in and Suarez alertly seized possession before lofting the ball goalwards, only to see his effort rebound to safety off the bar. Rodgers’ men had only failed to score in two league games this season and they kept their nerve to take the lead in the 44th minute. Inevitably, Suarez was the catalyst for the breakthrough as he split the defence to reach Gerrard’s brilliant long pass and cleverly flicked the ball back past James Tomkins, who instinctively stuck out an arm to block. Taylor awarded the penalty and Gerrard stepped up to calmly send Adrian the wrong way from the spot. Yet Liverpool’s lead lasted just minutes as the hosts drew level in the most bizarre circumstances. —AFP

EPL results/standings Everton 3 (Naismith 14, Lukaku 34, Arteta 62-og) Arsenal 0; West Ham 1 (Demel 45) Liverpool 2 (Gerrard 44-pen, 71-pen).

Playing today Tottenham v Sunderland

English Premier League table after yesterday’s matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Liverpool Chelsea Man City Arsenal Everton Man Utd Tottenham Southampton Newcastle Stoke West Ham Hull Aston Villa

33 33 31 33 32 33 32 33 33 33 33 33 32

23 22 22 19 18 17 17 13 14 10 10 10 9

5 6 4 7 9 6 5 9 4 10 7 6 7

5 5 5 7 5 10 10 11 15 13 16 17 16

90 65 84 56 52 56 40 50 38 37 37 34 35

40 24 29 40 31 38 44 44 51 48 44 40 48

74 72 70 64 63 57 56 48 46 40 37 36 34

Crystal Palace Swansea West Brom Norwich Fulham Cardiff Sunderland

32 33 32 33 33 33 30

10 8 6 8 8 6 6

4 9 14 8 3 8 7

18 16 12 17 22 19 17

23 45 37 26 33 29 28

39 49 48 52 74 64 48

34 33 32 32 27 26 25

Notes: Top four teams qualify for next season’s Champions League; fifth-place team qualifies for Europa League; bottom three teams relegated to Championship.

Toulon dismiss Leinster PARIS: Defending champions Toulon ran out comfortable 29-14 winners over three-time former champions Leinster yesterday to set up a European Cup semi-final against Munster. In a scene set for a match-up between two of rugby union’s greatest players in Jonny Wilkinson and Brian O’Driscoll, the English flyhalf limped off injured before the half-hour and the Irish centre’s attacking prowess was snuffled out by a ferocious Toulon midfield. Toulon will now face Munster, 47-23 quarterfinal winners over Toulouse, at Marseille’s Stade Velodrome on April 27. A day earlier, Saracens, 17-15 victors over Ulster, will host Clermont, 22-16 victors over Leicester, at Twickenham in the first semi-final. In southern France, the sides were level at 6-6 at half-time after two penalties apiece by Wilkinson and Jimmy Gopperth. But Toulon scored two second-half tries through prop Xaiver Chiocci and Australian winger Drew Mitchell, both converted by Matt Giteau, who also got two penalties, along with a long-range Delon Armitage effort. Leinster’s sole response was a third Gopperth penalty before a late Jordi Murphy try. “We just didn’t play well,” said O’Driscoll, an integral part of Leinster’s Cup triumphs in 2012, 2011 and 2009, but here in his final European match. “It was 6-6 at half-time but we didn’t come out and play. We made too many mistakes and too many turnovers.” Wilkinson, 34, said O’Driscoll’s impending retirement was “a

sad moment for the sport, but I also respect his decision as he leaves at the top”. The fly-half, who kicked England to victory over Australia in extra-time in the 2003 World Cup final, expressed hope that he could bounce back from his injury in time for the semi-final. “I have had this hamstring problem for the past two weeks and felt it immediately when I went for that ball in the 28th minute,” he said. “I’ll take it day by day and hour by hour as I would love to play Munster and also the end of the season is the most important for us.” The expensively-assembled Toulon side, which could afford to have Springbok winger Bryan Habana sitting on the bench, opened up with an ominous display of their power play, rewarded with a Wilkinson penalty after three minutes. Leinster were in full scramble defence, full-back Rob Kearney pulling off a crucial intercept and O’Driscoll also clearing under the onslaught. Wilkinson knocked over his second penalty on 17 minutes at the packed FelixMayol Stadium under clear skies and sunny conditions. Leinster’s uncapped Kiwi fly-half Gopperth pulled back a penalty with Toulon’s scrum under the cosh just minutes later. Wilkinson limped off with a heavily bandaged right leg after 27 minutes, 92-time capped Wallaby Giteau moving into 10 with Maxime Mermoz slotting into midfield. Gopperth was on hand to fire over a second penalty to draw the scores level, Giteau going wide with a longrange effort. —AFP

FRANCE: Leinster’s Rob Kearney (center) vies with Toulon’s Delon Armitage during the quarter final rugby union match at the Mayol stadium. — AFP

LIVERPOOL: Everton struck a huge blow in the battle to qualify for the Champions League with an emphatic 3-0 victory over Arsenal at Goodison Park yesterday. Strikers Steven Naismith and Romelu Lukaku both scored for Everton in the first half, while Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta added a third with an own-goal in the second period in a match the home side dominated. The result meant fifth-placed Everton closed the gap on Arsene Wenger’s side in fourth place to just a single point, and the Toffees also have a Premier League game in hand over their London rivals. Everton manager Roberto Martinez handed Naismith, who impressed from the bench against Fulham last time out, a place in the starting line-up ahead of Ross Barkley while Kevin Mirallas was preferred to Gerard Deulofeu. Arsenal had Aaron Ramsey back in their squad for the first time since December after his recovery from a thigh injury but he had to settle for a place among the substitutes while Nacho Monreal started in place of Kieran Gibbs, who had an ankle injury, at left-back. Leon Osman signalled Everton’s intent and went close with a curling effort from distance, which had Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny worried, that just went over the crossbar. Osman, named Everton captain for the day, was forced off moments later with a nasty cut on his face after Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna landed on him and was replaced by Barkley. But despite his absence the Toffees zipped the ball about with confidence and a slick move in the 14th minute allowed Naismith to put the hosts ahead. A teasing ball into the area from left-back Leighton Baines found Lukaku who saw his shot from near the penalty spot parried by Szczesny, but Naismith was quickest to react and confidently placed the ball into the corner of the unguarded net.

LONDON: Everton’s English defender John Stones (left) slides in to tackle Arsenal’s Polish-born German striker Lukas Podolski (right) during the English Premier League football match at Goodison Park. — AFP RELENTLESS PRESSURE Everton’s pressure on the Arsenal goal was relentless and Barkley drew a smart save on the half-hour mark from Szczesny before Mirallas had the Poland international scrambling across his goal shortly afterwards with a low shot from distance. Arsenal’s rearguard was eventually breached for a second time by on-loan Chelsea striker Lukaku who notched his 12th Premier League goal of the season in the 34th minute. The Belgium international received a crossfield pass on the right flank and skipped past Arsenal defenders Monreal and Thomas Vermaelen before he struck a powerful shot into the corner. Arsenal briefly flickered into life before the interval and Lukas Podolski’s shot was acrobatically tipped over the crossbar by Tim Howard in the Everton goal. Wenger’s side began the second period in a determined fashion but Everton simply matched

them and their desire was reflected in the manner of the third goal shortly after the hour mark. Mirallas stole possession off Sagna on the halfway line and headed towards the Arsenal goal where he found Naismith with an intelligent pass. Naismith saw his path to goal blocked by Szczesny, but the ball popped free and Mirallas, who had continued his run into the penalty area, battled Arteta - a former Everton player - in the scramble which ultimately saw the Arsenal midfielder inadvertently push it into his own net. From that point there was no way back for Arsenal although a run from Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, introduced for Podolski in the 66th minute, saw him rattle the crossbar with a spectacular effort. But it was Everton who finished the stronger of the two sides with Barkley, Baines and substitutes Deulofeu and Aiden McGeady all threatening with runs into the box. — AFP

Italy stun Britain



Everton thrash Arsenal to keep European dream alive


Oxford cruise to Boat Race victory

Page 18

DHAKA: Sri Lanka’s players and team officials pose for a group photo while celebrating with the trophy after winning the ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Cup. Sri Lanka won the title defeating India by six wickets. — AP

Sri Lanka win World Twenty20 DHAKA: Kumar Sangakkara hit a memorable half-century to help Sri Lanka to a six-wicket victory over India in the World Twenty20 final in Dhaka yesterday. The veteran left-hander knocked a 35-ball 52 not out in his last Twenty20 match to guide the Sri Lankan chase of a modest 131-run target in 17.5 overs at a packed Shere Bangla stadium. Thisara Perera hit Ravichandran Ashwin for a winning boundary to seal the win, finishing with 21 not out. But it was Sangakkara who anchored the chase with six boundaries and a six in his unbeaten knock. The victory gave Sri Lanka their first world title in 18 years since winning the World Cup (50 overs) crown in 1996 and gave the World Twenty20 a fifth champion in as many editions. The victory also broke Sri Lanka’s jinx of losing the final of major world level events as they had lost two World Cup (50 overs) finals (2007 and 2011) besides being runners-up in as many World Twenty20 events in 2009 and 2012. “It’s been a long time coming, (we’ve) waited five finals,” said Sangakkara, who was captain in the 2009 World Twenty20 and 2011 World Cup, but will now quit Twenty20 along with Mahela Jayawardene. “I am pretty happy that I was able to do something for the team. It means a lot to all of us. We are very humbled by this.” India won the inaugural edition in 2007 followed by Pakistan (2009), England (2010) and the West Indies (2012). In contrast India were denied a chance to become the first team ever to hold three major cricketing titles at one time, after clinching the 2011 World Cup title and the Champions Trophy last year. India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was full of praise for Sri Lanka. “It was a perfect game for them,” he said. “In

the middle overs our batsmen tried our best, but we couldn’t convert the good start. “We were short of a few runs but Virat has been brilliant,” said Dhoni of Kohli, declared player of the tournament. Sri Lanka lost wickets at regular intervals as Indian spinners applied pressure, but Sangakkara held one end intact. Openers Kusal Perera went for five and Tillakaratne Dilshan for 18 before Sangakkara added 34 for the third wicket with Jayawardne (24) and another 54 for the unfinished fifth wicket with Thisara. India were reduced to 130-4 by some tight Sri Lankan bowling despite a brilliant half-century by Kohli, whose 58-ball 77 was his eighth Twenty20 halfcentury (and fourth of this tournament) after India were sent into bat in a match reduced by 40 minutes due to rain. The rain spiced up the pitch for bowlers but Kohli was at his best when he came to the crease after India lost Ajinkya Rahane (three) in Angelo Mathews’s second over of the innings. Let off by Lasith Malinga at mid-wicket off left-arm spinner Rangana Herath’s first delivery when 11, Kohli took full advantage of the laspe by hitting five boundaries and four sixes before he was run out off the final delivery. Kohli added 60 for the second wicket with Rohit Sharma (29) and another 55 for the third with Yuvraj Singh who slowed down the tempo with a snail-paced 11 off 21 balls. Sharma hit three boundaries during his 26ball knock before he was caught off Herath who finished with 1-23 in his four overs. So facile were India’s last four overs that there was no boundary and a well-set Kohli got just seven balls to play, restricting their total badly. With the win Sri Lanka also capped a long two-and-a-half month tour of Bangladesh dur-

ing which they won all matches in a bilateral series against the home team and five-nation Asia Cup. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka fans at home burst firecrackers and danced on the streets as the national team won the World Twenty20 title. Instant celebrations broke out at cricket grounds and public parks in the capital Colombo as well as in suburban towns where thousands of fans watched the game on giant television screens. President Mahinda Rajapakse telephoned the Sri Lankan team in Dhaka to congratulate them for their biggest cricket win since the 1996 World Cup, his office said. “A short while ago, the President spoke to the team and officials and congratulated them,” an official said. Motorists took to the streets tooting their horns and waved the national Lion flag to celebrate what many saw as a historic win bringing back memories of 1996 when Arjuna Ranatunga brought home the 50-over World Cup. “Congratulations Sri Lanka,” said President Rajapakse’s legislator son, Namal Rajapakse. “Well played boys. Good game.” Sri Lanka went into the game with the offer of a million dollar bonus if they shed their reputation as chokers in the final against India. The cash-strapped Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) board had said it would treble the money it had previously promised if the team returned home from Bangladesh with the trophy. “The Executive Committee of SLC which met at an emergency meeting this morning and decided to offer $1.5 million (including the original fee of $500,000) to the national team players in the event that they win the final,” the board said in a statement. — AFP

SCOREBOARD DHAKA: Scoreboard of the World Twenty20 final between India and Sri Lanka at the Sher-eBangla stadium in Dhaka yesterday. Sri Lanka: India: K. Perera c Jadeja b M. Sharma 5 R. Sharma c Senanayake b Herath 29 T. Dilshan c Kohli b Ashwin 18 A. Rahane b Mathews 3 M. Jayawardene c Ashwin b Raina 24 V. Kohli run out 77 K. Sangakkara not out 52 Y. Singh c T. Perera b Kulasekara 11 L. Thirimanne c Dhoni b Mishra 7 M. Dhoni not out 4 T. Perera not out 21 Extras: (b2, lb2, w2) 6 Extras: (lb2, w3) 5 Total (for four wickets, 20 overs) 130 132 Fall of wickets: 1-4 (Rahane), 2-64 (R. Total (for four wickets, 17.5 overs) Fall of wickets: 1-5 (K. Perera), 2-41 (Dilshan), Sharma), 3-119 (Singh), 4-130 (Kohli). Bowling: Kulasekara 4-0-29-1, Mathews 4-0- 3-65 (Jayawardene), 4-78 (Thirimanne). 25-1, Senanayake 4-0-22-0, Malinga 4-0-27- Bowling: Kumar 3-0-18-0, M. Sharma 2-0-181, Ashwin 3.5-0-27-1 (w1), Mishra 4-0-32-1 0 (w1), Herath 4-0-23-1 (w1). (w1), Raina 4-0-24-1 (w1), Jadeja 1-0-11-0

Hamilton edges Rosberg in Bahrain GP

BAHRAIN: Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain holds his trophy after winning the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix at the Formula One Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir. — AP

MANAMA: Lewis Hamilton won the Bahrain Grand Prix yesterday ahead of M ercedes teammate N ico Rosberg after a thrilling wheel-to-wheel duel, taking him level with the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio with a 24th career victory. Hamilton, who also won last weekend in Malaysia, finished 1.085sec ahead of Rosberg in another triumph for the Mercedes team who have won all three races this season. Sergio Perez in a Force India was third, a huge 24.067sec off the winner’s time, to give his team just their second podium finish. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who had started in 13th place, was fourth, followed by Nico Hulkenberg in the second Force India and world champion Sebastian Vettel in the second Red Bull completing the top six. The result left Rosberg, the Australian Grand Prix winner, still on top of the world championship standings with 61 points. Hamilton has 50 with Hulkenberg in third place on 28 points. The British driver had been cruising to victory in the

900th ever grand prix with a lead of more than nine seconds when the safety car was called out on lap 42 of the 57lap floodlit race. Rosberg, who had been on pole, briefly slipped past the Briton but Hamilton reasserted his authority under braking despite his medium tyres lacking the grip of the German’s softer options. On the final lap, Hamilton consolidated to take his 24th career win after a memorable close - quar ters battle. “Thanks to everyone this weekend, we didn’t quite have the pace though so let’s work on that,” said the winner. Hamilton had snatched the lead on the first corner from his pole-sitting teammate and gradually built a commanding lead. With the two Mercedes sprinting away, the cut and thrust of racing was behind them for the remaining podium places. Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen was caught up in a first lap collision with Kevin Magnussen with the Ferrari star claiming he had been hit by the McLaren rookie.

Williams driver Felipe Massa, who had started in seventh place and had been the fastest driver on the Sakhir circuit in winter testing, was up to third by the seventh lap. But as the Brazilian then slipped back, Perez, also benefitting from a Mercedes engine, fought his way to third by the 15th lap. Jenson Button in a McLaren, and taking part in his 250th grand prix, was in four th in the early stages with Hulkenberg in fifth. Red Bull ordered world champion Vettel to give way to Ricciardo for sixth place. The four-time world champion, who had started in 10th spot told his team that he had lost his DRS system. “Daniel is faster than you, Seb, Let him pass,” ordered Red Bull. At the front, Rosberg then slipped inside Hamilton on lap 19 to briefly take the lead before the 2008 world champion reclaimed the advantage. Rosberg was furious as the two went wheel to wheel. “What he did was not on,” screamed the German. Hamilton then pitted for

the first time but regained the lead on the 22nd lap when Rosberg also made his first trip to the pits. At the halfway mark, Hamilton was seven seconds up on Rosberg while Massa had again gone third ahead of Perez and Hulkenberg in fifth. By the 40th lap, Hamilton’s lead over Rosberg had extended to 9.5sec with Williams’ Valtteri Bottas in third ahead of the two Force Indias. Fernando Alonso, three-times a winner at Bahrain, had quietly carved his way to sixth place with Button, Vettel and Ricciardo. On lap 42, the safety car was called out after Pastor Maldonado’s Lotus Tboned the Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez who was sent into a somersault. Racing resumed four laps later with Hamilton going on to just hold off Rosberg while Ricciardo slipped past Vettel who complained wearily over his Red Bull’s lack of power. Massa was to finish seventh, Bottas took eighth, while Alonso and Raikkonen filled out the top 10 to complete a miserable day for Ferrari.— AFP


Dubai gold centre to tighten supervision Page 22

GIC profit grew by 25% to $163 million in 2013


Page 26

HTC One (M8) introduced to MEA region

Nigeria pips S Africa as continent’s biggest economy Page 25 Page 23

Student protesters against a Taiwan’s trade pact with China continue to occupy the legislature floor in Taipei, Taiwan, yesterday. Students continued their nearly 3-week-old protest, voicing their opposition to the trade pact, challenging the president’s policy of moving the democratic island economically closer to China. — AP

Barclays to sell UAE retail ops to ADIB Bank aims to acquire 110,000 customers DUBAI/ABU DHABI: Barclays has agreed to sell its retail banking operations in the United Arab Emirates to Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) for an expected price of 650 million dirhams ($177 million), ADIB said yesterday. The emirate’s largest Islamic bank said it aimed to acquire 110,000 customers through the deal, helping it expand into serving expatriates, who comprise most of the population in the Arab world’s second biggest economy. ADIB currently has 600,000 customers. Shares in ADIB, which are up 54 percent year-to-date because of the bank’s growth prospects, fell 0.6 percent in early trade yesterday after the announcement of the deal, which is still subject to approval by the UAE’s central bank. Around half-a-dozen local and international banks, including Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Commercial Bank of Dubai , Citigroup and Standard Chartered, had expressed interest in buying the Barclays operations, according to banking sources. The British bank had said last September that it would offload its retail portfolio in the UAE including credit cards, mortgages, personal lending and deposittaking operations. Some foreign lenders have been withdrawing from retail business in the UAE as they evaluate the reach of their operations following the global financial crisis, and in light of new Basel III rules on capital. Foreign banks also face intense competition from local banks, which are enjoying a strong recovery of the UAE economy and real estate market; they have large pools of liquidity to deploy and have targeted retail banking for its higher margins compared with corporate business. “The decision to exit the UAE retail banking space, while not taken lightly, allows us to focus on our

businesses in corporate and investment banking and wealth and investment management,” John Vitalo, chief executive for Barclays in the region, said in a statement. “These businesses are strong, performing well, and have significant future growth potential.” ADIB’s net profit for the whole of 2013 grew 21 per cent to 1.45 billion dirhams; loans were up 21 percent to 61.7 billion dirhams, while deposits jumped 23 percent to reach 75.5 billion dirhams. Islamic banking bans interest payments but involves structures that resemble them. Former Barclays customers will now be asked to convert their credit card accounts, deposits and customer loans into Islamic instruments at ADIB. Sharia-compliant banking is a mainstream business in the Gulf and many customers bank with Islamic institutions for business rather than religious reasons. ADIB will offer jobs to all Barclays retail employees and work with the British bank to ensure a seamless transition for customers, it said. Nevertheless, it is not clear that ADIB will be able to acquire all of the 110,000 customers which it projects. Many of Barclays’ high-end customers were attracted by high-end services from an international bank and may not convert to Islamic banking, said Tariq Qaqish, head of asset management at Al Mal Capital. “ADIB is eager to grow its retail business further in a highly competitive market but the issue is how many Barclays customers will shift to Islamic banking. Not all clients will shift, and this must be embedded in the price,” he said. In 2010, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank bought the UAE retail arm of Royal Bank of Scotland for around $100 million. That included three branches of RBS along with 250,000 customers. — Reuters

Global sukuk issuances hit $11.2bn in March KUWAIT: The month of March has produced the most volume of sukuk issuances for the global sukuk market in 2014 with total sukuk issuances amounting to $11.2 billion, up 23 percent over the figure posted in February, according to a recent economic report. There was a substantial decline in corporate sukuk issuances in March with only USD 1.45 billion worth of issuances (Feb: $2.54 billion; Jan: $1.72 billion). The decline in corporate sukuk issuances was contributed mainly by a noticeable absence of issuers from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), showed the report by the Kuwait Finance House (KFH). The GCC issuers remained mostly absent from the sukuk market in March, except for short-term liquidity management sukuk issuances by the Central Bank of Bahrain, it added. The sukuk volume in March saw heavy involvement

of the sovereign and government related entities issuers in the primary market as collectively these two types of sukuks represented over 87 percent of total sukuks issued. March 2014’s volume fell 10.3 percent short of the $12.48 billion issuances in the same month last year. Among the notable issuers in the month of March include obligors from Singapore and Luxembourg, the report said. The Sabana Real Estate and Investment Trust (Sabana REIT) of Singapore successfully issued 2014’s first SGDdenominated sukuk with an SGD 85 million 4-year corporate sukuk priced on 12th March, the KFH report indicated. Analyzing by country of sukuk origination, Malaysia continues to account for the largest share of the sukuk market with a $7.12 billion volume or 63. 6 percent of the issuance total in the month of March, the report concluded. — KUNA

Barclays bank headquarters at Canary Wharf in east London. — AFP file photo

Aldar at 4-year high; Egypt hits 8-wk low MIDEAST STOCK MARKETS DUBAI: Abu Dhabi’s Aldar Properties hit a four-year high yesterday after it unveiled tentative plans to float a subsidiary, lifting the emirate’s bourse, while Egypt’s market slumped to an eight-week low. Other Middle East markets were muted as Saudi Arabia investors showed little reaction to a slew of first-quarter earnings, and Dubai eased from Thursday’s five-year peak. In Abu Dhabi, Aldar surged 5.1 percent to its highest close since May 2010. The state-run developer said it might float property management unit Khidmah through an initial public offer sometime in coming years. RAK Properties, a favourite target for retail investors’ speculation, climbed 14.5 percent, while Abu Dhabi’s main index rose 0.9 percent to a five -week high. Neighbouring Dubai eased 0.6 percent, its first decline in six sessions. Emaar Properties and Dubai Financial Market were the main drags, sliding 1.7 and 2.0 percent respectively. In Saudi Arabia, Almarai fell 0.8 percent after the dairy firm posted a 7.3 percent increase in first-quarter profit that was marginally below analysts’ estimates. Saudi Hollandi Bank’s 20 percent rise in first-quarter profit helped the lender’s shares end only 0.8 percent higher. The bank “will maintain double-digit growth in net profit in 2014 and 2015 and will outperform peers”, NBK Capital wrote in a note, adding however that the stock’s sustained surge - it has gained 79 percent since the start of 2013 - meant it had limited upside. Riyad Bank rose

0.3 percent after the kingdom’s third-largest lender by assets said it made a first-quarter profit of 1.08 billion riyals ($288 million), up 13.5 percent from a year earlier. Egypt Egypt’s main index dropped 2.3 percent to its lowest close since Feb. 11. The benchmark has fallen 14.7 percent from March 26’s five-year closing high. The sell-off came after Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said he would run for president; investors, most of whom favor Sisis, had bid up the market ahead of the announcement and took profits afterwards. The market is still up 10.9 percent year-to-date. “Investors are bearish in the short term,” said Mohamed Radwan, head of equities at Pharos Securities in Cairo. “The most hammered stocks are the retail favorites, while the blue chips are suffering as well.” Telecom Egypt fell 9.4 percent, Citadel Capital slid 9.2 percent and property developer Talaat Moustafa dropped 8.5 percent. “Local institutions are selling on fears of further declines in the market,” added Radwan. “The (Sisi) announcement was the trigger for people to think the market was over-bought.” A gradual weakening of the Egyptian pound to multi-month lows against the US dollar in recent days has also hurt market sentiment, reviving talk that Egypt may eventually have to depreciate its currency further to stimulate growth. — Reuters



Dubai gold centre to tighten supervision Bid to ward off rights abuse, underground trade DUBAI: Dubai’s gold trading centre said it would tighten supervision of how the metal is sourced after reports in the British media alleging it ignored international guidelines designed to prevent human rights abuses and underground trade by African warlords. In February, Britain’s Guardian newspaper and the BBC said the Dubai-based Kaloti Group, a major gold refiner and jeweller, had failed to examine suspicious deals, accepting for example 2.4 tonnes of gold from customers who provided no paperwork. The reports also alleged the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), which hosts the emirate’s gold market, had failed to enforce guidelines against such deals. Both Kaloti and the DMCC denied the reports and said they acted

properly. The DMCC’s chief executive Gautam Sashittal told a conference on Sunday the centre would commission an expert advisory firm to conduct a further comparative study of various sourcing protocols and “review the robustness of our process”. “We want to look the entire reporting and audit process and confirm we are in line with what others are doing,” he said. “Number two, the DMCC will create an independent body that will further strengthen the independence and integrity of the review process.” The body will be appointed later this year and include a large proportion of local industry figures, as well as some international experts, Sashittal said. On the exact role of the body, “it is very early to say that

but it could be as narrow as advising us on the outcome of audits, or as wide as encompassing more of what we do with the delivery of certification.” Sashittal repeated the DMCC had done nothing improper. “Nothing was wrong and we stand by everything we did.” But he added, “Having said that, because there have been allegations made which are in our view unfounded, we wanted to take that extra step.” In the past decade, Dubai has become one of the world’s major gold trading centres. Ahmed Bin Sulayem, executive chairman of the DMCC, said on Sunday that in 2013, almost 40 percent of the world’s physical gold trade came through Dubai, while the value of gold traded via Dubai annually climbed to $75 billion from $6 billion in 2003. —Reuters

Germany wants to call unions to order over strikes BERLIN: A pilots’ strike in Germany last week has highlighted the power comparatively small groups of employees have to lay low key areas of the economy in pursuit of their own interests. And the German government is looking to draw up legislation later this year to prevent this from happening again. “One company, one wage agreement” is the motto behind a proposed “Tarifeinheit” or unified wage-bargaining mechanism masterminded by Labor Minister Andrea Nahles. Over three days last week, the cockpit pilots’ union effectively grounded the country’s biggest airline Lufthansa in a dispute over pay and early retirement entitlements. Between Wednesday and Friday, Lufthansa-which employs a total workforce of around 117,000 — was forced to cancel 3,800 flights, or most of its scheduled services, stranding nearly half a million passengers, because of a dispute concerning a group of as few as 5,400 employees. While Lufthansa largely succeeded in averting widespread travel chaos by warning passengers and helping them to rebook in advance, the walkout by a relatively small number of employees affected more people than any of the rare strikes held by the massive IG Metall metalworkers’ union with its more than two million members. Other unions representing smaller professions-such as the Marburger Bund for hospital doctors, GDL for train drivers, UFO for airline cabin crew and GdF for air traffic controllerscan have similar sway. “I would wish that the most powerful employees within a company would use their strength to support the weakest and not merely in their own interests,” Nahles said, underlining a need for solidarity. Hagen Lesch, an expert from the IW economic think tank which is close to employers, analyzed 123 wage disputes and found that unions representing narrower interests were more likely to lay down tools. Lufthansa is one company that knows all about this. Last summer, its German wings subsidiary was threatened with walkouts by the UFO union representing cabin crew, following similar strikes the previous year. And in a country used to wage-negotiating by sector-wide giants such as IG Metall or Verdi, it is the smaller unions that tend to flex their muscles most, such as the GDL train drivers union which brought rail traffic to a standstill in 2007. A delicate exercise But Nahles, of the Social Democrats, is keen to make it clear that employees’ fundamental right to strike is not under threat. “The project is not aimed at tampering with the right to strike, but at re-organizing unified wage-bargaining. We want a single wage deal applicable across the entire company,” a Social Democrat MP, Katja Mast, said. For the time being, however, “it’s still at a consultation stage on a ministerial level. There is nothing concrete,” she said. Alongside the labor minister, the interior and justice ministries are also involved and Nahles hopes to present a draft law “this year.” The issue is delicate because if smaller unions are banned from making any demands while a principal wage agreement is still in place, it is difficult to see how it cannot impinge on their right to strike. The unions themselves seem torn. While the DGB trade union federation said in 2010 that it was in favor of such a rule, it has back-pedalled since. “Fundamentally speaking, we don’t think it can be good if divisional unions push through their own interests without considering the wider good,” DGB official Rainer Hoffmann said. —AFP


in brief

Saudi’s Jarir Q1 net rises 11.3% DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s Jarir Marketing posted an 11.3 percent increase in first-quarter net profit yesterday, although slower year-on-year sales growth meant the retailer marginally missed the average view of analysts. Jarir made 201.3 million riyals ($53.7 million) in the first three months of 2014, compared with 180.8 million riyals in the same period a year ago, it said in a stock market announcement. The figure was slightly below the average estimate of seven analysts polled by Reuters, who had forecast a net profit for the period of 206.6 million riyals. Jarir said it estimated turnover in the first quarter to be 1.4 billion riyals, up 5.2 percent year-on-year. The growth was slower than that posted in the same quarter last year because of a decline in computer sales, it said without giving details. The retailer plans to open at least seven new showrooms in 2014, of which two began operations in the first three months of the year, the statement added. Saudi Hollandi Bank Q1 net profit rises 20% DUBAI: Saudi Hollandi Bank posted a 20 percent increase in first-quarter profit yesterday, in line with analyst estimates as it operating income also rose. The bank made a profit of 417 million riyals ($111.19 million)in the three months to March 31, up from 346 million riyals a year earlier, according to a Saudi Arabia bourse filing. Five analysts polled by Reuters on average forecast Saudi Hollandi would make a first-quarter profit of 413.2 million riyals. The bank attributed its bigger profit to increasing operating income, which rose 30 percent to 757 million riyals. Saudi’s Almarai misses estimates DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s Almarai Co said yesterday its firstquarter profit rose 7.3 percent, missing analysts’ estimates despite higher sales and a one-off gain from an acquisition. Almarai made a net profit of 273.6 million riyals ($73 million) in the three months to March 31, up from 255.1 million riyals a year earlier, it said in a bourse statement. Analysts on average forecast Almarai would make a quarterly profit of 284.9 million riyals. The company had sales worth 2.72 billion riyals in the first quarter, up 12.3 percent from a year earlier. Almarai made a one-off gain of 20.9 million riyals in the first quarter from the acquisition of shares in International Pediatric Nutrition Company.

SEVILLA: Occupants of the abandoned building project -renamed “Corrala de Vecinas La Utopia” by its residents are escorted by police during eviction proceedings in Sevilla yesterday after the European Court of Human Rights refused to halt an eviction order against the families occupying the IberCaja’s building. Homeless families, helped by “indignant” movement activists, had moved into the vacant building in mid-May 2012, after they were evicted from their homes when they failed to pay their rent or mortgage. —AFP

Egypt seeks to reassure foreign investors CAIRO: A law banning third-party challenges to contracts signed by the Egyptian government will be sent to the cabinet by next week, trade and investment minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour said yesterday. The law is intended to reassure and attract investors unnerved by a host of legal challenges made in particular to sales of property and companies by the Mubarak government, some of which have left those firms in legal limbo. Egypt’s economy has been battered by three years of political turmoil and wants to attract foreign investment to replenish its depleted foreign reserves and spur growth. “There won’t be a third-party appeal. The appeal will be left to parties to the contract,” Abdel Nour told reporters at a news conference. He said there would be exceptions, but declined to give details. Since the uprising that toppled president Hosni Mubarak in 2011, Egyptian courts have issued more than 10 rulings ordering the state to reverse deals signed by his administration. The suits have been brought by activists and lawyers who allege that companies were sold off too cheaply in deals that were representative of corrupt business practices during the

Mubarak era. The challenges mean many companies bought by Gulf Arab investors are at risk of renationalization. Gulf Arab businessmen have repeatedly cited a lack of guarantees that their money will be safe in Egypt as a reason for holding back investment. “The first part (of the new law) is going to be presented tomorrow to the economic committee ... If it’s approved, it will be... presented to the cabinet for approval as soon as it is ready, whether this Thursday or next Thursday,” Abdel Nour said. In the absence of a parliament, laws approved by the cabinet need approval from the president. Parliamentary elections are due to take place within months. The new law is likely to be separate from the investment law which is also currently under review, Abdel Nour said, to apply to “contracts in general, not necessarily limited to investments”. He did not give further details. Amendments to ban third-party appeals to contracts between investors and the government were first drafted by the last government, which resigned in February. The draft was subsequently resent to the new cabinet for revision and is currently with Abdel Nour’s ministry. —Reuters

Waha Capital sells stake in AerLift Leasing DUBAI: Abu Dhabi investment company Waha Capital has sold its stake in AerLift Leasing to an unidentified US firm for an undisclosed amount, Waha said yesterday. At the end of 2012, Waha had a 60.4 percent stake in AerLift Leasing, which is incorporated in the Isle of Man, according to Waha’s most recent annual report. “We have crystallized a good return to our shareholders through this sale, which adds to the capital base we are building to make future investments in areas of strong growth potential,” Waha chief executive Salem Rashid Al-Noaimi said in a statement to Abu Dhabi’s bourse. The statement did not reveal the deal value or identify the buyer of AerLift Leasing, which owns a portfolio of 11 commercial aircraft operated by a number of international airlines. Waha and New York-listed aircraft leasing company AerCap established Aerlift in 2010, with Waha owning about 60 percent and AerCap 40 percent. Waha in turn owned 26.3 percent of AerCap at the end of 2012. Aerlift paid Aercap $6.9 million for management services in 2013. In December, AerCap said it would buy International Lease Finance Corp from insurer AIG for $5 billion. Waha Capital also has investments in sectors including marine shipping, healthcare and property. Riyad Bank Q1 net profit rise 13.5% DUBAI: Riyad Bank, Saudi Arabia’s third-largest lender by assets, posted a 13.5 percent increase in first-quarter net profit yesterday, broadly in line with analysts’ estimates. The bank made 1.08 billion riyals ($288 million) in the three months ending March 31, compared with 951 million riyals in the same period of 2013, it said in a stock market statement. It cited an increase in total operating income - which climbed 12 percent year-on-year to 1.93 billion riyals - for the profit rise without elaborating. Analysts surveyed by Reuters on average expected the bank to post a net profit of 1.03 billion riyals for the first quarter.

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 Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

ASIAN COUNTRIES 2.737 4.708 2.880 2.161 2.945 226.380 36.453 3.636 6.290 8.712 0.271 0.273 GCC COUNTRIES 75.430 77.721 734.800 751.300 77.033

ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 39.700 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 39.920 Yemen Riyal/for 1000 1.320 Tunisian Dinar 179.350 Jordanian Dinar 399.450 Lebanese Lira/for 1000 1.898 Syrian Lira 2.016 Morocco Dirham 35.521 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 282.750 Euro 390.760 Sterling Pound 471.770 Canadian dollar 259.880 Turkish lira 134.040 Swiss Franc 320.400 Australian Dollar 265.500 US Dollar Buying 281.550 20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

GOLD 240.000 121.000 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 264.56 260.21 323.32 392.17 282.00 473.37 2.77 3.633 4.621 2.158 2.940 2.881 76.85 750.57 39.83 401.36 733.38 77.87 75.33

SELL CASH 261.56 261.21 321.32 393.17 285.00 476.37 2.79 3.903 4.921 2.593 3.475 2.790 77.31 752.64 40.43 407.01 740.68 78.42 75.73

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

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

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 282.500 260.195 469.120 388.830 317.180 751.900 76.890 78.475 75.605 398.125 40.444 2.158 4.702 2.876 3.631 6.271 693.875 3.730

2.955 3.910 86.990 45.905 9.690 133.930

Australian Dollar New Zealand Dollar America Canadian Dollar US Dollars US Dollars Mint

Bangladesh Taka Chinese Yuan Hong Kong Dollar Indian Rupee Indonesian Rupiah Japanese Yen Kenyan Shilling Korean Won Malaysian Ringgit Nepalese Rupee Pakistan Rupee Philippine Peso

SELL CASH Europe 0.007349 0.462203 0.006045 0.047906 0.382114 0.043229 0.081586 0.008094 0.039237 0.310732 0.132776

SELLDRAFT 0.008349 0.471203 0.018045 0.052906 0.390114 0.048429 0.81586 0.018094 0.044237 0.320932 0.139778

Australasia 0.254589 0.236845

0.266089 0.246345

0.252462 0.278650 0.279150

0.260962 0.283000 0.283000

Asia 0.003251 0.044362 0.034370 0.004424 0.000020 0.002654 0.003356 0.000258 0.082518 0.002944 0.002619 0.006400

0.003851 0.047862 0.037120 0.004825 0.000026 0.002834 0.003356 0.000273 0.088518 0.003114 0.002899 0.006680

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

0.000069 0.221473 0.021016 0.001850 0.009236 0.008372

0.000075 0.227473 0.029516 0.002430 0.009416 0.008922

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

Arab 0.743544 0.036855 0.000078 0.000181 0.394580 1.0000000 0.000138 0.024394 0.001195 0.728383 0.076954 0.074763 0.001753 0.174650 0.132776 0.076001 0.001284

0.751544 0.039955 0.000079 0.000241 0.402080 1.0000000 0.000238 0.048394 0.001830 0.734063 0.078167 0.075463 0.001973 0.182650 0.139776 0.077150 0.001364

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

Transfer Rate (Per 1000) 282.200 389.450 470.050 259.200 4.695 39.910 2.158 3.629 6.267 2.875 751.400 76.850 75.350



Marzouq Al-Marzouq and Fahad Al-Kulaib with staff.

Souk Al-Salmiah distributes 2013 profits Shareholders get 25% of capital in cash KUWAIT: The general assembly of Souk Al-Salmiah Real Estate Company approved a recommendation of the board of directors to distribute cash profits to shareholder equal to 25 percent of the capital during its ordinary meeting for the fiscal year 2013. The general assembly held on last Tuesday also approved the board of directors’ report for the fiscal year that ended on December 31, 2013, the auditors’ report, general budget, profit and loss calculations and financial transactions carried out by the board of directors. Marzouq Al-Marzouq, Chairman of Souk Al-Salmiah Real Estate Company, announced after the meeting that the company made profits equal to 47 fils per share, compared to 33.04 fils per share recorded in 2012. He added that the book value for shares increased to

KUWAIT: Fahad Al-Kulaib, Marzouq Al-Marzouq, Sheikh Duaij Salman AlSabah and Raed Jawad Bukhamseen during the general assembly meeting. 225 fils per share, compared to 198 fils in 2912. Furthermore, Al-Marzouq announced that Souk Al-Salmiah Real Estate

Company has entered in real estate projects in the Sabah Al-Ahmad City, including building shopping malls, as well as investing in restaurants, cafés, and enter-

Marzouq Al-Marzouq

Fahad Al-Kulaib

taining activities. Fahad Al-Kulaib, Deputy Chairman and CEO of Souk Al-Salmiah Real Estate Company, said that the project record-

ed an occupancy rate of 98.5 percent by the end of last year, and added that 12 to 13 million people visited the market in 2013.

Nigeria overtakes S Africa as continent’s biggest economy New count could raise Nigeria’s monetary size by 60%

Dr Meshaal Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah (right) and Caroline Nguyen sign the MoU.

Oxford Business Group signs MoU with KDIPA KUWAIT: Oxford Business Group (OBG) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA) for its forthcoming report on the country. Under this MOU, OBG will collaborate with the authority to facilitate interviews and access research materials for the compilation of The Report: Kuwait 2014. The Report: Kuwait 2014 will showcase Kuwait’s efforts to attract new investment to priority sectors of its economy through a range of incentives and will chart the government’s drive to boost activity across the public works and construction industry by upping the tempo of its major projects, providing opportunities for local and foreign developers. The report will also consider the part that new offshore exploration is likely to play in supporting Kuwait’s economic expansion as the country looks to boost its oil production. The Director General of KDIPA, Dr Meshaal Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, expressed his hopes that The Report: Kuwait 2014 will explore the progress recently made by the country to improve its overall business climate, with the addition or amendment of a host of new economic laws designed to enhance the country’s regulatory and legal framework, thus attracting a rising share of direct investments from both for-

eign and domestic sources. “Kuwait’s long term economic development goal to lessen its dependence on oil resources has provided wide ranging investment opportunities. It will rely more on the private sector to become a driver for the diversification agenda, local job creation and to contribute to economic modernization, designed to shape a sustainable future and stimulate a thriving knowledge economy.” OBG’s Country Director, Caroline Nguyen, said “The Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority spearheads the state’s aim of increasing foreign direct investment from those looking to invest in new and vibrant markets,” she said. “I am delighted that the authority has decided to support our work for what marks a tenth year of our presence in the country as we explore the next phase of Kuwait’s efforts to generate social and economic wellbeing for the country through fully utilizing its natural and human resources and enhancing its appeal as an investment destination.” The Report: Kuwait 2014 will be a vital guide to the many facets of the country, including its macroeconomics, infrastructure, banking and other sectoral developments. The publication will be available in print or online in the third quarter of this year.

Taiwan offers concessions to end parliament seizure TAIPEI: A senior ruling party politician offered concessions yesterday to demands made by student protesters who have occupied Taiwan’s parliament for almost three weeks, urging them to end their occupation. The Sunflower protest movement took over the chamber on March 18 in protest over a controversial trade pact between Taiwan and China, which has sparked huge rallies in the capital Taipei. The speaker of parliament, Wang Jinpyng, entered the chamber surrounded by dozens of legislators from both ruling and opposition parties, security officials and reporters, shaking hands with students, but did not speak directly with protest leaders. Before the meeting, he said that he would not field any more debate in parliament over the trade pact before a law had been brought in to monitor agreements with

China-which is one of the protesters’ key demands. “I hereby guarantee not to mediate any negotiations between the ruling and opposition parties for a legislative session to debate the service trade agreement, before a law (to monitor all agreements with China) is introduced,” Wang said, reading from a statement. Wang, a senior politician from the ruling Kuomintang party, called on the students to give the main chamber back to legislators. “You’ve occupied parliament for a long timeas the move has affected the operation of the country and people’s welfare, this is not acceptable to our countrypeople,” Wang said. “I urge you to go forward with your ideals, return to your postings ... exercise your strength of tenderness, reasoning and peace, so that the world would be able to respect the width and depth of our democracy.” —AFP

ABUJA: Nigeria has overtaken South Africa as Africa’s largest economy after a rebasing calculation nearly doubled its gross domestic product, data from the statistics office showed yesterday. GDP for 2013 in Africa’s top oil producer totalled 80.3 trillion naira, or $509.9 billion, the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics said, an increase from the 42.3 trillion estimated before the rebasing. The new figure shrank Nigeria’s debt-to-GDP ratio to 11 percent for 2013, against 19 percent in 2012, statistics chief Yemi Kale told reporters in the capital of Abuja. Most governments overhaul GDP calculations every few years to reflect changes in output and consumption, but Nigeria had not done so since 1990, so sectors such as e-commerce, mobile phones and its prolific “Nollywood” film industry had to be newly factored in to give a more accurate picture. Growing attention from foreign investors was forcing Nigeria to more accurately calculate its statistics, including GDP, Kale said, adding that the base year would now be recalibrated every five years, in line with global norms. Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country with 170 million people, has been growing as a destination for foreign investors owing to the size of its consumer market and increasingly sophisticated capital markets. But political risk as Nigeria approaches hotly contested elections in February next year remains a concern, as does a bloody insurgency waged by Islamist sect Boko Haram in the country ’s poor and underdeveloped northeast. President Goodluck Jonathan’s suspension in February of respected central bank chief Lamido Sanusi after he had publicly questioned massive oil revenue leakages from the state oil firm did not impress debt and equity investors, some of whom sold off holdings. The new figures also will take account of growth in agriculture and tourism that have flourished since democracy was restored in 1999, ending decades of military dictatorship. The new count could increase the monetary size of Nigeria’s economy by as much as 60 or 70 percent, analysts say. Ghana’s economy grew by 60 percent when it recalculated its goods and services production in 2012, and Kenya and Zambia are considering the same. “Nigeria’s success is a reminder that Africa is moving ahead despite its current challenges,” said investment manager Kevin Daly of UKbased Aberdeen Asset Management, which invests in Africa. He pointed out that it is a Nigerian, billionaire Aliko Dangote, who is building Africa’s largest privately owned oil refinery. Investors’ attention will be drawn by the fact that while oil remains the biggest source of government revenue, about 80 percent, oil produc-

tion is declining while Nigeria’s agriculture, communications and service sectors are enjoying healthy growth. “This helps to explain why many investors are now banking on a rising consumption story in the most populous country in Africa,” Daly said. The revisions are expected to boost Nigeria’s per capita income of $1,555 a year for its 170 million people, but it will remain feeble beside South Africa’s $7,336 for its 48 million people. The International Monetary Fund currently puts Nigeria’s GDP at $292 billion and South Africa’s at $353 billion.

Nigeria’s economy needs to grow at more than 7 percent to address massive poverty and youth unemployment. Government statistics say unemployment increased from 12.7 percent in 2007 to 23.9 percent in 2011; the World Bank says unemployment among young Nigerians stands at 38 percent but analysts say it is as high as 80 percent in many parts of the country. Nigeria’s woes were highlighted in recent weeks by fuel shortages that had miles-long (kilometers-long) lines at gas stations with people in search of gas for cars, diesel for electricity generators and kerosene for cooking. Nigeria

LAGOS: Staff of Etisalat Nigeria wait for customers during the launch of mobile number portability in Lagos, Nigeria. —AFP South Africa, bedeviled by mining strikes, violent protests over services and a lackluster performance that has kept annual growth at around 3.5 percent, still has infrastructure unrivaled on the continent, most notably a power sector that generates 10 times as much electricity as Nigeria. Nigeria’s revised figures will lower its muchvaunted growth rate but also decrease an already low debt to GDP ratio of 21 percent, which should lower interest rates should the government want to borrow more, economists said. Financial analyst Bismarck Rewane called the revisions “a vanity. The Nigerian population is not better off tomorrow because of that announcement. It doesn’t put more money in the bank, more food in their stomach. It changes nothing.” Finance Minister Ikonjo-Iweala has said that

produces about 2.2 million barrels of petroleum a day but is forced to import refined fuels because hundreds of millions of dollars allocated to rehabilitate refineries have been stolen or mismanaged. “We don’t want to rain on your parade, however, as Nigeria got richer per GDP, more and more Nigerians have gotten poorer,” social commentator Baba Adam wrote in an open letter quoting government statistics that indicate 67 percent of the population lives below the poverty line today, compared with 17 percent in 1980. On the positive side, tens of thousands of Nigerians have been returning home from abroad since democracy returned, many setting up businesses that will be counted in the new statistics. —Agencies

Watchmakers woo women to bolster flagging sales BASEL, Switzerland: A recent advert from luxury watchmaker Omega shows a large, technologicallyadvanced timepiece. So far, so typical. But this one is studded with diamonds and worn by actress Nicole Kidman. Called the Ladymatic, it’s the future of the industry. The bulk of the $50-billion Swiss watch market has for years been aimed at wealthy men drawn to hightech, gadget-loaded timepieces they can wear as status symbols. These cus-

tomers’ interest has waned little despite economic fluctuations though the recent financial crisis hurt sales, it was followed by a stronger rebound that was driven by demand in China. Now however, sales of men’s watches in China have slowed, and demand in the West is not enough to pick up the slack. Faced with only single digit growth prospects, top brands are looking to the other 50 percent of the population for inspiration. “Women are the future of watches,”

says Jean-Claude Biver, head of LVMH’s watch unit. “There’s huge potential in women’s watches that is only half exploited today.” Traditionally women have shown little inclination to buy the kind of mechanically complex, multifunctional pieces on which Swiss manufacturers have built their reputation for precision - this kind of engineering needs space and results in the big dials which women tend to shun for battery-powered, unobtrusive styles. However fashions are changing. A

trend for bulkier watches, and a boom in jewellery sales have lifted levels of interest, which has also been driven by a growing middle-class female customer base in China. A study by Digital Luxury Group showed that online searches for ladies’ watches rose 7.5 percent in 2013, led by China and Swatch Group brands. In the same year, the share of female watches in the luxury watch market rose to 35 percent from 20 percent in 1995, market analysts Bain & Co. found. —Reuters



Rwanda faces challenge to sustain economic boom Country seen to become re-export hub KIGALI: Twenty years ago the Rwandan economy was in ruins: the banks were empty, cash crops rotted in the fields and the streets were strewn with corpses. The once carefully cultivated hillsides were deserted as the perpetrators of the genocidewhich left some 800,000 people dead, essentially ethnic Tutsis-fled the country en masse. Survivors in rags limped back only to find their relatives hacked to death, their houses ransacked and their livestock stolen or slaughtered. Now, well-heeled Rwandans sit on ter-

races of gleaming high-rise blocks along the capital’s palm tree-lined roads where armies of women sweep dust from bright new footpaths. According to the World Bank, since 1994 Rwanda has reduced poverty by a third, narrowed the equality gap and increased per capita growth almost five-fold. “Some people call it a development hattrick,” says Yoichiro Ishihara, senior World Bank economist in Rwanda. Although some argue it was an open goal-with aid money pouring

in from Western nations shamed by their inaction in the face of mass violence-the progress is undeniable. One of the great drivers behind post-genocide economic growth was construction, much of it big state contracts. After years of public sector-driven rehabilitation, Ishihara says “it’s time to switch to the private sector.” He thinks that Rwanda, with its youthful population, could take advantage of the so-called demographic dividend that fuelled East Asia’s boom.

The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) hopes the country can become a re -export centre, starting with a 98 hectare Special Economic Zone that is filling up with manufacturing and agroprocessing companies. “We are investing massively in our commodities” of minerals, tea and coffee, says Finance Minister Claver Gatete. Tourism is currently the country’s top foreign exchange earner, as crowds flock to track gorillas, with others heading to the savannah or lush rainforests in other parks. “Seventy percent of the population is under the age of 25, and the skills are there,” says Vivian Kayitesi, head of investments at RDB, whose offices are in a gleaming building towering over one of Kigali’s many manicured roads. She hopes the generation of twentysomethings will boost a burgeoning services sector that has seen investment increase from around $800m (580 million euros) in 2012 to $1.4 billion (1 billion euros) last year. Tight ship, toxic politics On a recent retreat for the country’s leadership hosted by former guerilla fighter turned President Paul Kagame, whose Tutsi rebels drove the genocidal Hutu regime out in 1994, officials were reportedly lambasted for Rwanda’s trade gap. “The current message is export or die,” said one senior official. One diplomatic source says that Kagame’s “intellect, imagination and drive” have turned Rwanda around. But he runs a tight ship, and one likened to the science-fiction inspired Starship Enterprise. “If you go into his office, it looks like something out of Star Trek. He has about

10 screens and dials into ministers to see what they’re doing,” regularly firing those who don’t deliver, the diplomat said. The government’s “Vision 2020” aims to make Rwanda a middle-income country within six years, and the economy was growing at about eight percent a year. But accusations that Rwanda is supporting rebels accused of war crimes in the troubled but resource-rich east of neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo led to a series of aid suspensions in 2012 that has stunted growth. Rwanda’s exports of coltan-a metal used in mobile phones-also only reach certain markets as many buyers suspect its origins. Gatete denies that Rwanda, whose reputation for anti-corruption and accountability is first class, is profiting from DR Congo’s plight. “That argument was done with a long time ago,” he said, stating that since Rwanda became the first African nation to tag all its minerals, it no longer holds weight. In addition to the DR Congo debacle, assassinations and attempts on various former senior Rwandan officials in exile have whipped up a diplomatic storm that could lessen foreign support. “Rwanda is toxic at the moment,” says the diplomat, and “at a watershed” for development. “You can’t take away their 20-year success record-it’s superb. But they could lose it if they don’t let some things go,” such as limited political and personal freedoms, sacrificed in exchange for security, stability and services, they added. “Our view is: You have to relax to grow,” one development worker said. “But the Rwandan view is: ‘We hear you, but we’re not going to do it’.” — AFP

KIGALI: A view of the centre of the Rwandan capital Kigali. The Rwandan Development Board says that they are “fast tracking development using the private sector as a catalyst”. The country is positioning itself as a regional hub, twenty years after the Genocide Against the Tutsi ravaged the country “. —AFP

PM: Australia ‘optimistic’ about Japan trade talks TOKYO: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said yesterday he was “optimistic” about his country’s free trade talks with Japan but was unsure when the two countries could strike a deal. Government ministers from the two countries failed to reach an agreement after five hours of negotiations in Tokyo on Saturday as they remained divided on Australia’s demand for a sharp cut in Japan’s import tariffs on beef. Abbott, due to meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe yesterday during a trip to Tokyo, told reporters: “I am optimistic about the free trade negotiations but they have been difficult.” Asked if the two countries can work out a free trade agreement while he stays in Tokyo until Tuesday, Abbott said, “I am hopeful but not certain.” “There are still some final matters to be resolved and while we do want a swift conclusion, we want a satisfactory conclusion as well.” Abbott arrived in Tokyo on Saturday on the first leg of an East Asian tour which will later take him to South Korea and China. Akira Amari, the Japanese minister of economic and fis-

cal policy, told reporters that the free trade talks were “moving in a good direction.” If it becomes clear that Japan and Australia are close to successfully concluding the talks, Australian farm products would have a competitive edge over US products in terms of tariffs, said Amari, who is also the minister in charge of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) multilateral free trade talks. Canberra has called on Tokyo to cut its tariffs on beef by half from a current 38.5 percent, in return for the abolition of a five-percent tariff imposed on Japanese automobile exports to Australia, according to media reports. On Saturday, Australian trade minister Andrew Robb and Japanese farm minister Yoshimasa Hayashi agreed to continue negotiating a free trade pact after their latest round of talks, according to the Japanese side. Hayashi and Robb had previously met 10 days earlier in Tokyo. If a deal were to be reached, Australia would become the first major exporter of farm produce, including beef, to conclude a free trade accord with Japan, the Kyodo news agency said. — AFP

Dubai’s Emirates REIT expands IPO DUBAI: Dubai-based real estate investment trust Emirates REIT said it had expanded the size of its initial public offer of shares on NASDAQ Dubai, the emirate’s first IPO since its financial crisis erupted in 2009, because of strong demand. Emirates REIT will raise $175 million in the IPO, which was 3.5 times oversubscribed, by selling 128.68 million new shares, it said in a statement yesterday. In addition, up to 19.30 million shares will be sold under over-allotment arrangements. The offer was priced at $1.36 per share, at the bottom of an indicative range of $1.361.56. Shares have been sold to a broad base of institutional investors in the United Arab Emirates, the Gulf and Britain, the company said. The IPO benefited from a strong recovery of Dubai’s real estate and equity markets over the past 18 months. The REIT,

which manages assets ranging from school buildings to business towers and retail space, had assets worth $333 million at the end of last year, up from $213 million at the end of 2012. The offer price and size imply Emirates REIT will have a market capitalization of $381 million and a free float of 46 percent of its shares. Proceeds of the IPO will primarily be used to fund future acquisition opportunities, while a portion will go towards investment in existing assets, the company said. The shares will list on NASDAQ Dubai this tomorrow. Before the IPO, Dubai Islamic Bank owned 30.9 percent of the firm, two units of the Dubai Holding conglomerate owned a combined 27.1 percent, Emirates NBD owned 4.5 percent, Egyptian investment bank EFG-Hermes held 4.2 percent and Dubai property developer Deyaar had 3.4 percent. — Reuters



The best just got better Introducing HTC one (M8) to MEA region Delivering breakthrough design and packed with the latest HTC Sense 6 experience, HTC Duo Camera for advanced imaging, and intuitive Motion Launch, the HTC One (M8) delivers an unparalleled smartphone experience for 2014 HTC Media Link HD Wirelessly share content from your phone to your high-definition TV with the HTC Media Link HD. It’s quick, convenient, and completely cordless, and allows you to stream your favorite content.

DUBAI: HTC, a global leader in innovation and design, unveiled the highly anticipated new HTC One (M8), the ultimate evolution of the award-winning HTC One (M7), to the Middle East and Africa (MEA). Launching in Gunmetal Gray and Glacial Silver1 with the all-new HTC Sense 6, the new HTC One (M8), boasts a high quality metal unibody with a Smart Sensor Hub that anticipates your needs and uses Motion Launch controls to make everyday tasks easier. New Duo Camera technology delivers creative, professional-looking photos and amazing effects, and HTC BoomSound again sets new standards for audio quality on a smartphone. The HTC One (M8) in Gunmetal Gray and Glacial Silver will be available in the UAE from April 4 priced at AED 2,749, followed by regional markets across retail and operator partners from April 4-10. The HTC One (M8) in Amber Gold will be available in other markets from late April. Nikitas Glykas, Vice President, HTC MEA said: “The new HTC One (M8) is the most stunning, intuitive and advanced handset that the industry has seen to date, and it is a privilege to launch it today in the MEA region. As the ultimate evolution of the HTC One (M7), the HTC One (M8) takes our award-winning concept even further in terms of innovation and inspiration, firmly establishing HTC as a pioneer in the mobile design and devices.” Beautifully designed inside and out Achieving another breakthrough in design and quality with the new HTC One (M8), the phone’s body has been re-crafted to create an even more stunning yet approachable look. The beautiful, durable, high quality metal unibody flows right up to the 5-inch, full HD (1080p) display, tapering to thinner edges, with softer curves for a smooth, more natural grip. Supported by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor with 2.3 GHz quad-core Krait CPUs and fully integrated 4G LTE, and running Android 4.4, KitKat, the latest version of the Android OS, the new HTC One

HTC BoomBass The HTC BoomBass is a compact speaker cube that fits in your hand and doubles as a reclining smartphone stand for hands-free movies and videos. Great for countertop cooking videos, beachside soundtracks, and coffee table cinema. Snappy NFC tap and go connects to your HTC device wirelessly, and built-in battery-powered amp packs a 6-hour punch between charges. The HTC BoomBass: go-anywhere size, goeverywhere volume. Ranging The new HTC One (M8) will be launched in the MEA region across all channels, including our partner operators such as Mobily and STC in KSA, du and Etisalat in the UAE, Viva Bahrain, the Zain Group, Vodafone in Egypt and MTN and Vodacom in RSA. STC in Saudi Arabia will launch by the end of April with worldwide time to market for the Real Gold plated HTC One (M8). Mobily in Saudi Arabia together with the launch of HTC One (M8) will also associate exclusively with HTC, the Official Global Smartphone Supplier Partner of the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League, on all activations for UEFA in Saudi Arabia for 2014-2015. behind-the-scenes capturing images right from launch, so that when the shutter is activated, the sharpest possible image is instantly displayed. The camera autofocus operates at a speed of 300mseconds, producing beautifully crisp images of split-second action and when the flash is required, the intelligent LED Dual Flash automatically selects the exact colourtone and light intensity for more natural skin tones and a professional-looking shot.

(M8) features the all-new HTC Sense 6, available on the device and as an upgrade from the Google Play store2. Completely redesigned with a cleaner, more striking visual style, HTC Sense 6 features bold, customizable color themes and delivers a more intuitive, personalized user experience. For those who prefer the stock Android experience, the HTC One (M8) Google Play edition will be available for pre-order from today and for purchase on the Google Play store in the coming weeks.

With so much scope to create exciting imagery, Gallery organization has also been a priority for the designers of HTC Sense, who have introduced Image match, a visual search tool that intuitively moves all the photos containing a particular subject into one album. Finally the new HTC One (M8) has also integrated Slow Motion mode, which lets you shoot HD slo-mo video and then edit that video so you can slow down the action at the part you want - perfect for adding drama or for highlighting a moment.

A leap forward in smartphone imaging The new HTC One (M8) brings a totally different dimension to mobile imaging by combining the world’s first smartphone with a Duo Camera that features HTC’s innovative HTC UltraPixel module, a dual flash and full 1080p HD video recording, producing incredible images in all lighting conditions and rich, high-quality video. A 5-MP wide-angle front facing camera also captures superior selfies with ease. The Duo Camera boasts a depth sensor in addition to the main HTC UltraPixel module, capturing detailed depth information from a scene and enabling a range of beautiful and creative effects that allow you to do

Zoe in the cloud In 2014, Zoe will evolve into a cloud-based service. Upload Zoe Videos for all to see, and invite friends to add their own photos, videos and music to share incredible highlight reels of classic moments. The new Zoe app will be available for download through Google Play in the summer. Motion Launch - convenient gesture controlled shortcuts With the introduction of HTC Sense 6, the new HTC One (M8) boasts capabilities that give the product a sixth sense. For example, Motion Launch(tm) is imme-

changing how people use their phone battery. With the original HTC One (M7), HTC optimized power consumption so that you could get the most out of your phone. The new HTC One (M8) takes this to a whole new level making the battery power last 40% longer. Whilst normal power saving mode delivers a great experience, we have also included an Extreme power saving mode that makes your battery last even longer. Fully charged it will deliver 14 days’ worth of battery power, whilst still allowing you to receive calls, texts and emails - perfect for when you are travelling. Activated either manually or automatically, it delivers 60 hours of extra standby time at 20% power, 30 hours at 10% power and 15 hours at 5% power so, whether you are out late at night or hiking in the mountains, you never have to worry about running out of battery again. HTC BoomSound gets bigger The new HTC One (M8) again takes the smartphone audio experience to new heights. The latest HTC BoomSound technology creates an immersive, powerful, crystal-clear sound with rich tones from bass through to treble. Delivering sound that is 25 percent louder than the HTC One (M7), without compromising quality, the new HTC One (M8) has dual frontal stereo speakers with a new amplifier, redesigned speaker chambers and a tailored audio profile for a truly high definition experience. HTC BlinkFeed - Your news direct to your home screen HTC BlinkFeed is now more intuitive, with continuous scrolling for a fluid browsing experience, adaptable tiles and a new layout that presents articles in a clean, easy-to-read way. With the introduction of a new SDK that allows partners to integrate their own content, users can more easily find and subscribe to new media sources, in addition to instantly creating custom feeds on any topic. So whether you are into sports, movies or shopping, this feature ensures that that you will get the information most relevant to you. With News Bundles that bring all articles and tweets on the same topic together for easy reading and over 1000+ content partners now clearly categorized on one page, following the most interesting news couldn’t be simpler4. Fitness at a glance With the new HTC One (M8), you can get healthier and stay motivated by combining its power-saving sensor hub with the preloaded Fitbit app. Alternatively, use the phone in conjunction with one of Fitbit’s range of trackers5 to access advanced features such as sleep tracking and smart alarm or to capture data when exercising without your phone. Set your fitness goals and see your achievements brought straight to your HTC BlinkFeed home screen with no additional effort. Fitbit is the top downloaded app for connected fitness devices on the Google Play store. Accessories The HTC One (M8) experience is enhanced by several exclusive HTC accessories, which are available from major retailers across the MEA region. These include:

more with your images than ever before. Instantly create professional-looking portraits by altering the focus of your image after the photo has been taken with UFocus or make your subject stand out in a more surprising way by altering the background with creative effects using Foregrounder. You can also give your best shots a seasonal flavor using the Seasons animations. Copy & Paste3 lets you place your family and friends in a different photo entirely, while Dimension Plus presents a unique perspective on your photos by letting you view your image from a different angle by simply tilting the screen. The advanced camera technology also works

diately able to detect its position and movement, thanks to built-in motion sensors that allow you to interact with the phone without turning on the screen. A simple swipe will activate the device, Auto Answer allows you to answer a call by putting the phone to your ear without touching the screen - a handy tool if the phone rings when you are digging the garden or washing the dishes - and a double tap turns the lock screen on and off. Extreme Power Saving Mode - extra standby time at no extra cost The innovation doesn’t end there, as we are also

HTC Dot View case - protect your phone with retro flair Taking that sixth sense functionality one step further you can extend Motion Launch by double tapping the dot view case, in addition to checking the time, weather, new texts, emails and calls - without touching or revealing the screen. An outstanding phone deserves a case that protects and extends its innovative design and industryleading functionality. Optimised by HTC Sense 6, the new HTC Dot View phone case protects the screen, whilst displaying notifications and interactions in a retro, dot-matrix style. HTC Fetch If you’re tired of losing your phone or leaving it behind, the HTC Fetch is your solution. Just press the button and the sleek, compact keychain device activates your phone’s ringtone within 15 meters. Pair it with your phone and you’ll get a warning beep if you leave it behind. If you lose both, a convenient map location feature lets you know where your HTC Fetch and phone were last together. Working range may vary depending on operating environment.

HTC One(M8) Specifications SIZE: 146.36 x 70.6 x 9.35 mm WEIGHT: 160 grams DISPLAY:5.0 inch, Full HD 1080p CPU SPEED l Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, 2.3GHzi quad-core CPU PLATFORM l Android(tm) 4.4 with HTC Sense 6 l HTC BlinkFeed MEMORY l Total storage: 16GB l RAM: 2GB l Expansion card slot supports microSD(tm) memory card for up to 128GB additional storage (card not included) NETWORKii l 2G/ 2.5G - GSM/GPRS/EDGE: l 850/900/1800/1900 MHz l 3G - UMTS/HSPA: l 850/900/1900/2100 MHz with HSPA+ up to 42Mbps 4G - LTE: l Europe/ Middle East/ Africa: 800/900/1800/2600 MHz SIM l Nano SIM SENSORS l Accelerometer l Proximity sensor l Ambient light sensor l Gyro sensor l Barometer sensor Connectivity 3.5 mm stereo audio jack l NFC l Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX enabled l Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 & 5 GHz) l DLNA for wirelessly streaming media from the phone to a compatible TV or computer, l HTC Connect l micro-USB 2.0 (5-pin) port with mobile high-definition video link (MHL) for USB or HDMI connection (Special cable required for HDMI connection.) l Support consumer infrared remote control SOUND l HTC BoomSound l Dual frontal stereo speakers with built-in amplifiers l Sense Voice CAMERA Duo camera l Primary camera: HTC UltraPixel camera, BSI sensor, pixel size 2.0 um, sensor size 1/3”, f/2.0, 28mm lens l HTC ImageChip 2 l 1080p Full HD video recording with HDR video

Secondary camera: capture depth information Front camera l 5MP, f/2.0, BSI sensor, wide angle lens. with photos HDR capability, 1080p Full HD video recording l Gallery with UFocus(tm), Dimension Plus(tm), Seasons, Foregrounder, Image Match MULTIMEDIA Audio supported formats: l Playback: .aac, .amr, .ogg, .m4a, .mid, .mp3, .wav, .wma (Windows Media Audio 10) l Recording: .aac Video supported formats: l Playback: .3gp, .3g2, .mp4, .wmv (Windows Media Video 10), .avi (MP4 ASP and MP3) l Recording: .mp4 LOCATION l Internal GPS antenna + GLONASS l Digital compass BATTERYiii l Capacity: 2600 mAh l Embedded rechargeable Li-polymer battery l Talk time: Up to 20 hours for 3G l Standby timeiv: Up to 496 hours for 3G AC ADAPTER l Voltage range/frequency:100 ~ 240 V AC, 50/60 Hz l DC output:5 V and 1.5 A l

ii Network bands in regions may be different, depending on the mobile operator and your location. 4G LTE only available in select countries. Upload and download speeds also depend on the mobile operator. iii Battery times (talk time, standby time, and more) are subject to network and phone usage. iv A Standby time specification (“specification”) is an industry standard that is only intended to allow comparison of different mobile devices under the same circumstances. Power consumption in a standby state is strongly dependent on factors including but not limited to network, settings, location, movement, signal strength and cell traffic. Comparisons of different mobile devices using such a specification can therefore only be done in a controlled laboratory environment. When using any mobile device in real life circumstances for which the mobile device is intended, the standby time could be considerably lower and will be strongly dependent on the factors as mentioned above. Note: Specifications are subject to change without prior notice.



Al-Tijari announces winners of Najma Account daily draw KUWAIT: Commercial Bank of Kuwait held the Al-Najma Account Daily draw yesterday. The draw was held under the supervision of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry represented by Ibrahim Al-Sultan. The winners of the Najma daily draw are:Jolly Shoukat Ali — KD 7000, Nassar Suliman Mohammed— KD 7000, Sara Abdulreda Ali— KD 7000, Ali Hussain Ali KD - 7000, Ayham Waheed Sadeq — KD 7000. The Commercial Bank of Kuwait announces the biggest daily draw in Kuwait with the launch of the new Najma account. Customers of the bank can now enjoy a KD 7,000 daily prize which is the highest in the country and another 4 mega

prizes during the year worth KD 100,000 each on different occasions: The National Day, Eid Al-Fitr, Eid Al-Adha and on 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 2 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.

Burgan Bank announces winners of Yawmi account KUWAIT: Burgan Bank announced yesterday the names of the lucky winners of its Yawmi account draw, each taking home a prize of KD 5,000. The lucky winners for the daily draws took home a cash-prize of KD 5000 each, and they are: 1. Adel Abdulwahab Hamad Alsaad 2. Haytham Ali Jassim Al-Awam 3. Jaber Ahmad Hussin Ghadhanfar 4. Mustafa Ahmed Mohamad Ahmed 5. Maizy Charlitte Worziliya With its new and enhanced features, the Yawmi Account has become more convenient, easier, and faster for customers to benefit from. Now, customers will be eligible to enter the draw after 48 hours only from opening the account. Customers are also required to deposit KD 100 or equivalent only to enter the daily draw, and the coupon value to enter the draw stands at KD 10. The newly designed Yawmi account has been launched to provide a highly innovative offering along with a higher frequency and incentive of winning for everyone. Today, the Yawmi account is a well understood product, where its popularity can be seen from the number of increasing account holders. Burgan Bank encourages everyone to open a Yawmi account and/or increase

their deposit to maximize their chances to becoming a daily winner. The more customers deposit, the higher the chances they receive of winning the draw. Opening a Yawmi account is simple, customers are urged to visit their nearest Burgan Bank branch and receive all the details, or simply call the bank’s Call Center at 1804080 where customer service representatives will be delighted to assist with any questions on the Yawmi account or any of the bank’s products and services. Customers can also log on to Burgan Bank’s for further information. Established in 1977, Burgan Bank is the youngest commercial Bank and third largest by assets in Kuwait, with a significant focus on the corporate and financial institutions sectors, as well as having a growing retail, and private bank customer base. Burgan Bank has five majority owned subsidiaries, which include Jordan Kuwait Bank, Gulf Bank Algeria, Burgan Bank - Turkey, Bank of Baghdad, Tunis International Bank, in which Burgan Bank owns a majority stake. Burgan Bank Group has one of the largest regional branch networks with more than 231 branches across Kuwait, Turkey, Jordan, Algeria, Iraq, Tunis, Lebanon and Palestine.

Retailers push into busy mobile payment market BERLIN: Big retailers are muscling in on the likes of Visa, MasterCard and Google in a fiercely competitive and growing mobile payment market that promises to cut transaction costs and increase customer loyalty. Stores such as British supermarket Tesco and France’s Auchan hope their “digital wallets” apps which allow users to pay with their smartphones rather than cash or cards - will also give them more comprehensive data about customers’ shopping habits than ever before so they can target advertising. They are joining a crowded market banks, card companies and tech firms like Google and Apple are all entering the mobile payment business, each hoping their app will become the industry standard. eBay’s PayPal, well established in e-commerce, is also experimenting with the technology. Retailers hope to attract customers to their own services by giving discounts and rewards to those using them, while also linking payments automatically to loyalty schemes and offering features like saved shopping lists. The global market for mobile payments is forecast to grow about threefold by 2017 to some $721 billion worth of transactions, with more than 450 million users, according to research firm Gartner. The growth could benefit retailers as the competition from a host of payment providers should help drive down the fees stores pay to have transactions processed - a service currently dominated by banks and card firms Visa and MasterCard. “We view merchants as overall beneficiaries of the trend toward mobile payments,” said Morgan Stanley, which estimated retailers in developed countries spent up to $150 billion in 2012 to accept card payments. “Expected returns should justify any incremental investments required in enabling mobile payments technology,” it said in a report in January. However, it is still unclear how the retail mobile payment market will develop, with card companies and banks seen retaining a leading role in processing payments even if physical cards become obsolete. Retailers’ apps might struggle to take off as customers are unlikely to be willing to use a variety of services for different stores, but the success of Starbucks Corp in combining mobile payments with promotions shows big players can succeed. US retailers Starbucks, the world’s biggest coffee chain, launched its mobile payment and rewards app in 2011. It already has 10 million users and the firm said this month it is looking for ways to expand the program beyond its own network. “The mobile payments platform has given us a higher degree of frequency and higher degree of loyalty and the question is how can we leverage that beyond our stores,” Starbucks Chairman and Chief Executive Howard Schultz told CNBC television. An alternative path is also being explored in the United States, where dozens of top retailers including Wal-Mart , Target and Best Buy have announced plans to set up a joint digital wallet service - the Merchant Customer Exchange, or MCX - though no launch date has been set. Meanwhile, an attempt to cre-

ate a mobile payment app universally accepted by retailers has recently launched in Germany. Yapital, owned by e-commerce firm Otto, has gone live in thousands of stores and also allows users to pay online and make peer-to-peer transfers. Yapital Chairman Nils Winkler expects just a few players to survive of the 200 initiatives now clamouring for attention in Europe, with apps tied to retailers more likely to win out than those being developed by telecom and card firms. “The biggest success in this field will be retail-based. PayPal is a good example that has grown tremendously based on the retail success of eBay,” he said. ‘Clear business case’ Tesco, the world’s third-largest retailer which pioneered the tracking of customer behavior with its Clubcard loyalty card two decades ago, will launch its digital wallet this year, as it also starts offering current accounts. That is part of the British supermarket chain’s eventual plan to use smartphones - and its own-brand Hudl tablet computers to allow customers to navigate stores with their devices and scan products to buy them as they shop. Sophie Albizua, co-founder of UK-based retail consultancy eNova Partnership, said her clients were ready to invest in overhauling outdated till systems to enable mobile payments. “People spent the last five to 10 years fine-tuning their websites. Now they have time to focus on something else.” French supermarket group Auchan, Europe’s fifthbiggest retailer, launched its “Flash and Pay” electronic wallet about a year ago. It combines payments with coupons, loyalty cards, receipts and a shopping list feature. “Our objective is to minimize costs. To have alternatives to existing solutions. All other solutions try to make costs for merchants,” Arnaud Crouzet, Auchan head of global payments, told the Merchant Payments Ecosystem conference in Berlin. “It is difficult to imagine our data on our customers going through a third party,” he added. Britain’s Centre for Economics and Business Research said there was a clear business case for digital wallets in terms of reduced costs and improved customer service and sales. UK retailers could have saved 463 million pounds ($770 million) in transaction costs in 2013 by shifting to mobile payments from cash, credit and charge cards, it estimates. Mobile payments could reduce queue length in stores by speeding users through tills and cut the cost of handling cash and card payments, it said. Handling cash - which accounts for over half retail transactions by volume in Britain - is costly for retailers as it needs to be counted and guarded, costs equivalent to about 2.5 percent of takings, compared with about 2 percent for processing cheques and 1 percent for debit and credit cards. However Carrefour, the world’s second biggest retailer after Wal-Mart, thinks shoppers need more time to be convinced. “For the moment, cards are still a good solution, especially contactless ones,” said Frederic Mazurier, a vice-president for finance and risk management at Carrefour Banque. “It is going to take quite a few years more.” — Reuters

All-new Lexus NX World Premiere at 2014 Beijing Automotive Exhibition DUBAI: The all-new Lexus NX luxury compact crossover will debut at the 2014 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition. The unveiling of the NX, based on the LF-NX concept, marks Lexus’ entry into the fast growing

luxury compact crossover segment. With its striking design, advanced technologies and Lexus’ signature spindle grill, the NX will set new standards for future models in the lineup.

In addition, the new Lexus RC F performance coupe will make its China debut at the Beijing show. The Lexus press conference will take place on April 20 at the W3 Hall of the China International Exhibition Center.

GIC profit grew by 25% to $163 million in 2013 Net operating revenues grew by 58% to reach $226m KUWAIT: Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC) announced yesterday that its net profit for the year 2013 grew to $163 million, representing a year-on-year increase of 25 percent. The General Assembly reviewed and approved the financial statements during their meeting which was held in GIC headquarters in Kuwait yesterday. Net operating revenues before provisions grew by 58 percent to reach $ 226 million, supported by revenues from the Global Markets group and the Principal Investments group. Total shareholders’ equity reached $ 2.6 Billion, an increase of $ 273 million or 11 percent compared to the previous year. GIC’s enhanced capital base, combined with improved overall asset quality, augmented capital adequacy ratios resulting in a Tier 1 capital ratio of 36 percent. At the 2013 year end, the debt to equity multiple stood at a conservative by 1.2 times, reflecting a lower risk profile, and strong financial position. GIC also maintained high levels of liquidity, with the ratio of liquid assets to short term liabilities growing to 191 percent from the 175 percent last year. Commenting on the strong performance, Khaled Bin Saleh Al-Khattaf, Chairman of the Board, said that “2013 was a good year for GIC on multiple fronts. In terms of financial indica-

tors, growth in profitability and capital base was robust. Moreover, the corporation also enhanced its liquidity & liability structure, cash flow generation and overall risk profile. In tandem with improved financial performance, GIC successfully completed several initiatives that contributed to optimizing asset allocation, strengthening risk controls and enhancing overall corporate governance. The upgrade by Fitch ratings of GIC’s viability ratings during 2013 is testimony to these achievements.” Also commenting on GIC’s good performance, Ibrahim Ali Al-Qadhi, Chief Executive Officer of GIC said: “The strong performance resulted primarily from our efforts to diversify revenue sources and risk drivers. We are pleased that the core businesses performed well during the year exceeding profit targets, whilst maintaining strong financial condition. It is gratifying to note that GIC was also able to expand its investments in the GCC region, with such assets constituting 70 percent of total. He added: “We will continue, as a team, to strive towards achieving our corporate goals of contributing to the development of private enterprise in the region and creating value for our shareholders.” Established in 1983, GIC is a regional financial

institution owned entirely and equally by the six GCC states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. GIC has a paid up capital of $ 2.1 Billion and is headquartered in Kuwait.

Chevrolet Alghanim launches strongest offer in April KUWAIT: Yusuf A Alghanim& Sons Automotive is proud to offer to its customers the strongest offer in April for them. The company is pleased to announce its promotional campaign on all Chevrolet cars, which will provide the opportunity for the customers to own the Chevrolet car of their dreams

and get the best trade-in value for their car as well as up to KD 1000 on top when purchasing a new Chevrolet. The offer is valid until the end of April. The Chevrolet Malibu has redefined the mid-size segment in Kuwait with its expressive styling, interior refinements, outstanding

riding and handling as well as its five-star safety, making the Malibu a one-of-a-kind car. The exterior design of the Malibu carries DNA from its sister vehicles, the Camaro a factor that brings in a sporty sensibility to the family sedan segment. The Malibu also offers the quietest ride in its segment through the use of components that prevent tire, wind and road noise from entering the cabin. Components such as noise-reducing rearview mirrors, acoustic laminated front glass and noise absorption pads are strategically placed to make the cabin quiet and improve the overall quality inside. The new Malibu features a lineup of fuel-efficient and powerful four and six cylinder engines that complements its European-inspired driving characteristics. The Malibu is available with a wide range of features such as MyLink infotainment technology, rear view Camera, LED tail Lamps, front HID lamps, Remote start Engine, Push start engine, smart key, features that makes the Malibu one of the most technological advanced vehicles in its segment. Chevrolet Captiva is available in two engines: the 2.4, 4-cylinder engine that generates 169 hp and the 3.0-liter V6 engine that generates an impressive 264 hp, making it one of the most power ful crossovers in the market. Both engines are mated to 6-speed automatic transmission, which makes the driving experience smooth, purposeful and efficient. The Chevrolet Captiva also has a spacious interior with storage space that is among the best in class with the option of 5 and 7 passengers, thus providing customers the maximum comfort they need. Advanced technology has also been integrated into the Captiva’s interior with standard cruise control, steering wheel control, Bluetooth and a CD/MP3 player with AUX and USB port. The car comes equipped with a range of

standard safety features including dual airbags and standard ABS braking system and rear sensors to offer all-around protection. The new 2014 Chevrolet Tahoe is build for one single purpose: to fulfill the needs of the people who drive it. And it does so with its legendar y capability, safety and dependability. It also stands for maximum performance. The Tahoe is powered by an advanced Vortec 5300 V8 engine with Active Fuel Management technology. Tahoe’s 320 hp (net), controlled by a sixspeed automatic transmission, triumph over any terrain. There are few places you’d rather be than inside a Tahoe. The luxurious interior is quiet, refined and beautifully appointed with leather seats, chrome panel surrounds and adjustable pedals for tailored driving. Striking an ideal balance between space, comfort and safety, the cabin seats up to nine with head-curtain side airbags for all rows. Chevrolet is as serious about your safety and comfort as you are, that ’s why the 2014 Tahoe set unprecedented standards of safety with a long list of features and components to help cushion and protect both driver and passengers. Standard on all trim levels, head-curtain side airbags help reduce the risk of injuries to all outboard occupants in certain side impacts. Chevrolet Care: New levels of aftersales service All customers who purchase a Chevrolet will receive the benefits of the Chevrolet Care program. Chevrolet Care is a high level customer service experience based on four pillars: To provide customers with the best in service pricing and cost transparency; booking service with same day delivery; quality service by certified technicians as well as a regional 3-year/100,000 km warranty and 24x7 regional roadside assistance.



Sparks fly over US plan to shift Internet role WASHINGTON: It could be a difficult breakup between the US government and the Internet. A plan unveiled last month would see the US relinquish its key oversight role for the Internet, handing that over to “the global multistakeholder community.” US officials say the move is part of a longstanding effort to privatize the technical oversight of the Internet. But it comes amid growing international pressure for Washington to step back from what some countries claim is a dominant role in the Internet. Tensions have been exacerbated by the outcry over leaked documents showing the National Security Agency’s vast surveillance capabilities, feeding concern that the US manipulates the Internet for its own purposes. Some critics argue, however, that Washington is “giving away” the Internet, posing long-term threats to online freedom and commerce. Representative Marsha Blackburn contends that the US shift “will allow countries like China and Russia, that don’t place the same value in freedom of speech, to better define how the Internet looks and operates.” Some observers say the US is seeking to avoid the more extreme step of hand-

ing control over to a more politicized body, such as an arm of the United Nations. “There have been a lot of fairly wild suggestions of how Internet governance should be changed,” said US lawyer Greg Shatan. Shatan participates in working groups of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a non-profit organization that took over some of the functions in 1997 under an agreement with the US government. In late 2012, a group of countries voted against the United States on a telecom treaty Washington said could open the door to regulation of the Internet by the UN’s International Telecomm-unications Union. A ‘controlled’ Internet? “A lot of these governments are not looking for a free and open Internet,” Shatan told AFP. “They are looking for a moderated, controlled Internet.” But the US announcement calling for a new oversight system by September 2015, says Shatan, blunts that effort and could help bring “swing states” back in line with Washington. The US Commerce Department official heading the key unit in charge of the Internet, Lawrence

Strickling, said at a forum Friday that Washington is handing over what is “largely a clerical task” in verifying the accuracy of the Internet’s so-called root zone. And he added that “nothing will happen unless we have a consensus” on governance that also meets the US criteria of avoiding a government-led or intergovernmental plan. Robert McDowell, a Hudson Institute fellow and former US telecom regulator, worried the decision might create a void. “The worst-case scenario would include foreign governments, either directly or through intergovernmental bodies, snatching the soon-to-be untethered technical functions for their own purposes,” McDowell said in a blog. Information Technology & Innovation Foundation analyst Daniel Castro says in a report that without US overnight, “ICANN would not be accountable to anyone, and would be motivated only by the interests of those individuals who control the organization.” The change sought by Washington would end the US role in what is on the surface, a dull, technical responsibility. But these issues can become controversial, such as establishing new domains

like .corruption, .amazon and the adultoriented .xxx. During a visit to the US capital, ICANN president and chief executive Fadi Chehade told lawmakers he saw no change in the way the Internet would operate. “The multistakeholder community has demonstrated an extraordinary capacity to govern itself” over the past 16 years, allowing the Internet to flourish, he said. US can ‘send message’ Chehade sought to debunk the idea that the US is “giving away the Internet.” “This announcement shows the world America’s values,” he said. “We’re sending a message to the world that we trust the multistakeholder model.” A group of Republican lawmakers introduced a bill that would block the US withdrawal pending an analysis on the legal authority to cede these functions. “In the month of March alone, we’ve seen Russia block opposition websites, Turkey ban Twitter, China place new restrictions on online video and a top Malaysian politician pledge to censor the Internet if he’s given the chance,” said Representative John Shimkus, one of the measure’s sponsors. “There are real authoritarian governments in the

world today who have no tolerance for the free flow of information and ideas.” But Carolina Rossini of the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute said the bill “could have the opposite effect” and “further empower critics who favor a governmental or intergovernmental model” for the Internet. Some argue the US needs to make a symbolic step to reassure its diplomatic allies in light of the row created by leaked documents from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. “We can’t say we want a non-government solution and have one government controlling things,” said Milton Mueller, a Syracuse University professor who heads an academic alliance called the Internet Governance Project. The group has put forward a plan for the technical functions being ceded by Washington to be separated from the ICANN policy role as a safeguard against government interference. Mueller said the US needed to end its role at some point, and that the Snowden revelations accelerated the process. If Congress avoids stepping in to block the change, “I’m optimistic this global community of Internet people can work this out,” he added. —AFP

Philadelphia skyscraper-sized Tetris game wows hundreds Images of supersized shapes ‘fall’ in visual extravaganza

KUWAIT: (From left to right) Havier Haddad, Channel and Alliances Director Turkey, Eastern Europe, Africa, & Middle East- EMC; Khaleel Hussain, Vice President for Major Projects, Diyar United Company; Habib Mahakian, Regional General Manager, Gulf & Pakistan - EMC; and Bashar Atout, Chief Executive Officer, Diyar United Company.

Diyar joins EMC Business Partner Program to boost projects in Kuwait KUWAIT: Diyar United Company, partners in technology, announced its role as an EMC Signature Partner for Kuwait. In this role, Diyar intends to capitalize on the strong reputation and recognition associated with the EMC brand, to effectively design, sell and deliver EMC technologies so as to differentiate Diyar’s business in the marketplace and to add value for its customers. The announcement comes as ambitious government investments and growing private consumption continues to drive growth in Kuwait’s IT market. According to Business Monitor International, software sales in the country increased by 5.5 percent while hardware sales increased by a margin of 1.4 percent in 2013, as compared to 2012; pointing to a rapidly growing focus on enterprise IT solutions to help address the challenges created by growing regional competition to create agile business environments. As a leading provider of innovative Information Technology solutions, products and services in the state of Kuwait, and in its role as an EMC Signature Partner, Diyar will offer EMC industry-leading storage, backup, Big Data and cloud solutions including but not limited to EMC VNX, Isilon, VMAX, VPLEX, Data Domain, Avamar, Networker, Centera, Recover Point and VSPEX. These products will complement Diyar’s focus in the SMB and enterprise market. “At Diyar, we follow a ‘customer partnership culture’ that places special emphasis on the need to add value to our customer’s businesses and become a preferred technology and services partner. Working together with EMC will allow us to meet these objectives and deliver best-in-class EMC products and solutions to meet the breadth and depth of customer IT challenges while helping them create new growth opportunities through increased efficiency, agility and performance,”

said Khaleel Ibrahim Hussain, Vice President at Diyar. “EMC is one of the world’s most successful companies helping customers transform their IT through innovative storage hardware and data management infrastructure technologies. They are an ideal partner. It also cements our position as the foremost reseller in Kuwait and reflects our continuing ambitions to deliver added customer value and grow the business.” “As the market in Kuwait becomes more competitive, organizations continue to look for more innovative ways to offer their customers an enhanced experience while optimizing costs. Having committed a significant amount of time in both training and accreditation, we are pleased to welcome Diyar into the Business Partner Program and will work together to help local organizations meet their business objectives through the powerful combination of world-class EMC technology and service excellence. Together, we will create new IT and business transformation opportunities for organizations in this rapidly growing Middle East market, “said Havier Haddad, Channel and Alliance Director, Turkey, Eastern Europe, Africa and Middle East - EMC. In addition to providing added value to customers, Diyar will now be able to realize the associated benefits of being part of the EMC Business Partner Program, such as access to marketing development funds, field execution, performance-based rebates and education. Diyar will also benefit from EMC’s recent enhancements to its Business Partner Program. Program requirements, eligibility and corresponding benefits increase as participant’s progress through the tiers. New additional process automation also creates repeatable and scalable processes to enable more efficient growth for both Business Partner and EMC’s cloud business.

Samsung adds anti-theft solutions to smartphones SAN FRANCISCO: Samsung Electronics will add two safeguards to its latest smartphone in an effort to deter rampant theft of the mobile devices nationwide, the company said Friday. The world’s largest mobile-phone maker said users will be able to activate for free its “Find My Mobile” and “Reactivation Lock” anti-theft features to protect the soonto-be-released Galaxy 5 S. The features that will lock the phone if there’s an unauthorized attempt to reset it will be on models sold by wireless carriers Verizon and US Cellular. The phones go on sale next week. “Samsung takes the issue of smartphone theft very seriously, and we are continuing to enhance our security and anti-theft solutions,” the company said in a statement. The announcement comes as San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and other US law enforcement officials demand that manufacturers create kill switches to combat surging smartphone theft across the country. Earlier this week, California legislators introduced a bill that, if passed, would require mobile devices sold in or shipped in the state be equipped with the anti-theft devices starting next year - a move that could be the first of its kind in the United States. Similar legislation is being considered in New York, Illinois, Minnesota, and bills have been introduced in both houses of Congress. In July, Samsung officials told Gascon’s office that the major carriers were resisting using kill switches. However, Gascon and Schneiderman said in a joint statement Friday

that Samsung’s latest move sends a strong message that the wireless industry can work together to make consumers safe. The prosecutors have given the manufacturers a June deadline to find solutions to curb smartphone theft. “More work needs to be done to ensure that these solutions come standard on every device, but these companies have done the right thing by responding to our call for action,” the prosecutors said. “No family should lose a mother, a father, a son or a daughter for their phone. Manufacturers and carriers need to put public safety before corporate profits and stop this violent epidemic, which has put millions of smartphone users at risk.” Apple created a similar “activation lock” feature for the popular iPhone last year. Almost one in three US robberies involve phone theft, according to the Federal Communications Commission. Lost and stolen mobile devices - mostly smartphones cost consumers more than $30 billion in 2012, the agency said in a study. CTIA-The Wireless Association, a trade group for wireless providers, has said a permanent kill switch has serious risks, including potential vulnerability to hackers who could disable mobile devices and lock out not only individuals’ phones but also phones used by entities such as the Department of Defense, Homeland Security and law enforcement. The association created a national stolen phone database last year to remove any market for stolen smartphones. —AP

PHILADELPHIA: Hundreds of Tetris fans had a little fun Saturday with a big version of the classic video game. The Philadelphia skyscrapersized version created a spectacle against the night sky that organizers hoped inspired onlookers and players to think about the possibilities of technology. The 29-story Cira Centre, which has hundreds of LED lights embedded in its glass facade, normally displays colorful geometric patterns at night. On Saturday, images of supersized shapes “fell” on two sides of the mirrored tower as competitors used joysticks to maneuver them into place. It wasn’t the first time Tetris has been played on a building. But the 100,000-square -foot “screen” which includes the nor th and south faces of the structure - could be a record. City resident Sam Robinson, 30, said he signed up on a whim for the lotter y to play because he figured “it would be cool to play the world’s largest game of Tetris.” “It has been probably 15 years since I played Tetris last on a Game Boy, and it’s much different playing on the side of building that’s a halfmile away,” he said. “Everything’s happening so quick.” The spectacle kicked off a citywide series of events called Philly Tech Week. It also celebrated the upcoming 30th anniversar y of Tetris, a game revered as the epitome of elegance and simplicity, said Frank Lee, an associate professor of digital media at Drexel University. Lee, a game designer who over-

saw creation of the giant display, said putting it on an office building was like making a huge virtual campfire. “This project began as a personal love letter to the games that I loved when I was a child Pong last year, Tetris this year. But it ended up as a way of uniting the city of Philadelphia,” Lee told the crowd. Lee already holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest architectural video game display for playing Pong on one side of the Cira Centre last year. Pong, the granddaddy of all video games, is an electronic version of paddleball developed by Atari in 1972. Tetris, created by Russian computer programmer Alexey Pajitnov in 1984, challenges players to rotate and arrange falling shapes into complete rows. It became a global phenomenon in the late 1980s after game designer Henk Rogers, who had seen Tetris at a trade show in Las Vegas, acquired the rights and struck a deal to put it on Nintendo’s original Game Boy. Rogers, who was among the players on Saturday in Philadelphia, said he can’t believe the longevity of Tetris, which decades later continues to mesmerize players on more than 30 platforms. “If a game lasts a year, that’s amazing,” said Rogers, now managing director of The Tetris Co. “They usually go out of style very quickly.” Rogers said several new Tetris products and initiatives are planned for release around its June 6 anniversary. He declined to discuss details. — AP

PHILADELPHIA: The classic video game Tetris is played on the 29storey Cira Centre in Philadelphia, Saturday, April 5, 2014, using hundreds of LED lights embedded in its glass facade. — AP


Fire TV device great, but not fully ready By Anick Jesdanun NEW YORK: Amazon’s new Fire TV streaming device shows a lot of potential in bringing together the best features from competing devices and adding voice search on top of that. But for now, it’s largely promise: Many of the best features work with only a handful of video services, which makes Fire TV primarily a showcase for Amazon’s video offerings. Fire TV, unveiled by Inc marks the online retailer’s latest push into streaming video. Amazon has aggressively expanded its video library in recent months, and is now offering its own device to view that content. At $99, Fire TV costs about the same as other full-service streaming devices, namely Roku 3 and Apple TV. With Fire TV, you can watch video from Netflix, Hulu Plus and more if you have subscriptions to those services. If you get Showtime and ESPN through a supported cable or satellite TV provider, you can access ondemand video from those channels. Otherwise, you can use free, ad-supported services such as Crackle, Vevo and YouTube. You can also buy video individually through Amazon Instant Video or get a selection for free through Amazon’s $99-a-year Prime program. You can listen to music, too, through Pandora, iHeartRadio and other services or play one of more than 100 games, some of which require a $40 game controller. Fire TV offers more than 175 video, music and game apps, but that pales compared with the more than 1,000 available through Roku. Still, it beats the few dozen offered by Apple TV. Notable omissions

in Fire TV’s app store include HBO Go, PBS and Apple’s iTunes. Major League Baseball, ABC and the Disney Channel are coming soon. Apple TV already has all that, but it doesn’t offer Amazon Instant Video directly on the device. Fire TV, like Apple TV, allows in-app purchases, so you can sign up for Hulu Plus right from the TV and have the monthly subscription fee billed through your Amazon account. But for now, this works only with a handful of services. Netflix isn’t one of them. Apple requires all apps to support that so you don’t have to pull out your credit card each time. Fire TV also lacks the interface consistency that Apple insists on. That means on-screen keyboards, layouts and search tools vary from app to app. With Apple TV, all apps share a common look and feel so you don’t waste time figuring out what’s where. ‘How I Met Your Brother’? Amazon’s device trumps Roku in keeping audio and video in sync most of the time. I’ve found that to be a problem with most streaming devices, with Apple TV being the notable exception. What sets Fire TV furthest apart from competing devices is its voice search. Just speak the title, actor, director or genre into your remote, and Fire TV shows matching content on the TV. There were a few laughable errors. The device searched for “How I Met Your Brother” and “Holly Met Your Mother” when I asked to see the popular sitcom “How I Met Your Mother.” But mostly, voice recognition worked well. Unfortunately, voice search works only with a handful of apps. I was able to get content from

Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus and Vevo, but it missed Netflix and others. Searching “House of Cards” got me season 1 episodes available for purchase through Amazon, even though Netflix had those for free, plus season 2. Furthermore, the search is rudimentary. Speaking “Sabrina: The Teenage Witch season 4” just got me the entire show, starting with season 1. The voice search recognizes titles of individual episodes, but it’ll take me to the show’s main page. You can search while watching video, but that kicks you back to the home screen. It would have been nice to get just Hulu Plus video while in the Hulu Plus app. One nice touch, though: If video is available for free on Hulu Plus, the search will steer you there, even if Amazon’s trying to sell it. Amazon says it hopes to expand that to all other apps. If you have Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX tablet, you can start video there and switch the feed to the TV. That frees up the tablet screen for supplementary content from Amazon’s IMDb video and celebrity database. You can also check email and Facebook. It’s akin to Apple’s AirPlay feature for iPhones and iPads. Fire TV is easy to set up, especially if you buy it through Amazon and have your device pre-registered to your account. Just plug the device into an outlet and connect it to the TV with an HDMI cable, which isn’t included. You can get on the Internet through Wi-Fi or connect an Ethernet cable - again, not included. Amazon’s Cloud Drive The device is about the size of a double-album plastic CD case. That takes up more desk surface than the Roku 3 or the Apple TV, but it can be placed out of the way, even in a desk drawer. That’s because the Fire TV’s remote control connects with the device using Bluetooth wireless technology rather than infrared signals, so you don’t need a direct line of sight. Roku 3 uses Wi-Fi and doesn’t need a direct line of sight either. Its remote has a headphone jack that captures audio from shows wirelessly, so you can watch late at night without disturbing others. Fire TV doesn’t have that. As stated previously, Fire TV is comparable in price to the Roku 3 and the Apple TV. — AP


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

HANOVER: A meerkat plays with an Easter egg in her enclosure at the zoo in Hanover, central Germany. The egg was filled with mealworms, a favorite food for meerkats. (Right) Lioness Binta plays with an Easter egg in her enclosure at the zoo. —AFP

Secrecy surrounds execution drugs ST LOUIS: Dating to the days when the guillotine operator or the hangman wore a mask, a certain amount of anonymity has always surrounded executions. But that secrecy is increasingly coming under fire, with judges, death penalty opponents and lawyers questioning why so little can be known about a state’s most solemn responsibility. An Associated Press survey of the 32 death penalty states found that the vast majority refuse to disclose the source of their execution drugs. The states cloaked in secrecy include some with the most active death chambers - among them Texas, Florida, Oklahoma and Missouri. Most states have recently begun relying on loosely regulated “compounding pharmacies” for execution drugs but refuse to name them, citing concerns about backlash that could endanger the supplier’s safety. But many states refuse to provide even more basic information - how much of the drug is on hand, the expiration date, how it is tested. Those who question the secrecy wonder how an inmate’s constitutional right against cruel and unusual punishment can be guaranteed if nothing is known about the drug being used to kill him. “As far as we know, it could be coming from a veterinary source, it could be coming from some dark corner of the Internet,” said Cheryl Pilate, a Kansas City, Mo, attorney who handles death row appeals. “We simply don’t know.” The most prolific death penalty states have successfully deflected most challenges to secretive protocols. But momentum is building toward unlocking details. Following a Missouri execution in December, a federal appeals judge wrote in a dissenting opinion that the state was using “shadow pharmacies hidden behind the hangman’s hood.” The state has executed three other men since then. Last week, an Oklahoma judge voided the state’s execution law, agreeing with two inmates who claimed a “veil of secrecy” that prevents them from obtaining information about lethal injection drugs violated their constitutional rights. And on Wednesday, a federal judge in Texas halted the scheduled execution of a serial killer, ordering the state to disclose the supplier of a new batch of drugs, as well as information on how they are tested. A federal appeals court threw out that ruling hours later, and Tommy Lynn Sells was put to death Thursday after the US Supreme Court refused to step in. To many death penalty supporters, the debate over secrecy is a ploy to delay executions. Humane way out “We’re overly worried about the convict,” said Jim Hall, of suburban St Louis. His daughter, 17-year-old Kelli Hall, was abducted from a St Charles, Mo, gas station in 1989 and murdered. Hall watched last week as Jeffrey Ferguson was put to death with pentobarbital. “The pentobarbital, from what I saw at the execution, has got to be one of the most humane ways of executing these people,” Hall said. None of the five inmates put to death in Missouri since November showed distress. Kent Scheidegger, legal director of the California-based Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, which supports capital punishment, said forcing states to reveal their drug source can amount to obstruction of justice.

“People who have already waited 20 years for justice, to be told, after the case has been thoroughly reviewed, ‘You still can’t have justice because of a restriction on the lethal injection chemicals,’ that’s preposterous,” Scheidegger said. The concern, critics say, is that a poorly made drug could cause suffering. Convicted killers may not generate much sympathy, but lawyers note the Constitution applies to them, too. Lack of transparency limits the ability of outsiders to evaluate quality control, said Rebecca Dresser, a professor of law and medical ethics at Washington University in St. Louis. That argument goes beyond the mere legal into the ethical realm, she said. “Lethal injection is supposed to be a humane method of execution, so the risk is that by a lack of adequate quality control, the execution may not be humane,” Dresser said. “The ethical concern would be that they’re allowing unjustified pain or distress.” The issue of quality control came into stark relief in 2012 when an outbreak of meningitis that killed 64 and sickened hundreds was traced to a compounding facility in Massachusetts. Critics of drug secrecy have cited the outbreak as an example of what can happen without tighter monitoring. Traditionally, executioners in the US were hidden from the public, performing hangings or electrocutions while wearing masks or behind walls, since many were despised. Likewise, several states now have secrecy laws or policies shielding the source of execution drugs, including Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas. Many protocols were adopted in the past year specifically to mask the drugmaker’s identity. Anonymity important to safeguard identity The trend toward secrecy was spurred by states being forced to obtain non-federally regulated versions of drugs from compounding pharmacies, said Jen Moreno, an attorney with the Law Death Penalty Clinic at the University of California-Berkeley. Compounding pharmacies make drugs for individual clients. They are subject to less scrutiny because they produce a fraction of a national manufacturer’s output and, they argue, added regulations could harm their ability to provide doses not always available in big batches. At least one case highlights how states have a stake in keeping the supplier’s name secret. When death penalty opponents and media reported that a Tulsa, Okla, pharmacy called the Apothecary Shoppe provided compounded pentobarbital for Missouri executions, it became the subject of a protest, a lawsuit by an inmate and news stories. The suit was settled when the pharmacy agreed to not provide the drug, and Missouri had to scramble to find a new supplier. Texas has cited threats of violence against suppliers. An attorney for the prison system argued in a brief this week that someone “threatened to blow up a truck full of fertilizer” outside a pharmacy that provides execution drugs for another state. The AP could find no evidence that any related investigation is underway in Texas. Officials in Oklahoma and Missouri also argue anonymity is important to protect the safety of those involved in executions.—AP

This illustration shows the possible interior of Saturn’s moon Enceladus - an icy outer shell and a low density, rocky core with a regional water ocean sandwiched in between the two at southern latitudes. —AP

Time running out to meet global warming target: UN China and US are top emitters OSLO: World powers are running out of time to slash their use of high-polluting fossil fuels and stay below agreed limits on global warming, a draft UN study to be approved this week shows. Government officials and top climate scientists will meet in Berlin from April 7-12 to review the 29-page draft that also estimates the needed shift to low-carbon energies would cost between two and six percent of world output by 2050. It says nations will have to impose drastic curbs on their still rising greenhouse gas emissions to keep a promise made by almost 200 countries in 2010 to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) over preindustrial times. Temperatures have already risen by about 0.8 C (1.4F) since 1900 and are set to breach the 2 C ceiling on current trends in coming decades, UN reports show. “The window is shutting very rapidly on the 2 degrees target,” said Johan Rockstrom, head of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, and an expert on risks to the planet from heatwaves, floods, droughts and rising seas. “The debate is drifting to ‘maybe we can adapt to 2 degrees, maybe 3 or even 4’,” Rockstrom, who was not among authors of the draft, told Reuters. Such rises would sharply raise risks to food and water supplies and could trigger irreversible damage, such as a meltdown of Greenland’s ice, according to UN reports. The draft, seen by Reuters, outlines ways to cut emissions and boost low-carbon energy, which includes renewables such as wind, hydroand solar power, nuclear power and “clean” fossil fuels, whose carbon emissions are captured and

buried. It said such low-carbon sources accounted for 17 percent of the world’s total energy supplies in 2010 and their share would have to triple - to 51 percent - or quadruple by 2050, according to most scenarios reviewed. That would displace high polluting fossil fuels as the world’s main energy source by mid-century. Carbon capture Saskatchewan Power in Canada will open a $1.35 billion coal-fired electricity generating plant this year that will extract a million tons of carbon dioxide a year from its exhaust gases the first carbon capture and storage plant of its type. Reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the group meeting in Berlin, will help governments, which aim to agree a deal to slow climate change at a Paris summit in December 2015. Few nations have outlined plans consistent with staying below 2 degrees C. Another report by the IPCC last week in Japan showed warming already affects every continent and would damage food and water supplies and slow economic growth. It may already be having irreversible impacts on the Arctic and coral reefs. The new draft shows that getting on track to meet the 2C goal would mean limiting greenhouse gas emissions to between 30 and 50 billion tons in 2030, a radical shift after a surge to 49 billion tons in 2010 from 38 billion in 1990. The shift would reduce economic output by between 2-6 percent by 2050, because of the costs of building a cleaner energy system based on low-carbon energies that are more expensive

than abundant coal, the IPCC said. Capturing carbon dioxide is also expensive, it added. China and the United States are the top emitters. One option is to let temperatures overshoot the 2C target while developing technology to cool the planet by extracting greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, the draft says. The draft that would add to risks of warming and push up costs. Extracting carbon from nature includes simple measures such as planting more trees, which soak up carbon as they grow, or capturing and burying greenhouse gases from electricitygenerating plants that burn wood or other plant matter. A problem is that markets for trading carbon dioxide focus on cuts in emissions at power plants and factories burning fossil fuels, not renewable energies which are viewed as green. “In Europe there is no incentive” said Jonas Helseth, director of environmental group Bellona Europe who chairs a group of scientists and industry experts looking at burying emissions from renewable energy. The IPCC draft report is the third and final study in a UN series about climate change, updating findings from 2007, after the Japan repor t about the impacts and one in September in Sweden about climate science. The September report raised the probability that human actions, led by the use of fossil fuels, are the main cause of climate change since 1950 to at least 95 percent from 90. But opinion polls show voters are unconvinced, with many believing that natural variations are the main cause. —Reuters

Switzerland building provides refuge for the hypersensitive LEIMBACH: No smok ing, no per fume, no mobile phone use-the list of rules at a newly opened apartment building on the outskirts of Zurich is long. For a reason: the structure has been purpose built for people who say exposure to everyday products like perfume, hand lotion or wireless devices make them so sick they cannot function. “I have been suffering since I was a child. This will really move my life in another direction,” said Christian Schifferle, the 59-year-old head of the Healthy Life and Living Foundation (, the prime driver behind the project. Schifferle and the other residents suffer from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), a chronic condition not broadly recognized by the medical community. Those afflicted, however, believe it is sparked by low-level exposure to chemicals in things such as cigarette smoke, pesticides, scented products and paint fumes. Twelve of the 15 apartments in the earth-colored building in a remote part of Leimbach, on the outskirts of Switzerland’s largest city, have already been rented since it opened in December. Many occupants also suffer from electromagnetic hypersensitivity, in which electrical circuits and radiation from wireless equipment make them equally ill. “It makes me weak, anxious, I can’t breathe, my lungs hurt, and I get dizzy,” says Schifferle, who suffers from both conditions. While living in the building will not cure Schifferle or others, it aims to make daily lives more comfortable for people whose conditions have often left them isolated and unable to hold jobs. ‘Only half alive’ Schifferle, who first felt sick from the fumes in his parents’ furniture factory when he was three or four, has lived most of his adult life in a trailer in the pristine Swiss Alps. It was not until he was 35 and stumbled across an American book on MCS that he realized he was not alone, but it was another decade before he found a doctor who took him seriously. “All my life it has been like I was only half alive,” he said. The new building is the first of its kind in Europe, according to officials in Zurich who decided to play a pioneering role in helping people with what they called “a very harmful problem”. They estimate about 5,000 people in Switzerland alone suffer from MCS. The city made available the land and provided interestfree loans to help finance the 6.1-million Swissfranc ($6.9-million, 5.1-million-euro) project. “We wanted to help these people to have a calm home where they hopefully will be less sick,” said Zurich housing office spokeswoman Lydia Trueb. With a mask covering his nose and mouth, Schifferle proudly shows off the 0.0

ZURICH: A general view shows the newly opened apartment building of Swiss Healthy Life and Living Foundation for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) patients in a remote part of Leimbach, on the outskirts of Zurich.—AFP reading on a handheld electricity-measuring instrument with a triangular, green antenna. “ This room is very good, because we have almost no electricity,” he said, nodding around a large common area equipped with a big carbon filter to purify the air. Anyone entering the building is expected to switch off their mobile phones, which in any case do not function inside. But there are landlines for telephone and Internet communication in the building. Near the entrance, the only cleaning and personal hygiene products residents are allowed to use in the building are on prominent display. Only isolation helps “Avoiding the environmental burdens is really the only thing that helps most of these patients,” said John van Limburg Stirum, an internist specialized in environmental medicine who has treated Schifferle and other MCS patients at the Seegarten Klinik near Zurich. “They have to find shelter somewhere where there are no antennas, no radiation from cell phones, which is getting more and more difficult,” said Stirum. The condition is difficult to pin down, and sufferers are often dismissed as hypochondriacs. But a growing body of research suggests an initial chemical exposure can spark an “allergic reaction” in some people when they later confront even very low levels of a range of chemicals. “These patients are really suffering,”

said Stirum, who is urging medical recognition of the condition. The Zurich building was constructed with special materials, by purpose-trained builders banned from smoking or using scented products like cologne as they worked. It has a ventilation system aimed at sucking out all odors. “I think a good example for the whole thing is the plaster on the wall,” said architect Andreas Zimmermann, who designed it. “It doesn’t smell, and that is very important for these people,” he added, saying he searched for months for a completely odorless plaster. The floor plan is layered like an onion “so that the deeper you enter the apartment, the cleaner the rooms get,” he said. The building’s most “contaminated” parts are the common areas, main hallway, stairwell and elevator in the centre. From there, residents enter their apartments, moving through a hallway where they can remove “polluted” clothing, the bathroom and kitchen or other technically equipped rooms, before getting to the “cleanest” rooms: the living room and bedroom. A special “net” has also been built into the facade and roof to protect inhabitants from electromagnetic or electrostatic waves or fields, Zimmermann said. Despite all the efforts, Schifferle still only spends a few days a week in his new apartment. More ventilation is needed, he said, until all traces and scents of the builders are gone. — AFP

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


US diners gorge on oysters as polluted bay revives MARYLAND: Cage after cage, oysters destined for a sprinkling of lemon juice and a delighted diner are pulled from the majestic Chesapeake Bay, where 20 years ago they had nearly disappeared. “Those will be at the restaurants tomorrow,” says Tal Petty, 55, an oysterman who has worked these waters for 40 years. Today, the mollusk’s reintroduction is playing a vital role in the health of the bay and Petty is quick to point out the dual ecological and gastronomical benefits. In recent summers, Petty says, he could not see much in the water at his farm in southeastern Maryland, because of a thick algae that thrived in the region’s sweltering summers. But last year “all summer long, I was able to see the bottom, which means the oysters were filtering and cleaning,” he said, talking to AFP at a cove near the small community of Hollywood. The eastern oyster, or Crassostrea Virginica as it is known scientifically, was once abundant in the Chesapeake, one of the world’s largest estuaries and a major US waterway. But it nearly disappeared here at the end of the 20th century due to overfishing, disease and pollution. In 1607, when English explorer Captain John Smith-famous for his encounter with American Indian princess Pocahontasexplored the bay, “ships were running aground on oysters because they were so plentiful,” says

Steve Allen, biologist and senior manager at the Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP), a public-private entity that is facilitating the mollusk’s rehabilitation in the Chesapeake. Two decades ago, no more than one percent of the stocks that had existed in the Chesapeake a century earlier remained in the bay. This was troubling because the oyster cleans water by filter-feeding on phytoplankton that flourishes when excess nitrogen and phosphorus disrupt the water’s ecological balance, the biologist said. In addition, the mollusk can clean 200 liters of water a day, which basically makes it “the kidney of the bay.” The oyster’s reefs also provide shelter for other animals such as fish, mussels and especially blue crabs, the pride of the state of Maryland and Chesapeake. ‘Nutty’ with ‘cucumber finish’ Maryland and Virginia, the two states that border the Chesapeake, have in recent years launched rescue programs, creating sanctuaries and giving subsidized loans to develop oyster farms. Over the course of 10 years, ORP reintroduced 4.5 billion oysters, along with a recycling program for empty shells to serve as nurseries for larvae. Virginia saw 10,000 tons of oysters collected during the winter of 2012 to 2013, double the year before and twenty times more than 15 years ago, although it represents

only one percent of what was collected in the 1950s. Petty created his company Hollywood Oyster and left his job in finance five years ago to embark on his Chesapeake Bay venture. He never looked back. Baseball cap on head and cell phone to the ear, Petty takes orders from wholesalers and local restaurants from his boat. “We’re growing the operation because of the demand,” he says. “Two years ago, I started a million and a half oysters, last year I started almost 3 million oysters and this year I started almost 4 million,” he said. “We are really lucky that chefs and customers love the taste profile of this cove, this is very, very good oyster water” he said, describing his oysters as having “a nutty taste with a cucumber finish.” And thanks to American consumers’ growing fondness for shellfish and local products, oysters are coming back into fashion. The Oyster bars that flourish in nearby Washington promote the local Chesapeake oyster with gusto. Tony Kowkabi, owner and manager of Catch 15, an oyster bar that opened three months ago a stone’s throw from the White House, says it is a logical choice for his menu.”Chesapeake Bay oysters are delicious, we are in the neighborhood, it makes sense for one of the best oysters in the country to be on my list,” he says.— AFP

CHESAPEAKE BAY: An employee of the Hollywood Oyster company shows a fresh oyster at the company farm in the waters of Chesapeake bay near Hollywood, MD on March 20, 2014. —AFP


W H AT ’ S O N

The competition winners with the panel of judges.

Ghada Al-Saeed (1st place)

Khalid M Mohamed (2nd place)

AUK Library announces photography competition results


n celebration of the 10th anniversary of the American University of Kuwait (AUK), the Library held a photography competition called AUK Library 10 in which photographs taken by students in and around the AUK Library were submitted to compete for prizes. The competition was run by the official Library account; @AUK_Library, and it gave students a chance to show their appreciation of the AUK Library through their photography skills. The competi-

tion started in February and ended in March 2014. Students participating in the competition were required to hashtag their submission with “#AUKLIBRARY10”. The contest involved almost 24 contestants, and each contestant was allowed to submit a maximum of three entries. Prizes for the winners included an iPad mini and gift cards. “We encouraged the contestants to have fun and be creative with their submissions,” said Asmaa Al-Kanan, Director of the

University Library. Out of 60 photo submissions, the winning entries for the competition were selected by a committee of judges comprised of William Anderson, Assistant Professor of Studio Arts; Roland Lopes, Web Developer & Luminis (MyAUK) Content Administrator; Patrick Makoul, Graphic Designer; and the Library Director. The winners of the competition are: Ghada Al-Saeed (1st place); Khalid M Mohamed (2nd place) and Farah H Ahmed (3rd place).

Soorya India Festival on April 10


oorya Kuwait Chapter will present ‘Soorya India Festival 2014’ at 7 pm on April 10 at the Indian Community School Auditorium, Senior, Salmiya. This time, Soorya is coming up with a mix of three oldest dance forms of India - a Bharatanatyam recital by well-known danseuse Dakshina Vaidyanathan, a Mohiniyattam recital by exponent Aiswarya Warrier and an Odissi performance by leading Odissi dancers Arupa Gayatri Panda and Pravat Kumar Swain. In addition, a solo fusion by Mridangam maestro Kuzhalmannam Ramakrishnan will also be presented. Indian Ambassador Sunil Jain will inaugurate the festival that aims to promote international integration through culture. Entry is free.

Farah H Ahmed (3rd place)

AAW Managing Director, Faisal Ali Al-Mutawa meets French Ambassador to Kuwait.

AAW seeks cooperation with France to support healthcare in Kuwait

Announcements KSNA Ad-Hoc committee


d-Hoc committee of the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi’s (KSNA) Kuwait Chapter will be reconstituted at a meeting at 4 pm on Thursday, April 10 at Indian Community School (Senior), Salmiya which will be presided over by KSNA Chairman Soorya Krishnamoothy. Malayali associations in Kuwait are requested to depute one or two representatives of their associations to participate in the meeting.

IOC Arts Festival


ndian Overseas Congress (IOC) will conduct Arts Festival 2014 on April 10, 11, 2014 at the United Indian School, Abbassiya. Preparations are on to host this mega event among the Indian expatriates in Kuwait. Entry forms are also available on request through email. Entry forms can be sent to fax no. 24331461. Filled entry forms can be emailed to: All Indian children are invited to participate in the various competitions to be held on April 10, 11, 2014 at the United Indian School, Abbassiya.


li Abdulwahab Al-Mutawa Commercial Co. (AAW) announced that Chairman and Managing Director of AAW, Faisal Ali Abdulwahab Al-Mutawa met with French Ambassador to Kuwait, Christian Nakhle, Michel Boivin, Head of the Economic Department and Rabih Soufangi, Economic Attache, at AAW’s headquarters and together discussed enhancing business ties with France’s pharmaceutical industry to further advance the healthcare sector in Kuwait. During the visit, Al-Mutawa and Nakhle spoke of several business prospects that could potentially expand AAW’s pharmaceutical business in the future and include other trade opportunities to further introduce French medical and beauty

equipment and products to the Kuwait market. French Ambassador to Kuwait, Christian Nakhle said: “For many years, France has made outstanding medical advancements that have helped millions of people around the world and driven industrial growth in France. France is technology-driven with hundreds of wellresourced facilities covering a wide-range of pharmaceutical technologies and products. We have seen the positive difference French pharmaceutical brands have made in Kuwait’s medical sector through powerful local retail and distribution companies like AAW.” AAW Chairman and Managing Director, Faisal Ali Al-Mutawa said: “AAW has always had a strong commitment in bringing the best the

world has to offer for the benefit of the daily life of the Kuwaiti community. Over the last ten years, our pharmaceutical portfolio has helped thousands of people across the country. We hope to continue growing our portfolio with more French brands that will make a positive difference in our market. We thank Nakhle and look forward to partnering with more French companies in the near future.” AAW runs one of Kuwait’s most successful wholesale and retail pharmaceutical sales operations, and is one of the primary suppliers to the Ministry of Health and private hospitals in the country. AAW has also partnered with a network of pharmacies in Kuwait, enabling further market penetration and dominance of products.

Bangladesh Embassy organizes blood donation camp


he 43rd Independence and National Day of Bangladesh was observed in a befitting manner by the Bangladesh Embassy and the Bangladesh community in Kuwait on March 26, 2014. To celebrate the day, the embassy drew up elaborate programs which included a blood donation program with a slogan “One Bag Blood Can Save a Life”. The blood donation program was organized by the embassy in association with Central Blood Bank of Kuwait at the Chancery from 1:00 to 6:00 pm on March 28, 2014. The Ambassador of Bangladesh in Kuwait Major General Mohammad Ashab Uddin inaugurated the program. A large number of voluntary donors from

within the Bangladesh community in Kuwait participated in the program and donated their blood. As it was a weekend (Friday), many Bangladesh nationals who are normally busy on weekdays were able to participate in the program. The embassy also publicized/circulated widely to inform the community people about the event by newspaper columns, distributing leaflets, announcing at different community gatherings, and phoning/texting major companies where many Bangladeshi work or different socio-cultural organizations of Bangladesh community in Kuwait. S M Mahbubul Alam, Counselor and Head of Chancery and Md Sakawat Hossian Patwary, Sonali Bank Representative (SBR) were respon-

sible for organizing the event. Other officials of the embassy also concertedly cooperated for a successful event. There was a celebratory mood among the participants during the program. Bangladesh community people from all strata of life including doctors, engineers, business people, community leaders, cultural activists, journalists, farm workers, and other professionals actively participated the program to make it a grand success. Doctors, nurses from within Bangladesh community and from Kuwaiti side conducted and coordinated the blood donation program on the day. Before taking blood from the donors, their blood was screened/tested to see if the donor was fit for donation. A similar blood donation program

was organized by the embassy to commemorate their last Victory Day on December 16, 2013. The initiative of Bangladesh Embassy was highly appreciated by many embassies in Kuwait. The Bangladesh Embassy also plans to organize such event quarterly. The donation program was highly appreciated by all concerned. This event encouraged the community people to come forward with noble deeds. It was a meaningful event with an opportunity to serve the humanity in real need. The vent not only deepened the bondage among within the community but also proved the way to discharge their sociohumanitarian responsibilities towards the society they live in.

Bangladesh Embassy celebrated their Independence and National Day on March 26, 2014 by paying rich tributes to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, three million martyrs, 200,000 women, and all the freedom fighters for their magnificent and unparallel contributions, sacrifices and indomitable heroisms during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971. Bangladesh Embassy and Bangladesh community in Kuwait gratefully recalled that countrymen from all strata had participated in the Liberation War in 1971 and achieved the ultimate victory on December 16, 1971 through a nine-month long armed struggle under the leadership of the Father of the Nation.


W H AT ’ S O N

—Photos by Joseph Shagra

Family Academy for Pediatric Medicine concludes training program


he Family Academy for Pediatric Medicine held the closing ceremony of the first training program of its kind in Kuwait, which was organized by the Kuwait Developmental Medicine Society in cooperation with the consultations and training office at the College of Medicine. The training was held for four weeks every Wednesday in March, where several topics related to children health were discussed by an

elite group of outstanding Kuwaiti doctors in various medical fields. The program was concluded by practical training of children’s first aid. Chairwoman of Kuwait Developmental Medicine Society Dr Hadeel Al-Faras, and Dean of Kuwait University College of Medicine Dr Adel Khader were present at the ceremony. Dr Hadeel AlFares said the program aims at increasing awareness about the child’s health, and strengthen

communication between the medical team and members of the society. She said this program is the first of its kind in Kuwait and the Arab world, as this type of medical training program began in the US 20 years ago, and was available in Kuwait to correct parents’ wrong beliefs. The program attracted a large number of mothers, fathers and teachers. Several lectures were held on children’s

health and how to deal with common kids’ conditions. Lectures were in Arabic, and first aid children CPR training was also given. The following sponsors, lecturers and participants were honored: Platinum sponsor: Kuwait Finance House; Golden sponsor: Novalac; Silver sponsor: Johnson & Johnson; Media sponsor:; and Media sponsor: Majesty Group. The following doctors who lectured dur-

ing the program were also honored: Dr Intisar Hussein, Suleiman Al-Saad, Fawaz Al-Rifae, Ahmad Al-Khabaz, Mushari Dehrab, Bashayer Abdallah, Huda Al-Saffar, and Abdallah Shamsah. The first aid trainers who were honored were: Suha Atyani, Altaf Mallah, Ali Al-Niqqi, Fatima Bukhalaf, Alaa Shihab and Zainab AlSahaf.



00:45 Deadly Waters 01:35 Animal Cops South Africa 02:25 Deadly Waters 03:15 Elephants In The Room 04:05 Shamwari: A Wild Life 04:55 Animal Cops South Africa 05:45 Untamed China With Nigel Marven 06:35 Wildlife SOS 07:00 Escape To Chimp Eden 07:25 Too Cute! 08:15 The Animals’ Guide To Survival 09:10 Too Cute! 10:05 Shamwari: A Wild Life 10:35 Shamwari: A Wild Life 11:00 Animal Precinct 11:55 Escape To Chimp Eden 12:20 Steve Irwin’s Wildlife Warriors 12:50 Animal Maternity Ward 13:45 Swimming With Monsters: Steve Backshall 15:30 My Cat From Hell 16:30 The Animals’ Guide To Survival 17:25 From Pound Pups To Dog Stars 18:20 Panda Adventures With Nigel Marven 19:15 Too Cute! 20:10 My Pet’s Gone Viral 20:40 My Pet’s Gone Viral 21:05 Shamwari: A Wild Life 21:35 Shamwari: A Wild Life 22:00 Too Cute! 22:55 My Pet’s Gone Viral 23:25 My Pet’s Gone Viral 23:50 Animal Cops Philadelphia

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 Me & Mrs Jones 04:30 My Family: The Heart Of Christmas 05:00 Tweenies 05:20 Teletubbies 05:45 Bobinogs 05:55 Show Me Show Me 06:15 Tweenies 06:35 Teletubbies 07:00 Bobinogs 07:10 Show Me Show Me 07:30 Me & Mrs Jones 08:00 Saxondale 08:30 Friday Night Dinner 09:00 Walk On The Wild Side 09:30 Doctors 10:00 Casualty 10:50 Elephant Diaries Update 11:45 Me & Mrs Jones 12:15 Saxondale 12:45 Friday Night Dinner 13:10 Walk On The Wild Side 13:40 Doctors 14:10 Casualty 15:00 Elephant Diaries Update 15:50 Saxondale 16:20 New Tricks 17:10 Eastenders 17:40 Doctors 18:10 The Weakest Link 19:00 Only Fools And Horses 19:30 Rev. 20:00 Waking The Dead 20:50 Spooks 21:40 Me & Mrs Jones 22:10 Upstairs Downstairs 23:05 The Weakest Link 23:50 Eastenders

00:00 BBC World 01:00 BBC World

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

BBC World BBC World BBC World BBC World BBC World BBC World BBC World BBC World BBC World BBC World BBC World BBC World BBC World BBC World BBC World BBC World BBC World BBC World BBC World BBC World BBC World BBC World

00:30 Born To Kill 01:30 Born To Kill 02:30 Jeffrey Dahmer 03:30 When Life Means Life 04:30 Serial Killer Profile 05:30 Born To Kill 06:30 Curious & Unusual Deaths 07:00 Snapped: Women Who Kill 07:30 Snapped: Women Who Kill 10:00 When Life Means Life 11:00 Beyond Scared Straight 12:00 Jack Unterweger: Poet Of Death 13:00 Fatal Vows 14:00 When Life Means Life 15:00 Fred Dinenage: Murder Casebook 16:00 Curious & Unusual Deaths 16:30 Private Crimes 17:00 Homicide Hunter 18:00 The First 48 19:00 The Devil You Know 20:00 Beyond Scared Straight 21:00 Private Crimes 21:30 Jack Unterweger: Poet Of Death 22:30 Serial Killer Profile 23:30 Jeffrey Dahmer

00:05 Gold Divers 00:55 Gold Divers: Under The Ice 01:45 Gold Divers: Under The Ice 02:35 Gold Divers: Under The Ice 03:25 Gold Divers: Under The Ice 04:15 Gold Divers: Under The Ice 05:05 Gold Divers 06:00 Mythbusters 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 Game Of Pawns 10:45 How Do They Do It? Turbo Specials 11:35 Fast N’ Loud 12:25 Classic Car Rescue 13:15 Overhaulin’ 2012 14:05 Border Security 14:30 Storage Hunters 14:55 Game Of Pawns 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 Surviving The Cut 20:20 How Do They Do It? Turbo Specials 21:10 Storage Hunters 21:35 Game Of Pawns 22:00 Gold Rush 22:50 Klondike 23:40 Gold Divers

00:20 01:10 02:00 02:45 03:35 04:30 05:20 06:10 07:00 07:55 08:20 08:45 09:40 10:30 11:20 12:10 13:00 13:30 14:20 15:10 16:00 16:50 17:15 17:40 18:30 19:20 19:45 20:10 21:00 21:50 22:40 23:30

Sci-Trek You Have Been Warned Penn & Teller Tell A Lie Mega World Mega World Mega World Mega World Mega World Storm Chasers Freaks Of Nature Freaks Of Nature Sci-Trek What’s That About? Mega World Space Pioneer Scrapheap Challenge How Do They Do It? Sci-Trek Mythbusters Scrapheap Challenge Mega World Strangest Weather On Earth Strangest Weather On Earth Penn & Teller Tell A Lie You Have Been Warned The Gadget Show How Do They Do It? Mythbusters Mega Builders Kings Of Construction Sci-Trek Space Pioneer

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Deadly Sins Scorned: Crimes Of Passion Swamp Murders Double Cross Killer Kids Deadly Sins I Was Murdered I Was Murdered I Was Murdered I Was Murdered I Was Murdered Stalked: Someone’s Watching Dr G: Medical Examiner Disappeared On The Case With Paula Zahn Murder Shift Forensic Detectives Extreme Forensics I Was Murdered Stalked: Someone’s Watching Extreme Forensics Disappeared Dr G: Medical Examiner On The Case With Paula Zahn Murder Shift Extreme Forensics I Was Murdered Stalked: Someone’s Watching Dr G: Medical Examiner Disappeared On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared Fatal Encounters Deadly Women

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Party On The Dance Scene The Dance Scene Style Star Style Star E!ES Extreme Close-Up Extreme Close-Up E!ES E!ES THS Style Star E! News Scouted Married To Jonas Chasing The Saturdays

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Bellator MMA 2014 ITU World Triathlon Series ICC Cricket 360 Sevens World Series

Highlights 05:30 Total Rugby 06:00 Trans World Sport 07:00 Golfing World 08:00 PGA Tour 13:30 Trans World Sport 14:30 ICC Cricket 360 15:00 Sevens World Series Highlights 15:30 Futbol Mundial 16:00 NRL 18:00 NHL 20:00 Bellator MMA 2014 22:00 PGA Tour Highlights 23:00 Golfing World

Photographer blames ‘Avatar’ star’s girlfriend for starting fight


REMEMBER SUNDAY ON OSN MOVIES HD 11:10 Giuliana & Bill 12:05 E! News 13:05 Extreme Close-Up 13:35 E! Entertainment Special 14:30 Style Star 15:00 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 17:00 The Drama Queen 18:00 E! News 19:00 E!ES 20:00 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 21:00 #RichKids Of Beverly Hills 22:00 Hello Ross 22:30 Party On 23:00 E!ES

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Expedition Antarctica Predator CSI Darwin’s Lost Voyage Adventure Wanted World’s Toughest Fixes The Known Universe 80s: The Decade That Made Shark Men Expedition Antarctica Predator CSI Darwin’s Lost Voyage Adventure Wanted World’s Toughest Fixes The Known Universe Alaska Wing Men Brave New World Mystery Files Mystery Files Predator CSI One Ocean Megastructures Big, Bigger, Biggest Animal Intervention Helicopter Wars My Dog Ate What?

00:20 Brutal Killers 01:10 Sharkville 02:00 Australia’s Deadliest: Shark Coast 02:50 Gorilla Murders 03:45 Night Stalkers 04:40 Hornets: A Sting In The Tale 05:35 Australia’s Deadliest: Shark Coast 06:30 Gorilla Murders 07:25 Night Stalkers 08:20 Dangerous Encounters 09:15 Python Hunters 10:10 World’s Weirdest Pets 11:05 Animal Superpowers 12:00 Monster Fish 12:55 Built For The Kill 13:50 Bizarre Dinos 14:45 Man Hunt 15:40 Dangerous Encounters 16:35 Kenny And Zoltan’s Venom Quest 17:30 World’s Deadliest Animal Apocalypse 18:25 Wild Case Files 19:20 Built For The Kill 20:10 Bizarre Dinos 21:00 Man Hunt 21:50 Dangerous Encounters 22:40 Kenny And Zoltan’s Venom Quest 23:30 World’s Deadliest Animal Apocalypse


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Psych Top Gear (US) Supernatural Breaking Bad Emmerdale Coronation Street Emmerdale Coronation Street Drop Dead Diva Revenge The Blacklist Game Of Thrones Breaking Bad

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American Cowslip-18 Jason Manford Live 2011The Giant Mechanical ManHouse Arrest-FAM Raising Arizona-PG15 Daddy Day Camp-FAM The Giant Mechanical ManRookie Of The Year-PG Daddy Day Camp-FAM Dating Coach-PG15 Pineapple Express-18 Grassroots-PG15

Beastly-PG15 The Forger-PG15 The Wild Girl-PG15 Beneath Hill 60-PG15 Beastly-PG15 Quiet Flows The Don-PG15 A Woman-PG15 A Christmas Kiss-PG15 Emperor-PG15 Silver Linings Playbook-PG15 Peacock-18 Maniac-R

01:15 Mad Bastards-18 03:00 All The King’s Men-PG15 05:15 Blue-Eyed Butcher-18 07:00 Jack The Bear-PG15 09:00 Alfie Boe: The Bring Him Home Tour-PG15 11:00 Look Again-PG15 13:00 The Wild Girl-PG15 15:00 Kathmandu Lullaby-PG15 17:00 Look Again-PG15 19:00 The Gospel-PG15 21:00 Casino-18

01:00 Drift-PG15 03:00 Pop Star-PG15 05:00 Trouble With The Curve-PG15 07:00 Remember Sunday-PG15 09:00 Hyde Park On Hudson-PG15 10:45 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey-PG 13:30 Girl In Progress-PG15 15:15 Wild Card-PG15 17:00 Hyde Park On Hudson-PG15 19:00 The Company You KeepPG15 21:00 The Campaign-18 23:00 Broken City-18

00:00 Silent Hill: Revelation-18 02:00 The Guilt Trip-PG15 04:00 A Heartbeat Away-PG15 06:00 Love Birds-PG15 08:00 Bernie-PG15 10:00 Pizza Man-PG 11:45 Life Of Pi-PG 14:00 Standing Ovation-PG15 16:00 Bernie-PG15 18:00 Clear History-PG15 20:00 Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters-PG15 22:00 Total Recall-18

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Amlin Challenge Cup NRL Premiership NRL Premiership Amlin Challenge Cup Super Rugby

he photographer charged along with “Avatar” star Sam Worthington after a street altercation in Manhattan, on Tuesday blamed the Australian actor’s model girlfriend for starting the fight and wants her arrested, his lawyer said. Mark Heller, the lawyer representing photographer Sheng Li said his client, who appeared in court on charges of assault, reckless endangerment and harassment for the Feb. 23 incident, was attacked by Worthington, 37, and his girlfriend Lara Bingle. Heller also distributed a video of the scuffle to the press. “ There’s video showing Lara Bingle aggressively pursuing and coming towards my client. There’s no video of him attacking her; she was the aggressor,” Heller told reporters outside Manhattan Criminal Court. “She has to be charged. There has to be a warrant issued for her arrest,” he added. Li’s case was adjourned until next month. There was no immediate comment from Worthington’srepresentatives. The actor was charged with assaulting Li and is also due to appear in court next month. Heller said Li was doing his job and that Worthington and Bingle were trying to grab his camera and deprive him of his livelihood. “I think we made it clear today that paparazzi are not secondclass citizens and they are certainly not celebrity punching bags,” he added. Worthington, born in England but raised in Australia, starred as Jake Sully the 2009 blockbuster “Avatar” and is due to reprise the role in upcoming sequels. He also appeared in “Wrath of the Titans” in 2012. — Reuters

Royal Opera sets accent on youth for cut-rate opening night


he Royal Opera will slash ticket prices to appeal to students and young people and will revive the racy modern opera “Anna Nicole” for its season opener in September in what management said was a bid to knock the stuffing out of galas. All tickets in the house, whose 2,200 seats can go for as much as 200 pounds ($330), will be priced from 1 pound to 25 pounds for the opening night on Sept 11 and will be sold through the opera’s student standby scheme and in conjunction with a music venue that works with young people, the ROH said. “I think it’s fantastic to have a season opening gala which is something that sounds stuffy and elitist to actually be a night where we celebrate new work ... and is celebrated by selling the whole house to students and young people,” the ROH’s Director of Opera Kasper Holten told Reuters on Monday. Music Director Antonio Pappano, whose contract the ROH announced was being extended until at least the end of 2017, will conduct English composer Mark-Anthony Turnage’s opera based on the life of the Playboy centerfold who married an oil billionaire. Dutch soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek will reprise the title role which she sang wearing a costume that featured prosthetic breasts for the London premiere in 2011. Holten said that with the extension of his contract the English-born Pappano, who has been the music director of Britain’s premiere opera house for 12 seasons, “is soon becoming one of the longest standing music directors of the Royal Opera and certainly one of the most important and influential ones”. Among singers featured in the next season are German tenor Jonas Kaufmann appearing as the poet hero of Giordano’s “Andrea Chenier”, Swedish soprano Nina Stemme as Isolde in Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde” and Russian soprano Anna Netrebko as Mimi in Puccini’s “La Boheme”. The Spanish singer Placido Domingo, a regular at Covent Garden, will add another Verdi baritone role to his repertoire as Doge Francesco Foscari in “I due Foscari”. One of the season highlights is the ROH’s first production of the Polish composer Karol Szymanowski’s 20th-century masterpiece “Krol Roger” (King Roger), a press statement said. Another main house premiere is the ROH’s first production of Kurt Weill’s “Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny”, first performed in Germany in 1930 but banned by the Nazis from 1933. The smaller Linbury Studio Theatre will mount a world premiere of American composer Philip Glass’s “The Trial” based on the novel by Franz Kafka and will stage a new work, “Glare” by the GermanDanish composer Soren Nils Eichberg. Seven new productions All told, the main stage will offer seven new productions, with four directors new to Covent Garden - Italy’s Damiano Michieletto, Katharina Thoma of Germany, Martin Kusej of Austria and American Thaddeus Strassberger, plus new productions from Holten and Britain’s John Fulljames and David McVicar. Other returning singers include Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel, who reprises his role as the Dutchman in Wagner’s “Der fliegende Hollander” while Domingo adds a second Verdi baritone role as Giorgio Germont in “La Traviata”. British baritone Simon Keenlyside sings Verdi’s “Rigoletto” for the first time at Covent Garden, Italian tenor Vittorio Grigolo takes on the role of Nemorino in Donizetti’s “L’elisir d’amore” and British baritone Christopher Maltman will sing the title role of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni”. Mexican tenor Rolando Villazon will sing Don Ottavio in “Don Giovanni”, British tenor Toby Spence will sing Tamino from Mozart’s “Die Zauberflote” and German soprano Dorothea Roschmann sings her first Royal Opera Don Elvira (“Don Giovanni”). Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak sings Gilda in “Rigoletto” for the first time with the ROH and Canadian soprano Adrianne Pieczonka sings Senta from “Der fliegende Hollander” for the first time at Covent Garden. The Royal Opera, which recently mounted a small production of the 17th-century Cavalli opera “L’Ormindo” at London’s 320-seat Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, said it would produce Monteverdi’s 1607 opera “Orfeo” at London’s “The Roundhouse” music venue as part of its effort to reach new audiences. — Reuters

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Well employed Post Graduates/Engineers for Malayalee Christian Orthodox girl Microbiologist (M.Sc Microbiology) 27/170, Adan hospital (M4 Marry: 2187923). Send details with photo to (C 4686) 6-4-2014 SITUATION WANTED

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I have changed my name from Vishal Tulshidas Ghadi to Vishal Tulsidas Pereira. Henceforth, I shall be known as Vishal Tulsidas Pereira for all purpose, holding Indian Passport No. K0626972 H.No. 376/5, Xetmalem, Carmona Salcete, Goa-403717. (C 4688) 6-4-2014

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Arrival Flights on Monday 7/4/2014 Route Doha Amman Beirut Cairo Dammam Asyut Amman Bahrain Dubai Abu Dhabi Kochi/Abu Dhabi Istanbul Dubai Cairo Doha Dhaka Abu Dhabi Chennai Dubai Kochi Doha Damascus Bahrain Lamerd Beirut Sohag Dubai Sohag Dubai Cairo Istanbul Dubai Sohag Doha Dubai Bahrain Jeddah Jeddah Jeddah Amman Sharjah Muscat Amman Riyadh Dubai New York

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Departure Flights on Monday 7/4/2014 Route Ahmedabad/Hyderabad/Chennai Mumbai IAD Chittagong/Dhaka Peshawar/Lahore

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s ta rs CROSSWORD 510

STAR TRACK Aries (March 21-April 19) You try hard not to gossip or to encourage others to gossip but today a bit of juicy news is hard to resist. Be a good citizen and keep it to yourself, you will see that the truth will come out soon anyway and it is fun knowing the inside scoop. Chores and errands may have you busy most of the day; you like to have things neat and in place, particularly today. Beginning a new birth year is similar to beginning a new calendar year but this year will bring a most positive addition to the years that have passed. You will add a special uniqueness to your personality and bring joy to many. Start now to set your goals in motion; you will be successful. You might consider a different sort of vacation this year. Dress for fun today; there is a party. Happy birthday!

Taurus (April 20-May 20) Understanding yourself at the soul level will bring you a perception of humanity and the endless possibilities ahead. It is important to keep a tight rein on the purse strings now. In fact, this evening would be a good time to go over budgeting plans for this whole month. Extravagance is out until next month. Shopping for the essentials can be a fun undertaking, especially when you are with a friend or loved one. Shopping with your loved one may give you more clues into this person. Exotic health remedies may or may not relieve your physical complaints. You will, however, be successful in finding remedies to relieve stress. This could consist of a shared body massage between you and a loved one. Keep notes on your dreams.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

ACROSS 1. One millionth of a gram. 4. The pre-Mycenaean civilization on the Cyclades islands in the S Aegean sea. 12. A workplace for the conduct of scientific research. 15. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 16. The large yellow root of a rutabaga plant used as food. 17. Fermented alcoholic beverage similar to but heavier than beer. 18. Not often. 20. Something hard to endure. 21. Having undesirable or negative qualities. 22. American novelist (1909-1955). 23. (of complexion) Blemished by imperfections of the skin. 25. Squash bugs. 27. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 29. An island in the southern Mariana Islands that is the administrative center of the United States Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. 31. Any fern of the genus Davallia. 36. A wooden pin pushed or driven into a surface. 39. Wading birds of warm regions having long slender down-curved bills. 40. Wear away. 42. Type genus of the family Arcidae. 44. A rapid series of short loud sounds (as might be heard with a stethoscope in some types of respiratory disorders). 45. Medium-sized tree having glossy lanceolate leaves. 46. A medieval hood of mail suspended from a basinet to protect the head and neck. 48. The sign language used in the United States. 51. Sung or uttered rhythmically in a monotone. 54. Fiddler crabs. 55. A strong emotion. 56. A highly unstable radioactive element (the heaviest of the halogen series). 57. Designer drug designed to have the effects of amphetamines (it floods the brain with serotonin) but to avoid the drug laws. 61. Surveying instrument consisting of the upper movable part of a theodolite including the telescope and its attachments. 65. Oblong cream puff. 68. (British) A minicar used as a taxicab. 70. Scandinavian liquor usually flavored with caraway seeds. 74. An oil port in southern Iraq. 75. (Babylonian) A demigod or first man. 78. Sheet glass cut in shapes for windows or doors. 79. The compass point midway between northeast and east. 80. A tricycle (usually propelled by pedalling). 82. (Middle East) Usually small round bread that can open into a pocket for filling. 83. Any of various long-tailed rodents similar to but larger than a mouse. 84. Extreme mental retardation. 85. A blue dye obtained from plants or made synthetically. DOWN 1. An independent group of closely related Chadic languages spoken in the area between the Biu-Mandara and East Chadic languages.

2. Large swift fly the female of which sucks blood of various animals. 3. A strong wind moving 45-90 knots. 4. Electronic equipment that provides visual images of varying electrical quantities. 5. A member of the North American Indian people of Arizona and adjacent Mexico and California. 6. A New England state. 7. Acquire or gain knowledge or skills. 8. True firs. 9. (Irish) Chief god of the Tuatha De Danann. 10. An inflated feeling of pride in your superiority to others. 11. A long brightly colored shawl. 12. Hungarian choreographer who developed Labanotation (1879-1958). 13. By bad luck. 14. English monk and scholar (672-735). 19. Corrupt morally or by intemperance or sensuality. 24. Tropical American trees with palmately compound leaves and showy bell-shaped flowers. 26. Shrub bearing oval-fruited kumquats. 28. A silvery ductile metallic element found primarily in bauxite. 30. A medicinal drug used to evoke vomiting (especially in cases of drug overdose or poisoning). 32. Cause to be embarrassed. 33. Mexican revolutionary leader (18771923). 34. A long pointed rod used as a weapon. 35. Formerly a large constellation in the southern hemisphere between Canis Major and the Southern Cross. 37. Minute blackish gregarious flies destructive to mushrooms and seedlings. 38. A milkshake made with malt powder. 41. The branch of computer science that deal with writing computer programs that can solve problems creatively. 43. The relative magnitudes of two quantities (usually expressed as a quotient). 47. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 49. A language spoken by the Atakapa people of the Gulf coast of Louisiana and Texas. 50. A member of a North American people formerly living in the Colorado river valley in Arizona. 52. An extreme state of adversity. 53. Diabetes caused by a relative or absolute deficiency of insulin and characterized by polyuria. 58. A Mid-Atlantic state. 59. One million periods per second. 60. Italian brandy made from residue of grapes after pressing. 62. A woody climbing usually tropical plant. 63. A small picture inserted within the bounds or a larger one. 64. An official prosecutor for a judicial district. 66. Jordan's port. 67. Being one more than three. 69. A Chadic language spoken in northern Nigeria. 71. Characteristic of false pride. 72. The basic unit of money in Peru. 73. A bluish shade of green. 76. A loud harsh or strident noise. 77. A legal document codifying the result of deliberations of a committee or society or legislative body. 81. The square of a body of any size of type.


Stay within your budget-after the twentieth you will be able to see relief with financial problems. A surprising development at the end of this next week influences your finances for the better. Meanwhile, quit trying to prove a point. New ideas and an independent or pioneering mental attitude will take on more importance in your life at this time. You may find yourself in the library, researching or studying. Helping out at the library, making important contacts with interesting people and volunteering your time where you can best be helpful will open up new directions. This will be a pleasant period if you take time to relax occasionally. Things start happening in relationships that deepen and strengthen everyone. Life situations are fun now.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) This is a great day to be with others and to play together. If you begin a workout program or intensify one now, you will be happy with the results. We are talking endurance here, not necessarily body weight. Your intuition is enhanced and may lead you to new insights. Caution should be exercised before entering into a relationship or transaction impulsively today. Engaging in new projects or hanging out with new people can bring favorable results. Your family is super-understanding but you must be at least half as understanding of them and share some prime time with each member. Interactions with parents, elderly relatives or long-time friends increase at this time. A love relationship is getting better and better.

Leo (July 23-August 22) There is much activity and involvement beginning with volunteer programs at this time. Remember to separate the two activities in your life; work in one avenue of life and volunteer in another avenue of life. The volunteer work you involve yourself with will help to create in you a great satisfaction that nothing else can bring to your doorstep. As you have probably learned, volunteer work in something where you have a passion can be the best expression of yourself. This could mean guiding the handicapped person or taking meals to the homebound; stay a little while for a chat. New ideas and an independent or pioneering mental orientation take on more importance in your life at this time. You lead, others will follow.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) Be aware that the aggravations today are short-lived. There will be flashes of psychic insights to guide you. Remember these feelings and stay in touch with your own sense of direction. Be prepared to travel later this month. Information comes to you through many new avenues at this time and it is all forward moving and positive. Your progress will take leaps and bounds toward the goals and directions of your designated path this year. One of the areas of progress will be in the follow-through capabilities that have been lacking in the past. Make a determined effort to become more interested in the progress of your city and your role in it. Perhaps you could involve your family or friends along with you, in some volunteer service.

Word Search

Libra (September 23-October 22) Consciously, make your words positive today. Your highly critical eye is one of your strengths and when you express yourself in positive and practical ways, you move mountains. You spend so much time caring for others that you may neglect your own needs. If you suffer from migraines, avoid caffeine, alcohol, chocolate and salty foods. There are great opportunities today for spiritual lessons that will widen your scope of knowledge. You will need to be more flexible now as it seems you have to speed up your metabolism to keep up with the fun. Avoid burnout by allowing time to just relax and take in the sights. Weather permitting, enjoy your surroundings with a little walk or glance around at the new growth and the birds.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Any activity you want to become involved with is enjoyable today. A short trip or a long weekend travel plan may be considered or begun now. Minor irritations are short lived. You may feel intellectually competitive and could become irritated by trivialities-car games, perhaps. If you are traveling and have young children with you, don’t forget to stop for breaks and let them exercise a bit. If you are not traveling with children, this could be the weekend in which a new life is created. Emotional security, a sense of belonging and nurturing are all issues that are felt instinctively now. Someone asks for your help today and you should not hesitate to ask questions and gain information. Enjoy your trip, no matter how long or short-it can be exhilarating.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Today is the day to start a new adventure-you have good thoughts and ideas. The ability to communicate and describe what you see may be a reason for fine-tuning your thoughts into an outline for a book. You are very energetic today and would do well to grab a friend and bicycle for a ride through a nearby park or the neighborhood. You feel particularly independent, but bicycling is more fun with a friend. Some profound insights are available to you. Your sensitivity to others has increased and friendships are very important. Your circle of friends has enlarged quite a bit-it does not take much work to find someone with whom to enjoy some fun time. Tonight a big gettogether with the family is in order-perhaps a traditional gathering.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) Personal popularity will come easily. This is a good time for surrounding yourself with friends and loved ones. You appreciate your particular situation and enjoy having support and giving support to those around you. This is a powerful time of recognizing as well as using your intuition. Ownership matters can be under pressure on the fifteenth. Do everything you can to assure your family’s security. If you are planning to invest in property, do so before the fifteenth. No turkey for lunch today, you could fall asleep and not get your chores done. Perhaps you find this a really boring day that has little or no imagination-escape. Get out and walk this afternoon. Perhaps some good conversations with a loved one will bring you balance.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) This is a harmonious time-not much of anything happens. Romantic relationships are favored. Your personal magnetism is high. Marriage and other close relationships give rise to great expectations and you have an opportunity to create a little magic in your life. This is a time to enjoy and appreciate your ties to others and to seek and promote harmony in the interaction between people. Your devotion and selflessness will reap unexpected rewards. If you are not engaged, there will be plenty of opportunities to communicate with someone new. You feel popular and attractive. Social occasions are enjoyable. You may be feeling unhurried and a little lazy just now. Listen to the sounds of nature this evening-music or a seaside restaurant.

Pisces (February 19-March 20) Enjoy this time. Make it a period of true grace, healing and wisdom. This is more of a time for working on your own choices, where you have come to so far in life. This is not the time to try to solve any serious problems or make important decisions. It could be hard to think. Time can be set aside today for family interaction with giving as well as receiving a sense of support. There is a chance to understand those around you and to have a special time with someone you love. Communication with friends and casual acquaintances may bring much laughter to your home this evening. A love of music, an appreciation for sensual pleasures and others of the finer things in life are the signs of the cycle that has begun.

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

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


lifestyle G O S S I P

Modest mother Rochelle Humes

dating Fassbender




he supermodel is said to be enjoying a fling with the ‘12 Years a Slave’ actor, and they have become more open about their blossoming romance after being spotted at Coya restaurant in London earlier this week. A source told The Sun newspaper: “They were in a cordoned-off area within the members’ area of the restaurant to give them as much privacy as possible. “But they didn’t mind being seen together and were openly affectionate. At one point, they even started snogging.” It is said Naomi is “smitten” with the star, telling friends at the V&A Museum where she was attending the launch of a fashion exhibition - that she was excited for their date. The insider added: “Naomi is smitten with Michael. She told friends at the V&A she was looking forward to going on a date later in the evening. Everyone was intrigued to find out who with.” However, a friend of the beauty has insisted the future of their romance isn’t clear, and no one knows if it will become “something more serious”. They said: “Naomi always has rich and famous men courting her, so we’ve no idea if these dates with Michael will develop into something more serious.”

ochelle Humes dresses more modestly now she is a mother. The Saturdays singer and her husband Marvin Humes are parents to 10-monthold Alaia-Mai and she admits to being more “choosy” these days. Asked how parenthood has changed her, she said “I’m definitely more choosy. There’s an instinct that always flicks on. I’m like, ‘No Rochelle, that dress needs to be a bit longer.’ “As well as Rochelle, her bandmates Una Foden and Frankie Sandford also have children, and the 25-yearold beauty thinks they set a good example as working mothers. She said: “I think working mums are good role models - but it’s definitely a juggling act.” Rochelle’s husband is a presenter on ‘The Voice UK’ and she is happy he doesn’t get too emotional with the contestants, despite his cohost Emma Willis recently admitting the show often leaves her in tears. Rochelle

said: “If he cried at ‘The Voice’, I’d be like, ‘You need to man up.’ I should’ve said yes [he does cry] to stitch him up...”

Mr T inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame


r T was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame last night. The former ‘A-Team’ star - who became involved in wrestling in 1985 when he was Hulk Hogan’s tag-team partner at the first ever WrestleMania event - was honored alongside wrestling greats at the ceremony in New Orleans. He was inducted by iconic WWE announcer Mean Gene Okerlund and used his acceptance speech to pay a heartfelt tribute to his mother. Tak ing to the stage at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Mr T described is as an “honor” not only to be entered into the Hall of Fame, but to praise his mum for all she did for him. He

said: “Tonight, as you honor me along with the other Hall of Famers, please allow me to honor and pay tribute to my dear mother, who I love so very much.” He added: “Now, my story and background is not that unique. My upbringing is not so different from many others. But who knows? “Somebody might be inspired and maybe so wayward teenager just might find his way back home. “That’s why I want to talk about my mother. I thank god for my mother - because I have seven brothers and four sisters, and my mother raised all of us by herself.” The other inductees were Paul Bearer, Razor Ramon, Lita, Ultimate Warrior.

Love on Kurt’s Memorial Day C

ourtney Love “chants and prays” for Kurt Cobain to mark the day he died. The Hole singer, who was married to the tragic Nirvana star from 1992 until he committed suicide in 1994, insists 20 years on she still thinks about his death “every single day”. She said: “Kurt’s death was just the biggest low, man. I have my own private stuff that I do [to mark it] that I don’t really wanna share with the world. It’s just my thing. It still makes me sad that it happened, every single day. “On the anniversary day itself, you sort of battle through it. I do my chanting and praying.” Courtney was unsure whether she is playing on the anniversary of his death yesterday but says she doesn’t want to. She explained to NME magazine in an interview conducted before the memorial: “I don’t like the message it sends out. I’d rather celebrate his birthday than celebrate his death day, but people tend to celebrate the death day, don’t they? Even with Elvis and Lennon, that’s just the tradition of how it happens in rock ‘n’ roll, I guess.”

Rita Ora: Jay Z Jones has crush smells like ‘a clean tree’ on Mark Ruffalo

red Fischer not prepa rival for her baby’s ar


enna Fischer isn’t prepared for her baby’s birth. The 40-year-old actress and her husband Lee Kirk, who married in 2010, are “getting close” to welcoming their second child into the world, but the brunette beauty is yet to set up the tiny tot’s nursery and fill it with supplies. She said: “There’s nothing done. My mum and I got all the nursery supplies in order, so we have the appropriate number of onesies and chair for my nursery and I’m very concerned that the baby is going to get here before the chair arrives.” Meanwhile, the star has been busy trying to prepare her two-year-old son Weston Lee for the upcoming arrival. She explained: “He likes to talk a lot about what big boys can do and babies can’t. Like, big boys can eat cupcakes and walk and talk, but little babies just sleep and eat and poop. We’ve been reinforcing the differences between a baby and a big boy so he can be excited about eating the cupcakes-which he is.” Jenna and Lee have also been showing Weston cute photographs of when he was a baby. She told “My big pregnancy craving with him was Menchie’s frozen yogurt and there is a Menchie’s across the street from where I delivered. After he was born, there is a picture of me eating Menchie’s [and] holding him. “We showed him the picture ... and I said, ‘Mummy has to go to the hospital to get the baby out and you can come visit me.’ He said, ‘After the baby is out, Mummy gets to eat Menchie’s.’ I said, ‘That’s right ... do you want to come to the hospital and have Menchie’s with me?’ “And he said, ‘yes!’”


ita Ora thinks Jay Z smells like “a clean tree”. The 23year-old singer, who is signed to the rapper’s record label ROCNATION, admits the ‘Holy Grail’ hitmaker has a “fresh” odor that just oozes nature. She said: “He [Jay Z] smells like a clean tree. Like, so clean and fresh.” The ‘RIP’ hitmaker - who is dating Calvin Harris - admits was really nervous when she was introduced to Jay Z’s wife Beyonce for the first time because she is someone she’s admired and looked up to from a young age, but she insists she was surprised by her down-to-earth personality. Speaking on heat Radio yesterday, she explained: “I was so scared

[when I first met her]. She’s the idol I’ve always wanted to meet. I mean, one of, but she was like the nicest. I’ve always, always, always thought she wasn’t human. And I swear I always think that she puts a plug in a socket at night and sleeps standing up or something because she’s not human. But she was incredible, so kind, so honest, so caring, and so approachable.” Although the blonde beauty doesn’t think anyone is allowed to babysit Jay Z and Beyonce’s two-year-old daughter Blue Ivy, she admits she’d jump at the chance if she was asked. She said: “If they asked me [to babysit Blue Ivy], I’d definitely do it.”

Cowell more creative with son


imon Cowell has had a burst in creativity since the birth of his son. The music mogul welcomed his first child Eric with girlfriend Lauren Silverman into the world in February and he’s confessed that slowing down on the business front is the last thing on his mind. He said: “I’m not going to calm down with work! I’ve got the bug again and I just want to get things going with ‘The X Factor’. “I’m excited about work again, which is a great feeling. Eric has been a big part of that. Having a child

gives you perspective and it sparks new ideas and creativity.” The 54-year-old ‘X Factor’ boss - who will return as a judge on the UK talent show later this year - has also admitted that he hasn’t been losing any sleep since the birth of his son as he has great help. He added: “I’m coping really well. We’ve got a great baby nurse. Eric is a sweetheart and he’s no trouble at all. He’s not been keeping me up at night. He’s honestly been as good as gold. I feel more relaxed since becoming a father. He’s definitely relaxed me.”


ashida Jones admits she has a crush on Mark Ruffalo. The 38-year-old actress has a soft spot for the 46-year-old hunk because he doesn’t mind showing off his sensitive side, but he still manages to pull off being sexy as well. When asked who her latest celebrity crush is, she replied: “There are so many! I’m going to go with Mark Ruffalo; he’s kind of my all-time. “He’s such a good actor, and he’s very vulnerable but manages to still be sexy, which is hard for a man.” Meanwhile, the brunette beauty, who practices Judaism, admits she can’t help being superstitious about certain things and she once lost a piece of jewelry but, instead of going back to look for it, she left it because she thinks it’s a sign that it’s time to move on. She explained to “[The last thing I lost was] a really pretty necklace at the airport. I have a weird superstition about jewelry: If it falls off, it’s meant to fall off. It’s some sort of symbol for moving on, so I didn’t go back and try to find it. You kind of have to let go.”


lifestyle G O S S I P

Upton has best revenge on ex-boyfriend

Kelis: Pregnancy improves songwriting


elis thinks women write better music when they’re pregnant. The 34-year-old singer, who has four-year-old son Knight with ex-husband Nas, claims her last album ‘Flesh Tone’ in 2010 was one of her best records because she was expecting her first child when she recorded it. She said: “For me, my last album was the brightest, just because I was pregnant when I recorded it and that’s a really powerful time for a woman artist. If I think about female artists in the past 15 to 20 years that I love, I look at their body of work and I’m like, ‘Oh, she was pregnant then!’ It makes so much sense. And ‘Flesh Tone’ definitely signifies that. It’s about life, it’s a very robust record.” The ‘Milkshake’ hitmaker will release her next record, ‘Food’, on April 18, and insists it’s “different” from her previous albums because she’s in a more settled place. She told NME magazine: “I’m very content, and as much as I didn’t want to acknowledge that that would happen four or five years ago, being a mother totally has made that happen.”

Backstreet Boys shocked at O2 Arena sell-out


ackstreet Boys never thought they would sell out the O2 Arena in the London. The superstar boyband put on an energetic show at the huge venue on Friday as part of their worldwide ‘In a World Like This’ tour. Addressing the fans, Kevin Richardson said: “Two years ago [A. J. McLean] mentioned he would rejoin the band and two years later I can’t believe we have ... sold out the O2. “Thank you, you’re amazing. It feels good to be back on stage with my brothers tonight.” The group are on the road celebrating their 20th anniversary, and are happy to be back with their original line-up - completed by Howie Dorough, Nick Carter and Brian Littrell - with Kevin

returning to the band two years ago following his departure in 2006. The ‘As Long As You Love Me’ hitmakers didn’t disappoint, putting on a great show with a hit-filled set including the likes of ‘I’ll Never Break Your Heart’ and ‘All I Have To Give’. The concert also had its share of emotional moments, with the group paying tribute to their families and friends. As well as Nick kissing a fan during new song ‘Permanent Stain’, Kevin and A.J. dedicated ‘Show ‘Em (What You’re Made Of )’ to their sons. In another tender moment, the boy band held a moment’s silence for their bodyguard Johnny Q, who tragically passed away last year.

The Cure wanted double album T

he Cure’s Robert Smith is “so angry” the band’s label wouldn’t let them release a double album. The ‘Friday I’m In Love’ hitmakers are set to release ‘4:14 Scream’, the band’s first LP in six years and follow-up to 2008’s ‘4:13 Dream’, but frontman Robert is annoyed the songs weren’t included on the first record. He told NME magazine: “It was just pure bloody-mindlessness why the tracks weren’t included on the last album. I was so angry that [the label] wouldn’t release a double album. I wouldn’t give them the other songs.” The new album features music recorded by Robert, along with bassist Simon Gallup, drummer Jason Cooper and guitarist Porl Thompson, who no longer plays with the band. It’s the first release since the addition of former Tin Machine musician, Reeves Gabrels, who is now on guitar, and keyboardist Roger O’Donnell, who joined them at the recent Royal Albert Hall gig in London. Robert continued to NME magazine: “There were a number of reasons why I felt unable to complete what we were doing with the last line-up. It was impossible to just get another group and bang out the songs we didn’t release. It would have been wrong.” Meanwhile, the new line-up plan to record their own new album and insist it will be something “that’s really different to anything else we’ve done”.

Johnny Depp


ate Upton believes the best way to seek revenge on a cheating ex-boyfriend is to “go on enjoying your life”. The 21-year-old model insists she’s not one for getting payback on an ex-lover, but she thinks one way to make him feel bad about his decision is to move on. She said: “I think the best revenge is to go on enjoying your life and not to waste another second with him.” Meanwhile, ‘The Other Woman’ star insists she doesn’t feel pressurized by her level of fame as she just wants to be the best that she can be. She explained: “I’m trying to be the best that I can be, that’s all I can do.” Kate’s co-star Cameron Diaz believes she has a similar outlook on fame as she doesn’t really see herself as being different from anyone else and her main priority is looking after herself. She told Star magazine: “I don’t worry about a lot of things! I don’t look at myself in that way. I just take care of myself and that’s the thing I concentrate on for my own personal needs on a day-to-day basis. There’s nothing to worry about, life is good.”

Olivia Cooke heard ‘ghost’ on set

doesn’t O want to be safe


ohnny Depp changes his look for film roles because he doesn’t want to play it “safe”. The Hollywood icon is famed for his radical character transformations - namely as eccentric swashbuckler Captain Jack Sparrow in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ and Native American Tonto in ‘The Lone Ranger’ - and claims his dedication stems from not wanting to “bore” the audience to death. He said: “I love the idea of changing my look. I think one owes it to the audience, to go out there and give them something different each time, so as not to bore them to death. “And I always felt that if you’re not trying something different each time out of the gate, you’re being safe, and you don’t ever want to find that place of safety. I like that, each time, before I even go in front of the cameras, the

livia Cooke was convinced she heard a ghost while filming ‘Ouija’. The British actress admits she and her castmates were so nervous about the unexplained noises, they asked a set assistant to go and check an empty room. She said: “Just before Christmas we were in a bedroom filming and there was noise going on upstairs. We sent a PA to go up and ask whoever was up there, could you just hold the work? She went up and then came back down and told us there was no-one up there!” As well as shooting ‘Ouija’, ‘ The Bates Motel’ actress is currently promoting horror/thriller ‘The Quiet Ones’ - which also stared Sam Claflin and Jared Harris - and can be seen in sci-fi ‘The Signal’ later this year, but she insists she isn’t only drawn to supernatural stories. She said: “I think I’m drawn to the characters more so I think I’m definitely moving away from horror. ‘The Signal’ was sci-fi so that was more of a branch out, but I love thriller, I love sci-fi and I’d love to explore that more but I think I’m just open to anything.” And the actress admitted to finding filming ‘The Quiet Ones’ very different to her role as Emma in American series ‘ The Bates Motel.’ She told BANG Showbiz: “There’s a lot of me crying in it, so I was emotionally drained. With the stunts and when I was attacking people I had like bruises and cuts all over me and I knew I had worked hard that day. “I didn’t really prepare myself for the intense scary scenes, I kind of just threw myself into it. I just went in to it expecting nothing and tried to react off what the surroundings were. When you read a script it’s always so different to what you actually do so I just went in open to everything.” ‘The Quiet Ones’ opens in cinemas on April 10th.

Jennifer Hudson never considered acting


ennifer Hudson “never thought” about becoming an actress. The 32-year-old star shot to fame after competing on ‘American Idol’, and went on to pick up an Oscar and a Golden Globe for her role in ‘Dreamgirls’, and doesn’t think she would have been considered for the film if it hadn’t been for one of her performances on the show. She said: “I always wanted to sing and make my living doing that, it’s that simple. But God always gives you a little bit more than you asked for and I ended up acting. Now I’m an actress and singer and it’s so weird. “I never thought about acting, but because of ‘American Idol’ I had this platform and Barry Manilow arranged the song I was eliminated off on as if it was ‘I’m Telling You’. “It had the same structure and people thought I was singing ‘I’m Telling You’ and from the performance they started saying Jennifer Hudson for Effy White [in ‘Dreamgirls’].” And Jennifer still can’t believe she won awards for her role in the film. She added: “As far as ‘Dreamgirls’ all I wanted to do was get my lines right and do the job I was hired to do and I ended up winning an Oscar, and it’s still surreal to this day.”

Samuel L Jackson: Captain America shooting scared public studio’s reaction will be fear.” The 50-year-old actor also revealed his physical transformations help him overcome his shyness when it comes to promoting his films. Johnny admitted in a conversation with Iggy Pop for Interview magazine: “I’ve always enjoyed hiding behind these characters. It’s a strange thing, you’re more comfortable as a character than you are in life. “I could stand up in front of, it doesn’t matter how many people, as a character. But if I had to do it as myself and give a speech, I would be liquid.”


amuel L Jackson has revealed workers in Cleveland thought he was being shot at when he filmed scenes for ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’. The actor reprises his role as super-spy Nick Fury in the Marvel sequel - which sees Chris Evans return as the titular superhero and he recalls one shoot-out sequence filmed in the city left some office staffers fearing for his safety. During an interview on ‘The Daily Show’ - which airs on ‘Comedy Central’ and ‘Comedy Central Extra’ - Jackson said: “At one point in the movie there’s a moment where you see 19 guys shooting at the car I’m in, the windows are bullet proof so I’m just sitting there feeling dope but the people in the office buildings didn’t know so they were looking

out of the windows and were like, damn’ “ Jackson is now a veteran of superhero and sci-fi films having appeared as Nick Fury six times with a contract to appear in another three movies and the three ‘Star Wars’ prequels. The 65year-old actor portrayed Jedi Knight Mace Windu in the trilogy and was thrilled when director George Lucas told him he’d make him look like the “baddest” man in the universe when he added CGI to his green screen scenes. Jackson explained: “Lucas said, ‘You kick all the ass you want and we will make sure you look like the baddest in the universe!”So (I’m shooting and) I have the music playing in my head, making the lightsaber moves and then when I go to see it in the theatre I was like ‘Look at me!’


lifestyle F e a t u r e s

Centrepoint celebrates 100th store opening, announces expansion plans


entrepoint, a unique retail format catering to families across the region with four leading brands from the Landmark Group under one roof, has unveiled aggressive expansion plans across the Middle East, Asia and Africa. With 100 stores in its retail portfolio, Centrepoint is set to launch 20 stores this year and 15 stores next year across existing territories as well as new markets including Iraq, Libya and other African countries. The announcement was made during a press meet to celebrate the launch of the brand’s store at Al- Ghurair Centre, Dubai Centrepoint’s 100th outlet in the region. The brand that was launched in 2005 in Kuwait and had reached a total of 9 stores today covering an area of over 56000 square meters. Centrepoint currently retails four great brands under one roof - Juniors, Splash, Shoe Mart and Lifestyle - across Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan that collectively span an aggregate retail footprint of over five million square feet. Vinod Talreja, Director, Centrepoint, said: “As an innovative, one-stop shopping concept, Centrepoint has received tremendous acceptance across all territories where it has a presence. Our success is a testimony not only to the quality of products and services we offer, but also to the practicality of having a single destination that meets the shopping needs of the entire family. With our experience of almost a decade, Centrepoint is well

geared to enter new markets and explore further opportunities.” Centrepoint has enjoyed significant success particularly in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait where the concept has evolved into a popular fashion destination for families. Saudi Arabia, top among the brand’s markets has 56 Centrepoint stores, followed by the UAE market that has 15 stores. Simon Cooper, Head of Centrepoint, said: “Based on our exhaustive consumer research conducted in 2013 across our key markets in the GCC region, it is apparent that shoppers closely connect with the brand that Centrepoint represents. We process 35 million transactions annually. The average customer visits Centrepoint at least nine times in a year and shops for at least three of the four brands with their families. These trends are strong indicators of Centrepoint’s viability as a successful retail format.” Enjoying unparalleled customer acceptance, Centrepoint is poised for phenomenal growth driven by a workforce of over 10,000 trained personnel. The next five years look crucial for the brand as it consolidates existing operations and explores newer markets to widen its presence. Howard Stern arrives for an ‘Americaís Got Talent’ taping at Madison Square Garden on Friday, April 4, 2014, in New York.—AP

Stern on ‘Late Show’ job:

‘My plate is full’ H

oward Stern is just one of the names industry spectators are floating around as a possible replacement for David Letterman. At least for now though, the longtime radio personality says of the idea, “My plate is full.” Stern addressed the late-night TV talk show host’s retirement announcement while arriving in New York on Friday for “America’s Got Talent” auditions. Stern is one of the judges on the show. The 60-year-old stressed Letterman’s impact on late-night TV,

saying he’s sad to see Letterman leave. Stern said he enjoyed his appearances on the “Late Show with David Letterman.” “I’ve been doing the show for years and years and I’ve had so many funny, great times with him that, you know, it’ll be weird not to have him there.” Stern also said there are few people in show biz whose opinion matters to him, and Letterman is one. One of Stern’s fellow “America’s Got Talent” judges, Heidi Klum, supports the idea of Stern taking over for

Letterman, saying he’d be perfect. “Howard is very special, you know? He gets right to the chase. He’s not scared of anything, and I like that about him. He gets things out of people. Sometimes people don’t even want to like say certain things, and he gets it out of them.” Letterman announced Thursday he plans to retire next year. “America’s Got Talent” returns in May.—AP

Q&A: Nicole Kidman keeping it real in latest roles


In this April 7, 2013 file photo, singer George Strait performs at the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.—AFP photos

Will fans give George Strait ACM’s top honor?


here’s no question George Strait is the sure bet in the entertainer of the year category at the Academy of Country Music Awards, right? Not so fast, says Blake Shelton. Sure, the beloved star is on something of a victory lap after winning the same trophy at the rival Country Music Association Awards five months ago. But Sunday’s night’s ACM Awards are held in Las Vegas where there’s no safe bet, after all, and the academy’s once-controversial decision to open its top honor to fan voting makes the category enjoyably unpredictable. “I think George Strait probably has the biggest overall fan base of any of us, but will they take time to vote?” Shelton said. “That’s what we’ll find out, I guess.” “It’s an interesting thing,” said Luke Bryan, Shelton’s ACMs co-host. “You never know when those fans go online and vote. They have the complete power. It’s really neat when they do. It’s a pretty crazy validation system when the fans are allowed to vote.” Bryan and Shelton could be 1989 winner Strait’s top challengers during the awards, which air live at 8 pm EDT (0000 GMT) from the MGM Grand on CBS. Rounding out the nominees for entertainer of the year are two-time winner Taylor Swift and mainstream country darling Miranda Lambert, who is Shelton’s wife. Swift is one of pop music’s top stars with a motivated fan base and Lambert is one of the academy’s favorites with 15 trophies so far. Lambert and Tim McGraw lead all nominees with seven apiece. Bryan and Shelton, however, are as popular as anyone in the genre now. Shelton is a television star thanks to the singing competition “The Voice” and won his first entertainer trophy at the CMAs. And Bryan provided one of the award

show circuit’s true surprises when he won the award at the ACMs last year during his first stint as Shelton’s co-host. Shelton said he predicted the victory in the seconds before it was announced and provides a measuring stick for Bryan’s rapidly growing popularity. “When that happened it’s like, oh, my god, it’s not just a matter of selling a bunch of records and having some hits on the radio,” Shelton said. “He’s developed an enormous fan base. To beat out the people that he beat out last year, there’s nothing you can do but just respect that. That’s once in a lifetime and they’re there forever. To see him to get to that place, I love it. I was just as excited - well not as excited because I didn’t cry - but I was happy for him.” Bryan and Shelton figure in two of the night’s other top categories. They’re both up for male vocalist of the year with Jason Aldean, Lee Brice and Keith Urban, who has six overall nominations. And Bryan’s “Crash My Party” and Shelton’s “Based on a True Story ... “ are up for album of the year with Florida Georgia Line’s “Here’s to the Good Times,” Kacey Musgrave’s Grammy Award album of the year winner “Same Trailer Different Park” and McGraw’s “Two Lanes of Freedom.” Swift and Lambert are up for female vocalist of the year with Musgraves, Carrie Underwood and Sheryl Crow. And Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart,” co-written by Musgraves, is up for single record and song of the year.—AP

French tightrope walker Denis Josselin performs over the Seine River in Paris, yesterday.—AFP

ith several films set to debut this year, including such disparate turns as a taxidermist villainess, mysterious amnesiac and an actress-turned-princess, Nicole Kidman will again become a familiar face in theaters. While maintaining a steady presence in Hollywood for more than two decades, the 46-year-old Academy Award winner has been focusing more in recent years on raising her two daughters with husband and country star Keith Urban - away from the spotlight in Nashville, Tenn. For her latest role in “The Railway Man,” out April 11, the “Moulin Rouge” and “The Hours” star plays a supportive wife to World War II veteran Eric Lomax (Colin Firth). In the autobiographical adaptation, Patti and Eric Lomax confront his past as a prisoner of war in Thailand, where he worked on the “death railway,” a 258-mile stretch of treacherous train track running into Burma. Upcoming this year, Kidman will also play a villainess in “Paddington,” amnesiac in “Before I Go to Sleep,” leading lady Grace Kelly in “Grace of Monaco” and Middle East pioneer Gertrude Bell in “Queen of the Desert.” In an interview with The Associated Press, Kidman discussed tackling portrayals of realer-than-real women like former nurse Patti Lomax, Gertrude Bell and her highly anticipated role in “Grace of Monaco,” which is opening this year’s Cannes Film Festival. (“Grace” was delayed from release last year following creative differences between the film’s director and distributor.) AP: You’ve played so many characters over the years, but how do you approach the ones based on actual people, like Virginia Woolf, Grace Kelly and Patti Lomax? Kidman: Patti is different because she’s still alive and was able to give me information about herself. I didn’t meet her until I started filming. Everyone kept saying, “Do you want to meet her?” I was like, “No, I’d really like to be able to watch her in an interview.” Actually, the producer sat with her for hours - he’s a very good friend of hers - and taped her and sent me the tapes. I basically had access to her whole life, stories about her, her mannerisms and behavior, like I was a fly on the wall. AP: You have three films coming out with Colin Firth (“The Railway Man,”“Before I Go to Sleep,”“Paddington”). What is it about him that compels you to continue to work with him? Kidman: I just enjoy him. I really enjoy his brain and his talent, but he has a really great sense of humor. Me and millions of other women in the world go, “Wow! Colin Firth!” My mom adores him. My sister adores him. I’ve just got so many friends who go, “Oh my gosh. Colin Firth.” I now know him in a different way, but I have such respect for him as an actor. AP: Tell me what it was like to play Grace Kelly. Have you seen the film yet? Kidman: I have not seen the version that’s showing at Cannes, but obviously I will. I may be seeing it opening night at Cannes. It was the chance of a lifetime to play her. I really admire her, and I think she has such otherworldly qualities. I think she has an aura about her. I don’t know if I’m able to capture that, but I was honored to have the chance to. We’ll see. It’s only a six-month period of her life that we depict. It’s a fairytale. It’s not a heavy drama. It’s got beautiful costumes. It’s sumptuous. AP: You’ve had the chance to work with some incredible filmmakers throughout your career. What was it like teaming up recently with direc-

In this Sept 6, 2013 file photo, Nicole Kidman poses for a photograph on the red carpet at the gala for the new movie ‘The Railway Man’ during the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto. —AP photos tor Werner Herzog for “Queen of the Desert”? Kidman: I call it Werner World. Werner World is just a different realm. It’s glorious. I said to him, “Werner, I feel like I’ve been in a dream with you for the past two-and-a-half months, and now I’ve got my feet back on earth.” I’m at a place where I’m so interested in exploring things and going places that I haven’t been. I want my life to be full, so that means all of us - my family - up and moving to Morocco and doing this so we can have the experience. AP: Between your schedule and Keith’s schedule, how do you balance everything? Kidman: Every time when we’re not working, we spend together. That’s it. It’s that simple. We’re not off. We have a very simple life but an extraordinary creative life, if that makes sense. I’m lucky that I’ve got a partner that’s totally committed to making it work. We have two little girls that we adore, and we’re very blessed, in the sense of having a family. We certainly talk about everything. We make the decisions together. AP: Where are you most happy these days? Is it in Nashville or on a set somewhere or back in Australia? Kidman: Happiness, that’s obviously different for everybody, but what I call my joy, the thing that makes me feel incredibly satiated, is my family, and then I get to go and play out all of my ideas and feelings through all these different characters. Then, I come back to just being mama.

This photo released by The Weinstein Company shows Colin Firth, left, as Eric and Nicole Kidman as Patti in the film, ‘The Railway Man.’ The film releases in theaters Friday, April 11, 2014.


lifestyle F a s h i o n

Models display creations by Kyrgyz designer Abylkasym kyzy Gulburak during Bishkek Fashion Week.—AFP photos

Anzhelika Bekbaliyeva

Bishkek Fashion Week Aruuzhan Alymkulova†

Raimkul kyzy Aigerim†

Nyong’o becomes David Beckham unveils H&M swimwear


avid Beckham has unveiled his new range of swimwear for H&M. The retired soccer star bares his toned abs in nothing but a pair of briefs in his new campaign, shot by famed photographer Glen Luchford, for the launch his first swimwear line. The latest development follows on from the success of his underwear collection, Bodywear, last year. David said: “The success of my Bodywear collection at H&M has been fantastic, so I’m thrilled to be introducing these great swimwear pieces ready for the summer.” The affordable collection of swimwear will launch internationally on May 22, and include a selection of briefs in three colours such as khaki, white and navy, while trunks come equipped with a handy drawstring bag for storage. David has ensured fans the collection was designed with comfort in mind and without comprising on style. He added: “We’ve worked hard to create new classics for men, with great fit, comfort and also style.” The star has had a longstanding collaboration with the brand since 2012 when he launched his first underwear range, and just last year he expanded his Bodywear line with a children’s collection.-Bangshowbiz

Mia Wasikowska a ‘comfort freak’ with clothes


ia Wasikowska likes to feel comfortable on the red carpet. The ‘Stoker’ actress says that while she love to “have fun” with her outfits choices and will take inspiration from the catwalk, she is a “comfort freak” when it comes to her clothes and wants to feel relaxed when attending a glamorous event. Mia - who works with stylist Ryan Hastings - told the Daily Telegraph newspaper: “I like fairly classical cuts and styles...I really like Miu Miu, Rodarte and Roland Mouret. “I probably dress completely differently in my everyday life but I have fun dressing up for a couple of days a year. [I’m a] comfort freak. I really like things that are comfortable.” The 24 -year-old actress’ need for comfort also extends to travelling as she admits she will plan her outfit ahead of time to ensure her flight is enjoyable. Mia added: “I probably dress completely differently in my everyday life but I have fun dressing up for a couple of days a year. “You see so many people getting off planes in fancy clothing and I don’t know how they have the discipline to do that.”-Bang Showbiz

Mia Wasikowska

the face of Lancome


upita Nyong’o has become the new face of Lancome. The Oscar-winning ‘12 Years a Slave’ actress has just signed up to become the new ambassadress of the luxury French brand, and will appear in their September 2014 campaign shot by star photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott. Lupita said: “I am truly honored to join the Maison Lancome, a brand with such a prestigious history and that I have always loved. “I am particularly proud to represent its unique vision for women and the idea that beauty should not be dictated, but should instead be an expression of a woman’s freedom to be herself.” The 30-year-old Kenyan-Mexican star, who claims she doesn’t wear make-up apart from on the red carpet, is the fourth Academy Award winner to front Lancome ads, following on from Penelope Cruz, Kate Winslet and Julia Roberts. Francoise Lehmann, General Manager of Lancome International, said: “Both talented and committed, true to her African beauty, and showing a great curiosity and open-mindedness in her career choices, Lupita is by essence the Lancome woman. “A strikingly beautiful and intelligent woman, serenely but strongly living her life her own way, Lupita has this special kind of aura both enlightening and deep”. —Bang Showbiz

Lupita Nyong’o

Samuel L Jackson: Captain America shooting scared public



Visitors of the Holi Festival of Colours throw special colored powders in the air in Barcelona, Spain yesterday. The festival is fashioned after the Hindu spring festival Holi, which is mainly celebrated in the north and east of India.—AP

Bizarre News

Woman finds baby elephant in her house woman found a baby elephant in her house. Francoise Maldy Anthony, from the Zululand district in South Africa, spotted the animal approaching her ranch on the Thula Thula Game Reserve, where it began wandering around the garden before making itself comfortable in her living room. The youngster - who’s been named Tom walked over 30 miles after getting separated from her mother on the 4,500 hectare park, according to the Metro newspaper. Mrs Anthony said: “We helped her into the living room and just left her free to roam. She was only here a few hours before we took her back but it was magical.”


Couple discover gravestone in living room couple found a gravestone in their living room. Gert Nilsson was digging up the floor in his lounge as part of the renovation of his home near Malma, southern Sweden when his shovel hit something hard and he came across the headstone bearing the names of two men and one woman who died in the 19th Century. He told the Kvallsposten newspaper: “I was digging away to get a bit further down when my shovel hit something hard. “When I kept going and cleared away the dirt around it, I thought, ‘It’s a bloody gravestone!’” The plaque - which is nearly seven foot long and four inches thick - carries the names of former residents of the Nilsson couple’s home.


Typist ruined court transcripts typist ruined court transcripts by writing “I hate my job” instead of following the proceedings. Stenographer Daniel Kochanski reportedly caused chaos in New York’s legal system when he started typing nonsense including “I hate my job” instead of writing down what was happening in the trials for which he was responsible. Officials have been struggling to fix the mess, which was first reported by the New York Post, by calling back witnesses, lawyers and judges in the cases to try and reconstruct the ruined transcripts. Mr Kochanski has since been fired for “not doing his job” as “he wasn’t transcribing what was happening in the courtroom, according to a source.


Criminal sues prison after falling out of bed criminal attempted to sue a prison after he bumped his head falling out of bed. Callum Foster, from Manchester, north-west England, launched a complaint against Strangeways prison after claiming he had sustained a head injury by toppling out of his bunk bed during his sleep. Mr Foster who was locked up for three years for dealing heroin was prompted to sue the prison after seeing a lawyer’s advert in a prison newspaper. However the 22-yearold’s claims quickly fell through after medical reports revealed his head injuries were sustained before the alleged incident when Mr Foster was being restrained over thuggish behavior. Despite denying fraud at Manchester Crown Court trial, Mr Foster was found guilty and sentenced to another 9 months in lock-up. —Bang Showbiz


Blockbusters posters drawn by local Ghanaian artists are seen during an exhibition in Accra, Ghana.—AFP photos


ko Afutu knows exactly what will get people flocking into theatres to watch the British horror film “Dog Soldiers”: a poster showing a werewolf biting off a man’s head. From his front porch in a suburb of Ghana’s capital, Afutu spends his days painting garish movie posters for the films that show at movie theatres around Accra. Each poster Afutu paints earns him about $56. But outside Ghana, the idiosyncratic interpretations of Hollywood blockbusters by local artists like him are coveted by art collectors and can sell for hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. “The major appeal to them is the mystery,” said Brian Chankin, who collects Ghanaian movie posters and displays them at his Chicago video rental store. “The misspellings don’t matter; the placement of characters on the canvas is always a little bit awkward. It’s all in the flavour, that’s for sure.” In his quest to entice cinemagoers, Afutu spares no detail: if a movie is bloody, his posters will be bloody; if there’s nudity, there’s nudity on the poster. “That poster will attract them to go and watch the movie,” said Afutu, who has been painting since 1988. “The way they will think of the movie will be (as) a wicked or hard movie.” Imaginative reworkings Ghana has seen an influx of cash as its economy expands on the back of new-found oil and its longstanding exports of gold and cocoa, creating a growing advertising culture for a rising middle class. When anthropologist Joseph Oduro Frimpong was growing up, the slick, computer-generated roadside billboards that now advertise everything from cars to concerts were all hand-painted. So, too, were the posters at Accra movie theatres. When Frimpong found a batch of old movie posters being sold off by a cinema, he started collecting them, eventually amassing a collection of about 100. “These are not naive or immature, these roadside artists,” Frimpong said at a recent exhibition of 1980s Ghanaian movie posters at the Alliance Francaise cultural organization in Accra. “These are really creative people.” Frimpong’s collection includes many from what Ernie Wolfe, an art dealer who collects Ghanaian posters and has also authored two books on the subject, calls the “golden age” of movie art. They came from a time when televisions were few and far between in the west African nation and DVD

players weren’t even on the horizon. In the late 1980s, people would jam film projectors, diesel generators and the hand-painted posters into trucks and head out to villages to show movies to crowds far removed from cities and their cinemas. While movies would make their way on videocassettes down to Ghana, the slick posters of Hollywood artists often wouldn’t come along with them, forcing the artists to come up with ideas themselves. “We didn’t have Internet at that time,” said Daniel Anum Jasper, who has been making film posters since 1986 from a workshop on a busy roadway outside Accra. “We just watched the movie and we took parts of the pictures... and we used that to create the movie posters.” Embellishment and fabrication The posters are often exaggerated interpretations of the movies they were promoting. No Samurai swordsmen appear in the 2003 blockbuster “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl”, for example, but one does on a poster in Frimpong’s collection. Similarly, there is no large red fish on the original poster of the James Bond film “The Spy Who Loved Me”-or,

indeed, anywhere in the film. Wolfe said the inauthenticity of the Ghanaian posters was part of their appeal. “They (the artists) were the final arbiters of what it was they produced,” he said. “There were no ‘suits’ (managers) peering over their shoulders. They made their images and often they were very exotic. So, as a matter of course, they often included images that didn’t exist.” The Ghanaian posters now sell for anywhere from a few hundred dollars to the high thousands of dollars, Chankin said. “I showed ‘Pinhead’ to Clive Barker and he just couldn’t believe that they had taken his image and taken it to a completely another place,” Wolfe said, referring to the author of the novella that spawned the sadistic, pin-studded villain of the “Hellraiser” movie franchise. Afutu, however, doesn’t pay much attention to the international hubbub over his art. He’s too busy painting, watching movies and coming up with new ideas. “It’s my job, so I always have to do it,” Afutu said. “You have to love your job.”—AFP

7 Apr  

Kuwait Times