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Spoilt brat By Badrya Darwish


othing amazes me more than the United States of America. I love the USA. It is the country of the free and the land of the brave. It has everything you can ever think of. They don’t know what ‘impossible’ means. There are great universities and the infrastructure is more than efficient. They are the best marketers in the world. Their services are the best. The shops are brilliant and so is the food. Everybody can find food of their taste. The prices are also affordable and a family of four can eat a decent meal for almost nothing. Their companies are great. It is the destination country of brain drain where if you are smart and have ideas, you will surely make it. More importantly, the people are very friendly and sympathetic. Their constitution is brilliant, too. Nobody is above the law - no matter if you are a celebrity or an average person. The US is one of the largest donors to poor countries in the world. But, but, but. When it comes to the Palestinian issue, things go reverse 180 degrees. When it comes to Palestine, they forget about the human rights they preach and defend around the world and close their eyes and mind. When the word Israel comes up, they block. White becomes black and black becomes white. We all know that the Jewish lobby is very strong in the US. But this is the biggest and most powerful country on earth. It cannot bend totally to a country because this country has control over influential media and capital. There should be a balance between right and wrong. I don’t think that the interests of the US is with Israel. The Arab world is far bigger than this tiny country Israel. Petrol and natural resources are all in the Arab world. The Arab world exports petrol but imports so many goods from the US from A to Z. If it is about commercial interests and finances, I do not see that their interest lies in Israel. I can see that their interest in the Middle East should be a hundred times bigger. In my opinion, Israel is causing a lot of trouble to the US. It is like having a family with a spoilt child which wrecks and breaks everything around him and the family cannot control or tame him. In fact, the US is willingly provoking the Arab world and making them their enemies instead of friends. It is high time they find a fair approach to the Muslim world and the Middle East. Israel is the enigma of the Middle East. For how many centuries and generations will this go on? How many people need to die?

Palestinian mourners carry the bodies of Foud Hijazi, 45, and his sons Suhaib, 2, and Mohammed, 4, killed in an Israeli strike, during their funeral in the Jabaliya refugee camp in Gaza Strip yesterday. (Inset) Protesters demonstrate against Israeli attacks on Gaza on Monday in Chicago. Several hundred people joined the protest which started with a rally in the Federal Building Plaza and finished with a march through the Loop during rush hour. — AP/AFP

Oppn demo organizers seeking MoI permission By B Izzak KUWAIT: Organizers of the opposition demonstration on Nov 30, the eve of election day, yesterday sent a letter to the Ministry of Interior through their Twitter account seeking permission to stage the protest. The electronic letter said that a group of Kuwaiti citizens are seeking permission to stage a demonstration on Nov 30 on the Arabian Gulf Road between Safir Hotel and Kuwait Towers between 3.00 and 5.00 pm. The letter asked the interior ministry to inform the concerned authorities to help in making the peaceful demonstration a success, reminding the interior ministry that its role is limited to making the necessary arrangements and providing protection. The letter warned the interior ministry

Poland foils terror attack on top leaders Plotter linked to Breivik WARSAW: Polish security services say yesterday they had foiled a plot by a rightwing extremist to assassinate the president, prime minister and MPs in a massive car bomb attack on parliament, echoing Norway’s tragic 2011 Breivik massacre. The main suspect, identified as a 45-year-old chemistry professor at Krakow’s University of Agriculture in southern Poland, was arrested Nov 9, state prosecutors said in Warsaw. His wife had tipped off security officials, Polish media reported yesterday.

In this undated combo picture, evidence recovered by police of a planned attack in Warsaw is pictured. — AP

The suspect was allegedly plotting to detonate a car bomb with “four tonnes of explosives” during a parliamentary debate on the 2013 budget - likely in December to be attended by President Bronislaw Komorowski and Prime Minister Donald Tusk, said prosecutor Mariusz Krason. The man has no links to political or terror groups but is believed to have been motivated by nationalist, xenophobic antiSemitic beliefs and was found to be in possession of TNT, gunpowder and other explosives. He believed “foreign powers exercised power in Poland rather than real Poles,” Krason, who is in charge of the case, told journalists. In a statement, prosecutors added that the suspect was also “motivated by his negative view of the current socio-economic situation and felt radical measures were needed to change it”. The case is the first of its kind in ex-communist Poland, which joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004. Three other suspects were detained along with the alleged mastermind, identified by Polish media only Continued on Page 13

it will be held responsible for any action of violence against the protesters. The organizers also warned that if the ministry does not grant the necessary permission, they will be forced to announce alternative sites for the demonstration like it did in the previous two demonstrations on Oct 21 and Nov 4. The organizers also asked Kuwaiti citizens to email the same letter to the interior ministry. The demonstration will be the last protest ahead of the Dec 1 election and the last attempt to convince more Kuwaiti voters to boycott the ballot. The opposition in the meantime stepped up its campaign for boycotting the election with an intensive program of gatherings to be held on almost daily basis until the day of the election. The opposition held two gatherings Continued on Page 13

Max 22º Min 12º High Tide 04:20 & 18:34 Low Tide 11:08 & 23:58

JERUSALEM: Gaza militants said a Cairo-brokered truce in their seven-day war with Israel was to be announced later yesterday, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged them to choose between “the sword” and peace. The emerging signs of a deal to end seven days of violence that have claimed the lives of 127 Palestinians came as the Israeli army confirmed its first fatality from a rocket attack while another missile landed harmlessly just south of Jerusalem. Negotiators said a deal was to be announced in Cairo later yesterday following days of negotiations brokered by an Egyptian government that is keen to make sure the unrest does spill over to its volatile Sinai territory. “There will be a joint press conference between Hamas and Islamic Jihad and the Egyptian mediators tonight to announce the truce,” an Islamic Jihad source told AFP in Gaza City. A Hamas source separately confirmed the announcement. But Hamas later said in a statement that Israel had still not responded to the Palestinian proposal as of 8:00 pm (1800 GMT). Egypt, its new Islamic government now seen as the Palestinians’ main protector, also said the Israeli “aggression” would end within hours. “The farce of the Israeli aggression will end today, Tuesday, and the efforts to reach a ceasefire between the Palestinians and Israelis will produce positive results within a few hours,” Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi said. Later, a spokesman qualified the president’s optimism, saying that Morsi “hopes there will be a settlement soon.” On the ground, the bloodshed showed no signs of abating as the military pressed on with its bombardment of northern Gaza positions from which most of the militants’ rockets have been launched, resulting in scenes of panic on Israeli streets. Another 22 Palestinians were killed yesterday in attacks that also claimed the lives of two cameramen of the Hamasowned Al-Aqsa TV station. Netanyahu said that Continued on Page 13

Kuwait firm under US fire for inflating costs ROCK ISLAND, Illinois: The US Justice Department said on Monday that it had sued KBR Inc, accusing the company and a Kuwaiti subcontractor of improperly charging the federal government for the costs of delivering and installing trailers for troops in Iraq. The filing of the lawsuit came days after the Justice Department dropped a similar but unrelated case over KBR’s costs for private armed security in Iraq. Filed in the US District Court in Rock Island, Illinois, the latest lawsuit alleges that KBR-hired subcontractor First Kuwaiti Trading Co inflated its crane, truck and driver costs and misrepresented delays on the installation of more than 2,250 trailers. KBR provided many services to the US government under a logistical sup-

port contract through subcontractors like First Kuwaiti. First Kuwaiti’s subcontract, awarded in 2003, had been for $80 million. The government said KBR later agreed to pay First Kuwaiti an extra $48.8 million after the subcontractor in 2004 submitted two claims contending governmentcaused delays in providing military escorts entitled it to extra money. The lawsuit said KBR charged the government for the inflated costs despite knowing they were false. KBR knew First Kuwaiti “could not be trusted”, the lawsuit said. The complaint also said KBR quality assurance personnel had recommended permanently disqualifying First Kuwaiti from receiving any contracts Continued on Page 13

Obama defies China over sea rows Turkey accuses Israel of Gaza ‘ethnic cleansing’ Bahrain MP burns Israel flag MANAMA/ANKARA: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing” in Gaza, saying the Jewish state’s air raids could not be considered self-defence. “Israel is committing ethnic cleansing by ignoring peace in this region and violating international law,” Erdogan said. “It is occupying the Palestinian territory step by step.” The premier said Israeli air raids against Gaza could not be deemed self-defence, accusing Western countries of aiding what he called a “terErdogan rorist state” by condoning its violence in the Middle East. “Sooner or later, Israel will answer for the innocent blood it has shed so far,” he said. Continued on Page 13

PHNOM PENH: US President Barack Obama (center) stands with leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other Asian leaders during a photo session at the Peace Palace yesterday. — AFP (See Page 7) PHNOM PENH: US President Barack Obama yesterday defied Chinese protests and raised concerns at a summit about territorial disputes that have sent diplomatic and trade shockwaves across the region. Obama weighed into the debate over China’s sweeping claims to the South China Sea, which have rattled less powerful Southeast Asian countries, as well as a separate rift between Beijing and Tokyo over islands in the East China

Sea. “I think President Obama’s message is there needs to be a reduction of the tensions... to ensure that these types of disputes don’t risk escalation,” Ben Rhodes, a senior aide to the president, told reporters. In response to concerns raised by Obama and other leaders at the 18nation East Asia Summit in Cambodia, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao issued a Continued on Page 13




in brief

19 Egyptians deported KUWAIT: Kuwait deported 19 Egyptian nationals on Monday after they were arrested for holding an unlicensed gathering at a public place as well as collecting donations without a license. The official spokesman of Egypt’s foreign ministry, Amro Rushdi, confirmed that the deportees arrived in Cairo on Monday, a development that came after failure of negotiations aimed at avoiding their repatriation. The 19 men were among 40 Egyptians who gathered based on invitations made on social media networks, while a teenager who was arrested at the time was later released. Kuwaiti authorities decided to deport them after investigations confirmed that they held fundraisings for political parties in their own country. The Egyptian embassy and consulate continued to work at all levels in an attempt to avoid the deportation, but Kuwaiti authorities were committed to follow the law which bans gathering of expatriates while allowing only licensed gatherings for Kuwaitis.

KUWAIT: Senegal’s President Macky Sall and his accompanying delegation left Kuwait yesterday, concluding an official three-day visit, during which he conducted talks with His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. President Sall was seen off at Kuwait International Airport by HH the Amir, HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah, Deputy Chief of the National Guard Sheikh Mishaal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah and senior state officials.

Senegal leader views Kuwait as Africa’s gateway to Gulf KUWAIT: Visiting Senegalese President Macky Sall said here yesterday he was looking forward to seeing Kuwait as the gateway of African countries to the Arabian Gulf. Sall believed that an Arab-African cooperation conference, called by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, would be a genuine springboard for cooperation that could fulfill the expectations and hopes of both Arab and African peoples. The Senegalese leader appreciated Senegalese-Kuwaiti deep relations as historic and distinguished, and a model for cooperative ties among Muslim nations. He lauded the wisdom and experience of HH the Amir, which has helped in the promotion of Kuwait’s position regionally and internationally, pointing to HH the Amir’s role in cementing and beefing up Islamic cooperation and integration. He urged Kuwaiti investors to run business in Senegal, which he said enjoys a firm democratic system, security and political stability and a promising market. He said he began his term of office by focusing on justice and equality, setting out priorities for Senegalese citizens, looking for fresh sources for improving the economic situation and developing Senegal’s relations with other world countries. Sall noted that he was keen to begin with Kuwait in his first Arab tour since he was elected president of Senegal in March 2012 thanks to this Gulf nation’s vital and significant

role at both Islamic and world levels. He spoke highly of HH the Kuwaiti Amir’s eagerness to consolidate all efforts purposed to bolster cooperation and integration among all Muslim countries. On his talks with Sheikh Sabah, he said they had mulled several international issues of mutual interest, but the focus was put on a further promotion and development of bilateral cooperative relations in order to include more domains for the common interest of both Kuwaiti and Senegalese peoples. Since Senegal and Kuwait forged relations in 1975, bilateral ties have been marked by constructive cooperation, shared visions and common desire for popping up inter-OIC integration, he remarked. He boasted that his country was in the forefront of the countries which supported Kuwait during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and even joined international forces to liberate Kuwait. This position was based on Senegal’s appreciation for Kuwait and its wise leadership, he said. Kuwait always comes up with noble initiatives and hosts many events aiming to help others and to strengthen cooperation for the goodness and stability of the world, Sall said. He pointed to HH the Amir’s USD-100-million initiative to set up a fund for decent life, primarily purposed to develop small-sized projects and women in poor countries. HH the Amir’s participation in the recent African Summit in Addis Ababa had a great influence in the pro-

KUWAIT: Capt Ali Haidar, Dr Abdullah Hashim and other officials during the Dust and Dust Storms Conference held in Sheraton Hotel yesterday.

Kuwait hosts conference on dust storms management Top priority to environment protection By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: In the dry land areas which constitute some 41 percent of the earth’s landmass, dust storms are the most common metrological phenomena. Global and regional sources of dust are distributed across wide areas of the world. Arabian Peninsula, Sahara Desert, Mesopotamian Flood Plain, Loess Plateau of China, Australian Desert and others are the most common global sources of dust. The Environment Public Authority (EPA) is holding the regional conference on Dust and Dust Storms at the Sheraton Hotel from Nov 20 to 22. It is being held under the patronage of the First Deputy of Prime Minister, the Interior Minister and the Chairman of the Higher Council of Environment, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Homoud Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. The Conference will discuss eight important points, including general characteristics of dust storms, dust storm and meteorological characteristics, environmental impact, dust composition and associated materials, modeling, forecasting and early warning, physical and chemical characteristics of dust, management, mitigation and adaptation of dust, and the advance approaches to dust monitoring and assessment. Capt Ali Haidar, Acting General Director of EPA, said that environment is a great gift that everybody should appreciate. “People should preserve and protect environment. This can be realized through developing the work in this field from all aspects. Kuwait believes in the importance of such conferences and

therefore we organized this event,” he noted during the inaugural ceremony yesterday. Environment and climate experts from GCC countries and other nations are participating in the conference. A number of international experts in the area of dust storms monitoring, prediction, and early warning will be speaking at the conference. “The conference offers a good opportunity for researchers and experts from different parts of the world to present new information and exchange ideas on various aspects of dust storms, particularly early warning, mitigation and adaptation. Guests from the field and relevant fields have been invited,” Captain Ali Haidar said. On his part, Dr. Abdullah Al-Hashim, the representative of the Secretariat General of the GCC countries stated that this conference is very important as 15 countries and organizations from different nationalities are participating in it. “Dust is a phenomenon that has become a problem from which many people, plants, and animals are suffering. It is also causing economic problems and this conference is providing solutions to shed light on this problem,” he pointed out. The conference aims to identify the state of the art technology for monitoring, modeling, forecasting and come up with early warnings of dust storms. It also aims to throw more light on the composition and characteristics of dust storms in different regions of the world. Furthermore, it aims to exchange views and ideas on sustainable plans for dust storms management.

KUWAIT: A partial view of the audience. — Photos by Joseph Shagra

motion of African-Gulf cooperation, given that he was the first Gulf leader to attend the summit. The Senegalese leader appreciated HH the Amir’s initiative for holding an Arab-African summit in Kuwait next year, which he said would be a jumping-off for a fresh stage of Arab-African cooperation. He voiced confidence that Kuwait, following this summit, would be the gateway of African countries to the Arabian Gulf and open new vistas for bilateral cooperation in various areas. African countries boast many resources and promising markets, but they only need experts who can help in the development and utilization of such resources, he said. He hoped to see Arab and Gulf presence in African in the coming years, noting that European countries have been there for hundreds of years and East Asian nations have been seeking to have a strong foothold there. “But, we are looking forward to seeing Gulf countries there,” he said. However, the State of Kuwait took the lead to be present in Africa through Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), which has supported development projects in many African countries. But, he urged private companies to run investments there. He recalled to memory the great role by KFAED in cementing the economy by funding 27 projects with KD 98 million in roads, tourism and infrastructure. Senegal is KFAED’S major beneficiary in Africa. — KUNA

Salaf elections strategy KUWAIT: Informed sources revealed that the election basis in the 4th and 5th constituencies has informed the Justice Group in the ousted council about their intention to participate in the upcoming elections and support some Islamist candidates in the two constituencies. Pointing out the reasons for participation, they said these basis are eager to retain the parliament seat for someone from the Salafi stream, and not leave some other candidate to compete and win the seat. Salaf had a substantial number of MPs in the previous council. Sources said that they will participate in the elections to only to vote as the members nominated themselves for candidacy. Army firing exercises KUWAIT: The Kuwait Army said that its air defence brigade would be holding live ammunition exercises in the northwestern area of Kuwait located between Al Adaira and Al-Naayim between Dec 2 and 20. Desertgoers were advised to steer clear of the area for their own safety, said an army statement. Top Jordan brass in town KUWAIT: Kuwaiti Army Chief of Staff Lt-Gen Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah held talks yesterday with Jordanian Col Mousa Abdulraheem Buarabei, on issues of common interest, especially in military aspect. Lt Gen Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah received the Jordanian official and his accompanying delegation, on occasion their participating in (Remah Al Haq 8, Special forces) training. In the meeting, Sheikh Khaled praised the deep rooted relations between the two countries. The meeting was attended by Military attache in Jordanian embassy Brigadier Dr. Mohammad Alaimiyat.



No closure of satellite channels in Egypt Minister clarifies stand By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: The Egyptian government has neither stopped any satellite channel nor is it trying to restrict the freedom of speech and expression, Egypt’s Minister of Information Salah Abdulmaqsood said at a press conference hosted by the Kuwait Journalists Association (KJA) here. Speaking in the presence of Kuwaiti Minister of Information Sheikh

The Treasurer of KJA Adnan AlRashid and Secretary General Faisal Al-Qinai were also present at the event attended by media persons. “The news spread by some people about closure of satellite channels is nothing but rumors spread by those violating the law. The fact is that these channels are still broadcasting. These channels also got a license from the former minister to use special cables. The government

He also refuted all talk about Egyptian people not being satisfied with the present regime. “Those private satellite channels which are angry are spreading such news. The proof of people’s satisfaction lies in the ballot boxes, and the regime came to serve the Egyptian nation, which is paying our salaries. We have not been able to fix all the mistakes committed by the previous regime over a period of decades within

KUWAIT: President of KJA Ahmed Behbehani awarding the Egyptian Information Minister Salah Abdulmaqsood during the press conference held on Monday evening at the KJA. — Photo by Joseph Shagra Mohammed Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah, the Egyptian Minister said, “Some satellite channels broke the law and did not respond to the warnings given to them to change their stance as per the law. That led to the broadcast signal of the satellite company being stopped. The channel was not closed.”

wanted to put all channels on an equal footing and sent warning letters to these violating channels, to which they did not respond. Instead, they decided to spoil the reputation of the present regime to make it look like an enemy of freedom, though this is not true,” Abdulmaqsood added.

three months only. Also, it is not fair to blame six million employees for the mistake of one or two employees who caused the Asyut train accident. Still, the Minister of Transportation has resigned from his post though it was not his direct responsibility,” he further said. Abdulmaqsood claimed that new

Egypt, following the revolution, is a country where law applies to all people equally. “Respect for law ensures protection of the public’s trust. There is high possibility of political bribes having been paid for some private channels which may be used in the political conflicts. Soon there will be new rules to organize the financing sources for all activities including media, as the private channels are spending EGP 6 billion per year, while their income from advertising is only EGP 1.5 billions,” he explained. He also spoke about the interest of the Egyptian government in the affairs of all Egyptians living abroad. “The Egyptian journalists are not allowed to be members of the Egyptian Journalists Association as according to the existing law the member has to be working for some Egyptian media. The Association is working on amending this law to allow the journalists working abroad to become members of this Association,” highlighted Abdulmaqsood. Furthermore, he spoke about the financial loses suffered by the Egyptian Radio and TV Union. “This Union was not founded to make financial profits but to provide public services. I expect many changes to take place in the future, and new public channels will be founded. The main reason for the losses is the increase in the number of personnel working in the field of media. More than 43,000 people are working in the media now though it can be operated by less than 5,000. Also, corruption has caused losses of more than EGP 20 billions. Thus, there is scope for reforms,” he concluded.

KUWAIT: The Assistant Undersecretary for Training Affairs, Gen Ahmad Nawaf Al-Sabah, said that First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Ahmad Al-Hmoud Al-Sabah inaugurated and attended the celebration of the graduation of Class 6 from the British Marine College and the graduates of Saad Al-Abdullah Security Academy Class 23, as well as the graduate class of police academy in Sharjah.

Zain launches Wiyana Connect 4G LTE nationwide KUWAIT: Zain, the leading telecommunications company in Kuwait, announced the launch of its 4G LTE network, the first operator to provide the latest mobile Internet technology nationwide. Its new Wiyana Connect 4G LTE, will provide customers with the fastest mobile Internet speed in the country. Zain Kuwait CEO Omar Al-Omar said, “We are very proud to launch the new service that will provide the fastest mobile internet speeds to our customers all over Kuwait exclusively from Zain. This service is available for the first time nationwide.” 4G LTE which is available for compatible mobile phones, tablets, routers, hotspots and dongles, presents a new era of Internet

technology that will significantly enhance user experience while gaming, video streaming and using other online applications. Zain Kuwait continues to invest greatly in new technologies and services as it seeks to satisfy the needs of its customers in order to accommodate the ever-changing trends and pave the way to a new generation of communication. Al-Omar said, “Our brand commitment is to give our customers the best services. The fact that we are able to do this is a remarkable achievement and one which we will build upon with the integrity and commitment that convinced our very first customer to believe in us.”

Kuwaiti women leaders hail Dubai DUBAI: Chief Executive Officer of Kuwait Energy Company Sara Akbar expressed her happiness for the distinguished care offered by Dubai government in the development of Arab women leaderships to best serve societies of the Gulf. Akbar is taking part in the Third Arab Women Leadership Forum that was launched here on Monday, under the auspices of the Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum. She expressed her pleasure for participating in this event, held by Dubai Women Establishment, praising the eminent role played by the political leadership in the UAE to serve women’s leadership development. Akbar hoped to see similar initiatives in all Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)

countries. One of the most important issues tackled in this forum is the right employment of women in leadership positions, like Board membership in the public and private sectors, she stated. Such an important matter should be developed, especially that “it wasn’t taken seriously enough in our region,” she affirmed. This forum, themed “Board leadership and importance of diversity”, was attended by several Arab and foreign figures including the Speaker of Federal National Council Mohammad Al-Murr, Vice Chairwoman of Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation Ameera Al-Teweel, Member of The Federal National Council (FNC) Noura Al-Ka’bi, and President of Dubai Women Establishment Sheikha Manal Bint Moahmmad Bin Rashid AlMaktoum. —KUNA



Convicted child molester held after new assaults ‘Misunderstanding’ leads to maid’s arrest KUWAIT: A convicted child molester was arrested recently again after footage from surveillance cameras led the police to zero in on the same culprit who later confessed to sexually assaulting many children in Salmiya. The first lead came from the security footage from a CCTV camera fixed at a residential building, which showed blurry images of a man sexually harassing a child at the building’s courtyard. Detectives eventually identified the suspect as a man in his sixties who had a record of involvement in similar crimes, and who was released recently from jail after spending time for cases related to pedophilia. After his arrest, the man confessed that he was indeed responsible for all the cases of sexual assaults on children reported by their parents in the past two months in Salmiya. He remains in custody of the Public Prosecution Department pending trial. Maid in custody The Bayan police are probing a case in which a domestic worker

was accused of sexually harassing her employer’s mentally retarded child, even as the maid insisted that it was a complete misunderstanding. In her testimonies to officers, the Ethiopian housemaid explained that she often struggles to keep the girl from taking her clothes off whenever she is left in her custody during the family’s absence. She said in the latest episode, her employer walked by when she was trying to force the girl into wearing her clothes back, but presumed that she was sexually harassing her. The maid was taken to the Bayan police station by her employer who insisted on pressing charges. The maid remains in custody pending investigations to reveal what actually happened. Infiltrators caught Two of the 17 Iranian nationals who infiltrated into Kuwait by sea were arrested by patrol officers at the Abu Hlaifa beach when they noticed the duo’s wet clothes, and became more suspicious when the two attempted to run away. Both later confessed during

interrogation that they swam their way to the shore after being dropped by a boat which ferried them from their home country. They revealed that 15 others were dropped along with them at the same time. They remain in custody while search is on for the remaining infiltrators. Search on for conman Search is on for a conman who disappeared after cheating three people in fake property deals. In their statements to Maidan Hawally police, the three Arab men explained that they paid between KD5,000 and KD7,000 in advance to a person in response to a newspaper ad in which he offered properties under construction in Mahboulah and Mangaf for sale, at a KD250 monthly installment. They tried to contact the man after six months, since that was the time he had promised for the properties to be ready, but found his phone out of service. After finding out that the properties they thought they had bought actually belonged to a different contractor, the three approached

the police to report the case. Thieves outmuscled A Pakistani-origin man not only overpowered two robbers who tried to mug him but used the phone of one of his assailants to call the police. He kept the duo from escaping till the police arrived. The man’s own phone was damaged during the melee. Police arrested the two culprits and is looking for their third accomplice who was reportedly involved but managed to escape. Keeper rescued Firefighters rescued an Asian man who could have drowned after he fell into a hole filled with rain water at his workplace in Kabad on Monday. The incident was reported at a jakhour (livestock farm) where the keeper slipped into a 1.5 meter-deep hole his Kuwaiti employer had dug a few days before. The man struggled to keep his head above the water before rescuers arrived to take him out unharmed. A case was filed at the Kabad police station afterwards.

‘Security nature’ prevents publication of agreement KUWAIT: Regional circumstances forced security coordination among Gulf Cooperation Council countries and ultimately eliminated obstacles which earlier prevented Kuwait from signing the GCC security agreement, a local newspaper reported yesterday quoting a senior Kuwaiti government official. The insider who spoke on the condition of anonymity further indicated that the treaty will not be published in its entirety “due to its security nature,” but pointed out that the adjustments that were made make “obligatory the respect to the sovereignty of each signatory nation and their international borders.” He also revealed that an article requiring signatory countries to extradite citizens to other GCC

states where they are convicted was canceled. This particular clause among others triggered concerns among politicians in Kuwait that the treaty might include articles that were not in line with Kuwait’s constitution which provides more guarantees for freedoms and public representation compared to the other five GCC states. The lack of an announcement about the agreement’s articles had fueled speculation that some of them might be in conflict with some articles in the constitution, such as imposing restrictions on freedoms. The fact that the signing came during the parliament’s absence added more fuel to these speculations. The cabinet had confirmed dur-

ing its weekly meeting on Monday that the agreement became “completely compatible with the constitution” following the adjustments, according to First Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Hmoud Al-Sabah who provided no further details about the nature of these changes. The parliament’s approval is required before the agreement can go into effect in Kuwait. The cabinet was also expected to release an emergency decree to pass sports regulations which help avoid suspension of Kuwait’s international representation, but according to sources familiar with the meeting, the decision was delayed until an extraordinary meeting set for tomorrow (Thursday).

The International Olympic Committee had agreed earlier this year to lift a ban on Kuwait’s participation in international competition temporarily in order to take part in the 2012 London Olympics. This was being done based on promises given by the government. Speaking to Al-Qabas on the condition of anonymity, the source explained that the decision on Monday came after the cabinet reviewed amendments proposed by the Fatwa and Legislation Department as well as the Public Authority for Youth and Sports to the emergency decree, and decided to verify whether they could affect the IOC’s decision to lift the suspension completely which is expected to happen later this year.

KUWAIT: Emad Al-Ablani, NBK Deputy General Manager, Human Resources Group and Ahmed Al-Khader, NBK Assistant General Manager, Consumer Banking Group in a group photo with the trainees.

NBK launches Shabab training program KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK ) launched the new Shabab Training Program for young Kuwaitis who recently joined the bank. The first batch of trainees joined this intensive program that is specially designed to develop the skills of newly recruited diploma holders. NBK Shabab Training Program extends over a period of two and a half months. The program is tailored to provide the trainees with theoretical and practical skills covering the different aspects of the banking industry. The first batch of NBK Shabab program will be enrolled in branches by midJanuary, 2012. “NBK Shabab program falls within the framework of NBK’s strategy to attract and hire qualified nationals” said Emad Al Ablani, NBK Deputy General Manager, Human Resources Group. “NBK Shabab program aims at improving young Kuwaiti skills in

order to prepare them as highly qualified Kuwaiti banking leaders of the future.” Al Ablani added “NBK maintains its leading position as one of the country’s largest employers in the private sector. NBK will continue its efforts to provide career and training opportunities for nationals and to support the country’s aim to encourage young Kuwaitis to assume roles in the private sector.” Annually, NBK offers more than 40 training programs including NBK Academy, the Summer Internship Program and the first of its kind in the region NBK High Fliers Program in collaboration with the American University of Beirut. In collaboration with the renowned Harvard University, NBK also organizes an executive training program in line with the bank’s commitment to developing and investing in its key resource and human capital.



Female journalists announce recommendations following forum

KUWAIT: Participants of the two-day GCC Female Journalists Forum pictured withKuwaiti officials. KUWAIT: Female participants at the GCC Female Journalists Forum concluded this past Monday made a set of recommendation during the twodays event hosted at the Sheraton Hotel in Kuwait which include calls for periodic training courses to improve skills of women working in

the press field in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. The female journalists also called for an annual meeting to discuss obstacles facing them as well as solutions proposed to help them enjoy facilitation and safety while working in the field through legislations that

guarantee these two main demands. The participants further stressed the importance of maintaining cooperation between female journalists in GCC countries, as well as rewarding those with distinguished efforts and find more ways to encourage women in the Gulf region to enter the jour-

No voting facilities for Kuwaitis staying abroad Students, patients affected KUWAIT: This year’s voting polls for the Dec 1 National Assembly will miss the participation of a great segment of Kuwaitis residing outside the country for various reasons. Whether these Kuwaitis were outside the country for medical, educational, diplomatic or business reasons, their lack of participation will negatively affect the election’s results. Khalid Al-Awadi, a patient, said that he would not be able to vote because he had to receive medical care abroad. He noted that the Kuwaiti law failed to facilitate the appropriate conditions for citizens abroad to be part of their country’s political life. Sara Al-Nasser, a higher education student, said that voting is part of the constitutional life in Kuwait; a major portion of Kuwaiti students studying in various countries have been denied to practice their legal rights because of their current situation. Fahad Al-Hajri, a businessman, agreed with them by saying that due to his travels he would miss the opportunity to engage in the voting process. Likewise, the wife of a diplomat who expressed her disappointment that the Kuwait law did not allow her to be part of the elections and to choose her future representatives in the parliament. They all called on the government to set up polling stations at Kuwaiti embassies in different countries to preserve their political rights. Meanwhile, Third constituency candidate for National Assembly 2012 elections Osama Al-Tahous stressed on the importance of accelerating the financial and economic reforms in Kuwait, to turn the country to a financial and commercial regional center. In remarks yesterday he emphasized implementation of transparency laws in development projects. He highlighted the priorities of his electoral agenda, including reforming the electoral system, solving the distribution of the number of voters in each constituency, improving the education, supporting women laws in various fields, offering Kuwaiti nationality to its beneficiaries, besides others. He also called for shedding light on a number of laws like independence of judiciary system, strengthening the rule of law, adopting financial disclosure law, political societies, and quality laws in developmental projects. A First Constituency candidate said Kuwait has adequate financial and human potential to become an international financial and trade hub. Addressing his supporters, Ismail Al-Mesri said his electoral plank includes many projects that could push forward the wheel of national development and fulfill the expectations and hopes of all citizens. He opined that the revamping of the tourist sector could help in turning Kuwait into a world financial hub.He added that he has an ambitious vision to create a tourist commission that could play a big role in overhauling the tourist sector in the country. The suggested body should be headed by a cabinet minister and consist of seven members with the core task of setting up

cultural centers nationwide in order to invest the free time of youth and children, the candidate said. Tourism, once developed, would reduce Kuwait’s heavy reliance upon oil as the main source of its national income, he believed. Al-Mesri regarded the single-vote system as the best way to get rid of many negative matters, but he supported the idea of reducing the number of constituencies from five at present into just one. Third Constituency Candidate Safa AlHashem said that the country needed to establish a system of legislations to combat corruption. In a seminar marking the opening of her election campaign, Al-Hashem stressed on the need to establish an independent fighting corruption institute, administrative supervision, laws of financial disclosure to improve the country’s political and economic infrastructure. Al-Hashem added that a principle committee to evaluate the parliament performance is also needed and to deal with bylaws malfunctions of the National Assembly, particularly with regard to Member of Parliament practices. Al-Hashem added that a law on the rights to obtain information by citizens is also need to bolster the states’ transparency and its relations with citizens. In another front, Third Constituency Candidate for parliament election 2012 Talal Al-Muhareb called for supporting the Kuwaiti women, in particular in public professions and to grant them all of their constitutional rights. Al-Muhareb said, in a statement, that this notion of granting women their rights was based on Article 29th of the Constitution, which states that all people are equal under the law and in terms of rights and duties without any exception to race or gender, language of religion. Al-Muhareb added that the Kuwaiti women have proved that they were capable and exceptional at work and in various fields, noting on the injustices women have in their profession, especially in the commanding and supervision jobs. Meanwhile, Third Constituency Candidate Ali Ibrahim Hajeya called for building the future of Kuwait based on short and long term plans, and to ensure a decent life to the Kuwaiti citizen. In a press statement, Hajeya said that Kuwait has all the material and human resource needed to execute clear plans and achieve many developmental goals amid the challenges that calls for cooperation and unity in confronting them strongly. Hajeya also called on the government to setup clear plans with predetermined dates to execute a comprehensive developmental plan. Furthermore, Third Constituency Candidate Abdullah Al-Hbeshi called to have a clear economic vision for the country and to support the private sector to meet ambitions and the country’s thrive in economy. Al-Hbeshi said in a press statement that Kuwait has all the capabilities and necessary requirements to achieve such vision and to be transformed into a financial and economic center, noting on the importance of taking the necessary steps into achieving an

nalism field. Meanwhile, Gulf Press Association Security General Nasser Al-Othman described the first forum which was held in cooperation with the Kuwait Journalists Association as a “success”, revealing intentions of holding similar events on a periodic basis.

Furthermore, Al-Othman added that recommendations filed at the end of the forum will be discussed at the GPA’s general conference. Al-Othman was among a team featuring senior GPA and KJA members who met Kuwait’s Prime Minister HH Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak

Al-Sabah at the Sief Palace on Monday and briefed him about the forum’s goals. The team included GPA President Terki Al-Sudairi and KJA President Ahmad Behbehani, in addition to female journalists taking part in the event.


LOCAL In my view


Journalists under attack

Gaza and Israel - what a waste!

By Michael Spindelegger and Alison Bethel McKenzie ell over 100 journalists have been killed so far this year - the highest number since the International Press Institute (IPI) began keeping count of journalists’ deaths in 1997. All across the world - from Africa, Asia and Europe, to the Middle East and Latin America journalists continue to be systematically and brutally targeted because of their work. Some are caught in the crossfire while reporting on a conflict, but most are targeted by criminal groups and individuals who want to prevent information from getting out, corruption and other crimes from being exposed and critical views from being disseminated. In many countries, journalists stare death in the face every day. For them, receiving threats is part of a near-daily routine. Journalists are killed for telling a story, but also, ironically, sometimes they are killed for not telling one. Attacks against journalists are not confined to murder. Many reporters have been brutally beaten this year, or seriously injured by firearms or explosive devices. Just a few weeks ago, a Bolivian radio presenter was set on fire by assailants who poured petrol over him as he was live on air with his radio show. And all too often reporters’ families are also caught up in the deadly spiral of violence. Impunity for those responsible for such attacks against journalists is rampant and constitutes one of the biggest obstacles to improving the safety of journalists. Journalists play a special role in society as providers of information on matters of public interest. To preserve this important role is in the interest of society as a whole. The consequences of attacks against journalists are manifest: An absence of crucial information, a denial of the people’s right to know and an inability of journalists to retain the independence that is so vital to their professional credibility. The growing number of journalists killed around the world has prompted a call for action. In the past year, a number of international initiative milestones have been achieved which we feel will provide impetus in the quest to roll back the tide of violence with impunity directed at reporters. For the first time in its history, the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on the safety of journalists last September. The new resolution - initiated by Austria in line with a commitment made when it became a member of the UN Human Rights Council in 2011 - represents a significant step forward in the promotion of the protection of journalists’ safety. Driven forward in cooperation with a cross-regional core group comprising Brazil, Morocco, Tunisia and Switzerland, and with inputs from IPI and other press freedom and professional organizations, the unique resolution makes a clear statement in condemning all forms of attacks against journalists and calls on countries to end impunity and ensure accountability, by investigating attacks, bringing the perpetrators to justice and providing adequate remedies for victims. The resolution also underscores the responsibility of governments in ensuring the safety of journalists not only in clearly-identifiable conflict situations, but everywhere, and at all times. For let us make no mistake: Most of the journalists killed and physically harmed are targeted outside classic conflict tones. The fact that the resolution, in spite of its strong, uncompromising language, was supported by 66 co-sponsoring States and passed by consensus in the Human Rights Council lends it even greater impetus. Parallel to the UN Human Rights Council, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has also promoted discussions, and action, related to the need to reinforce international instruments for the protection of journalists. As a result, in another milestone, the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity was endorsed by the UN Chief Executives Board in April. In the past couple of days, discussions have continued, as representatives of UN agencies, funds and programs, intergovernmental organizations, Member States, professional associations and NGOs have gathered in Vienna at a follow-up meeting hosted by Austria and focused on the implementation of the ITN Plan, to ensure that it does actually result in “action” that will help limit violence against journalists. Members of the global media community have been actively involved in the implementation phase debate. In fact, at a meeting in London a few weeks ago, editors and journalists issued a statement welcoming the UN Plan of Action, calling on the UN system and other relevant national and international bodies to operate effectively and in accountable ways in the implementation of the Plan and encouraging news media to monitor regularly the actions of their governments, judicial authorities and other institutions in implementing the Plan and ending impunity. This much has been achieved in 2012 to ensure greater protection for journalists in the future. Now it is up to UN agencies, civil society, media professionals and, most importantly, the numerous States that have endorsed the UN Human Rights Council resolution on the safety of journalists to actively show their commitment to this important cause. Austria and IPI stand ready and willing to continue their work to actively promote the existing broad mechanisms for the protection of journalists. And IPI will continue to support journalists in dangerous environments, call for justice when they are attacked and hold States accountable for their safety. (Michael Spindelegger is Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister of the Republic of Austria and Alison Bethel McKenzie is Executive Director of The International Press Institute )

By Abdulatif Al-Mulhim hen the Israeli-Gaza conflict started to heat up and a senior Hamas leader, Ahmad AlJabari, was assassinated, I decided not to write anything about this conflict. My weekly column had already been sent. It was about the resignation of the head of the American CIA, Gen David Petraeus. Ironically, the article was titled, “The battles American generals can’t win.” As a matter of fact, no one is a winner in a war because humans are killed by humans, and all I can say is, what a waste. But, during the conflict, I have received e-mails and calls from many seeking my opinion, including a call on Friday from Wael El-Shaar of Al Jazeera TV channel asking me if I could participate in a discussion show called, “Inside Story.” I couldn’t make it because I wasn’t close to their studios. So, I decided to write a brief article in the Saudi local newspaper (Alyaum). The reason I was hesitant to write a longer article about this new conflict is because the Israeli-Gaza conflict for me is like a sad movie that I had seen many times before. We know all the actors, producers, scenario and the end result. The movie has no net profit. Everyone is a loser. The killing is real and at this stage many people have



kuwait digest

GCC security agreement By Abdullatif Al-Duaij ur position regarding the security agree- stances in which the groups opposing the agreements signed recently by the Gulf ment are not united. If we keep this specific point Cooperation Council countries must be in mind, we find that the circumstances have never based on a national basis regardless of the current been suitable anyway, as I do not have to cite domestic conflicts, and regardless of whether the more examples than the fact that some groups agreement is found to be restricting the opposi- have taken a position in support of the GCC intertion groups by setting limits on the activity of their vention in Bahrain while the same groups claim to be in opposition today. members. The same people who call Having a unified posifor unification of GCC tion does not necessarily It is our destiny in Kuwait to countries are, at the same mean working together, time, welcoming proceas even I, for example, be the main, or perhaps the dures, regulations and find it hard to agree or work together with relionly, line of defense for free- means of suppression found in these nations. gious and tribal groups. In every election, there However, I do believe doms in the entire Gulf region. that there should be Therein lies the importance of was always a certain subject that dominated disefforts to encourage rejecting the agreement and cussion on the political those who announce scene. The upcoming their objection to the urging the government to elections should not be treaty. It is our destiny in abandon it. I know this would an exception, because those who are boyKuwait to be the main, or be hard, if not nearly impossi- even cotting can demand a perhaps the only, line of defense for freedoms in ble, especially given the cur- clear position from candidates regarding the GCC the entire Gulf region. rent situation in the region. agreement. Therein lies the imporAll that is needed is a tance of rejecting the question posed during a agreement and urging the government to abandon it. I know this would public address at a candidate’s election camp, be hard, if not nearly impossible, especially given asking them about their opinion on the agreement, in order to make this subject the main topthe current situation in the region. However, laying down the basis and reasons for ic of importance in the elections especially given objection must start now because it would be a the lack of political dialogue as a result of boymistake to give up simply because of the circum- cotting. — Al-Qabas


kuwait digest

Wonderful world of politics By Thaar Al-Rashidi olitics is the market of the possible, and not simply the art of the possible. What could be alright in the eyes of a politician yesterday, might become in their eyes impossible today but then again can be considered doubly alright the next day. It is a mistake to say that a particular former MP was agreeable till yesterday to the ordinance issued by the Amir but has refused to abide by it today without any good reason. The political issues in 1981 were completely different from the ones in 2012 and the politician, whoever he might be when he agreed to amend the election law in 1981, is not the same politician in 2012. In politics, variables include everything, and these could be principles, issues or circumstances. What was acceptable yesterday may not be acceptable today. Yes, it is assumed that principles are fixed but politics does not depend on principles, and is instead based on interests. Yesterday’s ally could be today’s enemy and a sworn brother tomorrow. Otherwise who among you could imagine in 1991 that we would be hosting a high ranking Iraqi delegation in the year 2012?


This is a simple example about how variables come into play and the whole political scene changes completely. It even changes the public opinion. Whenever you find a politician changing his political stance, trawl through your memory and go through history. You will then find a satisfying answer about why the politician changed his position. Change is not always wrong. Elections in Kuwait are free. To be more precise, you are free to go and vote on December 1 or you may choose not to. No one has the right to force you either way. Boycotting elections is by itself a peaceful and democratic way to express rejection. Participation is also a democratic way, and it is not good to question the intentions of others. I found that the programs of most of the candidates focus on one main point, which is their stout defence about why they are participating in the elections. So, in a way they have already become lawyers for the authority and no more remain just candidates. This is wrong since they are candidates for the whole nation. Boycott is only valid before participation. Therefore, give us your election

programs as they are. So far it appears that the programs of most of the candidates comprise either justifications for their participation or attacks on the majority of the previous council. And this makes you, my dear, pro-government even before you enter the council. One of the candidates said that “Hadas”, “Popular Bloc”, “Salafis”, “Nahaj” alliance and “The Youth Activist” do not represent more than four percent of the whole Kuwaiti population and 96 percent of the people are for participation in the elections. This officially proves that he flunked the mathematics paper, and what is more important is that he speaks in the face of what Kuwaiti memory holds. Another candidate asked whether the Kuwaiti people would refuse the increments which will be approved after the upcoming elections? And then he provides the answer himself, which, of course, is “no”. It is enough for this candidate to ask the question and provide the answer. But let me answer his question. The reality, my dear sir, is that the Kuwaiti people have refused the increments even before the government thought of dishing them out. Is that clear? — Al-Anba

Most of the news reports and columns I saw talked about who started it and why it got started. When it comes to human lives, what difference does it make irrespective of who started it or how it got started? The conflict between the Israelis and Hamas is simply a matter of time. simply lost touch with reality. The Middle East doesn’t need and not ready for major conflict. There is enough killing in the area. When I was writing this article, Alarabiyah TV announced the death of more than 50 schoolchildren in Egypt in a train-bus collision. There were also reports about the killing of more than 100 people in Syria in one day (Nov. 17). Ironically, there were close to 40 people dead in Gaza during the conflict as of the time of writing this article. So, we are losing touch with reality with regard to the meaning of human life. All religions stress how sinful it is to take a human life. Yet, humans continue to kill each other in the name of religion and all I can say is, what a waste. Most of the news reports and columns I saw talked about who started it and why it got started. When it comes to human lives, what difference does it make irrespective of who started it or how it got started? The conflict between the Israelis and Hamas is simply a matter of time. There is no chemistry between the two. And I have heard and saw many speculations about why the conflict started. Some say it is a coordinated attack by Israel and Iran to save Bashar Assad of Syria. Some said it is a coordinated attack by Israel and Syria to ease pressure on Syria. In this part of the world anything can be said. The Israeli-Gaza conflict even became a war of words between Sunnis and Shiites all over the Arab world. Can you imagine Israel, Iran and Syria being united? The conflict didn’t need any reason to start, not even an election in Israel. Also, some people say, Hamas started it because they don’t want to give the Palestinian Authority a chance to go to the United Nations to elevate the representation status of Palestine to a be a non-member state. But, the most speculated reason was Hamas started it to avenge Israeli attack on the Alyarmouk weapon factory in Sudan. Also, there was a talk saying Israel started it, so they can drag Egypt into the conflict and this way, Israel can push the Palestinians to Sinai and then Sinai would be the Palestinian state. But, in my humble opinion, I saw the conflict coming long ago. Senior Hamas leader Ahmad Al-Jabari was a “walking dead” the minute he was seen in a photo during the release of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. I have written many articles about the PalestinianIsraeli conflict. And I always indicate my wish and dreams for peace in the Middle East. In one of my articles, I wrote the following: “I want to see a Palestinian woman with her child sitting next to an Israeli woman with her child and have the two kids shake hands, go to the same school, sit in the same class and share their playstation, because if they don’t shake hands in the presence of adults, they will end up fighting each other at the age of 15. This is why, whenever I see a dead child in the PalestinianIsraeli conflict, all I can say is, what a waste.” In the beginning of the article, I said we have lost touch with reality. But, what is realistic about wars and battles. When we look at the power balance, it is easy to know what Israel has. A high school kid can talk to you about the Israeli F-16 fighter jets APG-66 radar or can even draw a picture of the Israeli F-15 APG-63 radar. But, what does Hamas has in its arsenal. If Hamas missiles are very primitive short range missiles, then they might hit Palestinian targets before they reach the borders. But, if the missiles have a range that can reach Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, then Hamas has to be ready for an allout war. Also, is it Hamas that is firing missiles toward Israel, or is it some groups that Hamas couldn’t control? But, at the end of the day, the Israelis will use more ferocious power and Hamas will fire more missiles. And more people will die. The conflict will end sooner or later. And when the dust settles down, I would like to give Hamas and Israel a gift. The gift is a negotiating table, some chairs and two Mont Blanc pens to sign a peace treaty. This way, future generations would thank us for bringing peace and prosperity instead of war and atrocity. And if they don’t accept the gift, then I will say one thing — what a waste.


18 crushed to death in India

Gaza conflict underlines Obama’s Mideast dilemma Page 8

Page 12

AT SEA: The USS Chung-Hoon guided-missile destroyer (front) and the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier are underway during the Great Green Fleet demonstration portion of the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012 exercise. (Inset) US President Barack Obama yawns as he attends the East Asian Summit Plenary Session at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh yesterday. —AFP

Obama dives into South China Sea turmoil US wades into thorny Asia territorial row in the


Woman, grandkids slain NEW TOWN: A well-kept northwestern North Dakota home teemed with FBI investigators yesterday as they tried to piece together evidence in the grisly weekend shooting deaths of a woman and three of her grandchildren. In a nearby community, a man described only as a “person of interest” in the killings apparently killed himself just hours after their deaths. Martha Johnson, 64, and three of her grandchildren - Benjamin Schuster, 13, Julia Schuster, 10 and Luke Schuster, 6 - were gunned down in the home Sunday afternoon, Mountrail County Sheriff Ken Halvorson said. Johnson’s husband was out hunting. A fourth grandchild, a 12-year-old boy, was in the home but wasn’t hurt and called 911, the sheriff said. New Town is on an American Indian reservation called Fort Berthold. The suicide that followed occurred in Parshall, a reservation community about 20 miles from New Town. NY cannibalism case NEW YORK: A city police officer has pleaded not guilty to charges he plotted to kidnap, torture, cook and eat at least 100 women whose photos, names and addresses authorities say he pulled from a confidential law enforcement database. Gilberto Valle entered the plea in federal court in Manhattan. Authorities arrested the 28-year old New York Police Department officer last month based on a tip from his estranged wife. One document on Valle’s computer was titled “Abducting and Cooking (Victim 1): A Blueprint,” according to a criminal complaint. The file also had the woman’s birthdate and other personal information and a list of “materials needed” - a car, chloroform and rope. ‘Virgin Mary’ window KUALA LUMPUR: The window pane bearing an image said to resemble the Virgin Mary has been moved from a Malaysian hospital to a church after attracting crowds of devotees, the hospital owner said yesterday. For the past two weeks, hundreds of Catholics have gathered to pray at the Sime Darby Medical Centre just outside the capital Kuala Lumpur, describing the shape spotted on a seventh-floor window there as a miracle. Pictures of the window have gone viral on Facebook, drawing worshippers from as far away as Singapore. The throngs outside the hospital have said they could also see an adult Jesus Christ portrayed on a window two panes away from the purported image of the Virgin Mary. Rock carvings stolen LOS ANGELES: Vandals have stolen at least four ancient rock carvings, apparently using cement-cutting circular saws to slice them out of a valuable archeological site in California, experts said. The petroglyphs, etched by ancient hunters 3,500 years ago, had survived winds, floods and earthquakes over that time but they were hauled off in a matter of hours, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday. A fifth suffered deep saw cuts and a sixth was removed but broken and abandoned near a parking lot in the Eastern Sierra desert, while dozens of others were scarred by hammer blows.

PHNOM PENH: President Barack Obama’s attendance at an annual summit of Southeast Asian leaders yesterday sets him right in the eye of the region’s most stormy dispute: the long-raging rivalry between China and five neighbors for control of strategic and resource-rich waters of the South China Sea. The inability to resolve these territorial conflicts has become a major impediment to the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations as it tackles ambitious dreams like a plan to turn the economically vibrant region of 600 million people into an EU-like community by the end of 2015. Neither the US nor China is a member of ASEAN, but each has strong supporters in the group. Summit host Cambodia, an ally of China, has tried at this week’s summit to shift the focus to economic concerns, but Beijing’s territorial disputes with its ASEAN neighbors including staunch US ally the Philippines have yet again overshadowed discussions. The disagreement sparked a tense moment Monday when Philippine President Benigno Aquino III challenged Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, who had tried to cut off a discussion of the territorial disputes. Into this heated atmosphere comes Obama, who came to Phnom Penh for yesterday’s expanded East Asia Summit, in which the 10 ASEAN countries are joined by eight

other nations, including China and the United States. Obama was expected to reiterate that Washington takes no sides in the territorial disputes but will not allow any country to resort to force and block access to the South China Sea, a vital commercial and military gateway to Asia’s heartland. Washington has also called for the early crafting of a “code of conduct” to prevent clashes in the disputed territories, but it remains unclear if and when China would sit down with rival claimants to draft such a legally binding nonaggression pact. The potentially oil- and gas-rich South China Sea islands and waters are contested by China, Taiwan and four ASEAN members Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam. The last fighting, involving China and Vietnam, killed more than 70 Vietnamese sailors in 1988, and fears that the conflicts could spark Asia’s next war have kept governments on edge. Vietnam and the Philippines, backed by Washington, have been loudest on the issue, and want China to negotiate with the other claimants as a group. China wants one-on-one negotiations - which would give it advantage because of its sheer size and economic clout - and has warned Washington to stay away from an issue it says should not be “internationalized,” a position echoed by Cambodia at the Phnom Penh summit.

There have been several recent standoffs involving boats and other shows of force, particularly between China and the Philippines, which both claim ownership of the Spratly Islands, a spray of tiny South China Sea atolls. Their latest diplomatic confrontation occurred a few hours before Obama touched down Monday in the Cambodian capital, when Hun Sen announced as he was closing a meeting that all ASEAN leaders have struck an agreement to limit discussions of the divisive issue within the 10-nation bloc’s talks with China. Alarmed, Aquino raised his hand, stood up and objected to Hun Sen’s statement, saying his country, which plans to bring the disputes before a UN tribunal, was not party to any such agreement. It was a blunt gesture in the usually servile ambiance of the conservative bloc, an unwieldy collective of rigid, authoritarian regimes and nascent democracies. After a brief lull, Hun Sen recovered and said Aquino’s remarks would be reflected in the record of the meeting. Still, Cambodian and Chinese officials insisted that the agreement stood. Tensions intensified yesterday when the Philippines was joined by Vietnam and Singapore in objecting to a plan by Cambodia to state in a post-summit statement by the host country that there was indeed such an agreement, Philippine diplomats said.

An objection from the Philippines, or any ASEAN nation, ought to be enough to thrash any agreement because the bloc decides by consensus, meaning just one veto from any member kills any proposal. “The bottom line is they can talk all they want but if we said we’re not with it, there’s no consensus, finished,” Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario told reporters. The dispute, and Obama’s presence here, highlights how ASEAN has become a major battleground for influence in Asia, just like the South China Sea. The US is pushing its “Pacific pivot” to the region following years of engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan. China, the Asian superpower, has acted to protect its home ground. Southeast Asia is clearly pinned in between, and the lack of consensus among the group over the maritime disputes has pushed much of the bloc’s other work to the sidelines. In July, after a foreign ministers meeting also hosted by Cambodia, the group failed to publicly issue a traditional after-conference communique - an embarrassing failure that was a first in ASEAN’s 45-year history. Vietnam and the Philippines had insisted that the joint statement simply state that the South China Sea rifts were discussed, but Cambodia adamantly refused, echoing China’s line to keep a lid on public discussions of the disputes.—AP

Outrage in India over arrests for Facebook NEW DELHI: As India’s financial capital shut down for the weekend funeral of a powerful right-wing politician linked to waves of mob violence, a woman posted on Facebook that the closures in Mumbai were “due to fear, not due to respect.” A friend of hers hit the “like” button. For that, both women were arrested. Analysts and the media are slamming the Maharashtra state government for what they said was a flagrant misuse of the law and an attempt to curb freedom of expression. The arrests were seen as a move by police to prevent any outbreak of violence by supporters of Bal Thackeray, a powerful Hindu fundamentalist politician who died Saturday. “We are living in a democracy, not a fascist dictatorship,” Markandey Katju, a former Supreme Court justice who now heads the Press Council of India, wrote in a protest letter to the chief minister of Maharashtra. Katju demanded that the state government suspend the police officers who had ordered the arrests and prosecute them. The

women withdrew the comment and apologized, but angry Thackeray supporters ransacked an orthopedic clinic run by the uncle of one woman. A lawyer representing the women, Sudheer Gupta, said police arrested them Sunday, the day of the funeral, on charges of creating enmity and hatred. They were released on bail Monday. The 21-year-old who posted the comment appeared on television yesterday, her face covered by a scarf so that only her eyes were visible. Clearly terrified by her arrest and the attack on her uncle’s clinic, she told NDTV television she would never again make comments on a social networking site. She described her arrest as “unfair.” “It was not a crime,” the friend of hers who also was arrested told NDTV. Shops and offices were closed Sunday as more than 1.5 million people attended Thackeray’s funeral. He was never elected to office but was seen for decades as Mumbai’s most powerful man. He created an army of supporters by weaving Hindu fundamentalism with ardent defense of Marathis, Mumbai’s dom-

inant ethnic group. Thackeray founded his political party, the Shiv Sena - which means Shiva’s Army with the sole aim of keeping people who are not from Maharashtra out

rousing speeches, his supporters routinely resorted to violence against Muslims and migrant workers who had come to Mumbai in search of work. He is among those

MUMBAI: Face covered Shaheen Dhada (left) and Renu Srinivas arrested for their Facebook posts, come out of a court in Mumbai yesterday. — AP of the state and stemming the spread of Islam and Western values. Spurred by Thackeray’s rabble-

blamed for a wave of religious violence in 1992 that left nearly 1,000 people dead in Mumbai alone.

Analysts say it was as sense of fear that kept millions of people off the streets of the bustling city on Sunday. Nearly 20,000 policemen patrolled the deserted streets, mainly because of the violent history of the Shiv Sena. No violence occurred Sunday. A day later, a relieved Mumbai police chief, Satyapal Singh, praised the “unexpectedly orderly behavior” of Thackeray’s supporters. But the thuggish behavior was in evidence Monday when a mob of Thackeray’s supporters stormed the orthopedic clinic, destroying its operating rooms and much of its equipment. Nurses and patients fled but no one was hurt. The Mumbai arrests came barely two months after the Maharashtra police arrested a political cartoonist on sedition charges for drawings that mocked corruption in the Indian government. The charges were dropped and the cartoonist is out on bail. Earlier this year, a university professor was arrested in the state of West Bengal for forwarding an email cartoon that caricatured the chief minister there.— AP




Gaza conflict underlines Obama’s Mideast dilemma WASHINGTON: The new eruption of violence between Israel and Palestinian militants from Gaza is a stark reminder for newly re-elected President Barack Obama of unfinished business from his first term. Obama’s first trip after securing the White House was to Southeast Asia, underlining his determination to “pivot” US foreign policy away from Middle East woes and towards challenges and opportunities in the Pacific. But, even has he tours Myanmar and Malaysia, Obama has once again been forced to keep up-todate with goings on in Gaza, where Israeli strikes have killed more than 100 Palestinians within the last six days. Washington has made it clear that it blames the Palestinian movement Hamas for the escalation, insisting that Israel has the right to defend itself from rocket attacks fired out of Gaza at civilian Israeli targets. But Obama is also keen that the violence not get out of control, as the tension has made the delicate task of reorienting US regional policy in the wake of the Arab Spring revolts even more complicated. “The president has been updated regularly,” deputy White House national security adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters aboard Air Force One on the way to Cambodia from Myanmar. Earlier, on a stop in Bangkok, Obama

said: “Israel has every right to expect it does not have missiles fired into its territory. If that can be accomplished without a ramping up of military activity in Gaza, that is preferable. “That is not just preferable for the people of Gaza, it is also preferable for Israelis because if Israeli

troops are in Gaza, they are much more at risk of incurring fatalities or being wounded,” he said. The raids, launched after Gaza-based militants fired rockets into Israel, are the most widespread in the Strip since the December 2008 to January 2009 Israeli offensive that

GAZA: Palestinian mourners carry the body of Mohammed Hijazi, 4, killed with his father and brother in an Israeli strike, during their funeral in the Jebaliya refugee camp yesterday. —AP

claimed the lives of 1,400 Palestinians. When he first took office in January 2009, Obama promised to put the Mideast peace process back on track. He gave a landmark speech in Cairo, seen as reaching out a hand to the Muslim world. Obama hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas at the White House in September 2010. But talks fell apart three months later over the issue of Israeli settlements on territory Israel occupied during the 1967 Six Day War. Meanwhile, with the Israeli-Palestinian peace process effectively stalled, the wider region has seen a series of revolts that have, in some cases, brought Islamist governments to power, in others triggered violent conflict. In the process, prominent US allies have been ousted. Most prominent perhaps was Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak-a friend of Washington and a guarantor of the Camp David Accords. His successor, Mohamed Morsi, sprang from the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood of which Hamas is an offshoot. Obama spoke with Morsi twice last week to ask him to step in. He reiterated the message again in a call on Monday. “ The administration recognizes the Egyptian government is in the best position to broker a ceasefire between Israel

and Hamas,” said Haim Malka of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “ They’re looking for the Egyptians to play a major role in mediating the end of the current crisis.” At the State Department, spokeswoman Victoria Nuland refused to be drawn on whether Egypt was doing enough. “I don’t think it’s helpful from this podium for us to be getting into the details of those conversations or to be giving individual interlocutors a grade on how they are doing,” she said. Jonathan Schanzer, vice-president of research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, sees the conflict in Gaza as proxy war between Iran-under fire for its nuclear program-and the West. “The fact that the United States and many European countries appear to give to Israel a green light to operate inside Gaza has something to do with the fact that we are now in a worldwide battle against Iran,” he said. “This is very much seen as a part of the strategic calculus from the West to say ‘Yes, get rid of the Iranian nodes inside Gaza and make it clear that Iran cannot operate there’.” Domestically, more than four times as many Americans - 59 percent-support Israel compared with 13 percent who side with the Palestinians, according to a CNN-ORC International poll.—AFP

US soldier enters ‘no plea’ in Iraq shooting spree case Sergeant could face death penalty TACOMA: A US soldier accused of killing five fellow servicemen at a military combat stress center in Baghdad in 2009 entered no plea at an arraignment on Monday at a military base in Washington state. Sergeant John Russell, 48, is accused of going on a shooting spree at Camp Liberty, near the Baghdad airport, in an assault the military said at the time could have been triggered by combat stress. Russell, of the 54th Engineer Battalion based in Bamberg, Germany, faces five charges of premeditated murder, one charge of aggravated assault and one charge of attempted murder in connection with the May 2009 shootings. Six months ago, he was ordered to stand trial in a military court that has the power to sentence him to death, if he is convicted. Two of the five people killed in the shooting were medical staff officers at the counseling

center for troops experiencing combat stress. The others were soldiers. Russell, tall and broadshouldered with a military crewcut and glasses, was mostly silent during the 15-minute hearing, answering only “Yes, sir” and “No, sir ” to the judge’s questions. Russell’s attorney, James Culp, waived hearing of the charges on Russell’s behalf and entered no plea for him, which is common practice in military justice procedure. No date has been set for the court-martial, but both military prosecutors and defense attorneys indicated on Monday that it could begin in March. SENSITIVE TIME The arraignment, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Washington, comes at a sensitive time for the Army, which is in the process of deciding how to prosecute Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, a soldier accused of killing

Afghan villagers in cold blood earlier this year. A two-week hearing at Lewis-McChord to establish if there is sufficient evidence to send Bales to a courtmartial wrapped up last week after harrowing testimony from Afghan adults and children wounded in the attack. Bales’ civilian defense lawyers have suggested he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. On Monday, Russell’s attorney outlined a defense based on his declining mental state. Russell suffered from depression, thoughts of suicide, anxiety and stress from multiple deployments, and suffered “at least one traumatic experience involving civilian casualties” and “mass grave sites” while serving in Bosnia and Kosovo during 1998 and 1999, Culp said in presenting arguments to the judge after the arraignment. Culp and military defense lawyers, through tele-

phone testimony presented by forensic psychiatric experts, told the judge they planned to use a Magnetic Resonance Imaging test to prove that Russell had brain damage. Another defense witness testified that forensic hypnosis would be needed to unlock Russell’s memories of the shootings on May 11, 2009. Government witness Dr. Ronald Schouten, a forensic psychiatrist at Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital, argued against the effectiveness of either. “If we’re doing brain imaging now, it doesn’t tell us what it was three years ago,” Schouten said. Later, he added: “Hypnosis has long been recognized as invalid and prone to providing inaccurate information.” Dr Robert Sadoff of the University of Pennsylvania, one of the country’s top experts in forensic psychiatry, is scheduled to testify as a defense witness yesterday. —Reuters

Water tensions overflow in ex-Soviet Central Asia

MARAAT AL-NUMAN: Free Syrian Army rebels take up positions along an embankment on the outskirts of the northwestern city of Maraat AlNuman, Syria. —AP

Syria oppn coalition suffers first setback BEIRUT: The new Syrian National Coalition, announced less than two weeks ago amid much fanfare in the Qatari capital Doha, suffered its first major setback on Monday as Islamist rebel groups refused to endorse it. Already recognized as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people by the Gulf states, Turkey and France, the group was snubbed by Islamist groups including the two most important, the Al-Nusra Front and Liwa Al-Tawhid. The announcement in an Internet video by the Islamist rebel groups of their decision and their aim to make Syria an Islamist state could, experts believe, hamper the coalition’s pressing request for military help from the West. “We, the fighting squads of Aleppo city and province, unanimously reject the conspiratorial project called the National Coalition and announce our consensus to establish an Islamic state” in Syria, a spokesman announced in the video. “We reject any external coalitions or councils imposed on us at home from any party whatsoever,” he said of the November 11 announcement of the new opposition umbrella grouping. The Al-Nusra Front, a formidable fighting force, has claimed the majority of suicide bombing attacks in Syria’s deadly 20-month-old conflict, while Liwa Al-Tawhid, at first close to the Muslim Brotherhood, has become more radical. “The announcement by the Islamist groups is a major blow to the coalition,” said Hilal Khashan, a political science professor at the American University of Beirut. “It is for this reason that the Americans and

British remained prudent before recognizing the coalition as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people.” But he added: “It will not have a great impact on the question of weapons because if the West really wants to aid the emergence of a liberal and nationalist coalition, it must arm the secular groups to counterbalance the Islamists.” In the Islamist video, after the statement is made another man holds up a Koran, saying forcefully to the camera: “Make this your constitution.” The video speaker listed 14 armed groups as signatories to the statement, but the Ahrar Al-Sham group rejected the proclamation on its web page, saying it did not endorse the statement. However, the Islamist groups rejecting the National Coalition are among the most important fighting units in northern Syria, which is now almost entirely in rebel hands. Abdel Jabbar al-Okaidi, who heads the main rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) in Aleppo said the statement did not represent the opinion of all rebel groups in the province. “These groups represent a number of military factions on the ground and reflect their position, but not all military forces in Aleppo agree with this,” the defector, a former army colonel, told AFP by phone. “The military council has announced its support for the National Coalition and is collaborating with them.” Jihadists have become the main armed opposition fighting in northern Syria, with militants estimating their manpower could number more than 10,000. —AFP

DUSHANBE: The ex-Soviet states of Central Asia are engaged in an increasingly bitter standoff over water resources, adding another element of instability to the volatile region neighboring Afghanistan. Plans in mountainous but energypoor Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan for two of the world’s biggest hydro-electric power stations have enraged their powerful downstream neighbor Uzbekistan which fears losing valuable water. Russia as well as the other Central Asian states of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan are also being pulled into a dispute which dates back to the allocation of resources when the Soviet Union broke up in 1991.Uzbek President Islam Karimov warned on a visit to Kazakhstan in September that the battle over water resources could sharpen tensions to such an extent it could spark not just “serious resistance but war”. Tajikistan, still recovering from a 1990s civil war and blighted by energy shortages, wants to revive a Soviet-era project to build the Rogun dam over the Vakhsh River. If completed, it would be the world’s biggest and stand 335 meters tall. Kyrgyzstan, meanwhile, wants to build a project that was also conceived in Soviet times-the Kambarata-1 dam over the Naryn River that would stand 275 meters high. Crucially, Russian President Vladimir Putin has given Moscow’s backing to the Kyrgyz project while remaining considerably more circumspect about the even more controversial Rogun Dam. The World Bank is supporting assessment studies on the social, economic and environmental impact of building the Rogun Dam, but emphasizes it has made no financial commitment towards supporting construction of the power plant. “I think that all the countries of the region have to take direct participation in all these projects for the worries to disappear,” Putin said on a visit to Kyrgyzstan last month where he supported the Kambarata-1. Asked about the Rogun Dam, he said: “We must pay attention to the worries of all the countries of the region, including Uzbekistan and lift all the problems that cause these worries. This is possible.” SOVIET MEGALOMANIA? Russia appears to be using the dispute for its own strategic ends, winning valuable commitments from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to host Russian bases up to 2032 and 2042 respectively. “The conflict has entered a new phase after the long term military agreements signed between Russia and Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan,” said Tajik political analyst Saimuddin Dustov. Regional analysts say that the dispute risks creating a dangerous fissure in Central Asia as both sides seek to attract supporters to their respective camps. “Tashkent has started to gather its strength and is attracting Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan onto its side,” said Tajik political analyst Abdugani Mamadazimiov. “If there is not a joint solution then there is going to be a schism.” For Tajikistan, building the dam is a major strategic priority-every winter, the power crisis means most Tajiks are only able to have three hours of electricity every day. President Emomali Rakhmon has vowed Tajikistan will use its natural resources “for the benefit of its people” while adhering to international laws. Yet his position does not find much favour in Uzbekistan, Central Asia’s most populous nation with a population of almost 30 million and a top cotton producer. —AFP It fears losing supplies for irrigating fields, suffering short-

AMMAN: A Jordanian protester shouts during a demonstration against the government’s decision to lift fuel subsidies in the capital Amman. —AFP

Pushing for change, some point at the Jordanian king AMMAN: It’s usually a few younger protesters who break out in the chant - startling and almost unheard of in this country where the monarchy has always been almost sacrosanct “Down, down with the king.” The rest of the opposition, including its biggest and most powerful faction, the Muslim Brotherhood, are quick to make clear they don’t demand the ouster of Jordan’s King Abdullah II. But after the past week’s angry protests sparked by a government hike in gas and fuel prices, they warn that this usually placid US ally will be thrown into turmoil unless the king allows change. The unusually violent protests have shifted the focus of discontent from the government, at which anger was focused in the past, squarely on Abdullah for the first time. As a result, the monarch faces the biggest test yet of his democratic reform program, which his critics say does not do enough to end his monopoly on power. Anger over the price hikes has given the opposition, led by the Brotherhood, a rallying point to push him for more dramatic moves. At the heart of the political standoff is a halfBritish king trying to forestall Arab Spring-style uprisings that have toppled autocratic regimes in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and Libya and led to the civil war in Syria. A darling of the United States and other Western governments who celebrate him and his beautiful Palestinian wife as modern celebrity-monarchs, the king still sits at the helm of a sprawling and largely feared intelligence service, a carefully lubricated patronage system and a US-trained military. His moribund economy is largely dependent on aid from Washington, Saudi Arabia and other oil-producing Arab states. Government opponents say their phones are bugged and homes watched. At times, such as during the 2010 parliamentary elections, his government was accused of blatantly rigging the vote. “We’re not calling for the king’s ouster, but for him to listen to the people’s demands and embark on real and serious reforms,” Zaki Bani Irsheid, a leading figure in the Islamic Action Group, the political arm of the Brotherhood, told a press conference Monday. “We did not raise the slogan of toppling the king, but it is being called for by some in street protests, a precedent which indicates that popular tension is growing and an explosion is looming.” The Islamic Action Front now heads a newly created coalition of the fragmented opposition groups. But its control is loose, and the coalition uncomfortably brings together a wide ideological spectrum, from Islamists to Arab nationalists to communists. Around 400 demonstrators protested Monday in front of the prime minister’s office, blocking the road in a traffic circle and demanding the reversal of the fuel and gas price hikes. A few young secular activists in the crowd chanted “down, down with the king” and “Abdullah, you either reform or go.” Calls for the king’s ouster reflect “the anger over the price hikes, which dealt a serious blow to the vast

majority of Jordanians, whose per capital income is $3,000,” said Khaled Ramadan, a prominent activist representing Arab nationalists. “But in a broader perspective, the tension started building up over the snail-pace of reforms, with no visible sign that the government and its security apparatus, which maintains the upper hand, are taking a step back,” he said. University senior Sohaib Breizat, 21, member of the largely secular Hirak movement comprising young Jordanians, said, “We want a total hands-off for Jordanian security in our daily lives.” “Why do Jordanians need certificates of good conduct from Jordanian intelligence when they apply for government jobs or drivers’ license?” he asked. “We keep asking for more freedoms, but we get less. It seems our calls are falling on deaf ears.” Hirak surfaced in the wake of the Arab Spring through Internet social networking. “We want justice and equality, better opportunities for everyone, including women, jobs for college graduates, respect for our right to free speech, opinion, union and assembly without security interference or intimidation,” said a Hirak spokesman, Suhaib Assaf. “We want government transparency and a serious clampdown on corruption, as well as an end to nepotism and bureaucracy.” Jordan has some of the aspects of a police state - the often-thuggish secret police; the manipulated elections; the fawning royal stories in the government media; the hundreds of billboards with the king’s face gazing upon his subjects. However, the reality is complicated. It’s illegal to criticize the king here, but prosecutions are rare and those convicted often get royal pardons. The secret police are feared, but are not a constant, threatening presence as in Syria. If some politicians say their phones are tapped, even the harshest critics speak fairly openly. Abdullah has faced little public criticism at home since he ascended to the throne in 1999. After the Arab Spring’s eruption in late 2010, Jordan has seen frequent but small protests. Then, last Tuesday, Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour hiked the prices of cooking and heating gas by 54 percent and some oil derivatives by up to 28 percent, saying that was necessary to reduce a record budget deficit and growing foreign debt and tackle high unemployment, poverty and waves of Syrian refugees, who are straining meager resources. He said the move was part of Jordan’s efforts to secure a badly needed $2 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to shore up the kingdom’s shaky finances amid a shortfall of Arab donations this year. The protest backlash was unusually violent, with one person killed and 75 others, including 58 policemen, injured. There was also a change in tone, as angry protesters blamed Abdullah for the price rise, accusing him of supporting state corruption by allegedly pocketing state money to spend on personal pleasures. —AP



US judge rules against Christians in Nativity row LOS ANGELES: A US judge has ruled against Christians seeking to force municipal authorities to allow them to erect traditional Christmas Nativity displays in Santa Monica, California. In the latest twist in a row between Christians and atheists-who last year erected a series of anti-religious displays-the judge refused to grant an injunction to the Santa Monica Nativity Scenes Committee. The committee has sued municipal authorities in the sea-front town west of Los Angeles, seeking to restore nearly 60year-old religious display to Palisades Park, which overlooks the ocean and Santa Monica Pier. Specifically it claimed that Santa Monica City Council infringed its right to free speech and freedom of religion under the First Amendment, when it voted in June to ban displays from the park.

But Judge Audrey Collins denied the Christians’ request for an injunction which would force Santa Monica authorities to allow their Nativity scenes over the upcoming holiday season. Last year, in a lottery to decide who got how many display spaces, atheists unexpectedly won 18 out of 21, squeezing the Christians-who in previous years had 14 plots-into just two. The atheists used their plots to put up displays proclaiming “Reason’s Greetings!” and a poster showing Father Christmas, Jesus and Satan, with the tag “37 million Americans know MYTHS when they see them.” The Santa Monica municipal authorities then voted in June to outlaw unattended displays in the park, in what was seen as a move to avoid a repeat of the row again this year. The judge said Monday that the Christian

group still has the right to display its Nativity scene on private property and other locations in Santa Monica. The Christian display was first put up in the park in 1953. City lawyer Barr y Rosenbaum said there were “multiple opportunities” for groups to put up displays, adding that Palisades Park was “content neutral,” and the legal case had nothing to do with the religious content of the display. The judge set a date of December 3 for the next hearing in the row. But the Christian group said it wasn’t hopeful. “This amounts to an erosion of First Amendment rights,” its attorney William Becker said after the court hearing. “Religious speech enjoys as much protection in public spaces as secular speech.” Becker vowed to appeal, but acknowledged that the judge would likely dismiss the case

CALIFORNIA: A woman walks past traditional displays showing the Nativity scene along Ocean Avenue at Palisades Park in Santa Monica, Calif. — AP next month. Hopes of putting up the Nativity scenes “may be lost this Christmas season,” he said, speaking outside the cour t. Santa Monica, which lies at the end of the fabled

Route 66 west of Los Angeles, attracts millions of tourists and daytrippers every year to its pier, broad beaches and spectacular mountain and ocean views. — AFP

Four men charged with terror plot Suspects plot to engage in ‘violent jihad’

MANAGUA: Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega speaks during a ceremony held at the Plaza de la Revolucion in Managua. Ortega criticized the UN’s International Court of Justice decision to award sovereignty over a group of Caribbean islands to Colombia. — AFP

Disputed islands belong to Colombia: World court THE HAGUE: The International Court of Justice ruled Monday that a group of tiny islands in the western Caribbean belongs to Colombia, but also granted Nicaragua control of a large swath of the surrounding sea and seabed that could hold oil reserves. Based on evidence presented by lawyers for both nations, “Colombia and not Nicaragua has sovereignty over the islands,” the court’s President Peter Tomka told delegations from both sides. But the decision not to grant Colombia full sovereignty over the waters connecting all the archipelago’s islands drew a vehement objection from Colombia. President Juan Manuel Santos told Colombians in a national speech that the court had “committed grave errors” by ignoring the terms of the very treaty it had declared valid and that the decision would hurt the archipelago’s fishermen. The decision effectively cut off four small islands from the rest of the archipelago and Santos said he could not accept the court’s “omissions, errors, excesses and inconsistencies.” While Santos said he recognized that the court’s decision is final and legally binding, he said Colombia “emphatically rejects this aspect of the decision” and “we don’t rule out any recourse or mechanism that international law gives us to defend our rights.” He said he would fly to San Andres immediately. Nicaragua hailed the ruling as an historic triumph. President Daniel Ortega called it a “day of national victory, victory for all Nicaraguans,” and called on Santos to respect the court’s ruling. Nicaragua’s representative at the court, Carlos Arguello, said the ruling gives the poor Central American country “incredible potential wealth and future exploitation of fisheries and other resources, such as minerals.” “We’ve been given very important mar-

itime territory,” he said. Undersea oil exploration concessions for the waters surrounding the islands were approved in 2010 by the Colombian government of thenPresident Alvaro Uribe. After taking office later that year, Santos introduced legislation to begin the exploration but, after complaints from environmentalists and local politicians, reversed himself and said he would not allow the exploratory drilling. The archipelago is home to one of the largest barrier reefs in the Americas, the 100-square-mile old Providence reef. The rich marine habitat was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2000. Nicaragua first went to the world court, the United Nations’ highest judicial organ, in 2001 arguing that Colombia had no legal claim to the islands. The two countries’ dispute over the region began in the late 1960s when Nicaragua granted oil exploration concessions for part of the seabed, but so far no drilling has started. The court partially rejected that argument in 2007, saying a 1928 treaty between the two countries established that Colombia owned the English-speaking islands of San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina. Those volcanic islands, 720 kilometers from Colombia’s coast and 110 kilometers from Nicaragua’s mainland, are popular among tourists for their pristine white beaches and coral reefs. In Monday’s ruling, the court’s 15 judges said that several other smaller islands and cays in the region also belong to Colombia and set the maritime borders based on Colombia’s ownership of the islands. The new borders give Colombia control of the waters and seabed immediately surrounding its islands and cays but also give Nicaragua a large horseshoeshaped area of the sea and seabed stretching from its mainland coast around the Colombian islands. —AP

FARC rebels declare ceasefire amid talks HAVANA: Colombia’s leftist FARC rebels have declared a unilateral two-month ceasefire as they began talks in Cuba with the Bogota government on ending Latin America’s longestrunning insurgency. But the government of President Juan Manuel Santos immediately made clear it would not be bound by the ceasefire and military operations against the FARC would continue. The Colombian military is determined to “chase these individuals who have violated all types of laws ... and have attacked the lives and honor of Colombians,” Defense Secretary Juan Carlos Pinzon said in Bogota. Negotiators for the Santos administration and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) were in Havana to resume negotiations formally launched last month in Norway, the first attempt at a negotiated peace in 10 years. Ivan Marquez, the head of the FARC delegation, said the rebel ceasefire took effect at 0500 GMT yesterday and last through January 20. “The leadership has ordered that all military operations against government forces come to a halt,” Marquez said upon arrival at the talks venue. He said that this was “another example of our desire to create a political environment conducive to the progress of the talks.” The rebel move was a “solid contribution to strengthening the cli-

mate of understanding needed for the parties starting talks to reach the result desired by all Colombians,” Marquez said. Colombian negotiators made no statement as they arrived at the convention center in the Cuban capital. Reporters were not allowed inside as the talks began. Both Santos and chief government negotiator Humberto de la Calle have repeatedly said that government forces will maintain counter-insurgency operations during the peace talks with the FARC. “There will be no military concessions, nor a ceasefire, nor demilitarized zones,” de la Calle said before leaving Bogota on Sunday. Both sides however have said they are confident that an end is near to the decades-long conflict that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives is within reach. De la Calle said Sunday that he believes this is “the defining moment” to reach a peace deal with the FARC, as both sides have agreed that talks “must end with a final agreement on the conflict.” This round of talks would likely last about 10 days, at which time a start date for the next round would be agreed. The Santos administration wants to build “a stable peace,” he told reporters as he boarded the plane for Havana, adding that “the FARC would be turned into a legal political party.” Negotiations to reach a final deal will likely last “months, not years,” de la Calle said.—AFP

LOS ANGELES: Four Southern California men have been charged with plotting to kill Americans and destroy US targets overseas by joining Al-Qaeda and the Taleban in Afghanistan, federal officials said Monday. The defendants, including a man who served in the US Air Force, were arrested for plotting to bomb military bases and government facilities, and for planning to engage in “violent jihad,” FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said in a release. A federal complaint unsealed Monday says 34-year-old Sohiel Omar Kabir of Pomona introduced two of the other men to the radical Islamist doctrine of Anwar Al-Awlaki, a deceased Al-Qaeda leader. Kabir served in the Air Force from 2000 to 2001. The other two 23-year-old Ralph Deleon of Ontario and 21year-old Miguel Alejandro Santana Vidriales of Upland - converted to Islam in 2010 and began engaging with Kabir and others online in discussions about jihad, including posting radical content to Facebook and expressing extremist views in comments. They later recruited 21-year-old Arifeen David Gojali of Riverside. Authorities allege that in Skype calls from Afghanistan, Kabir told the trio he would arrange their meetings with terrorists. Kabir added the would-be jihadists could sleep in mosques or the homes of fellow jihadists once they arrived in Afghanistan. The trio made plans to depart in mid-November to carr y out plots in Afghanistan, primarily, and Yemen, after they

sold off belongings to scrape together enough cash to buy plane tickets and made passport arrangements. In one online conversation, Santana told an FBI undercover agent that he wanted to commit jihad and expressed interest in a jihadist training camp in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. The complaint also alleges the men went to a shooting range several times, including a Sept. 10 trip in which Deleon told a confidential FBI source that he wanted to be on the front lines overseas and use C-4, an explosive, in an attack. Santana agreed. “I wanna do C-4s if I could put one of these trucks right here with my, with that. Just drive into, like, the baddest military base,” Santana said, according to the complaint. Santana added he wanted to use a large quantity of the explosive. “If I’m gonna do that, I’m gonna take out a whole base. Might as well make it, like, big, ya know,” he said. According to the complaint, at the shooting range that day both Santana and Deleon told a confidential FBI source they were excited about the rewards from becoming a shaheed, which is Arabic for martyr. Ten days later, during another trip to the shooting range to fire assault-style rifles, Santana told the source he had been around gangs and had no problem taking a life. On Sept 30, Gojali was recruited to the plot after he was asked if he had it in him to kill in jihad. Gojali answered, “Yeah, of course.” “I watch videos on the Internet, and I see what they are

doing to our brothers and sisters. ... It makes me cry, and it gets like I’m, like, so angered with them,” Gojali said, according to the complaint. The men wiped their Facebook pages of radical Islamist content and photos of themselves in traditional Muslim attire, and devised a cover story that they were going to Afghanistan to attend Kabir ’s wedding. Federal authorities said the trio and the FBI’s confidential source bought airplane tickets last week for a Sunday flight from Mexico City to Istanbul, with plans to later continue to Kabul. After Kabir began talking to him about Islam, Santana said he “accepted Islam without knowing anything about it besides it being the truth” and that he believed the religion would help him “fit in and actually be able to fight for something that’s right,” according to the complaint. If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum of 15 years in federal prison. Kabir is being detained in Afghanistan. The other three appeared for a detention hearing Monday in Riverside, and all but Gojali were remanded to federal custody with no bail. His detention hearing was delayed. After-hours calls left for the men’s attorneys were not immediately returned Monday. A preliminary hearing is slated for Dec 3, and an arraignment is set for Dec 5. Kabir is a naturalized US citizen who was born in Afghanistan. Santana was born in Mexico, while Deleon was born in the Philippines. Both are lawful, permanent US residents. Gojali is a US citizen.— AP


in brief

Six gunmen killed DURANGO: Six gunmen were killed by police who turned the tables on an attempt to kidnap the mayor of a town in northern Mexico, a state prosecutor said Monday. Ernesto Nunez, the mayor of the town of Inde in the state of Durango, managed to escape during the gun battle Sunday, hiding in a church while the assailants set fire to his house. “As a result of this confrontation, six people lost their lives,” said Sonia de la Garza, the Durango state prosecutor. Mexican mayors have become frequent targets of crime groups with at least six killed so far this year, and 15 in 2010. On Friday, a former mayor who had survived two assassination attempts during her 2008-2010 term was found dead in the western state of Michoacan, police said. A hotel in the town of Gomez Palacios in Durango where police taking part in a counter-drug offensive were staying came under fire on Sunday by gunmen. NYPD hunts for suspect NEW YORK: Detectives are searching for a balding, middle-aged man seen wearing an overcoat and carrying a duffel bag after a shopkeeper was shot dead as investigators tried to figure out whether a violent armed robber or a serial killer had slain three Middle Eastern business owners in the past four months. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said nothing was being ruled out just yet in the mysterious Brooklyn killings of shopkeepers of Middle Eastern descent. The most recent killing happened Friday afternoon when Rahmatollah Vahidipour, a Jewish man from Iran, was shot three times in the head and chest at his store, the She She Boutique. Police chiefs charged MEXICO CITY: Mexico has charged four federal police commanders with ordering agents to lie about their role in an August 24 attack on a vehicle with diplomatic plates that wounded two US government employees. The office of Mexico’s attorney general accused the commanders, along with another previously identified commander, with making “false statements” relating to the attack by 14 police officers on a US embassy car that wounded the Americans and a Mexican navy captain. The three men were traveling to a military training facility south of Mexico City when their armored sportutility vehicle was riddled with 152 bullets, prosecutors say.

ARIZONA: The first F-35B fighter jet attached to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 arrives at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma in Yuma, Ariz. —AP

Marine Corps forms fighter jet squadron SAN DIEGO: The Marine Corps is forming the first squadron of pilots to fly the nextgeneration strike fighter jet, months after lawmakers raised concern that there was a rush to end the testing of the aircraft that has had technical problems. So far, two veteran pilots of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing have been trained to fly the F-35B. They are becoming the first members of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 that made a debut at a ceremony at the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Ariz. The first F-35B arrived Friday, and 15 more are coming during the next year. The Defense Department has pumped a half a billion dollars into upgrading the facilities, hangars and runways at the base to make way for the supersonic fighter jet named Lightning II, officials said. The squadron’s pilots are expected to fly the aircraft by year’s end. The Marines are the first in the military taking the steps toward putting the planes in operation. The F-35B would replace Cold War-era aircraft such as the F/A-18 Hornet and AV8B Harrier. “It’s a pretty big milestone that a lot of people are looking at and judging,” said Marine Capt Staci Reidinger, a spokeswoman at the Yuma base. “The lessons learned will be shared.” Yesterday’s inauguration came only months after leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee suggested that Defense Secretar y Leon Panetta rushed a decision to develop the Marine Corps version of the fighter jet.

In a letter sent in February to the Pentagon chief, Sens. Carl Levin, the committee chairman, and John McCain, the panel’s top Republican, questioned whether the F-35B had met the criteria to warrant an end to its probation. The F-35B had been on a two-year probation because of “significant testing problems.” Levin, DMich, and McCain, R-Ariz, wrote that the program “has enjoyed some success over the last few months, after several years of having fallen short.” But they said “more problems with the F35B’s structure and propulsion, potentially as serious as those that were originally identified a year ago, have been found. This is salient where the F-35B has completed only 20 percent of its developmental test plan to date. Your decision, therefore, appears at least premature.” Levin declined to comment on the squadron. McCain did not respond to a request from The Associated Press for comment. The developer of the aircraft, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co, is building three versions of the F-35 - one each for the Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps and some foreign forces. Schedule delays and cost overruns have dogged the F-35’s development, making it the Pentagon’s most expensive weapons program ever. Ten years in, the total F-35 program cost has jumped from $233 billion to an estimated $385 billion. Recent estimates suggest the entire program could exceed $1 trillion over 50 years. —AP



Sarkozy ally wins French right leadership battle PARIS: Rightist Jean-Francois Cope , an ally of former President Nicolas Sarkozy, has claimed the leadership of France’s main conservative party in a closely fought two-way contest marred by mutual accusations of voter fraud. Cope, already the incumbent leader of the UMP party, beat centrist former Prime Minister Francois Fillon by 50.03 percent to 49.97 percent, the head of an internal voting commission said - a margin of just 98 votes out of almost 175,000 cast. The victory could pave the way for Cope, whose controversial campaign included accusations that “antiwhite” racism was rife in France, either to run for president himself in 2017 or stand aside for Sarkozy if his mentor chooses to re-enter politics. “My hands and my arms are wide open,” Cope told supporters at party headquarters in Paris after the result was announced. “It is in that state of mind that I telephoned Francois Fillon this evening, it is in that state of mind

that I asked him to join me.” Fillon, speaking at his campaign headquarters shortly after Cope’ s victory speech, denounced ballot booth irregularities and warned of a deepening split in the centre-right group. “What strikes me is the rift at the heart of our political camp, a political and moral fracture,” Fillon said in a brief speech, adding th at he had chosen not to dispute the result. The race descended into chaos earlier as both contenders alleged fraud in a vote that highlighted a deep split between rightists and centrists since the party lost power in May. The bickering wrecked a contest designed to give the right a fresh start after it lost its 17year hold on the presidency in May, and prompted political commentators to warn that the UMP could collapse. The opposition infighting has provided respite for President Francois Hollande, w ho faced fresh w oes on Monday a s ratings agency Moody’s announced

that it was downgrading French debt by one notch to Aa1 from triple-A. The contest would normally decide the UMP’s candidate for the 2017 presidential election, but surveys indicate that two-thirds of party members think Sarkozy has a better chance of wresting power back from the ruling Socialists. The election row has further fuelled speculation of a comeback by Sarkozy, who has told aides he will feel obliged to return if the Socialists fail to revive the sickly economy. Alain Juppe, a former foreign minister and a key figure in founding the UMP, condemned what he called “a contest of egos” that he said threatened the party’s very existence. The UMP, founded by former conservative president Jacques Chirac in 2002 to merge various centre-right parties including his own Rally for the Republic (RPR), is reeling from the loss of the presidenc y, parliament and most French regions. The vote to pick a successor to Sarkozy was meant to deter-

mine whether the UMP would cleave to the centre ground under Fillon, in keeping with the party’s decades-old roots, or move right under the combative CopÈ in a quest to regain power. Instead, the disarray could bolster farright and centrist parties, analysts said. Cope, 48, said late on Sunday that he had won the race, only to have Fillon announce that was ahead in the vote counts and his camp complain of “massive fraud” at voting stations in areas loyal to Cope. The Conser vative daily Le Figaro talked on its front page of an open crisis at the UMP, and the political weekly L’Express said even Sarkozy could struggle to unite and lead a party torn by divisions and infighting. Fillon, an urbane former lawyer, has targeted those centre -ground voters who abandoned Sarkozy to support Hollande in the May election, put off by Sarkozy’s aggressive manner and hardline stance on issues such as immigration.— Reuters

Jean-Francois Cope

M23 rebels enter Goma Fighting inflames Congo, Rwanda tension

SINGAPORE: Photo shows a bag with the 1.1 million Singapore dollars found in a taxi driven by 70-year-old Sia Ka Tian (Inset) in Singapore.—AFP

Singapore cabbie returns $900,000 to Thai couple SINGAPORE: A Singaporean taxi driver has been heralded as a hero after he returned Sg$1.1 million ($900,000) in cash to a vacationing Thai couple who left the money in his cab. Sia Ka Tian, 70, was shocked to find the money in a black paper bag on the back seat on Monday after he dropped the couple off at a shopping centre. “When I saw the money, I thought, trouble is here. I was sure there was at least $200,000 in the bag,” the Straits Times quoted the 31-year veteran in the taxi business as saying. But when he brought the money to transport company ComfortDelGro’s lostand-found office, his stunned colleagues counted Sg$1.1 million in thousand-dollar bills. “The money is unimportant to me. It doesn’t belong to me, so how can I use it?” he told the newspaper. The Thai couple reported the loss to the transport

company and Sia was waiting for them when they arrived to claim the money. The report did not say what the couple were doing with that large sum. The driver received an undisclosed cash reward from the grateful couple, whose names have been withheld, and the company also plans to give him an award for good service. “Finding one million dollars in cash is not an everyday affair and in fact, we wonder how many people would have possibly been tempted” to pocket it, company spokeswoman Tammy Tan said. “We are immensely proud of him and are glad that the passengers recovered their money.’ It was the second most valuable item returned by a cabbie working for the company. In 2009, another taxi driver returned fives kilos (11 pounds) of gold bars worth Sg$377,000.— AFP

France ends its combat mission in Afghanistan NIJRAB BASE: France ended its combat mission in Afghanistan yesterday, withdrawing troops from a strategic province northeast of Kabul as part of a speeded-up departure from the war-torn country. Paris has said all French combat soldiers will leave the country next month, two years before allied nations contributing to the 100,000-strong International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) led by the United States are due to depart. Taleban insurgents called on other foreign forces to follow France’s example. “We urge the others to follow France and leave Afghanistan, end the occupation of Afghanistan and leave the fate of the country to Afghans themselves,” spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed said. France has lost 88 soldiers in Afghanistan and has been the fifth largest contributor to ISAF, behind the United States, Britain, Germany and Italy. Paris decided to accelerate its withdrawal after a string of deadly attacks in 2011 and 2012, including an assault in January in which an Afghan soldier shot dead five French troops as they were jogging at their Kapisa base. Then-president Nicolas Sarkozy announced that the combat mission would end in 2013, but his successor Francoise Hollande brought that forward to the end of 2012. So-called insider attacks have spiraled this year, with a total of 61 NATO soldiers killed by members of the Afghan security forces, fuelling distrust between the allies in the war against Taleban Islamist insurgents. The attacks have also led to calls in other Western countries, where the long war is increasingly unpopular, for early troop withdrawals. But NATO has insisted that it will follow the agreed program of pulling out all combat troops by the end of 2014. Around 1,500 French soldiers will stay into 2013 to take responsibility for repatriating equipment and training the Afghan army to take over. France in late 2001 joined the NATO coalition defending the new government from Taleban insurgents. A US-led invasion had toppled the Taleban

government earlier that year for giving refuge to Osama bin Laden and his AlQaeda network. But despite 11 years of fighting, a resilient insurgency has led to warnings of a return to civil war or the Taleban coming back to power in Afghanistan after 2014. An AFP correspondent saw the last 400 soldiers deployed in Kapisa province start to leave Nijrab, the last French base outside Kabul, at 10:00 am after a departure ceremony. Kapisa, which straddles key transit routes from Pakistan to the Afghan capital, has been the deadliest French mission in Afghanistan, accounting for 60 of the total French fatalities. Troops moved into the province in 2008 and clashes with the Taleban and militia quickly increased. French and Afghan commanders say Kapisa has stabilized but have been unable to provide supporting statistics and attacks have continued. “I have not seen terrain recaptured by the insurgency in this zone,” said General Olivier de Bavinchove, the French commander in Afghanistan. Two out of six Kapisa districts are thought to be at least partly controlled by insurgents. Kapisa’s security will now be the responsibility of 4,700 Afghan police and soldiers, supported by 250 American soldiers, according to General Eric HautecloqueRaysz, the French commander in Kapisa and nearby district Surobi. He says he is optimistic about the capacity of Afghan troops. “The insurgency is 10 times less than the (Afghan) security forces. Therefore, they cannot be beaten,” he said. Of the 2,200 French soldiers left in Afghanistan, a military official said that about 700 would return to France by the end of the year. Around 50 trainers will remain in Wardak province, west of Kabul, and 1,500 in the Afghan capital, where most will be tasked with organizing the final departure of French troops by the summer of 2013. After that date, only several hundred French soldiers involved in cooperation or training missions will remain in the country, the military official said.—AFP

GOMA: Rebels, widely believed to be backed by Rwanda, entered the city of Goma in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo yesterday, escalating clashes between the insurgents and UNbacked Congolese troops defending it. The M23 rebellion has aggravated tensions between Congo and its neighbor Rwanda, which Kinshasa’s government says is orchestrating the insurgency as a means of grabbing the chaotic region’s mineral wealth. Rwanda denies the assertion. A Reuters witness said fighters from the M23 rebel group were advancing by foot along the road to the city centre where sustained lights arms fire rang out - the first clear evidence they had entered the provincial capital of North Kivu province after days of fighting along the outskirts. “What has probably happened is that they’ve infiltrated the town in small numbers,” Lieutenant General Chander Prakash, the Goma-based force commander for the UN peacekeeping mission in Congo, known as MONUSCO. He added that rebels had been pushed back by UN and army forces from Goma airport after a morning assault. Streams of residents headed for the nearby border with Rwanda, saying they had been ordered to evacuate by the army. More than 50,000 people who fled fighting earlier this year have abandoned refugee camps around Goma, a city on the Rwandan border with a population of 1 million. “With the war, we’re suffering so much, I’ve never seen anything like this in my life,” a woman who gave her name only as Aisha told

GOMA: M23 rebels celebrate in the streets of Goma in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo yesterday. — AFP Reuters, clutching her three children. M23 is led by mutinying soldiers who rose up eight months ago, contending that Congo’s government violated a 2009 peace deal that was meant to integrate them into the army. UN experts, however, support the view that Rwanda, which has intervened in Congo repeatedly over the last 18 years, is behind the revolt. Goma’s capture would be an embarrassment for President Joseph Kabila, who won re-election late last year in polls that triggered widespread riots in Kinshasa and which international obser vers said were marred by fraud. The vast central

Kids worry about food, education and environment NEW YORK: Education, food and the environment are top concerns for children around the globe, and particularly for youngsters growing up in developing countries, according to an international poll released yesterday. Half of children, aged 10 to 12, in emerging nations who were questioned in the Small Voices, Big Dreams survey cited education, followed by food, clothing and shelter as the areas they would focus on as leader of their nation to improve children’s lives. “We’re always surprised and inspired to see how much emphasis children in developing countries put on education,” said Steven Stirling, executive vice president of ChildFund International, a children’s advocacy nonprofit formerly known as the Christian Children’s Fund. “It shows the depth of maturity of children, who clearly understand the connection between education and changing their worlds for the better,” he added in an interview. Providing food, clothing and shelter was the top response given by children from developed nations, and the environment and was a concern for everyone. The findings are based on online interviews with 6,204 children from 47 nations in Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe. The children were also asked about their aspirations, experiences with disasters and environmental concerns and priorities. Although one third or more of children in developing countries had experienced natural disasters such as floods, drought or fires, pollution was a bigger worry for them. Children in poorer nations worried about global warming but youngsters in rich countries did not list it as a concern. Sterling suggested that global warming might be less of a worry in richer nations because children in developing countries are experiencing more natural disasters that have a greater, negative impact. “Their ideas for environmental solutions were encouraging: across the world, nearly half of children said they’d either plant more trees, build additional green spaces or decrease littering to help improve the planet,” he said. “Complex social problems affecting children are better addressed if children are part of the solution,” he added. Children from developing nations also differed sharply with those from developed nations when it came to career aspirations. More than half of children in developing countries said they wanted to be a teacher or healthcare professional, while those in developed countries, whom Stirling noted often had the luxury of choosing a career, wanted to be a professional athlete. But when asked, “What are you most afraid of?” the worldwide response was the same-animals.— Reuters

African nation was shattered by wars between 1994 and 2003 that killed about 5 million people. Many eastern areas are still plagued by violence from a variety of rebel groups, despite UNbacked efforts to defeat them. The United Nations has about 6,700 peacekeeping troops in North Kivu, including some 1,400 troops in and around Goma. Another neighbor of Congo, Uganda, blamed the escalation of fighting in eastern Congo on a leaked UN report that accused it and Rwanda of suppor ting Congolese rebels, a document Kampala said damaged its mediation efforts. Uganda has vigor-

ously denied the UN charges, which emerged in October, and Junior Foreign Affairs Minister Asuman Kiyingi said Kampala had been forced to retreat from its mediating role. “Uganda was mediating in this conflict ... and we had managed to restrain M23,” Kiyingi said. “Then the UN comes up with these wild and baseless allegations against us and we decided to step aside and leave the situation to them and now you see the results,” he said. Uganda has threatened to pull its troops out of peacekeeping operations in Somalia unless the UN allegations are withdrawn.— Reuters

Pitched battle between ‘Kenyans’ and Somalis NAIROBI: One side surges forward only to retreat under a hail of stones then the opposing side advances and comes in for a flurry of stones-in Eastleigh, a quarter of Nairobi that was the scene of a deadly attack, youths of Somali origin Monday battled Kenyans from other communities. “Those Somalis are terrorists,” say the youths on one side, lumping together the Somali refugees and Kenyans of Somali extraction who together make up the majority of Eastleigh’s inhabitants. “ They have money and they are bankrolling the Shebab,” say several members of the group that calls itself the “Kenyans”, referring to Somalia’s AlQaeda-linked Islamists. For the “Kenyans” the Somalis are to blame for a blast Sunday in a bus in Eastleigh that killed nine people. But for many Somalis in Eastleigh the bus bombing is a mere pretext for non- Somali youths from the slums on the other side of Juja Road to come and steal. “Since the blast they’ve seized the chance to come and loot. These are not local kids. They’ve come especially to steal from us,” said Mohamed Noor Ismail, a 36-year-old trader who is patrolling an Eastleigh street, a whip in his hand. On First Avenue stones are still flying as the rival sides charge forward and retreat. In their ranks are children looking barely 10 years old. A young woman in tight jeans and a low-cut pink top runs forward clutching a stone in one hand and her shoes in the other. Rioters try to tip over a bus whose windows have been broken. Thirty minutes go by before the paramilitary police GSU unit, which has been patrolling the district, actually intervenes. The opposing sides are separated with teargas. The mere sight of the GSU has any group of young people taking to

their heels. Somalis are also patrolling their district, armed with machetes, clubs or iron bars. Down a dirt road one of their victims, a young man of about 20, kneels in the dust moaning for help, blood streaming from a large machete gash to the back of his skull. “He’s a street kid. They found him stealing,” said a voice among the bystanders, some of them lost as to what to do about the boy, others looking on with a degree of satisfaction. Earlier the looters seem to have had a field day. Once the pitched battle is over Gain Wamuyu can only survey the damage. “ They’ve taken everything,” she sighed in resignation in front of the stall where she sold cigarettes, sweets, biros and phone cards, now reduced to some empty shelves and a broken pane of glass. Calm returned slowly to the area. Parents grasp firmly by the hand the children they have collected from school, pulling them along as quickly as their legs will go. The riots in Eastleigh left six people seriously wounded, according to the Kenyan Red Cross, which also counted “a large number” of people with less serious injuries. The police will be deployed “until the situation returns to normal”, Nairobi police chief Moses Nyakwama Ombati said. By mid-afternoon a semblance of calm had returned. Cars and minibuses again started venturing out and traders reopened their premises even as the acrid smell of teargas remained. But some protestors still felt frustrated. On the “Kenyan” side of Juja Road youths accused the police of having sided with the Somalis. And tensions remained. “Take your veil off!” a group of “Kenyan” protestors shouted at a Muslim woman, before chanting at another groups of Somali women: “We’re in Kenya here!”—AFP



Pakistan quashes Christian girl ‘blasphemy’ case

RAWALPINDI: In this file photo, Rimsha Masih, a Christian girl accused of blasphemy sits in a helicopter after her release from jail in Rawalpindi.— AFP

ISLAMABAD: A Pakistan court yesterday threw out all charges against a Christian girl accused of blasphemy for allegedly burning pages of the holy Quran in a case that drew international condemnation. Rimsha Masih, who could have faced life in prison if convicted of the charges, spent three weeks on remand in jail after being arrested on August 16. She was released on bail in September but she and her family have been in hiding under government protection, fearful for their lives. Although the decision to drop the case was welcomed, it is unlikely to pave the way for imminent reform of Pakistan’s blasphemy legislation, which activists say is too often used to settle personal disputes. The prosecution said it would appeal the decision in the Supreme Court. Blasphemy is an extremely sensitive issue in Pakistan, where 97 percent of the population are Muslims, and under the country’s penal code insulting the Prophet Mohammed can be punished by death. Even unproven allegations can provoke a violent public response. In a 15-page judgment, Islamabad high court chief justice Iqbal Hameed ur Rahman threw out the case registered against Rimsha and urged Muslims to be “extraordinary careful” while

leveling such allegations. He said putting Rimsha on trial would have seen the courts “used as a tool for ulterior motive” and “to abuse the process of law”. Defense lawyer Tahir Naveed Chaudhry told AFP that the family was “delighted” the case had been dropped, but said they “still live in fear”. Rimsha and her family were moved to an undisclosed location after her release on bail on September 8. An official medical report classified her as “uneducated” and 14 years old, but with a mental age younger than her years. Others have said she is as young as 11 and suffers from Down’s Syndrome. Paul Bhatti, the only Christian member of Pakistan’s federal cabinet, welcomed the “historic” move, saying justice had been done. “It will send out a positive image of Pakistan in the international community that there is justice for all and that society has risen up for justice and tolerance,” he said. He paid tribute to Muslim clerics, members of the media and civil society for also playing a “positive role” in highlighting the injustice done to Rimsha and said it would deter others from leveling false accusations. There is a separate case against cleric Hafiz Mohammed Khalid Chishti, who was granted bail

Scandal-ridden Chongqing gets Communist Party boss Rising star Sun replaces disgraced Bo Xilai BEIJING: China has confirmed that rising star Sun Zhengcai has been appointed Communist Party boss for the scandal-ridden southwestern city of Chongqing, taking the old job of disgraced Bo Xilai in the country’s biggest metropolis. As head of the sprawling Chongqing, Sun will have to deal with the legacy of Bo, the former high-flyer at the centre of China’s biggest political scandal in decades. Sun’s appointment was announced in a brief statement carried by the official Xinhua news agency on Tuesday. It also said that Shanghai mayor Han Zheng had been promoted to the city’s party boss in a widely expected move. Bo was fired in March following his wife’s implication in the murder of a British businessman, and Chongqing had been run in the interim by Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang. Zhang was promoted last week to the party’s inner core of power, the seven-man Politburo Standing Committee. Reuters reported earlier this month that Sun, 49, a former agriculture minister and then party boss of the

northeastern province of Jilin, had been tipped to get the job. Sun is emblematic of younger officials of humbler backgrounds who stand apart from the refined, urban backgrounds of the likes of president-in-waiting Xi Jinping and other socalled “princelings” - the descendants of former senior revolutionary leaders. Sun is an agricultural expert who once ran a fertilizer factory and spent much of his early professional life in a rural part of Beijing. He served as agriculture minister from 2006-2009 after a surprisingly rapid promotion. That set him up to take office in Jilin, the centre of China’s corn belt, where he has backed increased trade and infrastructure investment in North Korea. Sun came to the attention of Premier Wen Jiabao when he was the party secretary of the Shunyi district of Beijing, a formerly agricultural and now rapidly industrializing area that is host to the capital city’s airport. The party has accused Bo of abuse of power, corruption and hampering the murder investigation because his wife was the

suspect. She has since been jailed, though formal charges have yet to be filed against Bo. Bo’s expulsion from the party drew an outcry from his leftist supporters and highlighted the deep rifts his prosecution could inflame. Bo remains popular in Chongqing for his social programs and city improvement efforts. Another young official, Inner Mongolia party chief Hu Chunhua, had also been seen as a potential candidate to take over in Chongqing. But sources with ties to the leadership say Hu is now expected to be moved to the export powerhouse of Guangdong in the south, facing an economic slowdown due to the global downturn along with rising social tensions. Hu spent two decades in restive and remote Tibet, where he came under the wing of Hu Jintao, the outgoing president. In Inner Mongolia, Hu Chunhua has overseen rapid economic growth and dealt successfully with protests last year by ethnic Mongols. The two Hus are not related despite sharing a family name. — Reuters

‘collar bomber’ jailed SYDNEY: An Australian investment banker who attached a fake bomb around the neck of a Sydney schoolgirl in a bid to extort money from her wealthy family was yesterday jailed for at least 10 years. Paul Peters, 52, who was arrested and extradited from the United States in September last year with the help of the FBI, pleaded guilty to aggravated breaking and entering, and detaining the teenager for advantage. The father-of-three made global headlines when he broke into the multimillion-dollar Pulver family home wearing a mask and strapped a device to 18-year-old Madeleine’s neck with a note claiming it was a bomb in August 2011. A Sydney court heard he was suffering psychiatric problems after his marriage broke down and he lost custody of his children, with the judge saying he appeared to think he was an “avenging character” in a novel he was writing. He told doctors he had wandered Sydney’s leafy harbor suburbs, seeking to “relive scenes in the book”-set in Hong Kong-and eventually came to believe he was one of the protagonists, John Chan. He fixed the hoax collar bomb to Pulver as part of a plan to exact what he described as a “dual revenge; one for John and one for me”. Police, bomb squad and other emergency services descended on the scene and Pulver endured a horrifying 10-hour ordeal with experts working into the night to remove the device, only later establishing it was an elaborate hoax. Pulver was in court to watch Judge Peter Zahra jail Peters for a maximum 13-and-a-half years and said she was “pleased with today’s outcome and that I can now look to a future without Paul Peters’ name linked to mine”. “I realize it is going to take quite some time to come to

terms with what happened, but today was important because now the legal process is over,” the teenager added to reporters outside court. “For me it was never about the sentencing but to know that he will not reoffend, and it was good to hear the judge acknowledge the trauma that he has put my family and me through.” Her father, Bill, said there was a “great sense of relief” for the family. Zahra, who said Peters would be eligible for parole in 10 years, described his bizarre crime as “heinous” and a “deliberate act of extortion” which had terrified Pulver, now aged 19, who was home alone studying for exams. “The offender entered a house armed and disguised. He found the young girl on her own and vulnerable,” Zahra said. “At the time of placing the device he had prepared around the neck of the victim he would have appreciated the enormity of what he was doing and the terrible effect and consequence of his conduct upon the victim,” he added. Zahra said Peters “would have been aware that after he left the victim she would have experienced considerable trauma before it was determined that the device did not contain explosives”. “He would have understood, at the time, in the many hours that followed she was in fear she would be killed,” he added. “The terror instilled can only be described as unimaginable.” Zahra noted that Peters’ expressions of remorse had been “qualified and guarded” and gave him “minimal” discount for his mental health problems, which included bipolar disorder, alcohol abuse and major depression. Prosecutors had described the sensational case as an act of “urban terrorism” fuelled by financial greed.— AFP

SYDNEY: Madeleine Pulver makes a statement to the media outside the New South Wales State District Court, in Sydney yesterday. — AP

PATNA: Indian Hindu devotees cross a bamboo bridge as they gather to pay homage to the setting sun during Chhat Puja on the banks of the Ganges River in Patna. At least 18 people were killed and more than a dozen injured in a stampede during a Hindu festival in the eastern Indian city of Patna. — AFP

18 crushed to death in India PATNA: India yesterday launched a probe into a stampede which killed 18 women and children when a makeshift bridge collapsed at a Hindu festival, as devotees returned to pray at the scene of tragedy. The incident in the eastern city of Patna, near the holy Ganges River, occurred late Monday as tens of thousands of worshippers rushed to offer prayers to the setting sun as part of the Hindu ritual of Chhath. Despite the disaster, large crowds again gathered at the site before sunrise to pray as part of the festival schedule, offering fruits to the gods, lighting candles and bathing in the sacred water. Along the muddy riverbank, the remains of the rope and bamboo bridge were still in place and the ground was scattered with discarded clothes, home-made sweet offerings and abandoned shoes. “Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has ordered a probe,” Bihar state home secretary Amir Subhani said. “I visited the site last night and will go there again to talk to witness, police and others.” Groups of stunned people, some sobbing and wailing, waited through the night outside the Patna Medical College and Hospital where many of the victims were taken. At least a dozen people were seriously injured. “People were in so much panic after the stampede that they threw away their baskets full of offerings and left there to save their lives,” Akhilesh Prasad, a tea vendor at a nearby lane, told local reporters. Ambulances with sirens wailing had tried to navigate the choked streets, as whistle-blowing police struggled to impose order. At least one girl was carried off in a man’s arms, apparently lifeless, and other children looked lost in the melee after the stampede. Patna police superintendent

Jayant Kant said that a total of 18 people were confirmed dead - 10 women and eight children-but that the toll could still rise as several other devotees were reported missing. The low-slung rope and bamboo bridge had been erected to pilgrims over rough terrain en route to the Ganges, and gave way under the crush of the crowd, Kant said. Most of the casualties were thought to have been caused by the stampede and not the collapse of the temporary bridge. “Bodies of the 18 people killed in the stampede have been sent to the hospital for autopsies,” Kant said. Power was lost at the scene when the bridge fell down, complicating the rescue operation. Patna is capital of the eastern Indian state of Bihar, where the annual festival dedicated to the Hindu sun god Surya is particularly popular. An estimated 400,000 devotees thronged up to 65 riverside locations specially prepared by Bihar authorities to cater to worshippers travelling to the Ganges, which is revered by Hindus. Around 50,000 people were present at Adalat Ganj, one of the worship locations in Patna, when the bridge collapsed, officials said. Stampedes are a regular risk at religious events in India, where policing and crowd control are often inadequate. In September, in the state of Jharkhand adjacent to Bihar, a crush at a religious celebration killed nine people, eight of them women. Prior to that, more than 100 people died in January 2011 in the southern state of Kerala when panic spread among worshippers crossing mountainous terrain in the dark to visit a shrine. The worst recent incident was in October 2008 when around 220 people died near a temple inside a famous fort in the northern city of Jodhpur. — AFP

last month after being accused of allegedly desecrating the Quran and tampering with the evidence against Rimsha. On August 24, Chishti said he thought Rimsha burned the pages as part of a Christian “conspiracy” and demanded action against what he called their “anti-Islam activities” in the impoverished Mehrabad neighborhood of Islamabad. Pakistani political analyst Hasan Askari said the courts had acted fairly, but that Rimsha’s fate remains uncertain because of the poor track record on how society treats people accused of blasphemy. Neither did he expect any immediate prospect of legal reforms. “The government does not have the capacity to withstand the pressure of these religious groups especially at a time when elections are very close,” he said. In 2011, Pakistani politicians Salman Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti were assassinated for demanding that the blasphemy law be reformed. And despite international outcry, Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of five, sentenced to death in November 2010 after women claimed she made derogatory remarks about the Prophet Mohammed remains in prison, pending an appeal process.— AFP

How Asians see US pivot to the Pacific TOKYO: A lot has happened in Asia while the United States was off fighting its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and most of it can be summed up in one word - China. Fueled by China’s amazing growth and the promise of its huge and expanding consumer market, the Asia-Pacific region is now, as experts like to say, the global economy’s center of gravity. Sorry, Europe. But prosperity requires stability. As President Barack Obama tours the region to push his year-old pivot to the Pacific policy, the big question on everybody’s mind is how much of a role Washington, with its mighty military and immense diplomatic clout, can play in keeping the Pacific - well, pacific. Here’s a look at how different countries perceive the US Pacific policy and how it impacts them: CHINA: HOW NOT TO TRAIN DRAGON As far as Beijing is concerned, Obama’s pivot was pulled right out of the old Cold War containment playbook. Afraid of China’s rise, Beijing believes, Washington is trying to enflame new tensions by isolating it and emboldening the countries that China has territorial disputes with, which is just about everybody with whom it shares a border. “Using China’s rise and the ‘China threat’ theory, the US wants to convince China’s neighbors that the AsiaPacific needs Washington’s presence and protection in order to ‘unite’ them to strike a ‘strategic rebalance’ against China in the region,” security scholar Wang Yusheng wrote recently in the China Daily. It’s a strategy that’s bound to lose, Beijing says. China sees its rise as inevitable and unstoppable and believes its neighbors will ultimately opt for stronger ties while gradually excluding the US. Beijing also views its economic dominance as an unalloyed good. And as it tests out its first aircraft carrier, stealth jets, cyber capabilities and high-tech missiles, it is in an increasingly strong position to deny Washington access to its shores and some key Pacific sea lanes, which could be a problem if Obama’s pivot ever has to go from push to shove. JAPAN: ALREADY FEELING THE PINCH Without a doubt, Japan is Washington’s most faithful security partner in the Pacific. And it’s the most pinched by China’s rise. For months, Japan and China have been in an increasingly tense dispute over a group of small, uninhabited islands in the East China Sea. The near-constant presence of Chinese ships around them has stretched the Japanese Coast Guard to its limits. Japan’s air force says Chinese surveillance flights in the area have increased significantly. Wary of getting caught up in the volatile brew of nationalism, historical animosity and populist politics that is fueling the flare-up, the US has been careful not to take sides. Instead, it has urged the two countries to work out their problems among themselves, diplomatically. That has confounded many in Japan, which hosts 52,000 US troops under a treaty signed in 1960 that obliges the US to defend territories under Japanese administration. Washington has repeatedly affirmed that includes the isles at the center of the current tensions with China. Tokyo would have preferred at least some moral support to its claim. “It’s strange,” said Kazuhiko Togo, a former senior diplomat who now heads the Institute for World Affairs at Kyoto Sangyo University. “I trust the US as our ally, but we need to address this issue of US ‘neutrality.’” IN THE SOUTH CHINA SEA Washington took a similarly standoffish stance early this year in the dispute between China, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan over the South China Sea islands, believed to be rich in gas and oil and straddling busy shipping routes. The Philippines America’s closest ally in that dispute eventually pulled its ships out of the hotly contested Scarborough Shoal, but Chinese vessels have remained. Manila-based political analyst Ramon Casiple said the disputes have left America’s allies more aware of their own vulnerabilities and what they can - or can’t - expect from the US. “America’s treading a very fine line,”

Casiple said. “It has to reassure its allies that at the end of the day the US would be there for them.” He added that the US has made it clear it is not willing to risk a major confrontation in which its options would be limited “to either intervene or lose influence.” There is, however, one other thing it might do in the meantime. When US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta visited Vietnam in June, he hinted the Navy would like access to Cam Ranh, a deep water port facing the contested waters of the South China Sea. Hanoi’s counter-proposal? Lift a ban on selling it lethal weapons. TAIWAN: LEFT OUT IN THE COLD Best friends forever? Not so much. As China has gotten stronger and more important to the US economy, Washington has become extremely wary of engaging Taiwan as a full security partner - a big pullback from the 1950s and the 1960s, when the two had a formal defense treaty and the US based thousands of troops on what it considered a - if not the - key forward base to keep China at bay. Today, cooperation is limited to some intelligence sharing, the training of Taiwanese air force personnel in the US, occasional security consultations and very restricted arms sales - definitely not the kind of advanced F-16 fighters and diesel submarines the Taiwanese military really wants. Even so, political scientist Alexander Huang of Taipei’s Tamkang University says Taiwan can play a role in Obama’s pivot - but only if Washington decides to make a clear commitment. THE KOREAS: STEALTH OVER SEOUL? Ah, North Korea. It’s got a new leader, about whom, typically, the world knows almost nothing, a nuclear weapons/ballistic missile program that it likes to trot out every so often to raise regional tensions and a belligerent attitude toward the US But Obama has a friend in Seoul. Back in the 1950s, the US fought on Seoul’s side in the Korean War - and contemplated nuking China before it was over. China still supports the North, and Washington continues to have about 28,500 troops in the South. South Korea also buys about 70 percent of its weapons from the United States, and a big payday for an American company might come soon after Obama’s inauguration, when South Korea is expected to formally announce the winner in a $7.6 billion project to build 60 sophisticated fighter jets. The deal will be South Korea’s biggest-ever weapons procurement. The top contender is believed to be Lockheed Martin’s stealthy F-35 Joint Strike Fighter - which after a long run of development problems and cost overruns could certainly use a multi-billion dollar boost. Boeing and European aerospace giant EADS are also in the running. AUSTRALIA: LIVING WITH MARINES Australia got one of the first waves from the pivot when the US announced last year it would begin rotating up to 2,500 US Marines through the northern city of Darwin. Now the US is seeking access to an Australian navy base south of the western city of Perth and to bombing ranges in the northern Outback. Some experts fear the relationship may be moving too fast. On one hand there is broad support for Australia’s defense relationship with the US, so having American Marines was seen as a natural step. But it has also raised concerns that Washington will push for more - something Australia might not be ready for. After all China is central to Australia’s economy, buying a bulk of its mineral and coal resources. “What worries us is the way in which it seems to confirm that the United States and China are increasingly viewing each other as strategic rivals,” said Hugh White, professor of strategic studies at Australian National University. “We worry about the idea of the US-China relationship becoming more adversarial,” he said. “America wants to remain the dominant power in Asia, and China wants to become the dominant power in Asia. “What the rest of us all want is for neither of them to be the dominant power in Asia.” — AP


NEWS Obama defies China over sea rows Continued from Page 1 stern admonishment of China’s critics and a strong defence of his country’s claims. “We do not want to bring the disputes to an occasion like this,” Wen told Obama and the other leaders in one of the final sessions of the two-day event, according to Chinese vice foreign minister Fu Ying. “China’s act of defending its sovereignty is necessary and legitimate... and we have properly handled the incidents that were not of the making of China.” Obama’s visit to Cambodia was the final leg of a threenation trip to Southeast Asia -the first foreign tour since his re-election - aimed at deepening Washington’s influence in the region and countering the rise of China. He began in Thailand, then made a lightning and historic visit to Myanmar, a former military-ruled country that was closely aligned to China but which is undergoing dramatic political reforms. Obama departed Phnom Penh yesterday night for the United States. China, which claims sovereignty over virtually all of the South China Sea, prefers to negotiate directly with its neighbours from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). ASEAN members Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei, as well as Taiwan, also have claims to parts of the sea, which is home to some of the world’s most important shipping lanes and

believed to be rich in fossil fuels. The rival claims have for decades made the sea a powder keg issue in the region. Chinese and Vietnamese forces engaged in clashes in 1974 and 1988 in which dozens of troops died. After a long period of relative calm, tensions have risen over the past two years, with the Philippines and Vietnam expressing concerns that China is becoming increasingly aggressive in staking its claims. Some bruising diplomatic confrontations this year have overshadowed regional meetings at which participants typically prefer to focus on improving economic ties. At the East Asia Summit, the first day was dominated by infighting over the issue among the ASEAN bloc. Cambodia, this year’s ASEAN chair and a close Chinese ally, said the 10 nations had agreed not to “internationalise” the disputes. This would have given China an important diplomatic victory and potentially muzzled Obama on the issue in Cambodia. But the Philippines quickly denied this had been agreed, with President Benigno Aquino rebuking Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen during one of the meetings on Monday. “How can there be a consensus? A consensus means 100 percent. How can there be a consensus when two of us are saying we’re not with it,” Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario told reporters afterwards. — Agencies

Poland foils terror attack on top leaders Continued from Page 1 as Brunon K., in line with Poland’s privacy laws. Later yesterday Prime Minister Tusk described him as being “fascinated by Breivik”, referring to mass killer Anders Behring Breivik, a farright fanatic who massacred 77 people in a bombing and shooting frenzy in Norway July last year. “Breivik acquired certain elements and explosive components in Poland over the Internet,” Tusk added, saying information obtained by Polish intelligence while probing Breivik’s purchases of chemicals here helped investigators in the current case. Speaking earlier, Krakow chief prosecutor Artur Wrona said the suspect had been a “real danger”. “In Norway nobody had imagined they had a Breivik in their midst,” he added. Breivik was sentenced in August to 21 years in jail for “acts of terror” over the worst peacetime atrocity in Norway, and is now being held in near complete isolation at a high security prison outside Oslo. Investigators in Poland uncovered various types of explosives related to the Krakow case, plus detonators,

firearms and ammunition, military helmets, bullet proof vests, licence plates and fake driving licences. Prosecutors said the suspect had allegedly procured arms in Warsaw and Belgium. “The quantity of materials seized from this man, the way in which he was preparing his operation and his professional approach were similar to Breivik’s operation,” spokesman for Krakow prosecutors Piotr Kosmaty told AFP. The would-be bomber admitted to being inspired by an unidentified third party to create an armed group focused on carrying out the bombing. “He attempted to create an armed group, recruiting people who were to aid him in carrying out his project. He set out their roles and had carried out a reconnaissance mission around the parliament building during a visit,” Krason said. Prosecutors showed journalists videos made by the suspect as he tested up to 250 kg of explosives in various locations in Poland. He faces up to five years in prison if found guilty of organising an assassination attempt. The alleged plot comes 90 years after a far-right extremist used a revolver to assassinate Poland’s president Gabriel Narutowicz. — AFP

Turkey accuses Israel of Gaza... Continued from Page 1

Erdogan’s words came after Israel halted a threatened Gaza ground operation to give Egyptian-led truce talks a chance to end nearly a week of cross-border violence that has killed more than 100 Palestinians and three Israelis. He said Turkey, Egypt and the Gulf countries, particularly Qatar and Saudi Arabia, had to take their own initiative, accusing the United Nations Security Council of doing nothing to save Gazans. “It is against them today, tomorrow it will be us, keep that in mind,” he said. “If we are going to die, let’s go down with decency. Keep that in mind too.” Separately, a Bahrain lawmaker said he set fire to an

Israeli flag during a parliament session in a show of support for the Palestinians in Gaza. Osama Al-Tamimi said he smuggled a canister of gasoline into the chamber and set the flag ablaze yesterday. The incident prompted a five-minute suspension of the session. Tamimi says he sought to “send a clear message to the international community” about Bahrain’s support for the people of Gaza as they face Israeli attacks in retaliation for stepped up rocket strikes by the Palestinian group Hamas. Bahraini authorities have banned pro-Gaza public rallies as part of wider clampdowns against political marches. The country last month outlawed all political gatherings in attempts to quell a 21-month-old Shiiteled uprising against the Sunni monarchy. — Agencies

Hamas sees truce as Israel keeps up raids Continued from Page 1

it was now up to Hamas, the Islamist movement which rules Gaza, to choose between peace and further bloodshed. “Our hand is outstretched in peace to those of our neighbours who want to make peace with us,” Israel’s rightwing premier said in a statement. “And the other hand is firmly grasping the sword of David.” A senior Hamas official told AFP in Cairo that a key sticking point was whether Israel would begin easing its six-year-old blockade of Gaza coinciding with the truce or at a later date. “A compromise solution is for there to be agreement on lifting the siege, and that it would be implemented later at a specified time,” he said. The rocket fired at Jerusalem crashed into an olive grove near Jabba village, in an attack claimed by the armed wing of Hamas, the Ezzedine al- Qassam Brigades, the second such attempt to hit Jerusalem in five days. Nobody was hurt but the sirens halted traffic and prompted people to urgently evacuate to bomb shelters. But another rocket strike on in the Eshkol regional council killed a soldier, bringing the Israeli death toll since Wednesday to four, after three civilians were killed last Thursday. Netanyahu and his key ministers decided in a closed-door meeting late Monday to place “a temporary hold on a ground incursion to give diplomacy a

chance to succeed,” a senior Israeli official told AFP. The move came as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon travelled from Cairo to Jerusalem and urged both sides to stop their fire “immediately”. The flurry of diplomatic activity has also seen US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cut short an Asia tour to head to Jerusalem, Ramallah and Cairo, and Arab League chief Nabil Al-Arabi leading a solidarity visit to Gaza. Hamas is understood to be seeking guarantees that Israel will stop its targeted killings, and end its blockade on the tiny coastal stretch of land, which is home to 1.6 million people. Israel for its par t is believed to be looking for a 24- to 48-hour truce as a buffer to work out a more permanent arrangement, with yesterday ’s talks “expected to be decisive,” Haaretz newspaper said. An Israeli government source said that negotiations from all sides were discussing a truce proposal “constantly” but that no “estimated time of arrival” for a truce could yet be made. Since the violence erupted on Nov 14, Gaza militants have fired more than 1,000 rockets at the Jewish state. Of those, 720 have crashed into southern Israel and another 389 were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system. The violence comes as Israel heads towards a general election in January, raising the spectre of a broader Israeli military campaign along the lines of its devastating 22-day Operation Cast Lead launched at the end of Dec 2008.

Kuwait firm under US fire for ... Continued from Page 1 for providing the army trailers two months before the subcontract was awarded. In July 2004, a KBR representative said claims by First Kuwaiti’s founder under other subcontracts “absolute highway robbery”, the complaint said. “The facts alleged in the complaint indicate that KBR and First Kuwaiti did not provide an honest accounting,” said Jim Lewis, US Attorney for the Central District of Illinois. KBR said in a statement it had not seen the latest complaint, but that it believed the government’s claims are “baseless and without merit”. “KBR has faithfully supported American troops in Iraq and has performed its work in support of the army with professionalism and in full compliance with its contract and the law,” it said. First Kuwaiti, based in Kuwait City, also goes by First Kuwaiti General Trading & Contracting Co, according to the complaint. A website for the company says it was founded in 1996 by businessman Wadih Al-Absi and employs more than 600 engineers and 15,000 staff members. Rock Island

was the location of an earlier criminal lawsuit against a former KBR employee, Anthony Martin, who pleaded guilty in July 2007 to participating in a kickback scheme. Monday’s complaint refers to Martin’s case and said that the kickback scheme was with Absi. Martin received $10,000 and was promised another $190,000 to award First Kuwaiti subcontracts for trucks and trailers, the lawsuit said. A representative for First Kuwaiti did not respond to an email seeking comment. A lawyer for Martin did not respond to a call and an email seeking comment. Monday’s lawsuit came after KBR last week welcomed the dismissal of an earlier lawsuit filed in US District Court in Washington by the Justice Department in 2010. The government gave no reason for dropping that case. It did so without prejudice, giving it the ability to refile the case at a later date. Both lawsuits were under the False Claims Act, which allows the United States to recoup funds when companies overbill the government. The statute allows the government to sue for three times its damages and assess civil penalties of $5,500 to $11,000 per false claim. — Reuters

Oppn demo organizers seeking MoI... Continued from Page 1

on Monday night and was due to hold two more yesterday, one in Fahaheel in the south and another in Shamiya near Kuwait City. Both were to be addressed by a large number of opposition figures and former MPs. Other gatherings will be held today and over the next few days with the aim to garner the support of the public to boycott the election. Units of the so-called Popular Committee for Boycotting the Election have also been mobilized to carry out door-to-door visits to homes in various areas to explain to the people why they should shun the polls. Speaking at a gathering Monday night, former opposition MP Musallam Al-Barrak said the opposition expects Dec 1 to be a day of defeat for the government because the ballot boxes will be empty. He defended

the opposition’s right to organize protests and demonstrations to reject the amendment of the electoral law which triggered the current standoff between the opposition and the government. Speaking at the same gathering, former MP Jamaan Al-Harbash said the situation in Kuwait is painful and frightening because the country has been deteriorating over the past six years. The administrative court meanwhile is due to start hearing petitions filed by candidates who have been disqualified by the National Election Commission. The court will hold sessions today and tomorrow and must issue its verdicts before the election date. So far, more than 24 of the 37 disqualified candidates filed petitions against the decision. Five more candidates pulled out of the race yesterday leaving around 305 in the fray with just three days left to go before the withdrawal door closes. — Agencies





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Hollande’s soft plan needs tough execution By Catherine Bremer fter six months keeping the world guessing about whether he had a vision for fixing France’s sickly economy, President Francois Hollande has unveiled a battle plan “a la francaise” to ease companies’ labour costs and trim public spending. But the softly-softly pace of adjustment may be too slow to satisfy financial markets after Moody’s on Monday became the second credit ratings agency to strip Paris of its AAA rating, citing both a loss of competitiveness and low growth. Hollande’s “competitiveness pact” aims to create 300,000 jobs and lift output by half a percent over five years by granting 20 billion euros a year in corporate tax relief and pruning public spending by 1 percent. The measures will be funded by modest sales tax rises from 2014, sparing households immediate pain. Tweaks to labour laws will follow next year to make hiring and firing somewhat more flexible while extending the length of job contracts. The plan is bold for a left-wing French government, yet it falls short of what business leaders wanted and critics say it may be too timid to pull the economy out of decline in time. Moreover, a key plank - spending cuts of euro 12 billion a year - will require sharp reductions in welfare payments or local government, hard to sell to a parliament full of mayors and civil servants, and an electorate including more than 5 million public sector workers. “We’ve taken a big step forward but we’ve lost time. We should have started two months ago,” said a government source. Some in Hollande’s team had nudged the president to move sooner but found that “he does not like to be rushed”. “Hollande has not said where the 12 billion euros will come from because he doesn’t know. None of us knows. There would be a lot of resistance to public sector cuts,” the source said. Most economists have applauded Hollande’s move to embrace reform, despite muttering from Berlin that the measures should be bolder. But they say success, in the face of stalled growth and rising 10 percent unemployment, depends on Hollande being able to implement all his plans - corporate tax relief, labour reform and spending cuts - to the letter. That will hinge on acquiescence from a disgruntled public, on the euro zone avoiding further crisis or a deeper lurch into recession, and on investors keeping French borrowing costs low. “If he can meet all these commitments it would be remarkable and he could really make a difference. If he only partially meets them the results are harder to predict,” said Elie Cohen, an economist who advised Hollande during his election campaign. Cohen sees a risk of France being sucked into the sort of downward spiral that has afflicted Greece, Portugal, Spain and to an extent Italy. “A euro zone recession could be decisive,” he added. “If France misses its growth targets and then its deficit targets, he’ll need to do a third austerity plan on top of these measures and that would look seriously like a Mediterranean scenario.” Hollande is under growing pressure from foreign investors concerned at France’s strained public finances, flatlining economy and industrial decline that has led to a euro 70 billion trade deficit. Paris also faces new competition for its exports from Spain and Italy, which have been forced by their debt crises to reform their labour and product markets faster. Hollande’s Nov 6 announcement of the tax rebates was his response to an independent review of competitiveness that recommended euro 30 billion in direct cuts to labour costs. The rebates will be linked to payroll size in a way that the government says is equivalent to a 6 percent reduction in labour costs from 2013. Hollande’s economic advisers, who include a US-educated academic and a former investment banker, expect the rebates to have a similar effect to an internal devaluation, raising profit margins, especially for labour-intensive manufacturers and small firms, for a couple of years until prices adjust. The government reckons this could boost exports by euro10-15 billion over two years, shaving the nonenergy trade deficit. “All other things being equal, this will improve the current account by quite a bit,” said a government adviser, whose position bars him from being quoted by name. Naysayers note that any trickle of jobs created through the tax rebates will be outstripped by continuing job losses as long as economic growth remains below 1 percent. A rule of thumb for France is that employment stabilises once growth reaches 1.5 percent, and it takes 2 percent expansion or more to achieve a net increase in jobs. “The tax rebate plan may enable us to absorb some of the recession, by adding some jobs, but it won’t boost economic activity,” said Philippe Ansel, an economist with Fondation Concorde, a business-funded, economically liberal think-tank. “France remains squashed between Germany, with its high-quality products, and Spain and Italy, which have made bigger efforts to reduce their labour costs.”—Reuters


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New Mideast balance constrains Israel action By Paul Taylor new balance of power in the Middle East will limit Israel’s ability to impose its ceasefire terms on Hamas in Gaza, but technology is compensating by curbing the Islamist militants’ capacity to cause casualties in the Jewish state. The strategic environment has changed radically since the last major armed conflict between Israel and Hamas in the winter of 2008-09, which involved an Israeli ground invasion of the Gaza Strip and ended with 1,400 Palestinian and 13 Israeli dead. Arab Spring uprisings have brought the Muslim Brotherhood soulmates of Hamas - to power in Egypt, Israel’s southern neighbour which controls the Gaza enclave’s only other border, and in Tunisia, toppling veteran Western-backed autocrats. “Hamas has concluded that the Arab Spring gives it a number of advantages and opportunities, and it is trying to capitalise on that to change the rules of the game with Israel, and to change the relationship with Egypt,” said Yezid Sayigh, a senior research associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut. The changed regional balance makes an Israeli ground assault on Gaza less likely this time, and may enable Hamas to force an easing of Israel’s economic blockade of the Gaza Strip, provided it does not overplay its hand, the Palestinian scholar said. In other strategic shifts, Turkey, a major regional power, has turned vociferously hostile to the Jewish state and lent political support to Hamas, although Israel retains discreet relations with Ankara and its security establishment. And the United States, under President Barack Obama, has embraced the Arab Spring movements and taken a less


interventionist role in the Middle East, leaving regional powers largely to manage their own conflicts. “The regional context is much different from what it was three or four years ago,” said Oded Eran, a former top Israeli diplomat who is now a senior research associate at the Israel Institute for National Security Studies. “That imposes big strains on Israel’s manoeuvrability, both militarily and diplomatically.” Hamas may have felt emboldened to scale up the latest round of fighting by allowing the firing of dozens of rockets into Israel the day after a landmark visit on Oct 23 by the emir of Qatar that cracked Gaza’s diplomatic isolation and delighted the Islamist movement, which has run the coastal strip since 2007. That was followed in turn by Israel’s assassination of top Hamas military commander Ahmed Al-Jaabari in a targeted air strike on Nov 14, prompting further escalation on either side. Sayigh said Jaabari had just returned from reviewing a draft ceasefire agreement drawn up by Egyptian military intelligence officers mediating with Israel. He questioned whether Hamas had intentionally set out to generate hostilities on this scale and said an Israeli general election set for Jan 24 may have influenced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to strike now. Hamas has longerrange rockets than it had in 2008, some supplied by Iran and smuggled into Gaza via tunnels from Egypt. A handful have been fired at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, the politically sensitive main Israeli population centres. But Israel’s new Iron Dome anti-missile system has intercepted dozens of rockets, while many others have been destroyed before being fired, landed harmlessly or caused minimal damage. The only three

Israeli dead in the latest round of fighting were killed by a shorter-range strike on Kiryat Malachi, a southern town, 20 km from the Gaza border. Without Iron Dome, the rocket fire at Israeli cities could well have caused enough casualties to stir overwhelming public pressure for a ground invasion into Gaza. Nevertheless, the Islamist movement can boast that it has struck deep inside Israel and forced residents of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and the southern city of Beersheva into the air-raid shelters, demonstrating its power to disrupt normal life. This show of force came at a time when the Palestinian Authority led by Mahmoud Abbas’s secular Fatah movement, Hamas’s bitter rival which runs the West Bank, is pressing a diplomatic campaign to gain an improved status at the United Nations. “My assumption is that one reason why Hamas did all this was to pre-empt a victory at the United Nations next week for Abu Mazen,” Eran said, using Abbas’ informal name. “Hamas wanted a victory with blood that is better than a white-collar, paper victory.” How the latest round of armed conflict ends will depend crucially on the role chosen by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. Morsi has already departed from his ousted predecessor Hosni Mubarak’s stance by sending his prime minister to demonstrate support for Hamas in Gaza last Friday. He has also stated publicly that an Israeli ground offensive would be unacceptable. But, Eran said, despite his critical statements and the symbolic recall of Egypt’s ambassador from Israel, Morsi has been careful not to call into question their 1979 peace treaty nor to jeopardise the US and IMF economic assistance on which Cairo is now more reliant than ever. The key to a ceasefire agreement would

be how far Egypt was prepared to limit arms supplies to Hamas in future and whether it would allow multinational observers in Sinai to verify that, the former Israeli diplomat said. Sayigh said Morsi had other options to support Hamas if the conflict endured, such as encouraging Egyptian citizens to raise funds and take relief supplies into Gaza in a show of support, opening Egypt’s border more generously to Palestinians and applying more public pressure on Israel and the United States. “This Gaza conflict shows that the political balance may be more important from now on than the military balance,” he said. Obama, who has so far backed what he calls Israel’s right to defend itself against rocket fire, made clear on Sunday he wants his ally to avoid a land invasion that would, judging by last time, rapidly sap Western public sympathy for the Jewish state. Netanyahu, too, would seem to have an interest in keeping this year’s Gaza operation limited, with as few Israeli casualties as possible, two months before an election that polls show he is strongly placed to win. Hamas knows that too, and radicals in its ranks or in other Islamist groups may try to goad the Israelis into an incursion. As always in the Middle East, a single strike that caused heavy civilian casualties could upend cool calculations and force a sudden escalation, or an early end to the fighting, before one side or the other has achieved its objectives. Yet despite the changed strategic environment, the most likely outcome seems similar to the way Israel’s limited wars in Lebanon and Gaza have ended in the last decade - a ceasefire that buys at most a few years and at least a few months’ calm, with both sides expecting another round eventually. —Reuters

Ground war wouldn’t cure Israel headache By Crispian Balmer n Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip will not provide any long-term solution to the problem posed by the Islamist group Hamas, and this will make the government think long and hard before sending in the troops. After six days of intensive military strikes against the Palestinian enclave, which Israel says are needed to halt regular militant rocket fire, thousands of Israeli soldiers are massing on the border awaiting orders to attack. But aware that an assault on the densely populated coastal territory could backfire militarily and diplomatically, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will probably accept a ceasefire if he can draw half-decent terms from Hamas. “I have never believed in the notion of definitive solutions per se,” said Einat Wilf, who sits on the Israeli parliament’s foreign affairs and defence committee and is a member of Defence Minister Ehud Barak’s Atzmaut party. “If there is the possibility to reach a reasonable situation, even if it is not an ideal one, where at least for a while Hamas no longer shells our towns and civilians, then this will be the course of the government,” she told Reuters. However, the rightist coalition, seeking reelection in January, is facing strident calls from some of its allies for concerted action that could yet influence the decision. Moreover, any hopes in Europe that the conflict might help to revive moribund peace talks with the Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is despised by Hamas for renouncing armed resistance, look certain to be dashed. Dreams that Israel might one day live in peace with all its neighbours have long since evaporated, and most Israelis seem to accept that their army, the most powerful in the region, will have to wage war regularly to defend their interests. Israel pulled its troops and settlers out of Gaza in 2005 but has ever since come under


sporadic rocket fire from militants who refuse to recognise its right to exist and chafe under a tight blockade imposed by both Israel and Egypt. Looking to halt the attacks, Israel launched a three-week war at the end of 2008 that left 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead. After a lull, the rockets started shooting across the border again, infuriating southern Israeli communities. With the elections looming, Netanyahu felt compelled to send in the war

speaker of parliament and a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, told Reuters. “I think we should postpone elections and bring down Hamas.” Others are even more outspoken, such as the son of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who is a newspaper columnist. “We need to flatten entire neighbourhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima. The Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too,” Gilad

Israelis Sapir and her boyfriend Ron walk inside Sapir’s home, hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, in the southern city of Beersheba yesterday. —AP planes. By Monday, Israel said it had carried out 1,350 air strikes against arms caches and other sites which have killed about 100 people, more than half of them civilians. Some of the prime minister’s supporters say now is the time to plough into Gaza and stamp out Hamas once and for all. “We can buy time with small operations, but eventually we will have to deal with the main issue which is the downfall of the regime of Hamas,” Danny Danon, the deputy

Sharon wrote in Monday’s Jerusalem Post. Few if any in the military or intelligence establishment would ever propose such a course of action. They know that the radicalism in Gaza cannot be countered by bombs alone. “If worst comes to worst, we can (launch) a much wider operation in Gaza. But that is not going to really solve the problem,” Yosef Kuperwasser, the director of Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, told reporters last month.

“There is a wide and deep problem of hate indoctrination that produces more and more terrorists all the time,” he added, suggesting that more violence will only stoke the radicalism. When deciding in the coming hours what to do, Netanyahu will also have to consider much broader concerns than just the tiny confines of Gaza. He will need to weigh up future relations with Egypt and also look to see where Iran fits into the picture. The election last year of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in Egypt has lead to a seismic change in relations between Egypt and Israel. So far, their 1979 peace treaty is holding fast, but a bloody incursion into Gaza could yet alter that. Any upset in that crucial regional relationship, which has been a cornerstone of US Middle East strategy, would be a boon for Iran and bolster the Islamic Republic in its stand-off with Israel and the West over its nuclear program. “An Israeli ground invasion would be very much in Iran’s interest because first of all it would cause fantastic damage to Israel’s international standing, particularly with Egypt,” said Meir Javedanfar, an Iranian expert who teaches at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya. “The place where Israel has to win the war against Iran and Hamas is in the soft power arena, not the hard power arena.” Looking at the soft arena, European politicians have linked the violence in Gaza with the paralysed peace process, arguing that the prospect of a better future might draw Palestinians away from militancy and undercut Hamas. The last direct negotiations between Israel and Palestinian leaders in the occupied West Bank broke down in 2010 over the issue of Jewish settlement building across the territory. President Abbas wants a vote in the UN General Assembly this month so the Palestinians can become an “observer state” rather than just a “entity” as at present, giving them more clout in world bodies and potential leverage over the Israelis. —Reuters


sp orts Nadal returns to training MANACOR: Rafa Nadal returned to the training court and started hitting balls again yesterday for the first time since the latest in a series of knee injuries forced his withdrawal from the US Open at the end of August. The 11-times grand slam singles champion, who has not competed since being stunned by Czech Lukas Rosol in the second round at Wimbledon in June, completed a session under the supervision of coach and uncle Toni Nadal at an indoor facility in his home town of Manacor on the island of Majorca. Nadal, 26, hopes to be back to full fitness in time for the Australian Open in January. The Spaniard, whose athletic, aggressive playing style places huge demands on his muscles and joints, has been sidelined several times by knee problems during his 11-year career. His latest injury was diagnosed as a partial tear of the patella tendon and an inflammation of the Hoffa’s fat pad and after the shock defeat at Wimbledon he was unable to defend his Olympic title at the London Games.—Reuters

‘No progress’ in NHL lockout NEW YORK: The National Hockey League (NHL) and players’ association returned to the bargaining table in New York on Monday but a 90-minute meeting failed to produce a breakthrough in their bitter, two-month-old labor dispute. Discussions involving NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, four owners, NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr and 18 players offered no hope of brokering a new collective bargaining agreement that would salvage the season. “No progress to report,” Daly told Reuters via email. “I would expect we will meet again sometime this week, although that has not been confirmed.” Fehr, representing players who have been locked out by the

owners since Sept. 15, told reporters the union had been keen to discuss player contracting issues with the league but that the NHL had been “unwilling” to do so during Monday’s meeting. Daly said the league wanted the union to submit a detailed economic proposal, covering all issues, before the subject of player contracting could be addressed. “I understand there is a lot of frustration in the process,” said Daly. “I’m frustrated in terms of being where we are and not playing hockey.” Monday’s round of negotiations at the league’s offices in New York was the first between the two groups in eight days and came amidst mounting speculation that the league could cancel more games later this week if no further progress was made.

Domenech’s new book ‘All Alone’ PARIS: Former France coach Raymond Domenech has launched a scathing tirade on several members of his 2010 World Cup squad in a new book, recounting that he was so exasperated by their behavior that he exploded with rage and called them “a bunch of imbeciles.” The team shocked the nation by going on strike at a training session after striker Nicolas Anelka had been sent home for insulting Domenech during the halftime break of France’s second group game at the tournament in South Africa, against Mexico. Domenech’s bitter six-year tenure as France coach ended after the disastrous World Cup campaign and led to his dismissal as a member of the French Football Federation. In a book called “Tout Seul” (All Alone), which will be published late yesterday, Domenech reserves his most critical comments for Franck Ribery, Anelka and Thierry Henry.—Reuters

Wizards woes continue

KHULNA: Bangladesh’s cricketers warm up during a practice session. Bangladesh and West Indies play their second cricket Test beginning today. — AP

Bangladesh look to level Test series KHULNA: Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim hopes his team can bounce back to win the second and final Test against the West Indies starting today after snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in the first. The home team had raised hopes of an upset win in Dhaka by setting up a modest victory target of 245 runs following a stunning bowling performance of 6-74 by debutant offspinner Sohag Gazi. But a customary second innings batting failure ended landed them a 77-run defeat, as West Indian paceman Tino Best generated some hostile pace to claim 5-24 and push the Tigers to their 64th defeat in 74 Tests. Rahim said Bangladesh achieved some positives despite their defeat. “Ahead of the Test match, our concerns were about lasting the five days,” said Rahim, referring to concerns over Bangladesh’s lack of preparation for their first Test in 11 months. “But we scored 500-plus and took a firstinnings lead, these are big achievements, all

the players were committed and if we could have played a little better we could have possibly won it. “We can improve ourselves by getting into such situations more.” Bangladesh will also hope their fortunes change on a new venue, the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in the industrial town of Khulna which will be hosting a Test for the first time. West Indian captain Darren Sammy agreed Bangladesh will take some positives into the second match. “I know Bangladesh will take a lot of positives and so will we. It leaves the series wide open. We have seen they are not a team we can roll over,” said Sammy who also led his team to 10 Test win in Bangladesh last year. “Before the series I had said that we won’t take them lightly and we didn’t. Had we taken them for granted the result of the first innings score would have caused panic in the dressing room.” Both teams are likely to remain unchanged as they seek continuity in selection and performance. — AFP


Australia carry momentum into Adelaide second Test SYDNEY: Australia were charged with confidence by their performance in the opening test against South Africa and are determined to ride the momentum to victory in this week’s second clash at the Adelaide Oval. South Africa’s number one test ranking is on the line in the three-match series and it lived up to its billing as a heavyweight contest at the Gabba, where the tourists took the early initiative but Australia finished on a high. A brilliant unbeaten 259 from skipper Michael Clarke combined with centuries from Ed Cowan and Mike Hussey defused the celebrated South African bowling attack and left the Proteas to bat out the final day for a draw. “We think we came out of that test on top and thought there were a couple of big blows we landed,” Australia spinner Nathan Lyon said this week. “We have to come out and start well on Thursday morning and take that momentum from the first test into the second and third tests and hopefully win this series and become number one nation in the world.” Australia’s main selection quandary is whether all rounder Shane Watson will have recovered sufficiently from the calf strain which saw him miss the Brisbane test to take his place in the top order. Watson has already ruled himself out of bowling in the match and left-hander Rob Quiney looks more and more likely to retain his spot at number three in the batting lineup in his place. Spinner Nathan Lyon is certain to remain in the side at a ground where he was an assistant groundsman only two years ago, while left-armer Mitchell Starc is pushing Ben Hilfenhaus for his place in the likely threepronged pace attack. South Africa’s bowlers have been left in no doubt that better is expected of them in

Adelaide after they toiled on a wicket that offered them little in Brisbane. Having left specialist spinner Imran Tahir out of the Gabba Test only to then lose all rounder JP Duminy to a ruptured Achilles, South Africa are unlikely to leave their bowling unit similarly exposed in Adelaide. Paceman Rory Kleinveldt, who ended up with figures of 0-97 on debut at the Gabba, looks set to make way for Tahir’s return with Faf du Plessis coming in for the unfortunate Duminy, who will be sidelined for six months. That will leave Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander - the top two in the ICC bowling rankings - to lead the pace attack with backup from Morne Morkel and all rounder Jacques Kallis. There was nothing much wrong with South Africa’s batting when they took early charge of the Brisbane test with Kallis and Hashim Amla both grabbing centuries in the first innings. “In Brisbane, we had them under pressure but just let them go. Hopefully this time we can really squeeze them and break the momentum,” opener Alviro Petersen said. “In the last year or two we have played good cricket, that is why we’re the number one test team in the world and that will count for a lot.” The Adelaide track is unlikely to offer them too much for the opening couple of days at least, and whichever captain wins the toss would be well-advised to bat first. “It’s almost like the sub-continent, it’s very slow for the first three days then quickens up towards the back end,” Australia and former South Africa coach Mickey Arthur said. “It goes from being the best batting wicket in the world to being pretty difficult to bat on in days four and five. So, big first innings are the way to go there.” — Reuters

WASHINGTON: There were boos early and at the end for the winless Washington Wizards, who posted their worst ever start to a season by dropping to nine consecutive losses with a 96-89 defeat to the Indiana Pacers on Monday night. Indiana’s David West scored 13 of his season-best 30 points in the fourth quarter, and Roy Hibbert broke out of a slump with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Still without point guard John Wall, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft, and starting center Nene, the Wizards are the only team in the NBA without a victory. They started last year by losing their first eight games, the club’s previous worst opening to a season. They were led Monday by rookie Bradley Beal’s 18 points, 17 coming in the second half. Jordan Crawford scored 11 on 2-for-12 shooting for Washington, which was jeered by the announced crowd of 14,426 in the opening minutes and again at the closing buzzer. In other games, the Nuggets had a 9792 win over the Grizzlies, the Clippers beat the Spurs 92-87, the Warriors defeated the Mavericks 105-101, the Jazz beat the Rockets 102-91, the Bobcats had a 102-98 win over the Bucks and the Hawks beat the Magic 81-72. Danilo Gallinari scored 26 points, including a 3-pointer with 13 seconds left, as Denver ended the Memphis Grizzlies’ win streak at eight games. JaVale McGee finished with 15 points and eight rebounds, and Kenneth Faried added 13 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. The victory ended a three-game skid for the Nuggets, who handed the Grizzlies their first loss since dropping their season opener against the Los Angeles Clippers. At San Antonio, Chris Paul had 19 points and eight assists as Los Angeles beat San Antonio for the second time this season. Matt Barnes had 14 points and Blake Griffin 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Clippers. Tim Duncan had 20 points and 14 rebounds for the Spurs, who had their second home loss this season. Manu Ginobili added 15 points and Tony Parker 11. At Dallas, Stephen Curry scored 20 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter and overtime and David Lee’s layup with 32.8 seconds left helped Golden State to victory. Curry had six points and three assists in the extra period. O.J. Mayo scored 27 points, including all 11 of the Mavericks’ points in overtime. His 8-footer in the lane tied it at 99 with 41.2 seconds left in the extra period. Lee had 17 points and a season-high 19 rebounds, and rookie Harrison Barnes had 20 points and 12 rebounds for Golden State. The Jazz got from points from reserve Gordon Hayward and 14 from Al Jefferson in its win over Houston. Randy Foye hit four 3-pointers and scored 14 points for the Jazz, who led by as many as 23 in the first half after opening the second quarter with a 13-0 run. The Rockets pulled within nine late in the third, but Houston wouldn’t get any closer with leading scorer James Harden on the bench with a fever and upper-respiratory infection. Harden started 0 of 6 and finished with six points in 17 minutes before exiting just before halftime. Patrick Patterson had 19 points and Jeremy Lin added 13 as Houston lost its third straight. At Charlotte, Ramon Sessions scored nine of his 23 points in the fourth quarter, including two free throws with 4.2 seconds left to seal the Bobcats’ win over Milwaukee. The Bobcats trailed by 11 in the fourth but battled back, going 16 of 16 from the free throw line down the stretch. Sessions’ two free throws after Monta Ellis missed a 3-point attempt sent the Bucks to their first road loss. Ellis scored 31 points for the Bucks. At Atlanta, Al Horford scored 15 points and Lou Williams added 14 to lead the Hawks to a win over struggling Orlando. Zaza Pachulia pulled down 10 rebounds in a reserve role for the Hawks, who have won two straight and three of four. Glen Davis (11) was the only player to score in double figures for the Magic, who have lost two straight and seven of eight. — AP

WASHINGTON: Indiana Pacers guard George Hill tries to get past Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal during the second half of an NBA basketball game. — AP

NBA results/standings Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT NY Knicks 7 1 .875 Brooklyn 6 2 .750 Philadelphia 6 4 .600 Boston 6 5 .545 Toronto 3 7 .300 Central Division Milwaukee 6 3 .667 Chicago 5 5 .500 Indiana 5 7 .417 Cleveland 2 8 .200 Detroit 2 9 .182 Southeast Division Miami 8 3 .727 Charlotte 5 4 .556 Atlanta 5 4 .556 Orlando 3 7 .300 Washington 0 9 0

GB 1 2 2.5 5 1.5 2.5 4.5 5 2 2 4.5 7

Western Conference Northwest Division Oklahoma City 8 3 .727 Minnesota 5 4 .556 Utah 6 6 .500 Portland 5 5 .500 Denver 5 6 .455 Pacific Division LA Clippers 8 2 .800 Golden State 6 5 .545 LA Lakers 5 5 .500 Phoenix 4 7 .364 Sacramento 2 8 .200 Southwest Division Memphis 8 2 .800 San Antonio 8 3 .727 Dallas 6 6 .500 New Orleans 3 5 .375 Houston 4 7 .364

2 2.5 2.5 3 2.5 3 4.5 6 0.5 3 4 4.5

McIlroy says new clubs won’t change old habits DUBAI: Rory McIlroy has no fears that ditching the Titleist equipment that has taken him to number one in the world will result in any diminishing of his golfing powers. The US PGA champion’s switch to Nike clubs next season, a deal that media reports estimate will be worth $250 million over 10 years, has been the subject of much debate with six-times major winner Nick Faldo among those questioning his decision. Asked by reporters in Dubai on Tuesday if he had any concerns the change would jeopardise his confidence or form, McIlroy replied: “No, not at all. “I think all the manufacturers make great equipment nowadays and it’s all very similar - a lot of them get their clubs made at the same factories. I don’t think it will make any difference.” Twice major winner McIlroy will bid a fond farewell to his old clubs at the $8 million DP World Tour Championship that starts on Thursday, the end-of-season showpiece event on the European Tour. “I’ve started the process of trying a few new things,” said the 23-year-old Northern Irishman. “I’m still playing with my Titleist clubs — this is the last week — but I’ve tinkered about a little bit with the new ones, enough to feel comfortable going into next season.” McIlroy is delighted with the progress he has made this season and European Tour chief executive George O’Grady presented him with a special money clip on Tuesday. “I thought we would take this moment to acknowledge the extraordinary performance of Rory this year, winning our Race To Dubai money-list before coming to the final championship, and winning the money-list in America too,” said O’Grady. “He played brilliantly all year and conducted himself in a manner where anybody would be proud to say, ‘He’s our champion’.”

McIlroy said he felt “proud and honoured” to join the long list of greats to have won the European money-list. “I’ve had four goes at it and it was great to be able to do it this year,” he added. “It’s been a phenomenal year but I’ve still got one tournament left and I want to finish the season strong by picking up two trophies at the end of the week.” McIlroy agreed with many of his fellow players when he said the importance of the DP World Tour Championship had been diluted after he clinched the money-list title nine days ago. However, he disagreed with Ryder Cup team mate Luke Donald who earlier in the day urged the tour to consider recalibrating the money-list ahead of the tournament in order to keep the excitement going until the final event of the season. “I think the format is good,” said McIlroy. “It’s a season-long race — that’s the way it is. “I guess it is a bit of an anti-climax this week but as I said earlier I would love to pick up both trophies come Sunday.” McIlroy was undoubtedly influenced by the fact he missed out on overall victory in the FedExCup despite having won two of the four tournaments in this year’s US playoff series. Ultimately he knows he will be remembered for his wins in the ‘big four’ tournaments but he refuses to put on any additional pressure by targeting Jack Nicklaus’s record haul of 18 major victories. “I’ve always said I’m never going to put a number on it,” said the 2011 US Open winner. “I don’t want to do that, I just want to get my third. “When I get my third then I want to try and get my fourth. A career grand slam is probably the next obvious goal,” added McIlroy referring to a clean sweep of the British Open, US Masters, US Open and US PGA Championship. — Reuters




Schumacher wants to savor second farewell

Australian jockey banned MELBOURNE: Australian champion jockey Damien Oliver was banned for a total of 10 months yesterday after admitting to placing a A$10,000 ($10,400) bet via a third party on a rival horse. At a Racing Victoria hearing in Melbourne, Oliver admitted to placing the bet on favourite Miss Octopussy in a race at Moonee Valley in October 2010. Miss Octopussy won the race while Oliver’s mount Europa Point, the second favourite, finished sixth. “I apologised for a spur of the moment decision that I will regret for the rest of my of career and beyond,” the 40-year-old told reporters after the hearing. “There were a lot of difficult personal issues going in my life at the time, however there are no excuses for the fact that I breached the trust of many people in the industry and I broke a fundamental rule of racing.” One of his country’s most successful jockeys, Oliver has twice won the Melbourne Cup and completed the grand slam of Australia racing with wins in the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Golden Slipper. Oliver’s 2002 Melbourne Cup triumph on Media Puzzle came only days after his brother was killed after falling from his mount at Perth’s Belmont racecourse. Jockeys are forbidden from betting on any horse races in Australia, let alone on races in which they ride. —Reuters

Grizzlies’ Randolph fined NEW YORK: Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph has been fined $25,000 for “confronting” Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kendrick Perkins following their ejections from a game last week, the National Basketball Association said on Monday. The players were hit with technical fouls and ejected last Wednesday after a verbal altercation with 2:05 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Grizzlies’ 107-97 win in Oklahoma City. Former All-Star Randolph, who had 20 points and 11 rebounds in the game, then challenged Perkins near the locker room, the NBA said. According to local reporters, Randolph and Perkins had to be separated by other players following a second altercation in a hallway near the locker rooms. —Reuters

Llorente explains no show MADRID: Athletic Bilbao’s unsettled Spain striker Fernando Llorente has said his failure to attend a club news conference on Monday was because he had already committed to an interview with a local television station. The La Liga side took the unusual step of publicising the fact that Llorente had refused to attend a media event after training in the morning, stirring up further speculation over the 27-year-old’s future at the club. “They told me just as I was leaving training and I didn’t have time,” Llorente told local television station Telebilbao, to whom he said he had already agreed to speak. “I can’t be in two places at once. I don’t have a problem with speaking on another day.” Bilbao had said on their official Twitter feed ahead of a news conference with defender Jon Aurtenetxe: “No other player will be speaking after the refusal of Fernando Llorente to appear in front of the media.” They repeated the message afterwards as well. Llorente, known as the ‘Lion King’, turned down a contract extension beyond 2013 in the close season but Bilbao have refused to negotiate with interested parties. Coach Marcelo Bielsa has since relegated Bilbao’s top scorer last season, when they reached the final of the Europa League and King’s Cup, to the bench and Llorente has yet to start a La Liga match this term. Llorente’s former club team mate Javi Martinez, who forced his own Bilbao exit to Bayern Munich in August by travelling to Germany without the club’s permission before being bought out of his contract for 40 million euros ($51.26 million), sympathised. —Reuters

LONDON: Six years on from his retirement from Formula One at the 2006 Brazilian Grand Prix, Michael Schumacher will say farewell again at Interlagos on Sunday and this time he intends to savor the occasion. The seven times world champion, who was racing for Ferrari in 2006 and is now ending a disappointing three year comeback with Mercedes, has made clear he is calling it quits for good this time. The 43-year-old German, whose place will be taken by 2008 champion Lewis Hamilton next season, said the Sao Paulo circuit - a ramshackle bowl steeped in motor racing passion - was a fitting place to round off an astonishing career that began back in 1991. “I always enjoy the enthusiasm of the fans, and it’s simply a great circuit which has seen many memorable events and always produces spectacular races as the unique layout guarantees plenty of action,” Schumacher said in a team preview for Sunday’s season finale. “For me, it’s also the circuit that brings back my memories of Ayrton (Senna),” added the man whose first title, with Benetton in 1994, came after the great Brazilian’s death at Imola that year. Triple champion Senna won at Interlagos in 1993 with the young Schumacher standing alongside on the podium in third place. The German has gone on to win the race four times. “My departure from Formula One will probably be less emotional for me this time than in 2006, when we were still fighting for the championship and everything was much more intense,” said Schumacher. “This time round, I will be able to pay more attention to my farewell and hopefully savour it too. I have had fantastic years in Formula One and a lot of support from fans around the world, and I wish to particularly thank them for that.” Schumacher will leave with his legacy perhaps less glittering than before but with most of his records intact and unlikely to be matched for years, if not decades, to come despite the best efforts of Red Bull’s championship leader and compatriot Sebastian Vettel. Those records include his seven titles, 91 race wins, 155 podium finishes and 68 pole positions. Schumacher has scored more points than any other driver, led more

laps and set more fastest laps. His 13 wins in 2004, 19 successive podiums (2001-02) and 24 consecutive scoring finishes are so far unrivalled. His comeback, after three years out, has been a pale shadow of his dominance with Ferrari and he has been on the podium just once - a third place at this season’s European Grand Prix in Valencia. Mercedes have not scored a point in their last five races while Schumacher, who was a title contender in Brazil in 2006 when Spaniard Fernando Alonso won his second title with Renault, has drawn a blank in his last six. “I would be happiest if I could say goodbye with a strong race, and I am sure we will be doing everything we can to make it happen,” said Schumacher. Meanwhile, Red Bull team chief Christian Horner admits their latest alternator failure, suffered by Australian Mark Webber, in Sunday’s United States Grand Prix is a worry ahead of the drivers’ title showdown in Brazil next weekend. Webber’s alternator failure was the team’s third this season and came in the race in which they celebrated clinching a third consecutive constructors’ championship. Webber was forced to retire from third place on lap 17 and the disappointment not only put a damper on their celebrations in Texas, but also forced Renault to announce on Monday that they will supply their latest specification alternator for the Interlagos race. “It is just a worry, full stop,” said Horner. “Unfortunately it is the third alternator (failure in a race) that we have had, and obviously there have been other failures in other cars. We need to get it back to look in to it. “I think the new version has raced on other engine cycles (at other teams), so hopefully that is what we will have for Brazil.” Renault’s head of trackside operations Remi Taffin explained their plans for Brazil. He said: “It is very simple. We go for the new spec. It has passed all the tests.” On Sunday, at the Circuit of the Americas, Red Bull

elected not to use the newer specification, which was raced by other Renault-powered teams, because it felt safer using the older specification. Asked why that decision had been made if the newer units had passed all reliability tests, Taffin said: “Because they are human beings and at some point as humans they have some feelings. “It was a common decision, so we put everything on the table and we decided altogether we should go that way. We had everything to fit either the old or new design. “But the feeling was generally that there is some sense to keep on using something that we have known for years with low mileage and stuff like that, even if we had a new solution that we knew had gone through all the tests. “Maybe it is a bit more difficult to understand, but put yourself in the situation where you have to make a decision. Sometimes you go into a shop and there are two different things and your head says you should buy this one but your heart says you should buy the other one.” Defending champion German Sebastian Vettel, who holds a 13-point lead in this year’s title race ahead of fellow two-time champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso of Ferrari ahead of this week’s showdown, retired from the lead of the European Grand Prix in Valencia with an alternator failure and had repeat failures at the Italian Grand Prix during practice and in the race. It was after Monza that Renault reverted the team back to older specification parts that had proved to be troublefree while it worked on updates. —Agencies

49ers see off Bears SAN FRANCISCO: San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick tamed the fierce Chicago defense and dominated the battle of back-up quarterbacks as the 49ers scored a commanding 32-7 win over the Bears on Monday. With both Alex Smith (49ers) and Jay Cutler (Bears) sitting out due to concussions, the secondyear Kaepernick rose to the occasion in his first NFL start by tossing two touchdown passes. The young quarterback led the 49ers to a 20-0 lead at half-time and never took his foot off the gas. “We didn’t know if it was going to be (Smith) or me (starting), it’s just great to be on the field,” Kaepernick told reporters. The decision on who was starting was not officially announced until early on Monday. “I wasn’t really nervous, I’ve had a lot of time in this offense. It’s everything I could’ve wished for.” Things did not go smoothly for Bears’ back-up Jason Campbell, who was sacked six times and intercepted twice in the game at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park. The Bears trailed 27-0 before Brandon Marshall caught a 13-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter for the team’s only score. Chicago’s (7-3) second straight loss dropped them into a tie with Green Bay for first in the NFC North. Kaepernick finished with 243 yards passing and no turnovers and San Francisco (7-2-1) added 123 yards on the ground to extend their lead in the NFC West. 49ers tight end Vernon Davis caught a touchdown pass in the first half while Kendall Hunter ran in a 14-yard score. Michael Crabtree caught a 10-yard touchdown pass in the third before San Francisco buried the Bears in the fourth with a second David Akers field goal and then forced a safety. Kaepernick’s performance at quarterback may have created a dilemma for the 49ers when Smith returns. “We’ll make that decision as we go forward,” said 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh. “I tend to go with the guy that’s got a hot hand and we’ve got two quarterbacks that have got a hot hand.” Chicago was badly in need of a hot hand as they finished with just 143 total yards. Campbell threw for only 107. “It’s tough. This definitely wasn’t the way we prepared all week to come out and give this type of performance,” Campbell said. “Give their defense credit, but it definitely wasn’t our best effort.” —Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO: Chicago Bears quarterback Jason Campbell (2) is sacked by San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith (left) as defensive tackle Justin Smith (94) converges during the first quarter of an NFL football game. —AP

NFL standings American Football Conference AFC East W L T OTL PF PA New England 7 3 0 0 358 225 NY Jets 4 6 0 1 202 241 Buffalo 4 6 0 0 230 299 Miami 4 6 0 2 187 205

PCT .700 .400 .400 .400

National Football Conference NFC East NY Giants 6 4 0 0 267 216 Dallas 5 5 0 0 211 224 Washington 4 6 0 0 257 254 Philadelphia 3 7 0 1 162 252

.600 .500 .400 .300

Green Bay Chicago Minnesota Detroit

7 7 6 4

NFC North 3 0 0 3 0 0 4 0 0 6 0 1

263 249 238 236

207 165 221 246

.700 .700 .600 .400

Baltimore Pittsburgh Cincinnati Cleveland

8 6 5 2

AFC North 2 0 0 4 0 0 5 0 0 8 0 1

Houston Indianapolis Tennessee Jacksonville

9 6 4 1

AFC South 1 0 0 4 0 0 6 0 1 9 0 3

293 210 219 164

180 260 311 289

.900 .600 .400 .100

Atlanta Tampa Bay New Orleans Carolina

9 6 5 2

NFC South 1 0 0 4 0 0 5 0 1 8 0 1

270 287 287 184

193 230 273 243

.900 .600 .500 .200

Denver San Diego Oakland Kansas City

7 4 3 1

AFC West 3 0 0 6 0 0 7 0 0 9 0 1

301 232 208 152

212 221 322 284

.700 .400 .300 .100

San Francisco Seattle Arizona St. Louis

7 6 4 3

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Politics in cricket COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s sports law must be amended to end political interference in cricket administration to sustain and improve the game in the country, a report from a former top administrator said yesterday. The report by Haroon Logart, former chief executive of the International Cricket Council, was released yesterday and suggests changing the law to comply with international standards. The law currently bars any international team chosen by selectors being announced without the minister’s approval. Logart was hired by Sri Lanka Cricket to suggest improvements and he has identified nine issues affecting the game and given 24 recommendations to address them. “Numerous comments infer that the minister appoints the entire selection panel,” Logart said in the report he prepared after interviewing 42 people, including former national players, club representatives, administrators, SLC staff and media. Successive Sri Lankan governments have been accused of interfering with cricket’s administration. SLC did not have an elected body for seven years and political appointees ran the administration until the authorities were compelled to hold an election earlier this year. The ICC last year made them mandatory for all national cricket boards. However, a group favored by the government was elected uncontested after their rivals withdrew, calling the elections flawed. ICC match referees and former players Ranjan Madugalle and Roshan Mahanama are among those interviewed. —AP

Phelps and Franklin big winners at Golden Goggles NEW YORK: In a year when she raced at the Olympics, Missy Franklin’s greatest stress might come from deciding whether to compete for her high school team. Fresh off her four gold medals in London, the 17-year-old is weighing if she should join the squad at Regis Jesuit outside Denver for her senior season. She’s well aware of criticism asserting that her presence would unfairly deny other, non-Olympian swimmers of high school championships. “If I had anyone who swims high school come up to me and tell me they don’t want me to swim, I would absolutely not swim,” Franklin said Monday. “But everyone who I’ve talked to has been so supportive of it. So it’s so hard when I have so many people that are really wanting me to do it and so supportive, and I

have other people who are saying it’s not fair. ‘Why would you do this to other girls?’ And I feel so bad thinking that they would think that. “It’s hard, because I feel like no matter what I do, it’s going to be opposed in some way or form.” Franklin said all this with that effervescent smile that captivated fans as she won five medals, finding the humor and the perspective of the situation. “It’s hard,” she said, “but it’s life.” Franklin was in Manhattan for the Golden Goggles, USA Swimming’s annual awards banquet. She won female athlete of the year honors, along with top relay performance with Rebecca Soni, Dana Vollmer and Allison Schmitt for their 4x100 medley gold medal in world-record time.

Michael Phelps earned male athlete of the year honors for the fourth time after winning six medals, four gold, in London in his final meet. Katie Ledecky, the 800 freestyle champion at age 15, won female race of the year for breaking Janet Evans’ 23-year-old American record and breakout performer. Nathan Adrian was honored for the male race of the year for his gold medal in the 100 free. Bob Bowman, who coached Phelps and Schmitt, was coach of the year. Jessica Hardy, who qualified for the Olympics four years after a drug ban kept her from Beijing, won the perseverance award. Eric Shanteau, an Olympian and cancer survivor, won the athlete humanitarian award for his work to raise money for cancer research. —AP

NEW YORK: Olympic athletes Michael Phelps and Missy Franklin attend the 2012 Golden Goggle awards at the Marriott Marquis Times Square. —AFP




Where next for Beckham?

US player of the year NEW YORK: Striker Clint Dempsey was named US Soccer’s ‘Athlete of the Year’ for 2012, winning the award for the third time and second in a row, the federation said on Monday. Dempsey, a regular starter in Juergen Klinsmann’s US national team, scored 17 goals in the Premier League for Fulham last season and then moved to Tottenham Hotspur during the close season. The Texan, who scored five goals in this year’s CONCACAF qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup, previously won the award in 2007 and 2011. Under-17 team midfielder Rubio Rubin won the Young Male Athlete of the Year award. —Reuters

Minnesota’s Kill quits MINNEAPOLIS: Minnesota coach Jerry Kill said Monday that top receiver AJ Barker’s abrupt departure from the team was because he was unhappy with being disciplined, not because of any mistreatment. Barker quit the Gophers on Sunday and went public with a scathing email that accused Kill of manipulative and abusive behavior. At a news conference Monday, Kill rejected the suggestion that any mistreatment had occurred. He said he confronted Barker at practice Thursday over what Kill felt was a disruptive conversation Barker was having with a trainer over treatment for his injured ankle. “I’m not here to win any popularity contests,” Kill said, adding he “doesn’t treat our players any differently than I treat my two daughters.” Barker was a walk-on whose 30 receptions for 577 yards and seven touchdowns led the team, even though he hadn’t played since being hurt at the end of the Oct. 27 game against Purdue. He said he aggravated the ankle before the Gophers played Michigan on Nov. 3. Barker said he was forced to practice by Kill last Tuesday, but he was unable to get through warm-ups. An MRI test the next day revealed ligament tears and a bone bruise above his heel, he said. —AP

MIAMI: Former England captain David Beckham, hailed as a success for soccer in the United States, will say his farewell to LA Galaxy in next month’s MLS Cup final with one more mission yet to accomplish. It was only in January that Beckham signed a new deal with the Galaxy but his departure, announced on Monday, paves the way for him to enjoy a last hurrah elsewhere while the Galaxy could take the chance to look for a new big name in his place. After five-and-a-half seasons in Los Angeles, where Beckham moved from Real Madrid in 2007, the midfielder insists he feels ready for “one more challenge” before he hangs up his boots. The 37-year-old Beckham has struggled with injuries of late, missing almost two months of action before this month’s play-offs, and it is hard to imagine him being recruited by a top European team. A year ago he was strongly linked to French club Paris St Germain but in the past 12 months not only has Beckham’s ability to deal with the aches and strains of the game declined but PSG have moved on with a series of high profile signings. However the Englishman’s noted ability to grab media attention, sell merchandise and boost attendances while still curling in his trademark free-kicks and spraying cross field passes, makes him an attractive proposition for an emerging club or league looking for a marketing breakthrough. A source close to Beckham told Reuters that while it was still early in the process of him finding a new team, several clubs from several countries had already shown interest. The Football Federation of Australia (FFA) said last week that they had made an approach for Beckham, looking to bring him into the A-League where former Italy and Juventus star Alessandro Del Piero is already playing. Australia would offer him a chance of a repeat performance - as with MLS he would again be trying to increase the profile of the

game in one of the few countries where soccer is not the number one sport. But it would also be a low-key way for Beckham to bow out of the game and given that one of his reasons for re-signing with the Galaxy last year was because his family enjoyed life in California, it would perhaps only appeal as a short-term option. So far, reports have suggested a 10-game cameo for an A-League club, such as Melbourne Heart, and that could be a lucrative and enjoyable option. The Chinese league, whose clubs have increasingly targeted well-known international players such as Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka, would surely appeal to the marketers of ‘Brand Beckham’ but that would have the same draw-backs as Australia. Beckham had a taste of Italian football during loan spells with AC Milan during MLS’s long off-season and while that club could certainly do with a morale boost, it is hard to imagine a return at this stage. What could well appeal more to Beckham’s pride would be a brief but romantic return to English football. Beckham has never said goodbye to the game in his homeland - injury cost him a place in the 2010 World Cup finals for England and then he was disappointed not to be picked for the Olympic team this year. So the chance to make an impact once again in English football, albeit at a lesser club level, may be tempting. While it is hard to see Beckham battling through a long Premier League season, as a free agent he could offer a late-season

Roma win over Torino MILAN: Attack-minded AS Roma, who have the best scoring record in Serie A and the third worst defence, kept a clean sheet for only the second time this season in a 2-0 win over

erick when they unusually lined up for the kick off with nine players on the halfway line and only two behind. Zeman’s adventurous side have twice squandered two-goal leads and

Injured Walcott sidelined LONDON: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said yesterday he was prepared to take a “risk” on the future of Theo Walcott as injury ruled the unsettled England forward out of the Champions League tie with Montpellier. Walcott will miss today’s match at the Emirates Stadium with a shoulder injury suffered during Arsenal’s 5-2 North London derby win over Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League in Saturday, where he played on and scored the Gunners’ fifth goal in extra time at the end of the match. He is now due to undergo a scan although Wenger said he expected Walcott to be sidelined for only a brief spell. “The injury he got during the game with his shoulder, we have to scan that today and see if there is no damage,” Wenger said yesterday. “He will be out for tomorrow (Wednesday). It should be short-term. “We will miss (Andre) Santos as well, who has a muscle strain in his abdomen. The two players coming in the squad are Gervinho and (Kieran) Gibbs.” —AP

TORINO: AS Roma’s Chilean midfielder David Pizarro (right) fights for the ball with Torino’s forward Rolando Bianchi during a Serie A soccer match. —AP Torino on Monday. The victory, courtesy of a late Pablo Osvaldo penalty and Miralem Pjanic’s deflected strike near the end, put Roma in sixth place with 20 points, 12 behind leaders Juventus. Roma appeared to confirm coach Zdenek Zeman’s reputation as a mav-

lost 3-2 at home this season, scored 30 goals and conceded 23 in 13 games after Monday’s match which was only their third this season to feature less than three goals. As usual, they created plenty of chances but had to wait until the 71st minute to break through when

Stoke 1

TURIN: Former Tour of Italy winner Michele Scarponi is facing a three-month ban, the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) said yesterday, for infringing rules on consulting prohibited persons. Scarponi is one of many athletes alleged to have consulted with Michele Ferrari, the doctor at the centre of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal. Ferrari is one of several individuals being investigated by prosecutors in Padua. He is accused of being at the centre of a sophisticated doping network involving athletes, sports agents and corrupt banking officials. CONI confirmed in a statement yesterday that Scarponi, who rides for the Lampre team, as well as fellow Italian professional Giovanni Visconti of the Movistar team “faced three month bans for consulting with prohibited persons”. Scarponi was handed the 2011 Tour of Italy title following the disqualification of Spaniard Alberto Contador. The statement added that Scarponi had already been “suspended by his team after admitting in a CONI hearing on November 6 that he had met with Ferrari a couple of times” —AFP

Osvaldo converted a penalty after a foul on Marquinho. Pjanic made the game safe with a deflected shot from the edge of the penalty area five minutes from time to leave promoted Torino in 13th position with 14 points. Meanwhile, Inter Milan coach Andrea Stramaccioni and striker Antonio Cassano have been handed one and two-match bans respectively, Italian league bosses announced yesterday. Inter’s 2-2 draw with Cagliari at their San Siro ground on Sunday was marred by controversy after the hosts were denied a late penalty that could have allowed them to collect all three points. Stramaccioni was red carded for protesting against the decision not to award the spot-kick while Cassano remonstrated with the referee on the way down the players’ tunnel after the final whistle. Serie A officials said in a statement Stramaccioni was banned from the touchline for the next league game after “protesting a refereeing decision, leaving the designated coach’s technical area and making offensive remarks to match officials”. Cassano’s ban was for “making offensive remarks to the referee on the way down the players’ tunnel following the game”. The two dropped points meant Inter remain second with a four-point deficit to champions and leaders Juventus. —AFP

Veloso happy in Kiev despite mixed season KIEV: Portuguese international Miguel Veloso, who moved to Ukraine’s flagship side Dynamo Kiev from Italy’s Genoa on a four-year deal this summer, said he is happy with life at the club despite a troubled early season. The 26-year-old central midfielder moved to Kiev after helping his country’s national side reach the semi-finals of Euro 2012. “Everything is going fine so far,” Veloso told AFP in an interview. “Kiev is a very nice and friendly city. And I’d like to stress that Dynamo have fantastic organisation and a perfect training base. I have excellent conditions of work here.” After five months in the Ukrainian capital, Veloso still has no regrets about his choice, even though the club is experiencing rocky campaigns both in domestic and the Champions leagues. The 13-time Soviet and 13-time Ukrainian title winners D ynamo are currently third in the national championship with 31 points from 16 matches, 14 points behind leaders Shakhtar Donetsk. D ynamo meanwhile are third in the Champions League Group A table with four points from four matches, five points behind second-placed Paris Saint Germain and with only a mathematical chance of a place in the tournament’s knockout stage. “I was also excited with the prospec t of playing in the Champions League,” he said. “The team set the highest possible targets both in domestic league and in Europe. I t ’s ver y prestigious to play with Dynamo.” —AFP

O’Brien ends drought to rescue Hammers West Ham 1

Scarponi faces ban

boost to a team chasing promotion to the Premier League or scrapping for survival. But Beckham has also made clear that he intends to continue his involvement in MLS beyond his playing days and to use his option to have an ownership role in a future new franchise. With his children having spent the last five-and-a-half years growing up in the States, it would not be an outlandish shock if he eventually switched to another MLS team, and the New York Red Bulls have been rumoured as a possible destination. Although A-League clubs are the only ones to have publicly made their interest known there will no doubt be several suitors for a player who still manages to generate plenty of interest. —Reuters

LONDON: West Ham rescued a 1-1 draw against Stoke at Upton Park on Monday thanks to Joey O’Brien’s first ever Premier League goal. Republic of Ireland right-back O’Brien had never scored in the English top-flight despite a long career at that level with Bolton and now West Ham, but the 26-year-old chose the perfect moment to end his drought. Sam Allardyce’s side trailed to a goal early in the first half from Stoke striker Jonathan Walters until O’Brien slotted home from close-range three minutes after the interval to earn his moment as the unlikely hero. O’Brien’s intervention maintained West Ham’s impressive start to the season and they remain seventh in the table, level on points with Arsenal, and above the likes of Tottenham, Liverpool and Newcastle. Stoke’s seventh draw from 12 league matches this season kept Tony Pulis’s team clear of the relegation zone, although it also extended their winless run on their travels to 16 matches. “We could have finished them off with more clinical finishing, but there is

another point on the board for us and we have to settle for that,” Allardyce said. “I liked the way we sustained the pressure on Stoke, the belief and the spirit was not dented by the early goal.” Pulis added: “We worked on the routine

that produced our goal for two or three days and never scored once in training! “But it was a great ball in and a great finish by Jon Walters. I’m not supposed to say this, but we obstructed a player.” After all the pre-match talk that this would be a bruising battle between

LONDON: West Ham’s Andy Carroll (right) jumps for a ball with Stoke’s Jonathan Walters during the English Premier League soccer match. —AP

two sides who prefer the aggressive route-one approach, it was fitting that Stoke’s early opener arrived via a set piece rather than a intricate passing move. Pulis’s side took the lead in the 12th minute when Glenn Whelan’s corner was met by Walters, who timed his run per fec tly to drive his shot past Hammers goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen and beyond Andy Carroll’s attempt to clear off the line. That was Walters’ third goal of the season and Stoke could have been further in front before half-time when midfielder Steven N zonzi lashed a fierce strike against the crossbar from long-range. Just before that referee Chris Foy had turned down West Ham’s penalty appeals after Geoff Cameron’s push on Carroll. But the hosts came out with more energy in the second half and Kevin Nolan should have equalised almost immediately when the midfielder’s close-range header from George McCartney’s cross was straight at goalkeeper Asmir Begovic. Nolan didn’t have worry for long though as West Ham equalised in the 48th minute when Gary O’Neil crossed f ro m t h e r i g h t fo r O ’ B r i e n to f l i c k home. Allardyce’s men came closest to winning it when Carroll flicked on M a r k N o b l e’s cor n e r a n d M od i b o Maiga pounced to fire in a shot that Begovic saved well. —AFP



sp orts

Arsenal vulnerable despite derby boost LONDON: Arsenal are buzzing after their resounding victory over north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur but they go into today’s Champions League home clash with Montpellier aware that any slip could be costly to their last 16 hopes. Before the 5-2 rout of Tottenham on Saturday the Gunners were coming under fire after some patchy form including a 2-1 away defeat at Manchester United, a 3-3 home draw with Fulham and a 2-0 home reverse against Schalke in the Champions League. The defeat by Schalke was Arsenal’s first at home to foreign opponents since 2003 but they drew 2-2 with the Germans the following week, having led 2-0, to stay well-placed to progress as one of the top two sides in Group B ahead of Olympiakos. Having conceded 14 goals in their last five games in all competitions, however, there remains an air of vulnerability about Arsenal which French champions Montpellier, despite being unable to progress, will be keen to exploit. Victory for Arsenal, their first at home against French opposition in the Champions League, combined with a Schalke defeat of Olympiakos

will see Arsene Wenger’s side through to the knockout rounds for the 13th season in succession. Any other combination of results will mean Arsenal, a point behind Schalke and a point ahead of Olympiakos, could still face a nervy deciding night in Athens on Dec. 4. Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny said confidenece had returned just in time for the visit of Montpellier. “We couldn’t get a better time to play that game,” Szczesny, who returned from a two-month injury absence against Tottenham, told Arsenal’s website ( “We are buzzing, we can’t wait for the next game. We’re confident. We’ve had a couple of poor results recently, but we’re back on track and we’re confident that we can get the three points and qualify for the knockout stages. “We want to make sure we do the job properly and qualify.” Striker Olivier Giroud will also be relishing a meeting with his old club after four goals in his last three games have helped the Frenchman settle following a tricky start in London. Arsenal are also boosted by the return to fitness of Jack Wilshere and the form of Santi Cazorla, who was

outstanding against Tottenham. “His touch, his vision is a joke. He’s a dream to play with. He never gives the ball away and he’s creative, he’s busy around the pitch, he’s a joy to play with,” Wilshere said of the Spaniard. Montpellier’s first outing in the Champions League has gone downhill ever since Younes Belhanda’s early penalty put them ahead against Arsenal on matchday one before the visitors hit back to seal a slightly fortunate 2-1 victory. They have managed just one point in the group, a 2-2 draw at Schalke, and bottom place looks almost certain but coach Rene Girard says the match is still an important one especially as his side aim to defend their Ligue 1 title. Montpellier currently sit 11 points behind leaders Olympique Lyonnais. “The Champions League is over for us and Europa League is almost over. But these games are important for us and we cannot afford not being at full gear because these matches have made us grow,” Girard told Reuters. “Everything that has happened in this competition has helped us learn. The physical impact, the rigour, it will definitely be useful for our campaign in the French league. — Reuters

LONDON: Members of the Montpellier soccer team take part in a training session at the Emirates stadium. Arsenal play Montpellier in their Champions League Group B soccer match today. —AP

Dortmund out to end Ajax run AMSTERDAM: Borussia Dortmund will have to overcome the poor recent record of Bundesliga clubs in Amsterdam when they tackle Ajax yesterday requiring just a point to secure their passage into the Champions League Last 16. The German champions turn up in the Dutch capital as the leaders of Group D with eight points, meaning a draw will suffice to put them into the knockout stages. Ajax are placed third on four points - Real Madrid sit second on seven - following their 22 draw at Manchester City in their last run out. History suggests Dortmund face a tough assignment with Ajax having won 12 of their last 13 home encounters against Bundesliga teams. The Germans go into this fifth group tie in good heart after a 3-1 weekend win over Greuther Fuerth kept them in fourth place behind Bayern Munich, Poland striker Robert Lewandowski bagging a double and midfielder Mario Goetze getting the third. It was Lewandoski who produced the late decisive goal in Dortmund’s 1-0 win over Ajax in the team’s first meeting back in September. Despite only needing a draw, Dortmund will be looking for all three points, according to centre-back Neven Subotic. “We won’t be going there for a 0-0 result, that’s really not our game,” he said. Subotic added: “Ajax have an impressive team. I already had lots of respect for them before the first game. They won’t allow themselves

to be intimidated.” Borussia, who finished last of their group in 2011/2012, went close to securing their ticket to the next round against Real Madrid with the Spanish giants salvaging a 2-2 draw with the equaliser one minute from time. After that game Borussia coach Jurgen Klopp commented: “We are

ball not going into the goal,” the Polish international told “I think he lives and breathes not only the matches, but also the training.” Dortmund’s progress in Europe’s top club competition has won admirers, including Italian 1982 World Cup winner and former Inter

AMSTERDAM: Players of Ajax-Amsterdam take part in a training session on the eve of their Champions League football match against Borussia Dortmund. —AFP still top so a draw was a good result for us. If we had won I think we would have deserved it, I’m proud of our performance but a little sad as we were so close to direct qualification.” According to Lewandoski, Borussia’s eyecatching Champions League campaign is due in large part to inspiration provided to the team by Klopp. “You can see on TV how happy he is when we score, and how mad he gets after a failed move - but not with us, but rather with the

Milan star Guiseppe Bergomi who said: “Dortmund, along with Donetsk, have been playing the most attractive football for a while. “They have gained experience and self-confidence through being brave and taking risks. They are in a position to beat anyone.” Dortmund are yet to win an away game since their return to the competition last season and have to go all the way back to 2003 for their last away victory, at AC Milan. They will be hoping to buck that trend here. —AFP

LONDON: Manchester City players train at Carrington training ground. City will play Real Madrid today in a Champions League Group D soccer match. —AP

Aguero rallies Man City for mission improbable MANCHESTER: Sergio Aguero has urged his Manchester City teammates not to lose hope as they seek to keep their Champions League campaign alive against Real Madrid today. After drawing 2-2 at home to Ajax in their last outing, the English champions have no room for error and must beat Jose Mourinho’s side at the Etihad Stadium to stand any chance of reaching the last 16. Even then, the odds would be stacked against them. Only two teams have previously qualified from such a hopeless position after four group matchesLokomotiv Moscow in 2002 and Porto in 2004 — and City would still need to win at Borussia Dortmund in their final group game and hope other results went their way. Aguero, who netted twice in City’s 5-0 defeat of Aston Villa at the weekend, never won against Madrid during his time with their city rivals, Atletico, but he hopes Wednesday’s game will bring that jinx to an end. “We should never give up. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, right?” the Argentine told City’s official website. “Of course, it’s harder now because we’re not just relying on ourselves but also on the other teams’ results. “I think it’s even more significant now than if we had been in a better position in the table. It

may sound strange but I firmly believe that. We must win this game. “We have a great team, I have no doubt about it and now it is time for us to show just how good we are.” City coach Roberto Mancini declared his side’s chances of reaching the knockout phase dead after the draw with Ajax left City bottom of Group D with only two points, but the win over Villa-which took City top in the Premier League-softened his tone, albeit slightly. “We want to do a good job. We will have not much of a chance to go through, but we will try,” said the Italian, whose side lost 3-2 in Madrid in their opening group fixture after conceding a 2-1 lead. In Mourinho, Mancini faces the man who succeeded him as coach of Inter Milan in 2008 and then led the Nerazzurri to the Champions League title two years later. It will be Mourinho’s 100th match in the Champions League and at 49, he has reached the milestone at a younger age than any other coach. A popular figure in England since his three-year tenure at Chelsea, Mourinho returns to the country knowing that defeat at Mancini’s hands could seriously compromise Madrid’s season. The Spanish champions are already eight points behind Barcelona in La Liga a potentially

insurmountable gap-and the pursuit of the club’s 10th European Cup (‘la Decima’) has therefore been given added significance. Cristiano Ronaldo will return to play in Manchester for the first time since leaving Manchester United in 2009 and can therefore expect a noisy reception from the fans of their cross-town rivals. The Portuguese forward’s future is the subject of speculation, amid reports he is seeking an improved contract, but he was still acclaimed by the club’s fans during Saturday’s 5-1 demolition of Athletic Bilbao. Sami Khedira, who netted the fifth goal against the Basque side, says Madrid should look to follow the pro-active strategy adopted by Dortmund when they held City to a 1-1 draw in October. “Dortmund showed how you can compete there: playing a tight game, competing for every ball, and trying to impose your style of play, so I think we have a good chance,” the German midfielder told the club website. “But we definitely have to concentrate on trying to play our own way there, not letting ourselves be influenced by the opponent’s style, but instead imposing our strength in attack.” Both teams have problems at left-back, with Marcelo (broken foot) out for Madrid and Gael Clichy (ankle) a doubt for City. —AFP

AC Milan out to save season MILAN: AC Milan can go a long way to rescuing its season when it faces Anderlecht in Group C of the Champions League yesterday. After an entire squad’s worth of top players departed during the offseason, Milan got off to its worst Serie A start in 71 years. However, there are signs of a turnaround after Milan came back from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Napoli on Saturday, although it remains in 12th place, 17 points behind defending champion Juventus. “We showed a lot of spirit and heart, we have to start again from that,” Milan midfielder Antonio Nocerino said. “We intend to represent this shirt, this club and the fans in the best of ways. We have to give even more to take Milan as high as possible. I can’t look at our position in the standings. “We are in this situation and now it’s up to us to get out of it. We have to recognize our duty to take Milan back to the top level. We have to push for that, starting on Wednesday in the Champions League.” Milan is second in Group C and can secure its place in the knockout stage with a win if alreadyqualified Malaga beats Zenit St. Petersburg. Milan will again look to Stephan El Shaarawy to lead its

attack. The young striker scored both goals against Napoli to take his tally to 10 in the league, and 14 in all competitions. Milan is without captain Massimo Ambrosini, who has not recovered from the flu. Anderlecht held Milan to a goalless draw at the San Siro in their first match, but goalkeeper Silvio Proto - who supported Milan at a young age knows it will be a more difficult encounter this time around. “Milan is not the same team that we faced at San Siro,” he said. “It has picked up more confidence and the players are better mentally. But it’s a game of football so anything is possible. “We also have more confidence, but we have to be careful. We can’t go on the attack from the beginning. Milan is an intelligent team, which has really built up a lot of experience in this competition.” Zenit is last in the group, but only two points behind Milan and a point behind Anderlecht. Its league match against Dynamo Moscow was called off in the 36th minute on Saturday after Dynamo goalkeeper Anton Shunin was injured when a firecracker thrown from the stands exploded near him. — AP

Matches on TV (Local Timings) UEFA Champions League Zenit v Malaga Aljazeera Sport +1 Aljazeera Sport 2 HD


Man City v Real Madrid Aljazeera Sport 1 HD Aljazeera Sport +4


Ajax v Dortmund Aljazeera Sport +8


Anderlecht v AC Milan Aljazeera Sport +2


Schalke v Olympiacos Aljazeera Sport +6


Arsenal v Montpellier Aljazeera Sport +1


Dinamo Kiev v PSG Aljazeera Sport +5 Aljazeera Sport 2 HD


Porto v Dinamo Zagreb Aljazeera Sport +6


Dynamo face PSG test KIEV: Dynamo Kiev go into today’s Champions League must-win encounter with big-spending Paris Saint Germain on the back of a disappointing domestic league defeat and with injury concerns. Dynamo were without several first-choice players for their 1-0 weekend loss to Metalurg Donetsk after coach Oleg Blokhin rested Nigerian forward Brown Ideye, while defender Taras Mykhalik and Croatian midfielder Niko Kranjcar were sidelined with injuries. Injured Brazilian forward Raffael will likely miss the Group A match, which sees the Ukrainian giants needing a win to keep alive their hopes of progressing to the knockout stages. The club currently lie third in the group on four points, with Porto leading the way on 10 points and PSG, who also lost at the weekend, second on nine. All the teams have two games remaining. Blokhin was upset with his team’s performance in Donetsk, fearing that the defeat could hit preparations for the Champions League encounter. “We played really badly against Metalurg, showing lack of

willpower and fighting spirit (but) we are coming into the match with PSG in low spirits following such a lacklustre performance.” The veteran coach said he would urge his players to put the league defeat out of their minds. “We have no other choice but to win to keep alive our chances for a place in the knockout stage,” he said. “It will be a really tough mission but we will fight up to the end until we have a slightest chance to make it.” PSG, who slipped off the top of the French league table following their weekend home loss to nine-man Rennes, will be without Jeremy Menez, who has an ankle injury. But they will have talismanic Zlatan Ibrahimovic back after the striker, who floored England last week with four goals, missed the Rennes defeat through suspension. Thiago Motta and Mamadou Sakho will also return as PSG look to build on a strong record against Ukrainian sides. Their only loss in nine previous encounters was a 2009 UEFA Cup quarter-final defeat, in Kiev. —AFP

BRUSSELS: AC Milan’s players take part in a training session of Italian football team AC Milan in Brussels. AC Milan is playing tomorrow against Belgian RSC Anderlecht in Group C of the UEFA Champions League tournament. —AFP




Brazilian soccer star on trial for killing lover RIO DE JANEIRO: A former Brazilian soccer star charged with orchestrating the murder of his ex-girlfriend went on trial Monday in a case that includes allegations the young model was lured to a ranch where she was held hostage, killed and her body dismembered. Th e c ase o f fo rmer F l ameng o goalkeeper Bruno Fernandes, known in Brazil just as Bruno, and Eliza Samudio has riveted Brazil, shocked the world of soccer and its twists and turns have reached the level of a macabre soap opera, including allegations that the model has never been found because her remains were fed to dogs. The former captain of one of Rio’s premier clubs led his team to Brazilian soccer champi-

onship victory in 2009. That same year, Samudio made the first allegations to police that she was pregnant with Fernandes’ child, and that the soccer great and others kidnapped her and tried to force her to ter min ate th e pr egn an c y . S h e refused. The child was born healthy, and named Bruno. But the model disappeared in June 2010 and has not been found. In December 2010, Fernandes was found guilty of Samudio’s initial accusations and is serving a prison sen ten ce of four y ear s an d six months in that case. After a court dispute, S amudio’s moth er was named the child’s guardian. The former soccer great is now being tried a second time, this time on charges

he ordered his ex-girlfriend’s death. Investigators said the player was behind a scheme that lured the 25year-old woman from Rio de Janeiro to a ranch in the neighboring state of Minas Gerais with the promise that Fernandes would recognize the child as his and give her an apartment. There she was allegedly held again st h er will by F e r na nd e s ’ accomplices, killed and quartered, and her remains fed to dogs who roamed the property. The first day of the murder trial in Minas Gerais was marked by high drama, with attorneys for two of Fernandes’ alleged accomplices, who are also facing murder charges, walking out after arguing with the judge over access to videos of wit-

ness testimony. “We would like to l e a v e c l e a r t o t he j ur y t ha t i t i s impossible to carry out a fair trial,” said Ercio Quaresmo, the attorney for Santos, according to O Globo newspaper. The Associated Press could not reach the attorneys for comment. Besides Fernandes, those charged with Samudio’s kidnapping, murder and the hiding of her body include D a ya nne R od r i gue s , F e r na nd e s ’ wife, Fernanda Castro, a lover, Luiz Romao, the soccer player’s former right-hand man, and a former police officer. All those charged with the d e a t h ha v e p l e a d e d i nnoc e nt , including Fernandes. The attorney for the former soccer player said he remained confident that his client

would walk out a free man. “Bruno is tired of being in prison,” s a i d a t t or ne y R ui P i m e nt a t o O Globo newspaper outside court in the town of Contagem. “He is ready to walk out and go eat some rare barbecue.” The defense’s argument i s t ha t t he r e c a n b e no m ur d e r charges because Samudio is, in fact, alive. The attorney Pimenta says he will produce proof that Samudio is living in Eastern Europe. Samudio’s mother, Sonia Moura, told the news website G1 that she trusted justice would be made and dared the soccer player to look her in the eyes in court. “I believe in justice, and in the condemnation of all the accused,” she said. “I want my daughter’s mortal remains.”—AP

Bayern, 10-man Valenica go through after draw

COPENHAGEN: Nordsjaelland’s Dutch forward Joshua John (right) and Shakhtar Donetsk’s Armenian striker Henrikh Mkhitaryan vie for the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group E football match.—AFP

Adriano nets hat-trick as Shakhtar qualify COPENHAGEN: A hat-trick by Luiz Adriano helped Shakhtar Donetsk qualify for the Champions League last 16 as they beat Nordsjaelland 5-2 away yesterday, but the striker will be remembered as a villain in the Danish capital. Nordsjaelland had taken the lead through Morten Nordstrand but Adriano equalised when he pounced on a pass back to the Nordsjaelland goalkeeper after an injured player received treatment, prompting loud jeers and whistles from the home crowd. Kasper Lorentzen

put Nordsjaelland back in front when he turned and rifled home minutes later, but a brilliant brace by Willian either side of halftime and two more by Luiz Adriano saw the Danish champions routed and put the Ukrainian side into the knockout stages. Shakhtar top the group on 10 points, one ahead of Juventus who beat Chelsea 3-0 in Turin. Despite being out of the race, Nordsjaelland can still play a part in deciding who comes second as they face Chelsea in London in their final group game next month. —Reuters

Cluj defeat Braga 3-1 CLUJ: CFR Cluj remained in the hunt for a berth in the Champions League knockout stages after beating Braga 3-1 with a hat trick from Rui Pedro yesterday. Cluj and Galatasaray, which beat Group H winner Manchester United 1-0 at home, have seven points each. In the last round of group matches in two weeks, Cluj visits United while Galatasaray goes to the eliminated Braga. Pedro scored in the seventh minute off his left foot and in the 15th from a pass by Modou Sougou. Braga replied two minutes later when Alan took a high pass from Ruben Micael and shot past goalkeeper Mario Felgueiras. Pedro slammed his third in with his right foot from about 15 meters (yards) in

the 33rd in a game in which Braga won twothirds of possession but was let down by a weak defense. Braga’s Brazilian defender Douglas Foureira was sent off for elbowing Ionut Rada in the face in the 45th, but the scoreless second half was scrappy as Cluj failed to capitalize on the man advantage. “The mistakes cost us dear,” Braga coach Jose Peseiro said. “I am guilty, mistakes were made that we should not have allowed ... but I am the only guilty one.” Paulo Sergio, Cluj’s new Portuguese coach, was satisfied with the result against a tireless Braga. “‘The result was great,” he said. “We had a good first half with the commitment of the players and their determination.”—AP

BATE lose to Lille

MINSK: Lille’s Gianni Bruno (right) and BATE Borisov’s goalkeeper Andrei Gorbunov challenge the ball during a Group F Champions League soccer match at Dinamo Stadium.—AP

MINSK: Valencia marched into the Champions League last 16 before kicking a ball yesterday as Group F rivals BATE Borisov lost 2-0 at home to Lille, a defeat that means they will have to content themselves with a place in the Europa League. The Spaniards - who later drew 1-1 with Bayern Munich as the Germans also went through - progressed because they were previously three points above BATE and had a better head-to-head record over the Belarussians. They now lead BATE by four. BATE, who have only one match left at Bayern, are out of the elite competition but will drop into the Europa League last 32 after securing third spot. The victory secured Lille’s first points of the group stage and came courtesy of first-half goals from Djibril Sidibe and Gianni Bruno. Sidibe was sent off for a second booking midway through the second period in misty Minsk. Despite the win, the French side are out of Europe completely because BATE are three points above them and have a better head-to-head. They may still have a role to play though with Valencia heading to north-east France on Dec. 5 hoping to win and steal top spot off Bayern.—Reuters

VALENCIA: Bayern Munich needed a late Thomas Mueller goal to come from behind and seal a 1-1 draw at ten-man Valencia yesterday which put both teams in the Champions League’s knock-out phase. After Lille’s 2-0 win at BATE Borisov in Belarus earlier, both teams are now guaranteed passage into the knock-out phase and are level on 10 points at the top of Group F after the draw at Estadi de Mestalla. With BATE third in the group on six points, neither team can now be denied a place in the last 16. Midfielder Sofiane Feghouli had put Valencia ahead with time running out, but Bayern held their nerve as Germany midfielder Mueller netted the equaliser. “It was a fantastic performance from us,” said Feghouli. “Although we wanted to win for our fans, we will leave here satisfied. “We still want to finish first in the group so winning our last match is vital.” The draw in Valencia means the final round of matches in a fortnight are just for pride when Bayern host BATE in Munich and Valencia are at Lille. “I’m glad we scored the equaliser,” said Bayern’s Germany star Mario Gomez, who made his first appearance of the season in a Munich shirt. “Valencia is a home strong team, when they had the ball, we didn’t get it back fast

VALENCIA: Bayern Munich’s Claudio Pizarro (left) heads the ball with Valencia’s Adil Rami from France (right) during their Champions League Group F soccer match.—AP enough.” Valencia were reduced to ten men after only 33 minutes when defender Antonio Barragan, who had brought down France’s Franck Ribery on 20 minutes, slid into Bayern’s David Alaba and earned an immediate red card from referee Howard Webb. Bayern, who are bidding to reach their third Champions League final in four years at Wembley next May, enjoyed the lion’s share of possession, with 65 percent, and created 17 shots on goal compared to Valencia’s nine. Despite the numerical deficit,

the hosts took the lead with just over 15 minutes left when Feghouli cut in from the right wing and fired home from the edge of the area. The ball took a deflection off the hand of Bayern defender Dante, which wrong-footed Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer as it flew into the net on 77 minutes. Munich coach Jupp Heynckes responded immediately by sending on Gomez for his first appearance in a Bayern shirt this season and his first compeitive match since the Euro 2012 semi-final

defeat to Italy. Ankle surgery in August had kept him out for three months, but Heynckes opted to field two strikers with Gomez alongside Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic, who came on for Peru veteran Claudio Pizarro ten minutes before the opening goal. Bayern were behind for just five minutes and Heynckes’ change of tactics paid off as both Mandzukic and Gomez left a cross from captain Philipp Lahm on 82 minutes for Mueller to fire home and put Bayern into the knock-out phase.—AFP

Benfica edge Celtic LISBON: Celtic missed out on a chance to progress to the last 16 of the Champions League yesterday with a game to spare after suffering a 2-1 defeat at Benfica. Ola John gave the Portuguese side an early lead before Giorgos Samaras equalised for Celtic, but Ezequiel Garay’s 71st-minute winner left Celtic third in Group G and needing them to better Benfica’s result in a fortnight if they are to advance to the knockout stage. With Barcelona already through as group winners courtesy of a 3-0 win at Spartak Moscow earlier on Tuesday, a score draw for Celtic have would have secured them a berth in the next round, but Neil Lennon’s side must now get a result at home to already-eliminated Spartak to keep their European hopes alive. Lennon included Scott Brown, Joe Ledley and Gary Hooper in his starting lineup, despite initial concerns over their fitness, while Luisao returned for Benfica after serving a two-month suspension for pushing over a referee during a pre-season friendly in Germany. Oscar Cardozo, making his first start in this season’s competition, unleashed a long-range sighter that fizzed over Fraser Forster’s crossbar inside the opening 60 seconds, but Benfica didn’t have to wait long before breaking the deadlock. Brown poked Eduardo Salvio’s deflected cross away from Cardozo but straight into the path of Ola John, who powered a first-time strike beyond a helpless Forster to give Benfica the lead after seven minutes. Paraguayan international Cardozo then spurned a chance to double the hosts’ advantage as he could only find the side netting after drifting in behind Efe Ambrose. But Samaras hauled Celtic level just after half an hour, rising at the far post to nod in Charlie Mulgrew’s corner, a goal reminiscent of Victor Wanyama’s opener against Barcelona two weeks ago. The equaliser provoked a sustained period of attack from the Portuguese side with Kelvin Wilson making an excellent sliding intervention to deny Nemanja Matic before Forster stopped John from adding to his tally, sticking out a leg to turn the Dutchman’s effort behind. Lennon was forced into a defensive alteration with Beram Kayal replacing an unwell Mulgrew at half-time, and Brazilian striker Lima came close to breaching the Celtic backline on 53 minutes, escaping down

LISBON: Benfica’s Dutch midfielder Ola John celebrates after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League football match against Celtic at the Luz Stadium.—AFP the right and skipping past Andrews only to see his goalbound shot cleared off the line by Adam Matthews. Luisao then demonstrated predatory instincts as he reacted quickest to Matic’s knockdown header, only for the towering Brazilian centre-half to stab over the bar. Lima squandered a glorious chance, failing to properly connect with John’s cross, but Celtic eventually came unstuck on 71 minutes as Luisao nodded the ball towards an unmarked Garay, who drilled an unstoppable volley past Forster. The visitors responded immediately with Wanyama and

Kris Commons drawing a smart double save from Artur, but only the frame of the goal prevented the Scottish side from falling further behind as Salvio’s dipping effort shook the bar. Forster then made an acrobatic save to keep out a Cardozo free-kick before the England goalkeeper again had to be at his best to deny the Paraguayan for a second time. Celtic also suffered another late blow as Wanyama collected a booking that rules him out of the next match, as Benfica held on to secure a deserved victory. —AFP

Champions League tables Champions League tables after yesterday’s matches (played, won, against, points): Group G Group E Barcelona 5 4 Shakhtar 5 3 1 1 12 7 10 - Q Celtic 5 2 Juventus 5 2 3 0 11 4 9 Benfica 5 2 Chelsea 5 2 1 2 10 9 7 Spartak 5 1 Níjaelland 5 0 1 4 3 16 1 Group F Valencia Bayern BATE Lille

5 5 5 5

3 3 2 1

1 1 0 0

1 1 3 4

11 5 10 - Q 11 6 10 - Q 8 11 6 4 12 3

drawn, lost, goals for, goals

0 1 1 0

1 2 2 4

11 5 12 - Q 7 7 7 5 5 7 6 12 3

Group H Man United5 4 0 1 9 5 12 - Q CFR Cluj 5 2 1 2 8 7 7 Galatasaray5 2 1 2 5 5 7 Braga 5 1 0 4 6 11 3 (Q = qualified for knock-out phase)

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Page 18

TURIN: Chelsea’s Spanish striker Juan Mata (left) is tackled by Juventus’ defender Giorgio Chiellini during the Champions League football match in the stadium of Alps. —AFP

Dominant Juve thrash Chelsea TURIN: Chelsea’s hopes of successfully defending their Champions League title were left hanging by a thread after an emphatic 3-0 defeat to a dominant Juventus here yesterday. Chelsea went into the clash one point ahead of the Bianconeri in Group E but were dominated throughout and found no answer to goals in either half from Fabio Quagliarella and Arturo Vidal. The champions’ hopes of any kind of fightback were dashed when second half substitute Sebastian Giovinco beat the onrushing Petr Cech in the first minute of injury time to secure a 3-0 win. Juventus

started positively and should have had several goals during a dominant first-half although Chelsea also wasted two solid chances. Early on Cech had to rush to keep out Stephan Lichsteiner’s shot at the back post from Claudio Marchisio’s short cross. Juventus then survived a massive scare after Oscar was allowed to run up the left wing, cut inside defender Andrea Barzagli and into the middle to set up Eden Hazard at the far post only for the Belgian to be denied by ‘keeper Gianluigi Buffon. That foray illustrated the danger posed by Chelsea on the counter-attack, but it failed to halt Juventus’s search for a

first-half opener. While midfielder Andrea Pirlo was keeping things under control at the back of midfield and regularly finding Claudio Marchisio and Vidal with inch-perfect passes, all too often Juve’s offensives flickered out. Cech twice easily collected a shot by Quagliarella, on 23 minutes, and then Pirlo’s low freekick from 25 metres out. At the other end, Ashley Cole found Oscar on the edge of the area but after a perfect square ball to Ramires the shot from 20 metres went well wide of Buffon’s goal. A Ramires charge up the middle then drew the Juve defence and when he laid

the ball off for Hazard the Belgian was unlucky to see his shot bounce off Andrea Barzagli before Buffon collected to stem the panic. When Juventus scored, it was in textbook fashion but came with a dose of good luck, Pirlo hitting a speculative dipping shot that Quagliarella managed to deflect from 15 metres out into the Chelsea net. Chelsea were lucky not to concede a second a minute later, Cole rushing to clear as Lichsteiner’s shot bobbled towards the goalline. Seconds later Buffon rushed out in timely fashion to deny Mata as the

Spaniard ran down on goal unhindered. Despite their advantage, Juve emerged with as much intent as they had shown early in the first half and, again, should have doubled their lead early on. Vucinic opted to pass back out to the fringes of the area when in a perfectly good shooting position and then Vidal’s shot on the turn was collected easily by Cech. Juventus were then denied what appeared to be a valid penalty claim when defender Gary Cahill impeded Vucinic in the area after Quagliarella’s lob put the Montenegrin through. As Juve contiued to press, Chelsea

manager Roberto Di Matteo replaced midfielder Cesar with Victor Moses just before the hour but a minute later the Blues had conceded their second goal. Asamoah’s run into the area from the left pushed Chelsea defence back towards goal and he promptly cut the ball back into space for Vidal, whose shot took a deflection off Ramires to wrong-footed Cech. Di Matteo sent on Fernando Torrews, but Chelsea had little to offer and when diminutive midfielder Giovinco was released in midfield the visitors’ defence was absent as Cech came out in futile fashion to thwart the ‘Atomic Ant’.—AFP

Barca qualify for last 16

ISTANBUL: Manchester United’s Alexander Buttner (left) and Semih Kaya of Galatasaray fight for the ball during their Champions League Group H soccer match.—AP

Galatasaray stun United ISTANBUL: Galatasaray ended Manchester United’s perfect start to this season’s Champions League with a 1-0 victory in Group H in Istanbul yesterday. Burak Yilmaz scored the only goal of the game at the Turk Telekom Arena when he headed in a corner in the 54th minute to take the hosts to the brink of qualification for the knockout stages. But with United already through to the second phase, this match allowed manager Alex Ferguson to give several younger players some valuable European experience in front of some of the continent’s most passionate fans. “The possession was good and the attacking play was good,” Ferguson told Sky Sports. “We had one or two good opportunities in both halves. “They had a few strikes from outside the box and our goalkeeper did well. Otherwise we coped well.” Such United stars as England striker Wayne Rooney, top scorer Robin van Persie, Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, the only survivor from the 1993 ‘Welcome to Hell’ trip to Istanbul, stayed in Manchester. By contrast yesterday saw Nick Powell, at 18

years and 242 days, become the second youngest Englishman to feature for United in the Champions League. The fact that record is held by Kieran Richardson should warn Powell that Tuesday’s appearance is no guarantee of Old Trafford stardom. Meanwhile Phil Jones made his first United appearance of the season and Powell his first start. A first half of few chances saw United keeper Anders Lindegaard make just the one save, turning away a curling Hamit Altintop shot. But the match livened up considerably after the interval with former Liverpool player Albert Riera testing Lindegaard from long range before the Dane did well to tip Felipe Melo’s header over the bar. But the ensuing corner saw Filmaz find space on the edge of the six-yard box before steering in a header. The margin of defeat could have been worse for United, with Altintop’s powerful long-range shot rattling the crossbar. Ferguson tried to conjure an equaliser by introducing Ashley Young. Federico Macheda and Joshua King off the bench but it made no difference to the result.—AFP

MOSCOW: Lionel Messi continued his prodigious goalscoring form with a brace as Barcelona qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League with a 3-0 win over Spartak Moscow who have been eliminated. After Dani Alves had put them ahead after 16 minutes, Messi bagged his double before half time to extend Barca’s lead at the top of Group G although Celtic, who face Benfica later, can still overtake them if they win their last two games and Barca slip-up. Messi, who was top scorer in the competition for a record fourth time last season, now has five goals from five games and he has 80 for the calendar year as he pursues Gerd Muller’s 85 playing for Bayern Munich and Germany in 1972. And he moved level with Ruud van Nistelrooy on 56 Champions League goals behind Raul, the competition’s all time scorer with 71. Messi though was as unassuming as ever after the game. “My aim was just to get the ball, create chances and that we win the game, that is what is important,” he said. Wwe knew we couldn’t afford to make mistakes after what happened against Celtic and that we had to go out strongly even though it is difficult to play away in this competition.” Barca had lost their previous match away to Celtic 2-1 despite dominating possession but were unable to make the most of their chances. “Against Celtic we had the same number of opportunities but sometimes they go in and sometimes they don’t,” said coach Tito Vilanova. “Everyone talks about Leo, the goals and the records but it is more his awareness and tactics. The way he defends and attacks and helps the team in all areas. “The team showed how great they are as this was a difficult game in the cold on an artificial pitch although some of them have played on it before, and they played an excellent match. “It was important for us not to have to qualify in the final game which will not be easy against Benfica.” Spartak coach Unai Emery was hampered by a number of injuries including Artem Dzyuba and Aiden McGeady while Nicolas Pareja was suspended. Carles Puyol returned to the Barca defence in the weekend victory over Zaragoza for the first time since he dislocated his elbow in the

MOSCOW: Barcelona’s Gerard Pique (right) battles for the ball with Spartak Moscow’s Ari during their Group G Champions League soccer match.—AP Champions League clash with Benfica early in October, but Vilanova chose to rest him with Javier Mascherano partnering Gerard Pique at the heart of the defence. Barca forged the first opportunity when Pedro Rodriguez chested down a Xavi Hernandez pass but his volley was saved well by keeper Andrey Dikan. Spartak may be struggling in Europe but they have been playing well domestically and are the top scorers in the Russian top flight. A well worked corner routine could have seen them go ahead but Dmitriy Kombarov side footed over from 12 yards. Barca though were less forgiving as Alves fired home a loose ball on the edge of the area minutes later. The visitors had control of the midfield but Spartak were dangerous on the break and Marek Suchy failed to hit the target from an Emmanuel Emenike cross after being left unmarked. Barca were fully exposing Spartak’s weakness at the back with Messi getting his first of

the night. Andres Iniesta saw his shot saved by the keeper but Messi following up knocked the ball home with his weaker right foot. Spartak were also stretching Barca’s defence but they continued to waste their openings with keeper Victor Valdes not even forced into making a serious save. Jose Jurado crossed for Emenike but stretching he also failed to hit the target. Emery said Spartak’s aim was to copy Celtic’s achievement but they were leaving wide spaces at the back for a charged up Barca and Messi gave them a commanding 3-0 lead before the break. Latching onto a Pedro pass he went round the keeper and slotted home. After the restart Barca eased off and Spartak had more of the ball but with the quality they have in attack they continued to create chances. Cesc Fabregas linked up with Iniesta but after receiving the ball back he was denied by another good save from Dikan and then minutes later Pedro headed over from close range.—AFP


Rebalancing global petrochemicals markets Page 24

Belgium eyes new round of 2013 budget savings


Page 25

Greek PM to visit Qatar to discuss investment

Euro ministers eye deal on $40bn in Greek aid

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DUBAI: Part of the skyline of the city of Dubai as it appeared in the early hours of the morning from the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry building, yesterday. —AFP

Downgraded France seeks more time Setback as Moody’s strips France of its AAA credit rating PARIS: France’s government has shrugged off the latest downgrade of its credit rating, saying yesterday that it just needs time for reforms to the sluggish economy to take root. In a setback for President Francois Hollande’s Socialist administration, Moody’s Investors Service stripped Europe’s No 2 economy of it of its prized AAA credit rating late Monday on concerns that its rigid labor market and exposure to Europe’s financial crisis were threatening its prospects for economic growth. This is the second ratings downgrade to have hit France this year: Standard & Poor’s agency lowered its score in January. The third leading agency, Fitch, still ranks France at AAA-rating but warned it could still be downgraded. Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici insisted that France’s credibility remains strong and that the government’s plan to reduce unemployment and restore growth would bear fruit. France has come under scrutiny as its 2 trillion euros ($2.5 trillion) economy has stagnated, with many leading French companies laying off workers. Meanwhile, Hollande has struggled to reassure economists that his attempts to revive the French economy will

be successful. Hollande’s administration has laid out a series of deficit-reduction targets, vowing to bring it in line with European rules next year. It has also unveiled a plan to improve the competitiveness of its economy, by giving companies 20 billion euros ($25 billion) in tax rebates, reducing red tape for businesses, and providing small companies with extra support to compete abroad. However, many economists say that the greatest threat to France’s economy is its stringent labor rules, which make firing difficult and expensive and thus deter hiring. The country has been losing global business for years to more dynamic economies like China’s, while fighting unemployment of 10.8 percent and concerns about the future of the euro-zone. The French government is currently leading negotiations between businesses and unions in the hopes of reforming labor rules by the end of the year. Moscovici pleaded for time yesterday, arguing that the government had inherited a difficult economic and budgetary situation from former President Nicolas Sarkozy. He said the government is convinced it is now on the right path but that its reforms just need to take effect.

HP says acquired company lied about finances NEW YORK: Hewlett-Packard Co said that a British company it bought for $9.7 billion last year lied about its finances, resulting in a massive write-down of the value of the business. CEO Meg Whitman avoided calling it a fraud, but said Tuesday that there were “serious accounting improprieties, disclosure failures and outright misrepresentations at Autonomy Corporation PLC.” HP is taking an $8.8 billion charge in its latest quarter largely to align the accounting value of Autonomy with its real value. The revelation is another blow for HP, which is struggling to reinvent itself as PC and printer sales shrink. Its shares hit a 10-year low in morning trading. Among other things, Autonomy makes search engines that help companies find vital information stored across computer networks. Acquiring it was part of an attempt by HP to strengthen its portfolio of high-value products and services for corporations and government agencies. The deal was greenlighted by Whitman’s predecessor, Leo Apotheker, but closed in Oct 2011, three weeks into Whitman’s tenure. Whitman said Autonomy’s financial illusion started to unravel after founder and CEO Mike Lynch left on May 23. A senior Autonomy executive then volunteered information about the accounting shenanigans, prompting an internal investigation, she said. The case has been referred to the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, she said. The company will also try to recoup some of the cash it paid for Autonomy through lawsuits. On a conference call with Whitman following the earnings report, analyst Ben Reitzes of Barclays Capital asked who will be held responsible internally for the disastrous acquisition. Whitman answered that the two executives that should have been held responsible - Apotheker and strategy chief Shane

“It takes time to reverse the flow of things. It takes courageous decisions, and that’s what we’re promising to do,” he told reporters. To the ratings agencies, critics and investors, he said: “Judge us on our results.” Trouble for

France would mean wider trouble for Europe. France and Germany, which underpin the group of 17 European Union countries that use the euro, have taken the lead in finding solutions to the continent’s debt crisis. Any

PARIS: France’s Economy minister Pierre Moscovici gives a press conference, yesterday at the ministry in Paris, one day after the international ratings agency Moody’s cut the French government bond rating by one notch from the highest level to “AA!” and warned that an additional downgrade was possible. — AFP

Rogue UBS trader jailed for 7 years LONDON: UBS trader Kweku Adoboli, who gambled away $2.3 billion of the Swiss bank’s money, was jailed for seven years in London yesterday for Britain’s biggest-ever fraud. The Ghanaian-born banker, 32, had been found guilty of two counts of fraud by a jury at Southwark Crown Court earlier yesterday but cleared of four charges of false accounting. “There is a strong streak of the gambler in you,” judge Brian Keith told Adoboli as he sentenced him. “You were arrogant to think the bank’s rules for traders did not apply to you. “The tragedy for you is that you had everything going for you. “Your fall from grace as a result of these convictions is spectacular.” The judge said Adoboli would serve half his sentence before being released on license. Adoboli wiped away tears as he was sentenced. He had admitted the losses but denied any rongdoing. During the two-month trial he claimed senior managers were fully aware of his activities and encouraged him to take risks to make profits for UBS. But prosecutors said that in a bid to boost his bonuses and chances of promotion, Adoboli exceeded his trading Kweku Adoboli limits, failed to hedge trades and faked records to cover his tracks between 2008 and 2011. The tactics initially paid off-prosecutors said he earned $90 million for UBS and its clients by May 2011 and the bank rewarded him with huge bonus increases, rising from £15,000 in 2008 to £250,000 in 2010. But as the financial crisis took hold, Adoboli’s deals went bad. The court heard had that at one point he was at risk of causing the bank losses of $12 billion. “The amount of money involved was staggering, impacting hugely on the bank but also on their employees, shareholders and investors,” said Andrew Penhale, deputy head of fraud at the Crown Prosecution Service. —AFP (See Page 24)

slip in France’s clout could endanger its ability to lead negotiations. In an early sign of how the rating could affect the euro-zone ability to solve its financial crisis, its bailout fund was forced to cancel a bond auction yesterday. Officials with the European Financial Stability Facility said the downgrade caused a technical problem since the EFSF’s rating is now higher than that of France, which is a major backer of the fund. EFSF CFO Christophe Frankel did not say how the glitch would be resolved but said he thought it could be. The EFSF has been replaced by the European Stability Mechanism, but is still handling the bailouts of Greece, Ireland and Portugal. Moscovici also insisted that relations with Germany remained strong. There have been reports recently that Germany is concerned about the health of the French economy. But German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble seemed unconcerned about the downgrade. “We have received the news that, overnight, our most important partner got a little admonition from a rating agency,” Schaeuble said in the German Parliament. “The rating for France is still very stable, so that we avoid any dramatization.” —AP

Gulf markets steady, Kuwait edges higher MIDEAST STOCK MARKETS DUBAI: Gulf markets steadied yesterday even as investors remained cautious amid a prolonged Israeli air raid on the Gaza Strip, while Egypt recovered after reaching a preliminary loan deal for $4.8 billion with the International Monetary Fund. Kuwait’s measure gained 0.5 percent to a one-week high as investors’ risk appetite returned. “The market is absorbing the political instability...there is continued support from the emir’s comments on improving the economy,” said Fouad Darwish, head of brokerage at Global Investment House. HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah said earlier this month he would deal with political problems and revive the economy, which could also mean stalled development projects will be revived. Thousands of Kuwaitis have regularly taken to the streets since late October to protest at Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad alSabah’s decision to amend the electoral law before a parliamentary election on Dec. 1. Gulf Bank and Boubyan Bank rose 1.2 and 1.6 percent respectively and Wataniya climbed 4.6 percent. The market traded KD34.7 million ($123.1 million), which is a healthy indicator, analysts said. Saudi Arabia’s index, the largest Gulf market, ended at a five-week low, although bourse selling pressure eased following a sustained slump. The kingdom’s index eased 0.07 percent, its ninth straight decline. Insurance stocks rallied, with the sector’s index closing 1.1 percent higher. The sector, which constitutes only a small part of total market capitalization, dominates trade, signalling nervous investors are look-

ing beyond blue-chip stocks for short-term gains. “There is no catalyst in the market and people are going into speculative names,” said Mahmoud Akbar, a banking analyst at NCB Capital in Riyadh. “Most of the sentiment is driven by the conflict in Gaza and there’s nothing encouraging in the overall picture either.” The UN chief called for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip yesterday and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton headed to the region with a message that escalation of the weeklong conflict was in nobody’s interest. Saudi’s petrochemical index shed 0.3 percent. Yanbu National Petrochemical fell 1.6 percent, Saudi Arabian Fertilizers slipped 0.8 percent and Saudi Kayan Petrochemical declined 0.8 percent. European shares fell and the euro dipped yesterday after France lost its top-notch credit rating from Moody’s, reminding investors of the risks from the euro-zone debt crisis. In the United Arab Emirates, Dubai’s index picked up from Monday’s sevenweek low on bargain hunting. The index gained 0.8 percent. Emaar Properties, the largest developer, rose 2.2 percent, National Central Cooling (Tabreed) gained 3.4 percent and mortgage lender Tamweel climbed 4.3 percent. Abu Dhabi’s benchmark ended flat, while Qatar’s measure gained 0.2 percent, up for a second session since Sunday’s three-month low. In Egypt, the bourse recovered sharp early-session losses after the country reached a preliminary agreement with the International Monetary Fund for a $4.8 billion loan, a step seen as vital to shoring up the nation’s finances. The index eased 0.07 percent to its lowest close since Aug. 30, recovering 112 points from an early-session drop. — Reuters



Greek PM to visit Qatar to discuss investment Heads of largest Greek banks to accompany DOHA: Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will visit the wealthy Gulf state of Qatar next week to discuss investment opportunities inside Greece, a Greek embassy spokesman in Doha said yesterday. Samaras will meet with Qatar’s emir and prime minister as well as top officials from Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund to discuss investment possibilities in the struggling Mediterranean economy, including equity participation in Greek state-owned companies, the spokesman said. “They will definitely discuss Qatari investment in Greece. This is the main goal of the trip. Equity participation in state companies that are being privatized, the state lottery and DEPA, the public natural gas company, this is

what Greece will present to the Prime Minister,” he said. The chief executives of Greece’s two largest banks, National Bank of Greece and Alpha Bank, are also accompanying the delegation, he said. Greece’s struggling economy received a second financing program from the euro zone and the International Monetary Fund in February, but a deeper than expected depression threw its reforms and fiscal consolidation efforts off course. Other investment areas to be discussed include real estate projects such as the Hellenikon project, a 620-hectare development near central Athens, Europe’s largest real estate project. Qatar Holding, the investment arm of Qatar’s sovereign wealth

fund, is participating in the tender process of the project, he said. Qatar Holding recently invested 1.2 billion euros in a gold mining operation in northern Greece, he said. Representatives from 15 Greek companies will be present, including Aegean Airlines, steel producer Halyvourgiki as well as natural gas major DEPA, he said. Other topics to be discussed include how Greek companies can participate in infrastructure projects in Qatar, he said. Earlier this week Italy ’s Prime Minister Mario Monti sealed a 1 billion euro ($1.3 billion) deal for Qatari investment in Italian companies, aiding efforts to breathe life into a weak Italian economy. — Reuters

Bahrain CB seeks to foster capital markets DUBAI: Bahrain’s central bank (CBB) plans steps to encourage securities issuance and lure foreign investors who have been deterred by the global financial crisis and political unrest in the Gulf island kingdom. The CBB will soon issue a directive on the offering of securities covering both Islamic and conventional paper, governor Rasheed Al-Maraj said in an emailed interview, part of the Reuters Middle East Investment Summit. “This initiative will encourage foreign investors to use Bahrain as a base for their capital market activities,” he said. Bahrain, a regional financial hub and a major centre for Islamic finance, has been hit by unrest that followed Arab Spring uprisings elsewhere in the Middle East. Since early 2011, street protests, demanding democratic reforms from the government, have dampened tourism and foreign investment in the country of about 1.3 million people. Occasional home-made bomb attacks have added to the tension; five such attacks killed two people early this month. Assets of Bahrain’s banking system totalled $201.1 billion in September, barely changed from a year earlier and down from $222.2 billion at the end of 2010, before the unrest erupted, according to central bank data. Investment in Bahraini mutual funds declined to $8.24 billion in the second quarter of this year from $9.17 billion in the first quarter; down 9 percent so far this year, Bahrain’s stock market is the worst-performing among the wealthy Gulf oil exporters. Nevertheless, Bahraini authorities are promoting their country’s status as a financial centre, and the CBB’s plan to issue a directive suggests it has identified regulation as a way to combat difficult capital market conditions. Maraj said the directive would cover both debt and equity markets, and would involve licensing procedures required by the central bank. He did not give details. Islamic finance is an area where Bahrain may still have a competitive advantage; the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions, a body which sets standards for the industry globally, is based in Bahrain. The CBB last month issued rules requiring Islamic banks to disclose more about their charges and the profit rates which they offer to depositors, Maraj said. He also said the CBB had released a consultation paper in preparation for

strengthening risk management standards for Islamic banks. The final version of the paper is expected to be issued by January 2013, he said. A Reuters poll of analysts in September predicted Bahrain’s economy would grow 2.8 percent this year, the slowest rate among the wealthy Gulf oil exporters. Growth has been supported by heavy government spending but this has pushed the state budget into deficit, and a draft budget released by the Finance Ministry this month indicated Bahrain would cut its budget spending by almost 6 percent in 2013. But Maraj said the CBB did not expect to change interest rates to compensate for any reduction in fiscal stimulus, given strong liquidity in retail banks and growth in credit and money supply. He also said the CBB was satisfied that commercial bank balance sheets were healthy, citing

the level of loan to deposit ratio remaining at 75 percent in the last few years. Ultimately, the health of Bahrain’s economy will depend to a considerable degree on support from its large neighbor and top world exporter Saudi Arabia; Bahrain relies on output from an oil field shared with Saudi Arabia for some 70 percent of its budget revenue. In the wake of last year’s unrest, Bahrain received an aid pledge of $10 billion spread over 10 years from its wealthier Gulf neighbors, but in June this year it said it had not received any of that money so far, and it is unclear exactly when the funds will start to flow. Maraj said the government had identified infrastructure, housing and health care projects that would be funded by this aid money, and that some of the projects had entered the tendering stage. — Reuters

Gulf mulls economic aid for protest-hit Jordan: UAE DUBAI: Gulf Arab states are looking at ways to help Jordan’s ailing economy after a government decision to cut fuel subsidies sent energy prices soaring and led to street protests. The Western-backed kingdom has struggled to reduce its budget deficit and secure a $2 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund. It has also suffered gas disruptions from regular supplier Egypt following several sabotage attacks on a pipeline since last year’s Egyptian uprising. UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahayan said on Monday Jordan was facing an economic deficit due to its dependence on importing heavy fuel. “We, in the UAE and the Gulf Cooperation Council, are studying ways to close or minimize this deficit,” the state news agency WAM quoted Sheikh Abdullah as telling a news conference in Abu Dhabi with Jordan’s Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh. Talks to come up with a solution to Jordan’s funding gap could take some time, he said. Instability in Jordan, a US ally with the longest border with Israel, would come at a volatile time for a region in turmoil from Syria to Gaza. Jordan has so far largely avoided the kind of

unrest that has toppled four Arab heads of state over the past two years. But the decision to lift fuel subsidies caused scattered protests which turned violent in many places. Security forces detained 130 demonstrators who could be charged with threatening the state for calling for the downfall of King Abdullah. Mindful of the public fury that exploded into street clashes in the depressed south after price hikes in 1989 and 1996, Jordan had been reluctant to raise fuel prices. The rising energy bill after the disruption of cheap gas supplies from Egypt and a steep drop in foreign grants have pushed the aid-dependent kingdom to the brink of economic crisis. Its budget deficit is now $3 billion, or 11 percent of GDP. “The cut in the Egyptian gas to Jordan for two years is the main reason for these situations which made us depend on heavy fuel which cost us more than $4 billion,” Judeh said. The bombing of the pipeline bringing Egyptian gas has forced Jordan to switch to costlier fuels for power generation. Saudi Arabia declined this year to repeat its payment of a $1.4 billion cash injection to stop the economy heading to the brink of collapse. — Reuters

ZURICH: People wearing giant fake eyes hold a protest during a meeting of shareholders of in commodities giant Glencore yesterday. —AFP

Glencore eyes finish line in marathon Xstrata deal LONDON/ZUG: Shareholders in commodities trader Glencore have overwhelmingly approved its long-awaited $31 billion takeover of miner Xstrata , paving the way for one of the largest tieups in the sector to date. After nine months of tense negotiations, late-night talks and last-minute twists, the deal to create a mining and trading powerhouse is within Glencore’s grasp - a personal victory for its biggest shareholder, key dealmaker and chief executive, Ivan Glasenberg, who will also lead the combined group. Xstrata’s own investors are due to vote later yesterday in the Swiss town of Zug, at meetings beginning at 1300 GMT. They are also expected to support the tie-up, after Qatar - Xstrata’s second-largest shareholder - said it would back the share offer. In what could be an embarrassing blow to Xstrata’s board, however, investors could reject a separate 140 million pound ($223 million) “golden handcuffs” retention plan for Xstrata managers. Championed by the board as essential for delivering Xstrata’s slew of major projects, the plan has been deeply unpopular with institutional shareholders. Xstrata is shifting to a period of development after a decade of acquisitions that made it the world’s fourth-largest diversified miner, and so the projects are key to its prospects. The tie-up - long in the works, as Glasenberg and Xstrata counterpart Mick Davis held on-off talks for years has been dragged back from the brink of collapse on more than one occasion since it was first proposed in February. Most recently in September, the deal seemed doomed before Glencore improved its bid at the last minute to woo Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund. Qatar’s support in a rare statement last week increased the chances the tie-up could be all but certain within days. That is, if a positive outcome at Tuesday’s Swiss shareholder meetings is followed by approval from Europe’s antitrust regulators, due to give their verdict by today. The deal will also be a rare payday for

London’s investment bankers, lawyers and a host of other advisers, at a time when mega-mergers are few, and successful deals even rarer. They will reap some $200 million in fees. Glencore, majority-owned by its senior executive team, said 99.4 percent of voting shareholders supported the deal, after a swift vote during which no questions were asked. More Glencore shareholders opposed the name change - to Glencore Xstrata Plc - than the merger itself. Depending on the combined group’s final weighting, Glencore Xstrata could be the 13th largest company in Britain’s FTSE 100, representing more than 2 percent of the index. Though an unusually complex voting structure means a positive outcome from the Xstrata side is not guaranteed, analysts say the main question mark will be over the management retention package. A strong vote against the plan would be a blow for Xstrata’s board, its outgoing chief executive, mining veteran Mick Davis, and for its chairman, John Bond, formerly of Vodafone and HSBC. Bond argued the company needed the plan to ensure key managers stay on after the tie-up. But the “golden handcuffs” have been lambasted by investors and risked sinking the tie-up, until a voting structure that had made the whole deal conditional on the pay plan was revised. Qatar said last week it would abstain on the issue of retention pay, increasing the chances that that vote will not pass. Glencore will also not vote its shares. Glencore, Xstrata’s largest shareholder with a 34-percent stake, is offering 3.05 new shares for every Xstrata share. At 0930 GMT, the shares were trading at prices implying a ratio of almost 2.95, improving on Monday’s close. When Tuesday is over, shareholders and Glencore itself could be focusing on the task ahead, including potential noncore asset sales, an overhaul of Xstrata’s project pipeline and even potential future deals. Glencore, analysts say, is one of few “unashamed buyers” at a time of frugal spending. — Reuters

EXCHANGE RATES Commercial Bank of Kuwait US Dollar/KD GB Pound/KD Euro Swiss francs Canadian Dollar Australian DLR Indian rupees Sri Lanka Rupee UAE dirhams Bahraini dinars Jordanian dinar Saudi riyals Omani riyals Egyptian pounds

.2740000 .4440000 .3550000 .2940000 .2800000 .2910000 .0040000 .0020000 .0764600 .7449300 .3870000 .0720000 .7302720 .0430000

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES US Dollar/KD .2816500 GB Pound/KD .4467530 Euro .3571040 Swiss francs .2964420 Canadian dollars .2816080 Danish Kroner .0478830 Swedish Kroner .0415540 Australian dlr .2930570 Hong Kong dlr .0363400 Singapore dlr .2302000 Japanese yen .0035510 Indian Rs/KD .0000000 Sri Lanka rupee .0000000 Pakistan rupee .0000000 Bangladesh taka .0000000 UAE dirhams .0767130 Bahraini dinars .7473800 Jordanian dinar .0000000 Saudi Riyal/KD .0751270 Omani riyals .7318440 Philippine Peso .0000000

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. ASIAN COUNTRIES

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

3.559 5.147 2.947 2.172 3.223 232.110 36.502 3.452 6.834 9.199 0.271 0.273

.2850000 .4590000 .3690000 .3070000 .2910000 .2990000 .0067500 .0035000 .0772290 .7524170 .4070000 .0770000 .7376110 .0510000 .2837500 .4500840 .3597670 .2986530 .2837070 .0482400 .0418640 .2952420 .0366110 .2319170 .0035780 .0051870 .0021810 .0029700 .0034870 .0772840 .7529520 .4013440 .0756870 .7373000 .0069520

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

GCC COUNTRIES 75.470 77.763 735.090 751.690 77.063

ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 47.900 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 46.327 Yemen Riyal/for 1000 1.320 Tunisian Dinar 178.150 Jordanian Dinar 399.150 Lebanese Lira/for 1000 1.899 Syrian Lier 3.870 Morocco Dirham 33.088 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 282.900 Euro 364.940 Sterling Pound 452.500 Canadian dollar 284.890 Turkish lire 153.750 Swiss Franc 301.920 Australian dollar 294.220 US Dollar Buying 281.700 GOLD 332.000 167.000 86.500

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

Australian dollar Bahraini dinar Bangladeshi taka Canadian dollar Cyprus pound Czek koruna Danish krone Deutsche Mark Egyptian pound Euro Cash Hongkong dollar Indian rupees Indonesia Iranian tuman Iraqi dinar Japanese yen Jordanian dinar Lebanese pound Malaysian ringgit Morocco dirham Nepalese Rupees New Zealand dollar Nigeria


298.100 751.940 3.710 287.300 555.300 46.100 49.500 167.800 48.020 366.200 37.160 5.560 0.032 0.162 0.248 3.580 400.680 0.191 95.350 45.000 4.350 235.200 1.831

50.400 734.45 3.060 7.060 78.210 75.490 232.620 34.570 2.693 454.100 42.700 304.000 4.000 9.570 198.263 77.090 283.100 1.360

10 Tola

GOLD 1,838.710

Sterling Pound US Dollar

734.270 2.962 6.881 77.780 75.490 232.620 34.570 2.172 452.100 302.500 4.000 9.420 76.990 282.700



TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 452.100 282.700


296.600 751.940 3.454 285.800

232.600 46.358 364.700 37.010 5.155 0.031


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

297.06 287.10 304.07 363.79 282.55 452.47 3.56 3.466 5.141 2.177 3.214 2.953 77.00 752.33 46.35 402.54 735.36 78.02 75.56


296.000 285.500 304.000 362.500 283.000 451.600 3.690 3.580 5.550 2.310 3.650 3.150 77.500 750.000 47.950 400.000 740.000 77.850 75.850

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd 400.650 0.190 95.350 3.240 233.700

Rate for Transfer

Selling Rate

US Dollar Canadian Dollar Sterling Pound Euro

282.650 283.295 450.685 362.100

Swiss Frank Bahrain Dinar UAE Dirhams Qatari Riyals Saudi Riyals Jordanian Dinar Egyptian Pound Sri Lankan Rupees Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Bangladesh Taka Philippines Pesso Cyprus pound Japanese Yen Thai Bhat Syrian Pound Nepalese Rupees Malaysian Ringgit

300.810 748.310 76.930 77.585 75.335 398.440 46.334 2.166 5.150 2.938 3.458 6.864 693.345 4.475 9.300 4.385 3.310 92.385

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co.

UAE Exchange Centre WLL

Bahrain Exchange Company COUNTRY

Norwegian krone Omani Riyal Pakistani rupees Philippine peso Qatari riyal Saudi riyal Singapore dollar South Africa Sri Lankan rupees Sterling pound Swedish krona Swiss franc Syrian pound Thai bhat Tunisian dollar UAE dirham U.S. dollars Yemeni Riyal

Rate per 1000 (Tran)

US Dollar Pak Rupees Indian Rupees Sri Lankan Rupees Bangladesh Taka Philippines Peso UAE Dirhams Saudi Riyals Bahraini Dinars Egyptian Pounds Pound Sterling Indonesian Rupiah Yemeni Riyal Euro Canadian Dollars Nepali rupee

282.700 2.940 5.146 2.180 3.463 6.915 77.075 75.545 751.500 46.299 455.500 2.990 1.550 364.700 289.700 3.345

Al Mulla Exchange Currency

Transfer Rate (Per 1000)

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

282.300 364.500 451.900 285.500 3.500 5.130 46.340 2.166 3.460 6.868 2.945 751.800 76.875 75.350



Kuwait credit growth maintains modest recovery NBK ECONOMIC REPORT KUWAIT: Credit recorded a strong KD 166 million gain in September following a big jump the previous month and continuing this year’s modest recovery. Unlike recent months, September’s credit gain had a narrow base driven largely by consumer and real estate lending. Private deposits saw a small increase in September. Outstanding credit to resi-

dents reached KD 26.8 billion, up KD 166 million in September. The increase in total credit since the beginning of the year stood at KD 1.2 billion, well above the gains for the same period last year (+KD 135 million). Year-onyear (y/y) growth accelerated to 5.6% and should finish the year at around 6%. Personal facilities (excl. securities) continued to bolster credit

growth and were up KD 120 million in September from last month. Year-to-date (ytd), this sector has added KD 730 million to outstanding credit on the back of strong growth in installment loans, with year-on-year growth at a healthy 15.7%. While credit to non-bank financials continued to shrink falling by KD 16 million, all remaining credit rose by a decent KD 61 million

following a strong August. Still, these sectors saw credit growth against a year ago slow slightly to 5.1% from last month due to unfavorable base effects. Gains were largely in real estate (up KD 122 mn) and trade (up KD 46 mn). Industry saw a large KD 61 million drop that nearly reversed last month’s gains. A shift from KD sight deposits to foreign currency (FC) deposits

caused money supply (M1) to contract KD 147 million while the broader measure of money (M2) expanded by KD 57 million. M1 and M2 are up 11.2% and 5.1% y/y, respectively. Private sector deposits were up a small KD 45 million in September following a large increase the previous month. The small increase masked a KD 196 million increase in foreign

currency deposits which coincided with a KD 159 million drop in private sight deposits. Deposit rates on dinar time deposits were up three basis points for the 1-month maturity which averaged 0.74%. The 6-month and 12-month deposit rates were down by one basis point to 1.2% and 1.5%, respectively, while the 3-month rate remained stable at 0.97%.

Euro ministers eye deal on $40bn in Greek aid ‘Good chance’ of a Greek deal: Juncker

CHANTILLY: Lumber is hauled during the construction of a new townhouse in Chantilly, Virginia. US home construction rose again last month following September’s strong surge.—AFP

Equinix, du announce $80m Dubai data centre DUBAI: California’s Equinix Inc and du, a telecom operator in the United Arab Emirates, launched an alliance yesterday to open an $80 million data centre in Dubai to offer faster internet speeds in the Gulf region. In a joint statement, the companies said the hub would be the first of its kind in the Middle East and would be operational from January 2013. It will be “carrier neutral,” meaning telecom operators other than du will be able to use it. Equinix, which has about 90 data facilities globally and 4,000 customers including IBM and HSBC, has bought a newly-built mid-sized data centre in Dubai and will invest $40 million in the project. Du will invest a similar amount over the next five years, providing connectivity and managed services to tenants, which are likely to include financial institutions, telecom carriers from other regions and internet content providers. The alliance also plans to open a second facility in Abu Dhabi that would require additional investment, but the companies declined to provide further details. “People’s expectations about the

speed of throughput and content is constantly rising and there are many technologies to improve performance, but one of the fundamental ones is to locate the content as close as possible to the end user,” Eric Schwartz, Equinix president for Europe, Middle East and Africa, told reporters on the sidelines of a news conference. “With this facility the more applications and content that are located here in the Middle East versus being served somewhere in Europe or Asia, people will see meaningful performance increases.” The bulk of data held at the Dubai centre is likely to come from international firms using it as a hub to re-route traffic to and from other regions, with some traffic diverted locally, said Mahesh Jaishankar, du vice-president for investments. Du said it would not seek to extend the alliance to other Middle East countries, but Equinix said it may expand its presence in the region. “Our historic concentration is in the major European, American and Asian capitals - this is the next step for us,” Schwartz added. “A lot will depend on the regulatory and commercial environment.” — Reuters

Turkey CB cuts rates again, hints at stronger action ISTANBUL: Turkey ’s central bank trimmed the highest of its main interest rates for a third consecutive month yesterday to prop up a slowing economy, also signalling it would not tolerate more gains for the lira. The bank cut its overnight lending rate - the upper boundary of the interest rate corridor it uses to control monetary conditions - by 50 basis points to 9 percent but left its other policy rates on hold, in what analysts deemed a cautious move. Turkey’s economy, the fastest growing in Europe last year, has slowed this year as domestic demand weakens and the central bank has been trying to boost growth without allowing the lira to strengthen too sharply. The prospect of a surge for the currency grew last Monday when agency Fitch gave Turkey its first investment grade credit rating in 18 years, pushing the lira to a three-month high and prompting Central Bank Governor Erdem Basci to warn he would act if it appreciated further. While not taking more dramatic action on Tuesday, the bank did again tinker with its reserve ratios and said that it could gradually begin to cut its main policy rate, the one-week repo rate, and overnight borrowing rate if needed. “This move tells me that the bank is now in a cautious mode, happy to have navigated through the earlier year travails on the exchange rate front, and content to ride through the soft landing phase for a little while yet,” said Timothy Ash, head of emerging markets research at Standard Bank. “The message is that it is still a little early to put the foot to the floor on the gas again, when the current account deficit remains large, and financing risks are still considerable,” he said. The lending rate cut was forecast by all ten brokerages and banks in a Reuters poll, though there had been some speculation on markets that it would cut one another of its key rates. The lira firmed in response to the decision to 1.7965 against the US dollar from

1.8022, before stabilizing. The bank in the past has had to act strongly to counter a jump in the lira’s value - due broadly to ultra-low interest rates in the developed world - that would cripple Turkey’s exporters and economic growth in turn. Basci has said he will act swiftly if the real exchange rate reached 120-125 on its index, which currently stands at 117. “We think that depending on the level of lira ... the central bank might deliver cuts in the lower end of the corridor or policy rate, but we think that we are not there yet,” said Ozgur Altug, chief economist at BGC Partners.The bank increased the amount of foreign exchange that lenders must provide if they want to hold more than 40 percent of their required lira reserves in forex, in effect raising its reserve option coefficients and tightening the supply of foreign currencies on the market. Turkish banks have been taking advantage of ample global liquidity by borrowing dollars at rates as low as 1 percent on the repo market and parking them with the central bank as reserves, while lending lira to consumers at interest rates of up to 10 percent. Banks holding more than 40 percent of their lira reserves in forex will now have to hand over to the central bank the forex equivalent of 1.5 times the lira amount it provides, up from a previous coefficient of 1.4. “The bank can increase its reserve option coefficients by 0.1 points in the period ahead. The rise in required reserve ratios will depend on the pace of growth of loans. If it rises above 15 percent, the bank would increase required reserve ratios,” said Tufan Comert, strategist at Garanti Securities. Turkey’s economy expanded 8.5 percent last year, but the government trimmed its forecasts for growth in 2012 to 3.2 percent and forecast only a mild pick-up in 2013. At its last monetary policy meeting in October, the bank cut the overnight lending rate by 50 basis points to 9.5 percent to support growth. —Reuters

BRUSSELS: Euro-zone finance ministers have a “good chance” of reaching agreement on payment of long-awaited aid to Greece later, the head of the Eurogroup, Jean-Claude Juncker, said. “Greece has delivered. (There are thus) good chances of an agreement,” he said. He made his remarks on arriving for a meeting of euro-zone finance ministers to discuss payment of 31.2 billion euros ($40 billion) in aid, part of a 130-billion-euro financial assistance package initially granted early this year. The Eurogroup ministers are seeking to reach a framework deal on the long-overdue aid and heal a row with the International Monetar y Fund over Greece’s debt reduction target. A European source had emphasized on Monday the will to reach a political agreement, but noted that a finalized deal could take a few more days. Greece has been waiting since June for an instalment of aid from a European Union-International Monetary Fund loan it was initially granted early this year. By the end of the year, Greece is also due to receive two more aid payments, worth 5.0 and 8.3 billion euros, in exchange for which it has pledged to implement a series of unpopular austerity budget measures. IMF head Christine Lagarde, who has clashed openly with Juncker on issues related to the Greek rescue plan, says that the gathering is crucial to getting stricken Greece back on its feet and its debt mountain cut sharply to sustainable levels. “I hope, I believe and I want to a find a solution tonight,” French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said in Paris. But

THESSALONIKI: People pass a pile of garbage during on-going mobilizations by municipal workers in the northern Greek port city of Thessaloniki yesterday.— AP Finnish Finance Minister Jutta Urpilainen was less optimistic. “I’m not at all sure that it will happen. More information is needed before a decision can be made, so the situation is very much open,” she said after briefing parliament in Helsinki. Greece got a second financing program from the euro zone and the International Monetary Fund in February, but two subsequent parliamentary elections and a deep depression threw its reforms and fiscal consolidation off course. Lending was frozen in June and to get it going again Greece had to show it was fully committed to a detailed package of economic reforms or “prior actions”. But the euro-zone and the IMF also want to be sure that Greek debt, expected to be

IMF says deal reached on $4.8bn loan for Egypt WASHINGTON: The International Monetary Fund said yesterday it had reached a deal with Egyptian authorities on a 22-month loan totalling some $4.8 billion to help the country overcome economic difficulties. The staff-level agreement is expected to be submitted to the IMF’s executive board for approval in a few weeks, a statement said. “The Egyptian authorities have developed a national program that seeks to promote economic recovery, address the country’s fiscal and balance of payments deficits, and lay the foundation for rapid job creation and socially balanced growth in the medium term,” said IMF official Andreas Bauer, who led the Washingtonbased lender’s mission to Cairo. “The policies contained in the authorities’ program will help address Egypt’s pressing economic and social challenges, and reduce vulnerabilities,” he added. The so-called Stand-By Arrangement will support the government’s economic program through the 2013/2014 fiscal year and support an economy left battered by the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak’s regime. Egyptian Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Ashraf Al-Arabi said the agreement would be presented to the cabinet on Wednesday as a matter of procedure. In Cairo, talk of an Egypt-IMF agreement had met some opposition from civil society groups and some political parties. In a letter addressed to Egypt’s Prime Minister Hisham Qandil and to IMF chief Christine Lagarde, 17 groups expressed concerns over the lack of transparency and called for the negotiations to be frozen. “The negotiations of the terms and conditions of the loan agreement, including the government’s economic reform program, have lacked transparency on the part of both the IMF and the government of Egypt,” the groups said in the letter. —AFP

almost 190 percent of GDP next year, will fall at some point to a more sustainable 120 percent, so that they will not have to keep financing Athens. The IMF and the euro zone are at odds on whether to shift the original target date for Greece to do that from 2020 to 2022, torn between the need to retain market confidence and allowing the Greek economy some breathing space. The ministers will also discuss how to reduce debt in a country where the economy is expected to contract for a sixth year running in 2013. The talks will be based on a debt sustainability analysis prepared by the IMF, the European Commission and the European Central Bank. Options include halving the interest on existing,

bilateral loans to Greece from the current 150 basis points above financing costs, lengthening their maturities, lowering fees charged by the temporary bailout fund EFSF and a debt buy-back. Germany has floated an idea that Greece could buy back half of its 60 billion euros in bonds remaining in private hands, offering 25 cents per euro. Euro-zone officials have asked for a legal analysis of a debt buy-back and a more o p e r a t i o n a l d e s c r i p t i o n fo r t h e Tu e s d a y t a l k s . A s e n i o r French official said a decision on the buy-back could even be taken on Tuesday. “It’s possible as soon as tonight, it’s an option on the menu,” the official said. — Agencies

Optimism over ‘fiscal cliff’ fix in US WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama quipped in Thailand at the weekend that a monk’s prayers there might help the US economy dodge the “fiscal cliff,” but divine intervention is looking less and less necessary. Days after Obama met at the White House with Democratic and Republican leaders to formally begin talks on avoiding steep automatic budget cuts and tax hikes, optimism has soared over a potential fix to a massive problem which if not resolved could send America tumbling back into recession. After months of bitter feuding, senators and congressmen have expressed confidence over a deal that, in one form or another, would prevent $500 billion in tax increases and spending cuts from going into effect at the beginning of next year and begin to ease the nation’s deficit woes. US stock exchanges soared Monday, largely on hopes that politicians will get their act together and avoid a fiscal conflagration that will occur unless new legislation halts it. While most lawmakers are steering clear of Capitol Hill this week on account of the Thanksgiving holiday, House Speaker John Boehner’s staff met with White House officials on Monday on how the two sides might reach a deal and avoid the political train wreck of last year’s failed grand bargain. While there appears to be unanimous support for maintaining the Bush-era tax cuts for millions of middle-class households, Boehner’s Republicans have long insisted on not raising taxes even on the wealthiest Americans-a platform derided by Obama but embraced by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. With Romney crashing to defeat in the election two weeks ago, and Obama’s hand strengthened with Democratic gains in both the House and Senate, some Republicans have acknowledged, like Boehner, that revenues are on the table. Obama has insisted that any deal to avert the fiscal cliff would require tax rises paid for by the wealthiest two percent of Americans-families making more than $250,000 per year. The framework of a deal is uncertain, but the basics are starting to take shape, lawmakers and

aides say. One senior Democratic official said he did not want to presuppose what sort of dealwhether a grand bargain by year-end or a phased-in compromise which addresses major decisions like tax-code changes, spending cuts and entitlement reform next year-could be struck between the lawmakers and the White House. “But the point here is that as you get closer to the cliff, it’s been pretty clear that we can’t afford to go over it,” the official told AFP on condition of anonymity. “The Republicans after the election have really come to realize that playing chicken with this economy is not a good political slogan.” There is a chance that a new grand bargain is resolved by year end, but some say the more likely resolution will be drawn out, beginning with a stop-gap measure that maintains the Bush-era tax breaks for 98 percent of Americans and repeals the automatic spending cuts to prevent the changes from kicking in on January 1. Deeper, more long-term reform would occur next year. Senator Kent Conrad, the outgoing chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said he envisioned a “$5 trillion package” over 10 years that encompasses raising revenues, cutting into discretionary spending and reforming key US entitlements such as Medicare and Social Security. The first element is “a down payment in the range of $400 billion on the revenue side and on the spending side,” Conrad told The Wall Street Journal. “Number 2, a framework that sets out for the committees of jurisdiction how much money they’re to save, how much money they’re to raise and what the balance is between the two,” he said, adding that such a deal might be worked out within six months. A third part, would be a “fail safe” measure that kicks in if Congress is unable to reach agreement. That recalls a similar enforcement action that was mandated in an August 2011 deal between Obama and Congress over raising the debt limit. That deal required them to identify an extra $1.2 trillion in savings by January 2013. Should Congress fail-as they have so far-to work out a comprehensive solution before the deadline, the automatic cuts will kick in. — AFP




Rebalancing global petrochemicals markets DUBAI: With shorter gas supply in GCC, and new feedstock developments elsewhere, e.g., shale gas in the US, conventional gas in Iraq, the global petrochemicals industry has recently experienced significant disruptions. This is especially evident in the supply and pricing of key chemicals- ethylene, propylene, butadiene, and benzene - due to the changing mix of feedstock used in petrochemicals production. While the quantity of ethylene has surged, supplies of propylene, butadiene, and benzene have declined. In line with this, a study by management consulting firm Booz & Company found that ‘onpurpose’ or alternative production technologies for propylene and benzene could correct these supply imbalances, as well as reduce prices. The analysis also highlights how these feedstock developments affect the different players in the chemicals value chain. These include Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)producers, global producers and consumers. The global petrochemicals industry relies on a few basic chemicals to create its end products. Crackers produce these as a by-product of certain raw materials (feedstock), such as “light” natural gas and “heavy” liquid naphtha. “In recent years, the emergence of potential new sources of light feedstock has significantly changed the availability of the four chemical

building blocks -as light feedstock sources are replacing heavier ones,” said Andrew Horncastle, a Partner with Booz & Company. “This is due to the fact that light feedstocks are mostly used to make ethylene, whereas heavy feedstocks produce propylene, butadiene, and benzene. These changing supplies - a result of developments in the Middle East, North America and China -have led to supply-demand imbalances and pricing distortions across global petrochemicals markets.” Gas developments Whereas North America is awash with natural gas, the GCC finds itself in precisely the opposite position. Gas production - currently associated with oil - is increasing modestly in line with oil extraction; and, most of the anticipated supply is already committed to existing and new projects. National oil companies in the Middle East are responding to the shortage of natural gas by exploring non-associated gas, unconventional gas, and shale gas, while various petrochemicals companies have shifted to cracking more liquid feedstocks. Outside the GCC, Iraq has an abundant gas supply in the form of associated gas which is rich in Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs) content. The country has established an oil production target of 13 million barrels per day by 2017 and, such growth is also set to

increase gas production. Shale gas developments The US chemicals industry is booming thanks to the wealth of shale gas resources that has created

Andrew Horncastle abundant and cheap natural gas and ethane supplies. This is reshaping the global petrochemicals playing field by giving US-based players a significant cost advantage compared to European and Asian players. The abundance of cheap shale gasderived NGLs has displaced naphtha at many existing steam crackers. Although plans for about a dozen new crackers have been announced, producers are hesitant to add new capacity due to concerns about the

future supply and price stability of feedstock. In the long term, China could have a significant impact on global feedstock supply. The nation has the largest shale gas reserves in the world; and, although there is currently no shale gas production in China, the government’s five-year plan calls for 6.5 billion cubic meters of domestic production by 2015. Shifts in supply The North American shale gas boom is changing the petrochemicals landscape. “And, with the Middle East stepping up exploration and China about to tap huge reserves, more supply and changes are on the way,” explained Asheesh Sastry, a Principal with Booz & Company. “Simply put, the global petrochemicals industry is headed toward a glut of ethylene supply.” Crackers that can tap into these

Booz & Company examines the need for GCC states to develop ‘on-purpose’ production technologies in order to better tackle feedstock disruptions across the petrochemicals industry light feed stock sources will have a notable competitive advantage as they will be able to produce more ethylene at a significantly lower cost than many existing mixed feed crackers. As new capacity comes on stream to produce ethylene, margin will compress and prices will decline further - putting even more pressure on marginal producers. “The downward trend in prices could mean that by 2025, 10 to 20 per cent of existing cracker capacity may come under threat and some may even be forced to close. This could seriously disrupt the production of other critical petrochemical building blocks,” added Horncastle.

These supply shortages and price distortions for propylene, butadiene, and benzene are creating opportunities for ‘on-purpose’ and alternative production technologies that were once marginal or uneconomical.

Asheesh Sastry Over the last few decades, petrochemical companies in GCC have built significant capabilities based on the “cracker + 1” model of producing key petrochemical building blocks and then converting them into basic chemicals. Furthermore, current feed stocks are sufficient to meet the capacity of the region’s producers. “Going forward, however, looming gas supply shortages could challenge growth. GCC producers could therefore be tempted to adopt ‘onpurpose’ technologies in the region and internationally,” said Sastry. “Increasing ‘on-purpose’ production, however, will require that companies in the region develop or acquire more technology-centric capabilities.” Three ‘on-purpose’ technologies currently supply the propylene market - propane dehydrogenation (PDH), methanol to propylene (MTP), and olefin metathesis. While ‘on-purpose’ production of propylene via PDH in the Middle East seems competitive , it could become marginal if PDH capacity in the US and CTP capacity in China were to grow as planned, as both of these have better economics than ME based PDH (at market prices of propane). Further, declining availability of propane in the region could constrain the growth of PDH technology. However, if ethylene and 2-butene are available at advantageous prices, the

metathesis technology for propylene production could also be competitive. Nonetheless, if it is based on market prices, metathesis will remain a marginal technology. Economics of MTP in the Middle East might, at first, seem attractive. However, with propylene margins at about $600 per ton, MTP does not adequately compensate for the potential methanol margins. On the aromatics/benzene side, GCC producers should consider the coal to BTX route - referring to mixtures of benzene, toluene, and xylenes, all of which are aromatic hydrocarbons. This is especially advantageous given the positive outlook for construction in the Middle East and in Asian countries such as India and South Korea. GCC players considering investments in ‘on-purpose’ technologies also need to take into account higher capital costs, logistics costs, and destination markets. Capital costs and logistics costs in the region tend to be higher than in North America, which increases the total cost of production. However, investing into onpurpose technologies outside the Middle East, where feedstock is available at advantageous prices, could be an attractive option. To conclude, feedstock developments have implications that resonate across the petrochemical industry. Today, producers have significant growth opportunities in regions such as the US and China, where feedstock is available for ‘onpurpose’ production. Producers globally have mostly invested in process technology, but now, they must reconsider product technology, their research and development strategy, and even the ways to play in this market. GCC companies will need to recognize that ‘on-purpose’ production in the region would be less attractive or marginal without the availability of advantageously priced feedstock. They also need analyze their value chains and protect their margins against raw material price fluctuations e.g. they could consider backward integration or margin management across the entire value chain. Finally they should augment their existing capabilities and seek new geographies where feedstock is available.

Kweku Adoboli: Weeping ‘star employee’ who lost UBS $2.3bn LONDON: Kweku Adoboli, the UBS trader who gambled away $2.3 billion, painted himself as a model employee who fell victim to the turmoil of the markets in his quest to impress the bank he loved. Freshfaced and elegantly-dressed, the Ghanaian-born trader, 32, regularly broke down in tears during his two month trial in London, insisting he thought of Switzerland’s biggest bank as his “family”. But a jury convicted him of two counts of fraud on Tuesday, while clearing him of four counts of false accounting. Adoboli’s early life was spent shuttling between countries because of his father ’s job as a United Nations official. After spells in Ghana, Israel and Syria, he was sent to Ackworth School, a small Quaker boarding school in northern England. “He was an able student who made a very positive contribution to the school community,” his headteacher Kathryn Bell recalled. He went on to study e-commerce and digital business studies at Nottingham University in central England and secured an internship at UBS, which offered him a fulltime job after he graduated in 2003. Adoboli rose swiftly through the ranks, joining the exchange traded funds (ETF) desk in 2006, dealing with funds whose value rises and falls depending on the performance of the markets they track. By 2007, he and another more senior trader were managing a portfolio worth

$50 billion. It might seem “crazy” that a 26-year-old with just five years’ experience was in charge of such a huge portfolio, Adoboli told the jury, but “that’s how it was”. He described how he would wake up at 3:00 am to monitor the financial markets around the world, and regularly stayed in the office

one of the world’s most powerful financial centres. But unbeknown to friends and colleagues, he had quietly begun conducting off-the-book trades in 2008, holding them off the ledger until the market rebounded. “His motive was to be known as a star trader at UBS,” said Perry Stokes of

LONDON: Former UBS banker Kweku Adoboli, who is accused of losing $2.3 bn (1.78 billion euros) through fraudulent deals at the bank’s London offices, arrives at Southwark Crown Court in London yesterday.—AFP until after 9:00 pm. Twice, things were so hectic in the office that he slept under his desk. “UBS was my family, and every single thing I did was for them,” he told the court. With a six-figure salary, a love of fine wines and a huge, ultra-modern apartment to host his all-night parties, Adoboli seemed like any other young man who had struck gold in

the City of London Police, who led the investigation against Adoboli. “To increase his bonus, his status, his job prospects, and his ego.” A friend jokingly compared Adoboli to Jerome Kerviel, the French trader who brought the Societe Generale bank to the brink of collapse by gambling away 4.9 billion euros ($6.3 billion). — AFP

Hard choices as Afghanistan seeks to use mineral riches MES AYNAK, Afghanistan: Huge riches lie buried below the dusty plains and mountains of Afghanistan-both mineral wealth and historical treasures accumulated over thousands of years. As the country seeks to build a prosperous and peaceful future after more than 30 years of war, it is facing a dilemma between exploiting the resources that can make it rich and preserving its archaeological heritage. At Mes Aynak, an ancient Buddhist site around 50 kilometers from Kabul, the Afghan government has chosen: in 2007 the China

Metallurgical Group Corporation (MCC) successfully bid for the rights to lease the area for 30 years and exploit an 11.5 million ton copper ore deposit. The fourth-century site, home to ancient villages, temples and Buddhist statues, faces destruction as the mine project progresses. Amid pressure from international donors, authorities required MCC to first pay for an archaeological excavation on the site, where a religious community set up more than 17 centuries ago to exploit the copper. MCC will spend nearly $30 million

by the middle of 2013 for the excavation, according to Philippe Marquis, the director of the French archaeological delegation in Afghanistan (DAFA), which is supervising the dig. Around 50 archaeologists and 550 workers are involved in the race to excavate the four-square-kilometer site and the results have been striking. Everywhere houses, temples and barracks are appearing, their walls still in surprisingly good condition, nestled in the beautiful mountain setting. “It’s even more important than Pompeii. — AFP




BOJ holds off easing, warns on ‘uncertainty’ TOKYO: The Bank of Japan held off launching fresh easing measures yesterday, despite growing calls for further stimulus to spur the economy and as it warned of a “high degree of uncertainty”. The decision came days after the frontrunner to become Japan’s next prime minister vowed aggressive monetary easing to fix the nation’s financial woes if he is elected next month-a plan rejected by the BOJ’s chief. After a twoday policy meeting, the BoJ said in a statement the European debt crisis, an unsteady US economic recovery and an export-denting territorial spat with China have all weighed on the country’s prospects. “Japan’s economy is expected to remain relatively weak for the time being,” it said, adding: “There remains a high degree of uncertainty.” The bank’s policy board, which also voted unanimously to hold rates between zero and 0.1 percent, said the economy “has been weakening somewhat” because of a slowdown in exports and factory output.

The world’s third-largest economy contracted in the July-September quarter, nudging it back towards recession and renewing calls for central bank action. In October, the BOJ said it would expand an asset-purchase program-its main policy tool-by 11 trillion yen ($135 billion) to 91 trillion yen in a bid to kickstart growth as recovery from last year’s quake-tsunami disaster stutters. The move was the bank’s second since its counterparts in the United States and debt-hit Europe announced huge policy easing measures in September to stoke growth. Pressure for further action spiked last week after Shinzo Abe, leader of the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party, called on the bank to usher in “unlimited” easing and vowed to strike an agreement with it on new measures if he wins December 16 polls, as expected. The BoJ has also faced calls for more action from the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ ) led by Prime

Minister Yoshihiko Noda as tumbling exports to Europe and China, as well as the strong yen, bruise the economy. Abe has said he would try to force the central bank to buy government bonds effectively printing money-to generate inflation, in a bid to drag Japan out of the deflationary spiral that has haunted its economy for years. BoJ Governor chief Masaaki Shirakawa hit out at the plan yesterday, saying it was “not implemented in any developed countries”, and added that central bank independence was a global standard. “We need an organization that looks at the economy and finance with a long-term view,” he told reporters in Tokyo. The DPJ and some economists have also criticized Abe’s fix for the economy, saying it risked weakening fiscal discipline, possibly with disastrous effects. “ The purchase of government bonds is drastic medicine, a powerful drug that might work, but carries the risk of devastating the whole economy,” said Yoshikiyo Shimamine, chief

economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute. The measure “would bring about an expectation for inflation... but with unease in the bond market and doubt about the sustainability of Japan’s finances, it could only generate stagflation,” he said, referring to a situation in which prices rise but the economy stands still. Tsuyoshi Ueno, senior economist at NLI Research Institute, cast doubt on the likelihood of Abe’s proposals seeing the light of day. “I think his proposals are extreme,” Ueno added. Japan has for years been mired in deflation, which discourages consumers from spending in the hope that products will be cheaper in the future, sapping demand and dissuading firms from investing. Adding to the economy’s more recent woes is a diplomatic row between Tokyo and Beijing over an East China Sea island chain that sparked a consumer boycott of Japanese products, including key exports such as cars and electronics. — AFP

TOKYO: Governor of the Bank of Japan (BOJ) Masaaki Shirakawa delivers his speech during his monthly press conference at its headquarters in Tokyo yesterday. — AFP

Global investors call for action on climate danger SINGAPORE: A coalition of the world’s largest investors called on governments yesterday to ramp up action on climate change and boost clean-energy investment or risk trillions of dollars in investments and disruption to economies. In an open letter, the alliance of institutional investors, responsible for managing $22.5 trillion in assets, said rapidly growing greenhouse gas emissions and more extreme weather were increasing investment risks globally. The group called for dialogue between investors and governments to overhaul climate and energy policies. The call comes less than a week before major UN climate talks in Doha, Qatar. Almost 200 nations will meet in Doha from Nov. 26 to Dec. 7 to try to extend the Kyoto Protocol, the existing plan for curbing greenhouse gas emissions by developed nations that runs to the end of 2012. On Sunday, the World Bank said current climate policies meant the world was heading for a warming of up to 4 degrees Celsius by 2100. That will trigger deadly heat waves and droughts, cut food stocks and drive up sea levels. “Current policies are insufficient to avert serious and dangerous impacts from climate change,” said the group of investors from the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia. The investments and retirement savings of millions of people were being jeopardized because governments

were delaying tougher emissions cuts or more generous support for greener energy. The group said the right policies would prompt institutional investors to significantly increase investments in cleaner energy and energy efficiency, citing existing policies that have unleashed billions of dollars of renewable energy investment in China, the United States and Europe. But many economies were still going to be heavily reliant on polluting fossil fuels such as coal, and policies needed to be implemented to speed up the shift to cleaner energy, the investors said. They issued seven action points, including slashing fossil fuel subsidies and boosting carbon markets, for governments to focus on and said the reelection of Barack Obama in the United States and the leadership change in China were an opportunity to push for tougher climate talks. “Strong carbon-reducing government policies are an urgent imperative,” said Chris Davis, director of investor programs at Ceres, a US-based coalition of investors and green groups. “Hurricane Sandy, which caused more than $50 billion in economic losses, is typical of what we can expect if no action is taken and warming trends continue,” said Davis, who also works for the Investor Network on Climate Risk, which groups 100 institutional investors with assets of more than $11 trillion. — Reuters

Foreign investment in China drops in October BEIJING: Foreign direct investment in China fell again in October, the government said yesterday, as investors remained cautious amid global economic woes and China’s own slowdown. Foreign companies invested $8.3 billion in factories and other projects in China last month, down 0.24 percent from a year ago, Shen Danyang, Ministry of Commerce spokesman, said at a regular news conference. The drop extended a broad downward trend stretching back to November of last year. Since then, FDI has declined every month except May, when it rose a marginal 0.05 percent. For the first 10 months of the year, FDI fell 3.45 percent on year to $91.7 billion, Shen said. The government has blamed the slump on the slowdown in global economic growth, the prolonged European debt crisis and rising costs and weak demand at home. The world’s secondlargest economy itself has slowed for seven consecutive quarters as well, expanding 7.4 percent in the three months ended September 30, its worst performance since the first quarter of 2009. Investment from debt-laden European Union countries decreased by five percent on year in

the January-October period to $5.2 billion, according to the ministry’s data. Ten Asian countries and regions, including Hong Kong and Thailand, invested $78.0 billion in China in the period, down 4.7 percent from a year ago. In contrast to dropping FDI, China’s investment abroad surged sharply this year after slowing last year owing to a weak global economic recovery and financial turmoil in Europe and the United States. Outbound direct investment in non-financial sectors in the first 10 months of the year totalled $58.2 billion, soaring 25.8 percent from the same period last year, Shen said. “This is the inevitable result of the implementation of our strategy (for Chinese companies) to go abroad, the improvement of Chinese firms’ competitiveness and changes in the international market,” he said. In 2011, the figure stood at $60.1 billion, up just 1.8 percent year on year, previous official data showed. China has set goals to increase overseas direct investment at an average annual rate of 17 percent through 2015 to $150 billion by then, according to the government. — AFP

TOKYO: Models display Taiwan’s electronics giant HTC’s new smartphone “HTCJ butterfly” for Japanese mobile carrier KDDI in Tokyo yesterday. The new smartphone has a quad-core CPU, 5-inch sized high-definition LCD display and an 8 mega-pixel CMOS camera on its slim body. — AFP

BRUSSELS: A pigeon flies in front of a giant banner of the euro currency in front of EU headquarters in Brussels yesterday. European Union officials will make a fresh try to reaching a political accord on desperately needed bailout loans to Greece, an agreement that eluded them last week. —AP

Belgium eyes new round of 2013 budget savings Deficit to be cut to 2.15 % of GDP in 2013 BRUSSELS: Belgium’s government agreed yesterday to rein in its budget deficit further in 2013 and take measures including a cap on wage hikes to improve its competitiveness. After five weeks of talks, including a final push of 16 hours, ministers emerged from Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo’s residence to announce tax hikes and savings to cut the deficit to 2.15 percent of GDP from 2.8 percent this year. Budget experts told the government a month ago it needed to find 800 million euros in savings this year and a further 3.7 billion euros ($4.7 billion) in 2013. They come on top of 13 billion euros of measures this year including spending cuts and increased taxes on things like stock exchange transactions and higher earnings from capital. “We will have saved 18 billion euros in two years. That is the biggest effort we have ever made without a large tax increase, without a rise of sales tax,” Pensions Minister Alexander De Croo told journalists. Belgium was the euro zone’s fifth most indebted state last year, and its debt pile for 2012 is estimated by the country’s central bank as equivalent to nearly 100 percent of national output. The deal came hours after Moody ’s stripped neighboring France of its prized

triple-A credit rating as the ratings agency fretted about its uncertain fiscal outlook and loss of competitiveness. Belgium, whose 3.7 percent budget deficit for 2011 still exceeded the EU cap of three percent of GDP, has already lost its own tripleA status with all four main rating agencies. A year ago, without a government, it saw its 10year debt yields hit a euro-era high of almost 6 percent. The formation of a government under Di Rupo, the cutbacks and the export-oriented country’s success in riding out the euro-zone’s debt crisis better than some have reduced those yields to below 2.3 percent. But the economy is under increasing strain. Preliminary data from the central bank in October showed stagnation in the third quarter. Business confidence has also fallen to its lowest in three years and consumer sentiment last month hit an eight-month low. The tortuous budget talks have not helped, pushing the cost of insuring Belgian debt over five years up by about 12 percent since the start of the negotiations. Belgian ministers said social security and other government spending would be cut. Taxes on life insurance and savings products as well as on tobacco and alcohol will rise.

Belgium will retain its system of increasing wages for both the private and public sectors in line with inflation. However, wages will not be allowed to rise beyond that level in the coming two years. The inflation measure used to determine wage increases will also change. It already discounts tobacco products, alcoholic drinks and motor fuel. In future, it would also take into account prices during sales. Economy Minister Johan Vande Lanotte said it was important to put Belgian expenditure savings in perspective, adding 300 million euros would be freed up for those on low incomes. “In other countries people strike to prevent wages falling. In Belgium, wages are adapted to the cost of living.” Companies will face a 400 million euro reduction in their tax bill to encourage them to hire. The aim is to eliminate Belgium’s wage cost disadvantage relative to neighbors France, Germany and the Netherlands by 2018. “By 2015, we will have a balanced budget and a wage cost handicap relative to our neighbors that is cut in half ... It will be worked away in six years,” said De Croo. Di Rupo will hold a press conference on the new budget at 1000 GMT. — Reuters

EasyJet doubles dividend as European rivals struggle LONDON: British low-cost airline easyJet doubled its dividend after annual results showed it took business from fading European rivals and customers bought more cheap flights for late summer holidays. Competitors are struggling to deal with high fuel costs, weak consumer confidence and the euro-zone crisis. Some ceased operations this year, leaving gaps in the market that low-cost airlines have been quick to exploit. IAG’s Spanish carrier Iberia said this month it would axe almost a quarter of its workforce and rationalize its network. Germany’s Lufthansa said it would deepen cost cuts to counter the rising fuel prices and limited market growth. “Set against the difficulties which the industry has been facing, typified by the recent Iberia

announcement, easyJet has managed to shoot the lights out,” said Richard Hunter, head of equities at stockbroker Hargreaves Lansdown. “The doubling of the dividend was a clear statement of management intent around easyJet’s prospects.” Shares in EasyJet, which have risen by 80 percent this year compared to a 17 percent rise for the FTSE 250, were up 6.3 percent at 694.25 pence by 1053 GMT, valuing the airline at around 2.75 billion pounds. Europe’s second-largest budget airline after Ryanair reported pretax profit up 28 percent at 317 million pounds ($504.46 million) for the year to the end of September, at the upper end of its guidance. The company based in Luton, southern England announced a

full-year dividend of 21.5 pence, up from 10.5 pence last year. Profits have doubled since Carolyn McCall took over as chief executive in July 2010. She said easyJet would begin paying shareholders one third of its profit after tax each year, up from one fifth last year, confident in its strength on European short-haul routes. EasyJet said it benefited from sun-starved Britons taking lastminute holidays to Malaga and Alicante in Spain and Faro in Portugal to flee wet weather at home and from Londoners getting away after the Olympics. It added flights between top business destinations and introduced flexible tickets and allocated seating in an attempt to steal corporate customers from legacy carriers such as IAG’s British Airways.

“Companies are being more cost conscious, which has helped us win more corporate work,” said McCall, adding that easyJet had won accounts with Britain’s Parliament, defence ministry and several banks and insurers in the last year. The airline is in talks with planemakers Airbus, Boeing and Bombardier over the purchase of more fuel efficient jets and plans to increase seat capacity by up to 5 percent a year over the coming five years. EasyJet, which will fly between London, Manchester and Moscow from next year, said revenues increased 11.6 percent to 3.85 billion pounds, while its fuel bill rose 182 million pounds to 1.15 billion pounds. The carrier expects fuel costs to be around 30 million pounds higher in 2012/13. — Reuters




New Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG rages with rapturous Black Series performance Affalterbach - Announced as though it has blasted past the chequered flag of its GT3 inspired design, roared off the track by its 631hp 6.3 litre V8 engine and onto public roads with tarmac shredding 0-100km/h in 3.6 seconds performance, Mercedes-AMG has invoked the darkest fury of Affterbach into its thunderous gullwing to create the SLS AMG CoupÈ Black Series. Making challengers pale in comparison, the fifth Black Series model from Mercedes-AMG harnesses the victorious motorsport mettle of its SLS AMG GT3 racing version to boast a menacing mix of breath-taking design, outstanding driving dynamics and uncompromising lightweight construction in accordance with the “AMG Lightweight Performance” strategy. Pairing its powerful engine packing 635 nm of twist with a DIN kerb weight of 1550 kilograms, the SLS AMG Black Series achieves a power/weight ratio of 2.45 kg/hp.

The coil-over AMG RIDE CONTROL performance suspension, the AMG ceramic high-performance composite brake system and the weight-optimized forged AMG light-alloy wheels with newly developed sports tyres combine with the electronically controlled AMG rear-axle differential lock and the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission featuring uncompromisingly emotional shift and response times to raise the SLS AMG Black Series to a new level. The AMG Aerodynamics package is optionally available to further boost the vehicle’s driving dynamics. Black Series - a name that resonates with automobile experts and enthusiasts. Following on from the SLK 55 AMG Black Series from 2006, the CLK 63 AMG Black Series (2007), the SL 65 AMG Black Series (2008) and the C 63 AMG CoupÈ Black Series (2011), the fifth exponent sees the Black Series entering a new dimension with the gull-wing model.

“The new SLS AMG CoupÈ Black Series is a perfect study in the one hundred percent transfer of technology and engineering from motorsport to the road. We have drawn inspiration from the worldwide success of the SLS AMG GT3 customer sport racing car on both a conceptual and a technological level. Boasting numerous lightweight components and fascinating driving dynamics, our fifth Black Series model guarantees pure, unadulterated ‘Driving Performance’. The SLS AMG CoupÈ Black Series is the ultimate choice for fast laps and highly emotional driving experiences,” says Frank Bernthaler, Director, Sales and Marketing, Mercedes-Benz Cars, Middle East & Levant said. Bernthaler added: “The most dynamic gull-wing model of all time goes by the name of the SLS AMG CoupÈ Black Series. Fans of high-performance super sports cars will be fascinated by its high-tech package. The basis for passionate perform-

ance and supreme driving dynamics is provided by numerous new developments in the area of the engine, power transmission, suspension and aerodynamics - also according top priority to our “AMG Lightweight Performance” strategy. Great efforts in the field of lightweight design have resulted in a DIN kerb weight of 1550 kilograms.” AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine a byword for thrilling driving dynamics The uprated AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine is a byword for thrilling driving dynamics, making the SLS AMG CoupÈ Black Series the most powerful AMG high-performance automobile with a combustion engine at present. Only the SLS AMG CoupÈ Electric Drive with a maximum output of 740hp comes with greater power reserves. The SLS AMG CoupÈ Black Series accelerates to 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds. The top speed stands at 315 km/h.

Volkswagen celebrates its most successful year in ME 22% rise in sales and introduction of all models DUBAI: Volkswagen celebrated its most successful year in the Middle East with a star-studded event at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi. The spectacular occasion, which included the unveiling of all of Volkswagen’s models, the first time they have all been together in one location in the Middle East, was an impressive way to cel-

ebrate what has been an extremely successful year for the leading German car manufacturer. Increased annual sales, the completion of its full portfolio to the region, which was concluded with the launch of the Passat and the new Polo Sedan, and a new Managing Director, are just some of the highlights that have made 2012

Diwali ‘dhamaka’ at Lulu Hypermarket Lulu Hypermarket, the regional retail major, as part of its initiative to constantly engage with customers and promote lively interaction with them, celebrated Diwali, the Indian festival of lights with a slew of entertaining and enjoyable programs. During the festival period, visitors to the Al-Raiand Al-Qurain branches of the hypermarket were offered a wide range of special Diwali products, including freshly made Diwali sweets and savories. In addition, shoppers at the Al-Rai branch of Lulu Hypermarket were captivated by a variety of attractive and enjoyable cultural programs. Among the many entertaining activities lined

such an exciting year. Commenting on the successful year and the event Thomas Milz, Managing Director Volkswagen Middle East said: “As a new member of the Volkswagen Middle East team, I am delighted to see the success that has been achieved over the course of 2012. Also, with the support of our dealer partners, we can now offer our Middle Eastern customers the complete range of Volkswagen models. This demonstrates our long-term commitment to the Middle East.” Sales results for 2012 have been extremely encouraging with 22 per cent from increase from January to October 2012, compared to the same period in 2011 - this result makes Volkswagen the fastest growing volume manufacturer in the region. The month of September was also the strongest month for sales in Volkswagen Middle East’s history. The celebrations at Yas Marina didn’t just extend to Volkswagen’s impressive fleet, as Thomas Milz used the occasion to announce an exclusive partnership with Rotana Music, which was formally introduced by a performance from Arabic pop sensation, Wael Kfoury. The collaboration will see Volkswagen Middle East supporting Rotana Music and its artists at events throughout the region in 2013. “Volkswagen stands for quality, innovative technology and provision of German engineering for everyone. It is our fundamental belief in these qualities that have made 2012 such an exciting and successful year for Volkswagen Middle East we now look forward to building on this in 2013 and beyond,” concluded Milz. Volkswagen Middle East will be participating in the Qatar Motor Show in January and announcing further models, including the new Golf which will be available in spring 2013.

DUBAI: Eng Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality, opening the WOP and IPM Dubai 2012 exhibitions.

Regional trade shows for Perishables, plants open DUBAI: WOP Dubai International Perishables Expo Middle East and IPM Dubai International Plants Expo Middle East were inaugurated yesterday by Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director-General of the Dubai Municipality at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Hosted for the first time at the Dubai World Trade Center, the two exhibitions are simultaneously taking place until Wednesday 21st November and will host over 200 international exhibitors combined. Commenting on the show opening, Tarek Sibai, project director of planetfair, the organizer for both WOP Dubai and IPM Dubai, said: “We are honored to have Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director-General of the Dubai Municipality, here today to inaugurate WOP and IPM; the continued support that we have been receiving over the years, has helped us to position Dubai as hub for all Middle East markets of quality fresh fruit and vegetables, flowers and plants.” The events provide a platform for profes-

sionals to exchange best practices, network and create business; over 5,000 experts are expected to attend over the three days shows. This fourth edition of WOP Dubai International Perishables Expo Middle East exhibition, organized in partnership with the Dubai Municipality, has seen an increase of 15 per cent in rented space versus last year. There are more than 155 companies from 18 countries confirmed to participate in the exhibition. Horticultural show IPM Dubai International Plant Expo now on its seventh year, which pools together plant industry professionals, registered 105 companies from 13 countries to participate in the exhibition. The international show is taking place under the patronage of Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Dubai Airports Company and is supported by the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water.

Bridgestone opens world class tire showroom in Shuwaikh

up for customers were a popular Rangoli competition and dance performances by a talented troupe of artists, who performed traditional dandiya and gharba dances, as well as special Diwali fusion dance and freestyle dances to the tune of Desh Rangeela. The artistic works of participants in the Rangoli competition were judged by a team of professionals who picked three winners. The first place winner received a cash voucher for KD100, while the runner up received a voucher for KD75 and the third placed was awarded a cash voucher for KD50. Also, special consolation prizes were distributed to all the participants. KUWAIT: Bridgestone Tire Distribution Co, the sole distributor of Bridgestone & Firestone brands opened its new and modern tire service showroom in Kuwait on Nov 19. Bridgestone Tire Distribution Co shortly known as “Stone”, has been servicing the motorists of Kuwait since 1956 (56years) with the finest quality tires from Bridgestone Corporation Japan, a $33 billion company. Bridgestone is expanding its area of operations to cater to the ever increasing customer demand for high quality tire products and services in the State of Kuwait. The store’s main goal is to offer the motorists the latest technologically and best-ever products from the world over production facilities of Bridgestone. This is the 6th showroom of Stone in Kuwait, other showrooms are located in Jahra and Fahaheel. At the store’s inauguration, Kenji Kano, Director of Bridgestone, Middle East, said “Bridgestone’s

strategy is to open world class showrooms across the globe”. C K Prasad, general manager of Bridgestone Middle East, said, “We hope this showroom will give a professional touch to Bridgestone’s loyal customers.” Roy K Zachariah, sales & marketing

Manager of Bridgestone Tire Distribution Co, said “its Stone’s strategy to open more company owned outlets in Kuwait to offer Kuwaiti motorists the right tires for their vehicles, and a different experience at Bridgestone’s outlet.”



Unhackable telecom networks come a step closer Prospects for uncrackable codes on existing optical fibres LONDON: Researchers have come up with a way of protecting telecoms networks using quantum cryptography without the need for expensive dedicated optical fibre links. The technique, developed by Toshiba’s European research laboratory in Britain and Cambridge University engineers, is a step towards perfect security for everything from credit card transactions to private health records. Quantum cryptography relies on the rules of quantum theory to generate uncrackable codes that encrypt data in a way that reveals if it has been eavesdropped or tampered with. Governments

and the military are thought to be using the technology already, based on systems available from firms like ID Quantique in Switzerland and US rival MagiQ. But until now, the quantum keys to encode and decode the information had to be sent on single photons, or particles of light, across a dedicated optical fibre separate from the line carrying the data itself. “The requirement of separate fibres has greatly restricted the applications of quantum cryptography in the past, as unused fibres are not always available for sending the single photons, and even

when they are, can be prohibitively expensive,” said Andrew Shields from Toshiba Research in Cambridge. “Now we have shown that the single photon and data signals can be sent using different wavelengths on the same fibre.” The Toshiba system, outlined in research published in the journal Physical Review X, still requires an advanced detector that picks up the encryption key in a time window of just 100 millionths of a micro-second, at the expected arrival time of the single photons. But the detector, which is able to filter out the ‘noise’ in the fibre caused by the data itself, avoids

the cost of laying down dedicated optical fibre lines. Previous work has managed to use quantum cryptography on shared optical fibres but only over very short distances, with low capacity rates, or with data moving only in one direction. The researchers say their system can do it over 50 km with data moving back and forth and an encryption capacity 50,000 times the record over the same distance. Zhiliang Yuan, who worked on the research, told Reuters the team plan to carry out field tests on the system but he predicted it could be rolled out commercially within a few years. — Reuters

Japanese high-tech toilet maker eyes global throne Over 30 million high-tech toilets sold

SEOUL: Kakao Talk CEO Sirgoo Lee speaks during a press conference in Seoul yesterday. Kakao Talk, a popular mobile messenger in South Korea, will launch an online music and electronic book shop next year as it continues to grow beyond its original mission to provide a simple online messaging service. — AP

Kakao Talk to unveil digital content shop SEOUL: Kakao Talk, a popular mobile messenger in South Korea, will launch an online music and electronic book shop next year as it continues to grow beyond its original mission to provide a simple messaging service. The shop named “Kakao Page” will provide publishing tools for artists, writers, musicians and other creative types to sell and market their songs, music videos and electronic books to Kakao Talk users, which number 66 million, CEO Sirgoo Lee said yesterday. Kakao Inc has built on the success of its mobile messaging service, which was launched in March 2010, to expand into online games, advertising and other forms of electronic commerce. The company has lost money since being founded in late 2006 but expects to make a profit this year. The company plans to take a 20 percent cut from Kakao Page sales after giving 30 percent to application store operators like Google or Apple and 50 percent to the content creator. When launched next year, Kakao Page will be available only in South Korea where roughly half of its users are based, Lee said. Kakao has been trying to increase its overseas Kakao Talk users by partnering with companies in other markets. Last month, Kakao sold a 50 percent stake in Kakao Japan to Yahoo! Japan, hoping to achieve more

growth in Asia’s second-largest economy where rival Line messenger by NHN Japan has been expanding rapidly. In the US, it hopes to partner with Internet giants such as Google and Facebook to reach US smartphone users, its founder and chairman Brian Kim said. “We are looking for partners in the US,” he said. “Google would be nice and Facebook will be nice as well.” Kim, a respected entrepreneur in South Korea, was formerly a CEO of South Korean Internet giant NHN Corp. Others suggest a partnership with a game publisher or a mobile carrier could boost Kakao’s overseas ambitions. “The key for Kakao will be to find a company with a large existing user base and strong brand awareness in the US market. Such a partner is most likely to come from the digital game industry or among the country’s mobile network operators,” said Mark Ranson, an analyst at research firm Ovum. In South Korea where “Ka Talk” has entered the local lexicon to describe a mobile chat, Kakao operates a popular photo-sharing tool akin to Instagram and a mobile commerce shop to send digital coupons to friends. Its biggest move so far was opening a mobile game store in July. Kakao Talk helped three mobile games gather more than 10 million users in about one month.— AP

TOKYO: They are found in more than twothirds of Japanese households and visitors to the country have marveled at their heated seats, posterior shower jets and odourmasking function. But for the company that has sold over 30 million high-tech toilets, commonly known as Washlets, global lavatory domination remains elusive, especially among shy US consumers. “It’s because of the cultural taboo over talking about toilets,” said Hiromichi Tabata, head of the international division at Washletmaker TOTO, a company that also makes bath tubs, kitchen taps, basins and plumbing fixtures. “Americans avoid talking about those kinds of things so we can’t expect success from word-of-mouth, even if they recognize our products are excellent. “Many celebrities say they love the Washlet when they visit Japan, but the fervor is temporary,” he added. Pop diva Madonna gushed about Japanese culture during a 2005 visit and pointed to the Washlet as a key draw, saying “I’ve missed the heated toilet seats”the kind of free marketing most companies dream about. For a nation that claims globally recognized brand names such as Sony and Toyota, the Washlet’s relative lack of overseas presence comes as a surprise to many foreign visitors, even if they’re initially baffled by its dizzying array of functions and Japanese signage. In technology and hygiene-obsessed Japan, where restaurants provide a steaming hot towel for customers’ hands, they’re found in public toilets, office lavatories and over 70 percent of Japanese households. “We thought that Japanese people, who are clean freaks, would like the idea of the Washlet,” said spokeswoman Atsuko Kuno. But when it hit the market in the booming 1980s, the high-tech toilet wasn’t an immediate success in conservative Japan either. Some viewers were irate over a 1982 television commercial for the newlyreleased Washlet which featured a girl trying to wipe black paint off her hand with paper, making a mess in the process. “Paper won’t fully clean it,” she told viewers. “It’s the same with your bottom.” But the provocative marketing eventually paid off by putting the unique toilets into the

minds of consumers. TOTO designed its Washlet by asking hundreds of its employees to test a toilet and mark, using a string stretched across the bowl and a piece of paper, their preferred location for the water jet target area. The Washlet’s functions, laid out on a computerized control panel with pictograms, include water jets with pressure and temperature controls, hot-air bottom dryers and ambient background music. Another function produces a flushing sound to mask bodily noises-a hit among the easily-embarrassed-while some models have a lid that automatically swings open when users enter the restroom. Others feature seats and lids that glide back into horizontal position, possibly solving gender battles over flipped-up toilet seats in the home. Business continues to be robust for the toilet maker, whose rivals in the key domestic market include Lixil Group. In the full-year to March 2012, TOTO posted a net profit of 9.27 billion yen ($114 million) on global sales of 452.7 billion yen, up 4.4 percent from a year earlier. But only about 14 percent of that revenue figure was from overseas sales. Despite the challenges in reaching foreign consumers, tapping the hotel market has met with some success, executives say, while China and other East Asian nations have seen growing demand “because they have cultures similar to Japan”, Tabata said. Localizing products is also key. Washlets sold in tropical markets such as Indonesia don’t come with heated seats and blast lukewarm water into users’ nether regions instead of the hot spray offered in chillier climes. Despite the Washlet’s relatively expensive price tag-the cheapest sells for about $900 — TOTO executives figure that liberal Europeans are a hugely promising bet, especially now that a Swiss rival is selling a similar product. “We expect Europe will eventually get used to the idea of a heated toilet seat with warm water,” Tabata predicted. Monday is World Toilet Day, a day designed to raise awareness of the plight of people around the world without access to adequate sanitation. — AFP

Facebook’s application helps people find jobs LOS ANGELES: Facebook Inc is launching a new application to help its users in the United States hunt for jobs. The free tool stems from a promise made a year ago by a coalition of government, employer and employee associations and Facebook to roll out an application that would help connect job seekers with open positions. The app gives users access to more than 1.7 million job postings in the US that are culled from companies that list jobs on Facebook, including Branchout, Jobvite and Work4 Labs. The latest move has fueled talk that Facebook would enter the lucrative online recruiting market. For years, analysts have speculated that Facebook would harness its massive audience to enter that market and take on professional networking site LinkedIn and job-hunting sites such as That speculation has only intensified as Wall Street cranks up the pressure on Facebook to prove it’s more than a one-trick pony and can make money beyond advertising. Facebook shares closed up $2.50, or nearly 13 percent, to $22.36 on Wednesday - a far cry from the company’s $38 initial public stock offering price in May. The shares jumped as Facebook insiders and early investors became eligible Wednesday to sell 804 million shares, nearly doubling the amount of stock available for trading on the public market. A Facebook spokesman said the Menlo Park, Calif., company is simply trying to make it easier for Facebook users to find and share job listings on Facebook. Marne Levine, Facebook’s vice president for global public policy, said in a statement that the app is part of a “broader effort to help people use social media to find jobs in the US.” LinkedIn Corp doesn’t view the new Facebook job-hunting app as a shot across its bow, a spokesman said. “We don’t see this as Facebook getting into the professional networking space,” the unidentified LinkedIn spokesman said. “Facebook is

aggregating jobs from various Facebook apps and putting them in one place.” LinkedIn said people still want to keep their personal and professional lives separate. That’s not to say that Facebook couldn’t make a bid for online recruiting in the future or that recruiters don’t already tap Facebook. A study from the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that half of employers use Facebook in their hiring process. “Recruiters know that you recruit where the people are,” said Dan Finnigan, chief executive of Jobvite. “Facebook is the most heavily used, most

engaged application on the Internet with more time spent on it than any other application.” It’s also popular with young people for whom the unemployment rate is particularly high, Finnigan said. “This will be a big opportunity for recruiters to engage the right folks where they are,” he said. The app was born from a coalition that was formed a year ago. The group, known as the Social Jobs Partnership, includes Facebook, the US Department of Labor, the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the DirectEmployers Association and the

National Association of State Workforce Agencies. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said the app which lets Facebook users search job listings by keyword, type of work, industry and location - would help “get America back to work.” “Nearly a year ago, the US Department of Labor joined the Social Jobs Partnership to explore better ways to connect people with job information through social media,” Solis said in a written statement. “Today, we’re taking an important next step with the announcement of this valuable new application.”— MCT

LULEA: Photo shows the construction site of the new Facebook Data Center and its first outside the US, in Lulea, in Swedish Lapland. The Lulea data center first server building is scheduled for completion by March 2013. — AFP

TOKYO: Hiromichi Tabata, Senior Managing Executive Officer of Japan’s best-known toilet maker TOTO, introduces the latest model toilet ‘Neorest’ at its head office in Tokyo. They are found in more than two-thirds of Japanese households and visitors to the country rave about their heated seats and water jets, but global lavatory domination remains elusive for the maker of the “Washlet” toilet. — AFP

Ban ‘killer robots,’ rights group urges NEW YORK: Hollywood-style robots able to shoot people without permission from their human handlers are a real possibility and must be banned before governments start deploying them, campaigners warned Monday. The report “Losing Humanity”-issued by Human Rights Watch and Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinicraised the alarm over the ethics of the looming technology. Calling them “killer robots,” the report urged “an international treaty that would absolutely prohibit the development, production, and use of fully autonomous weapons.” The US military already leads the way in military robots, notably the unmanned aircraft or drones used for surveillance or attacks over Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and elsewhere. But these are controlled by human operators in ground bases and are not able to kill without authorization. Fully autonomous robots that decide for themselves when to fire could be developed within 20 to 30 years, or “even sooner,” the 50-page report said, adding that weapon systems that require little human intervention already exist. Raytheon’s Phalanx gun system, deployed on US Navy ships, can search for enemy fire and destroy incoming projectiles all by itself. The X47B is a plane-sized drone able to take off and land on aircraft carriers without a pilot and even refuel in the air. Perhaps closest to the Terminator-type killing machine portrayed in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s action films is a Samsung sentry robot already being used in South Korea, with the ability to spot unusual activity, talk to intruders and, when authorized by a human controller, shoot them. Fully autonomous fighting machines would spare human troops from dangerous situations. The downside, though, is that robots would then be left to make nuanced decisions on their own, the most fraught being the need to distinguish between civilians and combatants in a war zone. “A number of governments, including the United States, are very excited about moving in this direction, very excited about taking the soldier off the battlefield and putting machines on the battlefield and thereby lowering casualties,” said Steve Goose, arms division director at Human Rights Watch. While Goose said “killer robots” do not exist as yet, he warned of precursors and added that the best way to forestall an ethical nightmare is a “preemptive, comprehensive prohibition on the development or production of these systems.” Jody Williams, the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, said in Washington that the prospect of killer robots “totally freaked me out.” “I had visions of the Terminator,” she said. “The thought that this development was proceeding without any public discussion I found more reprehensible than most military R&D because I really believe that this would... totally transform the face of warfare.” The problem with handing over decision-making power to even the most sophisticated robots is that there would be no clear way of making anyone answer for the inevitable mistakes, said Noel Sharkey, professor of robotics at University of Sheffield. “If a robot goes wrong, who’s accountable? It certainly won’t be the robot,” he said. “The robot could take a bullet in its computer and go berserk. So there’s no way of really determining who’s accountable and that’s very important for the laws of war.”— AFP



health & science

Medicare ‘may promote’ risky drug compounding NEW YORK: With 34 deaths and 474 cases of fungal meningitis linked to tainted steroids from a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy, blame has fallen on everyone from the pharmacy to state and federal regulators. Now a new potential culprit has emerged: Medicare, which reimburses for almost all compounded drugs. “Medicare’s reimbursement policy is certainly relevant in the government’s role in supporting purchases” of compounded drugs, Senator Richard Blumenthal told Reuters, referring to the customized medications meant to be prepared for an individual based on doctor directions. Medicare is the federal health insurance program for the elderly and disabled. Because it is such a large player in healthcare policy, its coverage decisions have an outsized impact on the market. As long as a physician has prescribed a compounded drug, Medicare as well as some private insurers cover it even if the Food and Drug Administration has approved a version of the drug from a pharmaceutical manufacturer. In a letter sent on Monday to US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen charged

that by paying for compounded drugs Medicare “created an economic environment that allowed large-scale drug production by compounding pharmacies to flourish.” “Medicare played a role in fostering the widespread use of compounded drugs,” Dr Michael Carome, deputy director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, said. In reply, an HHS spokesman told Reuters that if the FDA finds that a company is producing compounded drugs in violation of the law, “Medicare will not reimburse for drugs produced in that facility.” But because the FDA’s authority over compounding pharmacies is severely limited, “we urge Congress to strengthen FDA’s authority to ensure these kinds of outbreaks do not happen again.” In a letter to Medicare on Monday, Senators Debbie Stabenow, Al Franken, Dianne Feinstein and Blumenthal - all Democrats - also raised concerns about how compounded drugs are “reimbursed at the state and federal level.” The senators cited a section of Medicare’s policy manual which explains how the program can deny payment for compounded drugs. In addition, they asked how Medicare works with the FDA “to determine which companies have received violations for mass compounding of drugs.” Medicare pays for compounded medications

Study: Happiness may bring you more money LOS ANGELES: Scientists may have discovered the secret to avoiding the fiscal cliff: Happiness. Regardless of whether money can buy happiness, being happy may actually make you more money down the road, new research finds. People who express more positive emotions as teenagers and greater life satisfaction as young adults tend to have higher incomes by the time they’re 29, according to a study published Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The difference was so great that when measuring life satisfaction on a 5-point scale, a 1-point jump at age 22 made a $2,000 difference in income down the line. Between the gloomiest and the happiest brackets, that amounts to an $8,000 earnings swing. Drawing on data from the federally funded Add Health survey of teenagers, the researchers examined the profiles of more than 10,000 Americans at ages 16, 18 and 22 as well as their annual incomes at 29. They controlled for a number of factors known to contribute to financial success, including education level, IQ, height and self-esteem. Whether smart or simple-minded, tall or short, self-confident or insecure, happier people earned bigger paychecks than more doleful peers: Deeply unhappy teens’ future incomes were 30 percent lower than the average, while very happy teens earned 10 percent above average. The research team took the analysis even further, comparing roughly 3,000 people in sibling pairs who shared the same parents and, presumably, the same socioeconomic status. The happier siblings, they found, still did better than their less-happy counterparts. The findings suggest that interventions to encourage more positive thinking in kids and teens could greatly improve their future success, said Michael Norton, a behavioral scientist at Harvard Business School who was not involved in the study. It might be difficult, but by no means impossible. Researchers have looked at all

sorts of things that make people happier: Spending money for the sake of others seems to give people a boost, as does actively being kind to others. “It’s kind of like losing weight,” said Sonja Lyubomirsky, a University of California, Riverside social psychologist and author of “The How of Happiness,” who was not involved in the study. “If you’re genetically predisposed to not being a happy person, you have to put a lot of effort into it.” The paper was a longitudinal study and not an experiment, so it’s not entirely clear whether happiness truly caused the higher earnings. But the study did show that happier teens were more likely to get a college degree, to get hired and promoted and to be optimistic, extroverted and less neurotic. “Early happiness probably changes so many things about your life that even if later in life you’re not as happy as you were, those formative experiences continue to play themselves out,” said Norton, coauthor of the book “Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending.” How much is happiness motivating people to do better and how much is it simply causing others to give us more opportunities? In other words, can unhappy people fake it until they make it? “I would bet they would get some of the benefits,” Lyubomirsky said. Still, she said, most of the value of happiness probably comes from how it affects the person feeling it, not what others perceive. The study results may even have policy implications for central banks and political leaders looking to take lagging American and European economies out of their recent downturns, said lead author Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, an assistant professor of political economy and behavioral science at University College London. Previous research by De Neve’s co-author, economics professor Andrew Oswald of the University of Warwick in England, has suggested that low unemployment makes people happier than low inflation. — MCT

mostly under what is called Part B, which covers drugs that patients cannot administer themselves, such as spinal injections and intravenous cancer drugs. “These medications are vital and often life-sustaining and should be covered in full,” said David Ball, a spokesman for the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists. Also weighing in on compounding on Monday, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions asked all 50 state boards of pharmacy which, rather than federal regulators, oversee compounding pharmacies - for information on “actions you have taken to address this meningitis outbreak.” Specifically, the committee asked the boards whether they had reported problems with drugs from New England Compounding Center, the company that produced the tainted steroids, to the FDA, and whether they require compounding pharmacies to report whether they produce large volumes of drugs. Although traditional pharmacy compounding is small-scale, producing one prescription for one specific patient at a time, the company that produced the tainted steroids in the meningitis outbreak manufactured thousands of doses for hundreds of patients at once, documents show.

OUT OF BUSINESS The suspicion that Medicare’s payment policy encourages large-scale compounding has arisen in part because in the single instance when Medicare denied payment for an entire class of compounded drugs - respiratory medications used in special inhalers called nebulizers - the decision drove compounders out of that business. At the time, Medicare said that because compounded drugs are not tested for safety and effectiveness, they have “the potential of putting a patient at increased risk of injury, illness, or death.” The nebulizer-drugs decision came in 2007, after patient advocates led by Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics argued to Medicare that the compounded nebulizer drugs had contamination and potency problems, said Sandra Fusco Walker, who led that effort. That coverage decision “is absolutely relevant” to the question of Medicare’s support for compounding pharmacies, Blumenthal said, “because it reflects an awareness of this issue. Whether that should be a precedent for denying coverage of all such (compounded) drugs is a separate question.” The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which is part of HHS and runs the Medicare, regularly decides whether to cover diagnostic

tests, medications, surgical procedures and other medical treatments. It bases those decisions on whether the intervention is “reasonable and necessary.” For drugs, that almost always means that the medication has received approval from the FDA. “We believe that Medicare’s policy manual clearly establishes the agency’s authority to deny coverage for compounded drugs,” said Carome. But he admits that the manual is “internally contradictory.” In a section of the manual related to compounded drugs, CMS says that compounded drugs that have not received FDA approval - which describes essentially all compounded drugs - are excluded from Medicare coverage. “If the FDA has not approved the manufacturing and processing procedures used by these (compounding) facilities, the FDA has no assurance that the drugs these companies are producing are safe and effective,” the manual adds. But the same section also says that payment for such a drug does not stop unless CMS notifies the local carriers that it contracts with to process Medicare claims “that it is appropriate to do so.” “Clearly, if compounded drugs weren’t covered to the extent they are, there wouldn’t be an economic environment that allows large-scale compounding to continue,” said Carome. — Reuters

Violent dolphin deaths a mystery for scientists Bodies found with bullet wounds, missing jaws ALONG THE GULF COAST: Over the past several months, dolphins have washed ashore along the northern Gulf Coast with bullet wounds, missing jaws and hacked off fins, and federal officials said they are looking into the mysterious deaths. The most recent case was of a dolphin found dead off the coast of Mississippi, its lower jaw missing. Officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday they’re asking everyone from beachgoers to fishermen to wildlife agents to be on the lookout for injured or dead dolphins and any unusual interaction between the mammals and people. “It’s very sad to think that anyone could do that to any animal,” said Erin Fougeres, a marine mammal scientist for NOAA’s southeast office in St Petersburg, Florida. “There have been some obviously intentional cases.” Fougeres said five dolphins have been found shot. In Louisiana, two were shot in 2011 and one in 2012. And in Mississippi, three were found shot this year, the most recent one last week, which was first reported by the Sun-Herald newspaper. Besides the shootings, a dolphin in Alabama was found with a screwdriver stuck in its head over the summer. Another in Alabama had its tail cut off, and that animal survived. Still others were missing fins or had cuts to their bodies. “I think it is outrageous,” said Moby Solangi, the executive director of Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport, Mississippi. “These animals are very

docile, very friendly and they’re very curious. They come close to the boats, so if you’re out there, you’ll see them riding the bows. And their curiosity and friendship brings them so close that they become targets and that’s the unfortunate thing.”

before the 2010 oil spill disaster off the coast of Louisiana, dolphins began stranding themselves and that there were unusually high mortality rates - possibly due to a cold winter that year. Since then, the spill and another cold winter in 2011

This photo provided by the Audubon Nature Institute shows a bottlenose dolphin with a gunshot wound near the blowhole. —AP Dolphins are among the species protected by the 1972 Marine Mammal Protection Act. Violators can be fined up to $10,000 per violation and sent to prison for a year. The California-based Animal Legal Defense Fund said it is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whomever harmed the dolphins. The gruesome discoveries are heartbreaking for Gulf Coast scientists, who follow the population. Fougeres said that two months

have contributed to several deaths within the Gulf’s dolphin population, experts say. Investigators have also found discolored teeth and lung infections within some of the dead dolphins. Since Feb 2010, experts have tallied more than 700 recorded dolphin deaths. Experts have also found increased “human interaction” cases, which include dolphins tangled in fishing lines - and the more violent incidents. Fougeres cautions that some of the dolphin mutilations might have happened

after the animal died from natural causes and washed ashore. She said that in the case of the dolphin with the lower jaw missing, someone could have cut off the jaw for a souvenir after the animal died. “We have to do a necropsy on the animal and collect tissue samples to try to determine whether or not the injury was pre-or postmortem” she said. She also said that the increase in cases might be due to NOAA’s dolphin stranding network becoming better trained to notice cruelty cases or unusual deaths. Some have suggested that the deaths are the work of a few angry fishermen who are upset about bait-stealing dolphins. Yet the majority of fishermen say that while dolphins can be annoying, they wouldn’t harm the creatures. “I don’t know who to suspect ... I was really sickened when I read about it,” said Tom Becker, of T&D Charters out of Biloxi, Mississippi, and head of the Mississippi Charter Boat Captains Association, said he’s never had a problem with dolphins. The mammals tend to swim behind his boat until a fish too small to keep is tossed over the side. “You’ll see him under your boat,” Becker said, about the dolphin. “He’ll get it before it can reach the bottom. I usually leave the area if they’re doing that.” Fougeres said she doesn’t think the dolphins are being targeted by a gang of people or even by a lone, sick individual. “The cases are fairly spread apart,” she said. “I don’t think there is one dolphin murderer out there.” — AP

People turn to Twitter for CPR information

SINGAPORE: (Left) Visitors are silhouetted against a shipwreck in a viewing gallery of the Marine Life Park oceanarium yesterday. The oceanarium is one of the citystate’s newer tourist attractions. (Right) A suite that offers a window panel view of South East Asia aquarium is pictured. — AP

Antibiotics in pregnancy tied to asthma in children COPENHAGEN: Children whose mothers took antibiotics while they were pregnant were slightly more likely than other children to develop asthma, according to a Danish study. The results don’t prove that antibiotics caused the higher asthma risk, but they support a current theory that the body’s own “friendly” bacteria have a role in whether a child develops asthma, and antibiotics can disrupt those beneficial bugs. “ We speculate that mothers’ use of antibiotics changes the balance of natural bacteria, which is transmitted to the newborn, and that such unbalance bacteria in early life impact on the immune maturation in the newborn,” said Hans Bisgaard, one of the

study’s authors and a professor at the University of Copenhagen. Previous research has linked antibiotics taken during infancy to a higher risk of asthma, although some researchers have disputed those findings. To look for effects starting at an even earlier point, Bisgaard and his colleagues gathered information from a Danish national birth database of more than 30,000 children born between 1997 and 2003, and followed for five years. They found that about 7,300 of the children, or nearly one quarter, were exposed to antibiotics while their mothers were pregnant. Among them, just over three percent, 238 children, were hospitalized for asth-

ma by age five. The study, which appeared in The Journal of Pediatrics, found that by contrast, about 2.5 percent, or 581 of some 23,000 children whose mothers didn’t take antibiotics, were hospitalized with asthma. After taking into account other asthma risk factors, Bisgaard’s team calculated that the children who had been exposed to antibiotics were 17 percent more likely to be hospitalized for asthma. Similarly, these children were also 18 percent more likely to have been given a prescription for an asthma medication than children whose mothers did not take antibiotics when they were pregnant. His team also looked at a smaller

group of 411 children who were at higher risk for asthma because their mothers had the condition. They found that these children were twice as likely as their peers to develop asthma too if their mothers took antibiotics during the third trimester of pregnancy. Others said that it was possible that something besides the antibiotics was responsible, such as the illness the drugs were prescribed for. “This study, it doesn’t tell us whether it’s the antibiotic use or whether it’s the infection. That’s one thing we can’t decipher,” said Anita Kozryskyj, a professor at the University of Alberta who also studies the antibiotics-asthma link but wasn’t involved in the new study. — Reuters

NEW YORK: Amid snarky comments and links to cat videos, some Twitter users turn to the social network to find and post information on health issues like cardiac arrest and CPR, according to a US study. Over a month, researchers found 15,234 messages on Twitter that included specific information about resuscitation and cardiac arrest, said the study published in the journal Resuscitation. “From a science standpoint, we wanted to know if we can reliably find information on a public health topic, or is (Twitter) just a place where people describe what they ate that day,” said Raina Merchant, the study’s lead author and a professor at the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. According to the researchers, they found people using Twitter to send and receive a wide variety of information on CPR and cardiac arrest, including their personal experiences, questions and current events. Some researchers and organizations already use Twitter for public health matters, including tracking the 2009 H1N1 “swine flu” pandemic and finding the source of the Haitian cholera outbreak, the researchers said. For the study, the researchers created a Twitter search for key terms, such as CPR, AED (automatic external defibrillators), resuscitation and sudden death. Between April and May 2011, their search returned 62,163 tweets, which were whittled down to 15,324 messages that contained specific information about cardiac arrest and resuscitation. Only 7 percent of the tweets were about specific cardiac arrest events, such as a user saying they just saw a man being resuscitated, or a user asking for prayers for a sick family member. About 44 percent of the tweets were about performing CPR and using an AED. — Reuters


health & science

US advisory panel moves to make HIV testing a routine Move may help lift stigma of getting tested CHICAGO: An influential US panel has called for routine HIV screening for all Americans aged 15 to 65, a change that could help reduce some of the stigma about getting tested for the sexually transmitted infection that causes AIDS. The draft recommendations, released on Monday by the US Preventive Services Task Force, a government-backed group of doctors and scientists, also called for routine HIV testing for all pregnant women. “The prior recommendations were for screening high-risk adults and adolescents,” said task force member Dr Douglas Owens who is a medical professor at Stanford University. “The current recommendation is for screening everyone, regardless of their risk,” said Owens, who is also affiliated with the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System in California. Nearly 1.2 million people in the United States are infected with HIV, yet 20 to 25 percent of them do not know it. “This marks a monumental shift in how HIV in the United States can be prevented, diagnosed and treated,” said Carl Schmid, deputy executive director

of The AIDS Institute, an AIDS advocacy group. The new guidelines by the task force are expected to affect the reimbursement of HIV testing, removing one of the barriers to the tests, Schmid’s group said in a statement. Under the Affordable Care Act, insurers are required to cover preventive services that are recommended by the task force. The change brings the group more in line with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which in 2006 recommended HIV testing for everyone between 13 and 64. The recommendations, which had been expected, are based on the latest evidence showing the benefits of early HIV testing and treatment. Recent studies have shown that HIV treatment can reduce transmission of the virus to an uninfected partner by as much as 96 percent. “Treatment has two benefits. One is to the person who has HIV, and also treatment helps prevent transmission and protects a person’s partner,” Owens said. Dr Jeffrey Lennox, a professor of medicine at Emory University School of

Medicine and chief of infectious disease at Grady Memorial Hospital, an inner-city hospital in Atlanta, said under the current recommendations, many doctors simply fail to offer the tests. “In our practice, we see patients every week who are newly diagnosed with HIV - people who have seen many physicians in the past 10 years and none of them had ever offered testing,” Lennox said. Many of these patients have far advanced disease, that could have been caught earlier and successfully treated. Owens said he hopes the change will make it easier for doctors to offer testing. “You are offering this to adolescents and adults and everyone. The conversation you have with people is likely to be easier,” he said. The draft recommendations are based on a study of the most recent evidence on the risks and benefits of HIV testing published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The guidelines will be available for a 30-day public comment period before final recommendations are released, likely some time next year. — Reuters

New SARS virus linked to bats PARIS: A novel strain of the deadly SARS virus that sparked a health scare this year is closely related to a virus found in Asian bats, according to a study published yesterday. Scientists in the Netherlands said they had sequenced the genetic code of a viral sample taken from a 60-year-old man whose death in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in June triggered fears that Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) was returning in a new guise. The new strain, called HCoVEMC/2012, is part of a viral family called coronavirus, but in a specific category called betacoronavirus. Its closest known cousins are a strain found in lesser bamboo bats

(Tylonycteris pachypus) and another found in Japanese house bats, Pipistrellus abramus. “The virus is most closely related to viruses in bats in Asia, and there are no human viruses closely related to it,” said Ron Fouchier of the prestigious Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam. ”Therefore we speculate that it comes from an animal source,” he said, noting that Pipistrellus bats are present in Saudi Arabia and neighboring countries. An epidemic of SARS erupted in China in 2002, eventually claiming around 800 deaths in some 30 countries. Bats were linked with a novel strain of SARS found in 2005. Hong

Kong researchers found a natural “reservoir” of it in Chinese horseshoe bats. Two other men have also fallen sick in the latest SARS episode. One is a Qatari man who had been in Saudi Arabia and is being treated at a hospital in London. There is 99.6-99.7 percent similarity between his strain and the virus sequenced in the Netherlands, said Fouchier in a press release. “They are the same species,” he said, adding that the difference was sufficient to suggest that the men had been infected by different sources. The other is a Saudi man whose case was announced earlier this

month by the Saudi health ministry, which on November 4 described him as cured. The genomic sequence of that virus is not yet available, Fouchier said. The WHO said that what set the new virus apart from SARS was that it causes rapid kidney failure. Fears rose last month over the potential spread of the virus during the Muslim haj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia. But the kingdom’s health ministry repeatedly reassured pilgrims that no epidemic outbreaks had been registered. The new paper appears in mBio, an online journal of the American Society for Microbiology. — AFP

HANOVER: A woman holds an owl during a press conference on the upcoming “Horse and Hunting” trade fair yesterday. — AFP

New Jersey beaches 30-40 feet narrower after storm SPRING LAKE: The average New Jersey beach is 30 to 40 feet narrower after Superstorm Sandy, according to a survey that is sure to intensify a long-running debate on whether federal dollars should be used to replenish stretches of sand that only a fraction of US taxpayers use. Some of New Jersey’s famous beaches lost half their sand when Sandy slammed ashore in late October. The shore town of Mantoloking, one of the hardest-hit communities, lost 150 feet of beach, said Stewart Farrell, director of Stockton College’s Coastal Research Center and a leading expert on beach erosion. Routine storms tear up beaches in any season, and one prescription for protecting communities from storm surge has been to replenish beaches with sand pumped from offshore. Places with recently beefed-up beaches saw comparatively little damage, said Farrell, whose study’s findings were made available to The Associated Press. “It really, really works,” Farrell said. “Where there was a federal beach fill in place, there was no major damage - no homes destroyed, no sand piles in the streets. Where there was no beach fill, water broke through the dunes.” The beach-replenishment projects have been controversial both for their expense

and because waves continually wash away the new sand. The federal government picks up 65 percent of the cost, with the rest coming from state and local coffers. How big the beaches are - or whether there is a beach at all to go to - is a crucial question that must be resolved before the summer tourism season. The Jersey shore powers the state’s $35.5 billion tourism industry. But the pending spending showdown between congressional Republicans and Democrats could make it even harder to secure hundreds of millions of additional dollars for beach replenishment. From 1986 to 2011, nearly $700 million was spent placing 80 million cubic yards of sand on about 55 percent of the New Jersey coast. Over that time, the average beach gained 4 feet of width, according to the Coastal Research Center. And just before the storm hit, the US Army Corps of Engineers awarded nearly $28 million worth of contracts for new replenishment projects in southern New Jersey’s Cape May County. US Sen Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican, used a photo of a pig on the cover of his 2009 report “Washed Out To Sea,” in which he characterized beach replenishment as costly, wasteful pork that the nation could not afford. — AP




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



A special morning tabour at KNES

n this special day I celebrate because you are the reason for all that I have become. You make my world more beautiful. I always thank God and feel lucky to have such a brilliant and beautiful sister like you!! Happy birthday to Santosh Verma from Akash. We all love you Didi. God bless you! From Shree Kishan, Raju, Akash, Prabina, Jayesh, Hema, Mohammed Neal and family.


n November 12, Kuwait National English School held a special tabour to commemorate two special events. The first one was the 50th anniversary of the constitution of the State of Kuwait. The second one was the Remembrance Day to remember the people over the years and all around the world who gave their life for the freedom of others. A minute of silence was observed by the school Director Chantal, all members of staff and all students from Kuwait national English School. A candle for peace was lit on this occasion.


Announcements Basketball Academy he new Premier Basketball Academy offers coaching and games every Friday and Saturday from 10 am onwards for 6 to 18 year olds, boys and girls. Located in Bayan Block 7, Masjed Al-Aqsa Street by Abdullah Al-Rujaib High School. Free Basketball and Tee Shirts for all participants, with certificates and special awards on completion of each 6 week course. Qualified and experienced British and American Coaches, Everyone Welcome.


Arabic courses WARE will begin Winter 1 Arabic language courses with new textbooks and curricula will begin on December 2, 2012 until January 24, 2013. AWARE Arabic language courses are designed with the expat in mind. The environment is relaxed & courses are designed for those wanting to learn Arabic for travel, cultural understanding, and conducting business or simply to become more involved in the community. For more information or registration, please log-on to our website.


Winter 2012 AMIE examination


he AMIE Winter 2012 examinations will be held between Dec 01-07, 2012 as follows:

Section A (Diploma) - December 1-4, 2012 Section A (Non-Diploma) - December 1-7, 2012 Section B - December 1-7, 2012 The last date for submission of examination application forms are given hereunder: Candidates not appeared at Summer 2012 Exam: Aug 21 - Sept 21, 2012 Candidates appeared at Summer 2012 Exam: Sept 21 - Oct 19, 2012. Candidates who intend to appear for the Winter 2012 examination must apply directly to Kolkata by filling the prescribed application form along with requisite amount of demand draft in favour of The Institution of Engineers (India), payable in Kolkata.

Agility introduces Arabic website gility, a leading global logistics provider, launched its Arabic-language website on October 30, to cater to Arabic-speaking customers, partners, and shareholders in the Middle East and North Africa. The website has been designed to allow Arabic speakers convenient access to the latest company news, range of products and services, specialized solutions, and other related business and investor information. “We are a global company that operates in more than 100 countries, but we have strong local roots in the countries in which we operate. This is especially true in the Middle East, where we got our start as a company. Our Arabic website is part of our ongoing commitment to serving our customers in the Middle East and North Africa, and to maintaining open communication with our shareholders and partners,” said Elias Monem, Agility’s CEO for the Middle East and Africa. With the newly introduced Arabic version, Agility’s website is now available in four languages, including English, French and German.


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

Ravishing Children’s Day celebration at IES n November 14, 2012, IES witnessed the mesmerizing world of children sparkling and fluttering in the radiance of joy as they celebrated Children’s Day. The grand celebration was indeed a momentous gusto of zealous revelry which adorned the delicate life of children, as they regaled and rejoiced in the enrapturing program presented by the teachers as a token of their love and affection for the students. The event started off with the heartfelt rendition of prayer song seeking the divine grace of Almighty God to keep our children safe and secure amidst dire danger and calamity. The teachers of the KG, primary and the senior wings of IES pre-


pared entrancing series of events for the children. The lamp dance on the melodious tunes of the song ‘Light the World’ was not only alluring but also inspirational as it conveyed the gracious message, entreating the students to bring radiance into the world filled with poverty, misery and suffering with their love, kindness and compassion. The ‘Nukkad Natak’ presented by the principal and the heads of departments enlightened the audience on the great knowledge imparted by books and how it can transform our lives for the achievement of our dreams and desires to reach the zenith of success. The hilarious glory presented in the comical skit ‘Mind Your

Mais Alghanim takes part in Beat Diabetes Walkathon ais Alghanim group took part in the third annual Beat Diabetes Walkathon organized last Saturday in cooperating with Land Mark group, the Ministry of Health and the Dasman Diabetes Center to mark the World Diabetes Month. The event took place at the Gulf Road over an estimated 3.1 kilometers distance starting from the Yachts Club to the Green Island, featuring more than 6,000 volunteers from all ages, including the American Ambassador to Kuwait Matthew Tueller. The campaign aimed to spread awareness about diabetes, the reasons of its spread and the best precau-


tionary methods against causes of the disease which mainly include obesity. Mais Alghanim Group offers a variety of healthy options for customers in its restaurants, which include an entire healthy section using organic, low-fat ingredientsand low salt while maintaining quality and good taste at the same time. The Mais Alghanim Group is motivated to continue taking part in the campaign by its belief in the importance of awareness being a main factor to control diabetes.

Language’ and the fantabulous fashion show by the teachers of the primary wing left the audience in splits and rollicking laughter. The awe- inspiring dance performances synchronized perfectly to the tune of the mellifluous songs and the harmonious melodies and rock songs captivated the crowd in its fascinating elegance and touched the hearts of all and sundry. The highlight of the show ‘Kolaveri Dance’ kindled the students into a fervency of astounding excitement and thrill, bringing the much awaited Children’s day to its memorable finality. The event was nothing short of perfection, interest, creativity and the sense of

participation. The student community eulogized the efforts of the Principal, T Premkumar, Vice Principal, Lalitha Premkumar and the IES teaching fraternity in making the program a great success in all aspects and left the auditorium relishing and embracing the most unforgettable, enlivening moments, replenished with bounteous gifts of delightful loveliness displayed by their talented teachers, cementing the bond, sure to be engraved commendably in their lives forever as the most adorable memories of Children’s Day.




Embassy Information

Dr Muhsen (center) is honored.

Dr Muhsen (fourth from right) is seen with senior AOU staff.

EMBASSY OF AUSTRALIA The Australian Embassy Kuwait does not have a visa or immigration department. All processing of visas and immigration matters in conducted by The Australian Consulate-General in Dubai. Email: (VFS) (Visa Office); Tel: +971 4 355 1958 (VFS) - +971 4 508 7200 (Visa Office); Fax: +971 4 355 0708 (Visa Office). In Kuwait applications can be lodged at the Australian Visa Application Centre 4B 1st Floor, Al-Banwan Building Al-Qibla Area, Ali Al-Salem Street, opposite the Central Bank of Kuwait, Kuwait City, Kuwait. Working hours and days: 09:30 - 17:30; Sunday - Thursday. Or visit their website www.vfs-au-gcc-com for more information. Kuwait citizens can apply for tourist visas on-line at visa/e676.htm. ■■■■■■■

Partial views of guests in attendance.

AOU honors outgoing rector, names replacement he Arab Open University honored the outgoing rector Dr Musa Muhsen in a farewell ceremony held recently in campus and attended by senior AOU officials. The event started with a speech delivered by Kuwait Branch Director Dr Nayef Al-Mutairi, who acknowledged efforts of Dr Muhsen during his three-year tenure as AOU rector, which included the inauguration of the AOU’s headquarters’ building, as well as the Kuwait’s branch and Jordan’s branch buildings. Meanwhile, Dr Muhsen expressed


Dr Mohammad Ali Mirghani

appreciation for his commemoration, and took the opportunity to point out the “AOU’s continuous success and achievements made in the past 10 years of operation in seven Arab countries is through hard work and dedication on the part of management, teaching staff and students”. Student Musa Al-Busairi also delivered a speech expressing gratitude for Dr Muhsen’s “efforts and achievements” which he described as “a source of pride” for the entire institute. Dr Muhsen will be succeeded by Dr

DAI hosts lecture AI (Dar Al-Athar AlIslamiyyah) hosted a lecture on ‘Paradigm shifts and the politics of the past in Lebanon: urban archaeology in the making’ by Dr Assaad Seif on November 19. Dr Assaad Seif is the head of the scientific departments at the Directorate General of Antiquities in Lebanon. He is also the director and coordinator of archaeological excavations and research projects, and the heritage management director and coordinator of archaeological excavations in the Beirut city center area. The author of numerous works, he has three works in preparation and Risk Mapping and Cultural Heritage Management, the use of Geophysics and Remote Sensing. The Case of Type - South Lebanon is currently in press. The lecture on ‘Paradigm shifts and the politics of the past in Lebanon: urban archaeology in the making’ exposes the diachronic paradigm shifts in the “politics of the past” in Lebanon, starting with the late Ottoman period through the Mandate period and the pre-war times until the post-war reconstruction era. It describes the uses and abuses of the said past on the social,


political and the cultural identity levels. Furthermore, I will try to explain the different attitudes of the Lebanese authorities towards the archaeological and built heritage. Then the focus shifts to the urban

It also explores the practical, ethical and legal challenges of heritage management in post-war Beirut. Finally, it discusses the new issues facing archaeological ventures in the urban reconstruction process.

Mohammad Ali Mirghani, who was assigned recently to the post by Chairman of the Board of Secretaries of the Arab Open University, Prince Talal bin Abdul-Aziz. A PhD holder in business management from the University of Indiana, Dr Mirghani has long experience in taking leading roles especially in the administrative and financial fields. Dr Mirghani is also the AOU’s Deputy Director for Administrative and Financial Affairs.

Al-Sabah’s divan is first Kuwaiti publication translated to Azeri thar Publishing Company announced the release of a divan or collection of poems of Dr Suad Al-Sabah’s translated to Azeri, making her the first Kuwaiti author to have one of her works translated to Azerbaijan’s official language. The divan which is titled ‘Take Me to the Limits of the Sun’ received rave reviews since it was first released in 1997 by the Dar Suad Al-Sabah Publishing, praised mainly for its ‘distinguished phonetic consistency and emotional language’. The divan was translated by Azeri poet Pasti Ali Bayly. Meanwhile, the cultural attache at Azerbaijan’s embassy in Kuwait, Babek Ahmadov, announced that the book will officially be released on November 28, 2012 during the cultural days in Baku, Azerbaijan. Dr Suad Al-Sabah is invited to attend the event, Ahmadov said. Dr Al-Sabah has several publications translated to other languages including English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese and Persian.


EMBASSY OF CANADA The Canadian Embassy in Kuwait does not have a visa or immigration department. All processing of visa and immigration matters including enquiries is conducted by the Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, UAE Individuals who are interested in working, studying, visiting or immigrating to Canada should contact the Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, website: or, E-mail: The Embassy of Canada is located at Villa 24, Al-Mutawakei St, Block 4 in Da’aiyah. Please visit our website at The Embassy of Canada is open from 7:30 to 15:30 Sunday through Thursday. The reception is closed for lunch from 12:30 to 13:00. Consular services for Canadian citizens are provided from 09:00 until 12:00, Sunday through Wednesday. ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF CYPRUS In its capacity as EU Local Presidency in the State of Kuwait, the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus, on behalf of the Member States of the EU and associated States participating in the Schengen cooperation, would like to announce that as from 2nd October 2012 all Schengen States’ Consulates in Kuwait will use the Visa Information System (VIS). The VIS is a central database for the exchange of data on short-stay (up to three months) visas between Schengen States. The main objectives of the VIS are to facilitate visa application procedures and checks at external border as well as to enhance security. The VIS will contain all the Schengen visa applications lodged by an applicant over five years and the decisions taken by any Schengen State’s consulate. This will allow applicants to establish more easily the lawful use of previous visas and their bona fide status. For the purpose of the VIS, applicants will be required to provide their biometric data (fingerprints and digital photos) when applying for a Schengen visa. It is a simple and discreet procedure that only takes a few minutes. Biometric data, along with the data provided in the Schengen visa application form, will be recorded in the VIS central database. Therefore, as from 2nd October 2012, first-time applicants will have to appear in person when lodging the application, in order to provide their fingerprints. For subsequent applications within 5 years the fingerprints can be copied from the previous application file in the VIS. The Cypriot Presidency would like to assure the people of Kuwait and all its permanent citizens that the Member States and associated States participating in the Schengen cooperation, have taken all necessary technical measures to facilitate the rapid examination and the efficient processing of visa applications and to ensure a quick and discreet procedure for the implementation of the new VIS. ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF INDIA The Embassy of India will remain closed on Nov 25, 2012 - Sunday on account of Muharram. Due to maintenance work being done in Sharq area by the Ministry of Electricity on Tuesday, November 27, 2012, BLS International Sharq Branch will remain closed between 08:00 Hrs and 11:30 Hrs. The working hours on 27-11-2012 will be from 16:00 Hrs to 19:30 Hrs. Fahaheel Branch will remain open during regular working hours 08:00 - 11:30 and 16:00- 19:30. ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF LEBANON Due to exceptional circumstances Lebanon is going through currently, a mass celebration that was planned on Wednesday, Nov 14, 2012 at the Lebanese Embassy’s garden has been called off. Ambassador of Lebanon to Kuwait Dr Bassam Al-Nu’mani welcomes well wishers on the occasion of Independence Day at his residence tomorrow, Nov 22, 2012 between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm.

Dr Assaad Seif archaeology dynamics in pre-war and post-war Beirut. This will be discussed from the perspective of the policies of the Archaeology Department as a direct result of how people in this Department perceived the past and in which way it did matter for them.

Within this framework, it presents the solutions and approaches adopted by the Directorate General of Antiquities (DGA) concerning issues related to building versus excavations dilemmas.


Indian Embassy Announcements Indian Embassy passport and visa Passports and visa applications can be deposited at the two outsourced centers of M/S BLS Ltd at Sharq and Fahaheel. Details are available at and Consular Open House Consular Wing is providing daily service of Open House to Indian citizens on all workings days from 1000 hrs to 1100 hrs and from 1430 hrs to 1530 hrs by the Consular Officer in the Meeting Room of the Consular Hall at the Embassy. For any unaddressed issues, Second Secretary (Consular) can be contacted. Furthermore, the head of the Consular Wing is also available to redress grievances.

Indian workers helpline/helpdesk Indian workers helpline is accessible by toll free telephone number 25674163 from all over Kuwait. It provides information and advice to Indian workers as regards their grievances, immigration and other matters. The help desk at the Embassy (Open from 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 4:30PM, Sunday to Thursday) provides guidance to Indian nationals on routine immigration, employment, legal and other issues. It also provides workers assistance in filling up labour complaint forms. For any unaddressed issues, the concerned attachÈ in the Labour section and the head of the Labour Wing can be contacted.

Brazilian food festival in Kuwait otel Missoni Kuwait and the Embassy of Brazil proudly present the first Brazilian Food Festival at Luna Restaurant in Hotel Missoni Kuwait on 18th floor. Experience a new culinary art and let our visiting chef, Paulo Machado take on a samba fantasy and celebrate an authentic festival of Brazilian cuisine, including Caldinho de Feijao, Moqueca Capixaba, Barreado and Quindim.


EMBASSY OF UKRAINE The Embassy of Ukraine in the State of Kuwait would like to remind that the external polling station No 90046 was created in the Embassy’s premises at the following address: Hawalli, Jabriya, bl.10, str. 6, build. 5. The working hours of the polling station: Sunday from 13.00 to 17.00 pm; Monday from 13.00 to 17.00 pm; Tuesday from 13.00 to 17.00 pm; Wednesday from 13.00 to 17.00 pm; Thursday from 13.00 to 17.00 pm; Friday from 10.00 to 13.00 pm; Saturday from 10.00 to 13.00 pm On October 28, 2012 the working hours of the polling station from 8.00 am to 20.00 pm. Please be advised to refer to the Embassy to check your data in the Electoral Register as well as to pick up your personal invitation from the polling station if you did not receive this document by post.


TV PROGRAMS 23:00 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 23:50 How The Universe Works 00:50 01:45 02:35 03:25 04:15 Irwin 05:05 05:55 Baker 06:20 06:45 07:10 07:35 08:00 08:25 08:50 09:15 10:10 11:05 12:00 12:55 13:20 13:50 14:15 14:45 15:40 16:35 17:00 17:30 18:25 19:20 20:15 20:40 21:10 Baker 21:35 22:05 23:00 23:55

Animal Cops South Africa Ethiopian Wolf Untamed & Uncut Gator Boys New Breed Vets With Steve Wildest Latin America Deep Into The Wild With Nick Orangutan Island Clinically Wild: Alaska Clinically Wild: Alaska Wildlife SOS Monkey Life Natural Born Hunters Natural Born Hunters Dogs 101 Trophy Cats Wildest Latin America Wildlife SOS RSPCA: On The Frontline RSPCA: On The Frontline Wildlife SOS E-Vets: The Interns Animal Cops Philadelphia Wildest Latin America Orangutan Island The Really Wild Show Too Cute! The Jeff Corwin Experience Dogs 101 Monkey Life E-Vets: The Interns Deep Into The Wild With Nick Orangutan Island Wildest Arctic Galapagos Mutant Planet

23:50 Animal Cops Houston 00:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 00:45 Come Dine With Me 01:35 Antiques Roadshow 02:25 Holmes On Homes 03:15 Holmes On Homes 04:00 Out Of The Frying Pan 04:55 House Swap 05:35 Saturday Kitchen 06:05 The Restaurant UK 07:00 House Swap 07:40 Saturday Kitchen 08:10 MasterChef Australia 08:55 MasterChef Australia 09:40 Holmes On Homes 10:30 Holmes On Homes 11:20 Bargain Hunt 12:05 Antiques Roadshow 12:55 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 13:35 Come Dine With Me 14:25 Baby Borrowers USA 15:10 Baby Borrowers USA 15:50 Bargain Hunt 16:35 Antiques Roadshow 17:30 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 18:10 Come Dine With Me 19:00 The Hairy Bakers 19:30 The Hairy Bakers 20:00 Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey 20:50 Come Dine With Me 21:40 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 22:25 Antiques Roadshow 23:15 Bargain Hunt EditionEdition 00:15 You Have Been Warned 01:10 Bear’s Mission Everest 02:05 Ultimate Survival 03:00 Mythbusters 03:55 Border Security 04:20 Scrappers 04:50 Auction Kings 05:15 How Stuff’s Made 05:40 How It’s Made 06:05 Robson Green’s Extreme Fishing Challenge 07:00 Wheeler Dealers 07:50 Mythbusters 08:45 Ultimate Survival 09:40 Border Security 10:05 Scrappers 10:30 How Stuff’s Made 10:55 How It’s Made 11:25 You Have Been Warned 12:20 Bear’s Mission Everest 13:15 Ultimate Survival 14:10 Border Security 14:35 Scrappers 15:05 Auction Kings 15:30 Ultimate Survival 16:25 Wheeler Dealers 17:20 Robson Green’s Extreme Fishing Challenge 18:15 Mythbusters 19:10 How Stuff’s Made 19:40 How It’s Made 20:05 Border Security 20:35 Scrappers 21:00 Auction Kings 21:30 Dynamo: Magician Impossible 22:25 Mythbusters 23:20 Mythbusters 23:20 Surviving Disaster 00:40 Gadget Show - World Tour 01:05 How Tech Works 01:35 Colony 02:25 Build It Bigger: Rebuilding Greensburg 03:15 Mega World 04:05 Weird Connections 04:35 Colony 05:25 Prototype This 06:15 Gadget Show - World Tour 06:40 How Tech Works 07:05 How The Universe Works 08:00 Build It Bigger: Rebuilding Greensburg 08:50 How Do They Do It? 09:15 How Do They Do It? 09:40 Head Rush 09:43 Things That Move 10:10 How Stuff’s Made 10:40 How The Universe Works 11:30 Gadget Show - World Tour 11:55 How Tech Works 12:20 Mega World 13:10 Prototype This 14:00 Build It Bigger: Rebuilding Greensburg 14:50 Sport Science 15:45 How Do They Do It? 16:10 How Do They Do It? 16:35 Weird Connections 17:00 Head Rush 17:03 Things That Move 17:30 How Stuff’s Made 18:00 Gadget Show - World Tour 18:25 How Tech Works 18:50 Mega World 19:40 How The Universe Works 20:30 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 21:20 Prototype This 22:10 The Gadget Show 22:35 How Tech Works

20:20 Bang Goes The Theory 00:20 Little Einsteins 00:50 Special Agent Oso 01:15 Lazytown 01:40 Jungle Junction 01:55 Jungle Junction 02:10 Handy Manny 02:30 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 02:55 Winnie The Pooh: Tales Of Friendship 03:00 Lazytown 03:25 Special Agent Oso 03:50 Imagination Movers 04:20 Handy Manny 04:40 Special Agent Oso 05:00 Timmy Time 05:10 Lazytown 05:35 Little Einsteins 06:00 Jungle Junction 06:15 Jungle Junction 06:30 Little Einsteins 06:50 Special Agent Oso 07:00 Special Agent Oso 07:15 Jungle Junction 07:30 Jungle Junction 07:45 Handy Manny 08:00 Special Agent Oso 08:15 Little Einsteins 08:45 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 09:10 The Hive 09:20 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 09:35 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 09:50 Handy Manny 10:05 The Hive 10:15 Animated Stories 10:20 Mouk 10:30 Mouk 10:45 The Hive 10:55 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 11:20 New Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh 11:45 Art Attack 12:10 Imagination Movers 12:35 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 13:00 Winnie The Pooh: Tales Of Friendship 13:10 Handy Manny 13:25 Jungle Junction 13:40 Imagination Movers 14:05 The Hive 14:15 Special Agent Oso 14:30 Lazytown 14:55 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 15:20 New Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh 15:45 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 16:00 Mouk 16:15 The Hive 16:25 Art Attack 16:50 Doc McStuffins 17:05 Art Attack 17:30 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 17:45 Art Attack 18:10 Mouk 18:25 Mouk 18:40 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 18:55 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 19:10 The Hive 19:20 Handy Manny 19:35 New Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh 20:00 Animated Stories 20:05 Timmy Time 20:20 Winnie The Pooh: Tales Of Friendship 20:25 Doc McStuffins 20:40 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 20:55 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 21:10 The Hive 21:20 Timmy Time 21:30 Mouk 21:45 Handy Manny 22:00 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 22:25 The Hive 22:35 New Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh 23:00 Timmy Time 23:10 Animated Stories 23:15 A Poem Is... 23:20 Winnie The Pooh: Tales Of Friendship 23:30 Jungle Junction 23:45 Handy Manny 23:55 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse ecial Agent Oso 23:50 Lazytown 00:30 01:25 01:50 02:20 03:15 04:10 05:05 06:00 06:55 08:00 08:25 08:55 09:20 09:50 10:15 10:45 11:40 12:05 12:35 13:30 14:25 15:20 16:15 16:40 17:10 17:35 18:05 18:30 19:00 19:55 20:50 21:45 22:40 23:35

M1 Challenge Fantasy Factory Fantasy Factory Pro Bull Riders 2011 World Combat League Enfusion Monster Jam M1 Challenge Pro Bull Riders 2011 Ride Guide Snow 2009 Ride Guide Snow 2009 X Games Heroes X Games Heroes Ticket To Ride – 5 2012 Ticket To Ride – 5 2012 AMA Motocross 2011 Fantasy Factory Fantasy Factory Pro Bull Riders 2011 Mantracker Danger Men World Combat League Fantasy Factory Fantasy Factory X Games Heroes X Games Heroes Ticket To Ride – 5 2012 Ticket To Ride – 5 2012 Mantracker Pro Bull Riders 2011 Danger Men World Combat League Monster Jam Enfusion

00:15 Grill It! With Bobby Flay 00:40 Guy’s Big Bite 01:05 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 01:30 Heat Seekers 01:55 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 02:20 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 02:45 Guy’s Big Bite 03:10 Guy’s Big Bite 03:35 Grill It! With Bobby Flay 04:00 Grill It! With Bobby Flay 04:25 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 04:50 Heat Seekers 05:15 Guy’s Big Bite 05:40 Grill It! With Bobby Flay 06:05 Unwrapped 06:30 Iron Chef America 07:10 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 07:35 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 08:00 Food Network Challenge 08:50 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 09:15 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 09:40 Healthy Appetite With Ellie Krieger

10:05 Healthy Appetite With Ellie Krieger 10:30 Kelsey’s Essentials 10:55 Cooking For Real 11:20 Cooking For Real 11:45 Food Crafters 12:10 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 12:35 Heat Seekers 13:00 Iron Chef America 13:50 Guy’s Big Bite 14:15 Cooking For Real 14:40 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 15:05 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 15:30 Food Crafters 15:55 Unique Eats 16:20 Unique Eats 16:45 Chopped 17:35 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 18:00 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 18:25 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 18:50 Heat Seekers 19:15 Guy’s Big Bite 19:40 Unique Eats 20:05 Unique Eats 20:30 Chopped 21:20 Iron Chef America 22:10 Charly’s Cake Angels 22:35 Charly’s Cake Angels 23:00 Unique Sweets 23:25 Unique Sweets 23:50 Have Cake, Will Travel

00:15 My Sri Lanka With Peter Kuruvita 00:45 The Frankincense Trail 01:40 Ultimate Traveller 02:35 Cruise Ship Diaries 03:30 Lonely Planet: Roads Less Travelled 04:25 Long Way Down 05:20 Danger Beach 05:45 Danger Beach 06:15 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 2 06:40 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 2 07:10 My Sri Lanka With Peter Kuruvita 07:35 My Sri Lanka With Peter Kuruvita 08:05 The Frankincense Trail 09:00 Ultimate Traveller 09:55 Cruise Ship Diaries 10:50 Lonely Planet: Roads Less Travelled 11:45 Long Way Down 12:40 Into The Drink 13:05 Into The Drink 13:35 David Rocco‚Äôs Dolce Vita 3 14:00 David Rocco‚Äôs Dolce Vita 3 14:30 My Sri Lanka With Peter Kuruvita 14:55 My Sri Lanka With Peter Kuruvita 15:25 The Frankincense Trail 16:20 Ultimate Traveller 17:15 Cruise Ship Diaries 18:10 Lonely Planet: Roads Less Travelled 19:05 Long Way Down 20:00 My Sri Lanka With Peter Kuruvita 20:30 My Sri Lanka With Peter Kuruvita 21:00 David Rocco‚Äôs Dolce Vita 3 21:30 David Rocco‚Äôs Dolce Vita 3 22:00 Danger Beach 22:25 Danger Beach 22:55 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 2 23:20 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 2 23:50 Pressure Cook 23:00 Naked Science

13:00 Seinfeld 13:30 Seinfeld 14:00 Last Man Standing 14:30 Community 15:00 Modern Family 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 Friends 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 How I Met Your Mother 18:30 Last Man Standing 19:00 Modern Family 19:30 The Office 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 Bored To Death 22:30 Veep 23:00 Family Guy 23:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Fall on 00:00 01:00 02:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 07:30 08:00 09:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 12:30 13:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 16:30 17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00 23:00

Body Of Proof Pillars Of The Earth Homeland Downton Abbey Private Practice Grey’s Anatomy Body Of Proof Emmerdale Coronation Street C.S.I. New York The Ellen DeGeneres Show Grey’s Anatomy Private Practice Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show C.S.I. New York Body Of Proof Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show C.S.I. New York Bunheads Warehouse 13 Combat Hospital Smash Strike Back

01:00 Constantine-PG15 03:00 Bunraku-PG15 05:00 Warbirds-PG15 07:00 Master And Commander-PG15 09:30 Wild Bill-PG15 11:15 Warbirds-PG15 13:00 Last Breath-PG15 15:00 Wild Bill-PG15 17:00 Bending The Rules-PG15 19:00 The Town-18 21:15 Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown-18 23:00 The Killing Room-18

00:00 Pieces Of April-PG15 02:00 Dinner For Schmucks-PG15 04:00 Prom-PG15 06:00 Below The Beltway-PG15 08:00 Say Anything-PG15 10:00 Joe Dirt-PG15 12:00 The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy-PG 14:00 Robots-PG 16:00 Joe Dirt-PG15 18:00 Nothing To Lose-PG15 20:00 Just Crazy Enough-PG15 22:00 Frenemy-18 22:00 Frenemy-18

00:00 Rescue Ink 01:00 Night Of The Lion 01:55 Wild India (aka Secrets of Wild India) 02:50 World’s Deadliest 03:45 Planet Carnivore 04:40 Zambezi 05:35 World’s Deadliest Animals 06:30 Wild India (aka Secrets of Wild India) 07:25 World’s Deadliest 08:20 Planet Carnivore 09:15 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 10:10 Hunt for the Giant Squid 11:05 Hunter Hunted 12:00 Spine Chillers: Scorpions 13:00 Wild Mississippi 14:00 World’s Deadliest 15:00 Planet Carnivore 16:00 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 17:00 World’s Weirdest 18:00 Hunter Hunted 19:00 Wild India (aka Secrets of Wild India) 20:00 World’s Deadliest 21:00 Planet Carnivore 22:00 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 23:00 Hunt for the Giant Squid Zoo Confidential 23:00 Dangerous Encounters 00:00 02:00 04:00 06:00 PG15 08:00 PG15 10:00 12:00 14:00 PG15 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00

RoboCop-PG15 Paintball-18 Bunraku-PG15 Charlie’s Angels: Full ThrottleTrue Justice: Urban WarfareAeon Flux-PG15 Batman: Year One-PG15 True Justice: Urban WarfareStool Pigeon-PG15 Batman: Year One-PG15 The Resident-18 Jackass 3.5-R

22:00 13 Assassins-1822:00 Homecoming-18 00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 Enlightened 02:00 The Ricky Gervais Show 02:30 Family Guy 03:00 How I Met Your Mother 03:30 Last Man Standing 04:00 Samantha Who? 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 Seinfeld 06:00 Seinfeld 06:30 Friends 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 Samantha Who? 08:30 How I Met Your Mother 09:00 Seinfeld 09:30 Seinfeld 10:00 Modern Family 10:30 Community 11:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:00 Friends 12:30 Samantha Who?

01:00 03:00 PG15 05:15 07:00 09:00 11:00 13:15 15:00 16:45 PG15 19:00 21:00 22:45

Body Of Evidence-R An Officer And A GentlemanBabies-18 Mademoiselle Chambon-PG15 The Game Of Their Lives-PG15 Lorenzo’s Oil-PG15 Uncorked-PG15 The Game Of Their Lives-PG15 When A Man Loves A WomanCountry Strong-PG15 Apres Nous Le Deluge-18 Random Hearts-PG15 Square Grouper-18

00:45 An Officer And A GentlemanPG15 03:00 Mars Needs Moms-PG 05:00 Labor Pains-PG15 07:00 Elevator Girl-PG15 09:00 Sundays At Tiffany’s-PG15 11:00 War Horse-PG15 13:30 The Birth Of Big Air-PG15 15:00 Three Investigators And The Secret Of Terror...-PG15 17:00 Sundays At Tiffany’s-PG15 18:45 Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Pt.2-PG15 21:00 Return-PG15 23:00 Kick-Ass-18

01:00 Winner & The Golden Child: Part II-FAM 02:45 Adventures Of Sharkboy And Lavagirl-PG 04:30 Alex & Alexis-FAM 06:00 Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil-PG 08:00 Crab Island-FAM 10:00 Rio-FAM 11:45 Blue Elephant 2-FAM 13:30 The Ugly Duckling In Tales Of Mystery-FAM 15:00 Adventures Of Sharkboy And Lavagirl-PG 16:30 The Apple & The Worm-FAM 18:00 Rio-FAM 20:00 Looney Tunes: Back In ActionFAM 22:00 The Apple & The Worm-FAM 23:30 Crab Island-FAM

00:30 01:30 03:30 05:30 06:00 06:30 07:00 09:00 12:30 13:00 15:00 16:00 17:00 18:30 19:30 21:30 22:00 22:30

PGA European Tour Highlights Grand Slam of Darts Anglo Welsh LV Cup Futbol Mundial Extreme Sailing Series Extreme Sailing Series Rugby Union International Premier League Snooker Futbol Mundial Grand Slam of Darts PGA European Tour Highlights PGA European Tour Highlights The Ryder Cup Trans World Sport Grand Slam of Darts PGA European Tour Weekly Futbol Mundial Rugby Union International



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C lassified s WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2012


Arrival Flights on Wednesday 21/11/2012 Airlines Flt Route


Arrival Flights on Wednesday 21/11/2012 Airlines Flt Route


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Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (

ACCOMMODATION Single bedroom flat for rent in old Riggae, sector 1, St. 1, Jada 3, from 1st December to 31st march 2013, rent KD 160/-. Contact: 97525830. (C 4222) 20-11-2012

SITUATION WANTWestern educated “Project Manager” with 2 Engineering-Degrees (Civil/Elec.), 4-Master Degrees (Project Mgmt/ Engineering/ Education & Training/ MBA), plus 17years experience in Middle East/ Australia, seeking Executive Position. Contact: 65695468 email: (C 4195) 18-11-2012 FOR SALE 2009 Toyota Fortuner, excellent condition, price KD 5,100/-. Contact: 99098766. (C 4226) 21-11-2012 Mitsubishi Galant, 2006 model, silver color, beige interior, 1,25,000 km, serviced by dealership, owned by American lady, price KD 1,500/ (Negotiable) Contact: 99405067. (C 4224) Toyota Camry 2012 model, 4 cylinder, white color, very good condition, price KD 1,600/-. Contact: 99592461. (C 4221) 20-11-2012 Jeep Kia sportage 2010, white color, excellent condition, 42,000 km, price KD 2,450/-. Contact: 50699345. (C 4220) 19-11-2012 TUITION Learn Holy Quran in prefect way, private tuition available for elders and children, by Hafiz-e-Quran. Contact: 66725950. (C 4225) 21-11-2012 MATRIMONIAL Seeking proposal for daughter age 26, Msc., 5.6 heights, fair, slim, born & brought up in Kuwait, Pakistani Muslim family, current Kuwait resident.

Contact: (C 4219)

CHANGE OF NAME FRANCISCA JOANA GRACIAS of holder Passport No. E6395478 hereby change surname to FRANCISCA JOANA RODRIGUES, H.No. 20, near Railway Station, Seraulim, Salcete, Goa 403708. (C 4223) 20-11-2012 I, Madhavan, holder of Indian Passport No. H5961296, son of Muthukrishanan, converted to Islam and do now hereafter be known by my new name MOHAMED SHARIF. (C 4217)

Prayer timings Fajr:










112 Ministry of Interior website:


s ta rs CROSSWORD 15

ACROSS 1. The federal agency that insures residential mortgages. 4. Measured by an angle or by the rate of change of an angle. 11. An independent agency of the United States government responsible for aviation and spaceflight. 15. Give a nickname to. 16. The line formed by measuring the hip at its greatest part. 17. Essential oil or perfume obtained from flowers. 18. A medicinal drug used to evoke vomiting (especially in cases of drug overdose or poisoning). 20. A strip of land projecting into a body of water. 21. Engage or hire for work. 22. A fast-growing tropical American evergreen having white flowers and white fleshy edible fruit. 24. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (trade names Acular and Toradol) that is administered only intramuscularly. 26. A cgs unit of work or energy. 27. Find repugnant. 28. A female tiger. 34. Tree frogs. 35. The atomic weight of an element that has the same combining capacity as a given weight of another element. 36. People having the same social or economic status. 40. The organ of sight (`peeper' is an informal term for `eye'). 41. Informal terms for clothing. 43. A city in the European part of Russia. 45. The basic unit of money in Romania. 46. An esoteric or occult matter that is traditionally secret. 48. European plant naturalized in North America. 50. A particular geographical region of indefinite boundary (usually serving some special purpose or distinguished by its people or culture or geography). 51. A French abbot. 53. An onerous or difficult concern. 54. An act or expression of criticism and censure. 57. In a smug manner. 59. Made of calico or resembling calico in being patterned. 62. A dry scab formed on the skin following a burn or cauterization of the skin. 64. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 65. A disease caused by deficiency of niacin or tryptophan (or by a defect in the metabolic conversion of tryptophan to niacin). 69. (music) The pace of music measured by the number of beats occurring in 60 seconds. 73. A republic in eastern Africa. 74. The most common computer memory which can be used by programs to perform necessary tasks while the computer is on. 75. Italian painter and sculptor and engineer and scientist and architect. 77. Explosive consisting of a yellow crystalline compound that is a flammable toxic derivative of toluene. 78. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 79. A great raja. 80. Water frozen in the solid state. DOWN 1. A federally sponsored corporation that

insures accounts in national banks and other qualified institutions. 2. A member of the Athapaskan people of the Trinity River valley in California. 3. Norwegian mathematician (1802-1829). 4. According to the Old Testament he was a pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel (9th century BC). 5. An intensive care unit designed with special equipment to care for premature or low-birth-weight or seriously ill newborn. 6. A physician who is not a specialist but treats all illnesses. 7. Relating to or near the ulna. 8. A statement that deviates from or perverts the truth. 9. The part of the nervous system of vertebrates that controls involuntary actions of the smooth muscles and heart and glands. 10. The selling of something purchased. 11. A member of any of various Indian peoples of central Mexico. 12. Departing or being caused to depart from the true vertical or horizontal. 13. (Old Testament) The wife of Abraham and mother of Isaac. 14. Large west African tree having large palmately lobed leaves and axillary cymose panicles of small white flowers and onewinged seeds. 19. An island (part of Campania) in the Bay of Naples in southern Italy. 23. Any plant of the genus Reseda. 25. Of or relating to or near the coccyx. 29. The eighth month of the civil year. 30. Plot of land belonging to an English parish church or an ecclesiastical office. 31. Tropical starchy tuberous root. 32. (Old Testament) The first king of the Israelites who defended Israel against many enemies (especially the Philistines). 33. Short and fat. 37. With a forward motion. 38. The capital and largest city of South Korea. 39. Covered with or resembling small bubbles as from being agitated by beating or heating. 42. Building material used as siding or roofing. 44. Usually describes a large person who is fat but has a large frame to carry it. 47. Of or relating to or containing barium. 49. The basic unit of money in Haiti. 52. Spread or daub over. 55. An international organization of European countries formed after World War II to reduce trade barriers and increase cooperation among its members. 56. Small genus of tropical African perennial bulbous herbs with deciduous twining stems. 58. South American plant cultivated for its large fragrant trumpet-shaped flowers. 60. Strike with disgust or revulsion. 61. A subsidiary proposition that is assumed to be true in order to prove another proposition. 63. A genus of Pyralidae. 66. The basic unit of money in Peru. 67. Make synchronous and adjust in time or manner. 68. The officer below the master on a commercial ship. 70. An advanced law degree. 71. The syllable naming the first (tonic) note of any major scale in solmization. 72. A nucleic acid consisting of large molecules shaped like a double helix. 76. A person who announces and plays popular recorded music.

Yesterday’s Solution

Word Search


Yesterday’s Solution

STAR TRACK Aries (March 21-April 19)

There is a need for focus in your professional life. Your drive and ambitions work well with whatever management skills and practical ability you have. You may find yourself examining and testing your limits. Generally, this is a good time to project your image. You produce a harmonious work environment. Any problems with a co-worker or customer that you have been talking with recently will work out to your advantage today. This afternoon you work hard to set up systems and schedules and stick to them! You put forth a lot of effort, in particular regarding your career. Circumstances should work together now to help make your dreams real. You may need to help with errands on the home front this evening.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

A lucrative turnaround is expected where you dared to invest a few months ago. If you have not invested, now is a good time. Work moves along quickly now and it is fortunate that there are very few interruptions. Much can be accomplished. Today, there is real insight into your career, co-workers, customers, friends, loved ones and yourself. Funny—a little extra money seems to make everything move in manageable ways. This afternoon there is some sort of neighborhood meeting and your attention is important. Others need your opinion and visa-versa. This evening you teach the people you love to take time for fun—even if there are plenty of chores. There are fun ways to handle the chores. You may want to cook tonight—make it colorful!

Gemini (May 21-June 20) Give much thought to the interruptions that come to your attention today. There may be no sure answers—compromise may be in order. You enjoy working hard most of the time and today is no exception. You exercise skill and discipline in your career and reputation. There is a need for a timeout period occasionally—you can become rather intense. It, however, may be difficult to persuade you to ease up just now—you could be feeling the stresses of the demands of winter. Being successful in life is easy, but you hate slowdowns and will work hard today to complete any unfinished business. This evening will find you involved in helping older persons—perhaps in some volunteer program. You may find yourself enjoying friends as well.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

Your work is proving to take little effort this day. You are future-oriented and application-minded. You tend to allocate jobs, see to mail, sign papers, answer the phone and set up schedules; other than this . . . your day falls together quite simply. Instead of going out alone, you may decide to hang out with friends during the noon break and shop after work. A few loose ends for the holidays are easy for you to manage. You may even talk a loved one into an early movie or take the kids out for a treat. If you do not have kids, you might find yourself just generally goofing off and having fun with a hobby this evening. It certainly is a great time to be appreciative of what you have now and of your achievements.

Leo (July 23-August 22)

Outer circumstances are favorable for you to complete any unfinished jobs today. You like to stay on top of the news and may find yourself busily occupied inside the nearest library during your lunch break. It is as if distractions took hold and robbed you of any information you needed to be successful. This afternoon you will find that communication and research in all forms have returned you to where you need to be in your career. You must be psychic regarding the need to gain information; all that time in the library will pay off well. You also have great insight into matters of personal freedom. You come up with brilliant ways to express yourself. There is an opportunity to attend a play this evening—enjoy.

Virgo (August 23-September 22)

Today is not as pushy a day as yesterday, but the day still holds some opportunities for good accomplishments. You have set some examples for others to follow and you will find yourself really enjoying your work. There is a need to be respected and this may lead to faster than necessary decisions. You develop a knack for organizing things and people, as a sense of ambition and a businesslike manner are obvious to all. Close relationships are important to you and you always set aside the time necessary to nurture each relationship. You may be able to change someone’s mind today—you may also feel the need to try. New relationships seem to come on like gangbusters. A partner has a mesmerizing impact on you . . . very compelling.

Libra (September 23-October 22) Your business expertise is highlighted; you may find that you are more confident today in how the business world survives and what part you can play. There is a more dynamic and outgoing quality to your life style. You are motivated to achieve—perhaps in trying some new techniques. Understanding inner motivations and seeing through to the cause of situations, you feel an added bit of power and enlightenment. As you try to balance the different areas of your life, you may find ways to take on some sort of charity work. Emotional security and a sense of belonging and nurturing are issues that are instinctively felt. You may find that someone close to you is supportive of your ideas at work or in the family. You could come up with new solutions.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21)

It may take quite a bit of effort to stay focused today—but you manage. The ability to communicate with superiors may make up the bulk of your day today. You are most comfortable when you are subjected to the world of ideas and discussions surrounding those ideas. You may help to create the path to a most positive end result. This could mean suggestions of sales or purchases that would put your company in a more lucrative position. This afternoon you may find yourself shopping and purchasing some last minute items for the upcoming family get-together. You may be experiencing a cycle of nostalgia and domesticity now emphasizing a need for a sense of roots. Family, home and relatives play a bigger part in your life now.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) A new co-worker reveals his or her hobby is similar to your own hobby. The rest of the day, you may be looking to find time to become better acquainted. A new friend is a happy addition to this busy day. Work becomes consuming as you put your efforts into completing projects, answering questions and generally pulling things together. Your sense of quality, whether it is in the character of another, a good business deal or the purchases you make, tests your ability to make decisions today. You could make your living with your good taste. You may be called upon to teach others the ability to make decisions. You understand how to make choices and can spot the right ones. This evening brings about some fun opportunities to interact with those you love.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) Although the holidays are near at hand, today is a productive time to work and get things accomplished. Your career or life-path tends to move in the direction of your special talents. You are able to respond and make something special out of ideas, insights . . . whatever is new and challenging. The business world may call for your ability to react and build on opportunities. This could involve travel or management responsibilities. Your urge to organize and be practical with your responsibilities amounts to a minor obsession. Your career motivation is constant—you may reach new highs of accomplishment. This will bring great discipline and a concentration or focus that could make or break you—the ability to work hard. A love relationship will blossom.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18)

Work issues may not be easy to solve, but you struggle to find the quickest solution possible. You may find yourself teaching a new co-worker some of the finer techniques of their job. You are a competent teacher who can teach with a special technique and capture most anyone’s attention. The noon break today may be a great time to get out and enjoy the out-of-doors, even if the weather is unstable—take protection. You rush to finish work a little early this afternoon so that you can rush through the preliminaries for tomorrow’s plans. That turkey will not go anywhere—stop and enjoy the evening meal with family members. Perhaps someone will help you with the errand running before the evening meal—all you have to do is ask.

Pisces (February 19-March 20) A relentless getting-down-to-essentials makes your sense of management and practical vision very deep. You have a sense of how business will progress before the day even begins and can work with whatever problems come to your attention. Someone in the public may tease your emotions but overall, this has the potential for a very productive day. You concentrate on money management today. Perhaps you are learning new ways in which to handle your finances. Outer circumstances are favorable—it should be easy to push forward with most any project. Whatever your schedule is for this day, it will seem to work out in your favor. A very simple gathering of friends this evening reveals you at your most elegant. This is a very full day!


inform ation For labor-related inquiries and complaints: Call MSAL hotline 128 GOVERNORATE Sabah Hospital


Amiri Hospital


Maternity Hospital


Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital


Chest Hospital


Farwaniya Hospital


Adan Hospital


Ibn Sina Hospital


Al-Razi Hospital


Physiotherapy Hospital






Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan

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

23915883 23715414 23726558


Modern Jahra Madina Munawara

Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92

24575518 24566622


Ahlam Khaldiya Coop

Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop

22436184 24833967


New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan

Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11

24734000 24881201 24726638

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

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

25726265 25647075 22625999 22564549 25340559 25326554 25721264 25380581 25628241






















Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh








Kaizen center


















Abdullah Salem




Industrial Shuwaikh






Bneid Al-Gar






Ayoun Al-Qibla










Maidan Hawally






W Hawally






New Jahra


West Jahra


South Jahra


North Jahra


North Jleeb








N Khaitan





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


Plastic Surgeons Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalaf


Dr. Khaled Hamadi

Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari


Dr. Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rashed

Dr. Abdel Quttainah


Family Doctor Dr Divya Damodar


Psychiatrists Dr. Esam Al-Ansari


Dr Eisa M. Al-Balhan


Gynaecologists & Obstetricians DrAdrian arbe


Dr. Verginia s.Marin

2572-6666 ext 8321


25665898 25340300

Dr. Zahra Qabazard


Dr. Sohail Qamar


Dr. Snaa Maaroof


Dr. Pradip Gujare


Dr. Zacharias Mathew


(1) Ear, Nose and Throat (2) Plastic Surgeon Dr. Abdul Mohsin Jafar, FRCS (Canada)



Dr. Fozeya Ali Al-Qatan


Dr. Majeda Khalefa Aliytami


Dr. Shamah Al-Matar


Dr. Ahmad Al-Khooly


Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed



Dr. Abidallah Al-Amer


Dr. Faysal Al-Fozan


Dr. Abdallateef Al-Katrash


Dr. Abidallah Al-Duweisan


Dr. Bader Al-Ansari


General Surgeons Dr. Amer Zawaz Al-Amer


Dr. Mohammad Yousef Basher


Internists, Chest & Heart Dr. Adnan Ebil Dr. Latefa Al-Duweisan

22666300 25728004

Dr. Nadem Al-Ghabra


Dr. Mobarak Aldoub


Dr Nasser Behbehani


Soor Center Tel: 2290-1677 Fax: 2290 1688



Dr. Mousa Khadada


Dr. Sohal Najem Al-Shemeri


Dr. Jasem Mola Hassan


Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman


Dr. Mohammad Al-Shamaly


Dr. Foad Abidallah Al-Ali


Kaizen center 25716707


Dr. Ahmad Al-Ansari 25658888 Dr. Kamal Al-Shomr 25329924 Physiotherapists & VD Dr. Deyaa Shehab


Dr. Musaed Faraj Khamees


Rheumatologists: Dr. Adel Al-Awadi

Dr Anil Thomas

Dr. Salem soso

Dr. Abd Al-Naser Al-Othman


Dr. Khaled Al-Jarallah


Internist, Chest & Heart DR.Mohammes Akkad

24555050 Ext 210

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


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

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

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



lifest yle G o s s i p

apper and entrepreneur 50 Cent is taking a swing at promoting boxing in Nevada. Nevada Athletic Commission executive Keith Kizer said Monday the entertainer and businessman whose real name is Curtis James Jackson III won approval last week for a promoter’s license. The company is called SMS Promotions. It’s handling a Dec 8 bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas between Cuban-born Miami-based boxer Yuriorkis Gamboa and an opponent yet to


ollywood star and environmentalist Robert Redford lent his name on Monday to a new nature conservancy at a Southern California college, saying he hoped the research institute could help the environmentally abused region. The 12-acre Robert Redford Conservancy for Southern California Sustainability at Pitzer College, endowed with $10 million from Hyatt hotel heir Nicholas Pritzker and his wife Susan, will house research and education facilities for environmental issues in Southern California, the college said. Redford, 76, a Los Angeles native, said watching the city grow at break-


eandro Penna would “never” go back to Katie Price because she is “empty inside”. The Argentinean model first started dating the 34-year-old star in February 2011, before breaking up last month, and he has revealed he could not get back together with her - despite her wanting him to - because he feels he never knew “the real” her. He said: “Leaving her was the best decision I ever made. She was still messaging me two weeks ago, begging me to come back, but I’m never going back and I’ve told her to leave me alone. “I feel Katie tricked me into leaving my life in Argentina. She saw our relationship as a business and she loves being famous. She made a lot of money out of me with her reality show and by selling pictures and interviews. Inside, she’s empty.” Leandro also reveals Katie is “self-obsessed” and always gets angry about Victoria Beckham’s lifestyle as soccer player David Beckham’s wife because it is something she can never have. He told Reveal magazine: “She spends morning, noon and night looking at pictures of herself online - she is selfobsessed. “Katie is very jealous of all


neck speeds with little regard for nature after World War Two had influenced his environmental advocacy. “This is the city I grew up in, and it’s the city I grew disappointed in because I saw it disappear,” the actor and director told Reuters. “I saw the city that I grew up in, that I loved, disappear because of uncontrolled development and greed, and it lost itself. Los Angeles County, the nation’s most populous at 9.9 million, is notorious for its sprawl, smog, traffic congestion and energy consumption. California emits the second-highest volume of greenhouse gases among all US states after Texas, according to World Resources Institute, an environmental think tank. Pitzer College, located 30 miles east of Los Angeles in Claremont, California, said the conservancy aims to influence policymaking, and Redford said his role will be in part to document its research through his Sundance television channel. “The real question is going to be how can this move from here to other places?” said “The Sting” actor. “And to me that gets into storytelling. ... The entertainment industry can play a role in this by helping increase the distribution of this idea.” The conservancy is scheduled to open to students in autumn 2014.

WAGs because she sees their lifestyle as safe whereas she doesn’t feel safe. “Victoria Beckham makes her very angry. She’s jealous of her friend Danielle Lloyd and says things like, ‘Her husband gave her a Bentley.’ “

be named. Messages left Monday with the company in New York City weren’t returned. Kizer says 50 Cent and boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr had been talking about forming a promotions company called TMT Promotions. But the rapper told the commission those plans fell through, and the fledgling business was being absorbed by SMS Promotions.

ylvester Stallone’s 16-year-old daughter Sophia-Rose will be among the 21 young women stepping out at the debutantes’ ball in Paris this weekend, organizers said on Monday. Taking place at the glitzy Crillon Hotel on Saturday, the ball will also draw the daughter of US actress Rosanna Arquette, 18-year-old Zoe-Bleu Sidel, as well as Lily Rivkin, 17, daughter of the US ambassador to France Charles Rivkin. Launched in 1992, the high-society highlight updates a custom stretching back to the royal courts of France and England. Dressed in haute couture and accompanied by cherry-picked cavaliers the young women from 14 countries, daughters of a global elite of actors, business leaders and aristocrats, will have dinner before the big dance. “Le Bal” is held every year in late November during the US Thanksgiving weekend. Proceeds from this year’s event will go to the “Enfants d’Asie” charity for Asian children. Past debutantes include the daughters of actors Forest Whittaker, Clint Eastwood, the blockbuster author Daniele Steel or car tycoon Carlos Ghosn, and the granddaughters of ex-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.


prah Winfrey believes there has never been a “star” like Justin Bieber. The chat-show host has revealed a clip from her upcoming interview with the award-winning pop sensation on ‘Oprah’s Next Chapter’, in which she discusses his rise to fame and compares his “screaming fans” to those of legendary musicians such as Michael Jackson. After referring to the similarities between this interview and her chat with the ‘Thriller’ hitmaker in 1993 she says: “Justin Bieber is a phenomenon for our time and just like Elvis Presley; just like the Beatles and also like Michael Jackson he has millions of screaming fans all over the world. He’s adored by them.” The clip then shows a teaser of Oprah and Justin sat together, with Oprah telling him: “There’s never been a star like you. Do you realize that?” to which the 18-year-old singer responds: “What do you mean by that?” She then proceeds to talk about how Justin is a “product” of social media websites like twitter, which helped boost his international success, as well as reminiscing about when she use to obsess over Sir Paul McCartney. She says: “Obviously lots of people compare your audiences to Michael Jackson’s audiences - the screaming fans and your audience’s to the Beatles fans. “I mean when I saw the crowd last night it reminded me of myself and Paul McCartney, you know? “But even those


olden Horse-nominated director Niu Chen Zer says he gets tremendous joy doing work he loves and he’s found a new way to share it with the world. His company, Honto Productions, is joining with another Taiwan-based film company, Atom Cinema, to release eight television and film projects over three years. China’s Huayi Brothers will be an investment and distribution partner in the collaboration announced Sunday. Niu said he will look for suitable projects as a producer and wants to help raise Mandarin-language films to the next level. “I’m ready,” Niu said. “For the rest of my life, other than making a few more good films, I want to share with others everything I know and the resources I have. I want to share it with the world.” The collaboration comes at a pivotal moment in Taiwanese cinema, which has made a comeback in recent years after a long period of poor performances at the box office. Niu said that through exchanges and collaborations between filmmakers in Taiwan, China and Hong Kong, he sees a


aylor Swift has a “committee” to vet her new boyfriends. The ‘Trouble’ singer - who is dating One Direction lothario Harry Styles - makes decisions about her love life entirely based on what her close group of girlfriends think and says they come up with solutions to problems together. Taylor said: “I am totally a girl’s girl! My girlfriends have stopped me from making a lot of bad choices. Your girlfriends are objective, they don’t feel the desperate passionate feelings you’re feeling. “They just see that he cheated on you, he lied about it - and you still consider this as a viable option? We are totally those girls who say, ‘He said he wants me back, do I text him back? Do I not text him back What do I do? Freeze him out? Yeah, OK, freeze him out’. It’s a committee.” The blonde beauty has dated a string of A-list men including Taylor Lautner, Jake Gyllenhaal and John Mayer, and initially struck up a romance with Harry earlier this year before they split. Ladies man Harry, 18, should take notice that Taylor, 22, recently insisted cheating is a total deal breaker for her and she would never put up with a man who strayed. She said: “I can’t deal with someone cheating on you. I don’t ever want to end up in a relationship that isn’t fair ever again.”


tremendous legends who really changed the face of music for our culture did not have a start-up like yours because you are a product of, to a great extent, social media. So therefore there’s never been a star like you.” The full interview on ‘Oprah’s Next Chapter’ will air on ‘OWN’ on Sunday November 25 at 9pm EST.

better future for Mandarin-language films. This announcement came a week before the Golden Horse Awards, which honor Mandarin-language films. Niu is a nominee for best director for “Love,” which has three other nominations. He was just 17 when he received his first Golden Horse acting nod for “Growing Up” in 1983, an experience he proudly called one of his most exciting and nerve-wracking. “I didn’t expect to win, nor did I want to win,” he said. “However, as the date of the award ceremony approaches, you begin to have a lot of imaginations, thinking ‘wouldn’t it be nice if I win?’ When you’re sitting at your seat, it’s very nervewracking. I remember that. Your heart is pounding, when they announce the winner and it’s not you, it’s like a rollercoaster ride. I remembered it well.” He said he loves his work, so any award he might receive is a “bonus.”


lifestyle F e a t u r e s

nion-domed Orthodox churches. Solemn Catholic cathedrals. Cobblestone streets lined with mansions. A movie theater built on the ashes of a synagogue. These landmarks stand as testament to the shifting identities of the Ukrainian city of Chernivtsi. As wars raged and empires fell, Chernivtsi reflected the heritage and traditions of its residents and rulers: Austro-Hungarian, Jewish, Romanian, Soviet and Ukrainian. Today, a walk around Chernivtsi is a journey through time, from a statue of a Habsburg emperor, to a deserted Jewish cemetery, to a Soviet tank. But Chernivtsi has many faces. While it offers lessons in the often painful history of 20th century Europe, its elegant prewar architecture and streetscapes have earned it the nickname of the Little Paris or Little Vienna of Ukraine. Streets signs may be hidden by grapevines laden with fruit; wedding processions parade down romantic cobblestone streets, and portraits of Austrian rulers line the walls of a cafe. Chernivtsi was founded as a Slavic fortress on the Prut River in the 12th century. It was part of the medieval principality of Moldavia until being annexed by the AustroHungarian empire in the late 18th century. Renamed Czernowitz, it flourished under the Habsburgs and grew from a small provincial town into a bustling, ethnically diverse center of trade, crafts, culture and education. With the fall of the Austro-Hungarian empire in 1918 at the end of World War I, the region became part of Romania. Soviet forces briefly occupied Chernivtsi at the start of World War II, but were soon ousted by Nazi-allied Romanian forces. The Red Army retook it in 1944 and incorporated it into the Ukrainian republic, which is now Ukraine. The jewel of the city is a giant palace-like complex that originally housed Orthodox church leaders. It is now the home of Chernivtsi University and a UNESCO heritage site.


The Jewish cemetery, one of the largest in eastern Europe, is seen in Chernivtsi.

Built in the late 19th century by the renowned Czech architect Josef Hlavka, the monumental central building turns into a landmark Orthodox church on one side and a soaring clock tower on the other. On weekdays, the campus is filled with students, but on weekends, it’s taken over by tourists walking slowly to appreciate its full magnificence. The university’s icon-lined Church of Three Saints is also a popular destination for exchanging vows, while the manicured bushes, lawns and park are perfect for wedding photo shoots, the brides in white and grooms in black, trailed by photographers and droves of friends and family.

University Street runs from the school to the Chernivtsi movie theater, which serves as an unlikely reminder of the city’s Jewish history. Before the war, Chernivtsi was a vibrant center of Jewish life, home to several dozen synagogues and some 45,000 Jews, or about a third of the city’s population. Only a third of the Jewish population survived the Holocaust and the war, and most of them then emigrated to Israel and the United States. Today, Chernivtsi has a total population of 250,000 including little more than 1,000 Jews. Signs of Jewish life are few: two synagogues, a small Jewish history museum, a Hebrew school and a rundown Jewish cemetery, one of the largest in Eastern Europe. The remains of the city’s main synagogue, which was partially destroyed during the war, were turned into a cinema by the Soviets. Locals have dubbed the blue building the Cinegogue. Nearby is Theater Square, which was once the site of a food bazaar and was called Elizabethplatz in honor of the Austrian Empress Elizabeth. Now it is home to the highly regarded Chernivtsi Drama Theater, built there at the beginning of the 20th century. Next to the Central Square and city hall is the pedestrian-only Olha Kobylianska street, named for a Ukrainian writer and women’s rights activist who celebrated this region in her works. Lined with elegant two- and threestory houses from the turn of the 20th century, the romantic cobblestone street, a popular site for wedding processions, is dotted with benches, trees and outdoor cafes. Popular eateries on Kobylianska include the Videnska Kava (Vienna Cafe) and Koleso (The Wheel). At Videnska Kava, customers slowly sip coffee under solemn portraits of Austrian monarchs and tackle giant servings of delicious cake big enough for two. At Koleso, hearty Ukrainian fare includes banush, traditional porridge made of corn flour boiled in sour cream. Count Vorontsov’s Wine Cellar on Shalom Aleichem Street offers both regional and European cuisine. Try to catch an evening organ concert at the 19th century Armenian Church, also built by Hlavka in a mix of Roman, Byzantine and Gothic styles typical of medieval monasteries of this region. Farther down Armenian Street is St. Nicholas

Cathedral, nicknamed “the drunken church” because the pillars of its side domes are canted as if falling over. This is one of the few Chernivtsi churches that continued to operate during the Soviet era, which is why its icons, stained glass panels and the relics of Orthodox martyrs are well-preserved. At the central bazaar on Chervonoarmiyska (Red Army) Street, you’ll find salo, the salted pork lard that is a hallmark of Ukrainian cuisine. Villagers will be selling eggs, milk “from just under the cow” and freshly skinned poultry, and you might even spot a tired middle-aged woman selling giant mushrooms picked in the woods to subsidize her meager pension. It’s yet another side to this city’s many identities, and one you’re not likely to find in the real Paris or Vienna. — AP

The UNESCO-protected Chernivtsi Universtiy is seen in Chernivtsi, a city of 250,000 in southwestern Ukraine.

A man walks down the pedestrian-only Olha Kobylianska street in Chernivtsi.

razilian food is based on three main traditions: Native American, Portuguese and African from the west part of the continent. That first combination was followed by other traditions such as Spanish and Italian, German, Middle Eastern and even Japanese cultures. All that combined created the unique cuisine of Brazil that is presented with distinction in each corner of the country. It is an enormous territory and it has many genuine ingredients and ways to deal with its richness. One of the main ingredients that is often called the “Brazilian bread” (CASCUDO, 1983) is the mandioca (manioc). With this reach ingredient Brazilians can make distinct kinds of farinhas de mandioca (manioc flour), that are bases for recipes of breads, cakes, sauces, stews, soups and helps the people to be fed with a rich and nutritional component. Making it an ingredient that sustains the country farmers’ activities and also keeps alive the ancient knowledge that we inherited by native Americans. Also its sub-products are starting to reach Chefs de Cuisine world-wide. Tapiocas, polvilhos, tucupi, pubas, are few of the manioc derivates and it is technology inherited by the native Americans that first leaved in Brazil.


new niche fragrance concept has been created and launched by Beidoun Trading Company. A boutique combining 24 Niche brands all gathered under one roof in a beautiful elegant decor setting. To commemorate the moment and the concept, a floral ribbon cutting ceremony took place last Wednesday to inaugurate “Parfumerie d’Exception” in the presence of Beidoun Trading Company CEO Jamil Z Beidoun and Sheik Duaij AlSabah as guest of honor, and Anna Carla founder of the fragrance called “1528”, one of the best sellers in Parfumerie d’Exception.


Beidoun stated that, “the word Parfumerie d’Exception is hard to pronounce but has a deep meaning depicting the exceptional fragrances existing in the store”. Beidoun continued “This boutique is the outcome of three years of research creating concept, brand and design.” The philosophy surrounding Parfumerie d’Exception is: “No matter how amazing the concept may be, the true point of difference is in the brand portfolio within the exclusivity of those brands”.

Flavors from the Coast: Moquem, Moqueca, Muqueca, Pokeka Moquear is an expression that comes from Moquem, the most ancient way to cook and defumate a protein in Brazil. This manner was inherited by the native Americans. Also comes from their knowledge (mixed with Portuguese and Africans in Bahia) the way to do the Moqueca which is a tasty fish stew popular in Bahia and in Espirito Santo provinces. It’s generally made with fish, onions, garlic, peppers, tomato and cilantro, In Bahia it is usually made with coconut milk and palm tree dende oil and in Espirito Santo they make moqueca with colorau. It’s traditionally cooked in a clay pot: the pot is very important, so much so that in the capital of Espirito Santo, Vitoria, making the pots is an important industry. The woman that makes the pots are called “paneleiras”, and its works are recognized and protected by IPHAN (Brazilian Patrimony Organism) as an National Cultural Heritage cognizance. Moqueca is a fresh fish, very perfumed dish that evokes flavors that you can fall in love with. Moqueca (pronounced mo-ke-ka) has a smell of fresh herbs and spices when it is prepared and this smells wafting through the air, are utterly seductive.

The key utensils and ingredients to make a good Moqueca are: A clay cooking pot (The clay retains the heat, and keeps the sauce hot, as you ladle it out over the fish). Fresh ingredients (fresh ingredients are integral to any fish dish, and especially so for Moqueca). Colorau, a powder condiment made of Urucum, that is an exotic fruit from the Amazon used by indigenous Brazilians to prevent heart disease, medicate skin irritations, color and thicken dishes. The seeds only are used. As a replacement try using safflower or sweet paprika. Out in the Countryside: Sertao e Pantanal Brazil is a huge country, rather then divide the cuisine in regions it is a better way to think about its biomas and cultural characteristics on which people are installed. A good way to understand the Brazilian Food & Culture matters is to see the country as coastside and countryside. Looking into the country can be found the culture of the sertanejo, the caipira and the pantaneiro. All of these people has in common dishes based on sun dried meat and jerk beef, and in sub-products made out corn, manioc and fruits. In Sertao do Nordeste you can find a tasteful culinary based on sugar and salt. Dishes such as: escondidinhos, buchada de bode, mungunza, galinha a cabidela, atolado de bode, bolo Souza Leao, bolo de noiva, pe-de-moleque... A non-stop selections of impressive good food. In the Cerrado, a bioma that is located mostly in the center-west part of the country, many dishes made with pork meat and also chicken are celebrated. The famous galinhada com pequi is from that area, and also the pamonhas, a kind of cake sweat or salty, made with fresh green corn and wraped on corn stover. From Pantanal, one of the richests biomas in the world, many species of fauna and flora are combined with the way of life of the pantaneiro. The men that first fixed on that land the local economy: to raise cattle to survive. Over there you have a very strong and fulfilled breakfast that is called: “QuebraTorto” that presents different kinds of homemade breads, salty corn cakes and rice and jerky beef called: arroz-carreteiro. Also important is the churrasco pantaneiro, a meat barbecue made in a rustical role with fire from a special wood found in the area, called “anjico”. Served with boiled mandioca and farofa.


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Fight over ‘Modern Family’ star returns to court

judge is scheduled to wade into the messy family dynamics of teen actress Ariel Winter and determine whether the “Modern Family” star should stay away from her mother, who has been described in court filings as physically and emotionally abusive. At a hearing today, Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas will consider whether the 14- year-old should continue living with her sister, who has temporary guardianship of the actress. The judge will have more information to consider than he did on Oct 3, when he temporarily stripped Chrisoula Workman of custody of her daughter. Workman has denied all accusations of abuse and filed more than two dozen declarations from friends, acquaintances, stylists and others who say they’ve never witnessed any abuse. Winter’s father, Glenn Workman, also filed an objection to the guardianship late Monday, stating he wants a better relationship with his daughter and would be willing to care for her. Winter has been in the care of her adult sister, Shanelle Gray, who was removed from Chrisoula Workman’s care in the 1990s amid accusations of abuse. Chrisoula Workman contends Gray was a rebellious teen who left home and that she is contending with a similar situation with Winter, who has been acting since age 7 and currently stars as Alex Dunphy on the hit ABC series “Modern Family.” People on the show’s set are concerned about Winter’s wellbeing and have been sneaking her food, according to in-court statements by Gray’s attorney, Michael Kretzmer. Gray’s filing states Chrisoula Workman has repeatedly slapped Winter and engaged in emotional abuse, including namecalling. “The allegations made by Ariel are false,” said Chrisoula Workman’s attorney Anita Gumm.


Ariel Winter attends the World Premiere of “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1” at The Paley Center for Media, in Beverly Hills, Calif. — AP “We really feel she’s just a rebellious teen and wants her independence. It’s our hope that the court terminates the guardianship. Both parents want Ariel home. Shanelle is not suitable to be a guardian.” Glenn Workman’s filing Monday does not address the abuse allegations, but states he believes his daughter should be returned to live with Chrisoula Workman, or that he be allowed to

Brazilians Claudio Torres, left, and Mauro Wilson, right, flank presenter Cheyenne Jackson after winning the Comedy award for “The Invisible Woman”.

raise her. “I want to provide for her a calm loving home environment that is a retreat from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood; a place where she can think and relax without any distractions,” Glenn Workman wrote. “This whole situation has turned into a circus and places Ariel in a position she should not have to be in.” Kretzmer declined to

Producer Claude Chelli, left, and writer Abdul Raouf Dafri, center, celebrate winning an International Emmy for Drama Series for “Braquo” with presenter Victor Garber.

comment on Glenn Workman’s filing. He has previously told The Associated Press that it is unfortunate that the case became public, but that Winter was removed from her mother’s custody for good reasons. “The court granted a temporary guardianship, and I think any rational person will realize that the court simply doesn’t see the sky falling but has some basis for granting a temporary guardianship,” he said last week. During a contentious court hearing Workman lashed out at Gray, called Kretzmer a moron and accused Winter of screaming her and hitting her. “I think what we’ve got is a situation that’s not healthy, at least for a temporary ... basis,” Levanas said in early October. He ordered child welfare workers to conduct an investigation and appointed an attorney to represent Winter’s interests. Workman’s attorney has also scheduled a deposition of Gray for early December, and a review of Winter’s finances will be conducted. Currently, Gray has no access to Winter’s money, some of which should be in a special account meant to protect the earnings of child actors. Gumm and Workman have cited Gray’s finances as a reason why she should not be granted guardianship of her sister. But Kretzmer denied last week that money was an issue in the case. “There’s no truth whatsoever to Shanelle obtaining this guardianship for purposes of advancing her career or for some other personal gain,” Kretzmer said. “Shanelle is successful and has done very well in her own rights. This is a tragedy for her, too.” Winter has been acting since age 7, appearing in several TV series, including “ER” and “Phineas and Ferb,” and movies such as “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” “Ice Age: The Meltdown” and “ParaNorman.” — AP

Argentine actress Cristina Banegas, center, poses with presenters Donnie Wahlberg, left, and Bridget Moynihan after winning the Best Performance by an Actress award for her role in the miniseries “Television por la Inclusion.”

Alda, Lear honored at 40th International Emmys

roducer Ryan Murphy paid tribute at the International Emmy Awards to television legends Norman Lear and Alan Alda, whose cutting-edge, socially conscious shows in the ‘70s paved the way for his own shows like “Glee” and “The New Normal.” Unlike previous years when Britain dominated the International Emmys which honor excellence in television production outside the US, the winners in the nine categories this year spanned six countries. Argentina, Brazil and Britain each won two awards; Australia, France and Germany had one apiece. Murphy closed Monday night’s awards ceremony by presenting the 40th Anniversary Special Founders Award to “All in the Family” creator Lear and “M.A.S.H.” star Alda. The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences decided to mark the milestone anniversary with special awards honoring a producer and performer who had groundbreaking shows on TV in 1972 when the International Emmys were first presented. Murphy said he was pleased to be presenting the awards “to two of my idols, guys who really did change the face of television and thus the world.” Fittingly, the night’s big winner was Argentina’s “Television x la Inclusion,” a drama produced by On TV Contenidos dealing with issues of social exclusion and inclusion. It became the first series in the history of the International Emmys to sweep both acting categories. Dario Grandinetti, who starred in Pedro Almodovar’s film “Talk to Her,” won the best actor award for his portrayal of a divorced, xenophobic taxi driver determined to drive out his Peruvian neighbors. Cristina Banegas, a veteran Argentine theater, film and TV actress, was honored as best actress for her role as the mother of a girl with Down syndrome who fights her health insurance company when it won’t authorize life-saving heart surgery for her daughter. “Every episode was about a topic related to discrimination,” said a surprised and weeping Banegas as she accepted her award. “It was an hon-


or to participate in a work where ethics and television work together.” The British winners were in the documentary category for “Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die,” about the author who after his Alzheimer’s diagnosis travels to a Swiss clinic for a first-hand look at assisted suicide procedures, and “The Twilight Zone”inspired “Black Mirror,” a suspenseful and satirical look at the unease created by modern technology, in the TV movie/mini-series category. Both of Brazil’s wins went to TV Globo productions. “The Invisible Woman,” about a publicist married to his boss whose relationship is threatened by the appearance in his life of his imaginary ideal woman, was chosen the best comedy. “The Illusionist,” the story of a scam artist who becomes an illusionist after meeting a magician in jail, won in the telenovela category.

Murphy himself was honored midway through the awards ceremony hosted by Regis Philbin at the Hilton New York Hotel. Jessica Lange, the star of Murphy’s contemporary gothic TV series “American Horror Story,” gave a heart-felt tribute to her “dear and loyal friend” as she presented him with the honorary 2012 International Emmy Founders Award. “He has an uncanny intuition, an instinctive appreciation for understanding the current zeitgeist and acts on it in a way that to me is startling,” said Lange. Murphy, the writer, director and producer whose credits also include “Nip/Tuck” and “Popular,” described Lear as “the biggest shaper of my ideological life.” He recalled the impact that seeing an episode of “All in the Family” in which Edith Bunker almost gets raped had on him when he seven because it provoked a family discussion about

women’s rights. He hoped that his shows like “Glee” and “The New Normal” would shine a spotlight on issues of tolerance, human rights and confronting bigotry. Murphy said he recently asked Lear in a telephone conversation if he had any advice for him. “He paused ... and he said, ‘Keep fighting.’ And Norman, I want to tell you I am doing just that.” At the end of the ceremony, Murphy returned to the stage to give the special awards to Lear and Alda. In accepting his award, Alda, who played the wisecracking, anti-authoritarian Army surgeon Hawkeye Pierce, said Lear opened the door for a show like “M.A.S.H,” because on “All in the Family” he showed that “now we could be funny about things that were serious.” Alda, the only person ever to win US Emmys for acting, writing and directing in the same series, said

Annabel Jones of Great Britain holds her emmy after winning the TV Movie/MiniSeries award for ‘Black Mirror’.

Australians Zane Bair, left, and Michael McKay after winning the Non-Scripted Entertainment award for “The Amazing Race Australia”.

Alan Alda, right, touches statues with Norman Lear after winning Special Founders Awards at the 40th International Emmy Awards, Monday in New York. — AP photos

“M.A.S.H.” owed a special debt to the Korean War veterans who shared their personal stories. “These are the people who really lived through the stories we told decades later - the men and women in those hospital tents who went through the cold of winter and the blood and the pain, the loneliness, and seeing their patients die, some of who were only a couple of years away from being children,” Alda said. Lear, who met Murphy for the first time in person at a luncheon earlier in the day, said he felt deeply that “the world needs to come together and will come together through the arts.” Reeling off a list of present-day shows from “Homeland” and “Mad Men” to “Modern Family” and “The New Normal,” he

‘ Twilight’ tops US box office, as Bollywood sneaks he final chapter of the blockbuster “Twilight” vampire franchise took the biggest bite out of North America’s weekend box office-while a Bollywood film made a rare showing in the top 10. “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2,” the fifth and final installment of the wildly popular series based on novels by Stephenie Meyer, took $141.1 million, according to industry tracker Exhibitor Relations. But almost more eye-catching was “Jab Tak Hai Jaan (Till My Last Breath),” a three-hour extravaganza which was the


last film made by legendary Indian filmmaker Yash Chopra, the “king of romance,” before he died last month. The movie entered the top 10 at number 8, taking $1.3 million at the box office, a rare appearance for a Bollywood film in box office rankings usually dominated by Hollywood productions. The Hindi cinema legend, hailed for directing, producing and screen-writing some of India’s mostloved movies over several decades, died last month aged 80 after being admitted to hospital with dengue

fever. The box office top spot was, as expected, taken by the last “Twilight” movie. The previous four films, starting with the 2008 series opener “Twilight,” earned a colossal $2.4 billion altogether. In second place was the new James Bond movie “Skyfall,” last week’s top earner, which earned an estimated $41.1 million, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations. Third place went to the debut of the Steven Spielberg film “Lincoln,” starring Daniel Day Lewis in the role of America’s assassinated 16th president,

which had $21 million in ticket sales. “Wreck-It Ralph,” the animated Disney film about a video game villain with dreams of becoming a hero, earned $18.6 million for fourth place. Fifth went to the movie “Flight,” a star vehicle for Denzel Washington, who plays a crashlanding pilot with substance abuse problems. It pulled in $8.8 million. In sixth place was “Argo,” based on the true story of six Americans spirited out of Iran during the 1979-80 hostage crisis. The film directed by and starring Ben Affleck earned $4 million. “Taken

2,” Liam Neeson’s return as ex-CIA agent Bryan Mills, racked up $2.1 million for seventh place. After the Bollywood new entry in eighth spot came “Pitch Perfect,” a musical-comedy about a cappella singing group, which earned just under $1.3 million for ninth place. Rounding out the top 10 was “Here Comes the Boom,” a comedy starring Kevin James as a high school teacher on a quest to become a mixed martial arts fighter, with $1.2 million in tickets sold. — AFP


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This theater image released by Keith Sherman & Associates shows Johnny Rabe during a performance of “A Christmas Story, The Musical” in New York.


John Bolton with the company during a performance.

Musical of ‘ A Christmas Story’ is joyous e’ve all seen the scene in “A Christmas Story” when the kid gets his tongue stuck on a frozen flagpole. Now on Broadway is that very same scene - plus the kid actually singing through it, or at least trying to sing. “Sthlun luv a...,” he mumbles at the end. It’s just one great touch in a musical that dares to mess with one of the most popular Christmas-time movies of all time and yet manages to not only do the film justice, but top it. The show that opened Monday at the LuntFontanne Theatre is a charming triumph of imagination that director John Rando has infused with utter joy. It’s also a snappy piece of mature songwriting from a pair of guys barely as old as the original 1983 film. The duo, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, are making their Broadway debuts with a score that is funny, nostalgic, warm and tender. Among the best tunes are “Somewhere Hovering Over Indiana,” “Red Ryder Carbine Action BB Gun” and “Ralphie to the Rescue.” The book by Joseph Robinette honors the film - yes, the bright pink bunny suit and Chinese restaurant are both still there, as are most of the iconic moments - while adding zaniness. That stocking-clad plastic lamp leg that makes dad so happy? In the musical, multiple lamps come out onstage to, naturally, create a kick-line. The Bumpus hounds? Here, they’re real, two dogs bounding across the stage, adding a jolt of delight. The flagpole scene seems better when everyone is singing “Sticky Situation.” For those of you who have managed to avoid this particular Christmas staple, the film and musical are based on writer and radio-TV personality



Jean Shepherd’s semiautobiographical story of 9-yearold Ralphie Parker’s desperate attempt to land an air rifle as a Christmas gift, despite warnings from everyone that he’ll shoot his eye out. The cast is led by a multi-talented Johnny Rabe as Ralphie - some performances star Joe West in the role and a cast of skillful children, who can give the kids over at “Annie” a run for their money. One from the ensemble - 9-year-old tap dancing prodigy Luke Spring - brings the house down during a fantasy scene in a children’s speakeasy. Warren Carlyle’s inspired choreography manages to cut the sweetness with funny tart moments, such as the use of slow motion as a nod to the musical’s roots, or pyramids of people slightly off-kilter or manic elves at a department store. Dan Lauria, who played the dad in “The Wonder Years,” stars as the narrator and doesn’t have to work too hard, yet he brings a throwback warmth and sad shake of his head that adds instant nostalgia. An elastic John Bolton gets hysterically obsessed and flustered as the Old Man. Erin Dilly plays the mother with lovely grace and does a beautiful job with the touching song “What a Mother Does.” Caroline O’Connor is comedic gold as the daffy school teacher. At a recent preview, the audience seemed wellversed with the film and anticipatory laughs swirled even before well-known scenes had begun, but rarely did the new version fall flat. Purists may be upset to miss some film elements - such as Ralphie’s decoder ring - but few will walk away thinking “A Christmas Story” has been dishonored, itself a little Christmas miracle. — AP

This theater image released by Keith Sherman & Associates shows Johnny Rabe during a performance of “A Christmas Story, The Musical” in New York. — AP photos

John Bolton.

Phillip Phillips

‘Trapped’ on Broadway? R Kelly is working on it

s Broadway ready for Twan, Sylvester, Pimp Lucius and “the package”? R Kelly thinks so - and says he’s working to bring the wacky characters and plotlines in his even wackier “Trapped in the Closet” series to the Great White Way. The superstar announced on Monday night that he’s had an offer to bring the cult classic to the stage, and he may even be in some performances. “To transform it into a Broadway version, that’s what I’m working on,” he told a packed house at the Sunshine Theater, where he unveiled the latest chapters in “Trapped in the Closet,” which will debut on the IFC on Friday. Kelly gave no other details about a possible Broadway adaptation of the wildly popular video opera. It got its start from a stirring series of songs Kelly debuted in 2005, which ended with a cliff hanger. The songs captured so much attention, Kelly made an over-the-top video series about it that just got crazier and crazier as he added more chapters. Kelly has often referred to “Trapped” as an alien, and on Monday, he said: “I’m glad to be one of the astronauts to take this thing to the unknown.” He thanked the enthusiastic crowd for accepting the series, and admitted that he always wanted to act: “Somehow, I landed ‘Trapped in the Closet’ from being silly.” He also joked about the ridiculous nature of the series. “I’m just having a lot of fun. I don’t have a job so I sit in the studio all day and think of stuff to do and this is just something stupid I’ve done that’s been successful for me,” he said. “I’m having a lot of fun with it.” The latest chapters introduce a few new

looks at life beyond ‘American Idol’


R Kelly performs in Beverly Hills, Calif. —AP faces, and like the others series, ends with a cliffhanger. While it’s taken Kelly five years to add these latest chapters to the series, Kelly says he won’t take as long to produce more. “I want everybody to know I’ve got 85 chapters of ‘Trapped in the Closet’ waiting in the studio for y’all,” he said. “The chapters that are coming - the show, we call it - is going to exceed every chapter that you have ever seen.” Kelly capped of the evening with a rendition of one of his biggest hits, “I Believe I Can Fly,” for the audience. —AP

Jackie Chan: Upcoming film will be last big action movie ung Fu superstar Jackie Chan said that while the upcoming film “Chinese Zodiac 2012” will be his last major action movie, citing his increasing age, he will still be packing punches in the world of philanthropy. Chan wrote, directed and produced his latest film, set to premiere in cinemas in China next month. He also plays the lead role and said that he regarded it the “best film for myself” in the last ten years. “I’m the director, I’m the writer, I’m the producer, I’m the action director, almost everything,” the 58-year-old Hong Kong actor told Reuters while in Beijing to film a documentary. “This really, really is my baby.


Jackie Chan

You know, I’ve been writing the script for seven years,” and the film took a year and half to make, he added. In the film, Chan is a treasure hunter seeking to repatriate sculpture heads of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac, which were taken from Beijing’s Summer Palace by French and British forces during the Opium Wars. He said it was an important movie for him because it will be his last major action feature, although he insisted it is not the end of his action career. “I’m not young any more, honestly,” he said, noting that with special effects technology and doubles a lot can be done without physical risk. “Why (do) I have to use my own life to still do these kind of things?” he said. “I will still do as much as I can. But I just don’t want to risk my life to sit in a wheelchair, that’s all.” Chan was recently awarded the Social Philanthropist of the Year award by Harpers Bazaar magazine. He said he wanted to increase time devoted to charitable work and hoped China’s leagues of newly wealthy will follow his example - which he underlined by auctioning a Bentley 666 for around 6 million yuan ($961,837). China now has more billionaires than any other Asian country, but very few philanthropic organizations, and giving to charity remains a relatively new phenomenon in the world’s most populous country. Chan said while Chinese philanthropists have made some encouraging strides, much more still needs to be done - a task made harder by the Internet, with netizens willing to leap on every perceived wrong move. “Right now people (must) very, very be careful, but that doesn’t stop them to want to do the charity. I think it’s a good sign,” Chan said. — Reuters

ike the 10 winners before him, Phillip Phillips faces the uneven road from “American Idol” victor to pop-chart mainstay. After the success of his Top 10 hit, “Home,” the Georgia native is facing a new challenge - to replicate the mainstream successes of past “Idol” winners Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson on his debut album, “The World from the Side of the Moon,” released on Monday by Interscope Records. Phillips, 22, spoke to Reuters about making his first proper studio album, what he might do differently on a second one, and whether he could have won “Idol” with this season’s panel of judges.


Q: How do you plan to transition from “American Idol” winner to a mainstream music career? A: “It’s pretty funny that you mention that because the majority of the people I meet don’t even know that I was on ‘Idol.’ It’s really cool to hear that. When I go home, people ask, ‘What’ve you been doing? I’ve heard your song,’ but they don’t even know that I’ve been on ‘Idol.’” Q: Your first single “Home” has gone twice platinum. You’ve said that it isn’t a song you would have written yourself. What’s your relationship now with your first hit? A: “It’s amazing how well it has done, and I look at all the stories that I hear like how it has helped families out with their situation, or something’s happened with their kid, mom or dad, or if their child’s overseas in the war. Something like that’s pretty amazing how many different stories come out of it.” Q: Did you have any ideas on how you wanted to develop your sound finally getting into a big-time studio? A: “I already had the songs written, and it was just a matter of throwing in ideas and then just trimming it down to what felt right, because we only had three weeks to do this album. So it was kind of pressured, but that kind of helped out as well. It didn’t make us overthink anything.”

Q: Was there anything in particular you wanted to achieve? A: “I wanted to make it similar to what I did on the show - a horn section and some rock. I tried to be a little artistic. I just wrote what came from my heart and what felt right.” Q: Unlike many of the other contestants, you went into “Idol” as a songwriter, how many of the album’s songs did you write? A: “I think five. Some of the co-writes, (the writers) really just kind of pushed me, so I kind of wrote most of those myself. But it was a lot of fun; it was a great experience.” Q: Would you do anything differently next time? A: “It’s still early, but I’d definitely want a little more time to do it. But that’s really about it, because three weeks is just really quick, and also I have just so many other things going on. ... It was very kind of stressful and hopefully for the next record I’ll have a little more time.” Q: What would that time allow you to do in the studio? A: “Just being able to listen to it a little more. We all knew that it sounded really good but also having to listen to, like 17 songs in a row. You say, ‘Yeah that sounds great’ but you listen to it more and more and (say) ‘Maybe I would’ve brought this instrument down a little bit or brought it up a little bit more.’” Q: Would you have fared any differently on ‘Idol’ with the current judges Nicky Minaj and Mariah Carey? A: “I don’t know. I’m curious to see how they’re going to judge. It’s a completely different panel this year. ... I don’t really know how I would’ve turned out. Maybe I’ll have to go out and audition again (laughs).” Q: Would you have had to change your roots-y style? A: “Naw, I would’ve still been the same dude. If they wouldn’t have sent me through, they wouldn’t have sent me through. And if they did, that’d be awesome.”—Reuters

Review: Musical of ‘A Christmas Story’ is joyous



A woman visits the “Rita Mae West room” designed by Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dali during an exhibition devoted to his work at the Centre Pompidou contemporary art center (aka Beaubourg) on November 19, 2012 in Paris. —AFP photos

Genius or clown? Paris show weighs Dali legacy

wirling his waxed moustache, Salvador Dali’s larger-than-life figure was beamed into millions of homes in the 1960s, his televised antics bringing huge fame, but burning his bridges with the art world. Now a major new Paris exhibit aims to reinstate that legacy, putting Dali’s media stuntsburying himself in banknotes, signing books wired to a brain monitor, even ad campaigns-on equal footing with his surrealist painting. “We wanted to show Dali in his full splendor, from one end to the other of his career,” said Alfred Pacquement, director of the Pompidou Centre modern art museum, which hosted the last major retrospective on the Spanish artist in 1979. Co-produced with Madrid’s Reina Sofia museum, the show opening for


four months on Wednesday brings together more than 200 paintings, sculptures, along with drawings, writings and television clips from the 1920s to the 1980s. “Until now, the mainstream critical judgment was that there was a good Dali-the Dali of surrealismup until the end of the 1930s, and that after that he went bad,” said JeanMichel Bouhours, co-curator of the show. “He made money, he shot advertisements-worse still he became a political reactionary,” who failed to take sides during Spain’s Civil War. “But today we have enough distance to be able to stand back and look at the whole of his oeuvre.” Visitors enter the show via an egg-like space-containing a 1942 photograph depicting Dali curled up in

foetal position, a reference to his claim that he remembered his life in-utero. From his childhood in Cataloniahaunted by the presence of a dead older brother whose first name he inherited-the show charts Dali’s formative years in Madrid, until he found a spiritual home with the surrealist movement. “By 1928, the pre-surrealist Dali is in place, with elements like headless bodies, severed hands, sexual symbols,” Bouhours said. The following year he unveiled his seminal film “Un Chien Andalou”, produced with Luis Bunuel, earning a nod from the influential French surrealist leader Andre Breton. ‘He wasn’t just a follower of Pop Art’ With the 1930s came fame-with solo exhibitions in Paris and New York-

and his most emblematic paintings such as “The Persistence of Memory” with its melting watches, or cult objects like his lobster telephone or lip-shaped sofa. In 1939, Dali was expelled by the Communist-linked French surrealists after making ambiguous comments on Adolf Hitler and failing to denounce fascism in Spain, where he later extolled General Francisco Franco for restoring “clarity”. Yet, the curators stress, his 1936 “Soft Construction with Boiled Beans” (Premonition of Civil War), in which a grotesque figure devours itself in a cannibalistic circle, comes across as a powerful anti-war statement. Fleeing World War II in 1940, Dali and his wife Gala settled in the United States where he had already begun

dabbling in entertainment, designing the outlandish “Dream of Venus” pavilion for New York world fair the year before. Returning to Spain in 1948, Dali turned obsessively to two new themes-religion on the one hand, and the world post-Hiroshima-coining the term “Nuclear Mysticism” to define his work. But this was also when he embraced television to reach a wider public, taking part in TV game shows, and two or three times a year staging buffoonish media events which he called “happenings”. Ad campaigns made the cut as well-for Braniff Airlines in 1967 or Lanvin chocolate in 1968, included in the Paris show. Incensed by his willingness to cash in on success-in 1965 he began selling

signed sheets of blank paper for $10 — the surrealist Breton nicknamed him “Avida Dollars”, an anagram of his name meaning “Eager for Dollars”. “These works were long seen as marginal, perverse side of his art,” said Thierry Dufrene, another of the show’s curators. “But today, after (Andy) Warhol, things have come full circle. “He was greatly ahead of his time,” agreed Bouhours. “He understood the power of mass media to explore the irrational nature of the world. “As early as 1934, he was using pre-Pop language. Dali wasn’t just a follower of Pop Art, he was one of its inventors.” —AFP

From left “Portraits of Picasso”, right “Le visage de la guerre” (The face of war).

A visitor looks at a triptych painting entitled “Paysage avec jeune fille sautant a la corde” (Landscape with a Girl Skipping Rope) (1936) by Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dali.

An art piece entitled “Le veston aphrodisiaque” (Aphrodisiac jacket).

A visitor looks at a creation entitled “Autoportrait”.

A visitor looks at a painting entitled “Hallucination partielle, Six images de Lenine sur un Piano” (Six Apparitions of Lenin on a Grand Piano), 1931.

A visitor looks at a painting entitled “L’orchestre rouge” (The Red Orchestra).

21st Nov  

Kuwait Times

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