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Govt urged to scrap loan interests, give handouts


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Ashour threatens action if activist Mulaifi is freed

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By B Izzak

Riyadh names first Iraq envoy since Gulf War BAGHDAD: Saudi Arabia, which has had uneasy relations with Iraq’s Shiite-led government, has named an ambassador to Baghdad for the first time since Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari said yesterday. “For the first time since 1990, the Saudis have named an ambassador to Iraq. This is a very positive development,” Zebari told Reuters, without elaborating. Iraq is preparing to host an Arab League summit at the end of March that has been twice delayed by regional turmoil and acrimony between Baghdad and some Sunni Arab Gulf states over a crackdown by Bahrain’s Sunni rulers on Shiite protesters. The move to improve ties between Baghdad and Riyadh also comes as Sunni and Shiite powers jockey for position in the Middle East split along sectarian lines over the crisis in Syria and over Western sanctions on Iran. Saudi Foreign Ministry spokesman Osama Nugali said: “We nominated our ambassador in Jordan (Fahad Abdul Muhsin AlZayd) as ambassador for Iraq as well, but he will not be residing in Iraq.” A successful summit in Baghdad would help restore Iraq’s place in the Arab world and perhaps contribute to allaying Gulf states’ concerns about Iran’s influence in post-war Iraq. Saudi officials had also said they feared the American military withdrawal would allow Tehran to increase its influence in Iraq under Shiite Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki. Continued on Page 15

BAGRAM, Afghanistan: Afghan youth throw stones towards US soldiers standing at the gate of Bagram airbase during a protest against the desecration of Holy Qurans yesterday. (Inset) A demonstrator holds a copy of a half-burnt Quran set on fire by US soldiers at the gate of the airbase. US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta later issued an apology for “inappropriate treatment” of the holy book at the base to try and contain fury over the incident. — AFP (See Page 11)

Sarkozy clashes with Le Pen on halal meat PARIS: French President Nicolas Sarkozy and far-right election rival Marine Le Pen clashed yesterday over her claim that all meat in the Paris region is prepared using Islamic halal traditions. Le Pen, trailing both Sarkozy and Socialist frontrunner Francois Hollande ahead of the April-May vote, made the claim at a rally on Saturday and pledged to file a legal complaint for “misrepresentation of products”. Campaigning yesterday in Rungis, home of the main wholesale food market serving the Paris metropolitan area, Sarkozy accused National Front leader Le Pen of getting her facts wrong and creating an artificial controversy. “There is no controversy here. Every year we consume 200,000 tonnes of

meat in the Paris region and 2.5 percent of it is kosher or halal,” Sarkozy said. Halal meat is slaughtered according to Islamic rules that, among other requirements, ban the practice of stunning animals before they are killed. Le Pen, whose party plays on fears of growing Muslim influence, cited a recent public television documentary that said all abattoirs in the greater Paris region use halal methods but do not always label the meat as such. “It turns out that all the meat distributed in Ile de France is, unbeknownst to the consumer, exclusively halal meat,” she said on Saturday. “This is a real deception, the government has been aware of this for months.” Continued on Page 15

DSK detained over sex ring LILLE, France: French police detained former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn for questioning yesterday over allegations he took part in orgies in Paris and Washington with prostitutes paid for by businessmen. The 62year-old former Socialist minister, who until last year was the frontrunner to replace Nicolas Sarkozy as president of France, had been Strauss-Kahn summoned as a witness but prosecutors said he was now a suspect. He turned up voluntarily at a police station in the northern city of Lille and prosecutors said he would be detained on suspicion of “abetting aggravated pimping by an organised gang” and “misuse of company funds”. A magistrate will decide whether the evidence supports Continued on Page 15

KUWAIT: Expectations over a decision to scrap interest on bank loans gained momentum yesterday after the five MPs of the opposition Popular Action Bloc, including Assembly Speaker Ahmad Al-Saadoun, submitted a draft law calling for the government to scrap hundreds of millions of dinars in interest. The bill, signed by MPs Musallam Al-Barrak, Mohammad Al-Khalifa, Ali AlDeqbasi and Khaled Al-Tahous in addition to Saadoun, also calls for paying every Kuwaiti citizen KD 1,000 to go side by side with the abolishing of interests. The financial cost of the two measures is not immediately known but it will be close to KD 2 billion because the cost of the grant alone will be around KD 1.2 billion. The bill calls for the government to bear the total cost of the bill and for the local banks to reschedule the debt of Kuwaiti citizens provided the value of the loan does not exceed KD 70,000. The banks are required to reschedule repayment by scrapping the interest provided the value of each installment does not exceed 30 percent of the debtor’s income. MP Abdulhameed Dashti meanwhile wrote on his Twitter account that he learnt that lists including loans taken by Kuwaiti citizens have been sent from local banks to the Central Bank in prelude to a major decision regarding the scrapping of interest. Unconfirmed reports have indicated that the government was likely to announce such a measure on the occasion of the national and liberation days next week. In another development, controversy over the detention of Sunni activist Mohammad Al-Mulaifi took a new turn yesterday after a Shiite MP vowed to grill the prime minister if he was released while a Shiite activist said street protests will be staged. MP Saleh Ashour was commenting on reports that the interior minister was planning to release several detainees and prisoners on Continued on Page 15

Yemenis vote as Saleh’s 33-yr rule comes to end Move to rubberstamp VP as prez SANAA: Yemeni voters ended President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 33-year rule in a historic ballot yesterday, pinning hopes on a new leader faced with the massive task of rebuilding an impoverished and warravaged country. Polling stations began closing doors at 6:00 pm (1500 GMT ) after a day of voting marred by deadly clashes in the south that left nine people dead, including a child. The only name on the ballot yesterday was that of Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, who will lead Yemen for a two-year interim period as stipulated by a Gulf-brokered power-transition deal signed by Saleh in November. “Today is the real fall of Ali Abdullah

Saleh,” said 25-year-old college student Abdullah Ali after voting at a crowded Sanaa University polling station near Change Square, the focal point of mass protests last year demanding Saleh’s ouster. “This is victory day for Yemen,” he said. Women also came out in strength in the capital. In a mad dash to a Sanaa polling booth just minutes before closing time, first-time voter Muneera Raddai, covered in a full black veil, was optimistic her vote would mean a better future for Yemen. “Today is a remarkable day,” said the 19-year-old, adding that now “we can start building a new and better Yemen”. Continued on Page 15

Red Cross seeks Syria ceasefire

PARIS: France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy (center) listens to a butcher as he visits the butchery pavilion at Rungis international food market yesterday. — AFP

Longest Palestinian hunger strike ends in deal


Eurozone opts to keep Greece in the family


DAMASCUS: Syrian forces killed more than 60 civilians yesterday as they blitzed the city of Homs and a village in Idlib province, monitors said, as the Red Cross sought a truce to deliver aid and the United Nations demanded unimpeded access for aid groups. The escalation comes as Russia, a key ally of President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime, said it will boycott an international conference in Tunis this week aimed at seeking political change in Syria and China refused to commit. It also comes ahead of the weekend referendum on a new constitution that could end nearly five decades of rule by Assad’s Baath party. At least 33 civilians were killed in an operation by Syrian forces in the village of Abdita in the northwestern province of Idlib that extended to the neighbouring villages of Ibleen and Balshon, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Continued on Page 15

Sotheby’s to sell Munch’s ‘The Scream’, eyes $80m


SANAA: Yemen’s Vice President and the sole presidential candidate Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi casts his ballot at a polling station yesterday. — AFP

Napoli heap misery on Villas-Boas as Chelsea on brink





Kuwait okays maids’ shareholding company KUWAIT: The Cabinet recently approved a project to establish a shareholding company to replace local domestic worker agencies which hire and provide job opportunities to these labor forces in Kuwait. The Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) was assigned to coordinate with the Ministry of Interior and the Fatwa and Legislation Department to carry out a comprehensive study on the project with a month’s deadline. This is mentioned in a report published by a local daily which indicates that this project aims to maintain human rights of domestic workers in the country; a subject of concern for many governmental and non-governmental organizations worldwide. The idea behind the authority is based on a study conducted three years ago by the Migration General Department in the

KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah received at Seif Palace yesterday the head of the Kuwait Transparency Society Salah Al-Ghazali and employees of the society. Al-Ghazali expressed the society’s gratitude for the Amir’s decision to allow the observation of the recently held National Assembly elections.

Al-Barrak convinced Al-Wasmi to withhold grilling motion Held citizens to get chance to explain themselves KUWAIT: MP Obaid Al-Wasmi will not file a grilling motion against the prime minister after MP Musallam Al-Barrak convinced him that the hasty step could cost him Parliament’s majority support, crucial for the motion to survive. According to sources, AlWasmi eventually decided to withhold his decision after being told that MP Dr Faisal AlMislem received HH the Amir’s assurance that citizens detained for storming Al-Watan TV’s premises will be allowed a chance to explain themselves. Al-Wasmi arrived in the Parliament with plans to submit the grilling motion he had vowed to the previous night (against HH Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak AlSabah). He headed directly to his office to prepare a draft law which will be ready within 30 minutes. Two hours later, Al-Wasmi headed to the legislative committee’s office to attend an ongoing meeting. It was at that time that reports surfaced that the debutant

lawmaker failed to present a work program on two subjects he had previously announced - the alleged discrimination practiced in arresting tribesmen, and bedoon (stateless) demonstrators. A meeting took place at MP Dr Adel AlDamkhi’s office featuring lawmakers Khalid Al-Sultan, Badr Al-Dahoum, Abdullah AlBarghash, Falah Al-Sawagh, Shaya Al-Shaya, Abdullatif Al-Omairi, Dr Jamaan Al-Harbash, Dr Waleed Al-Tabtabaei, Mohammad AlKandari, Osama Al-Munawer, and Mohammad Al-Dallal - all of who are part of the 35 MPs’ alliances that form the Parliament’s majority. They discussed how to react to Al-Wasmi’s step, MP Khalid Shukhiyyer entered Al-Wasmi’s office after the latter returned. It is believed that Shukhaiyyer went there to sign his approval, according to sources who spoke to Al-Rai. MPs meeting at Al-Damkhi’s office held a press conference to announce their reserva-

tion on Al-Wasmi’s decision. During the press conference, he was seen exiting his office to attend the public funds protection committee meeting where he reportedly met with MPs Musallam Al-Barrak, Mohammad Hayef and Mubarak Al-Waalan. Shortly afterwards, Al-Barrak exited the meeting and was heard telling reporters that “no grilling motions will be filed.” He made his way to MP Khalid AlSultan’s office. Two minutes later, Al-Wasmi was seen carrying documents and walking towards the Parliament’s general secretariat office, which gave reporters the impression he would file a grilling motion. He, instead, reached AlSultan’s office where he stayed until the end of working hours. Sources familiar with discussions held at Al-Sultan’s office indicate that MPs Al-Barrak and Hayef - who later joined the meeting as well - played key roles in convincing Al-Wasmi to postpone his plans.

Ministry of Interior. Maj Gen Kamil AlAwadhi, director of the department gave a demonstration of the study during a meeting held last month for senior government officials chaired by Minister of Finance Mustafa Al-Shamali, featuring undersecretary assistants from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. A recommendation was made during the meeting to adopt the study, before it was sent to the Cabinet for approval. According to the news report, the study contains several mechanisms to counter human-trade that domestic workers often fall victims to in Kuwait, as well as reduce costs of hiring domestic workers while assuring that only trained labor forces are hired to work in Kuwait. This is aimed at reducing problems they might face from their employers. — Al-Rai

Kuwait Airways flights to Syria not stopped KUWAIT: The stoppage of any airline flight from Kuwait to Syria was denied by Issam Al-Zamel, Director of Operations at Kuwait Civil Aviation Authority. Al-Zamel emphasized that travel movements are on time without any delays or cancellations. Saudi Airlines decided to stop its flights to Syria, after Qatar Airways took the step. Sources at the Kuwait regional office for the companies said Saudi Airlines will hold 10 flights it operates to

Syria, four flights from Jeddah, four flights from Riyadh and 2 flights from Dammam which it was operating on a weekly basis. The cost of holding the round trip flights comes to about six million Saudi riyal at an average of 2,740 passengers weekly. Gulf Airlines, the national carrier for the Kingdom of Bahrain, announced the stoppage of flights to Damascus among four stations in its international net. The stoppage will be effective 2nd March. —Al-Anbaa

Steps to expedite Jaber Hospital construction K U WA I T: Th e M i n i s t r y o f Pu b l i c Works(MPW) has called for introducing smoother measures to help hire skilled labor forces to work on the Jaber Hospital project, Ali Nadoum, Project Manager said during a recent press conference. While he mentioned this problem as a main obstacle facing the mega project, Nadoum said that construction is proceeding as per schedule, adding that nearly 600 workers will be brought in to speed up construction to help finish the project before the

end of the year. Jaber Hospital is cons i d e re d o n e o f t h e m a i n p ro j e c t s t h ro u g h w h i c h t h e M i n i s t r y o f Health(MoH) seeks to improve the quality of medical services. On that regard, Prime Minister His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah told Health Minister Ali Al-Obaidi and senior MoH officials during a recent visit that a work team from the Cabinet will remain in touch with the ministry so as to be updated with schedules, and be informed of any obstacles these projects face. — Al-Qabas



‘Center of economic power shifted from West to East’ Structural change in world economy By Ben Garcia

KUWAIT: His Highness the Prime Minister, Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, resumed for the second consecutive day his tours of various ministries. He has been meeting each minister along with top ministry officials to encourage them to boost the pace of development projects.

Amir’s speech ‘a jumpstart for national unity’ JEDDAH: His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s speech during the inaugural session of Kuwait’s new National Assembly is “a jumpstart for national unity and increased cooperation between the legislative and executive bodies,” Parliament Speaker Ahmad AlSaadoun said yestersday. “This is why combined efforts are needed in Parliament and outside it - with the media in particular - to achieve this aim,” the chief lawmaker told Saudi newspaper, Okath, in an interview. “We have gone through the tough experience of an invasion, when Kuwaitis united and forgot all their sectarian and tribal affiliations,” he stated. Parliament, along with the Government, is faced with a number of issues of significance, namely the much-debated development plan, he said. “ We have not disagreed with the Government over the development plan, but over its implementation. It (the Government) viewed dealing with the plan through a law that gives it full legislative rights and all of the details that follow. This is the underlying source of the argument,” he suggested. A law should clearly outline that discussion and implementation of the plan should be carried out after dual approval by the Cabinet and Parliament, especially on strategic projects, he added. On the so-called Opposition of MPs in

Kuwait, which he prescribes to, Al-Saadoun explained: “It is an opposition of the nation’s administration, not the nation’s regime.” The opposing stance was taken in response to “the Cabinet’s poor performance and its corruption,” he said, adding that the Opposition will continue its position “until the corruption, offenses and disrespect of the Constitution have stopped. Only when the Cabinet appears to be performing correctly will we alter our position.” On the people’s view of their leadership, he said; “we are proud that the (Al-Sabah) regime in Kuwait is unique and its stay in power, for around 300 years now, is a result of the people’s advocacy of it.” Al-Saadoun did not attribute a conspiracy to the majority Islamist win in the Kuwaiti Parliament, like others which have succeeded in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco. He stressed the view that these were the choices of the people. He expressed skepticism when speaking of the Kuwaiti Parliament’s role in the union of the Gulf Cooperation Council, criticizing the over 30-year-old regional bloc for only recently adopting travel with identification, but not necessarily a passport, among the six nations. Parliament does not reject a unified Gulf currency, but did not accept a Government’s decision to pass a resolution without the consent of the National Assembly, he noted.—KUNA

KUWAIT: The center of economic power has now shifted from the West to the East, said academics speak ing at a seminar held at the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry yesterday. Eisuke Sakakibara, Professor of Aoyama Gakuin University, said world economy has undergone a major structural change and is now currently in the transition period. “From the United States, Japan and Europe, right now the centers of growth are in China and India. We are in a transitional period. China is number two economically after it overtook Japan in 2010. India’s growth rate will be maintained. Although the Chinese economy is predicted to slowdown in the coming years, the truth is that China is going to surpass the US economy between 2020-2025,” he stated. Sakakibara said the influence of China will expand to the rest of Asia, the Arab world and some African countries, while developed countries like the US, Japan and Europe will continue to gradually decline. “Economic structure is changing, that is the fact. China and India have performed fairly well. China and India combined represent 45 percent of the entire production in the world. It is anticipated that the Chinese Gross Domestic Product (GDP)will surpass the United States between 2020-2025,” he predicted. By 2027, China will be number one in terms of aggregate GDP and if the current pace is maintained China will become number one in terms of the aggregate amount of GDP earlier than predicted Sakakibara said. According to Sakakibara, India has a relatively low GDP but the growth rate of its population is the highest in the world and it is a force to be reckoned with. “ The Chinese population will eventually decline. China now has a population of 1.3 billion. India has 1.2 billion. By 2050, the Chinese population will decline to below 1.3 billion. In contrast, India’s population by 2050, is expected to reach 1.7 billion. That is more than 400 million more than China’s population. Within 10 to 15

sport in one place. Commenting on the exclusive sponsorship, Abdolaziz AL-Balool PR Director at Wataniya Telecom expressed his pride in the cooperation established between Wataniya Telecom and Sahara Kuwait Golf Resort in this one of a kind championship to take place in the country and affirming the

KUWAIT: Pollution created by sewage dumped from the damaged Mishref sewage treatment plant contains chemicals that cause sterility in various species of fish living in Kuwaiti waters, a Kuwait environmentalist said. Dr. Noura Al-Jandal, Environmental Sciences researcher at Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, is currently working on a study regarding effects left on marine species in local waters from regular disposal of sewage, especially with regards

company’s keenness to support all types of sports while striving to continue this approach as part of its corporate social responsibility strategy. Al-Balool added: “Golf is an elite and a worldwide sport which has helped in enhancing self-confidence and improving concentration for many players. In Kuwait Golf has gained momentum and has been attracting many talented and aspiring golfers in the country. Wataniya is proud of its exclusive sponsorship of the Wataniya Golf Championship and is looking forward to more similar activities in the future.” In his words, Hassan Bayerli, General Manager of Sahara Kuwait Golf Resort expressed his pleasure for the association with Wataniya Telecom and appreciation for its continuous cooperation and added saying “I would like to thank Wataniya Management for their support today and congratulations to all the winners. Golf has become very popular in Kuwait during the past 10 years due to the fact that it is an incredibly popular sport enjoyed by people all over the world. Golf is a unique sport with a rich history that reaches people of all ages and backgrounds”. Wataniya awarded the 3 winners in a closing ceremony attended by both Wataniya Telecom and Sahara’s officials and representatives. Abdulwahab Al-Musallam stood first followed by Abdul-Rahman Bahmanin second place and Ahmad Al-Sarawi came third. PR Assistant Manager Hamad Al-Matar attended the awarding ceremony on behalf of Wataniya Telecom.

Farwaniya Municipality conducts successful inspection campaigns By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: Farwaniya Municipality Branch Director Ahmad Al-Hazim said that its departments have garnered several achievements in various fields like health, licenses, public cleanliness, food supervision and engineering in January. Al-Hazim said that the number of violations detected by Food Supervision Department was 107in number, out of 250 stores that were inspected. He said that the number of samples sent to laboratory was 176 in all. Out of this, 147 were edible, while

four samples of inedible food was destroyed. The number of samples that did not deliver any results is 29 in all. He said that the number of stores that issued health certificates is 200, and the number of stores that satisfied the conditions total to 150. AlHazim said that 1,942 livestock were slaughtered in the governorate, while the meat from 30 were destroyed because they were not fit for human consumption. He said that total revenues collected by the Public Cleanliness Department was KD 6,455. The number of new licenses issued were 36 in all. Also, 33 licenses were

Eisuke Sakakibara he added. Having been in the transition period, Sakakibara warned anything could happen just like the depression that took place in 1929-30. “We have to be very careful. Lots of things happened within the transition period. Think of the depression in 1929-30. It happened between the first World War and the second World War. The center of world economy shifted from Europe to the United States. In the 1920’s, the US economy was high powered, but it bubbled up and caused the depression,” he added. “I am not predicting a depression to come, but the situation is similar,” he suggested.

“Now the Chinese economy is in the assessment period. Compared to the previous forecast we are saying that the growth rate of the world economy will fall quite significantly, as low as 0.7 percent. The forecast for the Chinese economy for 2012 is 8.2 percent. The forecast for the Indian economy is 7.2 percent. They have to maintain that. If we are not careful we are probably going into simultaneous recession of the world economy. We need to manage the situation very well and we have to accept that economic structure has already changed,” he advised. In fact, according to Sakakibara, many companies in Japan are now maintaining businesses with China. “So globalization is the key. They been doing that and they are quite successful. The production side has been shifted out of the country. Globalization has been one of the reasons for the Chinese economic growth,” he added. “If you check the Japanese economy from 1955-1974, the economy has performed pretty well. We had about a 9.1 percent growth rate during that period. From 1974 to the end of the 1980’s growth has declined, but we maintained the average growth of 4.2 percent. From the 1990’s to the present, the average growth rate has fallen to one percent,” he said. Sakakibara mentioned several advantages Japan has compared to the rest of the world in the environment, safety and health. “We have 65 percent of our land covered with forest. We have lots of water, we are surrounded by sea. We have a variety of fish. The country is one of the safest countries in the world. Safety is connected to the history and prosperity of Japan,” he said. Sakakibara also spoke about the history of Eurozone and shared some insights about the recent development in Eurozone. He said the European financial crisis is continuing and gradually spreading. “ The future of Eurozone has become increasingly fragile. I believe they have two logical ways out, although they are buying time, but I think it will only have two solution: 1. to unite as one country (although Germany will not allow it) or 2. disintegrate.”

Mishref sewage renders Kuwaiti fish sterile

Wataniya Telecom sponsored golf championship KUWAIT: Stemming from it keenness to support distinctive sports activities in Kuwait, and based on its continuous commitment towards the community and the youth, Wataniya Telecom is proud to announce its exclusive sponsorship of the Wataniya Golf Championship which took place on Feb 18. Number of golf players participated in the championship, which took place at the Sahara Golf Resort for two consecutive days bringing together the people most passionate and enthusiastic about the

years, the Indian population will surpass China, so between 2020-2025 the population in India will exceed China. Therefore the GDP growth of India will surpass China,” he explained. Sak ak ibara, Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs in 1997, said right now the Chinese growth rate is at 8 to 9 percent while India is 8 to 10 percent. “Chinese growth rate is anticipated to come down by 2050. In contrast, India will maintain the growth rate of seven to eight percent until 2050,”

renewed. In other news, Municipality Director Gen Ahmad Al-Subaih said that the advancement made by people is rooted in their rulers’ wisdom. He said, “as we celebrate the 51st anniversary of independence the sixth anniversary of HH the Amir’s ascension to power, we stand behind HH the Amir’s leadership. We also remember late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, and the father Amir Sheikh Saad AlAbdallah.” Al-Subaih went on to say that the security and safety of citizens and residents of Kuwait comes from the grace of Allah and his wise leadership.

KUWAIT: A crane driver yesterday did not observe the maximum height warning below Kaifan bridge (near the Shuwaikh City Center and KUNA headquarters) and drove through it at high speed with its extension raised higher than the ‘maximum height’ warning sign, which resulted in uprooting of its concrete posts. As a result, traffic to and from downtown Kuwait City was blocked and long queues of cars waited at both sides of the airport road for hours till another crane was brought to remove the damaged one. —Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

to reproduction rates. The Mishref plant suffered a complete meltdown a few days after its inception in August 2009. The Government detoured sewage, meant to be treated at the plant, pouring it into the Gulf waters after a basic treatment. The plant was reconstructed since then and is now under experimental operation, but many environmentalists say that severe damage to the marine environment has already been caused in

local territorial waters. Dr. Jandal held the press conference on Monday at the KISR building to announce ‘Kuwait Environment Hour’, which is set to take place next Monday. Residents are encouraged to participate by turning off house lights between 7:00 pm and 8:00 pm. The event is held in cooperation with the Environment Public Authority, the Ministry of Electricity and Water and the United Nations Development Program. —Al-Qabas



Armed suspect storms Yarmouk police station Yemeni held for money laundering KUWAIT: A middle aged citizen remains in Yarmouk police station’s custody after his brother forced him to surrender. The gun-toting man stormed into the station and fled the scene. The fiasco began with an Asian woman rushing into the police station, seeking help from her exhusband who reportedly followed her with the intention of causing harm due to outstanding disputes that remain unresolved. Minutes later, an enraged man made his way into the police station and pointed a gun at officers who accosted him when the woman identified him as her exhusband. The man then fired several shots into the ceiling before driving away. A case was filed to launch a search for the suspect, who had called up his ex-to say that he would be waiting for her at her home to settle disputes. A while later, the same man returned to the station accompanied by his brother, explaining that the accused behaved irrationally as he was in an inebriated condition. The man faces multiple charges that include attempted murder and possession of an unlicensed firearm.

Armed robbery A search is going on for six suspects who robbed a shop in Fahaheel recently. In a statement given to local police, the store’s Bangladeshi cashier said that suspects stormed the market late at night. They stole a blanket, 11 flashlights and some cigarette packs at knifepoint. Investigations are ongoing to identify the suspects based on descriptions provided by the petitioner. Money laundering Police arrested a Yemeni man accused of being involved in a money laundering case. He allegedly stole KD 4 million from a local insurance company he worked for, as a representative. Investigations went underway after the company discovered irregularities in its financial documents; a total of KD 4 million were transferred to an unknown destination. Investigators identified the bank account to which the funds were transferred, and arrested its Yemeni holder. During interrogations, the suspect said that the money was transferred by a compatriot who was employed with the same compa-

ny. Police arrested his accomplice soon. The company representative explained during interrogations that he used the money he stole to buy luxury cars, re-sell them at reduced prices and transfer the cash to the accomplice’s bank account. The two remain in custody pending legal action. Maid dies after childbirth A domestic worker died in a Hawally home from severe bleeding after delivering her baby without medical attention. The victim was found dead in her room by her female employer who entered her room after hearing the newborn’s cries. She placed an emergency call. Paramedics reached the scene and pronounced her dead. An autopsy confirmed that she died as a result of child-birth related complications. The newborn was taken to Mubarak Alkabeer Hospital. The victim’s employer said that she was not aware of the woman’s pregnancy, but suspected that she was in an illegal relationship. Investigations are currently ongoing to reveal circumstances behind her death. Police also seek to identify the baby’s father by using the victim’s mobile phone.

Escape plan An Asian woman in her twenties was hospitalized after suffering multiple injuries. She was found lying unconscious in the backyard of a Salmiya building. Investigations revealed that the woman fell from an apartment where she worked as a live-in domestic worker. Investigators speculate that the woman might have attempted suicide after realizing that her escape plan would not succeed. They are waiting for the woman’s condition to stabilize to obtain more information. Deportee nabbed An Iraqi man has been imprisoned at the State Security Service(SSC) in connection with reentering Kuwait after having been deported. The suspect who driving along Abu Halifa, was asked to pull over. He then identified himself as a Kuwaiti national who he left his identification card at home. Patrol officers used a fingerprint scanner to reveal the suspect’s identity, discovering that he is an Iraqi national who was previously deported and has been barred from entering Kuwait. An investigation has been launched into the case. — Al-Rai, Al-Anbaa, Al-Qabas

KUWAIT: Bangladesh Embassy observing the Shahid Dibash and International Mother Language Day 2012 at the Chancery. — Photos by Joseph Shagra

Shahid Dibash observed KUWAIT: Bangladesh Embassy in Kuwait observed the Shahid Dibash and International Mother Language Day 2012 at the Chancery in a befitting manner in presence of embassy officials, officials of the Bangladesh Military Contingent, Bangladesh Biman, members of the community and representatives of the local print and electronic media. The program of the day began with the hoisting of the national flag. Ambassador Syed Shahed Reza hoisted the flag at half mast ceremoniously at the chancery.

The main program started with recitation from the Holy Quran. Special Dua and Munajat were offered seeking divine blessings for the martyrs’ and for the continued progress of the country. One minute silence was observed in honor of the martyrs of the Twenty first February 1952. The messages given by the president, the prime minister and the foreign minister of Bangladesh were read out by officers of the embassy. The discussion took place in a very lively


in brief

MoI to encourage young employees KUWAIT: Minister of Information, Sheikh Mohammad Al-Abdullah, thanked all those who came to the ministry to congratulate him on the great responsibility which His Highness the Amir has asked him to carry. He said he looks forward to the Ministry of Information organizing media work correctly and openly, so that Kuwait returns to be a minaret of information. Sheikh Al-Abdullah explained that the start of reform in the Ministry of Information will be in accordance with the speech of His Highness the Amir. It will contribute to the role of youths and protect national unity. Kuwait radio and television will achieve these goals, which all citizens are looking for. Al-Abdullah said the Ministry of Information employs youths who are capable of achieving such goals. Kuwait- Indonesia cooperation KUALA LUMPUR: Kuwait’s Ambassador to Indonesia, Nasser Al-Enzi, discussed with Indonesian Minister of Religious Affairs, Ali Soeriadarma, ways to promote mutual cooperation between the two countries. Al-Enzi said that the meeting was in order to encourage and enable communication with Indonesian officials to serve common interests. He said during the Tuesday meeting he conveyed the greetings of the Kuwaiti Minister of Endowments and Religious Affairs to the Indonesian Minister, and his hopes for stronger bilateral ties between the two sides.

atmosphere as a good number of participants took part in it. They highlighted various important events that took place before and after the language movement. Ambassador Syed Shahed Reza in his speech highlighted the language movement and its significance in the buildup of the subsequent mass movement that led by the emergence of independent Bangladesh. He urged all Bangladesh nationals to work unitedly for the benefit of the country and to fulfill the dreams of the language martyrs.

Amir Jaber Prize testimony to care for those with special needs PARIS: Kuwait’s Representative to the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Ambassador Dr Ali Al-Tarrah said yesterday, the awards ceremony of Amir Jaber Al-Ahmad AlJaber Al-Sabah Prize for Research and Training in Special Needs Education for the Mentally Disabled for 2012 would be attended, Feb 29, by a host of UNESCO officials. The diplomat said the prize is testimony to the State of Kuwait’s keenness to support care for educational services and research that would help the field of education for those with special needs. The prize is focus of much attention and interest within the UNESCO and beyond, he added. The awards ceremony would be held under the auspices of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and the dignitaries attending include UNESCO General Conference President Katalin Bogyay and heads of UNESCO groups, who all received invitations by the Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education Dr. Nayef AlHajraf. On the award, the ambassador

pointed out that it rewards one person or institution from the Arab world and another from a different part of the world once every two years. It is awarded those with unique contributions to improving of quality of education of those with special needs and to facilitating their integration into their societies. The prize consists of a sum of USD 40,000 equally divided between the two prize winners, and certificates of merit. According to the prize’s official page, “Nominations are made by the governments of Member States, in consultation with their National Commissions, and by non-government organizations maintaining official relations with UNESCO. “The five jury members, of different nationalities, are appointed by the Director-General for a term of four years.” The Kuwaiti ambassador had met UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova earlier this month and discussed creation of a regional center under the UNESCO in Kuwait, which specializes in research and training in the field of education for those with special needs. — KUNA

Nora winner of ‘BuBa’ kids account draw KUWAIT: Burgan Bank yesterday announced Nora Abdulaziz Al-Enizi as the bank’s first ‘BuBa’ Kids Account draw winner. The winner received a family trip to Abu Dhabi for three days; offer includes flight tickets as well as free accommodation at a five star hotel in Abu Dhabi. Ms. Haneen Al Rumaihi, Head of Marketing at Burgan Bank, said: The ‘BuBa ‘account provides its customers with a varied range of benefits that are

catered to their needs.” Burgan Bank’s ‘BuBa’ Kids account aims at helping parents who are beginning financial planning for them. BuBa account is an ideal banking solution for children up to 14 years old. To find out more about Burgan Bank’s ‘BuBa’ Kids Account, customers are urged to visit any of Burgan Bank’s conveniently located branches, or call the bank’s call center on 1804080, or log on to Burgan Bank ’s website at



Constructive cooperation needed to push ahead with reforms Kuwait marks anniversary of CP taking constitutional oath

KUWAIT: Political Counselor at the Japanese Embassy in Tehran, Hiroyuki Yamaya, along with Third Secretary Takeshi Ota paid a visit to Kuwait Times and discussed matters of mutual concern with Editor-in-Chief Abd Al-Rahman Al-Alyan.

GCC union unlikely, says Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: Kuwait’s new parliament speaker Ahmed Al-Saadoun said a possible union between members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is unlikely owning to differences in political systems. “It is, for example, very difficult for a country like Kuwait that grants freedom of speech and where people are represented in parliament to form a union with countries whose prisons are full of thousands who are guilty of speaking their minds,” Saadoun told Al-Arabiya in his first T V appearance after assuming his position as parliament speaker. Saadoun added that in all cases, all GCC countries need to work together to achieve as much as possible. “But we will be fooling ourselves if we think that any kind of union can be reached if governments do not offer compromises and start granting their people more rights.” The new parliament, Saadoun added, will start dealing with pending issues from the old one like the “illegal” transfers reportedly made by former Prime Minister Mussallam AlBarrak to his private accounts in foreign countries. “We are going to follow parliamentary committees that will investigate the matter until they reach the

truth.” The parliament, he explained, will also follow up on development plans passed by former parliaments and not yet implemented. “None of those development plans were put into action and the Kuwaiti people are not willing to see the government act in the same way as before.” Saadoun said that the parliament will use the majority opposition MPs to put pressure on the government and effect change. “Opposition MPs met more than once to discuss implementing the reform we have always called for.” Despite not taking part in the government, Saadoun pointed out, opposition MPs are willing to cooperate with the government provided that the latter starts putting the country on the right track. “ The government also has to implement all pending development plans and to restructure the budget.” Saadoun added that corruption has been rampant in the government and that the parliament is going to take serious actions to redress that. “I sent more than one direct message to the government asking it to put an end to corruption. Otherwise, we are going to confront it with all its drawbacks.” — Al-Arabiya

KUWAIT: The State of Kuwait is at a time of its history where constructive cooperation between the legislative and executive authorities is greatly needed to push ahead with reforms and development plans, His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad AlJaber Al-Sabah stressed in an interview yesterday. His Highness Sheikh Nawaf was interviewed by KUNA Board Chairman and Director General, Sheikh Mubarak Al-Duaij AlIbrahim Al-Sabah, on the anniversary of His Highness taking the constitutional oath for his post in Parliament on Feb 20, 2006. “We are at a juncture where both authorities must show utmost responsibility and accountability and determination to honor their duties, if we are to realize progress and meet the expectations of the Kuwaiti people,” Sheikh Nawaf said when asked specifically about his vision for the relationship that ought to be maintained between the legislative and executive authorities at present. The Crown Prince considered His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah’s recent dissolving of Parliament “a prudent step which did not compromise the path of freedom and democracy Kuwait opted for since its early days as a sovereign nation. On the “unprecedented acts of irresponsibility and attacks on social solidarity and sanctity of Parliament,” he added, “the majority of the Kuwaiti people blessed this decision to preserve national unity.” The National Assembly elections which followed on 2 February, 2012 were held openly, and “those who made it to Parliament are expected to honor this great trust by their countrymen and contribute to development of Kuwait and to efforts to keep up with advancements around the world.” The KUNA Chairman asked Sheikh Nawaf whether violations and errors in conduct by some MPs will compromise parliamentary progress. His Highness said it is a must that all opt for dialogue, respect others opinions, and maintain respect for all parties in the best interest of the nation. All must also preserve Kuwaiti customs, generally embraced ethics and values and keep focused on the state’s highest interest at all times. “Cooperation between the two authorities at present is no longer just prudent; it is vital,” Sheikh Nawaf stressed. “The Kuwaiti Constitution was adopted in

1962 and it clearly includes the bases for political freedom, equality, and social justice. Kuwait is the region’s forerunner in democracy, and is keen on keeping to this path.” His Highness Sheikh Nawaf touched on the economic situation in the country. He said, “this attitude of cooperation between the two authorities will enable the nation to realize a great deal in the field of overall development and the economic situation. Means to bolster it should come within the authorities’ top priorities.” The KUNA Chairman referred to recent talk of differences among members of the AlSabah family and asked for the Crown Prince’s judgment on this matter. Sheikh Nawaf remarked, “since Kuwait’s establishment over 300 years ago, there was no serious dispute within the family, but rather differences of opinion with all parties seeking the country’s best interest.” On recent political action and flux, some of which led to the dissolution of Parliament and disbanding the Cabinet, he said “the problem was failure to respect the nature of the relationship between the Government and Parliament. When there is a disagreement the two cannot overcome, the final say should be for His Highness the Amir.” On recent reports of domestic corruption in state institutions, he said appropriate laws and guidelines, close regulation and administrative reform are a prerequisite towards solving the issue. On illegal residents in the country, he explained that a long time spent in research and planning has resulted in the formation of a centralized body tasked with these individuals. The body has been recommending solutions to the problem after several cases were found to deserve naturalization, while others continue to receive the right to work, education and healthcare. On calls to increase wages in public institutions, he said employees have the right to do so, and that the Government has a clearly drawn-out strategy on wage structures which takes into account the nation’s resources and saving them for future generations. The six-member nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which Kuwait is a member of, is a shining light in the Arab and Islamic worlds and is a beacon for interactivity and collaboration, he said. “It has presented a positive role in the economic, military and security fields.

We look to more efforts in order to achieve the hopes and aspirations of member countries.” The worldwide danger of terrorism has, at some point, affected the country and the leading Kuwaiti official explained that tackling its threats should be carried out according to the directives of international treaties, which have been adopted on the international as well as on a narrower Arab scale. In Kuwait, a recent terrorist threat was thwarted after security intelligence was forwarded by the surrounding GCC partners. This cooperation was hailed by Sheikh Nawaf. On the country’s relations with its northern neighbor, Iraq, he said Kuwait hopes to build on a joint history of relations, based on mutual respect and exchange economic and political cooperation. On Iran, neighbors to the east of the country sharing the Arabian Gulf and whose nuclear ambitions have caused uproar in the international community, the Crown Prince described Tehran as “a friendly and dear neighbor,” and that there are mutual interests between both countries. He said Kuwait is monitoring closely the country’s troubles with the international community and that the region’s security is the responsibility of all. He said any solution to the Middle East issue should be through the Arab Peace Initiative, adopted in Beirut 2002, in addition to the Quartet-sponsored roadmap and peace-encouraging efforts of the international community. Inter-Palestinian conflict and division should also be discarded and “Palestinian factions should come together under one command which calls for legitimate national rights for an independent nation, with a capital of Jerusalem,” he added. The will of the people after the Arab Spring series of revolutions in the region is respected by Kuwait, Sheikh Nawaf said. He added that his country does not intervene in the internal affairs of others, while hoping that these transitions go smoothly. On a final note, on the coinciding of the anniversary of his ascendance as Crown Prince with the country’s national anniversaries, he expressed hope that Kuwait stays united, stable and secure under the guidance of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad AlJaber Al-Sabah. — KUNA

Court ordered renewal of newspaper suspension KUWAIT: The decision to renew the suspension of some newspapers for two more weeks was not made by the Ministry of Information, assistant undersecretar y for press affairs said on Monday. Munaira Al-Huwaidi also dismissed rumors that the ministry requested the Public Prosecution Department to

renew the decision to prevent the publication of some newspapers. Al-Huwaidi added that the suspension renewal decision was made by the Summary Jurisdiction Court, which issued another two-week suspension based on a request from the Public Prosecution Department. — KUNA

ABU DHABI: The Kuwaiti embassy celebrations in progress.

Kuwaiti embassy in UAE celebrates National Days ABU DHABI: The Kuwaiti embassy in the United Arab Emirates celebrated the anniversaries of the 51st Independence Day and 21st Liberation Day with a banquet attended by dignitaries including UAE Minister for Foreign Trade Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of Energy Mohammed bin Dh’aen Al Hamli, heads of diplomatic missions and members of the diplomatic corps, and Kuwaiti students in the UAE. The banquet was held in Formont Bab Al-Bahr Hotel in Abu Dhabi on Monday night, Kuwaiti Ambassador to UAE Salah Mohammed Al Beaijan said yesterday. He expressed delight over the occasion and praised the achievements of the wise Kuwaiti leadership, Their Highnesses the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. The ambassador also hailed the brotherly ties between the two countries and people, recalling exploits of late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, especially in supporting those relations. The celebration included various musical shows by folklore bands, besides a display of traditional Kuwaiti desserts, handicrafts, and of photos showcasing different eras of Kuwaiti history. — KUNA



LOCAL Local Spotlight

kuwait digest

Do we need to change bus routes?

May God save our country By Dr Shamlan Al-Essa proposal to change local bus routes in Kuwait may not be bothersome for car owners. However, for expatriates who heavily depend on local buses for transportation, this decision affects the way they commute. The proposal was put forward as a solution to put an end to the traffic jam issue. In fact, any change in routes means the stops will be changed. When will that happen? In 1993, I went to the UK to pursue postgraduate studies, I did not have a car there. Also, when Kuwait was invaded, I stayed in Cyprus for a year and did not own a car there as well. I depended on the public bus for my needs. Many expats face this situation except that waiting for the bus during a lovely English afternoon or in Cyprus is not the same as it is here. The weather here is highly unpredictable and the summer heat is scorching! Let us not forget that many of the bus stops do not have a shade or any emergency equipment like a hotline connecting to the police or the ambulance are installed.


New regulations should be enforced. I have seen that some bus drivers here ignore those waiting for the bus. Some drivers think they own the road. They will not halt if teenagers are waiting anticipating trouble from them. A friend told me that her son who relies on the bus to return home from school faces this predicament. It is not fair that all drivers have such pre-conceived notions. It is assumed that all those who wait to catch a bus carry their own mobile phones and will not experience emergency cases! The Ministry of Interior has stated that it is looking into this matter and is deciding on other solutions to give way to other motorists. I don’t think this is enough. New regulations should be enforced. I have seen that some bus drivers here ignore those waiting for the bus. Some drivers think they own the road. They will not halt if teenagers are waiting anticipating trouble from them. A friend told me that her son who relies on the bus to return home from school faces this predicament. It is not fair that all drivers have such pre-conceived notions. The driver can report violent incidents to police, instead of not allowing potential passengers to board the vehicle. Also, buses do not stop at designated stops, thereby creating more traffic jam! Let us see what steps the Ministry will take to end this issue.

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kuwait digest

Why was she left out? By Iqbal Al-Ahmad hy did Kuwaitis choose not to elect women in pertaining to female citizens not a top priority in agenthe current Parliament? Was it a coincidence, or das of politicians and political groups; whether pro-govis there something behind it? Why is it that ernment or oppositionist. The study further indicates some were shocked and saddened by the results, while that political groups used women to achieve their ambiothers took them as good news? What is the reason tions by supporting women’s causes and then neglectbehind the decision not to select a single female minis- ing them after they secured female citizens’ votes, ultiter in the Cabinet? It is unusual that no female MP was mately depriving women from taking part in developelected, when four women won in the previous elec- ing their society. In my opinion it is illogical to say that female citizens, tions with a very impressive number of votes as in the case of Dr Maasouma Al-Mubarak. Or maybe this is the whose votes were very crucial in enabling many MPs to norm, and the election of four MPs was the exception to be elected, failed to help at least one woman reach Parliament. Female the rule? candidates and politiThese are some of cal activists in Kuwait the many questions The study further indicates that politicannot be that bad as which are difficult to cal groups used women to achieve their to be completely left answer, yet need to be ambitions by supporting women’s causout of both Parliament asked. Maybe the and the Cabinet. We Government felt that es and then neglecting them after they have to stop and think appointing a female secured female citizens’ votes, ultimatedeeply about the reaminister will create trouly depriving women of role in developsons why they have not ble with a Parliament only failed in parliawhere Islamist lawmaking their society. They believe that mentary elections, but ers have 44 of its 50 women have no place among them why women were seats. It is possible that because they entertain the idea that the excluded from the the Cabinet chose to be Cabinet. The fact on the safe side in fear place of a woman is at home where she remains that Kuwaiti that Parliament might should stay in order to cook, clean and women only got their interpret the selection raise children. That is the kind of women political rights in 2005, of a female minister as following grueling bat“being not in line with they want. tles between the citizens’ views when Cabinet and Parliament they chose not to elect at the time. The fact also remains that female candidates women to the Parliament”. That might be the case when we consider the proba- never received endorsement of male citizens the same bility that the Cabinet is still uneasy with casual threats way their male counterparts were endorsed by female made by tribal and Islamist MPs. This makes me believe voters. Women’s causes were never a top priority for that female citizens are no longer part of the political groups, who used female voters to reach the top of the ladder before knocking them down. Government’s priorities. If this is true it is a disaster. They believe that women have no place among them Since they obtained their political rights in 2005 this is the first time Kuwaiti women, who are the majority in because they entertain the idea that the place of a this nation’s society, were completely left out of the woman is at home where she should stay in order to political scene. In an analysis published by Bahrain’s cook, clean and raise children. That is the kind of Gulf News daily, the Gulf Center for Strategic Studies women they want, in a society where female voters explains that women failed to reach Parliament as a probably were the main reason why they are in result of the social reality in Kuwait, which made issues Parliament now.—Al-Qabas


By Ali Mahmoud Khajah ould you like to live in a country where everybody respects each other? Would you like to see positions filled with the most competent skilled people regardless of their ideologies, views or beliefs? Would you like to go around your country without being forced to accept some people’s behavior or whims? Would you like to believe in whatever ideas you like without being despised, ridiculed or insulted for it by others? Would you like to see those insulting or ridiculing you for being different punished? Would you like to see that neither origins nor affiliations are bases of success in your country? Would you like to see clear and definite laws applied equally to everybody without alteration? Would you like to run for elections without seeing some fool incriminating voting for you because you don’t have the same beliefs as his? Would you like to discuss any issue without fear that your argument will be judged according to your name? Would you like to go to a mosque, Husseiniah, church or never go at all without being evaluated accordingly? Would you like to condemn the crimes in Bahrain and those in Syria without having to know the victim in each or what they believed or thought? Would you like to contradict Osama Al-Menawer’s delirium and defend Christians’ rights without being described as a non-believer or anti-Islamic? Would you like to see human beings treated as mere humans regardless of restrictions imposed by some parties? Would you like to live in Kuwait as our forefathers did when they only cared about and worked for the welfare of this nation with nothing binding them but love and compassion no matter how different they were? I believe that the answer to most of these questions would be ‘Yes’, so I would like to remind you how you have declared to be secular. Do not back up or try re-reading the questions to find a way out of it. Secularism is not an insult as some portray it to be; it is a rather profound method and process through which a civilized civilian state can be achieved if we can cut loose from ‘historic’ boundaries. This is not new. I am only presenting the idea in a clearer way. It already exists in Kuwait, yet is oppressed by the extremism we are experiencing these days. So, go back to your senses and frankly admit that secularism is much better than hiding behind the shields of doctrines! —Al-Jarida


obody thinks that the new National Assembly, which is dominated by the Opposition, will be reformist and boost freedom, protest development, fight corruption and wasta, defend the constitution and protect democracy? Statements by new MPs during which they announced their ideas, ambitions and proposals will for sure lead to the destruction of the country and bankruptcy. It will damage future generations through their interference in educational issues, if they get what they are looking for. First, we should not care for the irresponsible statements by young MPs such as MP Osama Munawer, who said that he will submit a proposal to remove churches from Kuwait, and disallow building new ones and ban dealing with interest. Such proposals are unconstitutional and violate the simplest of human rights, and the noble principles adopted by


Muna Al-Fuzai

kuwait digest

The project of destroying Kuwait and burning it is on By Sami Al Nisf ho started the shooting in Lebanon and turned Green Lebanon red, responding to orders and money transferred from outside? They were not creatures from another planet. The ones who have committed that crime are Lebanese leaders and national figures from Lebanon, who claimed that killing and destruction is in the interest of Lebanon and its people! Followers used to believe this claim, but none of them asked those leaders this question. If all this killing and destruction is a sign of love for the nation, then what is the sign of hatred? What does it look like? After the long years between the start and end of civil war in Lebanon, which lasted for 17 years, none of those national leaders and faithful religious men confessed that he was committing those crimes in return for money in his account and for the power and authority. The same thing applies to Iraq, Somalia, Palestine and other Arab countries. So are we different from them? Are some of our political figures and media men more honest than their counterparts in the other Arab countries? The answer in my view is clear. The project of destroying Kuwait and burning it is on and continuous. The banners lifted are the same banners which play with our feelings, like protecting our nation and fighting corruption and sticking to our religion... etc. The reality is completely the opposite, as there are upcoming plans of sedition following one after the other like a destructive storm. Stopping it requires that we stop carrying on our shoulders those who want to destroy us, and stop


believing what we hear from all the lies told to us. We should not believe everything we listen to, so that we are not the people described to be like parrots, with “his brain in his ears.” Slow reading to the results of the last elections shows how Kuwaiti youths can easily be led, to the benefit of the ones who cheat them then leaves them to face their problems alone. They will come out full of hatred and anger against the ones who aim for their benefit, and more loyal to the one who cheated them. Note: Part of the clear instigations against the new ministries, in order to create a state of instability in politics, was published in the social media (YouTube). It said His Highness the Prime Minister has asked one of the ministers to vote in certain way. The real truth is the voting of ministers is the opposite of MPs. In the Cabinet, all ministers vote in the same way together in a unification, positive or negative and one of the usual things that might happen in any session is that one of the ministers is busy talking to another colleague or with one of the MPs. Then suddenly voting is asked for. The minister looks at the Prime Minister or to another minister to know how government is voting in order to vote along with it. He is not supposed to vote against the government. Other irresponsible instigation issues are to look into the articles of some minister before he took the ministerial post and hold him accountable for that article. The Constitution states that accountability starts from the date of taking up a ministerial post, and not before then.— Al-Anbaa

What really worries us are the proposals related to economy and education, as MPs Khalid AlSultan and Dr Waleed AlTabtabaei want to revive the loans off law. This was discussed about a year ago by Government and National Assembly committees as well as all economic and financial consultation houses. All were in agreement that such a law will harm Kuwait economy and shrink the banking basis on which modern Kuwait was built. Kuwait rulers. What really worries us are the proposals related to economy and education, as MPs Khalid Al-Sultan and Dr Waleed Al-Tabtabaei want to revive the loans off law. This was discussed about a year ago by Government and National Assembly committees as well as all economic and financial consultation houses. All were in agreement that such a law will harm Kuwait economy and shrink the banking basis on which modern Kuwait was built. Writing off interest means encouraging p e o p l e to b o r row w i t h o u t b e a r i n g a ny responsibility. If MPs decide, for political and election considerations, to write off interest who will pay banks their rights? If the answer is the Government... what about the majority of people who did not borrow? Where is the principle of justice and equality? Writing-off interest means letting go of the economic and commercial system that is being used in Kuwait and all the free world. What is the alternative suggested by the elite Salafist Muslims? Do they have a full picture of how to run the economy away from the free capitalist system?! The economy is the most important problem that political Islamic groups are facing af ter reaching Parliament in Egypt, both Brotherhood and Salaf. The economy deteriorated and the crisis may lead to Egypt’s bankruptcy... because the Brotherhood and Salaf have their own vision towards the economy. But they did not reveal it yet. If the Brotherhood and Salaf of Egypt failed to give a view, then what do you think about Kuwait? Please stay niqab, hijab and student segregation... better for you and us. As for the Ministry of Education, we see deliberate interference in the specialties and the work of specialists there. A technical committee was formed by the University, Public Authority for Applied Education and Training and the Education Ministry. Everybody should conform to its proposal. It is not right for MPs to interfere in the march for education, and politicize it for election considerations. MP Jamaan Al-Harbash announced an education conference with Education Minister, Dr Nayef Al-Haraf. What is regretful is that the new education minister began his work with long meetings with leaders in the ministry. This resulted in the cancellation of the mechanism of failing examination papers, and grading papers with low percentages in secondary schools. The minister is boasting that he solved the problem for the sake of students and their families. Making everyone succeed and canceling exams means the Government bowed to pressures from MPs to allow all students to succeed. I said many times that we at the university are suffering a lot from low success rates, and we asked that the curricula be changed, but no one is listening. As long as we have a teacher’s society under the control of political Islam, a National Assembly that does not care and a Government that cannot conform... May God save the country from destruction. — Al-Watan


Israelis fear homefront vulnerable to Iran attacks Page 8

Nigeria steps up security as market attack kills 30 Page 11

HOMS: An image grab from a video uploaded on You Tube is said to show a wounded father and his child, killed in bombing in the Baba Amro neighborhood of the opposition hub Homs. — AFP

‘World has abandoned us’, Syrians cry Critically wounded left to die in besieged Homs


in brief

Family ‘starved to death’ TOKYO: The bodies of an elderly couple and their son have been found in an eastern Japan apartment around two months after their deaths, police said yesterday, amid reports they died of starvation. “Bodies of two men and one woman were found” in the apartment in Saitama City, north of Tokyo late Monday, a local police official said. “They are believed to be a couple in their 60s and their son in his 30s but we are yet to identify them officially,” he said. Their rotting corpses were reportedly found by their landlord when he visited them because they were six months behind on their rent. The electricity and gas supply had been cut off and they were believed to have been living only on water, according to the private TBS broadcaster. There was no food in the apartment and police found only a few yen (cents) there, TBS added. Indonesia maid raped, thrown from window SINGAPORE: An Indonesian maid was allegedly raped twice by a neighbor, who then cut and strangled her before throwing her out of the window of a second-storey flat, media reports said yesterday. The maid, who was 26 at the time of the alleged attack, survived the ordeal despite suffering serious injuries, the High Court heard in proceedings reported by the Straits Times daily. The identities of the victim and the accused-a 44-year-old former security guard-were not published on court orders. The newspaper said the incident took place in September 2009, when the maid stepped outside the apartment where she worked to reach the circuit box located outside after the electricity tripped. 46 journalists die in 2011 NEW YORK: At least 46 journalists were killed in 2011, with Pakistan the deadliest country for the second year running, a rights group said yesterday. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said deaths during dangerous assignments-such as covering street protests-reached the highest level on record in 2011 as the Arab uprisings dominated the headlines. Seven deaths were reported in Pakistan, followed by five each in Iraq, where attacks have continued despite the US withdrawal, and Libya, where a popular revolt against strongman Muammar Gaddafi escalated into a NATO-backed war. “Seventeen journalists died while on dangerous assignments, many of them while covering the chaotic and violent confrontations between authorities and protesters during the uprisings that swept the Arab world,” the report said. Photojournalists and camera operators accounted for 40 percent of fatalities, more than twice the proportion CPJ has documented since it began keeping records in 1992. The group also reported an increase in the deaths of Internet journalists, who “rarely appeared on CPJ’s death toll before 2008.”

BEIRUT: Struggling to survive after two weeks of withering bombardment by Syrian forces, people in the Baba Amro district of Homs are packed four or five families to a house, relying on collected rain water and watching their wounded friends and relatives die for lack of medicines, residents say. Some say starvation is a real threat and accuse the world of abandoning them to army shelling which they say has killed dozens of people and wounded 2,000 in the rebel stronghold of an 11-month uprising against President Bashar Al-Assad. With no chance to flee, many families have abandoned their houses on the outskirts and retreated further into the heart of the battered neighborhood in the central western city of Homs, cramming dozens of people into small houses and apartments. Those who survive the shelling face shortages of food and water which they say have been deliberately aggravated by government snipers shooting at water tanks. They are terrified to leave their homes and shelters. “ We are collecting rain water in jars and casseroles,” said Abu Bakr, a resident of Baba Amro sheltering with 25 people in a two-room house. “We take turns in sleeping-some during the day and others during the night because we do not have enough space,” he said. Women who recently gave birth are unable to feed their babies because their breast milk has dried up from shock, he said. “Some women have volunteered to breast feed those babies but until when? Their lives are in danger.” The shelling destroyed many houses in the poor neighborhood of 80,000 people and the few field hospitals

erected months ago are in ruins, activists say. At least two doctors and two nurses were killed in the shelling, leaving Baba Amro with just two or three doctors, they say. Some houses were turned into makeshift hospitals but the lack of medical supplies and staff mean there is little help for the wounded. “We are watching the wounded die. All we are doing is using pieces of clothes to cover their wounds then watch them die,” said another resident of Baba Amro, who declined to be named. “We have lost many people and every day we have friends and relatives dying before our eyes, there is nothing we can do.” The government says it is fighting armed militants intent on overthrowing Assad who are funded and armed from abroad while the residents say the crackdown is aimed at crushing pro-democracy protesters and those opposed to Assad. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) told Reuters that it was negotiating with Syrian authorities and opposition fighters on a “cessation of fighting” to bring life-saving aid to civilians hardest hit by the conflict. Diplomatic sources said the ICRC was seeking a two-hour halt of hostilities in hotspots including Homs, a major industrial centre and Syria’s third largest city, next to Damascus and Aleppo. In some areas of Homs, the Free Syrian Army rebels set up checkpoints to try and block access to soldiers and Shabbiha militia loyal to Assad. In Baba Amro, where many residents are farmers and traders, the massed troops on the outskirts of the district mean farmers are prevented from harvesting their crops. — Reuters

Palestinian prisoner ends hunger strike JERUSALEM: A Palestinian prisoner has ended his 66-day hunger strike over his detention without charge under a deal that will see him released in April, Palestinian and Israeli officials said yesterday. “The Israeli court decided to release Khader Adnan on April 17 and based on that he ended his hunger strike,” Palestinian prisoner affairs minister Issa Qaraqaa said. Ofir Gendelman, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said the agreement meant “if there’s no new evidence against him, he will be released from custody on April 17.” Adnan’s lawyer Jawad Bulus also confirmed the deal, details of which were made public just hours before the Israeli Supreme Court was to hear an appeal against the prisoner’s detention without charge. “There will be no extension of his administrative detention and he will be released on April 17,” Bulus said. The Israeli justice ministry confirmed that a deal had been signed, thereby ruling out the need for the hearing which had been due to start at 1300 GMT. Adnan’s wife, Randa Mussa hailed the

deal as a “victory” for her husband, whom medics said had lost more than 40 percent of his body weight over the past nine weeks. “He forced the occupation to give in to his demands and I hope he returns safe to us,” she said. Adnan, 33, was detained on December 17 and began refusing food a day later to protest his detention without charge and his alleged mistreatment by interrogators. His protest, already the longest hunger strike carried out by any Palestinian prisoner, has attracted international attention and thrown a spotlight on Israel’s use of administrative detention, a military procedure which allows suspects to be held without charge. Israeli officials described Adnan as a “terrorist” from the radical Islamic Jihad movement, although he has never been charged with any offence, nor has any evidence against him been made public. In January, a military court handed down a four-month administrative detention order against Adnan, which he appealed in an unusual court session earlier this month held at his hospital bed in northern Israel. —AFP



Israelis fear homefront vulnerable to Iran attacks JERUSALEM: Despite its confident saber-rattling, Israel’s concern is growing that the country is vulnerable to a devastating counterstrike if it attacks Iran’s nuclear program. An announcement this week that a mobile rocket-defense system will soon be built just outside Tel Aviv, where Israel’s sprawling military headquarters sits smack in the middle of office towers, museums, night spots and hotels, caused some jitters. Israeli officials cite intelligence reports that Tel Aviv would be a main target of any attack. Increasingly, the debate in Israel is turning to whether a strike can do enough damage to the Iranian program to be worth the risks. Experts believe that any attack would at best set back, but not cripple, the Iranians. Skepticism about Israel’s ability to defend itself runs deep here. Israelis still remember Iraqi Scuds landing in the center of the country 20 years ago. In 2006, the Lebanese Hezbollah militia seemed able to rain rockets at will during a monthlong conflict with the Jewish state. A scathing government report issued months ago suggested the homefront is still woefully unprepared. In a questionably timed move, the Cabinet minister in charge of civil defense in recent days resigned to become the ambassador to faraway China. Vice Prime Minister Dan Meridor, who also serves as minister of intelligence and atomic energy, indicated Monday that Israel was facing a new type of peril. “Whereas in the past, there was a battlefield where tanks fought tanks, planes fought planes, there was a certain push not to see the homefront affected. Now the war is mainly in the homefront,” the normally tight-lipped Meridor said. “The whole of Israel (is vulnerable to) tens of thousands of missiles and rockets from neighboring countries. So of course we need to understand the change of paradigm,” he continued. “If there is a war, and I hope there isn’t a war, they are not just going to hit Israeli soldiers. The main aim is at civilian populations.” Both

Israel and the West believe Iran is trying to develop a nuclear bomb - a charge Tehran denies. Israel believes a nucleararmed Iran would be a threat to its very existence, citing Iranian leaders’ calls for its destruction. Israel has welcomed international sanctions imposed on the Islamic regime, but it has pointedly refused to rule out military action. In recent weeks, top leaders have sent sig-

gets. In the past, rockets fired from Gaza or Lebanon have been directed at smaller, marginal communities, the largest being regional centers like Haifa in the north or Beersheba in the south. Leaders believe that Israel’s main cities would be targeted by more sophisticated, longerrange missiles. Jerusalem is considered relatively safe because of its Islamic holy sites. But the Mediterranean coast, home

or left altogether. A prolonged siege on the city today could likely fuel another exodus. Israeli defense officials warn that Syria, a close Iranian ally, is believed to possess GPSguided missiles and chemical weapons. Hezbollah has greatly improved its arsenal since the war, and militants in the Gaza Strip, to Israel’s south, are believed to be smuggling power ful warheads

TEL AVIV: Photo shows a view of downtown Tel Aviv and its skyline, with Israel’s Defense Ministry (seen in the background). —AP nals that patience is running thin. An Israeli military strike would very likely draw an Iranian retaliation, experts believe, which would involve either Iran firing its long-range Shahab missiles or acting via local proxies of Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza or even Assad loyalists in Syria. Experts believe the experience of the 2006 war against Hezbollah, in which the guerrillas rained 4,000 rockets onto Israel, is just a small taste of what could lie ahead. The chief of military intelligence recently said that Israel’s enemies now have some 200,000 rockets and missiles aimed at Israel. But this time, Israel’s main population centers are believed to be possible tar-

to most of the country’s population, with Tel Aviv as the gleaming target at its center, seems like a very attractive target. The business and cultural capital of the country, with a metropolitan population of over 2 million, Tel Aviv is critical to Israel’s image of itself as a modern place with a Western lifestyle. Israel happily markets the city as a high-tech, funloving hub. Aside from a spate of Saddam Hussein’s rudimentary Scud missiles in 1991, the city has never truly been tested before. Although the Scuds caused little damage memories of that war are vivid; the strikes caused widespread panic and tens of thousands of people fled to safer areas of the country

from Libya. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were discussing a sensitive security matter, said intelligence reports indicate that Tel Aviv military headquarters will be targeted and an alternative site for military headquarters is being prepared. Defense Minister Ehud Barak has estimated that an I ranian attack would claim fewer than 500 Israeli casualties - a statement intended to calm the nation, but which has achieved the opposite effect. The concerns for the homefront have dovetailed with fears around the world that an attack could unhinge the global economy and spur terrorist attacks against the West. For the past

five years, M atan Vilnai - a veteran Cabinet minister and one-time deputy military chief of staff - has been responsible for preparing such scenarios. Vilnai recently announced he was stepping down, leaving for China as Israel’s new envoy. On Sunday, he gave Cabinet a progress report on homefront preparations. His comments were not made available to the public and Vilnai did not respond to requests for an interview by The Associated Press. But Israeli media quoted the former general as being outraged at insinuations that he was “running away.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged after Vilnai’s presentation that more work must be done in “an era of threats to the Israeli homefront.” Israel’s performance in the 2006 war was widely seen as a disaster, particularly because of the military’s inability to stop the barrage of Hezbollah rockets on northern Israel. The country’s military chief and defense minister at the time were forced to resign; a government report found “serious failings and flaws” by politicians and the military. Five and a half years later, Israeli air defenses are vastly improved. Its multilayered shield includes the “Iron Dome” defense system, which shoots down rockets fired from short distances, the “Magic Wand,” aimed at stopping intermediate-range missiles, and the “Arrow” missile defense system meant to protect Israel from Iran’s expanding array of missiles. The Iron Dome has already proven effective in knocking down Palestinian rockets from the Gaza Strip. But only three Iron Dome batteries have been deployed, while expert say 14 are needed to cover the country. The system is expec ted to be deployed in central Israel for the first time in the coming days. The military insists the timing is part of an annual training plan for the system, but the deployment in the nation’s heartland has added to fears that Israel was approaching a threat it has never encountered before. — AP

Iran ‘would act’ against enemies if endangered World pressure rising on Iran over nuke activity

MISRATA: Libyan polling station agents explain voting procedures to Misrata residents during local council elections, the first vote in post-revolution Libya. — AFP

More than 100 killed in south Libya clashes TRIPOLI: Fierce clashes between two tribes in Libya’s remote southeastern desert have killed more than 100 people over the past 10 days, tribal sources said yesterday. At least 113 people from the Toubu tribe and another 20 from the Zwai tribe have been killed in the desert town of Kufra since the fighting between them erupted on February 12, the sources said. “We are under siege since a week. Since the start of the clashes, 113 people (from our side) have been killed, including six children,” Toubu chief Issa Abdelmajid told AFP by telephone. He said another 241 members of his tribe have been wounded in the raging battles with members of the Zwai tribe. Abdelmajid, a former opponent of Muammar Gaddafi, who fought the slain dictator’s forces in last year’s conflict, was previously tasked by the ruling National Transitional Council with monitoring Libya’s southeastern border. At least 20 people from the Zwai tribe have also been killed and another 40 wounded in the clashes, said Yunus Zwai, spokesman for the Kufra local council. “People from Toubu tribe are being helped by foreign elements from Chad and Sudan. We have arrested several Chadian and Sudanese fighters,” he said. Both groups were using light arms when the fighting erupted, but the violence intensified, with the two sides firing rocket-propelled grenades and antiaircraft guns, local sources said. “I appeal to the international community to intervene and stop these clashes which are aimed at exterminating my tribe,” said Abdelmajid. “We tried calling the NTC but it has not responded,” he added. Libya’s official LANA news agency quoted NTC spokesman Mohammed Al-Harizi as saying that the situation in Kufra was “not calm”. “There is an armed conflict between certain members of the society there in which several have been killed and wounded,” Harizi said on Monday without specifying the number of casualties. An NTC source, on condition of anonymity, said that control of lucrative

smuggling routes was at the root of the conflict. Zwai, meanwhile, said those fighting members of his tribe were not Libyan Toubu tribesmen, but “foreign elements”. “There is an invisible hand in the fighting. The Libyan Toubu are safe in their homes,” he said. Members of the Toubu tribe are dark-skinned and present in southeastern Libya as well as in Chad, Sudan and Niger. Kufra, with a population of about 40,000 people, is located in a triangle sharing borders with Egypt, Chad and Sudan. The Toubu tribe faced discrimination under Gaddafi’s regime. First vote in Misrata In another development, people from Libya’s battle-scarred city of Misrata queued up to vote in their first free election on Monday, hoping to set a standard for the rest of the country as it prepares for national polls in June after the war that overthrew Muammar Gaddafi. Months after Misrata saw the biggest and bloodiest battle in Libya’s eightmonth conflict, voters waited outside polling stations set up in schools, many of the buildings still marked with bullet holes from the fighting. Residents were picking the new 28 members of the Misrata local council, who will have the tough job of rebuilding a city of around 300,000 people which was bombed beyond recognition. “For the first time in our life we feel we are human. We can choose what we want, it’s a joy for all Libyan people, and God willing, it will get better and better,” teacher Basma Fortey said, showing her left index finger dipped in ink for the vote. Security was tight in the coastal city, with armed men, sometimes near trucks mounted with anti-aircraft guns, standing guard at the schools. Banners reading “Just as you were present on the front line, be there for the election” were posted around the destroyed city. The small town of Zwara last year held local elections but Misrata’s polls are the first in a major settlement, its residents say.—Agencies

TEHRAN: Iran would take pre-emptive action against its enemies if it felt its national interests were endangered, the deputy head of the Islamic Republic’s armed forces was quoted by a semi-official news agency as saying yesterday. “Our strategy now is that if we feel our enemies want to endanger Iran’s national interests, and want to decide to do that, we will act without waiting for their actions,” Mohammad Hejazi told Fars news agency. Iran is facing increasing international pressure and isolation over its disputed nuclear activity. Expanded Western sanctions aim to block its economically vital oil exports and Tehran has said it could retaliate by shutting the Strait of Hormuz shipping lane vital to global energy supplies. Still, a top US intelligence official said last week that while US spy

services believed Iran would respond if attacked, they thought it was unlikely to start a conflict. Israel and the United States do not rule out military action against Iran if sanctions and diplomacy fail to rein in its nuclear energy campaign. Senior UN inspectors have begun their second round of talks in Tehran in three weeks, seeking Iranian explanations with respect to intelligence about “possible military dimensions” to the Iranian nuclear program. Iran denies Western accusations that it is covertly seeking the means to build nuclear weapons and in recent weeks has again vowed no nuclear retreat, but also voiced willingness to resume negotiations with world powers without preconditions. Iran says it is enriching uranium solely as fuel for a future

network of nuclear power stations, not for bombs. The European Union enraged Tehran last month when it decided to slap a boycott on its oil to take full effect on July 1. On Sunday, Iran’s oil ministry announced a retaliatory halt in oil sales to French and British companies, though that step will be largely symbolic as those firms had already greatly reduced purchases of Iranian crude. On Monday, the European Commission said Belgium, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands had already stopped buying Iranian oil, while Greece, Spain and Italy were cutting back purchases. Tighter sanctions including the pending embargo on Iranian oil imports into the EU have helped push oil prices up to $119 a barrel from $107 at the start of the year. — Reuters

Somalia conference faces daunting task LONDON: World powers gather in London tomorrow for a major conference on Somalia, with recent glimmers of hope overshadowed by a litany of woes including AlQaeda-linked militants, piracy and famine. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, UN chief Ban Ki-moon and others will join Somali leaders in a bid to find a solution to the unrest in Somalia that has dragged in the international community since 1991. British Prime Minister David Cameron, who is hosting the conference, said the strategy was to “try to get the whole of the world to get behind the efforts of the Somali people themselves”. “I’m convinced that the international community can help create a breakthrough,” he told members of the Somali community in London on Monday. Foreign Secretary William Hague outlined the scale of the challenge, saying that Somalia had been “the world’s most failed state for the last 20 years” and a potential base for terrorism. The conference comes on the back of some progress in Somalia, including a weekend deal on the future government, combined with some military successes against the Shebab movement of Islamist rebels. The Shebab were driven out of Mogadishu six months ago to the south and west, and appear

weakened by a combined onslaught by African Union-backed government forces, with the Kenyan army active in the south and Ethiopian in the west. But in a

in terror camps run by the Shebab. Somalia’s chaos has also made it a global centre for piracy in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean, but the international fleet mobilized in

MOGADISHU: Somali police and military soldiers stand guard over 15 prisoners, suspected Al-Shebab members’ in a temporary jail in Mogadishu yesterday. —AFP sign of the troubles ahead, Osama bin Laden’s successor Ayman alZawahiri announced last week that Shebab fighters had officially joined ranks with the Al-Qaeda network. Britain, with its large Somali diaspora community, has in particular warned of the dangers of what it says are foreign fighters training

2008 recorded a slight reduction in attacks last year against merchant ships. Famine zones in Somalia declared by the United Nations last August were announced to have improved to emergency conditions earlier this month, but despite massive international aid efforts, conditions remain grim.

On the political front, Somalia’s president, the presidents of the breakaway Puntland and Galmudug regions, and the commander of the anti-Shebab militia Ahlu Sunna Wal Jamaa signed a UN-backed deal on Saturday. The accord signed in the northern town of Garowe proposes a parliamentary system for anarchic Somalia to replace the country’s fragile transitional body, whose mandate expires in August. Ban on Sunday urged the Somali leaders to engage in “full and timely implementation” of the deal and it is likely to be scrutinized at the conference tomorrow. “We want to ensure that the process is the product of genuine consultation,” stressed a senior British diplomat, wary of the dozen previous aborted attempts at reaching an agreement. But the delegates at the conference, which will also gather the African Union, the European Union and the Arab League, face conflicting demands from both Somalians and the different countries affected by the conflict there. Uganda-which with Burundi forms the backbone of AMISOM, the AU force in Somaliawants to mobilize sustainable funding for an enlarged force of 17,000 troops, an increase of from the current UN-set target of 12,000.—AFP

Tunisia bloc proposes Islamic constitution TUNIS: The third-largest party in Tunisia’s constituent assembly, charged with writing a new constitution, has proposed a draft document based on Islamic law which will likely alarm the country’s secularists. The moderate Islamist Ennahda party won a 40 percent share in the assembly, or 89 seats, in Tunisia’s first election since the ouster of Zine Al-Abdine Ben Ali a year ago sparked the Arab Spring uprisings across the region. The non-religious Conference for the Republic won 29 seats in the 217-seat assembly

and Aridha Chaabia, or Popular List, came in third. Should the proposal win the support of more than 60 percent of parliamentarians, it would pass without a referendum. Popular List said in a statement that its draft document “stipulates in its first article that Tunisia is a free, independent and sovereign country, Islam is its religion and the principal source of its legislation, Arabic is its language and its system is a republic”. “Using Islamic sharia as a principal source of legislation will guarantee freedom, justice, social

equality, consultation, human rights and the dignity of all its people, men and women.” The proposal is certain to inflame political tensions in Tunisia, where secularists already fear that the Ennahda-led government will slowly Islamise Tunisian law and society. Ennahda has sought to assure secularists that it has no intention of enforcing Islamic rules, but it has struggled to control more conservative Islamists who have been outspoken in their demands that religion play a greater role in public life.— Reuters



Pakistan to ask Interpol to arrest Musharraf ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will ask Interpol to arrest ex-President Pervez Musharraf for his failure to prevent the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, the interior minister said yesterday. Rehman Malik said the government was seeking Musharraf’s arrest because he allegedly failed to provide adequate security for Bhutto, who was killed in a gun and suicide bomb attack in 2007. He made the comments in a televised address to lawmakers in Sindh province, Bhutto’s political stronghold. Musharraf, a one-time US ally, went into self-exile in Britain in 2008 after being forced out of the presidency he secured in a 1999 military coup. The current government is being run by Musharraf’s political rivals, and the president is Bhutto’s widower and political heir. A Pakistani court issued an arrest warrant for Musharraf

last year over the allegations. Musharraf, an ex-army general who wants to return to Pakistan to contest what will be bitterly contested elections likely this year, said the government was playing politics over the case. Musharraf has repeatedly denied any legal responsibility for the killing. “This is all politics,” he told ARY television station yesterday. “It’s just point scoring and nothing else.” Legal expert Hashmat Habib said Interpol has the right to detain Musharraf and hand him over to Pakistan if it chooses to issue a warrant. But it is unclear how the international police organization will respond, or indeed whether Malik will go ahead with his threat. The former prime minister was killed on Dec. 27, 2007, shortly after returning to Pakistan to campaign in elections Musharraf agreed to allow after months of domestic and international

pressure. Two police officers and five alleged members of the Pakistani Taleban have been charged in connection with the assassination. But Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party has continued hinting that it believes Musharraf or his allies may have been involved. Zardari asked the UN to investigate the assassination. The probe found Musharraf ’s government didn’t do enough to ensure Bhutto’s security and criticized steps taken by investigators after her death, including hosing down the crime scene and failing to perform an autopsy. The UN officials were not tasked with finding out who the culprits were. But they identified two main threats facing Bhutto - Islamist extremists like Al-Qaeda and the Taleban who opposed her links to the West and secular outlook, and members of the “Pakistani Establishment,” the term used

Putin stays above the fray in stealth campaign KOMSOMOLSK-ON-AMUR: In recent days Vladimir Putin has flown thousands of kilometers across Russia, attended a top economic forum, dealt with the after effects of an earthquake and visited a massive aircraft factory. All without once mentioning his bid for a historic third term as Russian president in March 4 elections. Putin’s team insist that an almost week-long swing out to Siberia then the Far East then back to Moscow, again via Siberia, is not part of an election campaign but his daily work as prime minister. With his opponents battling it out in talkshows in Moscow, Putin himself has been zooming off to distant cities like the aircraft-building hub of Komsomolsk-on-Amur some 8,200 kilometers east of Moscow. Yet with the election less than two weeks away, promises-often involving large chunks of federal funds-have never been far away. “He doesn’t need to talk to the people, he is too busy!” said Tatiana Alexeyeva, a retired radio specialist in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, the kind of Soviet industrial outpost where Putin’s message of Russian power finds a ready audience. For many residents of this city lying seven time zones east of Moscow and making its living largely by producing military planes and ships, Putin does not need to campaign-he is already regarded as a problem-solver. Jetting around far-flung locales, Putin has lived up to his all-action image. He swept into an economic forum in Krasnoyarsk, where he promised a firm making plastic gas tanks to tweak an unfavorable technical regulation. He then flew 400 kilometers to the city of Abakan, where he pledged 400 million rubles ($13.3 million) to the neighboring Tyva region which was battered by a serious earthquake last year. On Monday, he was walking along assembly lines of the Sukhoi military plane maker, the Komsomolsk-onAmur aviation plant (KnAAPO), whose workers were more than happy to express their support for the Russian strongman. “In the ‘90s there was wind blowing in and out of this assembly shop, and there was snow on the floor,” KnAAPO’s head of production Sergey Limanov said in the giant hangar containing semi-assembled Sukhoi fighter jets and adorned with Soviet-era motivational posters. “Without state support there would be none of this,” he said. Putin’s campaign has relied heavily on contrasting the relatively wealthy decade of his rule to the 1990s, when oil prices were considerably lower, and people saw their savings wiped out by multiple devaluations. In Komsomolsk-on-Amur, many of those working for the defense industry shudder in unison when they think back to what they remember as a dark

era of unemployment and poverty brought on by a lack of orders. “We had no jobs, I made a living collecting glass bottles,” said Galina, an engineer at the

ST PETERSBURG: A demonstrator holds a poster depicting Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during a rally in support of Putin’s candidacy to the presidency in the March 4th election, in St Petersburg, Russia. — AP Amur Shipyard, who declined to give her last name. The city’s main streets today are lined with wide pavements and pretty pastel-colored buildings that hide from view some less presentable sagging wooden barracks. And the workers of the ship and plane-building plants see Putin as the man who rescued them with military contracts. “Now our city is alive again, the plant has orders. If someone other than Putin is president, it will die again,” said Galina. “Both I and my daughter will vote for him, he proved himself by his actions.” At the government meeting Monday that discussed Russia’s defense industry, Putin promised Galina’s employer and other defense builders more money. Putin’s aides say that to campaign he has to take an official day’s holiday from his work as prime minister, and is expected to address a massive pre-election rally in Moscow on February 23. However this has not stopped the publication of voluminous articles by Putin every Monday for the last month in the Russian press outlining his vision for Russia in every aspect of life, from the economy to the military. He can also count on loyal sidekicks to get in the thick of the pre-election mudslinging like campaign chief Stanislav Govorukhin, who last week called protestors and the opposition “monkeys” and “the shit of the nation”. “ Why would (Putin) need to campaign? He has enough deputies that talk,” said Sergei Petrov, a carpenter in Komsomolsk-on-Amur. — AFP

Britain revamps border force over lax security LONDON: Britain said yesterday it was putting its border guards under separate control ahead of the London Olympics after a critical report found hundreds of thousands of people had been allowed into the country without full security checks. Ministers are under pressure to ensure Britain’s borders are secure as the island nation prepares for an extra 700,000 visitors arriving for the games in July and August. A government-ordered report has raised questions over the border agency’s ability to cope with the jump in arrivals. Addressing parliament, Home Secretary (interior minister) Theresa May said she would split the 7,000-strong UK Border Force from the larger border agency and put it under the control of a

senior police officer. She said the relaxation of checks against a watchlist of suspected criminals and militants was “completely unauthorized” and unacceptable. The report said: “A significant test will be whether this can be maintained during periods of greater passenger volume and for the Olympic and Paralympic Games”. It found that between 2007 and 2011 border guards waived the “Warnings Index” checks on about 500,000 Europeans arriving by the Eurostar train service that links Britain and France. Other checks had also been suspended without ministerial approval, including at London’s Heathrow airport where guards allowed in students from “low-risk” countries even when they lacked the required entry clearance. — Reuters

locally to refer to a powerful and shady network of military, intelligence, political and business leaders that the PPP has long maintained is an enemy of the party. Bhutto’s father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was executed in 1979 by a military dictator, and the party’s rhetoric has long been infused with tales of political marytdom at the hands of the army. After her death, the PPP rode a wave of public sympathy to garner the most seats in the February 2008 elections. Months later, the party forced Musharraf to step down as president by threatening impeachment, and the presidency was eventually won by Bhutto’s widower Asif Ali Zardari. Musharraf later left for London, and has since spent a good deal of time on the lecture circuit, including in the United States. — AP

KARACHI: Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik briefs lawmakers in the Sindh provincial assembly in Karachi yesterday. Pakistan is in the final stages of asking Interpol to help arrest former military ruler Pervez Musharraf over the murder of expremier Benazir Bhutto, Malik said. — AFP

French candidates battle over industrial decline Sarkozy targets costs, Hollande eyes innovation FLORANGE: No smoke billows from the colossal Florange steel mill in northeastern France and only a skeleton crew tends to its upkeep, yet the indefinitely idled plant has become a battleground for the upcoming presidential election. Temporarily shuttered since late 2011 for lack of orders, the ArcelorMittal steelworks symbolizes the industrial decline that is a key campaign issue for both President Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist challenger Francois Hollande. Fearing that the mill’s hulking blast furnaces may never be fired up again, some 200 exasperated workers occupied management offices at the plant on Monday to protest against the closure. While steelworkers are heartened to see politicians finally taking the plight of the long-struggling sector seriously, they fear that unless campaign promises of reform and investment translate into action, it may be too late to halt the decline. “It’s good to see people talking about industry but the politicians have a lot of catching up to do. Otherwise we’re not going to survive,” said third-generation steelworker Jean-Pierre Breme, a foreman at Florange with decades in the industry. “They want to go backwards, they want to reindustrialize. They want to go back to all the things they threw out in the past, saying it was a load of rubbish.” Sarkozy and Hollande, who is well ahead in opinion polls, are pushing rival ideas to save industry, with the conservative incumbent focused on structural reforms and his Socialist challenger calling for more investment. Florange’s twin blast furnaces are the last of dozens that used to smelt iron ore and coke in the Moselle valley, the heartland of steelmaking for three centuries that is now part of the nation’s rustbelt. Florange has outlived other steelworks in this borderland flanking Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany thanks to hard-to-beat productivity, but high costs and persistently weak demand for the steel slabs it produces leave workers wondering whether not only the plant but also steelmaking in France have any future. With industry bleeding jobs and factory shutdowns frequently grabbing headlines, other candidates including far-right leader Marine Le Pen, centrist Francois Bayrou and leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon, have seized on the sector’s plight. The demise of plants like Florange has left France one of the least industrialized of some 40 advanced economies tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Manufacturing contributes less to gross domestic product in France than in Britain, which Sarkozy recently asserted had no industry. According to OECD data, only Luxembourg and Greece are less industrialized. IN THE POLITICIANS HANDS One key debate in the two-round election on April 22 and May 6 is about whether to shift to a new economic model favoring supply-side, pro-business policies or to continue relying on consumption and investment to fuel growth. Sarkozy has focused on cutting labor costs to give France a new competitive

edge while Hollande - a social democrat who is popular but lacks government experience is banking on investment and innovation to restore industrial prowess. In Florange, workers are pinning hopes on a 600 million euro ($783 million) pilot program that could halve carbon dioxide emissions and energy use while increasing output. Politicians of all stripes back the project to transform the blast furnaces to capture carbon, but its fate is out of their hands as it depends on funding from the European Commission, which is taking its time deciding whether to back the project. “We all love our steel industry and we don’t want to see it stop,” said Jean-Claude Roeder, who works at the blast furnaces. “If tomorrow we don’t have the project then we’ll feel that France is abandoning us, that France’s doesn’t want a steel industry any more.” BROKEN PROMISES Florange’s workers know all too well about broken promises. ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, wound down another mill at nearby Gandrange despite Sarkozy ’s pledge to find a way to keep it going. Days after wedding former supermodel Carla Bruni in 2008, the president promised on a visit to the ill-fated factory to change then-CEO Lakshmi Mittal’s mind about shutting it down. “What’s at stake is keeping factories on our national territory,” Sarkozy told a crowd of workers at the time from the shop floor. “We cannot let our factories close.” The words echo painfully in the empty hangars at Gandrange as the plant is now closed except for a rolling mill and a research and development centre. That has made it a compulsory stop on the campaign trail of his political rivals. “No politician can afford not to

cy. The services sector has more than made up for job losses in industry that were due partly to productivity gains, but the country’s loss of competitiveness cannot be ignored. While industry generated about 23 percent of French jobs 30 years ago, now it is only 12 percent, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters Datastream. France’s share of euro zone exports has fallen from nearly 16 percent to 13 percent in a decade and its share of global exports has fallen to a mere three percent. The trade deficit hit a record at nearly 70 billion euros ($91 billion) in 2011. Unit labor costs rose nearly 17 percent over the last 10 years while in Germany they are only marginally higher over the period, according to OECD data. DEVALUATION OR INNOVATION Before the euro existed, European countries could spur exports by devaluing their currency - an option no longer available to euro zone members. Eager to corner the debate, Sarkozy is making a late legislative push to cut social welfare charges on companies, shifting the cost to an increased VAT sales tax. The measure, dubbed “Social VAT”, aims to level the playing field with foreign companies exporting to France by making them bear a bigger share of financing the welfare system. “Social VAT is in effect a devaluation because it reduces the burden on producers and employers, paying for it by increasing the burden on consumers,” senior OECD economist Peter Jarrett said. Hollande says that further squeezes purchasing power, but industry bosses are delighted and would like to go even further. “You can’t play football with a sack full of rocks on your back. That’s the problem with

GUERET: France’s Socialist Party (PS) candidate for the 2012 French presidential election, Francois Hollande speaks during a meeting at Gueret townhall, central France. — AFP come here, except for the one who already came here,” said Thierry Tavoso, a union representative, referring to the president’s visits. France has lost 763,000 industrial jobs in the last 10 years with 355,000 shed since Sarkozy took office in 2007 - figures Hollande rarely omits from his speeches about industrial poli-

social charges and labor costs,” said Pierre Gattaz, CEO of electronic connectors maker Radiall. While conservatives in the United States and Britain have won elections with supply-side economics, it remains to be seen if they can win over French voters more suspicious of business. — Reuters

UK minister heckled over health reforms LONDON: Britain’s health minister was angrily heckled over health care reforms that the government says will improve efficiency but opponents claim threaten the foundation of the country’s state-funded health care service. Protesters jostled Health Secretary Andrew Lansley as he arrived for the 10 Downing Street meeting on the reforms. Demonstrator June Hautot, 75, accused Lansley of trying to privatize the National Health Service. “The NHS is not for sale. There is no privatization,” Lansley told her - but the government is still struggling to convince skep-

tics of that. Britain’s Conservativeled government is planning a major overhaul of the NHS, which provides free treatment to all Britons. The government says the reforms will cut bureaucracy, improve treatment and give doctors more control over health care management. Opponents say the changes will give private companies a bigger share of heath care and undermine the system’s universality. The overstretched health ser vice is Britain’s biggest employer, costing more than 100 billion pounds ($158 billion) a year, and is a source of both con-

stant complaints and national pride. Making the system more efficient has proved an elusive goal since the NHS was established in 1948. The latest reforms come as Britain seeks to trim spending by 80 billion pounds ($127 billion) by 2015 in a bid to cut the country’s deficit. The proposed law is meeting stiff resistance in Parliament, and more than 150,000 people have signed an online petition calling for it to be scrapped. The sweeping reforms are opposed by several large medical organizations, including the British Medical Association, the

Royal College of Nursing and health care unions. They said they were not invited to Monday’s meeting, which was attended by government officials and the new consortia of doctors that will take over health management from local health care trusts. “There are quite a few myths that we need to bust about this reform,” Prime Minister David Cameron said Monday, insisting he would push the changes through. “We need to do everything we can to explain to people that this is about improving and enhancing our NHS, not in any way endangering it.” — AP



Massacre underlines Mexico prison problems MONTERREY: The revelation that guards likely helped members of the violent Zetas drug cartel slaughter 44 rival inmates and break out of a northern Mexico jail throws new attention on the enormous corruption inside the country’s overcrowded, underfunded prisons. The top officials and as many as 18 guards at the Apodaca prison may have helped 30 Zetas escape during the confusion of a riot early Sunday in which other Zetas fatally bludgeoned and knifed 44 members of the rival Gulf cartel, Nuevo Leon Gov Rodrigo Medina said Monday. The massacre in this northern state was one of the worst prison killings in Mexico in at least a quarter-century and exposed another weak institution that President Felipe Calderon is relying on to fight his drug war. Mexico has only six federal prisons, and so sends many of its dangerous cartel suspects and inmates to ill-prepared, overcrowded state penitentiaries. Drug trafficking, weapons possession and money laundering are all considered federal crimes in Mexico. “The

Mexican prison system has collapsed,” said Raul Benitez, a professor at Mexico’s National Autonomous University who studies security issues. “The prisons in some states are controlled by organized crime.” An increase in organized crime, extortion, drug trafficking and kidnapping has swelled Mexico’s prison population almost 50 percent since 2000. But the government has built no new federal prisons since Calderon launched an offensive against drug cartels when he took office in late 2006, leaving existing jails overcrowded. Calderon’s administration has agreed to renovate two existing state prisons to use as federal lockups. Built to hold about 185,000 inmates, the prison system nationwide now holds more than 40,000 above that capacity, according to figures from the National Public Safety System. Prison employees say guards are underpaid, making them more likely to take bribes. And even honest guards are vulnerable to coercion: Many live in neighborhoods where street gangs and drug cartels are

active, making it easy to target their families with threats. The same can be said for Mexico’s municipal police forces, another weak flank in Calderon’s attack on organized crime. Thousands of local officers - often, entire forces at a time - have been fired, detained or placed under investigation for aiding drug gangs. “Yesterday, Apodaca, tomorrow, any other (prison),” columnist Carlos Puig wrote in the newspaper Milenio. Nuevo Leon’s governor said Sunday’s breakout appeared to have been premeditated and it would have been hard or impossible to stage without the help of prison authorities. Medina said guards and officials in the prison in Apodaca, outside the northern city of Monterrey, may have simply allowed Zetas inmates to walk out. No holes were found in the prison’s perimeter walls, and no armed gang burst in to spring them. “Unfortunately, a group of traitors has set back the work of a lot of good police,” Medina said at a news conference. He offered a reward of 10 million pesos (almost $800,000) for informa-

tion leading to the arrest of those involved in the mass escape. An increase in prison violence and escapes is fueled in part by the increasing presence of members of highly organized drug cartels and other gangs in the prisons. In January, a fight between inmates in the Gulf Coast city of Altamira left 31 dead. A total of 171 inmates died in such violence last year, up from 45 in 2007, according to the newspaper Milenio. Often, the riots and escapes are aided by authorities. In the most striking case, prison corruption resulted in a massacre outside prison walls in 2010. Guards and officials at a prison in Gomez Palacio in northern Durango state let cartel inmates out, lent them guns and sent them off in official vehicles to carry out drug-related killings, including a massacre of 17 people at a rented dance hall. After carrying out the killings, the inmates returned to their cells, where they were safe from their rivals. More typical was a prison massacre last July in the border city of Juarez that killed 17 inmates. — AP

APODACA: A child yells out for her father as she pushes on a gate where police stand on the other side after her mother and other adults pushed the gates in an attempt to get past state police at the Apodaca correctional state facility in Apodaca. —AP

In shift, Obama targets Santorum on economy Obama campaign goes on attack

SAO PAULO: A Haitian man stands with his suitcase and waits at the entrance of the house of immigrants where a shelter for immigrants and refugees runs in Sao Paulo. — AFP

Grateful Haitians see Sao Paulo as ‘promised land’ SAO PAULO: Brazil’s Sao Paulo, a megacity shaped by successive waves of foreign immigration, is opening its doors to grateful Haitians fleeing the economic blight of their earthquake -ravaged nation. There is no official figure for the number of Haitians living in this metropolitan area of 20 million people, but at least 4,000 are known to have reached northern Brazil since a January 2010 quake devastated their nation. In interviews with AFP, a dozen elated Haitians granted residence visas following long odysseys through South America were fulsome in their praise of the Brazilian government and described Sao Paulo as “the promised land.” “They have done so much for us while other countries like Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, even the United States, turned their backs on us,” said Luckner Doucette, who arrived recently after eight months in the north. Doucette, 31, who left his 27-year-old wife in the northern city of Manaus, says he gets no help from the authorities and does not want it. “ They have done enough for us. I speak Portuguese, I am staying with friends and I am pretty confident I will soon find a job in the construction business,” he told AFP. Brazil has become the choice destina-

tion for Haitian immigrants lured by a massive infrastructure and construction boom linked to the country’s hosting of the 2014 football World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics. Haitians know that Sao Paulo is Brazil’s economic capital and believe that jobs can easily be found here, Doucette said. For the newcomers, the first stop in Sao Paulo is often the Casa do Migrante (House of Immigrants), a shelter run by missionaries in the working-class Glicerio neighborhood. The local Catholic parish assisted Italian immigrants in the 1940s, later migrants from around Brazil, and now exiles from around the world. Carla Aparecida Silva Aguilar, a social worker who manages the Casa do Migrante, said the shelter currently has 43 Haitians out of 112 foreigners from 20 nations. A cloister-like compound located near the Liberdade Japanese district, the shelter provides accommodation, food, psychological help, Portuguese classes and help with employment and health matters. ‘Other countries turned their backs on us’. Residents do not get any money and every morning after breakfast, they have to leave the facility to look for work and can return only after 4:30 pm. — AFP

Republican ‘super PACs’ buoyed by mega donors WASHINGTON: An unmistakable dynamic is playing out in the money game among Republican presidential candidates: New “super” political action committees are growing more powerful than the campaigns they support. For two of the Republican front-runners, their supportive super PACs raised more money and have more cash left in the bank than the candidates’ own campaigns. Helping their efforts are major financial gifts from wealthy business executives, whose contributions can be essential to the groups’ continued operations. Mitt Romney-leaning Restore Our Future and Newt Gingrich-supportive Winning Our Future raised a combined $17 million last month and spent nearly $24 million during that same period. That financial strength allowed the groups to splash the airwaves in key primary states with millions of dollars in TV ads. The proliferation of new super PACs continues to underscore how the groups, which can raise and spend unlimited sums, are influencing the race. The groups’ fundraising last month offers a periodic behind-the-scenes glimpse into the identities of the rich supporters who will help elect the next president, along with details on how the millions of dollars they donated have been spent. Restore Our Future, which had $16 million cash on hand, has been boosted by more than two dozen repeat donors.

Winning Our Future, which had $2.4 million in the bank, is largely supported by casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and his wife. Meanwhile, Romney’s presidential campaign raised $6.5 million last month and had $7.7 million left over for his presidential bid, while Gingrich’s campaign raised $5.5 million during the same period and had about $1.8 million in cash remaining. The super PACs, as well as other groups supporting other candidates and the individual campaigns, were required to disclose how much they raised and the identities of their donors in reports filed with the Federal Election Commission by midnight Monday. Those reports provided a snapshot of fundraising for President Barack Obama’s early campaign and for Republican candidates as they battled during important primary elections in January. During the month, Republican candidates Gingrich and Rick Santorum had briefly surged ahead of Romney but trailed the former Massachusetts governor in fundraising. Since then, Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, has climbed remarkably in polls while Gingrich’s support has eroded just as stunningly following the former House of Representatives speaker’s disappointing showing in Florida’s primary. Restore Our Future has been a boon for Romney, who has benefited greatly from the group’s TV ads attacking Gingrich in particular. — AP

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign regularly rips Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney for his economic policies. Yesterday, it added former Senator Rick Santorum to its list of top targets. In a sign of the growing seriousness with which the president’s team takes the former Pennsylvania lawmaker, Obama’s campaign gave equal billing to Santorum in a memo criticizing the two Republican candidates’ tax and deficit reduction plans. “Governor Mitt Romney and Senator Rick Santorum claim they will champion spending cuts deep enough to cut taxes and balance the budget,” Obama campaign policy director James Kvaal wrote in the note, which was distributed to reporters. “In fact, they have both proposed irresponsible and reckless tax plans that would drive up the deficit by trillions of dollars, while their claims to balance the budget through spending cuts are completely unrealistic.” Santorum has surged ahead of Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, in some national polls. He beat the struggling frontrunner in a string of recent nominating contests in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado. Though Obama’s campaign has kept its fire directed primarily on Romney, it has started to watch Santorum closely. The campaign’s Pennsylvania state director said last week in an email blast that Santorum’s “extreme-right social views are as out of touch as they are memorable,” and asked locals to collect stories that revealed his “true colors.” Santorum has drawn contrasts between himself and Obama on social issues, criticized the president’s administration on Monday of implementing healthcare policies that discourage marriage and hurt families. Adding Santorum to a critique of Romney’s economic policies offered a new way for Obama’s campaign to attack the surging conservative. BUDGET CRITIQUE Romney and Santorum have some similar proposals. Romney would extend Bush-era income tax cuts for wealthy earners while

eliminating education and child-care tax breaks that benefit lower-income taxpayers. His plan would cut annual tax revenue by $180 billion, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. “Romney repeatedly promises to balance the budget, but his platform not only fails to reach that goal - it would actually increase the deficit and drive up the debt,” Kvaal wrote. “The cost of his tax cuts and defense increases will total approximately $375 billion in Fiscal Year 2016, the year Romney chose as the benchmark for his budget plans,” Kvaal said. Santorum’s tax plan, meanwhile, would dramatically cut tax revenues. His plan calls for collapsing the current six

income tax brackets down to two at 28 percent and 10 percent. The plan would keep in place tax breaks for mortgages and healthcare and would boost tax breaks for parents. “With its even larger tax cuts, the Santorum plan would drive up the deficit even higher. Santorum has proposed $900 billion in tax cuts in 2015,” Kvaal said. Both tax plans have been criticized by conservatives, too. Conservatives attack Romney’s plan for maintaining a tax on investment income for households making more than $200,000 a year, while Santorum has been accused of playing favorites through the tax code by offering benefits to manufacturing businesses and families with children. — Reuters

SAN JUAN: Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi (left) and Sen Carmelo Rios unveil a bronze statue of President Barack Obama, along the so-called ‘avenue of heroes’ outside the Capitol building, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Puerto Rican officials unveiled bronze, life-sized statues of Obama and former President Lyndon B Johnson. Every sitting US president who has ever visited Puerto Rico is honored with a statue, dating back to Theodore Roosevelt. Obama became the eighth when he visited in June. — AP

In 200-year tradition, most missionaries were Americans SALEM: At a church on the New England coast 200 years ago, five young men became ordained as Congregational missionaries and set off on cargo ships to India as the first organized group of American missionaries to travel overseas. Their departure signaled the start of the US missionary movement, and today the United States sends more Christian missionaries abroad than any other country, experts say. The United States sent out 127,000 of the world’s estimated 400,000 missionaries abroad in 2010, according to Todd Johnson, director of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts. In distant second place is Brazil, which sent 34,000 missionaries abroad in 2010, he said. The United States receives the most missionaries as well, with 32,400 in 2010, he said. Many are Brazilians - Catholic, Protestants and Pentecostals - who largely work in Brazilian communities in the Northeast, Johnson said. Two of the original American missionaries-Adoniram Judson and his wife Ann Hasseltine Judson-settled in Burma, the Southeast Asian country now known as Myanmar, where Adoniram Judson remained for decades and

translated the Bible into the local language. The Judsons defied expectations that the group would never return, coming home to the United States before leaving again. But he died at sea, and she succumbed to smallpox and spotted fever in Burma. Roughly half of the original group and their families died at sea or abroad. Christians credit Judson and his wife with laying the foundations of the American missionary tradition and this month held events in Massachusetts, from lectures to tours of historic sites, to mark the 200th anniversary of the couple’s four-month sea journey in 1812. Christians in Myanmar hope to celebrate the anniversary of the arrival of the Judsons next year, organizers said. HISTORIC DEPARTURE At a reenactment on Monday of the Judsons’ departure from Salem Harbor, once a thriving seaport, about 60 people gathered to watch as actors dressed in period costumes spoke of leaving on a foreign mission, perhaps for the rest of their lives. The actors, wearing black hats and long coats, waved farewell before walking along a wharf toward the harbor. In the audience was Maung Htwe, 44, pastor of the

Overseas Burmese Christian Fellowship church in Allston, Massachusetts who grew up in Yangon, Myanmar. He said many Burmese people know about Judson because he translated a Burmese-English dictionary that is still in use. There are 1.5 million Baptists in Myanmar today, “so that gives you a sense for the importance of that sailing and the pattern that he set for missionaries to follow down through the ages,” said Dexter Bishop, a representative of the Adoniram Judson Baptist Association. At the time the Judsons left Salem, thousands of European missionaries had already fanned out across the globe, working to promote Christianity among native populations under the auspices of colonial powers, Johnson said. The role of missionaries has changed dramatically since the Judsons’ time, he said, and missionaries today tend to work independently or through organizations not affiliated with churches that traditionally ran missionary agencies. And their work may be focused on providing humanitarian aid rather than founding churches and winning converts. Some mission groups question whether to send missionaries to

developing countries at all, Johnson said. “ There are still streams within Christian missions that are suspicious of all preaching, or suspicious of all social action,” he said. After World War II, many newly independent countries declared moratoriums on western missionaries, and independent missionaries became more prevalent, said Dana Robert, author of “Christian Mission: How Christianity Became a World Religion.” Humanitarian work became common, and churches in the 1940s started large nongovernmental organizations, she said. By 2000, about two-thirds of the world’s Christians came from countries where western missionaries worked a century earlier, and there was an explosion of interest in mission work among Christians from Asia, Africa and Latin America, according to Robert. With the increasing globalization of communications and transportation, there has been an exponential increase of short-term volunteer missions, Robert said. “The current situation is almost a total free-for-all,” she said. “Somebody sitting at home with an Internet connection can virtually set up a mission.” —Reuters



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Talk of peace stirs up Qaeda-Taleban tensions PESHAWAR: The Taleban’s decision to talk to the United States is stirring up tensions with Al-Qaeda as the Afghan militia comes under pressure to dump its terror allies in the name of peace. Times are hard for Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The network has been weakened significantly by US drone strikes on its hideouts, last May’s killing of founder Osama bin Laden and by finances drying up. And since the Afghan Taleban declared themselves in favor of talks with the United States in Qatar that could help end a decade of war in Afghanistan, Al-Qaeda has felt increasingly abandoned in its fight against the West. As far as it’s concerned, talking to the Americans is treason. “Al-Qaeda blames us. They tell us ‘why are you letting us down, as we helped you when you were down?’” an Afghan Taleban official said. “We’re not hap-

py with the Doha process,” a source close to Al-Qaeda confirmed to AFP. “We want the war to continue in Afghanistan and Pakistan.” After taking power in 1996, the Taleban regime allowed Al-Qaeda to base itself in Afghanistan, taking advantage of fierce codes of hospitality and alliances made during the 1980s jihad against the Soviets in Afghanistan. But the alliance cost the Taleban dear. They refused to hand over bin Laden to the Americans after the September 11, 2001 attacks, the United States invaded and their regime collapsed within weeks. The Americans ruled out any negotiations and the Taleban fled across the border into Pakistan’s lawless tribal belt, where they found support among Al-Qaeda fighters, giving birth to a new stage in their relationship.

Al-Qaeda strengthened its links with Pakistani extremist groups, including the umbrella Tehreek-e-Taleban Pakistan (TTP), which pledged allegiance and in 2007 launched a bloody insurgency against the US-allied government in Islamabad. In Afghanistan, the conflict only worsened, making it increasingly evident that there could be no military victory for anyone. US President Barack Obama’s announcement that NATO combat troops would withdraw in 2014 opened the door to a possible return to power for the Taleban. But Washington has conditioned peace on the Taleban cutting all ties with Al-Qaeda. Saudi Arabia has also made its involvement in peace efforts conditional on the Taleban renouncing Al-Qaeda. By approving talks with the United States, the elusive one-eyed Taleban leader Mullah Omar has dissociated

himself from Al-Qaeda. Considerably weakened, foreign fighters in Al-Qaeda number no more than a few hundred in Pakistan and only dozens in Afghanistan, observers say. On February 9, Pakistani officials said Badar Mansoor was killed in a US drone strike in Waziristan. He was described as the “de facto leader of Al-Qaeda in Pakistan” and coordinator between Al-Qaeda and local Taleban. “Afghan Taleban think they have done enough for Al-Qaeda and bin Laden. Links between Al-Qaeda and Taleban got weaker after bin Laden’s death,” said Rahimullah Yusufzai, a Pakistani journalist and expert on the Afghan war. Mullah Omar recently asked the Pakistani Taleban to distance themselves from Al-Qaeda and no longer attack Pakistan, considered vital in any peace process in Afghanistan, said the Afghan Taleban official. TTP factions com-

mitted to a ceasefire, but the only commander who refused to comply was Hakimullah Mehsud, he added. Young and impetuous, the TTP leader says there will be no end to attacks until Washington stops drone strikes. Mehsud is part of a new generation, graduates of ultra-radical movements from Punjab with a sectarian agenda and veterans of particularly brutal bombings, leading to fears about a new “Pakistani” version of Al-Qaeda. Attacks have declined in recent months in Pakistan, which officials put down to the Taleban being weakened by drone strikes and Pakistani offensives. But as long as the drone strikes continue and the army continues to attack, “the threat won’t dry up,” particularly in the tribal beltthe main recruitment hub for militants, Yusufzai warned.—AFP

Afghan protests erupt over Quran ‘burning’ Protesters besiege largest US-run military base

BULAWAYO: Zimbabwean president and leader of the ZANU PF Robert Mugabe arrives at the party’s 12th National People’s Conference in Bulawayo. Robert Mugabe insisted yesterday that new elections be held this year with or without a new constitution. —AFP

Zimbabwe president turns 88, vows to cling to power HARARE: Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe turned 88 yesterday, vowing to stay in power despite grumbling inside his par ty that he should hand over to a younger leader, and international condemnation of his economic and human rights record. Mugabe said he was healthy and fit, in an interview with state television aired late on Monday, and made no reference to media reports that he is receiving treatment for prostate cancer in Singapore. “At this age I can still go some distance, can’t I,” Mugabe said, laughing, clapping his hands and rocking in his chair. Mugabe once charmed global figures with his wit and intellect in the early years of his rule when a relatively rich Zimbabwe was praised for its education and social systems. But he has since become a pariah in the West, blamed for running the economy into the ground and for massive human rights abuses to keep his grip on power. Mugabe, one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders, said his party ZANU-PF would choose his successor at the right time, but he had no intention of stepping down for now. “Our members of the party will certainly select someone once I say I am now retiring, but not yet,” he said in the interview. Asked whether his party still had

anything more to offer after more than three decades in power, Mugabe said ZANU-PF’s signature policies remained the defense of political independence and the pursuit of black economic empowerment. Critics say ZANU-PF has helped ruin one of Africa’s most promising economies with its seizures and distribution of white-owned commercial farms, and its more recent drive to force foreignowned firms to transfer majority shareholdings to Zimbabweans. Mugabe has shared power with longtime foe Pr ime M inister M organ Tsvangirai over the last three years after violent and disputed elections in 2008. Mugabe has been nominated as ZANUPF party’s candidate and intends to run in an election he wants held this year. That would be a year ahead of schedule under the power-sharing deal which also calls for a new constitution to be drawn up and approved ahead of the poll. “It’s not a secret that there is grumbling in the party over his decision to go on and on, but those seeking to succeed him are not strong enough to challenge him,” said Eldred Masunungure, a political science professor at the Universit y of Zimbabwe. —Reuters

Tibetans in China to mark new year in tense climate BEIJING: Tibetan new year is usually a time for festivities in China’s ethnically Tibetan areas, but this year some are choosing not to celebrate after deadly unrest and a huge security clampdown. Chinese authorities have implemented what some experts say are unprecedented measures of control on vast swathes of ethnically Tibetan regions following a wave of self-immolations by Buddhist monks and nuns. Last month, police shot and killed at least two Tibetans in the southwestern province of Sichuan-which borders the Tibet autonomous region (TAR) and has a large population of ethnic Tibetans. Tibet’s exiled government has called on Tibetans not to celebrate their new year-or Losar-which begins today, and instead observe traditional and spiritual rituals for those who have died. “Tibetans would now be getting ready for parties, family get-togethers, lots of food and drink,” said Kate Saunders, spokeswoman for the International Campaign for

Tibet (ICT), which has exile sources with contacts on the ground. “But this year... Tibetans have decided not to celebrate but to honor those who have died, particularly through self-immolations, by offering prayers and paying solemn respect to the traditions of their culture.” At least 22 Tibetans have set themselves on fire in China over the past year in protest against perceived repressive Chinese rule. Authorities have imposed virtual martial law in Sichuan and other areas, increasing their surveillance of monasteries and cutting some phone and Internet communications. Human Rights Watch has reported that authorities have detained large numbers of Tibetans with valid passports for political reeducation after they returned from a visit to India to listen to religious teachings. Robbie Barnett, a Tibet expert at Columbia University, said authorities in the TAR in particular had markedly tightened regulations. —AFP

BAGRAM: Protesters firing petrol bombs and slingshots besieged the largest US-run military base in Afghanistan yesterday, furious over reports that NATO troops had set fire to copies of the Quran. The enraged crowd shouted “Death to Americans” and “Death to infidels” as guards at Bagram airbase, north of Kabul, responded by firing rubber bullets from a watchtower, said an AFP photographer, who was hit in the neck. Hundreds of other people protested in the Afghan capital as security forces dispatched reinforcements in a bid to stop the demonstrations from spiraling out of control in the fiercely conservative Islamic country. The US commander in Afghanistan, General John Allen, apologized and ordered an investigation into a report that troops “improperly disposed of a large number of Islamic religious materials which included Qurans”. “I offer my sincere apologies for any offence this may have caused, to the president of Afghanistan, the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and most importantly, to the noble people of Afghanistan,” he said. Allen’s remarkably candid statement, apparently aimed at damage limitation after similar incidents led to violence and attacks on foreigners, was played repeatedly on Afghan television. Allegations that NATO troops at Bagram had set fire to copies of the Muslim holy book were first reported by Afghans working at the base, a senior government official said. A local police official said more than 2,000 people were demonstrating outside the sprawling US-run Bagram base at one stage. The AFP photographer saw at least seven other protesters hit by rubber bullets, some of them bleeding. Sediq Sediqqi, an interior ministry

spokesman, said that by early afternoon the demonstration was under control and there was no further violence. Another protest by about 500 people broke out in the Pul-echarkhi district of Kabul not far from major NATO bases on the Jalalabad road, police spokesman Ashamat

cern over the impact of the latest incident in the country, where US troops have been fighting against a Taleban insurgency for more than 10 years and supporting President Hamid Karzai’s government. “I have ordered an investigation into a report I received during the night that ISAF personnel at Bagram

the incident and we are taking steps to ensure this does not ever happen again. I assure you-I promise youthis was NOT intentional in any way.” Allen thanked “the local Afghan people who helped us identify the error, and who worked with us to immediately take corrective action”. Last month, US officials

BAGRAM: Afghan demonstrators show copies of Islamic books allegedly set alight by US soldiers, at the gate of Bagram airbase during a protest against Quran desecration at Bagram yesterday. —AFP Estanakzai said. That was also brought under control and the crowd later dispersed, he said. Last April, 10 people were killed and dozens of others were injured during days of unrest unleashed by the burning of a Quran by American pastor Terry Jones in Florida. Allen’s statement reflected con-

Airbase improperly disposed of a large number of Islamic religious materials which included Qurans,” he said. “When we learned of these actions, we immediately intervened and stopped them. The materials recovered will be properly handled by appropriate religious authorities. “We are thoroughly investigating

scrambled to condemn four US soldiers shown in an online video urinating on the bloodied corpses of three Taleban insurgents. The video, including one of the soldiers saying “Have a great day, buddy”, conjured up previous abuses committed by US troops during the decade-long war. —AFP

Market attack kills 30 in Nigeria KANO: Security forces patrolled an extensive market in Nigeria’s northeastern city of Maiduguri yesterday where an assault by suspected Islamists killed some 30 people, vendors and residents said. Gunmen believed to be members of the Islamist sect Boko Haram on Monday afternoon stormed the fish section of Baga market and sprayed stallholders and vendors with bullets, traders said. The market opened yesterday but security forces shut all entry gates except one directly overlooking a police station. “Most traders in this section of the market have not opened largely out of mourning for their colleagues killed in the attacks of yesterday. We have lost many colleagues,” Bunu Ahmad said on the phone. Witnesses and medics said some 30 people died when the gunmen opened fire and set off bombs inside the market, in what appeared to be a retaliatory attack for the arrest of a suspected Islamist inside the market last week. The military denied there were any civilian victims, saying it shot eight of the

attackers. Lieutenant Colonel Hassan Mohammed, spokesman of a special military unit in the city said the military “immediately came to the rescue of the situation and safely detonated three bombs planted by members of the sect and shot and killed eight members of the sect.” Some funerals of civilian victims of the attack took place yesterday. One fish vendor who asked not to be named said he lost two brothers in the attack. He said there was an explosion but he and his brothers chose not to run away at that stage. “A few minutes after, one of my brothers shouted ‘Oh! they have killed me’, then another one similarly shouted, ‘they have also shot me’. That was when I fled,” he said shortly after burying the brothers aged 29 and 31. “More than 25 people were killed,” he said. Due to the emergency rule imposed on Maiduguri on December 31, only the military responds to any emergency situations in the city, but a relief agency source said from accounts given by witnesses “the death toll

from the attack is around 30.” A nurse at Maiduguri hospital on Monday said “the number of dead could not be less than 30,” adding it was difficult to establish a precise death toll as security forces did not take the bodies to the morgue but allowed relatives to claim their loved ones for immediate burial. Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state and the home base of Boko Haram, has seen some of the worst violence blamed on the extremist sect, which has focused its attacks on the mainly Muslim north. The insurgency blamed on Boko Haram has killed more than 200 people already this year, including at least 185 in coordinated gun and bomb attacks in Nigeria’s second city of Kano on January 20, its deadliest ever strike. The shadowy sect has said it wants to create a Islamic state across Nigeria’s deeply-impoverished mainly Muslim north and some analysts believe the Islamists are tied to like-minded extremist groups such as Al-Qaeda. Other analysts insist the sect is pursuing a narrowly domestic agenda.—AFP



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Big questions still unanswered in Thai terror plot BANGKOK: It began when three men blew up their house accidentally on Valentine’s Day in Bangkok. It ended with a gory scene that looked more like Baghdad: A bloodied, would-be bomber with severed legs moaning on a glass-strewn sidewalk after another botched blast. Last week’s explosions in the Thai capital announced the apparent arrival of international terrorists in this Southeast Asian nation, revealing a plot allegedly aimed against Israeli diplomats. So far, three Iranian citizens have been detained in the case, and this week, a Thai court issued an arrest warrant for an additional Iranian suspect. Yesterday, police also were investigating the discovery of strange stickers plastered on Bangkok utility poles and billboards that may have marked routes for intended victims. However, profound questions remain about who was behind the plot, and why. Was it part of a covert tit-for-tat war in which Iranians are hitting back at Israel for allegedly killing Iranian nuclear scientists in Tehran? Were the assailants part of a global terror network? If they were professional assassins, why were they so inept? “There are many theories,” government spokeswoman Thitima Chaisaeng said shortly after the Bangkok blasts. And so far, not many answers. The explosions Feb 14 came one day after two other incidents in India and the former Soviet Republic of Georgia in which bombers tried to hit Israeli targets with so-called “sticky” bombs that attach magnetically to vehicles. Whoever was responsible for the crosscontinental string of violence, the perception that Tehran is to blame “has

undoubtedly exacerbated the already mounting tensions surrounding Iran’s nuclear program, and international efforts to curtail it,” said Will Hartley, head of the Terrorism & Insurgency Center at IHS Jane’s in London. Iran has denied responsibility. Thai investigators, meanwhile, have been left to pick up the pieces and solve the riddle of what happened on Thai soil. Police say a 31-year-old Iranian named Leila Rohani, who visited Thailand four times over the last year, paved the way for the operation by renting a two-story house in the Thai capital. Rohani left Thailand on Feb 5, and the three nowdetained Iranians arrived in the predominantly Buddhist country several days later, each traveling on a 60-day tourist visa. The trio met in Pattaya, a notoriously sleazy beach town on the Gulf of Thailand known for its go-go bars. They included Mohammad Kharzei, 42; Masoud Sedaghatzadeh, 31; and Saeid Moradi, 28. Immigration police say Kharzei and Sedaghatzadeh, at least, had visited Thailand before, Sedaghatzadeh as recently as December. In Pattaya, the men checked into separate rooms at two different hotels, and appeared to relax. For a couple of days, they hung out with several prostitutes, said Lt. Col. Noppon Kuldiloke, a senior immigration police investigator in southern Thailand. A snapshot of the group during this period emerged last week. Published on the front page of the Bangkok Post after the explosions, a cell phone image taken by one of the sex workers showed the Iranians at a Middle Eastern-themed bar or restaurant. Surrounded by hookah water-pipes

and a drink filled table, Kharzei and Sedaghatzadeh each cradled a woman in their arms, while Moradi reclined on a cushion. The group drank and played pool together, according to the report then headed to Bangkok to stay at the house Rohani had arranged for them. Whatever the men were planning went awry on the afternoon of Feb. 14, when an explosives cache stored at the home ignited by mistake. The ensuing

was an apparently barefoot Sedaghatzadeh, wearing shorts and sunglasses. Kharzei was next, carrying a large backpack strung over his shoulder. By the time Moradi finally came out, about five minutes later, a small crowd had begun to gather. But the bystanders recoiled in fear, backing up and turning away as Moradi strode past wearing a jacket and a black backpack. Blood

BANGKOK: Thai police and commando unit officers stand guard near the main entrance of the building which houses the Israeli embassy in Bangkok yesterday. —AFP blast blew the roof off an entire front room, simultaneously shredding a first floor edifice and showering the driveway and a grass courtyard with debris. A closed circuit video camera installed on the street outside showed the Iranians emerge, one by one. First out

appeared to drip from a wound on the left side of his face, staining a blue baseball cap. In each hand, he carried what appeared to be portable radios possibly homemade “sticky” bombs. As Moradi tried to flee, a red taxi passed and - for reasons that remain

unclear - he dropped one of the bombs into the road in front of it, blowing apart the vehicle’s front end and wounding the driver and three other Thai bystanders. Boonlak Phakdi, a cleaning lady living in the area, said the driver got out and shouted to other taxis that Moradi tried to flag down: “Don’t take that man in your car!” Moradi turned onto a main road as police began moving in. One of them, Sgt Panphum Rakkuson, said the Iranian pulled a rectangular-shaped box out of his backpack and threw it toward the officers. “We were stunned and couldn’t do anything but stand there,” Panphun said. The bomb, though, got caught on something, hit the ground next to Moradi and exploded. The blast instantly shredded both of Moradi’s legs below the knee. Panphum said Moradi reached out for a piece of broken glass from the sidewalk and drew it toward his neck, as if he was trying to kill himself. Moradi is in police custody at a Bangkok hospital, while Kharzei was arrested at the international airport that night, trying to board a flight to Iran. Sedaghatzadeh was detained the next day in Malaysia, and may eventually be extradited to Thailand. Thai courts have issued arrest warrants for all three men, as well as Rohani and a fifth Iranian, 57-year-old Norouzi Shayan Ali Akbar. Akbar, with dark hair and a silver beard, was caught on CCTV footage leaving the Iranians’ home the morning of the blast. Deputy national police chief Gen Pansiri Prapawat said Akbar was en route to the airport, where he took a flight to Tehran. Officials have given contradictory accounts as to

Akbar’s role. Police Lt. Gen. Winai Thongsong said he may have been a bomb-making expert who provided training to the other three Iranians. But Monday, Winai backtracked, saying Akbar may only have been a caretaker at the residence. Investigators say Kharzei - the only one Thai officials have been able to interrogate so far - has been tightlipped, admitting through an interpreter that he was in the house but denying any knowledge of explosives. Over the weekend, authorities seized a blue Honda motorcycle they say was purchased by Rohani in December and used by Sedaghatzadeh. It was found abandoned on a Bangkok street on Saturday. Police have also found 52 stickers with the word “SEJEAL” on them - possibly a reference to a passage from the holy Quran. The stickers were spread at dozens of locations across the capital, possibly to mark routes that could be used by targets. The stickers are identical to others found under the seat of the Iranians’ motorcycle as well as an apartment used by Rohani. The most damning evidence was found in the destroyed house: two more portable radio bombs - each filled with one or two pounds of plastic explosives, and - according to IHS Jane’s - ball-bearings. The bombs had round, coin-like magnets on them - similar to the “sticky” bombs used against Israeli envoys in a foiled attack in Tbilisi on Feb 13 and a blast in New Delhi the same day that injured four people, including a diplomat’s wife. Thai officials say the Bangkok plot was aimed at Israeli diplomats, too. Israel has gone further, alleging the evidence clearly points to Iran as being behind all three plots.—AP

Philippines police launch a new anti-kidnapping force Troops capture militant wanted for beheadings MANILA: Philippine police launched a new anti-kidnapping force yesterday to deal with a longstanding scourge by criminal gangs and militants that authorities say has been eased by crackdowns but anti-crime advocates continue to regard with alarm. Kidnappings for ransom in the Philippines have been cited for spooking would-be investors and tourists. They also are blamed for allowing Al-Qaedalinked groups such as the Abu

napping force would focus solely on the problem of abductions and replace the Police Anti-Crime and Emergency Response force, which for a decade dealt with hundreds of abduction cases, but also with high-profile killings and other crimes. The new force will be manned by hundreds of hostage negotiators, crisis managers and operatives and receive a considerably larger budget than the former one, is

new anti-kidnapping force, said kidnappings for ransom have considerably eased over the years, with just 11 staged by criminal syndicates and 14 carried out by the Abu Sayyaf and other Muslim militant groups last year. Nerez attributed the improvement to heavier police presence in hotspots and relentless assaults that broke up several syndicates, especially in the country’s northern Luzon and central Visayan regions.

KIDAPAWAN: Philippine military personnel look for evidence at a bomb blast site outside the prison building in Kidapawan town, North Cotabato province, in southern island of Mindanao. —AFP Sayyaf, which is based in the country’s restive south, to finance terrorist attacks and endure years of USbacked military crackdowns that have severed their known ties with foreign donors. In the latest case underscoring the problem’s complexity, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim ordered the arrest of 10 policemen who allegedly abducted four South Korean tourists and framed the victims with a false drugs offense to extort $30,000 from them. A Korean man who allegedly connived with the policemen fled but has been arrested in South Korea. The Philippines’ national police chief, Director-General Nicanor Bartolome, said the new anti kid-

expected to deal a stronger blow to the kidnapping menace, Bartolome said. “The message is, we will hit you harder,” police spokesman Agrimero Cruz said. Since the previous police anti-kidnapping force’s establishment in 2002, it dealt with 373 cases by ordinary criminal syndicates and hundreds of others staged by Muslim militant groups such has the Abu Sayyaf. Of the 373 kidnappings, the police agency solved 113, convicting 140 suspects and killing 164 others in assaults, officials said. Police officials did not immediately provide statistics on past kidnappings by terrorist groups. Senior Superintendent Isagani Nerez, commander of the outgoing and

Prominent anti-crime advocate Teresita Ang-See acknowledged police successes in breaking up syndicates and reducing incidents but said kidnappings remain a serious concern. “ The kidnapping problem has been with us and is still with us,” Ang-See said. Cruz said the focus of a new crackdown would be kidnappings committed by the Abu Sayyaf and other groups that could help it plot terrorist attacks. The Abu Sayyaf, which is on a US list of terrorist organizations, has been blamed for high-profile kidnappings of Filipinos and foreigners and is believed to be currently holding an Australian, Malaysian, Japanese and Indian national in their jungle hide-

outs in the south. Desperate for funds, the Abu Sayyaf has targeted even poor people who struggle to pay ransom. The group carried out at least 11 kidnappings and raised about $704,000 in ransom in 2010, according to a confidential government report. In another development, an Islamic militant accused of beheading Philippine soldiers and a host of other attacks was arrested yesterday after he was taken by surprise in his remote island hideout, authorities said. Security forces captured Abdulpattah Ismael, a member of the Al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group, in a raid on a village on the strife-torn southern island of Basilan, said regional police chief Superintendent Napoleon Estilles. “He did not resist. He was taken by surprise. He did not expect this so he did not have time to react,” Estilles said. Ismael faces murder charges for allegedly taking part in an ambush on Basilan in 2007 in which 14 Marines were killed, 10 of whom were beheaded, in one of the deadliest attacks by the Abu Sayyaf on the Philippine military. Estilles said Ismael also participated in a raid on a Basilan jail in 2009 that led to 31 inmates escaping, including Muslim militants, and the death of a guard. The Abu Sayyaf is a small group of Islamic militants founded in the 1990s with seed money from Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. It has been blamed for the nation’s worst terrorist attacks, including a ferry bombing in Manila in 2004 that killed more than 100 people. Abu Sayyaf militants are based almost exclusively in remote and Muslim-populated areas of the southern Philippines, including Basilan Island. A rotating force of 600 US Special Forces have been stationed in the south for a decade to teach local troops how to deal with the Abu Sayyaf and other Muslim militant groups. The Abu Sayyaf has only a few hundred militants left, down from about 2,000 a decade ago, according to the militar y and security analysts, and Philippine security forces regularly claim victories against the group. The military said it bombed an Abu Sayyaf hideout on Jolo island, close to Basilan, at the start of this month, killing 15 militants including three senior leaders of the Abu Sayyaf and the allied Jemaah Islamiyah group.—Agencies

HONG KONG: (From left) Eman C Villanueva, spokesperson of Asian Migrants’ Coordinating Body, Bungon Tamasorn, chairperson of Thai Regional Alliance in Hong Kong, Dolores T Balladares, chairperson of United Filipinos in Hong Kong, Ganika Diristiani, representative of Association Indonesian Migrant Worker and Eni Lestari, spokesperson of Asian Migrants’ Coordinating Body, arrive at the High Court in Hong Kong yesterday. —AP

HK govt fights landmark maids residency ruling HONG KONG: Hong Kong’s government argued yesterday against a landmark ruling that could let foreign maids gain permanent residency as it appealed a case that has raised concerns about ethnic discrimination and strains on social services. In the ruling in September, a lower court judge found that an immigration provision denying foreign maids the right to apply for permanent residency after seven years - as other foreign residents can - was unconstitutional. The case has divided Hong Kong, with some arguing that barring maids from applying for residency amounts to ethnic discrimination. Some groups fear the case will result in a massive influx of maids’ family members arriving in Hong Kong, putting a strain on the densely populated city’s social services and health and education systems, but supporters of the maids say those worries are unfounded. On the first day of a scheduled threeday hearing, government lawyer David Pannick argued yesterday that the court’s ruling was wrong because it places limits on lawmakers’ ability to decide who is eligible to permanently settle in Hong Kong. The judge in Hong Kong’s Court of First Instance had found in favor of Evangeline Banao Vallejos, a Filipino woman who had worked as a maid in Hong Kong since 1986. Vallejos sought a judicial review after her bid for permanent residency was rejected. Pannick rejected arguments by Vallejos’ lawyers that denying maids the right to apply for residency undermined the rule of law. He said the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, was not intended to be a “straitjacket” that prevented lawmakers

from having flexibility when setting immigration policies to advance Hong Kong’s interests. “Our argument is that the concept of ‘ordinary residence’ allows for a measure of discretion by the legislature,” Pannick told a three-judge panel in Hong Kong’s Court of Appeal. According to immigration provisions, foreign maids in Hong Kong are not considered “ordinarily resident.” Mark Daly, one of Vallejos’s lawyers, would not comment on the government’s position but said, “We’re quite confident in our arguments.” There are about 292,000 foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong, and most are women from the Philippines or Indonesia. Others come from Thailand, Nepal, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. About 95 percent of Hong Kong’s 7.1 million people are ethnically Chinese. By the end of 2010, 117,000 of the city’s foreign maids had been in Hong Kong for more than seven years, the September ruling said, citing government figures. Hong Kong permanent residents enjoy certain privileges including the right to vote and work without needing a visa. A handful of protesters gathered outside the courthouse as the hearing began, chanting slogans in support of the government’s appeal. They held up a banner that said, “Protect Hong Kong people’s welfare.” One political party has estimated up to 500,000 dependents of the maids could settle in the city because of the ruling but Daly said those numbers were “exaggerated.” The maids are a big help to Hong Kong’s middle-class families, who employ them to do household chores and look after children for a minimum wage of about $450 a month.—AP

Myanmar to consider ASEAN poll monitors YANGON: Myanmar has promised to “seriously consider” allowing Southeast Asian observers for by-elections marking the opposition’s return to mainstream politics, the ASEAN regional bloc said yesterday. The April 1 polls, which will see Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi stand for a seat in parliament for the first time, are viewed as a key test of the military-backed government’s commitment to budding reforms. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) said in a statement that Myanmar President Thein

Sein made the pledge to its visiting Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan during talks in the capital Naypyidaw. “We will seriously consider having observers from ASEAN ... during the April elections,” Thein Sein was quoted as saying. A 2010 election which swept the army’s political allies to power was marred by widespread complaints of cheating and intimidation. Foreign election observers and international media were not allowed into the country for that vote, which was denounced by Suu Kyi’s

opposition party and Western powers as lacking legitimacy. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party held a news conference on Monday to warn that the fairness of the April vote was also under threat because it was being denied the use of suitable venues for campaign rallies. But just hours later the NLD said the authorities had eased the restrictions in a turnaround it described as “very significant.” The opposition cannot threaten the ruling party’s majority even if it takes all 48 available seats in the by-

elections, but a Suu Kyi win would lend legitimacy to the fledgling parliament. The NLD won a landslide victory in an election in 1990, but the then-ruling junta never allowed the party to take power. Suu Kyi was under house arrest at the time. She was released from her latest stint in detention a few days after the 2010 vote. Suu Kyi’s decision to stand for a seat in parliament is the latest sign of dramatic change taking place in the country formerly known as Burma after the end last year of nearly half a century of out-

right military rule. The regime has surprised observers with reforms including welcoming the NLD back into the political mainstream, signing ceasefire deals with ethnic minority rebels and releasing hundreds of political prisoners. The upcoming polls are being held to fill places vacated by those who have since become government and deputy ministers. The new military-backed government, which is dominated by former generals, assured visiting top EU officials last week that the vote would be democratic. —AFP





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Compromise prez reveals cracks in Merkel coalition By Jean-Baptiste Piggin he recriminations from a fractious weekend of negotiations to pick a new German president may hamper Chancellor Angela Merkel as she struggles to nail down a long-term solution to the eurozone crisis. The Free Democrats (FDP), who make up more than a quarter of Merkel’s parliamentary majority, broke with Merkel to back Joachim Gauck for the post - forcing her to retreat and accept his nomination to replace Christian Wulff, who resigned last week. Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) now warn privately that there will be payback for the FDP’s disloyalty. On Monday, legislation to implement the European Union’s second bailout package for Greece is to be introduced in the Berlin parliament. Merkel is scheduled to set out the path ahead in a speech to the Bundestag three days later. The chancellor must hold together her coalition in votes on the package - and later on the 25nation European fiscal compact - despite complaints in the FDP, and in her own party, that the deals are too loosely drafted. Tactical calculations are likely to rule Merkel’s behaviour in the weeks ahead. Her priority is to avoid any revolt in her coalition. But once the building blocks are in place for a new, more fiscally-prudent eurozone, Merkel may decide to settle some scores at home. Merkel had to back down on Sunday, when the FDP stubbornly backed Gauck, 72, to take over Germany’s ceremonial presidency. Sources say Merkel, who wanted control of the nomination process, was furious, warning the leader of the FDP, Economics Minister Philipp Roesler, that she might eject his party from the government. “Is that what you want?” she yelled at him in a one-on-one meeting which associates say was audible from outside her office. Some said they had rarely seen Merkel so angry. When she calmed down, Merkel - who only minutes earlier had consulted key lieutenants and set her mind against Gauck - took a tactical decision to let the FDP and the opposition have their way. The CDU parliamentary leader, Volker Kauder, told her that bringing down the government over such issue during an economic crisis would have cast her in an unfavourable light, and would not prevent Gauck’s appointment, insiders say. Besides, her main focus was keeping a bailout for Greece on track and avoiding a market panic, after months of preparation. Merkel was all smiles a few hours later when she presented Gauck to the media as the cross-party choice for the presidency, but there was no cosy meeting with Roesler and his team later for a glass of wine - the chancellor’s usual way of ending a day of political talks. “It was getting late and it had been a long day,” said Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert in a bid to downplay the rift. But Michael Kretschmer, Kauder’s CDU deputy, confirmed there had been an “enormous breach of trust”. The opposition savoured her defeat, with Social Democratic leader Sigmar Gabriel saying, “She’s feeling it.” Green Party co-leader Cem Ozdemir went further. “There was more trust between the US and the Soviets in the Cold War than there is in this coalition,” he said. But a senior CDU legislator said the humiliation was minor. Voters would give her credit for flexibility, rather than perceiving her as weakened, since Gauck was a popular choice. A ZDF television poll showed 69 per cent of Germans like him. Peter Altmaier, CDU whip, said Merkel’s quick settlement of the issue had spared Germany from “weeks of friction”. Meanwhile, the FDP is in deep trouble electorally. In two state elections this spring it may fail to reach the 5per-cent barrier, thus failing to score any seats in state parliaments. The same fate looms at next year’s national election, with opinion polls suggesting the FDP only enjoys support of 2 to 3 per cent of the electorate. Christian Democrats suggest that the gloves may come off in the hustings, with the CDU treating the FDP as straight opponent, rather than a coalition ally. At the 2009 general election, the CDU committed ahead of time to form a coalition with the FDP, a pledge credited with helping to boost the FDP vote share to 15 per cent nationally. Merkel, whose bloc with Bavarian sister-party Christian Social Union (CSU) leads the polls, is now widely believed to be mulling a coalition with either the opposition Social Democrats (SPD) or Green Party. Roesler denied in a newspaper interview yesterday there had been any collapse in trust. “There’s no reason to say that,” he said. Seibert also did his best to calm the rumours. “There’s no need to worry about the coalition,” he told reporters.— dpa


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EU goes to bat for new Greek bailout By Alexandra Mayer-Hohdahl and Alvise Armellini uropean Union politicians yesterday insisted that the new bailout for Greece they approved overnight would solve the country’s debt woes, despite scepticism from analysts and even the International Monetar y Fund (IMF). European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told reporters that the package “closes the door on a scenario of an uncontrolled default,” which would have brought “chaos for Greece and for the Greek people”. Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said the rescue plan “takes away the immediate risks of contagion,” while Belgian Finance Minister Steven Vanackere called it “the moment of truth” for the crisis-battered eurozone. Even the traditionally stoic European Central Bank president, Mario Draghi, spoke of “a very good agreement”. But IMF chief Christine Lagarde was more downbeat, or more realistic, as some economists would have it. “There are downside risks, this is clear. It is not an easy program, it is a very ambitious one,” she told reporters in Brussels, confirming IMF forecasts that Greek debt would remain at 160 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) if things went wrong. The official aim of the EU-IMF package is to bring down that ratio to 120.5 per cent by 2020. “The success of the program depends on assumptions of social


and political support and economic outcomes that look too optimistic,” said Sony Kapoor of the ReDefine think tank. The bailout “won’t work” - one of Barroso’s advisers, Belgian economist Paul de Grauwe, posted on Twitter. “Problem with Greek deal: wants to limit losses of creditors ... by prolonging the pain of Greek population,” he wrote. US economist and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, in his New York Times blog, rejected the new bailout as not “credible,” arguing that the country needs to receive “sustained aid” or leave the eurozone to recover economically. “Both options would be politically catastrophic, which means that they can’t be taken until there is literally no alternative. So Greece will be strung along some more,” wrote Krugman. The second iteration of the bailout - fleshed out further over the last seven months to counter the grim economic news coming out of Athens - does come with a lot of ifs. It depends heavily on the private holders of Greek debt taking a loss on their bonds. Whether they will follow along with the “haircut” their negotiators agreed to remains to be seen in the coming weeks. If it succeeds, however, it will be “the largest-ever sovereign debt restructuring,” according to the Institute of International Finance, which represented private lenders in the talks. The IMF’s own contribution to the bailout was also up in the air. Lagarde, said it would “depend on a cer-

tain number of factors,” such as Greece delivering on reform pledges by the end of the month and the eurozone boosting its own bailout funds. Dutch Finance Minister Netherlands Jan Kees de Jager told reporters that the risk of the implementation falling short in Greece is “higher than anywhere else”. While acknowledging that Greece has repeatedly failed to meet economic targets, EU officials were also keen yesterday to highlight its “impressive” progress in certain areas, such as halving its primary deficit from 2009 to 2011. “I’m not aware of any country that has made such a correction in this period of time,” one official said. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble warned Athens that the bailout would “not sell itself,” encouraging it to prove itself as trustworthy. British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said he didn’t think that in the end “Greece has any other option” than taking the “difficult decisions” being demanded by its international creditors. EU projections foresee the country not returning to growth until 2014, with its economy expected to have undergone a 17-per-cent contraction by the time it reaches that point. Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos told repor ters he was “committed” to following through on the bailout, as would the new government after elections in April. “Because this is in the interest of the Greek people,” Papademos said. — dpa

Iran readies for worst but trying diplomacy By Farshid Motahari ran appears to be prepared for the worst in the row over its nuclear program, even if it is still also pinning hopes on diplomacy. There will be no rapid solution to the conflict, analysts agree. The current, second, mission by observers from the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog is not expected to change the situation. “An old Persian proverb comes to mind,” an Iranian political scientist says. “I keep telling him the cow is an ox and he insists he still wants milk.” Iran insists its nuclear program is for purely peaceful purposes and that there is no covert weapons program - while the West demands wants to know where Tehran’s secret bomb is being constructed. “We’ve been listening to this story for more than 10 years, and neither side has been able to demonstrate its view point conclusively,” the political scientist says. “We have nothing to hide. How often do we have to tell you this?” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tells the West. Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are reportedly trying to meet the scientists they believe to be working behind the scenes on the weapons program during their visit. In addition, the team wants to pay a renewed visit to the Parchin military complex near Tehran, where tests simulating nuclear missile warheads have been carried out, according to the latest IAEA report. Tehran is reported to have rejected both requests. “If Iran wants to deal satisfactorily with these allegations, then the IAEA people have to be shown Parchin at least. Otherwise, the whole cycle will start afresh in a couple of months,” a foreign diplomat says in Tehran. The IAEA paid a visit to Parchin in 2005, though it remains unclear what exactly they were shown there. They found nothing suspicious. However, it has been reported that the relevant part of the complex has been demolished. Iran is fully aware that the West is in earnest this time. War looms, at least in the possibility of airstrikes on Iranian nuclear facilities. “We are prepared for the worst-case scenario,” Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi says, reflecting Tehran’s policy of demonstrating resolve while also showing readiness for dialogue. The Oil Ministry has shut off exports to France and Britain


and has threatened to do the same to all European Union members. But Salehi has not given up on diplomacy and insists that good and tension-free relations with the EU are a top Iranian priority. Sanctions already imposed and

New Year on March 21 have felt the effect of that on the prices of impor ted goods. “ The government intends to pursue its own course, while the West is doing the same. And once again, ordinary people have to pay for these games,” says Jawad V, who works at a

An Iranian man walks past a mural west of the capital Tehran yesterday that depicts a ‘martyr’ who was killed during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. Tehran’s municipality has launched a project to paint more murals with the theme of the eight-year war on landmark buildings of the capital to keep the memory of the war alive. — AFP others announced by the United States and the EU have made an impact even before being fully implemented. “An impact to be sure, but not on the government - rather on the ordinary people,” an Iranian journalist says. The national currency, the rial, has plunged in value. Iranians doing their shopping ahead of the Persian

bank. He has had to drastically cut back his New Year shopping list. Jawad’s wife is also irritated by the longrunning battle over the nuclear program. The IAEA should be clear on what it means, instead of throwing up suspicions without proof, she says. “I’m anti-war, but perhaps that’s the only solution to end this conflict,” she muses. — dpa



A boy pushes his bicycle past a man standing on a roadside waiting for transportation as the sun sets on the outskirts of Islamabad yesterday. — AP

Red Cross seeks Syria ceasefire Continued from Page 1 And despite a plea by activists on Monday to allow women and children to flee Homs’ besieged Baba Amr neighbourhood, troop reinforcements were sent to the outskirts of the restive city, which residents say has been under assault for 18 straight days. Activists fear they are preparing to storm its defiant neighbourhoods. The Observatory said 16 people, including three children, died in “intensive shelling” that targeted Baba Amr, with the Khaldiyeh and Karm Al-Zaytoun districts also blasted. Eight more civilians, including a child, were reportedly killed by gunfire elsewhere in the country. Homs-based activist Hadi Abdullah of the General Commission of the Syrian Revolution, who had earlier voiced fears of an imminent ground attack against Baba Amr area, told AFP “large reinforcements were heading to Homs”. “We counted at least 150 shells crashing in Baba Amr within two hours this morning. We gave up counting afterwards,” he said. Omar Shaker, another activist, told AFP the neighbourhood had “no electricity, nor fuel,” and that “snipers have hit water tanks,” rendering the situation “bad beyond imagination”. Human Rights Watch said it had confirmed the use of Russian-made 240 mm mortars in Homs. “It is by far the most powerful mortar in modern use - most other countries stop at 160 mm mortars, and a very powerful weapon,” HRW

emergency director Peter Bouckaert told AFP. “We have little doubt that those extremely powerful mortars are being fired by the regime forces into civilian neighborhoods of Homs. We are talking about a 250pound mortar round that can only be fired from a heavy specialised armored vehicle and it requires a nine person crew to operate,” he added. In the capital, the Observatory reported that security forces opened fire overnight to disperse a demonstration in the Al-Hajar AlAswad neighbourhood, as daring protests spread in the stronghold of Assad’s regime. Protesters blocked the roads leading to Baramkeh Square in the centre of the capital overnight, according to Mohammed Shami, a spokesman for activists in Damascus province. Demonstrators used “burning materials” to shut the roads, triggering a security alert that saw “heavily armed forces” deployed in the area within minutes, he added. Security forces also opened fire to disperse a student protest inside the University of Aleppo, the northern city that until recently been spared anti-regime demonstrations. And secular groups demonstrated outside parliament against an article in the draft constitution that would require the president to be a Muslim. The International Committee of the Red Cross called for a daily truce of two hours in Syria so it can deliver vital aid to afflicted areas, after saying a day earlier it was in talks with both sides to halt

the violence. The head of the rebel Free Syrian Army, Colonel Riyadh AlAsaad welcomed the call, but voiced doubts that the “criminal” regime would commit. Meanwhile, the UN under secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, Valerie Amos, called on Syria to allow aid groups unimpeded access to the country. “ This is a major human rights crisis that is now moving into significant humanitarian consequences,” Amos said after talks with EU aid commissioner Kristalina Georgieva. And although top US military officer, General Martin Dempsey, said over the weekend it was “premature” to arm the country’s opposition, top Republican Senator John McCain called again for the outgunned rebels to be supplied with weapons. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, said Syria was increasingly under pressure. A Friends of Syria meeting in Tunis on Friday will “demonstrate that Assad’s regime is increasingly isolated and that the brave Syrian people need our support and solidarity,” she said on a visit to Mexico. The meeting “will send a clear message to Russia, China and others who are still unsure about how to handle the increasing violence but are up until now, unfortunately, making the wrong choices,” she added. Russia announced that it will not take part in the meeting because it was being convened “for the purpose of supporting one side against another in an internal conflict”, the foreign ministry said. — AFP

Yemenis vote as Saleh’s 33-yr rule comes... Continued from Page 1 The Arab world’s first female Nobel peace laureate, Tawakkul Karman, hailed the poll as a “day of celebration,” though she warned Hadi “to work for young people who took to the streets a year ago” or else they will “force him out just as they did Saleh”. Hadi cast his ballot amid cheers and applause at a far more secluded polling station near his home in the capital, with close aides saying he was surrounded by heavy security because of death threats. “This is a historic day for Yemen ... we will put the past behind us and turn a new page on which we will write a new future,” said Hadi. The road ahead remains ripe with risk and potential pitfalls, warned Yemen’s UN envoy. Yesterday’s election must be followed by “a far-reaching national dialogue bringing together all parties, especially those who have so far not taken part in the current political process,” said Jamal Benomar, referring to southern separatists and northern rebels who boycotted the polls. The deep divisions and conflicts that still plague the Arab world’s poorest country were evident yesterday. At least nine people were killed in the south, including a child, three civilians and four members of the police and security forces, while dozens of others were wounded, medics and security officials said. The 10-year-old child was killed near the election commission headquarters of the south’s main port city of Aden when southern separatists traded gunfire with police. The separatists also seized half of the polling booths in Aden and set tyres ablaze to disrupt movement, forcing officials to end voting there three hours early, secu-

rity officials said. The separatists, who say the election fails to meet their aspirations for autonomy or independence, were boycotting the poll, and hardliners from the group called for a day of “civil disobedience” to prevent the vote. Meanwhile, in Shiite rebel strongholds in northern Yemen, many polling stations were either deserted or closed. The rebels, who have fought six wars with Saleh’s regime since 2004, also boycotted the election. According to a security official, only one polling station in the northern town of Saada was open. Hadi, himself a southerner, pledged on Sunday to address the concerns of the separatists and rebels, saying “dialogue and only dialogue” can resolve these long-standing conflicts. And though Saleh was across the Atlantic receiving medical treatment for wounds sustained during an attack on his compound last year, his shadow loomed large. The veteran strongman maintains a strong hold over the most powerful security forces and there is also speculation that he might return from the United States as early as today. Saleh, spared the fates of his ousted Arab counterparts in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, urged Yemenis in a speech published on state news agency Saba Monday to vote for his deputy to ensure a “peaceful” transition of power. Results can be expected within the next two days, although under Yemeni law it can take up to 10 days before the official tally is announced. More than 12 million Yemenis were eligible to vote. The turnout in the single-candidate election will give some idea of the support 66-year-old Hadi has from his countrymen to lead the transition. — AFP

Govt urged to scrap loan interests, give... Continued from Page 1 the occasion of the national and liberation days. Ashour pointed out that Mulaifi should be excluded from any pardon because he had insulted Shiites’ Imam Al-Mahdi. Shiite lawyer Ali Al-Ali, who organized a rally less than two weeks ago to demand action against Mulaifi, said that bigger protests will be held if Mulaifi was released. Mulaifi wrote at the start of the month an analysis on his Twitter account about how various groups of Shiites voted in the first constituency, which Shiites say contained derogatory remarks about their revered imam. Mulaifi was summoned to the state security on Feb 11 and following a week of interrogations at

the public prosecution, and was remanded into custody for 21 days pending further investigation. The National Assembly has meanwhile decided to hold its sessions on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays every two weeks, adding a session on Thursday in order to accelerate the approval of laws. The legal and legislative committee has decided to start discussing anti-corruption laws after the national and liberation days. The panel will focus on a draft law for setting up an anti-corruption authority and another for the disclosure of wealth. The financial and economic affairs committee also discussed the development plan and decided to invite all MPs for a presentation on the plan from Minister of Public Works and Development Fadhel Safar.

Sarkozy clashes with Le Pen on halal meat Continued from Page 1 Yesterday she clarified her comments to say that all meat distributed in the region could be suspected of being halal, as without a label “neither you nor I know which is halal and which is not”. “Widespread animal suffering, in violation of French and European law, is not trivial,” she said on France Inter radio in response to Sarkozy. “The fact that a majority of French people are being misled about what they buy is not a trivial controversy,” Le Pen said. Her campaign team stepped up the pressure yesterday, calling for a “ban on the slaughtering of animals for consumption without stunning”. “Mandatory stunning has two advantages: it reduces animal suffering and allows consumers to be reassured about the slaughtering conditions of the meat they are purchasing,” the campaign said in a statement.

Authorities and meat producers also denied Le Pen’s claim. Her claim is “absolutely false”, Interior Minister Claude Gueant said on Sunday, noting that, while there are halal slaughterhouses in the region, their products are clearly marked. “Veterinary services ensure that abattoirs send halal production to people who want to consume halal meat,” he told French media, saying there were “frequent checks to avoid any misrepresentation of products”. Producers said that, while slaughtering in the region was mostly done according to Islamic or Jewish traditions, only about two percent of the meat consumed in the greater Paris area came from the region itself. Le Pen is struggling to catch up to Sarkozy and Hollande in the election campaign, with polls showing her with between 16 and 20 percent support in what is increasingly looking like a two-horse race. She inherit-

ed the leadership of the National Front last year from her father JeanMarie, who was known for his antiimmigrant rants and shocked observers by making it to the second round of France’s 2002 presidential vote. Home to western Europe’s largest Muslim minority, estimated at between five and six million, France has for years been debating how far it is willing to go to accommodate Islam, now the country’s second religion. The country has come under fire from Muslim groups for a series of measures authorities say are aimed at protecting France’s secular tradition, including a ban on wearing full-face veils such as the Islamic niqab and the burqa. France will vote in the first round of a presidential election on April 22, followed by a second-round run-off on May 6, and Hollande is well ahead of Sarkozy in the polls. — AFP

DSK detained over sex ring Continued from Page 1 charges on these or other potential offences. He could be cleared, be charged and released on bail or remanded in custody pending an eventual trial. Under French law, aggravated organised pimping carries a prison term of up to 20 years and profiting from embezzlement five years and a large fine. Between interrogations, the millionaire international statesman was to be held in a spartan 7.5-sqm cell with a simple foam mattress, a sink and a hole-inthe-floor squat toilet. Investigating magistrates want to know whether he was aware that the women who entertained him at parties in restaurants, hotels and swingers’ clubs in Washington, Paris and several other European capitals were paid prostitutes. They will also seek to determine whether Strauss-Kahn knew that the escorts were paid with funds fraudulently obtained by his hosts from a French public works company, for which one of them worked as a senior executive. Paying a prostitute is not illegal in France, but profiting from vice or embezzling company funds to pay for sex can lead to charges. The former managing director of the International Monetary Fund admits he has an uninhibited sex life, but denies any role in pimping or corruption and has indicated he will deny any criminal wrongdoing. Lawyer Henri Leclerc has said his client may not have known he was with prostitutes as “in these parties, you’re not necessarily dressed. I defy you to tell the difference between a nude prostitute and a nude woman of quality”. Two businessmen, Fabrice Paszkowski, a medical equipment tycoon with ties to Strauss-Kahn’s Socialist Party, and David Roquet, former director of a local subsidiary of building giant BTP Eiffage, have been charged. The pair have alleged links to a network of French and Belgian prostitutes centred on the Carlton Hotel in Lille, a well-known meeting place of the local business and political elite in a city run by the Socialist Party. In all, eight people have been charged in connection with the “Carlton affair” -including three executives from the luxury hotel itself, a leading lawyer and the

local deputy police chief, Jean-Christophe Lagarde. The last of the sex parties is said to have taken place during a trip to Washington and the IMF headquarters between May 11 and 13 last year by Paszkowski and Roquet, in part to discuss Strauss-Kahn’s presidential bid. One day later, on May 14, Strauss-Kahn’s career fell apart when he was arrested in New York following allegations that he had subjected chambermaid Nafissatou Diallo to a brutal sexual assault in his hotel suite. The case against him eventually collapsed when prosecutors began to doubt Diallo’s credibility as a witness, and Strauss-Kahn returned home to France to face further investigation and scandal. First, 32-year-old French writer Tristane Banon accused him of attempting to rape her in 2003. Prosecutors decided there was prima facie evidence of a sexual assault, but ruled that the statute of limitations had passed. Then, StraussKahn was linked to the Carlton case when suspected escorts gave his name to police probing a vice ring linked to notorious pimp Dominique Alderweireld, known in the underworld as “Dodo la Saumure”. Strauss-Kahn’s multi-millionaire heiress wife, journalist Anne Sinclair, has stood by him since the allegations erupted, but the website she edits - the French edition of the Huffington Post -led its front page with the scandal. She made no editorial comment, but her team reported the case in depth. Few in France doubt that, but for the sex scandals, it would have been Strauss-Kahn and not Francois Hollande running against Sarkozy in April’s presidential election, and the incumbent’s camp was quick to seek advantage. “Perhaps, at the end of Dominique StraussKahn’s interrogation, we will hear useful and interesting news about the behaviour of Socialist Party branches in the north,” said Sarkozy’s campaign spokeswoman Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet. “If Francois Hollande is where he is today, it is because Dominique Strauss-Kahn is where he is today,” she added. The involvement of businessmen and police officers raised suspicions they intended to curry favour with a presidential contender by procuring women for him, but they are reported to have denied this during questioning. — AFP

Riyadh names first Iraq envoy since Gulf War Continued from Page 1 Saudi Arabia was alarmed when its US ally’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 brought Iranian-backed Shiite factions to power in elections after the overthrow of Saddam’s Sunni-based rule. Iraq also has strong ties to Syria, Iran’s only Arab ally, which the Arab League has suspended over President Bashar Al-Assad’s violent suppression of an 11-month-old uprising. “Iraq’s response accepting this request will be quick,” Maliki’s spokesman Ali Mussawi told AFP. “The Iraqi government welcomes this step, and we consider it a first step, and we are waiting for more steps,” such as “the appointment of a resident ambassador in the country”, he said. Martin Kobler, the top United Nations envoy in Iraq, called the appointment of an ambassador “an encouraging sign”. In an interview yesterday, Kobler said Iraq is now tak-

ing significant steps to appear inclusive to Sunnis. He sounded optimistic that the leaders of Iraq’s major parties would soon agree to work out ways to share more power with Sunnis who feel sidelined by the Shiite-led government. “The signs are encouraging,” he said. Saudi commentators said the move appeared to be motivated mostly the country’s desire to strengthen its relationship with Iraq before the Arab League summit. Iraq has long pressed Saudi Arabia to appoint an envoy to Baghdad. “Iraq is going to host the Arab summit next month so there will be a great deal of diplomatic activity,” Jamal Khashoggi, an influential Saudi commentator. “Maybe this is our way of saying ‘Okay, now we have an ambassador’ without actually putting one there. But the security situation is not good.” Baghdad has often accused Saudi Arabia and Turkey of meddling in its

affairs, especially after a 2010 election that kept Maliki in office under a power-sharing deal among Sunni, Shi’ite and Kurdish blocs. That deal has been severely strained since US troops withdrew in December and Maliki sought the arrest of a Sunni vice president and moved to oust a Sunni deputy premier. His actions prompted fears among Sunnis that the Iraqi leader was trying to consolidate his power further at their expense. Saudi Arabia has also worried that the rise of Shiite power in Iraq could stir unrest among its own Shiite minority. For their part, Iraqi Shiite officials see a Saudi hand in autonomy demands in mainly Sunni border provinces. “This is really part of the changes that have been taking place in the region, especially Syria,” Saudi columnist Khalid Al-Dakhil said. “This is part of the Saudis trying to keep their hands on the changes taking place in the region.” — Agencies


sp orts

Mercedes unveil F1 car SPAIN: Michael Schumacher looked forward to being a contender again as his Mercedes team belatedly pulled the wraps off their shiny new Formula One car before testing at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya yesterday. If the F1 W03 was far from attractive, with the by-now familiar stepped nose seen on all the other 2012 cars with the sole exception of McLaren, the sport’s most successful driver declared it a beautiful moment. “I have done quite a few roll-outs and launches of new cars, but even after all these years, I must say it still feels special,” said the seven times champion before beginning the second official pre-season test. The German and team mate Nico Rosberg had both driven 50km in the car last week for a filming day at Silverstone but had used their 2011 car at the first pre-season test in Jerez last month. Their main rivals Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari all unveiled their new cars before the start of the first of three tests scheduled before the 20 race season kicks off in Australia on March 18. —Reuters

France unchanged for Scotland MARCOUSSIS: France manager Philippe Saint-Andre named an unchanged team yesterday to play Scotland at Murrayfield in the Six Nations championship on Sunday after their last match against Ireland was postponed because of a frozen pitch at the Stade de France. The World Cup finalists opened their campaign with a 30-12 win over Italy before the Ireland match on Feb. 11 was called off and rescheduled for March 4. “ There is no change to the team that was meant to start against Ireland. Nobody played a bad game and everybody did well during the preparation period,” Saint-Andre told a news conference. Saint-Andre said he planeed to make a number of substitu-

tions during the game because he expected Scotland would try to monopolise possession. “We know that they run the ball a lot. Strategy-wise, and physically, it will be very demanding. Substitutions will be very important,” he said. “During the Stade Francais versus RC Toulon (top 14) game last weekend, the ball was effectively in play for 26 minutes. It was (in play) for 46 minutes during Scotland v Wales.” Centres Aurelien Rougerie and Wesley Fofana, who scored a try each against Italy, will team up again while wings Julien Malzieu and Vincent Clerc, as well as fullback Maxime Medard, will also start after playing against the Azzurri. —Reuters

D’Arcy gets green light SYDNEY: Swimmer Nick D’Arcy, who was expelled from the Australian team for the Beijing Olympics for assaulting a team mate, was given the all clear to compete for selection for this year’s London Games yesterday. The 24-year-old D’Arcy attacked Commonwealth Games champion Simon Cowley in a Sydney bar in March 2008 causing injuries including a broken jaw, broken nose and broken eye socket. He received a 14-month suspended jail sentence in 2009. When Cowley was awarded A$180,000 ($194,000) in compensation by a civil court last year, however, D’Arcy filed for bankruptcy leading to an outcry and doubts about whether the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) would endorse his nomination for the team. Swimming Australia Limited (SAL) on Tuesday informed the AOC that they were retaining the 200 metres butterfly specialist in their shadow team. — Reuters

NHL results/standings

Hurricanes demolish Capitals

NHL results and standings on Monday. Ottawa 6; NY Islanders 0; Carolina 5. Washington 0.

Capitals douse Flames for 4th straight victory

Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L OTL GF GA PTS NY Rangers 38 14 5 161 116 81 New Jersey 34 20 4 164 159 72 Philadelphia 32 19 7 193 177 71 Pittsburgh 33 21 5 184 160 71 NY Islanders 25 26 8 139 174 58 Northeast Division Boston 35 20 2 190 132 72 31 22 8 185 183 70 Ottawa Toronto 29 24 6 178 180 64 Montreal 24 26 10 160 164 58 Buffalo 25 27 7 148 175 57 Southeast Division Florida 27 20 11 144 162 65 29 26 6 153 170 64 Winnipeg Washington 29 25 5 159 168 63 Tampa Bay 26 26 6 163 195 58 Carolina 23 26 11 158 181 57 Western Conference Central Division Detroit 41 17 2 190 139 84 36 16 7 150 117 79 St. Louis Nashville 34 19 6 165 154 74 Chicago 32 21 7 189 178 71 Columbus 17 35 7 136 195 41 Northwest Division Vancouver 38 15 6 194 144 82 28 22 9 142 155 65 Calgary Colorado 29 27 4 151 168 62 Minnesota 26 24 9 131 154 61 Edmonton 22 30 6 153 177 50 Pacific Division San Jose 31 19 7 167 142 69 29 21 9 152 147 67 Phoenix Los Angeles 27 21 11 124 126 65 Dallas 29 26 4 152 167 62 Anaheim 25 24 10 152 168 60 Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L)

RALEIGH: Eric Staal had two goals and an assist, and Justin Peters cruised to his first NHL shutout as the Carolina Hurricanes routed the reeling Washington Capitals 5-0 on Monday. Justin Faulk and Anthony Stewart scored in an 88-second span and Andreas Nodl added a goal during Carolina’s three-goal first period. Staal has six goals and five assists in six games. Tomas Vokoun allowed two goals on seven shots before he was pulled at 5:09. Michal Neuvirth made 30 saves but gave up the final three goals. The Capitals have lost five of six, and in two visits to Carolina since coach Dale Hunter took over, they have been outscored 8-0. Senators 6, Islanders 0 At Uniondale, New York, Erik Karlsson and Jason Spezza scored twice, and Craig Anderson made 28 saves as Ottawa beat the New York Islanders for its third straight win. The Senators moved within two points of first-place Boston in the Northeast Division and one point behind Pittsburgh and Philadelphia for fifth place in the Eastern Conference. Karlsson opening the scoring 1:08 in, and Spezza made it 2-0 just 27 seconds later. Spezza has seven goals and eight assists in six games. Islanders goalie Kevin Poulin was then replaced by Al Montoya. Karlsson made it 3-0 at 14:03 of the first, marking the fourth two-goal game for the 21-year-old defenseman. Chris Phillips added a power-play goal at 9:37 of the second and Brian Lee became the third Senators defenseman to score with his first of the season at 9:49 of the third. Spezza completed the scoring at 10:57 with a power-play score for his team-leading 27th goal. —AP

Eric Staal in action.

Bahrain ensures fans on safety at Formula One GP By Nawara Fattahova

Wai Sze Lee in action in this file photo.

Hong Kong speedster Lee gears up for Olympic charge LONDON: Hong Kong’s talented young track cyclist Wai Sze Lee has only been competing in sprinting a year but at the 2012 Olympic Games test event she produced enough speed to beat the world’s finest competitors. A scintillating burst to clinch a silver medal in the keirin event on Sunday gave fans a taster of things to come from the 24-year-old, who also won bronze in the individual sprint by beating Olympic champion Victoria Pendleton of Britain. Having flown past keirin world champion Anna Meares of Australia, Lee said she was amazed at her medal-winning antics, which she described as her best yet, and hopes she can put in a repeat per formance come the Olympics in August. “There are many strong riders here, so to get a medal...unbelievable. I have a chance at the Olympics, a little more practice,” Lee, puffing heavily, told Reuters at the venue that will host 10 Olympic medal events between Aug. 2-7. “I hope I can win against all the women and be world champion too,” she

added in reference to the world championships in Melbourne from April 4-8. Home favourite Meares, who survived a career-threatening crash in 2008 when she was millimetres from needing a respirator to breathe for the rest of her life, will provide stern opposition for Lee at the worlds. The 28-year-old former Olympic champion had some words of advice for Lee however. Stick around. “This is a sport that is very responsive to age and time. It’s not a sport where you have strength, speed, power, experience and the ability to be able to fly down the track,” said Meares. “It takes time, and if you stick around the sport long enough you’re going to be able to see those improvements consistently roll throughout your career. “I think she’s one to be watched,” she said of Lee, who trains in China and in 2011 won medals at the World Cup in the non-Olympic 500metre time trial and also finished fifth in the same event at the world championships. — Reuters

BAHRAIN: If you love racing and speed then you should not hesitate to attend the Formula One World Championship to be held in Bahrain in April. Some people are worried about the political situation in Bahrain, but the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) held a press conference on Sunday to ensure people that everything is fine in Bahrain and that the race will be held. “Some media are exaggerating the situation in Bahrain, so many people are scared to come. I want to ensure people that the situation is calm and life is going on as normal. If we have any doubts about the safety of the visitors we would cancel the event,” Sheikh Salman bin Isa Al-Khalifa, BIC Chief Executive, told Kuwait Times. The event was canceled last year due to unrest in the country at that time, just to make sure that visitors to Bahrain are safe. “This year we are optimistic that the event will be successful. Today we announce the beginning of selling the tickets with a 15 percent discount for purchasing the ticket within two weeks from now. With this special deal in place, all race fans are advised to scoop up their tickets as soon as possible in order to avoid disappointment and get added value for money,” Al-Khalifa added during the press conference held at BIC on Sunday. The long awaited race, which is loved by hundreds of

thousands of racing fans from across the region, will be the eighth time the event will be held in Bahrain. “It is scheduled to take place between April 20-22 as the fourth round of a record-breaking 20- race calendar that makes up this year ’s FIA Formula One World Championship,” he added. The organizers have chosen a special slogan for this year’s race: ‘UNIFIED - ONE NATION IN CELEBRATION’. “ This mantra reflects the unifying spirit of true Formula One fans, who share a passion for the sport and long to see the very best of motor racing take place in the Kingdom. “Sport brings people

together, especially the truest and most dedicated of fans. Be it in football, tennis, golf or motor racing, there is something special about sport that makes it a great unifier,” noted Sheikh Salman. “We in Bahrain should feel extremely privileged to be part of an exclusive club of only a handful of countries who can say that they are a host of a Grand Prix and are a part of the FIA Formula One World Championship. Our race is a source of pride. Based on the success of past Grand Prix, we are all together looking forward to staging yet another spectacular Formula One weekend. We are excited about making

Bahrain proud and for the whole world to see that we are indeed One Nation in Celebration,” he continued. Gulf Air is the official carrier of this event. Samer Majali, Chief Executive at Gulf Air, said; “as Bahrain’s national carrier, we are looking for ward to welcoming the return of the Formula One Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix. We have already seen an increase in bookings for these three days as excitement builds. Gulf Air has been the title sponsor of the Bahrain Grand Prix since it made history in April 2004 as the first Formula One Grand Prix to be held in the Middle East.”



Braun’s tale is spring training’s juiciest NEW YORK: Of all the story lines threading their way across spring training, Ryan Braun’s is the most delicate, not to mention the juiciest. Braun is scheduled to report to Milwaukee Brewers camp Friday, coming off the best season of his career and still awaiting word on whether he’ll be suspended for the first 50 games of this one. To say he’s had an awkward offseason doesn’t tell the half of it. Braun learned about his positive test in October and, without breathing a word of it, was voted the National League MVP in November. In December, he confirmed the positive test in response to an ESPN report, maintained his innocence and has done an admirable job of laying low ever since. Last month alone, Braun filed his appeal, showed up at the baseball writers’ dinner in New York to collect his MVP hardware and bowed out of the “Brewers On Deck” fan festival with little more than a peep. All that changes the day he reports to Maryvale Park in Phoenix. Not surprising, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke was hoping for the best while at the same time bracing for an entirely different outcome. “He’s been doing good all winter through this,”

Roenicke said Monday. “He’s excited to get going in spring training, and hopefully the outcome will be how we all want it. “I know everybody thinks it’s really hard but it’s not something that I dwell on,” the manager added a moment later. “I know it happens during the course of a season where you lose key players and you have to move on. It’s part of baseball. Every year somebody goes down who you’re not expecting, you miss them for months or you miss them for an entire season and you deal with it.” If it’s any consolation to either man, there will be plenty of distractions available elsewhere. Around the same time as Braun shows up, 40-yearold, two-time offender Manny Ramirez is supposed to report to the A’s camp some 10 miles away. And the soap operas already unfolding on the other side of the country - one featuring new Boston manager Bobby Valentine and his truculent Red Sox team; the other pitting new Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen against his truculent superstar, Hanley Ramirez - are sure to siphon off their fair share of reporters. Expect plenty of dispatches, too, heralding the American League West as the new center of power,

now that Albert Pujols is an Angel and the Rangers handed over nearly $108 million for the right to talk to and then sign Yu Darvish, the latest Japanese import. Bet Braun goes through the ringer first. Nearly three dozen major leaguers have been suspended after testing positive since 2005 and not one has overturned the verdict on appeal. All told, 11 MVPs from the past four decades have been linked to performance enhancers at one time or another during their careers, but only seven-time winner Barry Bonds has shown up at spring training the season after receiving one with a PED cloud hanging over his head. And you probably remember how that went. One year, he scolded reporters for scaring his kids; another year he dismissed all the investigators from MLB looking into steroid use as Keystone cops. “Let them investigate. Let them, they’ve been doing it this long,” Bonds said.” It doesn’t weigh on me at all - at all. It’s just you guys talking.” Braun is a different guy altogether. He says he’s avoided giving his side of the story for fear of being a distraction, and his supporters hint that when the case becomes public, it will be different

in both fact and substance than any one that’s gone before it. Until then, they’re asking everybody to withhold judgment. In the meantime, it’s left the field wide open to speculation. He’s promised to address the matter thoroughly once the decision by baseball arbitrator Shyam Das is issued and then plans to be done with it. Yet even if Braun is suspended, he can still train with the Brewers and play in Cactus League games, which opens him up to questions from fans who can be less deferential and a whole lot more insulting. Either way, it’s likely to make for an interesting few weeks. MLB likes to say the steroid era is effectively over because of its tightened-up drug testing program, but that’s probably far from true, given the range of new drugs and masking substances that are constantly being developed to replace the old performance enhancers. But the reaction to Braun, who came off as one of the good guys in baseball before the positive test, will tell us a lot about whether fans think the era is over, too. It means there’s one less guy left to bust that would make most fans give a damn. — AP

Sri Lanka defeat India

Ricky Ponting

Ponting hopes to cling to Test spot MELBOURNE: Whether it be pulling a short delivery to the fence or plucking a lightningquick catch in the slips, Ricky Ponting’s formidable powers of anticipation have rarely been questioned throughout his storied career. So it is something of a surprise that the former Australian skipper, who scored just 18 runs in five games in the ongoing Triseries against India and Sri Lanka, failed to spot the selectors’ axe swinging at him. Ponting, the second-most prolific scorer in the format after Sachin Tendulkar, said Monday’s decision to drop him from Australia’s one-day international side had come out of the blue but that he accepted his ODI career was over. The axe fell a day after Ponting, standing in as skipper for the injured Michael Clarke, led Australia to an emphatic 110-run win over India in Brisbane to regain top spot in the triangular one-day tournament. Darting around the field to chop off singles and cajole his team mates into wrapping up victory quickly, the spry 37-yearold appeared in no hurry to call time on a career of 375 one-day matches and three World Cup victories. Despite the praise lavished on him by selectors as a brilliant fielder and mentor to the next generation in a re-building team, his 165th win as captain could not gloss over his fifth consecutive failure with the bat. Ponting had been bowled over when chief selector John Inverarity delivered the decision but the defiant Tasmanian quickly regained his composure and is now focused on keeping his test career alive. “I’ve got no bitterness at all as to what’s happened,” said Ponting, who will return to the domestic Sheffield Shield competition to prepare for Australia’s tour of West Indies. “I’m still firmly of the belief that I’ve got a lot to offer any cricket team that I play with, any team I’m a part of. “Did the thought of (retirement) come into my mind? The thing that I thought about most yesterday was just how I was going to manage my time and to be well prepared to play every test match I play for the rest of my career. “That obviously, now with no one-day international cricket, that becomes a little bit more difficult for me, but there are other players around Australia at the moment who play test cricket only.”

A poor run of form at test level coming into the Australian summer had the knives out for Ponting, who merely gritted his teeth and got on with the job of crushing India as the hosts charged to 4-0 whitewash in the test series. Ponting blasted 544 runs at an average of 108 for the series, but appeared strangely out-ofsorts from the start of the oneday tournament. His coach Mickey Arthur, also a selector, said he was “jaded” and in need of a rest and warned him to make runs in his final match against India. Ponting brushed off notions that fatigue after a long summer of cricket had taken its toll, saying his body was fine and that it was his mind that had failed to keep pace. Despite being denied the chance to choose the manner of his exit, or even play a farewell ODI in front of home fans in Hobart against Sri Lanka on Friday, Ponting was philosophical as he addressed reporters, relaxed and looking dapper in a sports jacket and white shirt. “Of course I felt there was still room in the team (for me),” he said, smiling. “But when you don’t make runs in five consecutive games you understand that there’s an opportunity for selectors to leave you out.” Their decision was unanimous, according to panel chief Inverarity, meaning Clarke and Arthur both had a hand in pushing him towards the exit. For all the raging debate in Australia about his place in the side in recent months, it is unlikely to be a popular decision. “Ricky Pontings Omission from the National 1 Day side is an outrage!” former Australia Open Matthew Hayden said on his Twitter site. While the decision to drop him will not sit well with Ponting, he may well respect the selectors’ cold-blooded execution, having been nurtured in a succession of champion teams and carrying on their culture of winning, at all costs, into his time as captain. “Everyone understands where they sit now in the Australian cricket team,” said Ponting, who smashed 30 ODI centuries, including an unbeaten 140 against India in the final of the 2003 World Cup to win Australia a second successive trophy. “I think in international sport, if you’re not performing for a short period of time now you’re a chance to be left out of the side. “And that’s the way it should be.” — Reuters

BRISBANE: Nuwan Kulasekara claimed three wickets and two important catches as Sri Lanka beat India by 51 runs yesterday to replace the World Cup champions in second spot in the Tri-series. Skipper Mahela Jayawardene won the toss and elected to bat, then scored 45 in a 95-run opening stand with Tillakaratne Dilshan (51) to set Sri Lanka on course for an imposing 289-6. Lahiru Thirimanne contributed 62 and Angelo Mathews finished unbeaten on 49 as the Sri Lankans piled on 91 in the last 10 overs. India’s reply started badly, losing stand-in skipper Virender Sehwag on the second ball before slipping to 54-3 when Kulasekara dismissed Sachin Tendulkar (22) and Gautam Gambhir (29). He finished with with 3-40 and Thissara Perera had figures of 4-37, finishing with a sharp return catch from Irfan Pathan (47) as India was bowled out for 238 in 45.1 overs. Virat Kohli top-scored with 66 for India and shared a 92-run fourth-wicket stand with Suresh Raina (32), but was dropped twice in an unconvincing middle period. Sri Lanka improved to 11 points in the tournament, three behind Australia and one in front of India, which slipped from first to last following back-to-back losses. “We made a few mistakes - dropped a few catches - we should have been able to push for the bonus point ... but I thought our boys did really well,” Jayawardene said. “It was a crucial game for us. We didn’t have a good start to this tournament and we had to come back strongly, which we’ve done.” India struggled without captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who was suspended for a match due to a slow over-rate in Sunday’s 110-run defeat by Australia at the same venue. Sehwag, returning from a back complaint to deputize as skipper, took a tremendous diving catch but didn’t direct the bowling changes to contain the Sri Lankan innings. Parthiv Patel, Dhoni’s replacement as wicketkeeper, was sloppy with the gloves and missed a routine chance late on that could have curbed the onslaught of late runs. Thirimanne was spared a potentially controversial run-out before he scooped a catch to Raina off Ravi Ashwin’s last ball. He was on 44 and backing up out of his crease at the non-striker’s end in the 40th over when Ashwin whipped off the bails during his delivery action, a rare and unpopular mode of dismissal commonly known as a Mankad. India appeared to withdraw the appeal after Sehwag and Tendulkar consulted with match officials, saving umpire Paul Reiffel from having to adjudicate. Jayawardene said he wouldn’t have appealed in the first place if he was in a similar position, but thought the situation was handled adequately on the field. “It was just a small incident which happened in a very crucial game, and I think we should move on,” he said. “I think they did the right thing in the middle, the seniors got together.”

Thirimanne continued and posted his second ODI half century before he mistimed a pull shot at the end of the 46th over and Raina took a good, diving catch in the outfield. Pathan (2-54) and spinner Ashwin (2-50) took two wickets apiece for India in humid conditions and with storm clouds looming to the north of the stadium. Sehwag conceded India had missed Dhoni’s influence and his batting in the middle and said his lineup didn’t bat or bowl particularly well. Kulasekara had a hand in each dismissal in the key first three wickets. Sehwag slashed rashly to a wide and short ball from Lasith M alinga and edged to Kulasekara at deep third man. Tendulkar was in commanding form, stroking 22 from 23 balls before bottom- edging a Kulasekara ball onto his stumps to make the total 38-2 and ensuring his quest for a 100th international century will drag on. Tendulkar hasn’t scored a hundred since last March and has now gone 30 innings since reaching triple figures in tests or one - day internationals. Kulasekara struck again when Gambhir guided a good-length ball to Perera at gully in the 12th over. Raina was on four and the total was 69-3 when Dilshan put down a sharp chance at backward point off Mathews in the 16th over, then Kohli had two repreives - on 14 and 32 - both times when Dinesh Chandimal dropped regulation chances at deep mid-wicket before he was finally caught by Kulasekara off Perera’s bowling. Sri Lank a will play Australia on Friday in Hobart. It will be Australia’s first match since former sk ipper Ricky Ponting was dropped from the squad. — AP

BRISBANE: Sri Lanka’s Nuwan Kulasekara (left) celebrates with teammate Thisara Perera after the wicket of India’s Virender Sehwag during their One Day International cricket match. — AP

SCOREBOARD Scoreboard in the eighth match of the one-day international Tri-series between India and Sri Lanka at the Gabba in Brisbane yesterday: Sri Lanka innings M. Jayawardene c Sehwag b Pathan 45 51 T. Dilshan c Patel b Ashwin K. Sangakkara c Tendulkar b Yadav 8 D. Chandimal b Pathan 38 L. Thirimanne c Raina b Ashwin 62 A. Mathews not out 49 T. Perera b Raina 10 F. Maharoof not out 4 Extras (b-1 lb-2 w-18 nb-1) 22 Total (for six wickets, 50 overs) 289 Did not bat: N. Kulasekara, L. Malinga, R. Herath Fall of wickets: 1-95 2-104 3-124 4-195 5-244 6-265 Bowling: Kumar 8-1-48-0 (1nb), Pathan 10-0-54-2 (4w), Yadav 8-0-58-1 (2w), Jadeja 10-0-43-0 (1w), Ashwin 100-50-2 (4w), Sehwag 2-0-9-0, Raina 1-0-10-1 (1w), Kohli 1-0-14-0 (2w)

India innings V. Sehwag c Kulasekara b Malinga 0 22 S. Tendulkar b Kulasekara G. Gambhir c Perera b Kulasekara 29 V. Kohli c Kulasekara b Perera 66 S. Raina c Thirimanne b Maharoof 32 R. Jadeja b Kulasekara 17 I. Pathan c & b Perera 47 P. Patel c Malinga b Perera 4 R. Ashwin c Sangakkara b Malinga 5 V. Kumar c sub b Perera 0 U. Yadav not out 0 Extras (lb-7 w-9) 16 Total (all out, 45.1 overs) 238 Fall of wickets: 1-0 2-38 3-54 4-146 5-172 6-191 7-215 8-232 9-233 Bowling: Malinga 8-0-55-2 (2w), Kulasekara 9-0-40-3 (4w), Maharoof 10-1-52-1, Mathews 4-0-12-0, Perera 7.1-0-37-4, Herath 7-0-35-0 (1w)

Klitschko says he’d like another shot at Chisora

Vitali Klitschko

BERLIN: WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko said he wants to fight British boxer Dereck Chisora again so he can knock him out. Klitschko knows he doesn’t need a rematch, “but my ego, something deep inside, tells me quite clearly that I still need to give this man real punishment,” he told Tuesday’s edition of Die Welt newspaper. “I want to knock him out in the ring. This account is still open,” he said. However, Klitschko’s manager Bernd Boente has ruled out a rematch. Klitschko beat Chisora on points in Munich on Saturday night, but the win was overshadowed by the challenger’s conduct outside of the ring. It culminated in a post-fight brawl with former WBA champion David Haye, for which the 28-year-old has apologized. “I saw everything from the podium. I thought I was in the wrong film,” Klitschko said. “You can’t behave like this, neither in a sporting way nor as a

person. It was below the bottom drawer.” Chisora slapped Klitschko at their weigh-in on Friday, and spat water in younger brother Wladimir’s face before the bout. “Before the fight I still thought that how he was presenting himself, how he behaved, was a show. But then I realized he wasn’t acting. He must be crazy. When I think about all he’s done ... then he threatens to shoot someone, to kill. How can you be like that as a person? Unbelievable. I cannot believe it. “Everything I had to do with him seems like a nightmare.” Klitschko partially tore a ligament in his left shoulder during the fight, but said he would “never” have given up against Chisora. “I’d rather have died than to give him anything,” he said. The World Boxing Council fined Chisora a reported $50,000 for the slap, and Klitschko said any further punishment “has to really hurt. It can’t be that this lout drags the sport of boxing into such

disrepute.” The 40-year-old said he had no immediate plans to retire and that he still has dreams to realize. He did not say what those dreams are. “I’m superstitious and believe that when you speak of dreams before they’re realized, they won’t come true,” he said. Klitschko harbors political aspirations in his native Ukraine, where parliamentary elections will be held in October. “For now I am concentrating on Wladimir’s title defense and getting back to full health as quickly as possible,” he said. Wladimir Klitschko was declared “super” WBA champion after beating Haye in Hamburg last July and will defend the belt, and the IBF, WBO, IBO titles, against Jean-Marc Mormeck of France in Duesseldorf on March 3. The older Klitschko said Chisora and Haye were “both cut from the same cloth,” but he did not categorically rule out a muted bout against the latter. “For him (Haye) the same goes as what I said about Chisora.” — AP




Nets trap Knicks as Bulls defeat Hawks

LONDON: China’s He Chong is seen through the glass of a viewing window as he lands underwater after performing a dive in the men’s 3m springboard preliminary round during the Diving World Cup event at the London 2012 Olympic Aquatics Centre.—AP

China takes first gold of diving test event LONDON: London’s striking new Olympic Aquatics Centre hosted its first day of competitive action on Monday with China’s dominant divers predictably striking gold in a World Cup event chosen to test the facility. World champions Qin Kai and Luo Yutong won the men’s synchronised 3metres springboard ahead of Russia’s Ilya Zakharov and Evgeny Kuznetsov. Malaysia’s Brian Nickson Lomas and Huang Qiang took the bronze. If the result was to be expected, with China winning all the diving golds at last year’s world championships in Shanghai, so too was the praise for the wave-like venue with its undulating roof stretching like the grey belly of a whale across the brilliant blue pools. “It’s a beautiful venue,” Australia’s men’s 10m platform Olympic champion Matthew Mitcham told Reuters. “We had a few technical difficulties but they fixed them all straight away, like that. Which has been quite amazing actually so the organising committee are doing a fantastic job. I’m going to enjoy diving here in July. Asked how it compared to other

Olympic pools, he grinned. “Look, I have a soft spot for the Water Cube (in Beijing). I am always going to.” Compatriot Loudy Wiggins, making her comeback at the age of 32 in the women’s 10m platform, said she was stunned by the venue that cost around 270 million pounds ($428.48 million) to build. “I walked in and actually went ‘Wow, this is incredible,” said the three-times Olympian. “It’s quite spectacular, even going as far as saying it’s breathtaking — espcially with a full capacity crowd. “Having said that, it is quite comfortable to dive in which is always important. You’ve got all the right references, you can see the water properly, the roof’s not a distraction. They pretty much thought of everything.” LOCOG chief executive Paul Deighton welcomed the crowd, who applauded each dive with enthusiasm, to what he said was a truly extraordinary building in the heart of the Olympic Park in east London. “It is going to be a terrific venue, not just for the Games here in the summer of 2012 and this event but also in the longer term,” he said.—Reuters

Radwanska advances in Dubai DUBAI: Fifth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska advanced to the second round of the Dubai Tennis Championships yesterday after defeating Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada 6-1, 6-7 (8), 7-5. The 22-year-old Radwanska cruised through the first set in 27 minutes, but she needed another two hours to win her opening match in Dubai. After losing the second set on a tiebreaker, Radwanska struggled to regain concentration in the third, but rallied from 5-3 down to win 7-5. Later yesterday, seventh-seeded Francesca Schiavone will play Ana Ivanovic, and sixth-seeded Marion Bartoli of France will meet Shuai Peng of China.

Two more players joined the list of withdrawals. Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia retired yesterday with a hamstring injury while trailing Iveta Benesova 3-1, and Maria Kirilenko withdrew with a neck injury. Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka is the top-seeded player in Dubai. The top-ranked Belarusian will meet Julia Goerges of Germany in her opening match on Wednesday. The field also includes defending champion Caroline Wozniacki and U.S. Open winner Sam Stosur. However, Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, French Open winner Li Na and Vera Zvonareva withdrew because of illness or injury on Monday.—AP

KFH top KBC Bowling League KUWAIT: The Kuwait Finance House remained on top of the KBC Bowling League standings despite a 5-2 loss to the Gulf Bank in week five competitions which saw second place Al-Ahli United rout Burgan Bank 7-0. The National Bank of Kuwait also defeated the Commercial Bank of Kuwait 7-0, while Al-Ahli Bank was victorious in their match against the Central Bank with a 5-2 score. The KFH remains on top with 28 points, followed by Al-Ahli

United with 26 and Al-Ahli Bank with 21. Week six competitions take place on Saturday, March 24, 2012, with four matches featuring Al-Ahli United vs. the Commercial Bank, the Central Bank vs. Boubyan Bank, the NBK against the Gulf Bank, and Al-Ahli Bank against Burgan Bank. The matches take place at Cozmo bowling hall in Salmiya. Meanwhile, ladies competitions for the tournament organized by the Kuwait Banks Club will take place on Saturday March 3, 2012.

NEW YORK: Deron Williams scored a season-high 38 points, outplaying Jeremy Lin and leading the New Jersey Nets to a 10092 victory over the New York Knicks on Monday. Lin began his remarkable run against the Nets about two weeks ago, but Williams and the Nets were ready for him this time. Lin finished with 21 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, but Williams outscored him 3611 through three quarters, when the Nets led by 18. Lin shot only 7 of 18 and the Knicks lost for the second time in 10 games since his emergence against the Nets on Feb. 4. Carmelo Anthony, clearly rusty in his return from a sevengame absence with a strained right groin, shot 4 of 11 and scored 11 points. Bulls 90, Hawks 79 At Chicago, Derrick Rose scored 23 points in his return from a five-game absence because of back pain to lead Chicago over struggling Atlanta. Rose also had six assists and five rebounds. Carlos Boozer added 16 points, Ronnie Brewer had 13, and Deng and John Lucas 10 apiece. Joakim Noah chipped in with 16 rebounds. Pargo had 19 points, and Josh Smith added 17 points and 12 rebounds for Atlanta. Thunder 101, Hornets 93 At Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook scored 31 points each to lead Oklahoma City over New Orleans for its 10th straight home win. One night after a historic performance featuring big scoring nights from All-Stars Durant and Westbrook and a triple-double from Serge Ibaka, the Thunder built a 26-point lead and then had to scrap it out at the end. Jarrett Jack scored 18 points to lead New Orleans, which had a surprising three-game winning streak after losing 23 of 25. Mavericks 89, Celtics 73 At Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki had 26 points and moved into the top 20 on the NBA career scoring list as Dallas beat short-handed Boston. Nowitzki, who also had a season-high 16 rebounds, scored all of Dallas’ points in a 10-2 run midway through the second quarter that pushed the Mavericks ahead by 14. They led by double digits the rest of the way. The Celtics were without suspended Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett and injured Brandon Bass. They also lost starters Jermaine O’Neal and Chris Wilcox to injuries in the third quarter. Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 20 points. Ray Allen added 15 and Avery Bradley 12. Warriors 104, Clippers 97 At Oakland, California, Monta Ellis scored 32 points and Ekpe Udoh had a season-high 19 points and eight rebounds in place of ill center Andris Biedrins to lead Golden State past Los Angeles. Chris Paul had 25 points, six assists and five rebounds, and Mo Williams made his first six 3pointers and finished with 22 points in Los Angeles’ second straight loss. The Clippers had 18 turnovers and shot just 42 percent. Magic 93, Bucks 90 At Milwaukee, Dwight Howard had 28 points and 16 rebounds, and Jameer Nelson added 15

LOS ANGELES: Lakers guard Derek Fisher (right) works his way around Portland Trail Blazers forward Gerald Wallace during the second half on an NBA basketball game. —AP points to lead Orlando to its third win over Milwaukee in 10 days. Brandon Jennings had 22 points and Mike Dunleavy added 18 for the Bucks. Ersan Ilyaosova, coming off 29 points and 25 rebounds Sunday against New Jersey, had 11 points and 10 rebounds. It was the Bucks’ sixth straight loss at home, the first time Milwaukee has lost six straight at the Bradley Center since a sevengame slide from Feb. 5-25, 2000. Rockets 97, Grizzlies 93 At Houston, Kyle Lowry scored 24 points, Kevin Martin added 22 and Courtney Lee hit four key free throws down the stretch to lead Houston over Memphis. Houston led by seven before Memphis went on a 5-0 run to pull to 91-89 with 27.4 seconds left. O.J. Mayo got a rebound, took it down the court and finished with a layup to cap the run. Gay led the Grizzlies with 23 points and Mike Conley had 16. Nuggets 103, T’wolves 101 At Denver, Arron Afflalo hit a tiebreaking floater in the lane

with 33.7 seconds remaining in overtime and reserve Al Harrington scored a season-high 31 points as Denver beat Minnesota. Afflalo spun past defender Luke Ridnour and swished his shot to put Denver ahead. From there, the Nuggets closed the game out at the foul line and snapped a three-game skid. Afflalo finished with 20 points and rookie Kenneth Faried added 14 rebounds as the Nuggets beat the Timberwolves for the 17th time in 18 games. Kevin Love had 22 points and 13 rebounds for Minnesota, which had its three-game winning streak snapped. Suns 104, Wizards 88 At Phoenix, Marcin Gortat scored 20 points, and Steve Nash had 12 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds in three quarters as Phoenix beat Washington for its 10th straight win over the Wizards. Channing Frye added 19 points and 11 rebounds and Michael Redd scored 14 for the Suns, who topped 100 points

against Washington for the 18th time in a row, the longest active streak of its kind in the NBA. Jordan Crawford scored 20 points for the Wizards, who finished a five-game trip with three losses after winning the first two. The Suns outscored Washington 31-6 after the Wizards took their only lead of the game early in the third quarter. Spurs 106, Jazz 102 At Salt Lake City, Tony Parker scored 23 points and Matt Bonner hit five 3-pointers as San Antonio defeated Utah for its 11th consecutive victory. Richard Jefferson’s 3-pointer with 6.5 seconds left sealed the victory for the Spurs, who have not lost on the road since Jan. 29 in Dallas. Tim Duncan had 20 points for San Antonio. Al Jefferson led the Jazz with 20 points and Paul Millsap added 16. The Spurs kept the NBA’s longest win streak alive despite injuries to Manu Ginobili and Tiago Splitter, both expected to miss two weeks. San Antonio trailed by 10 in the third quarter before rallying.—AP

NBA results/standings NBA results and standings on Monday. Chicago 90, Atlanta 79; New Jersey 100, NY Knicks 92; Houston 97, Memphis 93; Orlando 93, Milwaukee 90; Dallas 89, Boston 73; Oklahoma City 101, New Orleans 93; Denver 103, Minnesota 101 (OT); Phoenix 104, Washington 88; San Antonio 106, Utah 102; Golden State 104, LA Clippers 97; LA Lakers 103, Portland 92. (OT denotes overtime)

Philadelphia NY Knicks Boston New Jersey Toronto Chicago Indiana Cleveland Milwaukee Detroit Miami Orlando Atlanta Washington Charlotte

Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT 20 12 .625 16 17 .485 15 16 .484 10 24 .294 9 23 .281 Central Division 26 8 .765 19 12 .613 12 17 .414 13 19 .406 11 22 .333 Southeast Division 25 7 .781 21 12 .636 19 13 .594 7 25 .219 4 27 .129

GB 4.5 4.5 11 11 5.5 11.5 12 14.5 4.5 6 18 20.5

Western Conference Northwest Division Oklahoma City 25 7 .781 Denver 18 15 .545 Portland 17 16 .515 Minnesota 16 17 .485 Utah 15 16 .484 Pacific Division LA Clippers 19 11 .633 LA Lakers 19 13 .594 Phoenix 14 19 .424 Golden State 12 17 .414 Sacramento 10 21 .323 Southwest Division San Antonio 23 9 .719 Dallas 21 12 .636 Houston 19 14 .576 Memphis 18 15 .545 New Orleans 7 24 .226

7.5 8.5 9.5 9.5 1 6.5 6.5 9.5 2.5 4.5 5.5 15.5

Rudisha ready to slay another lion

The KFH team

SYDNEY: David Rudisha is proud to be a 800 metres world champion, proud to be a world record holder but as much as anything is proud of being a Maasai and desperate to secure a first Olympic gold medal for his tribe later this year. The 23-year-old Kenyan, whose father Daniel was the first Maasai to compete at the Olympics and won a relay silver in 1968, has ruled the 800 metres for the last three years and will be odds on favourite to win the title in London on Aug. 9. “The Olympics is a special event and winning is very important,” Rudisha told Reuters in an interview. “For me as a world record holder and world champion, the only thing I am missing is the Olympic gold medal and that is what I want to achieve in my career.” There are some who believe that Rudisha should be as big a star in the firmament of athletics as Jamaican sprint king Usain Bolt after single-handedly rescuing the two lap race from the

domination of tactical sprint finishers. Rudisha shattered Wilson Kipketer’s 13-yearold world record in 2010 and improved it again the following week as he went unbeaten for 34 meets until the end of last season, including his victory at the world championships in Daegu. His sensational 2010 season saw him succeed Bolt as IAAF World Athlete of the Year but the difference in profile between the pair is not difficult to explain when you have spent any time in their company. Bolt is athletics as Rock ‘n’ Roll, oozing charisma, striking dramatic poses before and after his races, speaking confidently to the media and surrounded in public by a posse of assistants and advisors. The only thing remotely bling about Rudisha is a slender gold chain around his neck and he was alone as he walked into the athletics stadium at Sydney Olympic Park last week to talk to

the media ahead of his first race of the season. “I love my tribe, the Maasai are very good people and humble,” he said, his voice almost a whisper. “Going to the Olympics as a Maasai I want to make them proud because, after the warm welcome they gave me when I went back and being their leader, I want to also be the warrior in the Olympics. “That will be something good because that will be the first Olympic gold medal for the Maasai.” The reception he received after breaking the world record included being made a warrior by his tribe, an honor that would once have required the killing of a lion among the seminomadic people. Rudisha started as a 400 metre runner but was persuaded by Colm O’Connell to try the longer distance while training at the Irishman’s famous St Patrick’s High School in Iten, where Kipketer’s talent was also fostered.—Reuters




Hard task for ‘Big Easy’ Els at Match Play MARANA: Ernie Els never expected it to be easy after being gifted a spot in this week’s WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship when Phil Mickelson withdrew from the event to spend time with his family. As the lowest-ranked player in the elite field of 64, South African Els has the daunting task of taking on British world number one and defending champion Luke Donald in today’s opening round. “I’m really fortunate to be here,” triple major winner Els told reporters at Dove Mountain’s Ritz-Carlton Golf Club on Monday. “Being the last guy in, I’ve got to play the first seed, Luke Donald, and it’s a tough match, like all matches here. “It’s interesting that I find myself in this position. In the past, it hasn’t been quite my favourite event and I’ve skipped it a couple of times.”

While former world number one Els has clinched the European Tour’s World Match Play Championship a record seven times, he has struggled to make an impact in the PGA Tour’s equivalent. In 11 appearances, he has been knocked out in the opening round five times, most recently by American Jonathan Byrd in 2008. His best performance came in 2001 when the event was held in Australia for the first time and he reached the semi-finals, losing to Swede Pierre Fulke 2&1. “My record is not that great here (in this event) but I really enjoy the golf course we play now (at Dove Mountain),” said Els, who is widely known as the ‘Big Easy’ because of his smooth swing and generally laidback demeanor. “It’s really well designed for match play.

The greens are a little bit quirky and there are a couple of risk/reward holes out there and shots that you have to take on. For match play, that keeps things interesting, especially on the greens. “The greens are quite tricky and if you miss it in the wrong spots you can have really tough shots.” Asked what strategy he would use against Donald, who is remarkably consistent with one of the best short games around, Els replied: “It’s 18 holes and it’s not like I’m the worst match player in the world either. “So I think I know what I need to do. You’ve got to keep the ball in play, you’ve got to keep it in play on every single hole because he’s going to be (competing) in every hole. “It’s basically who can make the most

putts and the most birdies.” Els, who has been beaten in the second round for the last two years at Dove Mountain, readily admits he is in Mickelson’s debt this week. “I’ve got some good red wines I can give him,” the 42-year-old South African smiled. “And I definitely will buy him a dinner whenever he wants it.” Meanwhile, Spaniard Gonzalo FernandezCastano fancies the idea of being a ‘Tiger tamer’ at this week’s WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship where he will meet three-times winner Tiger Woods in the opening round. Fernandez-Castano, ranked 48th in the world, has never previously played in the company of Woods and said that while it was a privilege to be drawn against him in the Arizona desert the 14-times major champion

was beatable. “It’s a great opportunity, and you have to look at it that way,” the 31-yearold from Madrid told reporters at Dove Mountain’s Ritz-Carlton Golf Club on Monday. “If you tee it up on Wednesday thinking, ‘Oh, no, I’m playing against Tiger’, that’s not the way to start a tournament. “I’m the underdog, I have nothing to lose. And at the same time I don’t think he’s at his best so it’s a good opportunity. If I play well I can beat him.” Fernandez-Castano regards Woods, ranked 20th, as one of the greatest to play the game but hopes to make the most of his opportunity against an opponent working his way back to form after two years of struggle due to injuries and marital trouble.—Reuters



Bayern vulnerable as Basel look for upset BERNE: Bayern Munich’s Champions League visit to Basel today has all the ingredients for an upset, with the Bavarians in the middle of a rocky patch. Bastian Schweinsteiger’s injury, Arjen Robben’s loss of form and a dull goalless draw at Bundesliga strugglers Freiburg on Saturday combine to make Bayern look vulnerable. Basel have already pulled off one shock this season by taking four points out of six from Manchester United in the group stages to qualify for the last 16 at the expense of the Premier League side. The Swiss league champions also have inside knowledge of their opponents as coach Heiko Vogel spent nine years working with Bayern’s youth scheme where he coached several members of the current team. In another twist Basel winger Xherdan Shaqiri will be keen to show his future club what he is capable of, having already been signed by Bayern for next season. Basel are unbeaten in 13 matches in all competitions, their last defeat coming at home to Benfica in the Champions League in early November when Vogel took over following the sudden departure of Thorsten Fink to Hamburg SV. “It’s special that there is Swiss involvement in the last 16, the fact I started my training career with Bayern makes it even more interesting,” said Vogel. “We have a small chance and we want to take it as we did against Manchester.” Basel, who also reached the group stages in 200203, could be rusty though as they have played only twice since the winter break. Four-times European champions Bayern were almost untouchable earlier in the season but have struggled for form since the New Year. The Bavarians have dropped from first to third in the Bundesliga, four points behind leaders Borussia Dortmund. Dutch winger Robben has been left out by coach Jupp Heynckes and described as “selfish” by honorary president Franz Beckenbauer. “When he has a good effort or scores a goal he does not run towards the player who set him up but instead he runs towards his family in the stands,” said Beckenbauer.

SWITZERLAND: Xherdan Shaqiri of Switzerland’s soccer team FC Basel exercises during a training session in the St. Jakob-Park training area. Switzerland’s FC Basel is scheduled to play against Germany’s FC Bayern Munich in a Champions League round of sixteen first leg soccer match today. —AP “He lets the team run after him.” Schweinsteiger, who usually runs the midfield, has been ruled out for several weeks with an ankle injury. That is a severe blow to Bayern especially as he scored both goals in the 2-1 win at Basel in last season’s group stages. Schweinsteiger’s absence was no excuse for Saturday’s poor effort at Freiburg, according to sporting director Christian Nerlinger. “We have to get our act together as fast as possible and present a different face,” he said. “We need fundamental changes very quickly indeed or it’ll be a very disappointing season.” Bayern however are still chasing a Bundesliga-German Cup-Champions League treble and the fact their Allianz Arena will stage the final of Europe’s elite club competition is a

Inter face tough test MARSEILLE: Inter Milan’s season has been so up and down few fans would be shocked if they put on a stunning show at Olympique Marseille in today’s Champions League last16 first leg despite poor recent form. The 2010 European champions have lost their last two Serie A home games in embarrassing fashion, going down 1-0 to relegation-threatened Novara and then being outplayed 3-0 by strugglers Bologna. The defeats have led some supporters to call for coach Claudio Ranieri’s dismissal despite the former Chelsea, Juventus and AS Roma coach having previously revitalised the club after a dreadful start to the season under Gian Piero Gasperini. Inter rose from the lower reaches of Serie A to the top four but now they are back down in seventh, with the Champions League looking like the only trophy they can win having also been dumped out of the Italian Cup as holders. “There is a good team here and the club is healthy and strong,” Ranieri told Italian TV. The coach then turned his attentions to fit-again Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder who has been in and out of the team in recent weeks. “He’s not a problem but a solution - but at the right time,” said Ranieri. “I think an Inter coach is duty-bound to try to integrate players with a special quality. “I’ll have to take some decisions and I will,” added the coach who may be glad his ageing team are away in the first leg. In contrast to Inter’s rollercoaster form, Marseille have been models of consistency of late and have not lost in any competition for 15 games stretching back to November’s Champions League group stage defeat at home to Olympiakos Piraeus. The Champions League is one arena where the 1993 winners have not outshone

Betis stun Zaragoza MADRID: Real Zaragoza’s increasingly desperate fight to avoid relegation from La Liga suffered another setback on Monday when they were beaten 2-0 at home by Real Betis. Forward Ruben Castro netted in each half for the visitors in a scrappy game at the Romareda as Zaragoza remained rooted to the bottom of the standings with just 15 points from 23 matches, five behind 19thplaced Sporting Gijon. Despite enjoying the lion’s share of possession, the Aragonese club were unable to build on a 2-0 success at Espanyol in their last league outing, which was their first win in 15 games since mid October. They have been unsettled by financial problems and protests by supporters against their unpopular president and their victory against Arsenal to win the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1995 is becoming an evermore distant memory. —Reuters

Lille aim to reel in leaders PARIS: Having stolen a march on their rivals for a Champions League place, Lille can close to within six points of Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain if they win at bottom club Sochaux today. After being eliminated from both domestic cup competitions in the space of a month and then falling to an embarrassing 5-4 loss at home to Bordeaux, the reigning champions stopped the rot with a 1-0 success at Lorient on Sunday. Coupled with setbacks for Lyon, Marseille and Rennes, it enabled Lille to finish the weekend with a three-point cushion in third place and they will expect to hammer home their advantage at Mehmed Bazdarevic’s beleaguered Sochaux. Lille coach Rudi Garcia has been insistent in recent weeks that his side are only aiming for a top-three finish, but victory at Stade Bonal would give ‘Les Dogues’ faint hope of retaining their crown ahead of the final 14 games of the season. “This victory gives us a good dose of confidence before going to Sochaux, where we’ll have to continue our series

of away matches (three in succession) with another victory,” said striker Nolan Roux after the win at Lorient. Sochaux finished fifth last season but were unsettled by the pre-season departure of coach Francis Gillot and have sunk to the bottom of the standings after going 10 games without a win in the top flight. “We have to stay positive,” said Bazdarevic. “Unfortunately, we need points, and we have to score goals. We’re going to keep on working and we’ll try to do something against Lille today. Saint-Etienne’s 4-0 thrashing of Rennes on Sunday thrust them into European contention and Christophe Galtier’s side, currently sixth, will leapfrog Marseille and local rivals Lyon into fourth place if they win at home to Lorient. Having climbed to 15th following a shock win at Lyon and a 2-2 draw at home to Evian on Saturday, Caen play host to under-achieving Auxerre, whose goalless draw at Sochaux at the weekend left them mired in the bottom three. —Reuters

Matches on TV (Local Timings)

UEFA Champions League Basel v Bayern Aljazeera Sport +4 Marseille v Inter Aljazeera Sport +2 Aljazeera Sport +3

22:45 22:45

UEFA Europa League Man City v Porto Aljazeera Sport +6 Aljazeera Sport +3


Asian Olympic Qualifiers Malaysia v Japan Aljazeera Sport 1 UAE v Australia Abu Dhabi Sports 1 Aljazeera Sport 1 Oman v South Korea Aljazeera Sport 2 Dubai Sports 2 Abu Dhabi Sports 2 Saudi Sports 2 Qatar v Saudi Arabia Aljazeera Sport 1 Saudi Sports 1 Bahrain v Syria

16:00 16:30 17:30

18:15 18:30

Inter, Didier Deschamps’s side scraping through with a last-gasp 3-2 victory at Borussia Dortmund while the Italians advanced as group winners. Inter lost twice though, notably in their San Siro opener against Turkish debutants

weeks with a thigh injury. Jordan and Andre Ayew have come back from the African Nations Cup, where they reached the semifinals with Ghana, and at least one of them should start up front. France midfielder Alou Diarra, replaced at

FRANCE: Marseille’s players in action during a training session at the Velodrome stadium. Marseille will face Inter Milan in a Champions League soccer match today. —AP Trabzonspor. Ranieri has no new injury worries to complicate an already difficult task of reviving his team for the Stade Velodrome clash although defender Walter Samuel could return after injury and Diego Forlan is finally available having been cup-tied. Marseille are without France striker Loic Remy who has been ruled out for three

halftime in the fourth-placed team’s 1-1 home Ligue 1 draw against Valenciennes on Saturday after taking a blow on his toe, is expected to be fit. “He was better on Sunday but we have to wait a little bit. It doesn’t seem to be serious so we hope he will be there against Inter,” assistant coach Guy Stephan said. —Reuters


History weighing against FC Porto in match at City LONDON: FC Porto’s defense of the Europa League is hanging by a thread with history weighing heavily against the Portuguese team heading into the second leg of their last-32 match against Manchester City today. After losing 2-1 at home in last week’s first leg, Porto needs to beat an English side away for the first time in Europe to stay in the continent’s second-tier club competition. City, though, has a stunning home record this season after winning all 12 of its Premier League matches at Etihad Stadium to help the team to the top of the English standings. And with City manager Roberto Mancini desperate for any kind of silverware to justify the club’s heavy spending in recent years, Porto will not be taken lightly. “After working so hard to win in Portugal, we can’t afford to waste it in the home leg,” City goalkeeper Joe Hart said. “We need to play like we did over there and not think about just trying for a draw or a 1-0 win. If we play our normal game, I think we’ll be OK.” Manchester United, 2010 winner Atletico Madrid and fellow Spanish side Valencia are the competition’s other big names taking leads into home second legs on Thursday, raising the prospect of some quality matchups in the last 16. In a match between teams that have been European champions seven times between them, United beat Ajax 2-0 in the first leg in Amsterdam to put the English champions in control and ease the pain of dropping out of the Champions League at the group stage. “Of course the Champions League is the most important trophy for everyone. It is the biggest trophy in Europe,” United winger Nani said. “But now we are here, we just think about this competition. The club has never won the trophy. Now we will try to do this.” Any fears that England’s top two sides will not take the Europa League seriously have been dismissed, with both teams fielding strong lineups in the first legs. “Sporting Lisbon, Ajax, Porto, Valencia and Manchester United - some of the biggest names in world football - are all in

this to win it,” Hart said.” It’s a great competition and make no mistake, one we want to win.” Atletico Madrid, which has a 3-1 lead over Lazio after the first leg in Italy, is unbeaten since Diego Simeone took charge at the start of the year and has a striker in Radamel Falcao who thrives in the Europa League. By scoring twice against Lazio, the Colombia international made it 22 goals in his last 21 games in the competition, having

LONDON: Manchester City’s Mario Balotelli laughs during a training session at the Carrington Training Centre. City will play Portugal’s FC Porto in a Europa League soccer match today. —AP helped fire Porto to the trophy last season. Atletico will be without Brazilian playmaker Diego, who is out for a month with a right leg muscle injury. “The coach is doing great work,” Atletico full back Juanfran Torres said. “We need to continue on the same way, with the same motivation.” Valencia, which is third in the Spanish league, leads Stoke 1-0 while former European champions PSV Eindhoven of the Netherlands has a 2-1 advantage over Turkish team Trabzonspor, one of the sides to drop down from the Champions League. Steaua Bucharest needs to beat FC Twente away to keep alive its hopes of play-

Klitschko says he’d like another shot at Chisora



Nets trap Knicks as Bulls defeat Hawks


Bayern vulnerable as Basel look for upset

Page 19

ITALY: Napoli’s Ezequiel Lavezzi (right) scores past Chelsea goalie Peter Cech during a Champions League, round of 16, first-leg soccer match at the Naples San Paolo stadium.—AP

Napoli heap misery on Chelsea NAPLES: Napoli piled the pressure on Andre Villas-Boas and put one foot in the Champions League quarter-finals with a 3-1 first leg victory over Chelsea at the San Paolo here yesterday. Ezequiel Lavezzi scored a brace and Edinson Cavani added the third after Juan Mata had given the visitors the lead. Villas-Boas will now face more questions over his future with his side struggling in the league and hanging on in the FA Cup after a fifth round home draw with Championship side Birmingham City. A 20 win at Stamford Bridge in the last 16 second leg in three weeks time would be

enough for the Londoners to progress but on this evidence Chelsea don’t look capable of keeping a clean sheet against anyone. The absence through injury of captain and star centre-back John Terry was marked as David Luiz and Gary Cahill were made to look vulnerable and incapable of plugging any defensive gaps. And with Terry ruled out for the next six weeks as he needs a knee operation-news that was announced before the game-Chelsea’s defence doesn’t look likely to improve any time soon. But that’s not to take anything away from Napoli who were scintillating on the

counter attack-as they had been against Manchester City in the group stagesalthough only mildly less inept than Chelsea at the back. Villas-Boas laughed in the face of his supposedly precarious position by picking a surprisingly attacking line up with Daniel Sturridge, Mata and Florent Malouda behind Didier Drogba. It made for an entertaining game but Chelsea’s defence was too often exposed. Gokhan Inler released Cavani after just nine minutes with Cahill’s slip giving the Uruguay forward time to control and shoot but Petr Cech came to his side’s res-

cue. The Czech goalkeeper did so again when Lavezzi released the overlapping Maggio inside Luiz. And yet it was largely against the run of play when Mata gave the visitors a 27th minute lead, helped in no small part by the pitch. After a neat passing move Sturridge tried to slip the ball inside to the Spaniard. Paolo Cannavaro was in the way but a bobble saw him slice his attempted clearance up in the air and Mata calmly let it drop and side-footed home from 10 yards. Luiz then beat goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis to a Mata corner but headed over. The leveller came on 38 minutes as

Wernbloom saves the day for CSKA in injury time MOSCOW: An injury-time goal on his debut by Swedish midfielder Pontus Wernbloom grabbed CSKA Moscow a 1-1 draw with Spanish giants Real Madrid here yesterday in their Champions League Last 16 first leg match. A goal from Real’s Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo in the 28th minute put the nine-time European champions ahead and they looked set for their seventh successive win in this season’s competition until Wernbloom blasted the ball home. “ We conceded a goal to a schoolboy’s defensive mistake in the first-half and it cost us a goal,” CSKA coach Leonid Slutsky said. “But late in the second half we put more attacking players onto the pitch and levelled the scores. “In general we played good in defence, while in attack we created several chances. Luckily, we managed to convert one of them. Real of course remain the favourites but now I star t to believe that everything is possible.” Real coach Jose Mourinho meanwhile expressed his satisfaction with the result despite the fact that his men missed out on victory. “Anyway it is a good result for us in the away match,” Mourinho said. “But in the return match we will have no other choice but to win.” “CSKA are diffucult opponents and tonight it was a difficult match. But they created few chances tonight, while we missed a pile of opportunities to increase our lead after the break. “In Madrid the weather conditions and the pitch will be completely different but anyway

MOSCOW: Real’s Cristiano Ronaldo (left) battles for a ball with CSKA Moscow’s Pontus Wernbloom during a Champions League round of 16, first leg soccer match.—AP I expect a tough battle there also.” The hosts, supported by a 63,000 home crowd, started in lively fashion probing for weaknesses in the Real defence and created the first chance in the seventh minute. However, Alan Dzagoev ’s shot from eight metres went wide and was the hosts’ only opportunity in the first-half. Real replied with a long-range shot by Karim Benzema, which also went wide forcing Jose Mourinho into an early substitution as the Frenchman pulled a muscle and was replaced by Gonzalo Higuain in the 16th minute. CSKA ‘keeper Sergei Chepchugov pulled off a great double save a minute later as first he beat away a Higuain

effort and was able to get back up and deflect for a corner Sami Khedira’s follow-up. However, he was unable to prevent Ronaldo from opening the scoring, as he drilled home from inside the area after Zoran Tosic failed to clear Fabio Coentrao’s cross from the left. CSKA, who have never lost to a Spanish team before in European competition, poured forward seeking an equaliser but the visitors defence was solid and repelled the hosts attacks. After the interval CSKA continued testing the visitors defence but failed again to create any serious threat to Iker Casillas lacking accuracy in the decisive moments. Meanwhile Real, who were

relying on rapid and dangerous counter-attacks missed a host of chances to increase their lead before the one-hour mark. CSKA, who were lack ing match practice as the Russian league is on the winter break, never theless showed strong character trying hard to pull the scores level but Real looked comfortable. In the 82nd minute the hosts missed a chance to level as Casillas produced a diving save to prevent CSKA midfielder Keisuke Honda’s freekick ending up in the net. But in the third minute of injury time Wernbloom had the CSKA fans on their feet as he sent tha ball into the net from six yards, converting an Alexei Berezutsk y cross from the left.—AFP

Lavezzi sold Raul Meireles a huge dummy, opening up an acre of space outside the box from where he curled a precise finish around Cech. Brazilian Ramires immediately replicated Lavezzi’s feint up the other end but couldn’t do likewise with his finish. And in first half stoppage time Inler stroked the ball to the back post where Cavani got ahead of Cahill to brilliantly improvise by shouldering the ball in from close range. In the second half an awful mistake from Meireles - who is suspended for the second leg after being booked - allowed Cavani to slip in Lavezzi but the Argentine

failed to hit the target. Chelsea were piling on the pressure but chances for Drogba, Mata, Malouda and Cahill came and went without the home goalkeeper being troubled and they were to pay for their wastefullness. The third Napoli goal came on 65 minutes as Luiz hesitated under a long punt forward and Cavani nipped in front of him, drew Cech and slid the ball left for Lavezzi to roll the ball past Cahill on the line. It could even have been worse for Chelsea in the final 10 minutes after Marek Hamsik got in behind the defence and crossed for Maggio but Ashley Cole somehow cleared his shot off the line.—AFP

England whitewash Pakistan DUBAI: Kevin Pietersen hit his second successive century to help a resurgent England beat Pakistan by four wickets in the fourth and final day-night international here yesterday for a 4-0 whitewash. The 31year-old right-hander held the innings together during his 153-ball career-best 130 — his ninth one-day hundred-to help England chase down a 238-run target in 49.2 overs at Dubai Stadium. Pietersen helped England recover from 68-4 with a 109-run stand for the fifth wicket with Craig Kieswetter (43) to maintain his team’s domination in the series in which they won the first match by 130 runs, second by 20 and the third by nine wickets. By virtue of this win England overtook Pakistan at number five and pushed their rivals to sixth in the ICC (International Cricket Council) one-day rankings and partially made up for their 3-0 loss in the preceding three-Test series. Pietersen hit Junaid Khan for a six and took a single in the next over to reach his hundred off 136 balls and finished with 12 fours and two sixes. His previous best of 116 came against South Africa at Centurion in 2005. Pietersen had lost his opening partner Alastair Cook-who hit back-to-back hundreds and 80 in the first three matches-off the second ball of the innings to paceman Khan for four. Jonathan Trott (15), Eoin Morgan (15) and debutant Jos Butler fell in the space of 18 runs before the Pietersen-Kieswetter stand lifted them from 68-4 to 177-5. When Kieswetter was run out, England still needed 61 but Samit Patel (17 not out) in the company of Pietersen brought England within two runs of the win when Pietersen fell to Saeed Ajmal. Tim Bresnan hit the winning boundary. Cook praised the team effort. “We really had a very good one-day series,” said Cook. “It was a great challenge and we stood up and won.” Misbah said Pakistan did show some fight but England were too good. “We showed improvement from the last game but England and Pietersen were too good for us,” said Misbah. “Credit to England for playing well in this series and we were below par.” Pakistan promised more than what they made after half-centuries by Asad Shafiq and Azhar Ali but were pegged back in the final overs with paceman Jade Dernbach taking a career-best 4-45. Shafiq made a 78-ball 65 for his sixth one-day fifty while Ali notched a 89-ball 58 for his first to help lift Pakistan from the early loss of opener Mohammad Hafeez (one) after they elected to bat. Misbah chipped in with a 52-ball 46 which included one four and a six. Shafiq, who hit six boundaries, repaired the early loss during his second wicket stand of 111 with Ali but England pegged back Pakistan when Bresnan dismissed Shafiq off an inside edge and debutant left-arm spinner Danny Briggs

SCOREBOARD DUBAI: Complete scores in the fourth day-night international between Pakistan and England at Dubai Stadium here yesterday: Pakistan Mohammad Hafeez c Kieswetter b Dernbach 1 Azhar Ali c Morgan b Dernbach 58 Aaad Shafiq b Bresnan 65 Umar Akmal c Dernbach b Briggs 12 Shoaib Malik lbw b Briggs 23 Misbah-ul Haq c Trott b Dernbach 46 Shahid Afridi c Bresnan b Finn 9 Adnan Akmal run out 2 Abdul Rehman c Trott b Finn 12 Saeed Ajmal b Dernbach 1 Junaid Khan not out 0 Extras: (b1, lb4, w3) 8 Total: 237 Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Hafeez), 2-112 (Shafiq), 3-135 (Umar), 4-144 (Ali), 5-202 (Malik), 6-215 (Afridi), 7-220 (Adnan), 8-233 (Rehman), 9-237 (Misbah). Bowling: Finn 10-0-42-2, Dernbach 10-0-45-4, Bresnan 9-0-47-1, Briggs 10-0-39-2 (w1), Pietersen 1-0-4-0 (w1), Patel 10-0-55-0 (w1) Overs: 50 England A. Cook lbw b Khan 4 K. Pietersen c Rehman b Ajmal 130 J. Trott c Hafeez b Rehman 15 E. Morgan lbw b Ajmal 15 J. Butler c Ali b Ajmal 0 C. Kieswetter run out 43 S. Patel not out 17 T. Bresnan not out 4 Extras: (lb3, w10) 13 Total: (for six wickets) 241 Fall of wickets: 1-4 (Cook), 2-50 (Trott), 3-68 (Morgan), 468 (Butler), 5-177 (Kieswetter), 6-236 (Pietersen). Bowling: Khan 9.2-0-53-1 (w2), Rehman 10-0-31-1, Ajmal 10-0-62-3 (w7), Afridi 10-0-54-0 (w1), Hafeez 100-38-0 Overs: 49.2 Result: England won by four wickets to take series 4-0.

accounted for Umar Akmal, who made 12. Dernbach had Ali caught off a miscued drive by Morgan to leave Pakistan at 144-4 in the 34th over. Misbah and Shoaib Malik (23) added 58 for the fifth wicket. Pakistan made three changes as experienced batsman Younis Khan was missing for the second match in a row after he failed to recover from a fever, while opener Imran Farhat was left out due to a groin injury. England also gave debuts to Briggs and Butler in four changes from the last game. Both teams now play three Twenty20 internationals in Dubai (February 23 and 25) and Abu Dhabi (February 27).—AFP

Iran fuel exports to E Asia slump as sanctions bite Page 22

Kuwait money supply expands marginally Page 23 WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2012

KSE stocks edge lower ahead of National Days Page 24

Japan Tech Fest ‘KoTEN’ returns to Kuwait Page 26

ATHENS: A pedestrian passes outside a pawnshop in Athens yesterday. Greeks are uneasily digesting the news that their country will likely avoid defaulting on its debt mountain next month and that the euro should remain their currency, at least for the time being. — AP

Europe seals Greek bailout, doubts remain European stocks drop, Wall Street edges higher BRUSSELS: Euro-zone finance ministers agreed a 130-billion-euro ($172 billion) rescue for Greece yesterday to avert an imminent chaotic default after forcing Athens to commit to unpopular cuts and private bondholders to take bigger losses. The complex deal wrought in overnight negotiations buys time to stabilize the 17-nation currency bloc and strengthen its financial firewalls, but it leaves deep doubts about Greece’s ability to recover and avoid default in the longer term. After 13 hours of talks, ministers finalized measures to cut Athens’ debt to 120.5 percent of gross domestic product by 2020, a fraction above the target, securing a second rescue in less than two years in time for a major bond repayment due in March. “We have reached a far-reaching agreement on Greece’s new program

and private sector involvement that would lead to a significant debt reduction for Greece ... to secure Greece’s future in the euro area,” JeanClaude Juncker, who chairs the Eurogroup of finance ministers, told a news conference. European stocks fell yesterday, retreating from near-seven month highs, as investors booked recent profits following a long-awaited deal over a new bailout for Greece that failed to dispel concerns over the outlook for the troubled country. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.6 percent at 1,084.31 points, while the euro-zone’s blue chip Euro STOXX 50 index was down 0.9 percent at 2,528.68 points, after hitting a near seven-month high earlier in the session. Meanwhile, US stocks opened

higher and the Dow Jones industrial average neared 13,000 after Greece secured a bailout deal to keep it from default. The Dow was up 25 points to 12,975. It came within 17 points of 13,000 just after the open. The Dow hasn’t been at 13,000 since the prefinancial crisis days of May 2008. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 was up three at 1,364. The Nasdaq composite index was up four at 2,956. Greece will be placed under permanent surveillance by an increased European presence on the ground, and it will have to deposit funds to service its debt in a special account to guarantee repayments. The 5 am deal (0400 GMT) was hailed as a step forward for Greece, but experts warned that Athens will need more help to bring its debts down to the level envisaged in the bailout and will remain worryingly “accident prone” in

coming years. By agreeing that the European Central Bank would distribute its profits from bond-buying and private bondholders would take more losses, the ministers reduced Greece’s debt to a point that should secure funding from the International Monetary Fund. Italian and Spanish bond yields fell amid relief among investors that a threat to the wider euro-zone had been avoided, although expectations of an agreement had been largely priced into foreign exchange and stock markets. “It’s an important result that removes immediate risks of contagion,” Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti told a news conference. While the deal provides time for the euro-zone to put new crisis measures in place over the coming months, it means Greece will struggle for years without economic growth. The auster-

ity measures imposed on Athens are widely disliked among the population and will put pressure on politicians who must contest an election expected in April. Further street unrest could test politicians’ commitment to cuts in wages, pensions and jobs. Greece’s two biggest labor unions called a protest in Athens today. An opinion poll taken just before the Brussels deal showed that support for the two mainstream parties backing the rescue had fallen to an all-time low while leftist, anti-bailout parties showed gains. Anastasis Chrisopoulos, a 31-yearold Athens taxi driver, saw no reason to cheer the deal. “So what?” he asked. “Things will only get worse. We have reached a point where we’re trying to figure out how to survive just the next day, let alone the next 10 days, the

next month, the next year.” Conser vative leader Antonis Samaras, a strong contender to become next prime minister, said the rescue package’s debt-reduction targets could only be met with economic growth. Many economists question whether Greece can pay off even a reduced debt burden, suggesting the deal may only delay a deeper default by a few months. Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg said: “What’s been done is a meaningful step forward. Of course, the Greeks remain stuck in their tragedy; this is a new act in a long drama. “I don’t think we should consider that they are cleared of any problems, but I do think we’ve reduced the Greek problem to just a Greek problem. It is no longer a threat to the recovery in all of Europe, and it is another step forward.” — Agencies

AUB’s net profit jumps 17% to record $310.6m for 2011

BAHOVITSA: Employees work on the assembly line of the new Great Wall Motor’s Car plant in the village of Bahovitsa yesterday. China’s Great Wall Motor eyes to enter the European market with cars assembled in Bulgaria, its chief executive Wang Feng Ying said at its plant opening. — AFP

KUNA releases Kuwait 2011 biannual economic report KUWAIT: Kuwait News Agency issued yesterday the 2011 biannual economic repor t on Kuwait, which includes a review of the economic activity and performance in the period, in addition to analysis on these events from leading local experts. The state news agency’s report aims to highlight economic strides made by the Gulf countr y in the midst of two years remaining in a development plan Kuwait has embarked upon. The report contains three chapters, the first of which discusses the per formance of the Kuwait Stock Exchange and major transactions witnessed during the second half of 2011. It also highlights the impact of the global economic crisis, domestic events and geopoliti-

cal factors on the local stock market’s performance. The second chapter provides readers with expert analysis on the period and future predictions for 2012. It also reveals the accomplishments made by the country’s regulator of public funds, the State Audit Bureau, through an interview with its President Abdulaziz Al-Adsani. The third and last chapter discusses Kuwait’s air transport market, with emphasis on commercial flight sales and passenger demand, the flow of air freight and logistical capabilities. An interview with a leading official in the Directorate General of Civil Aviation explains the most recent changes made in the airline and air freight industries. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Ahli United Bank BSC (AUB) reported a record net profit attributable to its equity shareholders of $310.6 million for the year ended 31 December 2011, a landmark result since its inception in 2000. This represents a 17% increase over the 2010 result. The last quarter of 2011 contributed $70.3 million to the overall result, as compared to $64.4 million in Q4/2010. The year 2011 witnessed major geopolitical developments with associated economic ramifications ranging from declining consumer and business confidence, subdued lending demand and reduced client activity driven by market volatility, widening credit spreads and pro-active downward revisions in credit ratings of US and many euro-zone countries. The advent of the Arab Spring added a regional dimension to the earlier evolving euro-zone debt crisis and generally worsening macro-economic indicators globally. Against the backdrop of a ver y challenging business environment, AUB pursued prudent liquidity buildup and capital preservation measures as its key priorities complemented by stringent cost controls to ensure its ability to effectively service its customers in providing necessary credit and other banking support under the most challenging conditions. Long term liquidity and funding profiles were augmented with the conclusion of the landmark deals with IFC/IFC Capitalization Funds in March 2011.

These included raising $290 million through the issuance of Tier-1 Mandatorily Convertible Preference Shares of $125 million and a Tier-2 eligible 10 year Subordinated Term Debt of $165 million. Moreover, existing subordinated term debt from IFC of $200 million was elongated to increase its capital effectiveness and eligibility. Overall customer deposits were increased by 16.9% (+$2.5 billion) to reach $17.3 billion, while the overall Interbank & Repo Borrowings decreased by $0.8 billion as part of a plan to reduce wholesale funding dependence. The AUB Group maintained its focus on prudent lending norms while meeting its commitments to its customers and maintaining support for viable initiatives. Overall loans and advances rose by 7.0% to $15.5 billion (2010: $14.5 billion). As part of its liquidity management, additional liquid funds were deployed in Treasury bills and deposits with regional Central Banks and other high quality liquidity management instruments, which increased from $2.1 billion as at 31 December 2010 to $2.6 billion as at 31 December 2011. Total consolidated assets at 31 December 2011 stood at $28.3 billion, being 7.1% higher than their $26.5 billion level at 31 December 2010. Credit quality levels were contained with a non-performing loans level of 2.5% (2010: 2.4%). Provision charge on loan losses declined by 14.4% to $129.8 million. Of the total loan loss

provision charge made during the year, $79.1 million (61%) represents collective impairment provisions primarily undertaken to comply with regulatory provision requirements in different AUB markets and are not related

AUB Chairman Fahad Al-Rajaan to any specific counterparty impairments. The overall provision coverage ratio (including collective impairment provisions) increased to 135% as compared to 120% as of 31 December 2010. The above stated measures resulted in an increase in the AUB Group’s operating income by 11.6% to $842.1 million over 2010, driven by a 11.4% increase in Net Interest Income. Associate banks in Qatar and Oman also contributed a 10% increase in profit share over 2010. Ongoing adop-

tion of a disciplined and business driven cost spend culture within the AUB Group resulted in the cost income ratio improving to 32.4% (2010: 33.6%). Return on Average Equity for the year stood at 12.7%, a significant increase over the 12.0% achieved in 2010. Return on Average Assets was maintained at 1.2% (2010: 1.2%) attributable essentially to investing in low yielding high quality securities and the maintenance of surplus liquidity levels as a contingency measure. The resultant basic earnings per share was $6.2 cents for the year ended 31 December 2011 (2010: $5.4 cents). Given the landmark 2011 result for AUB, the Board of Directors recommends a cash dividend of $3.0 cents per share (2010: $2.5 cents) together with a bonus ordinary share issue of 5% (2010: nil) to augment share capital. “AUB continued its solid performance in 2011 against the backdrop of a very challenging global business environment whose risks are continuing. Despite the geo-political developments in the MENA region and the Euro-zone crisis, AUB sustained its growth in operating income and net profit demonstrating its strong underlying fundamentals and importance of its diversified business model. I am cautiously optimistic that AUB is positioned to meet the emerging challenges arising out of evolving market conditions both in the region and globally and to maintain its positive performance into 2012” commented Fahad Al-Rajaan, Chairman, AUB.




Iran fuel exports to E Asia slump as sanctions bite Volumes to drop as EU embargo approaches SINGAPORE: Iran will export a six-month low volume of fuel oil to East Asia in March as tighter Western sanctions against Tehran make payment difficult, while volumes will likely drop further as a European Union embargo approaches, traders said yesterday. The world’s fifth-largest oil exporter is struggling to retain its top consumers as stricter sanctions and an embargo make it impossible to trade with the Islamic Republic, sapping an important lifeline for an increasingly isolated country. Iran’s fuel oil shipments to East Asia in March are expected at 300,000-350,000 tons of straight-run 280-centistoke (cst), well below last year’s monthly average of 550,000-600,0000, shipping reports show and Singaporebased fuel oil traders said. Four 80,000-tonne lots are to land in Singapore and China, according to the sources. Iranian exports made up nearly 8 percent of the 7-million ton monthly inflow into East Asia, the world’s biggest market for the product, last year. A further decline may boost prices above the three-year highs they hovered around in the past four months and keep them at elevated levels. “With the new sanctions, it will be nigh impossible, except maybe for the Chinese players,” a Singapore-based fuel oil trader said. “You can’t do anything if you can’t buy or sell the oil, especially for European and American traders

are thicker and contain more water. The March arrivals include what traders said is likely to be Kuo’s last parcel, which is due to start loading on Wednesday. The others include two lots for Shell, with one for Feb. 29 loading and another in mid-March, and one for Tianbao for March 4 loading. Record volumes of Iranian fuel oil flowed into East Asia in 2011, even though there were some sanctions already in place. The region typically gets two grades - the National Iranian Oil Co’s (NIOC) straight-run 280-cst and the cracked 380-cst. The high inflows, totalling 6.5-7 million tons for the year, or 550,000-600,000 tons per month, of the low-density, low-water variety were due to strong demand for such blend stocks that peaked in the May-July period, according to Reuters data. Imports peaked last year, with record-high volumes of 1.2 million tons landing in Singapore and China in June. That was despite some Western banks already restricting financing trade that involved Iranian commodities, including oil, and issues relating to the use of the dollar, traders said. “Most companies got around this by paying the Iranians in euros, via an agreed exchange rate,” a source familiar with the transactions said. “They also paid in cash terms through banks, mostly in Dubai, and in other third countries such as Singapore and China, and even Spain.” —Reuters

Iraqi Gulf oil terminal start delayed again

CME, Oman fund to raise stake in Dubai bourse DUBAI: Futures exchange operator CME Group Inc. and an Omani sovereign fund boosted their stake in the Dubai Mercantile Exchange after a cash infusion yesterday, diluting positions held by oil majors and the ruler of Dubai’s investment vehicle. Both the CME and Oman Investment Fund injected an undisclosed amount into a recapitalization of the DME, which trades the Oman oil futures contract. “The fresh funds came from CME and OIF. The other strategic investors were diluted as part of the infusion,” DME Chief Executive Thomas Leaver told reporters on a conference call. After the injection, CME’s stake in DME will rise to 50 percent from 25 percent while Oman Investment Fund’s holding goes to 29 percent from 25 percent. Dubai Holding, owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, will see its 25-percent stake reduced to 9 percent. “Dubai Holding was diluted ... it wasn’t a buyout but just a dilution of shares,” Leaver said. The three firms set up the DME in 2007 as a joint venturealong with oil and financial firms like Shell, Vitol , Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan. The DME has long aimed for its Oman contract to challenge Brent and US crude futures as a global benchmark but so far that has not happened. In 2011, the DME delivered more than 145 million barrels of crude oil - a year-onyear trading volume growth of 19 percent, according to the statement. — Reuters

who would have to adhere to their government’s mandate.” Already, Singapore-based Kuo Oil, one of the three companies blacklisted by the US government for business links with Iran, has not been seen lifting any March-loading parcels, according to shipping reports. The blacklist, which also includes Chinese state trader Zhenrong Zhuhai and the United Arab Emirates’ FAL Oil, bars them from receiving US export licenses, US Export Import Bank financing or loans over $10 million from US financial institutions. The blacklisted firms are among an exclusive group of six companies, including oil major Shell, European trader Vitol and Saudi trader Bakri, who regularly bought Iranian fuel oil in 2011. Both FAL Oil and Bakri, mostly focused on the smaller regional markets, have already scaled down their Iranian imports last year due to difficulties in obtaining financing for the cargoes, company sources said. Shell, which also buys Iranian crude, has said it will comply with “all applicable sanctions” in an emailed statement to Reuters. Vitol has not made any public comment on the issue, but traders expect it to comply post July 1, simply because of the difficulty in continuing to trade with Iran. Only Zhenrong, backed by the Chinese government, may be able to continue. Asian refiners use fuel oil to produce diesel and jet fuel. Iranian grades are used for blending with other fuel oil that

BAGHDAD: Bad weather has delayed the opening of Iraq’s new Gulf crude outlet, sources said yesterday, further postponing a 300,000 barrel-a-day export boost that would ease a field-to-tanker bottleneck. Iraq held an opening ceremony on Feb. 12 for the new Single Point Mooring, a buoy system that enables tankers to load crude while moored off the coast. Officials said then they needed up to 10 more days to complete the project and start pumping crude. Nine days on, industry sources said they now expected operations near the southern oil hub of Basra to begin by the end of the month. “Rough weather made it impossible for the crew to complete work at the floating terminal. We had to halt work in the past days,” one industry source said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media. A vital component broke in choppy waters while workers struggled to connect the floating terminal to a pipeline on the sea bed below, the industry officials said. “High wind shattered the 24-inch flexible part of the pipeline, which links the offshore part with the floating terminal, and this caused further delay,” a source said. It will take roughly two days to replace the flexible part of the pipeline and another four to connect the remaining elements and conduct checks before being able to pump crude, the officials added. The new terminal is one of four Single Point Moorings that Iraq plans to put in place as part of a $1.3 billion effort to at least quadruple its export capacity within six years. Each of the new moorings is due to

add 900,000 barrels per day (bpd) in export capacity. The mooring currently being completed is, however, only expected to pump at around 300,000 bpd for the time being. The completion of the first of the four planned moorings has been delayed repeatedly. It was originally due to open on Jan. 1, and the start of operations has been pushed back several times since. Once it is operational, companies working at Iraq’s southern oilfields will be able to increase production. They can pump more oil than the existing export terminals allow,

although Iraqi officials have not said how big the bottleneck is. A unit of Australia’s Leighton Holdings is building the new terminal and two of the other three that are planned. A source at the state-run South Oil Company said the project had been hampered by Iraqi officials’ mismanagement as well as technical difficulties and bad weather. Leighton, Australia’s top contractor, said last week it had alerted the Australian Federal Police about possible bribery by its subsidiary working to expand Iraq’s export capacity. — Reuters


in brief

Etisalat seeks $2bn syndicated loan LONDON: United Arab Emirate’s largest telecommunications company Etisalat is seeking a syndicated loan of up to $2 billion for general corporate purposes, bankers close to the deal said. The deal is expected to carry a three-year tenor, but this is subject to change, the bankers added. Etisalat was not immediately available to comment. The company’s last completed loan was a $3 billion, 364-day debut revolver that signed in July 2006 via bookrunners Barclays, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and HSBC, according to Thomson Reuters LPC. Etisalat may restructure its operations to cut costs, the company said on Monday, as it tries to arrest falling profits. On Feb. 9, Etisalat said annual net profit fell 24 percent to 5.8 billion UAE dirhams ($1.58 billion), due in part to writedowns on its Indian affiliate Etisalat DB, which is poised to lose its license. Saudi boosts market monitoring system DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s regulator adjusted stock ownership guidelines in a bid to boost transparency yesterday, as the Middle East’s biggest bourse takes steps toward opening up to direct foreign investment.Foreign buyers of Saudi stocks currently do so through swap arrangements with an authorized entity in the kingdom making the ultimate owner unknown. Under the new guidelines, the actual owner of the stock will now be identified. The move will help the regulator impose ownership limits when the market eventually opens up, using the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (QFII) route. Du internet may slow after cable damaged DUBAI: Internet subscribers with UAE telecoms operator du may face slower speeds after a submarine cable between Dubai and Oman was cut yesterday, the firm said. “We expect some slowness especially in peak times,” the statement said. “We have taken immediate action ... by re-routing our traffic over multiple alternative cable systems to reduce the impact of the cable cuts. “According to cable operators, the repair process has already started and performance is expected to go back to normal levels within the coming few days.” Du did not say how the cable was cut. The telco had issued a similar warning in December. QFIB eyes Doha listing, seeks Islamic loan DUBAI: Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB) plans to list on the Doha stock exchange by year-end and wants to raise a $250 million sharia-compliant facility during the first half of 2012, Chief Executive Emad Mansour said yesterday. “We won’t be raising money through an IPO but we want our 1,200 shareholders to trade the stock,” Mansour told reporters in Dubai. “Listing on the Doha bourse will help in the rating and open new funding options for us.” Mansour said QFIB was in talks to appoint a financial adviser for the listing.

S Korea-US trade pact to take effect in March

SEOUL: South Korean demonstrators stage a rally to support the free trade agreement, or FTA, with the United States near the US Embassy in Seoul yesterday. — AP

SEOUL: South Korea and the United States have agreed that their long-delayed free trade agreement will take effect on March 15, Seoul’s trade ministry said yesterday. The deal was signed in July 2007 but approved by the US Congress only last October after a partial renegotiation dealing mainly with the auto industry. South Korea’s parliament approved the free trade pact last November despite vehement protests from opposition lawmakers, one of whom set off a tear gas canister in the chamber. The main opposition party has urged President Barack Obama to renegotiate the deal. Otherwise, it says it will withdraw from the pact if it takes power following a parliamentary and presidential election this year. — AP

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 Philippine peso Egyptian pounds

.2730000 .4370000 .3650000 .3020000 .2760000 .2950000 .0040000 .0020000 .0752010 .7326580 .3830000 .0710000 .7182390 .0040000 .0430000

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES US Dollar/KD .2770000 GB Pound/KD .4390450 Euro .3676620 Swiss francs .3043620 Canadian dollars .2785320 Danish Kroner .0494520 Swedish Kroner .0417510 Australian dlr .2970410 Hong Kong dlr .0357180 Singapore dlr .2210690 Japanese yen .0034760 Indian Rs/KD .0000000 Sri Lanka rupee .0000000 Pakistan rupee .0000000 Bangladesh taka .0000000 UAE dirhams .0754460 Bahraini dinars .7350400 Jordanian dinar .0000000 Saudi Riyal/KD .0738860 Omani riyals .7197610 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

3.598 5.667 3.154 2.436 3.341 213.250 35.672 3.580 6.336 8.873 0.271 0.273

.2802500 .4470000 .3730000 .3120000 .2850000 .3050000 .0070000 .0035000 .0759560 .7400210 .4000000 .0760000 .7254570 .0072000 .0500000 .2791000 .4423740 .3704490 .3066700 .2806440 .0498270 .0420670 .2992930 .0359890 .2227450 .0035020 .0057160 .0023630 .0030820 .0034120 .0760180 .7406130 .3947670 .0744470 .7252180 .0065870

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

GCC COUNTRIES 74.150 76.402 722.230 738.540 75.715

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

ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 47.500 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 46.282 Yemen Riyal/for 1000 1.272 Tunisian Dinar 189.860 Jordanian Dinar 392.670 Lebanese Lira/for 1000 1.865 Syrian Lier 6.003 Morocco Dirham 33.814 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 277.950 Euro 370.650 Sterling Pound 431.930 Canadian dollar 268.420 Turkish lire 153.940 Swiss Franc 300.620 Australian dollar 277.000 US Dollar Buying 277.750 GOLD 315.500 159.000 81.500

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 Norwegian krone Omani Riyal


303.600 740.400 3.610 283.200 546.500 45.400 50.200 167.800 47.540 374.000 36.570 5.810 0.032 0.167 0.243 3.590 394.610 0.188 93.650 46.500 4.280 236.800 1.803 49.900 722.760


301.700 740.010 3.610 281.700

222.600 46.092 372.500 36.420 5.865 0.031

10 Tola

75.770 278.200

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd Selling Rate

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

278.150 281.530 442.270 369.580 305.980 736.575 75.705 76.350 74.135 391.535 46.084 2.346 5.671 3.066 3.338 6.519 682.290 3.585 9.130 5.855 3.635 92.040

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

278.200 3.058 5.675 2.344 3.385 6.555 75.845 74.340 739.600 46.0855 446.500 3.190 1.550 375.000 285.500 3.690


Transfer Rate (Per 1000)

302.03 283.97 310.33 372.23

446.00 3.70 3.550 5.790 2.6254 4.250 3.200 76.50 74.00 48.00 394.60 728.00 77.25 74.60

Al Mulla Exchange

UAE Exchange Center WLL Australian Dollar Canadian Dollar Swiss Franc Euro

444.16 3.54 3.413 5.644 2.341 3.547 3.067 75.73 740.00 46.11 395.79 723.02 76.71 74.28

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co.

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 443.500 278.200

Sterling Pound US Dollar



308.200 4.200 9.250

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


394.290 0.187 93.650 3.560 235.300

3.070 6.550 76.290 74.290 222.600 39.040 2.349 443.500

GOLD 1,814.660

Rate for Transfer

Bahrain Exchange Company

3.160 6.860 76.970 74.290 222.600 39.040 2.651 445.500 42.400 309.700 4.200 9.410 198.263 75.870 278.600 1.310

303.00 284.00 310.00 374.00

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

Transfer Rate (Per 1000)

277.850 372.300 443.300 281.500 3.515 5.655 46.060 2.347 3.340 6.520 3.070 739.900 75.675 74.200




Kuwait money supply expands marginally Govt spending kept system liquid in 2011 NBK Economic Report

HIALEAH: Elsy Santiago (left) and her sister Betsy exit Macy’s in Hialeah, Florida. Macy’s Inc said yesterday its fiscal fourth-quarter net income climbed 12 percent thanks to strong holiday spending and surging online sales. —AP

Holiday spending pushes Macy’s 4Q profit higher NEW YORK: Macy’s Inc said strong holiday and online sales helped push its fiscal fourth-quarter net income up 12 percent. The department store chain’s results topped Wall Street’s expectations and its stock climbed in trading before the market open. Macy’s, which runs Bloomingdale’s and its namesake stores, is reaping the benefit of tailoring merchandise to local markets. It has been outperforming midprice peers such as Kohl’s Inc. and JC Penney Co. “Our year was punctuated with a terrific holiday selling season as our customers responded to our assortment of most-wanted merchandise for gifts and self-purchase, as well as compelling marketing campaigns,” Chairman, President and CEO Terry Lundgren said in a statement. Macy’s stock added $1.56, or 4.3 percent, to $37.81 in Tuesday premarket trading. Macy’s earned $745 million, or $1.74 per share, for the period ended Jan 28. A year ago it earned $667 million, or $1.55 per share. Excluding gains from the sale of store leases related to the 2006 sale of Lord & Taylor and expenses tied to some store closings, earnings were $1.70 per share. Revenue rose 5.5 percent to $8.72 bil-

lion from $8.27 billion. Online sales, which include results from both the Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s web sites, jumped 40 percent. Revenue at stores open at least a year, which includes online sales, climbed 5.2 percent. This figure is a key indicator of a retailer’s health because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed. The quarterly results topped the expectations of analysts polled by FactSet, who predicted earnings of $1.65 per share on revenue of $8.7 billion. For the year, Macy’s earned $1.26 billion, or $2.92 per share. That compares with earnings of $847 million, or $1.98 per share, in the previous year. Adjusted earnings were $2.88 per share. Full-year revenue increased 5.6 percent to $26.41 billion from $25 billion. Online sales rose nearly 40 percent. Revenue at stores open at least a year increased 5.3 percent. The company, which has corporate offices in Cincinnati and New York, expects fiscal 2012 earnings of $3.25 to $3.30 per share. Wall Street predicts $3.27 per share. Macy’s also anticipates its online sales will surpass $2 billion this year and that revenue at stores open at least a year will climb about 3.5 percent. —AP

KUWAIT: Kuwait money supply M2 increased by KD 46 million in December while the narrower measure of money supply, M1, expanded KD 163 million. Government injections related to government spending throughout 2011 kept the system liquid and put downward pressure on interest rates. In turn, low interest rates drove the shift from term deposits to sight deposits. As a result M1 (shorter-term liquidity) grew 17.9% y/y in 2011 while M2 growth was more subdued at 8.5%. Outstanding credit to residents was up KD 21 million in December. Credit growth remained stagnant in 2011, up 1.6% y/y. The slow growth in bank credit in 2011 was in part due to the aftermath of the financial crisis in particular ailing investment companies that are still reducing debt levels. Personal facilities, excluding loans for the purchase of securities, were up another strong KD 65 million in December. There was no notable activity outside of personal facilities in December. In 2011, consumer/household lending continued to lead growth and was up a strong 9.5% y/y. During 2011, an already healthy consumer sentiment was bolstered by a large Amiri grant in February (KD 1,000 per citizen) and by various salary increases. Outside of household finance, loans to real estate showed some improvement and grew a decent 4.5% y/y, probably reflecting the pickup in investment real estate sales throughout 2011. Business-related loans were still lagging, up a mere 1%, and still hinge on the government’s development plan and its pace of execution. Nonbank financial institutions and loans for the purchase of securities continue to be a drag on credit and were off 16% and 2% respec-

tively in 2011. In December, resident deposits were up slightly (+KD 25 million) exclusively in local currency accounts and mostly in sight deposits. Resident deposits were up 8% in 2011 (+KD 2 billion) mostly in shorter term deposits.

(CBK), and CBK bonds. The average rates offered on KD private deposits remained unchanged in December. Interbank rates fell 4 to 7 bps across maturities in 2011 as banks remained awash with liquidity. The 1, 3, 6 and 12-month rates averaged 0.82%, 1.05%, 1.30%, and 1.54%,

Total bank assets were up a notable KD 588 million in December. The increase came mainly in foreign assets but banks’ liquid assets were up as well. In 2011, bank assets reached KD 44 billion, up 6.5% y/y. About half of that increase came from liquid assets, deposits with the Central Bank of Kuwait

respectively. The Kuwaiti dinar, which is tied to a basket of currencies dominated by the US dollar, appreciated by 1% versus the US dollar through 2011. The dinar averaged $3.62 over the year, versus $3.49 in 2010. The dinar’s appreciation against the euro was larger.

Gulf Air says Oman owes over $310m

In Greece, debt deal gets mixed reception ATHENS: Greeks greeted uneasily the news yesterday that their country will likely avoid defaulting on its debts next month and the euro should remain their currency - at the cost of years of economic hardship. The relief engendered by the 17nation euro-zone’s decision to back a new euro130 billion ($170 billion) rescue was offset by a grim reality: Greece faces many more years of sacrifice, on top of a grueling 24 months of austerity measures that have contributed to record high unemployment and a rapidly contracting economy. “I don’t see (the agreement) with any joy because again we’re being burdened with loans, loans, loans, with no end in sight,” Athens architect Valia Rokou said. The deal in Brussels gives Greece its second financial lifeline in less than two years and the hope is that it will grant the countr y the breathing space to enact widespread reforms and set it back on a path to growth. Greece has been surviving since May 2010 on a first euro110 billion ($146 billion) batch of loans from the euro-zone and the International Monetary Fund. Some Greeks noted that despite the gloomy future, the rescue deals lightened the immediate financial uncertainty looming over the country. “Ever yone was depressed ... This news gives me great joy,” said Christos Kontogeorgis, a pensioner in the capital. As well as securing another deal with its European partners and the IMF, Greece is hoping to get its private creditors to agree a massive writedown in the holdings of their Greek debt. Banks, pension funds and other private investors are being asked to forgive some euro107 billion ($142 billion) of the total euro206 billion ($273 billion) in devalued Greek government bonds they hold. Private bondholders will trade their bonds with new ones carrying much longer maturities and lower interest rates - an annual 2 percent by 2015, 3 percent to 2021 and 4.3 percent after that. “It’s not every day that euro100 billion in public debt is written off, or loans for euro130 billion agreed,” Ta Nea newspaper said in an editorial. “There will be new sacrifices and difficulties, particularly for middle and lower earners. We must hope that this new period will become an opportunity for growth and better prospects.” The head of the conservative New Democracy party, the junior partner in Greece’s interim coalition government, said the deal buys Greece time and

hope of recovery. “Greece is in pain and the people is suffering, therefore this is no time for jubilation,” Antonis Samaras said during a visit to Cyprus. Greece is in a fifth year of recession, with the economy forecast to shrink 4.5 percent this year before star ting to expand again in 2014 although by then it will have contracted by more than 17 percent since the beginning of the crisis in 2009. Unemployment is at 21 percent, with one in two workers under 25 out of a job. Majority Socialist leader George Papandreou urged Greeks “to continue the fight we have started, despite the huge price, and not abandon the effort halfway through.” Without either aspect of yesterday’s agreement, Greece would have soon been forced to default on its debts halting pension and civil servant salary payments. In all likelihood, Greece would have had to leave the common European currency it joined in 2001. “I feel relieved to start with, because my country has escaped the immediate danger it faced,” said Athens lawyer George Sabalos, 40. “But I’m also troubled by our partners’ demand that the country’s constitution should be modified as part of the guarantees they are seeking, because I believe that is a rather excessive demand that goes against the principle of solidarity.” And Greek unions fiercely oppose further austerity measures that accompany the second bailout, and have called a protest rally outside Parliament in central Athens on Wednesday. Prime Minister Lucas Papademos has called a cabinet meeting to discuss the additional cutbacks, which will be included in emergency legislation to be tabled later. The draft law will force private sector employees to accept further salary cuts as a result of the minimum euro751 ($996) monthly wage being cut by 22 percent, and further cut pensions. “Workers in our country refuse to accept the barbarity of the tougher neoliberal measures that have been extortionately imposed by our creditors, and that is why they will continue and step up their struggle ... to block the destruction of our society,” the main GSEE private sector union said in a statement on Monday. GSEE and its public sector counterpart, the ADEDY, have staged a series of general strikes over the past two years. Many have turned violent, and as Greek lawmakers debated new austerity measures on Feb 12 extensive rioting saw dozens of businesses in central Athens burnt and looted. —AP

FRANKFURT: A waiting child sits reading on the floor in an airport terminal while some 200 apron control workers are on a strike for higher wages at the international airport in Frankfurt, Germany, yesterday. The strike is supposed to last until Friday. —AP

Frankfurt airport strike to continue until weekend FRANKFURT: Strikes at Frankfurt airport, Germany’s largest, will continue until the weekend, the GdF union, resulting in more flight cancellations and delays. Just under 200 apron control workers, such as those who guide aircraft to parking places, are striking over a pay dispute with Fraport, which runs the airport. German carrier Lufthansa has already cancelled hundreds of flights a day because of the walkouts, which started last Thursday. The latest walkout started at 0400 GMT Monday and was due to continue until 0400 GMT yesterday. It will now be extended to 2200 GMT Friday, the union said yesterday. Frankfurt, Europe’s third-largest airport in terms of passenger numbers, usually has around 1,300 flights per day. Flights do not take off or land between 2200 GMT and 0400 GMT due to a night flight ban. Fraport said more than 80 percent of flights took off on Monday. It estimated 187 flight cancellations so far out of a total 1,200 scheduled for yesterday, meaning almost 85 percent of services could still run. Lufthansa, which accounts for more than half of flights at Frankfurt airport, has said it expected to cancel only about 160 incoming and outgoing flights on German and European routes on Tuesday, after about 200 yesterday. All intercontinental

flights will take place, it said. The airline said it was too soon to say how many flights would be scrapped today and subsequent days. Its website showed eight early morning cancellations for today. The first two days of walkouts cost Fraport between 3.5-4.0 million euros ($4.6-$5.3 million) in lost revenue. The airport operator has been running 70-80 percent of flights using staff from other areas of operations and has said it will not be forced to agree to what it what it said were “unreasonable” demands for pay increases of 50-70 percent. Fraport has called on the GdF union to end the strikes and resume talks. The union has shown no sign of backing down, lengthening the strike periods each time and saying it could continue action for weeks. The two sides have already resorted to mediation, with Fraport rejecting a proposal made by mediator Ole von Beust in early February saying it would go against the salary matrix within the company. The apron workers represent about 1 percent of its workforce. “With the preparations taken, Fraport is able to hold out over long strike periods,” the airport operator said yesterday. —Reuters

LISBON: A man stands in the nearly deserted Rossio train station in Lisbon during a railway workers’ strike yesterday. Some eighty percent of the trains were not running yesterday due to the strike by workers demanding overtime pay. —AP

DUBAI: Bahrain’s cash-strapped national airline Gulf Air, which is seeking government funds to continue operations, said the Omani government owes the carrier as much as 117 million dinars ($310.3 million). Gulf Air said yesterday that it is in talks with the sultanate for the sum which has been due after Oman pulled out of the carrier in 2007. “There is a residual amount of 117 million dinars that remains outstanding from the Sultanate of Oman from the time it withdrew as a shareholder of the airline,” the airline said in an emailed statement yesterday. “This continues to be a matter of discussion amongst concerned parties.” There was no immediate public comment by Oman on the matter. Gulf Air has struggled to find a niche after previous owners Oman, Qatar and Abu Dhabi gave up their stakes partly to establish their own carriers. The airline was hit by falling passenger numbers in 2011 as antigovernment protesters continue to clash regularly with riot police in the island kingdom. Last week the carrier cancelled its ser vice to Damascus, Athens, Milan and Kuala Lumpur. This follows ending services to Entebbe and Geneva earlier in the month. A government delegation briefed parliament in January and called for a restructuring of the company for “effective operational requirements”, state media reported. The airline said in May it had laid off 200 employees and that bookings were down by a quarter following the Arab Spring uprisings in the region. —Reuters

Wal-Mart’s Q4 profits slip NEW YORK: Wal-Mart Stores Inc is reporting a 4.2 percent decline in fourth-quarter profits. But the world’s largest retailer’s US business continued its rebound as it grabbed shoppers over the critical holidays. The discounter says net income was $5.16 billion, or $1.50 per share, in the three months ended Jan. 31. That compares with $6.05 billion, or $1.70 per share, in the year ago period. Including results from certain tax benefits, the retail recorded $1.51 per share for the quarter. Net sales rose 5.9 percent to $122.28 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings per share of $1.46 on revenue of $123.9 billion. The company’s namesake business in the US had a 1.5 percent increase in revenue at stores opened at least a year, its second consecutive quarterly gain after facing a more than two-year slump. —AP

Bahrain plans to buy LNG from Russia DUBAI: Bahrain plans to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Russia from 2015, as supply talks with Iran and Qatar stall, Bahrain’s Al-Ayam newspaper cited the kingdom’s energy minister as saying during a cabinet meeting. Bahrain’s gas import plans have long been hampered by political tension with regional producers Qatar and Iran, while a looming gas shortage threatens the Gulf island’s growth. Bahrain will not be able to import liquefied gas from Russia until 2015 when it hopes to open an LNG import terminal, Abdul Hussein bin Ali Mirza said, adding that Russia was eager to help. Mirza said negotiations had stopped with Qatar as the OPEC-Gulf state was studying “technical” issues with its North Field, while talks had stopped with Iran in light of “recent events.” Bahrainis took to the streets last February, inspired by Arab world uprisings, the kingdom’s government accused Iran of backing the demonstrations. Last week, Bahrain’s King Hamad said the threat of Iran had compelled him to call in foreign troops to crush last year’s uprising. No details were given volumes Bahrain plans to import from Russia. —Reuters




KSE stocks edge lower ahead of National Days GLOBAL DAILY MARKET REPORT KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) ended yesterday’s session on a negative note. The services sector recorded first decline in the last 3 consecutive sessions. KSE said it will close on February 26, 2012 and February 27, 2012 on the occasion of the country’s National and Liberation Day holidays. Trading will resume on February 28, 2012 the bourse said in a statement posted on its website. Global General Index (GGI) ended the day down by 0.40 percent, at 180.80 point. Market capitalization was down for the day, reaching KD29.42bn. On the other hand, KSE Price Index closed at 6,098.2 point, shedding 16.50 points (0.27 percent) from its previous close.

On the other hand, shares of Inovest Company gained 6.17 percent. Services sector closed down by 0.53 percent as two of its heavyweight stocks ended the day with losses: Agility and National Mobile Telecommunication Company closed down by 1.27 percent and 1.96 percent . The mentioned companies constitute 5.13 percent of the Kuwaiti market cap. Banking sector closed down by 0.42 percent, as Kuwait Finance House declined by 2.38 percent. All other banking stocks closed unchanged. On the

flip side, the biggest gainer yesterday was the industrial sector, clocking a slim 0.06 percent in gains. Kuwait Portland Cement Co bolstered the sector’s performance with a 6.17 percent climb. Oil held near $120 a barrel yesterday as world consumers grappled with supply disruptions ranging from Iran to Sudan to the North Sea. Oil also rose briefly after Europe’s much-awaited bailout of Greece. But while the deal resolves Athens’ immediate financing needs, it is unlikely to revive its shattered economy.

Market breadth On the broader market for equities, decliners outpaced advancers by a margin of 56 to 38. The gains were accompanied by growing trading activity. Volume and value of the shares traded on the exchange increased by 9.27 percent and 1.15 percent respectively. National Ranges Company was the most actively traded stock, with investors exchanging 123.04mn of its shares. The scrip ended flat at KD0.0195. In terms of top gainers, Al-Ahlia Holding Company were the top gainers for the day, adding 12.12 percent. On the other side, Hits Telecom Holding was the biggest loser, as its share price fell by 9.09 percent to close at KD0.100. By sector, non Kuwaiti stocks paced decliners, shedding 1.27 percent in sector losses. A number of non-Kuwaiti stocks declined, with investors continuing to take profits after the recent run. Gulf Finance House 6.76 percent slide undermined the sector’s performance.

its media assets ATV and Sabah in January. News Corp and Time Warner Inc are among bidders for the media assets, placing bids of up to around $1 billion, sources said last month. “ATV and Sabah assets were separated. Investors’ interest was focused on ATV television,” a source close to the matter told Reuters. “Abraaj was also added to the interested investors.”Abraaj in January sold its 50 percent stake in

LONDON: Asda, the British arm of US retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc, posted a slowdown in sales growth in its fiscal fourth quarter as shoppers were squeezed by rising prices and muted wages growth and grew worried about the grim economic outlook. Britain’s second-biggest supermarket chain behind Tesco Plc said yesterday sales at stores open more than a year, excluding fuel and VAT sales tax, rose 1 percent in the 14 weeks to Jan. 7. That followed a 1.3 percent increase in the third quarter, but compared favorably with many of its rivals. Tesco reported a 2.3 percent drop in underlying UK sales for the six weeks to Jan. 7, while industry No.3 J Sainsbury posted a 1.2 percent increase for the 14 weeks to Jan. 7 and No.4 Wm Morrison a 0.7 percent rise for the six weeks to Jan. 1. Many Britons have been cutting back spending over the past year as price increases outpaced wage rises and

higher unemployment weighed on confidence, and the lack of consumption has been one of the main drags on economic growth. However, on Friday official data showed British retail sales rose unexpectedly last month. That data, a string of strong business surveys and some stabilization in the labor market have raised hopes that Britain’s economy will avoid recession despite having contracted in the last three months of 2011. Asda said underlying sales rose just 0.1 percent in the last three months of 2011, followed by a surge in demand in the first week of January, when British shops traditionally offer unsold stock at cheaper prices. The chain, which trades from around 540 stores, lagged Britain’s grocery market in 2010 but fought back in 2011, helped by its purchase of smaller format Netto stores and a re-launch of its ownbrand food range. — Reuters

Oil stays in sight of $120, buyers take less Iran oil

Abraaj eyes in Turkey’s Calik media assets ISTANBUL: Dubai-based Abraaj Capital is among companies interested in bidding for the media assets of Turkey’s Calik Holding, ATV television and newspaper Sabah, which are being evaluated separately, two sources close to the sale process told Reuters. Abraaj declined comment. Calik Holding, which has interests in energy and finance, hired Goldman Sachs for the sale of

Asda sales growth slows

Turkey’s Acibadem to Integrated Healthcare Holdings and Khazanah Nasional, in a deal that valued the firm at $1.68 billion. “As per company policy, Abraaj Capital does not comment on market rumours or speculation relating to investments, acquisitions or exits that we may choose to undertake in the course of our business,” Abraaj Capital’s Turkey Head Selcuk Yorgancioglu said

in an e-mailed statement to Reuters. Calik Holding paid $1.1 billion in 2007 for ATV-Sabah, one of Turkey’s largest media groups, and sources said the company did not want to make a loss on the deal. Chairman Ahmet Calik is regarded as close to the ruling AK party’s leadership, and that deal gave the socially conservative, economically liberal government an influential friend in the media. — Reuters

LONDON: Oil stayed within sight of $120 a barrel yesterday as world consumers grappled with supply disruptions ranging from Iran to Sudan to the North Sea. Oil also rose briefly after Europe’s muchawaited bailout of Greece. But while the deal resolves Athens’ immediate financing needs, it is unlikely to revive its shattered economy. Light profit-taking sent Benchmark Brent to $119.51, down 54 cents, by 1140 GMT after closing above $120 on Monday for the first time since June 15. US crude was at $104.50, up $1.26, after touching $105.44 on Monday, its highest since May 5. The loss of some global supply, a recovering US economy and China’s easing policy to support growth have lifted oil and stoked investor appetite for riskier assets. And oil’s rally is unlikely to lose steam as Western sanctions bite into supply from Iran, OPEC’s second-largest producer. The European Union enraged Tehran last month when it agreed to slap a ban on Iran’s oil from July 1. On Sunday, Iran announced a retaliatory halt in oil sales to French and British companies, a largely symbolic step as oil sales to the two countries were already greatly

reduced. “Sabre-rattling on the part of Iran is continuing to lend support to the price ... which ‘punishes’ all EU countries for their boycott decision,” said Carsten Fritsch of Commerzbank. The euro oil price is just below its mid-2008 record high, he said. Iran kept up the pressure yesterday, saying it would take pre -emptive action against its enemies if it felt its national interests were endangered. “Our strategy now is that if we feel our enemies want to endanger Iran’s national interests, and want to decide to do that, we will act without waiting for their actions,” Mohammad Hejazi, the deputy head of the Islamic Republic’s armed forces, told Fars news agency. Tehran’s biggest oil customers have meanwhile made voluntary cutbacks ahead of Europe and Washington’s tighter sanctions that aim to starve Iran of oil revenue to support its controversial nuclear program. Top buyer China will import less oil from Iran this year, while European companies are also cutting purchases ahead of a July 1 EU embargo.And Iran’s third-largest customer Japan is likely to reduce imports from Tehran to win waivers from US sanctions. — Reuters




Indian ships hardest hit in Asia due to Iran sanctions China insurers most likely to fill void

Vijay Mallya

Turbulent times for India’s ‘King of Good Times’ NEW DELHI: With one of the world’s most expensive yachts and a cricket and Formula One team, billionaire Vijay Mallya is known as India’s Richard Branson or simply, the “King of Good Times”. Owner of the world’s second-largest liquor maker, it is his chairmanship of debt-ridden Kingfisher Airlines that is currently making headlines, not the usual write-ups in society pages of his jet set lifestyle. Mallya, who prefers to be addressed as Doctor for his honorary Ph.D. in business administration, was typically pugnacious as Kingfisher looked headed for a financial disaster with mass cancellation of flights and the resignations of dozens of its pilots. “I am absolutely committed to keeping the airline going unless some government agency wishes to ground it,” the silver-haired 56-year-old told reporters. “The point is our bank accounts have been frozen by income tax authorities very suddenly and that has crippled us.” Mallya’s ascent to the forefront of India’s business elite has shadowed India’s own rise as an economic power. But his troubles coincide with the country’s slow growth, high inflation and corruption scandals. His larger-than-life achievements, travels on his yacht, Scottish castle, beachfront mansion in Cape Town and general playboy image, fascinate many Indians aspiring for wealth after generations of forced frugality. But it jars with others in a country where around half live in poverty. To cap his commercial achievements, Mallya was elected in 2010 to the upper house of India’s parliament as independent. “While he was doing well, he was signifying the resurgence of India. To a very large part of the middle class, he was what everyone wanted to be,” said Prahlad Kakkar, a well-known advertising executive, recently. “He was the symbol of new India - flamboyant, high-risk, wealthy and not ashamed of it. “Now when everyone is tightening their belts .. there is an eerie feeling that he’s irresponsible.” Kingfisher has become one of the main casualties of high fuel costs and a fierce price war between a handful of airlines which, between them, have ordered hundreds of aircraft for delivery over the next decade in an ambitious bet on the future. The airline has resorted to mass cancellations of flights in recent days and is using less than half of its fleet of 64. Mallya has blamed the cash crunch on tax authorities who have frozen Kingfisher’s bank accounts over outstanding dues. Media reports have said that 50 Kingfisher pilots have resigned over the past week, taking to more than 300 the number that have quit since last September. Mallya has vowed not to seek any bailout from the government but has been non-committal on whether he will plough any of his own funds into the airline. He is also chairman of United Breweries (Holdings) , a conglomerate with interests as diverse as aviation, breweries, biotechnology and real estate. The group has annual sales of more than $4 billion and Forbes said last year Mallya had a personal fortune of $1.4 billion. But it is his ownership of Kingfisher Airlines, which use to fly one in five passengers in India’s domestic market, that perhaps made Mallya most famous . The

airline’s share is now half that. He helped transform India’s airline business by focusing on services like good food, personal screens on domestic flights and airline ushers who attend to customers as they arrive at the airport. “He altogether brought a different level of service into the domestic skies,” said Kapil Kaul, chief executive for the Indian subcontinent and Middle East at the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), an aviation consulting firm. On each flight, Mallya appears on a recorded message on the inflight entertainment system, boasting of hand-picking each of the airline’s hostesses who “have been instructed to treat you in the same way as if you were a guest in my own home”. His lifestyle fascinates many Indians, including the nearly one million that follow him on Twitter. Mallya flies around the world, dining with football stars and Formula One drivers and appearing with models on photo shoots in locations like Mauritius, continuously name-dropping the rich and famous on his Twitter feed. His 312-foot yacht, the Indian Empress cost almost $89 million. Highlighting his global ambition, Mallya also owns a Scottish whisky company. He once personally flew in his private jet from New Zealand to Scotland to deliver three precious bottles of whisky that had been found left behind by the 1907 Antarctic expedition of British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. He built a luxury Kingfisher villa in the beach state of Goa famed for its lavish parties, has befriended Bollywood stars and has a collection of dozens of vintage cars worth millions. He publishes a Kingfisher calendar of beautiful Indian models - often appearing flanked by them in photoshoots. Mallya was the son of Vittal Mallya, a liquor baron whose United Breweries was once a major supplier of British colonial troops in India. He soon made a fortune buying up breweries in the preeconomic reform decades of post-independence India. Vittal Mallya died relatively young and his son Vijay took over the UB Group as chairman in 1983 at the age of 28 and quickly expanded the group. Its core breweries and liquor business has around half the market share in India. Mallya’s lifestyle is not without critics, with some saying it is directly linked to the airline’s problems. “Mallya’s flamboyant lifestyle is responsible for the debts that Kingfisher Airlines has incurred,” radical Hindu leader Bal Thackeray was quoted as saying by local media last year. “He has many businesses-liquor, IPL and F1 teams. He has many bungalows and a cruise boat. He himself does not know how much he spends on cheer girls during IPL (cricket) matches.” The country’s main opposition party said it would oppose a state bailout for Kingfisher, which means pressure will remain on Mallya’s United Breweries to keep the airline in business. “Those who die must die,” Indian auto industrialist Rahul Bajaj told local media in November, referring to Kingfisher Airlines. Mallya himself says he will bounce back, and often criticizes what he sees as a sensationalist press out to get him. “Sensational headlines more speculative than fact-based,” he tweeted yesterday. “Self-styled expert commentators who are unqualified.” —Reuters

Small UK businesses seek crowds as funding option LONDON: Just weeks before the birth of her first child, Gem Misa could be found handing out samples of her home-developed salad dressing range in a high-end London department store, an apron around her heavily pregnant waist. After her daughter was born in 2010, meetings were scheduled around nap times at her kitchen table-cum-desk. Her efforts paid off: Righteous dressings are now stocked in big supermarkets such as Tesco, and turnover grew to around 120,000 pounds ($190,100) last year, from 10,000 pounds the year before. Yet of all the hurdles the 33-year-old has faced since quitting her job mid-recession to set up her own company, the most challenging - and arguably most crucial - is the one she faces now: funding the future. Like more and more small- and medium-sized firms in Britain, she is turning to the public, not the bank, for financing. “The business has now got to a level where we are being distributed nationwide ... the problem is that I don’t have the personal budget to really come up with a big

campaign to tell more people about it,” Misa told Reuters, clasping her hands around a cup of coffee on a cold February afternoon. “We are in the middle of such hard economic times and it is so much more difficult to get a bank loan. ... the interest rates are a bit too high to really consider it.” With small businesses struggling for financing as banks rein in lending, and individuals facing poor returns on their savings and volatile financial markets, companies are increasingly looking to a kind of grass-roots public offering system known as crowd funding-and finding a throng of willing investors. The idea originated in the United States as a way of funding creative projects, with backers given rewards such as a free album or entry to an exhibition. But now entrepreneurs are extending it to offer members of the public a stake in their business. Misa hopes to raise 75,000 pounds through, which gives people the opportunity to invest as little as 10 pounds in return for a piece of a small business that could be the next big thing. —Reuters

NEW DELHI/SINGAPORE: Indian shipping firms will find it difficult to obtain replacement insurance coverage to continue importing Iranian crude oil after new European Union sanctions come into effect, industry sources said. State-run Shipping Corporation of India, the largest tanker owner in the country, will lose EU insurance coverage for its oil tankers operating in Iran from July 1, when European insurers will be prohibited from indemnifying ships carrying Iranian oil. Indian maritime firms are likely to be the most affected in Asia by the sanctions, as the other two big buyers of Iranian crude, China and Japan, do not rely on European insurers but are covered by domestic providers. India, China and Japan are Iran’s three biggest crude oil buyers. “We are covered by P&I clubs in the EU,” Sunil Thapar, director at Shipping Corp of India told Reuters, referring to customerowned maritime protection and indemnity insurance groups. “These clubs will not be able to give us coverage for vessels to Iran from July. It will be difficult for Indian shipping lines to transport Iranian crude unless alternative arrangements are made,” he said. SCI owns 39 oil tankers. AP MollerMaersk, Singapore-based Samco Shipholding, and many other international maritime firms have halted new deals with Iran, leaving Asian oil importers to rely more on domestic and state-run firms to handle shipments from Tehran. All but one of the international P&I clubs, which together cover 95 percent of the world’s tankers

against pollution and personal injury claims, are covered by the sanctions since they are based in the European Union or the United States. That leaves India firms with only a few options-Japan’s P&I club, insurers in China, Russia and the Middle East, or Singapore and Hong Kong. Iranian insurance coverage is not an option as sanctions against the country’s financial system make it impossible to collect payment should there be a claim, said Jim James, a Hong Kongbased lawyer with legal firm Norton Rose.

potential new entrant, especially one that wants to do business with Iran, maritime lawyers said. The most likely alternative is China, which has a big enough market to provide the necessary insurance coverage. “The China market is slightly different. You have some extremely large insurers that may decide it is a good business and China is not subject to that regime,” said Iain Anderson, a Singapore-based lawyer with Ince & Co. “But they too rely on international reinsurers to spread the risk. So unless they are willing either to

Iran, the biggest producer in OPEC after Saudi Arabia and the world’s fifth largest oil exporter, says its nuclear program is purely for peaceful purposes. The sanctions have made it more difficult for Iran to sell its crude, and it will export a sixmonth low volume of fuel oil to East Asia in March. Volumes are likely to drop further as the EU embargo approaches. As fewer insurers are able to offer cover, rates could go up significantly for tankers carrying Iranian crude, said Karam Jo, assistant manager for marine underwriting at Korean

“We continue to provide insurance to oil tankers. It does not matter whether the ships call at Iran,” said an official with Japan P&I club, which mainly provides coverage to domestic shipowners and represents around 7 percent of global P&I coverage. But switching to the Japan P&I club could take months as members have to weigh the risk of a

lower their sights on the grade of reinsurance security - or go net account on the risk - they will meet the same difficulty.” Europe and the United States are implementing tougher economic sanctions in the hope of isolating Iran and forcing it to halt its atomic program, which the West fears will be used to develop nuclear weapons.

Re. Singapore and Hong Kong insurers also could be options, but many of them have links to the West. “It will also be very difficult for an Asian market insurer. They too have to be comfortable that their footprint around the globe keeps them outside the current sanctions regime,” Anderson said. —Reuters

Foreign investors fear Japan banks may hijack Olympus board

MANILA: Protesters display placards as they picket a filling station in Manila yesterday to protest series of oil price increase being led by the top three oil companies in the country. —AP

Philippines aiming to boost Manila airport MANILA: The Philippine government said yesterday it was aiming to boost passenger capacity at its congested Manila airport next year with the long-awaited completion of a controversial terminal. Upgrading Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s Terminal 3 will allow it to handle its maximum design capacity of 13 million passengers a year, four years after its opening, the government said. The terminal needs a new baggage handling system, a flight information display and 21 other systems identified in a safety audit, Assistant Transportation Secretary Joel Lacsamana said. “This would allow us to operate the terminal at 100 percent capacity by the end of the year. Right now we are stuck at 48 percent,” he told AFP. The government is expecting to get Japanese firm Takenaka, which was originally hired to build the terminal but never completed it because of a complicated legal dispute, to finish the project, according to Lacsamana. Manila airport’s three terminals have a nominal maximum capacity of 28 million passengers. But they in fact already handled 27.38 million passengers last year even without Terminal 3 running at full capacity, according to the airport’s official data. Last month the government also began upgrading its much-maligned Terminal 1, the oldest of the three which was built in

1981. Lacsamana said completion of Terminal 3 would allow the airport to reduce capacity at Terminal 1 and speed up the construction work there. Then-president Joseph Estrada awarded the Terminal 3 project to a consortium involving Germany’s Fraport AG in 1997. Takenaka, the main sub-contractor, began work in 2000. But Gloria Arroyo, who succeeded graft-tainted Estrada as president after he was ousted in a popular uprising, cancelled the contract and forced the consortium to sell the project back to the government in 2004. Arroyo’s government justified its decision by saying there had been many breaches of contract, including the use of substandard materials and failure to conform to safety standards. It unleashed a raft of lawsuits, including one from Takenaka which was forced out of the operation. The government eventually opened the terminal in 2008, but not to the standard as originally planned. A number of the suits against the government, including Takenaka’s one, remain unresolved although the Japanese company is now open to a settlement that would pave the way for it to do the upgrade, Lacsamana said. Transportation Secretary Manuel Roxas said he planned to fly to Japan next week in an effort to strike a deal. —AFP

Disputed Sudanese oil cargo yet to unload in Japan SINGAPORE: A ship carrying disputed Sudanese crude remained anchored off southwest Japan yesterday, despite a British court ruling giving the tanker permission to unload, three shipping sources said. The Ratna Shradha, which is owned by India Steamship, is holding 600,000 barrels of crude oil that South Sudan says was seized by neighboring Sudan last month and which sold it at deep discount to a North Asian trader, the sources said. The tanker has yet to receive permission to dock from JX Nippon Oil & Energy, opera-

tor of the Kiire terminal, a source familiar with the matter said. “The ship was scheduled to discharge at the terminal, but so far we have not received any news from JX Nippon,” the source said. The tanker has remained off the terminal since Feb. 14, according to Reuters shipping data. The docking schedule for this week does not show the Ratna Shradha unloading, a second shipping source said. At least two traders said the cargo had been bought by JX Nippon Oil and Energy. —Reuters

LONDON/TOKYO: Western investors in Japan’s disgraced Olympus have accused its banks of trying to take control of the boardroom by stealth, amid growing signs that the firm’s major creditors are considering installing their own appointees in the top jobs. Foreign investors in the maker of cameras and medical equipment, engulfed by a $1.7 billion accounting fraud, have called for an entire renewal of the board, including outside talent unconnected to Olympus, its banks or major owners. But they say they have been thwarted by Olympus’s main banks which, in their powerful roles as both major creditors and shareholders, appear to be lining up a company insider and a senior banker to take over the reins. The new chairman is expected to be from main lender Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp (SMBC), a unit of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc, the Nikkei newspaper said on Tuesday, adding that executive officer Hiroyuki Sasa would be promoted to president, the most senior executive role at Olympus. “We’ve heard from multiple sources that the banks are trying to push forward with the appointment of a nominally independent board, staffed with affiliated individuals. As far as we’re concerned, the Olympus board would then be de-facto creditor-controlled,” Josh Shores, principal of Southeastern Asset Management, told Reuters. “I suspect most non-Japanese investors would reject the idea of a board heavily influenced by Olympus creditors,” Shores said, adding that “all options” were being explored to secure the best outcome for his clients and the company. Southeastern and New York-based Indus Capital, which has also expressed similar concerns, are the two largest non-Japanese investors in Olympus. Olympus has created an outside panel to make recommendations on the make-up of a new board, to be decided at a shareholders’ meeting on April 20, but that does not appear to have defused an increasingly public row between foreign investors and the Japanese banks over shaping the firm’s leadership. An SMBC executive said the bank, as a major shareholder, had the right to nominate a former SMBC official to a senior executive board role and he suggested Yasuyuki Kimoto, a former SMBC director, as a possible candidate as Olympus CEO. The CEO’s role is usually held by either the president or the chairman of Olympus. If Sasa becomes president, this would mean Kimoto being nominated as chairman-CEO. “If we have to send someone, it can’t be helped,” the SMBC executive said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. He also poured cold water on a separate report by business magazine Facta that former SMBC deputy president, Mitsuaki Yahagi, now on the board of Sony Corp, could be CEO. SMBC is a major Olympus shareholder alongside another Olympus creditor, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. An Olympus spokesman said no decisions had been reached on its new management line-up. The massive accounting fraud, one of Japan’s biggest corporate scandals, burst to light in October when former Olympus CEO Michael Woodford blew the whistle. It was later revealed that a few executives kept the fraud going for 13 years in order to hide investment losses off Olympus’s books. Woodford, with the backing of Southeastern and other foreign shareholders, had campaigned to be reinstated as CEO, but he dropped his bid when it became clear major Japanese investors, who own the bulk of Olympus, would not support him. “If it is true about SMBC (putting an ex-banker on the board) then we are going back to the bad old days, which is profoundly depressing and will further damage the reputation of Japan’s capital markets as evidenced by the comments of the overseas shareholders,” Woodford said in a telephone interview from London. Despite these concerns, Kyodo news agency said on Tuesday that most of the new line-up were likely be outside directors. It named Shiro Hiruta, ex-president of chemicals maker Asahi Kasei Corp, and lawyer Motoyoshi Nishikawa, ex-managing director of Nippon Steel Corp, as potential candidates. Hiruta and Nishikawa are members of Olympus’s management reform committee. Efforts to reshape Olympus’s tainted board-just over half the current line-up is being sued by the company for mismanagement or dereliction of duty-are being made against the backdrop of continuing investigations into the scandals by crime-fighting agencies in Japan, the United States and Britain. Yesterday, a personal tragedy struck Olympus with a newspaper report of the suspected suicide of one of its top executives, whose body was found dead in a park at a high-end apartment complex on the outskirts of New Delhi, India. —Reuters




Porsche Centre Kuwait celebrates a double triumph KUWAIT: It was a good start to the year for Porsche Centre Kuwait as they picked up two key awards that reflected their commitment to sales and service perfection. While Porsche Centre Kuwait finished in first position in the Porsche Service Excellence Awards for 2011, Mohamad Al-Moussawi, Showroom Supervisor, won the Porsche Sales Excellence Award Middle East and Africa for the 4th time. As the first placed winner of Operation Ice Storm, Moussawi will now travel to Finland between the 22nd and 26th of February this year to test drive the Porsche range on ice on a trip arranged by the Porsche Travel Club. “ To win such important awards shows a tremendous level of effort and commitment, not only to customer service but to all aspects of after sales processes and procedures,” said Callum Bottomley, Aftersales Manager at Porsche Centre Kuwait. “A big thank you must also go to the management of Behbehani Motors Company for without their continued

help and investment such an award would be difficult achieve. The awards will serve as a big benchmark and inspiration for 2012, and we look forward to exceeding expectations once

more” he added. The Centre was assessed on 4 key criteria - customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, service purchases and parts purchases all of which they met with flying colors. With the

new 911 hitting the roads recently and the Panamera GTS set to launch, the signs are good for Porsche Centre Kuwait to pull off a repeat performance.

Al-Tijari offers customers 10% cash back

Japan Tech Fest ‘KoTEN’ returns to Kuwait Easa Husain Al-Yousifi & Sons Co and Sharp join hands KUWAIT: Easa Husain Al-Yousifi & Sons Co (EHY) yesterday announced the return of the Japanese Technology Festival - “KoTEN” to Kuwait, this time to be held at the Eureka showroom in Salmiya. As always, Sharp promises great product offers and special discounts to their Kuwaiti customers through the efforts of their partner’s EHY and Eureka. Wael Deeb, General Manager - Electronics Wholesale Group, expressed great enthusiasm regarding the event. He commented that “KoTEN was a success at all levels the last time we conducted it and this time we promise to make it bigger and better”. “We have recently run some successful promotions with our partners Eureka and in extension of these promotions, we will be holding KoTEN this time at their Salmiya outlet.” “Customers are increasingly interested in multiple offers and we noticed how popular our bundle offers were during the first KoTEN event”, says Floyd D’Souza - Sales Manager at Sharp Middle East FZE. “We are bringing

together some really exciting bundles this time as well to ensure that our customer’s walk out of the store with a huge smile and a bundle of Sharp’s eco-positive products to enhance their lifestyle”, Floyd added. Sharp is a 100 year old brand with the legacy of an innovator of some of the most universally used technologies today such as pocket calculators and LCD TVs. With the single aim to improve people’s lives, Sharp has spent the past century globally providing reliable consumer and business solutions to help customers lead a healthy lifestyle and manage businesses optimally. Some of its latest innovations such as its unique air purification technology Plasma cluster Ions (or PCI) and its water oven Healsio will also be on offer at KoTEN. At the upcoming KoTEN event, Al-Yousifi and Sharp promise their customers a fun filled family experience like none other. Families will be able to avail these special offers in a specially created Japanese Festival environ-

ment that promises much on offer to meet domestic home appliance and home entertainment needs. “Be it your desire to upgrade to a large screen LED TV, or a total overhaul of your home appliances, we have something for everyone” concluded Mr. Wael. A preferred partner for some of the world’s leading brands, Easa Husain Al-Yousifi & Sons Co’s retail network has made it a natural choice for manufacturers like Sharp and global electronics retailers like EUREKA who wish to establish business in Kuwait’s lucrative market. One of the leading distributors of global brands in Kuwait, the company has an enviable line-up of Consumer Electronic and Home Appliance products from various brands. The company’s concentration on improving the quality of life for its customers has been rewarded in more than financial terms. It received ISO-9002 certification in 1999 and ISO-9001 certification in 2000.

Qatar Airways to boost Kuwait-Doha services Airline honored by Service Hero in Kuwait KUWAIT: Qatar Air ways, the national carrier of the State of Qatar, was proudly reigned as a “Best Regional Arab Airline 2011” by Service Hero at an awards ceremony in Kuwait that commemorated companies receiving highest customer satisfaction. Winning in the Regional Arab Airlines category, Qatar Airways was honoured for its dedication to service excellence on eight service dimensions - reliability, speed, product quality, value for money, location of offering, staff quality, call centre and websites. Qatar Air ways Countr y Manager Kuwait Mohammed Al Jumairi collected the award and thanked the travelling public in Kuwait for their ongoing support

of the airline. “Qatar Airways is proud to be recognized by discerning travellers in Kuwait for the airline’s relentless emphasis on providing genuine and hospitable service. “Kuwait, one of the airline’s long-standing routes, serves as a pillar part of our Gulf network, with rapid connections via Doha to a host of destinations which are popular for travellers from this region, including London, Bangkok, New York, Shanghai among others,” said Jumairi. The Kuwait - Doha route has been a solid performer in the airline’s regional network, seeing services expanded to six-times daily at the beginning of the month, with a 7th frequency

starting on 1st April, 2012. Service Hero, an annual customer satisfaction monitor assesses consumer feedback in various service sectors. Votes were collected online during a three-month period at the end of last year and covered 17 private sector industries including banking and finance, regional air transport, hospitality, food and beverage and more. Customers rated the companies based on a 10-point scoring system that measures customer expectations versus actual customer satisfaction across eight service dimensions. Qatar Airways was the winner of the pinnacle accolade in the aviation sector - World’s Best Airline 2011 by the industry mon-

itor Skytrax in which more than 18 million travellers worldwide were surveyed. Qatar Airways has launched two new routes so far this year, to Baku (Azerbaijan) and Tbilisi (Georgia) respectively; with seven further destinations planned for 2012 including Kigali (Rwanda) from 21 March; Zagreb (Croatia) from 9 May; Perth (Australia) from 3 July; and Gassim (Saudi Arabia), Helsinki (Finland), Mombasa (Kenya), and Zanzibar (Tanzania). The airline currently operates a modern fleet of 104 aircraft from its Doha hub to over 110 key business and leisure cities across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North and South America and Australia.

KUWAIT: Commercial Bank of Kuwait announced, in cooperation with “True Value” Co and Al Babtain Electronics Co, the launch of new marketing campaign which will provide a distinct offer to the Bank’s customers when using any of AlTijari credit cards (Visa, MaserCard, prepaid card) for shopping at “True Value” Showroom and Al Babtain Electronics “LG” Showroom. The campaign will last from 22/2/2012 to 22/4/2012 and the offer will enable the Bank’s customers to enjoy cask back equal to 10% of the value of their purchases during this period. On this occasion, Ramzi Al-Sabboury, Executive Manager, Marketing and Sales Department said “We launched this campaign upon the customers’ request due to their proactive interaction with the previous analogous campaigns and the remarkable success the Bank achieved with its partners. Al Sabboury added that customers will obtain the cash back after the offer period expires i.e. beyond 22/4/2012. Commercial Bank of Kuwait’s

distinctive campaigns comes within a set of the continued campaigns specially tailored for the Bank’s customers to meet and satisfy their needs and encourage them to take advantage of the best offers when they go for shopping.

First prize draw program based on Islamic sharia in Kuwait from AUB KUWAIT: Al-Hassad Islamic is the only scheme to offer high value weekly and monthly prizes that are significantly higher than the total outlay of other prize schemes. AUB has announced the results of the weekly draws of its Al-Hassad Islamic savings scheme. The lucky customers winning the grand weekly prize worth KD 25,000 each at the draws held on the 15th 0f February 2012: Mahmoud Shehadeh Al Salti, Abdulrahman Saleh Mohammed, Rajan Frederic. The following Al-Hassad Islamic customers won cash prizes of KD 1000 each: Rajab Riyadh Al Syed Mahmoud, Hashem Hussain Abdulrahim Al Saffar, Shajea Fahhad Mohamad Al Ajmi, Khaled Mohammed Saleh Mohammed Ali, Nada Ali Hussain Al Musalam, Jobara Mohammed Al Remaihi, Abdeen Abhuhumeid, Ahmed Kamel Mohammad, Bassim Suliman El Khatib, Sayed Abbas Mahmoud Hashem Mazidi, Sowmya Natesh Kumar, Abdulla Mutlaq Talq Al Azmi, John Georges Baroudi, Zayed Faisal Fahad Al Enezi, Mohd Akbar Sharshani, Khadija Farookh Jamal Hasan, Kaleekkal Oothuppachan John, Salahaldin A.Rahim Mahmood Salim, Hamad Mubarak Hamad Mohd, Karoth Yalappil Bhargayan, Noof Hasan Ali Ridha, Mufeed A.Nabi Abedali Rajab, Mohsin Mahmood Mohd Taher, Faeza Moiz Haji Taher, Nada Hasan Hussain Ahmadi. With the new Al-Hassad Islamic 2011 scheme, customers have a lot more to look forward to. With 28 Weekly Prizes totaling KD 100,000 each week and “Salary for Life” Prizes every month, the chances to win bigger prizes more often couldn’t get any better. The most attractive feature of the new scheme is the chance to win bigger prizes, more frequently with 3 grand prizes of KD 25,000 each, week on week plus 25 other weekly prizes of KD 1,000.

Chances to win big prizes on a weekly basis, offer instant rewards to both existing as well as new Investors in Investment Saving Account (AlHassad Islamic). With the introduction of a “Salary for Life” Prize of KD 250,000 every month, the grand prize is also now more frequent and customers do not need to wait for a quarter or more to qualify for the grand prize. The “Salary for Life” has been a core feature for the AL Hassad Islamic scheme with prizes paid out to date exceeding KD 10 million. The monthly “Salary for Life” prize has enabled winners to afford better homes, ensure better education for their children and enjoy an improved quality of life, with the assurance that the rewards will continue to come month after month for 250 months. Al-Hassad Islamic is the only scheme to offer high value weekly and monthly prizes that are significantly higher than the total outlay of other prize schemes in Kuwait. In addition to the attractive prize pool, customers with high balances can opt for other unique features such as Investment savings plan, cheque facility linked to their investment savings account and state of the art e-banking and 24 x 7 Contact Center support. The new Al-Hassad Islamic 2011 is geared to meeting the needs of salaried individuals. Customers can benefit from not only the biggest and most attractive prize pool but can also enjoy state of the art banking benefits and access to AUB’s unique products’ range for Islamic Finances ,credit cards and investment products. All Al-Hassad draws are conducted under the scrutiny of officials from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and independent auditing firm, Ernst& Young. For more information on the Al-Hassad Islamic investment savings account, its prize structure and eligibility criteria, customers may visit any AUB Kuwait.

Gold rises after Greek deal gives euro brief boost LONDON: Gold rose for a second day yesterday, taking its cue from a rally in the euro after European finance ministers struck a deal with Greece on its emergency funding, while silver shrugged off data showing a steep drop in Chinese imports. Euro zone finance ministers sealed a 130 billion euro ($172 billion) bailout for Greece to avert a chaotic default in March after persuading private bondholders to take greater losses and Athens to commit to deep cuts. The euro held onto gains on Tuesday due to relief over the deal, but skeptical investors were looking to sell into any bounce on doubts whether the countryís

debt burden will become manageable. Spot gold rose 0.3 percent on the day to $1,739.06 an ounce by 1248 GMT, while most active US April futures rose nearly 0.9 percent to $1,740.60 an ounce. “Gold is trading more like the other metals - as a risk asset, rather than a risk hedge,” Citigroup analyst David Wilson said. “You’d have thought that all the macro issues would be supportive for gold, when looking at US and European debt and a slowing China, but it seems to be largely driven by the dollar/euro,” he said, adding his bank saw the gold price moving closer towards $1,800 an ounce later this year. — Reuters



EMC highlights big data businesses at IDC CIO Summit 2012 FUJEIRAH: EMC Corporation spoke in a keynote session yesterday at the IDC CIO Summit 2012, being held at Le Meridien Fujeirah, UAE. The widely recognized ICT focused event allows CIOs, CTOs, businesses and IT executives to acquire distilled and compact insights into the latest IT strategies, emerging technologies, and best practices that have direct implications on their businesses. Commenting on the IDC CIO Summit, Mohammed Amin highlighted that the opportunity of Big Data analytics is immense and that it is transforming businesses and changing the world though strategic insights. He

lytics; resulting in transformational change for their businesses. Conducted with the support of EMC, a recent IDC Digital Universe Study, “Extracting Value from Chaos”, finds the world’s data doubling every two years - growing faster than Moore’s Law. In parallel, organizations all over strive to become ‘Agile Enterprises’; achieving faster time to market, lower costs, higher business value, better use of human capital and greater responsiveness to changes happening all around them. EMC and Greenplum recognize that these benefits stem from a key ability; the ability to make the best decisions

stressed the importance of capitalizing on the Big Data oppor tunity through a fully automated, scale-out storage platform big data analytics platform to drive action and make faster real-time decisions based on insights and create new services for higher competitive advantage. During his keynote presentation at the summit, Mark Sears, Data Scientist at Greenplum, a Division of EMC, highlighted the fact that data growth is becoming rapid and unstructured making it important for organizations to have the ability to manage it and transform it into actionable information through ana-

quickly based on insights derived from the exponentially growing sources of Big Data. Big Data represents one of the greatest opportunities and challenges to today’s organizations, to overcome the challenges and capture the great opportunity they must quickly evolve beyond traditional business intelligence by putting data analysis at the core of every decision. Mark Sears emphasized that traditional business intelligence (BI) tools typically crunch numbers to report what happened in the past and why. In the era of Big Data, new technologies like the Greenplum UAP and the

emerging discipline of data science help organizations achieve an unprecedented degree of foresight and business agility. Organizations today are looking for Big Data analytics to enable them to anticipate the future through advanced or predictive analytics and then rapidly turning that insight into action. The results will include greater customer intimacy and responsiveness, faster time-to-market and new value creation in highly agile operations. Across sectors, companies are preparing to bring these capabilities into their organizations and start realizing the benefits of Big Data analytics.

Company suing Apple over iPad name open to talks Many expect two sides to reach a settlement

TOKYO: Japanese electronics giant Hitachi introduces the new version of the company’s humanoid robot “EMIEW 2” (Excellent Mobility and Interactive Existence as Workmate) in an office room at the company’s central laboratory in Tokyo yesterday. The 80cm tall robot equipped with a wheeled-leg type mechanism developed to get over floor level differences travels at the same speed as humans and is capable of guiding people in an office environment. —AFP

Rio Tinto plans world-first driverless rail network SYDNEY: Miner Rio Tinto will use driverless trains to deliver its iron ore to ports in Western Australia in what it said Monday will be the world’s first automated, long-distance, heavy-haul rail network. Rio said a US$518 million investment would see the launch of the first driverless train in the vast and mineral-rich Pilbara region in 2014 with the full project scheduled for completion a year later. “Expanding Pilbara iron ore production is a high-return and low-risk investment for Rio Tinto that will enhance shareholder value,” said Rio’s chief executive for Australia and iron ore, Sam Walsh. “Automation will help us meet our expansion targets in a safe, more efficient and cost-effective way.” The Anglo-Australian mining giant, which is facing sustained demand from Asia for raw materials, said automation would improve efficiency and allow the company to address the significant skills shortage facing the industry. But the announcement has raised fears that the 500 workers Rio employs on its Pilbara trains will be axed, with the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Workers’ Union describing the

skills shortage line as propaganda. “This is all about profitability at the expense of workers and workers’ jobs,” the union’s Gary Wood told the ABC. Rio said that as it expanded its businesses, the number of people it employed would increase overall but the skills required would be a little different. “Our business, no matter what, even with the autonomous train programme will still need more employees in five years time than we need today in total,” Rio Tinto’s Pilbara iron ore chief Greg Lilleyman told the state broadcaster. Rio, which this month posted annual net earnings of US$5.8 billion, plans the large-scale use of automation at its mines and projects and has already said it will deploy 150 driverless trucks and use remote-controlled drills. The company currently runs 41 trains, including 9,400 iron ore cars and 148 locomotives, from mines to ports on its 1,500-kilometre (930 miles) rail network. Rio, among the world’s top producers of iron ore, plans to lift production capacity in Western Australia from an expected 230 million tonnes a year to 283 million tonnes by mid-2013 with further expansion to 353 million by mid-2015. — AFP

Iran squeezes Internet tighter TEHRAN: Iran’s authorities this week launched a new, sophisticated offensive against the Internet, stifling Gmail and other messaging services and totally blocking software that provides secure browsing. The severe clampdown has prompted an outcry by media, businesses, students and private web users, and has even provoked criticism within the regime. “E-mails have again been cut and the patience of (Internet) users is at an end,” the ISNA news agency reported, highlighting the “disruption” for those needing online tools for their profession. Authorities were “playing with the nerves of Internet users,” the reformist newspaper Shargh said in a front-page article. The website, belonging to an influential MP, Ahmad Tavakoli, complained about the “numerous problems” created by the offensive. “No communications official or security service has given any explanation about this measure. Apparently those who ordered it attach no importance to public opinion or the discontent created by their action,” it wrote.

Iran has strangled the Internet from time to time in the past, extending a permanent censorship of millions of websites it deems un-Islamic. The last time was a week ago, when Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo e-mail services were cut or slowed to an unusable speed. This time, however, the attack has gone further, completely stopping the use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) — software that enables secure Internet connections. VPNs, which are often used worldwide by corporations, were commonly used by many of Iran’s 33 million individual Internet users to get around the web censorship. The head of the Iranian parliament’s new technologies department, Reza Bagheri Asl, said the block was creating hardship for “banks and financial institutions (which) use this protocol for its heightened security to exchange information.” The new and systematic block on VPN use appeared to be part of plans by Iran to roll out its own “national Internet”-a totally closed system that would function like a sort of intranet for the Islamic republic. — AFP

SHANGHAI: The lawyer for a Chinese company suing Apple Inc. in China over its use of the iPad trademark indicated Tuesday that his client would be willing to discuss a settlement. Xie Xianghui, lawyer for Shenzhen Proview Technology, said that since no final decisions have been reached in various legal disputes over the issue, both sides are “still able to sit together and reach an out-ofcourt settlement.” Proview claims ownership over the iPad name. Apple says it bought the rights to the name in China and other countries in 2009, but that Proview failed to transfer the rights in mainland China as agreed. Apple had no comment on the issue of a settlement. I ts spokeswoman, Carolyn Wu, reiterated the company’s belief that Proview has failed to honor its agreement with Apple. Proview accuses Apple of acting dishonestly when it bought rights to the iPad name from its Taiwan affiliate and is seeking to prevent sales of the popular tablet computers in China. It has filed lawsuits in several places and has requested that commercial authorities in 40 cities block iPad sales. A hearing is set for Wednesday in a Shanghai court. Meanwhile, Apple has appealed an earlier ruling against it in a cour t in Shenzhen, a city in southern China’s Guangdong. The Guangdong High Court is due to hear that case on Feb. 29. According to Xie, late last week a lower court in Huizhou, another city in southern China’s

BEIJING: A boy plays with an iPad2 at an Apple Store in Beijing, China, yesterday. Apple’s dispute over the iPad trademark deepened Monday, after the Chinese company that claims ownership of the name said it won a court ruling against sales of the popular tablet computer in China. Xie Xianghui, a lawyer for Shenzhen Proview Technology, said the Intermediate People’s Court in Huizhou, a city in southern China’s Guangdong province, had ruled on Friday, Feb. 17, 2012, that distributors should stop selling iPads in China. — AP

Guangdong province, ruled that distributors should stop selling iPads in China. But that ruling may not have a far-reaching effect since the High Cour t appeal is still pending. Many in China expect the two sides to eventually reach a settlement rather than continue to battle in the courts. Chinese are just as crazy about iPads as consumers anywhere else and the devices are manufactured in China,

employing hundreds of thousands of people. Apple, based in Cupertino, California, insists it holds the trademark rights to the iPad in China, having purchased them through a company set up for that purpose for 35,000 British pounds ($55,000). A court in Hong Kong, which has a separate legal system from mainland China, ruled in July that Proview had acted with the

intention of “injuring Apple.” Proview, a maker of LCDs, registered the iPad trademark in China in 2001 for an “Internet Personal Access Device” computer that employed touch panel technology. It contends that the 2009 sale was not legally binding. So far, iPads have been pulled from shelves in some Chinese cities but there has been no sign of action at the national level. —AP

Kaspersky Lab delivers Kaspersky ONE, the Universal Security solution


aspersky Lab, a leading developer of content and threat manage ment solutions providing protection against malware, hackers and spam, announces the worldwide release of Kaspersky ONE, a multi-platform, usercentric Universal Security solution that brings comprehensive protection for the wide range of personal devices, starting from personal computers and notebooks and all the way to smar tphones and tablets. Using several personal devices simultaneously has become a common practice. A notebook and desktop computer may be accompanied by a smartphone and tablet. These devices can be based on different software and hardware platforms, but share some distinct features: they are power ful, Internet-enabled, store large amounts of personal data and are vulnerable to cybercriminal activities. It is necessary to protect valuable information on every device you own and use, and that is where Kaspersky ONE is the right solution. Kaspersky ONE is available in a package of 5 devices1. This product can be used to protec t desktop and mobile computers running Windows(r) or Mac OS X(r), smartphones and tablets. Each of this devices can be secured with one of the applications, optimized for use with the corresponding software platform: Comprehensive protection for Windowsbased PCs Award-winning anti-malware protection for Macs Protection from cyber threats and antitheft technology for Smartphones2 Essential protection from mobile malware for Android-based Tablets The installation and ac tivation of Kaspersky ONE for any device is easy, with one universal activation code being used. There is no need to upgrade sub-

scription for each device-specific application; instead users receive a one-stop solution. Application and database updates are free of charge, and users may themselves decide, what particular combination of devices will be secured by the product. For example, the package for three devices can be used for 3 Windows-based PCs, or 2 Windows PCs and one Mac, or 3 smartphones, or any other combination. The retail version of Kaspersky ONE also provides a unified launcher to install each application. Commenting on the launch of Kaspersky One, Tarek Kuzbari, Managing Director, Kaspersky Lab Middle East and Turkey said, “In the fast changing world of today, each one of us carry different devices that vary from mobile devices, PC’s, Macs, smartphones and android tablets. Kaspersky One represents a comprehensive multi layered protection for all the devices. The bundle contains 5 security licenses with a competitive price which makes it easier to consumers to protect their devices with one flexible security solution”. The price of Kaspersky One is very competitive and affordable for consumers and it is available in currently available online, and at Kaspersky Lab’s trusted resellers stores in the Middle East starting 1rst of March for $79.95, which is equivalent to AED 294. Eugene Kaspersky, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Kaspersky Lab, noted: “Personal computers nowadays have lost the monopoly of storing personal information. A significant amount of ver y sensitive data is kept on smar tphones and tablets. That is why it is absolutely necessary to secure all your digital devices against cybercrime. With Kaspersky ONE Universal Security, all PCs and Macs, mobile phones and Android tablets that you own can be easily protected with one simple solution, which is based on the leading security technology”.

Yahoo! seeks to avoid Indian lawsuit NEW DELHI: Internet giant Yahoo! yesterday applied to be removed from a lawsuit lodged in an Indian court against social networking sites hosting allegedly offensive content. More than 20 Internet firms, includi n g G o o g l e a n d Fa c e b o o k , h a ve been named in the case, which follows meetings between government ministers and the companies over material seen as offending Muslims or defaming politicians. Yahoo! was made part of the laws u i t “o n t h e p a t e n t l y m i s t a k e n assumption that it is a social networking website”, lawyers for the c o m p a ny s a i d i n a d i s t r i c t c o u r t hearing in Delhi. The lawyers added t h e re w a s “n o c a u s e o f a c t i o n” against Yahoo!, and described the case, which has been brought by a member of the public, as “a complete abuse of the process of law”. Telecoms Minister Kapil Sibal has pressurised global Internet firms to crack down on offensive material but he has denied accusations of censorship, saying they only had to obey the same rules governing the press. Google and Facebook said earlier this month that they had removed allegedly offensive content used as evidence in court. The groups have appealed to the Delhi High Cour t asking for cases against them to be quashed on the basis they cannot be held responsible for their clients’ actions. — AFP



Animal diseases increasingly plague the oceans VANCOUVER: When dead sea mammals star ted washing ashore on Canada’s west coast in greater numbers, marine biologist Andrew Trites was distressed to find that domestic animal diseases were killing them. Around the world seals, otters and other species are increasingly infected by parasites and other diseases long common in goats, cows, cats and dogs, marine mammal experts told a major science conference. The diseases also increasingly threaten people who use the oceans for recreation, work or a source of seafood, scientists told reporters at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, held this year in this Western Canadian city. The symposium “Swimming in Sick

Seas” was one of many sessions at this year’s AAAS that drew a bleak picture of the state of the world’s oceans, which are increasingly acidic, warming in some areas and being inundated with melting ice or other climate change effects. “ There are dramatic shifts in the ocean ecosystem,” said Jason HallSpencer of Britain’s Universit y of Plymouth, citing his research in Italy, Baha California and Papua New Guinea that is “all showing the same thing”with an increase in carbon dioxide, “you get a 30 percent drop in microbes, plants and animals” in the oceans. Gretchen Hofmann of the University of California at Santa Barbara said increasing ocean acidity, caused by CO2 from fossil-fuel burning, is killing

shellfish young-called spat-worldwide. In the Pacific Northwest of Canada and the United States, the failure of spat hatcheries threaten a commercial industry worth more than $200 million, said Hofmann. Lisa Levin of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, said warming of the water reduces how much oxygen it can hold, newly threatening deep-sea creatures that have survived for millennium under stable conditions. “We’ve seen less than five percent of (animals) on the deep sea floor, and if we’re wiping them out we’ll never see them,” Levin told the conference. “ There are undoubtedly organisms down there that can be very beneficial to us, that we have yet to find.” According to Trite, director of the Marine Mammal Research Unit in at

the Fisheries Centre at University of British Columbia, the bodies washing ashore are a grim signal. “I see the dead mammals coming ashore as canaries in a coal mine,” said Trite.” Parasites, funguses, viruses and bacteria are increasingly passed from land to sea animals because human settlements on coastlines changes water patterns through paving, filling of wetlands that are natural filters, and intensive agriculture run-off, said scientists. Toxoplasma gondii (sometimes called kitty litter disease), round-worm, single-celled parasites that cause brain swelling and disease that cause cows to abort their fetuses add to the challenges marine animals face from human pollution, Trite said. Diseases from large agriculture

operations “can cause abortion storms” in sea animals, said Michael Grigg, a US expert in parasites with the National I nstitutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Grigg said a virulent new Type X strain in California “is now spreading across the US” and samples have found it in South America and Asia. Grigg noted common strains of Toxoplasma gondii are already common in people, infecting as many as 25 per cent of North Americans and as 50 to 70 per cent of adult Europeans. Changes in disease and frequency in sea animals “could have unrecognized impacts on humans as well,” said M elissa M iller, a veterinarian in California. “We live in the same areas, and harvest and eat many of the same foods.—AFP

Hepatitis C deaths up Baby boomers most at risk

WARSAW: A picture taken on January 31, 2012 shows a squirrel eating bird food as daytime temperatures plunged to a bone-chilling minus 15 degrees Celsius in the Polish capital Warsaw’s central Lazienki Park. Fruit seeds stored away by squirrels more than 30,000 years ago and found in Siberian permafrost have been regenerated into full flowering plants by scientists in Russia, a new study has revealed yesterday. — AFP

Scientists regenerate a plant — 30,000 years on WASHINGTON: Fruit seeds stored away by squirrels more than 30,000 years ago and found in Siberian permafrost have been regenerated into full flowering plants by scientists in Russia, a new study has revealed. The seeds of the herbaceous Silene stenophylla are far and away the oldest plant tissue to have been brought back to life, according to lead researchers Svetlana Yashina and David Gilichinsky of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The latest findings could be a landmark in research of ancient biological material and the race to potentially revive other species, including some that are extinct. And they highlight the importance of permafrost itself in the “search of an ancient genetic pool, that of preexisting life, which hypothetically has long since vanished from the earth’s surface,” they wrote. The previous record for viable regeneration of ancient flora was with 2,000-year-old date palm seeds at the Masada fortress near the Dead Sea in Israel. The latest success is older by a significant order of magnitude, with researchers saying radiocarbon dating has confirmed the tissue to be 31,800 years old, give or take 300 years. The study, to appear in Tuesday’s issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, described the discovery of 70 squirrel hibernation burrows along the bank of the lower Kolyma river, in Russia’s northeast Siberia, and bearing hundreds of thousands of seed samples from various plants. “All burrows were found at depths of 2040 meters (65 to 130 feet) from the present day surface and located in layers containing bones of large mammals such as mammoth, wooly rhinoceros, bison, horse, deer, and other representatives of fauna” from the Late Pleistocene Age.

The permafrost essentially acted as a giant freezer, and the squirreled-away seeds and fruit resided in this closed worldundisturbed and unthawed, at an average of -7 degrees Celsius (19 Fahrenheit) — for tens of thousands of years. Scientists were able to grow new specimens from such old plant material in large part because the burrows were quickly covered with ice, and then remained “continuously frozen and never thawed,” in effect preventing any permafrost degradation. In their lab near Moscow, the scientists sought to grow plants from mature S. Stenophylla seeds, but when that failed, they turned to the plant’s placental tissue, the fruit structure to which seeds attach, to successfully grow regenerated whole plants in pots under controlled light and temperature. “This is an amazing breakthrough,” Grant Zazula of the Yukon Paleontology Program at Whitehorse in Yukon Territory, Canada, told The New York Times. “I have no doubt in my mind that this is a legitimate claim.” Scientists have known for years that certain plant cells can last for millennia under the right conditions. Some earlier claims of regeneration have not held up to scientific scrutiny, but the Yashina/Gilichinsky team was careful to use radiocarbon dating to ensure that the seeds and fruit found in the permafrost were not modern contaminants from S. Stenophylla, which still grows on the Siberian tundra. Arctic lupines, wild perennial plants in North America, were grown from seeds in a lemming burrow believed to be 10,000 years old and found in the mid-20th century by a gold miner in the Yukon. Zazula recently used radiocarbon methodology to determine that those seeds were modern contaminants, according to the Times. — AFP

MUMBAI: Pharmacists work in a lab where medicines are being produced at a Cipla manufacturing unit on the outskirts of Mumbai, India, Feb 9, 2012. Efforts by India and the European Union to strengthen trade are threatening India’s ability to deliver life-saving medicines to the world’s poorest, analysts say as the two sides resume protracted negotiations on a free-trade pact. — AP

WASHINGTON: Deaths from liver-destroying hepatitis C are on the rise, and new data shows baby boomers especially should take heed - they are most at risk. Federal health officials are considering whether anyone born between 1945 and 1965 should get a one-time blood test to check if their livers harbor this ticking time bomb. The reason: Two-thirds of people with hepatitis C are in this age group, most unaware that a virus that takes a few decades to do its damage has festered since their younger days. The issue has taken new urgency since two drugs hit the market last summer that promise to cure many more people than ever was possible. And research published Monday says testing millions of the middle-aged to find those who need the pricey treatment would be worth the cost, saving thousands of lives. “One of every 33 baby boomers are living with hepatitis C infection,” says Dr. John Ward, hepatitis chief at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Most people will be surprised, because it’s a silent epidemic.” Don’t think you need to worry? Yes, sharing a needle while injecting illegal drugs is the biggest risk factor for becoming infected with this bloodborne virus. But before 1992, when widespread testing of the blood supply began, hepatitis C commonly was spread through blood transfusions. Plus, a one-time experiment with drugs way back in high school or college could have been enough. “Asking someone about a risk that happened 20 to 30 years ago is a lot to ask,” says Ward. Hence

the quest for a new strategy. About 3.2 million Americans are estimated to have chronic hepatitis C, but at least half of them may not know it. The virus, which affects 170 million people worldwide, can gradually scar the liver and lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer. It is a leading cause of liver transplants. A CDC study published Monday analyzed a decade of death records and found an increase in death rates from hepatitis C. In fact, in 2007 there were 15,000 deaths related to hepatitis C, higher than previous estimates - and surpassing the nearly 13,000 deaths caused by the better-known AIDS virus. Perhaps more surprising, three-fourths of the hepatitis deaths occurred in the middle-aged, people 45 to 64, researchers reported in Annals of Internal Medicine. “Mortality will continue to grow for the next 10 to 15 years at least unless we do something different” to find and treat the silent sufferers, Ward says. CDC’s current guidelines recommend testing people known to be at high risk, and until last summer there wasn’t much enthusiasm even for that step: the reasons are the year-long, two-drug treatment promised to cure only 40 percent of people; treatment was so grueling that many patients refused to try it and treatment could cost up to $30,000. Two new drugs - Vertex Pharmaceuticals’ telaprevir and Merck & Co.’s boceprevir - are starting to change that pessimism. Research suggests adding one of them to standard therapy can boost cure rates as high as 75 percent. While still full of side effects, they can allow some people to finish

treatment in just six months. They add to the price, however, another $1,000 to $4,000 a week. Drugs that promise to work even better have begun testing. Those advances are fueling CDC deliberations of whether to change testing guidelines to recommend that anyone born between 1945 and 1965 get a one-time screening. A second CDC-funded study published Monday analyzed models of that option, and concluded it had the potential to save 82,000 lives. A third study published Monday from Stanford University looked more closely at the price tag, and concluded the new triple-therapy would be cost-effective for people with advanced disease. It’s still cheaper than a transplant costing well over $100,000. But not everyone with hepatitis C will go on to suffer serious liver damage. For those with mild disease, that analysis concluded some gene testing to predict who might really need the costlier triple therapy rather than the older drugs would be a good next step. It’s not clear how quickly the CDC will settle the boomer-screening question. But doctors at New York’s Montefiore Medical Center have started raising the issue with boomers. And Montefiore internist Dr. Gary Rogg says a number of patients have sought testing after seeing hepatitis-awareness ads from the drugs’ manufacturers. “Now it’s considered a curable disease, that makes all the difference,” says Rogg, who was surprised at some longtime patients’ test results. Even a nurse he knows learned she had it, and the only risk she could recall was a blood transfusion during surgery when she was 10 years old. —AP

Stark warning emerges from science summit

WASHINGTON: In this April 19, 2011 file photo, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Margaret Hamburg announces new prescription drug safety measures and a plan to fight prescription drug abuse, at the National Press Club in Washington.— AP

‘Everything you know about dieting is wrong’ VANCOUVER: Everything you know about dieting is wrong, say US scientists who have devised a new formula for calculating calories and weight loss that they hope will revolutionize the way people tackle obesity. Obesity rates have doubled worldwide in the past 30 years, coinciding with a growing food surplus, and the ensuing epidemic has sparked a multibillion dollar weight loss industry that has largely failed to curb the problem. Current standards in the United States, where two thirds of people are overweight or obese, advise people that cutting calories by a certain amount will result in a slow and steady weight loss over time. But that advice fails to account for how the body changes as it slims down, burning less energy and acquiring a slower metabolism, researchers told the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Vancouver. The result is a plateau effect that ends up discouraging dieters and sending them back into harmful patterns of overeating. As an example, researcher Kevin Hall offered up his large vanilla latte, purchased at a popular coffee shop. When he asked, the barista told him it contained about 240 calories. “The notion was if I drank one of these every day and then I replaced it with just black coffee no sugar, then over the course of a year I should lose about 25 pounds, and that should just keep going,” Hall told reporters. “People have used this sort of rule of thumb to predict how much people should lose for decades now, and it turns out to be completely wrong.” Hall, a scientist with the US National Institutes of Health, said his work aims to “come up with better rules and better predic-

tions of what is going to happen when an individual changes their diet.” He and colleagues said their scientific model is aimed to help doctors and policymakers, while a “back-of-the-envelope calculation” for consumers means cutting small amounts of daily calories, but expecting to cut more over time. “If I want to lose 10 pounds of weight eventually, I have to cut 100 calories per day out of my diet,” Hall explained. “You’ll get halfway there in about a year, and then you will eventually plateau, (reaching the goal) after about three years,” he added. “For folks abroad that works out to about 100 kilojoules per day per kilogram. The contrast is the old rule of thumb predicts twice as much weight loss after a year, and it gets worse after that.” The new model gives dieters one calorie goal for short term weight loss and another for permanent weight loss. Exercise is also calculated in to help set realistic goals. Tests on small numbers of adults who were fed strictly controlled diets showed the model was accurate, though real-life situations are harder to predict. Study co-author Carson Chow, also with NIH, said the daily calorie cut needed for weight loss was actually smaller than researchers anticipated. “It is essentially one cookie different a day, so a 150 calorie cookie leads to a seven kilogram (15 pound) difference in weight. That is huge in my opinion,” Chow said. Their model was first published in The Lancet in August 2011, and a link is available at “People can plug in some information about their initial age, their height, their weight, some estimate of their physical activity level,” Hall said.— AFP

VANCOUVER: A stark theme emerged from an annual scientific get-together in Vancouver: the world must be helped to believe in science again or it could be too late to save our planet. Science is “under siege,” top academics and educators were warned repeatedly at the American Association for the Advancement of Science summit as they were urged to better communicate their work to the public. Scientific solutions are needed to solve global crises-from food and water shortages to environmental destruction-”but the public now does not understand science,” leading US climate change expert James Hansen told the meeting. “We have a planetary emergency, and very few people recognize that.” The theme of the five-day meeting, attended by some 8,000 scientists from 50 countries, was “Flattening the world-building a global knowledge society.” “It’s about persuading people to believe in science, at a time when disturbing numbers don’t,” said meeting co-chair Andrew Petter, president of Simon Fraser University in this western Canadian city. Experts wrangled with thorny issues such as censorship, opposition from religious groups in the United States to teaching evolution and climate change, and generally poor education standards. “We have to plan for a future, considering the risk of climate change, with nine to 10 billion people,” said Hans Rosling, a Swedish public health expert famous for combating scientific ignorance with catchy YouTube videos. Rosling, pointing to charts showing how human populations changed with technology and how without science the majority of a family’s children die, said it’s naive to think that humanity can easily go backward in history. “I get angry when I hear people say in the rainforest people live in ecological balance. They don’t. They die in ecological balance,” he said. Outgoing AAAS president Nina Fedoroff, a renowned expert on life sciences and biotechnology, said a growing anti-science attitude “probably lies in our own psyche.” “Belief systems, especially when tinged with fear, are not easily dispersed with facts,” she said, noting that in the United States “fewer people ‘believe’ in climate change each year.” Her remarks held particular resonance for the scientific community, coming as US President Barack Obama came under fierce attack from a Republican challenger for the allegedly “phony theology” behind his environmental policy. “I refer to global warming as not climate science, but political science,” Christian conservative Rick Santorum, who is soaring ahead in the Republican race to take on Obama in November, said at a campaign stop Monday in Ohio. Skepticism and denial of climate change still run strong in the United States, with polls showing a nation divided on the threat posed by global warming. During the AAAS meeting, a controversy erupted over whether research on a mutant form of the bird flu virus by American and Dutch scientists-which is potentially capable of spreading in humans-should be made public. Last year, American authorities asked scientists not to publish details of their research for fear the information could fall into the wrong hands and unleash a flu pandemic. “I would not be in favor of stopping the science,” Fedoroff said in Vancouver. “The more we know about something, the better prepared we are to deal with unexpected outcomes.” Bird flu experts at the World Health Organization meeting in Geneva last week agreed that the controversial research should be made public, but a moratorium on further studies has been extended. — AFP



Brain study finds what eases pain of financial loss LONDON: Financial market traders and keen gamblers take note. Scientists have found that a chemical in the region of the brain involved in sensory and reward systems is crucial to whether people simply brush off the pain of financial losses. Scientists say the study points the way to the possible development of drugs to treat problem gamblers and sheds light on what may have been going on in the brains of Wall Street and City of London traders as the 2008 financial crisis took hold. “Pathological gambling that happens at regular casinos is bad enough, but I think it’s also happening a lot now at Casino Wall Street and Casino City of London,” said Julio Licinio, editor of the Molecular Psychiatry journal which reviewed and published the brain study on Tuesday. “We like to believe we all have free will and make whatever decisions we want to, but this shows it’s not so easy,” he said in a telephone interview. “Many people have a predisposure to make certain kinds of decisions.” For the study, a team of researchers led by Hidehiko Takahashi of the Kyoto University graduate school of medicine in Japan, scanned the brains of 19 healthy men with positron emission tomography (PET) scans after they had completed a gambling task. The experiment showed that a neurotransmitter, or chemical messenger, called norepinephrine, or noradrenaline, is central to the response to losing money. Those with low levels of norepinephrine transporters had higher levels of the chemical in a crucial part of their brain - leading them to be less aroused by and less sensitive to the pain of losing

money, the researchers found. People with higher levels of transporters and therefore lower levels of norepinephrine or noradrenaline have what is known as “loss aversion”, where they have a more pronounced emotional response to losses compared to gains. Loss aversion can vary widely between people, the researchers explained. While most people would only enter a two outcome gamble if it were possible to win more than they could lose, people with impaired decision making show reduced sensitivity to financial loss. “This research uses sophisticated brain scanning to improve our understanding of the way that our appetite for risk is linked to the way that chemical messengers operate in the brain,” said Derek Hill, a professor of medical imaging science at University College London who was not involved in the research but intrigued by its findings. “It is quite preliminary work, but has many intriguing implications,” he said, adding this sort of imaging could in future be used to help test drugs to treat people who indulge excessively in risky behaviour. Alexis Bailey, a lecturer in neuropharmacology at Britain’s University of Surrey, said scientists now need to analyse known pathological gamblers to confirm whether they have higher levels of these brain chemical transporters than nongamblers. “Also there is a need to investigate if noradrenaline transporters are also increased in brain regions traditionally associated with decision making and emotional aspects of aversion such as the prefrontal cortex and amygdala,” he said. — Reuters

Hundreds of US women protest anti-abortion bills RICHMOND: Hundreds of women locked arms and stood mute outside the Virginia State Capitol on Monday to protest a wave of anti-abortion legislation coursing through the General Assembly. Capitol and state police officers, there to ensure order, estimated the crowd to be more than 1,000 people mostly women. The crowd formed a human cordon through which legislators walked before Monday’s floor sessions of the Republican-controlled legislature. The silent protest was over bills that would define embryos as humans and criminalize their destruction, require “transvaginal” ultrasounds of women seeking abortions, and cut state aid to poor women seeking abortions. Molly Vick of Richmond said it was her first time to take part in a protest, but the issue was too infuriating and compelling. On her lavender shirt, she wore a sticker that said “Say No to State-Mandated Rape.” Just beneath the beltline of her blue jeans was a strip of yellow tape that read “Private Property: Keep Out.” One organizer said the event took root, was organized and publicized almost wholly through Facebook and other social media after last week’s votes on landmark anti-abortion bills racing through a legislature dominated for the first time by conservative Republicans. “We could feel that there was a lot of outrage and emotion and people talking about these issues,” said

Sarah Okolita, a Virginia Commonwealth University graduate student who helped arrange the Monday morning event. The protest also came as Virginia’s highly partisan debate over abortion legislation moved into the realm of comedy and national pop culture when a segment on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” lampooned ultrasound bills sponsored by Del. Kathy Byron, RCampbell County, and Sen. Jill Vogel, R-Fauquier. Initially, participants were kept off the interior of Capitol Square. They stood in a queue that stretched nearly three blocks on a sidewalk along the eastern perimeter of the Capitol campus. Later, after many legislators had already taken the 170-yard walk from their office building to the Capitol for their 11:30 a.m. caucus meetings and floor sessions afterward, they were allowed to take up positions inside Capitol Square. Reaction from legislators varied, largely based on party affiliation. “God bless y’all. You’re doing the right thing,” Del. Algie T. Howell, DNorfolk, said as he walked past the unspeaking throng. Del. Robert G. Marshall, R-Prince William, acknowledged it was “an impressive crowd.” “So there’s opposition to this measure. So what’s new about that?” said Marshall, the sponsor of the “personhood” legislation that could outlaw all abortions and, critics claim, some forms of contraception in Virginia if the 1973 Supreme Court ruling legalizing abortion is reversed.— AP



W H AT ’ S O N ‘Light of the Diaspora Award’ for Dr Joseph Mar Thoma


r Joseph Mar Thoma, the supreme head of Mar Thoma Church, will be bestowed with ‘Light of the Diaspora Award’. The award committee chairman Rajan Daniel said that the honor was in appreciation of Joseph Mar Thoma’s leadership role in a variety of spheres of the society. During the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, he was at the forefront for the safe evacuation and rehabilitation of the returnees. The CBSE wing of St Thomas Residential School at Trivandrum was initiated in 1990-1 specially to accommodate the children from Kuwait. Joseph Marthoma held many high-ranking positions in national as well as international organizations like the Christian Conference of Asia, National Council of Churches in Asia, World Council of Churches, and Christian Agency for Social Action. He also served as President of the Bible Society of India. His secular views and concern for the sick and poor are well known. He had mobilized the church and its resources for the rehabilitation of the victims of Tsunami. At a press conference held on Monday at Salmiya St Thomas Church auditorium, Rajan Daniel informed that the award will be presented on Friday during the Mar Thoma Sabha Kuwait Pravasi Samgamam 2012, a grand ceremony to be held in Ramada Hotel, Riggai.

Announcements Kuwait Improv Fun lovers of Kuwait unite. A get together by people who love to surprise, be surprised and just be about at anything are welcome to Kuwait Improv, a gathering, reminiscent of the famous American TV program Whose Line is it Anyway, informally organized by American School of Kuwait teacher Brad Manker. No histrionic talent required, but a willingness to share. Please

KUWAIT: (From right) Badrya Darwish, General Manager of Kuwait Times, Abd Al-Rahman Al-Alyan, Editor-in-Chief of Kuwait Times, Matthew Tueller, US Ambassador to Kuwait, Gregory Stevens, Chairman ABCK and Muna Al-Fuzai, Executive Director ABCK are seen at the gala dinner hosted by ABCK last week. —Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

American Business Council of Kuwait celebrates its 27th anniversary nder the patronage and the presence of the USA Ambassador to Kuwait, Matthew Tueller, The American Business Council of Kuwait (ABCK) celebrated its 27th anniversary on February 15, in Arraya Ballroom at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel. The event was attended by foreign and GCC ambassadors to Kuwait, Kuwaiti and US business owners, managers and officials. The event commenced with an exhibition display of US companies in Kuwait, showcasing the business relation that had been developed between the two countries over the years. The ambassadors and VIP guests were accompanied by ABCK


forums such as “today’s Business Summit at which experts in defense, energy, finance, and business development gathered to discuss the business, trade, and investment environment in Kuwait.” He added, “I am confident that such discourse and interaction amongst professionals will inspire many of you and perhaps may even serve as the basis for expanded business endeavors and partnerships. When business support organizations foster an environment in which their members and the community can share experiences, share best practices, and trouble shoot problems, creative new ideas and business models

decades. Shared US and Kuwaiti interests are based not only on ensuring regional peace and security, but also on pursuing regional prosperity. My team and I are committed to strengthening our growing commercial relationship, and I’m happy to note that during this past year we’ve seen some positive developments,” he said. Tueller stressed, “The Kuwaiti market offers a tremendous opportunity for US companies across many industry sectors, particularly in the fields of healthcare, alternative energy, infrastructure, safety and security, environmental remediation programs, and education. US technology and expertise is

ment level, we continue to work with Kuwait to further strength our economic relationship. As a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Kuwait has supported efforts to move forward on a USGCC trade agreement, Tueller said adding “Last month, the GCC Secretariat held very positive discussions on the agreement and we are hopeful that the signing of the agreement will take place in the coming weeks.” While Kuwait offers real opportunities to US exporters and investors, our businesses also face challenges. Despite the advantages of its natural resources, talented population, and long-established history of international com-

Chairman, Gregory Stevens and ABCK Executive Director, Muna AlFuzai in a tour greeting the exhibitors and thanking them for their participation and support to the council. ABCK Chairman, Gregory Stevens expressed gratitude and appreciation to the US Embassy and guest attendees. In his opening remarks at the event, Ambassador Tueller said, “celebrating 27 years in Kuwait makes ABCK a true”Kuwaiti” institution. Tonight is an occasion to celebrate the enduring value of business associations not only to members, but also to communities.” He said that associations such as ABCK provide industry knowledge and networking opportunities, host

will be born.” He explained that ABCK is a part of a larger business association network that brings issues from Kuwait business to the attention of policymakers in Washington. “The annual “Door Knock” program literally knocks on Congress’s door with constructive observations to shape business policy. I encourage you to do the same here — use ABCK as a vehicle to encourage investment friendly policies and expanded commercial relations between our two countries,” Tueller said. “As we reflect on the enduring nature of our relationship with Kuwait, it is important to note that our economic relationship predates our security relationship by

world class and I encourage you to use these valuable sources of economic growth to expand US commercial partnerships with Kuwaiti businesses to advance both our countries’ economic objectives.” He explained that the US is looking forward to working with Kuwait to identify opportunities for US firms as Kuwait implements major infrastructure projects over the next several years. “In many cases, US firms can provide valuable expertise for projects. I can assure you that I will support your efforts through active engagement and advocacy on behalf of US companies with the Government of Kuwait,” he said. On a government-to-govern-

mercial engagement, Kuwait does not attract as much foreign direct investment as it could, he stressed. “In 2010, Kuwait attracted only $81 million in foreign investments, the lowest in the region. According to the World Bank’s 2012 Ease of Doing Business Report, Kuwait ranked 67 out of 183 countries, last place amongst the Gulf nations. With some carefully targeted economic reforms, Kuwait could attract significant foreign investment. We encourage ABCK members to advocate for those changes,” he said. He said, “One area where we will continue government-to-government engagement is in the field of Intellectual Property

Rights. IPR is important not only to software and creative content industries, but also to the full range of manufacturing, medical, business services, natural resources, and other sectors that need innovation to maintain their global competitive edge. The embassy continues to support Kuwait as it works to amend outdated legislation. We welcome improved enforcement efforts by Kuwaiti authorities. Our Kuwaiti counterparts have demonstrated their commitment to making valuable and critical improvements to IPR protection. However, we must forge ahead and engage our hosts at every level to highlight the importance of copyright protection and a strong copyright law that is compliant with World Trade Organization standards. IPR protection is of utmost significance, not only for US businesses, but also for the future development of Kuwait’s domestic industries. “ He further said that the US supports Kuwait as it moves forward on implementing critical infrastructure projects and encourage increased utilization of public private partnership projects. “By allowing greater foreign and domestic investment in fields traditionally reserved for the public sector, such as power, wastewater, real estate development, and transport, Kuwait will be able to move forward on many much needed infrastructure projects. Public Private Partnership projects will also create new private sector jobs and opportunities for the next generation. We recognize and continue to emphasize to the Kuwaitis, that US companies are ready and willing to assist, whether as prime bidders or suppliers of the world’s most advanced technologies.” On her part, Al-Fuzai said that for many years Kuwait and America have been close friends and allies.” Trade between our nations will insure that this meaningful and important relationship will survive and grow. That is why the work we do at the American Business Council is so vital. At the Council we encourage and where possible facilitate trade between our countries.” She added, “In the Muslims faith it is accepted belief that trade is a blessed activity. I see the wisdom in those words because through trade many barriers between nations can be overcome such as cultural, religious and political,” she said elaborating that the gala night brings together people from various sectors such as government, the private sector, and non-profits.

Tulu speaking classes Here’s a great opportunity for parents who always wished their children could learn Tulu. Tulu Koota Kuwait, in its objective towards promoting Tulu language and culture, is pleased to announce the opening of Tutu Speaking Classes “Tulu Siri” at Indian Public School Salmiya @ 11:30 am. For more details kindly contact Ramesh Kidiyoor-97204716/99596457,Shalini Vijay - 66502369,Tharendra P. Shettigar 66757979,Jayalaxmi Karkal - 66958848, Sathyanarayana Salian - 66585077,Vanitha Dias-94996459. And our Website: Email: Palpak 4th AGM Palakkad Pravasi Association of Kuwait (Palpak) is conducting its Fourth Annual General Body Meeting on February 24, Friday at Hiphop Auditorium, Fahaheel from 10 am. The main agenda include as following, annual report on the activities during the year of 2011, the audited accounts report for the year of 2011. All members of Palpak are kindly requested to treat this as an official Invitation and attend the said Annual Genera1 body meeting on time. For more details please contact President P.N.Kumar (99771830) and General Secretary Aravindha Shan (66535989). Music festival On March 1, 2012, the “Blend Music Festival,” a mellow acoustic get-together of several local musicians, will take place in Bayt Lothan, the official sponsor, host, and curator of the event. This event will be FREE of charge and open to everyone to attend. We hope to see you all there, and here’s to a great start to 2012! The “Blend Music Festival” will be the first of many concerts to be held; there are a handful of musicians on board, and more will be added to the sets at a later stage. Here is the program for March 1st: 1- Ali Sleeq with Gary Ruston & Kevin Owen = JAZZ; 2- Hadi Sarieddine, Bader Nana, & Sarj = ROCK; 3- Lewis Chapman - FOLK / ROCK. Free Arabic language course IPC and all its branches are opening free Arabic language course for ladies accessible in beginners and advanced levels. Class will commence on March 2, 2012. Islamic and Quran courses are also presented in different languages. Registration is on! Call the nearest IPC branch: Rawdah: 22512257 / 97290278; Salmiyah: 25733263 / 97533263; Mangaf: 23723002 ext. 124/123; Jahra: 24558830 / 97533948; Khaithan: 24730137. Balakrishna to visit Kuwait Prominent Telugu film Hero Nandamuri Balakrishna coming to Kuwait on 5th April 2012 for 2 days upon the invitation of Pravasaandhra Telugu Desam, NBK seva samithi. Nadamuri Balakrishna is popularly known as “Balayya” and “NBK” by his fans and admirers. He is the son of the former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and Telugu film legend Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao. He then starred in many critical and commercial films and established himself as one of the leading contemporary actors of Telugu Cinema. In addition to films, Balakrishna is associated with several philanthropic and social organizations activities. FCC symphony Mga Kababayan 2LOY- NA- 2LOY sa February 24, 2012 “Awitan at Indakan” As part of FCC culminating for the year 2012 and simple way of conveying, it’s sincerest thanks and gratitude to all those in one way or the other have been very supportive to FCC project and activities, FCC is organizing annual concert dubbed as “AN FCC SYMPHONY” on FRIDAY 24,2012 AT 5:00PM at Jabriya Medical Theater beside Blood Bank & Kuwait Dental Association. A conglomerate of a Filipino champions along with FCC Kids will bring back live on stage songs from Disney movies & Broadway musicals with concluding numbers from sixties.It is worthwhile mentioning that funds raised during the previous concerts were given our scholarship program in the Philippines. This year, proceeds of the project will be donated to elementary school in Payatas in Manila were the Smokey Mountain is located. It is therefore our fervent hope that you will support this event, as it is an FCC’s ultimate goal to those who are lee privilege. Join us and be apart of this noble endevor. For more details call Bong (99530665) Cynthia ( 99169310).

KBE-Western Union winners Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange-Western Union Third and Grand Draw were conducted on 20th February 2012. Winner of Grand Prize of USD.5,000/- is SAUOUD ALAZEMI Following Lucky Winners will receive US$ 500/= each Srlno. MTCN Name 1 759-608-2845 Abdurahman A S 2 649-633-8961 Alyaa Hashem Mousawi 3 905-093-1637 Imran Ahmed Tanveer Ahmed 4 638-743-1610 Khaled Mohammad Alotaibi 5 778-728-1120 Fatema Qasem 6 240-690-7001 Abdur Rahman son of Mohammad Ramzan 7 489-607-0121 Mehdi Khan Son Of Lal Khan 8 423-609-2168 Habib Gul Khan Gul 9 805-050-6000 Shahzad Qamar Ali 10 762-764-7934 Jijeesh K P 11 854-090-6080 Rabiul Haq Reda Haq 12 761-643-7430 Sugh Ram 13 822-737-2430 Alexaner Pareja 14 695-612-1290 Pardeep Chaudary 15 535-023-9590 Waqas Yaqoob so Mohammad Yaqoob 16 419-572-2054 Hani Abdullah Rashed Alduraij 17 232-749-6702 Jayanthi Ramaraj Ashwain Kumar 18 068-728-9132 Abul Kashem Motkhter Ali

19 20 21 22 23 24 25

029-110-2650 Mohammed Ashraf Mohammed Aslam 813-578-9805 Naveed Akram so Mohammad Akram 046-697-3167 Mohd Zeeshan Khan 978-741-7621 S Shams N Rizvi 572-203-7164 Arij K 881-096-4298 Akhtar Saeed Butt 025-768-0310 Mustafa Son Of Sewa Gul

26 27 28 29 30

232-078-4787 838-734-2482 091-159-0610 994-621-9740 434-559-7891

Kathru Kamala Rathanm Idrish Husaini Bhai Bandibarwala K Idhayat Ullah Naser Yousaf Ali Kamal Amanullah Son Of Malik Ali

We congratulate the winners and thank all our valued customers who participated in Kuwait Bahrain-Western Union promotion.


W H AT ’ S O N

PART of Kuwait holds symposium, art exhibition


ART (Progressive Art Realisation Troop) of Kuwait, organized a symposium on ‘A Study of Contemporary Art’ and an art exhibition. PART president artist Srinivasan presided over the meeting and was the moderator of the symposium. Arun presented an paper on contemporary art on behalf of PART. The event was inaugurated by E. Karunakaran, a well known writer. In his inaugural address, Karunakaran emphasized the importance of maintaining the identity of a creative artist in his creations even in the rat race of globalization. Sasikrishnan, the General Secretary “PART”, demonstrated the technicality involved in the dubious concept of cubism of Master artists Pablo Picasso and Favo. Around fifty fascinating paintings on various socially relevant themes in various media were there for the exhibition. Hundreds of lovers of art who came to know of this program appreciated the maiden event with their presence and participation. The notes played on the occasion by Shammy John on the violin amalgamated the beauty of music and art and it gave a sumptuous feast for the ears and eyes of those who came to enjoy it. The symposium was anchored by Sagar. Sherly, Joint Secretary gave the welcome speech, Sunil Pookode, Vice President extended the vote of thanks. The meeting concluded with an announcement from the organizers that they would conduct a painting camp and exhibition in Kuwait on a grand scale with eminent painters from India.


International Food Stuff Co.(IFFCO) is one of the biggest exhibitor at Gulfood every year. IFFCO is a United Arab Emirates based international group which manufactures and markets a well-integrated range of mass-market food products, related derivatives, intermediates and services with a broad segment of Impulse Foods, AgriBusiness, Oils and Fats, Packaging and Sales & Distribution. Supported by thirty three manufacturing sites in eleven countries and twenty offices worldwide, IFFCO has developed several brands which

Embassy Information EMBASSY OF BRAZIL The Embassy of Brazil requests all Brazilian citizens in Kuwait to proceed to the website (Contact Us Form / Fale Conosco) in order to register or update contact information. The Embassy encourages all citizens to do so, including the ones who have already registered in person at the Embassy. The registration process helps the Brazilian Government to contact and assist Brazilians living abroad in case of any emergency. ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF BANGLADESH The Embassy will remain closed 26 and 27 February 2012 on the occasion of National Day and Liberation Day of the State of Kuwait. ■■■■■■■

IFFCO at Gulfood 2012 ulfood is the Middle East’s leading Food, Hotel & Equipment trade exhibition taking place annually at Dubai World Trade Centre. The event consistently guarantees the most regional marketing platform and meeting point for manufacturers and buyers and since its first edition in 1987 has achieved the status of being the largest and most attended event in the Middle East. There will be a whopping 3800 exhibitors from 88 countries who will vie for trade from the expected 65,000 visitors at Gulfood 2012 at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).


include Allana, London Dairy, Noor, Tiffany, Igloo, Rahma, Al Baker, Hayat, Allegro, Al Khazna, offering value to its consumers and reaching markets in Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, West Asia, Far East, Australia and the USA. Being an international group of companies having operations almost all over the world, IFFCO needs a common place to showcase all their new products and capabilities to prospective customers. Therefore it is no surprise that they have been consistently exhibiting their products at Gulfood with the

largest stand amply supported with advertisements to capture the attention of every visitor to the exhibition, that too in their home country. With a due important preparations and objectives each year they are able to gather increased sales via targeted audience, the warmth of personal face to face meetings, strong brand building, retaining and cross selling current customers, competitive positioning and research. Those who are visiting Gulfood with an intense longing to find a trusted partner, IFFCO stand would be a perfect destination.

EMBASSY OF CANADA The Embassy of Canada is located at Villa 24, Al-Mutawakel St., Block 4 in Da’aiyah. Please visit our website at The Embassy of Canada is open from 07:30 to 15:30 Sunday through Thursday. The reception is closed from 12:30 to 01:00 pm for lunch break. Consular Services for Canadian Citizens are provided from 09:00 until 12:00 on Sunday through Wednesday. Canada offers a registration service for all Canadians travelling or living abroad. This service is provided so that Consular Officials can contact and assist Canadians in an emergency in a foreign country, such as a natural disaster or civil unrest, or inform Canadians of a family emergency at home. The Embassy of Canada encourages all Canadian Citizens to register online through the Government of Canada Travel Website at The Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi provides visa and immigration services to residents of Kuwait. Individuals who are interested in visiting, working or immigrating to Canada are invited to visit the website of the Canadian Embassy to the UAE at ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF KOREA The Embassy of the Republic of Korea wishes to inform that it has moved to Mishref. New Address: Embassy of the Republic of Korea Mishref, Block 7A, Diplomatic Area 2, Plot 6 The Embassy also wishes to inform that it will be opened to the public on the following office hours: Saturdays to Thursday Morning: 8:00 am to 12:30 pm Lunch Break: 12:30 pm to 1:00 pm Afternoon: 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF INDIA The Embassy of India will remain closed on the following dates during the month of February 2012. National Day of Kuwait - Feb 25, - Saturday. Liberation Day of Kuwait - Feb 26, - Sunday. ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF MYANMAR Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar would like to inform the general public that the Embassy will move its office to new location at Villa 35, Road 203, Block 2, AlSalaam Area in South Surra. The Embassy wishes to advice Myanmar citizens and travellers to Myanmar to contact Myanmar Embassy at its new location from 26 January, 2012. Tel. 25240736, 25240290, Fax: 25240749,

K’s PATH holds shelter open day


’S PATH (Kuwait Society for the Protection of Animals and Their Habitat) - a local non-profit organization committed to animal welfare and habitat protection - held its first Shelter Open Day of the year on Saturday, 18th February 2012 at the K’S PATH Shelter in Wafra. The fun-filled event was attended by approx. 100 visitors, families and K’S PATH volunteers. K’S PATH staff and volunteers took visitors on a tour of the premises, which include the Equine enclosure housing donkeys, a horse and a goat; the avian enclosures which is home to injured raptors; the primate enclosure which has a specially constructed habitat for smuggled and abandoned baboons; the catteries and small animals room. “Our Shelter Open Days are an opportunity for visitors to learn about the plight of animals in Kuwait and the steps we take to protect them,” says K’S PATH Chairman Ayeshah Al Humaidhi. “This time around we had a large number of first-time visitors who were very keen to sign up as volunteers and contribute to the work we do. Such interest is encouraging. We hope to see more individuals take up their responsibility towards animals and the environment.” Visitors socialised dogs in the yard and groomed cats, while getting to know dogs and cats who are up for adoption. An educational session for children discussed the impact of waste on animals and their habitat, followed by an art session where children fashioned functional and creative projects out of plastic bottles and cardboard such as face masks, animal-inspired pencil stands, a tank, a submarine and a boat. K’S PATH (Kuwait Society for Protection of Animals and Their Habitat) is a non-profit organization concerned with all aspects of animal welfare in Kuwait. Founded by Ayeshah Al Humaidhi in May 2005, it strives to improve the quality of companion animals’ lives by rescuing and providing them with shelter, food and medical attention; and educating people and school students about the basic needs, proper treatment and care of animals. It also encourages spaying and neutering as the only way to control animal overpopulation. K’S PATH provides sanctuary and relocation for wild animals, both indigenous and illegally smuggled. This includes: eliminating illegal trade, monitoring legal trade, monitoring state-run and private facilities which house wild animals, conducting investigations into smuggling and cruelty, helping oversee natural areas in Kuwait, and generally improving conditions for all wild animals living in or migrating through Kuwait. K’S PATH also rescues and provides sanctuary for abused and abandoned farm animals and offers education for schools and individuals on the subject of farm animals and food sources. Reach K’S PATH at +965 6700 1622 or visit


EMBASSY OF PHILIPPINES The Philippine Embassy with the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) is spearheading a “Blood Donation Program” in cooperation with the Kuwait Red Crescent Society and the Central Blood Bank of Kuwait on 24 February 2012, Friday, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Central Blood Bank with address at Street 102, Jabriyah (near Mubarak Hospital). The Embassy with POLO will be assisted by volunteers from the Beta Sigma Fraternity and Sigma Beta Sorority International Alumni Association in Kuwait. ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF SRI LANKA The Embassy of Sri Lanka will be closed for public from 25th to 27th February, 2012 in lieu of “Liberation day & National Day” of Kuwait. ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF NIGERIA The Nigerian embassy has its new office in Mishref. Block 3, Street 7, House 4. For enquires please call 25379541. Fax25387719. Email- or ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF RUSSIA Embassy of the Russian Federation will hold the elections of the President of the Russian Federation on March 3, 2012 between 8 am and 8 pm in the Embassy’s premises by the address: Kuwait City, Daiya, Block 5, Diplomatic campus, Plot 17. All Russians are invited to participate. They are requested to present valid Russian passports.

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00:50 Animal Cops Houston 01:45 Untamed & Uncut 02:40 Crime Scene Wild 03:35 World Wild Vet 04:30 Venom Hunter With Donald Schultz 05:25 The Animals’ Guide To Survival 06:20 Escape To Chimp Eden 06:45 In Too Deep 07:10 Ned Bruha: Skunk Whisperer 07:35 Ned Bruha: Skunk Whisperer 08:00 Gorilla School 08:25 Chris Humfrey’s Wildlife 08:50 Talk To The Animals 09:15 The Really Wild Show 09:40 Project Puppy 10:10 America’s Cutest Pet 11:05 The Animals’ Guide To Survival 12:00 Michaela’s Animal Road Trip 12:55 SSPCA: On The Wildside 13:20 Wildlife SOS 13:50 K9 Cops 14:45 Animal Cops Phoenix 15:40 The Animals’ Guide To Survival 16:30 Echo And The Elephants Of Amboseli 17:00 The Really Wild Show 17:30 Animal Planet’s Most Outrageous 18:25 Dogs 101 19:20 Dogs 101: Specials 20:15 Gorilla School 20:40 Wildlife SOS 21:10 Escape To Chimp Eden 21:35 In Too Deep 22:05 The Animals’ Guide To Survival 23:00 Wild France 23:55 Wildest Africa

00:45 01:15 01:45 02:35 03:05 03:35 04:00 04:20 04:30 04:45 05:00 05:05 05:25 05:36 05:50 06:10 06:20 06:30 06:45 06:50 07:10 07:20 07:35 08:05 08:35 09:20 09:50 10:20 11:10 11:40 12:00 12:30 13:00 13:45 14:15 14:45 15:35 16:05 16:25 17:10 17:40 18:10 19:00 19:30 20:00 20:50 21:20 21:50 Tests 22:40 23:10 23:55

Eastenders Doctors Red Cap Last Of The Summer Wine After You’ve Gone Keeping Up Appearances Me Too! Charlie and Lola Gigglebiz Bobinogs Poetry Pie Fimbles Little Robots Forget Me Not Farm Me Too! Charlie and Lola Gigglebiz Bobinogs Poetry Pie Fimbles Little Robots Forget Me Not Farm Last Of The Summer Wine After You’ve Gone The Weakest Link Eastenders Doctors Holby City Mastermind Doctor Who Confidential Keeping Up Appearances Last Of The Summer Wine The Weakest Link Eastenders Doctors Holby City Mastermind Doctor Who Confidential The Weakest Link Eastenders Doctors Casualty Last Of The Summer Wine One Foot In The Grave Lark Rise to Candleford After You’ve Gone Keeping Up Appearances The World’s Toughest Driving One Foot In The Grave The Weakest Link Casualty

00:30 01:25 01:55 02:45 03:10 03:35 04:25 05:05 05:35 06:00 06:55 07:20 07:45 08:10 08:40 09:05 09:35 10:25 11:10 12:00 12:50 13:15 13:40 14:35 15:25 16:10 17:05 17:50 18:35 19:00 19:25 19:50 20:40 21:05 21:55 22:45 23:35

What To Eat Now - Autumn What To Eat Now - Autumn James Martin’s Brittany James Martin’s Brittany James Martin’s Champagne 10 Years Younger Fantasy Homes In The City Indian Food Made Easy Indian Food Made Easy What To Eat Now - Summer What To Eat Now - Summer Cash In The Attic USA James Martin’s Champagne Indian Food Made Easy Indian Food Made Easy What To Eat Now - Summer Masterchef Australia Bargain Hunt Antiques Roadshow Come Dine With Me 10 Years Younger 10 Years Younger What Not To Wear What Not To Wear Fantasy Homes In The City What Not To Wear House Swap Bargain Hunt Cash In The Attic USA James Martin’s Brittany James Martin’s Brittany Indian Food Made Easy Indian Food Made Easy Antiques Roadshow What Not To Wear What Not To Wear Bargain Hunt

00:00 00:20 00:45 01:10 01:35 02:00 02:25 02:50 03:15 03:40 04:00 04:25 04:50 05:15 05:40 06:00 06:25 06:50 07:00 07:30 07:55 08:20 08:45 09:00 09:25 09:50 10:15 10:40 11:05 11:25 11:50 12:15 12:40 13:00 13:15 13:40 13:55 14:45 15:10 Doo 15:35 16:00 16:50 17:15 17:40 18:05 18:20 19:10 19:35 Doo 20:00 20:15 20:40 21:05 21:30 21:55 22:20 22:45 23:10 23:35

Wacky Races Dastardly And Muttley New Yogi Bear Show Duck Dodgers The Perils Of Penelope Pitstop Tom & Jerry Kids A Pup Named Scooby-Doo The Jetsons Puppy In My Pocket Popeye Tom & Jerry Looney Tunes Scooby Doo Where Are You! Droopy: Master Detective Wacky Races The Flintstones A Pup Named Scooby-Doo Popeye Classics The Garfield Show Bananas In Pyjamas Baby Looney Tunes Gerald McBoing Boing Jelly Jamm Pink Panther And Pals Pink Panther And Pals Puppy In My Pocket The Scooby Doo Show Scooby Doo Where Are You! The Flintstones Duck Dodgers Tom & Jerry Kids Pink Panther And Pals Wacky Races Jelly Jamm Baby Looney Tunes Bananas In Pyjamas The Garfield Show A Pup Named Scooby-Doo Scooby-Doo And ScrappyLooney Tunes Puppy In My Pocket Pink Panther And Pals Pink Panther And Pals Tom & Jerry Tom & Jerry The Garfield Show The Scooby Doo Show Scooby-Doo And ScrappyJelly Jamm Baby Looney Tunes Gerald McBoing Boing Bananas In Pyjamas Pink Panther And Pals Tom & Jerry Looney Tunes Scooby Doo Where Are You! Droopy: Master Detective The Flintstones




00:40 Samurai Jack 01:05 Samurai Jack 01:30 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 02:20 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 02:45 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 03:10 Best Ed 04:00 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 04:25 Adventure Time 04:50 Generator Rex 05:15 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 05:40 Grim Adventures Of Billy And Mandy 05:55 I Am Weasel 06:55 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 07:20 Powerpuff Girls 07:45 Angelo Rules 08:00 Casper’s Scare School 08:30 The Amazing World Of Gumball 08:45 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 09:15 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 09:40 Batman: The Brave And The Bold 10:05 Angelo Rules 10:30 Chowder 10:55 Adventure Time 11:20 Eliot Kid 11:35 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 12:00 Ben 10 12:25 Sym-Bionic Titan 12:50 Courage The Cowardly Dog 13:15 I Am Weasel 13:40 Best Ed 14:05 Cow & Chicken 14:30 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 14:50 Eliot Kid 15:15 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 15:40 Ben 10: Alien Force 16:05 Courage The Cowardly Dog 16:30 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 16:55 Gumball 17:10 Adventure Time 17:35 Regular Show 18:00 Cow & Chicken 18:25 Bakugan: Gundalian Invaders 18:50 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 19:15 Angelo Rules 19:30 Total Drama World Tour 19:55 Hero 108 20:25 Sym-Bionic Titan 20:50 Adventure Time 21:25 The Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy 21:50 Courage 22:25 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 22:50 Cow And Chicken 23:00 Ben 10 23:25 Ben 10 23:50 Courage The Cowardly Dog

00:15 Destroyed In Seconds 00:40 Blueprint For Disaster 01:35 Dirty Jobs 02:30 Overhaulin’ 03:25 Ultimate Survival 04:20 Mythbusters 05:15 How Does It Work? 05:40 How It’s Made 06:05 Dirty Jobs 07:00 Mythbusters 07:50 Ipod Revolution 08:45 Mythbusters 09:40 How Does It Work? 10:05 Cake Boss 10:30 Border Security 10:55 Auction Kings 11:25 Dual Survival 15:05 Dual Survival 16:00 Overhaulin’ 16:55 Ultimate Survival 17:50 Mythbusters 18:45 Cash Cab Us 19:10 Border Security 19:40 Auction Kings 20:05 How It’s Made 20:35 How Does It Work? 21:00 Cake Boss 21:30 The Future Of... 22:25 Mythbusters 23:20 Igenius: How Steve Jobs Changed The...


00:40 Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman 01:35 Weird or What? 02:25 The Tech Show 02:50 Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman 03:40 Meteorite Men 04:35 How Does That Work? 05:00 How Stuff’s Made 05:25 Mega Builders 06:20 Junkyard Mega-Wars 07:10 Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman 08:00 The Gadget Show 08:25 The Gadget Show 08:50 How Does That Work? 09:15 How Stuff’s Made 09:40 Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman 10:35 Meteorite Men 11:25 Mega Builders 12:20 Junkyard Mega-Wars 13:15 Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman 14:05 Weird or What? 14:55 How Does That Work? 15:20 How Stuff’s Made 15:50 The Gadget Show 16:15 The Gadget Show 16:40 The Tech Show 17:05 Junkyard Mega-Wars 18:00 Space Pioneer 18:50 Mega Builders 19:40 Sci-Fi Science 20:05 Sci-Fi Science 20:30 Science of Star Wars 21:20 Junkyard Mega-Wars 22:10 The Gadget Show 22:35 The Gadget Show 23:00 Sci-Fi Science 23:25 Sci-Fi Science


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

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Jake & The Neverland Pirates Special Agent Oso Little Einsteins Timmy Time Jungle Junction Handy Manny Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Special Agent Oso Special Agent Oso Jungle Junction Jungle Junction Little Einsteins Higglytown Heroes Higglytown Heroes Jo Jo’s Circus Special Agent Oso Special Agent Oso Jungle Junction Jungle Junction Little Einsteins Higglytown Heroes Higglytown Heroes Jo Jo’s Circus Special Agent Oso Special Agent Oso Jungle Junction Jungle Junction Little Einsteins Higglytown Heroes Higglytown Heroes Jo Jo’s Circus Jungle Junction Jungle Junction Higglytown Heroes Higglytown Heroes Handy Manny Special Agent Oso Jungle Junction Jungle Junction Mickey Mouse Clubhouse The Hive Handy Manny

11:35 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 11:50 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 12:05 The Hive 12:15 Mini Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh 12:20 Mouk (Cema) 12:35 Mouk (Cema) 12:45 The Hive 12:55 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 13:20 Imagination Movers 13:45 Art Attack (Cema) 14:10 Imagination Movers 14:35 Special Agent Oso 14:45 Lazytown 15:10 Handy Manny 15:25 Jungle Junction 15:40 Imagination Movers 16:05 The Hive 16:15 Special Agent Oso 16:25 Little Einsteins 16:50 Lazytown 17:15 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 17:40 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 17:55 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 18:05 Mouk (Cema) 18:20 Handy Manny 18:30 The Hive 18:40 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 18:55 Imagination Movers 19:20 Lazytown 19:45 Art Attack (Cema) 20:10 The Hive 20:20 Special Agent Oso 20:30 Jungle Junction 20:45 Handy Manny 20:55 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 21:10 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 21:25 The Hive 21:35 Little Einsteins 22:00 Mini Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh 22:05 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 22:25 101 Dalmatians 22:40 101 Dalmatians 22:50 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 23:05 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 23:20 The Hive 23:30 Mini Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh 23:35 A Poem Is... 23:40 Animated Stories 23:45 Mouk (Cema)

BLOODWORTH ON OSN CINEMA 00:25 Kendra 00:55 Style Star 01:25 20 Best & Worst Celebrity Plastic... 03:15 25 Most Stylish 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 Extreme Hollywood 06:00 THS 07:50 Behind The Scenes 08:20 E! News 09:15 Bridalplasty 10:15 THS 12:05 E! News 13:05 Ice Loves Coco 13:35 Ice Loves Coco 14:05 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 14:35 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 15:00 Style Star 15:30 THS 16:25 Behind The Scenes 16:55 Dirty Soap 17:55 E! News 18:55 THS 19:55 Khloe And Lamar 20:25 Khloe And Lamar 20:55 Chelsea Lately 21:25 Kourtney & Kim Take New York 22:25 E! News 23:25 Chelsea Lately 23:55 Keeping Up With The Kardashians

00:15 00:40 01:30 02:15 03:05 03:50 04:15 04:40 05:25 06:15 07:10 08:00 08:50 09:40 10:25 11:10 11:35 11:55 Jones 12:40 13:25 14:15 15:00 15:25 15:50 Jones 16:35 17:20 18:10 19:00 19:45 20:10 20:55 21:20 Jones 22:10 23:00 23:50

Deadly Women: Face To Face Dr G: Medical Examiner The Haunted A Haunting Couples Who Kill Deadly Women: Face To Face Deadly Women: Face To Face Dr G: Medical Examiner The Haunted A Haunting Mystery Diagnosis The Prosecutors Forensic Detectives Murder Shift Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? True Crime With Aphrodite Disappeared Murder Shift Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? True Crime With Aphrodite Disappeared The Prosecutors Forensic Detectives Murder Shift Real Emergency Calls Mystery Diagnosis Who On Earth Did I Marry? True Crime With Aphrodite Disappeared I Almost Got Away With It Cuff Me If You Can

00:00 Super Pride 01:00 Predator Battleground 01:55 Hooked 02:50 Built For The Kill 03:45 Predator CSI 04:40 Built For The Kill 05:35 Triumph of Life 06:30 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 07:25 Bug Attack 08:20 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 09:15 Hooked 10:10 Built For The Kill 11:05 Predator CSI 12:00 Africa’s Deadliest 13:00 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 14:00 Monster Fish 15:00 Jaguar: Catching the Cat (aka Hunt for the Shadow 16:00 Hooked 17:00 Clouded Leopard 18:00 Predator CSI 19:00 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 20:00 Monster Fish

21:00 Jaguar: Catching the Cat (aka Hunt for the Shadow 22:00 Hooked 23:00 Clouded Leopard

00:00 The Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations-18 02:00 The Craigslist Killer-PG15 04:00 Law Abiding Citizen-PG15 06:00 Arlington Road-PG15 08:00 Rocky v-PG15 10:00 A Lonely Place For Dying-PG15 12:00 From Paris With Love-PG15 14:00 Rocky v-PG15 16:00 The Warlords-PG15 18:00 From Paris With Love-PG15 20:00 Full Metal Jacket-18 22:00 Across The Hall-PG15

01:00 The Killer Inside Me-18 03:00 The Tempest-PG15 05:00 The Box-PG15 07:00 Swansong: Story Of Occi Byrne-PG15 09:00 The Tempest-PG15 11:00 The Box-PG15 13:00 Fly Me To The Moon-PG 15:00 Just Wright-PG15 17:00 The Open Road-PG15 19:00 Flipped-PG 21:00 Bloodworth-18 23:00 Tortured-18

03:00 Friends 03:30 Friends 04:00 Dharma And Greg 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 06:00 Malcolm In The Middle 08:30 Friends 12:00 Malcolm In The Middle 12:30 Dharma And Greg 13:30 Just Shoot Me 14:00 Friends 16:30 How I Met Your Mother 18:00 Friends 18:30 Friends 19:00 Two And A Half Men 19:30 Hot In Cleveland 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 Angry Boys 22:30 American Dad 23:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

00:00 01:00 02:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 07:00 08:00 08:30 09:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 17:00 18:00 18:30 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00 23:00

Private Practice Royal Pains Justified Grey’s Anatomy Off The Map Good Morning America Tower Prep Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show The Martha Stewart Show The View Private Practice Grey’s Anatomy Tower Prep Live Good Morning America The Ellen DeGeneres Show Emmerdale Coronation Street Once Upon A Time Falling Skies Strike Back Justified Off The Map

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

Smallville Hawthorne Royal Pains Grey’s Anatomy Private Practice Switched At Birth Smallville Parks And Recreation Coronation Street Parenthood Hawthorne Grey’s Anatomy Royal Pains Parks And Recreation Coronation Street

13:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 16:30 17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00 23:10

The Ellen DeGeneres Show Parenthood Smallville Parks And Recreation Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show Parenthood Once Upon A Time Falling Skies Strike Back Luck Inside The Actor’s Studio

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

Mindhunters-18 Law Abiding Citizen-PG15 The Rig-18 Red Faction: Origins-PG15 Clash Of The Titans-PG15 StreetDance-PG15 The Devil’s Teardrop-PG15 Clash Of The Titans-PG15 Citizen Jane-PG Tupac: Resurrection-18 The Collector-18 Circle Of Eight-18

00:00 Leave It To Beaver-PG 02:00 Mystery Men-PG15 04:00 Straight Talk-PG15 06:00 Frank McKlusky, C.I.-PG15 08:00 Bad News Bears-PG 10:00 Our Family Wedding-PG15 12:00 Coyote County Loser-PG15 14:00 The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie-PG 16:00 Leave It To Beaver-PG 18:00 Love And Mary-PG15 20:00 Sgt. Bilko-PG 22:00 Submarine-PG15

01:00 L’armee Du Crime-18 03:15 Jude-18 05:15 Coach Carter-PG15 07:30 The Hudsucker Proxy-PG15 09:30 The China Syndrome-PG 11:45 Good Hair-PG15 13:30 Stomp The Yard 2: Homecoming-PG15 15:00 On Strike For Christmas-PG15 16:45 Timeline-PG15 18:45 Entre Les Murs-PG15 21:00 Asylum-18 23:00 The Blind Side-PG15

01:00 03:30 05:15 07:15 09:00 11:00 PG15 13:00 PG15 15:00 17:00 19:00 21:00 23:00

Biutiful-18 The Chaperone-PG15 Against The Ropes-PG15 Dear John-PG15 Flash Of Genius-PG15 The LXD: The Uprising BeginsThe LXD: Secrets Of The RaCrazy On The Outside-PG15 Flash Of Genius-PG15 Morning Glory-PG15 Bloodworth-18 A Nightmare On Elm Street-18

00:00 A Venetian Rascal Goes To America-FAM 02:00 Zorro’s Secrets-PG 04:00 Moomins And The Comet Chase-PG15 06:00 A Venetian Rascal Goes To America-FAM 08:00 The Thief Of Baghdad-PG 09:45 The Spy Next Door-PG 12:00 Zorro’s Secrets-PG 14:00 Queen Of The Swallows-FAM 16:00 Tom And Jerry & The Wizard Of Oz-FAM 17:45 The Spy Next Door-PG 20:00 Hua Mulan-PG 22:00 Queen Of The Swallows-FAM

00:15 Invisible Sign Of My OwnPG15 02:15 Unstoppable-PG15 04:15 Open Season 3-FAM 06:00 How To Go Out On A Date In Queens-PG15 08:00 Remember Me-PG15 10:00 Strength And Honour-PG15

11:45 Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Pt.1-PG15 14:15 Remember Me-PG15 16:15 Strength And Honour-PG15 18:00 District 9-PG15 20:00 Cyrus-18 22:00 Sleeping Beauty-PG15

01:00 01:30 02:00 04:00 05:30 06:30 07:00 07:30 09:30 12:30 13:00 16:30 17:30 18:00 19:00 22:00 22:30

ODI Crickert Highlights Futbol Mundial Super League Volvo Ocean Race Volvo Ocean Race Futbol Mundial ODI Crickert Highlights World Clup Challenge Snooker The Welsh Open ODI Crickert Highlights Premier League Darts Volvo Ocean Race ODI Crickert Highlights Trans World Sport Snooker The Welsh Open ODI Crickert Highlights Volvo Ocean Race

00:00 01:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 07:00 08:00 09:00 10:00 11:00 13:00 15:00 16:00 17:00 17:30 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 23:00

UFC 144 Countdown V8 Supercars Speedway Intercontinental Le Mans Cup UFC Unleashed WWE Vintage Collection WWE NXT Speedway Le Mans Series Highlights V8 Supercars WWE SmackDown Le Mans Series Highlights Speedway Aquabike World Aquabike World WWE Bottom Line WWE Vintage Collection UFC 144 Countdown UFC Unleashed WWE SmackDown

00:30 ICC Cricket World 01:00 Volvo Ocean Race 02:00 Snooker The Welsh Open 05:00 European PGA Tour Highlights 06:00 ICC Cricket World 06:30 ODI Cricket Highlights 07:00 Futbol Mundial 07:30 Scottish Premier League Highlights 08:00 Scottish Premier League 10:00 World Cup Of Pool 11:00 World Pool Masters 12:00 Bass Fishing 13:00 ODI Cricket Highlights 13:30 Super League 15:30 Futbol Mundial 16:00 Golfing World 17:00 European PGA Tour Highlights 18:00 Trans World Sport 19:00 ODI Cricket Highlights 19:30 Top 14 Highlights 20:00 Seven World Series 23:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 23:30 European PGA Tour Highlights

03:30 World Cup of Pool 04:30 World Pool Masters 05:30 US Bass Fishing 06:30 FIVB Beach Volley Ball 07:00 Golfing World 08:00 Futbol Mundial 09:00 European PGA Highlights 10:00 Golfing World 11:00 Volvo Ocean Race 12:30 Volvo Ocean Race 13:00 Golfing World 13:30 Top 14 Highlights 14:00 Asian Tour Highlights 16:00 Asian Tour Golf Show 16:30 World Club Challenge 18:30 Golfing World 19:30 Trans World Sport 20:30 Asian Tour Golf Show 21:00 European Tour Weekly 21:30 European PGA Highlights 22:30 Futbol Mundial 23:00 ODI Cricket Highlights 23:30 Super League



Classifieds WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2012

ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available in a C-A/C flat in Abbasiya for 2 Christian bachelors or Christian couple from 1st March. Contact: 65625804. (C 3876) 20-2-2012




Time 0:20 0:20 0:25 0:45 0:50 1:20 1:45 2:15 2:35 2:55 2:55 3:00 3:05 3:10 3:15 4:20 4:40 4:50 5:15 5:30 6:00 6:20 6:40 6:45 7:00 7:40 7:45 7:50 7:50 7:55 8:15 8:20 8:25 8:30 8:45 9:00 9:05 9:15 9:20 9:40 9:55 10:30 10:40 11:05 11:20 11:35 11:40 11:45 11:50 11:55 12:55 13:15 13:20 13:25 13:30 13:45 13:50 14:00 14:05 14:20 14:20 14:25 14:30 14:40 14:45 15:00 15:20 15:25 16:10 16:25 16:35 16:50 16:55 17:10 17:15 17:20 17:40 17:45 18:05 18:10 18:15 18:40 18:50 18:55 19:05 19:10 19:20 19:25 19:30 19:30 19:35 19:40 20:00 20:10 20:15 20:40 21:00 21:15 21:20 21:25 21:35 21:40 21:55 22:40 22:55 23:00 23:50



Time 0:05 0:45 1:00 1:05 1:20 1:25 2:45 2:50 3:15 3:45 3:50 3:55 4:00 4:00 4:40 5:00 5:40 5:50 6:55 7:00 8:25 8:30 8:40 8:45 9:00 9:00 9:15 9:15 9:25 9:25 9:30 9:40 9:45 10:00 10:00 10:05 10:10 10:25 10:35 10:40 11:40 11:45 11:55 12:00 12:15 12:15 12:30 12:35 12:50 12:55 13:20 13:40 13:50 13:55 14:20 14:30 14:35 14:45 14:45 15:05 15:10 15:20 15:20 15:25 15:35 15:40 15:45 15:50 16:20 16:25 16:30 17:25 17:35 17:35 17:40 18:10 18:15 18:25 18:30 18:30 18:35 18:45 18:55 19:05 19:10 19:20 19:55 20:15 20:20 20:40 21:00 21:00 21:05 21:10 21:15 21:55 22:00 22:20 22:25 22:30 22:30 22:35 22:45 22:45 22:50 23:00 23:35 23:45 23:50

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (

To let from March 1, 2012, 1 semi furnished big room with attached toilet from a 3 bed room spacious flat in B’neid Al-Ghar. Ideal for executives. Rent KD 75/- for single occupancy and KD 95/- for double occupancy. Contact: 60914165. (C 3868) Sharing available for Christian family, C-A/C, room + bathroom, near Learners Academy, Abbassiya. Small family or two bachelors. Contact: 66265733 / 24346514. (C 3869) 12-2-2012

MATRIMONIAL Australian man, 50 years divorcee, living in Kuwait, Lebanese born, seeking alliance from Kuwait, single lady, divorcee, widow no problem, must be God fearing and love to travel and going out. Contact: Email: (C 3879) 22-2-2012

TUITION FOR SALE Double bed 2x2m with side tables + full size wooden cupboard in excellent condition available for sale. Contact: 97358878. (C 3877) 21-2-202012 2005, Chevy Trail Blazer XL, 7 seater, maroon, good condition, lady driven, brand new tires, KD 2500. Call 67005485. (C 3875) 19-2-202012 Chevrolet Optra 2009 is on immediate sale for KD 2,350/- as expat leaving Kuwait. Showroom maintained and in excellent condition. Contact: 99754454. (C 3867) 11-2-2012

CHANGE OF NAME I, Sobhana Kumari, holder of Indian Passport No. F0925466 hereby change my name Sara Saad Mubarak Salman. (C 3870) 20-2-2012 I, Medamalli Venkata Subbaiah, holder of Indian Passport No: F4933824, resident of S/o M. Subbaiah, Kuppavari Palli ( Village), Seetharampuram (Post), Rajampet (Mandal), Kadapa District, Andra Pradesh, have changed my name to Medamalli Sreenivas. I, Anis s/o Ali Mohammed, holding Indian Passport No.E1091168, R/o 147/10 Najampura, Bohrawadi, Udaipur (RAJ ), have changed name to SHABBIR ALI MOHAMMED s/o Ali Mohammed in future be called and known by new name. (C 3873) I, Pappu Lal s/o Mohan Lal, holder of Indian Passport No. E5530889 hereby change my name to KAMALESH DEVRA. (C 3874) 16-2-2012 I, Vinod Kumar S/O Narinder Kumar holder of Indian Passport No. H4590145 hereby change my name to VINOD KUMAR GOGNA. (C 3871) 14-2-2012

Business management teacher with doctoral degree for universities, institutions, corporate & all student levels. Over 10 years experience. Call 66495951. (C 3817) Mathematics teacher, Intermediate and secondary Exams models, Easy method, Exams from past years with solutions. 97301901 English teacher (3) years experience, looking for a job and ready to start with all educational stages. 55963993 Mathematics teacher for Universities, Institutions, Foreign Schools, Administra-tive, American, English, Australian, Bahrain, Electric and Gulf Sciences, Algbra Prel, Mathematics, intermediate, gmat, sat college, math98, 110 pre calculus geometry. 97619261 A Syrian Arabic language teacher. Masters in methods of teaching and follow up of 10th grade and 11th grade students. 97934291 Islamic education teacher for elementary and intermediate stages. Experienced in Kuwait curricula. Easy explanation, and summary of the subject, training for exams. 66292985 Syrian Arabic language teacher for elementary and intermediate stages. Experienced in following learning difficulties, and those weak in reading and writing. 97264100 Female senior Mathematics teacher with more that 30 years experience in Kuwait, to teach secondary, intermediate and elementary stages. Religious and applied, communications and navigation institutions, special courses and secretariat institution. 97926737 Computer teacher for secondary and intermediate. Practical on laptop, power

No: 15367 I, Sobhana Kumari, holder of Indian Passport No. F0925460 here by change my name Sara Saad Mubarak Salman. (C 3870) 13-2-2011

SITUATION VACANT Wanted housemaid in Farwaniya area, full time. Contact: 97514390. 22-2-2012 A Kuwaiti woman is looking to hire a driver. No residency transfer required. Contact: 99215511. (C 3872) 16-2-2012

point projects, front page, visual basic data, universities and applied institutions. 50603063

MISCELLANEOUS Original guaranteed Palestinian virgin olive oil, large black and green olives for sale. Tel: 66517417 Whole Floor or small villa needed for rent in Shaab, Mansoriya, Nozha, Abdullah Al-Salem or Shamiya. Direct contact with owner. Tel: 9989018-99169016 A camp for rent in Kabed including five tents with all services. Complete privacy + game arcade. Tel: 97177714 Size 36 air pressure gun for sale in addition to a scope, safety lock. Shooting range 350 meters +bag+25 shots. Price KD 70. Tel: 97790478 A 3700 watt, 2012 model ASTRA generator for sale. Japanese parts assembled in China with pressure and gas meters. Price KD 85. Tel: 60066891 For rent in Hawalli a one bedroom (4x4m) and a 7x3.5 m reception+ terrace, fully equipped kitchen and bathroom. Tunis street, behind Al-Andalus pharmacy. Tel: 99683200 A 2008 white, 1600 CC Nissan Sunny. Price KD 1700. Tel: 99553221 A 2008 dark blue 6 cylinder Toyota Prado with Beige sued interior, low mileage, touch A/C, CD, cruise control, front and rear sensors for sale. Price KD 6650. Tel: 99275550 A 2009 white, 6 cylinder Toyota Prado with 40,000 mileage touch A/C, CD, cruise control, front and rear sensors for sale. Price KD 7850. Tel: 9747750855809093 A 2009 YUKUN Suburban GMC XL with low mileage and beige sued interior, electric seats, cruise control, super headlights, rear camera, remote recording and rear sensors. Price 8550. Tel: 99301914 For rent a two storey villa and a basement in Mangaf including 8 rooms, laundry room, yard, parking. Rent value KD 1000. Tel: 97996900 A storey and half for rent in Mangaf including two 3 bedroom apartments with 2 baths, reception, kitchen, driver room each. Tel: 66989887 For rent a ground floor in

Qurain comprising of four rooms, large reception, 5 baths, maid room, courtyard, parking. Rent value KD 550. Tel: 66989887 A fully central air-conditioned two room annex in Mangaf with separate exit and shaded car parking for rent to expatriates. Tel: 67753557 For rent in Ashbelia: two apartments with 3 bedrooms, bath, kitchen and maid room each plus a yard in between. Tel: 90001594 A 2005 Mini Cooper for sale. Tel: 99224855 A 2006 Lumina for sale with genuine factory paint. Price KD 2100. Tel: 69945429 A 2009 Touareg for sale. Price 6350. Tel: 96670777 Senior English teacher for Pakistani, bilingual schools, T.M.A., Ielts, Toefl, IBT K.S.S., social studies and math. Tel: 99577430 For sale: a 375 square meter house in Omariya, fully rented for KD 600. Price KD 185,000. Tel: 66815590 Transportation ser vice available. Payment in advanced conditioned for all areas. Tel: 66678633 The smallest and most up to date recording device (2012 model) for sale. Finger size, voice activated, records up to 600 hrs, made in Japan. Free delivery. Tel: 99773818 Original guaranteed Palestinian virgin olive oil for sale. Tel: 55740271 Upholster and tailor needed with good experience. Salar y determined per experience. Tel: 97813458

FOR RENT For rent at Salmiya, Apt 3 BR + 3 toilets + hall + kitchen + satellite, excellent location. Foreigners and expats only, no mediators. Tel: 66060299. (14183) For rent commercial Apt at the sea, excellent location, 190 square meter, suitable for (beauty saloon, consulting office, lawyers office). Tel: 66060299. (15004) For rent Apt at Salmiya 2 BR + 2 toilets + maid room + hall + kitchen and balcony for families only. Rent KD 280/-. Tel: 66980123. (15007) For rent basement at Hawalli, excellent location, plastic floor, C-A/C, for serious only, please call: 66980123. (C 25997)



stars CROSSWORD 596



Aries (March 21-April 19) You should experience all the benefits of this most powerful planet. The results of some winter planting and the crisp feeling of the morning puts you and everyone else in a good mood. You are ready to put your thinking cap on and get to work. If you give your best effort now, considerable success will follow. Your communicative abilities are accented. This is an outstanding time to give your speeches or arguments and to move people to your way of thinking. Do not turn down any party invitations today. If none have arrived, send out a few. It could be a blast! Your charisma rides high! Watch the budget—your expansiveness could be disastrous while shopping. Companionship is most rewarding at this time.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) This is a good day for making decisions, carrying out plans and communicating to others just where you stand. Your energy is high and you are ready to apply your ideas to the work at hand. Make sure the dialogue goes both ways, however. Others have good ideas too. If you stick to the main subjects and do not become distracted by trivialities, you should do quite well with the art of transaction today. You are realistic about your abilities and expectations for success—others learn from your actions. The practical use of your time and energy will most certainly pay off, bringing good times to all. You effectively communicate with both friends and colleagues this evening—perhaps a dinner or some social gathering is at hand.

POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. An honorary degree in science. 4. A medicinal drug used to evoke vomiting (especially in cases of drug overdose or poisoning). 10. The elementary stages of any subject (usually plural). 13. American prizefighter who won the world heavyweight championship three times (born in 1942). 14. Stout-bodied insect with large membranous wings. 15. A room or establishment where alcoholic drinks are served over a counter. 16. Capable of wounding. 18. Showing a high degree of refinement and the assurance that comes from wide social experience. 19. The sixth month of the civil year. 20. Footwear shaped to fit the foot (below the ankle) with a flexible upper of leather or plastic and a sole and heel of heavier material. 22. A condensed but memorable saying embodying some important fact of experience that is taken as true by many people. 23. (computer science) A kind of computer architecture that has a large number of instructions hard coded into the cpu chip. 26. A very poisonous metallic element that has three allotropic forms. 28. A heavy ductile magnetic metallic element. 30. (informal) Of the highest quality. 31. A river in the east central United States. 36. Of or relating to the language of the Hebrews. 39. A card game in which players bet against the dealer on the cards he will draw from a dealing box. 40. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 41. A master's degree in business. 42. A drug (trade names Atarax and Vistaril) used as a tranquilizer to treat anxiety and motion sickness. 44. Strike with disgust or revulsion. 46. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 47. A ductile gray metallic element of the lanthanide series. 49. The branch of computer science that deal with writing computer programs that can solve problems creatively. 50. 16 ounces. 51. A son who has the same first name as his father. 53. (botany) Of or relating to the axil. 60. An esoteric or occult matter that is traditionally secret. 62. An indication of approved or superior status. 63. Used of a single unit or thing. 64. A port city in southwestern Iran. 67. Slender bristlelike appendage found on the bracts of grasses. 68. Not divisible by two. 69. West Indian tree having racemes of fragrant white flowers and yielding a durable timber and resinous juice. 70. An agency of the United Nations affiliated with the World Bank. DOWN 1. A island in the Netherlands Antilles that is the top of an extinct volcano. 2. Wearing or provided with clothing. 3. English theoretical physicist who applied relativity theory to quantum mechanics and predicted the existence of antimatter and the positron (1902-1984). 4. Water frozen in the solid state. 5. Inflammation of the female pelvic organs (especially the Fallopian tubes) caused by infection by any of several microorganisms (chiefly gonococci and chlamydia). 6. An international organization of European countries formed after World War II to reduce trade barriers and increase cooperation among its members. 7. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 8. In addition. 9. A warning against certain acts. 10. A bachelor's degree in library science. 11. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 12. The men who man a ship or aircraft. 17. Eurasian rose with prickly stems and fragrant leaves and bright pink flowers followed by scarlet hips. 21. The act of hopping (jumping upward or forward (especially on one foot)). 24. Large shrimp sauteed in oil or butter and garlic. 25. Tropical American trees with palmately compound leaves and showy bell-shaped flowers. 27. An upholstered seat for more than one person. 29. A graphical record of electrical activity of the brain. 32. South American wood sorrel cultivated for its edible tubers. 33. God of death. 34. An Arabic speaking person who lives in Arabia or North Africa. 35. The ball-and-socket joint between the head of the femur and the acetabulum. 37. The cry made by sheep. 38. South African plant widely cultivated for its showy pure white spathe and yellow spadix. 43. A Mexican City just south of San Diego on the Lower California peninsula. 45. (obstetrics) The number of live-born children a woman has delivered. 48. Either of two large African antelopes of the genus Taurotragus having short spirally twisted horns in both sexes. 52. A mature blood cell that contains hemoglobin to carry oxygen to the bodily tissues. 54. In bed. 55. A small cake leavened with yeast. 56. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 57. Of or relating to or characteristic of Thailand of its people. 58. Suggestive of or tending to moral looseness. 59. An inactive volcano in Sicily. 61. Resinlike substance secreted by certain lac insects. 65. A silvery ductile metallic element found primarily in bauxite. 66. An official prosecutor for a judicial district.

Yesterday’s Solution

Gemini (May 21-June 20) It seems that on some days everyone you know can be difficult. Stick to routine tasks. Better yet, find something to do that is really hard work or requires deep concentration. You take a serious attitude to just about all aspects of your life just now—you might as well be involved in matters that require your concentration. This is an excellent time to sit down alone and get many things accomplished. You could be prone to be deluded by another person today—careful! On the positive side, it is a good day to just reflect. Do not put off to the next day what you can do today, for then you can truly relax when it comes time to taking it easy with friends. Both work and social settings are good places to find people to invite to your next party.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)


Confidence reigns today. Others will follow your lead in any group effort. Your energy is high—perfect for getting some exercise or chopping that cord of wood. Just make sure that any new projects are short-term. There is no sign of any romantic changes for now, with practical concerns taking precedence over relationships. This is a time of much energy and drive, perfect for starting something out or taking care of business—very physical too. You may have an urge to push for changes in the workplace—perhaps new equipment or new advertisement ideas. This afternoon would be a good time to fall into some form of art project. Animals need attention as well. You may find yourself taking care of someone else’s animal this afternoon.

Leo (July 23-August 22) You should enjoy great success and attention through your profession. You may be in the spotlight today because of your accomplishments. You should, however, realize that it is a good time to be humble and see where your talents can best help others. For on-the-job success, be more open-minded and creative in your thinking. You are able to think of something new and exciting that will help to bring more revenue into the company—perhaps you are in advertising. Later, this afternoon, you will have the opportunity to spend time with close friends or relatives. Everything around your home looks good to you today. If you are unattached, a special loved one could become very important in your life. There are wonderful surprises at every corner.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) This period marks a time when many projects come to an end. Seeing the result of work you have put your energies into is rewarding. Business dealings may be particularly fruitful now. This is a good time to evaluate your position or profession in the workplace. You should not hesitate to engage in new ideas or undertake unique projects at this time, just as long as all the facts are known. It is a time for original thinking, or perhaps for seeking new or more daring associations. You have an easygoing manner with friends and family. Relations with members of the opposite sex are strengthened. Now is a good time to ask for favors from someone close, or do something for them. Make out a grateful list before retiring for the evening.

Libra (September 23-October 22)


This should be one of those very welcome days during which you feel good and so does everyone else. You feel nothing but warmth, generosity and affection toward everybody around you and they in turn reflect it all back to you. Your benevolence extends to strangers as well and everyone you attract will be in a good mood. You have increased energy for work or play. Mental stimulation from others is a prompt for you right now. A current project should be a great success. Your sensitivity to others is heightened. The desire for intimacy and love with a partner is great and there are expressions of affection that are most satisfying to you. Also, this evening is an excellent time for taking part in social activities with friends.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Today you may think you are positively inspired! Thoughts and ideas may be running through your head a mile a minute. A notebook or tape recorder to register your thinking might be easy to use—particularly if you find yourself driving or traveling from one place to another. Leave any serious planning or heavy concentration for another time, or later you might have to go back to do a recheck. An important message could become lost in the presentation. Communicate clearly with your peers. Do not leave out any major details. Try not to put undue strain on any personal relationships at this time. This evening you might want to order a take-away meal or a food delivery to the house. An early movie and, perhaps early to bed, helps to replenish your energy.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) This is an easy, relaxing day—especially if you can avoid excesses. You are inclined to expect that the world will come to you today, but do not expect too much. There is a line between relaxation and laziness. Do not push it! Life can be beautiful if you are willing to get out and meet it half way. This is a productive time to be with others and to work together. You may be sought after as just the person for a particular job. Your management and directional abilities are in high focus. You may find a promotion is possible now. In your personal dealings with financial matters, always check your sources and know the presenter’s history. You could save yourself from a financial loss if you know the person with whom you are dealing.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)


There are opportunities for financial growth today that were not previously available to you. You should find positive results from any moneymaking efforts today—you may, however, have to move quickly in order to secure a tidy profit. Lady luck may smile brightly on you at this time. Intense emotions can turn into a self-analysis or deep emotional experiences in romance—for good or ill. Try to remain somewhat objective today. Your understanding of the needs of others is in perfect balance with knowledge of your own. This afternoon is a good time to be with friends or loved ones. You can demonstrate great understanding and sensitivity to the needs of others just now and are in a good position to communicate concerning groups and society.

Yesterday’s Solution Yester

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Your sensitivity is heightened—you may be asked to listen to someone else’s problems today. Your mental faculties are enlivened, making you readily receptive to all thoughts that impinge on you. It is best to rely on facts rather than feelings during this time, especially when an expensive mistake might be the outcome. You are very serene this afternoon with the tendency to daydream and indulge in distractions, especially in art or cinema. If channeled properly, it can be constructive. This is an excellent time to get to know someone better. Talk among friends is usually serious at this time. You and your friends will find time to enjoy the afternoon together. You show a great deal of interest in all family matters this evening.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Word Sleuth Solution

There are universal energies that disrupt business for many of us the next few days. Your creativity, however, is exalted at this time and this may bring personal or career gains. There may be a collision of powerful energies in your life just now. You may express yourself in whimsical ways. The actions of today will have lasting effects so think before you make decisions. You face tremendous responsibilities in relationships with loved ones and will have to give yourself time to think through the decisions that others would like you to make—perhaps, too quickly. You should try during this time to loosen up and enjoy your companions without being afraid to voice your true feelings. Rewarding experiences with loved ones are unavoidable.



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Tel.: T e el.: 161




Ministry of Interior


Issue T Time ime

Expected Weather Weather for the Next 24 4 Hours Cool with w moderate freshening at times t north westerly wind, with w speed of 20 - 45 km/h with w a chance for blowing blowin ng dust over open areas



north westerly wind, with Cold with w moderate freshening at times t w speed of 20 - 40 km/h with w a chance for blowin ng dust over open areas blowing


For labor-related inquiries and complaints: Call MSAL hotline 128

No Current Warnings Warnin a gs





18 °C

10 °C



18 °C

09 °C

Amiri Hospital



19 °C C

08 °C C

Maternity Hospital



21 °C

08 °C

Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital



20 °C

03 °C

Chest Hospital



19 °C

05 °C

Farwaniya Hospital



19 °C

05 °C

Adan Hospital



18 °C

09 °C

Ibn Sina Hospital



17 °C

10 °C

Al-Razi Hospital



17 °C

13 °C

Physiotherapy Hospital



19 °C

07 °C

Hospitals Sabah Hospital

Ext.: 2627 262 27 - 2630

Fax: 24348714



21/02/2012 0000 UTC










Wednesday e Wednesday













Abdullah Salim




MAX. Temp. MA AX. T emp.

20 °C



Sunrise S i

06 21 06:21

MIIN. IN Temp. Temp. MIN.

06 °C

Industrial Shuwaikh





51 %




17 %



MA AX. W ind MAX. Wind







Bneid Al-Ghar






Ayoun Al-Kibla










Maidan Hawally












New Jahra


West Jahra


South Jahra


North Jahra


North Jleeb































Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh
















Temperratures Temperatures MAX.


Wind Direction Direction Wind

Wind Wind Speed


19 °C

06 °C


20 - 40 km/h


partly cloudy

20 °C

07 °C


08 - 30 km/h


partly cloudy

22 °C

10 °C


08 - 28 km/h


t rain partly cloudy + scattered thunder

23 °C

1 1 °C 11


15 - 40 km/h



unless All times are local time un nless otherwise stated.

Al-Madena Police Station Al-Murqab Police Station Al-Daiya Police Station Al-Fayha’a Police Station Al-Qadissiya Police Station Al-Nugra Police Station Al-Salmiya Police Station Al-Dasma Police Station

22434064 22435865 22544200 22547133 22515277 22616662 25714406 22530801


NW W 53 km/h

about the Civil ID card is 1889988

00 mm

21/02/12 02:49 UTC










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

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


Plastic Surgeons Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalaf


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22666300 25728004

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Soor Center Tel: 2290-1677 Fax: 2290 1688



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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


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lifest yle G o s s i p

hris Brown and Rihanna are back together, musically speaking. Two songs featuring the singers hit the Internet on Monday. Brown sings on the remix of Rihanna’s sexually charged song “Birthday Cake,” and she’s on the remix of his upbeat tune “Turn Up the Music.” Brown tweeted a link to the new version of “Turn Up the Music” on Monday, and Rihanna later retweeted it. She also tweeted about the remix for “Birthday Cake.” Brown attacked his then-girlfriend Rihanna at a pre-Grammy Awards party in 2009. He pleaded guilty to a felony charge and is serving five years of probation. Last year, a judge eased a restraining order after an attorney for Rihanna said she didn’t object to removing the stay-away provisions. The order had required Brown to stay 50 yards (45 meters) away from Rihanna, but the restriction was reduced to 10 yards (9 meters) if they were at a music industry event. After a


he North London band Bombay Bicycle Club says being in the latest “Twilight” movie wasn’t quite the high profile leg-up the band was hoping for. The band faced a dilemma when their single “How Can you Swallow so much Sleep” was chosen for “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1.” Despite reservations that being in the teen hit could damage their reputation, they hoped the exposure would help increase their fan base. But guitarist Ed Nash says their song is “just in the background of one scene in the film very quietly.” Bombay Bicycle Club is touring the US and Canada in February and March.

three-year absence from the Grammys, Brown made his return this year, performing twice at the show and winning best R&B album. Rihanna also performed and picked up a trophy. Rihanna, whose full name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty, told Esquire magazine in its October 2010 issue that she no longer resented Brown and that she enjoys his music. The two singers first collaborated musically in 2007 on the remix to her monster hit “Umbrella.” Brown also tweeted “HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROBYN” to Rihanna, who turned 24 on Monday. A representative for Rihanna said she had no comment. An email seeking comment from Brown’s representatives went unreturned Monday.


ennifer Aniston says she was friends with Justin Theroux before they started dating. The 43-year-old actress has been romancing the actor for around 10 months but insists rumors they got together on the set of their new film ‘Wanderlust’ are false as they didn’t become a couple until shooting had wrapped. She said: “Nothing happened on that movie, it’s the easy rumor. Nothing happened, we were just friends. I have known Justin a long time.” Jennifer admits she’s smitten with Justin - who broke-up with his long-term girlfriend to start a relationship with the former ‘Friends’ star - as he’s talented as well as a nice guy. During an appearance on TV show ‘Good Morning America’, she said: “He is really cute. He is great - he’s a great actor.” While she didn’t find romance on the set of ‘Wanderlust’, Jennifer enjoyed every minute of filming because she could be anonymous as it was in Georgia. The screen beauty - who was previously married to Brad Pitt - said: “The main thing that was so refreshing for me was being in Clarksville, Georgia. You felt this weight lifted off of your shoulders. “No being on guard and looking over your shoulder - ‘Who’s that over there, who has a cell phone?’ The anonymity was regained and I loved it.”


avid Beckham has voiced his support for a famine appeal in East Africa. The 36-year-old soccer superstar - who has three sons, Brooklyn, 12, Romeo, nine, and six-year-old Cruz, and seven-month-old daughter Harper Seven with wife Victoria - has highlighted the food shortage crisis facing 300,000 children in the country by urging people to get behind the operation. He is quoted by The Sun newspaper as saying: “There is nothing I wouldn’t do for my children and I am sure you feel the same. Families in East Africa need you to do something.” David - a Goodwill Ambassador for Unicef, the United Nations’ Children’s Fund - was among a number of stars including British comedian Eddie Izzard, his former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and Britain’s Prince William and Duchess Catherine to back the publication’s campaign after East Africa experienced one of its worst droughts for 60 years. Last year, David visited a Unicef-support centre in Manila, Philippines, to meet children who live on the streets in the capital city and admitted he was “so impressed” with the warmth shown by the kids. Following his trip, he wrote on his Facebook page: “As a dad with young children, I can’t imagine how life was for these young children living and working on the streets. “I was so impressed with the welcome and warmth from the children and the incredible work that the staff at the centre do. They are all very special people.”

D hitney Houston “really wanted to marry” Michael Jackson - according to their friend David Gest. The music producer was a close confidant of both the late stars, and he believes Whitney - who was laid to rest in New Jersey on Sunday - would have liked to have got together with the ‘Thriller’ singer, but he was “too shy” to make a move on her. He said: “She really loved Michael and he adored her. Michael told me they once shared a passionate kiss, and she told me she was at one time very much in love with him. “I think she really wanted to marry him, but although he had a crush on her, he was too shy. “Later, he confessed to me he should have made every move. If they had got together, I believe Whitney would not have done drugs or become a semi-


representative for Stephen Colbert says “The Colbert Report” will return Monday after a sudden break due to the ailing health of the star’s mother. The Comedy Central show last week substituted repeats for scheduled


recluse.” The 58-year-old star - who was previously married to Liza Minnelli - saw Whitney perform in Copenhagen, Denmark, last year and he was reduced to tears by the fact she could no longer hold the notes she used to. David - who interviewed the music legend for his acclaimed documentary ‘Michael Jackson: The Life of an Icon’ - added in an interview with The Sun newspaper: “When we met last year, it was at her concert in Copenhagen and it was the saddest performance I had ever seen her give. “Tears came to my eyes as she just couldn’t hold her notes. I actually walked out after four songs, had a sob then came back to watch the rest of the show. My heart was bleeding for her.”

shows on Wednesday and Thursday. At the time, the network said only that the cancellations were because of “unforeseen circumstances.” Colbert is expected to address his absence on Monday. His 91-year-old mother, Lorna Colbert, is ill. Earlier on

evin Bacon has purchased a new $2.5 million home. The ‘X-Men: First Class’ actor and his wife Kyra Sedgwick who have two children, Travis, 22, and 19year-old Sosie - are making a move from New York to Los Angeles to live in the property, which, despite the cost, comes with only two bedrooms and three bathrooms. However, it does features floor-toceiling windows - allowing the natural sunlight in - his-and-hers closets and a swimming pool with fountains. There is also an outdoor spa and a finished patio, and a guest suite downstairs. It covers 2,760 square feet on the site in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles Los Feliz is well known for its celebrity residents, although Katy Perry recently moved out of the $6.5 million home she shared with British comedian Russell Brand in the area following the end of their marriage. The ‘Piece of Me’ singer moved to a smaller $1.9 million pad - featuring five bedrooms and five bathrooms - just three miles away. Other stars to live in the glamorous location include ‘Black Swan’ star Natalie Portman and her partner Benjamin Millepied and ‘Twilight’ couple Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart.


Twitter, Colbert thanked those who had offered “thoughts and prayers.” Colbert’s father, James Colbert, and two of his brothers were killed in an airplane crash in 1974. — BangShowbiz


lifestyle F e a t u r e s


A composite of Singer Susan Boyle flipping pancakes at St Augustine’s High School during Wee Box, Big Change fundraising campaign, Edinburgh, yesterday. — AP



ens of thousands of fans packed Rio’s iconic Sambadrome late Monday for a second night of dazzling Carnival parades featuring lavishly costumed performers, elaborate floats and thumping music. A shootout between police and a drug gang that left one person dead and four wounded in a nearby favela failed to dampen the wild enthusiasm of the capacity crowd of 72,500 at the newly renovated “temple of Samba”. The night parades in the Sambadrome are the high point of the pre-Lent Carnival festival, which has brought this racially diverse country of 191 million people to a near-standstill. Singer-actress Jennifer Lopez was one of several foreign celebrities to lend their star power to the event, appearing late Sunday in skinny red jeans and a sequined top. With a deafening burst of fireworks, Sao Clemente was the first of six elite samba schools to take center stage Monday, taking inspiration from a selection of popular Broadway musicals


lobal chart sensation Adele looks eclipsed Ed Sheeran at the BRIT Awards yesterday as British pop gears up for its biggest night of the year. Fresh from her sweep of six Grammys in the United States, the 23-year-old Londoner is favorite to add at least two BRITs to her awards cabinet-best British female act and the coveted best album prize for “21”. And few would be surprised to see her walk away with the best single honor for “Someone Like You”. Adele, shortlisted for three BRIT awards and due to perform at the O2 Arena, trailed Ed Sheeran, the 21-yearold singer/songwriter, who garnered four nominations. He is contesting best album (“+”) and best single (“ The A Team”) as well as best British male solo artist and British breakthrough act. Recognizable by his unkempt red hair, the video for “Lego House” featured Harry Potter star Rupert Grint-with whom he

such as “The Phantom of the Opera” and “Cabaret”. Uniao da Ilha do Gobernador was to follow with a presentation illustrating the connection between London and Rio, which will host the next two Summer Olympics in 2012 and 2016. The schools are vying for the title of Carnival champion. A total of 13 schools are competing for the honor, to be bestowed today. Seven schools held their parades late Sunday. Several have chosen to celebrate the culture of Brazil’s northeast, particularly the rich Africa heritage of Bahia state. Salgueiro, which won the title in 2009, will present a tribute to so-called Cord literature, a genre of folk novels and poems which is very popular in northeastern Brazil. Mangueira, viewed as the country’s most popular samba school, will offer a homage to a popular Rio Carnival band, Cacique de Ramos, which has just celebrated its 50th anniversary. The school has many national and foreign star

film about one woman’s efforts to rescue orangutans and return them to Indonesia’s rapidly disappearing jungles has made its way home. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said “Born to be Wild 3D” tugged at his heart. He hopes it will inspire his countrymen to work harder to save the red apes from extinction. Producer Drew Fellman said a special viewing will be held on the island of Borneo, where much of the film is set, so the orangutans can get a peak for themselves. He’s setting up a screen in the rain forest to see if they’ll pay attention. It’s also his way of saying thank you. “They worked pretty hard on it,” Fellman said yesterday as he headed to the site. “They came to be like members of the crew.” The 40-minute Warner Bros. and IMAX documentary, narrated by Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman, follows two women and the animal orphanages they built on opposite sides of the globe. Daphne M Sheldrick has spent a lifetime in Kenya caring for elephants whose mothers were poached for their tusks. Canadian Birute Mary Galdikas, who arrived in Indonesia in the 1970s, has more than 300 young orangutans at her care center just outside Tanjung Puting National Park. Many of their mothers were killed when they strayed into agricultural plantations in search of food. Others have been hunted by villagers as pests or, occasionally, for their meat.—AP

bears a passing resemblance-as an obsessive fan. His album “+” has sold a million copies, and while he is followed by hoards of fans known as “Sheeranators”, he has yet to convince some critics that he lives up to the hype. Sheeran will performing on the night alongside Adele, Rihanna, Coldplay, Noel Gallagher, Florence & The Machine, Bruno Mars and Blur, who will receive an outstanding contribution award. Other BRIT nominees include Jessie J, who is up for three awards, and veteran Kate Bush, shortlisted for best female, sealing a remarkable comeback. Florence & The Machine and Coldplay are each nominated twice, as are Emeli Sande, this year’s Critics’ Choice winner, and Americans Bon Iver and Aloe Blacc. —Reuters

File photo shows Indonesians stand in front of a poster of the movie “Born To Be Wild 3D” in Jakarta, Indonesia. — AFP

followers, including Argentine football great Diego Maradona. Unidos da Tijuca, which finished 2nd last year, and Grande Rio, one of the newest schools, will round out the proceedings. Preparation for the Carnival parades starts months in advance, as each samba school mobilizes thousands of supporters who must create the various parts of the school’s display. Favela residents are often members of a local samba school and are deeply involved with the performance and preparation of costumes. The Carnival turns the spotlight on the artistic talent, creative genius and zest for life found in those predominantly black shantytowns which often lack running water, electricity and sewage systems. The Sambadrome, which recently reopened after a nine-month makeover, now has a boosted capacity, elevators, and access ramps for the handicapped. Seats cost

Reveleres perform during the second night of Carnival parades at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro yesterday. — AFP/AP photos

between $50 and several thousand dollars, depending on whether one sits on packed benches in the open or in airconditioned VIP boxes stocked with champagne. Big-name companies invite luminaries like Lopez to their skyboxes to promote their brands. The Rio Carnival, billed as “the greatest show on Earth,” generates 250,000 jobs and revenues of $640 million for hotels, bars and restaurants, according to state estimates. Carnival is celebrated with equal gusto in other cities and towns, including Sao Paulo, Brazil’s economic capital and Latin America’s most populous city, and Salvador, the heart of the rich Afro-Brazilian culture.—AFP


lifestyle F a s h i o n



o many beautiful clothes, so little time: London Fashion Week produced its busiest day Monday, with blockbuster shows including Burberry Prorsum, Christopher Kane and McQ by the Alexander McQueen house all jostling for editors’ attention. The fourth day of the weeklong fashion extravaganza saw a futuristic punk aesthetic marry beaded florals at Kane, the hottest young designer showing in the British capital, while Burberry’s design chief Christopher Bailey dished up a luxurious collection of English tweed, herringbone and corduroys. Observers said Kane’s autumn and winter show, one of the most eagerly anticipated of the week, highlighted the unorthodox creativity and emphasis on craft that set London’s young designers apart from those in other fashion capitals. “Young British designers these days are reaching ever stronger heights with digital printing,” said Hilary Alexander, a veteran British fashion writer. “The emphasis on arts and crafts, the embellishment of fabric they’re not afraid to experiment.” Kane, who is known to pair traditionally feminine details with tough futuristic touches, delivered a memorable collection that featured purple leopard prints, intricately beaded floral separates and sheer purple and red dresses embroidered with oversized velvet flowers. Black leather detailing kept the look modern and edgy: Thick leather piping adorned most garments, and some of the dresses also had black leather shirt collars and sleeves. One of the standout outfits was fire-engine red from head to toe: A long red fluffy turtleneck, paired with red wide-leg trousers with a black leather trim down the side. “I liked the colors, the beading - it was so lovely,” said television presenter Alexa Chung, who sat in the front row along with model Yasmin Le Bon, American Vogue’s Anna Wintour and Samantha Cameron, the wife of British Prime Minister David Cameron. Over at Burberry, the emphasis was on classic Englishness. There were riding jackets galore, as well as velvet quilting, herringbone wool and tweed caps - and of course incarnations of the brand’s most famous garment, the trench coat. Bailey, who has been at the helm of Burberry for more than a decade and is credited with revitalizing the once-fusty brand, said he wanted to merge city style and country living. “I like the idea of celebrating the country, celebrating the town,” he said. Bridle leather straps, shearling parkas and quilting were evocative of the horse-riding country lifestyle of the English upper class, while cute owl drawings and appliques on some of the collection’s T-shirts and sweaters, as well as gold metal fox belt buckles, were a fun and quirky take on the “country” theme. A huge range of coats and jackets made up much of the collection. Some were cinched in with candy-colored belts with bows, while others had masculine tailored shoulders and large pouches. Cropped, down-filled puffer jackets were paired with tweed ruffled pencil skirts, giving the ladylike look a sporty twist. Colors were rich and autumnal, with mustard, burgundy, blackcurrant and forest green, while wide horizontal stripes in gray, navy and honey kept the look young and vibrant. Bailey likes to put on an entertaining show. This season he closed his display with a clap of thunder, a realistic torrent of rain falling on the show tent’s glass windows and a finale of umbrella-toting models walking down the catwalk to clear confetti. What could be more British? “I quite like celebrating rain,” said Bailey. “I like the romance. I quite like the melancholy.” There was also an autumnal feel at the debut of the McQ line, a new offering from the fashion house of the late Alexander McQueen, now headed by Sarah Burton, who gained worldwide fame last year for her design of Kate Middleton’s wedding gown. The McQ line is designed to be a more affordable range for a younger, less affluent crowd. The prospect at a first look at Burton’s legendary handiwork drew a frenzied crowd Monday night,

and they arrived to find the catwalk - in fact the entire stage - thick with fallen leaves. One end of the hall was transformed into dark woods, giving the entire set a forested feel. Most of the models had strange, saucer-like hairstyles, giving them a space-age, inhuman feel, and many wore military-style coat dresses embellished with beading and embroidery. Thigh-high lace boots and long trench coats added to the look. A Scottish influence was felt throughout, with some of the male models dressed in kilts. Some of the black flared dresses with color bursts on the front were dramatic, but overall the line lacked the imaginative spark long associated with the McQueen house. Other designers showing Monday included Erdem, Pringle of Scotland, Osman and Peter Pilotto, whose slim-line colorful dresses drawing on Japanese and Chinese traditions drew an impressive response. — AP

McQ Alexander McQueen


lifestyle F a s h i o n

McQ Alexander McQueen


ootwear maestro Christian Louboutin touched down in Beverly Hills, Calif, recently for a personal appearance at Neiman Marcus to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his business and the new, limited-edition capsule collection of shoes and bags he is launching to mark the occasion. A busy day of shaking hands and signing the famous Louboutin red soles culminated in a dinner at LACMA’s Ray’s & Stark Bar, where art was in motion as guests strutted past a canvas-covered wall being “tagged” by street artist Gallo Love. (Love is himself a kind of work of art, with a beard and mustache on half his face and a single eyebrow on the opposite side. And he achieved a neat party trick when the canvas on the wall turned out to be canvas tote bags for guests to take home as graffiti-covered mementos.) Louboutin took a few minutes to chat about his love of global handicrafts, his upcoming gig at Crazy Horse in Paris and the trademark infringement case that has him seeing red. Q: Does it feel like it’s been 20 years? A: t doesn’t seem like that long. I don’t see my company as a grown-up because I’m still so enthusiastic. I feel like it’s a teenage company. Q: What’s a funny memory you have from the early days? A: My friend Henri, who is also one of my business partners, said when we started that we needed to get a fax machine. And I said, ‘A fax machine? What for? Can we afford it?’ He said, ‘I think we have to.’ We really started from zero. There was one phone for the whole company _ one physical phone. Q: Talk about this 20th anniversary collection. Is it a greatest hits collection? A: Sort of. When I was working on my book (which celebrates his 20 years in business and is published this month), I realized there are certain ideas that always come back into my designs. For example, I have always loved showgirls and have done many things in reference to those birds of paradise. The Bow Bow (shoe) is about transparency, and the Havana Trash is what I imagine is on the floor at the Tropicana. I’ve always worked with artisans from different countries, as well as artists, like the 25-year-old graffiti artist Nicolas Michel who tagged some of our shoes. This collection is about all of those things. Q: You tap into a global network of artisans for your designs. Can you share some of the styles from the anniversary collection that incorporate handicrafts? A: On these sandals (the Copte style), this is a Coptic cross. These first were made by monks in the north of Egypt. I saw them there and asked if they could be reproduced. These gilded wood heels on the Bois Dore are done by a community in a village in Thailand.

A must-have is a casual topcoat, and colored denim is worth adding to one’s collection of jeans.—MCT photos

Q: What’s been the most popular shoe over the years? A: The Very Prive and Numero Prive, which have a hidden platform, the Pigalle and the Simple Pump. Q: Have there been any unsuccessful designs? A: One design I thought would be popular, and we didn’t sell any. It was a spindle heel inside a tassel. I guess people thought it was awkward. There was also a glass wedge with flower petals inside, that looked like you were walking on a bed of roses. Most of the pairs came back because the heel cracked. Q: You’re working on a production opening in March at the Crazy Horse cabaret in Paris, a collaboration with David Lynch and Swizz Beatz. A: I stayed true to the DNA of Crazy Horse, which is about the embellishment of women, but also the strength of the lighting and repetition. The lighting is very special; it can provoke magic. A French cabaret going African, that’s one number. Another number is about shadows and legs. Then there is a hip-hop finale. Mark Fast did the costumes. Q: You are in the midst of what could be a long and drawnout intellectual property case with Yves Saint Laurent over the right to use a China Red lacquered sole. What if the ultimate result isn’t one you like? A: I’m not going to hang myself, but I have to stand up for myself and for others. People come to me because they like the shoes but also because they love the story of a person who followed his dream and managed to stay independent for 20 years. What I see is a big company trying to break a small one. Q: When you want to get away from it all, where is your peaceful place? A: Portugal. I have a house by the sea. I’m not a Mediterranean type of person, but I like waves. The sound of waves is like the sound of heels. It provokes tranquility. It rocks you. The Christian Louboutin 20th anniversary capsule collection of shoes and bags, $695 to $8,995, is available at the designer’s boutiques and at select Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue stores. It will be online soon at — MCT


ll right, you guys. It’s a new year and the perfect time to get your fashion act together. If that sounds too sissy, let’s say, “it’s new and improved wardrobe time.” While a lot of resolutions are aimed at weight loss or more exercise, not many involve giving your closet a good cleaning out and replacing things that don’t fit (that sport coat that is 4 inches from being able to button) or items so out of style, you shouldn’t be caught wearing them (that big-shouldered, leather coat that “Shaft” made so popular). At Gentry Ltd in Wichita, Kan, Brandon Sullivan reminds customers to add two must-haves for an updated wardrobe. One is a casual topcoat. Sullivan says the new length is at the knee or below. “They’re more functional that way. You can wear it with jeans or dress it all the way up. It’s not the heavy old topcoat of your dad’s,” he said, adding that the newer-styled shoulder will be softer or less structured. Sullivan also suggests adding colored denim to your jeans collection. “We haven’t seen these since the ‘80s, but colors such as desert tans and solid black are the ones selling well,” he said. JV Johnston of Johnston’s, in Wichita, says every man needs to make sure he has a dark suit “for marrying and burying.”

An updated dark suit is a good way to start. “But the problem is when they have a dark suit and they’ve had the same one for 10 years. They need to make sure it’s not the big baggy look because now shoulders are more narrow. Clothes are back to fitting again,” Johnston said. —MCT

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‘Gilles of Binche’ dance during a carnival parade in the city centre of Binche, Belgium, yesterday. The Carnival of Binche dates back to around the 14th Century, with the clown-like Gilles performing their traditional dances to the sound of drums to ward off evil spirits with their sticks. — AP


otheby’s will offer the only privately owned version of Edvard Munch’s painting “The Scream” at an auction in New York on May 2, and expects it to fetch more than $80 million. The work is owned by Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen, whose father Thomas was a friend, neighbor and patron of Munch, the auctioneer said yesterday. Simon Shaw, senior vice president and head of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art department in New York, called the pastel-on-board creation “one of the most important works of art in private hands. “Given how rarely true icons come to the market it is difficult to predict The Scream’s value,” he added in a statement. “The recent success of masterpieces at Sotheby’s suggests that the price could exceed $80 million.” Olsen said proceeds from the sale would go towards building a new museum, art centre and hotel at his farm in Norway.—Reuters

museum spokeswoman said the work was painted alongside the 16th century original that now hangs in the Louvre in Paris. It was done by one of da Vinci’s key students. The Prado said it had no idea of the significance of its copy of the Mona Lisa until a recent restoration revealed hidden layers. There are dozens of surviving Mona Lisa replicas from the 16th and 17th centuries. The Madrid version has the same female figure but prior to the restoration lacked the landscape background and was covered over with paint and varnish. Last year the work was re-examined and the final layers of black overpaint were stripped away to reveal a much clearer image of the model than the original masterpiece, which has aged over the centuries. The painting has been described as an “astonishing discovery” by the art world. “This sensational find will transform our understanding of the world’s most famous picture,” The Art Newspaper reported. “It gives a much more vivid impression of her enticing eyes and enigmatic smile. The replica gives us more detail of the spindles of the chair, the frill on the edge of the fabric on Lisa’s chest and the semi-transparent veil around her left shoulder, arm and elbow.” The discovery has been accepted by experts at the Louvre - where the original masterpiece hangs - and at the Prado museum. The Mona Lisa is believed to represent Lisa Gherardini, the wife of the Florentine cloth merchant Francesco del Giocondo, and is thought to have been painted between 1503 and 1506. —AFP


he Singapore restaurant formerly run by Spanish Michelin-starred chef Santi Santamaria, who died of a heart attack last year, will close next month, his daughter said yesterday. The fine-dining SANTI-located within the casino block in the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) resort-will serve its last diner on March 11, a joint statement by MBS and Santi’s daughter Regina stated. Santi died in February last year on the way to hospital after collapsing in the restaurant’s kitchen while serving guests gathered to inaugurate the official opening of Marina Bay Sands. He was 53. The closure of the restaurant-which opened in April 2010 — comes as the Santamaria family refocuses its business to Santi’s native Spain, according to the statement. “We want to build on my father’s strengths and passion to create a success of the projects that he unfortunately had to leave halfway, many of which are happening in Spain,” Regina Santamaria said. “We’re sad to leave Singapore but we appreciate very much the support that diners have given to us.” An as-yet-unnamed Asian restaurant will take over the restaurant’s premises “in the next few months,” the statement added. Santi is widely acknowledged as the man who brought Catalan cooking to the world and his Can Fabes restaurant in the Spanish city of Sant Celoni has been rated with three Michelin stars since 1994. The self-taught chef was given two further Michelin stars for his restaurant in Madrid, Santceloni, and another one for his Barcelona establishment Evo, and another for Tierra, in Valdepalacios, just outside of Madrid. Santamaria was a fierce advocate of using only the freshest produce in his cooking and had been a vocal critic of the advent of “molecular gastronomy.”—AFP This photo provided by Sotheby’s shows “The Scream” by Norwegian painter Edvard Munch. — AP

t is a dusty village of 200 nestled in Uruguay’s back country, with no obvious architectural attraction, which most tourists would drive through without a second thought. But in recent years, the town of Pueblo Garzon, 70 kilometers (40 miles) from the bustling beach resort of Punta del Este, has become a draw for the international jet set looking for peace and quiet along with authenticity and a taste of some unique gastronomy. The transformation of this modest village began eight years ago when renowned Argentine chef Francis Mallmann opened a hotel and restaurant on a site where a grocery store used to be. That attracted some wellheeled visitors and started a trend in the village of dirt roads and lush tropical vegetation. Today, the streets are lined with luxury cars, high-end restaurants and boutiques and plenty of visitors from around the globe willing to spend $170 for lunch or $780 for a hotel room with rustic charm during the high season of December to February. In the town, which had been a stop for travelers in the mountains and the site of wheat mill, visitors can dine on smashed gigot of lamb, magret of duck with malbec juice and varietal wines from the region. They can stay overnight in rooms with wood-burning chimneys and other refinements. “The idea is to allow customers to relax, to take horseback or bicycle rides, to take advantage of nature, silence and good food, and to get away from the city, the beach and the crowds,” said Victoria Ubertone, hotel manager at the Garzon hotel and restaurant. “ The calm is impressive. It is a back country village like a lot of others, but very chic,” says Monica Testoni, an Argentine who was vacationing in Punta del Este and made a trip for lunch to Pueblo Garzon. Across the town square, another famed Argentine chef, Esteban Aguirre, has recently opened his restaurant and cultural center called D’Cepa, encouraged by the success of Mallmann and others. Along with Lucifer, the other upscale restaurant in town, “we are trying to round out our offerings for tourists,” Aguirre says. The influx of wealthy tourists along with the installation of a food processing plant in 2000 is a godsend for local residents, who had been hoping for a restoration of a rail link that was abandoned when a wheat mill shut down. “ There is a change in the outlook for people,” says local Mayor Fernando Suarez. “The village is finding a new direction.” With the town’s transformation, more people are seeking to build homes, in some cases hiring local residents for upkeep. Some of those investing, according to locals, include British art dealer Martin Summers, Mick Jagger’s tailor and a top executive of the New York Times. This has caused a jump in land prices, so a lot of 400 square meters (4,300 square feet) which used to sell for $1,000 now can go for upwards of $30,000. Suarez said this is not a problem because “those who come here respect the essence of the village.” But others like Veronica Deliotti, a restaurant worker, wonders if the small town atmosphere is disappearing. “Our children’s future is changing,” she said. “Sometimes I’m afraid. We don’t want to lose this tranquility.” — AFP

View of an authenticated contemporary copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa presented at the Prado Museum in Madrid yesterday. — AFP

A visitor looks at “Fairytale Portraits” photographs and installation by Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei at the Jeu de Paume Museum in Paris, on Monday, during a press visit of the exhibition “Entrelacs” (“Interlacing”), on the eve of the artist’s first retrospective in France, starting from yesterday till April 29, 2012. Weiwei, who was released in June 2011 but is prohibited from leaving Beijing, denies tax evasion charges and says the case is a politically motivated attempt to silence him. — AFP

22 Feb 2012  

Kuwait Times

22 Feb 2012  

Kuwait Times