Page 1



Coordinated attacks, gun battles kill 162 in Nigeria


NO: 15336

150 FILS


SAFAR 28, 1433 AH

Bolton stun Liverpool as Chelsea slip up


Yemen grants Saleh ‘complete’ immunity

Under-fire president to head to Oman en route to US

Meshaal wants to step down GAZA CITY: Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, who survived a 1997 Israeli assassination bid, has confirmed he wants to quit after eight years in the post, the Islamist movement said yesterday. “Political bureau chief Khaled Meshaal has notified Hamas consultative council that he does not wish to be a candidate for the movement’s future leadership,” a statement said. Senior Hamas figures have asked the Damascus-based Meshaal to reconsider, the statement said. They urged him to leave it to the consultative council to decide “on the basis of the higher interests of the movement,” stressing that it was “not a purely personal matter”. Khaled Meshaal Meshaal, 55, will remain active in Hamas “in the service of the people, the movement and the Palestinian cause,” the statement stressed. The political bureau is Hamas principal decision-making body and its members are elected by secret ballot by the much larger consultative council. Continued on Page 13

MUHARRAQ, Bahrain: Mourners react to tear gas fired by riot police yesterday in a cemetery during the politically charged funeral of Yousif Mowali, 24. One woman is carrying a Bahraini flag and another Mowali’s picture. Authorities say Mowali drowned. His family and opposition human rights activists say relatives searching for him had been told by police he was in custody and that his body showed burns and bruises consistent with torture. — AP (See Page 13)

Max 18º Min 03º High Tide 08:25 & 19:35 Low Tide 01:54 & 12:36

SANAA: Yemen’s parliament approved a law yesterday granting outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh “complete” immunity from prosecution, part of a deal for him to step down after nearly a year of unrest. Protesters and the opposition have accused the security forces, controlled by the president and aides, of using troops and snipers to kill hundreds of demonstrators who, inspired by revolts elsewhere in the Arab world, began protesting against his rule last January. Lawmakers also backed Vice -President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi as the candidate for all parliamentary parties in a presidential election next month to replace Saleh, in power for 33 years. The immunity law, backed by a majority, stops short of giving full protection to Saleh’s aides after being amended to say they Ali Abdullah Saleh would have immunity only for “politically motivated” crimes committed carrying out official duties, not for those considered “terrorist acts”. A United Nations envoy welcomed the amendment limiting the immunity, which UN human rights chief Navi Pillay has said could violate international law. “I am pleased that immunity law has been modified but it does not go far enough. The scope of the law is still too broad. Continued on Page 13




Dar Maarefi plays role in enlightening voters Place for holding electoral seminars KUWAIT: The renowned Maarefi family has taken an unprecedented initiative, transforming their residence into a headquarters for holding electoral seminars and meetings. Moussa Maarefi, the head of the board of trustees of the house, said the residence was transformed into a meeting place for voters and nominees to hold conversations and dialogues on public affairs in a free atmosphere for benefit of the two sides. He added that the initiative to open the house was aimed at enabling the voters to react to the candidate’s rhetoric, compared to the commonly known electoral centers where the candidate solely addresses speeches, without giving a chance to the attendees to argue with him. The creation of this temporary headquarters for unrestricted meetings between the voters and nominees derived from the diwaniahs and copies social care centers in some western nations where activists guide ordinary citizens about diverse national affairs. Maarefi expressed hope that other citizens would follow suit for such places can be useful for hosting intellectual and cultural activities. Candidates are welcome to “Dar Maarefi,” he said, stressing that not only a single or a specific number of the nominees can come to the place, re-emphasizing the keenness

KUWAIT: A night view of the Dar Maarefi

on enabling voters to compare manifestos and ideas of the contenders in a convenient and free manner. Iqbal Al-Ahmad, member of the Dar consultative commission, said the creation of such a gathering place was necessary to examine “some irregularities at the official level.” But she noted that the basic

goal of establishing the headquarters was cementing patriotic faithfulness. Businessman Jassem Zaynal said the Dar plays a “corrective role” and helps in educating the electorate about qualifications of the contenders. The Dar was opened in the district of Dasma in 2009. — KUNA

Two withdraw from elections KUWAIT: Two candidates withdrew from their candidacy for Kuwaiti parliamentary elections in its fourth legislative term. The two candidates are Qasem Mohammad Ali Abduallah Al-Sarraf (First Constituency) and Kahled Fahad Farraj Abduallah Al-Ghanem (Third Constituency). The elections will take place on Feb 2, with the window for withdrawing open till Jan 25. Meanwhile, the candidate of the

second constituency, Abdullah AlBethali, has underscored necessity of cooperation between the legislative and executive authorities after upcoming parliamentary elections. Al-Bethali, in a statement, called for “elating level” of the rhetoric of the candidates, boosting cooperation between the lawmakers and executives and averting sectarian, tribal and factional incitement. He called for hammering out a special strategy for education to match lev-

el of education in advanced nations, on basis of distinguished beliefs and traditions of the Kuwaiti society. Classic methods of teaching, such as memorizing, should be replaced with more advanced ways, based on research and participation, he opined. He also called for building modern hospitals, housing towns to resolve the housing problem and urged the electorate to choose “the fittest” to represent them in the parliament. — KUNA


local Kuwait experiences extreme cold KUWAIT: Since late Friday, the country has experienced an uncommonly cold weather as temperature dropped below freezing in many areas, Kuwait Meteorology Center said yesterday. According to the Meteorology website, the Cold weather was due to an active north western winds affected by the Siberian High on the region. The lowest temperatures recorded in the country were -3 degrees Celsius in West Salmi, -2 degrees in north Abdaly, and 3 degrees at Kuwait International Airport. Temperature reached below freezing in desert areas, the center noted. —KUNA

Bedoons opt out against demonstration KUWAIT: Bedoons (stateless residents) decided to not stage a mass demonstration last Friday, a week after police used water cannons and smoke bombs to disperse a peaceful protest. Heavy police presence was seen in two areas; a precautionary measure reportedly taken by the Ministry of Interior following messages posted on Facebook and Twitter calling for a demonstration. It was speculated that the protest would not take place, with many bedoons ignoring calls to take to the street to avoid clashing with police. Police forces were deployed in Jahra governorate early Friday morning, and remained in their positions for three hours after the Friday prayer. Sixty two stateless residents remain imprisoned at the Criminal Investigations Department based on orders issued by the Public Prosecution Department. — Al-Qabas

KUWAIT: Thousands of Greater Flamingo birds seen on the Kuwaiti bay in Shuwaikh area.

Bird counting event attracts enthusiasts Call to end indiscriminate killing

KUWAIT: (Left) Mahmoud Shihab observing the birds with a telescope. (Centre) Group picture of the volunteers and environment activists during the observation. (Right) One of the Gray Heron birds in Shuwaikh.— Photos by Joseph Shagra By Nawara Fattahova

KUWAIT: An accident took place recently at a traffic light along the Fifth Ring Road, at the crossroad between Al-Andalus and Al-Firdous. A truck driver was injured after he lost control over the vehicle. It then rammed into a traffic light. According to recently released statistics, 8,816 injuries were reported in 2011. — Photo by Fouad Al-Shaikh

KUWAIT: The Kuwait Environment Protection Society (KEPS) organized an event that engaged bird watchers in counting birds yesterday morning. This event coincides with celebrations held by various international environment organizations to mark International Migratory Bird Day. Volunteering teams and environmental activists participated and made their presence felt. The activity was organized across three locations: at the beach facing the Maternity Hospital, the Chest Disease Hospital, and Traditional Cafe, Sulaibikhat. Mahmoud Shihab, Head of Observation and Protecting Birds at the KEPS noted that birds are counted during different times in different countries. “This is affected by the season during which birds inhabit a particular place so that it’s possible to observe

and count them. The best time would be the period when the birds’ stop immigrating. The period between January and midFebruary are the best phases when bird counting can be performed in Kuwait,” he told Kuwait Times. Migrations happen twice in Kuwait. “First, there is the winter migration from north to south when it’s cold and they are in search for food. They then migrate to the south of the Arabian Peninsula and Africa starting mid-August until December, and Kuwait is an international station. Migration then stops in the beginning of January until mid-February. During this period, the World Day for Counting Birds is held,” explained Shihab. The second migration takes place during spring. “The birds then go back to their original place in Europe, Iran, and other countries of origin in mid- February till May.

Burgan Bank sponsors ‘Salhia Speaks Italian’ KUWAIT: Burgan Bank recently sponsored the “Salhia Speaks Italian” exhibition, which took place from Jan 12 to 19. The exhibition, which was organized by Sartoria Italia, and held under the patronage of the Italian Ambassador to Kuwait Fabrizio Nicoletti, aimed at showcasing an array of high quality Italian products that range from handicraft piece, artwork, artistic leather accessories as well as gifts created by renowned Italian artists. “Salhia Speaks Italian” served as an ideal platform for visitors to experience different forms of art, creativity, craftsmanship and artisanal excellence that Italy is famous for across the world. It also offered an opportunity for visitors

to appreciate the fineness of the works that are on display. At the same time, the exhibition aimed at reaching out to the younger generations to introduce a wide range of art disciplines as a means to express their own personalities. During the exhibition, a gala dinner was held in which a quarter of the proceedings were donated to the Al Kharafi Activity Kids Center, an edutainment facility that helps children develop their physical, emotional, social and verbal abilities through a variety of activities. Burgan Bank continues to maintain and strengthen its position as an integral part of the Kuwaiti social fabric, stressing the importance of participating across numerous cultural events.

VIVA sponsors TEDxSafat KUWAIT: Out of the Corporate Social Responsibility commitment for the Kuwait Telecommunication Company VIVA, and as part of its long term strategy to invest and sponsor cultural and intellectual gathering, the company has sponsored the TEDxSafat conference that took place at the Al-Babtain Central Library for Arabic Poetry on Jan 18. The TEDxSafat conference, being held for the first time in Kuwait, carried the tagline “Ideas Worth Spreading” and attracted many intellectual thinkers and elite speakers such as Dr Saad Al-Barak, Maha AlGhunaim, Hussa Al-Humaidhi, Ahmad

BouShehri, Sulayman Al-Bassam, Sheikha Intisar Salem Al-Ali Al-Sabah, Ghanim Al-Najjar and Khaled AlKulaib to share their thoughts and ideas with the huge audience who were thrilled with the discussions and ideas presented. VIVA CEO, Salman Bin Abdulaziz AlBadran stated that “ VIVA was keen to be part of this conference as it is in line with the company’s objective and values to increase the cultural awareness within the society out of its obligation towards the community we live in” Al-Badran added “The conference was an ideal platform for intellectual thinkers with passion for inno-

vative ideas to share and spread their ideas to change attitudes and lives in order to make a change in Kuwait and beyond. The discussions revolved around technical, design, entertainment, science, arts, architecture, global issues and many others”. He concluded by thanking the organizers of the conference, the speakers and all the staff who made this possible and stressed on the fact that VIVA’s contribution to the society is endless as it aims to play a key role in the development and enrichment of the Kuwait Society. VIVA is the newest, most advanced mobile telecommunications service provider in Kuwait. Launched in December 2008, VIVA makes things Possible for our customers by transforming communication, information and entertainment experiences. The company has rapidly established an unrivalled position in the market through our customer and employee centric approach. VIVA’s quest is to be the mobile brand of choice for Kuwait by being transparent, engaging, energetic and fulfilling. VIVA continues to take a considerable share of the market by offering an innovative range of best value products, services and content propositions; a state of the art, nationwide network and world-class service. VIVA offers Internet speed up to 42.2Mbps due to the implementation of the most advanced third generation (3G and HSDPA) network in Kuwait resulting in superior coverage, performance and reliability.

They go back for reproduction,” he further said. There are certain techniques followed to count birds. “We used four ways of observing and counting birds which are: counting at the observation station, moving counting, counting in spaces, and the random notes. According to these techniques, about 6,000 birds of eight were registered: the Gray Heron, Common Shelduck, Mallard, Greater Flamingo, Little Egret, Kentish Plover, Crat Plover, and the Great Cormotant,” he added. “During two days of counting which took place from the Free Trade Zone in Shuwaikh till the Sulaibikhat Sports Club, we registered 5,022 Greater Flamingos, 68 Mallards, 245 Common Shelducks, 188 Gray Herons, 21 Little Egrets, 50 Kentish Plovers, 293 Crat Plover, and 28 Great Cormotants,” stressed Shihab.

“People all over the world enjoy taking part in this activity of observing and counting birds, and we want to increase awareness here in Kuwait. Also, we are suffering from a great problem of birds being indiscriminately shot and killed for fun, and this is unacceptable. We aim to eliminate this practice by holding such activities,” concluded Shihab. The Director of Programs and Activities at KEPS Jinan Bahzad stated that this activity assists participation in international environmental activities, thereby playing a prominent role in the community. “The participation of different voluntary teams shows a great interest in Kuwait’s environment issue. We noticed that the field activities attract different family members. So we decided to hold activities that will attract different age groups in 2012,” she explained.



‘MoH eliminates meningitis scare’ KUWAIT: The Ministry of Health has been able to eliminate the meningitis scare in Kuwait, said a senior government official. He added that “the few cases that were admitted to local public hospitals have been cured.” “Kuwait is free from meningitis, and all rumors about widespread infection are fabricated,” said Minister of Health Mustafa Al-Shamali in statements made to Al-Shahed. Al-Shamali, who is also Minister of Finance, urged media outlets to avoid reporting uncon-

firmed news “which spreads concern among citizens and residents.” MoH Assistant Undersecretary for Public Health Affairs Dr Qais AlDuwairi told Al-Jarida that only five cases were diagnosed with neisseria meningitis in Kuwait’s public medical facilities, insisting that these cases are not epidemic. Moreover, Al-Duwairi noted that more than 20,000 people are believed to have made contact with the five infected cases, reported Al-Jarida.

Youth voters set to elect ‘nationalistic candidates’ Al-Roumi keeps the public guessing KUWAIT: Third Constituency voters are aware enough to support nearly twelve candidates who share similar viewpoints, but belong to different Islamist and Liberal backgrounds, remarked former MP and candidate Dr Waleed Al-Tabtabaei. He predicted that this approach would become the decisive factor that influences voters’ decisions, subsequently removing the need to form coalitions groups. “Youth voters from the Third Constituency seek to elect candidates who adopt ideologies that focus on protecting public funds and the Constitution, as well as accord top priority to citizens’ demands and ambitions,” Al-Tabtabaei said, arguing that ‘nationalistic candidates’ are being targeted by “influential forces who try to damage their chances [of being elected].” Meanwhile, First Constituency candidate and former MP Abdullah Al-Roumi refused to say if he plans to contest for the speaker’s post, remarking that it is too early to ask this question “when we are still in the canvassing phase.” The former deputy speaker further hinted that he was mulling over the option of retiring from political work, but decided to contest again after “persistent demands made by citizens.”

Al-Roumi also spoke about bedoons’ issue. “It (the issue) is being used to achieve personal gain by (mediating to) naturalize voters’ relatives.” He further indicated that there are stateless residents in Kuwait “who keep their passports inside their pockets” - in support of the government stance accusing some bedoons of hiding or disposing of their original passports in the hope of obtaining citizenship. Al-Roumi called for prompt solutions to be made by naturalizing bedoons in accordance with 1965 census documents, naturalizing children of Kuwaiti women and servicemen who served Kuwait. Another candidate widely speculated to be eyeing the speaker’s post in the next Parliament is second constituency candidate Mohammad Al-Saqr. During a recent interview with Al-Rai TV, former lawmaker admitted that all MPs have the right to compete for the post, saying that he will “seriously consider” running for speakership if elected, it remains inappropriate for candidates to confirm that they seek this post before holding elections. Al-Saqr denied rumors which link him with the cash deposits scandal that ultimately led to the Parliament’s dissolution, insisting that

such speculations are a mere “conspiracy theories.” Al-Saqr used terms like ‘crazy’ and ‘time bomb’ during the talk show aired last Thursday to describe public sector allowances that were passed last year, indicating that these will be a source of trouble to the country when oil prices reduce. In other news, 15 candidates officially joined a ‘Kuwait pulse campaign,’ taking an oath to protect national unity, combat corruption and maintain loyalty to HH the Amir. The candidates include former MPs Dr Maasouma Al-Mubarak and Adnan AlMutawaa, as well as candidates Adel AlKhurafi, Abdullah Al-Muhailbi, Hamad AlTuwajri, Nabil Al-Fadhl and Suad Al-Tarawrah, reported Al-Rai. On the other hand, Al-Watan reported yesterday quoting sources close to the opposition blocs that they plan to announce a ‘code of honor’ which all members will be required to sign, reported Al-Watan. Sources who spoke anonymously add that the code will focus on “protecting the independence of the legal authority, national unity, combat corruption and take follow up action in the cash deposits case, as well as protect public funds.”

KUWAIT: Saleh Moqeim receives his prize from Public Relations Officer Talal Al-Turki.

Three NBK credit cardholders win KD2,000 KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) announced the first batch of winners in its “Use Your NBK Credit Card and Win” campaign. The campaign offers NBK credit cardholders the opportunity to win KD2,000 weekly and KD20,000 as a grand prize 2011 until Feb 29, 2012. Osama Ibrahim, Abdulhameed Murtadha and Saleh Moqeim won KD2,000 each in the first three draws of the campaign. Every KD20 spent by NBK credit cardholders in Kuwait will qualify them to enter weekly draws to win KD2,000 and

the grand prize draw to win KD20,000 at the end of the campaign. The chances will be doubled when they use their credit cards abroad. NBK credit cards are accepted worldwide and considered to be the most rewarding way to pay for goods and services. NBK credit cards are a great flexible payment option and they are free for the first year. Moreover, NBK credit cards offer the best loyalty program in town “The NBK Rewards”. NBK Rewards program is the most significant point redemption and discount scheme in Kuwait.

‘Sluggish development created political tensions’ KUWAIT: Economic reform achieved through eliminating corruption and administrative routine in the public sector is essential for Kuwait to overcome political tensions that has been impeding progress in the country. According to candidate Nabila Al-Anjari, political woes in the country escalated thanks to slow progress in developmental projects and in the manner in which economic flaws are addressed. Al-Anjari was speaking at a diwaniya to explain her agenda to voters. The third constituency candidate said that the sluggishness in approving licensing has led to local entrepreneurs seeking investment opportunities elsewhere. “The slow pace of development met by increasing living costs have contributed significantly in fueling political

tensions between the Parliament and Cabinet during the past few years,” she said. Meanwhile, Al-Anjari spoke about her idea on rectifying Kuwait’s economic woes, “by according top priority to human development in state policies, as a basis to achieve economic reform.” She added that solutions require increasing investment when compared to current expenditure, thereby eliminating monopoly. Al-Anjari also called for new policies “to make the private sector more attractive to prospective candidates.” She noted that Kuwait’s economic woes are mostly related to the fact that the public and private sector “are almost completely dependent on spending the surplus income obtained from oil sale.”

Italian legislator praises Kuwait democracy ROME: A ranking Italian legislator has praised the rooted foundation of democracy in Kuwait noting that free elections in the Gulf country have always been positive manifestation of the political system of Kuwait. Francesco Bosi, member of the defense committee of the Italian Parliament, said that forthcoming elections in Kuwait would constitute “a significant cross-road” on the path of develop-

ment of free institutions, at a time the Arab region continued to witness events related to the “Arab Spring.” Italy eyes with interest the upcoming electoral event in Kuwait, due on Feb 2, he affirmed. The fact that a large number of Kuwaiti citizens, including a number of women, nominated for the elections, constitutes a new evidence about success of the Kuwaiti democratic experience.— KUNA

Hopeful hails NA dissolution KUWAIT: A Fourth Constituency candidate for the coming parliamentary elections applauded yesterday His Highness the Amir’s decision “to go back to the nation”, referring to the parliament dissolution and early elections. Launching his campaign for the general polls due on Feb 2, Mohammad Khalifa Al-Shammari said: “HH the Amir’s decision to go back to the nation has taken the country out of its political crisis.” He urged Kuwaiti voters to carefully select their prospective members of parliament who can really lead the country to genuine development. He called on everybody in the country to help preclude anything that could mar the electoral process, and to set Kuwait’s national interest a top priority. The Kuwaiti candidate wished that the forthcoming general polls could produce a parliament that would work hard to fulfill the expectations and hopes of the Kuwaiti people. Meanwhile, candidate of the Third

Constituency, Yousef Arti, affirmed necessity to bestow opportunities for youth to partake in all fields for a better future. The importance of the next phase is to eliminate corruption in all its forms, and rely on youths, for they are the future of Kuwait, Arti said in a press statement. He also stressed on significance of health, which is the wellbeing of the mind, as well as the importance of hospitals, staff, medicines and equipment. The private sector plays a vital role in achieving the goals of economic development, Arti pointed out. He called for adherence to the principle of citizenship as basis of equality in rights and duties among Kuwaitis, regardless of the religion, race and sex. Arti confirmed that his priorities are to focus on the rule of law, confront corruption and to enhance governmental services. Corruption in all its forms threatens the Kuwaiti society, he said, and called to review the election law. — KUNA

KUWAIT: (Left) Georgian Ambassador to Kuwait Ekaterine Meiering-Mikadze inaugurating the exhibition. (Centre) One of the art works. (Right) Georgian artist Levan Lagidze. — Photos by Joseph Shagra

Works of Georgian artist on display in Kuwait By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: As par t of the 18th Qurain Cultural Festival, the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters (NCCAL) is currently holding an art exhibition of the Georgian ar tist Levan Lagidze from Jan 18 to 25 at the Kuw a i t M u s e u m o f M o d e r n Ar ts. The exhibition was launched under the auspices of the Georgian Ambassador to Kuwait Ek aterine M eieringM ik adze. Eighteen of Levan Lagidze’s paintings are displayed in this exhibition and are available for sale. The oil canvas painting are from different sizes and colors painted on the modern art style. “ We contac ted the ar tist Levan Lagidze through the Georgian embassy c ultur a l exchange bet ween the t wo countries. We aim to show the

public here in Kuwait the style o f t h e G e o rgi a n s c h o o l s o f modern art presented by the paintings of Levan Lagidze. This is a special and unique experie nce a s t he re have b e e n no exhibitions for Georgian artists. Thus now af ter the bilateral agreement we will host more events,” Mohammed Al-Asousi, Director of the Formative Arts Department of NCCAL told the Kuwait Times. He hoped after signing the cultural agreement between Kuwait and Georgia, the art exchange will increase. There are four ar t events included in this festival. “There was an exhibition for the calligrapher Waleed Al-Farhoud, an art exhibition of Qais Al-Sandi, the currently running exhibition of Levan Lagidze, and there is an exhibition that will be held soon, which is the joint exhibition including the art works of

105 Kuwaiti ar tists, who are competing for the creativity award,” added Al-Asousi. This is the first exhibition for Levan Lagidze to be held in Kuwait. “I didn’t imagine that I will have an exhibition here. The organizers only contacted me a month ago so I brought some of my paintings that I have done during the past year, I finished the latest of them just about a week ago. I was surprised with the great attendance of the public who came to share art with me. In Russia I’m used for people to visit my exhibitions as they already know me, and sometimes it’s very crowded that I even call it (Radara), which means great attendance,” stressed Levan Lagidze. All the 18 paintings are oil on canvas and were made with same technique. “The paintings

are made of layers. When I paint the first layer it has to dry for about three days. So I do two to three painting at the same time to be in process, so I save time. In fact I print the city inside the painting, then I cover it with another layer to give a chance for people to discover the truth. Some people said they feel happy to discover what is hidden inside, and they see it as 3 dimension work. Simply I put one layer on the other, and it comes out. It’s like having different cities in one exhibition,” Lagidze further said. Levan Lagidze was born in 1958 in Tbilisi, Georgia, he was the Chairman of young artists’ union in Georgia from 19861989. He had tens of exhibitions in all of Georgia, Russia, France, G e r m a ny, U S A , U K , I t a l y, Belgium, Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, and Austria.

7kg of raw heroin found in trailer By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: Customs authorities have foiled the attempt of a Pakistani trailer driver coming through Nowaiseeb border, to smuggle 7kg of raw heroin. Customs men suspected the driver who looked tense, and after searching the trailer which was loaded with food stuff, they found the heroin. The driver is sent with the heroin to drugs fighting administration for further investigation and to know whose account the heroin was coming to. The heroin was packed in capsules, total 702 capsules, valued in the local market at KD 200,000 and was coming from a GCC state. The amount is the largest caught this year. Fight furor A fight between a group of people resulted in injuries of a 30-year-old Egyptian expat. The fight took place near the roundabout of Kuwait Magic. The injured was taken to Adan hospital. Another fight, near Farwaniya criminal investigation office resulted in stabbing of a 23-year old Egyptian expat in his back. He was taken to Farwaniya hospital. Foot-break-ball A 13-year-old Egyptian broke his leg while playing football at Salmiya block 12, Amman street, near the cooperative society. He was taken to Mubarak hospital. Knock dead A passing car knocked a 25-year old Lebanese woman down dead while she was crossing the street in Hawally, between Farah round about at Alzabin mosque, Musa Ibn Nusair street. The woman’s head

was seriously injured. Her body was left to medical examiner. Car accidents A car accident between Rumaithiya and Salwa resulted in slight injuries to a 9-year old Kuwaiti girl and 45-year old Iranian expat who were treated at the site. Another 29 year old Kuwaiti woman was injured in her chin and taken to Mubarak hospital. Another car accident on the 7th Ring Road, before Kabd bridge resulted in breaking the spine of a 29-year old Kuwaiti man in addition to multiple injuries. He was taken to Farwaniya Hospital and admitted to intensive care unit. Another car accident on the cooperative street opposite Salwa block 12, resulted in breaking limbs for a 44-year old Kuwait man. He is admitted at Mubarak Hospital intensive care unit. Emergency landing A Kuwait Airways flight made an emergency landing last night at the Kuwait International Airport, sources from the Civil Aviation Department said. The flight’s captain informed airport authorities that a defect was detected in the carrier’s wheels, and that he had to make an emergency landing. Eleven ambulances were at stand by in the airport. No mention was made about the flight’s origination or the number of passengers who were on board. Jewelry theft A jewelry shop owner filed a police report accusing a woman he employed as delivery agent of stealing 110 grams of gold given for repair. She allegedly went back to her home country. A case was registered.

KUWAIT: The Pakistani trailer driver pictured with the drugs after his arrest.



Moves for promoting Kuwaiti landmarks MADRID: Heads of private Kuwaiti tourism companies, that are currently taking part in the International Tourism Expo (FITUR 2012), held in the Spanish capital, affirmed yesterday the importance of participation of government and private sectors in International expos to promote Kuwait and highlight its renaissance and touristic landmarks in order to activate the role of vital industry. They said the Kuwaiti section at the expo was met with large and noticeable popularity among other participating international companies and institutions, as well as Spanish media that were very interested in knowing history, culture, and heritage of Kuwait. On his part, Bashar Al-Ostath, executive manager of, said that his company is participating in FITUR 2012 for the first time, adding that his company’s participation in the expo is regarded as a window to the European and global markets toward further spreading. Al-Ostah pointed out that the popularity and positive impression that Kuwaiti section and Kuwaiti tourist products has attained at the expo is very encouraging for taking part in next year’s expo with providing more tourism offerings that would meet with the needs of European and Spanish tourists. Salim Murad, chairman of the board of directors of AlWaseet Tourism Services Company, explained that the goal of taking part in FITUR 2012 for the first time is to promote Kuwait and encourage tourism to it, noting that Kuwait is considered as a tourist attraction spot that is worth discovering due to what it has of important tourism, cultural, and heritage elements. Murad stressed on importance of consolidating and organizing all Kuwaiti efforts to boost and improve tourism industry in the country, as well as working together to attract tourists from all over the world for the benefit of Kuwaiti society in all its factions. He expressed gratitude toward the efforts that Tourism sector at the Ministry of commerce and industry is making to attain those purposes. Meanwhile, Kuwaiti heritage products and modern designs have captured visitors’ attention at the international gallery for home decor “Maison and Objet”, currently held in Paris. Sheikh Jaber Faisal Al-Sabah, Director of Bicarre company for decor and home accessories, said that “as a Kuwaiti company, we are proud to participate in this gallery and to highlight Kuwait’s name among 500 international companies specialized in home decor and interior design.” He added that Kuwait’s section in the exhibition displayed heritage products and accessories made by Kuwaiti talented home and interior designers. He expressed his desire to launch his company toward internationalism through engaging in similar galleries and exhibitions. “The purpose of this participation is to focus the attention on Kuwaiti talents and to prove that these designs, that reflect Kuwait’s past and present, are worthy on international interest.” “Bicarre’s world quality standards qualified it to be part of this prominent international gallery,” Hissam Al-Rashid, a designer at the company, pointed out.. He described first day of the gallery as “encouraging” since there was great interest from the public in Kuwaiti products which they said matched international standards. Maison and Objet is an important international industry event for interior design and decoration at Paris-Nord Villepinte Exhibition Center. It offers a unique opportunity to gain an overview of the trends in decoration, furniture, home furnishings. — KUNA

Real estate prices steadily increasing By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: For those aiming to buy or sell a house, land, building or other property can now easily find the price of the real estate on spot through a telephone call. Abdulkareem AlOthman and his brother provide consultancy and advices about the real value of the property through their office Mubadarat Real Estate, which was launched about seven years ago. Some people aim to buy or sell their house, while others are looking for an investment opportunity. “Both categories can benefit from the our advices. Some people would like to buy a piece of land and sell it to make some money, and we also give them an advice. We give them a view of the situation and show him the benefits, the price, or the income of the building. We provide the advise as we care about our reputation and like to help people more than just making profits,” Abdulkareem Al-Othman told the Kuwait Times. Al-Othman is following the prices of real estate on daily basis to stay updated.”I know the price of property in more than 70 percent of the areas. If I didn’t know the price of some property I will ask for a day or so to find out the price. Sometimes it takes me few hours to find out. I also get information about the prices of the real estate from the periodic issued every six month by the Kuwait Finance House. In addition I have long experience in this field as I work with real estate since more than 20 years,” he added. “If somebody is seeking for a property I first offer him the one which is available which the buyer can afford or on his level. Preferably, I like to offer the property whose owner is serious and known to me. If the customer’s demand is not available at my office, I then do an extensive search for him,” Al-Othman said. Sometime the businessmen don’t respect the common price or evaluation. Al-Othman then gives advices for the potential buyers. “We don’t always follow the price set by the owner or the businessmen of certain property. We evaluate the real estate according to the location and to the income of the investment house or building. There are other criteria for the evaluation such as: if the house was commercial, and this has lower price, I can assume that the owner made the house only by using basic and cheap equipments as he aims to sell it from the beginning and not to live in it. In addition, the age of the building or house makes difference,” he explained. In general, the price of the real estate has hiked and is steadily increasing. “About three years ago, during the economic crisis the prices stopped increasing and were stable. The best areas which currently have the lowest price, and present good opportunity for investment or business are the East of Qurain including Masila, Abu Fteera and Fnatees. It’s suitable for those who would like to build a house or to buy and then sell the property. The land there costs about KD 160,000 for a 400 meters square land,” stressed Al-Othman. According to Al-Othman the most expensive properties for the residential category are located in Dahiyat Abdullah AlSalem, Nuzha, Adeliya, and Yarmoukh. While the most expensive buildings in the investment category are located in Salmiya, Hawalli and then Jabriya. “This is because the rent in flats in these building is good, and the flats are fast occupied. So the income is certain,” he noted. The real estate business makes good incomes. Some properties cost more than a million KD, which is one of the most expensive internationally. “I sold a land recently in Abdullah Al-Jaber, West of Mishref which is a residential area for KD 1.6 million. And today the price of this property is even higher and may reach more than KD 1.8 million. Then other expensive deal was buying a small commercial complex in Jahra for KD 1.3 million. I ensure you that the prices are still hiking and will not drop. And here the price of a property can change within a month,” concluded Al-Othman.

Tourism expo opens in Madrid

MADRID: Some of the Kuwaiti tourism officials taking part in the International Tourism Expo.



Bootlegger nabbed after a hot chase in Jabriya Three held in camping site KUWAIT: A bootlegger was arrested after a hot chase; he attempted to escape after being lured into a police decoy. An undercover agent struck a deal with the suspect to sell two liquor bottles for KD 110 in Sabah AlSalem. After being caught while delivering the banned beverage, the suspect escaped in his vehicle, only to be intercepted in Jabriya. He was arrested despite putting up resistance. Also, 38 bottles were found in three cardboard boxes in his car. He was referred to the Criminal Investigations General Department after admitting to illegally trading in imported alcohol. Meanwhile, three people were arrested at a camping site in Mina Abdullah for possession of alcohol. Patrol officers cast suspicions over the behavior of passengers in a vehicle in which a male driver and two women travelled. The three were detained after 16 imported liquor bottles were found. During investigations, the man claimed that he was in a relationship with one of the two girls, adding that she enlisted his assistance in selling the bottles to customers at the camp. They were referred to the proper authorities.

Drug overdose A citizen’s corpse was found at a home in Abu Halifa. Preliminary investigations revealed that death was caused due to drug overdose, based on evidence collected from the scene. The body was removed for an autopsy.

Camper dies in fire A citizen died and another was injured in a fire that engulfed a tent pitched at a camping site in Kabad. Firefighters accompanied by police and paramedics rushed to the scene in response to a report about two people who were trapped in a burning tent. One of the victims succumbed to fatal burn injuries, while the other was immediately hospitalized after being evacuated. An investigation was opened to determine the cause of the fire.

106 held in crackdown Farwaniya police arrested 106 offenders in a recent security crackdown that covered the Khaitan, Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh and Omaria areas. While detainees were arrested in connection with residence permit violation, eight of them were found to have been previously deported, but had returned to Kuwait illegally. Following the six-hour raid, police referred the detainees to the General Department for Migration.

Manslaughter charges Investigations are underway in two separate manslaughter cases filed against medical staff of Al-Adan hospital following the death of two patients. One of the cases was filed at the Haddiya police station where a citizen lodged a complaint stating that his sister died a few days after being admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital. The victim reportedly suffered from ulcers on her body, and died while being

administered treatment. In the second case, a citizen reported that his elderly father died of severe damage inflicted to his intestines after a surgical procedure was performed on him at the same hospital.

Man seeks imprisonment A citizen who stepped out of a local police station shortly after he entering its premises, expressed his wish to surrender to the police. However, Salmiya police found no criminal charges pressed against the man. According to a report, the man willingly entered the police station and told police that he has been convicted in a debt case, and asked to be imprisoned. The man was asked to leave after police found that only a travel ban has been issued against him. It was later revealed that man had lost an alimony case to his ex-wife, after which he began suffering financial trouble. He was evicted from his apartment and terminated from employment. Moreover, he told police that he could no longer pay installments for his vehicle, leading him to erroneously believe that he faced criminal charges.

Thieves in custody Two people responsible for several thefts targeting All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV) in Al-Sulaibikhat and Al-Doha were arrested following a police ambush. Police reportedly found 17 ATVs in Jahra, where the two bedoon suspects were found. They were referred to higher authorities.

Kuwait takes post as VP of NEFRC ROME: Kuwait’s Permanent Representative to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) took yesterday the post of vice-president of Near East Forestry and Range Commission (NEFRC) in preparation for the presidency of the Commission, which is due in the second half of current year. Engineer Faisal Al-Hassawi, Kuwait ’s Permanent Representative to FAO, expressed his appreciation to the trust of member-countries in NEFRC for choosing Kuwait for the fifth time to take on the responsibility of leading NEFRC, which represents one of the four regions that rotate to take the presidency of the Group of 77. “Choosing Kuwait, which prepares for taking the duties of presidency during the second half of 2012, represents a special appreciation to its

tireless activity inside the organization and reflects, at the same time, Kuwait’s keenness, through the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in maintaining an advanced and vital presence in major international forums,” said Al-Hassawi. Al-Hassawi presented on January 16 his credentials as Kuwait’s Permanent Representative to FAO to its newly-appointed Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva, who expressed appreciation to Kuwait’s active role in the FAO’s mission in facing food security and malnutrition issues through developing world agricultural sectors. Al-Hassawi indicated that he intend, during his current post as vice-president of NEFRC, to boost the compatibility and coordination approach inside the commission to

highlight its role in drawing the guidance of the International Organization, and maximize all types of advantages in favor of its development programs and protections of its interests. He affirmed that Kuwait will continue its firm approach in consolidating solidarity and initiative to express interests, aspirations, and stances of the region and all member countries in order to improve positive cooperation among them and boost their efforts in dealing with joint issues related to food security and resources protection and development of agricultural, livestock, and fish resources sectors. The FAO’s chief lauded on January 16 the Kuwaiti leadership’s “positive role” which is depicted through its efforts and its cooperation with FAO’s various bodies to set world stability and food security. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Wataniya Telecom officials at the “Salhiya Speaks Italian”

Wataniya Telecom sponsored Italian Week KUWAIT: Wataniya Telecom has sponsored the I talian week entitled “Salhiya Speaks Italian”, stemming from social responsibility strategy to stay connected to different multi cultural events and diverse activities taking place in Kuwait. Organized by the Italian Embassy in Kuwait, the Italian week took place at the Salhiya Complex in Kuwait between Jan 12 and 19. The opening of the exhibition on Jan 12 was attended by the Italian Ambassador to Kuwait Fabrizio Nicoletti. On the 13th, AC Milan Academy hosted a soccer exhibition while on the 14th Italian made unique antiques, paintings, and wood carvings were on display. The week included workshops and a number of exciting activities as part of its program. The “Salhiya Speaks Italian” week was concluded with a Gala dinner and a charity auction on Jan 19 in support to Al-Kharafi Center for Disabled Children. The dinner was accompanied by Opera performance by the young Kuwaiti singer Abdulrahman AlMahmeed and the talented piano performer Faisal Al-Bohairi. Commenting on the sponsorship of this special week, Abdolaziz Al-Balool

PR Director of Wataniya Telecom praised the success achieved by such a cultural, social and charitable event year after year. Al-Balool appreciated the cooperation established between Wataniya Telecom and the Italian Embassy as well as the Salhiya complex and other sponsoring companies. Al-Balool also added: “Wataniya Telecom invests in participating in multi cultural events to encourage unique and special hobbies such as handmade carving, painting on ceramics and other individual artistic potentials. Wataniya is always looking to support charitable and cultural events as well as small businesses in an effort to promote diversity between people and unite different nations and backgrounds exiting in our small country, Kuwait. To stay updated on the cultural events and social activities Wataniya is participating in please visit, or follow Wataniya on Twitter, or check latest updates on or get the latest news on their blog

Smiles galore at fifth Landmark ‘Art Olympiad’ KUWAIT: Amidst all the buzz and excitement that took place at the award ceremony, Landmark Group awarded the artistic talents of eight students at the fifth Art Olympiad held this year. As with each passing year the competition which took place for students between the age group 9-11 years and 12-14 years at JW Marriott got an overwhelming response from the sixteen participating schools. The paintings were judged by famous Kuwaiti artists Assad Bunashi and Ahmad Jowhar along with Houssam Afyouni, Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Raad Afyouni and Hussam Yassin, Managing and Creative Director -Lemonad. A total of eight winners were selected at the end of the Olympiad on the basis of Creativity, Workmanship, Overall impression and Relevance to the Theme. The paintings of the young talented artists offered the judges to choose the best of the best. This year’s competition themes which the students could select from were wildlife, favorite monument, my desire, the future gadget of 2020, what I want to be when I grow up, create your own hero/character and name it. There was also a special category for the most colorful artwork and the most creative artwork. All themes brought out the unique talents and skills of the participants. Each of the winning students was awarded with a number of exciting gifts. One of the winners said “It was fun taking part in this competition, I thank Landmark Group for giving me an opportunity to express myself and I look forward to participating in the competition next year as well”. The winners received certificates and trophies as well and their schools were given a plaque of appreciation. All students who participated in the Olympiad were provided with gifts. Saibal Basu, Chief Operating Officer of Landmark Group Kuwait said, “Every year the Olympiad proves to be a great accomplishment; it only gets bigger and better. Our heartfelt congratulations to the winners as well as all the other partici-

Winners of Art Olympiad 2012 Most Creative Dana Al-Ghazally - The English School (TES) Most Colorful Isabella Joseph - Fahaheel Al Watanieh Ind. Pvt. School Ahmadi (FAIPS) Age Group: 9-11 years Naina Parasher - Fahaheel Al Watanieh Ind. Pvt. School Ahmadi (FAIPS) Jade Buchocoski - The English School (TES) Hanan Abdullah - Fahaheel Al Watanieh Ind. Pvt. School Ahmadi (FAIPS) Age Group: 12- 14 years Keerthiga Nagarajan — Indian Educational School (IES) Catherine Biju - Indian Educational School (IES) Sonali T. Rane - Fahaheel Al Watanieh Ind. Pvt. School Ahmadi (FAIPS) pants who made this year’s judging challenging as well as exciting. By conducting the Art Olympiad on an annual basis, we hope to raise the spirits of the students and encourage them to express their views strongly and in an innovative manner about anything and everything that concerns their world. We look forward to preparing for the sixth Art Olympiad next year.” “We are really pleased with the winning artworks and we think that they look absolutely brilliant. I would like to thank our esteemed panel of judges who have helped make this event bigger and better

year after year. With such an overwhelming response we are definitely looking forward to preparing for the sixth Art Olympiad next year.” “I would like to thank Assad Bunashi and Ahmad Jowhar for being on the judging panel for committing again this year as a judge and am also happy with the fact that Houssam Afyouni Founder and Chief Creative Officer , Raad Afyouni and Hussam Yassin, Managing and Creative Director, Lemonad, came to co judge the competition,” further concluded Saibal.

The participating schools for this year’s Olympiad were: Indian English Academy School, Dasman Model School, Kuwait Bilingual School, Fahaheel Al Watanieh Ind Pvt. School Ahmadi, The English School Salmiya, Indian Educational School, Indian Community School, Khaitan, Kuwait English School, Salwa, Carmel School Kuwait, Kuwait American School, Salmiya, The English School Fahaheel, Ajail Bilingual School, Canadian Bilingual School, Kuwait International English School, Kuwait National English School and Al Ghanim Bilingual School.

Divers find woman’s body in stricken ship Page 9 SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2012

police truck bombs in Syria kill 14 BEIRUT: A string of explosions struck a police truck transporting prisoners in a tense area of northwestern Syria yesterday, killing at least 14 people, state media and an opposition group said. Government troops also battled defectors in the north in fighting that left 10 people dead. The 10-month uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad began with largely peaceful anti-government protests, but has turned increasingly militarized and chaotic in recent months as more frustrated regime opponents and army defectors arm themselves and fight back against government forces. The official SANA news agency said the ambush of the police truck occurred on the Idlib-Ariha highway, an area near the Turkish border that has witnessed intense fighting with army defectors recently. SANA blamed the attack on “terrorists.” It said four bombs that went off in “two phases” hit the truck, and then attackers targeted an ambulance that arrived to assist the wounded. Six policemen who were accompanying the prisoners were also wounded, some of them in critical condition, it said. The British-based opposition activist group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, confirmed the incident yesterday and said 15 prisoners were killed. Rami Abdul-Rahman, director of the group, said the truck was hit by several roadside bombs, but it was not clear who was behind the attack. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but members of the so-called Free Syrian Army are known to be active in the area. The Free Syrian Army is a group of army defectors led by a Turkey-based defected colonel who sided with the protesters and have carried out attacks on regime forces. A Syria-based activist said the area has several army encampments and is full of roadside bombs planted to target army tanks passing by, adding that the truck carrying prisoners may not have been the intended target. The activist spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals. Abdul-Rahman and other activists in the country’s northern Idlib province also reported heavy clashes between Syrian troops and defectors in the Jabal Al-Zawiya region, along the Turkish border, and in the northern town of Maaret al-Numan. He said nine members of the Syrian armed forces, including four officers, and a deserter were killed in the fighting in Maaret Al-Numan. “Dozens” of people from both sides were wounded in the Jabal Al-Zawiya fighting, and some of them were in serious condition. The Local Coordination Committees activist network said five other people were killed in Syria yesterday, including three in the central city of Homs, one in the eastern city of Deir el-Zour and another in Douma, a suburb of the Syrian capital, where security forces fired on a funeral procession, wounding around 25 people. — AP


i n t e r n at i o n a l

162 killed in Nigeria attacks Boko Haram claims responsibility

TRIPOLI: An artifact returned by Italy to Libya, known as the Head Domitilla, which was stolen from Sabratha, Libya in 1990, is seen on display during Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti’s visit yesterday. — AP

Italy, Libya ink new pact to boost ties TRIPOLI: Italy and Libya signed a wideranging political pact yesterday to redefine their ties in the post-Gaddafi era, as Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti made his first visit to Tripoli since the dictator’s fall. It was unclear if the new “Tripoli Declaration” between Italy and Libya replaces a “friendship treaty” signed by Muammar Gaddafi and former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi. But Libyan Prime Minister Abdel Rahim Al-Kib, who signed the pact with his Italian counterpart, signaled that for now the friendship treaty was on the backburner. “We left it aside,” a smiling Kib told AFP on the sidelines of a joint press conference with Monti after the signing. “One of the articles (of the friendship treaty) says it is possible to reexamine (it). Libya has changed. Only one person signed that treaty,” Kib said in reference to slain dictator Gaddafi. “The important thing is that the relationship is amicable and based on mutual respect and consideration,” Kib added. The friendship treaty was expected to be revived during Monti’s visit that was suspended during last year’s uprising which ended with the killing of Gaddafi in October. The treaty had eased the way for billions of euros (dollars) in two-way investments. Italy had also agreed to pay Libya five billion euros ($3.9 billion) over 25 years in compensation for colonial rule and to build around 1,700 kilometres (1,050 miles) of coastline motorway in Libya. Monti, who mostly spoke in Italian, said his country was ready to help Libya in its “reconstruction and democratic stabilisation,” and “to reactivate our cooperation in fighting illegal immigration” to Europe. An English copy of the declaration said the pact aims to “open new horizons for mutual cooperation for the benefit of the two friendly peoples and to realise the new vision of Libya in response to the glorious 17 February revolution.” An Italian diplomat in Monti’s delegation said the pact allows Italy to offer services in technology and information that could help raise Libya’s

knowhow in “civilian and defence sectors.” Monti also returned to Kib the sculpted head of the first century Domitilla Minor, which was smuggled from the Libyan town of Sabratha in the 1960s and recently auctioned at Christie’s. His visit comes after the Libyan central bank’s decision to refrain from participating in a planned recapitalization of Italian bank UniCredit, according to Dow Jones Newswires. The Libyan central bank’s current holding of 4.9 percent of the capital in UniCredit would be cut to around 2.7 percent, the Dow Jones report said. Rome had unblocked funds frozen when Kadhafi was running Libya so that the central bank could take par t in UniCredit’s capital increase worth a total 7.5 billion euros ($9.7 billion), as it was initially expected to do. Meanwhile, Paolo Scaroni, the chief of Italian oil giant ENI, the top producer of Libyan crude, said yesterday that the firm has almost returned to the output levels of prior to last year’s war. “We are almost where we were. We are producing 270,000 barrels per day now against 280,000 before the revolution,” Scaroni, a member of Monti’s delegation, told reporters. “I can say with pride that no other oil company has done this well and this quickly.” Before the outbreak of the uprising in mid-February 2011, Libya produced 1.6 million bpd of crude, of which 1.3 million barrels were exported. Tripoli says it is expects to return to preconflict levels of oil production by the end of 2012, but the head of the OPEC cartel, Abdullah El-Badri, has said he expects this goal to be reached by mid2012. On the security front, unknown assailants yesterday threw a home-made grenade at the ruling National Transitional Council office in the eastern city of Benghazi, without causing casualties,witnesses said. The attack, the first such violent act against the NTC, took place as injured former rebels demonstrated outside the NTC office, the witnesses and an NTC member told AFP. — AFP

Women in Malawi protest attacks over skirts, pants BLANTYRE: It’s been 18 years since the late dictator Hastings Kamuzu Banda’s “indecency in dress” laws were repealed in Malawi, but mobs of men and boys in the largely conservative southern African country have recently been publicly stripping women of their miniskirts and pants. Friday, hundreds of outraged girls and women, among them prominent politicians, protested the attacks while wearing pants or miniskirts and T-shirts emblazoned with such slogans as: “Real men don’t harass women.” A recording of Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry” got a loud cheer when it was played during the protest. Men also took part. “Some of us have spent our entire life fighting for the freedom of women,” Vice President Joyce Banda told the protesters. “It’s shocking some men want to take us back to bondage.” During Banda’s 19631994 dictatorship, women in Malawi were banned from wearing pants and short skirts. Banda lost power in the country’s first multiparty election in 1994 and died three years later. “Life President” Banda led the nation to independence from Britain, only to impose an oppressive rule. Whims that reflected a puritanical streak were law. The US-trained physician and former Presbyterian church elder, himself always attired in a dark suit and Homburg hat, also banned long hair on men. “We fought for a repeal of these laws,” Ngeyi Kanyongolo, a law professor, said at Friday’s protests. “Women dressed in trousers or miniskirts is a display of the freedom of expression.” While Banda is gone, strains of conservatism remain in the impoverished, largely rural nation. Some of the street vendors who have attacked women in recent days claimed it was un-Malawian to dress in miniskirts and pants. Some said it was a sign of loose morals or prostitution. The attacks took on such importance, President Bingu wa Mutharika went on state televi-

sion and radio on the eve of the protest to assure women they were free to wear what they want. Other African nations, including South Africa, have seen similar attacks and harassment of women. Last year, women and men held “SlutWalks” in South Africa, joining an international campaign against the notion that a woman’s appearance can excuse attacks. “SlutWalks” originated in Toronto, Canada, where they were sparked by a police officer’s remark that women could avoid being raped by not dressing like “sluts.” In Malawi Friday, protesters also wore Tshirts with the slogan: “Vendor: Today, I bought from you, tomorrow, you undress me?” Street children and vendors have been accused of carrying out the attacks. The president ordered police to arrest anyone who attacks women wearing pants or miniskirts. Police had already made 15 arrests. “Women who want to wear trousers should do so as you will be protected from thugs, vendors and terrorists,” the president said in a local language, Chichewa. “I will not allow anyone to wake up and go on the streets and start undressing women and girls wearing trousers because that is criminal.” Vice President Banda has speculated the attacks were the result of economic woes in a country that is currently racked by shortages of fuel and foreign currency. “There is so much suffering that people have decided to vent their frustrations on each other,” she told reporters. A vendors’ representative at Friday’s protest, Innocent Mussa, was booed off the stage. Mussa insisted those who were harassing women were not true vendors. “I’m ashamed to be associated with the stripping naked of innocent women,” he said. “Those were acts of thugs because a true vendor would want to sell his wares to women, he can’t be harassing potential customers.” Mussa blamed the harassment on unemployed young people. — AP

LAGOS: An official at a hospital in northern Nigeria says at least 162 people have been killed in coordinated attacks in the nation’s second largest city claimed by a radical Islamist sect. The official said yesterday that the figure represented those in a mortuary at Kano’s largest hospital, as well as those whose bodies have already been claimed by families for burial. The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to journalists. The sect known as Boko Haram claimed the attacks Friday in the city of more than 9 million people. Coordinated attacks claimed by a radical Islamist sect killed at least 120 people in north Nigeria’s largest city, hospital records seen yesterday show, as gunfire still echoed around some areas of the sprawling city. Soldiers and police officers swarmed over streets yesterday in Kano, a city of more than 9 million people that remains an important political and religious hub in Nigeria’s Muslim north. But their effectiveness remains in question, as the uniformed bodies of many of their colleagues lay in the over flowing mortuar y of Murtala Muhammed Specialist Hospital, Kano’s largest hospital. Hospital records seen by an Associated Press reporter there showed at least 120 people died in the attacks that started Friday afternoon after Muslim prayers and as shops closed for the weekend in the sprawling, dusty city. A mortuary attendant, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak with journalists, said they had 126 bodies there. Other bodies likely lay at other clinics and hospitals in the city. In a statement issued late Friday, federal police spokesman Olusola Amore said attackers targeted five police buildings, two immigration offices and the local headquarters of the State Security Service, Nigeria’s secret

police. Nwakpa O Nwakpa, a spokesman for the Nigerian Red Cross, said volunteers offered first aid to the wounded, and evacuated those seriously injured to local hospitals. He said officials continued to collect corpses scattered around sites of the attacks. A survey of two hospitals by the Red Cross showed at least 50 people were injured in Friday’s attack, he said. State authorities declared a 24-hour curfew late Friday as residents hid inside their homes amid the fighting. A Boko Haram spokesman using the nom de guerre Abul-Qaqa claimed responsibility for the attacks in a message to

journalists. He said the attack came as the state government refused to release Boko Haram members held by the police. Boko Haram has carried out increasingly sophisticated and bloody attacks in its campaign to implement strict Shariah law across Nigeria, a multiethnic nation of more than 160 million people. Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is sacrilege” in the local Hausa language, is responsible for at least 510 killings last year alone, according to an AP count. So far this year, the group has been blamed for at least 196 killings, according to an AP count. — AP

KANO: The bodies of victims killed by multiple explosions and armed assailants in the Marhaba area of the northern Nigerian city are piled up in a pickup truck to be sent to a morgue, yesterday. — AFP

Islamists secure top spot in fresh Egypt parliament CAIRO: The Muslim Brotherhood won by far the biggest share of seats allocated to party lists in Egypt’s first freely-elected parliament in decades, final results confirmed, giving it a major role in drafting the country’s new constitution. Banned under former leader Hosni Mubarak and his predecessors, the Brotherhood has emerged as the winner from his overthrow. Islamists of various stripes have taken about two thirds of seats in the assembly, broadly in line with their own forecasts. The Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) has promised all Egyptians will have a voice in the new parliament, but Islamists are now set to wield major influence over a new constitution to be drafted by a 100-strong body parliament will help pick. Under a complex electoral system, two thirds or

332 of the seats in lower house are decided by proportional representation on closed party lists. The other third are contested by individual candidates. According to final results of the staggered election issued by the High Elections Committee yesterday, the Brotherhood’s electoral alliance took a 38 percent share of the seats allocated to lists. The hardline Islamist Al-Nour Party won 29 percent of list seats. The liberal New Wafd and Egyptian Bloc coalition came third and fourth respectively. The Revolution Continues coalition, dominated by youth groups at the forefront of the protests that toppled Mubarak, attracted less than a million votes and took just seven of the 498 seats up for grabs in the lower house. The elections committee did not give results for individual

seats, but the FJP’s alliance said yesterday it now expected to take more than 47 percent of all seats in the lower house. Having secured the biggest bloc, the FJP named Saad AlKatatni, a leading Brotherhood official who sat in the old parliament as an independent, as speaker of the assembly. While the strong Islamist performance has alarmed liberal Egyptians and Western governments who had close ties to Mubarak, it is unclear if rival Islamists will team up in the assembly. The FJP expressed its “confidence that Katatni will be at the same distance from all representatives, either those of the FJP or other parties”. This would “uphold the principle of democracy and consolidate the rules of political participation”, the party said in a statement. The

rise of the Islamists in Egypt’s first election since Mubarak ’s overthrow in February last year marks a monumental shift from the past when parliament was a compliant body stuffed with members of his National Democratic Party and the Muslim Brotherhood was officially banned but tolerated. The arrival of a new generation of politicians with a genuine popular mandate suggests parliament will seek to temper the power of the ruling military council, which has pledged to step aside at the end of June. Katatni, who sat on the Brotherhood’s policy committee, told Reuters the new assembly would be “reconciliatory”. “The priorities are meeting the demands of the revolution, including the rights of the injured and those killed in the uprising,” he said.— Reuters

120,000 Sudanese affected by ethnic violence JUBA: More than 120,000 people need humanitarian aid because of a wave of ethnic clashes in a remote and volatile region of South Sudan, the United Nations said, underscoring the challenges the world’s newest nation faces six months after independence. The government of Sudan also reported clashes in a state bordering the new nation. The battles in Jonglei state are straining international relief efforts, Lise Grande, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, said Friday. The UN mission originally projected that the same number of people displaced in South Sudan in 2011 - 350,000 - would be displaced in 2012. “We are two weeks into the

year and there have already been 120,000 impacted,” said Grande. The UN earlier this month estimated that 60,000 people had been affected by clashes between the Lou Nuer and Murle communities. The Lou Nuer sent a column of at least 6,000 warriors to attack the Murle in late December and early January, sending tens of thousands of people fleeing into the countryside. The Murle have since carried out revenge attacks. No reliable death toll has yet been established in the series of attacks. Government officials have estimated that over 160 have been killed in Murle revenge attacks. A county commissioner initially estimated more than 3,000 had

TUNIS: People demonstrate in solidarity with Syrian people yesterday. — AFP

been killed in the Lou Nuer attacks on Pibor, but the central government has cast doubt on that figure. The U.N. is also trying to establish the number of dead. But more than two weeks after the end of the Pibor attacks, Grande said they have not come to any conclusions. “Like everyone else we are waiting to see what is confirmed,” said Grande. UN officials in South Sudan are calling humanitarian operations in Jonglei state the most expensive and complex since the signing of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which ended more than 20 years of civil war between Sudan and South Sudan. South Sudan broke away from Sudan in July. While U.N. humanitarian operations have reached communities in Pibor County, the displaced in Uror, Akobo and Duk counties must wait until the UN completes its humanitarian assessments. Jonglei state is roughly the size of England but there are few roads and the majority of food aid must be flown in by helicopter. The instability in the state has led Russia to threaten to withdraw four helicopters it has provided to the UN mission. South Sudan has deployed 3,000 security forces to the state to try and quell the waves of violence. The Sudan Council of Churches, which has been heavily involved in peace efforts, called the deployment “too little, too late.” Sudan’s military said on its

website Friday that seven opposition fighters from the Sudan People’s Liberation MovementNorth - the military movement in Sudan that aligns itself with South Sudan - were killed in clashes with Sudanese soldiers in the countr y ’s Blue Nile State, which borders South Sudan. The clashes took place near the border with South Sudan earlier this week, military spokesman Sawarme Khalid Saad was quoted as saying. Six soldiers were wounded in the clashes, which resulted in the military driving the rebels out of the area, Saad said. Late last year, the U.N. refugee agency said some 1,200 people were arriving daily from Sudan’s Blue Nile State to South Sudan, and that around 350,000 people have moved from Sudan to South Sudan since independence in July. The Sudanese government also denounced US efforts to distribute humanitarian aid in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states because it excluded the participation of national humanitarian organizations. This could result in aid falling into the hands of opposition fighters, Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Suleiman Abdul Rahman Suleiman said. He was quoted in the state-run SUNA news agency Friday calling on the US to explain its motives for delivering humanitarian aid without the Sudanese government’s participation in areas where the SPLM is active. — AP



Mogadishu govt vows to destroy Shebab militia MOGADISHU: Somali transitional government forces vowed yesterday to eradicate “violent elements” from Mogadishu, a day after a major offensive aimed at dislodging Al-Qaeda linked Shebab militia from the capital. “There are still a few pockets of resistance of the defeated terrorists. They launched at least six desperate counter-attacks last night, but the TFG (government forces) and AMISOM (African Union Mission in Somalia) troops have repelled them,” said government military official Abdulahi Mohamed. “Our forces consolidated the positions they captured yesterday and the situation is quiet this morning, but the military campaign to eliminate violent elements from Mogadishu will continue,” he added. According to the official, six Somali government troops had been killed since Friday and 18 wound-

ed. An AFP photographer said three Somali soldiers and a government official were killed when Shebab fighters attacked a convoy including journalists near the front line. Mohamed said Friday’s offensive left 22 Shebab fighters dead, a claim denied by the rebels, who also said they withdrew from some positions for tactical reasons. “The Christian enemy and their allied apostate Somali troops attacked our positions from four directions,” Shebab spokesman Sheik Abdulaziz Abu Musab told reporters. “They have failed to penetrate at least three of the directions but managed to cross one road where they have lost many soldiers including senior military officials,” he said. “The fighting will continue and, God willing, the enemy will have the final bad consequences of the war,” he added. Somali govern-

ment forces launched the offensive on Friday to root out the last Shebab holdouts north of Mogadishu. Hardline Shebab fighters abandoned fixed positions in most of Mogadishu last August but continue to control small pockets on the outskirts. AMISOM boasted that Friday’s offensive had allowed it for the “first time ... to secure an area outside” the city, although it has pushed outside the city in other sections in earlier assaults against Shebab positions. The fighters have largely switched to guerrilla tactics in Mogadishu, launching a string of attacks including roadside bombs and grenade explosions against the weak Western-backed government and AU troops. The AU force has been battling the Shebab and defending the Western-backed government since 2007. Armies from neighbouring coun-

tries are converging on the Shebab-Kenyan forces in the far south, Ethiopian soldiers in the west-in addition to the AU forces in Mogadishu made up of 10,000 troops from Uganda, Burundi and Djibouti. AMISOM commander Major Fred Mugisha has said that 98 percent of Mogadishu is free, but the city remains one of the world’s most dangerous amid a severe humanitarian crisis and devastation from more than 20 years of conflict. Somalia was the hardest hit country in the Horn of Africa region by a recent drought that left some 12 million people facing extreme hunger. The United Nations says that despite massive international aid, famine still stalks three southern Somali provinces, affecting some 250,000 people. Somalia has been without an effective government and beset by civil war for the past two decades. — AFP

Divers find woman’s body in stricken ship Officials confirm light fuel near ship

JOHANNESBURG: Exiled president of Madagascar, Marc Ravalomanana, on a flight which was turned back from Madagascar toward South Africa is pictured yesterday. — AP

Madagascar exiled president sent back to South Africa JOHANNESBURG: An attempt by Madagascar’s toppled president to end his exile in South Africa was thwarted in the air yesterday when his plane was forced to turn back after authorities from the Indian Ocean island closed their airspace to prevent his return, his spokesman said. The commercial plane carrying Marc Ravalomanana landed back in Johannesburg just after 2 pm, about the time it had been expected to reach Madagascar’s capital. Reporters on board said it did not stop to refuel in Mozambique, as Peter Mann, a spokesman for Ravalomanana, had said airline officials initially planned to do. A frustrated Ravalomanana at first refused to leave the plane after it landed back in Johannesburg. After more than two hours, he agreed to be escorted to a hotel in Pretoria by South African government officials. Ravalomanana has been exiled in South Africa since being toppled in 2009. When he tried to return last year, he was stopped at the Johannesburg airport after aviation authorities in Madagascar wrote to say he was not welcome. In Madagascar, where thousands of Ravalomanana supporters had awaited him at the capital’s airport, a government minister told reporters that the populist former disc jockey who toppled Ravalomanana, Andry Rajoelina, had issued a notice closing the country’s main airports to prevent the former leader’s return. Ravalomanana supporters slowly left the Madagascar airport. Security forces fired tear gas to force the last of the crowds to retreat. Earlier yesterday, Ravalomanana, his wife, two aides, journalists and passengers not linked to him had boarded a commercial flight operated by South African Airlink, a regional partner of South African Airways, in Johannesburg. Ravalomanana said he wanted to return to work for peace and democracy in his troubled homeland. Yesterday’s events illustrate how far Madagascar has to go to return to stability, and are just one a series of setbacks that have frustrated mediators despite signs of progress. Security officials in Madagascar had said the toppled president would be arrested if he returned. Ravalomanana said arresting him would be unlawful and would destabilize Madagascar at a delicate time in efforts to restore democracy. Following Rajoelina’s military-backed coup, Ravalomanana was convicted in absentia of conspiracy to commit murder in a case related to the turmoil during the overthrow that forced him to leave. Ravalomanana called the tribunal appointed by Rajoelina illegitimate. Late Friday, South Africa’s deputy foreign minister

Marius Fransman, who has led regional efforts to restore democracy in Madagascar, issued what could be read as a warning to Ravalomanana not to return, or to Rajoelina not to seek his rival’s arrest. Fransman noted “the current contextual challenges relating to the political situation in Madagascar,” but did not elaborate. Then he said he was calling “on all the political formulations and the political leadership, in particular ... Mr Andry Rajoelina and former President Mr Marc Ravalomanana to exercise political maturity.” Asked at the Johannesburg airport about Fransman’s comments, Ravalomanana said, “We are mature.” Ravalomanana has accepted a plan negotiated by Fransman that calls for elections next year overseen by a unity government. The unity government is in place, with Rajoelina as its president, but members are bickering over how positions were filled. Friday, Ravalomanana told reporters he would work with anyone, including Rajoelina, to “build a new Madagascar.” But he acknowledged Rajoelina has rebuffed his overtures. The Ravalomanana-Rajoelina rivalry is a particularly bitter example of a series of confrontations between strong men vying for power in Madagascar since independence from France in 1960. The political influence of the security forces is strong. For months before the coup, Rajoelina led rallies against Ravalomanana, whom he accused of being out of touch with the sufferings of the country’s impoverished majority. Ravalomanana’s government at one point blocked the signal of a radio station Rajoelina owned. In response, Rajoelina supporters set fire to a building in the government broadcasting complex as well as an oil depot, a shopping mall and a private TV station linked to Ravalomanana. Scores of people were killed. Days later, soldiers opened fire on anti-government protesters, killing at least 25. The incident cost Ravalomanana much of the support of the military, which blamed him for the order to fire at demonstrators. Friday, Ravalomanana told reporters he had nothing to do with orders to close the radio station or fire on demonstrators. Ravalomanana added that if he were to regain power, he would put into practice what he said he had learned during exile in South Africa about respecting the rule of law and freedom of expression. South Africa saw brutal white minority rule peacefully toppled in 1994 and multiracial democracy installed through negotiations and power-sharing. “We cannot solve this crisis in Madagascar without genuine dialogue,” Ravalomanana said. — AP

ROME: Italian Coast Guard divers have found a woman’s body in a corridor of a submerged section of the capsized Costa Concordia, raising to at least 12 the number of dead in the cruise liner accident. Coast Guard Cmdr. Cosimo Nicastro told The Associated Press that the body, wearing a life jacket, was found in a narrow corridor near an evacuation staging point at the ship’s rear. Light fuel, apparently from machinery aboard the capsized Costa Concordia, was detected yesterday in the sea near the ship, Italian Coast Guard officials said yesterday. But Coast Guard spokesman Cmdr. Cosimo Nicastro says there is no indication that any of the nearly half-million gallons (2,200 metric tons) of heavy fuel oil has leaked from the ship’s doublebottomed tanks. Nicastro said yesterday that the leaked substance appears to be diesel, which is used to fuel rescue boats and dinghies and as a lubricant for ship machinery. There are 185 tons of diesel and lubricants on board the crippled vessel, which is lying on its side just outside the port of the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio. Nicastro described the light fuel’s presence in the sea as “very light, very superficial” and appearing to be under control. Although attention has been concentrated on the heavy fuel oil in the tanks, “we must not forget that on that ship there are oils, solvents, detergents, everything that a city of 4,000 people needs,” Franco Gabrielli, the head of Italy’s civil protection agency, told reporters in Giglio. Gabrielli, who is leading rescue, search and anti-pollution efforts for the Concordia, was referring to the roughly 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew who were aboard the cruise liner when it ran into a reef near Giglio’s coast on Jan. 14, and then, with the sea rushing into a 70-meter (230-foot) gash in its hull, listed and finally fell onto its side. Considering all the substances aboard the Concordia, “contamination of the environment, ladies and gentlemen, already occurred” when the cruise liner capsized, Gabrielli told a news conference. Vessels equipped with machinery to suck out the light fuel oil were in the area, Italian officials told Italian TV. Earlier yesterday, crews removed oil-absorbing booms used to prevent environmental damage in case of a leak. Originally white, the

Croatia gears up for key vote on EU entry ZAGREB: Croatia geared up yesterday for a referendum on entry into the European Union, a vote that political leaders here say will shape the future of the Balkan country 20 years after independence. Surveys in the last few months have consistently showed that around 60 percent of Croatians will say ‘yes’ in today’s vote, allowing the former Yugoslav republic to join the bloc in July 2013. An anti-EU protest in the capital Zagreb, which managed to attract only some 200 mostly elderly people, ended in scuffles with police yesterday as protesters tried to remove an EU flag from the main square. Five people were detained, including the organisers. Political leaders across the board have lobbied hard for a positive outcome of the referendum and yesterday Croatia’s leading dailies emphasized the benefits of membership in the bloc, seen as a break with the volatile Balkans region. “Croatia’s (2009) entry into NATO and the EU definitely separates us from latent political insecurity of the rest of the western Balkans,” commented the influential Jutarnji List daily. In a column entitled “Decision on EU: Chaos or Stability” the paper said that “for Croatia EU entry is an issue of lasting peace and stability”. On Friday President Ivo Josipovic gave a televised address to the nation when he urged voters to “Say ‘yes’ to Croatia, say ‘yes’ to Europe.” He said the outcome of the vote was “one of the most important decisions in Croatia’s history”. In the 1990s, when other post-communist countries in central and eastern Europe were strengthening their democracies and paving their way towards EU integration, Croatia’s EU aspirations were halted by the 1991-95 war with rebel Serbs and its legacy. It was not until 2000 that the election of pro-European rulers enabled Croatia’s transformation into a genuine parliamentary democracy eligible for EU candidate status. However long and often thorny accession talks that opened in 2005 dampened enthusiasm for the EU, and the current economic crisis within the bloc has eroded it further, so for many Croatians today’s vote will be a pragmatic one. “I will vote ‘yes’ since it’s the lesser of two evils. I have no illusions, but we are too small to remain outside,” said Anita Markovic, a 22-year-old student. “Today ... we know the advantages and shortcomings of the system that we are about to enter,” Croatian Serb leader Milorad Pupovac said earlier this week, explaining the stance of most voters. For the past three years Croatia, whose economy relies on Adriatic tourism, has been mostly in recession. The national bank forecasts 2011 growth at a modest 0.4 percent but sees the economy shrinking by 0.2 percent this year. Unemployment is almost 18 percent. “People are mainly interested whether it will be better” once Croatia joins the bloc, Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic said at a pro-EU gathering in Zagreb yesterday. She warned the “EU will certainly not resolve our problems,” adding that improvements depended on “whether the government and the country are capable of finding the way out from this difficult (economic) situation.”—AFP

booms were grayish. Divers resumed their search of the wreckage after data indicated the cruise ship had stabilized in the sea off Tuscany. To make it easier to enter and leave, the divers blasted more holes into the carcass of the ship. They were hoping to inspect an area where many passengers had gathered during the evacuation. They were searching for bodies or survivors, although it is considered unlikely any of the 21 missing in the accident could still be alive. The search had been suspended on Friday after the Concordia shifted, prompting fears the ship could roll off a rocky ledge of sea bed and plunge deeper into the sea. An abrupt shift could also cause a leak in the Concordia’s fuel tanks, polluting the pristine waters around Giglio, part of a seven-island Tuscan archipelago. — AP

ISOLA DEL GIGLIO: A small boat moves towards the stricken cruise liner Costa Concordia yesterday. — AFP



Romney faces Gingrich in key South Carolina fight ‘It’s about which one of them can beat Obama’ COLUMBIA: Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney must overcome wily political veteran Newt Gingrich in the South Carolina primary to keep his march toward the party’s nomination on track. Gingrich’s sudden rise in recent days has presented Romney with the biggest challenge yet in months of campaigning to become the Republican who will face President Barack Obama in November. With two other candidates trailing in the polls, the primary looks like a straight fight between the two very different men. A multimillionaire ex-businessman who runs a sleek campaign, Romney has consistently won the support of a quarter of Republicans nationally with his message on jobs and the economy. But he has failed to capture the hearts of many conservatives. Gingrich is a former history teacher who roams off message and has a checkered past but a killer turn of phrase in debates. “It’s about which one of them can beat Obama,” said Vaughan Mureaux, a retired school

administrator in South Carolina who originally supported Romney but was impressed when he attended a Gingrich speech this week. Fueled by a grudge that has become almost personal, former House of Representatives Speaker Gingrich has sown seeds of doubt among Republicans who were beginning to see Romney as the inevitable nominee after strong showings in the first two votes in Iowa and New Hampshire. Romney has stumbled, acknowledging in the last week he pays a much lower tax rate than most Americans and struggling to answer questions about a planned release of tax records. With only hours left before the voting in South Carolina, the former Massachusetts governor’s campaign tried to turn the tables and ask for more information about ethics violations for which Gingrich was sanctioned in Congress in the 1990s. “Don’t you love these guys? He doesn’t release anything, he doesn’t answer anything. And he’s even confused about whether or not he

BOILING SPRINGS: Republican presidential hopeful former Speaker Newt Gingrich gestures before a TV interview and speaking to potential voters inside the “Grapevine Restaurant”, in South Carolina yesterday. — AFP

Cuba dissident buried as Havana cries foul HAVANA: Cuban dissident Wilmar Villar has been buried in his hometown in eastern Cuba, rights activists told AFP, as Havana denied the inmate was a political prisoner who died after a 50-day hunger strike. Villar, 31, is the second dissident to die here after a hunger strike in less than two years, and his passing drew condemnation from national and international human rights groups, as well as foreign governments. Cuba’s communist rulers “bear complete moral, political and legal responsibility for the death of Wilmar, because he was in the custody of the authorities,” said dissident leader Elizardo Sanchez, calling it an “avoidable death.” A wake was held Friday for Villar at a funeral home in his town of Contramaestre, 900 kilometers (550 miles) southeast of Havana, with some saying the authorities prevented dissidents from attending. “I have a government agent in front of my house,” said Jose Daniel Ferrer, an ex-political prisoner who heads the opposition Patriotic Union of Cuba-to which Villar belonged. More than 30 dissidents in several towns “have already been arrested so they can be prevented from going to the funeral,” added Ferrer, who was released in 2010. Villar’s remains were buried later Friday during a ceremony attended by family under tight police scrutiny, activist Ana Luisa Bedey told AFP. Sanchez, who leads the banned but tolerated Cuban Committee for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, said Villar had spent several days in “critical condition” at a hospital in the southeast of the Caribbean island. The government of President Raul Castro denies it is holding any political prisoners, and considers jailed opposition activists to be US-backed “mercenaries.” In an official note published Friday on the state-run Cubadebate website, the government said it had “abundant evidence and testimony” that Villar was not a dissident. It slammed

what it called an “international defamatory campaign” led by foreign news media “in collusion with domestic counter-revolutionary elements” over the case. The statement said Villar had died of “multiple organ failure” which led to “septic shock.” Villar had been convicted of “contempt, resistance and assault” and joined 60 political prisoners being held in Cuba, according to Sanchez’s group. He was married to Maritza Pelegrino, an activist in the opposition Ladies in White group. He leaves two daughters, aged five and 10. Villar is the second Cuban dissident to die in a hunger strike since Orlando Zapataconsidered a “prisoner of conscience” by Amnesty International-who expired after 85 days without food in February 2010. In the United States, home to 1.5 million CubanAmericans, the White House said President Barack Obama’s “thoughts and prayers are with the wife, family, and friends of Wilmar Villar.” Villar’s “senseless death highlights the ongoing repression of the Cuban people and the plight faced by brave individuals standing up for the universal rights of all Cubans,” the White House said, adding that the United States “will not waver in our support for the liberty of the Cuban people.” A senior Cuban diplomat condemned the statement as a display of “colossal cynicism” of the United States. These comments “strike by their hypocrisy and double standard,” Josefina Vidal, director of the North American Department of the Cuban foreign ministry, said in a statement. Havana and Washington have not had full diplomatic ties since 1961. In Spain, home to thousands of Cuban dissidents, the government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy expressed “consternation” over Villar’s death, and urged Cuba to “liberate all political prisoners.” Jose Miguel Vivanco with the watchdog group Human Rights Watch said Villar was not allowed to speak in his defense or have an attorney present at his trial. — AFP

Handout picture released by Cuban opposition organization ‘Union Patriotica de Cuba’ shows jailed Cuban dissident Wilmar Villar. — AFP

will ever release anything. And then he’s decided to pick a fight over releasing stuff,” Gingrich said. No love lost Animosity between the two has been festering since December, when a group supporting Romney launched a blitz of negative TV ads in Iowa that effectively ruined Gingrich’s campaign there. He has hit back by attacking Romney’s business record. The fight has been bruising in South Carolina, a conservative state with a history of dirty politics. The pair could not even agree to avoid each other on election day. Both Romney and Gingrich have campaign events scheduled at the same time on Saturday morning at Tommy’s Country Ham House in Greenville. The two campaigns refused to back off on Friday night and change arrangements. Romney’s team is playing up his family values as a father of five boys. That is in contrast to three times-married Gingrich, who has had admitted to infidelities, including with his current wife Callista when she worked in Congress. Romney’s former wife of 42 years, Ann, appears in an ad extolling the virtues needed in a strong president. “If you really want to know how a person will operate, look at how they have lived their life. And I think that’s why it’s so important to understand the character of a person,” she says. The winner of South Carolina’s Republican presidential primary has gone on to win the party’s nomination in every election since 1980. Romney’s path to the nomination would be nearly clear if he can clinch the state on Saturday. He may be helped if the South Carolina conservative vote is split between Gingrich, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum and libertarian congressman Ron Paul. Romney has been helped in South Carolina by Governor Nikki Haley, formerly a favorite of Tea Party conservatives. “The coolest thing we could ever see is a jobs candidate goes up against a government-loving President Obama,” she said in Charleston with Romney. “Get out there and vote,” Romney told a crowd of about 200 people. — Reuters

Marines’ Lockheed F-35 jet gets approval from Panetta NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta gave his stamp of approval to the Marine Corps version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter on Friday, ending the Pentagon’s threat to cancel the aircraft unless it dealt quickly with technical challenges and cost overruns. The announcement lifted a black cloud over the Pentagon’s largest procurement program and was welcomed by Lockheed Martin , the plane’s manufacturer, as well as Marine Corps Commandant General James Amos; Vice Admiral David Venlet, who runs the F-35 program at the Pentagon; and several lawmakers. Panetta, in a town hall meeting at a base where the stealthy, next-generation jet is being tested, said the plane had made enough progress in testing and technical improvement over the past year to merit ending the two-year probationary period imposed by his predecessor. The plane, which takes off on shorter runways and lands vertically like a helicopter, has made “sufficient progress so that as of today I am lifting the ... probation,” Panetta told a small crowd in a hanger at the base. He spoke from a dais in front of a Marine Corps F35B, an American flag draped behind it. He later climbed up to view the plane’s cockpit accompanied by Representative Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat in the House of Representatives. Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates put the F-35B on probation last year because of continuing technical difficulties that were contributing to escalating costs, from metal fatigue in a bulkhead and overheating of parts to excess vibration in doors for an air input port. “Over the past year the team here has worked through those issues to a point where the maturity of the design and performance is essentially equivalent to the other variants,” Pentagon spokesman George Little said. He said the decision to lift the probationary period a year early “suggests the program is moving in the right direction and that we’re committed to the design and development and production of the F-35.” “This is an important aircraft, not just for the United States but for our international partners,” Little added. The US military and eight international partners are developing three versions of the F-35: a conventional takeoff variant for the Air Force, a Navy version that can take off from aircraft carriers and the Marine Corps version that can be used from short-deck assault ships. The Pentagon plans to spend $382 billion to purchase 2,443 of the aircraft over the life of the program. The plane will replace a range of older aircraft in the Pentagon inventory. International partners are planning to purchase more than 800 of the aircraft, and other countries are buying it as well. Panetta’s decision to remove the aircraft from probation comes just a week before the Pentagon is to preview its budget for the 2013 fiscal year, the first spending plan since Congress and the president ordered nearly half a trillion dollars in defense cuts over the next decade. Little declined to say how the F35 might be affected by the budget cuts, but sources who have been following the deliberations say the Pentagon will postpone orders for 179 of a planned 423 planes over five years beginning in fiscal 2013, a reduction of about 24 percent. Lockheed has said that growing international demand may help offset slower US production rates. The company expects the F-35 to account for about 20 percent of revenue once full production begins. Before making the announcement on Friday, Panetta toured the Patuxent River Naval Air Station test facilities and operated an F-35 B flight simulator. A senior defense official said one factor in Panetta’s decision to lift the F-35 probation was the former CIA director’s experience with Harrier jump jets in counterterrorism operations. The British-designed jets have vertical takeoff and landing capabilities similar to those of the F-35 B.—Reuters

SEATTLE: A tree branch that fell as a result of a heavy coating of ice is shown resting on a house. — AP

Thousands try to stay warm as NW storm cuts electricity SEATTLE: Tens of thousands of Pacific Northwest residents faced the prospect of a chilly weekend after a powerful storm brought snow and ice and left a tangle of fallen trees and damaged power lines. Several Oregon counties saw their worst flooding in more than a decade. The National Weather Service forecast more rain and winds gusting as high as 40 mph Saturday in Western Washington, a combination that could bring down even more snow-laden and ice damaged trees. Nearly 230,000 customers were without power late Friday night in Western Washington, about 220,000 of them Puget Sound Energy customers. The utility has brought in repair crews from across the West and planned to field more than 800 linemen on Saturday, in addition to tree-trimming crews, spokesman Roger Thompson said. “The wind is a wild card that could set us back,” he said, adding PSE hoped to have the majority of the outages restored by Sunday, although some customers will probably be without power into early next week. The Weather Service predicted weekend lows in the mid-30s. Several warming shelters have been opened in the area to aid people whose homes are without heat. Despite warnings from emergency officials, the first cases of possible carbon monoxide poisoning surfaced Friday night. Two families in the Seattle suburb of Kent were taken to hospitals after suffering separate cases of possible poisoning. Both had been using charcoal barbecues indoors for heat. The storm was already blamed for three deaths. A mother and her 1-year-old son died after torrential rain on Wednesday swept away a car from an Albany, Ore., grocery store parking lot. An elderly man was fatally injured Thursday by a falling tree as he was backing an all-terrain vehicle out of a backyard shed near Seattle. On Washington’s Mount Rainier, a blizzard kept rescuers from searching Friday for two campers and two climbers missing since early this week. Just east of that region, about 200 skiers and workers were able to leave the Crystal Mountain ski resort after transportation officials reopened the area’s main highway, closed two days earlier by fallen trees. Near Tacoma, three people escaped unharmed Friday when a heavy snow and ice load on the roof of an Allied Ice plant caused the building to collapse. West Pierce Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Hallie McCurdy said they heard loud noises and got out just in time. As floodwaters receded, residents of Oregon’s Willamette Valley began taking stock of damage in soaked cities. Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber paid a visit Friday to the hard-hit town of Turner, where 100 homes were damaged or still underwater. Friday’s mainly dry streets belied a morning of terror barely 24 hours earlier, when emer-

gency crews conducted 55 boat rescues as water filled streets, homes and businesses. “You just watch the water rise hour by hour, and there’s nothing you can do about it,” Mayor Paul Thomas said. “It’s a long, slower sort of torture.” Kitzhaber said the state would work with local and federal officials to try and get disaster funding to Turner and other communities hardhit by flooding. The governor praised residents’ strong sense of community as neighbors helped each other. Nancy Ko saw that spirit first-hand. From the safety of higher ground, she watched a live feed from a security camera as water rose over the curb and lapped against the front door of the convenience store and cafe she owns just feet from Mill Creek. Out of the blue, five strangers showed up and plopped sandbags in front of the door, preventing damage that she believes would have otherwise been far more severe. “Just a godsend,” said Ko, a Korean immigrant who has owned the store for six years. “Good person, amazing persons.” Elsewhere in the Willamette Valley, a 35-year-old woman who drove a Ford Mustang into 4 feet of floodwater was plucked from the roof Friday by deputies who arrived by boat to save her. It was one of a number of dramatic rescues in western Oregon, left sodden by as much as 10 inches of rain in a day and a half that has brought region’s worst flooding in 15 years. Interstate 5, the main road connecting Seattle and Portland, was briefly closed near Centralia so crews could remove fallen power lines. Much of Washington’s capital, Olympia, was without power. Gov. Chris Gregoire’s office, legislative buildings and other state agencies in Olympia lost electricity for several hours before power was restored. The governor thanked repair crews late Friday by hand-delivering peanut butter cookies. The storm was “a constant reminder of who’s in charge. Mother Nature is in charge, she gives us a wake-up call every once in a while, this is one of those,” Gregoire said. It was still snowing in the Cascades, with up to 2 feet possible in the mountains over the weekend. At Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle, airlines were trying to accommodate passengers whose flights were canceled Thursday. The airport’s largest carrier, Alaska Airlines, canceled 50 of its 120 daily departures Friday. On Thursday, Alaska and sister airline Horizon canceled 310 flights to and from Seattle, affecting 29,000 passengers. In Seattle, Carly Nelson was negotiating an icy sidewalk on her way to Starbucks. Nelson has been frequenting her neighborhood coffee shop to avoid cabin fever. “I’m pretty tired of it. It gets old pretty fast. All my friends are stranded in little pockets and you can’t get together to go to yoga,” she said. “I’m just looking forward to being able to go wherever I want to go.” — AP

Remorseful man admits causing big Reno blaze RENO: An elderly man discarding fireplace ashes accidentally touched off the brush fire that raged south of Reno, destroying 29 homes and forcing thousands of people to flee the flames, authorities said. The man admitted his role by improperly disposing of the ashes at his home. Investigators already had tracked the origin of the fire to a location in East Lake on the north end of the Washoe Valley, where the man lives about 20 miles south of downtown Reno. “He came forward on his own accord,” Reno Fire Chief Michael Hernandez said. “He has given statements to our investigators as well as law enforcement officers. He is extremely remorseful.” Fueled by 82 mph wind gusts, the blaze burned nearly 3,200 acres and forced the evacuation of up to 10,000 people Thursday. A break in the weather and calmer winds allowed firefighters to get the upper hand on the blaze Friday. Hernandez estimated it to be 65 percent contained Friday night. He said 300 firefighters would remain on the scene through the night checking for hot spots along with another 125 support people, including law enforcement officers and the Nevada National Guard. The next challenge may be the forecast for rain and snow in the mountains on Saturday, which officials fear could cause flooding in burned areas. The Highway Patrol said Friday night that all of US Highway 395 between Reno and Carson City had reopened. Washoe County Sheriff Mike Haley said a formal case file will be forwarded to the district attorney next week for consideration of charges. “The DA will have to give this case a lot of deliberation,” Haley said. “The fact he came forward and admitted it plays a role. But so does the massive damage and loss of life,” he said. “It’s a balancing act.” In addition to the potential for facing jail time on arson charges, the man could also be ordered to pay the cost of fighting the fire, which already totals $690,000. Washoe County Manager Katy Simon said she expects the final bill to run into the millions of dollars. Gov. Sandoval toured the fire damaged area Friday, describing it as “horrendous, devastating.” “There is nothing left in some of those places except for the chimneys and fireplaces,”

he said. The blaze started shortly after noon Thursday and, fueled by the wind, mushroomed to more than 6 square miles before firefighters stopped its surge toward Reno. The strong, erratic winds caused major challenges for crews evacuating residents, Sierra Front spokesman Mark Regan said. “In a matter of seconds, the wind would shift,” he said. Haley confirmed that the body of June Hargis, 93, was found in the fire’s aftermath, but her cause of death has not been established, so it’s not known if it was fire related. Jeannie Watts, the woman’s 70-year-old daughter, told KRNV-TV that Hargis’ grandson telephoned her to tell her to evacuate but she didn’t get out in time. About 2,000 people remained subject to evacuation, and about 100 households still were without power. Marred in Reno’s driest winter in more than 120 years, residents had welcomed the forecast that a storm was due to blow across the Sierra Nevada this week. Instead, thousands found themselves fleeing their homes Thursday afternoon. Connie Cryer went to the fire response command post Friday with her 12-year-old granddaughter, Maddie Miramon, to find out if her house had survived the flames. “We had to know so we could get some sleep,” Cryer said, adding her house was spared but a neighbor’s wasn’t. She had seen wildfires before, but nothing on this scale. “There was fire in front of me, fire beside me, fire behind me. It was everywhere,” she said. “I don’t know how more didn’t burn up. It was terrible, all the wind and the smoke.” Fire officials said Thursday’s fire was “almost a carbon copy” of a blaze that destroyed 30 homes in Reno during similar summer-like conditions in midNovember. State Forester Pete Anderson said he has not seen such hazardous fire conditions in winter in his 43 years in Nevada. Reno had no precipitation in December. The last time that happened was 1883. An inch of snow Monday ended the longest recorded dry spell in Reno history, a 56-day stretch that prompted Anderson to issue an unusual warning about wildfire threats. “We’re usually pretty much done with the fire season by the first of November, but this year it’s been nonstop,” Anderson said. —AP


i n t e r n at i o n a l

France still committed to Afghanistan: Longuet Taleban ‘recruited’ soldier who killed French troops

KABUL: Afghan President Hamid Karzai (top center) and members of Parliament attend the opening session of the Parliament yesterday. — AFP

Karzai meets Afghan insurgent faction KABUL: Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai said yesterday that he personally held peace talks recently with the insurgent faction Hizbi-Islami, appearing to assert his own role in a US-led bid for negotiations to end the country’s decade-long war. Karzai made the announcement hours before he was to meet with American special representative Marc Grossman to discuss progress and plans for bringing the Taliban insurgency into formal talks for the first time. “Recently, we met with a delegation from Hizb-i-Islami ... and had negotiations,” Karzai told a meeting of the Afghan parliament, adding, “We are hopeful that these negotiations for peace continue and we will have good results.” Hizb-i-Islami is a radical Islamist militia that controls territory in Afghanistan’s northeast and launches attacks against US forces from Pakistan. Its leader, powerful warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, is a former US ally now listed as a terrorist by Washington. The president has met before with representatives of Hekmatyar, whose political allies hold seats in the Afghan parliament and Cabinet, but yesterday’s public announcement seemed intended to bolster Karzai’s insistence on inclusion in the US-led peace process. Karzai’s statement was also a reminder that any negotiations to end Afghanistan’s war will be more complex than just talking to the Taliban’s Pakistan-based leadership, headed by Mullah Mohammad Omar. Hizb-i-Islami, also based over the Pakistan border, has ties to Al-Qaeda and has launched deadly attacks on US troops in Afghanistan. Fighters loyal to Hekmatyar also have strongholds in Baghlan, Kunduz and Kunar provinces in the north and northeast Afghanistan. There is also the feared Haqqani network, which maintains close ties to both al-Qaida and the Taliban and commands the loyalties of an estimated 10,000 fighters. The Haqqanis have been blamed for a series of spectacular attacks, including suicide bombings inside Kabul. By showing he can bring at least one major faction to the negotiating table, Karzai may hope to increase his standing in a tentative peace process that has recently been dominated by Washington. The US has repeatedly said that formal negotia-

tions must be Afghan-led, but Karzai is reportedly uneasy with his government not being directly involved in recent preliminary talks with Taliban representatives. “It should be mentioned that the Afghan nation is the owner of the peace process and negotiations,” Karzai said. “No foreign country or organization can prevent (Afghans) from exercising this right.” US representative Grossman recently stressed that any future negotiations would include Afghanistan’s government, and said he would meet Karzai yesterday. “After our meeting with President Karzai, we will decide what to do next because we take his guidance and advice in an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led process,” Grossman said Friday at a stop in India. The Taliban have vowed to keep fighting as they explore a possible political resolution to the war. Insurgents clashed yesterday with government forces in the town of Barmal in Paktika province in eastern Afghanistan, said Maj. Abdul Rahman, who coordinates coalition and Afghan operations in the area. Afghan security forces killed two of the attackers and recovered their guns and a rocket-propelled grenade, he said. Two other attackers wearing suicide bomb vests moved in, but their explosives detonated prematurely and both died at the scene. One civilian was wounded in the attack, he said. The Paktika governor’s office said four attackers were trying to enter the town’s main bazaar and then move toward government offices and military bases nearby. Before they could, Afghan security forces engaged them in a one-hour gun battle and all four attackers were killed, it said. Separately, four Afghan civilians were killed yesterday morning when their truck struck a roadside bomb near Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province in the south, the Ministry of Interior said. On Friday, insurgents attacked Afghan border policemen in the Gulran district of Herat province near the Iranian border in western Afghanistan, said Sulaiman Khan, commander of a border police rapid reaction unit in the area. He said four border policemen were killed immediately when their vehicle was attacked by militants firing from several different directions, and a fifth died yesterday. — AFP

Cold S Koreans battle ‘big chill’ in offices SEOUL: “It’s freezing!” complained chef Byun Sang-Won, jogging on the spot with arms folded and teeth clenched as he tried to keep warm inside the luxury Seoul hotel where he works. “I can’t even imagine working without wearing extra underwear and hot packs because it’s too cold in the kitchen and hallways,” the 26-year-old said. Tens of thousands of shivering South Koreans feel the same way. Cold Januarys, with average lows of minus 6 to 7 Celsius (21-19 Fahrenheit) and occasionally minus 15 C, are the norm. But this winter there is no escape from the chill. The government, worried about shrinking power reserves after a shock September blackout, has ordered staff in 19,000 government offices to keep the indoor temperature below 18 degrees C (64 F). Private buildings including offices must not exceed 20 C (68 F) between December 5 and February 29. Offenders face fines of between 500,000 won ($433) and three million won. “There have been complaints that working in such a chilly environment is uncomfortable,” acknowledged Kim Jeong-Dae, an official at the Knowledge Economy Ministry in charge of enforcing the measures. “But we have no choice. Recent changes in energy usage patterns led to surging demand for electricity, while eco-friendly policies and awareness that Korea overuses energy made it difficult to build more power plants.” Officials from the knowledge economy ministry regularly visit private and government offices and other premises to check room temperatures with thermometers. During the big chill, employees pile on more layers of clothing starting with underwear. To stop shivering at their desks, they use hot packs-air-activated pads for pockets or under vests-and blankets. “Everyone works wearing a jacket, scarf and gloves because it’s so cold even in the office,” said Lee Hae-Woo, 24, an assistant director at state broadcaster Korea Broadcasting System. “With guards checking the temperature regularly, it’s impossible to heat up more than we are told to. Well, it’s government policy, so what can we do about it?” Chef Byun said his co-workers, when out of the public eye, swathe themselves in blankets or stuff hot packs in their pockets. “It’s good trying to cut energy usage but it shouldn’t be too cold, because people’s efficiency really does fall

when they feel too frozen to do anything,” he told AFP. “And it gets worse when our guests complain and talk about their ‘right to be warm’ in the lobby and restaurants. But we can’t do anything about it.” Not everyone gives the rules a frosty reception. Online shopping malls have been doing a roaring trade. From early December, major online malls GS shop and D&shop together sold more than 16,000 sets of underwear in less than a month, double the amount even in the unusually cold winter of 2010-2011. Sales of hot packs and blankets sales increased by more than 20 percent to 3,000 and 2,000 respectively. “Office workers are at the centre of this spree, as the office temperature is so low that it’s called ‘Big Chill training’ for employees,” GS shop said in a statement. The electricity scare was paradoxically caused by unusually warm weather last September, when several power stations were down for maintenance. As reserves fell dangerously low, authorities briefly imposed rolling blackouts lasting several hours which hit up to 2.1 million households and other premises. In November, as winter loomed, the government announced its winter power-saving measures. President Lee Myung-Bak urged fellow Koreans to follow his example and don thicker underwear. Restrictions on neon signs were also announced, although the giant TV screens which dot Seoul’s cityscape are still switched on. The power-saving drive follows measures imposed in neighbouring Japan to help lower blackout risks last summer, which limited the use of air conditioning following the March tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster. With the majority of its nuclear reactors halted for routine inspections, Japan has also urged businesses and households to reduce consumption this winter. Unlike Japan, analysts say South Korea’s power problems arise because successive governments have shirked charging consumers a realistic price for electricity. Britain’s electricity price is about twice that of South Korea. Critics say the office restrictions are counter-productive because workers smuggle in small fan heaters to hide under their desks. But despite the complaints, the government is expected to maintain this winter’s policy for the foreseeable future. — AFP

KABUL: France appeared to lessen the prospect of an early withdrawal from the 10year war in Afghanistan yesterday, stressing its commitment to the countr y after an Afghan soldier killed four of its troops. Defense Minister Gerard Longuet and Chief of Defense staff Admiral Edouard Guillaud flew into Afghanistan for emergency talks a day after the president threatened to order a swift exit of its 3,600 troops on the ground. Paris reacted furiously after an Afghan soldier on Friday shot dead four unarmed soldiers and wounded 15 others as they completed a work-out on the training base they shared with Afghan troops. “The entire point of this visit is to assess the position that we have to take,” Longuet told reporters after arriving in Kabul to make recommendations to President Nicolas Sarkozy on the future of the deployment. The French role in the US-led NATO mission is unpopular at home and Friday’s killings come less than 100 days before presidential elections. Longuet appeared to distance himself slightly from the prospect of an immediate withdrawal, saying: “The mission remains exactly the same, to bring about a stable force” and “to handover” to the Afghans. “We must reflect in order to support a mission that is a success.” France is one of the largest contributors to the 130,000-strong USled NATO force fighting the Taliban and training Afghan soldiers to take responsibility for security by the end of 2014 when foreign troops are scheduled to withdraw. Longuet refused to be drawn about the possibility of an early withdrawal, saying only: “I’ll talk about that with the president, he’s my only boss.” Friday’s attack was the second time in a month that French troops were shot dead by a man in Afghan army uniform, bringing the country’s overall death toll to 82 since troops deployed in 2001. Longuet held talks with General Jean-Pierre Palasset, the French commander on the ground at their main base in eastern Afghanistan, and was then due to meet General Nazar, commander of the 3rd Afghan army brigade. Today, the French minister will meet Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the Afghan defense and interior ministers, US commander General John Allen and other senior commanders in the International Security Assistance Force. A classified report leaked to The New York Times says attacks by Afghan soldiers on NATO soldiers are increasing and are a “systemic” problem, rather than rooted in isolated incidents. The report puts the killings down to a decade of contempt that each side has for the other, and profound ill will among both civilians and soldiers on both sides. It downplayed the role of Taliban infiltrators in the incidents. On arrival in Kabul, Longuet briefly boarded a French aircraft preparing to repatriate some of the soldiers seriously wounded in Friday’s attack. He said the men were victims of the trust they had in Afghan soldiers they were training at the base where one of them

opened fire. “They didn’t have a chance. This was murder,” said Longuet. The minister is to brief Sarkozy on steps being taken by the Afghans to guarantee security conditions for the French trainers. Sarkozy has said that without such conditions being clearly established, he will raise the prospect of an early return of the French army. He has already immediately suspended French military training and joint combat operations with Afghan troops. The French force is to be reduced to 3,000 by late 2012, with 200 due to leave in March. All NATO combat troops are due to leave by the end of 2014. In another development, the Afghan Taleban said yesterday they had recruited an Afghan soldier who shot dead four French soldiers a day earlier, raising fears the militant group had managed to deepen its infiltration of the country’s struggling security forces. The killings prompted France to threaten an early

While NATO has blamed Taleban infiltration in the past, it has also said stress, indiscipline and divided loyalties within the hastily trained ranks played a role. Such attacks are especially damaging as the Afghan National Army tries to win public trust before foreign troops leave. The Taleban claim coincided with a visit to Kabul by the US Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Marc Grossman. He is expected to meet President Hamid Karzai and other senior Afghan officials. Despite the presence of more than 100,000 foreign troops, violence across Afghanistan remains at its worst levels since the Taleban were toppled by US-backed Afghan forces in late 2001, according to the United Nations. In April last year, an Afghan Air Force pilot opened fire at the military wing of Kabul’s main airport, killing eight US troops and an American contractor. An Afghan border policeman shot dead six

KABUL: French Defence Minister Gerard Longuet (right) stands in front of the four coffins of French soldiers to pay his respects during a ceremony at Kabul Airport yesterday. —AFP pullout from the NATO-led war. The claim of responsibility raises serious concerns about handing control of security over to the Afghan army and police, which NATO-led forces are currently in the process of doing before all foreign combat troops leave by the end of 2014. “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has recruited people in important positions,” Taleban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location, using another name the Islamist group call themselves. “Some of them have already accomplished their missions.” The four French soldiers died on the spot, he said. The killings in Kapisa province were the latest in a string of such attacks in which Afghan troops turn on their Western allies and mentors.

US soldiers during a training mission in Nangarhar province in 2010. US and NATO officials usually describe such attacks as isolated incidents. Afzal Aman, head of operations for the Afghan National Army, said he could not confirm if the Taleban had infiltrated the army in this instance. But he suggested that such recruitment could represent a bigger threat than previously thought. “Usually in the past, whenever something like this happened, it came about after Afghan and foreign soldiers had an argument over something related to Afghan affairs,” he told Reuters. Friday’s attack also comes weeks after an offer from the Taleban to open a political office in Qatar as a prelude to possible peace talks with the United States and other nations. — Agencies

Maoist attack kills 12 in India PATNA: A landmine attack by Maoist rebels in eastern India killed at least 12 policemen and injured three others, authorities said yesterday. The attack, targeting a police vehicle in Jharkhand state, was to protest against the killing of one of the top Maoist leaders Koteswar Rao-better known as Kishenji-by security forces last year, police said. “The

Maoists triggered a power ful landmine targeting the police vehicle in Garhwa district,” senior police official Suman Gupta told AFP by telephone from state capital Ranchi. The policemen were apparently trapped by the Maoists in a forested area of the district, Gupta added. The Maoist insurgency, which began in 1967,

feeds off land disputes, police brutality and corruption, and is strongest in the poorest and most deprived areas of India, many of which are rich in natural resources. The attack was the latest in a series of rebel strikes on often poorly trained police battling the Maoist rebels, fighting to overthrow all state and national authorities.

Last month, another landmine attack by Maoist rebels in the same state struck a convoy of a senior politician, killing 10 policemen and a young boy. The increasingly lethal insurgency has spread to around 20 of India’s 29 states and has been described by Prime Minister Singh as the country’s biggest internal security threat.— AFP

Myanmar dissidents back Suu Kyi but won’t contest polls

NEW DELHI: A young girl dressed in traditional clothes sits at the Jammu and Kashmir state tableau during a media preview yesterday for the upcoming Republic Day parade, scheduled for January 26. — AP

YANGON: Myanmar’s most famous political prisoners yesterday voiced support for democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a week after their mass release, but said they would not contest April by-elections for seats in parliament. The “88 Generation Students Group”, which led a 1988 uprising that was brutally suppressed by the then military regime, said it was too soon to form a political party and would take a wait-and-see approach to reforms being initiated by the nominally civilian government that came to power last year. The group, led by Min Ko Naing and Ko Ko Gyi, who were freed this month after being jailed for leading the 1988 revolt, is regarded as Myanmar’s most popular opposition group after Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party. “We support Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s decision to take part in the upcoming election for the emergence of genuine democracy,” the group said in a statement read at a conference attended by more than 800 people in Yangon. Daw is a Burmese honorific. “The 88 Generation Students Group will provide her with support and encouragement,” it said. Suu Kyi, herself a former political prisoner who was released in November 2010, has reversed her stance on boycotting Myanmar’s army-dominated political system following a series of surprise reforms by the new government. The NLD boycotted the widely criticized 2010 elections but has reregistered as a party and will field candidates- including Suu Kyi herself-in April byelections for 48 vacant seats in the 1,158seat national legislature.

The NLD’s decision to take part has been welcomed by the international community but has not been entirely supported by the Burmese public, some of which feel Suu Kyi is being used by the former generals now in government to legitimize their new political system. Analysts and diplomats say last week’s release of more than 300 political prisoners, together with transparent April polls, could see the start of a gradual lifting of Western sanctions imposed due to the harsh rule of the country’s former junta. Ko Ko Gyi said the group would keep an open mind regarding the reforms under way in recent months, which include prisoner releases, more media freedom, tentative moves to overhaul the long stagnant economy and peace talks with ethnic militias. “We are neither optimistic or pessimistic. We just try to see things as they are,” he said. “We don’t care whether the glass is half full or half empty. We will just watch what they will do with the water already in the glass.” The 88 Generation said it would fully cooperate with the government to build a “new state” and said all parties, including the military, needed to work together for a brighter future, which should include activists still in detention or those driven into exile. The stance reflects a remarkable lack of bitterness towards those still in power, who were part of a regime that ensured members of the group were locked up for years in dire conditions, some subjected to torture and malnourishment. “We will cooperate with all national forces for the emergence of a wider peace process through talks being held at present,” it said. — Reuters



TEHRAN: Iranian female university students build a snowman at the Mellat (Nation) Park in northern Tehran yesterday. Snow forced authorities to close schools in some parts of Tehran and other cities yesterday. — AP

Street clashes follow gathering in Bahrain DUBAI: Bahraini police fired tear gas to break up a march yesterday by thousands of Shiites mourning a man whom activists said was killed in custody but officials said had drowned, residents said. Dozens of pro-government Sunni militants attacked the mourners, as riot police tried to break up the clashes and keep the two sides apart in Muharraq, a town north of the capital Manama, they said. “Some shop windows were broken during the clashes. I know one was owned by a Shiite and one by a Sunni,” said a resident adding that police detained at least four people. Clashes between security forces and mainly Shiite opposition activists have taken place on an almost daily basis after the Sunnidominated government crushed a pro-democracy uprising last year. The island nation, home to the US

Fifth Fleet, is seen by the United States and Saudi Arabia as a key ally against non-Arab Shiite power Iran just across Gulf waters. “Police warned mourners several times (the) procession was unauthorized before using legal procedures to disperse the crowd and protect civil peace,” the Interior Ministry said on its Twitter page. The main Shiite opposition group Wefaq called the police intervention against the funeral a “violation of human and religious rights”, according to its Twitter message. The funeral was for a 24-year-old Shiite found dead a few days after he went missing. The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights said his body showed signs of torture, but the Interior Ministry said he suffered from psychological problems and had drowned. Inspired by Arab uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, thousands of

mainly Shiite Bahrainis took to the streets last February and March demanding curbs on the power of the ruling Sunni Al-Khalifa family and an end to perceived discrimination. The broader pro-democracy movement was suppressed with military backing from Bahrain’s Sunniled Gulf neighbours Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. At least 35 people, including five members of the security forces, were killed in the unrest, according to an inquiry Bahrain commissioned into the protests and their aftermath. The inquiry said it found evidence of systematic abuse and torture. Bahrain has promised to implement the inquiry’s recommendations, which the US Congress has linked to its approval of a $53 million arms sale to Manama. Opposition groups doubt the kingdom’s commitment to reform. — Reuters

MUHARRAQ, Bahrain: Mourners react to tear gas fired by riot police yesterday in a cemetery during the politically charged funeral of Yousif Mowali, 24. — AP

Yemen grants Saleh ‘complete’ immunity

Meshaal wants to step down

Continued from Page 1

Continued from Page 1

The UN cannot condone a broad amnesty that covers UN classified crimes against humanity, genocide, war crimes, gross violations of human rights, and sexual violence,” Jamal Benomar said. “We would have been more satisfied if these recognised categories of crimes were incorporated into the draft law.” Human Rights Watch was far more critical. “This law sends the disgraceful message that there is no consequence for killing those who express dissent,” said HRW regional director Sarah Leah Whitson. “The Yemeni government should be investigating senior officials linked to serious crimes, not letting them get away with murder.” The deal, part of the plan hammered out by Yemen’s wealthier Gulf neighbours to ease Saleh from power, will cover Saleh’s entire presidency and cannot be cancelled or appealed. Neighbouring top oil exporter Saudi Arabia and the United States had backed autocratic Saleh for much of his rule, but endorsed the transition deal, fearing continued unrest would be exploited by Al-Qaeda’s Yemen-based regional wing, seen by Washington as the network’s most dangerous branch. A Middle Eastern diplomat involved in the discussions over Saleh’s fate told Reuters on Friday the president still planned to visit the United States for medical treatment but would not leave Yemen permanently. Al Arabiya television said yesterday that Saleh planned to visit Oman and Ethiopia before going to the United States for a medical check-up. A senior Yemeni official said Saleh would have diplomatic immunity if and when he travelled to the United States. “We are waiting for a third country to approve the president’s short visit prior to travelling to the US,” said the official, who is not authorised to speak to the press and so declined to be named. The official suggested that the third country was an Arab nation. Some activists said the immunity deal showed that the successes of the protests could easily be overturned. “We have lost all faith in the political opposition. If they can grant Saleh this kind of pardon perhaps they will pass more laws against us in the future, maybe next time they will pass laws banning demonstrations. We, as the youth, can no longer trust them,” said protest leader Faizah Suleiman. But activist Abdulaziz Sakkaf, 22, said: “It is of course controversial but it is necessary if a peaceful transfer of power has any chance of succeeding. I don’t support it in principle, but for pragmatic reasons.” Yemeni Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakul Karman told Reuters that Saleh and his inner circle must be barred from returning to power if the country was to have any chance of

restoring stability. Analysts say impoverished Yemen may become a failed state as it also faces Shiite rebels in the north, resurgent southern separatist sentiment and Al-Qaeda-linked militants who have seized several towns in the south. A tribal negotiator said yesterday talks broke off with Tareq Al-Dahab, leader of an Islamist militant group that took over the town of Radda, 170 km southeast of the capital Sanaa, after he demanded that 16 Al-Qaeda militants be freed and Islamic law be enforced in the town. Dahab had earlier said his fighters would withdraw if his brother and several others were freed. Army forces and pro-government tribal fighters clashed with the militants after the talks broke down, targeting a historic fort where the Islamists have taken position, residents said. Saleh’s opponents accuse him of ceding territory to Islamists to bolster his assertion that his rule alone keeps AlQaeda from growing stronger in Yemen, and ultimately aiming to retain power by sabotaging the transition deal. Washington has been trying for weeks to find a country where Saleh can live in exile, since it does not want him to settle permanently in the United States. The mercurial president, who has ruled for more than 33 years, has repeatedly gone back and forth on whether he would leave. The officials’ comments yesterday suggested Oman, Yemen’s neighbor, could be a potential home for him. Three officials said he would go, but they were divided on whether he would remain in exile in Oman or return to Yemen after treatment. His return, even if he no longer holds the post of president, could mean continued turmoil for the impoverished nation at the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. The US does not want to take him in, concerned it would be seen by Yemenis as harboring a leader they say has blood on his hands for the killings of protesters. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates already have rejected Saleh, American officials said. However, an official in the prime minister’s office said Saleh “is supposed” to return to Oman to stay after his US treatment is completed. The official said Saleh’s powerful son Ahmed was currently in Oman, arranging a residence for his father. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk the press. It did not seem that Ahmed, who commands the elite Republican Guard that has been at the forefront of the crackdown on protests, would remain in Oman. The unity government has been struggling to establish its authority in the face of Saleh’s continuing strength in the country. Like Saleh’s son Ahmed, Saleh’s nephew also commands one of Yemen’s best trained and equipped security forces, and the president’s loyalists remain in place in the government and bureaucracy. — Agencies

The next elections are expected to be held in July or August, Hamas sources said. Among the leading candidates to replace Meshaal are his number two, Mussa Abu Marzuq, who also lives in exile; the leader of the Hamas government in Gaza, Ismail Haniya, and another prominent Gaza Hamas figure, Mahmud Zahar. The Hamas confirmation that Meshaal wants to step down comes amid press reports of growing friction between the Damascus-based leadership-in-exile and the movement’s Gaza wing, which has ruled the territory since ousting Fatah forces loyal to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in 2007. A series of MeshaalAbbas meetings in recent months in a bid to reconcile the two factions and unify their rival administrations has reportedly drawn criticism from some Gaza leaders. Last month, the two men agreed on a process that could pave the way for the Islamist group to join a reformed Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and for long-delayed Palestinian elections across Gaza and the occupied West Bank. Abbas’ secular Fatah faction has accused Hamas leaders in Gaza of trying to sabotage the reconciliation moves and has called on Meshaal to rein them in. “We know that there are forces of Hamas in Gaza who want neither reconciliation nor to give up their empire, their money or their influence,” the secretary general of Fatah’s revolutionary council, Amin Maqbul, said last week. “There is a real threat to reconciliation if the exiled leadership of Hamas does not begin to put pressure on those inside to change the situation in Gaza and insist on the culture of national unity and reconciliation,” he told Voice of Palestine radio. But yesterday, Haniya announced that Hamas has agreed to the return to the territory from Egypt of 80 Fatah members. Hundreds of Fatah members within the Palestinian security services fled to neighbouring Egypt, most of them after the bloody clashes in June 2007 when Hamas seized control of the coastal territory. Meshaal first told the Hamas leadership at a Shura Council meeting in Sudan last month that he does not plan to seek re-election, according to Hamas insiders who spoke on anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. It is unclear whether Mashaal is serious about stepping aside, or hopes to elicit a show of support from the movement by announcing he is not seeking re-election. Under Hamas’ internal rules, the head of the

political bureau can only serve two terms for a total of eight years, and Meshaal faced severe criticism in the past for staying on past that. Some said the Arab Spring may be influencing Meshaal’s strategy. “With this step, Meshaal wanted to emphasize that Hamas is a democratic movement, but the final decision will be made by the Shura Council,” said Ahmed Yousef, a Hamas figure in Gaza who spoke to Meshaal earlier in the week. It’s not clear if and when Hamas elections would be held. Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas official in Lebanon, said the date of possible internal elections would not be revealed, citing security reasons. Meshaal was propelled into the movement’s top job after the Israeli assassination of Hamas spiritual leader and co-founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in Gaza in March 2004, and the killing of his immediate successor Abdel Aziz Rantissi a month later. The exiled Hamas leader remains a top target but Israel has so far been unable to reach him in Damascus, where he is under the de facto protection of the Syrian regime. In 1997, agents from Israel’s Mossad intelligence service disguised as Canadian tourists bungled an attempt to assassinate him on a street in Amman by injecting him with poison, but they were captured by the Jordanian authorities. Meshaal fell into a coma and a furious King Hussein demanded Israel hand over the antidote if it wanted the captured agents to be freed. The episode compelled Benjamin Netanyahu, then as now Israeli prime minister, to release Yassin and 19 others from prison. Meshaal is originally from the West Bank Palestinian village of Silwad. A Gaza political analyst said that if Meshaal was replaced, hidden internal rifts could surface and the Hamas’ Gaza leaders may take over as prime decisionmakers from those in exile. “If Meshaal insists on stepping down, it could pave the way for the rise of other power bases and the issue of who should lead Hamas officials in Gaza or abroad - will surface,” Hani Habib told Reuters. He said that disputes between the leaders in Gaza and abroad worsened after Meshaal angered those in Gaza by agreeing to reconciliation with Fatah and giving Abbas a year to pursue peace talks with Israel. Habib said he did not expect a more radical successor. “In any circumstances I believe that the general trend within Hamas and political Islam in the world is now to show more flexibility towards engaging with the world,” he said. — Agencies





Founder and Publisher

YOUSUF S. AL-ALYAN Editor-in-Chief

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

Washington Watch

GOP primary: A fratricidal embarrassment By Dr James J Zogby


am writing this from Dubai one day before South Carolina voters go to the polls. While it might have been nice had I been able to wait until late Saturday night when the votes were counted, with deadlines being deadlines, I must write now. In a way, though, it doesn’t matter, since the particular observations I want to make aren’t dependent on the outcome. It makes no difference whether Republican voters decide to give former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich’s presidential aspirations a last minute boost or decide to end the party’s agony and give former Governor Mitt Romney a decisive win, that might help him clinch the nomination. It makes no difference, because the story of this Republican primary contest has already been written. In short, it has been more of a fratricidal embarrassment than an election. And, in the process, real damage has been done both to the Republican Party and to the country. It was clear from the beginning that the Tea Party and the religious right would cannibalize the GOP. But watching it play out, has been ugly. Their first victims were the more solid and experienced “should’ve run” Republican governors who chose not to enter the race. Next in line were the “never should’ve run” half-baked candidates who were each, for a short time, catapulted into the lead of this lack-luster field only to be humiliated and forced to drop out when it became clear that they “were not ready for prime time”. It is Romney who is paying the dearest price, and there is something almost sad about this election’s Romney story. He is the classic “born with a silver spoon in his mouth”, son of power and wealth, with a picture book family. Other things being equal, one might have thought that Romney would have been “the perfect Republican candidate”, but for two deep “flaws”: he is a Mormon and his political conversion to conservatism is considered unconvincing by many hardliners. As I watch Romney in debates, fielding challenges from lesser candidates, behind the starched shirt and crisp smile, you can see in his eyes a mix of desperation and anger. It is as if he is saying to himself “I’ve worked too long and too hard and have been the ‘inevitable winner’ for too many months for this to be happening to me”. What he knows is that each attack has drawn blood and that continuing attacks can prove fatal. Now I know that politics is rough business, but in my many decades of following presidential campaigns, I’ve never seen Republicans behaving like this. There is an old adage that says “Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line,”. Historically, it is Democrats who have the bitter primaries and then have to make up and embrace at their convention as the party faithful swoons over their new nominee. This is not to say that Republicans aren’t, at times, quite nasty. They have been, but for the most part the GOP had tried to adhere to what have come to be known as “Reagan’s 11th Commandment” - “thou shalt not attack a fellow Republican”. And when GOPer’s did attack, it was often done discreetly - with no fingerprints (remember the Bush-team’s rumor campaign about McCain having fathered a non-white child, just before the South Carolina primary in 2000). In any case, by the time the party’s establishment has made their choice clear, the GOP rank-and-file would respond, stopping their attacks and “falling in line” in support of their party’s candidate. This year’s presidential contest started out being quite civil. But a combination of desperate candidates, the fervent desire of some hardliners to block Romney’s bid for the nomination, and the explosion of “super PAC’s” awash with money, have all contributed to changing this primary’s political dynamic. The attacks have been harsh and they have been sustained. And over time they have only become more intense and personal. As a result, real damage has been done. A recent poll, late this week, showed that: one in six Republicans said that they would not vote for Romney should he win the nomination; almost one half of all Republicans believe that Mormons are not Christians; and, at this late date, four in ten Republicans remain unsatisfied with the candidates and still hope others will run. None of this adds up to anything good for Romney or for Republican chances in November. One final observation that I must make is how hurtful this primary has been to America. NOTE: Dr James J Zogby is the President of the Arab American Institute

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

Coup plot raises fears of army ‘Islamisation’ By Shafiq Alam


failed plot to oust the Bangladesh government, by what the army described as “religiously fanatic” officers, has raised questions over the level of Islamist penetration in the military, analysts say. The army Bangladesh’s key secular institution - said the plot was unearthed in December and involved some non-resident Bangladeshis, around 16 serving and retired officers and the outlawed Islamist outfit Hizbut Tahrir. A major general, who heads one of the country’s largest cantonments, was recalled to Dhaka, while two former officers including a colonel were arrested. “I am worried because radical, extremist views within a disciplined and secular force is unexpected,” said Delwar Hossain, a professor of Dhaka University, who teaches security issues and international relations. “It can have profound implications,” Hossain told AFP. Bangladesh has had a history of political violence, coups and counter-coups since gaining independence in 1971. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the country’s first president and father of the current prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, was assassinated during his overthrow by the army in 1975. Bangladesh was run by a military dictator again from 1982 to 1990. Democracy was restored in 1991,

but street battles between supporters of Hasina and her arch political rival, Khaleda Zia, prompted the army to step in again in January 2007. Although the military regimes appeased Islamic activists by enshrining “absolute faith in Allah” in the constitution and making Islam the state religion, they always took care not to undermine

the army ’s secular status. Some observers queried how serious the latest coup plot actually was, and suggested the army’s focus on its “religious” nature was meant as a warning to Islamist factions within the military. “It looks like it may not have been a coup, but rather a dissension or disorder, which the army has been struggling to overcome in its

Bangladesh Army spokesman brigadier general Muhammad Masud Razzaq briefs the press about a failed attempt to topple the Awami League-led government at the Dhaka Cantonment on Jan 19, 2012. – AFP

evolution as a disciplined force,” said Ataur Rahman, a senior researcher at the National University of Singapore and an expert on the Bangladesh military. “By talking quite openly about a failed coup... the military wants to send a clear message that it’ll not tolerate any drift towards religious extremism,” Rahman said. Hasina’s government, which came to power in early 2009, has faced repeated threats from Islamist groups. Efforts to bolster the secular character of the Bangladesh constitution in June last year triggered angry protests by Islamic activists in the Muslim-majority nation. Her government has also launched a series of war crimes trials - related to the country ’s 1971 liberation struggle which have so far mostly targeted the leaders of the country’s largest Islamic party. “Some Islamists are obviously not happy with the trials,” said Abdur Rob, a professor of North South University. After news of the failed coup plot was made public Thursday, Hasina’s ruling Awami League party promised that those involved would be “given exemplary punishment”. The Bangladesh Army has become the biggest contributor to United Nations Peacekeeping forces - a lucrative program that observers say has reduced the appetite of rank and file army officers for political power. — AFP

Pakistan in three-pronged political crisis By Nadeem Sarwar


akistan, a nuclear power and key Western ally in the fight against Taleban insurgents, is facing its biggest political crisis in recent years. Lines are drawn for a showdown between the military and civilian government, and the judiciary is also trying to rein in the administration. Some analysts believe the escalating conflict between the three powers could lead to the dismissal of the unpopular government and result in early elections. The worst-case scenario is a militar y coup, which could occur if the government tries to sack army chief general Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Lieutenant General Shuja Pasha, the head of power ful Inter Ser vices Intelligence. But that seems a remote possibility. A dramatic turn came early last week when the Supreme Court cited Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani for contempt. He appeared in court on Thursday. The judiciary lost patience over the government’s refusal to implement its orders to ask Swiss authorities to reopen cases of money laundering against President Asif Ali Zardari. The charges date back to the 1990s when Zardari’s late wife Benazir Bhutto was prime minister. He is alleged to have received commissions for contracts and transferred the money to Swiss

banks. At the request of the Pakistani government, Swiss investigations were closed. That was part of a complex political deal made by former militar y dictator Per vez Musharraf and Bhutto. Gilani’s government says the cases against Zardari cannot be reopened because he enjoys immunity as president. But the judiciary headed by fiercely independent Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry is demand-

ing respect for the rule of law and for court orders. An independent judiciary is new to all in Pakistan, including politicians and generals. In the past, appointing judges of their choice would lend legitimacy and cover to their actions. At the same time, the powerful army generals and the government are at daggers drawn over a memo allegedly sent by a Zardari envoy asking US officials to prevent a possible military

coup, after Osama bin Laden was killed by US commandos on May 2. The army said Zardari approved the memo, and demanded he be tried for treason. The government denied the existence of the memo. Kayani warned of “grievous consequences” over Gilani’s accusation that he and Pasha had violated the rules when replying to the court that is investigating the scandal. Gilani said their answers to the court needed

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani waves as he leaves the Supreme Court after adjourning the contempt hearing in Islamabad on Jan 19, 2012. – AFP

the government’s permission. Gilani responded by dismissing the top bureaucrat in the Defence Ministry, a close confidant of Kayani. Despite the tensions, the military could be restrained by the country ’s vibrant media and opposition political parties. “No doubt people are against this dysfunctional democratic government but they will not welcome any military government now,” said Rasool Bux Raees, a professor at Lahore University of Management Sciences. “Independent media, which was not available during all the previous coups, has educated them well to find alternative ways within the framework of democracy.” But Gilani could lose his post if he is convicted of contempt, and he would not likely stir up much sympathy. His government has been marred by corruption charges and economic mismanagement for three years. The country is facing doubledigit inflation, the currency has shed almost 40 per cent its value, and cuts to electricity and gas supplies have wearied the public. “Do you think we will have any sympathy for Gilani if he goes? What has he given us?” asked an Islamabad resident named Mumtaz. “We can’t cook food, warm water is not available for even washing your face, elders are suffering and children are getting sick.” — dpa


sp orts Mourinho springs to Pepe’s defense

Dempsey, Wambach win US Soccer awards

Rigondeaux claims WBA title

MADRID: Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho defended Portuguese defender Pepe yesterday saying he believed him when he declared his stamp on Lionel Messi’s hand earlier in the week was unintentional. The 28-year-old had been forced to go public and say his stamp on the Argentinean star’s hand during the Spanish Cup quarter-final first leg clash with Barcelona had not been on purpose after he attracted widespread criticism for the gesture. Mourinho too felt compelled to spring to his defense. “If Pepe had said publicly that it was intentional and he had told me the same thing then I would have been really mad,” said Mourinho, whose Cup holders trail 2-1 going into this week’s second leg. “But he said it was not on purpose and I believe him.” While replays showed that it looked like it was on purpose and Mourinho said it was everyone’s right to either believe his Portuguse compatriot or not he used an example of a previous bitter meeting between the two clubs last season where a Barca player was accused of something but his denial was accepted by all. —AFP

LOS ANGELES: Cuba’s Guillermo Rigondeaux, a former two-time Olympic champion, stopped Rico Ramos in the sixth round Friday to claim the American’s World Boxing Association super bantamweight title. Rigondeaux dominated throughout, starting with a knockdown after a punishing left to the head in the opening round of their scheduled 12-round fight in Las Vegas, Nevada. His left to the body sent Ramos down for the count at 1:29 of the sixth. Rigondeaux, who had an extensive amateur career in Cuba before defecting in 2009, improved to 9-0 with seven wins inside the distance as he handed

Ramos his first professional defeat. “They have to respect a twotime gold medal winner,” Rigondeaux said. “It’s the hardest thing to win.” Ramos fell to 20-1 with 11 knockouts. He was making his first defense of the title he took from Japan’s Akifumi Shimoda in July with a seventh-round knockout in Atlantic City. “Rico Ramos is a very, very good fighter, but when I train nobody can beat me,” said the 31-year-old Cuban southpaw, whose camp wasted no time in calling out Nonito Donaire, the World Boxing Council bantamweight champ from the Philippines. — AFP

CHICAGO: Fulham striker Clint Dempsey and Abby Wambach, who helped the Americans reach last year’s Women’s World Cup final, were named by the US Soccer Federation on Friday as 2011 Athletes of the Year. Voting was 50 percent from on-line US supporters and 50 percent from media and US Soccer representatives. It was the second time that Dempsey has taken the award, also getting the nod in 2007. The 28-year-old US midfielder has netted six goals so far this season for Fulham in the English Premier League. Dempsey now ranks as the highest-scoring American in Premier League history, passing Brian McBride’s 36 goals in early December. Dempsey scored a tournament-best three goals in last year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup but the Americans lost to Mexico in the final, setting the stage for the firing of coach Bob Bradley and the signing of new coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “I would like to thank the fans for voting me Athlete of the Year,” Dempsey said. —AFP

Djokovic, Murray power into fourth round MELBOURNE: Defending champion Novak Djokovic blitzed his way into the Australian Open fourth round yesterday, conceding just two games as big guns Andy Murray and JoWilfried Tsonga also eased through. The Serbian top seed, yet to drop a set in Melbourne as he chases a third consecutive grand slam title, destroyed hapless Mahut 6-0, 6-1, 6-1 in just 74 minutes. Last year’s beaten finalist Murray, the British fourth seed, had no trouble dispatching Frenchman Michael Llodra in a night match that featured some crowd-thrilling rallies. And French sixth seed Tsonga, who lost to Djokovic in the 2008 Melbourne final, was also in a hurry, demolishing Portugal’s Frederico Gil, ranked 107th, 6-2, 6-2, 6-2. Djokovic, who set the tennis world alight in 2011, barely broke sweat as he reached the round of 16 in Melbourne for the sixth straight year. He looked in ominous form as he set up a clash with two-times grand slam champion Lleyton Hewitt after the Australian’s gutsy four-set win over Canadian power-server Milos Raonic in the night match on Rod Laver Arena. Djokovic leads Hewitt 4-1. Mahut, who

shares the record for the longest-ever tennis match of 11 hours and five minutes with John Isner at Wimbledon two years ago, struggled with a left knee injury on his 30th birthday. “Credit to Nicolas. Obviously, he had some strapping around his knee and I felt sorry for him,” Djokovic said. “Evidently he was not moving well, he was not able to perform his best, but he didn’t want to retire and he wanted to stay all the way so I wish him happy birthday.” Djokovic, who broke Mahut’s serve eight times and made only eight unforced errors in the 20 games, is bidding to become the fifth man to win three consecutive grand slams after winning Wimbledon and the US Open last year. Murray was also in commanding form, seeing off 46th-ranked Llodra 6-4, 6-2, 6-0 and will play Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan in the round of 16. He was always in control of the erratic Frenchman, breaking six times and hitting an impressive 48 winners. Meanwhile Tsonga, the top-ranked French player, said not having a coach had done him no harm at all after seeing off Gil to set up a match with Japan’s 24th seed, Kei Nishikori.

Tsonga parted company with long-time coach Eric Winogradsky last April and has since been on his own, but in that time he has reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon and the US Open quarter-finals. After putting Gil to the sword yesterday, the 26-year-old Tsonga said he saw no pressing need to recruit a replacement mentor. “I mean, it’s not the first one (tournament without a coach), so I feel good. I’m OK,” he said. “You can also improve your game by yourself. I’ve improved a lot. “I’m here because maybe I had a coach, but now I feel like I have to follow my opinion maybe a bit more.” Tsonga, unbeaten in eight matches this season after winning his eighth ATP singles title in Doha, said he intended to go it alone until results forced a rethink. Gil was the first Portuguese man to reach the third round at a grand slam. In other action yesterday, Spanish fifth seed David Ferrer, a semifinalist last year, saw off Argentina’s Juan Ignacio Chela 7-5, 6-2, 6-1 and will play Richard Gasquet in the next round. French 14th seed Gael Monfils bowed out in five sets to Kukushkin. — AFP

MELBOURNE: Serbia’s Novak Djokovic serves to France’s Nicholas Mahut during their third round match at the Australian Open tennis championship yesterday. — AP

Sixers sweep past Hawks Bulls rise without Rose for big win

MELBOURNE: Serena Williams of the United States plays a shot against Hungary’s Greta Arn on her way to winning their third round match at the Australian Open tennis championship yesterday. — AP

Williams happy, but in tears as seeds exit MELBOURNE: Five-time champion Serena Williams enjoyed a convincing win in the third round of the Australian Open yesterday, but there were tears as two of the top 10 seeds departed after major upsets. Williams thrashed world number 92 Greta Arn 6-1, 6-1 in 59 minutes to close out the women’s third round in an ominous display as she seeks her 14th grand slam win. She will now take on Ekaterina Makarova in the round of 16 following the unseeded Russian’s surprise 7-6 (9/7), 6-1 win over seventh seed Vera Zvonareva. Zvonareva left the Australian Open in tears after her loss to 56th-ranked Makarova, while China’s Zheng Jie also caused an upset as she sent ninth-seeded Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli crashing out 6-3, 6-3. Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and Russia’s Maria Sharapova, the 2008 Australian champion, sailed through their matches. Kvitova won 6-0, 1-0 when Russia’s Maria Kirilenko retired with a thigh injury, while Sharapova beat feisty German Angelique Kerber 6-1, 6-2. The 32-year-old Arn started well against Williams in the Rod Laver Arena and had a break point in the opening game, but that was as close as she got as the American stepped up to overpower her opponent and run away with the match. Williams broke Arn twice in the first set and three times in the second as the Hungarian wilted on the big stage. “I’m nowhere near where I want to be, but I’m trying to play through it,” said Williams, who missed much of last year with injury. Zheng got away to a lightning start against the powerful Bartoli and there was no let-up in her raking ground strokes as she joined fellow Chinese Li Na in the fourth round, where she plays Italian Sara Errani. Wimbledon title-holder Kvitova also showed tremendous power before Kirilenko retired injured in the second set. After breaking Kirilenko’s serve in a 10-minute opening game, the Czech world number two raced through the remainder of the set with a succession of booming serves and punishing ground strokes. “The way I played in the first five games was great,” she said. “I mean from the last match that I played it was really a big difference and I’m really happy how I played today. Hopefully it will continue like this.” Kvitova will play Ana Ivanovic in the fourth round after the Serb’s 6-4, 6-4 win over American Vania King, while Italy’s Errani downed Romanian Sorana Cirstea 6-7 (6-8), 6-0, 6-2. Sharapova was flattered by the scoreline in her match against the 30th seeded Kerber. The Russian number one, who won in Melbourne in 2008, broke Kerber three times in each set but had to battle in the second as Kerber lifted her game. “I played a really good first set but she certainly stepped up in the second,” Sharapova said. She next plays 14th seeded German Sabine Lisicki, who ended the tournament of two-time grand slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 2-6, 6-4, 6-2. — AFP

PHILADELPHIA: The Philadelphia 76ers flicked the switch in the third quarter and swept past the Atlanta Hawks 90-76 on Friday in a clash of NBA division leaders. Jrue Holiday had 16 points and 11 assists, and Thaddeus Young scored 20 points for Philadelphia, which improved to 7-1 at home. The Sixers left a dismal first half in the dust with a sensational third quarter. Jodie Meeks hit a pair of 3-pointers and Andre Iguodala rocked nearly 18,000 fans with a pair of thunderous dunks during a 14-0 run. Ex-Sixer Willie Green scored 14 points for the Hawks, who had been in control and seemed on course for a fifth straight win until the 76ers found their way. MAGIC 92, LAKERS 80 In Orlando, Dwight Howard scored 21 points and grabbed 23 rebounds as Orlando overcame a tough shooting performance to beat Los Angeles. Jameer Nelson added 17 points and nine assists as the Magic had all five starters in double figures. Kobe Bryant scored 30 points for the Lakers, who posted a season low in points to drop to 1-6 on the road this season. The Magic led by as many as 23, helped by Los Angeles’ second consecutive night shooting under 40 percent. Orlando was only slightly better at 41 percent but connected on 12 3-pointers. BULLS 114, CAVALIERS 75 In Cleveland, Chicago made light of the absence of star Derrick Rose by handing Cleveland its heaviest ever home defeat. Luol Deng scored 21 points, and Carlos Boozer added 19 and 14 rebounds for the Bulls, who barely missed reigning league MVP Rose, who sat out his third straight game with a toe injury. The 39point margin was the most lopsided defeat ever inflicted on the Cavs in Cleveland, surpassing 35point losses suffered in 1990 and 2001. It could have been worse. Chicago, which has the league’s best record at 14-3, led by 42 points in the fourth quarter when all the Bulls’ starters were resting on the bench. Anderson Varejao scored 14 points and rookie Kyrie Irving added 13 for the Cavs. KINGS 88, SPURS 86 In San Antonio, Tyreke Evans had 23 points and 11 rebounds, including the go-ahead jumper with 47.2 seconds left to give Sacramento a surprising road victory over San Antonio. Marcus Thornton and DeMarcus Cousins added 17 points apiece for the Kings, who had been abysmal on the road this season, losing by an average of 23 points, while San Antonio entered the game with a 9-0 home record. Tony Parker led the Spurs with 24 points. San Antonio missed its last five shots, including Danny Green’s airball on a short runner as time expired. TIMBERWOLVES 101, CLIPPERS 98 In Los Angeles, Kevin Love hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Minnesota a memorable win over Los Angeles. Los Angeles’ Chauncey Billups missed a driving layup coming out of a timeout, and Love got the rebound before Minnesota called a timeout with 1.5 seconds on the clock. Love’s winner came after Ricky Rubio sank a tying 3 with 20 seconds to play, choosing the right time to end a dismal night of shooting, as he missed his first 10 field goal attempts. Darko Milicic had 22 points and seven rebounds for Minnesota before fouling out with 1:01 left, and Love had 17 points and 14 rebounds. The Timberwolves have won three straight for the first time in two seasons. Mo Williams scored 21

LOS ANGELES: Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin dunks the ball during the first half of their NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday, Jan 20, 2012. — AP of his 25 points off the bench in the first half for the Clippers before getting ejected midway through the fourth quarter. Los Angeles’ sevengame home winning streak was ended. PACERS 94, WARRIORS 91 In Oakland, George Hill scored on a threepoint play with 1.8 seconds remaining as Indiana held off a late charge by Golden State. Hill stole the ball then raced the length of the floor for a tiebreaking layup. Hill was fouled and made the free throw for the final margin. Stephen Curry had a last chance to tie it for the Warriors, but his 29-footer at the buzzer bounced off the back of the rim. Danny Granger had 26 points and Roy Hibbert added a career-high 16 rebounds for the Pacers (10-4) who are off to their best start since opening the 2003-04 season 13-1. Monta Ellis finished with

25 points and six assists for Golden State. TRAIL BLAZERS 94, RAPTORS 84 In Toronto, LaMarcus Aldridge had a seasonhigh 33 points and a career-best 23 rebounds as Portland handed Toronto its seventh consecutive loss. Raymond Felton scored 14 points as the Blazers won their seventh straight over Toronto. Portland has not lost to the Raptors since 2006-07. James Johnson scored a careerhigh 23 points for the Raptors. NUGGETS 108, WIZARDS 104 In Washington, Al Harrington scored a season-high 29 points, making the difference in Denver’s tight win over Washington. Danilo Gallinari and Ty Lawson each had 21 for the Nuggets, who made it five wins in six games despite the absence of Nene with a bruised

NHL results/standings NBA results and standings on Friday. : Philadelphia 90, Atlanta 76; Portland 94, Toronto 84; Denver 108, Washington 104; Chicago 114, Cleveland 75; Milwaukee 100, NY Knicks 86; Memphis 98, Detroit 81; Phoenix 79, Boston 71; Orlando 92, LA Lakers 80; Sacramento 88, San Antonio 86; Indiana 94, Golden State 91; Minnesota 101, LA Clippers 98. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT Philadelphia 11 4 .733 NY Knicks 6 9 .400 Boston 5 9 .357 New Jersey 4 11 .267 Toronto 4 12 .250 Central Division Chicago 14 3 .824 Indiana 10 4 .714 Cleveland 6 8 .429 Milwaukee 5 9 .357 Detroit 3 13 .188 Southeast Division Orlando 11 4 .733 Miami 10 4 .714 Atlanta 11 5 .688 Charlotte 3 12 .200 Washington 2 13 .133

GB 5 5.5 7 7.5 2.5 6.5 7.5 10.5 0.5 0.5 8 9

Western Conference Northwest Division Oklahoma City 12 3 .800 Denver 11 5 .688 Utah 9 5 .643 Portland 9 6 .600 Minnesota 7 8 .467 Pacific Division LA Clippers 8 5 .615 LA Lakers 10 7 .588 Phoenix 6 9 .400 Sacramento 6 10 .375 Golden State 5 10 .333 Southwest Division San Antonio 10 6 .625 Memphis 8 6 .571 Dallas 9 7 .563 Houston 8 7 .533 New Orleans 3 12 .200

1.5 2.5 3 5 3 3.5 4 1 1 1.5 6.5

heel. Washington led 100-98 with 2:07 to play, before an equalizing basket then a Harrington 3-pointer with 1:14 left to make it 103-98. Nick Young’s 25 points led the Wizards, who dropped to a miserable 2-13. SUNS 79, CELTICS 71 In Boston, Marcin Gortat scored 24 points with 12 rebounds to lead Phoenix over Boston in a low-scoring encounter. Steve Nash had 11 points and nine assists for the Suns. Playing without point guard Rajon Rondo, the team’s most consistent starter this year, the Celtics had their lowest-scoring game of the season. They lost for the sixth time in seven games and fell to 0-4 against the Western Conference. Ray Allen led the Celtics with 14 points and six rebounds. BUCKS 100, KNICKS 86 In New York, Brandon Jennings scored a season-high 36 points as Milwaukee won on the road for the first time this season, beating New York. The Bucks won for the sixth time in their last seven trips to New York, where they outplayed a Knicks team that has lost five straight overall and is quickly losing the support of its demanding fans. Milwaukee dominated the second half behind Jennings, who loves to make the Knicks pay for passing on him with the No 8 pick in the 2009 draft. Carmelo Anthony scored 35 points for the Knicks before he was ejected with 1:33 left after picking up his second technical foul. GRIZZLIES 98, PISTONS 81 In Auburn Hills, Michigan, Rudy Gay scored 24 points to help surging Memphis hold off a second-half rally by Detroit. Marc Gasol had 17 points for the Grizzlies, who have won five straight. They led by 23 in the third quarter before the Pistons fought back, cutting the deficit to six in the fourth. Rookie guard Brandon Knight scored 22 points for Detroit, which has lost 10 of 11. The Pistons were without guards Rodney Stuckey (groin) and Will Bynum (right foot), as well as forward Charlie Villanueva (right ankle). — AP




Lanka celebrate rare success Sri Lanka turn tables on South Africa

KIMBERLEY: South Africa’s batsman JP Duminy (left) plays a shot as Sri Lanka’s wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara waits to make a catch during the fourth one-day International match (ODI) between South Africa and Sri Lanka at De Beers Diamond Oval Stadium in Kimberley. —AFP

Scoreboard KIMBERLEY, South Africa: Scoreboard Friday in the fourth one-day international between South Africa and Sri Lanka at Diamond Oval: South Africa Alviro Petersen c Tharanga b Herath 37 Graeme Smith c Dilshan b Malinga 68 AB de Villiers b Perera 96 Colin Ingram lbw b Kulasekara 1 JP Duminy c Sangakkara b Perera 36 Faf du Plessis c Sangakkara b Herath 5 Wayne Parnell run out (Tharanga) 21 Robin Peterson not out 23 Vernon Philander not out 2 Extras: (4b, 6w) 10 TOTAL: (for 7 wickets) 299 Overs: 50. Did not bat: Morne Morkel, Lonwabo Tsotsobe. Fall of wickets: 1-84, 2-171, 3-172, 4-242, 5-250, 6-252, 7-289 Bowling: Lasith Malinga 10-0-57-1, Nuwan Kulasekara 8-0-40-1, Sachithra Senanayake 101-53-0, Thisara Perera 4-0-34-2, Angelo Mathews 1-0-6-0, Tillakaratne Dilshan 8-0-60-0, Rangana Herath 9-0-45-2.

Sri Lanka Upul Tharanga c De Villiers b Tsotsobe 6 Tillakaratne Dilshan c Duminy b Tsotsobe 87 Kumar Sangakkara c Petersen b Petersen 32 Dinesh Chandimal b Tsotsobe 59 Lahiru Thirimanne c Duminy b Philander 13 Thisara Perera not out 69 Angelo Mathews not out 21 Extras: (4b, 5lb, 6w, 2nb) 17 TOTAL: (for 5 wickets) 304 Did not bat: Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Rangana Herath, Sachithra Senanayake. Bowling: Morne Morkel 8-0-43-0, Lonwabo Tsotsobe 10-0-51-3, Vernon Philander 6-0-391, Wayne Parnell 9-0-52-0, JP Duminy 4.4-0-370, Robin Peterson 6-0-47-1, Faf du Plessis 5-026-0. Result: Sri Lanka won by five wickets Series: South Africa leads 3-1.

Cuche trumps Klammer KITZBUEHEL: Swiss racer Didier Cuche notched up a record fifth downhill victory in Kitzbuehel yesterday, the perfect ending for his final descent of the World Cup’s most prestigious speed event. Cuche this week announced his intention to bow out of professional ski racing at the end of the season, insisting he wanted to go at the top of his game. The stocky 37-year-old Swiss proved himself again capable of mixing it with the best, mastering the Streif piste, widely considered the toughest and most dangerous downhill on the World Cup circuit. “It feels really great,” said Cuche. “Being back here and winning this race again, it’s a great feeling.” Cuche admitted that the announcement of his retirement had been a useful motivating factor. “It was preying on my mind,” he said. “Just before I pushed and jumped out of the starting gate, the last sentence I let go into my brain (was that it was my last race here) and it helped me to enjoy the run. “It’s not been easy. I knew this was going to be my last race on the Streif, but I managed to stay focused and perform well. “It

was pretty nerve wracking to wait in the finish area, as I realized that the upper section of my run until the Haubergkante was not perfect. I skied well on the lower section, though, which was the deciding factor in my victory.” In winning the downhill for the fifth time, Cuche bettered the previous record for downhill wins on the mountain he jointly held with Austrian ski legend Franz Klammer. “He’s the king of Kitzbuehel now,” 1976 Olympic downhill champion Klammer said of Cuche. “It was a fantastic win for Didier. He was incredibly fast and attacked the course even though there was bad light. He was amazing today.” The downhill was cut short, with the top third of the notorius Streif run slashed because of heavy snow and lowlying fog, but Cuche said it had not affected his approach. “As an athlete, you don’t think too much about it on race day because you’re there to focus and win anywhere,” he said. “I saw during the inspection that the slope was in great shape up top, and the organizers deserve massive credit for that given the weather. —AFP

KRANJSKA GORA: Tessa Worley of France competes during the first run of the Audi FIS Ski World Cup 2011-2012 women’s giant slalom in Kranjska Gora yesterday. —AFP

Worley wins, Maze clashes with team KR ANJSK A GOR A: France’s Tessa Worley put an end to a barren year when she won a women’s World Cup giant slalom race yesterday. Giant slalom world champion Tina Maze, unsettled by a row with her national team, had to settle for fifth place on her home snow. World bronze medalist Worley won three back-to-back giant slaloms in late 2010 but failed to earn any vic tories in 2011. She set the record straight in a combined time of t wo minutes 3.02 seconds in the Slovenian resort to top a youthful podium with three skiers under 23. Worley, 22, led Italy’s Federica Brignone, 21, by 0.56 seconds while German Olympic champion Viktoria Rebensburg, who was born on the same day as her French rival, was third, 0.89 adrift. Four th place went to World Cup leader Lindsey Vonn, who skied two solid runs to tighten her grip on the overall standings. She now leads Slovenian Maze by 296 points. The whole of Slovenia had expected a good showing from Maze in her favorite discipline but the strong-tempered racer

had other concerns. Slovenian Press Agenc y STA said a row erupted between Maze and her federation officials over prize money which the racer says she has not received from last season. The federation said Maze, who distanced herself from the national team in 2008, could change teams if she wanted, according to the media reports. Maze became front-page news last weekend in Cortina d’Ampezzo after she won a legal battle against the Swiss team who accused her of wearing per formance -enhancing underwear. Standing on the podium in third place after the super-G in the Italian resor t, she opened her sk i suit to reveal her bra on which she had written: ‘Not your business’. Worley praised the Kranjska Gora piste, which is more often used for men’s races. “It’s a great course for women; you really need to fight hard from top to bottom,” she said. “Some parts were very icy but it suits me.” The women’s program continues in Kranjska Gora today with a slalom. —Reuters

KIMBERLEY: Sri Lanka celebrated a rare success Friday on a tour to South Africa with a fivewicket victory in the fourth one-day international. Big knocks from captain Tillakaratne Dilshan (87), man-of-the-match Thisara Perera (69) and Dinesh Chandimal (59) lifted the visitors to 304-5 after the home side reached 2997 with skipper AB de Villiers (96) to the fore. After keeping close to the six-run-an-over target at the De Beers Diamond Oval for much of the innings, the Sri Lankan batsman hit out against a South African attack sorely missing rested fast bowler Dale Steyn. Unfortunately, the win came too late for the tourists to affect the five-game series with the Proteas taking a winning 3-0 lead three days ago thanks to a four-run win in a rain-hit Bloemfontein contest. But the outcome in this northern Cape city did emphasize the steady improvement of Sri Lanka after a nightmare opening match in which they were bowled for 43 to suffer a

humiliating 258-run loss. “This was a fantastic effort as we were hoping to restrict South Africa to 250 or 260 runs,” said Dilshan, “and on a personal note it was nice getting a big score again.” Dilshan averaged a run a ball in a 112minute stand that included nine fours and two sixes while Perera was even quicker, taking just 44 balls with three fours and five sixes in his tally. Chandimal may have struck only one six and one four and taken longer to compile his runs, but he was a steadying mid-innings influence as South Africa desperately sought wickets. Dilshan believes his side can win again Sunday at the Wanderers in Johannesburg amid Sri Lankan government calls for a probe into a “crisis situation” after series losses to England, Australia and Pakistan as well. It has been a spectacular fall from grace for a team that finished runners-up to India last April in the World Cup and some players have complained of unpaid salaries while the cricket

board wrestles with a 69-million-dollar debt. After three consecutive wins since replacing Graeme Smith as one-day captain, De Villiers had his first taste of defeat and offered no excuses, only praise for the “gutsy ” Sri Lankans, especially Perera. The South Africa batsman-cum-wicketkeeper will take solace from his fine innings that was laced with eight fours and three sixes and ended when he became one of two Perera victims as the ball crashed into middle stump. Another positive for the Proteas was a return to form by Smith (68), whose innings of six, 28 and two in the other matches had triggered a media and public outcry that forced De Villiers to come out in support of the opening bat. Smith struck seven fours and a six before surrendering his wicket cheaply with Dilshan taking the catch off a leg-side shot after a Lasith Malinga delivery that was short of a length. —AFP

Blackhawks take NHL lead Hurricanes special teams sink Capitals CHICAGO: Chicago’s Patrick Kane ended a seven-game goal drought as the Blackhawks claimed the overall NHL lead with a 3-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Friday. Kane also set up linemate Jonathan Toews’ breakaway score while defenseman Duncan Keith added his first goal in 30 games to help Chicago overtake Detroit for the league lead. The Blackhawks are 5-0-1 in their past six games. The Panthers dropped their eighth straight on the road and missed a chance to move clear of Washington and take the outright lead in the Southeast Division. PENGUINS 5, CANADIENS 4, SO In Pittsburgh, Evgeni Malkin scored in his fifth straight game and added the lone goal in the shootout to give the Penguins victory over Montreal. Pittsburgh won its fifth straight, with Malkin capping a two-goal third-period rally with his 25th of the season with 2:43 left in regulation. The NHL scoring leader then beat Peter Budaj in the shootout. Dustin Jeffrey scored twice and added an assist for Pittsburgh, and Kris Letang had a goal and an assist. Andrei Kostitsyn and Erik Cole each had a goal and an assist for the Canadiens. Lars Eller and Max Pacioretty also scored. LIGHTNING 2, STARS 1 In Dallas, Teddy Purcell scored twice to give Tampa Bay a tight win over Dallas. Mathieu Garon made 27 saves for the Lightning. Tom Wandell scored for the Stars, who have only one win from their past six games. HURRICANES 3, CAPITALS 0 In Raleigh, the Carolina Hurricanes scored three goals on special teams, including two by Jussi Jokinen, as they shutout divisional rivals the Washington Capitals 3-0 at the RBC Center on Friday. Jokinen opened the scoring in the first period on a shorthanded breakaway after Eric Staal had forced a turnover with team mate Justin Faulk in the penalty box. The Finnish left winger doubled the advantage to the delight of the home fans with a powerplay goal late in the second period. Jokinen has scored three goals in his last three games after enduring a 25-game goalless drought dating back to Nov 20. “Being an offensive player like me, I need to score goals for this team to win,” Jokinen told reporters. “Lucky I got that goal on Sunday. Now it’s been going better, so I hope I can keep going.” Jiri Tlusty

CHICAGO: Brent Seabrook #7 of the Chicago Blackhawks knocks the puck away from Krystofer Barch #21 of the Florida Panthers at the United Center on January 20, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. —AFP completed the scoring with a stunning power-play goal in the final minute of the game, the Czech center rounding Capitals goalie Tomas Vokoun and sliding the puck into the net. “We had our chances again, but today you can tell by the stats that special teams killed us,” Capitals coach Dale Hunter said.

“ They scored two power-play goals and they scored shorthanded. Our power-play, we gave up five or six scoring chances. We made bad decisions with the puck and it cost us.” Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward had little difficulty stopping all 23 shots from the Capitals for his second shutout of the campaign

to help Carolina (17-24-8) claim a first win over their Southeast division rivals in four attempts this season. Mike Knuble and Cody Eakin had the two best chances for the Capitals (25-19-2) and while the puck eluded Ward on both occasions, the goal posts came to the Hurricanes’ rescue. —Agencies

NHL results/standings NHL results and standings on Friday. Pittsburgh 5, Montreal 4 (SO); Carolina 3, Washington 0; Chicago 3, Florida 1; Tampa Bay 2, Dallas 1.

Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L OTL GF GA NY Rangers 29 12 4 126 94 Philadelphia 27 14 4 150 133 Pittsburgh 26 17 4 145 122 New Jersey 26 18 2 127 130 NY Islanders 18 21 6 110 135

PTS 62 58 56 54 42

Boston Ottawa Toronto Buffalo Montreal

Northeast Division 30 13 1 160 27 16 6 153 23 18 5 143 19 23 5 115 17 21 9 120

89 151 141 144 131

61 60 51 43 43

Washington Florida Winnipeg Tampa Bay Carolina

Southeast Division 25 19 2 128 21 15 10 116 22 20 5 120 19 23 4 128 17 24 8 127

130 130 134 160 156

52 52 49 42 42

Chicago Detroit St. Louis Nashville Columbus

Western Conference Central Division 29 13 6 159 136 31 15 1 152 107 28 12 6 117 94 27 16 4 128 123 13 28 5 110 152

64 63 62 58 31

Vancouver Colorado Minnesota Calgary Edmonton

Northwest Division 28 15 4 151 117 25 21 2 124 137 22 18 7 107 122 22 20 6 114 134 17 25 4 116 132

60 52 51 50 38

Pacific Division San Jose 26 13 5 126 104 57 Los Angeles 23 15 10 106 107 56 Dallas 24 20 2 123 131 50 Phoenix 21 19 8 124 128 50 Anaheim 16 22 7 119 140 39 Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L).

Wilson, Crane, Toms tied for Humana Challenge lead LA QUINTA: When Mark Wilson got to 8 under through 11 holes on the Palmer Private course Friday, he seriously discussed golf’s magic number with playing partner Harrison Frazar, who once shot a 59 on another Humana Challenge course. “I don’t know why the conversation went there ... but I thought about it,” Wilson said. Wilson ended up posting the lowest score of his career, and that 62 wasn’t even the best round of the day in the desert. Bob Hope’s name is no longer on this reformatted tournament, but its tradition of stunningly low scores is still going strong. Wilson pulled even with Ben Crane and David Toms at 16-under 128 to share a three-stroke lead after the second round of the Humana Challenge on Friday, topping a leaderboard covered with bogey-free rounds and personal bests. Extremely low numbers always dominate the erstwhile Bob Hope Classic, which features two of the

PGA Tour’s three easiest courses. Add a second day of ideal Palm Springs weather, and exceptional play is necessary just to stay in contention. For example, Ryan Moore tied the Nicklaus course record with a 61, yet he was still five strokes back of the lead and he wasn’t even among 23 players who played bogey-free rounds Friday. “Everything has been much improved, and we got a much better field because of it,” said Crane, who had just 48 putts in his first two rounds. “This is a great place for players to start their year, because it’s like playing indoors.” To illustrate his point, Crane mimed his caddie picking grass blades and dropping them from shoulder height. “I’m like, ‘Where’s the wind?’” Crane said. “He’s like, ‘I don’t know.’ I’m like, ‘OK, let’s just hit a normal shot here.’” Crane shot a 63 on the three-course tournament’s Palmer Private course, and Toms had a 65 on the Nicklaus Private course to match Wilson at 16-

under 128. Rookie Harris English had a 62 on the Nicklaus Private course to join five players in fourth place at 13 under. “That’s what you’ve got to do out here,” said English, the University of Georgia graduate playing his sixth round on the PGA Tour. “Put it in the fairway and then try to go out and get after it. I was getting my putter hot, and it was a lot of fun.” Moore tied Charlie Wi’s 2009 record on the Nicklaus course despite starting with consecutive bogeys on his second and third holes before an eagle on the fourth. He then birdied 11 of 12 holes, including six straight around the turn. “Really the last thing I remember was being 2 over through three, and then I just walked off the 18th hole,” said Moore, who rose 103 spots on the leaderboard. “Maybe that just freed me up. I just let go. ... I don’t know if I ever putted that good in my entire life.” Wilson earned a reputation as a fast starter when he won in Hawaii and

Phoenix during the first five weeks of last season. He also gets a boost from his offseason connection to the Coachella Valley, including a membership at the Ironwood Country Club near his in-laws’ home in Palm Desert. “It’s always been very good to me, and then Q-school has been good to me in the desert,” Wilson said. “I get a lot of good vibes here.” Toms shot a fairly pedestrian 65 on the Nicklaus course with a second straight day of steady play - but not everybody chewed up the three courses. Toms’ playing partner, Phil Mickelson, shot a 69, but remained well back of the leaders after opening with a 74. “I’m excited about how I was playing heading into this tournament, but I had a big of a slap in the face with my first two scores,” said Mickelson, who tried out a new driver Friday. Mickelson is the tournament’s career money leader despite not playing in Palm Springs since 2007. —AP


sp orts

Totti breaks goal record as Roma thrash Cesena

LE MANS: PSG’s French midfielder Jeremy Menez (center) fights for the ball with Sable FC French defender Julien Legendre (left) and Sable FC French defender Allan Laisne during the French cup football match on January 20, 2012. — AFP

PSG cruise into last 16 PARIS: French title-chasers Paris SaintGermain moved smoothly into the last 16 of the French Cup on Friday with a comfortable 4-0 win over fifth-tier amateurs Sable -sur-Sar the at Le Mans’ MMArena. Seven-time winners PSG did not underestimate their rivals as Carlo Ancelotti’s men had had to fight to edge out fifth division Locmine 2-1 with an injur y-time winner in the previous round. There was no Diego Lugano - scorer of the winner in that match - on Friday but a first half penalty from Brazilian Nene, after he was bundled over in the box, and a second from Kevin Gameiro just after the hour mark all but ended the contest before Gameiro, fed by Nene, made it three with 17 minutes remaining. A fourth from Nene in the final minute with a meaty drive added the gloss for the capital club, who last won the trophy in 2010 and went down to Lille in last year’s final. Former Lorient star and France international striker Gameiro has much to prove to the newly-arrived Ancelotti -

who is targeting Manchester City’s wantaway Argentinean Carlos Tevez. But on this evidence at least Gameiro showed he will fight to keep his place if Tevez does ultimately arrive at a Parc des Princes floating on a sea of Qatari cash. Gameiro says he will fight to win Ancelotti over. “I am continuing to beaver away - when I get the chance to play I try to score,” he told Eurosport. “The coach is counting on me and even if other strikers are set to arrive I still have some aces up my sleeve.” Holders and reigning French champions Lille - seven points adrift of PSG in the league title race after last week’s loss at Marseille - traveled to fourth-tier outfit Compiegne yesterday. Marseille, with their 10 Cup wins a record, take on second tier side Le Havre today. In other weekend action, Lyon visit fourth division Vendee Lucon at Nantes today, while Montpellier - currently second and pushing PSG hard in the title race - visit second tier Tours on Monday. The only all-Ligue 1 tie of the round is a meeting between Rennes and Nice.— AFP

Scottish Premier League Roundup

Rangers slip up GLASGOW: Rangers lost further ground on leaders Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premier League after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Aberdeen at Ibrox. The Gers had the best of the chances in the first half, with Nikica Jelavic’s header turned onto the bar by goalkeeper Jason Brown. However, the Dons improved after the break and Kari Arnason gave them a 63rd-minute lead after a good run from Chris Clark. Rangers were level five minutes later when Maurice Edu’s shot took a deflection on its way past Brown, whose saves in stoppage time from Sone Aluko and Carlos Bocanegra earned the Dons a point. Rivals Celtic moved four points clear as second-half goals from James Forrest and Scott Brown secured a 2-0 win away to St Mirren as Neil Lennon’s side made it 12 league wins in a row. At Ibrox, the blustery conditions hindered both sides as they attempted to create chances and it took until the 23rd minute for a shot to hit the target. Aluko’s free-kick was knocked on by Dorin Goian to Jelavic, whose header was touched onto the bar by keeper Brown. Minutes later David Healy beat the offside trap to race onto Jelavic’s clever flick but he could not direct his fierce strike on target. Aberdeen rarely threatened going forward but new captain Arnason came close when he flashed his header just over from Fraser Fyvie’s corner. Rangers grew stronger as the half progressed and Aluko flashed a shot wide before Lee Wallace’s drilled his left-foot effort just past the far post. Aberdeen started the second half on the offensive and McGregor had to be at full stretch to tip Clark’s low drive round the post. The keeper then let the result-

ant corner slip through his fingers, forcing Bocanegra to make a goal-line clearance as the Dons nearly made the breakthrough. Their efforts were rewarded in the 63rd minute when Arnason gave Aberdeen the lead with a breakaway goal. Clark won possession just inside his own half and after a surging run laid the ball off to the Dons captain, who curled the ball beyond McGregor from the edge of the box. Gregg Wylde and Salim Kerkar came on for Rangers in a double substitution and it was the latter who made an immediate impact when he set up the equalizer in the 68th minute. The Algerian chested the ball into Edu’s path and the American’s shot took a deflection on its way past Brown into the net. Rangers then laid siege to the Aberdeen goal, with Kerkar and Jelavic both missing chances. Brown made a superb stop to deny Aluko, whose volley looked destined to go in, before the keeper held Bocanegra’s header in stoppage time to earn the Dons a point. At New St Mirren Park, Celtic made three changes as Forrest returned to the starting line-up but it was the home side’s Marc McAusland who threatened first before Gary Hooper forced a good save from the goalkeeper in an even first half. Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster denied Paul McGowan and new Buddies signing Dougie Imrie after the break. But Forrest’s low controlled shot after 70 minutes and Brown’s curler 17 minutes later won it for Celtic. Elsewhere, Hearts remain third despite a 1-0 loss to Inverness, Dunfermline closed the gap at the bottom with a 3-0 defeat of Kilmarnock and Hibernian lost 3-2 to St Johnstone.— AFP

German League Roundup

Schalke in dreamland BERLIN: Schalke 04 joined Bayern Munich at the top of the table after easing past VfB Stuttgart 3-1 yesterday to collect their fourth straight Bundesliga win. Hosts Schalke took a third-minute lead through Joel Matip’s close-range effort and Kyriakos Papadopoulos rose above two defenders at the near post to drill in a header in the 57th. Teenager Julian Draxler finished off a quick passing move involving Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Raul to grab the third goal 10 minutes from time before lacklustre Stuttgart notched a late consolation through Shinji Okazaki. Bayern are top on goal difference despite slumping to a 3-1 defeat at Borussia Moenchengladbach on Friday, the first game since the league’s winter break. Gladbach are third on 36 points, one off the pace and two ahead of fourth-placed Borussia Dortmund who visit Hamburg SV today. “I was surprised by how strongly we started,” Schalke coach Huub Stevens told reporters. “We

now have as many points as Bayern and it is nice to dream.” The only sour note for Schalke was the head injury sustained by captain Benedikt Hoewedes. He could be out for some time after he collided with team mate Marko Hoeger just before the break and was taken to hospital. VfL Wolfsburg coach Felix Magath fielded four of his eight new signings in the 1-0 victory over Cologne. Sebastian Polter headed the only goal from a Christian Traesch cross. Nuremberg kicked off their year in style, beating fellow strugglers Hertha Berlin 2-0 to move above their opponents into 12th spot with 21 points. In another relegation battle Freiburg struck two minutes from time through Matthias Ginter to snatch a 1-0 victory over bottom club Augsburg while Hoffenheim and Hanover 96 shared a 0-0 draw. Kaiserslautern hosted Werder Bremen in the final game of the day later yesterday.— Reuters

ROME: Francesco Totti set a new single club scoring record in Serie A as Roma thrashed Cesena 5-1 yesterday to boost their hopes of a European finish. Club captain Totti scored twice inside the opening eight minutes while Fabio Borini, Juan and Miralem Pjanic scored the other goals with Eder netting for Cesena, who remained rooted in the bottom three. It meant the 35-year-old reached 211 top flight league goals for the captial club, surpassing the 210 that Swedish great Gunnar Nordahl managed for AC Milan more than 50 years ago. “It’s what I’ve always wanted, to wear this shirt and beat one record after another,” said Totti. Sixth-placed Roma are now just eight points off top after the same number of games as the teams above them. The match was all over inside eight minutes as Roma swept into a three-goal lead, carving through Cesena’s porous defense. After Gabriel Heinze’s raking crossfield ball, Totti took a backheel from Erik Lamela after just 40 seconds before firing home at Francesco Antonioli’s near post thanks to a deflection off Maurizio Lauro. And then on eight minutes he was there at the back post-although television replays showed he was offside-to volley home Lamela’s cross from the left. Before the eighth minute was up, Gianluca Comotto was caught in possession and Totti released Leandro Greco down the left to cross for Borini to tap home. It could have been much worse for Cesena in a first half in which they were chasing shadows. Pjanic, Borini, Fernando Gago, Rodrigo Taddei and Aleandro Rosi all had chances that were either blocked or went wide as Cesena held on by their finger-nails. In the second period

Cesena briefly rallied when Brazilian Eder skipped between defenders Heinze and Taddei onto a through ball, chipped goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg and shot home on 58 minutes. But just three minutes later Borini headed a corner goalwards which Antonioli tipped onto the post only for Juan to slot home the loose ball from close range. Pjanic rounded

off the scoring 20 minutes from time as he strode forward and hit a shot that was too hot for Antonioli to handle. While Cesena’s defense ball-watched, the Bosnia international darted onto the loose ball and knocked it in. Spanish substitute Bojan Krkic could have added gloss to the scoreline after a mazy dribble beating four players in the box late on but Antonioli tip his finish over.— AFP

ROME: AS Roma forward Francesco Totti scores his second goal during a Serie A soccer match between AS Roma and Cesena, at Rome’s Olympic stadium yesterday. — AP

Spurs visit vulnerable City Title race heats up LONDON: Loaned out by Manchester City for the past 12 months, Emmanuel Adebayor will be denied the chance to show what the Premier League leaders are missing when his new club Tottenham visits the Etihad Stadium for a key match in the title race today. The restrictions of Adebayor’s season-long loan move to Spurs prevent him from facing City, robbing them of their attacking spearhead for arguably their biggest game of the season. The Togo striker has become a crowd favorite at White Hart Lane, scoring a team-high nine league goals to justify Harry Redknapp’s controversial decision to bring in a player who turned out for the team’s fierce rival Arsenal from 2006-09. His situation at City couldn’t have been more different, dropping down the pecking order soon after his 25 million pounds move from Arsenal and quickly out of favor with manager Rober to Mancini. He was farmed out to Real Madrid for the second half of

last season. “Sometimes it’s possible that you have a situation like this - you have good players but he wants to play always and this is difficult in a top team,” Mancini said. “If you have one striker who needs to play always it is not easy. “I am happy for Manu because he is playing ver y well for Tottenham.” City has key players missing themselves as the team looks to extend its perfect home record to 11 league matches. Captain Vincent Kompany serves the third match of his four-game suspension and key midfielder Yaya Toure is at the African Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast, along with his brother and fellow City player Kolo. Striker Mario Balotelli and right back Micah Richards return from injury but City has been lacking the class and verve that saw them take the league by storm in the first few months of the season, including a 5-1 win at Spurs in August. Once a match between two perennial underachievers in the

English game - neither side has won the league since the 1960s City-Tottenham has suddenly taken on a much bigger profile. “They are not invincible,” Redknapp said. “I think we can win. We will go there as a positive team. I wouldn’t want to go there and sit back. “We have people who can hurt them.” In what is the most crucial weekend in the title race so far, second-place Manchester United will also look to keep the pressure on City when it travels to fifth-place Arsenal today. United is three points behind its neighbor as the team bids to extend its record haul of titles to 20 but for Arsenal, qualification for the Champions League is the priority this season. Arsene Wenger’s team could drop seven points off the top four if it loses to United and fourth place Chelsea wins at Norwich. “I still think that when we have everybody available we are a strong force in this league,” Wenger said. “ That ’s why it is important that we fight very hard

not to drop points.” Arsenal, though, has lost its last two matches - to Fulham and Swansea - and is still without a fit full back, although central defender Thomas Vermaelen could return from a calf injury. Thierry Henry, hoping to feature in his third match since joining on a two-month loan for a second spell at Arsenal, will have a fitness test on a calf injury. United, which thrashed Arsenal 8-2 at Old Trafford in the first match between the teams this season, is set to welcome back England defenders Chris Smalling and Phil Jones from minor injuries. The rest of the matches come on Saturday, when defender Gary Cahill could make his debut for Chelsea at Carrow Road following his move from Bolton. Sixth-place Newcastle visits Fulham and Liverpool travels to next-to-last Bolton. Mark Hughes takes charge of his first home league match at third-bottom Queens Park Rangers when Wigan visits in a key match in the relegation battle.— AP

Extras Defender stabbed to death JOHANNESBURG: Former South Africa defender Jeffrey Ntuka, who joined Chelsea nine years ago, was stabbed to death at a nightclub in Free State town Kroonstad early yesterday, a police spokesman said. Ntuka, 26, never played for the English Premier League club and after a loan spell with Belgian club Westerlo he returned home to play for leading local sides Kaizer Chiefs and SuperSport United. The full-back, who made five senior appearances for his country, could not command a regular place with either team and later had unsuccessful trials in Belgium.

Beckham-Mania reignited

Salvador Cabanas

Striker Cabanas returns despite bullet in his skull ITAUGUA: Two years after he was shot in the head at close range in a Mexico City bar, former Paraguay and Club America striker Salvador Cabanas made a comeback on Friday with Paraguayan third-division club 12 de Octobre. Cabanas started the friendly and played for 15 minutes before going to the bench. “My dream has been realized,” Cabanas said at the match in his native town of Itaugua, located about 30 kilometers (20 miles) from the capital Asuncion. “Last night I almost could not sleep,” he added. Club president Luis Salinas said he is seeking approval from Cabanas’ doctors and has contacted Mexico club America about a transfer. “We talked with the officials at America by telephone,” Salinas said. “Apparently there will be no transfer fee, but we have to do the paperwork.” Cabanas, who was playing with America at the time, miraculously survived the shooting on Jan. 25, 2010, in a bar in an upscale neighborhood in the Mexican capital. A bullet fragment is still lodged in his skull, which doctors decided was too risky to remove. He was shot, apparently in an argument about foot-

ball. His alleged assailant, Jose Jorge Balderas, was arrested a year after the shooting and is reported to have ties to Mexico’s drug trade. As part of his therapy, the 31-year-old has trained with the national team, but few expected him to return to the pitch - certainly not at his previous level. Before the shooting he was a favorite to lead Paraguay in the 2010 World Cup. “He’s OK from the neurological point of view, although the bullet is still in his skull,” Dr. Luis Greinner told The Associated Press. “The report from the clinic in Argentina where he was examined shows the bullet has not moved.” Cabanas, who has limited vision in his left eye, did not do much while he was on the field. Part of this was because he was well marked by the other team, and because the temperature was 40 C (100F). But he seemed sure of himself and moved reasonably well on the field, but acknowledged he needs to be in better shape. The club begins play in April in the third division. “Salvador lacks conditioning,” 12 de Octobre coach Rolando Chilavert said. “But we are happy to have him back because it is a miracle.”— AP

LOS ANGELES: David Beckham’s re-signing with the Los Angeles Galaxy has reignited Beckham-Mania in Canada with Toronto FC seeing ticket sales climb for its Champions League playoff against the Major League Soccer (MLS) champions in March. Toronto FC said on Friday, ticket sales for the first leg of the CONCACAF quarter-final, set for March 7, had pushed past 35,000 guaranteeing a new home attendance record. The game will mark Beckham’s only appearance in Toronto this season. Toronto FC officials said ticket sales had been steady but news on Wednesday that the former England captain had spurned lucrative club offers in Europe and would return to the Galaxy on a fresh two-year contract is expected to produce a sellout of 45,000 at the Rogers Centre. “We’re very hopeful for a sellout,” said Rajani Kamath, spokesperson for Toronto FC owners Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. “We are already past the capacity we would have had at BMO Field. “The sales have been pretty steady, we have had tremendous response from the moment they wenton sale.” Beckham’s original five-year deal with the Galaxy concluded last year and there had been widespread speculation the former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder was considering offers from Paris St. Germain and a number of English clubs.

‘Messi not greatest yet’ PARIS: Brazilian legend Pele insisted on Friday that Argentine superstar Lionel Messi, a Champions League winner with Barcelona and three-time Ballon D’Or king, cannot yet be considered as one of the world’s greatest players. Pele called on his own record of three World Cup triumphs as well as a career tally of 1,283 goals to reserve judgment on the little Argentine wizard. “Some people will say that Beethoven didn’t know how to play the piano, that Michelangelo couldn’t paint and that Pele didn’t know how to play football,” Pele told Le Monde newspaper. “When Messi scores 1,283 goals like me, when he wins three World Cups, then we can talk about it again. “Football changes and records are there to be beaten, but it’ll be very hard to beat mine. People ask me all the time: ‘When is the new Pele going to be born?’ “Never. My father and mother have closed the factory.”



BATA: Equatorial Guinea’s Alvarez (left) and Libya’s Jamal Mohamed go for the ball during the African Cup of Nations Group A soccer match in Bata, Equatorial Guinea yesterday. — AP

E Guinea claims dramatic 1-0 win BATA: Equatorial Guinea scored a dramatic late winner to shock Libya 1-0 in the opening match of the African Cup of Nations yesterday. Javier-Angel Balboa scored after racing onto a throughball and slotting past Libya goalkeeper Samir Aboud into the top corner in the 87th minute. The co-host threatened an upset throughout the game, with Juvenal Edjogo-Owono’s deflected shot rebounding off a post in the first half. Ivan Bolado put the rebound into the net, but the effort was disallowed for offside. Despite injured captain Rodolfo Bodipo managing only a 15-minute substitute role, Equatorial Guinea belied its billing as the tournament’s lowestranked team by matching Libya and creating opportunities. Libya protest flag mix-up The Libya football team says it forced the Confederation of African Football to change its website for not using the new flag adopted since Muammar Gaddafi’s overthrow. Team media officer Fathi Aborzeza tells The Associated Press that Libya threatened to boycott all media events and stop cooperating with African Cup of Nations organizers until the blunder was fixed. Aborzeza says CAF deleted the old green flag for the new black, red and green flag just hours before the team’s opening match in the African Cup against co-host Equatorial Guinea in Bata. Also according to Aborzeza, a car displaying the Libya flag and carrying the team’s media delegation to the stadium was attacked by local fans, who punched the driver. — Agencies

Beware ‘African minnows’ JOHANNESBURG: Former African football stars have warned the Cup of Nations favorites to beware of minnows like Botswana and Niger as the tournament kicked off yesterday. Abedi ‘Pele’ Ayew of Ghana, Rigobert Song of Cameroon and Mustapha Hadji of Morocco agreed that talk of a Ivory CoastGhana final on February 12 is premature with many surprises likely before the dust settles. “There are going to be a lot of surprises in this tournament because the countries who have qualified are not coming to Gabon and Equatorial Guinea for a holiday,” predicted triple African Footballer of the Year Pele. “Every team wants to achieve greatness and so-called small countries like Botswana and Niger will target big countries like Ghana, Ivory Coast and Senegal,” added the Accrabased businessman and football club owner. Recently appointed Cameroon team manager Song, whose 36 Cup of Nations appearances spanning eight tournaments is a record, believes there could be a shock winner this year.

“There is no clear favorite, especially when you consider that may own country and Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa failed to make it,” said one of the greatest footballers not to be crowned the best in Africa. “Every country is good now so it will not be easy for any team to succeed. The seemingly weak teams can cause surprises and that will be good because African football is improving and trophies are not just for a few countries.” Hadji, who topped the 1998 African Footballer of the Year poll, says title co-favorites Ghana and Ivory Coast dare not underestimate the unfancied qualifiers for the biennial African football showcase. “Ghana and Ivory Coast are the obvious favorites considering the number of quality footballers in their squads, but the smaller teams are capable of causing many surprises. “The less fancied sides are not under as much pressure as teams like Ghana and Ivory Coast to achieve results and a side performs better at a tournament when they are relaxed,” said Hadji. —AFP

Niger plan to leave positive impression LIBREVILLE: African Nations Cup debutants Niger are under no illusions about their chances of success at the tournament in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea but aim to leave a positive impression, team advisor Roland Courbis has said. “We are firmly determined to play an excellent tournament. We want to have a Nations Cup where we leave a good impression,” the former Olympique Marseille coach told reporters on the opening day of the 16nation event yesterday. Niger play co-hosts Gabon in their first Group C match on Monday and then face even more testing games against former winners Morocco and Tunisia in the four-team pool. “Nobody has us as favorites but I can assure you we won’t finish fifth in our group,” joked the Frenchman, who has been preparing the team alongside Coach Harouna Doula. “But we have a squad that is capable of doing well here.” The West Africans reached the finals when South Africa miscalculated the permutations on

the final day of qualifiers in October and played for a home draw in their last fixture when they should have set out to win. With three teams level on points, Niger won the group courtesy of head-to-head results against South Africa and Sierra Leone but did lose all of their away games in the preliminaries and have rarely performed well outside their country. Courbis, jailed in France for transfer irregularities in 2007, joined the Niger squad in December to aid the relatively inexperienced Doula. “I’ve been very honored to be able to aid them in their ambition of competing with distinction in the Nations Cup,” he added as Niger continued preparations for their opening match in Libreville. “For me, this tournament is one of the most important in world football and it is good to be among such passion for the game. “It is also good experience for players who have World Cup qualifiers coming up later this year. I have seen a lot of progress from them already.” — Reuters

MALABO: A boy watches a friend practice soccer skills in the New Building neighborhood of Malabo, Equatorial Guinea yesterday. The African Cup of Nations soccer tournament, co-hosted by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, began yesterday with opening matches in Bata, Equatorial Guinea. — AP

Ivory Coast start quest for elusive second title MALABO: Star-studded Ivory Coast will be expected to beat Sudan today here to set the tone in their quest for a second Africa Cup of Nations. “We have always been rated tournament favorites but failed to deliver. But now is the time to go all the way,” said Arsenal forward Gervinho. “We have all told ourselves that it is now or never for us. “We have everything going for us, quality and the motivation. We only need to be fully concentrated for this competition because Ivorians need nothing but the trophy.” The Ivorians first and only Nations Cup triumph was achieved in 1992, but since 2006 they have been ranked among the teams to go all the way. This followed the emergence of a ‘Golden Generation’ led by the inspirational skipper and Chelsea star striker Didier Drogba. The Elephants were pipped 1-0 in the 2006 final by hosts Egypt, who also stopped them a lot more convincingly by the semi-finals at the following competition in Ghana two years later. At the 2010 edition in Angola, Algeria upset the Ivory Coast 3-2 in the quarter-finals after extra time to again put paid to another dream. In the absence of African football heavyweights like seven-time winners Egypt, Cameroon and Nigeria, there could not be a better opportunity for the Ivorians to go all the way again. For ageing stars like Drogba (33 years), goalkeeper Boubacar Barry (32), Didier Zokora (31) and Kolo Toure (31), this could well be their final chance to crown their international careers with winners’ medals at this tournament. Player-forplayer, the Elephants are again the team to beat and this has been further boosted by the form of Russia-based Seydou Doumbia and the emergence of striker Wilfried Bony, who features for Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem. They looked a class act when they defeated 2004 winners Tunisia 2-0 in Dubai, before they followed that up with 1-0 win over Libya with Chelsea striker Salomon Kalou scoring again to underline his form leading into the tournament. However, the team’s Achilles heel remains in defence, where many still question the reliability

MALABO: Ivory Coast national football team’s captain Didier Drogba (left) and team mates attend a training session in Malabo yesterday. — AFP of Lokeren goalkeeper Boubacar Barry, while the country’s top defenders have struggled at their various European clubs. Fullback Arthur Boka has struggled to tie down a first-team place at German club VfB Stuttgart, Souleymane Bamba features in the English lower league and Emmanuel Eboue is now in Turkey after he fell out of favor at Arsenal. Today’s opponents Sudan are the only team in the entire tournament whose full squad are drawn from the domestic league with players from the dominant clubs Al Hilal and Al Merriekh. They were proud winners of this competition in 1970, but ever since they have struggled to return to top reckoning. They lost all three group games and failed to score even a goal at their last Nations Cup

appearance in Ghana four years ago. “This is a chance for Sudan to do well again,” declared Mohamed Abdallah ‘Mazda’, who is back in charge after Englishman Stephen Constantine failed to lift the team. “We are on paper not one of the favorites, but in reality football is played on the pitch. “The proof of this fact is that five of Africa’s top teams, Egypt, Algeria, Cameroon, Nigeria and South Africa, were eliminated in the qualifiers and will not be here.” Sudan have gained in confidence and showed remarkable improvements after they were trounced 3-0 by Tunisia in a warm-up game. They lost 1-0 to Senegal in Dakar in another test game before they held cohosts Gabon to a 0-0 draw. — AFP

Angola grapple with wounded Stallions MALABO: Highly rated Burkina Faso go into their Group B Africa Cup of Nations curtain raiser with Angola motivated by a deep sense of injustice. Coach Paulo Duarte launched a scathing attack on the treatment meted out to his team since their arrival, claiming competition organizers CAF had treated them shabbily compared to the Angolans and group favorites Ivory Coast. “They are protected. Everyone here is not working in the same conditions,” the Portuguese said. “Some teams have journeys of 10 or 15 minutes to get to training, while we have to travel for one hour along a winding road to have a session (in Luba, 50 kilometers from their team hotel in Malabo).” Duarte added: “When we arrived here, they gave us a restaurant/cafe to sleep in. It wasn’t even a hotel. There was no video room, no conference room. Each time we have to improvise. That’s what the Nations Cup is like.” His criticisms, roundly rejected by CAF, will inevitably act as a spur for the Stallions who are seeking their first Nations Cup win in 14 years and over five hours of football. With Ivory Coast red hot favorites to top the table tomorrow’s game is being billed as a face-off for

second place and a potential quarter-final matchup against possibly Senegal. Duarte described the night-time encounter on the Equatoguinean island capital as “decisive” for their 2012 Cup fate. “We’ve inherited a difficult group with Ivory Coast and Angola. You can say that the Ivorians will qualify so this is a very important match for second place. “The team which wins the first match will have done 80 percent of the work. “But my problem is not our rivals, nor the group. Too many of our regular players couldn’t make it.” Alain Traore is a key cog, the midfielder having scored seven goals for his French club Auxerre this season, and four for his country in qualifying. Burkina Faso have only reached the knockout stages once, when they hosted the Cup in 1998, eventually finishing fourth. Competing in Nigeria, Mali, Tunisia and Angola (where they failed to score) since, the west Africans have drawn six matches and lost eight. No squad turned up with broader smiles than Burkina Faso after enduring months of anxiety when Namibia claimed Cameroon-born left-back Herve Zengue was ineligible. Namibia, last behind

Burkina Faso and Gambia in a qualifying group, appealed twice to CAF and also to CAS-the Switzerland-based Supreme Court of sport-before accepting defeat. Angola represent stiff opposition, with coach Lito Vidigal identifying a last eight berth as the bottom line, having appeared in the quarter-finals in 2008 and 2010. Vidigal’s appointment was vindicated when he guided them to second place in the 2011 African Nations Championship. Angola’s rock solid defense is led by Carlos ‘Kali’ Alonso with skipper Andre Makanga marshalling the midfield while Flavio Amado’s runs down the wing and former Manchester United striker Manucho’s presence up front are set to make life uncomfortable for Burkina Faso. Manucho and Amado were on the mark in Angola’s 3-1 warm-up win over Sierra Leone last weekend. Angola left it late to clamber aboard the Cup train, edging out Uganda for second place with a 2-0 win away to Guinea-Bissau in their closing qualifier. This is the first time Angola have played Burkina Faso in the continental showpiece - both sides are hoping it will be an occasion to remember. — AFP



Dempsey’s treble fires 5-star Fulham Fulham 5

Newcastle 2

SUNDERLAND: Sunderland’s Kieran Richardson (top) vies for the ball with Swansea City’s Nathan Dyer during their English Premier League soccer match at the Stadium of Light yesterday. — AP

Sunderland end Swansea bogey in style Sunderland 2

Swansea 0

SUNDERLAND: Goals from Stephane Sessegnon and Craig Gardner handed Sunderland a 2-0 win and their first victory over Swansea in nearly 50 years yesterday. Benin international Sessegnon struck with a superb goal in the first-half and Gardner added an even better strike late in the second-half to move Sunderland into mid-table security and build on the muchimproved form they have shown since Martin O’Neill replaced the sacked Steve Bruce in December. It was the hosts first win over their opponents in eight matches since a 1-0 win in April 1964. Sunderland made a vibrant start with

Swedish striker Sebastian Larsson - making his 200th league appearance in England - almost giving them an early lead with a smartly-taken volley from Kieran Richardson’s cross, but it came back off the post. However, the Black Cats fans didn’t have to wait too long for the deadlock to be broken as promising Irish wing James McClean found space and set up Sessegnon, who scored with a beauty of a shot to put them 1-0 up in the 14th minute. The pendulum swung back the Welsh side’s way shortly afterwards as the hosts lost Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner soon after with an eye injury and the Swans went close with a header by leading scorer Danny Graham. Both sides were evenly-matched throughout the second-half but it was Sunderland who scored as Larsson’s fellow former Birmingham team-mate Gardner struck late in the game with a stunning volley from Sessegnon’s cross to seal the points.— AFP

LONDON: Clint Dempsey bagged a hat-trick as Fulham dented Newcastle’s push for a top four finish with a 5-2 victory at Craven Cottage yesterday. Martin Jol’s side trailed to Danny Guthrie’s goal late in the first half, but Danny Murphy equalized from the penalty spot soon after the break before American midfielder Dempsey struck twice in six minutes to swing the game Fulham’s way. Bobby Zamora conver ted another Fulham penalty and, although Hatem Ben Arfa got one back for Newcastle, it was Dempsey who sealed the victory with his third goal-and his second treble in three games-in the final moments. Dempsey’s heroics-which came just 24 hours after he was named America’s player of the year-lifted Fulham eight points clear of the relegation zone and stopped sixth placed Newcastle closing the gap on fourth placed Chelsea in the race for Champions League places. It was a remarkable result considering Newcastle had dominated the first half. Shola Ameobi couldn’t convert an early headed chance and French midfielder Ben Ar fa tested Fulham goalkeeper David Stockdale with a long range effort. Ameobi headed wide again in the 21st minute, while Cottagers defender Philippe Senderos almost headed a Leon Best chip into his own net after ignoring calls from Stockdale. Stockdale tipped wide a rasping Ameobi effort, but he could do nothing to stop a superb 25-yard strike

LONDON: Fulham’s Clint Dempsey (front) fights for the ball with Newcastle United’s Danny Guthrie during their English Premier League soccer match at the Craven Cottage ground yesterday. — AP

by Guthrie in the 43rd minute. Fulham emerged with a more focused approach after half-time and earned a penalty six minutes into the second period when Damien Duff was brought down inside the box by Davide Santon. Murphy sent Krul the wrong way to slot home the resulting penalty and it wasn’t long before Fulham were ahead in the 59th minute Bobby Zamora’s shot was

parried by Krul and Dempsey bundled home at the far post. Fulham struck again six minutes later. Johnson laid off to Zamora and he played through Dempsey, who showed composure to fire across Krul. Jol’s team were turning on the style now and netted a fourth in the 68th minute when Johnson shrugged off a rough challenge by Mike Williamson before being hauled

QPR out of drop zone QPR 3

Wigan 1

LONDON: Mark Hughes notched the first league win of his QPR career yesterday as the Hoops clawed their way out of the relegation zone with a 3-1 win over bottom club Wigan. Rangers, who had slipped into the drop zone after a defeat to Newcastle in their last outing, looked nervous early on but gradually asser ted themselves to score a win which piles on the problems for Wigan manager Roberto Martinez. While QPR moved up to 16th place, Wigan are now firmly anchored to the foot of the table,

Wolves pushed to bottom three Wolves 2

four points adrift of safety. Rangers took the lead on 32 minutes when Icelandic veteran Heidar Helguson stroked home from the penalty spot after James McCarthy had inexplicably handled inside the area. Rangers were then cruising on the stroke of half-time when a sublime freekick from Hungarian international Akos Buzsaky flew in to make it 2-0. But a resurgent Wigan responded well after half-time, and Martinez ’s men were thrown a lifeline when Hugo Rodallega pulled a goal back to make it 2-1 on 66 minutes. QPR’s fans were then made to endure a nervy spell when Helguson’s second penalty of the afternoon was saved by Ali Al-Habsi to keep Wigan in touch. But Wigan’s lingering hopes of a fightback were snuffed out nine minutes from time when Tommy Smith lashed home a long-range effort to make it 31.— AFP

Villa 3

Matches on TV (Local Timings) AFRICAN NATIONS CUP Ivory Coast v Sudan 19:00 Aljazeera Sport +9 Aljazeera Sport 2 HD Aljazeera Sport +3 Burkina Faso v Angola 22:00 Aljazeera Sport +9 Aljazeera Sport 2 HD Aljazeera Sport +3 ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE City v Spurs 16:30 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 3 Arsenal v Man United 19:00 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 3 SPANISH LEAGUE Osasuna v Valencia 14:00 Aljazeera Sport +2 Aljazeera Sport +3 Aljazeera Sport 2 HD Rayo Vallecano v R Mallorca 18:00 Aljazeera Sport +8 Malaga v Barcelona 20:00 Aljazeera Sport +2 Aljazeera Sport +3 Aljazeera Sport 2 HD Levante v Real Zaragoza 21:45 Aljazeera Sport +8

Real v Athletic de Bilbao Aljazeera Sport +3 Aljazeera Sport 2 HD ITALIAN LEAGUE Bologna v Parma Aljazeera Sport +1 Udinese v Catania Aljazeera Sport +5 Palermo v Genoa Aljazeera Sport +10 Novara v AC Milan Aljazeera Sport +1 US Lecce v Chievo Verona Aljazeera Sport +7 Internazionale v Lazio Aljazeera Sport +1


14:30 17:00 17:00


GERMAN LEAGUE Hamburger v Dortmund 17:30 Dubai Sports 1 Bayer 04 v Mainz 05 19:30 Dubai Sports 1 FRENCH CUP Lucon v Lyonnais Aljazeera Sport +4 Marseille v Havre Aljazeera Sport +4

WOLVERHAMPTON: Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Serbian midfielder Nenad Milijas (left) vies with Aston Villa’s English defender Ciaran Clark during the English Premier League football match at Molineux Stadium in Wolverhampton yesterday. — AFP

17:00 17:00

17:00 22:45

down by Krul, who received a booking and was then beaten from the spot by Zamora. Newcastle pulled a goal back five minutes from time as Ben Arfa jinked past John Arne Riise to fire home, but Dempsey sealed the win in the 89th minute with his 15th goal of the season. He burst through the middle to latch onto Zamora’s pass and slotted past Krul.— AFP

West Brom end 30-year winless drought at Stoke Stoke 1

West Brom 2

STOKE: West Bromwich Albion ended 30 years without a win at Stoke with a 2-1 victory that also lifted it a little further away from the English Premier League relegation

zone yesterday. West Brom pulled the win out in injury time for its first win at Stoke since September 1982, and to end a threematch losing run in the league. James Morrison, who hit the posts twice, scored the opener in the first half when Stoke goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen failed to handle a 30-meter (yard) strike straight at him. Stoke equalized through substitute Cameron Jerome in the 86th, but Graham Dorrans found the net in stoppage time with a 25-meter free kick, handing eighthplaced Stoke it’s first home loss since midNovember.—AP

WOLVERHAMPTON: Robbie Keane scored his first goals for Aston Villa to give his new club a 3-2 win over his old side Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux in the Premier League yesterday. The 31-year-old striker, on loan from Los Angeles Galaxy, drew the visitors level in the 51st minute and then claimed a late winner to give Villa coach Alex McLeish something to smile about on his 53rd birthday. Darren Bent had put Villa in front with an 11thminute penalty, before Wolves turned the game around through goals from Michael Kightly and David Edwards. Villa’s third away win of the season lifted them from 13th to 11th in the Premier League table, while Wolves slipped into the relegation zone after their eighth consecutive league game without a win. It marked a miserable end to the week for Mick McCarthy’s side, who were eliminated from the FA Cup in mid-week by Midlands rivals Birmingham City. Wolves were the first team to go close, with top scorer Steven Fletcher shooting straight at Shay Given from Edwards’ cross, but it was Villa who took the lead through Bent. The England striker caught Christophe Berra in possession in the Wolves box and when the Scottish centre-back brought him down, Bent converted the ensuing penalty to register his 99th Premier League goal. Wolves’ response was quick in coming and within 10 minutes they were level, with Kightly curling a fine shot past Given after a wonderful piece of skill in the build-up from on-loan Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong. Karl Henry saw a volley headed off the line by Marc Alrighton and Given saved from David Edwards before the hosts went ahead in the 31st minute. Kightly’s corner was flicked on by Roger Johnson and Welsh midfielder Edwards reacted smartly to head the ball home. Wolves have recovered a league-high 10 points from losing positions this season but Villa dragged themselves level six minutes into the second period when Keane swiveled and sent a shot past Wayne Hennessey after a corner was only partially cleared. There was a long delay mid-way through the second half when Frimpong had to be taken off after being inadvertently kicked in the head by Stiliyan Petrov at a Wolves corner. The hosts’ hopes of victory began to recede in the 74th minute when Henry was shown a straight red card for digging his heel into Albrighton’s torso during a midfield tussle. Wolves held out for 10 minutes but with six minutes remaining, a clearance fell to Keane on the edge of the box and he rattled a superb strike in off the crossbar to preserve Villa’s 34-year unbeaten record at Molineux. Keane, who began his professional career with Wolves, almost made it a hat-trick in the game’s dying stages, but his 25-yard drive swerved the wrong side of the upright.— AFP

Totti breaks goal record as Roma thrash Cesena



E Guinea beat Libya in Nations Cup opener


Sunderland end Swansea bogey in style

Page 19

NORWICH: Chelsea’s John Terry (right) and Norwich City’s Steve Morison battle for the ball during the English Premier League soccer match at Carrow Road, Norwich yesterday. —AP

Misfiring Chelsea held by Norwich Torres woe continues as Chelsea slip up Norwich 0

Chelsea 0

NORWICH: Fernando Torres’ problems in front of goal continued as Chelsea were held to a goal-less draw at Norwich City in the Premier League’s yesterday lunchtime kick-off. The £50million forward has only scored four goals this season and hasn’t found the net for the Blues since October. The Spain international should have ended that barren run in the second half but somehow managed to poke a shot wide when it looked easier to score. The result means Andre Villas-Boas’ side failed to gain significant ground on the three sides above them, although they would have stayed fourth what-

ever the score. It was also Norwich’s first clean sheet of the season and a result that further enhances the reputation of their manager, Paul Lambert. There had been no place in the starting lineup for Gary Cahill, the England centre-back Chelsea had recruited from Bolton Wanderers earlier in the week. David Luiz continued as John Terry’s central defensive partner as Cahill, who cost £7million, wasn’t even named among the substitutes. Daniel Sturridge was recalled in place of Oriol Romeu as the only change from the side that had narrowly beaten Sunderland the previous week. Norwich recalled captain Grant Holt and midfielder David Fox as Lambert opted to change the side that had won 2-1 at West Bromwich Albion seven days previously. Chelsea began imperiously with an exhibition of passing but the first chance of the game belonged to Norwich. Steve Morison set up Anthony Pilkington, whose shot from a tight angle was blocked by goalkeeper Petr Cech. The rebound almost fell perfectly for Morison, the

Wales forward, but Ramires was there just in time to poke clear. Norwich came even closer in the 10th minute when Morison set up Holt, who fired just wide after getting past Luiz. Juan Mata fired over from the edge of the box as Chelsea tried to regain their earlier poise but when Torres tried to set Sturridge up in front of goal he found only a Norwich defender. Holt and Morison combined again as Luiz was again made to look second rate but Morison’s shot from a tight angle hit only the side-netting. Torres was working hard and was denied a 27th-minute opener by John Ruddy, the Norwich goalkeeper, who got his fingertips to an effort from the outside of the Spaniard’s boot that would have gone in otherwise. Frank Lampard limped off in the 35th minute with what appeared to be a calf injury and Chelsea almost fell behind before Florent Malouda came on to replace him. Bradley Johnson’s shot took a deflection off Terry but Cech was able to readjust in time to save and the half ended with Ruddy denying

Mata and then Raul Meireles and Mata firing a clear chance over after doing all the hard work himself. Luiz fired just over after the restart following an air kick from Torres, who then connected with his next try but could not hit the target. Torres should have made it 1-0 just before the hour mark when Jose Bosingwa beat Andrew Surman and supplied the perfect cross. Daniel Ayala came out to challenge but Torres should have done better than to poke wide from seven yards. Ruddy did well to save from Mata at his near post before referee Mark Clattenburg declined to give Norwich even a free-kick when the ball clearly hit Meireles’ raised arm right on the edge of the Chelsea penalty area. Meireles almost put Chelsea ahead with a curling effort from outside the area before Ramires fired at Ruddy from even further out. Torres was replaced in the 77th minute by Romelu Lukaku as Norwich closed in on their first clean sheet of the season, although they were relieved when a shot from Mata on the turn hit the base of a post.— AFP

Bolton surprise Liverpool

Espanyol thump Granada 3-0

when Chris Eagles’ pass was fed by Ngog into the path of Mark Davies. Despite Martin Skrtel at his heels, Davies scored past advancing goalkeeper Jose Reina. Liverpool’s luck appeared to have deserted just before the half-hour when its strong penalty appeal for handball by Zat Knight was turned down, and moments later found itself trailing 2-0. Bolton broke down the other end of Reebok Stadium with Ngog and Eagles exchanging passes before the latter played a lofted pass which Reo-Coker controlled on his chest and lobbed superbly over Reina. Andy Carroll’s slick pass to Bellamy resulted in a first-time shot which keeper Adam Bogdan saved well before the Wales international reduced arrears with a brilliantly taken goal. Bogdan’s long clearance was headed back by Daniel Agger and on by Carroll, springing Bellamy beyond the static Bolton defense before he scored from a dozen yards. Reina saved well on the stroke of halftime from a 20-yard Martin Petrov free kick, awarded after Bellamy fouled Reo-Coker, the source of their simmering argument. But Bolton wasted little time after the restart before extending its lead and restoring a deserved two-goal cushion. A spell of pressure ended with Petrov’s left-wing corner being met at the far post by David Wheater, who headed across goal and found the unmarked Steinsson to drive home from around the penalty spot.—AP

BARCELONA: Espanyol overcame a depleted front line to beat Granada 3-0 at home in the Spanish league yesterday. With injured strikers Sergio Garcia and Alvaro Vazquez unavailable, Mauricio Pochettino turned to his midfield to produce goals. Raul Baena put Espanyol in front with a header in the 26th and playmaker Joan Verdu added a second from the penalty spot after Vladimir Weiss was fouled by Allan Nyom just before halftime. Substitute Rui Fonte capped the victory with a goal in the 80th by tapping in a free kick by Ndri Romaric that had come off the crossbar. Espanyol’s fifth game without a loss lifted it provisionally into fifth place in the standings. Before the match Espanyol unveiled a statue of Dani Jarque, the former captain who died of a heart attack in 2009, at Cornella-El Prat Stadium. Also, Getafe dealt Racing Santander its first loss in six weeks since the exit of coach Hector Cuper with a 2-1 comeback win secured by Nicolas “Miku” Fedor in the 83rd minute. Later, Atletico Madrid looked for its first away win of the season at Real Sociedad before Real Betis hosted Sevilla in the Seville derby. League leader Real Madrid hosts the inform Athletic Bilbao today before second-place Barcelona visits Malaga. Also, it’s: Osasuna vs Valencia; Rayo Vallecano vs Mallorca; and Levante vs Zaragoza. Sporting Gijon is at Villarreal tomorrow.— AP

Bolton 3

Liverpool 1

BOLTON: Liverpool was surprised by the team with the worst home record in the English Premier League when it lost to Bolton Wanderers 3-1 yesterday. Former Liverpool forward David Ngog had a hand in goals for Mark Davies and Nigel Reo-Coker that seemed to put Wanderers well in control. Craig Bellamy, a constant threat for Liverpool, halved the deficit in the 37th minute before becoming embroiled in an altercation with Reo-Coker as the teams went down the tunnel at halftime. Then a first goal of the season for defender Gretar Steinsson restored the two-goal cushion for Bolton, which rose four points above the relegation zone. Liverpool, which faces a midweek League Cup semifinal second leg at home to Manchester City, came no closer to scoring again than a long-range shot from defender Daniel Agger that struck the crossbar in the 70th. The visitors, who had won their last 10 league meetings with Bolton, faced an uphill battle from the fourth minute

BOLTON: Liverpool’s English midfielder Steven Gerrard reacts during the English Premier League football match between Bolton Wanderers and Liverpool at The Reebok Stadium yesterday. — AP

Cahill’s Everton frustrated LIVERPOOL: Tim Cahill scored his first Everton 1 Premier League goal for 13 months before his mistake allowed struggling Blackburn Blackburn 1 to salvage a 1-1 draw at Everton yesterday. Australian international Cahill had not found the net on the top-flight stage since scoring against Manchester City in December 2010. But he ended his long drought from close range in the 24th minute amid controversy after Marouane Fellaini clearly handled in the buildup to the goal. Yet Cahill’s joy was short lived as David Goodwillie netted a 74th minute equalizer after the Everton player had fired into the Blackburn striker’s stomach before seeing the ball ricochet over the line. Rovers have spent most of the season in the bottom three but they thoroughly deserved a priceless point even though Everton defender Shane Duffy headed against the bar in the closing stages. With former Everton striker Yakubu suspended, Blackburn signed Anthony Modeste on loan from Bordeaux two days before the game but there was no room for the French striker in the side. Modeste had to make do with a place on the substitutes bench as Kean started with Goodwillie as Rovers looked to build on their recent encouraging form which included wins over Fulham and Manchester United in the last three league games. Rovers were missing Chris Samba after the want-away Congolese defender handed in a transfer request yet, despite his absence, Blackburn did everything but score before half-time. After Scott Dann had a header cleared off the line, midfielder David Dunn hit the post with a low curling effort following a sweeping 37th minute move involving Goodwillie and Dunn. Everton keeper Tim Howard was also forced to save with his foot to deny the busy Dunn a certain goal yet despite the controversy in the build-up to Cahill’s goal, Blackburn were once again let down by their defensive failings. Kean’s side have not kept a clean sheet in the Premier League since April 30 last year. Keeper Paul Robinson chased referee Mark Halsey out of his area after Cahill stabbed home from close range claiming Fellaini had handled just before the former Millwall player scored. He had a point but Cahill was still afforded too much time and space to end his long run without a goal. Everton have struggled for goals all season but it was the kind of fortune that has been missing from their campaign. Victor Anichebe should have broken the deadlock as early as the third minute but hit his volley into the ground allowing the ball to bounce over the bar while United States international Landon Donovan blazed over after bursting into the Blackburn area.—AFP

China’s crude imports from Saudi hit record Page 22

Greece pushes for debt deal as Italy eyes reform Page 23


Buresli, IHRA chief to attend Horeca opening

Kuwait equities gain ground slowly Page 24

Page 26

ZABADANI: Children chant slogans during an anti-Syrian regime demonstration at the mountain resort town of Zabadani, Syria, near the Lebanese border on Friday. President Bashar Assad’s forces attacked Zabadani, some 17 miles (27 kilometers) west of the capital, for six days, sparking fierce fighting that involved heavy bombardments and clashes with army defectors. — AP

Syrians grapple with economic crisis Financial pain, sanctions could erode support to regime BEIRUT: As President Bashar Assad fights off a 10-month-old uprising, Syrians have been struggling to cope with shortages of heating oil and other fuel, electricity cuts of up to 16 hours a day and dwindling bank balances. With no end in sight to the violent conflict, Assad’s embattled regime has sought to rally support by blaming the uprising - and the “terrorists” he says are behind it - for the profound economic crisis gripping the country of 22 million. The rhetoric reflects an awareness in the regime that economic pain could erode the support it has succeeded in retaining so far amid the turmoil. For now, though, many Syrians say their immediate needs transcend politics. “I haven’t seen such a crisis in my entire life,” said Majd Amer, a resident and activist in Homs, a city that has been among the hardest-hit by the military crackdown on protesters. “Most of the residents depend on assistance from their neighbors.” Syria’s economy is groaning under the weight of sanctions from the US, European Union, the Arab League, and the emerging regional power Turkey. The government’s violent crackdown on the uprising has caused vital sources of revenue - like tourism - to dry up,

and much of the economic squeeze has affected low-level merchants and businesses. The value of the Syrian pound has dropped 50 percent from 47 to the dollar to 71 to the dollar on the black market, sparking a rise in prices that is straining Syrian budgets. On Friday, Central Bank Governor Adib Mayaleh said Syria will star t next week to intervene to “improve the price of the pound,” meaning it would spend reserves to maintain the value. He declined to say how much money Syria has in foreign reserves, despite speculation that Damascus is already burning through its funds to withstand the blistering sanctions. In a telephone interview with The Associated Press, Mayaleh blamed the economic woes on an “international conspiracy,” echoing the regime’s line that foreign terrorists are driving the revolt against Assad, not protesters seeking change. Earlier this week, Syria’s oil minister said Western sanctions on Syrian oil exports have cost the country $2 billion since September an unusually blunt assessment of the economic problems the country is facing. In a speech earlier this month, Assad blamed his opponents for Syrians’ suffering, and

mockingly asked if being a revolutionary meant “depriving people of cooking oil they need so they don’t starve.” Analysts say the change in tone is a subtle shift by the regime. In the early days of the uprising, the government stressed it was invulnerable to the sanctions. But now, Assad and others increasingly cite Syrians’ suffering - and say the uprising is the cause of it all. The move signals a keen understanding that if the economy crumbles, it could spell doom for the regime. “ The regime is tr ying to mobilize against the sanctions, now that the sanctions are affecting their economy,” said Said Hirsh, a Mideast economist with Capital Economics in London. Assad has spent years shifting the country away from the socialism espoused by his father and predecessor. The result was a new and vibrant merchant class that transformed Syria’s economic landscape - even as the regime’s tight political grip remained unchanged. So far, the salaried classes have stuck beside Assad amid the greatest challenge yet to the 40-year rule of his family. But if the economic squeeze reaches them, it could be a game changer for Assad since they

may begin to pressure for some sort of resolution to the crisis or even turn outright against him. The violent conflict in Syria has marked the most serious challenge to the Assad dynasty. The UN estimates some 5,400 have been killed since March, when the uprising began against Assad. Although the revolt began with mostly peaceful protests, an increasingly strong armed element has developed and many people are now fighting back against the regime. Army defectors, as well, have turned their weapons on government targets. Syrians say they are suffering a frigid winter with power cuts and scarce cook ing and heating oil. In Homs, queues for gas cylinders, which cost about $5, can stretch more than 100 people; wealthier residents turn to the black market and pay double the price. Attacks on fuel pipelines have contributed to the shortages, and because of the chaos the state is slower - or unable - to fix electricity problems, causing cutoffs. Key revenue sources like tourism - which accounted for 12 percent of the economy, or $8 billion dollars in 2010 - have dried up. Visa and MasterCard credit cards are no longer valid in Syria, hurting prospects for international travel and business. —AP

‘Occupy London’ campaigners take over new building LONDON: Anti-capitalist protesters said yesterday they have taken over a large building in the City of London financial district. ‘Occupy London’ activists entered the nine-storey Roman House building in the Barbican earlier this morning, the group announced. “Occupy London this morning publicly repossessed Roman House, an abandoned nine-storey office building in the Barbican in the City of London which previously housed companies from the financial service industries,” read a statement posted on the group’s website.

Campaigners vowed to remain at the abandoned block until the City of London Corporation-the local authority for the financial district-publishes full details of its City cash accounts. “ The Corporation has undermined our democracy through the power of its lobbyists and must submit to public scrutiny,” said supporter Bryn Phillips, 28. “If the City agrees to publish its City cash accounts, future and historic, we will leave the building immediately. If it does not, we will take appropriate action until

such time as it does.” The latest occupation comes just days after London’s High Court approved a bid by authorities to evict protesters from outside Saint Paul’s Cathedral. The activists-who have been camped outside the landmark church since October 15 after taking their lead from protesters in New York’s Wall Street-plan to appeal against the decision on Thursday. The City of London Corporation had started legal action against the Saint Paul’s protest camp in November.—AFP

Riyal hits record low TEHRAN: Iran’s national currency fell by 11 percent yesterday amid the government’s refusal to sign off on a move to raise bank interest rates, state news agencies reported. The semiofficial Fars news agency said the the country’s currency, the rial, was trading at nearly 20,000 to the US dollar yesterday on the black market, compared to 18,000 rials a day earlier. The rial was trading at around

10,500 riyals to the US dollar in late December 2010. The Iranian currency strengthened last week after Iran’s Money and Credit Council approved an increase in bank interest rates to 21 percent to absorb liquidity into the banks. Traders said President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s refusal to give the green light to raising bank interest rates has prompted a new devaluation of rial. —AP




China’s crude imports from Saudi hits record Angola maintained 2nd spot, but volume down 21% BEIJING: China’s crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia rose to 1.12 million barrels per day in December, the fourth-highest on record on a daily basis, Chinese customs data showed, as the world’s top oil exporter pumped just under the 10 million bpd mark. Data from the China General Administration of Customs showed China bought Saudi imports were a touch below November’s 1.17 million bpd. The record was 9.56 percent more crude oil from the kingdom last month versus December 2010 and wound up the whole of 2011 with 12.6 percent growth at 50.28 million tons, or 1.01 million bpd. That would leave Saudi supplying nearly 20 percent of total crude oil imports at about 5.08 million bpd into China, the world’s second-largest crude buyer after the United States. The December Saudi imports were a touch below November’s 1.17 million bpd. The record was set in

December 2009 at 1.18 mln bpd and the third-highest in July 2009 at 1.15 mln bpd. The world’s top oil exporter was pumping just under record rates of 10 million bpd earlier this month, Gulfbased sources said, after a record rate in November at 10.047 mln bpd. Imports from Iran, China’s third-largest supplier, jumped 41 percent in December over a year earlier at 2.43 million tons, or 572,000 bpd. For the whole of last year, China’s Iranian oil imports rose 30 percent to 27.76 million tons, or about 555,200 bpd, the data showed, putting China firmly on the top spot of Iran’s global crude oil clients. China, however, has scaled back imports in the first two months of this year as two sides have yet to agree on the main terms for the 2012 contract. China’s crude import growth last year slowed to nearly a third of the blistering pace of 2010, as weaker economic growth likely to

drag into the new year weighed on demand. Imports last year rose 6 percent at an average of about 5.08 million bpd. Analysts expected China’s imports this year to at least maintain or quicken from last year’s pace, bolstered by new refining capacities started in late 2011 and through this year and an increasing chance to build stocks. China may add some 500,000 bpd crude throughput this year versus last, a Reuters poll found. China may step up imports to fill tanks, as new depots were put into use and as oil firms become more willing to accept $100 oil, likely to be a norm for the coming decade, analysts say. In December, China also boosted imports from Russia, China’s fourth-largest supplier, by 45 percent over a year earlier at 2.02 million tons, and imports in the whole of 2011 was up 29 percent at 19.7 million tons, or 394,000 bpd. The expanded supply from

Russia was largely due to the start just over a year ago of the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline (ESPO) that pumps some 300,000 bpd oil from Russia to China under a long-term supply pact between the two countries. China also brought in some 67,000 bpd crude from Libya in December after resuming imports the previous month from the North African producer following a six-month halt due to the conflict there. Angola, which retained its spot as China’s second-largest supplier, however shipped in 21 percent less crude for the whole of 2011 at 623,000 bpd. Imports from Sudan rose a modest 3 percent last year at 260,000 bpd, overtaken by Iraq as China’s sixth-largest supplier. Chinese imports of Iraqi oil gained nearly a quarter last year at 275,000 bpd, thanks in part to Chinese oil firms’ development of several major oilfields in the postSaddam country. —Reuters

Oman oil output rises: Report MUSCAT: Oman’s oil production reached 27,734,585 barrels in December 2011 with an average daily output of 894,664 barrels, up seven percent compared to November 2011. The monthly report released by the Ministry of Oil stated that total oil exports reached 23,667,051 barrels in December 2011. As usual, Asian markets imported the lion’s share of Omani oil, with China purchasing 49.94 percent, and Japan and South Korea importing 10.86 and 9.23 percent, respectively. International oil prices fluctuated noticeably in December 2011, ranging between $97 and $110 a barrel. US crude oil price reached $98.58 a barrel on both the New York and Chicago stock exchanges, and North Sea Brent Crude averaged $107.65 a barrel. December oil trading fell due to the on-going debt crisis in Europe, though prices began to stabilize in late December on hopes that European leaders would end the crisis by putting more cash in to the euro rescue fund. Earlier this year, Oman launched a multi-billion dollar project to develop its oil and gas sectors. It will be financed primarily through budget surpluses that the country has accumulated in the past few years. Omani oil output increased 6.6 percent in 2010 following several years of decline in production. The increase is attributed to increased government investment in the sector. —KUNA

FRANKFURT: A trader makes a phone call at the stock market in Frankfurt on Friday where the German stock index DAX stayed clearly over 6000 points during the whole week. —AP

Kingdom Holding Q4 net profit falls 19.9% JEDDAH: Kingdom Holding Co, the investment vehicle of Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, posted a 19.9 percent decline in fourth-quarter net profit due to a decreased performance by associated hotels, it said yesterday. Kingdom Holding made a net profit of 187.8 million riyals ($50.1 million) in the three months ending Dec. 31, compared with 234.6 million riyals in the same

period a year earlier. “The change in net income for the fourth quarter is due to a decrease in performance of associated companies, and hotel management companies due to the current events in the Middle East,” the company said in a statement posted on the bourse website. Operational income decreased 36.4 percent to 168.4 million riyals. Kingdom has minority stakes in

some of the world’s top companies and is one of the largest shareholders in Citigroup. Last month Prince Alwaleed and Kingdom unveiled a $300-million purchase of a stake in Twitter, one of Internet’s most popular social networking services. In August, the firm signed a 4.6 billion riyal contract to build the world’s tallest tower, exceeding 1,000 metres, in the Red Sea Port city of Jeddah. —Reuters

Chinese growth beats expectations KICIC weekly analysis on Asia KUWAIT: Last Tuesday, Asian stock markets were buoyant, as data on China’s economic output for the year 2011 instilled more confidence in investors and reduced doubts over the country’s growth outlook. China’s gross domestic product, a measure of economic activity, grew 8.9% in the fourth quarter compared to the same period last year, beating expectations of an 8.7% growth and ending the year 2011 with a robust 9.2% growth. In 2010, China grew 10.4% year over year (YoY), a strong growth that was supported by increased spending by the government- through the stimulus package - and a rebound from the financial crisis-driven slowdown. Investors and economists have been fear ful that China’s growth may suffer a shock from a rapid slowdown, also known as “hard landing”, primarily induced by the weakness in European and US export demand, a risk of plummeting domestic property prices and declining foreign investments. But China’s economy proved its flexibility; when export demand eased, China’s domestic consumption was still resilient and supported the economy. Although the contribution of manufacturing activity to overall growth peaked in 2010 and is expected to ease further, the services sector’s growing contribution to growth, as shown in the above graph, indicates China’s resilience to a global slowdown through robust domestic demand. Concerns over Europe, the US and a slowing Chinese economy have had a negative effect on financial markets, but investors are now looking for signs of a looser monetary policy from the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), China’s central bank. A looser monetary policy (i.e. RRR cuts or lower interest rates) would encourage further economic growth making credit cheaper and more accessible, especially given that Chinese regulators had been tightening the monetary policy for a while now, making room for more monetary easing. Currently inflation has come down significantly (4.1% YoY in December), but the government will continue to do gradual easing (no immediate interest rate cuts) until inflationary pressures have fully subsided. Real GDP is a measure of the economic output or of the size of the economy -

adjusted for inflation or deflation. It is the sum of the values of all final goods and services produced by that country or region over a given time period. The values depend on the quantities (volume) of the goods produced and their prices. Real GDP is a measure that holds prices constant by using a given year’s value (the base date) for all items and services. Then these values are used to calculate GDP for years prior to the base year and subsequent years. GDP can be measured in several ways, and the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the government body responsible for national accounts data, tends to publish GDP by sector output. The three main sectors are the primary (raw materials and basic foods such as agriculture, mining, etc); secondary (manufacturing, processing, construction, etc.); and tertiary (the services industry such as retail, transportation, entertainment, tourism, etc.). China’s growth has been outpacing a majority of the world’s economies. However, robust growth has been gradually easing over the past six quarters; 2012 GDP growth is expected in the 8.4-8.6% range, slower than 2011’s 9.2%. There are increasing fears that the worsening global macro situation could harm the country’s strong growth and push it below the expected range such as the worsening of the European debt crisis and the political divide in the US stalling important policy actions for economic recovery. Driven by these concerns, global investors risk aversion went up and money flowed out of emerging markets, including China despite its resilient economy. The financial markets are now expecting the PBOC to take action and ease its tight monetary policy in order to encourage growth in the face of a dire global macro environment, a move that could boost interest in Chinese stocks. The government has announced its intention to invest in the domestic economy, especially in sectors that service public health and social housing. It also intends to add incentives to the Chinese services industries through tax breaks.2012 has risks, but there are many opportunities for the Chinese companies to perform well due to relaxed monetary policy, government support and a healthy domestic consumption.

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 .4270000 .3550000 .2940000 .2730000 .2870000 .0040000 .0020000 .0754990 .7355610 .3810000 .0710000 .7210850 .0040000 .0430000

.2815000 .4370000 .3640000 .3030000 .2820000 .2960000 .0070000 .0035000 .0762570 .7429540 .4020000 .0770000 .7283320 .0072000 .0520000

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES US Dollar/KD .2781000 .2802000 GB Pound/KD .4291080 .4323490 Euro .3576090 .3603090 Swiss francs .2960720 .2983070 Canadian dollars .2752380 .2773160 Danish Kroner .0480910 .0484540 Swedish Kroner .0406660 .0409730 Australian dlr .2891270 .2913100 Hong Kong dlr .0358180 .0360890 Singapore dlr .2176230 .2192660 Japanese yen .0036230 .0036510 Indian Rs/KD .0000000 .0056040 Sri Lanka rupee .0000000 .0024680 Pakistan rupee .0000000 .0031150 Bangladesh taka .0000000 .0033580 UAE dirhams .0757460 .0763180 Bahraini dinars .7379590 .7435320 Jordanian dinar .0000000 .3963220 Saudi Riyal/KD .0741800 .0747400 Omani riyals .7226190 .7280760 Philippine Peso .0000000 .0065140

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

ASIAN COUNTRIES 3.598 5.337 3.154 2.436 3.341 213.250 35.672 3.580 6.336 8.873 0.271 0.273

GCC COUNTRIES 74.150 76.402 722.230 738.540 75.715

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham Egyptian Pound - Cash Egyptian Pound - Transfer Yemen Riyal/for 1000 Tunisian Dinar Jordanian Dinar Lebanese Lira/for 1000 Syrian Lier Morocco Dirham

ARAB COUNTRIES 47.500 46.282 1.272 189.860 392.670 1.865 6.003 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

SELL CASH 294.600 742.920 3.870 279.500 548.700 44.600 49.100 167.800 48.290 363.100 36.650 5.720 0.032 0.206 0.247 3.740 396.170 0.189 91.220 46.200 4.290 228.200 1.810

47.600 725.620 3.200 6.770 77.270 74.590 219.310 37.570 2.650 435.300 41.400 301.000 4.900 9.190 198.263 76.170 279.700 1.280

725.440 3.100 6.455 76.840 74.590 219.310 37.670 2.449 433.300 299.500 4.900 9.000 76.070 279.300

10 Tola

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 433.300 279.300

Sterling Pound US Dollar

SELL DRAFT 293.100 742.920 3.335 278.000

219.300 46.294 361.600 36.500 5.555 0.031

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

SELL DRAFT 294.53 280.89 302.41 362.74 433.84 3.69 3.309 5.544 2.452 3.481 3.089 76.03 742.92 46.27 397.35 726.88 77.02 74.58

SELL CASH 297.00 280.00 305.00 365.00 436.00 3.70 3.750 5.650 2.660 4.250 3.260 76.85 743.00 48.50 397.00 729.00 77.50 75.00

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd 395.840 0.188 91.220 3.480 226.700

Rate for Transfer US Dollar Canadian Dollar Sterling Pound Euro Swiss Frank Bahrain Dinar

Selling Rate 278.500 275.585 436.990 366.765 298.040 737.505

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

75.800 76.445 74.225 392.025 46.238 2.441 5.241 3.106 3.401 6.331 683.150 3.675 8.935 5.865 3.370 92.510

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co.

GOLD 1,743.500

UAE Exchange Centre WLL

Bahrain Exchange Company COUNTRY 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 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

Currency Rate per 1000 (Tran) US Dollar 279.300 Pak Rupees 3.093 Indian Rupees 5.570 Sri Lankan Rupees 2.460 Bangladesh Taka 3.330 Philippines Peso 6.485 UAE Dirhams 76.145 Saudi Riyals 74.635 Bahraini Dinars 742.500 Egyptian Pounds 46.209 Pound Sterling 436.400 Indonesian Rupiah 3.190 Yemeni Riyal 1.550 Euro 364.900 Canadian Dollars 282.300 Nepali rupee 3.690

Al Mulla Exchange Currency Transfer Rate (Per 1000) US Dollar 278.950 Euro 363.000 Pound Sterling 433.800 Canadian Dollar 278.700 Japanese Yen 3.630 Indian Rupee 5.550 Egyptian Pound 46.205 Sri Lankan Rupee 2.449 Bangladesh Taka 3.255 Philippines Peso 6.452 Pakistan Rupee 3.096 Bahraini Dinar 742.800 UAE Dirham 76.000 Saudi Riyal 74.500 *Rates are subject to change


BUSINESS GM regains crown as world’s top selling automaker DETROIT/TOKYO: General Motors Co regained its title as the world’s top-selling automaker in 2011, less than three years after its 2009 taxpayer-funded bankruptcy under the Obama administration. The Detroit-based automaker’s return to the top slot comes as Japanese rival and former No 1 seller Toyota Motor Corp slips in the rankings after an earthquake in Japan and deadly floods in Thailand hampered its production in 2011. GM said it sold 9.026 million vehicles globally last year, up 7.6 percent from 2010. Volkswagen AG, the German company vying to become the world’s largest carmaker, finished the year in second place with 8.16 million vehicles sold. Toyota will publish its final sales results for 2011 later this month but has projected sales of 7.9 million in 2011, down about 6 percent from a year earlier. The tabulation of global auto sales is not without controversy. Rankings are mostly about bragging rights, but there has been a longrunning and robust debate over how to account for vehicles sold through affiliates. The sales figures released by GM, which was the largest automaker until 2008 when Toyota took its place, include vehicles sold through its joint ventures in China. Some analysts extract those sales from GM’s results. Depending on how the results are tallied, Toyota may have finished the year in third place. However, Toyota would fall to fourth place behind Renault SA and its partner Nissan Motor Co if the alliance’s sales through Russia’s AvtoVAZ are included. Including AvtoVAZ, Renault-Nissan sold 8.03 million cars worldwide last year. This includes the 638,000 cars sold by AvtoVAZ, in which Renault owns a minority 25 percent. The International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, a global trade group based in France, has not yet released its annual ranking of automakers by production. Toyota’s 2011 worldwide sales tally included listed subsidiaries Daihatsu Motors Co and Hino Motors Ltd. Now Toyota is ramping up production to rebuild depleted inventory and will add output capacity in emerging markets such as Brazil and China this year. However, analysts said it also faced stiffer competition as rivals step up their game. — Reuters

Greece pushes for debt deal as Italy eyes reform Crunch talks with officials delayed ATHENS: Crunch talks between Greek officials and the nation’s private sector creditors were adjourned as Italy prepared a major liberalization program and their euro-zone partners held their breath. “We’ll continue tomorrow,” said Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos, as the two sides ended several hours of talks, over moves by Greece to have around 100 billion euros ($129 billion) slashed from its huge debt. The Institute of International Finance (IIF), which is representing the banks and financial institutions in the Athens talks, released a brief statement saying that “elements” of a deal were in place but calling on all parties to “act in a decisive fashion and seize the opportunity to finalize this historic agreement.” It had been hoped that the days of talks would be concluded on Friday. Greece was also involved in parallel negotiations with its EU-IMF bailout partners on a new loan to dodge a March default. Prime Minister Lucas Papademos met again with global private bank group representatives after late-night talks on Thursday as his finance minister held talks with senior auditors from the European Union and International Monetary Fund on the separate euro-zone rescue plan. Government spokesman Pantelis Kapsis told private Radio 9 that “the atmosphere is good... and we are hoping that the talks will be terminated soon.” The main FTSE/Athex index showed a gain of 3.47 percent for the day as investors bet on good news but there were no developments by the close. The main European markets were slightly lower. “Significant headwinds still remain, not least ... Greece,” said Michael Hewson, market analyst at trading group CMC Markets. “Even if a deal is reached it won’t even begin to solve Greece’s problems of a shrinking economy and a grow-

ing debt burden,” he added. German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle meanwhile insisted that endless rescue packages for indebted economies are not the answer to the euro-zone’s woes. “The debt economy itself has reached its limits,” Westerwelle told the Brookings Institution think-tank in Washington. “Rescue packages and short-term liquidity are not a solution to the crisis. They are buying us time in which to address the root causes-no less, but also no more.” Greece has a looming loan repayment worth 14.3 billion euros on March 20 which it cannot honor without financial assistance. Greece is seeking to slash around 100 billion euros from its huge debt through a voluntary bond swap with creditors, a process that would unlock a new eurozone rescue package worth 130 billion euros overall. Under the so-called privatesector initiative, banks and other financial institutions are expected to take at least a 50 percent “haircut” on their Greek debt, which would remove about 100 billion euros from Athens’ massive debt burden of more than 350 billion euros. The talks hinge on the interest rate to be offered for new bonds which will replace maturing debt that is being written down, with Greek media reporting Friday that a deal seems close on a flexible rate of around four percent. The Kathimerini daily said the new bonds would be offered with a sliding scale of 3.0 to 4.5 percent over time, which would imply a much bigger writedown of some 68 percent. In a sign that an agreement could be near, the IMF has said it is ready for talks on extra rescue funds needed to keep Athens from defaulting in March. Greece wants an outline of the deal to be ready by Monday, and a full agreement

Kirk downplays chances for trade revamp plan

LISBON: Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho (right) meets Hossein Samiei (left) representative of the International Monetary Found, Rasmus Rueffer (second left) of the European Central Bank, and Juergen Kroeger, representative of the European Commission, at the end of a workshop on structural reforms in Portugal yesterday in Lisbon. — AP

Troika says Portugal labor reforms strong first step LISBON: Portugal’s labor market reforms agreed with unions last week are in line with the terms of its international bailout and mark a strong start to boost the country’s external competitiveness, officials from the troika of lenders said yesterday. The government, unions and employers on Wednesday signed a pact to make it easier for crisis-hit companies to fire and hire, cut layoff compensation and the number of holidays. The reforms are designed to increase competitiveness and help businesses as Portugal suffers its worst recession since the 1970s under its 78-billion-euro rescue package. Officials from the troika-the European Commission, ECB and IMFpraised the reforms at the end three days of informal conversations about structural reforms in Lisbon. “We are particularly reassured that this agreement, which largely complies with the recommendations of the (bailout) memorandum, was accomplished with the consent of the labour unions,” said EU mission head Juergen Kroeger. Portugal’s biggest union, the CGTP, refused to back the deal suggesting antiausterity protests will continue and even grow-but another large umbrella union, the UGT, signed up to the reform agreement. “I have no doubt that there is ample national consensus on the need and goals of the structural changes,” Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho said. “I have said from the start that in eliminating the barriers of our economy we want go further than the bailout program,” he added. “We have a starting point with the most urgent goals, but we are more ambitious.” Portugal was one of the slowest growing economies in Europe before the economic crisis hit and many analysts say that it must implement wide-ranging structural reforms to correct its budget deficit and external imbalances. “Potential growth in Portugal is very

low... you have very high indebtedness, so it is important to increase potential growth,” said Rasmus Ruffer, head of the European Central Bank’s part of the mission. He added the country needs to create labour market flexibility to move workers to more competitive sectors, boost the export sector and reduce the weight of non-tradeable goods in the economy. “It is evident that the Portuguese economy is facing challenges on many fronts. Its unsustainable external imbalances is a major concern, as important as fiscal consolidation,” the EU’s Kroeger said. Portugal cut its budget deficit last year to an estimated 4 percent of GDP from 9.8 percent in 2010, thanks to a one-off transfer of banks’ pension funds to the state. Without it, the deficit would have been around 7.5 percent, above the 5.9 percent target under the bailout. This year, it must cut the deficit to 4.5 percent of GDP and the troika has warned it can no longer resort to one-off measures similar to the transfer. The austerity drive to reach the deficit goals, which include spending cuts and tax hikes, pushed the economy to contract around 1.6 percent in 2011, with the government forecasting a contraction of around 3 percent this year. “I congratulate the authorities for the strong start to the reform program and note that we share their views that this is a start and many challenges remain,” the IMF’s Hossein Samiei said. Passos Coelho said the government has selected the right strategy to face a difficult year ahead. “I will not say the question mark has disappeared...the external circumstances, with known risks that we cannot control are quite adverse for us... but we know the response we have to give and the strategy to implement it,” he said. The troika of lenders’ will carry out their next formal review of the bailout in February. — Reuters

WASHINGTON: US Trade Representative Ron Kirk downplayed chances that Congress would move this year to approve President Barack Obama’s sweeping plan to reorganize US trade agencies, but said he strongly backed the idea. “I am a hundred percent supportive of the president’s objective to rationalize our capabilities and our mission with the realities of where our economy is,” Kirk told reporters in his first public comments on the proposal outlined by the White House last week. Obama wants to consolidate USTR and five other trade and business agencies into a single export body to help the United States better compete in a 21st century economy and to modernize a government he said has grown too complex. Kirk, when asked if he thought Congress was likely to give Obama the power to carry out the plan, paused, broke into a broad smile and laughed before replying. “You know, look, this is one of those things that I think most Americans if they are just sitting around their kitchen table would think is a non-brainer. But we’re in Washington, we’re in an election year,” Kirk said. Key members of Congress including the Democratic chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and the Republican chairman of the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee - have raised concern with the plan. Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus and Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp said they feared taking USTR and “making it just another corner of a new bureaucratic behemoth would hurt American exports and hinder American job creation.” Other lawmakers, including Senator Orrin Hatch, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, complained the plan was thrust onto Congress without any consultation. Kirk told reporters his agency had been involved in talks on reorganization plan “from the beginning and I am very comfortable with the fact the president understands what makes USTR special.” “So we’re not afraid of it. It’s a good thing, but right now the ball is in Congress’ hand,” Kirk said. On a related matter, Kirk declined to say whether he would be willing to serve a second term as US Trade Representative if Obama wins re-election in November. “That is the president’s decision to make. I was humbled and honored he asked me to serve this first term. I’d like to think I’ve done so with distinction, but you know, I don’t even want to talk about second terms. We’ll still got work to do.” — Reuters

by January 30 when the European Union is scheduled to hold a summit. Greece is under pressure from the EU and IMF to revise its private-sector wage agreements to reduce labor costs and improve competitiveness as part of the new bailout. Greek unions say such a measure would only exacerbate a deep recession brought about by two years of austerity measures already adopted under the EU-IMF economic adjustment plan. Meanwhile Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti’s government on Friday adopted a structural reform program aimed at breathing new life into a debt-stricken economy, but which has already met heavy opposition. Technocrat Monti’s aim is to get Italy growing again after years of lagging its euro-zone peers so it can eventually reduce

a debt pile equal to 120 percent of gross domestic product-double the 60-percent EU ceiling. “The cabinet today adopted a draft bill with a package of structural reforms for growth,” Monti said after an eight-hour cabinet meeting. The measures were aimed at boosting competition in several sectors and improving Italy’s creaking infrastructure, he explained. Numerous sectors of the Italian economy remain sheltered from competition, but with the country’s economy likely to have entered a recession and little room for more austerity, reforms to unlock growth have become a top priority. Quick action by the government to spur growth will be key to convincing markets Italy will be able to keep on top of its massive debt. —AFP

ATHENS: Poul Thomsen, the International Monetary Fund mission chief in Greece, right, European Commission official Matthias Mors, center, and Klaus Masuch of the European Central Bank leave Maximou mansion after a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos in Athens, Friday. — AP

US appeals WTO ruling in dolphin-tuna row WASHINGTON: The United States on Friday appealed a World Trade Organization decision that accuses Washington of imposing overly stringent rules on dolphin-safe tuna from Mexico. “Our dolphin-safe labeling measures for tuna products provide information for American consumers as they make food purchasing decisions for their families,” Andrea Mead, a spokeswoman for the US trade representative said in a statement. “Our decision to appeal the WTO ruling in this case demonstrates the commitment of the United States to our dolphin-safe labeling measures,” she said. The WTO had found that Washington was overly restrictive in trying to protect dolphins. Under the US measures, producers of tuna products-whether foreign or domestic-have the

option of labeling tuna products that meet the standards of the US provisions as “dolphin safe.” One such standard is “that the label cannot be used if dolphins are purposefully chased and encircled in order to catch tuna. This fishing method is harmful to dolphins,” the US trade office said. Mexico argues that the measures violate trade rules by limiting access to the US market for Mexican tuna. But Washington insists that some Mexican fishing vessels use the proscribed method of throwing nets around dolphins to catch tuna. Some dolphin species are endangered due to overfishing and water pollution. The dispute between the US and Mexico dates to 1991. In October 2008, Mexico filed a request for the Geneva-based WTO to settle the row with its neighbor. — AFP

PAMPLONA: People hold posters reading: Dignity and Stop Cuts Planned during a march to protest against the cuts planned by the conservative Popular Party of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, in Pamplona, northern Spain, yesterday. — AP

Former UK Woolworths staff win $105m compensation LONDON: More than 24,000 former employees of collapsed British retailer Woolworths will share a 67.8 million pound ($105 million) payout after a tribunal ruled there was insufficient consultation before they were made redundant, their union said. Woolworths, a 100-year-old sweets-to-DVD retailer that once had a presence on nearly every high street in Britain, closed the last of its 800 stores in January 2009 after failing to find a buyer. The Employment Tribunal, part of the courts service, awarded the former staff compensation of 60 days’ pay, capped at the maximum allowable of 330 pounds a week, shop workers’ union Usdaw said. Under British law, employers planning to make more than 20 staff redundant within a 90-day period must consult with their representatives before issuing any dismissal notices.

The tribunal found that administrators running Woolworths at the time had failed to meet this obligation. However, a further 3,000 former employees were not included in the award as they had worked in smaller Woolworths stores where fewer than 20 redundancies were made. The compensation bill will ultimately fall on British taxpayers, and will be the largest insolvency ever dealt with by the government’s Redundancy Payments Office, Usdaw said. Woolworths went into administration, a form of creditor protection, in November 2008, after struggling for years amid competition from supermarkets and the Internet. The retailer was the first big name business in Britain to fail after the economy soured following the global financial crisis. The brand was sold to Britain’s biggest home shopping retailer, Shop Direct, who relaunched it as an online-only store. — Reuters




Kuwait equities gain ground slowly

BAYAN WEEKLY MARKET REPORT KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) ended last week in the green zone. The price index ended last week with an increase amounted to 0.90%, while the weighted index raised by 1.01% compared to the closings of the week before. Furthermore, last week’s average daily turnover increased by 34.36%, compared to the preceding week, reaching KD 30.22 million, whereas trading volume average was 332.70 million shares, recording increase of 37.92%. KSE witnessed buying pressure on several leading stocks, along with quick speculations on small stocks. In addition, banking sector was a subject for the traders’ attention, along with number of other stocks, in response to good expectations for their annual results and dividends. Therefore, the weighted index performed better than the price index. Furthermore, the market trading activities were notably increased compared to the week before. On the other hand, many traders are in caution state, waiting for the listed companies’ annual results. Few of them executed profit taking operations on some stocks, of which its prices increased previously. By the end of the week, the price index closed at 5,798.5 points, up by 0.90% from the week before closing, whereas the weighted index registered a 1.01% weekly up after closing at 402.88 points.

Sectors’ indices Five of KSE’s sectors ended last week in the green zone, while the other three recorded declines. Last week’s highest gainer was the Real estate sector, achieving 2.39% growth rate as its index closed at 2,061.8 points. Whereas, in the second place, the Banks sector’s index closed at 11,449.5 points recording 2.13% increase. The Non Kuwaiti Companies sector came in third as its index achieved 2.05% growth, ending the week at 5,316.6 points. The Food sector was the least growing as its index closed at 4,330.2 points with a 0.08% increase. On the other hand, the Industry sector headed the losers list as its index declined by 0.46% to end the week’s activity at 4,080.5 points. The Insurance sector was second on the losers’ list, which index declined by 0.30%, closing at 2,588.40 points, followed by the Services sector, as its index closed at 13,094.4 points at a weekly loss of 0.12%. Sectors’ activity The Investment sector dominated total trade volume during last week with 509.45 million shares changing hands, representing 30.63% of the total market trading volume. The Services sector was second in terms trading volume as the sector’s traded shares were 29.01% of last week’s total trading volume, with a total of 482.53 million shares. On the other hand, the Services sector’s stocks

where the highest traded in terms of value; with a turnover of KD 38.75 million or 25.64% of last week’s total market trading value. The Investment sector took the second place as the sector’s last week turnover of KD 35.06 million represented 23.20% of the total market trading value. Market capitalization KSE total market capitalization grew by 1% during last week to reach KD 28.35 billion, as all of KSE’s sectors recorded an increase in their respective market capitalization except for one sector. The Real estate sector headed the growing sectors as its total market capitalization reached KD 1.73 billion, increasing by 2.21%. The Investment sector was the second in terms of recorded growth with 1.50% increase after the total value of its listed companies reached KD 2.11 billion. The third place was for the Banks sector, which total market capitalization reached KD 12.76 billion by the end of the week, recording an increase of 1.44%. The Industry sector was the least growing with 0.08% recorded growth after its market capitalization amounted to KD 2.13 billion. On the other hand, the Insurance sector was last week’s only decliner as its total market capitalization decreased by 0.46% to reach, by the end of the week, KD 299.90 million. For further details, please visit our web site:



Strong start for stocks, but what’s changed? WALL STREET WEEKLY OUTLOOK NEW YORK: Stocks rising, bulls rampant are motifs you might pick if designing a coat of arms for Wall Street at the moment. But the motto should read: Caveat emptor. Yes, buyer beware. The S&P 500, a broad measure of the market valuation of the biggest US publicly traded companies , is up 20 percent from its October closing low. It keeps climbing on a mixed bag of fourth-quarter earnings, improving US economic data, and easing credit conditions in Europe. It now stands at its highest level since early last August. We have already seen what is probably the first upgrade of a target level for the index this year courtesy of Credit Suisse. The CBOE Volatility Index , or VIX, a measure of what investors are paying to protect themselves against the risk of losses, is at its lowest level in seven months. So it raises the question: Is this another Jackson Hole moment for risk assets? At the Wyoming retreat in late August 2010, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke sparked what was the second major leg of the stock market’s rally from bear market lows the year before. Is this the start of the third? For Andrew Garthwaite, the Credit Suisse analyst behind the firm’s more bullish stance, there are big changes afoot that are creating a more benign environment for stocks. First, the European Central Bank’s long-term repo operations are succeeding in reducing stresses in the region’s banking sector. This week, three-month dollar Libor, the cost at which European banks can borrow dollars, marked its ninth straight day of declines. Analysts say heavy cash infusions from the European Central Bank since late last year and signs of revived willingness to lend by US investors in the new year show the banking system is flush with cash. The US economy is looking stronger than thought, with notable movement in the long-dormant hous-

ing market, where sales of previously owned homes just rose to an 11-month high. In China, the engine of global growth whose manufacturing sector has been showing worrying signs of slowing, policymakers have demonstrated willingness to make conditions easier by lowering banks’ reserve requirements. “As we approach our year-end target two weeks into January, we have to ask ourselves the following questions: What has changed? Will equities rally further?,” Garthwaite said in a research note. His answer to the second question was yes. Credit Suisse raised its year-end S&P 500 target to 1,400 from 1,340. Critically, however, the firm did not overweight equities, saying the risks of a more severe recession in Europe and a slowdown stateside were still there. For Nicholas Colas, chief market strategist at the ConvergEx Group in New York, the rally remains largely untested. More scary headlines from Europe or any signs that the global economy is deteriorating could spark a sharp reversal. Heading into the weekend , Greece was closing in on an initial deal with private bondholders that would prevent it from tumbling into a chaotic default. Creditors faced to 70 percent of the loans they have given to Athens. “It’s a confidence-based rally with the overhang of several still meaningful events to come,” Colas said. “It is all well and good to say that the Greek default is well understood, but we haven’t gone through it.” Outside the United States, there are mixed signals from the global economy, too. China’s factory activity likely fell for a third successive month in January. The HSBC flash manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI), the earliest indicator of China’s industrial activity, stood below 50. The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates to ship dry commodities and can be a useful gauge of economic activity, fell to its low-

est level in three years on Friday on a growing surplus of vessels and a slump in cargo demand. That is at odds with the work of RBC technical analyst Robert Sluymer. He sees growing outperformance of industrial metal copper to the safe-haven bet of gold as well as an upturn in a basket of Asian currencies as a bullish sign for the economy. The caution generated by the mismatches in the various data points is perhaps reflected in by US interest rates. The yield on the US 10- year Treasury note has hovered at 2 percent or just below for the last month despite a brief spike in mid-December. That suggests bondholders are not eagerly embracing the improving economy thesis for the moment. “There is still a lot of skepticism about recovery, about moving into risk assets, about a lot of things,” Colas said. “If you really wanted to believe this about incrementally economic certainty and expansion ... I would have thought you’d expect to see the 10-year back over 2 percent.” A blitz of earnings and economic indicators next week will provide an important gauge of the economy’s health. What’s more, the Federal Reserve’s policymakers will convene their first meeting of the year with a two-day session that starts on Tuesday. The Federal Open Market Committee, the Fed’s rate-setting panel, will release its policy statement on Wednesday. No fireworks are expected, but a decision to release individual policymakers’ interest-rate forecasts could alter expectations for rates on the margins. Monday will start one of the two most hectic weeks of the earnings season. Marquee names due to report earnings on Monday include Texas Instruments Inc and Halliburton Co , followed by Apple Inc, DuPont, Johnson & Johnson, McDonald’s Corp, Verizon Communications and Yahoo! Inc - all on Tuesday. Boeing, ConocoPhillips and United Technologies

are set to release results on Wednesday. Thursday’s earnings line-up includes 3M Co, AT&T Inc , Starbucks and Time Warner Cable Inc. On Friday, earnings are expected from Chevron Corp, Honeywell International and Procter & Gamble Co. In the coming week, economic indicators to watch will include December pending home sales data, a key measure of the housing market, on Wednesday as well as the latest weekly claims for jobless benefits on Thursday. December durable goods orders and new home sales for December also will be released on Thursday. The week will wrap up with the Commerce Department’s first look at fourth-quarter US gross domestic product and the final reading for January on consumer sentiment from Reuters and the University of Michigan. In terms of companies beating expectations, fourth-quarter earnings season has not been as good as previous ones. Of the approximately 70 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings so far, 60 percent have exceeded analysts’ estimates, according to Thomson Reuters data. In comparison, in the third quarter at this early point in the reporting cycle, 68 percent has beaten Wall Street’s forecasts - well below the 78 percent in that category in the second quarter, Thomson Reuters data showed. There have also been some high-profile misses on both revenue and earnings. General Electric Co’s fourth-quarter revenue fell short of Wall Street’s expectations, with Europe’s weakening economy and weak appliance sales the main culprits. On the other hand, banks’ earnings have served as a positive catalyst for the stock market so far. The sector has been one of the market’s leaders despite mixed earnings, a sign that investors’ worst fears did not materialize. — Reuters

Singapore Airlines checks Airbus fleet Safety top priority: SIA official

NEW YORK: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Financial markets were cautious Friday ahead of another round of debtreduction talks between Greece and its private creditors that could determine whether Europe’s debt crisis flares up again. —AP

Dow and S&P 500 post best week since Xmas NEW YORK: US stocks posted their best week since Christmas, even with a mixed finish on Friday after strong earnings from tech bellwethers IBM and Intel contrasted with Google’s disappointing report. The market heads into the most hectic week so far in this earnings season after a mixed start, with some worries over revenue and growth offset by sharp cost-cutting to protect the bottom line. For the week, the Dow rose 2.4 percent and the S&P 500 gained 2 percent as investors showed some relief that earnings didn’t reflect the worst elements that battered the market in the last year, especially given the problems in the euro zone that have been weighing on investor sentiment. “For the time being, investors are pretty much taking earnings in stride. They knocked Google down this morning, but the general feeling in the marketplace is (stocks) are very undervalued at these levels, even given the marginal misses they’re making in earnings,” said Paul Mendelsohn, chief investment strategist at Windham Financial Services in Charlotte, Vermont. Indeed, investors in recent weeks have been heartened by improving economic data, even though progress has been uneven. Reflecting improved economic sentiment, the Dow Jones Transportation Average, an indicator of the economy’s strength has gained about 2 percent in each of the last two weeks. IBM lifted the Dow a day after it offered a strong outlook and results from several big-

tech names signaled they were shaking off nervousness about economic growth and boosting technology spending. IBM’s stock rose 4.4 percent to $188.52. On the flip side, Google Inc slid 8.4 percent to $585.99. The Internet search giant’s quarterly profit and revenue missed expectations on declining search advertising rates. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 96.50 points, or 0.76 percent, to 12,720.48 at the close. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index inched up just 0.88 of a point, or 0.07 percent, to 1,315.38. But the Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 1.63 points, or 0.06 percent, to close at 2,786.70. For the week, the Nasdaq climbed 2.8 percent, making this its best week in seven. General Electric Co was unchanged at $19.15 after the conglomerate’s revenues missed consensus forecasts. Fellow Dow component American Express Co fell 1.8 percent to $50.04 as it set aside more money to cover bad loans. Intel Corp rose 2.9 percent to $26.38, while Microsoft Corp advanced 5.7 percent to $29.71. Both reported results late Thursday.Still, in what could be seen as a more bearish sign for the earnings period, 60 percent of the S&P 500 companies that have reported results so far this earnings season have beaten profit expectations, below the 68 percent that beat estimates at this point in the reporting cycle for the third quarter and well below the 78 percent that exceeded estimates in the second quarter, according to Thomson Reuters data.— Reuters

FREDERICK: A rig drilling for oil near a subdivision near Frederick, Colorado. Oil and gas drilling in Colorado is no longer confined to the state’s most rural areas. Energy companies are moving to drill in populous Front Range communities prompting local planners to suggest regulations that energy companies complaints far exceed county authority. — AP

SINGAPORE: Singapore Airlines (SIA) has started the process of checking two thirds of its 15-plane Airbus A380 fleet as the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) warned of new cracks on the superjumbo’s wings. An spokesman for the state carrier told AFP it was instructed by the EASA to check six of its aircraft within four days, and four of its aircraft within six weeks. “We are carrying out the checks as instructed... We are already inspecting one of our aircraft as a precautionary measure,” an SIA spokesman told AFP. “The safety of our customers and crew is our number one priority and we will ensure that we take whatever action is needed for the continued safe operation of our A380 fleet.” SIA’s checks come as the EASA on Friday recommended checks on 30 out of 67 A380s in service around the world after new cracks were discovered in the superjumbo’s wings. “Following an unscheduled internal inspection of an A380 wing, some rib feet have been found with cracks originating from the rib to skin panel attachment holes,” the EASA said in a directive. “Further to this finding, inspections were carried out on a number of other aeroplanes where further cracks have been found. During one of those inspections, a new form of rib foot cracking originating from the forward and aft edges of the vertical web of the rib feet has been identified.” “This condition, if not detected and cor-

rected, could potentially affect the structural integrity of the aeroplane,” the directive added. The checks are more urgent the more flights a plane has made and a source close to the matter said they were required on nine out of 67 A380s in service around the world within four days and on 21 others within six weeks. This is the second time in barely two weeks that Airbus has found cracks in the A380’s wings. The aeroplane manufacturer had revealed on January 5 that “minor cracks” had been found on some A380s, but said they posed no safety problem and recommended

a way they could be fixed. Korean Air said Saturday it had found no cracks on all its five Airbus A380s but it would carry out further detailed checks on them if requested to do so. “We’ve found no cracks on the planes but we’re waiting for detailed instructions from EASA or the manufacturer,” a spokeswoman at Korean Air said. “We would carry out microscopic checks if we’re told to do so,” she added. Korean Air currently operates five A380s on routes between Seoul and Hong Kong, Tokyo, Los Angeles and New York. It plans to introduce five more of the world’s biggest passenger jet by 2016. —AFP

PARIS: An Airbus A380 flying during the Paris International Air Show at Le Bourget airport near Paris. The European Aviation Safety Agency recommended checks on almost half the Airbus A380s in service after new cracks were discovered in the superjumbo’s wings. — AFP

With crude around $100 US gas prices stay high NEW YORK: The price of oil lingered around $100 a barrel this week, helping to keep retail gasoline prices at their highest levels ever for this time of year. Crude has ranged from about $98 per barrel to around $102 per barrel this week. On Friday benchmark oil fell $2.21 to end at $98.33 per barrel in New York. The national average for gasoline was $3.38 per gallon Friday. Pump prices peaked at about $4 a gallon in May as crude oil approached $114 a barrel. Oil and gasoline prices are staying high now because of tension in the Middle East and worries about Europe sliding into a recession. Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf, if the U.S. and other countries impose more sanctions on it because of its nuclear program. Many analysts doubt that Iran could set up a blockade for long, but any supply shortages would cause supplies to tighten. Gas prices are likely to move up or down based on the outcome, PFGBest analyst Phil Flynn said. If the situation calms down, retail gas prices could fall from 25 cents to 50 cents a gallon. If the situation intensifies, prices could increase by that much. “It’s that much of a wild card,” Flynn said. “I think it’s a very volatile situation and I think we could go either way.” Europe is still struggling with massive debt problems that threaten to drive the region into recession. The uncertainty about how the crisis will play out is helping to keep oil prices up as well. Retail gasoline consumption in the US has been falling steadily for the past 10 months, according to surveys by MasterCard SpendingPulse. Although recent data points to the US economy slowly improving, many drivers appear to be sticking with habits they picked up during the recession watching how much they spend on expensive gas and combining trips to save on fuel. Those habits may continue. Flynn and other analysts think that the national average for gas could reach $4 per gallon again by spring, as refiners switch to more expensive antismog blends ahead of the summer driving season. In other energy trading, natural gas fell 2 cents to finish at $2.34 per 1,000 cubic feet. The price remains near a 10-year low because a mild winter has cut demand and supplies remain plentiful. Heating oil fell 5 cents to end at $2.99 per gallon and gasoline futures fell 3 cents to $2.78 per gallon.— AP

Italian cabinet approves deregulation package ROME: Italy’s cabinet on Friday approved legislation to deregulate some service sectors and professions in an effort to increase competition, cut costs to consumers and boost chronically weak growth in the euro zone’s third largest economy. “We have adopted a package of structural reforms to help growth,” Prime Minister Mario Monti said after an 8-hour cabinet meeting. “More competition means more chance for young people and less for rents and privilege.” With Italy in the frontline of the euro zone debt crisis, Monti is keen to convince markets that a sluggish, hidebound economy can be reformed, even if some commentators question the growth-boosting potential of the raft of micro-measures. He said the reforms, affecting sectors ranging from pharmacies to banks, notaries and taxi drivers, were sure to meet with opposition because “many people prefer the status quo rather than facing new challenges”. Taxi drivers and lawyers have announced strikes against the measures, which are effective immediately but must be approved by parliament within 60 days or they will expire. The package includes an abolition of minimum fees for all professional services, the issuance of 5,000 new pharmacy licenses and the creation of an authority responsible for managing energy and infrastructure networks. In future it will be possible to do part of the apprenticeships needed to join professional guilds at university. However, ministers did not offer a full breakdown of the measures at a news conference. Industry Minister Corrado Passera said the government had decided to suspend the so-called “beauty contest” to award new digital television frequencies, a

method intended to award frequencies without charging operators for acquiring licenses. It has been heavily criticised for favouring big existing operators, including former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset group, Italy’s biggest broadcaster. Monti’s efforts to open up the “closed shop” mentality that has grown up around the professions in Italy is being fiercely opposed by the insiders who benefit. Monti cited a study by the Bank of Italy estimating that increasing service competition could boost growth by 11 percent in the long run, with half of that coming during the first three years after reform. The government, which has been working on the deregulation measures for weeks, watered down some of its initial proposals, including easing firing rules, abolishing limits on discount sales by retailers and increasing the number of taxi licenses. Taxi drivers, traditionally a particularly militant group, have held weeks of wildcat strikes, including surrounding the prime minister’s residence in Rome with their cars. They announced further action to protest against the government’s decision to assign the issuance of new licenses to a transport authority rather than to mayors, on whom the taxi drivers feel they have more influence. Monti said Italy’s economy, which has lagged the euro zone average for every year since comparative records began to be compiled by Eurostat in 1996, was hampered by insufficient competition, poor infrastructures and excessive bureaucracy. He said the first two problems were addressed by the package of measures adopted on Friday, while next week the government would present another package aimed at cutting red tape.— Reuters




Sheikh Mohammed extends patronage to 20th PRWC 3-day congress to be held at Grand Hyatt Dubai KUWAIT: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid AlMaktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has extended his patronage to the 20th Public Relations World Congress (PRWC) which will take place at the Grand Hyatt Dubai over three days from March 13 - 15, 2012. The PRWC (, being held in the Middle East for the first time, is a biennial event that draws together communication professionals from across the world to brainstorm on the latest trends and challenges facing the industry. Expected to attract more than 500 delegates, the Congress will focus on three broad themes: ‘Political Change & Public Relations,’ ‘Restoring Trust: The Media & The Message,’ and ‘Next Practices: Communications in the Age of Dialogue.’ The Congress is being organized by the Gulf Chapter of the International Public Relations Association (IPRA). Congress Solutions International, the Destination and Leisure Management division of the Emirates Group, has been awarded the contract to manage the event. Faisal Al-Zahrani, IPRA-GC President, said: “We are delighted that the Congress will be held under Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed. With the Governments of the UAE and Dubai extending their support, we can be confident that this important and prestigious event is getting off to the best pos-

sible start, and will be a huge success.” “The public relations sector in the Middle East has grown to a half-billion dollar industry today. Dubai’s rapid development as a hub for media and PR services has been instrumental in that growth story, and this high-profile support for the Congress cements the city’s place at the heart of industry in the region.” Sunil John, Chairman of the Organizing Committee of PRWC Dubai, and Chief

Executive Officer of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, said: “Public relations is today a major global industry, employing 60,000 people and generating $9 billion in revenues just within the Agency sector. Clients, in addition, have substantial investments in large in-house PR departments. For Dubai to be hosting the PR industry’s most prestigious event is a tremendous achievement, which will be of great benefit to region’s PR professionals.” The PRWC has attracted an enviable line up of keynote speakers including a global ‘who’s who’ in PR and Media and thought leaders, and is guaranteed to stimulate exciting debate among the delegates attending. PR professionals will also have the opportunity to participate in Master Classes and Training Workshops while attending the PRWC, creating a compelling platform for information sharing and knowledge transfer. The last Public Relations World Congress was held in 2010 in Lima, Peru, and attended by industry representatives from 39 countries, while the 2008 Public Relations World Congress was held in Beijing, China. In both instances, the event brought significant media and industry attention to the host country with the world’s foremost communications professionals and media experts attending the sessions. The first ever Congress was held in Brussels, Belgium in 1955.

Buresli, IHRA chief to attend Horeca opening KUWAIT: The 2012 Horeca Kuwait exhibition for hospitality and food industry will be officially inaugurated today morning (Sunday) at 10:00 am at the Arraya Ballroom - Courtyard Marriott Hotel. The exhibition is held under the patronage of Minister of Commerce and Industry, State Minister of Planning and Development Dr Amani Buresli. President of the International Hotel & Restaurant Association (IHRA), Dr Ghassan Al-Aeidi, who arrived in Kuwait from Switzerland on Thursday will inaugurate the exhibition. “There are several factors that contribute to the growing hospitality and food industry in Kuwait including rising demand and investment opportunities as well as high consumer spending indicating growth of tourism,” said Al-Aeidi said in a statement. The IHRA is one of many sponsors of the mega event which is organized by the Leaders Group for Consulting & Development in cooperation with Hospitality Services of Lebanon. The

Dr Ghassan Al-Aeidi exhibition covers the hospitality, catering and food industry sectors in Kuwait and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). At least 40 leading companies in hospitality and catering industry are registered to take part in the exhibition which will last until Tuesday, January 24.

Citigroup appoints Kutay as GM, Citibank Kuwait

Air Arabia completes its first in-house maintenance of Airbus A320 aircraft.

Air Arabia completes first in-house maintenance of A320 aircraft KUWAIT: Air Arabia, the first and largest low-cost carrier in the Middle East and North Africa, announced yesterday that it has completed its first in-house maintenance of Airbus A320 aircraft. The “C check” was carried out at the airline’s new state-of-the-art hangar at Sharjah International Airport, which has been designed to meet all the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) requirements and regulations for the airline’s ever growing fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft. Inaugurated last October by H.H Ruler of Sharjah, the new facility enables Air Arabia to provide appropriate level of engineering support as well as aircraft maintenance inspections from A checks up to C3. Built on a land area of 1502 sq meters, the new hangar also allows Air Arabia to offer maintenance services to other aircrafts across the globe. “The first in-house maintenance of one of our aircraft is a major milestone in Air Arabia’s journey,” said Adel Ali, Board Member & Group CEO of Air Arabia. “This capability will allow the airline to maintain its rapidly growing fleet with state-

of-the-art facility and a team of world class expertise, as the airline continues to expand its route network.” The “C check” is a periodic aircraft maintenance and inspection service, which is required to be carried out every 14 months to ensure the safety, performance and reliability of commercial aircraft. Air Arabia hangar can accommodate an aircraft up to the size of an Airbus A321 and it is fully equipped to handle batteries, painting, sanding, composite materials and sheet metal, brakes, wheels, appearance and non-destructive testing. The new hangar supplements the line maintenance support already provided in Sharjah and multiple destinations. This enhancement has also created employment benefits for the area along with all of the associated support given by sub-contracted companies, for the supply of equipment and materials. Currently staffed by 165 skilled professionals, the Air Arabia hangar is anticipated to employ 500 staff by 2017.

KUWAIT: Citigroup announced yesterday the appointment of Ozgur Kutay as the General Manager for Citibank NA Kuwait. In this new capacity, Ozgur will lead Citi’s operations in Kuwait, which include a full spectrum of corporate and investment banking businesses, and will lead Citi’s efforts to deepen client coverage in the country. Ozgur has been with Citi since 1994 in a variety of roles, most recently serving since 2007 as the Country Risk Management Officer for Turkey. Previously, he served as head of the Risk Analysis Unit where he had responsibility for a portfolio comprised of corporations, public sector and financial institutions clients located in Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Ozgur Kutay Tajikistan. Ozgur holds a B.Sc. Degree in Electronics Engineering from Middle East Technical University in 1989 and an MBA from the University of Florida in 1991. “I am delighted to be in Kuwait and to lead a solid franchise. Together with the Citi Kuwait team, we will continue to provide best-in-class services to our niche clients, and to fulfill our role as an active member of the Kuwaiti banking community,” remarked Ozgur on his appointment. Atiq Ur Rehman, Citi’s Chief Executive Officer for the Middle East, said: “Kuwait is a key market for Citi and we intend to grow our client coverage in the country. Ozgur’s diverse experience and prior responsibilities across several geographies position him well for this important assignment.” Since establishing its fully licensed branch in Kuwait in 2006, Citi has evolved into an active corporate citizen, with a particular interest in supporting financial education and developing Kuwait’s talent pool.

AUB announces winners of Al-Hassad weekly draw KUWAIT: 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 11th of January 2012: Salah Awadh, Mutashar Rafeaa Dhari and Jaffar Abbas Mahdi. The following Al-Hassad Islamic customers won cash prizes of KD 1000 each : Soline Krikor Abraham Moushlian, Mohd Azzam, Mohammed Talal Al-Madhouri, Abdulla Tajer Al-Sada, Mutlaq Eid Al-Azmi, , Mohammed Abdo Nouman Ahmed, Khawlah Abdulla Jaafar Al-Sahhaf, Khaled Haza Hamdan AlRashidi, A Rahman A.Majeed Ahmed AlFailekawi, Abdullah Delei Al-Enezi, Mohammad Iqbal Badardin, Mohammad Iqbal Badardin, Iqbal Hussain Ali Jraq, Eiman Abduallah Hllal Al-Enzi, Zakeya Salman Mohammad Al-Shaib, Hamad Waleed Jassim Al-Otaibi, Shatha Ibrahim Abdulaziz AlHmoud, Abdulhadi Nahar Abdullah Alasfour Al-Hajri, Hamad A Rahman Hamad Al-Baijan, Farooq Ameen Mohamed , Husain Sayed Mustafa Hasan Mohamed, Jaffar Ahmed Ali Zaed, Najat Salman Al-Mukharriq, Athra Mohd Ridha Abbas Mondegar, Mahmood Ali Al-

Halwaji. 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 (Al Hassad 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 AlHassad 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 AlHassad 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.

Trafalgar hires elite services of Paragon KUWAIT: Trafalgar General Trading Company one of Kuwait’s premium luxury retail dealer announced Paragon Marketing Communications as its sole agent and representative for media, PR and marketing activities. The announcement comes at a time as Trafalgar gears for its 40th anniversary. Trafalgar is an internationally recognized luxury retailer with 14 specialized boutiques in Kuwait and over 40 years of operating expertise. From its humble beginnings in 1972, Trafalgar continues to build in popularity as it provides its loyal customers the best in fine jewelry, watches and couture. Trafalgar is the authorized dealer of many world renowned brands namely Chopard, Patek Philippe, Tag Heuer, Dior, Versace, Gucci, Givenchy, Swarovski, de Grisogono and many others. Paragon Marketing Communications is a leading integrated through the line marketing communications agency with branches in Kuwait, Oman and Bulgaria. It has been recipient of over 57 local regional and international awards on creativity and has been mentioned in over 20 books on graphic design and branding. Paragon Marketing Communications has a rich history of handling marketing

communications of many international brands to name a few Porsche, Audi, Volkswagen, Siemens, Bose, Nikon etc. Diala Tahloub, Marketing Manager, Trafalgar said “Awarding Paragon Marketing Communications the account is a major component of our strategy to channelize our marketing communication mix through experts. We hope this will be the beginning of a mutually beneficial long lasting professional relationship and we look forward for the added value that we will get out of this cooperation which reflects in our development and growth.” “We are truly excited to be selected by Trafalgar, as being the choice of those who value their brand’s success, is our company maxim. Trafalgar has built a very solid and successful brand and we are delighted to have the opportunity to help shape its future. We look forward to our partnership and telling its compelling brand story.” stated Gaya Kruchlik, Operations Manager, Paragon Kuwait. Reference to Trafalgar’s brands and shop locations can be found on its website Reference to Paragon Marketing Communications can be found on its website, official YouTube and Facebook page.

Gulf Insurance launches on-the-go insurance services via iPhone App KUWAIT: Gulf Insurance, a regional market leader recently launched its custom made iPhone application as part of its continued efforts to promote customer convenience with better, safer and easier access to various policies round the clock. Now customers can issue and renew Motor and Boat TPL insurance, renew Motor comprehensive insurance, and issue Travel Assist insurance and many other services on the move. The services can be obtained locally and abroad via KNET or credit cards and customers can collect their policy from GIC branches or can utilize the GIC delivery service, guaranteeing delivery within 48 hours. The CEO of Gulf Insurance Company, Khalid Saoud Al-Hassan, stated, “This new service expresses our desire and commitment to grow and continuously cater to the growing needs of our customers, ensuring an increase in communication channels between us and our loyal customers, as well as added awareness of the insurance sector in the Kuwaiti society. Furthermore, the availability of our subsidiaries across Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq is merely to serve our customers and protect their properties, belongings and investments. Gulf

Khalid Saoud Al-Hassan Insurance has seen great success in providing top notch services and products to customers, and received the Superbrand award for the third consecutive year, as well as several other awards in recognition of its outstanding services and commitments. Al-Hassan added that he would be pleased to urge all clients and customers to utilize this new service by downloading the GIC mobile application, one of several state of the art services offered to customers and clientele.




NZ reveals arrest in Internet fraud case Firearms, computers, goods seized

SAN FRANCISCO: A blackout landing page is displayed on a laptop computer screen inside the “Anti-Sopa War Room” at the offices of the Wikipedia Foundation. —AP

Hollywood vs Silicon Valley in US piracy battle LOS ANGELES: The anti-piracy battle gripping Washington and the Internet pits two US West Coast power bases directly against each other: Hollywood is taking on Silicon Valley over the right to make money online. Backing two controversial pieces of draft anti-piracy legislation, the Los Angeles-based entertainment industry is calling for non-US websites to be held to the same standards as US ones. But a couple of hundred miles up the coast, the giants at Google and Facebook are resisting at all costs moves which they claim will stifle development of the Interneton which their own future, and income, depends. On Friday, US congressional leaders put anti-online piracy legislation on hold following a wave of protests led by Google and Wikipedia denouncing the bills as a threat to Internet freedom. Senate majority leader Harry Reid said he was delaying next week’s vote on the Protect IP Act (PIPA) and House Judiciary Committee chairman Lamar Smith said he would “revisit” the House version, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). In a joint statement Friday, the American Federation of Musicians, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Screen Actors Guild and other entertainment industry groups called on US lawmakers not to bow to pressure. “We fought for this legislation because illegal Internet businesses that locate offshore expressly to elude US laws should not escape the very same rules of law that currently apply to illegal US websites,” they said. “They should not be allowed to reap in profits if they knowingly sell or distribute illicitly gained content and goods which they had no role in creating or financing to the American consumer,” they added. The draft legislation has won the backing of Hollywood, the music industry, entertainment giants like Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., angered at the enormous income lost from online streaming and downloads of their products. But the bills have come under fire from online companies and digital rights groups for allegedly paving the way for US authorities to shut down websites accused of online piracy, including foreign sites, without due process. “We want a world in which creators are properly compensated

for their work, everybody is in favor of that,” Corynne McSherry, lawyer for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which promotes free speech online. But “the right answer to that is not legislation, that’s never going to happen in Washington DC, it has to happen via innovation, not legislation,” she told AFP. And she said: “Fighting the internet doesn’t work. The answer is to embrace a new business model, that’s the only thing that ever worked.” She cited the case of VCR technology, followed by DVDs, which were initially fiercely resisted by Hollywood, but in the end were accepted and turned into a huge new source of revenue. The six-strong Hollywood grouping acknowledged that the question is complex. “We recognize that we are currently part of a complex and important debate about the future, not just of the Internet but also of creativity, the American economy, free expression, and a civil society,” its statement said Friday. “We hope a new tone can be set that does not include website attacks, blacklists, blackouts, and lies. We believe an Internet that does not allow outright stealing has to be the Internet of the future or all the promises it holds will be unrealized.” On Wednesday, the English-language version of its online encyclopedia shut down for 24 hours to protest the legislation and hundreds of other sites joined in the protest. On Thursday, US authorities shut down, one of the world’s largest file-sharing sites, and charged seven people in what they called one of “the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought by the United States.” The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) said last week that the US government has to act. “On behalf of the 2.2 million Americans whose jobs depend on the film and television industries we look forward to the administration ... working with us to pass legislation that will offer real protection for American jobs,” it said. But EFF lawyer McSherry was not convinced, saying the entertainment industry needs “a new leadership that is more focus on innovation than saving yesterday’s industry.” —AP

WELLINGTON: New Zealand police yesterday revealed bizarre details of the arrest of the suspected kingpin of an Internet copyright theft case against the James Bondlike backdrop of a country mansion hideaway with electronic locks, a safe room and a pink Cadillac. German national Kim Dotcom, also known as Kim Schmitz, was one of four men arrested on Friday, a day before his 38th birthday, in an investigation of the website led by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation. The group was accused of engaging in a scheme that took more than $500 million away from copyright holders and generated over $175 million in proceeds from subscriptions and advertising. A police official said dozens of officers, backed by helicopters, forced their way into the mansion, nestled in lush, rolling farmland, after Dotcom refused them entry, a scene more reminiscent of a highoctane spy drama than the usual policeman’s lot in rural New Zealand. “Despite our staff clearly identifying themselves, Mr Dotcom retreated into the house and activated a number of electronic-locking mechanisms,” said Detective Inspector Grant Wormald from the Organized and Financial Crime Agency New Zealand. Officers broke the locks and Dotcom barricaded himself into a safe room which officers had to cut their way through to gain access. “Once they gained entry into this room, they found Mr Dotcom near a firearm which had the appearance of a shortened shotgun,” he said. “It was definitely not as simple as knocking at the front door.” Rolls-Royce Phantom Two firearms were seized and a 55-year-old New Zealand man has since been charged with illegal possession of a pistol. Computers and documents were also retrieved and more than NZ$10 million ($8 million) was seized from financial institutions. Television footage showed vehicles, including a pink Cadillac and a Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe, being removed from the property. The house where Dotcom was arrested was one of the largest and most expensive in the country, worth around NZ$30 million. Located in hills northwest of New Zealand’s largest city, the mansion is surrounded-at suitably discreet distances- by other substantial country homes and luxury lifestyle blocks complete with sta-

No Wikipedia? What if Internet went down? WASHINGTON: If a day without Wikipedia was a bother, think bigger. In this plugged-in world, we would barely be able to cope if the entire Internet went down in a city, state or country for a day or a week. Sure, we’d survive. People have done it. Countries have, as Egypt did last year during the anti-government protests. And most of civilization went along until the 1990s without the Internet. But now we’re so intertwined socially, financially and industrially that suddenly going back to the 1980s would hit the world as hard as a natural disaster, experts say. No email, Twitter or Facebook. No buying online. No stock trades. No just-in-time industrial shipping. No real-time tracking of diseases. It’s gotten so that not just the entire Internet but individual websites such as Google are considered critical infrastructure, experts said. “Nobody would die, but there would be a major hassle,” said computer security expert Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at F-Secure in Helsinki, Finland. If an Internet outage lasted more than a day or two, the financial hit would be huge, with mass unemployment, said Ken Mayland, a former chief bank economist and president of ClearView Economics. Eugene Spafford, director of Purdue University’s Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security, worries about bank runs and general panic. Psychologically, too, it could be wrenching. “I think it’s easier to get off heroin,” said Lisa Welter of New York City, who weaned herself for a month last year from just the social aspects of the Internet - she still paid bills online - and felt as if she was “living in a cave.” “There would be a sense of loss: What would I do with my time?” said Kimberly Young, a psychologist who directs the Center for Internet Addiction and Recovery. On Wednesday, certain websites, most prominently Wikipedia, went dark to protest legislation in Congress that would crack down on pirated movies and TV shows. It was a one-day stunt. But it raises questions about our connectedness. It is possible that hackers, terrorists, accidents or even sunspots could take down the Internet and cause areas to become cut off and unreachable, said Spafford, one of the foremost experts on computer security. The US and other developed nations have multiple and robust routing systems that make it unlikely large areas would be affected, but smaller countries could be vulnerable to nationwide outages, Hypponen said. The world only has to look back one year to Egypt to see what a sudden unplugging could spawn. The government of Hosni Mubarak tried to stop protests in January 2011 by switching off the Internet. The shutdown halted businesses, banking

operations and - at the height of the demonstrations the ability of the protest leaders to organize and communicate with one another. During the five days that the Internet was out, antiMubarak activists had to rely on help from abroad to spread their news and update Web pages. The outage harmed protesters’ ability to organize or to counter government propaganda that portrayed them as agents of foreign powers, said Ahmed Saleh, who was in charge of managing the Facebook page that was credited with mobilizing thousands of Egyptians to take to the streets. With the shutdown, the protests swelled as people unable to follow minute-by-minute what was going on took to the streets. “No Internet meant that more people went down and realized that this was for real. The protests grew, and so did the anger against the government domestically and internationally,” Saleh said. He said the lack of Internet also allowed him to “live the moment” because he was not distracted with tweeting and posting on Facebook or analyzing the situation. This, he said, strengthened real face-to-face connections between people. Nicholas Christin, associate director of the Information Networking Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, said that while a prolonged Internet outage would be uncomfortable, it might also bring out the best in people. “I think you would find that people are very resilient,” he said. “We would go back to the libraries.” Christin said he has gone a week without the Internet as part of a vacation. The first few days were rough, he said, but then “it was fantastic.” Christin did it by choice. Others had it imposed on them because of weather disasters or financial problems. They weren’t nostalgic about it. For three days, Jill Williams lost the Internet and power because of a California windstorm last month. Her small business requires her to use email to plan events. “Those three days I felt deprived,” she recalled in an email, responding to a Twitter request for anecdotes about going Internet-less. “The Internet has totally consumed my life, both business as well as pleasure.” Wyatt McMahon of the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech University was having a hard time Wednesday just dealing with the shutdown at Wikipedia, which he leans on as a first step in his searches in his field, which combines statistics and biology. If the entire Internet were lost, “that would be beyond catastrophic. Every single day, every single hour, if not every 30 minutes, I am using the Internet for work,” McMahon said. “So if anything like that were to happen, it would bring everything to a screeching halt.” —AP

AUCKLAND: This aerial shot shows Kim Dotcom’s house in Coatesville, north west of Auckland. —AP bles, swimming pools and tennis courts. Dotcom leased the property after being blocked from buying it last year by the government after failing to meet a “good character” test for migrants, although he was granted residency in 2010. Dotcom has previous convictions for insider trading and embezzlement from his time in Germany and Thailand, according immigration authorities, leading some opposition politicians to question why he was allowed to settle in the first place. “New Zealand is under the radar, away from Interpol and a better lifestyle than Eastern Europe,” Jeffrey Carr, an Internet security expert founder of Taia Global Inc, said of Dotcom’s decision to settle in New Zealand. “They obviously weren’t aware how closely the FBI has been building its international relationships over the past few years.” The FBI said Dotcom personally made $42 million from Megaupload in 2010 alone. Standing some 6’7” (2 metres) tall and reportedly weighing around 300 pounds (136 kg), Dotcom appeared to revel in his outlaw reputation. Personalized number plates on some 20 vehicles seized from the site included KIMCOM, HACKER, STONED, GUILTY, MAFIA, GOD and POLICE, according to the indictment. One video on YouTube shows him racing a Mercedes in the Gumball 3000 road rally and talking about bribing a Moroccan official. Another clip shows a 2011

New Year’s Eve fireworks display over Auckland organized and paid for by Dotcom to celebrate his family being granted residency. The display was reported to have cost $500,000. Piracy debate The arrests were made as the debate over online piracy reaches fever pitch in Washington where Congress is trying to craft tougher legislation. Lawmakers stopped anti-piracy legislation on Friday, postponing a critical vote in a victory for Internet companies that staged a mass online protest against the fast-moving bills. The movie and music industries want Congress to crack down on Internet piracy and content theft, but major Internet companies like Google and Facebook have complained that current drafts of the legislation would lead to censorship. Dotcom and the other men made a brief court appearance on Friday will appear again tomorrow. They face extradition and a trial in the United States. On Friday, in a show of support, hackers attacked and temporarily disabled a number of government and entertainment company websites, including the US Justice Department’s website. US Justice Department officials have said that the estimate of $500 million in economic harm to copyright holders cited in a US indictment was at the low end. The allegations included copyright infringement as well as conspiracy

to commit copyright infringement, conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to commit racketeering. Two of the offences carry a maximum penalty of 20 years. The companies charged, Megaupload Ltd and Vestor Ltd, were both registered in Hong Kong and owned either in large part or solely by Dotcom. Some 100 officers raided four premises in Hong Kong on Friday including luxury hotel rooms, seizing computer equipment and freezing HK$330 million ($42.5 million) in financial assets, according to Hong Kong Customs. Megaupload has boasted of having more than 150 million registered users and 50 million daily visitors, according to the indictment. At one point, it was estimated to be the 13th most frequently visited website on the Internet. Users could upload material to the company’s sites which then would create a link that could be distributed. The sites, which included video, music and pornography, did not provide search capabilities but rather relied on others to publish the links, the US indictment said. Megaupload’s US lawyer said the company would “vigorously defend itself” and was trying to recover its servers and get back online. The Megaupload group used more than 1,500 computer servers in Virginia, Washington DC, France and the Netherlands to host its sites, according to the FBI. —Reuters

Google’s Q4 disappoints over advertising prices SAN FRANCISCO: What was supposed to be a celebration of the most prosperous quarter in Google’s 13-year history instead turned into a major letdown. The disappointment sunk in Thursday after Google’s fourth-quarter earnings report showed the Internet search leader fetched less money per click on its ubiquitous online ads. That came as an unsettling surprise because investors had assumed a surge in online holiday shopping in the US would enable Google Inc to charge more for its ads. Instead, the average price decreased by 8 percent from the same time in 2010. Google executives traced part of the decline to technical changes aimed at delivering more ads that attract people’s interest. Those tweaks apparently paid off as the total clicks on Google’s ads increased 34 percent from the previous year. Most of the trouble seemed to be rooted in Europe, where government debt woes are hurting the economy, said Benchmark Co. analyst Clayton Moran. “I think everyone underestimated how quickly the European online ad market would suffer.” The weakening euro also converted into fewer dollars during the quarter, another factor that undercut Google. It all added up to a dramatic slowdown in Google’s earnings growth that alarmed investors. Net income edged up just 6 percent from the same October-December period in 2010, coming off yearover-year increases of more than 25 percent in each of the previous two quarters. Google shares plunged $57.67, or 9 percent, to $581.90 in extended trading after the results were announced. The showing could renew Wall Street concerns about Google’s moneymaking prowess under the direction of co-founder Larry Page, who replaced Eric Schmidt as CEO last April. Page took the job with a reputation for being more willing to invest in long-term projects at the expense of short-term profits. In the latest quarter, Google’s operating expenses rose 34 percent from the previous year, outpacing a 25 percent increase in rev-

enue. If Google’s stock falls as sharply during Friday’s regular trading as it did in Thursday’s extended trading, the shares will be worth slightly less than they were when Page became CEO. Even before the deceleration in Google’s fourth-quarter earnings, analysts have been fretting that the company’s proposed $12.5 billion acquisition of cellphone maker Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. will crimp profits. The deal is still awaiting approval from regulators in US

the quarter,” he told analysts during a Thursday conference call. More people probably would have shared in his ebullience if not for the curse of great expectations. With more people than ever before shopping for holiday gifts and bargains on computers and mobile devices, Google was supposed to scale new financial heights in the October-December period. Analysts had forecast Google would earn $3 billion for

NEW YORK: Attendees at the National Retail Federation listen to a discussion about Google Wallet. —AP and Europe. Buying Motorola is part of Page’s push to expand Google’s empire beyond the dominant Internet search engine that generates most of the company’s revenue. Much of the money is being poured into Google’s Android software for smartphones, its Chrome web browser, its YouTube video site and a social networking service called Plus that is being quickly built to challenge Facebook. Page, 38, made it clear he sees no reason to change what he has been doing so far. “I am very happy with our results overall in

the first time during any three-month period since the company’s 1998 inception. Instead, Google made slightly less money than it did a quarter earlier. The company earned $2.7 billion, or $8.22 per share, in the fourth quarter. That compared to net income of $2.5 billion, or $7.81 per share, at the same time in 2010. The most recent quarter included an $88 million charge to account for the diminished value of a $500 million investment that Google made in wireless network provider Clearwire Corp in 2008. —AP


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

Dragon Year spells nightmare for HK mums HONG KONG: Having a baby in the “Year of the Dragon” is a dream come true for many ethnic Chinese who see the zodiac as an auspicious and powerful portent. But for some Hong Kong mothers, it’s a nightmare. Tens of thousands of pregnant mainlanders come to Hong Kong to give birth every year, taking up limited beds in maternity wards and pushing up delivery costs. The problem is expected to peak in the Year of the Dragon, which comes every 12 years in Chinese astrology and usually results in a baby boom. “We didn’t plan for a Dragon baby,” says 38-year-old Michele Lee, who is expecting her second child, a girl, in April. “It was exciting when we first found out the news but very soon that excitement turned into worry about whether we’ll get a place in hospital.” Hong Kong women have recently taken to the streets in protest over the influx of mainland Chinese mothers to the semi-autonomous former British colony. Having their babies in the

glitzy-and relatively free-southern city entitles the child to rights of abode and education, while providing a loophole the size of Victoria Harbor to China’s one-child policy. Lee says she tried to book a maternity bed at her gynaecologist’s hospital soon after she found out she was pregnant, but it was already too late. “I couldn’t get my preferred private hospital to deliver even though I’m willing to pay and both me and my husband are Hong Kong residents,” she says. “Some friends told me I should start registering my Dragon baby girl for kindergarten-it’s like a fight for hospitals, a fight for schools. I have to remind myself to take it easy.” Mainland mothers accounted for 38,043 out of 80,131 births in Hong Kong last year. In the last Year of the Dragon in 2000, the number of births jumped 5.6 percent from the previous year, according to official data. In anticipation of a baby boom the government has tightened entry rules, stepped up border controls and

capped hospital places for mainland mothers. Mainland women have reportedly taken to smuggling their precious cargoes into the territory under baggy clothes, or renting Hong Kong apartments in the early stages of pregnancy to avoid detection. Some desperate women have even resorted to waiting until the last minute to force their way into Hong Kong emergency wards. Hospital authorities say emergency births tripled last year. “The issue is far more complicated than we imagine,” says Cheung Tak Hong, head of the obstetrics department at Hong Kong’s Prince of Wales Hospital, a government hospital near the Chinese border. “The system just cannot cope. The increase in the manpower and facilities just cannot catch up with the demand from China. There are far too many pregnant women from China coming to give birth in Hong Kong.” The doctor, who is a spokesman for the Hong Kong Obstetrics Concern

Group, says mainland women are putting the lives of themselves and their babies at risk. “They have no bookings, we don’t have their records, we don’t know them beforehand and all of a sudden they come here in advanced labor. That puts a lot of pressure on our staff,” he says. “I have no negative viewpoint about them because many years ago Hong Kong people were doing the same thing,” he adds, referring to the number of local women who went abroad to have children before the city’s 1997 handover to China. “ We hoped to give our children a better future, better opportunities,” Hong says. “That’s why I understand why mainland women come to Hong Kong. That’s why I am not saying it’s wrong, it’s just that we cannot cope with this number.” Public hospitals have seen a spike of about 15 percent in bookings for maternity beds this year, and total deliveries in all hospitals are likely to surge to 100,000, he predicts. — AFP

No joke: 3-inch nail removed from brain Illinois man recovering after surgery OAK LAWN, Illinois: Dante Autullo was sure he’d merely cut himself with a nail gun while building a shed, and thought doctors were joking when they told him what an X-ray revealed: A 3 1/4-inch nail was lodged in the middle of his brain. Autullo was recovering on Friday after undergoing surgery at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where doctors removed the nail that came within millimeters of the part of the brain controlling motor function. “When they brought in the picture, I said to the doctor ‘Is this a joke? Did you get that out of the doc-

tors joke file?’” the 32-year-old recalled. “The doctor said ‘No man, that’s in your head.’” As he was rushed by ambulance to another hospital for surgery, he posted a picture of the X-ray on Facebook. Autullo, who lives in Orland Park, said he was building a shed Tuesday and using the nail gun above his head when he fired it. With nothing to indicate that a nail hadn’t simply whizzed by his head, his long-time companion, Gail Glaenzer, cleaned the wound with peroxide. “It really felt like I got punched on the side of the head,” he said, adding that he continued working. “I

OAK LAWN: Neurosurgeon Leslie Schaffer (left), smiles with his patient Dante Autullo, and Dante’s fiance, Gail Glaenzer during a news conference at Advocate Christ Medical Center Friday, in Oak Lawn, Illinois. The trio spoke a day after Autullo underwent surgery to remove a 3 1/4 inch nail lodged in his brain after accidentally shooting himself with a nail gun. — AP

Bird flu researchers agree to 60-day halt WASHINGTON: International scientists on Friday agreed to a temporary two-month halt to controversial research on a bird flu virus that may be easily passed among humans, citing global health concerns. Two separate teams of researchers, one in the Netherlands and the other in the United States, found ways late last year to engineer the H5N1 virus so that it was transmitted among mammals, something that has previously been rare. The breakthrough raised alarm the method could fall into the wrong hands and unleash a massive flu pandemic that could cost millions of lives, and a US advisory panel in December urged that key details should remain unpublished. “Resulting from concerns about recent research on avian influenza, scientists working on transmission of the H5N1 strain have agreed to halt this area of research for 60 days to allow time for international discussion,” said the letter from the researchers, published by the journals Science and Nature. “We recognize that we and the rest of the scientific community need to clearly explain the benefits of this important research and the measures taken to minimize its possible risks,” it added. “We propose to do so in an international forum in which the scientific community comes together to discuss and debate these issues.” The US journal Science and the British magazine Nature have been working with researchers on edits to the manuscripts but have not said when or if they would eventually be published. Until now, bird flu has been rare in humans, but particularly fatal in those who do get sick. H5N1 first infected humans in 1997 and has killed more than one in every two people that it infected, for a total of 350 deaths. The concern is the virus could mutate and mimic past pandemic flu outbreaks such as the “Spanish flu” of 1918-1919 which killed 50 million people, and outbreaks in 1957 and 1968 that killed three million. Shortly after the research came to light, the US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity, a non-governmental panel of 23 experts, urged the two leading scientific jour-

nals to edit out key details. National Institutes of Health experts have been working with researchers and editors to pare back the reports for publication, despite outcry from some scientists who said the work must be shared. Among them was top Dutch scientist Ron Fouchier, who downplayed the threat to biosecurity and told AFP in December that the data “needs to be shared with countries where H5N1 viruses cause outbreaks so that the countries can now be on the lookout if these mutations arise.” However, Fouchier and other top researchers all signed the latest letter agreeing to a temporary halt to research. “We would like to assure the public that these experiments have been conducted with appropriate regulatory oversight in secure containment facilities by highly trained and responsible personnel to minimize any risk of accidental release,” the letter said. The research aimed to provide “positive public health benefits,” it added, but pointed out that whether or not these ferret-adapted flu viruses “have the ability to transmit from human to human cannot be tested.” NIH director Francis Collins and Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases issued a joint statement in support of the moratorium. “We applaud the decision by these scientists, who have demonstrated great responsibility and flexibility in pausing their work to allow for a full dialogue about the risks and benefits of this research,” it said. “Officials with the World Health Organization are now working to organize a forum for the international scientific community to discuss these issues in the coming weeks.” While some experts questioned whether 60 days would be enough to sort out the complex issues surrounding the research, researcher Adolfo Garcia-Sastre of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine said he hoped it would be “ample time.” “After that I hope that we agree on the best way how to quickly advance scientific progress while minimizing potential risks,” he said. — AFP

thought it went past my ear.” While there are painsensitive nerves on a person’s skull, there aren’t any within the brain itself. That’s why he would have felt the nail strike the skull, but he wouldn’t have felt it penetrate the brain. Neither he nor Glaenzer thought much about it, and Autullo went on with his day, even plowing a bit of snow. But the next day when he awoke from a nap, feeling nauseated, Glaenzer sensed something was wrong and suggested they go to the hospital. At first Autullo refused, but he relented after the two picked up their son at school Wednesday evening. An X-ray was taken a couple hours later. And there, seeming to float in the middle of his head, was a nail. Doctors told Autullo and Glaenzer that the nail came within millimeters from the part of the brain that controls motor function, and he was rushed by ambulance to the other hospital for more specialized care. “He feels good. He moved all his limbs, he’s talking normal, he remembers everything,” Glaenzer said earlier Friday. “It’s amazing, a miracle.” Neurosurgeon Leslie Schaffer acknowledged that Autullo’s case was unusual, but not extremely rare. Schaffer said having a nail penetrate the skull is not like being shot in the head, noting that a bullet would break into multiple pieces. “This (the nail) is thinner, with a small trajectory, and pointed at the end,” he said. “The bone doesn’t fracture much because the nail has a small tip.” Schaffer said the man’s skull stopped the nail from going farther into his brain. He said he removed the nail by putting two holes in Autullo’s skull, on either side of the nail, then pulled the nail out along with a piece of the skull. The surgery took two hours, and the part of the skull that was removed for surger y was replaced with a titanium mesh, Hospital spokesman Mike Maggio said. Glaenzer said Autullo hasn’t really talked about how scared he was about what might have happened, but he did express a recognition about coming close to death. “He was joking with me (after surgery), ‘We need to get the Discovery Channel up here to tape this,’” she recalled him saying. “‘I’m one of those medical miracles.’” — AP

FDA clears safety test to screen Tysabri patients WASHINGTON: The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved a new diagnostic test to help identify patients who have an increased risk of developing a rare brain infection while taking Biogen Idec’s multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri. Tysabri is one of a handful of drugs used to control multiple sclerosis, a debilitating disease in which the body attacks its own nervous system. Prescribing of the drug has been tightly controlled by the FDA because of a rare infection that causes inflammation of the brain, known as multifocal leukoencephalopathy, or PML. Currently there is no treatment or cure for PML, which usually causes death or severe disability. The newly approved Stratify JCV test is designed to detect a common virus that increases the likelihood of developing the brain infection. The John Cunningham virus is harmless in most people, but can become dangerous in patients taking immune system-suppressing drugs like Tysabri. Doctors can use the results of the blood-based test, combined with facts about the patient’s medical history, to determine whether they are at risk of developing the brain infection. Other factors that influence a patient’s risk include how long they’ve been taking Tysabri and whether they’ve previously taken other medications that weaken the immune system. The test was developed by Quest Diagnostics. The FDA also updated Tysabri’s label to specify that patients who test positive for the virus have a higher risk of developing PML. “This label change marks an important advance in assisting people with MS and their physicians to make better-informed decisions concerning the challenges of balancing effectiveness with safety,” said Dr. Nicholas LaRocca, vice president of the National MS Society. Tysabri was temporarily pulled from the market shortly after its launch in 2005 after three patients taking the drug developed PML. FDA allowed the drug back on the market the following year but under a restricted distribution program. Only doctors and pharmacies registered with the company’s distribution program are permitted to prescribe and dispense the drug. Biogen, based in Weston, Massachusetts, sells Tysabri through a partnership with Elan Corp, an Irish drugmaker. — AP

RIO DE JANEIRO: A technician works on breast prosthesis at Silimed, the biggest mammary silicon prosthesis factory in Latin America and the world’s third biggest Jan 13, 2012. — AFP

Brazil implant maker in eye of global storm RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil’s Silimed, the thirdbiggest manufacturer of silicon breast implants in the world, has suddenly found itself in the eye of a global firestorm. In this body-obsessed nation, where more than 1.5 million women have silicone breast implants, the once reclusive company now plays host to national and international journalists. The Brazilian health ministry is courting senior company executives to help reassure a public perturbed by horror stories from the other side of the world and to restore faith in a product that is very much in demand. Founded 33 years ago, Silimed was the “first in 1995 to put a serial number on its implants,” Claudio Carvalho, Silimed’s production chief, explained to AFP, conscious of the need to vouch for the safety of the company’s products. The health scare erupted in France in December, when a French company was accused of using an illegal industrial-grade gel that investigators say has led to abnormally high rupture rates. Some 300,000 women in 65 countries are estimated to have had implants made by the now-defunct French firm, PIP, and more than a dozen countries in Europe and Latin America have urged women to have checkups. Brazil banned PIP (Poly Implant Prothese) products last month but some 35,000 had already been imported and some 25,000 sold. Behind glass windows at a plant in a northern Rio suburb, dozens of men and women wearing masks and thin rubber gloves meticulously feel, flip and pull on transparent silicone gel balls. Located near the Vigario Geral slum, which provides half of its 450 employees, there is no sign on the outer walls of a plant that used to keep a low profile despite exporting to more than 60 countries around the world. “Here we conduct more than 15 quality control tests before packing, from the membrane which gives the shape to the silicone gel content,” Carvalho said. In 2010, Silimed churned out 340,000 implants, 70 percent of them breast implants and “the 2011 output will be higher,” said Carvalho, putting the average price of each at 2,100 real (928 euros, $1,190). The gel used for the implant is made in

California and “it does not leak in the body even in case of an accident,” he insisted. That said, the industry is now under the microscope. Proud of their implants-Brazil last week began registering all implants to identify the make of silicone used, said Jose Horacio Aboudib, president of the Brazilian plastic surgery association (SBCP). An estimated 19,500 Brazilian women are thought to carry PIP implants. The National Agency for Sanitary Surveillance (ANVISA) has pledged to pay for surgery to remove any found to be defective. “In Brazil, women pay to be beautiful and men increasingly resort to bum or chest implants,” said Silimed owner Margaret Figueiredo, who anticipated the silicone boom of the 1990’s but now wonders if scandal will ensnare her dreams. “It is difficult to supervise everybody. This gentleman (PIP founder Jean-Claude Mas) cheated and I am shocked by it. Initially people will be worried, but later I expect things will return to normal,” she told AFP. So far the furor has shown little sign of denting demand, at least in Brazil, and with credit payments plastic surgery is becoming accessible to more and more women in this booming Latin American powerhouse. The most popular operations are liposuction, followed by breast implants, bum lifts and tummy tucks. Carolina and Aline, two Silimed employees both aged 27, speak with pride of their implants. “I have 300 milliliters (of silicone) in each bum cheek. Since then, men look at me differently. I am very happy with the result and I am thinking of increasing the dose,” Aline told AFP. “Brazil is a tropical country where the body is exposed. You have to show off your best part,” said Carolina, who had filled each of her breasts with 250 milliliters of silicone. Worldwide in 2010, plastic surgeons carried out an estimated 18.5 million operations, according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS), a nonprofit group representing surgeons in 93 countries. The United States topped the list last year, with 3.3 million operations, followed by Brazil with 700,000. Brazil’s SBCP says that “nine out 10 surgeons” in the country used Silimed implants rather than imported products. — AFP

Turkish surgeons carry out country’s first face transplant ANKARA: Turkish surgeons yesterday successfully performed the country’s first-ever face transplant, the Anatolia news agency reported. A team of doctors at Akdeniz University in the southern city of Antalya performed the operation on a 19-year-old boy whose face was burned when he was a 40-day-old baby, said Anatolia. Tissue from the face of a 45-year-old donor was successfully transplanted, it said. The operation brings to 20 the number of face transplants

carried out worldwide, the report said. The first was a par tial face transplant on Frenchwoman Isabelle Dinoire in 2005. Turkish doctors were performing another operation yesterday from the same donor, on a 34-year old man in what was reported as the world’s first double arm and single leg transplant. Doctors were transplanting limbs to a man who lost both arms and one leg when he was electrocuted at the age of 11, said Anatolia. — AFP


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

US gives church groups a year on birth control rule Religious groups sought broader exemptions

LOS ANGELES: Haydee Ibarra, 22, covers her daughter Melinda Star Guido with her blanket as they leave LA County-USC Medical Center in Los Angeles yesterday. Melinda Star Guido, the third smallest baby born in the world, was born on August 30, 2011 and weighing only 9.5 ounces. — AFP

Third smallest baby ever leaves hospital LOS ANGELES: A baby believed to be the third smallest birth-weight infant ever to survive left hospital in Los Angeles on Friday, doctors and the proud parents said. Melinda Star Guido was born last August, 16 weeks early, weighing only 9.5 ounces (270 grams)— less than a can of soda or the same as two iPhones-and has spent nearly five months in a neonatal intensive care unit. “I am so excited to finally have my baby come home,” said her mother Haydee Ibarra, 22. “We have waited almost five months for this moment. It is so wonderful and we are ready to bring Melinda home.” She is the third smallest baby to survive, according to Global

Birth Registry figures cited by LA County health officials. Dr Rangasamy Ramanathan, neonatology chief at the LA County-USC Medical Center, said he wasn’t initially sure if Melinda was going to survive beyond a few days. “This doesn’t happen every day. In my 30 years here, ... this is the first time it ever happened that we were able to discharge a baby who weighed less than 400 grams, or 300 grams,” he said. “We have reached a milestone by being able to see Melinda go home,” he added “We are hopeful to see many more milestones accomplished in Melinda’s development as we follow her care over the next six years.” — AFP

WASHINGTON: The Obama administration on Friday insisted that religiously affiliated nonprofit groups including charities, hospitals and universities offer birth-control coverage to women employees, but gave the organizations an extra year to adapt to the change. The news stirred anger and disappointment among religious authorities including the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, which condemned the electionyear move as a violation of religious conscience and the constitutional right to religious freedom. Birth control advocates including the Planned Parenthood Federation of America applauded the decision. The Department of Health and Human Services made final a proposal it first aired last August, requiring most employer-sponsored health plans to offer women contraceptive services including sterilization without copays, co-insurance or deductibles. The government’s decision does not apply to churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and some religiously affiliated elementary and secondary schools, which remain exempt. But it came as a blow to religious officials who pushed hard for a broader exemption that would have included reli-

gious organizations whose main purpose is not to provide religious services for their members. The Obama administration said it sought to meet those concerns by allowing religious groups an extra year to adjust. “This decision was made after very careful consideration, including the important concerns some have raised about religious liberty,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement. “This proposal strikes the appropriate balance between respecting religious freedom and increasing access to important preventive services.” The change is intended to reduce health costs, unwanted pregnancies and abortions, as part of President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul. The 2010 reform law, his signature domestic policy achievement, is facing unprecedented challenges in the Supreme Court and from Republicans this year as the president seeks re-election. “This common sense decision means that millions of women, who would otherwise pay $15 to $50 a month, will have access to affordable birth control, helping them save hundreds of dollars each year,” Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said in a statement.

The strongest criticism came from the Roman Catholic Church, which holds contraception to be a sin. “The Obama administration has now drawn an unprecedented line in the sand,” Roman Catholic Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York and president of the bishops conference, said in a statement vowing to overturn the rule. “In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences,” he added. The National Association of Evangelicals, a Protestant group, warned the move could lead to further erosion of traditional American protections against the violation of conscience. Health and Human Services officials said the administration decided to offer a grace period after reviewing more than 200,000 comments on the proposed rule since last August, including comments from religious organizations that said they would need time to make the transition. Religiously affiliated nonprofit organizations, many of which currently do not offer birth control coverage, have until August 1, 2013, to comply with the new rule. Other employers must begin covering the services from August 1, 2012. — Reuters



W H AT ’ S O N Innovation at ESF



he English School Fahaheel has always been at the forefront of offering the latest technological developments to students from Kindergarten to Year 13. The school also offers modern facilities and spacious play areas and including safety Granuflex flooring. The newly refurbished ESF Computer Centres opened this January offering the latest software, LED screens and modern furnishings. ESF was the first English school in Kuwait to offer wireless internet throughout the premises a few years ago. ESF also has its own TV network “ESF TV” providing all the latest information on events at the school. The new safe and well shaded play area opened this year. In addition the Kindergarten Department offers separate indoor and outdoor play areas.

Happy birthday to Rovel Rajan Thottungal. Best wishes from friends and relatives.

Upcoming event Infoconnect expo to be held in Kuwait From January 29th till February 4th Infoconnect will be held at the Kuwait International Fair Grounds Infoconnect is one of the most professionally organized trade shows in Kuwait, dedicated exclusively to the computer applications and information technology sector. The show ranks high on the popularity count, drawing in a large number of exhibitors as well as qualified business visitors at each of its editions. The line of products put on exhibit at the show is quite extensive and includes computer peripherals, IT security tools, software solutions, data warehousing systems and a host of other related services and accessories. The show draws in active participation from eminent professionals from both the public as well as the private sectors and the latest innovations and developments in the IT industry are closely looked into here. The show is held over a period of seven days at the Kuwait International Fairground and enjoys large scale media coverage too. Kuwait Boat Show Kuwait, in the cradle of one of the most ancient and most-contested corners of the world, is best described as a city state. The burgeoning capital, Kuwait City, is like a magnet: indeed it has been attracting Bedouin people from the Arabian interior, in search of a sea breeze and an escape from recurring drought, for centuries. Today the metropolis is still an oasis in a land of desert plains, but rather more of the cultural and epicurean kind. Excellent museums; a corniche ornamented with combed beaches and extravagant restaurants; modern shopping complexes and marinas, and long and lazy retreats at new beach resorts mark the Kuwait City experience. The organizers of the Kuwait International Boat Show expect more than 100 marine companies to display their latest products, boats, yachts, super yachts, electronics, engines and thousands of boating accessories from major marine manufacturers. The Boat Show encompasses more than 120.000 m2 of space, both on land and in water. Where: Souk Sharq Marina & Water Front Kuwait International Boat Show Timings: 5:30 pm 10:00 pm Local exhibitors & for more info kindly contact Mr. Abdulla Al Manei (Exhibition Manager): 2538-7100 Ext: 172, 9978-8130, 2539-3872, 2539-8123, 9444-9102, International exhibitors & any additional info kindly contact Mrs. Kaya Gabrielcic GLEE-esque show choir This Valentine’s Day step into a musical Love Story performed by Vocal Rhapsody, KLT’s first ever GLEE-esque show choir. Vocal Rhapsody’s “Love Story” - is a show choir production with hit songs from artists such as Journey, Queen, Katy Perry and Meatloaf. It promises to be an exciting evening for all with some classic songs that everyone will enjoy. For contact:

Copthorne to host screening of ‘Happy’


l-Jahra Copthorne Hotel and Resort, part of the Millennium & Copthorne Hotel group, is set to host a free screening of critically acclaimed feature-length documentary Happy on 11 February. The screening, which takes place in the Slayil Ballroom at 6pm, is part of World Happy Day with hundreds of simultaneous screenings around the globe. Directed by Academy Award nominee, Roko Belic, the film aims to become a trigger for an international movement towards greater global happi-


ness. It takes the viewers on a journey across continents in search of the keys to happiness, from Okinawa and the village with the most centenarians in the world, to the bayous of Louisiana, learning lessons from each individual they meet along the way. Human stories and science come together to give viewers a deeper understanding of why and how we can pursue more fulfilling, healthier and happier lives. Buffet food and drinks will be served in the ballroom at a special price during the film, mak-

ing it a great dinnertime trip from Kuwait City. Dani Saleh, General Manager of Al-Jahra Copthorne Hotel and Resort said: “In the hospitality industry, our main focus is our guests’ happiness and wellbeing. Service excellence is at the heart of everything we do here at Al-Jahra Copthorne. We are always looking at new and inventive ways to make our guests happy, and by hosting the film here, we become part of the movement for happiness.” The free screening is part of

Millennium & Copthorne’s ‘Feeling Good’ spring campaign, marked by offers, promotions and packages designed to help guests, staff and the wider public make positive changes in their life, eat well, and feel good. Millennium & Copthorne has chosen to screen the film to the public for free in many of its hotels, whilst in others it is hosting private screenings for employees as part of its corporate campaign to promote total wellbeing.

Kuwait Marriott Hotels launch dining initiatives

uwait Marriott Hotels hosted a media dinner at Soul and Spice Restaurant in the Courtyard by Marriott to introduce them to a premium variety of distinctive dining initiatives being rolled out in the year 2012. The dinner was held in an effort to thank the media for their ongoing support and to discuss the new services designed to offer each customer a uniquely special experience. A major announcement was the launch of elegant new dining websites for the JW Marriott Kuwait City and the Courtyard by Marriott Kuwait that enables guests to explore a world of dining options at the click of a button within the comfort of their homes or offices.

Guests can view actual restaurant menus online, extensive galleries of food items available at each of the nine restaurants in both hotels, information about elegant wedding and event facilities and details of the latest offers and news which can also be accessed via an interactive enewsletter. Another feature highlighted at the event was the business lunch offer for corporate executives at the popular Soul and Spice Indian restaurant, in which diners and in-house guests can enjoy their lunch break or business lunch meetings to fit a time frame of just 45 minutes . Some of the other entertaining features that were shared with the attendees

included exciting themed buffet nights at both hotels. The JW Marriott’s international La Brasserie Restaurant will offer exquisite ‘European Nights’ on Sundays, ‘Food of the Sun Mediterranean signature delights on Mondays, exotic ‘Asian Nights’ on Tuesdays and live cooking stations with ‘Seafood Nights’ on Wednesdays and Thursdays. At the Courtyard by Marriott, the relaxed Atrium Restaurant will feature mouth-watering ‘Asian Nights’ on Sundays, seafood delicacies with ‘Albahar Seafood Nights’ on Mondays and Wednesdays and authentic pizzas and pastas with ‘Italian Nights’ on Thursdays. The media was also briefed on the exclusive dining privileges offered

through Marriott’s Executive Card. Launched as a premier dining privilege program at the JW Marriott Kuwait City and the Courtyard by Marriott Kuwait, the Card offers its holders an array of discounts on dining, health club and massage services, hotel stays, laundry and more for a whole year. Addressing the gathering, George Aoun, General Manager for Kuwait Marriott Hotels said, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our distinguished media partners who have been very supportive during 2011. As we enter the New Year, I hope we can work to mutually benefit each other while achieving new milestones in 2012.“

Bobby Chemmannur to extend charity to Kuwait


house for the poor is poor only in its name in noted philanthropist Bobby Chemmannur’s poor home concept. This ‘Father Teresa’ donor of life picks up the destitute from the road, takes them into his one of the three poor homes and ensures their lifelong safety. They eat what he eats or vice versa. He even dresses the pussfilled wounds of the people nobody dares to care. Bobby is in Kuwait for a brief visit. On Feb 6, he will run a 10 km marathon in his now settled town Kozhikkode as part of his social commitment. The multifaceted, 42-yearold says doing charity is what is giving him pure love, a spirit that can never be on the saturation point. As a plan to form his charity work into Chemmannur Trust, Bobby said, he wishes to extend his charity network beyond India, especially to Kuwait and Dubai where there are Keralite expats are large in number. His team is seriously considering inviting volunteers who can work as staff at his poor homes, to donate blood and to help with his humanitarian projects. Noted TV personality GS Pradeep is joining the Chemmannur team soon. Always wanted to be different, Bobby began his charity works after he accidently found a book by Mother Teresa. Bobby said he wrote off Mother as a foolish Albanian woman at first. On second reading he realized he was being fooled by the worldly affairs he was after. Being blessed with his 149-year-old legacy of the famed jeweler family, Bobby thought of doing some contributions to the needy world. Thus he formulated a plan of opening a poor home wherever his business network operates. To open a poor home in Kuwait is beyond his control but charity works go beyond establishing a poor home, he said.

KPFA elects new executive council


he members of Kuwait - Pakistan Friendship Association (KPFA) recently elected its new Executive Council for the years 2012-2013 to lead the organization and promote further business, cultural, social and religious ties between the people of Kuwait and Pakistan. The result of the election was announced during the general assembly meeting of KPFA members which was called on Jan 6, 2012 at one of the local hotels. The Secretary General of the KPFA, Saqib Aftab announced the result of the

election, which was conducted by Dr Manzoor Ali of Kuwait University during the month of Dec 2011. According to results, the following Executive Council was elected: 1. Rana Ejaz Hussain Sohail (President), 2. Mohammad Fayyaz Chaudhry (Sr. Vice President), 3. Mohammad Hanif (Vice President), 4. Tariq Nazir (Vice President), 5. Saqib Aftab (General Secretary), 6. Ghulam Shabbir (Joint Secretary), 7. Kashif Kamal (Secretary Finance), 8. Khalid Amin (Secretary Electronic Media & Publication & Secretary Public Relations), 9. Ehsan Ul

Haq (Secretary Community Affairs), 10. Abdul Moeed Khan (Secretary Islamic & Culture Activities), 11. Saqid Shah (Executive Member), 12. Khalid Nawaz (Executive Member), 13. Prof. Zaka Ullah Sharif (Executive Member), 14. Mohammad Tayyab (Executive Member), 15. Faiz Mohi Ud Din (Executive Member), 16. Ashraf Zia (Executive Member). Newly elected President Rana Ejaz thanked the members of the KPFA for electing him for the second term and vowed that he will work hard for the

cause of KPFA. The principal of Farwaniya Dar Ul Quran Hafiz Nasiruddin lauded the efforts of KPFA for the betterment of community and congratulated the new Executive Council. The President of Pakistan Business Council Arif Butt also spoke highly of KPFA work in promoting ties among Kuwaiti and Pakistani communities and presented a memento as token of appreciation to KPFA. At the end special mementos were presented to the outgoing members of KPFA.



W H AT ’ S O N

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. nnnnnnn

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 nnnnnnn

Al Bayan Bilingual School opens new campus


l Bayan Bilingual School celebrated the official opening of its new campus” under the patronage of His Excellency the Minister of Education and Higher Education Ahmed Al-Mulaifi. Among the guests of honor were the former Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr Moudhi Al-Humoud; the Governor of Hawally, retired Lt Gen Abdullah AlFaris; Director of Private Education Mohammed Al Dahes; Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Private Education Fahad Al Ghais; Fawzi Musaed Al-Saleh, Al Bayan Bilingual School owner; members of the Al Bayan Board of Trustees; the school’s founders; the school’s administrators; and many other guests of honor who had a significant role in supporting the BBS educational mission statement. The keynote address was presented by Tariq Sabah Alsamerraie, Chairman and Managing Director of FAWSEC Educational Company that owns Al Bayan Bilingual School. Tariq stated that the school’s edifice is a means to an end in fulfilling the school vision which is to “Prepare students to the university life by fostering an environment for students to develop the intellectual qualities, ethical values, and positive attitudes required for effective participation and leadership in the overall development of Kuwait and the rapidly changing world.” He also confirmed the evidence of Al

Bayan Bilingual School’s success in achieving its aim by highlighting its growth from a small school of 30 students in 1977 to a school that hosts nearly 2,000 students now. Additionally, Tariq pointed out the

as Sheikha Dana Nasser Al-Sabah, who, in turn, founded the American University of Kuwait. Tariq also cited in his speech Al Bayan’s magnificent structure that was built in five phases over seven years at

in Kuwait. The achievements that have been accomplished by Al Bayan and FAWSEC Company over the past thirty five years, since its establishment in 1977, are highly admirable noting that FAWSEC Company and its subsidiaries

EMBASSY OF CYPRUS The Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus requests Cypriot citizens living in Kuwait to register with the Embassy. This registration service is provided so that the Embassy can update its contact list and assist Cypriot citizens in cases of emergencies. Registration information can be emailed to or faxed to 22253227 or given by phone to 65906048 (Mrs Christine). nnnnnnn

EMBASSY OF INDIA On the occasion of the Republic Day of India, a Flag Hoisting Ceremony will be held at the Embassy of India premises at 9:00 AM on Thursday, January 26, 2012. This will be followed by the reading of the message of Hon’ble President of India by the Ambassador, singing of patriotic songs by Indian children, and an Open House Reception. All Indian nationals in Kuwait are cordially invited to attend the Ceremony. nnnnnnn

EMBASSY OF KENYA The Embassy of the Republic of Kenya wishes to request all Kenyans resident in or training through Kuwait to register with the Embassy. We are updating our database. This information is necessary in order to facilitate quick assistance and advise in times of emergency. Kindly visit in person or register through our website The Embassy is located in: Surra Area - Block 6 - Street 9 - Villa 3 Tel: 25353362 - 25353314; Fax: 25353316. nnnnnnn

large and growing number of graduates who complete their studies in international universities and become active members of various sectors of society, such as Dr Naif Al-Mutawa, who founded the globally known magazine series , “99”, which won the personal admiration of President Obama, as well

a cost of seven million dinars and stated that Al Bayan Bilingual School is the first bilingual school in Kuwait, and Fawzia Sultan International School is the first special needs school of its kind in Kuwait, while Fawzia Sultan Physical Rehabilitation Institute is the first institute that specializes in physical therapy

are not for profit institutions which enable FAWSEC to provide the utmost level of quality in capabilities and resources to its students, staff and patients.

EMBASSY OF NIGERIA The Nigerian embassy has its new office in Mishref. Block 3, Street 7, House 4. For enquires please call 25379541. Fax- 25387719. Email- or nnnnnnn

EMBASSY OF PHILIPPINES The Embassy of the Philippines will be closed to public transactions on 29,30,31 January 2012 to give way to its transfer to Faiha, Block 6, Nauman bin Basher St. corner Damascus St. Villa 153. For emergency, please contact the Consular hotline at 65184433. The Philippine Overseas Labor Office and other attached agencies shall continue to operate and hold office in Jabriya until 15 March 2012. All your passports and other consular concerns will be processed at our new location, except of course labor issues. Regular working hours of the Embassy shall resume in Faiha on 01 February 2012. nnnnnnn

EMBASSY OF PERU Peruvian Permanent Expo reopens today January 22nd 2012 and offer once again “Peruvian Private Gastronomy Tasting Lunches” and much more like Peruvian culture, tourism, trade and great possibilities of investment. nnnnnnn

BSK students get into Olympic mode


he Year 1 Olympians of The British School of Kuwait gathered at My Gym in the Discovery Mall to hold their own special version of the Olympic Games. Eager and Energetic pupils took part in team games, like ‘clean up your garden’ and ‘cones up’; they even challenged their teachers, who were gracious in their defeat. All of the children had a wonderful time climbing the monkey bars, jousting, jumping on the trampoline, playing in the ball pool and then taking turns to ride the zip line and to swing on the trapeze. The visit concluded their excellent topic work on ‘Ourselves’ and ‘On your marks, Get set, Olympics!’; where the children have been learning about how to keep themselves healthy by eating the right foods and by taking exercise. They have also been finding out about the different types of sports we can participate in and the countries that will compete in the Olympic Games to be held in London during 2012.


AE Exchange Centre WLL opened its 20th Branch at Abuhalifa Cooperative Society on 15th Jan 2012. The branch was inaugurated by Mohammad Humoud Al Muhareb (Director UAE Excahnge Centre WLL), Abdul Haziz Al Roomi (Asst GM Abuhalifa Cooperative Society),.Pancily Varkey (Country Head UAE Excahnge Centre WLL) and Dhari Al Muhareb (Administration Manager UAE Exchange Centre WLL).

EMBASSY OF UKRAINE We’d like to inform you that in response to the increasing number of our citizens who work in the state and the need for 24-hour operational telephone in case of emergency the Embassy of Ukraine in the State of Kuwait has opened “hotline telephone number” (+ 965) 972-79-206.

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



e niv rsar n




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

Untamed & Uncut Dogs 101 Wildest Africa Sharkbite Beach Human Prey Dogs 101 Animal Cops Phoenix Night In Too Deep Monkey Life Michaela’s Animal Road Trip Crocodile Hunter Pandamonium Dick ‘n’ Dom Go Wild Bondi Vet Monkey Life Talk To The Animals Dogs 101 Monster Bug Wars Monster Bug Wars Wild France Must Love Cats Dogs/Cats/Pets 101 Baboons With Bill Bailey Baboons With Bill Bailey Max’s Big Tracks Into The Pride Dogs 101 Wildest Africa Sharkbite Summer Whale Wars

00:35 Doctor Who Confidential 00:50 Last Of The Summer Wine 01:20 Doctors 01:50 Survivors 02:20 One Foot In The Grave 02:50 Doctor Who Confidential 03:00 Little Britain 03:30 dinnerladies 04:00 Balamory 04:20 Tellytales 04:30 Bobinogs 04:45 The Roly Mo Show 05:00 Buzz & Tell 05:05 Tweenies 05:25 3rd & Bird 05:35 Nina And The Neurons 05:50 Balamory 06:10 Tellytales 06:20 Bobinogs 06:30 The Roly Mo Show 06:45 Buzz & Tell 06:50 Tweenies 07:10 3rd & Bird 07:20 Nina And The Neurons 07:35 Big Top 08:05 dinnerladies 08:35 Doctor Who: Voyage Of The Damned 09:45 The Weakest Link 10:30 Casualty 11:20 Chimp Family Fortunes 12:20 Lark Rise to Candleford 13:35 Doctors 15:35 Doctors 16:00 Doctor Who: Voyage Of The Damned 17:15 Big Top 17:45 Chimp Family Fortunes 18:45 Lark Rise to Candleford 20:00 Survivors 20:50 Waking The Dead 21:40 The World’s Toughest Driving Tests 22:35 New Tricks 23:30 dinnerladies

00:30 02:45 03:30 04:15 06:50 07:10 08:00 13:50 14:40 15:30 16:20 17:10 18:00 18:50

Masterchef Bargain Hunt Bargain Hunt Cash In The Attic USA Cash In The Attic USA Gok’s Fashion Fix Come Dine With Me Come Dine With Me Antiques Roadshow Antiques Roadshow Celebrity Fantasy Homes Gok’s Fashion Fix Gok’s Fashion Fix Gok’s Fashion Fix

19:40 20:30 20:50 21:10 22:00

What Not To Wear Cash In The Attic USA Cash In The Attic USA Antiques Roadshow Masterchef

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

Dexters Laboratory The Garfield Show Scooby Doo Where Are You! The Perils Of Penelope Pitstop Droopy: Master Detective The Flintstones Johnny Bravo Duck Dodgers King Arthur’s Disasters The Scooby Doo Show Popeye Classics Tom & Jerry Popeye The Jetsons The Flintstones Looney Tunes Pink Panther & Pals Tex Avery Duck Dodgers The Garfield Show Yogi’s Treasure Hunt Popeye Paddington Bear Gerald McBoing Boing Bananas In Pyjamas Baby Looney Tunes Jelly Jamm Puppy In My Pocket Pink Panther And Pals The Garfield Show The Scooby Doo Show The Flintstones Looney Tunes Scooby Cinema Tom & Jerry Top Cat Top Cat Pink Panther And Pals Pink Panther And Pals The Garfield Show Scooby-Doo And ScrappyDastardly And Muttley The Flintstones Wacky Races Scooby Doo Where Are You! Popeye Classics Tom & Jerry Looney Tunes Pink Panther & Pals Top Cat Dastardly And Muttley Tom & Jerry Wacky Races The Scooby Doo Show Tom & Jerry Johnny Bravo

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 & Mandy 05:55 I Am Weasel 06:55 Powerpuff Girls 07:45 Angelo Rules 08:00 Casper’s Scare School 08:25 Casper’s Scare School 08:55 Angelo Rules 09:30 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 09:55 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 10:20 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 10:40 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 11:05 The Amazing World Of Gumball 11:30 Adventure Time 12:20 Courage The Cowardly Dog 13:10 Ben 10 13:35 Ben 10

14:00 The Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy 14:50 The Amazing World Of Gumball 15:15 Generator Rex 15:40 Generator Rex 16:05 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 16:30 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 16:55 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 17:20 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 17:45 Adventure Time 18:35 The Amazing World Of Gumball 19:00 Regular Show 19:25 Regular Show 19:50 Generator Rex 20:15 Generator Rex 20:40 Courage The Cowardly Dog 21:30 Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes 21:55 Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes 22:20 Star Wars: The Clone Wars 22:40 Star Wars: The Clone Wars 23:00 Ben 10 23:25 Ben 10 23:50 Courage The Cowardly Dog

00:00 World Report 00:30 News Special 01:00 Aiming For Gold 01:30 World Sport 02:00 World Report 02:30 Talk Asia 03:00 World Report 03:30 World Report This Week 04:00 CNN Marketplace Europe 04:15 CNN Marketplace Africa 04:30 African Voices 05:00 The CNN Freedom Project 05:30 News Special 06:00 CNN Newsroom 07:00 Ireport For CNN 07:30 Inside Africa 08:00 World Sport 08:30 The Gateway 08:45 Future Cities 09:00 World Report 09:15 CNN Marketplace Middle East 09:30 Talk Asia 10:00 World Report 10:15 CNN Marketplace Europe 10:30 The CNN Freedom Project 11:00 World Sport 11:30 Open Court 12:00 African Voices 12:30 The Best Of Backstory 13:00 World Report 13:30 The CNN Freedom Project 14:00 CNN Presents 15:00 World Report 15:30 Road To Durban 16:00 Fareed Zakaria Gps 17:00 State Of The Union With Candy Crowley 18:00 International Desk 18:30 Inside Africa 19:00 Global Exchange 19:15 CNN Marketplace Africa 19:30 Global Exchange 19:45 CNN Marketplace Middle East 20:00 World Sport 20:30 Aiming For Gold 21:00 International Desk 21:30 African Voices 22:00 International Desk 22:30 The Gateway 22:45 Future Cities 23:00 Fareed Zakaria Gps

00:40 Miami SWAT 01:35 Ross Kemp On Gangs 02:30 How It’s Made 05:15 How Stuff Works 05:40 How It’s Made 06:05 How Stuff Works 06:35 How It’s Made 07:00 How It’s Made 07:25 American Chopper: Senior vs Junior 08:15 How Do They Do It? Turbo Specials 09:10 Wheeler Dealers 10:05 Auction Kings 12:20 Border Security


14:35 16:55 19:10 20:05 21:00 21:55 22:50 23:45

Cash Cab Us Cake Boss Nextworld Penn & Teller Tell A Lie Mythbusters Curiosity Desert Car Kings Desert Car Kings

00:40 Bang Goes The Theory 01:05 Bang Goes The Theory 01:35 Science Of The Movies 02:25 The Tech Show 02:50 Science Of The Movies 07:10 What’s That About? 08:00 What’s That About? 08:55 Head Rush 08:58 Sci-Fi Science 09:25 Weird Connections 09:55 Smash Lab 10:45 Scrapheap Challenge 11:35 Science Of The Movies 15:45 Head Rush 15:48 Sci-Fi Science 16:15 Weird Connections 16:45 The Tech Show 17:10 What’s That About? 18:00 Science Of The Movies 18:50 Bang Goes The Theory 19:15 Bang Goes The Theory 19:40 Science Of Storm Chasing 20:30 Robocar 21:20 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 22:10 Tech Toys 360 22:35 Tech Toys 360 23:00 Science Of Storm Chasing 23:50 Robocar




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

Awards Fashion Police E!es E! Investigates Sexiest Then And Now Wildest TV Show Moments E!es Behind The Scenes E! News Extreme Close-Up Extreme Close-Up E!es Ice Loves Coco Ice Loves Coco E! News Awards Fashion Police Kendra Kendra Behind The Scenes Kendra E! News Kendra Awards Fashion Police Kourtney & Kim Take New E! News The Soup Chelsea Lately

00:40 A Haunting 01:30 A Haunting 02:15 The Haunted 03:05 Ghost Lab 03:50 A Haunting 04:40 A Haunting 05:25 On The Case With Paula Zahn 06:15 Disappeared 07:10 Mystery Diagnosis 08:00 FBI Files 08:50 Forensic Detectives 09:40 Murder Shift 10:25 Mystery Diagnosis 11:10 Real Emergency Calls 11:35 Who On Earth Did I Marry? 11:55 On The Case With Paula Zahn 12:40 Disappeared 13:25 Murder Shift 14:15 Mystery Diagnosis 15:00 Real Emergency Calls 15:25 Who On Earth Did I Marry? 15:50 On The Case With Paula Zahn 16:35 Disappeared 17:20 FBI Files 18:10 Forensic Detectives 19:00 Murder Shift 19:45 Real Emergency Calls 20:10 Mystery Diagnosis 20:55 Who On Earth Did I Marry? 21:20 On The Case With Paula Zahn 22:10 Disappeared 23:00 The Will: Family Secrets Revealed 23:50 Kidnap And Rescue

00:00 Departures 00:30 Which Way To 01:00 Wild Rides 01:30 Food School 01:30 Megastructures 02:00 Extreme Tourist Afghanistan 02:30 Bin Laden’s Spy In America 03:00 Gone to save the planet 03:30 Gone to save the planet 04:00 Travel Madness 04:30 Clash Of The Continents 04:30 Destination Extreme 05:00 Don’t Tell My Mother 05:30 Rescue Ink 06:00 Departures 06:30 Dogtown 07:00 Wild Rides 07:30 Food School 07:30 Which Way To 08:00 Extreme Tourist Afghanistan 08:30 Megastructures 09:00 Gone to save the planet 09:30 Engineering Connections 09:30 Gone to save the planet 10:00 Travel Madness 10:30 Destination Extreme 10:30 Wild Russia 11:00 Don’t Tell My Mother 11:30 Master of Disaster 12:00 Departures 12:30 Clash Of The Continents 13:00 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 13:30 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 13:30 Rescue Ink 14:00 Weird & Wonderful Hotels 14:30 A Traveler’s Guide To The Planets 14:30 Weird & Wonderful Hotels 15:00 Bondi Rescue 15:30 Banged Up Abroad 15:30 Which Way To 16:30 Ancient Megastructures 16:30 Long Way Down 17:30 Destination Extreme 17:30 Engineering Connections 18:00 Travel Madness 18:30 Apocalypse: The Second World War 18:30 Chasing Che: Latin America On A Motorcycle 19:00 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 19:30 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 19:30 Redwoods: Anatomy of A Giant 20:00 Weird & Wonderful Hotels 20:30 Inside 20:30 Weird & Wonderful Hotels 21:00 Bondi Rescue 21:30 Ancient Megastructures 21:30 Banged Up Abroad 22:30 Long Way Down 22:30 Taboo 23:30 Destination Extreme 23:30 Megastructures


00:00 Full Metal Jacket-18 02:00 Icarus-18 04:00 Riddles Of The Sphinx-PG15 06:00 Stonehenge ApocalypsePG15 08:00 Dick Tracy-PG15 10:00 Arctic Predator-PG15 12:00 Triassic Attack-PG15 14:00 Dick Tracy-PG15 16:00 The Haunting Of Molly Hartley-18 18:00 Triassic Attack-PG15 20:00 Mirrors 2-18 22:00 The Craigslist Killer-PG15

00:45 03:00 05:00 07:00 09:00 10:45 13:00 14:45 16:45 19:00 21:00 23:00

Mother And Child-18 Gentlemen Broncos-PG15 Alabama Moon-PG15 The Tender Hook-PG15 Gentlemen Broncos-PG15 Tron: Legacy-PG15 Mee Shee-PG The Flyboys-PG15 Tron: Legacy-PG15 The Nanny Express-PG15 Hot Tub Time Machine-18 Waiting For Superman-PG15

12:00 Two And A Half Men 12:30 Will And Grace 13:00 Just Shoot Me 13:30 Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne 16:30 The Office 18:00 Friends 18:30 Friends 19:00 Modern Family 19:30 Parks And Recreation 20:00 Mad Love 20:30 Curb Your Enthusiasm 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 Saturday Night Live 23:00 Family Guy

00:00 01:00 03:00 04:00 04:30 05:00 06:00 07:00 08:00 08:30 10:00 11:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 17:00 18:00 18:30 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00 23:00

The Killing C.S.I. Miami Breakout Kings In Treatment In Treatment The View Good Morning America Law & Order: Los Angeles Emmerdale Coronation Street The Martha Stewart Show The View Persons Unknown Breakout Kings Law & Order: Los Angeles C.S.I. Miami Live Good Morning America The Ellen DeGeneres Show Emmerdale Coronation Street Body Of Proof Unforgettable Pan Am Top Gear (US) In Treatment

00:00 C.S.I. 02:00 The Killing 03:00 C.S.I. Miami 04:00 Breakout Kings 05:00 Surface 06:00 C.S.I. 07:00 How I Met Your Mother 07:30 Coronation Street 08:00 Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior 10:00 Breakout Kings 11:00 C.S.I. Miami 12:00 How I Met Your Mother 12:30 Coronation Street 13:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 14:00 Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior 15:00 C.S.I. 16:00 How I Met Your Mother 16:30 Coronation Street 17:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 18:00 House 19:00 Body Of Proof 20:00 Unforgettable 21:00 Pan Am 22:00 Top Gear (US) 23:00 Lights Out

01:00 03:00 05:00 07:00 09:00 11:00 13:00 15:00 17:00 18:45 21:00 23:00 PG15

Bad Guys-18 Riddles Of The Sphinx-PG15 Deadtime Stories 2-PG15 I, Robot-PG15 StreetDance-PG15 Armored-18 Citizen Jane-PG StreetDance-PG15 Rocky IV-PG15 Dark Moon Rising-PG15 The Craigslist Killer-PG15 The Burningmoore Incident-

00:00 Death At A Funeral-PG15 02:00 Furry Vengeance-PG 04:00 The Prince And Me 3: A Royal Honeymoon-PG15 06:00 Finding Lenny-PG15 08:00 Hey Hey Its Esther Blueburger-PG15 10:00 The Country Bears-PG 12:00 A Film With Me In It-PG15 14:00 16 To Life-PG15 16:00 Death At A Funeral-PG15 18:00 Lower Learning-PG15 20:00 Greenberg-18 22:00 Whatever Works-PG15

01:15 03:30 05:45 07:15 09:15 11:00 13:00 14:45 17:00 19:00 21:00 23:00

The Prince Of Tides-18 Iron Man 2-PG15 Strange Culture-PG15 The Associate-PG15 The Fantastic Water Babes-PG On Broadway-PG15 The Wronged Man-PG15 Glorious 39-PG15 Inside Job-PG15 The Public Eye-PG15 All The Pretty Horses-PG15 Boogie Nights-18

01:00 03:00 05:00 07:00 09:00 11:00 13:00 15:00 17:00 19:00 21:00 23:00 18

Wake-PG15 The Last Song-PG15 The Last Airbender-PG An Education-PG15 The Spy Next Door-PG Toy Story 3-FAM Dr. Dolittle-PG Our Family Wedding-PG15 The Spy Next Door-PG Predators-18 Last Ride-18 The Men Who Stare At Goats-

00:00 Ramses Of Egypt-PG 02:00 A Venetian Rascal Goes To America-PG15 04:00 Christmas In New York-PG 06:00 The Thief Of Baghdad-PG 07:45 North-PG 10:00 Inspector Gadget’s Last Case: Claw’s...-FAM 12:00 Legend Of Sleeping Beauty-PG 14:00 The Thief Of Baghdad-PG 16:00 Shrek Forever After-FAM 18:00 Moomins And The Comet Chase-PG15 20:00 Inspector Gadget’s Last Case: Claw’s...-FAM 22:00 Legend Of Sleeping Beauty-PG

00:00 02:00 04:00 06:00 08:00 10:00 12:00 13:45 16:00 17:45 20:00 22:00

Chicago Overcoat-18 Shanghai-PG15 Life As We Know It-PG15 Bustin’ Down The Door-PG15 Megamind-FAM Life As We Know It-PG15 A Family Thanksgiving-PG15 Jane Eyre-PG15 Megamind-FAM Country Strong-PG15 Nomads-PG15 Piranha-R

02:00 05:00 07:00 11:00 14:00 17:00 22:00 23:00

Cricket Twenty20 European Challenge Cup Snooker Masters Live Cricket Twenty20 Cricket Twenty20 Live Cricket Twenty20 WWE Bottom Line Live Snooker Masters

02:00 05:00 07:00 11:00 14:00 14:30 16:30 17:00 22:00 23:00

Cricket Twenty20 Scottish Premier League Snooker Masters Live Cricket Twenty20 ICC Cricket World Scottish Premier League Futbol Mundial Live Snooker Masters Trans World Sport Live Snooker Masters

00:30 European PGA Tour 05:00 World Pool Masters 06:00 US Bass Fishing 07:00 European PGA Tour 11:30 Trans World Sports 12:30 European Tour Weekly 13:00 Live European PGA Tour 17:00 Trans World Sport 18:00 Scottish Premier League 20:00 Futbol Mundial 20:30 Live European Challenge Cup 22:30 Cricket International Twenty20

00:00 02:00 03:00 06:00 07:00 08:00 09:00 11:00 12:00 12:30 13:00 16:00 17:00 19:00 20:00 23:00

WWE Smackdown WWE Bottom Line UFC Fight Night UFC Unleashed WWE Vintage Collection WWE Bottom Line WWE SmackDown WWE Experience WWE This Week UFC All Access UFC On Fox WWE Bottom Line WWE SmackDown WWE Experience UFC Unleashed UFC Fight Night

00:00 01:00 02:00 03:00 03:30 04:00 05:00 09:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 12:30 13:00 14:00 Rides 15:00 15:30 16:00 16:30 17:30 18:30 19:30 20:30 21:00 22:00 23:00

Culinary Asia Indian Times Globe Trekker Life’s A Trip Floyd Around the Med Food Tripper Cruise 1st Secrets of Bangkok Globe Trekker The Soller Railway Cruise 1st Cruise 1st Swiss Railway Journeys World’s Greatest Motorcycle Essential Cruise 1st Cruise 1st Wild Camping Essential Specials Globe Trekker Cruise 1st Essential Third Class Traveller Cruise 1st The Ethical Hedonist

00:00 Lifeboat Heroes 01:00 America’s Lost Sub 02:00 Russia: Land Of The Tsars 03:00 Cities Of The Underworld 04:00 I Am Alive: Surviving The Andes Crash 06:00 Lifeboat Heroes 07:00 America’s Lost Sub 08:00 Russia: Land Of The Tsars 09:00 Cities Of The Underworld 10:00 I Am Alive: Surviving The Andes Crash 12:00 Lifeboat Heroes 13:00 America’s Lost Sub 14:00 Russia: Land Of The Tsars 15:00 Cities Of The Underworld 16:00 I Am Alive: Surviving The Andes Crash 18:00 Lifeboat Heroes 19:00 America’s Lost Sub 20:00 Pub Dig 21:00 Pawn Stars 21:30 Pawn Stars 22:00 MysteryQuest 23:00 Conspiracy?

Classifieds SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2012




Time 0:01 0:10 0:20 0:35 0:45 0:50 0:55 1:45 2:15 2:35 2:40 2:55 3:00 3:05 3:10 3:10 3:15 4:40 5:15 5:30 6:00 6:20 6:40 6:45 7:40 7:45 7:50 7:55 8:00 8:05 8:30 9:00 9:05 9:15 9:20 9:40 9:55 10:30 10:45 11:10 11:20 11:35 11:45 11:55 12:35 12:45 12:55 13:00 13:20 13:25 13:25 13:45 13:50 14:05 14:20 14:30 14:40 14:45 14:50 15:00 15:00 15:15 15:25 16:10 16:45 16:50 16:55 17:05 17:15 17:20 17:35 17:40 17:45 18:10 18:15 18:40 18:50 19:05 19:10 19:15 19:25 19:30 19:35 19:50 20:00 20:10 20:15 20:30 20:50 20:55 21:00 21:15 21:20 21:25 21:35 21:40 21:45 21:55 22:00 22:05 22:05 22:45 23:00 23:35 23:50



Time 0:40 0:45 0:45 0:50 1:00 1:20 1:55 1:55 2:40 2:45 3:15 3:30 3:30 3:45 3:50 3:55 4:00 4:00 4:55 6:55 7:00 7:10 7:30 8:25 8:40 8:55 9:00 9:00 9:05 9:25 9:30 9:35 9:40 9:45 10:00 10:00 10:05 10:10 10:25 10:40 10:40 10:45 11:25 11:45 12:00 12:10 12:15 12:30 12:35 12:50 12:55 13:35 13:40 13:50 13:55 14:20 14:35 14:45 15:05 15:20 15:25 15:25 15:35 15:45 15:50 15:50 16:15 16:25 16:30 17:15 17:35 17:40 17:45 17:50 18:10 18:15 18:20 18:25 18:35 18:45 19:05 19:10 19:20 19:55 20:20 20:40 21:00 21:05 21:10 21:15 21:50 21:55 22:00 22:20 22:25 22:30 22:35 22:45 22:45 22:50 23:00 23:30 23:35 23:45 23:55 23:59

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (

ACCOMMODATION Sharing furnished single room available in 2 BR/2 bath flat at Farwaniya for a Muslim working lady. Contact: 90027245. (C 3833) Sharing accommodation available for decent couple or working ladies 2 BHK CA/C flat in Sharq, near Amiri hospital. Contact: 99898824. (C 3835) One big central A/C room available in Benaid Al-Gar, near Al-Salam hospital for decent working ladies. (Rent KD 100). Please call only interested genuine people. Contact: 97879611. (C 3836) 21-1-2012 Sharing accommodation available for decent Indian Christian bachelor or couple next to Salmiya garden. Cable TV, landline facility available. Contact 66884273, afternoon 2:30: 25657832. (C 3829) 16-1-2012

FOR SALE Toyota Corolla, model 2012, golden color 1.6 engine, km done 2400, CD, price KD 3950. Contact: 66396517. (C 3838) Honda - CRV 2006, registration 2007, 55,000 km, color: Titanium beige, serviced by Honda, excellent condition, 6 CD changer sun roof, one lady owner. Price KD 3,500, not negotiable. Contact: 99545520. (C 3837) 22-1-2012 Bedroom furniture for sale as good as new. Call 97564891 - 24357201. (C 3834) 21-1-2012 Toyota Camry 2007 model GLX, silver color, excellent condition very law mileage with interior wooden CD player, fog lamp, rear sensor, remote key etc, wanted price KD 3450. Contact: 60099305. (C 3830) 17-1-2012 Internet for sale, 3 DSL service for ready use, 3 months for KD 25, 1 Mbps speed and subscription periods with the ability to upgrade any time, valid before 29 February 2012. Contact: 66203674. Email: (C 3825) 15-1-2012 Mitsubishi Gallant 1998 for sale. Passing till November 2012. Owner wants to leave Kuwait for good. Please call

66372366. Mitsubishi Nativa 2008, 66564 km, black color, excellent condition, KD 3,560/-, negotiable. Contact: 60306273. (C 3827) 14-1-2012 Toyota Corolla 2012 model, gray color, alloys wheel, sensor, mileage 5000km, under warranty 3 years, price KD 4,950/-. Contact: 55522942. (C 3818)

MATRIMONIAL Parents settled in US invite proposals for their daughter age 27 5”3”, completed Bachelors degree, doing Masters in Physio-Therapy in USA. Currently on vacation to Kerala, on short visit in Kuwait (Jan 21st to 25th) invite proposals from Christian parents of Doctors/MPharm/Engineer. Contact: (C 3831) Parents settled in US invite proposals for their daughter age 27 5”4”, completed BPharm from India, doing MD, residency/rotation in New York. Currently on vacation to Kerala, on short visit in Kuwait (Jan 21st to 25th) invite proposals from Christian parents of Doctors/MPharm/Engineer. Contact: (C 3832) 17-1-2012

No: 15336

TUITION Business management teacher with doctoral degree for universities, institutions, corporate & all student levels. Over 10 years experience. Call 66495951. (C 3817) Business management teacher with doctoral degree for universities, institutions, corporate & all student levels. Over 10 years experience. Call 66495951. (C 3817) 16-1-2012 Mathematics teacher, Intermediate and secondar y 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, Administrative, American, English, Australian, Bahrain, Electric and Gulf Sciences, Algbra Prel, Mathematics, intermediate, gmat, sat college, math98, 110 pre calculus geometry. 97619261 Senior Biology teacher for secondary stage. Biology for University students and foreign schools, sciences of

intermediate stage and 10th grade physics. A Syrian Arabic language teacher. Masters in methods of teaching and follow up of 10th grade and 11th grade students. 97934291 A Syrian Arabic Language teacher. Masters, for secondary, intermediate, religious institution, universities, and establishment of the elementary stage using the Aleppo method “the alphabet then the word”. 50513599 Islamic education teacher for elementary and intermediate stages. Experienced in Kuwait curricula. Easy explanation, and summary of the subject, training for exams. 66292985

SITUATION WANTED Accountant: young, smart, first class B.Com graduate, knowing Peachtree and Tally Accounting Software with 2 years experience in Kuwait looking for suitable job as Accountant. Contact: 65179245. (C 3828) SITUATION VACANT Required house cook, Indian nationality - male, attractive salary. Contact: 99062666. (C 3822) 15-1-2012



s ta rs CROSSWORD 565


STAR TRACK Aries (March 21-April 19) The energies now are best applied out-of-doors; engaging in activities that are both carefree and pleasant with friends and relatives. This may be a true hearts and flowers day, filled with joyous and harmonious feelings. A new friendship or romance started today has a bright and long future. If emotional fences need mending, this is a good day for the task because you are in a truly mellow mood. Try a little potpourri or scented candles to maintain that relaxed state this afternoon. Until the middle of February, your time alone is well spent. Perhaps you will be writing a book, practicing your talent or even shopping. Your social calendar is gradually filling up—there are plans in the works for a big social event soon.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. The part of the nervous system of vertebrates that controls involuntary actions of the smooth muscles and heart and glands. 4. Someone who takes the place of another (as when things get dangerous or difficult). 10. The seventh and last day of the week. 13. Resinlike substance secreted by certain lac insects. 14. Type genus of the Anhimidae. 15. An independent agency of the United States government responsible for collecting and coordinating intelligence and counterintelligence activities abroad in the national interest. 16. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 17. African tree having an exceedingly thick trunk and fruit that resembles a gourd and has an edible pulp called monkey bread. 18. A constellation in the southern hemisphere near Telescopium and Norma. 19. The capital and largest city of Yemen. 21. A rare heavy polyvalent metallic element that resembles manganese chemically and is used in some alloys. 22. Flat-topped or rounded inflorescence characteristic of the family Umbelliferae in which the individual flower stalks arise from about the same point. 24. Type genus of the family Arcidae. 26. A Chinese god worshipped in the form of an idol. 29. A Loloish language. 34. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 36. Mild yellow Dutch cheese made in balls. 37. The elementary stages of any subject (usually plural). 38. A family of fish in the order Zeomorphi. 41. 1/10 gram. 43. A belt-shaped region in the heavens on either side to the ecliptic. 44. Someone who engages in arbitrage (who purchases securities in one market for immediate resale in another in the hope of profiting from the price differential). 46. A unit of dry measure used in Egypt. 47. American professional baseball player who hit more home runs than Babe Ruth (born in 1934). 51. Any of numerous local fertility and nature deities worshipped by ancient Semitic peoples. 55. A white linen liturgical vestment with sleeves. 59. A fencing sword similar to a foil but with a heavier blade. 60. (informal) Of the highest quality. 61. For military personnel (especially in a private home). 63. Either extremity of something that has length. 64. Experiencing or showing sorrow or unhappiness. 65. Agreement with a statement or proposal to do something. 66. A negative. DOWN 1. By bad luck. 2. Kamarupan languages spoken in northeastern India and western Burma. 3. The act of scanning. 4. An imaginary elephant that appears in a series of French books for children. 5. (Irish) Mother of the ancient Irish gods. 6. A stately Protestant (especially Lutheran) hymn tune. 7. Ulcerated chilblain on the heel. 8. A benevolent aspect of Devi. 9. Any substance that can be used as food. 10. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 11. A river in northern England that flows southeast through West Yorkshire. 12. An official language of the Republic of South Africa. 20. An associate degree in applied science. 23. A unit of weight equivalent to 1000 kilograms. 25. God of wealth and love. 27. A spread made chiefly from vegetable oils and used as a substitute for butter. 28. Being the one previously mentioned or spoken of. 30. A condition (mostly in boys) characterized by behavioral and learning disorders. 31. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 32. The compass point that is one point east (clockwise) of due north. 33. Fiddler crabs. 35. A flat-bottomed volcanic crater that was formed by an explosion. 39. The face of a timepiece. 40. Periodic shedding of the cuticle in arthropods or the outer skin in reptiles. 42. Lower in esteem. 45. The network in the reticular formation that serves an alerting or arousal function. 48. Cause to ripen. 49. A chronic disease of the nose characterized by a foulsmelling nasal discharge and atrophy of nasal structures. 50. Poor enough to need help from others. 52. Type genus of the Alcidae comprising solely the razorbill. 53. In bed. 54. A primeval personification of air and breath. 56. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 57. A caustic detergent useful for removing grease. 58. Fermented alcoholic beverage similar to but heavier than beer. 62. (astronomy) A measure of time defined by Earth's orbital motion.

Yesterday’s Solution

Your creative juices are flowing, ready to be applied to the work at hand. If you give your best effort now, considerable success may follow and you may unconsciously help a close friend through your efforts. This is the time to make yourself available to friends and family. This is also a time to get to know someone better. You create pleasant surroundings in the home and people enjoy visiting with you. Shared activities that take place at this time should be successful. The need for emotional security is accented at this time—though you should not pressure a partner into doing things just to please and satisfy you. You have a generous and warm mood that makes you popular in social circles and melts even the coldest heart.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) Mental endeavors are favored today, as is communication with friends and loved ones. Avoid being inflexible. A community program is on your mind. You have been asked to involve yourself before, but now you may decide the time is right for you to become active in this community project. This evening may be more of a time of inner reflection. You may very well spend the day thinking about past accomplishments and future plans. Spending time with a close friend or relative and confiding in him or her could prove beneficial. You certainly appreciate your friends and family and are willing to do some special favor for them that will show them just how you feel. Do not force a commitment from a loved one this evening.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)


Your nature is usually calm—you take a serious attitude to just about all aspects of your life. This is an excellent time to sit down alone and plan where you want to place your energies for the next few weeks. Also, this is a great day to dive in and lend a helping hand to a good friend. This is a time of reflection—perhaps on the direction of your life. You are filled with a great desire to set goals and plan your successes. You are apt to spend a great deal of time communicating with co-workers and people outside of work just now. This is a time of sudden personal growth that corresponds to changes in your romantic life as well. It would be good to pull closer to a loved one, or perhaps a time to start a new love relationship. Go out and witness the splendor of nature.

Leo (July 23-August 22)


If you have been considering a new business venture, today is an excellent day to begin the plans. It is also a good day for travel. Your communication skills are at their peak and ideas that need expression or paperwork that needs finishing can be handled efficiently. You could be a bit impulsive and restless at this time. Avoid big changes and give yourself plenty of time to think through new ideas. Rash decisions may prove unfortunate. This is a most favorable time for working in groups, particularly in soliciting the aid of friends in a pet project. You feel genuine warmth and affection for all of your loved ones—especially the kids. If you cannot find a party, set one up yourself—careful, you may be tempted to overspend or overindulge. Keep it simple.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) This is a good time to work on a personal project, perhaps a large or complicated project. You will surely be able to elicit the help of people if there is a need. A variety of things have your attention. You organize yourself to uncover a mystery or work a puzzle, etc. You work quickly and well by yourself, so do not complain if others have not come around to help . . . you can take the praise later and praise there will be. This also marks a time when you should enjoy a great amount of attention. Perhaps a friend will want you to help him or her with some projects. This evening is a time when you could be tempted to make promises but it is not a smart thing to do as you may later want to break your promises.

Libra (September 23-October 22)


Communicating with friends and colleagues should be direct and to the point. Say what you mean and leave it at that. This could be a wonderful time of inner reflection. You may spend much of this day thinking about finishing unfinished plans. Spending time with a close friend or relative could prove beneficial. Now marks a time when relations with a spouse or business partner are on solid ground. Expressing affection should come easily and can do positive things for your disposition. This time promises to create exciting times between partners! Romance is highlighted and perhaps a vacation can be planned. A close friend, loved one, partner, etc., is looking forward to gaining your attention and might cheerfully help with the funds for a trip.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) For you, the elements may encourage an insightful day. Your creative talents should be easy to find. Family members or a friend may want to join you in your creative endeavors. You mix well with others at this time. You have a clear picture of friends’ feelings and should not hesitate to make your own needs known. This could include your wishes for their future plans as well. Relationships can only improve with your willingness to include, help and guide others. Also, this is a time when you seek intellectual stimulation in both love life, social and leisure activities. Giving flowers or some other token of your esteem to a loved one under this energy will bring rich rewards. You will have much success as a cook this evening—play dress-up—a little wine?

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Opportunities arise this morning to be with your sports-minded friends. There is not only a desire for outdoor, physical activity at this time, but there will most likely be ample opportunities to partake in it. You strive for domestic happiness and may include your friend, family member or a loved one into your activities today. This afternoon you may feel that something is missing in your life. It may be time to evaluate and find the balance between the many ways your life is divided. By teaching yourself ways in which you can gain a balance in your life, you will be teaching another to do the same. This is a good time to teach a young person how to achieve that balance. Also, love is in full bloom and it’s a good time to fully demonstrate your affections.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) Your energies are high today and anything you set out to do will have successful end results. Completing the household errands early would be a good idea. You should take every opportunity to get outside and enjoy the natural world. When it comes to relationships, demanding what you want could lead to frustrations and ill feelings. You are feeling festive and desirous of enjoying a good time with friends and family. Communicating with long-distance associates and engaging in social functions with close friends is enhanced. This is a time of selfconfidence and good cheer. This may lead to a fun, productive day, but it could just as well lead to a day of extravagance. Take note, be aware and stay in a positive frame of mind.

Yesterday’s Solution Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Today you may see all the trees but somehow you miss the forest. You are acutely aware of precise details, but may be too cautious to extend them to a wider conclusion. If, however, you have already outlined the big picture, this is an excellent time to work out details. You may notice the negatives but you are determined to find the brighter side of a situation or person and you are an influence to others. Do not become preoccupied with one idea and accept it as gospel. Considering all sides may be a good step to take at this time. It is good that you have an open mind to a friend’s quirks. It’s best to take it easy this evening and let others have their way. You may be wise to bury your head in a book or take a little time to work on a hobby.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Word Sleuth Solution

There is tremendous mental energy available for you now. Take care to avoid being temperamental and touchy. If you channel this energy carefully, you can be very influential. Communication comes easily. You make all details clear. No one should misunderstand anything you say. This is a great day to pay bills, clean up paperwork, write letters, balance your checkbook and make phone calls; your phone will probably be ringing anyway. Also, make sure you have complete information before gambling with an investment. There is an interest in religion and philosophy—with many questions being raised about mysterious topics like your purpose in life. Talk among friends is usually fun at this time. If there is a party, go and enjoy.



e niv rsar n





Tel.: T el.: e 161


Fax: 24348714 WWW .MET.GOV V.KW . W WWW.MET.GOV.KW


Ministry of Interior

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


Very V ery e co cold old with moderate to fresh north n westerly wind, with spe speed eed of 25 - 45 km/h with dec decreasing creasing in visibility duee to blowing dust


Dust will w subside gradually with moderate m to fresh north weste erly wind, with speed of 20 - 45 km/h westerly






10 °C

06 °C



10 °C

04 °C

Amiri Hospital



19 °C C

05 °C C

Maternity Hospital



11 1 1 °C

04 °C

Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital



12 °C

-2 °C

Chest Hospital



11 1 1 °C

-01 °C

Farwaniya Hospital



10 °C

02 °C

Adan Hospital



10 °C

05 °C

Ibn Sina Hospital



09 °C

06 °C

Al-Razi Hospital



11 1 1 °C

10 °C

Physiotherapy Hospital



08 °C

01 °C


Clinics Rabiya






Khaldiya Keifan


Issue T ime Time

Expected Weather Weather for the Next 24 4 Hours


Sabah Hospital

Ext.: 262 2627 27 - 2630


21/01/2012 0000 0 UTC

Temperatures T emperratures DA DATE AT TE







Tuesday Tuesday



Wednesday e Wednesday



Abdullah Salim




MA AX. T emp. MAX. Temp.

19 °C



Sunrise S i

06:42 06 42

MIN. Temp. MI IN T IN. emp.

04 °C

Industrial Shuwaikh



11:59 1 1:59


60 %





Bneid Al-Ghar






Ayoun Al-Kibla










Maidan Hawally












New Jahra


West Jahra


South Jahra


North Jahra


North Jleeb































Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh

















Wind Direction W ind Dir ection

W Wind ind Speed

very cold

1 1 °C 11

01 °C


15 - 38 km/h


ouds cold + scattered clo clouds

13 °C

02 °C


10 - 30 km/h


cold + scattered clo ouds clouds

14 °C

03 °C


15 - 35 km/h



14 °C

04 °C


06 - 22 km/h






MA AX. W ind MAX. Wind




unless All times are local time un nless otherwise stated.

22434064 22435865 22544200 22547133 22515277 22616662 25714406 22530801


23 %

Asr Sunset

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

NW W 57 km/h

about the Civil ID card is 1889988

.03 mm

21/01/12 03:17 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

25726265 25647075 22625999 22564549 25340559 25326554 25721264 25380581 25628241

Kuwait Airways Jazeera Airways Jet Airways FlyDubai Qatar Airways KLM Air Slovakia Olympic Airways Royal Jordanian Reservation British Airways Air France Emirates Air India Sri Lanka Airlines Egypt Air Swiss Air Saudia Middle East Airlines Lufthansa PIA Alitalia Balkan Airlines Bangladesh Airlines Czech Airlines Indian Airlines Oman Air Turkish Airlines Aeroflot

171 177 22924455 22414400 22423888 22425747 22434940 22420002/9 22418064/5/6 22433388 22425635 22430224 22921555 22438184 22424444 22421578 22421516 22426306 22423073 22422493 22421044 22414427 22416474 22452977/8 22417901/ 2433141 22456700 22958787 22453820/1 22404838/9

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


Plastic Surgeons Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalaf


Dr. Khaled Hamadi

Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari


Dr. Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rashed

Dr. Abdel Quttainah


Family Doctor Dr Divya Damodar


Psychiatrists Dr. Esam Al-Ansari


Dr Eisa M. Al-Balhan


Gynaecologists & Obstetricians DrAdrian arbe


Dr. Verginia s.Marin

2572-6666 ext 8321


25665898 25340300

Dr. Zahra Qabazard


Dr. Sohail Qamar


Dr. Snaa Maaroof


Dr. Pradip Gujare


Dr. Zacharias Mathew


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



Dr. Fozeya Ali Al-Qatan


Dr. Majeda Khalefa Aliytami


Dr. Shamah Al-Matar


Dr. Ahmad Al-Khooly


Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed


Dr. Salem soso


Dr. Abidallah Al-Amer


Dr. Faysal Al-Fozan


Dr. Abdallateef Al-Katrash


Dr. Abidallah Al-Duweisan


Dr. Bader Al-Ansari


Dr. Amer Zawaz Al-Amer


Dr. Mohammad Yousef Basher


Internists, Chest & Heart Dr. Adnan Ebil


Dr. Mousa Khadada


Dr. Latefa Al-Duweisan


Dr. Nadem Al-Ghabra


Dr. Mobarak Aldoub


Dr Nasser Behbehani


Soor Center Tel: 2290-1677 Fax: 2290 1688

Dr. Abd Al-Naser Al-Othman


Neurologists Dr. Sohal Najem Al-Shemeri


Dr. Jasem Mola Hassan


Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman


Dr. Mohammad Al-Shamaly


Dr. Foad Abidallah Al-Ali


Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa, Ph.D. 2290-1677 Susannah-Joy Schuilenberg, M.A. 2290-1677


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


Dr. Musaed Faraj Khamees


Rheumatologists: Dr. Adel Al-Awadi

Dr Anil Thomas

General Surgeons



Dr. Khaled Al-Jarallah


Internist, Chest & Heart DR.Mohammes Akkad

24555050 Ext 210

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


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

Afghanistan Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antiga Argentina Armenia Australia Austria Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia Botswana Brazil Brunei Bulgaria Burkina Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands

0093 00355 00213 00376 00244 001264 001268 0054 00374 0061 0043 001242 00973 00880 001246 00375 0032 00501 00229 001441 00975 00591 00387 00267 0055 00673 00359 00226 00257 00855 00237 001 00238 001345

Central African Chad Chile China Colombia Comoros Congo Cook Islands Costa Rica Croatia Cuba Cyprus Cyprus (Northern) Czech Republic Denmark Diego Garcia Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador England (UK) Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia

00236 00235 0056 0086 0057 00269 00242 00682 00506 00385 0053 00357 0090392 00420 0045 00246 00253 001767 001809 00593 0020 00503 0044 00240 00291 00372 00251 00500 00298 00679 00358 0033 00594 00689





M o v i e s

Wealthy hit the skids in Sundance docu ‘Versailles’ L

Filmmaker Lauren Greenfield and documentary subject Jacqueline Siegel, right, pose together at the opening night premiere of “The Queen of Versailles” at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. —AP photos

auren Greenfield’s Sundance Film Festival entry “The Queen of Versailles” tells the story of every American in danger of losing a home amid the economic crisis. The difference is that the home in question was a 90,000-square-foot mansion inspired by the excesses of France’s Palace of Versailles. Greenfield’s documentary chronicles the financial success of Florida time-share condominium entrepreneur David Siegel and his wife, Jackie, who set out to build the largest house in America at the height of the real-estate bubble. When the bubble burst, the Siegels had the same rude awakening as millions of others: They had been living easy on borrowed money they now could not repay. One of the openingnight films Thursday at the Sundance showcase for independent cinema, “Queen of Versailles” presents an intimate portrait of the Siegels’ extreme wealth and the hard fall they took as the markets crashed and money dried up in 2008. “It is a metaphor for what we have all gone through in the economic crisis, and that’s what was really compelling to me about the story,” Greenfield said in an interview Friday. “It’s not a reality show, it’s not a gotcha on the 1 percent. It’s really looking at their life in the big, kind of epic size that it is, and having that be a window in which to kind of think about what happened to us all.” Greenfield, a photographer whose debut documentary “Thin” premiered at Sundance in 2006, met Jackie Siegel at a photo shoot for fashion designer Donatella Versace. Siegel, who says in the film that she used to spend $1 million a year on clothes, was one of Versace’s best customers, and she and

Brooks chokes uptestifying C

ountry singer Garth Brooks told jurors Friday that he believed he had a “done deal” to honor his late mother with a women’s health center in his Oklahoma hometown, and said he still doesn’t understand how he received nothing for a $500,000 gift. Brooks is suing Integris Canadian Valley Regional Hospital in Yukon, accusing it and its president of reneging on a pledge to build the center and name it after his mother, Colleen, who died of cancer in 1999. The center was never built, and Brooks wants his money back, plus punitive damages. In tearful testimony, Brooks said he thought he had a solid agreement with the hospital’s president, James Moore. Brooks said Moore initially suggested putting his mother’s name on an intensive care unit, and when Brooks said that wouldn’t fit her image, Moore suggested a women’s center. “I jumped all over it,” Brooks told jurors. “It’s my mom. My mom was pregnant as a teenager. She had a rough start. She wanted to help every kid out there.” Brooks said he gave $500,000 to the hospital anonymously, which he said was his custom when giving to charities. The singer said he, his family and the hospital wanted to keep things quiet until a ribbon-cutting ceremony to announce the center. He was eventually shown architectural drawings of a proposed center bearing his

mother’s name. “That’s why I thought it was a win-win for everybody,” Brooks said. But nothing happened. The center was never built and his mother’s name wasn’t attached to anything. “How this thing went wrong, I don’t know,” Brooks testified. “I’m

the last of six kids. I was her favorite,” Brooks added. “She was my buddy. I was her biggest fan. She was a pistol. All of the parties were at her house. She was just a doll. If anybody met her, (they) would have gotten to love her.” Moore testified earlier

Greenfield hit it off right away. As Siegel described her life - flying with her eight children on a private jet, building the biggest home in the country Greenfield realized the family was an ideal subject for her long-term photographic project on wealth. Greenfield visited the Siegels to shoot photographs and eventually convinced them to let her document their lives and the construction of the house on film. The documentary starts out like a twist on “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” revealing the splendor of the 26,000-square-foot home the Siegels occupied and the gaudy grandeur of the palace they were building that would be nearly four times bigger. Greenfield examines the family business, including its crown jewel, a new time-share tower in Las Vegas, and traces the self-made couple’s humble origins before rising to wealth. When the economy went sour, the Siegels allowed Greenfield to continue her shoot. The film follows them down as they are forced to sell assets, fire employees, fight to avoid foreclosure on their unfinished mansion and struggle to hold onto the Vegas tower. The marriage grows shaky as the Siegels fight over money. Jackie is unable to rein herself in on a colossal Wal-Mart spending spree, while David balls out the family for leaving all the lights on and threatens to let the power company cut off their electricity. Jackie Siegel attended the Sundance premiere, but her husband did not. David Siegel is suing Greenfield and the Sundance festival, claiming materials used to promote the documentary are defamatory. Greenfield said she could not comment about the lawsuit. The indulgence

about hospital gift this week that a women’s center was not among the hospital’s plans, though Brooks testified Friday that Moore never told him that while they were negotiating a gift. The singer donated the money in 2005. Three years later, he exchanged emails with Moore after the hospital president wrote saying the money would be used to help fund new construction, Brooks said. “As nicely as I can, I’m trying to give him an opportunity to say why he’s spending the money and there’s no women’s center going up,” Brooks testified. Brooks said he sent his accountant to investigate, but that nothing came from the ongoing correspondence. By March 2009, he’d asked the hospital to either refund his money or give it to another charity. In September 2009, Brooks sued. “I thought this was going to be mom’s chance to bring a women’s center to my hometown,” Brooks testified. Brooks’ accountant, Cheryl Harris, testified earlier Friday that she wasn’t aware of any conditions on Brooks’ donation, which was listed as a tax deduction. Asked by Integris lawyer Terry Thomas how she believed the money would be used, she said, “He didn’t receive anything physical.”—AP

Garth Brooks rubs his brow while talking to reporters after a day of testimony in a breach-of-promise trial at the Rogers County Courthouse. —AP

Viral video spoofs the, er, stuff New Yorkers say H

This image courtesy of Mindy Tucker shows comedians Eliot, left, and Ilana Glazer as they pose for a photograph in New York. —AP

ip young New Yorkers hate waiting for the subway. They wouldn’t be caught dead near tourist sites and couldn’t care less if a celebrity walked by. They’re snobby about what they read, even snobbier about what they eat, stick to their own borough, and call the most minuscule bedrooms “huge.” And there’s something else: Some don’t take kindly to being reduced to a cultural stereotype. That’s what Eliot and Ilana Glazer, brother-sister bloggers, comics and native New Yorkers, have discovered since their video, “Stuff New Yorkers Say” (no, the word isn’t really “Stuff”) has gone viral in the last couple days. Turns out, one of the things New Yorkers like to say is: “We don’t say THAT!” But there’s been lots of positive feedback, too, and all the attention has stunned the Glazers, who posted the video on Wednesday night, hoping for some buzz but not expecting well over a million YouTube views (about 1.3 million as of late Friday). “It’s really bonkers,” Eliot Glazer, 28, said in a telephone interview. The video, inspired by a current Internet meme on what all sorts of groups of people say, is simple enough. In it, the Glazers and friends converse the way young New Yorkers would (or wouldn’t, depending on whom you ask.) There are a few distinct themes. Impatience: “Where is the train? Where is the TRAIN?” (There have been comments posted that while people in New York think this, they don’t actually stand on the platform saying it.) Exclusivity: “Nobody knows about this place.” Culinary exclusivity: “All I had today was a bagel.” Or “Ah, Momofuku!” a reference to the group of restaurants headed by hip young chef David Chang. Culinary snobbery: “Ah, Magnolia!” a reference to the cupcakes made famous by “Sex

of the Siegels’ lives seems absurd, sparking hearty laughter at times from the Sundance audience at the film’s premiere. David Siegel proudly proclaims that his reason for building his immense house is simply “because I can,” while Jackie Siegel is shown dutifully trying to cut back on expenses by flying commercial and renting her own car, then learning to her surprise at the Hertz leasing counter that the vehicle doesn’t come with a driver. Yet despite their wealth and privilege, the Siegels are sympathetic figures. The strain of trying to hold his empire together becomes apparent on David Siegel’s face as his interviews with Greenfield progress. Jackie Siegel visits an old friend in danger of losing her own modest house to foreclosure and sends her $5,000 to help fend off the bankers. “It’s got a human element that I think is unexpected for the viewers going in. I think they thought it was going to be a look at the rich or this kind of reality-show craziness about the building of the biggest house in America, and it starts that way and takes you in, and then takes you on this other path that’s really about looking at the American dream - both its virtues and its flaws, and how we all got caught up in that,” Greenfield said. “I remember David said to me in one of the interviews - I keep thinking about this, and maybe I should have put it in the movie - he said, ‘Money doesn’t make you happy. You just can be miserable in a better part of town.’” —AP

and the City” - followed by a sour face, because the cupcakes aren’t very hip. Celebrity fatigue: “Sarah Jessica Parker! Oh, who cares.” Disdain for tourists: “Who goes to the Statue of Liberty?”“Who goes to the Empire State Building?”“Move! Move!” (walking down the street behind slowpokes.) “I hate tourists!” That last theme, Glazer explains, is not to be taken literally. “New Yorkers are actually very kind to tourists,” he says. Another thing people are taking too literally, according to Glazer: The derisive comments about boroughs other than Manhattan, as in “I don’t go to Queens,” and “I don’t do Brooklyn.” In fact, Glazer was born in Queens, grew up on Long Island, and now lives in Brooklyn, as does his sister - a writer and comic whose Web series, “Broad City,” is in development for the FX network. Especially funny, Glazer says, is unwarranted speculation online that the Glazers aren’t even from New York. But he says he doesn’t read comments on YouTube: “It’s just a pool of negativity.”“This is satire,” he says. “We intended it to be a satire of what it means to be young and semi-spoiled in New York.” The video was shot and edited in about two weeks. “I was worried we were past the expiration date of the meme,” Glazer says. He and his sister posted it to their Facebook accounts, and “within two hours it was insane - the comments, the sharing,” he says. “It was mind-blowing how quickly it took off.” What’s clear from the video is that its creators love the city, despite its hardships. Love-hate relationship with New York: “I love it here. “I hate it here. “I love it here.”—AP

Mary J Blige to pen song for Sundance documentary


ary J Blige is lending her support - and her voice to a documentary showing at the Sundance Film Festival about sexual assault in the US military. Blige attended the Friday world premiere of “The Invisible War.” Producer Amy Ziering says the multiple Grammy winner would write an original song for the film after the Sundance festival. Blige’s song, “Need Someone,” plays over the closing credits of the film. Written and directed by Kirby Dick, “The Invisible War” examines the trauma suffered by female and male victims of rape at the hands of their military colleagues and the difficulty they have in prosecuting their attackers. Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, US Rep Jackie Speier, Lt Gov Gavin Newsom and US Rep Mike Turner of Ohio also attended the premiere. —AP

Danes wins pudding pot from Harvard drama group


olden Globe winner Claire Danes will be picking up a pudding pot from Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals. The student group named Danes on Friday as its Woman of the Year. She’ll get a parade and a roast Jan 26. Danes won her third Golden Globe on Sunday for her role as CIA agent Carrie Mathison on Showtime’s new “Homeland.” She won a Golden Globe, an Emmy and a Screen Actors Guild award last year for her work in HBO’s “Temple Grandin.” The 32-year-old gained attention at 15 when she won her first Golden Globe and an Emmy nomination for “My So Called Life.” Julianne Moore won the Harvard club’s award last year. The Man of the Year will be announced next week and honored Feb. 3. Jay Leno won last year. —AP





M o v i e s

‘Broken cameras’ catch human view of Palestine village


alestinian filmmaker Emad Burnat spent five years filming his village’s resistance to Israeli settlers-and brought his intimate but powerful documentary to the Sundance film festival. Codirected with Israeli Guy Davidi, “5 broken cameras” was shown in competition on the first weekend of the world-renowned independent film festival, which runs until January 29 in the US ski resort of Park City, Utah. The West Bank village of Bilin, some 10 kilometers (6 miles) west of Ramallah, made headlines when its inhabitants demonstrated in 2005 against an Israeli settlement on their land. The same year Burnat, an oliver picker, received a small camera as a gift for the birth of his fourth child. He rapidly developed from family home movies to filming the resistance of Bilin. “Emad .. started filming what was happening, but he didn’t think about

making a film,” Davidi, who met the Palestinian in 2005 when he was making a film about the West Bank and the problem of water. “It took a long time, for what he said, until he started thinking of making a film with the footage he got.” It was only in 2009 that Emad called him saying he wanted to make a documentary out of his footage, even though many films had already been made on the subject. “I had the feeling that we could do a film from his point of view if we could use the footage that he had shot in a very personal way,” said Davidi. Emad agreed to the idea-a courageous decision, said the Israeli. “He took a big risk in revealing himself. For a Palestinian, to make a personal and intimate movie, filming his wife, or himself, fragile and vulnerable when he’s arrested, for example, is very delicate,” he said. The result is powerful both narratively

and emotionally, as he reveals the intimate link between his personal life and events in Bilin-his brothers’ arrest, the death of one of his brothers under Israeli fire, his own arrest, his wife’s reproaches, or the daily risks to film protests. Risks illustrated by the title of the film itself: he needed five cameras, all of them destroyed during rallies or in clashes with the Israeli armed forces, to make the whole movie.”For Emad, filming is a way to survive and to keep going. The minute we begin to do the film, I knew that it would be a film about persistence,” said Davidi. While there are lots of footage of the violence of the Israeli Defense Forces set against peaceful resistance by villagers, “we didn’t want to create a picture just manipulated to some kind of ideology,” he said.”We had to confront all of the events that are part of a human life.”So for example Israeli soldiers are show evacuating

Emad to an Israeli hospital. “In that sense, these soldiers saved Emad’s life. If you ask Emad, he will tell you there is nothing personal (against) the the soldiers. “Some of them can be very violent, and some of them can be kind.” And he said: “I’m not optimistic or pessimistic. I don’t have unrealistic expectations. I think there are many undercurrents in Israeli society that can surprise anyone, that are very important.”This is how I feel. There are many people, emotionally, that are on the verge of changing completely their views. I am sure that there will be a window of opportunity for change.”But what will happen during that window, that’s the big question.”—AFP

James’ passion, great range remembered


n her last album “The Dreamer,” released just three months before her death, Etta James sings a mix of covers, from the R&B classic “Misty Blue” to the Ray Charles song “In the Evening.” But perhaps the most curious tune included on the disc may be the Guns N’ Roses staple “Welcome to the Jungle.” That a 73-year-old icon of R&B would tackle the frenetic rock song - albeit in a pace more fitting her blues roots might seem odd. But the song may be the best representation of James as both a singer and a person - rambunctious in spirit, with the ability to sing whatever was thrown at her, whether it was jazz, blues, pining R&B or a song from one of the rowdiest bands in rock. “She was able to dig so deep in kind of such a raw and unguarded place when she sang, and that’s the power of gospel and blues and rhythm and blues. She brought that to all those beautiful standards and rocks songs that she did. All the number of vast albums she recorded, she covered such a wide variety of material that brought such unique phrasing and emotional depth,” said Bonnie Raitt, a close friend, in an interview on Friday afternoon after James’ death. “I think that’s what appealed to people, aside from the fact that her personality on and off the stage was so huge and irrepressible. She was ribald and raunchy and dignified, classy and strong and vulnerable all at the same time, which is what us as women really relate to.” James, whose signature song was the sweeping, jazz-tinged torch song “At Last,” died in Los Angeles from complications of leukemia. Her death came after she struggled with dementia and other health problems, health issues that kept her from performing for the last two or so years of her life. It was a life full of struggles. Her mother was immersed in a criminal life and left her to be raised by friends, she never knew her true father (though she believed it was billiards great Minnesota Fats), and she had her own troubles, which included a decades-long addiction to drugs, turbulent relationships, brushes with the law, and other tribulations. One might think all of those problems would have weighted down James’ spirit, and her voice, layering it with sadness, or despair. While she certainly could channel depression, anger, and sorrow in song, her voice was defined by its fiery passion: Far from beaten down, James embodied the fight of a woman who managed to claw her way back from the brink, again and again. It’s an attitude that influenced her look as well. Despite the conservative era, she dyed her hair platinum blonde, sending out the signal that she was far from demure, and owning a brassy, sassy attitude. She relished her role as saucy singer, a persona that she celebrated in her private life as well. “In terms of 1950s rhythm and blues stars, she had

kind of a gutsy attitude and she went out there and did what she did, and she was kind of bold ... and it had a huge influence,” she said. “I think her gutsiness and her lack of fear and just her courage (made her special). ... I believe that made her important and memorable.” Beyonce, who played James in the movie “Cadillac Records” about Chess Records, also spoke about her influence on other singers. “I feel like Etta James, first of all, was the first black woman I saw with platinum, blonde hair. She wore her leopard and she wore her sexy silhouette and she didn’t care. She was strong and confident and always Etta James,” said Beyonce in a 2008 interview. James could often be irascible. Ritz remembers when he was working with her on the autobiography, touring with her around the country, one time he approached her with his tape recorder and she barked: “If I see that tape recorder again I’m going to cram it up your (expletive).” But at other times, she’d be effusive and warm and anxious to talk. “Once she did talk, she was always candid and unguarded. She was a free spirit,” Ritz said. While Ritz put her in the category of other greats like Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and Marvin Gaye, she never enjoyed their mainstream success. Though “At Last” has become an enduring classic, there were times when James had to scrounge for work, and while she won Grammys and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, she did not have the riches, the multitude of platinum records or the hits that some of her peers enjoyed. “She at least enjoyed a great resurgence like John Lee Hooker did and B.B. King, (and) has had some great decades of appreciation from new generations around the world,” said Raitt. “There’s no one like her. No one will ever replace Etta.” And Ritz said the lack of commercial success does nothing to diminish her greatness, or her legacy. “Marvin certainly knew it and Ray knew it ... the people who know that she was in that category,” he said. “Whatever the marketplace did or didn’t do or whether her lack of career management didn’t do, it has nothing to do with her talent.” And on Friday, the Queen of Soul was among those who paid tribute to James greatness, calling her “one of the great soul singers of our generation. An American original! “I loved ‘Pushover,’ ‘At Last’ and almost any and everything she recorded! When Etta SUNG, you heard it!” —AP

Muhammad Ali plays a few notes on the piano as singer Etta James looks on.

Etta James performs during the 2006 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans.

File photo shows legendary singer Etta James points to her star after an unveiling ceremony on the Walk of Fame, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. —AP photos


leave Sydney Theatre Company


Indian film stars from left, actresses Rati Pandey, Mitali Nag, actor Shah Rukh Khan and actress Asha Negi pose during a news conference at India’s Zee Cine Awards 2012 in Macau yesterday. —AP

scar-winning Hollywood star Cate Blanchett and playwright husband Andrew Upton are to leave their roles as co-artistic directors of Australia’s most prestigious theatre company. The high-profile couple, who are credited with turning around the Sydney Theatre Company’s finances during their tenure, will step down at the end of 2013. “As they announced at the launch of the 2012 season, it was always their intention to only stay for two terms,” STC chairman David Gonski said in a statement yesterday.” We asked Cate and Andrew to stay on but we respect their decisions to leave in two years’ time to pursue other professional interests.” The couple took over the reins of the country’s largest acting troupe in 2008 and Gonski paid tribute to them. “As coartistic directors and CEOs, with inspirational leadership, Andrew and Cate turned around the STC’s finances and made it a sustainable business while taking it to new artistic heights,” he said. “They are a couple not only of extraordinary talents and profile but they have a strong business sense and a strong financial rigour.” The Sydney Morning Herald said their decision to step aside was due to Blanchett’s overseas film commitments and the pressure of being parents to three young children. —AFP

Cate Blanchett


lifestyle F A S H I O N

Guests receive Fresh product treatments at the VEVO PowerStation SOREL Suite during the 2012 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah on Friday. — AP photos

Guests relax at the Bertolli Meal Soup Chalet.

Swag suites abound at the Sundance Film Festival


here there are celebrities, there is swag, and the Sundance Film Festival is no exception. Nearly a dozen gift suites opened their doors Friday afternoon along the city’s Main Street. Kate Bosworth, Andy Samberg, Emma Roberts and Rashida Jones are among the famous folks who stopped by the VEVO PowerStation SOREL Suite, where they could indulge in moisturizing facials and lip treatments from Fresh cosmetics and outfit their feet in snowready footwear. “I think we belong here,” said Kimberly Barta, global brand director for SOREL snow boots. “It just makes sense.” The company is also offering a 24-hour concierge service that will deliver boots around the clock to stars who can’t stop by the suite. At the Alive Expo Green Pavilion, guests could pick up natural skincare products and handmade handbags by Kenyan artisans from Tembo Trading Co. The Bertolli Meal Soup Chalet served up bowls of hot soup and handed out sunglasses and Lumene skincare products to visitors. Joe Pastorkovich of Lumene said Sundance is the perfect place to introduce the European brand to an American audience. “We’re expanding into the US, and our brand connects well to Park City,” he said. “It’s a good fit because of the naturalness of the product, and we’re unpretentious. This festival is about independent film, and we’re an independent brand.” Italian shoe company Carlo Pazolini also exhibited (and gifted) its wares at the Sundance fest as a means of expanding its market reach.

“We’re a European company launching in the US, so we wanted to get our name out there,” company executive Jennifer Damiano said from the Miami Oasis suite, where she gave away high-end leather shoes and handbags. Guests at the suite were also treated to gluten-free snacks, hair styling by got2B, and cocktails from DiSaronno and Patron. The Miami Oasis is just one part of the brand-heavy T-Mobile Village at the Lift, which

includes McDonald’s McCafe Lounge, the Puma Social Lounge and a temporary Tao nightclub. Actress Blythe Danner stopped by the Fender Music Lodge, which offered live music and swag including Bear Paw boots and Park Lane jewelry. Sundance sponsors HP, Acura, Chase Sapphire and the Sundance Channel also hosted suites along Main Street. Alex Wilson, who produced the VEVO suite, said brands love Sundance because of the

SOREL boots are seen at the VEVO PowerStation SOREL Suite.

Shelrae Jewelry is displayed at the Alive Expo Green Pavilion.

concentrated star power and media presence. “In one location for five days, you can’t get any bigger as far as names and exposure,” he said. “With the heat of Park City, word travels fast.” And the number of branded suites keeps growing, too, much to the chagrin of Sundance Institute founder Robert Redford. He lamented that the success of the festival has attracted what he calls “leveragers” who muddle its mission of nurturing and celebrat-

Germany Fashion Week

Models present creations for fashion brand Minix by designer Eva Lutz at the Fashion Week in Berlin, yesterday. —AP /AFP photos

ing independent film. “They come in with their own agendas to use the festival to piggyback their agendas,” he said. “It’s a free country and there’s nothing we can do about that ... but we have to work harder and harder to point to the fact that this is about the filmmakers. This is about their work and showing their work to you.” Many of the gift suites will close by Monday. The Sundance Film Festival continues through Jan 29.—AP

Models present creations by fashion designer Lilli Jahilo during a show of Baltic designers.


lifestyle F A S H I O N

Models wear creations by Belgium designer Kris Van Assche for Krisvanassche Men’s fall-winter 2012-2013 collection, presented in Paris, Friday. —AP photos

Ninjas, U

workmen invade city at Paris menswear

rban elegance with a twist was the watchword at the autumn-winter menswear shows in Paris on Friday as city suits met workman’s blues, ninja neoprene, luxurious leather and slinky knits. The Belgian designer Kris Van Assche took two “cliches” of menswear-a banker’s suit and labourer’s overalls-as his starting point, combining them to create a look part white- part blue-collar. Slim-fitting black and grey jackets and crisp white shirts were paired with giant-legged pants in bold boilersuit blue, cropped at mid-calf over low, chunky laced boots. “Workers need protective gear, but now with the crisis it is the bankers who need that protection,” Van Assche told reporters backstage following the show at the historic Beaux Arts art school on the south bank of the Seine. Hair slicked back for the city, his models’ heavy shoes suggested a metal-capped boot, with protective sides to their glasses, and tiny backpacks in the same color as their pants clipped to their rear pockets. Wide-leg pants also came as low-slung dungarees, in black, blue or speckled grey wool, worn under a fitted jacket or ample black overcoat. The designer acknowledged an “obvious” Japanese influence-a trend at the Paris shows so far-visible in the wide pant cut, but also in colorful silk scarves folded neatly under the collar in lieu of ties. At Yves Saint Laurent, copious lashings of leather-used from head to toe in hats, coats and gloves-gave the urban-feeling collection, dubbed “Sex and Money”, an ultra-luxurious edge. The French house’s designer Stefano Pilati used leather on a jacket lapels or to highlight pockets. Draped leather collars wrapped the neck and wool overcoats were reinforced with leather shoulder patches. Brazilian designer Gustavo Lins also said he aimed to “refine the male wardrobe”, injecting slinky knitwear and athletic touches with the focus squarely on comfort. Fitting his models in full view, Lins showcased his covetable autumn collection in a historic courtyard in the Marais quarter. Fine-ribbed, draped cardigans in charcoal, black or blood red were paired with beautifully tailored grey suit pants and jackets in light or slate grey, black and deep blue. Likewise, Lins layered a light halter-neck sweater over a slinky long sleeve black top, with suit pants and a strong-shouldered charcoal overcoat. And conversely, he paired luxurious knitted jersey tracksuit-style grey pants with black brogues, a polo neck and a suit jacket, for a look both elegant and athletic. South Korea’s Juun J took the athleticism one step further, sending out urban ninjas whose futuristic wardrobe worked in leather and diving suit neoprene. Clad in closefitting balaclava-topped sweaters, with high cloche-like hats, the models wore outsized coats and thick bulbous jackets, paired with slim grey pants, or high-waisted, deeppocketed wool pants. A mix-and-match approach to fabrics produced a grey wool coat with leather sleeves, or another with geometric neoprene panels, or oversized, rounded biker’s jackets in black and camel cut entirely from neoprene.—AFP

Brazilian designer Gustavo Lins poses with models presenting his creations during the Autumn-Winter 2012/2013 ready-towear men’s fashion collection show. —AP photos


Broken cameras catch human view of Palestine village



The TAIZ Sensorium experience layers composed music and the sounds of nature with rhythms from balls vibrated on arms and placed around the body as a guest inhales aromatherapy essences while lying on customized bed made of flax seed.


large and small bubbling in


industry This undated photo courtesy of Disney shows a mother and child enjoying a family spa treatment at Aulani on Oahu, Hawaii.


rom color therapy and medi-pedis to frigid blizzard rooms and swankier eyebrow bars, fresh trends are surfacing around the world in the $60 billion spa industry, according to an annual forecast. As destination resorts, day spas and beauty salons shake off economic worries, new luxury is playing out in all price ranges through more intimate pairings with healthy fine dining, glamour and child-welcome options, said Susie Ellis, president of the online spa portal SpaFinder. Past trends like wellness pampering and organic treatments haven’t been replaced but are being joined by a broader range of foot healing, multisensory experiences and icy cold therapies, Ellis told reporters recently when she rolled out SpaFinder’s 2012 trends report. Look for more wow, fun and wellness, and for more spa options in Asia, which she said leads the world in industry growth. With more than 100,000 spas worldwide, making sense of often-pricey services can be difficult, along with tracking evidence that they work. A nearly year-old, industryfunded website,, is a small but growing clearinghouse for clinical trials and published research on services ranging from yoga and music therapy to Ayurveda, the ancient holistic system of medicine from India, and “thalassotherapy,” the use of seaweed, algae and other materials from the sea. “You are now moving from not only wellness but to wellness empowerment,” said Dr. Daniel Friedland, an internist and consultant who worked on the site. Helping spa-goers hunt down research is a game changer, especially now that more insurance companies and employers are willing to reimburse them for preventive care, Ellis said. More from the SpaFinder report: Cold and ice: With saunas, steam rooms, Whirlpool baths and rock massages, spas have traditionally used heat to destress and detoxify, but the industry is taking a cue from the Romans, who more than 2,000 years ago finished spa-like experiences with a trip to the “frigidarium.” Look for more ice therapies and cold rooms alternated with hot treatments to reduce pain and inflammation in muscles and joints, Ellis said. At ESPA locations around the world, clients can scoop ice crystals from fountains to rub down after saunas. At the Qua Baths & Spa in Caesars Palace Las Vegas, visitors can head to the “arctic ice room” to sit amid falling snow as a more gentle transition from heat and steam than the usual cold plunge into a pool. The luxury Dolder Grand in Zurich has a room for snowball fights. Visitors to the AquaSpa at the golf resort The Belfry in the UK’s West Midlands can head to the “igloo” room and grab handfuls of ice for rubbing. In February, spa designer Thermarium will introduce touchscreen technology allowing users to choose between light, moderate or blizzard-like snowfalls in cold rooms, SpaFinder said. With cryotherapy, spa-goers in bathing suits wear protective socks, gloves, mouth and ear gear to avoid frostbite in rooms cooled to minus 184 degrees (visits last just moments). The chambers are available at the new Sparkling Hill Resort & Spa in Vernon, British Columbia, and Champneys

Tring Health Resort in Hertfordshire, England. Elite athletes first took up cryotherapy. It’s earned mixed reviews from researchers for relieving pain and ailing muscles, but Mehmet Oz of “The Dr Oz” show recently endorsed it. The first US Cryotherapy Center, a 4,300-square foot facility in Roseville, Calif., opened in April. Color, light, music, vibration: Incorporating them as ambient afterthoughts is nothing new for the spa industry. Now they’re “becoming the main event,” the report said. One innovation is software that creates real-time music, tones, beats

This undated photo courtesy of Coqoon Spa at Indigo Pearl shows bamboo nests at Coqoon Spa at Indigo Pearl in Phuket, Thailand.

This undated photo courtesy of Qua Baths & Spa at Caesars Palace shows the arctic ice room in Las Vegas. and other sounds like wind rustling and rivers to beats generated by a therapist’s movements in tandem with the client’s bodily responses during massages, SpaFinder said. The client leaves with a CD of the “wellbeing music-art” they helped create. The technology, MUUSA, is from Italy and in use at the Tombalo Talasso Resort in Castegneto Carducci in Tuscany. During Aura-Soma, a person chooses four bottles of dualcolored liquid containing oils, flower essences and the “energy” of crystals for a reading of spiritual and emotional wellbeing, complete with a rubdown. Aura-Soma color readings are available in the US at the Mii amo spa resort in Sedona, Ariz., and Qua at Caesars Palace Las Vegas, in addition to spas in the UK, where the practice originated. “I think you’ll see more

of it,” Ellis said. “It’s quite an interesting new way of looking at and using color.” Too far-fetched? Not far-fetched enough? A Viennese artist who goes by the name “sha.” created canopied, cradle-like “tranquility pods” for use in “AlphaSpheres” built into spas around the world, including Berlin’s Mandala Hotel ONO Spa and Bulgaria’s Kempinski Hotel’s Zalez facility. Guests are surrounded in blue light, sound and vibrations while they sway to the rhythms of their own breathing. Happy feet: Chinese reflexology has been around for years. Now spas and wellness centers are targeting problems like high-heel pain as part of menus for the feet. Computer gait analysis and foot treatments in zero-gravity chairs are available at the Canyon Ranch SpaClub in Las Vegas. New York City’s Yamuna studio has stiletto classes, and the feetonly Stride in Palo Alto, Calif., includes foot Botox to reduce odor and a “Walking on Clouds” treatment of filler injected into the ball of the foot for padding and pain reduction. Yamuna Zake, the founder of Yamuna, uses small knobby spheres to condition aching feet and teach foot care. “You can’t get anywhere without those feet, yet they come with no education,” she said. “If you get it in your head what feet need, you can turn it around.” The Mandarin Barber and Mandarin Salon in the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong are targeting men for a traditional Chinese foot treatment involving 10 razor-sharp blades performed by masters Samuel So and Ben Cheung. —AP

This undated photo courtesy of Coqoon Spa at Indigo Pearl shows the inside of a bamboo nest at Coqoon Spa at Indigo Pearl in Phuket, Thailand.

Reading of Rushdie book at Indian festival stirs anger


ndian police examined television footage yesterday pending any formal investigation after Salman Rushdie’s banned novel “The Satanic Verses” was read out at a literary festival. Rushdie was forced to withdraw from appearing at the Jaipur Literature Festival due to security fears when some Muslim groups threatened to demonstrate at the event over the allegedly blasphemous book. Fellow authors at the festival expressed their opposition to the campaign against Indian-born Rushdie, and on Friday writers Hari Kunzru and Amitava Kumar read out passages of “The Satanic Verses” from the stage in protest. “We are examining the footage,” deputy inspector general of Jaipur police Biju George Joseph told AFP. “The authors have been told to stick to their topics and not enter any controversy.” “It was only some sentences taken from the book, they did not have a copy of the book itself,” he added. Muslim activists said they would register their claims with the police that the reading was illegal. “We will discuss the matter with our people and after that we will lodge a formal complaint with police,” Engineer Salim, who represents the Rajasthan Muslim Forum, a Jaipur-based umbrella organization, told AFP. “It is an offence. Action must be taken against those who did it,” he said. A spokesman from the hardline Jamaat-e-Islami Hind group described reading the novel to the festival audience “a provocative act which may create trouble”. “I spoke to the Jaipur police commissioner seeking his intervention. We are discussing the

matter and will file a written complaint with police,” Mohammad Nazimuddin said. “We demand action against them as per the law.”

Organizers of the festival, which attracts tens of thousands of Indian and foreign visitors every year, moved to distance themselves from the

Queen Mother of Bhutan Ashi Sangay Choden Wangchuck presents the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2012 to Sri Lankan debut Novelist Shehan Karunatilaka for his book ‘Chinaman’ during the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) in Jaipur yesterday. Sri Lankan debut Novelist Shehan Karunatilaka won the US$50,000 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2012 his book ‘Chinaman’, a novel that explores cricket as a metaphor to uncover a lost life and a lost history. —AFP

public reading, which was greeted with applause from the listening crowd. “People have the right to express themselves within the constitutional framework,” festival producer Sanjoy Roy to AFP. “We explained to all the authors at the festival the legal consequences of doing this,” he said. “We must act within the law, and we have no choice but to ensure the audience and authors are safe.” “The Satanic Verses”, which was published in 1988 and remains banned in India, is seen by many Muslims worldwide as a blasphemous work that insults their religion. Rushdie, who was born in Mumbai, spent a decade in hiding after Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa in 1989 calling for his death over the novel. The Booker prize-winning author said on Friday he had reluctantly been forced to pull out the festival after intelligence officials warned him of a possible assassination attempt by hitmen from the Mumbai criminal underworld. After Rushdie’s withdrawal, festival co-founder William Dalrymple said “in a more just world his arrival here would have been heralded by people in the streets throwing out rose petals in front of him rather than this nonsense”. The annual Jaipur festival, which is free to attend, has grown into a major literary, business and social occasion in the Indian calendar. Among more than 250 speakers this year are US chat show queen Oprah Winfrey, biologist and atheist author Richard Dawkins, and Indian best-selling novelist Chetan Bhagat. —AFP

22 Jan 2012  

Kuwait Times

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you