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Kuwait National & Liberation Days

NO: 15368

Assembly to seek probes into corruption scandals


150 FILS

See Pages 11- 13

New Islamist parliamentary bloc formed

Max 21º Min 06º High Tide 00:05 & 13:22 Low Tide 06:41 & 18:44

By B Izzak

Argentine train crash kills 49 BUENOS AIRES: A packed commuter train slammed into a retaining wall at a railway terminus in Buenos Aires during rush hour yesterday, leaving at least 49 dead, 550 injured, and dozens trapped in the wreckage. “The train was full and the impact was tremendous,” a passenger identified only as Ezequiel told local television, adding that medics at the scene appeared overwhelmed by the scale of the disaster. Witnesses said passengers were hurled on top of each other and knocked to the floor “in the blink of an eye”, some losing consciousness and others seriously injured. “Unfortunately, we must report that there are 49 dead in the accident,” including a child, police spokesman Nestor Rodriguez told a news conference. Civil defense officials said at least 550 people were injured in the crash, which witnesses said occurred after the train’s brakes failed as it was arriving at a station on the western outskirts of Buenos Aires. The toll surpassed the city’s last major rail disaster just five months ago when two trains and bus collided during rush hour, killing 11 people and injuring more than 200. A dozen ambulances were dispatched to the scene, and officials said many passengers had suffered multiple fractures and abrasions. At least 30 people were trapped in the twisted wreckage of the Continued on Page 13

BUENOS AIRES: Firemen rescue wounded passengers from a commuter train after a collision yesterday. — AP

Afghan protests over Quran burning kill 9 KABUL: At least nine demonstrators were shot dead and dozens wounded yesterday in violent protests across Afghanistan over the burning of the Holy Quran at a US-run military base, officials said. The Afghan interior ministry blamed at least one of the deaths on “foreign guards of Camp Phoenix”, a US military base in eastern Kabul attacked by protesters, but most were attributed by local officials to clashes with police. The ministry said it would investigate all the deaths, blaming some of them on “security guards” at unnamed foreign bases. A spokesman said it was not known whether the guards were Afghans or foreigners. In Kabul and in provinces to the east, north and south of the capital, furious Afghans took to the streets screaming “Death to America”, throwing rocks and setting fire to shops and vehicles as gunshots rang out. In the eastern city of

Jalalabad, students set fire to an effigy of President Barack Obama, and the US embassy in Kabul went into lockdown. Afghanistan is a deeply religious country where slights against Islam have frequently provoked violent protests and Afghans were incensed that any Western troops could be so insensitive, 10 years after the 2001 US-led invasion. The US commander in Afghanistan, General John Allen, apologised and ordered an investigation, admitting that religious materials, including Qurans “were inadvertently taken to an incineration facility ”. Allen and US Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter called on Afghan President Hamid Karzai yesterday to apologise again for the incident at Bagram airbase north of Kabul, the president’s office said. Karzai asked Allen to cooperate fully with a government investigation and told him to “make sure Continued on Page 13

JALALABAD: Afghan security forces arrive at the scene of an anti-US demonstration at a NATO military base yesterday. — AP

Huge rare pink diamond found in Australia


Basel stun Bayern 1-0 in Champions League


KUWAIT: A number of MPs plan to submit today proposals to set up three parliamentary investigation panels to probe corruption scandals and the smuggling of diesel in addition to key amendments to detention procedures. The proposals will be submitted by members of the Popular Action Bloc and liberal MP Marzouk AlGhanem separately. The first panel will be to investigate allegations that around 13 former and present MPs accepted millions of dinars of illegal deposits into their bank accounts, which the public prosecution probed before the Feb 2 general election. Ghanem also said that he will resubmit a proposal for the same purpose that was rejected by the previous Assembly. The second proposal will call for probing allegations that former prime minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah transferred millions of dinars of public funds into his foreign bank accounts through the Central Bank and the foreign ministry. The previous government denied any wrongdoing as all the funds were returned to the Central Bank. The third proposal will call for setting up an investigation panel to probe allegations of smuggling abroad heavily-subsidized diesel from Kuwait. The Popular Bloc also plans to submit a draft law to amend the law regarding the public prosecution’s powers in preventive custody. The amendments would propose reducing the preventive detention allowed under the law from the current 21 days to just seven days and to reduce detectives’ authority to detain suspects from the current four days to just one day. Continued on Page 13

Journalists killed as Homs pounded Iran defiant as nuke talks fail TEHRAN: A fruitless visit to Iran by UN nuclear inspectors raised tensions yesterday, with Russia warning of “catastrophic” consequences if it leads to a military attack on its Middle East ally. France said Iran’s refusal to allow the inspectors to see a key military site used for suspected atomic weapons research was a “missed opportunity” that could undermine chances of reviving wider talks between Tehran and world powers. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was defiant, however. He made no mention at all of the failed bid by the International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors. Instead he reiterated the assertion that “the Iranian nation has never been seeking an atomic weapon and never will be”. Possessing a nuclear bomb, he said, “constitutes a major sin,” he told a group of nuclear scientists. But nuclear energy, he said, “is in Iran’s national interest”. Khamenei added: “Pressure, sanctions, threats and assassinations will not bear any fruit and Iran will continue its path of (nuclear) scientific development.” The IAEA said it had gone into the two-day visit to Tehran - and a previous, inconclusive one last month - in a “constructive spirit,” but that no agreement had been reached on efforts to elucidate Iran’s nuclear activities. Despite requests, “we could not get access” to Iran’s military site in Parchin where suspected nuclear warhead design experiments were conducted, the leader of the IAEA team, chief UN inspector Herman Nackaerts, said on his return to Vienna. IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said the Iranian’s refusal to allow the Parchin inspection was “disappointing”. The IAEA said that “at this point in time” there was no agreement with Iran on holding further talks. A Western diplomat in Vienna said that Iran’s decision on Parchin showed why the international community “lacks confidence in the nature of its nuclear program”. “This latest snub, along with its decision to begin enrichment at Qom, underscore Iran’s defiance of the international community and multiple Security Council resolutions,” said the diplomat. Continued on Page 13

DAMASCUS: Two Western journalists were among 26 people killed yesterday as Syrian forces pounded the rebel city of Homs, activists said, while calls mounted for a truce to allow in humanitarian aid. The latest barrage came a day after security forces killed at least 68 across the country, adding to an overall toll of 7,636 since anti-regime protests erupted last March, the Syrian Obser vator y for Human Rights said. The toll includes 5,542 civilians, the head of the Britainbased monitoring group, Rami Abdel Rahman, told AFP. At least 24 civilians were killed in shelling of the Homs neighbourhood of Baba Amr in the 19th straight day of a government forces assault on the central city, the Observatory said. American journalist Marie Colvin, who reported for London’s Sunday Times, and French freelance photojournalist Remi Ochlik were killed in latest onslaught of the district, French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand said. France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy said the deaths of the journalists showed that “this regime

Marie Colvin Remi Ochlik must go”. From inside the quarter, activist Omar Shaker told AFP that two were killed and three others wounded as a shell crashed into a makeshift media centre set up by anti-regime militants. French newspaper Le Figaro said one of its reporters, Edith Bouvier, was wounded in the legs, and Rupert Murdoch, owner of The Sunday Times, said the paper’s photojournalist Paul Conroy was injured. The area remained the target of random shelling, blocking attempts to remove the bodies, Shaker said. Continued on Page 13

NYPD built secret files on mosques outside NY NEWARK, New Jersey: Americans living and working in New Jersey’s largest city were subjected to surveillance as part of the New York Police Department’s effort to build databases of where Muslims work, shop and pray. The operation in Newark was so secretive even the city’s mayor says he was kept in the dark. For months in mid2007, plainclothes officers from the NYPD’s Demographics Units fanned out across Newark, taking pictures and eavesdropping on conversations inside businesses owned or frequented by Muslims. The result was a 60-page report,

obtained by AP, containing brief summaries of businesses and their clientele. Police also photographed and mapped 16 mosques, listing them as “Islamic Religious Institutions”. The report cited no evidence of terrorism or criminal behavior. It was a guide to Newark’s Muslims. According to the report, the operation was carried out in collaboration with the Newark Police Department, which at the time was run by a former high-ranking NYPD official. But Newark’s mayor, Cory Booker, said he never authorized the spying and was never told about it. Continued on Page 13




Law protecting disabled should be strictly enforced in Kuwait Symposium held to discuss issues facing disabled By Nawara Fattahova

Saad Al-Faraj

Abdullah Al-Kouh

Lamees Al-Refa’ei

Fountain Park to host three-day celebrations KUWAIT: The Fountain Park will hold special events to celebrate national days with a variety of entertainment activities, announced a senior Touristic Enterprises Company(TEC) official. “Several activities have been planned as part for the celebrations scheduled for the 24th, 25th and 26th February 2012, including Kuwaiti cultural displays, music concerts and special programs for children,” said Director Abdullah Al-Kouh, Parks and Ice Skating Rink.

The program will begin with a music concert featuring Kuwaiti singers Adel Al-Ruwaished and Saad Al-Faraj, followed the next day by cultural displays presented by Al-Wadi cultural group. On February 26, a program by ‘Kuwaiti Flamingo’ cultural group will be held featuring patriotic songs. Al-Kouh also indicated that the ‘Abraj 4’ group will keep children entertained throughout the three-day festival. The show will be anchored by TV presenter Lamees AlRefa’ei, Al-Kouh added.

KUWAIT: Laying emphasis on enforcing the law protecting the disabled, the Kuwait Society for Guardians of the Disabled (KSGD) held a symposium entitled ‘The Law of the Disabled’ at Dar Marafi in Dasma on Tuesday evening. Two years have passed since law number 8/2010 was passed. According to Rihab Burisli, Head of the KSGD only few articles of the law were implemented, causing some difficulties for the disabled. “I’m optimistic that this situation will be corrected soon. To achieve this, the authorities in charge should be serious about correcting their mistakes,” she noted. Dr Jasim Al-Tammar, Director General of the Public Authority for Disability Affairs (PADA) announced that the government body is shifting to a new location in Salmiya, behind the Immigration Department. He also discussed some articles that should be enforced. “There is no firmness in the criteria on caregivers for the disabled in Article 42 of the law. There is special technical committee that inspects care-givers to verify if such measures apply to them,” he pointed out. He discussed more aspects relating to the law. “Article 45 lays down the conditions for receiving allowance for a driver, maid or unemployed mother to care for the disabled. This article has not been enforced and we are working on it. The mother can receive an allowance only if she is not a pensioner. And by enforcing these articles, 95 percent of this law will be completed and applied. If there is more shortage, we will send an official letter to the Higher Council for Disabled to add it to the law,” said Al-Tammar. Al-Tammar concluded by saying that there is a shortage of employees in the Authority. “There are 97 employees working in the PADA. This small number serves about 40,000 disabled individuals. This means that each employee serves about 500 disabled individuals. The current building of PADA and the entire system is old, and we don’t want to waste public funds. Therefore, I hope the situation will get better soon,” he concluded. MP Riyadh Al-Adasani also participated in this symposium to express his solidarity for the disabled. “The disabled make about three percent of the population of Kuwait. So we should always support them. I remember in 2010, some MPs merely posed with the disabled for publicity sake. When issues of the disabled were being discussed, they remained absent. I think that the disabled need more facilities, similar to those provided in Europe, by creating more provisions at hotels, restaurants, malls, building and other places. Every project should include the necessary facilities for disabled,” he explained. Mohammed Al-Dahis from Ministry of Education felt that there are more foreign schools providing educational services to the disabled

KUWAIT: ‘The Law of the Disabled’ symposium in progress at Dar Marafi in Dasma. —Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat than the Arabic private schools. He also said that there are committees (from the Ministry) that conduct field trips to schools that receive funding from the PADA to monitor diabled individuals’ performance. “I think most difficulties that the disabled face are in terms of curriculum and teaching staff. I also suggest that each disabled individual be issued an ID card to be exempted from paying fees in different public institutions,” he said. Mohammed Al-Kanderi from the Ministry of Interior suggested raising traffic fines for parking spaces specially designated for the disabled. “The society should learn to respect the right of the disabled. Since a ‘culture’ is absent, a higher penalty should be levied so that motorists will refrain from parking in spaces reserved for the disabled. Also, there are many facilities that are not available in Kuwait like special equipment that aid public transportation,” highlighted AlKanderi.



Why we like Kuwait: Expats’ views Every cloud has a silver lining By Chidi Emmanuel KUWAIT: Kuwait has a population of about 3.5 million people, of which over 2 million are foreigners. This makes Kuwaiti citizens a minority in their home country. Kuwait - just like any other country has its ups and downs. A lot of things have been said about this oilrich nation but still, many expatriates see Kuwait as a place to be, irrespective of criticisms. Kuwait has been slammed by human rights organizations over infringement of human rights, religious freedom, bedoon issues among others. Above all these, expats do give Kuwait some credits. Here are their views; STRONG CURRENCY; GOOD BUSINESS Having the strongest currency in the world, Kuwait businesses are cashing in the petrodollar. The government is aggressively trying

good for business,” Mohamed Alrawi, an Egyptian expat said. Mobile phone business is good here. Young Kuwaitis always go for the latest and the best. The market is booming with new technologies,” Ahmed Farouk, a Pakistani businessman said as he relaxed comfortably in his mobile phone shop in Hawally. TAX-FREE STATE Kuwait is a tax haven with 0% VAT and 0% income tax. For many westerners, a tax-free Kuwait is a place to be. “It is amazing that they don’t pay tax here (Kuwait). Is cool me-eeen! In the States (US) we pay a lot in taxes. Although they don’t pay per hour or weekly here, I think it is a nice place,” Jude O’Neil, an American expat said. “Even though life is expensive here, the fact that you are not paying any form of tax, makes it easier,” James Finn, an Australian expat said. “More so, a lot of organizations in

may not be perfect, but I think it is the best in the GCC region. More so, life will be easier to an extent if you and your wife are working in Kuwait,” Abo Beki, a South African said, as he buttressed Ferdinand’s viewpoint. CRIME-FREE STATE Undoubtedly, Kuwait is one of the safest places in the Middle East. “The crime rates are low and the neighboring civil conflict in Iraq did not spill over into Kuwait as many expected. Car-jacking, armed robbery, killing, assassinations, terrorist activities have no room here in Kuwait. Kuwait is very safe at least for now,” Uche Innocent, a sociologist said. “Violent crimes, racial and religious attacks against foreigners are rare. We have heard about assassinations taking place in UAE and other nations in the region but not in Kuwait,” he added. SMALL, WELL-ORGANIZED, BEAUTIFUL Kuwait is a beautiful, small country along the coast of the Arabian Gulf with a bustling metropolis of high-rise office buildings, luxury hotels, wide boulevards and well-tended parks and gardens. “Kuwait has created a family atmosphere with beautiful gardens, resorts and other facilities such as the Entertainment City, the Green Island, Kuwait Towers among others. Although Kuwait is not as spectacular as UAE - it is unique in its own way. I prefer here to Dubai and other Gulf states,” Immanuel Akag, a Turkish expat said.

KUWAIT: Kuwaitis and expatriates celebrate during the Hala February event in Salmiya. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat to diversify its economy away from oil and gas towards more long terms sustainable industries. In a recent World Bank survey, Kuwait ranked 29th for protecting investors. “It has a relatively decent and small market to do business. The government does a great job in protecting businesses here. Also having a huge population within the age bracket of 18 to 40 gives Kuwait an added advantage. So with a vibrant youth and money in their pockets, business is good here,” Kamal Kumar, an Indian businessman said. “Kuwait is small and well-organized. It is easier to get a loan (cash or car) in Kuwait than other countries in the region. This is

Kuwait prefer employing expatriates with western passports for executive positions, this give us (westerners) some added advantage too,” Finn added. RESIDENCY With a Kuwait work permit (residency article 17 and 18), and a salary of about KD 250, a man can sponsor his family in Kuwait. “Although the cost of living is high here, - having your family with you will help you plan and organize yourself well. Even if they are not here permanently, one can easily bring them once in a while,” Joe Ferdinand, an Indian expat said. “Kuwait’s immigration laws

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM Unlike Saudi, the Constitution protects freedom of belief, although other laws and policies restrict the free practice of religion. Islam is the official religion of Kuwait. Freedom of religion is guaranteed to the adherents of other religions, provided that no prejudice may occur against Islam. But in practice, the government enforced these restrictions intermittently according to a US report. The population of Christians is estimated to be more than 450,000 and consists mostly of foreign residents. There are government-recognized Christian communities which includes; the Catholic Church, the Coptic Orthodox Church, the National Evangelical (Protestant) Church, the Armenian Orthodox Church, the Greek Orthodox Church, the Greek Catholic (Melkite) Church, and the Anglican (Episcopalian) Church. Although there are no Hindu temples in Kuwait, the Hindu community finds a way to worship their gods. “I have been in Kuwait for over 20 years now. I do practice my reli-

gion irrespective of the restrictions. I have not heard of any Hindus who have been arrested for practicing his or her religion. In Saudi, some Christians were

arrested, tortured and deported for practicing their religion but Kuwait is not like that,” Raja, an Indian expat who chose to go by only his first name said.



Greetings on Kuwait National and Liberation Days Message from the Ambassador of Bangladesh


is Highness Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah is a name that I always take with highest esteem and deepest gratitude. I had the honour and privilege to meet His Highness Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Amir of the State of Kuwait on October 28, 2009 at the Bayan Palace when I presented my credentials to him. He asked me about my family, my President, my Prime Minister and myself. He gave me valuable advice and assured me of all possible assistance for smooth discharge of my responsibilities during my tenure. His cool and affectionate personality impressed me from the very first meeting. The name of His Highness Sheikh Sabah AI-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah is remembered by all Bangladeshis with great reverence as he played a historic role in establishing and fostering diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and Kuwait as well as the other Islamic countries and also for the overall development of Bangladesh. Kuwait recognized Bangladesh in November 1973 following the meeting between the then Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the Head of Government of Kuwait at the 1973 NAM Summit held in Algiers. His Highness Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah was then Foreign Minister of Kuwait and became a close friend of Bangabandhu. Later on he undertook a special mission to negotiate the issue of mutual recognition between Bangladesh and Pakistan. As a result of his personal initiatives, the two countries recognized each other leading the path of Bangabandhu’s participation to the Lahore OIC Summit in April 1974. His Highness visited Bangladesh and took Bangabandhu along with him to attend the Lahore OIC Summit. His highness the Amir invited Md. Zillur Rahman, Honourable President of Bangladesh in 2011 when Kuwait celebrated the 5th anniversary of Assumption of Power by His Highness the Amir, the 50th anniversary of independence and

the 20th anniversary of liberation of Kuwait from Iraq. As a mark of his continued affection towards Bangladesh, His Highness the Amir sent a special executive jet from his Amiri fleet for the travel of the Bangladesh President and his entourage to and from Kuwait. The Honourable President of Bangladesh and his entourage stayed in Kuwait from February 2528, 2011. They were received by His Highness the Amir at the Amiri Terminal and all of them stayed at

the Bayan Palace. They enjoyed all the events arranged for the celebration. Sheikh Hasina, honourable Prime Minister paid an official visit to the State of Kuwait from February 7-9, 2010 at the invitation of His Highness Sheik h Nasser AlMohammed Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah, the then Prime Minister of the State of Kuwait. During her visit, she called on His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. During her visit, Bangladesh signed four agreements with Kuwait which are (1) Agreement between the Governments of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and the State of Kuwait on cooperation in the field of Culture and Arts (2) Agreement on Tourist Cooperation between the Government of the Peoples’ Republic of Bangladesh and the Government of the State of Kuwait (3) Agreement between the Government of the Peoples’ Republic of Bangladesh and the Government of the State of Kuwait for Economic and Technical

Message from the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia

Cooperation, (4) Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Peoples’ Republic of Bangladesh and the Government of the State of Kuwait on the establishment of a Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation. Bangladesh Military Contingent is a proud partner of Kuwait Armed Forces since 1991. The cooperation between the two Armed Forces shows trust and confidence of His Highness the Amir on Bangladesh. The Military Cooperation Protocol was further renewed in May 2010. I would like to convey my deep gratitude for the trust and confidence of His Highness the Amir on our Armed Forces vis-a-vis on Bangladesh. Bangladesh signed a new trade agreement with Kuwait in February 2011 during the visit of the Bangladesh Commerce Minister. Bilateral trade between the two brotherly countries has been increasing significantly. His Highness Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah is one of the wisest and revered statesmen of the present world. His wisdom has been instrumental in the development of the Islamic world. I consider myself truly for tunate that Almighty Allah has given me the opportunity to work in a country where leadership is widely wellknown in the world and the region for his wise, dynamic and democratic leadership. On the occasion of the 6th anniversary of the assumption of power of His Highness Sheik h Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and the 51st anniversar y of the independence of the State of Kuwait, I pray to Almighty Allah for good health of His Highness the Amir of Kuwait, and continued peace, progress and prosperity of the brotherly people of Kuwait under the wise leadership of His Highness the Amir. We are really grateful to him and the people of Kuwait for hosting thousands of Bangladeshis in Kuwait. Long live Kuwait-Bangladesh friendship. Syed Shahed Reza


mbassador of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to Ku w a i t D r A b d e l a z i z b i n Ibrahim Al-Fayez congratulated the Amir, government and people of Ku w a i t o n t h e o cc a s i o n o f t h e National Day celebrations, commemorating six years since HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad AlJaber Al-Sabah came to power, 51 years of independence and 21 years

since liberation. Al-Fayez said in a press statement that Saudi-Kuwaiti relations witnessed growth in all fields, in addition to continued co o rd i n a t i o n a n d co n s u l t a t i o n between the two wise leaderships of the brotherly countries. He said the brotherly bonds between the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdallah bin Abdelaziz and HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, along with continued contacts reflect the strength of relations between the two countries and people. Ambassador Al-Fayez lauded the wisdom of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and his management of ruling during a period the Arab world is witnessing developments that require political wisdom. HH the Amir is known for his accumulated experie n ce d u r i n g h i s l e a d e r s h i p o f Kuwait diplomacy and his ability to d e a l w i t h t h e co m p l i c a t i o n s o f regional and international political challenges. Ambassador Al-Fayez also con-


n behalf of the Philippine g ove r n m e n t a n d t h e Fi l i p i n o co m m u n i t y i n Kuwait I would like to convey my sincerest greetings on the occasion of the 51st anniversar y of Kuwait’s National Day. I am sending this congratulatory message from the Philippine Embassy ’s new home in Faiha. Our move to a new location is part of our continuing desire to be more responsive to our stakeholders and to the grow i n g re q u i re m e n t s o f t h e Philippines Kuwait bilateral relations. Fa i h a p rov i d e s u s w i t h t h e a p p ro p r i a te e nv i ro n m e n t to enable the Embassy to render better and more efficient services to the Kuwaiti and Filipino communities. As the Arabic saying goes: “Isal an al jar qabl al dar” (Ask first about the neighbourhood before you ask about the house). I, for one, am a living testimony to t h e s o l i d b ro t h e r l y t i e s between Philippines and Kuwait. H av i n g b e e n s e n t h e re by t h e Philippine government in 1994 on my first ambassadorial posting, I witnessed the growing cooperat i o n a n d i n te rd e p e n d e n ce between the two countries while Kuwait was recovering from war. Philippines was among the countries which stood by Kuwait before, during, and after the war. lt consistently supported Kuwait’s fight for freedom. During the war, Philippines sent 200 medical personnel to assist in the liberation of Kuwait. I was then the Director General of the Philippines Office o f Co n s u l a r Af f a i r s o f t h e Department of Foreign Affairs, the o f f i ce d i re c t l y re s p o n s i b l e fo r ensuring that the passports and the travel documentation requirements of the 200 Filipino medical contingent were attended to at the earliest possible time. Filipino engineers, architects and medical workers were among

Dr Abdelaziz bin Ibrahim Al-Fayez

Message from the Belgium Ambassador


t is said that friends stand by each other in good times and in bad. However, in 1990, this was tested on an international level. The State of Kuwait was suddenly invaded. In Europe, at first, we wondered what to do. My country took a strong stance: it decided to participate in the operations aiming at rescuing its longstanding friend in the Gulf. In August 1990, the Belgian government sent an intervention task group to the Gulf. Very soon, two mine hunters and a logistic vessel left our ports in the North Sea, operating under Belgian operational command. They sailed to the Gulf. The first military operations started on Sept 23, 1990 in the Gulf of Oman. The Belgians hunted mines. This was part of the necessary preparatory operations to operation Desert Storm. On Jan 17, 1991 the huge operation Desert Storm itself started. Immediately, the Belgian flotilla headed into the Arab Gulf. We started our mine hunting operations in the vicinity of Kuwait. The Belgian Flotilla cleared 280 mines. This was the highest number of mines compared to all other participating nations. On April 10, 1991 the

United Nations declared the official end of the Gulf War. The State of Kuwait was saved. On May 10, 1995 the Operation Desert Storm officially ended. And on July 14 1991, the last Belgian ship left the Gulf. My country is very proud of this effort. And we are grateful to our Kuwaiti friends because we know they did not forget what we did. Ever since the State of Kuwait came to independence, the Kingdom of Belgium felt that it has a lot in common with the Gulf monarchy. Both countries are monarchies. We Belgians are very proud of our monarchy. Our King plays a crucial role in our institutions. Recently, our Princess Astrid of Belgium visited the State of Kuwait. We were most honored to be so kindly received at the highest level of the State of Kuwait. Belgium and Kuwait have strong and longstanding democratic traditions. And last but not least, Belgium and Kuwait are small countries surrounded by larger ones. They both went through the terrible traumas of war. And they are therefore peace-loving nations, with a foreign policy that mainly aims at easing tensions abroad, amongst others through international

organizations like the United Nations, the EU, or the GCC. Those similarities are building blocks for friendship. Yet the most important building block for friendship is the loyalty that is shown when others are in need. And in Belgium, we have the feeling that in 1990 and 1991, we stood that test. And we are so happy that since, as was before, the State of Kuwait, its leaders and its citizens have so often shown to be wonderful friends to us. Damien Angelet

Message from the Ambassador of Philippines those who helped rebuild and reconstruct Kuwait after the war. Two years after the war was concluded, the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Joint Labour and Manpower Development which p rov i d e d t h e m e c h a n i s m s fo r managing the par ticipation of Filipino workers in Kuwait’s development. At that time, there were more than an estimated 55,000 Filipino workers in Kuwait. Today, 15 years after the said M O U w a s s i gn e d, Fi l i p i n o s i n Kuwait have grown to more than a 120,000. Their presence in Kuwait provides the impetus for the two countries to work out a landmark agreement that would promote and protect the rights of Filipino h o u s e h o l d s e r v i ce wo r k e r s i n Kuwait, a sector that is most vulnerable. Moreover, Kuwait was the first country in the GCC to reach out to Fi l i p i n o M u s l i m s i n S o u t h e r n Philippines by granting a concessionary loan to fund road development projects in 1998. As of this writing, both sides are studying the possibility of reviving the participation of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development in development projects in the Philippines. M o d e s t y a s i d e, I t h o u g h t I already witnessed the golden age of Philippines-Kuwait bilateral relations back then. And although my re i n c a r n a t i o n to Ku w a i t a s Ambassador for the second time before my retirement years gives me the rare opportunity of concluding my ambassadorial career in the foreign service. From where it all began, I didn’t think there w a s a ny t h i n g n e w to d o a s i d e from renewing old ties and reconnecting with Kuwaiti friends in the government. Surprisingly, our simple effort a t re v i v i n g o l d t i e s h a s l e d to m a ny n e w i n i t i a t i ve s i n t h e Philippine-Kuwait bilateral relations. Last year was a witness to the Philippines participation in the 50th Golden Jubilee of Kuwait with Vice President Jejomar Binay re p re s e n t i n g t h e P h i l i p p i n e President. In October last year, Albert F. del Rosario, Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs, was invited by the government of Kuwait to participate in the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD). His participation in the ACO marked his first visit to

gratulated HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on the sixth anniversary of his being named crown prince, during which he was the best aid for his brother HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. The ambassador, on the occasion of forming the new government, under the premiership of HH Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, wished HH the Premier and Cabinet members all success in their duties given to them by HH the Amir of Kuwait. Th e A m b a s s a d o r o f t h e Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques co n c l u d e d h i s s t a te m e n t by expressing his best wishes and congratulating Kuwait people on the Kuwaiti national occasions, which the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, king, government and people share with t h e m , a n d p r ays to A l l a h t h e Almighty that the Kuwait’s Amir, g ove r n m e n t a n d p e o p l e e n j oy good living, security and stability.

Kuwait after having been appointed to the foreign affairs portfolio e i g h t m o n t h s b e fo re t h e Conference. His attendance in the ACD was also an opportunity to make the Philippine presence felt in Kuwait business community. With the entry of a billion dollars worth of KGL investments in the Philippines, the largest since K U F P E C ’s s t a k e s i n S h e l l Philippines Exploration B.V. sometime in 2008, Philippines is pleased to see that other aspects o f i t s b i l a t e r a l re l a t i o n s w i t h Kuwait, par ticularly economic, has started to gain momentum. Just recently, the same company entered into an agreement with the Philippines’ largest private healthcare company, the Medical City, to build a modern healthcare facility in Global Gateway Logistics City in Clark. In addition, of course, to its purchase of the majority stake in the oldest shipping company in the Philippines, the Negros Navigation. Another first in the Philippines-Kuwait economic relations is the acquisition of the Kuwait China I nve s t m e n t Company (KCIC) of the Philippinebased Atlantic Gulf and Pacific (AG & P ) e n g i n e e r i n g c o m p a ny. This is another vote of confidence on the Philippines as an investment haven particularly with the c o m p a ny ’s k e y s h a r e h o l d e r including the Al-Ghanim Industries, the Kuwait Investment Au t h o r i t y and National I nve s t m e n t Co m p a ny. T h e s e investments augur well for the P h i l i p p i n e g o ve r n m e n t ’s t w i n goals of job generation and poverty alleviation so as to make overseas work for Filipinos no longer a need, but a choice. As Kuwait enters another year i n t o n a t i o n h o o d, P h i l i p p i n e s stands to witness the more maturing relationship between the two countries, one that puts in equal footing the strengthening of political-diplomatic, economic, labour and cultural ties. Indeed, with two steadfast partners sharing the same goals and aspirations for the betterment of their two people, one will always feel that the golden age in their relationship is a continuing history. To our dear friend Kuwait, congratulations and Mabuhay! Shulan O. Primavera

Message from the Ambassador of Brazil


n behalf of the government and people of Brazil I would like to congratulate the State of Kuwait on the 51st anniversary of its independence, wishing all its people prosperity and peace under the wise guidance of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. Relations between Brazil and Kuwait are fluid and cordial. Diplomatic ties are deep-rooted and date back to 1968. Several bilateral agreements aim at fostering economic development and strengthening the existing ties of co-operation and friendship between the two countries. Nowadays, Kuwait represents the third

largest market for Brazilian exports in the GCC. Over the last decade, bilateral trade increased by 500 percent, reaching a record of $744 million in 2011. Home to approximately 14 million Arab descendants, Brazil has been keen on strengthening diplomatic ties with the Middle East over the last few years. In this context, Kuwait is considered a key partner, with whom the Brazilian government has been working closely in order to enhance the level of cooperation, political dialogue and partnership in different areas. Roberto Abdalla

Message from the Ambassador of Japan


n behalf of the government and the people of Japan, I would like to congratulate Kuwaiti people on the 51st anniversary of independence from the bottom of our heart. Last year, we celebrated, with numerous commemorative events, the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Kuwait and Japan and planted seeds for further nurturing bond of trust and friendship between our two countries. This was also our way of celebrating 50th anniversary of Kuwait independence. In this connection, I should also like to reiterate, on behalf of the people of Japan, heartfelt gratitude for HH the Amir’s initiative to grant people of Japan five million barrels of crude oil to relieve sufferings of the victims of the devastat-

ing earthquake and tsunami which struck Japan on March 11, 2011. The sympathy, encouragement and supports received from the government and the people of Kuwait have deeply touched the Japanese people and greatly helped tsunami stricken people to gather courage to stand up against the grave challenges they face. On the very happy occasion of this 51st anniversary, it is gratifying to witness the flourishing relationship between our countries. We also take pleasure in celebrating this happy occasion by pledging our best efforts to further strengthen our already existing excellent relationship with new frontiers. Komizo

Message from the Russian Ambassador


would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the government and the people of Kuwait on the upcoming 51st anniversary of inde-

pendence, the 21st anniversary of liberation and the 6th anniversary of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad AlJaber Al-Sabah’s assumption of power. These important anniversaries reflect the progress and developments of the people of Kuwait that have been achieved since under the leadership of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al- Jaber Al-Sabah. Though Kuwait is not a big country in terms of size, it has its unique history, tradition and culture and huge potential for further development. Due to the tolerant and reconciliatory approach of its foreign policy it has became one of the powerful political players in the region and in the world. Today Kuwait is a significantly important state with remarkable political, economical and cultural weight. It

plays the pivotal role in strengthening the stability and peace in the Middle East. The past years witnessed prominent activities by HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al- Jaber Al-Sabah on the level of international relations. It is also worthy to note that Kuwait is one of the main contributors of many regional and international organizations. Concerning the domestic scene it is necessary to mention the ambitious 5-year development plan aimed in transforming Kuwait into one of the regional and international finance and business centers. We look forward to deepening and strengthening the traditional friendly relations between our countries and people in the coming decades. A.A. Kinschak



Greetings on Kuwait National and Liberation Days Message from the Ambassador of South Korea


oday is the most delightful and joyful day to the people of Kuwait. I would like to take this opportunity to convey warm congratulations and best wishes to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and the Kuwaiti people on the 51st anniversary of Kuwait’s independence and the 21st anniversary of its liberation. Since Kuwait and Korea established their diplomatic ties in 1976, the bilateral relations and cooperation in various areas have witnessed continuous development and both sides have maintained close coordination and cooperation in international affairs. The Republic of Korea was among the states that supported Kuwait’s rights during the Iraqi invasion in 1990 and was in the forefront of countries which send troops to Kuwait to take part in its liberation. Bilateral economic and trade cooperation is an important part of KoreaKuwait relations which scored remarkable achievements over the past years. But despite their importance, all these achievements do not fully express the ambitions of the two countries. We will continue to work with Kuwait to elevate the friendly cooperative relations to a new level of development in all fields and increase high-level exchange of visits and interaction between the people. Lately, the Kuwaiti delegation of vice ministers and deputy ministers from various ministries visited Korea last September to hold senior policy dialogue with their Korean counterparts,

examine Korea’s decision-making process during the developmental era, and visit important industrial sites as a way to absorb knowhow that Korea built up during its rapid economic development period. Korea looks forward to promoting people-to-people exchanges and contacts, expanding cooperation in culture, art, sport, education, news media, public health, tourism and other fields, and strengthening cooperation in language teaching, mutual dispatching of students and exchange of visits of education groups. Korea also made an arrangement with Kuwait University to start Korean language e-learning program in September 9, 2011 during which lectures will be broadcasted live from the university in Korea. For reinforcing the bond of friendship between the people of both countries, we have launched the first Korean Culture Diwaniya early this month to introduce Korean culture to the Kuwaiti community. Thanks to all who worked tirelessly to develop links between the two countries. I sincerely hope that cooperative relations between the two countries will be further developed and strengthened in the future. Our best wishes for continued good health and prosperity go out to HH the Amir, HH the Crown Prince, HH the Prime Minister, and the friendly people of the State of Kuwait. Kyungsik KIM

Message from the Ambassador of Slovakia


lovakia and Kuwait enjoy excellent friendly relations, which go back 50 years, when former Czechoslovakia recognized independent Kuwait and both countries established diplomatic relations. Since then until now, three generations of Kuwaiti people have visited Slovakia and its famous Spa, and several thousands of Kuwaiti students have completed their studies at the Slovak universities. On the other hand, Kuwait is known to the citizens of Slovakia, since hundreds of Slovak engineers, medical workers, teachers as well as football trainers and other specialists helped to build modern Kuwait. In 1991, during the liberation of Kuwait, Slovak soldiers took part in Operation Desert Storm as members of the Czechoslovak Chemical Unit. On Jan 1, 1993, Kuwait recognized the newly created Slovak Republic and both countries established diplomatic relations. Slovakia later opened its embassy in Kuwait and in 2010, Kuwait as a first GCC country opened its diplomatic mis-

sion in the Slovak capital Bratislava. I am especially proud that between the years 2004-2008, the Slovak Archeological Mission worked at Failaka Island and I believe that the next phase of this cooperation will be relaunched very soon. During the recent years together with our Kuwaiti partners, we have been jointly preparing the basic economic agreements, which will allow us to deepen our economic relations. The mutual turnover has reached 20,299 euros in 2010 and 23,081 euros during the first 10 months last year. We believe that there is further potential for broader cooperation between our two countries and the new impetus we expect from the future first official visit of His Higness Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah upon the invitation from the President of the Slovak Republic Ivan Gasparovic. Let me briefly inform you that during the last few years, thanks to the favourable investment environment, a large number of the key global corporate players from auto-

Message from the Ambassador of Sri Lanka


n the auspicious occasion of the National and Liberation Days of the State of Kuwait, I am privileged and honored to convey the most beloved greetings from Mahinda Rajapaksa, the President and the Government and people of Sri Lanka to His Highness the Amir, His Highness the Crown Prince, His Highness the Prime Minister and the people of State of Kuwait. Today Sri Lanka and Kuwait enjoy best of relations which is vital for the consolidation of a mutually beneficial and rewarding partnership. The bridge built between the two countries have brought the nations and their people together and had even expanded to some liberal and international initiatives in which both countries have given joint leadership. Kuwait has always helped Sri Lanka during times of difficulty. We cannot forget the work done by them to help tsunami victims and those displaced by floods in the north and the east. We hope relationship will be further expanded into an enduring multi-faceted cooperation in the years to come. The visit of Mahinda Rajapaksa the President of Sri Lanka

to Kuwait in 200, was a landmark event in the bilateral relations between the two countries. A number of agreements too inked and delegations visited Sri Lanka from time to time to strengthen trade, investment and cultural relationships. The quality and depth of the bilateral relationship has been indicated by the magnitude of development assistance given to Sri Lanka by the Government of Kuwait through the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED). Sri Lanka has derived immense benefit from implementation of projects under this fund principally, irrigation projects in the Southern Province, rehabilitation schemes, constructions of bridges, rural electrification, and support for the South Eastern University of Sri Lanka. It is also noteworthy mentioning of the contribution to the Kuwait economy by about 120,000 Sri Lankan nationals working in Kuwait. I hope excellent relationship between Sri Lanka and Kuwait will continue to blossom. I would also like to wish continued good health and well-being of His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al- Ahmad Al- Jaber Al- Sabah, the Amir of Kuwait, His Highness Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah, the Crown Prince of Kuwait, His Highness Sheik Jaber Al-Mubarak Al- Hamad Al-Sabah, the Prime Minister of Kuwait as also the friendly people of Kuwait. CAHM Wijeratne

motive industry, electronics and machinery have targeted Slovakia for investment making. Therefore it is not by chance, that Slovakia is known as “Detroit of Europe” thanks to the highest production of cars per capita and related support businesses. Slovakia has become one of the favorite destinations for foreign direct investment and I invite experienced Kuwaiti entrepreneurs and investors to spread their activities and find new business opporutinities as well as trade partners. Once you are in Slovakia, you will discover that my homeland is literally overflowing with hot springs, mineral water sources and spas. There are 1,160 registered sources of healing water in Slovakia and 22 spa resorts, which are looking for new partners or investors. Welcome to Slovakia, where you can enjoy fantastic forests, majestic mountains, captivating castles and recover your soul and health. It is a great privilege and honor for me to serve in your country, which has achieved so much during the last half century. I sincerely admire the

fact that you are one of the few countries, where the whole nation benefits from its natural resources. I wish your country and the whole region lasting peace and further prosperity. Allow me on the occasion of your National Days to wish good health to His Highness the Amir of Kuwait, HH the Crown Prince, HH the Prime Minister as well as good luck to the Kuwaiti people. Ivan Lancaric



kuwait digest

kuwait digest

Keeping Kuwait safe and secure

Eliminate administrative corruption By Terki Al-Azmi

By Sami Al-Nisf



ome ask about faith in the National Assembly and the possibility of dissolving it. My personal opinion is that the current National Assembly is divided into three groups. One group is faithful and works for the interest of Kuwait and this group will not seek to dissolve Parliament. The other group, regardless of all the bright slogans, came for its own interests like those who came before them. This group is will not look for crises that lead to dissolving the National Assembly either.

The reality is that some politicians do not want good things for Kuwait. Their demands are only to play with the minds of youths and make them follow them to destroy the country. Our youths are not more knowledgeable and understanding than youths in other countries, who destroyed their own nations and did not comprehend it until it was too late. The third group is suspected of taking bribes from inside and outside Kuwait to spoil political life and push Kuwait into internal fighting and spread hatred. They hope Kuwait will descend into fighting and destruction like other countries. This group will shortly look into causing a crisis and create problems and seditions. They will double what they receive in their account outside Kuwait, which is not subject to monitoring. Just wait, and you will know them by name. Of course sedition will be created under national banners, fighting corruption and in favor of religion...the usual! The claims of loving Kuwait and the songs of schools students will not protect Kuwait. If some politicians and MPs are honest in their love of Kuwait, they would have started working on laws against hatred and making legislation on financial income a long time ago. The reality is that some politicians do not want good things for Kuwait. Their demands are only to play with the minds of youths and make them follow them to destroy the country. Our youths are not more knowledgeable and understanding than youths in other countries, who destroyed their own nations and did not comprehend it until it was too late. An example is Iraq after 2003. Two groups started killing each other, which led to the destruction of Iraq. Apparently what is happening lately is that there are some who want to export the killing to Kuwait under religious related banners, their sect and the nation!? Note-1: Bahrain is very dear to us, but Kuwait is dearer and more important. We will not respond to those who demand we burn our country for the sake of our people in Bahrain, who of course will not benefit from the destruction of Kuwait. Note-2: Syria is very dear to us, but Kuwait is dearer and more important. We will not respond to those who demand we burn our country for the sake of Syria, which will certainly not benefit from the destruction of Kuwait. Keeping Kuwait safe and secure is a good thing for us and for them. — Al-Anbaa

kuwait digest

Don’t be deprived of a biological need

By Ahmed Bou-Rabee


t’s really easy to stay awake. You want to watch a few more episodes of that television show or you want to finish an important project. So, you make a cup of coffee, sit down, and stay up. In our fastpaced, twenty-four hour society, sleep is usually one of the first ‘needs’ that people sacrifice. Students in college get an average of six hours of sleep a night, two hours less than what they need. All-nighters are a common occurrence among people in industries with rigid deadlines. Take a hypothetical businessman, Abdullah, as an example. He has an important building proposal to submit on Thursday afternoon. The hardworking businessman, unfortunately, could not begin over the weekend because he had to celebrate his cousin’s wedding. His boss also piles on more work for him to do throughout the week. Wednesday night comes and he hasn’t even begun writing the 2,000 words write-up. There are two paths that he could take. He could sleep and wake up very early on Thursday to work on the article. Or, he could pull an ‘allnighter’ and spend the entire night working on the article. Abdullah chooses to stay up all night writing the proposal and finishes it right before the deadline the following day. Sleep deprivation had caused him to become less creative, unfocused and inefficient. According to Dr William Dement, a world-leader in sleep research, sleep deprivation is an acute or chronic lack of sufficient sleep. Abdullah’s lack of sleep causes the proposal to be littered with

errors and lack any of the sophisticated punch his usual proposals have. It is swiftly rejected and Abdullah has to resubmit the following term. If Abdullah had chosen to sleep for at least six hours and written the proposal, he most probably would have completed it on time and it would have been of a higher caliber. Sleep deprivation decreases efficiency drastically. Your mind will wander, you will have micro-sleeps, and long-term memory recall is compromised. The dangers of sleep deprivation can extend far beyond lower quality work and thinking. It can be deadly. Driving cars or operating heavy machinery while sleep deprived is very dangerous. In America, drowsy driving is responsible for at least 100,000 automobile crashes, 71,000 injuries, and 1,550 fatalities. A rule of thumb to observe when driving is that as soon as you feel drowsy you should stop driving and either let someone else drive or take a nap. There are several common symptoms of sleep deprivation, the most obvious being sleepiness. Not sleeping leads to tiredness and the desire to go to sleep. You will also feel a lack of motivation, decreased performance and reduced alertness. Your relationships may also be impaired because you get moody, and your cognitive performance will decrease drastically. Sleep deprivation can also stunt growth and cause weight gain. In severe cases of sleep deprivation, one may also hallucinate or experience memory loss. Studies suggest that people who sleep less than four hours per night are three times more likely to die within the next six years. Sleep deprivation can be completely cured by one thing alone: sleep. A healthy adult male without any sleep disorders will eliminate symptoms of sleep deprivation after sleeping sufficient amounts for an ideal period of time. Caffeine and physical exercise are only temporary solutions to sleep deprivation. In

severe cases of sleep deprivation, caffeine and physical exercise do not even help. The amount of sleep that we need has been to shown to be on average eight hours and fifteen minutes. This may vary from person to person yet the phenomenon of sleep debt is common to everyone. The greater ‘sleep debt’ one has, the longer one needs to sleep per night to overcome this debt. One adds to this debt by sleeping less than the ideal amount nightly. For example, if your requirement is eight hours and you sleep six hours every night, you gain fourteen hours of sleep debt per week. If your debt exceeds fifty hours, daily per formance will decrease dramatically. This debt can be eliminated by proper sleeping habits. Good sleep hygiene can be developed very quickly. If you fear that you are sleeping later and waking up later than you want to, the best treatment is to go out into the sun earlier in the day. Also, if you are sleeping too early, go out in the sun later in the day or participate in vigorous physical activity. Another helpful aid to go to sleep is melatonin, a nonaddictive hormone that is naturally produced in the human body. Many sleep researchers encourage usage of melatonin in order to establish regular, healthy sleep cycles. Before you sleep, take a tablet of melatonin to induce drowsiness. Being well-rested leads to countless benefits including higher quality of life and a more enjoyable time with your family. Your level of work will improve drastically and your energy levels will skyrocket. So, the next time you are about to decide to pull an all-nighter, think twice! (Ahmed Bou-Rabee is a Stanford freshman currently enrolled in a class called Sleep and Dreams) Source: Dement, William C. The Stanford Sleep Book (c) 2002

kuwait digest

corruption has become in state department to the point that even marginal problems in the sports field persist for years. Diagnosing the problems we suffer from is easy, yet the problem is that no state official is held accountable for mismanagement on their part. We have never seen news about a state official being put on trial or resigning for any of the major problems that have happened in Kuwait. We need a parliament that gives priority to providing a better future for young citizen, and boosting public freedoms. We need a parliament that improves the quality of health services and traffic, and finds solutions to the housing and demographic structure problems. Meanwhile, we need ministers who are bold enough to resign whenever they fail to resolve problems in their respective ministries. We need parliamentarians who can work, and a Cabinet that can bear responsibility for any shortcomings on their part within a year from now. — Al-Rai

Young MPs are our future

By Abdullatif Al-Duaij


Senior Ministry of Education officials failed to find solutions to the students’ overcapacity problem which has been snowballing for years. Likewise, senior Ministry of Interior officials could not stop abuse and arbitrary arrests by police officers. The central agency for illegal residents is yet to find solutions to bedoon residents.

kuwait digest

Right decision at the right time he idea of further unifying Gulf Cooperation Council countries has been promoted for months. On one hand, the idea is can help GCC nationals achieve development by combing efforts and abilities. On the other hand, there are those who believe this move will be taken as a measure to face an alleged Iranian threat. This connection weakens the idea by making it appear that unification is an emergency reaction to a circumstance that may not even be true. If anything at all, an Iranian threat is possible, given the inconsistency of the Iranian regime, even if they intend harm towards neighbors. What I find sad is how people link the GCC unification idea with the need to counter an imaginary Shiite threat. Such speculations does not only put GCC countries at odds with Iran, but also at odds with Shiite citizens in their own societies. This belief is present - and is growing - in GCC societies. Shiite citizens are perceived as being loyal to the Iranian regime rather than their own countries. Therefore, they are placed in the same category as ‘the enemy.’ Some people even picture Kuwait’s allegiance with ‘larger and stronger’ countries as the best measure to protect it against the alleged Iranian threat. Kuwait, however, enjoys a better level of security and stability compared to its GCC counterparts because disagreements expressed here take place in line with people’s freedom of expression, and under the supervision of the society. Kuwait does not need to place its fate and interests in countries that are not capable of defending itself. The above-mentioned reasons are why I believe the recent objection expressed by Parliament Speaker Ahmad Al-Saadoun is important. This is in addition to being a rational opinion. He made his statements at the right time to provide a sense of assurance to citizens who feel that their country is going to suffer more than it could gain, as a result of a entering into a ‘rushed” unification step. The hope remains that Al-Saadoun’s rejection - albeit temporary- is shared by the majority in the Parliament because it is important to restore national harmony in the society. — Al-Qabas

n China, several former senior officials in the Chinese Football Association were recently sentenced to 12 years in prison over corruption scandals. In Japan, the transport minister resigned a while ago following a train wreck accident. Senior government officials in many countries around the world resigned in recent years for failing to resolve critical issues. Something like that almost never happens in Kuwait which has its own share of problems, yet sees very few officials held accountable. Administrative corruption in the public sector is one of the main topics that need to be given priority by lawmakers who coordinate these days to outline their agenda of work. In my opinion, long-time undersecretaries in state departments share the majority of blame in this type of corruption, because they have failed for decades to eliminate it from places they are in charge of. Senior Ministry of Education officials failed to find solutions to the students’ overcapacity problem which has been snowballing for years. Likewise, senior Ministry of Interior officials could not stop abuse and arbitrary arrests by police officers. The central agency for illegal residents is yet to find solutions to bedoon residents. Senior Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour officials are yet to resolve the marginal labor workers’ problem, while Ministry of Housing Affairs officials fail to provide housing for citizens waiting for years.I hope that MPs understand the gravity of the issue on hand, and how bad administrative

By Dr Hassan Abdullah Johar


espite its strange formation, the 2012 Parliament comprises youngsters, giving hope to Kuwait’s youth. This also means that fresh blood will be inducted in all fields, including politics. According to statistics released by National Assembly Secretariat General, ten new MPs (about 20 percent of the total number) are below the age of forty. The two are incumbent MPs, Khaled Al-Tahous and Mohammed Hassan Al-Kandari. Also, eight were first-time MPs like Faisal Al-Yahya, Osama Al-Shaheen, Bader Al-Dahoum, Khaled Shkhair, Obaid AlWasmi and Riyadh Al-Adsani who represent various social sects. Some were even in the middle of recent youth movements that led to a great change in both legislative and the executive powers - a group of politically daring, eloquent and initiative-taking young men. Although it might be too early to judge the performance of young MPs, we should encourage them and provide all political support they need to become the nucleus of change and national work, regardless of sectarian tensions. Unfortunately, this aspect has dominated Kuwait. I actually liked the initiatives taken by MP Faisal Al-Yahya related to adapting a package of legislations that help achieve political reform. I also admire MP Al-Adsani’s decision to monitor financial corruption, Al-Shaheen’s focus on youth issues and the meticulousness of MP Khaled Shkhair. MP Obaid Al-Wasmi might play a great role with his legal knowledge tendency to work alone. If I can make any recommendations to young people, I would surely start by warning them of drifting to narrow-minded speeches or political tactics, picking side fights with some MPs inside or outside the Parliament. I also advise them to focus on working toward the best interests of all Kuwaitis. In addition, I hope we can involve our young MPs in preparing youth-focused projects that reflect the ambitions of the country and assure younger generations that their concerns are closely attended to by people of the same age. I also hope that young MPs express a clear attitude towards HH the Amir’s call to hold a national youth conference. Finally, I like to remind young MPs that if they have become stars because of constitutional posts, the brightest ones amid dark skies are eye-catching and beautiful. — Al-jarida


Aussie foreign minister resigns in leadership rift

Indonesian police storm Bali prison to quell riot Page 12

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High turnout in vote that ends Saleh rule Violence mars polling in south SANAA: Yemeni electoral officials yesterday hailed a high turnout in a landmark vote that ended President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 33-year rule, despite boycott calls in the south where violence marred polling. Turnout in Tuesday’s vote for Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, the only candidate on the ballot, reached 60 percent nationwide, an electoral official said. But in the south, where 10 people were killed in clashes between separatist militants and police, turnout was far lower. In the main southern city of Aden, 50 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots, while in other southern provinces, turnout was less than 40 percent, said the official, who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity. There was no polling at all in southern towns controlled by AlQaeda linked militants. Activists from the Southern Movement argued that the election failed to meet their aspirations for autonomy or secession for their formerly independent region and called for a boycott. Members of the movement’s hardline pro-independence wing called for a day of “civil disobedience” and actively tried to prevent polling from taking place. In Aden, they seized control of half of the polling stations and attacked a number of others, clashing with police and security forces in the process. At least 10 people were killed in Aden and other southern cities, including a 10-year-old child who died near a polling station which came under attack by separatist militants, medics and security officials said. Dozens of others were wounded. In the far north, Shiite rebels also boycotted the vote. A turnout of only 50 percent was recorded in the rebel stronghold of Saada, the electoral official said, adding that voter participation was even lower in other rebel-controlled towns. In the capital Sanaa, participation averaged 60 percent, although the highest turnout was recorded in Taiz and Ebb, two cities that hosted some of the largest demonstrations of the 10-month uprising against Saleh’s rule that led to the Gulf-sponsored transition agreement which paved the way for Tuesday’s election. The two cities also suffered some of the deadliest reprisals from loyalist forces. The deal which Saleh signed in November gave him a controversial promise of immunity from prosecution and stipulated that Hadi lead Yemen for a two-year transition period, after which a contested presidential election will be held along with parliamentary elections. Saleh is to return home for Hadi’s inauguration, a spokesman for his General People’s Congress party said. The outgoing president has been receiving treatment in the United States for blast wounds he suffered in a bomb attack on his Sanaa compound last June. “President Saleh is on his way back but I cannot give an exact date for his arrival in Sanaa,” said Abdo Janadi, who is also deputy information minister. “There will be a grand celebration to inaugurate Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi and he will be handed over the presidential palace,” Janadi added. —AFP

SANAA: A Yemeni boy flashes the V-sign for victory during a protest demanding the prosecution of Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in Sanaa yesterday, a day after elections which saw the end of Saleh’s 33-year rule. —AFP

Netanyahu’s spokesman resigns JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s main spokesman has resigned, media reports said yesterday, making him the latest in a string of high-profile figures to leave the bureau. There was no immediate confirmation from Netanyahu’s office that communications director Yoaz Hendel had tendered his resignation. News of his resignation came two days after Netanyahu’s chief of staff, Natan Eshel, stepped down after admitting misconduct towards a younger female staff member. Hendel’s departure has been widely linked to the socalled Eshel affair which came to light after he and two other senior figures, Cabinet Secretary Zvi Hauser and Military Secretary Yohanan Locker, filed a complaint with the attorney general, alleging Eshel had harassed a female staffer. The three acted without informing Netanyahu of the suspicions and their complaint. The move reportedly infuriated Netanyahu, who on Tuesday told the trio he had “lost confidence” in them over their not informing him of the incident, Israel’s main newspapers reported. Shortly afterwards, Hendel tendered his resignation, sources at the bureau told the left-leaning Haaretz newspaper, adding Hauser was also expected to resign “soon.” Locker is also set to leave, although his move to a take up a new role within the military was preplanned. Yesterday, Netanyahu said it was wrong that he had only learned about the charges against his chief of staff through the media. “The right thing to do in any system in the case of a concern over a harassment is to immediately take it to the responsible authorities and to deal with it. That is precisely what I would have done in this case,” he told a news conference. “What is wrong is that the head of the system, in this case the prime minister, does not know of such a central issue taking place in his own bureau for a monthand-a-half, and has to learn about it through the media,” he said. The affair created “a difficult, painful and uncomfortable situation” in his bureau, Netanyahu added. —AFP The latest resignation fol-



Hamas irons out dispute over Palestinian unity CAIRO: The leadership of the Islamic militant Hamas yesterday settled internal disagreements and approved a unity deal with its political rival, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a senior official said. Hamas’ political bureau, the group’s top decision-making body, met in Cairo and signed off on the deal after more than 12 hours of talks over two days, said Izzat Al-Rishq, an aide to Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal. Since 2007, the rivals have run separate governments - Abbas in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza. An agreement signed in Doha, Qatar, between Mashaal and Abbas on Feb 6 envisions Abbas heading an interim unity government ahead of general elections in the Palestinian territories. Hamas leaders in Gaza, who have most to lose from the unity deal, had objected to relinquishing power to Abbas. The organization has employed tens of thousands in offi-

cial posts inside the territory who now face integration into larger Palestinian bodies that might be headed by Abbas loyalists. While the deal might still face opposition from the Hamas rank-and-file, Rishq suggested that the movement’s leaders are now on board. “The meeting decided to fully implement the reconciliation agreement and the Doha declaration,” Al-Rishq said. “It puts an end to the debate and discussions over Hamas’ position concerning the Doha agreement and puts an end to what seemed to be disagreement within Hamas.” Abbas and Mashaal were to meet later yesterday in Cairo to discuss the next steps in the deal, including the formation of an interim government that is to be made up of politically independent technocrats. Such a composition is meant to lower the profile of Hamas, shunned by the West as a terror organization. Abbas enjoys the support of the US

and European countries, but it remains unclear how much he would lose if reconciliation with Hamas moves forward. Israel and the international community have said they will not deal with Hamas unless it renounces violence and recognizes Israel. By forming an alliance with Hamas, Abbas risks losing hundreds of millions of dollars in international aid, though Palestinian officials hope that signals of moderation from Hamas will make the new government acceptable to the West. The Palestinian split broke open in 2007 after Hamas wrested Gaza from Abbas by force. Reconciliation was made possible, in part, by a narrowing of the ideological rift between the two sides. Mashaal, although not formally renouncing violence, has embraced the idea of “popular protests” against Israeli occupation as a gesture to Abbas. And while Hamas has long opposed Abbas’ talks with

Israel on the terms of a Palestinian state, Abbas now seems to have given up hope he can reach a deal with the current rightist Israeli government. Al-Rishq noted the venue for the meeting of the 15-member political bureau was Cairo. He said the choice of the Egyptian capital was a sign of the changes in the region. The Hamas leadership had long been based in Syria, but has been trying to distance itself from Syrian President Bashar Assad’s brutal crackdown on regime opponents. Hamas retains a presence in Syria, but some of its leaders have relocated, while others have been making more frequent visits to Arab capitals. And while Syria’s regional isolation increases, that of Hamas has lessened with the political rise of its parent movement, the pan-Arab Muslim Brotherhood, in the wake of the pro-democracy protests of the Arab Spring. This has made Hamas less dependent on longtime patrons Iran and Syria. — AP

Egypt’s Mubarak declines chance to address court Ousted President faces death penalty

CAIRO: A supporter of ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak (portrait) waits for news from his trial outside the court in Cairo yesterday as the landmark murder and corruption trial of the former leader entered its final day of hearings, with the judge expected to announce the date of the verdict. —AFP

Mubarak’s trial leaves Egypt with open wounds CAIRO: Mohamed Moustafa Morsy had to sneak out of his home to join the protests against Hosni Mubarak last year, afraid his parents would stop him if they knew where he was going. Hours later, the 22-year-old was dead, shot on his way to Tahrir Square. Morsy’s father is one of the few family members allowed into the courtroom where Mubarak is now on trial, charged with ordering the shooting of protesters, about 850 of whom died in the uprising. At first optimistic that Egypt’s “trial of the century” would bring justice, he gradually lost faith in the proceedings after hearing one officer after another testify there were no orders to shoot. “I did not bury my boy to watch these dogs get away,” he told Reuters during one September session, before he stopped attending. When the 83-year-old Mubarak first appeared in court, many plaintiffs and observers who never imagined he would be held to account said Egypt had regained its dignity. But for many the trial that should have helped close the wounds of the past has instead come to symbolise all that hasn’t changed. Many Egyptians are also bothered by the fact that in the rush to bring Mubarak to justice, the trial is being conducted by the very institutions - the ministries, police and courts, as well as the laws they administer used to prop up his autocratic 30-year rule. Egypt has not pursued a truth and reconciliation body such as the commission in South Africa that helped bridge divisions after apartheid, nor, in the eyes of many Egyptians, has it been able to hold former officials to account in a transparent way through courts with special mandates, as in Latin American countries like Argentina. As if to drive the point home, in the hall leading to the courtroom, formerly a lecture hall in the Police Academy where some of the defendants either studied or taught, a picture that includes one of the officers standing trial still hangs on the wall. The academy itself was until a few months ago named after Mubarak. “We are in this situation because you cannot change the laws overnight,” said Hassan Abou El Einein, a lawyer for one of the 400plus plaintiffs. “After the revolution, the revolutionaries should have issued a decision to establish revolutionary courts.” Public anger has focused on the prosecutor, who was appointed by Mubarak and whose office has not been reformed since the president was ousted. In its defence, the prosecution has blamed the Interior Ministry-an institution which is both the accused and the investigator in this case-for not cooperating in handing over evidence. “Mubarak is being tried by laws he put in place,” said Maha Youssef, the head of the legal affairs department at al-Nadim Center for Victims of Violence. “The judge is restricted by legal regulations and the evidence.” That evidence is proving weaker than many had hoped. More than 1,600 people gave testimonies to the prosecution before the trial, from doctors who signed autopsies to government officials to victims of the violence. The court invited nine people for public cross-examination, all but one of them police officers. None of those called could provide conclusive evidence that there were orders to fire at protesters, lawyers on both sides of the court room and experts say. Former interior minister Habib al-Adli and six other senior police officers are on trial with Mubarak, all of them charged with ordering the killing of the protesters. Also on trial are Mubarak’s two sons on a handful of corruption charges involving abuses of power. But many Egyptians had wanted the trial to address the wider injustices of Mubarak’s rule. The judge was hearing final arguments from the defendants and their lawyers yesteray, but the verdict is not expected until

the latter part of March, at the earliest. Prosecutors are seeking the death sentence for Mubarak. Early in the proceedings, one of the witnesses, General Hussein Saeed Moussa, told the court that he had been sentenced by another court for destroying recordings from the police force’s operation room during the 18-day uprising. Critics say this showed how months of foot-dragging may have helped damage essential evidence. A deputy interior minister, Hassan Abdel Hamid Farag, who attended a meeting with minister Adli and the other top officers during the uprising, initially indicated his colleagues had made a decision to confront peaceful protesters with violence and called it a “mistake”. “The decision of the meeting was to prevent the protesters from entering Tahrir Square even if by use of force,” he told the court in September. But in his cross-examination, he denied that a decision to specifically allow the use of firearms was ever made. “There is not a single shred of evidence showing orders for an officer or a soldier to open fire on protesters,” Adli’s defence lawyer Essam el-Batawy told Reuters. Mubarak’s defence has also tried to argue that the court has no jurisdiction to try Mubarak on the grounds that he is still constitutionally president of Egypt and therefore would have had to be tried by a special tribunal. The trial, which got underway in August and has stretched into winter, has been heavy in symbolism, both of the bloody events that led to Mubarak stepping down and of the feared and untouchable state he built up, which has yet to be dismantled. Victims’ families have braved the elements to chant outside the court, many of them holding the blood-stained clothes their children were wearing at the time of their deaths. Inside, police officers fill most of the seats and Mubarak’s flamboyant celebrity lawyer, Farid el-Deeb, casually smokes his cigar in recesses. Mubarak himself has spent his time in custody in a luxurious military hospital and is wheeled into court on his hospital bed, flown in by a helicopter whose fuel bill has become the focus of more public anger. The other defendants are not hand-cuffed and always seem to be dressed in designer wear. A handful of Mubarak’s closest aides were called in by the court to testify in closed session, including his long-time defence minister Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the man who has been running Egypt for the past year. Leaks of their witness statements suggest they helped the case for the defence. “You have a problematic equation. One of a people in a state of revolution and a leadership unwilling to revolt,” said Gaber Gad Nassar, a Cairo University constitutional law professor. “The trial does not depart far from that umbrella,” he added. “The leadership unwilling to revolt has only reacted in order to move forward from one day to the next.” The prosecution has defended itself from public attacks on the proceedings by saying it was working under a very tight deadline and under enormous public pressure, and with no choice but to rely on the police to make arrests and gather evidence. “The primary credit of bringing forth this case and in gathering this evidence must go to the prosecution, which did so in unprecedented circumstances,” the prosecution’s first attorney in the case told the court this week. “We say the evidence is strong and decisive,” Moustafa Suleiman said, and again criticised the lack of cooperation from the Interior Ministry. Regardless of the verdict, however, it will take a few years before it is even final, as their lawyers exhaust their appeals, leaving relatives of victims unsatisfied for some time. — Reuters

CAIRO: Egypt ’s ousted President Hosni Mubarak yesterday turned down a chance to address the court in the last session before the verdict in the seven-month trial in which he faces the death penalty. Mubarak, who ran Egypt for 30 years, is accused of complicity in the killing of protesters during the 18-day popular uprising that pushed him from power in February of last year. More than 800 people were killed during the uprisings, many of them demonstrators shot dead by security forces. Egyptians have closely followed the case, and many see its slow progress as an indictment of the council of ruling army generals who took power when Mubarak stepped down. Critics of the military’s handling of the transition to democracy say the trial’s pace reflects a wider lack of justice for those killed in the uprising. Egyptian courts have so far not punished any police officers for the protester deaths. Others have criticized the prosecution’s handling of the case, saying it has failed to present strong enough evidence to support a murder charge. The prosecution is asking for the death sentence for Mubarak, usually carried out by hanging in Egypt. Mubarak’s defense team argues that he is still president, and thus can only be tried for treason or in a special court. The judge was expected to set a date for the verdict and sentencing later in the session. “I have no comment,” Mubarak told the judge yesterday. “What the lawyer said is enough.” Mubarak’s Interior Minister at the time, however, spoke for an hour and a half, saying the uprising was the result of a foreign plot to

CAIRO: Egyptian police officers stand guard in front of a courtroom in Cairo, Egypt, yesterday. —AP destabilize Egypt. “I reaffirm before you that public and private properities and burning there were foreign saboteurs who desecrated policemen inside their vehicles.” Dozens of policemen men were also killed Egypt’s pure land and were supported by internal criminal elements with the aim of undermin- during the uprising. El-Adly offered his condoing Egypt’s international and regional standing lences to the families of those killed, prompting and attempting to destabilize its political, secu- laywers in the room to shout, “Butcher! rity and economic stability,” said Habib el-Adly. Execution!” Six other ranking security officers He ran Mubarak’s security services and faces the are being tried in the same case. Mubarak, his same charge. El-Adly said the plot involved sons Gamal and Alaa and a close associate are “killing peaceful protesters, storming prisons to being tried in a separate case on corruption free terrorist and criminal elements, vandalizing charges. — AP

Bahrain Sunnis warn govt over dialogue at rally MANAMA: Sunni Muslims warned the Bahraini government at a rally against entering a dialogue with Shiite-led opposition parties, as pressure mounts for the Sunni-led Gulf Arab state to end unrest now entering its second year. The tourism and banking hub, dominated by the Sunni Al Khalifa family, has been in turmoil since a protest movement for democratic reforms erupted on February 14 last year and was put down one month later with a period of martial law. “How can there be a dialogue at this time? The majority of citizens ask, is this the time for dialogue and a political solution? Security is the priority!” said Khalid Bloashi, reading a statement from a Sunni youth group that

MANAMA: Shiite cleric Sheik Ali Salman, head of the opposition Al-Wefaq society, participates in a minute of silence yesterday, outside UN offices in Manama, Bahrain, for those who have died in the past year’s pro-democracy uprising in the Gulf island kingdom. —AP organised the rally of about 20,000 people in central Manama late on Tuesday. “The priority is deterring vandalism that aims to blackmail the nation for foreign agendas... We will never accept backroom dialogue, so for how long will the state ignore us?” The warnings over dialogue come after it emerged last week that royal court minister Khaled bin Ahmed last month met figures from Wefaq, a Shi’ite Islamist party which won almost half of parliament seats in past elections, as well as three secular opposition parties on a separate occasion. The crowd, carrying a sea of Bahraini flags peppered with the green flag of government ally Saudi Arabia

and a few others, chanted back: “No dialogue! No dialogue!” Recent months have seen an escalation in clashes between riot police and Shiite protesters. Shiites are thought to be a majority on the island and complain of political and economic marginalization. The government denies this. Protesters have thrown petrol bombs and iron bars. Activists say that while police have not used live fire, an official death toll of 35 last June has risen to over 60 as a result of heavy-handed use of tear gas, stun grenades and speeding police cars. Two people died in police custody last month. The government disputes the causes of death and says it is investigating all cases. Many Sunnis and other loyalists, who dominate state media, accuse Wefaq of exploiting the violence to force concessions. Police often license rallies and marches by Wefaq. Bahrain remains in a rut as protests continue. Some ratings agencies have downgraded banks, many office blocks stand half empty and weekend Saudi tourism is a shadow of what it was. The British ambassador said this week Bahrain would have difficulty attracting foreign investment if it did not make economic and political reforms to help restore confidence. Bahrain is a key Western ally and host to the US Fifth Fleet. Washington supported the government during last year’s protests, during which some called for setting up a republic, and Saudi Arabia sent troops to boost defences as fear gripped some of an Iranian intervention. The statement read by Bloashi addressed the US ambassador in Manama. Columnists often attack the United States for urging the government publicly to enter talks with Wefaq. “Let the American ambassador listen: Bahrain is not a tool of America... We will not be a bargaining chip or a testing ground,” he said, also calling for tolerance and coexistence in Bahrain and attacking government corruption. The crowd carried banners such as “USA, will you stop playing with our national security?” and chanted “The people want to bring down Wefaq”, a variation on the Arab Spring slogan “The people want to bring down the regime”. King Hamad bin Isa thanked the participants in a statement for affirming that the island should remain “an oasis of peace and security for those of all religions living there, without interference in its affairs”, state news agency BNA said. Tuesday’s rally at the Fateh mosque was held to mark the first anniversary of a meeting at the same place where Sunnis had aired their fears that the protest movement, then a week old, had a Shiite sectarian agenda. —Reuters

Tel Aviv angers religious by seeking Sabbath buses JERUSALEM: In the latest salvo in Israel’s simmering cultural war between religious and secular Jews, municipal authorities in the bustling metropolis of Tel Aviv have outraged the country’s religious establishment with a decision to launch bus service on the Jewish Sabbath. The effort - likely to be blocked by the government - comes as the country’s powerful religious minority faces increasing pressure over what many perceive to be attempts to impose religious tenets on the rest of the country. Recent months have seen a growing uproar over issues such as the segregation of men and women on buses and sidewalks by ultra-Orthodox Jews and the group’s non-participation in the workforce, relying instead on government subsidies. Also Tuesday, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled against extending the controversial “Tal Law” that lays out a plan by which ultraOrthodox Jews, who devote their lives to full time Torah study, would perform deferred and limited military service. The ultra-Orthodox have historically been able to find exemptions from military service, a practice which is resented by many secular Israelis. The law was seen as a compromise attempt to bring them into the army, but had little effect and was seen as a failure. Religious life in Israel is dominated by a strict Orthodox establishment, which wields significant power over issues such as marriage and burial. It typically resists alterations to the so called “status quo” on religious issues, agreed upon when Israel was established in 1948. As part of this arrangement, there is no public transportation in most Israeli cities - mixed Jewish-Arab Haifa being a notable exception - from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday and on Jewish holidays. But the city council of largely secular Tel Aviv voted late Monday to draft a request to Israel’s Transportation Ministry to allow lines to operate on the Sabbath. “Israel is the only country in the world in which there is no public transportation in one out of four days, on Saturdays and holidays,” Mayor Ron Huldai said in a statement Tuesday. “We must ask ourselves - what does a person who can’t afford to buy a car and wants to visit his family or go to the beach do?” The national transportation ministry had no comment. Public transportation is decided on the national level, so the city has no power to enforce such a move. But should the bill be rejected, as expected, Tel Aviv’s city hall said it will establish an independent transportation company to run the buses.Israel Meir Lau, the city’s chief rabbi, said Tuesday he felt “great pain and deep disappointment” with the plan and called on the mayor to reverse it. “This is a severe blow to the sanctity of the Sabbath,” he said in a statement. “The city council recommendation harms the status quo upon which the policies of all Israeli governments are based.” Despite Israel’s secular majority, ultra-Orthodox rabbis strictly govern Jewish practices such as weddings, burials or conversions and only allow them for those who meet Orthodox definitions of a Jew. Israel grants citizenship to any Jew Reform, Conservative or Orthodox - but once in Israel, many who consider themselves Jewish cannot get married or have a Jewish burial. The plight of an eight-yearold girl who was recently spat upon by ultra-Orthodox extremists for dressing “immodestly” drew new attention to the simmering issue. — AP



Venezuela’s Chavez says his cancer is likely back CARACAS: President Hugo Chavez has raised serious doubts about whether he’ll have the stamina for a successful re -election bid, revealing that he needs to return to Cuba to have a lesion removed that is probably malignant. Chavez told Venezuelans on Tuesday that doctors in Cuba had over the weekend found a two-centimeter (less than an inch) lesion in the same place where they removed a cancerous tumor last year. The socialist president, who hopes to extend his 13 years in power with another six-year term in the Oct 7 elections, said the probability is high that the lesion is malignant and that he will likely need radiation therapy. That will most likely mean being incapacitated in the coming weeks, though Chavez did not mention who might replace him during a temporary absence. “I’m not going to be able to continue with the same rhythm,” he told state T V in a telephone call Tuesday night, adding he would need to “rethink my personal agenda and take care of myself, confront what must be confronted.” Chavez, 57, did not say when he would depart for Cuba. He said he would attend to government business yesterday, including signing papers and meeting with the Cabinet and military leaders. His departure for Havana will be made “without haste,” he said. “All in good time.” A leading Colombian oncologist, Dr. Carlos Castro, said that if Chavez undergoes radiation therapy that typically means a minimum of 10

daily sessions, which means Chavez would need to name a temporary replacement while undergoing treatment. The news is bad for Chavez’s political longevity, said Luis Vicente Leon, director of surveying at the Datanalisis polling firm. Even if the 57year-old president returns to form after surgery, it will “be difficult to avoid comparisons to his rival (Henrique) Capriles,” an energetic and athletic 39-year-old former governor, the pollster said. From July to September last year, Chavez received four rounds of chemotherapy, both in Cuba and in Venezuela, and he subsequently said tests showed he was cancer-free. Chavez on Tuesday denied rumors that the cancer had spread aggressively even as he said doctors do not know whether the new growth was malignant. “I completely deny what’s going around that I have metastasis in the liver or I don’t know where, that the cancer has spread all over my body and that I’m already dying,” he said. He has never given the cancer’s exact nature or location, and opposition politicians and critics have repeatedly accused Chavez of a lack of transparency. Analyst Cynthia Arnson of the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington said the new surgery seriously complicates Chavez’s re-election prospects. “It’s now clear that Chavez’s cancer is far from cured. Chavez’s illness - his ability to cam-

LOS CABOS: In this picture taken on February 20, 2012 Australian foreign minister Kevin Rudd participates in a session of the G20 Foreign Ministers Informal Meeting in Los Cabos, Baja California Sur state, Mexico. —AFP

Aussie foreign minister resigns in leadership rift CANBERRA: Australia’s foreign minister resigned yesterday in a bitter rift with Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who may poll party lawmakers next week on who should lead the country. Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd announced his resignation during a news conference in Washington, where he was visiting on official business, saying speculation that he planned to seize power from Gillard had become a distraction. “I can only serve as foreign minister if I have the confidence of Prime Minister Gillard and her senior ministers,” Rudd said. Gillard ousted Rudd as prime minister in June 2010 in an internal coup, and their center-left Labor Party scraped through elections later that year to lead a minority government. Polls now suggest Labor would suffer a devastating defeat, but Gillard maintains she has her colleagues’ support. Gillard was to hold a news conference today to “make a further statement” on Rudd’s resignation. Media reports and current and former Labor lawmakers said she will announce a leadership ballot of party lawmakers on Monday. A Rudd supporter, Sen. Doug Cameron, said a Monday poll would be unfair because Rudd would not have time to canvass support. “It’s clear that some senior ministers are intent on putting a stake through Kevin Rudd’s heart and I don’t think that’s justified,” Cameron told Australian Broadcasting Corp. — AP

US team says Honduras prison fire was an accident TEGUCIGALPA: US investigators concluded Tuesday that the deadliest prison fire in a century was accidental, and may have been caused by a lit match, cigarette or some other open flame. President Porfirio Lobo also announced he is pardoning a prisoner who helped free hundreds of inmates after the guard with the keys disappeared. In at least one case, a witness said the hero inmate picked up a bench and broke the lock on a cell. The US Embassy in Honduras said in a statement that a team of investigators from the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives “was able to rule out other possible causes of the fire, such as a lightning strike, electrical causes, or the use of a flammable or combustible liquid.” The death toll from the Feb. 14 fire at the Comayagua prison rose to 360 Tuesday after another victim died in a Tegucigalpa hospital from his burns. “The fire is believed to have begun in the area of the top two bunk beds in the fourth column along the western side of the prison’s module six, which ignited nearby flammable materials,” the statement said. “The cause of the fire is believed to have been an open flame (the source of which could include, but is not limited to, a cigarette, a lighter, matches, etc.), although the actual ignition source was not recovered.” It didn’t identify the inmates in those bunks. The statement called the cause of the fire accidental. There were 105 prisoners crammed into rows of bunks four levels high in the barracks where the fire started. Only four survived. — AP

paign as well as to govern - is a major factor in the race. It erodes the aura of invincibility as well as inevitability that

you until the last moment of this life that God gave me.” He called on his backers to “acceler-

BARINAS: Handout picture released by the Venezuelan presidency press office showing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez during an inspection at the Santa Ines agroindustrial complex, in Barinas, on Tuesday. —AFP Chavez has always tried to create,” she said. The governing party will also be vexed as it lacks an alternative candidate with Chavez’s charisma and popular following, Arnson said. She predicted the development will make “a tight race even tighter ” against Capriles. “I am in good physical shape to confront this new battle,” Chavez said on Tuesday afternoon. He later choked up, reflecting on mortality in the phone call. “I ask for life,” he said. “I want to live with you and fight with

ate the (electoral) battle.” Chavez, whose approval ratings have topped 50 percent in recent polls, had been out of public sight since Friday. In recent weeks, he has recovered the hair he shaved off during chemotherapy and he has appeared vigorous, although he is puffy around the face and neck. He had returned to a full schedule of activities including marathon television appearances. Doctors consulted by The Associated Press said it was difficult to assess Chavez’s prognosis. But Dr.

Javier Cebrian, a colorectal specialist and chief surgeon at University Hospital in Caracas, said the lesion being in the very place the initial tumor was removed was not good. “A local recurrence is a bad symptom because it means the illness is growing again,” he said. “It’s an ominous sign,” agreed Dr. Michael Pishvaian, a Georgetown University oncologist. Pishvaian said doctors often use the term lesion to refer to a new tumor, which appears to fit Chavez’s description. He said such a reappearance, particularly when a patient has undergone surgery then chemotherapy, suggests cancerous cells have resisted the treatments. Capriles’ campaign coordinator, Armando Briquet, said he and his team wish Chavez “a complete recovery” and “a long life although we have always been critical about the lack of real information about the president’s health.” Many Venezuelans have been impressed by Chavez’s fortitude. “It’s already established that Chavez is a superman because he was sick and he didn’t delegate to anyone,” said Luis Montilla, a 51-year-old lawyer, expecting Chavez to return to Cuba for surgery and still not delegate. “He will continue his treatments and continue the campaign,” Montilla predicted as he waited in line at a Caracas pharmacy. Associated Press writers Vivian Sequera in Bogota, Colombia, Ian James in New York and Andrea Rodriguez in Havana contributed to this report. —AP



Explosions rock north Nigeria city KANO: Multiple explosions rocked a highway checkpoint in Nigeria’s second-largest city, witnesses said yesterday, just over a month after a radical Islamist sect claimed an attack there that left at least 185 people dead. The attacks raise fears that the radical Islamist sect is taking root in the northern city of Kano. Resident Ali Garba, a 32-year-old bus driver, said he heard at least six explosions just as he was preparing to head to the mosque

for dawn prayers in a densely populated Kano neighborhood. After that, he said, he heard gunfire for about two hours. By the time he left his house, the military had cordoned his neighborhood to prepare for searches, forcing him back into his home. The attack occurred during curfew hours, he said, likely reducing its impact. There were no casualties and four suspects were arrested during searches, said military spokesman Lt.

Ikedichi Iweha who declined to comment further. Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is sacrilege” in the local Hausa language, is carrying out increasingly sophisticated and bloody attacks in its campaign to implement strict Shariah law and avenge Muslim killings in Nigeria, a multiethnic nation of more than 160 million people. This year, the feared sect is blamed for killing at least 303 people, accord-

ing to an Associated Press count. At least 185 people died in Kano last month in the group’s deadliest assault yet. The northern-based group has carried out attacks across Nigeria’s mostly Muslim north but its attacks have been most persistent in the northeastern city of Maiduguri, the sect’s spiritual home, where people live in constant fear of bombings and drive-by killings. However, a series of attacks over

the last month targeting military and police institutions - typical Boko Haram targets - in the much bigger city of Kano, about 380 miles (610 kilometers) away from Maiduguri, are raising fears that the group may be taking root there too. Authorities have vowed to stop the sect, but the frequency, boldness and scale of its attacks have subdued many citizens’ faith in the security forces’ ability to suppress Boko Haram. — AP

Police hold Strauss-Kahn overnight in sex ring probe Former Socialist minister summoned as witness

LONDON: Masked protesters are seen at the Occupy London anti-corporate protest tent camp outside St Paul’s Cathedral, in central London, yesterday. —AP

UK court rejects Occupy London eviction challenge LONDON: Occupy London protesters braced for eviction yesterday after a court ruled that local authorities can remove their four-month-old camp from outside St. Paul’s Cathedral. Officials said they would now enforce an order allowing them to take down the dozens of tents though it did not say when the eviction would start. “I would call on protesters to comply with the decision of the courts and remove their tents and equipment voluntarily right away,” said Stuart Fraser, policy chairman of the City of London Corporation. Last month, a High Court judge backed local authorities who are trying to remove the protest, but lawyers for the demonstrators sought to challenge the decision. Three appeals court judges said yesterday that the protesters had raised no compelling new legal arguments and could not appeal. “We accept that there is a right to assemble and protest on the highway, but it is by no means an unfettered right,” said David Neuberger, one of the judges. Protesters against capitalist excess, inspired by New York’s Occupy Wall Street movement, have been camped outside the 300-year-old church since October. They say they are exercis-

ing freedom of speech and drawing attention to a warped capitalist system that spawned a global financial crisis. The City of London Corporation argued that the right to protest does not justify a semi-permanent campsite. During a five-day court hearing last month, lawyers for the city claimed the camp was harming nearby businesses, causing waste and hygiene problems and attracting crime and disorder. Occupy’s lawyer, John Cooper, said protesters would likely seek to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. He said that even if the camp is removed “the Occupy message has been heard and will continue to be heard.” “This dysfunctional system needs to be called to account,” he said. The protesters set up camp outside the cathedral after they were prevented from camping in front of the nearby London Stock Exchange. Their proximity to Christopher Wren’s icon embroiled the church in a conflict between bank-bashing protesters and the city’s finance industry. The church’s position on the protesters has shifted several times, and the cathedral’s dean and a senior priest have both resigned over the crisis. —AP

Some 120,000 forced from homes by Mali clashes: UN DAKAR: Some 120,000 people have been forced from their homes in Mali since Tuareg-led rebels launched an independence bid last month in the country’s desert north, United Nations figures showed. The conflict, which has seen rebels bolstered by fighters and weapons from Libya’s conflict launch a wave of attacks on military outposts, comes as the Sahel region grapples with a food crisis that aid agencies say will leave more than 10 million hungry this year. Fighting in three of Mali’s eight provinces also threatens the holding of an election due in April. More than 60,000 civilians have crossed into neighbouring countries while a similar number have fled their homes but remained in Mali, according to a Feb 21 update from the UN ‘s Office for Humanitarian Affairs seen by Reuters yesterday. Malians have scattered across Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger and Algeria. The UN said

11,000 people had returned back to Mali from Niger. The MNLA rebels, believed to number about 1,000, have brought together Malians who fought in the ranks of the Libyan army with veteran Tuareg rebels who have taken part in several previous northern uprisings. Dozens have been reported killed in battles on several fronts, with heavily armed and mobile rebel units taking on government forces backed by helicopter gunships. However, there is little independent information on casualties. A Malian commission charged with investigating the killing of soldiers in the northern town of Aguelhoc on Tuesday reiterated government claims that rebels, operating alongside Al-Qaeda fighters, had executed soldiers during fighting last month. The commission did not give a toll. The rebels have repeatedly denied the killings and accused the government of a set up aimed at undermining their credibility. —Reuters

LONDON: British-based Somalilanders wave the flag of the internationally unrecognised self-declared republic of Somaliland as they hold a pro-independence rally outside Downing street in London yesterday. The protesters were calling for recognition of Somaliland, currently a region of Somalia in the eyes of the international community, as a soverign state following the region’s unilateral declaration of independence over two decades ago. —AFP

LILLE: Former IMF chief Dominique StraussKahn was in police custody overnight Tuesday over allegations that he took part in orgies in Paris and Washington with prostitutes paid for by businessmen. The 62-year-old former Socialist minister, who until last year was the frontrunner to replace Nicolas Sarkozy as president of France, had been summoned as a witness, but prosecutors said he was now a suspect. He turned up voluntarily at a police station in the northern city of Lille and prosecutors said he would be detained on suspicion of “abetting aggravated pimping by an organized gang” and “misuse of company funds.” A magistrate will decide whether the evidence supports charges on these or other potential offences. He could be cleared, be charged and released on bail or remanded in custody pending an eventual trial. A judge late Tuesday extended StraussKahn’s detention another 24 hours to today morning, an informed source said. He can be held a maximum of 96 hours without charge but was not expected to stay in custody more than 48 hours. Under French law, aggravated organised pimping carries a prison term of up to 20 years and profiting from embezzlement five years and a large fine. Between interrogations, the millionaire international statesman was to be held in a spartan 7.5-square-metre (80-square-foot) cell with a simple foam mattress, a sink and a hole-in-the-floor squat toilet. Investigating magistrates want to know whether he was aware that the women who entertained him at parties in restaurants, hotels and swingers’ clubs in Washington, Paris and several other European capitals were paid prostitutes. They will also seek to determine whether Strauss-Kahn knew that the escorts were paid with funds fraudulently obtained by his hosts from a French public works company, for which one of them worked as a senior executive. Paying a prostitute is not illegal in France, but profiting from vice or embezzling company funds to pay for sex can lead to charges. The former managing director of the International Monetary Fund admits he has an uninhibited sex life, but denies any role in pimping or corruption and has indicated he will deny any criminal wrongdoing. Lawyer Henri Leclerc has said his client may not have known he was with prostitutes as “in these parties, you’re not necessarily dressed. I defy you to tell the difference between a nude prostitute and a nude woman of quality.” Two businessmen, Fabrice Paszkowski, a medical equipment tycoon with ties to Strauss-Kahn’s Socialist Party, and David Roquet, former director of a local subsidiary of

building giant BTP Eiffage, have been charged. The pair have alleged links to a network of French and Belgian prostitutes centred on the Carlton Hotel in Lille, a wellknown meeting place of the local business and political elite in a city run by the Socialist Party. In all, eight people have been charged in connection with the “Carlton affair”-including three executives from the luxury hotel itself, a leading lawyer and the local deputy

Then, Strauss-Kahn was linked to the Carlton case when suspected escorts gave his name to police probing a vice ring linked to notorious pimp Dominique Alderweireld, known in the underworld as “Dodo la Saumure”. Strauss-Kahn’s multi-millionaire heiress wife, journalist Anne Sinclair, has stood by him since the allegations erupted, but the website she edits-the French edition of the Huffington Post-led its front page with the scandal. She

LILE: Journalists film the entrance of the gendarme station yesterday in Lille, northern France, as French disgraced former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn faces questioning by French police for a second day over allegations that he took part in sex parties organised by a corrupt vice ring. —AFP police chief, Jean-Christophe Lagarde. The last of the sex parties is said to have taken place during a trip to Washington and the IMF headquarters between May 11 and 13 last year by Paszkowski and Roquet, in part to discuss Strauss-Kahn’s presidential bid. One day later, on May 14, Strauss-Kahn’s career fell apart when he was arrested in New York following allegations that he had subjected chambermaid Nafissatou Diallo to a brutal sexual assault in his hotel suite. The case against him eventually collapsed when prosecutors began to doubt Diallo’s credibility as a witness, and Strauss-Kahn returned home to France to face further investigation and scandal. First, 32-year-old French writer Tristane Banon accused him of attempting to rape her in 2003. Prosecutors decided there was prima facie evidence of a sexual assault, but ruled that the statute of limitations had passed.

South Sudan kicks out president of oil company JUBA: The head of the largest foreign oil company in South Sudan has been asked to leave the country over allegations he conspired with Sudan to steal the south’s oil, South Sudan officials said yesterday. Liu Yingcai, a Chinese national and the president of the Petrodar Operating Company, was notified Monday that he had 72 hours to leave South Sudan, said Elizabeth James Bol, the deputy minister of petroleum and mining. Petrodar is a consortium of oil firms operating in South Sudan that includes the national oil corporations of China and Malaysia. Petrodar did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Liu’s ouster comes in the midst of the company’s relocation of its headquarters from Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, to Juba, the capital of South Sudan. South Sudan for months has accused its northern neighbor of stealing its oil, and southern officials now say Liu was in on the thefts. Barnaba Benjamin Marial, South Sudan’s minister of information, said that a government investigation found that he was involved with the government of Sudan “in the conspiracy of getting the oil of South Sudan.” South Sudan declared independence from Sudan in July, and in the process inherited nearly three-quarters of Sudan’s oil production. But all oil produced in the south must be exported through two pipelines in Sudan. In addition to operating oil fields in South Sudan, Petrodar is responsible for the maintenance and operation of one of the two pipelines. South Sudan in January ordered the shutdown of its oil production after Sudan announced it would levy an unspecified percentage of South Sudan’s oil as an “in kind” payment for unpaid pipeline transit fees. Sudan also announced the completion of a tie-in pipeline which would divert around 120,000 barrels of oil per day to processing facilities in Khartoum. South Sudan has called the move theft and accused Sudan of forcing foreign oil companies operating in the region to comply with the order. But now Marial said Petrodar was complicit. Liu “got involved with Khartoum in helping to facilitate the construction of the tie-in pipeline,” Marial said. In a letter sent to South Sudan’s Ministry of Petroleum and Mining on Jan. —AP

made no editorial comment, but her team reported the case in depth. Few in France doubt that, but for the sex scandals, it would have been Strauss-Kahn and not Francois Hollande running against Sarkozy in April’s presidential election, and the incumbent’s camp was quick to seek advantage. “Perhaps, at the end of Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s interrogation, we will hear useful and interesting news about the behaviour of Socialist Party branches in the north,” said Sarkozy’s campaign spokeswoman Nathalie KosciuskoMorizet. “If Francois Hollande is where he is today, it is because Dominique Strauss-Kahn is where he is today,” she added. The involvement of businessmen and police officers raised suspicions they intended to curry favor with a presidential contender by procuring women for him, but they are reported to have denied this during questioning. —AFP

Germany criticized for castration of sex offenders BERLIN: Germany should do away with the practice of surgical castration of sex offenders, the Council of Europe’s antitorture committee recommended yesterday, calling the procedure degrading to the convicted criminals. In a report released in Strasbourg, France, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture acknowledged that the procedure is voluntary and carried out only under extremely well-controlled circumstances. Nonetheless, the committee said it still has “fundamental objections,” pointing to its “irreversible physical effects.” It urged an end to the practice, saying that “surgical castration of detained sexual offenders could easily be considered as amounting to degrading treatment.” It said no official statistics on castrations are available but, according to information it has collected, “fewer than five per year” were performed in Germany. The German government said in a written reply that it is “currently being reviewed whether this issue should be discussed in the context of a debate” but doesn’t commit to change the regulations. The German government noted that surgical castration is seen as treatment rather than punishment. It said the procedure is strictly voluntary and the process can only be initiated by the sex offender himself, who must be at least 25. Among other safeguards, an expert commission must advise the subject, and there is a waiting period between when the decision is made to have the procedure and when it is carried out, so a subject can change his mind. The government cited a 1997 study of sex

offenders who had been castrated, which indicated only a 3 percent recidivism rate. A control group whose petition for castration had been refused or retracted in the same period showed a 46 percent rate of reoffending. The committee’s recommendation came as part of a wider report on Germany, based on a two-week visit at the end of 2010. Tim Dalton, who led the delegation, told The Associated Press the committee’s point is that in any individual case, there is no guarantee the procedure will prevent reoffending. “It’s a highly controversial issue. There are divided opinions on the subject - some justify it on the basis that the results validate the process,” he said in a telephone interview from Dublin. But the panel’s “fundamental position is that it’s not an appropriate response to the threat of reoffending to mutilate a person, which is in effect what is involved,” he said. In 2009, the committee criticized the Czech Republic for its use of surgical castration. Other countries have been moving ahead with laws allowing chemical castration for sex offenders, which involves the administration of testosterone-suppressing hormones intended to curb sexual drive. Russian lawmakers in October gave first-round approval to a bill that would impose chemical castration on repeat sex offenders. Poland legalized the procedure in 2009 for offenders who rape minors or close relatives. Already, Britain, Denmark and Sweden offer chemical castration drugs to sex offenders on a voluntary basis. In the United States, several states have laws allowing chemical castration. —AP

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Indonesian police storm Bali prison to quell riot Intervention came after failed negotiate attempts

BEIJING: US Special Representative for North Korea Affairs Glyn Davies, center, arrives to give a press statement at a hotel in Beijing, China yesterday.—AP

US, N Korea to hold first post-Kim Jong Il talks BEIJING: The US and North Korea reopen nuclear talks today that will provide a glimpse into where Pyongyang’s opaque government is heading after Kim Jong Il’s death and test its readiness to dismantle nuclear programs for much-needed aid. The countries were on the verge of a deal to have Washington provide food in return for Pyongyang suspending uranium enrichment when it was upended by the longtime leader’s death on Dec 17. That North Korea has agreed to reenter talks so soon afterward could signal a measure of cohesion and a continuation of Kim Jong Il’s policies as the country transfers power to his young son and a coterie of advisers. However, stonewalling could point to disagreement within the new leadership or unpredictable directions in policy for a government that has long sought to develop viable nuclear weapons and already has detonated two nuclear test blasts. The workings of North Korea’s government are difficult for outsiders to discern, so analysts and foreign government officials alike will closely monitor today’s talks in Beijing. “The fact that North Korea has come to the negotiating table means the country is enjoying a level of internal stability,” said Kim Keun-sik, a North Korea expert at Kyungnam University in South Korea. “But we can’t immediately link North Korea’s stability to how fruitful the talks will be,” he said. It is a sensitive time for North Korea’s new leader, Kim Jong Un, who is believed to be in his late 20s. The country suffers from chronic food shortages that complicate its vow to start becoming a thriving nation during this year’s centennial of the birth of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung. US envoy Glyn Davies said after arriving in Beijing yesterday that he was looking for signs of Kim Jong Un’s policies and what direction he wanted to take his country. “All of these are a bit unknown at this stage. I find it a positive sign that relatively soon after the beginning of the transition in North Korea, the (country) has chosen to get back to the table with us. I think that is a good thing.” Davies said that the US needs to see if North Korea is willing to “take steps to reassure all of us ... that they are sincere in getting back to fulfilling obligations” made in a joint statement in September 2005, which committed North Korea to abandoning its nuclear program in exchange for aid and pledges that Washington wouldn’t seek the regime’s ouster. “Are they ready to get back to that conversation and carry it forward into the future and not spend too much time refighting some of the battles of the past?” he said. North Korea is also locked in a long-running standoff with its neighbors and Washington, who want to see the North’s nuclear program permanently

dismantled. The talks in Beijing, the third round since July, ostensibly are aimed at restarting wider six-nation disarmament negotiations that also involve China, Japan, Russia and South Korea. Pyongyang walked away from those talks in 2009 and later exploded its second nuclear device. However, in mid-December hopes were high when outlines emerged of a US -North Korean nuclear agreement. The Associated Press reported then that the US was poised to announce a significant donation of food aid to North Korea. That would have been followed within days by an agreement to suspend North Korea’s uranium enrichment program, according to a broad outline of the agreement made known to the AP by people close to the negotiations. Then Kim Jong Il died, and everything went on hold. The six-nation talks, once restarted, would be aimed at dismantling North Korea’s remaining nuclear programs in exchange for what would likely involve even greater donations of aid. Victor Cha, a Korea expert and White House director of Asian affairs during the George. W. Bush presidency, said he was concerned that the US side may now be overly eager for a deal in hopes of avoiding any Korean security crisis during this year’s presidential election campaign. “The last thing you want is (to want) a deal more than the North Koreans do,” Cha said. A key success would be gaining North Korea’s agreement to have U.N. watchdogs monitor any freeze of its uranium enrichment, Cha said. Otherwise the country might backtrack - as it has done with previous agreements - and use the enrichment program to leverage additional concessions. Without monitoring, a nuclear freeze would be like “selling the same horse” over and over again, Cha said. Worries about North Korea’s nuclear capability took on renewed urgency in November 2010 when the country disclosed a uranium enrichment facility that could give it a second route to manufacture nuclear weapons, in addition to its existing plutonium-based program. The divided Korean Peninsula is still tense from a bloody 2010, which saw the North’s shelling of a front-line island that killed four South Koreans and a deadly warship sinking blamed on the North that killed 46 South Korean sailors. Kim Jong Il’s death raised fears of even greater uncertainty, although the South’s president, Lee Myung-bak, said yesterday his country was ready to talk with the North “with an open heart” if it shows a “sincere” attitude. The United States has said that it favors a diplomatic solution to the North Korean nuclear standoff, but only if Pyongyang improves ties with Seoul first. North Korea has rejected South Korea’s calls for talks since Kim’s death —AP

Hundreds of Chinese pensioners protest over payments: Report BEIJING: Hundreds of Chinese retirees who worked for a company which built the massive Three Gorges Dam have blocked streets in protest about pensions over the past three days, China’s official Xinhua news agency said yesterday. The pensioners, who worked for Gezhouba Group, are complaining that their pension payments have been calculated unfairly, Xinhua said in an English-language report. The protest has now entered its third day, and hundreds of people have blocked traffic on the streets in Yichang in central Hebei province where the company is based, it added. “Most of the protesters are aged between 60 and 70, and relatives and onlookers have joined them at the site of the protest,” Xinhua said. “The protesters have also complained about unreasonable terms in the company’s medical care policy.” Gezhouba has promised to look into their complaints and increase pension payments, the report added. A company official reached by telephone declined to comment. Xinhua said the company has over 20,000 retirees. It has a Shanghai-

listed unit called China Gezhouba Group Corp The 185-metre tall Three Gorges Dam began operations in 2005 and is the world’s largest hydropower project. China’s ruling Communist Party worries that the tens of thousands of sporadic protests over land grabs, corruption and economic grievances that break out across the country every year could coalesce into a national movement and threaten its control. China saw almost 90,000 such “mass incidents” of riots, protests, mass petitions and other acts of unrest in 2009, according to a 2011 study by two scholars from Nankai University in north China. Some estimates go even higher. That is an increase from 2007, when China had over 80,000 mass incidents, up from over 60,000 in 2006, according to an earlier report from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Most protests are either dispersed by security forces, or by officials promising demonstrators their demands will be heeded. None have so far even come close to becoming national movements which could challenge the central government. —Reuters

DENPASAR: Indonesian forces yesterday stormed a riot-hit prison housing murderers, paedophiles and Australian drug mules in Bali to regain control after a night of arson and rockthrowing. Guards were forced to abandon the overcrowded Kerobokan prison, which holds 1,000 inmates including the 12 convicted Australians, during the night-long riot. Authorities said no foreigners were injured or involved in the trouble. Some 100 heavily armed police and military stormed the jail on the holiday island at around dawn, firing volleys of rubber bullets. Officials said they intervened after attempts to negotiate with the rioting prisoners had failed, and after some inmates managed to get hold of firearms. “ They were forced to open fire and three people were injured in the legs and taken to hospital,” Bali deputy police chief Ketut Untung Yoga Ana told AFP. Another police official said later that an officer was also injured. All 12 Australian prisoners at Kerobokan, including two on death row and six serving life sentences, were safe, Australia’s foreign ministry said. “ The wing where the Australians are held is far from the place where we had the trouble. The Australians were not involved in any way,” said Bali police spokesman Hariadi, who like many Indonesians goes by a single name. Among the Australians at the jail are convicted drug trafficker Schapelle Corby and a group known as the “Bali Nine”, who were caught attempting to smuggle drugs from Bali. Up to 1,000 armed security forces backed by armored vehicles and water cannon were stationed yesterday morning outside the jail, which is in a suburban area of Bali seven kilometres (four miles) from the tourism hub of Kuta beach. “When we stormed in, they did put up a fight,” Bali

police chief Totoy Herawan Indra told reporters. “The prisoners also took firearms from inside the warehouse but we seized them before they could be used,” he added. Police said the situation had returned to normal by late afternoon, and that only about 30 armed personnel remained outside the prison.

in charge for more than seven hours-from around 11:00 pm (1500 GMT ) Tuesday until 6:45 am (2245 GMT) the next morning. Prison staff said the jail’s registration office, including the files of prisoners, was destroyed in a blaze. “The damage was quite serious. An office was burnt and window panes of the security

gling, continues to profess her innocence and in her book “No more tomorrows”, says she has “seen horrors in here that are sickening beyond belief ”. “Prisoners bashed to a pulp, girls attacking each other with broken glass bottles. I’ve seen people trying to kill themselves, a woman miscarry-

BALI: An Indonesian prisoner injured during the riots is carried away outside Kerobokan prison in Denpasar on the Indonesian resort island of Bali yesterday. —AFP Police and local reports said the trouble began when one inmate stabbed another prisoner on Sunday, touching off reprisals that erupted into a full-blown riot. Prisoners began trashing cells and throwing stones at the guards who were forced to abandon the jail-built for just 300 inmates but now housing more than three times that many prisoners, both male and female. Police said the inmates were

posts were shattered by rocks,” Indra said. Michael Chan, whose brother Andrew Chan is one of the Bali Nine, said he was worried about his brother given that during a previous riot “things got pretty bad, and they were in lockdown for a couple of days”. Corby’s family said she was well, with the women’s wing of the prison untouched by the violence. Corby, who is serving a 20year jail sentence for drug smug-

ing in my cell, prisoners having sex, female guards passionately kissing female prisoners,” she writes. There have been a number of riots at the jail in recent years, including one triggered by a police drug raid in June. It is one of Indonesia’s most notorious prisons, with a combustible mix of inmates including convicted murderers, sex offenders and others guilty of violent crimes. —AFP

Thai detention of Iranian bomb suspect extended BANGKOK: A Thai court yesterday allowed police to continue to detain one of five Iranian suspects in an alleged terror plot that was exposed by an accidental blast in a residential Bangkok neighborhood. Police Maj Gen Piya Uthayo said Mohammad Kharzei, 42, will be held at a Bangkok prison for at least 12 more days. He was arrested on charges of being an accomplice to possession of unlawful explosives and causing explosions that damaged property and harmed other people. Three men identified as Iranians fled the house where the blast occurred Feb. 14. Police found bombs in the house, but are still not clear about the suspects’ intentions. There is speculation that they planned to attack Israeli targets in the Thai capital as par t of a cover t battle being waged over Iran’s alleged quest to develop nuclear weapons. The explosions Feb. 14 came one day after two other incidents in India and the former Soviet Republic of Georgia in which bombers tried to hit Israeli targets with so-called “sticky” bombs that attach magnetically to vehicles. In Thailand, 43 police officers, including seniorranking commissioners, have been assigned to work on the case and have found “quite a bit of evidence,” Piya said. He said Kharzei is the first suspect whose case has proceeded under criminal law. He was arrested at Bangkok’s airport on the day of the blast as he was waiting for a flight to Malaysia. With court approval, a suspect can be detained without formal charges for up to 84 days. Another suspect, Saeid Moradi, 28, is so far being held for violating immigration law. He was detained soon after the blast after he attempted to hurl explosives at police officers, blowing off part of his legs in the process. Arrest warrants have been issued for three other suspec ts, all I ranians: M asoud Sedaghatzadeh, 31, who was detained by Malaysian authorities last week; Leila Rohani, 31; and Norouzi Shayan Ali Akbar, 57. Thai authorities are seeking Sedaghatzadeh’s extradition and believe Rohani and Akbar have returned to their home country. Piya said investigators have not found any links between the suspects and dozens of stickers bearing the word “SEJEAL” - possibly a reference to a passage from the Quran - that were pasted at various locations in Bangkok. The stickers were identical to ones found under the seat of the Iranians’ motorcycle as well as in an apartment rented by one of the suspects. “The officers will base their investigation only on the evidence and witnesses, and will use neither speculation, nor imagination in solving this case,” Piya said. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra yesterday assigned two deputy prime ministers to oversee intelligence meetings and prepare security measures. She also asked the Transport Ministry to ensure the safet y of travelers at Bangkok ’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport. —AP

NEW DELHI: Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Staffan De Mistura (2nd L) attends a delegation level meeting with Indian Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur (R) at the ministry offices in New Delhi yesterday. —AFP

India, Italy wrangle over Indian fishermen killing NEW DELHI: The shooting deaths of two Indian fishermen mistaken for pirates sparked diplomatic wrangling yesterday over the arrests of two Italian marines, and some maritime experts are questioning the use of armed guards on merchant ships. Pirates based off lawless Somalia cost the shipping industry billions of dollars and they are operating in wider swaths of the Indian Ocean. To protect against the growing threat, several countries, including India, have allowed armed security guards to be deployed on ships. The killing of the two fishermen off India’s southwestern coast Feb 15 made real the worst fears of those who had warned against the change in policy. India accused the Italian marines of mistaking the fishing boat for a pirate ship, shooting at it and killing the two fishermen. On Sunday, it arrested the marines, who were part of a six-member security team on the cargo ship the Enrica Lexie. With the men facing murder charges, Staffan De Mistura, Italy’s foreign ministry undersecretary, flew to India to plead their case to India’s deputy foreign minister, Preneet Kaur. New Delhi says the men must be tried here because the killings happened on an Indian boat and the dead men were Indians. Rome says the shooting took place in international waters and involved an Italian-flagged ship, and the case should be handled in Italian courts. De Mistura said the talks yesterday were “constructive,” but gave few details. Kaur said that while they disagreed on where the men should be tried, she had assured the Italians that Indian courts were “fair and free.” “We will certainly go by our law,” she said. Italy maintains that under UN anti-piracy norms, military personnel are allowed on cargo ships and are part of the Italian state and thus immune from foreign jurisdiction. Maritime organizations are questioning whether the very presence of armed security

could actually increase violence on the high seas. Earlier this week, UK-based maritime safety experts BCB International Ltd. said that the world needs to “rethink the self-protection measures used by commercial ships to ward off attacks from pirates.” “We have been warning for some time about the dangers linked with the used of armed guards on commercial vessels. The vast majority of armed guards protecting commercial vessels are extremely well trained and highly professional; but there can be no room for human error when lethal force is used,” the group’s marine projects manager, Jonathan Delf, said in a statement Monday. BCB appealed to world leaders meeting Thursday at the London Somalia Conference to bring forward “new non-lethal protective measures” to protect vessels from pirates. The Horn of Africa nation hasn’t had a functioning government since 1991, and piracy has flourished. While international militaries patrol the region, the seas are too vast to completely stop attacks. Indian ship owners have said their government’s decision to allow armed guards has prevented protected ships from being hijacked. Ian Millen, head of intelligence at the UKbased Dryad Maritime Intelligence Services, told The Associated Press that the use of force must always remain a last resort and shipping companies must take other measures to protect themselves against pirate attacks. These include using speedy vessels with tall sides that are difficult for pirates to climb, high pressure water hoses and razor wire. But Millen said armed guards were required in certain high-risk areas of the Indian Ocean. Whether the presence of armed security escalated the level of violence hadn’t been sufficiently proved, he said. In the past, pirates have aborted attacks when the level of risk is too high, he said. —AP


NEWS Afghan protests over Quran burning kill 9 Continued from Page 1 that such incidents do not happen again in future”, a statement said. Karzai also urged the US military to speed up a transfer to Afghan control of the controversial US-controlled prison at Bagram, sometimes known as Afghanistan’s Guantanamo Bay. “The sooner you do the transfer of the prison, the fewer problems and unfortunate incidents you will have,” the president told Carter. Two US officials told AFP the military removed Qurans from the prison because inmates were suspected of using the holy book to pass messages to each other. The joint NATO probe with the Afghan government would examine why the Qurans were removed and taken to a burn pit, a NATO spokesman said. “It is a very vital part of the investigation that we find out what was the material, what was the reason for the decision to dispose of it, who gave the orders ... and

what actually happened at the burn pit,” German Brigadier General Carsten Jacobson told reporters in Washington via video link. Local Afghan workers immediately “pulled material out that was partly charred and we have seen Qurans that were partly charred”, Jacobson said. For some reason NATO rules about the careful handling of religious materials were ignored, he said. “And somewhere a decision was made that was highly inappropriate and that brought us into a situation which is very delicate.” Jacobson told BBC World News TV that the incident was “probably an act of ignorance” and was “a mistake with grave consequences”. In the capital, hundreds of people poured onto the main artery to the east, the Jalalabad road, throwing stones at US military base Camp Phoenix. “As a result of shooting by foreign guards of Camp Phoenix one of our countrymen was killed and 10 others were injured,” an interior ministry statement said. The

demonstrators then tried to march on the city centre, burning cars and attacking shops as they went, but were driven back by riot police. About 100 university students demonstrated in west Kabul and dozens more people gathered at parliament until they were driven away by police. Six protesters were killed and 13 wounded in Parwan province north of Kabul, provincial administration spokeswoman Roshna Khalid told AFP, saying the protesters had attacked police with rocks and some were armed. In Jalalabad one person was killed as more than 1,000 demonstrators, many of them university students, blocked the highway shouting “Death to Americans, Death to Obama”. Elsewhere, one demonstrator was killed when about 800 gathered in Baraki Barak in Logar province, a flashpoint for Taliban violence south of Kabul. Reports that the Quran had been mistreated first emerged on Tuesday, sparking demonstrations in Kabul and outside Bagram base. — AFP

NYPD built secret files on mosques outside NY Continued from Page 1 “Wow,” he said as the AP laid out the details of the report. “This raises a number of concerns. It’s just very, very sobering.” Garry McCarthy, the Newark police director in 2007, said yesterday that the NYPD notified him as a courtesy that it was sending plainclothes offices into Newark. He said no Newark police officers were used in the operation. McCarthy is now working as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s police superintendent. Police conducted similar operations outside their jurisdiction in New York’s Suffolk and Nassau counties on suburban Long Island, according to police records. Such surveillance has become commonplace in New York City in the decade since the 2001 terrorist attacks. Police have built databases showing where Muslims live, where they buy groceries, even what Internet cafes they use and where they watch sports. Dozens of mosques and student groups have been infiltrated and police have built detailed profiles of ethnic communities, from Moroccans to Egyptians to Albanians. The documents obtained by the AP show, for the first time in any detail, how those efforts stretched outside the NYPD’s jurisdiction. New Jersey and Long Island residents had no reason to suspect the NYPD was watching them. And since the NYPD isn’t accountable to their votes or tax dollars, those non-New Yorkers had little recourse to stop it. “All of these are innocent people,” Nagiba El-Sioufi of Newark, said while her husband, Mohammed, flipped through the NYPD report, looking at photos of mosques and storefronts frequented by their friends. Egyptian immigrants and American citizens, the couple raised two daughters in the United States. Mohammed works as an accountant and is vice president of the Islamic Culture Center, a mosque a few blocks from Newark City Hall. “If you have an accusation on us, then spend the money on doing this to us,” Nagiba said. “But you have no accusation.” NYPD spokesman Paul Browne did not return a message seeking comment about the report. The goal of the report, like others the Demographics Unit compiled, was to give police at-their-fingertips access to information about Muslim neighborhoods. If police got a tip about an Egyptian terrorist in the area, for instance, they wanted to immediately know where he was likely to find a cheap room to rent, where he might buy his lunch and at what mosque he probably would attend Friday prayers. “These locations provide the maximum ability to assess the gener-

al opinions and general activity of these communities,” the Newark report said. The effect of the program was that hundreds of American citizens were catalogued sometimes by name, sometimes simply by their businesses and their ethnicity - in secret police files that spanned hundreds of pages: * “A Black Muslim male named Mussa was working in the rear of store,” an NYPD detective wrote after a clandestine visit to a dollar store in Shirley, New York, on Long Island. * “The manager of this restaurant is an Indian Muslim male named Vicky Amin” was the report back from an Indian restaurant in Lindenhurst, New York, also on Long Island. * “Owned and operated by an African Muslim (possibly Sudanese) male named Abdullah Ddita” was the summar y from another dollar store in Shirley, New York, just off the highway on the way to the Hamptons, the wealthy Long Island getaway. In one report, an officer describes how he put people at ease by speaking in Punjabi and Urdu, languages commonly spoken in Pakistan. This past summer, when the AP first began reporting about the NYPD’s surveillance efforts, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said his police do not consider religion in their policing. On Tuesday, following an AP story that showed the NYPD monitored Muslim student groups around the Northeast, school leaders including Yale University president Richard Levin expressed outrage over the tactics. Bloomberg fired back in what was the most vigorous defense yet of his department. “The police department goes where there are allegations. And they look to see whether those allegations are true,” he told reporters. “That’s what you’d expect them to do. That’s what you’d want them to do. Remind yourself when you turn out the light tonight.” There are no allegations of terrorism in the Demographics Unit reports and the documents make clear that police were only interested in locations frequented by Muslims. The canvas of businesses in Newark mentions Islam and Muslims 27 times. In one section of the report, police wrote that the largest immigrant groups in Newark were from Portugal and Brazil. But they did not photograph businesses or churches for those groups. “No Muslim component within these communities was identified,” police wrote, except for one business owned by a Brazilian Muslim of Palestinian descent. Polls show that most New Yorkers strongly support the NYPD’s counterterrorism efforts and don’t believe police unfairly target Muslims. The Muslim community, however, has called for Police Commissioner Ray Kelly’s resignation over the spying and the depart-

ment’s screening of a video that portrays Muslims as wanting to dominate the United States. In Newark, the report was met with a mixture of bemusement and anger. “Come, look at yourself on film,” Abdul Kareem Abdullah called to his wife as he flipped through the NYPD files at the lunch counter of their restaurant, Hamidah’s Cafe. An American-born citizen who converted to Islam decades ago, Abdullah said he understands why, after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, people are afraid of Muslims. But he said he wishes the police would stop by, say hello, meet him and his customers and get to know them. The documents show police have no interest in that, he said. “They just want to keep tabs on us,” he said. “If they really wanted to understand, they’d come talk to us.” After the AP approached Booker, he said the mayor’s office had launched an investigation. “We’re going to get to the bottom of this,” he said. Booker met with Islamic leaders while campaigning for mayor. Those interviewed by the AP said they wanted to believe he didn’t authorize the spying but wanted to hear from him directly. “I have to look in his eyes,” Mohammed El-Sioufi said at his mosque. “I know him. I met him. He was here.” Ironically, because officers conducted the operation covertly, the reports contain mistakes that could have been easily corrected had the officers talked to store owners or imams. If police ever had to rely on the database during an unfolding terrorism emergency as they had planned, those errors would have hindered their efforts. For instance, locals said several businesses identified as belonging to African-American Muslims actually were owned by Afghans or Pakistanis. El-Sioufi’s mosque is listed as an African-American mosque, but he said the imam is from Egypt and the congregation is a roughly even mix of black converts and people of foreign ancestries. “We’re not trying to hide anything. We are out in the open,” said Abdul A Muhammad, the imam of the Masjid Ali Muslim mosque in Newark. “You want to come in? We have an open door policy.” By choosing instead to conduct such widespread surveillance, Mohammed El-Sioufi said, police send the message that the whole community is suspect. “When you spy on someone, you are kind of accusing them. You are not accepting them for choosing Islam,” Nagiba El-Sioufi said. “This doesn’t say, ‘This guy did something wrong.’ This says, ‘Everyone here is a Muslim’.” “It makes you feel uncomfortable, like this is not your country,” she added. “This is our country.” — AP

Journalists killed as Homs pounded Continued from Page 1 French television reporter Gilles Jacquier was killed in Homs last month when a shell exploded amid a group of journalists covering protests in the city on a visit organised by the authorities. Syrian citizen journalist Rami AlSayyed, who provided live footage on the Internet from Baba Amr, was killed late Tuesday when a rocket hit a car in which he was travelling, activist Hadi Abdullah told AFP. Elsewhere, two civilians were killed as Syrian troops fired at the city of Khan Shaykhun, in the northwestern province of Idlib, the Observatory said. And in the northern city of Aleppo, security forces opened fire at university students who staged a protest at the department of electric engineering, the Observatory said, adding several were wounded. A call by the International Committee for the Red Cross for a two-hour truce daily to deliver aid to afflicted areas has gained support from the United Nations, as well as from the United States and Russia. Tuesday’s call

came a day after the ICRC said it was in talks with Syrian authorities and rebels to halt the violence. The talks were still at “the initial stage,” Saleh Dabbakeh, the ICRC spokesman in Damascus, told AFP. “We are exploring what can be done to implement a ceasefire.” In Geneva, the Syrian National Council began talks with ICRC officials on getting vital humanitarian assistance to crisis-hit areas. The main opposition group demanded the international community create “safe havens” and called on Russia to force the regime to allow access for aid convoys. In Paris, the SNC said it would attend a summit of the countries known as the “Friends of Syria” and ask for safe zones to protect civilians. Syrian authorities, meanwhile, blamed economic sanctions imposed by the West and Arab states, for the deterioration in healthcare service in the country. The rebel Free Syrian Army head, Colonel Riyadh Al-Asaad, has welcomed the humanitarian truce call but voiced doubts that the “criminal” regime would abide by a ceasefire. And the UN under secretary general for humanitarian affairs, Valerie Amos,

called on Syria to allow aid groups unimpeded access to the country. “This is a major human rights crisis that is now moving into significant humanitarian consequences,” Amos said. White House press secretary Jay Carney said “we support calls for ceasefires to allow for the provision of humanitarian supplies to Syrians who desperately need it”. Moscow, a staunch ally of Syrian, also supported the ICRC truce call, expressing “serious concern” about the humanitarian situation. But Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said Russia was not backing a French call for aid corridors because these would require support from foreign troops. Saudi King Abdullah told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev it was “futile” to have dialogue on Syria, saying Moscow should have “coordinated with the Arabs... before using the veto” to block a resolution on Syria in the UN Security Council. The conversation came two days ahead of an international conference in Tunisia to be attended by the Syrian opposition and not the regime, to find ways to end the bloodshed. — AFP

Iran defiant as nuke talks fail Continued from Page 1 The IAEA trip was seen as having an impact on the mooted resumption of talks between Iran and the P5+1 powers - Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, plus Germany - which broke down 13 months ago. France said Iran’s “refusal to cooperate” was “another missed opportunity” that added to a

standoff already aggravated by the Islamic republic’s recent boasts of nuclear progress. “We cannot but consider all of this contrary to the intentions” declared by Iran to resume negotiations with the P5+1, said a spokesman. Already talk of possible military action against Iran by Israel, with or without US help, had been giving urgency to diplomatic attempts to lower tensions. Russia, which

along with China has been giving Iran diplomatic cover, warned against that prospect. “The scenario of military action against Iran would be catastrophic for the region and possibly the whole system of international relations,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov. He urged nations to wait for the IAEA’s official report before deciding to condemn Iran for failing to cooperate. — AFP

Argentine train crash kills 49 Continued from Page 1 first and second cars of the train, Alberto Crescenti, the head of the city’s emergency ser vices office, said. Transpor tation Secretar y Juan Pablo Schiavi said the train entered the station at a speed of 20 km an hour, and failed to stop, crashing into a retaining wall at the end of the track. “It was a very serious accident,” he said at a news conference. “Cars piled up on top of each other and one them went six meters (yards) inside another car. People suffered contusions, but there are much more complex cases

involving traumas of the thorax. There are people trapped alive in the cars.” Firefighters and rescue workers had to break through skylights in the train’s roofs to open a path to those trapped inside. “I felt the explosion of the crash. It was very loud. The train did not brake, I saw people hurt in their necks, arms, legs,” said Pedro Fuentes, a passenger. Another passenger, who identified herself as Myriam, said she was with her two children, ages six and four. “In a blink of an eye we were on the floor. I don’t know how we got out. The door crashed in one me, and I covered the girl.” — AFP

Assembly to seek probes into... Continued from Page 1 The amendments come following strong criticism of the excessive use of the facility to detain suspects unnecessarily instead of releasing them on bail. More than a hundred stateless and Kuwaiti suspects are currently serving detention for 21 days on a variety of charges. In another development, four hardline Islamist MPs yesterday announced the formation of a new parliamentary bloc they called the “Justice” bloc. The new bloc will be headed by veteran Islamist MP Mohammad Hayef and includes new Islamist lawmakers Osama Al-Munawer, Mohammad Al-Hatlani and Bader AlDahoom. Hayef said the new bloc will focus on the Islamization of laws and achieving justice, equality and development. The new National Assembly bureau which is dominated by the opposition yesterday asked deputy speaker MP Khaled Al-Sultan to restudy the controver-

sial action by the previous bureau to file a complaint against those who stormed the Assembly building in November. Former speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi and other members of the previous bureau had agreed to file the complaint that eventually led to the arrest of dozens of youth activists and interrogating others, including several MPs. Several opposition MPs had vowed that if they won the election, they would press the Assembly to withdraw the complaint. Sultan told reporters that the Assembly does not have the authority to withdraw the complaint and close the case but it can interpret the legal aspects of the complaint. The lawmaker said that he was not assigned by the office bureau to withdraw the complaint but only to study the legal aspects and report back to the bureau which will take the final decision. Anticipating such a decision, progovernment MPs Nabeel Al-Fadl and Mohammad Al-Juwaihel criticized the Assembly’s decision to re-open the issue.





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Somali pirates: Unbeaten but under pressure By Peter Martell oreign navies and armed guards on boats have badly dented the cutthroat capabilities of marauding Somali pirates, but ending the scourge requires land-based solutions, analysts warn. Somalia’s pirates remain a fearsome force prowling far across the Indian Ocean seizing ships for ransom, costing the world billions of dollars each year and now branching out to increasing land-based attacks. “Success rates have plummeted, and pirates have a hard time capturing ships,” said Stig Jarle Hansen, a Norwegian academic and Somalia expert, noting increased assaults by foreign navies on vessels used as pirate “motherships.” One reason for the decline in successful attacks has been the increased use by shipping of armed guards and other security measures, said J Peter Pham, of the Atlantic Council think tank. “Most of the credit actually belongs to the shipping industry... whose adoption of defensive “best practices” and increased deployment of private armed security has effectively hardened vessels against seizure,” Pham said. But as successful attacks decline, ransom prices have risen: the average pay climbed to $5 million in 2011 from $4 million in 2010, according to the US-based Oceans Beyond Piracy monitoring group. Somali attacks cost the world nearly $7 billion in 2011, including more than $2 billion for military operations, armed guards and equipment to protect ships, the group estimated in a report earlier this month. Multiple pirate gangs hold a grim trophy haul of at least 34 vessels and over 400 hostages, according to the monitoring group Ecoterra, many seized by the use of small skiffs, grappling hooks and rocket-propelled grenades. However, while such “aggressive levels” of foreign naval patrols have thwarted attacks, such tactics provide no long-term solution, said Rashid Abdi, a long-time Somalia expert. “There has been a significant scaling up of these naval operations, but that in itself is no comfort,” said Abdi. “The counterpiracy naval patrols in Somalia may just be simply displacing the problem.” With warships only stopping individual attacks, analysts say that a land-based solution is required to provide impoverished communities with a reason not to resort to piracy. “The solution is still onshore, especially to build up Puntland,” Hansen said, referring to Somalia’s semiautonomous northern region, where many pirate gangs are based. Ransom cash is funneled to Puntland’s cities of Garowe and Bosasso with little long-term benefit for the coastal communities who carry out the attacks, Britain’s Chatham House think tank said in January. Efforts should be made therefore to approach coastal communities to “offer them an alternative that brings them far greater benefits than hosting pirates does”, Anja Shortland wrote in the report. The impact of piracy remains huge, and finding solutions to end the menace was a key driver behind Britain’s decision to mobilise international players at a February 23 London conference on Somalia. “If I were a Somali I would thank Allah for the pirates,” wrote Richard Dowden, the director of Britain’s Royal African Society, arguing that the world had ignored Somalia for two decades as “civil wars destroyed the country”. “But the seizure of more than 200 ships by kids with guns in small craft has changed all that,” Dowden added in a recent paper, noting a recent upsurge in international calls to end the anarchy. However, pressure at sea means the opportunistic bandits are also branching out to land-based kidnapping, including eyeing potential targets in neighbouring Ethiopia, or aid workers in Somalia’s anarchic capital Mogadishu, Hansen said. “The pirate groups have relocated to the hinterland - now they are kidnapping foreigners for ransom,” said Abdi. Kidnapping individuals may be an easier target than a merchant vessel bristling with guns and protected by warships, but have still proved troublesome targets for the bandits. Reports suggest pirates have tightened security after a US Special Forces raid last month rescued two aid workers an American and a Dane - and killed all nine kidnappers who had held them hostage for three months. Several Western hostages seized on land are believed held by pirates, either kidnapped directly or sold on later to the pirates by other armed gangs. They include a British tourist and two Spanish aid workers kidnapped in neighbouring Kenya, as well as an American writer seized in central Somalia. Ending the problem cannot be done by a simple quick fix plan, however. “We have to look for a comprehensive solution,” warned Abdi. — AFP


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Inside and out, divisions keep Syria in stalemate By Alastair Macdonald orld, please help us!” has been a refrain of Syrians under siege by their own government in Homs, Deraa and other cities. So far, though, it is probably President Bashar al-Assad who has had more outside assistance, highlighting how a complex web of regional and global interests is stalemated over Syria, where a complex social mix is shaping up for a long confrontation. The bombardment of Homs this month prompted talk of Syria’s “Benghazi moment” - when Western, and Arab, powers would feel compelled to intervene as they did in Libya last March, when Muammar Gaddafi’s forces closed in on the rebel stronghold. That moment, though, may have passed for now. Russia and China have vetoed a Libyastyle UN Security Council resolution condemning Assad. Homs looks increasingly like a forlorn Sarajevo, Syria like a Balkan riddle, destined to work out bloody internal differences while the confrontation among external forces hinder swift victory for either side. That the anti-Assad rebels, themselves a fractious bunch, look to support ranging from Western democrats to Arab monarchs, from Turkey to Al-Qaeda, is surely a mark of this complexity as is the backing Assad can count on from the clerical rulers of Iran and avowedly secular leaders in the Kremlin and Beijing. The numbers in last week’s 137-to-12 vote in the UN General Assembly condemning Assad were impressive, including the likes of emerging powers India and Brazil and 19 Arab League states out of 22. But the names against, notably Russia, China and Iran, are telling. The veto seems to have emboldened Assad to step up his raids and shelling of opposition strongholds, prompting the United States to suggest it was open to eventually arming the Syrian opposition. It said that if a political solution to the crisis was impossible it might have to consider other options. A “Friends of Syria” meeting in Tunis tomorrow will gather Western and Arab leaders with Assad’s opponents. But Russia has rejected any talks that do not include the Syrian government. It supports Assad’s referendum on reform, to be held on Sunday. The opposition and their foreign backers call that vote a joke. China, too, has yet to accept an invitation to Tunis and says it wants all sides to stop fighting and open negotiations. For many, Syria’s internal conflict is turning into a proxy war between rival international groupings, between Sunni and Shiite Muslims in the Middle East and, globally, along Cold War lines between democracies and authoritarian leaders. The weapons range from sanctions, economic and political, to arms shipments, overt and covert, for rival sides. In time, some troops, perhaps branded peacekeepers, might join the discreet advisers, spies and secret forces who may already be in action.


Internal Divisions Within Syria, ranged against Assad are large segments of the 23-million population. They include liberal-minded pro-democracy activists, many of them young and inspired by fellow Arabs who rose up in Egypt and elsewhere. But many in the Sunni Muslim majority, from middling urbanites to the rural and suburban poor, are also fed up with corruption and a growing wealth gap. And Sunni Islamists, long suppressed, are capitalising on deep popular resentments after decades of domination by Assad’s Alawite religious minority, an offshoot of Shiism. As some in the opposition take up arms seized from troops, brought by soldiers deserting to the rebel side or smuggled in from increasingly compliant foreign allies - Assad can still count on a heavy military advantage, counting tens of thousands of troops with thousands of tanks and heavy weapons. Russia, Iran and others have been supplying more, throughout the revolt. Fear of the unknown, of chaos or of a takeover by hardline Islamists among the 70 percent Sunni Arab majority means not just the Alawite 10 percent, but also substantial communities of Christians, Kurds, Druze and other religious or ethnic minorities,

as well as the urban, Sunni middle classes have been slow to turn against Assad, giving him a wider base of support. Many in the minorities, with grievances against the Assads, or hurt by economic sanctions that are crippling the economy, or appalled at the descent into bloodshed or simply hedging their bets, have moved into opposition. Yet many, too, feel that their communities have much to lose from overturning the status quo. The regular army and security forces number officially some 400,000. Largely led by Alawites, the loyalty of many conscripts may be questionable. But Assad has also yet to deploy much of his heaviest firepower, including the air force. Alongside the regular forces, the authorities have armed groups known as ‘shabbiha’ - ‘ghosts’ in Arabic a name derived from gangsters operating in the Alawite areas of western Syria. These have been blamed for sectarian attacks on Sunnis, just as militant Islamists are accused of attacks on Alawite targets. International Standoff Beyond his borders, Assad is also not without allies. The Syrian president, who inherited power from his father 12 years ago, has aligned himself firmly on one side of the Middle East’s deepening split between Sunni and Shiite Muslim powers. While religion has played little part in the calculation of the Assad clan in its four decades in power, Syria has stood out among Arab states by keeping close to nonArab, Shiite Iran. Hafez Al-Assad, Bashar’s father, sided with Iran’s clergy against his Iraqi neighbour, Saddam Hussein, despite their common branding as Baathist Arab nationalists, during the war of the 1980s. That earned the Assads the abiding mistrust of many Sunnis, but has given Bashar the advantage of quiet support now from some in Baghdad, where the US overthrow of Saddam brought Iranian-allied leaders from Iraq’s Shiite majority to the fore. At the same time, Iraqi officials say, Sunni militants battle-hardened from years of sectarian conflict have been flitting across into Syria - reversing a border flow which once brought Syrian and other hardliners in to fight US forces. This month Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri urged Sunni Muslims across the region to help Syrians topple Assad. Short on anti-tank rockets, however, or the kind of explosives with which to make improvised bombs, their challenge to Assad is limited. At the level of governments, most of the Arab League - even those monarchs and autocrats who have watched the Arab Spring with alarm and have no relish for supporting popular uprisings - has lined up against Assad. So has one of the most influential voices of the Sunni clergy, Cairo’s Al-Azhar institution. Qatar, the tiny, gas-powered Gulf emirate with regional power ambitions, has been lobbying for a threat of military action in Syria, at least in the form of “peacekeeping” troops - a move few others seem willing to risk for the time being. As in Libya, where Qatar’s Al Jazeera television station was a vocal critic of Gaddafi before the emir dispatched military hardware and, in time, special forces on the ground, Syria, too, has been alive with rumours of Qatari weapons, even a small, secret presence, though there is no evidence for that yet. Wealthier still, Saudi Arabia’s rulers, closely in tune with the austere Wahhabi school of Sunni religious thought, would be glad to see their Iranian regional rival, already under pressure from Western sanctions and threats of action against its nuclear program, thwarted by the fall of its main Arab ally, Assad. Direct Saudi involvement beyond diplomatic and, possibly, material support for the opposition seems unlikely in Syria. But its confrontation with Iran has taken visible form lately in the shape of Saudi troops sent in to neighbouring Bahrain to bolster the island’s Sunni monarchy against an uprising among the majority Shiite population for which Riyadh has blamed Iran. Iran’s various leaders, on the other hand, while appearing to distance themselves somewhat from Assad’s violence - and his unpopularity at home and abroad - seem unlikely to abandon their long-time ally, particularly at a time when they, too, feel threatened by popu-

lar frustrations at home and pressure abroad. Western adversaries of Iran have accused it of supplying not just military equipment but electronic surveillance and other tools developed to crack down on dissidents using the Internet and mobile phones. Assad’s enemies accuse him of using Iranian specialists to help against the revolt and rebels say they have captured a handful of Iranian military personnel inside Syria. There are suggestions that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards - and their Lebanese allies in Hezbollah - may have provided some of the sharpshooters picking people off on the streets of Homs. This week, two Iranian warships docked at a Syrian port in what looked like a show of military support, according to Iran’s Press TV. The Pentagon said it had no indication the ships had docked. Directly on his eastern and western borders, Assad also has friendlier faces - Iraq’s Shiite-led government is at least ambivalent, while in Lebanon, where Hezbollah has emerged as a dominant force in the years since Assad pulled Syrian troops out of his smaller neighbour, Assad has clear support. Lebanon stood out by opposing an Arab League resolution in November that called for Assad to step aside. In that vote, Iraq abstained. Last week at the United Nations, as pressure mounted, Iraq voted against Assad, while Lebanon was among abstainers. To the south, Jordan, like the Gulf powers another Western-allied Sunni monarchy, has come out publicly against Assad. But with concerns for its own stability, it seems unlikely to take a strong lead in backing the rebels beyond accepting refugees. The other southern neighbour Israel, which has occupied the Golan Heights since seizing them from Syria in the war of 1967, has been unenthusiastic about the possible chaos or Islamist takeover that might follow a departure of its old, but generally subdued, enemy, the Assad administration. However, it appears to have concluded it cannot survive, and is planning for change, as well as an influx of refugees heading for the Golan, which is home notably to communities of Druze. In a turn that may demonstrate a shifting balance of power in the region, the Palestinians’ Sunni Islamist movement Hamas has distanced itself from Assad, moving their leader out of Damascus and, after two decades of backing from Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, it is sounding out support from Sunni Qatar. Egypt, the most populous Arab state, where the Sunni Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood now dominate a parliament elected after the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak last year, is also looking kindly on its fellow Brotherhood followers in Syria. Assad’s northern neighbour, Turkey, a Muslim NATO member whose leadership comes from a Sunni Islamist background, has also abandoned him, condemning a former friend and giving refuge to rebel commanders of the Free Syrian Army. Ankara is worried a flood of refugees could destabilise the border. It has raised the possibility of creating safe areas in Syria to protect civilians, and even of intervening militarily if there were massacres in cities. Any action, though, officials say, would only be undertaken with some form of international mandate, including support from Arab and Western allies. Tomorrow’s meeting in Tunis, at which Turkey hopes to take a lead after being slow off the mark to join NATO allies against Gaddafi, may offer clues as to how far Ankara is prepared to go. Cold War However impressive the anti-Assad bloc may be, a world power stand-off in the Middle East is becoming more defined and recalls the days of the Cold War, when Assad’s father used a firm alliance with the Soviet Union against the United States to arm himself heavily against enemies internal and external. Nostalgia may play little part in Moscow’s strategy today, but Syria hosting Russia’s only Mediterranean naval base, at Tartous, and the possibility of using the Syrian conflict to reassert itself as a diplomatic player in the region means that Moscow shows little sign of siding quickly with the West. China, too, as seen in its sympathetic ear for

Iran’s leaders, has a growing interest, as an increasingly demanding consumer of energy, in asserting itself in the Middle East. And, like Russia, Beijing has shown a commitment to blocking moves at the United Nations which, seen across the desks of leaders whose power rests as much on state control as popular choice, appears to give foreign powers a say in who rules. Taken aback by the way a UN Security Council resolution which they failed to veto led to the Western military campaign that helped topple Colonel Gaddafi, Russia and China have made clear they will not allow any new move to give a licence for “regime change” in the name of Western-inspired democracy. This week, Beijing’s People’s Daily told the West its calls for Assad to quit could provoke “large-scale civil war”. Russia’s Vladimir Putin, campaigning to become president again in an election he is sure to win next month, has made a point of condemning as a “culture of violence” the temptation among Western governments to intervene militarily abroad. Having first entered the Kremlin 12 years ago on the back of the bombardment of a Russian city, Grozny, that was in the hands, as he saw it, of Wahabbi Islamist rebels, Putin has little reason to condemn Assad’s assaults on Homs or Deraa. Syrian defectors, rebel forces, Russian analysts and international shipping data all indicate that Russia continues regular supplies of heavy armaments to the Syrian government as it is legally entitled to do in the absence of any embargo. While Iranian and Chinese arms form substantial parts of Assad’s stocks - only a small proportion of which have yet been expended - Russia may account for nearly all of the newer, and more high-performance, equipment reaching Syria, both directly from Russian state-run firms and via middlemen, analysts say. As in the Balkans, where Western backing for, say, Kosovo separatists, against Moscow’s ally Serbia raised tensions to levels rarely seen since the Cold War, this places Moscow in direct confrontation with leaders in Europe and Washington. In France, the former colonial power which drew modern Syria’s borders, President Nicolas Sarkozy is highlighting his leading role in the Libyan war as he fights a tough campaign for re-election. He has been vocal in condemning Assad and supporting the disparate, often fractious, Syrian opposition. Not Libya The United States, Britain and others have also pulled no punches verbally to denounce the “brutal dictator” Assad. While British Prime Minister David Cameron has relished some of the credit for overthrowing Gaddafi, unlike Sarkozy and US President Barack Obama, he does not face an election this year. Some of Obama’s Republican opponents in the Senate have already explicitly called for Washington to help arm the rebels, if only through Arab allies. In a shift of emphasis, US officials on Tuesday signaled that if Assad did not embrace a political solution to ease him from power the United States might have to consider alternatives to its policy against arming the opposition. As in the Balkans, as over Iran, the realpolitik of a global power confrontation puts Syria in a very different situation from Libya, a geographically isolated, thinly populated, socially homogeneous state whose ruler’s talent for shifting foreign alliances had deserted him and left him vulnerable. Syria’s population is four times that of Libya, jammed in to a tenth of the territory. Its population is similar to that of the former Yugoslavia or Iraq, yet it is smaller than either, about the size of Florida. It is socially diverse, packed into fast-growing cities and across wellpeopled farm-belts. It is the sort of space where, even were the opposition to coalesce as Libyans did into a greater semblance of a rebel army, there would, unlike in Libya, be little chance for clear frontlines along which foreign powers might deploy air power and every likelihood of bloody, confused civil war, as in Bosnia. So when Syrians appeal to “the world” for help, they must know that world appears as divided as Syria itself. Assad can go on using those divisions - at home and across the Middle East and globally to hold his ground, at least for now. — Reuters


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Botes debut for Italy DUBLIN: Flyhalf Tobias Botes will make his first Italy start in Saturday’s Six Nations championship clash with Ireland in Dublin after coach Jacques Brunel made four changes from the team who lost to England. Treviso’s South Africa-born Botes, who has made two replacement appearances during this year’s tournament, has come in for Kristopher Burton as Italy try out yet another player in their problem position. Burton drops to the bench alongside Gonzalo Canale with Alberto Sgarbi returning in his place at centre. Prop Martin Castrogiovanni, who cracked a rib in the 19-15 defeat by England in Rome on Feb. 11, has been ruled out for the rest of the competition so Lorenzo Cittadini has come in with Michele Rizzo another change in the front row. Perennial wooden spoon side Italy also lost their opener in France 30-12 and go to Dublin looking for their first win there in 15 years. Flanker Mauro Bergamasco, a previous mainstay of the team who has been sidelined by Brunel since the Frenchman took over from Nick Mallett before the championship, is out of the tournament after being banned for four weeks.—Reuters

NHL results/standings Buffalo 2, NY Islanders 1; New Jersey 4, Toronto 3 (Overtime); Pittsburgh 2, NY Rangers 0; Columbus 6, San Jose 3; Philadelphia 5, Winnipeg 4 (Overtime); Dallas 3, Montreal 0; Tampa Bay 3, Anaheim 2; Nashville 3, Vancouver 1; Chicago 2, Detroit 1; Edmonton 6, Calgary 1; Phoenix 5, Los Angeles 4 (Shootout).

Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W NY Rangers 38 New Jersey 35 Philadelphia 33 Pittsburgh 34 NY Islanders 25

L 15 20 19 21 27

OTL 5 4 7 5 8

GF 161 168 198 186 140

GA 118 162 181 160 176

PTS 81 74 73 73 58

Boston Ottawa Toronto Buffalo Montreal

Northeast Division 35 20 2 31 22 8 29 24 7 26 27 7 24 27 10

190 185 181 150 160

132 183 184 176 167

72 70 65 59 58

Florida Winnipeg Washington Tampa Bay Carolina

Southeast Division 27 20 11 29 26 7 29 25 5 27 26 6 23 26 11

144 157 159 166 158

162 175 168 197 181

65 65 63 60 57

Detroit St. Louis Nashville Chicago Columbus

Western Conference Central Division 41 18 2 191 36 16 7 150 35 19 6 168 33 21 7 191 18 35 7 142

141 117 155 179 198

84 79 76 73 43

Vancouver Calgary Colorado Minnesota Edmonton

Northwest Division 38 16 6 28 23 9 29 27 4 26 24 9 23 30 6

195 143 151 131 159

147 161 168 154 178

82 65 62 61 52

San Jose Phoenix Los Angeles Dallas Anaheim

Pacific Division 31 20 7 30 21 9 27 21 12 30 26 4 25 25 10

170 157 128 155 154

148 151 131 167 171

69 69 66 64 60

Golf will be great for the Games — LPGA SINGAPORE: The “borderless” nature of women’s golf makes it an ideal fit for the Olympic Games and its return to the official programme in Rio 2016 will help strengthen investment and interest in the sport, LPGA Commission Mike Whan has told Reuters. Whan, speaking in Singapore ahead of the HSBC Women’s Champions tournament, said that while day-today life on the Tour was all about the individual, the concept of playing for country was one the LPGA, players and fans thoroughly embraced. “From my perspective, the Olympics is going to give women’s golf a global media platform and coverage that we just don’t get on a regular basis,” Whan told Reuters in an interview yesterday at Singapore’s Tanah Merah Country Club. “The guys get it a lot. They get global media coverage that’s incredibly massive but we only get it three or four times a year,” added Whan, who took over as commissioner in 2010. “Hopefully golf will also be good for the Olympics. I feel like we have a responsibility because the Olympics is an incredible global showcase so we are feeling the pressure to do it right.” The International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted in 2009 to bring golf back to the Games for the first time since 1904. Rugby, which was last played at an Olympic level in 1924, is also making a return in Rio, in the Sevens format. The decision to include golf has not been met with universal praise, with some critics suggesting the pursuit of an Olympic gold medal will always take a back seat to winning a major. And while others suggest existing team competitions such as the Ryder and Solheim Cups could lose some of their lustre, Whan believed having an Olympic gold medal to play for every four years would serve to motivate youngsters. “At the end of the day, our mission is to empower and inspire women through the game of golf,” the 47-year-old said, adding that investment in the game got an immediate boost after the IOC’s decision. “If you’re 12 and you’re a great golfer, it doesn’t matter which country you are from you can have that dream. Golf is a truly borderless sport and that’s why it lends itself to the Olympics so well.” Whan said that while the nationality of a player was usually an afterthought on Tour, there were incredible outpourings of national pride when the LPGA went to countries such as Taiwan, where current world number one Yani Tseng comes from. “When we go play in Taiwan they’re so proud of Yani. It’s the same thing when we go to places like Korea, Australia ... The fans take pride in following players from their country. We don’t want to suppress that, we want to celebrate it.” Tseng, who won in Thailand last week, said the prospect of winning a gold medal appealed to her. “It’s very exciting, I was very happy to hear that golf is back in the Olympics, she said. “It’ll be very good for golf, and it would be my honor to play for my county.”—Reuters

Big Olympics security test LONDON: British police, fire and ambulance staff held a huge pre-Olympics security exercise Wednesday centering on a mock terrorist attack on the London subway system. The two-day test - called “Exercise Forward Defensive” - started at the Aldwych subway station, which has been closed to commuters since 1994. The London Underground maintains the station so it can be used in movies and rented for parties. The security simulates an attack on one of the busiest days during the 2012 London Olympics. Authorities declined to reveal the exact scenario in advance, saying surprise is a key element of the exercise. “(It’s about ensuring) that we have the right people in the right

places, that we understand how others operate and that we are talking to each other at the right levels and in the right way,” said Assistant Commissioner Chris Allison of the Metropolitan Police. The test is a part of efforts to create confidence ahead of the games, which open July 27 and end Aug. 12. British Transport Police spokesman Simon Lubin said for participants the test evoked memories of the July 7, 2005, London transit attacks, when four suicide bombers killed 52 commuters aboard three subway trains and a bus. The attacks came a day after London was awarded the 2012 Olympics. Official reports and an inquest criticized the emergency services’ response to the 2005 bombings. —AP

Okubo to ‘play by the rules’ TOKYO: Japan forward Yoshito Okubo has promised to be on his best behaviour after being brought in from the cold for Friday’s home friendly against Iceland by coach Alberto Zaccheroni. The hot-head striker, whose international career has been littered with ill-timed red cards and run-ins with coaches, said yesterday he planned to repay the Italian’s faith in him. “I’m just going to get my head down and work hard,” Vissel Kobe’s Okubo told reporters before Japan’s first game of 2012 in Osaka. “I’ve been told to play by the rules the coach has laid out. It’s a little difficult to find your rhythm at the beginning but I’ll try to get a feel for it again quickly. “It doesn’t feel like I’ve been away from the national team,” added Okubo, who last played for Japan at the World Cup in 2010 when he helped them reach the last 16. While injury had kept Okubo out of Japan’s side, Zaccheroni’s list of walking wounded have given the pint-sized forward a chance to force his way back into side. —Reuters

Predators roll over Canucks NASHVILLE: Nashville’s Mike Fisher scored a power-play goal and added two assists to lift the Predators to a 3-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday in a clash of two of the NHL Western Conference’s top four teams. Sergei Kostitsyn and David Legwand also scored for the Predators. Fisher, who sat out Sunday’s game in Dallas due to illness, broke the scoreless tie 5:42 into the second period. Dale Weise had the lone goal for the Canucks, who missed an opportunity to move level with Detroit for the league lead.

forward Alexei Ponikarovsky also scored for the Devils, who have won four games in a row. Phil Kessel’s 31st goal of the season for Toronto came with 44 seconds left in regulation, forcing overtime. Tim Connolly had scored in the first period, and Clarke MacArthur added a goal in the second. Flyers 5, Jets 4 In Winnipeg, Jaromir Jagr

Dustin Byfuglien and Evander Kane also netted for the Jets. These two teams played each other four times this year for an aggregated of 39 goals, including the Jets 9-8 win last October. Coyotes 5, Kings 4 In Glendale, Arizona, Radim Vrbata scored his second goal late in regulation as Phoenix rallied from a three-goal deficit to beat Los Angeles in a shootout.

Stars 3, Canadiens 0 In Montreal, Ryan Garbutt scored his first NHL goal and Kari Lehtonen made 31 saves as Dallas beat Montreal. Mike Ribeiro and Tom Wandell also scored for the Stars. The shots were 9-0 in favor of Dallas before Montreal recorded its first at 8:14. For a fifth straight game, the Canadiens allowed their opponent to strike first when Garbutt, just called up from

Blackhawks 2, Red Wings 1 In Chicago, Corey Crawford made 31 saves to help Chicago hold off Detroit in a matchup of Central Division rivals missing their top centers. Jimmy Hayes scored the tying goal in the second period and set up Marcus Kruger’s winning score in the third as Chicago earned its fourth consecutive victory. Valtteri Filppula had opened the scoring with a power-play goal for NHL-leading Detroit, which had won six in a row. The Red Wings were without leading scorer Pavel Datsyuk while Chicago was missing star center Jonathan Toews due to an upperbody injury. Penguins 2, Rangers 0 In Pittsburgh, Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 27 shots to tie the franchise record for career shutouts, helping Pittsburgh top Eastern Conference-leading New York. Evgeni Malkin scored his 33rd goal of the season and added an assist on Steve Sullivan’s tally to help the Penguins bounce back from a listless loss in Buffalo on Sunday. Pittsburgh posted its first home win over the Rangers since 2009. Devils 4, Maple Leafs 3 In Toronto, Mark Fayne scored just over a minute into overtime to give New Jersey victory over Toronto. Fayne’s weak shot from the point somehow found its way through goalie Jonas Gustavsson. Petr Sykora had a goal and an assist for New Jersey, and David Clarkson and former Maple Leafs

PITTSBURG: A shot goes over the head of Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (29) after it was deflected by New York Rangers’ Ryan Callahan (24) in the third period of an NHL hockey game.—AP scored in overtime to lift Philadelphia over Winnipeg in yet another high-scoring affair between these teams. Philadelphia’s Wayne Simmonds had sent the game into the extra period with a goal with 10 seconds left in regulation. Claude Giroux had a goal and two assists, and Scott Hartnell added a goal and an assist, while Maxime Talbot also scored for the Flyers. Andrew Ladd scored a pair of goals 64 seconds apart while

Shane Doan also had two goals to help extend Phoenix’s point streak to nine games. Vrbata scored on a power play with 2:27 left, then Ray Whitney and Mikkel Boedker scored for Phoenix in the shootout, which ended when Los Angeles defenseman Jack Johnson missed wide right. Drew Doughty, Andrei Loktionov and Dustin Brown scored in the first period, and Justin Williams added his 12th goal in the second for the Kings.

the minors, snapped a shot from the circle over a crouched goalie. Lightning 3, Ducks 2 In Tampa, Steven Stamkos scored twice to push his NHLleading total to 42 goals, and added an assist as Tampa Bay beat Anaheim. Stamkos has five goals and eight points over his past three games. Teddy Purcell added a goal and two assists for the Lightning, who have won three in a row.

Saku Koivu and Bobby Ryan both had a goal and an assist for the Ducks, who lost in regulation for the first time in ten games. Tampa Bay was without captain Vincent Lecavalier, who will be sidelined indefinitely by a broken right hand. Sabres 2, Islanders 1 In Buffalo, Ryan Miller made 30 saves to help Buffalo hold off New York . Tyler Myers and Thomas Vanek staked the Sabres to a 2-0 lead and they held on to move a point above the Islanders in the Eastern Conference standings. Frans Nielsen scored with 5:08 left to snap the Islanders’ goal drought at 106 minutes, 51 seconds. Former NHL star Doug Weight filled in as New York ’s coach because Jack Capuano was ill. Oilers 6, Flames 1 In Calgary, Sam Gagner scored a goal and added two assists, and Edmonton broke out with four unanswered goals in the second period in a rout of Calgary. Jordan Eberle, Ryan Smyth, Taylor Hall, Ales Hemsky and Eric Belanger also had goals for the Oilers, who had won only one of nine on the road going in. Scott Hannan netted just his second goal of the season and first in 52 games to provide the only score for the Flames, who lost in regulation for the first time this month. Calgary had won 10 straight at home against the Oilers and beaten them in 16 of 17 meetings. Blue Jackets 6, Sharks 3 In Columbus, Jeff Carter notched a hat trick - including two goals on the power play during Columbus’ four-goal first period - as the last-placed Blue Jackets handed San Jose its season-worst fourth straight loss. RJ Umberger and Rick Nash, who is the subject of trade rumors with the deadline less than a week away, had a goal and an assist. David Savard also scored for Columbus. Logan Couture scored twice and Joe Thornton also had a goal for San Jose.—AP

Pacquiao touts Bradley fight, teases retirement BEVERLY HILLS: Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley Jr. both realize almost every boxing fan wishes Floyd Mayweather Jr. had been standing next to Pacquiao at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Tuesday. But when Pacquiao and Mayweather failed to make a deal for the fight everybody wants to see, Pacquiao moved down the list of contenders to make a fight he hopes his fans will enjoy. Pacquiao and Bradley are getting an early start on the promotional circuit for their welterweight bout June 9 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas. Even while the Filipino congressman and his unbeaten opponent posed for photos and praised each other in the peachcolored ballroom at the historic Hollywood hideaway, Pacquiao and his camp realized Mayweather’s absence looms over the proceedings. “I’m willing to fight Mayweather,” Pacquiao said. “But I have to fight the guys who are hungry to fight me. Timothy Bradley is strong, and he can punch. He’s a good boxer, so it’s a challenge to fight a guy like that.” Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KOs) realizes he’ll have to do plenty of promoting to get fans interested in a fight against Bradley, a 140-pound (63.5-kilogram) champion from Palm Springs, California, who has never been in a fraction of the spotlight that follows Pacquiao across the globe. Pacquiao will make sure every fan knows all about Bradley (28-0, 12 KOs), praising him as a game opponent who enjoys a good action fight as much as he does - another indirect swipe at the defense-oriented Mayweather. “It’s nice to be fighting a fighter who is undefeated and not worried about losing that zero on his record,” said Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s longtime trainer. Yet Roach repeatedly showed little interest in a bout with Bradley in recent years, citing Bradley’s near anonymity and limited knockout power. Although Bradley’s record makes him an eminently worthy opponent, he only pulled into prime position for the bout last year when he joined promoter Bob Arum’s Top Rank alongside Pacquiao. Pacquiao and Bradley haven’t exactly built up any motivation to punch each other in the face yet, either. After Pacquiao cracked up in laughter when he posed for a staredown with Bradley, the Filipino champion grabbed a camera and shot a few photos of Bradley, who struck a goofy pose.

Pacquiao is “probably the best fighter in the history of boxing,” said Bradley, a physical boxer best known for using his shaved head as a battering ram to get inside on his opponents. “He’s a great role model, a great guy, but Manny Pacquiao has reigned for a long time, and I really feel like I’m the new face of boxing.” Boxing could need a new face as soon as next year. Mayweather has fought sparingly in his 30s, and Pacquiao says he’ll consider retirement in November

Manny Pacquiao

after his next two bouts. Pacquiao cites a renewed religious fervor for his interest in retirement, saying he’s no longer comfortable pounding on his opponents while winning his last 15 fights. Roach said Pacquiao’s last training camp “fell apart” in its final days because of numerous distractions including friction between Pacquiao and his wife, Jinkee, resulting in a mediocre performance in a narrow victory over Juan Manuel Marquez. “He says God doesn’t want him to hurt people,” Roach said. “That bothers me a little bit, but Manny has always been a compassionate person.” Even while hyping his bout with Bradley, Pacquiao knows everybody will ask him about the potential of a Mayweather fight in November. Even his 11-year-old son, Emmanuel Jr., is on his dad’s case. “My kids request me: ‘Dad, I want you to retire, but before, you have to fight Mayweather and beat him,’” Pacquiao said with a grin. Pressed for details about the breakdown in negotiations with Mayweather, Pacquiao said he was willing to fight for a 50-50 split of all revenue from what’s likely to be the richest fight in boxing history. Pacquiao recounted his phone conversation with Mayweather several weeks ago, with negotiations falling apart afterward. “I was in the Philippines, and I told him, ‘We need to make this fight happen,’” Pacquiao said. “I said I would agree to a 50-50 (split), and he said, ‘Oh, I’ll give you a $40 million guarantee, and no pay-per-view. I’ll take all the pay-per-view.’ I don’t accept that offer. It’s kind of embarrassing to me. It’s trying to take advantage of me. He doesn’t want to fight.” That $40 million might sound like a fortune, but a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight is expected to produce more than $150 million in pay-per-view proceeds alone. Mayweather’s camp denies Mayweather made such an offer, but the verbal sniping likely won’t let up next week when Mayweather begins promoting his May 5 bout against Miguel Cotto. Pacquiao is making a brief trip stateside before heading back to the Philippines. After stops in Las Vegas and Hollywood for promotional shoots, he’s taking a Nike corporate jet to New York for more publicity - and hopefully a meeting with Jeremy Lin before the Knicks’ next game Wednesday night. “Jeremy Lin, I’m proud as an Asian,” said Pacquiao, an avid basketball fan and player. “We’re very proud of him. Keep up the good work.”—AP


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PGA Tour changes inevitable, details to follow MARANA: No one is quick to embrace change until money is involved. That’s one reason the Players Advisory Council gave its blessing last week to the concept of the Nationwide Tour being the primary path to the big leagues, PGA Tour cards being awarded in a three-tournament series and a new season starting in October instead of January. It now goes to the policy board on March 27. The details - and there are many remain very much under discussion. This is not just about making the developmental tour attractive to a new title sponsor. It’s about making the fall tournaments relevant, and the only way to do that is to include them in the FedEx Cup season. Otherwise, the likelihood is they would go away. That equates to as much as $24.3 million in prize money, not to mention the loss in charity money, the backbone of the PGA Tour. “We’d be the first professional sport to vote down money,” said Joe Ogilvie, part of the 16-member PAC. “That’s what we would be doing if we voted it down. When you put it in those terms, a lot of guys went from, ‘We shouldn’t do this’ to ‘You kind of have to.’” Change appears inevitable.

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem suggested as much last week in an interview with the Los Angeles Daily News when he said that while the system is not broken, “we feel there’s a better way to do it.” Even more telling was what followed. “We’ve had so much success with the FedEx Cup that we feel it’s important to get everything oriented to the FedEx Cup,” he said. Change will not be easy. The original plan was to take the top 75 players from the Nationwide Tour and players who finished from No. 126 to No. 200 on the PGA Tour money list and have them play three tournaments, with the top 50 getting their tour cards. The one detail causing the most consternation is how to blend players from two different tours. As it is, the top 25 from the Nationwide Tour earn their cards. The tour is trying to make sure that most, if not all, of those 25 players are ranked in a way it would be virtually impossible for them not to earn cards in the three-tournament series. But how to merge the others? Did the player who was No. 126 on the PGA Tour money list - competing every week against the top players have the same season as someone

who was No. 26 on the money list while competing in the minor leagues? “I’ve played the Nationwide Tour twice. I finished second and third on the money list,” Ogilvie said. “I haven’t finished second or third on this money list.” Ogilvie’s best finish on the PGA Tour was 37th in 2004. Tom Pernice Jr. has a solution that sadly is not getting much traction from tour officials. His idea is to give the top 25 on the Nationwide Tour their cards without having to play in the threetournament series. Everyone else starts from scratch. Think about it. Under the current model of Q-school, No. 126 on the money list has no advantage over No. 168. It’s not like the higher-ranked player is given a pair of 68s and told he doesn’t have to tee off until the third of six rounds. “It seems like everyone is a little unsure how to seed the guy who’s 126 on the money list,” said Matt Kuchar, another PAC member. “These are tough decisions. Trying to figure out where everyone fits in this is awkward. I think it’s going to be trial-anderror.” Unlike the FedEx Cup points system, this is one model the tour has to get right the first time. But this is only one piece of the puzzle. There will be

several moving parts to a new schedule, just as there was when the FedEx Cup was created five years ago. One of the components might involve this week. According to two people apprised of the conversations, one option is to move the Match Play Championship to Harding Park in San Francisco - and move it from late February to October as part of the fall start to the season. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss negotiations. Both stressed that the option was in the early stages of consideration. If that were to happen, it would give the fall start to at least two World Golf Championships (HSBC Champions in China is the other), which would be hard for players to turn down. Also, the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Mexico held opposite the Match Play this week - is getting its own spot on the calendar, most likely toward the end of the year - again, in the fall start to the season. However, such a move might create problems for the West Coast Swing, a key stretch in setting the tone for the year. Four of the West Coast events don’t conflict with the NFL, and all of them are prior to March

Madness. When is the offseason? Whenever the players want a break. It’s always been that way. Even in the shorter FedEx Cup season, players were going overseas to play in Asia, Europe and Australia. Still, if players add tournaments in the fall, some could take time off in the early part of the following year. Kuchar played the Australian Open and the Presidents Cup in Australia, the World Cup in China, and then the Chevron World Challenge in California. “I like my time off,” Kuchar said. “This year on the West Coast, I’ve just been getting my feet wet. I’ve only played two events. I just didn’t think I had much of an offseason.” There could be plenty of others like him. These are the issues that still have to be sorted out. And while the PAC sent the concept of a fall start to the policy board, there’s still a long way to go and much to consider. But change is coming, and that’s nothing new. Remember, it was 30 years ago when only the top 60 earned tour cards. The rest had to Monday qualify, and anyone who made the cut that week got into the next tournament. The next year was the start of the allexempt tour. —AP

McIlroy sees beauty and the beast in Match Play

PARIS: France’s Rugby Union national team centre Wesley Fofana and Julien Malzieu (right) arrive for a press conference in Marcoussis. —AFP

Super 15 uncertainty as longest season begins WELLINGTON: The Super 15 tournament starts this week with plenty of plot lines to appeal to fans, yet teams and organizers are wondering whether the elongated seven-month-long season will test the patience of the rugby public. In New Zealand, fans old and new will have been inspired by last year’s World Cup win on home soil, Australia boasts the defending champion Queensland Reds, while South Africa’s teams boast a fresh look and new promise. The question remains whether those factors will be enough to sustain fan interest from February to August, straddling the June international window when the southern hemisphere’s national teams host northern opposition. Fan support remains strong in Australia - particularly in Queensland and in South Africa where teams have been refreshed after recent retirements. But in New Zealand ticket sales have been slow despite last year’s droughtbreaking World Cup win. For some time, Kiwi fans have gravitated towards the older, more traditional rivalries of interprovincial competition and away from the glossier international attractions of Super 15. New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive Steve Tew said New Zealand’s Super 15 clubs have to work harder to satisfy supporters. “ There is definitely a positive feel about the game,” Tew said. “Does that mean people will start automatically turning up to matches? I don’t think we can make that assumption. “The franchises are going to have to work very hard to make sure people come and give them good value for

money when they’re there.” New Zealand is about to move away from the franchise ownership model which it has used since 1996, in a step towards more private involvement in team operation. There are also structural changes afoot in South Africa, where the local union is pressing SANZAR to expand the competition next season to 16 teams, allowing it to field a sixth side drawn from the Eastern Cape which has the nation’s largest proportion of black players. The South African Rugby Union denied reports it’s five existing franchises will boycott the tournament if the Southern Kings are not admitted. “No threat of a boycott was made,” SARU chief executive Jurie Roux said. “But the franchises have made it plain that the only option to them is the expansion of Super Rugby.” Misgivings about the current format of the Super 15 have also been expressed in Australia. World Cup-winning former Springboks coach Jake White, who will coach the ACT Brumbies this season, said Australia’s five teams were at a disadvantage to those of New Zealand and South Africa because of a salary cap and restrictions on squad sizes. “It’s very different in Australia to be fair,” White said. “In South Africa they’ve got players coming out of their ears, they don’t have salary caps. “In some ways it’s tougher for an Australian side to do really well in this competition, but it’s been proved by Ewen (McKenzie) and the Reds that it can be done.” — AP

MARANA: For US Open champion Rory McIlroy, the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship can offer the players beauty and something of the beast because of the sheer lottery of its format. Matchplay is much more unpredictable than strokeplay and because of the extraordinary depth in the global game, anyone in this week’s elite 64-man field is capable of winning the title. Northern Irishman McIlroy has gone out in the second round of the World Golf Championships event the past two years and knows how difficult it is to come from behind over 18 holes. “I always look forward to this event but I definitely prefer to play matchplay over 36 holes,” the 22-year-old told reporters at Dove Mountain’s Ritz-Carlton Golf Club on Tuesday. “In 18 holes of golf anything can happen. “You can be five or six under par and lose or you can play mediocre and win. I don’t mind losing a match if you don’t play well ... but when you feel like you have done all you can and still come up on the wrong side, it’s pretty tough to take. “That’s the nature of this format, and that’s why everyone enjoys watching it,” added McIlroy, who has been drawn to play South African George Coetzee in Wednesday’s opening round. Britain’s Lee Westwood, the world number three, agreed. “It’s a week I really enjoy,” said the Englishman, who will face Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts late yesterday. “Everybody looks forward to it

being different to what’s a normal tournament structure. “I’ve got a tough first-round match, but there are no easy ones. Nicolas is a good player ... he’s got a game suited to this course and this format.” Tiger Woods is a three-times winner of the event but he has also suffered early disappointment, losing at the first hurdle in 2002 and last year and going out in the second round in both 2005 and 2009. “Anybody can beat anybody at this level,” said the former world number one whose ranking has slipped to 20th. “ That’s what makes it so interesting for us as

Crusaders and Auckland Blues for this year’s Super 15. The Reds, 1813 winners over the Crusaders in last year’s Brisbane final, will kick off this weekend without Wallaby playmaker Quade Cooper. Cooper ruptured knee ligaments in last October’s World Cup bronze play-off win over Wales in New Zealand and is hoping for a potential round-seven comeback against the Brumbies on April 6. Coach Ewen McKenzie knows his team will be under pressure as defending champions. “Each year you’re confronted with different situations so the job as a coach is to come up with different solutions,” McKenzie said. Two-time finalists NSW Waratahs have strengthened in the off-season under new coach Michael Foley and have recruited scrum-half Sarel Pretorius, the

down to extra holes or you’ll see a guy win four holes in a row or hole three 30-footers in a row.” British world number one Luke Donald, McIlroy, Westwood and Germany’s Martin Kaymer are the top seeds in the four groups of 16 for this week’s event. Donald will launch his campaign against South Africa’s triple major winner Ernie Els while world number four Kaymer takes on Australian Greg Chalmers in the first round. For the fourth consecutive year, the elite event that brings together the world’s best players will be held on the 7,791-yard layout at Dove Mountain. —Reuters

MARANA: Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa hits from the rough along the second fairway in the first round during the Match Play Championship golf tournament. —AP

Tseng eyes Singapore victory SINGAPORE: Yani Tseng of Taiwan, the No. 1 player in the world, will seek to win one of the few big tournaments she hasn’t yet conquered in her young career when she tees off at this week’s $1.4 million HSBC Women’s Champions. The 23-year-old Tseng dominated women’s golf last year and is off to a hot start in 2012 with her victory at last week’s LPGA Thailand. But a win in Singapore has eluded her since the tournament began in 2008, and she faces a field of 63 golfers featuring 18 of the 20 top-ranked when play starts Thursday at the par-72 Tanah Merah Country Club. “Every year I have come closer and closer

to winning this tournament,” Tseng said Wednesday. “All the best players are playing here this week and the golf course is really challenging so I can’t wait to go out there.” Tseng solidified her hold at No. 1 with seven 2011 LPGA Tour victories last year, including major victories in the LPGA Championship and Women’s British Open. She had 12 worldwide victories last season and the five-time major champion has 33 career worldwide professional wins. “Winning five majors at the age of 23 is very impressive,” world No. 3 Suzann Pettersen said. “She makes us even work harder.” Australia’s Karrie Webb, who won last year’s

Reds vow fight to retain title SYDNEY: Australia’s Queensland Reds hold no fears of a secondyear syndrome as they seek to defend their Super 15 crown when the new season starts on Friday. The Reds lost only three matches in their 15-victory charge to last season’s Super trophy, but Wallaby scrum-half Will Genia says his side will not rest on their laurels in defence of their southern hemisphere provincial title. “We are so young and we’re not like older players who have won a title and we’ll rest our careers on that,” Genia said, ahead of his side’s opener on Saturday against the NSW Waratahs. “We’re still full of motivation and still want to play well and do well for Queensland.” Local bookmakers have the Reds thirdfavourites behind New Zealand heavyweights Canterbury

players. “It is a sprint, it is a boat race. You have to get off to quick starts. Generally if you get down early, two or three down, you rarely come back. It’s hard to make up ground when you’re only playing 18 holes. “You don’t know who you’re going to get or how they’re playing. In either case you have to go out and make birdies,” added Woods, who plays Spaniard Gonzalo FernandezCastano in the first round. “More crazy stuff happens in matchplay than will ever happen in a strokeplay tournament,” said Australian Geoff Ogilvy, winner in 2006 and 2009. “You’ll see guys chip in to go

South African Super player of the year last year. Pretorius, 27, is a brilliant attacking half and is hoping his spell with the Waratahs can boost his international ambitions with the Springboks. “I’m here because I want to learn from the Waratahs and I’m going back to the Cheetahs for the Currie Cup, so hopefully I can take some experience back home,” Pretorius said. The Waratahs hope to pair Pretorius with Berrick Barnes in the halves and have also added Wallaby back Adam AshleyCooper from the Brumbies and Rocky Elsom has returned to take over the captaincy. Melbourne Rebels enter their second season under new coach Damien Hill and have splashed on exciting Wallaby running

backs James O’Connor and Kurtley Beale. After finishing with the wooden spoon in their inaugural 2011 season, the only way is up for Melbourne and if their forwards can achieve parity their potent backline, also including England fly-half Danny Cipriani, could win more games than they lose. Cipriani, 24, showed flashes of his best last year but let himself down with some off-field indiscretions which led to him being suspended for a month. But in three pre-season trial matches he has looked more consistent and his defence-previously a failing-has been strong. “He’s playing well and is controlling the game really well and that’s what I like from a 10,” said O’Connor, who plays outside him at inside-centre. — AFP

tournament, compared Tseng to some of the greatest players in women’s golf history. “I’ve played my career with Annika (Sorenstam), Se Ri Pak and Lorena (Ochoa) and now Yani,” said the 37-year-old Webb, who has 38 career LPGA Tour victories. “I’ve played with the best.” American star Michelle Wie, ranked 18th in the world, said after she graduates from Stanford University next month she should have more time to focus on golf. “I’m on track to graduate this March, so it’s going to be interesting,” Wie said. “It’s going to be the first time in my golfing career that I won’t have school, or school work to do.” —AP

Annual Shooting Championship KUWAIT: The Kuwait Shooting Sports Club will organize Sheikh Jaber AlAbdallah Al-Jaber Annual Cup Championship on Thursday March 1st, for three days. Competition will include skeet, trap and double trap events for men, women, juniors and shooting school. Secretary General Obeid Al-Osaimi said this cup competition has its special status in Kuwait’s shooting community as it remembers the support Sheikh Jaber Al-Abdallah gave to the shooters and their club, since it was established at Ahmadi governorate ranges. Al-Osaimi said this cup allows for discovering promising skills that help in the club’s future plans and maintain its achievements. He said this championship pro-

ceeds the Grand International Championship of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to be organized from 19-26/3/2012. Interested shooter can register from 23/2/2012 until Tuesday 28/2/2012 at the club.

Obaid Al-Osaimi



India chases former glory to revive field hockey NEW DELHI: Indian field hockey teams found success in past decades with deft stick work, nimble feet and artistic forays. Now, in the modern era of fast synthetic turfs, they have been reduced to “also rans.” Field hockey, widely considered India’s national game, is in desperate need of a standout performance that fans hope will come at this year’s Olympic Games. But to get to London, the men’s team must first qualify from an ongoing tournament in New Delhi, which fans hope will not end like the disastrous 2-0 loss to Britain in the final the Beijing 2008 qualifying competition in Chile four years ago that deprived India of an Olympic berth for the first time. India has a rich field hockey tradition with eight Olympic gold medals, but the decline in standards since the advent of artificial surfaces in the 1970s has left it lagging far behind the national obsession

of cricket. Indian hockey teams are regularly overpowered by the likes of Australia, Germany, the Netherlands and South Korea due to a lack of power and stamina, and often given up early advantages even to less fancied teams. India captain Bharat Chhetri acknowledges that a lack of competitiveness has been an issue in recent years. “We’re addressing problems that we face toward the end of games,” Chhetri told reporters ahead of the Delhi qualifiers. “We will go into the game with the idea of attacking and setting up the game early, so that we do not have much to do toward the end. “We’ll not only qualify for the Olympics but also do well there,” he said. Australian Michael Nobbs, who took over from Spaniard Jose Brasa as India’s national coach, says the team needs stronger players and must develop the ruthlessness of Australia to do well at the global level. “We’re working toward getting well-built and

physically fit players in the team,” Nobbs said in New Delhi as India prepared for the qualifiers. “Today Australians are successful because they also have some physically fit players in the team. Such players give you lot of advantages. They can quickly recover the ball after losing it and can also break into any attack and defense with ease.” Organizers of an upcoming club-based World Series Hockey, that does not enjoy the sanction of world body FIH, are also banking on India winning the qualifications final on Feb. 26 to provide a good promotion for their own controversial tournament that starts three days later. The game has been in the news for all the wrong reasons since the 2010 World Cup, organized by Hockey India, which runs the game in the country. The body organizing the WSH is the original national body - Indian Hockey Federation - which was de-registered several years ago by the FIH and

the Indian Olympic Association over corruption charges and the inability to unify the men’s and women’s bodies. In such a scenario, will a failure to qualify for the Olympic Games sound the death knell for the game? “I do not subscribe to the view that Indian hockey will die if we fail to qualify for the Olympics yet again,” Brasa wrote in a column in The Times of India. “I think people in India really love their national team.” India won six consecutive Olympic gold medals starting from 1928 in Amsterdam, but slumped in the world rankings since winning the 1975 World Cup and clinched the last of its eight Olympic gold medals at the boycott-marred 1980 Moscow Olympics. Indian teams have shown glimpses of their former glory, but have failed to qualify for the semifinals of eight successive World Cups and six consecutive Olympic Games before altogether missing out on reaching Beijing. — AP

India keep winning, South Africa in final

AUCKLAND: New Zealand’s Jesse Ryder is caught out for 52 off a scoop shot in front of South Africa’s wicketkeeper AB de Villiers in their third Twenty20 cricket match at Eden Park. — AP

South Africa win T-20 thriller AUCKLAND: Marchant de Lange took two wickets in a final over yesterday that conceded only three runs as South Africa blunted New Zealand’s run chase to win the third Twenty20 international by three runs and take the series 2-1. New Zealand started the last over needing seven runs with five wickets in hand to overhaul South Africa’s total of 165-7, but failed spectacularly to finish on 162-7 in one of its most embarrassing international defeats. Even a no-ball by De Lange from the last delivery of the innings couldn’t save New Zealand. When he overstepped, the New Zealanders needed a four from the last ball to win the match and series. But Tim Southee, newly at the crease and facing his first ball, played and missed outside off stump. “When the pressure came on we were found wanting,” New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum said. “Credit to South Africa, they kept the pressure on us and we didn’t respond. Obviously we foundered at the end. That’s not the way we want to play cricket. In pressure situations we want to play ruthlessly and to put other teams away, but we didn’t do that tonight.” New Zealand had been coasting to victory when Jesse Ryder, recalled to its lineup for the first time since December after overcoming a calf injury, compiled a half-century from 37 balls. Ryder hit five fours and two sixes after Rob Nicol (33) and Martin Guptill (26) had put on 65 for the first wicket in only six overs. Brendon McCullum furthered the run chase, scoring 18 from 19 balls to reach 112-3, leaving New Zealand only 53 from the last eight overs. When Nathan McCullum was out on the second ball of the 16th over, New Zealand was 142-4 and needing 24 runs from 28 balls. But New Zealand began to lose its way from that point. Ryder was held scoreless for eight consecutive deliveries by tight South African bowling. He was out for 52,

leaving New Zealand on 158-5 and needing eight to win with seven balls remaining. Nothing from that point went to plan. De Lange bowled a series of fast, shortpitched deliveries from which a succession of New Zealand batsmen were unable to score. The New Zealanders were bent on hitting boundaries and, as each ball passed without a run being scored, the match tipped in South Africa’s favor with De Lange and offspinner Johan Botha maintaining an unrelenting pressure. Ryder tried to reverse-sweep Botha and was caught by Morne Morkel at fine leg. Nathan McCullum top-edged another contrived shot and was caught by wicketkeeper AB de Villiers from the third ball of De lange’s final over. A scoreless Doug Bracewell, hitting out, was caught by Hashim Amla two balls later. James Franklin faced the prospect of hitting a six from the final ball of the innings to win the match but was reprieved when De Lange overstepped. New Zealand scrambled a single and Southee was left with the strike and a free hit, needing a four to win the match. De Lange bowled a fast ball wide of off stump and Southee, anchored on the crease and swinging blindly, was unable to make contact. Botha finished with 2-20 off four overs and De Lange with 2-36. Earlier, Nicol took two wickets, held two catches and effected a run out after New Zealand won the toss and bowled. Nicol claimed 2-20 from three overs, and took a catch in the deep to dismiss dangerman Richard Levi for 11 when South Africa was 20-1. Levi scored an unbeaten 117 “ the fastest century in Twenty20 internationals, including a world record 13 sixes to guide South Africa to an eight-wicket win in Sunday’s second match after New Zealand had won the first by six wickets. Nicol also caught Albie Morkel for 10 and completed a brilliant run out off his own bowling to dismiss the innings’ topscorer, JP Duminy, for 38. — AP

SCOREBOARD Scoreboard from the third and final Twenty20 international between New Zealand and South Africa at Eden Park in Auckland \yesterday: South Africa R. Levi c Nicol b Franklin 11 H. Amla c McCullum b Bracewell 33 A. Morkel c Nicol b Southee 10 AB de Villiers b Nicol 29 J.P. Duminy run out 38 J. Ontong lbw b Nicol 6 J. Botha c Guptill b Southee 2 W. Parnell not out 22 R. Peterson not out 11 Extras (lb-1, w-2) 3 Total (For 7 wickets in 20 overs) 165 Did not bat: M. de Lange, M. Morkel. Fall of wickets: 1-20 2-39 3-59 4-121 5-129 6-130 7-137. Bowling: Hira 2-0-20-0(w-1), Bates 3-0-29-0, Franklin 2-0-23-1, Southee 4-0-22-2, Bracewell 4-0-28-1 (w-1), N. McCullum 2-022-0, Nicol 3-0-20-2.

New Zealand R. Nicol c Levi b M Morkel 33 M. Guptill c Amla b Botha 26 J. Ryder c M. Morkel b Botha 52 B. McCullum c de Villiers b Peterson 18 K. Williamson c A. Morkel b M. Morkel 6 J. Franklin not out 9 N. McCullum c de Villiers b de Lange 0 D. Bracewell c Amla b de Lange 0 T. Southee not out 0 Extras (lb-5, w-12, nb-1) 18 Total (For 7 wickets in 20 overs) 162 Did not bat: M. Bates, R. Hira. Fall of wickets: 1-65 2-73 3-112 4-142 5-158 6-160 7-160. Bowling: Peterson 4-0-34-1, de Lange 4-036-2(nb-1, w-2), A. Morkel 1-0-13-0(w-1), M. Morkel 4-0-31-2(w-2), Botha 4-0-20-2(w-2), Parnell 1-0-14-0, Duminy 2-0-9-0.

NEW DELHI: Favorites India overcame a stiff challenge from lower-ranked Canada to post a 3-2 win and virtually book a place in the men’s final of the Olympic qualifying tournament in New Delhi yesterday. South Africa faced no difficulty in moving into the women’s final, thrashing India 5-2 for their third win in four matches. In other men’s matches, France had to work hard for a 3-0 win over lower-ranked Italy and Poland trounced inexperienced Singapore 11-3 to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the final. India currently top the six-team group with 12 points from four matches, followed by Poland (nine), France (nine), Canada (six). Singapore and Italy, winless after four games, are out of contention. France will clash with Canada and Poland take on India in the last league matches on Friday. In other women’s matches, Stephanie Jameson converted a penalty-stroke in the second half as Canada downed Poland 1-0 and Italy beat Ukraine 2-1. South Africa lead the group with 10 points, followed by Italy (eight), India (seven), Ukraine (four), Canada (four) and Poland (nil). The winners of the India-Italy game on Friday will move into the final. The top two teams in each event will enter the final, with the winners qualifying for the London Olympics. India struck through Shivendra Singh and Sandeep Singh in the pacy encounter but never looked safe with their 2-0 lead as Canada came back strongly to restore parity, with Mark Pearson and Scott Tupper finding the target. Sandeep scored the winner off a penalty-corner in the 61st minute. “They (Canada) have played in the Olympics before and it was a very

NEW DELHI: Teammates congratulate Sandeep Singh of India (second left) after scoring from a penalty corner during the men’s field hockey match between India and Canada. — AP

tough match. We had opportunities to score, but failed to make the most of them,” said Sandeep. “There was no pressure on me when I took the penalty-corner (that led to the winner).” France, who drew a blank in the opening session against Italy, converted three penalty-corners in the second half through captain Arnaud Becuwe, Martin Genestet and Frederic Verrier to earn full points. Szymon Oszyjczyk scored three goals and Mateusz Poltaszewski two for Poland against Singapore, while Miroslaw Juszczak, Tomasz Gorny, Bartosz Zywiczka, Artur Mikula, Waldemar Rataj and Michal Nowakowski scored one goal apiece. Mohamad Farhan Kamsani

scored two goals for Singapore and Muhammad Fazri Jailani one. In the women’s section, Italy kept alive their hopes of entering the final with a narrow win over Ukraine, thanks to Giuliana Ruggeri’s winner off a penalty-corner in the closing minutes. Alessia Doriana Padalino converted a penalty-corner in the fifth minute for Italy’s first goal before Ukraine equalised through Bohdana Sadova. South Africa dominated the match against India as Dirkie Chamberlain scored three goals and Sulette Damons two, while Asunta Lakra and Soundarya Yendala found the target for the hosts. Today is the rest day. — AFP

Hulkenberg strikes blow for Force India

DUBAI: England’s Twenty20 (T20) cricket captain Stuart Broad (left) and Pakistan’s captain Misbah-ul-Haq (right) pose for photographers with the T20 series trophy during a press conference at the Dubai International cricket Stadium. — AFP

Pakistan look to redress balance in T20 DUBAI: Pakistan captain Misbah-ul Haq said his side are desperate to redress the balance in a Twenty20 international against England today after a one-day series whitewash by the tourists. Pakistan were Tuesday routed 4-0 by England, who showed a big improvement from their 3-0 defeat in the preceding three-Test series. Misbah wants his side to regain the upper hand, but also wants to use the match as a stepping stone towards the World Twenty20 series later this year. “This is a very important series for us, moreso because we won the Tests, they won the ODIs and now it’s almost the decider,” said Misbah. “And if you consider that this is World Twenty20 year, it’s very important for us to come back.” England will defend the title they won in the West Indies in 2010 when Sri Lanka host the fourth edition of the World Twenty20. “I think we need to learn from England on how they transformed their fortunes in ODIs, and I am confident that my boys can do that,” added Misbah. “I don’t think we were dispirited, because the team wants a win desparately and that’s why we were like that. Everybody was trying to give one hundred percent and when it slips out of your hand it seems you are disjointed.”

Pakistan will ring some changes, with experienced batsman Younis Khan and Azhar Ali returning home while dashing uncapped left-handed opener Awais Zia joins the Twenty20 squad. England have retained Alastair Cook, originally not named in the Twenty20 squad, after he showed great form in scoring back-to-back hundreds in the first two one-day matches. England paceman Stuart Broad meanwhile said his side would be using every opportunity possible to help prepare them for the defence of their World Twenty20 title. “Of course, we need to make use of every game we have because there isn’t many leading to the World Twenty20. And that being in the subcontinent we need to really make use of these conditions,” said Broad. “It makes these games pretty important. We are not looking to these matches as a warm-up, we are looking to win this series and that is what we will be focusing on,” added Broad. “Cookie is keen to play Twenty20 cricket. He has made that pretty obvious. He has been kept on in the squad because obviously we have got some injury concerns in the squad,” said Broad of Cook, retained as cover-up for injured Ravi Bopara. — AFP

BARCELONA: Germany ’s Nico Hulkenberg handed Force India a confidence boost yesterday when he clocked the fastest time in preseason testing after an exhausting day’s drive. Hulkenberg timed 1min 22.608sec from a total of 112 laps with Sauber’s Sergio Perez in second spot and world champion Sebastien Vettel, who had been quickest in the morning, finishing third fastest. “We started the day with some aero work, trying some constant speed runs and collecting more data,” said Hulkenberg. “Then, the rest of the day was spent working on the balance of the car and trying out all four tyre compounds. I did some short runs, long runs and just got a feel for the tyre characteristics and how the car reacts to them. “Once again the car has been very drivable all day and our baseline set-up has proved to be a good starting point for running all the different compounds.” Vettel’s progress was hampered by the cold weather which meant some equipment froze in the morn-

ing before the action got underway. “I’m happy that we got a lot of laps done. Unfortunately, we had a little bit of a problem, it was small, but with testing you stop whenever there’s a issue, take a look and see what’s what and that always takes up a bit of time,” said Vettel. “But nevertheless, in the afternoon I was quite happy. We got a lot of laps done, more than 100, so we got through most of the programme. “I think we are on the right road with the car. The first impressions at the last test were fine. The car reacted the way we expected. I keep talking about the loss of downforce compared to last year, as we don’t have the tools we had, but this is the same for everyone, not just us.” Lotus did not test after pulling out on Tuesday due to a chassis problem. Testing continues until Friday and there will be a final series of testing back here on March 1-4, before the teams travel to Australia for the opening race of the season in Melbourne on March 18. — AFP

SPAIN: Ferrari’s Spanish Fernando Alonso drives at Catalunya’s racetrack in Montmelo, near Barcelona, during the Formula One test. —AFP




Blazers rout Spurs PORTLAND: The Portland Trail Blazers capitalized on San Antonio’s decision to rest Tim Duncan and Tony Parker by routing the NBA Southwest Divisionleading Spurs 137-97 on Tuesday. LaMarcus Aldridge had 21 points and Jamal Crawford scored 20 points, shooting 5 for 7 on 3-pointers, for the Blazers, who led by as many as 48 points and rested all their starters for most of the fourth quarter. Kawhi Leonard had 24 points and 10 rebounds for San Antonio, who had come in with 11 straight victories, and eight in a row on the road. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said before the game that he was resting Parker and Duncan because the Spurs were playing three games in four nights. Parker is averaging 19.5 points per game, while Duncan’s averaging 19.9 points and 8.6 rebounds.

MIAMI: Sacramento Kings’ Isaiah Thomas (22) drives around Miami Heat’s Norris Cole (30) in the second half of an NBA basketball game. Miami won 120-108. —AP

Grizzlies 89, 76ers 76 In Memphis, the hosts moved to a season-best four games above .500 by beating Atlantic division leader Philadelphia. Marc Gasol had 15 points and

NBA results/standings LA Clippers 107, Orlando 102 (OT); Philadelphia 95, LA Lakers 90; Washington 111, Toronto 108 (OT); Phoenix 99, Atlanta 90; Chicago 108, New Jersey 87; NY Knicks 99, Utah 88; Sacramento 100, New Orleans 92; San Antonio 89, Memphis 84; Houston 99, Denver 90; Oklahoma City 111, Portland 107 (OT). (OT denotes overtime win) Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L 20 13 16 17 15 16 10 24 9 23

PCT .606 .485 .484 .294 .281

GB 4 4 10.5 10.5

Chicago Indiana Cleveland Milwaukee Detroit

Central Division 26 8 20 12 13 17 13 19 11 23

.765 .625 .433 .406 .324

5 11 12 15

Miami Orlando Atlanta Washington Charlotte

Southeast Division 26 7 21 12 19 13 7 25 4 27

.788 .636 .594 .219 .129

5 6.5 18.5 21

Philadelphia NY Knicks Boston New Jersey Toronto

Western Conference Northwest Division 25 7 18 15 18 16 16 17 15 16

.781 .545 .529 .485 .484

7.5 8 9.5 9.5

LA Clippers LA Lakers Phoenix Golden State Sacramento

Pacific Division 19 11 19 13 14 19 12 17 10 22

.633 .594 .424 .414 .313

1 6.5 6.5 10

San Antonio Dallas Houston Memphis New Orleans

Southwest Division 23 10 21 12 19 14 19 15 7 25

.697 .636 .576 .559 .219

2 4 4.5 15.5

Oklahoma City Denver Portland Minnesota Utah

14 rebounds - finishing three assists shy of a triple double and Rudy Gay scored 14 points for the Grizzlies. Jrue Holiday scored 22 points none in the fourth - for the Sixers, who shot just 37 percent while losing their fourth straight. Heat 120, Kings 108 In Miami, the hosts’ winning streak reached seven games with a victory over Sacramento. Dwyane Wade scored 30 points and added 10 assists, while Mario Chalmers and Chris Bosh each scored 20 points for the Heat, which has won each of its games during this streak by at least 12 points. Wade shot 11 for 16, the 11th straight game he’s shot at least 50 percent, matching his career best in that department. Isaiah Thomas scored 20 of his 24 points in the third quarter for Sacramento, which dropped its sixth straight. Pacers 117, Hornets 108 In Indianapolis, Roy Hibbert had a career-high 30 points and 13 rebounds to lead Indiana past New Orleans in overtime. Paul George scored 20 points for the Pacers, who went on a 100 run in overtime to notch a third straight win. Trevor Ariza scored 21 points to lead the Hornets, who will conclude a stretch of three games in three days - all on the road - on Wednesday at Cleveland. Cavaliers 101, Pistons 100 In Cleveland, the hosts roared back from a 17-point deficit to overrun Detroit. Antawn Jamison scored 32 points for the Cavaliers, who trailed 72-55 late in the third quarter. Alonzo Gee, who scored 13 points in the fourth quarter, put the Cavaliers ahead for good, 9795, by rebounding his own miss with a dunk with 25.4 seconds left. Rookie Kyrie Irving, who scored 25 points, and Gee combined for 30 of Cleveland’s 35 points in the fourth quarter. Brandon Knight led the Pistons with 24 points —AP

DUBAI: Samantha Stosur from Australia returns the ball to Lucie Safarova of Czech Republic during the third day of Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. —AP

Stosur sends Safarova packing DUBAI: Samantha Stosur appears to have her best chance to win a first title since the US Open after reaching the quarter-finals of the Dubai Open yesterday. It is five months since the Australian captured the first Grand Slam title of her career in New York, but during her 6-1, 6-7 (7/5), 6-1 win over Lucie Safarova she showed glimpses of a return to title-winning form. Safarova, who beat former world number one Caroline Wozniacki in Doha last week, found more chances to flay her left-handed forehand cross court into Stosur’s backhand in the second set. But in the third Stosur was able to re-impose her serve, one of the finest in the women’s game, and with some help of some forceful follow-ups, restored the earlier patterns of the match. “I don’t think I did much wrong in the second set and thought I played a good match,” said Stosur. “I held serve and in the third set I took my opportunities to break.” Stosur’s cause may also have been significantly aided by top-seeded Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka pulling out shortly before her first round match with an ankle injury. That follows the pre-tournament absence of the second-seeded Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova. Both players had been placed in Stosur’s half. With Li Na, the French Open champion from China, missing with a bad back, and Vera Zvonareva, the former Wimbledon finalist from Russia, absent with a hip problem, the draw has opened up for her invitingly. Stosur next plays Jelena Jankovic, the former world number one from Serbia, who reached the quarter-finals with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Flavia Pennetta, last year’s conqueror of Azarenka. Still playing with a tear in her bandaged left thigh, Jankovic recovered well from an early 1-3

deficit, adopting a more positive approach and finding a good combination of aggression with consistency. Later the defending champion, Caroline Wozniacki, also reached the quarter-finals, after outplaying Simona Halep, a Romanian qualifier, 6-2, 6-3. It earned the Dane a meeting with another former world number one, Ana Ivanovic. The Serb beat Maria Kirilenko, a former top 20 Russian, 6-2, 7-6 (7/4) despite losing a threepoint lead and trailing 3-4 in the tie-break. Agnieszka Radwanska, the fifth seeded Pole who overcame the Israeli Shahar Peer 7-5, 6-4 on a strictly monitored outside court, had a different interpretation of the casualty list which has left her one of the three most likely players to win the title. “It’s also an explanation that sometimes in the off season the girls are doing too much,” she said. “Then suddenly you have some tough match in the beginning of the year and then it’s too much for the body.” Radwanska now plays Sabine Lisicki, the Wimbledon semi-finalist from Germany. Meanwhile Peer, who in 2010 here became the first female Israeli athlete to compete in the UAE, departed celebrating another diplomatic success for her and the ground-breaking Dubai Open. Although she still had to live with tight security in separate facilities from all the other players, it was regarded appropriate to allow the Israeli sightseeing for the first time in her three visits to Dubai. The other quarter-final is between Daniela Hantuchova, the former world number five from Slovakia who made the first successful title defence of her career at Pattaya the week before last, and Julia Goerges, the world number 21 from Germany. —AFP

Labor slaves and prisoners helping build WCup venues

Kuwait excel in Technical Gymnastics KUWAIT: Kuwait clinched first place during the first day of GCC 10th Technical Gymnastics Championship, after snatching three medals, two of which are gold. The medals were taken by the U-16 team following a stiff competition with the Saudi team which claimed the silver, meanwhile the bronze went to Bahrain. Kuwait’s Hassan Rashid won the individual apparatus gold medal, followed by Saudi Arabia’s Mahdi AlGhuzaiwi and Kuwait’s Yousuf Adnan. Kuwait’s Juniors (U-11) gave a strong performance

that brought them very close to win the championship. The GCC Gymnastics Committee held a meeting that was chaired by Dr. Ali Al-Jafri, who started the meeting congratulating HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad AlJaber Al-Sabah on the occasions of Liberation and National days. They also congratulated Kuwait Gymnastics Union for hosting the championship. When asked why Oman did not participate in GCC championships, Al-Subaiee said Oman does not have a Gymnastics union, and contacts are being made with Omani officials to start gymnastics. Meanwhile Chairman of Qatar’s union Ali Al-Hatimi lauded the level of Gulf and Arab gymnasts, adding that Kuwait hosted the first championship and now it is hosting the tenth event successfully and this indicates that the previous Gulf championships are success. He said Kuwait used to dominate gymnastics, but now as the games developed in Saudi Arabia and Qatar

competition became stronger and results are very close. He said Qatari Gymnastics were able to get 4 out of six medals during the Arab Games which shows the level of development Qatari gymnastics have reached.

SAO PAULO: It wasn’t a tough choice for convicted bank robber Chiquinho: spend the day in a cell or make money out in the sun helping Brazil build a 2014 World Cup stadium. Former slave worker Nivaldo Inacio da Silva had another easy decision to make: pick cotton for about $2 a day or make eight times as much as a bricklayer at another World Cup venue. The two are relishing their role in helping tournament preparations that have otherwise invoked widespread criticism over allegations of overspending and misuse of public funds. Silva and Chiquinho, who full name is Francisco das Chagas Queiroz, are some of those already being positively affected by the World Cup, getting the opportunity of a lifetime because Brazil will host football’s showcase event. They are part of programs which help those with few opportunities in the job market and take advantage of the World Cup to give them a better chance. “This is the best thing that has ever happened to me,” the 52-year-old Chiquinho told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “This type of work gives us dignity, it gives us something to look forward to in the future. If we do a good job here, maybe the company will want to stay with us after we are set free.” Chiquinho has been in prison since the 1980s after being convicted of bank robbery in the state of Minas Gerais. He will be eligible for parole later this year, in part because his sentence has been gradually reduced thanks to his work helping renovate the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte. Chiquinho works as a cleaning supervisor at the Mineirao, where two dozen other prisoners are getting the same opportunity to get out of prison and work. In addition to placing them into the work force, the program by Brazil’s National Council of Justice also offers training courses to further facilitate their access to the job market after they leave prison. It has already helped more than 2,200 prisoners across the country, and currently 59 are working in some of the 12 World Cup stadiums. Chiquinho and the other prisoners wake up at 4 a.m. every weekday to make a two-hour trip from their penitentiary to Mineirao, working until late in the day before returning. But there is no complaining. “Our life is getting better because of this chance,” said Chiquinho, who also used to work inside his prison and currently is even allowed to go to college. “I’ll be able to say that I was part of this World Cup, I’ll be proud to say that I was part of it. This will be part of history.” About 1,000 miles away in the western city of Cuiaba, former slave worker Silva is also appreciating the chance he’s gotten largely thanks to the World Cup. He was lured into working at a cotton farm under conditions the Brazilian government describe as slave labor. Many times he had to sleep in the fields, didn’t have access to a bathroom or clean water and was given food only sporadically. Silva said he had to pick cotton and clean fields for two days to get a payment. But when Silva and about a dozen other colleagues were rescued from the farm — after one of them escaped and alerted authorities — they were immediately enrolled in a program created by the labor ministry of Mato Grosso state that trained and prepared such workers to find decent jobs in the region. Silva got a chance to help build the Arena Pantanal, which will host four World Cup matches. —AP




Villas-Boas future in the balance after gamble backfires LONDON: Andre Villas-Boas’s gamble in leaving Frank Lampard, fit-again Ashley Cole and even the out-of-form Fernando Torres on the bench backfired spectacularly when Chelsea lost 3-1 at Napoli on Tuesday, increasing speculation over the coach’s future. Chelsea’s defeat in the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16 tie in Naples leaves them on the brink of elimination from the competition and means they have now gone five matches without a win. With Arsenal facing a 4-0 deficit in their second leg at home to AC Milan next month, England now faces the very real prospect of failing to have a team in the quarter-finals for the first time since 1996. Chelsea can still turn the tie around in the second leg at Stamford Bridge on March 14 and are lucky to still have the chance after a late goalline clearance by Cole, who came on as an early substitute for the injured Jose Bosingwa. Whether Villas-Boas is still Chelsea’s coach by the time Napoli come to London was the subject of some heated debate in Wednesday’s English

media, with reports saying he omitted the big names because of a dressing-room power struggle. Although he is still talking confidently about his three-year project to rejuvenate Chelsea’s ageing team, his billionaire boss Roman Abramovich is not noted for patiently tolerating failure. “Speculation will continue as the results don’t happen,” the 34-year-old Portuguese said. “We have to solve these mistakes at the back. We need this concentration right and this efficiency right, for sure.” A day that began badly for Chelsea with news that skipper John Terry needs surgery on a knee injury and is likely to be out for between six to eight weeks ended with them trudging off the San Paolo pitch with Villas-Boas looking stunned. Chelsea started a roller-coaster match the better of the two sides and went ahead after 27 minutes when Juan Mata capitalised on a mistake by Paolo Cannavaro to pick his spot. But Napoli responded with goals from Ezequiel Lavezzi and Edinson Cavani before halftime, with Lavezzi scoring a third midway through the sec-

ond half to put Napoli in command of the tie as Chelsea’s shocking defensive lapses continued. “At the moment, without John, a very important player for the team, we have suffered a lot of goals recently. We had improved a lot at the beginning of January, so we have missed John,” Villas-Boas added. “But we have full belief in these players and we have to continue to work with them to get it right.” David Luiz, who has suffered a torrid time during an unhappy season, gifted Napoli their third goal with Chelsea defending like a parks team. “It’s obvious that the player has become a target,” said Villas-Boas. “He’s a fantastic young player with a big future ahead of him, and he has to work to try and be a bit better. We suffered three goals. If he’s linked to one, he might not be linked to the other two.” It was not only what happened on the pitch that is so alarming to Chelsea’s increasingly disgruntled fans, who have been accustomed to their team winning things since Abramovich bought the club nearly nine years ago. Reports of what is going on behind the scenes

is worrying them too. While no-one is likely to say anything publicly until they retire and write their autobiographies, the relationship between VillasBoas and some senior players is reported to be deeply strained and may have been reflected in his team selection. Villas-Boas, however, said his decision not to start Lampard, Cole, Torres and Michael Essien was purely tactical. “You can have your opinion but it was based on what was the best team in my thoughts,” Villas-Boas said. “Whatever explanation I give you, in the end it would be a fantastic explanation if we’d won the game. Any explanation is now useless given the result of the game, so there’s no point.” Villas-Boas continued: “I had a conversation with Ashley and Frank. Through the players that they are and the players with the experience they have, they felt they could have helped the team. That’s perfectly understandable.” Only three teams have overturned a two-goal first-leg deficit since the Champions League format was introduced 20 years ago, but Villas-Boas added: “I want us to be the fourth.” —Reuters

South Korea book Olympic spot

STOCKHOLM: Five-time FIFA world player of the year Marta of Brazil is returning to play in the Swedish League, as Swedish club Tyreso presented the Brazilian soccer star as its latest recruit at a news conference. — AP

Pitch problems postpone start of Indian soccer league NEW DELHI: The inaugural edition of India’s Premier League Soccer (PLS), featuring World Cup winner Fabio Cannavaro and former France international Robert Pires, has been postponed because of a lack of venues, organisers told Reuters yesterday. The six-team competition, modelled on the successful Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket tournament, was slated for a March 24 start in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal but the organisers said they could not secure the stadiums owned by the state government. “Discussion is on with the state government but even if it is sorted out by the end of this week, we would need time to prepare the fields,” Dharamdutt Pandey, CEO of the event management company which conceived PLS, said by telephone. Secretary of All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) West Bengal unit was in touch with the state sports minister and the issue would be resolved soon, Pandey claimed. “These are minor issues and PLS is very much on. We are now targetting a midApril start for the league. “It would require at least one month to upgrade the stadiums to an international standard. So we are now looking at mid-April,” Pandey added. PLS is the second such league which set out to replicate IPL’s success before

teething problems led to postponements. Earlier this month, promoters of an IPLstyle nine -team motor racing league deferred the 12-race competition to next year because of logistic issues. In an otherwise cricket-crazy India, soccer is popular in pockets but nowhere more so than in West Bengal. Nearly 120,000 fans gave a rousing reception to Oliver Kahn in the German goalkeeper’s 2008 Bayern Munich swansong in Kolkata and Argentina great Diego Maradona almost brought the city to a standstill during his visit in the same year. The Jan. 30 auction of PLS players - mostly in the twilight of their careers and coaches further whetted that appetite. Franchises spent nearly $7 million in the auction where Argentine Hernan Crespo proved the league’s hottest property, fetching $840,000. Italy’s 2006 World Cup-winning captain Cannavaro ($830,000), Pires ($800,000), Nigerian Jay-Jay Okocha ($550,000) and Liverpool great Robbie Fowler ($530,000) were also auctioned as “icon’ players among franchises based in different cities in West Bengal. Among the coaches, former Manchester City and Sunderland manager Peter Reid and Marco Etcheverry, arguably the greatest Bolivian player, went for $200,000 each. —Reuters

Tevez apologizes to City after five-month feud LONDON: Carlos Tevez finally apologized to Manchester City on Tuesday following a five-month feud that has cost him close to 10 million pounds ($17 million), and could soon return to action for the club after withdrawing an appeal against his latest fines. The Argentina striker has not played for the Premier League leaders since September when he refused to warm up during a Champions League match and only returned last week from a three-month unauthorized absence at home. City coach Roberto Mancini had initially told Tevez he would never play for City again after his act of public insubordination, but later softened his stance and only asked for an apology. That came on Tuesday, with City announcing that Tevez has “apologized to all concerned for his recent conduct.” “I wish to apologize sincerely and unreservedly to everybody I have let down and to whom my actions over the last few months have caused offense,” Tevez added in the same statement. “My wish is to concentrate on playing football for Manchester City Football Club.” Tevez’s relations with City broke down during last season after the striker said he wanted to leave England to be closer to his family, which moved back to Argentina after failing to settle in Manchester. However, the club refused the thencaptain’s transfer request, and Tevez went on to help City end a 35-year trophy drought with a victory in the FA Cup final. But he then enraged Mancini with

his act of rebellion at Bayern Munich in September. The dispute has cost Tevez around 10 million pounds ($17 million) in fines or lost earnings, including a multi-million pound bonus he missed out on by handing in the transfer request. He had been challenging the most recent fine of around 1.2 million pounds ($2 million), but will now accept the punishment. “Carlos has ... withdrawn his appeal against the club’s finding of gross misconduct which was due to be heard by a Premier League panel in the coming days,” City said. “He has since begun a training program designed to return him to optimum fitness.” Tevez had hoped to join AC Milan in the January transfer window but a deal broke down. After the Munich incident, Tevez was suspended by City for two weeks and fined a fortnight’s wages for refusing to resume refusing to warming up during the match. An internal disciplinary hearing found Tevez guilty of five breaches of contract, including bringing the club into disrepute and failing to follow the instructions of his manager. Returning to Argentina in the wake of those sanctions - without permission - seemed to have ended any hope of the striker playing for City again, but he could now return to action when he is fit. City has not struggled without him, with the team on course to win the English championship for the first time since 1968 as it sits top of the standings. — AP

SINGAPORE: South Korea reached their seventh successive Olympic Games with a game to spare yesterday when they cruised past Oman 3-0 in Muscat. Midfielder Nam Tae -hee put Korea ahead inside the first minute with FC Seoul striker Kim Hyun-sung doubling the score in the 68th minute. Kim Min-woo added the third just four minutes later. Hong Myung-bo’s South Korea, who have a four-point lead over second-placed Oman, round off their qualifying campaign on March 14 when they face a Qatar side needing a win to have any hope of claiming the Group A runners-up place. The Qataris stayed in contention for second place with a 2-1 win at home to Saudi Arabia. The Saudis had taken a 12th-minute lead thanks to a penalty from Ettifaq defender Ahmed Ali Walibi, but the home side were on level terms two minutes from the interval courtesy of skipper Hasan Al Haydos. Naser Nabeel grabbed the winner 10 minutes from time. In Group C, Japan virtually made sure of their place in a fifth successive Olympics thanks to a confident 4-0 thrashing of Malaysia. Before the match, Japan were tied with Syria on nine points and on goal difference, but Syria lost ground with a 2-1 defeat to Bahrain. Japan now have 12 points, three ahead of Bahrain-who they face in their last game-and Syria. “If we had scored one or two more goals, it would have been better, but I guess four goals is fine,” Japan coach Takashi Sekizuka said. “I’m satisfied with the performance of the team, and they got the right result at the end. Individually they played well.” Japan showed their dominance in the early minutes of the match after Hiroki Sakai blasted the ball towards the Malaysian goal only to be saved by goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat. Sakai, however, was spot on in the 35th minute to give his side the lead. Yuya Osako made it 2-0 for Japan before half time. Genk i Haraguchi made it 3-0 in the 55th

BAHRAIN: Bahrain’s Waleed Mohamed Al-Hayam (3) fights for the ball with Syria’s Mahmoud Al-Mawas (8) and Nassouh Nakkdahli (9) as Bahrain’s Abdulla Khaled (17) watches during their Asian soccer qualifier for the 2012 Olympics. — AP minute while Saito stamped his mark by scoring the final goal of the match in the 60th minute. Malaysia are out of the running for qualification, having lost all five of their games. In Group B, the United Arab Emirates are three points ahead of Uzbekistan after a 1-0 win over Australia in Dubai, a win secured by Omar Abdulrahman’s first-half strike. Uzbekistan lost ground on Tuesday when they lost 2-1 to Iraq. The Uzbeks and UAE meet in the

Football must ‘crush’ racism, says British PM LONDON: British Prime Minister David Cameron has called on football to crush “racism” within the game before the impact of recent incidents had a negative effect on society at large. Cameron was speaking at a Downing Street antidiscrimination summit with former and current black players, ex-England international John Barnes and Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) chairman Clarke Carlisle, as well as football chiefs.

it’s important for the whole country. We want to make sure football is all about a power to do good, rather than anything else.” Cameron’s intervention came after two major flashpoints for English football. Controversy was stirred when Liverpool striker Luis Suarez refused to shake hands with Manchester United’s Patrice Evra before their clubs’ match at Old Trafford earlier this month. Suarez has only recently returned for Liverpool after serving an eightmatch ban for racially abusing Evra during a game in October. Meanwhile Chelsea’s John Terry has been stripped of the England captaincy while he awaits a criminal trial on charges of racially abusing QPR’s Anton Ferdinand. Terry denies the charges. Cameron added British football should be proud of the “fantastic achievement” of its anti-racism work during the past 20 years or so, noting other countries had failed to take similar action. “But we have some problems still today,” he said. “ We need to act quickly to make sure those problems do not creep back in. Cameron joked that he felt LONDON: Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron (centre) is embarrassed coming to the meeting watched by Football Association chairman David Bernstein from question time in the House of (left) and former soccer player John Barnes as he hosts a Commons as that was “a contact roundtable anti-discrimination summit with former players sport that sets an appalling example and soccer bosses at Downing Street. — AP to people”. Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said after the meeting he had But the Prime Minister was confident work done given England’s governing Football Association (FA) in the fight against racism in the sport would not be two months to come up with an action plan to tackundermined by a couple of high-profile controver- le a variety of race and homophobia-related issues. sies. “If everyone plays their role, then we can easily There are currently no openly gay footballers in crush and deal with this problem,” Cameron said. English football and Carlisle said it was time homoCameron, who takes his young son to football phobia was treated in common with all other forms matches, added: “What happens on the field influ- of prejudice. “When it comes to homophobia we ences what happens off the field. You see children need to elevate that discrimination so it’s on the levas young as six imitating the behaviour they see on el with all other forms of discrimination,” Carlisle the field. “So this is not just important for football, explained. —AFP

last round of matches on March 14 when Australia will look to end their disappointing campaign on a positive note when they face Iraq. Only the three group winners are guaranteed a place at the London Olympics with the runners-up entering a round-robin playoff. The winners of that event then face a one-off game on April 23 in the English city Coventry to face Senegal for the continent’s last Olympics spot. — AFP

Today’s matches on TV

UEFA Europa League Brugge v Hannover ..................... 21:00 Aljazeera Sport +5 PSV v Trabzonspor ...................... 21:00 Aljazeera Sport +7 PAOK v Udinese ........................... 21:00 Aljazeera Sport +1 Twente v Steaua ........................... 21:00 Aljazeera Sport +6 Bilbao v Lokomotiv ...................... 21:00 Aljazeera Sport +2 Valencia v Stoke ...........................21:00 Aljazeera Sport +3 Aljazeera Sport +4 Atletico v Lazio ............................ 23:05 Aljazeera Sport +2 Anderlecht v Alkmaar ................. 23:05 Aljazeera Sport +6 Olympiacos v Rubin ....................... 23:05 Aljazeera Sport +8 Metalist v Salzburg ...................... 23:05 Aljazeera Sport +5 Schalke v Plzen ............................. 23:05 Aljazeera Sport +9 Sporting v Legia ........................... 23:05 Aljazeera Sport +7 Man United v Ajax ........................ 23:05 Aljazeera Sport +3 Aljazeera Sport +4 Besiktas v Braga ........................... 23:05 Aljazeera Sport +10

Penarol thrashed at home in Libertadores MONTEVIDEO: Last year’s Copa Libertadores runners-up Penarol were thrashed 4-0 at home by Colombia’s Atletico Nacional on Tuesday, leaving the Uruguayan club in early trouble in this year’s competition with no points from two games. Jherson Cordoba and Dorlan Pabon both scored twice for Atletico Nacional, which moves to the top of Group 8 with a perfect record from its two games. In other group stage matches on Tuesday: Mexico’s Cruz Azul won 4-0 against Venezuela’s Deportivo Tachira, Argentina’s Arsenal defeated Venezuela’s Zamora 3-0 and Bolivar, of Bolivia, lost 3-1 against Chile’s Union Espanola. In Group 8, Cordoba opened the scoring for

Atletico Nacional in the 21st minute, and added the second from close range four minutes after halftime. Pabon broke free from the defense and slotted the ball into the corner of the net in the 65th to shore up the victory, and added the fourth goal for his team in the 78th, with a strike from the edge of the penalty area. The other teams in Group 8, Universidad de Chile and Argentina’s Godoy Cruz, play their second game of the group stage on Wednesday. In Mexico City in Group 6, Cruz Azul, unbeaten in seven matches in the Mexican league, made it two wins in its first two games in the Copa Libertadores, with Adrian Cortes converting a penalty in the 19th minute.

Colombian Edixon Perea made it 2-0 with a left foot shot in the 56th, Javier Orozco tapped in the third in the 79th and, two minutes later, Argentine Emanuel Villa completed the scoring. Deportivo Tachira remains on one point, with the other Group 8 teams, Brazil’s Corinthians and Paraguay’s Nacional, playing in two weeks. In Sarandi, Argentina, three first half goals gave Arsenal the win against Zamora in Group 4. A shot from 20 yards (meters) from Jorge Ortiz in the 2nd minute took a big deflection off a defender and although the goalkeeper got a hand to it, he couldn’t stop it going into the net. Colombian Carlos Carbonero added the second 15 minutes later, and Luciano Leguizamon made it 3-0 two minutes before halftime. —AP

Stosur sends Safarova packing

India keep winning, South Africa in final




Football must ‘crush’ racism, says British PM

Page 19

LONDON: Porto’s Brazilian forward Hulk (center) vies for the ball with Manchester City’s Belgian midfielder Vincent Kompany (left) and Manchester City’s English defender Joleon Lescott during the UEFA Europa League round of 32 second leg football match. — AP

City overpower holders Porto MANCHESTER: The presence of former manager Andre Villas-Boas at Eastlands failed to inspire holders Porto as Manchester City eased into the last 16 of the Europa League with a 4-0 second leg win yesterday. Goals from Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko, David Silva and David Pizarro-the last three in the space of nine minutes late in the second leg tie-ensured a comfortable evening for City, who won 6-1 on aggregate. The goal rush came against a Porto side who played the final 14 minutes with 10 men after the sending off of defender Rolando for a second yellow card. “We played a good game,” City manager Roberto Mancini told ESPN. “Maybe 4-0 was too much but it was important we went into the second stage,” added the Italian, looking to become the first City boss in 42 years to bring a major European trophy to the club. Premier League leaders City took just 19 seconds to extend their first leg advantage when Aguero grabbed the quickest goal in the Europa League this season. Argentinian defender Nicolas Otamendi lost the ball around

Europa League the halfway line, and Nigel de Jong found Yaya Toure whose pass sent Aguero racing clear of the Porto backline. He took his chance brilliantly with a clinical finish into the bottom left-hand corner. Porto responded gamely as Joao Moutinho volleyed wide, Silvestre Varela headed at Joe Hart and defender Maicon ended a marauding right-wing run with a wayward centre across goal. But for all Porto’s possession, City looked far more dangerous and Silva’s well-weighted through ball after 16 minutes sent through Yaya Toure whose progress was well-blocked on the edge of the area by goalkeeper Helton. City again came close with Silva’s through ball forcing Helton to race from his area to try to intercept Aguero. The City forward skillfully rounded the goalkeeper but his shot from the edge of the area struck the Porto crossbar.

Mancini’s team, were content to withstand the modest pressure from Porto and play on the counter-attack, with Aguero involved in a pacy break before the interval which ended with a pass to Yaya Toure. Despite terrible initial control, the City midfielder eventually managed to re-connect with Aguero only for the goalscorer to flash a poor shot wide. Hulk saw a fierce free-kick deflected behind and Rolando volleyed over from six yards at the resulting corner as every passing minute left Porto facing a bigger obstacle. After the restart, Lucho Gonzalez poked wide from 18 yards, Hulk’s low cross-shot was spilled by the diving Hart who was relieved to see the ball travel to safety and James Rodriguez had the ball in the net after 57 minutes only for his ‘goal’ to be ruled out for offside.

Last-gasp Ayew gives Marseille advantage

United slayers Basel stun Bayern Munich BASEL: Basel boosted their chances of a place in the Champions League quarter-finals with a shock 1-0 win over Bayern Munich in the last 16 firstleg tie yesterday. Having beaten Manchester United 2-1 in Basel last December, the hosts pulled off another stunning victory when midfielder Valentin Stocker found the target in the 86th minute. The defeat compounded Bayern’s flagging confidence ahead of the return leg on March 13 at their Allianz Arena, which also hosts the final on May 19. While Basel are flying high at the top of the Swiss league, Bayern have won just three of their seven games since Christmas and were held to a goalless draw at bottom side Freiburg last Saturday to leave them third in the Bundesliga. They have now also gone 240 minutes without a goal. In Basel, Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes started with Toni Kroos in the central attacking midfielder position, flanked by France wing Franck Ribery and Dutch World Cup finalist Arjen Robben. It meant no place in the starting line-up for Thomas Mueller, the top scorer at the last World Cup, while Germany striker Mario Gomez was the lone striker. Ribery tested Basel goalkeeper Yann Sommer twice early on, but the home side almost took the lead in the 15th minute when defender Aleksandar Dragovic forced goalkeeper Manuel Neuer into a reflex save. Munich were facing one of their future players as Basel’s 20-year-old attacking midfielder Xerdan Shaqiri joins their ranks on July 1 and he found space to exploit the guests’ defence on several occasions. Bayern were missing Germany star Bastian Schweinsteiger, who is out with damaged ankle ligaments, but his replacement in Munich’s midfield David Alaba tested Sommer with a curling shot on 30 minutes. Basel captain Marco Streller squandered a good chance on 48 minutes when he headed straight at Neuer. Bayern controlled possession after the break while the hosts seemed to run out of steam and sat back on some solid defence with the time running out. Mueller came on for Ribery with 20 minutes left to inject some life into the Germans’ attack, but failed to break the hosts’ solid defence. With time almost up, the winner came when Stocker was found at the back post by Cameroon forward Jacques Zoua and the 22-year-old fired home low beyond Neuer to send the home crowd wild. — AFP

City weathered that brief storm, however, and their second goal, in the 76th minute, put the outcome of the tie beyond all doubt. Aguero was the creator, holding the ball intelligently outside the Porto area and waiting for the overlapping run of substitute Dzeko who took the ball in his stride and finished expertly from 10 yards. Porto’s hopes of an unlikely recovery were hampered by the dismissal of Rolando who collected a second yellow card prior to the re-start for dissent. Silva added to what had become a rout six minutes from time when he turned the ball into an open goal after substitute Pizarro burst into the area and crossed selflessly from the right. Pizarro himself completed it, in the 86th minute, starting a move outside the area and collecting a poor touch-on from Dzeko before slotting past the helpless Helton. Hart ensured Porto did not even leave Manchester with a consolation goal, diving low to the foot of his post to keep out a shot from Hulk. — AFP

SWITZERLAND: Basel’s Benjamin Huggel (left) fights for the ball against Bayern’s Toni Kroos (right) during the Champions League round of sixteen first leg soccer match. — AP

MARSEILLE: A dramatic 93rd-minute header from Andre Ayew gave Marseille a 1-0 victory over luckless Inter Milan in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie here yesterday. Bidding to reach the last eight for the first time since they won the trophy in 1993, the hosts dominated possession but looked set for a night of frustration until Ayew’s decisive intervention in the game’s dying stages. Having been eliminated by Manchester United at the same stage of last season’s competition, Didier Deschamps’ side will now travel to San Siro on March 13 with high hopes of reaching the quarter-finals. Inter, meanwhile, have now gone seven matches without victory and coach Claudio Ranieri will only face more questions about his future after this latest setback. Ranieri had persisted with the outof-form Wesley Sneijder and handed Argentine forward Mauro Zarate a first start since November, while Brandao took the place of OM’s injured top scorer Loic Remy. After a watchful start, Inter began to carry a threat on the counter-attack and Steve Mandanda had to tip over a shot from Diego Forlan on 10 minutes after the Uruguayan met Esteban Cambiasso’s cross with his right instep. The Marseille goalkeeper also had to get down to block a low effort from Zarate, while Cambiasso saw a shot deflected into Mandanda’s grasp shortly before the interval after another forward foray from midfield.

Marseille’s poor delivery from wide areas meant that they struggled to bring Brandao into the game. Cesar Azpilicueta sent a half-volley dipping onto the roof of Julio Cesar’s net in the 19th minute, but OM’s best chance of the half fell to Souleymane Diawara, who was unable to convert Mathieu Valbuena’s inswinging free-kick. Marseille bossed the opening of the second period and although they failed to create any clear chances, Ranieri was sufficiently perturbed to replace Zarate with the more conservative Joel Obi. To the displeasure of the Velodrome crowd, the game became punctuated by niggly fouls and misplaced passes, and Deschamps responded by introducing young Ghana striker Jordan Ayew in place of Brandao. Dejan Stankovic could only shoot weakly at Mandanda after Sneijder’s free-kick was glanced on by Forlan, before Andre Ayew nodded wide from Morgan Amalfitano’s inviting centre at the other end. The elder Ayew sibling appeared to have taken it upon himself to break the deadlock, and after testing Julio Cesar with a header from another Amalfitano cross, he drew a corner with a rising drive from the edge of the box. When Valbuena’s resulting setpiece fell at the near post, Andre Ayew got across his man to head home, ending Julio Cesar’s resistance and nudging Ranieri another step closer to the trapdoor. —AFP


Rare pink diamond found in Australia Page 26

Euro, shares weaken as growth outlook darkens Page 26


In Europe, spending cuts fail to ease debt burdens

China economy faces risk of hard landing Page 25

Page 25

NEW DELHI: A Kingfisher airlines aircraft and buses stand parked at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. India’s top aviation watchdog ordered troubled Kingfisher Airline to explain dozens of canceled flights as the carrier battled mounting financial troubles. — AP

Kingfisher bailout hangs in the balance Indian government ‘won’t save airline’ NEW DELHI: Lenders to India’s Kingfisher Airlines have not agreed to extend further loans to the debt-crippled carrier, three bank ing sources said yesterday after reports that one state-owned creditor was close to offering a bailout loan package. Several newspapers reported that State Bank of India (SBI) would throw a lifeline to Kingfisher, which is majority owned by liquor baron Vijay Mallya, giving figures ranging from 2.0 to 16.5 billion rupees ($40-335 million). But banking sources, with direct knowledge of the situation, told Reuters the airline’s consortium of 16 lenders, which includes SBI, were still studying a debtrestructuring proposal put forward last week. Banks own about a quarter of the carrier through an earlier debt-for-equity swap. “I don’t think any individual bank can take a decision,” said a source at the Punjab National Bank, India’s secondlargest public sector lender. “It will have to be decided by the consortium.” SBI’s chief financial officer, Diwakar Gupta, declined to comment on the reports of an imminent rescue package. Desperately strapped for cash, Kingfisher Airlines stands on the brink of collapse after nearly a week of flight cancellations and the resignation of dozens of its pilots. India’s second-largest airline until this year, the company has not turned a profit since it was founded in 2005 and is carrying a debt burden of at least $1.3 billion. Its revenue has been in decline since the end of last year. Staff are not being paid and tax bills remain outstanding. A tax official said the airline’s arrears for financial 2011/12 were around 400 million rupees ($8.1 million).

NO GOVERNMENT LIFELINE Mallya has blamed his cash crunch on the tax authorities, which last week froze Kingfisher’s bank accounts over its unpaid dues. Yesterday, Finance Secretary R S Gujral denied media reports that the accounts had been unblocked. Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said Kingfisher Airlines could not expect the government to pull it back from the brink, as it did stateowned Air India. “The government is not going to bail it out, but we hope Kingfisher can mobilize its resources somehow because if they don’t then there will be more problems for the passengers,” he told reporters. “We have made it very clear, and

I’m sure Mallya knows that Air India is a government concern. Whatever help we give them, we cannot do it to any private industry.” Still, the government faces a dilemma over Kingfisher because it owns about one-fifth of its shares and roughly three-quarters of its debt through lenders. There are no provisions for companies to declare themselves legally bankrupt in India. Analysts said Kingfisher could simply shut down overnight if it fails to secure fresh equity that would shore up the sagging confidence of its creditors. Kingfisher shares, which plunged nearly 20 percent on Tuesday before recovering, were slightly higher yesterday after the media reports

BANGALORE: Kingfisher Airlines air hostesses leave Bangalore International Airport in Bangalore. — AFP

that fresh loans were on the way. Kingfisher will now operate 175 daily flights, down from 240 on Friday, a government source said. Only 28 of its fleet of 64 planes will be used. The aviation regulator has deregistered the carrier’s 2 ATR planes at the lessor’s request, he said. The regulator has also asked other airlines to accommodate passengers stranded by the cancellations, the government source said. State-run carrier Air India has refused to carry Kingfisher passengers on credit. Mallya is also chairman of United Breweries (Holdings) , a conglomerate with interests as diverse as aviation, breweries, biotechnology and real estate. The group has annual sales of more than $4 billion. His airline - named after his famous brand of Indian beer - has become one of the main casualties of high fuel costs and a fierce price war between a handful of budget carriers which, between them, ordered hundreds of aircraft for delivery over the next decade in an ambitious bet on the future. Five out of six major carriers are losing money, and analysts estimate that the industry overall is on course to lose up to $3 billion for the financial year ending next month. Shares in Kingfisher have dropped around 60 percent since the start of last year, shrinking its market value to $269 million. Its domestic market share has almost halved in recent months from about 20 percent. Mallya, an independent member of the upper house of parliament, has blamed rules that bar foreign direct investment in Indian carriers and higher taxes on fuel for the industry’s troubles. The government is now debating a proposal to allow foreign airlines acquire stake of up to 49 percent. — Reuters

Bombay stock market launches ‘green’ index


in brief

Peugeot shares surge PARIS: Shares in PSA Peugeot Citroen, Europe’s secondbiggest car manufacturer, surged after it said it was in talks with unnamed parties over possible industrial tieups. The company’s disclosure came amid speculation that it is in discussions with US car maker General Motors Co over a partnership. Europe’s number two car maker after Germany’s Volkswagen AG said that “in the framework of its strategy of globalization and performance improvement, PSA Peugeot Citroen is examining cooperation and alliances.” The statement late Tuesday says “talks are underway” and that there is no certainty that they will result in a deal. Shares in the company were up 9 percent in early Wednesday trading at euro15.69. La Tribune newspaper reported that Peugeot and GM were in talks about an alliance, citing an unnamed “unofficial source.”

China activity weakens BEIJING: China’s manufacturing activity continued to contract in February as export orders weakened, HSBC said yesterday, in a further sign that the eurozone crisis and US weakness are hurting demand. HSBC’s preliminary purchasing managers index rose to 49.7, the highest level in four months, from a final reading of 48.8 in January, the British banking giant said in a statement. But while the figure marked an improvement it still remained below 50, indicating the sector is contracting. HSBC will release a final reading early next month. “With a meaningful rebound of domestic demand not in sight, external weakness is starting to bite, adding more downside risks to growth,” HSBC Chief Economist Qu Hongbin said. Qu urged the government to step up efforts to ease credit restrictions, which would boost lending and spur activity in the export-driven economy. On Saturday, China’s central bank cut the reserve requirement ratio for banks, effectively increasing the amount of money they can lend, for the second time in three months as officials moved cautiously to open the credit valves.

Turkey, China ink deals

Indian economy could grow by up to 8% MUMBAI: The Bombay Stock Exchange yesterday launched India’s first carbon-efficient live index, looking to give a boost to socially aware investors. The new BSE-Greenex index will comprise 20 stocks based on a minimum carbon footprint, market capitalization and turnover, the BSE said on its website. The BSEGreenex will assess the energy efficiency of firms based on energy and financial data. The index includes India’s largest commercial bank State Bank of India, the world’s seventh largest steel producer Tata Steel, vehicle maker Tata Motors and Sterlite Industries, the local arm of global resources group Vedanta. “There is a growing local and international need to identify ‘green’ investments and companies with a strong social responsibility,” BSE’s deputy chief executive Ashish Chauhan

said. “There are many socially aware investors willing to pay a premium for green investments in companies in the hope of getting better returns.” India-one of the world’s topfive carbon emitters in terms of volume-is under pressure to cut greenhouse gas emissions but has insisted that rich countries should bear the burden of efforts to tackle the problem. INDIA ECONOMY India’s economy could accelerate by as much eight percent in the next fiscal year despite a difficult global climate, a top government panel said yesterday. Asia’s thirdlargest economy has lost momentum since the central bank raised interest rates 13 times since March 2010 to tame inflation from near

double-digits to its current 26-month low of 6.5 percent. “We might be able to reach a growth rate of eight percent” in the next fiscal year to March 31, 2013, said C Rangarajan, head of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, putting the range at between 7.5 and eight percent. He projected inflation for next year at five to six percent. “But to get back to nine percent growth we need a more hospitable global environment,” Rangarajan said. “Until the global environment clears, we should be able to achieve eight percent (annual) growth.” Government experts see nine percent growth as a minimum to substantially reduce the crushing poverty afflicting hundreds of millions of Indians. Rangarajan forecast growth of 7.1 percent growth for the current fiscal

year that ends on March 31, the slowest rate in three years and far below the panel’s initial bullish forecast of nine percent expansion. His prediction, which noted strong farm and service sector growth, was slightly higher than the government’s official estimate of 6.9 percent expansion for this year. The forecast of faster growth and lower inflation is welcome news for the national Congress ruling party, which has been buffeted by a string of corruption scandals and accusations of policy paralysis. But the council’s growth forecast for next year was much more optimistic than those of many private economists-some of whom expect growth in the low six percent range. India’s economy grew by 8.4 percent in the last fiscal year to March 31, 2011. — Agencies

ISTANBUL: Turkish and Chinese companies will sign yesterday contracts totaling $1.38 billion in an attempt to bolster economic ties between the two countries, Turkey’s Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan said. “Today, Chinese and Turkish firms will ink deals worth nearly $1.38 billion,” Caglayan was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency during an address to a business forum also attended by China’s leader-in-waiting Xi Jinping. Xi, who is widely tipped to become China’s next president, met with Turkey’s business community in Istanbul on the last stop of a tour that has taken him to the United States and Ireland. On Tuesday, several cooperation deals in agriculture, finance and banking were signed to strengthen the strategic partnership between Turkey and China. The two countries’ central banks also inked a currency swap worth 10 billion yuan ($1.58 billion) as part of an effort by Beijing to promote international usage of its currency. Turkey’s deputy prime minister Ali Babacan urged Chinese banks to do more business in Turkey.




FASTtelco receives prestigious ISO certificate KUWAIT: FASTtelco, the leading Telecom Service provider in Kuwait, was awarded the prestigious ISO certificate (9001:2008), a certificate granted to companies who achieve the highest standards of quality management in accordance with the international standards of the telecommunications sector; adding a new accomplishment to its record of achievements in implementing the company’s strategy to provide innovative communication solutions. A celebration was held in the presence of Chairman and Managing Director of Al-Deera Holding Co., and CEO of FASTtelco Abdulwahab Ahmad Al-Nakib to mark the event on Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 at Regency Hotel, including plenty of other managers from the company. FASTtelco’s CO Sahand Pouladi and a number of employees were honored as well as the seminar representatives of Global Experience Consulting Company for their contributions in help-

ing FASTtelco achieve the ISO certificate. Abdulwahab Al-Nakib, expressed gratitude to the company for their continuous support, and went on and said “FASTtelco establishes its philosophy at work on the importance of providing its customers with the latest technological solutions in the highest quality. And that relies on two factors, the matchless infrastructure and innovative expertise, all which contributed in receiving the ISO certificate (9001:2008),” he added. On his part, Chief Operating Officer Sahand Pouladi said, “FASTtelco’s obtainment of an international quality certificate is an incentive that supports our performance in the future, as it reflects our belief in the services we provide in addition to the cooperation among our teams to meet customers’ requirements. However, it also adds a greater responsibility burden on our shoulders to continue providing innovative, value

Burgan Bank, MasterCard launch new innovative payment solution KUWAIT: MasterCard Worldwide together with Burgan Bank yesterday announced the conversion of Burgan Bank’s existing proprietary B-Dinar Payroll ATM card to the B-Dinar Debit MasterCard Payroll Card. The B-Dinar Debit MasterCard Payroll card combines all the uses of a standard ATM card, like access to cash and banking transactions, with the added convenience of shopping at local merchant locations within Kuwait. As a convenient and secure alternative to cash and checks, B-Dinar cardholders in Kuwait, will be able to access their salary in a more efficient manner using the ATM or Point of Sale machines available throughout Kuwait. Cardholders will also be able to benefit from greater control over their finances. The B-Dinar Debit MasterCard Payroll card program will provide businesses with the advantage of paying their employees’ salary through a secure and convenient MasterCard Payroll payment card. For businesses in Kuwait, the card program is a smart alternative to issuing payroll checks. By simply posting employees’ salaries to an account tied to their personal Burgan Bank B-Dinar MasterCard Payroll card, businesses will be able to increase cost-efficiencies, while delivering a whole new array of benefits to their employees. It can also help to reduce payroll processing when it comes to, for example, expense management and one-off and final salary payments. “As an enhancement to our existing BDinar ATM card program, we are delighted to launch an innovative payment solution in collaboration with MasterCard,” said Raed Al Haqhaq - Chief Banking Officer at Burgan Bank. “The B-Dinar Debit MasterCard Payroll card is a great alternative solution to using cash or cheques. Employees will be able to now benefit from receiving their salary, while going about their daily lives, making purchases securely and conveniently in Kuwait.” “This is a great way for the banked or unbanked individuals in Kuwait to receive their monthly salary,” said Safdar Khan, Market Manager, Qatar, Oman & Kuwait, MasterCard Worldwide. “Consumers will be

able to benefit from a secure and convenient payment solution that will bring them additional benefits when making purchases and managing their finances. We are delighted to support Burgan Bank in offering a payment solution that will bring valuable benefits to the working population in Kuwait.” The B-Dinar MasterCard Payroll card from Burgan Bankwill also feature an EMV chip, which means higher levels of card and data security when making purchases over at Point-of-Sale (POS) terminals. MasterCard Worldwide MasterCard(NYSE: MA),, is a global payments and technology company. It operates the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities - such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances - easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter@mastercardnews,join the conversation on The Heart of Commerce Blog and subscribe for the latest news.

added services at competitive prices without compromising our quality, ensuring we constantly developing the work environment.” He thanked the employees for their hard efforts and urged them to achieve the best outcome possible. Meanwhile, CEO of Global Experience Consulting Tawfik Soukieh stressed that there is no alternative for this work method, as the telecommunications sectors have become the most complicated and fiercest in competition, adding that companies working in this field are now ahead of infinite challenges to keep pace with the dramatic developments to meet the needs of the market. He thanked all the employees at FASTtelco and wished them more achievements and successfulness to come. It is worth noting that the ISO certificate (9001:2008) is granted to companies that enforce a set of international standards for the guidance and control

of the institution, which include: focusing on customer satisfaction, presence of effective leadership, collaboration

between staff, a mechanism for continuous improvement, and making decisions in a timely manner.

Al Jaber in management reshuffle amid debt talks Recruitment agency hired to seek new CEO DUBAI: Al Jaber Group, a family-held conglomerate in the midst of a $1-billion plus restructuring, will hire a new chief executive to replace the founder’s son in a management reshuffle that also saw a new finance chief appointed late last year, three sources said yesterday. A recruitment firm has been retained to bring in a new CEO, replacing Mohammed Al-Jaber, the son of the group’s founder and chairman Obaid Al-Jaber, two of the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity. In addition, Richard Hollands was hired in November as chief financial officer from an Emirates airline unit. “It was presented at one of the earlier creditor meetings that they would be looking to make management changes, including a new CEO,” said one source familiar with developments. “A firm has been hired to do this.” An Al Jaber spokesman declined to comment. A standstill agreement on its debt pile is expected to be signed as soon as early March, the sources said yesterday. “It’s just a case of getting the signatures,” a

second, banking, source said. A third source said the standstill agreement had been held up because banks were against rolling over the debt at the terms demanded by Al Jaber. The banks’ committee is chaired by the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, and includes Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, HSBC, RBS and Union National Bank. The conglomerate, which has operations from construction to aviation and retail, appointed a new chief restructuring officer last year to work with lenders and management on matters related to the rescheduling of its financial debt. A reorganization and steering committee has been in place to oversee the restructuring and consists of members from some of Abu Dhabi’s top government-related firms and banks. The chairman of Abu Dhabi governmentowned Al Hilal Bank, who is an al-Jaber sonin-law, is on the committee in a personal capacity, the source familiar with developments said. Bankers said asset sales would be a natural expectation under most corporate restructurings but declined to be more specif-

ic about Al Jaber’s plans. Al Jaber is one of the most prominent family-owned private sector firms in Abu Dhabi, where the acknowledgment of financial difficulties has been minimal, in contrast to neighboring Dubai, under the spotlight for its debt woes since late 2009. The emirate was resilient during Dubai’s property market collapse but is now showing signs of pressure as a huge supply of high-end homes are expected to come onto the market. Housing prices in Abu Dhabi are seen falling by as much as 11 percent this year, a Reuters poll showed last month. Across the oil-rich state, which accounts for more than half of the United Arab Emirates’ economy, government-backed real estate, commercial and tourism projects, many conceived during the boom years of 2003-2008, are under review and in some cases being delayed or put on hold. Abu Dhabi pushed back the opening of the much talked about local branches of Louvre and Guggenheim art museums earlier this month. — Reuters

Gulf Bank Al Danah Account offers exciting draw rewards

Raed Al Haqhaq

KUWAIT: Gulf Bank is encouraging prospective customers to open an Al Danah account and existing customers to increase their deposits by February 29th, 2012 in order to enhance their chances of winning in the Al Danah KD 125,000 draw for 2012. Gulf Bank’s Al Danah offers weekly draws of KD1,000 each to ten win-

ners. Quarterly draw winners are eligible to win KD125,000 in the first quarterly draw, KD250,000 in the second quarterly draw, KD500,000 during the third quarterly draw, and finally 1 Million Dinars during the fourth quarter. Chances increase the more money is deposited and the longer it is kept in the account.

Al Danah is the only account to offer daily winning chances and customers are advised to take advantage of that to increase their chances. The last date to deposit or open an account for the Al Danah first quarterly draw is on February 29th, 2012. For further information customers are advised to visit one of Gulf Bank’s 55

branches or call the Customer Contact Center on 1805805 where the Bank’s representatives will be delighted to assist them with any further information or inquiries they may have on Al Danah or any of the Bank’s products and services. Customers can also log on to Gulf Bank’s website for further information.

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

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

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

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. ASIAN COUNTRIES

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

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

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

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

GCC COUNTRIES 74.150 76.402 722.230 738.540 75.715

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

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

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram


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



301.100 740.540 3.610 283.100 546.900 45.400 50.200 167.800 47.580 372.500 36.600 5.810 0.032 0.167 0.243 3.590 394.890 0.188 94.170 46.500 4.280 235.800 1.804 50.000 723.280

299.600 740.540 3.360 281.600

222.800 46.125 371.000 36.450 5.655 0.031

10 Tola

75.820 278.400

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd Selling Rate

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

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

Rate per 1000 (Tran)

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


Transfer Rate (Per 1000)

300.96 283.77 309.71 371.37

444.00 3.70 3.550 5.790 2.625 4.250 3.200 76.50 74.05 48.00 394.60 728.00 77.25 74.70

278.400 3.062 5.665 2.355 3.385 6.545 75.930 74.415 740.400 46.085 444.900 3.190 1.550 374.100 285.100 3.690

Al Mulla Exchange

UAE Exchange Center WLL Australian Dollar Canadian Dollar Swiss Franc Euro

442.31 3.53 3.415 5.641 2.347 3.549 3.069 75.78 740.53 46.14 396.07 723.54 76.77 74.34

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co.

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 441.800 278.400

Sterling Pound US Dollar



307.400 4.200 9.280

Sterling Pound Japanese Yen Bangladesh Taka Indian Rupee Sri Lankan Rupee Nepali Rupee Pakistani Rupee UAE Dirhams Bahraini Dinar Egyptian Pound Jordanian Dinar Omani Riyal Qatari Riyal Saudi Riyal


394.570 0.187 94.170 3.560 234.300

3.070 6.515 76.600 74.350 222.760 38.450 2.351 441.800

GOLD 1,831.580

Rate for Transfer

Bahrain Exchange Company

3.160 6.860 77.030 74.350 222.760 38.450 2.653 443.800 42.500 308.900 4.200 9.420 198.263 75.920 278.800 1.310

302.00 284.00 310.00 373.00

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

Transfer Rate (Per 1000)

278.050 370.800 441.500 281.400 3.510 5.655 46.070 2.342 3.345 6.500 3.063 740.450 75.750 74.250




Brent crude falls towards $121 on euro-zone worry Asia, Europe cut back on Iranian crude imports

First winner with branch manager Saleh Al Shimmari

Third winner

Three grab KD5,000 in NBK Al-Jawhara weekly draws KUWAIT: Three lucky customers won cash prizes in National Bank of Kuwait’s (NBK) weekly Al-Jawhara draws during this month. Ala’a Ali Ali Al-zagal, Sulafa Mohamad Jaber Hassan Hadeed, and Ahmed Abdulbadeaa Nasr were awarded KD 5,000 each, expressing their surprise and delight at having won. NBKs next AlJawhara will be held in the upcoming week where a cash prize of KD 125,000 will be awarded to one lucky winner. NBK recently re-launched its Al-Jawhara account offering customers more chances of winning bigger prizes. This includes cash prizes of KD 250,000 quarterly, KD 125,000 monthly and KD 5,000 weekly. Al-Jawhara is one of Kuwait’s leading

cash prize accounts offering numerous benefits to its customers. Not only is it an interest-free account with regular deposit and withdrawal privileges, it also entitles account holders to enter the weekly, monthly and quarterly Al-Jawhara draws. Each KD 50 in an Al Jawhara account entitles the customer to one chance in any of the draws. All prizes are automatically credited to the winners’ accounts the day after the draw. The more money held in Al-Jawhara account, the greater the chances of winning. Al-Jawhara account is available to both Kuwaitis and Expats and can be opened at any one of NBK’s branches around Kuwait. For further information kindly visit , or call Hala Watani at 1801801.

Exxon Mobil, Nigeria sign 20-year oil deal ABUJA: Exxon Mobil Corp has signed 20-year leases on three major oil fields in Nigeria after strained negotiations between the company and the West African nation’s government, officials announced yesterday. Negotiations dragged on for months between the Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil and the Nigerian government, with confusion over the contracts exasperating the company’s officials. The shallow water fields just off Nigeria’s southern coast produce about 500,000 barrels of oil a day, a major chunk of the company’s production in the country. In a statement, the state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corp quoted the nation’s petroleum minister Diezani AlisonMadueke describing the deal as a “mutually fair agreement.” A spokesman for Exxon Mobil’s Nigerian subsidiary did not respond to a request for comment yesterday. The announcement comes amid a yearly oil and gas conference in Nigeria’s capital Abuja. Speaking there yesterday, Exxon Mobil managing director in Nigeria said the country needed to do more to make sure there’s stability for the foreign oil companies working there. “Having

resources alone is not enough,” Mark R. Ward said, according to remarks released by Exxon Mobil to The Associated Press. “As more nations join the ranks of developed economies, Nigeria’s best hope for re-energizing growth and creating new jobs is to put in place a stable policy framework that supports long-term investment.” Nigeria is still considering whether to overhaul laws surrounding oil production. Debate over the proposed Petroleum Industry Bill has caused foreign companies to hold off on new investments in Nigeria. Analysts say the petroleum bill would sharply reduce the profits of foreign oil companies working in Nigeria like Chevron Corp, Exxon Mobil, Eni SpA, Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Total SA. Government officials say the bill would allow more oil money to return to Nigeria’s people. However, the bill has apparently stalled after years of discussion and it remains unclear whether Nigeria’s National Assembly will be able to pass any change to the laws soon. Nigeria, an OPEC member nation producing about 2.4 million barrels of crude oil a day, is a top supplier to the US. —AP

SINGAPORE: Brent crude edged down towards $121 yesterday, retreating from a nine-month high, as weaker Chinese manufacturing data and resurfacing worries about the euro-zone debt crisis cast doubt on global economic health and prospects for fuel demand. China’s manufacturing sector contracted in February for a fourth straight month as new export orders dropped sharply in the face of the euro area debt crisis, stirring fears about fuel demand in the world’s second largest oil user. Commodities rallied on Tuesday after the European Union approved a 130-billion-euro rescue fund to Greece, saving it from bankruptcy. But the long-term risk of a messy default and regional contagion, given deeprooted mistrust over Athens’ commitment to harsh reforms, continued to worry investors. Brent crude for April delivery fell 14 cents to $121.52 a barrel by 0734 GMT. The contract settled at $121.66 on Tuesday, its highest since May. US crude for April was up 7 cents to $106.32 a barrel. The March contract, which expired on Tuesday, closed at $105.84 a barrel, the highest settlement for front-month NYMEX crude since May 4. “Prices are correcting as we’ve already got the boost from Greece and Iran’s pre-emptive stoppage of oil to Britain and France,” said

Tony Nunan, a risk manager at Mitsubishi Corp, adding that the slowdown in Chinese manufacturing activity also weighed on prices. Analysts expect China to step up policy easing to support economic growth and lift commodities demand in the world’s second largest economy. Commodities rallied at the start of the week after Beijing cranked up credit on Saturday by lowering the amount of cash banks must hold in reserves. SUPPLY CONCERNS SUPPORT Yet supply concerns have boosted oil prices in the past month on disruptions from Iran, as tightening US sanctions make it tough for buyers to keep doing business with OPEC’s second largest producer. Asian and European buyers of Iranian crude are cutting purchases from Tehran. Top Asian consumers of Iranian oil- China, India and Japan-are planning cuts of at least 10 percent in Iranian crude imports. Crude output in Sudan, Yemen, Syria and the North Sea is also lower, hurt by geopolitical and production issues. “Upside price risks are rising as the market finds itself in the unprecedented situation in which OPEC spare capacity is at a trough just as a world economic recovery is gaining momentum,” Goldman Sachs analysts said in a Feb 22 note. The UN nuclear watchdog expressed disap-

pointment yesterday over a lack of progress during two days of talks in Tehran over Iran’s disputed nuclear program and said its request to visit a military site had not been granted. Oil still faces downside risks in the second quarter as refineries undergo maintenance and product consumption slides into a seasonal trough before the northern hemisphere summer, JP Morgan analysts led by Lawrence Eagles said in a Feb 21 note. “Supply risks remain elevated, as does the desire to build inventory, but at current rates it appears as if the market will be well-supplied this spring, creating the potential for prices to retrace, rather than collapse,” the bank said. A gradual economic recovery in the United States, the world’s largest oil consumer, has also supported prices. Investors are looking ahead to existing home sales data due later in the day for more signs of recovery that could lift oil prices, Mitsubishi’s Nunan said. Yet high fuel prices may threaten demand. Gasoline futures ended at their highest level since May, lifted by the idling of BP Plc’s Cherry Point, Washington, refinery on Friday due to a fire. “Motorists on both sides of the Atlantic are feeling the full pinch of exorbitantly high crude oil prices,” said Stephen Schork, editor of the energy newsletter the Schork Report. —Reuters

Al Massaleh Real Estate inks deal with Istidamah Holding KUWAIT: Al Massaleh Real Estate, one of the region’s leading real estate developers, has signed an agreement with Istidamah Holding, which specializes in efficient, market-leading waste management and rec ycling solutions. The Chairman and Managing Direc tor of Al Massaleh Real Estate, Najeeb Al Saleh, said: “We are ver y pleased to sign this agreement with Istidamah Holding. Messaleh Real Estate is committed to managing its business in a responsible fashion, which includes considering the impact on the environment of all our operations. This agreement means that we will now be able to ensure that paper waste at our headquarters at Universal Towers will in future be recycled

properly and reused, rather than dumped or burned. “We know that the consumption of paper has increased sig-

Massaleh Chairman, Najeeb Al Saleh

nificantly worldwide, which in turn has led to increased paper production and to a reduction in green areas and the exhaustion of forests. As a company, we are committed to recycling where possible, and we hope that more people will become aware of the impor tance of recycling paper and other materials and the role recycled materials can play in building a healthier and better environment.” K halid M ohamed AlMutawa, Chairman and Managing Director of Istidamah Holding, said: “Partnering with Al M assaleh Real Estate is a major step for us and we hope to collaborate fur ther in the future. Istidamah’s goal is to use its professional expertise and the services to assist companies

in developing their recycling programs. Managing waste efficiently has wide benefits, not only to the environment but also to society through the reduction of health issues often caused by waste burial and traditional management methods. “Since we star ted our operations in 2010, Istidamah has sought to offer innovative environmental solutions to organisations both inside and outside of Kuwait. In that time it has gained the trust of many private and governmental organisations which support our plans to be recognized as one of the leading environmental and consulting companies in waste management, recycling, and industrial projects.”

Dr Jan Utermarck to head Sales at Volkswagen Passenger Cars DUBAI: Dr Jan Utermarck (44), currently in charge of international coordination of the Volkswagen Group’s genuine parts logistics network, has been appointed to head Sales CIS / Middle East / Africa at Volkswagen Passenger Cars effective February 1, 2012. In this function, Utermarck will report direct to the Volkswagen Board Member for Sales, Christian Klingler. Utermarck succeeds Hans- Heiner T¸ting (56), who was appointed Board Member for Marketing, Sales and Service at Volkswagen de MÈxico with effect from November 1, 2011. On his appointment Dr. Jan Utermarck, head Sales CIS / Middle East / Africa at Volkswagen Passenger Cars commented: “The Middle East region is an important market for Volkswagen with high sales potential. Volkswagen has an ambitious growth plan and wants to reach a leading position in the automotive market within Middle East. Volkswagen is bringing new models to the region including the Passat, which was recently launched at the Qatar Motor Show and is the second model that focuses on the sedan segment. I

look forward to working closely with the Volkswagen Middle East team to strengthen our brand image and position, increase the attractive model range and develop the sales and after sales excel-

lence program dedicated to the special requirements of our customers in the Middle East region” Jan Utermarck joined the Volkswagen Group in 1996, initially taking responsibility for coordinating spare parts distribution projects. He headed operational gen-

uine parts logistics at the master depot in Kassel from 2001 to 2003. Utermarck, who holds a doctorate in business administration, moved to the Group’s brand in 2004, where he headed the global genuine parts and accessories business. From 2007, Utermarck took charge of the international coordination of the genuine parts launch process, and subsequently assumed responsibility for the international coordination of the Volkswagen Group’s genuine parts logistics network in 2010. Hans-Heiner Tuting has been with the Volkswagen Group for 32 years. Following various project assignments at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles he was placed in charge of commercial vehicle sales in 1995. Five years later he assumed responsibility for the Western Europe sales region, before becoming head of commercial vehicles sales and marketing in 2001. Tuting headed Sales Europe at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles from 2007 to 2008, becoming Head of Sales CIS / Middle East / Africa at Volkswagen Passenger Cars in 2008.

SIA cargo arm cuts capacity SINGAPORE: Singapore Airlines’ freighter arm said yesterday it had reduced capacity by 20 percent due to weakness in global demand and high fuel prices. The cuts “were implemented recently and will continue into the Northern Summer operating season which starts late next month,” SIA Cargo said in a statement. It painted a bleak outlook for the market. “ The air cargo market has shown weakness for the past nine months, and the depressed demand that we are seeing across all markets gives us little reason to be optimistic about the

near-term outlook,” SIA Cargo president Tan Kai Ping said. “With no improvement expected in the first half of this calendar year, and with stubbornly high fuel prices pushing up costs, we have taken appropriate action to reduce our freighter operations to better match capacity to demand.” SIA Cargo has a freighter fleet of 13 Boeing 747400s. The capacity cuts were mainly for long-haul services. Singapore’s main trading partners include Europe, which is mired in a debt crisis, and the United States, where a recovery from a severe recession is strug-

gling to gain traction. “SIA Cargo will continue to closely monitor market conditions and will stay nimble in aligning capacity deployment to demand,” the statement said. Parent firm SIA group said earlier this month that its third-quarter net profit tumbled 53 percent from a year ago due to the impact of “persistently high” jet fuel prices. Singapore’s trade reliant economy, which grew 4.9 percent last year, is projected to expand at a slower 1.0 to 3.0 percent this year due to weakness in its main trading par tners, the government has said. —AFP

Mazaya Qatar assembly approves board’s report KUWAIT: Mazaya Qatar Real Estate Development Company (QSC) held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Qatar National Convention Centre last Wednesday, February 15. During the meeting, the Board’s Annual Report on the company’s activities and its financial position for the fiscal year ended December 31st 2011, as well as the Auditors’ Repor t, were discussed and approved. The agenda of the meeting included hearing the Board’s annual report on the company’s activities and its financial position for the past fiscal year and the future plans of the company, hearing the Sharia’a Board’s Repor t and Auditors’ Report for that year, discussing the Company ’s balance sheet and the P&L accounts for the year releasing members of the Board of Directors from liability and determination of their remuneration. The AGM approved appointing auditors for the fiscal year ending December 31st2013 and fixing their remuneration in addition to authorizing the Board to conclude procedures of purchasing treasury stocks of 10% of the capital. The meeting approved, also, the corporate governance report. Speaking at the

general assembly meeting, Rashid Fahad Al Naimi, Chairman of Mazaya Qatar, said: “Mazaya Qatar is committed to achieving the goals of the policy of Qatarization and to significantly contributing to Qatar Vision 2030. “ We have put the necessar y strategies in place to create more job opportunities and recruit more young talent in various departments and branches who are eager to play their role in the development and growth process. We have open doors for qualified Qatari young talents all the time”. “Mazaya Qatar has adopted a balanced strategy based on avoiding risks by investment in projects of secured income. We will continue this strategy with the aim of opening new channels that will further enhance the company ’s position in the real estate and investment sector”, Al Naimi added. Seraj Al Baker, CEO of Mazaya Qatar, said: “Mazaya Qatar Real Estate Development Company has made a number of important achievements in 2011. On an organizational level, the company has recruited a number of skilled Qataris in various departments to further strengthen the structure. The company’s projects

are progressing well, with Sidra Residential Compound, a residential project for nurses, employees and technicians working at the Sidra Medical and Research Centre, par t of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, progressing according to schedule. The company has completed the infrastructure and begun the second phase of the project. Mazaya will manage the project for 20 years, according to the agreement with Qatar Foundation”, he said. Al Bakerdescribed the company’s other successful engagements: “Mazaya Qatar has completed most parts of Tala Residence - a 350-unit housing complex for employees of Qatar National Convention Centre, part of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development. The company is developing the final phase of the project, scheduled for delivery in the first quarter of the year according to the predetermined schedule. In 2012, Mazaya Qatar is entering a new phase of development on Marina Mall, which is planned to be an architectural masterpiece on the local and regional levels”, he said to the assembled shareholders, directors and observers.




KSE price index sheds 9.70 points GLOBAL DAILY MARKET REPORT KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) tumbled during yesterday’s session, on the back of a slim drop in crude oil prices as well as profit-booking in mid and small cap stocks. Oil fell yesterday from a nine-month high as weak economic data in Europe and China cast doubt on the outlook for global growth and prospects for fuel demand.

gainers for the day, adding 11.84 percent. On the other side, Al-Ahlia Holding Company was the biggest loser, as its share price fell by 10.81 percent to close at KD0.0165. Sectors -Wise Most major indices ended the day

gainer in the sector, adding 1.22 percent. The bank denied media reports regarding increasing its capital. The investment sector lost 0.14 percent, as trading on several shares continued to be halted, in line with the penalty enforced on the companies by KSE. The sector also witnessed the

buy a 70 percent stake in Turkey’s Eurobank Tekfen, a partnership of Greece’s EFG Eurobank EFGr.AT and Turkey’s Tekfen Holding TKFEN.IS, sources with knowledge of the deal told Reuters. EFG Eurobank, Greece’s second-largest lender, said in July it was in initial talks to sell a majority

Market Indices Global General Index (GGI) ended the day down by 0.07 percent, at 180.67 point. Market Capitalization was down for the day, reaching KD29.40bn. On the other hand, KSE Price Index closed at 6,088.5 point, shedding 9.70 points (0.16 percent) from its previous close. Market Breadth On the broader market for equities, decliners outpaced advancers by a margin of 48 to 34. Daily Trading Activity Volume traded shed by 43.34 percent at 656.86mn. Investment stocks constituted 35.83 percent of the total volume of shares traded on the exchange. It was followed by Real Estate Sector (26.13 percent). Value traded also decreased by 26.64 at KD55.99mn, services stock constituted 33.17 percent of the total value traded during the day. Top Gainers and Biggest Decliners In terms of top gainers, Burgan for Well Drilling Company were the top

Zain delegates hold talks with Lebanon’s minister on a positive note. 6 of 8 sectors posted gains during the session, The market’s heavy-weights staged a session of poor performance as highlighted by a 0.61 decline in the market’s blue chips’ barometer, Global Large Cap Index. Banking Index declined by 0.92 percent. The losses were led by Commercial Bank of Kuwait, dropping 4 percent to close at KD0.720. Kuwait Finance House (KFH) was the sole

decline of the some of its small caps, Sokouk Holding slipped by 7.46 percent to close at KD0.031. Food Stocks performed well during the day, clocking 2.06 percent in sector gains, with Kuwait Foodstuff Company (Americana) adding 2.82 percent to close at KD1.460. Corporate News Burgan Bank has reached a deal to

stake in Eurobank Tekfen. In December, Eurobank Tekfen said sale talks with three potential buyers were continuing. Oil News The price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at USD119.20pb on Tuesday, the same as the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations.

Shell to buy Cove Energy for $1.6bn LONDON: Royal Dutch Shell Plc has made an agreed 992.4 million pounds ($1.6 billion) bid for Mozambique-focused Cove Energy, offering a full price to open up a new gas frontier for the Anglo-Dutch oil major in East Africa. Shell has offered 195 pence per share in cash, which Cove’s directors said yesterday they would recommend to shareholders. On Tuesday, Cove’s shares closed at 154.5 pence, and analysts at Citigroup said the “valuation looks stretched” in a research note. The price is an over 70 percent premium to Cove’s closing share price on Jan. 4, when Cove

announced plans to sell, although investors were already betting on a bid at that point. Cove’s main asset is an 8.5 percent stake in the Rovuma Offshore Area 1, in Mozambique, where operator Anadarko has found over 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Nearby, Italy’s Eni has also made major gas finds while, north of the maritime border, Norway’s Statoil has made a find in Tanzanian waters. Shell is the industry leader in freezing natural gas into liquefied natural gas (LNG) for export in tankers around the world, and so a presence in what is expected to emerge as one of the world’s major LNG

provinces is a logical step. However, some bankers had questioned whether Cove’s stake alone would make sense for an oil major like Shell. Big oil groups like to have material stakes of over 25 percent in projects. In addition to Anadarko, Japan’s Mitsui and Indian groups Bharat Petroleum and Videocon own minority stakes in the Rovuma license, and the values of these interests could now be marked up. Cove also has interests in Tanzania and Kenya. Morgan Stanley advised Shell on the bid, while Standard Chartered advised Cove.— Reuters

BEIRUT: Zain Group announced that it is looking forward to reinforcing its commitments to the telecommunications industry in Lebanon this year, as per the action plan agreed upon with the Lebanese Ministry of Telecommunications. This was stated during the official visit that a Zain Group delegation paid to the Lebanese Minister of Telecommunications, H E Nicolas Sehnaoui, on the occasion of the renewal of mtc touch’s management contract. The Zain Group delegation was headed by the Chief Commercial Officer, Hisham Akbar, and the General Manager of mtc touch, Claude Bassil. The one-year renewal of the management contract in Lebanon, for the eighth consecutive year, coincides with Zain Group’s quantum leap forward in terms of the services it offers, reflecting the success the Group has enjoyed in supporting and exceeding the expectations of the Lebanese market. Akbar expressed his satisfaction and appreciation of Zain Group’s visit to the Ministry, which included extensive discussions regarding the future and the challenges facing the mobile telecommunication industry in Lebanon. “ We value the close cooperation

between Zain Group and the Lebanese government, represented by the Minister of Telecommunications,” Akbar said. “During our discussions with H E Nicolas Sehnaoui, the Minister of Telecommunications praised the accomplishments and efforts of mtc touch in developing the telecommunications industry, and the commitment which we first made seven years ago,” he added. Akbar noted that Zain Group will increase its capacity and resources in Lebanon so as to ensure a first-class communications experience for mtc touch customers. “In our discussions with the Ministry, we have renewed our commitment to spare no effort in supporting mtc touch customers with multiple services that meet international standards,” Mr. Akbar said. Thanks to the strong commitment to a local workforce, mtc touch’s employees are totally composed of highly-qualified Lebanese nationals. The operator has managed to lead the mobile communications market in the country with 1.84 million customers (as of December 31, 2011), representing 53% market share. Moreover, the company continues its commitment to offer differentiated services to its customers.




In Europe, spending cuts fail to ease debt burdens Higher debt leads to harsher austerity, instability WASHINGTON: Europe has endured the pain of layoffs, wage cuts and tax increases designed to bring government debt under control. So where’s the gain? Far from falling, debt burdens are rising fastest in European countries that have enacted the most draconian austerity programs, according to The Associated Press’ Global Economy Tracker, which monitors the per formance of 30 major economies. The numbers back up what many analysts say: Austerity isn’t just painful. It can be counterproductive and even make a country’s debt load grow. Many fear the cutbacks will cause Europe to sink into a self-defeating spiral: Higher debt leads to harsher austerity, growing social instability and deeper economic problems. Governments could find it even harder to pay their bills. The pain is already intense. Portugal’s unemployment rate hit a record 14 percent at the end of last year. Ireland’s economy contracted a worse-thanexpected 1.9 percent in the JulySeptember quarter of 2011. And Greece reported that its already basket-case economy shrank 7 percent in the October-December quarter of last year. “This isn’t a healthy situation,” says Peter Morici, an economist at the University of Maryland. Under a deal approved Tuesday by the 17 countries that use the euro and the International Monetary Fund, Greece will get a $172 billion bailout in exchange for accepting another dose of austerity that includes laying off 15,000 civil servants and slashing the minimum wage by 22 percent. Progress has been made in the bond market, where interest rates on government bonds have declined. That’s made it cheaper for some indebted countries to borrow. But the drop in rates might not last. And the lower rates probably have less to do with budget cutting than with what the countries’ central banks are doing: They’re buying bonds, which pushes down rates,

and providing low-cost loans for banks to do the same. Borrowing costs haven’t eased for every country: The yield on Portugal’s 2-year government note is near a painful 13 percent, up from under 5 percent a year ago. The best way to compare debt burdens among countries is to look at the debt as a percentage of gross domestic product. When it exceeds 90 percent, it’s considered bad for an economy’s health. GDP is the broadest gauge of economic output. The AP’s Global Economy Tracker illustrates how countries that have imposed austerity measures to slash costs have actually ended up with bigger debt problems: Portugal cut pensions, reduced public servants’ wages and raised taxes starting in 2010. Yet in the third quarter of 2011, government debt equaled 110 percent of GDP. That was up from 91 percent a year earlier. In Ireland, middle-class wages have been reduced 15 percent and the sales tax boosted to 23 percent (the highest in the European Union). But its debt amounted to 105 percent of economic output in the third quarter of last year; a year earlier, it was 88 percent. In Britain, Prime Minister David Cameron staked his political future on his austerity plan. Government debt ratios, though, reached 80 percent in third-quarter 2011, up from 74 percent a year earlier. And Moody’s this month cut its outlook on Britain’s prized AAA credit rating from “stable” to “negative.” In Greece, two years of austerity programs have devastated the economy and triggered riots. Still, the government’s debt equaled an alarming 159 percent of the country’s GDP in the July-September quarter of 2011. That was up from 139 percent a year earlier. Norway, by contrast, has a strong economy and has avoided painful austerity measures. And its debts dropped to 39 percent of GDP in the third quarter, from 43.5 percent in the same quarter of 2010. Economic conditions deteriorat-

ed at the end of last year, suggesting that Europe’s government debt likely grew even heavier. Many economists question whether the latest rescue plan can succeed over

ATHENS: Police chase a protesting high school student in front of the parliament in Athens during a demonstration against austerity measures. —AFP

LISBON: A farmer prunes a tree at his farm in Amarante. Cesar is a pastry cook and a part-time farmer. In the rural region of Amarante, in northern Portugal, agriculture is becoming an increasingly appealing sector. —AFP the long run. “The Greek debt deal puts off the day of reckoning,” says Eswar Prasad, senior professor of trade policy at Cornell University. “We can breathe a sigh of relief for the next few weeks. But a lot of

lage” of some 787s. Albaugh-who is concurrently the chief executive of Boeing Commercial Airplanes-stated the problem would not affect total Dreamliner deliveries scheduled for this year. “It’s something that we can address in a short period of time. It will impact some short-term deliveries but in terms of the number of deliveries for the year, it shouldn’t have any impact at all,” he said. Albaugh also said Boeing did not agree with European Union’s imposition of its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), effectively charging airlines a carbon tax on travel within the region. “I don’t think the ETS approach is the right one,” he said, describing it as “a carbon tax where you don’t know where the money is going and you don’t know if the money is going to be used in an efficient way”. “I really believe that the right approach is for the governments to tell us what the emissions standards are and we will use our money and we will spend that money wisely to come up with a way of addressing what those new requirements are,” Albaugh added. —AFP

doesn’t even have to grow to become a bigger burden on a contracting economy. “You can’t fix the debt-to-GDP problem if GDP is falling,” says David Kelly, chief market strategist for JP

Morgan Funds. Recession also adds strains to the budget. Tax revenue dries up. Spending on unemployment benefits and other social services rises. Bond investors tend to favor austerity programs, and here’s why: The narrower the gap between what a government spends and what it collects in taxes, the likelier it will repay its debts. Countries that strive to balance their budgets are rewarded with lower interest rates on their debt. That’s one reason the yield on Britain’s 2-year notes has dropped from 1.5 percent to 0.4 percent over the past year. Likewise, yields on Italian government bonds fell after the country ’s new technocratic prime minister, Mario Monti, unveiled plans to get the country’s finances in order. But the Bank of England and the European Central Bank can also claim much of the credit for the lower rates. The Bank of England has pushed yields down by actively buying bonds, a policy known as “quantitative easing.” The ECB in December provided hundreds of commercial banks with nearly $640 billion in low-interest three-year loans. The banks used some of this money to buy Spanish and Italian government bonds, pushing yields lower. The central bank intends to make more bank loans later this month. But the bond-market exuberance may not last. Olivier Blanchard, chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, has said even bond investors can rebel against austerity, once they realize that government cutbacks can squeeze growth and cause debt burdens to rise. “There’s no doubt that the strategies pursued in Greece, Portugal and Ireland have contributed to a dramatic increase in those countries’ overall debt burdens,” says Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform in London. “Strengthening public finances is a marathon, not a sprint, and it can only take place across a backdrop of reasonably healthy economic activity.”

Deal to buy controlling stake in supermarket chain JEDDAH: Citigroup’s venture capital arm and Dubai-based Levant Capital have bought a $100 million controlling stake in Saudi Arabian supermarket chain Al-Raya For Foodstuff Co Ltd, lured by growth prospects in the kingdom’s consumer sector. Al-Raya, based in Jeddah, operates 25 supermarkets across 14 cities in Saudi Arabia, and had posted sales of 800 million riyals ($213 million) in 2011, a joint statement from Citi Venture Capital International (CVCI) and Levant said. “The transaction, valued at $100 million, presents an opportunity for Levant Capital and CVCI to capitalize on the growth in consumerdriven demand and the increasingly attractive middle income segment of the gulf region’s

largest economy,” it said, adding that the deal closed on Tuesday. Interest in Saudi Arabia’s consumer sector is growing among international investors as the country’s population rises beyond 27 million, most of which are under the age of 30. “The supermarket segment within the food retail sector is expected to grow faster than the overall market as consumers continue to migrate towards organized retail,” Salameh Sweis, Chief Executive Officer of Levant Capital said. Coca-Cola Co invested $980 million in Saudi Arabia-based beverage firm Aujan Industries in December. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of this year.

China economy faces risk of hard landing BEIJING: A property sector downturn and slumping global demand may knock China’s economy into a hard landing in 2012, a senior government economist said, putting more pressure on Beijing to speed up economic reforms and to open up the market. The economy is not just slowing but is also haunted by over-investment that could constrain Beijing’s options, said Shi Xiaomin, vice president of China Society of Economic Reform (CSER), a Beijing-based thinktank. “A hard landing of the economy is possible this year as slackening domestic and external demand pushes (full-year) GDP growth below 8 percent, probably even to 6-7 percent,” said Shi. “More worrying is that such a slowdown is going hand in hand with a sharp decline in the overall economic efficiency.” The world’s secondlargest economy may even slip into a period of deflation late this year or next year, he added. Shi is an adviser to the government, specializing in reform. His think-tank is under the under the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s top economic planner. Fears of a hard landing in China have gained traction as a stream of recent data, especially disappointing trade and credit data in January showed the turbo-charged economy is faltering. China’s manufacturing sector contracted in February for the fourth straight month as new export orders dropped sharply in the face of the euro area debt crisis, the HSBC flash purchasing managers index showed yesterday. Shi’s outlook is a contrarian one in China. Most government economists don’t expect a hard landing, which in the Chinese context is typically defined as a sudden dip in quarterly GDP growth below 8 percent, which could lead to big job losses that pose a threat to social stability. US economist Nouriel Roubini has flagged risks of a China hard landing after 2013, mainly due to over-

The United States is taking the marathon approach, putting off serious budget cuts until the economy is stronger. What Europe needs, says Paul Christopher, chief international investment strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors, “is not austerity but economic reforms.” Across Europe, economic growth is constrained by inefficiencies, such as rules that protect favored businesses from competition and generous retirement plans that cost too much and pull productive workers out of the labor force. But reform takes time that Europe can’t spare. Analysis by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy in Germany suggests the outlook is hopeless for Greece. Researchers at the think-tank estimate that Greece would have to turn its annual budget deficit - now about 5 percent of GDP before debt payments - into a daunting surplus of around 30 percent of GDP to return to financial health. “Greece will most likely not be able to get grip on its debt,” write the institute’s analysts David Bencek and Henning Klodt. Portugal, too, faces long odds, they found. The only way out, the University of Maryland’s Morici says, is a breakup of the eurozone. Weak countries like Greece and Portugal must abandon the euro and reintroduce their old, less valuable currencies. The return of the weak Greek drachma and Portuguese escudo would make Greek and Portuguese products less expensive in foreign markets and allow them to get a rejuvenating economic boost from growing exports. The alternative, he says, is deepening pain and social instability. “The stakes are enormous,” Morici says. “Unemployment could easily rocket above 30 percent in Greece for years. With the government having no real means to ease the pain, revolutionary conditions will prevail. Even now Greece is little more than a barn full of straw in the middle of a summer drought.” —AP

Citi, Dubai firm in $100m Saudi deal

55 Boeing Dreamliners ‘have potential’ shimming problem SINGAPORE: Boeing said yesterday around 55 of its flagship 787 Dreamliners “have the potential” to develop a fuselage shimming problem, but reiterated that the fault was being fixed. Shims are used to fill in space between parts and industry publication Flightglobal has reported that improperly joined pieces had caused “parts of the aircraft’s carbon fiber structure to delaminate”. The discovery of the issue in early February is the latest snag to hit the showpiece but troubled jet, which suffered extensive production delays. “In all the airplanes that we built, up to airplane 55 in round numbers have the potential for the shimming issue,” said the aviation giant’s vice president Jim Albaugh at a media roundtable in Singapore. “It’s very fixable and we are in the process of fixing the airplanes that are in flow, there is not a safety or flight issue on the airplanes that we’ve delivered and this is a long term issue that has to be addressed,” he added. Boeing has previously said the problem arose because “incorrect shimming was performed on support structure on the aft fuse-

trouble is still coming.” Simple math explains why austerity can worsen government debt: If spending cuts and tax increases tilt a country into recession, GDP shrinks. So debt

investment. China’s leader-in-waiting Xi Jinping said during a visit to the United States last week that China’s economic momentum would not falter as some economists have predicted, and said the economy faces no risk of a hard landing. The last time the economy showed signs of a sudden slump, during the depths of the global financial crisis in 2008/09, Beijing announced a 4 trillion yuan ($635 billion) stimulus plan that helped it quickly return to double-digit growth. But the huge pump-priming sparked unfettered bank lending to local governments, resulting in

piles of debt-officially estimated at 10.7 trillion yuan-that analysts fear could destabilize the economy. China’s property sector has begun to cool, with housing sales in some cities falling sharply as Beijing’s heavy-handed tightening measures unveiled since 2009 start to bite. But Shi warned that a downturn in property investment, which accounts for an eighth of gross domestic product (GDP), as shrinking land sales hit local government revenues, possibly forcing them to default on loans. China’s banking regulator has issued guidance to

BAHOVITSA: Great Wall Motor’s chief executive Wang Feng Ying poses for photographers in front of the new Great Wall Motor’s Car plant in the northern village of Bahovitsa. China’s Great Wall Motor eyes to enter the European market with cars assembled in Bulgaria. —AFP

banks to roll over some of their loans made to local governments to ward off a potential wave of defaults. China cut banks’ required reserves on Saturday to support the economy that is widely expected to slowing this quarter for a fifth consecutive quarter. The market consensus is for full-year 2012 growth to have slipped to 89 percent. “But monetary policy cannot solve structural problems,” Shi said. REFORMS STALLED China’s reforms were launched by former leader Deng Xiaoping in 1978 and gained steam after China’s entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001, propelling the country’s break-neck growth in the past three decades, Shi said. “Unfortunately, reforms have almost come to a standstill in recent years, especially concerning the monopoly,” Shi said. Stateowned firms have staged a come-back as they received the bulk of Beijing’s massive spending, sparking criticism that “the state advances and the private sector retreats”. “There are growing calls for reforms, but such discussions are restricted to the academic circle,” said Shi, who was among economists who helped draft China’s reform plans in the 1980s to steer its transition from a planned economy. Shi said “vested interests”-state giants in oil, power, railway and banking-are the biggest obstacle to reforms. Premier Wen Jiabao has repeatedly called for accelerating reforms to help sustain economic growth, but Shi reckons that “stability” will be the watchword for the Chinese Communist Party ahead of its leadership transition in late 2012. “If you don’t want to push reforms, the financial crisis may be an excuse to retreat. But if you want to reform, the crisis may well be an opportunity,” Shi said. —Reuters

US private equity firm Carlyle Group acquired a 42-percent stake in Alamar Foods, the master franchise operator for Domino’s Pizza and Wendy’s restaurants in the Middle East and North Africa. CVCI, which manages $7 billion in equity investments and committed capital, is part of Citi Capital Advisors, an alternative asset management platform of the US bank. Levant, whose chairman is the son of Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, is a partner-owned firm with investments of $200 million in several companies. The company expects to exit more of its investments in 2012 and 2013 through selling to international and regional investors, Sweis said in a in an interview last year. —Reuters

Mitsubishi seeks buyer for Europe’s auto plant THE HAGUE: Japanese car maker Mitsubishi will step up efforts to find a buyer for its sole western European plant where production is set to cease by year-end, the Dutch Economics Ministry said yesterday. The company announced in Tokyo this month it was planning to halt production at the Nedcar plant in Born, southern Netherlands, by the end of 2012, blaming a difficult operating environment in the debt-hit continent. “Mitsubishi has promised, together with Nedcar and the (Dutch) Ministry of Economic Affairs to intensify the search for a buyer over the next three months,” the ministry said in a statement. This followed a meeting between Dutch Economic Affairs Minister Maxime Verhagen and Mitsubishi’s chief executive Osamu Masuko in Tokyo earlier Wednesday to discuss the future of the plant and its 1,500 employees. Masuko told Verhagen that “Mitsubishi will honor all agreements made on a social plan for Nedcar staff should recovery appear to be impossible,” the ministry added. Labor unions demanded Mitsubishi work with the Dutch government to find a buyer after Masuko said he was willing to sell the plant for “one euro” if a new owner could guarantee workers would remain employed. Workers staged a one-day strike at the plant, located about 180 kilometers southeast of Amsterdam, on February 10 in which they aired demands including finding a proper social plan should no buyer be found. The Japanese carmaker produces the Colt subcompact and the Outlander sports utility models at the wholly-owned unit, which used to be a joint venture with Sweden’s Volvo. Output at NedCar, which was established in 1991, has remained sharply below its annual production capacity of 200,000 units, contributing to Mitsubishi Motors’ operating loss in Europe, reports said. Fewer than 50,000 cars were assembled in 2010. —AFP




Huge rare pink diamond found in Australia SYDNEY: Mining giant Rio Tinto said yesterday it has unearthed a “remarkable” 12.76 carat pink diamond in Australia, the largest of the rare and precious stones ever found in the resources-rich nation. Named the Argyle Pink Jubilee, the huge rough stone was found at Rio’s pink diamond operations in the Kimberley region of Western Australia and would take 10 days to cut and polish, the miner said. “This rare diamond is generating incredible excitement,” said Josephine Johnson from Rio’s Argyle Pink Diamonds division. “A diamond of this calibre is unprecedented-it has taken 26 years of Argyle production to unearth this stone and we may never see one like this again. “The individual who gets to wear this remarkable pink diamond will be incredibly lucky

indeed.” Though it would not speculate on how much the Jubilee was worth, Rio said extremely high quality pink diamonds could fetch in excess of $1 million per carat, meaning it is likely to go for at least $10 million. The light pink Argyle Jubilee is a similar color to the 24-carat Williamson Pink given to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II as a wedding gift which was later set into a Cartier brooch for her coronation. The Williamson was discovered in Tanzania in 1947 and is ranked among the finest pink diamonds in existence. It is the ninth-largest in the world. A Rio spokesman said the recent discovery was named in honor of the long-reigning British monarch, who is celebrating 60 years since her accession to the throne-her diamond jubilee. “This

is the Queen’s diamond jubilee year and there is a parallel in that the Queen had a solitaire pink diamond, gifted to her-The Williamson Pink-and set in the centre of a flower brooch in the year of her coronation,” he said. When asked if Rio was targeting the Argyle Jubilee diamond at the Queen the spokesman said: “Only if she is shopping for new jewelry. She will have lots of competition.” Rio produces more than 90 percent of the world’s pink diamonds from the Argyle mine, and said large stones like the Jubilee typically went to museums, were gifted to royalty or end up at prestigious auction houses like Christie’s. Christie’s had only auctioned 18 polished pink diamonds larger than 10 carats in its 244-year history, Rio added.

High oil prices test Obama, economy WASHINGTON: A jump in gasoline prices is threatening to smother the flickering flames of the US economic recovery and with them President Barack Obama’s hopes of retaining the White House. Groggy but still standing after a four-year slog through recession, the US economy has-just about-weathered shocks from Japan’s earthquake and tsunami, the Arab Spring and Europe’s ongoing debt crisis. Now, as unemployment finally starts to ease and growth picks up, rising oil prices could land another blow to the gut of the world’s largest economy. In the last year, tensions in Iran, Syria, Libya, Nigeria and South Sudan, refinery squeezes and hardening global demand have conspired to push crude and gasoline prices higher. For Americans that has meant a 12.5 percent rise in prices at the pump-from an average of $3.17 a gallon a year ago to $3.57 today-defacing many a household balance sheet. Rising energy prices are “one of the predominant risks to the economy this year,” according to Deutsche Bank’s chief US economist Joseph LaVorgna. LaVorgna and his team estimate that for every one cent increase in gasoline prices, household energy costs increase by around $1.4 billion. That cash for the most part goes abroad, instead of washing through the domestic economy. There are signs that rising prices are starting to shake consumer confidence. According to Gallup and other pollsters, economic confidence has started to retreat after a series of encouraging

gains. Oil prices are actually expected to fall in the next few months as the Northern Hemisphere enters the lull between high-demand periods of winter and summer, but the relief will likely only be temporary. According to the American Automobile Association, gasoline prices could rise as high as $4.25 by the end of May, well beyond the symbolic $4.00 point that many Americans consider too high. Ironically, the strengthening economy may be to blame. “Building economic momentum, albeit from a weak base, has the potential to pull oil prices higher for the next 12 to 24 months,” JPMorgan’s analysts told clients on Tuesday. If rising oil prices spell bad economic news for the country, then they are also bad news for Obama politically. Presidential approval ratings sometimes have a strong link with rising gasoline prices, as was the case with Obama’s predecessor George W Bush. On other occasions the link has been less pronounced. The White House appears concerned. Today Obama is expected to return to the subject of energy policy at a speech in Miami, Florida. At the very least, rising prices have given Obama’s political foes ammunition even as the economy recovers, while deadening the impact of a hard-fought $40 a month tax cut for Americans. Republican presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have already sought to pin the blame for higher oil prices on the Democratic incumbent. — AFP

Alibaba shares go up on privatization plans HONG KONG: Shares in Chinese online shopping portal soared in Hong Kong yesterday after its parent company said it plans to take the firm private for $2.3 billion. shares closed 42.70 percent higher at HK$13.20 in strong volume after parent Alibaba Group announced its offer of HK$13.50 per share. It was the stock’s first day of trade since it was suspended on February 9. The offer matches the price at which the unit was listed in 2007, the group said in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange late Tuesday. “Taking private will allow our company to make long-term decisions that are in the best interest of our customers and that are also free from the pressures that come from having a publicly listed company,” group chairman Jack Ma said. “With this offer, we provide our shareholders a chance to realize their investment now at an attractive cash premium rather than waiting indefinitely during this period of transition.” posted a net profit of 1.71 billion yuan ($271.5 million) in 2011, up 16.6 percent over the previous year, but with weakness in the fourth quarter. The firm said its fourth-quarter net profit fell 6.0 percent from a year earlier, citing cautiousness due to a weak global environment. “The global economy was sluggish in 2011 due to lacklustre economic conditions in the major developed markets,” it said in a statement. “Cautious sentiment is restraining consumption in developed economies,

which is negatively impacting emerging economies and developing nations. China is unlikely to prove immune to the global slowdown.” Hangzhou-based Alibaba is reportedly planning to borrow $3 billion to buy back the stake Yahoo! owns in the company, as the struggling US Internet giant overhauls its Asia holdings. Ma has a longstanding offer to buy all or part of Yahoo! Shares in Alibaba were suspended at the board’s request earlier this month due to media speculation about its Yahoo! buy-back and privatization plans. Its share price had dropped 44 percent in the 12 months leading up to the suspension, and it has not traded above the 2007 offer price since May last year. Tanrich Securities investment manager Jackson Wong said that given Alibaba’s earnings prospects and recent stock market performance, investors would be brave to reject the buyout bid. “I’d advise shareholders to take the offer,” he told Dow Jones Newswires in Hong Kong. “You never know if some shareholders will be irrational, but overall I think the chance of the deal going through is high.” Looking ahead, predicted a “more balanced, multi-revenue stream model” as the strategy shifted away from membership growth and tilted towards improved quality. This will “take time and require continuous investment”, and could “adversely affect our membership growth, financial performance and limit earnings visibility in the near term”, the company said. — AFP

HONG KONG: The logo of online shopping portal is seen near its office in Hong Kong yesterday. —AFP

Soaring demand for the extremely rare jewel has seen pink diamond prices skyrocket in the past 20 years and they are now among “the most concentrated forms of wealth on earth and well in excess of white diamonds,” Rio said. The miner describes it as an “elite and discrete” market with buyers including royalty, heads of state, celebrities and “other very wealthy individuals.” When the Jubilee diamond has been cut and polished it will be graded by international experts and showcased globally in private settings before being sold by invitation-only tender later this year. It is not known how the diamonds acquire their pink tinge but it is thought to come from a molecular structure distortion as the jewel forms in the earth’s crust or ascends to the sur-

face. According to local Aboriginal folklore, the Argyle mine was formed when a barramundi fish jumped through the

net of three local hunters. The diamonds are its scales glinting in the sun and the pink ones are the fish’s heart. — AFP

PERTH: An undated handout photo shows a 12.76 carat pink diamond - the largest of the rare and precious stones ever found in Australia. — AFP

Euro, shares weaken as growth outlook darkens PMI data raises question over euro-zone recovery LONDON: The euro and European shares edged lower yesterday after economic data suggested the euro-zone may slide back into recession, hurting the global economic outlook, while concerns about the sustainability of the latest Greek bailout deal also weighed. The euro-zone’s key service sector shrank unexpectedly in February while growth in Germany’s manufacturing and services sectors also slowed when compared to the previous month, according to new business surveys of activity. “The (euro-zone) economy remains stuck in low gear. It’s indicative of a flatlining economy, maybe slightly contracting rather than a major slowdown,” Peter Dixon, global equities economist at Commerzbank said. The single currency also came under pressure as the flash euro-zone Purchasing Manager’s Index fell more than expected to 49.4, below the 50 level that signifies contraction. The euro traded around $1.3220, down about 0.1 percent. The Purchasing Manager’s Indexes (PMIs) have clouded recent optimism about the resilience of Europe’s economy to the region’s debt crisis although a separate survey showed France’s manufacturing sector managed a marginal but unexpected return to growth in the month. “Although business conditions are showing signs of stabilizing so far this year, which represents a marked improvement on the widespread deepening gloom seen late last year, the euro-zone is by no means out of the woods,” said Chris Williamson, the chief economist of the data compiler Markit. “Demand needs to improve considerably in coming months before we can safely say that the region will return to anything like reasonable growth.” The data sent the broad FTSEurofirst index of top European companies down about 0.5 percent to 1,080.22 points after it started the day little changed. Safe-haven German government bond futures also reversed early losses to hit the day’s highs yesterday in the wake of data with March Bund futures rising 31 ticks to 138.27. Growing worries among investors that Greece will struggle to implement the tough austerity required under its latest bailout

deal agreed on Tuesday also remained in investors’ minds. CHINA FEELS EURO-ZONE EFFECT An earlier preliminary survey of China’s industrial activity, showed the overall manufacturing sector contracting for a fourstraight month although the HSBC flash PMI

index down about 0.2 percent to 329.81 China’s economic growth is widely seen slowing down in January to March for its fifth consecutive quarter. Economists expect full-year growth to slip below 9 percent for the first time in a decade. Brent crude oil edged down towards $121 a barrel, retreating from a nine-month high, as the weaker

TOKYO: Money traders work under a screen indicating the exchange rate of the US dollar against Japanese yen (above) and the Nikkei 225 index at a foreign exchange firm in Tokyo yesterday. — AP rose in February to 49.7 from 48.8 in January. But a new export orders sub-index of the HSBC survey dropped to 47.4 - the lowest in eight months-from 50.4 in January as the European debt crisis cast a shadow over Chinese exports. Asian shares eked out modest gains after the China manufacturing PMI data but the European numbers reversed the trend sending the MSCI global equity

Chinese manufacturing data and worries about the euro-zone debt crisis cast doubt on the global economic outlook and the prospects for fuel demand. The Japanese currency was also weakening as the rising price of oil added to the impact of an easier monetary policy stance by the Bank of Japan to be send it above 80 yen to the dollar for the first time since July, 2011. — Reuters

US cloud computing report criticizes Brazil, India, China Survey covered 80 percent of global ICT market WASHINGTON: A US software industry report yesterday chided Brazil, China and India for policies it said threatened the future of cloud computing, but also took aim at developed countries such as Germany that did well on its inaugural scorecard. The Business Software Alliance, which represents US industry heavyweights such as Microsoft Corp, said Brazil finished last in its survey of 24 countries, earning only 35.1 points out a possible 100 because of its policies in areas such free trade, security, data privacy and cybercrime. India, which has the world’s second-largest software industry after the United States, and China, whose information and communications technology sector is expected to nearly double to $389 billion by 2015, also were in the bottom six, with scores of 50.0 and 47.5, respectively. Cloud computing refers to providing software, storage, computing power and other ser vices to customers from remote data centers over the Web. Demand for cloud-based software is rising rapidly because the approach allows companies to star t using new programs faster and at lower cost than traditional products that are

installed at a customer’s own data center. A major purpose of the report is to rally the international “technology community around the need for greater harmonization of laws so a truly global cloud can come about,” said Robert Holleyman, president of the US software group. Without greater coordination of government policies, “the cloud could be chopped into little pieces,” reducing the efficienc y that comes from being able to move data and software services freely across borders, Holleyman said. The 24 countries included in the survey represent 80 percent of the global information and communications technology industry. They were scored in seven areas, which also included intellectual property protection, infrastructure and support for industry-led standards to promote smooth data flows. Japan was ranked highest with 83.3 points. It was followed closely by other developed countries including Australia, Germany, the United States, France, Italy, the United Kingdom and South Korea, which all scored in the high 70s. While the report showed a “sharp divide between advanced

economies and the developing world, even some of the highranking countries are walling themselves in with conflicting laws and regulations,” Holleyman said. European Union countries scored well, but “what’s happening now in the EU is lawmakers and regulators are effectively putting their thumbs on the scale in ways that will make it difficult for non-European firms to compete,” he said. “ There are concerns that Germany, for example, wants to put a wall around the country to limit the provision of cloud services to companies that are located in Germany.” Strong laws to protect privacy are important to give users confidence “that private information stored in the cloud, wherever in the world, will not be used or disclosed by the cloud provider in unexpected ways, the repor t said. Tough security measures are also needed, but some countries such as China that have implemented Internet filtering or censorship regimes could thwart develop of cloud computing and the digital economy, the report said. Brazil scored just 1.6 out of a possible 10 on policies to combat cybercrime, which is expected to become an increasing chal-

lenge as more and more information is aggregated in large data centers, mak ing them tempting targets. Japan and France earn perfect marks in that section, while South Africa came close with a 9.8. Even though Brazil finished dead last in the report, Holleyman said he was more optimistic about the potential to persuade Latin America’s second largest economy to make reforms than he was for China. “ There is probably more opportunity to make progress in Brazil by pointing out what we see as the gaps that exist currently and why Brazil’s economy will slow down as result of these policies,” Holleyman said. “I think it’s going to be a bigger challenge in some other markets, particularly China,” he said. China “not only has the ‘great firewall,’ that does not allow the transmission between people in China and the rest of the world. But it also has a polic y to require non-Chinese cloud firms to enter into joint ventures with Chinese firms” on unfavorable terms for outsiders, he said. India also appears to recognize it is in its interest to promote global cloud computing, Holleyman said. — Reuters



Rules patchwork ‘threatens cloud computing growth’ SINGAPORE: A global patchwork of conflicting laws and regulations could hobble the growth of the cloud computing market, a study released yesterday said. The study, commissioned by the Business Software Alliance (BSA), urged governments to move to harmonise the rules to ease the flow of information across borders and allow the full benefit of advances to be realised. The technology involves storing massive amounts of data and applications on an Internet “cloud” spread globally instead of the traditional method of installing information on users’ machines or company servers.

It enables easy access to and sharing of information anywhere, even while on the move. But the study, carried out for BSA by IT consulting firm Galexia, said some countries were “placing geographic restrictions on data and considering other limits on outsourcing of work.” It cited the European Union’s proposed “Data Protection Regulation” which it said “has the potential to undermine its benefits with new, overly prescriptive rules”. It said the regulations “threaten to undermine the economic advances that a truly global cloud can provide.” Although developed countries are better pre-

pared individually to support the growth of cloud computing than developing nations, “obstacles remained... due to the lack of alignment in the legal and regulatory environments”, it said. In China, the country’s Internet filtering schemes “appear to include a strong political element, in that they regularly block sites that expressed political dissent”, the study said. “Countries that wall themselves off are doing real harm,” BSA president and chief executive Robert Holleyman said in a statement. “The true benefits of cloud computing come with scale,” he added. “In a global economy, you should be able to get

the technology you need for personal or business use from servers located anywhere in the world. But that requires laws and regulations that let data flow easily across borders,” he said. “Right now, too many countries have too many different rules standing in the way of the kind of trade in digital services we really need.” The Washington-based BSA is an industry group that works for copyright protection and counts among its members some of the world’s biggest technology companies, including Apple, Microsoft, Symantec and Adobe. — AFP

Proview sues Apple over iPad name in Shanghai ‘Apple has no right to sell iPads under that name’

AUCKLAND: Megaupload boss Kim Dotcom leaves court after he was granted bail in the North Shore court in Auckland yesterday. The 38-year-old German national who has been in custody since January 20 when New Zealand police, cooperating with a major US probe, raided his sprawling “Dotcom Mansion” in Auckland, was granted bail after previously being kept behind bars over fears he would flee the country to escape US online piracy charges. — AFP

Megaupload’s Kim Dotcom granted bail in N Zealand AUCKLAND: US crime-fighters failed in a bid to keep alleged Internet pirate Kim Dotcom behind bars yesterday when a New Zealand court freed him from jail and instead put him under effective house arrest and banned him from using the Internet. The court, in upholding a bail application by the German founder of file-sharing website Megaupload, cast some doubt on the multi-millionaire’s purported flight risk pending an extradition hearing scheduled for August. “I’m relieved to go home and see my three little kids and my pregnant wife,” a smiling Dotcom, 38, said after the ruling, as he was hustled toward a waiting car by supporters and lawyers. Wearing his usual black T-shirt, trouser and jacket, he vowed to fight the eventual extradition hearing on US charges of copyright piracy, racketeering and money-laundering. Kim Dotcom, who has New Zealand residency and is also known as Kim Schmitz and Kim Tim Jim Vestor, had been in custody since his arrest in a military-style raid on Jan. 20 on his mansion outside Auckland by local police acting on a US warrant. Under the bail conditions, Dotcom, who kept a private helicopter as part of his lavish lifestyle, must live in a small house near the mansion he had rented and wear an electronic tag. He will be restricted in how far he can travel. The judge also banned helicopters from flying to or landing on the property. Prosecutors say Dotcom was the ringleader of a group that netted $175 million since 2005 by copying and distributing music, movies and other copyrighted content without authorisation through and related websites, among the world’s busiest before they were shut down last month. Dotcom’s lawyers say the company simply offered online storage and that he strenuously denies the US charges. Dotcom obtained bail on his second attempt, after the judge said a review of the facts and Dotcom’s circumstances showed he was less of a risk of fleeing than before. This month, the High Court had upheld a lower court judge’s ruling that

there was a major risk Dotcom, who had passports and bank accounts in three names, might try to flee the country. But Judge Nevin Dawson yesterday reasoned that bail could be awarded, given that there was no new evidence that Dotcom had undisclosed funds he could use to aid in a flight from justice. He said prosecutors had been unable to find any new funds or assets that had not already been seized, and prosecution claims that he was a wealthy man was not sufficient reason to hold him. Dotcom’s three co-accused were also bailed until late August for the hearing of US extradition request. A US Justice Department spokeswoman declined immediate comment On the New Zealand bail ruling. Judge David McNaughton, who presided in previous hearings, set Aug. 20 as the earliest date he could hear the extradition case, which he has scheduled to last three weeks. Prosecutors said the formal extradition application has not yet been received but was expected by early March. Last week, a US grand jury added more charges against Megaupload and its executives, alleging they took copyrighted material from sites such as YouTube for its own service. Dotcom and his co-accused were arrested after some 70 armed New Zealand police raided his country estate at the request of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation. Officers cut Dotcom out of a safe room he had barricaded himself in within the sprawling mansion, reputedly New Zealand’s most expensive home. Property including more than a dozen luxury vehicles was seized and bank accounts worth millions were frozen. A small group of Dotcom’s friends and supporters listened through both hearings. “Of course I’m pleased, absolutely. It’s about time,” a young woman said, but declined to be named. Dotcom has told the court earlier that with his assets frozen and business shut down, he had no intention of trying to flee to his native Germany, where he would be safe from extradition. Legal experts have said extradition hearings are likely to be drawn out with appeals likely all the way to the country’s highest court. — Reuters

NEW YORK: In this photo taken by AP Images for Sony Computer Entertainment America, Martin Treherne shows off his PlayStation Vita during the PlayStation Vita launch yesterday in New York. — AP

SHANGHAI: Apple defended its right to use the iPad trademark in China in a heated court hearing yesterday that pitted the electronics giant against a struggling company that denies it sold the mainland China rights to the tablet’s name. Shenzhen Proview Technology’s lawyer Xie Xianghui argued that the sale of the iPad trademark to Apple Inc. by Proview’s Taiwan affiliate in 2009 was invalid. “Apple has no right to sell iPads under that name,” Xie said. Apple countered that Proview violated the sales contract by failing to transfer the trademark rights in mainland China. It also contends that the Chinese LCD maker has not marketed or sold its own “IPAD,” or Internet Personal Access Device for years, thus possibly invalidating its claim to the trademark. The hearing adjourned after a fractious four-hour session which saw the judge repeatedly admonishing both sides to observe proper court protocol as they argued across the courtroom. No date was announced for a judgment or further hearings. Proview is suing to stop Apple selling the iPad in China under that name. It has also asked commercial authorities in many cities to stop sales of the device. So far, iPads have been pulled from shelves in some Chinese cities but there has been no sign of action at the national level. Ma Dongxiao, another Proview lawyer, said after the hearing that the company plans to file lawsuits against Apple in more cities. As evidence in court, Proview presented a flat, thin computer packed in a cardboard box that it said is its “IPAD.” The company’s lawyers argued the success of the iPad had prevented Proview’s product from succeeding in China. Apple’s side noted that the iPad only began selling in 2010, long after Proview launched its product in 2000. Apple’s attorneys said that stopping iPad sales in China would cause the company huge losses. The tablet’s popularity has benefited China through tax revenues and jobs created in its manufacturing, they said. “They have no market, no sales, no customers. They have nothing,” Apple lawyer Qu Miao said of Proview. “The iPad is so popular that it is in short supply. We have to consider the public good.” That, Xie said, is irrelevant. “Whether people will go hungry because you can’t sell iPads in China is not the issue,” he said. “The court must rule according to the law. Do you

SHANGHAI: Xie Xianghui (C), a lawyer representing IT company Proview Technology Shenzhen, is mobbed by journalists outside the Shanghai Pudong New Area People’s Court in Shanghai yesterday. A trademark dispute between Apple and the Chinese computer maker moved to Shanghai where the debt-laden plaintiff is seeking to stop the sale of the US giant’s iconic iPad. — AFP absolutely have to sell the product? Can’t you sell it using a different name?” The trademark case is highlighting mixed attitudes toward Apple in China. Chinese are just as crazy about iPads and iPhones as consumers anywhere else and the devices are manufactured in China, employing hundreds of thousands of people. But public awareness has been growing of criticism over the labor and environmental practices of huge factories that assemble the devices. Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group, which makes iPads in China, has been under intense scrutiny after a spate of worker suicides. It recently raised wages by up to 25 percent in the second major salary hike in less than two years. Apple has appealed an earlier ruling in favor of Proview in a court in Shenzhen, a city in southern China’s Guangdong province. The Guangdong High Court is due to hear that case on Feb. 29. Xie on Tuesday said that since no final decisions have been reached in various legal disputes

Netflix bolsters video library as threat looms SAN FRANCISCO: Netflix’s Internet video service is adding more marquee attractions as it braces for a new competitive threat from cable-TV provider Comcast Corp. As part of an effort to offer more exclusive material, Netflix locked up the right to show “The Artist” and other movies from The Weinstein Co. before the films are released to leading pay-TV channels such as Showtime and HBO. Just a few hours after Tuesday’s announcement about that multiyear deal, Comcast unveiled plans to undercut Netflix with a less expensive version of a service that will stream old TV series and movies to devices with high-speed Internet connections. The Comcast service, called Xfinity Streampix, will be available this week to the company’s subscribers. It will cost $5 per month, below Netflix’s $8 monthly price for its Internet-streaming service. Some Comcast customers who pay for multiple services, including highspeed Internet access and phone, will get Streampix at no additional cost. Although it appears Netflix’s library is more extensive, Streampix could be good enough for some households looking to supplement their cable-TV service with a package that has on-demand video on computers and mobile devices. That possibility apparently unnerved some investors who have long worried about Netflix losing its early lead in Internet video as more rivals enter the market. Netflix’s stock lost $4.45, or 3.7 percent, to close Tuesday at $117.40. Comcast, which is based in Philadelphia, will join two other large companies, Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., already offering video streaming services. Earlier this month, Verizon Communications Inc. announced that it is teaming up with Redbox’s DVD rental-kiosk network to introduce an Internet video service later this year. The pricing for the Verizon-Redbox venture hasn’t been disclosed. Netflix, which is based in Los Gatos, Calif., also offers a DVD-by-mail rental service. But that has been losing millions of customers in recent months as the company has intensified its focus on the streaming service. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has said that he views cable TV as his company’s biggest worry. So far, Hastings has identified Time Warner Inc.’s HBO channel as Netflix’s toughest competition, but that could change if a cable provider such as Comcast can develop a compelling service.—AP

over the issue, both sides were “still able to sit together and reach an out-of-court settlement.” Apple has shown no indication of willingness to settle. The current trademark battle is unlikely to have much effect on sales of the iPad 2 but could affect future iterations of the device, said Xu Jia, chief editor of the Chinese magazine PC Home. “It could affect a future iPad 3,” Xu said. “If the official products are banned from being sold in China, we will see how the products in the black market start to have very good sales.” Apple, based in Cupertino, California, insists it holds the trademark rights to the iPad in China, having purchased them from Proview for 35,000 British pounds ($55,000) through a company set up for that purpose. A court in Hong Kong, which has a separate legal system from mainland China, ruled in July that Proview had acted with the intention of “injuring Apple.” Proview’s lawyers argued Wednesday that any rulings in Hong Kong were not admissible in Chinese courts. — AP

Browser bypasses put Google in privacy cross hairs SAN FRANCISCO: Privacy advocates, lawyers and powerful rival Microsoft were piling on Google on Tuesday for sidestepping Web browsing software to tailor ads for people signed into its online services. The California-based Internet giant continued to staunchly defend itself meanwhile against accusations that it had put profit ahead of privacy. Controversy ignited last week after it was revealed that Google ad-targeting “cookies” bypassed trackblocking software on Apple’s Web browser for iPhones and computers was fanned by Microsoft saying Internet Explorer was likewise duped. By Tuesday a suit was filed in US federal court demanding Google pay unspecified damages for violating the privacy of millions of people, and potentially national anti-wiretapping law. Some researchers, however, said lashing out at Google did little to resolve a contradiction underpinning the complex situation-people want free online services that know them but Web surfing that remains anonymous. Snippets of code called “cookies” from Google and three online ad specialty firms slipped past tracker-blocking safeguards on Apple’s Safari browser, Stanford University graduate student Jonathan Mayer said Friday in a blog post. Microsoft on Monday said that a check showed that Google was bypassing antitracking mechanisms built into the Redmond, Washington-based technology titan’s Internet Explorer (IE) Web browsing software. “Google is employing similar methods to get around the default privacy protections in IE and track IE users with cookies,” IE corporate vice president Dean Hachamovitch said in a blog post. “Given this real-world behavior, we are investigating what additional changes to make to our products,” he said. Google fired back at Microsoft, saying that the company has known for years that the IE cookie blocking technique thwarted the functionality of modern websites such as Facebook and Amazon and that bypassing it was common practice. “Instead of fixing (a) P3P loophole in IE

that Facebook and Amazon exploited ...Microsoft did nothing,” privacy researcher Christopher Soghoian said in a Twitter post, referring to IE’s way of having cookies identify themselves. “Now they complain after Google uses it.” Researcher Lauren Weinstein in a post at social network Google+ referred to Microsoft’s complaint as seeming “disingenuous at best, and certainly is not helping to move the ball usefully forward regarding these complex issues.” Whether calculated or innocent, Google’s sidestepping of privacy features on browsers raised alarms with consumer rights groups and has already prompted a call for an investigation by the US Federal Trade Commission. Google discontinued use of the offending cookies in Safari browsers after Mayer’s findings went public, and characterized the situation as an unintended side-effect of an effort to safeguard online privacy. Google last year began using cookies in Safari browsers to let people signed into Google accounts get personalized services, such as being able to “+1” ads or other online content as likeable for friends at its online social network. The plan was purportedly to provide users personalization requested while disclosing no information about them to Google-owned ad specialty firm DoubleClick. Google reportedly did not realize was the presence of the cookies opened Safari browser doors to a slew of DoubleClick ad tracking cookies, which would otherwise have been rejected. “The Safari browser contained functionality that then enabled other Google advertising cookies to be set on the browser,” the California company said in a released statement. “We didn’t anticipate that this would happen, and we have now started removing these advertising cookies from Safari browsers,” it continued. Safari is the most widely used browser on mobile devices and the default browser on iPhones and Macintosh computers. The Apple browsers are pre-set to block tracking cookies. — AFP



Two-thirds of Myanmar HIV patients untreated: MSF BANGKOK: International funding cuts threaten to deepen an HIV crisis in Myanmar, where tens of thousands of people are denied lifesaving treatment, an aid agency said yesterday. Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) said only a third of the 120,000 people in need of antiretroviral drugs in M yanmar were receiving the therapy, with up to 20,000 people dying each year due to a lack of treatment. MSF Myanmar head Peter Paul de Groote said there was already an

“unacceptable” gap in treatment and warned the situation would worsen without further funding. “In Myanmar, we have a situation where there is willingness and the capacity to scale up, so if more money would flow into the country we think, combined with better access, we could close that gap,” he told reporters in Bangkok. The Paris-based aid agency said the cancellation of an entire round of support by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has left it with limited funds to treat a further

40,000 people. The Global Fund, which receives donations from governments and the private sector, is a major financier of programmes to treat its three target illnesses worldwide. “It is an unacceptable situation. You have to tell someone: ‘You are not sick enough, so please come back later, maybe then you’ll be sick enough and we can give you the treatment’,” said de Groote. Myanmar’s former junta prioritised military spending, leaving healthcare in tatters. While a new quasi-civilian regime which took power last year is

likely to boost funding, MSF said it would be years before the health system is fully functioning. Recent political reforms have sparked hopes of an increase in aid to the country-the least developed in the region and one of the lowest recipients of development aid in the world. MSF urged the international community to make tackling HIV and tuberculosis (TB) a top donor priority for the nation, which would need to spend around $560 per HIV patient every year on treatment. TB is the most common

cause of death for HIV patients in the world. The MSF Lives in the Balance report said Myanmar has a high prevalence of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), which is more difficult and expensive to treat. Of an estimated 9,300 people newly infected with this disease each year, only around 300 have been receiving treatment. “Without increased availability of treatment, HIV and TB will continue to spread unchecked in many areas. The time to treat is now,” said MSF Doctor Khin Nyein Chan. — AFP

China company opens bear bile farm to media Yao Ming visits sanctuary

This handout photograph released by yesterday, shows an adult Chikilidae, a new species of legless amphibian known as a caecilian, with eggs and hatchlings at an undisclosed location in northeastern India on February 11, 2012. Researchers digging through mud in northeast India have discovered a new family of legless amphibians in a rare scientific breakthrough detailed in a study released yesterday. — AFP

Gender ‘non-conformity’ tied to abuse: Study BOSTON: Girls who dress or act like boys, and boys who act more feminine, may be more likely to be abused and end up with post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a US study. Researchers whose findings appeared in Pediatrics said that parents or other adults who are uncomfortable with so-called gender non-conformity may treat children differently, sometimes violently, or be convinced they can change their feelings and behavior. “In some cases, they believe they’re helping the child, that gender non-conforming won’t be accepted by other people,” said Andrea Roberts, from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, who worked on the study. “But of course, abuse is never protective.” Roberts and her colleagues analyzed data from a long-term study on children and teens that looked at more than 16,000 children, who recalled their favorite toys, roles they took on during play, and feelings of femininity or masculinity at age 11. The participants were also asked about instances of abuse- from kicking and grabbing, to threatening, to forced sexual contact-that happened either before that time or during their adolescent years. The researchers found that children who were the most gender non-conforming were between 40 percent and more than twice as likely to report any kind of childhood abuse as those who did confirm to typical gender roles. They also reported more symptoms of PTSD, which include jumpiness, trouble sleeping and flashbacks.Roberts said that while the findings can’t prove that parents abused boys because they acted like girls, and vice versa, the study did hint that gen-

der non-conformity in younger children predicted abuse during the teenage years. A separate study that also appeared in Pediatrics reported on the experience of doctors from Children’s Hospital Boston in treating 97 children and teens with gender identity disorder. This disorder goes beyond not conforming to gender norms and includes children who are very bothered by their physical gender and identify as the opposite sex. Forty-three of those treated at the Children’s Hospital clinic had a history of psychiatric problems, including 20 who had self-harmed and nine that had attempted suicide. Researchers pointed out that in children who are already going through puberty and are serious about treatment to switch to the opposite gender, intervening at an early stage can keep them from developing secondary sex characteristics like facial hair and breasts, which may head off some of their distress. “If the kid is unhappy, depressed, troubled about their own body, that’s probably (a sign) the parents could use some help,” said Roberts. She added that while adopting some opposite-gender behavior is relatively common, far fewer children will be seriously bothered by their genderpossibly about 1 in 1,000, though researchers don’t have a full grasp of the extent of gender identity disorder in children. Those are the children who may be at the highest risk of abuse and psychological problems, researchers said, adding that the most important thing for nonconforming children, including those who are seriously questioning their own gender, is to get support from their families and schools. — Reuters

Heart attack with no chest pain more likely in women FLORIDA: Women, especially younger women, are more likely than men to show up at the hospital with no chest pain or discomfort after having a heart attack-and they are also more likely to die than men of the same age, according to a US study. That lack of symptoms can result in delayed medical care and differences in treatment, said researchers, whose findings appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association. “They might not even know they’re having a heart attack,” said John Canto, from the Watson Clinic in Lakeland, Florida, who worked on the report. He noted that while the results are based on a study of more than a million heart attack patients, they are still preliminary. But, he added, they do challenge the notion that chest pain and discomfort should be considered “the hallmark symptom” for all heart attack patients. “If our results are in fact true, I would argue that rather than the one-size-fitsall symptom message, we also have to tailor that message to say that women less than 55 are also at higher risk for atypical presentation,” Canto told Reuters Health. Such “atypical presentation” can include symptoms such as unexplained shortness of breath, or pain in areas including the jaw, neck, arms, back and stomach. Canto and his colleagues analyzed medical records in a national database of heart attack patients from 1994 to 2006, including about 1.1 million people treated at close to 2,000 hospitals. They found that 31 percent of male patients, and 42 percent of female patients, didn’t have any chest pain or discomfort. The likelihood of this sort of “atypical presentation” differed most

between younger women and younger men, the researchers said. Women also tend to be older than men when they have a first heart attack. In this study, the average age difference was seven years. Women under 45 were 30 percent more likely than men in their age group to present without chest pain. That dropped to 25 percent between the ages of 45 and 65, and all but disappeared after the age of 75. A similar pattern, with smaller differences between the sexes, was seen in the likelihood of death. Almost 15 percent of women died in the hospital after their heart attack, compared to about 10 percent of men. Younger women with no chest pain were almost 20 percent more likely to die than male counterparts. But after age 65, the women’s risk fell below that of men. At least part of that difference could be due to lack of action by patients and doctors when symptoms are unusual, said Patrick O’Malley, an internist at the Uniformed Ser vices University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. “We tend not to think of heart disease in younger women if they’re not having chest pain... and therefore we’re not going to be as aggressive. It does delay treatment,” he said. “Because it’s not chest pain, they’ll be coming later,” added O’Malley, who did not take part in the study. Canto said women, especially those who may be pre-disposed to heart attacks because they have diabetes, a family history of heart disease, or are smokers, should know that a lack of chest pain doesn’t rule out the possibility of a heart attackwhich researchers said was actually true for both sexes.— Reuters

BEIJING: A traditional Chinese medicine company at the heart of an angry Internet campaign accusing it of cruelty to animals opened one of its controversial bear bile farms to journalists yesterday. Bear bile has long been used in China to treat various health problems, despite scepticism over its effectiveness and outrage over the bile extraction process, which animal rights group say is excruciatingly painful for bears. The Guizhentang pharmaceutical company in the southeastern province of Fujian last year announced plans to raise millions of dollars through a stock exchange listing in order to increase production of the bile. But the announcement sparked a noisy Internet campaign against the listing that brought into question the medical effectiveness of the bile and the cruel manner in which it is extracted from living bears. According to a Guizhentang spokeswoman surnamed Wang, Chinese journalists began visiting one of the company’s bear farms yesterday as par t of attempts to address the controversy. She said they were promised full “transparency” to inspect the premise, but the state-run Beijing News repor ted that journalists would not be allowed to ask questions during the visit. “Guizhentang made public a list of journalists without prior consultations. They could be putting on a show,” the paper quoted Zhang Xingsheng of the Nature Conservancy’s North Asia office as saying. The company refused to allow AFP journalists to take part in the tour, saying the event was not open to foreign reporters. The anti-bile campaign got a boost this week after China’s retired basketball superstar Yao Ming visited a sanctuary for Asiatic black bears, or moon bears, rescued from bile farms by the Animal Asia group. “The moon bears are beautiful animals that nature has given us,” the Sichuan Daily quoted Yao as saying as he toured the sanctuary. “We should all be concerned for the moon bears.” Yao has also campaigned to end the killing of sharks, harvested for their fins-a traditional Chinese delicacy. “It just gave me immense satisfaction that people in China are taking

up this challenge of wanting bear farming to end,” Jill Robinson, CEO and founder of Animals Asia told AFP. “We have seen an unprecedented outcry from the Chinese public and media over the last few days.” Photos posted on popular web portal by reporters allowed into the farm showed a large enclosure where dozens of bears roamed around, some climbing on metallic structures, in what was called a “breeding centre”. Other photos show the black bears in small, narrow cages, and employees wearing surgical masks, hats and gloves, sticking draining tubes in the animals’ gall bladders and a yellow liquid flowing into a glass.

Animals Asia, which since 1988 has been campaigning against the practice, on Tuesday published a report and video exposing what it said was the “brutal truth” behind bile extractions, in anticipation of the visit. It said that around 7,000 bears still languish in bile farms across China, but many more could be used in illegal establishments. Bear bile is used in China and other Asian countries to treat fevers, liver disease, eye problems and other health problems, but activists have for years tried to stop the practice, citing it as a form of torture for the bears. Guizhentang farmed 470 bears last year, and had decided to list to increase the number to 1,200 in order to step up annual production of bile to 4,000 tonnes. — AFP

HUI’AN: A worker extracts bile from a bear in a cage at the bear farm of Guizhentang pharmaceutical company, during a media tour in Hui’an county in southeast China’s Fujian province, yesterday. Last week, Chinese voiced outrage when the pharmaceutical company that sells tonics made with bear bile announced plans for a public listing.— AP

Stem cell implants boost monkeys with Parkinson’s TOKYO: Monkeys suffering from Parkinson’s disease show a marked improvement when human embryonic stem cells are implanted in their brains, in what a Japanese researcher said yesterday was a world first. A team of scientists transplanted the stem cells into four primates that were suffering from the debilitating disease. The monkeys all had violent shaking in their limbs-a classic symptom of Parkinson’s disease-and were unable to control their bodies, but began to show improvements in their motor control

after about three months, Kyoto University associate professor Jun Takahashi told AFP. About six months after the transplant, the creatures were able to walk around their cages, he said.”Clear improvements were confirmed in their movement,” he said. Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological illness linked to a decrease in dopamine production in the brain. There is currently no medical solution to this drop off in a key neurotransmitter. The condition, which generally affects old-

LAS VEGAS: In this photograph taken by AP Images for AIDS Healthcare Foundation, from left, Sister Sioux St. Semen Sloth, Mother Loosy Lust Be a Lady, Mr NGRA 2011,1st Runner Up, Curtiss Lewis, Miss NGRA 2012 Sabel D’Zyre, Sister Gloria-Areola Allover Gluttony, Sister Vesta Rosa of Berlin, Germany and AIDS Healthcare staff and volunteers distribute condoms during the “Condom Nation” tour at The Funhog Ranch on Tuesday, in Las Vegas. The AIDS Health Care Foundation launched a “Condom Nation “ tour to help promote condom use in effort to reduce the HIV/AIDS infection rate. — AP

er people, gained wider public recognition when Hollywood actor Michael J. Fox revealed he was a sufferer. Takahashi said at the time of the implant about 35 percent of the stem cells had already grown into dopamine neuron cells, with around 10 percent still alive after a year. He said he wants to improve the effectiveness of the treatment by increasing the survival rate of dopamine neuron cells to 70 percent. “The challenge before applying it to a clinical study is to raise the number of dopamine neuron cells and to prevent the development of tumours,” he said. “I would like to make this operation more effective and safe” before clinical trials, Takahashi said.Takahashi said so far he had used embryonic stem cells, which are harvested from foetuses, but would likely switch to so-called Induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) cells, which are created from human skin, for the clinical trial. His team, which has also transplanted iPS cells into monkeys, are now looking to see if the primates with Parkinson’s disease show similar improvements in their motor control. Scientists say the use of human embryonic stem cells as a treatment for cancer and other diseases holds great promise, but the process has drawn fire from religious conservatives, among others. Opponents say harvesting the cells, which have the potential to become any cell in the human body, is unethical because it involves the destruction of an embryo. The Japanese government currently has no guidelines on the use of human stem cells in clinical research. In October last year, the Court of Justice of the European Union banned the patenting of stem cells when their extraction causes the destruction of a human embryo, a ruling that could have repercussions on medical research. Scientists warned that the ruling would damage stem cell research in Europe, while the Catholic church hailed it as a victory for the protection of human life. — AFP



FDA acts to stem shortages of two cancer drugs To speed up approval for new methotrexate maker SILVER SPRING: The US Food and Drug Administration said it will resolve a potentially life-threatening shortage of two leading cancer drugs by allowing one of them to be imported from abroad and rushing approval for a new manufacturer to make the second. The moves announced on Tuesday mark the latest government effort to address severe drug shortages. More than 200 medicines were in short supply in 2011 and doctors and patient advocates say the crisis has forced providers to postpone care or use second-best or costlier alternatives. The FDA will allow imports of an alternative to the cancer drug Doxil, which in the next few weeks should meet all patient needs, the agency said. The drug is called Lipodox and has the same active ingredient as Doxil, doxorubicin. Late on Friday, the FDA also approved a new company, APP Pharmaceuticals, to make preservative-free methotrexate, a drug used to treat children with leukemia. APP is a unit of German healthcare group Fresenius. “ We believe we can meet the

needs of patients on a continuing basis,” FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said at a news conference. “This should resolve the shortages.” Doxil, a cancer drug marketed by Johnson & Johnson, has been in persistent short supply since manufacturing problems surfaced at a plant of Ben Venue, a unit of German drugmaker Boehringer Ingelheim that has been making the drug under contract. The injectable drug, which has annual global sales of about $500 million, is used to treat ovarian cancer and multiple myeloma. About 7,000 patients used the drug in the United States before Johnson & Johnson announced a possible supply disruption last June. The company said in January it was able to allocate the drug to 4,400 patients. The FDA said it reached a limited, temporary arrangement to import Lipodox from Indian drugmaker Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd and its distribution subsidiar y, Caraco Pharmaceutical Laboratories Ltd. Ben Venue’s problems have also contributed to a shor tage of methotrexate, leading U.S. lawmakers to call for action last week from the

FDA and manufacturers amid fears U.S. medical practices were close to running out of the drug entirely within a few weeks. The medicine has been on the shortage list since last year. It helps treat about 3,500 children a year with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and has cure rates close to 90 percent. In response, Ben Venue also said last week it would release reserves of methotrexate made before it shut down the plant last November. President Barack Obama made shortages a national priority with an executive order in October and the FDA said it has prevented 114 shortages since then, mainly by working with manufacturers. The FDA has said the number of drugs in short supply, which include cancer, anesthesiology and nutrition medications, had risen to 220 in 2011 from 56 in 2006 - the year a clear trend started emerging. Many of the drugs are generic, sterile injectable medications. FDA officials say a number of industry factors have created the shortages, including a consolidation of generic drugmakers, manufacturing problems that have shut down

plants or production lines and the decision by some manufacturers to stop producing a treatment when profit margins erode too far. Patient advocates and doctors who also spoke at the FDA said helping patients who need Doxil and methotrexate was a positive step, but does not address the needs of others whose treatments remain in short supply. They called for longer-term action that could prevent drug shortages. “It’s a shame to have to put our children at risk to bring attention to this problem,” said Dr. Peter Adamson, chair of the Children’s Oncology Group. “While today was good news, the fact is that the (drug shortages) list is not getting smaller, and may be growing.” Adamson also called on Congress to speed passage of legislation that could help address the issue of shortages by forcing manufacturers to notify the FDA about looming supply disruptions. Now, by law companies only have to tell the agency they are stopping supply when they are the only maker of a drug. The legislation has been stuck in a divided Congress for more than a

year, despite support from both political parties. The agency said it will also release guidelines for manufacturers to inform the FDA about looming shortages, as early notification can help prevent them. Sandy Kweder, the deputy director of the FDA’s Office of New Drugs, said the agenc y began work ing on increasing supply of methotrexate last year, since they became aware of persistent issues at the Ben Venue plant. The FDA said in September 2011 that it sped up the application from APP for methotrexate, which had been languishing in the FDA’s overcrowded waiting list for generic applications since August 2010. It also asked to ramp up production at other makers of methotrexate: Hospira Inc, Mylan Inc and Sandoz, a unit of Novartis. Hospira said it shipped 31,000 vials of methotrexate in the last 24 hours, which represent a month’s worth of demand in the United States. Hospira CEO Michael Ball also said the company would be releasing another 34,000 units next week and 55,000 units in mid-March, all produced at its plant in Australia. — Reuters



W H AT ’ S O N

Capture National Day moments


n honour of Kuwait’s 51st National Day which approaches on February 25th, Nokia has announced a special photography initiative and is calling for all Kuwaitis and expatriates to capture the highlights of the nationwide festivities and share them with the nation on Nokia’s official Kuwait page on Facebook. People from Kuwait can enter the competition by submitting photographs taken from their Nokia cameraphones or any other photo devices. The top two images that best capture the meaning and excitement of Kuwait’s National Day celebrations with most number of ‘likes’ will walk away with the latest Nokia Belle 700 and also a 12 megapixel Nokia N8 mobile phone. The last day to enter the competition is on 5th March, 2012. Images can be uploaded using the Kuwait Nation Day Photo Competition Application on The winners of the competition will be announced on 10th March, 2012.

Fun day at Salmiya Indian Model School


n the sprawling campus of SIMS ‘Fun Day’ was organized on Saturday 18 Feb 2012, for kids of all age groups. Free rides of different varieties were in store for the kids. The children had a rollicking time on the bumpy slides, savoring the delights, enjoying the feel of the cool breeze playing on their faces. The place was teeming with people, kids and

Announcements Youth India Anniversary tomorrow The arrangements for the celebration of the 3rd anniversary of Youth India are in its final stages, informed the organizers in a press release. Ajit Sahi, well known journalist and human rights activist and former editor of will be the chief guest at the event which will be held in Abbasiya Integrated Indian School tomorrow, Friday. Abdul Azeez Al Duaij, Director of Centre for Inter Cultural Dialogues, Kuwait, will inaugurate the event. The music troupe led by Doha Asian Games fame singer Nadir Abdul Salam will be the main attraction of the event and prominent singers from Kuwait will also participate in the event. Kuwait Improv Fun lovers of Kuwait unite. A get together by people who love to surprise, be surprised and just be about at anything are welcome to Kuwait Improv, a gathering, reminiscent of the famous American TV program Whose Line is it Anyway, informally organized by American School of Kuwait teacher Brad Manker. No histrionic talent required, but a willingness to share. Please Tulu speaking classes Here’s a great opportunity for parents who always wished their children could learn Tulu. Tulu Koota Kuwait, in its objective towards promoting Tulu language and culture, is pleased to announce the opening of Tutu Speaking Classes “Tulu Siri” at Indian Public School Salmiya @ 11:30 am. For more details kindly contact Ramesh Kidiyoor-97204716/99596457,Shalini Vijay - 66502369,Tharendra P. Shettigar 66757979,Jayalaxmi Karkal - 66958848, Sathyanarayana Salian - 66585077,Vanitha Dias94996459. And our Website: Email:

well wishers. For the UKG students there was a ?Fancy Dress’, held in the school auditorium. Representing different fruits and vegetables the children reinforced the theme of ?Healthy Food’. The poise and confidence they displayed really impressed the judges and audience. The event was followed by a presenta-

tion on the utility of Interactive Smart Board technology, soon to be incorporated by the teaching fraternity in their methodology. To generate a mini carnival like environment, Face Painting and ‘Food Stalls? were also installed. The exuberance and look of satisfaction was evident on the faces of the parents of the newly admitted kids. Their overwhelm-

ing response was indeed heartwarming. SIMS also co-hosted an Open Art competition ?IIK Spectrum’for the students of the age group of 8 to 14 in the school. Participation certificates along with gifts were distributed to all the children. All in all, the first venture of SIMS turned out to be a roaring success.

Athlete legend Manikam in Kuwait

Fatherland Defender’s Day


his reception is organized by the Russian Military, Air and Naval Attache in Kuwait Colonel Vladimir Kurchenko on the occasion of the Fatherland Defender’s Day. Fatherland Defender’s Day is a holiday observed in Russia and several other former republics of the Soviet Union like Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Ukraine. It is celebrated on February 23. The holiday marks the date in 1918 during the Russian Civil War when the first mass draft into the Red Army occurred in then Petrograd (now - Scant Petersburg) and Moscow. It was originally known as Red Army Day. At this day 1918 the first detachments and units of the just formed Red Army stopped the German forces’ advancement near Russian cities of Pskov and Narva. After the Great Patriotic war was adopted the tradition to fire artillery salutes on February 23rd in Moscow and other main Soviet cities. In 1949, it was renamed Soviet Army and Navy Day. Following the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the holiday was given its current name.

Officially, as the name suggests, the holiday celebrates people who are serving or were serving the Russian Armed Forces (both men and women), but unofficially, nationally it has also more recently come to include the celebration of men as a whole, and to act as a counterpart of International Women’s Day on March 8. The holiday is celebrated with parades and processions in honor of veterans, the flowers are laid on the graves of the fallen soldiers. Women also give small gifts to the Russian men, especially husbands, fathers and sons. As a part of the workplace culture, women often give gifts to their male coworkers. Consequently, in colloquial usage, the holiday is often referred to as Men’s Day. Here in Kuwait we celebrate Fatherland Defender’s Day in honor of Russian Armed Forces and people who are or were in service with it. And following national tradition we also celebrate it as Men’s Day congratulating our male Embassy staff and Russian community in Kuwait.


anikam started his race walking career on 19/07/1969 at Kuala Pilah (Malaysia). So far he has participated in more than 1,000 walking and race events. Manikam has won nearly 700 racing events, which includes international athlete competition that took place in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Indonesia, Brunei, Thailand, Japan, Singapore, Sabah Sarawak, India and Phillipines. Apart from athlete events he has started giving training to many people, school and college students as well. Now the legend is in Kuwait and has planned to give athlete training in many schools and various other places.

Palpak 4th AGM Palakkad Pravasi Association of Kuwait (Palpak) is conducting its Fourth Annual General Body Meeting on February 24, Friday at Hiphop Auditorium, Fahaheel from 10 am. The main agenda include as following, annual report on the activities during the year of 2011, the audited accounts report for the year of 2011. All members of Palpak are kindly requested to treat this as an official Invitation and attend the said Annual Genera1 body meeting on time. For more details please contact President P.N.Kumar (99771830) and General Secretary Aravindha Shan (66535989). Music festival On March 1, 2012, the “Blend Music Festival,” a mellow acoustic get-together of several local musicians, will take place in Bayt Lothan, the official sponsor, host, and curator of the event. This event will be FREE of charge and open to everyone to attend. We hope to see you all there, and here’s to a great start to 2012! The “Blend Music Festival” will be the first of many concerts to be held; there are a handful of musicians on board, and more will be added to the sets at a later stage. Here is the program for March 1st: 1- Ali Sleeq with Gary Ruston & Kevin Owen = JAZZ; 2- Hadi Sarieddine, Bader Nana, & Sarj = ROCK; 3- Lewis Chapman - FOLK / ROCK. Free Arabic language course IPC and all its branches are opening free Arabic language course for ladies accessible in beginners and advanced levels. Class will commence on March 2, 2012. Islamic and Quran courses are also presented in different languages. Registration is on! Call the nearest IPC branch: Rawdah: 22512257 / 97290278; Salmiyah: 25733263 / 97533263; Mangaf: 23723002 ext. 124/123; Jahra: 24558830 / 97533948; Khaithan: 24730137.

IIS bids farewell to Class XII students


n Feb 6, 2012 the farewell party was organized by India International School (IIS) for the outgoing students of class XII by the students of class XI. A warm welcome was given to the seniors with the lightening of the candles, to mark the glorious beginning and an inspiration in their career. The Director Malayil Moosa Koya, Principal F.M.Basheer Ahmed, Vice Principal Narider Kaur, KG (HOS) Shifana and the teachers graced the occasion with their presence. The programme began with the recitation of verses from the Holy Quran by Master. Nabeel and its translation by Ms.Shema of class XI. Welcome speech to the seniors was presented by Marvam of class XI. A variety of games were organized for the seniors to treasure the fun and frolic in their treasure trove. Followed by this Adeeba’s speech on ‘Life Skills’ proved to be

highly effective for the seniors as they are going to embark on a new adventure. The highlight of the programme was a spectacular dance performance by the students of class XI. Their incredible presentation was a

remarkable one. Followed by this Muneera and Ibrahim of class XI expressed their feelings about the cherished moments they experienced in this beautiful wonderland. Principal F.M. Basheer Ahmed addressed

the gathering through a PowerPoint presentation that instilled motivation and confidence in the students, inspired them to realize their potentia1ities encouraged them to work hard to score cent percent in their subjects. He also focused his point on R.A.T i.e., Reflection, Attitude and Thoughta conduit to reach the “pinnacle of success”. Director Malayil Moosa Koya graced the occasion with his blessings tbr the outgoing students. Also he has promised to honour the students who will score 90% aggregate in class XII Board exams in the forthcoming decennial function of the school. As a token of love for the class XII students, the management has gifted a beautiful photo frame to treasure their sweet memories of the school. The remarkable programme ended up with a vote of thanks by the head Boy Master. Rohit of class XII.


W H AT ’ S O N

Expat author details Kuwait invasion days


Embassy Information

By Sunil Cherian 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.


he Dark Rain of Rumailah,’ a memoir penned by author Kaippattor Thankachan details his experiences during the days when Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait between August 1990 and February 1991. The 88page Malayalam book, published by Saindhava Books also carries rare photographs from those times. Kaippattor, residing in Kuwait for the past 32 years, narrates incidents in a down-to-earth, objective manner that introduces a mixed style of historical accounts, personal observations and romantic literary style. “A dog (Saddam’s Iraq) doesn’t need even a shadow to bark,” writes Kaippattoor who works with the Marafie group. The dark Thursday on which Kuwait was invaded, some who went to work met with accidents as a result of the panic and dark smoke that spread all over. The writer is critical of his country’s embassy which shut down immediately and its government which remained indifferent for a while. Expats embarked on an uncertain journey home via Jordan made the mistake of retaining their gold in their apartments. Some Indian


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

bled the ‘sandwich’, briefs the writer vividly. The book leaves unforgettable images, like burning oil wells, of human atrocities as evil begot more evil. The writer has 18 books to his credit includ-

expats who remained in Kuwait turned burglars and made a fortune, making the best out of the situation they were in. Some Iraqis broke into supermarkets and mistook face cream for dairy products and spread it on bread and gob-

ing 4 novels, short stories and articles on several social and political issues of Kerala, the state he hails from. He will be bidding farewell to Kuwait this summer, after completing 32 years of service with Marafie. “The time has come,” he said.

Mais Al-Ghanim launches seafood festival


ais Al-Ghanim added two new items to its seafood menu as part of the ‘Seafood Festival’ it launched recently at its restaurants in Kuwait, which comes in line with the company’s efforts to provide top quality service standards it maintains for 59 years. “The Seafood Festival offers customers the opportunity to enjoy the special ‘Mutabbak Fish’ and ‘Fish Kebab’ items which are newly added to the restaurant’s popular seafood menu”, reads an official announcement from Mais Al-Ghanim. The Seafood Festival comes as part of Mais Al-Ghanim’s continuous efforts to meet top expectations and demands of its customers, said the restaurant’s head chef in the statement, adding that seafood are among the top popular

EMBASSY OF CANADA The Embassy of Canada is located at Villa 24, AlMutawakel 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 A.M until 12:00 P.M on Sunday through Wednesday. The Canadian Embassy will be closed Sunday February 26, 2012, on the occasion of Kuwait Liberation Day. The Embassy will resume its duties on Monday February 27, 2012. 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

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

with its multinational cuisine menu and top quality standards based on which all items are served, and for which the restaurant obtained multiple awards.

food items in Kuwait and around the world for their high nutritional value. Mais Al-Ghanim adopts a clear policy to maintain costumers’ contentment

Mais Al-Ghanim invites customers to enjoy the Seafood Festival at its branches in Sharq and Al-Mahboulah.

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

Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival 2012 Where jazz finds a home


azz, a music born for the amalgamation of various types of music from Africa, Europe, with a tinge of Latin, has become one of the most flexible genres to amalgamate with other genres, be it modern or traditional. In its journey, jazz has visited and even taken refuge in various locations all of the world. In 2005, Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival was held for the first time. Jazz music began intermingling in the air, harnessing the love of its enthusiasts making them long for the next dates of the event. This festival, presently the largest jazz in the Southern hemisphere, immediately became the pride of Indonesia. The continuous success from one year to another has made it one of it the most talked about event, even by international musicians. In their opinion, (Jakarta International) Java Jazz Festival as a festival destination. International musicians are extremely proud to perform at a festival created by Indonesians. To raise the bar even more, some musicians even consider Jakarta as one of the most important cities for jazz. In its 8th edition, the festival dubbed Jakarta International Djarum Super Mild Java Jazz Festival 2012, will be even more special. Renowned jazz figures such as Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny and Bobby McFerrin, some of the most awaited acts, are confirmed to perfom on the stages of Jakarta International Djarum Super Mild Java Jazz Festival 2012. In addition to the three aforementioned artists, names such as Al Jarreau, David Sanborn and Phil Perry, are also musicians which Java Festival Production have successfully confirmed for the year. On the first full weekend of March 2012, these fabulous names will mesmerize Java Jazz Festival enthusiasts. To make Jakarta International Djarum Super Mild Java Jazz Festival 2012, a festival due to attract more than 100,000 people, even more wondrous,

Stevie Wonder will also be performing. Wonder is a legend for music itself. His musical prowess began at a tender age and managed to penetrate musical barriers. There’s no doubt that the music presented by Stevie Wonder will be magical. Colorful Jazz Also not to be missed, Java Festival Production has also confirmed names such as Bobby Caldwell, Laura Fygi and Swing Out Sister, due to perform with the big band. After all, a show with a big band enhances the musical experiences. Shows with romantic nature by Barry White Show & the Pleasure Unlimited Orchestra, D’Sound, Dave Koz, Depapepe and Chris Standring, will be an interesting variety alongside Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Frank McComb with his groovy funk, mainstream jazz by Alfredo Rodriguez Trio, Ron Carter due to perform with Juilliard Jazz Quartet, Manhattan Transfer (with Margaret Dorn standing in for Cheryl Bentyne who has taken ill) or Carl Allen with Rodney Whitaker Quartet, and the temptuous Latin tunes to be rolled out by Sheila E. & Escovedo Family and Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band. Erykah Badu, a long awaited performance in Indonesia, will also be performing at Jakarta International Djarum Super Mild Java Jazz Festival 2012 as part of her tour. Mayer Hawthorne & The County, Simon Grey “Live”, Soil & Pimp Session and Taylor McFerrin promise to give a different sort of vibe in the arena of Jakarta International Djarum Super Mild Java Jazz Festival 2012. It is no wonder that musicians find themselves engulfed in the spirit and warmth of the young people driven festival in Indonesia. Musicians and jazz enthusiasts are bound to Jakarta International Djarum Super Mild Java Jazz Festival 2012, where Jazz Finds a Home.

IKEA Kuwait offers its customers a Swedish delight


KEA Kuwait recently introduced Sweden’s most popular pastry, Kanelbullar cinnamon bun and UTZ certified coffee guaranteed to thrill IKEA shoppers after a long day at the store. The cinnamon bun and coffee offer will run through the entire year and is available only at the IKEA Kuwait exit café/Bistro. UTZ certified is produced under strict food safety regulations in an effort to ensure their visitors receive the best quality coffee. UTZ is the largest certification program for coffee production and it consists on the special care for the

product, the people and the environment. The cinnamon bun, Swedish in style and perfect to taste, is a classic bun that takes the shape of a helix with granulated sugar on top. This delightful combo offer is available for only 300 fils at the IKEA Kuwait store. IKEA Kuwait encourages everyone to sweeten their taste buds with a little Swedish tradition that will serve as the perfect break from a tedious day at the mall. Those interested in experimenting at home can download their own cinnamon bun recipe on

Tamilar Marumalarchi Peravai-Kuwait


amilar Marumalarchi Peravai-Kuwait, convened a special meeting on February 5, at 6 pm in Kuwait. This was to honour a leading literary icon, social activist and flamboyant Tamil orator Thamizharuvi Maniyan who was invited from India as special guest. The association’s organizer Pinnalur M. Manikandan presented the welcome address, the association’s President V. Muthuraman presided over the function with the presence of the Secretary T. Selvakumar, Treasurer Jayakumar, Advisor Hasan Mohammed, and Deputy Secretary

Zahir Hussain, Executive committee members Sivaraman, Semhai Vijayan, Srinivasan, Subburaj, Rajendran and Tirupathi as frontstagers. Pattukkottai Sathya recited a verse from the ancient Tamil literature “Thirukkural” as the function proceeded to entertain the gathering with some valuable quotes and astonishing remarks for the unity and self development from the renowned Tamil Gandhiyan Thamizharuvi Maniyan. Furthermore Maniyan emphasized the audience to be of service to all mankind in all the

available sources and opportunities, in his mind provoking address. Thamizharuvi Maniyan was glorified by a Kashmir shawl (towel) by Manikandan and Sathya honoured Thamizharuvi Maniyan with a memorable gift on behalf of the organization. Tamil poet and the adorable president of Kuwait Tamilosai Poets’ Association Sadhiq, Tamilosai’s reigning president, musician Francis Irudhayaraj, “Kuwait Tamil” magazine’s Editor, a popular Tamil poet, ‘Aruvikavi’ Anandaravi were honoured with sense of gratitude for the continuous support and services rendered by them to the association. Many members of the association, representatives /office bearers of various Tamil associations in Kuwait and dignitaries attended the programme. The association’s Deputy Secretary Ila Karthikeyan anchored the event. Vice president Sivamani delivered the vote of thanks at the closure of the event. The association is immensely grateful to Thamizhnadan, Secretary of Ponguthamizh Mandram Kuwait, Kanthanathan, Viruthaipaari, Lukeman, designer, “Kuwait Tamil” magazine and Mrs RaniMohan who have offered vital assistances to make the programme, a grand success. The function ended with a delicious dinner served to the attendees.

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

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

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

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

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

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00:50 Animal Cops Houston 01:45 Untamed & Uncut 02:40 Buggin’ With Ruud 03:35 Wild France 04:30 Wildest Africa 05:25 The Animals’ Guide To Survival 06:20 Escape To Chimp Eden 06:45 In Too Deep 07:10 K9 Cops 08:00 Gorilla School 08:25 Animal Planet’s Most Outrageous 09:15 The Really Wild Show 09:40 Project Puppy 10:10 Dogs 101: Specials 11:05 The Animals’ Guide To Survival 12:00 Michaela’s Animal Road Trip 12:55 RSPCA: On The Frontline 13:20 Wildlife SOS International 13:50 Clinically Wild: Alaska 14:15 Clinically Wild: Alaska 14:45 Animal Cops Phoenix 15:40 The Animals’ Guide To Survival 16:30 Shamwari: A Wild Life 17:00 The Really Wild Show 17:30 Panda Adventures With Nigel Marven 18:25 Dogs 101 19:20 Extraordinary Dogs 19:45 Extraordinary Dogs 20:15 Orangutan Island 20:40 Wildlife SOS International 21:10 Escape To Chimp Eden 21:35 In Too Deep 22:05 The Animals’ Guide To Survival 23:00 Beast Lands 23:55 Snake Crusader With Bruce George

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

Eastenders Doctors Lark Rise to Candleford Last Of The Summer Wine After You’ve Gone Keeping Up Appearances Me Too! Charlie and Lola Gigglebiz Bobinogs Poetry Pie Fimbles Little Robots Forget Me Not Farm Me Too! Charlie and Lola Gigglebiz Bobinogs Poetry Pie Fimbles Little Robots Forget Me Not Farm Last Of The Summer Wine After You’ve Gone The Weakest Link Eastenders Doctors Casualty Lark Rise to Candleford Keeping Up Appearances Last Of The Summer Wine The Weakest Link Eastenders Doctors Casualty Lark Rise to Candleford The Weakest Link Eastenders Doctors After You’ve Gone Last Of The Summer Wine Chimp Family Fortunes The World’s Toughest Driving Little Britain Keeping Up Appearances Survivors Katy Brand’s Big Ass Show The Weakest Link Chimp Family Fortunes

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

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




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

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Destroyed In Seconds Blueprint For Disaster Dirty Jobs Overhaulin’ Ultimate Survival Mythbusters How Does It Work? How It’s Made Dirty Jobs Mythbusters Gold Rush Swamp Loggers How Does It Work? Cake Boss Border Security Auction Kings Extreme Explosions Extreme Explosions Overhaulin’ Ultimate Survival Mythbusters Cash Cab Us Border Security Auction Kings How It’s Made How Does It Work Cake Boss One Man Army Track Me If You Can Ross Kemp On Gangs


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


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

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

THE EAGLE ON OSN CINEMA 00:25 Kendra 00:55 Style Star 01:25 E!es 02:20 THS 03:15 25 Most Stylish 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 Extreme Hollywood 06:00 40 Smokin’ On Set Hookups 07:50 Behind The Scenes 08:20 E! News 09:15 Kendra 09:45 Kendra 10:15 THS 12:05 Scouted 16:55 Scouted 17:55 E! News 18:55 Scouted 19:55 E!es 20:25 E!es 20:55 Chelsea Lately 21:25 Scouted 22:25 E! News 23:25 Chelsea Lately 23:55 Keeping Up With The Kardashians

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

Dr G: Medical Examiner The Haunted A Haunting I Almost Got Away With It Cuff Me If You Can Dr G: Medical Examiner The Haunted A Haunting Mystery Diagnosis The Prosecutors Forensic Detectives Murder Shift Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? True Crime With Aphrodite Disappeared Murder Shift Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? True Crime With Aphrodite Disappeared The Prosecutors Forensic Detectives Murder Shift Real Emergency Calls Mystery Diagnosis Who On Earth Did I Marry? True Crime With Aphrodite Disappeared Kidnap And Rescue Fugitive Strike Force

00:00 Predator CSI 01:00 Africa’s Deadliest 01:55 Lion Army 02:50 Brutal Killers 03:45 Monster Crocs 04:40 Built For The Kill 05:35 Nordic Wild 06:30 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 07:25 Expedition Wild 08:20 Monster Fish 09:15 Lion Army 10:10 Brutal Killers 11:05 Monster Crocs 12:00 World’s Deadliest Animals 13:00 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 14:00 Killer Shots 15:00 Big Cat Wars 16:00 I, Predator 17:00 Jaguar: Catching the Cat (aka Hunt for the Shadow 18:00 Bonecrusher Queens 19:00 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 20:00 Killer Shots 21:00 Big Cat Wars 22:00 I, Predator 23:00 Jaguar: Catching the Cat (aka Hunt for the Shadow

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Luster-18 Full Metal Jacket-18 Across The Hall-PG15 From Paris With Love-PG15 Blue Crush 2-PG15 The Warlords-PG15

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X2-PG Blue Crush 2-PG15 The Postman-PG15 Legion-18 Little Big Soldier-PG15

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The Greatest-PG15 Fly Me To The Moon-PG Just Wright-PG15 The Open Road-PG15 Fly Me To The Moon-PG Flipped-PG The Greatest-PG15 Mammoth-PG15 The Boys Are Back-PG The Eagle-PG15 Despicable Me-FAM The Heavy-18

03:00 Friends 03:30 Friends 04:00 Dharma And Greg 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 06:00 Malcolm In The Middle 08:30 Friends 12:00 Malcolm In The Middle 12:30 Dharma And Greg 14:00 Friends 16:30 How I Met Your Mother 18:00 Friends 18:30 Friends 19:00 The League 19:30 State Of Georgia 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 The Big C 22:30 American Dad 23:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

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

Falling Skies Strike Back Justified Once Upon A Time Off The Map Good Morning America Tower Prep Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show The Martha Stewart Show The View Once Upon A Time Tower Prep Live Good Morning America The Ellen DeGeneres Show Emmerdale Look-A-Like Psych American Idol Necessary Roughness Bones

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Smallville Luck Falling Skies Strike Back Once Upon A Time Switched At Birth Smallville Parks And Recreation Coronation Street Parenthood Inside The Actor’s Studio Falling Skies Once Upon A Time Parks And Recreation Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show Parenthood Smallville Warehouse 13 The Ellen DeGeneres Show Parenthood Psych American Idol Necessary Roughness Supernatural

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Tupac: Resurrection-18 The Collector-18 Circle Of Eight-18 The Devil’s Teardrop-PG15 Riddles Of The Sphinx-PG15

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Citizen Jane-PG Hurricane Season-PG15 Riddles Of The Sphinx-PG15 Staten Island-PG15 Empire-18 The Daisy Chain-PG15 Two: Thirteen-R

00:00 Everybody Wants To Be Italian-PG15 02:00 Love And Mary-PG15 04:00 Our Family Wedding-PG15 06:00 Coyote County Loser-PG15 08:00 The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie-PG 10:00 The Addams Family-PG 12:00 Addams Family Values-PG 14:00 Sleepover-PG15 16:00 Everybody Wants To Be Italian-PG15 18:00 Love Hurts-PG15 20:00 Crazy On The Outside-PG15 22:00 How High-18

01:15 American History X-18 03:15 Asylum-18 05:00 Entre Les Murs-PG15 07:15 Stomp The Yard 2: Homecoming-PG15 09:00 On Strike For Christmas-PG15 10:30 Timeline-PG15 12:30 Another Year-PG15 14:45 The Lovely Bones-PG15 17:00 Flying By-PG15 18:45 The River-PG15 21:00 Square Grouper-PG15 23:00 Inception-PG15

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

The Messenger-18 The LXD: The Uprising BeginsThe LXD: Secrets Of The RaCrazy On The Outside-PG15 Date Night-PG15 12 Men Of Christmas-PG15 The Joneses-PG15 Paper Man-PG15 Date Night-PG15 It’s Complicated-PG15 Despicable Me-FAM Inception-PG15

00:00 The Thief Of Baghdad-PG 01:45 Hua Mulan-PG 04:00 Queen Of The Swallows-FAM 06:00 The Spy Next Door-PG 08:15 The Three Musketeers (2008)FAM 10:15 Jetsons: The Movie-FAM 12:15 Tom And Jerry & The Wizard Of Oz-FAM 14:00 Slappy And The Stinkers-FAM 16:00 Kong: Return To The JunglePG15 18:00 Jetsons: The Movie-FAM 20:00 Gulliver’s Travels-PG 22:00 Slappy And The Stinkers-FAM

00:00 Soulboy-PG15 02:00 Cyrus-18 04:00 District 9-PG15 06:00 Strength And Honour-PG15 08:00 Sounds Like Teen Spirit-PG15 10:00 District 9-PG15 12:15 Triassic Attack-PG15 14:15 Cats & Dogs: The Revenge Of Kitty Galore-PG 16:00 Sounds Like Teen Spirit-PG15 17:45 Just Go With It-PG15 20:00 Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call New Orleans-PG15 22:15 Piranha-R

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

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Super League Volvo Ocean Race Trans World Sport ODI Crickert Highlights Futbol Mundial Live Premier League Darts

01:00 UFC 144 Countdown 02:00 V8 Supercars 03:00 Speedway 04:00 Le Mans Series Highlights 05:00 UFC Unleashed 06:00 UFC 144 Countdown 07:00 WWE SmackDown 09:00 Speedway 10:00 Intercontinental Le Mans Cup 11:00 V8 Supercars 12:00 WWE Experience 13:00 WWE Vintage Collection 14:00 WWE Bottom Line 15:00 Intercontinental Le Mans Cup 16:00 Speedway FIM World Championship 17:00 Aquabike World 18:00 UFC 144 Countdown 19:00 WWE NXT 20:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter 21:00 UFC

00:30 European Tour Weekly 01:00 Premier League Darts 04:30 Futbol Mundial 05:00 European Tour Weekly 05:30 European PGA Tour Highlights 06:30 Top 14 Highlights 07:00 Seven World Series 10:00 World Cup Of Pool 11:00 World Pool Masters 12:00 Bass Fishing 13:00 Trans World Sport 14:00 ICC Cricket World 14:30 ODI Cricket Highlights 15:00 Asian Tour Highlights 16:00 Asian Tour Golf Show 16:30 Scottish Premier League 18:30 Scottish Premier League Highlights 19:00 Futbol Mundial 19:30 ODI Cricket Highlights 20:00 ICC Cricket World 20:30 World Cup Challenge 22:30 Trans World Sport 23:30 European Tour Weekly

01:30 02:30 03:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 08:00 09:00 09:30 10:00 11:00 12:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 18:00 21:00

Volvo Ocean Race European Tour Weekly World Cup of Pool World Pool Masters US Bass Fishing FIVB Beach Volley Ball Golfing World Asian Tour Highlights Asian Tour Golf Show European Tour Weekly Volvo Ocean Race Top 14 Highlights World Club Challenge Golfing World Volvo Ocean Race Highlights Pro 12 Celtic League Snooker The Welsh Open Sevens World Series

00:00 Britain At War 01:00 Ax Men 02:00 Investigating History 03:00 Secret Superpowered Aircraft 04:00 Japan Under American Occupation 05:00 Stolen By Hitler 06:00 Britain At War 07:00 Ax Men 08:00 Investigating History 09:00 Secret Superpowered Aircraft 10:00 Japan Under American Occupation 11:00 Stolen By Hitler 12:00 Britain At War 13:00 Ax Men 14:00 Investigating History 15:00 Secret Superpowered Aircraft 16:00 Japan Under American Occupation 17:00 Stolen By Hitler 18:00 Britain At War 19:00 Ax Men 20:00 Investigating History 21:00 Sliced 22:00 Ax Men 23:00 Swamp People

Classifieds THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2012




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



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

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (

CHANGE OF NAME I, SHABBIR, holder of Indian Passport No. J6456508 s/o Zakir Hussain Bohra, have changed my name to HUSSAIN BOHRA to be called from now onwards. (C 3880) 23-2-2012 I, Sobhana Kumari, holder of Indian Passport No. F0925466 hereby change my name Sara Saad Mubarak Salman. (C 3870) 20-2-2012 I, Medamalli Venkata Subbaiah, holder of Indian Passport No: F4933824, resident of S/o M. Subbaiah, Kuppavari Palli ( Village), Seetharampuram (Post), Rajampet (Mandal), Kadapa District, Andra Pradesh, have changed my name to Medamalli Sreenivas. I, Anis s/o Ali Mohammed, holding Indian Passport No.E1091168, R/o 147/10 Najampura, Bohrawadi, Udaipur (RAJ ), have changed name to SHABBIR ALI MOHAMMED s/o Ali Mohammed in future be called and known by new name. (C 3873) I, Pappu Lal s/o Mohan Lal, holder of Indian Passport No. E5530889 hereby change my name to KAMALESH DEVRA. (C 3874) 16-2-2012

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

ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available in a C-A/C flat in Abbasiya for 2 Christian bachelors or Christian couple from 1st March. Contact: 65625804. (C 3876) 20-2-2012 To let from March 1, 2012, 1 semi furnished big room with attached toilet from a 3 bed room spacious flat in B’neid Al-Ghar. Ideal for executives. Rent KD 75/- for single occupancy and KD 95/- for double occupancy. Contact: 60914165. (C 3868) Sharing available for Christian family, C-A/C, room + bathroom, near Learners Academy, Abbassiya. Small family or two bachelors. Contact: 66265733 / 24346514. (C 3869) 12-2-2012

FOR SALE Double bed 2x2m with side tables + full size wooden cupboard in excellent condition available for sale. Contact: 97358878. (C 3877) 21-2-202012 2005, Chevy Trail Blazer XL, 7 seater, maroon, good con-

dition, lady driven, brand new tires, KD 2500. Call 67005485. (C 3875) 19-2-202012 Chevrolet Optra 2009 is on immediate sale for KD 2,350/- as expat leaving Kuwait. Showroom maintained and in excellent condition. Contact: 99754454. (C 3867) 11-2-2012 A 2008 white, 1600 CC Nissan Sunny. Price KD 1700. Tel: 99553221 A 2008 dark blue 6 cylinder Toyota Prado with Beige sued interior, low mileage, touch A/C, CD, cruise control, front and rear sensors for sale. Price KD 6650. Tel: 99275550 A 2009 white, 6 cylinder Toyota Prado with 40,000 mileage touch A/C, CD, cruise control, front and rear sensors for sale. Price KD 7850. Tel: 9747750855809093 A 2009 YUKUN Suburban GMC XL with low mileage and beige sued interior, electric seats, cruise control, super headlights, rear camera, remote recording and rear sensors. Price 8550. Tel: 99301914

lege, math98, 110 pre calculus geometry. 97619261 A Syrian Arabic language teacher. Masters in methods of teaching and follow up of 10th grade and 11th grade students. 97934291 Islamic education teacher for elementary and intermediate stages. Experienced in Kuwait curricula. Easy explanation, and summary of the subject, training for exams. 66292985 Syrian Arabic language teacher for elementary and intermediate stages. Experienced in following learning difficulties, and those weak in reading and writing. 97264100 Female senior Mathematics teacher with more that 30 years experience in Kuwait, to teach secondary, intermediate and elementary stages. Religious and applied, communications and navigation institutions, special courses and secretariat institution. 97926737 Computer teacher for secondary and intermediate. Practical on laptop, power point projects, front page, visual basic data, universities and applied institutions. 50603063

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


Business management teacher with doctoral degree for universities, institutions, corporate & all student levels. Over 10 years experience. Call 66495951. (C 3817) Mathematics teacher, Intermediate and secondary Exams models, Easy method, Exams from past years with solutions. 97301901 English teacher (3) years experience, looking for a job and ready to start with all educational stages. 55963993 Mathematics teacher for Universities, Institutions, Foreign Schools, Administra-tive, American, English, Australian, Bahrain, Electric and Gulf Sciences, Algbra Prel, Mathematics, intermediate, gmat, sat col-

No: 15368

Original guaranteed Palestinian virgin olive oil, large black and green olives for sale. Tel: 66517417 Whole Floor or small villa needed for rent in Shaab, Mansoriya, Nozha, Abdullah Al-Salem or Shamiya. Direct contact with owner. Tel: 9989018-99169016 A camp for rent in Kabed including five tents with all services. Complete privacy + game arcade. Tel: 97177714 Size 36 air pressure gun for sale in addition to a scope, safety lock. Shooting range 350 meters +bag+25 shots. Price KD 70. Tel: 97790478 A 3700 watt, 2012 model ASTRA generator for sale. Japanese parts assembled in China with pressure and gas meters. Price KD 85. Tel: 60066891 For rent in Hawalli a one bedroom (4x4m) and a 7x3.5 m reception+ terrace, fully equipped kitchen and bathroom. Tunis street, behind Al-Andalus pharmacy. Tel: 99683200 For rent a two storey villa and a basement in Mangaf including 8 rooms, laundry room, yard, parking. Rent value KD 1000. Tel:

97996900 A storey and half for rent in Mangaf including two 3 bedroom apartments with 2 baths, reception, kitchen, driver room each. Tel: 66989887 For rent a ground floor in Qurain comprising of four rooms, large reception, 5 baths, maid room, courtyard, parking. Rent value KD 550. Tel: 66989887 A fully central air-conditioned two room annex in Mangaf with separate exit and shaded car parking for rent to expatriates. Tel: 67753557 For rent in Ashbelia: two apartments with 3 bedrooms, bath, kitchen and maid room each plus a yard in between. Tel: 90001594 A 2005 Mini Cooper for sale. Tel: 99224855 A 2006 Lumina for sale with genuine factory paint. Price KD 2100. Tel: 69945429

FOR RENT For rent at Salmiya, Apt 3 BR + 3 toilets + hall + kitchen + satellite, excellent location. Foreigners and expats only, no mediators. Tel: 66060299. (14183) For rent commercial Apt at the sea, excellent location, 190 square meter, suitable for (beauty saloon, consulting office, lawyers office). Tel: 66060299. (15004) For rent Apt at Salmiya 2 BR + 2 toilets + maid room + hall + kitchen and balcony for families only. Rent KD 280/-. Tel: 66980123. (15007) For rent basement at Hawalli, excellent location, plastic floor, C-A/C, for serious only, please call: 66980123. (C 25997) Furnished Apt for rent in Salmiya 2 BR + hall + kitchen + satellite & DSL + parking, families only. Rent KD 450/-. Tel: 66297171. (C 14941) For rent, one floor in a commercial complex in Salmiya, at main street suitable for Coffee Shop or Restaurant for serious only call: 66980123. (15006) For rent floor at South of Surra, 4 BR + maid room + 4 toilets, hall and elevator. KD 800/-. Tel: 66604095. (15041) For rent complete floor at Jabriya, 5 BR out of which 4 are master BR + 5 toilets + hall and elevator KD 750/-. Tel: 66604095. (15103)



stars CROSSWORD 597



Aries (March 21-April 19) This is a good time to lead the way on a project, for your originality is unusually heightened. Your attitude may be that you would rather switch than fight—a pushover. Ego, energy and self-assertiveness may be a bit low however, so if there is some issue brewing where you really should speak up, save it for another day. At this time, you may actively be concerned about the welfare of others in your business or people who work under you. Try listening to their needs before deciding for yourself how best to help them. If you give your best effort now, considerable success will certainly follow. Socializing is favored. So is overindulgence—avoid the smorgasbord table and watch the calories. Companionship is most rewarding.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) A business-related talk will go much better than expected. All sorts of weird feelings and emotions may be gurgling up from your subconscious today. Like mud in a pond, these feelings may be obscuring your view of what is going around you. You may not be very objective today and may say things you could regret later. If you relax and think about what you are saying before you say it, you can overcome any difficulties this day. If you can chuckle over a tough situation, the energies of this day will have served their purpose. Ask for help if you need it but keep in mind that the help you receive would be appreciated returned in like kind. Try to keep some sense of reality in your interactions with friends. Tonight would be a good movie night.

POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. A condition (mostly in boys) characterized by behavioral and learning disorders. 4. A disorderly crowd of people. 10. Syndrome resulting from a serious acute (sometimes fatal) infection associated with the presence of staphylococcus. 13. A constellation in the southern hemisphere near Telescopium and Norma. 14. (Greek mythology) One of the three Graces. 15. An enclosed space. 16. Extremely pleasing. 17. Rapacious seabird that pursues weaker birds to make them drop their prey. 18. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 19. Small terrestrial lizard of warm regions of the Old World. 21. Having a gradual increase in width. 23. In bed. 24. A woman hired to suckle a child of someone else. 27. Very dark black. 34. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 35. An informal term for a father. 36. A metric unit of volume or capacity equal to 10 liters. 37. (folklore) A small grotesque supernatural creature that makes trouble for human beings. 39. Generator consisting of a coil (the armature) that rotates between the poles of an electromagnet (the field magnet) causing a current to flow in the armature. 41. Inspired by a feeling of fearful wonderment or reverence. 43. A federal agency that supervises carriers that transport goods and people between states. 45. An Arabic speaking person who lives in Arabia or North Africa. 46. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 48. According to the Old Testament he was a pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel (9th century BC). 50. A person who lacks confidence, is irresolute and wishywashy. 54. Of or relating to or derived from or containing boron. 58. A plant hormone promoting elongation of stems and roots. 59. The process of shedding tears (usually accompanied by sobs or other inarticulate sounds). 62. A small cake leavened with yeast. 63. Term of address for a man. 64. Cut or impressed into a surface. 66. A machine-readable version of a standard dictionary. 67. Food of a ruminant regurgitated to be chewed again. 68. A member of the Siouan people of the northern Mississippi valley. 69. A sweetened beverage of diluted fruit juice. DOWN 1. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 2. (informal) Exceptionally good. 3. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 4. The seventh month of the Moslem calendar. 5. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 6. Combined or mixed together so that the constituent parts are indistinguishable. 7. A flexible container with a single opening. 8. (`lief' is archaic) Very willing. 9. A British peer ranking below a Marquess and above a Viscount. 10. A male monarch or emperor (especially of Russia prior to 1917). 11. The general activity of selling. 12. Any of a number of fishes of the family Carangidae. 20. A member of the Siouan people formerly living in the Missouri river valley in NE Nebraska. 22. A soft white precious univalent metallic element having the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of any metal. 25. The sound made by a cat (or any sound resembling this). 26. A French abbot. 28. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 29. Not divisible by two. 30. A negative. 31. The sixth month of the civil year. 32. A Tibetan or Mongolian priest of Lamaism. 33. An indistinct shapeless form. 38. An oral antidiabetic drug (trade names DiaBeta and Micronase) that stimulates the release of insulin from the pancreas. 39. An occurrence of thorough mixing. 40. A wealthy man (who made his fortune in the Orient). 42. A light touch or stroke. 44. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 47. Held back. 49. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 51. Radioactive iodine test that measures the amount of radioactive iodine taken up by the thyroid gland. 52. A unit of length equal to 3 feet. 53. Noisy talk. 55. Avatar of Vishnu. 56. A United Nations agency created to assist developing nations by loans guaranteed by member governments. 57. (of a young animal) Abandoned by its mother and raised by hand. 60. The 17th letter of the Greek alphabet. 61. (usually followed by `to' or `for') On the point of or strongly disposed. 65. An official prosecutor for a judicial district.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) You have an increase in personal magnetism that makes it a good time for business dealings. This is one of those great days when you will be able to accomplish just about anything you set out to do. A business associate from your past may return today. Give him or her a full-scale update of what is going on and spring for lunch. If you must go shopping, leave those credit cards at home. Your warmth will reflect back from your loved ones and everyone will enjoy your company. This may be a time of sudden personal growth that corresponds to changes in your romantic life. Indeed, this is a good day to be available for others. Consider collecting family histories by asking grandparents to make tape recordings of some or their own life experiences.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)


It is important during this time to effectively communicate your ideas to co-workers and those who work around you. Your creative intellect and communication skills are enhanced. You may feel a renewed interest in art, literature and nature. Your eloquence today will enhance your influence over others. Before the day is over, however, you may feel you need a vacation from people in general. Somehow you just cannot stomach having to deal with people, being on display, or putting up a front. You would be far more comfortable at home, surrounded by family and loved ones, where you can just be yourself. If possible, relax alone this evening to refurbish your energies. You need the rest and relaxation—perhaps a few fragrant candles will help.

Leo (July 23-August 22) Concern yourself with health matters, not because you are ill, but to keep your mind and body in the best working condition for your life enjoyment. This time may forecast the successful end to an ambitious project. Small chores are accomplished quickly with your determination. The power of attraction and desire for love is great and you should exercise caution before entering a new relationship that may come about during this time. Other people love your optimism. A friend may be having a special day today and you will want to be available to help participate in the day. A child needs your attention this evening and you will be pleased at the results when you teach this child to treat others as they would want others to treat them.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) Business dealings may be particularly fruitful now. There could be an opportunity for a round-table discussion in the workplace today. Your viewpoint will be heard—patience. Expect a sense of support and good will from those around you. While your ability to detect your partner’s true feelings is great, you should not let your high idealism cloud your judgment of other people’s abilities and talents. Try to see people for who they truly are—your intuition will guide you. For some reason, the family scene this evening is a busy one. This is a good time to try and foster a sense of togetherness and team play among family members. Team play can also be enjoyed in some team sports or some fitness program—you could be leading this group.

Libra (September 23-October 22)


Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Progressive people and concepts play a more important role in your life, as a new cycle begins. Additionally, this is a time when your powers of creativity are great. Communicating with long-distance associates and engaging in social functions with close friends is enhanced this afternoon. Your feelings may be so intense today that you could cut them with a knife. You may want to deal with everything on an emotional level. You do not really feel like doing any kind of work that requires a pragmatic frame of mind, although this should be a good time for dealing with the public. Do not keep someone waiting this evening—good surprises are waiting. Warm memories and familiar surroundings happen this evening as you visit with old friends. Enjoy a little poetry.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Problems in the workplace can be solved easily—look at the technical side. Outside interest in a current project of yours can bring you some extra funds. Use the confidence you feel today to get the most pressing projects at work completed for this could bring considerable success. Your fertile mind will be picking up new concepts and inspirations all day like a radio receiver. The air is electric and your mind is wide open. Other’s ideas, once illogical to you, may now seem quite logical. You have a greater appreciation for things of value—and the idea of value itself is in order now. Finances are not great but not bad either—try comparison pricing. You may be encouraged to solve a relationship problem this evening. Try to relax, anxiety can be paralyzing.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)


Yesterday’s Solution

Mental stimulation from others is key for you right now. It is a good idea to make every effort to cooperate and compromise when needed. A project today should gain a great deal of progress. This is a high energy day and when you finish one project you will be ready and willing to move on to other projects that need your special touch. Friendships are great pleasure and you, in turn, should be quite popular. This harmony should be very useful in easing past tensions, particularly in a relationship or in concluding some difficult financial matters. Expressing affection is easy for you and this evening your loved ones reciprocate and may have some fun surprises set aside for you or at the least have a few suggestions for some entertainment activities.

The company for which you work may agree to help you with further education or offers to send you to lectures in order to study and learn new techniques or styles of working. You are empowered to take full advantage of your position in the workplace. You may find yourself lecturing or teaching others. This is a rewarding day. Make sure your final decisions are for the good of the whole. Study motives in order to make non-prejudiced choices. Events could conspire to make it difficult to act. Anything that can wait should be moved to a waiting position—or put on hold. Concentrate on the job at hand first! Celebrations are in order this evening—you may earn, win or gain in some way that can be very helpful to your future.

Yesterday’s Solution Yester

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) You become a big influence in the workplace today. Others need guidance and just automatically flock to your side. If this is part of your job—keep on track. Although you can be very influential, you may choose to turn a few people away this afternoon; especially if you are trying to get something accomplished yourself. Artistic inspiration may manifest itself in creative work or just the urge to experience the beauty of nature. Whether you are listening or participating—music can be a source of inspiration—or possibly have a healing effect. Your good cheer enhances your social life and may intensify romance. A new love interest is available today. If needed, this is a good time to use the home as a vehicle for entertaining.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Word Sleuth Solution

This is a day where much can be accomplished. Your instinctive orientation at this time is toward getting down to the basics. An important clue into new investments may be worth your review. Ask questions, give this some time and you will benefit from your own choices. Something electric is in the air and your charisma shines! It is time for a fling! You need a break from routine matters and may seek out stimulating new friends. They in turn will be attracted to you. Any new association made today should last—and could revolutionize your life—enjoy. You show a great deal of interest in all family matters, particularly about the general living environment in the home. Having a party or a family get-together could be most enjoyable at this time.



e niv rsar n



i n f o r m at i o n



Tel.: T e el.: 161




Ministry of Interior


Issue T Time ime

Expected Weather Weather for the Next 24 4 Hours Cool with w moderate to fresh north westerly wind, with speed of o 20 - 40 km/h with a chancee for blowing dust over open op pen areas



wind, with speed off 12 - 32 km/h and some scattered Cold with w light to moderate north westerly w scaattered clouds will appearr


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

No Current Warnings Warnin a gs





19 °C

09 °C



19 °C

05 °C

Amiri Hospital



19 °C C

07 °C C

Maternity Hospital



20 °C

06 °C

Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital



17 °C

02 °C

Chest Hospital



20 °C

04 °C

Farwaniya Hospital



17 °C

04 °C

Adan Hospital



19 °C

08 °C

Ibn Sina Hospital



18 °C

09 °C

Al-Razi Hospital



17 °C

13 °C

Physiotherapy Hospital



19 °C

04 °C

Hospitals Sabah Hospital

Ext.: 2627 262 27 - 2630

Fax: 24348714



22/02/2012 0000 UTC






Khaldiya Keifan

Temperratures Temperatures DA DATE AT TE













Abdullah Salim




MAX. Temp. MA AX. T emp.

18 °C



Sunrise S i

06 21 06:21

MIIN. IN Temp. Temp. MIN.

07 °C

Industrial Shuwaikh





47 %




12 %



MA AX. W ind MAX. Wind








Bneid Al-Ghar






Ayoun Al-Kibla










Maidan Hawally












New Jahra


West Jahra


South Jahra


North Jahra


North Jleeb
































Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh


















Wind Direction Direction Wind

Wind Wind Speed

cool + scattered cl ouds clouds

19 °C

07 °C


08 - 28 km/h


partly cloudy

21 °C

09 °C


06 - 26 km/h


scattered partly cloudy + scatte ered rain

19 °C

12 °C


12 - 35 km/h



21 °C

09 °C


06 - 26 km/h



unless All times are local time un nless otherwise stated.

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

22434064 22435865 22544200 22547133 22515277 22616662 25714406 22530801


NW W 50 km/h

about the Civil ID card is 1889988

00 mm

22/02/12 03:01 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. Abidallah Al-Amer


Dr. Faysal Al-Fozan


Dr. Abdallateef Al-Katrash


Dr. Abidallah Al-Duweisan


Dr. Bader Al-Ansari


General Surgeons Dr. Amer Zawaz Al-Amer


Dr. Mohammad Yousef Basher


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

22666300 25728004

Dr. Nadem Al-Ghabra


Dr. Mobarak Aldoub


Dr Nasser Behbehani


Soor Center Tel: 2290-1677 Fax: 2290 1688




Dr. Abd Al-Naser Al-Othman

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

Dr. Salem soso



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

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lifest yle G o s s i p

Top US court says final ‘no’ to Spector murder appeal he US Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to consider an appeal from American rock producer Phil Spector, who was sentenced to 19 years in prison in 2009 after being convicted of murder. Lawyers for the producer gave a last shot to their appeal effort at the US Supreme Court after California’s Supreme Court said no in August. A legendary producer, Spector, now 72, was sentenced in 2009 to 19 years in prison for the 2003 murder of a former actress at his east Los Angeles mansion. A jury found Spector guilty of shooting and killing Lana Clarkson hours after they met at a nightclub where she worked as a server. The producer has always claimed his innocence and his defense team argued that the 40-year-old Clark, depressed about the failure of her artistic career, committed suicide at Spector’s home in east Los Angeles. Spector is regarded as


one of the most influential figures in pop music history. In the early 1960s, he scored hits including “Da Doo Ron Ron,” “Be My Baby, Baby” and “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin.’” But during his two murder trials, prosecutors said Spector, who was famed for his work with The Beatles, Tina Turner, The Righteous Brothers, The Ronettes and The Ramones, had a more sinister side. Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson painted a picture of the music icon as a gun-crazed eccentric with a “history of violence” toward women who tried to leave him. Spector, who created the famed “Wall of Sound” recording technique during the 1960s, is not eligible for parole until 2028 and if he is not freed then, under California law his sentence will become a life term.

he ‘Adrenalin Junkie’ star is devastated by the loss of his “best friend”, 12-year-old Bulldog Lola, who passed away yesterday . He tweeted: “Lola you were the best friend anyone could ever have. I will love you and miss you always. RIP @PrincessLolaO (sic)” Jack - who is expecting his first child with fiancee Lisa Stelly - later used his twitter page to thank fans for their messages of support. He wrote: “Thank you all for the kind words about @PrincessLolaO it’s nice to know she was loved by so many people. (sic)” Jack’s sister Kelly was equally devastated by Lola’s death. She tweeted: “night night tweet hearts not doing so good losing @PrincessLolaO is really taking its toal on me! (sic)” Lola was known to fans for her antics on reality TV show ‘ The Osbournes’ - in which she


erbia’s folk music queen has been set free from house arrest after serving an eight-month sentence for the illegal sale of players from her late husband’s football club. Security officials said yesterday they removed the electronic ankle bracelet that Svetlana Raznatovic had been required to wear at her home in an upscale area of Belgrade. In her plea agreement the singer, known as Ceca, also agreed to pay a 1.5 million ($2 million) fine for embezzling millions gained from the players’ transfers to foreign clubs. One of the Balkans’ most popular singers, Raznatovic was married to the notorious warlord Zeljko Raznatovic, whose troops were accused of atrocities during the 1990s Balkan wars. Zeljko Raznatovic, also known as Arkan, was gunned down in a Belgrade hotel in 2000.



hris Brown has been challenged to a no-holds barred fight for charity by wrestler CM Punk. The ‘Deuces’ singer and the WWE champion have become embroiled in a war of words after the grappler took to his twitter account and said he wanted to “curb stomp that turd” Chris for assaulting his ex-girlfriend Rihanna in February 2009. R&B star Chris responded on his twitter page by mocking Punk - real name Phil Brooks - and suggesting he took steroids. He tweeted: “@CMpunk needs more followers. He’s such a leader! Not to mention the roids hes on has made it utterly impossible for him pleasure a women. “@CMpunk contact my assistant and I’ll have em send u an autographed pic for my biggest FAN! (sic)” Punk has now posted a video online telling the 22-yearold star he is “not a man” and issuing a challenge to meet him in the ring with all proceeds from the bout going to a women’s shelter. Punk, 33, says: “I’m a life-long, proud, drug-free straight edge individual so Chris and I come from two completely different worlds. I don’t have a manager, I don’t have a bodyguard, I don’t have an assistant, I have no need for a PR team what to tweet or when to delete tweets and I don’t hit women. Period. In my world women are to be revered and respected and I firmly believe that in this life there are consequences and repurcussions for people’s actions and I don’t think Chris has paid for what he’s done. Picking up trash on the side of a highway does not make a mends for repeatedly striking a woman in her face and sending her to hospital. “So if Chris wants to throw stones my way now I say that’s fine lets put some gloves out and get in the ring and I will choke you out and I will make you feel as weak and as powerless and scared and alone as any woman who has had the misfortune of knowing a sad, cowardly, little boy such as yourself and all proceeds can go to a women’s shelter of my choosing ... Chris Brown isn’t a man and that’s fine. I just know that someday, somewhere somehow, somebody will put Chris Brown exactly where he belongs and that obviously doesn’t have to be me I would just really like it to be.” Chris - who was sentenced to five years probation and six months of community service his violent attack - hasn’t accepted the ‘RAW’ star’s challenge but did mock his rival in another series of tweets. He wrote: “@cmpunk the video u just posted was cute! It’s so funny how defensive u are.”And the fact that I really don’t know who you are and could give a shit is the funny part! “I miss the real wrestlers! ( Hacksaw Jim duggan, Brett the hitman heart, coco beware, rowdy roddy piper) #Notnopunks (sic)”


handie Newton’s secret beauty weapon is turmeric. The 39-year-old actress believes the spice is an excellent addition to a moisturizer to help match her skin-tone. She said: “Olay does a great tinted moisturizer that I add a little turmeric to - making it more yellow depending on my skin tone and the season. “That’s a great trick for all women who find that foundations are too ashy or too pink for their skins. And it’s antiinflammatory. It’s my secret weapon.” Despite her unusual tip, on the whole Thandie is not high maintenance when it

aula Abdul has agreed to pay $900,000 damages to a woman who was injured on her driveway. The former ‘X Factor’ judge was sued in 2009 by Jill Kohl, who alleged she fell over in the grounds of her Los Angeles home during taping of the former pop singer’s reality TV show ‘Hey Paula’, and they have now reached a settlement. As well as the $900,000 she will receive from Paula, Jill has also agreed an additional $100,000 damages from the company who made the show, her lawyer Robert Rodriguez Clayton told In her lawsuit which was filed in March 2009, Jill alleged she fell over because the driveway “was in a dangerous and defective condition”. The news comes just weeks after Paula was axed as a judge on the US ‘X Factor’ after just one season. Despite her upset, Paula vowed at the time to stay friends with show supremo Simon Cowell, who she pre-


famously tore up furniture and peed through the family home - and had over 9,000 followers on a twitter account in her name. A message appeared on the account yesterday reading: “Thank you ALL for your kind words. I’m in a better place now. Heaven needs a new princess :) (sic)”

comes to looking good. She added: “Generally, I am low maintenance, but during the run of ‘Death and the Maiden’ I had to wear a lot of eye make-up, which meant using a great cleanser. “I apply Neal’s Yard Rose Beauty Balm, work it in, then remove it when a flannel rinsed in warm water. It dissolves everything. After that I just need a few dabs of Olay moisturizer.”

viously worked with on ‘American Idol’. She said: “Yes, it’s true; I won’t be returning to ‘The X Factor’ next season. I’ve learned through my longevity in this industry that business decisions often times override personal considerations. Simon and I, along with Fox and [production company] Fremantle, have been communicating about this for a while now, and I have absolute understanding of the situation. “Simon is, and will remain a dear friend of mine and I’ve treasured my experience working this past season with my extended family at Fox and Fremantle. “I want nothing more than for The X Factor to exceed ALL of their wildest dreams. This truly has been a blessing and I am most grateful.”

enegalese music icon and opposition activist Youssou Ndour was injured in the leg Tuesday after being hit by a projectile at the scene of a banned rally in Dakar, his entourage told AFP. “Youssou Ndour was injured in the left leg, he has been seen by a doctor, but he doesn’t want to make a big issue out of it and we won’t be giving any more comment,” said Charles Faye, spokesman for Ndour’s Fekke ma ci boole (I am involved) movement. Faye did not say what type of projectile had hit Ndour saying only that he was injured “in the heat of the action” as riot police dispersed the crowd gathered for the rally in Independence Square, which had been made off-limits. Last month the Grammy-winning artist appealed against a decision by the country’s top court which rejected his application to run for president in February polls. The council approved the candidacy of 85-year-old President Abdoulaye Wade to seek a third term, which the opposition says is illegal, sparking fierce protests in Dakar. One of Africa’s most recognised artists,


Ndour shocked the music world on January 3 when he announced he was quitting music to try and unseat the octogenarian president of whom he has become increasingly critical. The dispute over Wade’s candidacy has placed one of Africa’s most stable democracies on edge, and the capital was rocked by violent riots on Friday night which left one policeman dead. Tuesday’s incident happened as Ndour was perched on a car which anti-riot police approached. Stones were hurled from the crowd towards the police who responded with tear gas. Ndour swiftly left the area. Probably best known in the West for his “7 Seconds” hit collaboration with Neneh Cherry, Ndour has also collaborated with Peter Gabriel, Sting, Wyclef Jean, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen and others. — Bang Showbiz


lifestyle F A S H I O N

Milan fashion warms up for frosty A/W 2012 season


talian designers will do their best to grab the attention of free-spending Asian consumers and any remaining luxury shoppers in austerity-hit Europe when they send their autumn/winter 2012 collections down the catwalk for Milan Fashion Week. Gucci kicked off yesterday, with Giorgio Armani and Prada also among the 72 catwalk shows drawing thousands of buyers and the fashion press. All will be hoping 2012 will not be a repeat of the 2009 financial markets meltdown which hit the luxury industry hard. Sales of Italian fashion are forecast to be down 5.2 percent in 2012 from 5.5 percent growth last year, according to the National Chamber of Italian

Fashion. The decline will be the first slowdown after two consecutive years of growth for the 60 billion euro ($79.59 billion) a year fashion industry. “Our fear is to see again what happened between 2008 and 2009, when fashion sales dropped 15 percent,” Italy’s fashion chamber president Mario Boselli said this week. “This time the crisis shouldn’t be as bad, because brands have slimmed down their operations and expanded in emerging countries,” he said. Exports outside the European Union are expected to grow two percent this year, offsetting a decline in Europe which has been hit by a euro zone debt crisis that has forced governments across the European Union

to slash their budgets, hitting government spending, employment and the consumer outlook. Top luxury makers such as Salvatore Ferragamo and Prada, who have a global presence, expect to pass through the recession almost unscathed. Both listed in June last year. But less well-known brands will bear the brunt of the slowdown, Boselli said. “Many small firms are suffering from limited access to credit,” he said. At his showroom, niche Italian designer Alessandro Dell’Acqua said he was confident about his collection, less so about the economy. “We need to be innovative, because people who buy fashion have their wardrobes full, so they want something different,” said the designer, whose

“N21” label has been worn by American actress Gwyneth Paltrow. Dell’Acqua’s collections are sold in 180 multibrand stores worldwide, with daily dresses priced at 350-400 euros. The organizers of the Milan fashion week have tried to balance the presence of top brands and emerging names in the calendar of more than 135 shows between catwalks and showrooms. Gucci opened yesterday, with Giorgio Armani effectively closing on Monday, in a bid to keep buyers and media in Milan as long as possible. Newcomers will have their catwalks on Tuesday, when the fashion marathon will be already moving to Paris. — Reuters

Models display creations by designer Shaun Samson.

London MAN

Fashion Show

Models present creations by Astrid Andersen during the MAN London 2012 Autumn/Winter collection catwalk show at London Fashion Week yesterday. — AFP photos

Models display creations by designer Agi and Sam.

Adidas originals Spring-Summer 2012 collection

The ninth Max store in Fintas


n 2012, adidas Originals celebrates a special anniversary: it has been 40 years since the legendary three-leafed trefoil was introduced. Today the products that bear the mark are all part of the Originals collection and the people who wear them honour its authentic, original sportswear. In Spring/Summer 2012, adidas Originals introduces an innovative and exciting product offer to cater to the needs of the streetwear and lifestyle consumer. Timeless classics return to the forefront of the spring/summer collection, including the Track Top and the Polo, which have been redesigned in a host of fresh, vibrant colourways. Next to a solid, authentic sportswear and street-style offer, this season’s collection also includes more innovative silhouettes ranging from outfit-driven fashion pieces to techlifestyle footwear. 1972 was the year of the Munich Olympics and also the first time when the iconic threeleafed logo was used. In 2012, adidas Originals celebrates the Trefoil logo by re-introducing classic apparel and footwear pieces from that era, like the iconic ‘72 Track Top, which has been updated as a more fitted, contemporary piece appealing to today’s fashion-conscious youth. The adiStar Racer, a classic running shoe from the same year, is a sleek addition to the vintage footwear family. With the 2012 London Olympics coming in summer, adidas Originals also presents dedicated product packages celebrating both next year’s host and iconic adidas silhouettes of former contests. A melange of products, from apparel featuring


union jack inspired prints to metallic footwear in gold and silver will bring a dash of style to fans of the biggest sport event in the world. The Spring/Summer 2012 women’s collection offers collegiate styles from sporty to stylish and as well as more fashion-inspired pieces. From hooded-dresses featuring the “72” logo to casual beachwear in bright block colours and lighter, fresher prints, the Originals women’s collection is perfect for the warmer summer months. The adidas Originals Spring/Summer 2012 collection will hit Originals stores in the UAE with several releases beginning in February 2012. The adidas Originals stores in the UAE are located in Dubai Mall, Mirdif City Center and BurJuman Center.

e-iterating its commitment towards reaching out to its customers, Max, the Middle East’s largest value retail brand further strengthened its network with the launch of its 9th store in Kuwait. With the launch of this store Max has crossed more than 125 stores across all regions, and the brand has established firm footprints across the GCC, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan and India. The outlet is located on the ground and mezanine floor of Al-Liwan Mall which covers more than 2000 square meters. Speaking at the launch Saibal Basu, Chief Operating Officer, Landmark Group Kuwait said, “Expansion has always played an important role in Landmark Group’s growth strategy. Our success in Kuwait reflects the huge potential of the market we wish to reinforce the Max experience with another store at Al-Liwan Mall, Fintas. With the launch of this store, we look forward to offering customers with trendy quality merchandise at reasonable prices in superior retail environment and even better customer service”. “The retail sales surge has allowed us to expand the brand much further than we had earlier anticipated. With more store launches in the pipeline, Max is heading towards

robust growth in 2012. Max has always been a big hit in Kuwait and is an indication that people are getting more discerning when it comes to fashion. We look forward to delivering unparalleled overall shopping experience at convenient locations. We will continue with such extensive expansions in the coming years and try to serve our customers in every possible manner” concluded Basu. The Max retail philosophy of providing style-conscious customers with fashion at affordable prices has gained attraction across the Middle East with continued growth expected across the region in coming years. The store features distinctive niches and departments offering the latest fashion range with the hottest new international trends in textures and fabrics to guarantee its patrons an enjoyable shopping experience. Every season, Max produces a collection that is unique and fits with its overall philosophy. There’s a wide variety of apparel to choose from; so do visit any of the stores located at Al Rai, Salmiya, Hawally (Al Bahar Center), Fahaheel, Khaitan (Awtad Mall), The Avenues, Jahra (Sahari Mall) , Al Jawhara Complex, Kuwait City and now Fintas (Al-Liwan Mall) to discover more!


lifestyle M u s i c


British singer-songwriter Adele hugs presenter Australian singer Kylie Minogue as she accepts the British Female Solo Artist award.


US singer-songwriter Bruno Mars accepts the International Male Solo Artist award.

oulful songstress Adele capped a momentous year of Grammy Awards triumph and medical woes with a double win at the UK’s Brit music awards Tuesday, taking prizes for album of the year and best British female solo artist before making an obscene gesture after the show’s host cut her acceptance speech short. Teen-friendly English troubadour Ed Sheeran won two trophies, including British male solo artist, at an energetic ceremony in London. It has been a dramatic year for down-to-earth north London diva Adele, who based her chart-topping songs of heartbreak on a rocky relationship. Her sophomore album “21” won six Grammys last week and has sold more than 6 million copies in the United States alone. But Adele also had to undergo vocal cord surgery in November to fix a potentially career-threatening throat condition. She delivered a powerhouse performance of her single “Rolling in the Deep” to thousands of fans and industry insiders at London’s O2 arena. “It’s been an amazing year,” Adele said as she received the female artist statuette from petite pop star Kylie Minogue. “I feel like a drag queen next to you,” joked the winner, who wore a sleek black Burberry gown but towered over Minogue. She thanked her record company “for letting me be the kind of artist I want to be.” The show’s host, actor James Corden, cut off Adele’s second acceptance speech, prompting the singer to make a rude middle-finger gesture in frustration. She stressed afterward that it was aimed at industry leaders, not her fans. “I’m sorry if I offended anyone but it was the suits that offended me,” Adele said. “Thank you all very much and thanks to my fans. I don’t want them to think I was swearing at them.” The show’s broadcaster, ITV, issued a statement apologizing to Adele for cutting her off. “We regret this happened and we send deepest apologies to Adele that her big moment was cut short tonight due to the live show over-running,” ITV said. The 23-yearold lost out on the British single prize to boy band One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful,” but took the coveted album of the year award for “21.” The statue was presented by singer George Michael, returning to the stage after suffering lifethreatening pneumonia in December. The ceremony also included tributes to two departed divas, Whitney Houston and Amy Winehouse. Tousle-haired singer-songwriter Sheeran won prizes for solo artist and British breakthrough act. The red-headed 21-year-old has been panned as bland by some critics, but has amassed legions of young fans through online releases and a relentless calendar of shows. Sheeran thanked his manager for transforming a “spotty, chubby ginger teenager” into a Brit winner. Long derided as dull, the Brits have become a lively celebration of UK music and style - and this year’s awards come with British music riding high around the world. “I’m so, so proud to be British and to be flying our flag,” said Adele, who has the century’s bestselling album so far. Tuesday’s event - which kicked off with Coldplay performing “Charlie Brown” and included live turns from Sheeran, Florence and the Machine, Noel Gallagher, Bruno Mars and Rihanna - brought out a host of stars who blended rock ‘n’ roll attitude and fashion finery. Blur frontman Damon Albarn dressed down for the red carpet in jeans and a flat cap, and former Oasis guitarist Gallagher wore a leather jacket. But others struck a snazzier note. Actor Ray Winstone arrived in a pinstriped three-piece suit, complete with watch chain. Style standouts included Minogue, in a strapless sky blue dress; plumplipped Internet sensation Lana Del Rey, wearing a floor-length red gown; and Florence and the Machine’s Florence Welch, in a lacy peach dress by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen. Coldplay won their fourth best British group trophy, while Foo Fighters were voted best international group. Bruno Mars took the prize for international male solo artist, and Rihanna won the international female prize for a second year.

Adele celebrates with the award for the best British Album of the Year during the Brit Awards 2012 at the O2 Arena in London, Tuesday. — AP/AFP photos

The Barbadian singer, who has often been in the news for non-musical reasons since her thenboyfriend Chris Brown attacked her at a preGrammy Awards party in 2009, thanked her fans. “At times when I feel misunderstood, my fans always remind me that it’s OK to be myself,” she said. Lana Del Rey appeared moved to be named international breakthrough act. “This award means much more to me than you know,” said the singer, who has gone from Internet-fueled buzz to backlash in record time after a disastrous performance last month on “Saturday Night Live.” Britpop icons Blur received a special prize for their contribution to music. The four original members - Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree performed together for the first time since a series of concerts in 2009, offering versions of 1990s hits including “Girls & Boys” and “Parklife.” Most of the awards are chosen by more than 1,000 musicians, critics and record industry figures, with several decided by public vote.— AFP British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran performs live on stage.

Vocalist Chris Martin, drummer Will Champion, bassist Guy Berryman and guitarist Jonny Buckland of British alternative rock band Coldplay perform on stage.

Rihanna performs on stage.

Winner of the critics’ choice award British singer-songwriter Emeli Sande poses on the red carpet.

Australian singer Kylie Minogue.

Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine.


lifestyle M u s i c

British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran accepts the British Breakthrough Act award.

British singer George Michael presents an award.

Barbadian singer Rihanna accepts the International Female Solo Artist award from Formula One driver Jenson Button.

Chris Martin, Jonny Buckland, Guy Berryman and Will Champion of British alternative rock band Coldplay accept their British Group award.

British alternative rock band Blur performs live on stage.

US singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey accepts the International Breakthrough Act award.

Damon Albarn speaks as band members Graham Coxon, Dave Rowntree and Alex James of British alternative rock band Blur surround him on the stage as they collect their Outstanding Contribution to Music award.

US singer BrunoMars performs.

Cranberries find new ‘chemistry’ after nine-year break

T The members of the Irish rock band The Cranberries, singer Dolores O’Riordan (seated), bassist Mike Hogan, drummer Fergal Lawler and guitarist Noel Hogan (L) pose on January 18, 2012 in Paris. — AFP

ired of non-stop touring and hurting for inspiration, The Cranberries hung up their guitars in 2003. Nine years on, the Irish rockers say the chemistry came right back for their new album “Roses”, to be released on Monday. The quartet from Limerick shot to fame in the 1990s with hits like “Linger” and the politically-charged “Zombie” about the Northern Ireland conflict, lifted by the powerful voice of singer Dolores O’Riordan. They sold 40 million records worldwide, becoming one of the flagship bands of the decade, but by 2003, two years after releasing their album “Wake Up and Smell the Coffee”, they had hit a dead end.

“In 2003, my son was five, my daughter was two. They were very little and I brought them both on the road,” O’Riordan told AFP. “There was a point when I just felt it wasn’t fair on them.” “Also creatively, we were stuck in a rut. We just needed a break.” So they went their separate ways, O’Riordan heading to a far-flung corner of Canada where she gave birth to two more children, while the rest of the band stayed put in Ireland. And that could have been the end of the story, were it not for Trinity College, Dublin, which invited the singer to become an honorary patron of its philosophical society in 2009. Asked by the university to perform for the occasion, she looked up her old com-

panions-and the question of getting back together came up. “It felt like yesterday. It was in fact six and a half years I hadn’t seen them,” O’Riordan said. “We went to the pub and over a beer Mike (Hogan, the bass player) said we should do it now because we’re not getting any younger.” And that was how the tour that O’Riordan-now 40, like Hoganwas about to embark on for her second solo album was turned into a Cranberries comeback tour, playing 107 dates around the world.

brother-told AFP. “During our break, all these kids were discovering our music on the Internet and they never thought we were going to play live ever again.” Once the tour was over, the four decided to book into a studio-but with “no contract, no management, no record company,” he said. “We were not obliged to do it, we just did it because it was what we wanted to do.”“Roses”, the album born of those recording sessions, is instantly recognizable as the work of The Cranberries, with soft, airy melodies backing up O’Riordan’s distinctive voice. —AFP

‘There’s no ego’ “My shock was to see young people in the audience,” guitarist Noel Hogan-Mike’s


ick Jagger delivered some bluesy rock to the White House Tuesday with a celebration of blues that brought out US music legends like B.B. King and Buddy Guy. In a black suit and scarlet shirt, The Rolling Stones frontman, 68, rocked the East Room of the US presidential mansion at the “Red, White and Blues” event, singing “I Can’t Turn You Loose.” President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama smiled and got their groove on without even leaving home. As president “some nights when you want to go out and just take a walk, clear your head, or jump into a car just to take a drive, you can’t do it. Secret Service won’t let you. And that’s frustrating,” Obama said. “But then there are other nights where B.B. King and Mick Jagger come over to your house to play for a concert. So I guess things even out a little bit,” he joked. Jagger also let loose “Commit a Crime” with fellow British rocker Jeff Beck. “We met everyone who was recording here, I just was remembering how generous they were to us. They must have thought that we were from Mars or something,” Jagger joked. “They were very generous and passed all the tips.”—AFP

B.B. King, left, Buddy Guy from Chicago, and Warren Haynes, right, perform during the White House Music Series.

Troy ‘Trombone Shorty’ Andrews and Guitarists Jeff Beck (2nd L), Derek Trucks (2nd R) and Gary Clark play during a celebration of Blues music and in recognition of Black History Month as part of their ‘In Performance at the White House’ series in Washington, DC. — AFP

e niv rsar n



Adele and Ed Sheeran win Brit Awards



38 Wrinkly face helps dog go from unwanted to greeting-card star


If you are a fan of great romantic films, try this test. If you wouldn’t be caught dead in a chick flick, may be we’ll do a “Rambo” quiz some day. For now, pucker up.

ome people hate wrinkles. Others adore them, especially if they grace the face of a loved one. A pooch that moved across the country looking for someone to love his wrinkles cashed in on his facial ridges and captured the heart of a Fredericksburg, Ohio, woman. While some may think that only a mother can love the furry folds on a Chinese Shar-Pei’s face, Hoosier the Shar-Pei’s folds were cute enough to catch the attention of a Northeast Ohio greeting card company. However, humans in Hoosier’s life didn’t always view the dog so agreeably. His original owner, who turned him over to a Wisconsin dog pound, asked workers to euthanize the youngster. Full of unbridled energy and enthusiasm, Hoosier, like so many undisciplined dogs, was often punished because humans in his life never taught him manners. Instead, he was branded a “bad dog” because he acted like an unruly child. But dogs aren’t as lucky as misbehaving children. They are at the mercy of owners’ whims, even when the owner is the one who allows the behavior to become a problem. In Hoosier’s case, employees at the pound intervened and got him a new lease on life by persuading the owner to put the purebred up for adoption instead of having him put down. “He (Hoosier) had no boundaries. I suspect the man’s children didn’t either,” said Lois Brown, the Wayne County, Ohio, woman who ended up fostering, then adopting the outcast. The pound contacted the North American Shar-Pei Rescue Great Lakes Region which sent a representative on the 1,200-mile round-trip trek to Wisconsin to pick up the dog with the lovable, folded-furry face. As a member of the rescue since 1994, Brown was prepared to offer the dog a foster home with her family of five dogs, but ended up giving him her heart. Even though her rescue peers thought Hoosier had animal-aggression issues that might prevent him from finding a home, Brown volunteered to take him and introduced him to obedience classes at Papp’s Dog Service on Waterloo Road in Akron, Ohio. Two years and several obedience classes later, Hoosier is certified in beginner obedience and rally class, and although he is still full of energy, he can at times contain his joyful self. “I only needed to see them together once to know he had already picked out his ‘mom,’” Papp’s owner and trainer Susan Jenkins said. “He would not take his eyes off her.” Tina Elkins, senior photography stylist for American Greetings of Cleveland, was looking for a wrinkle-faced Shar-Pei for an age-related greeting card late last year and stumbled on the rescue group’s website. Elkins said she searched online for just the right animals to be featured in a new line of greeting cards that are still in the development stages. “I try very, very hard to use breeders and owners of good standing,” she said. The cards will be available at Target stores in the fall, Elkins said. Elkins was taken by Hoosier because he has exactly the right features for his breeddeep wrinkles, exactly what people think a Shar-Pei should look like, said Jenkins, who travels with Brown and their dogs when they compete in obedience shows. Arrangements were made and the pair met Elkins in Lakewood, Ohio, where the problem-riddled dog that was once given a death sentence turned into a cover boy. “I’ve got big plans for this big boy,” Brown said with a gleam of stardom in her eye. — MCT

Hoosier, a locally-owned Shar-Pei, pictured at Papp’s Dog Services. — MCT

23 Feb 2012  

Kuwait Times