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NO: 15607

Opposition insists demos not against ruling family Statement claims ‘foreign elements’ in special forces

Max 36º Min 23º High Tide 04:37 & 19:09 Low Tide 11:48

By B Izzak and Agencies conspiracy theories


By Badrya Darwish


hat happened in Kuwait on Sunday was unprecedented. Kuwait and the Kuwaiti people are not used to seeing such violence. You have all seen the scenes on social media, blogs and the mainstream press or you might have been caught on the main road where thousands of people were protesting. There is no harm in protesting or demonstrating. These are the healthy signs of democracy. In every advanced country in the world that has a mature democracy, citizens are allowed by law to express their opinion in public freely. That is why there are certain areas in every capital where people are allowed to gather and march for a cause. They show their sympathy or opposition in many peaceful ways that do not harm the public or damage public property. It does not harm the security of the country because when there is a large number of people, things might go out of hand. This is what took place in Kuwait. I am not in defence of the government. I am merely in defence of justice and all fairness. It was not a smart or genius move what the opposition did. If organizers meant to have a peaceful demonstration, why did they, in the first place, take people to areas that were not allowed for protests. They could have stayed in Irada Square - a place where demonstrations are allowed. I am sorry, but in all honesty, demonstrations in Kuwait are different compared to the rest of the Arab world. You cannot compare Kuwait to Egypt, Libya, Tunisia or elsewhere in the Arab world. These countries have suffered high poverty, unemployment and dictatorship for long. Leaders of demonstrations who mislead young people to go to the streets and be violent are not doing it in the interest of Kuwait. They are demonstrating for power for themselves. This is 180 degrees different from pretending to ask for democracy and a better life. I am sorry but there must be an agenda, mind it not with the crowds, but with the masterminds. If they are serious about the interest of Kuwait, why didn’t they discuss the issues under the Abdullah Salem dome. Instead they wasted six years grilling this or that minister till they brought the whole nation to a state of parliament-fatigue. Now they are crying for the one man, one voice! This is happening in the whole world. Kuwait was actually an exception to give four votes. Even if the electoral system is changed, the tribal representatives who are popular will get enough votes to put them back in parliament. Why the chaos which made Kuwait a front page story globally? People start worrying and asking: Is the Arab Spring reaching Kuwait? By the way, the Arab Spring proved to be disastrous for the region. Just look around you! Do you see blossoming flowers in Libya or roses and returning migrant birds in Syria or green grass in Jordan? It’s high time the people in Kuwait give a thought for Kuwait only and not for themselves.

MAKKAH: Pilgrims circle the Kaaba as they pray inside and outside the Grand Mosque yesterday. — AP

KUWAIT: The opposition vowed yesterday it will continue with the protests despite government’s heavy-handed policy just a day after more than 100 protesters were hurt in Kuwait’s largest ever demonstration, but insisted the protests are not directed against the Al-Sabah ruling family. The announcement came in a statement issued after an emergency meeting of opposition groups which also affirmed that the popular moves are not directed against the Al-Sabah ruling family but against the unconstitutional practices of the government. The statement insisted that they are “confronting autocratic rule” and by curbing the peaceful demonstration, the government has proved it is adopting a very dangerous policy. The meeting came after street confrontations between tens of thousands of Kuwaiti and riot police which used rubber bullets, tear gas and sound bombs in addition to beating people by batons in a bid to disperse the demonstration. The opposition put the number of protesters as high as between 150,000 to 200,000, which will make it the largest demonstration in Kuwait’s history by a huge margin. The opposition statement said that the demands of the Kuwaiti people are Continued on Page 15

Bosnian walks to Makkah for haj World’s Muslim pilgrims speak with signs and gestures SARAJEVO/MAKKAH: A Bosnian Muslim pilgrim who left last December on pilgrimage to Makkah by foot told AFP yesterday that he has arrived after passing through seven countries including war-torn Syria. “I arrived Saturday in Makkah. I am not tired, these are the best days of my life,” Senad Hadzic, 47, said when reached by phone on a Saudi mobile number. He said he had covered some 5,700 km in 314 days of walking through Bosnia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Syria and Jordan to the Muslim holy city in southwestern Saudi Arabia, with a backpack weighing 20 kg. He charted his progress on his Facebook page, where he posted a picture apparently of an entry/exit card for foreigners issued by the Syrian interior ministry. “I passed through Syria in April. I walked some 500 kilometres in 11 days. Continued on Page 15

Army, gunmen clash in Beirut BEIRUT: Lebanese troops deployed in Sunni areas of the capital yesterday as fresh sectarian violence erupted, stoking stability fears after a top security official was killed in a bombing blamed on neighbouring Syria. The army said it was determined to restore order, with the northern port of Tripoli also shaken by fighting between partisans and opponents of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad that killed seven people. In the afternoon, personnel carriers entered Beirut’s Sunni district of Tariq Jdideh, which had been a hotspot all day, and soldiers took up position on streets leading into it to keep them open, a military spokesman said. Six people were wounded when the army made a predawn sweep of Tariq Jdideh in pursuit of armed men, and automatic weapons and anti-tank rocket fire could be heard. Continued on Page 15

Kuwait Airways declared shareholding company

Senad Hadzic

KUWAIT: Kuwait Airways Corporation was declared yesterday a shareholding company named “Kuwait Air ways Company”, capping long-time efforts to privatize the corporation. Decree No. 22 was proclaimed, amending articles of the law No. 6 of 2008, stipulating the transformation of the KAC into a shareholding company. Article one of the decree, according to the amended version, declared the KAC a shareholding

company, named Kuwait Air ways Company, to be charged with all tasks of the corporation, to acquire all material and non-material assets as well as liabilities. The decree exempts the corporation’s rights and judicial rules against Iraqi Airways, the Republic of Iraq and other rights. The company shall seek execution of the relevant rules and Continued on Page 15

Finning hits Gulf sharks hard DUBAI: Armed with a clipboard and wearing bright yellow waders, Rima Jabado looked the part of a government inspector at the Dubai fish market as workers sawed the fins off hundreds of dead sharks from Oman and bagged them for export to Asian restaurants. But the 33-year-old Lebanese-Canadian doctoral student was not chatting with fisherman on the market’s slippery floors and jotting down notes to monitor the lucrative and largely unregulated trade that has decimated stocks of certain sharks, but rather to document what species are being caught in the waters across the Arabian Gulf. “The government will not react unless we give them actual data,” said Jabado, as she raced to take genetic samples from the sharks before their carcasses were carted off and fins auctioned to the highest bidder. “The problem is that I’m the only one doing research. There is not enough being done in the UAE and the region,” she Continued on Page 15

Rima Jabado, a marine scientist and shark researcher, pulls up a baby spottail shark from the water for tagging off the Dubai coast. — AP

in the

news ‘Camel-ccino’ a modern take on Bedouin staple

Finnish PM unharmed after attack by knifeman HELSINKI: A man wielding a knife man had approached the prime tried to attack Finnish Prime minister to shake his hand, saying Minister Jyrki Katainen in the he was in a difficult situation and south-western town of needed help, newspaper Turku yesterday, but was Hufvudstadsbladet reportswiftly arrested by police, ed. “Then the man went the prime minister’s office down on his knees, pulled said in a statement. out a knife and said someSecurity guards quickly thing about killing,” phoswooped in to protect tographer Robert Seger, Katainen, 41, and who witnessed the event, removed him from the told the daily. Katainen Katainen scene. He returned shortly had been discussing taxes afterwards to resume campaign- on diesel and the taxes paid by ing. A young “disheveled”-looking the elderly before the incident.

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi waves from the frigate Toshka as an Egyptian warship passes during a military drill in the Mediterranean sea off the coast of Alexandria. — AP

DUBAI: A Dubai cafe, trying to give a modern twist to an old Bedouin tradition, has started putting camel products on its menu. Cafe2Go, launched in September last year by an Emirati entrepreneur as part of a scheme to revive Bedouin traditions, now features camel-lattes, camel-ccinos and camel-meat fajitas. Earlier this month, he launched Camellos - a brand name for his products derived from the Spanish word for camel. “Camel milk has been around for centuries and I wanted our younger generation to start drinking it again,”

Jassim Al-Bastaki, the cafe owner, said. “From here came the idea of mixing it with modern drinks.” Bastaki swears by the health benefits of camel milk. Studies show it is almost as nutritious as human breast milk and offers 10 times more iron and three times more vitamin C than cow’s milk. Unlike common dairy products, camel milk is slightly saltier and has a heavy taste. Bastaki said he had spent months testing different concoctions on family and friends before coming up with the perfect blend.




Oppositionist released on bail, colleagues appeal remanding Complaint over Sunday night’s events By A. Saleh KUWAIT: A member of the scrapped 2012 parliament, Osama Al-Munawer was released on a KD1,000 bond yesterday following investigations carried out by the Public Prosecution regarding charges of offending HH the Amir. Al-Munawer had turned himself over on Sunday after a warrant was issued for his arrest for statements he made during a seminar organized by the oppositionist Majority Bloc last week. The Public Prosecution had referred former MPs Falah Al-Sawagh, Khalid Al-Tahous and Badr Al-Dahoum

to the Criminal Court for similar charges, while investigations are soon expected into the conduct of fellow oppositionists Musallam Al-Barrak, Mubarak Al-Wa’lan, Mohammad Al-Khalifa, Salem Al-Namlan and Abdullah Al-Barghash. Meanwhile, Al-Sawagh, Al-Tahous and Al-Dahoum reportedly filed a grievance against the Public Prosecution’s decision to remand them in custody for ten days, which they see as “unjustified” and claimed that they can be released on bail. The Criminal Court is set to look into their grievance today. The three reportedly admitted during investigations that they did

indeed make those remarks for which they were arrested, but insisted that they meant no offense. The Majority Bloc, a coalition of oppositionists who dominated majority seats in the parliament elected last February and annulled by a Constitutional Court order fourth months later, met yesterday at Al-Barrak’s dewaniya to discuss Sunday night’s events in which special task forces forcibly dispersed a demonstration in Kuwait City. According to sources privy to the meeting, the bloc agreed to prepare a “detailed statement describing what happened as well as its future steps in order to counter the decree to reduce the number of votes per voter and the government’s decision to resort to violence.” The bloc is “determined to continue working to stop the coup against the constitution, irrespective of the violence being wreaked,” the sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity said. In the meantime, the sources hinted that the bloc members agreed to “file urgent complaints [against the Kuwaiti government] with international organizations while providing video footage of [Sunday’s] events.” The sources also indicated that the bloc was preparing to take legal action against special task forces for “physically assaulting the demonstrators and causing

injuries.” In this regard, a top health official indicated that a majority of those who were hospitalized following Sunday’s events were released from the hospitals the same night or the next morning, while “a small number of protestors” who remained are expected to be released today. Informing that the protestors who were hospitalized had sustained only minor injuries, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health Dr. Khalid Al-Sehlawi noted that eleven policemen injured in the fight were diagnosed with injuries that included “bruises and fractured bones apart from an officer who suffered a burn injury.” Special Forces reportedly used teargas and stun grenades to stop the demonstrators from marching towards the Seif Palace or gather outside the Iradah Square where regulations exclusively allow only peaceful gathering. Thousands of Kuwaitis including former MPs had gathered to protest against an emergency decree that reduces the number of votes per voter in the electoral law from four to one. Separately, the Appeals Court upheld yesterday a first degree court order that requires former MP Mohammad Al-Juwaihel to pay KD20,000 to Al-Barrak over offensive remarks and inaccurate accusations made in press statements.

KUWAIT: Photos released by the Interior Ministry shows demonstrators challenging the forces and some of the police officers injured during the clashes.

Demonstrators ignored calls, injured 11 policemen: Interior KUWAIT: Groups of demonstrators Sunday “deliberately” ignored the interior ministry’s calls and walked through commercial areas downtown causing disruption of traffic and tossing security forces with stones injuring 11 of them, and causing damage to government vehicles, the ministry said in a statement yesterday. These violations forced security forces backed by the national guard to “deal immediately and directly with these blatant viola-

tions and public breach of law,” and have arrested a number or rioters, the ministry added in a statement. It recalled that it had repeatedly warned against organizing illegal demonstrations or gatherings to safeguard public order. But, it added, demonstrators marched through commercial areas and near Kuwait Towers on the Arabian Gulf Road, “careless about instructions ... over the banning of these demonstrations,”

which disrupted traffic, commercial interests and even hospitals. The demonstrators hurled security forces with stones and other materials injuring 11 of them, it said. The ministry reiterated it would not allow future demonstrators regardless of justifications. It urged everybody to respect the law and affirmed that violators would be dealt with “strictly and decisively.” The ministry urged all people to realize how dangerous it would be to break the law.

Burgan Bank hosts breast cancer awareness day KUWAIT: Burgan Bank recently held a breast cancer awareness day for its female employees as well as Kuwait Project Company’s (KIPCO) female employees in collaboration with Taiba Clinic. The bank set up a booth at its head office, which aimed at allowing the attendees to benefit from free checkups. The bank also provided educational leaflets that contained the most updated information on breast cancer from the World Health Organization to female employees, as well as consultations on their general health in an effort to raise more awareness on various health issues. Breast Cancer is a wide spread disease that is considered to have high death rates amongst women worldwide, although it can be treated and cured if detected at an early stage. The breast cancer early detection awareness initiative is part of the continued development of the Burgan Bank’s successful contributions to raise awareness on the disease, and to encourage women to conduct preventive checkups. Established in 1977, Burgan Bank is the youngest commercial Bank based in Kuwait, with a significant focus on the corporate and financial institutions sectors, as well as having a growing retail and private bank customer base. Burgan Bank has four majority owned subsidiaries: Gulf Bank Algeria - AGB (Algeria), Bank of Baghdad - BOB (Iraq), Jordan Kuwait Bank - JKB (Jordan) and Tunis International Bank - TIB (Tunisia), (collectively known as the “Burgan Bank Group”). The Bank has continuously improved its performance over the years through an expanded revenue structure, diversified funding sources, and a strong capital base. The adoption of state-of-the-art services and technology has positioned it as a trendsetter in the domestic market and within the MENA region. Burgan Bank’s brand has been created on a foundation of real values - of trust, commitment, excellence and progression, to remind us of the high standards to which we aspire. ‘People come first’ is the foundation on which its products and services are developed. Earlier this year, ‘Brand Finance’ the international brand valuation company- rated Burgan Bank brand as AA with positive outlook. The rating places Burgan Bank Brand at 2nd amongst the most valuable banking brands in Kuwait.



Demand for plastic surgery increasing in Kuwait Men form 25 percent of patients By Nawara Fattahova

KUWAIT: The Ambassador of Canada Douglas George visited Kuwait Times and discussed matters of mutual concern with Editor-in-Chief Abd Al-Rahman Al-Alyan.

KPC sponsors Risk Management Conference KUWAIT: The Kuwait Enterprise Risk Management Conference will be held from Nov 26 to 28 under the patronage of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation. Organized by the Spatial Conferences, Exhibitions and Seminars Company, the conference being held in Kuwait aims at “bringing together enterprise risk management knowledge from a variety of industries to share best practices, strategies and tools about empowering ERM efforts,” a statement posted on the company’s website said. Meanwhile, KPC’s Managing Director for Governmental-Parliamentary Affairs and Public Relations and Media, Sheikh Talal AlKhalid Al-Sabah, explained in a statement that their sponsorship reflects their “com-

mitment to focus on comprehensive risk management in the light of risks that the companies operating in Kuwait face in many fields, including insurance and financing.” Al-Sabah further stressed the importance of “consistently and continuously improving risk management activities that are connected to the strategies of the concerned institutes.” “A successful risk management program requires identifying roles and responsibilities for risk management that go in line with the principles of comprehensive risk management,” Al-Sabah said, adding that one of the main principles was “risk management being a responsibility of everyone working in an institution.”

Gulf Bank, KNCC launch promotion offer KUWAIT: Gulf Bank announced yesterday an exclusive partnership with Kuwait National Cinema Company (KNCC). The launch of its joint promotion offers the Bank’s red(tm) customers the latest movies at any KNCC theater for only 500 fils, by using their red(tm) ATM cards to purchase cinema tickets from ticket kiosks in all KNCC cinema theatres throughout Kuwait. This promotion is valid from Oct 26 to 28. Gulf Bank would like to take this opportunity to wish all its customers Eid Mubarak and to reintroduce the KNCC offer during Eid Al Adha, to provide its red(tm) customers the chance to see the latest movies at a fraction

of the price based on the positive feedback the Bank received during the last offer. Gulf Bank’s red(tm) program caters to university and college students aged 17 to 24 years old. There is no deposit required to open a red(tm) account nor a minimum balance charge. To join the red(tm) program, existing or prospective Gulf Bank customers can visit one of Gulf Bank’s 56 branches or contact the Customer Contact Center on 1805805 for assistance and guidance. They can also log on to, Gulf Bank’s bilingual website, to find all the information they need regarding the red(tm) program and its benefits.

KUWAIT: The demand for plastic surgery has been on the rise among both, men and women, but recent data shows that a record number of men now go in for such surgery. “The percentage of men in the Arab world seeking plastic surgery has increased from 5 percent to 25 percent of the total number of patients undergoing such a surgery. Plastic surgeries are now mainstream and not just a fad or marginal issue,” said world class celebrity plastic surgeon and Lebanon’s beauty ambassador Dr Toni Nassar during a press conference held on Sunday at the Marina Hotel. Dar Al Shifa Hospital held this conference to announce the arrival of Dr Nassar, one of the Middle East’s leading celebrity plastic surgeons who is also a member of the Brazilian Society of Plastic Surgery and who will lead the newly established plastic surgery clinic. The new partnership with Dr Nassar reflects the hospital’s keenness to continue to expand the range of its services in an effort to provide comprehensive healthcare solutions that accommodate its patients’ needs. Dr Nassar expressed his happiness at being in Kuwait, saying, “It gives me great pleasure to be able to contribute with my skills to help patients in Kuwait achieve the results they desire in the field of cosmetic surgery. From beauty treatments to plastic surgery, cosmetic medical care today spans a wide range of procedures that can help the patients to look and feel their best throughout their life. Together with the team at Dar Al Shifa Clinic, we will continue to personalize beauty for our patients and help them realize their full potential.” “Plastic surgeries today are a solution to many other health problems. Many people need plastic surgery after an injury caused by an accident. Plastic surgeries also treat psychological and personal problems. It is seen as an essential healthcare facility and not a luxury anymore. The demand for plastic surgeries has increased rapidly around the world and in the Middle East particu-

larly, and women are comparing themselves to the Arab woman who became the idol, instead of the western women. And the same applies to Arab men who are much more conscious about their image than the western men,” explained Dr Toni. He promised to present new and evolutionary techniques and solutions in the world of plastic surgeries. “The new clinic will not be limited to just the classic plastic surgeries. We will bring the newest inventions in this filed such as use of ‘stem cells’ in treating scars, stretch marks, and others. The stem cells’ usage, which is the modern technique in this filed, will be also employed to transfer the

as filler or Botox, to avoid any complications that may result from bad materials. I know some cases which suffered harm even years after being injected with permanent filler. Fillers should always be temporary and made from hyaluronic acid. I will also present solutions for those suffering from previous wrong procedures where un-licensed materials were used,” he further said. Dr Toni Nassar is a specialist, and a valuable source of information on plastic surgery. A recipient of the Helosia Bos Prize in the field of reconstruction of the scalp with expanders from the Association of

KUWAIT: Ghada Welwel (left) and Dr Toni Nassar during the press conference held on Sunday at the Marina Hotel. — Photo by Joseph Shagra fat with the stem cells to reshape the body. And this is more effective than regular fillers or transferring fat, as it lasts for longer period,” stated Dr Toni. According to him, smoking may be an obstacle in going for a plastic surgery. “What matters in this field most is smoking, which is more important than age. I can do plastic surgery on a patient of any age, but there are some cases of plastic surgery that I refuse to do in case of patients who smoke,” he noted. Dr Toni also advised the patients to always ask about the material used in any plastic procedure. “The patient should do some research on the internet about any material such

the Former-Students of Professor Ivo Pitanguy in September 2000, Dr Nassar’s artistic abilities as well as his combined knowledge to achieve superior results along with top-quality medical care across the cosmetic surgery field has earned him international recognition. Patients from all over the world have benefited from his skills and some of his patients included prominent celebrity figures. In 2010, Dr Nassar was nominated by French based TV M6 as the “The Plastic Surgeon of the Stars.” He participated in Miss Lebanon Elections 2008, in which he was awarded with the title of “Beauty Ambassador in Lebanon.” He was also featured on well known channels such as CNN,

M6, LBC and MW. Dr Nassar is also known for conducting a wide range of comprehensive medical based cosmetic procedures on patients’ faces and different body parts as well as non-surgical procedures such as the Botox and fillers. His knowledge and professional skill set in utilizing the latest in modern science and advanced medical technologies was the reason why patients from around the world came to him to benefit from one of the Middle East’s most reputable plastic surgeons along with the great results he continues to achieve. Narjis Al Yousifi, Board Member at Dar Al Shifa Hospital, said, “Dar Al Shifa Hospital remains committed to attracting the best medical talent such as Dr. Toni Nassar, and we are sure that his presence here will add more value to the facility. With Dr. Nassar joining the Dar Al Shifa Hospital team, we now provide a strong platform to expand his presence in Kuwait specifically and across the wider GCC region.” Ghada WeIwel, Dar Al Shifa Hospital’s Strategy and Business Development Executive also noted that the collaboration with Dr. Toni is part of our overall strategy to offer a comprehensive healthcare approach to the patients. “We are confident that Dr. Toni Nassar will demonstrate exemplary results to patients in Kuwait by using state-of-the-art techniques coupled with a scientific approach,” she pointed out. Dar Al Shifa Hospital’s Plastic Surgery Clinic is located in Dar Al Shifa Clinics Center in Meidan Hawally. The clinic offers an extensive range of cosmetic surgery services that include breast augmentation, breast reduction, breast lift, gynecomasty, liposculpture, tummy tuck, thigh, arm, buttock augmentation lifts, stem cells, SMAS lift, face lift, neck lift, eye lid surgery, nose surgery, ear surgery, botox, fillers, mesolift, photo rejuvenation, laser hair removal, vital face, as well as gynecology. Patients wishing to book their appointments with Dr. Toni Nassar are urged to contact Dar Al Shifa Clinic at 25666999 or 1802S55.



LOCAL Politics In Disguise

kuwait digest

Don’t steal our dreams

Are you ready to take the test? By Alia Al-Hazeimi henever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.” - Oscar Wilde Confusing is the only word that describes what I felt when I read this quote, nonetheless, it does not change my view on the sanity of mankind. The world witnessed legions of leaders, kings and policy makers or breakers, and each one has a different policy or mindset. This kind of behaviour does have an overall effect on the given policy of any country in the world, especially countries that were unfortunate when it comes to good leadership. How many political movements have we witnessed in the past century? Countless! From Nazism to religious fundamentalism, however there is this one hypothetical scenario that no one tried yet, which is a psychological assessment alongside a psychometric test for leaders. In simple English a psychological assessment is “an examination into a person’s mental health by a mental health professional such as a psychologist. A psychological evaluation may result in a diagnosis of a mental illness. It is the mental equivalent of physical examination.” And a psychometric test is “a standardized procedure for measuring sensitivity or memory or intelligence or aptitude or personality”. This idea might sound absurd for many people, but if you think about it, this test might be the precautionary method for an upcoming tyrant, or the stamp of approval for the golden leader. Let’s take Hitler as an example, who would have ever known that he was an extreme racist? Or believed in biological superiority? Or even had plans in world domination? All of these, which are now facts because the world already has gone through them, might have been avoidable through that simple assessment. Regardless of the ability of public speaking and intelligence, these traits do not always indicate sanity; hence an assessment is vital for the sake of the people regarding their rights and liberties. Moreover the aftermath of the given method results in the policy of the country with neighbouring countries and defining its relations, for example “world domination” is not a friendly or peaceful approach to any policy. The words “disappointed” or “betrayed” were heard by many nations due to their leaders’ decisions towards war or national policies, because of their feelings, rallies and vandalism occurred, and that lead the nation into a fire ball that never stops. This brings me back to the main idea of this article, which is the assessment; could it really be the saviour of man-made political crisis? Another question that crosses my mind is: Will the assessment be enough to assure the prosperity of a nation and to promote stability? How would a country deal with this assessment? Would it be mandatory for all its subjects? Or would it be a part of its constitution? Many thoughts and questions storm me as I think about it; however, in the end it is just a simple thought that was aroused from my imagination. Finally, the question is: Are you ready to take the test?

By Thaar Al Rashidi


am a citizen carrying in my wallet only KD 35, which is all that is left of my salary, though it is only the 20th day of the month. This princely sum is the only amount left from the government salary I receive. I go to my work in the morning and I settle all my bills regularly. I never went to the Iradah Square either with the opposition or with the supporters of the government. I do not care for your multi million tenders or your multi billion plans as I have seen none of all that and not a single fils went to my pocket from it. I don’t want to know how it was spent or how it was stolen; it makes no difference to me. To be sure, I do not care about your declarations or your speeches or your press releases or your political activities. As not one corrupted person was jailed, not one bribe taker was convicted and not a single stolen dinar was returned to our state treasury, your political parties mean nothing to me. I don’t understand it


kuwait digest

Kuwait facing big challenge By Mudaffar Abdullah o start with, I can say that one of the most signifi- majority who needed a reference after the deterioracant forms of corruption in the previous parlia- tion in the local political arena that they have been witments was formation of an investigation commit- nessing of late. The deterioration was appropriately attributed by tee that pretended to seek reforms but actually worked HH the Amir to some of the on black mailing the conannulled parliament’s memcerned ministers to achieve bers and the performance of electoral gains. As far as the boycott of electhe government. I believe the speech HH the tions by some blocs is conAs far as the boycott of Amir made to the nation last elections by some blocs is Friday will make it incumbent cerned, I believe it still needs the concerned, I believe it still upon the new cabinet to be test of time. It would be hard to needs the test of time. I t formed after the early elecdecide at this moment whether would be hard to decide at tions to ensure equal and just this moment whether it will law enforcement without any it will hold or not till the elechold or not till the elections exceptions. The new parliations are actually over and a are actually over and a new ment will also set up the parliament is in session. supreme elections authority new parliament is in session. However, after a while boyand will handle the issue of cotts have repeatedly brought par tial amendment of the elections system. The speech was well-defined, logical nothing but regrets. Those calling for boycotting the and depicted full awareness about the recent incidents, elections will surely reconsider their decision once the new experiment is over and a new parliament is in the hustle, violations and abnormalities. I also believe that the coming Cabinet must match office. Finally, the core of HH the Amir’s speech is that HH the Amir’s intervention in the form of his speech. It we are really facing a true challenge here about changis urgently asked to do that because doing anything ing the government’s approach towards how it selects members of the cabinet who are capable of enhancing different would surely drive us towards the unknown. I believe that the speech, and the fact that all the bit- its public performance. The other challenge is the lawterness felt by citizens seemed to have been sensed by makers’ realization of their fundamental tasks and the leader, led to a great deal of relief for the vast duties that are stated in the constitution. — Al-Jarida


kuwait digest

Proving love to the country by staying silent By Dr Wael Al-Hasawi he debate over the legality of amending the electoral law is over after HH the Amir announced a decree to change the voting system before the upcoming elections. But where does that leave us as we wish to take the next step forward? The opposition has already decided to boycott the elections, attempt to stop it from taking place and continue to garner support through public gatherings and protests. I believe that people have to remain calm and avoid going along with the protestors or stand in the way of political life. Here are my reasons for doing so: First: HH the Amir clearly explained the reasons behind his decision, which he had to take because the current system “resulted in flaws found in parliaments [elected since 2006] which pose a grave threat against national unity and stability, leading to the spread of sectarianism and tribalism at the expense of patriotism, as well as the emergence of coalitions serving personal agendas, and the fact that several social categories were deprived from parliamentary representation.” Second: While interpretation of emergency decrees remains a topic of debate even among constitutional experts, HH the Amir believes that changing the electoral system is his duty since it is almost impossible that the next parliament would pass the required amendments. Therefore, it is necessary that we respect the Amir’s judgment. Third: If MPs are against the emergency decree, they can easily scrap it when it is put before them for voting during the first session of the parliament. They can either dissolve the parliament after that, or enforce a different electoral law. Fourth: By boycotting the elections, the opposition gives the opportunity to people who it believes are “forces of corruption” to take over the parliament and legislation process, leading to very dangerous consequences that could include constitutional amendments. Is standing up for certain principles worth giving away freedoms for? Fifth: The amendment proposed by the Amir links the chances of winning the elections with the competency of a candidate. Whoever can prove to have efficiency can manage to reach the parliament regardless of how the electoral system is shaped. Reducing the number of votes per voter to one is aimed at eliminating alignments and monopoly of votes which marked previous elections. Sixth: There is no doubt that the oppositionist MPs’ approach is provocative, which, if anything, should make people more eager to stop them from going further. Seventh: I hope that the Ministry of Interior deals wisely with people and avoids abrupt security procedures to stop their peaceful show of protest. Authorities must realize that once blood is shed, social groups cannot be stopped, and once hatred is spread within society, it cannot be eliminated by any law or procedure. — Al-Rai


As not one corrupted person was jailed, not one bribe taker was convicted and not a single stolen dinar was returned to our state treasury, your political parties mean nothing to me. I don’t understand it and I don’t want to understand. Your gatherings mean something only to you, and if you are running after the chair, it is your concern and not mine. and I don’t want to understand. Your gatherings mean something only to you, and if you are running after the chair, it is your concern and not mine. Last month, I had to take my son to a private hospital which took from me KD 90 for treating him for the fever he was afflicted with. I went to the private hospital because your free government hospital did not treat him as it should have. The doctors I met had frowns on their faces as if I had come to seek alms from them. With the KD 90 that I paid the private hospital, I bought my honor and the health of my child. Raise the ceiling or break through it or bring it back once again, this is all your concern and part of your political game which you endorse for your own interests. It is none of my concern or the concern of hundreds of thousands of citizens who you only see as figures in your political accounts, and yet you speak in our name although we did not authorize anyone of you to do so. Don’t you dare say that we authorized you through the ballot boxes. We authorized you to make legislations for us and to supervise on our behalf, and not to shout. We elected you as representatives of the nation, and we did not elect you to become political contractors. You raise the ceiling and remove it for your political interests. There was nothing in the election paper except making a mark correctly which means without conditions. So, do not breach our contract with you. I go to my work at 7:30 am and your gathering means nothing to me, neither do your demands or your shouting. Don’t say that you stood in the way of financial corruption. Very well, what about the political corruption which some of your group members commit while doling out employment. With what right he steals my right in the matter of promotions and instead dishes out the post to someone who is loyal to you, or to one of your cousins or relatives? They were charged with stealing millions, but some of your members have even stolen our dreams and jobs and promotions. Are you defending the constitution? I am with you, but is the Amir’s personality not protected by the constitution, which you claim you are defending? Then why you are standing over all its articles, exactly like the authority does sometimes? I am with you that authority and government have double standards, but then why do you have such terrible standards? They are not even double, but four or five, or perhaps even more. As a simple citizen, I have concluded that all of you are partners in the political crime which is being committed against the nation. Shall I tell you something? Corruption is not limited to money only. There are bribe givers and bribe takers and no doubt, even if the public prosecutor closes the file due to some short fall in law, we will work on how to reveal the truth later. But there is also political corruption which the opposition commits in some of its acts, which even if it satisfied the minority, it will surely not satisfy the state. It is very harmful to the state, in fact. Do you know the biggest mistake of the opposition? While the government accuses those opposing it for being trouble makers, you in the opposition accuse whoever criticizes you for taking bribes. By God, logically, who is the worse? You or the government and authority? Logic says that you are both alike, and every part has harmed the state knowingly or unwittingly. Do you believe that if you form the government and one of you becomes prime minister, everything will be alright with the country, corruption will stop and all the corrupt will be jailed? No, never. We have live evidence and experience in the current government that you have. In this very government, a minister handed out jobs as per political shares and completely disregarded merit and ignored the public interest. And this happened when you had only one such minister. What if you get to stuff the entire cabinet with such ministers? The government has people to promote its work, you have your own people, and we the public juggle the last few dinars that remain in our pockets. We do not care about either the government promoters or your promoters. This craziness from both sides has to stop. Note: Do you know the cost of this political war over the past few years? It has cost us no less than KD 50 billion and you need to calculate it. — Al-Anbaa



Moroccan king’s visit to cement ties with Kuwait Common Arab identity highlighted KUWAIT: King of Morocco Mohammed VI’s scheduled visit to Kuwait today would result in affirming depth of the close ties between the two countries at various levels. The Monarch’s visit to Kuwait, part of a regional tour that would include Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, is aimed at cementing the bilateral relations between the brotherly states of Kuwait and Morocco, boosting commercial exchanges between the two countries and paving way for joint investments, particularly in shadow of newly-established strategic partnership bounding Morocco with the GCC states. Kuwait is bound with Morocco with diplomatic and economic ties that have prospered due to the common Arab identity of peoples of the two countries, their advocacy of Islam and joint destiny. The relations were established in early 60s, when the late Monarch, Mohammed V, paid a much celebrated visit to the Gulf state. Other senior leaders of the two coun-

tries followed suit exchanging visits at the official level. His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah paid a landmark visit to the kingdom in January last year. His Highness discussed with the current king, Mohammed VI, issues of joint interest, regional and international affairs. The late Monarch, Mohammed V, remains entrenched in Kuwaitis’ memory for his robust support for Kuwait during the flagrant Saddami aggression on the country in 1990. Morocco had also rejected expansionist schemes against Kuwait by the late Iraqi ruler, Abdel Karim Kassem. As to commercial ties between Kuwait and Morocco, the two countries worked out the first agreement in 1975, stipulating cooperation in air transports, followed by another one for cooperation in investments and development, in 1980. Later, they worked out a chain of other agreements covering trade, economy, investments, tourism, media, customs, sports, judiciary,

tourism and media. Moreover, Kuwait and Rabat signed an agreement for averting double taxation and a memorandum of understanding allowing Kuwaiti and Moroccan citizens carrying diplomatic passports and those of special services status to travel to the two countries without a visa. Moroccan External Trade Minister Abdel-Latif Maazouz had stated that Kuwaiti entrepreneurs were the first among foreign businessmen to launch businesses in the country in 2009, that they ranked second, among the foreign investors, in 2010. In the following year, volume of the Kuwaiti investments in the kingdom reached $one billion. The supreme Kuwaiti-Moroccan Commission constitutes the legal framework that regulates cooperation between the two brotherly countries. Number of signed agreements and protocols, signed in 2011, reached 65, in addition to continuous coordination at various levels.

The joint committee is scheduled to hold its next meeting in Kuwait by the yearend. Earlier this year, Kuwait News Agency signed an agreement with the Moroccan press agency stipulating mutual cooperation in training and media expertise. The Kuwaiti-Moroccan meeting was held in the Moroccan city, Casablanca, in June, discussing means of enhancing level of the bilateral ties. At the level of assistance, Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), lent Morocco KD 15 million, in 1996, to finance construction of Rabat-Ares road. Another loan agreement, valued KD 15 million, was signed for the Fez-Wjdah road. GCC countries, in May 2011, called on Morocco, as well as Jordan, to join the GCC. They also endorsed a program for funding development projects in the two countries, and up to $10 billion were earmarked for five years to back up development projects in Moroccan and Jordan. — KUNA

GUST honors Boubyan Bank chairman

KUWAIT: Drug enforcement agents arrested an Asian expat on charges of possession of 300 grams of opium meant for trading and consumption. Earlier, after information about his activities was received, necessary legal permission was obtained to proceed in the case. After arresting the man, a search of his residence yielded 300 grams of opium. He confessed that the recovered contraband indeed belonged to him and was meant for consumption and for sale. —By Hanan Al-Saadoun

KUWAIT: Gulf University for Science & Technology (GUST ) honored the Chairman and MD of Boubyan Bank, Adel Abdul-Wahab Al-Majed in appreciation of the bank’s efforts exerted in establishment of its ITQAN Academy, which aims at developing its human resources in a perfected academic manner. The honoring was in the ceremony organized by GUST (7th Year 2012 Graduation Party) last Wednesday in the attendance of Minister of Finance, Acting Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr. Nayef Al-Hajraf, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of GUST Dr Abdul-Rahman Al-Muhailan, GUST President Dr Shuaib Al-Shuaib, as well as a number of the key figures of the University and the Bank. Boubyan Bank has signed an agreement with GUST to act as the “Exclusive Academic Partner” for the Bank through ITQAN Academy, which launched its programs last July with the purpose of developing and improving the Bank’s human resources in an academic manner that qualifies Kuwaiti young cadres to acquire the necessary banking skills and provides the opportunity to obtain university degrees of bachelor or master of Business Administration (MBA). The training programs are implemented by the Academy’s team as well as the teaching staff of GUST who have academic and practical expertise as these programs help to prepare leaders

KUWAIT: Al-Shuaib honoring Al-Majed from young Kuwaiti cadres at Boubyan Bank. Boubyan ITQAN Academy forms a new, distinguished addition as it shifts training and development concepts from the traditional style to a more advanced one by combining the training requirements of each job with the curriculum of the bachelor’s and MBA degrees, thus creating an educational culture in the Bank. Trainees in the Academy will receive 24 accredited credits of the MBA program at GUST, representing 55% of the program’s total accredited hours, which suit the basic work requirements in Boubyan Bank. In addition, trainees will

be given the opportunity to complete the remaining accredited credits of the MBA program at GUST to obtain the certificate, in case they so desire. Noteworthy is that Boubyan Bank has signed in early June 2012 an agreement for the establishment of ITQAN Academy in cooperation with GUST, the “Exclusive Academic Partner”, to act as a centre for developing the Bank’s human resources in an academic manner by providing latest specialized programs, administrative sciences, and programs accredited by international institutions, in correspondence with work environment in Boubyan Bank and in compliance with the Islamic Shari’ah.

Fingerprint System prevents 2,406 from entering KUWAIT: More than 2,000 people tried to enter Kuwait using forged passports since a fingerprint detection system was made operational last year, a local newspaper reported yesterday quoting sources in the Ministry of Interior. Speaking to Al-Qabas on the condition of anonymity, the sources indicated that the system that was introduced mainly to prevent people deported from Kuwait to return to the country on fake passports helped prevent entry of 106 Arab and Asian expatriates at land and sea border checkpoints, in addition to at least 2,300 who were stopped right at the Kuwait International Airport. The system was introduced at the airport before it was adopted at sea and land ports this year. The sources indicated that 56 of the detainees who were all deported to their home countries were caught at the Salmi (west) and Nuwaiseeb (south) checkpoints while 20 were nabbed at the Abdaly (north) checkpoint and another 30 at Kuwait’s seaports. The system has a third stage which connects the database to all mobile patrols, as well as the state department, in order to make it easier to arrest those who managed to enter Kuwait illegally after being deported. The system comprises an electronic scanner connected to the Interior Ministry’s database which opens any traveler’s file immediately once their fingerprint is scanned. It also helps authorities detect people trying to bypass travel ban orders and escape out of the country.



Egyptian janitor rescues woman from kidnapper Auto theft gang busted KUWAIT: A Good Samaritan Egyptian janitor came to the rescue of a woman in Salmiya recently when hearing her screams, he jumped out of his room’s window armed only with a stick and saw a man trying to force her into a car. His appearance on the scene foiled the abduction bid. The Kuwaiti woman later approached the area’s police station to report the case where she explained that the suspect had followed her to her building after she had ignored him when he harassed her at a traffic light. The janitor gave officers a description of the suspect’s car which will now help in the investigations. Meanwhile, a man filed a case with the Jahra police claiming someone had tried to abduct his son outside an elementary school in the area. The child was reportedly waiting for his father after school when an unknown person attempted to lure the boy into his car. The suspect escaped when the boy called for help.

Car crash A male driver was critically injured in a crash reported recently at the Fourth Ring Road. The Kuwaiti man, who was brought to the Mubarak Hospital in an ambulance, was admitted to the intensive care unit. As per investigations, the man lost control over his vehicle which overturned after hitting the sidewalk in front of the Salmiya fire station. Meanwhile, investigations are on to trace a driver allegedly responsible for an accident that left four men seriously injured. According to eyewitnesses, a teenager responsible for Sunday’s accident in Al-Jahra later fled the scene. The victims, aged between 22 and 26, are recovering at the intensive care unit of the Al-Jahra Hospital. Theft gang Three people involved in multiple car thefts reported recently in Al-Ahmadi were arrested following intensive investigations

carried out by the Ahmadi detectives. Investigations had hinted at an organized criminal activity following reports about discovery of burnt vehicles which were later found to have been stolen. Detectives managed to identify the prime suspect through a cell phone signal traced from a location where a luxury vehicle was reported stolen. The suspect admitted during interrogations that they used to steal cars left with their engine running by their owners. He also gave information about two of his accomplices who helped him in the thefts and later burnt the vehicles to destroy evidence. His partners were arrested shortly thereafter in AlSubahiya and the three were referred to the Public Prosecution to face charges. Heart attack An old man died of a heart attack when he was at a cafe in Al-Jahra. The man was pronounced dead by paramedics

who rushed to the scene along with the police immediately after the incident was reported. The body was taken to the forensic department where examinations confirmed that the death was caused by a sudden heart attack. Police contacted the man’s relatives. (Rai) Domestic violence Search is on for an Arab man accused of inflicting severe burn injuries on his wife during a domestic dispute at their apartment in Khaitan. The Indonesian victim told the police that after a heated argument between the couple, her husband waited until she was asleep and then poured boiling hot water on her. The argument was about her having left their apartment two days earlier without his permission and staying with her sister in Jleeb AlShuyouk. The woman provided a medical report showing diagnoses of burns on both her legs. Investigations are ongoing.

SIVECO Romania showcases newest eLearning solutions

KUWAIT: The German ambassador to Kuwait Frank Mann held a reception on Sunday on the occasion of the National Day of his country at his residence in Mishref. A number of diplomats and other dignitaries attended it. — Photos by Joseph Shagra

Hajj services this year extolled MAKKAH: Head of the Kuwaiti Hajj mission Dr Adel Al-Falah praised here yesterday the remarkable development in the the pilgrims services and facilities provided to them by the Government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. This came in a statement after his inspection tour of the land allocated to the Kuwaiti Hajj missions in Mount Arafat. He was accompanied by Dr Mutlaq Al-Qrawi and a number of officials of the mission. He said that in every year, the government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques has been keen to provide all aspects of comfort and safety for the pil-

grims to enjoy the performance of rituals in a spiritual atmosphere full of faith. He pointed out that the government is also keen to give the rite of Hajj most attention through the provision of services and facilities and infrastructure projects at the highest levels of quality, indicating that in every year “we see new additions and touches on all levels to harness all the energies of the pilgrims.” Al-Falah talked about the mission’s strategy, indicating that it is built on a commitment to serving the Hajj and work on the development of new services to enable the pilgrim to perform the rituals properly. — KUNA

BUCHAREST: SIVECO Romania, the leading Romanian software house, took part in the 2012 Kuwait EduTech Conference, held on Oct 9 and 10 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, in Kuwait. Under the title “Vision in eLearning within the GCC area”, the company presented the successful implementation of newest technologies in its eLearning solutions for offering an enhanced learning experience in the GCC countries. SIVECO Romania is an active player in the Gulf region, developing large-scale projects for modernising the education system in the UAE, Kuwait and Oman, as well as countries in Europe, North Africa and the CIS area. The eContent solutions provided by SIVECO Romania are among the richest and most attractive collections of educational content in the world, comprising more than 39,000 Reusable Learning Objects, for tens of teaching subjects. As the countries in GCC area seek to modernize the education system by means of introducing cutting-edge approaches, SIVECO Romania meets these demands by having adapted its extensive digital repository in both Arabic and English, as well as for the local subjects. The team of experts from SIVECO Romania created and delivered during 2008 2011 an extensive repository of more than 7,000 interactive learning objects, perfectly translated and localized for the United Arab Emirates culture and curriculum. “We are proud to see that our eLearning solutions bring real benefits to the entire preuniversity education system in the United Arab Emirates. The attractive and modern presentation of the digital interactive lessons not only helps the teachers to save time and effort in preparing classes, but it also encourages students to develop new skills and to learn faster, in a more pleasant manner.” declared Alexandru Cobuc, Deputy Vice President for International Projects within SIVECO Romania. Apart from eContent solutions, SIVECO Romania implemented in Kuwait the AeL Learning Management System, which is a modern platform for training and educational content management, providing full functionalities for all the participants in the educational process: students, teachers, managers of institutions, administrative staff, as well as parents.

In addition, based on its recognized success in implementing eLearning solutions, SIVECO Romania is currently running several pilot projects in the Gulf Region, namely in Oman, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. In Oman, there have been developed and implemented over 200 eLearning objects, the AeL Learning Management system, as well as training sessions for teachers. SIVECO Romania has recently expanded its activities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for implementing its innovative eLearning solu-

Alexandru Cobuc speaking tions and providing added-value services within complex IT projects, carried out for both public and private sectors. The eLearning solutions developed by SIVECO Romania cover a very broad area: from the creation of interactive educational content, to the development of eLearning platforms and educational portals and is addressed to a very varied public: pupils, teachers, students, employees, decision factors from the education system, etc. empowering job seekers with mobile app KUWAIT:, the Middle East’s number one job site, is empowering job seekers across the region with its mobile application, now available for BlackBerry as well as Android and iPhone. Finding the ideal career is now even more accessible with the mobile app, opening up a world of opportunity powered by’s innovative job-seeking tools. “The future is mobile, and at we are well aware of that. Bearing in mind the power of real-time for immediate awareness, influence and strength, instant engagement is more necessary than ever, “ said Suhail Masri, Vice President of Sales, “We are empowering users everywhere with the launch of our mobile application. Professionals need convenience, as well as the ability to interact quickly and efficiently with their potential employers. The mobile app is yet another platform that demonstrates our spirit of innovation and cements our leadership position, by providing job seekers with the power of both mobile and real time, giving them the freedom to seek employment as and when they like.” Job seekers can enjoy a fully interactive experience with the mobile app, which has an engaging look and feel that brings the search for employment to a whole new level of engagement. It features a powerful notification centre that will inform users when their job applications have been viewed, when there is a position posted that matches their profile, and more. Users can connect through their or Facebook account, and they can completely sync their app to their online account. This will allow job seekers to access and manage multiple CVs, job applications, saved searches, and profile information, while also getting statistics on who views their CV. Further functions include, amongst others, the ability to search and apply for jobs through the app and being able to update profile pictures using their smartphone’s camera. On an average day, over 11,000 jobs from across the MENA region are listed on Similar numbers are also filled by employers searching the CV database for relevant professional candidates.

Kuwait stresses importance of sustainable energy DUBAI: Representative of His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Minister of Finance and Acting Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr. Nayef AlHajraf stressed the importance of Dubai’s 2012 World Energy Forum that has kicked off here yesterday in leading efforts to develop a “roadmap” towards sustainable solutions.

The opening ceremony was sponsored by Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum. Al-Hajraf told KUNA, after the opening ceremony that he was honored to represent His Highness the Amir at this high-level international forum. He noted that one of the major announcements that would be

made public during the forum was the proclamation of October 22 as World Energy Day to be an annual celebration of clean, renewable and sustainable energy. The declaration of World Energy Day requires major societal awareness campaigns in schools, colleges, and universities with an active participation from civic communities and non-profits organizations as well as other

institutions, the Kuwaiti minister pointed out. He noted that the opening ceremony saw two key speeches from representatives of the UN and Arab League secretaries-general where they both emphasized the importance of taking interest in finding new renewable and sustainable energy in a world that faces numeral environmental challenges. — KUNA

KUWAIT: The Touristic Enterprises Company organized a training program recently on electrical equipment maintenance, featuring 13 TEC employees. The program was held at the Entertainment City in cooperation with the International Center for Human Investment.


Syria rebels pessimistic on mediator’s truce lan

Castro laughs off rumors of death in state media Page 9

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L’AQUILA: People react during the trial of six Italian scientists and a government official charged with manslaughter for underestimating the risks of a killer earthquake in 2009 yesterday in L’Aquila. — AFP

Italy scientists sentenced in quake trial ‘Verdict puts science on trial’ L’AQUILA: Six Italian scientists and a government official were found guilty yesterday of multiple manslaughter for underestimating the risks of a killer earthquake in L’Aquila in 2009. They were sentenced to six years in jail in a watershed ruling in a case that has provoked outrage in the international science community. The experts were also ordered to pay more than nine million euros ($11.7 million) in damages to survivors and inhabitants. Under the Italian justice system, the seven will remain free men until they have exhausted two chances to appeal the verdict. Some commentators had warned that any convictions would dissuade other experts from sharing their expertise for fear of legal retribution. Prosecutor Fabio Picuti had asked for jail sentences of four years for each defendant for failing to alert the population of the walled medieval town of L’Aquila to the risks, days before the 6.3-magnitude quake killed 309 people. All seven were members of the Major Risks Committee which met in the central Italian town on March 31, 2009 — six days before the quake devastated the region, tearing down houses and churches and leaving thousands homeless. “This is a historic sentence, above all for the victims,” said lawyer Wania della Vigna, who represents 11 plaintiffs, including the family of an Israeli student who died when a student residence collapsed on top of him. “It also marks a step forward for the justice system and I hope it will lead to change, not only in Italy but across the world,” she said. The bright blue, classroom-sized temporary tribunal in L’Aquila-built on an industrial estate after the town’s

historic court was flattened in the quake -was packed with lawyers, advisers and international media for the verdict. Four of the defendants were in court, as well as a small group of survivors. Aldo Scimia, whose mother was killed, teared up as the verdict was read out. “We cannot call this a victory. It’s a tragedy, whatever way you look at it, it won’t bring our loved ones back,” he said. “I continue to call this a massacre at the hand of the state, but at least now we hope that our children may live safer lives,” he added. Prosecutor Picuti had slammed the experts for providing “an incomplete, inept, unsuitable and criminally mistaken” analysis, which reassured locals and led many to stay indoors when the first tremors hit. The government committee met after a series of small tremors in the preceding weeks had sown panic among local inhabitants-particularly after a resident began making worrying unofficial earthquake predictions. Italy ’s top seismologists were called to evaluate the situation and the then-vice-director of the Civil Protection agency, Bernardo De Bernardinis, gave press interviews saying the seismic activity in L’Aquila posed “no danger”. “The scientific community continues to assure me that, to the contrary, it’s a favourable situation because of the continuous discharge of energy,” he said. Government lawyer Carlo Sica, who had called for the seven defendants to be acquitted, said that minutes from the March 31 meeting were not valid as evidence because they were only written up after the April 6 earthquake. “They are not guilty of anything, the earthquake’s no one’s fault,” he

said. Filippo Dinacci, lawyer for Mauro Dolce and Bernardinis, had criticised the charges last week as something out of “medieval criminal law”. “The ruling in my opinion is not fair. We will certainly be appealing,” said Alessandra Stefano, lawyer for expert Gian Michele Calvi, after the verdict. The case sparked outrage in the international scientific community when the charges were brought against the geophysicists in 2010, with many complaining that they were merely scapegoats and warning against putting science on trial. Over 5,000 members of the scientific community sent an open letter to President Giorgio Napolitano denouncing the trial against colleagues for failing to predict a quakea feat widely acknowledged to be impossible. The seven include Enzo Boschi, who at the time was the head of Italy’s national geophysics institute; Giulio Selvaggi, head of the INGV’s national earthquake centre in Rome; and Franco Barberi from Rome’s University Three. The other scientists found guilty are Mauro Dolce, head of the Civil Protection’s seismic risk office; Gian Michele Calvi, head of the European centre of earthquake engineering; and Claudio Eva from the University of Genoa. About 120,000 people were affected by the quake, which destroyed the city’s historic centre and medieval churches as well as surrounding villages. As well as the manslaughter charge, the seven have been accused of reckless endangerment, causing buildings to collapse with serious injury to people. Huge mounds of rubble still lie in the streets in the off-limits zone in L’Aquila’s city centre and in the surrounding villages.—AFP

Bahrain acquits policewoman DUBAI: A Bahrain court yesterday acquitted a policewoman who was charged with torturing a female journalist during last year’s crackdown on anti-regime protests in the Gulf kingdom, the claimant said. “The court has ruled that Sara alMusa was not guilty in the case of torturing me,” wrote Naziha Saeed, who is Manama’s correspondent for France 24 and Radio Monte Carlo Doualiya, on her Twitter page. Local daily newspaper Alayam also reported the verdict on its website, but no further details on the verdict were provided. Musa was accused of torturing Saeed when the journalist was in custody on May 22 last year.

The prosecution said in May it had referred the case to the “high criminal court because the defendant is a public servant in the ministry of interior and has used force against the victim to make her confess to a crime.” “She beat her and caused her the harm described in a medical report,” a prosecution statement said. The officer was charged with “attacking the body” of Saeed, by “slapping her, beating her with plastic tubing, kicking her in all parts of her body, in addition to insulting her,” the statement said. Saeed, who reported on last year’s deadly crackdown on the Shiite-led pro-democracy protests,

was summoned by police on May 22 last year, without any idea of what awaited her, said media watchdog Reporters Without Borders. Saeed said she was badly beaten and humiliated by several policewomen after she was accused of lying in her reports. She was released after midnight, and days later the interior ministry announced proceedings against those accused of mistreating her. An international probe commissioned by King Hamad accused police of using excessive force and torture in last year’s crackdown, which was backed by troops from Bahrain’s Gulf neighbours. — AFP



Al-Qaeda’s No 2 in Yemen says in audio he’s alive CAIRO: A man claiming to be alQaeda’s No. 2 in Yemen released an audio denying reports that he had died in a US drone attack, as Yemeni officials said yesterday that another top member of the terror network was killed in a drone strike earlier this month. The authenticity of the video, purportedly made by Saeed al-Shihri, could not be confirmed. It was produced by al-Qaeda’s media arm in Yemen, al-Malahem, and posted on militant websites late Sunday. When top members of al-Qaeda are killed, the militants will frequently report their “martyrdom.” The US does not usually comment on drone attacks. In the audio message, a man claiming to be the Saudi-

born al-Shihri, also known by the nom de guerre Abu Sufyan al-Azdi, denounced the Yemeni government for spreading the “rumor about my death ... as though the killing of the mujahideen (holy warriors) by America is a victory to Islam and Muslims.” Al-Shihri fought in Afghanistan and spent six years in the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, before being released in 2007 and going through Saudi Arabia’s famous “rehabilitation” institutes. He fled to Yemen and became deputy to Nasser al-Wahishi, the leader of the group known also as al -Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. Yemeni officials had claimed that alShihri and six others traveling with him died in a Sep. 10 strike on their vehicle.

The missile was believed to have been fired by a US-operated, unmanned drone aircraft. But shortly after the announcement, the Saudi newspaper Asharq al-Awsat quoted an unnamed senior Yemeni defense ministry official as saying that DNA tests of the body have proved that the dead man was not al-Shihri. In the audio, the man claiming to be al-Shihri lashed out at an August Islamic summit held in Saudi Arabia that focused on Syria’s civil war, saying it failed to help the Syrian people. He said the summit was “attended by the evil leaders of the Islamic governments, at the forefront Iranian President (Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad, the most evil person on earth.”

Many Sunni militants see the uprising against Syria’s President Bashar Assad, an ally of Shiite Iran, as a holy war. The audio also alluded to a US-produced anti-Islam film that gained prominence in mid-September - after al-Shihri’s reported death - and sparked protests across the Muslim world. Meanwhile, a Yemeni Defense Ministry official said another top alQaeda member died in an Oct. 4 drone strike. He said that Adel al-Abbab, ranking fourth in the network’s leadership, was among five whom Yemeni officials had earlier said were hit while they were traveling in two cars through the southern province of Shabwa. Yemen’s media,

quoting relatives of al-Abbab, confirmed his death and said he had been buried in Shabwa. All officials spoke anonymously according to regulations. Al-Qaeda seized several southern Yemeni towns during the chaos of last year’s popular uprising, but was driven from them by the army in a summer offensive into nearby mountains and desert. They have retaliated with bombings and assassinations of Yemeni officials in the capital Sanaa and elsewhere. Washington considers the Yemen branch of al-Qaeda to be the world’s most dangerous offshoot of the terror network, and has sent advisors to Yemen to assist the government in its campaign. — AP

Syria rebels pessimistic on mediator’s truce plan 200 Syrians killed on Sunday: Activist group

TUNIS: A Tunisian demonstrator shouts slogans in the Habib Bourguiba Avenue in Tunis yesterday as more than 1,000 opposition activists staged a protest against the Islamist-led government and political violence, days after the death of an opposition party official. — AFP

Protests in Tunisia on poll anniversary eve TUNIS: Thousands of opposition activists staged protests in Tunisia yesterday against the Islamist-led government and to denounce political violence, days after the death of an opposition party official. The protests come on the eve of the anniversary of Tunisia’s first free elections, in a political climate marked by tensions within the national assembly and a stalled new constitution. More than 2,000 people gathered in central Tunis, where supporters of the leftist coalition the Popular Front shouted slogans such as: “ The people want to regime to fall!” and “Jobs, freedom, dignity!”, an AFP reporter said. The same rallying cries were shouted during the revolution that toppled president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali last year. Three other parties, including ex-premier Beji Caid Essebsi’s Call of Tunisia, also assembled several hundred supporters on Habib Bourguiba Avenue in the city centre to denounce sporadic political violence. The two factions eventually joined up and the protest ended without incident at around 1500 GMT. “I am here to protest against violence. I think that the government has behaved irresponsibly, and like any irresponsible person, it cannot stay in power,” opposition MP Ahmed Khaskhoussi told AFP. “It does not realise the seriousness of the situation,” he added. Mustapha Kamel Nabli, the former central bank governor was sacked in controversial circumstances in July, also deplored the recourse to violence. “Tunisia is passing through quite a difficult period, and resorting to violence can only worsen the situation,” he said at the rally. Separately, police clashed with protesters denouncing state violence in the southern Gabes region who refused to

leave the two police posts that they had surrounded, an AFP journalist reported. Around 800 people attended the protest, with the police firing tear gas after waiting two hours for the crowd to disperse, which led to clashes between the two sides. The interior ministr y announced a curfew on Sunday in four areas of the Gabes region, located not far from the marginalised centre of Tunisia where protests and strikes are common, after earlier demonstrations degenerated into violence. Yesterday’s protests follow the death of a Call of Tunisia official last week in Tataouine, around 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of Gabes, during clashes with supporters of the ruling Islamist party Ennahda in what the opposition party called a “political assassination.” Essebsi’s increasingly popular party claims the government will lose its legitimacy on October 23, a year after the assembly was elected, because it was committed to drafting a new constitution within 12 months. Security has been beefed up at official buildings, banks and other strategic locations ahead of the anniversary, as a “precautionary measure,” according to the army. The Tunisian premier said in an interview published on Sunday that he wanted to build a model democracy in his country. “Our great project is to build a model democracy for the Arab world,” Jebali, who is number two in the Ennahda party, told France’s Le Parisien newspaper. “Our model must succeed, Europe and the United States should help us,” he said, urging “European friends to invest in democracy. “Otherwise, the alternative is chaos, anarchy ... which will affect the whole world,” the prime minister added. — AFP

Ahmadinejad denies visit to Evin prison DUBAI: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused Iran’s judiciary of unconstitutional conduct yesterday for barring him from a visit to Evin prison where a top aide is jailed, a row that provided another sign of his waning power in his final year in office. Ali Akbar Javanfekr, Ahmadinejad’s press adviser and head of the state news agency IRNA, was sent to Evin in September to serve a six-month sentence for publishing an article deemed offensive to public decency. He was also convicted of insulting Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s highest authority, on his personal website, though it is unclear how or when this happened. Ahmadinejad’s influence within the factionalised power structure has weakened since a clash with Khamenei in 2011 over the supreme clerical leader’s reinstatement of Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi,

whom Ahmadinejad had sacked. The president’s request to the judiciary to visit Evin, made public this month, was seen by Iranian media and commentators as linked to Javanfekr’s detention, although there has been no official confirmation that this was the case. The judiciary rejected the request on Sunday, saying it was not in Iran’s best interests as it faces an economic crisis. Ahmadinejad’s opponents in parliament blame the crisis as much on mismanagement by his administration as on Western sanctions. “We must pay attention to major issues,” prosecutor general Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei said on Sunday, according to the Mehr news agency. “Visiting a prison in these circumstances is a minor issue.” “If we have in mind the best interests of the nation, a (prison) visit in these circumstances is not appropriate.” — Reuters

BEIRUT: Syrian rebels cast doubt yesterday on prospects for a temporary truce aimed at stemming bloodshed in the 19-month-old conflict, saying it was not clear how an informal ceasefire this week could be implemented. International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi, who held talks in Damascus on Sunday with President Bashar al-Assad, has proposed Assad’s forces and the rebels hold fire during the three-day Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha which starts on Friday. His call has won the backing of international powers on both sides of the crisis including Iran and Russia, which have provided support to Assad, and Turkey, which backs the rebels in a conflict that has killed 30,000 people. But neither Syria’s army nor the rebels have shown signs of easing off as Eid nears. More than 200 people were killed on Sunday in fighting and bombardments including 60 soldiers, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Yesterday the British-based group reported army shelling in Deir al-Zor in the east and Deraa in the south, as well as heavy clashes in towns and suburbs around the capital Damascus. “This truce is just a media bubble. Who is going to implement it and who is going to super vise it?” said Colonel Qassem Saadeddine, a former army officer who defected and is now head of a rebel military council in Homs province. “We are still committed to any UN decision. But on this truce...what is the mechanism to implement it?” Saadeddine, who is also spokesman of the joint command of the Free Syrian Army inside Syria, told Reuters. He said rebels had implemented the last ceasefire in Syria - an April 12 deal brokered by former mediator Kofi Annan - but that Assad’s forces had not honoured it. Syrian authorities say it was they who implemented and rebels who broke the ceasefire. Another rebel commander in Damascus, who declined to be named, was more blunt: “The truce will not happen. We will not accept it. It’s not in our interest,” he said, adding that a three-day truce would achieve little anyway. Syria’s conflict has spilled over into its neighbours in recent weeks. The army has exchanged cross-border fire with Turkey, a Lebanese intelligence chief whose investigations implicated Syrian officials was assassinated on Friday and a Jordanian soldier was killed near the border overnight. Information Minister Samih Maaytah said the soldier, who died in clashes with Islamist fighters trying to cross into Syria, was the first to die on the Syrian border since the uprising

erupted against Assad last year. Brahimi declined to say how Assad had responded to his ceasefire appeal. After his talks with the president he said the idea had won wide support among rebels and the political opposition, but suggested it was up

“We are days away from Eid. We hope the situation changes and the government and opposition respond even a little bit to this door for negotiations,” he said on the sidelines of a conference in Dubai. Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein

ALEPPO: A wounded Syrian youth sits on the back of a truck carrying victims and wounded people to hospital following an attack by regime forces in the northern city of Aleppo yesterday. Hopes of a truce being implemented in war-torn Syria during this week’s Muslim Eid al-Adha holidays are “slim,” the Arab League said, as heavy fighting erupted in Damascus and on northern battlefields. — AFP to individual groups to decide how to implement it. “Everyone can start this when they want, today or tomorrow for example, for the period of the Eid and beyond,” he told reporters. Syria has not publicly embraced Brahimi’s proposal and state media quoted Assad as telling him that any initiative must be centred around “halting terrorism and ... commitment by the countries involved in supporting, arming and harbouring the terrorists in Syria to stop these actions”. Syrian authorities blame neighbouring Turkey in particular for the bloodshed because it has sheltered mainly Sunni Muslim rebels fighting to overthrow Assad, from Syria’s Alawite minority which is an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam. Gulf Sunni powers Saudi Arabia and Qatar also support arming the rebels. “The indications that are now apparent and the government’s not show any signs of a real desire to implement this ceasefire,” said Ahmed Ben Hilli, deputy secretary-general of the Arab League.

Ami-Abdollahian called for both sides to establish a lasting ceasefire, and said the two sides in the conflict were beginning to converge. “The views of different sides are getting closer to each other and they have reached the conclusion that they should consider a political solution in Syria,” Abdollahian said after talks with his Russian counterpart Mikhail Bogdanov. His comments might reflect the growing concerns of outside powers at the relentless bloodshed but on the ground both parties to the armed conflict appear committed to a military solution. The Syrian Observatory said there were heavy clashes in towns around Damascus such as Harasta, Douma and Artouz, and said helicopter gunships fired rockets on a village in the northern province of Idlib. Rebel fighters also attacked a military base at Wadi alDeif, close to the town of Maarat al-Numan which they seized earlier this month, cutting the country’s main north-south highway linking Damascus and Aleppo. — Reuters

Three Palestinians killed in Gaza violence GAZA CITY: Israeli air strikes killed two Gaza militants yesterday as they clashed with troops who crossed the border on the eve of a landmark visit by the Qatari emir, medics said, and a third man died later in disputed circumstances. The flare up provoked threats of revenge from the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the ruling Hamas movement, and a pledge from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that there would be no immunity for those firing on the Jewish state. Two air strikes took place around the northern town of Beit Hanun where militants were firing mortar rounds at an Israeli tank and several military vehicles which had crossed the border into Gaza territory, witnesses and security sources said. The first strike hit north of Beit Hanun, critically wounding four Qassam Brigades militants, one of whom later died, medics and the militant group said. As the clashes continued, Israel launched a second air strike east of Beit Hanun, killing a militant from the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) and critically wounding another man, the same sources said. The Qassam Brigades confirmed that the first strike had killed one of its militants and critically wounded another three, naming the dead man as Abderahman Abu Jalaleh, 25, and describing him as a local commander. The second strike killed a PRC militant whom the group named as Yasser al-Tarabin. The identity of the wounded man was not immediately clear. The Israeli military said both strikes had tar-

geted “a rocket launching squad.” “The squad was targeted in response to mortar shell fire at a routine IDF (army) patrol in the area, near the Israeli kibbutz of Nir Am,” a statement said of the first strike. An identical statement was issued following the second. Israeli police said that ahead of the strikes, militants fired a wave of rockets into southern Israel. “Four rockets landed in the early hours of

the morning,” spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP. “They were fired from the Gaza Strip and landed in open areas, not causing any damage or injuries.” During the late afternoon Palestinian medical services and witnesses said a third air strike at Beit Hanun left a man critically wounded, and later said that the man, Khalil al-Kafarna, 21, had died of his injuries. — AFP

GAZA STRIP: Palestinian mourners carry the body of Abedalrahman Abu Jalaleh, 26, a militant from the Izzedine Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, during his funeral in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, yesterday. Israeli aircraft struck the northern Gaza Strip yesterday, killing two Palestinian militants, after mortar attacks targeted Israeli troops earlier in the day, officials said. — AP


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Obama, Romney face off in final debate Obama deserves a second term: L A Times

HAVANA: Handout picture released by Cuban official website, yesterday and taken on October 19, showing former Cuban president Fidel Castro visiting a cultured field at an undisclosed place. Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro has reappeared in public, meeting at a Havana hotel with a Venezuelan politician — quashing swirling rumors that the former leader was on his death bed.— AFP

Castro laughs off rumors of death in state media HAVANA: Fidel Castro, who appeared in public Saturday for the first time in six months amid a swirl of rumors he was dead or dying, blasted the reports as trash in a sarcastic editorial in state media yesterday. Castro, who left power in a health crisis in 2006 after almost five decades at Cuba’s helm, said US and international media had reported “the most singular garbage” about his health, claiming “I can’t recall when I last had a headache.” “As a sign of how untrue these reports are, I am sending a long a few photos with this article,” Castro wrote, under the cheeky headline “Fidel Castro is on his death bed.” In the nine pictures, Castro is shown in a black and red checked shirt, in a field, wearing a jaunty farmer’s hat to protect him from the sun. Several show him using a cane to walk. The images ran Monday in state media. Fidel Castro also addressed his change in publishing habits; he stopped writing his column “Reflections” on June 19, which in itself fueled rumors he was unwell. “I stopped publishing (my column) because surely it is not my job to fill up the pages of our press, which needs to address other work the country had to get done,” Castro wrote. Castro, who rose to power after the 1959 revolution, ceded the presidency to his younger brother Raul, 81, in July 2006 for

health reasons. Castro had not been seen in public since March 28, when Pope Benedict XVI paid a landmark visit to Cuba, and again briefly the following week on April 5 with Chilean student leader Camila Vallejo. That fueled rumors his health had worsened, that he was dead or on his death bedparticularly since Castro also had not published one of his usually frequent editorials in official state media since June 19. In the past five years since falling ill after serious intestinal surgery, Castro has penned about 400 editorials as well as books about the revolution, and welcomed a few international leaders in private events. Last week, he sent a letter of congratulations to medical school graduates which was picked up in state media, but he did not appear in public at the time. With rumors about Castro’s health rife abroad, one of his sons, photographer Alex Castro, said last week at an exhibit in Guantanamo of pictures he took of his father after 2010 that Castro “was in good shape, doing his daily activities, exercising, reading and taking care of himself.” Saturday Fidel Castro reappeared in public, meeting at a Havana hotel with a Venezuelan politician, former vice president Elias Jaua-quashing rumors that the former leader was on his death bed.— AFP

BOCA RATON: US President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney yesterday face off in their third and final debate, with polls showing them dead even in their race for the White House. The showdown focusing on foreign policy is being held in the critical toss-up state of Florida just 15 days before the election and promises to be among the most watched 90 minutes of the entire 2012 campaign. Upping the stakes, a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released on the eve of the duel showed the rivals in a dead heat, with 47 percent each among likely voters. “ This debate will be a big one,” said Dan Gelber, a former state senator from Miami Beach who is working with the Obama campaign. “We have a lot of communities here that care about foreign policy, especially in South Florida, whether it’s the Jewish community, the Cuban community, the Haitian community or the Hispanic community across the state.” The president and his Republican rival will no doubt trade blows over security shortcomings in Libya; how to contain Iran; the roiling crisis in Syria; a rising China; and ending the Afghan war. It will be Romney’s best chance to recover from what are seen as mis-steps in criticizing Obama’s handling of the September 11 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya that left four Americans dead. Romney will be aiming to use the head-to-head clash to press his broader point that the Libya attack and other anti-American violence in the Middle East are signs that Obama’s foreign policy is “unraveling before our very eyes.” Romney is a former businessman who appears more comfortable addressing economic problems. He has stumbled at times on international issues, and his foreign tour last summer was widely panned. But Obama too has issues; a Pew Research Center poll shows his advantage on foreign policy shrinking to just four points over Romney, after being up 15 points last month. Obama’s mission: remind Americans of his successes as commander-in-chief, such as ending the Iraq war and neutralizing Osama bin Laden, while convincing them that his rival is a throwback to the George W. Bush era who doesn’t have the experience or resolve to steer the nation through a crisis. With Romney dominating the first face-to-face encounter in Colorado, and Obama widely seen as bouncing back to take the second outside New York city, the stakes for round three are monumental. Even with the zeroing in on international affairs, both camps admitted Sunday that their candidates will seek to draw discussion back to the issue most pressing for voters: the US economy. “I think the

most important thing we can do as a country on our foreign policy is strengthen our economy here at home,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s former chief of staff, said Sunday. Romney has spoken repeatedly about how a strong domestic economy projects US strength and leadership abroad. He and Obama will will face questions about crises like Libya, which has remained a front-burner issue some six weeks after the September 11

officials said Iran was ready to hold one-on-one talks with Washington. The White House shot down the story, but Republican surrogates used it to warn Obama about potentially isolating allies who have worked for years on getting Iran to halt its nuclear program. “The other thing that gets interesting about the story, if it’s accurate, it sounds like the US is taking a position that we’re likely to jettison our allies,” Senator Rob Portman told NBC’s “Meet the Press”

BOCA RATON: Workers prepare the set for presidential debate, yesterday, in Boca Raton, Fls. President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will hold their final debate on late Monday night. — AP attack. Many analysts said Obama bested Romney on the Libya issue in their testy second debate, when Romney accused the president of delaying a full two weeks before describing the Benghazi attack as terrorism. Obama shot back that he called it an act of terror on the day after the attack, challenging Romney to “check the transcript” and berating him for trying to make political gains after the attack. Romney will seek to put pressure on Obama over Iran and its nuclear program, arguing that presidential weakness has emboldened Tehran, and that if elected he would work to prevent the Islamic republic from acquiring a nuclear weapons “capability,” a lower threshold than advocated by the White House. Complicating the scenario, just 48 hours before the debate, The New York Times reported that US

on Sunday. “The last thing we would want to do is abandon our allies on this and make it a one-onone negotiation.” Meanwhile, the president yesterday scored an important endorsement from a major US newspaper, the Los Angeles Times, which said he had brought “steady leadership” to the office and deserved a second term. The first debate featured the men standing at podiums and answering a moderator’s questions. Round two was a town-hall format, where undecided voters got to ask their questions to the candidates, who prowled the floor as they clashed over issues such as taxes and and China. Yesterday’s debate, which begins at 9:00 pm (0100 GMT Tuesday), will have Obama and Romney seated at a table with moderator Bob Schieffer of CBS News.— AFP



Cameron criticizes BBC over Jimmy Savile abuse LONDON: The BBC faced growing fallout yesterday over sexual abuse allegations against a popular children’s TV entertainer, as Prime Minister David Cameron accused the broadcaster of changing its story about why it killed a news segment on the accusations. The venerable broadcaster tried to stem the damage, saying in a statement that a top editor had stepped down from its BBC Newsnight program after he was accused of giving incomplete, inaccurate explanations for the decision to keep an investigation of the late Jimmy Savile from being broadcast in December. The scandal is one of the worst to rock the BBC, long a key player in British public life and often cited as one of the most trusted sources of accurate, unbiased information. Police are investigating accusations against

Savile and say there may be more than 200 potential victims of the entertainer, the longtime host of the BBC’s “Top of the Pops” and “Jim’ll Fix It,” recognized for his garish track suits and platinum hair. “The nation is appalled, we are all appalled by the allegations of what Jimmy Savile did and they seem to get worse by the day,” Cameron said, accusing the BBC of changing its story about why it decided not to broadcast the piece. The BBC’s tough statement about editor Peter Rippon deepened the suspicion that there had been a cover-up. It is suspected of pulling the Newsnight segment because of its harsh portrayal of Savile, who was hailed as a popular fixture in children’s TV when he died at 84 last year. The BBC plans to air its own investi-

gation into its actions on a show tonight. Rippon is the first BBC figure directly blamed for the broadcaster’s failure to properly report on abuse claims. He is stepping down immediately for the duration of the investigation. The BBC Trust, the corporation’s governing body, conceded there had been “inaccuracies in the BBC’s own description of what happened in relation to the Newsnight investigation.” The BBC says Rippon’s explanation of his decision in a blog post earlier was “inaccurate or incomplete in some respects.” BBC is publicly funded through its license fees and various commercial enterprises; it enjoys a large degree of independence from government but is subject to legislation passed by Parliament. In a statement released Monday, the BBC cited three problems with

Rippon’s initial statements about why the segment was not aired. The BBC said Rippon’s blog indicated that Newsnight staff had no evidence against the BBC when in fact there were allegations that some of the abuse happened on BBC premises. It also faulted Rippon for saying that all the abuse victims interviewed by the program had told police about the abuse, when in some cases the women had not done so, meaning that police were “not aware of all the allegations” against Savile. In addition, BBC said Rippon had indicated that there was no evidence that anyone working at the Duncroft school was aware of allegations that Savile had abused girls there, when in fact there were indications that “some of the Duncroft staff knew or may have known about the abuse.”— AP

LONDON: Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron delivers a speech on prisoner rehabilitation and the criminal justice system in London yesterday. — AFP

Foreign jihadists pour in north Mali ‘Over 150 Islamists arrived in 48 hours’

NICE: French Interior minister Manuel Valls (L) attends yesterday in Nice, southeastern France, the funeral ceremony of Daniel Briere, a French Major who was killed on October 17, 2012 in Peille. — AFP

Russian activist admits riot plot MOSCOW: Russian investigators said yesterday that an opposition activist had turned himself in and confessed to plotting mass riots while the activist himself claimed he had been kidnapped from Ukraine and tortured. Leonid Razvozzhayev, an assistant to a parliamentary lawmaker, was arrested in Moscow after he turned himself in and confessed to plotting the riots in Russia with foreign backing, the Investigative Committee said in a statement. However video footage released yesterday apparently showed him being led out of a Moscow court to a police van in handcuffs and shouting to journalists that he had been kidnapped and tortured. In a further twist, a UN refugee agency (UNHCR) spokeswoman in Kiev confirmed that Razvozzhayev had earlier disappeared while he was applying for refugee status there. The 39-year-old activist “detailed the circumstances of plotting mass disturbances in Russia ... and participation in mass riots in Moscow on May 6 2012,” the Investigative Committee said. “According to Razvozzhayev’s statement, these riots were financed by Givi Targamadze,” a Georgian lawmaker, the committee said. It added that Razvozzhayev, a member of the Left Front movement, would “shortly” be charged. Razvozzhayev’s allies yesterday rejected the official version of his arrest, however, and called it a harbinger of a new wave of repression against the opposition by the regime of Vladimir Putin. An official at the UNHCR’s Ukraine office said that Razvozzhayev was in the midst of applying for refugee status in Kiev when he vanished on Friday.

“He went outside during a break and did not come back. He disappeared, leaving his belongings behind,” Oleksandra Makovska, spokeswoman for the agency’s office in Ukraine, told AFP. “The lawyers tried to contact him unsuccessfully. The lawyers were concerned about what happened and reported to the police that a man had disappeared,” she said. A video report published by the LifeNews website yesterday ( shows Razvozzhayev being led into a van by policemen after his arrest Sunday evening. “I was tortured for two days!” he shouts to journalists in the video. “They kidnapped me from Ukraine!” His lawyer Violetta Volkova told the Interfax news agency that she and other lawyers are being denied access to Razvozzhayev and have been waiting to see him in Moscow’s Lefortovo prison for six hours on Monday. Razvozzhayev is the second person to be arrested in the Russian probe into plotting mass riots, after Konstantin Lebedev last week. The third suspect, Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov, is free but faces restrictions on travelling. The probe was launched against the three men after a smear documentary on pro-Kremlin NT V channel claimed they met with Georgian lawmaker Targamadze in June and plotted a coup with the latter’s financial backing. Targamadze yesterday denied meeting with the activists.”It is below human dignity to comment on the ravings of television stations in Putin’s pocket. There was no such meeting,” the lawmaker told Georgian media.—AFP

Russia to keep Georgia territorially divided DUBAI: Russia will stop Georgia trying to reunite with two breakaway states even after a parliamentary election won by a coalition led by a politician seen as having warmer ties with Moscow, outgoing Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili said yesterday. Russia, which has had no diplomatic relations with Georgia since the two fought a brief war over separatist South Ossetia in 2008, has reacted positively to the Oct. 1 victory of Bidzina Ivanishvili’s coalition. Ivanishvili, who made much of his estimated $6.4 billion fortune in Russia, has said he wants to begin to repair relations with Moscow, but Saakashvili, whom the Kremlin has cast as a figure of hate, said he would face an uphill struggle. “The basic things don’t change and the basic thing is that Russia will fight with us over our territory,” Saakashvili told reporters in Dubai on the sidelines of the World Energy Forum. Russia, which dominated Georgia for centuries until the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, has said it isn’t prepared to discuss the status of the two breakaway regions - Abkhazia and South Ossetia which it recognised as independent states after its war with Tbilisi four years ago. “The first thing that they said is that they are not going to change it, no matter who is in government in Georgia, so that already puts the

new government in an incredibly difficult situation,” said Saakashvili. “It doesn’t depend on personalities, who is in charge of Georgia, it’s really a matter of principle of what Russian policy is and Russian policy is to encroach upon the independence and territorial integrity of its neighbours.” Russia rejects accusations of territorial meddling, saying it intervened in South Ossetia in 2008 to protect its own citizens who live there from what it said was an attempt by Saakashvili to storm it by force. Saakashvili said during the election campaign that he thought Ivanishvili, 56, would favour Russia over the West. Ivanishvili has denied that but has said he is better placed to build bridges with Moscow. However, he has also promised to continue Georgia’s long drive for deeper integration with NATO and the West, a move that would be likely to upset Russia. Saakashvili, who has styled himself as a major US ally, said he plans to work with Ivanishvili to ensure a smooth transition of power and hopes to take Georgia a step closer to NATO membership before he leaves office next year. “The last condition of NATO was that the elections should be free and fair,” said Saakashvili. “As they were, they have been treated as fair by everybody, so now Georgia should get a reward for that.” —Reuters

BAMAKO: Hundreds of jihadists poured into northern Mali over the weekend to help armed Islamist groups hang on to the territory as the country’s neighbours speeded up efforts to wrest control of the vast desert region from the al-Qaeda linked militants. Residents of the cities of Timbuktu and Gao, Malian security officials and Islamist commanders all confirmed that there had been a huge influx of foreign fighters over the past two days. “In the Timbuktu region and around Gao, hundreds of jihadists, mostly Sudanese and Sahrawis, have arrived as reinforcements to face an offensive by Malian forces and their allies,” a Malian security official said on condition of anonymity. One resident of Timbuktu said “more than 150 Sudanese Islamists arrived in 48 hours”. “They are armed and explained that they had come to help their Muslim brothers against the infidels,” he said. The influx comes as the west African regional bloc ECOWAS forges on with plans to try and reconquer northern Mali amid fears that the area will become the same type of sanctuary for radicals that Afghanistan was a decade ago. However Tuareg rebels who launched an offensive in January for an independent state in northern Mali denounced the reports as propaganda. The Islamists had initially piggybacked on the Tuareg rebellion to gain control of the north before sidelining the desert nomads. Reports of “the arrival of convoys of jihadists from Sudan and the Western Sahara are totally false. We categorically deny it,” said Ibrahim Ag Mohamed Assaleh, an official with the Tuareg rebels’ National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) who is living in Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou. He dismissed the reports as “propaganda to intimidate the international armies who want to intervene in northern Mali.”

BAMAKO: In this Oct.18, 2012 file photo, a man carries a sign reading “No to the destructive soldiers of ECOWAS” as Malians opposed to a military intervention to retake Mali’s Islamist-controlled north march in the streets of the capital, Bamako, Mali. — AP Mali’s former colonial power France said that it had resumed military cooperation with the country, which it had cut off following a March coup that created a power vacuum, allowing armed Islamist groups to take over the sparsely populated desert north. “In principle, the decision has been taken to respond to the needs of the Malian army in terms of what is necessary,” including sending military advisors, Jean Felix-Paganon, Paris’s special envoy for the Sahel, told AFP late on Sunday. France has offered logistical support for the 3,000-strong force that ECOWAS has assembled to try and drive out the radicals. On October 13, the UN Security Council gave ECOWAS 45 days to come up with a detailed plan of how it intended to recapture the

vast, sparsely populated terrain. On the ground in northern Mali, Islamist fighters were reported to have been arriving in droves since Friday in the main cities of Gao and Timbuktu. “They want war, we’ll give them war. This is why our brothers are joining us from all over,” said Habib Ould Issouf, a top leader in the group that controls Gao, the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO). “They are coming from the camps of Tindouf in Algeria, from Senegal, from Ivory Coast, from everywhere,” he told AFP. One resident said he had seen around 10 pick-up trucks packed with armed fighters driving up to the group’s headquarters in the city. The chaos in Mali began on March 22

when army officers toppled the government in protest at what they said was its failure to equip them to counter a burgeoning rebellion by Tuareg separatists and their Islamist allies. But the ensuing chaos allowed the rebels to sweep through the region and establish control over an area roughly the size of France. The Islamists quickly sidelined their former Tuareg allies and established their version of Islamic law, amputating the hands and feet of thieves and stoning unwed couples, in addition to destroying revered Muslim shrines that they consider blasphemous. In the south, the officers who led the coup handed over to an interim administration, but retain considerable influence. — AFP

Three British go on trial over alleged terror plot LONDON: Three young British Muslim men went on trial in London yesterday, accused of plotting to set off multiple bombs in terrorist strikes that prosecutors say could have been deadlier than the 2005 London transit attacks. Prosecutors allege that the men, fired up by the sermons of a US.-born Al-Qaeda preacher, hoped to cause carnage on a mass scale. But their plot was undone by mishaps with money and logistics, and ended in a police counterterrorism swoop last year. Prosecution lawyer Brian Altman told a jury that Irfan Khalid and Ashik Ali, both 27, and 31year-old Irfan Naseer, were central players in a plan to mount a terrorist attack “on a scale poten-

tially greater than the London bombings in July 2005.” Fifty-two commuters were killed when four al-Qaeda-inspired suicide bombers blew themselves up on London’s bus and subway network on July 7, 2005. The suspects are among a group of men and one woman arrested in September 2011 in the central English city of Birmingham. All three are charged with preparing for terrorism by plotting a bombing campaign, recruiting others and fundraising. Khalid and Naseer also are accused of traveling to Pakistan for terrorism training. They have pleaded not guilty. Altman said the three were key figures in a plan to detonate up to eight knapsack bombs in a suicide attack, or to explode timer bombs in crowded

LONDON: This undated combination image released by Britain’s West Midlands Police shows three British Muslim men, from left, Irfan Naseer, 31, Irfan Khalid and Ashik Ali, both 27, who trial at Woolwich Crown Court, London yesterday accused of plotting a bombing campaign that prosecutors say could have been deadlier than the 2005 London transit attacks. — AP

areas “in order to cause mass deaths and casualties.” “One of them was even to describe their plan as ‘another 9/11,’” he said. Prosecutors say targets and other details had not been finalized when the men were arrested. The three defendants sat quietly and appeared to follow proceedings closely from the dock at London’s high-security Woolwich Crown Court. The trial is due to last several weeks. Altman said the trio were the senior members of a home-grown terror cell inspired by the anti Western sermons of US-born Islamist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in Yemen in September 2011. Altman said Naseer and Khalid traveled to Pakistan for terror training, where they learned details of poisons, bomb-making and weapons use and made “martyrdom videos” justifying their planned attacks. On their return in July 2011, he said, they began to recruit others to the plot and to raise money by posing as street collectors for Muslim charities. Altman accused the men of “despicably stealing from their own community” to fund their plot. They also began experimenting with chemicals “to make an explosive mixture for use in an improvised explosive device,” the prosecutor said, aided by Naseer’s academic background - he has a degree in pharmacy. Many of the group’s plans soon went awry, however. Four other young men dispatched by the plotters to Pakistan for terrorist training were sent home within days when the family of one man found out, Altman said. They have pleaded guilty to terrorism-related offenses. Rahin Ahmed, an alleged co-conspirator described in court as the cell’s “chief financier,” attempted to increase the group’s budget by trading the money it had made through bogus charity fundraising on the financial markets.—AP




Weakened, al-Qaeda in Afghanistan tries comeback KABUL: A diminished but resilient Al-Qaeda, whose 9/11 attacks drew America into its longest war, is attempting a comeback in Afghanistan’s mountainous east even as US and allied forces wind down their combat mission and concede a small but steady toehold to the terrorist group. That concerns US commanders, who have intensified strikes against Al-Qaeda cells in recent months. It also undercuts an Obama administration narrative portraying Al-Qaeda as battered to the point of being a nonissue in Afghanistan as Western troops start leaving. When he visited Afghanistan in May to mark the one-year anniversary of the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden, President Barack Obama said his administration had turned the tide of war. “The goal that I set to defeat Al-Qaeda, and deny it a chance to rebuild - is within reach,” he said. As things stand, however, an unquestionably weakened Al-Qaeda appears to have preserved at least limited means of regenerating inside Afghanistan as US influence in the country wanes. The last US combat troops are scheduled to be gone by Dec 31, 2014, and security matters turned over to the Afghan government. “They are trying to increase their numbers and take advantage of the Americans leaving,” the police chief of Paktika province, Gen. Dawlat Khan Zadran, said through a translator in an interview this month in the governor’s compound. He mentioned no numbers, but said Al-Qaeda has moved more weapons across the border from Pakistan. For years the main target of US-led forces has been the Taleban, rulers of Afghanistan and protectors of Al-Qaeda before the US invasion 11 years ago. But the strategic goal is to prevent Al-Qaeda from again finding haven in Afghanistan from which to launch attacks on the US Al-Qaeda’s leadership fled in late 2001 to neighboring Pakistan, where it remains. The group remains active inside

Afghanistan, fighting US troops, spreading extremist messages, raising money, recruiting young Afghans and providing military expertise to the Taliban and other radical groups. US Gen. John Allen, the top commander of international forces in Afghanistan, has said Al-Qaeda has re-emerged, and

“Al-Qaeda could try to reconstitute itself, but they would do so at their own peril given the intense pressure they and other terrorist groups are facing in Afghanistan,” Pentagon press secretary George Little said Saturday. A more immediate worry is the threat posed by the growing presence of AlQaeda and affiliated groups in Yemen,

HEART: Former Taleban fighters walk with their weapons after they joined Afghan government forces during a ceremony in Herat yesterday. The foreign combat troops are due to withdraw by the end of 2014 and there are fears that the Taleban will extend their activities across wider swathes of the country against ill-prepared Afghan forces. —AFP although its numbers are small, he says the group doesn’t need a large presence to be influential. US officials say they are committed, even after the combat mission ends in 2014, to doing whatever it takes to prevent a major resurgence. The Americans intend, for example, to have special operation forces at the ready to keep a long-term lid on AlQaeda inside Afghanistan.

Somalia and across a broad swath of North Africa, where it is believed Al-Qaeda-linked militants may have been responsible for the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. US and Afghan officials say Al-Qaeda also has been building ties with like-minded Islamic militant groups present in

Afghanistan, including Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is blamed for the November 2008 rampage in Mumbai, India, that killed 166 people, and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which is present in the north. Ahmadullah Mowahed, a member of the Afghan parliament from the eastern province of Nuristan, along the Pakistan border, said he fears the departure of American combat forces will open the way for the Taliban and Al-Qaeda to overwhelm the provincial government. “As soon as they leave, the eyes of Al-Qaeda will quickly focus on Nuristan,” he said. US analysts say there is reason for concern that Al-Qaeda is down, but not out. “They’ve been hit hard in a few cases, but they definitely are involved in the fight - absolutely,” said Seth G. Jones, a senior political scientist at RAND Corp. Jones, a former adviser to the commander of US special operations forces in Afghanistan, recently returned from a trip to eastern Afghanistan where he learned that Al-Qaeda’s support network has expanded and its relations with groups such as the Pakistani-based Haqqani network are strong. “That’s a very serious concern because that kind of environment would allow AlQaeda to continue to operate, at least at a small level, because it’s a workable environment for them, he said. Richard Barrett, head of a UN group that monitors the threat posed by Al-Qaeda and the Taleban, said AlQaeda fears the Taleban will strike a deal with the Afghan government that would make the group all but irrelevant. “So they will be doing whatever they can to assert their influence, to assert their presence” in Afghanistan, he said. At least for now, Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan has no capability to launch attacks on the US, although commanders are taking no chances. Little-noticed fragmentary US military accounts of raids and strikes against AlQaeda in the northeastern provinces of Kunar and Nuristan show the group retains a

command structure inside Afghanistan. On May 27 the US killed the No. 2 commander in Afghanistan, Saudi national Sakhr al-Taifi, in Kunar, but it has yet to catch up to the top Al-Qaeda commander in the country, identified by US officials as Farouk al-Qahtani, who resides in Nuristan. In early September the international military coalition announced the death of an AlQaeda operative, Abu Saif, described as an associate of an Al-Qaeda leader killed along with several of his fighters July 1 in Kunar. Saif was called a conduit between senior AlQaeda leaders in Pakistan and Afghanistan, passing messages between them. In the most recent strike, officials said Sept. 27 they killed Al-Qaeda “facilitator” Abdul Rauf in Kunar. He was a Pakistani coordinator of foreign fighters’ movements into Afghanistan and a builder of improvised explosive devices for attacks on coalition troops. Interviews with Afghan officials suggest that Al-Qaeda also is present in other parts of the country, including the northwestern province of Faryab as well as Logar province, just south of Kabul. Logar’s provincial chief of police, Gen. Ghulam Sakhi Roogh Lawanay, said it is difficult to know how many militants are directly affiliated with Al-Qaeda, but he estimated their numbers in Logar at 100 to 150. “Al-Qaeda is very active. It is like fish. When one fish dies, another comes,” he said in a recent interview. “The determination of these Arab fighters is high.” In interviews in Kabul and Washington, US officials said they are satisfied that AlQaeda is so small inside Afghanistan - they put the number at between 50 and 100 fighters - that they can be contained indefinitely if the Afghan government allows US counterterrorism forces to monitor and hunt the remnants. US and Afghan officials are working to craft talks on a bilateral security agreement that could include such an arrangement. AlQaeda’s numbers, however, don’t tell the whole story. —AP

Britain ends 10-year boycott of India’s Modi Ambassador to give details on meeting

PUDUKUDUIRIPPU: Sri Lankan Tamil school children pray at the Pudukuduirippu Secondary High School in the former war zone district of Pudukuduirippu in north-eastern Sri Lanka yesterday. The United States and the UN have expressed concern over “rushed re-settlement” of thousands of Tamil civilians displaced by Sri Lanka’s separatist war that ended three years ago. —AFP

Sri Lanka pledges cash loans for former rebels MULLAITTIVU: Sri Lankan authorities have vowed to speed up cash loans for former Tamil rebels amid reports that war-displaced civilians were being hastily resettled, an official said yesterday. Rehabilitation Minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera visited the former war zone of Mullaittivu and met with ex-combatants seeking state help to rebuild their lives in an area where the final battles were fought in May 2009. “We have given concessionary loans to 1,000 rehabilitated youth and the minister himself came to Mullaittivu to speed up the release of (further) credit,” his spokesman Iroshan Thalgaswattage told AFP. He said 10,800 rebels who surrendered to troops during the final battle had completed vocational training and re-integrated in society, but some faced difficulties in raising money to start a business. Each ex-combatant is being offered 250,000 rupees ($2,000) to be repaid at a

concessionary interest rate, Thalgaswattage said. The government arranged for photographers to visit an area where reporters had been barred for years during and after the end of the fighting in May 2009. The guided tour came as the United States expressed concern over “rushed resettlement” of thousands of Tamil civilians displaced by Sri Lanka’s separatist war. Many of people have been moved to land without adequate shelter, water and sanitation, the US embassy said almost a month after Sri Lanka shut its last war-time civilian shelters. Sri Lankan forces crushed the Tamil Tigers after decades of fighting in a campaign that sparked allegations that thousands of civilians had been killed, a charge denied by the military. The Tamil Tigers fought for an independent homeland for the island’s Tamil minority concentrated in the northern and eastern regions. The conflict claimed up to 100,000 lives, according to UN estimates. —AFP

AHMEDABAD: Britain held talks yesterday with Indian regional leader Narendra Modi, ending a 10-year boycott over deadly religious riots in Gujarat state that left more than 2,000 dead, including three Britons. Modi, a Hindu nationalist who is tipped as a possible future prime minister, came to power in Gujarat shortly before the 2002 riots and is accused of doing little to prevent India’s worst religious violence since independence. Since the riots, British officials had been banned from dealing directly with Modi but the government this month changed its policy and announced that its ambassador to India, James Bevan, would travel to Gujarat. “Had a great meeting... to strengthen GujUK ties in economic and social sectors,” Modi said on Twitter after the meeting. Gujarat is one of India’s flagship states for attracting foreign direct investment, and Modi’s office said the discussions included opportunities for British companies. A British embassy spokesman said the ambassador was due to give details on the meeting in a press statement later in the day. The riots in 2002 were triggered by the deaths of nearly 60 Hindu pilgrims in a train fire that was initially blamed on a mob of Muslims. Modi is accused of failing to halt the orgy of revenge that left more than 2,000 peoplemainly Muslims-dead, according to rights groups. The government figures put the death toll at about 1,000. Among the dead were three British nationals who were burnt to death in Sabarkantha district of the western Indian state. When Britain announced it would end the boycott, junior foreign minister Hugo Swire said the government wanted “to support human rights and good governance in the state”. “We want to secure justice for the families of the British nationals who were killed in 2002,” he added. Swire also stressed the well-established ties with Gujarat due to large numbers of Indian-origin families who migrated to Britain from the state.

But Tanveer Jaffery, whose father was killed in the riots, said that the British government needed to fully explain the end of the boycott. “There was a gross violation of human rights in 2002 when the state machinery connived with the rioters,” Jaffery told AFP. “This move is surprising. What assessment

GANDHINAGAR: In this handout picture taken by the Gujarat Information Bureau yesterday, British High Commissioner, James Bevan (R), shares a light moment with Indian Gujarat state Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, during a meeting in Gandhinagar, some 30 kms from Ahmedabad. Britain’s top diplomat in India held talks with Narendra Modi, ending a 10-year boycott over religious riots in 2002 that left three Britons dead. —AFP has the British made of the Modi government to compel them to change their stance and send the (ambassador) to build better relations?” Modi, a senior leader of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), denies any misconduct over the riots. But he has struggled to shake off the allegations, and the United States

Australia’s Queensland lifts uranium mining ban SYDNEY: Australia’s mineral-rich Queensland state reversed a decades-long ban on uranium mining yesterday, citing rekindled interest in the nuclear fuel after Canberra gave the go-ahead to exports to India. Uranium has not been dug in Queensland since the 1982 closure of the major Mary Kathleen mine, while mining for it was outlawed by the state government in 1989. But Premier Campbell Newman said the national government’s overturning of an export ban to India last year, and Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s recent talks in the subcontinent about kick-starting the trade, prompted a rethink. India had been blacklisted due to its refusal to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. But it has not been a pariah since 2005, when it entered into an IAEA-approved civil nuclear agreement with the United States. Australia anticipates entering into a similar agreement with India, one of its fastest-growing trade partners. “The Prime Minister Julia Gillard has just been in India selling the benefits of Australian-produced uranium to India, prompt-

ing many in the community to ask about the industry’s potential in Queensland,” Newman said. “It’s been 30 years since there was uranium mining in this state, and in that time Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia have carved out successful uranium industries that deliver jobs and prosperity to their regions.” The policy shift would not extend to nuclear energy production or waste disposal. Queensland’s known deposits of uranium, a key input in nuclear power generation, have been conservatively estimated as worth Aus$10 billion (US$10.3 billion). Major industry lobby group the Australian Nuclear Association said the ban had been “illogical and unsustainable” and its overturning was timely. “New uranium mines will be needed to supply Indian nuclear reactors and Queensland could be ready just in time to supply that new demand,” said association chief Michael Angwin. Queensland is already a major coal mining region and has a burgeoning gas industry as

has refused to grant him a visa since 2005. Britain’s resumption of links with Modi came two months after a Gujarat court sentenced a former member of his government to 28 years in jail for her role in instigating the 2002 unrest. The sentencing of Maya Kodnani, who served as minister from 2007-2009, was seen as

well as significant deposits of lead, zinc and silver. Australia does not use nuclear power but it is the world’s third-ranking uranium producer behind Kazakhstan and Canada, exporting 6,888 tonnes of oxide concentrate in 2010 worth more than Aus$600 million. It also has the world’s largest uranium reserves, holding 31 percent of the global total, according to the World Nuclear Association. Japan, the United States and European Union account for the majority of Canberra’s exports of the nuclear fuel, with smaller shipments to South Korea, China, Canada and Taiwan. State governments have historically opposed uranium mining due to concern about potential environmental impact, the difficulties associated with storing waste products and its links with nuclear weapons. But National Resources Minister Martin Ferguson last year described uranium as a “key industry” for Australia, estimating that total output would double within four years and quadruple within two decades. —AFP

a setback for Modi’s prime ministerial ambitions as India looks to general elections due in 2014. Despite the scars of the sectarian violence, Gujarat in recent years has lured foreign firms with its reliable power supply, good infrastructure by Indian standards, and the availability of educated but cheap labour. —AFP

Wife presses UN over missing Lankan cartoonist COLOMBO: The wife of missing Sri Lankan political cartoonist Prageeth Eknelygoda marked 1,000 days since his disappearance yesterday with an appeal to UN chief Ban Ki-moon to intervene. Sandhya Eknelygoda led a group of rights activists and staged a demonstration outside the United Nations offices in Colombo urging the world body to pressure Sri Lanka for information about her husband. The cartoonist who contributed to the pro-opposition website did not return home after work on January 24, 2010, two days before President Mahinda Rajapakse’s re-election at a fiercely contested vote. “I have spent the last 1,000 days looking for my husband,” Sandhya Eknelygoda told reporters outside the UN compound. “Instead of giving any answers, the government has tried to ridicule me.” “I hope the

UN secretary general will take up my appeal and put pressure on the Sri Lankan government to stop disappearances and let us know what happened to my husband. Every day, we live in hope that he will return.” The case of Eknelygoda has already figured at UN Human Rights council sessions and Sri Lankan authorities initially said he had gone abroad, but later retracted the claim and insisted they were unaware of his whereabouts. The US and the European Union have singled out Eknelygoda’s case as a sign of suppressing dissent in the country where 17 journalists and media workers have been killed in the past decade. The Eknelygoda family has maintained that he was abducted for his writings and cartoons criticising the administration, a charge the government has denied. —AFP




China leftists urge parliament not to expel Bo Xilai BEIJING: A group of Chinese leftists has issued a public letter calling on the country’s largely rubber stamp parliament not to expel disgraced former top leader Bo Xilai from its ranks, saying the move is legally questionable and politically motivated. Stripping membership from Bo the one-time Communist Party chief of Chongqing who is accused of abusing power, taking huge bribes and other crimes - also removes his immunity from prosecution, and paves the way for formal charges against him. Bo’s ouster has exposed deep rifts in the party between his leftist backers, who are nostalgic for the revolutionary era of Mao Zedong, and reformers, who advocate for faster political and economic reforms. The letter, carried on the far-left

Chinese-language website “Red China” and addressed to the parliament’s standing committee, says the party is fuelling doubts about the accusations against Bo by refusing to discuss them publicly. “What is the reason provided for expelling Bo Xilai? Please investigate the facts and the evidence,” says the letter. “Please announce to the people evidence that Bo Xilai will be able to defend himself in accordance with the law.” Parliament and its members are there to provide oversight and make laws, not to “act as a rubber stamp” for attacks on people for personal reasons by political factions, it added. Since Bo was ousted in March, he has not been seen in public and has not been allowed to answer the accu-

sations against him. At a news conference days before his removal, Bo rejected as “filth” and “nonsense” the then unspecified allegations against him and his family. The once high-flying Bo now faces a criminal investigation that stems from the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood in Chongqing last year. Bo will almost certainly be jailed, following the imprisonment of Bo’s wife Gu Kailai and his former police chief Wang Lijun. The letter said there were still many doubts over the Heywood case, including how the defendants were allowed to defend themselves and the shortness of the two court cases. “Is this not a big joke we are playing on the world when we have been telling people left, right and centre

that we are a country with rule of law?” “Red China”, which has issued a torrent of commentary defending Bo, is blocked to the many Chinese users who do not know how to evade censorship barriers, and the letter is likely to fall on deaf ears in any case. Parliament’s standing committee, its top decision making body, meets for three days from Wednesday and is expected to throw Bo out of parliament, removing another hurdle for the smooth handling of a generational leadership transfer kicking off at a key party congress next month. Bo, 63, was widely seen as pursuing a powerful spot in the new political line-up before his career unravelled after his former police chief fled to a US consulate for more than 24 hours in February and alleged that Bo’s wife Gu

had poisoned Heywood to death. After his appointment as party chief of Chongqing in 2007, Bo, a former commerce minister, turned it into a showcase of revolution-inspired “red” culture and his policies for egalitarian, state-led growth. He also won national attention with a crackdown on organised crime. His brash self-promotion irked some leaders. But his populist ways and crime clean-up were welcomed by many of Chongqing’s 30 million residents, as well as others who hoped that Bo could take his leftist-shaded policies nationwide. His likely trial could still stir that ideological contention. China’s party-run courts rarely find in favour of defendants, especially in politically-sensitive cases. —Reuters

S Korea blocks propaganda launch after military threat China urges two Koreas to stay calm PAJU: South Korean police yesterday blocked activists from sending anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border with North Korea, which had threatened to respond with a “merciless” military strike. The decision to shut down the propaganda exercise was an unusual one and reflected, analysts said, Seoul’s desire to avoid any destabilising clash ahead of South Korea’s presidential election in December. North Korean defectors who had planned to launch balloons carrying 200,000 propa-

Sang-Hak, one of the organisers. “We are not here to provoke a conflict but to convey the truth to North Koreans. President Lee will be remembered as a cowardly leader who succumbed to North Korean threats,” Park said. Local police officials said the decision had been dictated by “security concerns” after the North Korean army threatened a “merciless military strike” if the event went ahead. “The surrounding area will become targets of direct firing,” the Korean People’s Army said

PAJU: Police officers block an activist in a car carrying anti-North Korea leaflets in Paju near the demilitarized zone, South Korea, yesterday. South Korea banned the activists yesterday from entering a border area where they planned to launch antiPyongyang leaflets into North Korea, an unusual move that the activists likened to surrender. —AP ganda leaflets across the heavily-militarised border were infuriated by the move, accusing President Lee Myung-Bak of capitulating to the North’s threats. There were some minor scuffles as the activists sought to push their way through a large roadblock of police vehicles and security personnel set up about four kilometres (2.5 miles) south of the launch site. “This event has been authorised by the government. This is ridiculous,” said Park

in a statement on Friday. China and the United States both stressed the need for further restraint, with Washington denouncing Pyongyang’s threat to shell a civilian area. “It is grossly disproportionate to have threatened to respond to balloons with bombs,” US Special Envoy for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies told reporters in Beijing. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei urged the two Koreas to stay calm and avoid both “provocative” acts and “over-reaction”.

North Korea has threatened strikes in the past, but Friday’s statement was unusually strong with its specific naming of the time and location, coupled with a warning to local residents to evacuate the area. It was also the first time such a precise threat had been made under North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, who took over the reins of the isolated state after the death last December of his father, Kim Jong-Il. Troops in the South had been placed on high alert and Yonhap news agency reported the deployment of additional artillery and tank units to forward border positions. President Lee has taken a hard line with North Korea during his five years in office, and the decision to ban Monday’s event took some by surprise. “Stability is the number one priority for Seoul right now,” said Yang Moo-Jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies who cited the proximity of December’s presidential poll as a likely factor. “I think the president felt that if he let tensions further escalate, he would see his political legacy tarnished at the end of his term and be blamed for leaving a diplomatic burden on the incoming administration,” Yang told AFP. Cross-border tensions have heightened in the run up to December’s election, amid widespread concern in the South that North Korea would seek to provoke a clash ahead of the ballot. Pyongyang had reacted angrily to the announcement two weeks ago of a new USSouth Korean agreement to nearly triple the range of the South’s missile systems, bringing the whole of North Korea within range. Seoul’s Unification Ministry, which handles cross-border affairs, called Monday for restraint from both Pyongyang and the activists in the South. “We urge the North to stop the threats... and have constantly asked the civic groups to refrain from such (propaganda) acts, in consideration of inter-Korea relations,” a ministry spokesman told reporters. Civic groups in the South regularly drop leaflets over the border with messages criticising the Kim dynasty and urging the North Korean people to rise up against repression. The leaflets also carry news about rebellions in other parts of the world, including events of the “Arab Spring”. —AFP

Gillard gets poll boost after sexism speech SYDNEY: Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s popularity has surged following her aggressive speech calling the opposition leader a misogynist and a sexist, a poll showed yesterday. In the latest Fairfax-Nielsen poll, Gillard has a 10-point margin as preferred leader over the man she savaged, Tony Abbott, in comments that went viral and won praise around the world. Gillard, the nation’s first woman leader, is now seen as as preferred prime minister by 50 percent of voters, up three points, while Abbott has slipped four points to 40 percent. It is her biggest lead in 20 months. While Gillard’s popularity has jumped, her ruling Labor party continues to lag the opposition in the two-party vote by 48 percent to 52 percent. The nationwide telephone poll of 1,400 people was conducted a week after the dressing-down of Abbott and showed Gillard picked up numbers among both men and women. Before the controversy, 48 percent of men rated Abbott the best prime minister to Gillard’s 43 percent. That has now reversed with more men favouring Gillard, who also has a 15 percent lead among women. Elections are due in Australia next year. A fired-up Gillard accused Abbott of hypocrisy this month, saying she had been offended by many of his

remarks over the years and she would not be “lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man”. “I’ve had enough, Australian women have had enough. When I see sexism and misogyny I’m going to call them for what they are,” she said. Her speech prompted a leading dictionary last week to broaden its definition of the word misogyny as debate raged about whether Abbott really had a pathological hated of women, which is the current basic definition. Macquarie Dictionary editor Sue Butler said it would now include “entrenched prejudice against women” because usage of the word no longer refers just to a hatred of women. Neither of the political leaders wanted to comment on the poll yesterday, but Finance Minister Penny Wong said it highlighted the fact that people were getting fed up with Abbott. “I don’t comment on polls, but I would say that I think Australians are getting a very clear picture of the difference between the prime minister and Tony Abbott,” she said. “About the prime minister’s clarity about what’s important for the country and her view about the future, and Tony Abbott, who really does nothing other than be aggressively negative.” Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey said: “I’m not sure if polls are always right.” —AFP

Lawmakers in Japan ‘indignant’ at alleged US rape TOKYO: Local lawmakers in Okinawa passed a resolution yesterday expressing “overwhelming indignation” at the alleged rape of a Japanese woman by two US servicemen, as temperatures rose over the large US presence. The resolution, passed unanimously by the island chain’s assembly, said US military top brass were not doing enough to control their thousands of personnel. “Yet another incident has taken place. In fact, the severity of the incidents is intensifying,” it said. “With overwhelming indignation, we must question the present efforts of the US Forces to prevent such incidents from happening.” The arrest last week of two 23year-old sailors for the alleged rape of a local woman worsened already strained ties between the large US military contingent and their reluctant island hosts. The resolution said more than 5,700 crimes had been committed by US military personnel, their family members or employees in the 40 years since the small tropical island chain was handed back to Japan in 1972. Figures from the Okinawa prefectural police show the percentage of crimes committed by this group has fallen from a high in 1973 of 6.9

percent of all crimes to 0.8 percent in 2011. Last year, the group accounted for around three percent of Okinawa’s total population. In the resolution, the assembly demanded “a fundamental review of the Japan-US Status of Forces Agreement”, which Okinawa governor Hirokazu Nakaima said effectively made the island an extraterritorial space for the US military. The agreement limits the authority of Japanese investigators to prosecute US personnel, giving jurisdiction to the American military. Opponents say it too easily leaves criminals unpunished. “We are so fed up with this because incidents like this have often occured since before,” Nakaima told reporters as he arrived in Washington on Sunday, where he is due to attend a symposium. “I must let (Americans) know of such sentiment in Okinawa.” Nakaima’s trip to Washington, which was planned before the alleged rape, comes as US authorities scramble to contain the fallout from the incident amid rising anti-US feeling in Okinawa. On Friday the top US commander in Japan imposed a nationwide curfew on all personnel in the country and announced “core value retraining” would take place. —AFP

YANGON: In this photo taken on Sept 15, 2012, Myanmar landless farmers gather outside the home of Nay Myo Wai, an activist and politician who is leading the farmers in their fight against the Zaykabar Company to sign and thumbprint petitions asking the company for more money, in Yangon, Myanmar. —AP

Land battles surface in Myanmar as reforms unfold MINGALADON: The landscape of Mingaladon township on the northern outskirts of Myanmar’s main city tells a story of economic upheaval. Skeletons of factories for a new industrial zone rise from thick green rice paddies local farmers say were seized by one of Myanmar’s most powerful companies. The fight over land in Mingaladon is one of many such battles in Myanmar. Human rights groups say land battles are intensifying because companies tied to the military and business elite are rushing to grab land as the country emerges from five decades of isolation and opens its economy. Not only that. The political change sweeping through Myanmar means farmers and others are challenging land confiscations in ways that were unimaginable just a few years ago. One Sunday in July, some 200 farmers took to the streets of Yangon, the main city, to protest the Mingaladon land acquisition by the Zaykabar Company. It was the first legal protest to be held in Myanmar since a 1988 uprising against militar y rule was crushed and came just days after a new law allowing peaceful demonstrations was passed by parliament. In the past, protesters have been arrested or shot. Two months after the July protest, dozens of farmers crowded into the shabby two story home of a protest leader to sign and thumbprint petitions asking Zaykabar for more money. “The farmers know their rights and dare to demand their rights,” said Htet Htet Oo Wai, a former political prisoner who has joined the fight over Mingaladon. “They didn’t dare do that kind of thing two years ago,” she said. One of those farmers, Myint Thein, 56, pointed to a metal shed going up on the 15 acres his family used to tend. He said he got no money for the land back in 1997 when the Zaykabar Company began work on a 5,000 acre township, with a large industrial zone, office towers, a mall, some 4,000 residential bungalows and a 21-hole golf course. Farmers such as Myint Thein couldn’t fight back then. They weren’t only ranged against Zaykabar. The company had the backing of the state and was developing the area through a joint venture with the government. Zaykabar paid the government around 14 billion kyat for the land - about $50 million then - and farmers say they saw none of it. “At the time, you couldn’t say anything,” Myint Thein said. “We’d been farming for our whole life,” he said. “It was like our hands were broken.” Before Myanmar’s political reforms began, its military junta exercised unfettered power and in the state dominated economy the ruling generals had the last word on who owned what. The new government still owns all farmland

and while it has made efforts to clarify land use rights it might also have reinforced avenues for small landholders to be dispossessed by the well-connected and powerful. Myanmar passed two new land laws this year, which have been sharply criticized by human rights groups for the broad power they grant the government to requisition land in the national interest. The Asian Human Rights Commission told the United Nations that Myanmar was at risk of a “land-grabbing epidemic” if the laws aren’t changed. Other countries in the region also grapple with land disputes. Cambodia and Vietnam have been plagued by a land-grabbing scourge linked to the powerful. In Vietnam, land seizures are the most common source of conflict between the ruling Communist Party and the Vietnamese people. Zaykabar got more land for its Mingaladon project in 2010 from farmers who said the acquisition was illegal because the government hadn’t authorized it and that they were coerced into accepting too little money for their fields. The company said the allegations aren’t true. A Ministry of Construction official backed part of the farmers’ account, saying a contract to develop the area has yet to be signed, but the government has given no indication it intends to intervene. Some 86 farmers who handed over their land in 2010 have joined forces with over 150 of those who say they lost their land in 1997 to fight Zaykabar, in street marches and the media, through petitions to a new land dispute committee, and in court, if necessary. For now, only a few buildings break Mingaladon’s green fields. Boys fish in muddy ditches as workers lay the bricks of high new walls. But Myanmar’s risingstar status with international investors has given Zaykabar’s slow burning project new urgency. The US and Europe have lifted most sanctions against Myanmar in response to reformist president Thein Sein’s drive to transform the country from a vilified dictatorship to a free-market democracy. Political prisoners have been released and press censorship eased. Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi was elected to Parliament, and the government is appealing to foreign investors for capital and expertise. All that makes the land in Mingaladon more attractive to investors. Zaykabar, a subsidiary of the National Development Company Group, said after upgrading the industrial zone with electricity, water and roads, it has been selling the land for 20 million to 40 million kyat ($23,500 to $47,000) per acre. The highest prices it fetched are more than 130 times the payments that farmers got for an acre of land in 2010. —AP


US teens find expression in school lockers WASHINGTON: On the outside, there’s nothing special about the steel lockers that line the corridors of American schools. Inside, it’s another matter. With a helping hand from savvy retailers, junior high school girls eager to stay in step with fashion are personalizing their lockers like never before, embracing them as blank canvases on which to express themselves. No longer are lockers just a place to stash dog-eared textbooks, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch, and maybe a pop idol’s photo. Now they can become a thing of beauty - at least in a teenager’s eyes - adorned with everything from mini chandeliers to wallpaper. “It started to emerge in the last couple of years,” Deborah Kasak, executive director of the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform, an education think-tank and advocacy group, told AFP. “Middle grades is a time of personality formation so young adolescents try out things as they begin to carve out who they are and who they will become,” she said. “This might be an extension of that

need.” Inei Duenas, 12, who attends North Bethesda Middle School outside Washington, has lined her locker with blue paper, then added pictures, “a whiteboard to jot down stuff I need to do and a mirror to fix my hair”. Her friend Johanna Chatelain, who is French, has equally embraced this very American trend: “I have a mirror, a carpet, a blackboard, too. Everything is in green. I really love my locker, it makes me think of a little house.” Both online and mainstream retailers have been quick to jump on the locker bandwagon in a country where, according to the National Retail Federation, families spend an average of $690 for backto-school clothes and supplies. JoAnn Brewer and Christi Sterling, two mothers from Dallas, Texas, launched what they call a “locker fashions” supply company, LockerLookz, that peddles its wares both online and through 1,200 retailers nationwide. Specially designed wallpaper to line the inside of a locker costs $23 and comes in a variety of shades and patterns,

from pink flowers and zebra stripes to polka dots on lime and black-and-white houndstooth. In lieu of adhesive backing, the wallpaper attaches itself with magnets, so there’s no permanent impact on

the locker. It’s also cut in order to make room for a locker’s built-in locking mechanism. Dozens of accessories that go for about $10 each from LockerLookz include

BETHESDA, Maryland: Twelve-year-old Johanna Chatelain, a 7th grader, proudly shows her decorated locker on Oct 4, 2012 at North Betheda Middle School. — AFP

rugs, curtains, baskets for storing makeup or pens and even lighting. “Our motionsensor locker chandelier, which we introduced to the market in 2011, has been the favorite among both retailers and consumers,” Brewer said. Magnacard, which specializes in magnet-backed business cards, has meanwhile established a separate line of locker products. “Many girls make a big deal out of their first locker,” said its president Paul Buckel. “These girls get so excited about their lockers that they actually have a locker decorating day to get ready for school.” On YouTube, a mother named Jenny demonstrates do-it-yourself techniques using cheap materials, in a series titled “Cute Locker Decorating Project”. One episode features her 11-year-old son looking rather bashful. “Please use my ideas and make them your own,” Jenny says. “Decorating is an expression of your personality, which is why you should pick a theme for your locker,” be it glamorous or athletic, suggests, a website aimed at teenagers. — AFP





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Hezbollah keeps low profile in Lebanon flap By Sammy Ketz mid calls for the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati after the murder of a top security official blamed on Syria, Damascus ally Hezbollah is keeping its head down because it could be a big loser if he goes, analysts say. Hezbollah is the most powerful faction in the cabinet, and its militia the most powerful military force in Lebanon. It will do everything it can to keep Mikati in office in order to block pressure from at home and abroad for it to disarm and, as a member of government, to have the “cover of the state” if it ever goes to war again with Israel, they say. Since police intelligence chief General Wissam AlHassan was killed in a Beirut car bombing on Friday, Hezbollah has made only one terse comment. Without pointing the finger of blame, it said the bombing was “an attempt to destabilise Lebanon and national unity”. Since then, Hezbollah’s own television station, Al-Manar, has limited itself to simply reporting unfolding events. And yesterday, a source close to the Shiite party said merely: “We are following what is happening. We have nothing to say. May God protect Lebanon.” Analyst Amal Saad Ghorayeb told AFP: “Hezbollah is keeping a low profile, waiting for tensions to subside, and will not respond to accusations against it because it fears a change of government. It knows that if the opposition returns to power, or if there is a government of national unity, its position regarding its arsenal and regarding the UN-backed tribunal tasked with trying those charged with murdering Rafiq Hariri will be complicated.” Former premier Hariri was assassinated in a 2005 car bombing. Four members of Hezbollah have been charged with the crime, but they have never been arrested, and the party has said it will not cooperate in the case. Another Hezbollah fear is that a new government in Lebanon “could offer official aid to Syrian rebels or put pressure on Damascus” in the 19-month uprising to oust President Bashar AlAssad. “Syria has problems with political parties in Lebanon, but if the government were to change, it will have problems with the Lebanese state,” said Ghorayeb, author of “Hezbollah: Politics and Religion.” Sociology professor Wadah Sharara said Hezbollah is keen to remain in government to give it the cover of the state if there is another war with Israel, or a conflict involving Iran. “It is a heavyweight in the government and it wants to be able to ensure that if there is an attack by Israel, or a war between Israel and the United States against Iran, its close ally, it will be able to benefit from the support of the Lebanese state.” After Hezbollah sparked a war with Israel in 2006, it bore the brunt of Israel’s wrath, not the army, and the party reproached then premier Fuad Siniora for not throwing the support of the state behind it. In the end, Hezbollah “doesn’t care about the gesticulations and declarations of the opposition, which mean nothing to it. What matters to it is that the current artificially constructed majority (in parliament), made up of many elements, holds together through the blackmail or threats it can make,” Sharara said. And for that, it is counting on mercurial Druze leader Walid Jumblatt who, while an outspoken critic of Assad, is afraid of finding Hezbollah in opposition. Yesterday, Jumblatt said “criticising the government and putting preconditions on its resignation will expose the country to destabilisation and force it into a new trap set by the Syrian government, which wants to create a political vacuum”. There are only three ways the government can fall. The premier can resign, more than one third of ministers can resign or any MP can demand a vote of confidence, which requires 50 percent of deputies plus one to pass. In the end, Hezbollah does not believe the international community wants the Lebanese government to fall, or that it will. And political science professor Ghassan Al-Azzi says there is a good reason for its confidence. He says Hariri is focusing his political fire on Mikati, rather than taking Hezbollah head on, because “if you take Hezbollah on directly, it means without a doubt that you are in favour of civil war.” — AFP


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Killing raises fears for Lebanon By Samia Nakhoul he Beirut car bomb that killed a top Lebanese security official will probably prove to be the most destabilising attack in Lebanon since the 2005 assassination of former prime minister Rafiq Al-Hariri. What is less clear - and this is something that instils fear in a society still scarred by its 1975-90 civil war - is whether the attack was a reprisal or the start of a campaign of violence by Damascus and its allies, suspected by many Lebanese of trying to spread Syria’s conflict across its borders. Lebanon, which has yet to fully overcome its own wartime sectarian divisions, is too fragile to withstand being enveloped by a Syrian conflict that is beginning to mirror Lebanon’s own slide into fratricidal bloodletting. Wissam Al-Hassan, the security official who died with seven others on Friday, was buried with full honours in an emotional state funeral on Sunday at the Rafiq Al-Hariri mosque, the heart of the former premier’s reconstruction legacy in central Beirut. The funeral turned into a political rally against Syria and its local allies in Lebanon. Hassan is thought to have been targeted because in August, after a carefully planned sting operation, his Internal Security Forces intelligence unit arrested a former Lebanese cabinet minister close to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. The minister, Michel Samaha, is charged with transporting Syrian-assembled bombs to launch attacks on sectarian targets in Lebanon. Two Syrian officers, including General Ali Mamlouk, were indicted with Samaha in a humiliating blow to Assad and an unprecedented move against Lebanon’s dominant neighbour. Hassan also led the investigation into Hariri’s murder and uncovered evidence that implicated Syria and Hezbollah, although both deny the charge. An international tribunal accused several Hezbollah members of involvement in the murder. “There is a probability that this will be the start of a new period in which we will see more assassinations,


bombings and other problems,” said Sarkis Naoum, a columnist and Syria expert. “Sectarian incitement is on the rise in the country and the killing of Wissam Al-Hassan brought things to a head. We may be entering a very dangerous cycle. Anything might happen. It is not possible for the Syria conflict not to have implications on Lebanon. The Lebanese have entered the Syria war - one side is with the Assad regime and another is against it. They are fighting each other by proxy,” Naoum said. aTiny Lebanon, with its combustible sectarian mix, is being dragged into the Syria crisis with its rival Shiite and Sunni Muslims fighting on opposite sides. Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah group backs Assad, a member of the Shiite-based Alawite sect, in his fight against the Sunni-led insurgency. Lebanon’s Sunnis and allied Sunni powers, notably Saudi Arabia and Turkey, support the Sunni rebels. The killing of thousands of Sunnis in Syria has angered Sunnis in Lebanon and across the region. Hassan’s attacker did more than just kill Lebanon’s most powerful intelligence brain, who collected data on all major players and uncovered several plots in recent years. The killer performed a public execution that sent a warning to all those who dared challenge Syria in Lebanon. Some analysts said the devastating attack against Hassan’s anti-Syria investigative establishment bore important similarities to the blast that targeted Assad’s inner circle of security officials in Damascus in July. “Whoever did this attack wanted to deliver a message that they can reach anybody, that they can hit the highest level of intelligence,” said Beirut-based commentator Rami Khouri. “Whoever did it wanted to say ‘we can still strike’.” Opposition politicians and ordinary people at Martyrs’ Square saw Syria’s hand in the bombing. “Wissam Al-Hassan has one enemy - Bashar AlAssad,” said Beirut MP Nouhad Mashnouq, a leading member of the March 14 opposition bloc led by Saad Al-Hariri, son of the slain expremier. Mashnouq said the cases Hassan had

brought against Samaha and Mamlouk were actions against Syria unprecedented in the history of Lebanon. Despite the accusations from Lebanese politicians, both the Assad government and Hezbollah condemned the bombing. The immediate destabilising effect of Friday’s blast can already be seen on the streets. Angry mourners tried to storm Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s offices in Beirut after the funeral, breaking through a security barrier and scuffling with police who fired in the air. Four people have been killed in clashes in the northern city of Tripoli and five people were wounded in Beirut yesterday. “Mikati leave, get out,” chanted hundreds of protesters. They also chanted slogans against Assad, whom they accused of being behind the killing of Hassan. The protesters blame Mikati’s pro-Syrian and proIranian-dominated coalition government for failing to provide security or respond effectively to the killing. In a strongly worded statement yesterday, the Lebanese army said the nation faced a critical time and pledged to act decisively to “curb tensions, stamp out violations and prevent Lebanon being transformed again into a place for regional score-settling and stop the exploitation of Hassan’s murde.. It warned that targeting public or private institutions crossed a “red line”, and it would respond. Displeasure with Mikati came as spreading unrest raised fears among Lebanese that their country could slide back into the sectarian strife that haunted them for decades. Mikati, a Sunni Muslim whom many see as unwilling to confront Hezbollah, said he had offered to step down, but that President Michel Suleiman asked him “to stay on to avoid letting Lebanon slide into turmoil”. Syria’s civil war is already being played out on the streets of Tripoli in northern Lebanon, where fighting has erupted between Sunni fighters and Alawites. The Syrian unrest has often spilled into Lebanese border villages with Assad’s forces shelling them, saying they were being used by

rebels to smuggle in fighters and arms. Officials close to Hassan, who had been under threat since he pushed for Samaha’s arrest, said he was using more than one safe house and that only two close associates, including the one who died with him, knew about his movements. They suspect that Hassan’s movements were followed after his return on Thursday night from a trip abroad. “There is a contentious history between Wissam AlHassan and Syria, Iran and their Lebanese allies (Hezbollah),” said one security source, who declined to give his name. “All the espionage and intelligence services of the world are present in Lebanon and they pay huge sums of money for information and there are many Lebanese guns for hire.” Khouri, a Middle East affairs specialist, said the Hassan assassination was a logical extension of what has been happening in Syria over the past 19 months. “There has been a steady increase in violence and now we are going to the next step of assassinations, bombings and maybe clashes. It is terrible but it is not unexpected,” he said. Hassan was killed because he was leading the investigation that led to the prosecution of some important figures, he said. “It certainly reminds people of a string of assassinations that followed Hariri’s killing,” Khouri said. Some analysts said the perpetrators of the bombing - which also wounded more than 80 - clearly aimed to push Lebanon into a new round of violence. But although sectarian tensions are high, Lebanese factions have no desire to return to civil war. Despite persistent calls by Hariri and others for Mikati to resign, many politicians and Western envoys sought compromise, arguing that high-level resignations and political turmoil in Lebanon were precisely what Hassan’s killers intended. Lebanon’s sectarian-based politics are further complicated by regional hostility. While the main Lebanese opposition has long been aligned with Washington and Saudi Arabia, Mikati’s governing coalition is endorsed by Iran and Syria.— Reuters

Armstrong legacy hangs over sport’s future path By Julien Pretot ance Armstrong was ditched from the Tour de France record books yesterday but the question of whether cycling should forget his tarnished legacy or use it as a force for change must be urgently addressed. The International Cycling Union (UCI) has ratified the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s decision to strip Armstrong of his seven titles, leaving a crater in the Tour annals from 1999-2005. “He deserves to be forgotten,” UCI president Pat McQuaid told a news conference in front of more than a 100 journalists. But can the retired American and his legacy really be forgotten for the sport to move on and try to forge a doping-free future? As McQuaid said himself, his tenure as UCI president from 2005 has been riddled with doping scandals from the Floyd Landis affair in 2006 when the American was stripped of the Tour title through Alberto Contador’s troubles where the Spaniard too lost his 2010 crown. The cheats all followed in Armstrong’s footsteps whether they knew the whole truth about the American or not and riders who worked with the 41-year-old are still in the peloton Many American riders who testified against him and themselves to USADA received reduced bans and they will be


back to race having vowed never to dope again. The USADA report also showed other riders than Armstrong who wired large sums of money to sports doctor Michele Ferrari, who was banned for life for masterminding the former rider’s doping program. “We haven’t got to this stage of looking for other stuff that’s in that report,” said McQuaid. “We are also awaiting news from Padua in Italy (another investigation into an alleged doping ring) which might implicate some riders.” For cycling to truly move on it has to use the Armstrong affair to further promote change rather than banish it as uncomfortable evidence of a bygone age when cheats ruled the roost. “There must be more action to combat the system that took over the sport,” Travis Tygart, the head of USADA, said in a statement. “It is important to remember that while today is a historic day for clean sport, it does not mean clean sport is guaranteed for tomorrow. “Only an independent Truth and Reconciliation Commission can fully start cycling on the path toward true reform and provide hope for a complete break from the past.” UCI lawyer Philippe Verbiest suggested that such a commission would be good “for all sports”. Cycling has indeed made great strides in combating doping in recent years but has received bad press because it is catching cheats, albeit sometimes slowly, while other sports struggle to match cycling’s complex anti-drug procedures. Irishman McQuaid, who confessed

he never turned professional as a young rider in the 1970s because he feared he would have to dope, nevertheless sees a positive future for his beleaguered sport. “As JF Kennedy said, quoting a Chinese saying: ‘When written in Chinese, the word crisis consists in two characters: one represents danger, one represents opportunity’,” he remarked. “The fight against doping advances and the tools available to international federations in the fight against doping advance, and the tools available to us in the UCI now are much more advanced than in the early 2000s.” A culture shift has happened too, he believes, something borne out by the strong anti-doping stances of many teams and the passionate verbal blasts handed out by 2012 Tour champion Bradley Wiggins to anyone who questioned his good faith. “Many riders are saying they don’t want to be involved in the culture of doping, even ones who were witnesses in this affair admitted they did not want to be involved. The riders today have a different attitude,” McQuaid added. “We have to have faith in the riders today, the sponsors are heavily involved in the sport (...) We lost a very important sponsor, Rabobank, last week, that’s true, but I’m quite confident that this sponsor will be replaced and the sponsors we have understand what is going on.” However, cycling has been at a crossroads before and not acted sufficiently to spare it from ridicule. In 1998, the sport was plunged into a major crisis with the Festina doping affair and it failed to prevent Armstrong from then implementing what was regarded by USADA as the most sophisticated doping program ever seen. The culture has also not changed completely. Some riders still regard Armstrong as a true champion. “It was difficult for the UCI to have another response,” France coach and former tour of Spain winner Laurent Jalabert told French radio station RTL. “Anyway, he was a great champion. Whatever he could have taken, there were not that many riders at the same level. He had a huge talent. He may have made a mistake, he got caught, he has been punished for it. He is not the first but, whatever, he had outstanding skills.” Cycling has much more work to do. — Reuters



Pilgrims perform their prayers around the Kaaba in the Grand Mosque of the holy city of Makkah yesterday. — AFP

Bosnian walks to Makkah for haj Continued from Page 1 I went through Aleppo and Damascus and passed dozens of check-points held by pro-government and rebel forces alike, but I was never detained,” Hadzic said. “At a check-point held by (President Bashar) Al-Assad’s forces the soldier ordered me to empty my backpack ... When I showed them my Quran and explained I was making the pilgrimage on foot, they let me go,” he told AFP. “I walked in the name of Allah, for Islam, for Bosnia-Hercegovina, for my parents and my sister,” he added. On his Facebook page he said God had shown him the way in dreams, including to go through Syria instead of Iraq. During the pilgrimage, Hadzic faced temperatures ranging from minus 35 Celsius in Bulgaria to plus 44 Celsius in Jordan. He said he had to wait in Istanbul for several weeks to get permission to cross the Bosphorus Bridge on foot and two months at the border between Jordan and Saudi Arabia to obtain an entry visa. The haj is one of the five pillars of Islam and must be undertaken at least once in a lifetime by all Muslims who are able to. Meanwhile, nods, smiles, frowns, and hand

gestures speak volumes in Makkah where Muslims gathered from across the world for the annual pilgrimage manage to communicate in silence. In the Grand Mosque, home to the holy Kaaba, an African woman frowns and waves her hand to signal to a female Turkish pilgrim that the prayer is not yet over. She understands, nods, smiles and continues to pray. Afterwards they shake hands and exchange smiles. It all takes place in silence, both women well aware that they could not have had this dialogue aloud as they speak very different languages. “We call this special means of communication the ‘language of the Haram’ (Grand Mosque),” says Ali Abdullah, a Sudanese shopkeeper living in Makkah. “I deal with Asian pilgrims using sign language,” he said. “We depend on body language and signs and even on drawings in some cases. I can deal better with Nigerians and other Africans who can usually speak English, but Asians have their own languages which I can’t understand.” Abdullah, who has been working in Makkah for five years, tries to improve his communication skills by offering customers a pen and paper to draw the item they are looking for as he tries to commit to memory the words they use for the drawing.

“I try to memorise it in case someone asks for the same thing in future,” he says with a grin. Meanwhile his colleague Rasheed Ali, from Myanmar, proudly announces “I speak 10 languages. I learned them all from working here for 17 years.” Pilgrims nearby stop to ask a security official for directions. He understands, nods and points. “I don’t speak foreign languages but I can understand what they are trying to say and they usually understand my directions,” he says. If not, he has to leave his post and lead them to their destination. It took Majed Al-Qulaisi, a Saudi merchant, two to three years to learn Turkish, Malaysian and some Russian. But with Africans, he still communicates using sign language. “Sometimes they don’t understand what I’m saying. I could say something which a pilgrim would interpret as an insult, get cross with me and walk out of the shop.” After 11 years in the small shop selling rosaries made from precious stones, Qulaisi’s job has become easier as he now knows beforehand what stones every pilgrim is looking for depending on their country of origin. “Southeast Asians usually look for pearls, coral, and wooden rosaries,” he said. “Africans prefer long rosaries while Turks look

Opposition insists demos not against... Continued from Page 1 not limited to abolishing the controversial amendment of the electoral law but also extend to achieving political reforms to transform the country into a full parliamentary democratic system. The health ministry medics department said they treated around 70 protesters and around 21 of them needed hospital treatment, but the director of the Kuwait Society for Human Rights Mohammad AlHumaidi said at least 100 people were hurt. The society began yesterday receiving complaints from protesters who were hurt in order to raise the issue with international human rights organizations and likely in local courts. Defence lawyer Al-Humaidi Al-Subaie also said that around 70 people have been detained including former Islamist MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaei, spokesman of the National Front for Safeguarding the Constitution Khaled Al-Fadhalah and his younger brother Rashed. The detainees are facing charges of taking part in an illegal procession, assaulting policemen and undermining the status of HH the Amir. Later yesterday, Humaidi, said that the interior minister had ordered the release of all those detained during Sunday’s demonstration. “All of them have been freed without bail,” Humaidi said on his Twitter account. Charges against them have not been dropped, he said. The opposition statement also charged that the government used “foreign elements” within the elite special forces in clashes with protesters. The statement however did not identify the elements but a source in the opposition said they were members of a foreign community in Kuwait, which was vehemently denied by officials. “I condemn the use of such allegations by the opposition. Why would the interior ministry use foreign elements if it has its own sons to help keep the peace,” a source in the ministry said. Meanwhile, the criminal court will start today the trial of three former opposition MPs -Falah Al-Sawwagh, Bader Al-Dahoum and Khaled Al-Tahous - on charges of undermining the status of the Amir. The three were arrested on Thursday after addressing the Amir publicly at a public gathering on Oct 10. The government has accused them of making improper remarks against the

regime. The public prosecution however freed on a KD 1,000 bail a fourth former opposition MP Osama AlMunawer pending trial. The prosecution has also issued an arrest warrant against former prominent MP Musallam Al-Barrak for making similar remarks at a public rally on Oct 15. Barrak has not yet been arrested. The Cabinet meanwhile charged that a group of agitators started the clashes with police and reiterated that it will implement the law that bans processions and the assembly of more than 20 people without a prior licence. “Unfortunately, we are heading towards the unknown ... I expect more protests, more demonstrations and more confrontations,” political analyst Ayed AlManna said. “The regime may declare martial law, leading to an open and bitter confrontation between it and the people,” the political science professor said. “I think we have entered a new phase in which youths are playing a pivotal role,” said independent political analyst Dahem Al-Qahtani. “If no peaceful solution is reached, we could be moving into a scenario similar to (neighbouring) Bahrain,” Qahtani told AFP, in reference to sporadic but persistent street protests against the ruling family. “After reaching this stage, it is very difficult, if not impossible, for the popular movement to back down ... The solution is in real democratic reforms,” he said. Anwar Al-Rasheed, secretary general of the Gulf Forum for Civil Societies said protests will not stop in Kuwait without real and fundamental reforms. “There must be political parties, a premier from outside the ruling family and fundamental political reforms, otherwise we will remain stuck in a vicious circle” of political strife, Rasheed told AFP. Overthrowing the Sabah family, which has ruled Kuwait virtually unchallenged for over 250 years, is not part of the plan, analysts argued. “This is totally ruled out. No one has demanded the overthrow of the regime or to change the ruling family,” said Manna. Qahtani said the opposition is working for a “Kuwaitistyle” constitutional monarchy where the people will have a greater say in running their affairs, adding that the protests are also aimed at preventing Kuwait from sliding back into “an absolute monarchy”. “There is a real fear among Kuwaitis that their country could become like the rest of their Gulf neighbours which have no democracy and (political) freedom,” he said.

for smaller ones with 33 beads” instead of the standard 99, representing the various names of God. A few kilometres away, a policeman trying to organise the pilgrims’ movements in and out of the mosque waves his arms to direct the crowds, whose various phonetics mingle to form a loud reverberating buzz inside the building. But silence descends as prayer begins and the pilgrims all recite the Holy Quran, and worship Allah in Arabic. Speaking English with difficulty, a Turkish pilgrim says “in the mosque we understand with signs”. Signposts in the mosque and its squares are often illustrated with drawings in addition to being written mainly in English, Arabic and Urdu. The Saudi authorities have taken various small steps to try to overcome the linguistic challenges posed by the pilgrimage of more than two million foreigners who arrive each year for the world’s largest Muslim gathering. As pilgrims pour into the country through the haj terminal in Jeddah airport, they are met by officials from the ministry of haj, many of whom are capable of giving directions and advice in different languages. Millions of booklets, films, copies of the

Quran and tapes in various languages are also handed out to pilgrims arriving from abroad. Media outlets provide basic information in 32 different languages. A hotline, the Mnask service, has also been set up to respond to the questions of pilgrims in Arabic, English, French, Urdu, Indonesian, Turkish, Bengali and Hausa. The authorities have launched a free smart phone application that provides a simple explanation on haj rituals in four languages - English, Arabic, Indonesian, and Urdu. The religious police have meanwhile hired 700 translators to guide pilgrims in Makkah and the second holy city Madinah. Some pilgrims attempt to learn some Arabic during their short stay for haj. “I have learned a few Arabic words to help me communicate with people here. I can say ‘shukran’ which means thank you and ‘sabr’ which means patience,” said a US pilgrim of Nigerian origin. “In the United States we say restrooms, but here they understand toilets, so I do my best to use the words I figure they can understand.” By contrast, however, a young Chinese woman standing nearby shakes her head and stares blankly when approached, saying “China” and an Iranian pilgrim gives a similar reaction repeating “Farsi, Farsi”. — AFP

Finning hits Gulf sharks hard Continued from Page 1 said. “We know shark populations are depleting around the world so we are kind of racing against time to see what is going on.” Fishermen across the globe kill as many as 70 million sharks each year for their fins, which can sell for $700 a pound (450 gm), while the soup prized for Chinese banquets and weddings can cost $100 a bowl. The fin trade has devastated several species including hammerheads, oceanic whitetip, blue, threshers and silky and contributed to 181 shark and ray species being listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as threatened with extinction. The trade is legal, though efforts are being made to ban the practice of “finning” - hacking the fins off of sharks and throwing the rest overboard, often while they are still alive. Four years ago, under international pressure, the UAE joined the growing number of countries banning the practice. Spain is top among 82 countries that export fins, mostly to Hong Kong and other Asian markets, followed by Singapore and Taiwan, according to Sonja Fordham, president of the Washington, DC-based Shark Advocates International. The United Arab Emirates is ranked fourth mostly because it is a regional hub for the trade in sharks coming predominantly from Oman but also from Yemen, Iran and Africa. The trade thrives in the Arabian Gulf, as it does worldwide, shark conservationists said, mainly because there aren’t enough people out there like Jabado. The fast-talking Jabado, who favors a white bandanna, black T-shirt and trousers when she is in the field, is the only person in the UAE assessing shark numbers. Governments in the region have until now largely ignored sharks in favor of more commercial fish species like grouper. They have almost no data on the numbers and species of sharks that can be found from the Red Sea to the Gulf of Oman, often lack the laws that would curb the trade and don’t have the money or the political will to enforce the laws they do have on the books, such as bans on shark fishing. “In an ideal world what we would have is every population of every shark monitored so we know how many adults there are,” said Nick Dulvy, a Canadian researcher who is the co-chair of IUCN’s Shark Specialist Group that is tasked with determining which species are endangered. The challenges were laid bare at a shark conservation workshop in the UAE this month. Governments from across the Arabian Gulf sent

representatives and all offered testimony of just why their country wasn’t doing more to protect sharks. Kuwait talked of protecting two shark species but admitted enforcement of its ban on shark fishing was weak and that government inspectors and fishermen couldn’t even identify them. Saudi Arabia claimed it banned the export of fins in 2008 but had no answers as to why its fins continue to turn up in Hong Kong markets. Oman sent a government team with no experience with sharks while Bahrain and the UAE admitted they lacked sufficient data to determine whether sharks were overfished in their waters. “Our hands are tied because of insufficient data,” Mohammed Tabish, a fisheries specialist with the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water, told the conference. “It’s all collected in general form and includes no species specific data which makes it difficult to take the necessary actions for particular species.” Yemen and Somalia, whose sharks routinely turn up in Dubai’s market, are typical of countries with bigger problems. Both have thriving shark fisheries - Yemen ranks sixth in exporters to Hong Kong and is one of the few countries that consume sharks domestically. Yemen has no laws protecting sharks while Somalia lacks the means to enforce the laws it has on the books due to a lack of funds, its long-running civil war and fledging government. “If you go to the Somalia coast at night, you will see thousands of ships fishing illegally, mostly for sharks and lobster,” Ahmed Shaikh Mahmoud Osman, wildlife director for Somalia’s Ministry of Fisheries and Environment, said of the boats which come primarily from Asian countries. “We need fishing boats to safeguard the coast. We also need renewal of formal laws to stop criminals and greedy business people who come to our coast and smuggle our resources.” Dulvey, Fordham and Jabado encouraged the region’s governments to start collecting data and using it to draw up management plans which can include quotas and outright bans on endangered shark species. Until now, no governments in the Gulf have quotas on shark fishing nor have any national shark conservation plans. The UAE, Bahrain and Qatar do, however, give protection to sawfish - a shark-like ray species that is the most threatened marine species in the world. Fordham also said Oman and Yemen could join the UAE in requiring that sharks are landed with their fins attached - rather than processed at sea - which helps with enforcement and makes it easier to collect scientific data. — AP

Army, gunmen clash in Beirut Kuwait Airways declared shareholding... Continued from Page 1 deposit proceeds to the state treasury. The second provision of the decree affirms that that the company shall retain its rights and prerogatives, namely with regard of transportation, any prerogatives to be decided by the state for other air companies, with exemption of custom tariffs, fees of spare parts at Kuwait airport, contracts between the corporation and some state authorities as well as granted permits. Term three says the government shall cover losses of

the corporation, that staff who desire to resign be granted end of service payments. And this task would be undertaken by the Ministry of Finance. Management of the newly-formed company shall be undertaken by a seven-member board, to be named by a decision by the minister of communication, for a three-year, renewable term. The minister is also entitled to name a board chairman. The board will embark on structuring the company, according to the commercial corporate law, namely the enactment of the constituent and by-laws - in addition to material and human power structuring. — KUNA

Continued from Page 1 Later, soldiers responded after being fired on as they tried to clear a road into the district, a stronghold of opposition leader Saad Hariri whose supporters had blocked it despite calls by the former premier to stay off the streets. The army spokesman said a 20-year-old Palestinian, Ahmad Quaider, was shot after firing at an army patrol. In Tripoli, a Sunni bastion where opposition to Assad is strong, seven people were killed and 12 wounded during clashes between Sunnis and Alawites, an offshoot of Shiite Islam to which the Syrian president

belongs, security sources said. Two Alawites and five Sunnis died. The same sources reported snipers in the city late yesterday. Clashes have erupted regularly in Tripoli as tensions spill over the border from Syria, where a 19-month-old anti-regime revolt has left more than 34,000 people dead. Lebanon has been on edge since Friday, when police intelligence chief General Wissam Al-Hassan died in the Beirut bombing. The attack sparked immediate calls for Prime Minister Najib Mikati, whose cabinet is dominated by Damascus ally Hezbollah, to resign. Hezbollah’s militia, which never disarmed after the 1975-90 civil war, is the most powerful military force in Lebanon. — AFP


sp orts Jail for Kirkland attacker LONDON: A 16-week jail term handed out to a Leeds United fan yesterday for attacking former England goalkeeper Chris Kirkland in a match against Sheffield Wednesday was too lenient, the Championship (second tier) club said. Aaron Cawley, 21, from Cheltenham, pleaded guilty at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court to assault and invading the pitch during the game at Hillsborough on Friday. Wednesday keeper Kirkland was pushed in the face by Cawley and shoved to the ground moments after conceding an equaliser in the 76th minute. After treatment he was able to continue for the remainder of the game which ended 1-1. “While we are pleased to see justice brought so quickly, our one disappointment is that we feel the sentence could, and should, have been considerably longer,” Leeds said in a statement on their website ( Cawley was given a five-year football banning order by the court and Leeds said he would be banned for life from attending games at Elland Road.—Reuters

NZ great Whineray dies WELLINGTON: New Zealand rugby great Wilson Whineray, who captained the All Blacks 67 times between 1957 and 1965, died in Auckland early yesterday. He was 77. Judged by renowned rugby writer Terry McLean as the greatest of All Blacks captains, Whineray was a mobile prop with the handling skills of a back who played in a muchfeared pack alongside Colin Meads, Kel Tremain and Ken Gray. In total, he played 77 times for the All Blacks, including in 32 tests - a remarkable tally in the days when only two or three test were played each year. New Zealand lost only four of the 30 tests played when he was captain. After retirement from the

game in 1966, he studied on a scholarship for an MBA at Harvard University before forging a successful business career. Whineray was knighted in 1998 for “services to sport and business management”. “Today is a very sad day. We have lost one of New Zealand’s great heroes and for the rugby community we have lost a much-loved patron and champion of rugby,” New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) chairman Mike Eagle said in a news release. “Regarded as one of the great All Blacks legends, Sir Wilson also made significant contributions to the community through his work with sport, charities and business.”—Reuters

Muamba ties the knot LONDON: Fabrice Muamba continued his extraordinary recovery from the on-pitch collapse that almost killed him by marrying fiancee Shauna Magunda at the weekend, he said yesterday. “FIRST full day as a married man!! Wow! Very blessed to be married Mrs @ShaunaMuamba #Happiness,” he wrote on his Twitter account @fmuamba. His new bride also tweeted news of the happy day. “Officially Mrs Shauna Muamba. Thank you all for your love and support,” she wrote. The Daily Mail newspaper on Monday said that Muamba, 24, and 27-year-old Magunda tied the knot at a castle in Cheshire, northwest England, on Saturday, and said that former Arsenal and France striker Thierry Henry was his best man. Muamba collapsed during an FA Cup tie between his club Bolton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane seven months ago. The Democratic Republic of Congo-born midfielder was effectively dead for 78 minutes but was brought back to life after shocks from a defibrillator got his heart beating again.—AFP

Wagner wins Skate America KENT: Ashley Wagner put her self-described “Almost Girl” tag behind her at Skate America. The 21-year-old won the women’s title, and 18-year-old teammate Christina Gao made it a 1-2 US finish Sunday. Competing in her first Skate America, Wagner, adding a well-executed long program to the short program that she won Saturday, finished with 188.37 points. That included 127.76 in her long program to music from “Samson and Delilah.” She scored 60.61 points in the short program. “After the short program, I definitely felt it was plausible to win the whole event,” said Wagner, fourth in the world championships in March in the best finish by a US skater since 2007. “It was kind of a good end, because I started worrying about it a little bit. But I’m happy I was able to keep my nerves under control and accomplish what I wanted to accomplish.” As for her “Almost Girl” past - Wagner barely missed making the 2010 US Olympic team and two previous world championship teams - she said that truly is behind her. “That was one phrase that I only said once, but everyone latched onto it. Now, I think I can let that go,” Wagner said. “It’s not that I’m a different person now. I’m the same person, but I have the mental strength to perform the way that I do in practice, which makes it a lot more enjoyable.” Gao moved up to second place with a strong free skate. She had 174.25 points - 117.62 of those Sunday. Russia’s Adelina Sotnikova third with 168.96. She was in second place after the short program, but fell on a triple flip during the free skate to knock her down one place. Earlier, Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the U.S. won their third straight Skate America dance title. The four-time defending national champions won the silver medal at this year’s world championship, and have won 10 straight Grand Prix events, including the last four Grand Prix finals. Wagner was smooth and clean on virtually every element in the free skate. She opened with a triple flip-double toeloopdouble loop, did a triple flip on her final jump, and glided through a change foot combo spin finish it. “I really fought through one of those jumps, but I’m really pleased with what I put out,” Wagner said. “One of the things I learned from (coach) John Nicks is you can’t just give away jumps. You have to fight for every single thing. It’s having the confidence that even if something is a little bit off, you can have the speed to get out of it and land it.” Wagner certainly had a tough act to follow. Gao dazzled the audience with a performance to “Libertango” that was every bit as well executed as Wagner’s. That came on the heels of Saturday’s strong short program for Gao. “I think I was a lot more confident coming into this than ever before, only because of the way I’ve been training,” said Gao, who is combining her skating with her studies at Harvard. “It’s kind of what I’ve been doing in practice every day. That’s what I’ve been telling myself - just make it like practice - and I did.” The 16-year-old Sotnikova was within striking distance of Wagner going into the free skate, trailing the American by 1.78 points. But the fall took the 2011 world junior champion and three-time Russian senior champion out of the running. “I’m very pleased that I did the triple-triple combination that I really wanted to do today,” Sotnikova said. “But I’m completely unhappy about missing that second triple flip.” In the dance, Davis and White, skating to “Notre Dame de Paris,” totaled 176.28 points over two days of competition, including 104.89 in Sunday’s free dance. They were more than 16 points ahead of Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev of Russia, who had 159.95 for second. “We had a couple little technical glitches here and there,” Davis said. “We’re definitely looking to getting our technical scores much higher. Overall, it was a good start to the season.” Canada’s Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje finished third at 157.32. Bobrova and Soloviev were third heading into the free dance, but outscored Weaver and Poje by 6.51 points to move up a spot.—AP

SAN FRANCISCO: St. Louis Cardinals’ David Freese can’t come up with a ball hit by San Francisco Giants’ Hunter Pence during the fifth inning of Game 6 of baseball’s National League championship series.—AP

Giants force NLCS decider SAN FRANCISCO: The San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals sure have something about going down to final games this postseason. So it’s fitting that the two previous World Series champions are playing a winner-take-all Game 7 for the chance to get back to baseball’s biggest stage. Ryan Vogelsong struck out a career-best nine in another postseason gem in his biggest start yet, and San Francisco staved off elimination for the second straight game, handing St. Louis a 6-1 loss Sunday night to force the deciding game in the NL championship series on Monday. San Francisco’s Matt Cain and St. Louis’ Kyle Lohse are set to pitch in a rematch of Game 3, won by the Cardinals. There’s a forecast of rain in the Bay Area during the day. “You’ve seen us the last couple years, it seems, unfortunately, we don’t win until we absolutely need to,” Lohse said. “So, it’s one of those things where we would love to have taken care of business the last two games. We haven’t. ... It’s time to get it done.” Lohse and manager Mike Matheny will need to get more from the Cardinals’ offense if they’re going to get a shot at defending their title against the Detroit Tigers, who have been waiting since completing a sweep of the Yankees on Thursday. Marco Scutaro delivered a tworun double and Buster Posey drove in his first run of the series with a groundout in the first inning as San Francisco struck early to support Vogelsong. He followed up Barry Zito’s stellar Game 5 outing in St. Louis with one of his own. “I just kind of saw the way our team reacted the other night when Barry came out ... early and was throwing up zeroes,” Vogelsong said. “I saw how our team was feeding off that. I just knew that I had to go out there and keep them off the board.” These wild-card Cardinals sure seem to like

the all-or-nothing route in October, while San Francisco thrives on playing from behind. In five games with their year on the line, the gutsy Giants have pulled out five wins in the postseason. After winning the onegame wild-card playoff at Atlanta, the Cardinals were on the brink against Washington before a remarkable four-run rally in the ninth for a 9-7 Game 5 win in the division series. “Clutch performances are just guys playing normally in big spots. You can’t be petrified by the situation, and neither of these teams have been,” St. Louis’ Lance Berkman said. “One of the things that makes Game 7’s so interesting is that I don’t think either of these teams is going to choke it away.” Pitching to chants of “Vogey! Vogey!” from the sellout crowd of 43,070 at AT&T Park, the right-hander didn’t allow a hit until Daniel Descalso’s broken-bat single to center with two outs in the fifth. Vogelsong struck out the side in the first and had already fanned five through two innings. “This place is going to be loud, I can tell you that,” Vogelsong said yesterday. Scutaro had no chance for a collision with Matt Holliday this time. In their first game back at AT&T Park since Holliday took out the second baseman with a hard slide in Game 2, Holliday was scratched about an hour before first pitch because of tightness in his lower back, and Allen Craig replaced him in left field. It hardly mattered the way Vogelsong pitched. The Cardinals managed their only run on Craig’s two-out single in the sixth. St. Louis had gone 15 innings without scoring after left-hander Zito won 5-0 on Friday in Game 5. Vogelsong had his second impressive seven-inning performance against the Cardinals in a week, allowing four hits and one run. He walked one in a 102-pitch performance and lowered his postseason ERA -

all this year - to 1.42. The 35-year-old Vogelsong toiled through the minors, Japan and even winter ball to finally pitch under the October spotlight for a chance at the World Series. His latest impressive outing put the Giants one win away. “I just believe that it’s my time,” Vogelsong said. After taking a 3-1 lead back home at Busch Stadium, Matheny ’s Cardinals will have to find some offense in a hurry if they want to get back to the World Series. “Everything is on the line, and we couldn’t be happier to have Kyle Lohse on the mound knowing that we’re going to have another tough day with Matt Cain,” Matheny said. “We’ve had some games where we stack on runs and then we go absolutely hitless, almost, for a while. But any day we know our offense can pull out quite a bit of production.” These Cards might just prefer close calls. Just like last year. They won the NL’s second wild card on the second-to-last day of the regular season, then won at Atlanta to reach the division series. The Cardinals rallied from a 6-0 deficit with a four-run ninth inning to stun the Washington Nationals 97 in Game 5 of the division series. The Giants got to St. Louis ace Chris Carpenter again. The Cardinals’ winningest postseason pitcher with 10 victories looked out of sync for the second straight start and he left with a nearly identical line as in his 7-1 Game 2 loss here last Monday, down to the hits, earned runs, unearned runs and innings. Carpenter was done in by one big inning this time, too. He allowed six hits and five runs, two earned, in four innings. Vogelsong reached on shortstop Pete Kozma’s fielding error in the second, scoring Brandon Belt after he led off the inning with a triple. Scutaro came up two batters later and doubled home two more runs. The 10 unearned runs allowed by the Cardinals are the most in an NLCS, accord-

ing to STATS LLC - topping the nine given up by the Braves in 2001 and Dodgers in 1985. San Francisco never faced an elimination game in 2010 on the way to winning the World Series, but has had to go the distance in each of its first two postseason series this year. They became the first team in major league history to come back from a 2-0 deficit to win a best-of-five series by winning three straight on the road, doing it at Cincinnati. “We’re enjoying this moment. We know how to handle this situation,” San Francisco third baseman Pablo Sandoval said. They have Vogelsong along for this year’s run. “He was on top of his game again,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “He’s probably been as consistent as any starter this year.” The Giants put pressure on Carpenter right away. Scutaro drew a one -out walk and Sandoval doubled off the wall in center on a ball that eluded Jon Jay. Posey followed with a groundout to third to score Scutaro for a 1-0 lead. Scutaro is batting .458 (11 for 24) during the NLCS. “I don’t really know, man,” Scutaro said when asked to explain it. “Just excited to come to the field every day. ... Being in this opportunity, just being in the playoffs, is amazing.” While the Giants have won five straight games facing elimination this postseason, the Cardinals have won their last six dating to last year. This is the first time the NLCS has gone seven games since 2006, when St. Louis beat the New York Mets 3-1 at Shea Stadium. Carlos Beltran, now with the Cardinals, struck out looking when Adam Wainwright froze him on a curveball. “This night, this moment belongs to every player in here and every fan in the stands,” San Francisco right fielder Hunter Pence said. “There’s still another story to be told, and we’ll just have to wait and see if we’re going to enjoy it.”—AP

Kenseth clinches Sprint Cup race

KENT: Ashley Wagner competes during the Skate America. Wagner’s performance earned her the gold medal.—AP

KANSAS CITY: The fast, smooth new surface at Kansas Speedway had the potential to wreak havoc on the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. The recent repave cluttered Sunday’s race with a record 14 cautions - a season high in the Sprint Cup Series - and contributed to issues that affected at least four title contenders. But the standings looked much the same when Matt Kenseth took the checkered flag in a battered Ford that he banged hard into the wall midway through the race. Kenseth still managed to drive it to his second victory in three races, while Brad Keselowski dodged accident after accident to hang onto his seven-point lead over Jimmie Johnson in the standings with four races remaining in the Chase. “I was thinking, ‘Man, this has to be entertaining for everybody to watch,’ “ Kenseth said. “There was a lot of wild stuff happening.” That was an understatement Sunday, when the longest green-flag run was 35 laps early in the race. Some of the cautions were caused by tire problems, others were for single-car spins, including Chase drivers Johnson, Tony Stewart and Greg Biffle. And, Danica Patrick wrecked herself when she intentionally wrecked Landon Cassill. “You know, everybody has been asking all season long where the cautions have been,” Keselowski said. “Well, they flew to Kansas and they’ve been hanging out here because there was caution after

caution.” Biffle’s spin ended his day with a hard crash into the wall. “I lost it, man. It got away from me off of four and we wrecked it,” said Biffle, who dropped five spots in the standings to 11th. “I had no indication, no little wiggle, no sideways. It just got away from me and it killed our day.” Johnson, who led 44 laps early, was far luckier. He had pitted from the lead and was back in traffic when a caution came out, and he spun by himself shortly after the restart. He, too, hit the wall on his spin, but crew chief Chad Knaus called him to pit road to get a look at the car instead of conceding laps by going to the garage for repairs. Knaus then methodically dictated team orders, as Johnson stopped on pit road at least a half-dozen times for repairs over two caution periods. “ That looks good, man. They did a much better job than I thought they would,” he told Johnson as he drove away. “There’s really nothing wrong with that thing.” Even Keselowski was surprised to see the heavily taped No. 48 back on the track when the race went green. “I thought you said the 48 car wrecked?” he asked his crew. “He looks fine.” Team owner Rick Hendrick praised the team efforts during a stop in the media center during the race. “I have never in my 30 years of racing seen anyone perform that kind of surgery and not lose a lap,” Hendrick said. In the end, Johnson salvaged a ninthplace finish and was carefully inspecting

his Chevrolet after the race. “I’m just now getting a chance to look at the damage on the car and it’s pretty severe,” he said. “I’m impressed that they fixed it as they did. All things considered, without my mistake, I think we had a shot to win.” It was still good enough to keep the Chase margin unchanged with Keselowski, who finished a spot ahead in eighth. He came into the race with a seven-point lead and left with a seven-point lead as the series heads next weekend to Martinsville Speedway in Virginia. “I’m glad to have survived the carnage and brought back a decent car,” Keselowski said. “Whew! Just a tough day.” Martin Truex Jr. finished second, Paul Menard was third in the first race back for crew chief Slugger Labbe, who served a six-race suspension for an infraction at Michigan. Kasey Kahne finished fourth and was followed by defending champion Stewart, who overcame both a spin during the race and a pit road penalty for leaving his stall with equipment still attached to his car. “An eventful day,” Stewart said. “Our guys led by (crew chief ) Steve Addington, they never gave up. That’s how we won a championship last year, by never giving up. We’ve got a little bit of work to do, but we’re gaining on it.” Clint Bowyer, from nearby Emporia and the winner last week at Charlotte, finished sixth to maintain fourth in the Chase standings. He trimmed his deficit by three points to 25 behind Keselowski. “ We’ve just got to keep digging,”

Matt Kenseth Bowyer said. “You’ve got to keep gaining on them. I was hoping to gain a little bit more than that, but we had a solid day.” Regan Smith, in his second race filling in for Dale Earnhardt Jr., was seventh. Earnhardt will test late yesterday and see his doctor today with every indication he’ll be cleared to return to the No. 88 Chevrolet next week at Martinsville after sitting out two races because of two concussions in a six-week span. Keselowski, Johnson and Jeff Gordon rounded out the top 10. Denny Hamlin was 13th to remain third in the standings, but he lost five points and now is down 20 to Keselowski.—AP




Armstrong stripped of Tour wins

PARIS: A combination made on June 14, 2012 shows seven file pictures (left to right, top to bottom) taken in 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000 and 1999 of US cyclist Lance Armstrong posing on the podium on the Champs-Elysees in Paris after winning the Tour de France cylcing race, and a picture taken in 2005 showing seven fingers (meaning seven victories) during the 92nd Tour de France. —AFP GENEVA: Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life yesterday after the International Cycling Union (UCI) ratified the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s (USADA) sanctions against the American. The long-awaited decision has left cycling facing its “greatest crisis” according to UCI president Pat McQuaid and has destroyed Armstrong’s last hope of clearing his name. “Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling. Lance Armstrong deserves to be forgotten in cyclling,” McQuaid told a news conference as he outlined how cycling, long battered by doping problems for decades, would have to start all over again. “The UCI wishes to begin that journey on that path forward today by confirming that it will not appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and that it will recognise the sanction that USADA has imposed. “I was sickened by what I read in the USADA report.” On Oct. 10, USADA published a report into Armstrong which alleged the now-retired rider had been involved in the “most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping program that sport has ever seen”. Armstrong, 41, had previously elected not to contest USADA charges, prompting USADA to propose his punishment pending confirmation from cycling’s world governing body. Former Armstrong team mates at his U.S. Postal and Discovery Channel outfits, where he won his seven successive Tour titles from 1999 to 2005, testified against him and themselves and were given reduced bans by the American authorities. “It wasn’t until the intervention of federal agents...they called these riders in and they put down a gun and badge on the table in front of them and said ‘you’re now facing a grand jury you must tell the truth’ that those riders broke down,” McQuaid added. Armstrong, widely accepted as one of the greatest cyclists of all time given he fought back from cancer to dominate the sport, has always denied doping and says he has never failed a doping test. He said he had stopped contesting the charges after years of probes and rumours because “there comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, ‘Enough is enough’”. McQuaid, who faced criticism from several quarters for his and the UCI’s handling of the affair, said he would not be resigning. “Cycling has a future. This is not the first time cycling has reached a crossroads or that it has had to begin anew,” he said in front of a packed room full of journalists and television cameras. “When I took over (as president) in 2005 I made the fight against doping my priority. I acknowledged cycling had a culture of doping. Cycling has come a long way. I have no intention of resigning as president of the UCI. “I am sorry we couldn’t catch every damn one of them red handed and throw them out of the sport.” Other issues such as the potential re-awarding of Armstrong’s Tour titles and the matter of prize money will be discussed by the UCI Management Committee on Friday. Tour director Christian Prudhomme has said he believes no rider should inherit the titles given doping was so widespread among the peloton at the time but McQuaid made it clear that that decision rested with his organisation, not the Tour

organisers. USADA charged five people over the doping ring. Doctors Luis Garcia del Moral and Michele Ferrari and trainer Pepe Marti have been banned for life while Armstrong’s mentor Johan Bruyneel has chosen to go to arbitration along with doctor Pedro Celaya. Armstrong’s last hope that the UCI might not ratify USADA’s ruling sprang from long-running dispute between the two bodies over who should handle of the case. In statements issued at the news conference, the UCI continued the feud with USADA despite ratifying its decision. “Even apart from any discussion on jurisdiction, it would have been better that the evidence collected by USADA had been assessed by a neutral body or person who was not involved in collecting the evidence and prosecuting the defendant,” it said. “This would have avoided both the criticism of a witch hunt against Mr Armstrong and the criticism that the UCI had a conflict of interest.” The UCI also said it had dope tested Armstrong 218 times and the fact he never tested positive and “beat the system” means that other organisations such as the World Anti-Doping Agency should share the responsibility of accepting the results. USADA CEO Travis Tygart later issued a statement approving of the UCI’s action but warning that more needed to be done. “Despite its prior opposition to USADA’s investigation into doping on the U.S. Postal Service cycling team and within the sport, USADA is glad that the UCI finally reversed course in this case and has made the credible decision available to it,” he said. “This determination to uphold USADA’s decision on the U.S. Postal Services case does not by itself clean up cycling nor does it ensure the sport has moved past the obstacles that allowed doping to flourish in the age of EPO and blood transfusions. “For cycling to truly move forward and for the world to know what went on in cycling, it is essential that an independent and meaningful Truth and Reconciliation Commission be established so that the sport can fully unshackle itself from the past. There are many more details of doping that are hidden, many more doping doctors, and corrupt team directors and the omerta has not yet been fully broken.” In recent years the Tour de France and cycling had looked to be winning the battle against dopers but when asked if the sport would one day be free of the scourge, McQuaid answered: “No.” There was no immediate response from Armstrong or his lawyers. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) did respond, amid suggestions that Armstrong could be stripped of his 2000 Sydney Olympics time trial bronze. “We will study UCI’s response to the USADA report and await to receive their full decision including further potential sanctions against Lance Armstrong as well as regarding any ramifications to his case,” an IOC official told Reuters. “The UCI has announced that its Management Committee will meet on Friday to decide on further action in the light of today’s statement. It is good to see that all parties involved in this case are working together to tackle this issue.” —Reuters

Fever beat Lynx for first WNBA title tINDIANAPOLIS: The Indiana Fever made it their mission to get Tamika Catchings a WNBA championship. Catchings had won three Olympic gold medals and an NCAA championship at Tennessee in 1998, but never one in the WNBA. She scored 25 points to help the Indiana Fever win their first WNBA title with an 87-78 victory over the Minnesota Lynx on Sunday night. While Catchings was impressive, Erin Phillips and Erlana Larkins played the best basketball of their careers in the Finals to help their leader complete the circle. “Everybody talks about the missing piece in Tamika Catchings’ career, and our players took that personally,” Indiana coach Lin Dunn said. “I really believe that was an incentive.” Even Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve, public enemy No. 1 in Indiana for her outbursts and interactions with the fans, felt Catchings deserved to win a title. “There’s not anybody that cannot be happy for Tamika Catchings to finally get a championship,” Reeve said. “We were trying to keep her from getting it, but it didn’t happen, and now that she’s got it, she’s easy to be happy.” Catchings, who was the MVP of the Finals, averaged 22.3 points in the series, which the Fever won 3-1 over the defending WNBA champions. She had been in a position to clinch at home before. The Fever led Phoenix 2-1 in the best-of-five WNBA Finals in 2009, but the Mercury beat the Fever 9077, took the series back to Phoenix and won the title at home in Game 5. This time, Catchings took it home with Pat Summitt, her coach at Tennessee, looking on in the crowd. The two shared a long hug after the victory. She shed a lot of tears in the postgame celebration. “When you come into this league, your goal and dream is to win a WNBA championship,” said Catchings. “Twelve years later . it’s so sweet right now.” Phillips had 18 points and eight rebounds, while Shavonte Zellous and Briann January each had 15 points. The Fever won even though No. 2 scorer Katie Douglas missed most of the series with a severely sprained left ankle. Douglas checked in for the first time in the series with 3.2 seconds left in Game 4 to a loud ovation. Minnesota was trying to become the first team to repeat since Los Angeles in 2001 and 2002. “It was hard being the hunted, as we all know,” Reeve said. “There’s a reason this hasn’t been done in over 10 years. I really felt like if there was a team that could do it, it was our team.” Indiana held Minnesota below 40 percent shooting in all three wins. “They played good defense,” Minnesota guard Lindsay Whalen said. “They contested shots and they made it tough for us to get in the lane a little

bit. I think that was the theme of the whole series. They were just tough, and give them credit for the way they played.” Indiana led 63-58 at the end of the third quarter. Minnesota cut Indiana’s lead to 7067 on a jumper by Maya Moore, but Phillips scored on a drive past Moore, got a defensive rebound, then found Zellous for a 3pointer from the left corner to give the Fever a 75-67 lead with 4:58 remaining. Indiana led by at least five points the rest of the way. A 3-pointer by January gave Indiana an 80-72 lead with 1:18 to play. Reeve was called for a technical with 57.6 seconds remaining, Catchings made the free

ing with the call. As the crowd erupted, Reeve waved hello and made the motion for a technical foul. This time, Reeve’s antics didn’t help much as in Game 2, when her team pulled away from a tight contest for a convincing win. Minnesota tied the game three times in the second quarter, but the Fever closed with a 7-2 run, including a 3-pointer by Phillips, to take a 47-42 lead at halftime. Whalen scored 14 points in the first half to keep the Lynx in the game, often scoring on uncontested drives. Minnesota hung tough, despite Augustus shooting 2 for 13 in the first half. It was right there for the Fever.

INDIANAPOLIS: Members of the Indiana Fever celebrate with the trophy after winning the WNBA basketball Finals against the Minnesota Lynx. —AP throw and the Fever took an 81-74 lead. Zellous made two more free throws with 27.2 seconds to play, and Fever fans began celebrating. Seimone Augustus, Minnesota’s leading scorer in the playoffs, was held to eight points on 3-for-21 shooting. She shot 6-for-30 in the final two games of the series after the Fever switched January over to guard her. Catchings said January, who was on the WNBA first-team all-defense squad, did her job. “I think she set the tone,” Catchings said. “All (Augustus’) baskets were hard. She used up all her energy in the first quarter.” Whalen scored 22 points and Moore added 16 points for the Lynx, who were vying to become the first team to win consecutive titles since Los Angeles in 2001 and 2002. Moore picked up her third foul with 6:13 left in the second quarter. Reeve, who was fined for her jacket-tossing tantrum in Game 2, became animated again while disagree-

“Coming into halftime, we said we have 20 minutes and we’re not trying to go back to Minnesota to close this thing out,” Zellous said. Indiana started the second half on a 9-4 run, including two buckets by Catchings, to take a 56-46 lead. Minnesota came right back. A driving layup by Moore cut Indiana’s lead to 56-54 and forced the Fever to call timeout. Minnesota tied the game on another drive by Moore, but the Fever responded with a 3pointer by Catchings and a basket by Jessica Davenport to push the lead back to five by the end of the quarter. Indiana then closed the deal at home in front of a sellout crowd. “They made some huge runs at us and gave it everything at us, and I’m just relieved more than anything because we deserve this,” Phillips said. “We’ve been through so much as a team, we’ve lost in crucial times and we’ve stuck together. I’m just so proud right now.” —AP


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Man United favored ahead of Braga visit LONDON: Manchester United’s determination to avoid last season’s mistakes, a winning start this term and their unbeaten home record against Portuguese teams are good signs ahead of Braga’s Champions League visit today. Although Braga are unbeaten in their last five games against English sides, United look to have too much in attack, especially with Wayne Rooney re-discovering his scoring form after a slow start to the season. United go into the match top of Group H with six points after wins over Galatasaray and CFR Cluj, in stark contrast to the sluggish start they made to last season’s competition when they drew their opening two games and eventually failed to make it out of

the group stage. Braga lost at home to Cluj in their opening match before bouncing back with a win at Galatasaray to keep alive their hopes of advancing to the knockout rounds, but they will do well to leave Old Trafford with a point. United’s defence has not been as watertight as usual, conceding five goals at home in their last two Premier League matches against Tottenham Hotspur and Stoke City, but their attack has fired in 26 goals in all competitions so far. Dutch striker Robin van Persie has scored five Champions League goals in his last five matches for Arsenal and United and was also on target

LONDON: Manchester United’s Shinji Kagawa (second left) trains with teammates including Wayne Rooney (second right) and Rio Ferdinand (centre with back to camera) a day prior to their Champion’s League Group H soccer match against Braga. — AP

Celtic battling Messi and woeful record in Spain MADRID: Celtic will have to reverse a horrible record in Spain and cope with a Barcelona side fired by the scintillating form of Lionel Messi if they are to reap an unlikely reward from today ’s Champions League Group G clash at the Nou Camp. The Scottish champions, second in the group behind the 2009 and 2011 winners after two matches, have never managed a win on 12 trips to the Iberian nation, slumping to nine defeats and three draws. Favourites Barca are unbeaten in 17 European home outings, winning 14, going back to a 2-1 defeat against Rubin Kazan in October 2009. Their Argentine World Player of the Year Messi, top scorer in Europe’s elite club competition the past four seasons, netted his 21st hat-trick for the club on Sunday in a 5-4 La Liga win at Deportivo Coruna. The unstoppable 25-year-old took his tally in 2012 for club and country to 71, leaving him only four short of the record of 75 set by Brazil great Pele in 1959. Celtic coach Neil Lennon, who played twice for the club at the Nou Camp and came away with two draws, knows the size of the task but said he believes his side is capable of preventing Barca from making it three group wins out of three. “I’m not saying we’re going to go there and get hammered,” Celtic coach Neil Lennon was quoted as saying in the Scotsman newspaper on Sunday. “ We’re going to tr y to get something out of the game, but we know how monumentally difficult that will be,” he added. “ They can pin you back for long periods but I still want us to have some kind of outlet where we can get a foothold in our attacking half and create chances. “It’s do-able, it’s feasible. I’ve seen Spanish clubs do it and I’ve seen European teams do it. We’ll study a lot of footage and take it from there.” While Celtic are on a high after Saturday’s 5-0 drubbing of St Mirren, a performance Lennon described as the team’s best of the season, they have a number of injury worries. Midfielder Kris Commons has a hamstring problem, while Lennon said forward Lassad, who knows Barca well from his stint at Deportivo, was “a major doubt” with a groin strain. Lennon’s Barca counterpart Tito Vilanova has his own selection problems, with a suspension

for Sergio Busquets coming on top of injuries to centre backs Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique and right back Daniel Alves. Although Barca conceded four goals on Saturday for the first time since March 2009 - they were down to 10 men for most of the second half after the dismissal of Javier Mascherano — Vilanova did not seem overly concerned. “ These players, with everything they have won, coming back from international duty and with only 10 on the pitch, they showed the passion they have to keep winning,” he told a news conference. “They showed desire when everything was going against us and I prefer to focus on how much Messi and his team mates ran around after having just returned from playing for their national sides.”—Reuters

SPAIN: Barcelona’s Carles Puyol attends a training session at the Camp Nou stadium. Barcelona will play against Celtic FC in a Group G Champions League soccer match today. — AP

against Stoke on Saturday. Manager Alex Ferguson saw his side bounce back from conceding an early Rooney own goal against Stoke to beat them 4-2 with the England man scoring twice, taking his tally for club and country to five in his last three games. “We keep starting badly,” Ferguson said after the Stoke game. “There have been early goals against Fulham, Tottenham and now today. We keep giving ourselves uphill fights. We can’t afford that today.” United have still only lost two games all season, are second in the Premier League and are likely to give Braga coach Jose Peseiro, who took over in the close season, his sternest test yet as he looks to extend Braga’s recent solid European record. The northern Portuguese club lost the Europa League final to compatriots Porto in 2011 and finished third in Portugal last season, the same position they sit now behind leaders Porto and Benfica. Peseiro said Braga’s European experience means they are not to be “messed around with” and that United “do not scare him.” “We go into every match looking to win. Our main goal in the Champions League is reaching the round of 16,” he said. “The top two places give you access to it, but nobody fights for second place.” Braga will hope their legs hold out for Tuesday’s clash after being forced into extra-time in Friday’s 3-0 win over Leixoes in the Portuguese Cup. “We have the experience and are ready to play with a four-day interval,” Peseiro said. Besides a collection of technically gifted and experienced midfielders in the shape of Hugo Viana, Ruben Micael and Alan, Peseiro will rely on the services of lanky striker Eder, already the club’s top scorer in the league. Braga knocked out Italy’s Udinese in the qualifying playoff and are on a seven-match unbeaten sequence on their travels in Europe. United meanwhile, have lost only one of their previous 36 home Champions League games.—Reuters

Russians in search of first points BERNE: Ambitious Russian clubs Zenit St Petersburg and Spartak Moscow go in search of their first Champions League points this week as they attempt to improve their country’s unimpressive record in the competition. Far from setting Europa alight, Zenit and Spartak find themselves in the company of Galatasaray, Lille, Nordsjaelland, Ajax, Olympiakos and Dinamo Zagreb who have also failed to get off the mark in their opening two group stage games. The situation is particularly embarrassing for Russian champions Zenit, who splurged around 100 million euros ($130.31 million)to lure Brazilian forward Hulk and Belgium’s Alex Witsel to the club. This week’s third round of matches, where Real Madrid’s visit to Borussia Dortmund is the highlight, is also potentially decisive for the hopes of Manchester City, Juventus and Benfica, who have yet to win a game between them. Real are among six teams to have won their opening games alongside Barcelona, Porto, Arsenal and Manchester United plus, more surprisingly, BATE Borisov and newcomers Malaga. Russian clubs have been attracting more high profile foreigners recently with Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o playing at league leaders Anzhi Makhachkala. But, while CSKA Moscow and Zenit have recently won the UEFA Cup, since rebranded Europa League, the spending spree has yet to translate into results in the continent’s flagship competition. The last Russian side to reach the semi-finals were Spartak Moscow in 1991, in the days of the old European Cup, and the country has mustered only four quarter-final appearances since the Champions League started in 1992, two apiece for Spartak and CSKA. Zenit will finally hope to get off the mark against Belgian champions Anderlecht, who have one point, in Group C on Wed-nesday, where Malaga (6) and Milan (4), who meet in Spain, are already looking the likely qualifiers despite the Serie A side’s domestic troubles. “It’s not a good moment, but we have to stay lucid and

maintain balance,” said Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri after his side lost 3-2 at Lazio on Saturday. “I think that lately, the team has put in some good performances but has also paid a high price for the mistakes we made.” Spartak, who lost their first two games 3-2, are also at home, facing twice former European champions Benfica in Group G today. Ueni Emery’s side, who led 2-1 against both Barcelona and Celtic before slumping to defeat, have a very poor home record in the Champions League group stage, with only one win in their last 15 attempts. Spartak, beaten 2-1 by Russian Premier League leaders Anzhi at the weekend, could be down to only one goalkeeper, third-choice Artem Rebrov after Sergei Pesyakov was injured at the weekend with a suspected broken foot. First-choice keeper Andriy Dykan is sidelined with a shoulder injury. If leaders Barcelona (6) beat Celtic (4) as expected in the group’s other game, a Spartak win could lift them back into contention. Elsewhere, Manchester City and Juventus badly need to get their campaigns off the ground. Serie A champions Juventus, unbeaten in 10 matches in all competitions this season, drew their opening two games in Group E but should win today ’s match away to Nordsjaelland. Th e D a n i s h c h a m p i o n s were out of the their depth as they lost 4-0 at home to titleholders Chelsea, who visit Ukrainian champions Sha-khtar Donetsk with both teams level at the top o n o f t h e g r o u p o n fo u r points. Manchester City, who have one point in Group D, visit Dutch champions Ajax Amsterdam, a once great side who were crushed 4-1 at home by Real Madrid and appear unable to compete with the financial clout of Europe’s biggest clubs. Real visit Dortmund, who have reversed last season’s pattern of struggling in Europe and doing well in the Bundesliga. Bayern, who suffered a shock 3-1 defeat at BATE Borisov, visit Lille in Group F while the Belarus champions host Valencia.— Reuters

UKRAINE: Players of Chelsea during a training session prior to their Group E Champions League soccer match against Shakhtar Donetsk. — AP

Chelsea looks to Mata against Shakhtar LONDON: Dubbed by Spain for recent internationals, Juan Mata has reacted by producing arguably the best form of his career for Chelasea, and Shakhtar Donetsk is up next for the playmaker in the Champions League today. Mata has scored six goals and made a string of assists in his last five games for Chelsea, showing he is fully refreshed after being rested at the start of the season following appearances at the European Championship and Olympics. He’s still being overlooked by world champion Spain but Shakhtar will know Mata is the danger man in the Group E match at the Donbass Arena. “I just try to improve with every Chelsea game I play,” Mata said after scoring twice in Chelsea’s 4-2 win over Tottenham on Saturday, maintaining his team’s four-point lead in the Premier League. “I just want to do my best for my team and, at this moment, I am feeling really well.” Both teams have four points - two ahead of Juventus, which will be expecting consecutive wins from its upcoming matches against Danish club FC Nordsjaelland. Juve beat Napoli 2-0 in a top-of-thetable match in the Italian league on Saturday, leaving the reigning champions unbeaten this season - just like Chelsea. “This sends a message that we’re (in form),” assistant coach Angelo Alessio said. “The numbers speak clearly. Seven victories and a draw in eight (Serie A) matches, the best attack and the best defense, solid play and organization.” Juventus’ 2-2 draw with Chelsea on matchday one should leave the group well poised through to the final round of games, with little to split the top three.

Chelsea has started the season better than many would have expected, quickly finding its stride as the European champions look to add more creativity to their renowned strength in defense. Attacking midfielders Eden Hazard and Oscar have settled quickly after big-money moves in the summer and their link-up play with Mata has been a joy to watch. “We are playing more with the ball (this season) and I think it’s more enjoyable for me and the team,” Mata said. “If you can win and also play really well, it is the perfect way.” Shakhtar, which is 12 points clear at the top of the Ukraine league, drew 1-1 away to Juventus in their last Champions League match having opened with a 2-0 win over Nordsjaelland. “It’s a higher level of play, especially since we’re meeting Chelsea,” Shakhtar midfielder Willian said. “We have to be focused because if we play well, it’ll be a huge step for us and it will allow us to advance in the tournament.” Chelsea is expected to recall captain John Terry to its defense after the center back was suspended for the victory at Tottenham while he serves a four-match domestic ban for racially abusing an opponent in a Premier League game. Neither Chelsea nor Shakhtar have any new injury problems. There are doubts over the fitness of Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who sat out both Italy’s win over Denmark last week and the victory over Napoli. Juventus manager Antonio Conte is suspended until December for a match-fixing scandal stemming from when he coached Siena two seasons ago. — AP

FRANCE: Bayern Munich’s midfielder Franck Ribery of France (right) trains during a practice session prior to their Champions League Group Group F soccer match against Lille. — AP

Ribery in form as Bayern faces Lille LILLE: Winger Franck Ribery will look to punish the club where he was formed as a youth player when Bayern Munich travels to struggling Lille today. Ribery, who was on Lille’s books from 1995-99 before being released, has been in fine form recently, creating three goals in Bayern’s 50 win away to Fortuna Duesseldorf on Saturday, and setting up Olivier Giroud’s equalizer for France against Spain last week. “I know my family and a lot of friends will be there,” said Ribery, who grew up close to Lille in Boulogne-sur-Mer. Saturday’s win made Bayern the first side to start a Bundesliga campaign with eight wins, but the Champions League runnerup is under pressure in Europe after its surprise 3-1 loss away to Bate Borisov three weeks ago. “We were surprised to lose to BATE Borisov. Because of that we’ve got a bit of pressure on our shoulders in the Champions League. So we have a clear objective: win the match in France and the return match in Munich. That will put us on the way to qualifying.” The Belarus side has six points and will take a major step toward qualifying from Group F if it beats Valencia at home. Bayern’s loss in Belarus was Bayern’s only blip in a remarkable season where it has won 11 out of 12 matches in all competitions. Bayern sits proudly top of the Bundesliga, five points clear of Eintracht Frankfurt. Lille, by contrast, has won only three out 13 in all competitions and is languishing down in 11th spot in the French league. It has lost both matches in the Champions League so far and faces another first-round exit, just like last season. “With the departure of Eden Hazard (to Chelsea), the club has lost its best player of the last few years,” Ribery said. “Lille lost the first two matches and they will give everything to beat us in front of their fans, so as to keep their chances of qualifying alive.”

Despite Lille’s problems, Bayern Munich center half Dante, who played for the French club between 2003-05, is wary that Lille’s stuttering attack will finally click. “They’re still dangerous going forward with top players like (Marvin) Martin (Nolan) Roux and also (Salomon) Kalou, who won the Champions League with Chelsea,” the Brazilian defender said. Lille is sweating on the fitness of center half Marko Basa, who scored an injury-time equalizer in the 1-1 draw away to Bordeaux on Friday. Basa broke his nose scoring the goal and had an operation on Saturday morning. He remains highly doubtful for the game, while Lille coach Rudi Garcia is already without defender Idrissa Gueye (ankle) and midfielder Rio Mavuba (knee). Bayern still has injury worries over Dutch winger Arjen Robben, who has been laboring for almost a month with muscle problems. But even Robben’s absence will hardly weaken a Bayern side full of attacking menace. Meanwhile, BATE has had longer to prepare than Valencia, having played its last league game on Thursday - winning 2-1 away at Slavia Mozyr to maintain its seven-point lead at the top - while the Spaniards played at home against Athletic Bilbao on Saturday. Valencia, which is ninth in La Liga, has been in patchy form this season and needed two late goals to get the better of Bilbao in a 3-2 win. Nelson Valdez, whose 90th-minute header sealed the comeback on Saturday, said that the win would strengthen his team against BATE. “The team wanted to win so much by the end that for us it will be a boost of energy we needed to have more confidence and calm so we can play the important game against BATE in the Champions League,” Valdez said. “This game is very important for us because if BATE beats us then they will be practically through to the next round and we don’t want that.”—AP




Police, politicians call for action after rioting DORTMUND: The German Football League (DFL) was yesterday facing pressure from politicians and the police union to act in the wake of rioting between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04 fans at the weekend. Clashes between rival fans and police in Dortmund before Schalke earned a 2-1 win at Borussia on Saturday in the German league left 11 people injured, including eight police officers, and led to 180 arrests. Dortmund police say the violence was the worst they have seen in recent years having had to use pepper spray and a water cannon to break up rioting during several separate incidents with 1200 officers deployed for the match.

The DFL’s security commission met in Frankfurt yesterday to discuss the issue ahead of tomorrow’s Champions League group game between Real Madrid and the German champions in Dortmund. “The riots show clearly that the time for action is now,” politician Lorenz Caffier, leader of the German conference of state interior ministers, told the magazine Sport Bild. “Despite extensive discussions with fan groups in the summer, it has manifestly failed to stem violence in football stadiums.” Police say the violence had been organised by hooligans, known as “ultras” in Germany, from both clubs and a group of 600 Schalke fans was

attacked by masked Dortmund supporters en route to the stadium which led to police intervention. A restaurant near the stadium was demolished by Dortmund fans who used the furnishings as weapons as police officers were pelted with pieces of pavement during clashes. “The forms of violence shown against opposing fans and also police officers should not be tolerated by the clubs and politicians,” added Caffier. “There has been enough talking, now action must follow.” Yesterday, the clubs issued a joint statement. “Despite all the joy at our derby victory, I am saddened by these events,” said Schalke chairman Clemens Tonnies. Of the 180 arrests

made, 163 were Schalke fans and 17 were Dortmund supporters. “We are currently in talks with the police and will resolve issues from the riots carefully,” said Dortmund director Dr. Christian Hockenjos. “The police have charged individuals with assault, aggravated assault, resisting arrest and insulting officers.” Those convicted face stadium bans. “Proven serious violations will be consistently punished with stadium bans,” read the statement. “We are very concerned and apologise to the victims of the violent offenders, they will get all the help we can give.” Meanwhile, the police union has called for an immediate end to dialogue with fan groups.

“There is a small group of around 4,000 hooligans and ultras, this group doesn’t speak to us, they don’t want to talk to us at all,” Arnold Plickert, deputy chief of the North RhineWestphalia police union, said in a radio interview. “This group doesn’t respect laws or regulations, so the time for round table discussions is over.” Plickert said there needs to be specially appointed football prosecutors. “We need football prosecutors who know the business on a daily basis, who know the processes, so that we have a uniform standard,” he said, adding “identified offenders and violent criminals” should be banned from all stadiums nationwide.—AFP

Ivory Coast the side to avoid at Africa Cup draw

BUENOS AIRES: Estudiantes de la Plata’s Leandro Desabato (right) and Boca Juniors’s Lucas Viatri go for a header during an Argentina’s league soccer match.—AP

Boca and River focus on reigniting season BUENOS AIRES: Boca Juniors and River Plate will both be looking to reignite their season with a “Superclasico” victory next weekend after dismal performances in the Argentine league on Sunday. River lost 1-0 away to Quilmes, while Boca fans bayed for coach Julio Cesar Falcioni’s blood as he walked towards the players’ tunnel after 0-0 draw at home to Estudiantes. Newell’s Old Boys stayed top of the “Inicial” championship table with 23 points from 11 matches after a 0-0 draw at second-placed Racing Club on a low scoring weekend of action, which featured just 12 goals in 10 games. “The Superclasico is a good challenge to turn the situation around,” River coach Matias Almeyda told reporters. “Football always gives you another chance and we must think about what’s coming.” Falcioni, unpopular with a majority of Boca fans despite his side winning the title last December and reaching this year’s Libertadores Cup final, cancelled his post-

match press conference at La Bombonera. Since playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme left Boca at the end of last season, their form has been poor and they have picked up only two points from their last four matches. Boca are fifth in the standings with 17 points, while River are ninth on 15. The Superclasico, the biggest club match in Argentina, will be the first in the league for 17 months following River’s relegation last year, although Boca beat River in two friendlies in January during last season’s summer recess. River, promoted last June, will host Boca at their Monumental stadium on Sunday hoping they play as they did in their last home match - a 5-0 rout of Godoy Cruz - and not with Sunday’s lack of conviction. Uruguayan striker Martin Cauteruccio scored the only goal at Quilmes, steering the ball into the bottom far corner after a poor clearance by River defender Jonathan Bottinelli fell to him on the edge of the box. “It can happen to anyone,” said Almeyda. “We must support (Bottinelli) and think about Boca.”—Reuters

JOHANNESBURG: Star-saturated Ivory Coast are the team the other 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers will want to avoid when the first round draw is made in Durban tomorrow. Only hosts South Africa, title holders Zambia and four-time champions Ghana are sure of dodging the ‘Elephants’ during the initial 24-fixture phase as they are the other top seeds based on results from the past three tournaments. Ivory Coast may have lifted the Cup of Nations only once-and that was 20 years agobut the team won enormous respect this month by going to Dakar and leading Senegal 2-0 before crowd violence halted the qualifier. Then there is the star factor with captain Didier Drogba, Kolo and Yaya Toure and Didier Zokora desperate to end years of frustration, including two final defeats after penalty shootouts in the last four tournaments. Mali, Tunisia, Angola and Nigeria are the second seeds, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Morocco and Niger the third seeds, and Togo, newcomers Cape Verde Islands, Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia the lowest seeds. When the late-night draw is complete in the Indian Ocean city there will be four pools consisting of a first, second, third and fourth seed, and, theoretically, the strongest sides should stay apart until the knockout rounds. However, no draw would be done and dusted without a particularly strong minileague-and Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Algeria or Morocco and DR Congo would certainly fit that bill. Nigeria are on the comeback trail after failing to qualify for the tournament this year and the introduction of exciting young Chelsea midfielder Victor Moses has boosted the ‘Super Eagles’. Algeria are annoyingly unpredictable, coming fourth in 2010 only to miss qualification in 2012, while Morocco are long overdue a good showing having won their lone title 36 years ago. Countries from the north of the continent can never be ignored as four of the last five winners came from that region with Egypt completing a title hat-trick after hosts Tunisia won the 2004 competition. DR Congo return to the African football showcase after missing

the last three and wily French coach Claude Le Roy is blending a potent mix of local talent and Europe-based stars like Anderlecht striker Dieumerci Mbokani. Many coaches boast before draws that they do not care who emerges from the glass bowl to face their team, but recently appointed South Africa handler Gordon Igesund has opted for a more honest approach. “I do not want Nigeria in our group-I would prefer to avoid them,” he said of a country that humiliated Bafana Bafana (The Boys) 4-0 in the 2004 Africa Cup and consistently have the edge when the nations clash. “It would be a lie if I said I do not care who will be in our group. I want a favourable draw,” stressed a coach given a challenging mandate to reach the semi-finals or face the axe. A favourable draw for Igesund would mean Angola, Niger and Ethiopia. The east Africans are back after a 30-year absence despite not winning a qualifying tie-they eliminated Benin and Sudan on the away-goal rule. South Africa will be involved in the January 19 opening double-header at the 90,000-seat Soccer City stadium in Soweto before moving to Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban for two other Group A fixtures. Zambia play all their Group C matches in north-eastern city Nelspruit-one of nine to host the 2010 World Cup-and a separate draw decides whether it is Rustenburg or Port Elizabeth for Ivory Coast and Ghana. It will be the second time South Africa stage the tournament and once again they were not the original choice-replacing cashstrapped Kenya in 1996 and strife-torn Libya next year.—AFP

(Local Timings)

UEFA Champions League C Spartak v Benfica


Aljazeera Sport +1 Aljazeera Sport 2 HD Man United v Braga


Aljazeera Sport +1 Lille v Bayern


Aljazeera Sport +2 Shakhtar v Chelsea


Aljazeera Sport +5 Aljazeera Sport 2 HD Galatasaray v Cluj


Aljazeera Sport +8 BATE v Valencia -


Aljazeera Sport +7 Barcelona v Celtic


Aljazeera Sport 1 HD Aljazeera Sport +4 Nordsjaelland v Juventus 21:45 Aljazeera Sport +6

Eid Al-Adha soccer tourney KUWAIT: The Kuwait Goan Association (KGA) will organize the 4th Edition of Eslinda Alemao Memorial Football Tournament on the first day of Eid Al Adha sponsored by UAE Exchange which will host 20 KIFF affiliated teams participating under the auspices of KIFF. The Eid Al-Adha festivities are contin-

uously celebrated by KGA for the last four years at the lush green serene surroundings of the MOH Grounds. The matches will commence at 6:45 am and will be officiated by Indian Football Referees Association and compered by Merwyn Pereira and Penny Rebello.

Malabar United

Indian Strikers

Skynet Raiders

Matches on TV

Skynet Raiders, Goa Maroons win KIFF league for the Late JP D’Mello Rolling Trophy KUWAIT: Day 3 of the KIFF league for the Late JP D’Mello Rolling Trophy kicked off in humid conditions on 19th October 2012 at the MOH Sabah grounds in Kuwait with four matches. In the first match of Group A, two strong teams from South India, Malabar United and Indian Strikers locked horns. Malabar United after losing the first match started strongly, but Indian Strikers held firm. Indian Strikers went ahead early through Haris Kunnammal. Malabar United equalized through Jibhu after a spot kick was awarded. In the second half Dunston put Indian Striker ahead. As the match was heading towards a draw, Malabar United equalized through Jayan to share the spoils. Man of the Match was awarded to Jagadeesh of Malabar United. The match was supervised by Christopher and assisted by Mubarak and Simon. The second match in Group B was between

Skynet Raiders and YRC Rising Stars. Skynet after the setback in the 1st round started positively and were awarded a penalty which Tiago converted. Five minutes later Skynet increased their lead through Sunny. In the second half Manuel scored a brace to end a comfortable win for Skynet and keep alive their hopes for qualification. YRC Rising Stars did make forays into Skynet to reduce the deficit, but could not breach the tight Skynet defense. Man of the Match was awarded to Manuel of Skynet Raiders. The proceedings were conducted by Mubarak at the center with Simon and Sharma on the lines. 3rd match of the day in Group D, GOA Maroons took on CRC Chinchinim. GOA Maroons kicked off in style with their midfield toying with CRC. Joe opened the scoring for GOA Maroons and Zelito rounded to make it 2-0 at half time. In the second half GOA

Maroons were all over CRC who did not have any answer to the onslaught. Zelito continued his fine form and scored the brace and third for GOA Maroons. The rout was completed by Joe who scored from a penalty spot to complete his brace and lead the final tally in favor of GOA Maroons 4-0. The score line would have been much worse for CRC Chinchinim if not for their goalkeeper Anthony who saved admirably in the final stages of the game. Man of Match was bagged by Zelito. The match was refereed by Francis in the center and Sharma and Christopher on the lines. The final match of the day in Group C saw Don Bosco Oratory taking on United Friends Club. DBO attacked the rivals from the opening, but UFC as usual soaked in the initial pressure and counter attacked. Sustained pressure from DBO earned them a penalty which Lloyd converted in the 1st half.

UFC retaliated and equalized in a brilliant fashion with their diminutive medio Xavier scoring a gem of a goal sending his well directed kick from the top of the box into the roof of DBO goal. The second half started on frantic pace with DBO dominating initially, but Martin was once again at his superlative best. UFC counter attacked with Xavier again with his fleet footed runs unleashed a scorcher which beat the DBO goalkeeper, but hit the bar and came out. DBO pressurized UFC for the winner but Martin did not allow his goal to be breached and the game ended in a 1-1 draw. Man of the Match was awarded to Xavier of UFC. The match was supervised by Philip at the center with Francis and Vincy on the lines. The Man of the Match awards are sponsored by Integrated Logistics Company. Housie snowball (bingo) prize is sponsored by Al Qatan Travels.

GOA Maroons

KIFF League schedule on 02/11/2012 1st Match at 6.30am

Navelim Youth Center v/s Santos United

2nd Match at 8 am

CRC Chinchinim v/s FC Sparks

3rd Match at 9.15am

DHL FC v/s Kuwait Goan Association

4th Match at 10.30am

Curtorcares United v/s Real Betalbatim FC

Man United favored ahead of Braga visit

Wagner wins Skate America




Fever beat Lynx for first WNBA title

Page 17

ST LOUIS: Green Bay Packers wide receiver James Jones (top) is stopped by St. Louis Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins during the third quarter of an NFL football game.—AP

Texans shoot down Ravens, Giants roll HOUSTON: Matt Schaub threw two touchdown passes, Arian Foster ran for two scores and the Houston Texans dominated a showdown of the AFC’s two teams, routing the Baltimore Ravens 4313 on Sunday. Johnathan Joseph returned an interception 52 yards for a touchdown and the Texans (6-1) beat Baltimore for the first time in seven meetings. Antonio Smith had two sacks, JJ Watt deflected the pass that led to Joseph’s interception and Houston’s defense returned to form after an embarrassing loss to Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay last week. Terrell Suggs, the 2011 defensive player of the year, had a sack and three tackles in his first action for Baltimore (5-2) since undergoing surgery on his right Achilles tendon last May. Joe Flacco threw two interceptions and was sacked four times. Giants 27, Redskins 23 In East Rutherfoed, Eli Manning threw a 77-yard scoring pass to Victor Cruz with 1:13 to play and New York overcame a late touchdown by rookie sensation Robert Griffin III. Manning’s pass to Cruz came two plays and 19 seconds after Griffin capped what was a potential game-winning, 77-yard drive with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Santana Moss. The rookie had kept the drive alive with a 19-yard pass off a desperate scramble on a fourth-and-10 play deep in his own territory and a 24-yard

run on the next play. Cruz, however, blew by Josh Wilson and Madieu Williams and the more than 80,000 fans in MetLife Stadium celebrated as Manning triumphantly pumped his fist. Griffin had Washington moving for another score when Moss was tackle by Chase Blackburn after an 11-yard reception and rookie Jayron Hosley recovered at the Washington 43. Packers 30, Rams 20 In St Louis, Aaron Rodgers threw for 342 yards and three touchdowns and Green Bay’s depleted defense flourished on the road. Randall Cobb caught two touchdown passes and Jordy Nelson had eight receptions for a season-best 122 yards for the Packers (4-3), who brought a huge contingent of cheeseheads that was just as loud as the home fans and chanted “Go, Pack, Go!” during the Rams’ final possession. Rookie Casey Hayward made his first start in place of injured Sam Shields and intercepted his fourth pass in three games. Green Bay ended the Texans’ unbeaten start at Houston last week, but had alternated losses and wins the first six weeks. Rodgers was 30 for 37 for his fourth 300yard game this season. Saints 35, Buccaneers 28 In Tampa, Jonathan Vilma played for the first time while appealing a seasonlong suspension for his role in the Saints

bounty program and Drew Brees threw for 377 yards and four touchdowns in the come-from-behind win. While it’s debatable how much Vilma’s return impacted the Saints defense, the unit turned back two drives near the end zone in the second half, including the final three plays of the game to preserve New Orleans’ second straight win. Brees extended his NFL record for consecutive games with at least one TD pass to 49, while leading long scoring drives on four straight possessions to turn a 14point deficit into a 28-21 halftime lead. Josh Freeman threw for 420 yards and three touchdowns for the Bucs. His bid to force overtime ended with three straight incompletions from inside the Saints’ 10. Patriots 29, Jets 26 In Foxborough, Rob Ninkovich recovered a fumble by Mark Sanchez after Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 48-yard field goal in overtime for New England. The Patriots (4-3) moved into sole possession of first place in the AFC East. The day started with all four teams tied at 3-3, but the Jets (3-4) and the Buffalo Bills lost, while the Miami Dolphins were idle. Gostkowski tied the game with a 43-yard field goal on the last play of regulation. In overtime, each team gets the ball unless the first team with it scores a touchdown. So the Jets had a chance after the Patriots kicked a field goal. New York moved from its 15 to its 40 before

NFL results/standings NY Giants 27, Washington 23; Minnesota 21, Arizona 14; Dallas 19, Carolina 14; New Orleans 35, Tampa Bay 28; Green Bay 30, St. Louis 20; Houston 43, Baltimore 13; Indianapolis 17, Cleveland 13; Tennessee 35, Buffalo 34; New England 29, NY Jets 26 (OT); Oakland 26, Jacksonville 23 (OT); Pittsburgh 24, Cincinnati 17. American Football Conference AFC East W L T OTL PF PA New England 4 3 0 0 217 163 Miami 3 3 0 2 120 117 NY Jets 3 4 0 1 159 170 Buffalo 3 4 0 0 171 227 AFC North Baltimore 5 2 0 0 174 161 Pittsburgh 3 3 0 0 140 132 Cincinnati 3 4 0 0 166 187 Cleveland 1 6 0 0 147 180 AFC South Houston 6 1 0 0 216 128 Indianapolis 3 3 0 0 117 158 Tennessee 3 4 0 0 149 238 Jacksonville 1 5 0 2 88 164 AFC West Denver 3 3 0 0 170 138 San Diego 3 3 0 0 148 137 Oakland 2 4 0 0 113 171 Kansas City 1 5 0 0 104 183 Sanchez lost the ball as he was being sacked and Ninkovich recovered, ending the game. Raiders 26, Jaguars 23 In Oakland, Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 40-yard field goal after Cecil Shorts III fumbled on the opening possession of overtime and Oakland rallied from 14 points down in the second half. Carson Palmer threw one TD pass and ran for another to force overtime for the Raiders (2-4) before they won it after Lamarr Houston forced a fumble that Joselio Hanson recovered at the Jacksonville 21. After one play to center the ball, Janikowski came on to kick the winning field goal to end a rough day for the Jaguars (1-5). The Jaguars lost star running back Maurice Jones-Drew to a left foot injury on the opening drive and quarterback Blaine Gabbert to an injured left shoulder in the second quarter and managed only two downs after halftime behind backup quarterback Chad Henne. Colts 17, Browns 13 In Indianapolis, Andrew Luck became the first Colts quarterback to run for two touchdowns in a game since 1988. Indy (3-3) has already won one more game than it did in 2011. Brandon Weeden threw for 247 yards and two touchdowns, but Trent Richardson, who tried to play through a rib cartilage injury, sat out the

PCT .571 .500 .429 .429 .714 .500 .429 .143 .857 .500 .429 .167 .500 .500 .333 .167

National Football Conference NFC East NY Giants 5 2 0 0 205 Philadelphia 3 3 0 1 103 Dallas 3 3 0 0 113 Washington 3 4 0 0 201 NFC North Chicago 4 1 0 0 149 Minnesota 5 2 0 0 167 Green Bay 4 3 0 0 184 Detroit 2 3 0 1 126 NFC South Atlanta 6 0 0 0 171 New Orleans 2 4 0 1 176 Tampa Bay 2 4 0 0 148 Carolina 1 5 0 0 106 NFC West San Francisco 5 2 0 0 165 Arizona 4 3 0 1 124 Seattle 4 3 0 0 116 St. Louis 3 4 0 0 130

second half after running eight times for 8 yards in the first half. The Browns (1-6) have lost 11 straight road games. Luck scored on runs of 3 and 5 yards in the first half. Weeden threw a 14-yard TD pass to Greg Little in the second quarter, and a 33-yard TD pass to Josh Gordon in the third quarter. Cowboys 19, Panthers 14 In Charlotte, Dan Bailey made a goahead 28-yard field goal with 3:25 remaining to help Dallas end a two-game losing streak. With Dallas trailing 14-13, Tony Romo led the Cowboys (3-3) into field goal range with a 10-play, 44-yard drive to send Dallas to its ninth consecutive regular-season victory over the Panthers (1-5). Romo had 227 yards and a touchdown. On a fourth-and-1 at their 39, the Panthers caught Dallas’ defense changing personnel and Cam Newton quickly completed a pass for an apparent first down. But officials ruled the Cowboys called timeout before the snap. On the ensuing play, Morris Claiborne collided with receiver Louis Murphy before the ball arrived, but no flag was thrown. Bailey added his fourth field goal of the game with 53 seconds left. Titans 35, Bills 24 In Orchard Park, Matt Hasselbeck hit Nate Washington for a 15-yard touchdown with 1:03 left in leading Tennessee.

137 125 133 200

.714 .500 .500 .429

71 131 155 137

.800 .714 .571 .400

113 1.000 182 .333 136 .333 144 .167 100 118 106 141

.714 .571 .571 .429

It was Hasselbeck’s 22nd career fourthquarter comeback and second in consecutive weeks. It happened in a game in which running back Chris Johnson enjoyed a long awaited breakout performance with 195 yards rushing and two scores. Jamie Harper also scored twice for Tennessee (3-4). Jason McCourty’s interception of a Ryan Fitzpatrick pass set up the decisive drive. Fitzpatrick finished 27 of 35 for 225 yards and three scores, but turned the ball over twice, including a lost fumble. Buffalo is 3-4. Vikings 21, Cardinals 14 In Minneapolis, Adrian Peterson ran for 153 yards and a first-quarter touchdown, and Minnesota survived an ugly second half to hang on for the win. Percy Harvin caught Christian Ponder’s only touchdown pass, but Ponder threw an interception that led to a second-quarter touchdown run by LaRod StephensHowling. Ponder has seven turnovers in the last three games; two of them were turned into touchdowns last week at Washington. Arizona’s John Skelton went 25 for 36 for 262 yards and two turnovers. Rookie Harrison Smith returned an interception 31 yards for a touchdown in the first minute of the second half, giving the Vikings enough of a cushion to withstand the offensive woes down the stretch.—AP

DP World sells stake in Russian firm for $230m Page 22

Kuwait population hits 3.8m in 2012 Page 24


Japan trade sinks amid global crisis, China spat Page 25

Russia’s energy landscape shaken up after mega deal Page 23

DUBAI: Visitors look at the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation presentation, during of the opening the World Energy Forum 2012, at the Exhibition Centre, in Dubai yesterday.—AFP

Kuwait bourse steadies after plunge Volumes shrink as investors cut risk prior to holidays DUBAI: Gulf stock markets were mixed yesterday but trading volumes shrank as investors cut risk with the approach of holidays, while Kuwait’s bourse steadied after a plunge on Sunday because of political tensions. Saudi Arabia’s bourse fell 0.6 percent, finishing at a one-week low. Petrochemical and banking stocks were the main drags as investors reduced exposure to heavyweights. Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) shed 0.6 percent, Al Rajhi Bank slipped 0.7 percent and Samba Financial Group fell 1.4 percent. Trading volume fell to 148 million shares, the lowest daily level since Oct. 15. Saudi Arabia’s stock market will close from Oct. 27 to 31 for Eid al-Adha holidays. “Activity is dwindling ahead of the long holiday and we’re seeing some selling to reduce exposure,” said Sleiman Aboulhosn, assistant fund manager at AlMasah Capital. “We’re looking to see a

strong move higher post-Eid and before year-end, since the fundamentals are still highly favorable in Saudi, especially those in consumer-related stocks.” Property developer Dar Al-Arkan, the most active stock on the index, fell 1.1 percent to 8.75 riyals after the firm posted a 2.9 percent fall in quarterly net profit, missing expectations. In Dubai, the index climbed 0.1 percent but volume slumped to a sevenweek low. Emaar Properties rose 0.3 percent, contractor Drake & Scull added 0.2 percent and builder Arabtec climbed 0.4 percent. The index finished at 1,652 points, within 2 points of Wednesday’s 25-week high. About 46 million shares traded, the lowest since Sept 5. “Investors are waiting for more clarity on Q3 results and the 1,650 level is a strong resistance,” said Nabil Al-Rantisi,

managing director at Menacorp in Abu Dhabi, adding that trading was thin because of the upcoming holiday. UAE markets will close on Oct 25-28 for Eid AlAdha. Shares in telecom operator duslipped 1.3 percent from Sunday’s near three-year high. It reported a 34 percent rise in thirdquarter net profit yesterday, narrowly missing analysts’ estimates. Kuwait’s bourse closed 0.2 percent lower at 5,716 points; selling pressure lessened after the index dropped during the day as low as 5,677, near August’s eight-year low of 5,661, which is seen as strong technical support. But market sentiment remained weak after police used teargas, stun grenades and baton charges on Sunday night to disperse thousands of demonstrators protesting against changes to the electoral law, which the opposition has called a constitutional

coup by the government. The index lost 3.1 percent on Sunday ahead of the protest, its biggest daily fall since mid-2009. Large-caps National Bank of Kuwait and Kuwait Finance House fell 2.1 and 2.6 percent respec tively yesterday. On Sunday they closed flat because of what traders identified as buying by government-linked funds, but such buying was less conspicuous yesterday. Shares in Wataniya ended flat. Kuwait’s No 2 telecom operator missed estimates with a 31 percent drop in quarterly profit. Elsewhere, Muscat’s benchmark shed 1.1 percent to finish at its lowest level since Oct 14. Telecom operator Nawras was the main drag. Shares in the firm plunged 8.3 percent af ter it posted a 47 percent decline in quarterly profit, blaming a drop in text revenue and higher network maintenance costs. — Reuters

OPEC rivalries to block deal on top post DUBAI/LONDON: OPEC is likely to find reaching a consensus difficult in talks this week on selecting its new secretary general, delegates to the producer group said, due to rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran over its top administrative post. A panel of officials was meeting at the Vienna headquarters of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries on Monday. Its role, say delegates, is to advise OPEC oil ministers on who should succeed Secretary General Abdullah Al-Badri, whose term ends in December. OPEC has often struggled to agree on a secretary general and the task of comes as Western sanctions on Iran have heightened political tensions within the group. Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and Ecuador have all nominated candidates. “It will be hard for the committee to recommend a candidate,” said an OPEC delegate, who like other officials declined to be identified. “In my opinion the Saudi candidate is the most qualified, but Iran would never be OK with this.” The panel consists mainly of OPEC governors - oil officials who represent their countries on the group’s board of governors - and it it likely to interview each candidate. OPEC delegates say the four candidates are Saudi Arabia’s OPEC governor, Majid Al-Moneef;

Thamir Ghadhban, energy adviser to Iraq’s prime minister; former Iranian oil minister Gholam Hossein Nozari; and the oil minister of Ecuador, Wilson Pastor. “It is not going to be easy,” said an OPEC source, referring to whether the panel will be able to recommend a candidate. “For a secretary general to be appointed, all 12 have to agree.” The secretary general is the main representative on the world stage of the producer group, helps formulate its output policy and is in charge of OPEC’s Vienna secretariat. Any decision on Badri’s successor will be made by OPEC’s oil ministers at their Dec. 12 meeting. Without sufficient progress at the talks this week, the panel could hold another meeting before December, OPEC sources said. The post has tended to go to officials from smaller OPEC producers to spread influence beyond top producer Saudi Arabia and Iran, OPEC’s traditional No 2 whose output has now been overtaken by Iraq as sanctions curb Iran’s oil sales. Badri’s appointment, starting in 2007, ended a three-year impasse over the job. OPEC officials have also raised the possibility of Badri being asked to remain in the post beyond the end of his term if a successor cannot be chosen. — Reuters

Alwaleed: Citigroup has great potential DUBAI: Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who has a stake in Citigroup, said yesterday the US bank has great potential under new management following the departure of Vikram Pandit as chief executive. Alwaleed, speaking at a conference, said Pandit had done “a pretty good job” at Citigroup over the past several years and investors would need two to three years to see the results of the new management. Pandit resigned earlier this month and was replaced by Michael Corbat, previously the head of European, Middle Eastern and African operations at Citigroup. Alwaleed, who conducts much of his investment through his Kingdom Holding, praised Citigroup’s status as a global bank - the world’s only truly global bank, he said - and the fact that it did not pull back from overseas during the global financial

crisis as other Western banks have done. He also said he would stick with his investment in Apple Inc.”In the next year or two we still want to be living with the legacy of Steve Jobs,” said Alwaleed, referring to Apple’s cofounder and former chief executive who died last year. Alwaleed a nephew of Saudi Arabia’s king, was estimated by Forbes magazine last year to have a fortune of over $19 billion. He said he saw a wide range of investment opportunities in Africa, but that the global economy was still fragile with Europe facing a particularly severe threat in the debt problems of Italy and Spain. “Although we are out of the intensive care unit, we’re not out of the woods yet,” he said of the global economic environment. — Reuters

Kuwait trade surplus with Japan widens TOKYO: Kuwait’s trade surplus with Japan widened 25.4 percent in September to JPY 96.1 billion ($1.2 billion) from a year earlier, remaining in the black for the 56th month in a row, the Finance Ministry said yesterday. Kuwait’s overall exports to Japan jumped 25.3 percent to JPY 109.7 billion ($1.4 billion) for the second straight month of gain, and imports from Japan rose 24.4 percent year-on-year to JPY 13.6 billion ($171 million), up for the first time in two months, the ministry said in a preliminary report. The Middle East’s trade surplus with Japan also widened 25.4 percent to JPY 1.062 trillion ($13.4 billion) last month, with Japan-bound exports from the region surging 20.8 percent from a year earlier. Crude oil, refined products, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and other natural resources, which accounted for 98.2 percent of the region’s total exports to Japan, grew 20.9 percent on the year, with crude oil alone rising 25.8 percent. The region’s imports from Japan edged down 0.3 percent, as shipments of machinery, steel, electronic components declined. The world’s third-biggest economy registered a global deficit of JPY 558.6 billion ($7.0 billion) in September for the third straight month of red ink due to plunge in exports to China amid tensions over a territorial dispute. over disputed islands in the East China Sea. It was the biggest trade deficit for the month of September since comparable data became available in 1979. Exports totaled JPY 5.360 trillion ($67.5 billion), down 10.3 percent. Exports to China, Japan’s biggest trading partner, fell 14.1 percent on the year led by slumps in automobiles following anti-Japan riots and boycotting of Japanese products in China over disputed islands in the East China Sea. In addition, the Chinese economy has been also slowing on the impact of the European debt crisis. Imports rose 4.1 percent to JPY 5.918 trillion ($74.6 billion) on mainly higher costs for crude oil and LNG. Japanese utilities have boosted imports of LNG for thermal power generation, as only two of the nation’s 50 workable nuclear reactors are currently online in the wake of the radiation accident in March 2011 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which was triggered by the massive earthquake and tsunami. The trade data are measured on a customs-cleared basis before adjustment for seasonal factors. —KUNA




DP World sells stake in Russian firm for $230m

ABK announces second draw winners of ‘Update your Info’ campaign Lockie further explained that, “By KUWAIT: Al-Ahli Bank of Kuwait announced the second weekly draw updating our customers’ information we winners of its new “Update your Info get a better understanding of their needs and lifestyle which Campaign”. The campaign helps us upgrade the safety is related to customers of their cards and banking being rewarded for updatprocedures. We guarantee ing their personal profile in all the information provided the Bank. The lucky winners is treated with utmost confiwere Ghada Abdulhai dence and will only be used Abdulraheem from Andalus in accordance with banking branch who won an iPad requirements and for the and Khaled Amesh Mousa benefit of our customers.” from Qurain Branch won a Lockie concluded by saySamsung Galaxy S III. ing that, “We are excited Customers that update about the second draw wintheir personal information ners of this Update Your at any ABK branch located Stewart Lockie Info Campaign with ABK. across Kuwait will automatically be entered into a draw for a weekly There are more weekly and monthly chance to win an iPad 3 or a Samsung draws coming up, so I would suggest for Galaxy S III and a monthly draw to aim everyone to update their info as soon as possible, so as to get a chance to win to win cash prizes. Stewart Lockie, General Manager of any of these valuable prizes.” For more information regarding the Retail Banking Division said that, “The idea behind this campaign was to updating your information or to learn be up-to-date with details of our cus- about any of our other services, please tomers and their evolving requirements. visit to talk directly with ABK places customer care above all else, one of our Account Managers through and to succeed in our endeavor, this was Al Ahli Chat Service or call Ahlan Ahli on 1899899. an important initiative” .

Buyer Global Ports Investment to take full ownership DUBAI/MOSCOW: Dubai port operator DP World sold its quarter stake in a Russian container terminal to Global Ports Investment for $230 million, as part of efforts to dispose of non-core assets. Dubai Ports said yesterday its minority ownership in Vostochnaya Stevedoring Co was a legacy investment with limited management involvement. Global Ports already holds 75 percent of Vostochnaya and will now take full control of the terminal following the sale. The transaction is expected to close this week, the Dubai-based firm said in a statement to Nasdaq Dubai. The Vostochnaya Stevedoring Co, based in the port of Vostochny, is the largest container terminal in the Far East of Russia and one of the key gateways for Russian container transport, Global Ports said in a separate statement. Nikita Mishin, the chairman of Global Ports said the acquisition is part of the company’s plans to pursue further growth in Russia and CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries. The sale by DP World, one of the more profitable assets of debt-laden Dubai World, is the latest in a series of disposals of non-core assets in different countries. The firm announced sale of its operations in Belgium a month ago and also quit its venture in Yemen. DP World has a net debt of $3.5 billion, according to its half-year earnings report released in August. The ports operator, which

makes the bulk of its money from regional operations, has been selling assets in developed markets, including the $1.5 billion sale of its Australian operations to private equity firm Citi Infrastructure Investors last year. In July, DP said it was forced to hand over its 60 percent holding in Adelaide’s container

terminal to Flinders Port after the Australian firm exercised its right to buy the stake. The company also sold its 34 percent stake in UKbased Tilbury Container Services Ltd for $75.48 million in January. DP World shares were up 0.5 percent by 0715 GMT on the Nasdaq Dubai bourse. — Reuters

Sri Lanka struggles with 20% Iran oil cut

DUBAI: Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority, visits the exhibition at the opening of the World Energy Forum 2012, at the Exhibition Centre, in Dubai yesterday. — AFP

DUBAI: Sri Lanka has reduced its Iranian crude imports by 20 percent this year but disagrees with Western sanctions that are punishing countries that depend on its oil, Sri Lanka’s foreign minister said yesterday. Like other Asian oil importers, Sri Lanka has been trying to adjust to sanctions that the United States and other western countries have imposed on Iran’s oil sector over the Islamic republic’s disputed nuclear program. As a result, exports from Iran, have fallen sharply as consumers struggle to pay for the oil and to secure insurance cover for tankers to ship the crude. “There has been a reduction on the quantities imported into the country from Iran of about 20 percent this year,” G L Peiris told Reuters on the sidelines of an energy conference in Dubai, adding that Sri Lanka objects to having to make the

Oman plans more free trade zones MUSCAT: Oman plans to invest $450 million to extend its free trade zones across the country to attract more foreign investment and diversify its oil-reliant economy, it said yesterday. Foreign direct investment tumbled last year, and the small crude exporter also needs to create tens of thousands of jobs every year for its fast-growing population of some 2 million nationals. The government is hoping that by extending its free trade zones it could tackle both these problems at once. “We are extending facilities of all free zones in a $450 million investment to attract more foreign projects,” the state Free Trade Zones Authority said in a statement. “ The extensions include expanding land, building warehouses, offices, roads, staff accommodations and storages. The effort will help diversify the economy in the long run,” it said. Oman has four free trade zones: in the northern industrial city of Sohar, the southern port city of Salalah, the central town of Duqm, and in Mazuna near the Yemeni border. So far, Sohar’s free trade zone has drawn the most interest with some 14 foreign companies

investing in metals, minerals and logistics, according to statistics from the Sohar Free Zone. Foreign direct investment in Oman plunged 31 percent to $788 million in 2011, when protesters demanded jobs and a crackdown on corruption. It was the lowest level since 2004, data from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development show. Free zones offer foreign investors a chance to maintain 100 percent ownership, no income tax and simplified trading license procedures. However, businesses willing to set up there need to employ Omanis for at least 10 percent of their workforce. The government sees the free zones as a way to diversify its income, as hydrocarbons make up around 77 percent of the state budget revenue. Unemployment among Omanis exceeded 24 percent in 2010, according to an International Monetary Fund estimate based on the latest population census. The government does not issue jobless data. Omanis formed a mere 14 percent of the private sector labour force of 1.3 million in 2011, a central bank report showed. — Reuters

Qatar CBQ Q3 net profit falls slightly DOHA: Commercial Bank of Qatar (CBQ) surpassed analysts’ expectations for the third-quarter despite reporting a slight dip in net profit as gains from financial investments off-set a drop in fee and commission income. The Gulf Arab state’s third-largest lender by market value earned 548 million riyals ($150.5 million) for the thirdquarter, compared with 552 million riyals a year earlier, a company statement said yesterday. Analysts had forecast average quarterly profit of 503.2 million riyals, according to a Reuters poll. The lender’s 9-month net profit rose 4 percent to 1.57 billion riyals, the statement said. Profit from financial investments for the quarter was 120.4 million riyals compared with 19.5 million riyals for the year-ago period. On the other hand, fee and commission income dropped to 172.2 million riyals from 201.4 million riyals from the year earlier. “For the remainder of 2012, we will continue to focus on growing our domestic corporate and retail businesses, developing the strength of our regional alliance and delivering solid returns to our shareholders,” Group Chief Executive Andrew Stevens said in the statement. Banks in Qatar are expected to benefit from heavy state spending on infrastructure as the world’s fastest growing economy prepares to host the 2022 World Cup. A senior Standard & Poor’s executive said in July that Qatari lenders should rely less on deposits and issue more debt and Islamic bonds to raise capital to fuel the country’s growth. Earlier in the month Qatar National Bank posted an 10.5 percent jump in quarterly profit. QNB is the first major regional lender to report earnings and is closely watched for an indication of the sector’s performance. — Reuters

cuts. “It’s not something we like or approve of, it’s a situation that has been brought about... we feel like (importing) countries suffer because the sanctions are targeted in a particular way,” he said. He said the shortfall was being met with additional imports from Saudi Arabia and Oman. But Ceylon Petroleum Corp (Ceypetco) said yesterday it may be forced to shut Sri Lanka’s sole 50,000 barrels-per-day oil refinery from Thursday for up to two weeks if efforts to secure alternative supplies to Iranian crude fail. The refinery is configured to run solely on Iranian crude. Sri Lanka is now in talks with Iran to find suitable payment method for its crude, as banks dealing with Iran have also been targeted by western sanctions. Iran has not offered an discounts on its crude, he said. — Reuters

Dana Gas discovers gas in Nile Delta DUBAI: United Arab Emirates-based Dana Gas Co said yesterday it had discovered natural gas in Egypt’s Nile Delta, estimating the deposit at between 4 billion and 6 billion cubic feet. The company is preparing a development plan for the discovery at the West Sama-1 site and will tie it to a nearby gas processing plant within a week, it said. Dana Gas said the find was its second natural gas discovery in Egypt this year,

after successful drilling in the Komombo Concession in the second quarter. The company already has substantial operations in Egypt, and said last week that an Egyptian affiliate had started commercial output at a natural gas liquids plant there. Dana Gas has a $920 million Islamic bond maturing late this month. It has said it is looking at options to handle the debt but has not announced any specific plan to repay or restructure it. —Reuters

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

.2740000 .4460000 .3630000 .2990000 .2800000 .2870000 .0040000 .0020000 .0760950 .7413670 .3870000 .0720000 .7267780 .0430000

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES US Dollar/KD .2803000 GB Pound/KD .4486340 Euro .3650770 Swiss francs .3018360 Canadian dollars .2821760 Danish Kroner .0489460 Swedish Kroner .0425890 Australian dlr .2895500 Hong Kong dlr .0361680 Singapore dlr .2294630 Japanese yen .0035340 Indian Rs/KD .0000000 Sri Lanka rupee .0000000 Pakistan rupee .0000000 Bangladesh taka .0000000 UAE dirhams .0763450 Bahraini dinars .7437970 Jordanian dinar .0000000 Saudi Riyal/KD .0747670 Omani riyals .7283360 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 Malaysian Ringgit

3.547 5.227 2.945 2.175 3.281 232.250 36.293 3.427 6.776 9.163 92.334

.2840000 .4610000 .3720000 .3070000 .2940000 .2980000 .0058500 .0035000 .0768590 .7488180 .4100000 .0780000 .7340830 .0510000 .2824000 .4519950 .3678120 .3040970 .2842910 .0493120 .0429080 .2917190 .0364390 .2311820 .0035610 .0052750 .0021950 .0029710 .0034910 .0769170 .7493700 .3994340 .0753270 .7337920 .0068880

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

GCC COUNTRIES 75.030 77.309 730.800 747.310 76.614

ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 48.400 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 45.981 Yemen Riyal/for 1000 1.313 Tunisian Dinar 181.220 Jordanian Dinar 396.880 Lebanese Lira/for 1000 1.888 Syrian Lier 4.847 Morocco Dirham 33.482 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 281.250 Euro 370.550 Sterling Pound 454.500 Canadian dollar 286.110 Turkish lire 156.860 Swiss Franc 306.370 US Dollar Buying 280.050 GOLD 332.000 168.000 86.000

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

50.900 731.330 3.070 7.010 77.880 75.170 232.110 36.360 2.682 454.900 43.800 307.600 4.100 9.530 198.263 76.760 281.900 1.350

10 Tola

GOLD 1,836.170

Sterling Pound US Dollar

731.150 2.960 6.810 77.450 75.170 232.110 36.360 2.178 452.900 306.100 4.100 9.360 76.680 281.500


TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 452.900 281.500



294.100 748.760 3.670 287.100 553.000 45.900 50.200 167.800 48.380 371.000 37.010 5.480 0.032 0.161 0.246 3.640 398.990 0.190 95.260 45.600 4.330 233.800 1.824

292.600 748.760 3.440 285.600

232.100 46.086 369.500 36.880 5.245 0.031


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

295.19 287.85 308.05 369.92 281.10 453.76 3.63 3.460 5.233 2.178 3.287 2.951 76.60 748.48 46.07 400.48 731.59 77.62 75.17


294.500 291.000 307.000 370.000 282.500 458.000 3.690 3.600 5.500 2.320 3.600 3.150 77.350 749.500 48.000 399.000 735.000 78.000 75.750

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd 398.950 0.189 95.260 3.300 232.300

Rate for Transfer

US Dollar Canadian Dollar Sterling Pound Euro

Selling Rate

281.450 284.505 452.710 369.045

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

305.095 745.130 76.605 77.255 75.015 396.745 46.062 2.170 5.342 2.945 3.440 6.787 690.395 4.535 9.275 4.365 3.430 92.080

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co.

UAE Exchange Centre WLL

Bahrain Exchange Company COUNTRY

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


Rate per 1000 (Tran)

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

281.500 2.960 5.255 2.185 3.439 6.835 76.745 75.225 748.400 46.095 456.700 2.990 1.550 373.000 289.500 3.345

Al Mulla Exchange Currency

Transfer Rate (Per 1000)

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

281.150 368.800 453.000 284.350 3.600 5.255 46.050 2.172 3.456 6.785 2.950 748.650 76.500 75.000



Russia’s energy landscape shaken up after mega deal Rosneft gobbles up BP’s Russian JV

HONG KONG: A man looks on in front of a currency exchange booth in Hong Kong yesterday. The Hong Kong dollar yesterday continued to sit at the high end of its trading range against the US dollar despite an intervention late last week by the city’s de facto central bank to weaken the unit. — AFP

Kurdistan begins int’l oil exports, defying Baghdad LONDON: Kurdistan has begun selling its oil into international markets in independent export deals that further challenge Baghdad’s claim to full control over Iraqi oil after first signing independent exploration deals with foreign oil majors last year. The move is likely to enrage the government, which is still locked in a battle with Exxon Mobil over its independent deal with Kurdistan last year to explore for oil in six Kurdish blocs. But it also paves the way towards greater Kurdish autonomy as Baghdad has long insisted it alone has the right to market Iraqi oil and gas products. By involving two of the world’s largest trading houses, Trafigura and Vitol, Kurdistan has made it difficult for Baghdad to retaliate, as it depends on those firms for a proportion of its refined oil imports like gasoline and diesel. If Baghdad were to decide to shop elsewhere, it could face paying much higher prices for its fuel. Trafigura snapped up the first cargo of Kurdish light oil- known in the industry as condensate-offered for delivery in October via the intermediary Powertrans. The oil was trucked across the country from a Kurdish field to Turkey, where it loaded at the start of the month. Vitol was quick to follow, becoming the second major oil firm to buy Kurdish oil marketed independently of Baghdad, picking up a second 12,000 ton cargo of condensate for loading at the end of the month. At around $890 a ton, each shipment is worth over $10 million. Iraqi officials say any deals independently agreed with Kurdistan are illegal and trading Kurdish oil and gas products without the central government’s consent amounts to smuggling. “Iraq maintains its right to legally pursue all those who participate in smuggling the property of the Iraqi people locally or internationally,” said Iraq’s government spokesman Ali Dabbagh, commenting on the Kurdish sales of oil to the Swiss trading houses. Trafigura declined to comment, while Vitol confirmed it had bought a parcel of Kurdish origin for loading in Turkey, declining to comment any further on the deal. “The small parcel was bought in a public tender, FOB Toros terminal, Turkey. No further comment,” spokesman Mark Ware said. In addition to supplying Baghdad

with products, Vitol also has two term deals to buy Iraqi crude in 2012 for a total of around 22,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd. Kurdistan’s potential as a major oil producer and exporter has proved to have greater weight with foreign oil firms than warnings by Baghdad that signing contracts with the autonomous region could put their contracts in the south at risk. Exxon Mobil has been followed by other majors including Chevron, Total and Gazprom, as production-sharing deals with Arbil are seen as a far better arrangement than Baghdad’s fee-for-service contracts. Similarly, on the trading side, better prospects in the north have caught the attention of major oil traders, who are now prepared to risk Baghdad’s anger to gain a foothold in Kurdistan while the region heads towards greater autonomy. “Because this flow (exports from Kurdistan) is meant to be huge. Crude, naphtha, LPG, condensate, but yes, very political,” said an oil trader, commenting on the logic for risking relations with Baghdad. So far, Kurdistan’s export volumes are tiny in comparison to its daily exports via national pipelines, moving around 1,000 tons of oil per day (about 8,000 bpd) to Turkey by truck, but deliveries are on the rise. A Kurdish industry source in Arbil said condensate volumes were expected to reach 1,500 tons per day (about 12,000 bpd) by the end of October and more trucks would be made available towards the end of the year. Kurdistan began its own exports of oil over the summer, swapping condensate for refined products such as diesel and kerosene with Turkey to help plug a product shortfall it says was created by Baghdad. The trade agreement was endorsed by Ankara, but Baghdad said the deliveries by truck were illegal. Kurdistan, autonomous with its own government and armed forces since 1991, gets central government funding and uses national pipelines to ship its oil. The process has however been stopstart over the years due to a long-running feud between Baghdad and Arbil over oil and land rights. Exports were halted in April in a dispute over payments from Baghdad to companies working in the region and restarted in August. —Reuters

LONDON: Rosneft gobbled up BP’s highly-profitable Russian joint venture, transforming itself into a top player in the global oil sector in a $61 billion (47 billion euro) deal yesterday that gives the BP nearly a fifth of the Russian energy giant and ensures access to key Arctic resources. British BP said in a statement that it has agreed to sell its half of Russian venture TNK-BP to Rosneft for $17.1 billion and another 12.84 percent share in the state firm. BP added it would spend $4.8 billion of the proceeds to buy another 5.66 percent of Rosneft from the Russian government, bringing its total stake in the Russian company to 19.75 percent. BP currently owns 1.25 percent of Rosneft. The shake-up has major implications for the exploration of oil and gas in the vast Arctic region, while helping to firm up BP’s plans to refocus its attention away from the United States after the 2010 oil spill disaster. It also effectively ends the often tumultuous but highly profitable TNK-BP joint venture. In Moscow, Rosneft announced it had also bought the other 50-percent in TNK-BP from key Russian investors for $28 billion. Rosneft chief executive Igor Sechin estimated the total value of the deal at $61 billion. Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed the transaction. “This is a good, large deal that is necessary not only for the Russian energy sector but also the entire economy,” news agencies quoted Putin as saying. “This is a very good signal to the Russian and international energy markets.” BP will pay the Russian government $8 per Rosneft share, representing a premium of 12 percent to the closing price last Thursday. Under the terms of the agreement, BP would also have two seats on Rosneft’s nine-person board. Subject to regulatory approvals, the transactions are expected to complete during the first half of 2013. “BP today announced that it has signed heads of terms to sell its 50 percent share in TNK-BP to Rosneft,” the statement said. “Signing of the definitive agreements is conditional on the Russian government agreeing to the sale of the 5.66 percent stake in Rosneft and it is intended that the TNK-BP sale and this further investment in Rosneft would complete on

the same day. “Therefore, on completion of the proposed transaction, BP would acquire a total 18.5 percent stake in Rosneft and net $12.3 billion in cash. “This would result in BP holding 19.75 percent of Rosneft stock, when aggregated with BP’s 1.25 percent current holding in Rosneft.” BP chief executive Bob Dudley said the deal “builds on BP’s track record of value creation in Russia. It is consistent with our strategy of deepening our positions in the world’s most prolific oil and gas regions. “BP intends to be a long term investor in Rosneft-an investment which I believe will deliver value for our shareholders over the next decade and beyond.” The deal will catapult Rosneft into becoming the world’s biggest publicly-traded oil company and second in size only to Saudi Arabia’s

MOSCOW: Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (L) speaks with Igor Sechin, the CEO of state-controlled Russian oil giant Rosneft, during their meeting in Putin’s Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, yesterday.—AFP

UAE’s du looks to mobile data to drive growth DUBAI: Du, the United Arab Emirates’ No 2 telecom operator, aims to capitalize on wealthy customers’ appetite for data via smartphones to offset margin pressures in its mobile phone business that held back third quarter profit growth. The firm yesterday posted a 34 percent rise in profits for the three months to September 30, but this fell short of analysts’ forecasts. Du, which ended rival Etisalat’s domestic monopoly in 2007, made a third quarter net profit of 326.9 million dirhams ($89.00 million), compared with 244.3 million dirhams in the year-earlier period. Analysts polled by Reuters on average forecast du would make a quarterly profit of 333.3 million dirhams. The UAE’s telecom sector as a whole is experiencing a slowing in revenue growth due to the country’s largely foreign workforce

increasing use of internet-based services, hurting operators’ lucrative international call and text businesses. “We continue to witness pressure on voice, while mobile data revenue increased significantly,” Chief Executive Osman Sultan told reporters on a conference call. Third-quarter mobile data revenue nearly doubled to 323 million dirhams from a year ago. This was 17 percent of total mobile revenue, which rose 13 percent to 1.94 billion. “I wish to see it (mobile data) in the 25 percent range at the end of next year,” Sultan said. Data’s growing contribution to mobile revenue is part of du’s push to focus more on increasing earnings per-customer rather than on expanding mobile market share. To achieve this, du will try to up the proportion of mobile cus-

tomers on post-paid monthly contracts to more than 10 percent by 2013-end, from 8 percent as of Sept. 30. These customers are typically wealthier and spend more on telecom services. The operator had 5.96 million mobile subscribers on Sept. 30, adding 227,800 in the quarter. This gave it a 47.2 percent share of the UAE’s mobile subscribers, up from 46.5 percent in the second quarter. Quarterly revenue was 2.52 billion dirhams. This compares with 2.23 billion dirhams a year ago. Du also aims to increase revenue from business customers and home services, but its failure to agree a network sharing deal with Etisalat to allow full competition for fixed line services and the lack of mobile number portability (MNP) could hinder this. Both operators offer fixed-line voice, broadband and television services

21 percent in the third quarter to 790 million dirhams, driven by higher investment securities income and a 5 percent improvement in core fee income across most areas, the bank said. Loans and advances have gained 5 percent since the start of 2012, while deposits increased 11 percent over the first nine months of this year. The former had grown 2 percent and the latter 8 percent in the first six months. For all banks in the United Arab Emirates, combined lending was flat at the end of August compared to the end of the second quarter, according to the latest central bank figures. System-wide deposits rose 1.1 percent month-on-month in August after a gain of 0.7 percent in July. Dubai Bank, which ENBD was obliged to take over last year after the Islamic bank buckled under the weight of its bad loans, will be fully integrated by year-end, with branches rebranded as ENBD’s own Islamic arm, Emirates Islamic Bank. Shares in ENBD closed on Sunday flat compared to their level at the start of this year. The main Dubai stock index has gained 21.9 percent year-to-date. —Reuters

but not in the same districts and an agreement to share their respective infrastructure was due to be concluded last year. “It’s a difficult discussion,” said Sultan. “This is taking more time than expected. It’s not happening for the moment.” MNP allows customers to switch operator and retain their old phone number, which is seen as key for business customers. In 2007, the UAE regulator said it would introduce MNP the following year, but has yet to do so. “The introduction of mobile number portability will help,” added Sultan. Du’s net profit margin was 25.9 percent in the third quarter, up from 21.9 percent a year ago. The firm’s shares ended 1.3 percent lower after the results were announced. The stock is up nearly 30 percent so far this year.— Reuters

NBD still in talks with CB on loan curbs DUBAI: Dubai lender Emirates NBD is in discussions with the United Arab Emirates central bank over new lending limits on banks, its chief executive said yesterday, after the deadline to meet the requirements passed on Sept. 30. “We are talking on a continued basis with the central bank to get to a satisfactory situation. The deadline has passed and the discussions are still ongoing and we hope to conclude them in the near future,” chief executive Rick Pudner told reporters in a conference call after the bank’s third-quarter earnings. Pudner said the bank forecast its net loan growth for 2012 at 5 to 6 percent, while the outlook for lending growth next year was also conservative, at 4 to 5 percent. Emirates NBD, Dubai’s biggest bank, expects the $10 billion debt restructuring underway at Dubai Group, a unit of Dubai Holding, to take another three to six months to complete, with final terms still “uncertain”, Ben Franz-Marwick, the bank’s head of investor relations, said on the call. —Reuters

ENBD’s Q3 net profit up on lower provisions DUBAI: Emirates NBD, Dubai’s largest bank by market value, yesterday said third-quarter net profit more than tripled on the back of lower provisioning for bad loans and higher non-interest income, beating analysts’ forecasts. The lender, 55.6 percent owned by state fund Investment Corporation of Dubai, made a net profit of 640 million dirhams ($174.2 million) in the three months to Sept. 30, compared with 175 million dirhams in the same period last year, a statement from the bank said. An average of four analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a net profit of 514.4 million dirhams. Impairment allowances, the amount set aside to meet bad loans, stood at 1.01 billion dirhams for the third quarter, down 36 percent from the 1.57 billion dirhams which the bank recorded in the same three months of 2011. The lender was hit hard by impairment allowances in the previous four quarters, dragging down profits at the bank. Exposure to indebted Dubai state-linked entities was one of the main reasons. ENBD made just over 2 billion dirhams of provisions in the first six months of this year. Non-interest income climbed

Aramco. The deal will give Rosneft a daily output of 3.15 million barrels-far higher than current leader ExxonMobil, which pumps out 2.3 million barrels a day. The deal should relieve tensions at one of Russia’s most profitable oil companies-a venture BP launched in 2003 to expand its presence in a country with the world’s biggest oil and natural gas output. TNK-BP has generated tens of billions of dollars and was responsible for more than a quarter of BP’s crude output last year. However, tensions reached breaking point over BP’s efforts early in 2011 to strike a separate Arctic oil tie-up with Rosneft. That Arctic deal was blocked by the BP’s Russian partners in TNK-BP in a shock move which only worsened their relations with both Rosneft and BP still further. — AFP

PARIS: French Economy Minister Pierre Moscovici speaks to journalists after a meeting with French Prime Minister and ministers at the Hotel Matignon in Paris yesterday. — AFP

Lloyds says no plans to change pay structures LONDON: Lloyds Banking Group has no plans to overhaul its pay policy for senior staff in the foreseeable future, the part state-owned British bank said yesterday, countering a press report it might ditch annual bonuses for executives. “We keep our remuneration plans under review at all times but have no current plans to change our structures and do not expect to do so in the foreseeable future,” a spokeswoman said. The Financial Times had reported that Lloyds was examining whether to scrap annual bonuses for executives and extend the timeframe of longerterm incentives to up to 10 years.

Lloyds Chief Executive Antonio Horta-Osorio recently called for a radical change within the banking industry, saying it must break with the culture of the past in order to restore the trust of customers. In a speech to the CBI Scotland Annual Dinner last month, HortaOsorio said Lloyds was committed to ensuring pay is increasingly linked to the long-term performance of the bank. Lloyds’ top-earning executive was paid 2.8 million pounds ($4.5 million) in 2011 and Horta-Osorio could receive almost 10 million shares under this year’s incentive plan. —Reuters

Savola seeks shareholder nod for sukuk plan DUBAI: Saudi-based Savola Group will seek shareholder approval for plans to issue Islamic bonds, or sukuk, the company said in a statement to the kingdom’s bourse yesterday. The firm, which owns the Middle East’s biggest sugar refining business, will propose the plans at an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM), the date of which will be announced once regulatory approvals for the move have been granted, the statement said. The proposal includes the company’s right to issue sukuk or any other securities, through one or more tranches or a series of issues under one or more programs. Savola did not specify the currency in which it would seek to issue sukuk but Saudi companies are actively looking to tap high liquidity in the local market and take advantage of low borrowing rates through riyal-denominated issues. Earlier this month, Savola posted a forecastbeating 31.6-percent rise in third-quarter profit on the back of higher sales and market share. The company also raised its stake in fellow food firm Almarai Co to 36.5 percent after buying shares worth 2 billion riyals ($533 million), in line with company strategy to increase exposure in its core sectors. Savola financed the deal with its own cash reserves and Islamic loan financing provided by local banks. — Reuters




Kuwait’s total population hits 3.8m in 2012 Kuwaiti employment growth in private sector slows, surges in public sector

NBK ECONOMIC REPORT KUWAIT: Kuwait’s total labor force grew by 6% year-onyear (yoy) to reach 2.26 million. The number of expatriate workers was up in all components, including the public and private sectors, as well as domestic workers. The number of employed Kuwaitis in the 12 months ending June 2012 rose by over 14,300, compared to a rise of 19,900 the prior year. This is a decline of 28%. Nearly 76% of new jobs were in the public sector and the remaining 24% were in the private sector. New private sector jobs were 34% lower than in the prior year. The strong employment performance for Kuwaitis in the public sector was likely encouraged by salary hikes in the government sector that are luring some workers away from the private sector.

New employment in the private sector among Kuwaiti nationals during the last 12 months ending June 2012 was only 3,500, down from 5,300 the prior year. As many as 65% of new jobs went to women. The proportion of Kuwaiti women employed in the private sector has risen from 27% to 51% in the span of ten years, with most of the gains coming in the last six years. The total number of Kuwaitis employed in the private sector rose to 81,200 or 21% of Kuwaiti employment. The net change in the expatriate labor force (excluding domestic workers) in the twelve months reached 68,000. Public sector hiring of non-Kuwaitis was a relatively small 6,000 while the private sector hired 62,000. Most new expatriate jobs (excluding the

domestic sector) during first half of 2012 were in community, social and personal services (63% share), construction (16%) and wholesale and retail sales (12%) sectors. These three occupations combined make up 43% of total expatriates employment. Meanwhile, the number of expatriates employed as domestic workers rose by 49,600 over the same period. Kuwait’s total population reached 3.8 million at the end of June 2012 according to figures published by the Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI). The population grew by 4.8% y/y. The number of Kuwaiti nationals reached nearly 1.19 million, or 31% of the total population. At 2.7%, the pace of population growth among Kuwaitis was slightly

lower than in recent years. The Kuwaiti population grew at an average of 2.9% in the previous five years. The expatriate population represented 69% of Kuwait’s population at the end of June 2012. Their y/y growth reached 5.8%, with 96,700 added to the expatriate population in the first half of 2012. The 12-month gain was about 143,000, thus the bulk of gains came in the last six months, reflecting a pick-up in economic activity. Kuwait’s adult population - 20 years of age or older reached 2.8 million, constituting 73% of the total population. The Kuwaiti population is of course much younger. Kuwaiti adults number 617,000, making up only 22% of the total adult population, while expatriate adults number 2.2 million.

Energy giants look to longer term at Kazakhstan field KASHAGAN OILFIELD, Kazakhstan: It has taken $46 billion over 12 years to bring Kashagan, the biggest world oilfield discovery since 1968, to the brink of production. But some in the seven-member development consortium are wondering whether they will be able to recoup their investment in the western Kazakh oil field before the current Production Sharing Agreement expires in 2041. They hope the departure of one partner, ConocoPhillips, will lead to a reshuffle that will give them greater operating control and extend the PSA beyond 2041, long enough to guarantee returns from the larger second phase of development. “We’ve developed only a small fraction of this gigantic field. This is a lifetime development,” said Alain Guenot, planning director for North Caspian Operating Co, or NCOC, the consortium that unites the seven investors. Up to 12 billion barrels of oil, enough to supply the world for four months, lie in wait beneath Kazakhstan’s portion of the Caspian Sea, to be extracted by the consortium that includes ExxonMobil, Shell and Eni. ConocoPhillips, which is disposing of billions of dollars’ worth of overseas assets to reduce debt and increase its exploration and dividend budgets, wants to sell its 8.4 percent stake, Oil and Gas Minister Sauat Mynbayev has said. The Houston-based company has not confirmed this. If ConocoPhillips does sell up the state oil and gas company, KazMunaiGas, would have first refusal on a stake some analysts estimate to be worth more than $5 billion. Kazakhstan, the largest economy in central Asia, has grown in confidence and is pushing to redraw contracts agreed in the lean years after being cast adrift by the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991. The state entered the project as a shareholder in 2005, after locking horns with the developers over ballooning costs. KazMunaiGas doubled its stake three years later to its current 16.8 percent. This is the same as Eni, ExxonMobil, Shell and Total . If peak production of 1.5 million barrels per day is ever achieved, these five partners would each be entitled to 252,000 barrels per da.

Home to 3 percent of the world’s recoverable oil reserves, Kazakhstan is the largest former Soviet oil producer after Russia. Oil is the cornerstone of the economy and production is forecast to rise 60 percent by the end of the decade. Increasing the KazMunaiGas stake would allow the country greater access to the profits from its offshore fields as its reserves on land dwindle, due to extraction that in some parts has been going for more than a century. “There once was a saying: ‘What’s good for General Motors is good for the United States’,” Daniyar Berlibayev, deputy chief executive of state oil and gas company KazMunaiGas, said during an oil conference on Oct 4. “I could also say: What’s good for KazMunaiGas is good for Kazakhstan.” But it is not a foregone conclusion that KazMunaiGas, stretched by a $6 billion refinery overhaul and the social costs of rehiring oil workers laid off elsewhere, will buy Conoco’s stake. The Kazakhs are also aware that they need the financial and technical muscle of the oil majors who want to make sure they get access to the second phase of development. Oil minister Mynbayev expects first oil in March 2013. Daily output is forecast to reach 370,000 barrels by 2016. The ultimate Phase One target, requiring the addition of extra gas compressors, is 450,000 barrels per day. But with up to 12 billion barrels of recoverable reserves within the Kashagan concession area about the same as OPEC member Algeria’s total proven reserves - the real value lies in a second phase that will begin beyond 2020. “Everybody would like to extend the PSA. There have been discussions,” said Guenot. “We know that the life of this field is much longer than 2041.” An official in the capital Astana, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said ExxonMobil and Shell had proposed a 20-year extension of the PSA and requested operating control of Phase Two. Asked about this at recent conferences in Astana and London, senior executives from both companies declined to comment. The oil ministry’s executive secretary, Kanatbek Safinov said he was not aware of any request to extend the PSA.

He estimates Phase Two investment costs at anywhere between $10 billion and $20 billion. Mynbayev, citing prohibitive costs, sent an earlier Phase Two development plan back to the drawing board in 2008. “Ultimately, further development needs to be profitable for the majors,” said Dominic Lewenz, oil and gas research director at Almaty-based investment bank Visor Capital. “If they feel the overall development not sufficiently attractive, the government may need to put some sort of sweetener on the table.” Kazakhstan needs the foreign companies to be involved because it does not have the first-hand experience of developing a deep and exceptionally complex offshore field involving a man-made archipelago stretching across the northern Caspian Sea. “At the right levels of government in Kazakhstan, they know that they also need support in developing the deeper and offshore fields - which are, after all, still regarded as some of the world’s most formidable engineering challenges,” said Lewenz of Visor Capital. The sea is less than five metres deep in places, too shallow for large ships. It freezes for five months a year, heaving ice floes against islands made from local limestone. Once, they even carried a stranded wolf ashore. And though the water is shallow, the seabed reservoir itself is more than four kilometres deep. It’s also high-pressure and rich in combustible hydrogen sulfide. Safety measures, Guenot said, are part of the reason that costs have overshot estimates. Twenty wells on two islands - there will be 40 by 2016 will be controlled remotely from D Island, the offshore hub. From a peak of 6,500 during construction, staff numbers will drop to 240 at a time when production begins. Another 200 per shift will be onshore at the Bolashak plant which lies at the other end of a 130-kilometre pipeline from the sea. Eighty percent will be Kazakh citizens. Control room operator Sagyndyk Taniyev from east Kazakhstan acknowledges the role the consortium has played in his training: “We have many foreign specialists here. We’re always learning from them.” — Reuters

MIAMI: A FedEx McDonnell Douglas MD-11F cargo jet taxis on the runway after landing at Miami International Airport in Miami. FedEx expects to ship 280 million packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas in 2012, up 13 percent from a year ago, thanks to consumers’ growing fondness for shopping online. The forecast, released yesterday, comes against a background of lackluster growth in the global economy. — AP




Fork in the road as US outstrips Europe LONDON: Slowly but surely, the global economy is witnessing a modest parting of the ways as the United States pulls ahead of a euro-zone still shellshocked by its debt and banking crisis. To be sure, a slew of reports this week will show neither America nor Europe in great shape. But while advance October surveys of purchasing managers are likely to confirm the euro zone stuck in recession, US economic growth probably picked up to a 1.8 percent rate in the third quarter from 1.3 percent between April and June, according to a Reuters poll. The euro-zone polls were due tomorrow with the US gross domestic product release scheduled for Friday. “My impression is that there is more of a divergence re-emerging between the US and Europe,” said Andrew Kenningham with Capital Economics, a London consultancy. Retail sales, auto purchases and the housing market have all perked up in the United States as the Federal Reserve’s ultra-loose monetary policy shows signs of gaining traction.

“If there is one area where there is a possibility of an upside surprise, it is the US economy,” said John Lipsky, a former deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund. Politicians in Washington are likely to avert a plunge off the “fiscal cliff” at year’s end, while US corporations remain in quite good shape, judging by their productivity, profitability and leverage, Lipsky said. “ The energy outlook for the US remains differentially favorable relative to almost any other advanced economy,” he added. “And finally, do not discount the revolution in US manufacturing, especially in the use of new technologies such as 3D printing.” Nonetheless, short-term growth is unlikely to generate enough jobs to impress the Federal Reserve, which is aggressively buying bonds - a process known as quantitative easing (QE) - to keep interest rates lower for longer to boost investment and employment. As the central bank opted for a third round of QE asset purchases six weeks ago, economists expected little change in the policy-setting Federal Open

Market Committee’s statement setting out its stance after a two-day meeting on Thursday. Deutsche Bank said the US economy would have to create about 160,000 jobs per month to be consistent with the Fed’s current guidance that it could begin to raise shortterm interest rates from mid-2015. “But if the numbers are coming in well below that rate for a number of months (100,000 or less), look for the Committee to extend the mid-2015 date and possibly step up its QE purchases, and expect just the opposite if they are coming in well above that rate (200,000 or more),” it said in a report. The diverging fortunes of Europe and the Unites States are reflected in Asia’s export data. Chinese shipments to the United States were up 5.5 percent in September year-on-year; those to the European Union were down 10.7 percent. Taiwan’s September export orders from the Unites States turned positive last month, up 9.2 percent from a year earlier, while those from Europe were down 5.6 percent. Firming external demand was one

reason Goldman Sachs expected a modest improvement in a survey of Chinese purchasing managers, due on Wednesday. On the same day, alongside a similar poll of euro-zone buyers, a monthly survey by the Munich-based IFO Institute will indicate whether business confidence has been rising after the European Central Bank’s promise to buy the bonds of troubled euro members. Reuters polls found forecasts for slight rises in the purchasing managers’ indexes for manufacturing and services, with both measures likely to remain well below the 50 threshold demarcating expansion from contraction. IFO’s business climate and expectations indexes should also creep higher. Bond yields in Italy and Spain have tumbled since the ECB’s pledge, which is conditional on the implementation of agreed reforms - as ECB President Mario Draghi will presumably repeat to the Bundestag, Germany’s lower house of parliament, tomorrow. Capital Economics said the eurozone was enjoying no more than a lull

before the resumption of a storm that has now raged for more than two years. “We suspect it will be a shortlived respite, not necessarily weeks. It might be months, rather than a real turning point,” Kenningham said. HSBC’s chief European economist, Janet Henry, agreed that while the road to a resolution of the euro crisis would be long and winding, the ECB had, by reducing bond risk premiums and triggering a rally in equity prices, eased financial conditions in a way that should help the economy. “This tends to lead GDP real growth and it is pointing to growth turning positive relatively soon,” she said. Things should also look rosier for Britain this week, if only for calendar reasons. After three quarters of recession, third-quarter GDP figures on Thursday will likely show 0.6 percent growth, bouncing back from a 0.4 percent contraction in the second quarter which contained four-day holiday weekends for both Easter and Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. — Reuters

Japan trade sinks amid global crisis, China spat Weaker shipments to US dig into results

JAKARTA: An Indonesian vendor waiting for customers at a small enterprise village. Indonesia’s monetary authority held its key interest rate at 5.75 percent for the ninth consecutive month after inflation continued to ease, the governor of Bank Indonesia said yesterday. — AFP

Australia cuts growth and surplus forecasts SYDNEY: Australia yesterday cut its growth and budget surplus forecasts as worsening global conditions hurt revenues in the mining-driven economy. In a mid-year economic review, Treasurer Wayne Swan said real GDP growth was forecast at 3.0 percent this fiscal year-from 3.25 percent predicted in May-while the surplus will shrink to Aus$1.1 billion ($1.13 billion). “It’s pretty obvious to all that ... this mid-year review has been put together amid storm clouds which are hanging over the global economy,” Swan told reporters. “This lower global growth outlook has had another very big whack at government tax revenues and has made it harder to deliver a surplus.” Swan said Australia, which avoided recession during the global financial crisis, remained on track to return a modest surplus ahead of all other major advanced economies, thanks in part to more spending cuts. The centre-left Labor government of Prime Minister Julia Gillard has pledged to drag the books back to the black while the mining boom remains in flight, clawing back the Aus$43.7 billion deficit from fiscal 2011-12. Swan announced some Aus$16.4 billion in savings over four years would be made to protect the 2012-13 surplus, which is forecast to grow in subsequent years, reaching Aus$2.2 billion in fiscal 2013-14. “This puts us on a responsible middle course between those who say we should cut hard in the budget and don’t worry about the impact on growth and jobs, and... those who say don’t cut at all, don’t worry about the surplus,” he said.

Decisions taken to balance the books were “difficult but critical at a time of falling revenues and ongoing global headwinds”, Swan added in a statement on the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook. “Global volatility and substantial revenue writedowns have made returning the budget to surplus in 2012-13 much harder but the government remains on track to deliver a surplus,” he said. Swan said global growth had slowed in recent months, with the recession in the euro area and a subdued recovery in the United States weighing on growth in Australia and the region. “The weaker global outlook and lowerthan-expected commodity prices, along with the general easing of price pressures in the economy, are again slowing the recovery in tax revenue,” he said. Australia has lost Aus$160 billion in tax revenues over the five years since the start of the global financial crisis, and a further writedown in tax receipts of close to Aus$22 billion over the next four years would occur. This will include a Aus$4 billion writedown for the financial year ending June 30, 2013, Swan said, with the budget surplus now forecast to be well down on the Aus$1.5 billion estimated in the May budget. Unemployment was forecast to remain at 5.5 percent over the next two years. But the Treasurer insisted Australia’s public finances were in good health, with net debt peaking at 10 percent of GDP in 2011-12 and now falling. “With Australia’s strong set of economic fundamentals, it is hard to find a country that is better placed to deal with uncertain times in the global economy,” he said. — AFP

Ukraine’s economy nears post-election crunch time MAKIYIVKA, Ukraine: Crumbling concrete pillars resemble ancient Greek temples, abandoned and overgrown, next to slag heaps that smell like piles of rotten eggs just a mile away from the centre of the Ukrainian town of Makiyivka. Once a showcase for communist industrialization accounting for more than a tenth of the Soviet Union’s coal and steel output, the town of 400,000 today is a symbol of poverty and decay. With its steel mill obsolete and staterun coal mines stagnating, Makiyivka is a stark symbol of the problems facing the economy as Ukraine approaches an Oct. 28 election: extreme vulnerability to external shocks and lack of reforms resulting in a dismal business climate. Official statistics show that Makiyivka boasts one of the highest average wages in Ukraine at about $400 per month. But the town’s aspect and its residents tell a different story. Abandoned and looted buildings and frozen construction sites dot the town which has all but merged with Donetsk, the centre of President Viktor Yanukovich’s home region.

“I make 30-50 hryvnias ($4-6) a day ... We just barely get by,” says Svetlana, 33, a single mother of three who now sells socks and slippers at an open-air market after she was made redundant at a local shoe factory two years ago. Makiyivka’s steel mill, which relied largely on outdated open hearth furnaces, was shut down in 2003 and has since been reduced to a rolling facility processing steel from another nearby mill. Some facilities, such as furnaces, have been dismantled. Others, such as temple-like circular water purifiers, have been left to rot. The plant’s work force has been reduced to about 1,000 people from 7,500. With demand for steel, Ukraine’s main export, sagging due to the eurozone crisis, other local producers are under threat as well. Ukraine’s steel production fell 5.6 percent in JanuarySeptember compared with the same period of 2011. Just as in Makiyivka, the steel sector’s troubles are having a knock-on effect on the wider economy across the country. — Reuters

TOKYO: Japan posted its worst September trade figures in more than 30 years, official data showed yesterday, as the global slowdown and a territorial spat with China weighed on the world’s third-largest economy. The country has been struggling to turn around its fortunes following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster, while also suffering from Europe’s debt crisis, slowing Chinese demand and the strong yen. Weaker shipments to the US market also dug into the latest results, which showed a monthly trade deficit of 558.6 billion yen ($7.0 billion), reversing a year-earlier surplus of 288.8 billion yen as exports fell 10.3 percent on year. It was the first deficit for September since 1979, when comparable data became available, as demand for everything from chemicals and cars to medical products and computer parts fell away. The new figures also showed that Japan notched up a trade deficit of 3.22 trillion yen in the first half of the fiscal year to March 2013, the biggest half-year shortfall in over three decades. September imports rose 4.1 percent due to higher energy imports following nuclear plant shutdowns after last year’s Fukushima atomic crisis. Nuclear power once supplied about one-third of Japan’s energy needs. Shipments to China, which is Japan’s biggest trading partner, tumbled 14.1 percent as demand dropped for Japan-branded products including industrial machinery and cars, while a broader economic slowdown in China factored into the weak figures. Tokyo and Beijing have been embroiled in an increasingly bitter territorial dispute over an East China Sea archipelago, called the Senkakus in Japan and Diaoyu islands in China, which Japan nationalized in midSeptember. The spat has led to thousands of flights being cancelled between the nations, while Japan’s top three automakers said their sales in China plunged last month, with Toyota posting the biggest drop as September sales slumped 48.9 percent on year. Two-way trade between the Asian giants topped $340 billion last year, prompting the head of the IMF to warn earlier this month

UK investors take stake in Irish bad-bank arm DUBLIN: UK investors have agreed to buy part of a holding company used to keep Ireland’s so-called bad bank, the National Asset Management Agency, from appearing on the country’s balance sheet the agency said yesterday. Created to purge Irish banks of 74 billion euros ($96 billion) of problem land and development loans, NAMA conducts much of its business via a special purpose vehicle, allowing the government to take its debt off the government’s balance sheet for EU accounting purposes. A company owned by the partners of UK-based investment firm Walbrook Capital have agreed to buy a 17 percent stake in the vehicle, the National Asset Management Agency Investment Ltd (NAMAIL). The NAMAIL shareholding had previously been held by state-owned insurer Irish Life, but the government’s recent purchase of Irish Life risked then making NAMAIL majority state-controlled. Two other private entities, New Ireland Assurance Co. plc and Percy Nominees Ltd, also each own 17 percent of the vehicle. NAMA itself owns the other 49 percent. Investors in NAMAIL are not liable for losses the agency may make over its lifetime. A spokesman for NAMA declined to comment on what returns the shareholders might expect to make on their investments. — Reuters

that the shaky global economy could not afford to have the two countries distracted by the dispute. “The deteriorating relationships with China could prove to be a major blow to the Japanese economy,” Ryutaro Kono, chief economist at BNP Paribas, told Dow Jones Newswires. However, Daiju Aoki, an economist at UBS in Tokyo, said China trade was likely to turn around when the world’s second-largest economy picks up, regardless of the diplomatic dispute. “Japan-China trade has been affect-

not say this is because of the Senkakus issue,” Hashimoto said. “It may have had an impact but we should watch for next month’s figures before judging it. The key factor in the data was a slowdown in the global economy.” Weakness in the United States and Europe, two key markets for Japanese products, has also weighed, with US-bound exports up just 0.9 percent in September, while shipments to debt-hit Europe dived 21.1 percent. “What characterises the latest data is that

TOKYO: Trucks leave a container yard at the international cargo terminal in Tokyo yesterday. Japan posted its worst September trade figures in more than 30 years, as the global slowdown and a territorial spat with China weighed on the world’s third-largest economy. — AFP ed by the bilateral political issue but data from China for September show that its economy was not having a fresh dip but rather heading for a very gradual recovery,” Aoki said. “I believe this would offset the fallout from the political problem.” The trade slump with China also came at a time of a broader downturn, added Masahiko Hashimoto, economist at Daiwa Institute of Research. “We can-

US-bound exports lost their recent vigor and that China-bound exports worsened,” Aoki said. “Higher imports of fossil fuels also contributed to the weak data.” Japan’s shipments to Asia-Pacific-including China, South Korea, Indonesia, Australia and India-also weakened as demand slowed in a region that has been a key driver of global growth. — AFP

Vietnam PM admits ‘faults’ on economy HANOI: Vietnam’s prime minister admitted yesterday that his government had made mistakes in its stewardship of the troubled economy, in the latest bout of self-criticism by the secretive Communist regime. Scandals, inefficiencies and major losses at state-run giants such as shipbuilder Vinashin have dented public confidence, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan

HANOI: Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung delivers the government’s economic report before the national assembly during the opening ceremony of its second annual session in Hanoi yesterday. — AFP

Dung told the opening session of the monthlong National Assembly. “I recognize my political responsibility and my faults,” he said. “We have learned our lesson.” Dung, 62, escaped punishment at a key Communist Party meeting last week over a recent string of scandals that have touched the country’s leadership. But in an attempt to deflect increasing online criticism, the party issued an unusual rebuke against its own performance. Dung, a former central bank governor whose second fiveyear term was approved by the communistcontrolled parliament in July 2011, is said to have become the country’s most powerful prime minister ever. Seen as a modernizer when first appointed, he pushed for rapid economic growth and relied on state-owned giants to drive the economy. But the near-collapse of scandal-tainted Vinashin in 2010 put the spotlight on the financial troubles of the state-owned companies. The arrest in August this year of a disgraced multi-millionaire banker seen as an ally of Dung further shook investor confidence in the country. Vietnam is now grappling with slowing economic growth, resurgent inflation, falling foreign direct investment and rising fears about toxic debts in the fragile banking system. Dung took aim at online newspapers and blogs that have published what he called “negative information” about the economic woes, calling for those who “take advantage of the Internet to sabotage the country” to be punished. — AFP




GMC Behbehani attempts Guinness World Records feat Largest convoy of GMC vehicles in the world KUWAIT: Mohammad Saleh & Reza Yousuf Behbehani, the authorized distributor of GMC vehicles in Kuwait, gears up for a unique feat that would place Kuwait in the Guinness World Records with the Largest convoy of GMC vehicles in the world. The convoy will parade on the 3rd of November 2012. The Kuwaiti youth will play a crucial role in this event as the company will invite its customers, the owners of GMC Sierra to participate in the convoy. The participants will assemble at 9:30 am in the parking area of Lulu Hypermarket in Qurain and will begin at 10:00 am to drive towards The Entertainment City in Doha. The event will be covered extensively by various local print and visual media that will accompany the fleet until finish point at the

Entertainment City covering an approximate distance of 40 kilometers. Adel Behbehani, Director of Sales at MSRY Behbehani stated, “This Guinness World Records attempt will prove the loyalty of the Kuwaiti youth towards their country and passion to contribute to elevate the name of Kuwait in international forums. Their response to our invitation will have a profound impact on the success of this event which we at Mohammad Saleh & Reza Yousuf Behbehani, have organized and will make all necessary arrangements to make it a huge success.” He added, “We are inviting all our customers and the owners of GMC Sierra vehicles in Kuwait and we are confident that our call will be met with

Zain Group launches inaugural ‘Sustainability Report’ KUWAIT: Zain Group, the leading telecommunications provider in the Middle East and North Africa, launched its inaugural Sustainability Report, entitled ‘Growth... Naturally’. Zain is one of the first operators in the region to offer an account of the socioeconomic and environmental impacts of its business operations.

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Zain Group CEO, Nabeel Bin Salamah The Report is based on Global Reporting Initiatives - GRI G3.1 guidelines, which are used by the world’s leading companies to report on sustainability performance. The preparation of the report has also been guided by the principles of materiality, inclusivity and responsiveness taken from the AA 1000 Accountability Principles Standard. Zain Group CEO, Nabeel Bin Salamah said: “This report will serve as a central platform for communication and engagement with our many stakeholders regarding Zain’s strategic approach to sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR). We will use it to discuss our challenges, share our successes, and plan for our future.” With the publication of this Report, Zain becomes the first operator in Kuwait to publish such detailed material. The report highlights many of the social, environmental and economic contributions Zain has made in its countries of operation. For example, the company:

Launched the “Drive Zain” campaign in Kuwait and reached 21,000 university students with messages about responsible use of mobile phones while driving Set up 170 sites to provide coverage to more than 175,000 people in 500 remote villages in Saudi Arabia Provided access to mobile banking services to 26,949 users in Jordan Launched “The Zain National Mobile Phone and e-Waste Recycling Campaign” in Bahrain and collected approximately 3,000 handsets for recycling Provided vocational training to 175 young trainees through University Telecom courses and the Mobile Maintenance Training Center and provided work experience to more than 200 youth through its FUN and ShababTamouh programs Provided adult literacy courses to 6,550 illiterate adults in Iraq through the Amar Foundation Participated in the Green Power Working Group of the GSMA, a global ICT industry coalition Supported Eltayeb Salih International Award in Sudan, which drew an impressive 432 short story and novel submissions Hosted the “Zain Great Idea” competition to encourage entrepreneurship in Kuwait, receiving 800 new business idea submissions

Bin Salamah also said: “Our region faces many key challenges and we are committed to doing our part to address them. As a leading mobile operator, we are working to expand access to mobile telecommunications services, build the capacity of our youth, support economic development and address priority community needs.” Zain hopes to encourage dialogue with stakeholders to work in partnership toward shared objectives. By publishing this report, Zain is “taking a stand for a wonderful world” in emphasizing its long-term commitment to actively managing, measuring and communicating its contributions to a more sustainable future.

Eurobest honors Volkswagen LONDON: The Eurobest Advertiser of the Year award is presented to advertisers born out of Europe who have distinguished themselves for inspiring innovative marketing of their products and who embrace and encourage the creative work produced by their agencies. This year the prestigious Advertiser of the Year award will be presented to Volkswagen, the brand that has won the most awards throughout Eurobest’s 25 year history. Since the launch of Eurobest awards in 1988, Volkwagen has been honored over 150 times, with its ads winning awards across different categories created by agencies in a number of different European countries. “Volkswagen is a brand associated with some of the greatest ad slogans in the world - such as ‘Think Small’, ‘Drivers Wanted’, ‘Built to Protect’ and some of the most powerful pieces of advertising. Creativity and innovation are at the very heart of its products and marketing efforts. A worthy recipient of the honour, not only do we congratulate Volkswagen for its past achievements, but as we look to the future, we anticipate seeing more outstanding and inspirational award-winning work,” says Philip Thomas, CEO of Eurobest and Lions Festivals. The award will be presented to Volkswagen during the Eurobest Awards on 30 November in Lisbon. Collecting the accolade will be Giovanni Perosino, who was appointed Volkswagen’s Head of Marketing Communications in September 2010. Commenting on the award, Giovanni says, “It is an honour to receive this award. We are very proud to see that the

Volkswagen tone and style is unique, consistent and relevant and can inspire people all around the world with its humanity and twinkle in the eye.” Founded in 1937, Volkswagen, which means ‘people’s car’ in German, is one of the world’s leading automobile manufacturers and the largest carmaker in Europe, producing the much loved Beetle, Golf and Passat. Volkswagen started advertising in 1959 when it hired the then little known, New York advertising agency, Doyle Dane Bernbach (DDB). The creative team was headed by the legendary Helmut Krone, who pioneered the idea of simplicity in print advertisements. Over the years Volkswagen advertising has continued to be at the forefront of creative leadership.

Giovanni Perosino

a positive response as we have faith in the devotion the youth of Kuwait have towards their motherland and their passion to achieve international recognition.” Behbehani has addressed Guinness World Records headquarters in London to have its representatives present to monitor and documented this feat. The company has also prepared a series of souvenirs and certificates for the participants to commend their role in this national event in addition to prizes that will be distributed to the participants at the Entertainment City. “We at Behbehani are committed to the satisfaction of our customers and it is our aim to achieve it through thorough professionalism and honesty. We strive for excel-

lence in our daily operations and try to build positive relations with our customers through professionalism and also through the organizations of special events to honor them. This event is one such attempt from us to acquaint with our customers in an informal setting away from the usual routine and honor them with this recognition,” stated Adel Behbehani. Interested participants may approach the Behbehani team at the starting point at Qurain, Lulu Hypermarket parking area or call 1884411 for enquiries. Also, you can join the GMC Behbehani pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay tuned with the event and be the first to be informed about the latest promotions and offers.

Doha Bank reports net profit of QAR 1,061m in Q3 2012 Bank offers a tailored product line in Kuwait KUWAIT: Sheikh Fahad Bin Mohammad Bin Jabor Al-Thani, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Doha Bank, announced Doha Bank’s financial results for Q3 2012. The Bank which has a branch in Kuwait, said Net profit for Q3 2012 reached an impressive QAR 1,061 million, representing growth of 5% as compared to QAR 1,011 million for the same period in 2011. Sheikh Fahad said “This is another outstanding result and is clear demonstration that Doha Bank continues to perform consistently.” The Bank increased net operating income by 3% to QAR 1.8 billion. Total assets increased by more than QAR 2.8 billion, a growth of more than 5.6%, from QAR 50 billion as at 30 September 2011 to QAR 52.8 billion as at 30 September 2012. Net loans & Advances increased to QAR 31.4 billion from QAR 28.4 billion for the same period last year, registering a growth of 10.6%. Deposits showed a year on year increase of 2.8% from 30.2 billion to QAR 31.1 billion as at 30 September 2012 which is evidence of the strong liquidity position of the Bank. Sheikh Abdul Rehman Bin Mohammad Bin Jabor Al-Thani, Managing Director of Doha Bank said “Through the strategic utilization of shareholders’ funds in order to maximize our performance levels, the return on average equity is 21.2% as at 30 September 2012 which is the highest in Qatar. The Bank, given the scale of operations, has achieved a high return on average assets of 2.69% as at 30 September 2012 which is a clear demonstration of optimum asset allocation strategies.” Dr R Seetharaman, Doha Bank Group Chief Executive Officer, adds: “The Board of Directors has

resolved in its meeting held in September to submit a recommendation to the Extraordinary General Assembly to increase the capital of the bank during the 1st quarter of 2013 by 50% to meet the bank’s strategic business development requirements. The instruments, issue’s value and premium, date of issue, and any other related details would be disclosed in accordance with the enforced laws after completion of necessary studies and obtaining the approval of the competent authorities.”

Doha Bank aims to work as a catalyst for economic growth. In Kuwait, Doha Bank recently launched its Small and Medium Enterprises Product line which joins similar offerings from the Bank in Qatar and the UAE. International rating agencies, Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, Capital Intelligence and Fitch Ratings, have assigned a stable outlook for Doha Bank owing to its consistently strong financial fundamentals, asset quality, and robust liquidity.

Sheikh Abdul Rehman Bin Mohammad Bin Jabor Al-Thani, Managing Director of Doha Bank

Sheikh Fahad Bin Mohammad Bin Jabor AlThani, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Doha Bank

Oil and gas indispensable for global economy: Jafar KUWAIT: The global economy, with growth mainly in emerging markets, still holds a strong role for oil and particularly gas in the energy mix, says Majid Jafar, Chief Executive Officer of Crescent Petroleum. For the coming half century at least, he argues, oil and gas will still play a major role in energy, with gas, as a comparatively clean and abundant energy source, is the real opportunity for the necessary savings in carbon emissions and fuel costs. Global demand for energy, he points out, remains strong. Currently the world consumes around 250 million barrels of oil equivalent per day - but almost half of this consumption is in the developed world. If the rest of the world were to move towards EU level of per capita energy consumption, global primary energy demand would more than double. Continued economic development and population growth are the key drivers of rising global energy consumption - especially in the developing world. A fifth of the world’s population remains without electricity. As we bring the so-called Bottom of the Pyramid into the modern global energy system, it will be critical, Jafar argues, in tackling poverty and promoting global stability. But he cautions against expecting overnight switch: transitions in global energy system take time. Coal took a century to replace biomass as the world’s primary fuel, and oil took 70 years to replace coal - all despite low costs and huge efficiency gains associated with these transitions, advantages that do not apply to renewables today. Today it is the oil industry that needs to meet the challenges, he says. The world now needs to recreate the productive capacity of Saudi Arabia every two years. For the oil industry, this is largely insurmountable. But gas is starkly different: global gas resources could supply the world’s current needs for 250-plus years.

Moreover, he says, gas is affordable and relatively environmentally clean. The region most focused on greenhouse gas emissions reductions in the world, the EU, is failing to meet its carbon targets as it increasingly chooses to burn coal over gas. Ironically, the region least interested in emissions reductions, the USA, has reduced its emissions to 20+ years lows and made the most material carbon emission reductions of any country in the world by switching from coal to gas in power generation. This is thanks in large part to cheap gas supplied from the shale gas revolution. The Middle East, despite being at the very centre of global oil and gas production, remains highly inefficient in energy use - and inefficiency largely the result of an energy subsidy and price regulation regime which does not provide the price signals to ensure energy consumption is efficient and energy production is sufficient.

Majid Jafar, Chief Executive Officer of Crescent Petroleum.

Jafar argues “None of this regime helps to meet the growing domestic energy demand in the region, with energy price regulations resulting in the perverse outcome that oil use is favoured over gas in power and other sectors because gas production is not sufficiently incentivised to deliver the gas demanded by the economy. This creates huge opportunity costs for the economy today and could damage export revenues directly in the longer term”. The winners will be those that can be competitive, he argues. Europe, already uncompetitive in terms of labour costs, is choosing to become less competitive in energy than countries - especially the USA, which by contrast, although it was losing competitiveness to Asia in terms of labour costs, has regained overall competitiveness by now having amongst the lowest energy input costs in the world. The result has been a re-shoring of industry to the USA. A low gas price is the biggest stimulus package to the US economy of all. Finally, it is the private sector that can really help the MENA region, Jafar claims. Intercountry gas infrastructure and trade within the Gulf region is still limited but would bring huge benefits by ensuring that gas could be delivered to where it is needed most. The private sector is best placed to take the risks and make the investments necessary to deliver a regional gas grid. All of these observations are among those that Jafar will be making on a panel discussion covering “Energy Innovations and Solutions: Oil and Gas”, at the World Energy Forum in Dubai on Wednesday 24th October. The heading for the World Energy Forum 2012 is “Safe, Accessible, Sustainable Energy For All” - something Jafar believes is impossible without a strong role for gas - and a crucial place for the private sector in the MENA region.



Early look at Windows 8 baffles consumers Tiles are big and easy to hit with a finger

LOS ANGELES: In this June 18, 2012, file photo, Microsoft Corp’s new Surface tablet computer is displayed at Hollywood’s Milk Studios. —AP photos

Video-sharing applications put users in the picture TORONTO: Text messaging is fast and efficient but a new video-sharing application aims to put users in the picture. The London-based company Six3 has launched a new video-sharing app by the same name that will enable users to send short video messages as easily as sending a text. Whether it is a business traveler trying to stay in touch with family, or a teenager connecting with friends, the app aims to combine the convenience of texting with the intimacy of video. “It’s easier to send a video message than a text message if you’re walking down the street because you don’t need to look down and tap away at tiny buttons. You just talk straight into the camera,” said Tim Grimsditch, the co-founder and CEO of the Londonbased company Six3. Users can also record a message, which must be less than 63 seconds long, and send it to other people using the app, or email it and send it to Facebook contacts. It can also be used to send public messages via Facebook and Twitter and there are Instagram-style filters, that can add color, or contrast and other effects, that can be overlaid on the videos. Grimsditch said most people using the app are business travelers and parents with young children. But “video natives,” 25-year olds who grew up using video recording devices, are the most active users. “They’re using the app in a much more day-to-day, casual style because they have used video communication technologies their whole lives,”

Grimsditch explained. “The text message started with the teens and very rapidly spread north up through the age groups,” he added. The idea for the app, which is available on iPhone now with plans for an Android version, originated when a company executive had difficulty sharing the experiences of his son growing up with family and friends who did not live nearby. “He was surprised by just how difficult it was to communicate in an emotionally meaningful way,” said Grimsditch, adding that video calling services such as Skype require coordination ahead of time. With the increase in texting, the company thought the time was right to launch the video messaging platform. Since February when it was launched in beta, the app has over 12,000 users. Grimsditch said it is possible to send a video as a text message, but added that the app maintains the quality of the video and provides a coherent way of sending video across various platforms. The company plans to release an Android app in the first half of 2013, as well as premium services such as editing tools to monetize the app. But can video messaging replace text messaging? “Over time text messages will only be used for sharing smallbursts of information, an address or a meeting time or date, while video messages will be used for almost all family, social and professional communication,” Grimsditch predicted. — Reuters

NEW YORK: The release of Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system is a week away, and consumers are in for a shock. Windows, used in one form or another for a generation, is getting a completely different look that will force users to learn new ways to get things done. Microsoft is making a radical break with the past to stay relevant in a world where smartphones and tablets have eroded the three-decade dominance of the personal computer. Windows 8 is supposed to tie together Microsoft’s PC, tablet and phone software with one look. But judging by the reactions of some people who have tried the PC version, it’s a move that risks confusing and alienating customers. Tony Roos, an American missionary in Paris, installed a free preview version of Windows 8 on his aging laptop to see if Microsoft’s new operating system would make the PC faster and more responsive. It didn’t, he said, and he quickly learned that working with the new software requires tossing out a lot of what he knows about Windows. “It was very difficult to get used to,” he said. “I have an 8-year-old and a 10year-old, and they never got used to it. They were like, ‘We’re just going to use Mom’s computer.’” Windows 8 is the biggest revision of Microsoft Corp’s operating system since it introduced Windows 95 amid great fanfare 17 years ago. Ultimately, Windows grew into a $14 billion a year business and helped make former Chief Executive Bill Gates the richest man in the world for a time. Now, due to smartphones and tablets, the personal computer industry is slumping. Computer companies are desperate for something that will get sales growing again. PC sales are expected to shrink this year for the first time since 2001, according to IHS iSuppli, a market research firm. The question is whether the new version, which can be run on tablets and smartphones, along with the traditional PC, can satisfy the needs of both types of users. “I am very worried that Microsoft may be about to shoot itself in the foot spectacularly,” said. Michael Mace, the CEO of Silicon Valley software startup Cera Technology and a former Apple employee. Windows 8 is so different, he said, that many Windows users who aren’t technophiles will feel lost, he said. Microsoft is releasing Windows 8 on Oct 26, and it doesn’t plan to cushion the impact. Computer companies will make Windows 8 standard on practically all PCs that are sold to consumers. Speaking to Wall Street analysts on Thursday, Microsoft’s chief financial officer Peter Klein said he isn’t very concerned that user confusion could slow the adoption of Windows 8. When Microsoft introduces new features, he said, people eventually realize that “those innovations have delivered way more value, way more productivity and way better usability.” That’s going to be true of Windows 8 too, he said. Instead of the familiar Start menu and icons, Windows 8 displays applications as a colorful array of tiles, which can feature updated information from the applications. For instance, the “Photos” tile shows an image from the user’s collection, and the “People” tile shows images from the user’s social-media contacts. (Microsoft is licensed to use AP content in the Windows 8 news applications.) The tiles are big and easy to hit with a finger - convenient for a touch screen. Applications fill the whole screen by default - convenient for a tablet screen, which is usually smaller than a PC’s. The little buttons that surround Windows 7 applications, for functions like controlling the speaker volume, are hidden, giv-

LOS ANGELES: In this Monday, June 18, 2012, file photo, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer comments on the Windows 8 operating system. ing a clean, uncluttered view. When you need those little buttons, you can bring them out, but users have to figure out on their own how to do it. “In the quest for simplicity, they sacrificed obviousness,” said Sebastiaan de With, an interface designer and the chief creative officer at app developer DoubleTwist in San Francisco. Technology blogger Chris Pirillo posted a YouTube video of his father using a preview version of Windows 8 for the first time. As the elder Pirillo tours the operating system with no help from his son, he blunders into the old “Desktop” environment and can’t figure out how to get back to the Start tiles. (Hint: Move the mouse cursor into the top right corner of the screen, then swipe down to the “Start” button that appears, and click it. On a touch screen, swipe a finger in from the right edge of the screen to reveal the Start button.) The four-minute video has been viewed more than 1.1 million times since it was posted in March. “There are many things that are hidden,” said Raluca Budiu, a user experience specialist with Nielsen Norman Group. “Once users discover them, they have to remember where they are. People will have to work hard and use this system on a regular basis.” Mace, the software CEO, has used every version of Windows since version 2.0, which came out in 1987. Each one, he said, built upon the previous one. Users didn’t need to toss out their old ways of doing things when new software came along. Windows 8 ditches that tradition of continuity, he said. “Most Windows users don’t view their PCs as being broken to begin with. If you tell them ‘Oh, here’s a new version of Windows, and you have to relearn everything to use it,’ how many normal users are going to want to do that?” he asked. The familiar Windows Desktop is still available through one of the tiles, and most programs will open up in that environment. But since the Start button is gone, users will have to flip back and forth between the desktop and the tile screen. There’s additional potential for confusion because there’s one version of Windows 8, called “Windows RT,” that looks like the PC version but doesn’t run regular Windows pro-

grams. It’s intended for tablets and lightweight tabletlaptop hybrids. Budiu believes the transition to Windows 8 will be most difficult for PC users, because Microsoft’s design choices favor touch screens rather than mice and keyboards. Alex Wukovich, a Londoner who tried Windows 8 on a friend’s laptop, agrees. “On a desktop, it just felt really weird,” he said. “It feels like it’s a tablet operating system that Microsoft managed to twist and shoehorn onto a desktop.” Not everyone who has tried Windows 8 agrees with the critics. Sheldon Skaggs, a Web developer in Charlotte, North Carolina, thought he was going to hate Windows 8, but he needed to do something to speed up his 5-year-old laptop. So he installed the new software. “After a bit of a learning curve and playing around with it a bit more, you get used to it, surprisingly,” he said. The computer now boots up faster than it did with Windows Vista, he said. Vista was Microsoft’s most recent operating-system flop. It was seen as so clunky and buggy when released in 2007 that many PC users sat out the upgrade cycle and waited for Windows 7, which arrived two and a half years later. Companies and other institutions wait much longer than consumers to upgrade their software, and many will keep paying for Windows 7. Many companies are still using Windows XP, released in 2001. Colin Gillis, an analyst at BGC Financial, is optimistic about Windows 8, pointing out that it’s snappy and runs well on PCs with limited processing power, making it suited for compact, tablet-style machines. But he also notes that through Microsoft’s history, roughly every other operating-system release has been a letdown. Intel Corp makes the processors that go into 80 percent of PCs, and has a strong interest in the success of Windows. CEO Paul Otellini said Tuesday that when the company has let consumers try Windows 8 on expensive “ultrabook” laptops with touch screens, “the feedback is universally positive.” But he told analysts that he doesn’t really know if people will embrace Windows 8 for mainstream PCs. “We’ll know a lot more about this 90 days from now,” he said.

This undated photo provided by Google shows the Chromebook. — AP

Google, Samsung to sell Chrome laptop for $249 SAN FRANCISCO: Google is dangling a low-priced laptop computer in front of consumers as rivals Microsoft and Apple prepare to release their latest gadgets. The lightweight computer unveiled Thursday will sell for $249 and is being made in a partnership with Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, which also makes smartphones and tablet computers that run on Google’s Android software. The laptop will run on an operating system revolving around Google’s Chrome Web browser. Like other so-called Chromebooks, this laptop doesn’t have a hard drive. It functions like a terminal dependent on an Internet connection to get to information and applications stored in large data centers run by Google Inc. or other technology providers. It’s the least expensive Chromebook that Google has released in the two years that it has been working on the product line. Google and Samsung released a slightly more sophisticated Chromebook priced at $449 in the late spring. The lower-priced model will go on sale early next week in more than 500 Best Buy stores in the US, as well as on various websites. Google hopes to begin accepting online orders at its Play store by this weekend. Google Inc appears to be trying to beat Microsoft and Apple to the punch with the discount Chromebook. Microsoft Corp is poised to release Windows 8, a dramatic makeover of its famous operating system, on Oct 26. The long-awaited makeover is designed to run on touch-based tablets, as well as laptop and desktop computers. A variety of manufacturers will be selling a hodgepodge of Windows 8-powered personal computers and tablets. The prices of most of those machines, including a tablet made by Microsoft, will range from $500 to $1,000. Apple Inc says it plans to show off a new product today. The event is widely

expected to be the coming-out party for a slightly smaller version of its hotselling iPad. The mini iPad is expected to feature a 7.85-inch (19.94-centimeter) screen compared to the nearly 10-inch (25.4-centimeter) screen of the pioneering iPad. Industry analysts expect Apple to price a smaller iPad in the $249 to $299 range in an effort to siphon sales away from other scaled-down tablets, such as Google’s Nexus 7 and Inc.’s Kindle Fire. Now, Google has a laptop vying for a piece of the same market. “This is a big step in the journey for us,” said Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior vice president of Chrome and apps. “I think it’s generally an exciting time in the computing industry.” Like tablets, the discount Chromebook will rely on a computer chip design known as ARM, instead of Intel Corp microprocessors. The ARM architecture is more energy efficient, extending the duration of batteries between charges. With an 11.6-inch (29.46-centimeter) screen, the new Chromebooks also will have a larger display than tablets selling in the same price range. The laptops will be set up to automatically use all of Google’s services, including its search engine, Gmail and YouTube video site. Because the laptop lacks a hard drive, Google also is offering 100 gigabytes of free storage on computers kept in its eight data centers. Those remote computers provide the backbone for Google’s online storage service, Drive. Despite the low price, the new Chromebook will face a tough time winning over consumers because it isn’t set up like a traditional PC with a hard drive, said Gartner Inc analyst Carolina Milanesi. “A lot of people are going to see it and think, ‘Once I have it, what exactly do I do with it?’” Milanesi predicted.—AP

Will Apple go for ‘kill’ with iPad Mini? SAN FRANCISCO: Just weeks after its momentous launch of the iPhone 5, Apple is back with what is expected to be another hot gadget a “mini” version of its market-leading iPad tablet. Apple sent out invitations for an event Tuesday in San Jose, California, keeping details under wraps as it normally does, saying only: “We’ve got a little more to show you.” Reports have been swirling for months about the “iPad Mini,” but Apple has made no comment. But blogs which closely monitor Apple say the new tablet could be priced from $249 to $399, which could pressure rivals such as the Amazon Kindle Fire. The event comes a little over a month after Apple released the iPhone 5, the latest model of its iconic smartphone, which was greeted with record sales. The October 23 gathering is three days ahead of the release of Microsoft’s new Surface tablet and two days before Apple reports quarterly earnings. The Wall Street Journal has reported that Apple has begun production of 10 million of the new iPads. Some reports say it may be available November 2. Analysts say Apple is virtually guaranteed a hit on release, but that the long-term outlook is less clear. “For Apple, given its well-oiled product marketing machine, 10 million is not a surprise,” said Roger Kay, a consultant and analyst with Endpoint Technologies Associates. “They will also likely take some of the wind out of the sails of the others like Amazon.” But Kay said that although Apple essentially created the tablet market with the 10-inch iPad, it is making a “defensive” move with the new device, expected to have a screen of 7.85 inches (20 centimeters). He said it is not clear if Apple will be dominant in that segment of the market, which has established products from Amazon, Samsung and others. “Apple wouldn’t have gone into this if others hadn’t,” he said. “The bar has been set by Amazon. Even though the Kindle is not the same kind of device, it does what it does very well.” The Kindle Fire proved popular last year, and a new version was launched last month. Meanwhile the small-format Google Nexus 7 joined the Samsung Galaxy in the seven-inch tablet market. Also in the mix will be Microsoft’s Surface-a late entry in the market which has a 10.6-inch screen and starts at $499, challenging the larger-format iPads. With Kindles selling from $199, Apple will be forced to keep its price low for its new model and “will not have its normal profit margin,” said Kay. And some blogs say Google may sell a tablet as low as $99.—AFP

TOKYO: Japan’s eyewear maker Masunaga displays a pair of sunglasses with born-conduction speakers, a microphone and bluetooth unit for hands free phones at the International Optical Fair yesterday. The new sunglasses will go on sale in early 2013. — AFP

Yahoo to exit South Korea by end of year SEOUL: Yahoo Inc said it will close its South Korean web portal and an Internet advertising business, cutting its losses in a market where it has struggled for over a decade. Yahoo’s South Korea unit said Friday its Seoul office with over 200 employees will be shut by the end of this year. The decision comes after former Google executive Marissa Mayer took the helm at the struggling US Internet company in July. The closure of the Korean arm is part of efforts to “create a stronger global business by realigning resources,” Yahoo Korea said in a statement. Since entering South Korea in 1997, Yahoo has operated a namesake portal in Korean and an Internet advertising company, Overture Korea. Yahoo’s South Korean market share has become negligible in recent years as users

flocked to Naver, Daum and other portals operated by South Korean Internet firms. Yahoo Korea was also hurt by the rapid adoption of smartphones and the mobile Internet, which made it more difficult to attract advertisers to web portals designed for desktop computers. Overture Korea added to problems by failing to renew key advertising deals. Yahoo Inc has been struggling against competition from Google and Facebook, failing to lift its advertising revenues even though companies increased their online marketing budgets. Yahoo replaced two CEOs in a year. A Yahoo Korea official said Yahoo doesn’t plan to close other overseas businesses. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company is scheduled to release its third-quarter earnings yesterday. Yahoo Korea is wholly owned by its US parent company. — AP



health & science

For a full-body workout, drumming is way to go NEW YORK: Drumsticks, pounded on gym floors, clinked overhead and bounced on exercise balls, are among the latest workout tools to tap into the group fitness scene, according to fitness experts. Drumming classes do more than conjure dreams of rock glory. They provide effective workouts for all sorts of different drummers, from grandmothers to fitness fanatics. Marc Santa Maria of Crunch, the national chain of fitness centers, admits to living out his own rock fantasy as he instructs a drumming Crunch fitness class called Pound. The sticks, he said, are the means to an end. “You’re using the sticks as a mechanism to keep moving, and there’s constant movement,” said Santa Maria, who is Crunch’s New York regional director. “Your core has to be used for all the basic movements.” Pound is the brainchild of Kirsten

Potenza and Cristina Peerenboom, California-based former drummers who set out to fuse conditioning moves and cardio interval training with the distracting fun of drumming. “You’d never think two drummers will come up with a workout,” said Santa Maria. “They’re also inspired by Pilates.” The Pound workout is featured on Potenza and Peerenboom’s website. There is a network of instructors and classes in the United States and they plan to have an at-home version of Pound available on DVD next year. “After the warmup, around the third track, there are three-minute intervals when you’re doing intensive cardio. Then there’s ab work,” said Santa Maria, referring to the abdominal muscles. People in the 45-minute class spend about 40 percent of the time standing, 40 percent seated, and 10

percent on their backs, he added. ‘All the extremities at once’ Dr J Timothy Lightfoot, who has played music semi-professionally for a decade, said it’s about time someone tapped into the fitness potential of drumming. “I’m pleasantly surprised to see this is happening,” said Lightfoot, a base player who is fascinated by the movement of drummers. “It’s always been my observation that drummers are incredibly fit, even though they don’t work at it.” Lightfoot, who is director of the Sydney and JL Huffines Institute for Sports Medicine and Human Performance at Texas A&M University, said it makes perfect sense to the physiologist to use drumming as conditioning. “It’s very physiologically taxing,” he said. “Runners are primarily using their legs, swimmers

are using their upper body most, but drummers are one of the few ‘athletes,’ and I’ll call them that, to have all extremities going at once.” Lightfoot guesses that a drumming workout class with aerobic and dance elements could burn about 400 calories. Dancer and rhythm aerobics instructor Carrie Ekins originated Drums Alive, a workout which marries aerobic dance and drumming, while recuperating from a hip injury. She found that drumming on boxes helped her mentally as well as aerobically. Drums Alive workouts, which are done in the United States as well as Canada, Europe, Asia, Israel and the Middle East, are popular in senior centers, not just gyms. “The program started when I was sitting in a wheelchair.” said Ekins, who is based in Augsburg, Germany. “Drums Alive aims to reach multiple markets

whether one is healthy, ill, young or old.” Drums Alive has a sitting program for people who can’t train while standing, as well as one specifically designed for kindergartens and schools. She said the choice of music, as well as drumsticks, varies depending on the teacher and the students in the class. Among the benefits of the drumming workout is its accessibility age groups and fitness levels, according to Santa Maria. “There’s a learning curve, but in a few months you can get stronger and more flexible,” he said. “Messing up is not a big deal. Anyone can hold a stick and hit the floor.” Unlike other classes that require a certain level of fitness or experience, anyone can pound drumsticks. “We many times see performers and we don’t think about their physical exertion,” he said. “Maybe we should think about that.” — Reuters

Siemens pulls plug on solar ambitions Siemens to focus on wind, hydro energy

CHESTER: Emma the Sumatran Orangutan holds her unnamed three-day-old infant at Chester Zoo yesterday. — AP

French panel rejects study linking GM corn to cancer PARIS: An investigative panel yesterday rejected a contested French study linking transgenic corn to cancer in rats but called for a “long-term, independent” probe into the product to advise the public. The Higher Biotechnologies Council (HCB) said it found “no causal relationship” between the rats’ tumours and consumption of Monsanto’s NK603 corn or the Roundup herbicide that was part of the experiment. The experiment’s methods were also “unsuitable,” it said in a report made at the government’s request. “The study provides no scientific information regarding the detection of any health risk linked to NK603 corn, whether it was treated with Roundup or not,” it said. But the HCB also called for a wider investigation under government auspices to inform a public bewildered by the controversy. It recommended “a long-term, independent, transparent study, with adversarial views, into the safety for health of NK603.” In September, researchers led by GillesEric Seralini at the University of Caen in Normandy said rats fed with the genetically-modified corn and/or doses of Roundup developed cancer. The paper unleashed a storm in environmentally-sensitive Europe, where GM crops face many restrictions. NK603 has been engineered to make it resistant to agricultural biotechnology company Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup. This way, farmers can douse fields with the weedkiller in a single go, offering savings. Seralini said his experiment was the first to test GM corn on rodents’ normal lifespan of two years, as opposed to the standard 90 days. He said NK603 and Roundup both caused tumours, whether they were consumed together or on their own. But critics

faulted the experimental methods and data and accused him of manipulating the media to gain scary headlines. On Friday, six French science academies joined the accusers, saying that the work “does not enable any reliable conclusion to be drawn” and had “spread fear among the public”. The joint statement, an exceptional event, was issued by the national academies of agriculture, medicine, pharmacy, sciences, technology and veterinary studies. In a reaction, Monsanto said at its French headquarters in Lyon that “it took note” of the HCB’s findings and said the recommended probe “does not change risk assessments” for NK603. The chair of the HCB’s economic and ethics panel, Christine Noiville, said the Seralini study “had led to doubt in the public’s mind.” “The aim (of the recommended inquiry) is to reassure public opinion, which doesn’t who or what to believe,” she told a press conference. Seralini should take part in the recommended probe, the HCB said. The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA), which reviews use and authorisation of GM organisms, had already rejected the Seralini report as “inadequate,” and watchdogs in Germany and Australia and New Zealand have said it offered no firm evidence of risk. The French government ordered two fast-track official investigations into the study. The 66-member HCB was set up in 2009 to provide an independent view of biotech issues. The National Agency for Food Safety (ANSES) delivered the second report later yesterday. Seralini is a wellknown opponent of GM food. But his paper appeared in journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology, which uses the peer-review process, a system designed to ensure published research is accurate and fair. — AFP

Freezing eggs for fertility works WASHINGTON: Freezing human eggs can be successful in treating infertility but guidelines issued Friday still urge caution for women hoping to pause a ticking biological clock. Egg freezing had long been labeled experimental, but the American Society for Reproductive Medicine declared that’s no longer the case. The group cited studies that found younger women are about as likely to get pregnant if they used frozen-andthawed eggs for their infertility treatment as if they used fresh ones. The move is expected to help cancer patients preserve their fertility, by pushing more insurers to pay for their procedure, and to boost banking of donated eggs, similar to sperm banking. Here’s the controversy: Should otherwise healthy women freeze their eggs as sort of an insurance policy against infertility in case they don’t meet Mr Right - or just aren’t ready for motherhood until their late 30s or beyond, when the childbear-

ing window is closing fast? The pricey technology, which insurance doesn’t cover for elective reasons, is being marketed aggressively for just that use. Yet the society that represents doctors who treat infertility stopped short of endorsing egg freezing solely for deferring childbearing until women are older. The conclusion: It’s not at all clear who’s a good candidate, or if women who store their eggs are being given a false sense of security. “The bottom line is there is no guarantee,” said Dr Samantha Pfeifer of the University of Pennsylvania, who chaired the society’s guideline committee. “A lot of women interested in using this technology are in their late 30s, early 40s, and they may have the worst success of anybody.” Anyone considering egg freezing needs careful counseling about their age and the odds of success if they want to later thaw those eggs for use in invitro fertilization, the guidelines stress. — AP

FRANKFURT: German engineering giant Siemens said yesterday it is pulling the plug on its activities in solar energy owing to cut-throat competition and waning public subsidies. Siemens said it “plans to divest its solar business activities and is currently holding talks with potential buyers on this subject.”It would instead focus its renewable energy activities on wind and hydro power, said the group, which previously boasted it plans to become a champion of “green” energy. “The energy division will be slimmed down and the Solar and Hydro Division will be discontinued,” it said, adding that the Solar and Hydro Division generated revenue “in the low triple-digit millions” in the business year ended September 30, 2012 and has “roughly 800 employees.” Siemens explained that the solar

business had not been so profitable as hoped. “Due to the changed framework conditions, lower growth and strong price pressure in the solar markets, the company’s expectations for its solar energy activities have not been met,” it said. The global market for concentrated solar power had shrunk from four gigawatts to slightly more than one gigawatt, it explained. In future, the renewable energy business would focus on hydro power and wind energy and the overall energy sector “will comprise the divisions of fossil power generation; wind power; oil and gas and power transmission,” Siemens said.” Solar energy does not form one of Siemens’ core businesses. Growth in this area has deteriorated in recent years and it made no sense for them to remain active there,” said Commerzbank

analyst, Ingo-Martin Schachel. Siemens’ move comes as a further blow to Europe’s ailing solar energy sector which faces ferocious competition from companies in China and a gradual reduction for public subsidies for solar energy technology. In recent months, a number of technology companies, such as Q-Cells, Centrotherm and Solarwatt have all gone bust or run into severe difficulty. “In photovoltaic technolgy, competition from Chinese firms is proving a headache. In the area of solar thermal energy, the market isn’t ready for it yet. There’s not enough demand,” said Commerzbank analyst Schachel. “The problem is that where there is sun, there’s no money. In fact, the opposite is the case,” Siemens’ finance chief Joe Kaeser said in July. — AFP

How to rescue a baby elephant NAIROBI: How do you pull a baby elephant out of a deep, muddy hole? A rope and a Land Rover. Then the payoff: A frantic baby elephant sprint to mom. A heartwarming video of the rescue of a baby elephant in a Kenyan national park that lies in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro gained a mass of viewers on Thursday. The video shows the rescuers’ potentially dangerous faceoff with the mother elephant and their struggle to get her calf out of a 5-foot (1.5-meter) hole. Vicki Fishlock of the Amboseli Trust for Elephants faced down the mother with her Land Rover, and made a high-pitched aye-ayeaye call to help drive the mother off. Thirty muddy minutes later, after two men struggle to get a rope around the 8-month-old calf, Fishlock put her SUV in reverse and pulled the animal out. “Relief! Rescues where family members are around are stressful, and I’m always happy when everyone is safely back in the cars. And I have to admit that the reunions always bring a tear to my eye. The intensity of their affection for each other is one of the things that makes elephants so special,” Fishlock said. The hole was a man-made well with a foot (.3 meter) of water in it was dug by the Masai tribesmen who live around Amboseli National Park, and the trapped elephant underscores the increasing problem of human-animal conflict. The baby elephant was too small to crawl out on its own and would have died without the help of rescuers. If the elephant dies, it ruins the well, angering the Masai who live nearby. The rescue took place on Oct 8. The very next day, another elephant calf fell in the same well. That baby’s family was driven off by the Masai, so when the Amboseli Trust for Elephants rescued the second calf, it sent the baby to an elephant orphanage in Nairobi, The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. The video of the rescue was posted on YouTube last week but on the website LiveLeak on Thursday. Elephants across Africa are fighting for survival as expanding human settlements increase the number of human-animal conflicts. Worse, elephants are being slaughtered by the thousands for their ivory tusks, which are shipped to Asia, particularly China, to satisfy a demand for ivory trinkets. The Amboseli Trust for Elephants has been studying elephant families since 1972, and Fishlock immediately recognized the mother in the Oct 8 well incident - Zombe - from a mark near her ear. Zombe appeared to almost sit on Fishlock’s Land Rover as the vehicles tried to push the mother away from her trapped baby. The uplifting conclusion to the rescue video shows the baby sprinting to the tune of Coldplay’s Paradise, a song whose video opens with scenes of the African savannah, and then tells a story of a human dressed as an elephant fleeing a zoo to reunite with its family. Despite the confrontation at the beginning, Fishlock thinks Zombe understood in the end that humans were only trying to help. “After the video we cut the engines. She didn’t charge us, she didn’t run away. Eventually after five minutes they just walked out. I think she did understand,” Fishlock said. “I certainly felt like she had forgiven us for our very impolite behavior.” — AP

BELFAST: A protester opposed to abortion demonstrates outside the Marie Stopes clinic in Northern Ireland. — AP

Women describe situations that forced them to abort CHICAGO: They say they were using birth control, but it failed. One woman would have had the baby but the man she was in a relationship with didn’t want her to. Another was having an affair with a married man and viewed a pregnancy as unthinkable. A third woman’s health would be at risk if she continued her pregnancy. Nearly 1 million women have abortions in the US each year. What leads them to that choice? “There’s this false idea that certain types of women have abortions and different types of women have babies,” says bioethicist and gynecologist Dr Lisa Harris. “They’re really the same types of women at different points in their lives.” It’s hard to find women willing to talk about it. The Associated Press contacted eight abortion providers and three groups that work with abortion patients. No women were willing to talk. Ultimately, the AP found three women through a nonpolitical online support group, for those who struggle emotionally after their abortions. They may not be typical of the majority who have abortions. A fourth woman who considered abortion but didn’t have one agreed to talk after her doctor asked her to consider AP’s request. The women spoke by phone and e-mail on condition of anonymity for privacy reasons, and because of shame, concern over hurting loved ones, or fear of harassment from abortion foes. AP verified their names, ages, locations, and abortion circumstances as much as possible through a public records database, phone calls and other sources. These are their stories: A 24-year-old woman in Chicago, working as a bookkeeper, discovered she was pregnant earlier this year. She’d been using a contraceptive patch that she thought was almost 100 percent effective. A missed period was the first clue it had failed. “I was kind of in shock. I took like five home tests, five days in a row. Every day was positive,” she said. She went to her gynecologist to confirm the pregnancy and talk about options. “The

moment I said that I was thinking about not keeping it, she stood up out of her chair and said, ‘This is a Catholic hospital. I could get in so much trouble for talking to you.’” Illinois has lenient laws, no required waiting period, and there are several abortion clinics in the Chicago area. The woman found that while “abortions are easy to get in Chicago, advice about them is not.” She scoured online sites seeking objective information and made an appointment at a center that advertised confidential counseling and free ultrasounds. It turned out to be a religious anti-abortion group. “The first thing they did was hand me a Bible. They started showing me these pictures and videos” of aborted fetuses, she said. She said she wanted to leave. But she also wanted that free ultrasound, hoping against hope that it would show she had miscarried. Watching the video was part of the center’s requirement. After the ultrasound, the counselor said she was 9 weeks pregnant and gave her a tiny doll supposedly the same size. The young woman said she would have considered continuing the pregnancy and putting the baby up for adoption, but that the man she was in a relationship with pressured her into going through with an abortion. On June 23, she went to a private clinic where there were about 20 women in the small, strangely silent waiting room. “Every once in a while you’d see a woman start to cry,” she said. It turned out she was 14 weeks pregnant, farther along than the anti-abortion counselor had told her. She paid $1,250 for the abortion. Her insurance wouldn’t cover it. She said she developed an infection that kept her out of work for several weeks. That’s unusual. Fewer than 2 percent of women get obstetric infections after an abortion and the risk is much higher after childbirth, according to an analysis of national data published earlier this year. The woman said because of the long absence, she lost her job but has since found another one. — AP


health & science

Voice software helps rare owls’ research YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK: In the bird world, they make endangered condors seem almost commonplace. The unique Great Gray Owls of Yosemite, left to evolve after glacial ice separated them from their plentiful Canadian brethren 30 millennia ago, are both a mystery and concern to the scientists charged with protecting them. With fewer than 200 in existence in this small pocket of the Sierra Nevada, the slightest disturbances by humans can drive the extremely shy birds from their nests, disrupting sporadic mating cycles that ebb and flow annually depending upon food availability. So this summer, researchers found a way to abandon their traditional heavy-handed trapping, banding and the blasting of owl calls in favor of the kind of discrete, sophisticated technology used by spies and forensic scientists. They hope to lessen human influence on this subspecies of owls prized for the potential insights their survival offers into habitat-specific evolution. “Even if it takes only 15 minutes to trap a bird, it’s traumatic for them in the long term,” said Joe Medley, a PhD candidate in ecology at the University of California, Davis who perfected computer voice recognition software to track the largest of North America’s owls. “With a population this small, we want to err on the side of caution in terms of the methods we use to get data.” Medley placed 40 data-compression digital audio recorders around the mid-elevation meadows typically favored by the owl known as Strix nebulosa Yosemitensis, hoping to identify them by their mating, feeding and territorial calls. He ended up with 50 terabytes of owl calls mixed with airplanes flying overhead, frogs croaking, coyotes yipping, bears growling and even the occasional crunch of fangs on pricy microphones - so much data it would have taken seven years to play back. He then designed algorithms for an existing computer program that would search for the specific frequency and

time intervals of the Great Gray Owls’ low-pitched hoot “whooo-ooo-oooooo.” The program could discern males and females from juveniles, and even identify nesting females calling for food to help determine reproduction success. The results are still being ana-

ago, a small population in and around what would become the glacially carved landscape of Yosemite was cut off from the others to evolve on their own in a warmer, less snowy climate. Those owls, now numbering just a couple of hundred, are on California’s endangered species list. The giant con-

MANILA: An Eagle Owl is seen inside a cage at the Manila Zoo. — AFP dors, once nearly extinct, number lyzed. “It’s capable of searching a week’s around 400 in California and the worth of data in an hour. What I was Southwest, and are on the federal left with was owls and a host of other endangered list. “These (owls) exist nowhere else in things that fell in the same bandwidth,” Medley said. Most of the world’s Great the world, and where they do occur is a Gray Owls make their homes in north- pretty amazing location,” said Joshua ern hemisphere boreal forests, though Hull, a researcher with the US Fish and a few live as far south as Oregon and Wildlife Service and adjunct professor Idaho. The giants with piercing yellow at UC Davis. “These are going in a difeyes and 5-foot (1.5-meter) wingspans ferent evolutionary direction than the have adapted so well to snow that they others, and we don’t know where that can dive face-first through up to a foot is right now.” Scientists from Yosemite, the US (30 centimeters) of it to catch the voles they hear creeping underneath. Their Forest Service and Fish and Wildlife, dish-shaped faces work to amplify with funding from the Yosemite Conservancy, are working to gain a sound. During the last ice age 30,000 years greater understanding of what those

differences mean. So far, DNA studies have noted distinct genetic variations between the separated groups in addition to the different food sources and nesting patterns the southern birds have adapted. The birds have very subtle differences in color. “That’s important to know because if it’s genetically different, we should try to keep it that way,” Hull said. “You wouldn’t want to bring in individuals from Oregon to supplement a unique population.” The major threats to their continued survival are the mosquitoborne West Nile Virus - and humans. A female believed to be the cohort’s most reliable breeder was struck and killed by a car in the park in August, prompting slower speed limit warnings to protect the low-flying raptors that rarely lift more than 20 feet (six meters) above ground. Because of their rarity, they are highly sought out by birdwatchers whose presence in meadows can deter mating and food foraging, the researchers say. That’s why no one will reveal exactly where in the park they are. “They will abandon their nests if disturbed,” said Steve Thompson, Yosemite’s branch chief of wildlife management. “It’s an extremely low population very vulnerable to natural- and human-caused events. They don’t have the ability to rebound the way more abundant species do. We’re very protective of them.” So protective that the owls will no longer be trapped to draw blood for studies. Instead researchers are collecting molted feathers to extract and amplify DNA to track lineage, mating patterns, population size, survival rates and even genetic mutations that might occur as the climate changes yet again. “Genetic mutations occur randomly. It’s just chance whether those mutations are advantageous or deleterious to the population,” Thompson said. “And all of this is happening over tens of thousands of years, so to me as a biologist it’s really exciting to have this demonstration of how evolution occurs.” — AP

More weight tied to higher hospitalization risk: Study CANBERRA: Regardless of lifestyle and other health-related factors, heavier people were more likely than lean ones to be hospitalized for a variety of conditions, according to an Australian study. What’s more, this was the case not just for obese people but also for those who were merely overweight as well, the researchers wrote in the International Journal of Obesity. Among middle-aged adults, researchers found that every extra body mass index (BMI) point equal to about 2.7 to 3.2 kilograms (six or seven lbs) - was tied to a four percent higher chance of being admitted to the hospital over a two-year period. “There is considerable evidence that severe obesity is bad for your health, resulting in higher rates of disease and consequently higher use of health services and higher death rates,” said lead author Rosemary Korda, from the Australian National University in Canberra. “What this study shows is that there is a gradual increase in risk of hospitalization as BMI increases, starting with people in the overweight range. In other words, even being overweight (but not obese) increases your risk.” Korda and her colleagues recruited close to 250,000 people aged 45 and above from New South Wales. After surveying them about their height, weight and other health and lifestyle issues, the researchers tracked participants through hospital data. Over the next two years, they had more than 61,000 total hospitalizations lasting at least one night. Korda’s team found that among people considered in the normal range for BMI, there were

120 hospitalizations for every 1,000 men and 102 per 1,000 women each year. For those considered severely obese, on the other hand, there were 203 hospitalizations for every 1,000 men and 183 per 1,000 women, on average. Overweight and moderately obese people had hospitalization rates somewhere in between. A BMI of 25 to 30 is classified as overweight, while obese is from 30 on up. That pattern held up even after taking into account whether participants smoked, how physically active they were and their general health at the start of the study. Extra weight seemed especially to play a role in people’s chances of being hospitalized for diabetes, heart disease, chest pain, arthritis and asthma, the researchers reported. “Extending the research to overweight individuals... is a unique contribution,” said Robert Klesges, a preventive medicine researcher from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. “Basically it tells tens of millions of Americans that, ‘you are now at risk’,” added Klesges, who wasn’t involved in the study. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just under 36 percent of American adults are obese. Another 33 percent are overweight. “While increasing weight leads to increasing risk, this also means that a gradual decrease in weight is likely to gradually decrease your risk - ie, if you are overweight or obese, even small decreases in weight may make a positive difference to your health,” said Korda. — Reuters




IKEA Kuwait offers safe environment for children KEA Kuwait offers children a more enjoyable environment with safer and secure options to guarantee the ultimate experience at home and in the store. Today, children will be allowed to make the odd misjudgment when climbing, jumping and poking about without this resulting into accidents. IKEA Kuwait provides safety products in the home to avoid mishaps by ensuring each product is properly analyzed and tested so that possible dangers shall be discovered before including the product into the range. IKEA Kuwait eases the minds of the parents as it adheres to the strictest regula-


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


Visit hegganur Diocese Priest Father Thomas Joseph (Saji Achan) Pynummootil House, Piralassery, Chegannur and family will arrive to Kuwait on 25-10-2012 for a short visit. He is now a vicar in St Ignation Orthodox Cathedral Chegannur. Formerly he was the vicar of Kodukulanji, Edanad, Kallumkal, Mezuvelil, and Arattupuzha Orthodox Churches.

IKEA Kuwait is not only keen on providing safety at home, but also within the IKEA store. IKEA retailers are responsible for ensuring that the range presentations and children playing areas are a secure place for the young ones who are curious and want to explore everywhere. The store also has a designated person who is responsible for safety and can provide support if there are any concerns or doubts about safety when creating a new range presentation solution. IKEA retailers created these functional furnishing solutions that accomvmodate the needs of families with children.

Eid brings unforgettable color, vibrancy to Marina Hotel Kuwait



tions to ensure maximum safety for the children around the house. For this reason, IKEA developed an easy to use and install range called the PATRULL series that includes safety mats for the bath and shower, anti-slip underlays for rugs to prevent falls, corner bumpers on tables or countertops with sharp edges, and socket covers to prevent electric shocks from children inserting objects into sockets. There are also lockable cabinets to store medicines and chemicals in them, in order to keep them away from children’s reach, and doorstops to keep doors from closing on small fingers, and many more.

elebrate the joy of Eid Al-Adha and experience leisure and fun filled activities at Marina Hotel Kuwait. The hotel has unveiled a rich choice of culinary flavors, entertainment and special room packages to make this Eid truly memorable. For all those wishing to spend their holidays at Marina Hotel, can avail astounding room packages including complimentary breakfast and get the opportunity to relax in luxurious rooms whilst taking in the charm of genuine Arabian hospitality. They will have access to the state of the art Coral Reef Health Club and can benefit from the hotels various facilities and amenities. While parents and family members relax, children can participate in various activities organized by the hotel which include Eid shows, games for adults and kids, magic shows, movie viewing, beach soccer, bouncy castles, trampoline, face painting, sand castle building and much more. The hotel has set the stage for a grand celebration and invites you to experience the flavors from around the world. Experience a memorable culinary


journey while sharing this special time with friends and family. Start your morning with steaming coffee and delicious breakfast at Six Palms Restaurant. Watch authentic innovations spring to life inside the Atlantis Restaurant while

relishing the International lunch buffet. Indulge yourself throughout the day with the finest dinner buffet at Six Palms Restaurant while listening to the oriental band and enjoying your shisha. Marina Hotel Kuwait has the perfect

ambiance for spending the Eid holiday with your family and children. A place to be, where fun and surprises await you.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMMU n this special day as you celebrate your Birthday... Here’s wishing you a whole lotta happiness & sweet surprises! from Acha, Amma and Malu


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

Rotana family of brands head to GCC bu Dhabi-based Rotana, the leading hotel management company in the Middle East & Africa is preparing for a tour of the GCC as part of its annual sales mission. With 37 percent of Rotana’s room revenue generated from the GCC region, the Rotana sales team are heading to the GCC region for one week road show to promote its Family hotels. The sales mission kicks off in Qatar and concluding in Kuwait. In addition to showcasing its portfolio of 70 properties throughout the Middle East and Africa, the sales team will promote and sell new and existing products to the GCC market such as Rotana properties in Abu Dhabi, Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada, Dubai, Rask Al-Khaimah, Fujairah, Lebanon, Sudan and Erbil. This annual trip will certainly help us to develop our strategic account relationships, where our effort and focus is effectively used. The sales mission will help us to open new avenues and opportunities for each of the individual hotels


in the region and for the regional sales offices. The GCC commands the largest outbound and inbound travel market in the region, both in terms of volume and

guests to our Brands commented Andy Nightingale, Director of International Sales. Rotana announced that it will open 2

value, and we want to increase our market share. We are very keen to attract new tour operators and hopefully loyal

new hotels in Dubai late 2012, bringing its total to 15 in the Emirates, the largest by any single hotel brand, local or for-

PwC Holds first annual business plan competition: The PIN2 Challenge

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

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

wC, the leading financial services firm, announced the launch of their new corporate social responsibility initiative, the PIN2 Challenge. The PIN2 Challenge is driven by PwC and sponsored by Zain, National Bank of Kuwait, Ali Abdulwahab Al-Mutawa Commercial Co, Wharton Club of the Middle East, and 4 Films Printing Group Company. The PIN2 Challenge is a business plan competition led by PwC for high schools in Kuwait , beginning in October 2012 and ending in March 2013. The five participating schools are American International School, American School of Kuwait, Al-Bayan Bilingual School, New English School, and Universal American School. Students from each school will form a team of 4-6 students and will create a business plan over the next 5 months building on an innovative idea they have. Commenting on this initiative, Fouad Douglas, the Country Senior Partner of PwC Kuwait office says, “There is a strong entrepreneurial spirit among high school students and the PIN2 Challenge is an incredible opportunity for these students to showcase their innovative ideas. At PwC we encourage our own talent to grow, develop and lead their own projects; whether it’s when catering to clients or when seeing through a corporate social responsibility initiative like this one. Through this initiative we are looking at building future leaders with an entrepreneurial spirit to excel in their professional lives”. The PIN2 Challenge aims to provide students with an unforgettable and valuable experience by developing their analytical and problem-solving skills, communication and team spirit. Students will be working in diverse teams incorporating challenges that are relevant to the prevailing social, economic, and technological environment,


Legal Advice Clinic Free legal advice is provided on matters pertaining to labour disputes, terms of contracts with employers, death/accident compensation, withholding of dues by employers, etc. by lawyers on our panel, to Indian nationals on all working days between 1500hrs to 1600hrs. Ambassador’s Open House The Open House for Indian citizens by the Ambassador is being held on all Wednesdays at the Embassy for redressal of grievances. In case Wednesday is an Embassy holiday, the meeting will be held on the next working day.

eign. Rotana is also scheduled to open one new hotel in Bahrain as part of an aggressive, yet tactical expansion strategy in the region that will see the hotel group managing a massive 14,000 rooms across its portfolio of hotels in the region by the end of 2012. The Rotana brand is driven by passion, personal warmth, and the delivery of consistent quality standards, combined with a keen understanding of regional markets, commitment to research, and significant investment in systems and people. Development of the brand is rigorously planned and meticulously managed across all operations simultaneously evoking confidence and trust among property owners, and creating satisfying experiences for corporate and leisure travellers alike.

Seminar ducational psychologist Khalid Al-Shamroukh organized a seminar recently at the Association of Social Workers in Adailiya about improving children’s creativity both educationally and socially. The event was attended by 60 teachers who were taught about scientific theories which explain the characteristics of creative children and their growth process.


allowing them to grow and develop. The PIN2 Challenge will help students develop important skill sets and gain a wider knowledge base that addresses the community’s broader objective for human capital development. As part of the competition, PwC and the sponsors have planned a mix of learning activities such as interactive workshops, thought provoking case discussions, team building exercises, and networking opportunities. Through reg-

and professional growth of young adults in our communities,” said Mr. Faisal Al-Mutawa CEO AAW, “When approached about being a part of the PwC PIN2 Challenge it was a natural fit for our company because it aligns with our corporate social responsibility objectives that focus on helping young adults reach their full potential.” NBK Deputy General Manager, Human Resources Group Emad AlAblani said, “NBK is committed to sup-

ular interaction with students, PwC will share its thought leadership and expertise with the students along with the sponsors who will share their industry insights and feedback on an ongoing basis. Omar Al-Omar, Zain Kuwait’s Chief Executive Officer states that, “our participation in this program positively demonstrates Zain’s commitment to support the youth, who have the skills and creative abilities to contribute to the growth of society. Focusing on the development of entrepreneurial talents and capacity building, Zain’s participation in the PIN2 Challenge plays a pivotal role in the betterment of society, whereby implementing the basic values of human development as part of Zain’s long term CSR and strategic objectives.” “Ali Abdulwahab Al-Mutawa has a long history of supporting the personal

porting talented and qualified youngsters and empowering them to realize their potentials. The PIN2 Challenge goes along with NBK’s initiatives to invest in youth and support their aspirations. NBK believes that investing in human resources is investing in our future. We are looking forward with high expectations for the outcomes of the PIN2 Challenge.” Fouad Douglas also added “The PIN2 Challenge will be a great experience for the students, the sponsors, and PwC. PwC and the sponsors see this as an opportunity to build strong relationships and give back to the community in which we operate by inspiring the youth and developing future talent .”




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

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

GUST celebrates 2011-12 graduation ceremony nder the patronage of the Higher Education Dr Nayef Al-Hajraf, the Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) hosted pioneers in the educational sector, families, friends and students at their 3rd MBA and 7th Bachelors classes Graduation Ceremony in their esteemed outdoor amphitheater on campus during their 10th anniversary year. The Minister and Professor Thomas F George, Chancellor of the University of Missouri - St Louis (UMSL) were the guest speakers at the grand ceremony. The theater was beaming with the smiles faces of the graduates and their family and friends but also with GUST faculty, staff, and proud leaders including Dr Abdulrahman AlMuhailan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Dr Shuaib Abdullah Shuaib, GUST President and all of who came to show their support and acknowledge the importance of this occasion. It was the Graduation and a celebration of the 10 years GUST has grown with its graduates. In his opening speech Dr AlMuhailan talks about the university, its goals and aspirations for itself and its students and what they both have accomplished and at the end,reminds the stu-


dents: “Remember that your education is the most enduring wealth you will have, and continue to excel and work hard, because knowledge is an endless pursuit.” The bachelors graduates and MBA graduates listened with excitement and a certain rush at all the familiar faces in the crowds as the Minister of Finance and Acting Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education, Dr Nayef AlHajraf took the stage and expressed his pride in the students for this accomplishment and in GUST for celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. He stressed to the students that one should always work hard and keep dreaming and hoping - for that is the spirit and the efforts that will lead to the development and progress of our beloved country. Dr Shuaib said: “Our 10th anniversary is marked by a variety of achievements: an expansion in our campus, welcoming now over 4,000 students, and a strengthening of our academic programs.” He also noted our affiliate university, UMSL, and the fruitful and successful partnership which has grown over the past 10 years and ended by congratulating the students: “Allow me to not only congratu-

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

EMBASSY OF FRANCE The Embassy would like to inform that starting September 2nd, 2012, visa demands for France will be handled by the outsourcing company “Capago - MENA Company”. Capago - MENA’S Call Center will be operational starting Sunday August 26 for setting appointments beginning September 2nd (+965 22270555). ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF INDIA The Embassy of India will remain closed tomorrow - Dussehra (Vijaya Dashami) late you on your wonderful achievement but to thank you for making GUST a center of excellence.” Dr Thomas F George, Chancellor of UMSL, GUST’s affiliate university, congratulated the students and said: “The University of Missouri - St Louis is enormously proud of our partnership with GUST. We believe that our successful collaboration serves as a model for partnerships between new universities and their international partners.” Fajer Al-Husseiny, MBA graduate, was one of the students who gave a speech, and said “Value is fundamental and at GUST, we understood the value of knowledge.” The night ended with a grand display of fireworks, the students and their families ecstatic, giving hugs and shouts of congratulations with the endless clicking of their cameras. GUST faculty and staff were honored to share these special moments with their


EMBASSY OF NEPAL On the happy occasion of Vijayadashmi and Eid Al-Adha, the Embassy of Nepal will remain closed from Monday, October 22 to Saturday, October 27, 2012. The office will resume on Sunday, October 28, 2012. ■■■■■■■



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



00:45 Your Worst Animal Nightmares 01:35 I’m Alive 02:25 Cats 101 03:15 Bad Dog 04:05 Mutant Planet 04:55 Predator’s Prey 05:20 Escape To Chimp Eden 05:45 Safari Vet School 06:10 Safari Vet School 06:35 Wildlife SOS 07:00 Talk To The Animals 07:25 Baby Planet 08:15 Dogs 101 09:10 Must Love Cats 10:05 Mutant Planet 11:00 Venom Hunter With Donald Schultz 11:55 Wild Africa Rescue 12:20 Wild Africa Rescue 12:50 Wildlife SOS 13:15 Shamwari: A Wild Life 13:45 Animal Cops Houston 14:40 Mutant Planet 15:35 Escape To Chimp Eden 16:00 Talk To The Animals 16:30 Bad Dog 17:25 Growing Up... 18:20 Dogs 101 19:15 Wildlife SOS 19:40 Shamwari: A Wild Life 20:10 Predator’s Prey 20:35 Escape To Chimp Eden 21:05 Wildest Africa 22:00 Sharkman 22:55 Safari Vet School 23:20 Safari Vet School 23:50 Animal Cops Houston 23:50 Animal Cops Houston 00:30 Antiques Roadshow 01:20 Gok’s Clothes Roadshow 02:10 Gok’s Fashion Fix 02:55 Living In The Sun 03:45 Saturday Kitchen 04:10 MasterChef 04:35 Living In The Sun 05:30 MasterChef 05:55 Saturday Kitchen 06:20 Saturday Kitchen 06:50 MasterChef Australia 07:35 MasterChef Australia 08:25 Gok’s Fashion Fix 09:15 Gok’s Fashion Fix 10:05 Bargain Hunt 10:50 Antiques Roadshow 11:40 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 12:25 Gok’s Fashion Fix 13:15 Holmes On Homes 14:05 Holmes On Homes 14:55 Bargain Hunt 15:40 Antiques Roadshow 16:30 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 17:15 Gok’s Fashion Fix 18:00 Trish’s French Country Kitchen 18:30 Trish’s French Country Kitchen 18:55 Rhodes Across China 19:45 Come Dine With Me 20:35 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 21:20 Antiques Roadshow 22:15 Bargain Hunt 23:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 23:45 Gok’s Fashion Fix EditionEdition 00:15 01:10 02:05 03:00 03:55 04:20 04:50 05:15 05:40 06:05 07:00 07:50 08:45 09:40 10:05 10:30 10:55 11:25 12:20 13:15 14:10 14:35 15:05 15:30 16:25 17:20 18:15 19:10 19:40 20:05 20:35 21:00 21:30 22:25 23:20

Around The World In 80 Ways Deadliest Catch An Idiot Abroad Mythbusters Border Security Auction Hunters Auction Kings How Do They Do It? How It’s Made Extreme Fishing Street Customs Mythbusters Ultimate Survival Border Security Auction Hunters How Do They Do It? How It’s Made Around The World In 80 Ways Deadliest Catch River Monsters Border Security Auction Hunters Auction Kings Ultimate Survival Street Customs Extreme Fishing Mythbusters How Do They Do It? How It’s Made Border Security Auction Hunters Auction Kings You Have Been Warned Body Invaders Rattlesnake Republic

23:20 Surviving Disaster 00:35 01:25 01:50 02:15 03:05 03:35 04:25 05:15 06:05 07:00 07:25 07:50 08:40 08:43 09:12 09:40 10:30 10:55 11:20 12:10 13:00 13:25 13:50 14:45 15:35 16:00 16:03 16:32 17:00 17:50 18:40 19:30 20:20 21:10

Mega Builders Things That Move Things That Move Meteorite Men The Gadget Show Sport Science The Science Of Star Wars Scrapheap Challenge Mega Builders Things That Move Things That Move Meteorite Men Head Rush Tech Toys 360 Patent Bending The Science Of Star Wars The Gadget Show The Gadget Show Mega Builders Scrapheap Challenge Things That Move Things That Move Meteorite Men The Science Of Star Wars The Gadget Show Head Rush Tech Toys 360 Patent Bending Building The Biggest The Science Of Star Wars Scrapheap Challenge Catch It Keep It Moon Machines The Gadget Show

21:35 22:00 22:25 22:50 23:40

The Gadget Show Stuck With Hackett Stuck With Hackett Moon Machines Sport Science

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

Little Einsteins Jungle Junction Jungle Junction Little Einsteins Special Agent Oso Mini Adventures Of Winnie The Lazytown Little Einsteins Jungle Junction Little Einsteins Special Agent Oso Mini Adventures Of Winnie The Lazytown Little Einsteins Jungle Junction Jungle Junction Little Einsteins Special Agent Oso Special Agent Oso Jungle Junction Jungle Junction Handy Manny Special Agent Oso Lazytown Mickey Mouse Clubhouse The Hive Jake & The Neverland Pirates Jake & The Neverland Pirates Handy Manny The Hive Mini Adventures Of Winnie The Mouk Mouk The Hive Mickey Mouse Clubhouse New Adventures Of Winnie The Art Attack Imagination Movers Lazytown Mini Adventures Of Winnie The Handy Manny Jungle Junction Imagination Movers The Hive Special Agent Oso Lazytown Mickey Mouse Clubhouse New Adventures Of Winnie The Jake & The Neverland Pirates Jake & The Neverland Pirates The Hive Imagination Movers Lazytown Jungle Junction Mouk Art Attack Lazytown Jake & The Neverland Pirates Jake & The Neverland Pirates The Hive Mouk Imagination Movers A Poem Is... Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Jungle Junction New Adventures Of Winnie The Jake & The Neverland Pirates The Hive Mini Adventures Of Winnie The A Poem Is... A Poem Is... Mouk Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Jake & The Neverland Pirates Special Agent Oso New Adventures Of Winnie The Timmy Time Jungle Junction Handy Manny Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Special Agent Oso Special Agent Oso Lazytown

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

00:05 00:30 00:55 01:20 01:45 02:10 02:35 03:00 03:25 03:50 04:15 04:40 05:05

Wrestling With Reality Wrestling With Reality Pro Bull Riders 2011 World Combat League TNA: Greatest Matches Crusty Demons: No Borders Crusty Demons: No Borders Enfusion Pro Bull Riders 2011 Ride Guide Mountainbike 2009 Ride Guide Mountainbike 2009 Tread BMX Tread BMX Ticket To Ride– 6 2012 Ticket To Ride– 6 2012 Winter Dew Tour 10/11 Fantasy Factory Fantasy Factory Pro Bull Riders 2011 Mantracker Superstars USA World Combat League Fantasy Factory Fantasy Factory Tread BMX Tread BMX Ticket To Ride– 6 2012 Ticket To Ride– 6 2012 Mantracker Pro Bull Riders 2011 Superstars USA World Combat League Crusty Demons: No Borders Crusty Demons: No Borders TNA: Greatest Matches Enfusion

Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Jenny Morris Cooks Morocco Jenny Morris Cooks Morocco World Cafe Asia World Cafe Asia Luke Nguyen’s Vietnam Luke Nguyen’s Vietnam Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Guy’s Big Bite Outrageous Food Unique Sweets

05:30 Chopped 06:10 Barefoot Contessa 06:35 Barefoot Contessa 07:00 Iron Chef America 07:50 Barefoot Contessa 08:15 Barefoot Contessa 08:40 Unique Sweets 09:05 Charly’s Cake Angels 09:30 Jenny Morris Cooks Morocco 09:55 Cooking For Real 10:20 Cooking For Real 10:45 Healthy Appetite With Ellie Krieger 11:10 Unwrapped 11:35 United Tastes Of America 12:00 Chopped 12:50 Guy’s Big Bite 13:15 Cooking For Real 13:40 Barefoot Contessa 14:05 Barefoot Contessa 14:30 Unique Sweets 14:55 Charly’s Cake Angels 15:20 Jenny Morris Cooks Morocco 15:45 Food(Ography) 16:35 Barefoot Contessa 17:00 Barefoot Contessa 17:25 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 17:50 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 18:15 Guy’s Big Bite 18:40 Unique Sweets 19:05 Charly’s Cake Angels 19:30 Chopped 20:20 Iron Chef America 21:10 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 21:35 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 22:00 Guy’s Big Bite 22:25 Guy’s Big Bite 22:50 Grill It! With Bobby Flay 23:15 Grill It! With Bobby Flay 23:40 Guy’s Big Bite

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

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

Ghost Lab A Haunting Deadly Women Scorned: Crimes Of Passion Dr G: Medical Examiner Ghost Lab A Haunting Disappeared Mystery ER Street Patrol Street Patrol Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? On The Case With Paula Zahn Murder Shift Disappeared Mystery ER Street Patrol Street Patrol Forensic Detectives On The Case With Paula Zahn Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? Murder Shift Disappeared Forensic Detectives Street Patrol True Crime With Aphrodite Stalked: Someone’s Watching Nightmare Next Door Couples Who Kill Fatal Encounters Killer Kids Dr G: Medical Examiner

One Man & His Campervan Roam Don’t Tell My Mother Dive Detectives The Frankincense Trail Perilous Journeys Extreme Tourist Afghanistan Bondi Rescue Bondi Rescue Food Lover’s Guide To The Food Lover’s Guide To The One Man & His Campervan One Man & His Campervan Roam Don’t Tell My Mother Dive Detectives The Frankincense Trail Perilous Journeys Extreme Tourist Afghanistan Bondi Rescue Bondi Rescue Food Lover’s Guide To The Food School One Man & His Campervan One Man & His Campervan Roam Travel Madness Dive Detectives Hugh’s Three Hungry Boys Perilous Journeys Extreme Tourist Afghanistan One Man & His Campervan One Man & His Campervan Food Lover’s Guide To The Food School Bondi Rescue Bondi Rescue Food Lover’s Guide To The Food Lover’s Guide To The David Rocco‚Äôs Dolce Vita 3

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

Ultimate Predators GPU Hooked Nordic Wild Wild Nights Big Baboon House The Living Edens Big Blue Nordic Wild Wild Nights Big Baboon House Zoo Confidential Dangerous Encounters Rescue Ink Fish Warrior Nordic Wild Animal Underworld Big Baboon House Zoo Confidential Dangerous Encounters Rescue Ink Nordic Wild Wild Nights Big Baboon House Zoo Confidential Dangerous Encounters

00:15 D.E.B.S-18

02:00 03:45 06:00 08:00 10:00 PG15 12:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00

Icarus-18 13 Assassins-18 Transporter 2-PG15 Rocky IV-PG15 True Justice: Lethal JusticePatriot Games-PG15 Rocky IV-PG15 Triassic Attack-PG15 Patriot Games-PG15 The Perfect Host-PG15 The Keeper-18

20:00 Fighting-PG15 22:00 Homecoming-18 00:00 Melissa & Joey 03:00 Happy Endings 03:30 Hot In Cleveland 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 06:00 Friends 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:30 Happy Endings 09:30 Cougar Town 10:00 New Girl 11:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 14:00 Hot In Cleveland 14:30 New Girl 15:00 Cougar Town 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 19:00 Cougar Town 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:30 The Ricky Gervais Show 23:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 23:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fall on 00:00 01:00 02:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 07:30 08:00 09:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 12:30 13:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 16:30 17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00 23:00


Fairly Legal Boardwalk Empire The Newsroom Grimm House Revenge Fairly Legal Emmerdale Coronation Street Castle The Ellen DeGeneres Show Revenge House Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show Castle Fairly Legal Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show Castle Grey’s Anatomy Private Practice Homeland Breaking Bad Grimm23:00 Grimm

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

Windtalkers-PG15 Hostel: Part III-18 Judge Dredd-18 Dangerous Flowers-PG15 Fantastic Four-PG15 Judge Dredd-18 Hidalgo-PG15 Fantastic Four-PG15 The Warrior’s Way-PG15 Walled In-PG15 The Keeper-18 Outcast-R Luster-18

00:00 02:00 04:00 06:00 08:00 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00

28 Days-PG15 High Fidelity-PG15 Rebound-PG Airheads-PG15 Easy A-PG15 Baby Geniuses-PG Joe Dirt-PG15 Morning Glory-PG15 Baby Geniuses-PG The Joneses-PG15 Fever Pitch-PG15 The Answer Man-PG15

22:00 Frenemy-18 01:00 Dear John-PG15 03:00 The Spy Next Door-PG 05:00 All The Pretty Horses-PG15 07:15 Yona Yona Penguin-PG 09:00 The Sting-PG 11:15 The Color Of Money-PG15 13:15 Desperate Hours: An Amber Alert-PG15 14:45 The Sting-PG 17:00 Oscar And The Lady In PinkPG15 19:00 Brighton Rock-PG15 21:00 Quiz Show-18 23:15 When A Man Loves A WomanPG15 Square Grouper-18 01:00 The Greatest-PG15 03:00 Spy Kids: All The Time In The World-PG 05:00 Chronicles Of Narnia: Voyage Of The Dawn Treader-PG 07:00 Black Forest-PG15 09:00 Restless-PG15 11:00 Unstoppable-PG15 13:00 The 19th Wife-PG15 15:00 Justin Bieber: Never Say NeverPG 17:00 Restless-PG15 19:00 Green Lantern-PG15 21:00 Rabbit Hole-PG15 23:00 The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard-18

00:00 Supertramps-FAM 02:00 Queen Of The Swallows-FAM 04:00 Adventures Of A Teenage Dragonslayer-PG 06:00 Barbie In A Mermaid Tale 2FAM 08:00 Marco Antonio-PG 10:00 The Adventures Of Don Quixote-FAM 12:00 Ramona And Beezus-PG 14:00 Moomins And The Comet Chase-FAM 16:00 The Nutty Professor-FAM 18:00 The Adventures Of Don Quixote-FAM 20:00 The Muppets-PG 22:00 The Nutty Professor-FAM


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360 º- 7 THE EXPATRIATE: 2D 2:00 PM THE EXPATRIATE: 2D 4:15 PM THE EXPATRIATE: 2D 6:30 PM NO THU (18.10.2012) French Film Festival Show“War is declared” 6:30 PM THU (18.10.2012) French Film Festival Show“The Artist” 8 : 3 0 PM THU (18.10.2012) THE EXPATRIATE: 2D 8:45 PM NO THU (18.10.2012) THE EXPATRIATE: 2D 11:00 PM


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360 º- 14 TETA RAHIBA(2D-Digital) TETA RAHIBA(2D-Digital) TETA RAHIBA(2D-Digital) TETA RAHIBA(2D-Digital) TETA RAHIBA(2D-Digital)

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Classifieds TUESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2012




Time 0:15 0:20 0:30 0:30 1:30 2:10 2:20 2:25 2:30 2:30 2:50 3:10 3:20 3:20 3:25 3:55 4:35 5:00 6:00 6:15 6:30 6:35 7:15 7:45 7:50 7:55 8:05 8:15 8:25 8:30 8:40 9:00 9:20 9:20 9:30 10:00 10:05 10:40 10:45 10:55 11:05 11:25 11:30 12:00 12:25 12:30 13:30 13:40 13:40 13:40 13:45 13:45 14:15 14:25 14:30 14:30 14:55 14:55 15:05 15:15 15:55 16:00 16:35 16:40 16:50 16:55 17:10 17:20 17:20 17:30 17:35 17:40 17:45 18:15 18:20 18:30 18:40 18:45 18:45 18:55 19:00 19:15 19:20 19:25 19:30 19:30 19:35 19:40 19:55 20:00 20:10 20:15 20:25 20:35 20:55 21:05 21:15 21:15 21:25 21:30 21:35 22:25 22:30 22:35 22:40 22:55 23:10 23:30 23:35 23:40 23:59



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

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (



Room with attached bath available in a C-AC flat in Abbassiya near High Way Center, couple or ladies are preferred. Contact: 66552905. (C 4185) 22-10-2012

Policy No. 6330001223 issued by the State Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan Gulf zone on the Life of Mr. Mohammad Sultan Kaler Mushtaq Ahmed is reported to have been lost. Anyone finding the same or claiming any interest in it should communicate with the Manager (PHS) State Life P.O. Box No. 11278, Dubai, UAE within one month from this date. 18-10-2012

Sharing accommodation Salmiya Bahrain street, near big jamiya, Gadeer Clinic. Tel: 66792392, 60625120, 66047295. (C 4184) 21-10-2012 A room available in a furnished 2 bedroom flat in Salmiya 単near the bus stop for a working class lady. Please call 99702658. 18-10-2012 FOR SALE Mercedes 280s 1994 dark blue registered valid to July 2013, KD 1,000 please call 99633674 after 5 pm. (C 4186) Mazda (3) white color, 2012, excellent condition, km 12000, KD 2850. Tel: 50699345. (C 4187) 22-10-2012 A Nissan Maxima in very good condition with one year registration validity. Tel: 90908406. 20-10-2012

Prayer timings Fajr:










SITUATION WANTED Australian Engineer with two-Engineering (Civil/ Elect) & four Master Degrees (Engg/Prog Mgmt/ Education/MBA). 23 years experience in Dubai/ Qatar/ Australia, looking project Mgr / QHSE Mgr job. Contact: 65695468. (C 4160) 7-10-2012

112 Ministry of Interior website:



TUITION Maths teacher over 20 years experience. Tuition: KS2/3, IGCSE, AS/A2, CIC2C3C4, S1S2, M1M2, familiar with all boards. Contact: 66710630. (C 4183) 20-10-2012

SITUATION VACANT Live-in maid wanted for a small family in Farwaniya. Full time. Contact: 50833103. 10-10-2012


The Public Institution for Social Security

Ministry of Interior

Public Authority of Industry

Public Authority for Civil Information

Prisoners of War Committee

Kuwait News Agency

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affair

Kuwait Municipality

Ministry of Energy (Oil)

Kuwait Electronic Government

Ministry of Energy (Electricity and Water)

Ministry of Finance

Public Authority for Housing Welfare

Ministry of Commerce and Industry

Ministry of Justice

Ministry of Education

Ministry of Communications

Ministry of Information

Supreme Council for Planning and Development

Kuwait Awqaf Public Foundation


i n f o r m at i o n For labor-related inquiries and complaints: Call MSAL hotline 128 GOVERNORATE Sabah Hospital


Amiri Hospital


Maternity Hospital


Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital


Chest Hospital


Farwaniya Hospital


Adan Hospital


Ibn Sina Hospital


Al-Razi Hospital


Physiotherapy Hospital


Kaizen center














Abdullah Salim




Industrial Shuwaikh






Bneid Al-Ghar






Ayoun Al-Kibla





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



Te el.: 161


Ext.: 262 2627 - 2630




Partly cloudy to cloudy and relatively humid with light to moderate southerly to south easterly wind, with speed of 12 - 35 km/h with a chance for scattered light rain


Partly cloudy and humid with moderate wind in general south easterly to southerly wind, with speed of 20 - 38 km/h with a chance for scattered light rain No Current Warnings arnin a


33 °C

28 °C



36 °C

23 °C




37 °C

23 °C




39 °C

25 °C




37 °C

23 °C


35 °C

24 °C




34 °C

23 °C

Maidan Hawally



33 °C

27 °C




32 °C

28 °C




31 °C

29 °C




31 °C

26 °C







22/10/2012 0000 UTC

4 DA AYS Y FORECAST Temperatures DA AY





New Jahra


West Jahra



South Jahra



North Jahra



North Jleeb






Wind Direction

Wind Speed

partly cloudy + relatively humid+scattered rain

36 °C

25 °C


12 - 35 km/h


Relatively humid + scattered clouds

35 °C

24 °C


12 - 35 km/h



36 °C

24 °C


12 - 32 km/h


Relatively humid

34 °C

22 °C


15 - 40 km/h





MAX. Temp.

37 °C



MIN. Temp.

28 °C 81 %













MAX. Wind





12 % SE 43 km/h 00 mm

22/10/12 02:36 UTC

All times are local time unless otherwise stated.



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LIFESTYLE G o s s i p

Lohan’s dad seeks conservatorship indsay Lohan’s father is seeking a conservatorship for her. Michael Lohan is convinced his daughter has resumed abusing drink and drugs and after trying to stage an intervention on Friday he is trying to go through the courts to get a conservator appointed to look after Lindsay. Michael claims his daughter is hanging out with the wrong people, including her mother, Dina Lohan. He is not requesting he be made conservator - an appointed person who has legal control over the subject - as he doesn’t want to be in control of Lindsay’s finances, so people can accuse him of going after her money. According to website TMZ, Michael wants a judge to decide who to appoint conservator, but he says he will not accept Dina. Michael has told his lawyer the first thing he plans once there is a conservatorship in place is to convince them to send Lindsay to rehab. He claims every time Lindsay has been to rehab “she went in dirty and didn’t come out clean”. He also blames the people around Lindsay for helping to fuel her addictions. He also believes he, Dina and Lindsay need to go for family therapy, which his ex-wife has refused in the past. While many have accused Michael of interfering, his intervention on Friday had the full backing of Lindsay’s legal team, including her lawyers and manager. Michael’s intervention failed as Lindsay phoned the police and he claimed she also kicked out her boyfriend Josh Chunn, who tried to reason with her. She is now reportedly seeking a restraining order against her father to stop him from interfering in her life.


Rod Stewart refuses to spoil his children he ‘Maggie May’ rocker has eight kids from five different relationships and despite being very rich, he won’t let them have everything they want because he wants them to learn about responsibility. He said: “Ah well, yes, there’s the word: ‘spoil’. It’s a fine line. I don’t wanna see them sitting around being lazy, and when they achieve something I’m very proud of that, they’re still not as hungry as I was.” The 67-yearold rocker - who lives in Los Angeles with third wife Penny Lancaster and their two sons, Alastair, six, and 20-month-old Aiden - also admitted that despite being unfaithful with several of his former partners he is still on good terms with most of them. He told The Times Magazine: “I’m on really good terms with Rachel [Hunter, his second wife] and Kelly [Emberg, former partner]. Alana [Hamilton, first wife] and I don’t see eye to eye on the upbringing of our two children [Kimberly and Sean], we never have and we never will. “She’s the type who thinks money should be thrown at them. And I believe they have to work for a living. And Kimberly’s done a lot of work, but she’s a mum now.”


Timberlake ‘magical’ wedding ustin Timberlake says his and Jessica Biel’s wedding was “magical”. The singerand-actor tied the knot with the ‘Total Recall’ actress in a romantic ceremony in Italy on Friday and he admits it’s a day he will never forget. He said: “It was magical. It was an unforgettable evening.” The couple - who had been dating for around five years - were officially married at the Borgo Egnazia resort in Puglia, following days of celebrations and Jessica says it couldn’t have gone any better. She told People magazine: “It was a fantasy.” On Thursday, the bride and groom - who briefly split last year - hosted a party for guests, were they dined on fresh-made cheese, local olives and wine, while sitting around open fires. The night before, the group celebrated at a beach where they watched fireworks and listened to live music. Following the nuptials, Justin and Jessica released a statement confirming their marriage and saying what a great time they had. They said: “It’s great to be married, the ceremony was beautiful and it was so special to be surrounded by our family and friends.”


Rancic doesn’t want to be unsexy mother

Lily Allen: Marriage is great

iuliana Rancic won’t let her baby be an “excuse” for gaining weight. The TV presenter - who welcomed son Edward Duke with her husband Bill via a surrogate two months ago - has said she would not become a wife who didn’t want to be “sexy for her husband” just because she had a child. Speaking before the birth in August, she said on her reality show ‘Giuliana & Bill’: “I’m trying to wrap my mind around how to juggle work and a baby. I fear [that] I’m going to be one of those women that has a baby, and the next thing I know, I’m walking around all day with a side ponytail, eating chips and wearing flip-flops and not wanting to be sexy for my husband. “I don’t want the baby to be an excuse.” Recently the E! News anchor revealed she was already looking towards having another child. She said: “We’ve got a few embryos on ice. They’re ready to go. A lot of people have one kid and it’s enough. But for us, we’re just having so much fun that we’d love to have another child.”


ily Allen says being married is better than she ever imagined. The 27-year-old singer tied the knot with Sam Cooper last year and she admits the union has surpassed all her expectations and feels very blessed with her life. Lily - who is currently pregnant with the couple’s second child - said: “I know that I’m very lucky. Marriage has been everything I hoped for and more. “I have a nice house and a housekeeper and a personal assistant, and I also have a great husband who helps me a lot. I couldn’t do it on my own.” Lily - who has an 11-month-old daughter, Ethel, with Sam - also revealed how she won’t be bringing her children up in the same way she was raised. The ‘Smile’ hitmaker - daughter of actor Keith Allen and his ex-wife Alison Owen - told The Sun newspaper: “When you have kids you do look at your parents and think, ‘Would I bring up my child the same way?’, and the answer is, not necessarily. “I was taken to the Glastonbury Festival every year but I won’t be taking Ethel there - although that’s more for selfish reasons, because I want to go and enjoy myself!”


Pitt and Jolie like to ‘have a laugh’ rad Pitt and Angelina Jolie like to “have a laugh” with Jamie Oliver. The British chef - who has four children, Poppy, 10, Daisy, nine, Petal, three and Buddy, two, with wife Jules Oliver - admits he and the Hollywood legends get together on a casual basis and when they do they enjoy having all their kids play together. Jamie said: “Brad watches a lot of cooking shows, but he hasn’t asked me for any lessons yet, so no. “Brad and Angelina have a lovely family, with kids all over the place like ours. “We see them about once a year because we have mutual friends. When they’re doing something over here, we get together and have a laugh.” However, he is not sure if he will be invited to their wedding - and doesn’t even know when it will happen. He added in an interview with Closer magazine: “Am I expecting an invitation to their wedding? No. I don’t even know when they’re getting married!” —Bang Showbiz


Simmons has ‘boy crush’ on Clooney ene Simmons has a “boy crush” on George Clooney. The KISS bass player admitted he finds the hunky actor attractive at the Carousel of Hope gala on Saturday in Beverly Hills, California, at which George was the guest of honor for his philanthropic work. Gene told “What do you girls say when you like another girl, but you’re straight?” When told he was referring to a “girl crush,” he added, “George could be my ‘boy crush’,” as he raised his eyebrows and tilted his sunglasses. Gene’s wife, Shannon Tweed, was also very complimentary about George, praising his giving nature. She added: “You can’t even fault anything about George. As much as you wanna criticize movie stars for what they make and do, he gives.” George also appeared at the event - which raised $2.5 million to benefit the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes and joined singer Neil Diamond on stage to sing his classic track ‘Sweet Caroline’. In his speech, George promised to help end President Omar al-Bashir’s tight control over Sudan, one of the things he was helping finance to achieve this is a satellite which focuses on the country. Other guests appearing at the event included ‘Desperate Housewives’ actress Nicollette Sheridan and two-time ‘Dancing with the Stars’ winner Julianne Hough.






M o v i e s

Emotional Brooks goes into Country Hall of Fame arth Brooks promised he’d be emotional during his Country Music Hall of Fame induction. But the tears started before he made it all the way into the building. Reflecting on personal heroes George Strait, Bob Seger and James Taylor on hand to salute him Sunday night, Brooks teared up as he spoke with reporters on the red carpet. He only got more emotional as the night went along. “I moved to this town for one reason and that was to get ‘Much Too Young to Feel This Damn Old’ cut by George Strait,” Brooks said before the ceremony as his eyes began to redden. “That’s what George is singing tonight. It’s gonna be so cool. I’m a fan. So I get to be a fan tonight.” Brooks was inducted along with trailblazing singer Connie Smith and keyboard player Hargus “Pig” Robbins, whose rolling signature sound has adorned countless hits across the radio dial. It was a night studded with stars. Strait, Seeger and Taylor played for Brooks, dubbed “the mighty Garth” by Robbins. Lee Ann Womack, the Quebe Sisters and The Whites saluted Smith. Merle Haggard provided her induction speech. Ronnie Dunn serenaded Robbins with a version of George Jones’ “White Lightning,” the first No. 1 hit Robbins played on in 1959, while simultaneously drinking moonshine from a Mason jar. Ronnie Milsap, who like Robbins is blind, joked “Pig and I are driving home tonight,” before joining Robbins on “Behind Closed Doors.” Robbins is one of the most widely recorded session players in Nashville history, though his reputation spread far beyond Music City’s borders. From Jones and most of his country contemporaries to rock ‘n’ roll pioneers like Bob Dylan, Neil Young and J.J. Cale, he worked with some of the most dynamic artists in music history. His sound defines some of pop music’s most memorable songs as well, which Crystal Gayle reminded everyone by singing “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue.” “If we listened to every hit record he played on, none of us would live long enough to make it to the end,” Charlie McCoy said during


his induction speech for Robbins. Robbins also played on Smith’s early recordings shortly after she arrived in Nashville. Smith recounted before the show how she won a talent contest in Columbus, Ohio. Bill Anderson heard her sing and less than a year later she had her first

said. Wherever they decide to hang Brooks’ plaque will quickly become the most visited spot in the museum. Selling out stadiums, drawing more than 750,000 fans to Central Park, hosting “Saturday Night Live” and earning his own TV specials, Brooks rose from play-

Bob Seger performs at the Country Music Hall of Fame Inductions on Sunday. —AP photos hit, “Once a Day,” which became the first debut single by a female country artist to reach No. 1. It sat atop the charts for eight weeks. She inspired a generation of singers just as she was inspired by singers like Jean Shepard and the late Kitty Wells, whom she now joins in the hall of fame. “Jean Shepard went in last year and she said, ‘I hope they hang your plaque next to mine,’ and I don’t think I could have a better compliment that that,” Smith

ing for tips in Oklahoma bars to becoming a pop culture phenomenon who started fashion trends, changed the concert business and is still imitated endlessly despite a decade of semi-retirement. Name just about any trophy, lifetime achievement award or honorific, and Brooks can claim ownership. He balked, though, when informed he’d be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame last spring

because of all the greats he thinks should go in ahead of him. But there’s no denying Brooks’ place in not only country music history, but American pop music as well. The third best-selling artist in US history with more than 128 million albums sold, he helped take an oft-

helped him along the way. And he told the story of how Taylor, Seeger and Strait affected him at the points they entered his life. He remembered hearing Strait for the first time while visiting home after his freshman year in college. “Unwound” came on the radio and it

James Taylor performs at the Country Music Hall of Fame Inductions. maligned genre of music to the world. As Strait said during his induction of Brooks: “He blew it up, man.” And fans are still breathless in his company. Hundreds lined up outside the hall of fame in anticipation of the 50-year-old singer’s arrival with wife Trisha Yearwood, holding signs and cheering. The shouts were just as loud during the ceremony. Brooks gave a speech that included thanks to friends, family and industry professionals who

changed everything. “From that point forward I knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my life,” Brooks said. “I wanted to be George Strait so bad, man. And I have to say now, 20 years in the business under my own name, thank you very much, I still want to be George Strait so damn bad.” —AP

‘Cloud Atlas’ gang ponders hopes for next lives om Hanks wants to be one of the Wright brothers in his next life. Halle Berry and Ben Whishaw would like to come back in feline form. Susan Sarandon wants to remain a woman, and she’d like a great set of singing pipes. The stars of “Cloud Atlas” - along with British author David Mitchell, who wrote the novel that inspired the genre-bending epic about souls returning and intertwining over the centuries - shared their beliefs and disbeliefs about reincarnation as the film heads to US theaters Friday. Hanks himself doesn’t buy into reincarnation, while Berry, Whishaw, Mitchell, Sarandon and co-stars Hugo Weaving and Jim Sturgess either believe or at least think it’s possible that souls come back for an encore. “I think there’s far too many reincarnated Cleopatras to buy into the notion that the exact person comes back as someone else,” Sarandon said. “But I do believe that this energy which can’t be destroyed when a person dies, where does that go?” “I’ve met people that I know I knew, where I had no way of knowing them,” Berry said. “I think that comes from some other past-life connection. I never have been able to say, when we’re done, we’re done. I just choose not to believe that. I don’t want to believe that when I die, I just turn into a lump of dust, and that’s all there was to me. I want to believe that there’s a soul. “I’ve seen people die before, like right before my eyes, and I feel like I’ve seen their souls just leave their body. And I believe it goes somewhere. I don’t believe it just goes off into this abyss of nothingness.” Directed by siblings Lana and Andy Wachowski (“The Matrix) and Tom Tykwer (“Run Lola Run”), “Cloud Atlas” spins six stories spanning 500 years, with the actors taking on multiple roles playing the same souls progressing through the ages. Here are their thoughts on their next-life prospects. Hanks (interviewed alongside Berry): One of the Wright brothers. I’d love to be the first guy to see the earth from the sky. I think that’d be great. Either one, Orville or Wilbur. Who was the funniest? I want to be the funny Wright brother. Berry: I’m going to choose an animal (Hanks rolls his eyes). Probably a lion. King of the jungle. Some animal roaming the earth. Hanks: Let’s say I’m going to buy the reincarnation thing. I’m taking animals out of it. Berry: Why? Hanks: You have never seen a happy old lion, and I would like to be somebody who can be happy when they’re old. Old lions, you know what they do? They’ve got busted teeth, and they’ve got ulcers somewhere. They can’t catch anything. They get thrown out of the pride. Berry: How do you know that? Hanks: Because I’ve seen old lions! I’ve been to the zoo! Berry: But they’re in the zoo. I don’t want to be in the zoo. I want to be out in the wild. Hanks: Oh, man. You’ve seen “The Lion King” way too many times. Whishaw: I don’t want to be human. I’d like to be an animal, and maybe some kind of big cat. A predatory cat. Sturgess: You always want to say some sort of incredible artist of some sort, but actually, maybe not human at all. To experience life as a different animal would be kind of interesting. I mean a bird. Having the opportunity to fly. That would be pretty awesome. Something as far away as what your experience this time around could possibly be. Weaving: I love working on the land, actually. My dad’s family came from a long line of illiterate farm laborers in the west country of England. Generations and generations of them. There’s something of that in me, I think. I plant a lot of trees. —AP I have a property about three hours north of Sydney and


Bangladeshi cinema goers gather at a movie theatre in Dhaka September 7, 2012. —AFP photos

Bangladeshi women look at a poster advertising the film “Ghetuputra Komola” at a movie theatre.

Bangladesh film tackles past culture of underage sex F or conservative Muslim-majority Bangladesh, it is a forgotten and often shocking part of history: a time when aristocrats would openly flaunt male teenage singers whom they took as lovers. Homosexuality remains illegal in Bangladesh, but the practice of rich Muslim landlords in rural areas publicly living with adolescent “Ghetu” males each monsoon season was widely accepted 150 years ago. Now a new film, “Ghetuputra Komola” (Pleasure-boy Komola), has highlighted how perceptions of adolescence have changed in a country where the typical marriage age for girls used to be about 13, to grooms aged 20 or above. The film tells of a boy who sings sexually-suggestive songs and who becomes the obsession of a Muslim man, drawing the ire of his jealous wife. Set in the northeastern district of Habiganj, the film explores what many would today describe as a pedophilia culture that existed in remote communities that were often cut off for four months each year by the annual rains. For many wealthy Muslim men, it was a time to listen to Ghetu singers and live with them as lovers-a lifestyle that died as orthodox Muslim values grew and as the area

became less isolated from the rest of the country. Faridur Reza Sagar, the movie’s producer, said that the subject was “a story worth telling” despite touching on such sensitive topics as gay and underage sex. He cautioned against a romantic view of the Ghetu culture. “When the filmmaker (Humayun Ahmed) came up with the idea, I was a little bit sceptical. It was a controversial issue. As Humayun has said, it’s our good fortune that this tradition is gone,” he said. Ahmed, Bangladesh’s most popular fiction writer and the country’s leading film director and TV drama-maker, died in July in the United States after a battle against colon cancer aged 64. He wrote over 200 fiction and non-fiction books, many of them bestsellers in Bangladesh, and his death was marked by tributes from the president and prime minister. “The man’s wives did not mind, and a form of polygamy evolved,” Ahmed said before he died. “The blatant infidelity in the name of folk music is no more. With it, a strange ritual is lost.” Growing up in the low-lying Netrokona district 55 years ago, musician Abdul Quddus Bayati experienced the last days of Ghetu songs and was once

Austin Film Festival honors shorts ‘Asad’, ‘Head Over Heels’ riter-director Bryan Buckley’s “Asad” was named best narrative short and Timothy Reckart’s “Head Over Heels” was chosen top animated short by the Austin Film Festival, organizers said on Sunday. The winners were selected from a record number of entries this year by a panel of industry jurors. The following winners were selected by category: Narrative Feature-”Sparrows Dance,” writer/director Noah Buschel Documentary Feature-”Informant,” director Jamie Meltzer Narrative Short-”Asad,” writer/director Bryan Buckley Narrative Student Short-”Hatch,” writer/director Christoph Kuschnig, writer Karl Goldblat Animated Short-”Head Over Heels,” writer/director Timothy Reckart Documentary Short-”See the Dirt,” directors Chelsea Hernandez and Erik Mauck Young Filmmakers Competition-”Crumbs,” director Nicco Vasquez, writer Keith Limon The festival is recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the winning film in the Animated Short and Narrative Short categories are eligible to be nominated for an Academy Award. —Reuters


part of one such group. He said that only boys who could sing and were aged between 14-18 were chosen, often bought or recruited from their poor parents for a yearly or multi-year contract. “The money lured many poor families,” he said. “I saw how Ghetus were courted by the rich. There was a time when the flutes used by Ghetus were auctioned off with dozens ready to pay as much as they could.” “Even the pillows they used sold in auction,” he said. Bayati, who wrote a song for Ahmed’s film, said some young Ghetus became romantically attached to their male hosts. Such relationships would be seen as exploitative and criminal across much of the world today. “There was competition among the rich people to keep the Ghetus with them,” he said. “They would have sex and nobody would bother. There was no protest from the Muslim clergy. Their (the clergy’s) gaining of strength is a relatively new thing,” he said. Homosexual acts are banned by law dating back to 19th century when the country was part of British India and any “unusual carnal intercourse” can still land a person to jail for life. The age of marriage has increased in the last two decades, espe-

cially among the educated, but many underage weddings still occur in defiance of the legal minimum of 18-years-old. Film critic Ahmad Mazhar believes that the movie only got made-and escaped the censor’s cuts-due to Humayun Ahmed’s fame and reputation. “The board did not cut a single scene, which is remarkable given its history of censoring even harmless films,” Mazhar told AFP. “The strange thing was that this practice was exclusively confined among the rich Bengali Muslims. Their wives had no choice but to endure the pain in silence. “Had Ahmed not made this film, we might never know about Ghetu songs and how they originated centuries ago. It was a hugely popular music and the society at that time accepted both the music and sexuality without any qualms.”“Ghetuputra Komola”, which has had a limited release in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, was last month selected as the country’s entry for the chance to compete in the best foreign film category at next year’s Oscars. —AFP

‘Paranormal Activity 4’ tops N America box office orror flick “Paranormal Activity 4” opened atop the North American box office this weekend, while political thriller “Argo” held onto second place, industry estimates showed Sunday. The fourth installment in the spooky found-footage franchise raked in $30.2 million over the weekend, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations. Ben Affleck’s “Argo,” which earned $16.6 million, tells the true story of how a CIA agent managed to rescue six Americans who had escaped the embassy in Tehran in 1979 and taken shelter at the Canadian ambassador’s residence. Animated comedy “Hotel Transylvania,” in which monsters become Dracula’s guests, moved up


to third place, with $13.5 million in ticket sales, pushing last week’s top earner, “Taken 2,” all the way down to

the number four spot. “Taken 2,” Liam Neeson’s return as ex-CIA agent Bryan Mills, took in just $13.4 million in its third weekend. “Alex Cross,” starring Tyler Perry as the popular James

Patterson detective character, debuted in fifth place with $11.7 million in ticket sales. Another horror flick, “Sinister,” dropped to sixth place, taking in $9 million. “Here Comes the Boom,” a comedy starring Kevin James as a high school teacher who looks to become a mixed martial arts fighter to raise money for his school, was right behind with $8.5 million. In eighth place was “Pitch Perfect,” a musical-comedy about a cappella singing groups, which earned $7 million. Rounding out the top ten were “Frankenweenie,” Tim Burton’s latest effort, with $4.4 million, and “Looper,” a time travel mob movie starring Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, which earned $4.2 million. —AFP


lifestyle T r a v e l

By Christopher Reynolds


o meet Gilbert Stuart’s “George Washington,” Norman Rockwell’s “Rosie the Riveter,” Andy Warhol’s “Dolly Parton” and hundreds of other artworks less famous and more subtle, first fly to XNA. That’s right, Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport. Then drive 20 miles north, through farmland, forest and suburbs, to the home of the planet’s largest retailer. That’s right, Bentonville. On Central Avenue, if it’s autumn, you’ll probably roll past 100-year-old houses under a dense canopy of fall colors. In the downtown square, you’ll pass the storefront where Sam Walton’s Wal-Mart empire was hatched as a five-and-dime in 1950.

The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art opened in late 2011.

Sam Walton started Walton’s 5 & 10 in this storefront in Bentonville, Arkansas, in 1950 which led to Walmart.

Then the road dips into a woodsy ravine and a strange skeletal tree of gleaming silver rises from the grass. It’s a sculpture by Roxy Paine, announcing your arrival at the shimmering, occasionally perplexing Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Crystal Bridges, approaching its first birthday Nov 11, is this country’s wealthiest, most ambitious new art museum. Thanks to its arrival, a visitor to northwestern Arkansas now finds a fascinating jumble of heartland scenery, small-town sensibility, global commerce and American art, along with a measure of irony. After raising big-box stores around the world-and being blamed by many for the decline of Main Street commerce across America-Wal-Mart and its founding family have relaunched their hometown’s downtown. You might not guess this from the Wal-Mart home office on Southwest 8th Street, which shows all the ostentation and

assertiveness of a suburban DMV office. But at least seven restaurants and a handful of food trucks have opened around the city’s central square in the last two years, and last year WalMart spiffed up its visitor center here. An ambitiously artsy lodging, the 21c Museum Hotel, is due to open early next year. At the recently expanded Phat Tire Bike Shop in the old Hotel Massey building, you can rent a hybrid bike for two hours for $18. “You’ve got a little pond, that being Bentonville, that already has a giant alligator lurking in it, that being Wal-Mart,” says Dayton Castleman, an artist, educator and bicycle shop salesman who moved here from Chicago during the summer. “And the museum is like dropping a 4-ton boulder in the middle of that pond. Kaboom! “I think people are going to be studying what happens in Bentonville right now for years to come.” I started with the downtown square: stately courthouse, immaculate flowering plants and a statue honoring James H. Berry, a Confederate officer who became Arkansas’ governor

in the 1880s. On Saturdays, there’s a farmers market, and on some Friday nights, there are acoustic jam sessions. Not long ago, Crystal Bridges museum director Don Bacigalupi likes to recall, his 6-year-old son pulled out his violin and joined the jammers. “It’s an amazing experience,” Bacigalupi told me, “to be part of that indigenous culture even as all of this new culture is arriving.” Good food too. I had excellent organic greens and ravioli at Tavola Trattoria; good guajillo salmon salad at Table Mesa Bistro; a restorative cup of iced coffee at the Pressroom; and a tangy BLT tartine (applewood-smoked pork belly with tomato chutney and arugula) at Tusk & Trotter. None of those restaurants existed five years ago. The lodging options aren’t as varied, so far-too many chain hotels, not enough independents. But I liked the owners’ personal touches at the Laughlin House (opened 2011), a fourroom bed-and-breakfast in an 1890s Victorian cottage a short walk from the square and Crystal Bridges. I also browsed the gallery space that the 104-room 21c Museum Hotel has set up as its advance office. (Another strong option to consider: the historic Inn at Carnall Hall, a former women’s dormitory on the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville, about 30 miles south.) The Wal-Mart Visitor Center claimed me for about an hour with the authorized story of how founder Sam Walton conquered the retail world: After the five-and-dime in Bentonville came other stores. In 1962, he opened his first store with the Wal-Mart name in neighboring Rogers, Ark. In 1970, the company went public. In 1980, the company hit $1 billion in sales in a year. In 1993, it hit $1 billion in sales in a week. And now? More than $1 billion a day in net sales, with 2.2 million workers in 27 countries. Once you venture beyond the square, it becomes clear that Bentonville is no sleepy Southern hamlet from Central Casting. It’s bigger than that (about 36,000 residents), having tripled its population since 1990. When you add neighboring areas, including Rogers (which has its own historic district), Fayetteville and Springdale, you have a metropolitan area of more than 460,000 residents. It’s also whiter than I expected. In a state that’s about 16 percent black, the US Census Bureau estimates that Benton County is just 1.9 percent African American. (For Beverly Hills, the number is 2.2 percent.) Yet Bentonville is increasingly worldly, thanks to Latino immigrants and the international corps of vendor representatives. As Emmanuel Gardinier, general manager of the 21c Museum Hotel, likes to say (in his native French accent), “Bentonville is an international metropolis disguised as Mayberry.” It’s less than a mile from the square to Crystal Bridges, which is surrounded by 120 carefully landscaped acres and several walking and biking trails. Alice Walton, the Texas-based daughter of Sam Walton, founded it in 2005, spent untold millions on the building (the museum won’t release a number) and millions more on the art. In the run-up to the Crystal Bridges opening last year, the Walton Family Foundation contributed $800 million. Wal-Mart contributed $20 million and is credited as the sponsor of free general admission for all. Of course, not everyone was grateful. Jeffrey Goldberg, writing for the Bloomberg View website, called the whole undertaking “a moral tragedy” and “a compelling symbol of the chasm between the richest Americans and everyone else.” Meanwhile, Abigail R. Esman, writing on, asserted that “Ms. Walton has done everything absolutely right” amid “the whining of the so-called 99 percent.” The property was designed by Moshe Safdie, the star architect who also worked on the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, and features a chain of buildings with glass walls and organic curves, sitting atop two spring-fed ponds. There are several outdoor artworks, most notably a James Turrell installation aimed at the sky and a sculptural version of Robert Indiana’s much-reproduced “LOVE” design. Circling the complex, I shared trails with young mothers, prams, speeding cyclists, panting joggers and a family of deer. Inside, Crystal Bridges covers five centuries with a mostly chronological layout, so you begin with Stuart’s “George Washington” in the colonial galleries. You wind up with contemporary works such as Nick Cave’s playful “Soundsuit” sculpture and an oversized, eerily detailed 2010 bust by Evan Penny titled “Old Self: Portrait of the Artist as He Will (Not) Be.” Among the 450 or so works in between, you find a collection that hits just about every note, from the populist touch of Warhol’s “Dolly Parton” to the implicit racial politics of Kerry James Marshall’s painting “Our Town.” The challenge in building and showing off the collection, Bacigalupi said, is establishing a reputation as a serious institution while welcoming newcomers who’ve never stepped into a museum. Whether it’s management training or native Arkansan hospitality, I don’t know, but I encountered several disarmingly friendly museum guards and shop clerks at Crystal Bridges. In a largely admiring review in the New York Times last year, art critic Roberta Smith said the museum “could become a place of pilgrimage for art lovers from around the world.” Smith’s only complaints about the collection were the absence of pre-1900 folk art and the handful of big-name artists, including Jackson Pollock, who are represented now by minor paintings that don’t match their mature work. But with $325 million earmarked for art acquisitions, Crystal Bridges is so well poised to grow that it makes people nervous. Just last week, the museum was to unveil a newly acquired Mark Rothko. Some New Yorkers are still smarting over Crystal Bridges’ 2005 purchase of the New York Public Library’s Asher B. Durand painting “Kindred Spirits” for a reported $35 million. And it took a long court battle for the museum to buy a halfinterest in Fisk University’s coveted Stieglitz Collection. Opponents didn’t want the works to leave Fisk in Nashville, but under the deal, the 101 works can now alternate between the institutions, giving Crystal Bridges a chance to display major works such as Georgia O’Keeffe’s iconic painting of Manhattan’s Radiator Building at night. Anyway, it’s easy and rewarding to spend hours with the art at Crystal Bridges. My only quibble is that Safdie was so eager to dazzle us with the play of sunlight bouncing off the ponds that it can distract from the art itself. Also, all those glass walls have surely reduced the amount of space in which light-sensitive artworks can be placed. Basically, my indoors experience had a little too much outdoors in it. That said, my outdoors experience the next day was fun. I

zipped into the Ozarks on eastbound Highway 62, passing Pea Ridge National Military Park (where North beat South in a crucial Civil War battle) and the Anglers Grill at Beaver Lake (where the all-you-can-eat catfish special is $17.95). On the outskirts of Eureka Springs, I stopped at Thorncrown Chapel, a 48-foot-tall glass-walled structure by Arkansas architect E. Fay Jones that often turns up on architects’ lists of America’s “best” buildings. I also had a quick look at Eureka Springs, a 19th century resort town that has evolved into a hippie-artsy tourist haven of shops and galleries. And in nearby Fayetteville, I walked the University of Arkansas campus, the Dickson Street night life district and the town’s downtown square, whose Saturday farmers market draws legions and has been honored by the American Farmland Trust.

The iconic Flatiron Flats building houses a hotel and shops in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. —MCT photos

Given another day, I’d have headed for the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History in Springdale. It’s too soon to say how much Crystal Bridges is going to change northwestern Arkansas, but the early numbers are interesting. Museum leaders, who forecast 300,000 visitors in its first year, got about 500,000 in the first nine months. About a quarter of them came from more than 50 miles away, like me. So the pilgrims are coming, but will they multiply or dwindle as novelty fades? I was thinking about this on my last afternoon in Bentonville. I had headed back to the museum entrance to have another look at that gleaming silver tree. I was tiptoeing across the flawless lawn, camera in hand, in search of the ideal angle, when I heard a museum guard says, “Excuse me, sir.” Oh, well, I thought. I tried. And now I’ll be scolded and threatened with banishment, as the guides do every time I’m caught standing in the wrong place at the Norton Simon in Pasadena. “Sir,” the guard continued, “are you the artist?” Then he grinned. “Because I’ve heard the artist comes around to photograph the tree. And I didn’t want to miss him.” I hated to disappoint the guard. But more and more, I’m liking this idea of putting big museums in not-so-big cities. — MCT

Brick storefronts line the streets in Bentonville.

The Phat Tire bike shop attracts cyclists in Bentonville.

The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art .


lifestyle F a s h i o n

Models display creations by Russian designer Yegor Zaitsev during the Russian Fashion Week in Moscow. — AFP photos


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Bangladesh film tackles past culture of underage sex


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In this photograph taken on September 27, 2012, Indian Veteran Bollywood filmmaker, director, screenwriter and producer Yash Raj Chopra celebrates his 81st birthday at a film promotion in Mumbai. —AFP

Indian Bollywood film actor Sonu Sood


Indian Bollywood film actress Vidya Balan.


he National Geographic Society is selling parts of its massive archive of world exploration for the first time, offering 240 pieces spanning from the late 1800s to the present at an auction expected to bring in about $3 million. National Geographic has chronicled scientific expeditions, explorations, and archaeology, wildlife and world cultures for more than 100 years, amassing a collection of 11.5 million photos and original illustrations. Among the items to be sold at Christie’s in December are some of National Geographic’s most indelible photographs, including that of an Afghan girl during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, a portrait of Admiral Robert Peary at his 1908 expedition to the North Pole, a roaring lion in South

ributes poured in yesterday for the renowned Indian filmmaker Yash Chopra, dubbed Bollywood’s “king of romance”, who died in Mumbai aged 80 after suffering from dengue fever. With Chopra’s cremation due later in the day, newspapers and TV channels dedicated coverage to the Hindi cinema legend who made his name over several decades of directing, producing and screen-writing. The Mumbai Mirror and Mid Day tabloids published full front-page tributes to Chopra, who died on Sunday, while the Indian Express remembered “The Maker of Dreams”, describing him as “one of Bollywood’s most successful enterprises”. Some of the industry’s biggest names took to Twitter to remember Chopra, including superstar actor Amitabh Bachchan, who recently turned 70. “Yash Chopra - 44 years of association ... of creativity, friendship, fun and family ties,” wrote Bachchan, who starred in some of Chopra’s biggest hits including “Deewar” (The Wall), “Kabhi Kabhie” (Sometimes) and “Silsila”. Famous playback singer Asha Bhosle, whose daughter committed suicide earlier this month, described Chopra as a family member. “Just as I was getting over the grief of my daughter, my brother Yash Chopra... has left me,” she wrote. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was quick to honour the late director on Sunday night, describing him as “an icon of Indian cinema” who would be remembered by millions. “He entertained many generations with his rare creativity,” Singh said. “He had an aesthetic talent to make his films look larger than life. His flourish to essay romance and social drama was unmatched.” Chopra worked until the final months of his life and his last film “Jab Tak Hai Jaan” (As Long As I Am Alive), featuring A-listers Shah Rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif, will be released on November 13. Chopra told Khan in a televised

Indian Bollywood film actress Sarika interview to mark his 80th birthday in September that he was retiring. He was admitted to Lilavati hospital in Mumbai on October 13 after being diagnosed with dengue-a common mosquito-borne viral infection for which there is no cure, and which is fatal in a small number of cases. His funeral took place in Mumbai at 3:00 pm (0930 GMT) yesterday. — AFP

hailand is not an easy country in which to be vegetarian. But once a year the country’s avid meat eaters lay down their spicy meat stir-fries in favour of vegetables and meat substitutes. During the annual ten-day “Tesagin Kin Pak” vegetarian festival, yellow flags representing Buddhism and good moral conduct flutter in the wind above entire neighborhoods, while tiny mobile street carts with a lone yellow flag advertise vegetarian-friendly food. Glistening tofu, noodles with bean sprouts, desserts made with sesame and ginger and steaming hot vegetable broths abound. “I give up meat to cleanse the spirit so that my family will prosper,” said Ploy Sudham, who owns an art gallery on the outskirts of Bangkok’s Chinatown. Every year during the ninth Chinese lunar month, the country’s Thai-Chinese community - often third or fourth generation Chinese who grew up in Thailand but are brought up with Chinese customs - observe ten days of abstinence. Eating meat, having sex, drinking alcohol and other habits thought to be vices and pollutants of the body and mind are cut out entirely by the truly devoted, who also wear only white. The festival began over 150 years ago on the popular tourist island of Phuket, some 840 km (521 miles) south of Bangkok. Legend goes that a wandering Chinese opera troupe fell ill with malaria while performing on the island but after sticking to a strict vegetarian diet and performing rituals to two Emperor Gods the troupe made a full recovery. Locals, impressed by what they took to be a miracle, began eating a strict vegan or vegetarian diet once a year. Its sister festival in Bangkok’s Chinatown or “Yaowarat,” one of the earliest Chinese communities in Thailand, is equally deserving of a visit. The crowded roads and winding alleys are pure chaos with their honking taxis and a handful of aggressive street hawkers. But during the festival, vegetable mania takes hold and reaches almost comic levels. “Are you sure that’s vegetarian?” asked Chanun Marukpitak, 34, a Bangkok office worker who eyes a stall of roast peanuts. As night falls, neon signs light up. Crowds gather to watch vendors expertly throw chilli, basil and vegetables into oily woks. Sitting quietly in the corner is Pawika Pengnineht, 75, great-grandmother to a large brood. Four generations of her family have sold food and drinks in Chinatown but that will end with her great-grandchildren, who favor office jobs. “White symbolizes purity and by giving up animal products, which means killing living beings, we aim to start a clean slate once a year,” Pawika said.—Reuters

Africa and the face of a Papua New Guinea aborigine. Paintings and illustrations include NC Wyeth’s historical scene of sword-fighting pirates, Charles Bittinger’s view of Earth as seen from the moon and Charles Knight’s depictions of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals. They are being auctioned “to celebrate our legacy ... and to give people a chance to buy a little part of this great institution’s history,” said Maura Mulvihill, senior vice president of National Geographic’s image and video archives. Proceeds from the Dec. 6 auction, just weeks before National Geographic’s 125th anniversary, will go for the promotion and preservation of the archive and “the nurturing of young photographers, artists and explorers ... who

are the future of the organization,” Mulvihill said. National Geographic sponsors and funds scientific research and exploration through its official journal, National Geographic Magazine, which reaches 8.8 million people worldwide in 36 countries and in 27 languages. The society reaches millions more through its National Geographic Channel, books and other sources. While National Geographic is known today for its photography, early magazines were filled with artwork. Among the fine art being offered is an oil painting by Tom Lovell of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Civil War surrender at Appomattox. It’s expected to fetch $20,000 to $30,000. Steve McCurry’s photograph of the Afghan girl carries an $8,000 to $12,000 pre-

sale estimate. McCurry has made a special print of the image for the sale, and part of the proceeds from it will be donated to the Afghan Girls’ Fund. The sale also contains some images that have never been published, including a selection from Herbert Ponting, who produced some of the most enduring images of the Antarctic. — AP

In this 1998 photo provided by National Geographic via Christie’s Auction House, Huli Tribesman, in Papua New Guinea are shown. — AP photos

In this 1969 image provided by National Geographic via Christie’s Auction House, an illustration entitled; ‘A Blue Globe Hanging in Space - The Earth As Seen From The Moon,’ by Charles Bittinger is shown.

This 1908 photo made by an unidentified photographer and provided by National Geographic via Christie’s Auction House, is a portrait of Arctic explorer Adm. Robert E. Peary in Cape Sheridan, Canada.

23rd Oct  

Kuwait Times

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