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MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

Blood flows in Syria despite UN presence

150 FILS NO: 15427 40 PAGES

Nadal beats Djokovic to win Monte Carlo title

Wealthy Iranians spur luxury car boom

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www.kuwaittimes.net

JAMADI ALTHANI 2, 1433 AH

Everton draw stuns United as title race stays alive

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Cabinet backs new law to privatise Kuwait Airways Bedoon roadmap unveiled • Women closer to becoming attorneys

Max 35º Min 18º High Tide 01:29 & 12:29 Low Tide 06:30 & 19:16

By B Izzak and Agencies conspiracy theories

!!!!!!!!!! By Badrya Darwish

badrya_d@kuwaittimes.net

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read about the pension scheme which the UAE is trying to launch. According to the news, they are still studying it and by the end of the year there will be a clearer concept of what the scheme is exactly and how it would work. The idea is good. Actually, it is not only good, it is excellent if it is done in the right way. It is not just flash news. When starting a pension scheme, you have to ask a hundred questions especially if you are doing it for expats. First, if the country that is implementing a pension plan is going to benefit. Those people who put their money in the country for their pension are investing locally. Second, what is such a scheme going to offer? A pension scheme for a citizen, I am sure, is far different than a pension scheme for an expat who will work for years and will one day pack and leave. Will that pension scheme cover him back home or only in the country he is working in? Once an expat finishes work at a certain age, he will quit his job, be it in the public or private sector. Will an expat be allowed to stay in the UAE and get the monthly allowance from his pension scheme? Is that allowance going to be enough for him to rent a flat and cover all his expenses. Will he be allowed permanent residency on this basis or could he take this pension and look for a kafeel (sponsor)? Of course, there won’t be any guarantor free. Is the scheme going to include healthcare? This is important especially for people who are older. I don’t have halfway solutions. Gulf states, including Kuwait, should look seriously at the expat problem. I suggested before and I am repeating my advice - give a pension scheme and permanent residence to some expats because expats do not enjoy many privileges that citizens enjoy, such as free housing, free education and food subsidies, plus higher salaries for the same job that an expat is doing. I hope Kuwait comes up with an idea of a pension plan for expats in Kuwait, plus permanent residency for those who have worked in the country for over 20 years. I read that Fadhalah, the man behind the agency in charge of those that are called “illegal residents”, announced that the government is going to give nationality to those who were counted in the 1965 census and to children of some Kuwaiti widows and divorcees married to non-Kuwaitis. I know people who have been here since 1950 and they still renew their residencies. Is he going to look at the files of these people or only a few people who have wasta and are related to some tribes and the tribes demand they be naturalized? What about the others from different nationalities who are not supported by a tribe which is fighting for their case?!!!

Red paint on a campaign poster of France’s incumbent President and UMP candidate Nicolas Sarkozy appears to give him a bloody nose outside a polling station yesterday in Henin-Beaumont in northern France. (Inset) Socialist Party candidate Francois Hollande waves while leaving local party headquarters in Tulle in central France after voting. — AFP/AP

Hollande beats Sarko, both head for runoff Far-right’s Le Pen scores record success PARIS: Socialist champion Francois Hollande stamped his authority on the French presidential race yesterday, winning the first round of polling and setting up a May 6 runoff with incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy. Hollande won between

French president to lose a first round-vote in the history of the Fifth Republic, which came into being in 1958. Official results were not to be made available until polls closed in Continued on Page 15

Bahrain F1 winds up amid unrest MANAMA: Bahrain’s controversial Grand Prix race went off without incident yesterday after a week of angry protests away from the F1 desert circuit that put the non-sporting focus on reform demands in the Gulf state. King Hamad was among 10,500 spectators on the main grandstand and a smaller audience watched from other platforms as double world champion 24-year-old Sebastian Vettel of Germany led from start to finish. The country’s Shiite opposition had called for the race, held behind layers of security at a time of soaring tensions in the Sunni-ruled kingdom with a Shiite majority, to be called off. The most radical elements of the opposition, the February 14 Youth Movement, used text messaging and social networks to urge protesters to hold fresh demonstrations to coincide with the race. Right after the race, protesters burnt tyres on the main road linking the capital to the Sakhir race track, witnesses said, as security forces stopped dozens of others from marching towards the now demolished Pearl Square in central Manama. Earlier, activists used burning tyres and garbage to try to block roads to the circuit. An AFP photographer said the route, though jam-packed with traffic, was later cleared. Continued on Page 15

Iran recovers data from US spy drone TEHRAN: An Iranian military commander yesterday said the Islamic republic is building a copy of a US spy drone captured in Dec 2011 and revealed what he said were “codes” gleaned from the unmanned aircraft. “I am giving you four codes so the Americans understand just how far we have gone in penetrating the drone’s secrets,” General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the Revolutionary Guards’ aerospace division, told state television. “In October 2010, the aircraft was sent to California for some technical issues, where it was repaired and after flight tests, it was taken to Kandahar (in Afghanistan) in November 2010, when a series of technical problems still prevailed,” he said. “In December 2010, it was sent to an airport near Los Angeles for repair of its equipment and sensors, and

28 and 30 percent of the vote in the first round, to Sarkozy’s 24 to 27.5, according to estimates compiled from ballot samples by several polling agencies and obtained by AFP from multiple sources. That made Sarkozy the only incumbent

KUWAIT: The Cabinet approved an amended draft law yesterday paving the way for the privatisation of Kuwait Airways within three years, state-run news agency KUNA reported, after restructuring at the troubled carrier delayed the original plan. The National Assembly first approved a plan to privatise the loss-making Kuwait Airways Corp (KAC) in 2008, but the process has been repeatedly held up. Under the new draft law, which still needs to be approved by the Assembly, the government still plans to offer a 35 percent stake in the airline to companies on the country’s stock exchange and to “specialised” local or international firms. This auction should happen within the next three years, Communications Minister Salem Al-Athaina said. The stake would go to the highest bidder and the shares would not be allowed to be traded for three years. The carrier will change its name to Kuwait Airways Company and be a shareholding firm “which would consequently own all assets and properties of KAC”, KUNA said. The government will retain a 20 percent stake, as previously planned, while 5 percent will be distributed to KAC employees “equally and for free”. A further 40 percent will be allotted in the same way to citizens registered with the Public Authority for Civil Information, the Kuwaiti body that issues civil identity cards. They would not be allowed to trade the shares for one year. The original plan had proposed selling a 40 percent stake to the public. It had also envisioned a price of around $282 million for the 35 percent stake offered to a long-term investor, seen by some analysts as too high. KAC employees who did not want to work for the new company or be reassigned to the government would be offered a three-year salary pay-off, KUNA said. Meanwhile, the head of the government agency on stateless people or bedoons Saleh Al-Fadhalah yesterday explained to the Assembly’s interior and defense committee the agency’s “roadmap” to resolve the decades-old problem of bedoons. Fadhalah described the meeting as successful, adding that he understands that members of the committee have appreciated his plan which envisages to grant Kuwaiti citizenship to more than 30,000 bedoons who or their forefathers were counted in the 1965 census. Continued on Page 15

flight tests. The drone was then sent back to Kandahar,” he said. Hajizadeh claimed that the drone flew over Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan two weeks before the Al-Qaeda leader was killed there in May 2011 by US Navy SEALs. Hajizadeh did not give further details, saying: “This aircraft is a national treasure for us, and I cannot divulge information about it.” But he added Iran has “started producing a copy of the RQ-170 drone,” stressing it used the same US technology in stealth fighters and bombers. Influential US Senator Joe Lieberman swiftly dismissed the general’s remarks as “Iranian bluster”. “There is some history here of Iranian bluster particularly now when they’re on the Continued on Page 15

Inflation at 4-mth high DUBAI: Kuwait’s annual inflation edged up to a fourmonth high of 4.1 percent in March as food costs surged in their fastest monthly pace in over a year, data showed yesterday, fuelled by more expensive food globally and domestic strikes. The oil exporter had seen inflation easing from May’s peak of 5.4 percent in 2011 but consumer price growth picked up speed again in January, partly due the food item. Prices in the OPEC member’s $171 billion economy grew 0.8 percent month-on-month in March, a sixmonth high, up from a 0.2 percent rise in February, data from the Central Statistics Office showed. “We had expected to see a rise in prices, partly related to global food price increases, but mostly as a result of domestic strikes including of customs workers,” said Monica Malik, chief economist at EFGHermes in Dubai. “These strikes pushed up prices of imported goods, including food.” Around 3,000 Kuwaiti customs workers went on a weeklong strike Continued on Page 15

SAKHIR, Bahrain: A helicopter hovers overhead as McLaren Mercedes’ British driver Jenson Button drives yesterday at the Bahrain international circuit during the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix. — AFP (See Page 18)

Egypt scraps gas deal with Israel CAIRO: Egypt has scrapped a 2005 gas export deal with Israel, which relies on Egyptian natural gas for 40 percent of its supplies to produce electricity, the chairman of a government holding firm said yesterday. The accord was “annulled on Thursday with the East Mediterranean Gas Co (EMG) which exports gas to Israel because the company failed to respect conditions stipulated in the contract,” Mohamed Shoeib told AFP. He said Israel has not paid for its gas in four months. Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor denied that. Israel Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said the unilateral Egyptian announcement was of “great concern” politically and economically. “This is a dangerous precedent that overshadows the peace agreements and the

peaceful atmosphere between Israel and Egypt,” he said in a statement. The sale of gas to Israel, which signed a peace treaty with Egypt in 1979, has always been controversial in the Arab world’s most populous country. A pipeline in the Sinai Peninsula that has been used to supply Egyptian gas to Israel and Jordan was hit by a bomb blast on April 9, in the 14th such attack since the uprising which toppled president Hosni Mubarak in Feb 2011. Egypt has been gripped by security-related problems since the revolt. Gas deliveries to Israel, agreed under Mubarak, have come under heavy criticism in Egypt. Israel generates 40 percent of its electricity using natural gas, and Egypt provides 43 percent of its gas supplies. — Agencies


MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

LOCAL

Police to monitor women at cafés KUWAIT: A police campaign to detect “violations and immoral behavior ” around Kuwait, that may occur at public cafés open to women, will start soon, says a report quoting a security source with knowledge of the issue. “The Criminal Investigations General Department prepared a security plan to maintain control in cafés for women in all six governorates”, the source said, insisting that the campaign will only cover places “suspected to be hosting illegal activities”. The source said the coffee places either exclusively serve female visitors or customers of both genders, as opposed to cafés whose customers are only men. “There is information about cafés containing cabins where immoral activities

could be practiced”, said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of not being authorized to reveal the news before it is officially announced by the Ministry of Interior. The campaign will start in Jahra and Ahmadi before moving to Hawally, Farwaniya and Mubarak Al-Kabeer respectively. The source said the campaigns will attempt to detect violations such as “cafés which offer dating services or facilitate other negative practices”. The decision to go ahead with the campaign was made after “numerous complaints made about cafés for women, the source said, adding that police possess “almost certain information about illegal activities taking place in closed cabins inside some cafés”. —Al-Rai

KUWAIT: Some photographs of the en.v ‘Reuse 5.0’ exhibition held at the Australian College of Kuwait recently. —Photos by Joseph Shagra

Zahed Sultan, en.v CEO, Managing Partner

‘Desalinated water could be declared illegal in Kuwait’ en.v expo, performances, workshops conclude By Ben Garcia

KUWAIT: Under the patronage of Professor Qasim Afif, Acting Dean of the Girls University College at Kuwait University, the environmental technology department will celebrate International Earth Day which is concerned with local and international environmental issues. Dr Mishari Al-Harbi, Head of Environmental Technology at the College, said the department adopted the international slogan ‘Mobilize the Earth’, which aims at activating environmental issues that affect and are affected by all that occurs on planet earth. Dr Abdallah Al-Sanad said the department holds an Earth Day exhibition to acquaint people with projects and environmental activities that are held in the State of Kuwait.

News

in brief

Kuwait to naturalize 3,000 bedoons KUWAIT: Chairman of the Central Agency for Addressing the Status of Illegal Residents Saleh AlFadhala said here yesterday the agency has summoned 3,000 illegal residents (bedoons), who belong to the 1965 census, to inform them that their files would be taken to the cabinet as a prelude to naturalizing them. Speaking to reporters following a parliamentary meeting, he voiced hope that this group of illegal residents would be given Kuwaiti nationality as soon as possible. Meanwhile, he announced that a group of illegal residents, who belong to the 1965 census and are sons of Kuwaiti widows or divorcees, had been recently naturalized. Tunisian President in Kuwait KUWAIT: The President of Tunisia, Al-Moncef AlMarzouki, is expected to arrive in Kuwait today along with an accompanying delegation for an official two-day visit. The President and the Tunisian officials are to hold official talks with His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. Senior officials appointment KUWAIT: Ministerial sources revealed that the Cabinet is looking at a full and comprehensive project to employ and renew civil servants in leading posts. Sources at Civil Service Commission said AbdulAziz Al-Zaben, Commission Chairman, has proposed the project to the council of ministers. It includes essential amendments on appointing leading figures from Assistant Undersecretaries and Undersecretaries, in addition to conditions and regulations for renewing their posts. The period will not be open, as now, and there will be a limited time for renewal. Sources said that the Government wants the amendments to the current civil service law, instead of the laws proposed by some MPs. SCB violations KUWAIT: Salah Al-Mudhaf, Director General of the Savings and Credits Bank, asked the prosecutor general to investigate the accusations against him by Housing Minister, Shuaib Al-Muwaizri. Al-Mudhaf said in a letter that the four accusations by Al-Muwaizri represent crimes of public fund violations and that the public prosecution department must investigate them and send all those involved to court.

KUWAIT: Desalinated water ‘may soon be declared illegal’ in Kuwait, said an eco-ambassador. Speaking with the Kuwait Times during the ‘Reuse 5.0’ exhibition cum workshop and cultural presentation organized by en.v, Joy Weir, a teacher at the Universal American School (UAS) said people in Kuwait must know the importance of water conservation. “ We are here to create awareness, not necessarily to sell some recycled products but to educate our visitors,” she said. Weir was at ‘Reuse 5.0’ venue to promote water conser vation. “Water is our primary need. We cannot live without water. But unfortunately, people do not know how to conserve it. In the near future, desalinated water may be declared illegal. I think it’s possible because they (authorities) have learnt that with this process is affecting our environment because when you clean the water with salt, it goes back to the ocean and kills marine life,” she noted. UAS is just one of many private schools which participated in the five-day event. “This is a serious issue that we need to consider and what we are promoting is a very simple solution to conserve water and help preserve the environment,” she noted. According to Weir, who was recently appointed UAS eco-ambassador, Kuwait can conserve water using simple methods. “Closing the faucet while brushing teeth can help water conservation tremendously. At least two to three liters of water are wasted when the

‘Build rehab centers for transgender individuals’ KUWAIT: Kuwait should set up rehabilitation centers to treat cases of gender identity disorder, helping prevent cross-dressers and transgendered people from being abused, a parliament member suggested. “The law that penalizes imitation of the opposite sex is being applied in an improper manner,” said MP Dr Adel Al-Damkhi, further explaining that those that flout the law “are often subjected to abuse during arrest, during investigations as well as during confinement when they are jailed with other inmates.” Instead, Al-Damkhi believes that sending ‘imitators’ directly to rehabilitation centers will help avoid abuse, as well as “receive treatment for their conditions.” Al-Damkhi, a member of the parliamentary committee that focuses on tackling alien practices in society, states that the rehabilitation centers could be open to receive all individuals suffering from the disorder, and not only those arrested for imitating the opposite sex. “Providing rehab to such patients has become a necessity,” the lawmaker said, adding that similar projects have been successfully adopted in Gulf and Arab countries . Meanwhile, Dr Al-Damkhi noted that the committee will discuss a proposal to establish a ‘center to treat negative practices and enforce values’ in society. — Al-Rai

Minister assures admissions to Kuwait University KUWAIT: Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr Nayef Al-Hajraf announced that he will create solutions which ensure that all high school graduates eligible to apply to the Kuwait University be admitted to the public university. Last year, thousands of high school graduates were failed to gain a seat at the overcrowded university in an incident that created public uproar and forced the Ministry of Higher Education to increase the number of students sent to study abroad on paid scholarships. Dr Al-Hajraf did not provide much details about his plans in a press statement made on Saturday, but stated that it will officially be announced in June; the month in which high school final exams are held. “Every student eligible to apply will find a seat at the KU,” he assured. — Al-Rai

faucet is left open while brushing teeth. Millions of gallons of water are wasted when you wash a car with a water hose, try using a bucket instead. Close the shower

Weir is also promoting a campaign banning the use of recycled plastic water bottles that have already ‘drowned’ the world. “There are billions of water bot-

when applying soaps and shampoos. When each of us does that, a lot of water is conserved,” she suggested.

tles already out there that is polluting the world. These water bottles are non-biodegradable. Get rid of water bottles, get rid of

plastic bags, they are unnecessary. Clean the ocean of all plastic garbage, we only eat these when the marine life eats them,” she added. Winfred L. Thompson, President, American University of Kuwait commented such exhibition is a perfect place to raising awareness on the importance of recycled products. “I have particular interest in recycling and reusing materials. I found them very creative and some of them are really unique stuff,” Thompson observed. ‘en.v Initiative’ an organization dedicated to social responsibility, concluded a fiveday exhibition, cultural show and workshop which brought together various environment friendly companies and institutions. The event named ‘Reuse 5.0’ was held at the Australian College of Kuwait from April 18 to 22. The ‘Reuse 5.0’ served as a venue for companies, non-profit organizations, professionals and aspiring talents to showcase their accomplishments. There were 150 registered participants. Several schools/universities participated in the five-day event including some American and Indian schools. On the first day of the event, various per formances by a dynamic mix of local and international artistes was held, open only to invitees. The second day of the event was equally entertaining with the performances by artistes like Zahed Sultan, the Managing Partner and CEO of en.v. Sultan also introduced some artistes from outside Kuwait likes Hassan Hajjaj, Tarek Atressi and Simo Lagnawi.


MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

local

Cabinet accused of hindering parliamentary investigations ‘Foreign Ministry told CB to avoid providing information’

KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah met at Seif Palace yesterday the Chairman of the Olympic Council of Asia Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah on the occasion of his recent election as president of the Association of the National Olympic Committees.

KISR evaluation to decide Grand Mosque fate KUWAIT: A senior Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research official believes that there are no indications that the Grand Mosque is ramshackle, according to a study currently underway to evaluate the state of the building. The Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs (MEIA) announced last week that the Grand Mosque will be closed until further notice for maintenance, pending the KISR evaluation. The study will probably decide the fate of the largest worship place in Kuwait. The evaluation started last month and lasts for nine months, which means that the mosque will still be closed at the star t of the Holy Month of Ramadan, in July. “ The MEIA decided to keep the Grand Mosque closed until the study is finished, to maintain the safety of

the worshippers”, explained Undersecretary Dr. Adel Al-Falah in a recent statement to the press. The MEIA became aware of the construction woes at the Grand Mosque last year, when small parts of the wall decorations fell apart. “Two main factors likely attributed to the wall cracking: the enormous constructions built around the mosque in recent years, as well as its location close to the sea, making the soil under it less sturdy ”, Al-Falah explained. The Undersecretary said the MEIA will prepare the largest mosque in each of the state’s six governorates to host prayers during Ramadan, as the Grand Mosque will be closed during the holy month for the first time in its 30-year history.

KUWAIT: The KCCI members, right wing, hosting trade mission from the Arab Portuguese Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Portugal seeks business partnerships with Kuwait By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: A trade mission from Portugal visited the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) yesterday. They presented their business proposals during a meeting attended by Emad Al-Zaid, Director of the Commercial Public Relations Department, and KCCI members. The Portuguese trade delegation was headed by Engineer Paulo Perloiro, Director of Foreign Relations at the Arab Portuguese Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In his remarks, Perloiro noted that Portugal is seeking partnership with businessmen here to improve their country’s trade relations with Kuwait. “We are pleased to be here in your beautiful country. We have brought several companies here from various sectors aimed at improving our trade ties,” he said. Commercial trade between Kuwait and Portugal is growing, according to Perloiro, but noted that Portugal is exporting more

to Kuwait than it is importing. “ We have about 120 Portuguese companies dealing directly with Kuwait. From the data, we found out that we only have around 15 Kuwaiti companies doing business with Portugal,” he added. “There is a huge potential ahead of us. We are here to use your chamber so that our two countries will continue to enhance our business relations and find more ways to improve our business relations,” he said. Emad Al-Zaid and the KCCI members welcomed the visitors and asked them to provide in writing the necessary rules on how to do business with Portugal, especially in terms of taxation and general trade rules. “We are keen on strengthening our trade ties. Kuwait is ready to do business with you because, as you know, most of our products are imported from other countries. We need to know more about your companies, your private sector. We want to know and listen to your side,” Al-Zaid added.

Parliament storming: MPs may not lose immunity By A Saleh KUWAIT: The parliamentar y majority bloc will discuss the issue of lifting immunity from MPs who stormed the National Assembly last November during a meeting with MP Shaye AlShaye yesterday. There are chances that the decision be reached to reject lifting of immunity, contrary to the decision taken by the legislation committee which approved the move. Immunity may not be lifted for several reasons, including fear of an out lash from the lawmakers.

Sources said, “What makes the majority agree to this step is the fact that the numbers are not in their favor. This is because the legislative committee members will vote toward lifting immunity to avoid political embarrassment.” The proposal of amending the election constituencies will be rejected by the government. The Cabinet does not prefer that it be approved if discussed in Parliament. It cannot be considered a priority. The government believes that a change in the election system may lead to endless constitutional amendments.

KUWAIT: A committee probing suspicious transfers, the former Prime M inister is accused of mak ing, believes that the Cabinet is hindering its work and is also claiming that Foreign Minister, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah, is providing misleading information, according to official statements made recently to the press. “After thirteen meetings and more than 50 hours of investigations, we find there are deliberate attempts by Government parties to hinder committee work either by refusing to cooperate with answers or provide necessar y documents”, said Panel Head MP Dr. Faisal Al-Mislem on Saturday. He said he has been assigned to obtain documents directly from

uncooperative state depar tments. MP Musallam Al-Barrak said he plans to file new questions to the Foreign Minister over the case in which former Premier, Sheik h Nasser AlMohammad Al-Sabah, is accused of transferring millions of dinars in public funds to private accounts overseas. The lawmaker said on Saturday that minister Al-Khalid provided incomplete answers to questions he previously made about the case, accusing him of “failing to provide data about transfers made in 2008, 2009, and 2010”. Al-Barrak said the Foreign Minister provided data for 100 out of 400 transactions in question, while his answers “prove that the transfers were made to

Al-Mohammad’s personal account, but do not clarify whether the funds were returned to the state’s treasury”. A meeting held on Saturday for a committee investigating suspected multimillion-dinar bank deposits in former MPs’ bank accounts was attended by representatives from the Central Bank as well as General Director of the Public Authority for Civil Information and the head of the real estate registration department in the Ministry of Justice. According to sources familiar with the meeting, Central Bank representatives said they received notice from the Foreign Ministry to avoid providing information that pertains to the ministry’s expenses.

Separately, a senior state official denied reports hinting that a Cabinet reshuffle is considered to be an option to defuse tensions with the Parliament majority, who have reservations on a number of ministers. The Cabinet believes that “the achievements made during its relatively short period are enough to mend the gaps with Parliament and pave the way for further cooperation”, said the source who preferred to keep his identity anonymous. Several MPs repor tedly showed interest in a recommendation made by MP Faisal AlYahya, who recently called for a series of constitutional amendments that endorse full democracy in Kuwait and adopt parliamentary rule system.

Kuwait renews efforts for national center for geographic information KUWAIT: Several state departments are currently seeking “common vision and recommendations” to submit a geographic data and information project to the Government, the Minister of Public Works said yesterday. Dr. Fadel Safar, also Minister of State for Development Affairs and Planning, said while attending a workshop held at the headquarters of the secretariat general of the Supreme Council of Planning and Development that ministries and other Government departments need the information for decision making. Officials and staff of over 30 Government departments are involved in the workshop, which is examining various proposals and views as a prelude to issue recommendations for the establishment of a common infrastruc-

ture for geographic information, Safar added. He mentioned a proposal to “place the project under the umbrella of a single Government department,” noting that efforts at this level had been exerted in the past by the national oil sector, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), the Ministry of State for Municipal Affairs and the Ministry of Public Works. These departments have exerted efforts to collect geographic information, but they need to be unified, coordinated and centralized for the sake of upgrading data and facilitating the supply of information to decision makers, the minister said. He noted that the State has been spending large sums to offer easy services for citizens. He urged the participants to reach a joint

perspective and common recommendations to launch the project of geographic data infrastructure, and submit the recommendations to the Cabinet. Dr. Jassem Al-Ali, a sociology professor, said Kuwait University proposed the establishment of a national center for geographic information in December 2002. The plan was approved by the Cabinet on 17 November, 2005 and the Ministry of Planning was tasked with supervising the body. Later, a special committee was formed to follow up on this initiative. However, its tasks were suspended when the Ministr y of Planning was dissolved. Kuwait was among the first to advance at this level, but it lagged behind in action and the UAE and Bahrain moved forward. —KUNA


MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

LOCAL

kuwait digest

In my view

Palestinian differences

Sudanese at war again

By Mohammed Al-Zedjali

T

he Palestinian cause is entering a critical stage in terms of the long history of the resistance by the Palestinian people who have exhibited an unfailing willpower to continue ahead with their resistance. When it comes to resistance, the Palestinians deserve to have their names included in the Guinness Book of World Records, thanks to their boundless and countless sacrifices, and their faith in their fair cause.

By Labeed Abdal

local@kuwaittimes.net

A

fter tension on the borders shared between Sudan and south Sudan escalated, just months of after the birth of the new capital Jobathey, both countries are on the brink of declaring war. It was a must to prevent a flare-up, after south Sudan began supporting militias and revolutionists against Sudan in the north, and when Sudan crossed the borders and marched into the south, covering about 17 kilometers, it violated air space, bombed oil and water wells . The United Nations and major countries world powers like the US, UK, China and Russia should pledge support and be willing to rebuild both impoverished countries. The ink on the pages of history that chronicle the sufferings of innocent men, women and children of vicious civil wars between the Arab and Non- Arab Sudanese is still wet. The wise and responsible members from both sides, members of the international community should urgently intervene and begin the reconciliation process. When the new country was formed last July 2011, the bloodshed had stopped for a while. Victims of genocide may have reached over one million in the Darfur conflict. For sure, we do not want to hear or see any of this anymore!

kuwait digest

Step up security measures By Abdallah Al-Najjar

I

called and reminded the Kuwait Fire Services Directorate (KFSD) on the necessity of establishing a department that falls under ‘fire force detectives,’ as is the case in many advanced countries like the US, Britain, France, China and Japan. This department should have been in existence years ago, as arson cases are increasingly being reported in companies, showrooms and homes. Workers in this department should be fire officers who pass special courses, (although many have graduated from the American universities during the eighties). It is not right to accord this responsibility to criminal detectives. Now, the tire fire case has been placed on their shoulders, despite the fact that it is the fire department’s responsibility to investigate.

In countries under constant threat like Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, we always find security posts erected in front of their airports to verify the identities of those heading towards it. This is a preventive measure, that we do not see in Kuwait, although it lies in a region where political upheavals are taking place. Any citizen from a neighboring country that hates us can place booby-trapped cars in front of the airport gate or at the bottom of the car parking. Worse still, a suicide bomber can enter restaurants and unleash destruction! The Interior Ministry should reserve a department for a forensic medical examiner in each governorate under the authority of the General Department of Criminal Evidence. This is so that each crime can be examined, fingerprints lifted and autopsies be performed, be it traffic accidents or felonies as fast as possible instead a two -three hour delay being set in! We realize the sincerity of workers, but we also forgive them for being late in arriving at the site because they have to check all crimes and traffic accidents. So, we think it will be apt to establish departments in six governorates. This is so that they can carry out jobs within a suitable time frame. In countries under constant threat like Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, we always find security posts erected in front of their airports to verify the identities of those heading towards it. This is a preventive measure, that we do not see in Kuwait, although it lies in a region where political upheavals are taking place. Any citizen from a neighboring country that hates us can place booby-trapped cars in front of the airport gate or at the bottom of the car parking. Worse still, a suicide bomber can enter restaurants and unleash destruction! A reader may think that I am exaggerating, but why don’t we take preventive measures? Many ask why extra staff from the traffic department, immigration and service centers be transferred to consulates located abroad. So, when one day, they become become senior officials, they will have had gained experience and knowledge. — Al-Watan

kuwait digest

Our dignity at stake By Dr Wael Al-Hasawi

D

uring a recent interview with Al-Rai T V, Badr AlSubaiie, CEO of the Kuwait Investment Authority spoke about an ongoing feud between him and MP Musallam Al-Barrak and explained why he failed to attend meetings held by parliamentary investigation committees. I am not going to argue with the validity of explanations AlSubaiie provided because I am not aware of any facts with which his words can be verified. But I agree with two arguments he mentioned. First, Al-Subaiie addressed MP Musallam Al-Barrak’s accusations of corruption, saying that if the lawmaker truly has evidence to prove him guilty as he says he does, then what is stopping him from taking legal action? Al-

Subaiie also noted that his dispute with Al-Barrak has been ongoing since 2007 over matters that do not concern with KIA’s work. I also agree with Al-Subaiie about the fact that Al-Barrak does not exercise the authority to demand that the KIA chief be suspended. Instead, his highest authority as head of a parliamentary investigation committee would be to provide an investigation report to the speaker. He will then call the Ministry of Finance to demand that Al-Subaiie be suspended if necessary. Something else I find perplexing is a request made by a committee investigating the multi-million dinar deposits case, to the Real Estate Registration Department in the Ministry of Justice. In their request, the panel has asked for full

information about real estate ownership related to lawmakers and ministers since 2009. Adel AlHuwaidi, Head of the Department that was reportedly fired by the minister after he refused to provide information considered classified. I do not know exactly what might be going on behind the scenes, but I am concerned that lawmakers will become too blinded by power so as to violate constitutional authorities and get personal disputes involved. I hope the government shows some kind of strength to withstand pressure from the Parliament. Transparency is required, but not at the expense of people’s dignity and their personal lives. Many prominent figures were subjected to baseless accusations during the previous Parliament. — Al-Rai

kuwait digest

Not individual action By Abdullatif Al-Duaij

I

t is a mistake to consider the recent incident, in which a man jailed for slandering the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) was stabbed, as being an individual attack. It also would be a mistake to say that the incident was a result of a crazy personal action of a man who Could not tell the difference between right or wrong. Some people might argue that the attack resulted from a direct or indirect instigation by those who called for retribution against the Prophet’s slanderer. That is only if we look at the incident from a narrow standpoint, which focuses on the incident itself without weighing up the deep-rooted social and political aspects that led to it. During the past three or four years, public demands have been made excessively calling on the ministers or even the entire Cabinet to intervene in certain events they deemed unacceptable. These demands were pushed in different ways, including by mass demonstrations or via irresponsible statements from ‘popular’ officials. In the meantime, they demanded and sometimes even ordered that the Government stopped a private firm from practicing its rights or going ahead with its work freely. Leaders of political groups, including lawmakers and renowned attorneys, became familiar faces behind recurrent demands and ‘orders’ directed towards the Cabinet. Meanwhile, their demands

ranged between closing media outlets as well as arresting citizens - such as Mohammad Al-Juwaihel for example - who engaged in a war of words with the Opposition. This campaign did not stop here, but continued to demand firing MPs accused of receiving political bribes even though they did not have solid evidence to prove their claim. Moreover, the Prime Minister and the entire Cabinet were accused of bribing MPs and were called to step down. All that happened based on unconfirmed information, rather than solid proof. On the other hand, the same figures behind these demands objected to the notion of taking legal actions against those who stormed the Parliament building, burnt private property or marched into private firms under the pretext that these incidents were ‘acceptable’ and thus politically justified. This situation created an environment in which a person can seek to apply the law as per their personal point of view. This is something considered ‘normal’, as it goes in line with the methods taken by the Opposition in combating corruption. They call for immediate and public punishment to suspects, instead of legal prosecution. The culture of ‘taking matters into your own hands’ spreading in society today is a result of the improper activity by political groups. —Al-Qabas

kuwait digest

The heart of the agony By Faisal Al Zamal

T

he problem in Bahrain does not differ to the problem in Kuwait in the basics. Leave the sectarian side aside and get to heart of the agony. In both countries there is a party making use of the failure of the administration in the state, and causes continuous trouble to prevent any of the required achievements in order to make use of the failures. In Bahrain, there is an unemployment problem, which is worldwide including in the GCC countries. For Bahrain to solve the problem requires increasing its number of projects, but no job opportunities will increase. This is resented by one Shiite party, that dislikes initiatives such as the ìFormula One projectî. It closes roads, which creates obstacles so

that employees are unable to reach their offices, and pushes them to shift their businesses to other GCC states. This party is not concerned about the negative results which will affect Bahrainis in all their sects. It is concerned about making use of the problem. This is the same thing we are facing in Kuwait. If an important project in Kuwait is announced, a certain party will do anything to stop it. Thus the state is unable and weak. When it fails, it does not ask about the real failure in implementing a project, like the Mishref sewage plant or the state mosque which requires serious moves to find a solution. A solution is not a requirement for this party. Like a guard for a grave in Egypt, who depends on donations and chari-

ty. He was told that the man in the grave was a good religious man, and so he could go somewhere else. He answered showing his big stick, asking ëwhere would I goí?! In Bahrain, external interference has increased the problem. The Bahrainis know that Iran has failed to provide a good living for its people, and is the last one who can talk about reform in Bahrain. Yet there is a party in Bahrain that does not want to face the fact. Instead of answering the greetings back to the state which practiced openness, they returned people deported from Bahrain to Iran. This happened two decades after they came to Bahrain in thousands and they gave them full citizenship. Such steps are required to answer the greetings. —Al-Anbaa

The recent Doha Declaration attempted to resolve the Palestinian differences and disputes between Fatah and Hamas. We stress the need for unity among the conflicting Palestinian factions. We hope they sit on the negotiating table and iron out their differences. The world organizations, including the United Nations and the Security Council, are well aware of the rightful demand of the Palestinians to have their own independent state and get their occupied land back. But what we have seen is tricky games and dodgy deals by some countries that have never shied away from blocking the road for the rights of the Palestinian people to get restored. The recent Doha Declaration attempted to resolve the Palestinian differences and disputes between Fatah and Hamas. We stress the need for unity among the conflicting Palestinian factions. We hope they sit on the negotiating table and iron out their differences. For, the continued differences among the Palestinian factions have their negative consequences on the strategic goals and interests of the Palestinians and their cause. And, the differences among the Palestinians are indeed a valuable gift to the Zionists who will no doubt use the same at all times to further their own interests. The persistence of such differences implies that no breakthrough can be achieved in the Palestinian cause; it can, in fact, only act as a stumbling block. The “brothers” of the two key Palestinian factions have to learn the lessons from the bitter history of their differences and conflicts. Indeed, the Arab streets had erupted with joy when the Palestinian brothers sat on the negotiating table in Egypt to open a new and true chapter in their brotherly relations for the interest of the Palestinian cause and people. The national interest of the Palestinians is a top priority for the Palestinian cause. Dr. Ismail Ridhwan, a Hamas leader, has reiterated in a statement that a delay in the announcement of the coming Transitional government is aimed at providing an opportunity and time for consultations prior to formation of the government. Cooperation has to be the focus of the coming government, which is considered the most significant government in the Palestinian history. This government will have to play a key role in bringing closer the Palestinian factions. The Arab governments with the support of the Arab League have to play a pivotal role in supporting the coming Palestinian government in the interests of the Palestinian people, regardless of the differences between the two major Palestinian movements. The Arab League’s role in terms of supporting the Palestinian cause has to differ from the role it played before the Arab Spring, particularly under the leadership of its current secretary general Nabil Al Arabi, who is putting in tremendous efforts to work on all issues of the Arab countries. We truly hope that all the Palestinian factions will cooperate with the coming Palestinian government, which would put paid to the ceaseless Israeli efforts and hopes of widening the gulf between the Palestinian factions, as it (Israel) has always done in collaboration with its key ally, the US. We also hope that the US administration would take a different approach towards the Palestinian cause now. However, it seems that the change of the US administration, always biased in favour of the Israeli side, has brought about no change and the US is still treading the same old path, paying scant regard and attention to the Palestinian cause. Azam Al Ahmed, commissioner of national relations in the Central Committee of Fatah, has said in a statement to the media that “In my opinion what has leaked to the media on conditions demanded by Hamas in relation to the government seems to be true; however, we are not formally informed by Hamas and as such we do not want to comment on the issue.” Such a statement shows that there still is a hiatus between the two movements in terms of communication. The two movements have to cooperate and coordinate in holding meetings in order to officially clarify their views, particularly now, as the Palestinian cause, more than ever, requires openness and transparency among the Palestinian factions for the interest of the Palestinian people. We are quite confident that the leadership of both Hamas and Fatah are aware of the responsibility they now carry. The woes and difficulties the Palestinians face on a daily basis are the result of the atrocities committed by the Israeli enemy, which always thrives on the widening gap and disunity among the Palestinians. This is simply so because the differences among the Palestinians is like a free magic weapon in the hands of the Israelis, and even more vital a weapon than what the US provides to Israel. The Palestinian cause, which is a global concern, must proceed on the right track and in the right direction so that the Palestinians can achieve their goals. Putting an end to the Palestinian differences requires hard work. We appeal to all sincere leaders in the Arab countries to extend wholehearted support to the Palestinian cause so that the Palestinians are able to thrash out their differences and the Palestinian cause emerges the winner.


MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

local

Social justice, stability required for development Qatar hosts UNCTAD conference

KUWAIT: A course on crisis management and protecting local security was held under the supervision of Brig Adel Mohammad Al-Suwaidan, at the behest of Sulaiman Al-Fahad, Acting Undersecretary at Ministry of Interior. A number of officers from Kuwaiti Army, Ministry of Interior and National Guard and Kuwait Fire Services Department participated in the course held between 15 and 19 of this month.

Sheikh Nasser highlights ‘warm’ Kuwait-Iraq ties IRBIL: Kuwait and Iraq enjoy “friendly and warm” relations which will help people in both countries face challenges in achieving comprehensive development in all domains, a senior Kuwaiti official said on Saturday. Minister of the Amiri Diwan, Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, addressed the parliament in Iraq’s Kurdistan province, conveying the greetings of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, as well as the Kuwaiti government and people to all Iraqis. Kuwaitis and Iraqis must overcome problems that hinder the accomplishment of their objectives to guarantee security, prosperity and stability, he said. Sheikh Nasser said stability in Iraq will contribute to security and stability in the

entire region. He underlined the importance of overcoming all mistakes of the past, which were committed by the “false policy of the defunct regime” of Saddam Hussein. The State of Kuwait, said Sheikh Nasser, is ready to carry out an active role in development in Iraq. He said Kuwait has a vision to transform the northern Gulf region into an area lucrative for investment in the touristic, economic, industrial and agricultural sectors. Arsalan Bayez, speaker of the Iraqi Parliament, welcomed Sheikh Nasser and hoped the visit is contributing to boost relations between both sides. He said this “sensitive” period requires dialogue and diplomacy to iron out all outstanding issues. “We in Kurdistan admire the State of Kuwait with its democracy and ruling regime,” said Bayez. —KUNA

KUWAIT: Chairman of the Municipal Council, Zaid Ayesh Al-Azmi welcomed Ali Thenayyan Al-Ghanim, Chairman of Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Abdul Wahab Al-Wazzan, his deputy, to discuss issues related to bilateral cooperation yesterday. — Photo by Hanan Al-Saadoun

Al-Kandari warns of real disaster KUWAIT: Lawyer Faisal Al-Kandari has warned the Government of a real disaster at Abdullah Port scrap yard. He said the piling of used tires there, which have been collected from different places and are kept at the unlicensed location, threatens this area with a new fire which might cause a huge disaster due to the fact that it is close to the oil refinery. Al-Kandari emphasized the need for a solution to this problem by establish-

ing a rec ycling factor y for tires, or exporting them outside the country instead of collecting them at such a location, which makes the problem worse. Al-Kandari said the disaster this time will be more painful and destructive. The fire that broke out at Rahaiya tire dump last week has resulted in renewed focus on other random dumping locations and poisonous materials, especially those located near residential areas.

Two killed in boat accident By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: An Egyptian woman and an Asian domestic helper were killed and ten others were seriously injured in a boat accident that took place in Al-Khairan. Case papers indicate that according to eyewitnesses, two young men were riding their speed boat and accidentally collided into another boat which carried the Kuwaiti family. Detention extended The detention of a Qatari citizen who has been accused of deliberately running his vehicle over a citizen, Ahmed Assad, during national day celebrations was extended yesterday until May 6. Rave party busted At least 23 men and women, including citizens, were recently arrested at a Hawally vice den, said security sources. Several bottles of liquor were seized from the venue. Corpse found The corpse of an Asian male was found in an open yard in Riggae. Further investigations are in progress to determine the cause of death.

Kuwait to host environment conference KUWAIT: Dr. Saleh Al-Muzaini, Chairman of the Arabian European Organization, announced the first Arab conference on the environment to be held in Kuwait in 2013. Al-Muzaini said the Arabian European Organization for the environment is an international non-profit organization. Established in 2006, it participates in exchanging information technology between Europe and the Arab world, and supports all environmental initiatives and sustainable growth. The organization has many initiatives, which include conveying research and studies, and developing environmental information.

DOHA: The Kuwaiti Minister of Commerce and Industry, Anas Al-Saleh, said yesterday that social justice and stability are the main bases for development and progress in both developed and developing countries. “The fact in today’s world is that people are looking forward to having a proper job, home, secure atmosphere and better future for their daughters and sons, as well as a Government that heeds their ambitions and aspirations,” AlSaleh said in his speech at the thirteenth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XIII) held in Qatar. Al-Saleh said the world economy faces several serious challenges including; linking credit to real economy, lack of food security, skyrocketing energy prices and climate change. “UNCTAD XIII has to recommend a package of general policies and organizational reforms at both the national and international levels to raise the standards of living in developing countries and help them to face the repercussions of a global crisis.” Al-Saleh underlined the importance of democracy and good governance in achieving sustainable development.

“Building modern states should be based on consultation, accountability, transparency, education and investing more in developing human resources,” he said. The Kuwaiti official urged UNCTAD to better implement its mechanisms and capacity to help bolster economic and social cooperation on the international level to achieve development goals. He said UNCTAD XIII is held at a critical time after the global financial crisis, and the debt crisis in most developed countries as well as the political upheavals in the Arab region. “UNCTAD has to take all the necessary measures to build a balanced world economy that focuses on sustainable development, social justice, human dignity and welfare,” he said. The Minister applauded the constructive role of UNCTAD in providing all rich and poor countries with support, to meet the challenges they face. He also spoke highly of the UNCTAD role in supporting the Palestinian economy. Established in 1964, UNCTAD promotes the development-friendly integration of developing countries into the world economy. UNC-

TAD has progressively evolved into an authoritative knowledge-based institution, whose work aims to help shape current policy debates and thinking on development, with a particular focus on ensuring that domestic policies and international actions are mutually supportive to bring about sustainable development. The highest decision-making UNCTAD body is the quadrennial conference, at which member states make assessments of current trade and development issues, discuss policy options and formulate global policy responses. The conference also sets the organization’s mandate and work priorities. The conference is a subsidiary organ of the United Nations General Assembly. The conferences serve an important political function: they allow intergovernmental consensus building regarding the state of the world economy and development policies, and they play a key role in identifying the role of the United Nations and UNCTAD in addressing economic development problems. The last session was held in Accra, the Capital of Ghana, during the period 20-25 April 2008. —KUNA

Cabinet holds weekly meeting KUWAIT: Kuwaiti Cabinet held yesterday its weekly meeting at Seif Palace here, under the patronage the His Highness Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah. Following the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister

and State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Sabah Khalid AlHamad Al-Sabah made a statement on the meeting’s deliberations and outcome. At the onset of the meeting, the Cabinet was briefed on two letters sent to His Highness the

Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad AlJaber Al-Sabah from Spanish King Juan Carlos and Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki. The letters focused on bilateral relations and means to strengthen cooperation in all domains. On the other hand, the Cabinet wel-

comed the coming visit of Tunisian President Marzouki to Kuwait, which will start today. HH the Prime Minister offered a detailed presentation on the outcome of the recent of visit of the Sultan of Oman Qaboos bin Said Al Said. — KUNA


MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

local

‘Intellectual Health’ main theme of new millennium KUWAIT: The new millennium has introduced many new themes and topics which warrant great care, and one such theme is the concept of “Intellectual Health”. This must be incorporated into the definition of overall health, a health ministry official said yesterday. Dr, Waleed Al-Falah, Assistant Undersecretary for Planning and Quality Affairs, said the definition of health by the World Health Organization (WHO) does not stop with physical health but also covers psychological, social and spiritual wellbeing. The WHO definition reads, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” The official stressed the definition must also incorporate another dimensions, which is intellectual health. He noted “ideas are like seeds. Sown in fertile ground and with a nurturing environment, they grow to fruition in visible actions and attitudes. It is vital that we exert utmost efforts to guarantee that the right ideas and concepts are thrown at the public and youths in particular, for this is what guarantees socially balanced and interactive individuals.” “We are constantly bombarded with information and ideas through the internet, social networks and all forms of social interaction and communication...

With the information technology boom came the ability for everybody to access and spread information at little, if any, cost.” The official warned that this means there is a general need to help individuals practice and improve their skills at discerning the reliability and authenticity of information, impartiality of their source, and to decide which attitude or response is most suitable within this unique society and situation and according to their own personal agenda. The west is very aware of this aspect of health, and the role intellectual health plays in social conditions and the overall state of affairs. “Accordingly, the western universities and research centers put great time and effort into studies and specialized research. They publish their findings that promote awareness on how intellectual health affects political, economic and health conditions of the concerned community,” the official remarked. The concept of intellectual health was introduced in the late 19th century and early 20th century. It started with the formulation of the basis for psychology on the hands of three leading figures; Carl Gustav Jung, Sigmund Freud and Alfred Adler. The three scientists agreed that the subconscious mind has a great influence on an individual’s attitude and behavior. —KUNA

KUWAIT: Twelve Touristic Enterprises Company employees took part in a training program held recently at the TEC main building in Shuwaikh. It covered festivals and event management, aimed at improving the quality of events held at the company’s facilities throughout the year.

‘Abandoned’ mother of two lodged in prison Drunk man ‘lost’ in his house

Kuwait Towers closed for maintenance work

Khalid Al-Ghanim

KUWAIT: The Kuwait Towers will remain closed starting tomorrow until further notice as maintenance operations are being conducted , announced a senior Touristic Enterprises Company (TEC) official yesterday. “As per Ministry of Electricity and Water(MEW) recommendations to protect public safety, the Kuwait Towers will be fully closed to allow the beginning of comprehensive maintenance operations including renovating the facility’s fire alarm system,” said Khalid Al-Ghanim, Vice Chairman of the Board and Managing Director. An announcement on Kuwait Towers’ opening will be made after maintenance operations are conducted, Al-Ghanim noted.

Kuwait organizes seminar on dialogue among civilizations KUWAIT: Kuwait is conducting on Wednesday a seminar on dialogue among civilizations to promote basic and positive principles and values. These include tolerance and peace, the Undersecretar y of the Ministr y of Endowments and Islamic Affairs (MEIA) said yesterday. Dr Adel Al-Falah stated that the gathering, themed “Moslem understanding of dialogue among civilizations,” is part of the MEIA strategy to “take the initiative and organizing such meetings for the sake of boosting principles of tolerance, mercy and peace. Its major objective is to promote understanding and concepts such as the culture of dialogue among civilizations.” The MEIA seeks to create a certain scientific environment to activate its role of spreading the culture of interaction

among civilizations, to determine the extent of effect of such a civil dialogue in the mind of the moslem, he elaborated. The meeting will contribute to formulate serious civic dialogue in the service of the message of the moslem nation, the Undersecretary said, noting the participation of a number of elite intellectual figures. The seminar is due to be held at headquar ters of Al-Babtain Central Library. Kuwait, namely the religious authorities in the country, encourage non-violent interaction among nations of diverse beliefs and schools of thought, and dialogue among these various civilizations. The state also emphasizes the peaceful message of Islam, for the sake of enhancing such dialogue at various levels.—KUNA

KUWAIT: A woman has been lodged at the Al-Naeem police station with her two toddlers as officers try to work out a solution as her husband left the country after reporting her missing. The Indonesian woman was reportedly detained sometime last week after her Egyptian husband provided information to police stating that she left the house with their two children aged four and three years old respectively. Police tried to contact the husband, but his phone was switched off. They soon learnt that the man left the country shortly after reporting his wife missing. The woman then explained that her husband fabricated her ‘missing’ case as part of his plans to abandon her and their two little girls. She remains in custody as they try to obtain a warrant for her release. In the meantime, a security source reported that the woman’s youngest child had to be admitted to the Jahra Hospital after she suffered from high fever. She returned to her mother after receiving medical attention. Drunk man A man called police on Saturday to report that he lost his way while driving in an unfamiliar area and could not locate his way back home. Soon, police learned that the man was actually calling from his living room where he had been heavily drinking. Patrol officers were sent in search of the citizen, and they stayed in touch with him in an attempt to find his location. Eventually, the officers realized that the man they are talking to was drunk, and managed to trace his location at a home in Abu Halifa. He was taken into custody. First time smoker A woman fell unconscious at a Salmiya cafe

recently after a shisha (water pipe) she decided to smoke for the first time proved to be too much for her to handle. The female citizen reportedly fell to the ground with a thud, the minute she inhaled the smoke. Police were informed soon as she lost consciousness. The officers helped the woman regain consciousness and she explained what happened. She returned home without assistance after the shisha effect wore off. Female harassers Two young men had an unforgettable shopping experience at a public market Friday which began with them flirting with female shoppers and ended when they fled the scene after the women turned furious. The incident took place in Kuwait City where the two men approached the four women. According to eyewitnesses, the men were verbally and physically abused by the women. They ran away before police arrived on the scene. A case was filed at the nearest police station. Man sues wife The Criminal Court began a trial Saturday in domestic abuse case filed by a citizen against his wife. According to a legal source, the ‘unprecedented lawsuit’ was filed by a man after previous complaints filed at local police stations ended in reconciliation. The man reportedly moved the court to end what he says is ‘five years of continuous physical assault,’ and also provided video evidence he obtained through a surveillance camera he installed in is home. The man reportedly did not attend the hearing yesterday “in fear of having to confront his wife.” Meanwhile, his wife denied the accusations in front of the

judge and insisted that the case was fabricated. False charges A female citizen withdrew assault charges she had filed earlier against her boyfriend, after police realized that her accusations were fabricated. The woman had filed a complaint at the police station in Hawally governorate stating that an stranger physically assaulted her, and provided police with his car’s license plate number. The man was identified and summoned for investigations and denied the accusations. He explained that he has been romantically involved with the complainant for four years and that their relationship turned sour when she refused to return money he had lent her. Police restarted investigations with the woman, during which she confirmed the man’s story and withdrew charges. Suicide attempt A domestic worker attempted to end her life in Hawally after she was asked to return to her sponsor. Police and paramedics rushed to a building in the area after a passer-by reportedly witnessed a woman leaping from the second floor. The Ethiopian victim was rushed to the Mubarak Hospital after sustaining multiple fractures. Police then went to the said building, and learnt that it is rented by a domestic workers’ recruitment agency. A Bangladeshi man told officers that the woman was asked to return to her employer although she complained of being mistreated by family members. Investigations revealed that the woman had locked herself in the bathroom before jumping off through the window. A case was filed at the area’s police station. —Al-Rai, Al-Qabas, Al-Watan

UAE groups endowment experts DUBAI: Dr. Abduallah Al-Maatouq, Chairman of the International Islamic Charitable Organization (IICO), praised on Sunday the prominence and expertise of the participating personalities in the Dubai International Conference for Endowments. Al-Maatouq expressed satisfaction with his participation in the convention, organized by the Dubai Endowment and Minors Affairs Foundation (DEMAF), praising it for successful management of endowment affairs and sound investment of financial resources. DEMAF organized the conference in coordination with endowment and social development authorities from 20 states. It is held under sponsorship of

the Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashed Al-Maktoum. It is attended by Yousef Al-Hajji, Honorary Chairman of the IICO in Kuwait, and Khaled Al-Mutairi, Acting charge d’affaires at the general consulate of Kuwait in Dubai. The conference was opened earlier today by Hussein Al-Qamzi, Chairman of the United Arab Emirates Endowments and Minors Affairs Foundation (EMAF), who indicated that the foundation was keen on examining experiences in the realms of endowment banking. He also indicated the need to set priorities for banks that deal in endowments, to serve society in the best possible manner. —KUNA

UAE affirms keenness on improving ties with Iran ABU DHABI: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) affirmed its keenness yesterday on improving relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran for the common interest of the two countries and regional stability. The UAE, while affirming its belief in significance of maintaining ties with the Islamic republic, also underscores necessity of resolving the question of the three UAE islands, Abu Moussa, Greater and Lesser Tunbs, said the UAE Cabinet in a statement made after a session held under chairmanship of Vice President, Prime Minster and Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashed Al-Maktoum. In line with this approach, Abu Dhabi has proposed resolving this issue through bilateral negotiations or the International Court of Justice, the official statement said.

This call emanates from Abu Dhabi’s belief in the necessity of maintaining “serious and balanced dealing with the friendly neighbor Iran, on the basis of this substantial relationship and for sake of boosting the ties in the future, and that could be through tackling reasons of the dispute straining this historic relationship,” the statement added. The official statement came following a recent visit by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the UAE island of Abu Moussa, which Abu Dhabi and other member states of the GCC condemned. Iran views the islands “as part of the Iranian mainland,” but repeatedly voices keenness on maintaining good ties with regional states. Iran has been occupying the three islands since early 1970s. — KUNA

13kg tumor removed from mare in rare operation KUWAIT: Medical staff at Kuwait’s Hospital for Horses removed a tumor weighing 13 kilograms from the womb of a mare during a three-hour operation. The recent surgery was conducted for the first time in Kuwait. Dr. Mohammad Marzouq said yesterday the hospital surgeons are currently enabled to perform the recent surgery, which included putting the sick animal under full anesthesia before

operating on the womb through an abdominal incision. The Hospital for Horses is the only specialized veterinary facility in Kuwait that offers complete medical services to sick animals, whether within its 10,000 square meters premises or inside the stables. I n 2006, the hospital won the Mohammad bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Award for the best Arab youth project.

Dr Mohammad Marzouq


MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

Blood flows in Syria despite UN presence Page 8

100 injured in Amsterdam two-train crash Page 9

Iraq PM in Iran to boost ties Maliki meets Ahmadinejad at start of visit TEHRAN: Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki met Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad yesterday at the start of a two-day visit to boost relations between their Muslim states. “If Tehran and Baghdad are strong, the region will have no place for the United States and the Zionist regime,” Ahmadinejad said, quoted by state news agency IRNA, in reference to Tehran’s arch-foe Israel. He said there was “no limit to the strengthening of political, economic and cultural ties” between them. Such moves would serve to “boost stability and security in the region,” chimed in Maliki, who also held talks with parliament speaker Ali Larijani. The visit notably comes ahead of a May 23 meeting to be hosted in Baghdad between Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers on Tehran’s disputed nuclear program. The mission underlines the current good ties between the two Shiite-dominated administrations - a far cry from the war in the 1980s when Baghdad was run by Saddam Hussein and his Sunni-led government. Maliki, who was at the head of a delegation of ranking Iraqi political and economic officials, was also to see Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, and to attend a meeting of the Iran-Iraq joint economic commission. It was Maliki’s first visit to Tehran since October 2010, when he was trying to secure regional backing for a second term as premier following inconclusive March parliamentary polls. Iraq and Iran have similar positions on the crisis in Syria, where the regime of Iranian ally President Bashar Al-Assad has been carrying out a bloody crackdown on an uprising against his rule, in which thousands have died. But there are some contentious issues between the two countries, including the diversion by Iran of rivers that flow into Iraq, as well as borders and oil. — AFP

TEHRAN: Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, left, meets Iranian Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi, during his official arrival ceremony in Tehran, Iran yesterday. — AP


MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

I N T E R N AT I O N A L

Jerusalem court orders settlers out of Hebron house JERUSALEM: An Israeli court has ordered a group of Jewish settlers to leave a house in the southern West Bank city of Hebron after ruling that their claim to ownership was false, court documents showed. In a hearing at Jerusalem District Court, Judge Ram Winograd ruled late last week that the settlers’ argument that they had legally purchased the property, “does not hold water.” They had also presented forged ownership documents and had failed to provide

any evidence of proving they had legally acquired the property, which is located in the Tel Rumeida neighbourhood of Hebron, a copy of the ruling seen by AFP yesterday showed. Winograd said the defendants had failed to provide “minimal details about the deal” including the price paid, the date of the transaction and the identity of the actual buyer. “The burden of proof regarding the facts of the purchase was on the defendant. They did not manage to do that,” he

said, ruling that the property was owned by the Palestinian plaintiffs. He ordered the settlers to leave the property by May 15 and to pay the Palestinian plaintiffs’ legal costs. Hagit Ofran, an expert with Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now, said the property, known as the Bakri house, was taken over by settlers in 2001 after Zakaria Bakri and his wife were driven out. “The situation began about 10 years ago when the Bakris left their home following repeated harassment

by their settler neighbours, who then moved into the property,” she said. “ The Bakris took the settlers to Jerusalem Magistrates Court in 2006, and the settlers presented an alleged lease and title deeds which were not recognised by the court,” she said. The settlers were forced out of the house, but it was immediately taken over by another three settler families who have been living there to this day. “ This time, Bakri went back to the court to claim ownership of the prop-

erty and he proved that the settlers, who said they had bought it, were wrong,” Ofran said. On April 4, Israeli forces evicted another group of settlers from a property in Hebron a day following a dispute over ownership which is still being examined. Hebron is the largest city in the West Bank, and home to some 190,000 Palestinian residents. But a core of 800 hardcore settlers also live in the heart of the city, protected by by thousands of Israeli troops. — AFP

Blood flows in Syria despite UN presence Annan urges truce compliance

CAIRO: Egyptian presidential candidate Amr Moussa, center, speaks during a press conference at his residence in Cairo, Egypt, yesterday. Moussa told reporters yesterday that Egypt, reeling under a “major” crisis, doesn’t need a new system of governance of an Islamist nature that can only need to more confusion. —AP

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood finds wide appeal in Egypt CAIRO: A politician expelled from the Muslim Brotherhood is finding support among liberals and Islamists alike in his bid for Egypt’s presidency, challenging the group he helped lead with a message that spans divisions in a polarised society. Abdul Moneim Abol Fotouh is appealing to a broader constituency than many of the candidates in a field that includes a Brotherhood leader and former members of the Hosni Mubarak administration. Whether he can win the historic democratic election will depend on how deeply that support runs. His chances were improved by the disqualification of leading Islamists including the Brotherhood’s first-choice candidate and an ultra-orthodox Salafi preacher who were both contenders. Egyptians go to the polls in May to decide who will replace Mubarak - toppled last year after decades of repressive rule - as head of the Arab world’s most populous state. The vote is expected to go to a June run-off between the top two candidates. Former Arab League chief Amr Moussa is seen as another of the front-runners. Though Abol Fotouh was ejected from the Brotherhood last year - he defied its wishes with his presidential bid - analysts believe he still commands broad respect in a group that he helped lead for several decades. Since parting ways with the Brotherhood, his appeal has gone well beyond the Islamist camp. His commitment to political reform has impressed secular-minded Egyptians. Some of Mohamed ElBaradei’s backers have rallied to his side after the reformist liberal quit the race. Beyond the elite, a reputation for honesty and consistency is helping Abol Fotouh build a following among the population at large. “What he says, he does,” said Amr elShobaki, an independent member of the Egyptian parliament, extolling Abol Fotouh’s virtues as he introduced him at a rally in a working class district of Cairo on a Thursday evening in April. Abol Fotouh, he said, was the right man to “break the polarisation” of a country where rifts have deepened between Islamists who dominated parliamentary elections and others for whom the rise of the Brotherhood is a

cause of deep concern. Abol Fotouh, a 60-year old doctor, loosened his tie as he stood to address the crowd of several hundred people. They listened quietly as he outlined a vision that would make Egypt a G20 economy in 10 years, strengthen its army and eradicate remnants of the autocratic old order whom he described as a major threat. “After the Jan. 25 (2011) revolution, God willing, the Egyptian people will no longer dream simply of their rights. They will dream of something more than that,” he said. Egypt, he said, must be run by a civilian state that respects Islamic law in a moderate form, “far removed from secular, Islamic or religious extremism”. “Egypt will not be a copy of Turkey, or Tunisia, or Iran,” he said, listing states governed in full or part by Islamists. “Egypt will be Egypt.” “He is a respectable person and a moderate. The Egyptian people need this idea at this time,” said Murad Fakhri, one of a group of ultra-orthodox Salafi Muslims who were watching Abol Fotouh speak. Khaled Badr, another Salafi in the crowd, said he had planned to vote for Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, the disqualified preacher, but would now vote for Abol Fotouh instead. While opinion polls have shown Abol Fotouh trailing candidates including Moussa and Abu Ismail, many voters have yet to make up their minds. Abu Ismail’s elimination leaves his Islamist supporters with the choice of Abol Fotouh and Mohamed Mursi, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate who has described himself as the only Islamist in the field. Mahmoud Hussein, the group’s secretar y-general, was dismissive of Abol Fotouh’s chances, saying that while many liberals were still concerned about his Brotherhood past, many Islamists had started to doubt he was a true Islamist. “He will get some votes from here, and some from there,” he told Reuters. Yet Abol Fotouh’s past is inextricably linked to the Islamist group banned under Mubarak . He was par t of a reformist wing that Brotherhood watchers say has been marginalised by the more conservative elements which now run the group.— Reuters

DAMASCUS: Troops shot dead six civilians yesterday in Homs despite the presence of UN observers in the rebel province to pave the way for a 300-strong mission approved by the Security Council, monitors said. The deaths raised to 17 the number of people killed yesterday across Syria, including two civilians and four soldiers who died during an assault on a rebel bastion near Damascus by regime forces, they said. The violence came even as UNArab League envoy Kofi Annan singled out the government of President Bashar al-Assad in an appeal for an end to hostilities by both loyalist forces and rebels seeking to oust him. “I urge all forces whether governmental, opposition or others to put down their weapons and work with the United Nations monitors to consolidate the fragile cessation of violence,” Annan said in a statement. “The government in particular must desist from the use of heavy weapons and, as it has committed, withdraw such weapons and armed units from population centres and implement fully its commitments under the six-point plan.” The latest bloodshed came only hours after the UN Security Council voted to send 300 unarmed observers to Syria for three months, although Washington warned it may veto a new mandate for the mission. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said regime forces shot dead three civilians in the city of Homs and three others in Talbisseh, another town visited by UN observers in restive Homs province. “Three citizens were killed by security forces fire in the Khaldiyeh, Al-Guta and AlMukayam districts of Homs,” the Britain-based monitoring group said. Two advance team members set up base in Homs yesterday, mission member Neeraj Singh said earlier, a day after they made their first visit to the central protest city since arriving in Syria a week ago. On Saturday “the team drove or walked around the city of Homs and stopped at different locations to talk to the

HOMS: A handout picture released by the Syrian opposition’s Shaam News Network shows Syrian residents talking to the UN observers during their visit to the Khalidiya district in the restive city of Homs yesterday. Two UN observers set up base yesterday in Homs, their spokesman said, a day after video footage showed residents pleading with them to stay and ensure an end to bloodshed in the battered Syrian city. — AFP people. Two UN military observers have now been stationed at Homs since yesterday evening,” Singh told AFP. UN observers also toured on Sunday the city of Rastan in Homs province, according to Free Syrian Army spokesman Colonel Saadeddine Kassem who escorted them through the rebel town. Troops fired warning shots into the air to disperse a group of residents who surrounded the observers, he added. Later the observers visited the city of Hama farther north, including a square which witnessed huge anti-regime protests last year, activist Abu Ghazi Hamwi reported from the scene. The official Syrian news agency SANA said the observers met the governor of Hama during the visit. On Saturday, the observers went to Baba Amr, a rebel hideout in Homs battered by a month-long army bombardment that monitors say killed hundreds before it was retaken on March 1. A YouTube video showed the observers meeting activists who begged them to stay. Its authenticity could not be verified.

eve of Israel’s 64th anniversary as a state. The United States says it does not believe Iran has so far taken a decision to develop a nuclear weapon, or that the time is right for military action, preferring to give international sanctions time to work. But Israel, which sees a nuclear Iran as a threat to its very existence, claims Tehran may be on the cusp of “breakout” capabilitywhen it could quickly build a nuclear weapon-and it does not rule out staging a pre-emptive strike of its own. Gantz said he had increased the number of Israeli special operations in other countries but did not give details. “I do not think you will find a point in time where there is not something happening, somewhere in the world,” he said. “The threat level is also higher.” “I’m not taking the credit,” he added. “I’m just accelerating all those special operations.” —AFP

two civilians were also shot dead. A third civilian was shot dead at a checkpoint elsewhere in Damascus province. In northwest Syria, it group said, soldiers shot dead three civilians at a village in Jabal alZawiya district of Idlib province while an overnight ambush on a patrol in Banias killed one security officer and wounded three. Under UN Resolution 2043, 300 military observers will be sent for an initial 90 days if UN chief Ban Ki-moon determines it is safe to go. Saturday’s vote was hailed by Syria’s political and military opposition but Washington warned it may prevent the mission’s renewal after three months, while urging greater international pressure on Assad. “Our patience is exhausted. No one should assume that the United States will agree to renew this mission after 90 days,” US ambassador Susan Rice told the Council. The UN says well over 9,000 Syrians have been killed since democracy protests erupted in M arch 2011, while monitors put the figure at more than 11,000. — Afp

17 Qaeda militants killed in Yemen raid

Ready to hit Iran if ordered: Gantz JERUSALEM: Israeli forces are carrying out more special operations beyond the country’s borders and will be ready to attack Iran’s nuclear sites if ordered, the chief-of-staff said in an interview yesterday. In an extract from an interview with the top-selling Yediot Aharanot daily, Lieutenant General Benny Gantz said that 2012 would be a critical year in efforts to halt what Israel and much of the international community believe is an Iranian nuclear arms programme. “We think that a nuclear Iran is a very bad thing, which the world needs to stop and which Israel needs to stop-and we are planning accordingly,” Gantz said. “In principle, we are ready to act. “That does not mean that I will now order (air force chief ) Ido (Nehushtan) to strike Iran,” he added in the interview which will be published in full on Wednesday, on the

“Today is the first day since two months, exactly since 5 February... in Homs without shelling... without killing, without fire,” one unidentified activist said in the footage. “Because of that, we want you to stay. Please stay. This is what we want. When you come, shelling stops. When you come, killing stops,” he told the observers, who wore blue helmets and bullet-proof vests marked “UN.” In other violence on Sunday, tank shelling and heavy gunfire were reported in Douma, an outlying rebel suburb of the Syrian capital, activists reported. “Regime forces backed by tanks stormed Douma under heavy gunfire,” said the revolutionary council of Damascus province. Videos posted online showed towering columns of smoke over Douma, as gunfire crackled and calls of “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest) were heard. Council member Mohammed Saeed told AFP the assault was “in retaliation for huge anti-regime protests there and because it’s a centre of dissent.” The Observatory said four soldiers were killed when a bomb targeted an armoured personnel carrier in Douma, where

JERUSALEM: Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem yesterday. — AFP

Jordan needs help for hosting refugees: UN AMMAN: The UN refugee agency UNHCR said yesterday cash-strapped Jordan needs help to cope with hosting tens of thousands of Syrians who have fled the unrest in their country to the neighbouring kingdom. “Jordan has always been generous to refugees. Neighbouring and other friendly countries should help the kingdom cope with the Syrian refugees,” UNHCR representative in Jordan, Andrew Harper, told Prime Minister Awan Khasawneh at a meeting. “The UNHCR is working with other international bodies to aid Jordan and help the government register the Syrian refugees,” the state-run Petra news agency quoted Harper as saying. The UN agency said on

Thursday the number of registered Syrians in Jordan reached around 12,500 this month, adding that they are expected to rise. “The Jordanian government and UNHCR believe there are tens of thousands of vulnerable Syrians in the country,” it said. For his part, Khasawneh said Jordan’s resources are limited. “We are doing our best to help the refugees but this increases challenges and pressure on Jordan, where financial resources are already stretched,” he said. The country’s overall debt has amounted to $21 billion by the end of February, finance ministry figures showed on Wednesday.— AFP

SANAA: Seventeen suspected Al-Qaeda militants were killed in an air raid that struck one of their hideouts in the southern town of Loder, the defence ministry said yesterday. The late Sunday attack brought to 57 the number of Islamist insurgents reportedly killed in south Yemen over the past three days, according to the defence ministry. AFP could not independently verify the toll. “Seventeen Al-Qaeda terrorists were killed in an air raid that targeted one of their positions southeast of Loder,” the defence ministry’s news website 26sep.net reported. It was unclear if the strike was carried out by the Yemeni air force or by US drones. On Wednesday the Washington Post said US drones have carried out eight airs strikes in Yemen in the past four months. Islamist militants have been trying to seize control of Loder in the restive southern province of Abyan to expand their grip on the region. According to the Washington Post the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is seeking per-

mission to launch more airborne drone strikes in Yemen, even when there is a risk the victims might not always be terrorists. If President Barack Obama’s administration gives the CIA permission for the strikes, it could represent a politically dangerous escalation of US military activity in Yemen, the Post said. The United States has never formally acknowledged the use of drones against Al-Qaeda in Yemen, considered by Washington to be the most active and deadly branch of the global terror network. Al-Qaeda has exploited a decline in Yemeni central government control that accompanied Arab Spring-inspired protests since last year and eventually forced veteran president Ali Abdullah Saleh to resign. The army, backed by armed civilians, has been battling the extremist group’s Yemeni branch, known as the Partisans of Sharia (Islamic law), over the control of Abyan province, most of which has fallen under the command of the Islamist insurgents. — AFP


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MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

INTERNATIONAL

100 injured in Amsterdam two-train crash: Police Many of the injured suffered from broken bones

MOSCOW: Thousands of Orthodox faithful attend a mass prayer “in defence of faith” at Russia’s main cathedral, the Christ Saviour, yesterday in Moscow, following a stunt performance there by a feminist punk band whose members now face seven years in jail. —AFP

Thousands pray for ‘correction’ of anti-Putin punks MOSCOW: Church bells rang across Moscow yesterday as thousands of Orthodox faithful gathered at Russia’s main cathedral to pray for the “correction” of feminist punks who face jail for singing before its altar. The balaclava and miniskirt-clad members of the protest group Pussy Riot burst into the Christ the Saviour Cathedral in February and belted out bits of a song denouncing the Church’s open support for president-elect Vladimir Putin. The incident received little attention at first and the group was released after being booked. But the Church soon turned it into a rallying call and other Putin backers joined ranks as they sought to build a movement capable of standing up to the protests that preceded the ex-KGB agent’s election to a third term. Church officials said they expected perhaps 100,000 to join a mass prayer led by Patriarch Kirill outside the Moscow cathedral following his traditional Sunday morning sermon. “Recently, our country, our people-Orthodox in their majority-and the Church have gone through... a repeated defilement of our relics, the defamation of the very name of the faithful,” the patriarch read in the morning prayer. “When an evil hand touches the sacred, it cannot destroy its sanctity. Instead, it gets scathed with tremendous power for committing the sacrilege,” he warned before nearly 20,000 people gathered inside and around the church. The Church said the patriarch would later call for “the correction of the defilers of holy shrines and the good name of the Church” and the “enlightenment of those left in the dark.”

The icons the Church said were “defiled” by Pussy Riot and others in alleged attacks across Russia were later expected to be brought out before the praying masses for a special ceremony cleansing them of other people’s sins. Massive screens set up outside the cathedral meanwhile featured various celebrities calling on Russians to unite in Orthodox faith. “When Communism disappeared, the last stronghold of Russia’s genetic code its keybecame Orthodoxy,” Oscar-winning film maker Nikita Mikhalkov said in the film. Many of those who had gathered by the early afternoon came in marching under tsarist-era flags representing nationalist forces and the various youth groups. Some marched under flags reading “Holy Russia” while others held up a banner saying “Rise up for your faith, Russian land.” “We cannot say for sure whether there will be 25,000 or 250,000,” said Church spokesman Vladimir Vigilyansky. “But many said they would like to attend.” One middle-aged woman from Belarus said she had earlier come to Moscow and felt it her duty to attend. “The things happening today are leaving people outraged,” said another woman with a scarf wrapped around her head. City officials dispatched nearly 2,000 police to the site to both handle the crowds and make sure that scuffles do not break out between the faithful and the band’s most fervent supporters. Nearly 30 Pussy Riot fans were booked on Thursday after rallying outside a Moscow court house that extended the pretrial detention of three group members through late June. —AFP

THE HAGUE: Two trains collided head-on just outside Amsterdam on Saturday, injuring at least 100 people, up to 20 of them seriously, Dutch transport police said. “There are 60 people injuredsome 15 to 20 badly,” police spokesman Ed Kraszewski told AFP, after the crash near Sloterdijk in the western suburbs of Amsterdam, but he added “I can’t give exact figures.” A spokeswoman for the Dutch capital’s fire service put the number of seriously injured at 56, adding “tens of others were slightly wounded.” The accident happened at around 6.30 pm (1630 GMT) when a local train leaving Amsterdam hit a highspeed train, Dutch rail network Prorail spokeswoman Babet Verstappen told AFP. But both trains were travelling relatively slowly at the time, Dutch NOS television reported: each moving at around 50 kilometres-an-hour (30 miles-anhour). One had just left Amsterdam central station; the other Amsterdam Sloterdijk. Witnesses quoted by the Dutch media television said the impact had not been violent. Emergency personnel treated some of the wounded at the scene, on a bridge between Sloterdijk and Amsterdam Central Station, Verstappen added. The worst injured were taken to hos-

pitals, while less seriously hurt passengers were booked into hotels in the city, she added. Many of the injured suffered from broken bones and bruising, Dutch news agency ANP reported. It cited witnesses who described how travellers had

Pictures from the scene showed the crushed front ends of both the trains and smashed windows in some of the carriages. “Some of the injured had to be rescued from inside the train,” added Amsterdam fire service spokeswoman Elke van den Hout.

including Amsterdam Central station and the service to Schiphol airport, Prorail’s Verstappen said. Bus services were being laid on to try to get passengers to their destinations. The Netherlands’ worst train disaster happened on January 8, 1962, when two pas-

AMSTERDAM: This aerial photo released yesterday, shows two trains which collided on April 21 in Amsterdam. Two trains collided head-on just outside Amsterdam on Saturday, leaving at least 100 people inured and 1 dead, Dutch transport police said. —AFP been thrown about inside the carriages or up against their windows, some of which had shattered. Witnesses said they heard a long hoot from one of the trains before the crash. Passengers on the social network Twitter said they were “smashed against the trains’ frames” or “thrown from their seats”, ANP added.

By late Saturday evening, all the injured had been rescued from the trains, which remained on the tracks, railway police spokesman Kraszewski said. The cause of the accident remained unknown, but police have launched an investigation, he added. The crash has shut down rail traffic in the west of the city,

senger trains smashed into one another at Harmelen, near the central Dutch city of Utrecht, killing 93 and injuring 52 others. Earlier this year, a monument was unveiled to mark the 50-year anniversary of the accident which happened in thick fog when a train driver missed a warning signal and the two trains also crashed head-on. —AFP

Erdogan warns against ‘witch hunt’ in coup probe ISTANBUL: Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said an investigation into the army’s 1997 overthrow of an Islamist-led government should not turn into a “witch hunt” but signalled it could widen to the business world and media, news channels said yesterday. Five retired generals and dozens of officers have been arrested in the past 10 days over their alleged role in forcing the late Necmettin Erbakan, the country’s first Islamist prime minister, to resign over what they perceived were violations of Turkey’s secular constitution.

“It would be wrong to turn this into a witch hunt, but justice needs to occur. It should go as far as it needs to,” Erdogan told reporters, according to CNN Turk. “Who wasn’t mixed up in this? The business world, media, civil society groups, university rectors - who did what? This matter isn’t just connected to the army. This should all come to the surface,” he said late on Saturday. Shares in Turkish Dogan Group, which owns newspapers and broadcasters, plunged 14 percent on April 12 on speculation that it could be implicated in the investigation. It issued a statement

denying it is the focus of an inquiry. Prosecutors have charged hundreds of military officers over alleged plots against current and former governments that have Turkey, a Muslim but officially secular democracy, examining a past littered with military interventions. Three outright coup d’etats ousted governments in 1960, 1971 and 1980. But subtler interference was pervasive for decades as the popular military, self-appointed guardians of secularism, wielded considerable influence over elected officials. —Reuters


MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

I N T E R N AT I O N A L

US Supreme Court immigration case weighs states’ powers WASHINGTON: A clash over immigration law will go before the US Supreme Court this week, pitting the state of Arizona against President Barack Obama in a case with election-year political ramifications for him and Republican rival Mitt Romney. In its second-biggest case this term, the court - fresh from hearing the Obama healthcare overhaul case - will consider on Wednesday whether a tough Arizona immigration crackdown strayed too far into the federal government’s powers. A pro-Arizona decision would be a legal and political setback for Obama, who has criticized the state’s law and vowed to push for immigration legislation if re-elected on Nov 6. A decision against Arizona would deal a blow to Romney, who has said the government should drop its challenge to the law. Americans generally support immigration laws like Arizona’s and are ambivalent about the federal and state roles at the core of the case, a new Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll found. About 70 percent of those surveyed favored

state laws that let police check a person’s immigration status and make it a crime for an illegal immigrant to work in the United States; a b out 30 percent opposed such measures. On the question of who has responsibility for immigration laws, the core of the Supreme Court case, 59 percent said immigration was a national issue and laws relating to it should only be made by the federal government; 55 percent said individual states had the right to make such laws, too. The oral arguments on this essential point set the stage for a rematch of the attorneys in last month’s healthcare battle. Paul Clement, a solicitor general during Republican George W. Bush’s presidency, will represent Arizona. Donald Verrilli, a former White House lawyer and solicitor general under Obama, will represent the federal government after what some deemed a lackluster performance in March. The case “pits a politically conservative state against a Democratic administration . .. j ust six months before the

presidential-year elections,” said Steven Schwinn, a John Marshall Law School professor. Like the healthcare case, the immigration case splits along party lines. Some Republican-led states and Romney supported Arizona’s effort to push out illegal immigrants, while some Democratic-led states backed th e federal government and Obama. Legal and political experts said the Supreme Court’s rulings, expected by June on immigration and healthcare two hot-button issues - will weigh heavily on the elections. The online Reuters/Ipsos poll of 960 Americans, conducted April 9-12, found respondents almost evenly split on whether Obama or Romney has a better immigration approach. The fast-growing Hispanic population, now equal to 16 percent of all Americans, will be a key force in the election. In the past, Hispanics backed Obama and have been skeptical of Romney, who has acknowledged that he needs their support. Regardless of how the court rules, if Romney continues to back the Arizona

law and others like it, “he will find it difficult to win Latino supporters,” said Karthick Ramakrishnan, an immigration policy expert and associate professor of political science at the University of California, Riverside. At issue in the case is whether federal immigration law pre-empted and thus barred the Arizona law’s four key provisions. The Arizona law requires police to check the immigration status of anyone detained and suspected of being in the country illegally. Other parts of the law require immigrants to carry their papers at all times; ban illegal immigrants from soliciting for work in public places; and allow police to arrest immigrants without a warrant if an officer believes they have committed a crime that would make them deportable. A federal judge and a U.S. appeals court earlier ruled for the Obama administration and blocked all four parts of the Arizona law from taking effect. Clement will argue that the Arizona law was designed to cooperate with federal immigration efforts and that it did not conflict

with federal policy or law. “This is another federalism case. This is not all about immigration. It’s really about the relationship between the federal government and the state government. It’s the norm that you have state officials enforcing federal law,” he said in an interview with Reuters. Clement said the burden was on the government to show why immigration law specifically prevented states from the usual participation in enforcement of federal policy. There are an estimated 11.5 million illegal immigrants in the United States, a number that has remained steady over the last several years. For his part, Verrilli has a standard policy of not commenting arguments he will make before the Supreme Court. In written briefs filed with the court, Verrilli said that Congress gave the federal government alone the authority to make sensitive immigration judgments, balancing national security, law enforcement, foreign policy and humanitarian factors, along with the rights of law-abiding citizens and immigrants.—Reuters

Romney has genuine chance to beat Obama ‘This is going to be a very very close election’

GUATEMALA CITY: A investigator takes pictures of the rubble at the site of a plane crash in La Aurora Zoo in Guatemala City, Saturday. According to firefighters, three plane crew members died in the accident, one zookeeper was injured, and no animals were hurt or killed. — AP

15 killed in northern Mexican bar shootout CIUDAD JUAREZ: Fifteen people were killed and at least one seriously wounded in a suspected drug-related shootout on Friday in a bar in northern Mexico, a region that has been brutalized by fighting between criminal gangs. On Friday night, armed men entered the bar in Chihuahua, capital of Chihuahua state, and opened fire on various people inside suspected of involvement in drug dealing, the local attorney general’s office said in a statement on Saturday. A local press association said two men killed in the attack were journalists, adding to the tally of media casualties from Mexico’s rampant gang violence. The attorney general’s office also said

two other people were shot dead in a separate bar attack in the city, bringing Friday’s death toll to 17. Since 2008, Chihuahua, and in particular the city of Ciudad Juarez on the border with Texas, has been the area worst hit by bloody turf wars between drug cartels during the crackdown on gangs launched by President Felipe Calderon. The gang violence and clashes with security forces have killed more than 50,000 people in Mexico in the past five years. However, the number of murders had eased somewhat in Chihuahua over the past year, with some counts suggesting the more easterly border state of Nuevo Leon had suffered more violence in the first months of 2012. — Reuters

Bloodshed won’t tighten US gun laws: Experts CHICAGO: The statistics are staggering, the stories heartbreaking, yet there is little chance that any amount of bloodshed will lead to stiffer gun controls in the United States in the foreseeable future. “It’s not something that any politician thinks is winnable,” said Kristin Goss, a politics professor at Duke University and author of “Disarmed: The Missing Movement for Gun Control in America.” Five years after the worst school shooting in US history left 32 people dead at Virginia Tech, another high profile slaying has raised fears that new selfdefense laws allow armed vigilantes to kill with impunity. Florida authorities initially refused to charge a neighborhood watch volunteer for killing a black teenager even though a 911 operator instructed George Zimmerman not to follow the boy and instead to wait for police, after he first called to report a guy “up to no good.” That’s because Florida-like 24 other US states-has a “Stand Your Ground” law that grants immunity from prosecution if people use deadly force because they felt threatened. Zimmerman said Trayvon Martin, 17, attacked him and under Florida law, he had no duty to attempt to safely retreat before firing his gun. The US constitution guarantees the right to bear arms, and individual states can regulate the right. The Trayvon Martin case sparked protests across the country after Martin’s family, lawyers and civil rights leaders alleged the hoodie-wearing teen-who was on his way home after buying iced tea and a pack of Skittles-was a victim of racial profiling. It also highlighted the dramatic weakening of gun controls, as well as the role of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and a once little-known conservative think-tank that drafted Stand Your Ground and other gun rights law and pushed them through state legislatures.

Statistics on gun victims — 11,500 homicides, 554 accidental deaths and 45,000 non-fatal assaults in 2009 — are brushed aside with the adages “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” and “bad guys can’t be the only ones packing heat.” “What actually happened?” “The NRA’s greatest success has been divorcing not just their rhetoric but their legislative agenda from the real world,” said Josh Sugarmann, director of the Violence Policy Center, which advocates for gun control. “One of the most striking things we’re seeing coming out of the Trayvon Martin case is for the first time in many, many years people are saying ‘what actually happened?’” Stand Your Ground laws that have granted immunity to people who shot robbers after chasing them for several blocks and drug dealers who killed rival gang members are relatively new, as is the pervasiveness of guns, which can now be brought even into churches, schools and bars in many states. Illinois is the only US state that still bans concealed weapons, down from 19 in 1981. The number of states with permissive gun laws-which typically only prohibit felons, drug addicts, children and the mentally ill from carrying concealed weapons-expanded from three to 39 in the past 30 years. It’s a disastrous combination that encourages people to engage in unnecessary violence, said former Miami police chief John Timoney. “You want to have the ability to judge every case individually,” said Timoney, who fought to block the passage of the nation’s first Stand Your Ground law before it was implemented in Florida in 2006. “You don’t want to have some law letting people say I’m going to kill my wife and pretend I thought she was a burglar.” —AFP

WASHINGTON: He has been mocked as rich and out of touch, struggled to woo his own party and left a trail of gaffes-but Mitt Romney still has a genuine shot to make Barack Obama a oneterm president. A cascade of new polls, uncertain economic data and fresh concern that Europe’s woes could cross the Atlantic, point to the Republican’s best chance of beating Obama in November-dismay about America’s slow economic recovery. Though Obama is ahead by a nose despite the slowest recovery in decades, the president has little breathing room should the economy slow this year, as it did in 2010 and 2011. Voters seem to like Obama more and believe he cares more about the middle classes, according to early polls ahead of the November 6 election. So, should the rebound maintain a pace that has created around million jobs over five months, and if Obama navigates sudden crises at home and abroad, he looks well placed with his approval rating approaching 50 percent. Yet polls suggest voters are not yet feeling the economic recovery, or Obama’s strategy to create jobs-giving Romney a fungible, yet genuine opening. A slowing of the pace of job creation, to just 120,000 positions, in March, has fueled fears the recovery could be stalling. Europe’s woes are again worr ying US investors. Major polls now show the Romney and Obama matchup largely within the margin of error. In a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll this week, Obama led Romney by 49 percent to 43 percent. The New York Times/CBS survey had them pegged at 46 percent and a Quinnipiac University poll had the president up 46 to 42 percent. “I think if the election were held today it could go either way,” said Bruce Buchanan, a professor of government at the University of Texas. “On eight out of ten days, Obama wins by one point if everything is as it is right now.

BETHEL PARK: In this April 17, 2012 photo Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov Mitt Romney, listens to Pittsburgh area residents in Bethel Park, Pa., during a campaign stop. Government spending differences are among the starkest between Romney and President Obama. — AP But bad news at the wrong time homes, lost dreams. It’s time to unemployment ticks down from could turn it into a five point loss end that vision and have a vision the current 8.2 percent, Obama’s of growth and jobs and economic advantages elsewhere may be for the president.” Polls suggest Romney has vitality,” Romney said on decisive. The superior Obama campaign started to unite his party after a Thursday. Thomas Baldino, a prodivisive primary fight and reveal fessor of politics at Wilkes machine will meanwhile seek to America is still a nation split University, Pennsylvania, believes exploit Romney’s reputation as a down the political middle. “This is that if the election were held corporate raider who made a forgoing to be a very very close now, Romney could win as many tune sometimes at the expense election. We are not going to win Americans simply do not feel of other people’s jobs. Obama is it 54 to 46 (percent) — it is going their financial situation improv- implicitly also attacking Romney’s to be very close,” said a senior ing. He warned that a torrent of wealth, campaigning for higher advertising expected from taxes on the rich as his surrogates White House official. Obama clearly has cause for Romney and allied special inter- demand his rival open his tax concern over the economy. Only est groups could shred Obama’s records for inspection. Romney also starts from 38 percent of those asked in the political message. “Unless there is Journal poll thought the econo- something tangible for people to behind on the electoral map my would get better in the next look at and feel that the economy which candidates mine for 270 year, and the president’s econom- has improved, then those nega- electoral votes needed to be ic approval rating was under tive ads are going to make it diffi- president. Obama has more cult for Obama to say he is the routes to victory, while Romney water at 45 percent. The Times poll had Obama’s guy to turn around the economy.” cannot afford to lose battle Romney has plenty to worry grounds like Florida and Ohio and approval rating on the economy at 44 percent. Quinnipiac had about too. Though he leads still hope to reach the White voters preferring Romney to deal Obama among white voters, he House. And Romney must also conwith the economy, create jobs trails badly among the vital votand bring down a spike in gaso- ing blocs of women and quer conventional wisdom, which line prices. Romney’s campaign Hispanics-by margins that guar- doubts his skills as a candidate will try to widen that perception antee a loss if he cannot close the and chances of victory-a feeling as it counters Obama’s “vision” of gap. Romney has anchored his that the Politico website reported an economy that is fair for all, not assaults against Obama on the Friday extends to members of his economy under the slogan own Republican Party. — AFP just the wealthy. “It leads to lost jobs, lost “Obama Isn’t Working.” But if

Police search for missing Arizona girl TUCSON: The overnight disappearance of a 6-year-old Arizona girl triggered a massive search Saturday by scores of police, FBI agents and a large contingent of deputy US Marshals, with officials saying her absence was suspicious and a possible abduction. First-grader Isabel Mercedes Celis’s parents last saw her in bed at 11 pm Friday, and they discovered her missing at about 8 am Saturday, Tucson police spokeswoman Sgt. Maria Hawke said. Police searched an area of Tucson around East Broadway Boulevard and Craycroft Road into the evening using street patrols, canines, detectives and a helicopter. A large number of officers were still searching “pretty much the entire east side” late Saturday night, police communications operator Patrick Olea said. Shortly before midnight, Hawke said the search

would continue early today, with numerous patrol and search and rescue personnel fanning out in a grid pattern. Friends of the family fanned out to distribute flyers with a photo of Isabel, KVOA-TV in Tucson reported. “We’re really surprised or shocked that anything like this could happen to our family,” the girl’s uncle, Justin Mastromarino, told the television station. Hawke said earlier that investigators were looking into all potential scenarios, including the possibility that Isabel got up and wandered out of the home she shares with her parents and two brothers. But late Saturday, when asked if police still think she might have wandered away, Hawke responded: “We are treating it as a suspicious disappearance and possible abduction.” Investigators also were examining every door and window of the house

for signs of a break-in, Hawke said. Both parents live in the home, so police had no indication a child custody dispute was involved but weren’t completely ruling it out. “Because of the possibility existing that this child could have been abducted, we’re treating it as if it’s that significant,” Hawke said Saturday afternoon. “We don’t want to be caught behind the ball by not exploring that possibility.” The working-class neighborhood of single-family homes is sandwiched between a large shopping mall to the east and businesses and a Catholic school to the west. Hawke says at least 75 law enforcement officers were involved, possibly as many as 100, as more resources continue to arrive to help in the search and investigate the disappearance. Isabel is described as just under 4-feet-tall and weighing 44 pounds, with brown hair and hazel eyes. — AP


I N T E R N AT I O N A L

MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

Pakistan buries air crash victims Nine dead bodies not been identified PONDICHERRY: Indo-French citizens stand in line at a polling station in Pondicherry yesterday, prior to casting their votes during the first round of French presidential elections. French expatriates in India and other parts of Asia will elect lawmakers to their country’s Parliament with the government establishing 11 overseas constituencies to ensure their representation. — AFP

Citizens in India’s former French colony cast votes PONDICHERRY: French citizens of the tiny and picturesque former colony Pondicherry cast their presidential votes yesterday, yet many have never been to the country nor speak its language. Lying on India’s southeastern coast and a favourite with tourists for its colonial architecture, Pondicherry came under French rule in 1742, which it administered till 1954, seven years after India’s independence from Britain. In 1962, India and France exchanged the instruments of ratification under which France ceded to India full sovereignty over the territories it held. The treaty also offered the population of 70,000 to waive Indian nationality-and some 7,000 opted for France. A majority of “Franco-Pondicherrians”-the only French community abroad not formed out of expatriates and who represent some 70 percent of the 9,600 French living in India-have never been to France and only speak Tamil. But few want to miss the presidential election, and as the four polling stations opened, queues of eager voters had already lined up outside under the blistering heat. “I am a French citizen, I have the right and the duty to vote,” said Marie Jeanne d’Arc, wearing a bottle green sari and a nose ring, while police in red hats monitored the crowds. Pondicherrians were allowed to chose their family name and some picked those of their heroes or writers such as Racine or Corneille. Others from more modest backgrounds took common words, such as the days of the week. Some families became French in the 19th Century, after completing the “act of renunciation” to Indian nationality. “I came to vote to prove I am French,” said 96-year-old Srinivasan, wearing a white tunic and holding a black umbrella just before he headed off down Avenue Goubert on the seafront. A strong French influence can still be felt in Pondicherry and other former French enclaves that have well-maintained colonial architecture as well as street signs and cobbled streets reminiscent of those days. The city is the one-time capital of French India. In 2006 the federal territory

changed its name to Puducherry to reflect the indigenous history of the region. Jeanne d’Arc, 73, said in Tamil that she had voted for the socialist candidate Francois Hollande “because I want to see change”. She held up a piece of paper on which a relative had written the name of the candidate in French alongside its equivalent in the local language, to avoid any mistakes. Many Pondicherrians, some of whom belonged to the lowest Indian castes, do not know how to read or speak French, which turns the voting process into a sometimes complex operation. “The law forbids speaking any language but French in the polling station,” explained Predibane Siva, a representative from the UMP, the party of the current president Nicolas Sarkozy, seeking a second term in office. “But the heads of each station have agreed to explain to voters in Tamil that they can bring with them into the booths as many as ten voting cards. “If we don’t (explain these rules) it would take two days to vote in Pondicherry!” For 18-yearold Roopini Balasurbramanian this is her first experience voting in an election. “I have never been to France, I don’t know much about its politics but I must vote for my country, it’s my duty,” the young woman said, whose long plait was decorated with jasmine flowers. “My grandfather, who gets a French newspaper once a month, explained to me that I had the choice between two candidates: Nicolas or Francois,” Roopini said in English, without disclosing which of the two she voted for. Prosper Emmanuel, a socialist representative, said voting in Pondicherry was not very sophisticated politically: “It’s either Sarkozy or Hollande”, there are no support committees for other candidates. In 2007, Segolene Royal, then the socialist party candidate who lost to Sarkozy in the second round, had come top in Pondicherry by 53 votes. Sunday’s first round will serve to whittle the field down from 10 candidates to two-in all likelihood Hollande and Sarkozy-and the frontrunners will face each other in a second-round run-off on May 6. — AFP

Bangladesh strike leaves two dead DHAKA: A national strike called by Bangladesh’s main opposition party demanding action over the disappearance of one of its young leaders shut down public transport and most businesses yesterday and left at least two people dead in sporadic violence. Police and witnesses said the scale of violence was less than feared during the day-long stoppage to press the government over the disappearance of Ilyas Ali, a former student leader and former lawmaker of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party. Police said a driver sleeping in a bus died overnight when activists set fire to vehicles in the capital. Yesterday, a man died after his car, pursued by strikers, hit a roadside tree. Officials from the BNP, led by former Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia, said more than 100 of its supporters were injured and scores detained across the country. Ali went missing with his driver on Tuesday. Police recovered his abandoned car and mobile phone near his home.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government has ordered a probe into the disappearance, but the BNP and Ali’s family allege he was abducted by security forces. Police deny the charge. Activists called for the stoppage, in force from dawn to dusk, to resume today. “We are calling for another day-long strike today and may go for further action if the government fails to find Ilyas Ali and produce him before the public immediately,” BNP secretary-general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told reporters. State Minister for Home Affairs Shamsul Haque said authorities would deal firmly with violence. The BNP and its Islamist allies have demanded the resignation of Hasina and early elections, which are not due to take place before the end of 2013. Khaleda accuses Hasina of instituting “virtual one-party rule” to remain in office. The government dismisses opposition demands and says it will remain in office until the last day of its mandate. —Reuters

DHAKA: Bagladesh’s opposition lawmakers shout slogans as security officials stop them during a daylong general strike in Dhaka, Bangladesh, yesterday. — AP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan yesterday buried victims of an airline crash near Islamabad that killed all 127 people on board, as investigators probed the causes of the fatal incident. The Bhoja Air flight from Karachi came down in fields near a village on the outskirts of the Pakistani capital on Friday evening, in the city’s second major fatal air crash in less than two years. Thirteen of those killed were buried late Saturday in Islamabad and funerals for 36 other victims were held in Karachi and other cities, with more ceremonies expected in different cities throughout the day. Television broadcasts showed footage of distraught relatives, weeping and hugging each other, as the dozens of coffins left Islamabad’s Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences hospital where the remains had been taken. Some nine dead bodies have not yet been identified and will undergo DNA tests, a hospital official said. Doctor Waseem Khawaja, in charge of Islamabad’s main hospital—-the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) told AFP that most of the bodies were beyond recognition and mutilated. An AFP reporter who visited the hospital late Saturday said some of the remains still at the hospital were no more than body parts, stored on stretchers and covered by white sheets. Most of the dead bodies, handed over to the relatives were identified by their identity cards, jewellery, shoes, passports, watches, clothes and body parts, witnesses said. An AFP photographer at the crash site yesterday witnessed policemen cordoning off the whole area and not allowing local residents near. Investigation teams were busy collecting evidence from the site where the wreckage of the plane, along with victims’ clothes and shoes, were visible. The disaster is the city’s second major plane crash in less than two years an Airblue plane came down in bad weather in

July 2010, killing 152 — and victims’ families have voiced fury at the authorities. Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) director general Nadeem Khan Yusufzai said the plane suddenly dropped from 2,900 feet to 2,000 feet as it made its final approach to land, and vanished from the airport radar.

investigate the crash and the head of the airline Farooq Bhoja had been put on an “exit control list”, banning him from leaving Pakistan. All 127 people on board — 121 passengers and six crew-were killed when the plane crashed and burst into flames at around 6:40 pm on Friday. There were 11 children among the

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani relatives and mourners, carry the coffins of a couple who was killed in a Bhoja Air Boeing 737 plane that crashed on the outskirts of Islamabad on Friday killing all 127 people on board, during their funeral procession in Karachi, Pakistan, yesterday. — AP He said another plane from the private Airblue airline landed safely from the same approach about 10 minutes afterwards and there was no indication from the Bhoja pilot that he was in distress. The flight data recorder has been recovered and will be sent abroad for analysis, and the overall investigation could take up to a year to complete its work, he told reporters Saturday, Interior minister Rehman Malik said a committee had been set up to

dead. The crash came less than two years after the worst ever air disaster on Pakistani soil. In July 2010 an Airbus A321 operated by Airblue crashed into the hills overlooking Islamabad while coming in to land in heavy rain and poor visibility, killing all 152 people on board. Friday’s flight was Bhoja’s first evening trip from Karachi to Islamabad since resuming operations last month after a 12-year suspension for not paying Civil Aviation Authority dues. — AFP


MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

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

Australian speaker steps aside amid gay sex scandal SYDNEY: Australia’s parliamentary speaker stood aside yesterday following claims he sexually harassed a male staffer and misused taxi services in a case that could hurt the nation’s fragile government. Weekend reports alleged Peter Slipper harassed former staffer James Ashby, including telling him to shower with the door open when he stayed at his home, and “moaning” in a sexual manner after asking him for a massage. The married Slipper, 62, was also accused of misusing taxpayer-funded taxi services. The ABC said 33-year-old Ashby, who is openly gay, had launched legal action under the Fair Work Act detailing alleged explicit text messages, unwanted sexual advances and inappropriate com-

ments towards him. Separate reports said he was seeking compensation in the Federal Court as well as orders for his former employer to undergo counselling and anti-discrimination training. Slipper arrived back in Australia from the United States yesterday and released a statement “emphatically” denying the allegations. “The allegations include both a claim of criminal behaviour and claim under civil law,” he said. “As such, I believe it is appropriate for me to stand aside as speaker while this criminal allegation is resolved. “Once it is clear they are untrue I shall return to the speakership. In relation to the civil matter, there will be an appropriate process that will resolve the matter in

If he is ultimately forced to resign, Labor would have to appoint one of its own MPs as speaker, reducing its numbers in the lower house. Labor currently has 75 votes to the opposition’s 73. In the interim, Labor MP and deputy speaker Anna Burke will take the role, Slipper said in his statement. Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan said Slipper was entitled to the presumption of innocence while the matters were before the court. “I’ve been in parliament a long time. I’ve seen allegations come and go. These are now allegations that are in legal proceedings,” he said. “We should respect those legal proceedings. We should respect those processes.” — AFP

due course.” The conservative opposition earlier demanded he be removed from parliament until the issue was resolved as claims of sexual misconduct from 2003 involving him and another male staffer also surfaced. In that incident, reports said a video existed of Slipper lying on a bed with a junior male staffer, hugging him “in an intimate fashion”. The Sydney Sunday Telegraph said he would face a parliamentary vote to oust him if he refused to stand aside. Slipper defected from Tony Abbott’s opposition Liberal Party last year so he could be appointed speaker. It stripped one vote from the opposition and shored up Julia Gillard’s ruling Labor Party’s wafer-thin hold on power.

Australian parliamentary speaker Peter Slipper

US commander reaffirms Philippines defence pact Other nations must take stand on China: Manila

YANGON: Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi (C) talks to the media as she leaves the National League for Democracy (NLD) headquarters during the final day of a party meeting in Yangon yesterday. Aung San Suu Kyi’s party announced it will postpone its parliamentary debut, in the first sign of discord between Myanmar’s newly-elected opposition and reformist government. — AFP

Suu Kyi’s party postpones Myanmar parliament entry YANGON: Aung San Suu Kyi’s party yesterday said it will postpone its parliamentary debut next week, in the first sign of discord between Myanmar’s newly-elected opposition and reformist government. The democracy icon and other members of her National League for Democracy (NLD) will not travel to the capital Naypyidaw to enter parliament today, party spokesman Ohn Kyaing told AFP, following a dispute over the swearing-in oath. “We are not boycotting, but we are just waiting for the right time to go,” said Suu Kyi, who won her first-ever seat in parliament in landmark April 1 by-elections, after a meeting on the issue in Yangon. The NLD has baulked at the wording of the oath, which requires them to protect a constitution that was drawn up by the country’s former junta. Authorities have rejected the party ’s appeal to change the wording of the oath from “safeguard” to “respect” the constitution and a letter to the office of Myanmar’s reformist President Thein Sein on the issue was sent too late for the row to be resolved before the next session of parliament begins today. The NLD, which boycotted a controversial 2010 election, agreed to rejoin the political mainstream last year after authorities changed a similar phrase in party registration documents. Suu Kyi has said one of her priorities as a politician is to push for an amendment of the 2008 constitution, under which one quarter of the seats in parliament are reserved for unelected military officials. The spat casts a shadow over a rapid thawing in relations between long-isolated Myanmar and the international community since the Nobel Peace Prize winner and her party achieved a decisive win in the April 1 polls.

Suu Kyi, who was locked up for most of the last two decades, has shown increased confidence in the regime in recent weeks, calling for European Union sanctions to be suspended and planning her first international trip in 24 years. Thein Sein is currently on a visit to Japan and on Saturday held talks with Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, who announced Tokyo had agreed to waive Myanmar’s $3.7 billion debt and resume suspended financial assistance. During the meeting, Thein Sein said Myanmar will continue pursuing more reforms, including “focusing on further democratisation”, according to a Japanese official present. The five day trip, which began on Friday, includes a summit of Japan and five Mekong Delta nations-Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. Myanmar, which languished for decades under a repressive junta, has announced a series of reforms since a civilian, but military-backed, government to power took power last year. The regime has freed hundreds of political prisoners, welcomed Suu Kyi’s party back into mainstream politics and signed tentative peace deals with a number of rebel groups, although fighting still rages in the far north. The NLD became the main opposition force when it secured 43 of the 44 seats it contested in this month’s elections, which were largely praised as a step towards democracy by the international community. Observers say the regime needs Suu Kyi in parliament to bolster the legitimacy of its political system as Western nations move to ease sanctions. European Union diplomats told AFP Thursday that the 27-nation bloc had reached an agreement in principle to suspend all sanctions, except an arms embargo, for a year. — AFP

PUERTO PRINCESA: A senior US commander in the Pacific reaffirmed the United States’ mutual defence treaty with the Philippines yesterday amid increased tensions between the archipelago and China. In the strongest comments yet from an American official on the South China Sea dispute, Commander of the US Marines in the Pacific Lieutenant General Duane Thiessen said the Philippines and US were bound by a military agreement. “The United States and the Philippines have a mutual defence treaty which guarantees that we get involved in each other’s defense and that is self explanatory,” he told reporters in Puerto Princesa, the capital of Palawan. Thiessen was responding to a question about whether the US would provide assistance if Chinese armed forces attacked Philippine units over conflicting claims to the Scarborough Shoal which have flared up in recent weeks. The US commander did not elaborate on what kind of assistance would be provided. He also stressed that US-Philippine military exercises that began last week were not directed at China and not linked to territorial tensions. “There is no direct linkage. There is no tie between Scarborough Shoal and US movement in the Pacific,” he said. His remarks came after Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario issued a statement calling on other countries to take a stand on China’s alleged aggressiveness in the region. “Since the freedom of navigation and unimpeded commerce in the (South China Sea) are of great import to many nations, all should consider what China is endeavouring to do in the Scarborough Shoal,” del Rosario said. “All, not just the Philippines will be ulti-

mately negatively affected if we do not take a stand,” he said in an SMS message sent to reporters. Chinese and Philippine ships began a standoff in Scarborough Shoal on April 8, giving increased attention to the annual joint military exercise this year. A Philippine coast guard ship and two Chinese vessels are still facing off over the two countries’ conflicting claims to the shoal, about 230 kilometres (140 miles) from the main Philippine island of Luzon. A Chinese military paper recently warned that the latest

US-Philippine exercise increased the threat of an armed confrontation in the region. China claims all of the South China Sea, even up to the coasts of other countries including the Philippines, directly conflicting with the claims of many of its neighbours. While the Philippines concedes it cannot stand up to China’s military might, officials have also cited its 1951 mutual defence treaty which calls on the United States to come to the country’s aid in case of external attack. — AFP

MANILA: Two US CH-47 helicopters used as air support for the PH-US military exercise, fly past a Cebu Pacific passenger jet at a temporary US Marine base in Puerto Princesa, Palawan island, south of Manila yesterday. The Philippines hailed the start of major war games with the US on April 16 as a timely boost to the two nations’ military alliance amid growing regional security challenges. —AFP

China-Russia Yellow Sea naval drills begin BEIJING: China and Russia launched their first joint naval exercises yesterday, with war games in the Yellow Sea that come amid tensions between China and its Asian neighbours over territorial claims. The six days of drills-the first dedicated exercises involving navies of the two countries-are taking place off China’s east coast, the official Xinhua news agency said. Although China has said the military exercises are designed to improve regional stability, they come at a time when Beijing is boosting military spending and more forcefully stating its case in territorial disputes. China’s army newspaper warned Saturday that other military exercises now taking place in Asia between the United States and the Philippines could lead to armed confrontation over the disputed South China Sea. China and several of its neighbours have rival claims to uninhabited islands in the strategic maritime region, which is believed to be rich in oil and natural gas and straddles strategic shipping lanes vital to global trade. Beijing and Tokyo also have a long-running dispute over another chain of islands in the East China Sea, called Diaoyu by China and Senkaku by Japan, which sit in rich fishing grounds that may also harbour energy resources. China has 16 naval vessels and two submarines

taking part in the exercises while Russia has four warships, according to state media. They will focus on joint air defence, anti-submarine tactics and search and rescue, as well as simulated rescue of hijacked vessels and anti-terrorism drills. “This joint military exercise is a long scheduled one between China and Russia in order to uphold regional peace and stability,” foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin told a regular news briefing on Thursday. China and Russia have together participated in four military exercises since 2005, some involving other countries, state media has said. China’s drills with Russia have taken place through a regional grouping, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which groups the two with central Asian countries in a forum originally established to counter NATO influence. With military cooperation between the old Cold War allies on the rise, some analysts questioned the value of China holding exercises with Russia, given Moscow’s diminished role. “It’s worrisome to its neighbours,” said Joshua Eisenman, senior fellow in China studies at the Washington-based American Foreign Policy Council. “Countries like Korea, Japan, Vietnam and India are already concerned about China’s role in the region,” he told AFP. “From a Chinese perspective, I don’t see the value of this type of military exercise

to building long-term strategic trust with its neighbours.” Earlier this month, China and the Philippines dispatched vessels to enforce rival claims to a group of islands in the South China Sea. The Philippines and the United States also started major war games as a timely boost to their military alliance, as part of Washington’s “pivot” towards Asia, which has provoked displeasure from China. The People’s Liberation Army Daily, a newspaper known for its nationalistic editorial stance, on Saturday issued a warning to the United States over its participation. “The mentality behind this sort of military exercise will lead to the road of military confrontation and armed force as a resolution,” the newspaper said. Chinese experts see the exercises with Russia as giving its military chances to interact with a modern navy. Yin Zhuo, an expert who advises the Chinese navy, said the number of ships involved was unprecedented. “Both sides will have deep exchanges in terms of tactics and technology,” Yin told state television. Japan has so far not commented on the SinoRussian drills. But Japan’s defence ministry said in a recent report that China was becoming increasingly active in waters near Japanese territory while Russia was holding more frequent military exercises in its far east region. — AFP

China scandal exposes elite’s impunity, need for change BEIJING: A sensational political scandal unfolding in China has exposed the high level of impunity enjoyed by elites at a time when social tensions are rising, highlighting the need for change, observers say. The affair-which toppled Bo Xilai, one of the Communist Party’s stars, and prompted authorities to probe his wife for murder-has played out in an unusually public manner despite the best efforts of China’s censors. There have been scant official announcements about the case, but allegations of massive corruption and abuse of power involving Bo and his family have trickled through online to Chinese people already weary of graft scandals. “The Bo Xilai case clearly shows that corruption among some of the most powerful leaders can be horrendous,” said Sidney Rittenberg, an American who spent decades in China and gained first-hand insight into the party’s workings. “Today, officials who genuinely want to fight corruption, including some at the very top, are often in a minority and lack the power to clean out those Augean Stables,” he said, referring to the daunting task of Greek mythology. “Along with the necessary economic decentralization and the end of a centralized command economy, local officials are able to pretty much rule the roost in the areas

under their command.” Bo was sacked from his post as boss of the southwestern city of Chongqing last month, and subsequently suspended from the party’s top-level, 25-member Politburo for “serious discipline violations”-code in China for graft. His wife Gu Kailai, meanwhile, has been placed under investigation for the suspected murder of a British businessmana scandal that came to light when Bo’s right-hand man fled to a US consulate and reportedly asked for asylum. The saga reads like a Hollywood thriller and has gripped ordinary Chinese people, some of whom thought the charismatic Bo was a refreshing change from the country’s stiff, technocratic leaders. Jiang Weiping, a journalist who was jailed for five years in 2000 after writing articles critical of Bo and Gu, says he caught wind of their corrupt practices in the early 1990s when Bo was propaganda chief of Dalian city. He alleges that Gu raked in money through initiatives such as setting up a company to facilitate foreign investment in the northeastern city or through donations given to a research institute she established. Later, their son Bo Guagua was able to

study abroad in Britain, where he attended the prestigious Harrow school and then went to Oxford University. Jiang also alleges that Bo managed to secure his rise through the ranks by giving key officials benefits such as land or tax incentives, thus shoring up high-level support. After arriving in Chongqing, Bo drew criticism for launching a draconian crackdown on criminal elements in 2009 that led to a series of executions and suicides, amid allegations of widespread torture and false confessions. “He is two-faced. On the one hand, he is very talented and charming, but on the other, he is a conspirator... He has the gift of the gab and he is a great showman,” Jiang, who now lives in Canada, told AFP. The Bo case has been described as the biggest political crisis to hit China in decades as it exposes deep-set power struggles within the party, although other high-profile corruption cases have also emerged over the past years. Former Shanghai boss Chen Liangyu, for instance, was jailed for 18 years in 2008 for his role in a pension fund scandal, and former Beijing mayor Chen Xitong was removed from his post in 1995 for corruption and jailed for 16 years. — AFP

DANANG: Vietnamese fishermen sit waiting to leave for a night fishing trip from a beach in the central city of Danang yesterday. Vietnam and the US will hold five days of “non-combatant” naval exchange activities next week in the port city of Danang amid rising tensions in the South China Sea with China, whose authorities have just released 21 Vietnamese fishermen who were detained seven weeks ago near disputed islands, drawing strong protests from Hanoi. — AFP


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Hunting scandal puts Spanish crown in peril By Gabriel Rubio scandal over elephant-hunting that forced Spanish King Juan Carlos to make his first ever public apology has turned the popular monarchy itself into an endangered breed, experts say. Spain’s Juan Carlos, 74, who has long been widely respected for leading his people to democracy after decades of dictatorship and foiling an armed coup plot in 1981, is also popular for his down-to-earth manner. But several troublesome months for the monarchy, topped by Juan Carlos’ apology on Wednesday for going on an expensive hunting trip to Botswana while his country suffers from a recession, have tarnished the king’s aura. “He had to say something. The monarchy is probably in its darkest hour since the death of General Franco” in 1975, when Juan Carlos acceded to the throne, said Angel Bahamonde, a historian at Madrid’s Carlos III University. The hunting trip came to light because the king broke his hip in Botswana and was rushed home for surgery, but - remarkably for Spain sympathy for his medical condition was overshadowed by indignation at his perceived excess. The sight of Juan Carlos on crutches solemnly saying “I am very sorry” raised doubts not only about the king, but his heir Prince Felipe and the whole structure of Spain’s system of parliamentary monarchy. “He had to say sorry and try to win back sympathy from a large part of Spanish society, or the monarchy risked being in serious danger this time,” wrote journalist Jose Antonio Zarzalejos in El Confidencial newspaper. “It wasn’t just a matter of rescuing the monarchy from a state of public criticism that was hard to reverse, but to avoid compromising the future of Felipe and the whole institution for that matter.” Leaving hospital, the king said: “I made a mistake. It won’t happen again.” “The king did the right thing, because it was worrying that public opinion saw his behaviour as so frivolous. That with five million people unemployed, he went hunting elephants,” said law professor Antonio Torres del Moral. Spaniards’ widespread respect for Juan Carlos, he warned, does not equate to an unquestioning support for the crown. “In Spain, people are more ‘Juan-Carlist’ than monarchist, because the king has prestige and authority for being the driver of the political transition” from General Francisco Franco’s dictatorship to democrac y, said Torres, a monarchy specialist. Sociologist Fermin Bouza said the royal family now urgently needs to improve its image, which had already suffered from a corruption scandal implicating the king’s son-in-law, the Duke of Palma Inaki Urdangarin, which broke in November. That case prompted the royal palace to publish its accounts for the first time, in a gesture of openness that media widely interpreted as being driven by Felipe, keen to earn legitimacy with an eye to the succession. “He won’t have an easy time at all being king,” said Bouza. “This is a republican country that only accepts the monarchy when it comes in the form of someone like Juan Carlos was.” But the king’s role in the transition, and the authority it won him, seem far distant now in the eyes of Spain’s younger generation, born under democracy, says the historian Bahamonde. “Republican thinking is growing and is considered a perfectly logical alternative,” he said. “Felipe probably will reign,” he added. “But the monarchist versus republican debate is open. It will get more intense in the future.” — AFP

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Political rifts slow Islamic finance in Egypt By Ahmed Lotfy and Bernardo Vizcaino lexBank, one of Egypt’s biggest commercial banks, says it expects to launch Islamic financial services next April. But the country’s political divisions mean the regulatory environment in which the bank will operate is not clear. Last year’s ouster of president Hosni Mubarak, whose regime neglected or discouraged Islamic finance for ideological reasons, has cleared the way for rapid growth of Islamic finance in Egypt, bankers believe. But growth will require a regulatory framework, and a year after Mubarak left, basic decisions about regulation have not yet been made and may not be made for many more months, as Egypt’s transition to democracy distracts the government and political parties bicker over what form of Islamic jurisprudence the country should adopt. The country of over 80 million people is potentially an attractive market for Islamic finance, which is based on religious principles such as a ban on interest payments. Over two decades ago Egypt was a pioneer in developing the industry, before a scandal erupted over money management firms that touted Islamic investments at returns above prevailing interest rates. Egypt currently has 14 Islamic banking licences. Operators include three full-fledged Islamic banks, such as Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt, and several which use Islamic windows, including National Bank of Egypt and Ahli United Bank, part of Bahrain’s Ahli United Bank group, according to Mohamed El-Beltagy, head of the Egyptian Society for Islamic Finance. The industry’s roughly 200 branches and 120 billion Egyptian pounds ($19.9 billion) of assets are dwarfed by Egypt’s conventional banking industry; total assets of the entire banking sector are about 1.3 trillion pounds, the latest central bank data show. By comparison, Islamic banks account for over a quarter of assets in the Gulf’s commercial banking market, according to an estimate by consultants Ernst & Young. Some Islamic mutual funds were launched last year, by Al Watany Bank of Egypt, Naeem Financial and Banque du Caire, but only eight of 72 mutual fund products available in the market are Islamic. AlexBank, majority owned by Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo , intends to use ten of its 200 branches to offer Islamic consumer banking products across the country, said Bassel Rahmy, head of retail banking. United Bank, majority owned by the central bank, has announced its intention to convert to Islamic operations by the end of 2012. Meanwhile the Egyptian government has been considering the possibility of raising about $2 billion by issuing its first sukuk, or Islamic bond, according to Sheikh Hussein Hamid Hassan, a prominent Dubaibased Islamic scholar who is familiar with its planning. A

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sovereign issue could ultimately encourage sukuk sales by private Egyptian companies. Regulation But expansion of the industry will need a legal framework to attract investors and limit risks to the banking financial system, and here progress is slow. AlexBank’s Rahmy told Reuters that commercial bankers had been discussing the subject with the central bank governor, who had indicated regulations would be prepared this year. The Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) has said it is drafting rules to facilitate corporate sukuk issues. But there have been no clear public statements on the direction of policy. Senior EFSA officials did not appear at an Islamic finance seminar held in Cairo last month by Amanie, a global advisory firm in the industry. Although political parties have submitted proposals for regulations, economic officials from the parties decline to discuss them openly. An industry source told Reuters that proposals on regulation were split between a moderate, more laissez-faire view of the industry espoused by the EFSA, and more restrictive, conservative views promoted by Islamist parties. For example the EFSA differs with the Muslim Brotherhood, which won the most seats in January’s parliamentary elections, and the Salafi Al-Nour Party, which came second, on how sukuk should be structured, the source said. The source declined to elaborate on the disagreement, but it may be related to differences of opinion among Islamic scholars and bankers globally on the merits of asset-based products, which use real assets such as land as references for their value, versus asset-backed products, which actually give investors ownership in the assets. Many scholars view asset-backed products as closer to Islamic principles, but land transfer fees and other issues can make them more complex and expensive to arrange. The Brotherhood is generally more moderate and pragmatic than the hardline Al-Nour Party, so it might be more willing to compromise on regulatory principles. On the other hand, if it is forced into horse-trading with Al-Nour in the new parliament, it might give the hardline party more say over Islamic finance in exchange for concessions in other areas of economic policy. Policy issues are unlikely to be resolved until after a presidential election which starts in May, the climax of the shift to democracy. Afterwards, the distribution of power in the government should start to become clear, and agencies such as the EFSA may eventually be shaken up. But even after the election, it may take months for Islamic finance to be addressed comprehensively. A major task for political parties is writing a new constitu-

tion, but the assembly charged with doing that has been suspended after liberals pulled out to protest against what they said was its excessive domination by the Islamists. Issues One key issue which regulators will need to clarify is whether banks can get involved in Islamic finance through in-house windows or whether they must establish separate subsidiaries. The decision will affect banks’ accounting treatment of their operations. Islamic windows, used by global institutions such as Standard Chartered and HSBC, let conventional banks offer products without setting up expensive standalone operations. The banks have internal controls to segregate conventional and Islamic funds. By contrast, countries such as Qatar require the complete separation of Islamic from conventional banking operations. Qatar has been an important financial supporter of Egypt, giving it a $500 million grant last year, so it is possible that the Qatari model could carry some weight. Another unresolved issue is the authority of the boards of sharia scholars which rule on the religious permissibility of banks’ activities and products. Globally, some regulators establish a country-level board, while others leave it to each bank to set up its own board. Malaysia has a hybrid model; each bank develops products with the advice of its internal board but must then seek approval from the national board before marketing the products. Egypt “will require substantive sharia board regulation, particularly for consumer-level offerings in banking, capital markets and takaful (Islamic insurance),” said Hdeel Abdelhady, a US-based legal consultant. He cited the relatively litigious nature of Egypt’s legal system. “The Malaysian approach to sharia boards might be most suitable for the demographic make-up and temperament of the country,” he added. However, Mohammed Daud Bakar, chairman of Malaysia’s national sharia board, said he believed the Indonesian model of regulation, which is lighter-touch than Malaysia’s and does not involve so much intervention by central authorities, was more suitable for Egypt in the initial stage. “Malaysia is at a more advanced stage,” he said. The government will also have to decide how much of a role it wants to play in guiding expansion of the industry. If it launches a regular program of issuing sovereign sukuk, that could provide the pricing benchmarks needed to encourage development of a thriving market in corporate sukuk. If the government does not promote sukuk actively, leaving growth of the industry in the hands of the private sector, development may initially focus on the launch of more Islamic funds, said another industry source familiar with the debate. — Reuters

The Sudans put China in a policy bind By Michael Martina hen one of your big oil suppliers splits into rival states, that’s a problem for any country. When you’re China, with its huge appetite for energy and a tradition of never wanting to take sides, it becomes a foreign policy migraine. China’s balancing act between South Sudan and Sudan will take centre stage when the South’s president visits Beijing on Monday, seeking political and economic backing amid escalating tensions with its nor thern neighbour. President Salva Kiir’s six-day trip comes days after he ordered troops to withdraw from the oil-rich Heglig region after seizing it from Sudan, a move that brought the two countries to the brink of all-out war. For China, invested in the oil sector of both nations, the standoff shows how its economic expansion abroad has at times forced Beijing to deal with distant quarrels it would like to avoid. South Sudan gained independence from Khartoum last year. “ We’ve seen Beijing drawn into a tug-of-war, as each side attempts to pull Chinese interests in line with its own,” said Zach Vertin, senior analyst for Sudan and S outh Sudan at the International Crisis Group think-tank. “But China doesn’t want to step too far in either direction and risk damaging relations with either of its partners.” That, Vertin said, is the reality China has to grapple with as its global footprint grows. Earlier this year, rebel

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forces in Sudan kidnapped 29 Chinese workers. South Sudan also expelled Liu Yingcai, the head of Petrodar, a largely Chinese-led oil consortium that is the main oil firm operating in the new African nation. South Sudan said the firm was not fully cooperating with its investigation of oil firms suspected of helping Sudan seize southern oil transported from the landlocked South through Sudan for export. South Sudan seceded peacefully last year under the terms of a 2005 pact after decades of civil war, gaining control of three-quarters of Khartoum’s oil output. China’s long-term support for Khartoum, including its role as an arms supplier, had been a sore point with the South. But Beijing has expanded ties with South Sudan, eager to tap its oil. China can also build badly needed infrastructure in the country. That has placed China between the two hostile nations, but also given it a stake in preserving stability. “This trip could come at a fortunate time, if China is able to bring some of its influence on the South and push for peace. China can say to Kiir, if no peace, then no development,” said Li Xinfeng, a researcher of African affairs at the Chinese Academy of S ocial Sciences. China recognises its clout in both countries puts it in a unique position, but is hesitant to see itself as the key mediator, said Li Weijian, who studies China’s foreign polic y at the Shanghai Institutes of International

Studies. “It (South Sudan) wants China to use that influence to help. China will definitely put forth efforts, but this is a long-term dispute and it won’t be resolved simply as a function of China’s involvement,” Li said. Some analysts say Beijing is in the uncomfortable position of being called on by both Sudans, as well as the United States, to use influence that they say is overrated. Zha Daojiong, a professor at Peking University who studies China’s energy deals abroad, warned against expecting too much from Kiir’s trip, which follows a visit by Sudan’s war crimes-indicted President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir last year. “China is nothing more than a labour service provider to Sudan and South Sudan. We don’t have much clout, either through moral persuasion or through financial incentives,” Zha said. The two Sudans, themselves, were no longer a critical element of China’s overall energy strategy, Vertin from the International Crisis Group said. Sudan had been one of China’s top foreign suppliers of crude oil, but the latest Chinese customs data show crude imports from Sudan fell nearly 40 percent in January and February compared to a year earlier. “The Sudans remain an important piece of the puzzle, not necessarily in terms of net impor ts, but more significantly because the Chinese are heavily invested there, both in the oil sector and in new opportunities in infrastructure. It is as much about those opportunities as it is about net oil imports,” Vertin said. — Reuters


MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

NEWS The Trajan Forum is colored with lights to celebrate the anniversary of the legendary foundation of the eternal city in 753 B.C., in Rome's Circo Massimo. —AFP

Bahrain F1 winds up amid unrest Continued from Page 1 Bahrain’s interior ministry said “all roads and routes leading to the (Sakhir) circuit were safe and open.” Police were out in strength patrolling Manama and roads to the track. Helicopters flew low over the capital and armoured vehicles were deployed across the city, witnesses said. At the racetrack, spectators each paid 155 Bahraini dinars (Ä310) for the final day or 180 dinars for the whole three-day event. Men in Arab dishdashas stood along Westerners and women in shorts milling around souvenir stands. But many of seats in the grandstand and other areas were empty - despite lavish entertainment at the event to attract punters. Officials put spectator numbers at 28,000 in a circuit that can hold 45,000. Demonstrators said the nightly violence outside the capital Manama over the past week showed the authorities’ determination to go ahead with the competition this year was a mistake. “They miscalculated. They thought cancelling the race would be a defeat for them but they didn’t realise the cost of holding the race,” Shiite activist Alaa Shehabi said by telephone. “They didn’t factor in the negative branding.” Bahrain insists the unrest is isolated, but tensions mounted as protesters intensified their movement, taking advantage of the world media spotlight on the showcase event. The Grand Prix in Bahrain was cancelled last year in the wake of pro-democracy protests centred on Pearl Square and subsequent crackdown in which a government commission said 35 people were killed. Bahrain’s government is thought to have paid $40 million to host the

event, a symbol of pride for the ruling family since it brought the first Grand Prix to the region in 2004. When it was last held in 2010, the race drew more than 100,000 visitors and generated $500 million in spending. “ The excitement and quality of the racing is a fitting conclusion to another enthralling weekend of racing at the Bahrain International Circuit,” said Zayed AlZayani, circuit chairman. In a statement before the race, King Hamad pledged he was committed to reform. “I also want to make clear my personal commitment to reform and reconciliation in our great country. The door is always open for sincere dialogue amongst all our people,” he said. His announcement came as police fired tear gas and stun grenades at Shiite protesters who responded by hurling rocks and fire bombs while chanting “Down with Hamad,” witnesses told AFP. In protests that lasted through the night and into early yesterday, demonstrators also called for the release of prominent Shiite activist Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, on hunger strike since early February. State news agency BNA reported that Khawaja was in “good” health and that the Danish ambassador had visited him in hospital yesterday, as Khawaja is a dual citizen of Bahrain and Denmark. However, local rights groups reported that authorities on Saturday arrested two prominent activists, including Khawaja’s daughter Zeinab. The Youth Society for Human Rights said Zeinab would face interrogation by authorities for taking part in demonstrations, but it was not clear if she was still being detained yesterday. Another activist, Mohammed Hasan, 26, was beaten

by police with the barrel of a gun, another rights group said. Rights watchdogs have repeatedly called for Khawaja’s release and denounced the government’s reforms as mostly hollow. They also warned that the political stalemate could set Bahrain on a path to more violent confrontation. In some Shiite villages, including Malkiya, Karzakan, Sadad and Damistan, protesters late on Saturday carried banners that read “No to the formula of blood,” a key campaign slogan of the protest movement. On Saturday a protester was found dead in the Shiite village of Shakhura. The opposition AlWefaq movement said security forces on Friday night “attacked peaceful protesters, brutally beating some of them with various tools and weapons” in Shakhura. The interior ministry said it was probing the death of Salah Abbas Habib, 36. After the race, police used teargas to stop demonstrators in several Shiite villages around Manama, rights activist Sayed Yousif Al-Muhafda said. Muhafda said authorities did not want the funeral for Habib to take place while many foreign journalists were still in the country for Formula One. “They don’t want journalists to see the body while the Formula One race is still on and they know many journalists will go to the funeral. Maybe they will release the body tomorrow or the next day,” Muhafda said. The violence has centred mostly in and around Manama’s neighbouring Shiite villages but on Wednesday, four mechanics from the Force India F1 team were caught in a traffic jam as a petrol bomb exploded nearby. Two team members later left the country and the India Force crew cancelled a practise run on Friday afternoon. — Agencies

Fadhalah provides roadmap to resolve... Continued from Page 1 The woman who filed the lawsuit said in her complaint that the ministry’s decision to reject her application breached the Kuwaiti constitution which equates between males and females. The Assembly’s legal and legislative committee yesterday began discussing a host of draft laws for combating corruption, rapporteur of the panel MP Mohammad AlDallal said. Dallal said that the committee reviewed with government representatives more than 30 bills - all calling for combating corruption in addition to a comprehensive government-sponsored draft law. He said that the committee decided to discuss the government’s bill as the basis for the anti-corruption legislation and its next meet-

ing will be held on May 6. MP Abdullah Al-Turaiji meanwhile asked the interior minister about the number of Iranian females who entered Kuwait on business, tourist or family visas from Jan 1, 2007 until the end of 2011. He also demanded a list of those who sponsored them. The lawmaker also demanded the number and names of Iranian females who were granted temporary residence after the duration of their visas expired and demanded the name of the interior ministry official who approved the transfer. Turaiji demanded the number and names of Iranian females who were granted temporary residence permits in order to allow them complete marriage procedures “in violation with the purpose of their entry into Kuwait”, and asked for the number of Iranian females who are on domestic residence permits.

Workers are silhouetted as they replace broken LED lights on a huge bronze globe in front of a mall in Manila yesterday. At night, the structure turned into an LED globe, a video display with resolution and full graphics made possible by the LED’s 26,300 pieces of point lights. Activists across the globe celebrated Earth Day yesterday with events aimed at bringing awareness of environmental concerns. — AFP

Iran recovers data from US spy drone Continued from Page 1 defensive because of our economic sanctions against them,” said Lieberman, an independent who chairs the Senate Homeland Security Committee. The unmanned, bat-winged RQ-170 Sentinel drone went down in Iran four months ago, and Iran’s gleeful military proudly displayed it on state television apparently intact, though with what appeared to be damage to one of its wings. Iran claimed one of its cyberwarfare team hacked its controls by confusing its GPS guidance system, and has said ever since it would reverse-engineer the drone to make its own. US officials admitted they lost the drone on a CIA mission over Iran, but asserted the stealth aircraft came down because of a technical problem, not Iranian intervention. While US President Barack Obama made a vain request for Iran to return the drone, his defence secretary, Leon Panetta, voiced scepticism over how much technological knowledge Tehran could gain from the aircraft. The latest drone claim comes against the backdrop of spi-

ralling international tension and sanctions over Iran’s suspect nuclear program. Tehran denies Western assertions it is trying to produce an atomic weapon. “If we had not achieved access to software and hardware of this aircraft, we would be unable to get these details. Our experts are fully dominant over sections and programs of this plane,” Hajizadeh said. “It’s not that we can bring down a drone but cannot recover the data.” He said he provided the details to prove to the Americans “how far we’ve penetrated into this aircraft”. The US Defense Department said it does not discuss intelligence matters and would not comment on the Iranian claims. There are concerns in the US that Iran or other states may be able to reverse-engineer the chemical composition of the drone’s radar-deflecting paint or the aircraft’s sophisticated optics technology that allows operators to positively identify terror suspects from tens of thousands of feet in the air. Iran has gone a long way in reverse-engineering some key technologies in the past three decades, particularly in the areas of nuclear

and missile technology. Iran’s famous Shahab-3 missile, first displayed in 1998, is believed to be based on North Korea’s Nodong-1 design. Iran obtained its first centrifuge from Pakistan in 1986 and later reverse-engineered it to develop its now advanced uraniumenrichment program. Centrifuges, which purify uranium gas, are the central component of a process that can make fuel for power plants or at higher levels of processing weapons. However, unlike the situation with the drone, the Iranian government usually touts these achievements as the result of an indigenous, home-grown research. There are also worries that adversaries may be able to hack into the drone’s database, as Iran claimed to have done. Some surveillance technologies allow video to stream through to operators on the ground but do not store much collec ted data. If they do, it is encrypted. Media reports claimed this week that Russia and China have asked Tehran to provide them with information on the drone but Iran’s Defense Ministry denied this. — Agencies

Inflation at 4-mth high Continued from Page 1 in March, which disrupted traffic at ports, demanding higher salary increases despite the government plan for a 25 percent rise in public wages. Employees at national carrier Kuwait Airways grounded planes for three days during a walkout. Food costs, which account for almost one fifth of Kuwait consumer expenses, soared by 2.6 percent month-on-month in March, their quickest advance in 15 months, up from a mere 0.1 percent increase in February. Housing and transport prices, which together make up 43 percent of the basket, remained flat, the data also showed. “At the moment, the rise is clearly being driven by higher global food prices, which have really started to recover after coming down over 2011,” said Liz Martins, senior MENA economist at HSBC in Dubai. “Domestic inflation drivers are not yet in evidence, but the recent wage rises and expansionary government spending could start to feed through to stronger demand side price pressures later in the year,” she said. EFG’s Malik expected inflation to fall in the following months as government wage increases helped to end the strikes. Giyas Gokkent, chief economist at National Bank of Abu Dhabi sees inflation hovering around 4 per-

cent in the near term. Analysts polled by Reuters in March expected average inflation in Kuwait to slow to 4.5 percent in 2012 from a three-year high of 4.8 percent last year given a weaker global economic environment. Kuwait abandoned its direct peg to the US dollar in 2007 to rein in runaway inflation. It links its dinar to an undisclosed basket of currencies, which is believed to be heavily dollar dominated. In a separate release, annual inflation in the nearby United Arab Emirates remained at 0.6 percent for the second month in a row in March, while living costs fell 0.2 percent from the previous month, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed. “The decline in rents is expected to continue to weigh down on the overall consumer price index in 2012,” NBAD’s Gokkent said in a note. “Base effects are expected to cause a rise in annual inflation modestly after the first quarter of 2013.” Housing costs remained depressed in March, falling by 0.7 percent month-on-month for the second consecutive month. That reflects ongoing oversupply in the market, which has yet to recover from impacts of Dubai’s debt crisis in 2009-2010. Inflation in the second largest Arab economy is forecast to climb to 2.0 percent on average this year from 0.9 percent in 2011, the poll showed. — Reuters

Hollande beats Sarko, both head for runoff Continued from Page 1 major urban centres at 8:00 pm (1800 GMT), but the tendency was clear and the mood at Sarkozy’s campaign headquarters was resigned and sombre. “It’s a very good first round score. Dignity paid off,” said Socialist spokeswoman Aurelie Filippetti, welcoming yesterday ’s result in the more upbeat venues of Hollande’s party headquarters. Ten candidates were in the race - Hollande and Sarkozy being trailed by farright flag-bearer Marine Le Pen, hard-left firebrand Jean-Luc Melenchon, veteran centrist Francois Bayrou and a handful of outsiders. Le Pen came third with between 17 and 20 percent, the highest ever score for her anti-immigrant party, beating bitter enemy Melenchon, who scored between 10.5 and 13 percent. Bayrou won between 8.7 and 10 percent, according to the estimates seen by AFP. Turnout was high at at least 80 percent: down on the 84 percent turnout of 2007 but up significantly on the 72 percent of 2002 and belying fears that a low-key campaign would be capped by mass abstention. The left has not won a presidential election in a quarter of a century, but with France mired in low growth and rising joblessness, opinion polls had long predicted that the left would beat the right-wing incumbent. Hollande says Sarkozy has trapped France in a downward spiral of austerity and job losses, while Sarkozy says his rival is inexperienced and weak-willed and would spark financial panic through reckless spending pledges. The eurozone debt crisis and France’s sluggish growth and high unemployment have hung over the campaign, with Sarkozy struggling to defend his record

and Hollande unable to credibly promise spending increases. “I have never missed a vote, but this time I feel little enthusiasm for the election,” said 62-year-old retired high school teacher Isabelle Provost as she emerged into bright Paris sunshine after casting her ballot. “Economically there is little difference between the two main candidates,” she said, echoing the sentiment of many others of the right and the left. Hollande voted in his stronghold, the country town of Tulle in the central Correze region, where he is the local member of parliament and heads the regional council. He was warmly greeted by officials and voters alike. “I am attentive, engaged, but first of all respectful,” he told reporters. “The day ahead will be a long one, this is an important moment.” Sarkozy and his former supermodel wife Carla Bruni cast their ballots in Paris’ plush 16th district, a stronghold of his right-wing UMP party. Hollande was to make a speech in Tulle minutes after polls close and official results estimates are announced on the prime-time 8:00 pm television news. Sarkozy was to speak in Paris at around 9:00 pm. Opinion polls and campaigning were banned from midnight on Friday, and will resume today in the build-up to the May 6 runoff, which Hollande is predicted to win by around 55 percent to 45. Sarkozy and Hollande face a two-week scramble for the line, including a head-to-head televised debate that could be the incumbent’s last chance to change his fortunes. Privately however, Sarkozy’s top supporters had begun to admit that if Sarkozy failed to regain the momentum and slip ahead of Hollande yesterday, he would have too much ground left to make up.— AFP


MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

sp orts

Grace wins China Open

Chan working on new skills

Real hero sheds tag

CHINA: South African Branden Grace lifted the China Open yesterday with a closing three-under-par 69 and became only the second European Tour player to win three titles in the season after coming through the qualifying school. The 23-year-old finished 21-under to win the $3 million event co-sanctioned by the OneAsia Tour by three shots from defending champion Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium. “I thought my first win was around the corner (this season). To have three before May is literally unbelievable, but I’ve been playing well so I’ve been feeling like I can win and I’ve been giving myself opportunities,” he said. Grace not only matched the three titles Johan Edfors Of Sweden won in 2006 after coming through qualifying school but also became only the third South African - after Ernie Els and Retief Goosen - to win three times in a season. Only two players - Seve Ballesteros (1977) and Sandy Lyle (1979) have won three European Tour titles in a single season at a younger age. — Reuters

TOKYO: World figure skating champion Patrick Chan, who suffered his first defeat this season at the World Team Trophy in Tokyo, pledged yesterday to develop new skills against rising competition. Only three weeks after the 21-year-old Canadian retained his men’s world title, runner-up Daisuke Takahashi beat him into second spot at the season-closing six-nation competition on Friday. “There’s always a challenge,” Chan told AFP after the event’s gala exhibition yesterday when asked if he expected a bigger challenge from Takahashi and other rivals next season in the run-up to the 2014 Sochi Olympics. “As long as I keep on working on new things and improving, then I’m fine,” he said, adding he had a “new quad” in mind. He is considering changing the “pattern going into the quad with a smoother entrance.” Takahashi, who won an Olympic bronze medal and the world title in 2010, scored 94.00 points in the short programme on Thursday to eclipse by 0.98 Chan’s world record set at the 2011 world championships. The 26-year-old Japanese also edged Chan in the free programme on Friday to finish at 276.22 overall, the second highest next to the world mark of 280.98 set by the Canadian at the same championships. — AFP

BARCELONA: Cristiano Ronaldo may have finally shaken off the tag of biggame flop after he scored a dramatic winner for Real Madrid at bitter rivals Barcelona on Saturday, all but wrapping up the Spanish. Ronaldo’s 73rd-minute strike was his third goal in his last three visits to the Nou Camp and extended his La Liga record tally this season to 42, one more than Barca forward Lionel Messi, who succeeded Ronaldo as World Player of the Year. Messi, who had scored 13 times in 18 previous ‘Clasicos’ compared to five in 15 for Ronaldo, had a quiet night by his high standards and cut a forlorn figure at the end of the game as the Real players celebrated wildly. The win, a first for the club in eight league games against Barca, put them seven points clear of their bitter rivals with four matches left and within touching distance of a first La Liga title in four years. Ronaldo, who now has 54 goals in all competitions this season to Messi’s 63, had earned a reputation as a player who failed to perform in important matches but Saturday’s exhibition will help dispel that image. — Reuters

Tigers end Rangers winning streak DETROIT: The Detroit Tigers won the second game of a doubleheader against Texas 3-2 on Saturday to end the Rangers winning streak at eight games in a clash of American League divisional leaders. Texas routed the Tigers 10-4 in the first game but the home side took the second of a double-header caused by the previous night’s game being rained out. In the night game, Detroit pitcher Justin Verlander (2-1) pitched six innings without allowing an earned run. The Rangers scored to make it a one-run game entering the ninth inning, in which Tigers closer Jose Valverde walked two batters but struck out Josh Hamilton to end it. Neftali Feliz (1-1) took the loss. White Sox 4, Mariners 0 In Seattle, Phil Humber pitched the 21st perfect game in Major League history, steering Chicago to victory over Seattle. It was the third perfect game in which a single pitcher goes the complete game without allowing any runners on base - in White Sox history, following Mark Buehrle in 2009 and Charles Robertson in 1922. With his Chicago teammates lined up on the top step of the dugout urging him on, Humber fell behind 3-0 in the count to Michael Saunders leading off the ninth. But he still managed to strike him out. John Jaso then flied out before Brendan Ryan struck out to end the game. Indians 5, Athletics 1 In Oakland, Jeanmar Gomez

pitched into the sixth inning for his first win of the season as Cleveland extended its best road trip in more than 20 years with a victory over Oakland. Jason Kipnis drove in three runs and scored twice for the

has not lost a game in April for three years. Bobby Abreu highlight a fiverun fifth inning with a tiebreaking two-run single. Orioles starter Jake Arrieta (1-1) gave up five runs in 4 1-3 innings.

DETROIT: Tigers second baseman Brandon Inge is late to tag Texas Rangers’ Craig Gentry after he stole second base in the seventh inning of a baseball game. —AP surging Indians. Cleveland is assured it will win its first three series on the road for the first time since 1988. Cleveland also improved to 7-1 on its current nine-game swing. Angels 6, Orioles 3 In Anaheim, Jered Weaver pitched his first complete game of the season to steer Los Angeles past Baltimore. Weaver (3-0) allowed five hits, struck out five and walked none while going the distance for the ninth time. He

Yankees 15, Red Sox 9 In Boston, New York erased a nine-run deficit by posting consecutive seven-run innings, stunning arch rival Boston. Nick Swisher hit a grand slam and then added a two-run double to power the Yankees to the unlikeliest of victories, a day after having hit five homers to spoil the Red Sox celebrations for the 100th anniversar y of Fenway Park. Boston chased New York starter Freddy Garcia after 1 2-3

innings and opened a 9-0 lead after five. But Mark Teixeira homered twice, the second a three-run shot in the seven-run seventh that cut the deficit to 9-8. Swisher hit a two-run double off the center field wall in the eighth to make it 10-9. Teixeira, who homered from both sides of the plate for the 13th time in his career, and Swisher each had six RBIs. Rays 4, Twins 1 In St. Petersburg, Florida, James Shields pitched scoreless into the ninth inning, guiding Tampa Bay to victory over Minnesota. Shields (3-0) allowed one run over eight-plus innings to win his third consecutive start. BJ Upton had a key two-out two-run single off Carl Pavano (12) that gave the Rays a 3-0 lead in the sixth. Another run scored on the play when center fielder Denard Span made a throwing error trying to get the runner at third. Blue Jays 9, Royals 5 In Kansas City, Missouri, Colby Rasmus hit two home runs to help Toronto defeat Kansas City, handing the Royals their ninth straight loss. Blue Jays 21-year-old starter Drew Hutchison, who hadn’t even pitched at the highest level of the minor leagues, won on his major league debut, allowing eight hits in 5-1/3 innings. The Royals losing skid is their longest since 2009. —AP

WASHINGTON: Second base umpire Vic Carapazza (left) watches Miami Marlins’ Jose Reyes (7) slide into second after with a double as Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond (20) is unable to make the tag during the sixth inning. —AP

Nationals edge Marlins WASHINGTON: Washington’s Ian Desmond hit a home run and had the game-winning sacrifice fly in the 10th inning to lift the surprising Nationals to a 3-2 win over the Miami Marlins on Saturday. Wilson Ramos singled to lead off the 10th inning, took third on a throwing error and scored on Desmond’s fly as the Nationals improved to 12-4, continuing their best start since moving to Washington from Montreal in 2005. Florida’s Logan Morrison had hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth inning to tie the game at 2. Tom Gorzelanny (1-0) pitched the 10th inning for the win. Dodgers 5, Astros 1 In Houston, Matt Kemp set a franchise record for home runs, helping Los Angeles to a 5-1 win over Houston. Kemp has nine homers through 15 games, the best such start in Dodgers history. His two-run shot in the sixth inning off Kyle Weiland (0-3) extended the lead to 3-0. It also moved his major leagueleading RBI total to 22 and his hitting streak to 10 games. LA starter Clayton Kershaw (1-0) struck out nine in seven scoreless innings. Braves 3, D’backs 2 In Phoenix, Tommy Hanson pitched seven strong innings to streaking Atlanta past Arizona. Hanson allowed two runs on five hits for the Braves, who have won 10 of 11. Hanson (2-2) struck out seven, walked one and retired the last 13 batters he faced. Dan Uggla broke a 2-2 tie with a towering homer. Johnny Venters struck out the side in the eighth and Craig Kimbrel did the same in the ninth for the save. Arizona starter Joe Saunders (1-1) retired 13 of his final 14 batters, but couldn’t prevent the Diamondbacks’ fifth straight loss.

Group photo of officials and shooters.

KOTC shooting tourney concludes By Abdellatif Sharaa KUWAIT: Kuwait Oil Tankers Company Cup proved exciting as shooters did their best to have the highest score possible. Shooters from the Shooting Club, Military and National Guard sports associations participated in the air pistol and rifle, 50 meter free pistol and rifle and 25 meter pistol for both men and women. The closing ceremony was held on Saturday at the Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Olympic Shooting Complex in the presence of the Director of the Administrative Studies and Occupational Development Group at KOTC Hisham Ahmad Al-Rifae, Kuwait Shooting Federation Treasurer Essa Butaiban, KSF Assistant Treasurer Adnan Al-Ibrahim and KSF Board Member Dr. Nidal AlAsem. Dr. Al-Asem, in the KSF speech thanked KOTC which supported and still support activities of the shooting sport in Kuwait for a long time, adding that the championship enjoyed great success over the years.

Meanwhile Assistant Treasurer Adnan Nasser AlIbrahim appreciated KOTC significant support of the sport of shooting by rewarding the outstanding players who exert every effort to represent their country in the regional and international events. He said this championship affirms the continued cooperation of KOTC with the shooting sport club. AlIbrahim wished Kuwait’s shooters all success in the coming championships, particularly those qualified for the London 2012 Olympics.

Pirates 2, Cardinals 0 In Pittsburgh, AJ Burnett pitched seven scoreless innings in his injury-delayed Pittsburgh debut, helping defeat St. Louis. Burnett, who missed the first three weeks of the year recovering from a fractured facial bone, struck out seven. St. Louis starter Jake Westbrook (2-1) gave up a pair of RBI singles to Pedro Alvarez as his miserly ERA ticked up from 0.64 to 1.31. Mets 5, Giants 4 In New York, Ruben Tejada scored the winning run on a throwing error as New York prevailed over San Francisco after a chaotic ninth inning. Mike Pelfrey tossed eight terrific innings, and it appeared the Mets were headed to a fairly simple victory. They were leading 4-2 with two outs in the top of the ninth and with the a fly ball seeming certain to deliver a third out to close the game, but center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis overran the swirling fly ball which dropped behind him for a two-run double, tying the game 4-4. Brewers 9, Rockies 4 In Milwaukee, Ryan Braun broke out of a slump with a solo homer and two RBIs, helping Milwaukee beat Colorado. Braun, last season’s National League MVP, hit his second homer of the season and an RBI triple while ending an 0-for16 slide. Pitcher Jose Veras (2-0) threw a perfect seventh inning to get the victory. Cubs 6, Reds 1 In Chicago, the hosts ended a sixgame losing skid by defeating Cincinnati. Cubs starter Paul Maholm (1-2) allowed one run in six innings to snap his own personal six-game losing run. The Cubs took control with a four-run second inning off Mike Leake (0-2), who allowed five runs in 5 2-3 innings. —AP

MLB results/standings

Essa Butaiban hands Al-Rifae a memento

Results of the championship are as follows: Air Pistol Air Rifle 50M Free Rifle 50M Pistol Air Rifle Air Pistol Air Rifle Air Rifle Air Pistol 50M Free Rifle Air Pistol Air Pistol Air Pistol

Padres 5, Phillies 1 In San Diego, the hosts finally won a home game against Philadelphia, ending

a 13-game Phillies streak at Petco Park. Padres starter Cory Luebke (2-1) held the Phillies to two hits in eight innings, striking out five.

Men: Mideth Al-Sahli, Ali Al-Mutairi, Bader Al-Muhaini Men: Khalid Al-Subaie, Ali Al-Mutairi, Abdallah Al-Harby Men: Khalid Al-Subaie, Hussein Al-Ajmi, Abdallah Al-Harby Men: Zaid Al-Zafiri, Ali Al-Mutairi, Abdallah Al-Mulla Women: Heba Erzouqi, Munaira Al-Anjari, Duaa Al-Duwaikhi Women: Israa Bahman, Awatif Al-Qallaf, Huthama Al-Baghli Women Juniors: Heba Erzouqi, Duaa Al-Duwaikhi, Amal Al-Asem Men Juniors: Ali Al-Mutairi, Mohammad Abdelrahman, Mohammad Al-Subaie Men Juniors: Sultan Al-Enezi, Khalifa Al-Zafiri, Fahad Al-Fadly Men Juniors: Turky Al-Shimmari, Bandar Al-Mutairi, Ali Al-Mutairi Women Juniors: Ghizlan Hussein Juniors Shooting School: Fawaz Al-Thafiri, Duhuwi Al-Thafiri, Abdallah Askanani Women Juniors - Shooting School: Sheikha Hassan

Chicago Cubs 6, Cincinnati 1; Texas 10, Detroit 4 (1st game); Detroit 3, Texas 2 (2nd game); Washington 3, Miami 2 (10 innings); NY Mets 5, San Francisco 4; NY Yankees 15, Boston 9; Chicago White Sox 4, Seattle 0; La Dodgers 5, Houston 1; Pittsburgh 2, St. Louis 0; Tampa Bay 4, Minnesota 1; Toronto 9, Kansas City 5; Milwaukee 9, Colorado 4; Atlanta 3, Arizona 2; San Diego 5, Philadelphia 1; LA Angels 6, Baltimore 3; Cleveland 5, Oakland 1. National League Eastern Conference Atlantic Division Eastern Division American League Washington 12 4 .750 Eastern Division Atlanta 10 5 .667 1.5 W L PCT GB NY Mets 8 6 .571 3 NY Yankees 9 6 .600 Philadelphia 7 8 .467 4.5 Toronto 8 6 .571 .5 Miami 7 8 .467 4.5 Tampa Bay 8 7 .533 1 Central Division Baltimore 8 7 .533 1 St. Louis 10 5 .667 Boston 4 10 .286 4.5 Milwaukee 7 8 .467 3 Central Division Pittsburgh 6 8 .429 3.5 Detroit 10 5 .667 Cincinnati 6 9 .400 4 Cleveland 8 5 .615 1 Houston 5 10 .333 5 C White Sox 8 6 .571 1.5 Chicago Cubs 4 11 .267 6 Minnesota 5 10 .333 5 Western Division Kansas City 3 11 .214 6.5 LA Dodgers 12 3 .800 Western Division San Francisco 7 7 .500 4.5 Texas 12 3 .800 Colorado 7 7 .500 4.5 Oakland 7 9 .438 5.5 Arizona 7 8 .467 5 Seattle 7 9 .438 5.5 San Diego 4 12 .250 8.5 LA Angels 6 9 .400 6


17

MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

SPORTS

Undecided who to draft? Scan his rap sheet NEW YORK: NFL general managers looking for an edge in draft scour folders thick with information and base their decisions on the slimmest of margins - a tenth of a second in the 40-yard dash, an extra inch in height, the last 5 pounds on a barbell being benchpressed two dozen times or more. But a provocative new study suggests an almost surefire way for any GM to maximize the value of his pick: Choose a player who’s already had a run-in with the law. “So if you’re on the fence about a player and worried about his criminal record,” said Stephen Wu, an economics professor at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY, “the data says take a chance.” That sounds strange, but makes sense when you consider the study found that

players with so-called “character issues” get drafted, on average, 15 to 25 spots lower than players who performed similarly during their college career and at the NFL’s annual scouting combine but had zero entries on their rap sheets. Apparently, it’s already a consideration during draft-day planning in Arizona, Cincinnati, San Francisco and Chicago, where teams led the league in making shrewd picks out of problem children during the five drafts covered by the research. “It sounds like an interesting breakdown, but I rely on our guys to do their own homework,” Chargers general manager AJ Smith said. “Besides, plenty of ‘clean’ guys come in, get the money and go ‘Hollywood,’ and cause trouble until the day you off-load

them. So we do it our way, hope we don’t make mistakes and clean up the ones we miss as fast as we can.” Those sentiments were echoed by Buffalo GM Buddy Nix. “I wish I could tell you it’s scientific, but it’s not,” Nix said. “It’s more of a gut feeling. There are some things kids do ... they do it their first year, freshman and sophomore year, and then you say, ‘Well he’s changed.’ But most of that comes from learning about life and how to act, so we think that doesn’t really eliminate a guy. “But if it’s a repeat offender and if it’s the wrong kind of trouble,” he added, “then we stay away from it.” Take cornerback Janoris Jenkins, for example. He was kicked out of Florida a year ago after two arrests for marijuana possession in four months, which is

why he played his final season at North Alabama. But even there he had problems, getting ejected from a game for throwing a punch at an opponent. He was also arrested in a 2009 bar fight. Lots of scouts see Jenkins as a firstround talent at a critical position, but most mock drafts already have him slipping into the second round because of that checkered past. “I’d just as soon not get into that,” Nix said about Jenkins, then added, “But if you mean whether we’ll take him or not, I think abilitywise, obviously, you would. This is a political answer I’m fixing to give you, but probably otherwise, you wouldn’t. You get enough trouble without getting one that you know is a problem.”

On the other hand, despite an early blot on his record, Iowa offensive tackle Riley Reiff is exactly the kind of guy Nix and plenty of other GMs would grab with a Top 10 pick. As an incoming freshman visiting campus, Reiff, then 19, stripped in an alley and led eight police officers on a 20-minute drunken foot chase. He paid a hefty fine and never appeared on the police blotter in Iowa City again. The study was done by Hamilton student Kendall Weir as his senior thesis for an economics degree and is being overseen by Wu. It included every player (around 1,200) taken in the 2005-2009 NFL drafts and their results at the scouting combine. Then it divided players into four groups based on comparable results and tracked their performance through the 2011-12 season.—AP

Curtis clings on to Texas Open lead

JAKARTA: Lee Westwood of England holds the trophy after winning the Indonesian Masters golf tournament at Royale Jakarta Golf Club. —AP

Westwood retains Indonesia title JAKARTA: World number three Lee Westwood successfully defended his Indonesian Masters title after completing 32 holes at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club yesterday. The Briton returned to complete his third round before closing with a twoover-par 74 for a winning total of 16under-par 272 in the weather-hit tournament. Former Asian number one Thaworn Wiratchant finished two strokes adrift after carding 67 while the Indian duo of Gaganjeet Bhullar and Shiv Kapur shared third place a further two shots behind. “Today was hard. It is never easy playing in these conditions and I had to play

32 holes,” said Westwood who went into the final round with an eight-shot lead. “It was draining out there and I was really feeling it on the back nine. When you are in contention and under pressure, it seems to zap your energy faster.” “You never know how to play with such a big lead. You don’t know if you should attack or defend. It is quite hard to get your mental attitude around it. “Hopefully this will kick-start my year. I’ve played well without any wins so hopefully I can go on and win other tournaments,” added Westwood who finished tied for third at the U.S. Masters Tournament earlier this month. —Reuters

SAN ANTONIO: Ben Curtis retained his lead at the Texas Open on Saturday, leaving him just one round from his first PGA Tour victory since 2006 in what has been his most humbling year as a pro. Curtis finally made his first stumbles - once holding up a group playing six holes back when hacking the ball into the neighboring fairway as his only escape from under a tree - but his 1-over 73 was enough to stay atop the leaderboard at 9 under Saturday. Matt Every was grateful to end a long day in the same position where he started - three strokes behind the former British Open champion. He shot a 73 after waking early to finish his suspended second round, but it’s his course-record 63 from Thursday that still has him in contention. Mayakoba winner John Huh (67), Seung-Yui Noh (68) and Charlie Wi (71) were five strokes back at 4 under. Aside from Huh, no one within five strokes of Curtis has won on the tour. Despite six years passing since his last victory, Curtis said he knows how to handle the final round. “In the past when I’ve played in these circumstances, that’s what I did: I just focused on my game and if at the end of 18 holes it’s good enough to win, great,” Curtis said. “If not, I have to shake the guy’s hand that won and move forward.” The Texas Open is only the fourth PGA Tour stop this year for Curtis, whose tournament invitations are no longer a sure

thing after his status plummeted to near the bottom rungs of the tour. Curtis preserved his lead despite two double bogeys, including a wayward drive on the par-5 8th that left the 2003

British Open champion hitting twice from the adjacent fairway. Curtis said he and his caddie decided there was no other choice after his tee shot veered left and landed under a mesquite tree, surrounded by

SAN ANTONIO: Charlie Wi of South Korea chips to the 17th green during the third round of the Texas Open golf tournament. —AP

cactus and with no clear path back toward the hole. “We were joking that we were on the second hole for 50 minutes today,” Curtis said. Curtis has some history on his side: Since 2000, eight third-round leaders at the Texas Open have held on to win. Every called his round “scrappy” after he started the week with a course record at TPC San Antonio, two weeks after ditching his swing instructor and adopting a new laid-back stance on practice - which sometimes means not practicing at all. He had three bogeys Saturday but was saved by a couple birdies, including a 10footer set up by a dead-on tee shot on the par-3 3rd. “Overall, not bad,” Every said. “I have a chance to win.” Matt Kuchar, the tournament’s top-ranked player at No. 15, pulled back into contention with a 67 that was only marred by a bogey on the par-4 11th when the wind rolled his approach off the green to 21 feet on the fringe. “I put myself in position,” Kuchar said. “Maybe a long shot, but at least a chance.” Kuchar was tied for sixth at 3 under along with Greg Chalmers (69), Brian Gay (71), Cameron Tringale (76) and David Mathis (77). Mathis’ tumble was particularly swift. After starting the day two strokes off the lead, Mathis sank three birdies and walked to No. 15 in third place. But he bogeyed the hole and then made matters worse on the par3 16th when his tee shot sailing into a crowded grandstand of ducking spectators. —AP

YSSC thrash Kharafi to clinch the title

MUMBAI: Kings XI Punjab batsman Shaun Marsh (right) celebrates after winning their Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket match against Mumbai Indians. —AP

Kings XI beat Mumbai Indians MUMBAI: Australian Shaun Marsh hit an unbeaten 68 off 40 balls as Kings XI Punjab defeated Mumbai Indians by six wickets yesterday in Sachin Tendulkar’s comeback match in the Indian Premier League. Marsh hit five fours and three sixes and shared a match-winning fourth wicket stand of 58 off 38 balls with his countryman and stand-in captain David Hussey (21) as Kings XI romped to 164-4 in 19.3 overs. Tendulkar, who missed the previous four games for Mumbai due to a hand injury, scored 23 before he was run out but it was James Franklin’s 79 with six fours and four sixes that anchored Mumbai to 163-6. Mumbai was on course to get more runs before Dinesh Karthik (35) was run out in the 16th over with the score on 131 while going for the second run. Praveen Kumar got rid of Franklin and captain Harbhajan Singh off successive full tosses as Mumbai could score only 33 runs in the last five overs and lost four wickets.

Kings XI openers Nitin Saini (30) and Mandeep Singh (24) provided a solid platform of 48 before Marsh and Hussey kept scoring at a strong pace. Mumbai still had a chance with Kings XI needing 20 off the last two overs. However, Marsh hit Munaf Patel over mid-wicket for a big six in the penultimate over and then hit Sri Lanka seamer Thisara Perera’s low full toss over point boundary for a onehanded six in the last over to seal the game. Mumbai now have six points from three wins and three losses while Kings XI also have as many points, but have lost one more game. Scores: Kings XI Punjab 164-4 in 19.3 overs (Shaun Marsh 68 not out, Nitin Saini 30, Mandeep Singh 24, David Hussey 21; Kieron Pollard 2-14, Pragyan Ojha 2-28) def. Mumbai Indians 163-6 in 20 overs (James Franklin 79, Dinesh Karthik 35, Sachin Tendulkar 23; Parvinder Awana 2-23, Praveen Kumar 2-36).

KUWAIT: Young Sri Lankan Sports Club thrashed Kharafi National by 5 wickets to win the prestigious Kuwait Cricket T20 Premier League Division-2 cricket tournament concluded over the weekend at Sulaibiya cricket ground. Having won the toss, Kharafi National skipper Dennis Fernandes elected to bat on what seems to be good batting wicket but were soon in trouble with Dennis and Alwyn both back in the pavilion as YSSC pacers bowled a tight line giving only 29 runs during the restricted overs. From then on YSSC never looked back as they applied more pressure supported by some superb fielding to bundle out Kharafi for 101 run in 19.3 overs. Opening bat Selva played superbly with some resistance to score 24 runs and also towards the end Shahnaz and Ershad scored 13 and 15 respectively. YSSC who had already won the TACK’s Division-2 TDL3 cup earlier in the season were over confident chasing a target of 102 runs but were in trouble early in the innings as their elegant left hand opening batsman Rifkas got out cheaply for one run in the very first over trying

to pull a short pitch delivery from Selva when the score was 13 on board. Captain Thushara joined Nalaka and after striking two consecutive elegant cover drives was brilliantly caught at deep covers when he tried for the third and YSSC were 17-2 after 2 overs. Botheju took charge of the situation immediately by launching the counter attack together with Nalaka to put up a 27 runs partnership in 15 balls before Nalaka was bowled out for five runs from a superb delivery by Ershad giving some hope for Kharafi. Jagath too got out cheaply for 2 runs when score was 58 in the 7th over. However, hard hitting middle order bat Manju and YSSC’s most prolific run getter Botheju was still at the crease on 53 with 5 glorious sixes to his credit, YSSC’s hopes were still very much alive as they were well ahead of the required run rate to be 76-4 after 8 overs. Ershad bowling the 9th over managed to claim Botheju’s wicket. It was at this juncture old war horse Arjuna joined in and kept one end intack with his long time experience while Manju continued attack-

ing from the other end to score 18 runs to put up an unbroken 22 runs partnership to seal victory for YSSC with 5 wickets and 26 deliveries remaining. The finals was officiated by KCUP umpires, Mohd. Riaz Choudhari and Zahid Usman In the Semifinals, YSSC (147-5 in 17.2) beat Lexus (146-7 in 20.0) by 5 wickets and Kharafi National (105-8 in 19.1) beat Al Qaddar (104-10 in 18.0) by 2 wickets. The occasion was graced by the visiting ex-Bangladeshi Test/ODI cricketer Mohd. Sanwar Hossain, Hasannuzzaman also an ex- Bangladeshi international along with Kuwait Cricket Council chairman Jeff De Lange, Director General Asad Baig, Kuwait Umpires Panel Director Riaz Choudhari and various other dignitaries. Scores: Kharafi National: 101 for all out in 19.3 overs. Batting: Selva 24, Ershad 15, Firoz 13, Shahanaz 13 Bowling: Yohan 3-17, Botheju 2-13, Thushara 2-19, Rifkas 1-8, Jagath 1-9 YSSC: 102/5 in 15.4 overs Batting: Botheju 53, Manju 18 n.o Bowling: Ershad 3-23, Shahnaz 1-18, Jalid 1-21.

Winners trophy and prize money of US $ 1,000/- was awarded to YSSC (DIGITS) team by the visiting Bangladeshi Test/ODI cricketer Mohd. Sanwar Hossain and Kuwait Cricket Council Chairman Jeff De Lange respectively.


MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

S P ORT S

Vettel wins Bahrain GP

MONACO: Spain’s Rafael Nadal (right) with Prince Albert II of Monaco and his wife, holds his cup after defeating Novak Djokovic of Serbia (left) in their final match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Masters tournament. —AP

Nadal defeats Djokovic to clinch Monte Carlo title MONACO: Rafael Nadal finally managed to beat Novak Djokovic in a final, thrashing the topranked Serb 6-3, 6-1 yesterday to win the Monte Carlo Masters for the eighth consecutive year and end a run of seven straight defeats to his rival in title matches. He also now won a record 20 Masters titles, putting him one ahead of 16time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer. Nadal was hardly troubled by Djokovic this time and broke the Serb’s serve five times in a totally one-sided contest to clinch his 42nd straight win in Monte Carlo, his first title since last year’s French Open and 47th of his career. “I always loved this tournament since I was a kid. One of my dreams was play here,” Nadal said. “It’s a historic tournament (where) you see all your idols when you are a kid playing here.” The 25-year-old Nadal thrust his hands in the air after clinching victory in style with an ace that flew past the beleaguered Djokovic, who beat Nadal in an epic Australian Open final this year. “If you see the finals I win here, all the finals are against probably top-six players,” Nadal said. “That’s something that makes the victories even more difficult.” Nadal now leads their head-toheads 17-14 but it was his first win against Djokovic since a group-stage match at the 2010 ATP Finals in London. The Serb had beaten Nadal in three consecutive Grand Slam finals and handed him his only defeats on clay last year. “Winning against Novak in (the) final after losing a few ones is important for me,” Nadal said. “My level of tennis was high during the last four matches.” Nadal was also relieved to come through the tournament without further aggravating his troublesome left knee, having rested it and had treatment for three weeks before coming to Monte Carlo. “I am very happy because my knee is not limiting (my) movement. I can run 100 percent,” Nadal said. “You have pain, but (if) you feel you can run to every ball, (then) the pain never is a problem.” Djokovic, who has been playing through grief since the death of his grandfather on Thursday, said he felt emotionally drained and was unable to summon the mental strength he needed to dig deep against Nadal. “I definitely don’t want to take away anything from Rafa’s win. He was a better player,” Djokovic said. “But it’s a fact that I just didn’t have any emotional energy left in me.” Djokovic’s grandfather was

buried back home in Serbia on Saturday. “I’ve never been caught up in this kind of emotional situation before,” Djokovic said. “I’m just happy to reach the finals really under the circumstances. It’s been a very difficult week for me to go through mentally.” He has not decided what his schedule will be over the next few days. “I obviously have to go to visit my grandfather’s grave and see, because I wasn’t there (at the) funeral yesterday,” he said. “So I’ll be there.” Nadal had promised to be aggressive and, after Djokovic held his opening service game to love, the Spaniard was relentless in harrying the Serb all over the court. “Fantastic, impressive. The way he’s been treating this sport is a real example of a champion,” Djokovic said, when asked about Nadal’s eight straight wins at Monte Carlo. “I only have nice things to say about him. Every year he comes back and he looks like he’s the first time in this place.” Djokovic struggled to find a rhythm, making 25 unforced errors to just 11 winners. Nadal, however, timed most of his shots to perfection, and pushed Djokovic further and further back. “I think today he played just enough to win,” Djokovic said. “I just wasn’t there. You know, I didn’t play well, play at all, you know. I just was out there trying to put the ball in the court.” The breezy conditions seemed to bother Djokovic more than they did Nadal, although the swirling winds were not as intense as Saturday. Nadal, the 10-time Grand Slam champion, found his range very quickly and broke Djokovic in the third game when the Serb’s backhand went wide. While Djokovic held his next service game with great difficulty, Nadal won his to love to take a 4-2 lead. Djokovic was up 40-15 in the next but was surprised when a couple of mistimed returns from Nadal landed just in. That seemed to frustrate the Serb and he gave Nadal another break point with a sloppy backhand that went wide. The Serb saved it and then held with a beautifully weighted drop shot. But Nadal broke him again in the ninth game to take the opening set, with Djokovic yet again planting a backhand wide. A double break gave Nadal a 4-0 lead in the second set and Djokovic could not find a way back.—AP

LONDON: Britain’s Prince Harry (center) poses with men and women first, second and third place finishers during the trophy presentation in the London Marathon. (From left are) women second placed Kenya’s Edna Kiplagat, men second placed Kenya’s Martin Lel, women’s winner Kenya’s Mary Keitany, Prince Harry, men’s winner Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang, women third placed Kenya’s Priscah Jeptoo and men third placed Ethiopia’s Tsegaye Kebede.—AP

Kenyans on top in London Marathon LONDON: Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang and Mary Keitany triumphed in the London Marathon here yesterday as the African nation served notice of its distance running strength ahead of the Olympic Games. Kipsang, the second fastest man of all time, went clear of a class field in the closing stages and won in a time of two hours, four minutes and 44 seconds just four seconds outside the course record set by compatriot Emmanuel Mutai, who finished seventh yesterday, in winning last year’s race. The victorious Kipsang came home more than two minutes in front of compatriot Martin Lel (2:06:51), who overtook fellow former London champion Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia with a strong sprint finish “I knew when I went away they have to work very, very hard to beat me as I was feeling very good in myself,” Kipsang told the BBC. “I am sorry I didn’t (break) the record but winning is the most important thing for me. I feel a little tired now, but I am happy and tired.” Kebede may have prevented a clean sweep in his race but in the women’s event Keitany successfully defended her title and enhanced her credentials for an Olympic gold in London in a few months’ time as Kenyan runners monopolised the top five spots. Keitany left an outstanding field trailing to

win in a time of 2:18:37, a new Kenyan national record and a personal best-well inside her time of 2:19:19 she posted in winning last year’s London Marathon. World champion Edna Kiplagat finished second, more than a minute behind in 2:19:50, with world silver medallist Priscah Jeptoo a further 24 seconds behind in third. “I’m pleased with my run and the time was ok,” said Keitany. “The weather here all week has not been good but when I saw the sunshine this morning, I knew the weather would be right for me.” Florence Kiplagat was fourth and Lucy Kabu fifth, the strength in depth of the team leaving the Kenyan selectors with some tough choices to make ahead of the Olympic Marathon. However, this will be run over a significantly different course albeit with a similar finishing stretch along the Mall, in front of Buckingham Palace, the official London residence of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II. There was success for Britain in the wheelchair races with Dave Weir and Shelly Woods ensuring a home double. Weir timed his finish to perfection to see off the challenge of Switzerland’s Marcel Hug and so win his sixth London title while Woods overpowered her rivals to claim a second London victory of her career, finishing nearly four minutes ahead of Japan’s Wakako Tsuchida.—AFP

MANAMA: World champion Sebastian Vettel celebrated Red Bull’s first victory of the season and went back to the top of the standings yesterday after a Bahrain Grand Prix that put Formula One in the eye of a desert storm. The German’s sigh of relief on the podium was echoed by teams and bosses after the race, went ahead without incident and despite worldwide condemnation. The 24year-old Vettel’s 22nd career triumph, and his first in the troubled Gulf kingdom, made him the fourth different winner in four races - the first time that has happened since 2003. “I think it was an incredible race. Extremely tough,” he told reporters. Vettel now has 53 points, ousting McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton from the top. The Briton, who finished eighth after two nightmare pitstops, has 49. Champions Red Bull also overtook McLaren in the constructors’ battle. The German was pushed hard in the closing laps by Finland’s 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen, who had started 11th and finished second ahead of Lotus team mate Romain Grosjean in the Frenchman’s first appearance on the F1 podium. Raikkonen had the benefit of several sets of fresh tyres for the race, having missed the final phase of qualifying on Saturday, and he made them count on a circuit that delivered an enthralling race. Last year’s Bahrain race was cancelled due to a bloody crackdown on the pro-democracy uprising and the 2010 event is remembered mostly for a complete lack of overtaking or excitement. In that respect Sunday was also not normal. Raikkonen was challenging Vettel from the halfway point, with a first victory since his last year with Ferrari in 2009 looking a real possibility. “Given the fact that Kimi found a dealership somewhere where he got some new tyres from, which allowed him to start every new stint on new

tyres, it was extremely tough to keep them behind us,” smiled Vettel. “Once he was very close and I thought he would get more than just one shot but it turned out to be enough and in the end I was even pulling away a little bit.” Australian Mark Webber was fourth in the other Red Bull for the

fourth successive race with the top four cars all powered by Renault engines. “It was a difficult race, extremely tough,” said Vettel, who closed his eyes and took a deep breath as he stood on the podium before taking a gulp of the winner’s non-alcoholic fizz. The main grandstand looked half

BAHRAIN: Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany kisses the trophy after the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir.—AP

empty, and there were few spectators to be seen elsewhere at a circuit with a maximum capacity of 45,000, but organisers put yesterday’s attendance at 28,000 with a three-day crowd of 70,000. Vettel, who had started from pole position for the first time this season after a record 15 starts from the top slot last year, made his trademark single-finger salute for the first time since last year after taking the chequered flag. With fuel running low, he was then told to pull over and stop immediately at the pit exit - which meant he had to run down the pit lane to embrace his mechanics although the celebrations were kept comparatively low-key. “We were probably surprised by the pace we went in the race. Obviously these guys were pushing us so we couldn’t afford to lift but it was enough,” said Vettel. Germany’s Nico Rosberg, winner of the previous race in China in the first victory by a Mercedes works team since 1955, finished fifth. Stewards decided to take no further action over incidents involving Hamilton and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who was incensed at being forced off track and raised a fist in anger. “I can only say that if, instead of such a wide run-off area there had been a wall, I’m not sure I’d be here now to talk about it,” said the Spaniard. Britain’s Paul Di Resta was sixth for Force India with Alonso seventh and Brazilian team mate Felipe Massa finally in the points in ninth. Germany’s seven-times champion Michael Schumacher, who started 22nd after a grid penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change, was 10th for Mercedes. McLaren’s Jenson Button retired on the penultimate lap after struggling with a split exhaust and a puncture after having fifth place in his sights.—Reuters

Czechs clinch Fed Cup final berth OSTRAVA: Holders the Czech Republic beat Italy 41 in their Fed Cup World Group semi-final tie here yesterday to advance to the November finals against Serbia. Reigning Wimbledon champion and world number three Petra Kvitova handed the Czechs an unbeatable 3-0 lead after seeing off Francesca Schiavone 6-4, 7-6 (7/1) in an hour and 47 minutes in the first rubber of the day. “It was an extremely tough game, Francesca managed to surprise me,” the 22-year-old Kvitova said. Kvitova took a 3-0 lead in the first set, then lost four straight games and finally came back for a

6-4 win. In the second, Kvitova had to come back from 3-5 before dominating the 31-year-old Schiavone in the tie-break. “It’s clear you won’t play the entire game in top form,” she said. “She started to play well when she was 3-0 down in the first set, and her returns were terribly long and terribly hard to handle,” added Kvitova, who has been sidelined with an illness and injury for most of the past two months. “I handled the two rubbers quite well. The main thing is I won both,” she said. Italy’s Sara Errani then beat Czech Andrea

Hlavackova 2-6, 6-2, 6-2, and Hlavackova with Lucie Hradecka added the home side’s fourth point in doubles as Errani and Flavia Pennetta retired from a 6-5 lead in the first set because of Pennetta’s wrist injury. On Saturday, Lucie Safarova beat Schiavone 7-6 (7/3), 6-1 and Kvitova breezed past Errani 6-4, 63. In the November final, the Czech Republic will host Serbia who defeated Russia in the other semifinal in Moscow. The Czechs beat Russia 3-2 in Moscow last November to win their first Fed Cup trophy since their country split with Slovakia in 1993.—AFP

Bulls close in on top spot in East CHICAGO: The Chicago Bulls held off a fourth-quarter rally to beat the Dallas Mavericks 93-83 on Friday and extend their lead atop the NBA Eastern Conference to 2-1/2 games. Luol Deng scored 22 point and Richard Hamilton added 19 for the Bulls, who have two games left in the regular season - against Indiana and lowly Cleveland - and nearest rival Miami has three. Defending NBA champion Dallas, which has already secured a playoff berth, rested veteran guards Jason Kidd and Jason Terry. Dirk Nowitzki scored 17 points to lead the Mavericks. 76ers 109, Pacers 106 In Indianapolis, Philadelphia edged closer to clinching a playoff spot by beating Indiana in overtime, ending the Pacers’ seven-game winning streak. Elton Brand scored 20 points and Lou Williams added 19 for the 76ers, who need win only one of their remaining three games or have Milwaukee lose one in order to clinch a playoff berth. David West had a season-high 32 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for Indiana, who missed a chance to lock up the No.3 seed in the Eastern Conference. Jazz 117, Magic 107 In Salt Lake City, Utah firmed up its hold on the last playoff spot in the Western Conference by beating Orlando in overtime. The Jazz moved a game ahead of Phoenix for the eighth and final spot, but the two teams meet on Tuesday and the Suns hold the advantage in the tiebreaker. Devin Harris scored 21 points and had a key block that forced overtime, with the Jazz having recovered from a 14-point deficit in the first half. The Magic dropped their first game since All-Star center Dwight Howard’s back surgery which will keep him out for the rest of the season. Jameer Nelson led Orlando with 23 points, including three 3-pointers, but had his shot blocked at the end of regulation. Nuggets 118, Suns 107 In Phoenix, Denver clinched a playoff berth by defeating Phoenix. Ty Lawson went 5 of 5 on 3-pointers and had 29 points and 10 assists for the Nuggets. Steve Nash of the Suns had 13 assists, nine in the first quarter, and

passed Oscar Robertson into fifth place on the NBA’s career list. Shannon Brown scored 28 points, including a career-best 6 3-pointers, for Phoenix, which lost Channing Frye to a shoulder injury in the second quarter. Grizzlies 93, Trail Blazers 89 In Memphis, Rudy Gay scored 21 points and had a key block in the final seconds as playoff-bound Memphis edged Portland and won its fourth straight. Gay, who was 9 of 16 from the field, blocked Wesley Matthews’ 3-point attempt with about 5 seconds left to seal the win and send the undermanned Blazers to their fifth straight loss. OJ Mayo scored 14 points for Memphis. J.J. Hickson scored 23 points to lead Portland. Wizards 86, Heat 84 In Miami, the hosts lost to lowly Washington, paying the price for resting LeBron James and Chris Bosh while losing Dwyane Wade to a dislocated finger inside three minutes. Wade appeared to get his finger caught in another player’s jersey and went to the locker room grimacing in pain. There was no immediate estimate as to how long Wade might be out, but with the playoffs beginning next weekend, the Heat will hope for a speedy recovery. He has already missed 14 games this season because of injuries; yet the Heat are 13-1 without him. Rockets 99, Warriors 96 In Houston, the hosts ended a sixgame losing skid by edging Golden State. Courtney Lee scored 20 points and Goran Dragic added 18 points and seven assists for the Rockets, who remained a game behind Utah for the final playoff spot in the West. Klay Thompson scored 24 points for the Warriors, who have lost eight straight. Bucks 106, Nets 95 In Milwaukee, Brandon Jennings scored 30 points to lead Milwaukee to a victory over New Jersey that kept the Bucks’ slim playoff hopes alive. Jennings, who hit three straight 3pointers late in the game, was 9 of 18 from the field and finished with six rebounds, six assists and four steals. Ersan Ilyasova added 17 points and 17 rebounds for the Bucks, who beat New Jersey for the 11th straight time. Gerald Wallace finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Nets.—AP

SALT LAKE CITY: Utah Jazz’s Jamaal Tinsley (left) steals the ball from Orlando Magic’s Ishmael Smith during the second half of an NBA basketball game.—AP

NBA results/standings Denver 118, Phoenix 107; Philadelphia 109, Indiana 106 (OT); Washington 86, Miami 84; Memphis 93, Portland 89; Chicago 93, Dallas 83; Houston 99, Golden State 96; Milwaukee 106, New Jersey 95; Utah 117, Orlando 107 (OT). Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT GB 37 27 .578 33 30 .524 3.5 33 30 .524 3.5 22 41 .349 14.5 22 42 .344 15 Central Division Chicago 48 16 .750 Indiana 41 23 .641 7 Milwaukee 30 33 .476 17.5 Detroit 23 40 .365 24.5 Cleveland 21 41 .339 26 Southeast Division Miami 45 18 .714 Atlanta 38 25 .603 7 Orlando 36 27 .571 9 Washington 17 46 .270 28 Boston NY Knicks Philadelphia Toronto New Jersey

Charlotte

Oklahoma Denver Utah Portland Minnesota LA Lakers LA Clippers Phoenix Golden State Sacramento San Antonio Memphis Dallas Houston New Orleans

7 55 .113 37.5 Western Conference Northwest Division 46 17 .730 35 28 .556 11 34 30 .531 12.5 28 36 .438 18.5 26 38 .406 20.5 Pacific Division 40 24 .625 39 24 .619 0.5 33 31 .516 7 22 41 .349 17.5 20 43 .317 19.5 Southwest Division 46 16 .742 39 25 .609 8 36 29 .554 11.5 33 31 .516 14 20 43 .317 26.5


19

MONDAY APRIL 23, 2012

SPORTS

Arda stunner helps Atletico to victory

CORSICA: Nancy’s defender Salif Sane (right) vies with Ajaccio’s Congolese defender Christian Kinkela during the French L1 football match. —AFP

PSG crush Sochaux to stay in title hunt PARIS: Paris Saint-Germain closed to within two points of Ligue 1 leaders Montpellier by overwhelming second-bottom Sochaux 6-1 at a sun-splashed Parc des Princes yesterday. Goals from Thiago Motta and Jeremy Menez put PSG 3-1 up at half-time, after Modibo Maiga had cancelled out Javier Pastore’s opener for the hosts. Nene claimed a second-half brace before substitute Sylvain Armand got on the score-sheet in injury time as Paris recorded their most emphatic win of the season. “We completely changed our attitude, and this was the right one,” said PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti, who had criticised his players after their 1-1 draw at Auxerre. “We looked after the ball very well and we created lots of chances.” Montpellier had pulled five points clear after defeating Valenciennes the day before but although PSG remain within striking distance, they face an awkward trip to defending champions Lille next weekend. “The next match might be the key to the season,” added Ancelotti. “It’ll be a very important week for the top three teams. Perhaps even the most important week of the season.” Ancelotti elected to deploy a fluid 4-3-3 formation with Nene, Menez and Pastore occupying the three attacking berths and it was Pastore who broke the deadlock in the sixth minute, slamming home with his left foot after a one-two with Nene. Sochaux responded six minutes later, Maiga beating PSG goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu to Marvin Martin’s lofted pass to head home and score for the fifth league game in succession. Maiga hit the post from Ryad

Boudebouz’s knockdown at the end of a sweeping Sochaux move in the 21st minute, before Motta converted Nene’s left-wing free-kick to restore the hosts’ lead and claim his first goal for the club. Menez made it 3-1 shortly before halftime, glancing home at the near post after Pastore freed Siaka Tiene on the PSG left. Sochaux’s hopes of a comeback were erased by a quick-fire Nene brace just before the hour. The Brazilian made it 4-1 in the 55th minute by volleying home Christophe Jallet’s deep cross and took his personal tally to 16 league goals this season five minutes later after skipping around Sochaux goalkeeper Teddy Richert. Armand added another at the death, gathering Pastore’s pass and rolling the ball inside Richert’s left-hand post. Defeat left Sochaux 19th but they are only a point from safety with five games of the season remaining. In yesterday’s other afternoon kick-off, Ajaccio crept out of the relegation zone at the expense of Brest following a goalless draw at home to Nancy. Montpellier maintained their grip on top spot by beating Valenciennes 1-0 on Saturday courtesy of an early goal from Souleymane Camara. Lille held their course for third place by winning 2-0 at Dijon, despite the first-half dismissal of Idrissa Gueye, while Rennes leapt up to fourth by winning 1-0 at Brest. Beaten 3-0 at Toulouse in mid-week, Lyon will bid to reclaim fourth place from Rennes and close to within six points of Lille by beating Lorient in yesterday’s late game at Stade Gerland.—AFP

BARCELONA: A quickfire Arda Turan double, including an acrobatic bicycle kick, fired Atletico Madrid to a 3-1 home win over Espanyol in La Liga yesterday and lifted the Europa League semi-finalists up to seventh. The Turkey playmaker settled the match at a sun-bathed Calderon when he volleyed in Juanfran’s centre in the 59th minute before dancing his way through a cluster of defenders and netting off a post two minutes later. Diego Godin had nodded Atletico in front in the ninth minute and Didac Vila levelled for the visitors with a shot that went in off the underside of the bar 10 minutes later. Atletico’s victory boosted their chances of playing in Europe again next season and put them on 48 points with four games left, level with sixth-placed Athletic Bilbao and a point behind Levante, who drew 1-1 at Sevilla on Saturday. Bilbao won 1-0 at bottom club Racing Santander in Sunday’s earlier kickoff, a result which left the Cantabrian club on the verge of relegation. Gaizka Toquero struck early for the Basques, who host Portuguese side Sporting in their Europa League semi-final second leg on Thursday having lost last week’s first leg in Lisbon 2-1. Leaders Real Madrid have one hand on a first league title in four years after Cristiano Ronaldo struck a 73rd-minute winner in a dramatic 2-1 win at champions Barcelona on Saturday that stretched their advantage to seven points. Barca coach Pep Guardiola conceded the league at his post-match news conference and the bitter rivals could meet again in next

month’s Champions League final if they can reverse first-leg deficits in this week’s semifinal second legs. Barca host Chelsea at the Nou Camp tomorrow after losing 1-0 at Stamford Bridge while Bayern Munich look to protect a 2-1 lead at Real’s Bernabeu stadium on Wednesday.

Atletico’s Europa League opponents Valencia, 4-2 down from the first leg in Madrid, can cement their grip on third and an automatic place in next season’s Champions League when they host Real Betis late yesterday. Unai Emery’s side have 52 points, one ahead of fourth-placed Malaga, who play at Osasuna today.—Reuters

Spanish League results/standings Granada 1 (Jara 18) Getafe 0; Real Sociedad 1 (Vela 86) Villarreal 1 (Senna 42); Racing Santander 0 Athletic Bilbao 1 (Toquero 12); Atletico Madrid 3 (Godin 9, Turan 59, 61) Espanyol 1 (Didac 19). Playing later Valencia v Real Betis Played Saturday Sporting Gijon 2 (Sangoy 18, Bilic 78) Rayo Vallecano 1 (Labaka 51); Real Mallorca 1 (Victor 33) Real Zaragoza 0; Barcelona 1 (Sanchez 70) Real Madrid 2 (Khedira 17, Cristiano Ronaldo 73); Sevilla 1 (Negredo 21) Levante 1 (Kone 28). Playing today: Osasuna v Malaga Spanish league table after yesterday’s early evening match (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Real Madrid Barcelona Valencia Malaga Levante Bilbao Atletico Sevilla Osasuna Espanyol

34 34 33 33 34 34 34 34 33 34

28 25 14 15 14 12 13 12 11 12

4 6 10 6 7 12 9 10 13 9

2 109 30 3 97 26 9 50 42 12 49 46 13 48 47 10 49 44 12 47 42 12 41 39 9 37 53 13 44 46

88 81 52 51 49 48 48 46 46 45

Getafe Mallorca Real Betis Sociedad Vallecano Granada Villarreal Sporting Zaragoza Santander

34 34 33 34 34 34 34 34 34 34

12 11 12 10 12 11 8 8 8 4

9 10 6 10 4 6 13 7 7 14

13 13 15 14 18 17 13 19 19 16

38 36 40 41 50 31 35 35 29 24

45 41 45 50 60 49 48 64 60 53

45 43 42 40 40 39 37 31 31 26

Celtic down Motherwell GLASGOW: Teenager Tony Watt made a sensational debut for Scottish Premier League champions Celtic as he scored twice in his side’s 3-0 defeat of Motherwell at Fir Park yesterday. The 18-year-old, signed from Airdrie last year, replaced Pawel Brozek in the 59th minute and scored his first just over three minutes later when he volleyed in Victor Wanyama’s cross. Watt grabbed his second in the 66th minute, sending a low, angled drive into the bottom-left corner to mark a memorable start to his Celtic career. South Korean international Cha Du-Ri rounded off the win when he headed in substitute Paddy McCourt’s cross in the 83rd minute. The win keeps the Hoops 18 points clear of second-placed Rangers ahead of next Sunday’s Old Firm derby at Celtic Park. Celtic assistant manager Johan Mjallby

was very satisfied with his team’s showing. “I thought it was a very good performance. Although it was goalless in the first half, I felt we created chances,” Mjallby said. “We got the first one and then we grew from that. It was a sensational debut for Tony.” Motherwell coach Stuart McCall felt his side had competed well with the champions. “At half-time we were still well in the game. It was an open game and they had chances and we had chances,” he said. “It was a disappointing result and not what we were looking for but we’ve got four huge games still to go.” At Fir Park, Celtic made six changes to the side that lost to Hearts last Sunday as manager Neil Lennon, who watched the match from the stands as he started a twomatch touchline ban, rested several key players ahead of next week’s match with fierce rivals Rangers. Kris Commons was the first to

try his luck but his long-range shot flew past the post before Wanyama watched his effort from 25 yards go the same way. Lukasz Zaluska was making a rare start in goal for the Hoops and he had to be alert to stop Chris Humphrey’s shot on the half-volley after the forward latched on to Michael Higdon’s headed flick-on. Humphrey had a go again moments later when he picked up a loose ball on the edge of the box and fired in a fierce strike that Zaluska got down smartly to stop. On-loan Polish striker Brozek started his first game for Celtic and missed a golden chance to put the Hoops ahead in the 35th minute when Wanyama picked him out with a pass but he poked the ball well wide with only the goalkeeper to beat. Darren Randolph came to the rescue for Motherwell on the stroke of half-time when he stopped

Brozek’s low drive with his feet after the striker found some space in the box. Omar Daley created a chance for Nicky Law at the start of the second half but the midfielder sliced his shot wide. Watt replaced the ineffectual Brozek in the 59th minute and he scored with almost his first touch in the 63rd minute. Wanyama sent in a measured cross from the right and the teenager met it at the far post to send an angled volley under the legs of Randolph. Watt got his second after Joe Ledley picked him out in the box with a pass and he took a touch before drilling an angled shot through the legs of Shaun Hutchinson and past Randolph. Cha made sure of the three points when McCourt swung the ball into the box and the South Korean bulleted a header past the keeper from close range.—AFP

Juve take control as Milan slip up again

GERMANY: Augsburg’s striker Torsten Oehrl (left) vies for the ball with Schalke’s Spanish defender Sergio Escudero during the German First Division Bundesliga football match.—AFP

Huntelaar rescues Schalke BERLIN: Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar brushed off his training pitch bust-up with team-mate Jermaine Jones to save Schalke 04’s blushes yesterday in their 1-1 draw at Augsburg in the German league. The German title was decided on Saturday when Borussia Dortmund clinched their eighth championship with a 2-0 win at home to Moenchengladbach. But while Dortmund will finish top with Bayern Munich in second spot, third place, and an automatic Champions League place, is still to be decided between fourthplaced Gladbach and Schalke, who have a two-point lead in third. Huntelaar’s 38th-minute strike cancelled out Augsburg’s opener after just six minutes from defender Sebastian Langkamp and was the Dutchman’s 25th of the season to make him joint leading goal-scorer alongside Bayern’s Mario Gomez. “We had wanted to win in Augsburg, but that was difficult after our early setback,” said Schalke coach Huub Stevens. “We shouldn’t have allowed it, but we can be happy we have Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. He made something out of nothing to get us back to 1-1. We were better in the second half, but it still wasn’t the level of performance expected of Schalke.” Augsburg remain 15th, four points away

from the relegation zone with two games left. Pictures of Huntelaar and Jones trading blows in training on Saturday were published in German daily Bild yesterday. They appeared in the wake of Bayern Munich reportedly fining French star Franck Ribery 50,000 euros ($66,000) for an alleged dressing room bust-up with teammate Arjen Robben. Hanover remain seventh in the league, and on course for a Europa League spot, after their goalless draw with Freiburg. On Saturday, Dortmund clinched a second successive title as Japan star Shinji Kagawa’s second-half goal helped beat Gladbach after Ivan Perisic’s first-half header had put the hosts ahead at their sold-out Signal Iduna Park. The victory left Dortmund eight points clear of Bayern with just two games left. This is the eighth time that Dortmund have won the German league and the fifth time they have won the Bundesliga since it was founded in 1963. Victory also extended their record for the German league’s longest unbeaten run in a single season to 26 matches. Earlier, France star Ribery hit a 90thminute winner as Bayern poached a 2-1 win at Werder Bremen to briefly delay Dortmund’s title celebrations.—AFP

ROME: Juventus took control of the Serie A title race with a 4-0 victory over Roma yesterday as AC Milan slipped up again in a 1-1 draw at home to Bologna. It was Juve’s sixth win in a row and opened up a three-point lead at the top with five games left. They also have a better head-tohead record than the rossoneri meaning Milan need to make up four points to hold onto their scudetto crown. Arturo Vidal scored a brace and Andrea Pirlo added the other as Juve killed the game before the half hour mark with Claudio Marchisio rounding off the scoring after the break. Vidal arrived in the right place to finish from Paolo De Ceglie’s cross on four minutes and the Chile midfielder hit an unstoppable shot from Mirko Vucinic’s pass four minutes later to double the advantage. Just before the half hour mark the game was over as Roma goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg was harshly judged to have brought down Marchisio in the box. To add insult to injury he was sent off, even though there were two covering defenders and Marchisio, who seemed to hang his leg out to be caught by the keeper, had clearly lost the ball. Substitute goalkeeper Gianluca Curci saved Pirlo’s spot-kick but the Italy midfielder kept his cool to slot in the rebound. Marchisio added the fourth with a precise low shot from outside the box. Milan slipped up for the third time in four matches as Gaston Ramirez gave Bologna a first half lead and Daniele Bonera was sent off for the hosts 10 minutes from time before Zlatan Ibrahimovic rescued a point. Ibrahimovic had what seemed a valid goal ruled out for a tight offside decision in the second half but Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri refused to make excuses. “There’s nothing to say, the linesman raised his flag, the referee gave Ibrahimovic offside,” said Allegri. “Let’s say that with certain incidents we’ve been a bit unfortunate.

We’re disappointed, we thought we’d win.” Milan have only picked up five points from their last four league games and have only one win in six in all competitions. The hosts fell behind on 26 minutes when indecision from Mark van Bommel saw Alessandro Diamanti break from the halfway line and slip in Ramirez to finish low into the corner. Milan piled on the pressure after the break and Ibrahimovic seemed to have the ball in the net but was pulled back for a controversial offside. Their task grew complicated 10 minutes from time when Bonera went through the back of Robert Acquafresca and picked up a second booking, leaving the champions to finish the game with 10 men. But Ibrahimovic found the net a minute from time, tapping home a deep cross at the back post. Lazio squandered the chance to exploit Udinese’s 0-0 draw at Chievo on Saturday night as an injury time strike by Valeri Bojinov earned Lecce a 1-1 draw in the capital. A group of home fans disgraced themselves with anti-semitic chants during the first half to make matters worse. Lazio looked to have snatched the win eight minutes from time when Brazilian Matuzalem struck but Lecce had the last word. The third-placed Romans are now three points ahead of Udinese and four ahead of Napoli, who beat Novara 2-0 on Saturday, with five games to play in the race for Champions League football next season. On a dramatic day, Genoa’s clash at home to Siena was held up for 45 minutes as fans protested the hosts’ performance-they were 4-0 down at the time-by throwing flares onto the pitch and climbing safety barriers. With Genoa losing 4-1 in the end, Lecce are now just one point from safety Sixth-placed Inter Milan’s Champions League qualification hopes slipped further away following a 0-0 draw at Fiorentina, leaving them six points behind Lazio.—AFP

ITALY: AC Milan forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Sweden performs an overhead kick during the Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Bologna at the San Siro stadium.—AP

Italian Serie A results/standings Cesena 2 (Santana 26, Rennella 28) Palermo 2 (Bertolo 20, Silvestre 45); Fiorentina 0 Inter Milan 0; Genoa 1 (Del Grosso 79) Siena 4 (Brienza 17, 37, Destro 19, Giorgi 49); Juventus 4 (Vidal 4, 8, Pirlo 29, Marchisio 52) Roma 0; Lazio 1 (Matuzalem 82) Lecce 1 (Bojinov 90); AC Milan 1 (Ibrahimovic 90) Bologna 1 (Ramirez 26). Italian Serie A table after yesterday’s matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Juventus 33 19 14 0 57 18 71 AC Milan 33 20 8 5 63 27 68 Lazio 33 16 7 10 49 41 55 Udinese 33 14 10 9 44 32 52 Napoli 33 13 12 8 58 41 51 Roma 33 15 5 13 52 46 50 Inter Milan 33 14 7 12 47 45 49 Catania 33 11 13 9 44 43 46 Chievo 33 11 10 12 30 40 43 Siena 33 11 9 13 41 35 42 Palermo 33 11 8 14 46 51 41 Bologna 33 10 11 12 34 39 41 Parma 33 10 11 12 44 50 41 Atalanta 33 11 13 9 37 35 40 Fiorentina 33 9 11 13 32 38 38 Cagliari 33 9 11 13 33 42 38 Genoa 33 9 9 15 44 62 36 Lecce 33 8 11 14 38 49 35 Novara 33 5 10 18 27 56 25 Cesena 33 4 10 19 21 50 22 Note: Atalanta deducted six points at start of season for match-fixing afp12


Vettel wins Bahrain GP

Westwood retains Indonesia title

18

17

MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

Arda stunner helps Atletico to victory

Page 19

LONDON: Manchester United’s English forward Danny Welbeck (left) scores the second goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Everton at Old Trafford.—AFP

United stumble revives title race Man United 4

Everton 4

MANCHESTER: Manchester United twice conceded in the final eight minutes as Everton fought back to secure a remarkable 4-4 draw at Old Trafford here yesterday. Premier League leaders United were on course to go eight points clear of Manchester City before the second-placed side kicked off away to bottom of the table Wolves. But instead this match ended all square and with the title race in the balance once again. Two goals for Wayne Rooney and further efforts from Danny Welbeck and Nani had put United in front at 3-1 and 4-2 but Nikica Jelavic, who had scored the first of the days eight goals, made it 4-3 eight minutes from time and Steven Pienaar capped an incredible afternoon with an 85th minute equaliser. United appeared to

have taken control with a second half spell that featured three goals in 13 minutesincluding a response from Everton’s Marouane Fellaini. Nani made the first of those goals after 56 minutes, winning an aerial challenge and squaring to Welbeck on the edge of the Everton penalty area. The forward neatly side-stepped John Heitinga before placing an unstoppable shot past former United keeper Tim Howard from 17 yards. The relief around Old Trafford was obvious and, suitably buoyed by the goal, United clicked up through their attacking gears with Nani making it 3-1 after an hour. The Portuguese winger played a short pass to Michael Carrick who, in turn played in Welbeck. The striker’s quick-thinking saw him move the ball on to Nani who chipped the ball over the advancing Howard from six yards. However, Fellaini’s 67th minute goal gave Everton hope, the midfielder scoring with a stunning, first-time, right-foot volley from a dozen yards, connecting with a right-wing cross from Tony Hibbert. But United’s next attack capped their golden

spell and appeared to have settled any lingering doubt about the game’s outcome. Former Everton favourite Rooney and Welbeck exploited the growing gaps at the back of the Everton defence, exchanging passes which allowed the England striker to race clear and bury the ball emphatically past Howard. With the score at 4-2, United’s Patrice Evra hit the post with a header. Everton though were clearly in the mood to have a decisive say in the title race. After 82 minutes, Phil Neville’s pass forward saw Fellaini rise with two defenders, the ball breaking kindly for Jelavic who converted clinically from eight yards. United were rattled and there was an air of inevitability about the equaliser, two minutes later. Neville again set up the goal with his pass finding Fellaini who turned brilliantly before laying the ball off for the unmarked South Africa star Pienaar to score, on the run, from the six-yard line. The frantic activity merely raised the stakes on what had been an equally absorbing first period in which the title race seemed to have taken a dramatic twist after 33 minutes when Everton

capped what had been an impressive start to the game by taking the lead through Jelavic, the forward signed in the January transfer window by David Moyes. Former United midfielder Darron Gibson started the move with a pass wide to the right wing and overlapping fullback Hibbert whose deep cross hung in the air invitingly, allowing Jelavic to outjump Rafael and send a perfect header looping back across David de Gea into the United goal. Five minutes before the interval, United were level aas Evra fed Nani wide on the left and the winger made space before curling over an expert cross which Rooney planted into the Everton goal via a bouncing header. It was the 180th goal of Rooney’s United career, good enough to lift him into fourth place on the club’s all-time scoring charts, but not enough, on this occasion, to bring his team three muchneeded points. In the last minute of the five added on at game’s end, Rio Ferdinand drew an excellent save from Howard, who tipped his shot over the bar.—AFP

EPL results/standings Liverpool 0 West Brom 1 (Odemwingie 75); Wolves 0 Manchester City 2 (Aguero 27, Nasri 74); Manchester United 4 (Rooney 41, 69, Welbeck 57, Nani 60 ) Everton 4 (Jelavic 33, 83, Fellaini 67, Pienaar 85). Played Saturday Arsenal 0 Chelsea 0; Aston Villa 0 Sunderland 0; Blackburn 2 (Formica 41, Hoilett 49) Norwich 0; Bolton 1 (Eagles 14) Swansea 1 (Sinclair 6); Fulham 2 (Pogrebnyak 58, Senderos 89) Wigan 1 (Boyce 57); Newcastle 3 (Cabaye 14, 57, Cisse 18) Stoke 0; QPR 1 (Taarabt 24) Tottenham 0. English Premier League table after yesterday’s matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Man Utd

35 26

5

4 86 32 83

Sunderland 35 11 11 13 42 41 44

Man City

35 25

5

5 87 27 80

Swansea

35 11 10 14 39 45 43

Arsenal

35 20

5 10 67 43 65

Norwich

35 11 10 14 47 60 43

Newcastle 34 18

8

8 53 42 62

Stoke

34 11

Tottenham 34 17

8

9 57 39 59

Aston Villa 34

7 15 12 35 48 36

34 16 10

8 56 38 58

QPR

35

9

Wigan

35

Chelsea

34 13

Liverpool

34 12 10 12 40 37 46

Blackburn 35

8

7 20 47 73 31

Fulham

34 12 10 12 45 44 46

Bolton

33

9

3 21 37 66 30

W’hampton 35

5

8 22 34 75 23

6 16 41 47 45

8 10 17 34 60 34

Wolves go down to City

Liverpool’s poor form continues

Wolves 0

Man City 2 Liverpool 0

West Brom 1

LIVERPOOL: Liverpool’s miserable home form continued yesterday when they allowed West Bromwich Albion, managed by former Reds coach Roy Hodgson, to grab a 1-0 victory at Anfield. Peter Odemwingie grabbed the winner 15 minutes from time to leave Liverpool with just one win at home in the Premier League in 2012. They have also now dropped 27 points at Anfield in the current campaign. They are currently in eighth place in the table, while West Brom, who celebrated their first win at Anfield for 45 years, moved into 10th. Kenny Dalglish’s side, missing skipper Steven Gerrard, were left to regret wasting a host of opportunities and seeing two efforts come back off the woodwork. Dirk Kuyt, Luis Suarez, Maxi Rodriguez and Andy Carroll all missed good chances, while Daniel Agger had a closerange shot turned behind by West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster. At the other end, Liverpool keeper Jose Reina, returning after a three-match suspension, saved well from Chris Brunt

7 19 39 57 34

Everton

West Brom 35 13

9 12 42 38 48

9 14 32 48 42

LONDON: Manchester City’s Argentinian Sergio Aguero (left) vies with Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Cameroon player Sebastien Bassong (on loan from Tottenham Hotspur) during an English Premier League football match. —AFP

and Liam Ridgewell. In the second half, the woodwork saved West Brom when Jordan Henderson smashed a shot against the crossbar before Kuyt had a shot deflected onto a post. West Brom made the most of their luck by claiming the only goal in the 75th minute.

Glen Johnson gave the ball away to Youssouf Mulumbu, who played in Nigerian striker Odemwingie to shoot past Reina. It was only the Baggies’ second goal in 12 visits to Anfield-the previous one coming when Garth Crooks scored in a 41 defeat in 1985.—AFP

LONDON: Manchester City revived their seemingly ailing Premier League title bid with a 2-0 win away to Wolves that moved them to within three points of leaders Manchester United and relegated the hosts here yesterday. Sergio Aguero’s first half goal sent City on their way before Samir Nasri made the game safe 16 minutes from time. City, bidding for a first English title in 44 years, will go top on goal difference if they beat United in a Manchester derby at Eastlands a week on Monday. City produced a statement of intent after just 17 seconds when Carlos Tevez fired over after getting into a good position. They went even closer six minutes later as Aguero beat the offside trap after running on to Gareth Barry’s pass, with his shot going agonisingly wide of Dorus de Vries’s post, making his first Premier League appearance for Wolves. However City were indebted to their own keeper, Joe Hart, for making a fine stop to claw out home midfielder David Davis’s shot from the edge of the area. Roberto Mancini’s men should have scored when Nasri sidefooted wide from Pablo Zabaleta’s excellent pass. But the goal City needed to settle their nerves duly arrived in the 27th minute when Gael Clichy’s delightful ball evaded the Wolves defence and Aguero coolly took his time before slotting home his 29th goal of the campaign.

Wolves had to win this match to have any hope of avoiding the drop. But the Black Country club haven’t won since former coach Terry Connor replaced the sacked Mick McCarthy as manager and their confidence visibly dropped as soon as the goal went in, with City dominating the rest of the half. England goalkeeper Hart did have to be at his best though after the break to keep out Steven Fletcher’s header. Wolves lacked any sense of conviction in attack though even after their bright start to the second half with Republic of Ireland striker Kevin Doyle failing to trouble Hart after coming off the bench. By contrast, City soon re-exerted their control of the game after Nigel de Jong replaced David Silva as Mancini tried to restire his side’s midfield mastery. Even so, it wasn’t until the 74th minute that City scored again. The goal had a bit of controversy about it with Wolves wanting a stoppage when Sebastien Bassong went down injured but Tevez played in Nasri who beat de Vries in composed fashion. Wolves players and fans were furious with Lee Probert but the referee let the goal stand. City could have had a third soon afterwards when Adam Johnson forced de Vries into a save with his first touch after coming on as substitute for Tevez. Kevin Foley nearly put through his own net and then Joleon Lescott headed just wide from Nasri’s corner as City looked to round off the win in style. Yaya Toure almost did just that with a late effort that just missed the post. City had been far from their free-flowing best from a but they now know the destiny of the Premier League title is back in their hands while the rain that lashed down upon those Wolves fans who’d stayed until the bitter end summed up their side’s season.—AFP


Aldar plans to repay debt, eyes more consolidation Page 22

IMF crisis-fund donors worry about EU bailouts Page 25

MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

Ford to quadruple its SUV offerings in China

KSE stocks advance on positive earnings report Page 24

Page 23

Afghan carpet industry is threadbare

KABUL: For decades Ismail Temorzada’s handmade Afghan carpets decorated people’s homes around the world, but export problems and competition from Iran’s machine-made products have left his business threadbare. “My carpet sales are down, no one is buying hand-made carpets anymore,” says Temorzada, 45, who has run a shop for more than 20 years in Kabul’s once crowded and colourful Chicken Street bazaar. “Iranian machine-made carpets are imported to Afghanistan at a cheaper price,” he told AFP, dismissing them as lacking originality, durability and charm. But they are cheap and people buy them, and his sales have dropped by 70 percent over the past year, he says. Carpets are Afghanistan’s best known export, woven mostly by women in the north of the country. Displaying his best carpets, from Andkhoy in northern Faryab province, Temorzada said they cost 60,000 Afghanis - about $1,300 - but nobody is buying them now. He wants the government to ban the importation of machine-made carpets from Iran - or at least impose a steep hike in the import duty. “Recently, Afghan carpet businessmen had a meeting with President Hamid Karzai and the president told us that if we ban their carpets then they will ban all their products to Afghanistan. “If we cannot ban the Iranian machine-made carpets we should increase the duty on the product from $10 a metre to $100, so that they cannot be imported to Afghanistan in great numbers and slowly will be reduced.” Temorzada also wants the government of the landlocked and war-torn country to help the industry export its own products directly to clients around the world. At the moment, transport problems mean that most carpets are sent to neighbouring Pakistan for washing and cutting and are often then shipped abroad under Pakistani labels. Afghan carpet making used to employ directly or indirectly six million people, or a fifth of the country’s population, according to the export promotion agency of Afghanistan -but that figure has dropped sharply. “The Afghan carpet industry is totally dependent on the international market,” Mohammad Zarif Yadgari, deputy director of the Afghan Carpet Exporters’ Guild told AFP. “There is no direct access (to sell) abroad - if we export carpets they will be sent abroad from Pakistan through middlemen.” The value of carpet exports fell from $262 million in 2007 to $149 million in 2008, according to the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI). In 2010, nearly 400,000 sq m of carpets worth $48 million were sold, but this dropped by half last year. However, while some businesses suffer, others are thriving. “Since I brought Iranian machine-made carpets my business has boomed,” said Kabul carpet dealer Mohammad Muzamil Yousufzai. “Because they are cheap and are sold at a reasonable price everyone can afford to buy them. The Afghan government says it is making moves to help local carpet makers. “The government has started work on the construction of industrial parks for carpet businessmen for washing and scissoring,” Motasil Komaki, deputy commerce and industries minister, told AFP. Describing carpets as “Afghanistan’s national industry”, he said the parks would initially be built in four provinces - Faryab, Balkh, Herat and Jawzjan. Weaving carpets was a main source of income for the millions of Afghans who fled to neighbouring Pakistan during Afghanistan’s years of war, notably the 1990s civil conflict that was followed by Taleban rule. About 80 percent of the exiles have returned home since the ouster of the Taleban government in 2001 and now a large portion of Pakistan’s carpets are made in Afghanistan but sold as Pakistani, according to government figures. Afghanistan, one of the poorest countries in the world, can ill afford to lose its main industry. Its economy has been supported by huge infusions of Western cash for the past decade as 130,000 US-led NATO troops help President Hamid Karzai’s government fight a Taliban insurgency. Kabul this month saw its biggest coordinated militant attacks in 10 years of war, leaving 51 dead after explosions and gunfire rocked the capital in a brutal reminder of how severe the security threat is. But the troops are due to leave by the end of 2014, and the economy is expected to be hit hard. — AFP

KABUL: An Afghan shopkeeper displays a carpet to customers in his shop on Chicken Street in Kabul. For decades Ismail Temorzada’s handmade Afghan carpets decorated people’s homes around the world, but export problems and competition from Iran’s machine-made products have left his business threadbare. — AFP

SWFs urged to invest in developing nations UNCTAD complains of low-level FDI inflow to Africa DOHA: UN and African officials yesterday urged sovereign wealth funds (SWF) worth an estimated $5 trillion to invest in developing countries, even as they seek the right climate and demand steps against corruption. Speaking at a debate as part of the World Investment Forum, officials from the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and several African nations complained the level of investment inflows to the continent was too low. “We have created a very conducive environment for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) but so far we have not seen any flow,” Rwanda’s trade and industry minister, Francois Kanimba, told the session. “Big funds (like the SWFs) normally look

for big projects, but we are small countries,” he said. Africa, home to most of the 49 least developed nations, needs huge investments in agriculture and infrastructure but neither SWFs nor bigger world funds have shown keen interest in investing. A program manager for the International Fund for Agricultural Development, Abdelkarim Sma, said that foreign investments in Africa’s agriculture sector were far too small. “Some $9 billion a year are invested in the African agriculture sector which is really nothing,” Sma said. “The investments needed are estimated at $80 billion a year in order to secure food security for developing as well as developed countries,” he said. But Hussein AlAbdulla, a board member of Qatar

Investment Authority (QIA), the Gulf state’s sovereign wealth fund, said the right environment needs to be created for foreign investments to start flowing. “Governments have to create a suitable investment environment. After the global financial crisis. We need transparency and efficiency which do not exist anywhere including the United States and Europe,” Abdulla said. “We are willing to invest but governments have to create the right economic policies to attract investors ... We should not differentiate between SWFs and private investors,” he said. SWFs, held mostly by oil-rich countries in addition to China, Singapore and Hongkong and others, have traditionally preferred to invest in big corporations and assets in the West for risk

Canada’s RBC to double Mideast wealth team DUBAI: Royal Bank of Canada expects to double the number of wealth management employees in its Dubai office in the near future, and is open to opportunities for acquisitions, a senior executive said yesterday. Toronto-based RBC has set its sights on global wealth management as a key driver for growth, targeting organic growth in the United States, Britain, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America as well as small or medium-sized acquisitions to build its global wealth, private banking and trust business. “We currently have 15 people in our Dubai office and will expect to double that in the next two to three years,” Barend Janssens, head of the bank’s wealth management in emerging markets told reporters in Dubai. The world’s sixth-largest wealth manager wants to more than double its adviser headcount in emerging markets to at least 220 by

2015 as it seeks to expand its business there from C$20 billion ($20 billion) to C$50 billion, it said last month. RBC, Canada’s largest retail bank and the one most focused on wealth management, has been relatively unscathed by the global financial crisis and has successfully lured away top talents from crisis-hit US and European institutions scaling down operations. The bank also agreed to buy some overseas divisions of the Coutts private banking business from Royal Bank of Scotland last month. “We are seeing acquisition opportunities across the board now. For the first time, you are seeing examples of big banks retrenching from certain regions. So you see moves around banks within the industry which we are watching closely,” Janssens said. Earlier this month, Reuters reported that Bank of America Merrill Lynch had put its wealth man-

agement units outside the United States up for sale, hoping to bring in up to $3 billion for the sub-scale business. Janssens declined to comment whether RBC would be interested in the potential sale. The Gulf Arab region, which includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE, together pump a significant share of the world’s crude oil production, and global private banks have flocked to the region lured by the region’s growing ranks of millionaires. The Middle East and Africa wealth management sector grew 8.6 percent in 2010 and overall assets under management could grow to $6.7 trillion by 2015 helped by high oil prices, a study by the Boston Consulting Group in June last year showed. The region’s private banking sector has several pure-play private banks like Julius Baer and Sarasin Alpen, competing with diversified banks such as, J P Morgan Chase and UBS. — Reuters

IMF sees ‘good progress’ on loan deal for Egypt WASHINGTON: The International Monetary Fund said Egypt’s government and political partners have made good progress in agreeing on the content of economic measures that will make up an IMF funding program for the country. “We feel there is some progress in terms of getting a commitment and broad buy-in to the objectives and the measures” of a program, including among those who are likely to be involved in implementing it after the

elections, said IMF Director for the Middle East Masood Ahmed. Egypt and the IMF are in discussions on a $3.2 billion loan program, which had been opposed by the powerful Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party. But the FJP now appears to be on board. The delay in sealing the deal, which the government had hoped to secure in March, has brought the country closer to a fiscal crisis that could lead to a jump in consumer prices and

interest rates, a big currency devaluation and huge pressure on banks. The IMF is insisting that any agreement on financing is backed by Egypt’s government and political partners ahead of June elections. This would ensure the deal would outlast the political transition following the polls. Ahmed said the IMF agreed with Egypt’s estimated financing needs of $10 billion to $12 billion, part of it funded by the IMF and the rest by donors. —Reuters

considerations. The assets of SWFs is only a quarter of the $20 trillion world pension funds and form a small portion of the estimated $21 trillion of FDI. Abdulla said corruption in Africa is a major obstacle for the flow of foreign investments and said QIA had had to withdraw from investment opportunities because of corruption. Bosworth Monck, an official of the IFC Asset Management Company of the World Bank, called for a “balance of interests” for all parties where investors will make profit and countries benefit in achieving development. He said well-established international institutions can help facilitate investments into poor nations.—AFP

In the news Global to hold meetings with bond investors DUBAI: Global Investment House , which is in talks to restructure $1.7 billion in debt, is due to hold meetings with bond investors tomorrow, a regulatory bourse disclosure showed. The investment company, which has laid off 17 percent of its staff, will hold separate meetings with holders of a $50 million ($179.66 million) bond and a KD45 million bond, a statement on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) said. Global said last year it was asking lenders for a delay to principal repayments on debt to allow for a renegotiation of a debt restructuring plan it agreed in 2009. Bondholders of the 45 million dinar bond agreed to delay repayment from April 2012 to June 2012. Citi names Lodhi as CEO for Pakistan DUBAI: Citigroup Inc has appointed Nadeem Lodhi as chief executive officer for its Pakistan business and the US banking giant plans to focus more on corporate banking in the country, two sources aware of the matter said. Lodhi, who joins Citi from Dubai-based private equity firm Abraaj Capital, will mainly focus on growing the bank’s corporate and investment banking business. At Abraaj, he managed the firm’s business in Sub Saharan Africa. A spokesman for Citi in Dubai declined to comment. Abraaj spokesperson could not be immediately reached. Barclays shareholders urged to reject pay deal LONDON: The Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF) has urged its members to oppose Barclays’ pay deal for Chief Executive Bob Diamond, who is due to take home about 17 million pounds ($27.4 million) in salary, bonus and share awards for last year. “The awards for the chief executive are hard to justify given the bank’s poor performance,” it said in a statement, also flagging a 5.7 million pound “tax equalisation” payment made to offset the tax impact of Diamond’s relocation to the UK as an issue of concern.


MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

BUSINESS

Aldar plans to repay debt, eyes more consolidation

Q2 Commodity Outlook

Oil markets looking for right balance

No more govt bailout needed: CEO

By Ole Hansen KUWAIT: Energy markets will face a bumpy road ahead as geo-politics once again, just like a year ago with Libya, has intensified the unpredictable nature of oil markets. As tensions between the West and Iran over its nuclear intentions escalated during Q1 so too did the price of crude oil, to such an extent that it could eventually change the fundamental global economic outlook. With supply becoming increasingly scarce and demand, especially among emerging market (EM) countries, holding up focus has very much been on Saudi Arabia’s ability to continue to increase production as it almost single-handedly holds what’s currently left of any meaningful spare production capacity (estimated to be close to 2 million barrels per day). The price of Brent crude oil, the global benchmark for oil transactions, rallied by 18 percent during the first quarter and reached the highest level since 2008. The demand side has so far held up despite the rising cost to consumers, especially in countries such as the euro-zone, the UK and Turkey where weaker currencies have resulted in record oil prices. Speculative traders have supported the rally by building up one of the largest speculative long positions on record. Despite increased production from Libya and Iraq the supply side has been dogged by several smaller disruptions in the North Sea, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and not least slowing Iranian production due to sanctions. This tightening in supply has been eating into the available levels of spare capacity, most noticeably from Saudi Arabia and during the first quarter the market has been dangerously close to a balance between supply and demand. Oil markets will only be able to absorb supply shocks with ample availability of spare capacity and the big question in the months ahead is how to achieve this. A sharp and continued rise in the cost of energy will eventually trigger a fundamental shift as demand begins to suffer. With consumers in several countries already now paying more at the pump than they did at the peak in 2008 the impact is slowly beginning to be felt. The price of retail gasoline in the US is fast approaching the important $4 per gallon mark and it is expected to rise to a new record once the peak driving season begins this summer. This is not good news for President Obama who will be fighting for re-election later this year as he would fear that this focus overshadows the signs of an improving economy. In the absence of additional geo-political events we believe the price of Brent crude is approaching its peak as the rising cost of energy relative to GDP will begin to cap further advances. With Libya expected to reach pre-war production levels in April, Iraq producing the most ever in 30 years and China having raised domestic prices by seven percent in March, spare capacity should slowly begin to increase leaving oil markets much better balanced. In the near-term however prices probably need to remain relatively high given the reduced levels of spare capacity and low levels of inventories in some regions in order to achieve a better balance. On that basis we do not see the price of Brent much lower than 115 dollars per barrel in the coming months with the main downside price risk stemming from a potential exodus of speculative investors given the record high participation on the long side.

Gold investors Several dramatic setbacks during the last six months have removed some of the previous hype surrounding precious metals, especially gold. At the beginning of Q2 investors are still coming to terms with the improved US economic situation which is now challenging the perception that the Federal Reserve will keep rates low through 2014. This has shifted the focus from ‘risk-on/off¥ to ‘growth-on¥ and has resulted in rising bond yields which has left non-interest paying assets like precious metals exposed and it could challenge the near-term outlook. We remain bullish however on the outlook for further price appreciation in the months ahead as the chance of further action from the Federal Reserve has not been removed. The US housing market is still only showing little sign of improvement and if bond yields continue to rise mortgage payments will follow thereby putting additional pressure on home owners. Several central banks continue to accumulate gold as a matter of diversification and previous setbacks have been met by strong physical demand, a trend we expect will continue. Investment demand through exchange traded products (ETP), which are categorized as long-term holdings, continues to increase and during recent setbacks the buying intensified. Tactical investors like hedge funds have reduced exposure thereby leaving them room to accumulate once the uptrend resumes. Having almost reached our 1,800 target in Q1 we expect gold to consolidate during the early part of Q2 with focus remaining firmly on US economic data and the Federal Reserve. A continued rally of the dollar will create some headwind early on leaving it exposed to further downside pressure before consolidating. Investors will find the quarter challenging but we believe they will be ready for it and eventually take gold back to 1,800 and beyond later in the year. The ‘growth-on’ scenario could see platinum outperform as the price finally has moved back above that of gold for the first time in six months. Silver remains the high beta gold and could potentially also challenge gold on a relative basis, given its semi-industrial qualities. Chinese slowdown Following a strong rally in January industrial metals caught a bit of cold on emerging signs of slowing economic activity in China. Having traded sideways since late January the sector will be facing some headwinds as we move towards the second quarter. Strong domestic inventory builds of construction related commodities like copper and steel has created concerns about the size of the slowdown. Considering China represents more than 40 percent of global consumption and more than 50 percent of global consumption growth of the major industrial metals the outlook for this country holds the near-term key to price developments. While we expect the demand for copper, the most widely used base metal, to be relatively soft problems with supplies is likely to keep prices range-bound in the second quarter. Output from some of the major producing countries has disappointed due to a variety of reasons such as labor disputes, adverse weather, technical issues and a general falling ore grade as some of the major mines have reached maturity.

ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi’s Aldar Properties, currently in merger talks with rival Sorouh Real Estate, says it is committed to repay its huge pile of debt and sees further consolidation in the emirate’s battered property market. The company, which has been rescued twice by Abu Dhabi with funds amounting to nearly $10 billion, will not need any more funds from the government, chief executive Mohammed Al Mubarak, said on the sidelines of a property conference yesterday. “We are committed to all our debts and they will be paid, we are in a healthy financial position,” Mubarak told reporters. “We won’t need more (financial) help, we are comfortable on the financing side,” he added. The potential merger of struggling Aldar and Sorouh unveiled last month could take some pressure off state investment fund Mubadala, which owns about 35 percent of Aldar. Aldar’s $1.25 billion 10.75 percent bond,

maturing 2014 was bid at 109.5 on Saturday, according to Thomson Reuters data, to yield 5.847 percent, about 23 basis points tighter since beginning of the month. The builder of the Yas Marina Formula One circuit, which was forced to sell key projects to the government including the Ferrari World Theme Park, is generating income from the lease of “many residential and retail projects”, Al Mubarak said. “Our model has to be to build more projects,” he added. Aldar secured a 4-billion-dirham ($1.1 billion) credit facility from National Bank of Abu Dhabi last week, a deal expected to help the developer manage its liquidity needs. Stateowned investment fund Mubadala, which holds a near-majority position in Aldar said last month that it transferred a 14 percent stake in the developer to secure a loan facility from Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank. Shares of Aldar were up 2.8 percent at 1.12 dirhams at 0837 GMT. Abu Dhabi is poised for more consolidation

as it streamlines state-linked firms in the face of tougher property and economic conditions. “Abu Dhabi market is growing - on that front it has to be managed, this could be either through consolidation or other means,” Mubarak said. The state-backed tie-up between Aldar and Sorouh to create a company worth some $15 billion in assets comes as prices slide in the emirate’s real estate sector, which has not recovered from the downturn seen after the 2008 global financial crisis. Property firms have been forced to cancel projects and restructure their huge pile of debt. Sorouh, which has assets of 14.1 billion dirhams, has fared better than its bigger rival, supported by a focus on existing project completion and delivery. While Dubai’s real estate crisis came as a shock to global markets, the Abu Dhabi reckoning has been a more gradual and incremental process as real-estate values continue to slide. —Reuters

Oman Economic Forum 2012 kicks off

YANGON: Myanmar man walking by a container yard near a port in Yangon. IMF chief Christine Lagarde praised Myanmar’s overhaul of its complex exchange-rate system, the new government’s most radical economic reform yet in a bid to lure investors. — AFP

Qatar sovereign fund exceeds $100bn: Official DOHA: The assets under management by the sovereign wealth fund (SWF) of gas-rich Qatar have far exceeded $100 billion, Qatar Investment Authority board member executive Hussein Al-Abdulla said yesterday. Asked if the assets of the fund have reached $100 billion, Abdulla told reporters they were “much more” but declined to provide a specific figure. Speaking on the sidelines of the World Investment Forum in the Qatari capital Doha, Abdulla said the fund “will have $30 billion more to invest in 2012.” The Gulf state of Qatar, which has accumulated huge surpluses over the past decade due to high energy prices, has been pursuing an aggressive investment policy, especially in Europe. Local media reported Saturday that Qatar bought three percent of French energy giant Total, a move welcomed by the company’s chief executive Christophe de Margerie. Abdulla declined to make any comment on the reported deal or any other investment decisions by QIA. If confirmed, this would be the first time Total has acknowledged that Qatar has raised its stake in the company. When asked by the Qatari daily Al-Sharq to com-

ment on the Gulf state buying the three percent, De Margerie said it was “a positive step.” Qatari investors have made several major investments in France, buying the Paris Saint-Germain football club, a 5.6 percent stake in building firm Vinci, five percent of utility group Veolia and 10.1 percent in media group Lagardere. Last week, Qatar Holding, the investment arm of QIA, acquired Smeralda Holding, the owner of luxury resorts on the Italian island of Sardinia. The deal is the latest in a string of European property acquisitions by Qatar, including the high-profile investments in the upmarket Harrods department store in London and the Credit Suisse headquarters in Canary Wharf. Abdulla said QIA was now focusing on investments in commodities because “structural changes are happening in the sector and the prices of commodities are likely to go up,” in the future. Qatar, a member of the oil cartel OPEC, last year celebrated raising its production capacity of LNG to 77 million tons annually, boosting its position as the world’s largest producer. It also pumps around 800,000 barrels per day of oil. — AFP

MUSCAT: Oman Economic Forum 2012 kicked off here yesterday, organized by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in coordination with Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Economy and Business Group, titled “enhancement of national resources” under the auspices of the representative of Sultan Qabood, As’ad bin Tarik bin Taimur Al-Said. Ministry of Commerce and Industry advisor Mehsin AlBlooshi in remarks to the press following the opening, said that more than 500 participants including investors, businessmen, senior officials in oil, energy, commerce, industry and banking sectors, chairmen of international companies, presidents of Islamic and commercial banks and heads of economic and financial institutions would participate in the forum. Former Lebanese and British premiers Fouad AlSanyoura and Tony Blair, and the Director-General for Economy and Business Group, Raouf Abou Zaki would also take part in the event. Al-Blooshi said that the third session of the Oman Economic Forum comes in an economic atmosphere different than that in 2011, considering the European sovereign debt crisis, rising oil prices, and the political reforms in the Middle East and North African, leaving a huge effect on the global economy. Oman exerted serious efforts to reduce the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), and the European sovereign debt crisis in specific on its economy, considering that the Omani economy recorded positive growth in 2011, he affirmed. He is looking forward to the participation of investors from Oman, Arab nations in the Omani economy. The forum will discuss a number of issues including providing investments for new projects and infrastructure development plans, in addition to allowing the private sectors to take part in such projects he said. The forum would also look at the investment opportunities in the sectors of energy, alternative energy and water, as well as development of ports and free trade zones, he added. — KUNA

NBAD launches UAE real estate fund DUBAI: National Bank of Abu Dhabi has launched a real estate fund in partnership with a Kuwaiti firm to seek investment opportunities in the United Arab Emirates’ property sector, the lender said yesterday. NBAD, the UAE’s top bank by market capitalization, has teamed up with Kuwaiti firm Gulf Investment Corp for the venture, which it plans to convert to a real estate investment trust (REIT) in the future. “In the future, it is our intention to bring this fund to an initial public offering, thereby creating what we expect to the region’s first REIT,” Mahmood Al-Aradi, senior general manager of NBAD’s financial markets division said in a statement. The fund will focus on high-quality income generating properties in the UAE where property prices have fallen sharply since the 2008 global financial crisis. It will be launched with a seed capital of 100 million dirhams ($27.23 million) with NBAD and Gulf Investment pooling in 50 million dirhams each. The parties expect to start raising money for the fund soon, Aradi told reporters in Dubai. —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 Philippine peso Egyptian pounds

.2730000 .4450000 .3650000 .3030000 .2780000 .2860000 .0040000 .0020000 .0752550 .7331860 .3830000 .0710000 .7187560 .0040000 .0430000

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES US Dollar/KD .2764500 GB Pound/KD .4458170 Euro .3655640 Swiss francs .3040920 Canadian dollars .2787640 Danish Kroner .0491420 Swedish Kroner .0413380 Australian dlr .2870520 Hong Kong dlr .0356220 Singapore dlr .2214260 Japanese yen .0034100 Indian Rs/KD .0000000 Sri Lanka rupee .0000000 Pakistan rupee .0000000 Bangladesh taka .0000000 UAE dirhams .0752960 Bahraini dinars .7335810 Jordanian dinar .0000000 Saudi Riyal/KD .0737400 Omani riyals .7183320 Philippine Peso .0000000

.2807500 .4530000 .3720000 .3100000 .2850000 .2940000 .0070000 .0035000 .0760110 .7405540 .4000000 .0760000 .7259800 .0072000 .0500000 .2800500 .4516230 .3703240 .3080520 .2823940 .0497820 .0418770 .2907900 .0360860 .2243090 .0034330 .0054100 .0021660 .0030980 .0034350 .0762770 .7431340 .3961100 .0747000 .7276860 .0066360

US Dollar Pak Rupees

Rate per 1000 (Tran)

278.400 3.066

Indian Rupee Sri Lankan Rupee Nepali Rupee Pakistani Rupee UAE Dirhams Bahraini Dinar Egyptian Pound Jordanian Dinar Omani Riyal Qatari Riyal Saudi Riyal

5.355 2.140 3.405 6.560 75.900 74.395 740.100 46.030 454.400 3.190 1.550 373.700 286.300 3.510

Rate for Transfer

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

278.050 370.450 451.050 282.500 3.475 5.345 46.000 2.134 3.404 6.522 3.072 740.400 75.750 74.250

UAE Exchange Centre WLL COUNTRY

Australian Dollar Canadian Dollar Swiss Franc Euro Sterling Pound Japanese Yen Bangladesh Taka

5.352 2.144 3.362 3.078 75.87 741.73 46.09 396.71 724.71 76.89 74.46

5.700 2.550 4.000 3.250 76.50 741.00 47.25 394.50 726.00 77.75 74.25

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd

Al Mulla Exchange Currency

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. Currency

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

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

Selling Rate

278.950 281.210 444.240 365.770 303.830 738.695 75.925 76.570 74.345 392.660 46.178 2.189 5.426 3.082 3.411 6.549 684.255 4.440 9.120 5.875 3.480 92.305

SELL DRAFT SELL CASH

293.57 285.84 311.42 371.56 452.76 3.49 3.404

292.00 284.50 307.50 369.00 447.00 3.65 3.550

Canadian dollar Cyprus pound Czek koruna Danish krone Deutsche Mark Egyptian pound Euro Cash Hongkong dollar Indian rupees Indonesia Iranian tuman Iraqi dinar Japanese yen Jordanian dinar Lebanese pound Malaysian ringgit Morocco dirham Nepalese Rupees New Zealand dollar Nigeria Norwegian krone Omani Riyal Pakistani rupees Philippine peso Qatari riyal Saudi riyal Singapore dollar South Africa Sri Lankan rupees Sterling pound Swedish krona Swiss franc Syrian pound Thai bhat Tunisian dollar UAE dirham U.S. dollars Yemeni Riyal

Bahrain Exchange Company 10 Tola COUNTRY

Australian dollar Bahraini dinar Bangladeshi taka

SELL CASH

SELL DRAFT

292.500 740.500 3.670

291.000 740.450 3.400

Sterling Pound US Dollar

284.200 546.900 45.400 50.400 167.800 47.720 372.100 36.560 5.660 0.032 0.159 0.236 3.510 394.620 0.188 92.970 45.500 4.280 231.400 1.804 49.900 723.280 3.160 6.850 77.030 74.350 224.440 39.070 2.653 453.200 42.600 309.900 4.200 9.400 198.263 75.920 278.800 1.340 GOLD 1,722.270

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 451.200 278.400

282.700

224.400 46.125 370.600 36.410 5.345 0.031

394.570 0.187 92.970 3.370 229.900 723.100 3.075 6.540 76.600 74.350 224.440 39.070 2.134 451.200 308.400 4.200 9.220 75.820 278.400


MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

business

Lower greenback as positive sentiment rules NBK WEEKLY MONEY MARKET REPORT KUWAIT: Just days after rising Spanish yields spurred fears of a Spanish default, it seems that risk sentiment is back on the positive side again. First, the IMF stated it had some optimism in reference to the global economic growth and revised the world’s economic growth for 2012 to 3.5% from an earlier 3.3% forecast. Additionally, Spanish and French bond auctions saw relatively good demand from investors, with both countries being able to raise as much capital as planned. Last, the good economic figures also helped in taming risk aversion and giving a boost to risky assets. Naturally, FX markets witnessed a sell-off of the US dollar against major counterparts as a result of this improved risk sentiment, which shows in the performance of the Dollar Index. The Index started the week at 79.90, and after rising swiftly for the first day, broke lower and at 79.20. The euro had a positive but weak momentum against the US dollar, mainly hurt due to crosses against other currencies such as the Sterling Pound. After opening at 1.3080, the single currency reached a low of 1.2995 but found a stable support there. The single currency broke higher afterwards to a high of 1.3230 before ending the week at 1.3220. The Sterling Pound had the strongest performance last week, boosted as previously stated by the EURGBP cross trading. After opening around the 1.5850, the pound had an upward move to a high of 1.6150, and ended sessions at 1.6120. The Swiss Franc followed suit with the euro, strengthening against the greenback from an opening level of 0.9195 to 0.9100, and closed at 0.9090. The Japanese Yen was the exception last week, with USDJPY rising from a low of 80.95 to a high of 81.80, and closing at 81.50. Retail sales climb Retail sales in the US rose more than forecast in March as Americans snapped up everything from cars and furniture to clothes and electronics. The 0.8% gain was almost three times as large as projected and followed a 1% advance in February, and was higher than the expected increase of 0.3%. The improving job market is giving households confidence to sustain spending in the face of higher gasoline costs, boosting sales at chains such as Gap Inc and Target Corp. Strengthening consumer demand raises the odds that the world’s largest economy will weather a recession in

Europe and slower growth in China. Sales of previously owned US homes unexpectedly fell in March for the third time in the last four months, showing an uneven recovery in the housing market. Purchases dropped 2.6% to a 4.48 million annual rate from 4.6 million in February, according to official figures released last week.

US factories cool Production at US factories dropped in March for the first time in four months, as the industry cooled following the strongest surge in three decades. Manufacturing, which makes up about 75% of industrial output, decreased 0.2% last month as appliance and furniture makers cut back. The decline followed a revised 3.4% gain from December through February that marked the biggest three-month jump since March 1984. The rebound in manufacturing that helped the world’s largest economy climb out of the

Global macro & micro investment themes of the economy related to austerity measures taken by most governments. Most will be affected are the ones relate d to government spending, financial services and construction. We believe that China will engineer a soft landing (not withstanding some concerns about real estate market and shadow finance sector) and will start monetary reflation measures soon, as will a number of GEM countries ( which have indeed already started). The excess liquidity continues to rise, with various forms of QE/ monetary reflation continuing, or being introduced throughout 2012/ 2013 to counter (fiscal) austerity measures. By Hayder Tawfik KUWAIT: The global macroeconomic picture has become much clearer in the last few months. The IMF has recently revised global economic growth to around 3.5% for 2012. Other credible forecasters have followed suit. They all have seen more encouraging economic signs from US and less from the EU region but believe that most of the bad news for Europe is behind in the near future. As for the rest of the world, China is still growing at around 8.5% and the remaining of the BRIC countries has seen some slow down but not serious enough to threaten the economic environment. For serious global investors they need to analyze these economic data and understand them well so they can position their Investments in a manner to not only ride the economic cycles but more importantly to play the investments themes correctly. Remember if you get the economic cycle right but fail to understand the Investment themes then you may underperform or even lose money. Always be in the right sector at the right time or even try to be ahead of the game. The performance of some US retailers have been quite amazing since last year even though at the time some commentators were saying that the economy will experience a double dip recession. But smart investors were reading the economic data for sign of any recovery and now they are reaping the benefits. Global economy shows slow growth in 2012 due to recession in Europe but not global recession this in itself is very encouraging as equity valuation pricing more likely to see a recession than full fudge economic recovery. We see the US economy grows above “stall speed”, as we are seeing now domestic spending more likely as a result of unemployment falling more in the months ahead. The recovery in emolument and tentative sign of housing recovery will start contributing more forcibly to growth than before. Unfortunately, Europe will face very weak economic growth and possibly recession. This will affect those sectors

Micro Themes High quality companies which have very strong balance sheet / free cash flow / very competitive positions in the market (1,2,3 positions within their respective industries). We believe that the strong will get stronger. This in itself implies that investors should concentrate on larger companies than smaller ones, especially in areas where credit will be restricted due to bank de-leveraging (iemainly in Europe). On a global scale, companies which are gaining market shares either against domestic or international ones will be rewarded handsomely. We also see big structural growth themes. In the emerging markets we believe that consumer spending will continue to be a major theme to play. We have seen for instance that the luxury good makers sales have been increasing in the BRIC countries at a time of weak global economic growth. Also, technology another theme which we believe will go on as long as governments and companies look for more efficient ways of saving money and increasing productivity. This theme could go on for much longer than investors anticipate. Another micro theme is global obesity and diabetes. Unfortunately, the world population has seen a dramatic increase in people who suffer from those diseases. Obesity and diabetes have no boundaries and no specific segment of population. The rich and the poor are suffering and growth of those two diseases have increased in an alarming numbers. There are so many pharmaceutical companies around the world Which produces medicines and some of those to treat sufferers of those diseases. However, it is important for investors to identify those drug companies whose main products not only cure obesity and diabetes but are truly successful. Investors should be aware that investment themes will not on forever but changes with the global macro picture and measures taken by governments. So it is prudent that investors always monitor and analyze economic data for any signs of fundamental economic changes. — Hayder Tawfik is Executive Vice President of Asset Management at Dimah Capital.

recession in June 2009 may now be giving way to gains among service industries, including retailers, as consumer spending grows. Europe The euro region’s trade surplus narrowed more than economists had estimated in February as increased

demand for imported goods outpaced exports. The surplus shrank to a seasonally adjusted 3.7 billion euros from a revised 5.3 billion Euros in January, while economists had forecast a drop to 5 billion euros. A breakdown of the figure shows that imports increased 3.5% in the month, while exports were up 2.4%. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said earlier that, while economic-growth indicators had “broadly stabilized at low levels” after a 0.3% contraction in the fourth quarter of 2011, the outlook “remains subject to downside risks.”

Inflation exceeds estimate European consumer prices increased at a faster pace than initially estimated in March, driven by energy costs, complicating the European Central Bank’s task as it tries to push the inflation rate below its 2.0% limit. Inflation in the 17-nation euro region held at 2.7% for a fourth month. This number is higher than the 2.6% increase that markets were expecting. The European economy may struggle to gather strength as budget cuts and rising energy prices erode consumer spending and company investment. German investor confidence unexpectedly rose to a two-year high in April, suggesting Europe’s largest economy can weather the resurgent debt crisis in the euro region’s periphery. The ZEW index of investor and analyst expectations, which aims to predict economic developments six months in advance, increased to 23.4 from 22.3 in March. That was the fifth straight gain and the highest reading since June 2010, and investors were expecting a drop to 19. Germany may avoid a recession as unemployment at a two-decade low bolsters domestic spending, helping to offset waning demand for its exports across the euro region as austerity measures bite. Inflation back on the rise UK inflation unexpectedly accelerated in March for the first time in six months, driven by prices for food, clothing and recreation and culture. Consumer prices rose 3.5% from a year earlier, up from 3.4% in February, and higher than the 3.4% forecast. In a change to recent history, energy proved to be a drag on inflation, with the largest downward pressures to the change in CPI coming from electricity, gas and other fuels and transport. Analysts still expect the inflation rate to resume its decline. The figures also reduce the scope for the Bank of England to pump more monetary stimulus into the economy. The Bank of England forecasts inflation, which has been above 2.0% since December 2009, will hit that target by the end of the year. Kuwait Kuwaiti dinar at 0.27775 The USDKWD opened at 0.27775 on Sunday morning.

Ford to quadruple its SUV offerings in China US automaker to add Kuga to SUV portfolio BEIJING: Ford Motor Co, seeking to tap into China’s growing appetite for brawny sport utility vehicles, will quadruple its offerings in that segment over the next year. The US automaker, a latecomer in the world’s largest automotive market, will add the Kuga, the Chinese version of the Escape, and EcoSport small SUVs, and the larger Explorer to its sparse China SUV portfolio, Ford Asia chief Joe Hinrichs said yesterday. Ford currently sells only the Edge in China, leaving it under-represented in a category that offers higher profit margins for automakers. “The next phase of our product portfolio growth really is the three SUVs and it’s so important to China because of the SUV segmentation growth we’re seeing,” he told Reuters ahead of the Beijing auto show. He declined to identify when each of the SUVs will go on sale in China. Ford, which makes Fiesta, Focus, Mondeo and other vehicles in China in a three-way tie-up with Chongqing Changan Automobile Co Ltd and Japan’s Mazda Motor Corp, is joining a growing number of automakers pushing out SUVs to meet the rising demand for the vehicles. The rollout is part of Ford’s plan to introduce 15 new vehicles into China by 2015. Chinese consumers bought 2.1 million SUVs last year, an increase of 25 percent and representing almost 12 percent of total light vehicle sales, according to JD Power and LMC Automotive. That total is about half the 4.1 million SUVs sold in the United States, where such vehicles make up almost one third of the market. Buyers and industry officials have

said the desire of drivers to sit above China’s crowded traffic in an expensive off-road vehicle is a strong draw in the status-conscious society, especially for younger buyers. In addition, female SUV drivers, mostly young professionals, have been increasing steadily in China, to 19 percent last year from 14 percent

Cherokees at a joint venture with Beijing Automotive. However, the market today is led by Japanese and South Korean automakers in the compact segment, and the German brands in the luxury market. Honda’s CR-V led the way last year with overall sales of some 160,000. Ford has invested or made commitments to

BEIJING: Marin Burela, President, Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Co Ltd (left) and Luo Minggang, Executive Vice President, Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Co, Ltd, introduce a Ford Kuga during a press conference yesterday in Beijing. The all-new Kuga makes its debut in Asia at the 2012 Auto China show in Beijing. — AP in 2007, J.D. Power and LMC said. Analysts also say the surging SUV sales indicate the Chinese market is maturing. SUVs have a long history in China, dating back more than two decades to when Chrysler built Jeep

spend almost $5 billion in China to date, including its announcement last week to build a $760 million plant in Hangzhou in eastern China. The Hangzhou plant is scheduled to begin building vehicles in 2015,

and is meant to help Ford close the gap with its larger rivals. Ford sold 320,658 vehicles in China last year, compared with Volkswagen AG’s annual tally of 2.26 million and General Motors Co’s 2.55 million. It will double annual production capacity to 1.2 million vehicles in 2015 — led the company to say this month it would realize a “small loss” in Asia in the first quarter. Executives cited major investments in new products like the redesigned Focus small car and a new factory in Chongqing, but added Asian operations will be profitable for the full year in 2012. Ford plans to build the small Kuga and slightly smaller EcoSport SUVs in Chongqing, Hinrichs said. The larger Explorer, which seats up to seven people, will be the first Ford vehicle exported from the United States into China. Ford’s Chinese dealers, which have been limited to selling only five vehicles before this month’s rollout of the new Focus, cannot get the SUVs fast enough. At a dealership in Shanghai last Saturday, salesman Hu Jun said the reasons for consumers’ growing desire for SUVs were no surprise. “It’s high and big and safe, and it’s very convenient if the family wants to go out,” he said. SUVs also are the next frontier for image-conscious Chinese buyers, which will translate to healthier profit margins for automakers. “It’s more powerful, masculine and big,” Shaun Rein, managing director of consulting firm China Market Research Group, said of SUVs. “People like to be in an environment that just seems big.” —Reuters

Plane makers rake in spoils from Indonesia bonanza JAKARTA: Buoyed by rapid economic growth, Indonesia has become a bonanza for international plane makers who are booking some of the world’s biggest sales as Western airlines suffer a downturn. Europe’s Airbus and US manufacturer Boeing have secured billions of dollars in orders over the past year as Southeast Asia’s largest economy experiences a travel boom and looks to link its archipelago of more than 17,000 islands. Indonesian carrier Lion Air placed the single largest contract in commercial aviation history during a November visit by US President Barack Obama, ordering 230 Boeing aircraft for a whopping $22.4 billion. Last week, Airbus bagged a $2.5 billion contract for 11 A330-300s to national carrier Garuda International during a visit to Indonesia by British Prime Minister David Cameron. “ There’s a major transformation going on, not just with Garuda but with the whole aviation industry in Indonesia,” industry analyst Gerry Soejatman said. “Around 60 million, or a quarter the population, travel domestically

by air annually. That number could easily double if the price is right,” he said. The deal with Airbus was part of Garuda’s plans to expand services

less than two years after the European Union lifted a ban on the airline from entering its airspace, citing the country’s poor safety record.

JAKARTA: Garuda stewardesses greet passengers boarding a Garuda plane in Sukarno Hatta airport in Jakarta. Buoyed by rapid growth, Indonesia has become a bonanza for international plane makers, who are booking some of the world’s biggest sales as Western airlines totter on sluggish growth. — AFP

“We’re seeing two things meeting harmoniously-first a rise in economic power spreading across the demographic. Many more people have reached an economic threshold that allows them to fly,” Sydney-based Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation Chairman Peter Harbison told AFP. “At the same time, more airlines are coming in, and are basically flying to your doorstep at a much lower price. Put those two things together and you have a recipe for enormous growth.” Western airlines meanwhile have faced a downturn, with the aviation industry in Europe taking a hit from the 2008-09 financial crisis. Air travel demand in Europe has started to creep up again, but Fitch Ratings said in a statement earlier this year it expected poor demand in 2012 and European airlines focusing on minimizing losses. It forecast “significant retrenchment for the largest European network airlines” such as Air France-KLM, which lost 700 million euros ($925 million) in 2011. In Indonesia, the economy is projected to grow 6.5 percent this year and per capita income surpassing $3,000.—AFP


MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

business

KSE stocks advance on positive earning reports GLOBAL DAILY MARKET REPORT KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) traded higher yesterday pursuing global equity gains as investors cheered some betterthan-expected US blue-chip quarterly reports and improving economic data in Europe. The market benchmark KSE Price Index rose by 0.61 percent, and closed at 6,302.9 points. The market’s heavy-weights performed robustly during the day as highlighted by a 1.12 percent improvement in the market’s blue chips-rich index, Global Large Cap. Index. As a result, the Global General Index rose 1.38 of a point (or 0.77 percent) to close at 180.73 points. Volume and value of shares traded on the exchange dipped today as investors exchanged 460.27mn shares (-0.22 percent) at a total value of KD30.15mn (-14.78 percent). Real estate sector accounted for 44.42 percent of total volume traded during the session. Services sector followed with 28.98 percent. Investors Holding Group Company was the volume leader for the day. Investors exchanged 55.84mn of the company’s shares. The scrip was the prominent gainer, ended the day up by 15.63percent to close at KD0.0185. On the other hand, Arkan AlKuwait Real Estate Company was the biggest loser today as it plunged by 5.71 percent to close at KD0.066. Sector-wise During yesterday’s session, five sector indices were up. Banking sector topped the gainers’ list as it surged by 1.32 percent on the back of Ahli

United Bank, which rose by 5.68 percent closing at KD0.930. On the same sector’s front, National Bank of Kuwait (NBK ) and Kuwait Finance House (KFH) added 1.89 percent and 1.33 percent respectively. Investment sector made up for Thursday’s losses by rising 0.56 percent on the back of Kuwait Projects Company (Holding), which witnessed relatively active volume to close at KD0.320, up 1.59 percent. On the other hand, industrial sector

was the only loser today as its index dipped by 0.39 percent. Four out of the sector’s components declined yesterday such as Kuwait Cement Company (2.11 percent) closing at KD0.465. Corporate news ALAFCO’s Chairman & CEO, Ahmad A Alzabin, announced the company’s first half financial result for the period ended March 31, 2012. He said the company achieved a net profit

of KD18.3mn, and earnings per share of 23.4fils during the first half. Alzabin explained that the net profit included exceptional profit realized through the adjustment of some purchase agreements with aircraft manufacturers. The price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at $116.25pb on Thursday, compared with $115.73pb the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations.

Gas fracking sparks scare in rural US WAYNESBURG, Pennsylvania: After the drilling began on Terry Greenwood’s farm, he says, “the water went bad-it looked like iced tea.” In 2008, he recounted, “10 of my cows died. I don’t want my cows to drink the water from the pond anymore, and we drink trucked water from a tank.” Greenwood, a white-bearded, grizzled former truck driver of 64, said he and his family used to use the water from a pond and a well on the property, but since the takeoff of natural gas fracking in the southwest corner of the state, “I’ve had nothing but trouble.” Fracking, the technique of hydraulically fracturing shale rock deep beneath the surface to release natural gas, has upended lives in the area, for the good and the bad. In the past four years, drillers have pumped out billions of dollars worth of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale deep underground, revitalizing a region once known mainly for poor farms and coal mining. Farmers earned sometimes tens of thousands of dollars letting exploration companies drill on their land. But many now worr y it has unleashed environmental and health threats they never imagined. High up on a hill near Waynesburg, Consol Energy, a huge regional coal and gas company with 9,000 employees, is laying in yet another fracking well. In sight of the 50-meter (150-foot) drilling rig are two other sites leveled and prepared for wells. “Safety is our first value,” says Jeff Boggs, who heads drilling operations in the area for Consol. Six fracking well bores extend down and then horizontally from the wellhead, so that the shale strata below can be tapped to the maximum extent, intended to release enough gas to flow for many years. The operation is highly automated, but still takes nearly 75 workers in small teams that operate on shifts around the clock for the different stages from preparation to production. Boggs says that his

company adheres to federal and state environmental laws. But activists say producing natural gas by fracking is more environmentally dangerous than the drillers admit. The main worry is the chemicals used in the drilling, which may leak into the water table from below or from leaky holding tanks on the surface. Some studies have shown higher risks of cancer and non-cancer health impacts from emissions for people living closer to wells, likely from the release into the air of gas from the pockets around the wells. Other research indicates hydraulic fracturing itself may not pollute groundwater but suggests other parts of the process may leak contaminants into water supplies. Boggs admits drillers “probably have some culpability in some cases” of pollution.But he adds, “They are blaming us as an industry for the ills of the past,” a reference to the damage done in the region by two centuries of coal mining. “They say we don’t have regulation, but we have plenty of regulation, and one of them is to protect the drinking water.” “We comply with all of them. We do not leave anything anymore on site in terms of drilling fluids,” he adds. But scientists, the energy industry and the government continue to battle over whether fracking is fundamentally a health and environmental threat-and whether any such dangers might be worth supplying the cheap gas to the nation’s energy supply. Greenwood, speaking outside a Waynesburg event organized by an environmental group to educate local people about the impact of fracking on water, said since the fracking began his cows seem to have become infertile and he can’t make any money with them. But he has gotten little support from the government’s Environmental Protection Agency. “The EPA agents told me I had to prove it was from the fracking fluids. They told me to find a good attorney. I’m starting with a third one,” he said. — AFP


25

MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

business

Emotion as blast-hit Qantas A380 back home SYDNEY: Qantas chief Alan Joyce yesterday said it was an emotional moment to see an Airbus A380 that lost an engine in a mid-air blast off Singapore in 2010 finally back in Australia. More than 500 days after the incident that led to the temporary grounding of the Australian flag carrier’s entire fleet of A380 super jumbos, the plane touched down at Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport. Joyce said seeing the jet, which was the first double-decker superjumbo to join the Qantas fleet and named Nancy BirdWalton in honor of Australia’s first female commercial pilot, back on home base was special. “It’s very emotional,” he told Australian Associated Press on board the plane, which flew from Singapore

after repairs that cost Aus$139 million ($144 million) and involved the replacement of all four engines. “It shouldn’t be-it is only an aircraft, as somebody said to me-but I think it is more than an aircraft. It’s our reputation, our history. “Anybody that knew Nancy Bird-Walton knew what an amazing aviation legend she was. “She was there for the naming of the aircraft, so for us I suppose it was very emotional getting this fixed, getting Qantas’s flagship back in the air.” After an engine exploded over the Indonesian island of Batam in November 2010, pilots managed to guide the plane back to Singapore’s Changi airport, where it landed trailing a plume of smoke. Australian safety investigators have said an oil leak in a turbine caused the

blast, which left debris scattered over Batam. All four engines were replaced as advised by Rolls-Royce. The repairs, which involved 170 Airbus staff from eight nations, were carried out at the hangar of SIA Engineering, a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines. Joining Joyce on the journey to Sydney were pilots Captain Richard de Crespigny and Captain Dave Evans, who were on the blast-hit flight, as well as 16 of the 22 cabin crew from that flight. AAP said there were cheers and tears on board as the plane landed and passed through a water cannon salute on its way to the arrival gate. The plane will make its first commercial flight on April 28 from Sydney to Hong Kong. “I have absolute, complete confidence in this aircraft,” said de Crespigny. — AFP

Richard de Crespigny, the pilot who was responsible for safely landing the Qantas Airbus A380 plane on Nov 4, 2010, waves to photographers from the cockpit window of the same plane “Nancy Bird Walton” on Saturday. — AP

IMF crisis-fund donors worry about EU bailouts Emerging economies seek more clout

BATUMI: Chairman and CEO of the Trump organization Donald Trump (C) unveils a plaque next to Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili (L) in Batumi yesterday. — AFP

Trump lends his name to tower in ex-Soviet Georgia BATUMI, Georgia: US property mogul Donald Trump lent his name yesterday to a new luxury skyscraper project in exSoviet Georgia, which is emerging from a 2008 war with Russia and seeking Western tourists and funds. Trump unveiled the planned building in the Black Sea resort of Batumi at a ceremony attended by President Mikhail Saakashvili, who hailed Trump’s presence as “a sign that the country is on the path of an irreversible success.” “The whole world is speaking about the transformation that is underway in Georgia,” Trump

replied. The Trump Tower Batumi will be neither owned nor developed by the tycoon. Georgia’s Silk Road Group will use Trump’s name and brand under license in a deal whose financial details were not disclosed. Designed by the New York-based John Fotiadis Architects, the project involves a 47-storey residential building and accompanying marina “with the highest level of Trump luxury standards,” Silk Road Group said. The firm hopes to complete the complex by early 2014. —AFP

Devil is in the detail for Tesco turnaround LONDON: Tesco’s boss is keeping to the belief that “retail is detail” to revive the world No 3 grocer’s performance, but while his strategy was well received, the former shelf-stacker has less than two years to prove he is right. Chief Executive Phil Clarke unveiled a 1 billion pound ($1.6 billion) plan last week to improve the look and feel of Tesco stores, offer better quality and more products, hire extra staff and train them to be more friendly in order to stop market share being eaten away by fiercely competitive rivals in Britain. “Execution is key. Turning the UK around is all about doing 1,000 things 1 percent better, the devil being in the detail,” said Philip Dorgan, retail analyst at Panmure Gordon. Last month, Clarke jettisoned the head of the UK operation, assumed his duties and is now directly in the firing line if his plans fail to halt a slide in sales. If anyone should be able to pull off a strategy based on the nitty gritty of shops and shelves it should be Clarke, a retailer for life who was born into the Tesco business. The son of a Tesco store manager, Clarke’s first job, aged 14, was stacking shelves at a local Tesco store on Saturdays. Rejoining the firm as a graduate trainee in 1981, he

worked his way up through the ranks, succeeding longstanding CEO Terry Leahy in March 2011. In his 14 years at the helm, Leahy transformed Tesco from a British alsoran into a seemingly unstoppable international juggernaut which now has 5,300 stores across 14 countries. But UK sales were already faltering and 10 months after Leahy’s departure, Clarke had to issue Tesco’s first profit warning in 20 years. A top 20 Tesco shareholder said investors will need to give Clarke time to restore the magic to the UK where it is still the dominant player with 30 percent of the grocery market. “What they are doing looks like a much more patient approach I would say, which is the right thing to do I suspect, especially in this economic backdrop,” the shareholder said. “There’s no point in trying to push it too quickly. If it has taken you a little while to get into the problem you’re in, you are not going to cure it in six months.” Panmure Gordan’s Dorgan said Clarke came across well when he presented his revival plans to the City last week. “I’m taking a view that they can turn it around, probably not as fast as they think they can, but that they can do it,” he said. —Reuters

SILIGURI: Indian female tea garden laborers queue with their plucked tea leaves to be weighed at Kiranchandra Tea Estate on the outskirts of Siliguri. India is to declare tea as its national drink to celebrate the life of a pioneering tea-planter who was hanged by British colonial rulers for taking part in the rebellion of 1857. — AFP

WASHINGTON: The International Monetary Fund wrapped up meetings here late Saturday with its coffers to fight the eurozone crisis $430 billion richer. But it also collected a message from the emerging economies that contributed that it should not easily throw more money into Europe, and that they want more say in how the IMF is run. There was some clear relief in the air after the IMF and Group of 20 major economies came out of their meetings Friday with commitments from the leading emerging economies Brazil, Russia, India and China to contribute to the fund’s “global firewall.” With worries now that Spain and Italy are on the verge of needing rescues, the funding boost is aimed at preventing new financial crises from ripping through global markets. “It is nice to have a big umbrella, or a big firewall... and that was really the achievement” of the IMF-G20 meeting, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said. The IMF had already cut its goal for the firewall funding from $500 billion to $400 billion, with its major shareholder the United States declining to contribute and the emerging giants, known as the BRICS, clearly nervous that their contributions might end up in a European black hole. Early on euro-zone countries ponied up $200 billion and Japan $60 billion. But it was only at the Friday financial summit that the IMF was able to pull in the balance. Britain, South Korea and Saudi Arabia each pledged $15 billion; smaller amounts came from other European governments, and then, finally, the BRICS and three Southeast Asian countries promised a collective $68 billion, though no specific amounts were given. The amount doubled the IMF’s resources for intervening in crises, and together with the euro-zone’s own recently assembled $1 trillion firewall, was close to what IMF analysts say is necessary to prevent financial contagion that spill from Europe. “Well this is it, and it’s good. Because of the debate about the European firewall, IMF resources had been taking up a lot of time, and I think it was about time that that conclusion was taken here,” said Danish Finance Minister Margrethe Vestager. But the money came with warnings from IMF members not part of the US-Europe-Japan axis that dominates the Washington-based global lender. First, they worried that after committing some $130 billion already to rescues of Greece, Portugal and Ireland, the IMF board would too easily give in to another bailout of a foundering euro-zone economy. Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty suggested there was lighter treatment for

euro-zone clients than other crisis borrowers. “There is some discomfort with that quite frankly. There ought not to be particularly different treatment for anybody,” he said. Argentine Economy Minister Hernan Lorenzino, who represents several Latin American countries at the IMF, echoed that. “During this process, many rules of the Fund had been changed to accommodate the support to the most-needed countries in Europe in a way that was not seen at the time of the Asian crisis in 1997 or the Latin American crisis in the 2000s.” Lagarde though insisted nothing had changed in the IMF approach. “What has been clearly reminded through the course of the discussion is that, number one, that those bilateral loans... do not form a special

“several” new loan programs for “Arab Spring” countries. “We have a commitment to the Arab countries in transition,” she said. But additionally, the rising economies laid on the pressure for the IMF to get moving on substantial reforms to fund quotas, or shareholder voting rights, that reflect the new realities of the global economic order-that is, the newfound power of China and the other BRICs. Two years after a minor reform to the quotas, the IMF was far from getting enough members to ratify them, with the United States a key laggard. Meanwhile, it is already committed to undertaking a more fundamental shakeup — that could sharply cut European power-and many fear it might not make the deadline of January 2014. “The reluctance that some countries are demonstrating in following through with the

WASHINGTON: International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde arrives to speak at a news conference at the World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings at IMF headquarters in Washington on Saturday. —AP pot of funds or coffers that have an EU label on it. It is for all members of the IMF.” Secondly, she said, “it must be used under the strict, exact, even-handed, non-discriminatory demanding terms that we have for all our programs. And that is the strength of the IMF.” She also repeatedly stressed the new resources were equally available for all 188 IMF members, underscoring for instance that by October the IMF would have in place

agreements we have on the comprehensive review of the formula is deeply damaging to this institution and to these countries’ own credibility,” said Brazil’s finance minister, Guido Mantega. Lagarde acknowledged the pressure and said she wanted the first 2010 reforms ratified by the IMF’s annual meeting, in Tokyo in October. “Everybody wants to have a bigger share of the same pie,” she said. “So there will have to be gives and takes.” —AFP

Walmart hid bribery in Mexico NEW YORK: Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, has admitted it is investigating allegations that its managers in Mexico used widespread bribery to secure the company’s presence in the country and expand its market share. “ This work is ongoing and continues today,” David Tovar, vice president of corporate communications, said in a statement. He added, however, that “we don’t have a full explanation of what happened.” The admission, made late Saturday, followed an online report by The New York Times, which said that in September 2005, a high-ranking company attorney received an email from a former executive at the retail giant’s largest non-US subsidiary, Wal-Mart de Mexico. In the e-mail and follow-up conversations, the former executive described how Wal-Mart de Mexico had orchestrated a campaign of bribery to win market dominance. In its rush to build stores, he said, the company had paid bribes to obtain permits in

virtually every corner of the country, The Times reported, saying the attorney had the information because he had been in charge of securing construction permits. When the Arkansas-based US retailer sent investigators to Mexico City within days they unearthed evidence of widespread bribery. They found a paper trail of hundreds of suspect payments totaling more than $24 million, the Times said. The Mexican subsidiary’s top brass knew of the bribery, and tried to hide it from US headquarters, the report added. In a confidential report to his superiors, Walmart’s lead investigator, a former FBI special agent, summed up their initial findings this way: “There is reasonable suspicion to believe that Mexican and USA laws have been violated.” While the lead investigator urged a broader probe, an examination by The New York Times found that Walmart’s leaders shut it down, the report added. Indeed neither US nor

Mexican authorities were alerted, it stressed. Meanwhile Eduardo Castro-Wright, identified by the former executive as the driving force behind years of bribery, was promoted to vice chairman of Walmart in 2008, the paper noted. Until this article, the allegations and Walmart’s investigation had never been publicly disclosed, the Times said. Tovar said in his statement that the company was “deeply concerned,” but tried to downplay the immediacy of the allegations. “Many of the alleged activities in The New York Times article are more than six years old,” said Tovar. “If these allegations are true, it is not a reflection of who we are or what we stand for. We are deeply concerned by these allegations and are working aggressively to determine what happened.” “We will not tolerate noncompliance with FCPA (US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) anywhere or at any level of the company,” he added. However, Tovar denied that the US government knew nothing about the

probe. “We have met voluntarily with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to self-disclose the ongoing investigation on this matter,” he said. He added that Walmart management had also filed a 10Q statement in December to inform its shareholders of the investigation. “The company’s outside advisors have and will continue to meet with the DOJ and SEC to report on the progress of the investigation,” the spokesman pointed out. Walmart became the world’s largest retailer by slashing supply and overhead costs and passing much of those savings on to the consumer. It was an act that competitors, including mom and pop stores, often found impossible to match. But in recent years the company has seen fierce competition surge from online retailers like Amazon, which, without the cost of running physical stores, in many cases have been able to match or even beat Walmart at price-cutting. — AFP


26

MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

BUSINESS

Albisher & Alkazemi Company takes part in Kanooz exhibition All new 2013 M-Class and SLK Roadster on display KUWAIT: Abdul Rahman Albisher & Zaid Alkazemi Co - authorized general distributors of Mercedes-Benz in Kuwait are participating in Kanooz jewellery and branded watches exhibition. The event is being held at Arraya Hall Courtyard Marriot Hotel Shraq from April 21 & 26. A number of international jewelry and watch brands are participating in this hi-end exhibition. Albisher & Alkazemi Co is participating by displaying two vehicles at the exhibition which will be available to view and see to all

the participants & visitors coming to this exhibition. The visitors will have the opportunity to register to win one of the 5 weekend Test Drives of their favorite Mercedes-Benz cars. On display will be the all new 2013 M-Class & the SLK Roadster. The new M-class was launched in Kuwait about 2 months back and is now exclusively available through Albisher & Alkazemi Co. showroom Shuwaikh.

Some of the technical highlights of this vehicle are: ● AMG Sports Package - standard for all GCC vehicles ● Panoramic glass sliding roof ● New Engine line-up with superior power delivery with low fuel consumption and emission figures. ● Enhanced 7G-Tronic plus for enhanced ride comfort ● Permanent 4Matic all-wheel drive system ● Brake Assist BAS PLUS ● PRE-SAFE brake

Active Blind Spot Assist Active Lane keeping Assist ● Night View Assist PLUS ● Active Bonnet ● Active Parking Assist ● New COMAND online ● Eco Start/stop ● Intelligent Light System The third generation of the Mercedes-Benz M-Class combines the best of two worlds: the much-coveted SUV not only boasts a strong ● ●

off-road vehicle heritage, but its passengers also benefit from levels of comfort comparable to those of a premium saloon. Turned aluminium or high-quality wood, finely detailed switches and highlights as well as exciting surfaces and powerful, harmonious lines help to create a high-quality sense of wellbeing in the interior for both the driver and passengers. The SLK Roadster on display is SLK 350 with Exclusive nappa leather interior and panoramic vario-roof with MAGIC SKY CONTROL and COMAND online. The current version with the completely newly developed SLK, one of the most exciting and successful sports cars ever built is entering its third generation. The new roadster uncompromisingly takes driving pleasure and open-air enjoyment to a new level. It blends light-footed sportiness with stylish comfort, a striking sports-car design with total suitability for everyday use, top performance with exemplary ecology. What’s more, the SLK is proud to present the world premiere of the panoramic vario-roof with MAGIC SKY CONTROL, which switches to light or dark at the touch of a button. Exemplary efficiency and sporty flair come courtesy of powerful new 4and 6-cylinder engines featuring the standard-specification ECO start/stop function. With their superb levels of performance, they are up to 25 percent more economical than their predecessors. With a unique set of safety equipment and a wealth of technical innovations, the SLK is once again the benchmark in its class. Innovations are part of the successful history of the Mercedes-Benz SLK: ● In 1996 the first generation caused a sensation with the vario-roof, which transformed the wide-open roadster into a coupÈ with a fixed roof at the touch of a button in just a few seconds. ● The second generation placed the warm AIRSCARF around the neck and shoulders of the occupants as needed, ensuring pleasurable open-top motoring even in cooler temperatures. ● Now the third generation is presenting one of its unique highlights - the world premiere of the panoramic vario-roof with MAGIC SKY CONTROL. It can be quickly switched to light or dark at the touch of a button. The new Mercedes-Benz SLK offers more than merely individual highlights. It assumes a leading position in every discipline and offers fun at the wheel in every respect, with no half-hearted compromises. It impresses with characteristics which are generally deemed to be irreconcilable: it succeeds in uniting excellent comfort and high-quality equipment and appointments with a decidedly sporty flair, for instance. At the same time the new roadster is the most economical and thus the most environmentally friendly in its class, also setting new safety standards. And all-weather driving enjoyment - open and closed, in leisure-time and everyday use is firmly anchored in the SLK’s genes.

BP Visco announces winner of 1st ‘Chevrolet Cruze’ LCDs, Laptops, Mobiles and Gift Vouchers KUWAIT: Despite the tough competition in the market of vehicle and engine oils, BP Visco oils generate great trust and reliability with its customers, to prove again that the customers in Kuwait have a clear knowledge and awareness of the quality standards of the best engine oils that fit their vehicles. Yusuf A Alghanim, the exclusive dealer for BP oil in Kuwait, developed a promotional rewarding campaign to award their customers for their great selection of BP. Two Chevrolet Cruzes, LCD TV’s, iPhones, iPads, and X-cite vouchers where the prizes in two raffle draws that concluded the successful campaign that lasted from January 22 till April 15, 2012. The first draw took place on 18th of April 2012 and was attended by representatives from the Ministr y of Commerce, managers and employees from Yusuf A. Alghanim & Sons Company. The winners of the first Chevrolet Cruze was announced, while many other winners were rewarded with valuable prizes that included electronics and gift vouchers. The second draw will take place on April 25 where the winner will also drive home in another brand new “Chevrolet Cruze” The BP campaign’s mechanism to enter the draw was made extremely easy. For every oil and filter change at one of 25 selected co-ops and puncture shops, a raffle coupon was given. All the key demographic areas were covered by those outlets to reach all the customers and make it as convenient as possible. BP Visco oils are available in three

types in Kuwait: Visco 2000, Visco 3000, and Visco 5000. Visco 2000 is an ideal oil to protect engines due to the long life viscosity of the oil, while Visco 3000 is perfect to all types of engines including diesel engines because of its ability to prevent the formulation of sediments. Visco 5000 is the choice for higher mileage driving and further protection for engine parts that will consequently lead to efficient fuel consumption. Its high viscosity will surely give you longer

peace of mind before the engine oil needs change again. Successfully ending this campaign, Yusuf A Alghanim and BP Visco are working jointly to create and develop more outstanding offers that give the customers best value for money and express the mutual vision to provide high quality products, services and offers.

AUB announces results of Al-Hassad draw

Global jewelry retail chain Joyalukkas now open in Singapore Joyalukkas one of the world’s largest jewelry retail chains has opened its first showroom in Singapore. The showroom located on Serangoon Road, Singapore, promises to offer a truly world class experience in jewelry shopping. Popular Indian celebrity and film star R Madhavan inaugurated the world-class showroom. The opening received an overwhelming response from Singapore residents. “Our first showroom in Singapore is an immensely proud moment for Joyalukkas. Singapore is a world-class destination and a dynamic country and residents of Singapore are used to the best of everything. We plan to enhance the Singapore residents experience in jewelry shopping and give them the best with our first showroom here. For this we will use our global experience and understanding of multinational customers to bring them the best of choice in jewelry from around continents with the added touch of brand Joyalukkas, which include value, superior service and convenience,” said Joy Alukkas, Chairman & MD, Joyalukkas Group. Conveniently located with ample parking space the Joyalukkas jewelry showroom features a wide and exquisite collection of jewelry in gold, diamonds, precious stones, pearls, platinum and silver. The showroom displays latest designs and brands from around the world in every form of jewelry. The Joyalukkas Singapore sales team has been extensively trained by retail specialists to manage the superior expectation of the residents of Singapore. “I love Singapore and to it is truly a pleasure to be here with a trusted brand I have been associated with for over 2 years now. I feel honored to represent a brand of this global stature, which enjoys such a large base of loyal cus-

tomers. The Joyalukkas brand stands for trust, choice, value, convenience and service and I am sure they will give the best to Singapore residents,” said R Madhavan. ‘Joyalukkas’ is the only jewelry brand that is spread across nine countries around the world with 85 showrooms and a following of over 10 million loyal customers. “The Joyalukkas vision is to ‘ornament the world’ and we intend to manage this with a perfect mix of product, price, choice, service and convenience. Singapore is a milestone for brand Joyalukkas and we are excited to be here. We look forward to serving the discerning customers of Singapore with the best in jewelry, and ensuring they have a delightful experience in jewelry shopping at all times,” said John Paul Joy Alukkas, Executive Director, Joyalukkas Group. The Singapore Joyalukkas jewelry showroom has been designed in the signature Joyalukkas format with stylish and convenient interiors to offer the widest choice of jewelry under one roof. Joyalukkas is the only ISO 14001-2004 and ISO 9001-2008 certified jewelry retail chain and has been recognised with many awards and accolades for its exceptional standards in jewellery retailing. Their popular Chennai showroom has been recognized by the Limca Book of records for being the largest jewelry showroom in the world. Joyalukkas has also been recognized with the ‘Superbrand’ status for three years in a row in Dubai, and in addition to this, has also been recognized by the Dubai government under its Dubai Quality Awards Program for their strict adherences to quality and procedures in all aspects of jewelry retailing. The brand has also won the ‘Middle-East Retailer of the Year’ award from Retail ME.

KUWAIT: Ahli United Bank (AUB) has announced the results of the weekly draws of its Al-Hassad Islamic savings scheme. The lucky customers winning the grand weekly prize worth KD 25,000 each at the draws held on the 11th 0f April 2012: Rashid Mubarak Zyed Al Kuwari, Suad Mohammad, Salah Yousef Mohammad Al Sedeqi. The following Al-Hassad Islamic customers won cash prizes of KD 1000 each: Wuroud Ayesh Ammash Al-Azmi, Fares Matar Woqayan Al-Shammari, Hamad Barjas Jaber Aldawas Al-Mutiri, Mansour Hussein Rizeq Abu Helal, Tariq Bader Ibrahim Abdelsalam, Zainb Abdulrazaq Sadoon Al-Hendal, Mohammed Mohsin Al-Haddad, Ahmad Bassam Abdulmoeti Al-Sulaiman, Hasan Tifoni, Leyla Hassan Vahhabi, Maasoumah Hassan Bighloush, Wedad Ali Alsayed Hamed Al-Refaee, Mohammad Salem Saad Al-Suwaileh, Fatima Ahamed Mahdi Al-Hadad, Rabab Abdulredha Abdulkareem, Ahmed A Nabi Al-Asfoor, A Rahman A Karim, Bushra Abduljalil Ebrahim, Rashid Abdulla Rashid Khalil, Ahmed Abdulrahman Ahmed Al-Sayed, Hooriya Ahmed Salman Mubarak, Yasser Mohd Al-Saad, Sami Ebrahim Khalil Ebrahim, Andrew Charles Petty and Sana Hashim. With the new Al-Hassad Islamic 2011 scheme, customers have a lot more to look forward to. With 28 weekly prizes totaling KD 100,000 each week and “Salary for Life” prizes every month, the chances to win bigger prizes more often couldn’t get any better. The most attractive feature of the new scheme is the chance to win bigger prizes, more frequently with 3 grand prizes of KD 25,000 each, week on week plus 25 other weekly prizes of KD 1,000. Chances to win big prizes on a weekly basis, offer instant rewards to both existing as well as new Investors in Investment Saving Account (Al-Hassad Islamic). With the introduction of a “Salary for Life” Prize of KD 250,000 every month, the grand prize is also now more frequent and customers do not need to wait for a quarter or more to qualify for the grand prize. The “Salary for Life” has been a core feature for the Al-Hassad Islamic scheme with prizes paid out to date exceeding KD10 million. The monthly “Salary for Life” prize has enabled winners to afford better homes, ensure better education for their children and enjoy an improved quality of life, with the assurance that the rewards will continue to come month after month for 250 months. Al-Hassad Islamic is the only scheme to offer high value weekly and monthly prizes that are significantly higher than the total outlay of other prize schemes in Kuwait. In addition to the attractive prize pool, customers with high balances can opt for other unique features such as Investment savings plan, cheque facility linked to their investment savings account and state of the art e-banking and 24 x 7 Contact Center support. The new Al-Hassad Islamic 2011 is geared to meeting the needs of salaried individuals. Customers can benefit from not only the biggest and most attractive prize pool but can also enjoy state of the art banking benefits and access to AUB’s unique products’ range for Islamic Finances ,credit cards and investment products. All Al-Hassad draws are conducted under the scrutiny of officials from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and independent auditing firm, Ernst& Young. For more information on the Al-Hassad Islamic investment savings account, its prize structure and eligibility criteria, customers may visit any AUB Kuwait.

(Left to right) Yaser Sulaiman, Executive Manager, Consumer Banking Group at Gulf Bank handing over the keys to Damu Gopalkrishna Murti, winner of the first quarterly KOC draw.

Gulf Bank hands over keys of a brand new GMC Yukon to Damu Gopalkrishna Murti KUWAIT: The winner of Gulf Bank’s first quarterly KOC prize draw for 2012, Damu Gopalkrishna Murti, was presented with the keys to his brand new GMC Yukon by Yaser Sulaiman, Executive Manager, Consumer Banking Group at Gulf Bank. While receiving the keys to his Yukon, Damu Murti said, “I would like to express my gratitude to Gulf Bank for giving me the opportunity to win the KOC prize draw. Being a winner of the first quarterly draw encourages me to continue dealing with the Gulf Bank and benefit from the superb services and ongoing promotions that they offer. Thank you Gulf Bank for

this great opportunity.” Gulf Bank’s Quarterly Prize Draw for a brand new GMC Yukon is part of the benefits offered in the KOC salary package. The KOC salary package is a specially designed banking package for KOC employees. All KOC employees who transfer their salaries and have a valid Gulf Bank credit card are eligible to enter the quarterly draw. Gulf Bank offers a full banking service to KOC employees at its KOC branch and invites all KOC employees to visit the branch to find out more about current and upcoming offers and services.

Al-Tijari announces winners of Najma Account draw KUWAIT: Commercial Bank of Kuwait held the Al Najma Account draw on 22, April 2012. The draw was held under the supervision of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry represented by Saquer AlManaie. The winners of the Al Najma Daily Draw are: Juma’ah Dhahy Khalaf — KD 7000, Omar Mustafa Dakhily Mohammed— KD 7000, Faqeer Mohammed Shah Zaman— KD 7000, Mohammed Royal Mohammed Sadeq Al-Rahman — KD 7000, Mohammed Mahmoud Mohammed Yaqoub — KD 7000. The Commercial Bank of Kuwait announces the biggest daily draw in Kuwait with the launch of the new Najma account. Customers of the bank can now enjoy a KD 7,000 daily prize which is the

highest in the country and another 4 mega prizes during the year worth KD 100,000 each on different occasions: The National Day, Eid Al-Fitr, Eid Al-Adha and on the 19th of June which is the date of the bank’s establishment. With a minimum balance of KD 500, customers will be eligible for the daily draw provided that the money is in the account one week prior to the daily draw or 2 months prior to the mega draw. In addition, for each KD 25 a customer can get one chance for winning instead of KD 50. Commercial Bank of Kuwait takes this opportunity to congratulate all lucky winners and also extends appreciation to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry for their effective supervision of the draws which were conducted in an orderly and organized manner.


27

MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

TECHNOLOGY

Services aim to preserve legacies in digital afterlife ‘If Facebook and Ancestry.com had a child, it would be us’

Small business owners like Linda Carmona-Sanchez (left) and Michael Murray, Miami residents, participate in one of the free courses, promoting their website, offered by Google. —MCT

Moms are building mini empires online By Cindy Krischer Goodman recently sat in awe in a room full of women - most of them moms - who are power ful influencers reaching giant audiences. They are doing that through a variety of social media platforms and creating small media empires - from their homes. Through Internet postings, vocal opinions and business acumen, these tech-savvy women have amassed millions of online followers and captured the attention of the big brands. They are doing it on their own schedules - in between scout meetings and soccer games - and redefining what it means to be working moms. “ These moms have actually made it acceptable to run businesses out of the home,” said Maria Bailey, CEO of BSM Media and founder of the SheStreams conference I attended in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. As I listened to the women talk about their successes, I realized an evolution has occurred. A decade ago, the first phase of mom businesses began rolling out. Moms were starting Internet sites and blogs to stay connected to civilization as they dealt with diapers, temper tantrums, potty training and teething. “The assumption was they were running little businesses from their bedrooms,” Bailey says. But these pioneers found an audience among other mothers, a powerful demographic coveted by big consumer companies. Now these moms are running half-million dollar businesses out of their home and that’s acceptable, even professional, Bailey says. Today’s home-based business owners are podcasting, vlogging, marketing through Facebook, holding Twitter parties, pinning on Pinterest, creating YouTube channels, publishing newsletters and reaching across the digital sphere. They have used social media and their relationship -building sk ills to catapult their careers to the nex t level. Brands like Disney, Hewlett Packard and Ford have taken notice. “ These moms are c yber celebrities selling their identities and endorsements,” says Bailey, who personally connects with more than 8 million parents a month through her podcasts, radio show and websites. “They give advertisers the ability to reach moms through multiple channels.” Take Abbie Schiller, CEO and founder of The Mother Company, for example. Four

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years ago, she left her high-paying job in media relations at ABC News in Los Angeles to start her online parenting company. She actually funded the company with a mission - “helping parents raise good people” - by reaching out to 22 parents who she convinced to make an investment. Today, The Mother Company (www.themotherco.com) operates a parenting website and sells a line of children’s products that includes books, shows (on DVD and download), dolls and apps. It reaches hundreds of thousands of mothers a month and has products in Whole Foods. “Our investors saw the opportunity in creating media opportunities for parents and children. That’s not something a corporation can do well. It’s something a mom can do well,” Schiller says. “Now we have companies clamoring to see how they can be involved in what we’re doing.” In only two years, The Mother Company has attracted Fortune 500 sponsors and adver tisers including The Gap and Johnson & Johnson. Schiller plans to expand further by offering an interactive digital platform for children. As social media explodes, these early adopters with legions of fans see the wave as an opportunity to not just hop on and ride, but to lead. When Teana McDonald of Margate, Fla., became a mom, she began making adorable hair accessories for her young daughter. Soon after, she decided to start My Little Diva Accessories from her home, and later expanding into showrooms. To attract more customers, she created a Facebook page and became active on Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Within a few months, she had engaged thousands of other mothers online, and her audience still continues to grow. She’s about to launch an online TV show, 3 Loud Women, too. “People buy from people they like, moms especially,” McDonald says. However, she says building an online brand has become competitive as more mothers have discovered the opportunities. “They’re realizing it’s a big bubble that ’s not going to burst.” Recently, McDonald began talking about her online success with other women business owners and that led to her new business, Get It Done Divas, as a social media marketing specialist. Her most common advice: “You have to figure out what platforms are good for your business.” —MCT

KANSAS CITY: The tombstone has proven a reliable enough marker of a person’s existence. Solid. Substantial. (Sometimes even monumental) And a half-life measured in geologic time. But what does it tell us, truly, about the dear departed? Born, died, name and maybe an epitaph unlikely to do justice to the measure of a life. Perhaps there’s a better, online way to preserve our journeys on the mortal coil. LiveOn, start-up based in Kansas City, Mo., is among a growing group of companies that are looking to make a business of your virtual afterlife. LiveOn sees itself as more than a Facebook for the dead. Rather, it hopes to build a narrative of the things that mattered in your life that will stick around on the Web when you’ve passed to that big hard drive in the sky. “If Facebook and Ancestry.com had a child, that would be us,” said Jonathan Whistman, LiveOn’s founder and chief executive. The idea came to Whistman while he was going through photos and other keepsakes after one of his grandmothers died. He wondered: When I die, what would my son have to remember me? So he set to making an online service that would preserve the photos, videos and other markers of a life. LiveOn, still fledgling with fewer than 5,000 members, puts the detritus of a life into context. The hope is that members will arrange tight social networks of their “tribes,” family and closest friends to build portraits of themselves that aren’t distorted by memory or the misplacing of digital artefacts. Then when a member dies, that online profile remembers accurately and contextually what was significant in that person’s life. “Here’s how my story lives on past me,” Whistman said. “People think, ‘I’m nobody special.’ But there are people in their lives who think they are and want to remember.” His company is making a bold promise. It will offer the profiles for free, but it aims to make money by charging to digitize the online artifacts and sell users online templates that put memories in artful focus. With that revenue, LiveOn says it will preserve the profiles “in perpetuity.” It hopes to raise enough to establish an endowment to pay for formatting and storage of the material. Care or not, if you’ve travelled the Internet much at all you will leave footprints there after you die. But without planning, they are likely to be errant peeks at who you were - and not the part of yourself you want most to be remembered. They could easily fade into oblivion. And they could be locked up behind passwords that, deliberately or not, you took to the grave. “The thing with the digital world is that it’s very transient,” said Adele McAlear, a social media marketing consultant who blogs at

DeathAndDigitalLegacy.com. “You may not care about what happens after you die. After all, you’ll be dead. But your family will. Your friends will.” And so an industry is popping up to keep alive those digital things that you won’t be around to cultivate. Companies such as Legacy Locker, Entrustet and I-Tomb are fighting for the “digital estate planning” business. Even companies that for generations have dealt with your physical

service) on the Internet, because they’re worried about people not showing up in person,” said Gregg Amos, who owns the funeral home. “But it can be really worthwhile.” Longer term, the prospects of keeping your Internet-cached identity alive can get trickier. By one estimate, about 400,000 Facebook users die each year in the United States alone. So what happens to their profiles? It depends. There are forms to report a death to

Founder and chief executive Jonathan Whistman says LiveOn, a Kansas City-based company intends to connect families and create online legacies. —MCT remains now recognize that how we remember someone online is part of how we remember them, period. “It’s a way to accommodate people who want to pay their respects but can’t be there,” said Patrick McGilley of McGilley State Line Chapel in Kansas City. The funeral home, like many others, posts obituaries and guest books online. Amos Family Funeral Home in Shawnee has experimented with streaming video of memorial services online, including one for a man stationed in Iraq who wanted to see his father’s funeral. “Some people have negative thoughts about having (a

Facebook and freeze a profile as a memorial. The deceased can’t add friends, and some personal information, such as phone numbers, can be removed, but it provides a place for people to post their remembrances and condolences. Families can deactivate profiles through a similar process. But there have been problems. Hoaxes have led to people being declared dead on Facebook even as they continue to draw breath offline, and families have wrestled for control of lost loved ones’ accounts. Oklahoma in 2010 passed a law giving executors the power “to take control

of, conduct, continue or terminate any accounts of a deceased person on any social networking website, any microblogging or short message service website or any email service websites.” Idaho, Indiana, Connecticut and Rhode Island have similar laws. We all need to account for our Twitter accounts and PayPal controls the way we allot custody of the kids and decide who gets that brokendown motorcycle when we buy the farm, said Evan Carroll, a co-author of the book “Your Digital Afterlife.” He said that somehow, somewhere, we need to leave our passwords with our wills or insurance policies. It is not only about access to our social networks, but sometimes about the keys to our online bank accounts. What we leave undone, we leave to chaos, said Carroll, who sees the greatest business potential in services that automate the preservation by tapping into existing accounts such as Facebook or Twitter. “There’s the potential to have remnants of yourself out there, and we don’t know who will discover them or what they’ll do with them,” Carroll said. “We’re living in the first period where you’ve had to think about your digital persona.” Experts also say it is important to adjust the caretaking of our sundry memorabilia to the digital age. As a way to preserve things, the move from the printed page to the Internet cloud has been a blessing and a curse. Our stuff can’t burn on the Web. It can’t get soaked in a flood or tossed to the next county by a tornado. By uploading computer files - letters, pictures, movies - to the scattered servers that make up the electronic cloud, we have found ways to store things far better than a shoebox or photo album stuffed in a closet. But those virtual keepsakes have a particular vulnerability. Imagine you had put something on a floppy disk or a Zip disk a few years ago. Recovering them today isn’t impossible, but it’s not simple. And there could come a time when it would be lost forever. By comparison, consider the wax cylinders used in the earliest days of sound recording. They still work. Even if they are scratched, the gist is still there. But a DVD recorded yesterday could be lost completely by just a tiny computer error and be worthless tomorrow. “The fragility of digital stuff just can’t be overstated,” said Bill LeFurgy, the digital initiatives project manager at the Librar y of Congress. “Technology is constantly moving ahead.” The trick to preserving keepsakes is redundancy. Keep multiple copies of things in multiple formats. For example, it’s not enough to copy family pictures to a CD or DVD. Back them up on a flash drive or a portable hard drive, and upload them to an online storage service. —MCT

S Korea’s Yeosu changes for international expo YEOSU: A former port terminal in Yeosu, a small city on South Korea’s south coast, has undergone a $10 billion transformation as it prepares to host a major international expo. “Expo 2012 Yeosu” aims to attract 11 million local and foreign visitors-especially from China-as it showcases 105 nations during the event running from May to August, and many more afterwards. As the opening date approaches, the sound of a giant organ with 50-metre-tall pipes echoes through the seafront site, bustling with activity as workers carry out final drilling, cleaning and painting. Construction workers on a raised platform inspect the ceiling of a 218-metre-long (719-foot) gallery-twice as long as a soccer field-as it displays LED images of whales in the ocean. Expo 2012 Yeosu is being held between the headline World Expos which are staged every five years. The last, in Shanghai in 2010, was an elaborate affair that raised the profile of the event, and the next will be Milan in 2015. A total of 105 countries and 10 international organisations as well as dozens of firms will hold exhibitions under the theme of “The Living Ocean and Coast”. “This used to be a port terminal for cement bulk carriers until three years ago. Now it’s an entirely different place,” said Moon YoungKuk, a spokesman for the event organising committee, at a media tour before the May 12 opening. The 250,000-square-metre (2.69 million square feet) site houses pavilions, a giant aquarium, a pair of abandoned cement silos turned into a Sky Tower and a huge circular structure-”The Big-O”-for light shows over the sea. Yeosu, a city of about 300,000 people, was previously best known for its cargo port and chemical industries. Tourism in the area, despite a beautiful coastline and islands, was limited due to poor transport links and outdated infrastructure. Now Yeosu is putting the finishing touches to preparations for the expo after spending nearly $10 billion to build the site and new hotels and to upgrade infrastructure. “Preparations are 99 percent completed...it has been a long and hard road,” said Kim Keun-Soo, secretary-general of the organising committee. Organisers are hoping for up to 800,000 foreign visitors, especially newly affluent Chinese. Kim said Chinese had shown keen interest after their own country embraced the Shanghai World

Expo. For the Yeosu event, Chinese visitors have snapped up more than half of the tickets on advance sale and organisers have filled some 1,000 of the 13,000 volunteer helper posts with Chinese living in South Korea to better serve them. A new ferry terminal capable of handling six cruise ships stands right by the exhibition site to accommodate tourists arriving by ship from

Marine Engineering have set up displays. DSME, the world’s third biggest shipbuilder, is showing off dozens of futuristic robots used for deep-sea drilling. Kim, citing government data, said the event will help create some 80,000 jobs and bring economic benefits worth 19 trillion won ($16.7 billion). Improved transport networks would cut

YEOSU: A huge LED screen is seen under the ceiling at the International pavilion of the EXPO 2012 Yeosu Korea site. —AP China or Japan. The city’s domestic airport will also handle international flights from the two neighbouring countries during the expo. The railway line has been upgraded, shortening the trip from Seoul by nearly two hours to about three hours. The exhibition site is five minutes’ walk from a station. Offshore, some 300 water fountain pipes shot jets high into the air as part preparations for nightly light and laser shows. The 47-metre-tall Big-O is the centrepiece of the site. Firms like Samsung, Hyundai and Daewoo Shipbuilding and

shipping costs for businesses. “But these numbers mean little... compared to the much-deserved reputation Yeosu will finally gain by holding such a global event and having so many visitors get to see the city,” Kim said. Kim expressed regret that North Korea will apparently not take part in what he called a non-political cultural event. Pyongyang in 2007 voted in favour of Yeosu’s bid for the expo but did not respond to an invitation made last November to take part. “We are not giving up hope yet... but I’m afraid time is running out with each passing day,” he said. —AFP


MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

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

In Chad, a donkey trek to avoid hunger crisis 127,000 children to suffer from severe malnutrition this year

Dick Pryor is seen at his Carmichael, California home. — MCT

Joint replacement gives seniors leg up on activity SACRAMENTO: A lifetime of wear and tear on his joints caused Dick Pryor, a 77-year-old retired landscape architect, to undergo not one but two surgeries to replace his knees. Neither slowed him down for long. “With one knee replacement, I was back skiing three months later,” said Pryor, a Sacramento, Calif., resident who began skiing a half-century ago. “I could have gone skiing sooner, but the snow wasn’t any good.” Like Pryor, many of his 130 fellow members of the Sacramento, Calif., area 49er Ski Club - average age 72 - have dealt with chronic knee and hip problems, and many remain athletically active after joint replacement surgery. Pryor also walks every day to stay in shape. Bill Anthony, 83, a retired Roseville, Calif., family physician who had both hips replaced and, most recently, recovered from a broken back, likes to bike three times a week and lift weights when he’s not skiing. “We also do a lot of hiking,” said ski group member Judy Agid, 73, a hip replacement veteran and retired Sacramento State fencing coach who has hiked hundreds of miles through Spain and biked across America twice. “And we kayak in the summer,” said Anthony. While that level of activity might sound unusual, experts on aging say it hints at a new norm. For more energetic seniors today, knee and hip replacements provide a break from vigorous physical activity, not the end. In part, that’s because older adults have learned a key lesson: They expect to maintain a good quality of life, because they know that age does not equal infirmity and illness. “I’d say that age is irrelevant,” said Pat Beal, 74, Senior Center of Elk Grove executive director. “We have drivers for our Dial-A-Ride program who have hip replacements and can’t wait to get back to volunteering. They tell me how many weeks they’ll be out, and I have to tell them to take their time recovering. “Seniors recognize that life is short, and they don’t want to take more time away from what they enjoy. They want to get on with life and have fun while they can.” Increasingly, that quality of life doesn’t include enduring the aches and pains of joint problems caused by osteoarthritis or previous injuries. Well before the tidal wave of the baby boom generation began hitting retirement age, the number of hip and knee replacement procedures more than doubled between 1996 and 2007, according to the National Centre for Health Statistics. Today, Americans undergo more than 1 million of these knee and hip procedures each year, and a growing number are performed on people in their 50s and 60s. For

example, almost 5 percent of people aged 50 and older have had knee replacement surgery, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says - and so have 10 percent of people 80 and older. “A lot of our older people are trying to keep going and stay active until their maker calls them,” said Dr. Stephen Howell, a Methodist Hospital orthopedic surgeon who performs 420 knee replacement procedures each year. “I always tell people you only go around once. My father is 88, and he’s got two knee replacements. He swims laps every day. He plays golf. He still lives independently. Without having his knees done, he’d be in a nursing home now.” Mobility issues and the debilitating level of pain associated with chronic joint problems are two of the major reasons an estimated 210,000 elderly Californians reside in the state’s short- and long-term care facilities. Joint replacement procedures can make living independently in old age possible for many people. And research indicates it can make life itself possible, as well. According to a 12-year study of 135,000 Medicare patients, those who underwent knee replacement surgery had half the risk of dying within the next seven years as patients who opted against the procedure. It’s an interesting equation that encompasses a lot of life beyond achy hips and knees: Joint replacement surgery enhances older adults’ chances of remaining physically active. In turn, being active not only helps mitigate difficulties with balance and falling; it also reduces the likelihood that seniors will become homebound and isolated, leading to a potentially deadly cascade of problems. “Everybody can be active at different levels,” said Lisa Cirill, who leads the state Department of Public Health’s California Active Communities program. “It’s crucial that they are.” In a real way, staying mobile - being at least able to walk, if not run and bike and ski - prolongs lives. “One of the doctors I went to told me, ‘You’re getting older, and you’re doing too much,’” said Agid. “So I changed doctors.” She’s still going strong. So is Bill Anthony, who likes to tell people that he met a group of really elderly skiers at Mammoth a few years back - people in their 90s. And so is Dick Pryor, who recently changed his goal of skiing until he hits age 80: Now, he said, he’s going to keep going to at least 85. “These are people who raise the expectations of other people,” said Howell. “It’s very encouraging. We all do our part to mentor by example and to let other people know these things are possible.” — MCT

DIBININDJI: Mothers with hungry and malnourished children are travelling by any means they can to get to feeding sites and clinics in the Chadian desert, such as Dibinindji, where no roads exist and where it is sometimes too late to save their babies’ lives. Twenty-two children have died this year from malnutrition in another district in Chad’s Sahel belt. Health and UN officials warn that more children will die if the international humanitarian assistance is not increased. The inhabitants in this vast expanse of the Chadian desert eke an existence from subsistence farming in this unforgiving environment, and this year it has been especially unkind. Outside the clinic, a mother arrives from the desert by donkey, leaves the animal with a dozen others under the shade of a tree that serves as a donkey parking lot, and walks toward the clinic, shielding the child under her yellow shawl from the harsh noontime sun. “Halime Ali?” a nurse shouts out. A mother brings baby Halime to be weighed. She cries as she is lifted into the plastic weighing bucket, and again as she is lifted out by one arm. Dr. Beban Behoutam Sylvestre, the chief doctor of the district of Mondo, said the centre has registered 22 deaths since the beginning of the year. Admissions in the early months of this year tripled over admissions during the last half of 2011, he said. “The children are brought to the centre very late. Once they arrive to the centre, it’s already too late to treat them,” he said. “Another reason that presents itself is the transportation conditions. When a child is sick they bring them on the back of a donkey or camel, or even a cart,” and those modes of transportation are not ideal for children with severe acute malnutrition. UNICEF estimates that 127,000 children under the age of five in Chad will suffer from severe acute malnutrition this year. The hunger crisis extends across many countries including Niger, Mali, Mauritania and Burkina Faso, and the UN estimates 1 million children this year will require lifesaving treatment for severe acute malnutrition in the wider Sahel region. “These numbers are quite staggering in my opinion. We really need to do something urgently because if we don’t act now then we may take the chance of losing so many children who will die of malnutrition,” said UNICEF’s deputy representative to Chad, Dr. Marcel Ouattara. He blamed climate change for Chad’s hunger crisis. The region has not yet recovered from the last drought two years ago, and many families lost their herds which means

that they will not have assets to purchase food. In an April press release, UNICEF said it had set up 261 nutrition rehabilitation centres in Chad, and has plans to double the number in the next two months. The medical facilities in the region, however, are ill-equipped to resuscitate patients in the worst conditions, Dr. Sylvestre said. An oxygen concentrator with a generator or solar panel is greatly needed because patients are dying from respiratory distress, he said. A lack of medical personnel is also a factor. In March the centre saw 55 cases but had only four nurses who had to work long hours. “So at this level we have many different difficulties that contribute to the deaths of these children. If only we had an ambulance,” he said. Ouattara said that more international funding is needed to help fight the hunger crisis. He said right now he has less than 50 percent of the funds he needs to treat the crisis in Chad. “For the time we’re trying to be hopeful because we don’t have any other choice but to be hopeful. It is heartbreaking to see that the need is there,” he said. The upheaval in neighboring Libya has also contributed to the crisis. Chadian citizens who used to work in Libya and send money back home

DIBININDJI: In this file photo, Halime Moussa, 3, receives treatment via a nasal feeding tube and has bandaged hands to prevent him from removing it, at the therapeutic nutrition ward of the town’s hospital. — AP

Warming set to make corn prices pop PARIS: Climate change will more than quadruple US corn prices in years of peak volatility, environmental scientists said yeaterday. In a study of the factors that drive up prices in the world’s key market for corn, more frequent heatwaves, predicted as a result of global warming, proved far more important than government policies to promote biofuels or than higher oil prices. “Severe heat is the big hammer,” said Noah Diffenbaugh of Stanford University in California. “Even one or two degrees of global warming is likely to substantially increase heatwaves that lead to low-yield years and more price volatility.” The study found that climate

change would increase year-on-year corn price volatility by a factor of 4.1. The fluctuations were based on a projection for 2020-40 compared to volatility in recent history. The study, published in Nature Climate Change, used a computer scenario based on warming that ultimately reaches 2.0 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial times. Many climate scientists say 2 C (3.6 F), enshrined as a goal by the UN, is an under-estimate. Current trends of carbon emissions are placing Earth on a track for warming of 3 C (5.4 F) or more, according to some estimates. This figure is the overall global average, so it disguises big regional variations,

3-yr-old boy spends record time with artificial heart

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hree year old Joe Skerratt is now a picture of health, but he was kept alive for 251 days by an artificial heart - longer than any other child in the UK. Joe underwent a successful heart transplant at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) last year after being diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) soon after birth. The condition, which causes the left and also sometimes the right hand side of the heart to stretch, left Joe’s heart muscle weak and unable to pump blood efficiently around his body. Joe spent nine months in hospital attached to a device called the ‘Berlin heart’, a 15 kilogram machine the size of a small chest freezer, which supports the work of the heart and acts as a life-saving bridging device for children awaiting a transplant. His parents, Mark and Rachel, have spoken for the first time to urge families to discuss organ donation and to join the NHS organ donor register. Rachel said: “We are eternally grateful to the donor family. We cannot imagine what they went through. Their generosity of thought at such a horrendous time is completely selfless and amazing. “Organ donation is a topic everyone should discuss. It is not just those with conditions present from birth who end up needing transplants. Some children, like Joe, will become very sick, very quickly. “We would also like to thank all of the staff at Great Ormond Street Hospital for what they have done for Joe, but especially his consultant, Dr Alessandro Giardini, and the nurses on Ladybird Ward.” Dr Giardini, consultant pediatric cardiologist at GOSH said: “We are really delighted to see Joe doing so well and thriving at home. He spent a long time with us in hospital. “Joe was very lucky to be able to have a heart transplant. There is a chronic shortage of donor organs for children in the UK and at any one time we have several children in the hospital awaiting a transplant. Lots of children wait years for an organ to become available and can very sadly die while they are doing so.” GOSH is the largest centre for cardiothoracic transplantation in the UK, and one of the largest in Europe. Later this year, the hospital will open the Wolfson Heart and Lung Centre, part of the Morgan

have instead returned to Chad. That means less money for families and one more mouth to feed, said Ouattara. The more severe cases of malnutrition are referred to an intensive care tent in the grounds of a hospital in the nearby town of N’Gouri, itself hours across the desert from any road. Inside, mothers attempt to feed their children but many are beyond the point of accepting food orally and lie still in stifling summer heat as their mothers fan them. Their tiny hands are bandaged up to prevent them from removing the nasal feeding tubes that sustain them. Within a couple of weeks most will recover. One mother pushed a cup of fortified milk up to the lips of her 8-month-old daughter Kouboura Ali, who arrived at the clinic two days before weighing only 2.8 kilograms (6 pounds). The frail girl swallows some but seconds later vomits it back up. Fatime persisted but it was of no use. A doctor arrived and gave Kouboura an injection of antibiotics to fight infection. “During the three days I’ve been here my child has received treatment,” she said through translators. “I’m happy with how it’s going.”— AP

Stanley Clinical Building. The new centre will contain state of the art inpatient, daycare and operating facilities. Joe’s story When Joe was three weeks old Rachel woke one morning to find him ‘grey’. He was rushed to the Evelina Children’s Hospital where an x-ray showed his heart was severely enlarged. Doctors diagnosed him with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). He returned home, his DCM initially managed through

Joe Skerratt a combination of drugs and a strict diet. However, Joe’s health deteriorated rapidly in December 2009 and he spent time on intensive care. Fearing the worst, Rachel and Mark had him christened. Joe rallied, and was later diagnosed with Barth syndrome, a condition linked to the x gene which causes muscle weakness, short stature and feeding problems. The syndrome had also caused his DCM. Despite this, he spent the next year in generally good health with Rachel describing him as a ‘happy little monster’. However, by December 2010 Joe began show-

ing signs of heart failure. Doctors confirmed his heart valves were leaking. Joe was short of breath, puffy in the face and had lost his usually healthy appetite. An ECHO scan showed that Joe’s heart had become further enlarged and was now taking up too much space in his chest cavity. Rachel and Mark were told he would need a transplant and he was placed on the waiting list. A few days later, Joe had a rapid decline in health and had two cardiac arrests in hospital. Rachel was told the best chance of stabilising Joe would be to transfer him to GOSH and put him onto an Extra-Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine, which could temporarily do the work of his heart and lungs to give them a rest. Within half an hour Joe arrived at GOSH, where he suffered another cardiac arrest. Doctors were able to resuscitate him for a third time and he was placed onto the ECMO machine. 36 hours later, Joe was stable enough to be attached to a Berlin heart. Rachel explains: “Joe went through so much in such a short space of time, but once he was on the Berlin heart we started to see his character coming back. “We took things one day at a time, while we waited for a heart to become available. We tried to plan as many ‘everyday’ activities for Joe as we could, Dr Giardini nicknamed him ‘The Swiss Watch’ because he likes to do everything with precision timing! “When Joe passed the 200 day mark on the Berlin heart we started to really question what else could be done if a heart wasn’t found, but we knew deep down there wouldn’t be much. “On day 251 the call we had been waiting for came. We were offered a heart for Joe. The call came early in the morning and time seemed to stand still before he was taken down to theatre. “Thankfully, Joe’s operation was successful. After transplant he spent four days on cardiac intensive care before he could have his chest closed safely. Seeing his new heart - a normal size and thumping away in his chest, was incredible. None of it would have been possible without the selfless generosity of the donor family. “In total we spent 322 days in hospital before returning home. Our first night back involved a celebratory pizza for dinner, which was Joe’s favourite of course.”

including seasonal bouts of extreme weather. Before the results of the study became clear, it was not obvious to Diffenaugh that climate change would be a more important factor than higher oil prices or government policies to promote biofuels. “Frankly, I was surprised that climate had the largest effect of these three influences. These are substantial changes in price volatility that come from relatively moderate global warming,” Diffenaugh noted. The researchers found that climate’s yoyo effect was accentuated by government support for biofuels. By growing corn for fuel, this removed a buffer of surplus grain, making the market more inelastic.

“Our results suggest that energy policy decisions are likely to interact with climate change to affect corn price volatility, and that the market effect of a binding biofuel mandate is likely to intensify as the climate warms,” said Diffenbaugh. Unless corn farmers increase their crops’ heat tolerance by as much as 3.3 C (6 F), areas of high production will have to move north from the current US corn belt, the researchers said in a press release. “By the time today’s elementary schoolers graduate from colleage, the US corn belt could be forced to move to the Canadian border to escape devastating heat waves brought on by rising global temperatures,” it said. — AFP

Arctic Ocean could be a source of greenhouse gas PARIS: The Arctic Ocean could be a significant contributor of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, scientists reported yesterday. Researchers carried out five flights in 2009 and 2010 to measure atmospheric methane in latitudes as high as 82 degrees north. They found concentrations of the gas close to the ocean surface, especially in areas where sea ice had cracked or broken up. The study, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, wonders if this is a disturbing new mechanism that could accelerate global warming. “We suggest that the surface waters of the Arctic Ocean represent a potentially important source of methane, which could prove sensitive to changes in sea-ice cover,” it says. If so, the Arctic Ocean would add to several identified “positive feedbacks” in Earth’s climate system which ramp up the greenhouse effect. One such vicious circle is the release of methane from Siberian and North American permafrost.

The thawing soil releases methane that has been locked up for millions of years, which adds to global warming-which in turns frees more methane, and so on. But this is the first evidence that points to a methane contribution from the ocean, not the land, in Arctic latitudes. Levels of methane in the atmosphere are relatively low, but the gas is 20 times more effective that carbon dioxide (CO2) at trapping solar heat. Scientists have been struggling to understand the movements of the methane curve. There was a rapid increase in levels due to postWorld War II industrialisation, followed by a period of relative stability in the 1990s and more recently, by another rise. The new paper, led by Eric Kort at the California Institute of Technology Caltech), says measurements of methane over some parts of the ocean were comparable to coastal eastern Siberia where there has been permafrost thaw.— AFP

LIMA: “Zamba” (left) and “Canuta”, female otorongo twins, remain in Las Leyendas zoo. “Zamba” and “Canuta” were born in captivity a year ago in the zoo and were elected as symbol for the Earth Day. — AFP


MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

H E A LT H

Passionate seniors dance for fun and health AKRON: They move oh-so-elegantly, swiveling their hips and youngster, about a decade ago the 62-year-old started to do it rolling their shoulders to the soulful music. Some wear sneakers, for her health. Her sister had a leg amputated because of comothers don high heels. They are a fun lot and don’t shy away plications from diabetes, so Craig began dancing more often to from much, unless it’s revealing their ages. Most only grimace avoid similar health issues. “I can’t say enough about this prowhen asked how old they are, but those who qualify readily gram,” she said after a lesson at the center. “I’m so glad that these admit to being great-grandmoms. With the sultry moves they’ve women are coming in here rather than sitting at home ... dying.” mastered on the dance floor, they’re hot senior citizens. Some Gloria Rookard is the president and chief executive of Universal Nursing Services, a business she began some 30 years ago. line dance just for fun; others do it to keep their hearts beating. Watching Carolyn Bell move across the floor, it’s hard to Today, about 300 people are employed in offices in Akron, imagine that doctors once wanted to amputate her legs. There’s Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. She said her company goes into no shuffling in her step and she lifts her petite feet off the floor. neighborhoods that are underserved. And the dance lessons are one way to give back to a community And though she’s in pain, she doesn’t that has been kind to her over the let on, wearing a grin as she keeps up years. with the beat. “The arteries in my legs, The octogenarian credits Alan from my feet to my hips, are clogged. Manley Sr., her nephew and marketing They’ve put stents in, twice. They got director of the company, for suggesting some blood flow, but very little,” Bell the program. “I thought that coming up said. “Doctors said to me, ‘The only with a program that would incorporate thing we can do to get rid of the pain is physical fitness that was fun ... would to amputate.’” be a good marriage,” Manley said. “Line “That’s completely out of the quesdancing is a trend that is growing. It’s a tion,” she told them. After all, she had good way for them (senior citizens) to already survived three heart attacks get into a physical fitness activity withand cancer. Instead, she reasoned that out the aerobics.” beyond her aerobics workouts, dancRookard, the first African-American ing might help with circulation. So back to graduate from the School of Nursing in November, Bell decided to take up at Akron General Hospital, then known line dancing at the Lawton Community as Peoples Hospital, was a recipient of Center in Akron, Ohio. The free classes, the Beacon Journal Extraordinary offered by Universal Nursing Services Women award in 2005. At the time, Inc., meet each Wednesday morning. Rookard said she absolutely could not Just to be sure, she explained, she take all of the credit for her success. “I asked God whether it was a good idea didn’t do it alone,” Rookard said, grinfor her to be doing such a thing. “He ning. “It’s me and Jesus.” answered ... ‘Dance for me.’” Bell isn’t the When Elsie Colley’s family was only one with health issues in the crowd of nearly three dozen who AKRON: Elsie Colley dances with sen- home for the holidays, she decided to give everyone a little sample of what attend each week. After each dance, Alisa Harris, for instance, slips into a iors learning line dancing in a class she had learned in dance class. At least chair and nonchalantly places an oxy- presented by Universal Nursing one of her three sons had been teasing gen tube beneath her nose and Services, Inc., at the Lawton her about being a rockin’ mama who was learning to dance with 30 other behind her ears. But before the first Community Center. — MCT senior citizens. “This I’ve got to see,” beat of the next tune, she takes her joked her son, Lawrence Colley, a first sergeant in the US Army. place back in line. “I’m going to dance until I can’t do it anymore,” said Harris, So on Christmas Eve, a skeptical bunch gathered in the den of who has pulmonary fibrosis. “I just refuse to give up.” During the her Akron home. They sat on chairs, the floor and jammed into weekly sessions, assistant instructor Hilda Craig illustrates a the doorway as she did the Wobble line dance. While the others dance before the others give it a try. She uses her shoulders to shouted and squealed, Colley’s husband, Jerry, simply grinned. “I make sultry moves. As the others watch, they hoot, howl and don’t believe it,” someone said. Grandma was putting on quite a applaud her strut. Though she’s been dancing since she was a show ... and she was proud of it. —MCT

Dolphin deaths in Peru still a mystery LIMA: Peruvian authorities are still trying to unravel the mystery of why hundreds of dolphins ended up dead on beaches in the country over the past 2 1/2 months. Deputy Environment Minister Gabriel Quijandria told The Associated Press in an interview on Friday that studies are incomplete but officials hope to complete their research on the likely causes next week. He said that the carcasses of 877 dolphins and porpoises were found between Februar y and mid-April on the beaches of northern Peru. About 90 percent were long-beaked common dolphins, while others were Burmeister porpoises, Quijandria said. “The most probable hypothesis is the possibility of an infection with a virus,” he said. “There are scientific articles about the incidence of morbillivirus, a type of distemper, in cetaceans in Peru, and that can be ruled out or proven next week.” He said officials don’t believe the dolphins’ deaths are related to seismic oil exploration work that was carried out off nor thern Peru between Feb. 8 and April 8 by the Houston-based company BPZ Energy. Rafael Zoeger, the company’s manager in Peru, said the seismic studies were carried out using a ship that fired discharges of compressed air toward the sea floor. It’s customary for oil companies to carry out such surveys with air-guns that emit sounds and send out underwater pulses. Zoeger said the company does not believe the dolphins died due to the oil exploration work. The Peruvian environmental group Orca has said that sound waves from the seismic work

appeared to be the likely cause. But Quijandria said that “so far there is no evidence linking the deaths of the dolphins to the seismic work.” Hundreds of dolphins have at times turned up dead on beaches in various parts of the world, though the number of dolphins counted in northern Peru was particularly high. Quijandria said the country hasn’t seen such a large die-off of dol-

University of New Orleans, said “it’s pretty much an open question at this point... whether harm is caused to the animals.” Katie Moore, manager of marine mammal rescue and research for the International Fund for Animal Welfare in Yarmouth Por t, Massachusetts, said some areas in the world tend to be hotspots for mass strandings of whales or dol-

CHICLAYO: An official kneels next to dolphin carcasses on the shore of Pimentel Beach. — AP phins in recent years. He said Peru hopes to receive help from exper ts at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in studying whether the dolphins and porpoises had some sort of virus. Researchers elsewhere are studying the effects on marine mammals of the air-guns used in seismic studies. But George Ioup, a physics professor at the

phins, from Cape Cod to Australia and New Zealand. “This winter we had an event involving over 200 common dolphins here on Cape Cod,” Moore said. “We experience mass strandings several times each year. The events may involve only a few animals or hundreds. The causes of these events are often not determined, which is a frustrating fact.” — AP


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MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

W H AT ’ S O N

Announcements Intensive Free Arabic Course in IPC IPC is opening an intensive Basic Arabic Course for ladies commencing from June 3-July 8, 2012. The class will be from 5 -7 pm and 3 days a week. Registration is on! For information, call: 22512257. Ambassadors of Comedy Dean-Obeidallah (The Axis of Evil Comedy Tour), Nitin Mirani (King Of UAE Comedy), Aron Kader (The Axis of Evil Comedy Tour). All of the proceeds from the event will be donated to the St. John Ambulance Brigade (India) and the Fazlani Foundation (India). Go out and have fun while supporting a wonderful cause When: April 27, 2012 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm at the American International School (Hamood Al-Naser Street, Dr. Kamil Al-Rayes Auditorium, Meidan Hawalli) Contact: Mohamed Kagdi or Minhaj Shikari 99788692 or 99710242 Iranian Contemporary Art Date: 23rd April to 10th May, 2012 These are images of conflations and juxtapositions. Sabzi’s paintings signify the crossroad of cultures and evoke one of the most pertinent signs of the multiculturalism that has been the hallmark of the arts in late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. His art represents that humanized perspective where in memory persists across cultural zones, even when and where it has no relevance. So many of his works speak of conditions where values and perspectives seep through the chinks of any culture’s shield of protection. They are about the kind of interconnectedness that can no longer be undone; they are about the end of purity and the end of searching for origins and essence. The Event-Art & Fashion Date: April 28-May 1 The Event will be sponsored by Goji Boutique and Qumarl4 and will be filled with an eclectic mix of designers who compliment each other, providing the visitors with an inspiring and unique shopping experience. To add to excitement Join them and feast your eyes! Dar Al Funoon is located I n Al-Watiah, Behbehani Compound, House No.28. For more Information please call 22433738 or log onto www.daralfunoon-kw.com

Bangladesh Embassy celebrates Mujibnagar Day 2012

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angladesh Embassy in Kuwait celebrated the historic Mujibnagar Day 2012 in a befitting manner in the Chancery on April 17, 2012. The program of the day began with the ceremonial hoisting of the National Flag of Bangladesh at the Chancery. Ambassador Syed Shahed Reza hoisted the National Flag at 8:00 am at the Chancery in the presence of Embassy officials, commander and officials of the Bangladesh Military Contingent to Kuwait, apart from officials of Bangladesh Biman and members of the community. The discussion program at the Chancery began at 5:00 pm with the recitation from the Holy Quran. A special dua and munajat were offered for salvation of the martyrs of the nine month long liberation war and also for seeking divine blessings for the country’s continued development, peace and progress. One minute of silence was observed in memoirs of the martyrs of the war. Messages given by the President and Prime Minister on this occasion were read out by officers of the Mission. A good number of participants took part in

discussion and they highlighted the importance of the historic Mujibnagar Day in the liberation war of Bangladesh in 1971. It may be mentioned here that the Historic Mujibnagar Day is observed by

ple in Dhaka and other cities to suppress their freedom movement. Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared independence of Bangladesh in the early hours of March 26. To lead the liberation war, a govern-

Syed Shahed Reza in his speech highlighted the events that led to the formation of the government in exile and its oath taking in Mujihnagar. He urged all present in the discussion to be united under the leadership of Prime Minister

Bangladesh on April 17 each year and the day is a turning point in the liberation war against Pakistan in 1971. The war of Liberation of Bangladesh began on March 25, 1971 when the Pakistan Arm indiscriminately attacked the peo-

ment in Exile designating Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman its President, was formed on April 17, 1971 which took their oath in Mujibnagar. The Mujibnagar Day is observed in remembrance of that historic event.

Sheikh Hasina to achieve the Sonar Bangla dreamt by father of the nation. He also urged them to work relentlessly to materialize the Vision 2021 of the Prime Minister to establish a digital Bangladesh.

Palestinian Cultural Exhibition

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andicrafts reaffirm the Palestinian national identity and support needy children and families. The Palestinian Culture Center in collaboration with the Women’s Cultural Society invite you to its spring exhibition. The exhibition aims to preserve Palestinian handicrafts in order to reaffirm the Palestinian national identify by adapting it harmoniously to the 21st century demands. We display classic designs intertwined with modern uses, colors, and motifs, to showcase some of the creativity of the Palestinian women. Items on sale include: cushions, runners, scarves, shawls, long traditional dresses as well as smaller items. We also have handmade ceramics from Palestine, books, music, and movies. Kuwaiti Women Cultural Soceity, Khaldiya, Block 2, Al Qurouba Street Date: Monday April 23 to Thursday 26th 2012 from 10 am to 1:30 pm and 4:30 pm to 8:30pm. Call 25755866, 25727388, 99376608.

Family Club throws farewell party

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FC club (formerly known as Jaihind Family Club) hosted a farewell party to honour its former General convener George Sam and family who have migrated to Canada. A memento was given as a token of gratitude to George Sam and family. Family Club Kuwait coordinator Nixon George chaired the function. Convener Krishanan Kadalundi, Chessil Ramapuram, Raghunathan Nair, Suresh Mathur, M M Subair, Anas Puthiyottil, Nizzar Kannamvelly, Rasheed Payanthong, Rafia Anas and Laila Razak gave felicitation speeches. The function adjourned after a variety of entertainment programs presented by the family members and children.

ESF celebrates ‘One World’

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he English School Fahaheel recently held the annual international Day under the slogan “One World, One ESF”. On this day over 40 nationalities at ESF had an opportunity to share with others the diversity and depth of their culture, traditions, social activities and economies. A big thank you goes out to the all the parents who whole-heartedly assisted at the stalls and to all embassies in Kuwait who helped contribute to the beautiful display stands. Upper school students had planned for weeks for this event by setting up stalls in the covered play area, each depicting the rich culture they represent. It was a truly educational, colourful and enjoyable day for students, teachers and parents who came to view all nationalities at ESF working together in harmony. The lower and middle school students participated by dressing up in their traditional attire. Upper school students also held a dance display during which cultural dances numbers were performed. Various prizes were presented at the annual event.

Trishna quiz festival - CETAA lifts overall championship

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ollege of Engineering Trivandrum, Alumni association, Kuwait Chapter (CETAA) was declared the overall champions at the Quiz festival conducted by the National Institute of Technology Calicut Alumni Association (NITCAA) held on April 20, 2012 at Cambridge English School Mangaf. Named as “Trishna”, a Sanskrit word meaning quest, it was the 6th consecutive year that NITCAA Kuwait chapter conducted the Quiz festival. Teams representing the eight Alumni Associations of Engineers of Kerala Origin participated in the competition. Competitions were held in three groups namely Junior, Senior and Family Rounds. The following are the winners in each group; Juniors: Mathew Gigi George and Rohan Saji John of CETAA (First place), Aditya Ashok and Athul Suresh Krishnan of TECAA (Second place) and Devayani M and Elisa Mariam John of TKMCEAA (Third place). Seniors: Rohan Paul and Martha Rinnah Bijou of MACE (First place), Geethu Treesa Mattam and Sara Afreen of

CETAA (Second place) and Jeff Ivan and Nithin Nirmal of NITCAA (Third place). Family Round: Ramesh N. Athreya, Susmitha Sunil and Abhishek Menon of KEA (First place); Karthikeyan R, Jithisha Sreejith & Rithwik Karthikeyan of

months before and continued till the last week. For the monthly quiz, Kalesh K. of NSSCEA, Ragunath T. N. of AECK and Sabrina K. M. of TKMCEA won the 1st ,2nd and 3 prize respectively whereas in the weekly online quiz. Shibu John of TKMCCEA,

NSSCEA (Second Place); John Philipose V, Dr. Brighty Thomas and Merin Jose V of CETAA (Third place). Conducted by the famous Indian Quiz Master Venkatesh Srinivasan, the program was enjoyed by the packed audience who also got ample opportunities to participate and win prizes. The prizes were distributed to winners of the online monthly and weekly quiz which started

Soorya Murali of KEA and Mathew C. V. of TEC won the 1st, 2nd and 3rd mega prizes. Jacob George, General Convener of Kuwait Engineer’s Forum (KEF), Balasubramanian, GC Elect of KEF were the guests of honour. On behalf of NITCAA, the program was managed by its President Ananda Subramani Kannan, General Secretary George P. Joseph the Program Convener Moti K. David.


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MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

W H AT ’ S O N

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

EMBASSY OF CANADA The Embassy of Canada is located at Villa 24, Al-Mutawakel St., Block 4 in Da’aiyah. Please visit our website at www.Kuwait.gc.ca. The Embassy of Canada is open from 07:30 to 15:30 Sunday through Thursday. The reception is closed from 12:30 to 01:00 pm for lunch break. Consular Services for Canadian Citizens are provided from 09:00 until 12:00 on Sunday through Wednesday. The Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi provides visa and immigration services to residents of Kuwait. Individuals who are interested in visiting, working or immigrating to Canada are invited to visit the website of the Canadian Embassy to the UAE at www.uae.gc.ca. ■■■■■■■

GUST honors World Autism Awareness Month

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he Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) welcomed the Reach Autism Group, a volunteer group established in the Kuwait Center for Autism (KCA) and their staff, volunteers and patients to the GUST Campus to honor World Autism Awareness Month, as a part of the universityís 10-year anniversary highlighted events and in line with their community outreach initiatives. Dr. Sabah Al-Quaddoomi, VP for Academic Services at GUST, and Dr. Robert Cook, VP for Academic Affairs inaugurated the much anticipated event. Reach Group filled the GUST spacious campus with different booths displaying the artwork and

handcrafts of their students. These included an information booth, a ìLeave Your

Printî station as well as a large table where the students of the center came

and worked on their weaving and artwork. Banners, bracelets, stickers, t-shirts, mugs, badges and other pieces were sold to promote and collect contributions to raise awareness for Autism worldwide. The highlight of the event, one which a large crowd of university students, staff and faculty gathered was when the centerís students performed a traditional Kuwaiti dance ñ which took courage ñ as it was performed in the center of the campus. Applause rang through the halls when they completed their dance. The interaction between the students from the center and GUST students was incredible! GUST students and faculty

were eager to volunteer and converse with the Reach/KCA staff, volunteers and students. The groupís goal was to raise awareness in society and inform people about what autism really is: a disorder of neural development. Staff member of the Kuwait Center for Autism, AroubBurhamah and other volunteers encouraged GUST students to sign up for volunteering at the center as it is both rewarding and a lot of fun to spend time with the kids there. ìYou learn from them, as much as they learn from you,î one of the volunteers said. The Kuwait Autism Center and GUST are located in West Mishref.

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

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

EMBASSY OF MYANMAR Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar would like to inform the general public that the Embassy has moved its office to new location at Villa 35, Road 203, Block 2, AlSalaam Area in South Surra. The Embassy wishes to advice Myanmar citizens and travellers to Myanmar to contact Myanmar Embassy at its new location. Tel. 25240736, 25240290, Fax: 25240749, email:myankuwait11@gmai1.com ■■■■■■■

‘Geology in the Holy Quran’

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he February 26th Primary School for girls in Al-Ahmadi Educational District organized a workshop titled ‘Geology in the Holy Quran’ last week. The workshop was prepared by teachers Samah Shawqi, Zainab Mohammad and Muna Al-Harbi, and attended by the school’s principle Afaf Dashty, head of the science section Muneerah Al-Azmi, and educational guide Muna Al-Ghareeb from Al-Ahmadi Educational District.

Guinness fame Dr Biswaroop Chowdhury returns to Kuwait

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

EMBASSY OF ROMANIA The Embassy of Romania to the State of Kuwait would like to inform that the Consular Section of the Embassy will be closed for construction works beginning with 18 April 2012, till 10 May 2012. During this period of time the Consular Section will not issue any type of visas for Romania and will not issue any Romanian passports or travel documents. The Consular Section will only be able to assist with notary deeds. We would like to apologize for any inconvenience.

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fter the first-ever super memory seminar on “How to Double your Memory” held in Kuwait last January, Dr. Biswaroop Roy Chowdhury will be conducting his second seminar in Kuwait this month due to popular demand from the community. In a matter of pride for the community members, for school going children, parents and professionals, Indiansinkuwait.com (IIK) once again presents an exclusive seminar by world renowned memory management guru Dr. Biswaroop Roy Chowdhury on Saturday, April 28, 2012 at Jabriya Kuwait Medical Association Hall auditorium. Dr. Biswaroop Roy Chowdhury, holder of 2 World Records in memory management and push-ups, is the author of 25 books on mind and memory. His biography is included in 2012 edition of Who’s Who In The World and his name is mentioned in Oxford University’s official website for his contribution in the field of memory training. He has conducted more than 2000 seminars internationally addressing more than 10 lakh audiences. This enriching seminar is specially to help children to perform better in academics and always stay ahead in competitions. Entry to this one hour session will be totally free, but a pre-registration is mandatory to allocate the time slot for the attendees.

EMBASSY OF NEPAL The Embassy of Nepal will be moving from its current location to a new place in Jabriya, Block 8, St. 13, House No. 514, effective from yesterday, 15th April, 2012. Till the new telephone connections are installed, the Embassy may be contacted by email: info@nepembku.org

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CSK holds Festival of Cricket

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he Festival of Cricket organized by Chittagong Samity Kuwait on the occasion of Bangladesh Independence day 2012 was held under the patronage of renowned business man and social worker Abdus Samad. The tournament kicked off at 10 am with two teams: Red Team and

Blue Team. The freestyle players presented a display of amazing cricket tricks and skills. A huge turnout of enthusiastic Bangladeshi and other nationality spectators cheered and encouraged the players who were superbly organized and guided by their captain and manager

throughout the games and closely fought and sporting matches. Red Team defeated Blue Team by 3 wickets and got the Champion Trophy. After the awarding it to Red Team and Runners-up Trophy to the Blue team Jafar Ahmed Chowdhury, the President of Chittagong Samity in his short address expressed his appreciation and recognition of CSK support for such an important community event and congratulated all the players and their managers who took part in the game. Apart from the joy of the game itself, Cricket is a wonderful way to encourage young people to improve fitness and develop their communication and good teamwork. Congratulations to all who took part and made this event possible, especially Tawhidul Islam Harun, Mohd Musa and Tawhidul Alam Chowdhury and the sponsor Abdus Samad who encouraged the players and teams.

EMBASSY OF THAILAND The Royal Thai Embassy in Kuwait, wishes to invite the Kuwaiti companies that deal business with Thai companies or those agencies of Thai commercial companies to visit the Embassy’s Commercial Office to register their relevant information to be part of the embassy’s business and trade database. The Royal Thai Embassy is located in Jabriya, Block 6, Street 8, Villa No. 1, Telephone No. 25317530 -25317531, Ext: 14. ■■■■■■■

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

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


Classifieds MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

DIAL 161 FOR AIRPORT INFORMATION

Airlines JZR QTR JZR JZR ETH GFA UAE ETD DHX FDB MSR QTR JZR KAC THY DHX FAH JZR KAC BAW JZR KAC FDB KAC KAC KAC UAE ABY KAC QTR FDB ETD BAB KAC GFA IRC MEA JZR MSR JZR MSR GFA KAC FDB OMA KNE QTR SVA RJA KAC JZR KAC QTR SYR KAC JZR ETD RKM UAE GFA SVA UAL JZR JZR ABY ALK KAC BAB KAC FDB KAC MSR KAC KAC KAC JAI KAC FDB MEA QTR GFA UAE JZR ETD BBC ABY QTR DHX AIC GFA UAL TAR DLH THY KLM PIA

Arrival Flights on Monday 23/4/2012 Flt Route 185 DUBAI 148 DOHA 539 CAIRO 267 BEIRUT 620 ADDIS ABABA 211 BAHRAIN 853 DUBAI 305 ABU DHABI 370 BAHRAIN 67 DUBAI 612 CAIRO 138 DOHA 503 LUXOR 544 CAIRO 770 ISTANBUL 170 BAHRAIN 201 DUBAI 555 ALEXANDRIA 412 MANILA 157 LONDON 529 ASSIUT 206 ISLAMABAD 53 DUBAI 302 MUMBAI 352 COCHIN 362 COLOMBO 855 DUBAI 125 SHARJAH 284 DHAKA 132 DOHA 55 DUBAI 301 ABU DHABI 436 BAHRAIN 344 CHENNAI 213 BAHRAIN 6521 LAMERD 404 BEIRUT 165 DUBAI 618 ALEXANDRIA 561 SOHAG 610 CAIRO 219 BAHRAIN 672 DUBAI 57 DUBAI 645 MUSCAT 472 JEDDAH 140 DOHA 500 JEDDAH 640 AMMAN 788 JEDDAH 257 BEIRUT 546 ALEXANDRIA 134 DOHA 341 DAMASCUS 118 NEW YORK 535 CAIRO 303 ABU DHABI 310 RAS ALKHAIMAH 857 DUBAI 215 BAHRAIN 510 RIYADH 982 WASHINGTON DC DULLES 177 DUBAI 777 JEDDAH 127 SHARJAH 227 COLOMBO 542 CAIRO 438 BAHRAIN 786 JEDDAH 63 DUBAI 104 LONDON 620 ASSIUT 618 DOHA 674 DUBAI 742 DAMMAM 572 MUMBAI 774 RIYADH 61 DUBAI 402 BEIRUT 146 DOHA 221 BAHRAIN 859 DUBAI 135 BAHRAIN 307 ABU DHABI 43 DHAKA 129 SHARJAH 136 DOHA 372 BAHRAIN 975 CHENNAI 217 BAHRAIN 981 BAHRAIN 327 TUNIS 636 FRANKFURT 772 ISTANBUL 411 AMSTERDAM 239 SIALKOT

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

Airlines AIC UAL DLH PIA THY ETH UAE FDB DHX ETD MSR QTR QTR JZR JZR GFA THY KAC BAW FDB JZR JZR ABY JZR KAC KAC UAE QTR FDB ETD BAB GFA IRC KAC KAC MEA JZR MSR KAC KAC JZR GFA FDB MSR OMA KAC KNE SVA KAC RJA QTR KAC KAC SYR ETD JZR QTR UAE RKM GFA JZR ABY SVA UAL ALK FDB BAB JZR MSR KAC JAI FDB KAC KAC MEA KAC GFA DHX ABY ETD UAE FAH QTR KAC KAC DHX JZR BBC QTR GFA KAC TAR

Departure Flights on Monday 23/4/2012 Flt Route 982 AHMEDABAD 981 WASHINGTON DC DULLES 637 FRANKFURT 206 PESHAWAR 773 ISTANBUL 621 ADDIS ABABA 854 DUBAI 68 DUBAI 371 BAHRAIN 306 ABU DHABI 613 CAIRO 139 DOHA 149 DOHA 560 SOHAG 164 DUBAI 212 BAHRAIN 771 ISTANBUL 545 ALEXANDRIA 156 LONDON 54 DUBAI 256 BEIRUT 238 AMMAN 126 SHARJAH 534 CAIRO 671 DUBAI 787 JEDDAH 856 DUBAI 133 DOHA 56 DUBAI 302 ABU DHABI 437 BAHRAIN 214 BAHRAIN 6522 LAMERD 541 CAIRO 165 ROME 405 BEIRUT 776 JEDDAH 619 ASSIUT 103 LONDON 785 JEDDAH 176 DUBAI 220 BAHRAIN 58 DUBAI 611 CAIRO 646 MUSCAT 673 DUBAI 473 JEDDAH 501 JEDDAH 617 DOHA 641 AMMAN 135 DOHA 773 RIYADH 741 DAMMAM 342 DAMASCUS 304 ABU DHABI 538 CAIRO 141 DOHA 858 DUBAI 311 RAS ALKHAIMAH 216 BAHRAIN 134 BAHRAIN 128 SHARJAH 511 RIYADH 982 BAHRAIN 228 DUBAI 64 DUBAI 439 BAHRAIN 184 DUBAI 621 ALEXANDRIA 283 DHAKA 571 MUMBAI 62 DUBAI 331 TRIVANDRUM 351 KOCHI 403 BEIRUT 543 CAIRO 222 BAHRAIN 171 BAHRAIN 120 SHARJAH 308 ABU DHABI 860 DUBAI 102 DUBAI 137 DOHA 301 MUMBAI 205 ISLAMABAD 373 BAHRAIN 554 ALEXANDRIA 44 DHAKA 147 DOHA 218 BAHRAIN 411 BANGKOK 328 DUBAI

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

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (www.kuwait-airport.com.kw)

ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya, single bachelor accommodation, double bedroom flat, rent KD 40/-, from May 1st. Contact: 99162583 (C 3968) 23-4-2012 Two bedroom, drawing room flat with air conditioners ready for occupancy from next month in Abbassiya, near Learners’ Own Academy School. Contact: 66619705. (C 3963) Sharing accommodation available for Indian bachelors in old Riggae, block-1, Street-1, Jada-3, building43. Contact: 97525930 21-4-2012 Sharing accommodation or studio apartment wanted in Salmiya or Hawally (preferably near Hawally Al Shaya, Hassan Abul or Sana) for a decent South Indian bachelor. Please contact: 60316101. (C 3959) Immediate sharing accommodation available in Farwaniya behind Crowne Plaza separate room - fully furnished with telephone. For decent Indian Christian couple or decent working ladies. Contact: 66099611/ 66027044. (C 3962) 19-4-2012 CHANGE OF NAME I, Penigalapati Chinnanarsaiah, holder of Indian passport No. G9940624, residence of Venkatanarayanampalli, Chakrampeta post, Rajampeta, Kadapa District, Andhra Pradesh, have changed my name to Polarapu Babu Naidu. (C 3967) 22-4-2012 I, Ajruddin holder of Indian passport No. F5493179 issued in Jaipur on 22-112005. I have changed my name to Azharuddin Saiyed, s/o Saiyed Mohiuddin. (C 3958) 18-4-2012

Prayer timings

112 Ministry of Interior website: www.moi.gov.kw For labor-related inquiries and complaints: Call MSAL hotline 128

Fajr: Duhr: Asr: Maghrib: Isha:

03:49 11:46 15:22 18:20 19:42

THE PUBLIC AUTHORITY FOR CIVIL INFORMATION Automated enquiry about the Civil ID card is 1889988

I, Purushothaman, son of Nagarajan, holder of Indian passport No. G1674605 have converted to Islam on 21st October 2009 and do now here after be known by my new name Abu Bakkar. (C 3956) 17-4-2012

CHANGE OF DOB I, Afzalur Rahman, son of Fazlur Rahman, holder of Bangladeshi passport No. E0982724 hereby change

my date of birth from 0301-1968 to 03-01-1967. (C 3960) 19-4-2012

MATRIMONIAL Marriage proposals are invited from parents of well educated boys preferably employed abroad for an ezhava girl, 24 years, height 159cm, fair good looking, star: Ailyam-Shudham, MSc (biotechnology) employed as JRF doing Ph.D at Central Govt. Institute in Kerala. Contact Email: padmasree52@hotmail.com (C 3964) 21-4-2012

TUITION Teacher available to teach Mathematics B.Maths, Algebra, Calculus, Geography, Science and Statistics for British, American and bilingual school and university students. Contact: 97170935. (C 3954) 18-4-2012 Math teacher for secondary stage, language schools, bilingual schools and intermediate stage: Algebra, Gmath, Geometry, Statistics for arts and science branches. Tel: 66974020. English language teacher specialized in starting elementary and intermediate, 10th and 11th experienced in starting functions, grammar, set book, vocabulary, notes and model exams available. Tel: 65791555. Arabic language teacher, masters in methods of teaching for secondary and intermediate students. Tel: 50644685. Senior Arabic language teacher, elementary and intermediate, long experience in Kuwait curricula, explaining grammar rules and starting those weak in reading and writing. Tel: 99262948. Senior chemistr y and physics teacher. Long experience for 10th, 11th and 12th stages. Intermediate science and applied institutions. Highly competent. Tel: 99542922. Mathematics and statistics female teacher for female students in the secondary, intermediate, university and applied institutions female students. Tel: 99410370.

Clinics Rabiya

24732263

Rawdha

22517733

Adailiya

22517144

Khaldiya

24848075

Khaifan

24849807

Shamiya

24848913

Shuwaikh

24814507

Abdullah Salim

22549134

Al-Nuzha

22526804

Industrial Shuwaikh

24814764

Al-Qadisiya

22515088

Dasmah

22532265

Bneid Al-Ghar

22531908

Al-Shaab

22518752

Al-Kibla

22459381

Ayoun Al-Kibla

22451082

Mirqab

22456536

Sharq

22465401

Salmiya

25746401

Jabriya

25316254

Maidan Hawally

25623444

Bayan

25388462

Mishref

25381200

W.Hawally

22630786

Sabah

24810221

Jahra

24770319

New Jahra

24575755

West Jahra

24772608

South Jahra

24775066

North Jahra

24775992

North Jleeb

24311795

Ardiya

24884079

Firdous

24892674

Al-Omariya

24719048

N.Khaitan

24710044

Fintas

3900322

SIT

Engine any fie salary ence in Ser vic Contac


MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

Wealthy Iranians spur luxury car boom TEHRAN: Wealthy Iranians are fuelling an unprecedented luxury car boom despite sanctions hurting their economy, paying up to $360,000 for highend autos, according to showroom employees and reports yesterday. “Buyers are paying upfront for these cars, which generally cost two to three times more than abroad,” one car salesman in Tehran told AFP on condition of anonymity. A newspaper citing official customs data, Hafte-Sobh, reported that “some 563 different Porsche models were sold in the last Iranian year (to March 2012),” worth a total $50 million before a hefty 100percent import tax. Porsche’s goal is to sell 800 of its cars in the Islamic republic this current Iranian year, media said, underlining the inroads the flashy German automaker is making into a niche market previously dominated by the more discreet offerings from rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Maserati, the growling muscle-brand owned by Italy’s Fiat, is also looking to get a slice of the action by opening its own Tehran showroom within weeks, reports say. The ostentatious splurge by Iran’s elite starkly contrasts with the straits experienced by ordinary Iranians. They are confronted with inflation of over 20 percent, an estimated unemployment rate of 12-25 percent, a currency severely weakened in the past four months, and Western economic sanctions imposed to curb Tehran’s disputed nuclear program. While the wealthy are forking out for supercars costing between $110,000 (for an entry-level Porsche Boxster) to $360,000 (for a Porsche Panamera Turbo or a Maserati GranTurismo), working Iranians are getting by on an average monthly salary of $700. Iran’s automobile market is highly protected against imports, allowing in only 40,000 vehicles last year, despite steadily growing demand mostly met through domestic production of some 1.6 million cars per year. There are now an estimated 14 million vehicles on Iran’s roads, more than double the six million registered in 2005. — AFP

In this photo taken on May 28, 2008 Iranians drive a luxury Mercedes in northern Tehran. — AFP


MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

TV PROGRAMS

00:45 Untamed & Uncut 01:40 Amba The Russian Tiger 02:35 Planet Earth 03:30 Seven Deadly Strikes 04:25 Great Ocean Adventures 05:20 Escape To Chimp Eden 05:45 In Too Deep 06:10 Animal Cops Philadelphia 07:00 Orangutan Island 07:25 Penguin Safari 08:15 The Really Wild Show 08:40 Project Puppy 09:10 World’s Ugliest Dog Competition 10:05 Ocean Odyssey 11:00 Animal Precinct 11:55 Animal Cops Phoenix 12:50 Wildlife SOS 13:45 RSPCA: On The Frontline 14:10 Wildlife SOS 14:40 Ocean Odyssey 15:30 Animal Battlegrounds 16:00 The Really Wild Show 16:30 Wild Animal Orphans 17:00 Talk To The Animals 17:25 Dogs 101 18:20 Must Love Cats 19:15 Wildlife SOS 19:40 Going Ape 20:10 Orangutan Island 20:35 Animal Battlegrounds 21:05 Wolverine 22:00 Into The Lion’s Den 22:55 Baboons With Bill Bailey 23:20 Baboons With Bill Bailey 23:50 Animal Cops Houston

00:15 Gok’s Fashion Fix 01:00 Diy SOS 01:30 Diy SOS 01:55 What Not To Wear 02:45 Coleen’s Real Women 03:30 The Restaurant UK 04:25 The Restaurant UK 05:20 10 Years Younger 06:10 Diy SOS 06:35 Cash In The Attic USA 07:00 Bargain Hunt 07:45 MasterChef Australia 08:35 MasterChef Australia 09:25 Bargain Hunt 10:10 Antiques Roadshow 11:00 Come Dine With Me 11:50 10 Years Younger 12:40 Gok’s Fashion Fix 13:30 Gok’s Fashion Fix 14:20 Fantasy Homes In The City 15:10 House Swap 15:55 Bargain Hunt 16:40 Antiques Roadshow 17:35 Cash In The Attic USA 18:00 New Scandinavian Cooking 18:25 New Scandinavian Cooking With Claus Meyer 18:50 Indian Food Made Easy 19:20 James Martin’s Favourite Feasts 19:45 10 Years Younger 20:35 Gok’s Fashion Fix 21:25 Gok’s Fashion Fix 22:15 Bargain Hunt 23:00 Antiques Roadshow 23:50 New Scandinavian Cooking

00:00 Cold Case Files 01:00 Bloodwork 02:00 The Menendez Brothers 03:00 Cold Case Files 04:00 Bloodwork 05:00 The Menendez Brothers 06:00 Snapped 07:00 Snapped 09:00 Innocent As Charged 10:00 Crimes Of Passion 10:30 Crime Town USA 11:00 Snapped 13:00 Innocent As Charged 14:00 Crimes Of Passion 14:30 Crime Town USA 15:00 Snapped 15:30 Snapped 16:00 Power, Privilege And Justice 17:00 Crime Stories 18:00 Crime And Punishment 19:00 Crime Central 20:00 Snapped 21:00 Nightmare In Suburbia 22:00 Chessboard Killer: Alexander Pichushkin 23:00 Crimes That Shook Britain

00:40 07:00 07:50 08:45 09:40 10:05 10:30

Swords: Life On The Line Mythbusters Gold Rush Bering Sea Gold How Stuff’s Made Cake Boss Border Security

10:55 11:25 16:00 16:55 17:20 18:15 19:10 19:40 20:05 20:35 21:00 21:30 22:25 23:20

Auction Kings Danger Coast Battle Machine Bros Wheeler Dealers Ultimate Survival Mythbusters How It’s Made How Stuff’s Made Border Security Auction Kings Cake Boss Gold Rush Bering Sea Gold Swamp Loggers

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

Out Of Egypt Out Of Egypt Out Of Egypt Treasure Quest Time Warp The Reinventors American Icon: The Hot Rod American Icon: The Hot Rod Extreme Engineering Sunrise Earth International Time Warp The Reinventors Smash Lab Deadliest Catch Flying Wild Alaska Twist The Throttle City Chic The Reinventors Mythbusters Smash Lab World’s Most Expensive Rides World’s Most Expensive Rides Time Warp The Reinventors Deadliest Catch Treasure Quest Extreme Engineering Kings Of Construction City Chic Smash Lab World’s Most Expensive Rides World’s Most Expensive Rides Treasure Quest Extreme Engineering Kings Of Construction Street Customs Berlin

00:35 Cool Stuff & How It Works 01:00 Cool Stuff & How It Works 01:25 The Tech Show 01:50 Bang Goes The Theory 03:35 Wallace & Gromit’s World Of Invention 06:10 Mean Green Machines 07:00 The Gadget Show 07:25 The Gadget Show 07:50 Kings Of Construction 08:40 Robocar 09:35 Robocar 10:25 How Does That Work? 11:20 Ultimate Power Builders 12:15 Junkyard Mega-Wars 13:05 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 13:55 The Gadget Show 14:50 How Does That Work? 15:40 The Tech Show 16:05 Ultimate Power Builders 17:00 Kings Of Construction 17:50 How The Universe Works 18:40 Mega Builders 19:30 Superships 20:20 The Gadget Show 20:45 The Gadget Show 21:10 Building The Future 22:00 Mega Builders 22:50 Superships 23:40 Kings Of Construction

00:15 01:05 01:55 02:45 03:10 03:35 04:00 04:25 05:15 06:00 06:15 06:40 07:05 07:30 07:55 08:20 08:45 09:10 09:25 09:35 09:45 10:00 11:40 12:05

Replacements Fairly Odd Parents A Kind Of Magic Stitch Stitch Replacements Replacements Fairly Odd Parents A Kind Of Magic Fish Hooks Recess So Random Wizards Of Waverly Place Good Luck Charlie Shake It Up Phineas And Ferb Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Jake & The Neverland Pirates Handy Manny The Hive Mouk Geek Charming Good Luck Charlie A.N.T. Farm

12:30 12:55 13:20 13:45 15:25 15:50 16:15 16:40 17:05 17:30 18:55 19:10 19:30 19:35 20:00 20:25 20:50 22:05 23:20 23:45

Wizards Of Waverly Place Phineas And Ferb So Random Suite Life On Deck A.N.T. Farm Phineas And Ferb Recess So Random So Random Avalon High Phineas And Ferb Good Luck Charlie Have A Laugh Wizards Of Waverly Place Hannah Montana Phineas And Ferb Suite Life On Deck Phineas And Ferb Wizards Of Waverly Place Kim Possible

06:00 Kid vs Kat 06:20 American Dragon 06:45 Rekkit Rabbit 07:10 Pokemon: Black And White 07:35 Timon And Pumbaa 08:00 Phineas And Ferb 08:25 Pair Of Kings 08:50 Kick Buttowski 09:15 Zeke & Luther 09:40 I’m In The Band 10:05 Phineas And Ferb 10:30 Kid vs Kat 10:55 The Avengers: Earths Mightiest Heroes 11:20 Pair Of Kings 11:45 Rekkit Rabbit 12:10 American Dragon 12:35 Kick Buttowski 13:00 Phineas And Ferb 13:25 I’m In The Band 13:45 Kid vs Kat 14:10 Pair Of Kings 14:35 Zeke & Luther 15:00 Rekkit Rabbit 15:25 Pokemon: Black And White 15:50 Timon And Pumbaa 16:15 Kickin It 17:30 Scaredy Squirrel 17:55 Phineas And Ferb 18:20 Phineas And Ferb 18:45 I’m In The Band 19:10 Rated A For Awesome 19:35 Pokemon: Black And White 20:00 Pair Of Kings 20:25 Zeke & Luther 20:50 Escape From Scorpion Island 21:20 Aaron Stone 21:45 The Avengers: Earths Mightiest Heroes 22:10 Phineas And Ferb 22:35 Kid vs Kat 23:00 Programmes Start At 6:00am KSA

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

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

Kendra Style Star E! Investigates E! Investigates Sexiest Then And Now Then And Now 25 Hottest Hollywood Cougar Behind The Scenes E! News Kourtney & Kim Take New York 40 (More) Crimes Of Fashion Kendra Kendra Dirty Soap Keeping Up With The Kardashians Keeping Up With The Kardashians Style Star THS Behind The Scenes Bridalplasty Kourtney & Kim Take New York THS Khloe And Lamar Khloe And Lamar Keeping Up With The Kardashians Ice Loves Coco Ice Loves Coco Scouted Chelsea Lately Keeping Up With The Kardashians

Aiya TV Aiya TV Wrestling With Reality Ed’s Up Gotta Grudge Featured Final Fu Final Fu Final Fu Final Fu

04:25 Final Fu 04:50 Salad Days 05:40 Core 06:30 Ride Guide Mountainbike 2009 08:00 Tread BMX 08:25 BMX Megatour 09:15 Alli Presents 10:05 Alli Presents 10:55 Fantasy Factory 11:20 Fantasy Factory 11:45 Untracked 12:10 Untracked 12:35 Ride Guide Snow 2010 13:00 Ride Guide Snow 2010 13:25 Superstars USA 14:15 World Combat League 15:05 Fantasy Factory 15:30 Fantasy Factory 15:55 Untracked 16:20 Untracked 16:45 Tread BMX 17:10 BMX Megatour 18:00 Alli Presents 18:50 Alli Presents 19:40 Superstars USA 20:30 Ride Guide Snow 2010 20:55 Ride Guide Snow 2010 21:20 Gumball 3000: London To New York 21:45 Gumball 3000: London To New York 22:10 World Combat League 23:00 Enfusion 23:50 Ride Guide Snow 2010

00:05 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 00:30 Kid In A Candy Store 00:55 Restaurant: Impossible 01:45 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 02:10 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 02:35 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 03:00 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 03:25 Chopped 04:15 Dessert First With Anne Thornton 04:40 Good Eats 05:05 Luke Nguyen’s Vietnam 05:30 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 05:50 Food Network Challenge 06:35 Barefoot Contessa 07:00 Staten Island Cakes 07:50 World Cafe Asia 08:15 Barefoot Contessa 08:40 Good Eats 09:05 Dessert First With Anne Thornton 09:30 Paula’s Best Dishes 09:55 Luke Nguyen’s Vietnam 10:20 Lidia’s Italy 10:45 Reza, Spice Prince Of India 11:10 Unwrapped 11:35 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 12:00 Staten Island Cakes 12:50 Aarti Party 13:15 Cooking For Real 13:40 Barefoot Contessa 14:05 Dessert First With Anne Thornton 14:30 Have Cake, Will Travel 14:55 Paula’s Best Dishes 15:20 Meat & Potatoes 15:45 Iron Chef America 16:35 Reza, Spice Prince Of India 17:00 Barefoot Contessa 17:25 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 17:50 Aarti Party 18:15 Luke Nguyen’s Vietnam 18:40 Dessert First With Anne Thornton 19:05 Have Cake, Will Travel 19:30 Staten Island Cakes 20:20 Iron Chef America 21:10 Reza, Spice Prince Of India 21:35 Gourmet Farmer 22:00 Easy Chinese: San Francisco 22:25 Easy Chinese: San Francisco 22:50 Andy Bates Street Feasts 23:15 Andy Bates Street Feasts 23:40 Meat & Potatoes

00:30 00:55 01:20 02:05 02:55 03:45 04:10 04:30 05:20 06:10 07:00 07:50 08:40 09:30 09:55 10:20 11:10 12:00 12:25 12:50

I Married A Mobster I Was Murdered Behind Mansion Walls LA: City Of Demons Scorned: Crimes Of Passion I Married A Mobster I Was Murdered On The Case With Paula Zahn Mystery ER Disappeared FBI Files Murder Shift Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared Street Patrol Street Patrol Murder Shift

13:40 14:30 14:55 15:20 16:10 17:00 17:50 18:40 19:05 19:55 20:20 21:10 22:00 22:25 23:15 23:40

Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared FBI Files Murder Shift Real Emergency Calls Mystery Diagnosis Who On Earth Did I Marry? On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared I Married A Mobster Scorned: Crimes Of Passion Stalked: Someone’s Watching Dr G: Medical Examiner

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

By Any Means Meet The Natives Food School One Man & His Campervan Bondi Rescue Extreme Tourist Afghanistan Danger Men Naked Lentil By Any Means Meet The Natives Food School One Man & His Campervan Bondi Rescue Extreme Tourist Afghanistan Danger Men Naked Lentil By Any Means Around The World For Free Departures Graham’s World Earth Tripping Long Way Down Which Way To City Chase Marrakech Around The World For Free Departures Graham’s World Earth Tripping Long Way Down Which Way To

BLACK SWAN ON OSN PREMIERE

00:00 Taboo 01:00 Naked Science 02:00 Ancient Megastructures 03:00 Dogtown 04:00 Is It Real? 05:00 Taboo 06:00 The Border 07:00 Plastiki 08:00 Taboo 09:00 Naked Science 10:00 Ancient Megastructures 11:00 Dogtown 12:00 Is It Real? 13:00 Taboo 14:00 Inside 15:00 Light At The Edge of The World 16:00 Taboo 17:00 Naked Science 18:00 Ancient Megastructures 19:00 Caught In The Act 20:00 Banged Up Abroad 21:00 Great Migrations 22:00 Dangerous Encounters 23:00 Plastiki

00:00 Shark Gangs 01:00 Predator CSI 01:55 Built For The Kill 02:50 Africa’s Deadliest 03:45 Crimes Against Nature 04:40 My Life Is A Zoo 05:35 Giant Panda 06:30 Hooked 07:25 Night Stalkers 08:20 Jaguar: Catching the Cat (aka Hunt for the Shadow 09:15 Built For The Kill 10:10 Africa’s Deadliest 11:05 Crimes Against Nature 12:00 Animal Impact 13:00 Hooked 14:00 Secret Shark Pits 15:00 Big Cat Wars (aka Lion vs Cheetah) 16:00 Built For The Kill 17:00 World’s Deadliest Animals 18:00 Crimes Against Nature 19:00 Hooked 20:00 Secret Shark Pits 21:00 Big Cat Wars (aka Lion vs Cheetah) 22:00 Built For The Kill 23:00 World’s Deadliest Animals

01:10 Hardware-18 02:45 The January Man-PG 04:20 Till The End Of The Night-PG 05:50 Blood Red-PG 07:20 The Wilby Conspiracy-PG 09:05 Memories Of Me-PG 10:50 Dirty Dozen: Fatal Mission-PG 12:25 The Horse Soldiers-PG 14:25 Crime And Punishment-PG 15:55 Vera Cruz-PG 17:25 I’ll Be Home For ChristmasFAM 19:00 Crime And Punishment-PG 20:30 The Initiation Of Sarah (2006)-18 22:00 A Woman’s Tale 23:35 Mgm’s Big Screen-FAM 23:50 Down Came A Blackbird-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

MEN IN BLACK II ON OSN MOVIES ACTION

Carrie-18 Let Me In-R Death Race 2-18 Little Big Soldier-PG15 So Close-PG15 Riddles Of The Sphinx-PG15 Four Brothers-18 So Close-PG15 X-Men-PG15 Four Brothers-18 The Heavy-18 The Untouchables-PG15

01:00 Tortured-18 03:00 St. Trinian’s 2: The Legend Of Fritton’s Gold-PG15 05:00 Adventures Of A Teenage

Dragonslayer-PG 07:00 The Nanny Express-PG15 09:00 St. Trinian’s 2: The Legend Of Fritton’s Gold-PG15 11:00 The Making Of Plus One-PG15 13:00 Unanswered Prayers-PG15 15:00 Despicable Me-FAM 17:00 The Making Of Plus One-PG15 19:00 Letters To Juliet-PG15 21:00 Red-PG15

00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 Saturday Night Live Syndicated 03:30 Last Man Standing 04:00 The Simpsons 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne 06:00 Weird Science 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 The Simpsons 09:00 Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne 09:30 Raising Hope 11:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:00 Weird Science 12:30 King Of The Hill 13:00 Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne 14:00 Last Man Standing 15:00 Raising Hope 16:30 Weird Science 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 The Simpsons 18:30 10 Items Or Less 19:00 Raising Hope 20:00 Community 21:00 The Daily Show Global Edition 21:30 The Colbert Report Global Edition 22:30 Bored To Death 23:00 It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia 23:30 Community

00:00 02:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 07:30 08:00 11:00 12:00 12:30 13:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 16:30 17:00 18:00 20:00 21:00 22:00 23:00

Parenthood Missing Body Of Proof Burn Notice Parenthood Emmerdale Coronation Street Surface Missing Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show Surface Parenthood Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show Surface Desperate Housewives Game Of Thrones The Closer The Tudors

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

Robin Hood (2010)-PG15 Survival Of The Dead-18 Julia’s Eyes-18 Bangkok Adrenaline-PG15 Rocky IV-PG15 A Lonely Place For DyingTrue Justice: Lethal Justice-18 Rocky IV-PG15 Men In Black II-PG Sniper: Reloaded-18 The Untouchables-PG15 Carriers-PG15

00:00 Paper Man-PG15 02:00 She’s Out Of My League-18 04:00 You Again-PG15 06:00 The Prince And Me 4: The Elephant Adventure-PG15 08:00 Mr. Wrong-PG15 10:00 Garfield-PG 12:00 The Country Bears-PG 14:00 Little Secrets-PG 16:00 Paper Man-PG15 18:00 Wake-PG15 20:00 Little Fockers-PG15 22:00 Defendor-PG15

02:00 04:15 06:15 08:15 10:00 11:30 13:15 15:30 17:30 19:00 21:00 23:00

01:00 03:00 05:00 07:00 09:00 10:45 13:00 15:00 17:00 18:45 21:00 23:00

Mother And Child-18 Elizabethtown-PG15 No Escape-PG15 Stone Of Destiny-PG15 Who Is Clark Rockefeller-PG A Simple Twist Of Fate-PG15 Another Year-PG15 The China Syndrome-PG Bond Of Silence-PG15 The River-PG15 Blame It On Mum-18 The Chamber-18

Please Give-18 Alabama Moon-PG15 Bad News Bears-PG Justice For Natalee HollowayOpen Season 3-FAM Remember Me-PG15 13 Going On 30-PG15 City Of Life-PG15 Open Season 3-FAM Jane Eyre-PG15 The Dilemma-PG15 Kick-Ass-18

00:00 Alex & Alexis-FAM 02:00 Micropolis-FAM 04:00 Zorro’s Secrets-PG 06:00 Cars 2-FAM 08:00 Winner & The Golden Child: Part II-FAM 10:00 Mars Needs Moms-PG 12:00 Christopher Columbus-PG 14:00 Zorro’s Secrets-PG 16:00 Legend Of Sleeping Beauty 18:00 Mars Needs Moms-PG 20:00 Marmaduke-PG 22:00 Christopher Columbus-PG

00:15 02:00 04:15 PG15 06:15 08:00 10:00 12:00 14:15 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00

Beautiful Boy-18 The Winning Season-PG15 An Invisible Sign Of My OwnFurry Vengeance-PG A Soldier’s Love Story-PG15 An Invisible Sign Of My OwnThe Winning Season-PG15 The Silent Fall-PG15 A Soldier’s Love Story-PG15 Chasing 3000-PG15 The Haunting In ConnecticutBlack Swan-18

01:00 02:00 03:30 05:30 06:00 07:00 10:30 11:30 12:00 16:00 16:30 20:00 21:00

Trans World Sport Volvo Ocean Race Super League WWE This Week WWE Bottom Line London Marathon WWE Bottom Line Volvo Ocean Race Highlights Live Snooker Volvo Ocean Race Highlights Live Snooker Super Rugby Highlights Live Snooker

01:30 06:00 07:00 10:00 11:30 12:00 14:00 14:30 15:00 15:30 16:00 16:30 17:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 21:30 23:30

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35

MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

stars CROSSWORD 656

STAR TRACK

CALVIN & HOBBES

Aries (March 21-April 19)

Communication could take some extra effort today, Aries. A business or romantic partner could seem like they’re keeping things from you. You might get some uneasy vibes and wonder if there’s trouble with your partnership. Don’t be afraid to ask. Your friend probably won’t tell you what the problem is, but will reassure you that it has nothing to do with you. If so, it isn’t your business. Let it go.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

Messages from a distant state or foreign country, possibly through fax, email, or website, might not be totally accurate, Taurus. If any information presented in this fashion sets off an alarm bell in your head, be sure to do some research on your own and check out the facts. Don’t accept any news at face value today. The lines of human and technical communication are definitely out of whack today.

POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. Sexually transmitted urethritis (usually caused by chlamydia). 4. Surveying instrument consisting of the upper movable part of a theodolite including the telescope and its attachments. 10. A master's degree in business. 13. The bureau of the Treasury Department responsible for tax collections. 14. A strong paper or thin cardboard with a smooth light brown finish made from e.g. Manila hemp. 15. A kind of person. 16. A member of a North American Indian people speaking one of the Hokan language. 18. An organization of United States war veterans. 19. A diacritical mark (an inverted circumflex) placed above certain letters (such as c) to indicate pronunciation. 21. An ancient Assyrian city on the River Tigris and traditional capital of Assyria. 22. By bad luck. 24. A slight rounded elevation where the malleus attaches to the eardrum. 25. A member of a Turkic people of Uzbekistan and neighboring areas. 27. A member of the Iroquoian people formerly living east of Lake Ontario. 29. A light strong brittle gray toxic bivalent metallic element. 30. Any member of Athapaskan tribes that migrated to the southwestern desert (from Arizona to Texas and south into Mexico). 33. A white linen liturgical vestment with sleeves. 36. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 38. Alternative names for the body of a human being. 39. Angular distance above the horizon (especially of a celestial object). 40. A midnight meeting of witches to practice witchcraft and sorcery. 44. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 45. Thick heavy expensive material with a raised pattern. 47. According to the Old Testament he was a pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel (9th century BC). 51. A pale rose-colored variety of the ruby spinel. 53. An associate degree in nursing. 54. An honorary arts degree. 57. Angular distance above the horizon (especially of a celestial object). 58. A genus of Ploceidae. 61. Large burrowing rodent of South and Central America. 62. Relating to or characteristic of or occurring on the sea or ships. 63. Lie adjacent to another. 65. A workplace for the conduct of scientific research. 66. To make a mistake or be incorrect. 67. Without force or sincere effort. 68. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. DOWN 1. The most northwestern Hawaiian island (beyond Kauai). 2. 100 groszy equal 1 zloty. 3. Capital of modern Macedonia. 4. Before noon. 5. Rock that in its molten form (as magma) issues from volcanos. 6. The process of flowing in. 7. A Muslim council of state. 8. A silvery ductile metallic element found primarily in bauxite. 9. The longer of the two telegraphic signals used in Morse code. 10. A member of the Algonquian people formerly inhabiting the Maritime Provinces of Canada. 11. (pathology) An elevation of the skin filled with serous fluid. 12. A town and port in northwestern Israel in the eastern Mediterranean. 17. An Arabic speaking person who lives in Arabia or North Africa. 20. Wild sheep of northern Africa. 23. A bird that frequents coastal waters and the open ocean. 26. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 28. Morning glory. 31. (of persons) Highest in rank or authority or office. 32. A river in central Europe that arises in northwestern Czechoslovakia and flows northward through Germany to empty into the North Sea. 34. A white soft metallic element that tarnishes readily. 35. A small pellet fired from an air rifle or BB gun. 37. A highly unstable radioactive element (the heaviest of the halogen series). 41. A small cake leavened with yeast. 42. The trait of lacking restraint or control. 43. Hard fiber used in making coarse twine. 44. (pathology) An elevation of the skin filled with serous fluid. 46. The lean flesh of a fish that is often farmed. 48. 100 halers equal 1 koruna. 49. The table in Christian churches where communion is given. 50. A pilgrim who journeys to Mecca. 51. (of light) Lacking in intensity or brightness. 52. Petty quarrel. 55. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 56. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 59. Hormone secreted by the posterior pituitary gland (trade name Pitressin) and also by nerve endings in the hypothalamus. 60. Aromatic bulb used as seasoning. 64. A Mid-Atlantic state.

Yesterday’s Solution

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

Staying in touch with a love partner could be difficult today, Gemini, almost to the point of causing a minor panic. Don’t jump to any unwarranted conclusions about possible problems in the relationship. What’s causing the silence is probably beyond your friend’s control, and could well be related to sudden and unexpected crises, or possibly something as mundane as a computer breakdown. Be patient and hang in there.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

NON SEQUITUR

Are you having problems with the lighting or heating in your home, Cancer? If so, you might not be able to get a professional out today. There could be problems in the entire neighborhood. You might have to get out the candles and flashlights to get you through the evening. Don’t let this throw you. It’s a minor inconvenience that will be fixed soon. Think of it as an adventure!

Leo (July 23-August 22)

A friend or neighbor you need to contact could be in and out all day, Leo, and so you could have trouble reaching him or her. Phone or email probably won’t work, since your friend could be too busy to check messages. The best way to make contact might be to hop in the car and drive to wherever they might be. Take the side streets, however. The main roads are probably clogged with traffic!

ZITS

Virgo (August 23-September 22)

This probably isn’t a good day to do work that concerns money, Virgo. Your mind may not be in the right space. You could make errors that cause problems. If possible, also avoid working on any kind of creative project, since your mind might not be very clear and you probably won’t be happy with the results. However, this is a great day for routine work that doesn’t require much concentration.

MOTHER GOOSE AND GRIMM

Libra (September 23-October 22)

A lost object could have all the members of your household going through every room trying to find it, Libra - probably without success. Visitors could pitch in as well and help with the search. The item is probably in a fairly large room that everybody uses, probably among other objects. If no one locates it, however, let it go for now. It could reappear later as if by magic.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21)

This could be a very busy day in your community, Scorpio. Some kind of rally, protest, or other public gathering might take place. If you attend, you may not hear much because of all the noise, and the event could seem disorganized at best. It could also render traffic impossible! If you can, stay home today. Going out could be more trouble than it’s worth. Protest with your vote or your wallet instead.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)

A future course of action that you may or may not take could depend on information you might receive today, Sagittarius. However, don’t be surprised if the information is vague and needs to be clarified. On top of it all, you might not be able to reach the person who can clear it up for you! Hang in there. You’ll want to make up your mind as soon as possible.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)

To

Yesterday’s Solution Yester

Are you unhappy or uncertain about your current profession, Capricorn? Are you thinking of making a change? News could reach you today of possible avenues to explore, but you shouldn’t make any decision today. Your mind isn’t as objective as it should be to think through everything. Think about it, by all means, but wait a day or two before giving serious consideration to anything vital. Aquarius (January 20- February 18)

Your natural psychic or intuitive abilities could be short-circuited today, Aquarius. Interference from the minds of other people could cloud issues, and this won’t do you any good. Your imaginative faculties could be rather garbled as well. The best possible advice would be to take the day for your own needs. You can go back to your usual routine tomorrow.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Word Sleuth Solution

The atmosphere around you could seem somewhat unreal today. If you get a weird vibe from someone, Pisces, take everything this person says with a grain of salt. He or she has an agenda and isn’t above distorting the truth to achieve it. If what they say doesn’t affect you, don’t worry about it. If it does, take pains to learn the facts before acting on it. You’ll be glad you did.


36

MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

lifestyle G O S S I P

S Korea Christians protest over Lady Gaga concert cores of conservative South Korean Christians prayed together saturday against Lady Gaga’s Seoul concert, organisers said, accusing the US pop star of advocating homosexuality and pornography. The pop diva arrived in South Korea on Friday, a week before her Seoul performance which kicks off her “Born This Way Ball Global Tour.” About 300 Protestant church members will gather in downtown Seoul to hold a group prayer against the concert in the capital, Kang Ju-Hyun, a prayer organiser told AFP. “We will pray to God that the concert will not be realised so that homosexuality and pornography will not spread around the country,” he said. Kang, who leads a group called Alliance for Sound Culture In Sexuality, said other major church groups would join his campaign by holding protests around the Seoul headquarters of Hyundai Card, the concert organiser. The Korean Association of Church Communication vowed last month to take “concerted action to stop young people from being infected with homosexuality and pornography.” Kang’s group last week put out street banners in Seoul accusing the eccentric singer of “spreading unhealthy sexual culture” through “lewd lyrics and performances,” before they were removed by the city officials. South Koreans aged

S

under 18 have been banned from the much-anticipated concert after it was rated unsuitable for younger audiences. The show had an initial age rating of 12 and older but the Korea Media Rating Board-a state watchdogadjusted it upwards. Lady Gaga, whose real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, is famous for the hit songs “Bad Romance” and “Poker Face,” and has become a strident voice for gay rights and anti-bullying campaigns. From the April 27 concert at Seoul’s Olympic Stadium, Lady Gaga will take her hits and extravagant costumes to Asian venues including Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines, and then on to 21 European cities. The singer is expected to do 110 shows this year following up the success of her album “Born This Way”, which has sold nearly six million copies worldwide since it was released in May 2011. The star, who has a record number of almost 22 million followers on Twitter, told fans that she would “perform the tour of your life” on her Twitter posting yesterday South Korea has East Asia’s largest Christian community after the Philippines, with about 8.6 million Protestants and 5.1 million Catholics. About 10 million South Koreans are Buddhists.

Drake

Prince Harry

determined to keep his new romance private ritain’s Prince Harry is determined to keep his new romance private. The 27-year-old royal is rumoured to be dating pop star Mollie King but he is worried that public interest could wreck their relationship so the pair have decided to only see each other at carefully-selected places. A source told the Daily Star Sunday newspaper: A source said: “Harry saw how tough it was for his brother William and Kate Middleton [now Duchess Catherine] when they first started seeing each other. “He knows the enormous interest in them drove them apart at one point so he really doesn’t want that to happen to him and Mollie. “They have both decided to take things easy and not put pressure on their relationship. “They want to carry on seeing each other but will only do so inside the private homes of a very few close friends who they trust.” It is believed that Harry and Mollie were set up by his cousin Zara Phillips, who is a friend of the singer’s Saturdays bandmate Una Healy. The prince and Mollie have been spotted at parties across London in recent weeks, and as recently as last week the pair enjoyed a karaoke session with friends at London’s Bunga Bunga club which lasted until 3am, after which they headed home separately. Harry - who has been single since splitting from Chelsy Davy in 2009 - has recently said he has trouble meeting girls. He said: “I’m not so much searching for someone to fulfil the role, but obviously, you know, finding someone that would be willing to take it on.”

B

hree concerts by legendary French singer Charles Aznavour scheduled in New York for next week have been cancelled, organizers said, shortly after the 87-year-old complained of fatigue. “The concerts have been cancelled and will not be re-scheduled,” Renee Portoff, a representative of the entertainment company Live Nation, told AFP. No reason for the cancellation was given, and in Paris his press office insisted that he “is doing well and will sing tonight in Los Angeles”, adding that the reason for the New York cancellations would be given later. Aznavour had been scheduled to sing in New York on April 26, 27 and 28. Earlier this month, he re-scheduled a concert planned for Quebec, Canada due to severe throat pain. In an earlier interview with AFP, the singer complained about his health. “Physically, I’m not the man I was,” Aznavour said. “I have fatigue that I did not used to get. I moved around, often I danced on stage. I cannot do it any more.” During his career, Aznavour has written nearly 1,000 songs. He recently completed a musical and still claims to be working “a lot.”

T

he 25-year-old rapper doesn’t want people to think he is miserable because of his introspective lyrics but insists he is painting a real picture of his existence. He said: “I hope I don’t come across as being Debbie Downer. It’s just hard for me to paint the facade and be like, ‘All my problems are in the past, look at the Rolly, look at the money, I got everything’ because it doesn’t “It’s not all happy, it’s never all good. I live by that saying. That’s how I protect myself in life, ‘It’s never all good.’ “ However, the ‘Resistance’ hitmaker insists his life is not a “shambles” because he is honest and open about his problems. He told NME magazine: “If I didn’t have it together, I wouldn’t be able to be honest and open with you. I think people think my life is a shambles and it’s really not. “The reason I can make an album like this is because I actually have a grip on my life, I recognize all my issues. “I’m not this depressed, emotional guy that people try and paint me to be, I’m just observant. My mother always said 50 per cent of resolution to a problem is recognizing the problem. The other 50 per cent is solving it.”

T

Mulligan marries Mumford

Three Aznavour concerts cancelled in New York

admits his life is ‘never all good’

arey Mulligan and Marcus Mumford have got married. The 26year-old actress and the Mumford & Sons frontman exchanged vows inside a barn at Stream Farm in Bridgwater, Somerset, South West England, at a service conducted by the bride’s vicar father John. Carey - who wore full-length ivory plain backless dress with V-straps, thought to be a Versace design - had eight bridesmaids, who wore turquoise knee-high prom dresses. Among the 200 guests at the rusticthemed celebration were Sienna Miller, Jake Gyllenhaal and Colin Firth. It had previously been claimed that Adele was to sing at the wedding reception. A source said: “Carey and Marcus are both huge fans of Adele and there will be millions of couples jealous that she is singing for them. “Adele has always wanted to work with Mumford & Sons so when Marcus asked her to play at his wedding she said yes. Adele has not been able to perform much at all since her throat op so it’s a rare gig. ‘It was meant to be a secret but the couple were so excited they’ve let it slip.” Carey - who previously dated ‘Transformers’ actor Shia LaBeouf and Marcus were childhood pen pals who reconnected as adults. They have been dating for over a year and got engaged last August, though they are rarely seen in public together.

C

Baby boy for

Peaches Geldof eaches Geldof has become a mother for the first time. The 23-year-old star and her fiance, rocker Thomas Cohen, became parents to a baby boy who they had previously announced they planned to name Astala Dylan Willow earlier this week and couldn’t be happier. Peaches tweeted: “yes, it’s true - I’M A MUMMY! “My little boy is the most beautiful thing in this world. When he holds @tomfromscum’s finger with his hand its the sweetest thing ever. (sic)” Tom added: “I’m a dad he is the most perfect thing ever so proud of his beautiful mum @peaches_g and overcome with joy x (sic)” Peaches’ publicist later confirmed the news, but didn’t say when the baby had been born. He said: “Peaches and Thomas are delighted to announce the birth of their son Astala, both were overjoyed at his arrival this week.” Peaches whose father is Boomtown Rats frontman Bob Geldof - previously revealed she had been due to give birth on April 24, the birthday of her late mother Paula Yates, who died from a drugs overdose in 2000. She said: “It was amazing for me when they told me that, very emotional and touching and just really beautiful. I was so happy. “I feel like it’s a little wink from my mum; her way of sending a message to let me know that she’s watching over me and my baby.” — Bangshowbiz

P

George’s

career caused relationship stress ax George’s success has put his relationship under huge pressure. The Wanted singer recently confirmed he and British actress Michelle Keegan who got engaged in June 2011 after a whirlwind romance - are no longer engaged, and pals think the hunk’s US success put a lot of strain on their union. A source said: “When they got together Michelle was the bigger star but now he’s really taken off. He is going to be spending more time in America so they will be spending more time apart. She wants somebody who is going to be at home. “They called off the engagement because it was putting a lot of pressure on them both. There is no time to sort a wedding at the moment. However, friends insist their relationship is solid and the couple are planning a holiday to spend quality time together when things get less hectic. The source added to new! magazine: “The truth is they are two kids from the same area of Manchester who have a lovely relationship. They see each other when they can. They talk on Skype and are hoping to go on holiday this year when she’s quieter and he is back from America.”

M


37

MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

LIFESTYLE T r a v e l

Discovering North Korea by train

File photo shows people at the restaurant wagon of a train travelling from Shenyang to Pyongyang. —AFP photos o get to North Korea, one can make the rare journey by taking a plane from Beijing to Pyongyang. But for those who have the opportunity, the train offers a unique glimpse of the most closed country in the world. It is 9:30 am when we leave Dandong, the last Chinese town before crossing the Yalu river that separates the two countries. We are the only Westerners on board the train which takes more than 10 hours to cover the 240 kilometres (150 miles) to Pyongyang. Dandong is booming, thanks to the border trade that has flourished since North Korea came under international sanctions. Chinese of Korean descent board the two white and blue sleeping cars, stamped with the emblem of the People’s Republic of China. Luggage and packages are piled on the top bunks and in the vestibules at the ends of the carriages.

T

The contrast between Dandong with its skyscrapers and Sinuiju, the first North Korean town, is striking: the buildings are decrepit, the streets dusty, a small amusement park with rides and a Ferris wheel seems abandoned. There we see the first statue of North Korea’s founding father Kim Il-Sung, who died in 1994 after ruling the country since 1948. A dozen North Korean customs officers climb aboard. Baggage is searched, and waved over with a metal detector. They note down the number of cameras, video cameras and laptops. Only mobile phones are forbidden and put in a sealed envelope, with strict instructions not to open it before leaving North Korean territory. Most of the passengers seem to know the North Korean inspectors. “I come once a week,” said a Korean Chinese wearing a fancy shirt and gold chain, luxury shoes on his feet and a leather

bag from a famous French brand over his shoulder. Once the inspection is complete, customs officers and passengers sit on the couchettes and strike up a conversation. Cigarettes are passed around and they exchange jokes, punctuated by slaps on the back. In the corridor, a smiling customs officer questions the four French journalists. “You’ve come for the rocket? There will also be foreign experts?” he asked in Chinese. Clearly, the official media have trumpeted that the forthcoming launch will be covered by dozens of reporters together with some foreign experts. A dozen faded green carriages bearing the emblem of North Korea are attached to the train. Soldiers, rifles slung across their shoulders, open the gates giving access to the platform. Hundreds of women bent double under the weight of their khaki burdens and men with bulging bags rush through to the carriages,

jostling old people and children. A “soft seat” North Korean carriage, adorned at both ends with portraits of Kim Il-Sung and his son Kim Jong-Il, who died in December, is attached to the Chinese sleepers. The dining car is right behind. It will act as the “border” to the lower class that the journalists will not have access to. After the long stop, the train resumes its journey. The dining car is filled with Chinese traders and members of the elite, mobile phone clamped to ear, shades perched on nose. The set menu includes grilled fish, beef, rice kimchi and soup, washed down with a glass of warm water. Beer or soju, the local rice wine, is extra. The North Korean countryside scrolls past the windows. Groups of children wave. The train passes a few vehicles, and men on bicycles too, but not many. In the well-kept fields, ploughs pulled by rawboned oxen are more common than tractors.

Here and there appear villages of whitewashed houses with ochre tiled roofs. This region, which borders the Yellow Sea, is considered the rice basket of impoverished North Korea. As night falls, the villages are plunged into darkness. Only a few windows are dimly lit. Electricity is rationed and residents take advantage of the hours of current to recharge extra lamps. The train slows down as it approaches the capital Pyongyang, which can be seen in the distance thanks to its lights. In the city centre, strings of lights shine around public buildings. On the front of the railway station, a giant portrait of Kim Il-Sung is lit all night. —AFP

Paradise lost, mired in poverty

e capit eets of th s tr s e th ly to Vehicles p 8, 2012. —AFP pho 2 h rc a M n o

lofa al Nuku’a

s (the chief’ u’a a Vaca a n d r o c k p a M s a h o le s Known t h e b lo w eved to w h is t le ), Ha’akame are beli South r pools nea t impressive in the s o m e th e b . Pacific

oasting pristine waters teeming with whales and dolphins, and unspoiled scenery dotted with tropical hibiscus and frangipani flowers, Tonga paints a postcard-like Polynesian scene. But beneath the idyllic image of the “Friendly Islands” lies a country mired in poverty where thousands face hardship due to lost remittances because of global financial woes. “I think when you go down to the grassroots, people are really feeling hardship,” said publisher and broadcaster Kalafi Moala, adding that financial difficulties had become pronounced since the 2008 global economic crisis. “Because even though the macro picture of the economy looked bleak in years past, there was enough cash in people’s hands that they were still able to buy food and stuff like that. But right now you can see hardship everywhere.” Polynesia’s only surviving monarchy has suffered badly in the global slump, with the foreign remittances on which it relies for at least 35 percent of gross domestic product drying up dramatically. Jobs that were once available to Tongans living overseas in areas such as construction and landscaping disappeared overnight, immediately cutting off the cash flow home. In addition, the global instability of 2008 brought with it sharp rises in the costs of imported fuel and food, resulting in rising inflation, while each year more school leavers join the ranks of the jobless. The government says the impact was offset in part by foreign loans for capital works, but it noted in a budget statement in December that “further borrowing must be avoided giv-

B

en that Tonga is already at high risk of debt distress”. Basking in tropical heat, the tiny kingdom of Tonga is home to some 106,000 people but more than double that number live overseas-mostly in the United States, but also in New Zealand and Australia-and traditionally send some of their income home. Derek Brien, who heads the Pacific Institute of Public Policy think-tank, said while Tonga was lucky to have these migration channels, remittances were its largest source of foreign exchange, leaving it vulnerable to overseas crises. “I suppose the ongoing question is: ‘How do you then protect against external shocks like the global financial crisis that is going to affect remittance flows and therefore have that kick-on effect back home,’” he said. “It’s not the challenge for Tonga alone, it’s that of most of the smaller island economies in the Pacific.” The one thing to put our hope in The big hope for Tonga, a cluster of some 170 islands scattered over 700,000 square kilometres lying just west of the international dateline, is tourism. Visitor numbers are improving, but they remain modest at under 90,000 a year. It is nevertheless acknowledged as a significant contributor to Tonga’s GDP which was estimated at about T$706 million (US$515 million) last year. Figures show that tourist receipts totaled T$60 million in the 12 months to January 2011 — the highest point in the past decade. Tourism suffered in the wake of violent riots in the capital Nuku’alofa in 2006 which left the downtown a smouldering wreck, and after a 2009 tsunami in the remote area of Niuatoputapu triggered by a massive 8.0 magnitude quake. These events followed the collapse of national carrier Royal Tongan Airlines in 2004. Tonga hopes to see economic growth of 2.0 percent by 2013/14, in part through increased high-value tourism focused on the outer islands such as Vava’u which has white sandy beaches and ideal sailing conditions. But in its latest budget statement, the government notes the industry remains constrained by remoteness, bad infrastructure, lack of funds for marketing, poor maintenance of historical sites and the need to upgrade accommodation. Acting director of the Ministry of Tourism, Sandra Fifita, said the sector had great potential for the devoutly Christian country. “It’s the main sector that brings foreign investment to Tonga; much larger than agriculture and fisheries,” she said. “Tourism of course leads all sectors in terms of revenue,” agrees Moala, adding that it too suffers from infrastructure problems which also impact the two other main industries-agriculture and fisheries. He cited the case of a Tongan fishing company which went bankrupt in January despite supplying tuna and snapper to a

ready export market in Japan. “They were employing over 200 people. But they were losing a lot of money, (due to) irregularity in terms of flights, flights that were cancelled so their shipments went bad and stuff like that,” he said. Tourism was “the one thing we have to put our hope on”, he added. “There’s a lot of infrastructural changes, a lot of attitudinal changes that have got to take place in Tonga. But we’ve got to build up the tourism industry as the main earner for Tonga. We’ve still got a long way to go.” —AFP

Pith helmet wearing guards parade in front of the Royal Palace in the capital Nuku’alofa.

A broken clock heralds Tonga’s most renowned accommodation, the run down International Dateline Hotel, in the capital Nuku’alofa.


MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

lifestyle M u s i c

&

M o v i e s Movie Scores:

How the critics rated the new movies

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ac Efron isn’t finding much luck with the critics as his latest film, “The Lucky One,” opens to pretty poor reviews. In the latest adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks romance novel, Efron stars as US Marine sergeant who tracks down a beautiful blonde (Taylor Schilling) whose photograph he believes saved his life in Iraq. AP Movie Critic Christy Lemire didn’t hate it, though, giving the film two and a half stars out of four. “In the hands of ‘Shine’ director Scott Hicks, it does what it needs to do to please its target audience with a certain tasteful artfulness and the comforting familiarity of a 1950s melodrama,” she wrote. Also opening nationwide is the ensemble comedy “Think Like a Man,” starring Michael Ealy, Taraji P. Henson, Meagan Good and Kevin Hart as singles caught in the battle of the sexes. Lemire also gave this one two and a half stars, saying: “What is essentially a shameless and overlong infomercial for Steve Harvey’s dating advice book becomes more tolerable and even enjoyable at times with the help of an attractive, likable cast.” Here’s a look at how these movies and others fared on the top review websites as of Friday afternoon. Each score is the percentage of positive reviews for the film: ● “Marley”: Metacritic, 82; Movie Review Intelligence, 83; Rotten Tomatoes, 94. Average: 86.3. ● “Chimpanzee”: Metacritic, 58; Movie Review Intelligence, 62.4; Rotten Tomatoes, 75. Average: 65.1. ● “Think Like a Man”: Metacritic, 53; Movie Review Intelligence, 59.4; Rotten Tomatoes, 52. Average: 54.8. ● “The Lucky One”: Metacritic, 38; Movie Review Intelligence, 43.2; Rotten Tomatoes, 22. Average: 34.4. ● “Darling Companion”: Metacritic, 38; Movie Review Intelligence, 36.4; Rotten Tomatoes, 18. Average: 30.8. —AP

An Arctic tale that melts hearts

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olar bears tend to be camera shy, which caused problems for the filmmakers of the new Warner Bros./Imax adventure “To the Arctic,” opening Friday. The 40-minute 3-D documentary examines extreme temperature changes in the Arctic, which has led to the permanent ice pack melting quickly and endangering the existence of animals such as polar bears, caribou, seals, walruses and birds that are indigenous to the region. Narrated by Meryl Streep, “To the Arctic” is the latest movie from two-time Oscar-nominated filmmaker Greg MacGillivray (“The Living Sea,”“Dolphins”) and his producer son, Shaun MacGillivray (“Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk”). The film’s editor, Stephen Judson, wrote the script. The production lasted four years, including eight months on location in the Arctic _ but for the first six trips, the filmmakers were unable to get any usable footage of polar bear mothers and cubs, the animals most closely associated with the Arctic. “When it comes to wildlife filmmaking, you can have the best script in the world but you don’t know what you are going to get until you are there,” said Shaun. “We got incredible footage of caribou herds, good stories with other animals like the walrus and great aerial photography.” Then, on their last trip in 2010, the crew spent a month on a 130-foot ice breaker, the MS Havsel, in and around the seas of Svalbard, Norway. That is where they found their stars. “We were with them for five days straight,” Shaun said. “We got that incredible sense of both being emotionally connected to them, but also what it was like for a single mom polar bear to be raising two cubs in an environment that gets harder every day.” At one point, the ice floe the bears were resting on floated within 20 feet of the ice breaker. “Even then she would sniff at us, but she wasn’t freaked,” said Greg. “The captain of the boat ... he felt after observing her for a couple of days that ‘this is the smartest bear I have ever been around. She is not expending energy to get away from us all. Bears I have seen expend energy _ they jump in the water, they swim away and they walk along the ice floe to get away. But she said I am not going to expend any energy to get away from this boat. I am comfortable.’” —MCT


MANSOORI

MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

lifestyle


MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

lifestyle M U S I C

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(From Left) Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles and Liam Payne of the British-Irish boy band One Direction perform during the group’s concert at the St James theatre in Wellington yesterday.—AFP photos

Harry Styles of the British-Irish boy band One Direction performs.

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ew Zealand teenage girls turned out in their thousands over the weekend hoping for a glimpse of BritishIrish boy band One Direction but it seems not all knew who they were screaming for. A radio producer wearing a beanie, dark glasses and a scarf, was mobbed when he left an Auckland hotel after interviewing the stars with young girls believing he was

a member of the five-piece band. Guy Parsons, 23, is older and taller than members of One Direction but still fooled the hysterical young girls who chased him down the street. Some realised he wasn’t who they thought he was when he turned around, but others didn’t care. “I said ‘I’ve got you, I’m not one of them’, but they still wanted photos,” Parsons told

Fans of British-Irish boy band One Direction wait for a glimpse of their idols ahead of a concert in Wellington.

the Sunday Star-Times, adding he enjoyed his brief moment of fame. “I don’t think I could do that every day, but for the three minutes I was posing and running away from the girls I liked the attention.” The band, who performed two shows in Auckland on Saturday and another in Wellington yesterday, have become one of the most famous pop acts in the world and

Zayn Malik of One Direction performs.

are hounded by crying and screaming girls wherever they go. Fans began arriving 14 hours before the early evening concert in Auckland and 15-year-old Raina Hepers told the Herald on Sunday that when the stars finally took the stage she sobbed through most of their 70-minute performance. “I just can’t believe I saw them in real life. I only stopped crying for five minutes,

Fans of British-Irish boy band One Direction cheer.

Hungarian jazz great

DJs battle with dance music dominance in US pop music

guides young Roma musicians

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or young Gypsy musicians, it’s a unique opportunity to get ahead in life. Renowned Hungarian jazz guitarist Ferenc Snetberger’s music school for Roma kids is coming to the end of its inaugural year, with around 60 students getting instruction not just in their instruments but also in subjects such as English and computer skills seen as key to building a professional career. Nearly all of the students at the Snetberger Music Talent Center in Felsoors, a picturesque village among rolling hills on the north side of Lake Balaton, two hours drive from the capital Budapest, come from underprivileged Roma families. The integration of its Roma community, estimated at around 5-8 percent of Hungary’s 10 million people, is one of the largest social and economic challenges facing the country. Unemployment among Hungary’s Roma ballooned after the 1990 end of communism, which resulted in the close of many mines and factories that provided low-skilled jobs. The school chose its students mainly through auditions held around the country; most of the teachers are, like Snetberger, also Roma. “In regular music schools, their real talents and values often go unnoticed,” Snetberger said. “That’s why I wanted to have mostly Roma for teachers, because they are clear about this and recognize the students’ skills.” “My main aim is to build on and develop what they bring from home, to open their musical world to new styles they haven’t yet known.” One of the most talented musicians attending classes is Elemer Feher, a 20-year-old clar-

inetist from the city of Godollo, near Budapest. Feher is among the oldest students at the center and has already auditioned at conservatories in Germany, where he hopes to continue his studies. While Feher’s first love is classical music, the Snetberger experience is helping him expand his horizons. “I’ve really enjoyed playing jazz and folk and other styles which I don’t play that often,” said Feher, before rehearsing a composition by Argentine tango great Astor Piazzolla. “This talent school is a fantastic experience in my life. It gives the students many advantages and opportunities we could only dream about.” Snetberger, 55, is one of Hungary’s most successful musicians, having played with Bobby McFerrin, Richard Bona, Laurindo Almeida and many others. The idea to teach more than music at the center came from his own experiences abroad. “If you don’t speak English, it’s hard to communicate and establish relationships,” said Snetberger, who hopes to enroll a wide-enough range of students to form a chamber orchestra. “You need to be able to manage yourself. It’s best they learn this from the beginning.” The center, which includes dormitories, classrooms and a combination dining and performance hall, among other facilities, was built mostly from a grant of ?2.7 million ($3.6 million) received from Norway and finished last year. To meet its operating expenses, the school relies mostly on funds from the EU, the Hungarian government and George Soros’ Open Society Institute. The Norwegian Jazz

I’m just so happy,” Hepers said. Lucy Crabb and Madi Dearlove, both 12, said they had sore throats from screaming at the boys who looked “way better in real life than in photos”. One Direction were formed for the British television series ‘The X Factor’.—AFP

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File photo shows Ferenc Snetberger, guitarist and founder of the Snetberger Music Talent Center teaches in his school in Felsoors, Hungary.—AFP

Association and Hungary’s Liszt Academy of Music are among the institutions providing teaching assistance. With an annual budget of around 90 million forints (?305,000, $407,000), the endeavor is facing an uncertain future, said Zoltan Meszaros, the center’s director. The center still needs to raise around 20 percent of its 2012 budget target. Like many other projects which rely on EU funds, it soon may be forced to either cut expenses or look elsewhere for revenues. Hungary stands to lose nearly ?500 million ($667 million) in EU subsidies - almost 30 percent of the total it receives - unless it can take substantial steps in the next few months to ensure that its budget deficit remains within EU limits. “If these funds are frozen, then we can close our doors,” Snetberger said. “But this is unimaginable to me. The center is something unique in Europe and we will do everything we can to avoid letting it happen.” Meanwhile, classes are continuing and the second academic year will launch in June, when around 30 new students will join a similar number from the first year return-

ing for another cycle. Since the students attend regular schools, classes at the Snetberger center are held during June, October and March to at least partially overlap with school breaks - for a total of 12 weeks of instruction. Between classes the students gather in small groups around the campus and since many have their instruments at hand, spontaneous jam sessions are practically unavoidable. “Music is a gift,” Feher said. “It’s like when a person finds a life partner. I know music is never going to hurt.” For Snetberger, 55, educating young Gypsy musicians is rewarded by the inspiration he receives from them. “I think no one knows them better than me because I come from the same poverty,” said Snetberger, the youngest of six children from the northeastern Hungarian city of Salgotarjan. “I think I play even better with them. They give me something special as well.”—AP

he explosion of electronic dance music in the U.S. has thrust DJs into the spotlight, but with great power comes great responsibility as they strive to stay fresh and maintain quality as demand for their skills rise. Electronic dance music has become a dominant force in the 2012 popular music charts, as mainstream artists such as R&B singers Rihanna and Usher, hip hop singer Nicki Minaj, and the ‘Queen of Pop’ Madonna have embraced clubheavy beats, often working with top DJs such as David Guetta. This year’s Grammy awards ceremony featured the first tribute to dance music with performances from DJs Guetta and Deadmau5, rappers Chris Brown and Lil Wayne, and rockers The Foo Fighters, highlighting the fusion of genres in the music charts. “I’ve worked hard for it to happen and I’m very happy...I think I was one of the first to create a bridge between electronic and urban music and create a new standard of pop music,” Guetta said to Reuters. “But at the same time so many people are doing it now that I’m also trying to do something different.” The French DJ has seen his own status in the US skyrocket. His latest two-disc album, “Nothing But The Beat,” featuring collaborations with some of pop’s biggest names on one disc, and solely instrumental tracks on the other, peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 album chart in late 2011, his highest entry in the US. Guetta has been at the forefront of an expanding dance music scene, that started out of Europe’s house music and trance clubs in the mid-1990s and was promoted further by holiday locations such as the Spanish island Ibiza and Greek island Ayia Napa that became known as ‘party capitals’ for the dance music scene. But its arrival into the mainstream music scene has

lead to some dissent in the onceniche community, as underground DJs become big names in pop music. Guetta disagrees that its newfound popularity is a threat. “I think dance music needs some heroes and it also needs underground, and it’s because there’s so many different scenes inside our scene that it’s so powerful...We just want to make and play good music,” he said. Swedish DJ Sebastian Ingrosso, who has seen his own status rise as part of the Swedish House Mafia trio, called the spotlight on electronic dance music “scary,” saying he feared it could compromise the quality of music produced. “I see dance music like when the electric guitar came, and some would play good, and some would play bad. But it’s here to stay, the quality has to come too,” said Ingrosso. Some attempts by artists to embrace the dance music genre have backfired. Minaj’s latest dancepop album, “Pink Friday:Roman Reloaded,” was slammed by critics. Despite the critics, Minaj’s latest single “Starships” is flying high on the Billboard Hot 100, while “American Idol” alum Kelly Clarkson, known for her pop-driven anthems, incorporated dance-heavy beats into her latest single “Stronger,” which peaked at No. 1 on the chart. Dance music journeys to the US While dance, house and dubstep music thrived in Europe in the early 2000s, America’s music scene was dominated by garage rock bands such as Green Day and Blink 182. It is only in very recent years that DJs are finally getting their moment in American popular music. —Reuters


New Zealand teens turn out for One Direction

MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012

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23 April 2012