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NO: 15547- Friday, August 24, 2012 Young Kuwaiti sailors set off on the annual pearl diving expedition yesterday. — Photo by Yasser AlZayyat

Young sailors keep old traditions alive

See Page 9

Local FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2012

Local FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2012

Just kiddin’, seriously

Going ‘batty’ at ‘Dark Knight Rises’

Conspiracy Theories

Sensational jewels

By Sahar Moussa

By Badrya Darwish


watched ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ last week at the movies. I’m not going to talk about the movie but I’m going to talk about what happened inside the theatre. If anyone is thinking that there was some red-haired lunatic carrying a smoke bomb in one hand and a gun in the other, you are mistaken - but I certainly wished I had a gun. So this is what happened inside the theatre. Since my friends and I were so eager to watch the movie and had to wait for more than a month for it to come to Kuwait, we were the first people to book the tickets, buy popcorn, sodas and jump into our seats. After getting comfortable, people started to pour in to the theatre. Soon, the theatre was almost full. The movie started at the right time but the people didn’t walk in at the same. What shocked me was that even after the first half hour of the film, people

were strolling in and at this point, I truly wished I had a gun. What drove my friends and me ‘batty’ was that some of the audience walked in with their three-year-olds who were acting like they were in a park! For anyone who didn’t watch ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, here’s some info. It’s not just an action movie but in fact, like all other Batman films, is dialogue-heavy which needs focus. And to top it, the villain wore a mask which made it harder for us to understand what he was saying clearly. Here’s some etiquette for all moviegoers to follow: First: Keep your phone silent all the time, for two reasons: One, to take a break from it and two, to not disturb others. Second: It will be nice of you to stop being selfish and remember that there are people sitting in front of you - so don’t kick the seat from behind,

or stretch out and sit like you own the theatre. Third: Try to have good manners while you are eating your popcorn, chips, or drinking your soda because you are not sitting on your sofa at home; there are people around, behind and next to you. Fourth: Keep quiet and delay all your chit-chat for later. It’s a movie theatre and not a diwaniya. Fifth: Try to put all your litter in a plastic bag before leaving the theatre, to prove you are a well-raised and clean person. Sixth: Don’t bring really small kids to a serious film like this. Neither will they enjoy it nor will they let others enjoy. And last but not the least, don’t carry a gun to the theatre to take out your problems on the audience. And go watch ‘The Dark Knight Rises’; it’s a ‘bloody’ good movie.

Kuwait’s my business

Discover your personality style By John P Hayes


oes personality make a difference in business? Absolutely! Personality matters as much in business as it does in life. How you get along with other people (boss, spouse, neighbors, etc) and how you respond to circumstances and events has much to do with your personality, how you use it, and how others perceive it. In my 60-plus years of life, and 30-plus years working in the corporate world, I’m convinced that anyone can use personality as a plus or a minus. The better you understand your personality, the more effective you are likely to be as a friend, student, neighbor, employee, or boss. You also can be more effective if you understand the other person’s personality. American motivation guru, Zig Ziglar, says, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” It’s the golden rule of life. It’s much easier to help people get what they want if you understand their personality and speak their language. But first, you’ve got to identify your own personality. You can find a variety of personality tests or profiles online. Myers Briggs, Kiersey, and DISC are among the best known. I like DISC because it’s quick to administer and fairly easy to understand. In a matter of 20 minutes you can classify your own personality behavior as it pertains to four dimensions: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance. Want to identify your own personality? I’ve posted the DISC personality profile at this online address: Visit the site when you have

some quiet time and complete the form, which includes instructions. It’s easy! After you’ve identified your personality, read the document at this address: This information will help you understand more about the four DISC dimensions listed earlier. So what are you? Are you a D, I, S or C? We’re each some combination of each personality dimension. The D personality likes to be in control. They’re quick on their feet, sometimes pushy, and have little time for small talk. The I personality likes people. They’re terrific communicators, they love to talk and share information. Already you can see that a D and I might clash! The S personality is loyal and patient and wants to avoid risks and conflicts. They’re a bit possessive, too! Keep them away from the Ds! The C personality is the thinker. They’re analytical people. Some (especially Ds and Is) think of them as rigid. But they maintain very high standards. Every personality is a combination of the DISC dimensions, but one or two dimensions will dominate. You can’t help but use those dimensions in every situation - they’re your invisible DNA. You can succeed regardless of your personality, but if your personality matches the situation, success occurs with much less struggle and stress. By the way, if your business isn’t as effective as you’d like, it’s probably because of personality clashes among your employees. Every business leader will benefit by learning about personality profiling and helping their employees understand the phenomenon, too. Next week I’ll continue this discussion about personality profiling. Meanwhile, get to know your personality and encourage those closest to you to discover their personality, too. NOTE: Dr John P Hayes is a marketing professor at Gulf University for Science & Technology. Contact him at or via Twitter @drjohnhayes.


congratulate The Sun and I mean, the English tabloid and not the sun in the sky, for their sensational headline for the story of naked Harry. It went like this: Harry Grabs The Crown Jewels. Of course, I am referring to Prince Harry, whose pictures have preoccupied cyberspace for the past two days. He was caught on camera in an intimate position with a naked girl while vacationing in Las Vegas. I am not bothered about Harry taking off his clothes or not. This is something that concerns him alone. If he wants to be dressed in a tuxedo it’s up to him. Leave the young chap alone! As it is the paparazzi ruined his mom’s life before. I am amazed, however, at the whole world, be it Africa, Asia, Europe or the Middle East and mainly the US, who are hyped up by celebrities’ affairs. Be it Madonna, Britney Spears or Justin Bieber or thousands of other celebrities. I can’t name them all. But the world is not interested in the good things of these guys. They are just waiting for them to slip - to drive drunk, act stupid or provoke the media and paparazzi to follow them when they act abnormal. If a celebrity walks in an obscene outfit in a restaurant, this will be the talk of the day. Celebrities are put under the microscope. After all, they are normal human beings. They have their ups and downs. They have their feelings. They get angry and sad. They abuse and get abused. So, what is the big deal if I see Naomi Campbell throwing her phone at her maid or if I see Prince Harry in an intimate picture? He is not doing something that the whole world does not do. Are people fatigued from bad news and “if-itbleeds-it-leads” headlines? Are we tired to see bombs, refugees, wars, disasters, hurricanes and earthquakes everywhere? Are we fatigued from blood everywhere and that is why we turn to celebrities? Or is it our obsession with gossip? After all, people are people all over the world regardless of their colour, sect and nationality, educated or uneducated, poor or rich. This celebrities’ scandal obsession applies to all. It is more amidst the educated and intellectual readers. For example, today’s Twitter was full of comments by everyone about the Harry scandal. If it was an ordinary guy in Vegas who walked boxer-less in the lobby of the hotel, do you think the paparazzi would be bothered about what jewels he was grabbing? @BadryaD

Local FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2012

Pimp my ride

Kuwaiti style

By Nawara Fattahova


n almost-antique car was parked for nearly two decades in front of a house in one of Kuwait’s residential areas. It was a sentimental vehicle that belonged to the father of the house’s owner. In a nick of time, the car was new, shiny and moving around Kuwait. It was one of the products of Cuz Creationz a company run by two car enthusiasts who maintain, redesign and revive cars. “The customer called us asking if we could do something about his father’s car, who had passed away and the family wanted to keep the car as a memory of him. The car was in really bad shape - rusty and very hard to fix. This was the most difficult task

we had received till now. It took us a long time to finish and more than one garage worked on it. In the end though we amazed the customer when he saw the final result,” recalled Sabah Al-Bader, Owner and Operational Director of Cuz Creationz. Now you can ‘pimp your ride’ in Kuwait. The company provides fixes, restoration, modifications, enhancements, cleaning and other related services of ‘pimping’ their car with

Local FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2012

Cuz Creationz. The idea started when Sabah and his partner Mijbil Al-Ayoub were running out of time. Their cars needed maintenance, and they felt the need to have somebody do the job for

Sabah Al-Bader

Mijbil Al-Ayoub

them. As car enthusiasts themselves, the brothers were frustrated by soaring costs and poor quality work for car products and services available locally. They decided that the best way to solve this problem was to set up their own business, offering the services that were lacking, and this became the motivation behind launching this unique business locally and worldwide. Mijbil, Owner and Commercial Director at Cuz Creationz, has a solid background of over 16 years in the field of Public Relations and Corporate Communications. Sabah is a car enthusiast and winner of over 20 car show

awards in the US and Kuwait. He has been in the car business since Aug 2000. They both teamed up and have today restored and beautified many cars. In mid-2010, Mijbil and Sabah decided on creating a company with a focus on all aspects of automobile enhancement, and by 2011 Cuz Creationz was born-with a mission of offering better services to their clients than the existing competitors. “We are a one-stop shop for all your routine car needs, and offer a full range of repairs and maintenance on all car types and models. We provide vehicle customization services that go beyond audio and video. With our knowledge and experience and our wide network of partners, we pride ourselves on providing our customer with the best deals on aftermarket parts and all types of garage repairs,” said Sabah. According to him, the customer will definitely save with Cuz Creationz. “We will provide our customers the best services for the best price in the market. As we deal with many garages from all fields we get special discounted prices, so the customer will, in the end, pay less for the same thing he would do himself, plus he will not have to bother himself in garages. Our quality auto repairs, ease in making appointments and personal attention guarantee you the highest-level of service and the best value for your

money,” he added. “We work constantly to ensure keeping a balance between fair prices and offering only the very highest quality of work and care for your car. Before working on the vehicle we always contact the customer to tell him what work is needed and how much it will cost. We always give the maximum prices, so in many cases the total price is less than the quote. We have never had unsatisfied customers, as we follow the transparency principle which is not usually available in this business. Instead of taking our percentage from the customer, we take it from the partners (garages) that we deal with,” explained Mijbil, who added that Cuz Creationz works hard to attract repeat customers. “We have a customer who has come seven times to use our services for his different cars and his friends’ cars because he likes our services,” he noted. Numbers speak to their success. When they started one year ago they would receive about two cars per week. Today the number has increased fivefold to between two and ten cars a day. According to Mijbil, “We didn’t expect that we would be focusing on services, as we were working on parts in the beginning. Another great part of our service is that after all the work is complete, Cuz Creations will deliver your car back to you at your home or the place you choose.”

Local FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2012

By Ben Garcia


abkhara, the traditional censer found across the Arab world, is not only useful but also considered to be one of the most important ornaments in Arab homes. A home without a mabkhara is not an Arab home. Mabkharas are used to burn incense or any other perfumes, such as bukhoor. It is believed by many to ward off bad spirits and, therefore, bring peace and tranquility to one’s home. Today, the mabkhara is widely used in places such as offices, business centers, and other places. A traditional perfume shop would not be a perfume shop without a mabkahra. The mabkhara business is booming in Kuwait. “I am ordering mabkharas every 15 days, 100 each from Saudi and Pakistan. So you can imagine the huge demand for this item in Kuwait,” said Munawar Hussein of Saffar Al-Watan Trading Co, an importer of mabkharas. The demand for mabkharas is even larger come Ramadan and other Muslim holidays. According to Hussein, the demand increases upwards of 50 percent during Ramadan and other religious holidays. Hussein said people who understand mabkharas will only consider Saudi and Pakistani made mabkharas, as they are famous and trusted. “In my shop I only have two sources for mabkharas,” he said.

The Saudi mabkhara materials are more expensive, compared to the materials used in Pakistan. “Wood, iron, and the design matters to mabkhara users. If you notice the Saudi design, it is very traditional when compared to the Pakistani design. The Saudi-made mabkhara is handmade and mostly uses stainless steel, while the Pakistani mabkhara is already designed and characterized with computer generated images and made of cheaper metal. The Pakistani mabkhara is more sophisticated because it is not only made by hand, but is also made with the aid of modern technology,” Hussein added. The Saudi mabkhara, depending on size, is far higher in price compared to the Pakistani mabkhara. The Saudi mabkhara costs around KD 14 while the Pakistani mabkhara is priced at a mere KD 5. “Kuwaitis only look for mabkharas made from Saudi Arabia because they want simple but also traditional censers, while Egyptians, Syrians and Jordanians will look for Pakistani-made mabkharas. They are not only cheaper, but if you see the design is beautiful, although it was made with the help of computers,” he explained.

Munawar Hussein poses with some mabkharas

Local FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2012

Hussein’s mabkharas available at his shop are made of wood and iron, but he also sells ceramic or clay mabkharas, as well as those of other materials. “Some customers looking for alternative types of mabkharas will find it available here. They are not that sellable, compared to the mabkharas from Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, but there are people looking for it, so we display it, and if people want it, and they can have it,” he added. The mabkhara was traditionally made from clay or soft stone, but these days many are now made from metal. Most Mabkhara have a square pedestal base with inward sloping sides which support a square cup with outward sloping sides. The wooden base is often carved out to form legs. The cup, itself, is lined with sheet

metal. Older burners were decorated with patterned combinations of soft metal pegs and brass tacks, often with mirrors in the panels of the upper part. The legs were ordinarily covered with sheet metal. More modern variations of the Mabkhara are made of shiny plated sheet metal. While they retain the traditional shape, they tend to be decorated with mirrors, colored metals and come in many sizes; varying from a few inches to a few feet in height. The craft of making mabakhir (Arabic plural of mabkhara) is practiced today primarily by artisans, mainly from Hail, one of the northern provinces of Saudi Arabia.

Local FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2012

A destroyed car is seen after a crash on Subhan Road.

A fireman tackles a blaze in Al-Rai.

Man dies in car crash By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: A two-vehicle accident at Sabhan road opposite Al-Qurain markets resulted in the death of a Kuwaiti man and the injury of another. Other persons were trapped in the cars whose doors could not be opened, and were later freed by firemen. Fires rage in Rai, Subhan A fire broke out in a prefab office of a government project late Wednesday in Al-Rai opposite the tent market. As firemen arrived, they found the blaze was in the engineers’ offices at the project that was repairing the sanitary

grid in the area. The area was about 1,000 sq m. One of the firemen suffered from suffocation and was treated at the site. Fire also broke out in a soft drinks factory in Sabhan industrial area. The fire began on the ground floor and spread to the first floor, destroying some of the offices of the company. Firemen used ladders to fight the blaze from the roof of the building and brought it under control. Three thieves held Capital governorate detectives arrested three Arab expats on charges of stealing. The first suspect was

‘Larijani did not make anti-Kuwait comments’ TEHRAN: Kuwaiti Ambassador to Iran Majdi Al-Dhefiri said Wednesday that, based on contacts he made with a number of Iranian officials, reports of statements made by Iranian Shura Council Speaker Ali Larijani regarding Kuwait were not true. AlDhefiri said that he was told by many Iranian officials that the reports were “totally and utterly false and far from the truth”, affirming that Larijani did not give a statement to Lebanese Hezbollah-run channel Al-Manar, which has also come out to rebuff these statements, that were presumed to have been posted on its website. The statement was however posted on a website posing as the channel’s official website. Iranian officials went on to express their appreciation of Kuwait’s stances toward political developments in the region and its commitment to improving bilateral relations, based on transparency and mutual respect, added the ambassador. — KUNA

KAC flight to Dubai cancelled, adds to woes of passengers By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: In the ongoing saga of cancelled Kuwait Airline flights, a flight scheduled to depart at 8:40 am to Dubai with 120 passengers was cancelled yesterday. A passenger on this cancelled flight was disappointed with this most recent cancellation. “We keep reading or hearing about the bad situation of KAC’s fleet, but I didn’t imagine it was this bad. I booked first on the flight going to Dubai on Aug 20 to spend the Eid there, but the flight was cancelled and postponed until today. But today they also cancelled the flight, and they offered to give me my money back or shift the flight to next week. Now I would rather take my money, as I won’t fly with them again. This caused me problems, as I had already made my plans and took leave from work, and this messed my holiday up. I’m really disappointed,” Abu Abdullah told the Kuwait Times. “When I asked about the reason, they told me that it’s not safe to fly on board this flight as that there are some technical problems with the wing of the plane,” he added. The passengers were not the only losers. A travel agent who deals with KAC faced problems with the passengers and feels their reputation was affected by this latest cancellation of flights. “Not only did I lose profits from my business due to the flight cancellation, but I’m also losing customers, as they don’t understand that it’s not my fault. It’s true that KAC has refunded the money of the tickets to me and I’m returning this to the customers, but my reputation was harmed and I can’t compensate the time and plans that the passengers lost,” complained Abu Ahmad, the owner of the travel agency.

arrested and confessed to stealing mobiles and cash from commercial companies in Shuwaikh industrial area. He hid the loot in a room at Farwaniya. The suspect also confessed to receiving help from the second and third accused. The second suspect was arrested and drugs, drug paraphernalia and KD 400 were found on him. The third suspect was also arrested and confessed that he and the other two suspects stole KD 345 from one of the commercial companies and all three suspects along with the confiscated materials were sent to concerned authorities.

Three arrested thieves are seen with the loot.

US sends aircraft carrier back to Gulf to face Iran Panetta tells sailors they are needed in Mideast DUBAI: The US Navy is cutting short home leave for the crew of one of its aircraft carriers and sending them back to the Middle East next week to counter any threat from Iran, according to the official Navy News Service. Defence Secretary Leon Panetta told sailors aboard the USS Stennis in their home port of Seattle on Wednesday they were needed back in the Middle East soon, after approving calls from the US Central Command for Stennis to return to the region. “Obviously, Iran is one of those threats,” the US military news service quoted Panetta as saying during a sendoff event at a military base on the US West Coast. “Secondly, it is the turmoil in Syria,” he said. “We’re obviously following that closely as well.” The Stennis’ departure in January from the Bahrain-based US Fifth Fleet area of operations prompted Iranian army chief Ataollah Salehi to threaten action if it returned, saying Iran was “not in the habit of warning more than once”. The threats started a war of words between Iran and the United States that spooked oil markets, and fears over possible military confrontation remain high. Panetta cited Iran’s nuclear program and its threats to oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz as two concerns the Stennis strike group could counter in the US Central Command’s area of responsibility, which also includes Syria and Afghanistan. US attention on Syria is focused on providing humanitarian aid, monitoring

BREMERTON, Washington: Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta speaks to sailors aboard the USS John C Stennis on Wednesday. The Stennis is set to deploy to the Middle East on Monday. — AP chemical and biological weapon stockpiles, and offering non-lethal assistance to forces opposing President Bashar AlAssad, he said. A spokesman for the Fifth Fleet in Bahrain said the redeployment was not a build-up in the Gulf because the USS Enterprise is due to leave the region on its final voyage back to the United States before being decommissioned after over 50 years of service. “The presence of two aircraft carriers changes based on needs and requirements,” Lieutenant Greg Raelson said. Iranian threats to block the waterway through which about 17 million barrels a

day sailed in 2011 have grown in the past year as US and European sanctions aimed at starving Tehran of funds for its nuclear program have tightened. A heavy western naval presence in the Gulf is a big deterrent to Tehran actually trying to block the shipping route through which most of the crude exported from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Iraq sails. The Stennis had been due to deploy next to the Pacific towards the end of 2012 but its return to active duty has been brought forward by four months because of tension in the Gulf. — Reuters

Local FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2012

Pearl diving trip seeks to link Kuwaitis to the past By Nawara Fattahova


he annual pearl diving trip, organized by the Kuwait Sea Sports Club (KSSC), kicked off yesterday at the Club. The trip lasts from Aug 23-30, 2012 with nine traditional dhows participating in the trip, carrying about 160 young men. The annual tradition started 24 years ago to preserve the ancient Kuwaiti heritage and is held under the patronage of HH the Amir. The Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs Jamal Shehab was pleased to represent HH the Amir in attending the launch ceremony of the pearl diving trip. “This activity awakens different emotions in me as a Kuwaiti, as it reminds me of our fathers’ work. We call it an activity today, while it was a source of living in the past. Celebrating this day expresses our respect to the past and our traditions. We wish all the success to the young men who are participating in this activity,” he said during the ceremony. The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor Mohammed Al-Kandari, praised the KSSC for holding this activity. “I appreciate the annual holding of this activity to remind the new generation of the old Kuwaiti marine heritage, when men were diving for pearls to make a living before oil was discovered. I would also like to thank the participants from Bahrain. Kuwaiti divers were known, not only in countries throughout the region, but in Europe as well. I hope this activity will be preserved and even more dhows will participate in the future,” he pointed out.

According to Ahmad Al-Ghnaim, the Deputy Chairman of KSSC, the pearl diving trip is a remarkable heritage event both locally and regionally. “As HH the Amir said previously in his speech that was addressed to the participants of this activity, this trip is not only focusing on collecting shells - it has a more important goal. This activity aims to unify the citizens of this country and fight the riots. It also aims to strengthen the sense of one’s family. This activity will always be an important event, as it was an idea of the late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad and is now sponsored by Sheikh Sabah, who continues in supporting this national activity,” he stated. The Public Authority for Youth and Sports (PAYS) is also supporting this event. “PAYS always cares to support the activities of youth, and pearl diving is one of the most significant activities. This activity connects the past with the present times. The sea heritage of old Kuwait represents the main pillar or base on which the modern economy of Kuwait was built. And I would like to thank everybody who supported these young men in their trip,” stressed Faisal Al-Jazzaf, Director General of PAYS.

— Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat


Syria vows to work with new UN envoy as fighting rages

Bahrain activist acquitted



Photos of naked prince raise security questions


BEIJING: In this file photo, anti-Japan protesters shout slogans while marching with Chinese national flags and banners towards the Japanese Embassy. — AP

S Korea returns protest note Japan, S Korea play hot potato with letter

TOKYO: Japan yesterday refused to take back a letter sent by its own prime minister after Seoul said it would not accept delivery of the note, as a row over islands threatened to descend into diplomatic farce. It was the latest move in an increasingly bitter tit-for-tat dispute that has engulfed two of Asia’s largest economies for nearly two weeks. South Korea said earlier in the day it would return the protest from Yoshihiko Noda without answering it, for fear any move to acknowledge the missive would bolster Tokyo’s claim to islands that both sides say they own. That sparked an angry response from Tokyo, which accused its neighbour of contravening diplomatic norms. “Under usual protocol, it is inconceivable that letters exchanged between leaders are sent back,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura, the government’s top spokesman, told a news conference. “I hope (South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak) will accept the letter, which was sent to deliver our prime minister’s thoughts.” The letter to Lee has not even made it to Seoul, having been kept at the South’s embassy in Tokyo,

foreign ministry spokesman Cho Tai-Young said, announcing the intention to hand the note back. But in what was beginning to look like a real live game of hot potato, the Japanese foreign ministry turned away a South Korean diplomat, believed to

have been carrying Noda’s letter, at the gate of the ministry building, NHK footage showed. “I’m sorry to say this, but returning a diplomatic letter is below even being childish,” Senior Vice Foreign Minister Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi said at a

Nepalese bites snake in revenge attack KATHMANDU: A Nepalese farmer who was bitten by a venomous snake took revenge by sinking his teeth into the reptile and killing it, police said yesterday. Mohamed Salmo Miya was farming near his village 200 kilometres (125 miles) southeast of Kathmandu when he encountered the deadly common cobra, district police chief Uma Prasad Chatrubedi told AFP. “A farmer in Bardanga village has killed a white cobra with his teeth out of anger,” he said. “The snake bit him while he was working in his paddy field on Tuesday evening and the man chased it and killed it.”

Miya was treated at a local clinic and is recovering at home. “I was very angry after the snake bit into me. Then I followed the snake, grabbed it and bit it to death,” the 55-year-old told the Nepali-language Annapurna Post. “I could have killed it with a stick but I was mad with anger and wanted to take revenge. I killed it with my teeth.” Nepal has a wide variety of poisonous and non-venomous snakes, which are particularly active during the summer monsoon, including the Indian rock python, which can grow up to 10 metres (33 feet) long, and the deadly king cobra. —AFP

press conference. The letter was subsequently put in the post, registered delivery, a spokesman at the foreign ministry in Seoul said. Despite their strong economic ties, the two countries have a frequently uneasy relationship, in which historical animosities constantly play in the background. That relationship has sharply worsened since Lee paid a surprise August 10 visit to the Seoul-controlled islands, known as Dokdo in Korean and Takeshima in Japan. He said his trip, the first by a South Korean president, was intended to press Japan to settle grievances left over from its colonial rule in Korea from 1910-45. Lee further angered Japan by saying later that Emperor Akihito must sincerely apologise for past excesses should he wish to visit South Korea. Noda’s letter said Lee’s visit to the islands and his call on the emperor were “regrettable”, Kyodo News said. The Japanese PM upped the ante in Tokyo yesterday, telling lawmakers Lee’s remark “considerably deviates from common sense” and the president “should apologise for and retract it”. He said Japan was keeping a cool head, but Seoul needed to calm down. —AFP

International FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2012

Abbas waging ‘diplomatic terror’: Lieberman JERUSALEM: Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas is waging “diplomatic terror” against Israel, which is as dangerous as the violent threat posed by Hamas, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said yesterday. It was his second personal attack on the Palestinian president in days and came after he called for world powers to force elections in the Palestinian Authority in a bid to replace him and revive the stagnant peace process. Speaking to Israeli public radio, Lieberman accused the Palestinians of using two forms of “terror” to attack Israel, with Hamas managing the armed version, and Abbas-or Abu Mazen as he is commonly known-taking

the diplomatic track. “There is a division of labour between (Hamas premier Ismail) Haniya and Abu Mazen,” he said. “Haniya and (exiled Hamas chief) Khaled Meshaal are leading armed terrorism, Abu Mazen leads diplomatic terrorism and I’m not sure which is more dangerous to us.” Lieberman, who head the ultranationalist Yisrael Beitenu party, accused Abbas of leading “a campaign of incitement against Israel in the international arena. “He calls Israel an apartheid state... accuses us of war crimes, initiates various investigations against us in the (UN) Human Rights Council,” he said. On Tuesday,

Lieberman sent a letter to the Middle East peacemaking Quartet in which he said Abbas “apparently is uninterested or unable... to reach an agreement which would bring an end to the conflict.” “General elections in the PA should be held, and a new, legitimate, hopefully realistic Palestinian leadership should be elected,” he wrote, sparking an angry response from Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina, who described it as “inflammatory.” Direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians began in September 2010 but ran aground several weeks later over an intractable dispute about settlement building. — AFP

Bahrain activist acquitted Court voids conviction over critical tweet

MARIKANA: A woman cries as victims’ names are read during a memorial service held at Mthatha Methodist Church for the 44 people killed in a wildcat strike at Lonmin’s Marikana mine yesterday. — AFP

S Africans mourn victims of platinum mine carnage MARIKANA: South Africans held a memorial service yesterday at a platinum mine where police shot dead 34 strikers, bloodshed that revived memories of apartheid-era violence and laid bare workers’ anger over enduring inequalities since the end of white rule. Some 500 people crammed into a marquee pitched at the platinum mine, near what has been dubbed the “Hill of Horror” where police shot dead 34 striking miners in the deadliest security incident since apartheid ended in 1994. Crowds spilled out into the scorched, dusty fields outside, listening to hymns and prayers. Women wrapped in blankets wept and mourners placed flowers at the scene. Other memorials took place around the country, including downtown Johannesburg. “Such a killing of people, of children, who haven’t done anything wrong and they didn’t have to die this way,” said Baba Goloza whose two sons died. He blamed mine owner Lonmin for not taking care of its workers at its Marikana mine, northwest of Johannesburg Violence between rival labour unions exposed deadly levels of anger about low wages and what is seen as political favouritism in Africa’s biggest economy. Ten people were killed in the turf war between rival unions, including two police officers and a union shop steward hacked to death with machetes. The incident has highlighted the African National Congress’s (ANC) failure to ease income disparity which remains among the worst in the world while many of its members are accused of

using political connections to get rich. Rich grow richer The powerful National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), one of the rival groups at Lonmin, has been a launchpad to political power for several senior officials at the ANC - the former liberation movement that has held power since the end of apartheid. ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe, President Jacob Zuma’s right-hand man, was an NUM leader before joining the party. The NUM’s rival, the newer Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union has sought support among workers who want more pay for their dangerous and dirty work, saying the NUM is not getting them a good deal and is too close to the mining companies - claims the NUM denies. Zuma has set up a panel to investigate the killings but remains under attack from political rivals who accuse his government of poor policing and caring more for corporate interests than workers’ rights. Several miners expressed anger at government ministers for visiting earlier in the week in luxury cars, driving past shantytowns and garbage-strewn fields around the mine. “They come here in big fancy cars and bodyguards. They know nothing about being poor,” one miner said to his colleagues as they listened to speeches. South Africa’s per capita GDP is over $8,000 a year but nearly 40 percent of the population live on less than $3 a day. Miners’ wages have risen but many struggle to support an average of eight to 10 dependents. — Reuters

DUBAI: A Bahrain appeals court acquitted leading rights activist Nabeel Rajab yesterday of insulting some Bahrainis in a tweet criticising the veteran prime minister, his lawyer said, but he remains in jail over other convictions. Bahrain, where the US Fifth Fleet is based as a bulwark against Iran and any threats to oil shipping out of the Gulf, has been in turmoil for 18 months with majority Shite Muslims agitating for democratic reforms in the Sunni-ruled kingdom. Rajab, founder of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, was sentenced in July to three months in prison for suggesting via Twitter that residents of Al-Muharraq district had made a recent show of support for Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa, the prime minister, only for financial gain. “The judge ruled his innocence. Nabeel and representatives of many foreign embassies were present. I was able to meet him for a few minutes,” lawyer Mohammed Al-Jishi told Reuters. The state news agency BNA said the judge acquitted Rajab because he was not satisfied with the evidence put forward. Rajab has led many demonstrations calling for a reduction in the powers of the Al-Khalifa dynasty that has long ruled the Gulf Arab state. Analysts see the prime minister as a pillar of steadfastness in the government against opposition demands. A hero to protesters but villain for those Bahrainis who fear the protests will bring Shite Islamists to power, Rajab was sentenced to three years in prison last week on three charges of leading protests. Prosecutors said Rajab had incited violence against police. Rights groups and Western governments criticised that case and the appeals court is due to examine it on Sept 10. Shite-led unrest has persisted since a period of martial law last year that put down the uprising. The sides trade blame for almost daily outbreaks of street violence.Opposition parties led by the Shite group Wefaq are demanding full powers for the elected parliament to legislate and form governments. Many Shites complain of political and economic marginalisation, a charge the government denies. In response to the unrest, the Al-Khalifas have increased parliament’s powers of scrutiny over ministers and say policing is being revamped to conform with international standards. Though the United States has pushed Bahrain’s rulers to resolve the conflict through talks, it values close relations with the ruling family since it allows the US Fifth Fleet to run its operations out of a Manama base. Bahrain has been caught in a regional competition for predominance between Iran and US-backed Saudi Arabia. Riyadh sent troops to shore up the government last year, while Iran has positioned itself as a champion of the opposition’s cause while denying accusations that it is orchestrating the unrest. Fifth Fleet warships help ensure oil exports flow freely out of the Gulf. Iran has threatened a blockade if its protracted stand-off with Western powers over its disputed nuclear programme degenerates into conflict. — Reuters

MANAMA: In this photo, a supporter hangs an image of prominent Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab, demanding his release. — AP

Hippo stuck in swimming pool JOHANNESBURG: A hefty hippo chased away from his herd at a South African game reserve has found a refreshing place to relax: the lodge’s swimming pool. Now it’s stuck there. The young hippopotamus plopped into the pool on Tuesday at the Monate Conservation Lodge north of Johannesburg. Isabel Wentzel of South Africa’s National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says the pool has no steps. Wentzel says a game capture team will sedate the hippo and lift it out of the pool with a crane. Much of the water has been drained to make the extraction easier. Because the hippo was chased away by his herd, it will be moved to a new location. — AP

International FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2012

‘Bomb detectors’ put Iraqi lives at risk BAGHDAD: An Iraqi soldier walks past a line of cars at an entrance to Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, looking for the silver antenna of the bomb detector he holds to swing left, indicating a threat. But however closely the camouflage-uniformed soldier watches the plastic pistol-gripped “detector” as he paces slowly past the cars, it will not lead him to any bombs or weapons, except by chance-it, like others used at checkpoints across Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq, is worthless. Evidence that the devices do not work has been available for years, but that has not stopped Iraq from continuing to employ them at checkpoints across the country, including those guarding highly sensitive areas such as the Green Zone, where the Iraqi government is headquartered. Though violence in Iraq is down compared to past years, the country is still plagued by bombings and shootings, which killed 325 people in July, according to official figures-the highest monthly toll in almost two years. And attacks during the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which began in July and ended in August, left at least 409 people dead. Faced with such conditions, Iraq cannot afford to rely on non-functioning equipment, but it does, with security forces using the “detectors” to determine which vehicles need extra scrutiny at check-

Turkey probes possible Iran link in bombing ISTANBUL: Turkey has said it is investigating whether another country, possibly Iran, was involved in an explosion that killed nine people near Syria earlier this week. The announcement reflects concern about spillover from the war in Syria as well as increasing tension with Iran, a regional power that supports Syrian President Bashar Assad. Turkey blamed a Kurdish rebel group, the PKK, for the attack in the southern city of Gaziantep. In a separate incident near the Iraqi border, Turkish media reported yesterday that five soldiers and 16 Kurdish militants died in a night-time ambush of a military convoy and an ensuing operation by security forces. Some Turkish officials allege there are links between the PKK, which denied it carried out the bombing, and Syrian intelligence. Turkey backs the Syrian opposition in its war with forces loyal to Assad, and relations between Ankara and Damascus have sharply deteriorated since the conflict began in March 2011. In an interview Wednesday night with CNN-Turk television, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc left open the possibility that Iran might be a culprit in Monday’s bombing near a police station in Gaziantep. “It’s not just about Syria - connected to it or limited to it,” Arinc said. “All foreign elements who may be involved in our geography.” Asked if that included Iran, he said: “It could be Iran, it could be here or it could be there.” Turkey and Iran have expanded trade in past years and tamped down their traditional rivalry, but sharp differences over the Syrian conflict as well as Turkey’s decision to host a NATO radar that would send a warning if Iran fires missiles have led to increasingly tense rhetoric on both sides. Hossein Naghavi, spokesman for Iran’s parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy, suggested that Turkey was jeopardizing its own security with its Syria policy and that the bombing in Gaziantep was the result of “terrorist groups” that were reacting to its position. “Turkey is now facing an internal crisis and it would be better for it to solve its own domestic problems rather than intervening and expressing hostile remarks” against Syria, Naghavi said Tuesday in remarks carried by ICANA, the news website of the Iranian parliament. In July, Turkish media reported that a dozen people suspected of links to the Al-Qaeda network were detained in southern cities, including Gaziantep. US officials and others worry that Syria could become a new foothold for insurgents inspired by Al-Qaeda who are currently fighting on the opposition’s side. In an analysis published just before the Gaziantep bombing, Stratfor, a US research center, said Turkey faced the possibility of a backlash. “If Ankara is expanding its involvement in Syria, it will do so in a measured fashion because it will be fearful of pushback from the Syrian regime and Iran via the Kurds,” the report said. — AP

points. The ADE 651 “bomb detectors” in use in Iraq were made by British firm Advanced Tactical Security & Communications Ltd (ATSC). It made a number of fantastical claims about the devices, including that they could pick up substances ranging from explosives to ivory at up to 1,000 metres (3,280 feet) on the ground or 3,000 metres (9,842 feet) from the air, using credit card-sized “sensor cards”. The reality, however, proved to be rather different. In early 2010, ATSC director Jim McCormick was arrested in Britain, which banned the export of the ADE 651 devices to Iraq and Afghanistan. Britain’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said that “tests have shown that the technology used in the ADE 651 and similar devices is not suitable for bomb detection.” Following those revelations, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered an investigation into the devices. But government spokesman Ali Al-Dabbagh told AFP about a month later that the inquiry had found that “more than 50 percent are good, and the rest we will change,” leaving the devices in use. Prosecutors in Britain have meanwhile charged six men, including McCormick, with fraud in connection with various types of fake detectors.—AFP

BAGHDAD: An Iraqi security officer holds a bomb detector device equipped with a silver antenna at a checkpoint in AlSaadun street. — AFP

Syria vows to work with new UN envoy as fighting rages ‘Death is everywhere’ DAMASCUS: Syria said yesterday that it is ready to work with new UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi and hopes he can pave the way for “national dialogue,” even as fighting raged in both the capital and second city Aleppo. State media hailed the recapture by the army of three Christian neighbourhoods in the heart of Aleppo, but clashes between troops and rebel fighters raged in other parts of the city and in the southern belt of Damascus. Syria’s deputy foreign minister Faisal Muqdad accused neighbouring Turkey of providing the rebels with arms and rear bases, as Turkish and US officials held talks on hastening President Bashar AlAssad’s fall. Muqdad said Damascus would cooperate with Brahimi, the veteran Algerian diplomat named as UN-Arab League envoy to replace former UN chief Kofi Annan after his announcement on August 2 that he was stepping down following the failure to implement his six-point peace plan. “We have informed the United Nations that we accept the appointment of Mr Brahimi,” Muqdad told a Damascus news conference. “We are looking forward to seeing... what ideas he is giving for potential solutions for the problem here,” he added. Muqdad’s comments came after Damascus on Monday sharply criticised comments by the new envoy that a civil war was already underway in Syria and that his mission was to end it. Muqdad said he hoped Brahimi would help kick-start a process of national dialogue. “There will be no winners in Syria, as the West is betting there will be. Syria will win, thanks to its people, its leader and its government, which will make the right choices in the midst of these difficult circumstances,” he said. Muqdad said “foreign interference” was the leading cause of the 17-month-conflict, which the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said yesterday has now killed nearly 25,000 people since March last year. “The (factors) that have fuelled this crisis are well-known-armed groups, terrorist groups supported by regional circles, including the dangerous support by Turkey of terrorist gangs, providing these with sophisticated weapons,” he said.

Turkey has repeatedly denied giving arms to the rebels but it has given sanctuary to the defecting soldiers who formed the original kernel of the Free Syrian Army as well as to tens of thousands of civilian refugees. Turkish and US officials held their first “operational planning” meeting aimed at hastening the end of Assad’s regime. Turkish foreign ministry deputy undersecretary Halit Cevik and US ambassador Elisabeth Jones led the delegations made up of intelligence agents, military officials and diplomats at the Ankara talks, a foreign ministry source told AFP. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced plans for the forum following talks in Istanbul on August 11 as Washington signalled it was looking for new ways to put pressure on Assad after his traditional allies Beijing and Moscow blocked action at the UN Security Council. ‘Fear is everywhere’ Aleppo residents reported heavy exchanges in the heart of the city during the army’s recapture of three Christian neighbourhoods seized by the rebels at the weekend. “We have had the worst two days

of our lives,” Sonia, the wife of a wealthy businessman in the northern city which is also Syria’s commercial capital, told AFP by telephone. “If our house weren’t built like a fortress, we’d all be dead,” said the resident of Telal, which the army seized on Wednesday along with Jdeide and Sulamaniyeh. Jdeide and Telal were once frequented by tourists for their restaurants and handicraft shops but the heavy fighting between troops and fighters has left streets deserted apart from local youths on patrol, residents said. After more than a month of fighting, the battle for Aleppo continued with fierce clashes and bombardment in other neighbourhoods of the city yesterday, militants and residents said. In the capital, fighting focused on a belt of southern neighbourhoods and suburbs where opposition to the government runs strong, activists said. “Parts of Damascus look like Gaza, with the army deployed on the outside, setting up major checkpoints, but unable to get in,” said a Damascus resident and opposition activist who identified herself as Samara. “Fear is everywhere,” she told AFP via Skype. —AFP

AZAZ: A Syrian girl, who fled her home with her family due to fighting between the Syrian army and the rebels, sleeps by her family’sbelongings, while she and others take refuge at the Bab Al-Salameh border crossing, in hopes of entering one of the refugee camps in Turkey. — AP

International FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2012

Nigerian Islamists rule out peace talks Boko Haram says no talks unless govt embraces sharia

LONDON: An arrangement of British daily newspapers photographed shows the front-page headlines and stories regarding nude pictures of Britain’s Prince Harry. — AFP

Photos of naked prince raise security questions LONDON: They were embarrassing, silly, and raunchy. But were they a security breach? A day after nude photographs of Prince Harry ricocheted across the Internet, security experts were wondering whether the Scotland Yard officers assigned to keep the 27-year-old royal safe from harm might have done a better job of keeping him out of trouble. “The Yard is going to get some flack over this, and rightly so,” said Ken Wharfe, a former bodyguard to Princess Diana and her sons William and Harry. Security costs for the royal family aren’t made public, but security experts estimate that British taxpayers spends between 30 million and 100 million pounds ($48 million and $159 million) a year keeping the royals safe. Dai Davies, a former head of the force’s royal protection branch, said that at that price, the public had a right to expect Harry’s bodyguards to keep a close eye on the prince - and for the prince himself not to take any unnecessary risks. “He’s a single man (but) there has to be a degree of responsibility and caution,” Davies said. “Surely we have to learn from history. The press love this.” As Davies suggested, the media has been responsible for a string of high-profile - and occasionally troubling - intrusions into royals’ lives. Photographers’ long lenses have repeatedly snapped embarrassing pictures of family members in various states of undress, while tabloid staffers infamously eavesdropped on mobile phone voicemail messages belonging to members of the royal household, touching off a scandal which is still reverberating in Britain and beyond. One reporter from the Daily Mirror even managed to get hired as a palace staffer, filing dispatches about the queen’s breakfasting habits and photos of the royal cornflakes. There have been more criminal intrusions too: In 1982, a burglar broke into Buckingham and spent 10 minutes talking to the queen in her bedroom. He was arrested after she summoned a footman. What precisely Harry did in Las Vegas last Friday still isn’t clear. Celebrity gossip site TMZ, which published the nude pictures on Tuesday, said Harry was playing strip billiards with party-goers at the tail end of a wild Las Vegas visit which also reportedly involved a raucous swimming race with US Olympian Ryan Lochte. The blurry, low-resolution photos show Harry cavorting with an unidentified young woman and with his back turned to the camera, suggesting that the photos might have been taken surreptitiously, perhaps with a smartphone. Wharfe wondered whether police should have screened Harry’s guests, or perhaps asked them to check their phones at the door. “If it were me, I’d say, ‘Sir, I don’t mind you having your fun but whoever comes in that door I need to know who it is, where they are from and if they have any mobile phones they have to leave them at the door,’” he said. Scotland Yard chief Bernard Hogan-Howe, speaking Wednesday, said royal bodyguards were there to protect Harry, not “to regulate his life.” Davies acknowledged that Harry may have put his protection officers in a difficult position by inviting guests back to his hotel room, but said everyone needed to be on the lookout for a threat. “One has to be aware in the 21st century attacks can come from all quarters . and although someone looks attractive, doesn’t mean they have the same intentions than you do,” he said. “Certainly getting your pants down is not preparing yourself. Well, not for a threat anyways.” He said he didn’t agree with Hogan-Howe’s comments. “The role of protection officer is to protect the principal,” he said. “Protect the principal from himself, on occasion.” — AP

MAIDUGURI: Nigerian Islamist sect Boko Haram ruled out yesterday holding peace talks with the government and threatened to strike media houses it said fight the group “with the pen”. The local press and at least two foreign news organisations have reported that talks are going on between the government and the militants who have been staging an insurgency against it, citing unnamed sources. Information minister Labaran Maku declined comment on Wednesday on the talks, citing government instructions not to discuss the issue. Since launching an insurgency against the government in 2009 with the avowed aim of turning all or part of religiously-mixed Nigeria into an Islamic state, Boko Haram has killed hundreds of people in near daily gun and bomb attacks. “We are telling the government to understand that if it is not ready to embrace sharia (Islamic law) and the Koran as the guiding book from which the laws of the land derive, there shall be no peace,” the sect’s spokesman Abu Qaqa said in a written statement in the northeast city of Maiduguri, the heart of the rebellion. Boko Haram has replaced militancy in the creeks of the oil-producing Niger Delta as the biggest security threat to Nigeria, Africa’s top energy producer. A flurry of efforts to start talks followed

accusations early this year that President Goodluck Jonathan was treating the crisis too narrowly as a security issue. But attempts at dialogue are complicated by Boko Haram’s shadowy nature and the fact there sometimes appears to be more than one faction. The main one, led by Abubakar Shekau, has never shown any overt interest in dialogue. Qaqa also threatened media houses, recalling the sect’s dual bomb attack on local newspaper ThisDay in the capital Abuja and northern city of Kaduna in April that killed five people. “They should understand that for us there is no difference between those fighting with arms and with the pen,” he said. Failed talks A group of governors from Nigeria’s largely Muslim north set up a committee on Wednesday tasked with trying to reach out to the Islamists. The committee is chaired by Bagangida Aliyu, the governor of Niger state, which has been plagued by insecurity. It would aim to “get to the root of the security challenges and... dialogue with any identified groups with a view to negotiating the way out of the menace,” it said on Wednesday. However, the outcome of any such initiative remains uncertain. Though Boko Haram’s anger is directed towards the southern Christian-dominat-

ed central government, it also rails against the northern elites, whom it regards as corrupt and unIslamic. The closest the militants have come to talks with the government was in March, when a former ally of Boko Haram’s founder Mohammed Yusuf, who was killed in police custody in 2009, called Datti Ahmed attempted to establish links. The talks fell apart within days. “Ever since that attempt at dialogue was aborted there has not been any move for dialogue that we agreed till date,” Abu Qaqa said in yesterday’s statement. The group has been weakened by recent arrests and the deaths of senior figures, analysts say, and has not managed to launch a massively deadly coordinated attack since one that killed 186 people in Kano in January, though it remains a lethal force. The sect claimed responsibility for violence in Jos, in Nigeria’s volatile ‘Middle Belt’, that killed 63 people last month, although security forces blamed local ethnic rivalries. Qaqa rejected a report in a US newspaper that government officials had met a Boko Haram commander called Abu Mohammed in Saudi Arabia, denying the man even existed. “We’ve heard about those who go about using our names in order to collect huge sums of money from the government. We are warning you,” he said. — Reuters

Ethiopia mourns amid political preparations ADDIS ABABA: Ethiopians mourned yesterday the passing of both their political and religious leaders, as preparations continued for a handover to strongman prime minister Meles Zenawi’s interim successor. The funeral of Abune Paulos, the patriarch of the powerful Ethiopian Orthodox Church, who died last week aged 76, was held yesterday. Some three thousand people, including priests dressed in yellow flowing robes and carrying staffs, along with crowds of nuns and politicians, massed outside the Church of Saint Selassie in Addis Ababa. “It is very sad to lose two people in less than two weeks, it is very sad for everyone,” said Eleni Zewdu, a mourner at the funeral. “I’m deeply saddened because we have lost our father,” said another mourner, Haile Asgedom. “They were both great people, great leaders, so everyone is saddened by it.” Still, it was the death of Meles, who ruled the Horn of Africa nation with an iron fist for 21 years, that dominated discussions in the city and in the news media. Foreign affairs spokesman Dina Mufti confirmed yesterday that Meles’s funeral would be held on September 2, without giving further details. Meles died overnight Monday to Tuesday following a long illness. The 57-year-old had not been seen in public since the G20 summit in Mexico in June. State television continued to pay tribute to Meles, while his portrait appeared on the front pages of newspapers. The Reporter ran a full-page picture beneath the headline “Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, 1955-2012”. Deputy Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, 47, who has also been foreign minister since 2010, will take over interim power, officials have said. He is expected to be sworn in as interim leader at an extraordinary parliament session in the coming days. He had been due to be sworn in yesterday, but that was later cancelled, possibly as it clashed with the funeral of Abune Paulos. However, government spokesman Bereket Simon said the

parliamentary meeting was cancelled because lawmakers wanted more time to mourn Meles’s death. “Parliament is asking that they have to be given time to mourn the prime minister as they are members, representatives of his constituency,” Bereket told AFP. He did not say when the emergency session is scheduled, only that it could take place “at any time”. Bereket has said Hailemariam would remain in the post until elections in 2015, although he must first be formally chosen as head of the ruling party, likely later this year. Analysts have suggested that several others are also in the running for the top job. Abune Paulos, who died after a long illness, was the patriarch of Ethiopia’s Orthodox Church since 1992, when he was elected to the highest order of the denomination. Some twothirds of Ethiopia’s 84 million people are Christian, the majority following the Orthodox faith. Meles for his part was a key Western ally in a region that is home to Al-Qaeda-linked groups. But while world leaders praised his legacy, rights groups said his death offered a chance to end a brutal crackdown on basic freedoms. He was regularly singled out as one of the continent’s worst human rights predators, and Amnesty International has called on the country’s new leaders to end his government’s “ever-increasing repression”. Human Rights Watch called for the next administration to repeal a much-criticised 2009 anti-terrorism law, under which several opposition figures and journalists, including two Swedes, have been jailed for lengthy terms. But he leaves behind a complex legacy at home. Meles-who also had strong trade links with China-was credited with Ethiopia’s economic boom in the past decade, with growth shooting from 3.8 percent in the 1990s to 10 percent in 2010. His death also leaves a major power gap in the region, with Ethiopia playing a key role in the fortunes of many of its neighbours. — AFP

International FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2012

Thousands relocated from China’s Three Gorges dam HUANGTUPO: China relocated 1.3 million people during the 17 years it took to complete the Three Gorges dam. Even after finishing the $59 billion project last month, the threat of landslides along the dam’s banks will force tens of thousands to move again. It’s a reminder of the social and environmental challenges that have dogged the world’s largest hydroelectric project. While there has been little protest among residents who will be relocated a second time, the environmental fallout over other big investments in China has become a hot-button issue ahead of a leadership transition this year. In some cases, protests have forced the scrapping of multi-billion dollar projects. The most recent was on July 28, when Chinese officials cancelled an industrial waste pipeline after anti-pollution demonstrators occupied a government office in the eastern city of Qidong, destroying computers and overturning cars. “If the government says you have to move, you move,” said Shuai Linxiang, a 57year-old woman among 20,000 people to be relocated from Huangtupo, where they were resettled in 1998. “We can’t oppose them.” The Three Gorges dam was completed in July when its final turbine joined the national grid and the facility reached its full capacity of 22.5 gigawatts, more than enough to power Pakistan or Switzerland. As the dam was being built on the Yangtze River, in central Hubei province, authorities moved 1.3 million people who lived in what became its 1,045 sq km (405 sq mile) reservoir, an area greater in size than Singapore. Reuters was recently given a rare tour of the 181-metre (600-ft) tall dam and reservoir. In a sign of how sensitive the fresh relocations are, plainclothes security men and people who identified themselves as officials from the “news department” followed Reuters reporters around the area for three days, hindering interviews by intimidating locals with their presence. Since word of the new resettlement has filtered out, Shuai and her neighbours have become known in China as “Three Gorges’ immigrants, once again”. They were moved to Huangtupo in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when the reservoir began to consume their original town. Besides 20,000 people in Huangtupo, another 100,000 may be moved in the next three to five years because of geological risks, Liu Yuan, an official with the Ministry of Land and Resources in Beijing said in April, according to state-run China National Radio. The number of “geological hazards” had risen 70 percent since water levels in the reservoir reached a maximum of 175 metres (574 ft), he said, without elaborating, although he was believed to be referring to landslides. Liu could not be reached for comment. Landslides in Huangtupo had been exacerbated by changes in water levels in the reservoir, said Fan Xiao, a geologist for a government-linked institute in southwestern Sichuan province, who studied conditions there in 2006. Dam officials lower water levels by as much as 30 metres during the summer in anticipation of floods, and raise them in winter. —Reuters

Philippine police arrest 350 people in China scam Conmen target retirees MANILA: Philippine police said they arrested more than 350 people yesterday involved in a major telephone scam that swindled people out of millions of dollars in Taiwan and mainland China. At least 357 suspects, believed to be mostly from Taiwan and China, were arrested after simultaneous raids on 20 houses across Manila, said Senior Superintendent Ranier Idio, deputy chief of an anti-organised crime task force. “This is a big syndicate. They go for the millions (of dollars),” he told reporters. The gang would pose as police and government prosecutors, telling their victims by telephone that they had legal problems and they would have to transfer money to a certain account to settle the matter, said Idio. He said the group would carefully check their intended victims’ background to make sure they could pay up before they struck. They chose to operate in the Philippines to avoid Chinese police and because of the country’s proximity to China and Taiwan, according to Idio. Police said many of their victims were elderly retirees. Numerous computers and telephone systems were recovered in the raid, Idio added. The arrested suspects included both men and women but it was difficult to get further details out of them as they declined to answer most questions, said Senior Inspector Robert Reyes, one of the investigators. “Mostly, they are not cooperative. We don’t know if they can’t speak English or if they just don’t want to talk,” he told AFP. Envoys from mainland China and Taiwan

were at the police centre, determining where the suspects had originated from, police said. The syndicate, operating in cells, would bring their gang members to the Philippines in small groups and put them up in rented houses in upscale neighbourhoods to avoid raising suspicion, police said. Two Filipinos who facilitated the entry of the foreigners were also arrested. Reyes said police suspected the group was

linked to 78 Taiwanese suspects who were arrested in the southern Philippines in April, also for using telephone systems to obtain money from mainland China and Taiwan. The Taiwanese were later deported to face charges at home, authorities said. The latest suspects could be charged with a law penalising the use of telecom systems to commit fraud, Reyes said. If convicted, they could face six to 20 years in jail. — AFP

LAGUNA: Some 357 Taiwanese and Chinese nationals wait to be processed in a gymnasium at the Philippine National Police’ Camp Vicente Lim in Laguna province yesterday. — AP

China tough on Tokyo but reins in activism BEIJING: Wu Qingjun is no dissident. In fact, his pet issue- China’s claim over islands controlled by Japan - aligns him squarely with Beijing’s government. But that didn’t stop authorities from sending four agents to tail him for 24 hours. As Beijing continues a tense war of words with Tokyo over a set of islands in the East China Sea, it is quietly reining in anti-Japanese activists at home, trying to keep them from staging protests that could threaten relations with Tokyo or even backfire into criticisms of the communist

government. The government’s sensitivity over protests that took place in several Chinese cities on Sunday over the set of islands - known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan - reflects its perpetual fear that allowing its people too much freedom to hold protests - any protests - could snowball into domestic dissidence. The four state security agents sent to watch over Wu ahead of a planned protest in his hometown of Changsha in southern China ended their surveillance only after the protest was well over.

He was thwarted in his plan to deliver calcium pills to the local military base in a gesture aimed at telling his government to show more fortitude in the dispute. “They need to have a stronger backbone,” Wu said. “Our government has failed to protect its own interests.” Veteran activists involved in previous anti-Japanese campaigns say police have prevented them from taking part in protests in several Chinese cities this past week and that they remain under watch. —AP

Australia PM denies gaining from fund CANBERRA: Australia’s leader denied she personally benefited from helping a boyfriend set up a union fund 17 years ago, comprehensively addressing the scandal yesterday for the first time in a likely acknowledgement that silence could harm her party’s election chances next year. The accusations have dogged Prime Minister Julia Gillard for years but her news conference came after The Australian newspaper, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Ltd, apologized on its website for reporting in yesterday’s print edition that Gillard had set up the trust fund in 1995 for Bruce Wilson, a top official with the Australian Workers Union. Gillard was a lawyer at the time and had

in fact only given legal advice to Wilson, then her live-in romantic partner. News Ltd, which owns 70 percent of Australian newspapers, has apologized and retracted three reports in five years relating to the union fund. Gillard ended her relationship with Wilson after he was accused of corruption regarding the fund; police investigated him but he was never charged. “I had no involvement in the working of the association,” Gillard said. “I provided advice in relation to its establishment and that was it.” “In these circumstances where I am seeing recycled again false and defamatory material attacking my character, I have determined that I will deal with these issues,” she told reporters, adding that she

will not sue New Ltd for defamation. “It’s very, very hard... to explain why three times these defamatory allegations would come around when on every occasion News Ltd has ended up apologizing for them and retracting them,” she said. Gillard said she believed at the time the trust fund was solely meant to support electioneering and fundraising by union officials. News Ltd newspapers, led by The Australian, have been publishing previously unseen internal law firm documents this past week that suggest she resigned from her partnership at the law firm over the union fund scandal. The renewed accusations come as Gillard’s center-left Labor Party government

plans to announce new media controls before the end of the year. The government opened an inquiry into possibly increasing newspaper regulation in Australia after News Corp closed its top-selling British tabloid News of the World last year over illegal phone hacking allegations. Gillard gave the assurance that the regulations would not reflect her recent personal differences with News Ltd. “My thinking about media regulation will not be defined by these events. I’ve well and truly got my eyes on the public policy questions and the future,” she said. Australian general elections are due in 2013, and current polls suggest Gillard and her Labor Party government would fall to the opposition. — AP

International FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2012

Life or death decisions for India’s new president Critics question gravity of death penalty

NOWSHERA: A Pakistani girl sits in her house flooded by heavy rains in Pakistan. — AP

Heavy rain, floods kill 21 in Pakistan ISLAMABAD: Flash floods triggered by heavy rain have killed more than 20 people and destroyed hundreds of houses in northern Pakistan, officials said yesterday. Irshad Bhatti, a spokesman for the country’s National Disaster Management Authority, said the extent of the damage was still being assessed. The majority of the deaths were reported in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, where at least 12 people were killed, Bhatti said, mostly when mud-brick buildings collapsed. Nine died in flooding in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Adnan Khan, an official from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa said he feared the death toll could rise. “Dozens of families have suffered and their houses were destroyed, several people are still missing” Khan told AFP. Weather officials are predicting heavy rain in the next three days and rescue teams are closely monitoring the situation, Bhatti said. Floods in Pakistan in the summer of 2011 affected 5.8 million people, with floodwaters killing livestock, destroying crops, homes and infrastructure as the nation struggled to recover from record inundations the previous year. — AFP

HRW slams Bangladesh’s ‘cruel’ Rohingya policy ] Human Rights Watch yesterday blasted the Bangladeshi government’s “cruel” restrictions on humanitarian aid to Rohingya Muslim refugees fleeing persecution and violence in neighbouring Myanmar. The South Asian nation last month ordered three international charities-Doctors Without Borders, Action Against Hunger and Muslim Aid UK-to stop giving aid to the Rohingya because it might encourage a fresh influx. Bangladesh is already home to some 300,000 Rohingya and the country’s border forces have turned back scores of boats carrying hundreds more since sectarian violence broke out in Myanmar, formerly Burma, in June. “The Bangladeshi government is trying to make conditions for Rohingya refugees already living in Bangladesh so awful that people fleeing brutal abuses in neighboring Burma will stay home,” said HRW’s refugee policy director Bill Frelick. “This is a cruel and inhumane policy that should immediately be reversed,” he said. The New York-based rights group said Dhaka had signed the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which prohibits the country from denying those within its borders, including refugees, access to food and healthcare. The three charities provide water, healthcare, sanitation and other basic aid to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. Aid workers have said the conditions in the makeshift camps for Rohingya are among the worst in the world. Speaking a Bengali dialect similar to one in southeast Bangladesh, the Rohingya people are Muslims seen as illegal immigrants by Buddhist-majority Myanmar and viewed by the UN as one of the world’s most persecuted minorities. — AFP

NEW DELHI: Among the ceremonial invitations piled on the desk of India’s new president Pranab Mukherjee sits a small file that could provide the veteran politician with one of his biggest challenges. The folder contains 11 mercy petitions from condemned convicts for whom Mukherjee now represents the last legal obstacle between their death row cells and the hangman. As president, Mukherjee is required to decide on clemency petitions that are forwarded by the home ministry, in the final stage of India’s death penalty appeals process. It is largely an inherited challenge. India has more than 400 people on death row and the courts hand down fresh death sentences every year. But Mukherjee’s three presidential predecessors, while signing off on a number of recommendations for clemency, often stonewalled when it came to appeals the ministry recommended should be rejected. As a result, only one execution has taken place in 15 years-that of a former security guard hanged in 2004 for the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl. The lack of executions has led some to question why India retains a death penalty it so rarely enforces. Colin Gonsalves, an advocate in the Supreme Court and a founder of the Human Rights Law Network, points to surveys showing public opinion strongly in favour of capital punishment. “The idea of revenge is widely accepted here,” Gonsalves said. The ruling Congress Party is seen as having abolitionist leanings, but Gonsalves said it was unlikely to push for the death penalty to be eliminated, given its popular support. “If they try to abolish it, then the opposition will appropriate the issue and attack them,” Gonsalves said. Some legal experts believe the hiatus on executions partly reflects reluctance to hang people affiliated with an ethnic, religious or political group. The scheduled hanging of three Tamils for their role in the 1991 assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi triggered large protests in the southern state of Tamil Nadu last year and the executions

were eventually stayed. There were similar protests this year by Sikhs in Punjab over a Sikh radical scheduled to hang for his role in the assassination of a state chief minister in 1995, another execution stayed at the last minute. “The government has to wait and check which groups will be upset before you execute someone,” said Supreme Court advocate Sanjay Hegde. Other observers say the main cause of the lack of executions has been the actions-or not-of Mukherjee’s three predecessors, K R Narayanan, A P J Abdul Kalam and Pratibha Patil. The president’s powers in deciding clemency petitions are limited. The recommendation of the home ministry can be returned for reconsideration but only once, after which the president is constitutionally obliged to follow the ministry’s lead. However, there is no set time limit for providing the presidential signature, leaving room for endless delays. After taking office in 1997, Narayanan opted to sit on eight clemency petitions until his term expired. Kalam followed suit. As well as

the eight he inherited, he received 17 more, but acted on only two. One was approved and the other rejected-leading to India’s last execution in 2004. The growing list of 23 pending appeals was then passed on to Patil who received another nine petitions during her tenure. In an attempt to clear the backlog, Patil acted on the home ministry’s recommendations to grant clemency in 19 cases and refuse it in two, including the case of Rajiv Gandhi’s murderers. She left 11 for Mukherjee, among them several toxic cases including Mohammed Afzal Guru, a Kashmiri Muslim sentenced to death for his role in the 2001 attack on India’s parliament. Granting Afzal Guru clemency would risk a backlash, especially from Hindu right-wingers, while rejecting his appeal risks igniting Muslim separatist sentiment in volatile Kashmir. Mukherjee may also come under pressure to reject any petition from Mohammed Kasab, the sole surviving gunman from the 2008 Mumbai attacks, who was sentenced to death two years ago. —AFP

NEW DELHI: In a file picture, India’s new President Pranab Mukherjee waves after inspecting a guard of honour during a ceremony at the Presidential palace following his swearing-in ceremony. — AFP

Twitter agrees to block fake Indian PM accounts NEW DELHI: Twitter has agreed to remove six fake accounts which purport to be Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s following a request from the Indian government, the premier’s spokesman said yesterday. The government asked the micro-blogging website to remove the accounts on the grounds that they misrepresented the prime minister and risked increasing ethnic or religious tension. “Officials at Twitter have told us they are reviewing our request to remove the six fake PM accounts and they intend to cooperate,” Pankaj

Pachauri, Singh’s spokesman told AFP. “These accounts often feature mischievous, communalist (ethnic or religious) sentiments that can be misconstrued by Twitter users as coming from the prime minister himself,” he added. Twitter representatives were not immediately available to comment yesterday. The prime minister’s official account, @PMOIndia, was opened in January this year and has attracted 176,000 followers. The request to block the six fake accounts is part of an Internet crackdown by the government following a mass exodus of

migrants from the country’s northeast who fled southern cities such as Bangalore. Tens of thousands of people fled back to the remote northeast last week after Internet posts, phone text messages and doctored video clips messages spread rumours that they would be attacked by Muslims. The government has ordered social networking sites to take down provocative posts, and some online content has been blocked. Bulk text messages sent by mobile phones have also been temporarily banned. — AFP

International FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2012

Romney, Ryan pulled into abortion debate RALEIGH: Republicans Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan found themselves dragged into a debate Wednesday over hot-button social issues and answering for differences between their personal positions on abortion, just days before a national convention aimed at showing a unified Republican party. The discussion lingered while President Barack Obama and Romney tangled from afar over issues like education and the deficit. The GOP ticket dealt with a renewed focus on abortion in the wake of comments about “legitimate rape” from Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin, remarks that have caused an uproar and generated demands from Romney and party leaders for the congressman to quit the race. The questions over abortion overshadowed events by Romney and Ryan in the battleground states of Iowa, North Carolina and Virginia - three states which Obama carried in 2008 - ahead of next week’s Republican convention in Tampa, Fla. Obama rallied supporters in Nevada, the state with the nation’s highest unemployment rate of 12 percent, before heading to New York for a basketball-themed fundraiser. Since selecting Ryan as his running mate, Romney has faced questions about how his policy positions differ from those espoused by Ryan, the architect of a controversial budget blueprint that would dramatically alter Medicare. On abortion, Romney does not oppose abortion in cases of rape and incest or if it will save the mother’s life, while Ryan does oppose abortion in cases of rape and incest. Ryan, in an interview with a Pennsylvania TV station, emphasized Romney’s role at the top of the ticket, saying he was proud of his record on the social issue. “I stand by my pro-life record in Congress. It’s something I’m proud of. But Mitt Romney is the top of the ticket and Mitt Romney will be president and he will set the policy of the Romney administration,” he said. Ryan defended a bill he cosponsored in the House to permanently ban federal funding for abortion except in cases of incest and “forcible” rape. That language, which was eventually changed, would have narrowed the exception for rape victims. Akin and 225 other members of the House, including 11 Democrats, also cosponsored the bill. Akin, who is challenging Democratic Sen Claire McCaskill in a race that could determine control of the Senate, was asked in an interview that aired Sunday if abortion should be legal in cases of rape. Akin said: “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Obama mocked Akin’s words during a fundraiser in New York City, telling supporters Wednesday night that Akin, though a member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, “somehow missed science class.” Obama added: “It’s representative of the desire to go backwards instead of forwards and fight fights that we thought were settled 20 or 30 years ago.” Democrats have tried to tactfully steer the debate over abortion to appeal to female voters, including those living in hotly contested suburbs in battleground states such as Colorado, Florida, Ohio and Virginia. Obama did not address Akin’s comments while campaigning in Nevada, but his campaign honed in on the legislation related to federal funding for abortions. Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith said Ryan had “worked with Todd Akin to try to narrow the definition of rape and outlaw abortion even for rape victims.” A new AP-GfK poll found that Obama maintained a slight lead among women voters, with 50 percent of women backing the president and 44 percent supporting Romney. The gender gap was similar to a finding in a June AP-GfK poll. Men were more closely divided in the latest AP-GfK poll, with 49 percent for Romney and 44 percent for Obama. In the suburbs, the candidates were closely divided, with 47 percent supporting Romney and 44 percent for Obama. Akin has refused to heed calls to step down and now would need a court order by Sept 25 to leave the race. After that point, there would be no way to remove his name from the ballot. Ryan called the Missouri congressman and unsuccessfully urged him to exit the race, but he said he had no other plans to speak to him about it. “He’s going to run his campaign and we’re going to run ours,” Ryan said of Akin. Campaigning in Iowa, Romney avoided talk of social issues during a stop at a manufacturing company in Bettendorf, instead criticizing Obama for failing to bring down the nation’s debt and deficit. —AP

Tropical storm Isaac heads to Dominican Republic, Haiti Isaac spells disaster for 400,000 Haitians MIAMI: Tropical Storm Isaac headed toward the Dominican Republic early yesterday, as US forecasters warned that fierce weather would also hit Haiti where thousands still live in makeshift homes two years after a killer earthquake. Hurricane conditions are expected over parts of both countries, which share the island of Hispaniola, by today, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center projected. “Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion,” it urged in its 0900 GMT bulletin. A hurricane warning was in effect for all of Haiti as well as for most of the southern coast of the Dominican Republic. Packing slightly weaker gusts of up to 40 miles (65 kilometers) per hour, the storm was moving over the eastern Caribbean Sea and located about 225 miles southeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico, the NHC said. “Restrengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours and Isaac could still become a hurricane today before it reaches Hispaniola,” it warned. Isaac was expected to dump up to 20 inches (51 centimeters) of rain over the island, possibly spelling disaster for the 400,000 Haitians still huddled in makeshift after the nation’s devastating 2010 earthquake. “These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides,” the NHC warned, noting that Isaac was moving westward at 12 miles per hour. In Cuba, the storm forced the US military at Guantanamo to delay hearings for the five alleged plotters of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Commanders at the base have made hurricane preparations.

The NHC said the storm could strike Florida as early as Monday, when the US Republican National Convention opens in Tampa. Meteorologists, however, have cautioned that it is too early to accurately predict Isaac’s path and said it is unlikely to disrupt the convention. Republican delegates from around the country will be in Tampa for four days during which former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney will be formally nominated to challenge President Barack Obama in the November 6 election. A tropical storm warning was in effect for areas including Puerto Rico and the US and British Virgin Islands, south of which the storm’s center was expected to pass later yesterday. “For residents in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands who may be affected... it’s critical that you take this storm seriously and take steps now to prepare your families, homes and businesses,” US Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate said in a statement. FEMA has deployed teams to Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands to work with local officials on how to manage their response to any potential disaster. A tropical storm warning was in effect for the southeastern Bahamas, the Ragged Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Coming on the heels of Isaac was another tropical depression-to be named Joyce if gains tropical storm strength-that formed over the eastern tropical Atlantic, the NHC said. It was located 1,100 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands. — AFP

GUANTANAMO BAY: US military personnel on Naval Base Guantanamo Bay (Cuba) place sandbags around a building on the base to protect it from potential flooding associated with the upcoming tropical storm Isaac. — AFP

US first lady to see Sikh shooting victim families MILWAUKEE: The Sikh temple where a white supremacist killed six people earlier this month has been largely repaired. A crisp new American flag flies out front, prayer services have returned to a normal schedule and walls once scarred by gunfire are now covered with banners of support from around the world. While the Sikh community in the Milwaukee suburb of Oak Creek, Wisconsin, continues to mourn the dead, they have taken solace in one fact: The killing has drawn attention to their religion and given them a chance to share traditional Sikh messages of peace and justice with a global audience. A scheduled visit Thursday by first lady Michelle Obama offers one more opportunity to preach unity and compassion. “There’s a prayer we say twice a day, asking God to please give peace to everybody and give progress to every person in this birth,” said Inderjeet Singh Dhillon, one of the temple leaders. “We don’t mention a person’s name or color or religion. We just say one word for every human on earth.” There are an estimated 200,000 to 500,000 Sikhs living in America.

However, it’s not uncommon for Sikhs to keep to themselves, leaving non-Sikhs to wonder from afar about Sikh customs for example, why the men might have long beards and wear turbans. Sikh leaders in the US have tried to change that. They have encouraged people of all faiths to visit their temples and sit with them on the floor to partake of free meals. One of those leaders was Satwant Singh Kaleka, the president of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin and one of the six people killed Aug 5. Kaleka tried to fight off the gunman with a butter knife, buying time for others to hide in the temple. The gunman, white supremacist Wade Michael Page, later killed himself during an ensuing gun battle with police. Kaleka’s son, Amardeep Kaleka, said the gunman may have sought to divide the community, but his actions backfired. Addressing a crowd of hundreds at a candlelight vigil two days after the shooting, he said his father would have been thrilled to see so many Sikhs and non-Sikhs coming together as one.—AP

International FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2012

East Coast earthquake created a ‘new normal’ MINERAL: When the “Big One” rocked the East Coast one year ago, the earthquake centered on this rural Virginia town cracked ceiling tiles and damaged two local school buildings so badly that they had to be shuttered for good. Now as the academic year gets under way, students are reciting a new safety mantra: Drop, cover, and hold on. Earthquake drills are now as ubiquitous as fire drills at Louisa County schools in central Virginia, where 4,600 students were attending classes when the 5.8-magnitude quake struck nearby on Aug 23, 2011. Miraculously, no one was seriously hurt. “It’s the new normal,” Superintendent Deborah D Pettit said of the earthquake drills. “It’s become a normal part of the school routine and safety.” One such drill is planned for Thursday at 1:51 pm EDT - the precise moment a year ago when the quake struck. The unexpected jolt cracked the Washington Monument in spots and toppled delicate masonry high atop the National Cathedral. The shaking was felt far along the

densely populated Eastern seaboard from Georgia to New England. While West Coast earthquake veterans scoffed at what they viewed as only a moderate temblor, last year’s quake has changed the way officials along the East Coast view emergency preparedness. Emergency response plans that once focused on hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding and snow are being revised to include quakes. Some states have enacted laws specifically related to the quake, and there is anecdotal evidence of a spike in insurance coverage for earthquake damage. The quake was centered 3 to 4 miles beneath Mineral, a town of fewer than 500 people about 50 miles northwest of Richmond. Yet it was believed to have been felt by more people than any other in US history. The damage, estimated at more than $200 million, extended far beyond rural Louisa County. In the nation’s capital, the Washington Monument sustained several large cracks and remains closed indefinitely. The National Park Service plans next month to finalize the

contract to repair the Washington Monument. Repairs are expected to cost $15 million and require a massive scaffolding, and the landmark obelisk is likely to remain closed until 2014. The National Cathedral reopened last November, but repairs are expected to take years and cost $20 million. In Virginia, the North Anna Power Station became the first operating US nuclear power plant shut down because of an earthquake. Was it a once-in-a-century anomaly, or are there more quakes to come? Scientists are trying to answer that question as they pore over the data and survey the epicenter from the air. According to the US Geological Survey, much of central Virginia has been labeled for decades as an area of elevated seismic hazard. But last year’s quake was the largest known to occur in that seismic zone. “Scientists would like to know if this earthquake was Virginia’s ‘Big One,’” said J Wright Horton of the USGS. Meanwhile, the quake prompted several jurisdictions to revise their emergency response plans.—AP

California declares wildfire emergency 3,000 people evacuated

CARACAS: This combo of two file photos shows events for opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles (left) and Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez (right) in Caracas, Venezuela. — AP

In Venezuela race, Chavez has apparent money edge CARACAS: Opposition candidate Henrique Capriles typically runs his presidential campaign by jogging through Venezuela’s small towns, reaching out to supporters with both hands and climbing aboard the back of a flatbed truck to speak to hundreds of people. By contrast, President Hugo Chavez brings large sound trucks, a production team and a fleet of buses that carry supporters and government employees to plazas to cheer him on by the thousands. A little more than a month ahead of Venezuela’s Oct 7 election, Chavez enjoys clear advantages over his challenger in campaign funding and media access. While neither campaign has revealed how much it’s spending, Capriles says he is in a “David vs Goliath” contest, facing a well-financed incumbent backed by an even richer government. “We’re fighting against two checkbooks. There’s no way to compete economically speaking,” said Rafael Guzman, who is in charge of finances for the opposition coalition. He accused the government of using money from the state oil company, Petroleos de

Venezuela SA, and a separate development fund, Fonden, to support Chavez’s campaign and bankroll projects aimed at boosting his support. Chavez’s allies say Capriles is being backed by business tycoons including fugitive bankers who have fled the country and oppose the president. Chavez’s camp hasn’t provided details of those accusations. The law does not limit individual campaign contributions, though Guzman says the Capriles campaign caps donations it receives at a maximum of 2,000 bolivars ($465), even though people can make many such donations. He said all have come from individuals, none from companies. “We aren’t receiving anything from businesses,” Guzman said. So far, Capriles’ campaign doesn’t look like it’s rolling in wealth. It has even taken to holding raffles, fundraising dinners and weekend street fairs selling used clothes and donated food. Judith Beltran recently browsed through stands selling landscape paintings, handbags, underwear and used baby clothes at Caracas’ Petare slum, holding a bagful of clothes she’d just purchased.—AP

RED BLUFF: California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in three Northern California counties on Wednesday after a wildfire that has already destroyed 64 homes advanced with 75-foot flames on a tiny community at the doorstep of a national park. Firefighters scrambled to head off the so-called Ponderosa Fire, which had scorched 24,000 acres (9,700 hectares), before it reached the outskirts of Mineral, a community of less than 200 people just south of Lassen National Volcanic Park. Authorities issued an evacuation warning for Mineral as flames roared 75 feet (23 metres) high on the side of Highway 36, the main route into town, and burned through a rocky canyon where firefighters struggled to make a stand. Crews also bulldozed a trench to serve as a last line of defense between the fire and the town as thick smoke and ash choked the air for miles. “All the vegetation is ready to burn and so once the afternoon winds begin to blow up the canyon, those fuels burn aggressively and you have what we call blow-up conditions,” Chico Fire Division Chief Shane Lauderdale told Reuters. “It pushes the firefighters out of the area they are working and goes over the (containment) line and creates situations where we have to back out,” Lauderdale said. Beth Glenn, who said her family owns most of the businesses in tiny Mineral, said the town survived a fire that roared up the same canyon in the 1990s, but she worried the Ponderosa blaze could be worse. “I don’t know what’s going to happen tonight,” said Glenn, 58, whose motel and general store in the heart of Mineral were being used by fire officials to disseminate information to residents. Glenn said the fire had prompted cancellations for the motel during its typically busiest month of August, and she was forced to tell guests not to come after losing power for five days. Two small communities saved The lightning-sparked fire was threatening Mineral after crews had turned it away from two small communities to the west, Shingletown and Manton. All told, more than 3,000 people have been forced to flee their homes in the rural California counties of Tehama and Shasta, about 125 miles (200 km) north of the state capital, Sacramento, a lt hough evacuation orders had been lifted by Wednesday afternoon from Shingletown and several other areas. Highway 44, the main artery into Lassen Volcanic National Park, was also reopened, although portions of the Lassen National Park Highway were closed along with some trails and campgrounds, according to an alert on the park’s website.

The blaze was 50 percent contained as of Wednesday afternoon, fire officials said, but they listed 500 homes, 10 commercial properties and 30 outbuildings as still at risk of being consumed by the explosive fire. Officials say 64 homes had already been lost, along with 20 other structures. The Ponderosa fire is one of dozens burning across drought-parched states in the US West, including a blaze that destroyed dozens of homes this week in Washington state and another that threatened a town in Southern California. “Firefighters are working aggressively to build approximately 11 miles (18 km) of line and strengthen existing containment lines,” the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said on its website. “As additional resources arrive, firefighters will continue to diligently defend structures, construct containment lines and build bulldozer perimeter lines,” it said. Two firefighters have suffered minor injuries fighting the blaze. Brown’s state-of-emergency declaration, which frees up funds to help combat the fires, cited the Ponderosa blaze, along with the Chips Fire in nearby Plumas County, which is roughly twice as big. — Reuters

PAYNES CREEK: Greg McCarty builds a fire line as flames from the Ponderosa Fire approach the home of a family friend, near Paynes Creek California. — AP

Business FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2012

Australia gives India’s GVK coal mine green light

Vietnamese get out of ACB bank after tycoon’s arrest PAGE 22


NEW YORK: In this Aug 21, 2012, photo, job seekers fill out applications at a construction job fair in New York. The number of people seeking unemployment benefits rose a slight 4,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 372,000, evidence that the job market’s recovery remains modest and uneven. — AP

US jobless claims rise by 4,000 Data point to slow pace of healing in economy WASHINGTON: The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits unexpectedly rose last week while US manufacturing improved only slightly in August, worrisome signs for an economy struggling to create enough jobs. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 372,000, the Labor Department said yesterday. The data keeps pressure on President Barack Obama ahead of his November re-election bid. Republican challenger Mitt Romney is trying to focus voters’ attention on a lofty unemployment rate that has dogged Obama’s presidency. Many economists think the Federal Reserve could unveil a new bond buying program to prop up economic growth as soon as its next meeting Sept 12-13, although an improvement in hiring this month could make that less likely. “Jobless claims continue to indicate... a sluggish labor market,” said Peter Cardillo, an economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York. “The numbers also strengthen the hand of the Fed to aid the economy with more stimulus.” However, Cardillo and other economists said

the slow pace of healing in the labor market doesn’t necessarily point to immediate action by the Fed. A separate report by financial information firm Markit showed some of the weakest growth in the manufacturing sector in the last three years, held back by a slowdown in hiring and sluggish overseas demand for American goods. Markit said its US “flash” manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index edged up to 51.9 in August from 51.4 in July. A reading above 50 indicates expansion. Despite the weakness, the August reading beat analysts’ expectations and marked the first monthly increase since March. That reinforces the idea that economic growth in the United States will pick up in the second half of the year after a sluggish spring. Even so, growth is still expected to be lackluster. “T he US economy is slowly turning the corner,” said Robbert Van Batenburg, head of global research at Louis Capital Markets in New York. Despite the increase in new claims filed last week, the data on layoffs a lso had a silver lining. The data covers the same week looked at by the government for its monthly measure of

employment, and showed a slight drop in layoffs from the survey week last month, which is a mildly positive signal for hiring in August. The fourweek moving average for new claims, a measure of labor market trends, was 368,000 last week. That was a slight increase from the prior week, but still 2.1 percent lower than in the second week of July. That week, the government surveyed employers and concluded 163,000 new jobs were created in July - an improvement from the prior three months though the unemployment rate still ticked higher to 8.3 percent. “No signs here that there’s been a notable pick-up in layoffs, and (that) would suggest to us that moderate job growth continued in August,” said Ellen Zentner, an economist at Nomura Securities in New York. The government will release its employment report for August on Sept. 7, and policymakers at the Federal Reserve will scrutinize the data for signs the economy is improving. Economists at Barclays said the claims data was consistent with payroll growth of 150,000. Minutes from the Fed’s July 31-Aug. 1 policy review, released on Wednesday, showed

the central bank is likely to deliver another round of monetary stimulus “fairly soon” unless the economy improves considerably. The US economy faces a number of threats, including the looming possibility the government will raise taxes and cut spending. That is already hurting business sentiment. A separate report from the Commerce Department showed sales of new single family homes edged higher in July but prices fell, giving mixed signals about the strength of a fledgling recovery in the country’s housing market. Europe’s festering debt crisis also menaces the global economy. Business surveys released on yesterday painted a global picture of economic malaise from Beijing to Berlin. The euro zone economy will shrink around 0.5 percent in the current quarter, with weakness even spreading through Germany, the region’s largest and strongest economy, Markit’s Purchasing Mangers’ Index suggested. Also worrisome for global growth, the HSBC Flash China manufacturing PMI fell to 47.8 for August, its lowest level since November. — Reuters

Business FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2012

Opel cuts working hours as demand slumps FRANKFURT: Loss-making German carmaker Opel, under pressure from its US parent General Motors to turn itself around, said yesterday it will slash working hours as demand in the European car market slumps. “In consultation with the works council and the IG Metall labour union, Adam Opel AG will introduce short-time work at its plants in Ruesselsheim and Kaiserslautern from September,” Opel said in a statement, adding that 20 working days would be cut between then and the end of the year. “The European car market is dropping dramatically,” the carmaker complained. “Falling capacity utilisation can no longer be compensated with measures such as flexitime. Short-time work is now the right way to bridge this weakness in the market,” said Opel’s personnel chief Holger Kimmes. Under short-time work schemes, employees see their working hours

reduced for a limited period, but the state, in the form of the Federal Labour Agency, partially makes up for the corresponding shortfall in pay. The head of the general works coun-

BOCHUM: Picture shows a stop sign standing in front of Opel’s plant in the western German city of Bochum. — AFP

Qantas Airways posts $257m annual loss SYDNEY: Qantas Airways Ltd reported a 245 million Australian dollar ($257 million) annual loss in profits yesterday, hurt by rising fuel prices, a series of strikes that temporarily grounded its fleet and its struggling international division. The Australian flagship carrier’s net loss for the 12 months through June 30 compares with a profit of AU$250 million last year. It was the first time since Qantas - nicknamed the “Flying Kangaroo” - went private in 1995 that the airline reported a net loss. After posting the result, CEO Alan Joyce said Qantas would be canceling its order for a new fleet of 35 Boeing 787-9 aircraft, worth $8.5 billion at list prices. It is still planning to buy 15 787-8s. “The B787 is an excellent aircraft and remains an important part of our future. However, circumstances have changed significantly since our order several years ago,” Joyce said in a statement. “It is vital that we allocate capital carefully across all parts of the Group.” Qantas blamed the annual loss on its AU$4.3 billion fuel bill - up

cil, Wolfgang Schaefer-Klug, said the measure would “secure jobs” and help limit financial hardship for the employees concerned. The measure would be introduced both in the production oper-

18 percent from last year - an industrial dispute that the airline said cost AU$194 million, and its international business, which lost AU$450 million and is struggling amid increased competition. “Our biggest challenge is Qantas International, but its transformation is on track,” Joyce told reporters. “Our goal is to return it to profit and ensure it remains Australia’s iconic flagship carrier.” Qantas said underlying profit before tax - the airline’s preferred measure of financial performance was AU$95 million, a steep drop from AU$552 million a year ago. Joyce declined to offer profit guidance for next year, saying it would be “imprudent” given the uncertain global conditions. The airline had warned in June that it expected a drop of up to 91 percent in full-year earnings, which immediately sent the company’s stock plummeting to all-time lows. By late yesterday morning, however, shares were up 3.4 percent to AU$1.21 on the Australian stock exchange. — AP

SYDNEY: Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce (right) poses alongside a model of a Qantas aircraft following a media briefing in Sydney yesterday. — AFP

ations, as well as in administration. Opel has a total four production sites in Germany: alongside Ruesselsheim which is the main site as well as the group’s headquarters and Kaiserslautern, it also has plants in Bochum and Eisenach. Ruesselsheim employs a workforce of 13,800, with 3,500 in production, 3,300 in administration and a further 7,000 in engineering, with “around half” of the employees there to be affected, Opel said. The Kaiserslautern plant employs a workforce of 2,500. GM sustained a loss of $400 million from its European operations in the second quarter of this year, as the unit battles with the eurozone sovereign debt crisis and massive overcapacity issues. At the end of June, Opel’s supervisory board approved deep restructuring, massive investment in the product range of the Opel and Vauxhall brands, and a new marketing strategy. — AFP

German public finances in black even as growth slows Economy grew by 0.3% in Q2 FRANKFURT: Germany’s public finances were back in the black in the first six months of this year, even as Europe’s biggest economy begins to feel the effects of the euro-zone debt crisis, data showed yesterday. In the period from January to June, Germany’s public accounts showed a surplus of 8.3 billion euros ($10.4 billion), equivalent to 0.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), the federal statistics office Destatis said in a statement. It was the first time since the first half of 2008 that Germany’s public finances have been in surplus. That was primarily due to a 11.6-billion-euro surplus in the social welfare budget owing to record-low unemployment. And it more than offset a 3.3-billion-euro deficit in the federal, regional state and municipal budgets, the statisticians calculated. Given the favourable economic situation in Germany, the state’s revenues increased by 2.9 percent in the six-month period, while spending increased by just 0.8 percent. Nevertheless, the half-year surplus could not be extrapolated for the whole year, as public finances develop differently during the course of the year, Destatis cautioned. UniCredit analyst Alexander Koch agreed. “Due to the volatility in fiscal figures during the course of the year, one cannot draw final conclusions for the annual result yet,” he said, attributing the positive development to “the solid labour market, resulting in rising tax and social security revenues.” Under EU rules, euro-zone countries are not allowed to run up deficit ratios in excess of 3.0 percent and are obliged to bring them close to balance or even to a surplus in the medium term. Last month, the government halved its forecast for the public deficit this year from 1.0 percent to “a good half-percent” thanks to the favourable overall economic development. Germany is indeed holding up comparatively well to the long-running sovereign debt crisis, thanks largely to deep structural reforms implemented a number of years ago, while many of its euro-zone partners are teetering on the edge of or are already in recession.

The German economy grew by 0.3 percent in the second quarter of this year, after already expanding by 0.5 percent in preceding three months, according to final data also published by Destatis yesterday. The numbers match a preliminary estimate published last week. Rising exports and robust consumer demand are helping inoculate the German economy against the recession plaguing many of its neighbours, the data showed. Exports increased by 2.5 percent quarter-on-quarter in the period from April to June, household spending was up by 0.4 percent and state spending by 0.2 percent. However, the debt crisis is beginning to hurt investment, with construction investment slipping by 0.3 percent and investment in equipment down by as much as 2.3 percent, the statisticians calculated. Analysts said the data showed that German economic growth would continue to slow in the third quarter, before picking up again at the end of the year. “Overall GDP growth may well turn negative in the third quarter of 2012,” said Timo Klein at IHS Global Insight. “Nevertheless, the underlying trend remains underpinned by solid private consumption growth and persistently healthy exports to non-eurozone countries, notably to emerging Asia and even the US.” One of the few positive side effects of the crisis was the weakening of the euro, which was boosting exports, and the low level of interest rates. Overall, IHS Global Insight was pencilling in German growth of 0.9 percent for 2012 and 0.7 percent for 2013, “which is actually fairly benign in view of the raging euro-zone debt crisis that will keep several euro-zone countries deeply in recession into 2013,” Klein said. Natixis economist Constantin Wirschke said he was predicting flat quarter-on-quarter growth in the third quarter. But with private consumption expected to remain a bright spot throughout the year, “for the fourth quarter, we are slightly more optimistic,” Wirschke said.—AFP

Business FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2012

Sony to cut 15% of mobile phone workforce TOKYO: Sony said yesterday it would chop 15 percent of the workforce at its struggling mobile phone unit and move its headquarters to Tokyo from Sweden as the Japanese consumer electronics giant slashes costs. The move to cut 1,000 jobs at Sony Mobile Communications comes about six months after Sony bought Swedish telecom company Ericsson’s share in their former joint venture, called Sony Ericsson, set up in 2001. The joint venture struggled to launch popular smartphones amid stiff competition from rivals including Apple and South Korea’s Samsung Electronics. Yesterday, Sony said the job cuts in Sweden, expected to be com-

pleted by 2014, were part of a bid to “increase operational efficiency, reduce costs and drive profitable growth”. “We are accelerating the integration and convergence with the wider Sony group to continue enhancing our offerings,” Sony Mobile chief Kunimasa Suzuki said in a statement. “A more focused and efficient operational structure will help to reduce Sony Mobile’s costs... and bring the business back to a place of strength.” Sony, which makes PlayStation game consoles and Bravia televisions, has already said it would cut about 10,000 jobs worldwide and spend nearly $1.0 billion on an overhaul

that its chief Kazuo Hirai described as “urgent”. The Japanese firm lost a whopping 456.66 billion yen ($5.81 billion) in the year to March, its fourth consecutive annual loss. It also reported a widening loss in its latest quarter and cut a profit forecast for the year as the struggling firm overhauls its business. The losses have been particularly acute in Sony’s television business. Japanese electronics firms have been hurt by a strong yen, shrinking profit margins and stiff competition from foreign rivals. Piracy has threatened its music and film assets while Sony was also hurt by last year’s quake-tsunami disaster in Japan. — AFP

Australia minister says resources boom is over CANBERRA/MELBOURNE: Australia’s resources minister yesterday declared the end of the country’s mining boom, a day after the world’s biggest miner BHP Billiton shelved two expansion plans worth at least $40 billion. Resources and Energy minister Martin Ferguson later rowed back, saying commodity prices had peaked while investments in multi-billion dollar projects would continue, especially in the energy sector. Other ministers, worried about attacks by the opposition blaming the beleaguered Labor government’s carbon and mining taxes for hurting the resources sector, swiftly weighed in to say the construction boom in resources was far from over. “The resources boom is over,” Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson told Australian radio. “We’ve done well-A$270 billion ($282 billion) in investment, the envy of the world. It has got tougher in the last six to twelve months.” Ferguson’s comments came after BHP scrapped plans for a $20 billion-plus expansion of its Olympic Dam copper mine in South Australia and a new harbour, estimated at more than $20 billion, to nearly double its iron ore exports in Western Australia. BHP blamed soaring development costs, a high Australian dollar and falling commodity prices for pulling the projects. Fuelled by Chinese-led demand for its coal, iron ore and other resources, Australia’s economy was one of the very few in the developed world to sail through the global financial crisis without sliding into recession. But with China heading for the slowest pace of annual growth in more than a decade, investors are nervous about the near-term outlook for miners. “We are going to have to make more tough decisions, invest in fewer projects, we are going to have to defer other things, we are going to have to stage projects,” Tom Albanese, chief executive of Rio Tinto , told a forum in Perth. The resources boom has fuelled what has been dubbed a two-speed economy, which has pumped up the local dollar and exacerbated the pain felt in manufacturing and retail in Australia’s most populous states. While manufacturers, like Ford and Bluescope Steel , have cut production and axed jobs, unemployment has stayed at around 5 percent, thanks to jobs growth in resources projects, where truck drivers command six-figure pay packets. BHP’s Olympic Dam expansion alone would have created 25,000 jobs, South Australia’s government said. Politicians may be worried the whole economy is moving into the slow lane, but analysts say the fear is premature, as energy projects will continue full steam ahead. National Australia Bank does not see the boom peaking until 2013 and 2014, when resource capital spending will be around 1 percent of gross domestic product higher than now. Finance Minister Penny Wong also played down fears of a collapse in the mining boom, saying the government has factored in a peaking in Australia’s terms of trade, which measures the difference between export earnings and import costs. “We’ve still got a long way to run when it comes to this investment boom,” Wong told Australian radio. “We’ve got over half a trillion dollars of investment, and over half of at the advanced stage. So I think the ‘doom and gloom’ that some are putting about isn’t appropriate.” The investment number she referred to includes a raft of proposed projects yet to be approved, though on Thursday the government gave the green light to a $10 billion coal and rail project in Queensland state proposed by India’s GVK Power and Infrastructure and Australia’s richest person, Gina Rinehart. Deutsche Bank warned Australia could enter a recession if weak iron ore and coal prices persist into the fourth quarter. In a note this week, Deutsche Bank’s chief economist for Australia, Adam Boyton, said: “it does seem to us that there is some complacency surrounding the prospect of a sizeable decline in the terms of trade - and some over-confidence that the investment pipeline is ‘locked in’. —Reuters

HANOI: Officials of Asia Commercial Bank (ACB) look at bags of money carried into its Hanoi branch, Vietnam, yesterday. The head of the bank is cooperating with a police investigation and is no longer on the job, the institution’s deputy director said yesterday, as jumpy customers withdrew funds following the arrest earlier this week of one of its founders. — AP

Vietnamese get out of ACB bank after tycoon’s arrest Vietnamese turn to safe haven of gold HANOI: Panicky Vietnamese are withdrawing money from a major bank founded by arrested tycoon Nguyen Duc Kien, state media reported yesterday, prompting the central bank to make a rare public assurance that their funds are safe. Monday’s arrest of Nguyen Duc Kien, 48, sent shockwaves through the Communist-run country, triggering a 9.2 percent slide in Vietnam’s stock market this week and causing a run on deposits at Asia Commercial Bank (ACB), one of Vietnam’s biggest lenders which Kien helped found in 1994. The official Tuoi Tre newspaper said depositors began withdrawing money on Tuesday when the arrest was made public. “But thanks to advance preparation we still ensured good repayment,” ACB Deputy Chief Executive Officer Do Minh Toan was quoted by the newspaper as saying. Economists were already worried about the fragility of Vietnam’s banking system and some Vietnamese have quickly turned to the traditional safe haven of gold: bankers said demand had jumped from Monday, pushing up the retail price by about 5 percent. A Ho Chi Minh City resident told Reuters that depositors were standing in large crowds at ACB branches waiting to withdraw money. Kien’s arrest concerned irregularities at three investment companies he now runs. ACB says Kien, a member of one of Vietnam’s 30 wealthiest families, holds less than 5 percent of its stock and the government has said he plays no part in management. However, Chief Executive Officer Ly Xuan Hai is absent, ACB told the central bank in a statement on Wednesday. He was summoned on Tuesday for police questioning after Kien’s arrest and had not returned to work, said the An Ninh Thu Do newspaper, run by the Hanoi police.

Shares in ACB, which is 15 percent owned by Standard Chartered Plc, have lost nearly a fifth of their value this week. Yesterday they fell 6.7 percent to 21,000 dong. The State Bank of Vietnam, the central bank, said it and the entire banking sector “will commit to standing ready to provide, funding support to ACB to ensure it meets its obligations for repaying deposits”. The central bank pumped 13 trillion dong ($624 million) in short-term funds into the banking system through open market transactions on Wednesday, more than double its injection of 5 trillion dong on Tuesday, its data showed. Toan was quoted as saying the volume of cash withdrawn from ACB was higher on Wednesday than Tuesday. Toan, who is running the bank in the absence of the CEO, told the newspaper ACB could access up to 46 trillion dong ($2.2 billion) in funds if needed to meet demand for withdrawals. It had borrowed 10 trillion dong from the central bank on Aug. 21-22 and could also gradually withdraw 36 trillion dong from the interbank market, Toan said. That sum represents around a third of the total weekly dongdenominated transactions on the interbank market of between 110 trillion and 130 trillion dong over the past month. News of Kien’s arrest helped send the stock market down 4.7 percent on Tuesday, the biggest one-day loss since late 2008. Kien is considered influential in Vietnam’s banking and financial sectors, with investment in several banks. His family is ranked fifth among Vietnam’s 30 richest families in terms of stock market holdings, based on a list compiled by online news website VNExpress. Kien is also deputy chairman of the Vietnam Professional Football Joint Stock Co, which runs Vietnam’s toptier professional soccer league. — Reuters

Business FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2012

Asian markets rise slightly after Fed stimulus talk China to take similar measures

KOLKATA: A leader of nationalised bank employees delivers his speech on the street corner in Kolkata yesterday. Up to one million Indian public sector bank employees started a two-day nationwide strike, protesting against reforms that they fear could lead to mergers and job losses. — AFP

India’s gold prices hit record high MUMBAI: Gold prices in India hit a lifetime high yesterday, in line with global trends, as stockists and investors bought up the metal, traders said. India’s domestic gold prices hit 30,699 rupees per 10 grams at the local market, as international gold prices touched their highest level in three months amid continued concerns over the eurozone. “International and domestic factors are both at play,” said Anand James from Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services. “There is anticipatory seasonal buying by stockists on expectation of purchases in coming months, and a bit of investment-led buying,” he said. Investors tend to turn to the precious metal as a safe haven during uncertainty, while the stockists anticipate family buying during the festive and marriage season, which runs from September to December. Currently retail gold purchases remains low, with consumers delaying buying in hope of a correction in prices soon, traders said. “Demand is very poor at the moment. There are no buyers due to the high prices,” said Haresh Kewalramani, director with the Bombay Bullion Association. Global demand for gold fell to its lowest level in two years in the second quarter ended June, the World Gold Council said, owing to less buying in the main markets of India and China, despite rising demand from central banks. India and China, which have both been battling high inflation, account for about half of the world’s gold demand combined, and China is forecast to overtake India as the market leader by the end of the year. —AFP

HONG KONG: Asian shares were slightly up yesterday after the US Federal Reserve indicated it was leaning towards new economic stimulus efforts and manufacturing data suggested China may take similar measures. Hopes for fresh stimulus boosts in the world’s two biggest economies rallied markets after Greece called on Wednesday for more time to make spending cuts, sending European shares down, and Wall Street saw little movement overnight. Tokyo closed up 0.51 percent, adding 46.38 points, to 9,178.12, as the yen remained firm against the dollar, while Seoul finished 0.38 percent higher, or 7.35 points up, at 1,942.54. Sydney rose 0.17 percent, or 7.7 points, to close at 4,383.7, Hong Kong finished 1.23 percent, or 244.46 points, higher and Shanghai closed up 0.25 percent, adding 5.36 points, to 2,113.07 Dealers said Chinese shares were affected positively by HSBC’s announcement that China’s manufacturing activity weakened to a nine-month low in August. They suggested the data may force Beijing into beefing up economic stimulus efforts. The preliminary reading of the HSBC purchasing managers’ index (PMI), which gauges manufacturing activity, hit 47.8 this month, the lowest since last November, the British banking giant said in a statement. “To achieve the stated policy goal of stabilising growth and the jobs market, Beijing must step up policy easing to lift infrastructure investment in the coming months,” said Qu Hongbin, a Hong Kong-based economist with HSBC. Zhang Zhiwei, an economist with Nomura International in Hong Kong, said: “Weak PMIs will likely put more pressure on the People’s Bank of China to loosen monetary policy by cutting the reserve requirement ratio.” US stocks erased early losses to close mixed Wednesday after minutes of the Fed’s July 31-August 1 meeting hinted it was leading towards more stimulus action “fairly soon” unless economic data turns around. It followed heavy losses on European stock markets after Greece’s Prime Minister Antonis Samaras called for more time to make spending cuts and reforms to unlock funds to keep the debt-wracked country afloat. “All that we want is a little ‘breathing

space’ to revive the economy quickly and raise state income. More time does not automatically mean more money,” Samaras said in an interview with German daily Bild, two days before crucial talks in Germany. Samaras met the head of the Eurogroup of euro-zone finance ministers, Jean-Claude Juncker, on Wednesday ahead of a trip today to Berlin to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Samaras is then to hold talks with French President Francois Hollande tomorrow as he tries to convince European partners to extend a deadline for spending cuts to keep the floundering nation in the 17-nation eurozone. Merkel on Wednesday dismissed the chances of agreeing to any request by Greece to amend its rescue package during the talks with Samaras. “We wait for the report of the troika. Then we will decide,” Merkel said. As part of a rescue package with its international creditors, known as the troika, Greece has committed to slashing 11.5 billion euros ($14.3 billion) of spending over two years from 2013. Samaras report-

edly wants to discuss extending the deadline by two years. After large falls on Wednesday European stock markets opened slightly higher yesterday, mirroring the gains in Asia. London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index of leading shares increased by 0.58 percent to 5,807.60 points, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 won 0.69 percent to 7,065.99 and in Paris the CAC 40 added 0.73 percent to 3,487.14 points. On Wednesday the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 30.82 points (0.23 percent) at 13,172.76. The broader S&P 500 index edged up 0.32 points to 1,413.49, while the tech-rich Nasdaq gained 6.41 points (0.21 percent) to 3,073.67. The euro bought $1.2559 and 98.75 in Tokyo afternoon trade against $1.2522 and 98.34 yen late Wednesday in New York. The dollar bought 78.61 yen against 78.53 yen in US trade. In oil markets, New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in October rose 78 cents to $98.04 a barrel in the afternoon and Brent North Sea crude for October delivery gained 131 cents to $116.2.— AFP

SHANGHAI: People look at industrial tools on display at a market Shanghai yesterday. China’s manufacturing activity fell to a ninemonth low in August as firms struggled with global woes, providing further impetus for Beijing to beef up economic stimulus efforts, HSBC said yesterday. — AFP

Australia gives India’s GVK coal mine green light SYDNEY: A huge US$6.3 billion Australian coal mine to be built by Indian infrastructure giant GVK was given the green light yesterday under strict environmental conditions to protect the Great Barrier Reef. Environment Minister Tony Burke said he had approved the Alpha Coal project in Queensland’s coal-rich Galilee Basin with 19 caveats relating to the protection of local wetlands, threatened species and the iconic reef. “My decision has been based on a thorough and rigorous assessment of the proposal taking into account the advice of my department and

independent scientific advice,” Burke said in a statement. “I’m satisfied that we have now put in place the required additional conditions for the protection of the environment including the Great Barrier Reef.” The Alpha Coal project, 80 percent owned by GVK in partnership with the world’s richest woman Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting, is expected to produce about 30 million metric tons of energy coal per annum once operational. It will include an open cut mine, a 500 kilometre (310 mile) rail line and port, and expects to ship its first coal by 2015. Burke stepped in to halt the

project in June over concerns that it would affect the nearby reef, and said he had moved to ensure coal dust, runoff and threatened species would be “properly dealt with”. The approval requires GVK and Hancock to provide offsets for impacts on threatened flora and fauna and draw up specific management plans for dugongs, turtles and migratory birds as well as cover wagons in order to limit dust. They will also be required to report to Great Barrier Reef authorities every six months on impacts from the mine. As it develops the rich coal deposits of Queensland,

Australia is under increasing pressure to ensure the protection of the Great Barrier Reef and its marine life from runoff, port development and increased shipping. A UNESCO report earlier this year urged decisive action from Canberra to protect the coral from the gas and mining boom and warned the reef risked being put on its list of world heritage sites deemed “in danger”. India is heavily dependent on coal for power generation and its companies are competing for global coal assets as they build power projects, steel and other plants to fuel the country’s fastgrowing economy. — AFP

THEY ARE THE 99! 99 Mystical Noor Stones carry all that is left of the wisdom and knowledge of the lost civilization of Baghdad. But the Noor Stones lie scattered across the globe - now little more than a legend. One man has made it his life’s mission to seek out what was lost. His name is Dr. Ramzi Razem and he has searched fruitlessly for the Noor Stones all his life. Now, his luck is about to change - the first of the stones have been rediscovered and with them a special type of human who can unlock the gem’s mystical power. Ramzi brings these gem - bearers together to form a new force for good in the world. A force known as ... the 99!

THE STORY SO FAR : Jami the Assembler’s new machine should produce antihydrogen for cheap energy and scientific study -- but it doesn’t work. Dr. Ramzi brings in a new member to help Aleem and Mujiba figure out the problem...

The 99 ® and all related characters ® and © 2012, Teshkeel Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Opinion FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2012

Rousseff boldly shuns base, embraces business President distances herself from unions, cultivates investors By Brian Winter


hen President Dilma Rousseff announced a $65 billion privatization of Brazilian highways and railroads last week, she could hear air horns and furious chanting coming from outside the presidential palace. “Dilma, why have you abandoned us?” read a hand-made sign held up by one of the several hundred striking public-sector workers who had gathered to demand wage increases. For anyone who follows Brazilian politics, the juxtaposition was surprising: a leftleaning president from the Workers’ Party, which has its roots in the 1980s trade union movement, auctioning off government property to private investors while jilted public servants protested outside. Yet the scene was no accident. Rousseff has in recent weeks deepened her embrace of the business world while playing hardball with her leftist base, a bold shift she hopes will protect public finances while providing a needed jolt of investment for Brazil’s lackluster economy. Her tactics have heartened many on Wall Street, but they could backfire on several fronts. While most of the public sector is still functioning normally, strikes by federal police and other workers have sporadically crippled operations at airports and some key ministries. Other areas of the economy, from agricultural exports to public-sector banks to Brazil’s preparations for the World Cup soccer tournament in 2014, could be disrupted if the unrest spreads. Rousseff’s approval rating is high at 75 percent, and public opinion appears to be with her rather than the strikers, who already enjoyed healthy raises in recent years. Yet a protracted conflict could put renewed strain on Rousseff’s multi-party coalition, which she has struggled to manage since taking office, especially as October municipal elections draw closer. Senior officials told Reuters that Rousseff is willing to negotiate higher wages within a small margin, but she will go to court if necessary to get striking workers to go back to work. Meanwhile, Rousseff has said she will announce plans for more concessions to the private sector - this time, for airports and seaports - in coming weeks. “The number-one priority right now is stimulating the economy while controlling inflation,” said one aide close to the president. “If you look at our recent actions, we’re acting on both fronts.” The confrontation has physically transformed Brasilia’s Esplanade of Ministries - the complex of modernist government buildings designed by famed architect Oscar Niemeyer in the late 1950s. Red flyers with slogans like “Raises, now!” cover many of the buildings, while striking public workers in jeans and T-shirts mill about aimlessly in the parking lots outside. “Dilma! Dilma! Dilma! Negotiate with public servants!” blares one of the songs played repeatedly over loudspeakers. “She has no choice but to give us what we want,” said Almiro Rodrigues, a federal policeman. “The government says there’s no money, but we know that to be false.” Tradition of Pragmatism Rousseff’s stance does not come as a total shock. During a decade in power, the Workers’ Party has practiced a much more pragmatic leftism than ruling parties in Venezuela and Argentina, exercising relative fiscal discipline while also cultivating investment from businesses at home and abroad. However, her predecessor - Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the Workers’ Party founder and a former union leader himself - was far less shy about spending on public salaries. Brazil’s public sector wage bill more than doubled in nominal terms during Lula’s 2003-2010 presidency, well outstripping inflation.

Rousseff has been more tight-fisted - largely out of necessity. A burst of government spending during Lula’s final year helped him to secure Rousseff’s election victory in 2010, but also left a legacy of heavy inflationary pressure for her to deal with. Rousseff’s current offer to public-sector unions is a wage increase of about 16 percent over the next three years -which might not even keep up with inflation. Any raise beyond that could imperil several policy goals, including her quest to drive down interest rates. The central bank’s most recent inflation report, published in June, identified wage negotiations as “an important risk” to future price movements. Whatever raise Rousseff grants to the public sector will serve as a baseline in the private sector, where unions in the oil, automobile and other sectors are also engaged in contentious wage talks for next year. Complicating matters further, the economy has ground to a nearhalt as years of under-investment in infrastructure, and over-reliance on consumer credit as a motor for growth, appear to have finally caught up with Brazil. Growth was just 2.7 percent in 2011, and an even more lackluster 1.7 percent expansion is expected this year. Private Concessions That backdrop also explains Rousseff’s decision to embrace a private concession model as a way to boost infrastructure spending. That decision, more than any other, was seen as heresy by many in the party after Lula spent most of his political career loudly denouncing privatizations made in the 1990s. Rousseff herself decried privatizations in her 2010 presidential campaign. T he topic is so sensitive that the Workers’ Party president, Rui Falc o, issued a five-paragraph statement on the night of Rousseff’s announcement explaining why it would not result in “scandalous highway tolls” or other repeats of past mistakes. Still, the decision seems destined to mark a milestone in Rousseff’s relationship with big business, which was already reasonably good. Bernardo Figueiredo, a top aide charged with overseeing the infrastructure plan, told Reuters the policy had been designed after extensive consultations with Brazilian business leaders. Wall Street brokerages including Morgan Stanley praised Rousseff for taking measures to stimulate supply rather than focusing primarily on consumer demand. The reaction from mainstream parties has been relatively muted. That indicates that Rousseff is likely to face little resistance to her upcoming plans to involve private enterprise in airports in Rio de Janeiro and elsewhere key to efforts to prepare for the World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games. Yet, more broadly, her recent decisions have opened up an opportunity for many politicians especially among the wide gamut of parties on the hard left - to accuse Rousseff of being unfair to some of the country’s most powerful unions.

That criticism could become more poignant if the economy fails to pick up in coming months. “(Rousseff) has a policy of freezing salaries,” Ana Luiza Figueiredo, candidate for mayor of Sao Paulo from the far-left party PSTU, said in an interview with local newspaper O Estado de S Paulo. “She’s not negotiating and she’s criminalizing workers’ movements. “The Workers’ Party is divorcing itself from its history,” she said. — Reuters


Astrid Bryan attends The Big Easy Juke Joint Party at Bugatta Restaurant on Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012, in Los Angeles. — AP


Astrid Bryan attends The Big Easy Juke Joint Party at Bugatta Restaurant on Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012, in Los Angeles. — AP



Soup A

for the Soul

nywhere a chicken walks the earth, a cook stalks behind with a big soup pot. Chicken soup is simply the gold standard of global comfort food. Homemade Chicken Soup Ingredients 8 cups Chicken Stock or fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth 2 (4-ounce) skinless, bone-in chicken thighs 1 (12-ounce) skinless, bone-in chicken breast half 2 cups diagonally sliced carrot 2 cups diagonally sliced celery 1 cup chopped onion 6 ounces uncooked medium egg noodles 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper Celery leaves (optional) Preparation 1. Combine the first 3 ingredients in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 20 minutes. Remove chicken from pan; let stand for 10 minutes. Remove chicken from bones; shred meat into bite-sized pieces. Discard bones. 2. Add carrot, celery, and onion to pan; cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add noodles, and simmer 6 minutes. Add chicken, salt, and black pepper; cook for 2 minutes or until noodles are done. Garnish with celery leaves, if desired.

Spicy Thai Coconut Chicken Soup Ingredients 2 teaspoons canola oil 1 cup sliced mushrooms 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper 4 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger 4 garlic cloves, minced 1 (3-inch) stalk lemongrass, halved lengthwise 2 teaspoons sambal oelek (ground fresh chilli paste) 3 cups Chicken Stock or fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth 1 1/4 cups light coconut milk 4 teaspoons fish sauce 1 tablespoon sugar 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (about 8 ounces)

1/2 cup green onion strips 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice Preparation 1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add mushrooms and the next 4 ingredients (through lemongrass); cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chilli paste; cook 1 minute. Add Chicken Stock, coconut milk, fish sauce, and sugar; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low; simmer for 10 minutes. Add chicken to pan; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Discard lemongrass. Top with onions, cilantro, and juice.

Quick Chicken and Dumplings

Ingredients 1 tablespoon butter 1/2 cup prechopped onion 2 cups chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breast 1 (10-ounce) box frozen mixed vegetables, thawed 1 1/2 cups water 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour 1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 1 bay leaf 8 (6-inch) flour tortillas, cut into 1/2-inchwide strips 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Preparation 1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; sautĂˆ 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in chicken and vegetables; cook 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring constantly. 2. While chicken mixture cooks, combine water, flour, and broth. Gradually stir broth mixture into chicken mixture. Stir in salt, pepper, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes. Stir in tortilla strips, and cook 2 minutes or until tortilla strips soften. Remove from heat; stir in parsley. Discard bay leaf. Serve immediately.


Chicken Ingredients 1 (3 1/2-ounce) package fresh shiitake mushrooms 4 cups Chicken Stock or fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth 6 (1/4-inch) slices peeled fresh ginger 3 garlic cloves, crushed 1 green onion, cut into 2-inch pieces 1 star anise 6 ounces dried udon noodles (thick Japanese wheat noodles) 1 tablespoon canola oil 2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger 1 garlic clove, minced 1/4 cup sake (rice wine) or sherry or dry white wine 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (about 8 ounces) 1 tablespoon lower-sodium soy sauce 1 tablespoon honey 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 cup diagonally cut green onions Preparation 1. Remove stems from mushrooms; reserve stems. Thinly slice mushroom caps; set aside. Combine mushroom stems, Chicken Stock, and next 4 ingredients (through star anise) in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes. Strain stock through a sieve over a bowl; discard solids. 2. Cook udon noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and rinse with

Noodle Soup

cold water; drain well. 3. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add canola oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add reserved sliced mushroom caps to pan, and sautÈ for 2 minutes. Add minced ginger and minced garlic; sautÈ for 1 minute. Add sake, and cook for 4 minutes, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add stock to

Ingredients 2 teaspoons vegetable oil 3/4 cup finely chopped onion 3/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces 1 1/2 cups finely chopped carrot 3/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper 3/4 cup thinly sliced celery 1/4 cup canned chopped green chillies 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon black pepper 1 (16-ounce) can cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth 3 tablespoons Classic Pesto

Preparation 1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and chicken; sauté 5 minutes. Add carrot, bell pepper, and celery; sautÈ 4 minutes. Add chilli and the next 6 ingredients (chilli though broth); bring to a boil. 2. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes. Stir in Classic Pesto. 3. Note: The chili and pesto can be made ahead and frozen for up to 3 months. Prepare and freeze 3 tablespoons Classic Pesto. Prepare the chili without Classic Pesto, and spoon into a freezer-safe container. Cool completely in refrigerator; cover and freeze. Thaw chili and pesto in refrigerator. Place chili in a large skillet; cook over medium-low heat until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally. Stir in Classic Pesto.

Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Chili with Pesto

pan. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to mediumlow. Add chicken, soy sauce, 1 tablespoon honey, and salt; simmer for 2 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly heated. Divide noodles evenly among 4 bowls. Add 1 1/2 cups soup to each bowl. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon green onions.

Ingredients 1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic 1 tablespoon bottled grated ginger 2 stalks fresh lemongrass, peeled 2 cups water 2 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth 1 pound chicken breast tenders, cut into bite-sized pieces 4 ounces uncooked angel hair pasta 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 green onions, thinly sliced 1 red chilli pepper, finely chopped

Preparation 1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger, and lemongrass; sautÈ 3 minutes. Add water and broth; bring to a boil. Add chicken and pasta; cook 5 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove from heat; stir in remaining ingredients. Let stand 5 minutes. Discard lemongrass. —

Beauty FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2012

Scrub ‘em off!

Head to the kitchen to make your skin glow E

xfoliation is essential to anyone’s skincare regimen, yet often the most hyped over-the-counter scrubs are costly and anything but chemical-free. The recipes below are not only all natural; they are costeffective. Most importantly, they are fun to prepare in your own kitchen and leave you with tingly clean skin as a refreshing result! General Scrub Procedure 1. Tie hair back. 2. Wash face. 3. To open pores, steam face over hot water or press warm cloth to skin for a few minutes. 4. After preparing scrub, apply it to face (and neck if desired). Avoid eye area. 5. Optional: Use a facial loofah, sponge, or brush to maximize exfoliation. 6. Rinse off with warm water. 7. Enjoy results! Basic Baking Soda Scrub Perfect for everyday use. 2 to 3 tbsp. baking soda Small amount of water Mix the ingredients into a paste. Using a circular motion, apply to face and gently scrub. Basic Cornmeal Scrub Slightly more potent than the baking soda scrub, this works best on a 2 to 3 day interval. 2 to 3 tbsp. cornmeal Small amount of water Mix and apply in the same manner as baking soda scrub. Rose Almond Face Scrub To brighten and soften skin. 1 tsp rosewater 1/2 tsp almond flour or finely ground almonds. Mix into paste and apply. Oatmeal Scrub A stimulating, thoroughly cleansing 3-in-1 scrub! Smoothes, tones, and hydrates. 1 tbsp. ground oatmeal (use steel cut oats, not instant)

1 tsp. lemon juice 2 tsp. yogurt Combine and apply. Optional: let your scrub double as a mask! Let it sit a few minutes before scrubbing and rinsing. Azuki Bean Scrub Banish your blackheads. Especially effective for combination and oily skin types. 1/2 cup dried azuki beans Grind beans. (Having a small coffee grinder set aside specifically for beauty recipes is a wise idea). Add a little water to the mixture and apply. Milk and Honey Scrub Maximize or minimize its moisturizing effect at will. Choose your dairy: 1 tsp skim milk (oily skin) 1 tsp 2 percent milk (normal or combination) 1 tsp cream (dry) 1 tsp honey 1 tbsp ground almonds Banana Scrub A very finely textured, delicious-smelling scrub. Can double as a mask. 2 tsp mashed banana 2 tsp rolled oats 1 tsp milk 1 tsp honey Honey Sugar Scrub If you have ever used a body sugar scrub, you know how amazing they are. Work the same magic on your face! 1 tsp. of honey 1/2 tsp. of sugar (either cane or brown both work well) Blend in bowl. Apply. Rinse very thoroughly, as this recipe can be slightly sticky. Pumpkin, Sugar, and Spice Scrub 1/2 cup cooked or canned pumpkin, pureed 1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon Blend in a bowl. Apply mixture to face (and body, if you really want to indulge yourself). ‘Eat Your Greens’ Facial Scrub 2 tsp organic wheat bran 2 tbsp organic oatmeal 2 tbsp olive oil soap, finely shredded 1 tsp dried parsley 1 part dried lettuce Shave your favorite plant oil-based soap. Grind parsley and lettuce with pestle in

Make your own scrub at home 1. For a body scrub, you can use salt or sugar. Sugar can be gentler on the skin. Just make sure to choose a sugar or salt that has small granules that won’t tear at skin. A basic table salt or sugar works wonderfully. If you have super sensitive skin, you might opt for a dark brown sugar. 2. Choose an oil. You can use baby oil or any of the following: organic extra virgin coconut oil (my absolute favorite, which you can buy at a health food store), almond oil, safflower, vegetable. According to Allure, makeup artist Joanna Schlip uses olive oil in the homemade scrubs she uses on actress Eva Longoria. 3. You want 1 part oil to 2 parts sugar or salt. Place anywhere from a few tablespoons to a cup of salt or sugar in a container. Place half that amount of oil. Mix with a spoon. Don’t freak out if the salt settles to the bottom. It’s virtually impossible to keep it mixed. 4. If you want your scrub to smell divine, put 5 drops of an essential oil into your mixture. Mix with spoon. 5. Now onto the bath itself. Scrubs work best on dry skin. Step into a bath tub and put on loofah mitts. If you don’t have a bath mitt, don’t worry, you can use your hands.

6. Take a spoonful of the mixture into your palms or your gloves and then rub the mixture all over your body in a circular motion. For tougher areas such as the knees, soles and elbows, spend extra scrubbing time or cut a lemon in half and pour sea salt on the halves, scrubbing your soles, elbows and knees with the lemon. On places like the chest, neck, and stomach, where the skin is thinner, take it easy with the scrubbing and instead use cleanser on a washcloth to exfoliate. If you feel the salt is too harsh on your skin, rinse off the bath mitts and then spoon only the oil onto the mitts to continue. 7. Once entire body is scrubbed well, rinse thoroughly. 8. Pat skin dry. You should be good and cleansed. The salt (or sugar) should have exfoliated your skin nicely with the help of the loofah and the oil should leave skin soft and moisturized. You shouldn’t even need to follow the bath with a moisturizer. 9. The only bad part about this scrub is the oil can build up on the bathtub bottom. Make sure to clean it up so the next person who gets in doesn’t slip.

mortar. (We have tried this - you can also blend it in a processor). Add soap shavings and mix thoroughly. Whisk in the oatmeal and wheat brand and continue stirring until thoroughly mixed.

Books FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2012

Johnny Cash - Cash

Bob Dylan - Chronicles Vol 1



or someone like Bob Dylan, one of the most reclusive and ambivalent musicians anyone can think of, to come out with an autobiography seems quite audacious, never mind calling it the first volume of three. The book has Dylan talking about his early days as a folk singer in New York City right before he was picked up by John Hammond and Columbia Records. It periodically jumps around to several other points in his career including two chapters about his albums New Morning and Oh Mercy. This might be the first time we get to see a straight account of the freewheelin’ man in plain words without any mixed imagery he incorporates in his songs. He leaves out the latter years of the ‘60s, one of the most tumultuous times of his career and for music and something people would want to read about, naturally. Spending 19 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list, the book has two audio version read by Sean Penn and Nick Landrum.

In their own words Top five music autobiographies


hough this isn’t the first autobiography Johnny Cash ever wrote, The Man In Black was released in 1986, it still holds up as one of the best music books ever released and is engaging for fans or non-fans of ‘the man in black.’ Like Dylan’s, Cash travels back and forth between events in his life and the present in a very conversational manner. While reading, it’s hard not to think of the old timer speaking to you as if you were sitting right next to him. Written with the help of Country Music Magazine editor Patrick Carr, this book takes music fans and general readers into the world of a musician whose family trouble, run-ins with the law and artistic ability have made him worth remembering.

t’s difficult to think of a past musician when they’re portrayed in a Hollywood-made biopic that bends the facts for the public’s enjoyment. Sure they’re all great movies and can inspire new ears to the music, but in the end die-hard music fans need something more substantial when it comes to telling the tale of who he/she/the band was and why they should be remembered. Written, with a little bit of help from an editor of course, by the artist themselves and telling their story in their own words, the autobiography is what will truly communicate and in ways connect the artist and fan together. You watch the biopic to get the cliff notes. You read the book to find meaning.

Kurt Cobain - Journals


Anthony Kiedis - Scar Tissue


aken from the single off his band’s seventh studio album Californication of the same name, Scar Tissue is a detailed account of Red Hot Chili Pepper’s singer Anthony Kiedis’ life. Starting from his early childhood and his relationship with his father, the book recounts the formation of what would become one of the biggest rock bands with longtime member and friend Michael “Flea” Balzary. It also describes, in great detail, the many abuses and relationships Kiedis had with girlfriends as well as his struggle with with recovery and remaining clean. Released in 2004, the book also reached #1 on the New York Times best-seller list.

ot really an autobiography and published nine years after his death, Kurt Cobain’s journals have become a necessary item for the hipsters’ coffee table. Whether this intrusion into the life of someone should have been published or not doesn’t really matter now, but any fan of the singer or his band Nirvana needs to take a peek. The journals Cobain wrote, apparently spread out in various notebooks, have been comprised into one with exact copies of the entries in his own handwriting, which is neat and enjoyable for music nerds alike. Similar illustrations Cobain did for album artwork can be seen in the journal as well as letters to fellow Washington band members Dale Crover from The Melvins and Mark Lannegan from Screaming Trees. There are several well written, in-depth biographies of the late singer including Heavier Than Heaven by Charles R. Cross, yet these journals are the only piece of material besides his songs that truly speak from Cobain’s heart and that’s why they’re included on this list, whether you choose to read them or not.

Eric Clapton - The Autobiography


eralded as one of the greatest guitarists and having been inducted into the rock ‘n’ roll Hall of Fame three times, once on his own and the other times with The Yardbirds and Cream, Eric Clapton’s autobiography already warrants a bit of hype before even reading the first page. Instead of recounting time spent in the studio, which might disappoint some eager axe players or fans wanting to hear of song creations, Clapton tells the stories behind his addictions as well as his romantic obsession with muse Pattie Boyd, who inspired the song “Layla.” Having lots of fans the guitarist remains modest about his talent and “Clapton is God” graffiti, yet still displays an appreciation for all those who helped him and for the fund-raising efforts for his Crossroads Centre in Antigua. A great read for anyone with an appreciation for rock history. —

Technology FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2012

Mario in the money and an experiment in curiosity


ew handheld games this month range from the tried and true, like New Super Mario Bros 2, to a groundbreaking social experiment titled Curiosity. And that’s just for starters. The only real guideline is that 3DS owners can look forward to new games, while Vita players have to wait a bit for something novel. New Super Mario Bros 2 is the successor to the classical 2D version of the jump ‘n run game for the DS. This time, it’s only for the 3DS.The upgrade means play takes in an extra physical dimension. But there’s not much new to the gameplay: once again it’s all about jumping and running, seeking power boosts in the form of mushrooms, flowers and raccoons while the plumber gathers flowers to trounce his opponent. Much of the game seems to focus on money, with a Coin Rush level where Mario only has to gather as many coins as possible. Players can keep track of these things online, comparing them with friends. And Nintendo has announced a surprise should a player manage to accumulate 1 million coins. Two players can compete in online mode through six different levels. The game sells for about 45 euros ($55). Peter Molyneux - who has wowed the video gaming world in the past with past classics like Populous, Black & White or Fable - has started a social experiment with his new game for Android and Apple’s iOS. The gaming world of Curiosity consists of one giant cube which, in turn, is made up of 60 million smaller ones. Something secret is buried deep inside: Molyneux only says that a player’s life will change after finding it. There will only be one winner. To get to the core of the world, players have to destroy one small cube after another. The process can be sped up by buying online items for real money. The most expensive is a diamond axe for about 64,000 euros. The

question is whether anyone will be prepared to fork out so much money. Anyone interested in participating in the experiment can download it from August 22 from either the App Store or Google Play. In One Piece Unlimited Cruise SP 2, for the 3DS, the familiar gang surrounding Captain Monkey D Luffy takes off on another adventure to multiple bizarre islands full of new opponents. The game allows players to take over one of 12 characters

made popular by the manga and TV series linked to the game. All characters have taken the legendary devil’s fruit and gained special powers. From Namco Bandai, the pirate game sells for 30 euros. New Art Academy from 3DS turns the device into a portable studio, with a stylus used to draw, erase and render. There are 32 lessons for would-be painters. The game has a greater resolution and 3D capabilities than previous editions

and costs about 33 euros. Meanwhile, Freakyforms Deluxe sells for about 30 euros and is more like a standard jump and run game. One key difference: players have to create the hero themselves. Players are also often confronted with tools they can use to redesign both the main character and the world. Creations can be traded among friends.—dpa

Tech News Facebook function allows users to see who saw what when Members of Facebook groups can now see which other members looked at which entries and when. Do so by putting a checkmark next to the Like/Don’t Like option. Facebook will then provide a list of all members who looked at the entry, along with a record of when they did so. Facebook says the function should let users stay more aware of activities within their group. The function is not yet available in all groups. Start standard programs with function buttons To start heavily used applications quickly in Windows, consider using function keys. Use the right mouse button to access Properties and then key combinations to determine which key starts which programme. Try to avoid using the F1, F3 and F5 keys, since these come pre-assigned to help, search and update functions under Windows. Zip programs can’t shrink every file Not every data format can successfully be wrangled down to a manageable size with Zip programs, warns Harald Goerl, a professor of operating systems and computer architecture at the Bundeswehr University in Munich, Germany.”In the worst case scenario, data could be made larger due to the compression,” he warns. That’s because some formats, like MP3s, JPGs and MPEGs are already compressed, meaning they can’t be reduced further. Users

will have better luck with software and documents, though there isn’t a lot of play left with PDF files either. Streaming loudspeaker doubles as lampshade A new series of loudspeakers that double as lampshades. The SA-NS310, SA-NS410 and SA-NS510 all come with a wi-fi adapter that can pick up broadcasts from PCs or network hard drives. They also support Airplay for Apple devices. The top-of-the-line SANS510, with a built-in battery, sells for 349 euros ($425), while the other two versions will come out in September, for 100 and 200 euros less apiece. Easypix compact camera designed for beaches Easypix’s Aquapix W1024 Splash compact camera comes with a waterproof housing - which also fends off sand and dust while providing protection from shock - and can survive dives of up to 3 metres. It has a 10-megapixel sensor and a 4X digital zoom. It sells for 70 euros ($85). Lindy adapter for wireless HDMI Lindy’s WHDI Extender lets HDMI signals transmit wirelessly. That means high-definition video signals can travel up to 30 metres on the 5-gigahertz frequency, but only with devices that support the HDMI 1.3b standard. That means no 3D images. The transmitter/receiver sets sell for 220 euros ($270). — dpa

Lifestyle FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2012

In a picture taken on June 30, 2012, staff of the ninja performance unit perform their skills during a ninja show at the Iga Ninja Museum. — AFP photos


63-year-old former engineer may not fit the typical image of a dark-clad assassin with deadly weapons who can disappear into a cloud of smoke. But Jinichi Kawakami is reputedly Japan’s last ninja. As the 21st head of the Ban clan, a line of ninjas that can trace its history back some 500 years, Kawakami is considered by some to be the last living guardian of Japan’s secret spies. “I think I’m called (the last ninja) as there is probably no other person who learned all the skills that were directly” handed down from ninja masters over the last five centuries, he said. “Ninjas proper no longer exist,” he said as he demonstrated the tools and techniques used in espionage and sabotage by men fighting for their samurai lords in the feudal Japan of yesteryear. Nowadays they are confined to fiction or used to promote Iga, some 350 kilometers (220 miles) southwest of Tokyo, a mountain-shrouded city near the ancient imperial capital of Kyoto that was once home to many ninjas. Kawakami, a former engineer who began teaching ninjutsu-the art of the ninja — 10 years ago, said the true history of ninjas was a mystery. “There are some drawings of their tools but we don’t always find all the details,” which may have been left deliberately vague, he said. “Many of their traditions were passed on by word of mouth, so we don’t know what was altered in the process.” And skills that have arrived in the 21st century in their entirety are sometimes difficult to verify. “We can’t try out murder or poisons. Even if we can follow the instructions to make a poison, we can’t try it out,” he said. Survival techniques Kawakami first encountered the secretive world of ninjas at the age of just six, but has only vague memories of first meeting his master, Masazo Ishida, a man who dressed as a Buddhist monk. “I kept practicing without knowing what I was actually doing. It was much later that I realized I was prac-

ticing ninjutsu.” Kawakami said training ranged from physical and mental skills to studies of chemicals, weather and psychology. “I call ninjutsu comprehensive survival techniques,” though it originated in war skills such as espionage and guerrilla attacks, he said. “For concentration, I looked at the wick of a candle until I got the feeling that I was actually inside it. I also practiced hearing the sound of a needle dropping on the floor.” He climbed walls, jumped from heights and learned how to mix chemicals to cause explosions and smoke. “I was also required to endure heat and cold as well as pain and hunger. The training was all tough and painful. It wasn’t fun but I didn’t think much why I was doing it. Training was made to be part of my life.” Kawakami said he was “a strange boy” growing up but his practice drew little attention at a time when many in Japan were struggling to make ends meet in the hard post-war years. Just before he turned 19, he inherited the master’s title, along with secret scrolls and special tools. Kawakami is careful not to claim the title of the “last ninja” for himself as in the sometimes sectarian world of ninjutsu there are doubters and rival claimants, with disputes centering on the authenticity of various teachings. ‘Perching on your enemy’s eyelashes’ Kawakami says much of the ninja’s art lies in catching people unawares, rather than in brute force. “Humans can’t be on the alert all the time. There is always a moment when they are off guard and you catch it,” he said. It is all about exploiting weaknesses that allows the ninja to outfox much bigger, or numerous, opponents; distracting attention to allow a quick getaway. It is possible to hidein a manner of speaking-behind the smallest of things, Kawakami said. “If you throw a toothpick, people will look that way, giving you the chance to flee. “We also have a saying that it is possible to escape death by perching on your enemy’s eye-

Hanzo Ukita, head of the ninja performance unit, performs.

lashes; it means you are so close that he cannot see you.” Kawakami recently began a research job at the state-run Mie University, where he is studying the history of ninjas. But, he said as he showed an AFP team around the Iga-ryu Ninja Museum and its trick house with hidden ladders, fake doors and an underfloor sword box, he is resigned to the fact that he is the last of his kind. There will be no 22nd head of the Ban clan because Kawakami has decided not to take on any more apprentices. “Ninjas just don’t fit into the modern day,” he said. — AFP

Jinichi Kawakami, known as the last ninja.

Lifestyle FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2012

Jackson’s nephew named kids’ permanent co-guardian


judge in Los Angeles on Wednesday named Michael Jackson’s nephew TJ permanent co-guardian of the late King of Pop’s three children, a position he will share with the singer’s mother Katherine. The decision brought to an end the latest drama to disrupt the Jackson family since the pop star’s sudden death in June 2009 at age 50 from an overdose of propofol, a powerful anesthetic. “It’s clear to me the children have a very strong, loving relationship with TJ Jackson,” said Los

Angeles Superior Court judge Mitchell Beckloff. Katherine Jackson, 82, had been the sole guardian of Prince Michael (15), Paris (14) and Blanket (10) since Jackson’s death. TJ Jackson, the 34year-old son of Michael’s brother Tito, last month was named temporary coguardian of the children due to Katherine’s prolonged absence from her California home, during which she did not contact the kids. The family matriarch was found to be resting at a spa in Arizona, though her where-

abouts had been called into question by other members of the Jackson clan. Entertainment media portrayed Katherine Jackson’s absence as an abduction by Michael’s siblings, who are allegedly furious they did not inherit any of the singer’s assets, which were left to his mother and children. Katherine Jackson was reinstated as permanent guardian of the children earlier this month, but she and TJ filed a joint request to the court asking that they be allowed to serve as co-

guardians of the three children. Katherine’s lawyer, Sandra Ribera, said her client approved of the agreement with TJ who, like many members of the Jackson family, is a musician. “Mrs Jackson is a well-informed, strong woman who makes her own decisions and can’t be influenced by anyone when it comes to these children,” Rivera said in court. Jackson’s ex-doctor, Conrad Murray, was jailed for four years in November after being convicted of involuntary manslaughter over the singer’s death. — AFP

Hip-hop shifts

anti-gay tone as rights issues rise


or years, anti-gay epithets and sentiments in rap have largely been accepted, along with its frequent misogyny and violence, as part of the hip-hop culture - a culture that has been slow to change, even as gays enjoy more mainstream acceptance. But a shift appears to be on the horizon. “People are learning how to live and get along more, and accept people for who they are and not bash them or hurt them because they’re different,” Snoop Dogg said in a recent interview. Frank Ocean may be largely responsible. The rising star, who revealed on his blog last month that his first love was a man, is technically an R&B singer. But he has produced and collaborated with some of music’s top hip-hop acts, from Jay-Z to Andre 3000 to Kanye West to Nas. He’s also co-written songs for Beyonce, Justin Bieber and John Legend and is a member of the alternative rap group Odd Future. “When I was growing up, you could never do that and announce that,” Snoop said of Ocean’s revelation. “There would be so much scrutiny and hate and negativity, and no one would step (forward) to support you because that’s what we were brainwashed and trained to know.” When 24-year-old Ocean made his announcement, he received a ton of support from the music world, mainly through Twitter and blogs, including encouraging words from 50 Cent, Nas, Jamie Foxx, Def Jam Records founder Russell Simmons, Beyonce and Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Even Ocean’s Odd Future band mate, Tyler, the Creator, showed some love, though he’s used homophobic slurs in his songs. “(The support for Frank is) an extension of the overall kind of support we’re seeing across the country for LGBT people, and not just in a broad sense, but specifically from iconic members of the black community,” said Daryl Hannah, gay rights group GLAAD’s director of media and community partnerships, who namedropped President Barack Obama and Jay-Z as those leading the change. While the support for Ocean is strong, and some rappers - including Nicki Minaj - have said a gay rapper will soon hit the music scene, it’s still hard to imagine that the male-dominated, macho rap world could include a gay performer. Anti-gay sentiments have been entrenched in hip-hop for decades. Darryl “DMC.” McDaniels of the iconic rap group Run DMC, says it was the norm for years. “You would have had 50 rappers jump on a song, diss the gay people because it’s cool,” said DMC. That attitude has abated little, even as other parts of the entertainment industry have curtailed what many consider to be anti-gay material. (Last year, Universal Pictures altered a trailer for the movie “Dilemma” because a character called a car

want to know.” When asked the same question, Snoop said with a laugh: “There might be some openly gay rappers in hip-hop that’s having success - for real. You never know. There might be some(one) right now that hasn’t pulled a Frank Ocean yet, that hasn’t jumped out of the closet to the living room to make that announcement.” Ice-T said he could see a gay rapper on the scene - depending on what kind of rap he or she performed. “I’ve done hardcore hip-hop in my life where masculinity is at a premium. At this moment right now, we’re in the world of pop-rap and it doesn’t really matter right now. These guys are singing, it’s pop music and being in pop and gay is

File photo shows Elton John (left) and Eminem appear together after performing a duet near the end of the 43rd annual Grammy Awards, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. — AP photos

File photo shows US hip-hop artist Snoop Dogg performs on stage at the Balaton Sound festival in Zamardi, Hungary.

File photo shows Darryl “DMC” McDaniels arrives at Spike TV “Guy’s Choice” awards in Culver City, Calif. “gay.”) Eminem was targeted by groups like GLAAD for his incessant slurs against gays, a role that now seems to be embodied by Tyler, the Creator, in his raps. Lil Wayne recently used a slur on Chris Brown’s “Look at Me Now,” a Grammy-nominated Top 10 pop hit and No.1 rap and R&B song. There are also terms like “no homo” and “pause” used in the hip-hop community after an utterance to acknowledge that what was said does not have any homosexual intent. In an interview, Wu-Tang’s Ghostface Killah recently explained the genre’s stance toward gays like this: “For the most part I think that hip-hop is, you know, we always have been open-minded to a

File photo shows US hip-hop artist Snoop Dogg performs on stage at the Balaton Sound festival in Zamardi, Hungary. lot of things. It’s just certain things we just - we don’t deal with.” When asked if a gay rapper could make it in hiphop, Raekwon, another Wu-Tang member, said: “I mean, I don’t know. I guess that’s a question we all

OK,” he said. “It would be difficult to listen to a gay gangster rapper ... If you’re a gangster rapper like myself and Ice Cube ... if one of us came out and said something, that would be a big thing. That would be like, ‘Whoa! What?’” But some of hip-hop’s key figures have given some kind of support to the gay community. Pharrell recently collaborated with the openly gay pop singer Mika on the song “Celebrate.” Jay-Z, like Eminem, has said people of the same sex should be able to love one another. Eminem performed with Elton John at the 2001 Grammy Awards at the height of GLAAD’s criticism. DMC is skeptical about some of hip-hop’s recent support of Ocean, since he believes homophobia is still rampant in the culture. Still, he is sure a homosexual hip-hop act will emerge: “Of course there’s going to be a gay rapper.” He said that a rapper’s success would be determined not by his sexuality, but by the quality of his raps. —AP

Lifestyle FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2012

(From left) Indian Bollywood film actress and a former model Ankita Shorey, film actress Bipasha Basu and Indian contender for Miss World 2012 Vanya Mishra showcase jewelry designer Gitanjali Jewels creations as they walk the ramp during the fourth day of India International Jewelry Week 2012 (IIJW) in Mumbai on August 22, 2012. —AFP photos


International Jewelry Week 2012

This film image released by Disney shows Victor, voiced by Charlie Tahan (left) and his pet Sparky in a scene from ‘Frankenweenie.’ — AP


Burton’s ‘Frankenweenie’ to open London Film fest

ondon Film Festival organizers say this year’s event will open in October with Tim Burton’s canine monster movie “Frankenweenie.” The animated black-and-white tale of a boy’s attempts to bring his beloved dead dog back to life will have its European premiere at the festival on Oct 10. It will have a red-carpet gala premiere at London’s Odeon Leicester Square and will be screened simultaneously

at 30 theaters across Britain. The film is a feature-length expansion of Burton’s 1984 live-action short of the same name. Festival chief Clare Stewart said Thursday that Burton’s “funny, dark and whimsical” tale “playfully turns the Frankenstein story on its bolted-on head.” The 56th London Film Festival runs Oct 10-21. The full lineup will be announced next month. — AP

Jolie, Pitt daughter to make film debut as young princess


he is only four-years-old but Vivienne Jolie-Pitt, daughter of actors Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, will soon follow in the footsteps of her famous parents, appearing in Disney movie “Malificent,” the studio said on Wednesday. The movie is expected to hit theaters in March 2014 with Jolie playing villain Malificent from animated classic “Sleeping Beauty.” Vivienne will portray a young version of Princess

Aurora who is cursed to sleep until awoken by kiss from a handsome prince. “Angelina Jolie’s daughter Vivienne will play a minor role as the child version of Princess Aurora opposite her mother in “Maleficent,” Disney said in a statement. “The liveaction film explores the origins of Disney’s most iconic villain, Maleficent, and what led her to curse Princess Aurora.” No further details were available. —Reuters

Indian Bollywood film actress Yami Gautam showcases jewelry designer D Navinchandra (Kriplani) Jewels creations.

Bollywood film actress Esha Gupta showcases jewelry designer Kashi Jewelers Jewels.

Jason Dolan set to direct vampire flick ‘Bloodloss’


ason Dolan has been tapped to direct the experimental feature film and social media project “Bloodloss,” from his own script, for the management production companies Benderspink, Caliber Media Co and Simplicity Media, Benderspink’s JC Spink told TheWrap. “Bloodloss” focuses on a documentary television producer as she investigates her sister’s sudden disappearance into an underground culture of self-proclaimed “vampires” in Los Angeles. Jeffrey Potts wrote the original draft. The feature narrative will be made up of faux-documentary scenes, relying on a combination of actors and real-life participants who live the vampire lifestyle, including both human vampires and their blood donors. It will be filmed inside vampire fetish clubs. The social media campaign will include status updates, video posts, and blog entries and will allow viewers to engage with each character. In a writing partnership with Shawn Christensen, Dolan co-wrote and produced the Lionsgate feature “Enter Nowhere” as well as the Scott Free project “Sidney Hall.” Dolan and Christensen’s script “The Legend of Roddy Dean Pippin” is currently in preproduction for director Brinton Bryan. As a solo writer, Dolan optioned his script “Polar Seasons” to actress Jaime King, who intends to direct. —Reuters

Lifestyle FRIDAY, AUGUST 24 , 2012

360 Mall hosts Aladdin Arabian Nights Show By Sherif Ismail


world of magic and fantasy coloured the building of 360 Mall for a three-day Eid Al-Fitr holiday. Parents and children flocked to enjoy the Aladdin Arabian Nights Shows who charmed the eyes of onlookers with hyper professionally physical performance and magic. Men in stilts were entertaining the crowds of spectators who were trying to take snaps of the event. There were three shows and many interactions in 360. The fantastic themed acts were performed on the Main Atrium’s stage at the Ground Leve. Professional UK-based entertainers were the highlight of the show. During the shows, stilt walkers, Aladdin flying carpet performer, jugglers, acrobats, a magician and many more mingled with shoppers and children.

— Photos by Sherif & Loay Ismail

Lifestyle FRIDAY, AUGUST 24 , 2012


Al-Madena Al-Shohada’a Al-Shuwaikh Al-Nuzha Sabhan Al-Helaly Al-Fayhaa Al-Farwaniya Al-Sulaibikhat Al-Fahaheel Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh Ahmadi Al-Mangaf Al-Shuaiba Al-Jahra Al-Salmiya

22418714 22545171 24810598 22545171 24742838 22434853 22545051 24711433 24316983 23927002 24316983 23980088 23711183 23262845 25610011 25616368

Hospitals Sabah Hospital


Amiri Hospital


Maternity Hospital


Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital


Chest Hospital


Farwaniya Hospital


Adan Hospital


Ibn Sina Hospital


Al-Razi Hospital


Physiotherapy Hospital


Prayer timings Fajr: Duhr: Asr: Maghrib: Isha:

03:58 11:50 15:25 18:19 19:39


The Public Institution for Social Security

Ministry of Interior

Public Authority of Industry

Public Authority for Civil Information

Prisoners of War Committee

Kuwait News Agency

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affair

Kuwait Municipality

Ministry of Energy (Oil)

Kuwait Electronic Government

Ministry of Energy (Electricity and Water)

Ministry of Finance

Public Authority for Housing Welfare

Ministry of Commerce and Industry

Ministry of Justice

Ministry of Education

Ministry of Communications

Ministry of Information

Supreme Council for Planning and Development

Kuwait Awqaf Public Foundation

Clinics Rabiya














Abdullah Salim




Industrial Shuwaikh






Bneid Al-Ghar






Ayoun Al-Kibla










Maidan Hawally




112 Ministry of Interior website:

Relationships FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2012

Starting all over again Research on bereavement is gaining momentum

Former Sacramento County (California) Supervisor Sandy Smoley works in her midtown home. —MCT


lmost four years after her husband’s death from Parkinson’s disease, former Sacramento County, Calif, supervisor Sandra Smoley has reinvented her life. She rented out the Fair Oaks home where she lived with her late husband, architect Walter Rohrer, and she moved to a cozy midtown house in the thick of things. In July, she even served as a judge for the Bastille Day waiters’ races in midtown. Having emerged from the long shadow of her husband’s 12year illness and death, she says she loves her life now. “I think some of that has to do with my outgoing, social personality,” said Smoley, 76. “I don’t want other women to feel that if they’re not happy in widowhood, there’s something wrong with them. Everybody is their own person in how they handle widowhood.” And grief has its own timetable. For the almost 11 million Americans age 65 and older who have lost their spouses, the emotional landscape of older age is defined at least in part by grief. In 2009, some 290,000 men in that age group and 648,000 women became widowed, US Census data show. Every year, at least 1 million people live through the death of a spouse, the Social Security Administration estimates. But all widowhood experiences are not the same: Some people seem to remain caught in an ongoing loop of mourning for years, while others manage to find new hope and energy

in a relatively short time. Why? Answers have been hard to come by in the past, but research into bereavement is starting to gain new momentum, just as the enormous age wave of the baby boom generation edges into the territory of widowhood. As it turns out, the late psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ widely known five stages of grief - denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, which together have become a cultural road map for moving through grief - arose from her observational research on what the dying experience, not the bereaved. What we think we know about grieving, in other words, is flawed, despite the fact that for most people, widowhood is the most significant turning point of older adulthood. “Many of these people have been married 50 or 60 years,” said Linda Tucker, a Sacramento clinical psychologist who directs the Widowed Persons Association of California’s grief recovery workshops. “God love them, your heart wants to break for them sometimes. They’ve been together all their lives, and suddenly, that person’s gone.” She knows. Her husband, Dr William Tucker, died of an aneurysm in his 60s in 1989. Six months later, her daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and not long after, her sister died. “It all came crashing down,” she said. “That first year was a terrible time. I didn’t

think I’d survive it.” But she did, in part because she found new purpose from her grief: She returned to school for her doctorate in psychology, specializing in working with the bereaved. Despite the pain of losing a spouse, most people move forward. More than 60 percent of widows and widowers handle bereavement with resilience, finding moments of solace, even laughter, alongside their sadness, according to Columbia University clinical psychology professor George Bonanno, who researches the science of bereavement. “We found that most people when a spouse dies are deeply pained and sad but essentially fine,” said Bonanno. “And older people cope better than younger people. They’re more likely to be resilient. We used to think it was the opposite - that an older person would die of a broken heart. That’s not true.” According to Bonanno’s research, about 30 percent of the bereaved suffer intense, deep grief for a year or more before beginning to recover. Only about 10 percent of the grieving seem to get stuck in their grief, he has found, drowning in daily yearning for a spouse who has been deceased for years. While the resilient are at peace with the idea of death long before a loved one dies, his research shows, the opposite is true of people who remain mired in grief: Death alarms them so deeply that they don‘t want to acknowledge

it. They also score highest in terms of being overly dependent on their spouses. “There’s a sense that they depended on the person who died for too many things, and the widow or widower can’t be the same person without them there,” Bonanno said. So deep is this prolonged grieving - variously called complicated bereavement, unresolved grief and delayed grief reaction - that an American Psychiatric Association panel earlier this year floated the idea of including extended grief in the definition of major depression in its revised diagnostic manual, the DSM-V, to be published next spring. The panel has since reconsidered. The problem is that normal grief can look a lot like depression. But grief is a reaction, not a disorder, and it has a beginning, middle and end. For Barbara Stewart, the beginning was horrendous. She was stunned when her husband of 31 years’ time, Mark, died unexpectedly from a heart attack in their Sacramento home in 2001. “I didn’t have his memorial service until a month after he died,” said Stewart, 71, a longtime volunteer with the Widowed Persons Association. “The loss of my husband was so traumatic for me. I’d just sit and cry. I couldn’t deal with it. I didn’t want to. “Every day, I’d go to the funeral home to make the arrangements, and every day, I’d have to leave.” Even so, she gradually emerged into a new life. “I believe in today,” she said. —MCT



Aries (March 21-April 19) Make sure both your expectations and abilities are realistic before diving into something you may not be able to get out of without harm or embarrassment. This is a good time to lead the way on a project, for your originality is unusually heightened. There is an excellent opportunity now to gain new insights into unresolved problems at work. Also, this time is conducive in researching and gaining as much information as possible about a new business venture or investment. Your mind is sharp, making you readily receptive to all thoughts that impinge upon you. It’s best, however, to rely on facts rather than feelings. Sudden correspondence with a long-lost friend may occur this afternoon. Expect the unexpected for today.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) After what you have learned recently, you may want to change your own ideas and lifelong beliefs. External or internal pressures may force you to reevaluate your priorities and change your mind set. You may have always thought you wanted to live in a particular place, believe certain things or work at a particular profession. You may make the decision to change all or one of those things soon. Your enthusiasm is high and it is best to apply this fervor into practical pursuits. Mental stimulation from others is key for you and it’s a good idea to make every effort to cooperate and compromise with others. This evening, the desire for intimacy and love with a partner is great, with the expression of affection being most satisfying to you.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) Your sense of what is beautiful may change somewhat today, leading you out of ordinary routines. An early morning walk may take you by a baby bird’s nest or some wild honeysuckle. Your sensitivity to others is increased, yet tends to delude you from time to time—perhaps encouraging you to misplace your affections. You want to be helpful to a co-worker but it may be the other person’s turn to solve the problems. This afternoon is an excellent time for taking a part in social activities with friends. The romantic dreamier side in you is in full blossom and you will enjoy some romantic time with your loved one. You may take turns to reflect upon life’s path at this time. It is a good time to pull closer to a loved one, or perhaps a time to start anew.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) You should expend great zest in moneymaking efforts with a caution toward the act of writing checks or use of plastic! Mostly, though, you should avoid the desire to obtain material status symbols at this time. You should find it a good day to work and communicate with others. It may be best to follow the slow and steady idea for today—you are a winner. It is paramount that you refrain from letting any inconvenience or obstacle hinder your job performance. Stay in the present by not allowing word games, such as what-if or the should-have phrases, to enter your mind. Perhaps a long trip can be planned soon. Optionally, you could work out of your home or take in a renter. Now is an excellent time to plan for the future both financially and socially.

Leo (July 23-August 22) You can be penetrating and quick thinking today. This is beneficial in investigative work. You are able to sway others, but take care not to offend with insensitivity. Your ability to perceive the thoughts and feelings of others may bring you unexpected rewards, especially when it comes to selling products or detective work. Additionally, this is a time when your powers of creativity are great. Problem-solving situations are easy tasks. This afternoon it will be easy to talk you into some form of physical activity—like sports. The power of attraction and desire for love is great, but you should exercise caution before entering a new relationship that may come about during this time. Help organize a community cleanup committee for the area in which you live.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) This is a time when you may expend a great deal of effort to secure finances. This may come about because of some loss or adjustment. New plans for an increase in income can be made and begun at this time. Careful thought must be given to the practical use of money. Some good news here is that some of your projects will come to an end—bringing financial relief. This could mean the selling of land, property or some product or service you enjoy selling as a profession. This is a good time to try and foster a sense of togetherness and team play among family members. You should try hard at this time to squelch the desire to do everything by yourself. Keep your expectations realistic. You should be suspicious of any romantic activity today.

Libra (September 23-October 22) Today is a great day—you should experience all the benefits of this most powerful planet! Your enthusiasm is high and your creative juices are flowing—ready to be applied to the work at hand. If you give your best effort now, considerable success may follow and you could unconsciously help a close friend through your efforts. Business dealings may be particularly fruitful at this time. Ideas and thoughts will have greater meaning—you will understand the bigger picture, so to speak. This will give you insight to teach others—people will understand just what you mean. You should work hard to make time for your family during this time. Big changes in someone’s life on the homefront, perhaps an adult child, will affect you—be prepared to listen.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) This is a time when clear thinking and communication among co-workers is important. There could be hesitation in trying to make yourself clear but the effort could prove most beneficial. This is a time when the desire for material success and considerable monetary gain is great. You could, however, be reckless through gambling or speculation as you handle newfound finances. Companionship with others is most rewarding and you should take every opportunity to be with friends. You can be helping them as much as their presence is helping you. You are empowered with great mental activity. This is the time to discuss any problems with friends and get them out in the open. You will work to create pleasant surroundings.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) There may be some serious decisions made about the future of a project, investment or term of employment with your business at this time. You may face criticism from co-workers or your boss today—particularly about a project of yours. Stand by your guns and do not be afraid to hear criticism. Your inner strength may be tested. Spending time with close, old friends is advisable soon. Do not hide beneath a shell but open up to loved ones—there are answers. Discussing ideas with friends can be most beneficial and rewarding. Marriage and other close relationships give rise to great expectations now. This is a time to enjoy and appreciate your ties to others and to seek and promote harmony in the interaction between people.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) Today, your moods may fluctuate as much as the weather. This is not a good time to make any concrete decisions. Reflect on the past and contemplate your next step. Do those things you previously put off—settle down and concentrate—much can be accomplished. This is a time of self-discipline as you concentrate on a few important matters. You have an increased understanding of life—especially practical matters. Applying yourself to work and helping friends, even in the subtlest manner, should prove successful. Relationships that start now will almost certainly be long lasting. Friends of friends want to introduce you. Think about hosting a photo album or scrapbook party for some of your casual friends—gaining a closer connection.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) You are very popular in the workplace today. You will also spend a great deal of time communicating with co-workers and people apart from work. You may think seriously about your career up to now and take stock of where you want your professional life to progress. Additionally, you may find it favorable to introduce new ideas to superiors in hopes of winning others to your point of view. Your eloquence today will enhance your influence over others. This afternoon you may feel a renewed interest in nature and the arts. There is not only a desire for outdoor, physical activity at this time, but there will most likely be ample opportunities to partake in it. Relations with friends are strong and carefree.

Pisces (February 19-March 20) Your self-confidence is good today and you are full of cheer. Today brings about productive results. Take care not to fall into the unbalanced area of extravagance. If you take the initiative, a goal that seemed beyond your reach may now be obtainable. You have a passion that is best applied in enjoying the company of friends. There may be opportunities for a party or other type of social gathering—like a family reunion. Go for it! You have a deep desire for personal freedom. You face tremendous responsibilities in relationships with loved ones and are apt to have difficulty expressing wants and desires openly to companions. You should try during this time to enjoy your companions without being afraid to voice your true feelings.

COUNTRY CODES Afghanistan 0093 Albania 00355 Algeria 00213 Andorra 00376 Angola 00244 Anguilla 001264 Antiga 001268 Argentina 0054 Armenia 00374 Australia 0061 Austria 0043 Bahamas 001242 Bahrain 00973 Bangladesh 00880 Barbados 001246 Belarus 00375 Belgium 0032 Belize 00501 Benin 00229 Bermuda 001441 Bhutan 00975 Bolivia 00591 Bosnia 00387 Botswana 00267 Brazil 0055 Brunei 00673 Bulgaria 00359 Burkina 00226 Burundi 00257 Cambodia 00855 Cameroon 00237 Canada 001 Cape Verde 00238 Cayman Islands 001345 Central African Republic 00236 Chad 00235 Chile 0056 China 0086 Colombia 0057 Comoros 00269 Congo 00242 Cook Islands 00682 Costa Rica 00506 Croatia 00385 Cuba 0053 Cyprus 00357 Cyprus (Northern) 0090392 Czech Republic 00420 Denmark 0045 Diego Garcia 00246 Djibouti 00253 Dominica 001767 Dominican Republic 001809 Ecuador 00593 Egypt 0020 El Salvador 00503 England (UK) 0044 Equatorial Guinea 00240 Eritrea 00291 Estonia 00372 Ethiopia 00251 Falkland Islands 00500 Faroe Islands 00298 Fiji 00679 Finland 00358 France 0033 French Guiana 00594 French Polynesia 00689 Gabon 00241 Gambia 00220 Georgia 00995 Germany 0049 Ghana 00233 Gibraltar 00350 Greece 0030 Greenland 00299 Grenada 001473 Guadeloupe 00590 Guam 001671 Guatemala 00502 Guinea 00224 Guyana 00592 Haiti 00509 Holland (Netherlands)0031 Honduras 00504 Hong Kong 00852 Hungary 0036 Ibiza (Spain) 0034 Iceland 00354 India 0091 Indian Ocean 00873 Indonesia 0062 Iran 0098 Iraq 00964 Ireland 00353 Italy 0039 Ivory Coast 00225 Jamaica 001876 Japan 0081 Jordan 00962 Kazakhstan 007 Kenya 00254 Kiribati 00686

Kuwait 00965 Kyrgyzstan 00996 Laos 00856 Latvia 00371 Lebanon 00961 Liberia 00231 Libya 00218 Lithuania 00370 Luxembourg 00352 Macau 00853 Macedonia 00389 Madagascar 00261 Majorca 0034 Malawi 00265 Malaysia 0060 Maldives 00960 Mali 00223 Malta 00356 Marshall Islands 00692 Martinique 00596 Mauritania 00222 Mauritius 00230 Mayotte 00269 Mexico 0052 Micronesia 00691 Moldova 00373 Monaco 00377 Mongolia 00976 Montserrat 001664 Morocco 00212 Mozambique 00258 Myanmar (Burma) 0095 Namibia 00264 Nepal 00977 Netherlands (Holland)0031 Netherlands Antilles 00599 New Caledonia 00687 New Zealand 0064 Nicaragua 00505 Nigar 00227 Nigeria 00234 Niue 00683 Norfolk Island 00672 Northern Ireland (UK)0044 North Korea 00850 Norway 0047 Oman 00968 Pakistan 0092 Palau 00680 Panama 00507 Papua New Guinea 00675 Paraguay 00595 Peru 0051 Philippines 0063 Poland 0048 Portugal 00351 Puerto Rico 001787 Qatar 00974 Romania 0040 Russian Federation 007 Rwanda 00250 Saint Helena 00290 Saint Kitts 001869 Saint Lucia 001758 Saint Pierre 00508 Saint Vincent 001784 Samoa US 00684 Samoa West 00685 San Marino 00378 Sao Tone 00239 Saudi Arabia 00966 Scotland (UK) 0044 Senegal 00221 Seychelles 00284 Sierra Leone 00232 Singapore 0065 Slovakia 00421 Slovenia 00386 Solomon Islands 00677 Somalia 00252 South Africa 0027 South Korea 0082 Spain 0034 Sri Lanka 0094 Sudan 00249 Suriname 00597 Swaziland 00268 Sweden 0046 Switzerland 0041 Syria 00963 Taiwan 00886 Tanzania 00255 Thailand 0066 Toga 00228 Tonga 00676 Tokelau 00690 Trinidad 001868 Tunisia 00216 Turkey 0090 Tuvalu 00688 Uganda 00256 Ukraine 00380 United Arab Emirates00976


To Yester

Word Sleuth Solution

Yesterday’s Solution


7 7 5



1. A bachelor's degree in naval science. 4. Very small northern fish. 10. A solution containing a phosphate buffer. 13. The network in the reticular formation that serves an alerting or arousal function. 14. The first light of day. 15. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 16. The month following March and preceding May. 17. (Greek mythology) The Muse of lyric and love poetry. 19. take exception to. 21. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 22. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 23. Dwell (archaic). 26. An advertisement (usually printed on a page or in a leaflet) intended for wide distribution. 29. Either extremity of something that has length. 33. An overwhelming feeling of wonder or admiration. 37. A collection of objects laid on top of each other. 39. A graphical record of electrical activity of the brain. 41. English theoretical physicist who applied relativity theory to quantum mechanics and predicted the existence of antimatter and the positron (19021984). 43. A silvery ductile metallic element found primarily in bauxite. 44. An effortful attempt to attain a goal. 45. An official prosecutor for a judicial district. 46. Large dark brown North American arboreal carnivorous mammal. 48. A minor parish official who serves as an usher and preserves order at services. 51. United States swimmer who in 1926 became the first woman to swim the English Channel (1903- ). 55. A summary that repeats the substance of a longer discussion. 58. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 59. A human limb. 60. Pertaining to or resembling amoebae. 62. The 22nd letter of the Greek alphabet. 63. A usually soluble substance for staining or coloring e.g. fabrics or hair. 64. West Indian tree having racemes of fragrant white flowers and yielding a durable timber and resinous juice. 65. The dialect of Chinese spoken in Canton and neighboring provinces and in Hong Kong and elsewhere outside China. DOWN 1. (informal) Exceptionally good. 2. Plant with an elongated head of broad stalked leaves resembling celery. 3. An antidepressant drug that acts by blocking the reuptake of serotonin so that more serotonin is available to act on receptors in the brain. 4. Conqueror of Gaul and master of Italy (100-44 BC). 5. A sensation (as of a cold breeze or bright light) that precedes the onset of certain disorders such as a migraine attack or epileptic seizure. 6. Colonial siphonophore of up to 130 ft long. 7. (often followed by `of') A large number or amount or extent. 8. Garments (clothes or linens) that are to be (or have been) ironed. 9. A silvery soft waxy metallic element of the alkali metal group. 10. Large burrowing rodent of South and Central America.

11. Cry plaintively. 12. A island in the Netherlands Antilles that is the top of an extinct volcano. 18. The compass point that is one point east of due south. 20. The compass point that is one point east (clockwise) of due north. 24. A small short-legged smooth-coated breed of hound. 25. A doctor's degree in religion. 27. 100 lwei equal 1 kwanza. 28. A period of time containing 365 (or 366) days. 30. The second largest of the Hawaiian Islands. 31. An outlying farm building for storing grain or animal feed and housing farm animals. 32. By bad luck. 34. A heavy ductile magnetic metallic element. 35. A light springing movement upwards or forwards. 36. A feudal lord or baron in Scotland. 38. A genus of Ploceidae. 40. The great hall in ancient Persian palaces. 42. A high-crowned black cap (usually made of felt or sheepskin) worn by men in Turkey and Iran and the Caucasus. 47. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 49. Suggestive of the supernatural. 50. The highest level or degree attainable. 52. Full of zest or vigor. 53. A Loloish language. 54. A member of an Iroquoian people formerly living on the south shore of Lake Erie in northern Ohio and northwest Pennsylvania and western New York. 56. A logarithmic unit of sound intensity equal to 10 decibels. 57. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 61. Informal terms for a mother.

Yesterday’s Solution

Sports FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2011

Athletics roll over Twins OAKLAND: Coco Crisp homered, hit an RBI double and scored three runs, as the Oakland Athletics beat the Minnesota Twins 5-1 on Wednesday for their second straight winning series. Yoenis Cespedes hit a go-ahead two-run single in the third inning that held up for Tommy Milone, and Crisp also singled and stole his 28th base to give the A’s a muchneeded boost only a couple of hours after right-hander Bartolo Colon received a 50game suspension for a positive testosterone test a day before he had been scheduled to start the opener of a series at Tampa Bay. Milone (10-9) allowed one run and two hits, struck out five and walked one in eight impressive innings to end a five-start winless stretch. Minnesota starter Liam Hendriks (0-6) is still searching for his first major league win after 13 career starts, and nine this season.

inning, and the Mariners beat Cleveland for their eighth straight win. Seattle completed a three-game sweep and is on its longest winning streak since taking eight in a row from June 23 to July 1, 2007. The Mariners have won 15 of their last 16 home games. Cleveland has lost eight in a row. Vinnie Pestano (3-1) was the loser. Stephen Pryor (3-0) pitched two-thirds of an inning of hitless relief, and Tom Wilhelmsen threw a hitless ninth for his 19th save in 21 chances. Rays 5, Royals 3 At St. Petersburg, James Shields took a three-hitter into the eighth inning, leading Tampa Bay over the Royals for the Rays’ 16th win in 21 games.

Shields (12-7) retired 12 in a row after Alcides Escobar’s two-out single in the third and allowed three runs and five hits in 7 2-3 innings. The right-hander struck out seven and walked one, improving to 4-0 with a 2.15 ERA in his last five starts. Escobar ended Shields’ day with a twoout RBI triple in the eighth. Luis Mendoza (79) gave up two runs, five hits and four walks in 4 1-3 innings. He also hit a batter and balked. White Sox 2, Yankees 1 In Chicago, Chris Sale struck out 13 in 7 2-3 stellar innings for his 15th victory, Alex Rios hit a go-ahead homer and the White Sox beat the Yankees to complete a threegame sweep.

Rangers 12, Orioles 3 In Arlington, Adrian Beltre hit three home runs, including two in a nine-run fourth inning, and had five RBIs for the Rangers in a victory over the Orioles. Beltre hit his first homer leading off the second against former teammate Tommy Hunter. He connected again off Hunter for a two-run shot with none out in the fourth. He then hit another two-run drive with two outs while facing Kevin Gregg. Mitch Moreland hit his first grand slam in the fourth, when the Rangers sent 12 batters to the plate. He matched Beltre with a career high-tying five RBIs. The power surge supported a solid effort by Derek Holland (8-6). The left-hander pitched seven innings, giving up three runs and five hits. He struck out five and walked three. Hunter (4-8) allowed eight runs on eight hits - three home runs - in three-plus innings. Mariners 3, Indians 1 In Seattle, Eric Thames hit a tiebreaking, two-run double with two outs in the eighth

OAKLAND: Athletics’ Coco Crisp (4) scores on a single by Yoenis Cespedes during the third inning of a baseball game. — AP

Sale (15-4) outpitched New York’s Phil Hughes, allowing one walk and three hits, including Derek Jeter’s solo homer in the sixth - the Yankees star’s third homer in as many nights. Addison Reed worked the ninth for his 23rd save in 26 chances. Hughes (12-11) allowed five hits and two runs in seven innings with two walks and five strikeouts. Chicago scored first for the first time in the series when Gordon Beckham doubled, Dewayne Wise reached on a bunt single and Kevin Youkilis hit a sacrifice fly in the third. Tigers 3, Blue Jays 2 In Detroit, Anibal Sanchez pitched effectively into the seventh inning, and Detroit held on to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2 on Wednesday night. Sanchez (2-3), acquired from Miami in a five-player deal last month, allowed one earned run and five hits in 6 2-3 innings. He struck out six and walked two, leaving with the tying run on third base. Aaron Laffey (3-5) allowed two earned runs and five hits in six-plus innings. He walked three and struck out two. The Blue Jays have been held to three or fewer runs for six straight games. Angels 7, Red Sox 3 In Boston, Jered Weaver rebounded from a terrible start by pitching seven solid innings, and the Angels beat the fading Red Sox. Howie Kendrick hit a solo homer and Torii Hunter had a two-run single for the Angels. Los Angeles slugger Albert Pujols left in the fourth inning with tightness in his right calf. He went 2 for 2 and scored a run. Ryan Lavarnway and Mike Aviles had RBI doubles for Boston, which lost for the sixth time in eight games and fell to 6-14 in August. Weaver (16-3) gave up two runs and seven hits, struck out five and walked one. Boston’s Clay Buchholz (11-4) matched his season high for runs allowed, giving up seven in 5 1-3 innings. The 12 hits allowed equaled a career worst. — AP

D’backs, Brewers triumph PHOENIX: Rookie Wade Miley pitched eight innings to earn his 14th victory, and Arizona beat Miami 3-0 on Wednesday night to complete a sweep of the first home doubleheader in Diamondbacks history. Fellow left-hander Tyler Skaggs (1-0) made his major league debut in the opener, allowing two runs and three hits over 6 2-3 innings in a 3-2 victory. Miley (14-8) gave up four singles, struck out five and walked one. Paul Goldschmidt singled in a run in the first, then doubled and scored in the fourth for Arizona. Aaron Hill had a two-run homer and RBI single in the first game. Miami’s Wade LeBlanc (2-3) gave up three runs, two earned, and five hits in seven innings in the nightcap. JJ Putz pitched a scoreless ninth in both games for his 16th and 17th consecutive saves. He has 26 saves in 29 tries on the year. Justin Ruggiano hit a two-run homer off Skaggs for Miami’s only runs in 18 innings on the day. After collecting 35 hits while winning the first two games of the series, the Marlins managed nine total in the doubleheader. Skaggs struck out four and walked five. Jacob Turner (0-1) allowed three runs and four hits in six innings in his first start for Miami since coming to the Marlins in a trade deadline deal with Detroit. Brewers 3, Cubs 2 In Milwaukee, Ryan Braun hit his NL-leading

34th homer and Yovani Gallardo pitched seven strong innings as Milwaukee completed a threegame sweep of Chicago. John Axford pitched a scoreless ninth to convert his second straight save, returning to his role as the Brewers’ closer after he was demoted earlier in the season. Gallardo (13-8) gave up two runs and four hits, with nine strikeouts and two walks. Braun hit a solo shot deep to right-center in the sixth and had an RBI double in the first. With Wednesday’s homer, Braun has surpassed the 33 he hit during his 2011 NL MVP season. David DeJesus and Bryan LaHair homered for Chicago. Cubs starter Travis Wood (4-10) gave up three runs and six hits in seven innings with a walk and six strikeouts. Braves 5, Nationals 1 In Washington, Kris Medlen pitched seven shutout innings in his latest winning performance and Martin Prado’s two-run double proved decisive to help the Braves end a four-game losing streak. Medlen (5-1) allowed seven hits while striking out seven and walking one in his fifth start of the season. The Braves have won 16 consecutive starts behind the right-hander dating to May 2010. Atlanta salvaged the three-game divisional series and halted the Nationals’ threegame winning streak. Coming off a shutout in his last outing, Medlen extended his scoreless streak to 21 innings. Since entering the Braves rotation on

July 31, the right-hander is 4-0 with a 0.84 ERA. For the first time in five games the Braves offense scored more than two runs. Two of the Braves’ three ninth-inning runs against reliever Tom Gorzelanny were unearned. Reds 3, Phillies 2 In Philadelphia, Bronson Arroyo allowed three hits in eight-plus innings, and Jay Bruce homered to lead Cincinnati. Arroyo (10-7), who gave up both runs while striking out four and walking none, retired the first 14 batters before Domonic Brown’s two-out homer in the fifth. Brown doubled off the wall in right-center with one out in the eighth and pinch-hitter Kevin Fransden reached on an infield single leading off the ninth for the other hits off Arroyo. Arroyo, who was 0-6 with a 9.46 ERA in his last seven regular-season starts against the Phillies, improved to 6-1 with a 3.50 ERA in his last seven starts. Aroldis Chapman got three outs for his 31st save in 35 chances. Philadelphia starter Vance Worley (6-9) allowed two runs and eight hits in six innings. It was Worley’s third straight loss but the longest outing in four starts for the righty, who has one win in his last seven starts. Rockies 5, Mets 2 In New York, Wilin Rosario hit a tiebreaking homer in the seventh inning, and Colorado won its seventh straight victory at Citi Field. Rosario also had a sacrifice fly, and DJ LeMahieu drove in

a run with a squeeze bunt to help the last-place Rockies win their fourth straight and eighth in 11 games. Colorado will go for a four-game sweep late yesterday, a feat the Rockies accomplished during their previous visit to Queens in April 2011. Rookie Matt Harvey struck out nine over six innings of three-hit ball, but the Mets lost their fourth straight and fell to 11-27 since the All-Star break, leaving them a season-worst 10 games below .500. With two runners on in the ninth inning, New York’s Ronny Cedeno flied out to the warning track in left to end it. New York cut it to 3-2 in the eighth. Scott Hairston, who had a sacrifice fly in the first, hit a two-out double off Carlos Torres (2-1) and scored on Ike Davis’ single against Matt Reynolds. Will Harris struck out pinch-hitter Jordany Valdespin to preserve the lead. Rafael Betancourt worked a scoreless ninth for his 25th save in 30 attempts. Rosario connected off Ramon Ramirez (2-3) leading off the seventh. Cardinals 4, Astros 2 In St Louis, Kyle Lohse pitched seven innings of three-hit ball to earn his seventh consecutive win for St Louis. Lohse (13-2) gave up two runs and retired his last 14 batters while improving to 7-0 with a 2.21 ERA in 12 starts since he dropped a 3-2 decision against Kansas City on June 15. The Cardinals have won consecutive games to grab a half-game lead on Pittsburgh for the second wild-card spot in the National League. —AP

Sports FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2011

US Ryder Cup unity a bigger factor: Bjorn LOS ANGELES: Close team bonds have not always been a hallmark for the United States at past Ryder Cups but that is likely to change in a big way at this year’s edition, according to European vice-captain Thomas Bjorn. While Europe could previously bank on tighter team unity in the biennial competition because of relationships forged on the smaller and more sociable European Tour, Bjorn believes the 2012 American lineup will set new standards for camaraderie. “They’ve got a lot of guys who know each other really well like Bubba (Watson) and Rickie Fowler and Hunter Mahan,” Bjorn, a 13-times winner on the European Tour, told Reuters. “They spend a lot of time together so they are really good friends. That’s been one of our strengths in the past but I see a lot of that in their team now. “It won’t be as difficult for them to feel the team environment. It’s a lot easier when you’ve got guys that really

do get on well together.” Bjorn, a member of the triumphant European Ryder Cup teams in 1997 and 2002, felt the US PGA Tour had become a friendlier circuit in recent years. “In Europe, we stick together and spend a lot of time together across nationalities while over here, in the past, it seems like you go and do your own thing... you travel with your family,” the 41-year-old Dane said. “But I see players spending time together more and more now over here now and that will stand the US in very good stead at the Ryder Cup.” Eight of the 12 spots on the US team have already been secured and, in Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Watson, Webb Simpson, Keegan Bradley, Zach Johnson, Jason Dufner and Matt Kuchar, Bjorn sees a burning desire for the Cup to be wrested back from Europe. “They’ve got an unbelievable team this year and they are all

playing very well,” said Bjorn, who along with Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley will serve as an assistant to European Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal. “After a period where American golf didn’t look strong, they look extremely strong this season... they look like they want really hard to play in this Ryder Cup. “That’s something that has maybe been lacking a little bit in the past but it looks like they really want it.” Europe have won the trophy eight times in the last 16 Ryder Cups since their selection was expanded to include continental players in 1979 after years of American domination over British and Irish teams. Captained by Colin Montgomerie, the Europeans triumphed by a slender margin of 14-1/2 points to 13-1/2 in the most recent edition at Celtic Manor in Wales but they will have to contend with US crowds when they defend the trophy at Medinah Country Club out-

side Chicago from Sept 28-30. “Home advantage is important,” said Bjorn. “Once you start building momentum then it becomes extremely difficult for the away team to get it back because the crowds get very loud and very much behind their team and everyone gets on such a high. “The one thing that always amazes me in the Ryder Cup, as much pressure as there is, is that it’s probably where you see the best golf ever played because that momentum builds in people. “You see players playing the best golf of their lives in the Ryder Cup. That’s where the home advantage can come in. If you can build momentum, it just never seems to stop.” The 10 automatic qualifiers on the European team will be confirmed on Sunday after this week’s Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles in Scotland where Bjorn defends the title he won in a marathon five-man playoff last year. — Reuters

LPGA stars hail women members at Augusta VANCOUVER: World No. 1 Yani Tseng and USLPGA stars Michelle Wie and Brittany Lincicome hailed Augusta National Golf Club’s decision to allow women members for the first time in its 80-year history. The move was announced Monday with former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina businesswoman Darla Moore accepting invitations to join the famed home of the Masters, where women could play but had not been members. “I just feel very happy that they finally have let ladies be members,” said Tseng. “I’m looking forward to going and playing there if I can. I’ve never played there so I think it’s very interesting.” Taiwan’s Tseng is among the favorites at this week’s LPGA Canadian Open in Vancouver, where the 2010 Winter Olympics were staged. Tseng went to the London Olympics earlier this month and hopes to play when golf returns to the Olympic lineup in four years at Rio de Janerio. “After I went there I felt like I really want to play in the Olympics in four years, so that’s kind of my next big step, to win a gold medal,” Tseng said. “If I can play, I’ll be very, very honored. So it’s kind of one of the goals and dreams.” One of Wie’s dreams has been to compete at Augusta National, not just play there. The two-time LPGA Tour winner tried her hand at qualifying once by entering the US MidAmateur tournament and still longs to test her skills on the famed layout. “I think it’s great that they’re allowing female members now,” Wie said. “I think that’s very cool. I would love to play the golf course one time. “Playing in a Masters has always been a dream of mine. You’ve got to dream big. You never know. But it will always be a dream of mine.” Wie has played golf with Rice, who will don her green jacket in October. “I played a round of golf with her when she was in Hawaii by accident, so it was really nice catching up with her,” said Wie, who was a student at Stanford when Rice taught there. “It was really nice seeing her and just being able to talk to her was awesome.” For Lincicome, the defending Canadian Open champion, the landmark decision by Augusta National had meaning far beyond golf. “It’s great, not only for women’s golf-it shows how much the world is changing and evolving,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re the CEO of another company. It empowers women. “It’s not a man’s world as much anymore. It doesn’t have to be about golf. It can be whatever job you do. It’s really cool to see that it’s in my era, that I was a part of this. I think it’s amazing. I think it’s awesome.” Australian star Karrie Webb and US veteran Paula Creamer are among the LPGA players who have had a chance to play at Augusta National. Lincicome would not mind if one of the new members invited her for a trip down Magnolia Lane. “I’ve never played Augusta, so if any of those nice ladies want to invite me out to play, that would be amazing,” Lincicome said. —AFP

BRISTOL: Ron Silk, driver of the No. 6 Calverton Tree Farm/TS Haulers Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour UNOH Perfect Storm 150. — AFP

Peters wins Truck race at Bristol BRISTOL: Timothy Peters won the NASCAR Trucks Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Wednesday night, leading all 204 laps for his second victory of the season and fifth overall. “Boy, was she flawless tonight,” Peters said about his No. 17 Toyota. “What an amazing performance. This thing was phenomenal from lap one.” The Danville, Va, driver was rarely challenged during the race which was slowed by six cautions. He easily pulled away from Red Horse Racing teammate Parker Kligerman on a green-whitecheckered restart that was set up by Cale Gale’s crash on lap 193. “I wasn’t too worried about it,” Peters said. “We had a great truck with a Joe Gibbs Racing engine in it. We just had to make sure the driver didn’t make any mistakes.”

The first driver to lead every lap in a Truck race at Bristol since Ron Hornaday Jr. in 1997, Peters leads the season standings - 17 points ahead of James Buescher. The late restart caused a major change in the finishing order behind Peters and Kligerman. Brad Keselowski and Ty Dillon, lined up third and fourth behind the lead duo, ran out of fuel as the cars came to take the green flag. Dillon, who came into the race tied with Peters in the points standings, wound up 21st and dropped to third in the standings. Keselowski, the winner of the last two Sprint Cup Series races at Bristol, finished 25th. Kligerman had his best career finish. “We did everything we could to get track position,” Kligerman said. “I wish I would have had a better restart than

that. I wanted to get a good restart and we got a good jump but then he just pulled away.” Rookie driver Ross Chastain was third, also a career best. “I had some luck on some of those restarts, but I took advantage whenever I could,” Chastain said. “We came here expecting to run like this and had some lap times comparable to Timmy at the end.” All three of the top finishers were driving Toyotas. Joey Coulter was fourth, and Brendan Gaughan fifth both in Toyotas. The race was the second half of a doubleheader. Ronnie Silk won a 150lap race in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Series. Sprint Cup Series driver Ryan Newman, who was going for a third straight win in the race, had two flat tires and finished 19th. — AP

Sports FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2012

Cooper piles pressure on Wallabies AUCKLAND: Australia flyhalf Quade Cooper cranked up the pressure on himself and his team yesterday as they began final preparations for their crucial Rugby Championship clash with New Zealand tomorrow at Eden Park. Cooper was recalled to the side yesterday 10 months after suffering a sickening knee injury at the same ground during the World Cup. However, the New Zealand-born player was not prepared to discuss his return, or answer queries about facing the All Blacks again, when he fronted local reporters in Sydney. “That’s all I want to say is, I’m back. I’m fit, healthy - I’m ready to go. And I’ll see everybody at Eden Park,” Cooper told reporters at Leichhardt Oval in Sydney before stalking off. Asked if he had anything else to add, he replied: “No, that’s it”. The whole exchange lasted around 10 seconds, according to stunned local media. Virtually untouchable when the mood takes him at Super Rugby level, Cooper has struggled to impose his will on test matches, particularly against the All Blacks. His most memorable meltdown came during the World Cup semi-final loss when he was jeered from the time he kicked the ball into touch from the opening whistle and played poorly thereafter. Thursday’s walkout caused a massive media storm in Australia, where Wallabies’ coach Robbie Deans has come under increasing pressure after his side were beaten 27-19 by the All Blacks last week in Sydney. Local media reported before the competition began that the New Zealander’s job would be under threat if the Wallabies did not win the Rugby Championship or regain the Bledisloe Cup from the All Blacks, who have held it since 2003. Former Wallabies coach Alan Jones added fuel to the fire on Thursday when he told New Zealand radio station LiveSport he thought Deans was “out of his depth” and that Australia were being “badly coached”. Australia have not beaten the All Blacks at Eden Park since 1986 and Deans reinstated Cooper to provide the backline with an X-factor after their stilted performance last week in Sydney offered little creativity and enterprise. “Quade will be very keen to get back out there and play,” Deans said. “These blokes who play at this level understand you play in hostile environments, it’s about what you do, how you respond. “It’s not so much about the past, it’s about right now. “Tough experiences produce one of two responses. Either you build resilience and develop your toughness and keep going, or you opt out. And I think you’ll see a good response.” Deans may have unwittingly added to the pressure with his decision to drop fullback Kurtley Beale, widely regarded as a world class talent, after an uncharacteristically poor performance against New Zealand last week. “He’s still part of the group and there’s no doubt he’ll reestablish himself in time but obviously he wasn’t a bundle of confidence last week and we need blokes this week who are,” Deans said. One factor that Deans needed to remedy quickly before Saturday’s clash is the way in which the All Blacks pack upset scrumhalf Will Genia’s rhythm and blasted the Wallabies’ forwards off the ball at the breakdown. Part of that onus now falls on rookie openside flanker Michael Hooper, who is making his first test start. Hooper will try to fill the gap left by the absence of David Pocock, who is expected to miss three months after having knee surgery. The only change made by New Zealand coach Steve Hansen was at loosehead prop, where Wyatt Crockett replaces Tony Woodcock, who suffered a rib cartilage injury during last week’s victory. The All Blacks appeared rusty, but in control, in Sydney and wasted several opportunities to blow out the scoreline with handling errors and poor option taking. “Australia will be pretty disappointed with how they played last week,” Hansen told reporters in Auckland. “It sounds like they’ve battened down the hatches and are getting into it a wee bit. “We’ve got to expect they’ll raise their accuracy and intensity. We are going to have to do the same.” — Reuters

NEW HAVEN: Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic returns a shot to Nicole Gibbs during the New Haven Open at Yale. —AFP

Kvitova, Wozniacki advance at New Haven NEW HAVEN: Second-seeded Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic moved into the quarter-finals of the New Haven Open with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over America’s Nicole Gibbs. The 2011 Wimbledon champion, the only Grand Slam winner in the New Haven field, is coming off a title in Montreal, her first ever in North America, and a run to the semifinals in Cincinnati. I want to play a lot of matches here, and go for the US Open with a good result,” she said. “I want good matches in my bag.” Caroline Wozniacki remains undefeated in New Haven after beating Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden 7-6 (4), 6-2 in the second round. Third-seeded Wozniacki is playing in the tournament for the fifth time and is the four-time defending champion. Wednesday’s victory was her 19th here without a loss. “I think I just have the same mentality every time I go into a match,” Wozniacki said. “Out of respect for myself,

the tournament and the opponent, I treat it as a match that I want to win.” Her chances for a fifth straight title improved Tuesday when top-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska retired in the second set of a lackluster performance against qualifier Olga Govortsova with a sore shoulder. Radwanska said she did not want to risk aggravating the injury going into the US Open. The 19-year-old Gibbs was able to come back from 4-1 down to tie Kvitova before world’s fifth-ranked player put her away. Kvitova will play one of her best friends, Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals. Safarova beat Jie Zheng of China 6-4, 6-0. Wozniacki had a tougher time in her match. She never trailed against Arvidsson, but dropped three straight games after being up 4-1 in the first set, and had to battle the rest of the way. “I went a little bit down

with my level, she went a little bit up and all of the sudden it was just a struggle to win that first set,” Wozniacki said. “I’m just happy to be through. You don’t always have to be playing your best tennis, but just win the most important points.” She will play Dominika Cibulkova in the quarterfinals. The 5-foot-3 Slovakian used a powerful forehand to beat Andrea Petkovic of Germany 6-4, 6-1. “I’m compensating because I’m not so tall,” she said. “I have developed the power, good swing in my arms. I use the power in my shots.” Petkovic, who is coming off injuries to her back and right ankle, was playing in her first tournament since April and just her fourth of the year. “I’m quite satisfied because I didn’t break my neck,” she said. “That’s a development from the last tournament. My strokes and my movement and my body is totally fine.” — AP

Isner surges as Roddick falls WINSTON-SALEM: Defending champion John Isner overcame two rain delays to advance in straight sets, while Andy Roddick was eliminated from the WinstonSalem Open on Wednesday. The third-seeded Isner, ranked 10th in the world, needed only 71 minutes after the two delays to beat 13th-seeded Jurgen Melzer of Austria 6-4, 6-3 in the third round at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex. The fifth-seeded Roddick, a former world No. 1 player now ranked 21st, fell to 81st-ranked Steve Darcis of Belgium 7-6 (86), 7-6 (7-3), in the final hard-court tournament before the US Open next week in New York. Isner, born in nearby Greensboro, faced Belgium’s David Goffin in a quarterfinal match yesterday. Goffin held off Poland’s Lukasz Kubot 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (7-5). Yet getting on the court proved to be a challenge for Isner and Melzer - their match was pushed back by a nearly two-hour rain delay, then delayed an additional 45 minutes when it rained again during warmups.

However, Isner didn’t show any signs of sluggishness, serving 14 aces - two coming on second serves - and breaking Melzer’s serve twice in beating the left-hander for the first time in three tries. “It’s never easy playing at night, and the rain made it more difficult,” Isner said. “But I played well. I served well, and I hit my second serve especially well. All in all, I’m very happy with the match, and very happy I’m still alive.” Roddick had 13 aces, but the 2003 US Open champion struggled to find consistency with his ground strokes and Darcis’ short game, whose drop shots caught Roddick flat-footed several times. “I did not expect this,” Darcis said. “When I came here, I was not playing so good. But I had two good first matches, and here I play very good tennis. OK, Andy didn’t play his best tennis, but for me it’s a great win, especially before the US Open.” Roddick smashed his racket after losing the first set, and argued with chair umpire

Carlos Bernardes on a let serve call early in the second set. “I served ok, but I didn’t return too well and I wasn’t hitting the ball clean out there today,” said Roddick, who had beaten Darcis in two previous meetings. “If I don’t lose serve, I should do fine, and I didn’t. That just speaks to how far off the rest of my game was today.” Darcis will play second-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic, who beat Jarkko Nieminen of Finland 6-3, 6-2. Top-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France also advanced to the quarterfinals along with fourth-seeded Alexandr Dolgopolov of the Ukraine, sixth-seeded Marcel Granollers of Spain, and seventhseeded Sam Querrey. Tsonga defeated Sergiy Stakhowsky of the Ukraine 7-6 (7-1), 6-4; Dolgopolov beat No. 14 David Nalbandian of Argentina 6-3, 6-4; Granollers rallied to beat Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis 4-6, 63, 6-2; and Querrey edged ninth-seeded Feliciano Lopez of Spain 6-3, 6-4. — AP

Sports FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2012

Paralympics Games

Three Jordanians

out after sex allegations AMMAN: Jordan’s Paralympic committee said yesterday it has withdrawn three members from a preGames training camp in Northern Ireland over charges of sex offences. “The three athletes charged with a variety of offences in Northern Ireland will not be competing at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and will return home to Amman late yesterday,” the committee said in a statement to AFP. Two wheelchair-using powerlifters and their trainer appeared at Coleraine Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday facing charges including sexual assault and voyeurism. The committee said “it would be inappropriate for the accused athletes to compete at Games.” “We have a zero tolerance on any misconduct and will continue to work closely with the Northern Ireland authorities to assist in their investigation,” it added. The three, released Wednesday on combined bail and sureties of £5,500 ($8,700, 6,970 euros) each, “will be returned to court in Northern Ireland on October 18,” according to the statement. “However, our focus is now preparing the remaining members of the team for competition and we look forward to taking part in what promises to be a truly magnificent sporting event.” A senior Jordanian government official has denied reports that Jordan’s King Abdullah II had personally intervened in the case, although he said the monarch was “concerned” by the allegations. “If proven, these actions are condemned by Jordan, which fully backs the court. But at the same time, the kingdom supports Jordanian citizens inside the country and abroad,” the official told AFP on Wednesday. The men were arrested on Monday in the town of Antrim, northwest of Belfast, after three women lodged complaints. Power lifter Omar Sami Qaradhi, 31, faces three charges of sexual assault, two against a child, and one of voyeurism after allegedly entering a women’s changing room at the team’s training centre at the Antrim Forum leisure center. Police said he was identified by a 14-year-old girl who claimed that she posed for photos with him before he groped her in Antrim town centre. The same day, a girl aged 16 said she was walking along the river path beside the team’s training base at Antrim Forum with a friend when their path was blocked by the three accused. Police alleged that the girl was pushed by one of the men towards Omar, who placed his arm around her waist and tightened his grip, but then she ran away. —AFP

HYDERABAD: Indian cricketer Virat Kohli (right) congratulates teammate Cheteshwar Pujara after scoring a half century during the first day of the first cricket Test match against New Zealand. — AP

Pujara boosts India with comeback ton

HYDERABAD: Cheteshwar Pujara celebrated his comeback with a maiden century to help India post 307-5 on opening day of the first Test against New Zealand in Hyderabad yesterday. The 24-year-old, who played his last Test in January 2011, cracked a solid 119 not out in India’s first match after the retirement of veterans Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman. India were under pressure at 125-3 after losing experienced Virender Sehwag (47), Gautam Gambhir (22) and Sachin Tendulkar (19), but Pujara and Virat Kohli (58) propped up the innings with a 125-run stand for the fourth wicket. Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was unbeaten on 29 at stumps. Pujara, who replaced Dravid at number three, looked comfortable against both pace and spin during his 226-ball knock which contained one six and 15 fours. He played some aggressive shots after completing his half-century, hitting left-arm paceman Trent Boult for three fours in an over and smashing part-time spinner Kane Williamson over wide long-on for the first six of the match. Pujara, playing only his fourth Test, reached his hundred with a single to fineleg off paceman James Franklin, much to the delight of nearly 15,000 spectators. The 23-year-old Kohli, playing his ninth Test, cracked eight fours in his fourth Test half-century before falling to a poor shot, caught at second slip by Martin Guptill while trying to cut paceman Chris Martin. He gave a chance on 46 when he edged off-spinner Jeetan Patel, but lone-slip Ross

Taylor failed to hold on to it. It went for a four, helping the Indian to reach his halfcentury. India lost one more wicket when Suresh Raina, who replaced Laxman in the middle order, was caught behind off Patel after making three. Boult had Gambhir caught behind and then got a big wicket when he bowled Tendulkar, who was playing his first Test after becoming a member of parliament. Tendulkar could only add seven more runs to his lunch score of 12 before he was suprised by a Boult delivery that came in sharply. He hit just two fours in his slow 62ball innings. The world’s leading scorer in both Tests and one-dayers with an unprecedented 100 international centuries, the 39-year-old Tendulkar was in April nominated to the upper house of parliament, the Rajya Sabha, for his contribution to the nation.

Fast bowler Doug Bracewell was the other wicket-taker, having free-scoring opener Sehwag caught by Guptill at second slip. New Zealand earlier did not allow India to build a big partnership on a good batting track, removing both the openers in the morning and then dismissing Tendulkar in the afternoon. India put on 49 for the opening wicket after winning the toss when Boult dismissed Gambhir in the 10th over. The Indian opener hit four boundaries in his 36ball knock. Sehwag cracked nine fours in his brisk 41-ball knock before he fell to a loose shot, caught in the slips while attempting to cut Bracewell. He was lucky to survive in Bracewell’s previous over when his edge went between wicket-keeper Kruger van Wyk and first-slip Taylor for a four. He hit two more boundaries in the same over. —AFP

SCOREBOARD HYDERABAD, India: Scoreboard at stumps on the opening day of the first Test between India and New Zealand in Hyderabad yesterday: India 1st innings: G Gambhir c van Wyk b Boult V Sehwag c Guptill b Bracewell C Pujara not out S Tendulkar b Boult V Kohli c Guptill b Martin S Raina c van Wyk b Patel MS Dhoni not out Extras (b6, lb3, w1)

Total (for five wickets; 87 overs) 22 47 119 19 58 3 29 10


Fall of wickets: 1-49 (Gambhir), 2-77 (Sehwag), 3-125 (Tendulkar), 4-250 (Kohli), 5-260 (Raina). Bowling: Martin 18-2-60-1, Boult 16-2-63-2, Bracewell 10.4-1-53-1, Franklin 11.2-0-33-0 (w1), Patel 24-6-58-1, Williamson 7-0-31-0.

Sports FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2012

La Liga kickoff times have fans and clubs in a spin MADRID: The dispute over broadcasting rights ownership that almost delayed the start of the La Liga season last week has been resolved, but the resulting muddle of kick-off times is causing indignation among clubs and fans in Spain. The second round of fixtures sees Champions League participants Malaga and Valencia both kickoff their matches, against Real Mallorca tomorrow and Deportivo Coruna on Sunday, at 2300 local time (2100 GMT). Last week’s deal, that appeased the feuding rights holders Canal and Mediapro who share the broadcasting of La Liga in Spain, has led to the professional league (LFP) spreading games across a dizzying set of times tomorrow, Sunday and Monday. There were fan protests at a number

of grounds last weekend, with three games finishing close to 0100 local time. “We have up to 10 different kickoff times for La Liga. It’s madness,” Spanish TV pundit Michael Robinson, the former Ireland international, said on his Twitter feed on Wednesday. Valencia, who finished third last season, drew 1-1 away at the champions Real Madrid last weekend. They host promoted Depor in a clash between the only two sides to have won La Liga outside of Real and Barcelona in the last 16 years. “It’s a time for sleeping,” Valencia’s Portugal international Joao Pereira said this week. “How are you going to take a 10-year-old kid to see a game at this time? It isn’t good for football.” Malaga boss Manuel Pellegrini joined the chorus of complaints before Wednesday’s 2-0 Champions League

playoff victory over Panathinaikos. “Because of the strange programming of games due to television, we play on Saturday and finish at around one in the morning, and on Tuesday play the Champions League,” the former Real coach told a news conference referring to their return leg in Greece. “Let’s see if Madrid, Barcelona or Valencia receive the same treatment. The four teams all represent Spain and should be treated the same.” Part of last week’s emergency meetings, presided over by the government, was the scheduling of matches. Clubs had demanded that the LFP institute a “transparent and regulated” system for fixing kickoff times and accused officials of offering some clubs favorable slots to the disadvantage of others. The LFP have defended the new

late kickoffs as being only for the first two rounds of matches in August when it is very hot in Spain. Another related issue, at the heart of the problem, is the wider debate over the sharing of television revenues between clubs. There is no system of collective bargaining in La Liga similar to those that exist in rival European leagues. Most La Liga sides are unhappy that Real and Barca dominate proceedings with individually negotiated deals, taking almost half of the 600 million euro pot between them, which helps make them the world’s richest soccer clubs by income. The scheduling furore has led to a lot of empty seats at the games shoved to the more anti-social times, in another blow to heavily-indebted sides trying to keep up with the top two. —Reuters

Wounded Liverpool search for glory years

NICOSIA: Guillaume Gillet of Anderlecht Belgium (right) vies for the ball against Edmar of AEL Limassol, during their Champions League play-off round first leg soccer match. —AP

Malaga take control in Champions League BERNE: Malaga gave themselves an excellent chance of qualifying for the Champions League for the first time by beating Panathinaikos 2-0 at home in the first leg of their playoff on Wednesday. Udinese, like Malaga hit by a flurry of summer departures, held Braga 1-1 away and Belarus champions BATE Borisov appear on the brink of a second successive group stage appearance after a 2-0 home win over Israel’s Hapoel Kiryat Shmona. AEL Limassol, hoping to provide more success for Cyprus after APOEL’s run to the quarter-finals last season, won 2-1 against Anderlecht who, like Tottenham Hotspur, are suffering the consequences of Chelsea winning the trophy last season. Tottenham missed out altogether because Chelsea, who finished outside the top four in the English Premier League, took their place under UEFA’s complex qualification system. Anderlecht, who should have gone straight into the group stage, were pushed back into the third qualification round. Former Argentina defender Martin Demichelis put Malaga in front against group stage regulars Panathinaikos when he reacted quickly to flick home from

close range in the 17th minute. Portuguese Eliseu volleyed the second just after the half hour. Although Malaga did not concede, they may have been disappointed not to have added to their tally after they dominated the match. Udinese, beaten at the same stage by Arsenal last season, went ahead in the 23rd minute against the run of play with a Dusan Basta header before Braga’s Brazilian leftback Ismaily rifled in a stunning equaliser from long range in the 68th minute. Defeat for Udinese against the Portuguese side would leave Italy with only two teams in the group stage after Serie A dropped below the Bundesliga in UEFA’s coefficients system. Anderlecht, who beat Lithuania’s Ekranas 11-0 on aggregate in the previous round, found AEL a different proposition and they fell behind to a Dosa Junior goal in the 34th minute. Dieudonne Mbokani levelled just after the hour for the Belgian champions only for Rui Miguel to put the Cypriots back in front 10 minutes later. Anderlecht had Milan Jovanovic sent off for dissent on the touchline in the 75th minute, one minute after he had been substituted. —Reuters

LONDON: Since the formation of the Premier League two decades ago, Liverpool have been classed as one of the division’s “Big Four” but their weakening grip on a place among the true elite was eroded further by a woeful start to the new campaign. The kings of England in the 1970s and 80s have fallen on hard times after seventh, sixth and eighthplace finishes in the last three seasons and Sunday’s visit of champions Manchester City follows an opening day 3-0 loss at West Bromwich Albion. The club’s American owners hoped for a return to the eye-catching passing which was a hallmark of their glory years when they appointed new manager Brendan Rodgers, whose Swansea City wowed the top flight with their attractive game last term. The move to sack fan favourite Kenny Dalglish, who won their last league title in 1990 in his previous spell in charge, shocked many fans and Rodgers’ bid to win them over started in abject fashion with a limp performance at unfancied West Brom. Their first home league game on Sunday (1500 GMT) will be a much sterner challenge against the might of City, albeit minus injured striker Sergio Aguero. Rodgers has rested most of his big names for Thursday’s Europa League playoff first leg at Scotland’s Hearts and reckons Roberto Mancini’s City are in for a rough ride at Anfield. “It’s something I’ve noticed in my short time here: the players are allergic to complacency. The focus every day, the concentration is very good,” Rodgers told a news conference, turning to the loss at West Brom and Daniel Agger’s red card. “Everything went against us and we actually played really well in the first half. The game could have been over. The minute we went down to 10 men, we found it very difficult. We were chasing the game and our organisation wasn’t as good as it will be in the coming months.” Left back Jose Enrique could return from injury for Liverpool while City are set to choose between Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli to partner Carlos Tevez up front after Aguero’s knee injury in their 3-2 opening win over Southampton. That comeback victory, reminiscient of City’s lastgasp 3-2 win over Queens Park Rangers in May which won them the title on the last day, was far from convincing defensively and the likes of new Liverpool signing Fabio Borini will be keen to shine. The other standout game of the second weekend of the Premier League season is European champions Chelsea at home to last season’s surprise packages Newcastle United tomorrow (1630). Both teams started with victories over Wigan Athletic and Tottenham Hotspur respectively while Chelsea also beat Reading 4-2 at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday in a rearranged game because of their involvement in the European Super Cup next week.

Manchester United’s Robin van Persie Eden Hazard, Chelsea’s new Belgian winger, was again a livewire and won his second penalty in two games but the hosts had to come from behind to overcome promoted Reading. Boss Roberto Di Matteo said of Hazard: “He certainly had an impact on our team, and with Juan Mata as well, he linked up very well. He is finding his feet very quickly.” Manchester United, pipped to the title by City on goal difference last term, opened with a 1-0 defeat at Everton and new striker Robin van Persie will be itching for a first start when Alex Ferguson’s men host Fulham tomorrow (1400). The Dutchman had little impact when coming off the bench at Everton but is likely to partner Wayne Rooney against Fulham, who battered Norwich City 50 in their opener. Van Persie’s ex-club Arsenal could have used his attacking prowess when they were held to a 0-0 home draw by Sunderland and can expect a physical encounter when they travel to Stoke City on Sunday (1230). — Reuters

Sports FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2012


Marco Reus — one of Bundesliga’s hottest players

Dortmund, Bayern set for another epic battle GERMANY: The Bundesliga is arguably the most open of Europe’s big five leagues, yet when it comes to the crunch this season looks likely to become another battle between Borussia Dortmund and an increasingly frustrated Bayern Munich. Bayern, Germany’s biggest and brashest club, are still smarting after finishing second to Dortmund in the Bundesliga for the last two seasons, plus the German Cup last term. Their frustration boiled over when club president Uli Hoeness made an outspoken attack on their rivals from the industrial Ruhr region in a television interview shortly after Dortmund won last year’s title. “At the moment, what Dortmund have are players who are somewhat hungrier, but they have no world class players,” he said, adding they would have to do well at international level as well to earn his admiration. For the second season in a row, Dortmund, who kick off the championship at home to Werder Bremen today (1830), have sold a key member of their title-winning team. Last time around, it was Nuri Sahin, who departed for Real Madrid and was shunted into the reserves, and now Japanese midfielder Shinji Kagawa has departed hoping his move to Manchester United turns out to be more fruitful. Dortmund have, however, replaced Kagawa with Marco Reus one of the Bundesliga’s hottest properties - from Borussia Moenchengladbach, indicating that they are once again up for the battle. They also have playmaker Mario Goetze raring to go after an injury-plagued time last season. “Marco Reus’s set-pieces, free kicks and amazing shooting technique make him a different type of threat and if we can use him in the right way, I’m sure he’s going to bring us a lot of joy,” said defender Mats Hummels. “But I wouldn’t like to compare the two. Shinji was a great player for us and I’m sure Marco will be too.” Compared by coach Juergen Klopp to a Volkswagen Beetle car because of their ability to keep going where others come spluttering to a halt, Dormtund’s intense high-tempo attacking game is unmatched in the league. They have maintained the nucleus of their young team and can count of the wall of noise provided by the 25,000 fans in the Suedtribune, the largest standing area in a European stadium. Bayern have made two big signings in Swiss winger Xherdan Shaqiri and Croatia forward Mario Mandzukic, although their attempt to lure Athletic Bilbao’s versatile Javi Martinez has turned into a long-running saga. The Bavarians, who visit promoted Greuther Fuerth on Saturday (1330), have offered an estimated 40 million euros for the player, which would break the German record they paid for Mario Gomez three seasons ago. They are already looking forward to a two-horse race with Dortmund and drew first blood by winning the Supercup final 2-1 on Aug 12, ending a run of five successive defeats against their rivals from the north. “There are always other teams to be considered, but basically I think these two are the strongest in terms of quality and have the greatest consistency,” said midfielder Thomas Mueller. Schalke 04, third last season, cannot be discounted even after the departure of Spanish forward Raul, who enjoyed a prolific scoring career in two seasons at the club. “The whole team has to stay fit for the entire season. The other point is to win the big games against Bayern, Dortmund, Leverkusen and whoever else,” said midfielder Lewis Holtby. “We have to stay in top form, especially with the Champions League to think about too. I think that’s a good recipe for winning titles.”—Reuters

Late flurry gives Chelsea second straight victory LONDON: A late goal by Fernando Torres drove Chelsea to their second successive vicChelsea 4 tory of the new season when they came from behind to beat promoted Reading 4-2 on Wednesday. Reading 2 Reading appeared set for their first league victory over the European champions for 82 years when they led 2-1 with 20 minutes left. But England centre half Gary Cahill put Chelsea level with a long-range effort before Torres scored from close in. Branislav Ivanovic added a fourth in injury time to put Chelsea on top of the Premier League after two games. Chelsea dominated possession for the first 25 minutes at Stamford Bridge and Reading were forced into desperate defence to keep out a series of counter-attacks. Juan Mata and Eden Hazard, the close-season signing from Lille, were linking up superbly and the Belgian earned his second penalty in two games after 18 minutes when Chris Gunter took his legs away in the area. Lampard scored from the spot, just as he had early in Chelsea’s opening 2-0 win at Wigan on Sunday. The game was turned on its head, however, inside the next 10 minutes. First, Reading’s Russian striker Pavel Pogrebnyak got ahead of John Terry to meet a fine cross by Gareth McCleary and send a glancing header into the top corner. Danny Guthrie then smacked a free kick through the Chelsea wall and goalkeeper Petr Cech could only spill the ball into his own net. The Chelsea defence was shaken and a free kick by Ian Harte almost led to a third Reading goal but Alex Pearce headed wide when unmarked. Reading looked comfortable protecting their lead after the break, keeping a close eye on Torres whose industry up front was not matched by his shooting accuracy. Oscar replaced fellow Brazilian midfielder Ramires after an hour but Chelsea continued to struggle for rhythm in a match rearranged because the home side face Europa League winners Atletico Madrid in the European Super Cup in Monaco next week.

But Cahill put Chelsea back on level terms when he thumped a 25-yard shot through Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici before Torres scored from an Ashley Cole pass in the 81st minute. Reading threw everything into attack, including goalkeeper Federici, in the dying seconds and Chelsea broke away to leave defender Ivanovic with a simple task to score his second goal in two matches. —Reuters

LONDON: Chelsea’s new signing Eden Hazard (right) jumps for the ball with Reading’s Jem Karacan during the English Premier League soccer match on Wednesday. —AP


Serie A takes one step forward and two back ITALY: Serie A appeared to take a small step forward last season when Juventus and AC Milan fought neck and neck in a captivating title race and the former broke new ground by opening the only club-owned stadium in Serie A. But, since then, it has taken two giant strides back with Juve coach Antonio Conte among those given lengthy bans over a match-fixing scandal and Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s departure highlighting the league’s lack of appeal to top players. Conte, who led Juventus to the title in his first season in charge last season, will sit out this campaign after being banned for 10 months. He was accused of failing to report the manipulation of two games when he was with Siena, in Serie B at the time, in the 2010-11 season. Siena, Torino, Atalanta and Bologna will start with points’ deductions for their involvement in the affair following a summer of investigations and hearings which ended with dozens of players sanctioned. Even before this latest match-fixing scandal, decrepit stadiums and crowd violence had helped drain Italian football of credibility, leaving Serie A trailing behind the English Premier League and Spain’s La Liga in terms of prestige. The most obvious result of this is in the Champions League where, after dropping below the Bundesliga in the ranking system, Italy has only two teams guaranteed for the

group stage, Juventus and AC Milan, with Udinese in the playoffs. There were more positive signs last season when AC Milan, Inter Milan and Napoli qualified for the last 16. Napoli, in particular, proved revelations as they ousted bigspending Manchester City in the group stage. The revival of Juventus was also completed when they became champions for the first time since being stripped of the 2005 and 2006 titles and demoted to Serie B over the Calcioscomesse match-fixing scandal. Their attacking football was a far cry from catenaccio while their decision to opt for a smaller stadium proved an unqualified success as it was virtually full for every game. Yet even as they were celebrating after beating Cagliari to clinch the title, Juventus spoiled it by bringing up those two lost championships and claiming last season’s was their 30th rather than their officially recognised 28th scudetto. That set the tone for a summer of embarrassment that followed police investigations in Cremona and Bari. While the rest of the world was enjoying the Olympic Games, the Italian federation was holed up in its headquarters, dishing out bans to players, clubs and officials. At the same time, Serie A lost some of its biggest player assets and singularly failed to attract equivalent replacements. AC Milan sold striker Ibrahimovic and

defender Thiago Silva to newly rich Paris St Germain while Napoli’s Argentine striker Ezequiel Lavezzi went to the same club. Milan failed in their attempt to bring Kaka back from Real Madrid while long-serving players such as Alessandro Nesta and Gennaro Gattuso also left the club. But there have been some interesting signings of young South American players with Parma bringing in Colombian Dorlan Pabon from Atletico Nacional and Palermo splashing out on Argentine Paulo Dybala, described by club president Maurizio Zamperini as “the new Sergio Aguero”. But it is a far cry from the old days when the biggest names in the sport flocked to Italy. Italian clubs have been left to trade with each other, one move being the baffling swap in which AC Milan and Inter Milan exchanged Antonio Cassano and Gianpaolo Pazzini. “After an eternity, I have arrived at the club which I support,” said Cassano of Inter. “It doesn’t get better than joining the club which you are a fan of. I have re-found my smile.” AC Milan have also bought Fiorentina’s gifted playmaker Riccardo Montolivo whose stock rose considerably with his performances at Euro 2012 for Italy, who lost in the final to Spain. Juve have lured Udinese pair Maurico Isla and Kwadmo Asamoa and re-signed forward Sebastian Giovinco from Parma. —Reuters




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Pujara boosts India with comeback ton Page 45

NEW HAVEN: Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic celebrates a match point against Nicole Gibbs during the New Haven Open. — AFP

Kvitova, Wozniacki advance at New Haven Page 44

24th Aug  

Friday Times

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