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THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012

Amir officially inaugurates Warba Bank

Pakistani doc imprisoned for helping CIA find bin Laden


NO: 15458

150 FILS


RAJAB 3, 1433 AH


Donors pledge $4bn aid to Yemen, bulk of it Saudi


Giro leader Rodriguez takes key mountain stage


Wasmi pulls grilling to defuse new crisis

Govt boycotts Assembly session • Shamali resignation seen imminent

Max 41º Min 28º High Tide 02:44 & 12:55 Low Tide 07:02 & 20:10

By B Izzak conspiracy theories

KUWAIT: Opposition MP Obaid Al-Wasmi officially withdrew his resignation yesterday to defuse a major political crisis as the government boycotted the National Assembly session for the second day in a row. Wasmi told reporters he has withdrawn the grilling against Finance Minister Mustafa Al-Shamali in order to abort government excuses for not debating the two grillings and refusing to merge them, citing violations of the law. However, it was not immediately known whether Shamali will accept to debate the second grilling in today’s session amid wild rumours that he has resigned, which were denied by his aides. Wasmi’s step came after two days of political tensions in the country that made some opposition MPs to accuse the government of plotting to dissolve the Assembly. Yesterday, government ministers did not attend the Assembly session that was scheduled to discuss the two grillings against Shamali, and deputy speaker Khaled Al-Sultan was forced to adjourn the session for today because Assembly sessions in Kuwait are not legal without the presence of at least one minister. Continued on Page 13

Of brands and utopia By Badrya Darwish


lying back a few days ago from a short holiday, I went through the local newspapers onboard the aircraft. Of course, nothing interested me and nothing was new to me. The headlines were all about the parliamentarians and their fights and chaos in parliament, etc. Then I opened the crime section of each newspaper, and got very frustrated. Publishing crimes is not a crime. It is the stereotyping that kills me. This is how the news went: “An Iraqi woman did this and that. A Bangladeshi stole I don’t know what; a Somali woman aborted her fetus, etc, etc; an Indian maid stole from her employer. A Filipina was caught in extramarital affair. An Asian was caught drunk selling booze. A Jordanian was caught selling expired food, etc, etc. No nationality was spared from the crime scene. Of course, the picture had a small black strip covering the eyes of the arrested Asians who were selling liquor. It is so sickening. Why are we branding crimes with certain nationalities? Why the press here is allowed to run down nations? Why does it make headlines with nationalities? Are we living in a state without sins? Are we so decent in Kuwait that none of us break the rules, drink or steal or have illegitimate kids? Is Kuwait a utopia and there are no sinners and no lawbreakers, no con artists and drunkards? Why are these crimes a trademark for certain nationalities. It reminds me of highend brands. It is like designer clothes. My scarf is Burberry, my suit is Gucci and my bag is Prada or I wear Dior or Chanel etc. Why can’t the crime section be included in the Press and Publications Law which the Ministry of Information brought our attention to, in which inciting sectarianism or racism is illegal. Isn’t this also inciting hatred? Or does it have to be over political issues only? Isn’t it discrimination when you brand nations with crimes? Why do we criticize the West when they brand Muslims as terrorists? Isn’t that similar? It goes both ways. If we demand others to respect us and not to brand us because we have a scarf on, we should also respect each other in the Middle East.

Turkey proposes charges against Israeli military ANKARA: A Turkish court was asked yesterday to approve murder charges against members of Israel’s military for the killing of nine people aboard a Turkish ship trying to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza in 2010, Turkey ’s state-run news agency reported. The court in Istanbul received the proposed indictment, and will have 15 days to decide whether to accept it, the Anadolu Agency said. Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said yesterday that Israel would only comment on the indictment after it had been filed and approved. The Turkish prosecutor proposed charging Israel’s former military chief Lt. Gen Gabi Ashkenazi, along with the heads of its navy, air force and military intelligence. They face nine consecutive life terms in prison for “inciting to kill monstrously, and by torturing,” the agency said. Prosecutors also suggested similar charges be pressed against several unidentified soldiers who raided the ship in a separate file, the agency added. It is unlikely Israeli military members will be brought before Turkey’s judicial system, since Israel does not regard them as criminals, although Prosecutor Mehmet Akif Ekici argued yesterday that the raid should be considered a crime against Turkish property in international waters. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told state television that the legal process should be seen as an Continued on Page 13

Egyptians queue to cast their ballots at a polling station in Cairo yesterday during the country’s first presidential election since a popular uprising toppled Hosni Mubarak. (Inset) An Egyptian woman shows her inked finger after casting her vote inside a polling station in Giza. — AFP/AP

Egyptians vote in first free presidential polls CAIRO: More than 15 months after autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak’s ouster, Egyptians streamed to polling stations yesterday to freely choose a president for the first time in generations. Waiting hours in line, some debated to the last minute over their vote in a historic election pitting old regime figures against ascending Islamists. A sense of amazement at having a choice in the Arab world’s first truly competitive presidential election pervaded the crowds in line. So did the fervent expectation over where a new leader will take a country that has been in turmoil ever since its ruler

for nearly 30 years was toppled by mass protests. Some backed Mubarak-era veterans, believing they can bring stability after months of rising crime, a crumbling economy and bloody riots. Others were horrified by the thought, believing the “feloul” - or “remnants” of the regime - will keep Egypt locked in dictatorship and thwart democracy. Islamists, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, saw their chance to lead a countr y where they were repressed for decades and to implement their version of Islamic law. Their critics recoiled, fearing theocracy.

“You can’t tell me, ‘Vote for this or else you’re a sinner!’” Wael Ramadan argued with another man in line at a polling station in the impoverished Cairo neighborhood of Basateen. “We never said that,” protested the man. “Yes, you did,” Ramadan shot back. “The revolution changed a lot. Good things and bad things,” Ramadan, a 40-year-old employee at a mobile phone company, said afterward. “The good thing is all this freedom. We are here and putting up with the trouble of waiting in line for electing a president. My vote matters. It is now a right ... Continued on Page 13

World powers, Iran haggle in nuclear talks BAGHDAD: World powers pressing Iran to scale back its nuclear program yesterday offered a new batch of incentives that fell short of the sanctions relief sought by Tehran, which made a counter-proposal. A spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, the lead negotiator for the P5+1 Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany - said the proposals made at a meeting in Baghdad were “of interest to Iran”. The talks, which follow a preliminary first gathering in 15 months in Istanbul in mid-April, was expected to go into a second, unscheduled day today, an official with the Iranian delegation said. “There are things we can do for Iran,” Ashton’s spokesman said. “We hope the Iranians will come back with a positive reaction to our proposals to deal with the concerns of the international community.” The spokesman gave no details but media reports said they included a revival of previous attempts at a deal whereby Iran would ship abroad its stockpiles of enriched uranium in return for fuel Continued on Page 13


THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012



in brief

MoH employs 200 aged over 65 KUWAIT: In response to the decision made by Health Minister, Dr Ali Al-Obaidi concerning the referral of two senior ministry officials for retirement because they are a few months older than 60, wellinformed health sources stressed that around 200 expatriate doctors and administrative staff members are already over 65, that 100 Kuwaiti doctors and administrative staff are older than 65 and 33 other Kuwaitis are a little over 60. “Why, then, did the minister only dismiss those two alone?”, wondered the sources. Meanwhile, the ministry intends to change the medical center used to examine Egyptian laborers in Cairo prior to their arrival in Kuwait because of so many violations detected. The sources said a special MOH delegation has made a secret report about the center mentioning all of the violations, namely those on granting health certificates.

New MPW project KUWAIT: The Ministry of Public Works is studying a project to Administer and Automize document contents. The project will include a study about the current situation for correspondence and document contents to decide the needs of the ministry in total, and avoid all difficulties and short falls. Ultimately, a new mechanism will be used to administer and file all documents and correspondence, which will reduce paper ultimately to none at all. The project aims to reach a new mechanism for all current and further services suitable to the needs of the ministry, to offer electronic services. The project currently with the Central Tender Committee (CTC), for specialized companies to make their offers and compete for this project, is supposed to start this year. The period of execution is 180 days of which 90 days is for studying the contents of the documents and correspondence, and 60 days for preparing a comprehensive study for the ministry needs and the suggested solutions. Additionally, there is another 30 days to prepare special documents for the suggested study.

Lawyer released on bail KUWAIT: The Capital prosecution released lawyer Khalid Al-Wadi on KD 1,000 bail. He denied charges of insulting five judges through “Twitter”. Al-Awadhi said he respects the judiciary, and did not insult it at all, adding that he does not have an account on Twitter and is not responsible for what has been published.

Hajj financial allowances KUWAIT: Health sources revealed that the Ministry of Health intends to increase financial allowances for the medical team that accompanies a hajj delegation to Saudi Arabia. The allowance is double that of last year. Sources said this step equalizes the team with other parties who represent hajj delegations from the Ministry of Information, Endowment and Interior Ministries.

Green building needs governmental push Forum aims to raise awareness By Sawsan Kazak KUWAIT: The Kuwait Green Building Forum was inaugurated yesterday morning under the patronage of Dr Fadhel Safar A. Safar, Minister for Public Works and Minister of State for Planning and Development Affairs. The two-day event brings together specialists in the field of environmentally friendly technologies, techniques and products. “The forum aims to raise awareness about eco-friendly buildings, local and international efforts to fight global warming and protect the environment,” said Minister Safar in his opening speech at the Green Building Forum at the Radisson Blu. The ‘green’ movement is finally picking up momentum in Kuwait, especially as it is making buildings more environmentally friendly. Khaled Al-Hajri, environmental activist and Chairman of Greenline Environmental Group in Kuwait, believes that more than just momentum is needed to make green buildings a reality. “There are no rules or regulations when it comes building green, and there is no encouragement or incentive by the Government,” explains Al-Hajri. “They don’t offer any help or support to transfer our old economy into a new green economy,” says the environmental activist about governmental entities in Kuwait. He explains that the lack of incentives or regulations is what is slowing down investment in the green building sector. “The forum and the idea of building green is great, it brings experts together and gets the information out there, but it will only be successful if there is more pressure on the Kuwaiti Government to make new green laws and then by the Government to implement these laws and rules,” says Al-Hajri. The Greenline Chairman acknowledges that there are new building laws being created, but that none of them support sustainability or protection of the environment. “Ironically, the biggest investor in buildings in Kuwait is the government. They are responsible for most of the

KUWAIT: Dr Fael Safar A. Safar, Minister for Public Works and Minister of State for Planning and Development Affairs cuts the ribbon to inaugurate the Green Building Forum yesterday. — Photo by Joseph Shagra buildings being built in this country, but they don’t take the responsibility to switch to greener building techniques and materials,” says Al-Hajri. Al-Hajri believes that the present government is not an environmentally friendly one, and that the ‘right people’ are needed in parliament to make green buildings a reality in Kuwait. “When I say right people, I am referring to people who believe in the green movement, who believe in sustainable development, who believe that we cannot build this country without a clean environment,” the environmentalist explains. He adds “actually I describe the government as selfish because the people who are working there only work for themselves and their groups; they don’t work for Kuwait.” Al-Hajri thinks Kuwait cannot talk about building green without the government fully endorsing the movement and respecting the environment, saying “Only then can we change our country

and move forward with the green movement. Until now we don’t even have environmental laws. How can you want to build green?” The Greenline Chairman explains that building green is not only beneficial for the environment, but also for the economy. “There is, of course, an environmental benefit for both nature and the people. But also, when they build green, there is an economic benefit as the building ends up saving energy in the long run,” says AlHajri, adding “almost all the buildings in Kuwait were not built green, but it’s time to shift that now. The regulations need to change step by step.” Al-Hajri explains that, when he is talking about building green, he is not just referring to a building that is well insulated and saves energy, or the method in which waste or water is recycled, but rather that there are many different aspects that go into making a building green. “The location is the first thing to look

at; is the location environmentally friendly? How will you build it, what kind of raw material will be used? What kind of effect will the raw materials have on the environment? Were they recycled or nonrecycled?,” says the Greenline Chairman. Al-Hajri also explains that people could set out to build a green building, but the process to build it could be harmful to the environment. “There are many small details to take into consideration such as the paint used, the doors and other accessories, the skylight and fresh air to name a few,” says AlHajri. Al-Hajri explains that there is a false idea being propagated that building green is difficult or expensive. “Don’t believe those who say it’s difficult to build green buildings in Kuwait. They have built green buildings in Africa and some very poor countries and it was very easy. We just need the right help to make it happen here and open this sector in Kuwait,” says the environmental activist.


THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012

KUWAIT: (Left) His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah receives a memorial shield presented by the Chairman and Managing Director of Warba Bank, Jassar Dakheel Al-Jassar at the official launch of Warba Bank yesterday. (Right) The team of Warba Bank at the ceremony.

There is demand for shariah-compliant banks: Al-Jassar By Velina Nacheva KUWAIT: Warba Bank is making arrangements with local banks for the financing of the complex of the national industries estimated at KD 100 million - a loan that Jassar Dakheel Al-Jassar, Chairman and Managing Director of Warba Bank, calls “a big achievement” because it is the biggest financing operation by a young bank. In remarks Al-Jassar made to the press on the sidelines of the official inauguration ceremony of Warba Bank yesterday, he said that the Warba shares of the loan will be governed by the provisions of the Central Bank. He said that Warba Bank has an advantage over its counterparts in the market because it is a new bank with “a very clean balance sheet”. “There is a demand for shariah-compliant banks in Kuwait,” Al-Jassar said. Stressing that there are opportunities for more Islamic banks in the country, he said that competition will create a challenge for local players to introduce more products and services. He also said that over the last four months since its establishment, Warba Bank has made remarkable progress. Al-Jassar pointed out an investment in China as one such achievement which brought a 40 percent return on the investment. The purchase of the British Telecom headquarters in UK which has been subsequently leased for 15 years, Al-Jassar pointed as another Warba Bank feat, in addition to the lease of properties in the US. Since its launch, the bank has been implementing its strategy which has been tailored in cooperation with one of the most reputed consultants. Part of the strategy, Al-Jasser said, includes the bank’s three sectors: Retail, Investment and Corporate Banking. Each sector has a timeframe, Al-Jassar added. As for the bank’s expansion plans, Al-Jassar said, Warba Bank will stretch its current network to a total of five branches with the opening of its fifth branch in the third quarter this year.

Amir inaugurates Warba Bank KUWAIT: Under the patronage and attendance of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber AlSabah, Warba Bank yesterday celebrated its official launch during a ceremony at Salwa Sabah Al-Ahmed Ballroom. The bank started operating during the first quarter of 2012 with the opening of four branches. His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Parliament Speaker Ahmed Abdulaziz Al-Saadoun, Prime Minister Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-

Sabah, as well as several ministers, sheikhs and VIP guests, attended the ceremony. The event opened with the national anthem, followed by a recitation of the Holy Quran. Warba Bank came into existence with the issuance of an Amiri decree and has been registered in the Islamic Banks’ register of the Central Bank of Kuwait since April 5, 2010. The government, represented by the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), owns 24 percent of the bank’s total capital. The remaining 76 per-

KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah arrives to officially inaugurate Warba Bank in Salwa Sabah Al-Ahmed Ballroom yesterday. His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah attended the event.

cent has been granted to the entire Kuwaiti population, with 684 shares per citizen, subscribed and paid for by the government. The authorized share capital of Warba Bank is KD 100 million. The idea of launching the bank reflects the cooperation between the legislative and executive authorities, as the decision to establish the bank was a result of an initiative by parliament that was endorsed by the government. Such a national project of economic significance serves the target of turning Kuwait into a financial and commercial hub, and accomplishes several national goals towards pursuing continuous development in Kuwait. During the event, narrator and actor Jassim Al-Nabhan introduced the audience to the story of the bank’s formation and the stages of its establishment as a Kuwaiti shareholding company. The bank is marked to become the first of its kind on a worldwide scale since the Kuwaiti government pioneered establishing a bank for the nation’s citizens to meet their economic and financial needs, while providing financial stability for the coming generations. Concluding the event, His Highness the Amir received a memorial shield presented by the Chairman and Managing Director of Warba Bank, Jassar Dakheel Al-Jassar. In the first quarter of 2012, Warba Bank successfully opened four branches in Hawally, Al-Qibla, Salmiya, and Sharq, in addition to special segregated branch facilities for women, given the importance of this segment. The openings came as part of fulfilling the ambitious strategy of the banking group to reach the largest segment of clients in different areas in Kuwait. The bank also plans to open one additional branch before the end of 2012. Warba Bank commits to offering the finest e-services and the latest technological solutions, given its cooperation with specialized global technological companies. At the retail segment, the bank offers the opening of several types of accounts, financing, and presents various banking cards, including the ATM, credit cards and prepaid cards, in addition to offering financial solutions for its clients. For the wholesale segment, the bank leads a fully operational corporate and investment banking solution service for its clients. Warba Bank also offers shariah-compliant banking products and services.

THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012

LOCAL kuwait digest

kuwait digest

Unjustifiable criminal probe

Peculiarities of Kuwaiti Man

By Dr. Mohammad Al-Muqatea (constitutional expert and Kuwait University law professor)

By Jaafar Al-Rujaib



lacing article 114 of the Constitution that regulates the process of forming investigation committees was not a very complicated task to members of the founding Parliament. Parliamentary investigation is a political probe

Current investigation committees in Parliament are apparently seeking evidence of a criminal act, proving that their probe is criminal instead of political. They announced a recommendation to amend Parliament regulations so that a six month prison sentence can be issued against citizens who fail to meet a summons order to testify. Obviously, this proposal is a violation of the Constitution and therefore must not be approved. that aims to find evidence of political misconduct by a minister, the Prime Minister or an official in state departments. The committee has the right to make recommendations for taking administrative measures against officials convinced by political evidence of misconduct. As explained by article 114, only ministers and government officials are eligible to be subjected to an ongoing parliamentary investigation. Questioning a person outside the government takes the investigation away from the political standpoint, and more into the criminal probe that means transcending to the judicial authority. Current investigation committees in Parliament are apparently seeking evidence of a criminal act, proving that their probe is criminal instead of political. They announced a recommendation to amend Parliament regulations so that a six month prison sentence can be issued against citizens who fail to meet a summons order to testify. Obviously, this proposal is a violation of the Constitution and therefore must not be approved. I also disagree with the request by the committee probing the foreign transfers case to extend their investigation period; or by any other committee for that matter. If lawmakers assigned with the probe are committed to gathering the testimonies of people they are authorized to summon, as per the Constitution, they would not need to extend the investigation. I would like to ask this question: has the committee made the extension request after failing to find evidence of political misconduct so that they can look for evidence of criminal misconduct? Another subject I would like to address is that I do not believe that merging two grilling motions filed against Finance Minister Mustafa Al-Shamali is legal. Article 137 of Parliament’s internal charter states that interpellations on the same or closely related subjects can be merged. But Al-Shamali’s two grilling motions share only one subject in common and differ in nine, which renders the merger unjustifiable. —Al-Qabas

kuwait digest

A place for all Kuwaitis By Yousef Awadh


he Public Institution for Social Security is not an ordinary government entity, rather it is one of the most prestigious Kuwaiti establishments serving citizens in all of the Middle East if not the world. This establishment has secured the future for every employee. Here we find the example of service and smooth processing of transactions. I t is a place where no scent of sectarianism or tribalism is found. I t has become a place for all Kuwaitis, not for one group at the expense of another. It is very rare that I hear complaints against this excellent national institution, and if there were any it is possibly just empty talk. The disciplined mechanism it adopts in all its transactions ensures respect and appreciation for the patron the minute he enters the institution. The institution is lead by an elite group of Kuwaitis headed by the strong and honest Fahad Al-Rajaan, who due to his competence and ability to run this important national entity has gained the confidence of Kuwait ’s leaders for over 30 years and he deserves respect. We did not hear or read for even one day about issues that disgrace this major national institution. Even during the international financial crisis, the

investment department at the institution dealt quietly with an integrated vision and well studied plans. It was able to protect pensioners money from the

We did not hear or read for even one day about issues that disgrace this major national institution. Even during the international financial crisis, the investment department at the institution dealt quietly with an integrated vision and well studied plans. It was able to protect pensioners money from the blowing winds until the department was able to make profits, not losses, during the global crisis.

blowing winds until the department was able to make profits, not losses, during the global crisis. Instead of appreciating such achievements, and encouraging those who make them and removing all obstacles in their way, we find some members of Parliament practice their hobby of making statements which only leave envy. And they are personal comments without logic. What do they want from the Social Security Institution? What do they want to reach? Do they have evidence of any violations? Embezzlements? Or bad management? I do not think that empty statements into the air will lead to anything because, if what they say is true, proce dures would already have started according to the law. Let people do their work. All they want from you is a word of appreciation. But wrong accusations and the selective use of constitutional tools is some thing wrong, as is accusing people concerning their professionalism and honor. I tell our brothers and sisters of our pride in the institution and not to bother and keep going on. The majority of pensioners put their faith in God, and then in your honest management. — Al-Jarida

kuwait digest

One-sided democracy By Dr Abdullatif Al-Duaij


oday, many wonder why activists with histories of performing national work in support of democracy and parliamentary rights are today leaning against full democracy and full commitment to constitutional principles? The same people also wonder why groups which are famous for their efforts to limit freedoms and drive Kuwait several steps backwards in political and social development are now leading efforts in support of democracy and constitutional principles? It is, indeed, a perplexing issue. Have things really changed so we now see yesterday’s defenders of democracy fight democracy today, while those who erected hurdles against democratic development yesterday call for a system of full democratic rule today? When it comes to democracy and the constitution, I believe it’s safe to say that there is a lot of deception and dishonesty going on in the political scene. At least for me, I always believed that even when they claimed their commitment to protecting the constitution, the parliament’s opposition is only interested in protecting the principles that Ahmad Al-Saadoun, Waleed Al-Tabtabaei, Osama Al-Munawer, Mohammad Hayef and others believe in. It’s not strange or a coincidence that the first to call for Kuwait to have an elected prime minister come from the oppositionist majority in parliament. These calls are made from the same one-sided point of view through which the Islamist and tribal majority perceive the aspects of freedom and justice. For them, freedom, justice and power is their exclusive right. When they wouldn’t tolerate a different opinion than theirs to be expressed, they aren’t expected to share the right of power with others. As they take the driver’s seat in parliament today, they have the right to pass legislation, even if they violate the constitution, and make laws that protect only those people who share their beliefs. It is, then, similarly not a surprise or a coincidence that yesterday’s true supporters of democracy are currently against the prospect of a full parliamentary ruling system in Kuwait. They are aware that if this system is applied today, it wouldn’t necessarily create the condition in which the principles of democracy and the constitution are strictly followed. — Al-Qabas

n Germany, a man can approach authorities to report his friends for tax evasion. In Kuwait, a citizen can find multiple ways to abuse public funds by avoiding payments of electricity, water and phone bills, in addition to traffic violations through wasta (unlawful mediation), as well as skipping work while receiving their pay in full at the end of the month. l When someone decides to buy a small house for his family in the countryside away from the city noise, this man is most probably from Switzerland. But if you find someone willing to pay double the price for a house located on a main road with an extension built illegally on state property that he later uses as a warehouse, that man is definitely Kuwaiti! l A Korean citizen would never even eat Japanese food, because that would be considered treason due to the suffering his country was subjected to by Japan in World War II. A Kuwaiti citizen, on the other hand, spends the entire day criticizing Iran and giving reasons why he believes Iran is his country’s mortal enemy, then heads the same night to the nearest Iranian restaurant to gulp down as much chelow kebab as he can possibly eat. l A typical Malaysian man helps his wife with her issues so that both can enjoy a peaceful time of rest in their home. A typical Kuwaiti man claims to know the best ways to resolve the problems of all women in the world, but shows frustration at his wife’s “endless problems” when she approaches him with a slight issue. lA Tanzanian man would tell you that the person who understands him the most in life is his wife. A Kuwaiti man would tell you that his wife never understands him, then goes on with stories about how his wife isn’t at the same advanced intellectual level as he claims to be. Despite all that, we still love the Kuwaiti man. l If you meet a man who believes in what he does and does only what he believes in, I’d figure this man is likely from Sweden. If you meet someone who demands that his country is “cleaned from all impurities” that include alcohol, parties, and “suspicious mix-gender gatherings”, then spends the weekend in Dubai’s hotels, I’d figure he’s Kuwaiti. l If you go to Luxemburg and share a conversation with one of its citizens explaining problems you noticed which need to be addressed, he’d thank you for your criticism. If you come to Kuwait and complain to a citizen about the hot weather, he’d direct you to the airport and tell you to take a one-way ticket on the next flight out of the country. l In England, football fans watch their country’s Premier League every week, and take great pride in the teams they follow and their history. In Kuwait, football fans do watch the Premier League every week, in addition to the Spanish La Liga, the Italian Serie A, and the German Bundesliga, and know every bit of detail about the scores, standings and players in each league. l An Australian man would admit he isn’t an expert in everything, and would only speak about subjects he has enough knowledge about. A Kuwaiti man needs to spew his knowledge in every topic, as he would argue with the car mechanic that his vehicle doesn’t need much repair, and with the doctor about what prescription is best for his condition. l If an Indian boy asks his father about something, the man either explains the matter or simply says “I don’t know” if he isn’t well informed about it. If a Kuwaiti boy asks his father, for example, “What’s secularism?” the man would confidently say “it means blasphemy” and end the conversation. l ”My father was a simple farmer who taught me the importance of hard work and respect. He died in the war while defending his village” - a story you’d hear from a Vietnamese man. “My father taught me how to be a man, and my grandfather taught me all about courage. Without my father and grandfather, there wouldn’t be a country called Kuwait today” - a Kuwaiti man’s story about his ancestors. — Al-Rai

THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012


MoC’s memo draws flak from ISPs, Internet users Unauthorized use of international call lines By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: The government’s latest regulation requiring local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to stop the unauthorized use of international call lines using the internet’s ‘Voice Over IP’ [Internet telephony] has received opposition from both Internet users and ISPs. Speaking anonymously, an official of one of the local internet providers noted that many customers are using less expensive VOIP, as it is significantly lower in price compared to services provided by telecommunication companies and the Ministry of Communications. “With the information revolution, communications all over the world has become easier, cheaper and user friendly. In Kuwait, on the contrary, communication rates and tariffs are extremely high compared to other countries. Kuwait’s rate is one of the highest in the world and that is why people here are resorting to using VOIP” the official noted. “Even if it’s hard for us to abide by the ministry’s orders, we cannot defy the ministry memo, it reached our office already. They even stressed other restrictions which have been there and we knew of long ago,” he added. The official admitted to receiving the memo in which the ministry stressed that banned sites are offensive to the country’s norms, such as pornography sites, politically motivated sites , blogs that criticized the Amir, and photos and videos that are offending other religions and sects. Asked if the ban could affect their regular customers, the official not-

ed, “In a way it will affect our business, but it will not be so drastic, since we are talking only about VOIP,” he added. “Other restrictions were there for a long time. But such requests from the ministry cannot be ignored, as they are the authority that allows us to operate our business and gives us our license. Whether we like it or not, we shall abide and we already cut the services related to VOIP” one internet service provider added. Local ISP’s are now required to insure that clients do not use their services to carry out international calls, as per new regulations released by MoC Minister Salem Al-Othaina. Al-Othaina’s decision would cancel all licenses the ministr y provides to local ISPs, and requires that the ministry provides one-year licenses under new terms and conditions, if they fail to abide by the regulations. “The decree contains 17 articles that detail the basic regulations that organize the process of work for licensed ISPs in Kuwait”, reads a statement released by the ministry last week. As per the new conditions, local ISPs are not allowed to execute or facilitate an international call made through any means of telecommunications without prior written approval from the ministry. Furthermore, ISPs are required to provide necessary software and hardware to stop such telecommunication methods from taking place. A provider who violates this stipulation faces penalties that include a fine ranging from KD 5,000 to KD 20,000, as well as a one month suspension of service or even the cancellation of their license.

Municipality accreditation must for school canteens KUWAIT: With the aim of having more control over school canteens and the food items sold by them, the Minister of Education and Higher Education, Dr. Nayef Al-Hajraf, recently formed a special committee to supervise the performance of school canteens all year long. This will ensure the sold food items are safe and set the proper regulations when contracting specialized catering companies, said assistant undersecretary for student activities affairs, Radhi AlOwayyed. Al-Owayyed said the ministr y is cooperating with the Ministry of Health and Kuwait Municipality by setting a condition that the qualifying catering companies be accredited by both authorities prior to being allowed to bid on school canteen tenders. — Al-Jarida

International calls using Internet lines were long ago made illegal, though the MoC has failed to stop the illegal proliferation of these services, which continued to operate. The continued operation could be the reason why the ‘ball’ has been passed through to local internet companies. The Internet based calls are significantly cheaper compared to the telecom companies and ministry charges. For example, charge per minute for a call to the Philippines costs 232 fils, while another telecom company charges subscribers 215 fils per minute. But there was a time when calling the Philippines cost customers about 500 fils. With the Internet calling system, the cost for calling India is only ten fils per minute, 60 fils to the Philippines and 100 fils to other countries. Also, there are some Voice Over IP systems which can be used free of charge, such as Skype and others which will not be available soon or have already been cut. “You cannot blame us for using the Internet-based call service, because when you compared the price to ‘legal’ services offered by three different telecom companies, they are really expensive, so why spend on an outrageously expensive service when you can call economically using Internet-based providers? But with this new directive, I don’t know what to do anymore, or why other countries can use the services free and we cannot use it here. It’s the wickedest thing they have done to us Internet users. What is the use of Internet technology?” one customer asked.

KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah received yesterday the student Aisha Hussein Al-Hashash who presented His Highness with a book titled “My handicap is the secret of my success,” and a design of a project to renovate Mishref palace. HH praised the spirit of challenge enjoyed by the female student, affirming the keenness of the state to caring for citizens with special needs.

VIVA launches Samsung Galaxy S III KUWAIT: VIVA, Kuwait’s newest and most advanced mobile telecommunications service provider, yesterday announced the launch of the third generation of Samsung’s Galaxy S Series, the Samsung Glalaxy S III with exclusive post paid and installments packages tailored to fit customer’s needs. VIVA’s Chief Executive Officer, Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Badran said: “We are delighted to be one of the first companies to launch the latest Samsung Galaxy S III in Kuwait. We believe it is part of our responsibility as the latest telecommunica-

tions company to offer the newest devices to our customers and to the wider Kuwaiti community at competitive prices. VIVA is always keen on being a pioneer in offering the Kuwaiti market with the latest products and services and will continue to do so.” The Samsung Galaxy S III packages come with local calls, local SMS text messages and internet data services. Customers can choose the package that best suits their needs and take advantage of the discounted price of the device and the high speed reliable internet service; post

paid annual plans start from KD10 and post paid installment plans starting from KD9 with an 18-month contract. The Samsung Galaxy S III is powered by an innovative 1.4GHz quadcore processor, running Android(tm) 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, with greatly enhanced usability and practicality to make life easier. With Samsung Galaxy S III, customers can view the content on the device’s 4.8 inch HD Super Amoled display. Its 8MP main camera and 1.9MP front camera offer users a variety of intelligent camera features and face recognition related

options that ensure your special moments are captured easily and instantly. This latest device also includes many attractive features such as ‘S Voice,’ the advanced natural language user interface, to listen and respond to your words. The Galaxy S III also features the new ‘S Beam,’ whereby the Galaxy S III expands upon Android(tm) Beam(tm), allowing a 1GB movie file to be shared within three minutes and a 10MB music file within two seconds by simply touching another Galaxy S III phone, even without a WiFi or cellular signal.

THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012


MANAMA: (From lef t) K JA Treasurer Adnan Al-Rashid, K JA President Ahmad Behbehani, KJA Secretary General Faisal AlQanaei and Kuwait Times Editor-in-Chief Abd Al-Rahman Al-Alyan.

Bahrain’s Deputy Premier Sheikh Mubarak Al-Khalifa, with Gulf Journalists Association President Turki bin Abdallah Al-Sudairi (second left) and IAA President Sheikh Fawaz bin Mohammad Al-Khalifa.

(From left) Al-Alyan, Al-Qabas Editor-in-Chief Waleed AlNisf, Behbehani and Al-Qanaei.

Praise for role of media in boosting Gulf cooperation Journalists’ meeting comes out with new ideas

Gulf Press Association President Turki bin Abdallah Al-Sudairi (center) chairing the conference.

Turki bin Abdallah Al-Sudairi with IAA President Sheikh Fawaz Al-Khalifa.

MANAMA: The Gulf Journalism Association held its Third General Conference and the Sixth General Assembly at the Awal Ballroom in the Gulf Hotel yesterday. The meeting was held under the patronage of the Information Affairs Authority in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The opening ceremony included speeches by the President of IAA, Sheikh Fawaz bin Mohammad Al-Khalifa, Association Chairman Turki bin Abdullah Al-Sudairi, and Chairman of the Council of Gulf International Relations (COGIR), who presented the journalism personality of the year Award for 2012. The President of the association presented the association cup in appreciation of the President of IAA. Then, along with Deputy Premier Sheikh Mohammad bin Mubarak Al-Khalifa, he received the participating delegation in his office at AlQudaibiya Palace. His Highness welcomed the Gulf journalism leaders and explained to them the situation in Bahrain, and the government’s keenness on preserving security in the country, as well as supporting constructive dialogue and maintenance of the democratic march. He also emphasized the role of Gulf journalism in serving the area’s causes and boosting cooperation among its people. Delegation members thanked His Highness for the warm reception and hospitality. Following the meetings of the Gulf journalism leaders during the Third General Conference and the Sixth General Assembly meeting of the Gulf Journalism Associations, they agreed on the following decisions and recommendations: First: Editors-in-Chief, or their representatives, agreed to create an annual award providing it does not clash with journalism awards presented by other organizations. The general conference asked the secretariat general to set the rules and conditions of

this prize, provided that a detailed report on it be presented to the next general conference. Second: The delegations meeting in the Third General Conference agreed to increase the number of Secretariat General members, so the number becomes 14, at two members from each state provided that the number of journalism establishments in the participating countries are not less than three, and if the number was less the country will be represented by one member only. The conference asked that this increase be implemented during the Fourth General Conference in 2013, along with conducting the elections. The conference also asked the secretariat general to amend the article of the number of members in the secretariat general in the founding statutes to agree what was agreed upon. Third: The conference agreed to hold a symposium for female Gulf journalists, in which several leaders in the journalism establishments and officials responsible for Gulf journalism affairs in member countries participate to discuss the work of Gulf Arab women in journalism. It will study the problems and obstacles that may be in the way of her joining journalism to find solutions for them. Also, it will support those actually working in Journalism. The conference lauded women’s achievement so far - in her status in journalism as they occupy the highest ranks in this field, which call for providing more opportunities for her work in journalism in a way that suits her social and family circumstances. Kuwait Journalists Association asked to host this symposium and the conference welcomed the request. Fourth: The Conference expressed its great appreciation and respect to His Majesty King Hamad bin Essa Al-Khalifa, the King of Bahrain. It

also extended its thanks to H.R.H Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa and HRR the Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa. Fifth: The conference thanked the Information Affairs Authority, represented by Sheikh Fawaz bin Mohammad Al-Khalifa and all those who were asked to work directly with the Gulf Journalism Association to prepare for and supervise the activities of this conference. The authority’s active contribution was a fundamental factor in the success of our conference. Sixth: The conference expressed its full support of the government and people of the Kingdom of Bahrain in confronting deliberate attempts to create chaos and hatred among its people. The conference stressed the rejection of any tampering in the security and stability of the country and there should not be any laxity in facing it. The government of Bahrain said democratic action and constructive dialogue is the ideal way to support the security and stability in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Seventh: The conference congratulated the Association’s President and Editor-in-Chief of the Saudi Riyadh Newspaper, Turki bin Abdallah AlSudairi, for re-electing him for the third time as President of the Saudi Journalists Authority and wished him more success in serving Saudi Journalism. The conference congratulated Editor-in-Chief of Bahrain’s Al-Belad Newspaper after electing him President of Bahrain Journalists Association. The conference congratulated Secretary General of the Gulf Journalism Association, Nasser Mohammad Al-Othman, for winning the Gulf Media personality for 2012 from “COGIR”. Finally, the conference thanked workers in the Gulf Journalism Association for their great efforts in preparing this conference and ensuring its success.

A group photo of participating delegations.

Appeals court finds Al-Juweihil innocent Al-Khanna’s defamation case By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: The Court of Appeals canceled the verdict of the Court of First Instance, which sentenced MP Mohammed Al-Juweihil to pay a fine of KD 150 for insulting former MP Dr. Fahad Al-Khanna in a television program (Ma’a Taqdeer). Al-Khanna filed a case against Al-Juweihil. The Court of Appeals discharged Scope Television and those who worked on the program. The verdict of the Court of First Instance found Al-Juweihil innocent in the case filed by Fahad Al-Khanna. The General Prosecution accused him of spoiling Al-Khanna’s reputation, after he claimed that Al-Khanna ran from conscription. The claim occurred during a live broadcast of an episode of a television program (Maa Taqdeer), on which Al-Juweihil

was being inter viewed by Scope channel. Judge Salem Khdayer considered the act an insult in public, which many people watching the program heard. Al-Juweihil cursed AlKhanna, calling him a coward in addition to other insults. The General Prosecution charged the second accused, Scope Television, of broadcasting the episode of the program hosting the first accused who committed the act. The third accused was charged with preparing and directing the above mentioned program. The four th accused was charged for his responsibility, as he is the General Director of Scope Television which broadcasted the program. In a different case, the Offense Court will rule on May 30 the contestation submitted by two police officers working at Kuwait International

Airport, who were sentenced by the first instance court to one month of imprisonment for insulting a judge while he was leaving the country. Another two employees of an airline company, along with the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior, where all sentenced to pay a financial compensation of KD 5,000 to the claimant. According to the case filed by the claimant, an Egyptian judge working in Kuwaiti courts, the two accused officers mistreated and insulted him with the support of two employees of an airline company as he was leaving the country. The General Prosecution charged the two accused officers of verbally insulting the claimant in public, which embarrassed him in front of a large number of people present in the airport at that time.

CBK staff trained in first aid KUWAIT: The Commercial Bank of Kuwait (CBK) recently organized first aid, heart and lung revival training courses for its employees and staff members. The training is part of a national project launched under the auspices of Health Minister, Dr. Ali Al-Obaidi, to train 10 per cent of Kuwait’s population in life-saving measures according to the development plan and in collaboration with the ministry of health. The idea of the project originated after various fatal incidents in which people could have survived if trained persons were nearby. The courses included lectures as well as practical demonstrations on plastic models.

THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012

‘Human bomb’ causes US Airways to divert

Succession question fuels uncertainty in Oman Page 8

Page 10

‘Atomic weapons against Islam’ Don’t waver in Iran talks, Israel warns P5+1 TEHRAN: Islam forbids atomic weapons and other arms of mass destruction, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insisted yesterday ahead of his country’s nuclear talks with world powers in Baghdad. “Based on Islamic teachings and the clear fatwa (edict) of the supreme leader, the production and use of weapons of mass destruction is haram (forbidden) and have no place in the Islamic Republic of Iran’s defense doctrine,” he said. Ahmadinejad’s message was read out at a conference in the western city of Borujerd to commemorate Iranian victims of chemical weapons during a 1980-1988 war against Iraq, the official news agency IRNA reported. World powers were to hold crunch talks in the Iraqi capital yesterday with Iran to try to persuade Tehran to suspend sensitive nuclear work. Ahmadinejad’s mention of a fatwa against nuclear weapons by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, referred to an edict which officials say he laid down in either 2004 or 2005. Though no published fatwa exists, Iranian scholars point out that declarations by prominent ayatollahs can later take on the weight of a fatwa. Khamenei has spoken out against nuclear weapons on several occasions, most recently on February 22 when he said that possessing an atomic bomb “constitutes a major sin.” “The Iranian nation has never been seeking an atomic weapon and never will be,” while developing nuclear energy was in Iran’s interest, he said. The United States has seized on Khamenei’s stance as a possible basis to resolve the dangerous standoff with Iran. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last month that Iranian officials “point to a fatwa that the supreme leader has issued against the pursuit of nuclear weapons.” World powers expect Tehran to back up that position by demonstrating “clearly in the actions they propose that they have truly abandoned any nuclear weapons ambition,” she said. DON’T WAVER IN IRAN TALKS Meanwhile, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak urged world powers not to waver in key talks with Iran yesterday, warning that any failure to halt enrichment would see Tehran obtain a nuclear weapon. “In Baghdad, we must watch out that partial concessions do not allow Iran to avoid a tightening of sanctions,” he said, just hours before the start of a sec-

Pakistani doctor jailed for helping CIA find bin Laden

BAGHDAD: World powers negotiators arrive at the Baghdad International Airport in Iraq, yesterday. Negotiators from the US and five other world powers sat down with a team of Iranian diplomats to try to hammer out specific goals in the years-long impasse over Tehran’s nuclear program. — AP ond round of talks between Tehran and six world powers in the Iraqi capital. “Without strengthening the current painful sanctions, Iran will continue towards a nuclear capability,” the defense minister told Israel’s public radio. “We must not blink, give up or capitulate until the very last minute,” he said. “If they let them continue, Iran will keep on enriching uranium from 20 percent

to 60 percent and 90 percent and they really will get a nuclear weapon. I don’t know exactly when but it will happen,” he warned. “Now is the time for the entire world to stop them,” said Barak. The so-called P5+1 grouping of diplomats from permanent UN Security Council members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany held a first round of talks with Iran on April 14 in Istanbul. —Agencies

PESHAWAR: A Pakistani doctor who helped the US track down Osama bin Laden was sentenced to 33 years in prison yesterday for conspiring against the state, officials said, a verdict that is likely to further strain the country’s relationship with Washington. Shakil Afridi ran a vaccination program for the CIA to collect DNA and verify bin Laden’s presence at the compound in the town of Abbottabad where US commandos killed the Al-Qaeda chief last May in a unilateral raid. The operation outraged Pakistani officials, who portrayed it as an act of treachery by a supposed ally. Senior US officials have called for Afridi to be released, saying his work ser ved Pakistani and American interests. But many Pakistani officials, especially those working for the country’s powerful spy agency, do not see it that way. “He was working for a foreign spy agency. We are looking after our national interests,” said a Pakistani intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with the agency’s policy. Afridi’s conviction comes at a sensitive time because the US is already frustrated by Pakistan’s refusal to reopen NATO supply routes to Afghanistan. The supply routes were closed six months ago in retaliation for American airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. Afridi was detained sometime after the May 2, 2011, raid, but the start of his trial was never publicized. He was tried under the Frontier Crimes Regulations, or FCR, the set of laws that govern Pakistan’s semiautonomous tribal region. Human rights organizations have criticized the FCR for not providing suspects due process of law. There is no right to legal representation, to present material evidence or cross-examine witnesses. —AP

THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012


Succession question fuels uncertainty in Oman MUSCAT: Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said rules his perch on one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes as an absolute monarch, without checks from a parliament or judiciary. But at 71, he has not named a successor, and with much of the Arab world in turmoil, the lack of certainty surrounding the future leadership of the strategically placed country is becoming a cause for concern. Nearly 42 years after overthrowing his father Sultan Taimur with British backing, Sultan Qaboos is credited with transforming Oman from an isolated backwater beset by poverty and insurgency into a stable welfare state with an exporting oil industry and modern infrastructure. Where Taimur denied Omanis freedom of movement and education, Sultan Qaboos has been more palatable, both to his own people and to Western backers such as the United States and former colonial power Britain. But without a clear successor, analysts and diplomats worry about royal family infighting, and a resurgence of tribal rivalries and political instability when a new ruler has to be chosen. “There is a risk that you can have a split and quarrel in the ruling family. You could have the army supporting one group and the security (service) supporting the other and there could be a challenge to the successor, the possibility is there,” said an Omani academic, who did not want be identified. “It is a difficult situation and Omanis feel they are walking into the future without knowing their leader.” Political stability in Oman, currently one of the quietest corners of the Arab world, is important since it sits on the Strait of Hormuz, through which almost a fifth of oil traded worldwide passes, with Iran on the other side. Iran has threatened to close the narrow shipping channel if it is attacked by the United States and Israel. After

the Arab Spring sparked a rare expression of political and economic discontent on the streets, Sultan Qaboos spoke to the advisory councils - quasi-parliamentary bodies with limited legislative powers - about the importance of jobs for youth. “Creating jobs must be the top priority,” he said in November, wearing a black Arab cloak with golden embroidery and the red and blue turban of the ruling Al Said dynasty. “We call on the private and public sectors to employ as many young people as possible to serve the development of our country.” The protests were contained with promises of jobs, pension and salary hikes and talk of increased powers for the advisory assemblies. The councils’ advisory role has so far remained unchanged but 44,000 new government jobs were created last year. FAMILY RULE Oman has no political parties and questioning the Al Said family’s right to rule is taboo. A leftist rebellion in south Oman during the 1970s, several leaders of which Sultan Qaboos long ago coopted into the system, is a distant memory. Sultan Qaboos, a graduate of the Sandhurst military academy who served in Britain’s army, has no brother or children and is divorced after a brief marriage. He is seen as in good health. The ruling dynasty includes 50 to 60 male members who could be eligible to become sultan, but there is no clear candidate and no formal discussions have taken place. Unlike in Saudi Arabia, there is no division of labour with other members of the family - Sultan Qaboos is prime minister and holds other key government portfolios including foreign affairs and defense. “It is an unspoken agreement that we don’t talk

about it (succession) because once we do, there will be an immediate division and the power struggle will start right away,” a senior family member told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity. Many in the country of 2.8 million fear conflict within the family or among key groups within the system when Sultan Qaboos is no longer master of the scene. “Qaboos has united feuding tribes, reconciled sectarian differences, overcome a rebellion in the south and built the modern state in just a few decades,” said a tribal sheikh from the mountainous interior of the Arabian peninsula state. “He is accepted wholeheartedly, but we fear that the next sultan may not be acknowledged and the ghosts of the past will come back.” BASIC LAW RULES Rules set out in a Basic Law say the royal family should choose a new sultan within three days of the position falling vacant. If the royal family council fails to agree, a letter containing a name penned by Sultan Qaboos should be opened. Those authorized to witness the opening and attest to its contents include a defense council of military and security officials, Supreme Court chiefs and heads of the two quasi-parliamentary advisory assemblies. The rules are seen by analysts as an elaborate means of Sultan Qaboos securing his choice for successor without stirring the pot by making it public during his lifetime.“We are not like the others, that we announce the successors for the nation,” foreign minister Yousuf bin Alawi told Reuters. “What’s written in the Basic Law is what is accepted by the traditions of this country and that is how we see the succession handled.” Critics say the process is risky: some royals could use it to corner the throne for their branch of the family, trigger-

ing infighting as they realize this could be their last chance in a free-for-all succession that won’t last. “Sooner or later this whole idea of anybody in the royal family (having a chance to rule) will change to father-toson, and if they lose it now they lose it forever,” the Omani academic said. OMANIS DISCUSS SUCCESSORS Oman observers say the sultan’s three cousins Assad, Shihab and Haitham bin Tariq Al-Said - stand the best chance of taking over. None of the three brothers would be likely to change Qaboos’ policy of balancing the interests of neighbours Iran and Saudi Arabia with that of Western countries - offering Britain and the United States military facilities. “Everybody in Oman knows about them but they do not know them in action,” said J E Peterson, who worked as a historian of the Royal Armed Forces in Muscat until 1999 and is now an expert on Gulf affairs. “They don’t know a lot about their personalities and capabilities. And therefore they’re a bit anxious.” Assad, 62, is seen as the frontrunner by some experts, partly because he may have the support of the military. Another Sandhurst graduate, he commanded the sultan’s armed forces for many years and now serves as his personal representative. Shihab, 57, is a retired navy commander, while 55-year-old Haitham is a veteran minister of national heritage and culture who worked previously in the foreign ministry. But their various business interests could work against them and favour another: 66-year-old Fahd bin Mahmood al-Said, a deputy prime minister since 1983 who attended France’s Sorbonne university and is married to a Frenchwoman. — Reuters

Saudi pledges $3.25bn to Al-Qaeda-hit Yemen Risks remain despite Saleh’s exit to halt mass unrest

ADEN: Yemeni displaced children, who left their homes with their family when AlQaeda swept into southern Abyan province, stand outside their rooms in AlMasmoum public school in Aden. — AFP

Qaeda battle leaves displaced in despair ADEN: When Al-Qaeda swept into Yemen’s southern Abyan province a year ago, thousands of local residents ran for their lives. Today, the United Nations says more than 160,000 of them are scattered in towns and cities across Yemen’s south, languishing in miserable living conditions and surviving on the hope that one day soon they will return home. That prospect, however, is increasingly unlikely as Yemeni government forces battle to oust Al-Qaeda from Abyan, forcing hundreds more to flee the region each month. Abyan towns and cities have been hit by air raids and ravaged by fierce fighting as the army tries to wrest back control of territory, stoking fears among the displaced that what they left behind may already be destroyed. International aid organizations, under-funded and overstretched, are struggling to cope with the growing needs of the families who left their homes with little more than what they could carry. “We have nothing left,” said Arwa, a mother of two who escaped from the city of Jaar after AlQaeda took control. She now lives in the science lab of AlMasmoum public school in the southern port city of Aden. She shares the space with her husband, their two children and another family of three. Between the seven of them, they have five mattresses, taking turns sleeping on the bare classroom floor. They wash up and do the dishes in the sinks once used for lab experiments and complain that the UN food rations they receive are not enough. When Arwa’s 8-year-old daughter and 14year-old son both fell sick, she sold the soap given to her by aid agencies to buy medicine. “ This is no way to live,” she sighed. Arwa’s family is relatively lucky. They are only seven people to a classroom. In most of the 78 schools in Aden that the displaced now call home, as many as four families share a single classroom. They have no privacy and often live with strangers.

Some of the newest arrivals have been forced to seek shelter on school grounds or in the hallways. “They are living in very difficult conditions. This is the case in all the schools,” said Sara Sulieman from the international aid organization Oxfam. In total, there are over 535,000 Yemenis displaced by past and current conflicts in the country’s north and south. Only a limited number have so far been able to return home and most still rely on international aid to survive. The displacement crisis is further compounded by Yemen’s already dire humanitarian problems, a consequence of decades of under development, poor governance and rampant corruption. “The situation is really grim,” said Alison Parker of the UN children’s fund, UNICEF. There are “huge gaps” in the assistance and aid needed. In Aden, where most of Abyan’s 35,000 displaced families now live, the “biggest problem” is shelter, according to Tareq Talahma from the UN’s Organization for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Some rent rooms with their measly government incomes. Others have moved in with relatives or settled in abandoned buildings. About 20,000 IDPs live within the grounds of Aden’s public schools, preventing thousands of children from attending classes. The local “kids are going to school in three shifts,” said Talahma, cautioning that the situation is causing “huge tensions” with the host community. At Al-Masmoum, one building has been designated for students, while the other two are used as living quarters for the displaced. The classrooms are crammed with as many as 50 students, often two per desk. The quality of education has been severely compromised and the schools have suffered major physical damage. According to UNICEF, Aden’s IDP housing crisis has disrupted learning for over 100,000 students, many of whom have already lost all or most of the 2011-2012 academic year. —AFP

ADEN: A Yemeni displaced family prepares food in the laboratory of Al-Masmoum public school, which is used as living quarter for the displaced people. — AFP

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia, concerned that chaos in Yemen is creating an Al-Qaeda base on its doorstep, pledged $3.25 billion in aid to its neighbor at a donor group meeting two days after more than 90 Yemeni soldiers were killed in a suicide attack. Riyadh, which already provides oil and military aid to its impoverished neighbor, convened Western and Arab Gulf nations to see how they can help Yemen push ahead with reforms and tackle its poverty and lawlessness. “I assert one more time our support to Yemen to back all the phases of the political initiative to help achieve security, stability and prosperity in facing the threats of extremism and terrorism,” Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal told envoys from Western and Arab Gulf nations gathered yesterday. He did not detail how the money would be used. Yemeni Finance Minister Sakhr Ahmed AlWajeeh told reporters before the conference that Sanaa needed international aid if its economy was to grow in 2012. He said he would be happy with even a 1 percent rise in gross domestic product. Yemen is likely to run a $2.5 billion budget deficit this year, he added. The donor group was discussing political developments since President Ali Abdullah Saleh stepped down in February, ending his three-decade rule in the Arabian Peninsula state after nearly a year of mass protests. “We see key outcomes from this meeting focusing on types of concrete assistance the group can give to support the Yemeni government’s plans for long-term reform,” said a British Foreign Office spokesman. “The group also aims to discuss immediate ways it can help address the worsening humanitarian situation.” Yemen’s government lost control over large swathes of the country during the past year as the political crisis caused splits in the military and tribes were angered by US drone attacks on suspected militants. Western countries and Yemen’s neighbors have watched with alarm as Al-Qaeda has established a strong presence in areas controlled by Islamist militias, allowing the group to

BAGHDAD: Negotiators from the US and five other world powers sat down with a team of Iranian diplomats to try to hammer out specific goals in the years-long impasse over Tehran’s nuclear program. — AP plan attacks outside the country. Monday’s assault on a military parade in Sanaa, which killed more than 90 soldiers, came only weeks after Washington said Western and Arab intelligence agencies had foiled an Al-Qaeda airline bomb plot hatched in Yemen. Yesterday’s meeting was the group’s first since Saleh resigned to allow the election of a new president, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, in February for a two-year transition period. Yemeni Prime Minister Mohammed Basindwa and Planning and International Cooperation Minister Mohammed AlSaadi were attending the Riyadh gathering of the “Friends of Yemen” co-chaired by Saudi Arabia and Britain. Countries from the Gulf Cooperation Council,

Saudi prince sues LA to hasten mansion plans LOS ANGELES: A Saudi prince seeking to build a sprawling mansion in the famous 90210 zip code in the mountains above Beverly Hills, a project that has drawn opposition from neighbors, has sued the city of Los Angeles to hasten its construction. A land development company belonging to Prince Abdul Aziz, the third son of Saudi King Abdullah and the Gulf Arab kingdom’s deputy foreign minister said in a lawsuit that California neighbors who oppose the project had pressured the city into requiring an environmental impact study. In a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday, the prince’s company, Tower Lane Properties, said such a review was unnecessar y. “Petitioner carefully designed the project to minimize impacts on the environment and the surrounding area,” it reads, adding that it “requires no discretionary approvals.” Prince Abdul Aziz purchased the land in 2009 and applied for permits to build three residences on the five-acre property. The city has so far not issued the necessary building permits, leaving the project in limbo. Neighbors in the posh Benedict Canyon community went into an uproar over the initial proposed 85,000-squarefoot compound, with an opposition group called the Save Benedict Canyon Campaign formed to halt the prince’s plans. In response to the opposition, a scaled-back construction plan totaling roughly 60,000 square feet was presented in 2010, the lawsuit said. Nonetheless, tension between the community and the developers is still intense. The Save Benedict Canyon campaign says the scale of the construction is “like building

a Walmart in our neighborhood,” and that the construction crews needed for the project will overwhelm local streets with dirt, industrial equipment, and noise pollution. Yet the project’s lawyer, Benjamin Reznik, wrote in November 2011 that similarly sized houses upwards of 52,000 square feet have been built in the neighborhood without any additional review, and the prince’s proposal is not even the largest residential project in the area. The city’s planning department was inexplicably and erroneously demanding the project undergo “additional, unnecessary and inapplicable steps in the plan check review process, before the project is cleared for construction,” he wrote, calling the treatment of the Saudi prince “unfair.” Reznik said he expected a hearing on the matter in the coming months but would not comment on the litigation. Should the luxury property eventually be given the green light, Prince Abdul Aziz could count among his neighbors David and Victoria Beckham and Bruce Springsteen. Local opponents to the mansion construction have found an ally in Los Angeles Council member Paul Koretz, who represents the neighborhood. “The council member feels that any proposed project needs to undergo the appropriate scrutiny and discussion required by city policies,” said Paul Neuman, the councilman’s director of communications. “Those policies allow for community input and help protect the environment. That’s as true in this case as it is in any case,” Neuman said. — Reuters

which includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Oman, were also likely to attend, as were the United States, the European Union, France, Egypt and Russia. The gathering was held in a lavish Riyadh hotel where huge crystal chandeliers hang from faux-baroque ceilings and bronze equestrian statues tower above delegates on marble pedestals. In April the International Monetary Fund resumed lending to Yemen, approving the payment of a $93.7 million loan to help the country address a balance of payments deficit that worsened during the political turmoil. Saadi said in February that about $3 billion of aid that was pledged by the Friends of Yemen in 2006 had still not been delivered. — Reuters


in brief

World’s richest woman SYDNEY: Australia’s richest person Gina Rinehart has eclipsed Wal-Mart heiress Christy Walton to become the world’s wealthiest woman, according to an annual index by Business Review Weekly. A preview of the respected BRW Rich 200 list, published yesterday, put the mining tycoon’s personal fortune at Aus$29.17 billion (US$28.48 billion), a figure that sees her outstrip Walton for the first time. In March, Forbes placed Walton and her family’s net worth at US$25.3 billion, while Rinehart’s fortune stood at US$18 billion. BRW rich list editor Andrew Heathcote said mining magnate Rinehart had almost tripled her wealth in 12 months as commodity prices rose and she pulled off two deals in iron ore and coal. “The Aus$18.87 billion increase in her wealth is unparalleled. It is a product of foreign investment in new projects, increased production and a recovery in the iron ore price over the past six months,” said Heathcote. Rinehart, 58, heiress to an iron ore prospecting empire built in Australia’s resources-rich west, is a controversial figure who stridently campaigned against new mining taxes and recently bought up big in the media sector.

Dubai-bound ivory seized COLOMBO: Sri Lankan authorities have seized 1.5 tons of African ivory marked as plastic waste and addressed to a buyer in Dubai, a customs official in Colombo said yesterday. The container carrying 359 pieces of ivory had originated from Kenya and was going through the main sea port of Colombo when customs agents detected it following a tip-off, director Udayanath Liyanage said. “We have confiscated the ivory under CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) regulations,” Liyanage said. “The shipper has also given a wrong description of the cargo and violated customs laws.” He said they had informed the authorities in the United Arab Emirates and Kenya to take action against the shipper and the consignee after the discovery on Tuesday. The illegal trade in ivory from African elephants is driven by Asian and Middle Eastern demand for the tusks used in ornaments.

THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012


Controversial activist fights Asian sex trade HANOI: Sold into a brothel as a child, Cambodian activist Somaly Mam has become one of the most recognizable, glamorous and controversial faces of the global anti-sex slavery movement. The quirky, energetic campaigner boasts a string of celebrity supporters and has been named a CNN hero of the year, but she is as divisive among anti-trafficking activists as she is beloved by the international press. Most recently, Mam kicked up a storm of controversy when she allowed her “old friend,” New York Times correspondent Nicholas Kristof, to “livetweet” a brothel raid in the northern Cambodian town of Anlong Veng in November. “Girls are rescued, but still very scared. Youngest looks about 13, trafficked from Vietnam,” Kristof wrote to his more than one million followers on the Twitter microblogging website, in remarks that trafficking experts say raised questions of safety and consent. For Mam, who created the anti-trafficking organization AFESIP and now runs an eponymous foundation, the benefit of the attention Kristof brings to trafficking issues outweighs the security concerns. “Even if you’re not tweeting it is also dangerous... but if (Kristof ) tweets it, it’s better because more people get awareness and understanding,” Mam sid in an interview during a visit to Vietnam. Tania DoCarmo of Chab Dai, an anti-trafficking group working in Cambodia, said the raid coverage was an “unethical” PR stunt which broke Cambodian anti-trafficking laws and which “sensationalises” a very complex issue. “Doing ‘impromptu’ coverage of children in highly traumatizing situations would not be considered ethical or acceptable in the is inappropriate and even voyeuristic to do this in developing nations such as Cambodia.” “This is especially true with children and youth who are unable to provide legal consent anyway,” she said. AFESIP says it has been involved in rescuing about 7,000 women and girls in Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam since 1997. In Cambodia alone, there are more than 34,000 commercial sex workers, according to a 2009 government estimate. The line between “victim” and “trafficker” is often not always clear. Women who were tricked into working in a brothel may go on to recruit others in the same way. Mam, who is in her early-40s but does not know her exact year of birth, was sold into a brothel in her early teens by a man who she says was either her grandfather or an uncle and then repeatedly raped and abused until, after watching a friend be killed in front of her, she managed to escape. “I was completely broken,” she said, adding that this

experience of being a victim is something she cannot forget and is what drives her anti-trafficking campaigning. Within the anti-trafficking field, Mam takes a controversially hardline stance: all sex workers are victims, whether of trafficking or circumstance, as no woman would really choose to work in a brothel. “Sometimes a woman-she tells me she is choosing to be a prostitute (but if you ask) how about your daughter? You want her to be? She’ll say: No, no, no’,” said Mam. “(they) have no choice”. This position, which underpins Mam’s reliance on brothel raids as a tool to fight trafficking, enrages other activists, such as the Asia Pacific Sex Worker Network, which argues consenting adult sex workers need “rights not rescues.” Sweeping raid-and-rescue operations and police round-ups of streetbased sex workers are not only ineffective, experts say, but lead to “systematic violations of sex workers’ human rights,” New York-based Human Rights Watch said in 2010 report. Mam’s organisation, AFESIP, has also been criticized for accepting sex workers picked up during Cambodian police round ups which HRW has said constitute “arbitrary arrests and detentions of innocent people”. Mam dismissed HRW’s assessment. “When a girl has been killed in the brothel does HRW go into the brothel? So who are you exactly? When I am in the brothel, one of my friend she has been killed. Did HRW go there? No,” she said. Consenting, adult sex workers detained during the police raids-who say they were neither victims of trafficking nor wanting AFESIP’s services-have also reported being held against their will at AFESIP shelters. “The first time (a sex worker) come to the shelter she don’t want to stay ... because she don’t know us,” Mam said, adding that women are so “broken” by sex work they want to stay in the familiar surroundings of the brothel. “I always say: please, can you just stay one or two days, treat it like a holiday,” she said, adding that if women chose to stay in the brothels she respected that decision. “I’m not going to force them, I have been forced my own life. It’s up to them,” she said, adding that this applied within the shelters, with no girl being forced to speak to the press or share her experiences with anyone. Mam says she tries to listen to and learn from criticism of her tactics and approach, adding that she has “made a lot of mistakes in my life,” and has never claimed to have all the answers to how to end sex slavery. “What I know how to do is just helping the women,” she said. — AFP

Israeli serial stabber convicted of murder FLINT: An Israeli-born drifter accused of terrorizing a struggling city by faking car trouble then stabbing strangers who came to his aid was quickly convicted of murder Tuesday after jurors rejected an insanity defense. It was the first trial for Elias Abuelazam, who is accused of a series of sometimes fatal stabbings in Michigan and two other states that began almost immediately after his arrival in Flint in May 2010. After an eight-day trial, jurors took just a few hours to return a verdict in the death of Arnold Minor, a 49-year-old handyman stabbed after midnight near downtown Flint two summers ago. Members of the victim’s family sat in the front row clutching a box with his cremated remains. The attack was one of 14 in the Flint area linked to Abuelazam five people died - although the Israeli immigrant is not charged in every incident. “It’s been 658 days - I’ve been counting. He’s going where he needs to be,” Minor’s sister, Stephanie Ward, said of Abuelazam’s prison sentence. “He’s not crazy.” Defense attorney Ed Zeineh barely mentioned the overwhelming evidence against Abuelazam during his closing argument and instead focused on his mental health, which dominated the end of the trial. A psychiatrist hired by the defense said Abuelazam, 35, was paranoid schizophrenic who punched out after working the afternoon shift at a liquor store and cruised dark, lonely streets in his Chevy Blazer at the behest of “evil forces” in his mind. Three experts testifying for prosecutors, however, said Abuelazam was not mentally ill at the time and knew exactly what he was doing. Minor’s stabbing and the others were “planned, focused, done with care,” Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said in his closing remarks to the jury. Minor’s blood was found on the steering wheel in Abuelazam’s SUV and on pants and shoes inside his luggage as he tried to flee to Israel, his native country, in August 2010. The judge allowed four other stabbing victims to show their wounds to the jury and point to Abuelazam as the man responsible for the injuries. “That was

powerful,” jury foreman Will Ogle said. He said the insanity defense didn’t fit for a number of reasons. Ogle said the defense summoned no friends or co-workers who could say that Abuelazam had symptoms of schizophrenia in his everyday life. “The demons only come out at 3 o’clock in the morning when no one’s looking? That doesn’t add up,” Ogle said in an interview at his home. The verdict, he said, “was very easy. ... He’s one evil dude.” Wearing a suit and tie throughout the trial, Abuelazam winced with discomfort as deputies escorted him into court and removed his handcuffs, moments before the guilty verdict was announced. He was handcuffed again and taken back to jail to await his life sentence on June 25. “I’ll live the rest of my career knowing the mentally ill truly go to prison,” Zeineh said as he left court. Abuelazam, a native of Ramla, Israel, has spent half his life in the United States but had lived in Flint only a few months. He was living next to his uncle in the city, north of Detroit, and was running a liquor store for $10 an hour. By late July 2010, after at least a dozen people had been stabbed, police determined they likely had a serial killer on the loose. The big break came when the daughter of Abuelazam’s co-worker at the party store saw a sketch of the suspect and his vehicle and called investigators. “We had a mountain of evidence,” Leyton told reporters. Abuelazam faces two other murder trials in Flint as well as six cases of attempted murder. He’s also charged with attempted murder in Toledo, Ohio, and suspected but not charged in similar attacks in Leesburg, Virginia, an area where he formerly lived. Leyton, the prosecutor, said he needs time to consider whether to go to trial on the remaining Michigan charges or offer a plea deal. Abuelazam never will be free unless a higher court overturns the Minor verdict. Despite the extraordinary allegations against him, Abuelazam remains an enigma. The uncle who lives in Flint testified for prosecutors but didn’t stick around and watch the trial. He had no family among the spectators. — AP

Russia tests missile after NATO summit Moscow sends a message to NATO MOSCOW: Russia yesterday staged the first successful testlaunch of a new intercontinental missile designed to penetrate the defense system now being deployed by NATO despite Moscow’s fierce complaints. The highly-symbolic launch came just days after alliance formally activated the first stage of a missile defense shield whose deployment Russia has bitterly opposed out of fears that it may target its own vast nuclear arsenal. “The dummy warhead reached its target area at the Kura test range on the Kamchatka Peninsula. The set goals of the launch were reached,” Interfax quoted Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces spokesman Vadim Koval as saying. A military source told the agency that the launch was only the second ever conducted in the top-secret program. The source said the first failed on September 27 when the missile suffered an undisclosed malfunction and crashed only 10 kilometers from the launch site. The rocket still has no formal name but is being billed by the military as a “fifth generation” weapon that substantially upgrades the technology used by its already-feared feared Topol-M and Yars systems. Various sources told Interfax that the new missile was better equipped to penetrate

the new US-backed missile defense system in Europe whose first stage NATO official activated at its Chicago summit on Sunday. “This is one of the... measures being developed by Russia’s military and political leadership in response to the US deployment of a global anti-missile system,” former strategic forces director

rocket’s trajectory,” one military source said. Officials believe this makes it more difficult to detect and easier to manoeuvre. Interfax said the weapon is also equipped with individual warheads that can change course to avoid being shot down. Russia has hundreds of missiles capable of raining down nearly 2,000 nuclear war-

CASLAV: An AN-30 military aircraft lies off the runway at the Czech air force base in Caslav, some 20 miles east of Prague yesterday. An official says the Russian military plane caught fire after problems during the landing maneuver, injuring at least six people on board. Czech military spokeswoman Jana Ruzickova said the plane had 23 people on board, 14 Russians and 9 Czechs. — AP Viktor Yesin told Interfax. Little is known about the new weapon except its purported ability to better avoid being shot down. The Russian missile “uses a new type of fuel that helps reduce the time required to operate the propellants in the active stage of the

heads on the United States and its other former Cold War-era foes. But much of the force is built on technology developed in the Soviet era that Russia fears may become obsolete by the time NATO’s shield becomes fully operational by the scheduled date of

2018. Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled a massive new armaments program during his successful election to a third term and made a visit to a military factory one of his first high-profile stops after his May 7 swearing in. Putin’s predecessor and protege Dmitry Medvedev warned the West last year that Russia will have to deploy new rockets on the borders of NATO’s European partners such as Poland should its concerns not be addressed. The army’s top general Nikolai Makarov this month also warned the United States that Russia reserved the right to preemptively strike NATO targets once it feels its shield posed a significant threat. US President Barack Obama has sent multiple negotiating missions to Moscow and was earlier this year caught by an open microphone telling Medvedev that he intended to negotiate more on the issue should he win re -election in November. The Russian military forces spokesman said the missile was launched from a mobile system at the northern Plesetsk space base at 10:15 am (0615) GMT on its 6,000-kilometres (3,700-mile) journey to the Pacific. News reports did not specify the missile’s actual range nor the number of warheads it can carry. — AFP

THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012


Rise in ‘grandfamilies’ as Americans take in grandchildren Increase in family care up 20 percent WASHINGTON: Howard Dubowitz, a Maryland pediatrician and researcher who specializes in child protection issues, knows how hard it can be to raise other people’s children. Over the years while talking with grandparents and others who take on the role of guardian when parents struggle, “my heart went out to them - they were trying so hard,” said Dubowitz, trained to help treat children who have been abused or neglected. The number of youth living with relatives or friends instead of their parents has risen nearly 18 percent in the past decade as a growing number of grandparents take on caring for their grandchildren, an analysis of government data shows. More than 2.7 million children and teenagers have such “grandfamilies” or other alternative living arrangements, up from 2.2 million in 2000, according to a review of the US Census Bureau’s


in brief

5 dead in ‘murder-suicide’ SALEM: A mother and her three children were found dead in a burned house Tuesday in northwest Oregon, and the children’s father was found dead later in a car, all victims of what police said appeared to be a ‘murder-suicide’. The woman and children were discovered early Tuesday when Salem firefighters went to a house on fire in a workingclass neighborhood of old homes, small apartment complexes and mature trees. A neighbor reported awaking about 5:30 am to the fire. Dan Grove told the Salem Statesman Journal that he “saw dark, black smoke pouring out of the house. I heard people screaming and yelling. It was for real.” About five hours later, the father was found dead in a vehicle about 75 miles south of Salem, in Cottage Grove. The victims weren’t immediately identified. Police say they don’t have other details about the parents’ relationship. Nevada wildfire spreads HOLBROOK JUNCTION: A fast-moving wildfire erupted in a rural neighborhood near the NevadaCalifornia line and destroyed two homes but no injuries have been reported and the danger from what one frightened resident described as a “wall of fire” was subsiding. Between 100 and 200 homes were threatened at one time on Tuesday in the Topaz Ranch Estates about 50 miles southeast of Lake Tahoe after the fire broke out about 1:45 pm possibly after a controlled burn conducted on residential land rekindled in winds gusting up to 40 mph, authorities said. Authorities had earlier stated that at least seven homes had burned. Douglas County Sheriff’s Sgt Jim Halsey said no homes were in immediate danger as of 9:45 pm Tuesday. But officials recommended that as many as 40 homes voluntarily evacuate as a precaution. ‘Mountain man’ nabbed HELENA: Police arrested notorious “mountain man” Dan Nichols Tuesday on drug charges following a months-long search that came nearly three decades after he and his father kidnapped a world-class athlete. Nichols was taken into custody after phoning the US Marshals Service and saying he would be in the Walmart parking lot in Butte between 2 pm and 3 pm, Butte-Silver Bow Sheriff John Walsh said. Nichols showed up as promised in a 1982 red Honda Prelude with Bozeman license plates and was arrested without incident, Walsh said. “He basically turned himself in,” Walsh said. The sheriff said he did not know why Nichols called marshals. Chief Deputy Marshal Rod Ostermiller did not immediately return a call seeking comment. Nichols failed to appear in court in March on charges of drug possession and intent to distribute during a rock concert last August in Three Forks, and Jefferson County officials issued a warrant for his arrest. Chavez reappears CARACAS: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez reappeared on Tuesday in a live television broadcast, the first time he has been seen in public view since returning from cancer treatment in Cuba almost two weeks ago. Chavez spoke in a strong voice and did not appear tired during the broadcast, which lasted more than two hours. He made no reference to his health, of which few details are known. The socialist leader’s uncharacteristic disappearances have become longer and more frequent this year. They have fueled speculation his condition has worsened and may complicate a re-election bid in October. Chavez, 57, cracked jokes with government ministers during Tuesday’s broadcast and repeated his plans to register his candidacy for the Oct 7 election next month as set out by the country’s electoral commission. White supremacist jailed PHOENIX: A federal judge on Tuesday sentenced a white supremacist to 40 years in prison for a 2004 bombing that wounded a black city official. A jury earlier this year found Dennis Mahon, 61, guilty of three federal charges stemming from the package bomb that injured Don Logan, who is black and was diversity director at the time in suburban Scottsdale, and hurt a secretary. The jury stopped short of finding Mahon guilty of a hate crime after a six-week trial that included dramatic testimony from Logan and a female government informant dubbed a “trailer park Mata Hari” by defense attorneys - a reference to the Dutch exotic dancer who was convicted of working as a spy for Germany during World War I. In handing down the sentence, US District Judge David Campbell said the bombing was an “act of domestic terrorism” that was done to promote an agenda of hate and racism. Prosecutors argued at trial that the Mahon brothers bombed Logan on behalf of a group called the White Aryan Resistance, which they said encourages members to act as “lone wolves” and commit violence against non-whites and the government.

latest 2010 data by The Annie E Casey Foundation released yesterday. Black children are more than twice as likely as other children to find themselves living without their parents, according to the children’s charity group, which advocates for situations where children are connected with their caregivers. About one in five black youth end up living with extended family for some time during their childhood, the group found. Overall, about 9 percent of children and teenagers will live with relatives for at least three months at some point during their childhoods, data showed. Even as such cross-family ties have grown for various reasons, the report shows that youth in need of new guardians are increasingly placed in the hands of often older caregivers who are more likely to be poor, single, less educated and unemployed. The group said

the findings show an increased need for family caregivers to find support similar to what licensed foster care parents receive. Caregivers not only need financial help, but guidance for legal and other challenges. SAFE, STABLE AND FAMILIAR “Research shows kids fare better when they remain in the safe, stable and familiar environment that relatives can provide,” Patrick McCarthy, the Foundation’s president said. Robert Geen, the group’s director of family services and systems policy, said states need to see the value in placing children with someone they know rather than a stranger, he added. About 1 in 4 children in formal, government-run foster care have been placed with family or friends, the report said. “Children do feel differently when they are with strangers than with anyone who they have a

bond with,” said Geen, adding that it can help youth transition from traumatic home lives. Parents may be forced to give up caring for their children for a variety of reasons, ranging from deep poverty or drug use to physical abuse. While it may seem to make sense for children to live with someone they know, new caregivers also face strain. According to the report, 60 percent of new, related caregivers are age 50 or older, while 55 percent are not married. Half are unemployed. Still some experts like Dubowitz cautioned against a blanket approach to placing children in need with family members or other acquaintances. States should seek out kin but also evaluate each case - and each child individually. “The situations very enormously. If you have a 60-year-old overweight, diabetic grandma and place a toddler in her care, that’s probably not

going to be a great arrangement,” said Dubowitz, who works at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and has been studying child welfare and health for more than 30 years. “It’s not always fair holding grandma responsible,” he said. Still, Dubowitz acknowledged that having a blood tie can make it easier for some children to adjust. States can vary widely in how hard they search for relatives or family friends to care for displaced children, according to The Annie E Casey Foundation, and some need to do a better job in tracking such caregivers down, the report said. It also urged states to use flexibility in providing benefits such as food stamps and Medicaid to such families. More could be done to also have family care givers become licensed foster parents, which would also provide extra support. — Reuters

‘Device’ claim causes US Airways to divert ‘Human bomb’ triggers alert WASHINGTON: A French woman forced a US-bound transatlantic flight to be diverted after claiming she was carrying a “surgically implanted device,” US officials said. The US Airways plane, flying from Paris, was diverted to Maine on Tuesday where the woman was taken into custody by the FBI before the Boeing 767 continued its journey to Charlotte, North Carolina. Coming on the heels of a thwarted airline bomb plot by Al-Qaeda’s Yemen branch, the incident has laid bare US worry over shifting tactics of extremists as they seek new ways-and new technologies, including non-metallic bombs-for landing a deadly blow against an American target. Last year, US officials warned airlines that terror groups were studying how to surgically hide bombs inside humans to evade airport securityprecisely the threat that emerged when the US Airways passenger made herself known to the cabin crew. Senator Susan Collins, the ranking Republican on the Senate Homeland Security Committee, highlighted the concerns shortly after news broke of Flight 787’s diversion to Maine, saying there has been “intelligence identifying surgically implanted bombs as a threat to air travel.” Collins, briefed on the incident by Transportation Security Administration chief John Pistole, said TSA recently issued security directives to airports, airlines, and foreign governments, “advising them to take added screening precautions and to be on the lookout for indicators of surgically implanted explosives.” The US Airways flight took off without incident from Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport bound for Charlotte with 179 passengers and crew. At some point during the flight, a passenger “handed a note to

a flight attendant that said she had a surgically implanted device inside her,” House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King said in a statement. The Cameroon-born woman was traveling alone with no checked baggage and visiting the United States for 10 days, according to King. Alarmed crew on

psychologically disturbed.” Andrew Kobayashi, a passenger on the flight, told CNN that the woman, who appeared to be in her mid-20s to mid-30s, was sweating and acting nervous. “I had briefly noticed her in the back of the plane being a weirdo... (She) seemed on edge, but no more so than anybody who is

TOULOUSE: An undated picture shows a US Airways A330-300 flying over Toulouse, southern France. A US Airways flight from Paris to Charlotte, North Carolina was diverted to an airport in Maine after a passenger exhibited ‘suspicious behavior’. — AFP board isolated the passenger, and “doctors on the flight checked her out and did not see any sign of recent scars,” King added. A police source in Paris said that the woman was unknown to French intelligence. “ This woman is completely unknown to French police and intelligence in particular,” the source told said requesting anonymity. “She appears to be

nervous about flying,” said Kobayashi, who was seated several rows forward of the woman. Concerned pilots radioed in to North American Aerospace Defense Command, and two F-15 fighter jets based in Massachusetts were scrambled to escort the airliner through its tension-filled descent to Bangor, Maine. An FBI joint

terrorism task force, accompanied by a bomb squad, local police and other security agencies then met the aircraft upon arrival. “FBI agents and members of a joint terrorism task force interviewed the passenger and others on the plane,” FBI spokesman Greg Comcowich said. “At this time, there is no indication the plane or its passengers were ever in any actual danger.” A US official said that the suspect was unlikely to be part of a broader international terror plot linked to groups such as Al-Qaeda. “It doesn’t appear to be any terrorist nexus at this point,” said the official. But it served as a blunt reminder of the ongoing efforts by groups like Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to eventually break through tight US security with a functional bomb. And it came after news emerged earlier this month of a foiled plot to blow up a US-bound airliner. US officials said the plot involved a non-metallic device, intended for use by a suicide bomber on an airliner, that was an updated version of the “underwear bomb” used in a failed attack on a US-bound flight on Christmas Day 2009. Though officials touted the disrupted plot as a success, they acknowledged AQAP remained determined to strike and its master bombmaker, Ibrahim Al-Asiri, was apparently hard at work seeking to circumvent airport security. Washington says Asiri is the prime suspect behind an attempt by the lethal Al-Qaeda offshoot to send parcel bombs from Yemen to the United States in October 2010. The packages, addressed to synagogues in Chicago and containing the hard-todetect explosive PETN hidden in printer ink cartridges, were discovered en route in Britain and Dubai. — AFP

Hawaii verifies Obama’s birth records to Arizona

MONTREAL: Students carry a banner marking the 100th day of student protests during a march against tuition hikes and restrictions on freedom on May 22, 2012. — AFP

Tens of thousands defy Quebec’s protest law MONTREAL: Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Montreal to mark 100 days of student protests and defy a new law requiring that organizers give notice of demonstrations eight hours in advance. The law and subsequent protest grew out of weeks of student demonstrations against plans to raise university tuition fees, in which clashes have erupted between police and protesters, with hundreds arrested. The protest against the so-called “truncheon law ” on Tuesday was mostly peaceful and unfolded in a festive atmosphere despite scattered incidents in which protesters shattered three shop windows. However, police used batons and stun grenades to break up a smaller demonstration of around 2,000 people later Tuesday night. Police said they arrested 50 people at the later protest for “illegal assembly” and wearing masks, which are banned at demonstrations, after some

protesters threw bottles at the riot police. The provincial government has defended the law, which requires organizers of demonstrations of more than 50 people to submit detailed plans to police at least eight hours advance under penalty of heavy fines. The law “does not ban demonstrations, but is there to supervise them,” Quebec security minister Robert Dutil told reporters. “In France, a permit must be obtained 20 days in advance, in London six days and in Geneva 30 days.” Protests have raged in Montreal since mid-February over a plan by provincial Premier Jean Charest to raise tuition fees at Quebec universities by 82 percent to rein in a budget deficit. More than 300 people were arrested in Montreal protests Monday during a night of clashes with police in which protesters smashed store windows and opened a fire hydrant to flood a downtown office building. — AFP

HONOLULU: The state of Hawaii has verified President Barack Obama’s birth records to Arizona’s elections chief after a nearly three-month back and forth that Arizona officials said could have ended without the incumbent’s name on its November ballot. Joshua Wisch, special assistant to Hawaii Attorney General David Louie said in an email late Tuesday that the matter is resolved after Hawaii gave Arizona the verification it was looking for. Hawaii - which has vouched for Obama’s birth in the state several times as early as October 2008 - didn’t bow to the request easily. The Aloha State told Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett he had to prove he needed the records as part of normal business. Wisch says Hawaii got what it needed, so it gave Bennett’s office the verification. It’s not immediately clear whether the information will satisfy Bennett. Bennett spokesman Matthew Roberts said the office received the verification. Roberts did not say whether the information would end the flap with Obama’s name on the ballot. Bennett said during a radio interview earlier Tuesday that he had reworded his request to Hawaii and expected to get a response within two days. The development came the same day Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio defended sending one of his deputies to Hawaii to accompany an official in his volunteer posse that is investigating Obama’s birth certificate, despite earlier saying no taxpayer money was being spent on the probe. The sheriff said Tuesday that taxpayers won’t ultimately foot the bill because the posse, which so far has used $40,000 in donations to pay for the probe, will reimburse his office for the deputy’s trip to Hawaii this week. Arpaio said the deputy who was sent to Hawaii was there for security reasons, which the sheriff

declined to discuss. “Even if it was costing the taxpayers money, we are talking about a criminal investigation into possible fraud and forgery on government documents,” the sheriff said. The sheriff launched the investigation last summer and said in March that there was probable cause to believe Obama’s long-form birth certificate, released by the White House more than a year ago, is a computer-generated forgery and that the president’s Selective Service card was most likely a forgery. Speculation about Obama’s birthplace has swirled among conservatives for years. So-called “birthers” maintain that Obama is ineligible to hold the country’s highest elected office because, they contend, he was born in Kenya, his father’s homeland. Hawaii officials have repeatedly confirmed Obama’s citizenship, and Obama released a copy of his long-form birth certificate more than a year ago in an attempt to quell citizenship questions. Courts also have rebuffed lawsuits over the issue. — AP

COLORADO: President Barack Obama receives a ‘high-five’ from a young boy as he greets guests on the tarmac upon his arrival at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo yesterday. — AP


THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012



in brief

26 Indian pilgrims die NEW DELHI: Police say a bus full of Hindu pilgrims plunged into the Ganges River, killing 26 people in northern India. Rescuers worked more than four hours to pull the bodies from the river late Tuesday in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand. Local Tehri district police official Janmejaya Khanduri says four people are hospitalized in critical condition. The private tour bus had been traveling west from Badrinath to the holy city of Rishikesh with 45 passengers from central Madhya Pradesh state. Police say the driver lost control while trying to overtake a truck on the road. Uttarak hand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna announced an investigation yesterday and said victims’ families would receive 100,000 rupees (about $1,800) in compensation. Bus crash kills 10 DHAKA: Police say the driver of a speeding bus lost control and crashed into a roadside ditch in northern Bangladesh, killing 10 people and injuring 15 others. Local police chief Farid Uddin says the accident occurred yesterday in Sirajganj district, 104 kilometers north of Dhaka. He says the injured people are being treated at a local hospital. Fatal road accidents, often blamed on unskilled drivers, faulty vehicles and lax enforcement of rules, claim about 5,000 lives a year in Bangladesh.

US drone kills 4 in Pakistan

DERA ISMAIL KHAN: A US drone fired two missiles at a compound in northwest Pakistan yesterday, killing four suspected militants in an attack that comes as Washington is running out of patience with Islamabad’s refusal to reopen supply routes for NATO troops in Afghanistan. US drone strikes have complicated negotiations over the routes, which Pakistan closed six months ago in retaliation for US airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers along the Afghan border. Pakistan’s parliament demanded the strikes stop in the wake of the attack, but the US has refused. The latest strike took place in Datta Khel Kalai village in the North Waziristan tribal area, said Pakistani intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media. Parliament also demanded an “unconditional apology” from the US for killing its troops. The Obama administration has expressed regret but is not willing to tender an apology out of concern that it could open the president up to attacks by Republicans angry at Pakistan’s lack of cooperation on the Afghan war. Despite these disagreements, Pakistan appeared close to reopening the supply routes last week, prompting NATO to invite President Asif Ali Zardari to a major summit held May 20-21 in Chicago. But negotiations have faltered on Pakistan’s demand for much higher transit fees, and the US made its frustration clear at the summit. President Barack Obama refused to meet one-on-one with Zardari and did not mention Pakistan in the list of countries he thanked in his speech Monday for helping get war supplies into Afghanistan. —AP

Indian state Maharashtra declares war on poachers Injuring or killing poachers ‘no longer a crime’

NEW DELHI: A state in western India has declared war on animal poaching by allowing forest guards to shoot hunters on sight in an effort to curb rampant attacks on tigers and other wildlife. The government in Maharashtra says injuring or killing suspected poachers will no longer be considered a crime. Forest guards should not be “booked for human rights violations when they have taken action against poachers,” Maharashtra Forest Minister Patangrao Kadam said Tuesday. The state also will send more rangers and jeeps into the forest, and will offer secret payments to informers who give tips about poachers and animal smugglers, he said. No tiger poachers have ever been shot in Maharashtra, though cases of illegal loggers and fishermen being shot have led to charges against forest guards, according to the state’s chief wildlife warden, S W H Naqvi. But the threat could act as a significant deterrent to wildlife criminals, conservationists said. A similar measure allowing guards to fire on poachers in Assam has helped the northeast state’s population of endangered one-horned rhinos recover. “ These poachers have lost all fear. They just go in and poach what they want because they know the risks are low,” said Divyabhanusinh Chavda, who heads the World Wildlife Fund in India and is a key member of the National Wildlife Board, which advises the prime minister. In many of India’s reserves, guards are armed with little more than sticks. India faces intense international scrutiny over its tiger conservation, as it holds half of the world’s estimated 3,200 tigers in dozens of wildlife reserves set up since the 1970s, when hunting was banned. Illegal poaching remains a stubborn and serious threat, with tiger parts in particular fetching high prices on the black market because of demand driven by traditional Chinese medicine practitioners. According to the Wildlife Protection Society of India, 14 tigers have been killed by poachers in India so far this year - one more than in all of 2011. The tiger is considered endangered, with its habitat shrinking more than 50 percent in the

last quarter-century while its numbers declined from an estimated 5,000-7,000 in the 1990s, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Eight of this year’s tiger poaching deaths in India occurred in Maharashtra, including one whose body was found last

with low ranger numbers, and that increasing patrols around the clock would help. Dozens of other animals are also targeted by hunters across India, including one-horned rhinos and male elephants prized for their tusks, and other big cats like leopards hunted or poisoned by villagers afraid of attacks on their

It’s unclear whether Maharashtra’s example in targeting poachers will be followed by other states, though tiger poaching has also been a major problem in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh in recent years. The hunting of male elephants for their tusks has skewed the sex ratio, and there are now about 100 female ele-

BHOPAL: A Bengal tiger cools off in a small pond of water at Van Vihar National Park in Bhopal. —AP week chopped into pieces with its head and paws missing in Tadoba Tiger Reserve. Forest officials have also found traps in the reserve, where about 40 tigers live. Naqvi said encounters between Maharashtra’s forest guards and poachers were rare because poachers generally hunt the nocturnal big cats at night. He said the state’s offer to pay informers from a new fund worth about 5 million rupees ($90,000) would likely be more effective. “We get very few tips, so this will really help,” he said. But conservationists said the fact that poachers are rarely seen has more to do

homes or livestock. A recent study on hunting in India noted 114 species of mammals were being actively hunted across the country, with dozens of birds and reptiles also under attack. “There has been an onslaught going on in India,” said William Laurance, a conservation biologist at James Cook University in Australia and one of the three authors of the study, which was published in Biological Conservation journal in April. “It’s a serious threat to wildlife, along with habitat encroachment and forest degradation. A lot of species are clinging to survival in remote areas.”

phants for every male in the south. According to the April study, some of the most rampant hunting is occurring in the eastern Himalayas, where high numbers of army troops are deployed and some hunt for sport, and in the northeast near the porous border with China and Myanmar, where hunting is a way of life and sometimes an economic necessity for tribal communities. “The remarkable thing in India is that there is still anything alive at all with 1.2 billion people,” Laurance said. “As populations grow, an increase in hunting pressure is a classic thing that happens.” —AP


THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012


Syria violence shakes Lebanon’s fragile stability Saudi monarch sees shadow of civil war in Lebanon BEIRUT: Gunmen clash in deadly street battles, protesters block roads with burning tyres and opposition politicians demand the prime minister’s downfall, denouncing the army as an agent of a foreign power. Fragile Lebanon’s sectarian tensions, which festered for two decades since the end of its ruinous civil war, have been reignited by the turmoil in powerful neighbor Syria and threaten to plunge the country into a sustained period of unrest. In the northern city of Tripoli, where Sunni Muslims strongly support the 14-month uprising against Syria’s President Bashar Al-Assad, nine people were killed in clashes last week triggered by the arrest of an anti-Assad activist. The violence spread to the capital on Monday when Sunni gunmen fought street battles in a Beirut neighborhood following the killing of a Sunni cleric, also opposed to Assad, by Lebanese soldiers at an army checkpoint in the northern Akkar province. On Tuesday, angry Shiites blocked roads in southern Beirut in protest against the abduction in northern Syria of a dozen Lebanese Shiites by rebels from the overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim insurgency against Assad. “We are entering a phase of protracted instability in Lebanon. There is no direct way in which these events will be fully contained,” said Eurasia Group analyst Ayham Kamel. The Syrian uprising forced Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati into a nearimpossible balancing act between diehard supporters and opponents of Assad in a country which was long dominated by Syrian military power. Mikati himself embodies some of the conflicting loyalties. He is a Sunni Muslim from Tripoli, but has close ties with authorities in Damascus and only came to power last year after Shiite Hezbollah and its Christian allies toppled Lebanon’s unity government, headed by Sunni leader Saad Al-Hariri.

EMBOLDENED ISLAMISTS Hezbollah, an ally of Assad which has two ministers in Mikati’s cabinet, “wants to prevent any real effective support to the Syrian opposition that would tilt the balance on the ground”, said International Crisis Group analyst Sahar Attrache. But attempts to restrict support for the Syrian rebels have antagonized the increasingly emboldened Sunni Islamist activists and militants in northern Lebanon, where many complain about years of neglect

released on bail of $330 on Tuesday in an attempt to defuse the escalating tensions. “ The showdown after Moulawi’s arrest is new. Before, these groups needed political cover but this time they are getting more independent of the political leaders,” Attrache said. The clashes in Tripoli pitted Sunni Muslim gunmen against Alawites members of the same minority as Assad - but also against Lebanese troops when the army tried to end the fighting. That military intervention, coupled with the killing of a Sunni Muslim cleric and his companion at an army checkpoint on Sunday, have stirred up anger against soldiers. A Sunni Muslim parliamentarian accused the army of being “at the service of Syria” and some Tripoli residents heckled soldiers as traitors. “Questioning the army is very worrying, very dangerous,” Attrache said, adding that erosion of army legitimacy was one of the factors which contributed to Lebanon’s descent into 15 years of civil war in 1975. The composition of Lebanon’s army broadly reflects the wide sectarian elements of Lebanon’s diverse Muslim and Christian communities, although many recruits come from the relatively poor northern Akkar province.

DAMASCUS: A handout picture shows members of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) inspecting the bodies of men at the Tishreen Military Hospital in Damascus yesterday. —AFP

SHADOW OF CIVIL WAR? Four Gulf Arab nations - Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates - have told their citizens to stay away from Lebanon, citing security concerns, and Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah said the “shadow of civil war” hangs over Lebanon. The crisis is likely to hurt the summer tourism season, an important source of foreign revenue, and has helped push Beirut’s stock market index down to 1,154 points yesterday, 30 percent down from levels in April 2010 before domestic and regional unrest hit investor confidence. Amid the growing fears of

He has promoted a policy of “disassociation” from Syria’s troubles in a possibly doomed effort to insulate his country from the unrest across Lebanon’s only open land border. Fighting has spilled over the frontier several times, along with several thousand Syrian refugees whose presence in northern Lebanon has helped inflame Sunni anger against Assad. Weapons smuggling is common and Syria has accused Lebanon of “incubating terrorist elements” it blames for the

unrest. Lebanon’s army last month seized and displayed three freight containers filled with Libyan weapons suspected of heading for Syria’s rebels, highlighting both the scale of arms shipments and efforts by authorities to curb them. “There is no right way to balance these delicate interests, Kamel said. “It’s going to be very difficult for the government to appease the Sunni community and at the same time monitor or restrict arms flows to Syria.”

by politicians in Beirut. Hariri’s yearlong absence from Lebanon, ostensibly for security reasons, has added to a Sunni political vacuum which has encouraged other Sunni groups to flex their muscles. Last week’s violence in Tripoli was triggered by the arrest of Shadi AlMoulawi, an Islamist supporter of the Syrian uprising who was charged with membership of a terrorist group. Moulawi, who denies the charge, was

Man thought he ‘beheaded alien’ Chinese beheaded and cannibalized fellow passenger WINNIPEG: A Chinese immigrant who beheaded and cannibalized a fellow passenger on a Greyhound bus in western Canada four years ago thought he was attacking an alien, according to a mental health advocate who interviewed him. In 2009, Vince Li was found not criminally responsible due to mental illness for the death of Tim McLean, a 22-year-old carnival worker who was sitting next to him on a bus traveling near Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. McLean had his eyes closed and was listening to music on his headphones when Li suddenly stood up and started stabbing him. As the bus stopped and horrified passengers fled, Li carved up McLean’s body, ate portions of it, and displayed the victim’s head to some passengers outside the bus. After the judge’s ruling, Li was placed in a locked wing of the Selkirk Mental Health Centre. Initially, he was not allowed outside, but over the years

he has gained more freedom. Last week, a Criminal Code review board ruled that Li can start having escorted trips off the hospital grounds and into the nearby city of Selkirk. The ruling sparked renewed outrage from some members of the public, prompting Chris Summerville, head of the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society, to conduct a 45-minute interview with Li last weekend with the hope of shedding light on his progress. Summerville has met with Li roughly every two months over the last four years. “(Li feels) remorse, a degree of humility - I know a lot of people won’t believe that - regret and a sense of torment,” Summerville said Tuesday. “He understands now that schizophrenia is a mental illness which plays tricks on the brain. He knows that the medication works to keep the voices away.” Summerville released an edited tran-

As isolated Myanmar opens, protesters test boundaries YANGON: As long-isolated Myanmar opens up, its people are flexing their newly democratic muscles and testing the boundaries of freedom in a series of protests over chronic power outages. On Tuesday evening, several hundred people in the commercial capital Yangon marched at Sule Pagoda, the focal point of demonstrations in 2007 and 1988 that were crushed by the military which ruled for nearly half a century until last year. About 1,000 people protested for a third straight evening in nor thern Mandalay, M yanmar ’s second-largest cit y, the biggest demonstrations since a 2007 monk-led uprising in which dozens were killed and hundreds arrested. “We have plans to hold similar protests in all these cities tonight,” rights ac tivist Ko H tin Kyaw, an organizer, said yesterday. The protests pose a difficult test for reformist President Thein Sein who has freed hundreds of political prisoners, relaxed state censorship, started peace talks with ethnic minority rebel groups and held historic by-elections that catapulted Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition party into a semi-civilian parliament. Bread-and-butter issues have been known to turn violent in Myanmar, also known as Burma. The biggest and bloodiest uprisings against military rule, in 1988 and 2007, were sparked by discontent over soaring inflation and fuel prices. But Thein Sein, a former general, has stunned the world with the most dramatic reforms in the former British colony since a 1962 military coup, including authorizing peaceful protests though authorities must be notified days in advance. “The government is in a very difficult position now,” said Aung Thu Nyein, a Myanmar economist who moved to Thailand after taking part in demonstrations two decades ago. “These protests are both a sign of dissatisfaction about public services and how the opening of democratic space is making interest groups more active than before.” But the demonstrations have gone smoothly with no arrests, and no unrest. In Yangon, police watched as protesters stuck candles in front of a gold Buddhist shrine, chanting prayers for electricity, but they did nothing to stop them. —Reuters

script of the interview to the media Tuesday, in which he and Li discuss the night of July 30, 2008, when Li sat on a bus next to McLean that was traveling on a desolate stretch of the TransCanada Highway bound for Winnipeg. Thirty-seven passengers were aboard the bus. “He was on the lookout for aliens as such, and the voice of God told him that Tim McLean was an alien and he needed to destroy him lest Tim destroy other people,” Summerville said. According to Summerville’s transcript, Li recognizes that people fear him. “I understand people are scared because of my behavior on the Greyhound bus. I am not at risk for anybody. I don’t believe in aliens. I don’t hear voices,” Summerville quoted Li as saying. “I take my medication ... everyday. I am glad to take it. I don’t have any weird voices any more.” Li also told Summerville he would like to be forgiven. “I would do anything for

(McLean’s) family. I would ask forgiveness, but I know it would be hard to accept,” Summerville quoted Li as saying. That forgiveness may be a tall order. “I think for the advancement of my own being ... my own soul, I will have to come to a place of accepting,” Carol DeDelley, McLean’s mother, said Tuesday. “But what would be unforgivable for me would be ... to not do anything to try to prevent this from happening again by the same perpetrator. I don’t think Vince Li can be trusted to take his medication.” DeDelley wants Li kept in a mental hospital permanently, but expects that he will gain more freedom every year until he is eventually released. “If he’s not responsible for his own behavior, then the state, the government, must step in and be responsible for him for the rest of (his) natural life.” Li emigrated to Canada from China in 2001 and became a Canadian citizen four years later. —AP

Shadowy ‘X-Men’ stoke social strains in China HONG KONG: Unchecked abuses in cities by shadowy para-police units derided by many Chinese as “arbitrary and thuggish” are intensifying social strains and undermining stability, international advocacy group Human Rights Watch said in a report yesterday. The report said China’s “chengguan” para-police agencies were an often overlooked yet malign and less supervised component of China’s public security apparatus, their action often directed at disadvantaged sectors of society. It said the agencies’ influence had grown in recent years and stoked resentment at the grassroots level. The chengguan-or Urban Management Law Enforcement units typically augment police in tackling lower-level urban crime. The report said they tend to be poorly supervised and lack a solid legal framework to check and govern their powers, resulting in a reputation for excessive force and impunity. “The chengguan have become synonymous among some Chinese citizens with arbitrary and thuggish behavior,” the report said, citing interviews with 25 victims of chengguan abuses in six cities. “They’re really sort of this black hole in terms of monitoring, surveillance and discipline,” said Phelim Kine, the author of the report. The chengguan have been called “the epitome of the evils of public power” and derided as law-breaking “X-Men” in Chinese state media and microblogging sites. While the scale of chengguan operations is difficult to gauge accurately, Human Rights Watch said there were at least 6,000 chengguan personnel in Beijing alone, with easily hundreds of thousands spread across the country’s urban centres. The chengguan have no legal authority to detain suspects and no regulatory framework yet exists to lay out the permissible scope of their duties or to investigate complaints and abuses. Many victims of para-police activity were migrant street vendors at the lower rungs of society who had been beaten, had their goods confiscated or were illegally detained or evicted. “This is a substrata of the population which is taking, to a large extent, the brunt of the brutalities ... They’re really at the sharp end of the chengguan spear,” said Kine. As the Communist Party leadership gears up for a leadership transition after the upheavals linked to the dismissal of

Chongqing party boss Bo Xilai, the abuses of the chengguan have done little to uphold the social stability the party craves. In 2011, the southern province of Guangdong saw riots in the city of Zengcheng, outside the booming provincial capital of Guangzhou, after chengguan personnel manhandled a pregnant migrant street vendor. Migrant workers rampaged and set fire to police stations and cars over several days. —Reuters

KUNMING: An officer of the urban management bureau, known as chengguan in Chinese (center) protects his colleague (bottom) who allegedly beat up four street vendors, from an angry mob at a market in Kunming, in southwestern China’s Yunnan province. —AP

instability, Hezbollah - whose supporters seized control of west Beirut four years ago in the last bout of major violence in the capital - has sought to calm the fevered atmosphere. Its leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah called for restraint on Tuesday after the kidnapping of 13 Lebanese Shiites in Syria, and avoided getting sucked into the fighting in Beirut on Monday which security sources said pitched supporters of Hariri’s Future Movement against a Sunni group sympathetic to Hezbollah. “Hezbollah is going to sit on its hands. It is not going to do anything. Hezbollah’s modus operandi has always been not to get dragged into sectarian strife,” said Amal Saad Ghorayeb, author of a book on the Shiite movement. “So long as these groups don’t pose a threat to Hezbollah’s resistance (to Israel) in any way, there is no way Hezbollah will get dragged in just because of killings.” But it might still seek to use its influence with pro-Syrian groups in the north if it felt support for the Syrian opposition becomes “more aggressive”, Attrache said. A political source in Lebanon’s March 8 coalition, which includes Hezbollah, said the Shiite group would not resort to arms even if tensions in the north endured for decades. But he made clear Hezbollah was monitoring the region closely. “There are serious efforts to turn the north into an operations room for Syrian rebels,” he said. “This will only happen in the absence of the army and state authority.” Analyst Kamel said clashes were likely to continue in Tripoli between Sunni Muslim and Alawite gunmen, as well as fighting between Sunni Islamist groups and the army, although tensions in the capital itself might be contained. “This is not a chapter heading to civil war, but rather one where conflicts or violence are geographically localized, particularly in the north,” he said. —Reuters


in brief

‘Come clean on tattoo’ TOKYO: The mayor of one of the largest cities in Japan, where body art is associated with gangsters, has told municipal workers to forget about promotion unless they reveal whether or not they have a tattoo. Toru Hashimoto, the hugely popular mayor of Osaka and a rising star on the national political stage, described the order to about 34,000 city workers earlier this month as “necessary for labor affairs management”. “As a matter of course, it will never happen that someone is promoted without any problem after ignoring a legitimate order from his or her superior,” Hashimoto told reporters on Tuesday. Body art is deeply taboo in Japan. Public baths, fitness centers and many other venues throughout the country usually ban customers with tattoos. Most Osaka employees have filled out the survey-with about 110 admitting to sporting a tattoo, most of them waste disposal workers-but more than 500 others have not, according to media reports. ‘Bomb’ scribbled on can SYDNEY: Emergency crews raced to Melbourne Airport yesterday when a packed passenger plane was forced to return after a soft drink can with the word “bomb” scribbled on it was found onboard, police said. The Australian Federal Police was called in and at least 15 fire trucks were on stand-by as the Air Mauritius Airbus A340, carrying close to 200 people, touched down at an isolated part of the airport. The plane, which was bound for Mauritius, had left Melbourne as scheduled but about an hour into the flight the captain was made aware that a suspicious object had been found. “The object was a soft drink can with the word ‘bomb’ written on it,” Victoria Police said in a statement. “ The plane returned to Melbourne and landed safely... with all relevant agencies being activated in response to the matter.” Police said no threats were received in relation to the object and they were still trying to ascertain who first noticed the item and how it came to be on board. The plane, which was carrying more than 180 passengers and nine crew, was being inspected by the explosives squad and all baggage would also be screened, police added. Top judge hospitalized MANILA: The Philippines’ top judge, who walked out of an appearance at his own impeachment trial, was later rushed to hospital after suffering an apparent heart attack, his spokesman said yesterday. Chief Justice Renato Corona checked into a hospital Tuesday night after his three-hour appearance before the Senate, during which he denounced the landmark corruption proceedings as a personal vendetta by President Benigno Aquino. “The diagnosis is possible heart attack,” Corona’s spokesman Midas Marquez said during several radio interviews. The development could delay resolution of the trial, which analysts warn has caused deep political divisions in one of Southeast Asia’s most free-wheeling democracies. Corona is accused of failing to declare up to 12 million dollars in bank accounts and Aquino has alleged the judge sought to protect former president Gloria Arroyo, who is being tried separately for vote rigging.

THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012


A black swallowtail butterfly gathers nectar from a thistle along Liberty Road west of Jacksonville, Illinois on Tuesday. — AP

Egyptians vote in first free presidential... Continued from Page 1 Now we want a president that has a vision.” A field of 13 candidates is running in the voting yesterday and today. The two-day first run is not expected to produce an outright winner, so a runoff between the two top vote-getters will be held June 16-17. The winner will be announced June 21. Around 50 million people are eligible to vote. An Islamist victory will likely mean a greater emphasis on religion in government. The Muslim Brotherhood, which already dominates parliament, says it won’t mimic Saudi Arabia and force women to wear veils or implement harsh punishments like amputations. But it says it does want to implement a more moderate version of Islamic law, which liberals fear will mean limitations on many rights. Many of the candidates have called for amendments in Egypt’s 1979 peace treaty with Israel, which remains deeply unpopular. None is likely to dump it, but a victory by any of the Islamist or leftist candidates in the race could mean strained ties with Israel and a stronger stance in support of the Palestinians in the peace process. The candidates from the Mubarak’s regime and, ironically, the Brotherhood, which has already held multiple talks with US officials - are most likely to maintain the alliance with the United States. The real election battle is between four frontrunners. The main Islamist contenders are Mohammed Mursi of the power ful Brotherhood and Abdel-Moneim Abolfotoh, a moderate Islamist whose inclusive platform has won him the support of some liberals, leftists and minority Christians. The two secular frontrunners are both veterans of Mubarak’s regime - former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq and former foreign minister Amr Moussa. A major worry is whether either side will accept ultimate victory by the other. Many Islamists have warned of a new wave of protests if Shafiq wins, saying his victory could only come from fraud. So far, there were only a few reports of overt violations of election rules yesterday, mainly concerning candidates’ backers campaigning near polling stations. Three international monitoring organizations, including the US’ Carter Center, were observing the vote. Former President Jimmy Carter, the center’s head, visited a polling station in the ancient Cairo district of Sayeda Ayesha. “You know, there is no such thing as a perfect election,” US Congressman David Dreier of California said at a polling center. “But I’m convinced that there is a great degree of sincerity on the part of those that are putting this together.” The election’s winner will face a monumental task. The economy has been sliding as the key tourism industry dried up - though it starting to inch back up. Crime has increased. Labor strikes have proliferated. “May God help the new president,” said Zaki Mohammed, a teacher in his 40s as he waited to vote in a district close to the Giza Pyramids. “There will be 82 million pairs of eyes watching him.” And the political turmoil is far from over. The military, which took power after Mubarak’s fall on Feb 11, 2011, has promised to hand authority to the election winner by the end of June. But many fear it will try to maintain a considerable amount of political say. The fundamentals of Mubarak’s police state remain in place, including the powerful security forces. The generals have said they have no preferred candidate, but they are widely thought to be favoring Shafiq, a former air force commander. “We will have an elected president but the military is still here and the old regime is not dismantled,” said Ahmed Maher, a prominent activist from the group April 6, a key architect of last year’s 18-day uprising against Mubarak. “But the pressure will continue. We won’t sleep. People have finally woken up. Whoever the next president is, we won’t leave him alone,” he said outside a Cairo polling center. Moreover, the country must still write a new constitution. That was supposed to be done already, but was delayed after Islamists tried to dominate the constitution-writing panel, prompting a backlash that scuttled the process for the moment. The Muslim Brotherhood is hoping a Mursi victory in the presidency will cap their political rise, after parliament elections last year gave them nearly half the legislature’s seats. In the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, microbuses run by the Brotherhood ferried women supporters to the polls in the poor neighborhood of Abu Suleiman, one of the group’s strongholds. The women, in conser-

vative headscarves or covered head to toe in black robes and veils that hid their faces, filed into the station. “I want to give the Brotherhood a chance to rule,” said Aida Ibrahim, a veteran Brotherhood member who was helping voters find their station. “If it doesn’t work, they will be held accountable,” she said. Some Brotherhood supporters cited the group’s years of providing charity to the poor - including reduced-price meat, and free medical care. “Whoever fills the tummy gets the vote,” said Naima Badawi, a housewife sitting on her doorstep watching voters in Abu Sir, one of the many farming villages near the Pyramids being sucked into Cairo’s urban sprawl. But some who backed the Brotherhood in the parliament election late last year have since been turned off. “They failed,” said Mohammed Ali, in the neighboring Talbiya district. He’s gone clear the other direction for this vote: “I am feloul,” he said. “I don’t care. I want a man who is a politician and statesman.” The secular young democracy activists who launched the anti-Mubarak uprising have been at a loss, with no solid candidate reflecting their views. In Cairo, 27-year-old Ali Ragab said he was voting for a leftist candidate, Hamdeen Sabahi - because the poor “should get a voice,” but he admitted Sabahi didn’t stand much of a chance. He said his father and all his father’s friends were backing Shafiq “because they think he’s a military man who will bring back security. I’m afraid Shafiq would mean another Mubarak for 30 more years.” For most of his rule, Mubarak - like his predecessors for the past 60 years - ran unopposed in yes-or-no referendums. Rampant fraud guaranteed ruling party victories in parliamentary elections. Even when Mubarak let challengers oppose him in 2005 elections, he ended up not only trouncing his liberal rival but jailing him. The election comes less than two weeks before a court is due to issue its verdict on Mubarak, 84, who has been on trial on charges of complicity in the killing of some 900 protesters during the uprising. He also faces corruption charges, along with his two sons, one-time heir apparent Gamal and wealthy businessman Alaa. The feeling of being able to make a choice was overwhelming for some voters. “I might die in a matter of months, so I came for my children, so they can live,” a tearful Medhat Ibrahim, 58, who suffers from cancer, said as he waited to vote in a poor district south of Cairo. “We want to live better, like human beings.” Egyptians had the novel experience of rubbing shoulders with presidential hopefuls who queued with them to vote, in contrast to the past when state TV would show the cosseted Mubarak family casting ballots amid a bevy of grinning officials. In one Cairo district, Moussa, 75, stood in line with everyone else. “I hope they will elect a president who can really lead Egypt at this time of crisis,” he said. Some voters clapped Abol Fotouh, 60, when he too joined a queue in Cairo. “For the first time the Egyptian people went out to choose their president after the end of an era of ‘pharaohs’,” Abol Fotouh said, alluding to Mubarak and his autocratic predecessors who, like him, were drawn from the top ranks of the military. To allay Gulf fears, the Brotherhood’s Mursi pledged in a rally on Sunday: “We will not export our revolution to anyone.” Mursi joined the race at the last minute after the Brotherhood’s first choice was ruled out. He may lack charisma, but he has the group’s formidable organising skills behind him. After voting, the US-educated engineer took a swipe at Moussa and Shafiq: “No way can anyone from the fallen, corrupt, former regime come back to influence this nation.” Shafiq appeals to Egyptians who want a strong hand to bring order, even if critics say he is tainted by Mubarak links. Defending himself, Shafiq told a news conference: “I worked for the big family of Egypt not for someone or for a regime.” Moussa left Mubarak’s cabinet more than a decade ago. After moving to the Arab League, he built up his popularity with criticism of Israel and of US policy in the region. Abol Fotouh, who was kicked out of the Brotherhood when he said he would run against its wishes, has sought support across the spectrum from liberals to hardline Salafi Muslims. Leftist Sabahi has gained traction with many voters unsatisfied both with Islamists and Mubarak’s former ministers. “Those who have been marginalised and throttled can now get their rights in a country of freedom and dignity,” Sabahi, a veteran champion of the downtrodden, said after voting in Cairo. — Agencies

Wasmi pulls grilling to defuse new crisis Continued from Page 1 The controversy began on Tuesday when opposition MPs tried yesterday to merge the two grillings against the finance minister in order to have a single debate on them but the government refused, citing violations of the Assembly’s internal charter. When Speaker Ahmad Al-Saadoun decided to resolve the dispute by voting, all government ministers walked out of the session. The government’s action yesterday came despite the opposition offering a major concession by agreeing to a government demand to debate the two grillings separately provided that the minister pledges to debate both the grillings in the same session. The government turned down the concession, saying that it will not accept any preconditions to debate the grillings. Several opposition MPs strongly blasted the government charging it was an attempt to protect corrupt officials and prevent MPs from exposing them to the Kuwaiti people, while others bluntly accused the government of attempting to dissolve the Assembly. MP Osama Al-Munawer said that the government does not have any respect for the Assembly and the Kuwaiti people and even “it does not have any self-respect”. MP Jamaan Al-Harbash said the government’s failure to attend the session is proof that it does not want to debate the grillings. He urged the government to attend the session today or “the majority bloc will take important decisions”. He insisted that all corrupt people in the ministry of finance will

be exposed whether the grilling was debated or not in order to let the Kuwaiti people know who is corrupt. MP Mubarak Al-Waalan said the grilling will expose all corrupt elements in addition to alleged embezzlements. MP Adel Al-Damkhi charged the government’s move is part of a plan to prepare the Kuwaiti people for dissolving the Assembly, and warned that dissolving the Assembly could lead to serious consequences. MP Musallam Al-Barrak called on the minister to stop his maneuvers and to either face the grilling in the Assembly or submit his resignation. MP Sultan said Shamali’s resignation was a matter of time and told MPs to “wait for his resignation”. It is almost certain that the debate of the grilling today will end by submitting a non-confidence motion signed by 10 MPs and perhaps more than one request. It requires 25 votes in the 50-seat Assembly to pass. The opposition has many more than 25 MPs and is expected to vote him out of office if he does not resign before then. Shamali, 69, has worked in Kuwait’s Finance Ministry for more than four decades. He first became finance minister in 2007 and held on to the position through several Cabinet reshuffles and questioning sessions in the Assembly. “This is a political show. If he goes through one “grilling” session, I think he will resign afterwards because it is almost certain he cannot win a confidence vote,” said Ghanim Al-Najjar, political science professor at Kuwait University. “If not there is a possibility of a snap election, this is growing by the hour,” he said.

Turkey proposes charges against Israeli... Continued from Page 1 example of “the government’s determination to defend the rights of Turkish citizens”. The move comes just a week ahead of the second anniversary of the May 31 raid. The ship had been part of a flotilla sailing toward Gaza to protest Israel’s blockade. Turkey has tried without success to get Israel to apologize for the attack, and to compensate those killed as a precondition for normalizing relations. Israel has solely expressed regret for the loss of lives. Israel says its troops opened fire after coming under attack by activists wielding axes, knives and metal rods. It says soldiers rappelled on to the deck armed with nonlethal paintball guns as their primary weapons, and only resorted to using handguns after they were assaulted. Yesterday’s indictment, however, claimed that members of the military deliberately opened fire with the intention to kill - actions, it said, that cannot be considered acts of selfdefense since the passengers were only armed with sticks, spoons and forks. It said some of the victims were shot dead from close range and from the back, the agency

reported. The prosecutor also proposed the court press several other charges against members of the Israeli military, including commandeering vehicles, voluntar y manslaughter, attempted murder, persecution and causing damage to the ship, the agency said. A United Nations probe into the incident found Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza legally imposed “as a legitimate security measure” but added that the killing of eight Turkish activists and a Turkish-American was “unacceptable”. Turkey has rejected the report’s findings, saying Israel had no right to raid the ship in international waters and said it would never recognize the blockade’s legitimacy. Turkey has also slapped a series of sanctions on Israel once a top military trading partner - that included expelling senior Israeli diplomats and suspending all military deals. It has also vowed to back the Palestinian bid for recognition of their statehood at the United Nations. Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza after Hamas seized control of the coastal territory from their Fatah rivals in 2007. Israel allows humanitarian aid and goods into Gaza via land crossings after inspection for weapons. — AP

World powers, Iran haggle in nuclear ... Continued from Page 1 for a reactor producing medical isotopes. The Iranian official, however, noted: “A possible swap of uranium enriched by Iran for fuel isn’t very interesting for us because we are are already producing our own fuel.” Other incentives reportedly included easing Iranian access to aircraft parts and a possible suspension of an EU insurance ban on ships carrying Iranian oil. But beyond a pledge not to impose any more, the package made no mention of easing the barrage of sanctions that have been piled on Iran - with more to come in July - over suspicions the country wants nuclear weapons. In return for the sweeteners, the P5+1 want Iran to suspend 20-percent enrichment, which they see as the most worrying part of its nuclear activities as the capability reduces the theoretical “breakout” time needed to get the bomb. Iranian state media ran reports slamming the P5+1 package, with the IRNA news agency calling it “outdated, not comprehensive, and unbalanced”. Tehran is loath to give ground on what it proudly sees as its right to a peaceful nuclear program without the prospect that the international community will cut its economy some slack. Iran made a counter-proposal in the Baghdad talks of “five items based on the principles of step-by-step and reciprocity”, the official with Tehran’s delegation said. “We said to the other side that we need a comprehensive approach. We need the steps that both sides have to take to be clearly defined and there is no possibility of going back on them,” the official said. “For example, that they lift sanctions that they cannot then readopt two months later under a different pretext.” The

official did not give more details on what the offer consisted of. Iran’s chief negotiator Saeed Jalili held bilateral meetings with Ashton and with China’s representative Ma Zhaoxu but not with Washington’s envoy Wendy Shermann, officials said. Jalili’s deputy Ali Baqeri also met with Ashton’s number two to give further details of Iran’s proposal, the Iranian official said. US President Barack Obama took office in Jan 2009 offering a radical change in approach to his predecessor, George W Bush, in dealings with Iran, famously offering an “extended hand” to Tehran if it “unclenched its fist”. This failed, however, and Iran has since dramatically expanded its program, including by starting in 2010 to enrich uranium to 20 percent and from January in the Fordo site deep inside a mountain near the shrine city of Qom. Israel, Washington’s closest ally in the region, feels its very existence would be under threat if its arch foe gets the bomb and has refused to rule out a pre-emptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insisted yesterday that the “production and use of weapons of mass destruction is haram (forbidden) and have no place in the Islamic Republic of Iran’s defence doctrine.” One key way for Iran to win the confidence of the P5+1 would be implementing the additional protocol of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which allows for more intrusive inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The IAEA also wants Iran to address allegations made in its November report that until 2003, and possibly since, Tehran had a “structured program” of “activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device.” — Agencies


THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012



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Chicago cops erase 1968 stain at last with NATO summit By Andrew Stern he NATO summit ended without major violence between police and protesters, winning praise for Chicago Police Chief Garry McCarthy and helping erase bad memories of the bloody street battles here during the 1968 Democratic convention. Ever since antiVietnam protesters were beaten in what a commission later called a “police riot” in 1968, Chicago has tried to live down its reputation for police brutality. But experts said NATO summit protesters angry about the war in Afghanistan got to have their say, while the Chicago police were restrained, and always seemed to be one step ahead of the demonstrators. “My analysis is there was ... free speech, and in response to that there was appropriate law enforcement. There may have been some things at the margins,” said Harvey Grossman, head of the American Civil Liberties Union in Chicago, which sent observers to accompany most of the protests. Over a week of daily rallies and marches, police made fewer than 100 arrests, most charged with minor infractions and released within hours. Roughly two dozen protesters were injured Sunday following the largest demonstration of the week. On Sunday, the barrel-chested, mustachioed McCarthy paced up and down behind the lines of helmeted, batonwielding officers as they advanced on protesters who ignored orders to disperse. He lifted up an officer who had fallen, and helped corral a protester, and received congratulatory fist-bumps from his men. Messages passed along from officer to officer were “remember your training,” and “work as a team”. As the police line advanced, batons swinging, protesters at the edge of the crowd suffered head wounds and others lost teeth and absorbed body blows, but no one was killed. There was little vandalism during the week, other than a few spray-painted signs. President Barack Obama and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel each praised the 12,000-member police force on Monday, with Obama ending the summit commending “Chicago’s finest”. Emanuel, who had raised $55 million to pay for the summit and police overtime, compared the police performance favorably to the violence-marred World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle. “If Seattle in 1999 was lesson of what not to do, I think Chicago will be a lesson of what to do,” Emanuel said. Behind the scenes, the city laid elaborate security plans for the summit. McCarthy said officers received additional training and equipment, and were prepared for many more protesters. Pre-summit estimates were for tens of thousands of people to show up, though the largest demonstration likely was fewer than 5,000. The message of economic inequality delivered by the anti-Wall Street Occupy movement was diminished in Chicago when the G8 economic summit was shifted by Obama from his home town to the presidential retreat at Camp David, Maryland. “The G8 was the real motivator for the more international protesters. My guess if it had been a combined meeting it would have looked more like Seattle,” said Harvard University sociologist Robert Sampson. In 1968, then-mayor Richard J Daley denied some 10,000 anti-Vietnam War protesters permits to march and he ordered the parks cleared in the evenings, resulting in nightly battles. “That violence was made all the more shocking by the fact that it was often inflicted upon persons who had broken no law, disobeyed no order, made no threat,” a Dec 1968 government report on the violence said. “Fundamental police training was ignored; and officers, when on the scene were often unable to control their men.” The clashes culminated in what the report labeled “a police riot” where officers covered their name tags and clubbed demonstrators and reporters in front of the Conrad Hilton hotel. Police adopted a mob mentality, always a danger when police try to quell protests, said Dennis Kenney of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. With the 1968 debacle as a backdrop, McCarthy vowed to use more sophisticated tactics this time. Police from Tampa, Florida, and Charlotte, North Carolina, observed the action in Chicago to prepare for upcoming Republican and Democratic Party conventions in their cities. Tampa’s assistant chief, John Bennett, said Chicago used a “layered approach”, with officers on foot or bicycle passively monitoring protests, with squads of heavier armored officers standing by out of sight. They steered crowds in circles to tire them out and sometimes stalled the marches to allow officers to set up blockades further on. They made pre-emptive arrests of selected protesters considered dangerous, security analysts said. — Reuters


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End of Afghan mission leaves NATO with identity crisis By David Brunnstrom and Adrian Croft ATO put on a brave face at its Chicago summit but the reality is that the alliance has been weakened by the euro zone crisis and faces an identity crisis about what its role will be once it ends its intervention in Afghanistan in 2014. NATO leaders sealed a landmark agreement to hand control of Afghanistan over to its own security forces by the middle of next year, putting the Western alliance on an “irreversible” path out of the unpopular, decade-long war. The big question mark hanging over the summit was how will NATO, a 28-nation grouping originally designed for the Cold War, adapt to the world beyond 2014? In an era where governments are slashing defense spending to cut budget deficits, the United States is increasingly tilting towards defense challenges in Asia while many of NATO’s other members, preoccupied by economic problems, have little appetite for foreign adventures. That raises the question of whether the United States, which accounts for three-quarters of NATO defense spending, will remain committed to the 63-year-old organization despite its frustrations at European allies’ reluctance to contribute more towards their own defense. “The US has been NATO’s quarterback since the alliance was founded. That’s OK by us, but we’re increasingly concerned that - in light of economic pressures in Europe - we’re going to have to play quarterback, running back, and wide receiver all at the same time. That’s not good for the team,” said a senior US official, speaking on condition of anonymity. While the Pentagon is also being forced to cut defense spending - by $487 billion over the next decade - the gap between the United States and its European allies is only likely to widen as many governments see defense as a


“soft target” for budget cuts they are being forced into by the debt crisis. Big European nations such as Germany and Britain are sharply cutting defense and only five allies meet NATO’s benchmark of spending 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense. Belgian Defense Minister Pieter de Crem said he agreed with former US Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s warning last year that NATO risked “collective military irrelevance” unless alliance members acted to reverse declining capabilities. “NATO is a political-military organization for collective defense and one cannot have all the advantages and all the assets without participating or bringing in a fair share,” he told Reuters during the summit. He said the challenge was to have fair burdensharing between the two sides of the Atlantic “taking into account budgetary constraints.” NATO’s answer to the money shortage is “smart defense,” saving money by sharing equipment and facilities between allies and having countries specialise in different areas of defense. “I think this summit sent a very clear message that the European allies are committed to acquiring the necessary military capabilities in the future, despite the economic crisis, despite declining defense budgets,” NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told Reuters in an interview. “We won’t get more money for defense in the very near future - let’s face it ... That makes it necessary to do business in a new way and I think multinational cooperation is the way forward,” he said. The summit approved an initial package of 20 multinational projects, including enabling fighter jets to use munitions from various sources and countries and a scheme to pool maritime patrol aircraft from various nations. A broader question being asked in Chicago was what role should NATO have in the future -

should it continue to fight fires in different parts of the world or pull in its horns and concentrate on defending its own territory? NATO has reinvented itself several times before. Originally a mutual defense pact that bound North America and Western Europe together during the Cold War, the alliance survived the collapse of the Soviet Union and intervened in wars in the former Yugoslavia during the 1990s. Afghanistan was NATO’s first mission outside its traditional area of operations and its most ambitious. NATO forms the core of the 50-nation International Security Assistance Force that is battling the Taleban in Afghanistan. Last year, with the United States taking a low profile but providing critical capabilities and supplies, Britain and France led a NATO air operation in Libya that helped rebels topple Muammar Gaddafi, a key milestone in the Arab Spring. Czech Defense Minister Alexandr Vondra argued that the crucial issue for the alliance now was not enlargement, or out-of-area operations, but common defense of its member countries. NATO’s article 5 commitment to mutual defense was the “bedrock” that justified NATO in the eyes of its population, he said. Other leaders, like British Prime Minister David Cameron, disagreed that NATO should lower its ambitions and “look inwards”. “I argued, and this summit agreed, that NATO should actually do the opposite,” he told a news conference. “We should look outwards, reassert NATO’s relevance and make sure it is ready and capable to tackle the threats that may lie outside its territory but nonetheless are very real threats to us at home.” Jamie Shea, NATO’s deputy assistant secretary general for emerging security challenges, wrote recently that NATO could soon be an alliance without a major operation under way. While crises could come out of the blue, NATO

interventions of the future were unlikely to follow past patterns, he said in an article on the website of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace think tank. “They are likely to be more spaced out and more focused on air and naval operations than on land deployments,” Shea wrote. “The objectives are more likely to be limited and short-term, involving more intelligence-gathering and special forces, to say nothing of the increased use of robotics and drones in place of soldiers. Moreover, if Libya is to be the model for the future, not all the allies will decide to participate, particularly in the sharp end of the operation,” he said. Clara O’Donnell, visiting scholar at the Brookings Institution, said the fact that countries traditionally active in NATO operations, such as Poland and the Netherlands, chose not to take part in the Libya air strikes showed a dwindling desire to show solidarity with other NATO members, reflecting the unpopularity of foreign expeditions in many countries. In a sign that NATO remains a controversial organization, baton-wielding police clashed with anti-war protesters marching on the summit on Sunday while leaders met behind heavy security in a cavernous convention center. Despite the doubts, few see the United States walking away from NATO or the alliance breaking up because Washington knows it can generally count on its European allies in time of crisis and derives valuable political support from them in pursuit of its interests. “Afghanistan will end, some day, it’s not going to be tomorrow, but there’s going to be something else - I can’t predict where, when - and the West is going to need a tool to act and until we find a better one, I’d like to keep the alliance around for a while,” Leo Michel of the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the US National Defense University said in London recently. — Reuters

Golden age or bubble? Plane-makers walk the line By Kyle Peterson rom a chilly perch in Burnsville, Minnesota, Tim Zemanovic has an unusual perspective on the global aircraft market, which is booming - some say overheating - as the world’s largest plane-makers pump out jets as fast they can. Zemanovic, the head of Aircraft Demolition, a company that tears down and recycles unwanted airplanes, says his five-yearold business has never been stronger as airlines expand and replenish their fleets with fuel-efficient planes. “This year, I expect to do double the work we did last year,” he said. The company destroyed 24 planes in 2011, and an industry trade group estimates more than 12,000 aircraft will be retired in the next 20 years. Zemanovic’s story reflects a golden age for commercial plane-making - where strong air traffic, underpinned by stunning economic expansion in China and India, supports demand for new jets and there is no shortage of third parties willing to finance those purchases. Or it may be evidence of unsustainable demand.


Hot Pace As Boeing Co and Airbus race to bag as many orders as possible, they are ramping up production 57 percent by value between 2011 and 2014, according to some estimates, with hot-selling narrowbodies - single-aisle planes with about 150 seats - leading the way. But the pace comes with risk, according to experts who say manufacturers are taking more orders than they can expect to deliver. An order bubble is swelling, they say, and warn it is possible that if some shock to the chronically unstable airline industry - volatile fuel prices, terror attacks, economic recession makes airlines rethink their expansion plans or replenishment needs, demand could sink, aircraft values could fall and planes could roll off assembly lines without buyers. “The problem with a bubble is you don’t know it is a bubble until it bursts and then everyone wants to get out,” said Adam Pilarski, senior vice president at AVITAS, an airline consulting company that also works with aircraft

lessors and lenders. Some airlines already are rethinking their purchase plans. On May 16, Southwest Airlines Co, a loyal Boeing customer, deferred deliveries of 30 Boeing 737s it was to receive in the coming two years, aiming to save more than $1 billion in capital spending. Earlier this month, Australian carrier Qantas delayed delivery of two Airbus A380s to help cut spending. Moreover, critics say the airlines’ scramble for new planes comes on top of a rise in aircraft orders from third-party buyers like aircraft leasing companies that essentially bear the risk of aircraft ownership for operators. This rise in speculative activity has already stretched the demand for aircraft in markets like India that have seen rapid expansion but where several carriers now face financial problems. “I believe there is a bubble, and it is important to think about what happens when it bursts and what happens with aircraft retirements and values,” Pilarski said. Indeed, Zemanovic said Aircraft Demolition is chopping up younger and younger planes for scrap. The company recently destroyed a wellused 10-year-old Boeing 737, which typically has a life cycle of closer to 30 years, because its Saudi Arabian owner wanted a newer model and decided the parts of its 737 had more value than an intact plane. The list prices for new planes did not decline during the last recession, but Boeing and Airbus have accused each other in the past of granting steep discounts to win a price war. $4 Trillion Market Aircraft manufacturers are aware of the risk, but they stand by their forecasts. “The last thing we want to do is build more airplanes than the market needs,” said Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “If we do that, the values of our airplanes go down, the residual values go down for our customers. It’s not good for us. It’s not good for our customers.” Boeing and Airbus, which dominate the market for large jets, are both predicting a staggering $4 trillion market for new jets over

the next 20 years with a sharp increase in deliveries. Boeing forecasts a market for 33,500 new passenger planes and freighters between 2011 and 2030 thanks to robust growth in China, India and other emerging markets. Population growth, urbanization and a burgeoning middle class with extra disposable income are underpinning the sharp growth in aviation demand in the world’s two most populous nations, China and India. India’s domestic network alone is expected to generate the world’s fastest air traffic growth over 20 years. Manufacturers say the prospects for growth are further spurred by the low starting point, reflecting the dominance of rail. To meet anticipated aircraft demand, Boeing is ramping up production on all of its commercial programs - most notably the narrowbody 737, which is going to 42-a-month from the current 35-a-month. Airbus is also increasing production on its competing A320 narrowbody jet to 42 planes a month from the current rate of 40 per month. Together, the rate increases for the two narrowbodies represent perhaps the most ambitious peacetime ramp-up in airplane production and draw on an increasingly global supply chain. Airplane production is already at record levels. Both plane-makers are revamping these best-selling 150-seat jets from mid-decade with new engines to deliver fuel savings of 15 percent. The decision sparked a stampede of orders even as storm clouds gathered over the economy and European banks scaled back exposure to the sector due to the region’s debt crisis. Popularity of the upgraded narrowbodies is sure to erode the value of the earlier generations, but soaring fuel prices keep pressure on airlines to stock their fleets with the most fuel-efficient planes. “Fuel prices have gone up significantly in recent years and all the forecasts are that they will remain high, and you simply can’t compete if you are operating an older aircraft that is maybe burning 15-20 percent more fuel than your competitor,” said Tony Tyler, director general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Tuning Out Gurus Airbus sales chief John Leahy dismissed talk of a production bubble and defended the industry’s demand projections. “I have been selling commercial airliners for 28 years. Approximately every five years we go through the cycle of industry gurus predicting asset bubbles, shortage of financing and imminent collapse. It hasn’t happened yet, and it won’t,” Leahy told Reuters. In May, both Boeing and Airbus parent EADS posted higher quarterly profits helped by commercial aircraft sales. Neither manufacturer is saying demand growth will happen in a straight line without upsets or airline failures on the way. Both believe the combination of hundreds of old planes needing replacement and emerging market growth will hold up demand. “This industry doubles every 15 years in seat-mile capacity, the demand side of the equation. That is one of the strongest growth stories you can see. It is hard to imagine an asset bubble in the supply side when you are feeding into an industry that is doubling in size every 15 years,” Leahy said. Boeing’s Tinseth said that in the last 10 years, cancellation or conversions affected less than 2 percent of the backlog, underlining real demand for the aircraft. That means that more than 98 percent of the company’s orders were filled. Furthermore, Boeing and Airbus typically overbook their delivery slots to ensure they always have a buyer for planes if another customer cancels or defers an order. Cycles, Bubbles and Victims Some observers believe the highly cyclical aircraft market is overdue for a correction. Airbus and Boeing notched up a combined 2,529 orders in 2011, the highest number since a record 2,881 in 2007. Orders plummeted in 2008 and again in 2009 amid economic recession. But they picked up the following year. Through it all, deliveries - when aircraft-makers get paid - held strong, suggesting airline customers have a strong commitment to their growth and fleet replacement plans - at least for now.— Reuters

THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012

THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012

sp orts Khan to fight Garcia in July

F1 teams tighten safety

Clijsters to retire again

LONDON: Former champion Amir Khan will fight undefeated American light-welterweight Danny Garcia on July 14 for the WBC title. The Briton’s rematch against Lamont Peterson, scheduled for May 19, was called off after Peterson, who beat Khan in controversial circumstances to win the WBA super-lightweight and IBF light-welterweight titles, failed a drugs test. Peterson has appealed against his failed drugs test and Khan is still waiting to find out whether or not he will be given back the belts he lost in the defeat. Should that happen, or the titles be declared vacant, Khan’s fight against Garcia, which will take place in Los Angleses or Las Vegas according to Khan, could be a unification contest. “It’s a good fight for me, Danny Garcia is unbeaten in 23 fights and has 14 knockouts so it will be a tough test for me,” the 25-year-old Khan told Sky Sports on Wednesday. “It’s a great match-up, the WBC title will be on the line which I’d love to win. —Reuters

MONACO: Formula One teams and circuits will change safety procedures to make sure a fire like the one that devastated the Williams garage at the Spanish Grand Prix 10 days ago does not happen again. Williams chief operations engineer Mark Gillan told reporters at the Monaco Grand Prix that the Circuit de Catalunya blaze, that broke out as the team celebrated a first win in nearly eight years, destroyed 90 percent of their garage infrastructure. He said one team employee was still being treated for burns in hospital in Britain and was likely to stay there for another 10 days. Personnel from other teams in the pitlane helped to fight the fire and there was some criticism afterwards of the seemingly slow response time of the Barcelona circuit’s emergency services. Gillan said he attended the governing FIA’s technical working group meeting on the following Friday to analyse the chain of events after the fire broke out in the team’s fuel handling area. Although the exact cause was not known, they agreed measures needed to be revised. “There will definitely be a change to circuit procedures,” he said. “We have all agreed a certain level of cover at a circuit and that level of cover was in place (in Spain). “Collectively we need to look at the level of cover, both the fire and medical support, and undoubtedly things will change as a result of this.” —Reuters

NEW YORK: Former world number one Kim Clijsters has confirmed that she will bring down the curtain on her second career at the end of this year’s US Open, Belgian news agency Belga has reported. The 28-year-old came out of retirement in 2009 after more than two years out of the sport, winning three more grand slam titles to take her career tally to four. Injury, which has hampered the Belgian throughout her career, has already forced her to pull out of the upcoming French Open and on Tuesday she said the Aug. 27-Sept. 9 U.S. Open would be her last tournament. “In principle, I will stop after the US Open. That’s the tournament where I have had my greatest triumphs and it is therefore very special to me,” she told a news conference at the headquarters of her sponsors Galaxo in Paal, Belgium. “The (Flushing Meadows) stadium is about 45 minutes from our house in the United States and so my in-laws can be there.” Clijsters won her first US Open title in 2005 and marked a sensational return to tennis with a second in 2009 before successfully defending the title the following year. —Reuters

MLB results/standings Baltimore 4, Boston 1; NY Yankees 3, Kansas City 2; Cleveland 5, Detroit 3; NY Mets 3, Pittsburgh 2; Washington 5, Philadelphia 2; Miami 7, Colorado 6; Cincinnati 4, Atlanta 3; Tampa Bay 8, Toronto 5; Houston 2, Chicago Cubs 1; San Francisco 6, Milwaukee 4; Minnesota 9, Chicago White Sox 2; St. Louis 4, San Diego 0; LA Dodgers 8, Arizona 7; LA Angels 5, Oakland 0; Texas 3, Seattle 1. American League Eastern Division W L PCT 28 16 .636 Baltimore Tampa Bay 26 18 .591 Toronto 24 20 .545 NY Yankees 22 21 .512 Boston 21 22 .488 Central Division Cleveland 24 18 .571 .488 C’ White Sox 21 22 Detroit 20 22 .476 Kansas City 17 25 .405 Minnesota 15 27 .357 Western Division Texas 27 17 .614 22 22 .500 Oakland Seattle 20 25 .444 LA Angels 19 25 .432

GB 2 4 5.5 6.5 3.5 4 7 9 5 7.5 8

National League Eastern Division Washington 26 17 .605 26 18 .591 0.5 Atlanta Miami 24 19 .558 2 NY Mets 23 20 .535 3 Philadelphia 21 23 .477 5.5 Central Division St. Louis 24 19 .558 23 19 .548 0.5 Cincinnati Pittsburgh 20 23 .465 4 Houston 20 23 .465 4 Milwaukee 17 26 .395 7 Chicago Cubs 15 28 .349 9 Western Division LA Dodgers 30 13 .698 .535 7 San Francisco 23 20 Arizona 19 25 .432 11.5 San Diego 16 28 .364 14.5 Colorado 15 27 .357 14.5

Pena leads Rays over Jays ST. PETERSBURG: Tampa Bay’s Carlos Pena broke out of a form slump to hit a threerun homer during a five-run fourth inning which set up the Rays’ 8-5 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday. Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon moved Pena up from the middle of the lineup to the leadoff spot in an attempt to help him turn his form around. Pena had been on an 0 for 18 slide, with a batting average this month of a paltry .116. Pena’s homer off Drew Hutchison (3-2) was estimated at 452 feet. He finished with two hits in five at-bats. Drew Sutton had RBI double and Chris Gimenez hit a runscoring grounder as the Rays took a 6-0 lead in the fourth. Gimenez also had a fifthinning RBI single. Rays reliever Wade Davis (1-0) gave up one run in two innings. Orioles 4, Red Sox 1 In Baltimore, Brian Matusz allowed just two hits and struck out nine batters in 6 1-3 innings to steer Baltimore past Boston. Matusz (4-4) won his third straight start. He walked only one and matched his career high in strikeouts. Steve Tolleson hit a two-run homer in the second inning and Wilson Betemit also had a two-run shot in the eighth. Boston fell back into sole possession of last place in the American League East. Rangers 3, Mariners 1 In Seattle, Elvis Andrus lined a two-strike pitch for a two-run triple, making the difference in Texas’ win over Seattle. Andrus’ triple in the third came when Seattle starter Hector Noesi (2-5) hung a breaking ball and Andrus drove it to the wall in leftcenter to give the Rangers the lead. Josh Hamilton followed by hitting an RBI double which landed on the chalk of the left-field line. Hamilton also made two tremendous catches in center field. In the first inning he chased down Casper Wells’ two-out basesloaded drive and made the catch on the warning track. He then robbed Alex Liddi of at least a double with a leaping grab crashing into the wall leading off the third. Rangers starter Matt Harrison (5-3) retired 20 of 24 batters between the second and seventh innings. Indians 5, Tigers 3 In Cleveland, Chris Perez, greeted by a standing ovation from the time he left the

bullpen, worked another scary ninth inning for his 14th save as Cleveland ended a 10game losing streak to Detroit. Perez had been critical of recent booing and called the Indians’ major league-worst attendance “an embarrassment” for a firstplace club. He allowed two runners on base in the ninth before a strikeout and a groundout ended it. Perez hasn’t blown a save since opening day. Indians starter Ubaldo Jimenez (5-3) cautiously worked through the meat of Detroit’s lineup and lasted six innings as the first-place Indians beat the AL Central favorites and Tigers starter Rick Porcello (43). Angels 4, Athletics 0 In Oakland, CJ Wilson and Ernesto Frieri combined on a one-hitter as Los Angeles closed down Oakland. A day after losing its third consecutive one-run game, Los Angeles took a four-run lead after three innings and coasted the rest of the way to give Wilson (5-4) his first win in nearly three weeks. Albert Pujols homered for the third time in seven days while Mark Trumbo and Howie Kendrick had RBI singles for the Angels. A’s starter Graham Godfrey (0-4) didn’t last long in his return to the majors and remains winless this season. Yankees 3, Royals 2 In New York, Robinson Cano homered to help New York edge Kansas City. Derek Jeter delivered a bases-loaded single that tied the score in the fifth inning and New York rallied from an early two-run deficit to snap a three-game losing skid. Yankees starter Phil Hughes (4-5) struck out seven in six innings and beat Royals starter Luke Hochevar (3-5) for the second time in 17 days. Twins 9, White Sox 2 In Chicago, PJ Walters tossed his first career complete game to guide Minnesota past Chicago. In just his third start of the season, Walters (2-1) struck out eight. The Twins jumped all over White Sox starter Gavin Floyd (3-5), scoring four runs in the second inning and five in the fourth. Justin Morneau’s three-run homer ended the night for Floyd, who who is 0-8 against Minnesota in his past eight starts. Josh Willingham and Alexi Casilla both drove in two runs for the Twins. —AP

ST PETERSBURG: Tampa Bay Rays’ Carlos Pena follows his fourth-inning, threerun home run off Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Drew Hutchison during a baseball game. —AP

Phillips homers lift Reds CINCINNATI: Cincinnati’s Brandon Phillips drove in three runs with a pair of homers, leading the Reds to a 4-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday. Rookie shortstop Zack Cozart also homered off Brandon Beachy (5-2) as the Reds got the best of another high-powered game. The teams have combined for 10 homers in two games, seven of them by Cincinnati. The Reds moved a season-high four games over .500 with their fourth straight win. Cincinnati starter Mat Latos (3-2) gave up five hits in seven innings to win his third straight decision. Aroldis Chapman struck out two in the ninth for his second save, a day after his arrest for speeding. Dodgers 8, D’backs 7 In Phoenix, Ivan De Jesus hit a two-run double with two outs in the ninth to give Los Angeles the lead and Dee Gordon went airborne to turn a game-ending double play in the bottom of the inning as the Dodgers rallied past Arizona. The Diamondbacks, who squandered a five-run lead going into the seventh, took a 76 lead in the bottom of the eighth on Lyle Overbay’s homer off Josh Lindblom (2-0). However J.J. Putz (0-3) couldn’t close it for Arizona, allowing De Jesus to drive a double to center and make it 8-7. With runners on first and third in the bottom of the ninth, Jason Kubel grounded to second and Gordon leapt over a late sliding Justin Upton to make a one-hop throw and complete the double play. Nationals 5, Phillies 2 In Philadelphia, Jordan Zimmermann (3-4) gave up only one run in six innings to steer Washington past Philadelphia. Ian Desmond and Rick Ankiel homered while Bryce Harper tripled, singled and drove in two runs for the Nationals, who beat the Phillies for the sixth straight time in Philadelphia - something that had never been done in the franchise’s 43year history. Philadelphia lost its season-worst fourth straight. Phillies starter Roy Halladay (4-4) continued his indifferent season, going six innings and allowing five runs. Mets 3, Pirates 2 In Pittsburgh, Lucas Duda smacked a goahead RBI-single in the top of the eighth inning to lift New York over Pittsburgh. Mike Baxter, batting leadoff for the first time in his career, doubled off Juan Cruz (1-1) with one out in the eighth then came home

two batters later when Duda’s line drive glanced off the glove of the first baseman and rolled into right field. Mets starter R.A. Dickey (6-1) struck out a career-high 11 in seven innings, giving up one run to move into a tie with a host of others for the most wins in the majors. Frank Francisco pitched the ninth for the save. Cardinals 4, Padres 0 In St. Louis, Adam Wainwright pitched a shutout in St. Louis’ win over San Diego. It was

without walking a batter and striking out eight in seven innings. Milwaukee starter Shaun Marcum (2-3) gave up six runs in six innings. It was the first time this season he gave up more than three earned runs. The Brewers have lost six of seven. Marlins 7, Rockies 6 In Miami, Ricky Nolasco gave up three runs in the first inning, then settled down to set a franchise record for career victories in Miami’s win over Colorado.

ATLANTA: Cincinnati Reds shortstop Zack Cozart (2) forces out Atlanta Braves’ Brian McCann on a Jason Heyward ground ball in the fifth inning of a baseball game. — AP his first shutout victory for two years and third in his career. Wainwright (3-5), who missed the 2011 season with elbow ligament replacement surgery, struck out nine and walked just one. He retired the first eight batters and allowed just one runner to reach third base. Carlos Beltran had two hits and two RBIs and Matt Holliday added two hits and an RBI for the Cardinals. Padres starter Edinson Volquez (2-4) gave up three runs in six innings. He is 0-3 at Busch Stadium with a 6.50 ERA. Giants 6, Brewers 4 In Milwaukee, Buster Posey homered off the scoreboard and had three RBIs as San Francisco downed Milwaukee. The Giants won despite being outhit 11-5, due mostly to the fact the Brewers went 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position. San Francisco starter Matt Cain (4-2) pitched out of trouble, allowing four runs

Nolasco (5-2) notched his 69th career win, breaking a tie with Dontrelle Willis for the most ever by a Marlin. He also did well with the bat, hitting a tworun double off Juan Nicasio (2-2) that put the Marlins ahead to stay. The Rockies have lost six straight and are off to their worst start since 1995. Astros 2, Cubs 1 In Houston, JD Martinez hit the go-ahead RBI single in the sixth inning, lifting Houston over Chicago. The hit by Martinez was the first for Houston since the first inning, but Justin Maxwell and Carlos Lee both drew two-out walks before it to set up the score. Jose Altuve hit a solo homer for the Astros. Houston starter J.A. Happ (4-3) allowed one run in six innings for the win. Closer Brett Myers pitched a perfect ninth for the save. The loss extends Chicago’s losing skid to a seasonworst eight games. —AP

Kings edge Coyotes 4-3 GLENDALE: The Los Angeles Kings are returning to the NHL’s Stanley Cup finals for the first time since the Wayne Gretzky era, confirming their place with a 4-3 overtime win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday, completing a 4-1 series win. Dustin Penner scored the winning goal 17:42 into overtime, gathering a bouncing puck and beating Coyotes goalie Mike Smith between the pads. That extended the Kings’ road winning streak to an NHL-record eight straight games. “I got a lucky bounce,” Penner said. “I just waited for it to settle down, and I got a chance to get it in the net.” Anze Kopitar scored a short-handed goal, Drew Doughty had a goal and an assist, and Mike Richards also scored for Los Angeles. The first team to go undefeated on the road en route to the Stanley Cup finals, the Kings will play Game 1 on May 30 at either New Jersey or New York, whose Eastern Conference finals series is locked 2-2. Los Angeles is in the final round for the first time since 1993, when Gretzky and the Kings lost to the Montreal Canadiens in their only finals appearance. Taylor Pyatt had a goal and an assist, Marc-Antoine Pouliot and Keith Yandle also scored for the Coyotes in their first trip to the Western Conference finals. Riding the confidence carryover from winning Game 4, the

Coyotes dominated early, controlling the puck, giving the Kings little room in the neutral zone or anywhere else. Phoenix had some good scoring chances early and

Pyatt cashed in on a power play, redirecting Martin Hanzal’s onetimer in the slot 4:20 into the game. “The first period was tough,”

GLENDALE: Los Angeles Kings’ Dustin Penner (25) celebrates his game-winning goal, and is joined by teammate Mike Richards (10), as the puck bounces near Phoenix Coyotes’ Mike Smith (41) as Coyotes’ Keith Yandle (3) and Radim Vrbata (17), of the Czech Republic, look on in overtime during Game 5 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference finals. —AP

Penner said. “They threw everything at us. (Goaltender Jonathan) Quick hung in there for us, made some big saves, and we battled back. We couldn’t have done it without him.” The Kings snatched a little momentum back with their fifth short-handed goal of the playoffs. Kopitar got it, redirecting a shot by Doughty past Smith off a faceoff after Phoenix’s goalie was called for icing. In the second period, Pouliot gave Phoenix back the lead by flipping a backhander past Quick on a loose puck for his first career playoff goal. Doughty tied it a few minutes later, scoring from just inside the blue line on a shot Smith had trouble seeing through traffic. Richards scored on rebound to put Los Angeles up 3-2, Yandle tied it again after a pass by Pyatt caromed off his right leg past Quick. Both teams had numerous scoring chances in a hectic third period, but both goalies made some superb saves. They went back and forth in the overtime, too, until Penner finally ended it when a shot by Jeff Carter caromed out front to him in the slot. With it, the Kings, after a 19year wait and some dicey moments against the Coyotes, are finally headed back to the finals. “It feels great,” Penner said. “We just had to worry about ourselves. And we were able to battle back.” —AP

THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012


Lakers will debate overhaul after playoff exit LOS ANGELES: Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol spent the final minutes of the Los Angeles Lakers’ final game arguing, disagreeing on the best way to run a pick-and-roll play. It might have been the tandem’s last few minutes together with a franchise that has little patience when even great players stop bringing home championships. The Lakers were eliminated in the second round of the NBA playoffs for the second straight year on Monday with a five-game loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Although the Lakers had a solid season despite not having a real training camp to make the enormous switch from coaches Phil Jackson to Mike Brown, they weren’t as good as the NBA’s best. That likely means changes for a franchise and a fan base that considers seasons ending before June to be abject failures. “I’m really not used to it, so it’s pretty odd for me,” Bryant said of another early-by-Lakers-standards exit. “I’m not the most patient of people, and the organization is not extremely patient either. We want to win and win now, so I’m sure we’ll figure it out. We always have. I’m sure we will again.” In Lakerland, it’s easy to forget that the large majority of NBA franchises would be quite pleased by a 41-25 win-loss regular season, yet another Pacific Division title and a decent per-

formance against the Thunder, clearly a top-four team. Many teams would be excited to retool a squad topped by Bryant, four-time All-Star big man Gasol, and emerging All-Star center Andrew Bynum, who frequently dominated during his best pro season. But no franchise has the incredibly high standards of Bryant and the 16-time champion Lakers, who don’t even acknowledge division titles that would be a significant achievement for other teams. A second-round playoff loss to a better team caused panic and widespread soulsearching on Tuesday. “Come hell or high water, we’re going to be there again,” said the 33-year-old Bryant, who has repeatedly stated he’ll never leave the Lakers. “It’s just something about the Lakers organization.” While general manager Mitch Kupchak contemplates his moves, most fans were agreed on his first job: The No. 1 trending topic on Twitter in Los Angeles was “(hash)IdTradeGasolFor.” Gasol endured his toughest season since arriving in Los Angeles in early 2008, dealing with uncertainty and disappointment after the NBA rejected a trade that would have exiled him to Houston last December for Chris Paul. The genial Spanish giant averaged a career-low 17.4 points while failing to find a consistent role in new coach Brown’s offense before struggling mightily in the playoffs.

Gasol, who will make more than $38 million over the next two seasons, handled the scuttled trade with his usual grace, but his fans and teammates weren’t always so generous. Bryant called Bynum the Lakers’ second scoring option during the season, but called out Gasol for not scoring more in the postseason, ripping into Gasol after Game 4 last Saturday. “This team always has a huge desire and goal to win the championship, and when you fall short, it’s frustrating,” Gasol said. “It has been a crazy year and a lot to deal with. ... Unfortunately, we had tough losses and things didn’t really go our way for the most part. You just have to regroup and digest this loss and this season, and learn from it and move on.” Bynum was outstanding for most of his seventh NBA season, averaging 18.7 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.93 blocked shots while staying healthy. But just when most Lakers fans are ready for Bynum to sign a maximum contract extension, he provided one more reminder of his questionable maturity and leadership potential when he didn’t shake hands with the Thunder after managing just 10 points and four rebounds in Game 5. Yet Bynum also raised a key point that the Lakers were a work in progress all season after Brown replaced 11-time NBA champion Jackson, requiring a dramatic adjustment in everything

from a new offense to practice structure. “I think we need a full training camp,” Bynum said. “We never really got adjusted to the system. A lot of the times we came out and we weren’t doing it together. I really think it’s going to depend on being able to close out quarters and close out games. All throughout the season we would give up leads and not close quarters, and it hurt a lot.” The Lakers made other changes that hampered their championship hopes, trading valuable big man Lamar Odom for nothing when his feelings were hurt in the preseason. Los Angeles also dealt emotional leader Derek Fisher at the trade deadline. Fisher is outmatched as a starting NBA point guard, but his leadership and five championships were missed. Los Angeles had one of the NBA’s least impressive benches, so a wholesale overhaul of the bottom of the squad couldn’t really hurt. The Lakers also endured another year of the drama that seems inevitable for this high-profile franchise. In the last month alone, they dealt with Metta World Peace’s seven-game suspension for throwing a vicious elbow, Jordan Hill’s felony assault charge from his time in Houston, playoff hero Steve Blake’s Twitter death threats for missing one shot, and Magic Johnson’s declaration that Brown would be fired if the Lakers didn’t survive the first round. — AP

Three-way fight for top position

WENTWORHT: Rory McIlroy tees off during the PGA Championship, Pro-Am at Wentworth Golf Club. — AP

McIlroy: I know I’m the best VIRGINIA WATER: Winning the US Open last year didn’t just earn Rory McIlroy his first major title, it made him believe he was ready to become the best player in the world. McIlroy justified his long-held reputation as golf’s new star and possible heir to Tiger Woods by rolling to an eightshot victory at Congressional last June. Since then he has topped the rankings, overtaken Luke Donald and Lee Westwood, and the 23-year-old Northern Irishman believes there is no reason he can’t stay there. “I think maybe after Congressional last year, I started thinking of myself as definitely one of the elite players,” McIlroy said. “You have to believe that you’re the best and I certainly do believe that. And it’s just a matter of going out there and showing everyone what I believe.” What McIlroy has done since his record-breaking exploits at Congressional is plant some consistency into his game, putting himself on a par with Donald in that regard. From the European Masters last September through to his most recent win, at the Honda Classic at the start of March which lifted him to No. 1, McIlroy chalked up two victories, eight top-five finishes and an 11th place. His missed cut at The Players Championship two weeks ago was the first time he failed to make the weekend in 23 tournaments. No wonder he is so bullish. “I think you have to believe that you’re better than anyone else,” he said. “On my day, I believe I can beat anyone in the world - it’s just finding that capability of when you’re not playing the best, to still come out on top. “That’s the thing that I’m trying to learn how to do,

because I’ve proved in the past that when I’m on my game, I’m pretty hard to beat.” His comments contrasted sharply to those of Donald, when asked if he was the best player in the world. Unlike McIlroy, Donald took the diplomatic route. “I don’t really think in terms of that. I think my focus is to try and always continue to improve and be a better golfer,” Donald said. Donald described McIlroy as “the most naturally gifted player there is.” “He just has that look about him - free-flowing, hits the ball far, just seems really effortless,” the Englishman said. “I feel, personally, if I don’t work hard and grind it out, I’m not going to be that successful. It’s just not that easy for me.” This week’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth will be McIlroy’s first appearance at a European event in seven months, since the Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland last October. Now based in the United States, he has limited his trips back over the Atlantic but always relishes a return to the home of European golf, which he visited regularly as a kid when the World Match Play Championship was hosted at Wentworth. “This is a golf course I love, a golf course I came to every year since I was 10 years old,” McIlroy recalled. “I ran 36 holes every day. My mum and dad left me at the first tee at 8 a.m. and I didn’t see them until 6 p.m. It was great.” McIlroy plays alongside Ernie Els and Martin Laird for his first two rounds at an event where he has only one top-10 finish in four starts. — AP

VIRGINIA WATER: Lee Westwood is engaged in a threeway fight for top spot in the world rankings and nothing would please him more at this week’s PGA Championship than a runaway win in his unofficial fifth major. The 39-year-old Briton is third in the world, just behind Ryder Cup team mates Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy, heading into the European Tour ’s flagship event at Wentworth. “I’d like to play brilliantly this week and for everybody else to play rubbish but that’s not going to happen,” Westwood told reporters on the eve of the tournament that carries a total prize fund of 4.5 million euros ($5.74 million). “This is a week I think everybody that plays on the tour looks forward to. It’s the jewel in our crown.” Asked if he would rather just win or beat top-ranked McIlroy and world number two Donald in a playoff on Sunday, the Englishman replied: “I’d rather win by 10 strokes - that’s very easy to answer.” Westwood, who has never hoisted the PGA Championship trophy, is still kicking himself for losing out to Donald in a playoff last year. “It should not have gone to a playoff,” said the world number three. “I three-putted the 16th in the last round, didn’t birdie the 17th going in with a three-iron and then missed a five-footer for birdie at the last. “I had my chances. It was my own fault.” Westwood was beaten by Donald in sudden death at the 18th hole after his approach shot landed eight feet from the pin but spun back off the green into water. Course designer Ernie Els has tweaked the par-five closing hole this year, making sure the grass on the fringe of the green is long enough to avoid a repetition. Westwood also took the blame for his mistake at the 18th in last year’s playoff. “That didn’t happen because there should have been rough there,” he explained. “It was because the wind was from the right and I ... pitched it further left than I wanted. “It was a poor shot. That was the reason it went in the water.” Westwood, without his regular caddie Billy Foster this year because of a long-term injury, said Els’s constant tinkering was helping the leafy West Course at Wentworth to get better with every passing year. “Designing and remodelling courses is tricky and sometimes you need a couple of goes at it,” said the former European number one. “I think every year we come back here it is improving and becoming a better test.” Westwood, however, does not seem to be a fan of the Wentworth greens. “I spent around an hour and three quarters practising my putting yesterday, just getting used to the speed of the greens,” he said. “I’ve not putted on anything as slow as this for pretty much most of the year.” — Reuters

Hamilton bids to make it six of the best at Monaco MONACO: Formula One will chalk up a notable first if Lewis Hamilton finishes first in Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix. Never before has the glamour sport seen six different winners in the first six races of a season and McLaren’s 2008 world champion has yet to open his 2012 victory account going into his favourite race. Hamilton, winner in the Mediterranean principality in his title year, has every chance of standing on the top step of the podium as well as chalking up McLaren’s 150th pole after being denied it in Barcelona due to a fuel error. British bookmakers William Hill have the 27-year-old Briton as their 3-1 favourite, with double world champions Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso both at 5-1 for Red Bull and Ferrari respectively. In this most unpredictable of seasons, with five different teams winning the first five races, anything could happen however. “We are going into Monaco, something we’ve been very good at, we’ve won more Monacos than anyone else,” said McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh. “We go there with the belief that we can win but anyone who makes predictions at the moment in this sport would be nuts.” Despite his love of the tight and twisting street circuit, Hamilton has never started on pole in Monaco where overtaking is extremely tricky, even with KERS and moveable rear wings, and grid position crucial. He has however finished on the podium twice and in the points on four of his

five visits. “I think he is (a favourite),” said Whitmarsh. “And he thinks that and that’s good and he’s in that frame of mind. He deserves it, there’s absolutely no doubt about it. “We’ve got to work hard and make sure he’s got a good car, don’t make any mistakes and that he’s in a position to fulfil his potential at a circuit where he’s won in Formula Three, GP2 and Formula One.”

Hamilton has started two of this season’s races on pole and it would have been three had McLaren not made an error with their fuel calculation in qualifying in Barcelona. The team have also had a string of pit lane blunders that have cost them dear. If Hamilton fails to win on Sunday, there are still plenty of others who could add to the list of different winners - starting with the

MONACO: Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany, waves flanked by Austrian former Formula One racing driver Gerhard Berger on a boat in the harbor at the Monaco racetrack. — AP

Lotus pair of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean. Lotus, formerly Renault, are celebrating the 500th race for the Enstone-based team and 2007 champion Raikkonen also has previous in Monaco. The Finn won there from pole in 2005 with McLaren and also started on the front row in 2003, 2008 and 2009. Vettel’s Australian team mate Mark Webber was a Monaco winner in 2010 but has yet to stand on the podium this season and is hungry to rectify that. Michael Schumacher, a five times winner in Monaco, is still chasing his first top three placing since he began his comeback with Mercedes in 2010 but team mate Nico Rosberg showed in China that the car is a winner. If there is to be a repeat winner for the first time this year, then there are three Monaco masters lining up - last year’s winner Vettel, Hamilton’s team mate Jenson Button who triumphed in 2009 and Alonso, who won with Renault in 2006 and McLaren in 2007. Rosberg grew up and went to school in the principality and knows every twist and turn by heart while Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado, surprise winner in Spain to hand Williams their first triumph in nearly eight years, cannot be ruled out either. A 500-1 outsider before his Circuit de Catalunya heroics, Maldonado has always gone well at Monaco in F1 and GP2 and his odds have now been slashed to 14-1. — Reuters

WENTWORTH: Jose-Maria Olazabal tees off during the PGA Championship, Pro-Am at Wentworth Golf Club. —AP

Southern Cal wins 4th straight national title ATHENS: Southern Cal coach Peter Smith wasn’t exactly feeling confident after the Trojans lost just their second doubles point of the year. But with a fourth straight national title at stake, Smith was able to put a strong performance in pumping up his team. “I said that our backs are against the wall,” Smith told the players. “Let’s just go out and play and play hard and stop worrying.” Freshman Yannick Hanfmann rallied late in the third set to beat Justin Shane in singles and help Southern Cal win its fourth straight national championship with a 4-2 victory over Virginia on Tuesday night. Rain delayed the start of singles 3 hours before the tournament at the University of Georgia moved indoors. Hanfmann clinched the Trojans’ 20th national title with a 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (4) win just a few minutes before 1 am yesterday. Virginia lost to Southern Cal for the fourth straight year in the tournament and for the second consecutive year in the finals. Steve Johnson, the No. 1 seed in the upcoming NCAA singles tournament and the event’s defending champion, gave Southern Cal (33-1) its first point of the finals, beating Jarmere Jenkins 6-3, 6-2 for his 66th consecutive victory. For Hanfmann, earning the clinching victory in a national final was easy to imagine indoors. Just three months ago in Charlottesville, Va., he rallied to win a break point in the third set against Ohio State’s Devin McCarthy. That performance gave Southern Cal the ITA national team indoor title. “It came to my mind, but indoors was a long time ago,” Hanfmann said. “It’s not just me. Seeing everybody playing so hard is an inspiration for me. I’m lucky that it ended that way.” Shane broke Hanfmann to go up 5-4 in the third set, but gave the lead back and never regained momentum. “I might have gotten a little frustrated with the ref, but there’s nothing you can do when he’s doing his job,” Shane said. “I stayed focused on the present.” The Cavaliers (29-2) handed Southern Cal just its second doubles point loss of the year when Mitchell Frank and Alex Domijan beat Daniel Nguyen and Ray Sarmiento 8-5 and Shane and Julen Uriguen knocked off Emilio Gomez and Hanfmann 8-4. “We’ve come a long ways in doubles, and that’s something we’ve worked hard on and made a great deal of improvement,” Virginia coach Brian Boland said. “So it’s unfortunate that we came up short.” Gomez’s 6-4, 6-2 victory over Drew Courtney in No. 4 singles put the Trojans up 2-1. But Frank helped Virginia even the score at 2-2 with a 6-3, 6-1 victory in No. 3 singles over Nguyen, who won the clinching matches in two of the past three Southern Cal titles. Sarmiento gave the Trojans a 3-2 lead by holding off Domijan 6-4, 7-5 in No. 2 singles. As the tension was building indoors, Johnson found it hard to relax even though he had beaten Jenkins without too much of a fight. On side-by-side courts, Hanfmann was battling Shane while Southern Cal’s Roberto Quiroz was trying to rally against Julen Uriguen.—AP


THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012


In Paralympics too, Cambodians feel disadvantaged PHNOM PENH: Impoverished Cambodia has thousands of disabled athletes, the legacy of war, revolution, landmines along disputed borders and inadequate healthcare, but only one will be in Britain for the Paralympic games this year. “I am very excited to compete in a big country like this,” said 30-year-old short-distance runner Thim Senghon, handicapped from birth, who will represent Cambodia at the games starting in August. Speaking by telephone from Australia where she is training, Thim Senghon said she would be using an old prosthetic limb that helped her

win a gold and two silver medals at regional games in Indonesia. It was donated years ago by a Norwegian sponsor. “I want to win, I train hard, but I’ve got little hope of winning a medal,” she said, adding that part of the problem was that a new, lighter artificial leg would cost thousands of dollars, well out of her reach. “We can’t afford good prosthetic limbs like the ones used by athletes from European countries,” she said. “It’s too expensive and only rich countries can afford that.” Since athletes wanting to compete in the Games have to meet certain qualifying standards, those from poor-

er countries often miss out simply because they cannot afford the best equipment. The International Paralympics Committee can offer a “wild card” to a few athletes from countries where none qualify on the normal criteria, but that leaves many disappointed, such as wheelchair racer Van Vun, 26, disabled since having polio at the age of three. “I was told I was going to compete in England and later they told me that they only needed one,” he said, referring to a message he got from a local sports federation. “I’m very upset because I want to

compete in a big event,” said Van Vun, who has won two silver medals at a regional event. Australian Christopher Minko, secretary general of Cambodia National Volleyball League (Disabled), has another complaint: his sport is not even in the Games even though all that is needed is a ball and net, so it is popular in poorer countries. “ The big problem now with the Paralympic Games is that it’s changed, it’s become a game that’s dominated by technology. They’re putting new sports in and throwing old sports out,” he said. A lot of the simple, traditional

sports had gone, to be replaced by relatively expensive sports such as rowing and equestrian golf, he said, saying the event was now “just becoming a game for rich nations”. The absence of volleyball is all the more distressing since Cambodia is ranked number two in the world after Germany for volleyball played by teams of the disabled, Minko said. “When it comes to equipment, we can’t compete, we don’t have the resources, we don’t have the facilities, we don’t have the $30,000 wheelchair. But when it comes to athletic ability, we’ve already reached number two in the world.” —Reuters

Aussies cry foul over ‘dawn’ starts in hockey

BATH: This photograph made available by LOCOG shows Christopher Phillips carrying the Olympic flame along The Royal Crescent. The Olympic torch relay is on its fourth day as it traverses Britain ahead of the July 27 opening of the London Games. —AP

Ankle injury dents Lee’s London Olympics bid WUHAN: World number one player Lee Chong Wei will be out for up to a month after tearing a tendon in his right ankle, severely denting his preparations for an elusive Olympic badminton gold medal in London. The 29-year old Malaysian hobbled off court in tears after suffering an awkward twist just five minutes in to a Thomas Cup match against Denmark’s Peter Gade in Wuhan, China, on Tuesday. Lee, the 2008 Beijing Olympics silver medallist, was later taken to a hospital, accompanied by coach Tey Seu Bock, where an MRI confirmed a tendon tear. “The doctor said that it would take three to four weeks for the injury to heal,” Seu Bock told reporters, adding that the shuttler will be sent back home late yesterday. “We will conduct another MRI back home and get a second opinion on the seriousness of his injury.” The coach said Lee was devastated with the timing of the injury with barely two months left for the London Games, starting July 27, which will be the Malaysian’s last

Olympics. “He felt bad that he could not contribute a point for the team. He was also worried about the Olympic Games and wondered why it had happened so close to the Games,” he said. “He is emotionally down. All he needs right now is some good rest and time to recover from this setback. “We still have time before the Olympic Games and we can help him to regain his confidence.” Lee, who lost to arch-rival Lin Dan of China in the Beijing Olympics final, has had an injury-plagued season. He will now receive treatment at the National Sports Institute (ISN) upon his return to Kuala Lumpur. “My leg is very painful,” he was quoted as saying by the Bernama news agency. “I thought I could carry on playing but the doctor told me I have suffered a serious injury. I am sad that I cannot help my team.” The shuttler was not yet ready to speculate on his chances of playing in the Olympics. “I’m not sure,” he said. “I have to let Dr Ramlan (Abdul Aziz, ISN director) look at it first. Mentally, I have to be stronger for the Olympics.” —Reuters

Aussie women qualify to row in London SWITZERLAND: Australia’s women’s eight have defied the supposed curse on their boat to qualify for the London Olympics with victory in the final qualifier in Switzerland. The hastily assembled crew were only given clearance to mount a challenge for London a couple of months ago after a public campaign and they made the most of their opportunity. Stroked by Phoebe Stanley, they raced to victory by a length at the final Olympic qualifying regatta in Lucerne on Tuesday to claim one of two spots at the Games with the other going to Germany. “ This is pretty amazing. I thought my Olympic dream was over two months ago,” Stanley told “Until now our lives didn’t exist past ... May 22 but now we are

so excited.” Australia’s women’s eight has not faired well at the last two Olympics with the infamy of the “Lay-Down Sally” incident of 2004 laying the foundation for talk of a curse. Sally Robbins inexplicably stopped rowing 400 metres from the end of the eights final at the Athens Olympics to leave Australia last and trigger an acrimonious national row. Four years later, a crew some fancied as genuine medal contenders again finished sixth and last in the final in Beijing. “It is a very different feeling to four years ago,” crew member Sally Kehoe told Rowing Australia. “This time round we have really earned our position and fought to be here. We were not a priority boat but being the underdogs is working for us so far.” —Reuters

SYDNEY: Australia’s men’s hockey coach Ric Charlesworth has slammed London Olympic schedulers for lumbering his team with three early starts in their round-robin matches at the Games. The ‘Kookaburras’ are favourites to win the gold medal in London but Charlesworth said the schedule, released on Tuesday, was unfair and would be disruptive to his top-seeded team. “I don’t expect special treatment, I expect not to be disadvantaged, out of five matches you may expect one 5am start for our athletes not three,” Charlesworth told Hockey Australia’s website ( “It interferes with momentum, as major finals won’t be played at that hour and it interrupts our routine over two weeks. Early games should be fairly distributed between all teams.” While Australia face Spain, Argentina and Pakistan in matches starting at 8.30am local time, second seeds and defending champions Germany play all their games later in the day. Charlesworth, who led the Australian women’s team to gold at the Atlanta and Sydney Olympics before taking over as coach of the Kookaburras in 2009, also pointed to the fact that the top seeds in the women’s tournament, the Dutch, had no 8.30am starts. “It’s not that they are number one, again it’s just that it’s not equally shared when some teams have to play three early matches and others none,” he said. In response to the criticism, a spokesman for London 2012 organising committee (LOCOG) said match timings were designed to “achieve the widest possible global audience for the sport” and that they had worked closely with the International Hockey Federation scheduling. Hockey Australia chief Mark Anderson reflected Charlesworth’s dissatisfaction with the schedule. “When you look at the schedule it is patently unfair in our opinion,” he said. “None of the teams want to play in this early morning time slot. “We have been scheduled to play at this time on three occasions. The world ranked number two, three and four teams do not have any matches scheduled for this time. The fifth and sixth ranked teams feature once. “Out of the 12 teams in the competition, only six teams play at this time and Australia features three times. We are not looking for an unfair advantage, we just want to compete on a level playing field.” Charlesworth did not like the playing fields in London much either, fuming earlier this month at a test event that the blue and pink surfaces were too bouncy and did not reward skilful players.The Olympic men’s hockey competition takes place at the Riverbank Arena from July 30 to Aug. 11. —Reuters

Two Saudi Olympic horsemen banned

Lee Chong Wei

LAUSANNE: The two leading members of Saudi Arabia’s Olympic equestrian team will miss the London Games after they were banned for eight months yesterday. The I nternational Equestrian Federation announced the decisions against Khaled Abdulaziz Al Eid and Abdullah Waleed Sharbatly, whose horses tested positive for anti-inflammatories at separate events in the Middle East. Al Eid, the 2000 Sydney Olympics bronze medalist, and Sharbatly, who won silver at the 2010 World Equestrian Games, had their cases heard in April. The FEI suspended both riders to October, backdating the suspensions to when they voluntarily suspended themselves in February, on news of the positive tests for controlled medications, which are prohibited in competition but allowed outside events. The FEI said Al Eid failed to prove his horse Vanhoeve was exposed to phenylbutazone in an allegedly contaminated stable during a Riyadh event. The governing body said it was the same situation for Sharbatly, whose horse Lobster 43 was found to contain oxyphenbutazone, a metabolite of phenylbutazone, during a meet in the United Arab Emirates. The riders can appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. —AP

QUEBEC CITY: Denis Oswald (left) member of the International Olympic Committee executive board, and Jacques Rogge, president of IOC, chat before the beginning of a joint meeting of the IOC Executive Board and the Summer Olympic International Federation. SportAccord promotes communication and cooperation among various international sports federations. —AP


THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012


Blatter says FIFA is sailing into calmer waters BUDAPEST: FIFA is heading into calmer waters after a series of corruption allegations over the last two years, its president Sepp Blatter said on Tuesday. “I am an optimist,” Blatter told reporters ahead of the world soccer body’s annual congress. “I am sure you will see at the congress that we are back in the harbour, not heaven yet, but we are taking more people on board and are heading to calm, clearer waters. “The change began over the last year, or when the Ethics Committee started to act, and we have lost, directly or indirectly five members of the executive committee. That is a big number and new people have come in.” A year ago, Blatter was elected for a fourth and final term as FIFA president against a backdrop of bribery and corruption allegations at a tense, acrimonious Congress in Zurich. This year ’s Congress, set for Thursday and Friday in the Hungarian capital, will be presented with a new set of statutes aimed at making FIFA more transparent. Among the members to go last year were Jack Warner of Trinidad and Tobago, a FIFA vice-president, and Mohamed bin Hammam, who were both disciplined and expelled for their part in a bribery scandal. Bin Hammam of Qatar, one of the game’s rich power-brokers, was due to stand against Blatter

for the FIFA presidency but withdrew his candidature days before the vote and was later banned from football for life by FIFA for trying to bribe Caribbean delegates to vote against the Swiss. Ricardo Teixeira of Brazil, who, like Warner, was involved in repeated corruption allegations, quit earlier this year on health grounds. The departures followed those of Amos Adamu and Reynald Temarii who were caught up in a cash-for-votes scandal before the decision in December 2010 to award the World Cups of 2018 to Russia and 2022 to Qatar. “New faces have come in, new people - and they speak up, they intervene, they are playing a very big part,” said Blatter, 76. New members include young Jordanian Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein, Lydia Nsereka of Burundi - the first woman co-opted to FIFA’s executive committee since it was formed 108 years ago - Jeff Webb of the Cayman Islands and Zhang Jilong of China. “The Caribbean Football Union have just had their congress and they call it a “congress of reconciliation,” Blatter added. “Things are moving forwards. It is changing.” Blatter said he was pleased that change had come to the CONCACAF confederation of countries in North and Central America and the Caribbean, even though several legal issues still had to be settled in the courts. “For me it’s the end of what was happening

there,” he said. “The dogs may still be barking but the caravan has left town.” Blatter was also pleased about the addition of Nsereka, who is expected to become a full member of the committee at next year’s Congress in Mauritius. “There was a big discussion about this,” he said. “It was not so easy to convince a male-dominated committee to have a woman but she has been the president of her country’s FA since 2004. She is a member of the International Olympic Committee, she is a businesswoman, she is a princess, she is very knowledgeable.” Nserek a is also a member of Mark Pieth’s Independent Governance Committee looking into FIFA reform which has criticised the organisation’s past handling of corruption cases. FIFA has delayed introducing some recommendations by the Pieth committee, drawing criticism from anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International. Asked if having Nsereka as a member of the Pieth committee and the executive would be a problem, Blatter said: “No, this independent group is not making my life difficult. “It is not going to be an easy task for her on the executive committee but I am absolutely delighted she is on it. It was a memorable day yesterday, the first time in FIFA’s history a woman is on the executive. A fantastic day.”-Reuters Carlos Fabra, who served for 16 years as presi-

dent of Castellon, one of the region’s three provinces, has been charged with bribery and tax fraud. Fabra is the man behind Valencia’s most spectacular white elephant, the 150-million-euro Costa-Del-Azahar airport. “Do you like grandpa’s airport?” he asked his grandchildren at the opening last year. “Grandpa’s airport” has yet to receive a single commercial flight. Even Pope Benedict’s 2010 visit to Valencia was tainted. An investigating magistrate has charged local politicians and a media group with colluding to overcharge the government for sound and video system services during the visit, then sharing the extra money among themselves. In December, the mayor of the Valencian town of Manises and head of the public water treatment company, Enrique Crespo, was charged with looting 25 million euros from the company, EMARSA. Prosecutors say the money was spent on jewellery, luxury goods and monthly meetings at four-star hotels with bills for Romanian interpreters, who were actually prostitutes. More recently, several top officials were put under arrest for allegedly diverting money earmarked for building hospitals in poor countries. “Creating a structure to steal money from poor children: now that is a case of complete moral bankruptcy,” said Luis Bellvis, a local econo m i s t w h o o w n s a n h o t e l i n Va l e n c i a’s o l d town.— Reuters

Barca seek winning end to Guardiola era

JAPAN: Japan’s Ryo Miyaichi (right) and Azerbaijan’s Agil Nabiyev vie for the ball during their international friendly soccer match at Ecopa Stadium. — AP

Japan defeat Azerbaijan 2-0 SHIZUOKA: Shinji Kagawa and Shinji Okazaki scored as Japan beat Azerbaijan 2-0 in a friendly yesterday. Kagawa took a pass from Makoto Hasebe, beat a defender, and fired an angled shot into the far corner in the 43rd minute. “Everything fell into place for the goal,” Kagawa said. “We had a lot of chances and probably should have scored more.” Kagawa has one year left on his contract with two-time Bundesliga champion Borussia Dortmund but has declined the club’s extension offer and has stated he wants to play in the English Premier League.

Okazaki doubled the lead 12 minutes after the break when he picked up a loose ball and scored from close range. Azerbaijan’s best chance came in the 82nd when Vugar Nadirov deflected a free kick off the post. Japan was warming up for three final-round World Cup qualifiers in June against Oman, Jordan and Australia. Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni will name his squad for the home qualifiers against Oman and Jordon today. Japan forward Takayuki Morimoto, who plays for Novara in Serie A, left injured just before halftime. —AP

Barton slapped with 12 match ban LONDON: QPR’s volatile captain Joey Barton received a 12 match ban from the Football Association yesterday after being found guilty by an Independent Commission of two counts of violent conduct. The 29-year-old - who has been in trouble on several occasions throughout his career both on and off the pitch — had eight matches added to the four game suspension he had picked up already for being sent off in the final game of the season against champions Manchester City. He was also fined £75,000. Barton, who also faces an internal enquiry by QPR into his behavior, was shown a red card for elbowing Carlos Tevez and then kicked Sergio Aguero before appearing to attempt to headbutt opposing captain Vincent Kompany. “There are rules of conduct that should be adhered to, and such behaviour tarnishes the image of football in this country, particularly as this match was the pinnacle of the domestic season and watched by millions around the globe,” said the Commission chairman Maurice Armstrong. The FA relased a statement saying that

while Barton - who appeared personally with a barrister - had pleaded not guilty to the second charge the Commission had not found in his favour. “This eight-match suspension is to run consecutively to the four-game suspension Barton was already given for his dismissal in the fixture, making a total of 12 matches,” read the statement. “Barton was charged by The FA with two counts of violent conduct in relation to the Queens Park Rangers game against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday 13 May 2012. “Following Barton’s dismissal in the 54th minute of the match, there followed two incidents involving Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany. “As Barton had already been dismissed, both of these incidents fell outside the jurisdiction of the referee. “Barton accepted the charge of violent conduct against Aguero but denied the second breach of violent conduct against Kompany. The independent Regulatory Commission, however, found this second charge proved.” — AFP

LONDON: This is a May 13, 2012 file photo of Queens Park Rangers Joey Barton after being sent off during the English Premier League match against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium. — AP

MADRID: Barcelona have the chance to end the Pep Guardiola era in precisely the same way it began, with a King’s Cup final win over Athletic Bilbao tomorrow. A drained Guardiola is to step aside and hand over the reins to his close friend and assistant Tito Vilanova for next season, but will hope to walk away with a 14th trophy from his glittering four-year spell in charge. The former Spanish international kicked off his trophy-winning run with a 4-1 Cup final win over Bilbao in May 2009. “His departure is traumatic for me,” Barca and Spain defender Gerard Pique, who returned to the Nou Camp just as Guardiola arrived in 2008, told a news conference. “I feel I am a much better player thanks to him and the whole team has learned a great deal. He will leave a void, but we’ll carry on with Tito and we’ll do well. That’s football, all eras come to an end.” Barca have already won the European and Spanish Super Cups and the Club World Cup this season, but missed out on the major prizes in the closing weeks of the campaign. They were denied a fourth consecutive La Liga crown by Real Madrid, and fell to Chelsea in the Champions League semi-finals, before Guardiola’s shock decision not to renew his contract. There have been criticism in some quarters at the way Vilanova’s appointment was announced at the same news conference in which Guardiola said he was leaving, leading to speculation of a rift between the two. “Guardiola’s relationship with Vilanova is fantastic,” midfielder Cesc Fabregas said earlier this week. “Hearing these comments from outside isn’t good. It hurts us.” Barca will have to make a number of changes in defence with Eric Abidal, Carles Puyol and Dani Alves all ruled out with injury, while striker David Villa will not recover from his broken leg in

Pep Guardiola time. Barca and Bilbao have lifted the trophy 48 times between them, and have been two of the most entertaining teams in Spain this year with their focus on attacking football. However, they will have to contend with a freshly laid pitch at the Calderon in Madrid, replaced after a rock concert there on Sunday night, and a political storm stirred up by the president of the Madrid regional government. Basque and Catalan nationalists among the two sets of fans whistled the national anthem in 2009, and Esperanza Aguirre’s suggestions on Tuesday that the final should be suspended if it happens again caused widespread condemnation. Bilbao head into the final with some trepidation after their crushing 3-0 Europa League final defeat to Atletico Madrid two weeks ago.

“We need to be more relaxed from the start, not as nervous and as rushed with our passes (as we were in Bucharest)” Bilbao’s leading scorer Fernando Llorente told reporters. “We deserve to win this Cup. We have managed to put behind us the disappointment of the other final. If we can play to our best and nullify Barca, we are capable of beating them.” The club, who only field players of Basque origin, are also concerned their inspirational and eccentric coach Marcelo Bielsa may not stay beyond the end of the season as he remains silent on his future. A two-week break after the end of La Liga will help the Bilbao players as fatigue took its toll in the season run-in and they lost four of their last five matches in all competitions. — Reuters

Villa fails to recover in time for Euro 2012 MADRID: Barcelona striker David Villa ruled himself out of the running for a place in Spain’s squad for Euro 2012 on Tuesday after failing to fully recover from a broken leg. Villa, Spain’s all-time leading scorer, broke his left leg while competing in the Club World Cup with Barca in December, and has not played a competitive match since then. “I tried right to the end but I wasn’t able to get to 100 percent for the Euros,” Villa said on his official Twitter feed. “Today I called the coach to tell him. It was the most honest thing to do. Thanks to all of you for your support.” The Spanish football federation (RFEF) broke the news with an earlier statement. “After failing to achieve the desired progress in recent training sessions, Villa spoke with Del Bosque,” the RFEF said. “(He) told him although he would like to be with the team in Poland and Ukraine, his physical state ‘isn’t the best’ for a competition like the Euros. “The RFEF and Spain’s coaching staff wish the player all the best in his recovery and hope he will return soon to the national team, and value the effort made by David to get back to full fitness.” Villa has scored 51 goals in 82 national team appearances for Spain helping them victory at Euro 2008 and in the World Cup finals in 2010. His Spanish international team mates were quick to send messages of support on their Twitter accounts. Barcelona’s Cesc Fabregas wrote: “Keep your spirits up, you are a star. You have been and will continue being the best goal-scorer in the national team.” Chelsea winger Juan Mata wrote: “You have proved again you are an example, we will miss you a lot. You will soon be back scoring goals.” Barca’s doctors had already said he would not make the King’s Cup final on Friday, when Pep Guardiola’s side take on Athletic Bilbao. Del Bosque named a provisional squad for Euro 2012 last week which included many fringe players, and added Chelsea duo Fernando Torres and Mata on Monday after they helped their side win the Champions League final. Del Bosque delayed naming any Barca and Bilbao players until after the Cup final. He set May 27 as his deadline for deciding his final 23-man squad, when attention will focus in particular on their forward line without Villa. Torres, Valencia’s Roberto Soldado, Sevilla’s Alvaro Negredo and Atletico Madrid’s Adrian Lopez are already in the squad, while Bilbao’s Fernando Llorente and possibly Barca’s Pedro are expected to be called up, with others making way. Spain won all eight of their qualifiers for Euro 2012 and are in Group C for the finals along with Italy, against who they play their opening game on June 10, Republic of Ireland and Croatia. — Reuters

AUSTRIA: Poland’s Kamil Grosicki (right) and Latviaís Alesejs Visnakovs challange for the ball during a friendly soccer match.óAP

Poland beat Latvia in friendly WARSAW: A late goal by Artur Sobiech gave Euro 2012 co-hosts Poland a 1-0 win against Latvia on Tuesday in a friendly in Klagenfurt, Austria. Poland now take on Slovakia on Saturday before coach Franciszek Smuda names his 23-man squad for the tournament which Poland launch in Warsaw on June 8 with a game against Greece. Sobiech headed home a left-wing cross from Kamil Grosicki in the 81st minute in an otherwise lacklustre

spectacle. Latvia showed skill in the first half, but goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski held firm. “The result in such a game is less important than the play and engagement,” Smuda told TVP1. “I’m looking at how tactical points were put into action and it was not as I would dream it to be.” Poland played without the Borussia Dortmund trio of Lukasz Piszczek, Kuba Blaszczykowski and Robert Lewandowski who look sure of their places in the squad. — Reuters

Barca seek winning end to Guardiola era

Phillips homers lift Reds



THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012

In Paralympics too, Cambodians feel disadvantaged

Page 18

ITALY: Overall leader Spanish Joaquim Rodriguez celebrates with the pink jersey on the podium after winning the 17th stage of the Giro díItalia going from Falzes to Cortina d’Ampezzo. — AFP

Rodriguez wins Giro d’Italia stage ITALY: Spanish rider Joaquim Rodriguez strengthened his position as leader of the Giro d’Italia yesterday and dedicated his win in the 186km 17th stage here to his great friend Xavi Tondo, who died exactly a year ago. The 33-year-old Rodriguez-who has never won a Grand Tour-recorded his second stage success of the race, seeing off a group of six riders including his major rivals Ivan Basso of Italy and Canada’s former pink jersey wearer Ryder Hesjedal. However, his thoughts were more about Tondo, who was killed in a freak accident aged just 32 when he was crushed between his car and a garage door at a ski resort in southern Spain. “It was a very special day for me, a year after the death of Xavi Tondo, who was a close friend,” said Rodriguez. “I knew him since childhood. It is for this

reason that I held on to win. Evidently, I dedicate this victory to him.” Rodriguez also admitted he was fearful of the threat posed by Hesjdal in the battle for overall victory after the Canadian-who is just 30 seconds adrift of him-continued to surprise with a determined performance in this stage. “Today like a lot of the riders I began to suffer from cramp,” he said. “Now, I think that Ryder Hesjedal is the big favorite. He didn’t lose even a second on me today and if the gaps stay the same I won’t have a chance against him in the time-trial in Milan (the final stage on Sunday). “Therefore I have no option but to attack and to try and distance him, if not he will win.” The leading group came together at the Passo Giau, the fourth and final climb of the testing stage.

Defending champion Michele Scarponi was dropped by the group 500 metres from the summit and some 18km from the finishing line and was some 20sec adrift of the leaders. However, he showed great determination in overcoming the cramps he was suffering from to get back to them with just two kilometres remaining. Basso-a two-time winner of the race-then launched an attack and tried to outsprint Rodriguez, but the Spaniard clung on tenaciously to pass him and take the honours. The biggest loser of the day was Czech Roman Kreuziger, who started the day in fifth overall but got dropped on the third climb (Forcella Staulanza) and was almost 10 minutes adrift at the summit of Giau. Today the Giro returns to flatter pastures and a 149km ride from San Vito di Cadore to Vedelago. That will be the calm before the

Dhoni sees Chennai past Mumbai into IPL qualifier

then so can we,” he said. “We have three different routes for 2013 and we will make a definitive decision in the two weeks after this Giro finishes.” Unlike the 2011 Giro - widely criticised for being too tough Acquarone said the 2012 race, which started with three days racing in Denmark, is more well-balanced between difficult and easier stages and has a more international feel overall. “Some people said we needed a tougher route in 2011 than in 2010, but it was too much. We had to give the race more equilibrium,” he said. “I wanted a race where riders like (world champion Mark) Cavendish can come for bunch sprints or ...have some Classic-like, hilly stages riders can try and win.” With the race on its second rest day on Monday, there is still no clear stand-out favourite this year unlike in 2011. —Agencies

Five years on, IPL still mired in controversies

BANGALORE: Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni smashed an unbeaten half-century as two-time defending champion Chennai Super Kings defeated Mumbai Indians by 38 runs yesterday to ensure a clash with Delhi Daredevils for a place in the Indian Premier League final. Dhoni top-scored with 51 off 20 balls to help Chennai win the “eliminator” game - the equivalent of a quarterfinal - as it amassed an imposing 187-5 and then restricted Mumbai to 149-9. Dwayne Bravo (33 not out and 2-10) was the other main performer for the winner. Dhoni capped a fine batting performance by his team, with Bravo helping provide an impetus toward the end of the innings. The pair added 73 runs off just 29 balls, Dhoni smashing two sixes and six fours and Bravo hitting two sixes and three fours off 14 balls. Mumbai seamer Dhawal Kulkarni, who had taken three wickets and looked impressive with his away-swingers, was made to look ordinary in his last two overs as Dhoni clobbered him for three consecutive fours in one over and then Bravo smashed him for two consecutive sixes in the last over of the innings that went for 19 runs. Earlier, Mike Hussey (49) and Subramaniam Badrinath (47) both excelled in their 39-ball knocks, rescuing Chennai after Kulkarni had dismissed opener Murali Vijay and Suresh Raina off consecutive deliveries to reduce Chennai to 1-2. Hussey and Badrinath added 93 for the third wicket before departing in successive overs. “A lot of credit for the win should go to Badri and Hussey,” Dhoni said. “Badri is an unsung hero. Because of their effort, Bravo and I could do well with the bat.” Mumbai’s reply started with West Indian Dwayne Smith, promoted as opener, showing flourish in his 22-ball 38. But the tempo could not be maintained as the Chennai bowlers made Mumbai struggle for runs and were also backed by some good fielding. After Tendulkar was run out early on, Morkel had Dinesh Karthik and Rohit Sharma caught behind off successive overs. Dwayne Bravo also picked up two crucial wickets as Mumbai’s hopes of seeing big-hitting Kieron Pollard pull off the improbable crashed when he was bowled by Hilfenhaus for 16 in the 18th over. Delhi had lost the first “qualifier” game - played between the top two teams of the league - to Kolkata Knight Riders, but gets another chance to make the final in the second “qualifier” against Chennai tomorrow. Mumbai is out of the tournament while Kolkata has already ensured a place in the final slated to be played in Chennai on Sunday because of its win over Delhi. Scores: Chennai Super Kings 187-5 (Mahendra Singh Dhoni 51 not out, Mike Hussey 49, Subramaniam Badrinath 47, Dwayne Bravo 33 not out; Dhawal Kulkarni 3-46) def. Mumbai Indians 149-9 (Dwayne Smith 38; Dwayne Bravo 2-10, Albie Morkel 2-31). — AP

storm as today and Saturday’s two days are the toughest mountain stages. Meanwhile, the Giro d’Italia is set for a stage summit finish on the famous Galibier climb in France’s Alps in the not too distant future, director Michele Acquarone has said. The Galibier is arguably the Tour de France’s best known single climb and last year the race celebrated the centenary of its first ascent there in 1911 with its first ever summit finish, won by Luxembourgborn Andy Schleck. “It’s a possibility in 2013 and a probability in the next three Giros,” Acquarone, who replaced Angelo Zomegnan as race director last year, told Reuters. Seeing the Tour finish on the Galibier in 2011 has given Acquarone extra motivation to follow in the French race’s wheel tracks. “We’re smaller than the Tour, so we’re more flexible. And if the Tour did it,

BANGALORE: Chennai Super Kings’ bowler Albie Morkel (left) celebrates the dismissal of Mumbai Indians’ batsman Rohit Sharma (right) during their Indian Premier League (IPL) playoff cricket match. — AP

NEW DELHI: Briber y and molestation, star tantrums and rave parties, yet growing crowds this year’s Indian Premier League is proving there is no such thing as bad publicity. Full stadiums have been a welcome sight after sparse attendances last year due to a post-World Cup hangover. Refreshed and ready for cricket, fans have also been digesting news of a string of off-field controversies. Such off-field issues are nothing new for the IPL, whose founder chairman Lalit Modi remains in selfimposed exile after being slapped with cases of financial irregularities and whose governing council has had skirmishes with at least four of its own franchises. Just as fans were raving about a number of close games came a TV sting operation that showed IPL players agreeing to spot fixing and raising murmurs about those last-over finishes being possibly contrived. The Board of Control for Cricket in India was quick to provisionally suspend five uncapped players after they were shown by India TV news channel as either agreeing to spot-fixing or negotiating on their contracts, which is not allowed as per tournament rules. TP Sudhindra, Shalabh Srivastava, Mohnish Mishra, Amit Yadav and Abhinav Bali were suspended and an inquiry ordered. Sudhindra, who plays for Deccan Chargers, was shown allegedly agreeing to and then bowling a noball at a predetermined time in a local T20 game in the central Indian city of Indore. The channel also played a purported telephone conversation with Srivastava of the Kings XI Punjab team agreeing to bowl a no-ball in the IPL. Srivastava, however, did not play in the tournament this season. The others were seen talking about their IPL contracts and how under-the-table payments are used to entice players to franchises. The expose gave sports minister Ajay Maken a chance to reiterate his call for the BCCI to be brought under the ambit of India’s Right to Information Act. Currently the BCCI is not accountable since it is not government funded. “The BCCI performs a public function, that is the selection of the Indian team,” Maken said. “This team plays under the aegis of the Indian flag. This is the Indian team. That is why the body that chooses the team needs to be transparent to the people.”

The bribery allegations were followed by a string of off-field controversies that ended in police stations. Kolkata Knight Riders team co-owner Shahrukh Khan was involved in a brawl with officials at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium. Mumbai Cricket Association and police officials alleged Khan confronted guards while under the influence of alcohol. The Bollywood star claimed he was not drunk and had only reacted to rude behavior to kids near the boundary line. Other more serious controversies were round the corner. Australian batsman Luke Pomersbach made headlines without playing a game for Royal Challengers Bangalore this season. He was arrested and subsequently released on bail for allegedly molesting a U.S. woman of Indian origin and assaulting her fiance at a New Delhi fivestar hotel. Pomersbach was required to surrender his passport pending investigation of the case. Indian cricket officials were quick to wash their hands off the incident which is being investigated by police. “There were no official parties in IPL 4 and 5. So the incident was not connected with an official IPL party. It was an individual misbehavior of an individual player,” IPL chief Rajiv Shukla told reporters. “It is a police case and we will wait for the police report.” Two Pune Warriors players, Rahul Sharma and South African Wayne Parnell, were also in hot water for attending a party that was busted for drugs. Their blood and urine samples were taken along with those of over 80 others after a police party found cocaine in the rave party. Once again, IPL officials said they had no comment to offer pending investigation. But former India player Kirti Azad, who has raised the IPL controversies debate in Parliament, wonders how everything goes wrong only when the Twenty20 tournament is on. “I’m not against the IPL but the way it is run,” said Azad, a member of the 1983 World Cup winning team. “There is no transparency, accountability or discipline. Why doesn’t all this indiscipline happen in test, one-day or domestic cricket matches?” While organizers will be hoping the IPL ends with focus on the game and people remember the big-hitting from Chris Gayle and the incisive bowling of Morne Morkel, these controversies are bound to remain in the news well after the tournament is over. —AP


Gulf Arab investors hot on Turkey private equity trail Page 23

Gulf stocks lose ground on euro-zone woes

THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012

Page 24

Europe, US could hurt Asian growth: WB

Saudi, BAE seal $2.5bn jet deal Page 25

Page 22

Gulf bets billions on airport growth Dubai, Doha, Abu Dhabi drive expansion in region DUBAI: Gulf countries are channelling billions of dollars into airport expansions, betting on a sharp rise in passenger traffic and competing to strengthen their positions as regional hubs for global travel. “We are trying to catch up with demand. We are not overspending,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, the chairman of Dubai Airports and the emirate’s fast-growing carrier Emirates Airlines, to justify the vast amounts being poured into the sector. At the Airport Show in Dubai he reiterated plans to spend $7.8 billion under the group’s Strategic Plan 2020, which should boost the capacity of Dubai International-the Middle East busiest airport, from 60 million passengers to 90 million by 2018. Between Dubai International and Al-Maktoum International, the emirate’s second airport that is planned to be the world’s largest and is yet to be used for passenger traffic, Dubai Airports expects to handle around 98.5 million passengers in 2020. Dubai’s airport passenger traffic more than doubled over seven years, from 24.8 million passenger in 2005 to 50.1 million last year. The airport is now ranked fourth globally in terms of international passenger traffic as it is mostly used for transit between the West and Asia and Australasia. Paul Griffiths, the chief executive officer of Dubai Airports, said the group is focusing on completing concourse 3 that will increase capacity to 75 million passengers. The facility is purpose-built for the Airbus A380 superjumbo, for which Emirates is the largest single customer. “Finishing concourse 3 is our priority. In the first quarter of 2013, it should be up and running,” he told reporters. The aviation sector now contributes 28 percent of Dubai’s gross domestic product, or $22 billion. Elsewhere in the oil-rich region, airports are being expanded, or new hubs being erected from scratch, to accommodate an increase in passenger traffic, mainly in Qatar and neighboring Abu Dhabi. Figures released at the Airport Show revealed that by 2015, the Dubai, Doha, and Abu Dhabi airports will reach a combined annual capacity of 190 million passengers. The rise in air traffic comes as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) cut back 2012 profit forecast for the

airline sector last month over fears of rising fuel prices due to tension in the Gulf, while it played down the impact of the European debt crisis. A study showed that the region is now overcrowded, with current capacity utilization in the Gulf Cooperation Council running at 115 percent and reaching 130 percent in Saudi Arabia. Only the UAE has an excess capacity thanks to Dubai’s investments. Abu Dhabi airport, the home-base of the fast-growing Etihad Airways, saw the number of passengers more than double in six years from 5.3 million in 2006 to 12 million in 2011. It currently has the capacity to handle 12.5 million passengers annually, but this should increase to 47 million when the Midfield Terminal Complex is completed in 2017. Qatar is building a new airport, about four kilometers (2.5 miles) east of its existing airport which has been enlarged and refurbished to handle the increase in passengers as Qatar Airways keeps expanding its routes. The $14.5-billion new airport is being built on a land half of which is reclaimed from the Gulf, and should have a capacity of 24 million passengers when the first phase is completed this year. This should reach around 50 million passengers when the project is fully completed in 2015. Kuwait’s old airport is also planned to go through a $6-billion expansion to nearly double its capacity to 13 million passengers in 2016, according to the head of the civil aviation directorate Fawaz Al-Farah. The state’s Kuwait Airways and the nofrills privately-owned Jazeera Airways operate from Kuwait airport, which handled 8.5 million passengers last year. “Kuwait applies an open-skies policy for air transport. This (expansion) is to meet the demands of regional and international routes,” said Farah at the airport show. Saudi Arabia, which occupies most of the Arabian Peninsula has announced plans to spend between $10 billion and $15 billion on building and upgrading its airports by 2020. The capacity of Riyadh’s King Khaled International Airport will be increased from 14 to 25 million passengers, while a new terminal being built at Jeddah’s airport for $7.21 billion will expand capacity from 17 to 30 million passengers. — AFP

Euro-zone prepares members for ‘Grexit’ Hollande-Merkel showdown looms BRUSSELS: Euro-zone officials have told members of the currency area to prepare contingency plans in case Greece decides to quit the bloc, an eventuality which Germany’s central bank said would be “manageable”. Three officials told Reuters that the instruction was agreed on Monday by a teleconference of the Eurogroup Working Group (EWG) - experts who work on behalf of the bloc’s finance ministers. “The EWG agreed that each euro zone country should prepare a contingency plan, individually, for the potential consequences of a Greek exit from the euro,” said one euro-zone official familiar with what was discussed. The news comes at a highly sensitive time, just hours before EU leaders gather to try to breathe life into their struggling economies at a summit over dinner yesterday. Despite fears Greeks could open the exit door if they vote for anti-bailout parties at a June 17 election, Spain, where the economy is in recession and the banking system is in need of restructuring, is at the frontline of the crisis, with concerns

growing that it too could need bailing out. After meeting Hollande, Rajoy said he had no intention of seeking outside aid for Spain’s banks. Hollande’s election victory has significantly changed the terms of the debate in Europe, with his call for greater emphasis on growth rather than debt-cutting now a rallying cry for other leaders. That has set up a showdown with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who supports growth but whose primary objective is budget austerity and structural reform. At his first EU summit, Hollande has chosen to make a stand on euro bonds the idea of mutualizing euro-zone debt despite consistent German opposition to an idea that has been hotly debated for more than two years. He will have support from Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, among others. But Merkel shows no sign of dropping her objections to the proposal, which she has said can only be discussed once there is much closer fiscal union in Europe. —Reuters

Kuwait delays gasoil cargoes to Pakistan DUBAI/SINGAPORE: Rising domestic demand and refinery problems have prompted Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) to delay the loading of some gasoil cargoes, four industry sources said yesterday. The delays triggered KPC to reschedule some cargoes with one of its biggest customers Pakistan State Oil (PSO), which is contracted to buy around 3 million tons of gasoil from KPC in 2012. “KPC rescheduled some cargoes to PSO,” one trader said. “Due to some troubles in secondary units and also due to the current planned shutdown in Mina Al-Ahmadi,” he added. OPEC member Kuwait’s biggest refinery with capacity over 460,000 barrels per day (bpd) is undergoing a planned maintenance since mid-May. The maintenance is expected to last up to 30 days. A KPC source confirmed there were delays due to some problems in secondary refinery units but did not elaborate. “It’s under control now,” he said. KPC, which regularly sells

40,000 to 80,000 tons of gasoil a month in the spot market, has not offered any spot cargoes since mid-April, traders said. “There are some delays for end-May to early-June loading cargoes, mainly due to local demand going up for summer,” a second trader with direct knowledge of the matter said. Demand for fuel in the Middle East soars in the summer period due to rising electricity usage with temperatures spiking up. Gasoil is used for power generation in the Gulf. Pakistan is a major oil products buyer under several term contracts but it enters the spot market during the summer period when agricultural activities pick up and when KPC is unable to supply additional term volumes due to a spike in summer demand. PSO is currently seeking 110,000 tons of gasoil for delivery over June and July, its first gasoil spot requirement in more than a year. Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) also has a 1.02 million ton diesel contract with KPC in 2012. — Reuters

KUWAIT: Arrival and departure areas at Kuwait International Airport.

THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012


Etisalat plans price cuts to curb net-based calls DUBAI: UAE telecom firm Etisalat plans to cut international call tariffs to various countries by up to 30 percent, an executive said, as the former monopoly tries to win back market share and stem the spread of Internet-based phone calls. The plans are at an early stage and need regulatory approval, but are likely to come into force in the second half of 2012, Rashed Alabbar, Etisalat vice-president for home product marketing, told Reuters. Etisalat already has a favored country call plan where customers can get up to 40 percent off standard tariffs. “On top of that, we’re studying whether to further reduce international rates,” said Alabbar. “If we are going to implement something in landline, most probably it will also be in mobile because we

wouldn’t cannibalize other product lines. “(A) 10 to 30 percent (cut) is what we are currently looking at across local and international calls. It should cover the most popular destinations.” These may include India, Philippines and Pakistan, which have large expatriate communities in the United Arab Emirates. International calls are a crucial revenue source for Etisalat and rival operator du, with about 89 percent of the UAE’s 8.3 million population foreigners. The proposed cuts come as Etisalat, which operates in 17 countries, refocuses on its domestic market. According to a fourth-quarter results presentation to analysts, the UAE is home to about 6 percent of Etisalat’s 167 million subscribers yet provided 73 percent of revenue in 2011, with foreign units -

which span from West Africa to Indonesia - providing limited revenue diversification. Analysts say Etisalat was distracted by its foreign expansion, allowing du to build up a 47 percent share of the country’s mobile subscribers since launching services in 2007. “Du has been taking the initiative, primarily in the mobile market which is where the main competition is,” said Matthew Reed, a senior analyst at Informa Telecoms and Media in Dubai. “Etisalat has been losing market share quite substantially and part of that is from du being more competitive on pricing.” Etisalat also faces a rising use of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services - free Internet-toInternet calls and cheap Internet-to-phone calls - as

Kuwait’s trade surplus with Japan widens 48.6%

Saudi, BAE seal $2.5 bn jet deal Shares flat in weak market; deal saves 218 jobs LONDON: BAE Systems has signed a 1.6 billion pound ($2.5 billion) deal to supply Saudi Arabia with Hawk jets to train pilots to fly the Eurofighter Typhoon which it has already ordered from UK company. The deal provides some welcome relief for the British defense giant, which is battling against shrinking European and American defense budgets and fierce competition. The deal covers the supply of 22 new Hawk advanced jet trainer aircraft, which will be made in Britain, 55 Swiss made Pilatus turboprop aircraft as well as training equipment and other support services, BAE said yesterday. Saudi Arabia’s official news agency SPA quoted an unnamed official at the Saudi defense ministry as saying the Hawks would help train “the Saudi air force to be able to use the fighter jets ... efficiently”. The majority of the Hawks will be made at BAE’s plants in Samlesbury and Warton in Lancashire, northwest England, with some to be built at its site in Brough, Yorkshire, which is due to close in 2014, according to BAE. British trade union Unite said 218 jobs at the plant in Brough, where planes have been made for almost 100 years, would be saved as a result of the deal. BAE previously said 845 jobs at Brough would be cut. Earlier this year, BAE said its chances of delivering profit growth in 2012 hinged on talks to finalize a range of contracts with Saudi Arabia in a year marked by tight government defense budgets. In 2007 Saudi Arabia - the world’s top oil exporter - signed the contract with BAE to buy 72 Typhoon aircraft, 24 of which have been delivered to the Royal Saudi Air Force. The Salam deal, as it is known, is worth around 4.5 billion pounds. Britain’s defense ministry said the deal would provide the Royal Saudi Air Force with “cutting

edge officer and aircrew training ... to support the introduction and operation of its growing fleet of fourth generation Typhoon fighter aircraft.” Shares in BAE, which have fallen 15 percent in the last year, were flat in a weak broader

“Agreement on the Typhoon price escalation remains BAE’s key focus for 2012.” Earlier this year BAE’s Eurofighter consortium lost out on the deal to supply 126 fighter jets to India, which chose France’s Dassault Aviation, which makes

TOKYO: Kuwait’s trade surplus with Japan widened 48.6 percent in April to JPY 136.1 billion ($1.7 billion) from a year earlier, remaining in the black for the 51st month in a row, the Finance Ministry said yesterday. Kuwaiti overall expor ts to Japan jumped 53.5 percent to JPY 147.3 billion ($1.8 billion) for the 12th straight month of gain, and imports from Japan also expanded 157.5 percent year-on-year to JPY 11.2 billion ($140 million) for the seventh consecutive month of growth, the ministry said in a preliminary report. The Middle East’s trade surplus with Japan also widened 13.7 percent to JPY 1.136 trillion ($14.2 billion) last month, with Japan-bound expor ts from the region rising 19.5 percent from a year earlier to JPY 1.321 trillion ($16.5 billion). Crude oil and petroleum products, which accounted for 98.7 percent of the region’s total exports to Japan, grew 20.0 percent on the year. Among resources, liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipments from the Middle East saw a 53.8 percent expansion. Imports from Japan also rose 72.7 percent to JPY 184.9 billion ($2.3 billion), thanks to robust shipments of automo-

biles and vehicle parts, which gained 317.1 percent. The world’s third-biggest economy logged a global deficit of JPY 520.3 billion ($6.5 billion) in April for the second straight month of red ink on higher costs of crude oil and LNG, as well as weak exports to Europe and Asia, the ministry said. It was the largest deficit ever for the month of April since comparable data became available in 1979. Exports totaled JPY 5.567 trillion ($69.7 billion), up 7.9 percent, buoyed by strong shipments to the US, but imports grew 8.0 percent to JPY 6.087 trillion ($76.2 billion). Imports of crude oil jumped 27.1 percent and LNG 45.7 percent, respectively. Resource-poor Japan is buying more fossil fuels for thermal power generation as all of the nation’s 54 commercial reactors are currently idled due to safety concerns following the radiation accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which was triggered by the massive earthquake and tsunami in March last year. The trade data are measured on a customs-cleared basis before adjustment for seasonal factors. — KUNA

Morocco eyes possible dollar bond in Sept/Oct market at 274.4 pence by 1130 GMT, valuing the company at around 8.9 billion pounds. “The agreement on the Hawks and nod to the fourth generation fighters - the Typhoon - are another sign that all is well under the government-togovernment Salam program, with this contract potentially incrementally positive,” said RBC Capital Markets analyst Robert Stallard.

Rafale jets, as preferred bidder. The setback came after Japan chose to buy 42 Lockheed Martin F-35 jets instead of the Eurofighter. In December the United States signed a $29.4 billion deal to sell 84 new F-15 fighter jets to Saudi Arabia in a long-expected move that the Obama administration said would boost Gulf security amid tension with Iran. — Reuters

Bahrain set to issue $1.25bn bond in June ABU DHABI: Bahrain, troubled by ongoing social unrest, is planning to issue a $1.25 billion bond in the second or third week of June, a central bank official said yesterday. The conventional bond will have a tenor of between seven and 10 years, which may appeal to institutional international investors who

people upgrade to smart phones with VoIP capabilities and broadband penetration rises. “That’s one of the reasons, but not necessarily a major one (for price cuts) - the destination countries we’re targeting, not all customers have PC-to-PC VoIP capabilities,” Alabbar said. “People making free calls, no one can compete with that.” Etisalat recently changed its low-end broadband tariffs so that subscribers get double the bandwidth for the same price. “It’s part of the overall product revamp for home products,” said Alabbar. It comes ahead of a long-delayed network sharing deal to allow competition in fixed line services. Both du and Etisalat offer fixed-line voice, broadband and television services but not in the same districts. — Reuters

the second or third week of June..” Standard Chartered, JP Morgan, Gulf International Bank and Citigroup Inc are mandated to arrange the deal, the government official confirmed. Sources told Reuters earlier this month that the Gulf state, hit by protests between the Shiite majori-

tend to favor longer-dated paper, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “We finished almost everything but we are still finalizing,” the official said on the sidelines of an Arab Monetary Fund conference in the UAE capital. “It (bond issue) will maybe be in

ty and security forces in the last year, had picked banks for the issue, likely to fall under a regulatory framework allowing investment by US institutions. Bahrain’s last bond issue was a $750 million 7-year Islamic bond, or sukuk, which was priced to yield 6.273 percent. — Reuters

ABU DHABI: Morocco is considering a potential dollar-denominated international bond of up to $1 billion in September or October, a senior finance and economy ministry official said yesterday. “It would be our first issue in dollars and give us the opportunity to diversify,” said El Hassan Eddez, deputy director, treasury and external finance at the ministry’s debt office. “(If issued) it would be an important size, between $500 million and $1 billion,” he said, speaking on the sidelines of an Arab Monetary Fund conference, adding an issue could come in September or October. Morocco, the biggest recipient of European Union financial aid outside Europe, raised about 1 billion euros via its most recent international bond issue in 2010.Eddez said it was still unclear whether the Nor th African countr y, which has managed to avoid some of the “Arab Spring” turmoil that has struck other countries, would proceed with a bond.

“The uncertainty (over issuance) is because we are almost five months late in our schedule. The budget was only voted on (recently) so we still don’t have a clear idea on the policy.” Last month, the country’s parliament passed the 2012 budget, targeting a deficit below 5 percent and imposing higher taxes on corporates and alcohol as the government seeks to reduce wide social inequalities and tame protests over unemployment. Morocco’s current account deficit surged last year to the highest since the 1980s but government ministers have said the country is under no pressure to borrow. Eddez said the government is also mulling issuing Islamic bonds, or sukuk, once the legal framework is in place possibly by next year. Morocco’s government, led since December by the moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD), outlined in March how it intends to develop Islamic finance in the country. — Reuters

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

.2775370 .4373290 .3517370 .2928840 .2715500 .2710980 .0050020 .0021410 .0755930 .7364660 .3925560 .0740300 .7211570 .0064480 .0466450

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES US Dollar/KD .2790000 GB Pound/KD .4396340 Euro .3535910 Swiss francs .2944280 Canadian dollars .2729810 Danish Kroner .0475770 Swedish Kroner .0388890 Australian dlr .2725270 Hong Kong dlr .0359270 Singapore dlr .2186180 Japanese yen .0035060 Indian Rs/KD .0000000 Sri Lanka rupee .0000000 Pakistan rupee .0000000 Bangladesh taka .0000000 UAE dirhams .0759910 Bahraini dinars .7403480 Jordanian dinar .0000000 Saudi Riyal/KD .0744200 Omani riyals .7249580 Philippine Peso .0000000

.2828880 .4457610 .3585180 .2985300 .2767850 .2763240 .0050980 .0021830 .0770500 .7506640 .4001240 .0754570 .7350600 .0065730 .0475440 .2811000 .4429430 .3562520 .2966440 .2750350 .0479350 .0391820 .2745780 .0361980 .2202630 .0035320 .0050660 .0021690 .0030750 .0034490 .0765630 .7459200 .3975950 .0749800 .7304140 .0065310

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. Currency

Rate per 1000 (Tran)

US Dollar Pak Rupees Indian Rupees Sri Lankan Rupees Bangladesh Taka Philippines Peso UAE Dirhams Saudi Riyals Bahraini Dinars Egyptian Pounds Pound Sterling Indonesian Rupiah

280.200 3.059 5.035 2.160 3.425 6.525 76.390 74.875 744.900 46.358 446.800 3.090

Yemeni Riyal Euro Canadian Dollars Nepali rupee

1.550 360.600 286.800 3.350

UAE Dirhams Qatari Riyals Saudi Riyals Jordanian Dinar Egyptian Pound Sri Lankan Rupees Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Bangladesh Taka Philippines Pesso Cyprus pound Japanese Yen Thai Bhat Syrian Pound Nepalese Rupees Malaysian Ringgit

Al Mulla Exchange Currency

Transfer Rate (Per 1000)

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

280.000 358.850 445.100 276.200 3.525 5.123 46.265 2.159 3.417 6.478 3.078 744.650 76.150 74.650



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

280.61 278.95 301.72 359.91 279.30 444.03 3.58 3.417 5.058 2.154 3.195 3.078 76.11 743.99 46.22 397.92 726.92 77.13 74.68

288.00 281.50 304.00 361.00 280.00 447.00 3.65 3.550 5.330 2.400 3.850 3.200 76.50 743.50 47.75 395.00 727.50 77.55 74.80

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd Selling Rate

US Dollar Canadian Dollar Sterling Pound Euro Swiss Frank Bahrain Dinar

280.150 277.835 444.585 359.515 298.690 741.680

COUNTRY Australian dollar Bahraini dinar Bangladeshi taka Canadian dollar Cyprus pound Czek koruna Danish krone Deutsche Mark Egyptian pound Euro Cash Hongkong dollar Indian rupees Indonesia Iranian tuman Iraqi dinar Japanese yen Jordanian dinar Lebanese pound Malaysian ringgit Morocco dirham Nepalese Rupees New Zealand dollar Nigeria Norwegian krone Omani Riyal Pakistani rupees Philippine peso Qatari riyal Saudi riyal Singapore dollar South Africa Sri Lankan rupees Sterling pound Swedish krona Swiss franc Syrian pound

SELL CASH 277.300 745.310 3.670 278.000 550.400 45.700 48.800 167.800 48.020 359.300 36.730 5.300 0.032 0.160 0.235 3.620 397.160 0.190 92.810 44.600 4.310 214.400 1.816 48.100 727.960 3.170 6.740 77.520 74.830 220.870 36.200 2.670 446.700 40.300 299.500 4.300

9.330 198.263 76.410 280.600 1.350

9.110 76.310 280.200

GOLD 1,639.100

10 Tola Sterling Pound US Dollar

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 443.700 280.200

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co.

Bahrain Exchange Company

UAE Exchange Centre WLL

Rate for Transfer

Thai bhat Tunisian dollar UAE dirham U.S. dollars Yemeni Riyal

76.260 76.895 74.665 394.355 46.358 2.153 5.018 3.058 3.426 6.467 687.205 4.530 9.020 5.900 3.295 88.880

SELL DRAFT 275.800 745.310 3.422 276.500

Japanese Yen Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Srilankan Rupees Nepali Rupees Singapore Dollar Hongkong Dollar Bangladesh Taka Philippine Peso Thai Baht Malaysian Ringgit

3.543 4.999 3.050 2.149 3.195 220.150 36.118 3.421 6.464 8.895 89.413 GCC COUNTRIES 74.803 77.075 728.600 745.050 76.382

220.900 46.366 357.800 36.630 5.030 0.032

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

397.120 0.189 92.810

ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 48.300 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 46.378 Yemen Riyal/for 1000 1.307 Tunisian Dinar 177.81 Jordanian Dinar 395.770 Lebanese Lira/for 1000 1.882 Syrian Lier 4.854 Morocco Dirham 32.790

3.170 212.900 727.780 3.092 6.480 77.090 74.830 220.870 36.200 2.156 443.700 298.000 4.300

EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 280.400 Euro 356.11 Sterling Pound 441.350 Canadian dollar 275.28 Turkish lire 153.020 Swiss Franc 296.81 US Dollar Buying 279.200 20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

GOLD 295.000 148.000 76.000

THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012


Bundesbank ‘alarmed’ by developments in Greece FRANKFURT: The Bundesbank, Germany ’s mighty central bank, expressed alarm yesterday at the crisis in Greece but said the euro-zone could cope if Greeks voted to tear up conditions tied to a debt rescue. “Current developments in Greece are highly alarming,” the Bundesbank wrote in its latest monthly report amid widespread analysis that Greece might be forced to leave the eurozone. “Greece is threatening not to implement the agreed reforms and consolidation measures in return for extensive aid. This could jeopardize the continuation of the aid and Greece would have to bear the ensuing consequences,” the report said. The challenges for the euro-zone and Germany would be “substantial” if that happened, but they would be “manageable via careful crisis management,” the Bundesbank wrote. Greece is heading for a general election on June 17, its second after an inconclusive ballot on May 6 when

voters turned against the two main parties which had made promises on budget cuts and reforms in return for a second rescue to avert bankruptcy. The radical leftist Syriza par ty, which wants to tear up Greece’s unpopular EU-IMF bailout deal, came second on May 6 and is expected to emerge in a strong position in the next ballot. European leaders have warned that Greece cannot hope to continue drawing international loans if the new government reneges on promised reforms. Germany is Europe’s biggest economy and effectively its paymaster, and its central bank still wields great power and influence, even though monetary policy for all 17 countries which share the euro now rests with the European Central Bank. The Bundesbank, represented at the ECB, warned that a “noticeable softening of the agreed deals would damage confidence in agreements and treaties in the euro-zone and strongly weaken the incentives” for

Wall Street Journal. A Greek exit would have “catastrophic” economic consequences, said Papademos, who is also a former deputy president of the ECB. Papademos cited estimates that the overall cost of a Greek exit could range from 500 billion to one trillion euros ($640 billion to $1.3 trillion) including the impact on market valuations, cross-border contagion effects and damage to the real economy. “Some calculations I have seen suggest that inflation could accelerate to 30 percent or even to 50 percent, depending on the impact of such developments on inflation expectations and on the strength of the second-round effects of price increases on wages,” he said. In an interview on BBC radio, the head of the International Monetar y Fund, Christine Lagarde, warned of the risk ATHENS: People walk in front of the Greek parliament in Athens yesterday. of “contamination” if Greece left the International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde warned yester- euro-zone and said the zone might day of the risk of “contamination” if Greece quits the euro and said the euro- therefore see the value of paying zone might therefore see the value of paying more to keep Greece in. — AFP more to keep Greece in. — AFP

countries to take responsibility for reform and consolidation measures. Earlier, Greece’s former Prime Minister Lucas Papademos had warned that plans for a Greek euro exit “cannot be excluded.” “Although such a scenario

is unlikely to materialize and it is not desirable either for Greece or for other countries, it cannot be excluded that preparations are being made to contain the potential consequences of a Greek euro exit,” Papademos told the

Gulf Arab investors hot on Turkey private equity trail Egypt, Bahrain remain silent spectators SALEM: A Ford logo on the tailgate of a pick-up truck, and on a Ford dealership sign at Salem Ford in Salem. Moody’s Investors Service on Tuesday raised Ford’s debt ratings to investment-grade for the first time in seven years. — AP

Ford gets its second ‘investment grade’ DETROIT: Ford Motor Co received its second “investment grade” credit rating on Tuesday, allowing the second-largest US automaker to reclaim its Blue Oval insignia and other assets it mortgaged in 2006 to fund its turnaround plan. Moody’s Investors Service’s upgrade of Ford to Baa3 from Ba2 reflected its confidence that Ford can weather future downturns. Moody’s also affirmed its Ba1 rating on General Motors and said the largest US automaker is on track to regain an investment-grade credit rating within the next year. Moody’s decision on Ford comes less than a month after Fitch Ratings made a similar move. The upgrade allows Ford to enjoy lower borrowing costs and expands the number of potential buyers for its bonds. It also represents a symbolic win for Ford, which nearly collapsed six years ago before mortgaging most of its assets to borrow $23.5 billion to finance a restructuring. Ford continued to use the Blue Oval icon and the other assets. The icon is stamped on the grill of Ford’s cars and trucks. But now that two of the three major ratings agencies have upgraded Ford to investment grade, the company will once again own those assets. Chairman Bill Ford Jr described Tuesday as “one of the best days that I can remember. “Today is a once in a lifetime event, which I couldn’t be happier about,” Ford told reporters on a call. “It’s way up on there on the highlights film for sure,” Chief Executive Alan Mulally said. Moody’s cited Ford’s improved lineup of cars and trucks, limited use of incentives to spur sales, and much lower break-even point in North America for its decision. In 2009, Ford could break even in Nor th America if it sold 3.4 million cars and trucks. Now, that level has dropped 45 percent to 1.8 million in sales, according to Moody’s. “We concluded that the improvements Ford has made are likely to be lasting,” said Moody’s analyst Bruce Clark. Ford wants to cut its automotive debt to $10 billion by the middle of the decade as well as reduce the risk posed by its pension obligations. Ford’s automotive debt was $13.7 billion in the first quarter. Last month, Ford said it would offer lump-sum pension buyouts to current white-collar retirees, a move that may lower its US pension obligation by one-third. To mark the occasion, 900 Ford employees posed for a group photo on the lawn outside Ford’s headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan. Bill Ford also made the announcement over the company’s PA system, which is typically reserved for fire drills. The last time Ford was rated as investment grade by all three major ratings agencies was in May 2005. Last month, Fitch said Ford was in a “solid” position to withstand the pressures of the global auto industry. Standard & Poor’s could not be immediately reached for comment. The upgrades from both Moody’s and Fitch came earlier than some analysts projected, Citi analyst Itay Michaeli said. “This means that Ford now possesses a largely unencumbered balance sheet,” Michaeli said in a note. “It provides greater long-term financial and funding flexibility, particularly at Ford Motor Credit.” The Moody ’s upgrade does not change Mulally ’s plans for retirement, Mulally told reporters during a call. Mulally, 66, has not given a timetable for his retirement, but many analysts expect him to retire within two years. Under Mulally, Ford has moved to unify its once-disconnected business units, and is taking advantage of its scale to drive down costs and build a global brand. Ford’s executive team, which was hobbled by infighting, also adopted a more collaborative approach. Bill Ford told repor ters that the automaker is now focused on preventing complacency. “I do plan to be here a long time and I can provide some institutional memory and make sure that we never do slide back,” Bill Ford, 55, said. — Reuters

DUBAI: Growth capital and buyout funds from the wealthy Gulf Arab region are being drawn towards Turkey’s stable and growing economy at the expense of countries like Egypt and Bahrain, still prey to the violence of the Arab Spring popular revolts. With 8 percent economic growth last year, a stable socio-political environment and a mostly youthful population, Turkey has attracted the top Gulf private equity funds including Abraaj Capital, Investcorp and NBK Capital. “At least 25 private equity firms from the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region are looking at deals in Turkey,” said Imad Ghandour, managing director of CedarBridge Capital and co-founder of the Mena Private Equity Association. “Turkey offers two things: stability and well-diversified deal flows from agriculture to financial services, education and healthcare,” he said. The European Commission last week raised its economic growth forecasts for Turkey to 3.3 percent for this year from 3 percent, and to 4.6 percent for 2013, from 4.1 percent. At least 10 private equity deals have been closed in Turkey in the past two years and more are expected this year as companies favor the country’s political environment and

better regulation compared to some countries in the region. Private equity investments in Turkey are also gaining traction because of the exit options available, a key cause for concern for investors in most other Gulf Arab nations where strategic sales have become the only available option. According to a report by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Saudi-based private equity firm Amwal AlKhaleej, only 14 of 218 investments made by regional PE funds in 2004-09 have reached exit. Unlike most other countries in the region, Turkey offers a highly liquid stock market where daily trading volumes average around $1.5 billion, compared with around $80 million in Dubai for example, giving investors the stock market as an exit route. “Top-performing and well-managed Turkish companies have numerous exit opportunities, including to large domestic and foreign strategic players and through the IPO route on the Istanbul Stock Exchange,” said Selcuk Yorgancioglu, senior partner and head of Abraaj Capital’s Turkey office. NBK Capital, the investment banking arm of National Bank of Kuwait, is look-

ing to cash out in an initial public offering of part of its investment in Turkish food and beverage company Kilic Deniz. M&A deals with Turkish targets shot up to 218 deals worth $24.9 billion last year from 167 deals worth just $4 billion in 2009, when activity was hit by the last global economic slump, Thomson Reuters data shows. Dubai-based Abraaj is among companies interested in bidding for the media assets of Turkey’s Calik Holding, ATV television and newspaper Sabah, sources told Reuters earlier this year. In January, Abraaj sold its 50 percent stake in Turkish hospital group Acibadem to Malaysia’s state-linked investor fund Khazanah Nasional and its healthcare unit in a deal that valued the company at $1.68 billion. “Turkey has a large and liquid stock market, very efficient regulatory environment and deep bond markets which gives large institutional investors confidence,” says Abraaj’s Yorgancioglu. “Turkey is not a fly-in and fly-out market ... Deals need to be executed on the ground by people who are on the ground. It’s not a market that you can half-play,” he added. Dubai-based Eastgate Capital Group in January applied to acquire a 49.8 per-

cent stake in Turkish textile maker Fabeks Ticaret from its owners, the Zamanpur family. And international private equity firm Carlyle Group , through its MENA fund, in January acquired a 48 percent stake in Turkish private education provider Bahcesehir Koleji for an undisclosed amount. Previous investments made by Carlyle MENA include buying into Medical Park, Turkey ’s second-largest healthcare group, in December 2009. In Bahrain, alternative investment manager, Investcorp , which manages about $12 billion of assets and has a $1 billion private equity fund, is actively looking at deals in Turkey and plans to invest up to $400 million in companies in Turkey and the Gulf region by the end of 2013. Following Investcorp’s acquisition of a $50 million stake in Turkey’s Tiryaki Agro, a trader of agriculture commodities, in 2010, the company is now looking at companies in retail, both food and consumer products, healthcare, logistics and supply chain management, said James Tanner, head of corporate investments, MENA at Investcorp. “Turkey has its own domestic engine of growth, and it is this which creates interesting investment opportunities,” he said. — Reuters

Dell disappoints Wall Street

BARCELONA: Nissan’s employees work at a plant yesterday in the Zona Franca in Barcelona. Japanese automaker Nissan presents a new e-NV200 model, which will become Nissan’s second all-electric vehicle (EV) and will be produced at the Barcelona plant exclusively. — AFP

SEC reviewing JPMorgan’s filings after $2bn loss WASHINGTON: Federal regulators are reviewing what JPMorgan Chase told investors about its finances and the risks it took weeks before suffering a multibillion-dollar trading loss. Mar y Schapiro, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, told the Senate Banking Committee that the agency is examining JPMorgan’s earnings statements and first-quarter financial reports to determine if they were “accurate and truthful.” Schapiro and Gary Gensler, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, said the $2 billion-plus loss at JPMorgan should be a lesson for regulators that they need to tighten rules mandated under the 2010 financial overhaul. “It would be wrong for us not to take this example,” Schapiro said. JPMorgan is the biggest US bank by assets and the only major US bank to stay profitable during the 2008 financial crisis. Most Republican lawmakers voted against the financial overhaul. They say it won’t prevent another financial crisis. And they worry that it will drive business overseas. Sen. Richard Shelby, the ranking Republican on the panel, questioned why Schapiro and Gensler weren’t aware of what was happening at JPMorgan.

“So you really didn’t know what was going on ... until you read the press reports” in April? Shelby asked them. The trading loss was disclosed May 10 by JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon in a hastily convened conference call with investors and journalists. In April, Dimon had dismissed concerns about the bank’s trading as a “tempest in a teapot” - a characterization he recently acknowledged he had been “dead wrong” to make. Two more hearings are scheduled before the Senate panel in the coming weeks. Officials from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department will testify on June 6. Dimon has agreed to testify at the third hearing, which has yet to be scheduled. The JPMorgan CEO has said the loss came from trading in credit derivatives that was designed to hedge against financial risk, not to make a profit for the bank. The CFTC is investigating JPMorgan’s ill-timed bet on complex financial instruments that led to the trading loss, Gensler said. Under the financial overhaul, the CFTC gained powers to monitor trading in indexes of derivatives. JPMorgan invested heavily in an index of insurance-like products that protect against default by bond issuers. — AP

SAN FRANCISCO: Dell Inc forecast disappointing second-quarter revenue as US and European corporate tech spending weakens and consumer personal computer sales continue to shrink, hammering its shares. Shares in the company, which like rival HewlettPackard Co is losing market share to mobile devices such as Apple Inc’s iPad, dived more than 11 percent in after hours trade. The world’s No 3 PC maker forecast a 2 to 4 percent revenue gain this fiscal quarter, to $14.7 billion to $15 billion, well short of the $15.4 billion Wall Street had been expecting. “Clearly we are seeing a bit more challenging demand environment,” Dell Chief Financial Officer Brian Gladden said in an interview. “Europe, in general, was down for us.” Demand from US federal businesses appears to be improving slightly, he noted. “We are seeing a pretty good pipeline there.” Dell’s quarterly revenue fell more than analysts had expected, hurt by weak sales to consumers, large enterprises and government units. PC makers have struggled with slowing demand as mobile devices such as the iPad erode market share. Brian Marshall, an analyst with ISI Group, said the “real poor results” shows that it will take Dell more time to transform itself from a PC company to a one-stop shop for all the information technology needs of corporations. “It clearly is disappointing,” Shaw Wu, an analyst with Sterne Agee, said. “The expectations

heading into the quarter were not even that high.” CONSUMER SALES SLOW DOWN Dell’s sales to consumers took a big hit, with consumer revenue slipping 12 percent to $3 billion. Sales to large corporations declined 3 percent to $4.4 billion. Dell said revenue in its fiscal first quarter declined 4 percent to $14.4 billion, below the average analyst estimate of $14.9 billion according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Excluding one-time items, the company earned 43 cents, less than the average Wall Street estimate of 46 cents. Net income fell to $635 million, or 36 cents a share, from $945 million, or 49 cents a share, a year earlier. Gross margins for the quarter came in at 21.3 percent. “April was not what we expected,” Gladden told analysts on a conference call, but he added that the “pipelines look pretty good.” Dell’s shares traded at $13.20 after hours, down from a $15.08 close on Nasdaq. Dell’s poor showing comes a day before larger rival HP reports its quarterly earnings. Shares in the No 1 PC maker, which sources say plans to lay off more than 25,000 employees globally as it tries to revive its business, edged down 2.5 percent to $21.24 from a close of $21.78 on the New York Stock Exchange. HP is merging its PC and printing divisions to shore up margins in the personal computing business. — Reuters

UAE needs unified sharia board: CB ABU DHABI: The United Arab Emirates needs a centralized body for the Islamic finance industry to help develop its sukuk market further, a top central bank official said yesterday. Saif al Shamsi, assistant governor for monetary policy and financial stability, said the law calls for a central sharia committee at the federal level that would work with sharia boards at the corporate level but that has not been implemented yet federally. “Despite the advanced state of the UAE in issuing Islamic sukuk, we believe that we still need to do more,” he said in a

speech. “This includes finding a unified body for the main fatwas (decrees) in the Islamic financial services domain, as is the case in Malaysia.” At present the industry is governed by a patchwork of national regulators, Islamic standard-setting bodies and scholars interpreting Islamic law - a recipe for different rules and practices. “For sukuk to be issued there must be the regulation and infrastructure that is Islamic compliant and that is to be determined by (federal) sharia board and that is not there yet. We are calling for this. — Reuters


THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012


Gulf stocks lose ground on euro-zone woes KAMCO GCC Equity Markets Overview KUWAIT: Following a strong performance during the first quarter of 2012, GCC equity markets lost ground during the month of April and closed on a mixed note affected by the renewed financial stress in Spain that triggered a negative sentiment in international financial markets. Alleviated supply-side crude oil pressures which pushed prices down also contributed to the retreat in most of the GCC equity markets. Following a gain of $88.6 billion in its combined market capitalization during Q1-2012, the 7 GCC Equity Markets lost together $17.7bn of their market capitalization during April 2012 to record $788 bn. Saudi TADAWUL weighed down on market cap losing alone around $15.5bn while Kuwait Stock Exchange lost around $1.3bn of its market cap. The ongoing concerns regarding debt sustainability in Europe, further possible downgrading in Spain’s sovereign credit rating (negative outlook) and the concerns about the damage that might be caused to the global economy as a result of a possible Greece exit from the euro-zone along with the volatility in oil prices and financial markets and the soft landing of the Chinese economy are all factors that will most likely continue to shape GCC equity markets performance during the second quarter. After healthy gains recorded during Q1-12 that was fuelled by ample liquidity and positive progress in issuing new laws that will most likely open up the Saudi stock market to foreign investors, the Saudi Tadawul consolidated during the month triggered by the disappointing Q1-2012 financial results of the heavy weighted petrochemical stocks which dropped by 13 percent during Q1-2012 to SAR 8.2 bn down from SAR 9.4 bn during Q1-2011. Saudi TADAWUL All Share Index (TASI) was the worst performer amongst its GCC Peers during April, ending the month down 3.53 percent to 7,558.47 driven by negative developments in the international markets along with drop in oil prices and the sell off witnessed on the petrochemical stocks. Robust Q-12 earnings announced by Qatari companies along with the new sectors classification that took place during April failed to reverse the downside trend in Qatar Exchange. However the Qatari market has been showing resilience on the downside since the beginning of the year. QE market capitalization slightly dropped by 0.1 percent to $127.2bn, while QE 20 Index dropped 1 percent to record 8,703.64 at the end of the month. Since the beginning of the year, Qatar Exchange performance was slightly down by 0.86 percent despite the favorable business environment fuelled by government massive spending on developing infrastructure and real estate projects and the solid public finance. Total value traded on the 7 GCC bourses during April 2012 recorded around $79.5bn; the Saudi TADAWUL remains the engine of trading in the GCC stock markets representing 91 percent of aggregate traded value

while the Kuwaiti bourse was lagging behind at a total value of $2.86 bn. Liquidity in the UAE stock markets remains tight with only $2.3bn traded in April while trading improved in Qatar Exchange to record $1.97bn.

in the GCC helping push the Index’s YTD-12 gain higher to 9.54 percent. Local retail investors picking up midand small-cap stocks pushed the KSE Price Index higher to 6,368.6 points.

SAUDI ARABIA In Saudi Arabia, despite strong Q1-12 earnings and bright prospects for the banking sector according to Fitch Ratings, profit booking and a crackdown issued by the Saudi King on market manipulation weighed on the TASI performance to end on a negative note and snap a 4 month winning streak. As a result, the TASI failed to maintain the bullish momentum that pushed the index to a new 42 month high during the beginning of the

ABU DHABI As for Abu Dhabi, Following healthy gains in February 2012, Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange retreated in April and continued the downtrend that started in March on the back of invisibility in corporate earnings and the ongoing global uncertainty emanating from the sovereign debt crisis in Greece and Spain. Profit taking before the announcement of Q1-2012 financial results also pressured the market and extended the ADX

from AED 189.6bn in March-12. Heavyweight banking sector fell 4.02 percent to AED 50.3bn from AED 52.4bn during the same period. Investors remained on the sidelines this month as was evident in trading indicators with volume traded slumping 40.2 percent to 4.7bn shares from a previous 7.9bn while value traded fell 29.5 percent to AED 6.7bn down from AED 9.6bn in March12. QATAR In Qatar, The QE 20 Index reversed its two month positive trend to drop 0.99 percent to 8,703.64 and reversing its YTD-12 return to a loss of 0.86 percent. The sell-off coincided with a surge in trading indicators with volume increasing 25 percent to 277.3mn shares from 220.8mn while value increasing 12 percent to QAR 7.2bn ($1.97bn). Aggregate market capitalization increased 0.12 percent during the month to QAR 463.8bn ($127.4bn) as compared to last month’s market capitalization of QAR 463.2 bn. The month was marked by a change in the market’s sector distribution as the exchange followed on the heels of last month’s announcement of new indices with the establishment of new sectors. BAHRAIN Whereas in Bahrain, the lack of positive market catalysts along with thin trading during April pushed the index to end the month with a marginal gain of 0.03 percent closing at 1,152.79. Renewed local tension and absence of large institutional investors continue to weigh down on sentiment as trading activity is still significantly low as the value of shares traded during April dropped by 66 percent to BHD 3.54 mn in comparison with BHD 10.55 mn in March, reflecting the scarcity of international and institutional investors in the market. Moreover, the number of shares exchanging hands during the month also dropped by 57 percent to 24.05 mn shares in comparison with March’s 55.9 mn shares.

month and ended April down 276.68 points, or 3.53 percent, to close at 7,558.47 points and end as the worst performing market in the GCC region and narrowing its YTD-12 gains to 17.77 percent from 22 percent witnessed in Q1-12. KUWAIT While in Kuwait, After rising for the last six sessions in April, the Kuwaiti Bourse was able to end the month on a positive note to reach a 10 month high. Although, the KSE Weighted and KAMCO TRW Indexes registered losses during April falling 0.65 percent and 0.3 percent to close at 417.47 and 2,645.79 points, respectively; the KSE Price Index ended the month as the best performer

General Index losses in April to 1.93 percent, thus narrowing its gains over the first 4 months of the year to 4.2 percent. DUBAI In Dubai, Selling pressure on small cap stocks coupled with poor Q1-12 corporate earnings from listed companies dragged the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) General Index lower by 1.1 percent to 1,631 points at the end of April compared to 1,648.9 points at the end of March-12. All sectors in the market ended in the red with the exception of the Real Estate & Construction sector as aggregate market capitalization lost 1.02 percent of its value to reach AED 187.6bn in April-12 down

OMAN In Oman, fuelled by strong Q1-12 corporate earnings coupled with bright prospects for the economy, the Omani Bourse was able to reverse last month’s fall to recover losses and end as the second best performing market in April, following Kuwait. By the end of the month, the MSM 30 Index gained 3.14 percent to close at 5,868.90 points with volatility slightly easing to 9.7 percent from 10 percent during April. The MSM 30 Index recovered Q1-12 losses to post a 3.05 percent gain in YTD-12. Corresponding to the increase witnessed, trading indicators rose with volume increasing 36.5 percent during the month to 593mn shares compared to 434mn in March-12, while value traded was up 14 percent to OMR 123 mn versus OMR 108mn in the previous month.

Europe awash with quality oil EU demand falls, US cuts imports

DAMASCUS: Syrian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Sufian Allaw speaks during a press conference in Damascus yesterday. — AFP

Syria oil industry lost $4bn due to sanctions C BEIRUT: The Syrian oil industry has lost around $4 billon due to sanctions imposed in September which banned crude oil imports from the country, Syrian oil minister Sufian Alao said yesterday. Syrian state news agency SANA quoted him as saying: “The Syrian oil industry lost about $4 billion as a result of unjust European and American sanctions and impediments that they imposed on the export and import of petroleum and petroleum derivatives since the beginning of September.” —Reuters

Oil falls on potential Iran deal, economy concerns LONDON: Oil fell yesterday on growing hopes of a deal between Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog, which eased fears of oil supply disruption, while concerns over the debt crisis in the euro zone and a slowing Chinese economy weighed on demand. The UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency expects to sign a deal with Iran soon to unblock investigations into suspected work on nuclear bombs in the oil-producing country. This improved the prospects for talks with Tehran to stop a drift towards conflict. Brent crude fell $1.39 to $107.02 per barrel. US July crude fell $1.08 to $90.77. Brent crude oil has fallen from a peak of $128.40 at the start of May and is down 12.9 percent this quarter, its biggest such drop since the fourth quarter of 2008. Analysts said they believe there is scope for fresh weakness. “The Iranians seem to be softening their position and that could lead to an easing of sanctions,” said Christopher Bellew at Jefferies Bache. “If that were to happen, oil might fall below $100 while Saudi decides whether to cut production.” Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest exporter and may decide to cut production to support the price of oil to protect revenue if it falls much below $100 per barrels, analysts say. Economic concerns weighed on oil as the World Bank cut its economic growth forecast for China, the world’s second-largest oil consumer. Nagging fears of a messy Greek exit from the euro-zone also remained ahead of yesterday’s meeting of European leaders. The fears helped push the dollar to a 20-month high against a basket of currencies, making oil priced in other currencies less affordable. Germany has dismissed a French-led call for euro-zone governments to issue common bonds, cooling hopes the meeting will produce fresh measures to tackle the region’s debt problems. — Reuters

LONDON: Europe is facing a glut of high quality crude oil grades, only a year after war in Libya created a serious shortage, as the continent’s demand falls and the United States cuts imports due to greater availability of domestic supply. This has led to a steep weakening in values for many high quality sweet and low-sulfur grades in a rare market development potentially suggesting oil futures prices have scope to correct yet lower in a very oversupplied market. “Oil prices have come down, refining margins have improved but it is still a terribly bleak picture for me. I’m struggling to sell in Europe, the US has cut barrels and it is only Asia which regularly saves (us) from a steeper fall,” a major trader in sweet grades in Europe said. Physical crude grades are priced via differentials versus benchmark dated Brent and these diffs - as they are known in the industry jargon - have sunk over the past weeks to the lowest level in years on the Mediterranean sweet grade market. Algeria’s light sweet Saharan Blend fell to a seven-year lows and Kazakhstan’s CPC Blend hit a two-year low by midMay. Libyan grades have been trading at large discounts to their official selling prices (OSP) and even the market favorite - super high quality Azeri Light - has fallen steeply. Traders cite multiple reasons for the drops. Prominent among them is the return to the market of the much missed 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd) of Libyan crude, which dramatically changed the picture from last year, when consuming nations released 60 million barrels of strategic stockpiles. Second is an overhang of West African crude as the United States, a significant buyer of Nigerian and Algerian grades, is becoming increasingly reliant on new domestic production of sweet crude from its shale reserves in North Dakota and Texas. Those are estimated to have produced 1.2 million bpd in April, close to the output from OPEC member Algeria. US imports of Algerian crude are on a steep downward trend from a high of 827,000 bpd in 2007. Imports in February this year were 256,000 bpd, down from the 2011 average of 358,000 bpd, according to US Energy Information Administration data. Imports of Iraqi crude are shrinking but at a slower rate. February imports were 271,000 bpd, nearly a one-year low, far below the average for the last four years of 480,000 bpd, EIA data showed. US imports from Africa and the Middle East will fall even further in the months to come owing to the reversal of the Seaway pipeline, which unlocked a crude supply glut in the US mid-continent for

Gulf Coast refiners. Seaway’s initial flows will be 150,000 barrels per day, expected to rise to 400,000 barrels per day. BP was already offered two 500,000 pipeline cargoes of US sweet crude from Cushing, Oklahoma, just prior to the pipeline’s reopening. “With the US domestic production rising, we are seeing the arbitrage drying up,” a trader in West African crude said. US data shows oil imports from Nigeria fell to 352,000 bpd in February, the lowest since December 1996, compared with 948,000 bpd a year earlier. In late April, differentials for Nigeria’s Qua Iboe grade hit multi-month lows as traders cited slack US demand. US consumption of Iraqi Basra Light grade is in decline just at a time when the country is trying to boost exports. Traditionally, the United States and Asia are the main buyers of the grade, loaded from Iraq’s Middle Eastern Gulf terminal, with a smaller share heading to Europe. The picture will be however different in June as a plunge in Brent futures has

prompted traders to take more Basra Light into Europe to capture a price advantage. “There are 7 million barrels of Basra Light in storage at Sidi Kerir at the moment plus there is more to arrive still in May,” said a trader. “A big volume of crude was initially destined for the US.” Iraq’s official selling prices (OSPs) for Europe are priced off Brent. The bill of lading is decided 15 days forward with payment not due until within five days after that period. As a result, traders can boost profits when sentiment on futures is expected to stay bearish. On the other hand, Basra Light destined for the US is priced off the Argus Sour Crude Index, a monthly average, which does not allow traders to take advantage of a drop in futures. “I expect an additional 150,000 to 300,000 barrels per day of extra Basra Light hitting the Mediterranean in the second half of June,” one trader said. Asian buyers have been quick to take advantage of the price falls on sweet grades. At least 6 million barrels, double

the usual amount, of Algeria’s Saharan Blend is heading to Asia in May as Chinese refiner Unipec, an opportunistic buyer, bought a 2 million barrel shipment citing cheap prices. Algeria’s state oil company Sonatrach is also taking some crude to its storage facility in South Korea, market sources said. Destinations of Libyan crude grades have also shifted. Asia, and India in particular, has become a new major destination. Indian tenders for light sweet crude are now often filled with Libyan grades such as Mellitah, competing with Nigerian grades. Most recently, Vietnam has joined the ranks of Libyan crude buyers. PV Oil bought a cargo of Libyan Amna for June arrival. PV Oil bought 600,000 barrels of Amna crude from European trader Glencore to be delivered in the first half of June, the sources said. Exports of Azeri Light to Asia have risen this month to 6 million barrels up from the more usual 3 million, traders said. — Reuters

Turkmenistan agrees trans-Afghan pipeline gas deals AVAZA, Turkmenistan: Turkmenistan agreed yesterday to supply natural gas to Pakistan and India in deals that offer major economic benefits but depend on building and defending a US-backed pipeline across chronically unstable Afghanistan. The route, particularly the 735-km (450-mile) leg through the Afghan provinces of Herat and Kandahar, will need billions of dollars in funding. It faces significant security problems as the Western NATO alliance plans to hand control of Afghanistan to Kabul’s own security forces by the middle of next year. Turkmenistan’s state gas company Turkmengaz signed gas sales and purchase agreements with Pakistan’s Inter State Gas Systems and Indian state-run utility GAIL. “The implementation of this project will give a powerful impetus to the social and economic development of all the participant countries,” Turkmen Deputy Prime Minister Baimurad Hojamukhamedov said before the signing ceremony in Avaza on the Caspian Sea. India and Pakistan are both hungry for gas supplies and Turkmenistan, formerly part of the Soviet Union, is keen to free itself from reliance on gas exports to Russia. Lilit Gevorgyan, analyst at IHS Global Insight, said that while the pipeline could be a lucrative commercial project, it would run through more than one high security risk country, “which puts the actual construction under a big question mark”. The idea of the TAPI pipeline, an acronym formed from the initials of the four countries through which it would pass, was first raised in the mid-1990s but construction has yet to begin. Turkmen officials have said the proposed 1,735-km (1,085-mile) pipeline could carry 1 trillion cubic meters of gas over a 30-year period, or 33 billion cubic meters a year. Turkmenistan, a desert country of 5.5 million which borders Iran, is viewed by human rights bodies as one of the world’s most secretive and repressive countries. But Turkmen President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, who has a growing personality cult, has moved in recent years to warm ties with the West, whose political support and investment he needs to lay alternative gas export routes. The major obstacle to the project is the stretch of pipeline that will run through Afghanistan. NATO set an “irreversible” course out of

Afghanistan on Monday but US President Barack Obama admitted its plan to end the deeply unpopular war in 2014 was fraught with dangers. A NATO summit in Chicago endorsed an exit strategy that calls for handing control of Afghanistan to its security forces next year but left questions unanswered about how to prevent a slide into chaos and a resurgence of the Taliban after allied troops are gone. “Ultimately we believe that all the challenges, including security challenges that the project faces, can be managed or overcome,” Daniel Stein, senior adviser to the US State Department’s special envoy for Eurasian energy, told Reuters in Avaza yesterday. He did not elaborate. But IHS Global Insight’s Gevorgyan wrote in comments to Reuters that “the project had a slim fighting chance in the past decade as NATO was still in Afghanistan”. “With the Western troops’ pullout by 2014 from the still volatile Afghanistan, building an expensive pipeline in country with very weak central government seems almost unattainable.” The Asian Development Bank said the TAPI pipeline was estimated to cost at least $7.6 billion in 2008. Analysts and officials now say it could cost between $10 billion and $12 billion to construct. Strained ties between nuclear powers India and Pakistan, which have fought several wars and been involved in border conflicts and military standoffs since the 1947 partition of British India, is another source of concern. “Given the animosity between the two countries, if TAPI is ever to be built it is likely to be a high-value target in Pakistan, where a number of religious fundamentalist groups will ensure that no energy supply enters India through their territory,” Gevorgyan wrote. In Avaza, Pakistani Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Asim Hussain showed optimism. “We will forget our past,” he said. “Let bygone be bygone and let’s move into the future.” Turkmenistan is promoting TAPI as a key element in plans to boost annual gas exports to 180 billion cubic metres by 2030.BP data show Turkmenistan’s natural gas reserves equal to those of Saudi Arabia and behind only Russia, Iran and Qatar. — Reuters

THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012


Rupee sinks to new low despite ‘intervention’ MUMBAI: India’s rupee sank to an all-time low against the dollar for the sixth straight day yesterday, breaching 56 for the first time despite likely intervention by the central bank. The partially-convertible Indian unit fell to 56.18 against the dollar, below its previous record low of 55.46 a day earlier, as demand for the US currency grew. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is thought to have intervened at 55.79, which saw the rupee strengthening to 55.52, before it again sunk. The bank has a policy of not commenting on movements in the forex market and any inter ventions. Domestic problems, including India’s widening trade and current account deficits and declining foreign fund inflows, have

depressed the rupee, analysts say. The rupee, also weighed down by global risk aversion, is among several emerging market currencies which are depreciating against the dollar. The Indian currency has now fallen nearly ten percent in the new financial year started April. Overseas funds withdrew a net $292 million worth of Indian equities in the same period, pulling down local share prices nine percent. There has also been pressure from oil importers, who exchange rupees for dollars when they buy crude for energy-scarce India, which imports four-fifths of its crude oil needs. Government advisor C Rangarajan yesterday said he hoped for the RBI to announce new measures which would help

improve foreign funds inflows and reduce strain on the weakening currency. Rangarajan, the chairman of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, said selling dollars directly to oil importers was an option the RBI may want to consider. “What is really needed is to revive sentiment to enable large capital foreign flows,” Rangarajan told the CNBC-TV 18 channel. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee last week blamed the deteriorating international climate for the falls as investors sell risky emerging market assets and retreat to safe havens. Foreign investors have also been turned off India due to recent regulatory moves by the government, which has stalled on a progrowth reform agenda. — AFP

MUMBAI: A bank cashier counts Indian rupee notes at a bank in Mumbai. India’s central bank is suspected to have intervened in the foreign exchange markets yesterday after the rupee tumbled to a new all-time low against the dollar for the sixth successive trading day. — AFP

Europe, US could hurt Asian growth: WB China asked to avoid hard landing

TOKYO: Bank of Japan (BOJ) Governor Masaaki Shirakawa (center) answers questions during a press conference at the headquarters in Tokyo yesterday. Japanese central bank kept its key interest rate unchanged at between zero and 0.1 percent, adding it would also leave a $880 billion asset purchase program in place. — AFP

Japan’s April trade deficit up on surging energy bills TOKYO: Japan yesterday posted a biggerthan-expected trade deficit in April, as surging energy costs pushed up imports while shipments to China-its biggest market-fell from a year ago. The monthly deficit of 520.3 billion yen ($6.5 billion), was larger than the 477.7 billion yen in the same month a year ago and the highest ever for April. However, despite concerns over the debt crisis gripping Europe and the impact of the stronger yen on exporters the Bank of Japan held off relaxing monetary policy further. Japan has switched off its nuclear reactors following last year’s quake-tsunami disaster, which sparked the worst atomic crisis in a generation and pounded the world’s third-largest economy. The policy has forced the resource-poor nation to adopt pricey fossil fuel alternatives, helping to push up April imports, which rose 8.0 percent to 6.09 trillion yen. Exports also rose in the period, gaining 7.9 percent from a year earlier to 5.57 trillion yen, thanks to shipments of automobiles and vehicle parts, with US-bound trade jumping from a year earlier. The deficit, the second straight on-year monthly shortfall, outpaced analyst expectations of 470 billion yen, with Hideki Matsumura, senior economist at the Japan Research Institute, saying weakening exports to China were a concern. “The growth in exports will depend on overseas economies... and exports may continue to weaken,” Matsumura told Dow Jones Newswires. “The US economy seems to be recovering somewhat, but China seems to be slowing.” Japan had a 274.2 billion yen trade deficit with its Asian neighbour, which overtook it as the world’s second-biggest economy in 2010, as exports fell 7.1 percent, the seventh consecutive month of year-on-year drops. Concerns over China’s slowing growth have intensified after a recent slew of weak economic data, including a report that

showed output from the country’s millions of factories and workshops hit a near three-year low in April. Japan saw a trade surplus of 425.8 billion yen with the United States, a 165 percent year-on-year increase, but shipments to debthit Europe, another key export market, fell 1.9 percent while imports from the continent fell 4.2 percent. Analysts have warned that high prices for liquefied natural gas and rising imports in Japan, beset by a rapidly ageing population and shrinking manufacturing sector, were likely to generate trade deficits throughout 2012. The downbeat data came a day after Fitch cut Japan’s sovereign credit rating, and warned of another possible downgrade if Tokyo does not hasten its bid to shrink a national debt that stands at more than twice its gross domestic product-the highest ratio among industrialized nations. The Bank of Japan later said after a policy setting meeting it would keep interest rates at zero to 0.1 percent but did not announce any plans to raise its asset purchase schemethe main tool of monetary easing-from the current 70 trillion yen. “Japan’s economy is expected to return to a moderate recovery path as the pace of recovery in overseas economies picks up... and as reconstruction-related demand after the (March 2011) earthquake disaster gradually strengthens.” However it also warned that “there remains a high degree of uncertainty about the global economy, including the prospects for the European debt problem” and the speed of a US economic recovery. But Japanese Finance Minister Jun Azumi said he expects the bank to usher in fresh easing at a later date. “I am expecting that (BoJ) will further ease policy appropriately and flexibly at the right time to meet the (government’s) 1.0 percent” inflation goal, Azumi told a parliamentary session. — AFP

BEIJING: East Asia’s developing economies could face a shock from China’s slowdown and need to boost domestic demand to offset weak exports due to a sluggish US recovery and Europe’s debt crisis, the World Bank said yesterday. Overall growth for East Asian economies should decline from last year’s 8.2 percent to a still-robust 7.6 percent, the bank said. The group includes China, South Korea and Southeast Asia and excludes Japan. “As external demand is likely to remain weak, countries in developing East Asia and Pacific need to rely less on exports and more on domestic demand to maintain high growth,” the bank said. Excluding China, regional growth should accelerate from last year’s 4.3 percent to 5.2 percent, propelled by Thailand’s rebound from flooding, the bank said in its “East Asia and Pacific Economic Update.” China’s rapid growth fell to a three-year low of 8.1 percent in the first quarter from the previous quarter’s 8.9 percent due to anemic global demand and government controls imposed to cool overheating and inflation. Growth in factory output in April plunged to its lowest level since the 2008 global crisis, jarring hopes the slowdown has bottomed out. The World Bank left its growth forecast for China unchanged at 8.2 percent and said that should rise to 8.6 percent in 2013. Some private sector analysts have trimmed their outlooks, though to still-healthy levels of about 8 to 9 percent. Asian commodities suppliers such as Indonesia that have benefited from China’s boom are especially vulnerable to a slowdown, which could “trigger an unexpected drop in commodity prices,” the bank said. Many countries are trying to reduce reliance on trade but need to do more, the bank said. “Some countries will need to stimulate household consumption,” said the report’s chief author, World Bank economist Bryce Quillin, in a statement. He said others can pump money into their economies through spending on building public works. In China, authorities responded to the slump in global demand late last year by reversing course after spending two years tightening lending and investment curbs to cool inflation and steer growth to a manageable level. Analysts expect Beijing to move cautiously after its huge stimulus in response to the 2008 crisis fueled inflation and a wasteful building boom. China’s economic growth will ease further this year, presenting policy makers in Beijing with the challenge of preventing an excessively abrupt slowdown, the report added. The bank warned slower expansion in China would ripple across Asia and the Pacific, but

said the region remained resilient to Europe’s economic woes, describing it as a “bright light” in a world mired in low growth. “China’s nearterm policy challenge is to sustain growth through a soft landing,” the bank said in its halfyearly review of Asia’s developing economies. “While the prospects for a gradual slowdown remain high, there are concerns that growth could slow too quickly. However, sufficient policy space exists to respond to downside risks.” The World Bank predicted that China’s economy, the world’s second-largest, will expand 8.2 percent in 2012, down from 9.2 percent in 2011 and 10.4 percent in 2010. “A further slowing of demand (in highincome countries) would ripple quickly through East Asia’s production and trade networks, where China occupies a central position,” it said. “Second, the main domestic downside risk arises from the ongoing correction in China’s property markets, even though such an adjustment has so far remained gradual and orderly.” Concerns over slowing growth have intensified in China after weak economic data for April was released last week. Growth in industrial production, imports, exports, fixed-asset investment and bank lending all eased in April. Since then, Beijing has lowered the amount of money that banks are required to hold in their coffers, and economists predict more measures

SHANGHAI: A vegetable vendor counts money at a market in Shanghai yesterday. China’s economic growth will continue to ease this year, presenting policy makers in Beijing with the challenge of preventing an excessively abrupt slowdown, the World Bank said in a report. — AFP

Mazda, Fiat to work on small convertible

PITTSBURGH: A Fiat 500 is displayed at the opening of the Pittsburgh International Auto Show in Pittsburgh. Mazda Motor Corp and Fiat SpA are working together on developing and manufacturing a roadster, or two-seater convertible, although the automakers will come up with different, distinctly styled models. — AP

TOKYO: Mazda Motor Corp and Fiat SpA are working together on developing and manufacturing a roadster, or two-seater convertible, although the automakers will come up with different, distinctly styled models. The deal with Fiat of Italy, which controls US automaker Chrysler, serves as a perk for a money-losing Mazda, and highlights the Japanese automaker’s trademark product - the best-selling roadster of all time. Both sides said in a release Wednesday they had signed an agreement to work together, but each manufacturer will use its own engine and styling. They declined to give details, but said their cooperation on Fiat’s Alpha Romeo model and Mazda model will be based on Mazda’s “next-generation MX-5 rearwheel-drive architecture.” Hiroshimabased Mazda has been struggling, racking up four straight years of red ink, after its ties with US automaker Ford Motor Co weakened. “Establishing technology and product development alliances is one of Mazda’s corporate objectives, and this announcement with Fiat is an important first step in that direction,” said Mazda President Takashi Yamanouchi. Fiat Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said working with Mazda was part of an effort to grow into “a truly global brand,” and deliver “an exciting

are to come. The Chinese government has set a growth target of 7.5 percent for 2012, mainly in a bid to keep unemployment under control and avoid social unrest. The World Bank said China has the means to boost fiscal spending, but should avoid the kind of massive infrastructure spending that characterised its response to the crisis in 2008. “Fiscal measures to support consumption, such as targeted tax cuts, social welfare spending and other social expenditures, should be viewed as the first priority,” it said. Slower growth in China will pull down the region as a whole, with the developing economies in Asia and the Pacific expected to expand 7.6 percent in 2012 from 8.2 percent in 2011, the bank said, but it kept an optimistic tone. “In a world where growth is stuttering along in most regions, East Asia and the Pacific is a bright light,” said Pamela Cox, World Bank vice president for East Asia. “It is a region that is resilient to Europe. Europe is a cloud on the horizon, but it is not pouring rain yet in East Asia,” she said, referring to the sovereign debt crisis in Asia’s key export markets. Commodity exporters throughout the region experienced a boom in 2011, but may be vulnerable if China goes through a faster slowdown than anticipated, triggering an unexpected drop in commodity prices. — Agencies

and stylish roadster in the Alfa Romeo tradition.” Fiat has had a joint venture with Tata in India since 2006. Many automakers have their eyes on the growth potential of Asia amid a lagging European market. Speculation has been rife that Mazda might need a partner, perhaps one of the emerging Chinese makers, if it hopes to ride out the intense competition in the industry. For the fiscal year ended March, Mazda’s losses ballooned from 60 billion yen to 107 billion yen ($1.3 billion) as vehicle sales declined across all regions except for North America. It is planning a return to the black for the fiscal year through March 2013. Dearborn-based Ford bought 25 percent of Mazda in 1979, raising it to 33.4 percent in 1996. But Ford began cutting ties in 2008, and in 2010 lowered its ownership to 3.5 percent. Ford now has a 2 percent stake in Mazda. Mazda and Ford have partnerships in production in China, Thailand and North America. Mazda does not have flashy green technologies of the bigger Japanese rivals, like Toyota Motor Corp.’s hybrids or Nissan Motor Co’s electric car. Last year, it said it will stop making its reputed rotary engine in yet another, although symbolic, blow. — AP

Burberry to invest in new, bigger stores LONDON: British luxury brand Burberry posted a 26 percent jump in profit as expected and said it would invest up to 200 million pounds ($316 million) in new outlets and expanding existing stores in London, Chicago and Hong Kong. The 156-year-old seller of raincoats and leather goods, known for its camel, red and black check pattern, said yesterday it made an underlying pretax profit of 376 million pounds ($594 million) in the year to March 31. That compared to analysts’ average forecast of 377 million pounds, according to a company poll, and 298 million pounds made in 2010/11. Revenue rose 24 percent to almost 1.9 billion pounds with underlying growth rates ranging from 15 percent in Europe and the Americas to 41 percent in Asia Pacific.Luxury goods shares have wobbled in recent months over worries that Europe’s long-running debt crisis could help trigger an economic slowdown in emerging markets such as China, where runaway demand for high-end goods has offset weaker trends in the United States and Europe.

Last month Burberry reported a slowdown in quarterly sales growth, while Aquascutum, another upmarket British brand, fell into administration before being sold earlier this month. Burberry said on Wednesday that it planned to increase retail selling space by 12 to 14 percent in the coming year, shifting to larger format stores and opening about 15 new outlets focused on emerging markets and busy tourist centres. The cost and timing of the investment will result in a lower operating margin from retail and wholesale during the first half of the year but for the full year the company said it expected a further modest margin improvement. The company said total capital expenditure in the current year would be between 180 million and 200 million pounds with about one third of it going towards larger format stores including on London’s Regent Street, Pacific Place in Hong Kong and Chicago. Shares in Burberry closed on Tuesday at 1,386 pence, valuing the business at over 6 billion pounds. — Reuters


THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012


All-new BMW 6 series Gran Coupe on sale in Kuwait KUWAIT: The all-new BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe - the first four-door Coupe in the history of the BMW brand - has arrived in Kuwait following its unveiling to global audiences at the 82nd Geneva International Motor Show earlier in March this year. The third model in the BMW 6 Series line up, the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe follows the successful debut of the next generation Convertible and Coupe models launched last year. The aim in the design process of the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe was to achieve a synergy between the aesthetics and dynamics typical of a BMW Coupe and functional versatility of a four-door sedan. The result is a unique car with a distinctive character but unmistakably a BMW. The exterior sets new standards in terms of aesthetic design for four-door vehicles as seen in its low height and the flat roofline that smoothly flows into the rear end. The low and graceful lines are especially impressive when looking at the car’s side profile. The recessed passenger compartment appears low and smoothly stretched because the window silhouette extends deep into the C pillar. The frameless door windows are also a design element indicative of a sporty Coupe. In addition, the elongated side windows optimize the incidence of light to enhance the feeling of spaciousness in the interior. The characteristic Hofmeister kink that flows into the C pillar encompasses exclusively embossed “Gran Coupe” lettering

behind the glass in the lower corners of the rear windows to denote the fascinating elegance and personality of this automobile. The interior of the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe has a driver orientation typical of the BMW brand. The driverfocused cockpit and front passenger

in a very stylish and luxurious surrounding. The four-door CoupÈ is a four-seater that offers generous travel comfort in the back with an additional third rear seat which can be used for shorter journeys. Powered by a choice of two engines with BMW TwinPower Turbo

The exhaust gas pulses from each bank of three cylinders are fed through two separate channels to the turbine wheel. This produces maximum power of 320 hp, at 5,800 to 6,000 rpm, from a displacement of 3.0 litres allowing the BMW 640i Gran CoupÈ to accelerate from 0 to 100

and response, when it arrives in market in September this year. Power in both examples of the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe is managed by an eight-speed sports automatic transmission. With its extremely fast gear changes, this unit is built for sporty driving, comfortable shifting and optimized efficiency. It is operated using the electronic gear selector on the centre console. The Driving Experience Control switch on the centre console allows the driver to alter accelerator response

chassis technology, the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe will delight drivers with its dynamic performance and outstanding refinement. Highlights that come as standard include Electric Power Steering and Dynamic Damper Control to help provide the perfect balance between dynamics and comfort. An unrivalled range of BMW ConnectedDrive driver assistance technology features for enhanced comfort and safety include BMW Park Assistant, Camera-based Collision

area are bordered by elegantly sweeping surfaces with a harmonious connection between the front seats and the rear. Passengers sitting in the rear will be surprised by the generous levels of space and high level of comfort

technology, the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe offers sporty potential. The sixin-line engine in the BMW 640i Gran Coupe comprises a turbocharging system, High Pressure Injection and VALVETRONIC, twin-scroll turbocharging.

km/h in 5.4 seconds. The top-of-theline BMW 650i Gran CoupÈ will debut with the latest generation of the 4.4litre V8 engine with its two turbochargers and High Precision Direct Injection optimizes both efficiency

characteristics, engine response, the power steering characteristics, the DSC settings, the damper characteristics and the shift characteristics of the automatic transmission. Designed with state-of-the-art

Warning with braking function (in conjunction with Active Cruise Control) and the latest-generation full color BMW Head-Up Display that projects the symbols on the windscreen in 3D.

Wataniya wins ‘Telecom Company of Year Award’ Arabian Business Magazine honor KUWAIT: Wataniya Telecom adds yet another achievement to its record of success. Wataniya was honored with this award in recognition of it its innovative services, unique products and strong brand presence in the market. The special ceremony was hosted by Arabian Business, a pioneering and specialized business magazine on Tuesday evening, the 22nd of May a t t h e A r r ay a B a l l ro o m , M a r r i o t t Co u r t y a rd a n d w a s a t te n d e d by Ministry of Commerce and Industry’s Undersecretary Secretary Abdulaziz Al-Khaldi. General Manager and CEO at Wataniya Telecom, Scott Gegenheimer, commented on this prestigious achievement and said, “ Wataniya Telecom continues to be a pioneer and leader because of its in depth understanding of the local market and the continuous efforts to engage and surprise its customers. Today, we are consumed with the feelings of pride and satisfaction after winning the ‘Telecom Company of the Year Award’ for the second consecutive year; a result of the passion and hard work of

the Wataniya team over the past few years.” Gegenheimer added, “Kuwait consists of a competitive telecom market, and it gives us great pleasure to see the positive impact of our services and products on millions of users i n t h e te l e co m wo r l d. We a l w ays strive to enrich our customers experience through the different offers, packs and services which cater to the community as a whole. I would also like to thank our customers for their suppor t and loyalty because they inspire us to be the best.” Since its establishment, Wataniya Telecom aimed to gain the trust of its customers, and the recognition and confidence of its strategic stakeholders, by applying the highest global standards. This successful approach has been reflec ted by the honors Wataniya received since the beginn i n g o f 2 0 1 2 . R e c e n t l y, Wa t a n i y a’ Reward Program won the award for “Best Loyalty Program Award” in the Middle East by 360 ME, in addition to a series of other awards received in a p p re c i a t i o n o f i t s d i s t i n g u i s h e d services and innovative products and pioneering programs.

Summer incentive on C-Class model line Abdul Rahman Albisher & Zaid Alkazemi Co

Scott Gegenheimer receives the award.

Gulf Bank wins ‘Bank of the Year’ from Arabian Business

Fawzy Al-Thunayan receives the award.

KUWAIT: Gulf Bank has received the ‘Bank of the Year’ award from Arabian Business, the best selling business magazine in the Middle East. The award was received by Fawzy Al-Thunayan, General Manager - Board Affairs of Gulf Bank at a ceremony held in Kuwait at the Raya Ballroom, Marriott Courtyard, under the auspices of HE Mr. Anas AlSaleh, M inister of Commerce and Industry, and was attended by HE Mr. AbdulAziz Al-Khaldi, Under Secretary of the Ministry. The ceremony was also attended by regional senior bankers, executives, and key figures in the business, financial and banking sectors. The ‘The Best Bank’ award was evaluated by a panel of judges from the ITP Publishing group, the publishers of Arabian Business. M r. Al-Thunayan said: “ We are extremely honored to be named ‘Bank of the Year’ by Arabian Business. This award is an acknowledgement of our efforts towards providing customer

convenience and signifies our remarkable success in giving our customers the best and the fastest tailor-made banking services. Gulf Bank will continue seeking innovative ideas that further reinforce our reputation of being one of Kuwait’s leading Banks. Looking ahead, we will continue to focus on the needs of our customers and on developing our customer base as we address new opportunities to grow and deliver excellence in corporate and consumer banking services to the Kuwait market ”added M r. AlThunayan. Gulf Bank has already won a number of important industry awards in 2012, including: ‘Best Retail Customer Service’ and ‘Best SME Startup Package’ awards for 2012 by Banker Middle East; ‘2012 Best Foreign Exchange Bank Provider’ in Kuwait by Global Finance Magazine and Best Retail Bank by Asian Banker 2012 and ‘Best Creativity’ Award from Pan Arab Web Award.

KUWAIT: Abdul Rahman Albisher & Zaid Alkazemi Company, the Authorized General Distributor in Kuwait of Mercedes-Benz is currently running a limited time offer on its C-Class till the 31st of May 2012. Customers who buy a New C-Class during this period will enjoy Free Comprehensive Insurance for 1 Year, Free registration of their car, Free Service up to 30000 km & 3 Years Warranty. The New C-200 Starts from KD 12,250. The new Generation C-Class has undergone a comprehensive makeover. The front and rear sections of this bestselling model have a more striking design. Together with the optional high-resolution color display in the instrument cluster, the new dashboard with its elegant, grained surface and prominent decorative trim emphasizes the premium character of the interior. Fuel consumption has been lowered by up to 31 percent. Efficiency-enhancing measures include new engines, the improved 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission and the ECO start/stop function. Ten new driving assistance systems ranging from ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection to DISTRONIC PLUS proximity control are now available for this model series. The current C-Class was the first Mercedes saloon to have design and equipment lines with their own individual looks. The more classic ELEGANCE models and the standard version bear the Mercedes star on the bonnet. On the AVANTGARDE vehicles the trademark is positioned in the centre of the radiator grille - as the hallmark expression of sporty Mercedes models. “The drive system and safety systems in the new-generation C-Class offer the comfort, efficiency and safety of our luxury vehicles. The new Telematics generation connects the C-Class with the internet. Plus, with many significant details in the interior, the vehicle calls to mind the new CLS and sets totally new standards in its segment where value and quality impression

are concerned” remarked Mr. Michael Ruehle, General Manager Albisher & Alkazemi Co. Dynamic, resolute, self-assured: The exterior The front bumper has a more expressive and dynamic contour, the front section being brought closer to the brand’s new design idiom. As a central element at the front, the shape of the radiator grille is more prominently supported by the bumper. The central air intake opens out upwards in a V-shape, forming a visual base unit for the radiator grille. Pronounced side sections on the bumper extend from the sporty Vshape at the centre. These sections (beneath the headlamps) blend into the feature lines along

the vehicle flanks, creating a link with the sides. The side air inlets in the bumper are positioned low down, giving the car a more road-hugging appearance. The saloon now have a new aluminium bonnet, which contributes to weight reduction and therefore fuel efficiency. Other aluminium features include the front wings and the door modules. The contour of the bonnet in the area of the headlamps and radiator grille emphasises the V-shape of the front section more heavily than before. In conjunction with the newly designed headlamps, this renders the front section significantly more striking.

Persil liquid detergent now with oud fragrance KUWAIT: Persil Liquid Detergent for White Thobes, the first-ever liquid detergent for White Thobes across the Middle East, announced today the launch of an all-new Oud fragrance variant. The launch of the new fragrance, the first and the only one-of-its-kind in the region, follows tremendous consumer acceptance of Persil Liquid Detergent for White Thobes since its launch last year. The Persil Liquid Detergent has been designed exclusively to give White Thobes unmatched cleanliness and brightest whiteness wash after wash compared to any

powder detergent even if mixed with bleach. Oud is part of the regional custom and GCC nationals apply Oud when wearing thobes. In line with this, Persil has launched its liquid detergent with Oud fragrance variant that has been developed by global perfume experts. Persil Liquid Detergent conducted a consumer survey, testing 16 different fine oud fragrance options with consumers. Following this, the company decided on the winning Oud variant, preferred by 90% of consumers. Interestingly, 100% of

those consumers would purchase the Oud fragrance as soon as it is launched, the survey said. Al-Jedaie Men’s Fabric Company has also recommended using Persil Liquid Detergent for White Thobes. Moreover, based on a consumer research conducted by the company producing Persil, 90% of consumers who tried Persil Liquid Detergent for White Thobes would like to repurchase it. This is ample testimony on the success achieved by the liquid detergent over the last one year. For more than 130 years,

Henkel has been a leader with brands and technologies that make people’s lives easier, better and more beautiful through its three operating areas - home care, personal care, and adhesive technologies. Globally, Henkel is ranked among the Fortune Global 500 companies. The 3 main divisions within Henkel are Home Care, Cosmetics, and Adhesives. More than 60 per cent of Henkel’s sales are in fast-moving consumer goods, while the industrial business accounts for almost 40 per cent of the company’s total sales.

Al-Muzaini Exchange opens third branch in Hawally KUWAIT: Al-Muzaini Exchange Co, Kuwait’s pioneers in exchange and remittances have opened doors to its newest branch in Hawally, their third branch in the Hawally area. The branch is located at

Sharahabeel St, Block No 92, Building No 17, near to Mastourah. With this new opening their branch network rose to 50 which is the largest network of branches in Kuwait.

THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012


Cyber crooks step up weapons production SAN FRANCISCO: Cyber criminals are cranking out new weapons at a brisk pace, tailoring malicious software for a spectrum of gadgets including smartphones, tablets, and Macintosh computers, a security firm said. A “threats report” released late Monday by McAfee showed that the number of new pieces of malicious code, or “malware,” targeting Windows machines in the first three months of this year was the highest in four years. There was also a rise in malware aimed at mobile gadgets running on Google-backed Android software and at Macintosh computers based on Apple

operating systems, according to the report. “In the first quarter of 2012, we have already detected eight million new malware samples, showing that malware authors are continuing their unrelenting development,” said McAfee Labs senior vice president Vincent Weafer. “The same skills and techniques that were sharpened on the PC platform are increasingly being extended to other platforms, such as mobile and Mac.” For a long time cyber criminals concentrated their attention on getting into Windows-powered personal computers (PCs) because the popularity of the operating system meant a wealth of potential

victims. But as Apple and Android devices have caught on around the world, they have emerged as a new target. “As more homes and businesses use these platforms, the attacks will spread,” Weafer said. While Mac malware has been steadily proliferating, it is still a small fraction of what has been developed for PCs, according to McAfee. The amount of spam in the quarter dropped to slightly more than a trillion trash messages monthly, with significant decreases in Brazil, Russia, and Indonesia and increases in China, Britain, Germany, Poland, and Spain. The number of networks of virus-infected com-

puters, referred to as “botnets,” rose to nearly five million, with Colombia, Japan, Poland, Spain and the United States seeing the biggest increases. Hackers use ploys such as booby-trapped emails or links to secretly infect machines with malware that can let them not only steal data or track keystrokes but use the infected machines to launch further attacks. The United States was the primary address for botnets and cyber attacks in the quarter, McAfee reported. Cyber crooks sell malware software kits and rent out use of botnets, according to Internet security specialists and law enforcement. — AFP

Underwriters blasted as Facebook shares sink again Regulators to review Facebook issues

NEW YORK: Google CEO Larry Page holds a press annoucement at Google headquarters in New York on Tuesday. Google said it finalized its $12.5 billion deal to buy Motorola Mobility, a key manufacturer of smartphones and other devices. Page said in a Google blog post that the deal had been completed and that he sees the unit producing “the next generation of mobile devices that will improve lives for years to come.” — AFP

Google completes Motorola deal, heralding new era SAN FRANCISCO: Google has completed its $12.5 billion purchase of device maker Motorola Mobility in a deal that poses new challenges for the Internet’s most powerful company as it tries to shape the future of mobile computing. The deal closed Tuesday, nine months after Google Inc. made a surprise announcement that it wanted to expand into the hardware business with the most expensive and riskiest acquisition in its 14year history. The purchase pushes Google deeper into the cellphone business, a market it entered four years ago with the debut of its Android software, now the chief challenger to Apple Inc.’s iPhones. In Motorola, Google gets a cellphone pioneer that has struggled in recent years. Motorola hasn’t produced a mass-market hit since it introduced the Razr cellphone in 2005. Once the No. 2 cellphone maker, Motorola now ranks eighth with 2 percent of the worldwide market share, according to Gartner. As had been expected, Google CEO Larry Page immediately named one of his top lieutenants, Dennis Woodside, as Motorola’s CEO. He replaces Sanjay Jha, 49, who will stay on just long enough to assist in the ownership change. Woodside, 43, has spent the past three years immersed in online advertising as president of Google’s America region, which accounted for $17.5 billion of Google’s revenue last year. Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. booked $13.1 billion in revenue during its final year as an independent company. Nevertheless, Woodside’s background in online advertising is likely to raise questions about whether he is the best choice to oversee a company that specializes in making smartphones, tablet computers and cable-TV boxes. “It’s a bit concerning because online advertising is quite different than the hardware business,” Gartner Inc. analyst Carolina Milanesi said. “Google is so focused on advertising that it doesn’t consider that kind of thing.” Google depends on digital ads for 96 percent of its revenue, which totaled $38 billion last year. In a statement, Page praised Woodside as an outstanding leader who has “been phenomenal at building teams and delivering on some of Google’s

biggest bets.” The takeover became possible only after government regulators were satisfied that the acquisition wouldn’t stifle competition in the smartphone market. China removed the final regulatory hurdle by granting its approval Saturday. Regulators in the US and Europe had cleared the deal three months ago. Google wants Motorola largely for its trove of 17,000 cellphone patents, which the search company can use to defend Android phones against lawsuits accusing them of copying key features from the iPhone. But in recent months, Google has been signaling that it has been drawing up more ambitious plans for the newly acquired hardware business. Macquarie Securities analyst Benjamin Schachter believes Google is particularly interested in developing a snazzier tablet computer powered by its Android software to compete against Apple’s hot-selling iPad and Inc.’s Kindle Fire.Owning a handset and tablet manufacturer will also allow Google to exert more control over how Android runs on the devices. That has been difficult for Google to do because it gives away Android to other hardware manufacturers, which can tweak the software to suit their own agenda. In moving beyond its expertise in search and software into manufacturing a wide range of equipment, Google will test its ability to keep Android partners, shareholders and employees happy. Google will have to reassure its Android partners such as Samsung Electronics Co. and HTC Corp. that Motorola’s devices won’t get souped-up versions of the software or receive other preferential treatment. If it appears Google is favoring Motorola, manufacturers might consider building their own mobile operating system or defect to Microsoft Corp.’s Windows software, which is getting a major facelift this year. “This gives Google a chance to develop and showcase a ‘next generation’ device for mobile computing,” said N. Venkat Venkatraman, a Boston University professor specializing in technology and management. “But it could also create a complex issue for Google. How do you balance the desire to create something that consumers love without upsetting the rest of the Android ecosystem?” —AP

NEW YORK: Facebook shares sank further amid new accusations that key underwriters had cut their forecasts for the company just days before Friday’s initial public offering. Investors also launched legal action over the IPO, with the state of Massachusetts subpoenaing lead underwriter Morgan Stanley over how it promoted the shares, and another disgruntled investor reportedly suing Nasdaq over trading glitches that caused losses. On a day in which the overall market traded flat, Facebook shares lost another 8.6 percent Tuesday, closing at $31.12, leaving them 18.1 percent below the IPO price. Some $17 billion in market capitalization was wiped from the company, which launched on the market at a spectacular $104 billion valuation last week. The shares continued to fall in after-hours trade, falling to as low as $30.72, as analysts and investors concluded that the $16 billion, 421 million shares IPO was just too big for the real demand and that major early institutional investors had not intended to hold on to them. Underwriters had tried to prop up the trade at the $38 issue price on Friday, but gave up on Monday and Tuesday as selling became too heavy. “They issued too many shares and the market wasn’t ready to absorb them, that’s all there is to it. The market isn’t ready to absorb it,” said Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities. The sell-off sparked more finger pointing and anger from those who had expected the price to zoom to massive gains such as the immediate doubling of career-oriented social network LinkedIn’s IPO price last year. “Investors are searching for someone to blame and there are plenty of suspects,” said Paul Ausick at 24/7Wall St. Analysts blamed Morgan Stanley for allowing Facebook last week to increase the price and the offering size to 421 million shares, raising $16 billion. “The underwriters placed the stocks with people who really were not that committed to owning it, and so a lot of them sold it,” said Pachter. “They sent us false signals by adding 84 million shares to the offering on Wednesday, so right before they went public,” he said. “They were wrong, they completely blew it.” On Tuesday reports surfaced that Morgan Stanley and two other key underwriters, JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs, had cut the forecasts they provided to their customers

WASHINGTON: A May 10, 2012 file photo shows a view of an Apple iPhone displaying the Facebook app’s splash screen in front of the login page in Washington, DC. Facebook and its underwriters came under broad legal attack yesterday as lawyers and investors filed lawsuits over Facebook’s flop controversy-marred initial public offering. At least three law firms said they were filing actions against Facebook and its underwriters after the $16 billion IPO flopped amid accusations that the lead underwriters and the company itself hid material information from investors. — AFP days before the issue. The changed forecasts came after Facebook itself amended its IPO filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission with data that was less positive about its performance in the mobile market compared to earlier filings. In a statement Morgan Stanley said it followed all appropriate procedures in the IPO, including disseminating the update Facebook filing, the “S1”, to all of the company’s institutional and retail investors. “In response to the information about business trends, a significant number of research analysts in the syndicate who were participating in investor education reduced their earnings views to reflect their estimate of the impact of the new information,” the banks said in a statement. “These revised views were taken into account in the pricing of the IPO. Separately a source close to the matter told AFP that nothing was hidden. “Last Monday (May 14) Facebook filed an updated S1 in which they gave some updated information about their financial performance,” the source said. “I believe in response to that, analysts for the three bookrunners, their

Wireless TV remote control inventer dead CHICAGO: Eugene Polley, who in 1955 invented the first wireless remote control for television, has died of natural causes, his longtime employer Zenith Electronics said Tuesday. He was 96. In a statement, Zenith-a subsidiary of South Korea’s LG Electronics formerly known as Zenith Radio Corporation-said the Chicago native passed away in hospital on Sunday. Polley joined Zenith Radio in 1935, where his 18 patented inventions included the Flash-Matic remote control, a flashlight-like device that could turn a television set on and off and change channels as well. It functioned with four photo cells fitted on each corner of the

television screen, but it was not without its problems-notably on sunny days-and it was succeeded by the ultrasonic Zenith Space Command in 1960. During World War II, Polley worked at Zenith on US military radar systems. Later he helped to develop push-button car radios as well as video disks, the predecessor of today’s DVDs. He shared an Emmy award in 1997 with Space Command inventor Robert Adler for pioneering wireless remote control devices for consumer television. Polley was preceded in death by his wife Blanche and his daughter. He is survived by his son and grandson, who live in San Diego, California. — AFP

Kodak patent invalid in fight with Apple-RIM SAN FRANCISCO: A US judge said a Kodak patent allegedly infringed upon by Apple and Blackberry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) was not valid, dealing another blow to the struggling photography pioneer. The preliminary ruling by International Trade Commission Judge Thomas Pender holds that neither Apple nor RIM infringed on Kodak’s intellectual property by using the technology in some of their gadgets. “ This is the second of two ITC Judges with technical backgrounds who have found Kodak’s patent invalid,” RIM said in a release. Kodak planned to appeal the ruling to the full commission, with a decision expected in September. The patent was the subject of a complaint Kodak filed with the ITC in

early 2010 that focused on the technology allowing users to preview pictures on LCD screens before snapping digital photos. Century-old photography pioneer Eastman Kodak, which brought handheld cameras to the masses, filed for bankruptcy in January, succumbing to a 15-year digital assault by younger rivals. The company hoped that Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection would give it time to reorganize its businesses-and possibly sell off its valuable patent portfolio-to avoid being shut down entirely. The Rochester, New Yorkbased company, started in 1892, led the way in popularizing the cameras, film, slide projectors and home videos that preserved the memories of generations of Americans and others around the world. — AFP

ERFURT: Inventor and prize winner Niklas Demel codes his electric powered automobile ‘Robby Car’ during the Young Researchers competition (Jugend forscht) in Erfurt, central Germany. The car identifies traffic signs and reacts accordingly. The Young Researchers competition is the biggest competition in Germany for young talents in the fields of science, mathematics and technology. — AP

research departments gave updated information about analysis that they put out.” “That was included in updated documents for the offering for all the investors on the deal,” the source said. There was little information on how regulators viewed the episode. “If true, the allegations are a matter of regulatory concern to FINRA and the SEC,” Rick Ketchum, the chief executive of the Financial Industr y Regulatory Authority, said in a statement. Dow Jones Newswires, meanwhile, reported that the government of the state of Massachusetts had issued a subpoena to Morgan Stanley related to a company analyst’s discussions with institutional investors ahead of the Facebook IPO. Dow Jones also reported that a lawsuit was filed in the New York District Cour t Tuesday against the Nasdaq market for losses linked to computer problems in the first days of Facebook trade. And a New York Law firm, Levi & Korsinsky, announced it was looking into investors’ potential claims arising out of any allegedly unfair dispersal of information by the underwriters. — AFP

Mario Bros creator wins top Spain prize MADRID: Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of Super Mario Bros, Donkey Kong and other hit video games, yesterday won Spain’s prestigious Prince of Asturias Prize. The jury praised the 59-year-old Japanese game designer for turning video games into “a medium capable of bringing people together regardless of sex, age or social or cultural status.” “Noted for excluding violence from his creations, Miyamoto has revolutionized the industry,” the jury said in a statement as it bestowed the award for communications and humanities. Miyamoto has created over 100 games and is widely seen as the world’s most influential games designer. He was named “most influential man in the world” by Time magazine readers in 2007. He has been described as the Stephen Spielberg of the game world for his visionary designs, and Super Mario Bros has been rated as the best selling game of all time, with more than 40 million copies sold worldwide. Born in Sonobe in Kyoto, Miyamoto joined Nintendo in 1977 after studying industrial design. A lover of both design and music, his first success was in 1981 with the launch of Donkey Kong, in which a scaffold-climbing carpenter rescues a young woman from a gorilla. In 1986 he came up with The Legend of Zelda. Described as a high fantasy action adventure game involving the constant rescue of Princess Zelda, Miyamoto was inspired by the lakes, caves and forests around his house where he would spend hours playing. The Asturias Foundation annually hands out eight awards, each worth 50,000 euros ($64,000), in the fields of communication and humanities, scientific and technical research, social science, arts, letters, international cooperation, understanding and sport. Named after Crown Prince Felipe, the awards are presented in the northern Spanish city of Oviedo, capital of the northern Asturias region, in a glittering ceremony broadcast live on Spanish television. Previous winners of the communications and humanities prize have included the Internet search engine Google, the National Geographic Society and Cable News Network (CNN). Last year the prize went to Britain’s centuries-old science institute The Royal Society. — AFP

THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012


Anti-whaling leader says extraditing him won’t halt campaign FRANKFURT: Marine wildlife activist Paul Watson, currently on bail in Germany pending a decision on whether to extradite him to Costa Rica, vowed Tuesday that his campaign will go on even if he is tried and jailed. “They hope that by getting me out of the way, they’ll shut down our operations. They won’t,” Watson told AFP in a telephone interview. “This is not about me. It is about our oceans and the ever-escalating threat of diminishment of the diversity of life in our seas. It is about the sharks, the whales, the seals, the sea turtles and the fish,” the 62-year-old activist said. Watson was arrested at Frankfurt airport on May 14 and detained for a week before being released on bail. He told AFP he has been placed

under “house arrest” and was obliged to report to the police twice daily. “I want to make it very clear that whatever happens to me will not affect our campaigns,” he said in a separate written statement emailed to AFP. Watson is the leader of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, whose ships he said would continue to “defend sharks in the South Pacific, whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanc tuar y ” and dolphins in Taiji, Japan. “Fortunately, Sea Shepherd is now much bigger than myself... and if I am prevented from serving on the front lines upon the high seas I will serve as a symbol of resistance to the destruction of our oceans from inside a prison cell.” Watson said he planned to travel to Berlin today to participate in a ral-

ly by his supporters on the occasion of a visit by Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla to the German capital. “But I have to be back in Frankfurt by 5:00 pm (1500 GMT) when I have to report to the police,” he added. In Berlin, he hoped to meet members of Chinchilla’s delegation to press for assurances for his personal safety should he really be extradited and face trial in Costa Rica, he said. “Although I have no reason to believe that the Costa Rican legal system would not give me a fair trial, my concern is not for the judicial system, but for the reality that the shark fin mafia of Costa Rica has a price on my head and a Costa Rican prison would provide an excellent opportunity for someone to exercise this lethal contract against me,” he said. “We have cost the shark finners a

great deal of money over the last two decades and they want their revenge. I would need absolute assurance that the Costa Rican authorities would not place me in a position to jeopardise my safety when I return to Costa Rica to prove my innocence in court.” The charges against Watson stem from a high-seas confrontation over shark finning in 2002. Sea Shepherd claims it was escorting an illegal shark finning ship back to por t when the crew falsely accused the organisation’s members of tr ying to k ill them. Watson is accused of “putting a ship’s crew in danger”. He said it was unusual that an extradition order should be issued for “a relatively minor offence, where no one was injured and no property damaged.” Watson suggested that

Japan might be “putting pressure” on Germany to carry out the extradition order. “It may be more than coincidental that the extradition order was put out in October 2011 at around the same time that the Japanese brought civil charges against us-and lost-in a Seattle court,” he said. The Canadian national is well known for his pursuit and harassment of Japanese whaling boats off Antarctica, which in recent years has significantly reduced the number of animals slaughtered. Sea Shepherd has adopted increasingly militant ways to halt the hunt, to Tokyo’s irritation. This year the group hurled stink bombs at the boats on the high seas and used ropes to try to tangle their propellers in a series of exchanges that saw the whalers retaliate with water cannon. — AFP

Scientists turn skin cells into beating heart muscle New heart cells integrate with existing tissue

HOUSTON: In a photo made May 15, 2012 Director Pete Larson of the Black Hills Institute of Geologic Research, (back), and artist Tomas Schneider, (right), attach a Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil head into place in the new Hall of Paleontology at the Houston Museum of Natural Science Tuesday. The $85 million wing of the museum will have the only Triceratops skin found to date and a unique T-rex fossil with complete hands. — AP

Half of overweight teens have heart risk ATLANTA: Half the nation’s overweight teens have unhealthy blood pressure, cholesterol or blood sugar levels that put them at risk for future heart attacks and other cardiac problems, new federal research says. And an even larger proportion of obese adolescents have such a risk, according to the alarming new numbers. “What this is saying, unfortunately, is that we’re losing the battle early with many kids,” said Dr. Stephen Daniels, a University of Colorado School of Medicine expert who was not involved in the study. People can keep their risk of heart disease very low if they reach age 45 or 50 at normal weight and with normal blood pressure, normal cholesterol and no diabetes. So these results are not good, he said. The study was released Monday in the journal Pediatrics. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research focused on 3,383 adolescents ages 12 through 19. The youths were part of an intensive national study that involves interviewing, weighing, measuring and performing medical tests on people across the country. The ongoing CDC study is considered a gold standard for looking at national health trends, said Dr. William Mahle, an Emory University pediatric cardiologist. So there was some good news, Mahle said, that the study found no increase in levels of obesity, high blood pressure or bad cholesterol during the years it covered - 1999 through 2008. “All of us are looking for some sign or signal that we’re making headway,” said Mahle,

who was not involved with the study. “So that was reassuring.” But one measure did get worse: The percentage of adolescents who were diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes rose dramatically, from 9 percent to 21 percent. Pre-diabetics have higher than normal blood sugar levels, but not high enough to count as diabetes. It’s not clear why the proportion of kids with high blood sugar would increase while the measures for the other heart disease risk factors held steady. It may have something to do with the kind of test used to measure blood sugar, Daniels said. Adolescents in the study were given a blood test that can give varying results depending on the day or time of day the test is given. Other tests, though more involved and more expensive, are considered more precise. Daniels said it’s possible another testing method might not have produced a swing so large. That is possible, said Ashleigh May, the CDC epidemiologist who was the study’s lead author. “This study is just a first step to identify problems in youth. More work needs to be done to identify why this is happening and the advantages of using various test methods in this population,” she said. Overall the study found that 50 percent of overweight youths and 60 percent of obese youths had at least one risk factor for future heart disease. But normal-weight kids aren’t off the hook - 37 percent had at least one risk factor and could face increased chances for heart trouble as adults, the study suggests. — Reuters

French autistic kids get psychotherapy LONDON: In most developed countries, children with autism are usually sent to school where they get special education classes. But in France, they are more often sent to a psychiatrist where they get talk therapy meant for people with psychological or emotional problems. Things are slowly changing, but not without resistance. Last month, a report by France’s top health authority concluded there was no agreement among scientists about whether psychotherapy works for autism, and it was not included in the list of recommended treatments. That provoked an outcry from psychiatrists. Groups including Freudian societies, the World Association of Psychoanalysis and France’s Child Institute started a petition calling on the French government to recognize their clinical approach, focused on psychotherapy. “The situation in France is sort of like the US in the 1950s,” said Dr. Fred Volkmar, a U.S. expert who directs the Child Study Center at Yale University. “The French have a very idiosyncratic view of autism and, for some reason, they are not convinced by the evidence.” Behavioral methods, which focus on helping autistic children communicate with others and develop social skills, are the norm in Britain, Canada, Japan, the U.S. and elsewhere in Europe. But they’re seldom used in France. France has long been criticized for its approach to treating autism. In 2002, the

charity Autism Europe lodged a complaint against France with the Council of Europe, charging the country was refusing to educate autistic children, as required under the European Social Charter. The charge was upheld and the European Committee of Social Rights declared “France has failed to achieve sufficient progress” in educating autistic children. The committee also slammed France for making autistic people “an excluded group” and said there was a chronic shortage of care. Volkmar said some forms of psychotherapy might be helpful for high-functioning autistic children to handle specific problems like anxiety, but should not be considered a first-line treatment. He said the vast majority of autistic children in the U.S. - more than 95 percent - attend school. But French children with autism are lagging far behind. According to government data, fewer than 20 percent of autistic children attend school. Mostly they’re either kept at home or go to a day hospital for psychiatric sessions. Many French experts insist psychotherapy is essential. “I would never say that psychoanalysis is ‘the best’ method, but it is invaluable,” said Marie Dominique Amy, president of CIPPA, a French association of psychotherapists and psychiatrists. She said even in autistic children who don’t speak, the therapy can be done through gestures and interpreting their body language.— AP

LONDON: Scientists have for the first time succeeded in taking skin cells from patients with hear t failure and transforming them into healthy, beating heart tissue that could one day be used to treat the condition. The researchers, based in Haifa, Israel, said there were still many years of testing and refining ahead. But the results meant they might eventually be able to reprogram patients’ cells to repair their own damaged hearts. “We have shown that it’s possible to take skin cells from an elderly patient with advanced heart failure and end up with his own beating cells in a laboratory dish that are healthy and young - the equivalent to the stage of his heart cells when he was just born,” said Lior Gepstein from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, who led the work. The researchers, whose study was published in the European Heart Journal on Wednesday, said clinical trials of the technique could begin within 10 years. Heart failure is a debilitating condition in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood around the body. It has become more prevalent in recent decades as advances medical science mean many more people survive heart attacks. At the moment, people with severe heart

failure have to rely on mechanical devices or hope for a transplant. Researchers have been studying stem cells from various sources for more than a decade, hoping to capitalise on their ability to transform into a wide variety of other kinds of cell to treat a range of health conditions. There are two main forms of stem cells embryonic stem cells, which are harvested from embryos, and reprogrammed “human induced pluripotent stem cells” (hiPSCs), often originally from skin or blood. Gepstein’s team took skin cells from two men with heart failure - aged 51 and 61 - and transformed them by adding three genes and then a small molecule called valproic acid to the cell nucleus. They found that the resulting hiPSCs were able to differentiate to become heart muscle cells, or cardiomyocytes, just as effectively as hiPSCs that had been developed from healthy, young volunteers who acted as controls for the study. The team was then able to make the cardiomyocytes develop into heart muscle tissue, which they grew in a laboratory dish together with existing cardiac tissue. Within 24 to 48 hours the two types of tissue were beating

together, they said. In a final step of the study, the new tissue was transplanted into healthy rat hearts and the researchers found it began to establish connections with cells in the host tissue. “We hope that hiPSCs derived cardiomyocytes will not be rejected following transplantation into the same patients from which they were derived,” Gepstein said. “Whether this will be the case or not is the focus of active investigation.” Experts in stem cell and cardiac medicine who were not involved in Gepstein’s work praised it but also said there was a lot to do before it had a chance of becoming an effective treatment. “This is an interesting paper, but very early and it’s really important for patients that the promise of such a technique is not oversold,” said John Martin a professor of cardiovascular medicine at University College London. “The chances of translation are slim and if it does work it would take around 15 years to come to clinic.” Nicholas Mills, a consultant cardiologist at Edinburgh University said the technology needs to be refined before it could be used for patients with heart failure, but added: “These findings are encouraging and take us a step closer to ... identifying an effective means of repairing the heart.” — Reuters

Drug abuse needs treatment, just jail LONDON: The United States sees drug abuse as a public health problem as much as a crime issue and is seeking to learn from countries in Europe and elsewhere about how to treat addiction as a disease, Barack Obama’s drugs policy chief said on Tuesday. Gil Kerlikowske, the US president’s director of national drug control policy, said the United States is taking a more balanced approach to substance abusers rather than fighting a “war on drugs” centred mainly on law enforcement. Speaking to reporters during a visit to London, Kerlikowske, a former police chief, said major advances in medical science had shown that drug abuse disorders are chronic diseases of the brain that can be effectively prevented and treated. He said the international community should recognise this and work together on programmes to prevent and treat abusers, help addicts recover, and explore reforms to criminal justice systems to stop the revolving door of drug use, criminal behaviour, jail, release, and re-arrest. “It’s very clear we can’t arrest our way out of this problem,” he said. “The availability of quality treatment and the engagement of the public health sector and primary care physicians in drug issues is very critical.” While officials say overall illicit drug use in the United States has dropped substantially over the past 30 years, there are upwards of 20 million Americans who could benefit from treatment and recovery programmes, Kerlikowske said. Currently, only around 4 million of these get the kind of help they need. Prescription drug abuse has become a serious concern in the United States in recent years and was the secondbiggest factor behind accidental deaths in 2007. Kerlikowske, who was in London as part of a tour through Sweden, Britain and Russia this week, said the Obama administration was eager to talk to those dealing with drug addiction problems in other countries to see whether elements of their approaches could be useful in the United States. He has also previously visited Portugal and Italy, as well as Mexico, Colombia and other countries in South America to see different kinds drug treatment programmes and prevention plans. He noted what he described as a “somewhat successful” fresh approach in Portugal, where since 2001 authorities have dispensed with arrests, trials and prison for people carrying a personal supply of any drug from marijuana to heroin and focused their efforts on prevention messages and treatment. “We’re happy to learn from and visit and have our eyes wide open to look at these other countries,” he said. “But it should be noted that about 85 percent of all drug treatment research is conducted or funded in the United we’re also happy to share with other countries what we have learned.” Drug enforcement experts in the United States say the evidence strongly supports the wider use of drug courts, which seek to impose treatment programmes instead of prison sentences on repeat criminals who are dependent on illegal drugs. Kerlikowske said he had never been a fan of the concept of a “war on drugs”. However, just a few years ago, he said he would have agreed with what he says was probably the majority view among the American public-that if you had a drug problem “you just needed to find God or pull yourself up by your bootstraps.” Now scientific research has changed that view, he said. “The scientists..have all recognised addiction as a disease, and it doesn’t take a huge amount of reading of research papers to understand and accept the scientific evidence. —Reuters

SYDNEY: A rehabilitated green sea turtle is carried by life sciences manager Rob Townsend, left, Simon Rajaratnam, center, and Nick Harris during a health check at Oceanworld Manly in Sydney, Australia yesterday. The turtle was rescued at Cottage Point about 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Sydney on Nov. 5, 2011 after it was seen showing signs of high stress and floatation issues. — AP

Xarelto reduces deadly heart attacks WASHINGTON: The US Food and Drug Administration said that a blood thinner from Johnson & Johnson appears to reduce life-threatening blood clots in high-risk patients, although it also increases the risk of internal bleeding. The FDA posted its review of J&J’s Xarelto for the new use ahead of a public meeting Wednesday where medical experts will vote on its safety and effectiveness. Along with bleeding risk, FDA regulators will also ask the experts about inconsistent findings and missing data from J&J’s main study of Xarelto. J&J already markets the pill for two patient groups: those with irregular heartbeat and those undergoing hip or knee replacement surgery. The New Brunswick, NJbased company is now asking the FDA to approve it as a preventive measure against life-threatening blood clots in patients with acute coronary artery disease. That’s a condition in which a narrowed blood vessel reduces flow to the hear t muscle, increasing the risk of heart attack and other catastrophic problems. The FDA’s drug reviewer recommended approving the drug for the new use, in documents posted online Monday. The reviewer said J&J’s 15,500-patient study showed Xarelto significantly reduced the risk of heart attack, stroke and death. “Overall, the benefit-risk ratio for Xarelto appears to be favorable, predominantly because there is a reduction in cardiovascular death, despite an increased risk of major

and fatal bleeding,” states FDA reviewer Karen Hicks. Patients taking Xarelto were three times more likely to have major internal bleeding, compared with patients taking placebo. Hicks writes that bleeding “may represent the biggest problem for both patients and health care providers.” While FDA backed the overall benefits of Xarelto, reviewers complained about inconsistencies and omissions in J&J’s applications. More than 15 percent of patients enrolled in the study dropped out before completion. As a result, the company did not follow up on the status of over 1,000 patients. On Wednesday, the FDA will ask its panel of advisers whether this missing data may have skewed the accuracy of the company’s study. The panel will take a final vote on whether to recommend approval of Xarelto for acute coronary syndrome. The FDA is not required to follow the group’s advice, though it often does. A final decision is expected by June 29. Wells Fargo analyst Larry Biegelsen said he expects “a ver y heated debate” over Xarelto’s safety at the panel meeting, but concluding with a positive panel vote. Biegelsen expects Xarelto to generate about $1.6 billion in sales by 2016, with the new indication accounting for about 22 percent. Xarelto is part of a new group of blood thinners intended to supplant the longtime standard treatment, war farin, which is cheap but requires frequent blood tests to get dosing right and can interact with numerous foods and other medicines. — AP

THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012


Death rate drops among Americans with diabetes ATLANTA: A 40 percent decline in the death rate of diabetic American adults from heart disease and strokes is a sign that patients are taking better care of themselves and receiving improved treatment, according to a government study released yesterday. While the drop in death rates from cardiovascular disease was the most dramatic, overall death rates among diabetic adults dropped 23 percent from 1997 to 2006, according to the

study by researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health. “Diabetes leads to many complications and shorter life spans,” Edward Gregg, the study’s lead author and chief of epidemiology and statistics in CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation, told Reuters yesterday. “The fact that we found substantially lower death rates in both men and women was very encouraging,” he

said. Diabetics are less likely to smoke than in the past and more likely to be physically active, the CDC said, although it noted that obesity levels among diabetics continues to rise. Better control of high blood pressure and high cholesterol may also have contributed to the decline in death rates among diabetics, it said. “When you see an effect on mortality like this, it’s not due to one factor, it’s really all those factors,” said Gregg.

The study examined data from 250,000 patients. Despite the significant decline in diabetic deaths from cardiovascular disease, the rate is still twice as high as those without the disease, the CDC said. On average, diabetes diagnosed in middle age reduces a patient’s life expectancy by 10 years, although the gap likely will narrow as diabetics live longer, said Gregg. An estimated 25.8 million people in the United States

have diabetes, which is marked by high levels of glucose in the blood, the CDC said. The number of people with diabetes continues to increase, said Gregg. Obesity is a major cause of the increase in Type 2 diabetes, which is most common in adults, he said. “There’s still a long way to go,” said Gregg. “The fact that Type 2 diabetes can be prevented with lifestyle intervention means that we really need to do more.” - Reuters

Kids suffer long-term from parents’ smoking SYDNEY: Children exposed to their parents’ cigarette smoke are at greater risk of suffering serious cardiovascular health problems later in life, a study showed yesterday. The Menzies Research Institute in Tasmania collected

data from a Finnish and Australian study following children first examined 20 years ago who are now aged in their mid-30s. It found that those exposed to passive smoke as youngsters have less elasticity in their arteries, an indicator of

SEOUL: This photo taken on May 21, 2012 shows pedestrians walking past a sign highlighting a non-smoking zone at a plaza in Seoul. Seoul’s city government has banned smoking in plazas, parks, near bus stops and schools. Offenders face a 100,000 won (86 USD) fine.—AFP

poor cardiovascular health. Study author and Menzies Research fellow Seana Gall said while it has been previously known that passive smoke was harmful, this was the world’s first examination on the long-term effects on blood vessel health. “We looked at blood vessel elasticity by measuring the ability of an artery in the arm to expand and contract,” she said. “We found that people who had been exposed to parental smoking when they were children had less elastic arteries, an early indicator of poor cardiovascular health.” Gall added that it was not explained by the participants’ own smoking habits. “The effect was seen up to 27 years later, suggesting a long-term and irreversible effect of passive smoking in childhood on the health of arteries,” she said. “The chemicals in cigarette smoke interact with the lining of the blood vessels and that seems to be causing an inability of them to expand and contract properly.” The World Health Organization estimates that about 40 percent of the world’s children are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke at home, with 600,000 deaths annually caused by passive smoking. “The highest prevalence of smoking is still seen in those age groups that correspond with people first becoming parents, so that’s still a concern and we’d want to get the prevalence down in those groups particularly,” said Gall.— AFP

DNA test combats fisheries fraud In cod we trust PARIS: Scientists said they had devised a DNA test to pinpoint the geographical origins of commercial seafish, in a breakthrough against illegal trawling that threatens fish stocks worldwide. The technique so far has been developed for four species-Atlantic cod, Atlantic herring, common sole and European hake-under a campaign to combat fisheries fraud in Europe. But it could easily be widened to more species and help fishery guardians in other jurisdictions, the researchers said. The invention comprises a databank of changes to the genetic code, called single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNiPs. Species that hail from a specific region, such as the North Sea herring or Baltic cod, have a SNiP profile that is exclusive to that area. Analysing DNA from a single fish, even if it has been processed or cooked, gives the geographical telltale. As a result, inspectors-and thus consumers-can be told whether the fish is indeed the species or from the fishery claimed on the label. “We set out to develop a method that could be used throughout the European food supply chain and across the fish industry,” said Gary Carvalho, a professor at Bangor University in Wales who led the research consortium. “The tools can be used to identify or compare a set of pre-identified genetic markers within fish samples at any

point in the consumer chain from net to plate, and to trace the fish back to their region of origin or breeding group.” The project, called FishPopTrace, brought together 15 research groups, from the European Union (EU), Norway and Russia. It is part of a three-year, four-million-euro ($5million) EU initiative to develop better testing and traceability to combat fisheries fraud. In 2011, EU member states had to introduce laws requiring any fish on sale to be identified according to their species and region of origin. But there have been many documented cases of abuse. Fish may be wrongly labelled as having been caught in sustainable fisheries, and fillets from cheaper species are sometimes passed off as being from more expensive ones. Around a fifth of commercially-caught fish around the world are “IUU,” meaning illegal, unreported and unregulated, according to a 2009 investigation. In lab tests, the SNiP signature was 93100 percent accurate, say the scientists. Turning to the practicality of the technique, inspectors would send samples to a DNA laboratory, a facility that is becoming widespread in advanced economies, to test the fish. “Any reasonably well-equipped molecular genetic laboratory” should be able to SNiP-analyse several hundred fish per day, at a cost of around $25 (20 euros) per fish, say the authors. —AFP


THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012


Announcements ‘Leniency of Islam’ An unprecedented initiative of KTV2 (English channel) is the new program by the name ‘Leniency of Islam’ presented by Shaikh Musaad Alsane and directed by Hamid Al Turkait. The program is mainly meant to address the expatriates living in Kuwait. Religious questions are received through the program email and sms can be sent to97822021 and answered by the lecturer and Imam in Awqaf Ministry Shaikh Musaad Alsane - a Master Degree holder in Sharia and fiqih from Kuwait University. So don’t forget to watch the program every Friday at 1:00 pm. Free Arabic course IPC is opening an Intensive Basic Arabic Course for ladies commencing from June 3 to July 8, 2012. The class will be from 5-7 pm for three days a week. Registration is on! For information, call 22512257. Yoga with the Golden Era Club The Golden Era Club presents ‘The Eight Fold Path to Yoga’ on 25th May; 5 to 7 pm. Yoga here! Yoga there! Yoga everywhere! Yet, few comprehend Yoga’s true nature! Join Yoga Guru - Aacharya Shashikala Pushkarna - on this unique journey to the true ‘union’ between the mind, body and spirit. All seniors (60+) are cordially invited. Venue- House #34, next to AbuTammam Intermediate School for Boys, Sate Alhusari St., Block 2, Rumaithiya. Open House for Indian Citizens The Ambassador of India will be holding an Open House for Indian citizens to address their problems/grievances on Wednesdays of the second and the fourth week of every month between 1500 hrs and 1600 hrs at the embassy. In case Wednesday is an Embassy holiday, the meeting will be held on the next working day. To ensure timely action/follow-up by the Embassy, it is requested that, wherever possible, Indian citizens should exhaust the existing channels of interaction/grievance redressal and bring their problems/issues in writing with supporting documents. It may be mentioned that Embassy of India’s Consular Wing is providing daily service of Open House to Indian citizen on all workings days from 1000 hrs to 1100 hrs and from 1430 hrs to 1530 hrs by the consular officer in the Meeting Room of the Consular Hall. For any unaddressed issues, Second Secretary (Consular) could be contacted. Furthermore, the head of the Consular Wing is also available to redress grievances. Similarly, a labor wing Help Desk functions from 0830 hrs to 1300 hrs and 1400 hrs to 1630 hrs in the Labor Hall to address the labor related issue. There is also a 24X7 Help Line (Tel No. 25674163) to assist labors in distress. For any unaddressed issues, the concerned Attaches in the labor section and the head of the labor wing could be contacted.

‘Mais Alghanim’ announces its summer offer ais Alghanim group of restaurants recently revealed its amazing offer for this summer season. The offer is characterized with variety, and the exquisite Kabab flavors, to which Mais Alghanim clients have been so accustomed. “Great Value Offers’’ is available in both Mais Alghanim restaurants, and consists of 11 meals for matchless prices, in addition to a variety of delicious salads and appetizers. Customers can choose between wide variety of Kabab meals, e.g. Kebab Sultani, made of tender minced meat with saffron and spices, with a hint of butter, and served with aromatic saffron rice, for only KD 3.100. They can also select from variety of other tasty dishes, for instance; the very popular Mais Alghanim kebab, which offers 4 distinctive flavors consisting of the regular Kebab, Kebab Intabli, Kebab Baghdadi and Kebab Adana. Mais Alghanim is considered to be a heritage restaurant in Kuwait. The first restaurant was opened in 1953, and has a well-established and distinguished history. The restaurant operates in a family environment which draws attention to rich Kuwaiti traditions offering a pleasant mixture of oriental foods, for which it has become especially renowned. The Mais Alghanim dining experience offers casual dining services in a warm atmosphere with impeccable service. Welcoming smiles greet you as you enter the lobby and you are guided into extravagant oriental dining halls where every detail is tailored for comfort. Once seated, a unique culinary experience begins, offering traditional Lebanese food, rich in flavor, cooked with natural ingredients and freshly prepared. The menu also consists of a wide variety of healthy Arabian and international dishes to suit all tastes. All the food served, from the freshly baked bread to the tasty oriental desserts, is prepared with great care and attention, continuing the family tradition of Mais Alghanim Restaurants; such ongoing excellence is maintained through employing and empowering only the most talented in the hospitality industry, to sustain the valuable heritage that began five decades ago. An Award Winning Restaurant, Mais Alghanim offers a gourmet experience at an exceptional value for money. Enjoy this offer at Mais Alghanim Restaurant in Sharq, overlooking Kuwait Towers on the Gulf Road, or in Mahboula at the Spoons Complex on the Coastal Road - you are assured of an unforgettable experience!


A Taste of Africa at BSK new era started in Kuwait this week with The British School of Kuwait launching its first annual Reception Department Art Exhibition. The Exhibition named “A Taste of Africa” 2012 was opened by Mr Galo Diop from the Embassy of Senegal to the sound of live African drums played by students. Parents were treated to a festival of colour and sound and were plunged into a whole new dimension. Addressing a packed audience, Heather Matthews, Assistant Department Coordinator with special responsibility for Reception, urged guests to ask the children to talk about their work. In her speech she explicitly reinforced the message that “the process of learning the skills is as important, if not more important than the end product”. Of course, guests were not left disappointed with the exhibited creations; in fact they were truly amazed at the standard of work from 4 and 5 year olds. The creations were individual and inspiring and a


testament to the hard working staff and children at BSK. Video clips of the children creating and talking about their masterpieces were presented and guests were in

awe at the level of confidence and degree of independence that their children demonstrated. The very special guest ‘Zebra’ certainly loved the limelight and staff and children alike provided guests with a practical workshop showcasing the skills BSK students have employed in Reception this year. These skills ranged from junk modeling to moulding, batik and sewing! Long gone are the days where templates are common practice. Much of the inspiration for the exhibition was prompted by sharing a well-known story “Handa’s Surprise” which is based in Kenya. The illustrations in the story come alive with colour which is something that the children were keen to employ in their masterpieces. Make a date in your diary as the 2013 Reception Art Exhibition at BSK will be another event not to be missed. Full details of the exhibition are available on

St Berchman’s extempore speech competition IES orators bag championship

t was Ralph Waldo Emerson who once said that speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, and to compel. The budding orators of Indian Educational School (Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan), Kuwait did prove their power of expression the best and unchallenged among their counterparts in other schools. They have been striving hard for that moment when they are declared the champions of the prestigious and most competitive St. Berchman’s Extempore Speech Competition. The 16th St. Berchman’s Extempore Speech Competition held last Friday in the United Indian School was like all other previous


issues of the contest, rich and unique in the way it was organized. Most of the Indian schools in Kuwait had their participation. Hundreds of

organizers had taken all care to see that no one member of the veteran panel of judges had any kind of acquaintance with the contestants.

students. The proficiency of oration shown by the Bhavanites finally compelled the judges to convert their views in favour of IES. In the

growing speakers from classes 7 to 12 could voice their opinions on the most relevant and near life topics given for their speeches. The

The neck and neck competition exemplified the power and persuasion of Bhavan philosophy of ensuring variegated exposure to their

event categorized into five pools like seniors (classes 11 and 12), Junior A (class 10) and B (class9) and sub junior A (class 8) and B (class7),

Revanth of class 11 won the first in his group, Himag B Vaidya of Class 10 got the second position in Juniors A, and Ijaz Aflah bagged first among class 9 students whereas D R Pratyusha of class 9 and Joanna P Jonson of class 8 got the third places in their respective categories. And finally IES was declared the overall champions by a clear margin of 11 points. The chairman and the principal honoured all the proud Bhavanites who brought laurels to their alma mater in a special assembly.

Kuwait wins Malarvadi Junior GCC Quiz he Kuwait team won the first prize in the junior category of the Malarvadi GCC quiz grand finale. The Kuwait team comprising of Mohamed Basil Habeeb and Muhsin Mustafa gathered 140 points to obtain the first prize. Rahul Raj, and Surya Krishna from Dubai were winners in the Kids section with 180 points. Devika Ramesh and Rasi Aboobacker from Abu Dhabi were winners in the Sub Junior section with 325 points. Well-known Quiz Master Dr. GS Pradeep conducted the programs. The runners up of the kids were selected in closely competed rounds with tie breakers. Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman teams were in tie with 180 points each. Niranjana Pramod Nair and Najeeha Chengalath of Oman were runners up and Haala Aysha and Nima Nasser obtained the third position. Ananya and Fathima Shayifa Shahul of Qatar were runners with 295 in the Sub Junior category. Hriday Pradeep and Sona Unnikrishnan of Bahrain had to be content with the 3rd position. Rithu Ann Roy, and Abi Pushparaj of the hosts Bahrain obtained the runners up and Amal Mathew and Harikrishnan Lal Pilla of Muscat obtained the third position with 120 points. Ganesh Ravi Pilla of RP group distributed the prizes to the winners. GCC Mega Quiz Chief Patron KM Basheer presided over the prize distribution ceremony. Shaikh Abdurahman Al Attavi, Keraleeya Samajam President PV Radakrishna Pilla, Indian School chairman Abraham John, Ibnul Haitham Islalmic School Adminstrative committee chairman Shakeel Ahmad Aazmi felicitated the gathering. Saeed Ramadan welcomed the audience and and C. Khalid proposed the vote of thanks. Malarvaid GCC Co-ordinator Akbar Vaniyambalam, Shameem Backer and KCM Abdulla lead the organizing team. 60 students from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait participated in the Grand Finale of the GCC Malarvadi Mega Quiz as representa-


tives of Kuwait, Doha, Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Salalah, Dammam, Riyadh, Jeddah and Manama regions. They were selected from around 50,000 students in 100 centres who participated in the quiz in the first and second

rounds of the GCC Malarvadi Mega Quiz. The top two students of each category were selected from each of the regions to represent the region in the grand finale. Ten teams contested in each of the categories. The winners will

be awarded Indian rupees one lakh, the runners up will be awarded IRS 75,000 and the third prize winners will be awarded IRS 50,000 and mementos.


THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012


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

Dragon Fly aim for a second Consecutive win ore than 125 applicantions received so far at the Red Bull Flugtag KuwaitRed Bull Flugtag challenges the brave and brainy to design, build and pilot home-made flying machines off a 6 meters high flight deck in hopes of soaring into the wild blue yonder...or more often, plunging into the waters below. In 2010, Dragon Fly team consisting of Mohamed Al Qattan, Yousef Al Qattan, Sultan Gharib and Hisham Moussawi managed to win the Red Bull Flugtag in Kuwait. Speaking of their preparation for the 2012 event, Mohamed Al Qattan said: “This year we submitted a new design and hopefully if we get selected we will build an aerodynamic flying machine that is capable to break the 13m flying distance recorded in Kuwait. We are participating for the fun of the even but at the same time we are looking forward to win for the second consecutive time.” Flugtag, which means “flying day” in German, pushes the envelope of human-powered flight, but competitors need more than airtime to reach the podium. Teams are judged on three criteria: flight distance, creativity of the craft, and showmanship. This criteria has inspired flying


tacos, prehistoric pterodactyls, winnebagos with wings and even Snoopy and the gang to grace the Flugtag flight decks! or call the Red Bull Flugtag Ground Control on 66406020. Deadline for participation is June 14. The

York, attracting up to 300,000 spectators in one event! The record for the farthest flight to date currently stands at 63 meters, set in

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

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

Think you’ve got what it takes to soar at Red Bull Flugtag? Then prove it! Show us your skills and apply by simply visiting the following website:

world’s first Red Bull Flugtag took place in Vienna, Austria, in 1992. Since then, more than 100 Red Bull Flugtag events have been held around the world, from London to New

2010 at Red Bull Flugtag in USA, but who knows what records could be broken in Kuwait!

EMBASSY OF FRANCE The French Embassy in Kuwait will be closed on Sunday, May 27, 2012 for Pentecost holidays. ■■■■■■■

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

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

NPIS holds welcome party for LKG & UKG PIS, Hawally has a golden tradition of welcoming the students in new academic year in an entertaining and inspiring way. A welcome party for K.G, class 1 and 2 was held on Thursday 17th May. Fabulous co-curricular activities enhanced the


splendor of the occasion. Children were spellbound with bouncers, swings, magic show and applauding music. Indeed such kind of awesome welcome instills a yearning for education.

Lifestyle reaches out to customers, launches its first Kiosk in Kuwait ocated within the newest shopping mall in Fintas, Lifestyle the market leader in home fragrance, recently launched its first kiosk at Al Liwan Mall. This beautifully designed black kiosk is the first of more in the pipeline and will provide residents with faster and more convenient access to a wide range of products. “As a group we try to reach out to our customers in every possible manner and are committed to serve them with the highest standards as we believe our customers deserve the best. Expanding our services is in line with our strategy of broadening the range of our products available and deepening existing customer relationships at the same time, and new kiosks like this will serve to expand our overall presence in Kuwait.


The kiosk’s prominent location, and it’s beautiful design makes it very accessible to shoppers and visitors” commented Saibal Basu, Chief Operating Officer, Landmark Group Kuwait. The kiosk is specifically designed for Lifestyle’s Home fragrance merchandise and houses major brands including Made By Zen which is all about French fragrances also available in Arabic format, Apsley and Waxlyrical. The kiosk offers a wide range of products from reed diffusers and electric aroma diffusers, to fragrance oils and scented sachets, to car perfumes, candle and oils. For the convenience of customers the Kiosk is open from 10 am to 10:30 pm from Sunday to Wednesday and 10 am to 11 pm from Thursday to Saturday.

K’S PATH adopt a pet

Cissi the mix breed dog Cissi is a pretty and friendly 6-month-old mix-breed female dog who loves to play and run. She is very affectionate and enjoys a cuddle. Cissi will do great in a family with children aged 8 and above. To adopt Cissi, contact K’S PATH at (+965) 67001622 or visit the website

Lilly the Tiffany cat Lilly is a gentle and gorgeous two-year-old female Tiffany cat. She is confident and loves being the center of attention. Lilly will be a wonderful addition to a family with children aged 5 and above. To adopt Lilly, contact K’S PATH at (+965) 67001622 or visit the website

EMBASSY OF MEXICO The Embassy of Mexico is pleased to inform that it is located in CLIFFS Complex, Villa 6, Salmiya, block 9, Baghdad street, Jadda Lane 7. The working hours for consular issues are from 9:00 to 12:00 Sunday through Thursday. The reception is closed from 14:00 to 15:00 hours for lunch break. The Embassy of Mexico kindly requests all Mexicans citizens in Kuwait to proceed to the e-mail: in order to register or update contact information. Other consultations or/and appointments could be done by telephone or fax: (+965) 2573 1952 ■■■■■■■

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

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

Legal seminar alakkad Pravasi Association of Kuwait, the association of Palakkad natives living in Kuwait and ‘Indian Lawyers’ Forum’, (ILF) the association of Indian Lawyers and Law graduates in Kuwait is conducting legal seminar, on June 1, at 11 am at Mangaf - Friends of Kannur (FOKE) auditorium. All Indian community members in Kuwait, especially Palpak members, families and friends are cordially invited to participate. Your legal doubts/questions can be send by email to: and it will be answered in the seminar. For further information contact, P.N.Kumar, 99771830, Aravindhashan 68535989.


Basil Arts Kuwait he Basil Arts Kuwait requests all its registered members to attend the General Body / Family get-together, scheduled at 11:00am on Friday, the 1st June, 2012 at the HiDine Restaurant, Abbasiya. For further information contact General Secretary on 65003040


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

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

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

THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012


00:45 Untamed & Uncut 01:40 I’m Alive 02:35 Wildwives Of Savannah Lane 03:30 Wildest India 04:25 Safari Vet School 04:50 Safari Vet School 05:20 Wildlife SOS 05:45 Escape To Chimp Eden 06:10 Cell Dogs 07:00 Echo And The Elephants Of Amboseli 07:25 Breed All About It 07:50 Breed All About It 08:15 Dick ‘n’ Dom Go Wild 08:40 Extraordinary Dogs 09:10 Project Puppy 09:35 Project Puppy 10:05 Safari Vet School 10:30 Safari Vet School 11:00 Animal Precinct 11:55 Animal Cops South Africa 12:50 Wild Africa Rescue 13:15 Wild Africa Rescue 13:45 Bondi Vet 14:10 Wildlife SOS 14:40 Safari Vet School 15:05 Safari Vet School 15:30 Echo And The Elephants Of Amboseli 16:00 Dick ‘n’ Dom Go Wild 16:30 Jessica The Hippo 17:25 Dogs 101: Specials 18:20 Safari Sisters 18:45 Safari Sisters 19:15 Wildlife SOS 19:40 Escape To Chimp Eden 20:10 Great Ocean Adventures 21:05 Wildwives Of Savannah Lane 22:00 Ray Mears’ Wild Britain 22:55 Snake Crusader With Bruce George 23:20 Snake Crusader With Bruce George 23:50 K9 Cops

00:00 Newsday 00:30 Asia Business Report 00:45 Sport Today 01:00 Newsday 01:30 Asia Business Report 01:45 Sport Today 02:00 Newsday 02:30 Asia Business Report 02:45 Sport Today 03:00 Newsday 03:30 Hardtalk 04:00 BBC World News 04:30 World Business Report 04:45 BBC World News 05:00 BBC World News 05:30 World Business Report 05:45 BBC World News 06:00 BBC World News 06:30 World Business Report 06:45 Sport Today 07:00 BBC World News 07:30 World Business Report 07:45 Sport Today 08:00 BBC World News 08:30 Hardtalk 09:00 BBC World News 09:30 World Business Report 09:45 Sport Today 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 BBC World News 11:00 GMT With George Alagiah 11:30 GMT With George Alagiah 12:00 BBC World News 12:30 World Business Report 12:45 Sport Today 13:00 Impact With Mishal Husain 13:30 Impact With Mishal Husain 14:00 Impact With Mishal Husain 14:30 World Business Report 14:45 Sport Today 15:00 BBC World News 15:30 Hardtalk 16:00 The Hub With Nik Gowing 16:30 The Hub With Nik Gowing 17:00 The Hub With Nik Gowing 17:30 World Business Report 17:45 Sport Today 18:00 World News Today With Zeinab Badawi 18:30 World News Today With

Zeinab Badawi 19:00 World News Today With Zeinab Badawi 19:30 World Business Report 19:45 Sport Today 20:00 BBC World News America 20:30 Hardtalk 21:00 BBC World News 21:30 World Business Report 21:45 Sport Today 22:00 BBC World News America 22:30 Asia Business Report 22:45 Sport Today 23:00 BBC World News 23:30 Asia Business Report 23:45 Sport Today

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

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

00:30 Bakugan: New Vestroia 00:55 Bakugan: New Vestroia 01:20 Powerpuff Girls 02:10 Courage The Cowardly Dog 03:00 The Amazing World Of Gumball 03:25 Ben 10 03:50 Adventure Time 04:15 Powerpuff Girls 04:40 Generator Rex 05:05 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 05:30 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 05:55 Angelo Rules 06:00 Casper’s Scare School 06:25 Eliot Kid 06:50 The Amazing World Of Gumball 07:15 Adventure Time 07:40 Regular Show

08:05 Grim Adventures Of... 08:55 Courage The Cowardly Dog 09:45 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 10:10 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 10:35 Powerpuff Girls 11:25 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 11:50 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 12:15 Ed, Edd n Eddy 13:05 Ben 10: Alien Force 13:30 Bakugan: Gundalian Invaders 13:55 Redakai: Conquer The Kairu 14:20 Camp Lazlo 14:45 Powerpuff Girls 15:35 Angelo Rules 16:25 Grim Adventures Of... 17:00 Total Drama: Revenge Of The Island 17:25 The Amazing World Of Gumball 17:40 Adventure Time 18:05 Regular Show 18:30 Ben 10 18:55 Bakugan: Mechtanium Surge 19:20 Hero 108 19:45 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 20:10 Courage The Cowardly Dog 21:00 Ben 10: Alien Force 21:25 The Powerpuff Girls 21:50 Cow And Chicken 22:00 Codename: Kids Next Door 22:50 Ben 10 23:15 Ben 10 23:40 Chowder

00:15 One Man Army 01:10 Destroyed In Seconds 01:35 Unchained Reaction 02:30 James May’s Man Lab 03:25 Inventions That Shook The World 04:20 One Man Army 05:15 How It’s Made 05:40 How It’s Made 06:05 Flying Wild Alaska 07:00 Chop Shop: London Garage 07:50 Mythbusters 08:45 Ultimate Survival 09:40 Border Security - Series 6 Specials 10:05 Auction Hunters 10:30 How It’s Made 10:55 How It’s Made 11:25 Sons Of Guns 12:20 Battle Machine Bros 13:15 Extreme Explosions 14:10 Border Security - Series 6 Specials 14:35 Auction Hunters 15:05 Flying Wild Alaska 16:00 Chop Shop: London Garage 16:55 Wheeler Dealers On The Road 17:20 Ultimate Survival 18:15 Mythbusters 19:10 How It’s Made 19:40 How It’s Made 20:05 Border Security - Series 6 Specials 20:35 Auction Hunters 21:00 Carfellas 21:30 Sons Of Guns 22:25 Nothing Personal 23:20 Kidnap And Rescue

00:35 01:25 01:50 02:40 03:35 04:00 04:25 04:50 05:20 06:10 07:00 07:50 08:15 08:40 09:35 10:25 10:50 11:20 12:15 13:05


Nasa’s Greatest Missions The Tech Show Weird Or What? Invisible Worlds How Does That Work? How Does That Work? Stunt Junkies Stunt Junkies Mega Builders Smash Lab Nasa’s Greatest Missions How Does That Work? How Does That Work? Weird Or What? Invisible Worlds The Gadget Show The Gadget Show Smash Lab Mega Builders Nasa’s Greatest Missions

13:55 How Does That Work? 14:20 How Does That Work? 14:50 Stunt Junkies 15:15 Stunt Junkies 15:40 The Tech Show 16:05 Smash Lab 17:00 The Gadget Show 17:25 The Gadget Show 17:50 Nasa’s Greatest Missions 18:40 Wallace & Gromit’s World Of Invention 19:05 Wallace & Gromit’s World Of Invention 19:30 Bang Goes The Theory 20:20 The Gadget Show 20:45 The Gadget Show 21:10 Smash Lab 22:00 Wallace & Gromit’s World Of Invention 22:25 Wallace & Gromit’s World Of Invention 22:50 Bang Goes The Theory 23:40 Mega Builders

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

Fairly Odd Parents Fairly Odd Parents Brandy & Mr Whiskers Brandy & Mr Whiskers Replacements Replacements Emperor’s New School Emperor’s New School Brandy & Mr Whiskers Brandy & Mr Whiskers Replacements Replacements Fairly Odd Parents Fairly Odd Parents Fish Hooks Recess So Random Wizards Of Waverly Place Good Luck Charlie Shake It Up Phineas And Ferb Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Jake & The Neverland Pirates Handy Manny Recess Frenemies Phineas And Ferb Good Luck Charlie A.N.T. Farm Wizards Of Waverly Place Phineas And Ferb So Random Jessie Wizards Of Waverly Place Wizards Of Waverly Place Wizards Of Waverly Place Shake It Up Phineas And Ferb Jessie A.N.T. Farm Radio Rebel Fish Hooks Shake It Up Good Luck Charlie Wizards Of Waverly Place Wizards Of Waverly Place Wizards Of Waverly Place Frenemies Phineas And Ferb Good Luck Charlie Wizards Of Waverly Place Wizards Of Waverly Place Kim Possible

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

00:25 Kendra 00:55 Style Star 01:25 15 Most Infamous Child Star Mugshots 03:15 Behind The Scenes 03:40 Extreme Close-Up 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 Extreme Hollywood 06:00 THS 07:50 Behind The Scenes 08:20 E! News 09:15 Kendra 09:45 Kendra 10:15 50 Cutest Child Stars: All Grown Up 12:05 E! News 13:05 Khloe And Lamar 13:35 Khloe And Lamar 14:05 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 15:00 Style Star 15:30 THS 16:25 Behind The Scenes 16:55 Ice Loves Coco 17:25 Ice Loves Coco 17:55 E! News 18:55 E!es

19:55 Giuliana & Bill 20:55 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 21:25 Fashion Police 22:25 E! News 23:25 Chelsea Lately 23:55 Keeping Up With The Kardashians

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

Ghost Lab A Haunting LA: City Of Demons Cops And Coyotes Dr G: Medical Examiner Ghost Lab A Haunting Disappeared Forensic Detectives Murder Shift Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared Street Patrol Street Patrol Murder Shift Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? True Crime With Aphrodite Disappeared Forensic Detectives Murder Shift Real Emergency Calls Mystery Diagnosis Who On Earth Did I Marry? True Crime With Aphrodite Disappeared Nightmare Next Door Nightmare Next Door Dr G: Medical Examiner

00:00 Danger Men 01:00 By Any Means 02:00 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 02:30 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 03:00 Pressure Cook 03:30 Pressure Cook 04:00 Extreme Tourist Afghanistan 05:00 Bondi Rescue: Bali 05:30 Bondi Rescue: Bali 06:00 Danger Men 07:00 By Any Means 08:00 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 08:30 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 09:00 Pressure Cook 09:30 Pressure Cook 10:00 Extreme Tourist Afghanistan 11:00 Bondi Rescue: Bali 11:30 Bondi Rescue: Bali 12:00 Danger Men 13:00 By Any Means 14:00 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 14:30 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 15:00 Pressure Cook 15:30 Pressure Cook 16:00 Extreme Tourist Afghanistan 17:00 Bondi Rescue: Bali 17:30 Bondi Rescue: Bali 18:00 Danger Men 19:00 A World Apart 20:00 Delinquent Gourmet 20:30 Delinquent Gourmet 21:00 One Man & His Campervan 21:30 One Man & His Campervan 22:00 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 1 22:30 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 1 23:00 Ultimate Traveller

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

Megastructures Somewhere In China Taboo Megastructures Britain’s Greatest Machines Animal Autopsy The Border Inside Megastructures Somewhere In China Taboo Megastructures Britain’s Greatest Machines Animal Autopsy The Border Inside Megastructures Somewhere In China Taboo Megastructures Salvage Code Red Predator CSI Rescue Ink Inside

00:00 Wildlife Rescue Africa 01:00 World’s Deadliest Animals 01:55 Monster Fish 02:50 Swamp Men 03:45 World’s Deadliest Animals 04:40 Wildlife Rescue Africa 05:35 The Living Edens 06:30 Monster Fish 07:25 Swamp Men 08:20 World’s Deadliest Animals 09:15 The Great Serengeti (aka Serengeti) 10:10 Super Pride 11:05 Sixgill Shark: Into The Abyss 12:00 Orca Killing School 13:00 Monster Fish 14:00 Swamp Men 15:00 World’s Deadliest Animals 16:00 Africa’s Deadliest 17:00 Asia’s Deadliest Snakes 18:00 Valley of The Wolves 19:00 Monster Fish 20:00 Swamp Men 21:00 World’s Deadliest Animals 22:00 The Great Serengeti (aka Serengeti) 23:00 Super Pride

00:00 01:00 01:55 02:50 03:45 04:40 05:35

Wildlife Rescue Africa World’s Deadliest Animals Monster Fish Swamp Men World’s Deadliest Animals Wildlife Rescue Africa The Living Edens

JUMPING THE BROOM ON OSN CINEMA 06:30 Monster Fish 07:25 Swamp Men 08:20 World’s Deadliest Animals 09:15 The Great Serengeti (aka Serengeti) 10:10 Super Pride 11:05 Sixgill Shark: Into The Abyss 12:00 Orca Killing School 13:00 Monster Fish 14:00 Swamp Men 15:00 World’s Deadliest Animals 16:00 Africa’s Deadliest 17:00 Asia’s Deadliest Snakes 18:00 Valley of The Wolves 19:00 Monster Fish 20:00 Swamp Men 21:00 World’s Deadliest Animals 22:00 The Great Serengeti (aka Serengeti) 23:00 Super Pride

00:00 The Running Man-18 02:00 Jason X-18 04:00 The Killer Inside Me-18 06:00 The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course-PG15 08:00 Smoke Screen-PG15 10:00 Tremors-PG15 12:00 Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within-PG 14:00 Smoke Screen-PG15 16:00 The Devil’s Teardrop-PG15 18:00 Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within-PG 20:00 Don’t Look Up-18 22:00 Icarus-18

01:00 Handsome Harry-18 03:00 Jumping The Broom-PG15 05:00 Gasland-PG15 07:00 Certified Copy-PG15 09:00 District 9-PG15 11:00 Adventures Of A Teenage Dragonslayer-PG 13:00 A Trace Of Danger-PG15 15:00 The Nanny Express-PG15 17:00 16 To Life-PG15 19:00 Vampires Suck-PG15 21:00 Arthur-PG15 23:00 Tamara Drewe-18

00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 02:00 Hung 03:30 Wilfred 04:00 Weird Science 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 Seinfeld 06:30 Melissa And Joey 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 Weird Science 09:00 Seinfeld 10:30 Melissa And Joey 11:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:30 Weird Science 13:00 Seinfeld 13:30 Melissa And Joey 14:00 Wilfred 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:30 Wilfred 19:00 Cougar Town 19:30 How I Met Your Mother 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 Family Guy 22:30 The Cleveland Show 23:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

00:00 01:00 02:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 07:00 08:00 08:30 09:00 10:00 11:00

American Idol The Glades Law & Order: Criminal Intent C.S.I. Damages Good Morning America The Invisible Man Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show The Martha Stewart Show The View

12:00 13:00 14:00 16:00 17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 22:00 23:00

American Idol The Glades Good Morning America The Invisible Man The Ellen DeGeneres Show Emmerdale Scandal American Idol Downton Abbey Damages

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

True Blood Law & Order: Criminal Intent Grimm American Idol The Glades Eureka Pan Am Emmerdale Coronation Street Surface Law & Order: Criminal Intent American Idol The Glades Emmerdale Hot In Cleveland The Ellen DeGeneres Show Surface Pan Am Emmerdale Hot In Cleveland The Ellen DeGeneres Show Surface Scandal American Idol Downton Abbey Combat Hospital

01:00 Thick As Thieves-18 03:00 The Grudge 3-18 05:00 Paranormal Activity: Tokyo Night-PG15 07:00 Attack On Leningrad-PG15 09:00 True Justice: Lethal Justice-18 11:00 Iron Man 2-PG15 13:15 Last Breath-PG15 15:00 True Justice: Lethal Justice-18 16:45 X2-PG 19:00 The Alphabet Killer-18 21:00 The Nun-18 23:00 Reykjavik: Whale Watching Massacre-18

00:00 Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie-PG15 02:00 A Fork In The Road-PG15 04:00 Hanging Up-PG15 06:00 Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie-PG15 08:00 The Dukes-PG15 10:00 Not The Messiah: He’s A Very Naughty Boy-PG15 12:00 Little Secrets-PG 14:00 The Lightkeepers-PG15 16:00 Not The Messiah: He’s A Very Naughty Boy-PG15 18:00 Whatever Works-PG15 20:00 50 First Dates-PG15 22:00 American Virgin-18

01:00 Talhotblond-18 03:00 Romeo + Juliet-PG15 05:00 The Greatest-PG15 07:00 9-PG 09:00 The Eclipse-PG15 11:00 Hollywood, I’m Sleeping Over Tonight-PG15 13:00 Teen Knight-PG15 15:00 The Eclipse-PG15 17:00 Espions-PG15 19:00 The Client List-PG15 21:00 Garden State-18

01:00 Agora-18 03:15 Ice Age-FAM 05:00 Alabama Moon-PG15 07:00 Secretariat-PG15 09:00 I Am Number Four-PG15 11:00 Les Miserables 25th Anniversary-PG15 14:00 The Wronged Man-PG15 15:30 Flipped-PG 17:00 I Am Number Four-PG15 19:00 The Green Hornet-PG15 21:00 Arthur-PG15 23:00 Repo Men-18

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

The Prince Of Dinosaurs-PG D’fenders-PG Snow Dogs-PG The Prince Of Dinosaurs-PG Marco Antonio-PG The Littlest Fox-PG15 The Swan Princess-FAM Snow Dogs-PG The Enchanted Mountain-PG The Littlest Fox-PG15 I’ll Be Home For Christmas-PG The Swan Princess-FAM

00:00 Super Rugby Highlights 01:00 UFC Countdown 02:00 Rugby League 04:00 Super Rugby 06:00 European PGA Tour Highlights 07:00 Rugby League 09:00 Super Rugby Highlights 10:00 European PGA Tour Highlights 11:00 Trans World Sport 12:00 Volvo Ocean Race Highlights 12:30 Rugby League 14:30 European PGA Tour Highlights 15:30 European Tour Weekly 16:00 Live European PGA Tour 20:00 WWE NXT 21:00 Rugby League 23:00 Premier League Darts

00:30 European Tour Weekly 01:00 Premier League Darts 04:30 Futbol Mundial 05:00 European Tour Weekly 05:30 Top 14 Highlights 06:00 Super Rugby Highlights 07:00 Trans World Sports 08:00 Volvo Ocean Race 09:00 AFL Highlights 10:00 IronMan 11:00 IronMan 12:00 IronMan 12:30 Premier League Darts 16:00 Trans World Sport 17:00 AFL Highlights 18:00 Golfing World 19:00 Live Senior PGA Championship 22:00 Golfing World 23:00 European Tour Weekly 23:30 Super Rugby Highlights

01:30 Triathlon 03:30 Ironman 04:00 Scottish FA Cup 06:00 World Cup Of Pool 07:00 Golfing World 08:00 European PGA Tour Highlights 09:00 European Tour Weekly 09:30 Total Rugby 10:00 Trans World Sport 11:00 Super Rugby 13:00 Futbol Mundial 13:30 Golfing World 14:30 Super League 16:30 Scottish FA Cup 18:30 Scottish Premier League Highlights 19:00 AFL Highlights 20:00 Top 14 Highlights 20:30 Total Rugby 21:00 Trans World Sport 22:00 Volvo Ocean Race Highlights 22:30 Futbol Mundial 23:00 Senior PGA Championship

00:00 01:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 08:00 09:00 12:00 12:30 15:30 16:30 17:00 18:00 19:00 21:00 22:00

WWE NXT PrizeFighter UFC The Ultimate Fighter UFC Unleashed UFC Unleashed WWE NXT WWE Vintage Collection PrizeFighter V8 Supercars Extra Live AFL Premiership WWE Experience V8 Supercars Extra UFC The Ultimate Fighter UFC 146 Countdown WWE SmackDown WWE Bottomline UFC

Classifieds THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012




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



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

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (


ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available for one person in Sharq, near Hamra Tower. Contact: 97263809. (C 4019) 21-5-2012 Sharing accommodation available in Mahbooula for non-smoking Keralites. Contact: 66725394. (C 4015)

SITUATION VACANT Indian driver for Kuwaiti family. 1) Working as driver in Kuwait at least 5 years. 2) Knows to speak English. 3) Residence 20. Contact: 66343220. (C 4017) 20-5-2012

United States citizen 15 plus year experience working on U.S. Military 3 non military tire including MRAP looking for employment with US Army contract company in Middle East. Contact: 60461658. (C 4023) 23-5-2012 FOR SALE Toyota Camry model 2010, white color, GL, CD, excellent original condition, cash price KD 4200/-, installation possible. Contact: 66396517. (C 4025) Households for sale cheap prices with or without, 2 BR C-A/C flat at Fahaheel, family leaving June. BR set, sofa, fridge, thread mill, electron-

ics, medicated bed etc. Contact: 99232986. (C 4021) 24-5-2012 Fully furnished C-A/C, big hall: 8x4m. 2 spacious bed rooms, two bath rooms, one maid’s room/store room, and balcony, plus reserved shaded car parking, with complete good quality furniture (mostly from IKEA & Denmark) and Elect. Appliances for sale at Salmiya area 11 (Maidan Hawalli), behind petrol station. Contact: 66654074, Email: (C 4020) 21-5-2012 CHANGE OF NOME

I, Syed Arhad Ahmed holder of Indian Passport No. J5395460 do hereby change my name to Syed Arshad Ahmed. (C 4022)

Sivakumar Krishnamoorthy, son of Krishnamoorthy and Theivanayagi bearing Indian passport No. F9732440 and hav-


Tel.: e 161


ing address New No. 151, Achuthampettai, Thirukandeeswaram, Sannanallur (P.O), Nannilam TK, Thiruvarur DT, Tamil Nadu, India have embraced Islam and changed the name as ABDURRAHMAN. (C 4024) 24-5-2012

Ext.: 262 2627 - 2630

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



Issue Time

Expected Weeather for the Next 24 Hours BY Y DA AY:

Hazy with light to moderate freshening gradually north westerly wind, with speed of 15 - 40 km/h causing raising dust


Relatively hot with light to moderate southerly to south westerly wind, with speed of 08 - 28 km/h

No Current Warnings arnin a





37 °C

28 °C


38 °C

26 °C


39 °C

27 °C


40 °C

25 °C


36 °C

22 °C


37 °C

25 °C


37 °C

24 °C


38 °C

27 °C


37 °C

27 °C


33 °C

28 °C


38 °C

25 °C


23/05/2012 0000 UTC

4 DA AYS Y FORECAST Temperatures DA AY





Wind Direction

Wind Speed




40 °C

27 °C


25 - 45 km/h

Friday Saturday



40 °C

25 °C


25 - 50 km/h



42 °C

28 °C


08 - 30 km/h




43 °C

27 °C


12 - 35 km/h

PRA RA AY YER TIMES Prayer timings Fajr

Fajr: 03:19 Sunrise Duhr: 11:45 Zuhr Asr: Asr15:20 Maghrib:Sunset 18:39 Isha: Isha20:08


MAX. Temp.

41 °C


MIN. Temp.

30 °C 18 %






MAX. Wind



All times are local time unless otherwise stated.

23/05/12 02:53 UTC

06 % NW 68 km/h .07 mm V1.00



THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012

stars CROSSWORD 684



Aries (March 21-April 19) There could be difficulties in the workplace today due to misunderstandings. However, when you see a difficulty, you roll up your sleeves and find the solution as quickly as possible. You are also able to effectively communicate your ideas to others who may join you in some problem-solving situation. . You are aware that a hasty decision may prove unfortunate so you move through difficulties with wise deliberation. Someone pays you a nice compliment on your work today. There is a massive social change going on now. You may find a completely new set of friends coming across your path soon. This could be coming from a new co-worker. You may be invited to a new place of entertainment. The weather could prove difficult later today—careful.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) Things are happening to help you move forward in your career or the way in which you want to reach particular goals. Your ambition and drive are strong as well and you will find everything working together. Work is both therapy and empowerment and you are able to use good common sense to feel the trends of the future in order to make all the right moves. Look around you within your own company, and research the possibilities—stretch. Take every opportunity to network and write up ways that you might improve the business. The next employee review ought to be quite interesting. Warning, do not give away certain details; you might not get the credit. If your lifestyle has been a bit dull, you are about to see some wonderful changes.

POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. A federal agency established to regulate the release of new foods and health-related products. 4. A descent down a nearly vertical surface by using a doubled rope that is coiled around the body and attached to some higher point. 10. Immense East Indian fruit resembling breadfruit of. 13. United States sculptor and architect whose public works include the memorial to veterans of the Vietnam War in Washington (born in 1959). 14. Of or relating to or near the sacrum. 15. American prizefighter who won the world heavyweight championship three times (born in 1942). 16. Any of various strong liquors distilled from the fermented sap of toddy palms or from fermented molasses. 18. A particular geographical region of indefinite boundary (usually serving some special purpose or distinguished by its people or culture or geography). 19. The 26th letter of the Roman alphabet. 20. Used of walls. 22. Filled with the emotional impact of overwhelming surprise or shock. 24. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 26. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 27. A square dance figure. 29. (used of count nouns) Every one considered individually. 33. A public promotion of some product or service. 35. Angular distance above the horizon (especially of a celestial object). 36. An attendant who carries the golf clubs for a player. 38. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits. 40. The longer of the two telegraphic signals used in Morse code. 42. The rate at which red blood cells settle out in a tube of blood under standardized conditions. 43. A former communist country in eastern Europe and northern Asia. 46. A member of the Siouan people of the Missouri river valley in NE Nebraska. 48. United States writer of poems and plays about racial conflict (born in 1934). 50. An independent group of closely related Chadic languages spoken in the area between the Biu-Mandara and East Chadic languages. 52. (British) A form of football played with an oval ball. 54. King of Saudi Arabia since 1982 (born in 1922). 58. Conforming to an ultimate standard of perfection or excellence. 59. Essential oil or perfume obtained from flowers. 61. The cry made by sheep. 62. God of the underworld. 63. (Greek mythology) One of the three Graces. 65. (in Scotland or Ireland) A mountain or tall hill. 66. (Greek mythology) The winged goddess of the dawn in ancient mythology. 67. A narrative song with a recurrent refrain. 68. Any of various systems of units for measuring electricity and magnetism. DOWN 1. A movable airfoil that is part of an aircraft wing. 2. English theoretical physicist who applied relativity theory to quantum mechanics and predicted the existence of antimatter and the positron (1902-1984). 3. A genus of tropical American plants have sword-shaped leaves and a fleshy compound fruits composed of the fruits of several flowers (such as pineapples). 4. A very poisonous metallic element that has three allotropic forms. 5. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 6. Any of a number of fishes of the family Carangidae. 7. To make a mistake or be incorrect. 8. The United Nations agency concerned with atomic energy. 9. Wild or domesticated South American cud-chewing animal related to camels but smaller and lacking a hump. 10. Empty rhetoric or insincere or exaggerated talk. 11. On or toward the lee. 12. Scottish sea captain who was hired to protect British shipping in the Indian Ocean and then was accused of piracy and hanged (1645-1701). 17. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 21. Jointed and nearly leafless desert shrub having reduced scalelike leaves and reddish fleshy seeds. 23. In bed. 25. A state in east central United States. 28. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 30. Chief port of Yemen. 31. (computer science) A kind of computer architecture that has a large number of instructions hard coded into the cpu chip. 32. Queen of the Olympian gods in ancient Greek mythology. 34. An official prosecutor for a judicial district. 37. A system of one or more computers and associated software with common storage. 39. A citizen of an English borough. 41. Relating to the blood vessels or blood. 42. The United Nations agency concerned with atomic energy. 44. A island in the Netherlands Antilles that is the top of an extinct volcano. 45. United States space station. 47. An awkward stupid person. 49. The audible part of a transmitted signal. 50. Type genus of the Anatidae. 51. A genus of Platalea. 53. An interior passage or corridor onto which rooms open. 55. A French abbot. 56. A complex red organic pigment containing iron and other atoms to which oxygen binds. 57. (Irish) Mother of the Tuatha De Danann. 60. A unit of absorbed ionizing radiation equal to 100 ergs per gram of irradiated material. 64. A rare silvery (usually trivalent) metallic element.

Yesterday’s Solution

Gemini (May 21-June 20) You are in a mood of self-enjoyment and can appreciate your own better qualities this day. You may now be living on your own and learning to set a pace for yourself. A neighbor or friend you might see before work has valuable advice or information for you. A sense of humor with a little insight is something you appreciate. You can demonstrate great understanding and sensitivity to the needs of others but today the people that know you may be asking for your lighthearted thoughts during break time. Later today you will have an opportunity to help teach or impart a bit of encouragement to others that need to take a more independent approach to life. Your confidence is high and you can accomplish anything that is before you today.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) This is a time for serious thinking—getting down to what is important to you. You are practical and conscientious and others learn from your example. Taking care of the necessary underpinnings of life—health, work and such—becomes a greater preoccupation. School or studies of all kinds could be in order. This is a time for perspiration in the idea department. Perhaps a little more education will get you the job you want so that you will have more freedom or power. This may be a time during which you can get ahead by finding your limits and establishing some criteria that will enable you to move forward with your goals. Your surroundings seem to complement you in a social situation this afternoon—positive attention is easy to find.


Leo (July 23-August 22) There is a desire to proceed as quickly as possible. However, you should not be impulsive or too quick to act during this time since it is a good time to carefully examine your work and make any necessary adjustments. There is new passion available for creative endeavors. You could come up with some new ideas or insight in the workplace now. This is a time of good fortune when things open up in a very natural way. Situations are almost custom-made and it is easy to see future possibilities unfold. There are plenty of opportunities for you to increase your finances and you may find yourself wanting to participate in almost everything, within reason. You will probably seek out a good time with friends this evening. Expressing affections is most positive.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) You may find that you can concentrate better than usual—was it something you ate? Actually, you have been taking better care of yourself lately and all that work to improve your health is showing up in your work. You make your way through ideas and concepts with the ability to communicate and express these thoughts to others. It should be easy for you to push forward in projects and in all aspects of your life. Things may even seem a little magical in the way the difficulties work out for you. This is a great time to organize and get things accomplished. Be wise and pace yourself—remember how you got where you are today. You have a greater appreciation for things of value. This is a nice day in which much can be accomplished.

Libra (September 23-October 22)


This is a time to express your self-confidence regarding decisions that will help you move up the corporate ladder. You have all the determination necessary to channel your talents. That may not necessarily mean you make your presentation today, but it does mean that you can begin putting together your own ideas for presenting your objective to higher-ups in your office or business. A letter of recommendation would also be a good thing to consider. An emotionally charged drama will be experienced in the realm of law, politics, education, travel or religion this day; but you are most persuasive and calming toward a positive end result. The situation is a natural for self-expression and lends itself to your encouraging counsel to others. Stay positive.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Everything you do or have done lately to bring in more income has positive results. You seem to be the alchemist that can turn stone into gold—at least it seems that way. Everything you have been working for is now beginning to show a profit, including your artistic efforts. This is a very good day for financial transactions. You may shine in your particular job—a promotion will come with ease. You could represent or speak for your company or communicate about your skills. If asked to step into a temporary position held by a respected member of the work group, humbly accept. You will show that you are an asset in your dealings with others today. Having respect and admiration for your gifts and talent is a positive. Taking chances bring big rewards.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Your communication skills are in demand today—you may be asked to speak for the company or deal with the public concerning merchandise problems. Your co-workers may become very close to you, like family. It is almost like an ongoing soap opera to hear about your experiences in the workplace. Your emotions and the feelings of those around you may be very clear today. Gossip is prevalent but you will work to encourage others to stop. You may find many ways to improve working conditions all around you. Many insights are considered this afternoon from conversations regarding hypothetical situations. Don’t be afraid to speak up when you see a situation that could bring about better business. A true maturity can be realized in you.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) Your directional abilities are good today. Others may slow you down from time to time by pulling you into conversations, but your mind moves quickly back to your work. You feel an appreciation for responsibilities. Problems are almost fun to fix, well . . . almost. In-depth discussions find you at your mental best. Your investigative abilities are wise and on-target a big percent of the time. Higher-ups are interested in what you have to say regarding a couple of situations today. At home this afternoon, you and your loved one may decide to take up a new hobby or attend a class together—perhaps learning about herbs or drying flowers. Whatever the subject, it is fun to learn new things together and to give each other special attention. To

Yesterday’s Solution Yester

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) You may find that people are so busy today you won’t be able to finish a sentence. Others may challenge your authority or the direction you are taking. Events could make it difficult for you to act. Your ideas may not find the support you need. This is a good time to back off and get a view of the day from a different perspective. Perhaps a break or an early lunch will provide the perfect opportunity to unwind and gain a focus. The afternoon points to your taking the initiative. Your special qualifications and your creativity are more likely to put you ahead of the pack this afternoon. Patience—in time, the boost you need to establish yourself in your chosen field will be yours. You may look forward to some form of sports or exercise with friends this evening.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Word Sleuth Solution

This is a good time to reach agreements with others. Group discussions and meetings should go well. Unusual moves are not favored today. Proceed with caution! There is a lot of zest and energy available for disciplined work, but have a plan so that you can stay focused. Some sort of performance or presentation may have you a bit nervous, but as you remember a few words of encouragement, you will do very well. Many changes will take place around you this year—some beginning today. Make it a point to radiate your most positive energies now. You will do well to create a balance in your relationships give and take. It may be your turn to cook. General good feelings and a sense of support make all your efforts worthwhile.

THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012

i n f o r m at i o n


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THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012

lifest yle G o s s i p

Donald Driver wins ‘Dancing With the Stars’ reen Bay Packers football star Donald Driver won the 14th season of ‘Dancing With the Stars’ on Tuesday, Cha Cha Cha-ing to victory on the strength of perfect scores from the show’s judges and voting support from fans. An ecstatic


he actor - who plays high school teacher Will Schuester in the hit musical TV show thinks the ‘Rolling in the Deep’ singer would make a great addition to the cast and is hoping it can happen. Speaking at the UK premiere of ‘What To Expect When You’re Expecting’ at the BFI IMAX cinema in London night Matthew told BANG Showbiz: “I’d love to see Adele. I don’t think she should sing on the show... I don’t know what she would do but it would be fun to have her on the show!” Adele could join the illustrious list of guest stars who have appeared in ‘Glee’ which include Gwyneth Paltrow, Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears. Although Matthew admitted fellow British star Cheryl Cole “would be great” in a guest role, he admits the decision lies in the hands Glee’s producers. He explained: “I think they all know who she is, so I think that it’s up to


Cheryl Cole ‘proud’ of her Girls Aloud bandmates he 28-year-old beauty has lavished praise on Kimberley admitting she loves and supports her friend in everything she does. Cheryl who flew to London from the Cannes Film Festival on Monday (21.05.12) to watch Kimberley in her final appearance in ‘Shrek The Musical’ wrote on her Twitter page: “I am SO proud of @KimberleyJWalsh ... How can u love someone so much :/ (sic)” The ‘Call My Name’ singer then heaped compliments onto Nicola, 26, insisting her pal has become an “amazing young woman”. She tweeted: “And it is really Amazing to watch somebody grow and blossom from a teenage girl into an Amazing young woman @NicolaRoberts ... I love my Girls so much #havingamoment (sic)” Cheryl stepped out at the UK premiere of ‘What To


Driver, who danced with professional partner Peta Murgatroyd, was cited by the judges for his intensity and determination, and willingness to listen and learn from them during the course of the TV ballroom dance competition’s season. Driver triumphed

over the other finalists, Telenovela star William Levy who placed third, and runner-up, classical music singer Katherine Jenkins, a season-long standout.

them. I will lobby for people that I really want on the show but I haven’t done that for her. But there’s so many people that want be on that show!” Nonetheless, the 33-year-old singer-andactor was full of praise for the ‘Call My Name’ hitmaker, who has a cameo in ‘What To Expect When You’re Expecting’. He said: “It was great working with her, she was amazing, she was very professional and really did a good job and did very well. “Coming to London a lot, you can’t get away from her or go without seeing a picture of her so it was great to finally interact with her as a human being, it was fun. “I think she’s a beautiful woman ... but I’m taken!” Cameron Diaz, Cheryl and Chace Crawford also walked the red carpet with Matthew at the premiere.

Expect When You’re Expecting’ last night (22.05.12) and sent flashbulbs popping as she walked the red carpet in an offwhite Victoria Beckham gown. The star - who has a cameo in the film as a TV dance show judge - happily stopped to sign autographs for fans who had waited for hours at the BFI IMAX cinema in London to get a glimpse of the stars. And Cheryl seemed to enjoy the event as much as her admirers, tweeting: “Was really nice to meet/see some of you yesterday @ the What to expect when your expecting premier! Such a Good film btw. (sic)” Other stars on the red carpet included Chace Crawford, Matthew Morrison and Cameron Diaz.

Michael McKean struck by car in NYC

ctor Michael McKean, who portrayed the lead singer in the movie “This is Spinal Tap,” was injured when he was struck by a car in New York City. A McKean spokeswoman, Harriet Sternberg, says the actor suffered a broken leg. Emergency officials say McKean was struck at West 86th Street and Broadway in Manhattan just before 3 pm Tuesday. McKean was taken to St. Luke’s hospital. Police say he was in stable condition. They had no further details. McKean also played Lenny on the hit television show “Laverne & Shirley.” He’s currently starring in the Broadway production of Gore Vidal’s political drama, “Best Man.”

A t’s a family affair at the upcoming BET Awards: Kanye West has the most nominations with seven, while his mentor, Jay-Z, earned five, and Jay-Z’s wife, BeyoncÈ, received six. Jay-Z and West collaborated last year on the album “Watch the Throne.” Their songs - “In Paris” and “Otis” - are up for video of the year. BeyoncÈ has two nominations in that category with “Love on Top” and “Countdown.” The fifth nominee is Usher’s “Climax.” The nom-


inations were announced Tuesday in New York. Samuel L. Jackson will host the July 1 award show, which will be held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Chris Brown and Nicki Minaj will perform. Other multiple nominees include Brown, Lil Wayne, Drake and J. Cole. Maze featuring Frankie Beverly will receive a lifetime achievement award.

ady Gaga is as confused as anyone about whether she’ll be allowed to perform in Indonesia. Islamic hard-liners have threatened violence, saying her sexy clothes and provocative dance moves could corrupt youth. Police initially denied a permit for the “Born This Way Ball” but are now hinting the concert could go ahead if the pop diva toned down the show. She tweeted Tuesday: “The Jakarta situation is 2fold: Indonesian authorities demand I censor the


Comanche tribe makes

Johnny Depp honorary member

ohnny Depp has been made an honorary member of the Comanche tribe. Depp is in New Mexico, shooting the film adaptation of “The Lone Ranger.” He plays “Ranger” sidekick Tonto in the film. Comanche Nation tribal member LaDonna Harris said Tuesday that the tribal chairman presented Depp with a proclamation at her Albuquerque home May 16. She said the Comanche adoption tradition means she now considers Depp her son. Harris said Depp seemed humbled. His spokeswoman,


Jayne Ngo, confirmed the actor participated in a ceremony, but she declined to provide details. Harris said she had read in interviews that Depp identified himself as being part Native American, so she thought it would be fun to adopt him - a tradition she says is common in Comanche culture. She ran the idea past her adult children, and they agreed. Harris said she reached out to the “Dark Shadows” star through a friend who is working as a cultural adviser on the “Lone Ranger” set. The Comanche Nation is based in

show & religious extremist separately, are threatening violence. If the show does go on as scheduled, I will perform the BTWBall alone.” What she meant wasn’t clear, and her promoters have not commented. Indonesia, a predominantly Muslim nation of 240 million people, was supposed to be the biggest show on Lady Gaga’s Asian tour.

Lawton, Oklahoma. About half of its 15,000 members live in southwestern Oklahoma. Depp has been the topic of much discussion in Indian Country and online since he was cast as Tonto, with comments ranging from his costume, to the selection of a non-Native for the part, to how the role itself has historically epitomized Hollywood’s misrepresentation of Native culture.— Agencies


THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012



M o v i e s

The winners of the First Semi-Final of the Eurovision 2012 song contest celebrate their results in the Azerbaijan’s capital Baku, late on May 22, 2012. —AFP

Glitzy Baku seeks to sparkle at Eurovision urovision is everywhere in Baku, the easternmost city to host the annual song contest, as the Azerbaijani capital seeks to present a glitzy and sparkling front to the world for its biggest ever event. The Eurovision symbol is emblazoned on the city’s new fleet


workers were still putting in place on Tuesday evening as guests dressed up to the nines arrived for the semi-finals. It’s best to ignore the sulphurous smell wafting off the water, the legacy of years of heavy pollution into the Caspian Sea. Also disguised by the shiny buildings are

fire!” law student Aygun, 18, took photographs with friends next to a sculpture of a globe decorated with outstretched hands and yet more sparkling lights. “Our Crystal Hall is really amazing, it’s cool,” she said. “We’re seeing lots of tourists, we’re very proud of our city, we see they

The Baku Crystal Palace is lit by lights during the rehearsals for the 2012 Eurovision Song contest in Baku, Tuesday. —AP of London-style cabs, flashes on video screens on metro platforms and even goes up in lights on LCD displays on skyscrapers overlooking the Caspian Sea. Locals strolling along the seaside promenade proudly point out to sea to the city’s newest landmark: the Crystal Hall, built at high speed to host the contest. Lit up with flashing lights, it stands on a pier with the sea on both sides, lined with flowers that

the controversies that have marred the contest, with activists accusing Azerbaijan of human rights violations and a bitter diplomatic row building with its neighbour Iran. Locals instead prefer to see the competition as a chance to put their city which already boasts fine finde-siecle architecture and an enchanting old town-firmly on the European map. Waving a flag with the Eurovision symbol on one side and this year’s slogan “Light your

like our city, our country.” The location could hardly be more symbolic of national pride: right behind the hall is a giant 162metre (530-foot) flagpost with a rippling 70-metre-long national flag, lit up at night with lasers. Guarded by police, the flagpost briefly held a world record as the tallest before being outdone by Tajikistan. Across the bay, three skyscrapers called Flame Towers being constructed at a cost of $350 million switch on a syn-

chronized light display of the flags of all the countries taking part in the song contest and the heart-shaped Eurovision symbol with the Azerbaijan flag inside. Eating popcorn on the promenade, English graduate Aytaj Farzali, 22, said she could not get tickets for the events, but saw the contest as a chance for Azerbaijan to put itself on the map. “Our city is very beautiful as you see and I think that many countries don’t know this. This would be a chance for us... We changed a little bit, in order to meet our guests.”“It has changed in the course of a year, in eight months it has changed,” agreed English teacher Aziza, sitting on a bench with two women friends. “There’s been a lot of change, a lot of construction to hold the contest properly. Roads appeared, new buildings, huge hotels,” said Kakma Koguashvili, who works for a transport company. Little doubt is left over who should be credited for the transformation-omnipresent in Baku is the image of Heydar Aliyev, the late president whose son Ilham succeeded him in 2003 to build a strongman dynasty. The source of such financial bounty is also no secret. Journalists attending the contest are given a souvenir-a perspex case holding a drop of black oil. The road from the airport passes oil derricks and the air smells of oil. Dzhamal, 25, strummed a rock song on the promenade with friends wearing T-shirts with the Google logo and the Union Jack. “Prices have got higher, but there is more work. There are prospects if you know how to do something,” he said, adding he works in advertising. “If you came to this boulevard three or four years ago, it would not have been so beautiful,” agreed his friend Rustam. “We have managed to get a bit closer to Europe.” —AFP

The Eurovision song contest ey facts about the Eurovision Song Contest, which takes place this week on the shores of the Caspian Sea in Baku, capital of Azerbaijan. The TV event is broadcast annually throughout the 56-state European Broadcasting Union, founded in 1950 in Switzerland (web site Member countries include not only all of Europe, including Russia and the other former Soviet republics but also north African states and several Middle Eastern ones, notably Jordan and Israel. The contest was founded in 1955, with 14 countries taking part. Forty-two countries are participating in Baku. Its basic principles have remained the same: each country selects a pop song to represent it, and the finals of the contest are broadcast live in all the participating countries. The Eurovison Song Contest, often derided as being a festival of musical bad taste, is thereby one of the biggest live TV events in the world. The organizers claim that some 125 million people will tune in this year. The rules call for the country which won the preceding year’s event to host the following one; Azerbaijan won the 2011 event with the song ‘Running Scared’ by the duo Ell and Nikki. Although participating countries vary,


five states which provide a large part of the EBU’s budget have the right to be present each year. They are Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. The original rules stipulated that songs had to be sung in the native language of the singers, but that has changed over time, and since 1999 artists have been given a free choice, which has led to a majority of entries in English. Purely instrumental music is not allowed; songs must be no more than three minutes long, and have to be sung live onstage, although the backing music is now usually recorded. The winners are selected by a jury, and since the arrival of online networks, viewers have also been asked to vote from their living-rooms, with their votes counting for half of the results. Jurors only vote for songs from countries other than their own. Swedish group ABBA got its first major boost by winning the event in 1974 with their song ‘Waterloo’. Another winner who went on to fame and fortune was the French-Canadian Celine Dion, who took the prize for Switzerland in 1988 with her song ‘Ne partez pas sans moi’. The contest’s web site is at —AFP

‘Glee’ graduates face tears, fears, uncertain futures ight stars of Fox TV’s musical comedy “Glee” bid farewell to McKinley High and headed down separate paths to pursue their dreams, leaving fans guessing how the show will follow their stories next season. Fox has said “Glee” will split time between McKinley High in Ohio and New York City, where two characters were heading, and creator Ryan Murphy has said all the current stars will return in some fashion. During Tuesday’s third-season finale, the seniors who graduated were Rachel (Lea Michele), Finn (Cory Monteith), Kurt (Chris Colfer), Quinn (Dianna Agron), Mike (Harry Shum Jr.), Puck (Mark Salling), Mercedes (Amber Riley) and Santana (Naya Rivera).


Brittany’s (Heather Morris) poor grades kept her from getting a diploma. Amid tearful goodbyes and covers of Bruce Springsteen and Beatles songs, show-choir star Rachel won acceptance to a New York performing arts school. But in a surprise, she traveled to the Big Apple solo after classmate Kurt didn’t make the cut and fiance Finn was rejected by an acting studio. Finn joined the Army and told Rachel to pursue her Broadway dreams on her own. Santana planned to move to New York with her mother’s blessing using money she had saved for college. Dancer Mike Chang was headed to Chicago, and Mercedes was going to Los Angeles to try a singing career. —Reuters


Was anyone clamoring for‘Men in Black 3’? here’s a moment early on in “Men in Black 3” when Will Smith’s Agent J sits down next to his longtime partner, Tommy Lee Jones’ Agent K, and bemoans the fact that he’s too old for this sort of thing - for running around New York in matching dark suits, chasing down aliens and zapping them with their shiny metal weapony doo-hickeys. We’re paraphrasing a bit. But unfortunately, that’s an excellent observation. We’re all too old for this sort of thing - the shtick itself has gotten old, and it has not aged well. Fifteen years since the zippy original and a decade since the sub-par sequel, we now have a third “Men in Black” movie which no one seems to have been clamoring for except maybe Barry Sonnenfeld, the director of all three. Long-gestating and written by a bunch more people than actually get credited, the latest film shows the glossy style and vague, sporadic glimmers of the kind of energy that made this franchise such an enormous international hit. But more often it feels hacky, choppy and - worst of all - just not that funny. And of course, it’s in 3-D for no dis-


cernible artistic or narrative reason. Smith and Jones don’t seem to be enjoying themselves, either, in returning to their roles as bickering secret government agents. When even the most charismatic actor on the planet can’t fake excitement, you know you’re in trouble. (We’re talking about Smith, in case you were wondering.) The puppy-doggish enthusiasm is gone, and now his Agent J is just weirdly obsessed, after all these years, with determining why it is that K is so surly. K, meanwhile, remains surly and reveals nothing. But then one of K’s adversaries from long ago, the growling, sharptoothed alien Boris the Killer (Jemaine Clement of “Flight of the Conchords”), resurfaces and forces everyone to revisit the past. Literally. Boris busts out of the high-tech Lunar Max prison with the help of his girlfriend, played by Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger clad in dominatrix gear and carrying a cake - in order to jump back in time and kill the Young Agent K, who put him there. (Back to Scherzinger for a moment: She’s one of the many nonsensical ele-

ments here, one of many characters and ideas that are introduced and then cast aside. She arrives at the prison and approaches Boris’ cell in a beautifully framed opening sequence, then after a great deal of buildup is simply jettisoned. The absurdity of such randomness isn’t even amusing; it just feels sloppy.)

Anyway, Boris returns to the summer of 1969, a few days before the historic Apollo 11 moon mission, and takes out Agent K. Agent J shows up for work in the present day and wonders what happened to his partner; once he figures it out, he jumps back a bit earlier to kill Boris before Boris can kill K. Time-travel plots can

In this film image released by Sony Pictures, Tommy Lee Jones, left, and Will Smith star are shown in a scene from “Men in Black 3.” —AP

make you feel dizzy and nauseous if you try and pick them apart to determine whether they make sense, but once we reach our destination here, the jokes provide no pleasant escape. It’s all super-obvious fish-out-of-water stuff and gags about how ridiculous hippies looked. “Men in Black 3” begins to address the possibilities of how it must have felt for a strong black man in America during this tense time for race relations, then backs off. There’s also a brief, clever bit in which Bill Hader plays Andy Warhol that might have worked as a separate “Saturday Night Live” sketch. Again, more opportunities squandered. The best part of our trip to the ‘60s - the best part of the movie, period - is the arrival of the Young Agent K. Josh Brolin channels Jones in eerily dead-on fashion, from the bemused Texas twang to reticent demeanor to the slightest facial tics. It’s also an amusing bit of casting given that a) the two actors co-starred in the Coen brothers’ masterpiece “No Country for Old Men” and b) Brolin is supposed to be playing a 29-year-old version of Jones, even though he’s in his mid-40s, and looks it. As good as Brolin is, though, the novelty wears off quickly, and we’re once again left with the realization that there’s no substance to the script (credited, for the record, to Etan Cohen). —AP

THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012

lifestyle T r a v e l


Workers change street names on May 9, 2012 in Petoria. —AFP photos

S Africa’s capital renames streets for anti-apartheid heroes


he city of Pretoria has begun renaming streets to honor heroes of the anti-apartheid struggle, leaving some whites worried about losing their cultural identity in the South African capital. Eighteen years after the African National Congress was elected to power, the city’s streets still bear the names of leading figures from South Africa’s white-dominated past, making it impossible to cross Pretoria without passing a mention of the fathers of apartheid. For mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa, the changes are about striking a balance between the memory of the country’s former masters and their successors. Although Pretoria’s population has become more diverse in recent years, the capital retains a strong presence of Afrikaners, descendants of the first Dutch settlers who arrived in the 17th century. Afrikaners were closely identified with apartheid, which ended when Nelson Mandela became the first black president in 1994. “Afrikaners are not hated or the object of contempt but it is a fact that all the streets in the city are named after Afrikaners,” Ramokgopa said. “It will never be argued that Afrikaners did not play a role, but the city must represent everyone’s past.” Delayed by a series of court cases, city workers have now begun changing signs for about 30 streets, mainly downtown. The old names are still there, but struck out by a red line, hanging alongside the new. Emerging unscathed from the changes is Paul Kruger, the Afrikaner leader of the 19th-century Transvaal Republic, and the city’s namesake Andries Pretorius, who defeated the Zulu army in a bloody 1838 battle. But many whites who played a role in South Africa’s history are being replaced by figures from the antiapartheid struggle. The Voortrekkers, Afrikaners who fled British expansion in the 19th century to colonize the country’s north, have been replaced by Steve Biko, the black consciousness leader killed by white police in 1977. “It doesn’t matter what the street names are. It just makes it more difficult for people to find where we are,” said Irene Rynders, who runs an antique shop along the road formerly known as Voortrekkers. “But... what’s wrong with the Voortrekkers? They came here through the mountains. Why change?” she said, fretting about the fallout for GPS devices and outdated maps. “It costs a lot of money. They could use the money for people who haven’t food, or whatever.” It’s a lost cause to remind her that the Voortrekkers migrated north because the British had outlawed slavery. Conrad Beyers, a local councillor with the Afrikaner Freedom Front Plus party, said “It is a big mistake to change historically sensitive names.” “There are enough neutral street names and new street names after which the ANC could name their heroes.” In some cases, the city has listened. The Zambezi River has lost its street, as has a church that was demolished long ago. Church Street, the longest in the city, now bears four different names along different stretches. The Afrikaner opposition fears more changes are still to come, on streets that still bear the names of apartheid leaders like John Vorster, a former head of state. It’s also opposed to renaming Pretoria as Tshwane, a switch mulled by the ANC since 2005. Desmond Tutu, the Nobel Peace Prize winner regarded as the voice of South Africa’s conscience, said the government should be “magnanimous” in how it handles the renamings. “Don’t let it be a divisive exercise,” he said. “Let’s not rub people’s noses in the dust, don’t fill people with resentment.” “History is a strange thing. Today’s leaders can be tomorrow’s vanquished.” — AFP

his year’s crop of new and improved hotels in South Florida runs the spectrum from eco- and budgetfriendly to extravagantly splurge-worthy. Chic boutiques, family-friendly chains and intimate hideaways all beckon to tourists-or locals seeking a quick backyard escape. Most of the offerings have given new life to historic buildings, including Hotel Breakwater, Dream South Beach, Surfcomber and Shelborne. Just three significant hotels were built brand new from the ground up: a Brickell-area Hampton Inn & Suites, Element Miami International Airport and St. Regis Bal Harbour. The last two hotels are both part of global hospitality company Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. They couldn’t be more different-Element’s guest room floors are made of recycled tires; some floors at St. Regis are made of marble quarried in China for the resort. But the opening of both earlier this year shows the continued appeal of the area, for hotel companies and visitors both. “They’re not betting on Miami,” said Rolando Aedo, chief marketing officer for the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. “They’re investing in Miami because we’re a good investment.” South Florida markets continue to thrive. Occupancy and rates were both up in March of this year compared to 2011. But while prices continue to inch up, there’s no better time than summer to get the best deals. MIAMI-DADE Dream South Beach What’s new: Everything but historic details (including floors) inside the former Tudor Hotel and Palmer House. Not even the elegant elevators, done up in mother of pearl and black glass, escaped attention. While the hotel partially opened in summer of 2010, it wasn’t finished until last July. The 108 rooms are highly designed, with Ann Sacks tile, custom furniture and touches such as gold glass-beaded wall coverings. Restaurateur Geoffrey Zakarian’s Tudor House earns raves. Still to come: A spa with two treatment rooms opens this month. Bragging rights: The Sun House, a 900-square-foot suite with a lavish bedroom, living room, two 65-inch TVs and enormous bathroom, boasts an even larger outdoor

The living room area of The Surfcomber includes this whimsical grouping around a SURF table in Miami Beach, Florida. The hotel was completely renovated. deck on the roof (with easy access to the rooftop pool). Starting price: $2,995 a night. Caveat emptor: Privacy buffs beware. Bathroom areas are enclosed with glass, and while privacy doors with cutouts provide a screen, there’s still potential to get an eyeful. While meticulously designed, the smallest rooms are tiny. Best for: Couples, design aficionados. Element Miami International Airport What’s new: The entire 209-suite building, which opened in February? It’s the tenth Element to open so far. Bragging rights: Suites are roomy and built with the environment in mind: floors made of recycled tires, big windows that let in natural light, wallpaper made of recycled material. Most rooms have a full kitchen with stove, refrigerator and dishwasher; others have a modified kitchenette with microwave, toaster, sink and mini-fridge. Wi-Fi, breakfast and a Monday through Thursday evening reception with food and drinks are complimentary; there’s also a do-it-yourself gourmet coffee machine in the lobby. The hotel, set on a lake, offers a pool and barbecue area; the parking lot dedicates premium parking spots to fuel-efficient and low-emitting vehicles. Caveat emptor: The hotel is very close to Miami International Airport-but not to some of the area’s most popular tourist destinations. A free shuttle is provided to and from the airport and to restaurants or shopping in a 3-mile radius. Travelers will need a car or money for the cab if they want to hit South Beach. Best for: Families; cruise passengers who need an overnight stay; anyone who doesn’t mind sacrificing proximity to touristy areas in exchange for reasonable rates; eco-conscious travelers. Hampton Inn & Suites Miami Brickell/Downtown What’s new: The entire 15-story property, just two blocks from Mary Brickell Village and a half block from the Metromover. Bragging rights: Open since September, the 221-room hotel has already climbed to the No. 1 spot on’s list of 129 Miami hotels. Art is abundant, from the video installation in the lobby to the South Florida scenes wallpapered at guest-floor elevator landings. A unique feature for a Hampton Inn, the spacious bar extends to the pool area. Caveat emptor: While competitive with other downtown hotels, the property fetches high rates. Best for: Families on vacation, cruise passengers, business travelers.

The deck area of The Surfcomber is called The Pasture, and includes some fake cows and sheep in Miami Beach, Florida. The hotel was completely renovated. — MCT photos ing their stay. The property opened last June, but some of the biggest additions-such as the pool and restaurantsweren’t in place until earlier this year. Bragging rights: A 40-foot-long see-through plunge pool is elevated between the two buildings, giving passersby on Ocean Drive a peek under the water. The hotel offers free Wi-Fi, bikes, and short-term iPad use _ rare perks for South Beach. Rooftop lounges offer fantastic views of the ocean. Caveat emptor: There are two restaurants on property, which can make the hotel’s entrance feel busy. A quiet public area will eventually be turned into a business center and espresso cafa(c), so check at booking whether any work will be going on during your stay. Best for: Anyone who wants to be in the middle of Ocean Drive action-with an old-school glamour vibe. Impala Hotel What’s new: The 17 guest rooms were recently renovated, keeping only the travertine limestone floors, bathroom sinks, tubs, walk-in showers and wood-andwrought-iron closets. Dating back to 1920, the building also houses Spiga, an Italian restaurant. Bragging rights: Two bold pieces in the intimate lobby: a wall mural of the Byzantine Empress Theodora designed by fashion designer Christian Lacroix, and a sun mosaic on the floor originally meant for the mansion of Gianni Versace. Caveat emptor: The hotel feels more like a quiet Mediterranean getaway than South Beach spot _ not a negative, depending on what you’re looking for. But if you want Art Deco and neon, or a chain sensibility, this isn’t the place. Best for: Couples, travelers seeking a respite amid the hustle. Shelborne South Beach What’s new: The 280-room condo hotel’s public areas have been completely restored and updated, from the classic porte-cochere out front to the beach-casual taco shack out back. In the middle: a new boutique, sushi bar, lounge, ballroom, restaurant, outdoor patio and sun deck. Bragging rights: For all the upgrades, hotel owners left the charming original diving board alone _ a wise move. The white lobby wows with crystal chandeliers and a “bubble desk” made up of acrylic spheres. Caveat emptor: Of the 200 or so rooms that will be renovated, only 50 have been done so far. Another 25 will follow over the summer. When booking, make sure you know what you’re getting. Best for: Anyone who wants a lot of options in one beachfront location. St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort & Residences What’s new: The entire complex, which includes two residential towers and a 243-room hotel on the site of the former Sheraton Bal Harbour, opened in January. Bragging rights: Where to begin? With the ocean views and balconies in each giant room? The butler service? Or the gorgeous pieces of art spread around the Yabu Pushelberg-designed interiors? Or maybe the JeanGeorges Vongerichten restaurant, J & G Grill, or the 14,000 square-foot Rem?®de Spa. Not to mention the pools, cabanas and gorgeous beach out back. Travel + Leisure recently included the resort in its “It List” of the world’s 50 best new hotels. Caveat emptor: Not for the budget-minded. At all. Best for: Couples, families, weddings, shoppers who crave proximity to Bal Harbour Shops, business travelers with generous expense accounts. Surfcomber Miami, South Beach, a Kimpton Hotel What’s new: The hotel’s interior, from the “sheetrock in,” got a full renovation, said general manager Sean McKeen. Formerly a DoubleTree, the 1948 Art Deco hotel with 186 rooms is now part of the boutique Kimpton portfolio. Its new design was unveiled last December. The lobby area feels like a curated attic, with sculptures of reclaimed wood from the Everglades, see-through chests containing knick-knacks and a jumble of materials that coexist beautifully. Rooms are painted in pale lavender with art in the form of wall-mounted, burlap-covered surfboards. Bragging rights: A 24-hour fitness center, Kimpton amenities (such as pet-welcoming policy and hosted

wine hour from 5-6 p.m. daily). On-site restaurant Lantao serves Southeast Asian street fare. Life-size farm animals made of fiberglass resin serve as whimsical design touches inside and out. Caveat emptor: Rooms are small for the price. Best for: Families, thanks to children’s activities including ice cream break and table tennis tournaments that will launch over the summer; couples or solo leisure travelers; Kimpton loyalists. BROWARD Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach-Doubletree by Hilton What’s new: The 296 rooms and guest floor corridors have all gotten a facelift, with new carpets, microwaves and refrigerators and 42-inch televisions. The once-independent hotel is now a DoubleTree by Hilton. Bragging rights: Located across the street from the beach and near a dive shop, private charter boats and the Jungle Queen riverboat. There’s also a 250-slip marina on the property. Caveat emptor: The lobby is still getting some touchups, and the buildings that make up the hotel have not been updated on the outside. Best for: Families, cruise passengers, fans of water activities.

The Surfcomber is shown Thursday, January 12, 2012 at The Surfcomber in Miami Beach, Florida.

MONROE Postcard Inn Beach Resort & Marina at Holiday Isle What’s new: It’s still a hodgepodge of hotel rooms, bars, shops and restaurants on 12.5 acres, but the former Holiday Isle Resorts & Marina that opened in 1951 underwent a much needed renovation. New owners changed the name after spending $10.5 million to upgrade most of the 143 rooms (including 37-inch plasma screen TVs), redo the lobby areas and top-floor function space with spectacular views and add lush landscaping. The first Shula Burger takes over a vacant building that once was the Sport Fish Grill. Bragging Rights: Many of the rooms face the Atlantic Ocean and all guests have access to a beautiful beach. And there’s still some of the old that made Holiday Isle “the” place to be in the Upper Keys for decades: The World Famous Tiki Bar and Rum Runners. Caveat emptor: It’s not the Holiday Isles of the ‘80s and ‘90s, when it was hard to find a parking place on weekends. Crowds are smaller and now more family oriented. Best for: People who love to fish, love water activities or just want to hang out and relax at a fairly reasonable price. Added activities make it more kid friendly. — MCT

Hotel Breakwater What’s new: Just about everything at the historic 100room hotel, made up of two old Art Deco buildings, has been rebuilt. Rooms are simple and chic, with pops of navy and lime. Vintage-feeling (but modern) black and white photography throughout the property tells the story of a glamorous couple traveling to the hotel and enjoy-

A signpost shows Pretoria street names on May 9, 2012.

A king city-view room is shown January 12, 2012 at The Surfcomber in Miami Beach, Florida.

THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012

lifestyle T r a v e l

Dig proves Bethlehem existed centuries pre-Jesus


sraeli archaeologists said yesterday they had discovered the first physical evidence supporting Old Testament accounts of Bethlehem’s existence centuries before the town became revered as the birthplace of Jesus. The proof came, they said, in a clay seal unearthed near the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem and imprinted with three lines of ancient Hebrew script that include the word “Bethlehem”. Eli Shukron, who directed the excavation on

behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, said the seal apparently had been placed on a tax shipment of silver or agricultural produce sent from Bethlehem to the King of Judah in nearby Jerusalem in the 8th or 7th century BC. “This is the first time the name Bethlehem appears outside the Bible in an inscription from the First Temple period,” Shukron said in a statement, referring to the years 1006 BC to 586 BC. The coin-sized remnant of the seal proves that

In this photo made available yesterday by Israel’s Antiquities Authority, shows a detail of a seal bearing the name ‘Bethlehem’ in ancient Hebrew script. — AP

Bethlehem - first mentioned in the Book of Genesis - “was indeed a city in the Kingdom of Judah, and possibly also in earlier periods”, he said. Bethlehem is located on the West Bank, just south of Jerusalem. —Reuters

Police arrest artist setting up pits oil against antiquities I Love NY

Iraq battle


An Iraqi man walks at the archaeological site of Babylon, south of Baghdad, on April 25, 2012.

The archaeological site of Babylon.


abylon’s Hanging Gardens were one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, but heritage appears to be no match for Iraq’s booming oil industry in a dispute over a new pipeline. As Baghdad is working to get UNESCO to list Babylon as a World Heritage Site, archaeologists and oil ministry officials are in a battle over a pipeline that one side insists threatens the site and could cause irreparable damage to the ruins. Qais Rashid, head of the Supreme Board of Antiquities and Heritage, said the oil ministry drilled to extend a pipeline that runs about 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles) in length, to transport petroleum products through the archaeological site of Babylon. The pipeline was officially opened in March. “The work could damage priceless antiquities belonging to the modern era of Babylon, especially by drilling,” Rashid said. Mariam Omran, head of the antiquities department in Babil province where the site lies, added that much of the archaeological area was still unexplored, and while no damage was visible, there was no telling what the impact was beneath the surface. “There may be antiquities just centimeters below the ground,” she said. “The antiquities at these sites have not yet been fully discovered, just like the rest of the historical landmark.” But oil ministry spokesman Assem Jihad defended the Babylon project, saying “it was carried out ... hundreds of meters (yards) from the archaeological sites.” “We did not find any traces or evidence of the existence of antiquities during the drilling operations.” Babylon lies some 90 kilometers (50 miles) south of Baghdad and is considered one of the cradles of human civilization. It was the capital for two renowned kings of antiquity: Hammurabi (1792-1750 BC) and Nebuchadnezzar (604-562 BC), who built the Hanging Gardens. The Inner City covers an area of 2.99 square kilometers (1.15 square miles) and the outer walls surrounding the city east and west of the Euphrates enclose another 9.56 square kilometers (3.69 square miles). Listed as an archaeological site since 1935, it has been partially excavated over the past century, but much of the ancient city remains to be uncovered. A 2009 report from The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) said “the archaeological city was plundered during the US-led war in 2003 that ousted Saddam Hussein. Contents of the Nebuchadnezzar and Hammurabi museums and of the Babylon Library and Archive were stolen and destroyed.”

A general view shows the archaeological site of Babylon.

And the city was damaged by “digging, cutting, scraping and leveling” for a US military base that was located there from April 2003 to December 2004. The Ishtar Gate and Processional Way were among key structures damaged, the UN agency said, as American forces made key adaptations to the historical site to fortify their base by building trenches and pits, and using chemicals to complete construction works. Iraq is a country rich in history and archaeological sites that offer great potential for tourism, but the vast majority of government revenues still come from oil.

An Iraqi man stands next to a drilled area where an oil pipeline runs through the archaeological site of Babylon. Exports are rising rapidly, averaging 2.508 million barrels per day in April and pulling in $8.8 billion (6.8 billion euros), with both figures at their highest levels since 1989. The sales are providing much-needed income to help fund rebuilding of Iraq’s dilapidated infrastructure, wracked by decades of war and sanctions. “There have been two pipelines to transport petroleum products in the same location for more than thirty years,” said Jihad, adding that “the new strategic pipeline supplies oil products from refineries to the south of Baghdad.” But Rashid unfurled a map of the site across his desk in his office in Iraq’s National Museum and said: “The pipeline passes via the northern edge of the site, through the archaeological site, and then through the southern edge.” He said the pipeline presented “major

Iraqi men walk towards the entrance to the archaeological site of Babylon. risks,” including pollution of the environment, and the threat of a potential explosion of the pipeline. Omran showed off a visible section of the pipeline, which lies nearly two meters (6.5 feet) underground. “The implementation of this project,” she said, “is an extreme violation of the law on the protection of antiquities.” Iraq made three requests to establish Bablyon as a UNESCO World Heritage Site under Saddam Hussein’s regime, but all were rejected because the site was badly administered, the organization said. Saddam did not properly care for the site, even rebuilding part of the city with bricks stamped with his initials. But Rashid said “UNESCO stressed that it is not only the former regime, but the current regime in Iraq that also does not respect the antiquities.” UNESCO told AFP when asked about the pipeline that “it will respond formally on this matter” but gave no fur ther details. Rashid, however, claimed that “putting in the pipeline is like a bullet that killed our efforts to include the city of Babylon” as a World Heritage Site. — AFP

n artist who was setting up an illuminated “I Love New York”-themed public art display in Brooklyn was arrested after the wired contraption was mistaken for an explosive device. Takeshi Miyakawa, a visual artist and furniture designer, was arrested Saturday after placing the installation in two separate areas of the same New York City neighborhood. His lawyer and employer both called the arrest a misunderstanding. The first apparatus was found Friday morning after a caller reported a suspicious package to police. It consisted of a plastic bag that contained a battery and was suspended from a metal rod attached to a tree. The bag, which had the classic “I Love New York” logo printed on it, was connected by a wire to a plastic box that contained more wires. The area was evacuated for two hours until a bomb squad determined that the device was not dangerous. The artist’s friend, Louis Lim, said Monday that the art installation was nothing more than a translucent plastic bag with a battery-powered flashlight inside it. “At night, when it’s hung, it looks like the bag is glowing,” Lim said. “The reason he did this was to lift people’s spirits. He was simply trying to say that he loves the city and spread that attitude around.” At about 2 am Saturday, a police officer discovered Miyakawa on a ladder not far from where the first contraption was found. Police said he was tying a similar “I Love New York” bag to a public lamp post. Miyakawa was charged with two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment, two counts of placing a false bomb or hazardous substance in the first degree, two counts of placing a false bomb or hazardous substance in the second degree, two counts of seconddegree reckless endangerment and two counts of second-degree criminal nuisance. A judge ordered him held pending a psychiatric evaluation. His lawyer, Deborah J. Blum, said Monday that she is filing for emergency relief to have Miyakawa released. A court date was set for June 21 to review the results of the evaluation. “He’s still being held,” Blum said Monday. “I believe that it was a gross misunderstanding and other than that I don’t have any other comment.” Miyakawa, who was born in Tokyo and is about 50 years old, has worked for a New York-based architect Rafael Vinoly for the last 20 years and also has an independent design practice. Vinoly’s firm released a statement Monday praising Miyakawa for his “extraordinary brand of professionalism” and said he has been a mentor to generations of young architects. “Takeshi is a fabulous human being and a person of extraordinary talent,” Vinoly said. “We hope this misunderstanding is cleared up as quickly as possible.” New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Lieberman said in a statement that the charges sounded “like a wild overreaction.” “It’s hard to understand why a light-up bag in a tree would be treated as an attempted terrorist act unless there’s more to the story than has been reported in the press thus far,” she said. In 2007, an artist touched off a terror scare in Boston by placing electronic devices around the city as part of a marketing stunt for Cartoon Network. The city closed bridges, roads and public transit before authorities realized the signs were not bombs. On an average day, the NYPD receives nearly 100 reports of a suspicious package. Last year, there were more than 4,000 such reports. The number generally rises following any word of terror threats in New York and around the world. — AP

Dig ‘proves’ Bethlehem existed centuries pre-Jesus

THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012

39 S

(From left) actor Garret Hedlund, director Walter Salles, actors Kristen Stewart, Sam Riley, Kirsten Dunst and Viggo Mortensen pose during a photo call for ‘On the Road’ at the 65th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, yesterday. — AP


ack Kerouac’s cult novel “On the Road”, a sex and drugfuelled hymn to youthful freedom, hit the big screen in Cannes yesterday in what its stars called a tribute to today’s revolutions. With one of the most keenly awaited pictures of the 12-day festival, Brazilian director Walter Salles stays true to the exuberant spirit of the Beat Generation bible with his lushly shot tableaux of post-war America. The film, starring Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Kirsten Dunst and Viggo Mortensen, got a polite reception at its press screening yesterday ahead of its red-carpet gala premiere later in the day.

US actresses Kirsten Stewart and Kirsten Dunst pose during the photocall of “On the Road”.—AP

Salles, best known for his 2004 Cannes contender “The Motorcycle Diaries” about Che Guevara’s youthful travels, shows his heroes ploughing through drink, drugs and women as they make their way back and forth across the United States, with a stopover in Mexico. “I’ve done several road movies and I realized in doing them that the more you get distant from your roots, from the starting point, the more you possibly gain perspective on who you are, where you come from and eventually who you want to be,” Salles told reporters. “But you also are (leaving) part of yourself behind.” The 56-year-old director said he had been electrified by Kerouac’s cultural call to arms in a deeply conservative country while growing up in Brazil. “What we are portraying in the film has a correlation with ‘The Motorcycle Diaries’ which is about the very beginning of a social and political awakening,” he said. Kerouac, who calls himself Sal Paradise in the autobiographical novel about his wandering years in the late 1940s and early 1950s,


Australian actress Kylie Minogue poses during the photocall of ‘Holy Motors’. — AP

ars talk, a man is married to a monkey and Kylie Minogue contemplates suicide in “Holy Motors”, easily the oddest movie in competition at the Cannes film festival screened so far this year. Directed by French film maker Leos Carax, the story follows Mr. Oscar, a man who spends each day living 10 different lives, each mapped out for him in a dossier left in the back seat of the stretch white limousine he travels in. In the morning he is a rich businessman leaving his luxury home for work. Next he dresses up as an old woman beggar on the streets of Paris. Each hurried change involves elaborate costume changes and make up in the back of the limousine, and leave Oscar, played with superhuman energy by Denis Lavant, increasingly exhausted as the day wears on. As to its meaning, critics and journalists struggled to agree. “What the heck does it all mean?” wrote

is mesmerized by a charismatic womanizer called Dean Moriarty who has done time and lives in the moment. Sal hits the road with him and, in between their dionysian outings, reads Joyce, Celine and Proust and begins to see how literature can be born out of raw experience. Mortensen, who said he was also inspired by the novel growing up, plays Old Bull Lee-a stand-in for the junkie guru Williams S. Burroughs. The 53-year-old said the film attempted to capture the book’s revolutionary drive while throwing the themes forward to the 21st-century world. “Reading the book again, which is the first thing I did, made me realize how pertinent it is now-protest movements, mass movements with young people in Europe, in North America, in China, the Middle East... that carry the spirit of that time,” Mortensen said. He said the film’s decades-long gestation-Francis Ford Coppola bought its rights in the 1970s and oversaw several abortive attempts to bring it to the screen-may have in fact been a stroke of luck. “It’s probably a great time for this to come out now because I think people will look at it-not just older people, people of my generation, people who lived through it... but young people will discover this book and identify with it I think in a very strong way.” Stewart, 22, said she had embraced the chance to abandon the virginal Bella character from the “Twilight” series to play the sexually uninhibited Marylou, Moriarty’s wife who becomes his long-time mistress after they divorce. The young star said her nude scenes and explicit depictions of free love had given her an opportunity to try on a new image with a compelling character. “I love pushing, I love scaring myself. I think to watch genuine experience on screen is just so much more interesting,” she said. “The reason I wanted to do the job is because, you know, you read something, you’re provoked on some level and then it’s just taking that further and being able to live it and I always want to get as close to the experience as I possibly can. “As long as you’re always being really honest, there’s nothing ever to be ashamed of.” The then 29-year-old Kerouac famously wrote up the novel in a three-week sitting in April 1951, typing continuously on to a 36-metre (120foot) roll of tracing paper sheets that he cut to size and taped together. Inspired by a rambling letter from his friend and travelling companion Neal Cassady-who becomes Dean in the novel-Kerouac decided to tell the story of their years on the road in a form that reflected the fluidity of improvised jazz.—AFP

urvivors of acid attacks whose plight became the focus of an Oscar-winning documentary now fear ostracism and reprisals if the film is broadcast in Pakistan. Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy made history earlier this year when she won Pakistan’s first Oscar, feted across the country for exposing the horrors endured by women whose faces are obliterated in devastating acid attacks. Her 40-minute film focuses on Zakia and Rukhsana as they fight to rebuild their lives after being attacked by their husbands, and British Pakistani plastic surgeon Mohammad Jawad who tries to help repair their shattered looks. When “Saving Face” scooped a coveted gold statuette in the documentary category in Hollywood in February, campaigners were initially jubilant. The Acid Survivors Foundation Pakistan (ASF) had cooperated on the film but some survivors now fear a backlash in a deeply conservative societyand are taking legal action against the producers. “We had no idea it would be a hit and win an Oscar. It’s completely wrong. We never allowed them to show this film in Pakistan,” said Naila Farhat, 22, who features fleetingly in the documentary. She was 13 when the man she refused to marry threw acid in her face as she walked home from Independence Day celebrations. She lost an eye and her attacker was jailed for 12 years. After a long, painful recovery, she is training as a nurse. “This is disrespect to my family, to my relatives and they’ll make an issue of it. You know what it’s like in Pakistan. They gossip all the time if they see a woman in a film,” said Farhat, taut skin where her left eye dissolved. “We may be in more danger and we’re scared that, God forbid, we could face the same type of incident again. We do not want to show our faces to the world.” Lawyer Naveed Muzaffar Khan, whom ASF hired to represent the victims, said legal notices were sent to Obaid-Chinoy and fellow producer Daniel Junge on Friday. The survivors, he said, “have not consented for it to be publicly released in Pakistan”, adding that such agreement was required for all the women who featured in the film, no matter how fleetingly. Khan said the producers had seven days to agree not to release the film publicly in the country, or he would go to court to seek a formal injunction. “They (survivors) were absolutely clear in their mind in not allowing any public screening as that would jeopardise their life in Pakistan and make it difficult for them to continue to live in their villages,” he told AFP. But Obaid-Chinoy insisted the women signed legal documents allowing the film

to be shown anywhere in the world, including Pakistan. She told AFP that Rukhsana had been edited out of the version to be shown in the country out of respect for her concerns, adding she was “unclear about the allegations” and would respond to the legal complaints “when a court orders us”. Rukhsana was not reachable for comment. Many of the women are routinely threatened by their husbands or relatives and it is a television broadcast that they particularly fear. “The accessibility is so wide scale, the chances are their lives are going to be threatened,” said the lawyer, Khan. The producers promised that profits from screenings in Pakistan would go to Zakia and Rukhsana, but the row also hints at deeper differences between film-makers trying to tell a story and charity workers on the ground. Some medical personnel, for example, believe it was wrong to focus on an expatriate doctor at the expense of countless local surgeons who have treated dozens of victims. Others believe the film was too sensational and question whether it really will make a difference to the survivors struggling to live in Pakistan, where there are scores of such attacks each year.—AFP

This file photo taken on March 10, 2012 shows Oscar award winning Pakistani director Sharmeen ObaidChinoy showing her Oscar award during a press conference in Karachi.

This file photo taken on December 7, 2009 shows Pakistani acid attack survivor Naila Farhat waiting to have further eye surgery with friend and fellow survivor Naziran Bibi at the Al-Shifa trust eye hospital in Rawalpindi on the outskirts of capital Islamabad. — AFP photos

Guardian critic Peter Bradshaw in his five-star review, before proceeding to seek to unravel the enigma of Holy Motors. Carax, whose last full-length feature was “Pola X” in 1999, declined to answer when asked at a press conference what the movie meant, and merely shook his finger. In response to a question about the different movies referenced in his film, he said, speaking in French: “Obviously if you decide to live in that little island which is cinema, it is a beautiful island that has a big cemetery. So sometimes you go to the cemetery.” Nearly not made Holy Motors, loudly cheered at the press screening ahead of its official world premiere in Cannes yesterday, nearly did not make it to the big screen. Carax’s reputation with film financiers suffered in the early 1990s when his “The

Lovers on the Bridge”, also starring Lavant, ran dramatically over budget. “There were some bad memories that lingered in terms of banks and bankers,” said producer Martine Marignac. “The banks didn’t want to follow through and the film nearly did not get made. We thought that 20 years down the road this situation would not arise again, but the difficulty in financing this kind of film hinges on the fact that these films are not viewed as commercial.” Oscar’s most shocking character is “Monsieur Merde”, half-man half-beast who bursts in on a photo shoot at a Paris cemetery with US actress Eva Mendes and carries her to his underground lair where she comforts the naked, aroused monster. In another segment Australian pop star Minogue plays a melancholy air hostess who is contemplating suicide, and she performs a song for her lost love. The singer and actress, a major celebrity throughout the world, admitted

she was “slightly terrified” at the thought of appearing in the movie, but added: “Basically I banned my entourage from coming with me, I kind of stripped myself of being Kylie and wanted to go back to being as basic as possible and pretty much be a blank canvas for Leos.” Towards the end of Holy Motors, limousines parked in a warehouse talk to each other before lights out, and later Oscar returns home to his wife and children-all of them monkeys. — Reuters

24th May 2012  

Kuwait Times

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