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THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012

Saudi artists test limits of expression in rare show

Barca hold off Madrid rally to reach cup semis

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US commandos free aid workers held in Somalia

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NO: 15340

www.kuwaittimes.net

RABIA ALAWAL 3, 1433 AH

9 kidnappers killed • Raid came just before Obama address

WASHINGTON: US elite commandos swooped into lawless Somalia yesterday and rescued two Western aid workers held for three months by armed pirates in a daring pre-dawn raid approved by President Barack Obama. In a rare US incursion into Somalia, Navy SEALs flying at least six military helicopters flew in to pluck American, Jessica Buchanan, and Dane, Poul Thisted, to safety in a fierce gun-battle which left all nine kidnappers dead. Obama, who had been updated regularly about the kidnapping by his top defense staff, gave the green light late Monday for the risky operation on learning that 32-year-old Buchanan’s health was in danger. “Jessica’s health was failing,” Vice President Joe Biden said on ABC’s Good Morning America show. “They concluded they should go at this time. The president gave the go.” Buchanan and Thisted, 60, who were employed by the Continued on Page 13

Inflation at 3-year high DUBAI: Kuwait’s average inflation climbed to a threeyear high of 4.8 percent in 2011, in line with analysts’ forecasts, data showed, but price pressures are expected to subside this year. Consumer price growth in the OPEC member, which was spared the unrest sweeping the Middle East and North Africa last year apart from some small-scale demonstrations, reached 4.0 percent in 2010. Kuwait’s 2011 inflation rate is the second-highest in the Gulf Arab oil-exporting region, just below 4.9 percent for Saudi Arabia. However, inflation in Kuwait, home to around 2.7 million people, decelerated last year, slowing to a 19month low of 3.1 percent in December from a 6.0 percent peak seen in December 2010, with analysts expecting it to fall further. “Right now there are no significant inflationary pressures in Kuwait,” said Giyas Gokkent, chief economist at National Bank of Abu Dhabi. “Global inflationary factors are not there. We have seen a significant decline in global food prices between February and December. In addition, the dollar has been quite strong. If we look at money and credit growth, they are also both very subdued so we don’t see inflation on the horizon,” he said. Continued on Page 13

AL-DIRAT: An injured Palestinian construction worker screams in pain after an Israeli army driver drove a trailer hooked to a tractor over his legs as he tried to block him when Israeli forces stopped workers yesterday from building a house in this village south of Yatta in the southern West Bank region. The Israeli forces were seizing the equipment and trailer from the construction workers as the site falls in the occupied zone C in which Israel prevents Palestinians from building on their land. — AFP

GI to serve no time over Iraq killings

CAIRO: Egyptian protesters carry an obelisk with the names of those killed during last year’s uprising at a huge rally in Tahrir Square yesterday marking the first anniversary of the uprising that toppled president Hosni Mubarak. — AFP

Egypt marks one year since revolt CAIRO: Egyptians poured into Tahrir Square yesterday to mark one year since the launch of the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak, with activists vowing to revive their unfinished revolution and the ruling army labelling it a day of celebration. Tens of thousands of Islamists, liberals, leftists and ordinary citizens packed the square, the epicentre of protests that ousted Mubarak, waving flags and bearing banners reflecting the day’s varying messages. The powerful Muslim

Max 18º Min 01º High Tide 00:54 & 14:36 Low Tide 07:41 & 19:41

Brotherhood, which dominates the newly elected parliament, were in Tahrir celebrating one year since Egyptians inspired by an uprising in Tunisia - took to the streets to topple the regime. But other groups, including prodemocracy movements behind the revolt, insisted they were in the square to reignite their revolution and demand the ouster of the military council that took over when Mubarak quit. Continued on Page 13

CAMP PENDLETON, California: A US Marine accused over the killing of 24 Iraqis in 2005 was demoted yesterday but will serve no time behind bars, a judge ruled, as locals in Iraq condemned the light sentence. Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich, who led an eight-man squad whose other members have all been let off, was sentenced to 90 days confinement but he will not serve them under a deal with prosecutors. The 31year-old admitted one count of negligent dereliction of duty Monday, but charges of manslaughter over the killings - whose victims included women and children Frank Wuterich were dropped as part of a plea deal. Wuterich - who denied he was a “cold-blooded baby-killer” - was sentenced to 90 days of confinement and reduction to private (E-1), said a statement from Camp Pendleton, California, where he has been on court martial. But it said: “Per the terms of the pretrial agreement, the convening authority disapproved any adjudged confinement and therefore Staff Sergeant Wuterich will not serve any of the confinement sentence.” The judge said he was not reducing Wuterich’s pay because of his financial situation being a single father. Continued on Page 13

Poul Thisted

Jessica Buchanan

Bahrain police clash with Shiite protesters DUBAI: Bahraini police and anti-government protesters clashed in Shiite villages, leaving dozens of officers and several demonstrators injured, officials and the opposition said yesterday. The interior ministry accused protesters of “orchestrated attacks on police forces... across the kingdom” that caused “significant injuries” to 41 officers, two of them requiring “critical care” at Bahrain’s military hospital. An opposition figure said

protesters clashed with security forces in at least four Shiite villages, leaving several of them injured, including one seriously after being hit on the head with a tear gas canister. Earlier, Public Security Chief Major General Tariq Al-Hassan said that “vandals blocked roads” and threw petrol bombs during the clashes on Tuesday night. Hassan, who was quoted by the Continued on Page 13

MANAMA: A Bahraini anti-government protester argues with riot policemen yesterday after opposition groups staged a rare march into the center of the capital. — AP

in the

news

Iran eyes banning oil sales to Europe TEHRAN: Iran’s parliament will begin debating a draft bill requiring the government to immediately halt oil exports to Europe, a prominent lawmaker said yesterday, as Tehran weighs its options following the European Union’s decision to stop importing oil from the country. Many Iranian lawmakers and officials have called for an immediate ban on oil exports to the European bloc before its ban fully goes into effect in July, arguing that the 27 EU nations account for only about 18 percent of Iran’s overall oil sales and would be hurt more by the decision than Iran. China, a key buyer of Iranian crude, has blasted the embargo. “The bill requires the government to stop selling oil to Europe before the start of European Union oil embargo against Iran,” lawmaker Hasan Ghafourifard told the parliament’s website. Debate on the bill is to begin on Sunday. Iranian officials have said the sanctions will have no effect on the economy and they will find other willing buyers.

Muslim guard gets $465K in Calif harassment suit SAN FRANCISCO: A San Francisco jury awarded $465,000 to a Muslim security guard who says his co-workers and supervisors called him a terrorist and an Al-Qaeda member. The San Francisco Chronicle reported jurors added $400,000 in punitive damages Monday to their earlier $65,000 verdict in favor of Abas Idris for lost wages and emotional distress. The 27-yearold says he quit his job as a security guard for Los Angeles-based Andrews International in February 2010 after the company failed to take his complaints about harassment seriously. He had served as a guard at the Letterman Digital Arts Center in the Presidio. An attorney for Andrews said the company had promoted Idris to a supervisory position and plans to appeal the verdict.

Can tablets give you a pain in the neck? PARIS: Users of tablet computers should place their device on the table and tilt its screen, rather than have it flat on their lap, to avoid potentially painful hunching of the neck, a study suggested yesterday. A team led by environmental health researcher Jack Dennerlein of the Harvard School of Public Health asked seven men and eight women who were experienced tablet users to carry out tasks on an iPad2 and a Motorola Xoom. Using a motion-analysis system, the team filmed the 15 volunteers as they worked on the tablet in four common configurations. The experiments showed the angle of the head and neck varied hugely across the four configurations and between the iPad and the Xoom. Compared with the Xoom, the angles were more acute in the iPad, which the researchers attributed to the different case designs. The study found that tablet users generally had more acute angles of head and neck flexion than with desktop or notebook computers.

Saleh heads to US after Oman transit MUSCAT: Veteran Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh flew to the United States for medical treatment yesterday as his country prepared for elections next month for his successor, an Omani official said. Saleh had been in the Gulf sultanate since Sunday with his wife and five of his children amid mounting speculation about his future. After months of stalling, the Yemeni leader finally signed up to a Gulf-brokered transfer of power deal in November under which an early presidential election is due to be held on Feb 21. Saleh suffered severe blast wounds from a bombing at the presidential palace in June last year and is scheduled to receive treatment at a New York hospital. US ambassador Gerald M Feierstein said on Tuesday that Saleh had been granted a visa for purely medical reasons, but that his absence in the run-up to the election of his successor was in the interests of Yemen.


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THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012

LOCAL

KUWAIT: His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah and other dignitaries visiting the Media Center for National Assembly elections 2012 yesterday.

Warning against election malpractices KUWAIT: His Highness Sheikh Jaber AlMubarak Al-Sabah, the Prime Minister, asserted here yesterday that “the government will not turn a blind eye on the phenomenon of vote buying during elections.” HH the Prime Minister thanked, after his tour of the Media Center for National Assembly elections 2012, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense and Interior Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Humoud Al-Sabah for involving the Kuwait Transparency Society in monitoring the elections for the first time, stressing that “the government cannot accept any sort of disturbance of the electoral process”. “We aim to reach an advanced stage of free and fair elections and we hope that the Kuwaiti people choose their representatives in the next stage and respond to the greeting of HH the Amir in this regard,” he said.

Premier tours polls media center

Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak added “I am amazed and I thank the media center for their noble role in serving the country and I am proud of what I’ve seen in this center, which reflects the atmosphere of democracy witnessed by Kuwait”. HH stressed “we will not accept or agree to any misuse of the elections,” adding that his speech is addressed to the candidates “and we will do our best to ensure that elections are fair and free of any impurities”. HH the Prime Minister also became acquainted with the facilities provided by the Information Ministry for local and international news correspondents who will cover the upcoming elections. He added that the government is keen to prepare for the legislative elections, saying that the Ministries of Information and Interior have provided all facilities that would ensure success of

Some candidates opt to quit race after testing waters KUWAIT: Up to 32 candidates for upcoming elections have withdrawn from the race due to diverse reasons and motives such as pressure from close figures and heavy financial costs or low popularity, according to prominent figures. Circumstances surrounding a candidate vary from one to another, said Dr Chefic Al-Ghabra, the prominent political sciences professor. A candidate may be subjected to pressure from close friends or relatives if he (she) faces competition from another close figure advocating identical ideas and slogans, he said. Some may realize their inability to proceed with the costly campaign, thus they choose to quit the race. Others may sense low popularity, as compared to that enjoyed by other contenders in the same constituency, or that the contender’s manifesto is much more attracting than his (or her) platform. Today the number of the candidates who chose to withdraw from the race for the parliamentary seats reached 32, males and females. It is the last day, set by the Minister of Interior, to choose whether to proceed or quit. Fuad Al-Hashem, the renowned columnist in the daily, Al-Watan, indicated that some of the candidates seek to measure their popularity during the run-up campaign for the polls. Those with low chances of winning favor to pull back and relieve them-

selves of further fruitless efforts. He likened withdrawal of some candidates to a screen smoke, created to cover up their failure to proceed the contending for the seats in the parliament. But, there are other causes, related to commitment towards the tribe, the community or the political group, he pointed out. Najlaa Al-Naqi, a state attorney, indicated that a number of the candidates opt to withdraw from the campaign, with the illicit intention to rerunning in the future. Some of the candidates show robust energy and high enthusiasm at start of their candidacy, but their drive wane with time, due to various reasons such as strong contending from strong candidates in the district, she said, also noting that a group of the candidates join the race solely for drawing the limelight. For his part, Dr Hassan Al-Musawi, a sociologist and psychologist, also indicated at such personal and external factors, but he also hinted that influential figures in some districts make deals to persuade candidates to quit in favor of other nominees. Others fail to reach the hearts and minds of the voters and portraying a good image about the personality. “ Voters need a candidate with a strong personality,” Al-Musawi said. He also indicated that some seek candidacy for sake of gaining some popularity and winning a post. — KUNA

the electoral process, thus, reflecting the maturity of the democratic process in Kuwait. Sheikh Jaber said that the march of democracy was rooted in Kuwait since its inception with the practices of the forefathers even before the issuance of the Constitution, which came compatible between the ruler and the ruled to consolidate democratic life and the governing laws. HH the Premier was accompanied by Minister of Information Sheikh Hamad Jaber Al-Ali Al-Sabah, Minister of Justice, Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education Ahmad AlMulaifi, Oil Minister and State Minister for National Assembly Affairs Mohammad Al-Busairi, Adviser at HH the Premier’s Diwan Faisal Al-Hajji and Director of the Citizens Services and Governmental Bodies Assessment Agency Sheikh Mohammad Al-Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah. — KUNA

Call for improvement of public services, boosting development KUWAIT: Third Constituency candidate for next month’s parliamentary elections, Dr Ali Al-Omair said yesterday “personal agendas and misbehavior” during the past National Assembly had crippled development. At the inauguration of his campaign for the Feb 2 elections, Al-Omair called for learning from the mistakes to building a better future. He acknowledged that political disputes have hampered achievements, regretting the assaults on personalities rather than methods.Waleed Al-Tabtabae, also running in the same constituency, called on the next parliament and government to counter all bids targeting national unity. Addressing voters, the former MP said Kuwait should pay more attention on Islamicrelated issues including matters related to Palestine, Al-Quds, Al-Aqsa Mosque and freedom of Muslim people. Al-Tabtabae called for establishment of a GCC confederation but with sovereignty and independence of every member country, in a drive to be a united force against foreign intervention. He also called for independence of judiciary, fighting of corruption, improvement of health and education services, solving housing problems and creating jobs. Fadhel Al-Atram, a candidate in the third

constituency, said at his camp that Kuwait was at a turning point. Calling for confidencebuilding measures between the citizens and parliament, Al-Atram said security was haunting minds of citizens, thus safeguarding it was top priority. He said constitution was the guarantor of democracy and secure social justice between all citizens. Al-Atram said women were major part in the community and were sharing the men in decision-making. Adnan Al-Madhahka, of the same constituency, called for activating recommendations of the higher consultative committee to complete application of Islamic sharia rules. He called for the execution of all constitutional articles, safeguarding national unity and protecting domestic front. At the launch of his campaign, AlMadhahka said he would work on comprehensive administrative reforms, boost financial assistance for retirees and elderly, and giving women more rights. Meanwhile, parliamentary candidate from the first constituency Abdulaziz Jamshir highlighted impor tance of development of human resources to ultimately push forward development. He called for the development of science and education, and subsidizing

goods. A group of candidates forming the “Free Voice” list called for assessing the performance of the MPs. Ayad Al-Mutawa, Khaled Al-Duaij and Sami Al-Munai’, at the inauguration of their campaign, said the upcoming phase required better performance at the legislative level. They said the previous parliament was not doing its job correctly. The hopefuls asserted importance of election day as it would be up to the people to elect who they consider honest and patriotic. For his part, second constituency candidate Khalaf Dumaithir Al-Enezi said His Highness the Amir’s decision to dissolve the former parliament was “wise.” Al-Enezi, addressing a group of voters, said dissolution of parliament had defused political crisis. He called for sticking to national unity and urged voters to elect patriotic candidates. On the other hand, Dr. Fahad Al-Khanna from the second constituency called for exploring other national income resources other than oil. He said the MP should protect his religion, service his nation and citizens. AlKhanna called for addressing the status of the illegal residents by naturalizing those who deserve the nationality. — KUNA

‘Salaries must be raised, more lands should be allocated for housing’ KUWAIT: Candidates for upcoming parliamentary elections have called for raising salaries of employees to cope with soaring cost of living and allocating more plots of land to resolve the housing problem. Eidan Al-Khaldi, candidate of the fifth constituency, called on the government to hike payments of the civil servants, noting married citizens have been struggling to make ends meet in shadow of soaring prices of goods and services, and take into consideration that number of members of a family in the country is generally large. The government should take action to curb greedy merchants who have been monopolizing some commodities, he said in a statement issued yesterday.

Employees with fixed salaries are taking the brunt of effects of soaring cost of living, resulting from hiking prices of oil, agricultural products and services, namely transportation, said Al-Khaldi. In shadow of rise of inflation, 68 percent per year, this segment of the employees is suffering from deteriorating level of living, thus the government must intervene to stem dramatic hike of prices, he stressed. He also called for promotion of civil servants on equal basis and raising allotments for the retirees. Meanwhile, Dr Khaldah Al-Kheder, running for the second district, urged the oil authorities to work out a timetable for “liberalizing lands to lower prices of plots and contribute”

‘Kuwait voters mature’ KUWAIT: “We are optimistic over the coming days in Kuwait’s history and feel confident Kuwaiti voters would do well when they cast their votes for the candidates they feel worthy in the Feb 2 elections,” said candidate in the 2012 National Assembly elections Ahmad Bin Mutee Al-Azmi, yesterday. The candidate, who is running in the Fifth Constituency, said he can sense that voters are mature and informed enough to make good decisions. He stressed the 2012 elections are very special for the voters, following a period of stalled political progress that reached the point where His Highness the Amir needed to step in and wisely defuse the crisis by disbanding parliament. After the Amir showed this wisdom, it is now up to the voters to meet him half way and choose well, and to go for those they know would uphold the higher interest of the homeland, rather than family, sect, or specific personality. As for his electoral program, he said he would not make loud and big promises but pledge to do his best on all issues

of great importance to the voters, who need representatives who defend their interests away from polarization and bigotry. The new members of parliament would be entrusted with a serious responsibility, he noted, as the voters are more eager than ever to see accomplishment and development, after all the recent stagnation and confrontation. The candidate said he would specifically focus on the issue of Kuwaitis of high credentials and qualifications who are not embraced by the country’s institutions, even with full recognition of their qualifications. Other issues he would focus on include the environment and the financial transparency for those who assume state positions. He would also work for upholding Kuwaiti women’s rights, as seen through the eyes of law and Islamic Shariah (Jurisprudence). If the Kuwaiti family is to see any improvement in its overall living conditions, he said, there needs to be serious effort to overhaul services, education, healthcare, housing, and more. — KUNA

to resolving the housing problem. The woman nominee called for enacting new laws, intended to secure social equality, financial disclosures and combating corruption. She also called for building a university complex, increasing number of students studying abroad and enacting new laws for housemaids, injury at work and health insurance. Al-Kheder shared her fellow candidate the view that family income must be increased in the face of drastic hike of the costs of living. Parliamentary elections are due a week from now. Kuwait has prepared for the upcoming event at the public and private levels. — KUNA

E-gate provides service for voters KUWAIT: The official “e-gate” website with cooperation of Ministry of Interior have provided a service for voters to inquire about their information through registration number. The service is put by Ministry of Interior, to offer the voter’s information, regarding the name and place of constituency headquarters, said head of the e -government in Central Agency for Information Technology (CAIT), Dr Ittihad Al-Bahar. The service simplifies the voter’s usage of gathering information through entering their ID number or ministry of interior reference number, she added. Al-Bahar pointed out that the service aims to prepare the parliamentary elections that being held on the second of February to support the efforts of government and neutrality to the elections. The CAIT is responsible of granting citizens services to strengthen the electoral and democratic process in Kuwait, she noted. Al-Bahar called for all voters to view the information services through the e-gate or ministry of interior website. — KUNA


THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012

LOCAL

AUB holds draws of Islamic saving scheme KUWAIT: Al-Ahli United Bank has announced the results of the weekly draws of its AlHassad Islamic savings scheme. The lucky customers winning the Grand Weekly prize worth KD 25,000 each at the draws held on Jan 18 are Madina Qassem Mohd, Mona Ahmed Ibrahim, Ramachandra Jairaj Nirahu. The following Al-Hassad Islamic customers won cash prizes of KD 1000 each: Shamsudeen Kannanandiyil, Salah Jassem Mohammed Abdulrahman, Ganemah Fehaid Fahad Al-Dousari, Mousa Barrak Maizer AlAzmi, Abdulrahem Montaj, Hassan Ali Reda Al-Bana, Ahmed Farah, Hayat Ahmed Gafar Sanaseri, Mohamed Rzak Khan Sardar Khan, Refat Ayoub Mashraki, Nayereh Habib Allah

Yadollah, Fareeda Hussain Nasser, Saleema Ahmed Yousif Al Mahmeed, May Ahmed Jasim Al Majed, Ali Husain Ali Hasan Al Rifaei, Saeed Ali Maki Naiser, Abdulaziz Abbas Abdulla Hussain, Zainab Ali Jassim Abdulla Abbas, Salwa Ali Ahmed Mohd, Amal Salman Essa Al Dosari, Mohamed Ismail Mohd Noor Khonji, Ahmed Ali Nisuf Al Othman, Fadhel Ahmed Makki Ahmed, A.Jalil Mahmood Mohammed Zainal. With the new Al-Hassad Islamic 2011 scheme, customers have a lot more to look forward to. With 28 Weekly Prizes totaling KD 100,000 each week and “Salary for Life” Prizes every month, the chances to win bigger prizes more often couldn’t get any better. The

most attractive feature of the new scheme is the chance to win bigger prizes, more frequently with 3 grand prizes of KD 25,000 each, week on week plus 25 other weekly prizes of KD 1,000. Chances to win big prizes on a weekly basis, offer instant rewards to both existing as well as new Investors in Investment Saving Account (Al Hassad Islamic). With the introduction of a “Salary for Life” Prize of KD 250,000 every month, the grand prize is also now more frequent and customers do not need to wait for a quarter or more to qualify for the grand prize. The “Salary for Life” has been a core feature for the AL Hassad Islamic scheme with prizes paid out to date exceeding KD 10 Million. The

Assembly candidates present agendas, outline concerns Al-Naqi organizes symposium By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: Political activist Najla Al-Naqi organized a symposium in which candidates participated and discussed some contemporary issues. Each can-

future for Kuwait. “The elections are rigged and MPs provide favors by passing voters’ illegal paperwork. These MPs hinder human, economic and other forms of development. Some MPs’ performance in the previous

KUWAIT: Mishari Al-Osaimi (middle) speaking during the symposium with Riyadh Al-Sania and Ghanima Al-Fahad. — Photo by Joseph Shagra didate outlined concerns, in addition to presenting their agenda. Second Constituency candidate Mishari AlOsaimi noted that the country has been experiencing crisis and conflicts since the 1960s. “The country experiences one problem after another because no one believes in democracy. Some members of the ruling family do want us to adopt democratic practices. That is why there are regulations monitoring every move. We have seen that those who pass laws end up breaking it,” he said. Al-Osaimi also predicted a bleak

Parliament was below expectations. We should support the good MPs and hold it responsible for making mistakes. The results lie in the hands of voters. They should choose a responsible Parliament,” added Al-Osaimi. Third Constituency candidate Riyadh Al-Sania spoke about the selfinterests and benefits between legislators and executors. “There should be a law that incriminate them. I think that most MPs are liars. I also think that security and justice are in danger. The country has not been stable for about 20 years, and we should put an end to

this situation,” he stated. Candidate from the Third Constituency Mohammed Talib agreed that the political situation in Kuwait is bad. “The current events do not support any form of development in the country. Many MPs are busy insulting others, and this is against reform. We should help good citizens, not those who are waiting to create conflicts. I refuse any democratic movement that will lead to the country’s destruction,” he pointed out. “We aim to achieve more than just establishing public service utilities. We want to create good citizens who will work toward developing them. The past government was weak and this was part of the problem. I called upon HH the Amir to establish an institution that solve issues immediately. I also propose to issue a law that incriminates sectarianism, with a jail sentence rather than levying fines,” he said. A candidate from the Third Constituency Jawad Al-Mutawa complained against not enforcing the law. “The government is responsible for not respecting the law. We are witnessing more fights and conflicts rather that development. It seems as if the country is being governed by people from another planet and not by Kuwaitis. We should exchange political opinions,” he noted. A candidate from the Second Constituency Ahmad AlSayegh added that the situation is promising. “We suffer from flaws in the healthcare sector for instance, and other services. The solution lies in enforcing and respecting the law equally,” he explained.

KUWAIT: Kuwaiti army officers—who took part in the mission of the Arab League monitors in Syria — returned home yesterday having been recalled by the decision made by the GCC foreign ministers to end their stint in that country. The Kuwaiti participation in the monitoring mission in Syria came in response to directives of the ministerial council at the Arab League regarding the Arab initiative to send Arab observers to Syria to keep close tabs on tumultuous events there.

Driver rams into police station By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: Detectives are looking for a man who damaged the front wall of Sulaibiya police station while driving a 4WD. A security source said policemen were surprised when a car was seen circling the station, before it climbed the pavement and crashed into the gate. The driver was quick to escape after the incident. Sources believe that the vehicle is rented by a citizen. Accidents A 13-year-old Saudi boy sustained a broken left leg during an accident on his ATV in Kabd area. He was taken to Farwaniya hospital. An eight-year-old Egyptian boy sustained a pelvic fracture during a car accident on Fahaheel Expressway. He was taken to Amiri hospital. A three-year-old Saudi girl suffered a head injury while a 28-year-old fractured her right arm during a car accident in Jahra. Both were taken to Jahra hospital. Three Kuwaitis complained of pain in the chest and back following a car accident in Fahaheel area. They were taken to Adan hospital. A 44-year-old Kuwaiti sustained a head injury during a car accident on Fahaheel entrance from Fahaheel expressway. He was taken to Adan hospital.

Jahra security blockade lifted KUWAIT: The Ministry of Interior(MoI) withdrew officers who have been stationed in Al-Jahra governorate following news about bedoon residents’ decision to suspend their weekly demonstrations held in Taima and Sulaibiya. The decision was reportedly taken by Sheikh Ahmad Al-Hmoud Al-Sabah Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Minister of Interior in a meeting with senior ministry officials like Ibrahim Al-Tarrah AlJahra Security Director, Major General. According to sources, security precautions were supposed to last at least until Saturday to counter any attempts to gather in Friday afternoon. — Al- Rai

monthly “Salary for Life” prize has enabled winners to afford better homes, ensure better education for their children and enjoy an improved quality of life, with the assurance that the rewards will continue to come month after month for 250 months. Al-Hassad Islamic is the only scheme to offer high value weekly and monthly prizes that are significantly higher than the total outlay of other prize schemes in Kuwait. In addition to the attractive prize pool, customers with high balances can opt for other unique features such as Investment savings plan, cheque facility linked to their investment savings account and state of the art ebanking and 24 x 7 Contact Center support.

The new Al-Hassad Islamic 2011 is geared to meeting the needs of salaried individuals. Customers can benefit from not only the biggest and most attractive prize pool but can also enjoy state of the art banking benefits and access to AUB’s unique products’ range for Islamic Finances ,credit cards and investment products. All Al-Hassad draws are conducted under the scrutiny of officials from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and independent auditing firm, Ernst& Young. For more information on the Al-Hassad Islamic investment savings account, its prize structure and eligibility criteria, customers may visit any AUB Kuwait.


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THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012

LOCAL

kuwait digest

in my view

Go with the voice of reason

The cost of inaction

By Dr Wael Al-Hasawi

fouad@kuwaittimes.net Twitter: @Fouadalobaid

e are entering what many have termed ‘the electoral wedding.’ After woman’s thirteenth wedding, most would lose appeal in her; some would even wonder what’s the point of her marrying if the relationship is short-term. Worse, what is the point of her marrying again if she hates her future spouse? This is a metaphor for the situation in Kuwait, a government unable to take firm action, often reluctant and at times it would seem as if it was confused and in need of guidance - despite liking to be termed wise by all! The Parliament is most likely to bring about a new series of MPs whose ability to defend themselves I don’t question; what I would question is the ability to defend the State and to enact much-needed laws that will ensure a smooth transition towards a new political paradigm, allowing for a new viable working method.

W

We as citizens want a stable, strong, viable Kuwait to live, prosper, and dwell in. We want progress, and want to see tangible achievements. I have, at numerous times, stated necessary ideas and should the government require. I would be more than happy to put forward ideas, in fact here is one; create municipal council with real power to fix our areas and to transform them into competitive poles. A candidate last night eluded to the notion that liberties are often at their maximum during campaign times where the government, more than at any other time, is willing to allow greater dissent against it. To such a government, I would hope that they would find it within them - by them I mean those that we constitutionally entrust to guide and lead us towards a safe path - the reason that would allow them to comprehend that a society fueled by grudges is not a sustainable society! We as citizens - pardon my generalization - want a stable, strong, viable Kuwait to live, prosper, and dwell in. We want progress, and want to see tangible achievements. I have, at numerous times, stated necessary ideas and should the government require. I would be more than happy to put forward ideas, in fact here is one; create municipal council with real power to fix our areas and to transform them into competitive poles. Each area should specialize in a field that would allow the country to move and develop into a regional financial and I would hope cultural hub. I want to wake up on Feb 3, 2012 and believe that once the elections are over that the lofty-fairylike dreams of MPs would magically appear! Unfortunately the reality dictates that so long as we tolerate a society that is profoundly confused about its identity; a society that is starting to project once well guarded social-ills to the forefront; a society that is not willing to take a frank look at its distorted image in a mirror, we will not change. Worse, we will degrade and degenerate. Please excuse my harsh criticism, and with it, I hope we would be able once a proper assessment of the situation is understood by all, not a unlike an ‘intervention’ we would be able to fix the jolts and bolts of a society that lost its way between the requirements of modernity, and the defunct heritage.

kuwait digest

Loose talk during elections By Rashid Al-Radaan e understand that it’s natural for many to change the regime of the country and control candidates to make irresponsible state- the state. The respected government that is workments during election campaigns and ing in silence these days should issue a statement launch attacks against people in the government and ask every candidate or citizen who has any and the ruling family along with other officials in information about a network or cell or any movethe country. Once the ment that is planning elections come to an I hope that concerned authorities at the to control the regime end, things calm Interior Ministry take necessary action in the countr y to down and everybody inform the authoriagainst whoever makes such statements ties and those who gets back to behaving and directs his accusation towards a cer- do not, must be sent normally. But when some tain group of citizens. It is not acceptable to the prosecution candidates come out to hear that there are some people who and charged with and accuse the oppoinsulting the “amirwant to change the regime of the country ship” and underminsition of conspiring to and control the state. The respected gov- ing the state. create an Arab Spring in Kuwait, it’s a blatant The situation in ernment that is working in silence these insult to Kuwait’s govthe country is one of days should issue a statement and ask ernment, the ruling complete chaos. every candidate or citizen who has any Ever yone talks and family and all the information about a network or cell or utters irresponsible Kuwaiti people. If any movement that is planning to control words, and the probsomeone has a difference of opinion with the regime in the country to inform the lem is that the peothe opposition or a authorities and those who do not, must be ple who are making certain individual or those accusations are sent to the prosecution and charged with pro-government cangroup, they should insulting the “amirship” and undermining didates and they aim their remarks at that person instead of believe that such the state. the government. things will make votWhoever has these ers stay away from kinds of ulterior motives should be condemned by opposition candidates and not vote for them! us because anyone who attacks the constitution is Say whatever you want about the opposition directly attacking the ruling family and the people and those who support them, but no one has the of the country. right to say that they want to take over the regime, I hope that concerned authorities at the Interior because this is a major crime that should not be Ministry take necessary action against whoever allowed to slip by easily. But our dilemma is that we makes such statements and directs his accusation have a government that controls only tweeters and towards a certain group of citizens. It is not accept- throws them in jail, but politicians have full rights able to hear that there are some people who want to mess around any way they want! — Al-Watan

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kuwait digest

Naturalization not needed By Aziza Al-Mufarej

kuwait digest

The complete picture By Thaar Al-Rashidi hen you finish watching a foreign movie that has been censored, one of your friends ask you to narrate the plot. You will definitely tell him about incomplete sequence of events because you have seen the censored version. Afterwards, you will be obliged to buy a copy of the complete uncensored film so as to learn the whole story. Our Kuwaiti political scene is incomplete. The most important scenes are cut out. Either you cannot say it, or if you say it legal action will be taken. This is not because you are against the law, but because the press law have connected freedom with paying penalties. But, in order to watch a complete film , you must make use of ‘Wikileaks documents.’ There will be reflections on political fights. Who is allied with who, and where the money has gone. Only then you will get a ‘complete picture.’ The matter has nothing to do with sectarian divisions, tribal allegiances or the story of bedoons and city people. There are candidates who shout out threats to everyone. The story is a fight for influence. The master and the political money is the king of the game as a whole. Otherwise, can anyone imagine that the no one knows who is behind the ‘diesel’ smuggling case till today. Had it in happened in the US, at least 73 direct officials would have been terminated, so would another 200 workers. Furthermore, Americans would have occupied Wall Street. The preferred Kuwaiti policy is one of inaction. — Al-Anbaa

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r Ali Al-Omair is one of the few candidates who paid attention in his campaign to the report released recently by the state’s consultative economic committee. The remaining candidates probably don’t want anything to do with a report which contains recommendations to curb spending since we don’t usually hear candidates adopting rationalization policies in their campaigns. Instead they lure voters with even more spending! A recently released Al-Shall report mentioned a summary of the consultative committee’s report, containing alarming facts about Kuwait’s spending rates. For example, the report indicates that the government budget increased from KD 4 billion to KD 19.4 billion over 10 years. One would presume that the surge came to fund requirements from a developmental project. In reality however, the sharp increase in the government budget is a result of continuous payment of allowances, pay increases and other forms of spending. Around KD 14 billion out of the KD 19.4 budget is paid as salaries to the public sector and subsidies, according to the report. It further predicts that the budget will reach around KD 53.6 billion by 2029 if the annual spending pattern remains the same. Moreover, the report predicts that Kuwaiti labor forces will increase from 285,000 today to more than one million by 2029. It identifies rationalization of government spending as the only way for Kuwait to avoid an imminent crisis. Fuel subsidies increased from KD 80 million a couple of years ago to KD 1.37 billion today. Is that a natural growth in spending or organized theft? When we consider the fact that no infrastructure projects were finished two years after the development plan was enforced, then where have billions from the plan’s budget disappeared to? I dare all outspoken candidates to announce that they have adopted rationalization of government spending as a top priority in the election campaign. I believe they won’t do so because such an approach is probably going to affect their electoral chances. All I hope is that we see more candidates like Dr Ali Al-Omair who speak to people with reason about what is truly best for them and their future. - Al-Rai

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By Fouad Al-Obaid

es, they may have been born in the desert, a original Kuwaitis in their own homeland, just so that vast area of land that stretches from the Sham they can have the upper hand. Who knows, they desert in the north to the Saudi Arabian may merge Kuwait with native country so that our desert in the south. They have chosen Kuwait’s land identities are lost forever. One of them became a to be their birth place, and they cannot be blamed, professor at the university and asked his students to of course. If Kuwait remained in poverty, there prepare a field report on the bedoons. This is a would not have been people competing to obtain malicious assignment and we see the hidden motives behind this ‘proits nationality and carry ject.’ He may receive stuits identity. There were dents’ sympathy on that only a few thousand Kuwaitis, who have bedoon rela- issue, especially when people when the country suffered from povertives, are Iraqis who benefited when they go on to become ty and hardship. Now Kuwait sent them to study abroad. officials in the state. This professor and after 50 years, enjoying They became friends with various others like him have the bounties of black human rights societies and officials reached the point of gold that Allah blessed Kuwait with, there are resort to unthinkable moves so as to demanding that the gov1.25 million citizens. force their relatives’ naturalization. ernment kick out original from the central There are many natuThey came to Kuwait from Iraq, Syria Kuwaitis department for remedyralized Kuwaitis here. and Saudi Arabia. Some of those ing illegal residents’ Some of them are who are naturalized use all means to issues, and appoint othdoing their best to naturalize their family fulfill their dreams of marginalizing ers who may further members and relatives, original Kuwaitis in their own home- bedoons’ cause. They even spoke out against proving to be unlucky land, just so that they can have the the country ’s goverso far even after utilizupper hand. nance. They want to sow ing all forms of presstrife among Kuwaitis sure. Kuwaitis, who based on the theory of have bedoon relatives, are Iraqis who benefited when Kuwait sent them to divide and conquer, despite their knowledge that study abroad. They became friends with various the ruling system in Kuwait does not need their human rights societies and officials resor t to approval. What Kuwaitis hope from the governunthinkable moves so as to force their relatives’ nat- ment is to quickly naturalize the deserving. It should uralization. They came to Kuwait from Iraq, Syria and completely do away with the system of naturalizaSaudi Arabia. Some of those who are naturalized tion after this. Those who disagree should find use all means to fulfill their dreams of marginalizing greener pastures elsewhere. — Al-Watan

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kuwait digest

‘The tongue is most feared’ By Faisal Al-Zamel here are three kinds of greetings exchanged between voters and candidates in Kuwait. The first one, a voter will tell candidates what he likes to hear: ‘Welcome, it is very nice that you nominated yourself, my family and me support you completely. But the truth contradicts that. The second kind express their intention entirely through body language. The voter lets the candidate know he does not support him by ignoring his presence, and talks in a very loud voice. The third kind assumes the guise of an advisor. I have seen someone who is more than 80 years old, who participated in all previous elections. He advised an ex MP and clearly expressed his displeasure. He is one of the few candidates to listen to honest advise like that, and have a clear picture about voters’ opinions. Unfortunately, compliments are paid before expressing honesty. Of course, being frank does not mean that you offend the candidate, but talk with due respect. Honest also insinuates the following : “your friend is the one who is honest with you but does not

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Being frank does not mean that you offend the candidate, but talk with due respect. Honest also insinuates the following : “your friend is the one who is honest with you but does not believe in you.” This approach is taken with the candidate if he is an ex MP and needs to know the opinion of voters in order to continue the same style of change that is compatible with the opinion of those whom he represents in the National Assembly. believe in you.” This approach is taken with the candidate if he is an ex MP and needs to know the opinion of voters in order to continue the same style of change that is compatible with the opinion of those whom he represents in the National Assembly. It is unfair that he represents voters and ignores those that want to usher in change. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “the most feared is the tongue.” The one who is a smooth talker, is not necessarily honest. Many times, good communication skills involves some cunning. He wants to achieve his own agenda. We are in need of the honest candidate, who tells the truth. Voters’ mission is very difficult, the articulate have changed things by coloring the mistakes into which they have fallen. If some fall for appearance, that will destroy the present and future. — Al-Anbaa


local

THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012

Sheikh Saud legacy to continue: Tueller KUWAIT: American Ambassador Mathew Tueller yesterday expressed condolences on the demise of former oil and information minister Sheikh Saud Nasser Al-Sabah. The statement said: “I am deeply saddened by the death of Sheikh Saud Nasser AlSabah, former Kuwaiti information and oil minister, and Kuwait’s Ambassador to the US from 1981 to 1992. I offer my heartfelt condolences to HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad, the Al-Sabah Family and Sheikh Saud’s family. Sheikh Saud was a valued friend and ally of the United States, and a heroic advocate for Kuwait, who will be remembered for his leadership and partnership with the coalition countries that participated in Kuwait’s liberation during the hardship endured by Kuwait following the 1990 invasion and occupation of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein’s forces; Sheikh Saud Nasser was a source of inspiration due to his unflagging energy and wise counsel. “Through the US and Kuwait’s strong and enduring partnership. Sheikh Saud’s legacy will continue.”

Officials undecided on vote-buying KUWAIT: Senior Ministry of Interior officials held a meeting Tuesday with representatives of NGOs taking part in the monitoring process for the 2012 election. During the meeting, two organizations reportedly expressed skepticism at testimony of the Kuwait Transparency Society when they indicated that at least 21 vote-buying cases have been reported. According to a report quoting sources with knowledge of the meeting’s discussions, Interior Ministry officials were ambiguous on the Public Prosecutions’ delayed response with regard to vote-buying cases. Meanwhile, security sources quoted in the same report, played down the seriousness of cases reported by the Transparency Society, arguing that only six cases could be considered serious. Moreover, the anonymous sources said that arresting suspects involved in it won’t be easy because most of them are usually hired by candidates who frequently change them to avoid exposure. In other news, the Ministry of Interior reportedly made a decision to recall vehicles rented by senior ministry officials, so that they can be used by police officers assigned to maintain security on Election Day. Sources familiar with the issue told Al-Qabas that this unprecedented step is taken over a deficit in the ministry’s budget. The sources who spoke on condition of anonymity said that many senior officials are affected by this decision. The cars will be returned to their original owners after elections. - Al-Qabas

Amir opens ‘Thukher’ club KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad AlJaber Al-Sabah opened Initiative for Leaders of Development (Thukher) club at Bayan Palace theater yesterday. The opening ceremony was attended by HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Deputy Chief of the National Guards Sheikh Mishaal Al-Ahmad AlJaber Al-Sabah, HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber AlMubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah and Deputy Minister of Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Ali Jarrah Al-Sabah, as well as senior state officials. In an opening note, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Minister of State for Planning and Development Affairs Dr Amani Bouresly, thanked HH the Amir’s sponsorship of the event, underlining that success of such national project would be manifesting vision of HH the Amir of turning Kuwait into an international commercial and financial hub. The club’s CEO Jassem Al-Safran then briefed the audience with the project’s vision and objectives before HH the Amir leaving the venue. — KUNA

British business delegation overlooks West-Iran tension Kuwait a viable place to invest: UKTI By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: Despite tension between the West and Iran, a high-level delegation of specialists from various companies in the United Kingdom came to Kuwait to learn more about the port and the construction projects being undertaken in the country. “The truth is, we maintained that Kuwait will remain open to business, although clearly, it is close to Iran [geographically],” said Duncan Hoyland, head of Trade and Investment of the British Embassy in Kuwait, when asked about the impact of the latest political tension here. “In terms of business devel-

Investment Business Specialist. The objective of the trade mission was to identify the areas in which assistance is required for the continued development of infrastructure projects in Kuwait and to seek assistance from British companies involved in all areas of construction, management and operation of ports. Hoyland noted that 2012 is a special year for both Kuwait and Britain. “In UK, 2012 is a special year because of the upcoming Olympics where many of our companies have been involved in various infrastructure projects there. UK aims to be Kuwait’s commercial partner. The PM came and signed the memoran-

KUWAIT: From left, Alaa Omran, Duncan Hoyland, John Nutt and Martin Mannion attending the press conference yesterday at Costa Del Sol Hotel, Shaab.— Photo by Joseph Shagra opment, we wouldn’t be coming here if we didn’t believe that Kuwait is a viable place to come and invest,” he added. Hoyland spoke at a press conference held at Costa Del Sol Hotel, which was also attended by Paul McKay, senior commercial officer at the British Embassy and Alaa Omran, press relation officer. The delegation comprising of 28 representatives from different companies was headed by John Nutt, UK Trade and

dum to develop trade and we have the agreement to double trade by two billion Kuwaiti dinars by 2015. Ambitious targets, but we feel that they are achievable,” Hoyland added. According to Hoyland, Kuwait offers fantastic market opportunities for British companies, owing to their reputation for quality and ability to deliver unsurpassed projects. “We have five British companies involved in the on-going projects in

Boubyan port. The bridge project cost one billion dollars. Last night, we had a discussion about building a hospital - the largest in the world - wor th around KD 300 million. Clearly, our expertise is visible and we are delighted to be a part of several projects here,” he said. John Nutt, Head of the British trade delegation says his group is armed with a wide range of skills and experience in the construction sector, particularly in sustainable designs, equipment and solutions. He also mentioned several UK firms which are involved in upgrading Shuwaikh port, training exercises and other Kuwait developmentrelated projects. Nutt said, the British government had identified around 70 huge business opportunities worldwide and most of these high-value opportunities can be seen in this region. In Kuwait alone, high value projects include development of Boubyan and Shuwaikh ports, Kuwait City metro system, hospitals, development of education and training, apart from financing opportunities. With regard to Kuwaiti investments in UK, Hoyland said that London is the safest and strongest city in the world and that relentless growth can be seen over the coming years. “London is the world capital. The city of London is the safest haven for investors. Obviously, the financial crisis has some negative effects, say, lesser funds are available, but London will remain steadfast,” he added. The British trade mission has met with Kuwait’s senior officials from the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Public Works, Kuwait Ports Authority and toured several projects and potential business opportunities here.

Finance minister clashes with protesters By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: More than 70 controllers at the Ministry of Finance demonstrated at the ministr y building on Tuesday to protest against a management decision which stripped them of financial privileges. The sit-in did not end well when Minister Mustafa Al-Shamali reportedly reprimanded three employees

after they were called inside his office to explain their colleagues’ demands. The gathering took place on the same floor where the minister ’s office is located. When the protesting staff requested to meet with the minister to explain their demands. Al-Shamali initially rejected their request, but agreed to permit three staff members to talk on behalf of

their colleagues. The protesters allege Al-Shamali was visibly irritated by that time and he started scolding the three employees without giving them a chance to talk. According to staff members, the minister described the sit-in as an “imprudent act” before kicking them out of his office. The controllers released a statement afterwards in which they criticized Al-Shamali’s attitude.


THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012

local

Kuwait contributes $250,000 for quake victims in Turkey UNITED NATIONS: The State of Kuwait has contributed $250,000 to support UNICEF’s humanitarian response to victims of the Van earthquake in Turkey, the fund said. “The support was announced by His Excellency Mansour Ayyad AlOtaibi, Permanent Representative of Kuwait to the United Nations,” said the press release, issued late on Tuesday. On Oct 23, 2011, an earthquake

Quality services, amazing surprises from VIVA KUWAIT: Kuwait Telecommunication Company VIVA, is preparing to participate in the 31st InfoConnect that will be held at the International Fair Ground in Mishref from January 29th till February 4th, 2012. VIVA CEO, Salman Bin Abdulaziz AlBadran said that the “InfoConnect Fair presents an ideal platform for VIVA in order to reinforce our commitment to providing quality services to existing and potential customers as well as strengthening our relationship with them as they

Salman Al-Badran are the cornerstone of our success”. He stated that “VIVA will announce a bunch of new amazing surprises and packages that are innovative and affordable to all customers, out of its overall objective to continuously provide the latest technologies and to offer the best services in Kuwait.” Al-Badran emphasized on the importance of the InfoConnect Fair, as it is a one of a kind annual event in Kuwait where all telecommunication and mobile

affected areas, resided by 600,000 people, almost half of them children, were effectively left homeless. Normal life has not resumed as tens of thousands of people have left the region. Of these, about 35,000 are accommodated in state guest houses and other public buildings in other provinces. Most sur vivors remain in the region, living in tents, tent cities or in

measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale hit the province of Van in eastern Turkey. Some 604 people were killed and over 4, 000 injured as dozens of buildings, including multi-storey apartment blocks and schoolteachers’ lodgings, collapsed or were seriously damaged. Due to continuing seismic activity and the assumption that most buildings have been damaged and weakened, much of the population in the

phone companies are keen to present their best services and offers, that encourages a fair competition that results in exceeding the customers’ expectations and requirements. He also added that “VIVA will participate with a distinguished booth, displaying many of the latest devices with unprecedented packages and services designed to cater to the customers’ needs, as VIVA considers their customers as a key element to our success and a top priority in our aim to constantly provide the best in the telecommunication sector.” Finally, Al-Badran invited all customers and technology fans to visit the company’s booth to find out about the latest exclusive offers and the daily surprises that will be announced in the newspapers at that time, or during the fair that will take place at Mishref International Fairs Ground. VIVA is the newest, most advanced mobile telecommunications service provider in Kuwait. Launched in December 2008, VIVA makes things possible for our customers by transforming communication, information and entertainment experiences. The company has rapidly established an unrivalled position in the market through our customer and employee centric approach. VIVA’s quest is to be the mobile brand of choice for Kuwait by being transparent, engaging, energetic and fulfilling. VIVA continues to take a considerable share of the market by offering an innovative range of best value products, services and content propositions; a state of the art, nationwide network and worldclass service. VIVA offers Internet speed up to 42.2Mbps due to the implementation of the most advanced third generation (3G and HSDPA) network in Kuwait resulting in superior coverage, performance and reliability.

some cases container homes, in harsh winter conditions, pending other arrangements. UNICEF’s response to this emergency has been prioritising interventions in the areas of education and child protection, concentrating its efforts in helping schoolchildren and children up to five years of age to regain a sense of normalcy in the aftermath of the emergency.

UNICEF said it is ensuring that psychosocial support is provided to all children affected by the emergency, including those who have lost family members and friends, and is training social workers to provide psychosocial support on a “tent-to-tent” basis. This amount is part of Kuwait’s generous contributions to various UN agencies to help affected people around the world. — KUNA

Syrian goes into diabetic coma while driving, dies Girl power thwarts rapists KUWAIT: A male driver was pronounced dead at a car crash site in Salmiya recently. A medical examination later revealed that the middle-aged Syrian man went into a diabetic coma and died while driving on Amman Street, before crashing into a concrete wall. The victim’s body was taken to Mubarak Hospital after paramedics pronounced him dead on the scene, before forensic department officials were called in to take the body for an autopsy.

When summoned for investigations, the suspect admitted that one of her friends gave her the credit card and pin code, and asked her to withdraw cash for her. Investigations then revealed that the main suspect had snatched the credit card from the victim’s purse, and given it to the woman who was caught on surveillance tape, before returning the card to the victim’s purse after the theft. The main suspect was identified as the victim’s co-worker and friend. A warrant for her arrest was issued.

Unwanted pest Search is currently ongoing for an Arab man charged with attempted sexual assault after he reportedly tried to forcefully enter his female friend’s apartment when she ignored his text messages. In her statement to Rumaithiya police station officers, the Arab woman said that she decided to ignore her friend whom she met six months ago when he asked her to have an illegal relationship. She further explained that the suspect came to her apartment and tried to make his way inside and left only after she screamed for help. A case was filed for investigations.

Fugitive nabbed Ali Sabah Al-Salem police arrested a fugitive wanted for an attempted murder case in which he is accused of shooting his neighbor nearly a month ago over money issues. The Kuwaiti man was detained as he was entering his house. During investigations, the suspect admitted to the crime and explained that the two were business partners in car sales, and the victim had sold a car to his brother at a very low price behind his back. The suspect remains in custody pending further action.

Friend turns foe Police want to arrest a female suspected of stealing her friend’s credit card and using it to withdraw KD 1,000 from her bank account. Investigators obtained surveillance tapes from a local bank after the female citizen reported the theft, and they were able to identify a woman using the complainant’s credit card. However, the victim failed to identify the suspect. Police were able to identify the woman shown in the surveillance tape as she was also caught on camera withdrawing cash using her own credit card.

Multiple charges Two people were arrested in Amghara after drugs and unlicensed weapons were found inside their car. Patrol officers pulled over an SUV with illegally tinted windows, and discovered after verifying the identity of the two Kuwaiti men inside that one of them was wanted for a drug-related charge. During the search, police found 30 drug pills and hashish inside the vehicle, in addition to four hunting rifles and eight knives. The two suspects were taken to the area’s police station.

Rape attempt Two Arab men were arrested in Salmiya after attempting to assault a student outside her school in the area. The Asian victim was reportedly waiting outside for her father to pick her up after school when the suspects dragged her to a nearby location. The girl showed strong resistance however which thwarted the suspects’ rape attempt, and prompted them to flee. The girl’s father reported the incident to local police immediately after she told him about what happened. Investigators were able soon afterwards to apprehend the suspects who were put behind bars to face charges after the victim identified them in a police lineup. Meanwhile, Jahra police are looking for two suspects who attempted to kidnap a Filipina at a bus stop in Taima recently. The suspects reportedly offered the victim money to get into their car before attempting to force her inside when she declined. They opted to escape however when the woman’s strong resistance caught pedestrians’ attention. The woman was helped to file a complaint at the area’s police station. In another incident, a domestic worker thwarted a sexual assault attempt when she bit him to escape from his clutches. The Asian housemaid reportedly received a call from a regular customer asking her to come over and clean his house. After reaching the apartment, the maid soon discovered that the Iranian suspect’s wife was not inside. Before she could do anything, the suspect attempted to carry out his assault, which failed when she bit him hard. The suspect reportedly kicked the woman out of the house before disappearing. He was found at a friend’s house shortly after the incident was reported. — Al-Watan, AlAnbaa, Al-Rai

—Photos by Joseph Shagra

Incredible India festival at Lulu Hypermarket KUWAIT: Indian Ambassador Satish C Mehta inaugurated the Incredible India festival at Lulu Hypermarket, Al Rai yesterday amidst a large gathering of the Indian community and media persons. The Incredible India festival will run through Jan 25 - 31. Ambassador Mehta expressed his pleasure at opening an event that showcases some of the finest products from India. Touring the Hypermarket’s branch at Al Rai, accompanied by Mohammed Harris, the Regional Director and Sreejith, the Regional Manager, the ambassador added, “This Indian Festival is a won-

derful initiative undertaken by Lulu Hypermarket that allows Indians in Kuwait to enjoy many of the products that they have been accustomed to in India. In addition to a variety of food items, sweets and other delicacies, there are exquisitely designed sarees, churidars, kurthas and footwear by Indian craftsmen. This festival is also an opportunity for citizens and other expatriates in Kuwait to get a taste of Indian foods and various other products. The ambassador wished the Incredible India festival the very best and said that holding such events would also

stand the organizers in good stead in the future. Ambassador Mehta was also impressed by the large selection of products on display as well as the variety and space for shoppers making shopping at Lulu a very comfortable experience. Incredible India festival is an ideal opportunity for shoppers looking to find value in their regular purchases of fresh fruits, vegetables, groceries and other household products. A special section of the festival is also dedicated to freshly-prepared Indian dishes and sweets. In addition to foods many branded garments are on offer

during the festival. Various Indian cultural programs are also being held in the evenings, adding entertainment to the shopping experience during the festival. Among the many offers during the festival period is one by Eastern where shoppers can enter a lucky draw and win gold earrings as part of the promotion This festival is part of Lulu Hypermarket’s initiative to continuously bring the best of the world to their customers through providing the right products in the right place at the right time. Lulu Hypermarkets are a lifestyle shopping destination offer-

ing an ultra-modern shopping ambience that integrates every conceivable need of consumers under one roof. The Incredible India festival is a good shopping opportunity for those looking for a bargain. With its wellstocked shelves, extensively laid out counters, wide aisles and banks of check-out counters, Lulu Hypermarkets provides customers with convenience along with the largest selection of high-quality products at very affordable prices, living up to their tagline of ‘Lulu, where the world comes to shop’.


THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012

Arab League seeks UN ‘help’ on bloody Syria

9 dead as Indian bus driver goes on rampage

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JERUSALEM: Palestinian Fatah leader Marwan Barghuti is escorted in handcuffs by Israeli police into Jerusalem’s Magistrate Court to testify as part of a US civil lawsuit against the Palestinian leadership yesterday. — AFP

‘Palestinian state will end Mideast crisis’ Jailed Palestinian leader in rare court appearance JERUSALEM: The Middle East conflict will end only when Israel withdraws to the pre-1967 lines and a Palestinian state is established, jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghuti said yesterday in a rare court appearance. “The conflict will be finished the moment the Israeli occupation ends, and there is a full withdrawal to the 1967 borders and a Palestinian state is established,” he said in Hebrew at Jerusalem Magistrates Court. Barghuti, who is serving five life sentences for his involvement in several deadly anti-Israeli attacks, was called to testify as part of a US civil lawsuit against the Palestinian leadership in connection with bloodshed during the sec-

ond intifada (2000-2005). On entering the courtroom, Barghuti, a senior official within the ruling Fatah party of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, immediately raised his hands to flash his trademark victory V-sign. “I call on the great Palestinian people to embrace unity and cohesion and to establish a national unity government and also to embrace popular, peaceful resistance to end the occupation,” he said in Arabic. Rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah last year pledged to work quickly towards elections and to form a unity government under the terms of a reconciliation deal which has yet to be implemented.

“Peace cannot happen without ending the occupation,” he said, adding a “salute” to those behind the popular revolutions in Tunisia and Libya, as well as in Egypt, which on Thursday marked the first anniversary since its uprising began. “I don’t recognize this court,” Barghuti shouted to AFP as he was led out of the courthouse. “I call on the Palestinian people to continue their popular struggle.” Before Barghuti entered the room, his lawyer Elias Sabbagh had told the court he would not be testifying. “We are talking about a US lawsuit against the Palestinian Authority and not against Mr Barghuti. Mr

Barghuti is not part of this lawsuit, that is why he is not going to say anything about this case or any other case,” he said. “ The case is against the PLO and the Palestinian Authority,” Sabbagh said, referring to the Palestine Liberation Organization. “They brought Barghuti as a witness because he was in the PA and he refused to say anything in the court about this issue.” An influential leader with widespread suppor t among the Palestinian public, Barghuti is known for being a lifelong activist who supported the Oslo peace process in the 1990s. But Israel has accused him of masterminding the second intifada, or Palestinian uprising, which erupted in 2000. — AFP

Lawlessness, torture rock the ‘New Libya’ TRIPOLI: Violent crime and clashes between armed militants are running rife in Libya as the jubilation of last year’s liberation fades, to be replaced by the harsh and unromantic reality of building a new state. Although much less frequent than the celebratory shooting in the weeks after Muammar Gaddafi died in October, the sound of gunfire can still be heard at night in Tripoli, where security sector workers say theft, infighting and murder are on the rise. Last week, two grenade attacks were reported in central Tripoli and gunfights occur on a near-daily basis. “The country is coming down off a victory high,” a western diplomat in the capital said. “Not only are there clashes between rival militias, but we are seeing a lot more reports of crime in the capital and I think it is because people are disillusioned with the slower-than-hoped progress of the country,” the diplomat said. The National Transition Council (NTC), Libya’s internationally recognized but self-appointed government, has received praise for getting many of the country’s ministries up and running and, notably, for drafting an election law in which NTC leaders will be unable to run in June elections. But many Libyans thought progress would be faster, and the defense ministry and the interior ministry are failing to incorporate disparate militias, armed with anything from pistols to tanks, into a police force and an army. These groups fought hard in the campaign to topple Gaddafi but now refuse to hand in their weapons, saying they are suspicious of the country’s new rulers. The ramshackle government lost control of a former Gaddafi stronghold on Tuesday after local people staged an armed revolt, posing the gravest challenge yet to the NTC’s authority. The revolt in Bani Walid will heighten doubts in the West about the NTC government’s ability to instill law and order crucial to rebuilding oil exports, to disarm tribal militias and to guard Libyan

borders in a region where al Qaeda is active. Elders in Bani Walid, 200 km southeast of the capital, said they were appointing their own local government and rejected any interference from the authorities in Tripoli. Although seen unlikely to spread elsewhere, the fighting added to the problems besetting the fragile new government. The sense of lawlessness - and the lingering influence of Gaddafi even in death - is exemplified in recent clashes between the neighboring towns of Assabia and Gharyan, 50 miles south of Tripoli. ESCALATING FIGHTING Although accounts are conflicting, residents from both towns perched on the edge of the sandstone Western, or Nafusa, Mountains-say that a knife fight broke out at a weekly market along a road that connects them. The towns’ respective militias rapidly amassed their troops, blocked off the main connecting road with walls of dirt to hide behind and started a three-day battle, in which shells, mortars and 9-foot-long GRAD rockets were fired. Near the front line, a towering Catholic church can be seen at the peak of a nearby hill. During the Italian occupation in the early 20th century, fighters from Gharyan and Assabia fought together to decolonize Libya. During the fighting, the military council of Gharyan swore that they were fighting the remnants of proGaddafi forces still hiding in Assabia. “Assabia and us are brothers, but due to the presence of Gaddafi fighters we have a problem,” Gharyan spokesman Ismail Al-Ayeb told Reuters. He said there are more than 1,000 pro-Gaddafi troops in Assabia-a town of just over 50,000 people-and showed Reuters documents which listed tens of thousands of weapons that the Gharyan military council claims are in Assabia. TORTURE CLAIMS In Assabia, a different story was being told, in which residents not involved in the fighting were kidnapped and tortured, one to death, by Gharyan fighters. “We are not Gaddafi supporters. Gharyan just want to legitimise their fight against us,” said Ibrahim Mohammed, 23, who was covered head to toe in black and blue bruises which he says he got from beatings with metal chains in Gharyan. “I was on the road to the capital and I was stopped by Gharyan fighters. They asked me where I was from and when I said Assabia they forced me out the car with guns and took me to a military base,” he told Reuters from his bed at the central hospital in Assabia, having been released in a ceasefire agreement brokered by the NTC. “I recognized them as being from the military council in Gharyan,” he said in a coarse voice, adding that his ankles were crushed in metal workshop clamps and that his finger and toe were smacked with metal bars.

News

in brief Firearm scare at Bush home

WASHINGTON: George W Bush’s Secret Service bodyguards questioned then released a man who dropped by the former president’s Dallas, Texas home uninvited with a firearm in his vehicle, an official said yesterday. “An individual showed up at the former president’s residence. He wasn’t invited or expected. Our agents interviewed him, along with Dallas police. He was ultimately released,” said Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan. “During the interview he admitted he was a licensed gun carrier and had a gun in his vehicle,” Donovan told AFP by telephone. “He was still sent on his way.” Bush was not at home, according to a spokesman for his office. An official familiar with the US Secret Service’s procedures said it was “not unusual for individuals to show up at our facilities” and that the agency questions people “on a daily basis” but added “what was unusual here was that he had a firearm in his vehicle.” “The firearm was secured in his vehicle... it wasn’t on the dashboard or anything,” said the official, who requested anonymity. The possibly mentally disturbed man claimed he received a message from Bush that was “conveyed spiritually” and had come to pick up a package, Fox 4 News reported citing unnamed sources.

5 police shot dead

BANI WALID: Libya’s former rebel fighters gather at a checkpoint, 60 kms from the town of Bani Walid, the former bastion of slain dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Libya said it will strike back if diehards of slain dictator were behind deadly clashes in his former bastion of Bani Walid. — AFP Blood seeped from under his fingernails during the interview. “During my interrogations, I saw our main military commander in Gharyan lying on the floor in a pool of blood ... he was barely breathing and they had tied a metal pole to his arms and legs and were giving him electric shocks,” Ibrahim said. The body of this Assabia military commander, Ezzedine al-Ghool, was anonymously dropped at the Tripoli hospital where it was later collected by members of Assabia’s city council, including Bashir al-Nwer, who says Gharyan fighters took the body to Tripoli to avoid escalating the conflict by returning the tortured body directly to Assabia. “We have come to get the doctor’s report which proves he was tortured to death. Then we will take his body to Assabia. Three days after Ezzedine was killed, his wife gave birth to his son, Ali, and we want the son to see his first and last glimpse of his father,” he told Reuters at the morgue in Tripoli. —Reuters

VALLE DE BRAVO: Officials say five police officers were fatally shot after they stopped a vehicle in a town outside Mexico City. Mexico State prosecutor Alfredo Castillo Cervantes says the municipal officers from the town of Ixtapaluca had stopped the vehicle when a taxi and a van pulled up and a group of attackers opened fire with highpowered weapons. Castillo said yesterday investigators suspected the Monday attack was an attempt to free people who had been stopped by the police. Two civilians were found at the scene, one dead and one wounded and unconscious. Police assume they were among the attackers or the suspects originally stopped by the officers’ two patrol cars.


THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012

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

Rent-a-fort in India’s Rajasthan JAIPUR: One of India’s prime tourist attractions, the princely forts and palaces of Rajasthan state, are hoping for a new lease on life-literally. More than two million domestic and foreign tourists visit Rajasthan every year for a glimpse of the state’s royal past and to experience the architectural legacy of kingdoms that lost

their identity when India became a republic. Topping the must-see list in the desert state are sites like the majestic Mehrangarh Fort, which dominates the skyline over the city of Jodhpur, and Jaipur’s 16th century Amber Palace. But thousands more historic forts, palaces and

JAIPUR: A pigeon flies past the Alsisar Haveli heritage hotel in Jaipur. One of India’s prime tourist attractions, the princely forts and palaces of Rajasthan state, are hoping for a new lease on life - literally. — AFP

private mansions, or “havelis”, lie unvisited and uncared for-victims of decades of neglect. Shortly after Indian independence in 1947, many passed from private to public hands, either sold or ceded to the state government by their erstwhile princely owners who were unable to afford their upkeep. Now the state authorities-who also struggled to fund their renovation and maintenance-are offering them up for rent. Target tenants are domestic and foreign hospitality groups with the financial muscle to turn the properties into heritage hotels for well-heeled travelers. “We are ready to lease the heritage properties. Those interested can sign a long-term rent agreement with us and they are free to convert them into hotels or any other interesting business venture,” said state tourism secretary Usha Sharma. “Our idea is to save the heritage forts and palaces and also promote tourism,” Sharma said. It’s an ambitious plan and, some say, a deeply flawed one, given the state of some of the properties on the rental list. Ruined ramparts, once used to keep out Mughal invaders, now provide a prime spot for locals to hang out their washing lines, while many properties have been stripped of their carved sandstone slabs, which end up in local markets. The concept of “heritage hotels” in India originated in

Rajasthan as owners unable to afford the upkeep of their ancestral homes converted them into hotels, sometimes with private partners or with the help of the government. Rajasthan currently accounts for 128 of the 178 heritage hotels spread across the country. “Heritage hotels are always seen as something romantic. People from all over the world love to experience the glory of the bygone era,” said Gaj Singh, secretary of the Heritage Hotel Association. Some forts have vanished-”The idea to lease these places is very interesting. They are untapped assets, and have the potential for massive growth,” said Singh, who owns six heritage properties in Rajasthan. But the government’s initiative has been clouded by a combination of poor infrastructure and excessive bureaucracy that has put off a number of potential takers for the leaseholds. “These properties are extremely maintenance-heavy and are mired in complications at various levels,” admitted Ashutosh Pednekar, the administrator of Alwar district, which has the largest concentration of forts in the country. “A lot more needs to be done by the government to put them to good use. Private investors cannot do it alone,” he said. One group that has made a go of it is the Neemrana Hotels heritage chain, which runs more than 20 properties

across India and decided to take on the 19th-century Tijara Fort 130 miles from Jaipur. “We appreciated the government’s plan, managed to acquire the lease of Tijara Fort and started our work,” said Aman Nath, co-chairman of the Neemrana group. Despite signing a 60-year lease agreement in 2005, it took the group several years to get final possession of the property. The original agreement was that the government would be responsible for providing basic infrastructure like roads, electricity and water. “But everything is offloaded on us,” Nath said. “We paid for the electricity and got the cables laid. We bought the land, drilled the water, did the piping and built the access road. “We are doing all the work and the government is still on our back saying: why is it not happening on time?” he added. Rajasthan’s tourism secretary, Usha Sharma, insisted that the government was firmly committed to the leasing program. “I don’t think there is any problem. We are doing the best we can,” she said. Meanwhile, most of the properties listed for lease remain derelict and ignored. “Some forts have simply vanished-their stones taken by villagers to build their own home,” said Alwar administrator Pednekar. “Only the names are left now,” he added. — AFP

Syria, Yemen get worst ever freedom ranking Bahrain, Vietnam described as ‘quintessential oppressive regimes’ PARIS: Syria, Bahrain and Yemen received their worst ever press freedom ranking yesterday in Reporters Without Borders’ (RSF) index for 2011, a tumultuous year that saw the downfall of several Arab dictators. Eritrea, North Korea and Turkmenistan came right at the bottom of the 10th annual list by the press freedom group, with the same clutch of European states led by Finland, Norway and Estonia-at the top. This year’s index saw many changes in the rankings that reflect a year in which many media organizations paid dearly for their coverage of popular uprisings against veteran autocratic leaders, RSF said. “Control of news and information continued to tempt governments and to be a question of survival for totalitarian and repressive regimes,” said the Paris-based group. RSF said it was no surprise that the same trio of countries-Eritrea, North Korea and Turkmenistan-were bottom of the list because they were “absolute dictatorships that permit no civil liberties”. “They are immediately preceded at the bottom by Syria, Iran and China, three countries that seem to have lost contact with reality as they have been sucked into an insane spiral of terror,” it said. Bahrain and Vietnam-both described as “quintessential oppressive regimes”-were also down at the bottom, while RSF said “other countries such as Uganda and Belarus have also become much more repressive”. Tunisia rose 30 places from last year’s index to 134th but “has not yet fully accepted a free and independent

press”, according to RSF. Bahrain, now ranked 173rd, fell 29 places because of its “relentless crackdown on pro-democracy movements, its trials of human rights defenders and its suppression of all space for freedom,” the group said. Egypt fell 39 places to 166th “because the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, in power since February, dashed the hopes of democrats by continuing the (ousted president Hosni) Mubarak dictatorship’s practices.” “Total censorship, widespread surveillance, indiscriminate violence and government manipulation made it impossible for journalists to work” in Syria last year, which fell to 176th position in the index.

Elsewhere, pro-democracy movements that tried to follow the Arab example were ruthlessly suppressed, with, for example, many arrests made in Vietnam (172nd), said RSF. In China, which ranks 174th, the government responded to regional and local protests and to public impatience with scandals by feverishly reinforcing its system of controlling news and information, it said. China carried out extrajudicial arrests and stepped up internet censorship, it added. In Azerbaijan (162nd), there was a dramatic rise in the number of arrests, as the government jailed netizens, abducted opposition journalists and barred foreign reporters in order to impose a news

HOMS: A young Syrian girl holds an Arabic placard which reads: “I am breathing freedom,” during a demonstration against the Syrian regime, in Homs. — AFP

Qaeda exit Yemen town under tribal pressures ADEN: Hundreds of Al-Qaeda gunmen gave in to tribal pressure and pulled out yesterday from the central Yemen town of Rada that they held for nine days, tribal leaders and witnesses said. “They have left the town,” located 130 kilometers southeast of Sanaa, one tribal source said hours after a senior military official said there had been mediation to convince the extremists to withdraw. “Tribal mediation carried out by Sheikh Hashed Fadhl Al-Qawsi succeeded, after three days of talks, to convince the armed Al-Qaeda men to leave Rada,” the military official had saidlate on Tuesday. Some tribal mediators, who have formed a committee of 35 dignitaries from seven different Yemeni cities, said that they have warned the militants that if they do not leave the town they would be forced out. Tribes, who are usually heavily armed, still play a vital role in Yemen’s politics and society. As news of the gunmen’s withdrawal spread, Rada residents took to the streets in celebration, firing shots in the air. “Our town is celebrating this event as war and chaos have been avoided,” said one resident, Faisal Al-Riashi, reached by telephone. “Life in Rada is returning to normal and residents have begun removing rocks” used by the militants to block roads, said another resident Aref Al-Amri. He added that shops are reopening. Residents also paraded in the town carrying banners reading “the farce is over.” The opponents of President Ali Abdullah Saleh who left Yemen on Sunday heading towards the United States via Oman for medical treatment, accuse him of deliberately handing over towns and cities across the country to Islamists in an attempt to gain Western support for his regime. “Affash it’s no use, the people of Rada are united,” other banners read referring to the veteran leader. Affash is Saleh’s original family name which he usually hides because it means “thug” in the local dialect. AlQaeda-linked militants control a string of towns in Abyan, Shabwa and Marib provinces

across the south and east, but Rada, in AlBayda province, is the closest they got to the capital. The strong jihadist presence in Yemen made Saleh a key ally in Washington’s “war on terror” before the Arab spring uprisings sparked a wave of protests against his regime that he countered with deadly violence. The military official had said that Al-Qaeda members began evacuating public buildings they had occupied after taking the town on January 16. A local dignitary, Ahmed Kalaz, confirmed the exit of Islamist fighters he described as close to Tarek Al-Dahab, the brother-in-law of the Yemeni-American militant, Anwar AlAwlaqi, killed in a US air strike last September. “They’ve retreated to Al-Manasa,” Dahab’s native village some 30 kilometers southeast of Rada, Kalaz said. Kalaz said tribal mediators had convinced the militants to leave the town in return for the release of 15 of their members held by the Yemeni authorities without trial. Among the prisoners to be set free is Nabil Al-Dahab, brother of the Al-Qaeda leader Tarek. Some of the prisoners have already been released, one of the mediators said without giving further details. The rest would be released over the next two days. A mediator said that the militants had also demanded the formation of a committee comprising town residents to replace Rada’s corrupt officials. But one of the militants, who refer to themselves as the Partisans of Sharia (Islamic law) said by telephone, without elaborating: “If our demands were not met, we will take whatever measures we see appropriate.” The Al-Qaeda militants overran Rada within hours on January 16, marking a significant advance by the extremists towards the capital. The takeover of Rada had been the latest in a series of towns and cities-until now deeper in the south and east-to fall as Al-Qaeda sweeps through parts of the country, taking advantage of a central government weakened by months of protests. — AFP

blackout on unrest, it said. Led by President Yoweri Museveni, Uganda (139th) launched “an unprecedented crackdown on opposition movements and independent media after the elections in February”. Similarly, Chile (80th) fell 47 places because of its many freedom of information violations, committed very often by security forces during student protests. The United States (47th) also owed its fall of 27 places to the many arrests of journalists covering Occupy Wall Street protests. The index highlighted the divergence of some European countries from the rest of the continent. The crackdown on protests after President Alexander Lukashenko’s re-election caused Belarus to fall 14 places to 168th. Turkey (148th) lost 10 places because it failed to carry out promised reforms and launched a wave of arrests of journalists that was without precedent since the military dictatorship, RSF said. Within the European Union, the index reflected a continuation of the distinction between states like Finland and Netherlands that have always had a high ranking and states like Bulgaria (80th), Greece (70th) and Italy (61st). RSF noted South Sudan among its “noteworthy changes” of 2011, pointing out that the new nation had entered the index in a respectable position (111th) for what is a breakaway from one of the worst ranked countries, Sudan (170th). But it said that Africa also saw the biggest falls in the index. — AFP

Israel seeking to turn gas to gold JERUSALEM: Israel is putting together a plan for a national investment fund that would tap an anticipated natural gas bonanza to fuel both an export-geared economy and provide a nest egg of $10 billion in under a decade for future generations. The proposed Israeli sovereign wealth fund is still in the planning phase, but officials have said some of the revenues would be invested in strategically critical targets such as education and health. Also being discussed are using some of the proceeds to endow a new set of export-oriented, technologybased industries that would build on what has traditionally been the country’s greatest resource: human capital. The fund would mark the beginning of a strategic development for the Jewish state in an oil-rich region where it has few friends and has had to rely on its own industry and outside aid for economic growth. It would also make it the latest member of a club whose members have typically been energy exporting titans such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Norway. Israel would become “a role model of a developing economy that moved into developed economy status,” said Glenn Yago, senior director at the Milken Institute economic think tank. The Israeli government enlisted the institute to map out alternative structure for such a fund, drawing on the experiences of other nations with similar investment vehicles. The driving force behind the fund was the discovery in 2009 and 2010 of two large offshore natural gas fields with estimated reserves of 25 trillion cubic meters of gas. The fields were a boon for resourcepoor Israel. The late Prime Minister Golda Meir famously lamented that Moses had picked as the Jewish homeland “the one spot in the Middle East that has no oil.” A consortium headed by US-based Noble Energy Inc. has said it would begin extracting gas from the deepwater fields in about a year, with production expected to far exceed Israel’s domestic gas needs. Even before the first gas has been extracted, Israeli officials are working on what to do with the proceeds from its sale. Officials estimated gas receipts will bring in between $2 billion to $3 billion per year. Based on Bank of Israel and Finance Ministry assessments, the fund could be managing $10 billion by 2021, with revenues starting to accumulate by 2015, said Yago.—AP

HOMS: Syrian army defectors patrol a street yesterday. Government forces clashed with army defectors and stormed rebellious districts in central Syria yesterday, firing mortars and deploying snipers in violence that killed at least seven people, including a mother and her 5-year-old child, activists said. — AP

Arab League seeks UN ‘help’ on bloody Syria DAMASCUS: Gulf Arab monitors headed out of Syria yesterday after their governments said they were “certain the bloodshed and killing of innocents would continue”, and the Arab League sought UN support for a plan to end President Bashar Al-Assad’s rule. But their colleagues in Damascus pledged to pursue an observer mission, now extended until Feb 23, to verify Syria’s compliance with an earlier Arab peace plan. “ The departure of the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries will not have an impact on the mission’s work. We are all professionals here and we can do the job,” said a senior Arab monitor, who asked not to be named. “We were around 170 or so and now with them leaving we are around 120,” the monitor said. “We need more monitors of course and more will come soon to replace those who left.” Monitors from Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain left the Syrian capital and those from other Gulf states were expected to leave the Syrian capital soon. Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby and Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim Al-Thani, who heads the League’s committee on Syria, wrote jointly to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon setting out the plan for a political solution in Syria. The letter asks for a “joint meeting between them in the UN headquarters to inform the Security Council about developments and obtain the support of the Council for this plan,” a League statement said. Several diplomats at the United Nations said France and Britain were working with Qatar and other Arab delegations on a new draft resolution supporting the Arab League plan. The Arab League call for Assad to step down will raise pressure on Russia to explain why it is still blocking UN action to stop the bloodshed in Syria, where Moscow has called for a dialogue. Syrian opposition groups have accused the observers mission, which began on Dec 26, of giving Assad diplomatic cover to pursue a crackdown on protesters and rebels in which more than 5,000 people have been killed since March, by a UN tally. The opposition Local Coordination Committees reported 68 deaths of civilians and army deserters on Tuesday. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the toll at 35. The government says it is fighting foreign-backed Islamist “terrorists” who have killed 2,000 soldiers and police. The state news agency SANA said 16 more were

buried on Tuesday. The revolt in Syria was inspired by others that have toppled three autocratic Arab leaders and the bloodshed has battered Assad’s standing in the world, with Iran among his few remaining allies. Foreign Minister Walid Al-Moualem wrote to the Arab League accepting an extension of the monitoring mission, even as he scornfully rejected the 22-member body’s call for Assad to hand power to his deputy and allow a new unity government to prepare for parliamentary and presidential elections. TO THE MOON “Definitely the solution in Syria is not the solution suggested by the Arab League, which we have rejected. They have abandoned their role as the Arab League and we no longer want Arab solutions to the crisis,” Moualem declared on Tuesday. “Heading to the Security Council will be the third stage in their plan, and the only thing left is the last step of internationalization,” he told a news conference in Damascus. “They can head to New York or to the moon. So long as we are not paying for their tickets it is none of our concern.” Moualem poured contempt on the League’s call for Assad to hand power to a unity government to defuse the violence. He said that while “half the universe is against us,” Syria’s long-time ally and arms supplier Russia, which wields a veto on the Security Council, would never permit foreign intervention. “That is a red line for them.” Britain, France and the United States chastised Moscow on Tuesday for continuing to arm Syria despite the upheaval there. French Ambassador Gerard Araud said it was “unacceptable that certain countries, including on this council, continue to provide the means of violence against the Syrian population”. The United States and their European allies have called for a UN arms embargo and other sanctions against Syria, but Russia vehemently opposes Security Council action and wields a veto in the world body. A Western diplomat at the Security Council said: “The Arabs have said that they want a resolution that has consensus agreement, and of course we’ll work for that. “We always work for consensus in the council, but sometimes that’s not possible, as with our Syria resolution,” the diplomat added, referring to a Western-drafted resolution on Syria that was vetoed by Russia and China in October. — Reuters


9

THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012

INTERNATIONAL

US ‘reset’ architect becomes lightning rod in Russia WASHINGTON: Michael McFaul, a top Obama administration architect of the “reset” in US ties with Russia, has become a lightning rod for Russian criticism over his prodemocracy work in his new assignment in Moscow. In contrast to previous US ambassadors to Moscow, who were mainly career diplomats, the 48-year-old Stanford University professor is both a Russia scholar and expert on democracy movements. He is also reported to be comfortable with both social networking media and the young people who use them as tools to promote democracy-attributes one expert says may especially irk the Russian old guard. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised McFaul when she presided over his swearing-in ceremony at the State Department on January 10, saying that “few Americans know Russia or know democracy better than Mike McFaul.” “And I can think of no better representative of our values and

our interest in a strong, politically vibrant, open, democratic Russia, as well as a deepening US-Russian partnership,” the chief US diplomat said. But Russia’s parliament on Tuesday lashed out at McFaul for meeting the leaders of protests against Prime Minister Vladimir Putin upon his arrival last week. And a commentator on Russia’s main Channel One television suggested that McFaul-who once penned a book called “Russia’s Unfinished Revolution”-was now on a mission to “finish the revolution.” James Collins, a US ambassador to Moscow from 1997 to 2001, said McFaul did nothing extraordinary by meeting the opposition but that he may represent more of a challenge to the Russian establishment than previous envoys. “Mike seems to be intent on being much more public” than many of his predecessors, according to Collins, now an expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International

Peace with which McFaul has had a past association. “He’s a product of this generation that accepts social media and the new world of communications...He seems to want to use that. I think that is going to be something that the Russians are not used to, for the most part.” The college professor, he added, is also at ease with young people who use such technology, the kind that has helped fan the pro-democracy uprisings sweeping the Arab world. Clinton has thrown her weight behind the new US diplomatic outreach via social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. Russian is one of the 10 foreign languages used by the State Department’s Twitter feed. “I think there is a new diplomacy out there, or an entirely different way in which diplomacy is going to be conducted and he (McFaul) is sort of out on the leading edge of it,” Collins said. At McFaul’s swearing-in, Clinton alluded to the new media.

“Russians from all walks of life and every corner of this great country are making their voices heard, both

leading architects of what has been called the ‘reset,’” after ties plunged to a low under the previ-

Michael McFaul face to face and in cyberspace, expressing their hopes for the future,” she said. She also recalled how McFaul “became one of the

ous administration of president George W Bush. The results are a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, cooperation on

Afghanistan, a rapprochement between Russia and NATO, and a renewed dialogue on everything from economic matters to education and adoption. Nonetheless, the White House has failed to convince the Kremlin that a plan to deploy a missile shield in Europe does not threaten Russia despite repeated arguments that it is aimed at countering a future threat from Iran. President Barack Obama’s administration has also been struggling to enlist Russian support to deal with Iran’s nuclear ambitions and Syria’s lethal crackdown on prodemocracy protests. McFaul may relish meeting the challenge the current turmoil around him poses. Clinton recalled that the Montana native took on a can-do attitude whenever his “team hit a roadblock” in the effort to reset ties. “He’d say, ‘I love this. I may be only a simple professor, but it seems to me this is a problem we can solve,’” Clinton said.—AFP

UK PM launches new battle against Europe UK calls for reform of European Court

YEREVAN: Holding an Armenian (left) and French (right) flags women take part in a rally outside the French embassy in Yerevan, to thank France for a bill passed by the French Senate making denial of the Armenian genocide a crime. —AFP

Turkish PM vows to punish France France brushes off Turkey’s threats PARIS: France yesterday brushed off angry threats of retaliation by Turkey and vowed to enforce within a fortnight a new law banning denial of the Armenian genocide. The French Senate on Monday approved the measure which threatens with jail anyone in France who denies that the 1915 massacre of Armenians by Ottoman Turk forces amounted to genocide. That sparked a furious reaction in Turkey, where hundreds protested outside the French embassy in Ankara and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan denounced the move as “tantamount to discrimination and racism”. Erdogan warned that his Islamist-rooted government would punish Paris with unspecified retaliatory measures if Sarkozy, whose right-wing UMP party initiated the bill, signed it into law. But Sarkozy appeared undeterred. “The president of the republic will promulgate the law punishing denial of the genocide of the Armenians in 1915 within the normal timeframe,” which is two weeks, a Sarkozy aide said. France has already officially recognized the killings as a genocide, but the new law would go further, by punishing anyone who denies this with up to a year in jail and a fine of 45,000 euros ($57,000). Armenians say up to 1.5 million of their forebears were killed in 1915 and 1916 by the forces of Turkey’s former Ottoman Empire. Turkey disputes the figure, arguing that 500,000 died, and denies this was genocide, ascribing the toll to fighting and starvation during World War I and accusing the Armenians of siding with Russian invaders. Armenia hailed the passage of the bill through the French Senate, with President Serzh Sarkisian writing in a letter to Sarkozy: “France has reaffirmed its greatness and power, its devotion to universal human values.” The world’s largest Muslim body, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, meanwhile rejected the bill as inconsistent with historical facts. Turkey’s ally Azerbaijan blasted the French vote, with the foreign ministry saying the move was “against the principles of democracy, human rights, freedom of speech and expression”.

In Washington, State Department Victoria Nuland said that “this is a matter between Turkey and France... we want to see good relations between them.” Amnesty International meanwhile, criticized the law, saying it would violate freedom of expression. “This bill, if implemented, would have a chilling effect on public debate and contravene France’s international obligations to uphold freedom of expression,” said Amnesty’s Europe and Central Asia director Nicola Duckworth. “People should be free to express their opinions on this issue-in France, Turkey and elsewhere,” she said. “French authorities are failing to comply with their international human rights obligations.” French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, who has publicly said he was against the bill, appealed Tuesday to France’s “Turkish friends” for calm, but his call went unheeded. Erdogan said: “We will implement our sanctions step by step, without any retreat. We’ll publicize our action plan according to the developments on the ground.” When France’s lower house passed the bill last month, Ankara recalled its envoy to Paris for consultations and froze political and military ties with Paris while vowing to impose “permanent” sanctions if the measure is finally adopted. If it takes effect, the law is expected to hurt diplomatic and trade ties between the two NATO allies, and Turkey has drawn up contingency plans. Possible new sanctions include lowering diplomatic ties to the level of charge d’affaires and halting cultural and scientific cooperation. The Turkish government has so far avoided calling for a full boycott of French products under pressure from the Turkish business community. Trade between Turkey and France was worth 12 billion euros ($15.5 billion) in 2010, with several hundred French businesses operating here. The Turkish press on Tuesday expressed collective fury over the bill, accusing France of breaching the right of freedom of expression. “Shame on you, France” the daily Vatan said. “France, where the ideal of freedom was born, has delivered the hardest blow to the freedom of expression,” it wrote. —AFP

LONDON: The European Court of Human Rights needs major reform to prevent it unnecessarily meddling in the affairs of individual nations, Britain’s prime minister said yesterday in a new swipe at Europe’s power bases. According to extracts of a speech scheduled to be delivered to the Council of Europe - the 47-member bloc based in Strasbourg, France - David Cameron sharply criticized judges for overstepping their powers. Britain has frequently tussled with the court in recent years, most notably on prisoner voting rights and over attempts to deport suspected terrorists to countries with patchy human rights records. Cameron’s attack follows his decision in December to snub colleagues at the European Union, choosing to become the only leader among the bloc’s 27 members to refuse to join a fiscal pact aimed at solving Europe’s debt crisis. Though isolated in Europe, Cameron was feted at home for his refusal to back the deal under which nations submit their budgets for central EU review and limit the deficits they can run. Bolstered by a deep seam of skepticism over ties to Europe among his Conservative Party, the senior member of Britain’s coalition government, Cameron is now taking aim at the continent’s judges. “The court should hold us all

to account, it should not undermine its own reputation by going over national decisions where it does not need to,” Cameron planned to say, according to the excerpts. “For the sake of the 800 million people the court serves, we need to reform it so that it is true to its original purpose.”

ous violations of human rights, it should not be swamped with an endless backlog,” Cameron planned to say. Britain currently holds the rotating chairmanship of the Council of Europe, and plans to use the position to press the court to scale back its work. The

LONDON: British Prime Minister David Cameron leaves number 10 Downing Street in London yesterday. Cameron is urging EU leaders to seize a “once-in-a-generation chance” to make sweeping changes to the European Court of Human Rights. —AFP Britain claims that the court has a backlog of about 150,000 cases created because judges are taking on too many small scale challenges to decisions made by national courts. “The court should be free to deal with the most seri-

defining principle of European justice should be that “where possible, final decisions should be made nationally,” Cameron planned to say. Cameron has previously said it had made him “physically ill”

when Britain was ordered by the European court in 2010 to overturn a centuries-old law and allow prisoners to vote in national elections. That decision has not yet been implemented. Last week, the court blocked Britain’s deportation to Jordan of extremist cleric Abu Qatada, described as one of Europe’s leading al-Qaida figures, over fears evidence obtained through torture would be used against him in Jordanian courts. In May 2010, the court also prevented the alleged ringleader of an AlQaeda bomb plot and another man regarded by authorities as a serious threat to national security from being sent by Britain to their native Pakistan. Nicolas Bratza, president of the European Court, said it would be “surprising if all its decisions were popular with the government of the day, or indeed understood and accepted by public opinion.” Writing an op-ed article published Tuesday in The Independent newspaper, he accused Cameron of failing to recognize the court’s success in advancing human rights. “It is disappointing to hear senior British politicians lending their voices to criticisms more frequently heard in the popular press, often based on a misunderstanding of the court’s role and history, and of the legal issues at stake,” he wrote.—Agencies

30 gunmen rain bullets and bombs in Northern Nigeria Latest attack blamed on Islamist group Boko Haram KANO: Around 30 gunmen rained bombs and gunfire on a police station in Kano, killing a woman in the latest attack blamed on Islamist group Boko Haram in Nigeria’s second city of Kano. The country’s main northern town has lived in fear amid continued chaos since a coordinated wave of attacks after Muslim prayers on Friday killed at least 185 people, in Boko Haram’s deadliest ever onslaught. The armed group converged on the station late Tuesday from two different directions on motorcycles and in Mercedes cars, witnesses said. The gunmen “were just telling people to move away, they were just here to do their work. They just opened fire on the police station,” a resident who requested anonymity said yesterday. The station, in Kano’s densely populated Sheka area, was heavily damaged in the attack: its windows were shattered, the walls were smoke-stained and blood had covered nearly the entire bathroom floor, according to AFP reporters. The holding cells at the back of the station were opened. A purported spokesman for Boko Haram has said last week’s attacks were in response to a refusal by the authorities to release arrested members of the group from custody. A huge

crowd had gathered outside the station on Wednesday, surveying the wreckage after an attack that also injured one policeman, according to witnesses. There was no police in sight, just neighborhood youths trying to control the crowd. “A policeman was shot in the leg. A woman who came to see a policeman was shot in the stomach. She died,” the same resident said, adding that the woman was standing outside the station’s gate and talking to the officer when she was shot. Multiple residents said the attackers hurled two bombs at the station before opening fire. “It was around 6:30 pm (1730 GMT) when people were preparing for the evening prayers and a large group of gunmen arrived in the area and opened fire on the police station and threw in bombs,” one witness said. The US State Department on Tuesday urged Africa’s most populous nation and top oil producer to “stand united” in the face of growing sectarian strife, while a visiting US delegation promised security assistance. Earlier on Tuesday, gunfire erupted when security forces raided a house suspected to be a Boko Haram hideout shortly after midnight. They opened fire and a suspect fired back

resulting in a shootout lasting around fourand-half hours, sending residents into panic. According to Human Rights Watch, Boko Haram has killed more than 935 people since the group-whose name can be loosely translated as “Western education is sin”-launched a violent campaign in July 2009. More than 250 of those deaths have come in 2012 alone. A US delegation led by William Fitzgerald, the deputy assistant secretary of state for African affairs, and Joseph McMillan, the principal deputy assistant secretary for defense, held security talks with Nigeria in the capital Abuja on Tuesday. The two sides agreed to boost the operational capabilities of the Nigeria security services in the face of internal security threats. Boko Haram which has staged a series of increasingly sophisticated and bloody attacks, often targeting security agencies and lately Christians, is believed to have a number of factions with differing aims, including some with political links and a hardcore Islamist cell. President Goodluck Jonathan has vowed to beef up security as he grapples with the worst crises of his nine-month tenure-a surge in Boko Haram attacks and mounting social discontent.—AFP

Russia to deploy Iskander missiles on EU border MOSCOW: Russia plans to deploy Iskander missiles on the European Union’s border later this year, a source in its western Baltic Fleet told the Interfax news agency yesterday. A source told the news agency that senior naval staff had confirmed plans to assign personnel for a naval unit set to

service the missile complexes in the Kaliningrad exclave that borders EU members Poland and Lithuania. “Recently in Moscow the senior command confirmed the staffing of a naval unit that is being created to put the Iskander missile complexes into service,” the source said. In November

President Dmitry Medvedev said Russia was prepared to deploy Iskander missiles, which officials said have a range of up to 500 kilometers, to strike against a planned US defense system in Eastern Europe. The first unit equipped with Iskander missiles is set to appear in the Kaliningrad region in

the second half of the year, the source said, adding that S-400 missile systems would be deployed there in spring. Russia will never become a dictatorship, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said yesterday, as he continued his bid for a third term as president despite unprecedented protests

against his rule. “We have an open country and no matter what they say or write, no matter what scary statements they make about some sort of dictatorship, we don’t have that and-I hope-never will,” he told students of Tomsk Polytechnic University in Siberia. —Agencies


THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012

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

Pentagon to cut military budget, cancel programs War funding request likely to drop sharply

SARASOTA: People listen as Republican presidential candidate, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich speaks during a campaign event at Dolphin Aviation on January 24, 2012 in Sarasota, Florida. — AFP

Gingrich organization starts to gel in Florida ST PETERSBURG: Newt Gingrich has come a long way. After his stunning victory in South Carolina, the Republican presidential hopeful who was tearing around Iowa two months ago in a rental car with a couple of aides has established himself in Florida with the apparatus worthy of a front-runner. Gingrich has opened seven Florida offices with two more in the works, hired 14 paid staff and signed up 5,000 volunteers in Florida, 500 of them since his upset of front-runner Mitt Romney in South Carolina’s primary on Saturday. By contrast, Romney’s campaign had just five staffers and three offices in Florida by early this week. In a state that is often a graveyard for candidates who lack money, the former House of Representatives speaker just got an infusion of cash and leads Romney in opinion polls for Florida’s Jan 31 primary. Florida is the fourth and largest state to hold a contest in the 2012 Republican nominating process, which will choose a challenger to Democratic President Barack Obama in November’s general election. Clips in favor of Romney have dominated political ads so far in Florida, but Gingrich is about to challenge the former Massachusetts governor on the air waves as well. A group that backs Gingrich spent $6 million on Tuesday on advertising, compared to $10.5 million spent by Romney backers in recent weeks in Florida. The Gingrich spending, helped by a $5 million single donation, chips away at the dominance of Romney’s campaign in Florida, which was long regarded as a well-funded machine that would cruise through the state and leave rivals in its wake. The Gingrich surge resonates with some Republican activists in the state, including the small-government Tea Party members. “I’m tired of everybody telling me who to vote for,” said lawyer Deborah Schmidt, a Tea Party member from Tampa who attended a packed Gingrich rally at a St Petersburg diner. She said she felt Gingrich best understood the pain that most Americans are feeling, something the “Republican establishment” might not understand. Although the candidate is often late for events, Gingrich’s campaign has come a

long way in only two months. Describing himself as the “non-traditional” candidate, he was stumping for the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses with a barebones shoestring operation run out of a rented car. Now at campaign stops his red, white and blue bus is surrounded by a large entourage, including security guards, who rush him through the crowds. “I should think the campaign on the ground is very good. I know some of the people he’s brought in and they are very experienced,” said Brian Crowley, editor of the Crowley Political Report blog on Florida politics. The Gingrich campaign, once deeply in debt, raised more than $1 million in less than 24 hours after his victory over Romney in South Carolina. Gingrich has jumped to the front in polls in Florida, but he can expect a tough fight to hold his lead over Romney, who blitzed Gingrich as a disgraced politician and Washington influence peddler in a debate in Tampa. FLORIDA UP FOR GRABS Any successful candidate in Florida has to be able to communicate with widely divergent audiences, from Miami, a largely Hispanic city, to communities in the northern panhandle that would fit into the country’s southern Bible Belt. “In Florida, coalition-building is the key. There’s not one particular segment of the Republican electorate that is going to guarantee any candidate a victory,” said Carlos Curbelo, a Miami-based Republican strategist. “I think Florida is up for grabs,” he said. With 19 million residents and more than 11 million registered voters, Florida is more than twice as big as the three previous early-voting states - Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina - combined. Unlike in the other states, door-todoor campaigning is not the way it’s done in Florida, where TV advertising is king. “It’s a wholesale state. The others, especially Iowa and New Hampshire, are retail states,” said Peter Brown, who directs polling in Florida for Quinnipiac University. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who came in fourth in the 2008 Republican primary, is routinely cited as an example of what happens to candidates who can’t ante up enough to get in the game in Florida. — Reuters

Feisty Obama speech gets icy Republican reception WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama’s Republican foes listened mostly stone-faced to what they hoped would be his last State of the Union speech, then raced for the exits while he was still shaking hands. Many Democrats didn’t stick around either on Tuesday evening, and the House of Representatives was mostly-and unusually-empty by the time he was done receiving praise from cabinet members seated near the front of the chamber and began moving up the thin ranks of well-wishers flanking its main aisle. The speech got off to an inauspicious start when the sergeant-at-arms tasked with announcing Obama’s arrival did so apparently unaided by a microphone, his shout all but drowned out in the steady pre-speech buzz of chatting lawmakers. And even before the embattled Democratic president had spoken a word, reporters’ email in-boxes overflowed with canned statements responding to the prime -time address with praise or scorn. One of those commenting hours before Obama stood before the lawmakers in a time-honored political ritual insisted that he had listened to the speech with “an open mind.” There were flickers of bipartisan truce: The chamber erupted in applause and shone with affectionate smiles as Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords slowly walked onto the floor to join her colleagues. Giffords-who plans to step down this week to focus on her recovery from an assassination attempt last year in which she was shot in the head-got a standing ovation from the crowd and a bear hug from Obama. Lawmakers from both parties also applauded First Lady Michelle Obama, US troops, the death of Osama bin

Laden, US workers, putting the unemployed back to work, equal pay for women, keeping Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, ties to Israel, and banning insider trading by members of Congress. And they united in a mild chorus of stifled laughter mixed with groans when Obama attempted the sole joke of his 7,000-word speech, a comment about rolling back a four-decade rule requiring farmers to spend $10,000 to prove that they could contain a milk spill. “With a rule like that, I guess it was worth crying over spilled milk,” quipped Obama. Republicans twice roared their approval, once when Obama quoted Republican president Abraham Lincoln’s call for limited government, another when he called for an “all-of-the-above” approach to energy. Obama often reached far beyond his immediate audience to court voters and engage the Republican presidential candidates who have spent months hammering his administration on the campaign trail. Former Massachusetts governor and multi-millionaire Mitt Romney has denounced the president’s call for higher taxes on the richest Americans as “class warfare” fed by “envy” and enmity to “free enterprise.” Obama said “you can call this class warfare all you want. But asking a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary in taxes? Most Americans would call that common sense.” “We don’t begrudge financial success in this country. We admire it. When Americans talk about folks like me paying my fair share of taxes, it’s not because they envy the rich,” he added. Romney has also accused Obama of crippling the US military and putting the United States on a course for national decline. “America is back,” Obama shot back. — AFP

WASHINGTON: The Pentagon will preview a budget proposal this week that begins to implement $487 billion in spending cuts over the next decade by trimming the size of the military and canceling or scaling back some weapons programs. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will discuss the broad outlines of his budget request for the 2013 fiscal year on Thursday. The proposal is expected to cut $260 billion in spending through 2017, taking the Pentagon more than halfway to its target for the decade. The specifics of the Pentagon spending plan will not be formally released until President Barack Obama unveils his budget in February, but some details have begun to emerge from sources familiar with the discussions. Cuts in proposed spending are expected to eliminate thousands of military and civilian jobs over the next five years at a time when Obama is running for re-election against a field of Republicans who accuse him of being weak on national security. In his State of the Union address on Tuesday, Obama underscored his commitment to maintaining the “finest military in the world,” even as the Pentagon cuts nearly half a trillion dollars from its budget. The proposed budget will terminate or scale back spending on dozens of weapons programs, including the Air Force’s high-altitude Global Hawk unmanned sur veillance plane built by Nor throp Grumman Corp and the Pentagon’s biggest weapons program, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, built by Lockheed Martin Corp. But it will not tackle some $600 billion in additional spending cuts due to take effect in January 2013 after lawmakers failed to agree on $1.2 trillion in deficit-cutting measures. Officials say they will revisit the issue and address those cuts later if Congress does not take action this year. The Pentagon’s base budget is expected to be about $523 billion, some $5 billion more than approved in December for the 2012 fiscal year but $30 billion less than initially planned. The Pentagon is expected to seek about $82.5 billion for the war in Afghanistan, about $33 billion less than 2012 largely due to a drawdown in troops. The budget plan will begin to put into

place a new strategy released this month that calls for the Pentagon to shift its focus to the Asia Pacific region and Middle East even as it shrinks the size of the military to create a more agile force. That is likely to mean more funding for the Air Force and Navy and less for the Army and Marines, a trend that already was projected in last year’s five-year budget, analysts say. “If they actually accelerate that shift ... this really is a shift in strategy,” said Todd Harrison, an analyst at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments think tank. PROGRAMS FACING CUTBACKS Under the Pentagon’s new spending plans: Lockheed’s F-35 jet fighter program, the Pentagon’s largest at $382 billion, will face its third restructuring in three years, with officials slashing 179 jets from the five-year budget and pushing their purchase to later years at a savings of more than $20 billion. The Navy will maintain a fleet of 11 aircraft carriers, but has not clarified if it will award a contract to Huntington Ingalls Industries for the next carrier on schedule. The number of combat brigades stationed in Europe would be cut in half, from four to two, Panetta said recently. The overall size of the Army, which was already scheduled to fall to 520,000 by 2016, could be further reduced to 490,000, a drop of another 30,000 soldiers, analysts say. The Navy will retire seven aging cruisers and several amphibious warships, saving money on increasingly expensive maintenance and upgrades. It will also propose multiyear procurements of more DDG-51 destroyers and Virginia-class submarines, both built by General Dynamics Corp and Huntington Ingalls, moves that could save about $4 billion by allowing bulk purchases of materials. The Navy will also propose a multiyear procurement for more V-22 Ospreys, a tiltrotor aircraft built by Boeing Co and Textron Inc’s Bell Helicopter unit that flies like a plane but takes off and like a helicopter. The Air Force will lose several programs, including upgrades to its C-130 cargo planes being done by Boeing Co , a troubled weather satel-

lite being built by Northrop, and a new helicopter to replace the Bell UH-1N, which provides security to US nuclear ballistic missile fields. The Air Force will continue design work on a new bomber and get two additional orders for a Lockheed communications satellite, and one more Lockheed missile warning satellite. The Army would rebalance its mix of active duty troops and the National Guard and Reserve, which cost less to fund but can be called up more rapidly than reconstituting a force from scratch. The Army’s new softwarebased radio being developed for use in ground vehicles is expected to be canceled, although the handheld version of the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) will survive. NO MAJOR PROGRAMS CANCELLED Despite the expected cutbacks in personnel and programs, analysts said the Pentagon had been able to achieve the spending reductions without sacrificing its most cherished programs. “Achieving the $487 billion in cuts was sufficiently doable that it didn’t require really hard decisions ... Unless you force them into it, those hard decisions just don’t get made. Everybody buys everything they want,” said retired General James Cartwright, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. That could change if the Pentagon is forced to implement a new round of across-the -board budget cuts, which could lob another $50 billion annually off defense spending accounts. If Congress fails to avert those cuts, the Pentagon could be forced to further cut its active force, reduce the US nuclear arsenal, halt development of a new bomber and trim the total purchase of F-35s, said Cartwright, an analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The Pentagon says it is not preparing for further budget cuts and has not received instructions from the White House Office of Management and Budget to do so. But the threat of further reductions is real and lack of attention to it is a mistake, analysts warn. “The failure to plan for deeper budget cuts is really a glaring oversight in the new defense strategy,” Harrison said. — Reuters

Focusing on Romney, Obama campaign plans Bain attack WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama’s campaign is preparing to attack Republican Mitt Romney’s business record with video of former workers from a Kansas City steel mill that went bankrupt while owned by Bain Capital, the company Romney cofounded. The move is the latest sign that Obama’s campaign is firmly focused on the former Massachusetts governor despite Romney’s decisive loss to Newt Gingrich Saturday in the Republican presidential primary in South Carolina. In defeating Romney, former House Speaker Gingrich captured the momentum in the state-bystate race to determine who will face Obama, a Democrat, in the Nov 6 elections. However, Romney’s fundraising and organization generally are superior to Gingrich’s, and after the Jan 31 primary in Florida the campaign heads to several states where Romney has significant advantages. While tossing a few barbs Gingrich’s way, the Obama camp is directing much of its energy toward Romney and his career as a private equity executive to try to cast him as a job killer. Bain Capital was involved in saving companies such as Staples and Sports Authority but also in laying off thousands of workers at companies it did not save. Joe Soptic, a former mill worker in Kansas City, said the Obama campaign had filmed him and other former workers discussing how the plant became more dangerous under Bain’s tenure. Soptic also discussed how he lost retirement benefits and health-insurance coverage when the plant went bankrupt in 2001. Romney is “worth $250 million,” Soptic said he told the Obama crew. “He has more money than he’ll ever spend, or his kids will ever spend, or their kids will ever spend. How much is enough? ... How could you go to sleep at night knowing you’ve destroyed peoples’ lives?” NO DECISION YET ON VIDEO USE An Obama campaign official said no decision had been made on how, whether or when to use the video footage. Soptic, however, said he was told that Internet and television attack ads were in the works. Romney’s fellow Republicans - particularly Gingrich attacked his business record before the South Carolina primary. Obama’s campaign is picking up that narrative, figuring that Romney’s more moderate background could make him a tougher opponent for Obama to beat in November. Obama campaign manager Jim Messina released a memo on Monday with a list of weaknesses it sees with Romney, including his Bain background. “Romney’s dodging on his tax returns and ever-evolving explanation

of his job creation record at Bain has cost him 10 points among independents and 12 among moderates in just the last eight weeks,” Messina wrote. “As Mitt Romney moves through the Republican primaries, he finds himself in an increasingly weak position among every category of voter critical for a Republican to win the general election.” Romney’s campaign responded with an attack of its own. “The last thing the White House wants is Mitt Romney as an opponent - which explains their ‘all hands on deck’ approach for their strategy to ‘kill Romney,’ the same way they engaged in a campaign of personal destruction against Hillary Clinton,” said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul, referring to Obama’s 2008 primary race with the former first lady, now his secretary of state. “President Obama has presided over an unprecedented 35 straight months of 8 percent or higher unemployment so it’s no wonder his campaign is desperate to distract from his failed economic record.” A FOCUS ON BAIN Gingrich drew some criticism from fellow Republicans for targeting Romney’s business background at Bain but Democrats see it as fair game. Soptic was featured in a Reuters Special Report this month that examined Bain’s stewardship of GS Technologies, the steel company. Former company managers and workers and independent analysts say that Bain’s decision to pay investors a $65 million dividend shortly after taking over the company in 1993 weakened its ability to survive difficult market conditions at the end of the decade. — Reuters

LEHIGH: A dog wears a tag bearing the name of Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney as Romney speaks at a “Florida housing event” in front of a foreclosed house in Lehigh on January 24, 2012. — AFP

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama hugs retiring Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords as the president arrives to deliver his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol in Washington. — AFP

Giffords a reality check in chamber of politics WASHINGTON: The chair between Reps. Jeff Flake and Raul Grijalva stood empty at last year’s State of the Union address, reserved for their colleague, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. They could hardly have imagined that just one year later she would actually be able to join them one more time. The two Arizona lawmakers said it was an emotional ride watching Giffords enter the House for only the second time since she was shot in the head last January and just one day before she tenders her resignation so that she can focus on her recovery. “There was a bit of sadness, but it was kind of uplifting to see what this young woman has done to get herself where she is now. I have nothing but admiration for what’s she’s done,” said Grijalva, a Democratic lawmaker who represents an adjacent congressional district in Southern Arizona. Giffords was greeted with cheers of “Gabby, Gabby” from many of her colleagues after entering the House chamber. Flake watched as Supreme Court justices, cabinet members and President Barack Obama greeted her. Obama gave Giffords a long embrace and the two swayed from side to side as they hugged. “It was just a very special experience to be there,” said Flake, a Republican who is running for the US Senate seat that Giffords may have challenged him for had she not been wounded. “Knowing what she has gone through, it’s just incredibly special. We all know she has given 100 percent.” Limping a little, Giffords beamed around the chamber and raised her left hand to wave. Rep Louis Gohmert, R-Texas, approached with two bags of chocolate, which Giffords took, grinning. She looked to the gallery to wave at her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly. When First Lady Michelle Obama took her seat next to him, she waved, too. She has inspired gestures of bipartisanship. Last year, in the tender days after the shooting, members of both parties sat together across the chamber, rather than Democrats to the president’s right and Republicans to his left. Many lawmakers did the same this year. Throughout the speech, Flake, sitting at Giffords’ side, repeatedly helped her stand as her fellow Democrats applauded Obama. Grijalva said he sensed that she was getting tired toward the end of the night. — AP


THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012

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

India and Pakistan report progress on key pipeline PM backs down from confrontation with military NEW DELHI: India and Pakistan said yesterday they were closer to an agreement on a pipeline to import gas from Turkmenistan that would signal a further warming of economic ties between the traditional rivals. Turkmenistan has the world’s fourth-largest gas reserves and energy-hungry India and Pakistan are both eager to tap this source through the pipeline that would run through the Central Asian nation’s eastern neighbor, Afghanistan. “ There has been considerable progress in our talks,” said Indian oil minister S Jaipal Reddy after a meeting in New Delhi with his Pakistani counterpart, Asim Hussain, on energy cooperation. The 1,700-kilometre TAPI pipeline, aims to transport over 30 billion cubic meters of gas annually from the Dauletabad gas fields in southeast Turkmenistan. “The issue of transit fees is being discussed with Afghanistan. A joint strategy is being evolved between India and Pakistan,” Hussain said. “Whatever deal we reach will apply to both countries,” Reddy added. Reddy said Pakistan would also consider a proposal to import Indian petroleum products and cited the savings in freight costs for Pakistan as several Indian refineries are located near the border. Deepening economic engagement between the nucleararmed neighbors, which have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, is seen as crucial to lasting peace in the troubled South Asian region. The Asian Development Bank estimated the cost of the TAPI pipeline in 2008 when the four countries signed a framework agreement at $7.6 billion. Reddy said conflict-racked Afghanistan, which also desperately requires gas,

was “very keen on the project” and had pledged security for the pipeline. But energy experts have said instability in the region could yet scuttle the plan. “We consider it a pipeline of peace,” Reddy added. “Everyone needs gas.” The minister indicated that an earlier plan for a pipeline to carry gas from Iran to Pakistan and then India was now on the backburner. “We do what is more easily possible,” Reddy said, referring to the Turkmenistan project. Washington, which has spearheaded sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, favors the TAPI pipeline and has pressured both India and Pakistan to hold off on a pipeline deal with Tehran. Reddy said New Delhi was continuing to import oil from Iran and was not bound by new sanctions imposed by the European Union on the Islamic Republic earlier this week. “We, as a member of the UN, are obliged to follow UN sanctions. Other sanctions imposed by big blocs of countries-we can have some freedom there,” Reddy said. Iran is India’s second-largest oil supplier after Saudi Arabia. PAKISTAN PM DROPS CRITICISM Pakistan’s premier yesterday appeared to back down from a confrontation with the military, moving away from remarks made earlier this month that it had acted unconstitutionally in supporting a court investigation of a controversial memo. “I want to dispel the impression that the military leadership acted unconstitutionally or violated rules,” said Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, according to state television. His comments, appeared to be a bid to defuse the worst tensions between the country’s civilian lead-

ers and the powerful military since a 1999 army-led coup and came a day after a high-level meeting with the military to discuss a possible trilateral summit on the future of Afghanistan. “The current situation cannot afford conflict among the institutions,” he added. Gilani criticized the army chief General Ashfaq Kayani and director general of the militar y ’s InterSer vices Intelligence agency Lieutenant-General Ahmed Shuja Pasha earlier this month for filing responses in a Supreme Court investigation into the origins of mysterious memo that has pitted the military against the civilian government. In an interview with Chinese media, Gilani said the filings were “unconstitutional,” infuriating the military’s high command which responded with a stern press release, warning of “very serious ramifications with potentially grievous consequences for the country.” Despite being officially under civilian control, the military sets foreign and security policies. It attracted rare public criticism after US Special Forces killed Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden on Pakistani soil in a raid in May 2011, an act seen by many Pakistanis as a violation of sovereignty. The latest crisis has raised fears of further instability in the nuclear-armed nation fighting a Taleban insurgency. The United States wants smooth ties between civilian and military leaders so that nucleararmed Pakistan can help efforts to stabilize neighboring Afghanistan, a top priority for President Barack Obama. The military, which has ousted three civilian governments in coups since independence in 1947, has ruled Pakistan for more than half of its history. — Agencies

6 soldiers, 17 Taleban killed in NW Pakistan PESHAWAR: Six Pakistani soldiers and 17 Taleban militants were killed in an overnight clash in a northwestern tribal district near the Afghan border, officials said yesterday. Some 50 Taleban fighters attacked Pakistani troops during a search operation in Jogi village of central Kurram tribal district late Tuesday, officials said. “Six soldiers were killed and four injured in the clash. Troops repelled the attack and killed 17 militants,” Sher Bahadar Khan, a local government official in Kurram said. The militants were Pakistani Taleban, he said. A senior official of Pakistan’s paramilitary Frontier Corps confirmed the attack, and the casualties, and added that troops had taken control of the area. Independent confirmation of the death toll was not immediately possible as the lawless tribal region is barred for journalists. In July last year Pakistan launched an offensive in Kurram district to evict Islamist militants. Troops are still engaged in a search and cordon operation after clearing most of the area. Pakistan’s seven tribal districts bordering Afghanistan are rife with a homegrown insurgency, and are also strongholds of the Afghan Taleban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants. Although Pakistan has fought homegrown Taleban militants across much of the region, it has so far withstood huge American pressure to move against the Al-Qaedalinked Haqqani network in the tribal North Waziristan on the Afghan border. AIR FORCE JET CRASHES A Pakistan Air Force aircraft crashed during a training mission yesterday but the pilots baled out safely, an air force spokesman said. “It was FT-7 training aircraft. It crashed near Mianwali soon after take off from the base,” the spokesman said. A woman trainee pilot and the instructor managed to escape, he said adding that “both are safe.” It was the third air force jet to crash in training in three months. Two pilots were killed in the other incidents and a helicopter crash last June killed four military personnel. The Pakistan Air Force has a fleet of Chinese aircraft, includ-

ing F-7PGs and A-5s, plus US-built F-16s and French Mirages. It recently acquired medium-tech JF-17 or Thunder jets, manufactured jointly by China and Pakistan. — Agencies

KARACHI: Pakistani lawyers react as they look at the dead bodies of their colleagues following an attack by gunmen at a hospital in Karachi yesterday. Three Pakistani lawyers were shot dead and a fourth wounded in a drive-by sectarian attack in Pakistan’s financial capital Karachi. — AFP

Nine dead as Indian bus driver goes on rampage MUMBAI: An Indian bus driver left at least nine people dead and dozens hurt yesterday after going on a rampage during rushhour, smashing into cars and crushing pedestrians, police said. The rogue driver hijacked the vehicle in a depot and then sped down the crowded streets of central Pune in western India as children headed to school and office employees made their way to work. The half-hour wrecking spree came to a halt only when members of the public wrestled him from the controls after he rammed into another bus. He has since been detained and interrogated by police. “He just went berserk. He went on ramming whatever vehicles were plying the road,” the

city’s commissioner of police, Meeran Borwankar, told local television. “Citizens came forward and literally threw children (out of the way). He was in such a dangerous mood. Ultimately he was held (by police) but the damage has been tremendous.” An officer in the local police control room said that nine people had been killed and 27 injured. Some 40 vehicles were left mangled, with cars damaged and autorickshaws overturned. “He was a nut-case, he had completely lost his head,” said the officer, who asked not to be named. “Most of the damage was to parked taxis, private vehicles, cycles and stalls.” Identified by police as 30-yearold Santosh Mane, he was con-

firmed as a licensed driver and employee of the Maharashtra State Road Transpor t Corporation (MSRTC). “ This is very unfortunate. We are unsure what state of mind he was in when he committed the act,” V V Ratnaparkhi, a senior official at the MSRTC said. Witnesses described their horror as the bus careened through the streets. The Press Trust of India reported that police fired 10 shots during their pursuit of the vehicle. “Whoever came in his way, he just rammed into them,” one witness told NDT V television. Another said: “I was out jogging, there was a noise, I jumped immediately that is why I was saved. This is my second life, I would have been dead.” — AFP

Republic Day: Indian president’s address

D

ear Citizens, on the eve of our 63rd Republic Day, I and thus, becoming productive assets. Reinforcing our convey my warmest greetings to all of you across health and education sectors is fundamental for developthe country, from every walk of life and in different ing our human resources. Primary education is now a funparts of the world. I convey my special greetings to the damental right for children. There is a commitment to uniArmed Forces and the Para-Military Forces who guard our versalize secondary education. Expansion of school edufrontiers with great vigil and valor, in high mountainous cation will also require increase in the number of higher terrains, deserts and the plains, on the coasts and the education institutions. This process has to be structured seas. I also convey my best wishes to our internal security with great thoughtfulness, to ensure quality and excelforces and to our civil services. I compliment all citizens lence. Moreover, education must reach every section of our for their contribution to the process of nation-building. We are living in a world that is complex and challeng- society, as must access to health reach all. We need to ing. Forces of globalization have created an interlinked expand health services, particularly in rural areas. We need quality medical facilities for our and interdependent world. No country population, which are affordable. In exists in isolation; it is continuously today’s era of ICT, technology can be being influenced by external developvery useful in our mission of health and ments. All nations, developed and education. In fact, science and technoldeveloping, are facing the impact of ogy is a critical input for the growth of global economic instability, as well as the nation and for all sectors of the problems of unemployment and inflaeconomy. Focus on research and develtion, in varying degrees. Indeed, the opment is an investment in our future. 21st Century has brought in its trail a Our agriculture, industry and service host of issues at a breath-taking pace. sectors need to be working more effiThere are growing aspirations of ciently, with greater scientific inputs the people, coupled with their expecand more inter-linkages with each othtations of immediate solutions. We are er. observing, an information explosion Agriculture, however, is one sector and ever-newer technological invenwhose integration with other sectors of tions. These have altered lifestyles and the economy remains inadequate. We there is also a growing quest for materialism. There are persistent questions Indian President Pratibha Patil need to look at models of partnership, of farmers with industry and with R&D about how growth and resources will be shared in a more equitable manner. There are worries institutions in various activities, so that, not only does about the direction in which the human community is agricultural productivity increase, but farmers benefit as heading in this age of globalization, knowledge and tech- well. Special focus is necessary on dryland farming, given its enormous potential and, the fact that, a large propornology. For us in India, the discourse is about how an ancient tion of farm labor and poor farmers are dependent on it. civilization and a young nation, will move ahead to take At the same time, it is very important to build our physical India to its destiny. Our vision and our goals are clear. We infrastructure - such as roads, ports and airports, to overlook at building our country, as one whose economy come constraints to rapid growth. I strongly believe that women need to be drawn fully demonstrates a robustness to grow, so that we can become a developed nation. For us, however, economic into the national mainstream. Empowerment of women prosperity alone is not enough. We look towards an India, will have a very big impact on creating social structures where there is equity and justice. We look at democracy, that are stable. The National Mission on Empowerment of rule of law and human values, as being essential for mak- Women set up in 2010, should help in the co-coordinated delivery of women-centric and women-related programs. ing our country strong. We want a scientific and technological outlook in our An important component of women’s development is people. We also look towards India as a country which will their economic and social security. Social prejudices continue to bring moral force on to the global stage. I prevalent in our society which have led to gender discrimbelieve that there is a unity behind this vision of India. ination need to be corrected. Social evils like female foetiBut, yet, sometimes one gets distracted by discordant cide, child marriage and dowry must be eradicated. Status pulls and pressures. How should we proceed to build our of women is an important indicator of progress in a socienation and its people? I believe that the answer lies in our ty. Dear Citizens, India can take pride in its democratic age old values; the ideals of our freedom movement; the principles of our Constitution, as also in our unity, a posi- record, but as in any functional democracy, it faces pressures and challenges. An important feature of a democrative attitude and our aspiration to grow. It is often said, but not fully realized, that we are very cy is the constant expression of opinions. This process of fortunate to have a rich legacy of values, traditions and incessant dialogue should flow in such a manner, that we teachings. The ageless spirit of India, the eternal voice of are willing to listen to each other. Those who believe in India, has been resonating through millennia. What are democracy must try to see whether there is rationale in those intrinsic qualities which have seen India prosper the others’ point of view. Gandhiji once said, and I quote, through centuries and eras? What is the message that “Evolution of democracy is not possible if we are not preshould light our path, as we chart our future course? Our pared to hear the other side. We shut the doors of reason civilizational ethos contains the lessons of duty and truth. when we refuse to listen.” The purpose of discussions and It tells us to be humane in all our thoughts and deeds. It deliberations is to find solutions. Often, we are quick to highlights the qualities of compassion, care and of find blame with others; but, yet are unable to give conrespect for others. It teaches that human beings and structive responses. There seems to be a tendency to nature must exist in harmony with each other. All issues doubt almost everything. Do we not have faith in our own people’s strengths and in our institutions? Can we should be viewed in the context of humanity as a whole. This philosophy has given succeeding generations the afford distrust amongst ourselves? Nations are built inherent strength to grow, embracing in their fold a vast through great patience and sacrifices. Concord and not diversity of cultures, languages, religions and communi- discord is the way forward for a country as large as India. ties. So, when the question is asked, as to what ideals All issues, therefore, must be resolved through dialogue should be placed before the new generation, to take the and there can be no place for violence. Negativity and country forward, should then there be any dithering or rejection cannot be the path for a vibrant country that is doubt in a country like India? As the inheritors of thou- moving to seek its destiny. Our work, our values and our sands of years of history and culture, we should follow the approach, must be based on the vast capability and capacity that India and its people have. Our institutions high ideals of our age-old civilization. More particularly, the youth should understand this, as may not be flawless, but they have coped with many chalthey are the architects of the future as well. Our past lenges. Our Parliament has enacted path-breaking laws. becomes the essential guide for the future as well. In this Our Government has put together schemes for the context, I recall the lines of Gurudev Tagore and I quote, progress and welfare of the people. Our judiciary has a “Every great people holds its history so valuable because... reputable standing. Our media too has played an imporit contains not mere memories, but hope, and therefore tant role. With all institutions working together for the the image of the future.” The past of India has been glori- same national purpose it will create a stream of positive energy. Our effort to improve is an on-going process. ous and so must be its future. While bringing about reforms and improving instituWe can also draw inspiration from our independence movement. It was a unique struggle, as it involved non- tions, we have to be cautious that while shaking the tree violent methods and required extraordinary mass disci- to remove the bad fruit, we do not bring down the tree pline, steadfastness and patience. We followed this itself. There will be short term pressures, but in this course, under the leadership of Gandhiji, because we had process we must not lose sight of the long term goals, faith in ourselves and in our strength. Surely, we can and must work together on our core national agenda. I do demonstrate the same discipline in nation building. But, hope in the spirit of national interest, matters of national how do we do this? It is, only when we resolve to make importance, are discussed and solutions are found the goal of nation building more important, than any- between different stakeholders. This will strengthen the thing else and, show strong belief in it. It is then that roots of our democracy and the foundations of our courage, confidence and determination, shall be our com- nation. We have a shared future, and we should not forget panions in this task, which has to be carefully piloted in a that it can be achieved if we demonstrate a sense of responsibility and a show of unity. I think India could set constitutionally acceptable order. In fact, during various times of difficulties or when an example before the democratic world of progress and searching for an answer, the Constitution has provided us growth. Dear Citizens, India’s foreign policy is aimed at the our moorings. It was framed by those who had participat- promotion of an environment that is conducive to its ed in the freedom struggle, and had a deep understand- socio-economic transformation. We seek to build bridges ing of the aspirations of the people, and of our culture. of cooperation and friendship with all countries of the The Constitution has been and should be our compass, world. We constructively engage with the international guiding us in nation-building. It is the charter of our community to find responses to global challenges. The democracy. It is the document guaranteeing individual role and stature of India, has been growing and our nation has been scaling up in the ladder of the comity of freedoms to its citizens. It is the basis on which institutions of the State have nations. India seeks an architecture for global institutions been created and have derived their powers and func- that is more reflective of contemporary realities. We are tions. Our Constitution is a living and dynamic instru- also proud of the contributions of the Indian Diaspora, ment, which has demonstrated its ability to be flexible spread over many countries and across continents, to the enough to meet the demands of changing times, while economic, professional and political fields of the countries retaining its basic features. Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar in where they live. Dear Citizens, In conclusion, I would like to say that we his closing speech at the Constituent Assembly, said and I quote, “The first thing in my judgment we must do is to must build a strong, prosperous nation, based upon a firm hold fast to constitutional methods of achieving our system of values. As we remove poverty, let us also enrich our thoughts. As we remove disease, let us all remove illsocial and economic objectives.” Dear Citizens, there is tremendous work to be done to will towards others. As our youth study more and acquire move forward on our social and economic agenda, if we more knowledge, let them also learn to be more involved are to achieve fast, inclusive and sustainable growth. Our in activities for the progress of the nation, other than only foremost priority is the removal of poverty, hunger and self advancement. As we legislate, let us also understand malnutrition, disease and illiteracy. All social welfare pro- that the most effective law is the conscience of citizens. grams must be implemented efficiently. Agencies As we advance in science and technology, let us realize involved in the delivery of services should have a strong and understand that it is more for human welfare. As we sense of duty and work in a transparent, corruption-free, use the Earth’s resources, let us not forget to replenish time-bound and accountable manner. We have a popula- and renew its vitality. On the eve of our Republic Day, let tion which is predominantly young. With education and me once again convey my greetings, to all fellow citizens. training, they can become skilled and, thus, capable of JAI HIND! finding their livelihoods, starting their own businesses


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THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012

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

Lopez bows out of Venezuela presidential race CARACAS: Opposition politician Leopoldo Lopez bowed out of Venezuela’s presidential race yesterday, saying he will support his leading rival as the opposition seeks to field a single candidate to challenge President Hugo Chavez. The announcement gives a significant boost to Henrique Capriles, the youthful 39year-old state governor who has a commanding lead in the polls ahead of the Feb. 12 opposition primary. It also shakes up the field of five remaining contenders in the primary, which will choose a unity candidate to face Chavez in the Oct 7 election. “You will be the next president,” Lopez said at a news conference with Capriles. The two embraced and raised their arms before a cheering crowd. “In me, he will have a great ally,” said Lopez, who is on a list of hundreds of politicians barred from holding office in the past decade due to corruption investi-

gations. He calls the probe politically motivated. Recent polls show Chavez’s popularity slightly above 50 percent, down from the 63 percent support he received in 2006 elections, emboldening Venezuela’s opposition, which in the past has been splintered and disorganized in its challenges to the socialist president. Pollster Luis Vicente Leon said the opposition is seeing its “best moment” politically. Capriles’ support has been above 40 percent among likely opposition voters in recent polls, and will likely pick up a significant share of Lopez’s support, Leon said. Lopez, a former mayor of Caracas’ Chacao district, had been trailing among opposition contenders in recent polls, with one recent survey giving him 16 percent support. Lopez said that with his departure, “unity is strengthened” within the opposition. The athletic Capriles has captured support among Venezuelans by pre-

senting himself as a capable manager and pledging to solve problems such as rampant crime, unemployment and 27percent inflation. Capriles has tended to avoid direct verbal confrontations with Chavez and has described his politics as center-left. He likens his approach to that of former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who promoted probusiness policies while funding social programs that made him popular among the poor. Capriles is currently the governor of Miranda state, which is the country’s second-most populous state and includes parts of Caracas as well as largely impoverished towns in the surrounding hills. He served as mayor of Caracas’ Baruta district before he was elected governor in 2008, defeating a close ally of Chavez. He is also a former congressman. “We need all your good ideas here,” Capriles told Lopez during the news conference. “We both have

the same dream.” “You have to look for a wife for me,” Capriles, who is a bachelor, joked to the married Lopez. Capriles said that from now on Lopez will coordinate his campaign, but he denied that their alliance had anything to do with doling out potential future positions. According to recent polls, Capriles’ top rival in the race is Pablo Perez, the governor of western Zulia state, who has been trailing in the surveys. Perez shrugged off the alliance between his rivals, but also said he thinks voters dislike such political deals. “Votes can’t be endorsed. In politics, two plus two isn’t four,” Perez told reporters, expressing confidence. A December survey by the Caracas-based pollster Datanalisis found that 33.6 percent supported Perez, while 44.9 percent favored Capriles. Capriles said he aims for a “break with the old way of conducting politics,” and that remark seemed to irritate

some within the group of parties that back Perez. “One thing is breaking with the bad of the past, and it’s something else to generalize,” said Omar Barboza, a leader of Perez’s party. “I think it’s immaturity,” Barboza said, apparently referring to Capriles’ remark. Others running in the Feb. 12 primary include congresswoman Maria Corina Machado, Diego Arria, a former Venezuelan ambassador to the United Nations, and Pablo Medina, a leftist former union leader. Chavez has been in office for 13 years and is seeking another six-year term in the October election. He has sought to portray his opponents as allies of the wealthy and the US government. “The candidate of the counterrevolution, whoever it is... is going to be the candidate of the Yankees,” Chavez said in a speech Tuesday night, without referring to any of his potential challengers by name. “He’s going to be the candidate of the bourgeoisie.” —AP

Deadly unrest spreads 2 more Tibetans killed by Chinese forces BEIJING: Police in China shot dead more protesters in Tibetaninhabited areas as unrest spread, official media and an advocacy group said yesterday, amid signs of a physical and virtual lockdown on the region. China’s Sichuan province, which has big populations of ethnic Tibetans, many of whom complain of severe repression, has been rocked by violent clashes this week-some of the worst since

ly worked were suddenly unavailable and one local reached by AFP said his town had been closed off by authorities. The situation has prompted Lobsang Sangay, head of the India-based Tibetan government-in-exile, to call on the international community “to not remain passive” and “to intervene to prevent further bloodshed”. The unrest comes at a time of increasing tensions in Tibetan-inhabited areas, where at

and injured another, adding they had to use lethal force after a violent mob attacked them with knives, gasoline bottles and guns. The government, police and locals in Seda contacted by AFP would not comment. The incident came a day after security forces shot at a crowd of Tibetans protesting against religious repression in the nearby town of Luhuo, killing at least two and injuring more than 30, according

BANGALORE: A Tibetan exile holds the photographs of Tibetan monks who have self immolated in Tibet protesting Chinese government, during a demonstration to support three fellow Tibetan exile students Tselo Gyal, 21, Lugoen Thar, 21, and Gyaltsen, 19 in Bangalore yesterday. —AP huge protests against Chinese rule in 2008. The United States on Tuesday said it was “seriously concerned” by the situation, calling on Chinese security forces to “exercise restraint” and urging authorities to allow journalists and diplomats into flashpoint areas. There were indications yesterday that the authorities were restricting movement and communications in the region as unrest spread. Phone numbers that previous-

least 16 people have set themselves ablaze in less than a year including four this month aloneover a lack of religious freedom. In the latest bout of violence, police opened fire on a protest in Seda county on Tuesday, killing two protesters and injuring scores of others, according to the exiled Tibetan government and advocacy group Free Tibet. The official Xinhua news agency, citing local authorities, said police had shot dead only one “rioter”

to locals and rights groups. Monks reached by phone on Monday and Tuesday at the Drakgo Monastery in Luhuo said police shot at the crowd through the windows of the police station, and wounded people had taken refuge in the monastery as thousands of armed officers stood guard outside. China’s foreign ministry, however, said the Luhuo protesters were also violent. On Tuesday, spokesman Hong Lei accused “overseas secessionist

groups” of trying to discredit the government by hyping accounts of what happened. By yesterday, AFP was unable to telephone anyone in Luhuo-not even police and government offices-as calls were met with a rapid beeping tone, suggesting phone lines in the town may have been disabled. Phone calls to hotels and restaurants in neighboring Daofu county met with the same ring tone. The few people AFP was able to contact described a huge security presence and restrictions on people’s movements. In Aba county, where Free Tibet says another protest erupted on Monday but was soon quelled by police with tear gas, a hotel worker said there were “lots of armed forces and armed vehicles on the street.” “No outsiders can come freely into Aba. People who want to come in must be screened and show valid ID,” the man, who refused to be named said. Another hotel employee in the same place confirmed the big security presence. Beijing insists Tibetans enjoy freedom of religious belief and says their lives have been made better by huge ongoing investment into Tibetaninhabited areas. It blames the Dalai Lama-who fled Tibet in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule-of fomenting much of the unrest in a bid to split Tibet from the rest of China, which the Buddhist spiritual leader denies. On the Tibetan government-in-exile’s website, Prime Minister Sangay said it was “high time for (the international community) to intervene to prevent further bloodshed” following the unrest this week. “How long and how many tragic deaths are necessary before the world takes a firm moral stand?” he said. On Tuesday, Maria Otero, special coordinator for Tibetan issues at the US State Department, said Washington had repeatedly urged China to address “counterproductive policies in Tibetan areas”.—AFP

US, S Korean troops ready for war games SEOUL: US and South Korean troops are preparing for their annual joint war games in coming weeks, an official said yesterday, despite the sensitive power transition underway in North Korea. The two countries “are preparing for the Key Resolve exercise”, a US military spokesman said, adding the schedule was not finalized. South Korea’s defense ministry declined to comment. Media reports said the exercises-which the

North blasts as warmongering-would go ahead as scheduled. Pyongyang last year threatened a military response to the fortnight-long Key Resolve computerized drill, which is normally followed by a joint air, ground and naval training exercise known as Foal Eagle lasting several weeks. The exercises last year involved 12,300 US troops and some 200,000 South Korean service members

PYONGYANG: Photo shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (2nd right) visiting the Mangyongdae Revolutionary School at Pyongyang for the celebration of the lunar New Year. —AFP

including reservists. They passed off without incident. Seoul and Washington, which bases 28,500 troops in the South, say the drills are defensive and routine but the North habitually terms them a rehearsal for invasion. It has taken a hostile tone with the South since its leader Kim Jong-Il died on December 17 and was replaced by his youngest son Jong-Un. The new leader has been appointed armed forces chief and has visited several units in an apparent attempt to burnish his military credentials. This year’s Key Resolve will start on February 27, the Korea JoongAng Daily newspaper reported. “It’s true that we have weighed whether we should go ahead with the exercise or not after North Korean leader Kim’s death at the end of last year,” an unidentified senior Seoul official was quoted as saying. “But the North’s wintertime drills are continuing and the military threats still persist, so we’ve decided to go ahead with our military exercise as scheduled.” North Korea’s air force has conducted more training than normal this winter despite Kim’s death, Yonhap news agency said on Tuesday. Yesterday Yonhap also quoted sources as saying Key Resolve would start on February 27 and continue for two weeks. Pyongyang’s new regime has vowed retaliation against Seoul for alleged disrespect during the mourning period for its late leader. “The South Korean puppet group of traitors are getting evermore undisguised in their intention to escalate confrontation with the DPRK (North Korea) from the outset of this year,” the North’s KCNA news agency said yesterday. Seoul “will have to pay dearly for its racket for confrontation with the DPRK and moves for a war of aggression”, it said. Cross-border tensions have been high since the South accused the North of torpedoing a warship with the loss of 46 lives in March 2010. The North denied involvement but eight months later shelled a border island and killed four South Koreans. —AFP

YANGON: In this photo, people buy produce at a local market in Yangon, Myanmar. —AP

Myanmar’s reforms open door for foreign investors YANGON: Dramatic changes afoot in Myanmar have whet the appetite of foreign investors who are eyeing a slice of the frontier market’s rich and largely untapped economic potential. As the new army-backed government steps up its reform agenda after nearly five decades of outright military rule, the West is considering easing sanctions that have stifled development since the late 1990s. But when the measures are eventually lifted and multinationals are given the green light to invest, they will discover a country weakened by half a century of military rule and economic mismanagement. An abundance of natural treasures-including gold, gas, teak, oil, jade and gems-could make the country rich, as it was before the generals took power. The country formerly known as Burma also has a pool of low-cost labor and English is widely spoken, a legacy of more than a century of British rule until independence in 1948. And the Southeast Asian nation of 60 million people is tipped as a hot tourist destination thanks to its appealing colonial architecture, picturesque temples and golden beaches. “The numbers are exploding. There are no empty rooms in hotels in high season anymore,” said a foreign businessman involved in the tourism sector. Doing business is also becoming easier, he said. “Licenses which took weeks to obtain can be got in a day. Things that were impossible to do are now authorized.” The European Union is considering lifting sanctions against Myanmar as soon as February, according to diplomats in Brussels, while Washington has promised fur ther reforms will be met with US rewards. But firms hoping to rush in should bear in mind that the new parliament has yet to pass any laws on investment and the judiciary lacks the competence

and the independence to ensure contracts are respected, observers say. “The law is obsolete so people find their way by themselves. They don’t want to break the law but they have no choice,” Toe Naing Mann, son of key regime figure Shwe Mann, the lower house speaker said. In the meantime, the black economy has boomed, notably cross-border trade and the illegal migration of workers from Myanmar who go overseas to work, par ticularly to neighboring Thailand, and send home money. Myanmar’s banking system has never really recovered from a major crisis in 2003 and illegal money changers flourish thanks to an exchange rate almost 100 times better than the official one. A few Western corporations such as French oil giant Total do have a presence because the sanctions framework permitted firms that were already operating in the country at the time to stay. The US and EU measures ban a range of imports from Myanmar but, with certain exceptions, do not stop companies exporting goods to the country, although many firms refrain from doing so anyway for fear of an activist backlash. Asian allies such as China and Thailand already have a foot in the door and their firms are involved in the construction of hydropower, deep-sea ports and gas pipeline projects. Others are also beating a path to the door, with Japan’s trade minister this month leading a delegation of Japanese business chiefs to scout for potential business opportunities. A group of US corporate executives is also expected in Myanmar later this month to assess the economic landscape. So far junta-friendly Myanmar tycoons have been the main beneficiaries of economic development, but experts say the headaches for foreigners of doing business are gradually easing. —AFP

Afghan jailed for spying for Iran HERAT: An Afghan man found in possession of photographs of NATO bases in Afghanistan has been jailed for 16 years for spying for neighboring Iran, officials said yesterday. The 23-year-old man, named only as Mahmmood, had Iranian intelligence officials’ phone numbers in his notebook and pictures of foreign and Afghan military installations in western Herat province, an official said. Afghan intelligence had been able to listen to conversations between him and Iranian intelligence over the border, the official said. Mahmood was arrested while taking photographs of a government weapons depot, local media reported. “We found you guilty of betrayal and treason to the people, national sovereignty, independence, internal security and covert activities against the government of Afghanistan,” judge Serajuddin Naser told

Mahmood in Herat city court Tuesday. Mahmood, who is originally from Herat but has lived most of his life in Iran, had pleaded not guilty and continued to protest his innocence after being sentenced to 16 years in prison. NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan has accused Iran of providing equipment and support to Afghan militants waging an insurgency against the Afghan government and US-led international troops. But Iran has rejected this, with a foreign ministry spokesman describing the allegations last year as “baseless and unacceptable.” Iran is sometimes seen as hostile to Taleban militants for religious reasons but analysts suggest it could support insurgents as a counterweight to arch-enemy the US, which has nearly 100,000 troops in Afghanistan as part of a 140,000-strong international force.—AFP


THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012

NEWS Horses parade during the horse show segment of the Al-Khalediah Arabian Horse Festival at Al-Khaledia farm on the outskirts of the capital Riyadh yesterday. — AFP

Bahrain police clash with Shiite protesters GI to serve no time over Iraq killings Continued from Page 1 official BNA news agency website, said security forces had made “several arrests” in Shiite villages, but gave no further details. Former opposition MP and Wefaq member Matar Matar, who gave the civilian injury toll, said two protesters have been killed in recent months from tear gas injuries to the head. “This indicates the existence of a (government) policy to intentionally injure protesters rather than just merely disperse them,” Matar told AFP. On Dec 31, Al-Wefaq said 15year-old Sayyed Hashem Saeed died after being hit in the head by a tear gas canister. The government at the time released a statement saying they would investigate the teenag-

er ’s death. According to Matar, Tuesday night’s clashes erupted after posts on social networks, including Facebook and Twitter, called on Bahrainis to go out and “confront” the security forces. AlWefaq has posted videos and pictures of the unrest on its Facebook page, including images of police officers in the Shiite villages of Sitra and Bani Jamra, dressed in full riot gear and hurling objects, including metal rods, at a small crowd of young men. In another image posted on the page, plumes of tear gas can be seen wafting through the night skies over the Shiite town of Bani Jamra. On Monday, the United States said it was relocating embassy staff and their families to new neigh-

bourhoods in Bahrain’s capital Manama as part of safety precautions amid anti-government unrest. A crackdown on Shiite-led protests in mid-March last year led to the deaths of 35 people, including five security personnel and five detainees tortured to death, a commission appointed by the king to investigate the unrest said. Tensions have remained high in Bahrain since the initial crackdown last spring, and sporadic violence has risen in recent weeks as the first anniversar y approaches of the launch of the protests against the government. Bahrain’s Shiite community, although a majority in the kingdom ruled by the Sunni AlKhalifa dynasty, has complained of marginalisation. — AFP

Inflation at 3-year high Continued from Page 1 Bank lending to the private sector grew by a mere 2.6 percent year-on-year in December, while money supply growth slowed to a four-month low of 8.5 percent. On the month, consumer prices in Kuwait, which pegs its dinar to a dollardominated currency basket, edged higher by 0.5 percent, the fastest rise in three months, the data from the country’s Central Statistics Office showed. Food prices, which account for 18 percent of consumer expenses, soared by 1.1 percent month-on-month, rebounding sharply from a 0.1 percent rise in November. Housing costs, which make up for over a quarter of the basket, increased by 0.8 percent month-on-month in December after remaining flat in the previous two months. Analysts have expected prices in the world’s No. 6 crude exporter to go up last year helped by a rise in global commodity costs as well as the government’s social handouts. Last

January, the government announced plans to spend nearly $5 billion, or almost 4 percent of its gross domestic product, on cash grants and free food rations for its citizens. A Reuters poll in December forecast average inflation of 4.8 percent in 2011 and 4.5 percent in 2012. “One thing that could stimulate price pressures in Kuwait is the development plan which they have, but it depends on how aggressively they pursue that,” Gokkent said. “But I don’t see any significant inflationary pressures at this juncture.” Parliament cleared a $110 billion development plan in Feb 2010, aiming to diversify away from oil and boost the private sector, but little remains spent so far due to political clashes, which led to two government resignations last year. Kuwait, one of the richest countries in the world with 2011 per capita income of over $40,700 estimated by the IMF, will hold parliamentary elections in February following the latest government resignation in November. —Reuters

Egypt marks one year since revolt Continued from Page 1 Several marches set off for Tahrir from different parts of Cairo, with the chant of “Down with military rule!” ringing across the capital. By late afternoon, the rally had occupied surrounding streets and bridges. Tens of thousands also packed a waterfront square in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, where the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), headed by Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, had planned a naval parade. In the canal city of Suez, more than 10,000 protesters gathered in the main square chanting: “From Suez to Tahrir, down with the Field Marshal.” “This is a demonstration, not a celebration,” said Mustafa Al-Masry, one of the leaders of a Suez-based revolutionary group. Protesters also took to the streets in several provinces of the Nile Delta and in the Sinai peninsula, security officials said. In Cairo, huge flags hovered over the protesters in Tahrir, where a military band attempted to entertain the crowds in the morning. But calls of “Down, down with military rule” drowned out the music, forcing the band to be shuttled away by bus. “We will keep going to Tahrir to push for the goals of the revolution, no matter what,” said Hala Rashad, a 46-year-old chef. “The military council has done nothing. They are behaving just like the old regime. We have not received our rights and the country is a mess,” she said. At the entrances to Tahrir, “popular committees” searched protesters after the interior ministry said there would be no police presence at the square. Youths from the Muslim Brotherhood told AFP they were in the square to demonstrate, not celebrate, despite an announcement by the group it would not be pushing for “a second revolution”. The big question, reflected in the headline of the stateowned weekly Al-Ahram, remains “Who will capture the soul of the revolution?” On Tuesday, Tantawi announced the partial lifting of a hated decades-old emergency law, in an apparent bid to placate protesters, but said the law would still apply to acts of “thuggery”. Activists called the move cosmetic, denouncing the term “thuggery” as a way to maintain the police’s

wide powers of arrest. “January 25 is the first anniversary of the day when Egyptians stood up together to demand an end to police abuse and the state of emergency,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “It is an insult to all those calling for a return to the rule of law to make excuses to keep this state of emergency, used abusively for so many years, in place,” he said. Eager to restore its image after accusations of rights abuses, the military has planned mass celebrations with a naval parade off Alexandria, air shows in Cairo and fireworks displays nationwide throughout the week. The SCAF is also issuing commemorative coins and yesterday it began releasing almost 3,000 prisoners to mark the occasion. It has called on Egyptians to “preserve the spirit of January 25, which united the Egyptian people, men and women, young and old, Muslims and Christians”. But protesters say the revolution has been hijacked by Tantawi, Mubarak’s long-time defence minister. They want him and the ruling generals to step down immediately and to stay out of drafting Egypt’s new constitution, for fear they may enshrine military powers into it. The SCAF has vowed to cede power to civilian rule when a president is elected by June. Security forces say they are on alert for “any attempts to sabotage” the celebration, a thinly veiled warning to protesters. But Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim said the police “will not be present in the squares or where large celebrations are taking place” and called instead on political forces to “form popular committees” to secure the streets. Amnesty International said the military rulers must protect protesters and uphold the right to peaceful assembly. “Rather than abandoning the sites of planned demonstrations, the security forces must act responsibly by ensuring that everyone can safely exercise their right to peaceful expression and assembly,” said Hassiba Hadj-Sahraoui, Middle East and North Africa deputy director. Mubarak himself will mark the anniversary from a bed in a Cairo military hospital, accused of involvement in the killing of protesters during the uprising. If found guilty, the former president of 30 years could face the death penalty. — AFP

Continued from Page 1 In all, 24 Iraqi civilians were killed - 19 in several houses along with five men who pulled up in a car where the marines were on patrol in the Iraqi town of Haditha on Nov 19, 2005. The victims included 10 women or children killed at point-blank range. Six people were killed in one house, most shot in the head, including women and children huddled in a bedroom. In Haditha itself, residents of those killed reacted with shock and disgust. “This is an assault on the blood of Iraqis,” lamented Khalid Salman, a Haditha city councillor and lawyer for the victims. “That is only a punishment for ... small crimes. But killing 24 innocent people, and only receiving a punishment of three months? This is an assault on humanity.” Back in California, Wuterich’s lead defense lawyer Neal Puckett said his client would not comment any further on the case. “He now values his privacy more than anything,” he said. As for the outcome of the trial, Puckett said, “I don’t call it a success. There are no winners here.” Before the sentence, Puckett argued that Wuterich should not be punished. “The appropriate punishment is no punishment,” he said, adding: that Wuterich “is not evil, he is decent and moral and his integrity is unfaltering. It didn’t happen in a legal vacuum, it was in combat.” Wuterich himself voiced sorrow Tuesday, but insisted

he was not a “cold-blooded baby killer”. Addressing three surviving family members of those killed in Haditha, he said: “Words cannot express my sorrow for the loss of your loved ones. I know there is nothing I can say to ease your pain. “I wish to assure you that on that day, it was never my intention to harm you or your families. I know that you are the real victims of November 19, 2005,” he said, reading from a prepared statement. But he added: “For six years, I have had to accept that my name will always be associated with a massacre, being a cold-blooded baby killer, an ‘out of control’ monster, and a conspiring liar. There’s nothing I can do about whoever believes these things. All I can do is continue to be who I’ve always been - me. And none of those labels have ever been, or ever will be, who I am.” In his statement, made in a resonant, calm voice after witness testimony, Wuterich insisted he was only doing his duty. “The truth is, I don’t believe anyone in my squad... behaved in any way that was dishonorable or contrary to the highest ideals that we all live by as Marines. But even with the best intentions, sometimes combat actions can cause tragic results,” he said, adding that he had “never fired my weapon at any women or children that day”. The other seven Marines charged in the case have been exonerated through various legal rulings, fueling anger in Iraq, where authorities had pushed for US troops to be subject to Iraqi justice before the US pullout in December. — AFP

US commandos free aid workers held... Continued from Page 1 Danish Refugee Council Demining Group helping to demine war-torn Somalia, had been held since Oct 25 when they were seized by gunmen in the semi-autonomous Galmudug region. The two freed hostages were unharmed and flown to safety. Reports said they were being treated in Dijibouti, where the US has its only base in Africa. Obama was told by his top counterterrorism chief John Brennan of the rescue just over two hours before his State of the Union address. The operation showed “the United States will not tolerate the abduction of our people, and will spare no effort to secure the safety of our citizens,” the president said in a statement. “This is yet another message to the world that the United States of America will stand strongly against any threats to our people.” Pentagon officials said a convergence of factors led to yesterday’s decision to launch the operation, but also refused to confirm many specific details, including what Buchanan is ailing from. “There was a window of opportunity for mission success and we had information that suggested that one of the hostages, Ms Buchanan, might have a very serious medical condition that could be life-threatening,” said Pentagon spokesman George Little. Navy Captain John Kirby, another Pentagon spokesman, said the military had reason to believe Buchanan’s condition was pre-existing when she was taken hostage “and also we had reason to believe that it was getting worse”. The commando raid on Somali soil is one of the first to have been officially acknowledged by the US, which admits to flying surveillance drones but rarely comments on reported missile strikes against Al-Qaeda-linked militants there. The Horn of Africa nation has been without an effective government since it was plunged into a civil war two decades ago, allowing militias to flourish, with Islamist insurgents and pirate gangs ruling mini-fiefdoms. Memories are also still raw in the United States of shocking scenes in 1993 when two US Black Hawk choppers were shot down and the bodies of 18 US soldiers dragged through Mogadishu’s streets. Obama appeared to have hinted at the mission when he greeted Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in the Congress late Tuesday and told him: “Good job tonight. Good job tonight.” Straight after his address, Obama returned to the White House and with his wife, Michelle, at his side, called John Buchanan to tell him his daughter was safe. The White House released a photo of Obama during the phone call. General Carter Ham, head of US Africa Command praised the “courageous, competent and committed” men who carried out the raid, at least 100 km inside Somalia. But the Pentagon would not confirm reports that the same unit of Navy SEALs who killed Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a raid on his Pakistan compound in May were involved. Burnishing his credentials as the nation’s commander-inchief, Obama yesterday hailed bin Laden’s death and told lawmakers that one of his proudest possessions was the SEAL flag carried on the raid.

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama accompanied by First Lady Michelle Obama makes a phone call from the Capitol on Tuesday immediately after his State of the Union address informing John Buchanan that his daughter Jessica was rescued by US Special Operations Forces in Somalia. — AP Danish Foreign Minister Villy Soevndal said meanwhile his country had been kept in the loop throughout as the drama unfolded in remote scrubland in the notorious pirate region of Adado in central Somalia. Witnesses said US forces took control of Galkayo airport during the raid with several support aircraft landing there, but it received mixed reactions, with some unhappy at the US military action. “I hate the pirates, but I can’t support Hollywood style killing like this, it would be better if the pirates were arrested, face justice and sentenced to 20 years,” said taxi-driver Abdullahi Mohamed Jama. The raiders came in quickly, catching the guards as they were sleeping after having chewed the narcotic leaf qat for much of the evening, a pirate who gave his name as Bile Hussein told AP by phone. Hussein said he was not present at the site but had spoken with other pirates who were, and that they told him nine pirates had been killed in the raid and three were “taken away”. — Agencies


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THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012

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Obama eyes voters, Romney in key address By Stephen Collinson n a campaign kick-off speech on the grandest of stages, President Barack Obama challenged American voters to join him to forge a fairer economy and present the bill to the rich. In a distinctly political State of the Union speech on Tuesday, Obama also skewered Mitt Romney, the multi-millionaire Republican venture capitalist he expects to face in November’s election. Deprived of the chance to argue, Ronald Reagan-style, that the US economy is roaring and that it is “morning in America,” Obama had to find an alternative conceit on which to anchor his bid for a second term in November. Hope and Change it is not: Obama’s blunt warnings to Republicans and his self-image as a champion of the middle class demanding large tax hikes on the rich are a far cry from his calls for unity and bipartisanship in 2008. “We can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules,” Obama said from his perch in the House of Representatives - as glum Republicans looked on. The president, seeking to deflect attention from his own economic record, also warned Republicans he would not stand for their almost certain obstructionism of his plans to create jobs and tax the wealthy. But given high unemployment, a sluggish recovery that many Americans are yet to feel and the painful realities of jobs lost abroad in the predatory global economy, Obama may be a compromised messenger. Only 13 percent of voters polled by Gallup in a new survey released Monday were satisfied with the US economy, and just 40 percent asked in a CBS/New York Times survey last week were satisfied with Obama’s handling of the economy. But Michael Traugott, a professor of political science at the University of Michigan, said that Obama’s rhetoric may have given him an early upper hand in the debate with Republicans. “The entire speech was couched in terms of values,” Traugott said, adding that the issue of fairness in taxes could appeal to voters. In 2008, Obama correctly sensed his nation was hungry for change from the broken politics of the past. His reelection chances may now depend on whether he has correctly read the mood again. Costas Panagopoulos, a campaigns expert at Fordham University, New York, argued that while Obama had centered his speech on equality, he was careful to leaven hard-edged politics with lashings of optimism needed to inspire voters. “I think this is an argument the president can win, but he has got to connect with the American people on it, and I don’t think he connected in this speech,” Panagopoulos said. Brian Darling, senior fellow for government studies at the conservative Heritage Foundation, agreed. “Considering that the economy and jobs are the central issue, I think there would have been more of a detailed explanation about how to turn around the economy,” Darling said. “It really did have the feel of a campaign speech,” he said. Obama will test the success of his State of the Union message in a tour of five electorally crucial swing states starting yeterday in Iowa, the cradle of his 2008 race. Much of his narrative on Tuesday seemed to be a direct repudiation of Romney, a former Massachusetts governor currently battling former House speaker Newt Gingrich in a tougher-thanexpected tilt for the Republican nomination. By reviving his push for millionaires to pay a similar or higher tax rate than average Americans - suggested by billionaire financier Warren Buffett - Obama was taking direct aim at Romney, a wealthy former venture capitalist. Romney comes across as just the kind of rich Wall Street fat cat Obama is holding up as an example of the unfairness of the current economic system. Ambushed on the campaign trail, Romney was forced to publish his 2010 tax return, which showed he paid a tax rate of just 13.9 percent on $21.7 million of income - a far lower rate than the average American. Another prong of Obama’s strategy on Tuesday was to shine by comparison to the deeply divided Congress. The president has a job approval rating of only 44 percent according to Gallup’s daily tracking poll - below the 50 percent barrier most incumbent presidents need to be sure of reelection. But Congress fares even worse. A CBS/New York Times poll last week put the job approval rating for Congress at just 13 percent, near historic lows. — AFP

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Delhi ignores own quake peril warnings By Muneeza Naqvi he ramshackle neighborhoods of northeast Delhi are home to 2.2 million people packed along narrow alleys. Buildings are made from a single layer of brick. Extra floors are added to dilapidated buildings not meant to handle their weight. Tangles of electrical cables hang precariously everywhere. If a major earthquake struck India’s seismically vulnerable capital, these neighborhoods - India’s most crowded - would collapse in an apocalyptic nightmare. Waters from the nearby Yamuna River would turn the water-soaked subsoil to jelly, which would intensify the shaking. The Indian government knows this and has done almost nothing about it. An Associated Press examination of government documents spanning five decades reveals a pattern of warnings and recommendations that have been widely disregarded. Successive governments made plans and promises to prepare for a major earthquake in the city of 16.7 million, only to abandon them each time. The Delhi government’s own estimates say nine out of every 10 buildings in the city are at risk of moderate or significant quake damage, yet the basic disaster response plan it had promised to complete nearly three years ago remains unfinished, there are nearly no earthquake awareness drills in schools and offices and tens of thousands of housing units are built every year without any earthquake safety checks. Fearing many buildings could lie in ruins after a quake, the Delhi government began work in 2005 with US government assistance to reinforce just five buildings - including a school and a hospital - it would need to begin a rudimentary relief operation to deal with the dead, wounded and homeless. Six years later, only one of those buildings is earthquake-ready. “At the end of the day, people at the helm of affairs are not doing anything,” said Anup Karanth, an earthquake engineering expert. In its attitudes to disaster preparedness India is like many other poor nations - aware of the danger but bogged down by both sheer inertia and more immediate demands on its resources. But Delhi faces immense earthquake risks. Last September, two minor jolts sent thousands of scared residents into the streets, and experts say a big one looms on the horizon. As far back as 1960, after a moderate quake cut power and plunged Delhi - then a city of 2.7 million - into darkness, the Geological Survey of India advised that all large buildings in the capital needed to have a plan for earthquake safety. A series of reports by other agencies have expanded on that conclusion in recent years, but both the city and national governments have ignored almost all of the recommendations. Some reports were ignored because of sheer apathy, others because of shifting priorities. In a city and country growing at lightning speed with huge problems of poverty and hunger that need more immediate solutions, earthquake preparedness has simply never been at the top of the list. Some plans begun with good intentions simply fell by the

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wayside. That’s what happened to the 2005 plan to prepare five important buildings in the capital for an earthquake. Government engineers were sent to California to train. But the following year - with only the school made earthquake ready - all the engineers were taken off the project. They were reassigned to build stadiums for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, an athletic competition held in Delhi, said M Shashidhar Reddy, the vice chairman of India’s National Disaster Management Agency. The scale of the problem “really hasn’t sunk into the minds of the people,” Reddy said. Just last year, a Delhi government agency ordered all new home buyers to get a building safety certificate that would mark their homes as structurally

New Zealand, a developed nation, tied for first as the least corrupt in Transparency International’s most recent Corruption Perceptions Index. Much poorer Haiti came in 175th out of 178 countries. In Turkey, which ranked 61st, a 2010 report revealed that the earthquake-prone nation had failed to enforce stricter building codes put in place after a 1999 earthquake killed 18,000 people. Last year, two earthquakes of magnitude 7.2 and 5.7 flattened some 2,000 buildings, killed 644 people and left thousands homeless. In contrast, Japan, which was 14th on the corruption scale, requires that all structures meet a 1981 building code and offers subsidies to retrofit buildings to meet more stringent guidelines set in 1995. About 75 percent of homes and

up residents, with many fleeing their buildings. The same month, a magnitude 6.8 quake in India’s remote northeast was also felt in the capital. Either type of quake would cause moderate damage to an estimated 85.5 percent of Delhi’s buildings and severe damage to another 6.5 percent, Delhi’s disaster management authority said in a 2010 vulnerability assessment. It could also open cracks in the ground several centimeters wide and spread “fear and panic,” the report said. It was India’s Department of Meteorology that found northeast Delhi particularly vulnerable in a neverreleased 2005 study obtained by the AP. That “microzone” study divided the city into nine segments to evaluate the possible impact of an earthquake in each. While the microzone study is a positive

In this Dec 20, 2011 photo, commuters move past congested houses built close to each other in India’s most crowded northeast district of New Delhi. — AP sound before registering property. But it later withdrew the order, saying there weren’t enough engineers trained to conduct such inspections. “That’s like saying let’s not have any traffic rules because we don’t have enough policemen,” said Hari Kumar, who heads Geohazards India, an organization that promotes earthquake awareness. India, a still developing country plagued by corruption, isn’t alone in being unprepared. More than 80 percent of deaths from building collapses in earthquakes in the last three decades occurred in corrupt and poor countries, according to a 2011 study published in the science journal Nature. The study by Roger Bilham, a geologist at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and Nicholas Ambraseys, a civil and environmental engineer at Imperial College London, compared the loss of life in two magnitude 7.0 earthquakes in 2010. In Haiti, 300,000 died; in New Zealand none did, though a subsequent 6.1 quake there in early 2011 killed 182.

public buildings meet the newer standards. In India, which ranked 95th, contractors routinely flout regulations, use substandard material and add illegal floors to buildings, while bribing government inspectors to look the other way, said Reddy, the disaster management official. A 2001 quake in the western state of Gujarat killed more than 13,000. Delhi, which sits near a highly seismically active area, is ranked four out of five on a seismic threat scale used in India. Geologists believe the Central Himalayan Gap, a 500 km stretch between Nepal and India, is ripe for a major quake. A 6.8 quake along the fault in March 1999 damaged many buildings in Delhi, just 200 to 500 km from the gap. Studies show such a large buildup of energy that a shifting of the tectonic plates could cause an 8.7-magnitude earthquake, Bilham said. Experts also fear the potential damage from a smaller quake closer to the capital. The city lies between two fault lines, and a 4.2 quake in September woke

step, the report is only rudimentary and most builders haven’t even heard of it, said earthquake engineering expert Karanth, who as a student lived through the Gujarat quake. India has developed national standards for constructing earthquake-resistant buildings, but they are not mandatory and widely ignored, said Kumar of Geohazards. Meanwhile, many residents don’t realize the danger, or wrongly believe they are safe from it. When Karanth decided to buy an apartment in 2010, he picked a builder who promised to deliver an earthquake-resistant building. He visited the site often, took photographs of the construction and talked to the engineers in charge. Last year, he realized the project had none of the promised earthquake safety features. “This is not one or two apartments that I’m talking about. These are thousands of apartment units being constructed,” he said. He complained and demanded an explanation. Instead, the construction company offered to give him back his deposit. — AP


PRATAP

THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012

sp orts Meyer to coach S Africa JOHANNESBURG: Blue Bulls executive in charge of rugby Heyneke Meyer is set to be offered the job of South Africa coach, the Bulls said yesterday. The Bulls said, however, that they were not happy to release Meyer from his four-year contract with them. “It is the board’s position that it would not be in the Blue Bulls’ interest to release Meyer after many resources and commitments have been made to enable him to fulfil his mandate,” the Bulls said in a statement. The South African Rugby Union (SARU) said discussions had been held with Meyer but that no decision has yet been made. “The Executive Council (Exco) of SARU will be provided with a report back on those discussions at their meeting in Cape Town today. The Exco is constitutionally responsible for the appointment of the Springbok coach. Their recommendation has to be ratified by a special general meeting of SARU,” SARU said in the statement. The new Springbok coach, succeeding Peter de Villiers, will be announced tomorrow after the special general meeting. — Reuters

NHL results and standings on Tuesday. Buffalo 2, New Jersey 1 (SO); Toronto 4, NY Islanders 3 (OT); NY Rangers 3, Winnipeg 0; Washington 5, Boston 3; Tampa Bay 4, Columbus 2; Philadelphia 3, Florida 2 (SO); Pittsburgh 3, St Louis 2 (SO); Nashville 3, Chicago 1; Dallas 1, Anaheim 0; Minnesota 3, Colorado 2; San Jose 1, Calgary 0; Phoenix 3, Ottawa 2; Vancouver 3, Edmonton 2. (SO) (SO denotes shootout) (OT denotes overtime) Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L OTL GF GA PTS NY Rangers 31 12 4 132 96 66 Philadelphia 29 14 5 162 142 63 Pittsburgh 28 17 4 152 127 60 New Jersey 26 19 3 129 136 55 NY Islanders 19 22 7 115 143 45

Boston Ottawa Toronto Montreal Buffalo

102 160 147 132 149

64 60 55 45 45

Washington Florida Winnipeg Tampa Bay Carolina

Southeast Division 26 19 3 136 22 15 11 122 22 22 6 124 21 23 4 136 18 24 9 130

137 136 143 165 159

55 55 50 46 45

Detroit St Louis Nashville Chicago Columbus

Western Conference Central Division 33 15 1 158 110 29 13 7 124 102 30 16 4 140 127 29 15 6 162 144 13 30 6 115 163

67 65 64 64 32

Vancouver Minnesota Colorado Calgary Edmonton

Northwest Division 29 15 4 155 24 18 7 115 26 23 2 131 23 21 6 120 18 26 4 120

62 55 54 52 40

120 126 144 137 139

LONDON: London rivals Queen’s Park Rangers and Chelsea have warned fans to behave at this weekend’s FA Cup tie when England captain John Terry will come face to face with Anton Ferdinand, the player he is accused of racially abusing in a league match this season. Terry, who denies any wrongdoing, is due to appear in court on Feb. 1 after a police investigation into Ferdinand’s claims and there are fears that Saturday’s match could inflame tension between fans of both clubs. A statement from QPR chairman Tony Fernandes and his Chelsea counterpart Bruce Buck issued yesterday said any discriminatory chanting at the fourth

round tie at Loftus Road would not be tolerated. “We have discussed the issues surrounding this weekend’s FA Cup fourth round tie at Loftus Road and we are both in total agreement that abuse and discrimination has no place in football or society,” the statement said. “Both Clubs enjoy fantastic support. However, we would remind fans that while we want to hear their passion, it’s a fact that hatred and abuse is not what being a fan of QPR or Chelsea is about. “The Clubs will work together with the police to ensure that anyone using discriminatory or inflammatory language is identified and that the strongest possible action is taken against them.” — Reuters

CHICAGO: The Nashville Predators ensured they will go to the NHL All-Star break level with divisional rival Chicago by beating the Blackhawks 3-1 on Tuesday. Goalie Pekka Rinne made 24 saves for his ninth straight win as the Predators beat Chicago for the second time in four days. Rinne has played a major role in the run which has seen Nashville move to third in the Western Conference, three points behind leader Detroit. Craig Smith and Mike Fisher had first-period goals for the Predators and Colin Wilson added an empty-netter with 12.8 seconds left. Dave Bolland scored on a power play in the final period for Chicago, which placed captain Jonathan Toews on injured reserve with a wrist injury before the game.

22 shots in a surprise start as New York shut out Winnipeg. Lundqvist made his fifth consecutive start for the Eastern Conference-leading Rangers because backup Martin Biron was out with illness. Biron had beaten the Jets in the teams’ two previous meetings this season. Ryan Callahan, John Mitchell and Brad Richards provided the goals for New York. Winnipeg fell to 0-8 this season when playing the second of back-to-back games. The Jets have been outscored 33-5 in those losses.

Calgary’s net. Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff made two stops before the puck bounced in the air, where Ferriero gloved it down and slapped it in. Sharks goalie Antti Niemi made 25 saves but was hardly worked hard Calgary generated only 11 shots during the first 40 minutes. But Niemi was much busier in the third in earning his third shutout of the season. Wild 3, Avalanche 2 In Denver, Carson McMillan broke a tie

Penguins 3, Blues 2 In St. Louis, Chris Kunitz scored the deciding goal on a backhander in the fourth round of a shootout as Pittsburgh beat St. Louis to run its winning streak to seven. James Neal and Steve Sullivan scored in regulation for the Penguins, whose winning streak has followed a sixgame skid - their longest since 2006. Patrik Berglund ended a seven-game point drought with a pair of goals and tied it on a penalty shot early in the third period for the Blues, who erased a two-goal deficit. Capitals 5, Bruins 3 In Washington, Mathieu Perreault got his first career hat trick, including the tiebreaking goal in the third period, leading Washington over Boston. Cody Eakin also scored for the Capitals, while Dennis Wideman added an emptynetter with 27 seconds left. Rich Peverley, Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand scored for Boston in the final game for both teams before the All-Star break.

Pacific Division San Jose 27 14 6 131 110 60 24 16 10 111 111 58 Los Angeles Dallas 25 21 2 126 136 52 Phoenix 22 20 8 130 134 52 Anaheim 18 23 7 124 144 43 Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L)

Flyers 3, Panthers 2 In Sunrise, Florida, Claude Giroux scored the only goal in a shootout to lift Philadelphia over Florida. Giroux beat Scott Clemmensen on the stick side to give the Flyers their first shootout victory in four tries this season. Brayden Schenn and Jakub Voracek scored in regulation for the Flyers, who won despite starting eight rookies due to injuries. Mikael Samuelsson and Tomas Fleischmann had goals for Florida. Rangers 3, Jets 0 In New York, Henrik Lundqvist stopped

find a solution,” Hirscher said. “For me, every problem needs to be solved as soon as possible.” Austrian ski officials feared the dispute could lead to trouble among Austrian and Croatian fans during a race watched by more than 4,000 spectators, including several thousand Croatians. Police told the Austria Press Agency no incidents had been reported. Kostelic was booed during his opening run and said he “saw a few snowballs” thrown by spectators. “But it did not put me off,” said Kostelic, who was the seventh and final starter of the elite group. “My run was not great, I could have gone faster for sure. The course was not in perfect condition anymore, but my run

with a shot that trickled between his pads. Alex Edler scored earlier in the shootout for the Canucks, but Ales Hemsky extended it by beating Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo with a backhand. Daniel Sedin and David Booth gave the Canucks one-goal leads in regulation. Shawn Horcoff and Taylor Hall replied for Edmonton. Sabres 2, Devils 1 In Newark, Jason Pominvile and Nathan Gerbe scored in the shootout to give Buffalo its first road win in 13 attempts. Pominville ripped a shot over the glove of Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur on the Sabres’ third shootout attempt to tie things at 1-1. Goalie Ryan Miller, who made 27 saves, made a pad block on the next shot then Gerbe converted to complete the droughtbreaking win. Buffalo’s Jordan Leopold and the Devils’ Patrik Elias scored in regulation. Maple Leafs 4, Islanders 3 In Uniondale, New York, Clarke MacArthur’s second goal of the game in overtime lifted Toronto over New York. MacArthur took a feed from Mikhail Grabovski and slid the puck into goalie Al Montoya’s glove, which was inside the net. Both teams waited on the ice for the official ruling deeming it a goal. PA Parenteau had scored for New York with 12.2 seconds left in regulation to force overtime. Goals by John Tavares and Josh Bailey put New York ahead 2-0. Jake Gardiner and Grabovski also scored in regulation for the Maple Leafs.

CALGARY: Antti Niemi No.31 of the San Jose Sharks make a stop against Tim Jackman No. 15 of the Calgary Flames in third period NHL action. —AFP Coyotes 3, Senators 2 In Glendale, Arizona, Radim Vrbata scored early in the third period as Phoenix withstood Ottawa’s quick answer to beat the Senators. Phoenix took a two-goal lead on Vrbata’s team-leading 23rd goal 1:30 into the third, but Ottawa’s Chris Neil responded with his ninth just 16 seconds later. Shane Doan and Gilbert Brule also scored for the Coyotes, who have won three in a row. Daniel Alfredsson scored his 17th goal for Ottawa, which has dropped three straight. Sharks 1, Flames 0 In Calgary, Benn Ferriero scored the sole goal as San Jose edged Calgary and won its first game in four. Ferriero’s goal came in the third period on a scramble in front of

Hirscher wins night slalom SCHLADMING: Marcel Hirscher captured a World Cup night slalom before home fans Tuesday, his sixth victory of the season that came amid a simmering dispute over his earlier win in Zagreb. Hirscher led after the first run and finished in a combined time of 1 minute, 43.01 seconds to beat Stefano Gross of Italy by 0.22 seconds. It was his first victory in Austria. “This is my most emotional win so far,” said the 22-year-old Hirscher, who had never finished among the top three before in Austria. Ted Ligety of the US was sixth, 0.96 behind. He finished in the top 10 of a slalom for the first time since placing sixth in Zagreb more than a year ago. “I am definitely happy with how I skied for most of it, especially the upper part,” Ligety said after his first run. “I just got a little tired getting to the bottom. But Hirscher is beating everybody down there by a lot.” Austria’s Mario Matt was 0.29 behind in third. Overall World Cup champion Ivica Kostelic of Croatia finished fourth, 0.30 behind Hirscher, and remained first in the slalom and overall standings. Hirscher is second in the overall standings. Hirscher said he was happy he and Kostelic shook hands on the eve of the race to settle a dispute over the Austrian’s victory this month in the Zagreb slalom after apparently straddling a gate. Kostelic had been angry at an apparently illegitimate victory. The rule breach, which should have led to an automatic disqualification, was brought to light this past weekend. The results will not be corrected because the International Ski Federation accepts protests only within 15 minutes of a race ending. “After we spoke to each other, the issue was over for me,” Hirscher said. “I can focus again on what I like to do - ski racing.” The Austrian called it “the most difficult time of my career.” “I am a person who needs to talk and

ABU DHABI: Vitaly Petrov hoped his future in Formula One will be sorted out in the next week as he emerged as a contender for a test driver role at tyre supplier Pirelli yesterday. The Russian has also been linked with a move to Malaysian-owned Caterham F1, as a replacement for Italian veteran Jarno Trulli, after losing his race seat at Renault (now Lotus) at the end of last season. “If I said something it will be made into lots, I cannot say anything about what I will do this year,” Petrov told reporters after making an unexpected appearance at a Pirelli presentation in Abu Dhabi. “But please wait a little bit, another week. I want to say something but I can’t say at the moment. “I want to stay in F1 because if I lose one year then it will be very difficult to come back and to take some places for 2013. So it is important to stay.” The season starts in Melbourne, Australia, on March 18.

Predators shoot down Blackhawks

NHL results/standings

Northeast Division 31 14 2 171 27 19 6 157 25 19 5 151 18 21 9 123 20 24 5 119

Petrov’s future in balance

QPR and Chelsea warn fans to behave at FA Cup match

wouldn’t have been good anyway.” Hirscher had failed to finish both previous slaloms - in Wengen and Kitzbuehel. On Tuesday, the International Ski Federation said it fined Hirscher $1,077 both times as the Austrian skied on after clearly straddling a gate. Gross earned his first career World Cup podium by placing third in a slalom in Adelboden, Switzerland, this month. He was seventh after the opening run and climbed to second after an attacking final leg. “This is a beautiful moment for me,” Gross said. The men’s World Cup resumes this weekend with speed races in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, and will return to Schladming for the World Cup finals in March. —AP

AUSTRIA: Marcel Hirscher of Austria competes during the alpine ski, men’s World Cup slalom, in Schladming. Austria. —AP

midway through the third period after stealing the puck at center ice and Colorado held on to defeat Colorado. Niklas Backstrom stopped 24 shots, Justin Falk scored his first NHL goal and Dany Heatley added another for the Wild, who halted an 11-game winless streak away from home. They also moved into the eighth and final playoff spot in their final game before the All-Star break, leaping over Colorado. TJ Galiardi and Chuck Kobasew scored for the Avalanche. Canucks 3, Oilers 2 In Vancouver, Cody Hodgson scored the shootout winner as Vancouver beat Edmonton to send the Oilers to their sixth straight road loss. Hodgson beat Edmonton goalie Devan Dubnyk in the fifth round of the shootout

Stars 1, Ducks 0 In Dallas, Kari Lehtonen made 27 saves for his 18th career shutout, helping Dallas win and end Anaheim’s streak of five wins. Defenseman Alex Goligoski scored the sole goal in the first period as Dallas made a strong start. Goligoski’s shot glanced off a Ducks defenseman, with the puck flipping into the air and over Anaheim goaltender Jonas Hiller with 3:39 left in the first. Lightning 4, Blue Jackets 2 In Tampa, Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis both had a goal and an assist to lead Tampa Bay over Columbus. Mike Angelidis and Nate Thompson also scored for the Lightning, who have won four in a row. Brett Lebda and Ryan Johansen netted for the Blue Jackets, who have lost four straight. Columbus is 1-18-1 when behind entering the third period. — AP

97 arrested for Olympic tickets, hotel rooms scam LONDON: Nearly 100 people have been arrested for selling fake tickets and bogus hotel rooms ahead of the London Olympics. With some six months to go before Britain’s largest-ever planned security operation, Home Secretary Theresa May said police had arrested 97 people in scams involving tickets, fake Olympic websites and nonexistent hotel rooms. The demand for tickets and hotels in London during the July 27-Aug. 12 games has been huge some rooms are going for more than 600 pounds per night (nearly $1,000). “Police are sending a very clear message that we’re not going to tolerate intrusions by organized criminals into the Olympic Games,” May said during a speech at the Royal United Services Institute in London, a British security think-tank. London police said the tickets involved in the scam were phony. But the threat most on the minds of organizers is terrorism Britain was the first western European country to be targeted by al-Qaidainspired suicide bombers who launched attacks on London’s transit system in 2005, killing 52 people the day after the city won the 2012 Olympics bid. Security officials are also haunted by the attack at the 1972 Olympics in Munich that killed 11 Israeli athletes and coaches. Intelligence officials say there is nothing to suggest a specific and credible terror threat to the London Games, yet the threat level will rise to “severe.” Britain’s police, the domestic spy agency MI5, the foreign

intelligence agency MI6, government communications surveillance units and the military will all help secure the Olympics against possible threats. In addition, international law enforcement and policing agencies like Interpol and the FBI will help British authorities. More than 20,000 security guards are also being hired for extra protection. “Many of our resources will be dedicated to counterterrorism operations,” said Commander Bob Broadhurst, in charge of operational planning for Scotland Yard, who said one concern is being able to patrol parallel or unplanned events around the Olympics, such as concerts and other celebrations. Although Broadhurst said protests would be allowed during the games, May said protest camps around key sites would be prohibited. Security teams have already started testing their preparedness. Two weeks ago, it was disclosed that British police testing security protocols had earlier managed to smuggle a fake bomb into Olympic Park. Last week, a police officer reportedly left documents about security arrangements for the London Olympics on a train. Officials said those documents were not sensitive and such test-runs are part of the training. Training events around London have been visible for months last week, British police joined up with the military to practice boarding suspect vessels on the River Thames and to stop others by using equipment that entangles their propellers. — AP


THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012

sp orts

Ganassi celebrates run of championships

ABU DHABI: World number one, Luke Donald, plays a ball out of the sand at Liwa Desert two days ahead of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.—AP

World’s top four golfers lock horns in Abu Dhabi ABU DHABI: The European Tour outshines the more lucrative US PGA Tour this week when the world’s top four golfers plus a resurgent Tiger Woods open their seasons at the Abu Dhabi Championship. With 12 major winners and nearly 100 European Tour winners, it is a field more akin to a major, and the players said the quality of competition which begins today will allow them to quickly gauge their game after the brief offseason. “It’s definitely not a quiet way to start the year,” said US Open champion Rory McIlroy, who has finished second, third and fifth in the past three years in Abu Dhabi. “It’s great, you get straight at it right away,” he added. “You’re playing with two of the best golfers in the world in the first two days, and you’re up against one of the strongest fields probably that will be assembled this year. You want to try and get off to a good start.” The lineup includes top-ranked Luke Donald, No. 2 Lee Westwood, No. 4 and defending champion Martin Kaymer, Masters champ Charl Schwartzel, British Open champ Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell, Sergio Garcia, Miguel Angel Jimenez, and Branden Grace, the winner in the last two weeks of the Joburg Open and Volvo Champions. Westwood said the field was a boost to the European Tour, which was often shaded by the U.S. PGA Tour. “I think it’s great for the European Tour that we can attract fields like this early in the year,” Westwood said. “I think in all fairness between probably April and after the PGA (Championship), most of the golfing world is focused on the US But I think, now, the rest of the world is where golf is big time really.” What makes Abu Dhabi so eagerly anticipated is that all of the top golfers are fit and coming off seasons where they played some of their best golf. Woods has said he’s making his healthiest start to a season in at least eight years and brimming with confidence after ending a two-year title drought with his dramatic victory at the Chevron World Challenge last month. Donald made history as the first player to win

money titles on both sides of the Atlantic, while McIlroy showed signs of being a legitimate successor to Woods by powering to an eight-shot win at the U.S. Open at Congressional. The win was that more remarkable in that it came two months after he blew a four-shot lead in the final round of the Masters in an epic meltdown. Though McIlroy ended 2011 exhausted after contracting dengue fever, he said he was energized and ready to carry on with the success that saw him finish in the money in all 19 European Tour events he played. “I definitely felt a little bit of momentum at the end of 2011 and it would be great to keep that momentum going at the start of this year,” McIlroy said. “I feel like I played some good golf the last couple of months of the season, and worked on a couple of things. This week will be a good gauge to see how those things are coming along.” Westwood was among the most dominant golfers at the end of 2011, winning the Thailand Golf Championship in December and the Nedbank Challenge a few weeks earlier. He had a third-round score of 62 at Nedbank, and opened Thailand with a 60 - the lowest round of his career - and then a 64 to beat Schwartzel by seven strokes. Thanks to a new putting prowess, Westwood hinted he might have the additional weapon to win an elusive first major in 2012. “I think it’s very difficult to win a major without making a few (putts) that are surprising, or bonuses which I haven’t holed over the last few years,” he said. “So if I can start rolling in a few 25to 30-footers that I have not been making, that’s obviously going to make a massive difference.” McIlroy and Donald will be teamed with Woods in the opening round, and were looking forward to an extra buzz from the gallery. “There’s a little bit more of an atmosphere. You’re going to feel a little bit differently,” Donald said. “Certainly my experiences over the last few years - and I have played with him quite a few times - that feeling of feeling intimidated certainly dissipates, yes. I’m looking forward to seeing his game again tomorrow and getting out there.”—AP

Lancaster focused on Six Nations defence LONDON: England’s caretaker coach Stuart Lancaster will apply for the job on a permanent basis but his approach to the Six Nations championship will be fully focused on what is best for the long-term success of his team. Lancaster is one of three new coaches and three new captains going into the competition, which had its official launch in London yesterday ahead of the Feb. 4 opening matches. He has already made a good impression as he bids to clean up England’s act off the pitch and bring some verve to their play following their disappointing World Cup campaign. England are defending champions but

LONDON: The England national rugby union team’s Tom Wood poses for photographs with the trophy during a media event for the Six Nations rugby union tournament. The opening game of the tournament takes place on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012 between France and Italy.—AP World Cup runners-up France are the bookmakers favourites under new boss Philippe Saint-Andre. Wales, who impressed so many in New Zealand last year, are second-favourites but have suffered a setback with coach Warren Gatland announcing that key prop Gethin Jenkins will miss their first two games with a knee injury. Jacques Brunel, taking over Italy’s reins from Nick Mallett, completes the trio of new coaches. Scotland’s Ross Ford and Paul O’Connell standing in for the injured Brian O’Driscoll - are

new captains while England’s replacement for the retired Lewis Moody has yet to be decided. Lancaster confirmed he would formally apply for the permanent coach role before the midFebruary deadline but said the tournament was not about him. “I love working with players and trying to develop teams and the opportunity to do that at the highest level with England is fantastic,” he said. “But my decisions will be made solely on what I think is best for England to develop long term into a team capable of getting back to number one in the world - it’s not about me.” They kick off the Six Nations in Scotland on Feb. 4 and former England coach Andy Robinson has already spiced up the fixture by accusing his old team of being arrogant during the World Cup when they edged the Scots in their final do-or-die pool match. “You use every emotion, that’s what rugby is about,” Robinson said on Wednesday when asked about the comments. New skipper Ford declined to be drawn into the row. “For me the focus now is about earning respect from teams by our performances,” said the hooker. Wales captain Sam Warburton said the buzz has already started around his team after their uplifting performances in the World Cup. “We played with no fear and never went into our shells and that will be the message this time,” he said. “There wasn’t much pressure going into the World Cup but now we’re expected to win the Six Nations and everyone is looking at the final game against France at the Millennium Stadium as the decider.” SaintAndre can expect to start his tenure with a home win against Italy - who beat the French in Rome last season - but said he cannot expect to be the man to unravel the mystery of his nation’s rugby. Defeated by Tonga in a wretched pool phase in the World Cup, France could and probably should have beaten New Zealand in the final as they delivered their trademark Jekyll and Hyde performance. “This is French rugby for the last four years - for the last 100 years,” he said. “We can be up here or down on the floor and the biggest challenge is to find consistency.” Ireland will play the tournament without long-term injury absentee O’Driscoll but are buoyed by their Heineken Cup performances as Leinster, Munster and Ulster all reached the quarter-finals for the first time. “If we can win the first match then we’ll build a bit of momentum with the lads having done so well with their provinces,” said coach Declan Kidney, whose team are outside the top three bookmakers’ picks for the first time in many years and begin at home to Wales.—Reuters

CONCORD: The celebration of Chip Ganassi’s success was supposed to be a surprise, an opportunity to gather his great champions and toast their remarkable runs. The surprise was ruined, but the celebration will stay etched in Ganassi’s memory. “It was one of the more special moments of my racing career,” Ganassi said Tuesday, searching for the words to adequately describe his emotions. Longtime partner Target last week brought Jimmy Vasser, Alex Zanardi, Juan Pablo Montoya, Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti together for a two-day event in Minneapolis honoring their title runs. Vasser gave Ganassi his first championship in 1996, Zanardi added two more in ‘97-98, and Montoya made it four consecutive Ganassi titles in 1999. Dixon started another four-year run for Ganassi in 2008, and Franchitti added the last three IndyCar championships to the incredible reign. The core group had an enthusiastic reunion dinner on the first day, and a large luncheon with their Target partners the next. The luncheon included a tribute video to the late Dan Wheldon, who drove for Ganassi for three seasons in IndyCar. “So many years, and so many championships for Chip, and so many friendships,” Montoya said. It was an emotional two days for almost everyone involved for various reasons. Vasser and Zanardi built an incredibly tight friendship during their time as teammates, and although Zanardi now lives in Italy, the two remain close even though they don’t see each other often. “Other people could live 1,000 years and not experience the intensity or the emotions of the three years I spent with Jimmy driving for that race team,” Zanardi said. “It is by far the best memories of my racing career.” For Dixon and Franchitti, it was a chance to sit back and watch the comedy routine of Vasser and Zanardi. While it was a walk down memory lane, it was yet another move toward getting on with business again after Wheldon’s fatal accident in the Oct. 16 season finale. Both were close friends with Wheldon, and his accident lingers over the championship, Franchitti’s fourth overall, and the ninth for Ganassi’s open-wheel teams. “We’ve reflected on the championship, and when I went to the Christmas party with the whole Target team, there was a lot of congratulating each other and all those sort of things,” Franchitti said. “But I don’t think we celebrated it. When we think about it, we are always going to be connected (with Wheldon). That’s just the way it’s going to be. “So celebrating or not celebrating is not that important. We’re really just motivated to go out and win another.” Motivation to win races and championships has always been what’s driven Ganassi, and he’s still searching for that formula in NASCAR. It’s the only series he’s yet to find consistent success, and last season was a black eye for an otherwise banner Ganassi year. Aside from Franchitti’s title in IndyCar, Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas combined to win their second consecutive Grand-Am title and were

the anchors on yet another Ganassi victory in the prestigious 24 Hours of Daytona sports car race. However, Ganassi’s NASCAR teams went winless. Montoya finished 21st in the final Sprint Cup standings, Jamie McMurray was 27th and Ganassi on Tuesday called the overall organization effort “just pathetic for a team with our ability and resources.” “It certainly wasn’t the first year I’ve had success on one side and not on the other,” said Ganassi, who ordered sweeping organizational changes to his NASCAR operation. He released three top executives, hired industry veteran Max Jones as general manager, chose John Probst as technical director and lured

ing his mind to a team atmosphere, “When I started to drive for him and win the races, I had picked up a big head, you know, think you are the best,” Zanardi said. “It was always clear he gave me a great opportunity, but I also thought I was helping him. I look at him now and realized he changed my life. Yes, we were winning and having great success, and at the time, I didn’t give much credit to Chip for having created all that. “But it’s his perseverance, his dedication to what he does, he pours everything into his racing ... he definitely changed my life completely for the better.” Ganassi deflected all individual credit on Tuesday.

MINNEAPOLIS: In this photo released by Target on Jan. 18, 2012 ( from left) drivers Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon, team owner Chip Ganassi, drivers Juan Pablo Montoya, Alex Zanardi and Jimmy Vasser gather for a photo. Target brought the drivers and owner together for a two-day event honoring their title runs.—AP Chris Heroy, a coveted employee at Hendrick Motorsports, to be Montoya’s crew chief. Ganassi expects early and immediate improvement, and indicated he’s not done shaking things up if the results don’t turn around. “It was obviously time to make a change and we had to do it, we had to fix it,” Ganassi said. “We took a big swipe at it, and I’m certainly happy with the people that we have now. But if more changes need to be done, we’ll do that as well.” Nobody doubts he means it. Franchitti called Ganassi one of the greatest motivators he’s had in his career. “He’s the driving force. A lot of the success we have comes from Chip’s determination,” Franchitti said. “He hires the right people and then puts them in the right position and then gets on with it. He doesn’t micromanage. If you win and do well, he’s very appreciative. If you don’t win, he’s not shy, he pushes you to get on with it and pick it up.” And Zanardi, who came to the US with the hardened individualist mentality so prevalent in European racing, credits Ganassi for open-

He instead praised his sales team, which on Tuesday announced partnerships with Banana Boat, Belkin products and LiftMaster garage doors and filled all the primary sponsorship for his two NASCAR teams. Everything is sold to the point that across all Ganassi’s organizations, the IndyCar races for Franchitti in Edmonton and China are the only opportunities for a potential new primary sponsor. Try pinning Ganassi down on what he does to make his organizations successful on the race track and in the business world, and he defers. “It’s like laying bricks. One brick would be me. Another brick would be Vasser. Another brick would be Zanardi. Another brick was the management team,” he said. “Those are all bricks that you build and one day you look up, you’ve added Montoya, Dixon and Franchitti, suddenly what started out as a brick is now a wall. A strong wall. “That’s what it’s about. It’s not about me at all. I never drove the cars, I never changed a tire, I never installed the engine or rebuilt anything. I don’t do any of that stuff.”—AP

Magic stop Pacers INDIANAPOLIS: Orlando’s Ryan Anderson had 24 points and eight rebounds to lead the Magic cruise past the Indiana Pacers 102-83, moving into a share of third place in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. Dwight Howard had 14 points and nine rebounds and became the Magic’s all-time leading scorer. He came in needing just eight points to break the record. Howard picked up his third foul early in the second quar ter and sat for most of the first half.Anderson shot 8 for 14 from the field, including 5 for 7 on 3-p oi nte r s, D a nny G r a nge r a nd R oy Hibbert scored 16 points each for the Pacers. Trail Blazers 97, Grizzlies 84 In Portland, LaMarcus Aldridge scored 23 points as Portland snapped Memphis’ seven-game winning streak. Aldridge hit his first five shots and scored 14 points during the first quarter, while Marcus Camby grabbed a season-high 22 rebounds and five blocks. OJ Mayo had 20 ponts to lead Memphis.

PORTLAND: Trail Blazers guard Jamal Crawford (left) flies to the hoop past Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen during the second half of their NBA basketball game.—AP

NBA results/standings NBA results and standings on Tuesday: NY Knicks 111, Charlotte 78; Orlando 102, Indiana 83; Miami 92, Cleveland 85; Toronto 99, Phoenix 96; Portland 97, Memphis 84. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT GB Philadelphia 12 5 .706 Boston 7 9 .438 4.5 NY Knicks 7 10 .412 5 New Jersey 5 13 .278 7.5 Toronto 5 13 .278 7.5 Central Division Chicago 16 3 .842 Indiana 11 5 .688 3.5 Milwaukee 6 10 .375 8.5 Cleveland 6 10 .375 8.5 Detroit 4 14 .222 11.5 Atlanta Orlando Miami Charlotte Washington

Southeast Division 13 5 .722 12 5 .706 .5 12 5 .706 .5 3 15 .167 10 2 15 .118 10.5

Western Conference Northwest Division Oklahoma City14 3 .824 Denver 12 5 .706 2 Utah 10 5 .667 3 Portland 11 7 .611 3.5 Minnesota 7 10 .412 7 Pacific Division LA Clippers 9 5 .643 LA Lakers 10 8 .556 Phoenix 6 11 .353 Sacramento 6 12 .333 Golden State 5 11 .313 San Antonio Dallas Memphis Houston New Orleans

1 4.5 5 5

Southwest Division 11 7 .611 11 7 .611 10 7 .588 .5 10 7 .588 .5 3 14 .176 7.5

Heat 92, Cavaliers 85 In Miami, Chris Bosh scored 17 of his 35 points in the fourth quarter to shore up misfiring Miami’s unconvincing win over lowly Cleveland. Bosh made 10 of 16 shots and equalled his highest points total since joining the Heat. LeBron James a d d e d 1 8 a g a i n s t h i s o l d te a m . Ky r i e I r v i n g Cleveland’s No. 1 overall draft pick last year - scored 17 points on 7-for-11 shooting. Raptors 99, Suns 96 In Phoenix, Andrea Bargnani returned from injury to score 27 of his 36 points in the second half, guiding Toronto past Phoenix. The Raptors snapped an eight-game losing skid and beat Phoenix for the first time in eight years. Toronto had lost 14 in a row to Phoenix. Former Suns star Leandro Barbosa scored 19 for the Raptors. Marcin Gortat had 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Suns. Knicks 111, Bobcats 78 In Charlotte, New York snapped its six-game losing skid while deepening Charlotte’s own losing spell to five straight. Tyson Chandler had 20 points and 17 rebounds against his former team, shooting 9 for 10 from the field. Amar’e Stoudemire chipped in with 18 points and eight rebounds for the Knicks, who dominated inside the key, outrebounding the Bobcats 53-33. Kemba Walker, star ting at point guard in place of D.J. Augustin, led Charlotte with 22 points.—AP


THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012

S P ORT S

Myopic board, aloof captain preside over India’s decline NEW DELHI: For a month, a nation of 1.2 billion cricket crazy fans woke up at an ungodly hour, crawled out of the blanket’s warmth and switched on their televisions hoping to watch India’s favourite sons winning their first test series in Australia. With captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his Indian team hurtling from one humiliation to another in Australia, most have stopped this selfflagellation. Instead, they are wondering what happened to the bunch that promised to rule cricket much like West Indies and Australia have done in the past. A myopic board, an indifferent captain and the transition crisis that both have been trying to run away from have largely led to the spectacular decline of the team. First the board. Being the world’s richest cricketing entity, the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) rude financial health remains a role model for other Indian sports federations surviving solely on government largesse. Not its short-sightedness. Last of the top boards to embrace Twenty20,

BCCI sniffed easy money in cricket’s shortest format and launched the Indian Premier League in 2008 which now has an estimated $3.67 billion brand value. While it secured many a career, IPL also effected an aspirational change which resulted in an IPL slot being more coveted than an India test cap. For many budding cricketers, the very thought of whacking every ball out of the park, a Twenty20 demand, appears much more exciting than mastering the painstaking craft of grafting. This in a country notorious for producing batsmen vulnerable against seam and bounce which England and Australia have so ruthlessly exposed over the last six months. Punjab Cricket Association have already banned their under-21 players from all Twenty20 tournaments, including IPL, to make sure the brevity of the crash-bang format is not allowed to paper over the cracks of their technical inadequacies. BCCI, however, remains blind to reality and immune to demands for better promotion of four-

day cricket and the need for lively pitches to help batsmen improve their technique. The board also chose to ignore the transition crisis that looms large over the team. Ageing stalwarts Sachin Tendulkar (38), Rahul Dravid (39) and VVS Laxman (37) are well past their prime but a lack of succession plan means there would be intimidating big boots to fill when BCCI eventually musters the will to phase out the seniors. “We can’t always think short-term. We need to start building a team as well,” former India opener Anshuman Gaekwad told Reuters earlier this month. Building a team for future was the theme of Dhoni’s media interaction as well minutes after he guided India to the 50-over World Cup victory in Mumbai last year. Ten months since and Dhoni himself appears to have lost interest in the longer version of the game, hinting in Perth he might quit test cricket to focus on the 2015 World Cup. “I definitely feel that Dhoni does not enjoy test cricket,” former India skipper Sourav Ganguly told Aaj Tak channel.

“His performance in test and ODI cricket are poles apart and by making such a statement, he has also perhaps explained his complete disinterest in the longer format of the game,” Ganguly added. Dhoni’s leadership has lacked the usual edge in Australia and ‘Captain Cool’ was ridiculed by a cricket expert who likened him to an Indian bank clerk - with no real passion or anger. Be it opting for a baffling all-pace attack in Perth, poor handling of his bowlers and fielders or his own prolonged bad patch with the bat, Dhoni hardly looked like the captain of the team that won the World Cup and topped the test rankings last year. Since then, it has been a steady decline under Dhoni as India got whitewashed in England last year and face another in Australia now, triggering a media backlash and prompting an Indian model to call them “faithful husbands” who “perform only at home”. Introspection has never been BCCI’s strong point but the rout in Australia merits a thorough soul-searching and the earlier they realises it, the better it is for Indian cricket. — Reuters

Clarke and Ponting flay India with double double

ABU DHABI: England’s bowler Graeme Swann gets low to stop the ball during the first day of the second cricket Test match of a three match series between England and Pakistan at Zayed Cricket Stadium. — AP

Pakistan recover against England ABU DHABI: Half centuries by captain Misbah-ul-Haq and Asad Shafiq helped Pakistan recover to 256-7 against butterfingered England on day one of the second Test yesterday. Misbah, who won the toss, was unbeaten on 83 while Shafiq made a composed 58 as scratchy fielding allowed them to put on a century-stand for the fifth wicket. What was expected to be a batsmen’s pitch turned out to have more life than Pakistan expected. England, despite its missed chances, still made stumps with hopes of bowling out Pakistan for under 300, while the home side could harbor confidence of passing 300 as long as their captain stayed at the crease. He’s already been there for nearly four hours. “We have lost two wickets more than we would have liked,” Pakistan opener Taufeeq Umar said. “The good thing is Misbah is still there and if we manage a 300-plus total then our spinners have a good chance because spin on this pitch has surprised everyone.” Misbah, dropped on 30 by James Anderson, hit five fours and four sixes. Shafiq, dropped on 53 by Alastair Cook close to the wicket, hit seven boundaries and a straight six off recalled spinner Monty Panesar. Misbah took 142 balls to raise his half century but finished the day with a flourish by hitting Panesar for successive sixes in the last over. England captain Andrew Strauss contributed to the poor day in the field when he floored a chest-high catch of Adnan Akmal before the batsman had scored, off Anderson’s second delivery with the second new ball. Pakistan was struggling at 103-4 just after lunch, but Misbah and Shafiq resisted for more than two hours to regain momentum. Misbah lofted Panesar for two successive sixes over the long on boundary early in his knock, but waited patiently thereafter to hit his first boundary after tea as the wicket eased out for batting. Shafiq struggled for nearly half an hour but gained confidence with some crisp boundaries on both sides of the wicket. He brought up his half century with a sharp single off Panesar before he was caught on the back leg by Graeme Swann while attempting a sweep shot. Earlier, Mohammad Hafeez (31) and Umar (16) provided a steady start of 51 runs. The openers were little troubled in the first hour and put on 41. Hafeez cut Swann’s very first delivery to backward point for a boundary, but soon the offspinner got his line right and

bowled well in tandem with Panesar as the Sheikh Zayed Stadium pitch, which usually is a featherbed for batsmen, began offering assistance to both spinners. Swann uprooted Umar’s off stump when the left-hander offered no shot to a straight delivery and Panesar bowled Hafeez off a beautifully bowled arm ball, only a delivery after dropping the batsman off his own bowling. Stuart Broad provided England a sniff of running through the opposition when he sent Younis Khan’s (24) and Azhar Ali’s (24) off stumps cartwheeling in the second session in space of five runs. Broad, who took 3-47, trapped Akmal for 9, then Swann, with 3-52, brushed the off stump of Abdur Rehman for a duck late in the day. Panesar, playing his first Test since 2009, replaced paceman Chris Tremlett, who has a back injury and will be flying back home. Pakistan also made one change from the side that won the first test by 10 wickets, with fast bowler Aizaz Cheema making way for young paceman Junaid Khan. — AP

SCOREBOARD ABU DHABI: Scoreboard at the close on the opening day of the second test between Pakistan and England at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium yesterday: Pakistan first innings Mohammad Hafeez b Panesar 31 Taufeeq Umar b Swann 16 Azhar Ali b Broad 24 Younus Khan b Broad 24 Misbah-ul-Haq not out 83 Asad Shafiq lbw b Swann 58 Adnan Akmal lbw b Broad 9 Abdur Rehman b Swann 0 Saeed Ajmal not out 0 Extras: (b-8, lb-1, nb-2) 11 Total: (seven wickets; 94 overs) 256 Fall of wickets: 1-51 2-61 3-98 4-103 5-203 6-216 7-243 Still to bat: Umar Gul, Junaid Khan. Bowling (to date): Anderson 18-5-45-0 (nb-1), Broad 23-3-47-3 (nb-1), Panesar 339-91-1, Swann 18-2-52-3, Trott 2-0-12-0. England: Andrew Strauss (captain), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Monty Panesar.

ADELAIDE: Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke hit masterful double centuries to drive Australia to 604 for seven declared before their bowlers reduced India to 61 for two at the end of second day of the fourth Test yesterday. Sachin Tendulkar, who had scored 12 not out, and Gautam Gambhir, unbeaten on 30, were at the crease at stumps after the in-form Australian pace attack had dismissed stand-in India captain Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid. Already 3-0 down in the series after three emphatic defeats, India had laboured in the field in the morning as Clarke and his predecessor as Australia captain Ponting ruthlessly, and often stylishly, drove home their advantage. Clarke, who hit a brilliant 329 in the Sydney Test, made 210 and Ponting scored 221 in a record fourth-wicket stand of 386, albeit on a flat wicket at a sweltering Adelaide Oval. They were separated two balls after lunch when Clarke was bowled by Umesh Yadav and three more wickets fell before Australia declared shortly after a Ryan Harris six had taken them past 600 seven overs into the final session. “It was about trying to get to 600 and we still had plenty of time left in the day, which is pleasing,” Clarke told reporters. “We scored quite quickly in our innings and to take those two key wickets today is a really good start for us but there’s a lot of work still to be done. “It’s about as good a batting wicket as you’ll get so we’re in for a good workout.” Paceman Peter Siddle made a good start to the job when he struck in the first ball of his first over to remove Sehwag caught and bowled for 18. In the next over, Dravid was bowled for the sixth time in seven innings in the series, deceived by a Ben Hilfenhaus delivery that struck the Indian on his elbow and hit the stumps. Indian paceman Ishant Sharma (0-100) was left grasping at the straws of history, recalling his country’s victory at the Adelaide Oval eight years ago. “There is a positive, even in 2003 they scored 550-odd runs and we won the game from there,” he said. “Everyone is positive and looking forward to a good next three days.” After resuming at 335-3, Clarke and Ponting had passed their own record partnership for Australia against India of 288, which they set in the Sydney test, inside the first hour. The next mark to fall was the all-time record partnership for the Adelaide Oval, which came when they exceeded the 341 that Eddie Barlow and Graeme Pollock shared in 1964. Clarke brought up his second double century of the series just before lunch with two runs through mid-wicket, celebrating with his ritual kiss of the insignia on his helmet. The 30-year-old took 361 minutes and 255 balls to reach the milestone with another imperious display, which included 25 fours and one six. Ponting was forced to wait nervously through the lunch break for his second double century against India at Adelaide after the 242 he hit in a losing cause in 2003. The sixth double century of his career finally came courtesy of a trademark pull to midwicket for his 21st four in the 459-minute, 357-ball innings and the celebration left no doubt what it meant to the Tasmanian. Clarke had already departed after being bowled between bat and pad by paceman Yadav, the first wicket to fall in more than three sessions. The stand was two runs short of the Australian record for a fourth-wicket partnership of 388 set by Donald Bradman and Bill Ponsford at Headingly in 1934. Mike Hussey, who had waited six hours and 20 minutes to bat, made a quickfire 25 from 33 balls before a brilliant Gambhir throw saw him run out. Ponting followed soon afterwards when another pull shot off Zaheer Khan found a leaping Tendulkar on the boundary. Spinner Ravi Ashwin’s carrom ball accounted for Peter Siddle (2) to give wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, standing in for banned India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, his first test catch. Brad Haddin, who hit a six to open his account, had made 42 not out and shared a 71-run partnership with Harris (35 not out) when Clarke called them back to the dressing room. — Reuters

S Lanka sack coach Marsh COLOMBO: Sri Lanka Cricket yesterday sacked its Australian coach Geoff Marsh and replaced him with South African Graham Ford as part of a major shake-up following the national team’s poor run. Marsh’s sacking came after Tillakaratne Dilshan quit his captaincy on Monday and former skipper Mahela Jayawardene was brought in to lead the team for the upcoming triangular oneday series with India. “The executive committee of Sri Lanka Cricket takes this opportunity to wish... the newly appointed coach Graham Ford the best of luck during their tenure with the national team,” the statement said. “They also convey their gratitude to Geoff Marsh the outgoing national coach,” the state-

ment said. There was no immediate comment from Marsh or Ford. Ford, 51, is the fourth coach since Australian Trevor Bayliss stepped aside after the World Cup final in April 2011. Bayliss’s assistant Stuart Law took over for the England series and quit to coach Bangladesh. Sri Lankan pace bowler Rumesh Ratnayake took over for the home series against Australia and was replaced by Marsh. There was no immediate comment from Marsh, who had a two-year contract with Sri Lanka Cricket. Sri Lanka’s sports minister last week named a four-member selection panel and gave them one year to put the team in order after the side lost Test and one-day series to England, Australia, Pakistan and South Africa. A former all-rounder,

Ford quit as head coach of the Dolphins, the Durban-based franchise last week, and said he wanted to “follow my dreams of involvement at an international level”. Ford replaced Bob Woolmer in 1999 as South African coach, a post he held till 2001. He shifted to Kent as director of cricket in 2004, and returned home in 2006 to take charge of the Dolphins. In June 2007, he famously turned down an offer to coach India, after being chosen to replace Australian Greg Chappell. In 2009, he withdrew his name as candidate to coach England. Sri Lanka’s team manager Anura Tennakoon was also replaced yesterday with former player Charith Senanayake. — AFP

ADELAIDE: Australia’s Michael Clarke celebrates his double century during the fourth cricket Test against India yesterday. — AP

SCOREBOARD ADELAIDE: Scoreboard at the close of play on the second day of the fourth test between Australia and India at the Adelaide Oval yesterday: Australia won the toss and elected to bat Australia first innings (overnight 335-3) E. Cowan c Laxman b Ashwin 30 D. Warner lbw Zaheer 8 S. Marsh b Ashwin 3 R. Ponting c Tendulkar b Zaheer 221 M. Clarke b Yadav 210 M. Hussey run out 25 B. Haddin not out 42 P. Siddle c Saha b Ashwin 2 R. Harris not out 35 Extras: (b-3, lb-17, w-8) 28 Total: (for seven wickets dec, 157 overs)604 Fall of wickets: 1-26 2-31 3-84 4-470 5-520 6-530 7-533 Did not bat: B. Hilfenhaus, N. Lyon. Bowling: Zaheer 31-4-96-2 (w-3), Yadav 26-

1-136-1 (w-5), Ashwin 53-6-194-3, Sharma 30-6-100-0, Sehwag 16-0-55-0, Kohli 1-0-3-0. India first innings G. Gambhir not out 30 V. Sehwag c & b Siddle 18 R. Dravid b Hilfenhaus 1 S. Tendulkar not out 12 Extras: 0 Total: (for two wickets, 21 overs) 61 Fall of wickets: 1-26 2-31 Still to bat: VVS Laxman, V. Kohli, W. Saha, Z. Khan, I. Sharma, R. Ashwin, U. Yadav. Bowling: Harris 6-2-18-0, Hilfenhaus 6-121-1, Siddle 3-0-13-1, Lyon 5-2-9-0, Clarke 11-0-0. Australia lead the four-match series 3-0.

Zimbabwe looking for respectability in NZ test NAPIER: Zimbabwe will approach its one-off Test against New Zealand from today keenly aware that every international match it plays strengthens or loosens its foothold in world cricket after a long and sometimes bitter exile. The years that Zimbabwe spent on the sidelines of world cricket - a consequence of dismal results and domestic political volatility - ended in August when they beat Bangladesh in a match that heralded its return to test status. Zimbabwe then strongly pressed New Zealand in a solitary Test in Bulawayo late last year, holding the upper hand until the final session when the young fast bowler Doug Bracewell bowled New Zealand to a 34-run win. That performance and a strong hit-out in its warm-up match - a three-dayer against a composite XI containing several New Zealand test players - will send Zimbabwe into the Test at McLean Park confident of a respectable display. Coach Alan Butcher said Zimbabwe believed it could match New Zealand after its recent experience at home. “There was no doubt New Zealand were very worried up until tea time on that last day,” he said. “I hope we can visibly get them as worried again in this test. “It’s obviously going to be more difficult on their home patch but that’s what I would hope for. If we do that, perhaps this time we will have more know-how to go on and win the game.” Wicketkeeper Tatenda Taibu, a relative veteran of 27 tests, said Zimbabwe was eager to reestablish itself as one of test cricket’s earnest battlers. “When one door closes another one opens,” Taibu said. “Being away from test cricket, the guys are really hungry to really do well in the games we do have. Because cricket evolves, there’s no doubt we’ll be a little behind. “I’m sure the more we play, we will catch up with the rest of the countries, and get back to where we were with the test game.” Zimbabwe also meets a New Zealand team in a period of transition. Its test win over

Australia in Hobart in December buoyed New Zealand’s spirits, but the team that will face Zimbabwe will contain several changes from that side. New Zealand named B.J. Watling as wicketkeeper on Wednesday, ending a period of uncertainty over whether Watling - who has played six tests as a batsman - or the uncapped Kruger van Vyk would replace the dropped Reece Young. “BJ always had the inside running,” New Zealand captain Ross Taylor said. “The way he kept (for the New Zealand XI) in Gisborne was promising and he had a good knock with the bat in the first innings. “It was always going to be BJ but it was nice to see him score some runs and keep pretty well. “I guess every time you select someone there’s the hope they take the spot and can fill it for years to come.” The New Zealand players have mostly been involved in a domestic Twenty20 competition since the test series against Australia, but Wright is heartened that top-order batsmen Brendon McCullum, Martin Guptill and Dean Brownlie have been in solid form. “Those three come in to give us some sort of opportunity to cash in on ball striking,” New Zealand coach John Wright said. “In the end, it’s the balance of working out how to play five-day cricket, which is, you know, hitting the right shots at the right balls.” Squads New Zealand: Ross Taylor (captain), Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Dean Brownlie, Martin Guptill, Chris Martin, Brendon McCullum, Tim Southee, Daniel Vettori, Kruger van Wyk, B.J. Watling, Same Wells, Kane Williamson. Zimbabwe: Brendan Taylor (captain), Regis Chakabva, Elton Chigumbura, Graeme Cremer, Kyle Jarvis, Hamilton Masakadza, Shingirai Masakadza, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Tinotenda Mawoyo, Keegan Meth, Forster Mutizwa, Raymond Price, Tatenda Taibu, Prosper Utseya, Brian Vitori, Malcolm Waller. — AP


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Asia commercial future remains bright — official MELBOURNE: Li Na and Peng Shuai’s early exit from the Australian Open will effect its television penetration in China this year, but organisers are confident their long-term Asian strategy can offset the effects of any ‘great switch off’. Li’s progress to last year ’s women’s singles final witnessed a massive increase in cumulative television figures in China from 59 million in 2010 to 135 million in 2011, with almost 18 million tuning in for the title decider against Kim Clijsters. Li and Zheng Jie had also made the semi-finals in 2010, though world number 17 Peng crashed out in the second round this year while Li and Zheng were beaten in the fourth. “Television ratings are enormous

(when Chinese players do well) and the falloff when players are knocked out does have an effect.” Tennis Australia commercial director Steve Ayles told Reuters. “But it’s important to remember that people watch the Australian Open for the Australian Open,” he added. “It’s a global event... and it really balances itself out with the global broadcasting, because people will still watch their own local players and ratings will continue to be high.” Ayles said the progress of Japan’s Kei Nishikori to the men’s quarterfinals had also been a boost for their Asian exposure and organisers had noticed an increase in visitors from Japan and China this year, with ticket sales for Chinese tour packages up 30 percent from 2011.

The Australian Open branded itself as “ The Grand Slam of Asia/Pacific” more than a decade ago and Tennis Australia began to develop commercial partnerships and relationships throughout the continent. The two singles trophies went on tours to three cities in China last October, while the tournament recruits ballkids from Asian countries and runs coaching and umpiring symposiums throughout the continent. “Generally when we talk about out Asia-Pacific strategy the performance of any Asian players will help... but it’s not just about (that),” Ayles said. “It’s about making sure you have got the programmes and activities going around those regions to

directly benefit from that. “ The more you have got out there, the more tentacles in place, then when these things (Asian player success) come along the more you can benefit.” One of the strategic benefits for the tournament was that it was in “the same time zones” as the major markets in East Asia, which boosted the value of its television contracts contributing about 25 percent of tournament revenue. Television exposure was critical Ayles added, to first get people engaged in the sport then as the middle classes grew in Asia with increased access to tennis facilities and coaching to get them playing. “Tennis is becoming of greater interest but the accessibility of it has grown as well and it will continue to

grow over the next 20 years. “What we’re trying to do is make sure that we are ready for that growth. “The Australian Open is 100 years old and we’re looking ahead not to the next 20 to 30 years but trying to ensure its next 100 years.” Despite projections of slowing growth in Asian economies, Ayles said the positive was they were still growing, which was only beneficial for the sport. “In 20 years, these countries will still have more in terms of economic development and infrastructure, which leads to more people playing the sport, so we’re not worried about it,” he added. The Australian Open, which earns about A$135 million ($141.27 million) in revenue a year, also partnered with state and federal gov-

ernment to leverage off the exposure the tournament received, Ayles said. The partnership with government officials has become an increasingly important one, with intermittent suggestions in the past that the tournament could be moved to another venue either domestically, or to China. Officials had committed to an A$800 million revamp of the venue, with an A$383 million project due to start shortly that will put a roof on Margaret Court Arena, the third showcourt, and be completed in time for 2015. “The Australian Open is guaranteed in Melbourne for the next 30 years,” Ayles said. “It’s the Australian Open for a reason. I don’t envisage it moving.” —Reuters

Djokovic and Murray join Nadal, Federer in semis Sharapova, Kvitova advance into semifinals

BREMEN: Soccer player Francois Affolter (left) and Bremen’s manager Klaus Aloffs, pose during a press conference yesterday. Swiss U-21 national player Affolter signed a contract with German Bundesliga soccer club SV Werder Bremen. —AP

Juventus cruise in Italian Cup TURIN: A stunning strike by veteran Alessandro Del Piero helped Juventus to a 3-0 win over 10-man Roma on Tuesday which put the Serie A leader into the Italian Cup semifinals. Juventus took an early lead through Emanuele Giaccherini before Del Piero doubled his side’s advantage in the 30th minute with a perfect curling effort. It was the 37-year-old’s veteran’s first goal for Juventus this season and the popular forward was resoundingly applauded when he went off 13 minutes from time, with coach Antonio Conte also joining in the lengthy standing ovation. Any chance Roma had of getting back into the match all but evaporated when Erik Lamela was sent off in the 69th for kicking Giorgio Chiellini. Roma’s miserable night was complete when defender Simon Kjaer fired into his own net in the final minute. Juve, which is unbeaten this campaign, will meet AC Milan or Lazio in the next round. “Finally, he scored an amazing goal, he’s been trying for a while,” Conte said. “He will always be the answer for us and never a problem. I’m also delighted for Giaccherini. A few years ago he was in Serie C and now after a lot of work he is living a fairytale. “We’re doing well, we really want to go forward in this competition. I’m happy because even those who haven’t played much were ready and that’s to their credit.” Juventus got off to the perfect start when it took the lead with less than six minutes on the clock. Andrea Barzagli split the Roma defense with a through ball to an unmarked Giaccherini, who raced into the area before firing it past the onrushing goalkeeper and into the far right corner. Roma had a rare sight of goal in the 29th minute but stand-in Juventus goalkeeper Marco Storari rushed out swiftly to comfortably block Miralem Pjanic’s effort. Another mistake in the Roma defense almost gifted Juventus a second goal as Marco Borriello - who arrived on loan from the capital side at the beginning of the month - stole the ball off a

former teammate in the six-yard box, but his pace carried him past the dead ball line before he could strike. Juve did double its lead on the half hour mark when Del Piero curled a fantastic shot into the top right corner. Roma goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg could only watch as it sailed in under the crossbar. It should have extended its advantage six minutes from halftime. Luca Marrone picked out Marcelo Estigarribia on the left flank, he raced into the box and had plenty of time to pick his spot but fired into the side netting. Roma was a better side after the break and carved out several decent opportunities. Lamela’s header went narrowly wide of the right upright shortly after the restart. Fabio Borini also headed wide as Roma tried to get back into the game. However, Lamela was then sent off for kicking Chiellini between the legs in an off-the-ball incident. Fabio Quagliarella should have grabbed the third goal seconds after coming on for Del Piero but he saw his close-range effort crash back off the crossbar after being set up perfectly by Alessandro Matri. Matri also went close seconds later but Kjaer cleared the ball off the line. The Roma defender swiftly went from hero to villain. Quagliarella crossed the ball into the area towards Matri and Kjaer slid in but could only fire the ball in off the grasping arms of Stekelenburg. “My players were maybe a bit scared in the first half but very good in the second,” Roma coach Luis Enrique said. “We did a few mistakes for the first goal and then Del Piero did brilliantly for the second. “What I saw is more or less what I wanted, the result is harsh for us, but we have to continue working because we are on the right road. My team wasn’t inferior to Juventus, but it’s the details which make the difference.” —AP

Mirandes stun Espanyol MADRID: Third-tier Mirandes pulled off one of the biggest upsets in King’s Cup history when they scored in added time to snatch a shock 2-1 comeback win over top-flight side Espanyol on Tuesday that sent them through to the semi-finals on away goals. The 4-4 aggregate result, coming after last week’s first leg in Barcelona finished 32, prompted wild celebrations at the club’s 6,000-capacity stadium in Miranda de Ebro and set up a semi-final against Athletic Bilbao or Real Mallorca. It was only the second time a team from the third level of Spanish soccer has reached the last four of the Cup, as Mirandes, who have an annual budget of just over 1.2 million euros ($1.56 million), followed up their unlikely successes against La Liga clubs Villareal and Racing Santander with another heroic display. “This is amazing,” captain Pablo Infante, a local bank employee who netted the equaliser and provided the assist for the dramatic winner, told Spanish television. “Tomorrow I have to go to work but we

are going to celebrate a bit first,” he added. Espanyol came from two goals down to win the first leg at their Cornella stadium and looked to be cruising when Rui Fonte made it 1-0 and 4-2 on aggregate shortly after halftime. Infante levelled with just over half an hour left and the home side made a mockery of their humble status by laying siege to the Espanyol goal in the final stages before Cesar netted the crucial goal in the second minute of added time. Fans spilled onto the pitch to celebrate with their heroes and the victory prompted messages of congratulation from Spanish internationals including captain Iker Casillas, defender Gerard Pique and midfielder Cesc Fabregas. “Incredible. I am speechless. Spectacular, that’s what football is all about,” Fabregas wrote on his Twitter feed. Bilbao are Mirandes’s likely opponents in the last four after they beat La Liga rivals Real Mallorca 2-0 at the San Mames last week, with the return leg in Palma late yesterday.—Reuters

MELBOURNE: Appearing uncomfortable for much of the match, defending champion Novak Djokovic held on to beat David Ferrer 6-4, 7-6 (4), 6-1 and complete a blockbuster semifinal lineup at the Australian Open. He leads the top four men in tennis into the semis at Melbourne Park - Djokovic against No. 4 Andy Murray, who won his quarterfinal match earlier yesterday 6-3, 6-3, 61 over Kei Nishikori of Japan. Today, No. 2 Rafael Nadal plays No. 3 Roger Federer, the first time the two former top-ranked stars have met in a semifinal since the 2005 French Open. It marks only the third time that the top four seeds have advanced to the semis at the Australian Open - previously it was in 1988 and 2005. It was also the 14th time at all Grand Slams since the Open Era began in 1968, but it has happened in three of the last four after the US Open and French Open last year. Djokovic rubbed the back of his upper left leg on several occasions, looked on the verge of being physically sick in the second set and buried his head in towels several times during breaks. Late in the third set, a tired-looking Djokovic sat down on a linesman’s chair during a line-call video challenge by Ferrer. “I was lucky to get out of the second set, it was a big mental advantage to get two sets up,” Djokovic said. An hour after the match, Djokovic further played down the possibility of any injuries, saying: “I don’t have any physical issues.” “I feel very fit and I feel mentally, as well, very fresh,” he told his post-match news conference. “It’s just today I found it very difficult after a long time to breathe because I felt the whole day my nose was closed a little bit. I just wasn’t able to get enough oxygen.” Ferrer said he couldn’t be sure if Djokovic was healthy - or not. “You have to ask to him,” Ferrer said, “he ran perfect all the match. Nothing special.” The Nadal-Federer semifinal matchup has been rarely possible because the pair held the top two spots for most of the time between 2005 and 2010, meaning they could only meet in the finals after being placed in opposite sides of the draw. Djokovic said

he’d be watching the Nadal and Federer match like any tennis fan. “I will enjoy it from my couch, they’re two out of four or five of the greatest players to play this game, they’ve been so dominant,” Djokovic said. “Every time they play it’s a treat. I’m going to have a nice dinner at home and watch them.” Murray, for his part, is also surprised to be not facing Nadal in the semifinals. “It has been amazing, I pretty much drew to be in Nadal’s half ... almost every Slam,” Murray said. “I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t in his half of the draw. It’s been a long time.” On the women’s side, former and reigning Wimbledon winners Maria Sharapova and Petra Kvitova - two of the three players who can take the No. 1 ranking - advanced to the semifinals. Sharapova won 6-2, 6-3 yesterday against fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova, who knocked out five-time champion Serena Williams in the previous round. Kvitova reached the semifinals at Melbourne Park for the first time with a 6-4, 6-4 win over unseeded Italian Sara Errani. The other player who can reach No. 1 - third-seeded Victoria Azarenka - plays defending champion Kim Clijsters in the other semifinal today. Sharapova must repeat her 2008 Australian title run if she is to take over the No. 1 spot from Caroline Wozniacki, who lost any chance of maintaining her top ranking when she lost in the quarterfinals to Clijsters. Kvitova only has to match or better Azarenka to take the top spot. Sharapova has dropped one set and lost 21 games in five matches. “It’s been a long road back to this stage,” said Sharapova, who spent 10 months off the court with a shoulder injury that required surgery. Sharapova held the No. 1 ranking for seven weeks each in 2005 and 2007 and three weeks in mid2008. “I’ve been fortunate enough to be in that position before,” Sharapova said. “I think the girls that are trying to get that position haven’t been in that position before. It’s a little bit different because I feel like I’ve experienced both things in my career: winning Grand Slams and being No. 1 in the world. You can’t compare the two.” —AP

MELBOURNE: Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after defeating David Ferrer of Spain during their quarterfinal at the Australian Open tennis championship. —AP

MELBOURNE: Maria Sharapova of Russia reacts after winning a point against compatriot Ekaterina Makarova in their quarterfinal at the Australian Open tennis championship. —AP

Europe’s top clubs report rising losses in 2010 NYON: Europe’s top football clubs collectively lost more than euro 1.6 billion ($2 billion) in 2010 and their debts are still rising despite the imminent arrival of sanctions for overspending. With wealthy owners keen to buy success by pumping massive amounts into buying top players, accounts from about 650 clubs reveal 56 percent lost money in the 2010 financial year, and their total debt was euro 8.4 billion ($10.9 billion). UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino said it was “a last wake-up call” with clubs having been subject to UEFA’s financial fair play monitoring since July 2011. “We must end this negative spiral and gamble for success,” Infantino told reporters at a briefing. UEFA’s study showed clubs’ combined annual loss rose 36 percent, about euro 400 million ($520 million), on 2009 figures. This was despite rising revenues totaling euro 12.8 billion ($16.6 billion) for top-tier European clubs, an increased income of 6.6 percent. Still, UEFA’s research showed that richer and more successful clubs were more likely to spend and lose money. Of more than 200

clubs playing in UEFA’s Champions League and Europa League competitions two years ago, 65 percent spent more than they earned. Three out of every four clubs earning more than euro 50 million ($65 million) annually also recorded a loss. “Clubs tend to spend more in order to obtain a competitive advantage,” said Andrea Traverso, the head of UEFA’s financial fair play project. UEFA says clubs who overspend in an initial two-year monitoring period can be excluded from its competitions from the 2014-15 season. Financial fair play (FFP) rules allow clubs to make a total loss of euro 5 million ($6.5 million) in the first assessment period, or up to euro 45 million ($58 million) if a wealthy owner makes a one-off donation to wipe out losses. UEFA will phase in tighter monitoring rules in future years. UEFA acknowledged that 13 clubs, including several from England, would have failed its break-even tests on their 2010 accounts. The clubs were not identified. UEFA points to the fact that 31 clubs, including four this season, have been refused

entry to its two main club competitions since financial licensing was introduced in 2004. However, clubs barred this season were from the small-market leagues of Ireland, Kazakhstan, Lithuania and Romania. Skepticism has grown over UEFA’s willingness to take on big-spending clubs such as Premier League leader Manchester City, whose owners from Abu Dhabi funded a 194.9-million-pound (then $318 million) loss for 2010-11, the final season before FFP took effect. French league leader Paris Saint-Germain spent euro 82 million ($107 million) on players last offseason after being bought by Qatari owners. UEFA’s project was backed by Jean-Michel Aulas, the president of Lyon whose standing in France is threatened by PSG’s revival. Aulas described a “dichotomy” between clubs spending “easy money and money for investment.” “Tomorrow’s paradigm (for clubs) must be built on building stadiums and building youth academies - tangible assets that can benefit football in general,” Aulas said. —AP


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Preview

MALABO: Sudan national soccer team players including Mohamed Tahir (front center) and Nazar Hamid (front right) jog during a training session. Sudan will face Angola today in their second Group B African Cup of Nations match. — AP

Angola ‘actors’ want to present different picture MALABO: Angola tackle Sudan in the Africa Cup of Nations today wanting to silence critics who claim they are a routeone team of Hollywood ‘actors’. The Black Antelopes came under fire from Burkina Faso coach Paulo Duarte after his team conceded soft goals to Mateus and Manucho and lost 2-1 at the Estadio Nuevo de Malabo last weekend. Duarte did not enjoy the long-ball tactics of the Angolans, nor the time-wasting tactics with goalkeeper Carlos suggesting he would fancy a Hollywood audition. “Angola are a good team with good footballers, but in the second half they did not play-they just thumped long balls straight to the strikers,” said the Portuguese coach. “In that game we had one team that wanted to play and another that did not want to play,” he added, referring to constant rhythm-disrupting injury stoppages during the second half. While Jose ‘Lito’ Vidigal did not respond, a victory over Sudan and six points in the Group B bag ahead of a final-round showdown with hot pool favourites Ivory Coast would be the perfect answer. What the Angolans displayed against the Burkinabe was clinical finishing with powerful close-range shooting from Mateus and former Manchester United striker Manucho. Like the other seven losers in the first series of group games, Sudan realise another loss would almost certainly end any chance of making the knockout phase in the biennial African

football showcase. A victory is certainly long overdue for the Jediane Falcons, whose previous triumph was in the 1970 final against Ghana when the Cup of Nations was a much lower-profile competition with only eight qualifiers. Coach Mohamed Abdallah was 16 when Sudan lifted the Cup in Khartoum, but none of the current squad captained by 34-year-old midfielder Haitham Mostafa had been born. Sudan are alone among the 16 title challengers in fielding only local players, the majority of whom come from Omdurman giants Al Hilal and Al Merreikh. They performed above expectations when losing 1-0 to an Ivory Coast side without a single local footballer and boasting an all-English Premier League attack of Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou of Chelsea and Gervinho of Arsenal. Abdallah dreams that one day a Sudanese star will run out at Stamford Bridge or the Emirates Stadium and transform the Falcons into Cup of Nations title contenders rather than a side battling to make the quarter-finals. “Sudan have been absent from the finals for a long time and now we have made two of the last three tournaments so there is progress,” said the permanently animated 58-year-old coach. What he will hope for against Angola is more of the football Sudan displayed late in the first half after falling behind with one scoring attempt superbly saved and another rattling the crossbar. —AFP

MALABO: Ivory Coast players participate in a training session at Estadio La Paz (‘Peace Stadium’) in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. —AP

Generous Burkina Faso must be stingy against Ivory Coast MALABO: Burkina Faso must stop conceding soft goals if they are to have any hope of defeating Ivory Coast today and getting their Africa Cup of Nations campaign back on track. Error-ridden defending cost the Stallions from west Africa dearly in the opening Group B matches last weekend as they slumped 2-1 to Angola in this island capital of co-hosts Equatorial Guinea. Culprits like the unrelated Bakary Kone and Djakaridja Kone know the Elephants possess some of the most clinical finishers on the continent in captain Didier Drogba, Chelsea team-mate Salomon Kalou and Gervinho from Arsenal. Bakary casually juggled with the ball in his penalty area and lost possession to scorer Mateus while Djakaridja was equally careless as he allowed former Manchester United striker Manucho become the match winner. While the Burkinabe were gifting three points to Angola in a game considered by many pundits as a virtual secondplace play-off, hot group favourites Ivory Coast won 1-0 against spirited Sudan via a Drogba header. Portuguese coach Paulo Duarte admits his team “need to score more goals and improve their positional play and defending,” to have a chance of reaching the quarter-finals for only the second time in eight

attempts. Since defeating Guinea at the mini-league stage of the 1998 tournament they hosted, Burkina Faso have drawn six matches, lost nine, scored 13 goals and conceded 28 at the biennial African football showpiece. Those statistics translate to four first round exits since finishing fourth in Ouagadougou 14 years ago while Ivory Coast have come second and fourth during the same time spell. This is the third consecutive Cup of Nations in which they have been installed as the media and bookmakers’ favourites to lift the trophy and coach Francois Zahoui was satisfied with a solid if unspectacular start. “Our target is to win a short and very difficult competition,” stressed the former Italy-based professional hoping to become the first black coach to lift the Cup of Nations since compatriot Yeo Martial 20 years ago. That was the only time the Elephants conquered Africa and success was based on a powerful defence backed by outstanding goalkeeper Alain Gouamene that did not concede a goal in five outings. “There are many things we can improve on, but the important thing is winning the Cup. I’m not saying the way we play is unimportant, but our first priority now is to beat Burkina Faso.” —AFP

After deluge Zambia hit back twice to hold Libya BATA: Zambia came from behind twice to draw 2-2 with fairytale qualifiers Libya yesterday in a rain-delayed Africa Cup of Nations Group A match. Ahmed Osman struck early in each half for the Libyans on a barely playable Estadio de Bata pitch, but his goals were cancelled out as Emmanuel Mayuka and captain Christopher Katongo netted. The result means pre-tournament 125/1 rank outsiders and co-hosts Equatorial Guinea will become the first team to reach the quarter-finals if they defeat Senegal in the second half of a double-header. Libya, whose players risked their lives to fulfil qualifying fixtures while a civil war raged in the north African country, retained a mathematical chance of making the last eight. The kick-off of the first second-round group fixture was delayed 76 minutes after torrential late-afternoon rain dotted the pitch at the 35,000-seat stadium with mini lakes. Efforts to clear puddles of varying sizes included the use of brooms, long and short planks of wood and the belated appearance of a machine which speeded up the process. However, it was questionable whether the game should have gone ahead with a large area of the pitch near the touchline in front of the main stand a muddy, waterlogged mess. Katongo questioned the decision to stage the game. “It wasn’t easy and I’m quite disappointed the referee took this decision. It was only in the middle of the pitch that we could play a bit, everywhere else it was pingpong, and we don’t know how to play pingpong,” he said. “Our game is on the ground, and the ball wouldn’t move. We did what we could - the ref made a decision, a human being can make a mistake.” Libya’s Brazilian coach Marcos Paqueta said: “It was hard for both teams to play in these

BATA: Libya’s Younis al-Shibani and Zambia’s Emmanuel Mayuka fight for the ball during their African Cup of Nations Group A soccer match yesterday. — AP conditions. “I think the result was deserved. We were up against a very good Zambia side, the group favourites. We still have a chance to qualify.” Libya’s captain and goalkeeper Samir Abod added: “The conditions were very difficult, it was hard to control the ball. “Given the state of the pitch the coach issued instructions based on playing the ball long.” Walid El Khatroushi, who quit football temporarily last year to fight for the rebels who toppled Moamer Kadhafi, created the fifth-minute opening goal with a slide rule pass and Osman beat onrushing goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene to score. Forced to retire injured in the loss to Equatorial Guinea last weekend, midfielder El Khatroushi was out of luck again midway

through the first half with Ihab El Busaifi taking his place. Fast-footed Zambia were not finding the heavy conditions to their liking against more direct opponents, but they gradually took command and it was no surprise when they levelled just before the half-hour mark. Rainford Kalaba floated a superb cross to the far post where Mayuka hooked the ball across 39-year-old Abod into the far corner of the net. Osman struck again two minutes after halftime, showing excellent control inside the sixyard box to score with a shot that went in off a post after Zambia failed to clear a low El Busaifi cross. No Zambian heads dropped, though, and they equalised again after 54 minutes when a cross and a bicycle kick set up unmarked captain Katongo to nod home at the far post. —AFP

E Guinea reach last eight, eliminate Senegal BATA: Rank outsiders Equatorial Guinea reached the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals yesterday and eliminated Senegal with a shock 2-1 triumph at rain-soaked Estadio de Bata. Iban ‘Randy’ Iyanga put a team ranked 151 in the world ahead on 62 minutes, Moussa Sow equalised a minute from time but David Alvarez snatched the winner four minutes into stoppage time. The 125/1 tournament co-hosts have a maximum six points and a draw with Zambia in Malabo Sunday will ensure a team that hired Brazilian coach Gilson Paulo less than three weeks ago top the table. Zambia and Libya are also in contention for a knockout place with the former holding a three-point advantage after a thrilling 2-2 draw in the first half of a double-header that nearly did not take place because of torrential rain. Equatorial Guinea stuck with the team that snatched a late winner over Libya in the opening match of the tournament last weekend, meaning no starting place for team captain Rodolfo Bodipo. Senegal coach Amara Traore axed three of the team beaten by Zambia four days ago, including veteran captain and striker Mamadou Niang, with Sow and Remi Gomis the others. Centre-back Kader Mangane was given the armband and into the Teranga Lions line-up came Issiar Dia, Dame N’Doye and recent Newcastle United signing Papiss Demba Cisse. Dia from Turkish club giants Fenerbahce proved an inspired choice as he was a constant irritant to the Equatoguinean defence down the right flank, showing speed and skill in the area of the pitch worst affected by an earlier downpour. While Senegal goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul was seldom tested, Brazil-born opposite number Danilo was kept busy as the

Today’s matches on TV

African Nations Cup Sudan v Angola ........................... 19:00 Aljazeera Sport +3 Aljazeera Sport 2 HD Ivory Coast v Burkina Faso ......... 22:00 Aljazeera Sport +9 Aljazeera Sport 2 HD

Italian Cup AC Milan v Lazio .......................... 22:45 Aljazeera Sport +1 Aljazeera Sport 1 HD

Spain Copa del Rey Levante v Valencia .......................23:30 Aljazeera Sport +2

BATA: Senegal’s Souleymane Diawara (left) clears the ball ahead of Equatorial Guinea’s JavierAngel Balboa during their African Cup of Nations Group A soccer match. —AP

visitors sought to break through at the 35,000-seat stadium in this port city. A surging Dia run that ended with a superb clearing tackle from Laurence Doe signalled the intent of the Lions and Cisse came close when his close-range lob was tipped over by the Equatoguinean goalkeeper. Cisse was let down by a poor first touch when in a threatening position before Demba Ba wasted the best chance of the half by sidefooting wide a Dia cross when he should at least have found the target. When Danilo handled a long back pass

from captain Juvenal Edjogo, he was cautioned and Senegal were awarded a free kick inside the penalty area that they wasted with a kick straight at a defender. It was a different story after half-time with Equatorial Guinea pressing forward more and the predominantly Equatoguinean crowd erupted on 62 minutes when Iyanga headed his side into the lead. Sow stunned the crowd by firing into the net a minute from time after a goalmouth scramble following a free kick only for Alvarez to rifle the winner past Coundoul. — AFP

Rafael cleared to play at African Cup MALABO: Striker Nando Rafael has been cleared to play for Angola by FIFA a day after its opening match at the African Cup of Nations. Angola said yesterday it was informed by FIFA in a letter that the former Germany Under-21 forward was eligible again for his country of birth from Monday - the day after Angola beat Burkina Faso 2-1 in Group B and two days after the tournament kicked off. Rafael, 28, had taken up German citizenship after playing club football there. Angola coach Lito Vidigal said Rafael would be considered for selection for Thursday’s game against Sudan at Estadio de Malabo. Angola is joint top of Group B alongside tournament favorite Ivory Coast, which beat the Sudanese 1-0. “Anybody has the possibility of playing,” Vidigal said. “If Nando, or anyone else, is fit then depending on the conditions of the game then they might play.” The issue of player eligibility is developing into a controversial subject at this year’s African showpiece after co-host Equatorial Guinea field-

ed a string of foreign-born players in its openingday victory over Libya in Bata. Most of the cohost’s squad was born outside the country. The Confederation of African Football said all players at the African Cup had had their eligibility checked with FIFA by the competition organizers, although the world body said that “as a general rule” it was the responsibility of the national associations to ensure players on their teams met the criteria. Angola’s Group B opponent Burkina Faso was only recently cleared to play in the event after a decision by the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport confirmed its Cameroonborn defender Herve Zengue was a naturalized Bukinabe following eligibility doubts over him. Zengue eventually missed out on Burkina Faso’s final squad. Burkina Faso also has a number of Ivory Coast-born players at the tournament and left defender Stephane Agbre off its final squad after conceding there was a problem with his eligibility. It is not the only team at the tournament with foreign-born players. — AP


Djokovic, Murray join Nadal, Federer in semis

Clarke, Ponting flay India with double double

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THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012

E Guinea reach last eight, eliminate Senegal

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SPAIN: Barcelona’s Lionel Messi from Argentina (right) vies for the ball against Real Madrid’s Concentrao during their quarterfinal, second leg, Copa del Rey soccer match at the Camp Nou stadium. —AP

Barca hold on to knock out Real BARCELONA: Barcelona survived a late comeback from holders Real Madrid to knock them out of the Spanish Cup with a 4-3 victory on aggregate after a 2-2 draw at the Nou Camp where the visitors put up a spirited fightback to come from two goals down. Jose Mourinho may still not have won away to Barcelona in nine attempts as a coach whether at Real or any of his other clubs but his team’s performance was a perfect answer to their critics who have blasted their recent poor displays against their arch rivals. First-half goals by Pedro and Dani Alves looked to have put the game beyond the reach of Real but they fought back to level on the night with goals by Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema but in the end came up short

Spanish Cup and had defender Sergi Ramos sent-off late on. Real, looking to overturn the 2-1 first leg quarter-final defeat, set off at a high tempo but went on to miss a hatful of chances with Gonzalo Higuain especially wasteful. The game had just kicked off when Real had their first chance for Higuain but he shot well wide after being played in by a poor Alves back pass. Minutes later and Higuain had another glaring miss. Xabi Alonso floated in a free-kick and Ronaldo stabbed a shot from close range which was blocked by the keeper Jose Pinto and the follow-up fell to the

Argentine who fired over. Real were dictating the play and finding cracks in the Barcelona rearguard but the problem was that they were not making the most of the openings and against a side of the calibre of the Catalans it was always likely to prove costly. Ronaldo shot wide with another opportunity and then after a break by Kaka from midfield he set up Ronaldo, who pushed a bit wide, again was unable to hit the target. Barca were struggling to cope with the darting runs from Mesut Ozil and he was extremely unlucky with a sublime 35-yard

strike which crashed back into play off the woodwork. It seemed as though the ball would never go in for Higuain as after a poor clearance he shot tamely back at the keeper. Barca had offered little but there was a feeling that the sucker punch would come and it did just that two minutes before the breakThe Real defence flocked to block a Lionel Messi run and left Pedro, who came on for the injured Andres Iniesta, free. He slotted the ball with his weaker right foot into the corner. Real were stunned but it got worse as in stoppage time Alves unleashed an unstop-

Liverpool in League Cup final at City’s expense LIVERPOOL: Craig Bellamy came back to haunt his former club Manchester City as Liverpool booked their first Wembley appearance for 16 years after a dramatic 2-2 draw with the Premier League leaders in the semi-final second leg of the League Cup. Leading 1-0 from the first leg, Liverpool were undone by Nigel De Jong’s spectacular 31st minute long-range finish before skipper Steven Gerrard restored their aggregate lead with a controversial 41st minute penalty. But City striker Edin Dzeko made it 2-2 on aggregate after scoring from close range midway through the second half before Bellamy’s well executed 74th minute finish sealed a breathtaking tie in Liverpool’s favor, the Mereyside club advancing 3-2 on aggregate. Bellamy scored 12 goals in 40 top-flight games for City before joining Liverpool for a second spell five months ago on a free transfer after spending the whole of last season on loan at Cardiff. Ironically, it is Cardiff who stand between Liverpool and their first trophy for six years. Kenny Dalglish’s side will now meet the Championship club in the League Cup final on February 26 — Liverpool’s first final at the famous stadium since losing 1-0 to Manchester United in the 1996 FA Cup final. A dramatic evening had started with City opting not to appeal against Mario Balotelli’s four-match suspension for violent conduct in last Sunday’s 3-2 victory over Tottenham. Mancini surprised everyone by starting without Sergio Aguero and James Milner in a game City had to win if last season’s FA Cup winners were to secure a second cup final appearance at Wembley in nine months. It was Liverpool who made the better start with Joe Hart forced to save with his foot to deny Jose Enrique in the fifth minute following a poor

clearance by Aleksander Kolarov. Boasting a slender first leg advantage thanks to Gerrard’s 13th minute penalty, the lively hosts looked in the mood to kill the tie off early. Charlie Adam forced England keeper Hart into

a full-length stop after letting fly from 25-yards before Bellamy was denied after turning City defender Stefan Savic and darting into the area. Daniel Agger produced a fine clearance while under pressure from Dzeko after Kolarov’s 16th

ANFIELD: Liverpool’s English forward Andy Carroll (right) vies with Manchester City’s English defender Joleon Lescott during the English League Cup semi-final second leg football match. — AFP

minute cross before the visitors took the lead against the run of play through De Jong. The former Ajax player has struggled to cement a regular starting place this season. But de Jong had his manager celebrating on the touchline after finding the net with a swerving shot from 30-yards after Liverpool had failed to close him down. But City’s lead lasted just nine minutes as Liverpool levelled before half-time in controversial circumstances, Gerrard burying the ball beyond Hart after Micah Richards was harshly adjudged to have handled Agger’s shot. Although television replays showed the defender did touch the ball after it bounced from his shin, it was not intentional and City’s players argued long and hard but to no avail. Leading 2-1 on aggregate, Liverpool went in search of the goal that would kill the tie off and confirm their place at Wembley. Dirk Kuyt fired straight at Hart from a good position in the 48th minute before the City keeper produced another fine save to deny Martin Skrtel from close range five minutes later. Stewart Downing was the next to be frustrated by City’s stopper after Kuyt had whipped in a cross while Bellamy mis-kicked in front of goal in the 62nd minute. And the squandered opportunities were to prove costly as Dzeko hauled City back on the level terms on aggregate and into a 2-1 lead on the night. Mancini, who had sent on Aguero at the start of the second half, showed little emotion as Dzeko side-footed home from three-yards after Kolarov’s fine cross. But once again City failed to defend their lead as Bellamy exchanged a onetwo with Johnson inside the City box before placing a low curling shot beyond the outstretched hands of Hart. —AFP

pable shot which flew into the roof of the net from the edge of the area. It was always going to be a difficult second half for Real and that was made worse by a disallowed goal for Ramos after a tug on Alves. The game began to turn scrappy but that turned out to help Real as Barca lost their concentration. Alonso slipped a ball through for Ronaldo to round the keeper and score to reopen the game after 67 minutes and then substitute Benzema took advantage of slack defending to bring the scores level. Benzema had a half chance late on and Pedro also headed straight at the keeper Iker Casillas but Barca hung on while Real also saw Ramos dismissed to add salt to the wound. —AFP

Cavani double ends Inter’s Cup defence ROME: A double by Edinson Cavani inspired Napoli to a 2-0 victory over holders Inter Milan in their Italian Cup quarter-final yesterday and revenge for being ousted by them at the same stage of last season’s competition. The highly-regarded Uruguayan struck twice in the second-half to bring an end to not only Inter’s hopes of retaining the trophy but also a run of seven successive victories. Napoli’s win set up a semifinal meeting with Siena, who beat Chievo 1-0 earlier yesterday. Cavani scored his first from the penalty spot in the 50th minute and then hit Inter on the counterattack in the third minute of time added on as their opponents pressed forward in search of an equaliser. However, he still had some work to do to score and outfoxed both Andrea Ranocchia and Julio Cesar to ensure they progressed against an Inter side who were weakened by the absences of striker Giampaolo Pazzini and Brazilian defender Lucio, both out with flu. The holders had their chances and coach Claudio Ranieri will have been heartened by the performance of Dutch playmaker Wesley Sneijder, who came off the bench for his first appearance in two months and went close in the 61st and 81st minutes. The other semi-final will see Jventus, whose second string side humbled AS Roma’s first choice lineup 3-0 on Tuesday, play the winner of Thursday’s quarter-final between AC Milan and Lazio. —AFP


Business

Saudi may cut connection fees in 2013: Mobily CEO Page 22

Obama calls for US to get back to manufacturing Page 25

THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012

Greece hopes for debt deal soon

KSE stocks advance

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DAVOS: (From left) Hans-Paul Buerkner, Global Chief Executive Officer and President of The Boston Consulting Group, John T Chambers, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Cisco, Patricia A. Woertz, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Archer Daniels Midland, Duncan Niederauer, Chief Executive Officer NYSE Euronext, Thomas Enders, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus, Ferit F Sahenk, Chairman Dogus Group and Klaus Kleinfeld, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Alcoa attend a panel session on the first day of the 42nd Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos yesterday. — AP

Davos looks to Merkel for eu rescue Pressure mounts on euro-zone to boost rescue funds DAVOS: The world business and political elite looked to Chancellor Angela Merkel to lift the annual Davos meeting yesterday as Germany again confounded grim forecasts for the euro-zone. With pressure growing on the European Union to boost rescue funds and to prepare more aid for Greece, delegates awaited Merkel’s response in her keynote address at the World Economic Forum later. In Berlin, the leader of Europe’s biggest economy set the tone, telling a group of major dailies that coddling EU laggards was a disservice to the bloc. Shrugging off criticism for attempting to export the German model of budgetary rigor elsewhere in Europe, Merkel said: “I know that means for many a very, very big change, therefore we must support each other.” “But if we shy away from these efforts, are simply just nice to one another and water

down all reform initiatives, then we are certainly doing a disservice to Europe,” she added. At the same time, Europe’s trade unions called for an anti-austerity protest across the continent on February 29, the eve of an EU summit. The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) said the aim of the daylong protest was to urge EU leaders to make employment their top priority. If there is any hope for the EU, it looks likely to come from Germany, which managed to attract long-term funds from investors despite paying a record low interest rate. In an over-subscribed bond sale, the Bundesbank allotted 2.458 billion euros at an average yield of 2.62 percent, the lowest ever for a 30-year issue. Fresh data from Germany also showed that business confidence rose for the third month in a row in Januar y. Pressure is mounting on Europe to get its

house in order as the IMF warned that world economic growth projected to reach 3.3 percent this year, could be slashed by more than half if the debt crisis persisted. The trouble in industrialized Europe is already hurting central and eastern Europe as well as Central Asia, and the World Bank said it would make $27 billion available to help these states. EU members and the IMF have called for a boost to bailout rescue funds by merging the temporary European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF) with the permanent European Stability Mechanism (ESM). While reports emerged that Berlin would agree on condition of stricter discipline from others, it has so far not confirmed the action. Ahead of Merkel’s address, IMF chief Christine Lagarde reiterated the call for combined rescue funds yesterday, saying that it would represent “a very strong signal of confidence in Europe.” “If the two together could make a

common fund, it would be a very strong signal of confidence in Europe,” Lagarde told Europe 1 radio. The debate is gaining momentum ahead of a planned decision by EU leaders at a March 1-2 summit, by which time a treaty establishing the permanent fund is due to be signed. The EFSF still has about 250 billion euros ($325 billion) in its coffers, and it still has a year to run after the entry date for its replacement was brought forward by leaders. In Rome, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said the outline of a solution to Europe’s debt crisis were taking shape thanks to greater willingness by Germany to boost the rescue fund. “The situation is in evolution.... The contours of a possible way out of the grave crisis that has hit Europe are taking shape,” Monti told lawmakers. Bigger rescue funds may be crucial if talks

Dubai passes Feb debt test but more loom DUBAI: Timely repayment of a $500 million bond owed by a unit of Dubai Holding, owned by the emirate’s ruler, will please investors but the focus is on two larger Islamic bonds owed by state-linked firms maturing this year and whether Dubai will step in with financial aid. The Gulf Arab emirate has clawed its way back from the depths of its crippling 2009 debt crisis, helped by a revival in trade and tourism and its safe-haven status amid the Arab Spring revolts. But the emirate still faces a massive debt burden, with approximately $15 bil-

lion in bonds and loans maturing this year alone, according to the International Monetary Fund. Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group’s (DHCOG), which along with its parent is part of the matrix known as Dubai Inc., on Wednesday announced the full repayment of the bond which was due Feb. 1, using its own internal cash flow. The DHCOG 2012 bond was bid at a price of 99.25 yesterday. The bigger question centers on two Islamic bonds, worth $3.25 billion combined, issued by DIFC Investments (DIFCI),

Ahmadinejad ups rates to stem money crisis TEHRAN: Iran increased bank interest rates yesterday and indicated it would further restrict sales of foreign currency, hoping to halt a spiraling currency crisis after new Western sanctions accelerated a dash for dollars by Iranians worried about their economic future. “The economy minister has announced that (Iranian President Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad has agreed with the approval of the Money and Credit Council to increase interest rates on bank deposits to up to 21 percent,” the official IRNA news agency reported. The central bank also told Iranians they should only buy dollars if they are travelling and not hoard them to guard against economic uncertainty. New US and European sanctions targeting Iran’s vital oil exports and its central bank seriously exacerbated a slide in the Iranian currency that was already under way, creating what one senior politician described as economic instability not even witnessed during Iran’s

8-year war with Iraq in the 1980s. The West hopes the economic pressure will force Iran to curb the nuclear work they fear is aimed at making bombs but which Tehran says is entirely peaceful.The rial started weakening after a decision last April to cut interest paid on bank deposits to a range of a 12.5-15.5 percent, below inflation which is currently around 20 percent, prompting many Iranians to withdraw savings and buy gold and foreign currency and pushing up the price of both. The dash for those safe havens accelerated sharply after the new sanctions were announced, resulting in the rial losing 50 percent of its value against the price of dollars available on the open market in just one month. Monday’s decision marks a policy Uturn for Ahmadinejad, who faces a political test in March 2 parliamentary election. He previously vetoed efforts by Central Bank Governor Mahmoud Bahmani to increase rates. — Reuters

the investment arm of the firm that runs Dubai’s financial free zone, and Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA). “The first test for Dubai will be to meet its ($1.25 billion) DIFCI commitment in June but the real test will be JAFZA as it is the largest maturity and at the end of the line - after Dubai will likely have already provided substantial financial assistance to DIFCI,” said Ghassan Chehayeb, associate director of Middle East research at Exotix. Dubai will be loath to tarnish its reputation in debt capital markets and will push state-linked entities to honor traded debt. In 2009, it narrowly averted default on developer Nakheel’s Islamic bond after Abu Dhabi threw it a lastminute lifeline. Since then, the emirate has been in recovery mode and issued two well-received government bonds. “It is essential for Dubai to continue to have a good credit reputation to enable it to continue to access the international markets in future with reasonable borrowing costs,” said Mohammed Ali Yasin, chief investment officer at CAPM Investment in Abu Dhabi. The strategic importance of DIFCI and JAFZA means the state cannot afford to let them fail, and current prices on their sukuk indicate investors are pricing in state support. DIFCI’s $1.25 billion Islamic bond maturing in June was seen at 96 levels while JAFZA’s November 7.5 billion dirham ($2 billion) sukuk was at 94.5 on Wednesday morning. Both have seen a steady recovery from October lows at 8788 levels amid euro zone debt concerns. “Although DIFCI and JAFZA have been less transparent than DHCOG in regard to voicing their commitment to creditors, we believe all Dubai public maturities will be honored in a timely fashion,” said Chehayeb.

Among bondholders are hedge funds, high-yield investors and distressed debt players. Price action as the debt inches closer to maturity will be a key indicator of investor nervousness. Analysts say monetizing assets quickly or financial support from the state are key for both entities. Refinancing the DIFCI or JAFZA maturities through a new issue would require the companies to offer attractive profit or coupon rates on new issues, likely higher than that paid on their upcoming 2012 maturities. “A number of European banks are cutting exposure to the Middle East due to liquidity issues and it is unlikely that the trend will change anytime soon,” said John McWall, head of syndications at Bahrain’s Arab Banking Corp. “Given the change in the creditor and borrower landscape, loan deal volumes look set to decline and pricing will stay relatively expensive.” Many Dubai entities are at different stages of addressing debt obligations. Much of the brunt of restructurings and refinancing is borne by local banks as global banks retreat. While some relatively strong entities face an easier refinancing path, weaker ones will have a tug of war with the bankers. In November, Dubai International Capital, a unit of Dubai Holding, agreed to $2.4 billion debt restructuring after a year of negotiations. The cost of insuring Dubai’s sovereign debt was hovering around 442 basis points on Wednesday, according to Reuters data. While spreads have tightened dramatically from highs of 645 basis points at the peak of Dubai’s debt crisis in November 2009, the debt profile of Dubai Inc. continues to be on the radar screen of global investors. — Reuters

between private creditors and Greece remain deadlocked, with bankers reluctant to take a loss of more than 50 percent on Greek bonds, which would wipe about 100 billion euros off the country’s debt. Critics have said that would not be enough to stabilize Greek finances and warn that the EU and IMF will be forced to make up the difference. Lagarde said that “public creditors ... will also have to contribute to the financial effort” if Greece failed to do an adequate deal with banks. She was responding to a report in yesterday’s edition of the Financial Times that said the IMF was pressing the European Central Bank to forego potential profits on 40 billion euros ($52 billion) in Greek debt it holds. Having bought Greek bonds at substantial discounts, the ECB could book a handsome profit if Greece does not default and the bonds are held to maturity. — AFP

Obama to protect US goods globally DAVOS: President Barack Obama has adopted a new strategy declaring for the first time that the United States has a national security interest to protect the nation’s economic goods against terrorists, criminals and natural disasters in all corners of the globe. The new US policy unveiled yesterday by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in Switzerland is called the “National Strategy for Global Supply Chain Security,” according to a White House document. It says potential economic threats to goods dependent on supplies from beyond US borders are now a matter of national security and that the government must “resolve threats early.” And that’s not just cargo shipments - all “cyber and energy networks” also are affected. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, she called Obama’s policy “a look across all of US government” preparing for the worst. “When the unknown occurs, you have no time,” she said. Businesses have often sought to cut costs by farming out many parts of their operations, leaving them potentially more at risk to disruptions outside the confines of their traditional areas of management. But with the economy increasingly globalized, businesses are becoming more dependent on each other - and more exposed to these risks. The Obama administration cites as reasons for the policy the 9/11 attacks and more recent plots involving air cargo shipments filled with explosives shipped via Europe and the Middle East to the United States, according to White House documents. Other events that have led to the change, the documents say, include Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Interstate 35 bridge collapse in Minneapolis in 2007, Iceland’s volcanic eruption in 2010 and Japan’s earthquake and tsunami last year. —AP (See Page 25)


22

THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012

BUSINESS

Saudi may cut connection fees in 2013: Mobily CEO Mobily lacks spectrum to launch mobile LTE DUBAI: Saudi Arabia may cut call-termination rates for telecom operators in 2013, the chief executive of Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) told Reuters, in a move that would spur increased competition in the kingdom. Termination rates are fees that one telecom operator charges another for terminating calls on its network. The fees tend to favor more established operators because they terminate a greater portion of calls. “Next year, I think you will see a reduction in termination fees, unless the regulator foresees a more accelerated termination (reduction) rate to be introduced,” said Khaled Al-Kaf, chief executive of Mobily, an affiliate of the UAE’s Etisalat. “I want to stay neutral in that area,” added Al-Kaf, when asked whether he would favor a cut in termination rates. Saudi termination fees have been unchanged for more than four years at 0.25 riyals ($0.07) for mobile-to-mobile and fixed line-to-mobile calls and 0.1 riyals for mobile-to-fixed line calls, effectively setting minimum call prices. Termination fees only apply on crossnetwork calls, while consumers pay the same rate regardless, so operators have a

higher margin on calls within their own network. “Termination charges tend to fall as competition increases. Usually, operators pass on part of any cut in termination fees to consumers,” Marc Hammoud, Deutsche Bank telecoms analyst, said. Mobily lacks the spectrum to roll out a highly-touted next generation mobile network, its chief executive told Reuters, hampering efforts to offset falling voice margins with more lucrative data packages. Other operators in the kingdom face similar constraints, analysts said, just months after they heralded the arrival of long-term evolution (LTE), or fourth generation, technology. “The regulator is working with different authorities in the kingdom to free the spectrum,” said Khaled Al-Kaf, chief executive of Mobily, an affiliate of the UAE’s Etisalat . “We don’t have the spectrum for mobile LTE. Spectrum will be a big issue in Saudi Arabia with the exponential growth in data.” As the former monopoly, Saudi Telecom Co could have the most to lose from a fee cut, but this would also said its aggressive push to sell fixed-line bundles.

the high side, but not radically so - when they look out of step with other markets then the pressure on the regulator to act will increase,” said Credit Suisse telecoms analyst Richard Barker. Saudi operators pay royalties of 15 percent on mobile revenue, 10 percent on fixed line and 7 percent on data, analysts said. Data volume on Mobily’s mobile network was 163 terabytes per day at the end of 2011, up from 85 terabytes per day at the start of that year. LTE was tailor-made for data and can provide download speeds more than double that of 3G.“We expect this number will double year-overyear, so spectrum will be a bottleneck,” AlKaf said. Mobily and rivals Saudi Telecom Co and Zain Saudi announced in September that each had started LTE networks in the kingdom. But these services are limited to certain districts and largely over fixed-line infrastructure. “The operators announced the launch of LTE networks to try and get a marketing advantage, but the practical roll out of 4G services will not happen soon,” said Asim Bukhtiar, Riyad Capital head of research. —Reuters

STC competes with Mobily and third mobile operator Zain Saudi, with STC dominant in fixed-line calls. “Cutting termination fees would probably benefit Mobily and Zain Saudi to the detriment of STC, but STC would gain wholesale revenues as well seeing interconnection fees decline,” said Asim Bukhtiar, Riyad Capital head of research. “Zain Saudi uses Mobily’s network in some areas - it doesn’t have full population coverage - so it could see some benefit from lower termination fees. But this would be a short-term benefit, with Zain Saudi trying to expand its network.” STC has tried to claw back lost domestic market share by offering aggressivelypriced fixed line bundles. These typically offer unlimited internet access and unlimited domestic phone calls, yet STC remains liable for termination fees to other operators, so lower rates would boost margins and potentially spur it to cut bundle costs further. The Saudi regulator declined to comment. Analysts said its reluctance to cut termination fees in recent years is in part to prevent operators slashing prices to uncompetitive levels. “Termination fees in Saudi Arabia are on

Exxon moves on Kurdistan despite Baghdad threat ARBIL: Exxon Mobil, the first oil major to move into Iraqi Kurdistan, is quietly mobilizing in Arbil despite strenuous objections from the central government. Since the bold play came to light in November, the company has kept silent - fueling speculation that it froze the deal and bowed to Baghdad, which has long held that all foreign oil deals signed with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) are illegal. But Kurdish officials insist that investment is going ahead and movement on the ground supports their claims. “They (Exxon) are definitely here and they are definitely assessing living and working accommodation,” said a Western industry source in Arbil, at the heart of Iraq’s northern Kurdish region. “There are around 10 individuals here at any one time looking at what it takes to fully mobilize here office space, housing space, these types of things. No oil company comes in in a day.” Exxon executives met the region’s Natural Resources Minister Ashti Hawrami last week, sources in Arbil said, and are preparing to issue a tender for seismic work for some, if not all, of the six exploration blocks acquired in October. The move north sparked fury in Baghdad, which is threatening to take action against Exxon - in charge of developing the supergiant West Qurna-1 oil field in southern Iraq. Exxon has been summoned to the oil ministry for final talks. It is unclear whether the discussions would take place before the US major’s fourth quarter results on Jan. 31 - when it

is also expected to go public with its Kurdistan investment. In the meantime, however, it is business as usual - production at West Qurna1 has risen to about 390,000 barrels per day and Exxon continues to lead a multibillion dollar water injection project that is crucial to boosting output in the south. Before signing the deal with Kurdistan, Exxon was sure to have weighed any possible legal challenges. “I’m sure Exxon has more lawyers than probably there are Ministry of Oil officials in Baghdad,” said the industry source. Such calculations are likely to influence other oil majors who may be considering moving into Kurdistan, and the lack of concrete action from Baghdad as yet is sure to reinforce the belief that it could prove a sound investment. The KRG’s Hawrami told Reuters this month the KRG was in talks with other oil majors and he expected further agreements to be signed in the next few months. Lack of security, political instability, bureaucracy and the relatively unattractive oil deals in the rest of Iraq are driving international oil majors towards following Exxon’s lead and signing exploration and production contracts with Kurdistan. After Exxon snapped up the last unclaimed Kurdish territory, new arrivals will be looking to farm into existing blocs. France’s Total is keen to move into the north, sources said, and a link up with Anglo-French explorer Perenco in the Sindi-Amedi block along the Turkish border is one scenario. —Reuters

Foreign ownership limits in Qatar may stay through June process. A number of companies have indicated interest. The IPO pipeline is there, and we’ve seen healthy interest.” On the other hand, activity in Qatari Treasury bills has been limited since they began trading on the Gulf state’s bourse in late December, one banking source said. “There has been very little activity. The whole idea was not to start with a big bang, but to create a benchmark for the local market,” the Doha-based banker said, declining to be identified. “When they introduce bonds, momentum will pick up over the longer term.” Qatar has been preparing to deepen its debt market for many months, but has proceeded cautiously. In March, Went said the bourse was considering whether to allow trading of bonds by the second quarter of last year, and would start with trading of government debt before slowly moving to corporate bonds. “T-bills target a very specific investor market,” Went said, declining to central bank in Qatar, the world’s largest liquefied natural gas exporter, has been issuing about 2 billion riyals ($550 million) worth of T-bills monthly with maturities ranging from three to nine months, to drain excess funds from the banking system and help create a domestic yield curve. —Reuters

DOHA: Foreign ownership limits in Qatar, a key issue in the Gulf state’s potential upgrade by index compiler MSCI, are likely to remain at 25 percent through June, the bourse’s chief executive officer said yesterday. “I wouldn’t expect news on any changes by June,” Qatar Exchange Chief Executive Officer Andre Went told reporters on the sidelines of an event in the Qatari capital Doha. MSCI has delayed until June a decision on whether it will upgrade Qatar and the UAE from frontier market to emerging market status, a move that would boost liquidity on local markets. Foreign ownership restrictions have been a central worry for MSCI, with Qatar limiting stocks to maximum 25 percent foreign ownership. Trading in Qatar Exchange’s newlylaunched junior market will likely begin by the end of the year, Went said. The exchange announced in May it would set up a secondary market for small to medium-sized businesses to help them access funding and provide investors more choice. “We expect it to materialize by the end of the year, when we have a reasonable number of companies, anywhere from five to 10,” he said. “It’s now up to the companies to engage in the IPO

BAGHDAD: Hamdiyah Al-Jaff, president of the Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI), speaks during an interview with AFP in Baghdad yesterday. —AFP

News

in brief

UAE pays off $544m debt of nationals DUBAI: The government of the United Arab Emirates will settle 2 billion dirhams ($544.5 million) of debt owed by nationals, the state news agency WAM said yesterday. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahayan, president of the UAE, ordered the settlement of non-performing loans of citizens whose debt does not exceed 1 million dirhams, the agency reported. Debt will be paid by the government and borrowers will be released under the condition that 25 percent of their salaries will be deducted until the debt is paid back. The move applies to both people who are detained for defaulting on debt or have agreed to settle their debt through scheduled payments. A total of 6,830 citizens of the Gulf state will benefit from the decision. Saudi Aramco buys gasoline for Feb-June DUBAI: State oil giant Saudi Aramco has agreed to buy at least three to four cargoes of gasoline per month in a term contract for deliver y between February to June, trade and industry sources said yesterday. “Aramco is still in the market,” one industry source said. “We have seen regular demand from them.” Aramco could end up buying more, another trader said, depending on the price. “We’re hearing they could go up to six per month if they can get a good price,” he said. BP, Gunvor and Shell were among Aramco’s suppliers for the term contract, two trading sources said. Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, is also a major gasoline importer. Traders say refinery turnarounds have helped increase Aramco’s demand in January. CEO: Total stopped buying from Iran DAVOS: French oil major Total has ceased buying oil from Iran in line with European Union sanctions against the Gulf producer, Chief Executive Christophe de Margerie said yesterday. “We have already stopped,” de Margerie said, adding the company had been buying roughly 80,000 barrels a day of Iranian oil. De Margerie said he continue to disagree with the sanctions, adding: “I think oil will go somewhere else ... Iran may give a discount to make it easier and quicker but nothing will change.”

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

.2730000 .4310000 .3590000 .2960000 .2720000 .2890000 .0040000 .0020000 .0753630 .7342410 .3810000 .0700000 .7197910 .0040000 .0430000

.2805000 .4390000 .3660000 .3040000 .2790000 .2970000 .0070000 .0035000 .0761210 .7416210 .4020000 .0760000 .7270250 .0072000 .0520000

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES US Dollar/KD .2768500 .2804500 GB Pound/KD .4313180 .4369270 Euro .3590470 .3637160 Swiss francs .2970490 .3009120 Canadian dollars .2730680 .2766190 Danish Kroner .0483020 .0489300 Swedish Kroner .0406220 .0411500 Australian dlr .2894190 .2931820 Hong Kong dlr .0356680 .0361320 Singapore dlr .2178380 .2206700 Japanese yen .0035400 .0035860 Indian Rs/KD .0000000 .0056210 Sri Lanka rupee .0000000 .0024690 Pakistan rupee .0000000 .0031200 Bangladesh taka .0000000 .0033360 UAE dirhams .0754050 .0763860 Bahraini dinars .7346420 .7441950 Jordanian dinar .0000000 .3966760 Saudi Riyal/KD .0738460 .0748070 Omani riyals .7193710 .7287250 Philippine Peso .0000000 .0065540

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

ASIAN COUNTRIES 3.598 5.337 3.154 2.436 3.341 213.250 35.672 3.580 6.336 8.873 0.271 0.273

GCC COUNTRIES 74.150 76.402 722.230 738.540 75.715

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham Egyptian Pound - Cash Egyptian Pound - Transfer Yemen Riyal/for 1000 Tunisian Dinar Jordanian Dinar Lebanese Lira/for 1000 Syrian Lier Morocco Dirham

ARAB COUNTRIES 47.500 46.282 1.272 189.860 392.670 1.865 6.003 33.814

EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 277.950 Euro 370.650 Sterling Pound 431.930 Canadian dollar 268.420 Turkish lire 153.940 Swiss Franc 300.620 Australian dollar 277.000 US Dollar Buying 277.750

Bahrain Exchange Company 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

SELL CASH 296.800 741.600 3.700 279.300 547.700 44.500 49.600 167.800 48.200 367.500 36.510 5.780 0.032 0.206 0.247 3.720 395.460 0.189 93.170 46.100 4.290 229.900 1.807

48.400 724.320 3.190 6.770 77.140 74.450 220.810 37.820 2.645 439.500 42.300 304.000 4.400 9.210 198.263 76.030 279.200 1.280

724.140 3.100 6.475 76.710 74.450 220.810 37.820 2.445 437.500 302.500 4.400 9.060 75.930 278.800

10 Tola

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 437.500 278.800

Sterling Pound US Dollar

SELL DRAFT 295.300 741.600 3.320 277.800

220.800 46.211 366.000 36.460 5.575 0.031

COUNTRY Australian Dollar Canadian Dollar Swiss Franc Euro 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

SELL DRAFT 297.64 280.02 301.92 366.14 438.24 3.63 3.303 5.562 2.447 3.488 3.090 75.89 741.60 46.16 396.64 724.58 76.88 74.44

SELL CASH 297.00 280.00 307.00 370.00 440.00 3.70 3.700 5.730 2.660 4.250 3.260 76.50 741.60 48.20 396.00 728.00 77.25 75.85

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd 395.140 0.188 93.170 3.500 228.400

Rate for Transfer US Dollar Canadian Dollar Sterling Pound Euro Swiss Frank Bahrain Dinar

Selling Rate 278.750 278.920 435.850 365.425 300.645 738.165

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

75.870 76.515 74.295 392.380 46.164 2.444 5.580 3.100 3.310 6.464 683.765 3.670 8.940 5.870 3.575 92.595

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co.

GOLD 1,750.810

UAE Exchange Centre WLL

GOLD 315.500 159.000 81.500

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

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

Currency Rate per 1000 (Tran) US Dollar 278.800 Pak Rupees 3.089 Indian Rupees 5.580 Sri Lankan Rupees 2.455 Bangladesh Taka 3.310 Philippines Peso 6.510 UAE Dirhams 76.010 Saudi Riyals 74.500 Bahraini Dinars 741.200 Egyptian Pounds 46.155 Pound Sterling 441.000 Indonesian Rupiah 3.190 Yemeni Riyal 1.550 Euro 369.000 Canadian Dollars 282.400 Nepali rupee 3.690

Al Mulla Exchange Currency Transfer Rate (Per 1000) US Dollar 278.450 Euro 365.800 Pound Sterling 437.300 Canadian Dollar 277.500 Japanese Yen 3.585 Indian Rupee 5.567 Egyptian Pound 46.140 Sri Lankan Rupee 2.445 Bangladesh Taka 3.295 Philippines Peso 6.465 Pakistan Rupee 3.093 Bahraini Dinar 741.400 UAE Dirham 75.850 Saudi Riyal 74.350 *Rates are subject to change


23

THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012

BUSINESS

S Korea raised Iran crude imports by 20% in 2011 SEOUL: South Korea’s imports of Iranian crude surged 20 percent in 2011, data showed yesterday, the latest indication of Korea’s dependence on the oil even as it faces pressure from its ally the United States to cut back. The rise in Iranian crude imports was more than three times greater than the increase in Korea’s overall oil purchases in 2011 and some refineries have indicated they will buy more, not less, from the OPEC producer this year. South Korea, the world’s fifth-largest crude importer, will need to reduce its imports soon under US sanctions to support Washington’s push to halt Iran’s nuclear program. Crude impor ts from Iran rose to 238,860 barrels per day (bpd) in 2011 from 198,918 bpd in 2010, the state-run Korea National Oil Corp (KNOC) said yesterday. Of South Korea’s four crude oil refiners, SK Energy and Hyundai Oilbank

import Iranian crude oil. The two refiners struck annual deals to buy a total of 200,000 bpd of Iranian crude this year, up from around 190,000 bpd in 2011, government sources and company officials said. Most Iranian crude is sold under long term deals, although some cargoes can be bought in the spot market. Still, South Korean oil buyers are scoping out alternative supplies in case the US sanctions make it impossible to keep importing Iranian crude. “Saudi Arabian crude should be a realistic alternative, and I expect its supply (would) be increased by as much as we lose in Iranian supply,” said Brandon Lee, senior energy analyst for oil, gas and petrochemicals at Macquarie Securities Korea. “We also expect higher US crude output this year, meaning less US crude imports from the Middle East and more crude availability to other countries.”Saudi Arabia, the world’s top

oil exporter, said earlier this month that it can pump more oil at a moment’s notice, after Iran warned Gulf oil producers not to compensate for any disruption to Iranian output. Saudi Arabia is the only oil producer with enough spare capacity to compensate for a significant disruption in exports from Iran and so the most likely source of alternative supplies should South Korea reduce Iranian imports. South Korea imported 2.54 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil last year, compared with 2.39 million bpd a year ago, the KNOC data showed. South Korea imported five percent more crude from Saudi Arabia in 2011 than in 2010. Imports stood at 796,304 bpd in 2010, accounting for more than 30 percent of the countr y ’s total imports. In a recent meeting with US officials, South Korea, Asia’s fourth-largest economy, argued it would have difficulty in

replacing Iranian oil supplies, which account for nearly 10 percent of its crude imports. Heavily dependent on imported crude, Seoul has yet to publicly commit to cutting imports from Iran, in contrast to Japan, another big buyer of Iranian crude, which pledged its support for the US measures. Iran’s top crude buyer China also boosted imports in 2011. China’s shipments rose 30 percent year-on-year to 27.76 million tons, or about 555,200 bpd, Chinese customs data showed, keeping China in the top spot of Iran’s global crude clients. Tehran has faced a growing array of UN and unilateral sanctions for years, but a US bill that President Barack Obama signed into law on New Year’s Eve went further than previous measures, aiming to stop countries paying for Iranian oil. South Korea owes Iran’s central bank some $5 billion for crude oil imports, but the money is trapped in its

Kuwait real estate sales rose 35% Y/Y in 2011 NBK ECONOMIC REPORT KUWAIT: Sales finally returned to strong levels in 2011. Total real estate sales for 2011 were KD 2.7 billion, a 35% increase from 2010. Residential sales accounted for 54% of total, while the investment sector took 37%, with the commercial sector rounding off the sum with 9%. This is similar to 2010 were sector shares were 55%, 33%, and 12% respectively. 2011 also saw an 11% increase in total number of transactions, with most of the increase coming from residential property transactions. In 2011, the rise in sales was led by the investment sector which gained 52%, followed by the residential sector up 32%. Not surprisingly, sales in the commercial sector underper formed gaining only 3%. Sales activity in the real estate sector totaled KD 161 million in December, a drop of 32% year-on-year (y/y). Activity seems to have slowed down in the last month of 2011, but it is expected to pick up again in the months to come. Residential sector sales were KD 87.5 million for December, a 15.1% y/y decrease. This drop did not come from decreased activity in the sector, but from a smaller average transaction size, which

dropped 17.7% y/y. This was due transactions being skewed toward land plots that month (finished homes are pricier

than land plots). Overall, this sector has done well in 2011 and should continue to do so. The investment sector (mainly

apartments and buildings intended for rental), saw KD 61.3 million in transactions for December. This was a 14% y/y

drop. The decline stemmed from a decrease in the number of transactions, which dropped 13% y/y. This slow down

is likely temporary and activity in the sector should pick up in the months ahead, as investor interest remains high. The commercial sector witnessed 4 transactions in December totaling KD 12 million, compared to a monthly average of KD 20.5 million in 2011. This sector is usually volatile, due to the low number of monthly transactions and the large variation in the size of the properties involved. The Savings and Credit Bank (SCB) disbursed loans totaling KD 10.1 million in December, almost unchanged y/y. Of these loans, half went into financing new houses constructions while 31% were used to purchase existing homes. Additionally, 264 loans were approved by the SCB, for a total of KD 12.2 million (+90% y/y). Total loans approved by the SCB in 2011 were KD 117.6 million, a 26% y/y increase. This further points to the health of the residential sector. December saw the slowdown in activity continue over from the previous month, despite a generally healthy year for the real estate sector. Good demand in the biggest two real estate sectors should allow activity to pick up again in 2012.

Greece hopes for debt deal soon ATHENS: Greece hoped yesterday it could wrap up tortuous negotiations on a debt swap as early as this week when private creditors return to Athens for a fresh round of talks to avert a chaotic default. After weeks of bargaining, deadlocks and an intervention by euro zone ministers, Greece and its bondholders find themselves back at the drawing board as they search for a compromise needed to clinch a bailout for Athens before it runs out of money. With time slipping away ahead of a March deadline when Greece faces major bond redemptions, the top negotiator for private creditors, Charles Dallara, returns to Athens on Thursday to resume talks with officials, the government said. “We are now in the most delicate phase of the negotiations to complete the debt swap,” government spokesman Pantelis Kapsis told reporters. It is clear that what happens in the coming days will affect the countr y ’s course for years.” The focus is expected to be on whether Dallara budges from what the creditors’ billed as their “final offer” of a 4 percent coupon on new bonds that Greece will swap out for existing debt after euro zone finance ministers rejected that proposal. Dallara, who is chief of the International Institute of Finance, left Athens over the weekend after the last round of talks proved inconclusive. He has pleaded for a quick resolution before time runs out but has not disclosed whether his group is willing to change its stance on the coupon, or interest rate. Greece has insisted on a coupon of not more than 3.5 percent at the behest of its European partners worried that the debt swap will otherwise not do enough to rein in the country’s massive debt burden. Without a deal, Greece would tumble into a “hard” default that risks setting off panic in the financial system and pulling bigger euro-zone members like Italy and Spain closer to the brink, though the ECB has helped to assuage those fears by flooding the banking sector with nearly half a trillion euros of three-year money.

Sinking further into recession and gloom, Greece is finding itself in an increasingly precarious state yet again as it confronts difficult debt talks, political dithering and snail-paced reforms that have exasperated lenders. On top of its list of tasks is the debt swap that must be wrapped up quickly in order to seal a 130 billion rescue plan that European par tners and the International Monetary Fund drew up in October. There could be trouble even if there is a quick conclusion of the swap, which is aimed at chopping 100 billion euros off Greece’s 350-billion-euro debt load by getting bondholders to accept a 50 percent nominal write-down on their holdings. Public sector holders of Greek debt, like the European Central Bank, may end up having to write down their holdings if the private sector restructuring is unable to make Greece’s debt burden sustainable, IMF chief Christine Lagarde warned. Greece has already threatened to include a clause enforcing losses on investors if fewer than expected bondholders sign up to the deal voluntarily. Even with a successful debt swap, Greece faces trouble on other fronts. Beset with squabbling politicians and entrenched special interests, the country has made little headway in pushing through a host of labour and economic reforms demanded by lenders as a condition for bailout funds. Underscoring lenders’ fears that Greece cannot come to grips with the reforms it has promised, dissenting lawmakers overnight defeated a clause to deregulate working hours for pharmacies in a liberalization package passed by parliament. The measures had been demanded by the “troika” lenders, whose inspectors were in the Greek capital as parliament voted down the clause and came close to scrapping other provisions of the law. Greek authorities yesterday morning dispersed a protest by a few hundred Communists who had gathered outside a hotel where EU and IMF officials were staying. The demonstrators had shouted slogans and held up banners reading “Out with the troika”. —Reuters

banking system because of the difficulty of sending money to Iran without falling foul of US sanctions. South Korea sourced 87 percent of its total crude imports last year from the Middle East-mainly Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Iran-up from 82 percent in 2010, according to KNOC data. Refinery profit margins eased to $4.50 a barrel in December after hitting a year high of $5.67 a barrel in October, and crude runs rose 6 percent last year from a year earlier to 2.53 million bpd helped by firm regional demand. Oil product exports gained 25.5 percent in December on the year to 37.04 million barrels, and last year saw a 19 percent year-on-year rise to a record high of 407.88 million barrels, according to KNOC data. Private oil inventories at the end of December stood at 58.76 million barrels, up 6.7 percent from a year earlier. - Reuters

News

in brief

Earnings briefs Boeing 4Q profit up MINNEAPOLIS: Quicker deliveries of Boeing’s commercial airplanes helped it report a 20-percent jump in fourth-quarter profits, and offset sluggish growth in its defense business. The company also offered a weaker earnings outlook than analysts expected for 2012, and its shares fell in premarket trading. Boeing posted net income of $1.39 billion yesterday, or $1.84 per share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected $1 per share. Revenue was $19.56 billion, also better than expected. Boeing delivered 128 commercial planes during the quarter, up from 116 a year ago. Delta Q4 profit soars NEW YORK: Delta says it earned $425 million in the fourth quarter as it raised prices in the critical holiday season while reducing flying to keep costs low. The US-based airline said its profit amounted to 50 cents per share. Excluding one-time gains and losses, it earned 45 cents per share in the most recent quarter. In the same period a year earlier, it earned just $19 million, or 2 cents per share. Revenue rose 8 percent to $8.4 billion. Fuel expenses rose 5 percent. Other costs were flat. The money it made to fly a passenger a single mile (1.6 kilometers) rose 12 percent due to higher fares. Analysts polled by FactSet Research expected Delta Air Lines Inc. to earn 37 cents per share on revenue of $8.32 billion. US Airways income falls NEW YORK: US Airways Group Inc said yesterday its net income fell 35 percent in the last three months of 2011 as rising passenger revenue wasn’t enough to offset a steep increase in fuel prices. The airline’s results still beat Wall Street’s expectations. The stock rose nearly 5 percent in premarket trading. The Tempe, Arizona, company said yesterday that it earned $18 million, or 11 cents per share, in the fourth quarter. That compares with $28 million, or 17 cents per share, a year earlier. United Technologies 4Q up HARTFORD: United Technologies Corp said yesterday its fourth-quarter profit rose nearly 11 percent, propelled by growth in its aerospace businesses. Total revenue increased 1 percent. The manufacturer of elevators, jet engines, heating and cooling equipment and other industrial products is banking on growth in commercial aerospace as Congress and the Obama administration plan to cut military spending.

ATHENS: People grab free produce distributed by farmers yesterday in Athens. Farmers from the area of Thebes, northwest of Athens, handed out hundreds of kilos of produces to protest media reports that waste from local industries had rendered crops unfit for human consumption. —AFP

Dollar shortage hits investment in Sudan KHARTOUM: Sudanese entrepreneur Mohammed sees plenty of sales potential for pharmaceutical products in his country but has sleepless nights over how to pay his suppliers in Germany and Britain. Like many Sudanese firms selling foreign products, he struggles to get his hands on dollars to pay for imports as the country grapples with an economic crisis. “I don’t know how to pay my partners for their next shipment,” said Mohammed, a sales agent for several foreign pharmaceutical firms in Sudan, who asked to be identified only by his first name because he feared government displeasure if he talked about the crisis. “I constantly worry about how to get dollars.” Doing business has never been easy in Sudan, which suffers from a US trade embargo, poverty, high inflation and the legacy of years of armed conflict. Even so the country, home to 32 million people and rich in oil, minerals such as gold and copper, and vast areas of farmland, has always attracted investors who do not mind taking some risks. But the investment climate has deteriorated further since South Sudan took away twothirds of the country’s oil production when it seceded in July. Since then, Sudan’s oil revenues, which used to make up 90 percent of

the country’s exports and were the main source of hard currency inflows, have largely dried up. As a result, the central bank is struggling to supply commercial lenders, trading firms and other companies with dollars to pay for foreign products and keep their operations going-at a time when tensions in global financial markets are making it more difficult for weak economies to obtain international financing. With not enough dollars available at banks, businessmen are turning to the black market, where demand has driven the dollar exchange rate to the Sudanese pound 60 percent or more above the official rate. A dollar bought around 4.8 Sudanese pounds on the black market in Khartoum this week, compared to the official rate of around 3. “It’s a nightmare,” said an Indian investor who has been active in Sudan for many years. “It’s become difficult to import spare parts or raw materials because you need to buy dollars for a premium on the black market.” Mohammed, the pharmaceutical trader, said his profit margin has dropped considerably because of his visits to the black market, a move which carried the risk of prosecution by legal authorities. “I sometimes have to reject deals because I cannot get dollars.” —Reuters

Abbott profit rises 12% ROCHESTER: Specialty glass maker Corning Inc said yesterday that its profit slumped 53 percent in the fourth quarter but its revenue rose 7 percent on stronger sales of glass for flat-screen televisions, computers and mobile devices. The world’s largest maker of liquid-crystal-display glass cautioned, however, that it is reducing glass prices in the current quarter to help panel makers overcome financial strains in the LCD market. Its shares fell almost 7 percent in premarket trading. Corning said its net income fell to $491 million, or 31 cents per share, in the October-December period. That’s down from $1.04 billion, or 66 cents per share, a year earlier.

Iran-China trade soars to top $45bn: Report TEHRAN: Trade between Iran and China soared by 55 percent on year to exceed $45 billion in 2011, Tehran’s envoy to Beijing was quoted as saying yesterday. Ambassador Mehdi Safari said in Beijing that the annual trade figures showed a $16 billion increase in commercial ties with China since 2010, the official IRNA news agency reported. China is Iran’s top trade partner, with economic ties expanding in recent years partly thanks to the withdrawal of Western companies in line with sanctions against the Islamic republic over its contentious nuclear drive. The Asian economic giant has also significantly strengthened its presence in Iran’s oil and gas sector by signing a series of contracts worth up to $40 billion in the past few years, in place of Western firms. Iran is the third largest provider of oil to China. China defended its economic and oil trade with Tehran as legitimate after the European Union imposed sanctions on the oil exports of the Islamic republic, which provides 11 percent of China’s oil imports. —AFP


THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012

business

KSE stocks advance GLOBAL DAILY MARKET REPORT KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) closed on positive note during yesterday’s session in a very slow news day, and the focus was on the end of FY2011 earnings results. Investors are waiting for more information which means the direction of the market is undecided. The fluctuation will continue in the coming days until listed companies start to release their financial results for FY2011. That will give some signals to investors to build new position or to get out from current ones. Global General Index (GGI) ended the day up by 0.19 percent, at 177.70 point. Market Capitalization was up for the day, reaching KD29.08bn. On the other hand, KSE Price Index closed at 5,839.8 point, adding 19.20 points (0.33 percent) from its previous close. Market breadth During the session, 112 companies were traded. Market breadth was skewed towards advancers as 40 equities advanced versus 31 that retreated. Yesterday’s performance was accompanied by growing trading activity. Investors exchanged 420.82mn shares (+26.54 percent) at a total value of KD33.43mn (+21.13 percent). Gulf Finance House saw 11.82 percent of the market’s volume, with investors exchanging 49.76mn of its shares. The scrip remained buoyant, clocking 5.38 percent in gains. In terms of top gainers, Kuwait & Gulf Link Transport Company was the top gainer for the day, adding 10 percent to its share value and closing at KD0.110. On the other hand, share price of Industrial & Financial Investments Company retreated by 8.33 percent and closed at KD0.022, making it the biggest decliners in the

market for the day in a row. Sectors wise Yesterday ’s broad-based advance was headed by the non Kuwaiti sector. The sector as a whole, represented through the Global Non Kuwaiti Index managed to eke out 0.85 percent in gains. A 2.70 percent increase in the equity price of Ithmaar Bank bolstered the sector’s performance. UAE cement scrips performed solidly too yesterday. Fujairah Cement Industries Company was the biggest gainer in the sector. The scrip closed up by 7.94 percent at KD0.068. Global Insurance Index followed with a 0.57 percent advance. Warba Insurance Company was the sole gainer in the sector, adding 7.81 percent to

its price. Services stocks too were notable advancers, adding 0.38 percent. Agility and Avaiation Lease And Finance Company (ALAFCO) were up 2.94 percent and 1.72 percent respectively. Corporate news Kuwait’s trade surplus with Japan widened 20.9 percent in December to JPY112.0bn ($1.4bn) from a year earlier, remaining in the black for the 47th month in a row, the Finance Ministry said. Kuwaiti exports to Japan jumped 22.2 percent to JPY 124.2 billion ($1.6 billion) for the eighth straight month of gain, and imports from Japan also surged 35.5 percent year-on-year to JPY12.2bn ($157mn) for the third consecutive month of expansion,

the ministry said in a preliminary report. For the full year of 2011, two-way trade reached JPY1.15tn ($14.8bn), up 12.3 percent from the previous year. Kuwait’s annual inflation slowed to a 19-month low of 3.1 percent in December from 4.2 percent in the previous month, data from the Gulf Arab country’s Central Statistics Office showed. The OPEC member ’s average inflation reached a three-year high of 4.8 percent in 2011, in line with analyst forecasts and up from 4.0 percent seen in the previous year. The price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at $111.49pb on Tuesday, compared with $111.78pb the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations.

Oil below $99 amid growth fears, Iran LONDON: Oil prices hovered below $99 a barrel yesterday amid worries about economic growth and tensions over Iran, which Western nations are boycotting over a suspected nuclear weapons program. Crude prices tracked financial markets lower yesterday on concerns about growth, mainly in Europe. Although some countries like Germany are proving resilient to the impact of the euro’s debt crisis, others are expected to slide into recession. The latest data show the UK economy contracted more than expected in the four th quar ter. Benchmark crude for March delivery was down 67 cents to $98.28 per barrel by midday European time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 63 cents to end at $98.95 in New York on Tuesday. Brent crude for March delivery was down 40 cents at $109.63 a barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange in London. Price drops were limited, however, by ongoing tensions over Iran and an international effort to pressure it to drop its nuclear program. Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd announced on Tuesday that his government had decided to follow the European Union in banning imports of Iranian crude starting. The initiative to use oil to force Iran back to nuclear talks began last month, when the US enacted new

sanctions targeting Iran’s central bank and its ability to sell petroleum abroad. The US doesn’t buy Iranian oil, but the new sanctions make it harder for Iran to sell crude. Asian countries, already Iran’s biggest customers, aren’t joining the Europeans in banning Iranian crude. The move has been harshly criticized by oil-ravenous China, which is believed likely to sop up any excess Iranian crude at advantageous prices. Meanwhile, analysts said that oil prices, amid expectations of tightening supplies, would remain somewhat elevated until the dust settles. “There are other nations that will be boycotting Iran. That is probably adjusting market expectations of tighter supplies,” said Natalie Robertson, a commodities analyst with ANZ Bank ing Group in Melbourne. “There is going to be a rebalancing. Iran will have to find new customers for its crude since its usual customers are cutting down imports. During that period, there is going to be some time while the market adjusts to the imbalances, and that is what is keeping prices supported.” In other energy trading, heating oil fell 0.4 cent to $3.02 per gallon and gasoline futures were down 0.6 cent at $2.79 per gallon. Natural gas rose 7.6 cents to $2.63 per 1,000 cubic feet. — AP

Dinar stable against dollar KUWAIT: Exchange rate of the US dollar against the Kuwaiti dinar stayed unchanged at KD 0.278 while the euro increased to KD 0.362 compared to Tuesday’s rates, said the daily bulletin of the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) yesterday. The Sterling pound was also up at KD

0.434. The Japanese yen was unchanged at KD 0.003, while the Swiss franc stood to KD 0.299. The European debt crisis is pending due to the rather slow decisionmaking mechanism to protect the euro financial system, as major EU countries are currently preoccupied by the Iranian issue. — KUNA


25

THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012

business

Obama calls for US to get back to manufacturing ‘Wrest productions from rivals such as China’

DUISBURG: Steam rises from the chimneys in the industrial area in Duisburg, Germany. Germany’s much watched Ifo index of business optimism rose for the third month in a row in a positive sign for the largest economy in the euro-zone. —AP

Business confidence continues to rise FRANKFURT: Germany’s much-watched Ifo index of business optimism rose for the third month in a row, a positive sign for the largest economy in the eurozone. The January reading of 108.3 was up from 107.2 in December and exceeded market expectations for around 107.5. Business managers’ assessment of how things are right now slipped, but the part of the survey that measures future expectations rose. That is a sign that Germany may show moderate growth this year despite the European debt crisis and what is expected to be a slight dip in German output in the last three months of last year. The German statistics agency said the economy may have shrunk by about a quarter percentage point in the last three months of 2011, but final figures are not yet out. The government has cut its estimate for 2012 growth from 1.0 to 0.7 percent as the debt crisis weighs on Germany and its trade partners in the 17nation euro-zone. Europe is struggling with a crisis over too much government debt in some countries. Greece, Ireland and Portugal are in deep recessions after being bailed out by other euro-zone governments to avoid defaulting on their debts, while the economies of Italy and Spain are troubled as well. Financial markets turmoil has eased in the first weeks of 2012 after a gloomy end to 2011, with government

borrowing costs falling on bond markets and stocks rising. Much of the credit is given to large loans handed out to the banking system by the European Central Bank. The ECB’s head, Mario Draghi, has said the action prevented a credit cutoff and indicated he saw signs of “stabilization” in economic activity. Nonetheless, many economists think the euro-zone will go through at least a mild recession this year. The International Monetary Fund predicts the economy will shrink by 0.5 percent. Jennifer McKeown, senior European economist at Capital Economics, said the Ifo rise “suggest that the economy is holding up relatively well, but activity is nowhere near strong enough to provide a meaningful boost to the euro-zone’s periphery.” She said the future expectations, a better indicator of future activity than the overall survey number, suggests annual growth of 1.5 percent. The future indications part of the index rose to 100.9 from 98.6 the month before. Andreas Rees at UniCredit said three monthly Ifo rises in a row was historically a dependable indicator that the business cycle is about to turn upward in coming months. “Signs are mounting that we hit a bottom” in the first quarter of this year “with a pick-up in spring or summer becoming more and more likely.” — AP

LONDON: A man checks his mobile phone as he walks by a graffiti work in London yesterday. The British economy contracted by a worse-than-expected 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, official data showed yesterday, stoking fresh fears of a double-dip recession. — AFP

UK economy shrinks, raising recession fears LONDON: Britain’s economy shrank by 0.2 percent in the last three months of 2011, official data showed yesterday, a worse than expected result that raises fears of a recession and could see the Bank of England push for more monetary stimulus. The Office for National Statistics said that the economy, which had been expected to contract by only 0.1 percent, saw no growth in the key services sector and a slide in industrial activity. The GDP figures, which showed a meek 0.8 percent rise on the year, are subject to revision, but few analysts expect a marked improvement. Another quarter of negative growth would put Britain officially in a recession. “With the economy sticking one foot through the recession door in the fourth quarter of 2011, more quantitative easing from the Bank of England in February looks a done deal,” said Howard Archer, chief European economist at IHS Global Insight. Quantitative easing is a stimulus program in which the central bank buys bonds and other high-quality financial assets from banks, increasing the amount of money flowing around the economy. The hope is that it will increase bank lending and, by extension economic activity. The Bank of England last increased its quantitative easing program by 75 billion pounds in October. Minutes of the last policy meeting, in January, showed that the nine members

of the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee had been, as expected, unanimous in voting not to approve more stimulus. The Bank had indicated that it would take at least through January to spend the 75 billion pounds in asset purchases. Some of the MPC members are concerned about Britain’s high rate of inflation, which was last measured at 4.2 percent, still twice the 2 percent target despite dropping in recent months. The minutes showed there some members worried that approving more monetary stimulus would slow the drop in consumer price inflation. Others wondered whether inflation was dropping so fast that more stimulus would be necessar y to keep price increases close to the 2 percent target in coming months. Inflation tends to fall as economic activity drops, and the outlook is not good. The International Monetary Fund this week slashed its forecast for U.K. economic growth this year to 0.6 percent from 1.6 percent previously. Treasury chief George Osborne said yesterday figures were “not entirely unexpected because of what’s happening in the world and what’s happening in the euro-zone crisis.” “Britain has substantial economic problems, debt built up over the past 10 years, and we are dealing with those, but the truth is that dealing with those problems is made more difficult by the situation in the euro-zone,” Osborne said. — AP

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama has proposed radically shifting the US economy back to a manufacturing base after decades of ceding jobs in goods production to factory-heavy countries such as China. In a move to rebuild the weakened economy, create jobs and bolster his reelection chances, Obama vowed late Tuesday to wrest production from rivals such as China and burnish the “Made in USA” label. “Tonight, I want to speak about how we move forward, and lay out a blueprint for an economy that’s built to last,” Obama told Congress in his annual State of the Union speech outlining major policy priorities. “This blueprint begins with American manufacturing.” He proposed new policies aimed at helping US manufacturing and dissuading companies from shifting jobs overseas. They included tax breaks for more investment and job creation inside the country, support for education and research that feeds the manufacturing sector, and stepped-up protection against subsidized imports and pirated goods with China named as the main target. “It’s time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas, and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America,” Obama said. Faced with an uphill battle to keep his own job, Obama sought to revive enthusiasm for an economy still struggling 30 months after a deep recession, with 13 million people unemployed. “We can’t bring back every job that’s left our shores. But right now, it’s getting more expensive to do business in places like China. Meanwhile, America is more productive.” But restoring US manufacturing pride and turning the sector into a power ful jobs machine in an economy dominated by services will be a huge struggle. Manufacturing jobs have steadily fallen from 40 percent to nine percent since the end of World War II, while the services sector has boomed. The import of manufactured goods has skyrocketed-mainly benefiting China and other emerging Asian economies-and widening the US trade deficit. Since the recession ended in June 2009 the United States has added manufacturing jobs faster than service jobs. But the actual number remains small: only 199,000 manufacturing jobs were created, compared to 1.3 million in total. The National

Association of Manufacturers delivered a sharp response to Obama’s speech in which it appeared to adopt his Republican rivals’ argument that the sector is mainly hindered by regulations and high corporate taxes. “The Obama administration must take action to put an end to the rampant overregulation and overreach” by federal labor and environmental regulators, the group’s president Jay Timmons said in a statement. “We need action on comprehensive tax reform that will lower the corporate tax rate so we can compete for investment across the globe.” Buoyed by the administration’s rescue of

tection from what the administration sees as predatory trade practices, launching a new unit dedicated to stopping unfair trade practices by rivals. “I will not stand by when our competitors don’t play by the rules,” Obama said in the address. “It’s not right when another country lets our movies, music, and software be pirated. It’s not fair when foreign manufacturers have a leg up on ours only because they’re heavily subsidized.” He also called on Congress to get behind a push to rebuild the country’s sagging infrastructure, using billions of dollars saved on

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama greets Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner following his State of the Union address in front of a joint session of Congress on Tuesday at the Capitol in Washington. —AP the US auto industry from collapse in 2008, defense after the withdrawal of US troops Obama has sought to replicate that success in from Iraq. “So much of America needs to be other industries. But targeted sectors like rebuilt. We’ve got crumbling roads and solar panel manufacturing and wind towers bridges, a power grid that wastes too much have still emigrated to China and elsewhere. energy,” he said. Andrew Herrmann, president The New York Times reported last week that of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Steve Jobs, the late head of Apple, flatly told said that was necessary to boost the country’s Obama early last year that there was no way overall competitiveness. “I found that very to manufacture the company’s iPhones and encouraging, I just hope he can pull through on it,” Herrmann told AFP. “Infrastructure is a iPads in the United States. Part of Obama’s push is to strengthen pro- way to make America more efficient.” — AFP

Portugal industry boss seeks more bailout funds LISBON: Portugal needs an additional 30 billion euros in EU/IMF rescue funds to solve a credit crunch in the recession-hit economy and may have to negotiate an extension for its bailout, the head of the country’s industry confederation said yesterday. Antonio Saraiva, the leader of the influential lobby group with vast collective bargaining powers, told Reuters the 78-billion-euro bailout that runs through 2013 did not take into account massive debts by inefficient, loss-making public companies, especially in the transport sector. Due to Portugal’s debt crisis, foreign banks have stopped refinancing those debts and Portuguese banks had to step in, depriving the rest of the economy of loans needed for it to pull itself out of the worst recession in decades. The government insists no bailout renegotiation is needed, although it added it could receive more support if external tensions kept it locked out of funding markets. “I’ll dare to say we have a credit crunch... What is lacking is 30 billion euros,” said Saraiva, who has been involved in consultations with Portugal’s international lenders on the progress of the bailout program. “I think we will need a mix of more funds and longer terms to be negotiated with the troika” of lenders from the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund. Saraiva’s estimate adds to a warning earlier by a former government official who negotiated the country’s bailout, Carlos Pina, that Portugal may need a further 20-25 billion euros in rescue funds to finance public companies. But Saraiva said Portugal would only be able to ask for more money and time after showing more effort in meeting the fiscal goals set out in the bailout to garner more credibility. “The troika already has a much more detailed vision of Portugal than it had when the pact was signed in May. Through this vision and through the credibility we achieve by adjusting our course, the troika will be more prone to conceding this.” “Maybe before the end of this year we could manage ... to increase the sum of the assistance to at least 100 billion euros, and extend the time terms,” he said, explaining that his group told the lenders last year the country needed as much as 106 billion euros in financial assistance. He said the troika’s initial evaluation of Portugal’s needs was incorrect. “When we were first consulted by the troika we defended that the state has to have conditions to reduce the debt burden of the broad public enterprise sector, allowing and obliging banks to provide this sum of 30 billion euros to the economy.” The government says no bailout renegotiation is needed as it remains focused on meeting budget deficit targets and implementing structural reforms. “I can reaffirm that Portugal will not ask for a renegotiation of its bailout, we will neither ask for more money nor for more time,” Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho said on Tuesday, vowing that the bailout will not fail due to internal reasons. But he also said Europe and the IMF were ready to help Portugal if, for external reasons, it would be unable to return to debt markets as planned in the second half of next year. — Reuters

Olympus scandal triggers Japan shareholder activism TOKYO: After British whistleblower Michael Woodford was sacked as CEO of Olympus and revealed the Japanese firm had covered up losses of $1.7 billion, he mounted a campaign to get his job back. His effort though went nowhere, with Japanese financial institutions preferring to stick with the remaining board and several disgraced directors, some of them being sued by Olympus itself. Now a group of 26 activist lawyers is looking to change Japan’s closed corporate society as the scandal rocks global confidence in the business governance

standards of the world’s third-largest economy. Woodford, the first non-Japanese to lead the camera and medical equipment maker, was disgusted at the lack of response to his campaign for re-instatement. Institutional shareholders “are the reason why these directors are still there, without their support they shouldn’t be,” he said. “Despite one of the biggest scandals in history (they) have not spoken one single word of criticism.” But shareholder activism is rare in Japan. — AFP

Dragon smiles on HK property moguls? HONG KONG: Some of Hong Kong’s richest property tycoons were born in the Year of the Dragon and can expect a prosperous 2012 under their auspicious birth-sign, a feng shui master said yesterday. “The element of earth is especially pronounced in the Year of the Dragon, so people born this year will have an advantage in business related to the earth-real estate for example,” Hong Kong geomancer Si Tou Kin Fu said. Hong Kong’s richest man, Li Ka-shing, was born in the Year of the Dragon in 1928. The chairman of Cheung Kong Holdings and Hutchison Whampoa, he has a net worth of $22 billion and is ranked 11th on the Forbes billionaires list. His son Richard Li, born on the Dragon year of 1964, is chairman of Hong Kong’s biggest phone company. At age 44, he is worth an estimated $1.4 billion. Raymond Kwok, another dragon baby born in 1952, is the youngest of the

Kwok clan, which is behind one the city’s biggest developers, Sun Hung Kai Properties. The family was ranked 23rd on Forbes billionaires list last year. Also born in 1952 is Robert Ng, chairman of property development conglomerate Sino Group. He is the eldest son of Ng Teng Fong, the Singaporean real estate billionaire. The Chinese zodiac is based on a 12year cycle, with each year represented by an animal. Traditionally associated with imperial power, the dragon is the fifth animal in the cycle and is considered the most auspicious. Si Tou said that not all those born in a dragon year could expect fortune and power. Other factors such as the time of birth were also vital to one’s fate. “Li Ka-shing has a special life grid, unusual,” Si Tou said. “Otherwise one 12th of the Chinese population would be mega-rich-we know that’s not true.” — AFP

Raymond Kwok (left), vice chairman and managing director of Sun Hung Kai Properties and Li Ka-shing, chairman of Cheung Kong Holdings Limited and Hutchison Whampoa Limited. — AFP


THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012

business

X-cite by Alghanim Electronics, Sony to launch PlayStation Vita Exciting experience for PlayStation lovers in Kuwait KUWAIT: X-cite by Alghanim Electronics along with Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) announces the launch of the PlayStation Vita (PS Vita) in Kuwait on 22nd February, 2012. PS Vita will offer uncompromised portable gaming experiences for PlayStation lovers across Kuwait. PlayStation Vita is an incredible device that offers the best possible portable gaming experiences. The PS Vita system will bring to consumers new ways to play through a unique feature set such as a stunning OLED front touch screen and rear touch pad, dual analog sticks, motion sen-

sors, and dual cameras. With more than 80 games currently in production such as “Uncharted Golden Abyss(tm),” “FIFA”, Activision’s ‘Call of Duty’, and many more, the PS Vita is poised to deliver game play experiences unmatched by any handheld or mobile device in the market. In addition, with both 3G and Wi-Fi support, PS Vita will draw consumers deeper into the game play experience and enable them to connect and play with the world around them, including their friends and other PS Vita owners. A variety of social networking and communications services such as

Joyalukkas plans to expand money exchange operations Joyalukkas Group ventured into the Money Exchange Service in the year 2006. Today, Joyalukkas Money Exchange is a self-sustaining business operation which has managed steady growth year on year and this has now encouraged the Group to plan expansion of their money exchange operations. “We ventured into the money exchange to extend the Joyalukkas brand equity and trust to a business where it would be most effective and appreciated. The overwhelming responses we have received for this service from our valued customers have proved us right. We now feel it’s the time to expand this business and take it to the next level,” said Joy Alukkas, Chairman, Joyalukkas Group. Joyalukkas Money Exchange is a full service Money Exchange operation which currently has 5 centers, located in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. The service of offers a wide range of services that ensures the best possible exchange rates, reliable and timely transfers and superior service. Joyalukkas enjoys a wide member base for its WPS (Wage Protection System) services. Joyalukkas plans to expand its presence to 100 money exchange centers across GCC and India by end 2014 and also will add new and innovative services to its portfolio to meet all the expectations of its wide customer base in Money Exchange Services. “The large expat population base ensures a sustained demand

for Money Exchange services in the UAE. This core of this business is also ensuring great customer service and we ensure our staff take a keen interest in the needs of our customers and manage to meet their expectations at all times,” added Joy Alukkas. Joyalukkas has planned to announce the expansion plan with a celebration at 3 of its existing branches i.e Hamdan Street, Abu Dhabi, Karama and Al-Qusais in Dubai. The celebration planned is the formal opening of these 3 outlets by the new brand ambassador, film star Jayaram. Padmashri Jayaram is a reputed film star from south India who is one of the reigning superstars of the Malayalam cinema plus has made a mark for himself in Tamil and other south-Indian movies. “I am thrilled to represent the Joyalukkas Money Exchange service. Joyalukkas is two decades plus brand that stands for trust, reliability and superior service. Am sure they have managed to grow their money exchange business because they have ensured the same brand values for this service also. I eagerly look forward to be in the UAE for the Joyalukkas Money Exchange’s celebration openings,” said Jayaram. The celebrations opening are scheduled at 11am in Hamdan Street, Abu Dhabi, 5 pm at Karama, Dubai and 7 pm at Al-Qusais, Dubai on January 26, 2012. Many local dignitaries are also expected to attend this event.

Japan PM struggles to conquer debt mountain TOKYO: Global markets may be fixated on Europe’s debt crisis, but half a world away Japan has been dealing with an even bigger borrowing problem-one that threatens to burden its people for generations. Japan’s total public debt is estimated at a monumental 1,024 trillion yen ($13.31 trillion), or about eight million yen per person, which means every child born in the country today comes into the world owing more than $100,000. Despite having the world’s third-largest economy, Japan’s debt-to-GDP ratio last year was estimated at a staggering 211.7 percent, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). That figure dwarfs debt-riddled European countries whose fiscal woes continue to move markets and grab international media attention Greece, a lightning rod for criticism over Europe’s debt management, has a significant-

ly lower debt-to-GDP ratio of 165.1 percent, while Italy’s stood at 127.7 percent, the United States was at 97.6 percent and Germany 86.9 percent. And dwindling tax revenues cover only 40 percent of Japan’s annual government budget, a shortfall largely financed by new debt. The gap is especially worrying since Japan has the world’s longest life expectancy with a rapidly ageing population, sending pension costs soaring with ever fewer workers to pay for them. Now Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, in office for less than five months, is looking to stamp his mark on the country’s sclerotic finances. On Tuesday he told parliament he would raise the five percent consumption tax to eight percent in 2014 and 10 percent the following year, as part of a plan that includes cuts to pension entitlements. —AFP

Facebook, foursquare, Skype, and Twitter will also be available on PS Vita. X-cite is delighted to launch this amazing gaming device in Kuwait for all our PlayStation fans. Customers can now pre order their PS Vita bundle from X-cite’s online web portal www.xcite.com. On a pre-order of any one of the two PS Vita bundles one can receive a discount of KD 5 on the following: • PS Vita Wifi Only + 16Gb Memory Card + Uncharted : Golden Abyss • PS Vita Wifi 3G Only + 16Gb Memory Card + Uncharted : Golden Abyss Pre-ordering is currently valid only through the X-cite online web portal and ends on 21st February 2012. X-cite encourages its customers to try out a demo of the PS Vita which is available at the Avenues & Al Rai stores only from February 1 onwards. This is one exciting offer which ensures to take gaming to a whole new level. X-cite is the largest consumer electronics retailer in Kuwait and the Middle East. The retailer delivers a modern, dynamic and convenient shopping experience with the primary objective of delighting its customers. With touch and feel displays, cash and carry shopping, a highly trained multilingual sales staff and the latest gadgets and gizmos, shopping at X-cite is an unforgettable experience. Operating a network of 16 stores, X-cite’s customers are offered an unparalleled shopping experience by providing access to amazing range of international brands under one roof. The X-cite experience is further enhanced by providing customers with Easy Credit, 24-hour shopping in select outlets and extended warranty programs with 24-hour free delivery and installation services.

Arab Motors TV launches newly designed website

RIYADH: Arab Motors T V announced that it recently launched its newly designed website, in order to grant its fans more interactivity through connecting the new website with all the established social networks, and to provide the Arab Internet users with everything they need in one place. The new website www.ArabMotors.tv provides users with the possibility to connect to their Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Google + accounts within its comprehensive interactive services. The new designed website also includes a long list of services and options; reviews, articles, and news written by professional journalists on daily basis, alongside the free service “Auto Trade” for advertising and buying cars. In addition to Games pages, entertainment videos and “Carspedia” section that includes full information about different brands of cars. The renewed website comes in accordance with Arab Motors strategy, which is keen to keep up with development we witness nowadays in both the automotive sector and motorsports in the Arab world in order to provide the Arab audience with what they crave. “Even though the Arabic content online does not exceed 5% of the International content, the number of Arabic users reaches 75 million users and is increasing. That’s why we at Arab Motors saw it convenient to participate in addressing this shortage through constructing the largest Arabic automotive and motorsport content online, providing the Arabic user with the largest Arabic Encyclopedia in this field ...” Mousub Shashaa COO of the company was quoted saying. It is worth pointing out that Arab Motors TV was launched in June 2009 and is broadcasting on Arabsat, and online through its website.

Burgan Bank partners with Kidz Smile Clinic BuBa Kids Account holders get special discounts

Haneen Al-Rumaihi

KUWAIT: Burgan Bank announced yesterday that it has partnered with Kidz Smile Clinic to offer an exclusive 10% discount for its BuBa Kids Account holders every time they visit it. Kidz Smile is the first clinic in Kuwait that has been specifically designed to accommodate the dental needs for children of all ages, and includes highly trained staff along with the latest state-ofthe art dental technology to provide high quality treatment. Haneen Al-Rumaihi, Head of Marketing at Burgan Bank said: “This new partnership marks a key achievement in our efforts to provide the best solutions to our customers at every stage of life. Receiving the best dental care is of paramount importance for children, and our collaboration with Kidz Smile is aimed to ensure that our “BuBa” Kids Account holders enjoy an award winning smile.” “The “BuBa” Kids Account is not just a simple account for children, but one that goes beyond providing financial solutions only. The account

includes a wide range of new and exclusive benefits for children up to 14 years old,” added AlRumaihi. The savings account includes a minimum opening balance which stands at KD 10. Children will also be entitled to a free branded ATM VISA Electron card that can be used at any ATM VISA electron card that can be used at any ATM or point of sale (POS) in Kuwait and around the world. The account also offers the chance for children and their parents to travel to the renowned Abu Dhabi Ferrari World. The bank will hold a draw in February 2012, for a family trip to Abu Dhabi in collaboration with Ritz Travel. For every KD20 deposited in their accounts, customers will receive one chance to enter the draw. To find out more about Burgan Bank’s newly launched “BuBa Kids Account”, customers are urged to visit any of Burgan Bank’s conveniently located branches, or call the bank’s call center on 1804080, or log on to Burgan Bank’s website at www.burgan.com.

Nissan 370Z wins Middle East Motor award 2011 KUWAIT: The Nissan 370Z has recently received an award as the “best sports convertible from the Middle East Motor Award 2011. The announcement was made at the Sharjah Expo Centre by Mohammed Ben Sulayem, vice president of the FIA and chairman of the new Arab council of touring and automobile clubs (ACTAC) This is a great achievement for the Nissan brand and we are extremely delighted to receive this recognition said Yuta Yamazak, brand manager at Nissan. The 370Z roadster is clearly one of the most aggressive models in the sports car market and this is another important milestone for the Z, which has received impressive reviews since it was first introduced to the Middle East. The awards panel was comprised of distinguished automotive journalists, professional race drivers off road experts. The nomination and judging process for the second edition of the awards lasted well over eight months with judging criteria based on various technical and consumer aspects such as vehicle design, handling, safety, features, emotional appeal and value for money. Nissan’s Z range has been the choice of

enthusiasts and connoisseurs for generations and have found their ultimate expression in the 370Z coupe and roadster. The seductively styled Z roadster offers everything the hardtop Z coupe does but adds classic open - air sports car driving excitement - more sun, moon and stars- and more refinement than any Z convertible that has automatic latching power top and Nissan intelligent key, available cooled seats, Nissan touch screen navigation system and Bluetooth hands - free phone system. The 2012 370Z roadster is offered in eight exterior colors in the GCC: vibrant red, pearl white, magnetic black, brilliant silver, blade silver, Monterey blue, gun metallic and black rose and is available now from Nissan’ GCC retailers. The Z Roadster’s long list go cutting edge performance - focused technologies include a standard 328-horsepower 3.7-liter DOHC V6 engine with Variable Valve Event and lift control (VVEL), choice of 7-speed automatic transmission or close-ratio 6-speed manual with ‘SychroRev Match’ (the world’s first synchronized downshift rev matching manual transmission), refined 4-wheel independent suspension and 4-wheel vented disc brakes. Nissan introduced the 370Z coupe into the GCC markets in September 2009.

TOKYO: Japanese cars are unloaded from trailer trucks before being shipped for export at a port in Kawasaki near Tokyo. Japan reported yesterday its first annual trade deficit since 1980 as it imported expensive energy to offset the impact of its devastating tsunami and exporters grappled with the rising value of the yen. — AP

Japan posts first annual trade deficit in 31 years TOKYO: Japan announced its first annual trade deficit for more than 30 years yesterday after the March quake-tsunami and strong yen hit exports in 2011, while high fuel costs pushed up import bills. The first calendar-year deficit in goods since 1980 came to 2.49 trillion yen ($32 billion), the finance ministry said. Imports were up 12.0 percent by value on 2010, it said, particularly crude oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG), while exports fell 2.7 percent, led by automobiles, semiconductors and other components. After rising from the ashes of World War II Japan established itself as a trading nation, enjoying enormous surpluses with its competitive cars, electronics and other exports. But the country is resource-poor and its energy imports have soared in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear crisis with atomic power stations being taken offline and fossil fuel plants used to make up the difference. The March earthquake and tsunami that triggered the disaster also disrupted manufacturing supply chains across Japan, with floods in Thailand having a similar effect later in the year. In addition the euro-zone debt crisis slowed the global economy and sent traders scurrying to the safety of the yen, driving up its value and reducing Japanese exporters’ incomes. In total, the cost of crude oil imports jumped 21.3 percent, LNG was up 37.5 percent and petroleum products rose 39.5 percent, while automobile exports fell 10.6 percent, with electronic parts down 14.2 percent. Japan posted a deficit of 10.8 trillion yen with the Middle East alone, which provides almost all its oil, and a deficit of 3.1 trillion yen with Oceania, the source of large quantities of raw materials, especially Australia. The trade deficit with China, Japan’s biggest trading partner, was more than five times that of 2010. The country still recorded a trade surplus with the European Union, but it was down 31.3 per-

cent on 2010. Hiromasa Yonekura, chief of Japan’s biggest business lobby Keidanren, told reporters: “I hope this is only temporary. I am worried that it is possible that trade deficits remain. It will be extremely problematic if the high yen continues.” Japan’s last calendar-year trade deficit came in 1980, when the nation was reeling from the second oil crisis and imports exceeded exports by 2.6 trillion yen-still a record. “It was the worst year for Japan’s trade since 1980. It was caused by slumps in exports and rises in imports due to the higher need for alternative energy,” said Satoshi Osanai, economist at Daiwa Institute of Research. “Trade went in bad directions both ways,” he said, noting that export falls had been worse in the 2008 financial turmoil that followed Lehman Brothers’ collapse, when Japan recorded a trade deficit over the fiscal year. Analysts said that while there were one-off causes behind the deficit, underlying factors meant the phenomenon was likely to recur in the future. The strong yen, which hit repeated post-World War II highs against the dollar in 2011 and remains close to its peak, contributes to lowering import costs but its negative effect on exports is larger. Japanese demand for oil and other fuel is unlikely to decrease in the short or medium term and Osanai said resource prices remained high, “inflicting a big negative impact”. UBS economist Daiju Aoki warned Japan was on course to record repeated trade deficits. “As the nation ages its production capability declines, hurting export power,” he said. “Japan will come to run trade deficits over the long term. It may return to figures in the black in 2012 or 2013 but the trend of suffering deficits could start.” Nonetheless Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura, the top government spokesman, pointed out Japan’s balance of payments-which includes services and other transactions-was still in surplus. — AFP


27

THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012

TECHNOLOGY

Kaspersky security provides protection against Android threats DUBAI: Kaspersky Lab announces an update of its essential Android security solution Kaspersky Mobile Security Lite. The updated version, already available on Android Market, features new Anti-Virus Lite functionality aimed at better protection against the growing number of malicious programs for the Android platform. Together with other key security features such as anti-theft and call and

SMS filtering, the update makes Kaspersky Mobile Security Lite one of the most advanced security products available free of charge. Anti-Virus Lite is an easy-to-use tool that performs on-demand checks of newly downloaded Android programs. This new feature implements Kaspersky Lab Cloud Security Scanner technology, which uses the cloudbased Kaspersky Security Network to

react quickly against threats as they emerge. Users of Kaspersky Mobile Security Lite are advised to scan all new programs using Anti-Virus Lite in order to ensure the safety of personal data. The paid-for version - highly recommended for those who are especially concerned about the security of their smartphone - offers advanced features to fight malware, block unwanted calls

and messages, remotely control a smartphone in case it is lost or stolen, and hide sensitive data. The fully functional anti-virus feature also automatically scans all new apps, blocking those deemed malicious. By upgrading to the paid-for version of the product one gets the antitheft module with added features, for instance, SIM Watch, which can remotely block a phone as soon as the

SIM card is removed. The Privacy function also becomes available; this enables telephone log records, SMS folder contents and other similar information to be hidden from third parties. Both the updated Kaspersky Mobile Security Lite and the paid-for version of the product are available in 13 languages. The retail price of the paid-for version in your region can be found on Android Market.

Google revising privacy policies and data use ‘We can make search better’

New software won’t save Blackberry maker NEW YORK: In the trend-setting North American market, BlackBerry phones have gone from must-have messaging toys to outdated clunkers -all in the space of a few years. The new CEO of Research In Motion Ltd., the company behind the phones, says it can claw its way back to the top with new software, but analysts are deeply doubtful. The two co-CEOs of the Canadian company resigned Sunday. The new CEO is Thorsten Heins, who was the company’s chief operating officer. Even though the company is in deep trouble and has seen its stock price fall 89 percent from the all-time high it hit in 2008, Heins said Monday that his appointment means “no seismic change” for the company. He’s confident in the course laid out by his predecessors, which hinges on the software revamp. The new software is called BlackBerry 10, and it’s due in new smartphones late this year. For BlackBerry fans, it should be a welcome upgrade. It’s based on QNX, an industrial-grade operating system that runs devices that need to be very reliable, like core Internet routers and anesthesia monitoring devices. That means it’s a stable platform that can give BlackBerrys a new look and new capabilities. BlackBerry 10 will have a completely new user interface, built from the ground up for touchscreen input and “very fluid,” Heins said in an interview. But it amounts to BlackBerry tossing out its own quirky, outdated software, first introduced in 1999, and adopting a slick, touch-oriented operating system, much like Android, Google Inc.’s popular smartphone software, and the software on the iPhone. Heins said BlackBerry 10 is “extremely competitive” and insisted that RIM is “not in a catch-up race” with the makers other mobile operating systems. He emphasizes that BlackBerry 10 will offer “multitasking,” or the ability to run several applications at the same time. This is something Google Inc.’s Android software and the iPhone operating system offer in a limited fashion. Phone software developers generally stay away from full multitasking because it can shorten battery life considerably.

Improved multitasking was one of the hallmarks of Palm Inc.’s webOS when it launched in 2009, but that didn’t save it from obscurity. One thing that could entice buyers: the new software will expand the choice of applications greatly, by running ones written for Android. There are hundreds of thousands of such apps, but it’s unclear how many of them will run on BlackBerry 10 without modification. The PlayBook, RIM’s tablet computer, already runs an early version of BlackBerry 10. RIM had huge hopes for the device when it put it on sale in April, but quickly had to slash the price. In December, the tablets that originally cost $500 were selling for $200, below the cost of making them. RIM wrote off $485 million worth of inventory. The PlayBook also illustrates the big challenge RIM is facing switching operating systems. It launched without an email program, apparently because it’s very difficult to get QNX to work with the RIM servers that shunt emails around. Application developers will also have to relearn their tools to write programs for BlackBerry 10, which could prove a big hurdle. “The platform risks suffering from the same chicken and egg problem as many others- users won’t buy a device without any apps, and developers won’t develop for a platform without any users,” said Jan Dawson, an analyst with Ovum. But the main problem analysts see with BlackBerry 10 is that the phones are set to come out so late. They were originally slated for early this year, but pushed to late this year. The company said that was because the right chips weren’t available. When they come out, it will be more than five years since Apple released the first iPhone and set a new standard for phone software. And even if BlackBerry 10 makes the phones more competitive, that doesn’t mean it can reverse RIM’s fortunes. Analyst Tavis McCourt noted that the history of phone makers who fall on hard times and try to turn things around is not encouraging. “In fact, it is hard to think of a single successful case in the smartphone era,” he wrote. — AP

TOKYO: Minami Sawada, an employee of Japanese weather forecasting company Weathernews displays some of the 1,000 pod-shaped pollen counting robots called “Pollen-robot”, which are ready to be shiped as nationwide monitors to observe pollen levels ahead of the coming hay fever season, at the company’s headquarters in Chiba, suburban Tokyo yesteday. The Pollen-robot, which has two LED eyes and glows a range of five different colors to indicate pollen levels, will be placed outside houses and can send reports recording pollen, temperatures, humidity and air pressure to the company through the Internet. — AFP

SAN FRANCISCO: Google said yesrterday it is revising its privacy policies and changing how it uses data from users of its services to provide more personalized search results and advertisements. The Mountain View, California-based Internet giant said the changes are designed to improve the user experience across the various Google products, which range from Web search to Gmail to Google+ to YouTube. Google said it is combining more than 60 privacy policies for its various services into a single policy that will take effect from March 1. “We’re rolling out a new main privacy policy that covers the majority of our products and explains what information we collect, and how we use it, in a much more readable way,” Alma Whitten, Google’s director of privacy, product and engineering, said in a blog post. “We believe this new, simpler policy will make it easier for people to understand our privacy practices as well as enable Google to improve the services we offer,” she said. Google noted that “regulators globally have been calling for shorter, simpler privacy policies” and said it would inform users of the changes by email and with a notice on the Google.com home page. Google has found itself under increasing scrutiny from European and US regulators as it has grown from a scrappy startup into an

Internet titan, branching out into various businesses including online mapping, shopping and travel and providing software for mobile phones and tablet computers. The changes to Google’s privacy policies are certain to draw further attention in Washington and Brussels and announcing them more than a month ahead of time appeared to be a bid to provide time for them to be digested. Whitten said instead of having terms of service for individual products, Google was revising its terms of service to cover numerous products. Google account users will have to accept the new terms of service to continue using their accounts. The main change announced Tuesday involves users who have Google accounts. “If you’re signed in, we may combine information you’ve provided from one service with information from other services,” Whitten said. “In short, we’ll treat you as a single user across all our products, which will mean a simpler, more intuitive Google experience,” Whitten said. By linking services and sharing information “we can make search better-figuring out what you really mean when you type in Apple, Jaguar or Pink,” she said. “We can provide more relevant ads too. “We can provide reminders that you’re going to be late for a meeting based on your location, your calendar and an understanding

of what the traffic is like that day,” she said. Merging the information about its users appears to be a bid by Google to glean a more integrated view of its users, an advantage enjoyed by Apple and Facebook. “Companies everywhere want to break down product walls to get a 360 degree view of customers,” said Larry Dignan of technology site ZDNet. “Unified user experience aside, it was kind of nice to have my YouTube personas different from say, Gmail and Google+” Dignan said. “Google will know more about you than your wife does,” he said. “Everything across your screens will be integrated and tracked. Dignan said the move appears to be partly aimed at “juicing Google+” the Facebook rival launched by Google last year. In March of last year, the US Federal Trade Commission reached a settlement with Google over Google Buzz, the social networking tool which was launched in February 2010 that spawned a slew of privacy complaints. Under the settlement announced by the US regulator, Google is required to implement a comprehensive privacy program and will be subject to independent privacy audits every two years for the next 20 years. The FTC also an ongoing probe into Google’s lucrative search and advertising business. Google has said it is cooperating with the FTC investigation. — AFP

Apple doubles iPhone sales NEW YORK: The iPhone is taking over Apple. For the first time, the device that changed how people use mobile phones, accounts for more than half of the behemoth company’s sales. Apple Inc. on Tuesday said it sold 37 million iPhones in the last three months of 2011, vastly exceeding analyst estimates and propelling the company to record quarterly results. The phone accounted for 53 percent of Apple’s revenue in the quarter. Though it has other hit products, like MacBooks and the iPad, they can’t keep up with the iPhone, whose sales more than doubled over last year from an already high level. The sales mean Apple is set to regain the position it briefly held earlier last year of being the world’s largest maker of smartphones. Nokia Corp., the earlier No. 1, in transition to a new generation of smartphones, and more recent competitor Samsung

Electronics Co. has announced preliminary figure of 35 million smartphones sold in the October to December period. October saw Apple launching the iPhone 4S in the U.S. and some other countries. The phone was delayed for a few months, which meant that Apple’s results for the July to September quarter were uncharacteristically tepid. It came back with a vengeance in the holiday season. On Tuesday, Apple said net income in the fiscal first quarter, which ended Dec. 31, was $13.06 billion, or $13.87 per share. That was up 118 percent from $6 billion, or $6.43 per share, a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting earnings of $10.04 per share for the latest quarter, Apple’s fiscal first. Revenue was $46.33 billion, up 73 percent from a year ago. Analysts were expecting $38.9 billion. The Cupertino, Calif., company shipped 15.4 million iPads in the

quarter, again more than doubling sales over the same quarter last year. The November launch of Amazon.com Inc.’s $199 Kindle Fire tablet didn’t appear to put much of a dent in the iPad’s sales, as some analysts predicted it would. Apple shares rose $33.03, or 7.9 percent, to $453.53 in extended trading, after the release of the results. Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said the company expects earnings of $8.50 per share in the current quarter, and sales of $32.5 billion. Both figures are above the average estimate of analysts polled by FactSet, even though Apple usually low-balls its estimates. Apple ended the quarter with a cash balance of a staggering $97.6 billion. That’s more than enough to buy Citigroup Inc. outright, or issue a special dividend of $100 per Apple share. For years, investors have been frustrated with Apple’s unwillingness

to put the cash to use, but complaints have been muted as Apple continues to generate record-breaking results and as the stock price keeps rising. Apple executives have said the cash hoard gives the company flexibility to make acquisitions and long-term supply deals. If the stock rally in extended trading survives into regular trading Wednesday, Apple will retake the position of most valuable company in the world from Exxon Mobil Corp. Apple first unseated Exxon last summer, and the two have been trading places since then. Apple’s results lifted shares of smaller companies that supply chips for the iPhone, like TriQuint Semiconductor, up 7.7 percent, Cirrus Logic Inc., up 6.8 percent, Broadcom Corp., up 4.2 percent, and Skyworks Solutions Inc., up 3.7 percent. Apple co-founder and longtime CEO Steve Jobs died Oct. 5, just as the recordbreaking quarter started. — AP

Facebook forces Timeline, tips to hide users’ past NEW YORK: Facebook will start requiring people to switch to a new profile format known as Timeline, making photos, links and personal musings from the past much easier to find. Timeline is essentially a scrapbook of your whole life on Facebook, compared with a snapshot of you today found on Facebook’s traditional profile page. Once activated, Timeline replaces the current profile. Although some people have already voluntarily switched to Timeline, Facebook hadn’t made that mandatory. Beginning Tuesday, Facebook is telling some users that they have seven days to clean up their profiles before Timeline gets automatically activated. Facebook is rolling out the requirement to others over the next few weeks. At some point, even those who haven’t logged on to Facebook in a while will be automatically switched. Timeline doesn’t expose anything that wasn’t available for sharing in the past. Many of those older posts had always been available. People could get to them by continually hitting “Older Posts,” although most wouldn’t have bothered. Timeline allows people to jump to the older material more quickly. Timeline also doesn’t necessarily reflect the fact that your circle of friends has likely expanded in recent years. A party photo you posted in 2008 to a small group of friends would be more visible to relatives, bosses and others you may have added as friends since then. You’ll have a week to curate the Timeline by moving stuff around, hiding

photos or featuring them more prominently on your page. Some things to consider: You can change privacy settings on individual items to control who has access. You might want to narrow embarrassing photos to your closest friends or delete some posts completely, or at least hide them so only you can see them. You can change the date on a post. For example, if you took a few months to post photos from a trip to Portugal, you can move them to appear with other posts from the time you took that trip. You can also add where you were, retroactively using a location feature that Facebook hadn’t offered until recently. For major events in your life, you can click on a star to feature them more prominently. You can hide the posts you’d rather not showcase. Besides your traditional profile photo - your headshot you can add what Facebook calls a cover photo. It’s the image that will splash across the top and can be a dog, a hobby or anything else that reflects who you are. Keep in mind the dimensions are more like a movie screen than a traditional photo, so a close-up portrait of your face won’t work well, but one of you lying horizontally will. But you don’t even have to be in it. You can add things before you joined Facebook, back to when you were born. Life events can include when you broke your arm and whom you were with then, or when you spoke your first word or got a tattoo. You can add photos from childhood or high school as well. — AP

This product image provided by Function Inc., shows the Viggle App for iPhone. When you tap the screen, Viggle’s software for iPhones and iPads listens to what’s on, recognizes what you’re watching and gives you credit at roughly two points per minute. It even works for shows you’ve saved on a digital video recorder. Rack up 7,500 points, and you’ll be rewarded with a $5 gift card from retailers such as Burger King, Starbucks, Apple’s iTunes, Best Buy and CVS, which you can redeem directly from your device. — AP


THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012

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

More kids seek tans as they age, may raise skin cancer risk NEW YORK: As children go from elementary to junior high school, the desire to tan grows stronger while the habit of using sunscreen goes out the window, according to a survey-potentially raising the risk of getting deadly skin cancer later on. The survey, carried out over three years, found that sunscreen use fell by half, said a study published in the journal Pediatrics, a worrying trend since there is evidence that sun damage at a young age is tied to a higher risk of developing melanoma. The number of melanoma cases in the United States has been rising for the

past three decades, and around 70,230 new cases will be diagnosed this year, according to the American Cancer Society. “I think especially at this age, and in general, there are a lot of forces that promote tanning,” said Stephen Dusza, a researcher at Memorial SloanKettering Cancer Center in New York City and lead author of the study. Though Dusza said he expected that children would want to tan more as they grew older, due partly to advertising and tanning among many celebrities, the results surprised him. “I was struck by the magnitude of the

reduction in the use of sunscreen-a 50 percent drop,” he said. Dusza’s group surveyed 360 fifth graders in Massachusetts about their time in the sun, how often they used sun protection and their attitudes about tanning. Three years later, the children answered the same questions. Only one in four of the eighth graders said they used sunscreen when they were outside for more than six hours, which was half as many who said they used sunscreen in fifth grade. Four out of 10 of the children also went outside just to get a tan when they

were in eighth grade, compared to two out of 10 when they were in fifth grade. But despite the children spending more time outside trying to get a tan as they grew older, the number who got sunburned remained the same at about 50 percent. Dusza said he wasn’t certain why sunburns didn’t increase, but thought that maybe children defined a sunburn differently as they got older, or perhaps their outdoor activities changed. The study underlined the fact that many young people aren’t protecting their skin, said Sophie Balk, an attending

pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore and a Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, both in New York City. “Kids think looking tan is consistent with looking healthy, but it’s the opposite. A tan is the body’s response to UV exposure” and shows there’s been damage to the sk in, Balk told Reuters Health. “We need more media messages, more role models, more public health campaigns. As a society we could be doing more to promote skin cancer prevention and skin protection,” she added.— Reuters

Embattled health fund director resigns Corruption, misspending rattle biggest donors

Reproductive biologist Nana Satake views a microscopic slide of a coral sample at the wildlife reproductive laboratory at Dubbo’s Western Plains Zoo, home to the Reef Recovery Project on January 12, 2012. The Project aims to store genetic samples from the Great Barrier Reef in the hope of one day restoring coral affected by climate change and other human impacts. — AFP

Common scans may cause thyroid problems WASHINGTON: The iodide dye used in heart scans and other medical imaging, such as CT scans, may in some cases damage patients’ thyroid glands, possibly leading to health problems such as thyroid disease later on, according to a US study. But the diseases occur rarely, are eminently treatable and should not lead patients to put off having scans, experts said. Patients who had signs of thyroid disease were between two and three times as likely to have had a scan using iodide as a comparison group of people without thyroid problems, researchers wrote in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Some 80 million doses of the dye are administered worldwide every year, and while the chemical is known to take a toll on the kidneys, there has up to now only been anecdotal evidence that it could also hurt the thyroid, said Steven Brunelli of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, who worked on the study. While the findings aren’t ironclad proof that the dye itself is responsible, experts agreed that the dye was a likely explanation, since high doses of iodide are known to throw the thyroid off balance-and the amounts given during a scan may be several hundred times greater than recommended daily intakes. “It’s a tremendous, tremendous dose, really exceeding anything that patients are ever exposed to,” said Brunelli. “As a community, we have not been aware of this until just now, so this wouldn’t be part of the informed consent form,” he told Reuters Health. The study is based on data on nearly 400 patients treated at Brigham and Women’s or Massachusetts General Hospital, who developed either over- or underactive thyroids. Those people were compared to a group of more than 1,400

similar patients with normal thyroid function. Based on blood samples, the researchers found that people with overactive thyroids-so-called hyperthyroidism-were twice as likely as the comparison group to have been exposed to iodide dye during CT scans or cardiac catheterization procedures. When researchers focused on patients who had signs of serious thyroid disease, the link became even stronger and included underactive thyroids, or hypothyroidism. If that’s cause and effect, it means there would be one extra case of hyperthyroidism per 33 patients who get the dye, and one extra case of hypothyroidism per 36 patients. From the study, it appeared the hypothyroidism corrected itself over time, while hyperthyroidism did not, Brunelli said. “All of these thyroid diseases are eminently treatable,” he added, although he said the findings should make doctors more cautious about using scans that employ the dyes. Jeffrey Kline, head of emergency medical research at the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, who has studied the effects of iodide dyes, said there were several limitations to the work. “It just tells us that some of the patients’ blood work gets abnormal after (the scans), but we really don’t know what it means for the patients,” he said. Based on his own experience, he estimates that only about one in 1,000 patients is bothered enough by thyroid problems from the dye to see a doctor, while kidney damage occurs in about one in ten patients. He added that doctors can often use a simple blood test, ultrasound or MRI scan instead of the CT scans that usually require iodide. — Reuters

AMSTERDAM: This photo made available by Artis Zoo in Amsterdam yesterday, shows a contact lens being placed in the left eye of Win Thida, a 44-year-old Asian elephant at Artis Zoo, Amsterdam, Netherlands Tuesday Jan. 24, 2012. Win Thida’s cornea was damaged when playing with other elephants, the operation to place the contact lens lasted about one hour. — AP

DAVOS: The head of the $22.6 billion Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has abruptly resigned, part of a shakeup in its top management since revelations about corruption and misspending severely rattled some of its biggest donors. Dr. Michel Kazatchkine, a French clinical immunologist who has served as executive director of the global health fund for the past five years, announced Tuesday that he will resign in March. The shakeup resulted from an internal review to address problems highlighted in Associated Press stories last year. Following the AP articles about the fund’s losses, some donors withheld funding, and the fund scaled back its spending. Foreign Minister Alain Juppe of France, the fund’s second-largest donor after the United States, said in a statement he “deeply regrets” the doctor’s resignation and hailed his “remarkable work” over nearly five years. Last year the fund’s board decided to create a new general manager position after the fund was forced to cancel its plans to expand its programs by more than $1 billion when its budget projections dropped. The panel also found unhealthy friction between Kazatchkine and the fund’s internal watchdog, Inspector General John Parsons, who has come under pressure as his team of investigators and auditors documented the losses. Kazatchkine, in a statement released by the fund, cited as a reason for his unexpected depar-

ture the board’s decision to create the new position of general manager. He said he concluded he should not continue under these circumstances. The resignation came on the eve of the World Economic Forum

meeting in Davos, which played a role in its creation a decade ago. A dinner for the public-private fund is planned Thursday with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and major backers Bill Gates and the Bill & Melinda Gates

PARIS: A photograph taken on May 16, 2011 shows Michel Kazatchkine during a press conference in Paris. The head of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria yesterday said his decision to quit was triggered by a management reshuffle and cuts in spending plans. Michel Kazatchkine was appointed the Fund’s executive director in 2007 and had been reappointed for a three-year term in January 2011. — AFP

Chemicals linked to lower vaccine response in children WASHINGTON: Chemical compounds widely used in fast-food packaging, waterproof clothing and non-stick frying pans were linked in a study out Tuesday to lower immune response by young children to routine tetanus and diphtheria immunization shots. The study, in Tuesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), is the first to show how perfluorinated compounds can negatively affect the response to vaccines. PFCs can be transferred to children before birth via the mother, or after birth from exposure in the environment, according to the report. “The negative impact on childhood vaccinations from PFCs should be viewed as a potential threat to public health,” said study lead author Philippe Grandjean with the Harvard School of Public Health. Grandjean appeared alarmed because routine childhood immunizations “are a mainstay of modern disease prevention.” Researchers “were surprised by the steep negative associations, which suggest that PFCs may be more toxic to the immune system than current dioxin exposures,” said Grandjean. PFCs have thousands of industrial and manufacturing uses, and most Americans have traces of the chemical compounds in their bodies. Earlier studies have shown that PFC concentrations in mice similar to those found in people suppressed immune response. The negative effects of the compounds on people however have not been well studied. The experts studied data on infants at the National Hospital in Torshavn, on Denmark’s Faroe Islands, during 1999-2001. Of those studied, 587 children participated in follow-up examinations at ages five and seven, when they were tested for immune response to tetanus and diphtheria vaccinations. The level of PFCs were measured in maternal pregnancy blood serum, and in the blood serum of children at age five, to determine prenatal and postnatal exposure. The results show a link between exposure to PFCs and a lower antibody response to tetanus and diphtheria vaccines than normal. A lower level of antibodies increases the risk that the children will not have an adequate immune response for long-term protection against tetanus and diphtheria, according to the study authors. “A two-fold greater concentration of three major PFCs was associated with a 49 percent lower level of serum antibodies in children at age 7 years,” the report read. The PFC concentrations “are similar to or slightly below those reported in US women,” while most serum PFC levels in the children at age five “were lower than those measured in US children aged 3 to 5 years in 2001-2002,” the report said. Bisphenol A (BPA), another chemical compound widely used in cans, beverage bottles and in some dental fillings, is a suspected “endocrine disruptor,” which can result in breast and prostate cancer and affect the developing brains of infants and children. — AFP

Foundation. On Feb. 1, Gabriel Jaramillo, a former chairman and CEO of Sovereign Bank, will take over as general manager. The fund described his job as “a newly created position intended to oversee a process of transformation as it accelerates the fight against the three pandemics by focusing on its management of risk and grants.” Jaramillo, a Brazilian citizen who hails from Colombia, has recently served as a special adviser to the UN on malaria and was part of the panel that reviewed the Global Fund’s operations. The Geneva-based fund was set up in 2002 as a new way to coordinate world efforts against the diseases and to speed up emergency funds from wealthy nations and donors to the places hardest hit. It currently pays for the treatment of around half the developing world’s AIDS sufferers. Outside of its donor nations and celebrity backers, the biggest private donor is the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has pledged $1.15 billion and provided it with $650 million so far. The fund created the outside panel in March to address concern among donors after Associated Press articles in January 2011 about the loss of tens of millions of dollars in grant money because of mismanagement and alleged fraud. Germany, the European Commission and Denmark withheld hundreds of millions of euros in funding pending reviews. Germany - the fund’s fourth-largest donor- has since restored its funding. —AP

US school lunches to have more veggies, whole grains WASHINGTON: Schoolchildren’s favorite lunch - the ubiquitous frozen pizza - is about to get healthier. First lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are expected to announce Wednesday that most school meals, including pizza, will have less sodium, more whole grains and more fruits and vegetables as sides. The popular pizzas will still be on school lunch lines but made with healthier ingredients. Mrs. Obama and Vilsack were making the announcement at an elementary school in Alexandria, Va., with celebrity chef Rachael Ray. The new rules, the first major nutritional overhaul of school meals in 15 years, won’t be as aggressive as the Obama administration had hoped. Congress last year blocked the Agriculture Department from making some of the changes the department had sought, including limiting french fries and pizzas. A bill passed in November would require USDA to allow tomato paste on pizzas to be counted as a vegetable, as it is now. The initial draft of the department’s guidelines, released a year ago, would have prevented that. Congress also blocked USDA from limiting servings of potatoes to two servings a week. The final rule to be announced Wednesday will have to incorporate those directions from Congress. The congressional changes had been requested by potato growers and food

companies that produce frozen pizzas for schools, among others in the food industry. Conservatives in Congress called the guidelines an overreach, saying the government shouldn’t be telling children what to eat. School districts had also objected to some of the requirements, saying they go too far and would cost too much. The new guidelines would apply to lunches subsidized by the federal government, and a child nutrition bill signed by President Barack Obama in 2010 would help school districts pay for some of the increased costs. Some of the changes could take place as soon as the next school year, while others would be phased in over time. The guidelines are also expected to limit the total number of calories in an individual meal and require that milk be low in fat. Flavored milks would have to be nonfat. While many schools are improving meals already, others are still serving children meals high in fat, salt and calories. The guidelines are designed to combat growing childhood obesity and are based on 2009 recommendations by the Institute of Medicine, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences. The subsidized meals that would fall under the guidelines are served as free and low-cost meals to low-income children and long have been subject to government nutrition standards. — AP

TOKYO: Brian Druker (R), professor and director of Oregon Health and Science University Knight Cancer Institute, and President of Intermetallics Co. Masato Sagawa (L) pose for photographers during a press conference for the announcement of the Japan Prize winners in Tokyo yesterday. — AFP


THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012

H E A LT H

Routine checks getting second look Too many medical tests may not save lives WASHINGTON: Recent headlines offered a fresh example of how the health care system subjects people to too many medical tests - this time research showing millions of older women don’t need their bones checked for osteoporosis nearly so often. Chances are you’ve heard that many expert groups say cancer screening is overused, too, from mammograms given too early or too often to prostate cancer tests that may not save lives. It’s not just cancer. Now some of the nuts-and-bolts tests given during checkups or hospital visits are getting a second look, too - things like routine EKGs to check heart health, or chest X-rays before elective surgery. Next under the microscope may be women’s dreaded yearly pelvic exams. The worry: If given too often, these tests can waste time and money, and sometimes even do harm if false alarms spur unneeded follow-up care. It begs the question: Just what should be part of my doctor’s visit? If you’re 65 or older, Medicare offers a list of screenings to print out and discuss during the new annual wellness visit, a benefit that began last year. As of November, more than 1.9 million seniors had taken advantage of the free

checkup. For younger adults, figuring out what’s necessary and what’s overkill is tougher. Whatever your age, some major campaigns are under way to help. They’re compiling lists of tests that your doctor might be ordering more out of habit, or fear of lawsuits, than based on scientific evidence that they are really needed. “Too often, we order tests without stopping to think about how (if at all) the result will help the patient,” wrote Dr. Christine Laine. She’s editor of Annals of Internal Medicine, which this month published a list of 37 scenarios where testing is overused. Not even physicians are immune when it comes to their own health care. Dr. Steven Weinberger of the American College of Physicians had minor elective surgery for torn knee cartilage about a year ago. The hospital required a pre-operative chest Xray, an EKG to check his heart, and a full blood work-up - tests he says aren’t recommended for an otherwise healthy person at low risk of complications. Weinberger should know: He led the team that compiled that new list of overused tests. All three examples are on it. “If anyone should have

objected, I should have objected, but I took the easy way out. I didn’t want to be raising a fuss, quite frankly,” he says. The college of physicians’ push for what it calls “high-value, cost-conscious care” - and similar work being published in the Archives of Internal Medicine - aims to get more doctors to think twice so their patients won’t be put in that uncomfortable position. Another group, the National Physicians Alliance, is studying whether training primary care doctors in parts of Connecticut, California and Washington about the most overused care will change their habits. Medical groups have long urged patients not to be shy and to ask why they need a particular test, what its pros and cons are, and what would happen if they skip it. This spring, a campaign called Choosing Wisely promises to provide more specific advice. The group will publish a list of the top 5 overused tests and treatments from different specialties. Consumer Reports will publish a layman’s translation, to help people with these awkward discussions. For now, some recent publications offer this guidance: No annual EKGs or other cardiac screening for low-risk

patients with no heart disease symptoms. That’s been a recommendation of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force for years. Yet a Consumer Reports survey of more than 8,000 people ages 40 to 60 found 44 percent of low-risk, people with no symptoms had undergone an EKG or similar screening. Simple blood pressure and cholesterol checks are considered far more valuable. Discuss how often you need a bone-density scan for osteoporosis. An initial test is recommended at 65, and Medicare pays for a repeat every two years. A study published last week found that a low-risk woman whose initial scan is healthy can wait up to 15 years for a repeat; those at moderate risk might need retesting in five years, high-risk women more often. Women under 65 need that first bone scan only if they have risk factors such as smoking or prior broken bones, say the two new overtesting lists. Most people with low back pain for less than six weeks shouldn’t get Xrays or other scans, Weinberger’s group stresses. Even those all-important cholesterol tests seldom are needed every year, unless yours is high, according to

the college of physicians. Otherwise, guidelines generally advise every five years. Pap smears for a routine cervical cancer check are only needed once every three years by most women. So why must they return to the doctor every year to get a pelvic exam (minus the Pap)? For no good reason, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last month. Pelvic exams aren’t a good screening tool for ovarian cancer, and shouldn’t be required to get birth control pills, the report says. Yes, simple tests can harm. Cleveland Clinic cardiology chief Dr. Steven Nissen cites a 52-year-old woman who wound up with a heart transplant after another doctor ordered an unneeded cardiac scan that triggered a false alarm and further testing that in turn punctured her aorta. A close relationship with a primary care doctor who knows you well enough to personalize care maximizes your chances of getting only the tests you really need - without wondering if it’s all just about saving money, says Dr. Glen Stream of the American Academy of Family Physicians. “The issue is truly about what is best for patients,” he says. — AP


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THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012

W H AT ’ S O N Greetings

ABS holds elementary sports days

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appy birthday wishes to Wasim Hani Yusari and Habib Mamdouh Yusari from family and friends. May Allah bless you both.

Upcoming events Music album An Indian music album, Madhuvasantham, to be shot in Kuwait invites actors and associates, album’s creator Hari Paravoor said. The 9-sogs audio album, which was released at a function at Gulf Indian School about a year ago is penned by Hari Paravoor and tuned by Bashir Koyilandi. The video album of the songs will be released shortly. The album creators would like creative contributions from artistes and common folks who can give a try in creative participation in the album. Please contact: 55442649. Music festival On March 1, 2012, the “Blend Music Festival,” a mellow acoustic get-together of several local musicians, will take place in Bayt Lothan, the official sponsor, host, and curator of the event. This event will be FREE of charge and open to everyone to attend. We hope to see you all there, and here’s to a great start to 2012! The “Blend Music Festival” will be the first of many concerts to be held; there are a handful of musicians on board, and more will be added to the sets at a later stage. Here is the program for March 1st: 1- Ali Sleeq with Gary Ruston & Kevin Owen = JAZZ; 2- Hadi Sarieddine, Bader Nana, & Sarj = ROCK; 3- Lewis Chapman - FOLK / ROCK. Acting workshop The British Academy of International Arts (BAIA) is holding a world class acting workshop over three days. Nona Shepphard, Associate Director of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), will share her expertise as actor, director and playwright. The workshop will involve learning how to transform the written text into a successful performance. Shepphard is head of the audition panel at RADA and will also discuss how best to prepare for auditions. This workshop is a rare opportunity and a must for anyone interested in improving their acting skills and/or considering a career in Theatre. When: February 2nd, 3rd & 4th. For more information: info@thebaia.com or 6005-2087 Where: Shakespeare Theatre At The British School of Kuwait (BSK) Salwa. Infoconnect expo to be held in Kuwait From January 29th till February 4th Infoconnect will be held at the Kuwait International Fair Grounds Infoconnect is one of the most professionally organized trade shows in Kuwait, dedicated exclusively to the computer applications and information technology sector. The show ranks high on the popularity count, drawing in a large number of exhibitors as well as qualified business visitors at each of its editions. The line of products put on exhibit at the show is quite extensive and includes computer peripherals, IT security tools, software solutions, data warehousing systems and a host of other related services and accessories. The show draws in active participation from eminent professionals from both the public as well as the private sectors and the latest innovations and developments in the IT industry are closely looked into here. The show is held over a period of seven days at the Kuwait International Fairground and enjoys large scale media coverage too. GLEE-esque show choir This Valentine’s Day step into a musical Love Story performed by Vocal Rhapsody, KLT’s first ever GLEE-esque show choir. Vocal Rhapsody’s “Love Story” - is a show choir production with hit songs from artists such as Journey, Queen, Katy Perry and Meatloaf. It promises to be an exciting evening for all with some classic songs that everyone will enjoy. For contact: http://www.theklt.com Kuwait Bike Show The Kuwait Bike Show is an annual bike show organized by Harley Davidson of Kuwait. The show this year will take place at Marina Mall the most popular shopping destination in Kuwait. The bike show is a competition with different categories, where judgment will be taken on certain points by experts. Invited participants will include chapters from all over the Middle East. It will be held January 26th - 27th. For further info v Email: webmaster@hog-kw.com or cmc@harley-davidson-kw.com Cultural program On the 10th of February 2012, Friday at 3:30 pm. A cultural program will be staged at the Carmel School Kuwait, Khaitan. This will include a Book Fair and an Art Competition with a Musical Drama (JanatarDak). It is written n Directed by Rafiqul Islam Bulu and organized by the Bangladesh Udjapon Committee Kuwait. This is an open invitation, All are welcome.

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BS held its annual Elementary Spor ts Days across two days; Wednesday, Januar y 11th for Grades 1 and 2 and on Thursday, January 12th for Grades 3, 4 and 5. Weather interrupted what was well on its way to being a great Sports Day for Grades 1 and 2 on Wednesday. The House teams of Pumas, Cheetahs, Tigers and Lions all competed during the morning session before the lightning forced everyone off the pitches. The weather was great on Thursday and Grades 3, 4 and 5 all competed fiercely with the Lions 4 team going undefeated on the day. Each day consisted of the students playing three games in the first session, breaking for a snack, and then playing three games before lunch. The students proudly wore their Inter-house t-shirts to play for their respective team.

The students competed on eight different pitches, football being played on four, benchball on two, field hockey on one and relay races on the other. It was great to watch all of the ABS Elementary students compete with sportsmanship and fair play. The Elementary Sports Days were fortunate to have several parent volunteers who came along to assist with the event; Wadha Al Jeri, Huda Abul, Khalid Al Ali, Zalikha Ashour, Daliya Al Humaidi, Ibtisam Al Sharmmari, Abeer Al Awadhi and Abeer Al Nisif amongst them. I n addition to ABS providing a catered lunch each day, through Americana, the students were given apples and oranges by one of our parent volunteers. The event was the successful culmination of planning by the ABS PE Depar tment and the

Elementary Administration to provide the students with the best possible sport and fitness experience. We look

Tulu Koota Kuwait launches ‘Tulu Koota calendar 2012’

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he launch of ‘Tulu Koota Kuwait Calendar 2012’ marked the commencement of a bright & successful year ahead by the new team of Tulu Koota Kuwait committee members. The TKK Calendar 2012 was released by the Sponsor & Senior Member of TKK’s Advisory Committee Nakre Satishchandra Shetty and the President of Tulu Koota Kuwait Ramesh Kidiyoor on 20th January at the All Committee Meeting held at Indian Public School. Nakre Satishchandra Shetty appreciated the efforts put in by the members towards creating an exclusive Calendar comprising details of English & Tulu months, Kuwait National liolidays, Native festivals & holidays as well as Tulu Koota Kuwait events for the year 2012. TKK President Mr. Ramesh Kidiyoor expressed his gratitude towards the members who contributed towards the creation of the Calendar. Mrs Swarna Shetty, member of Advisory committee, graced the occasion with her esteemed presence and also conveyed her best wishes to the

new team for the future events. The TKK Calendar 2012 displays the joint efforts put in by the TKK committee members wherein the designing

was done by Ram Bhat, essential inputs furnished and compilation of data by Vice President Tharendra P. Shettigar and Joint Secretary Mrs Jayalakshmi V

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Karkal & the support of Mr. Ronald D’Souza in releasing the calendar. The program was beautifully compered by Gen Secretary Sathya Nayarana Salian.

Congress (I) Kuwait leaders meet Indian MP

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ongress (I) leaders in Kuwait urged visiting member from Indian parliament to pressurize the voting right issue of the expats in Indian parliament. Government of India passed the bill in the parliament for giving voting rights to expatriate Indians while they are India during election time. Practically it is experienced that, voting is next to impossible to be in India to cast their votes during the elections. As per the election commissions notification NRIs can cast their votes if they are in India, therefore majority of the Indian population abroad are unable to

franchise their democratic rights. Therefore Congress (I) demanded to amend the election law and allow to vote from their residing country through Indian embassy. This issue and other different community issues were discussed during the meeting with visiting Indian parliament member and ruling congress party’s parliamentary party secretary Kodikunnil Suresh and Indian ambassador along with community leaders Rajan Daniel and Jacob M.Channapetta during their meeting in the India House in Kuwait. The MP further stated that, he will pressurize this issue with concerned authorities of government of India.

INLAWS submits memorandum for online NRI complaint cell

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NDIAN LAWYERS SOCIETY (INLAWS) Kuwait, a Professional Society of Indian Lawyers and law graduates working in Kuwait, submitted a Memorandum to Hon. Member of Indian Parliament Kodikkunnil Suresh and sought his attention in regard to solving grievances and relief relate to NRI families and their properties in India. The memorandum was handed over to Hon MP Kodikkunnil Suresh by Advocate Jacob Varghese along with President Adv. Razak M Payyoli, General Secretary Adv Anas Puthiyottil, Treasurer Adv Truman, Adv Stanley Mathew John and Adv Gafoor. An NRI is living abroad by leaving his family including aged parents, wife, children and their properties in India. There were many mishaps, offenses, bad incidents of crimes, trespass or issues related to his family or property etc of an NRI is not attended or secure especially in the

absence of a grievance cell for the purpose. Hence, in order to live secure in abroad without worries of their families and properties under their constitutional

to attend 24 hour online complaints of NRI’s. Upon receiving a complaint regarding any crimes or offences, it should be registered with number as a complaint

right to live and right to property, INLAWS Kuwait appeal to Central as well as all State governments to open a Help desk, grievance cell or a NRI Police Unit

and forward to the concerned police station or authority for inquiry and for further action with acknowledgement to the complainant NRI. This will help to get

Kuwait Awami League marks Bangabandhu’s return eople’s Republic of Bangladesh gain its independence on 16th December 1971 after a 9 month long bloody war with a lost of 3 million martyrs. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman the father of the nation arrested on 26th march 1971. Soon after he declared the independence of Bangladesh and taken to Pakistan where he spend whole the war period (9 month). On January 10th 1972 the great leader return to his own independent country. This historic day Awami League Kuwait Branch organized a program on 12th January. The function was presided over by the Kuwait Awami League President Mohd Sadeq

forward to building on the Sports Days experience and fur thering our students’ health and fitness.

Hussain, and conducted by the Joint Secretary of KAL Asrak Ali Ferdous. Mohd Shafiq Senior Vice president of Al-Jahra Provincial Awami League recites the verses from Holy Qur’an followed by a minute of silence to all the brave freedom fighter’s who sacrificed their lives in the independence war of Bangladesh in 1971. Habibur Rahman Habib General Secretary of KAL who is also known as President of Kuwait Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KBCCI) was the Principal speaker of the function along with Rabiul Atam Rabi the advisor of KAL, Shafiqul Alam Shafi, Ataul Gani Mamun and Sikander Ali vice president

of KAL, Mahmood ali the president of Jatio Party Kuwait, were the guest of honor. A huge gathering took place from different wing’s and sister concern of KAL, digniteries, businessmen, community activists, media activist’s and journalists. The meeting was covered with the speech on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Political life and the ongoing overall politics situation back to Bangladesh. Babul Akhtar Noor a well known cultural activists recites the poem followed by the speech delivery session. KAL president Mohd Sadeq Hussain delivered his conclusive speech thanking the audience followed by dinner.

justice. The memorandum requests support from government by the way of setting up an online complaint registration and report lodging system and 24 hour telephone hotline service from the concerned State police department so as to address various security and social issues NRI’s are facing in India. This will be a great help for NRI community from Government for the peaceful maintenance and support for their family and property in the state as there is no such machinery is working now. The criminal activities and other social evil in general is alarmingly increased in recent years and most of the NRI homes in the States has only elderly members including women and children as inmates. NRI’s often face time delay in submitting their complaints and further delay to rectify and solve such matters since there are no such machinery now.


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THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012

W H AT ’ S O N

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

From Left: Maher Fakhry (Food & Beverage Manager), Chef Pankaj Saini, Ali Haddad (General Manager), chef Abduljahed Rahul, Chef Sainsain Sihombing and Chef Hussam Rajaa.

Swiss-Belhotel Plaza takes part in HORECA’s competition

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ORECA Kuwait 2012 exhibition for Hospitality and Food Exhibition had their grand opening last 22nd January which was organized by the Leaders Group for Consulting and Development in cooperation with hospitality services in Lebanon. Horeca organized culinary competition for chefs from different hotels in

Kuwait with different categories. Different hotels, food industry and food companies participated in the exhibition. On its first day, chocolate showpiece category were displayed from different hotels. Swiss-Belhotel’s bicycle chocolate showpiece prepared by chef Sunshine Sihombing (Pastry Chef ) were one of the display and got a certificate of merit from HORECA last 22nd of

January 2012. “It was a pleasure sharing my master piece of chocolate bicycle in Horeca’s exhibition” - Chef Sunshine. On the second day Live cooking from the basket performed by Swiss-belhotel’s Chef de partie Abduljahed Rahul and Chef Pankaj Saini who got silver medal and certificate of merit. “Though we have limited time we are

overwhelmed and proud to have the silver medal for Swiss-belhotel”- Chef Rahul Swiss-Belhotel Plaza Kuwait has 153 rooms located in the heart of city with an easy access in Al Muthana shopping mall and offers great facilities for banquet events and conferences.

EMBASSY OF CANADA The Embassy of Canada is located at Villa 24, Al-Mutawakel St., Block 4 in Da’aiyah. Please visit our website at www.Kuwait.gc.ca. The Embassy of Canada is open from 07:30 to 15:30 Sunday through Thursday. The reception is closed from 12:30 to 01:00 pm for lunch break. Consular Services for Canadian Citizens are provided from 09:00 until 12:00 on Sunday through Wednesday. Canada offers a registration service for all Canadians travelling or living abroad. This service is provided so that Consular Officials can contact and assist Canadians in an emergency in a foreign country, such as a natural disaster or civil unrest, or inform Canadians of a family emergency at home. The Embassy of Canada encourages all Canadian Citizens to register online through the Government of Canada Travel Website at www.voyage.gc.ca. The Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi provides visa and immigration services to residents of Kuwait. Individuals who are interested in visiting, working or immigrating to Canada are invited to visit the website of the Canadian Embassy to the UAE at www.UAE.gc.ca. nnnnnnn

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

KERA celebrates Christmas, New Year winter fest - 2012

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uwait Ernakulam Residents Association popularly known as KERA conducted its ChristmasNew Year celebration - Winter Fest-2012 at Mangaf Auditorium. KERA General Convener Jomy Augustine presided over the meeting. Rev. Fr Abraham P. George (St. Thomas Church, Ahmadi) inaugurated the WINTER FEST 2012 and delivered the Christmas message. E-jalakam Portal

editor Sathar Kunnil and Jinachandran also delivered the Christmas messages. Subair Alamana, KERA Secretary welcomed the gathering and Bobby Paul proposed the vote of thanks. Teresa Antony, Ladies wing Convener Shabanam, and Anilkumar did the felicitation speeches. Variety of cultural programs including semi classical, cinematic dance, folk dance, tableau - A Silent Night - were

performed by the KERA members and their children which were controlled by Program Convener Mr. Bobby Paul. Traditional Christmas carol was conducted by Sunil Sonny along with his team which was splendid. Musical programs were led by Dennis John and supported by Nazer, Manu, Ligi Thomas, Layce George, Teresa, Reena Roy, Sunil Menon and Booby Paul. The talented Neelima Jomy and Johan Jomy were also part of

the musical show. Sunil Menon also entertained the audience with his quizzing talent. The Winter Fest-2012 was coordinated by Prathap, Biju, Soman, Manoj, Hareesh, Zainudeen, Anoop, Rejini, Noorjahan, Mujeeb, Prince, Wilson, Anilkumar and Sadasivan. The program was anchored by Shreya Perikilathu which enthralled the audience until the end.

EMBASSY OF INDIA On the occasion of the Republic Day of India, a Flag Hoisting Ceremony will be held at the Embassy of India premises at 9:00 AM today, January 26, 2012. This will be followed by the reading of the message of Hon’ble President of India by the Ambassador, singing of patriotic songs by Indian children, and an Open House Reception. All Indian nationals in Kuwait are cordially invited to attend the Ceremony. nnnnnnn

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 www.kenyaembkuwait.com. The Embassy is located in: Surra Area - Block 6 - Street 9 - Villa 3 Tel: 25353362 - 25353314; Fax: 25353316. nnnnnnn

EMBASSY OF MYANMAR Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar would like to inform the general public that the Embassy will move its office to new location at Villa 35, Road 203, Block 2, Al-Salaam Area in South Surra. The Embassy wishes to advice Myanmar citizens and travellers to Myanmar to contact Myanmar Embassy at its new location from 26 January, 2012. Tel. 25240736, 25240290, Fax: 25240749, e-mail:myankuwait11@gmai1.com nnnnnnn

TRASSK conducts ‘kalikkalam Camp’

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hrissur Association of Kuwait (TRASSK) conducted “Kalikkalam Camp’ 2012 for its children, on January 13 at Chachoos Hall, Abbasiya. The one day Camp benefited by over 100 Children of TRASSK, which started at 9.30 am with art & craft session by Stella Sunny, Personality Development Session by Mrs Gayatri Ravindran and concluded with a Magic Show by Prajish Abraham. Exhibition of Selfmade products by children of TRASSK was arranged during the event, which was an opportunity for the children to exhibit their creative visual artwork

/Science projects as well as to give a brief description on their work/ project to the attendees. The self made products include paintings, art work & Science projects were displayed at stalls put by the students. Sujith and Sai entertained the children below seven years of age, who attended the camp by telling stories and singing songs. Also they encouraged the tiny tots to sing. All the children who attended the camp were also fascinated by the mere word of Magic Show which was per-

formed after lunch break. The art & craft session influenced the little minds in a way that affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect. During the Inaugural meeting, Kalikkalam joint Secretary Ruchitra Dinesh welcomed the attendees, Presidential Speech was delivered by Kalikkalam President Master Vignesh Jayathilakan, in which he expressed his sincere gratitude to TRASSK for conducting such program for kalikkalam children. Inaugural speech was done by

TRASSK President Sebastian Vathukadan. Felicitations were given by Vanithavedi President Rema Vijayan, TRASSK General Secretary Stephan Vadakethala, TRASSK Vice President & Kalikkalam Coordinator Adv. Mani Krishnan and TRASSK Kalikkalam Convener Mrs. Sumi Krishnakumar. Meeting concluded with vote of thanks by Kalikkalam Vice President Master Kishore Raj. The Camp ended up by honoring the Instructors who came to share their knowledge with children of TRASSK.

Farewell to PP Mathaikutty

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ozhencherry Association Kuwait (KAK) hid farewell to one of its founding members P. P. Mathaikutty who is returning to his native place after more than 30 years of service in Kuwait. The Executive committee of KAK met on 22-Jan-20 12 at the Caesars Restaurant, Jleeb Al Shuwaikh and gave a fitting farewell to him. President Prasad Mathews chaired the meeting. Secretary Mathews Koshy welcomed the members. Abraham Mathew, K.A. Jacob, Mathews Erattolil, Jama Sam and Santhosh P Chacko spoke on the occasion. Mathaikutty gave the reply speech thanking one and all. Treasurer Philip Thomas proposed the vote of Thanks.

EMBASSY OF PHILIPPINES The Embassy of the Philippines will be closed to public transactions on 29,30,31 January 2012 to give way to its transfer to Faiha, Block 6, Nauman bin Basher St. corner Damascus St. Villa 153. For emergency, please contact the Consular hotline at 65184433. The Philippine Overseas Labor Office and other attached agencies shall continue to operate and hold office in Jabriya until 15 March 2012. All your passports and other consular concerns will be processed at our new location, except of course labor issues. Regular working hours of the Embassy shall resume in Faiha on 01 February 2012. nnnnnnn

EMBASSY OF RUSSIA Embassy of the Russian Federation invites all the Russian residents in Kuwait to visit the Consulate for registration and updating your database. This information is necessary for prompt notice, assistance and warning in case of emergency. The consulate reception hours: 10:00 - 13:00, Sunday Wednesday. The Embassy is located in Kuwait City, Daiya, Block 5, Diplomatic campus, Plot 17. Tel: (+965) 22560427, 22560428. Fax: (+965) 22524969, e-mail: rusposkuw@mail.ru, consdepkuw@mail.ru Information also available on the website: www.kuwait.mid.ru

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00:50 I’m Alive 01:45 Animal Cops Philadelphia 02:40 Mutant Planet 03:35 Wild France 04:30 I’m Alive 05:25 Dogs/Cats/Pets 101 06:20 Animal Cops Philadelphia 07:10 Monkey Life 07:35 Wildlife SOS 08:00 Orangutan Island 08:25 Animal Planet’s Most Outrageous 09:15 Dick ‘n’ Dom Go Wild 09:40 Breed All About It 10:10 Dogs 101 11:05 Dogs/Cats/Pets 101 12:00 Michaela’s Animal Road Trip 12:55 Snake Crusader With Bruce George 13:20 Wildlife SOS 13:50 RSPCA: On The Frontline 14:15 RSPCA: On The Frontline 14:45 Animal Cops Philadelphia 15:40 Mutant Planet 16:30 Monkey Life 17:00 Dick ‘n’ Dom Go Wild 17:30 Panda Adventures With Nigel Marven 18:25 Dogs/Cats/Pets 101 19:20 Cats Of Claw Hill 19:45 Cats Of Claw Hill 20:15 Snake Crusader With Bruce George 20:40 Breed All About It 21:10 Dogs/Cats/Pets 101

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Holby City Eastenders Doctors Last Of The Summer Wine Keeping Up Appearances Dad’s Army Balamory Tellytales The Large Family The Roly Mo Show Buzz & Tell Tweenies 3rd & Bird Nina And The Neurons Balamory Tellytales The Large Family The Roly Mo Show Buzz & Tell Tweenies 3rd & Bird Nina And The Neurons Last Of The Summer Wine Keeping Up Appearances The Weakest Link Eastenders Doctors Casualty Dad’s Army Lark Rise to Candleford Last Of The Summer Wine The Weakest Link Eastenders Doctors Casualty Lark Rise to Candleford The Weakest Link Eastenders Doctors As Time Goes By Last Of The Summer Wine Chimp Family Fortunes The World’s Toughest Driving One Foot In The Grave Dad’s Army Survivors As Time Goes By The Weakest Link Casualty

Bargain Hunt Antiques Roadshow What Not To Wear Indian Food Made Easy James Martin’s Brittany

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Indian Food Made Easy 10 Years Younger 10 Years Younger Fantasy Homes By The Sea Indian Food Made Easy James Martin’s Brittany Indian Food Made Easy Cash In The Attic USA Masterchef Australia Masterchef Australia Bargain Hunt Antiques Roadshow Come Dine With Me 10 Years Younger Masterchef Masterchef Fantasy Homes By The Sea House Swap Bargain Hunt Antiques Roadshow Indian Food Made Easy Indian Food Made Easy James Martin’s Brittany James Martin’s Brittany Indian Food Made Easy Masterchef Masterchef Bargain Hunt

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Johnny Bravo Scooby Doo Where Are You! The Perils Of Penelope Pitstop Droopy: Master Detective The Flintstones Johnny Bravo Duck Dodgers King Arthur’s Disasters The Scooby Doo Show Popeye Classics Tom & Jerry Popeye The Jetsons The Flintstones Looney Tunes Pink Panther & Pals Tex Avery Duck Dodgers The Garfield Show Pink Panther And Pals Bananas In Pyjamas Baby Looney Tunes Gerald McBoing Boing Jelly Jamm New Yogi Bear Show Puppy In My Pocket The Garfield Show Pink Panther And Pals The Scooby Doo Show Tom & Jerry Dastardly And Muttley Top Cat New Yogi Bear Show Puppy In My Pocket Jelly Jamm Baby Looney Tunes Bananas In Pyjamas The Jetsons Duck Dodgers Scooby Doo Where Are You! The Garfield Show Pink Panther And Pals The Perils Of Penelope Pitstop Puppy In My Pocket Looney Tunes Tom & Jerry The Scooby Doo Show Scooby-Doo And Scrappy-Doo Scooby Doo Where Are You! A Pup Named Scooby-Doo Jelly Jamm Baby Looney Tunes Gerald McBoing Boing Bananas In Pyjamas New Yogi Bear Show Pink Panther And Pals The Garfield Show Dastardly And Muttley Tom & Jerry The Garfield Show Dexters Laboratory

00:40 Samurai Jack 01:05 Samurai Jack 01:30 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 02:20 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 02:45 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 03:10 Best Ed

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

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Connect The World Backstory World Sport The Situation Room World Report Anderson Cooper 360 Piers Morgan Tonight Quest Means Business Erin Burnett Outfront World Sport Talk Asia World Report World Report World Sport The CNN Freedom Project World Business Today Backstory Open Court World One Piers Morgan Tonight News Stream World Business Today International Desk Global Exchange CNN Marketplace Middle East World Sport Open Court International Desk Quest Means Business CNN Marketplace Europe Piers Morgan Tonight

Destroyed In Seconds Moments Of Terror Dirty Jobs Overhaulin’ Ultimate Survival Mythbusters How Stuff Works

UFC 143 Welterweight Title To Be Broadcast In Explosive 3D KUWAIT: Enthusiasm is brewing high for the world-first UFC 143 event in Las Vegas, Nevada. The highly-anticipated card headlined will feature welterweights Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit as they face the most important fight of their lives for the UFC interim title. Georges St-Pierre was originally scheduled to defend his Welterweight Championship against Nick Diaz but was forced to pull out due to an injury and was replaced with Carlos “Natural Born Killer” Condit. The two bad boys will fight each other tooth and nail with the winner receiving an interim title belt. The UFC’s fan-base in the UAE [Middle East for regional press release] is among the most passionate with many fans willing to watch this match despite the fact that it airs early morning on the 5th of February. The relationship between the UFC and the Middle East, which grew exponentially since the UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi in 2010, took a technological turn when the UFC partnered exclusively with

THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012

TV PROGRAMS

Years

OSN to bring the legendary bout in 3D. The 3D telecast is available to OSN SHOWBOX HD subscribers with 3D-ready television sets through the OSN On Demand service. Andy Warkman, Head of Sport of OSN said: “OSN always strives to bring customers the best possible viewing experience and we are thrilled to broadcast UFC events exclusively in 3D to the region. We see UFC 3D as ‘Event TV’, an opportunity for our customers to share an incredible visual experience in their home with other UFC fans. UFC is hugely popular in the Middle East and seeing the event in 3D will enable fans to feel like they are right at the heart of the action and we fully intend to build upon our 3D sports offering in 2012.” The potentially explosive event will be screened live and exclusively to OSN viewers on Sunday, 5th February at 06:00 Kuwait time on OSN Sports 1 HDand will be available in 3D from 20:00 Kuwait time on OSN on Demand.

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How It’s Made Dirty Jobs Mythbusters Gold Rush: Alaska Coal How Stuff Works Cake Boss Border Security Auction Kings Fight Quest Fight Quest Overhaulin’ Ultimate Survival Mythbusters Cash Cab Us Border Security Auction Kings How It’s Made How Stuff Works Cake Boss Surviving The Cut Miami SWAT Ross Kemp On Gangs

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The Gadget Show The Gadget Show Colony The Tech Show Weird Or What? What’s That About? How Does That Work? How Stuff’s Made Man Made Marvels Asia Catch It Keep It Sci-Trek How The Universe Works How Does That Work? How Stuff’s Made Weird Or What? What’s That About? Man Made Marvels Asia Catch It Keep It The Gadget Show The Gadget Show Sci-Trek How Does That Work? How Stuff’s Made How The Universe Works The Tech Show Catch It Keep It The Gadget Show The Gadget Show Man Made Marvels Asia Bang Goes The Theory Science Of The Movies Catch It Keep It How The Universe Works Bang Goes The Theory Science Of The Movies

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SPECIAL AGENT OSO SPECIAL AGENT OSO JUNGLE JUNCTION JUNGLE JUNCTION LITTLE EINSTEINS HIGGLYTOWN HEROES HIGGLYTOWN HEROES JO JO’S CIRCUS SPECIAL AGENT OSO SPECIAL AGENT OSO JUNGLE JUNCTION JUNGLE JUNCTION LITTLE EINSTEINS HIGGLYTOWN HEROES HIGGLYTOWN HEROES JO JO’S CIRCUS SPECIAL AGENT OSO SPECIAL AGENT OSO JUNGLE JUNCTION JUNGLE JUNCTION LITTLE EINSTEINS HIGGLYTOWN HEROES HIGGLYTOWN HEROES JO JO’S CIRCUS

06:50 JUNGLE JUNCTION 07:00 JUNGLE JUNCTION 07:15 HIGGLYTOWN HEROES 07:30 HIGGLYTOWN HEROES 07:45 HANDY MANNY 08:00 SPECIAL AGENT OSO 08:15 JUNGLE JUNCTION 08:30 JUNGLE JUNCTION 08:45 MICKEY MOUSE CLUBHOUSE 09:10 THE HIVE 09:20 HANDY MANNY 09:35 JAKE & THE NEVERLAND PIRATES 09:50 JAKE & THE NEVERLAND PIRATES 10:05 THE HIVE 10:15 MINI ADVENTURES OF WINNIE THE POOH 10:25 TIMON AND PUMBAA 10:45 IMAGINATION MOVERS 11:10 MICKEY MOUSEKERSIZE 11:20 MICKEY MOUSE CLUBHOUSE 11:45 ART ATTACK 12:10 IMAGINATION MOVERS 12:30 JAKE & THE NEVERLAND PIRATES 12:45 LazyTown 13:10 HANDY MANNY 13:25 JUNGLE JUNCTION 13:40 IMAGINATION MOVERS 14:05 THE HIVE 14:15 SPECIAL AGENT OSO 14:25 LITTLE EINSTEINS 14:50 LazyTown 15:15 MICKEY MOUSE CLUBHOUSE 15:40 JAKE & THE NEVERLAND PIRATES 15:55 JAKE & THE NEVERLAND PIRATES 16:05 HANDY MANNY 16:20 HANDY MANNY 16:35 THE HIVE 16:45 IMAGINATION MOVERS 17:10 MICKEY MOUSEKERSIZE 17:20 MICKEY MOUSE CLUBHOUSE 17:45 ART ATTACK 18:10 THE HIVE 18:20 HANDY MANNY 18:30 JUNGLE JUNCTION 18:45 HANDY MANNY 18:55 JAKE & THE NEVERLAND PIRATES 19:10 JAKE & THE NEVERLAND PIRATES 19:25 THE HIVE 19:35 LITTLE EINSTEINS 20:00 MINI ADVENTURES OF WINNIE THE POOH 20:05 MICKEY MOUSE CLUBHOUSE 20:30 ANIMATED STORIES 20:35 HANDY MANNY 20:50 JAKE & THE NEVERLAND PIRATES 21:05 JAKE & THE NEVERLAND PIRATES 21:20 THE HIVE 21:30 MINI ADVENTURES OF WINNIE THE POOH 21:33 A POEM IS... 21:40 JUNGLE JUNCTION 21:55 MICKEY MOUSE CLUBHOUSE 22:20 JAKE & THE NEVERLAND PIRATES 22:35 SPECIAL AGENT OSO 22:50 LITTLE EINSTEINS 23:15 TIMMY TIME 23:25 HANDY MANNY 23:40 JUNGLE JUNCTION 23:55 MICKEY MOUSE CLUBHOUSE

00:25 Kendra 00:55 Style Star 01:25 E!es 02:20 THS 03:15 25 Most Stylish 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 Extreme Hollywood 06:00 THS 07:50 Behind The Scenes 08:20 E! News 09:15 Kendra 10:15 20 Acts Of Love Gone Wrong 12:05 E! News 13:05 Awards Fashion Police 14:05 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 15:00 Style Star 15:30 E! Investigates 16:25 Behind The Scenes 16:55 Ice Loves Coco 17:55 E! News 18:55 E! Investigates 19:55 Scouted 20:55 Chelsea Lately 21:25 Scouted 22:25 E! News 23:25 Chelsea Lately 23:55 Keeping Up With The Kardashians

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Dr G: Medical Examiner Ghost Lab A Haunting I Almost Got Away With It FBI Case Files Dr G: Medical Examiner Ghost Lab A Haunting Mystery ER FBI Files Forensic Detectives Murder Shift Mystery ER Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared Murder Shift Mystery ER Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared FBI Files Forensic Detectives Murder Shift Real Emergency Calls Mystery ER Who On Earth Did I Marry? On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared Kidnap And Rescue Fugitive Strike Force

00:00 Treks In A Wild World 00:30 Geologic Journey 01:00 On The Camino De Santiago 01:30 Nat Geo’s Most Amazing Photos 01:30 Word Travels 02:00 Cruise Ship Diaries 02:30 Shark Nicole 03:00 Pressure Cook 03:30 Master of Disaster 03:30 Pressure Cook 04:00 By Any Means

LETTERS TO JULIET ON OSN CINEMA 04:30 Megastructures 05:00 Nomads 05:30 Shark Nicole 06:00 Treks In A Wild World 06:30 Megastructures 07:00 On The Camino De Santiago 07:30 Geologic Journey 07:30 Word Travels 08:00 Cruise Ship Diaries 08:30 Nat Geo’s Most Amazing Photos 09:00 Pressure Cook 09:30 Megastructures 09:30 Pressure Cook 10:00 By Any Means 10:30 Secrets Of The King Cobra 11:00 Nomads 11:30 Master of Disaster 12:00 Treks In A Wild World 12:30 Megastructures 13:00 Food School 13:30 Bondi Rescue 13:30 Secrets Of The King Cobra 14:00 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 14:30 Naked Lentil 14:30 Naked Science 2.5 15:00 First Ascent 15:30 Geologic Journey 15:30 Market Values 16:00 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 2 16:30 Nat Geo’s Most Amazing Photos 17:00 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 17:00 Nat Geo’s Most Amazing Photos 17:30 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 17:30 Megastructures 18:00 Departures 18:30 Killer Dragons 19:00 Food School 19:30 Bondi Rescue 19:30 Mega Factories 20:00 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 20:30 Hunter Hunted 20:30 Naked Lentil 21:00 First Ascent 21:30 Market Values 21:30 World’s Toughest Fixes 22:00 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 2 22:30 World’s Deadliest Animals 23:00 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 23:30 Megastructures

00:00 Lost Boys: The Thirst-18 02:00 The Devil’s Tomb-PG15 04:00 The Butter fly Effect 3: Revelations-18 06:00 Shanghai Knights-PG15 08:15 Legendary-PG15 10:30 Fighting-PG15 12:30 Spartacus-PG15 15:45 Rocky II-PG15 18:00 Legendary-PG15 20:00 The Payback-18 22:00 Clive Barker ’s Book Of Blood-18

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Jackass 3-R Make It Happen-PG15 The Tempest-PG15 Planet 51-PG Letters To Juliet-PG15 Freestyle (2010)-PG15 My Dog Tulip-PG15 Ace Ventura: Pet Detective Jr.Freestyle (2010)-PG15 Eat Pray Love-PG15 Battle: Los Angeles-PG15 Shrink-18

12:00 Yes Dear 12:30 Dharma And Greg 13:00 Just Shoot Me 13:30 Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne 16:30 The Office 18:00 Friends 18:30 Friends 19:00 30 Rock 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 The Big C 22:30 The Ricky Gervais Show 23:00 Family Guy

01:00 Strikeback 02:00 Terriers

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Once Upon A Time In Treatment Good Morning America Law & Order: Los Angeles Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show The Martha Stewart Show The View Once Upon A Time Law & Order: Los Angeles Live Good Morning America The Ellen DeGeneres Show Emmerdale Psych American Idol Rescue Me In Treatment

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Cold Case Hawthorne Strikeback Charlie’s Angels Cold Case How I Met Your Mother Coronation Street House Hawthorne How I Met Your Mother Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show House Cold Case The Cape The Ellen DeGeneres Show House Psych Rescue Me Supernatural

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Sugarhouse-18 Carriers-PG15 The Warlords-PG15 Hurricane Season-PG15 Tracker-PG15 S.W.A.T.: Firefight-PG15 Staten Island-PG15 Tracker-PG15 X-Men-PG15 4.3.2.1.-18 The Wolfman-18 A Lonely Place For Dying-

00:00 The Night Of The White PantsPG15 02:00 Post Grad-PG15 04:00 Cats & Dogs-PG 06:00 Malibu’s Most Wanted-PG15 08:00 Happy Ever Afters-PG15 10:00 Nothing Like The HolidaysPG15 12:00 My Father The Hero-PG15 14:00 Head Of State-PG15 16:00 The Night Of The White PantsPG15 18:00 Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement-FAM 20:00 Tomcats-18 22:00 It’s Complicated-PG15

01:00 03:30 05:00 07:00 PG15 09:00 11:00 13:00 15:00 16:45 18:45 21:00 23:00

The Vintner’s Luck-18 MacHEADS-PG15 Against The Ropes-PG15 Le Dernier Pour LA RouteCatch That Kid-PG Up In The Air-PG15 A Simple Twist Of Fate-PG15 Greener Mountains-PG Simon Birch-PG Riding In Cars With Boys-PG15 Antwone Fisher-PG15 Jude-18

01:00 My Best Friend’s Girl-18 03:00 The Adventures Of Rocky And Bullwinkle-FAM 05:00 The LXD: The Uprising BeginsPG15 07:00 Salt-PG15 09:00 The Prince And Me 4: The Elephant Adventure-PG15 11:00 Strength And Honour-PG15 13:00 The LXD: Secrets Of The RaPG15 15:00 Legend Of The Guardians-PG

17:00 The Prince And Me 4: The Elephant Adventure-PG15 19:00 Faster-PG15 21:00 Battle: Los Angeles-PG15 23:00 The Girl In The Park-PG15

01:45 The Big Green-PG 04:00 Young Fisherman-PG 06:00 The Prince Of Dinosaurs-PG 08:00 Big Fat Liar-PG 10:00 Barbie: A Fairy Secret-FAM 12:00 Last Of The Mohicans-PG 14:00 The Three Musketeers (2008)FAM 16:00 Furry Vengeance-PG 18:00 Barbie: A Fairy Secret-FAM 20:00 Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure-PG15 22:00 Last Of The Mohicans-PG

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The Last House On The Left-18 Youth In Revolt-18 City Of Life-PG15 Get Low-PG15 That’s What I Am-PG15 South Solitary-PG15 City Of Life-PG15 Diary Of A Wimpy Kid-PG Life As We Know It-PG15 Winnie The Pooh-FAM Little Fockers-PG15 The Town-18

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Powerboats Aquabikes WWE Vintage Collection Trans World Sport Volvo Ocean Race Trans World Sport Live PGA European Tour Powerboats Volvo Ocean Race WWE NXT UFC The Ultimate Fighter Volvo Ocean Race Highlights European PGA Tour

00:30 Golfing World 01:30 European Tour Weekly 02:00 Trans World Sport 03:00 Live Test Cricket 10:00 World Cup of Pool 11:00 World Pool Masters 12:00 US Bass Fishing 13:00 Test Cricket 20:00 Trans World Sport 21:00 Futbol Mudial 21:30 Scottish Premier League Highlights 22:00 World Hockey 22:30 European Tour Weekly 23:00 Horse Racing

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V8 Supercars Championship V8 Supercars Championship Speedway Le Mans Series Highlights UFC Unleashed UFC Unleashed WWE SmackDown Speedway Intercontinental Le Mans Cup V8 Supercars Championship WWE Vintage Collection WWE Bottom Line Intercontinental Le Mans Cup Speedway Aquabikes Aquabikes WWE Vintage Collection WWE NXT UFC The Ultimate Fighter UFC Fight Night

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Pennies From Heaven The Appointment Heart Of Darkness The Sandpiper-PG The Catered Affair-PG Jezebel-FAM The Naked Spur-PG Show Boat-FAM Never So Few-PG Little Women-FAM Summer Stock-FAM The Dirty Dozen Cimarron-FAM


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DIAL 161 FOR AIRPORT INFORMATION

Airlines JZR RBG KLM JZR THY UAE QTR BAB DHX KAC MSR FDB ETD GFA JZR KAC THY DHX FCX JZR JZR BAW KAC KAC FDB IRA KAC KAC JZR KAC IRA KAC UAE ABY QTR ETD FDB BAB GFA RBG KNE JZR MSC RKM MEA SYR KAC MSR JZR KAC GFA MSR JZR FDB MSR UAL GRF OMA QTR KNE SVA KAC RJA KAC KAC JZR LMU KAC QTR JZR MLR ETD JZR UAE KAC FDB GFA RBG SVA ABY JZR BAB ALK MSC JZR TAR FDB KAC JZR KAC KAC KAC KAC KAC KAC KAC FDB JAI OMA JZR MSR KAC DHX MEA GFA LMU QTR UAE JZR KAC KLM AIC BAB BAB JZR UAL AXB BBC DLH

Arrival Flights on Thursday 26/1/2012 Flt Route 185 DUBAI 3553 ALEXANDRIA 447 AMSTERDAM/BAHRAIN 267 BEIRUT 772 ISTANBUL 853 DUBAI 138 DOHA 8833 BAHRAIN 370 BAHRAIN 154 ISTANBUL 612 CAIRO 67 DUBAI 305 ABU DHABI 211 BAHRAIN 539 CAIRO 544 CAIRO 770 ISTANBUL 170 BAHRAIN 201 DUBAI 503 LUXOR 555 ALEXANDRIA 157 LONDON 412 MANILA/BANGKOK 206 ISLAMABAD 53 DUBAI 617 AHWAZ 352 COCHIN 302 MUMBAI 531 ASSIUT 332 TRIVANDRUM 605 ISFAHAN 362 COLOMBO 855 DUBAI 125 SHARJAH 132 DOHA 301 ABU DHABI 55 DUBAI 436 BAHRAIN 213 BAHRAIN 3555 ALEXANDRIA 789 JEDDAH 165 DUBAI 9621 ASSIUT 310 RAS ALKHAIMAH 404 BEIRUT 341 DAMASCUS/DEIREZZOR 382 DELHI 610 CAIRO 201 DAMASCUS 672 DUBAI 219 BAHRAIN 621 ASSIUT 241 AMMAN 57 DUBAI 606 LUXOR 982 WASHINGTON DC DULLES 93 KANDAHAR/DUBAI 645 MUSCAT 140 DOHA 745 JEDDAH 500 JEDDAH 552 DAMASCUS 640 AMMAN 788 JEDDAH 284 DHAKA 257 BEIRUT 407 ALEXANDRIA 546 ALEXANDRIA 134 DOHA 535 CAIRO 403 COLOMBO/DUBAI 303 ABU DHABI 357 MASHAD 857 DUBAI 118 NEW YORK 59 DUBAI 215 BAHRAIN 3557 SOHAG 510 RIYADH 127 SHARJAH 777 JEDDAH 437 BEIRUT 227 COLOMBO/DUBAI 9623 SOHAG 177 DUBAI 328 TUNIS/DUBAI 63 DUBAI 542 CAIRO 125 BAHRAIN 786 JEDDAH 618 DOHA 614 BAHRAIN 674 DUBAI 104 LONDON 774 RIYADH 562 AMMAN 61 DUBAI 572 MUMBAI 647 MUSCAT 513 SHARM EL SHEIKH 618 ALEXANDRIA 178 GENEVA/FRANKFURT 372 BAHRAIN 402 BEIRUT 217 BAHRAIN 409 ASSIUT 136 DOHA 859 DUBAI 135 BAHRAIN 502 BEIRUT 445 AMSTERDAM 981 CHENNAI/HYDERABAD 8841 BAHRAIN 8843 BAHRAIN 239 AMMAN 981 BAHRAIN 389 KOZHIKODE/MANGALORE 43 DHAKA 636 FRANKFURT

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

Airlines AXB UAL AIC RBG JZR DLH KLM GRF KAC THY KAC BAB FDB UAE DHX MSR ETD QTR THY JZR GFA JZR JZR FDB KAC BAW IRA KAC JZR KAC IRA JZR KAC KAC UAE ABY ETD FDB QTR BAB GFA JZR RBG KAC KAC KNE MSC JZR RKM MEA SYR KAC JZR MSR GFA JZR MSR FDB KAC MSR KAC KNE OMA UAL RJA JZR KAC LMU SVA KAC KAC KAC QTR JZR ETD MLR JZR QTR FDB RBG GRF UAE GFA ABY SVA JZR BAB MSC JZR ALK FDB TAR JZR FDB KAC KAC DHX KAC JAI OMA MSR KAC DHX KAC LMU MEA GFA FCX QTR JZR KAC UAE KAC KLM JZR BAB BAB JZR KAC

Departure Flights on Thursday 26/1/2012 Flt Route 394 COCHIN/KOZHIKODE 981 WASHINGTON DC DULLES 976 GOA/CHENNAI 3554 ALEXANDRIA 530 ASSIUT 637 FRANKFURT 447 AMSTERDAM 94 DUBAI 283 DHAKA 773 ISTANBUL 381 DELHI 8834 BAHRAIN 68 DUBAI 854 DUBAI 371 BAHRAIN 613 CAIRO 306 ABU DHABI 139 DOHA 771 ISTANBUL 164 DUBAI 212 BAHRAIN 200 DAMASCUS 240 AMMAN 54 DUBAI 545 ALEXANDRIA 156 LONDON 606 MASHAD 671 DUBAI 256 BEIRUT 551 DAMASCUS 604 MASHAD 534 CAIRO 787 JEDDAH 101 LONDON/NEW YORK 856 DUBAI 126 SHARJAH 302 ABU DHABI 56 DUBAI 133 DOHA 436 BEIRUT 214 BAHRAIN 356 MASHAD 3558 SOHAG 165 ROME/PARIS 541 CAIRO 790 JEDDAH 9622 SOHAG 776 JEDDAH 311 RAS ALKHAIMAH 405 BEIRUT 342 DEIREZZOR/DAMASCUS 785 JEDDAH 176 DUBAI 611 CAIRO 220 BAHRAIN 512 SHARM EL SHEIKH 622 ASSIUT 58 DUBAI 561 AMMAN 607 LUXOR 673 DUBAI 746 JEDDAH 646 MUSCAT 982 BAHRAIN 641 AMMAN 124 BAHRAIN 617 DOHA 408 ASSIUT 505 JEDDAH 501 BEIRUT 613 BAHRAIN 773 RIYADH 141 DOHA 238 AMMAN 304 ABU DHABI 404 DUBAI/COLOMBO 538 CAIRO 135 DOHA 60 DUBAI 3556 ALEXANDRIA 82 BAGHDAD 858 DUBAI 216 BAHRAIN 128 SHARJAH 511 RIYADH 266 BEIRUT 437 BAHRAIN 9624 ALEXANDRIA 134 BAHRAIN 228 DUBAI/COLOMBO 64 DUBAI 328 TUNIS 184 DUBAI 62 DUBAI 343 CHENNAI 331 TRIVANDRUM 171 BAHRAIN 351 COCHIN 571 MUMBAI 648 MUSCAT 619 ALEXANDRIA 543 CAIRO 373 BAHRAIN 675 DUBAI 410 ALEXANDRIA 403 BEIRUT 218 BAHRAIN 102 BAHRAIN 137 DOHA 554 ALEXANDRIA 301 MUMBAI 860 DUBAI 205 ISLAMABAD 445 BAHRAIN/AMSTERDAM 188 DUBAI 8842 BAHRAIN 8844 BAHRAIN 528 ASSIUT 415 KUALA LUMPUR/JAKARTA

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

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

ACCOMMODATION Indian Tamil Muslim family with small family, 2 working ladies, 2 bachelors, 2 bedroom flat, rent KD 65 with W&E, 4th Ring Road behind petrol station near Farah Jamiya Maidan Hawally. Call: 97988528 / 66594790. (C 3844) To let from 1 March 2012, 1 semi furnished big room with an attached small room consisting of toilet from a 3 bedroom spacious flat in B’neid Al-ghar. Rent KD 75 for single occupancy and KD 95 for double occupancy. For more details contact: 60914165. (C 3846) 25-1-2012 Immediate sharing accommodation available for a decent Indian Christian couple or bachelor, near Salmiya garden. Please contact after 2:30 pm 66884273, 25657832. (C 3843) ٢٤-١-٢٠١٢ Sharing furnished single room available in 2 BR/2 bath flat at Farwaniya for a Muslim working lady. Contact: 90027245. (C 3833) Sharing accommodation available for decent couple or working ladies 2 BHK CA/C flat in Sharq, near Amiri hospital. Contact: 99898824. (C 3835) One big central A/C room available in Benaid Al-Gar, near Al-Salam hospital for decent working ladies. (Rent KD 100). Please call only interested genuine people. Contact: 97879611. (C 3836) 21-1-2012

FOR SALE Toyota Jeep Prado model 2009, white metallic color, 6 cylinder engine, full option (limited) sunroof, alloy rim, G.P.R screen, fog lamp, cruise control, wooden interior etc. Price KD 7,950/negotiable. Contact: 66396517 (C 3845) 25-1-2012 Toyota Corolla 2011 model, white color, law mileage, excellent condition, lady driven, price KD 3650. Contact: 60951195. (C 3841) Toyota Camry 2007 GLX, silver color, law mileage, excellent condition, alloy wheel, wooden decor, sensor fog lamp etc, wanted price KD 3350. Contact: 60099305. (C 3842) ٢٤-١-٢٠١٢ Toyota Corolla, model 2012, golden color 1.6 engine, km done 2400, CD, price KD 3950. Contact: 66396517. (C 3838) Honda - CRV 2006, registration 2007, 55,000 km, color: Titanium beige, serviced by Honda, excellent condition, 6 CD changer sun roof, one lady owner. Price KD 3,500, not negotiable. Contact: 99545520.

TUITION Business management teacher with doctoral degree for universities, institutions, corporate & all student levels. Over 10 years experience. Call 66495951. (C 3817) Business management teacher with doctoral degree for universities, institutions, corporate & all student levels. Over 10 years experience. Call 66495951. (C 3817) Mathematics teacher, Intermediate and secondary Exams models, Easy method, Exams from past years with solutions. 97301901 English teacher (3) years experience, looking for a job and ready to start with all educational stages. 55963993 Mathematics teacher for Universities, Institutions, Foreign Schools, Administrative, American, English, Australian, Bahrain, Electric and Gulf Sciences, Algbra Prel, Mathematics, intermediate, gmat, sat college, math98, 110 pre calculus geometry. 97619261 Senior Biology teacher for secondary stage. Biology for University students and foreign schools, sciences of intermediate stage and 10th grade physics. A Syrian Arabic language teacher. Masters in methods of teaching and follow up of 10th grade and 11th grade students. 97934291 Islamic education teacher for elementary and intermediate stages. Experienced in Kuwait curricula. Easy explanation, and summary of the subject, training for exams. 66292985

No: 15340

Syrian Arabic language teacher for elementary and intermediate stages. Experienced in following learning difficulties, and those weak in reading and writing. 97264100 Female senior Mathematics teacher with more that 30 years experience in Kuwait, to teach secondary, intermediate and elementary stages. Religious and applied, communications and navigation institutions, special courses and secretariat institution. 97926737 Computer teacher for secondary and intermediate. Practical on laptop, power point projects, front page, visual basic data, universities and applied institutions. 50603063

Development and consultancy opportunities. Contact: 60647270 email: evzonekuwait@email.com (C 3839) 23-1-2012

MATRIMONIAL Marthomite parents in Kuwait invite proposals for their daughter (26/160/Fair), B/ B in Kuwait, Masters from the UK and currently working in Bangalore as senior executive, from well qualified and employed MARTHOMA/ CSI/ ORTHODOX boys (preferably working in Bangalore/ Abroad). Email: thomaskw8@yahoo.com (C 3840) 23-1-2012

FOR RENT

CHANGE OF NAME I, Shaik Jahangir Peera, holder of Indian Passport No. F4970741 is changing the name as Shaik Jahangir Ahmed. (C 3848)

SITUATION WANTED Immediately available a Post graduate secretary having more than 12 years experience in Kuwait with full accounting background, experience in oilfield/ ministry tenders, foreign purchasing, correspondence, holding Kuwait driving license, part time acceptable. Call: 97669236/ 24315927. (C 3847) 25-1-2012 MBA Degree holder with 25 years multinational experience. Having own car and delivery van, having expertise in Management, Costing and Marketing fields. 10 years in Kuwait. Looking for Bus.

A park in Wafra animal pens, very clean, over an area of 2500m, very large fenced yard in front (5) rooms, saloons, separate diwaniyas and swimming pool, fountain, children games tent. 94426116 For rent in Farwaniya, basement 700m, car parking. 66920123 Flat in Maidan Hawally, one room, living room, bathroom, super deluxe finished kitchen, outstanding location. Rent KD 195. Foreigners and expatriates only. Central satellite, C-A/C and boiler. 66980123 A floor in Dasman, 300m, outstanding location, on main street can be sued by lawyer, consultations, clinics, health club, saloon, workshop, training center. 66980123 For rent in Salmiya, an apartment 3 rooms + 2 baths + saloon + swimming pool + DSL + Gym + Security + children games + other features. Rent start from KD 475. Foreigners and expats only. 66297171


34

THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012

stars CROSSWORD 569

STAR TRACK

CALVIN & HOBBES

Aries (March 21-April 19) This is a great day to get things done, whether you are alone or with others—especially if you lead. State your agenda logically and even those who may disagree will respect you. A good and close friendship could begin today. Strong-minded persons are attracted to you and you to them. You have an instinctive imperative to be influential. Taking control of your own life may lead to a greater interest or experience in healing and investing. This is a positive time to focus on where and what you want to accomplish by the end of the week. Much can be accomplished in the home as well as in the workplace. There is a spirit that is constantly with you, guarding you from harm. Many of your desires become a reality now. Practice the art of imagination tonight.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) Tomorrow is the key word for today. Some days it is okay to put off until tomorrow all those chores you could do now. Current matters rise up to get your attention. Now, it is time to get work that is something you enjoy doing and concentrate on whatever is most important . . . one thing at a time. As far as goals are concerned, you can be thinking about your goals as you work. Action toward your goals is important but so is the planning on how to make them come true. You owe someone a phone call or a letter—this evening is the right time to get those things done. There is an opportunity to understand those around you and to have a special time with someone you love. Someone impressionable needs your assurance this evening.

POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. A detailed description of design criteria for a piece of work. 5. Employed in accomplishing something. 9. South American armadillo with three bands of bony plates. 13. Small ornamental ladies' bag for small articles. 14. Fabric dyed with splotches of green and brown and black and tan. 15. Offering fun and gaiety. 16. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 17. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 19. A genus of Stromateidae. 21. A case or sheath especially a pollen sac or moss capsule. 23. A man who is the lover of a girl or young woman. 24. The part of the alimentary canal between the stomach and the anus. 25. The cry made by sheep. 27. A long noosed rope used to catch animals. 28. A ductile gray metallic element of the lanthanide series. 29. Irish abbess. 33. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 34. The syllable naming the fourth (subdominant) note of the diatonic scale in solmization. 35. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 38. A large vase that usually has a pedestal or feet. 40. A sudden loss of consciousness resulting when the rupture or occlusion of a blood vessel leads to oxygen lack in the brain. 42. The branch of computer science that deal with writing computer programs that can solve problems creatively. 43. Make more intense, stronger, or more marked. 46. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 50. Jordan's port. 54. A South American shrub whose leaves are chewed by natives of the Andes. 57. A round shape formed by a series of concentric circles. 59. Any of various strong liquors distilled from the fermented sap of toddy palms or from fermented molasses. 60. Radioactive iodine test that measures the amount of radioactive iodine taken up by the thyroid gland. 61. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 63. Hormone secreted by the posterior pituitary gland (trade name Pitressin) and also by nerve endings in the hypothalamus. 64. Mild yellow Dutch cheese made in balls. 65. Pasture grass of plains of South America and western North America. 66. Large brownish-green New Zealand parrot. DOWN 1. A subdivision of a larger religious group. 2. A major god. 3. A bivalent and trivalent metallic element of the rare earth group. 4. (computer science) A kind of computer architecture that has a large number of instructions hard coded into the cpu chip. 5. Fiddler crabs. 6. A midnight meeting of witches to practice witchcraft and sorcery. 7. The square of a body of any size of type. 8. Amino acid that is formed in the liver and converted into dopamine in the brain. 9. How long something has existed. 10. (plate tectonic theory) A hypothetical continent including all the landmass of the earth prior to the Triassic period when it split into Laurasia and Gondwanaland. 11. A member of the people inhabiting the Aleutian Islands and western Alaska. 12. Follower of Rastafarianism. 18. Open-heart surgery in which the rib cage is opened and a section of a blood vessel is grafted from the aorta to the coronary artery to bypass the blocked section of the coronary artery and improve the blood supply to the heart. 20. The muscular back part of the shank. 22. A city in northwestern Turkey. 26. An island in the Aegean Sea in the Saronic Gulf. 28. Tropical starchy tuberous root. 30. Not widely known. 31. A Mid-Atlantic state. 32. Resinlike substance secreted by certain lac insects. 36. Having undesirable or negative qualities. 37. A resource. 39. Having nine hinged bands of bony plates. 41. A magnetic tape recorder for recording (and playing back) TV programs. 44. (trade mark) A soft form of cereal for infants. 45. A kind of heavy jacket (`windcheater' is a British term). 47. Jordan's port. 48. A member of a formerly tribal people now living in south central India. 49. South American wood sorrel cultivated for its edible tubers. 51. One of four children born at the same time from the same pregnancy. 52. An elaborate song for solo voice. 53. A relative position or degree of value in a graded group. 55. (of a young animal) Abandoned by its mother and raised by hand. 56. A Loloish language. 58. 10 grams. 59. A highly unstable radioactive element (the heaviest of the halogen series). 62. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group.

Yesterday’s Solution

Gemini (May 21-June 20) This is a great time to be with others and to work together. You may be sought after as just the person for a particular job. Your business knowledge and abilities are in high focus. The strong pull of the sun and moon together make this a time when people may sap your energy by asking questions and taking up your time with conversations that could seem like real time wasters—take care of yourself! Find ways to excuse yourself from interruptions; perhaps you have a tight appointment schedule or a deadline. You are at your most practical today and can be a good mentor to others. You can expect a little boost, some sort of extra support or recognition from those around you. Any support you need is available.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

NON SEQUITUR

Work issues are easy to handle—there are plenty of delays, however—patience. It is easy to see what you care about and value. Your sense of appreciation is in high focus. You have a keen interest in how things work and articles that reveal the truth behind a rule or quandary. In time you will be able to persuade your higher-ups that a library would be an admirable addition to the company for which you work. In this day of the internet, recent books or articles may not be easily found but new publications of professional breakthroughs may bring about some possibilities to the outcome of future projects. You may be so captivated by this idea that you carry through with some bookshelves and subscriptions at your own home.

Leo (July 23-August 22) You are beginning to feel that difficulties can be put behind you now. Whatever feelings underscore your life generally will be felt more strongly this day. In order to understand someone’s true feelings—ask questions. Law and philosophy or religion has much potential to impact your lifestyle. These subjects may put you in touch with ideas and people on a grand scale. Your mind stays busy, helping you to increase business. This time should give you a burst of energy that could keep you motivated and moving all month long. You have never been in a better position to resolve a family or business financial issue—make your move. Family, friends and perhaps, co-workers want to join you in a social affair this evening.

ZITS

Virgo (August 23-September 22) You could be most persuasive with others and eloquent in your communication skills. The work you have been laboring so hard at recently may begin to show positive results. Connections with people on a grand scale play a bigger part in your life now. This could mean that you will be working in, or somehow involved with, education, advertising or some sort of travel. Teaching language brings an impact to your lifestyle now and you may become interested in becoming a translator. You enjoy your own life situation today and you feel especially kind toward a friend. A visitor in your home this evening may compliment you on your tastes or belongings. You will want to be particularly kind to someone that has had a disappointment lately.

Libra (September 23-October 22)

MOTHER GOOSE AND GRIMM

The situation you find yourself in now may not feel right to you—you could be challenged. Put your business thinking hat on because you will need it. No slacking off duty now! You will, however, be able to handle the challenges that come across your path. You are in a planning mood and very clearheaded when it comes to planning. Go ahead and make those decisions. You can see the road ahead and will make the right choices. When you find yourself among groups of people, your concentration could be interrupted by the opinion of others. You may be tempted to let your opinion vacillate in front of others just to keep the peace and keep your own focus. Don’t do this—you could weave a tangled mess that would be too difficult.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Communication is the key word today. What a day to show off your abilities with a two-way flow of ideas and information. Obtaining and exchanging information takes on more significance for you now. Group meetings will result in positive action and most of the action will stem from the ideas that you express. You are eager for everyone to hear your point of view and just as eager to hear theirs. You could be most persuasive with others and persuasive in speech and communication. The situation is a natural for self-expression and lends itself to your particular ideas. This is a prime day for conferences and negotiations. If nothing else, write those letters and make those phone calls. Take your body out for a walk or to the gym tonight.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Today you may feel like a character in a murder mystery or spy novel, except that you are not sure whether you are the hero, the bad guy or the victim. It is all very confusing. No matter how hard you try to communicate, no one seems to understand you. In a negotiation, you could be fooled. You may be tempted to keep a secret in order to make things run smoothly. Try to keep your feet planted as firmly as possible. Today, Thursday and Friday are good days to seek professional help, if you feel you need it—the days are certainly challenging. Try to avoid scattering your energies—concentrate on becoming focused in thought and deed. This could involve keeping notes. You will be pleased with the positive endings that happen today.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)

To

Other people or the general circumstances in which you find yourself at present may unite to irritate or anger you. You could find yourself getting overemotional but it is a waste of time and energy to lose your temper. Now that you know this could be a difficult time, you can choose to step back and view a situation differently. Your favorite national pastime and Mom’s coleslaw could occupy your thoughts this afternoon. See . . . problems can disappear like magic, only to be replaced by whatever your mind can create! Your frame of mind will move you forward with positive results; you can handle anything. Think about these two question: what do you believe in and how did you arrive at this belief?

Yesterday’s Solution Yester

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Stimulating conversations start your day this morning. There is an opportunity to show off your skills in the workplace. Your problem-solving abilities may almost become a fun activity. You would make a wonderful detective. You may be sought after for your advice and counsel regarding some very personal and emotional issues. You are able to cut through the red tape and get at what is beneath and behind. Your energy is high and you feel good. You feel in harmony with yourself, the entire world and everybody in it. Others can feel this, so they, in turn, are drawn to you, making this a successful day for any kind of group endeavor. Best of all, relations with the opposite sex are at a peak. This is a super day to be in love!

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Word Sleuth Solution

Your professional opinion may be asked many times. Some value you for your ability to make practical decisions. You have a natural sense of what the public wants. Clear decisions affecting others could be made now. Put your mind to work and take care of any details that you may have; mental discipline should come easily. Problems and obstacles that have previously been confounding should find easy explanations under your keen examination. This afternoon you may feel like focusing on the higher aspects of life—the big picture. Perhaps this is a good time to think and study, for you have a real appreciation for creative thinking. You may find yourself enjoying a long conversation with a close friend tonight. Plan a new healthy diet.


A

y

e niv rsar n

Years

THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012

i n f o r m at i o n

FIRE BRIGADE STATE ST TAT TE OF KUWAIT K KUW WAIT A

112

Tel.: T e el.: 161

DIRECTORA DIRECTORATE ATE T GENE GENERAL ERAL OF CIVIL A AVIATION V VIA ATION T DEPARTMENT METEOROLOGICAL DEP D PARTMENT A DAY: DA AY: Y W Wednesday ednesday e

WWW .MET.GOV V.KW . W WWW.MET.GOV.KW

25/01/2012

Ministry of Interior

Ext.: 2627 262 27 - 2630

Fax: 24348714

Time Issue T ime

07:00

Expected Weather Weather for the Next 24 4 Hours Partly cloudy with light variable wind, w with speed of 06 - 22 km/h km m/h .

BY Y DA DAY: AY:

website: www.moi.gov.kw Cloudss will decrease gradually with witth light variable wind changing changiing to light to moderate south soutth easterly wind, with speed sp peed of 06 - 26 km/h with a chance c for light rain

NIGHT:: BY Y NIGHT

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

No Current Warnings Warnin a gs

WARNING W ARNING A STATION ST TATION T

MAX. EXP EXP. P.

MIN.. REC.

KUWAIT KUW WAIT A CITY

19 °C

07 °C

24812000

KUWAIT AIRPORT KUW WAIT A AIRPOR RT

19 °C

02 °C

Amiri Hospital

22450005

NUWAISEEB NUW WAISEEB A

19 °C C

06 °C C

Maternity Hospital

24843100

WAFRA W AFRA A

20 °C

03 °C

Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital

25312700

SALMI

19 °C

04 °C

Chest Hospital

24849400

ABDALY ABDAL LY

20 °C

02 °C

Farwaniya Hospital

24892010

ALIYAH JAL ALIY YA AH

20 °C

03 °C

Adan Hospital

23940620

FAILAKA F AILAKA A

17 °C

06 °C

Ibn Sina Hospital

24840300

PORT AHMADI POR RT

18 °C

09 °C

Al-Razi Hospital

24846000

UMM AL-MARADEM M

17 °C

13 °C

Physiotherapy Hospital

24874330/9

WARBA BUBYAN W ARBA A A - BUBY YA AN

17 °C

02 °C

Hospitals Sabah Hospital

Clinics

SFC. CHAR CHART T

25/01/2012 0000 0 UTC

4732263

Roudha

22517733

Adhaliya

22517144

Khaldiya Keifan

Temperratures Temperatures DA DATE AT TE

WEA WEATHER ATHER T

Thursday

26/01

24848075

Friday

24849807

Saturday

Shamiya

24848913

Sunday

Shuwaikh

24814507

Abdullah Salim

22549134

Fajr

05:19

MAX. Temp. MA AX. T emp.

18 °C

Al-Nuzha

22526804

Sunrise S i

06 41 06:41

MIIN. IN Temp. Temp. MIN.

1 °C -1

Industrial Shuwaikh

24814764

Zuhr

12:00

MAX. RH M

50 %

Asr

15:00

M RH MIN.

11 11 %

Sunset

17:20

MA AX. W ind MAX. Wind

W 25 km/h

Isha

18:40

TOT TAL AL RAI INF FA ALL L IN 24 HR. TOTAL RAINFALL

Al-Khadissiya

22515088

Dasmah

22532265

Bneid Al-Ghar

22531908

Al-Shaab

22518752

Al-Kibla

22459381

Ayoun Al-Kibla

22451082

Al-Mirqab

22456536

Sharq

22465401

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25746401

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25316254

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25623444

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25388462

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25381200

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22630786

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24810221

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24770319

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24575755

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24772608

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24775066

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24775992

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24311795

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24884079

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24719048

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24710044

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3900322

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22545171

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24316983

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23927002

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23980088

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23711183

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23262845

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25610011

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25616368

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Al-Madena

MAX.

MIN.

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Wind Wind Speed

sunny+light fog at night

22 °C

06 °C

SE

10 - 32 km/h

27/01

light sunny + blowing ligh ht dust

24 °C

08 °C

SE

20 - 40 km/h

28/01

sunny + raising dust d

24 °C

10 °C

SE

20 - 45 km/h

29/01

sunny

21 °C

10 °C

NW

15 - 38 km/h

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RECORDED D YESTERDAY YESTERDA AY AT AT KUWAIT KUW WAIT A T AIRPORT AIRPORT

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00 mm

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24726446

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25654300/3

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3729596/3729581

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22639939

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25633324

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25345875

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22636464

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25322030

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22633135

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25339330

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22666288

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36

THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012

lifestyle G O S S I P

Radcliffe

Moore seeks treatment

at new film premiere

for exhaustion spokeswoman for Demi Moore says the actress is seeking professional help to treat her exhaustion and improve her health. Publicist Carrie Gordon says the decision is due to the stresses in Moore’s life, and she looks forward to getting well. Gordon did not release any other details about the nature or location of Moore’s treatment. The past few months have been rocky for Moore. She released a statement in November announcing she had decided to end her marriage to Ashton Kutcher following news of alleged infidelity. The two were known to publicly share their affection for one another via Twitter. Moore still has a Twitter account under the name mrskutcher but has not posted any messages since Jan 7.

A

aniel Radcliffe has attended a premiere for “The Woman in Black,” his first movie role since the final Harry Potter movie was released last year. Radcliffe, who is known to most movie-goers as the boy wizard Potter, says it felt “very natural” to move

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away from that character and start the next phase of his career. The 22-year-old plays a widowed father and lawyer in the film adaptation of the Susan Hill’s gothic ghost story, one of the longest-running plays in London’s West End. Nonetheless, many of Radcliffe’s

Haggard back in hospital for more treatment ountry music legend Merle Haggard says he’s nearly over the case of double pneumonia that has kept him in Georgia hospital for most of the last week. Doctors found the 74-year-old had several other ailments while he was recovering in a Macon, Ga, hospital. Spokeswoman Tresa Redburn says they diagnosed him with three stomach ulcers, eight polyps in his colon and diverticulitis of the esophagus. “Thanks to all the wonderful people all over the world that prayed their special prayers. I’m a new man,” Haggard said in a statement issued through Redburn. “Another special thanks to the folks of Macon, Ga, for their kindness, intelligence and probably saving my life.” Haggard checked into a hospital and postponed his January tour dates last Tuesday after contracting pneumonia. He checked himself out Friday and tried to make the ride home to Redding, Calif., on his tour bus. Haggard quickly realized he wasn’t up to the trip and returned to Macon, Redburn said. Haggard is now undergoing a more aggressive antibiotic treatment for pneumonia. The “Okie from Muskogee” singer had part of a lung removed a few years ago while fighting cancer. It’s unclear at this point how Haggard’s tour schedule to support his latest album, “Walking in Tennessee,” will be affected. His website shows his next date is Feb 28 in Tuscon, Ariz.

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fans lining the red carpet at London’s Royal Festival Hall on Tuesday greeted him with Potter books and other memorabilia to be signed. Radcliffe attended the premiere with his co-star, British actress Liz White, who plays the title role.

Sympathy for Davos:

Jagger pulls out of UK event V

eteran rocker Mick Jagger said Tuesday he has pulled out of an event hosted by British Prime Minister David Cameron at the Davos forum because he was being used as a “political football”. The Rolling Stones frontman, whose hits include “Sympathy for the Devil”, was due to strut his stuff at a so-called tea party being held to promote Britain at the gathering of the world’s economic elite in the Swiss resort. But Jagger-known as “Sir Mick” in Britain after receiving a knighthood from Prince Charles in 2003 — said he had now left Davos because he did not want to be affiliated with any political party.”During my career I have always eschewed party politics and came to Davos as a guest, as I thought it would be stimulating. I have always been interested in economics and world events,” the 68-year-old said in a statement.”I now find myself being used as a political football and there has been a lot of comment about my political allegiances which are inaccurate. “I think it’s best I decline the invitation to the key event and curtail my visit.” Conservative leader Cameronwho has previously said he is a fan of gloomy British bands The Smiths and Radiohead-is pushing through harsh austerity measures in Britain aimed at curbing the country’s record deficit. A source in Cameron’s Downing Street office denied that Jagger’s involvement had been politicized. “At no point was there ever any suggestion that Sir Mick was a Conservative,” the source said.

Nanny seeks restraining order on Berry’s ex US judge Tuesday declined to grant a restraining order requested by Halle Berry’s former nanny, who claimed the actress’s ex-boyfriend had pushed her and risked hurting the couple’s daughter. Alliance Kamdem claimed Gabriel Aubry pushed her into a door as she was holding the former couple’s 46-month-old daughter Nahla during an alleged incident last week. “I was terrified,” Kamdem said in a sworn declaration. “The push was so forceful that that if there had not been a wall behind me to stop the force of my movement I would have fallen down with Nahla in my arms.” She claimed Aubry showed “irrational rage” from soon after she began caring for the child last June. “Within a week of the start of my employment, Mr Aubry began becoming verbally abusive and aggressive toward me,” she said. “He would say things to me like, ‘What are you doing here? You are a spy. You report everything I say. You’re not even doing your job. Nahla doesn’t like you, she doesn’t want you here’.” Berry and Aubry both attended a closed court session Tuesday, in which the actress reportedly asked the judge to keep Aubry away from the toddler until an investigation is completed. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon delayed a decision until next Monday, when another judge who is overseeing the Berry-Aubry case returns from vacation. Earlier this month People magazine reported that 45-year-old Berry is set to marry for a third time, after her French actor boyfriend Olivier Martinez popped the question. Berry, famous for the “X-Men” movies and as a Bond girl in “Die Another Day,” won a coveted best actress Oscar in 2002 for her turn in “Monster’s Ball,” the first such award to an African American actress.

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Beckham never set out to be famous

he handsome athlete - who is married to former Spice Girls singer Victoria Beckham - says he was only interested in playing soccer when he was younger and not becoming the A-list star he is today. He said: “I never wanted to be famous. I was never interested in anything else apart from becoming a footballer.” Despite being 36, David says he has no intention of retiring from the game just yet as he still believes he is good enough to play. He told Men’s Health magazine: “I know what my limits are, what I can achieve and which passes I can play. So that’s been my game over the last few years: I have adapted to my age, different situations and the position that I’m playing in. “I still love playing; I still love being part of a team. Right now I’m not even thinking about retiring.” The father-offour recently signed a new two-year contract with the LA Galaxy and says he can’t wait until the new season starts in April. He revealed: “We love it here. People still question why I made the decision to come to America but the answer is always the same; I want to achieve. “I’ve won everything I ever wanted to win in Europe and had many great, successful years there.”

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DiCaprio says his ideal woman is like his mother

he ‘J Edgar’ actor is currently dating model Erin Heatherton but he admits any girlfriend has a lot to live up to because he compares them to his beloved mum, Irmelin. He said: “My mother is the centre of my life. To have a woman like that in your life, who is strong, who’ll be honest with you about who you are... that’s something I treasure. And it’s something I look for in a woman.” Leonardo - who has previously dated models Gisele Bundchen and Bar Refaeli - also revealed how his love life suffered when he starred in 1997 blockbuster ‘Titanic’, because it transformed him into a worldwide heartthrob. Leonardo - who starred in the romantic blockbuster alongside Kate Winslet is quoted by the Daily Express newspaper as saying: “I had better success meeting girls before I did the film. My interactions with them didn’t have the stigma behind it.” Last year, the 37-year-old actor split from ‘Gossip Girl’ actress Blake Lively after five months of dating and has been linked to several models since. Leonardo has previously admitted he is unsure if he will ever marry because seeing other people’s failed unions has put him off tying the knot. He explained: “I don’t know whether I’ll ever get married. I’ve seen too many supposedly happy marriages go down. I’ve been as shocked as anyone. “No one can look at the marriages of other people and make a judgment. I don’t know the private lives of the actors I work with. I just know if they are good actors or good directors.”

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Lavigne sells Beverly Hills home vril Lavigne has sold her Bel Air mansion for $8.5 million. The ‘Complicated’ singer - who bought the palatial property in 2006 with her then husband Deryck Whibley - sold the 12,184 square-foot, eight bedroom, ten bathroom home to Los Angeles Clippers basketball star Chris Paul, according to gossip website TMZ. The home features a two-storey foyer, dual offices, a ten-car garage, a wine cellar, large gym with bath and sauna, laundry and staff quarters and a private courtyard. The master bedroom contains a kitchenette, fireplace, patio, custom walkin closets and dual baths. Avril, 27, and Sum 41 star Deryck, 31 split in 2010 after four years of marriage but despite their break-up, she insists the pair will always be very close. The former couple worked with each other on Avril’s most recent album ‘Goodbye Lullaby’ and as well as being good friends, she still has a lot of respect for his work. She said: “I have a lot of respect for him as an artist. He’s one of the most talented people I know. He did an awesome job on my album. “We’re very good friends. He’s family to me. We both respect and care for each other very much. We’re in a great place.” Avril is currently dating reality TV star Brody Jenner. —Agencies

A


THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012

lifestyle

M U S I C

&

M O V I E S

Sundance

In this film image released by Open Road Films, from left, Dallas Roberts, Dermot Mulroney, Liam Neeson, and Nonso Anozie are shown in a scene from ‘The Grey.’ —AP

Producer Amy Ziering, left, and director Kirby Dick, from the film ‘The Invisible War,’ pose for a portrait during the 2012 Sundance Film Festival on Sunday. —AP

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he US Department of Defense estimates that more than 19,000 military men and women were sexually assaulted by fellow troops in 2010 while serving in the armed forces. At least 20 percent of servicewomen and 1 percent of men - an estimated 500,000 troops - have experienced sexual trauma while serving. These troubling statistics motivated documentarian Kirby Dick and producer Amy Ziering to make “The Invisible War,” a film that examines the epidemic of rape within the military, how it affects victims and why so few cases are prosecuted. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, where it is a contender in the US documentary competition. The statistics “were just so astonishing that at first we didn’t believe it,” said Dick, adding that he was equally surprised that no film had been made on the subject. Through interviews with rape survivors and military officials, “The Invisible War” suggests that it’s not just the violence and harassment that traumatizes victims but the absence of impartial justice and the personal retaliation they often experience after reporting the incident. A rape sur vivor ’s only judicial recourse is to report the attack to her commander - even if he was the attacker - and it’s his decision whether to investigate and prosecute, regardless of the evidence. “If they investigate it, and the investigator comes back and says, ‘I’ve got a slam-dunk case. I can put this serial perpetrator behind bars,’ the commander can, on his or her own, decide, ‘No, we’re not going to send this case to court martial,’” Dick said. A 2009 study shows that only 8 percent of military sex offenders are prosecuted.”The Invisible War” introduces viewers to Kori Cioca, who left the Coast Guard after being beaten and raped by her supervisor. Five years later, she still suffers from post-traumatic stress and has yet to receive Veterans Administration approval for the surgery she needs to repair the injuries she suffered during the attack. The perpetrator, who continues to serve in the Coast Guard, hit her so hard that he permanently dislocated her jaw. Viewers also meet Marine Corps 1st Lt. Ariana Klay, who served in Iraq before being gang-raped by a senior officer and his friend while stationed at the elite Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C. Klay ’s husband, also a Marine, cried as he described his concern and fear that his wife would commit suicide. Other rape survivors shown in the film, including Cioca, said they also contemplated suicide. Hannah Sewell, who comes from a military family, said she has trouble convincing herself that she is still a virgin after being raped while serving in the Navy. Her father, wearing his own military uniform, recounts the story through tears. Dick and Ziering traveled the country to interview some 70 survivors of military rape. “We weren’t really ready for all the stories we heard,” Ziering said. “Each one had a lot of similarities and all were equally horrific.” But the filmmakers said they remained optimistic throughout the project and have been gratified by the film’s reception at Sundance, where politicians such as US Sen. Barbara Boxer of California attended the premiere. Grammy winner Mar y J Blige has pledged to write an original song for the film. “Our great hope was and continues to be that capturing (survivors’) experience and their trauma will help change things for hundreds of thousands of men and women who are in the armed forces,” Dick said. There’s also “a histor y of hope,” he said, because when the military set out to banish the segregation and racism that reigned among troops in the early 1960s, they made significant strides in just over a decade. “They can do the same thing with this,” he said. So why don’t they? “They don’t take it seriously enough,” Ziering said. “They don’t really see, and what we’re hoping the film will show is the repercussions of it. They don’t understand the amount of damage this is doing and how it really is a national security issue, and also costing taxpayers billions of dollars in just caring for people with this kind of trauma. “Once that message gets through to them, they will be motivated to make a change, because it’s a no-brainer. They have to do something.” — AP

Review

documentary examines rape in US military

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‘The Grey’ stays lost in the woods

ow wonderfully unpredictable the movies can be. Who would have thought that, at nearly 60, Liam Neeson would be one of the top action stars around? It’s the same, counterintuitive formula that made Michael Keaton a good Batman and the Rock a believable Tooth Fairy. But here he is again. After the thrillers “Taken” and “Unknown,” Neeson, that burly Irishman of such rock-’em, sock ‘em films as “Kinsey” and “Schindler’s List,” is back in his new genre of choice, looking quite at home punching a wolf. In “The Grey,” Neeson plays John Ottway, a grizzled veteran of remote oil refineries, where his specialty is shooting, by sniper rifle, wild animals that attack rig workers. What Neeson has is a resilient weariness with hard Irish eyes that come alive when challenged, and boyishly soften around women. But Ottway has tired of his rough life, an outcast - for undetermined reasons from the woman he loves (Anne Openshaw), whom he recalls frequently in white visions of pillow-talk purity. The film, directed by Joe Carnahan (“The A-Team,” “Narc”), opens with Ottway’s lost musings: “I’ve stopped doing this world any good.” Outside the mean-spirited revelry of his fellow roughneck workers, he prepares to kill himself, only to be called back to the world by the howl of a wolf - something not unlike author Jack London’s “call of the wild.” En route to vacation in Anchorage, the workers - a rough crew of facial hair and flannel - pile into an airplane that hits a storm, crashes violently and leaves just seven alive in the middle of the snowy Alaskan tundra. Call it “Lost: The Winter Edition.” Ottway, well versed in both survival and death, takes charge. Their predicament, deathly cold and with little hope of rescue, becomes considerably worse when a pack of wolves announce themselves by their eerie, glowing eyes on the dark fringes of their campfire. From there, “The Grey” (By AP style, it should be

called “ The Gray ” with the more Americanized usage, but what’s a vowel when wolves are lurking?) is a survivalist thriller where the ever-dwindling band of survivors claw for safety, away from the relentless pursuit of the wolves. The group includes the sensitive Henrick (Dallas Roberts) and the conscientious, religious father Talget (a bearded, bespectacled and nearly unrecognizable Dermot Mulroney). But easily the most notable among them is Diaz (Frank Grillo, memorable in a small role in last year’s “Warrior”), a former convict who initially opposes Ottway’s leadership. Carnahan lays the alpha dog stuff on heavily, but there’s real chemistr y in the friction between Ottway and Diaz. In manly, fireside chats, they parse out existential ideas,

talking God in a wintery void, faced with the uncompassionate brutality of nature. But “The Grey” is not “Jaws” and it’s certainly not “Moby-Dick.” In the script by Carnahan and Ian Mackenzie Jeffers, adapted from Jeffers’ short story “Ghost Walker,” the philosophical subtext is forced and obvious. At one point, God is shouted out at in the sky. Visceral action has generally been Carnahan’s specialty, ranging from the brainless “Smokin’ Aces” to the good, gritty genre film “Narc.” That talent is here, too, particularly in his sure handling of the violent plane crash. The wolves, a combination of animatronics, trained animals and CGI, are also impressively real. With cinematographer Masanobu Takayanagi, Carnahan drains the color of the raw British Columbia landscapes,

standing in ably for Alaskan wilderness. But when the filmmakers try to let the outside world into the film - in conversation and flashback memories - all they can manage are cliche images that sap the movie of depth, and keep it lost in the woods. “The Grey,” which ambles toward an unconventional ending, deserves credit for looking for gravity in genre tropes. But, ultimately, the film feels less like a genuine existential thriller than a movie aping the conventions of one. “The Grey,” an Open Road Films release, is rated R for violence, disturbing content including bloody images, and for per vasive language. Running time: 117 minutes. Two stars out of four.—AP

Oklahoma hospital must pay $1m to Garth Brooks

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n Oklahoma hospital that failed to build a women’s health center in honor of Garth Brooks’ late mother must pay the country singer $1 million, a jury has ruled. Jurors on Tuesday evening ruled that the hospital must return Brooks’ $500,000 donation plus pay him $500,000 in punitive damages. The decision came in Brooks’ breach-of-contract lawsuit against Integris Canadian Valley Regional Hospital in Yukon. Brooks said he thought he’d reached a deal in 2005 with the hospital’s president, James Moore, but sued after learning the hospital wanted to use the money for other construction projects. Jury member Beverly Lacy said she voted in favor of Brooks because she thought the hospital went back on its word. As far as the punitive damages, she said: “We wanted to show them not to do that anymore to anyone

else.” The hospital argued that Brooks gave it unrestricted access to the $500,000 donation and only later asked that it build a women’s center and name it after his mother, Colleen Brooks, who died of cancer in 1999. “Obviously we are disappointed, particularly with the jury’s decision to award damages above and beyond the $500,000,” Integris spokesman Hardy Watkins said. “We’re just glad to see the case come to a resolution.” Brooks called the jurors “heroes” and said he felt vindicated by their verdict. “I no longer feel like I’m crazy,” he said. During the trial, Brooks testified that he thought he had a solid agreement with Moore. Brooks said the hospital president initially suggested putting his mother’s name on an intensive care unit, and when Brooks said that wouldn’t fit her image, Moore suggested a women’s center. —AP

Garth Brooks talks with a fan during a break in a civil trial at the Rogers County Courthouse in Claremore. —AP

‘The Boss’ Springsteen set to perform at Jazz Fest

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he last time Bruce Springsteen performed in New Orleans it was less than a year after Hurricane Katrina hit, and “The Boss” moved thousands to tears at Jazz Fest by belting out such lyrics as “How can a poor man stand such times as these?” Springsteen is returning to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival this April. But this time, things will be different in a city that is healing from the devastating 2005 hurricane, according to Jazz Fest producer Quint Davis. “The last time he walked on that stage this was a city in ruins,” Davis said Tuesday, recalling an emotionally fragile audience with hands in the air and tears in their eyes as Springsteen sang the lyrics to “City in Ruins”. “Now this is a city that’s alive. It’s a city of triumph,” Davis said. “We’ve come a long way.” Springsteen is the latest addition Bruce to a Jazz Fest lineup that already Springsteen includes The Eagles, a reunion of the performs Beach Boys, Tom Petty & the during the Heartbreakers, Foo Fighters, Zac 2006 New Brown Band, John Mayer, The Neville Orleans Jazz Brothers, Al Green, Herbie Hancock, and Heritage Festival in New Ne-Yo and My Morning Jacket. In all, hundreds of acts are to perOrleans. —AP

form on roughly a dozen stages during Jazz Fest, which spans two weekends from April 27 through May 6 at the city’s Fair Grounds Race Course. Roughly 85 percent of the lineup is from Louisiana, including New Orleans soul singer Irma Thomas, singer-pianist Allen Toussaint and jazz clarinetist Pete Fountain. Springsteen and the E Street Band are scheduled to close out the festival’s first weekend on April 29. He is expected to perform songs from his latest album, “Wrecking Ball,” due out March 6 on Columbia Records. Springsteen already has released a single from the album, called “We Take Care of Our Own,” which gives a nod to New Orleans and its struggle to recover from Katrina. “This is a very powerful song, and it’s done in full E Street style, with that classic Bruce Springsteen power,” Davis said. “He’s talking about how people, when they’re not supported from the highest realms of power, have to help each other.” “Wrecking Ball” is Springsteen’s 17th album and the first since the death of E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons last year. Other songs on the 11-track

album include “Death to My Hometown,” “This Depression” and “Easy Money.” Davis said Springsteen represents one of the most important moments in the lives of residents in New Orleans because of his performance at the first Jazz Fest in 2006 after Katrina swamped much of the city with its floodwaters. “He opened himself up, absorbed all the grief and the pain, and converted it into music,” Davis said. Other additions to the Jazz Fest lineup announced Tuesday were Eddie Vedder and rapper Mystikal. Vedder joined his Pearl Jam bandmates at the 2010 Jazz Fest in a performance that was broadcast directly to US military forces in Iraq and featured a poignant discussion between Vedder and his friend serving his country thousands of miles away. This time around Vedder will perform as a solo artist on May 3. Jazz Fest has been held annually for more than four decades. Shell oil company is the event’s presenting sponsor. Other major sponsors include Acura, Dell, Peoples Health, Coca-Cola, Miller Lite and the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, a Churchill Downs company. —AP


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n day two of Paris’s frantic three days of haute couture collections, Chanel took the fashion crowd to the skies and highlights included supersexy, celebrity-filled Armani Prive. Tuesday’s haute couture shows felt more flashy than in previous seasons - perhaps owing to confidence after some fashion houses revealed rising sales figures during last year. The Giorgio Armani Prive show was a glitzy affair and judging by its profits, it can afford to be: sales rose 50 percent in 2011 despite the sluggish economy. Sitting on the front row of the Italian designer’s show, US Vogue Editor Anna Wintour quipped: “Doesn’t couture always buck the trend?” French mega-brand Chanel would certainly agree, billing its own couture show as the biggest spectacle yet. Inside a reconstructed jumbo jet, guests - including many from Asia were treated to a showy presentation. Another of

the day’s big collections came from Givenchy, direct from the universe of its imaginative designer Riccardo Tisci, who led revelers around a curious and luxurious exhibition-like collection. Under Tisci, the French brand has also seen success in the past 12 months, reporting year on year profits of 5 percent. Haute couture is an artisan-based method of making clothes that dates back over 150 years. The garments, shown in collections in Paris twice a year, are bought by a core group of no more than 100 rich women around the world. Creations range in price from €15,000 to over 100,000 for wedding dresses.

CHANEL It was blue-sky thinking for Karl Lagerfeld, as he treated guests to a jet-set experience in Chanel’s spring-summer collection. The wet Paris morning failed to dampen the mood outside the imperial Grand Palais, as guests waited excitedly to see the inside theme - always a closelyguarded secret. The “Cocos” - as one fashionista called Chanel followers - were led nervously down a space-age passage. There were gasps as they reached the catwalk: a life-size jumbo-jet reconstructed complete with luggage lockers, walkways and even a Champagne trolley. On the runway, signature Chanel skirtsuits were given a retro flight attendant makeover with wide bateau collars in pastel colors. It was as if stiff-suited Karl Lagerfeld had finally decided to relax into the flight as soft, floaty floor-length silhouettes replaced last season’s more fitted, shorter and architectural look. Speaking backstage in the reconstructed cockpit, Lagerfeld said that blue was used because it’s an optimistic color. Revolutionary the show was not, but the Chanel brand is definitely flying steady with reason to be excited about the future. A strong clientele, and robust business mean that like other couture- producing labels, they are bucking the downtrend in a gloomy financial climate. GIORGIO ARMANI PRIVE Giorgio Armani proved once again that his Armani Prive collection is one of the sexiest tickets in town. A noisy media scrum was triggered Tuesday when actresses Cameron Diaz and Jessica Chastain took their seats, delaying the start of the show. A black-and-green jacquard silk bustier and ample skirt shimmered with a bodice of black micro-sequins. A flared bustier dress teemed with tiny sequins like green snowflakes. “I love the green look, so stylish and so elegant with the embroiderings,” said Chastain, star of “The Help,” which was nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture on Tuesday. The last of Armani’s 44 pieces got whoops from spectators: a stunning but restrictive mermaid dress with flounces embroidered with green degrade crystals. The model-cum-siren struggled to get one foot in front of the other, stumbling at one point. Apparently no one told her that mermaids aren’t supposed to walk. STEPHANE ROLLAND A strict palette of red, lime green, black and ivory, and fabric in its purest form, met the fashion set for French designer Stephane Rolland’s highly-sculptural offering. Inspired by the work of kinetic artist

Models wear creations by German Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld as part of his presentation for Chanel Women’s Spring Summer 2012 Haute Couture fashion collection presented in Paris, Tuesday. — AP /AFP photos

Models wear creations by Giorgio Armani Prive.


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Michel Deverne, Rolland’s rich floor-sweeping gowns were kept ultra-simple to show off the movement of the materials. Clean silhouettes, combined with sweeping waist appendages and expert draping, were broken up only by the odd shiny breastplate or waistband in gold metal. But you couldn’t help but feel that Rolland fell short of the mark. His aim was crystal clear: displaying the natural beauty of fabrics such as silk jersey, gazar and organza that often are embroidered to death in couture. However, the collection suffered from its simplicity and became a bit repetitive. For the finale piece Rolland’s muse-of-the-day, former supermodel Yasmin Le Bon looked uncomfortable walking in a humongous red silk jersey ball gown with assorted lacquered metal appliques. She had a right to be nervous: weighing in at 50 kilos (110 pounds) and 45 meters (147.5 feet) of fabric at its longest point, the train had to be carried by two assistants.

Models wear creations by French designer Stephane Rolland.

GIVENCHY Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci opened the doors of his cabinet of curiosity on Tuesday, in what was surely the most imaginative fashion presentation in Paris’s haute couture week. Giant art-deco crystal earrings were shown alongside studded leather jackets and 1930s nubuck crocodile skin dresses. Pieces were presented on mannequins in 18th century showrooms, just like the historic artifacts in the Louvre museum - a stone’s throw from the Givenchy salons in central Paris. The fashion crowd - so used to the frenetic catwalk - relished the opportunity to study the pieces. It was a Riccardo Tisci of contradictions, mixing up high and low fashion. A black croco-

dile biker jacket with embellishments sat on top of intricately beaded organza. A scooped-front jewelled cocktail dress channeled the 1930s, but was mixed with a dark sporty undergarment. One floor-length dress looked conventional enough, until it was opened to reveal studs all over the inside. It has apparently become the most-wanted piece of the collection. —AP


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A visitor takes a close look at a sculpture by Australian artist Sam Jinks at the India Art Fair in New Delhi yesterday. Launched in 2008, the fourth edition of India Art Fair is taking place between January 25 to 29. — AFP

Three “Anthropomorphic Steles” carved from sandstone and dating back to the 3rd to 4th millennium BC.

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tanding on a large floor map in a Jeddah art gallery, Hamza Serafi places a yellow sign inscribed “Caution: revolution (take 2)” over Egypt and then turns to Saudi Arabia. “Evolution not revolution” reads the sign he plans to place over the conservative Islamic kingdom, where an exhibition organizers call Saudi Arabia’s first public show of contemporary art has opened this month, entitled “We need to talk.” In addressing last year’s political turmoil through his work, the Saudi artist is testing the boundaries of self expression in a kingdom where direct criticism of the authorities is not tolerated, cinema and theatre are banned and art and media are censored. “It is always a choice to either be blunt and vulgar and say something that will upset people and then your work will be censored� or you do artwork that has a very valuable message, sustainable and gentle,” Serafi said. Saudi Arabia, a country ruled over by the al-Saud royal family in alliance with powerful conservative clerics, has no elected parliament or political parties and applies a rigid variation of Sharia law. Although King Abdullah has slowly pushed for society to grow more open by encouraging dialogue and urging media to report on previously taboo social ills, a government-linked committee still had to vet all the artwork on show. “It has not been as difficult as one would expect (to get art past the censors) because the medium of contemporary art can always be interpreted in various ways, some controversial, some not, depending on how the viewer looks at it,” said Aya Alireza, the show’s assistant curator. “I try to disabuse (the authorities) of the notion that the works are meant to criticise the government or are inciting people toward revolt or rebellion, which is not what the artists are trying to achieve in any case.” Regional turmoil Saudi Arabia escaped virtually untouched when mass uprisings toppled Arab leaders last year, as a Facebook call for a “day of rage” went unheeded amid lavish government spending and shows of support for the royal family by religious and tribal leaders. However, the Saudi authorities are sensitive to any suggestion that their people

A carved milestone dating back to the 8th century.

he Gulf emirate of Abu Dhabi announced yesterday that the satellite Louvre art gallery will open its doors in 2015 and the Guggenheim museum in 2017, about three years later than expected. The Abu Dhabi Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) announcement came a day after the executive council of Abu Dhabi said it had “approved the budgets and deadlines” for the inauguration of the projects of Saadiyat island, including the Guggenheim, the Louvre, and Zayed National Museum. The executive council functions like a government for the emirate. According to the TDIC statement, “substantial work has already been completed on the museums,” including detailed architectural designs and “all foundation work,” noting that art acquisitions are also “well underway.” “Saadiyat Cultural District will create a cultural destination that will repeatedly attract visitors from the world of arts and culture,” said TDIC chairman Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan. The museums were originally scheduled to open between 2013 and 2014, but delays were announced in October. At the time, local media reported that Abu Dhabi projects valued at $30 billion were frozen pending review, in a bid to scale back spending in difficult economic conditions. US architect Frank Gehry designed the Abu Dhabi Guggenheim museum, which aims to be larger than the existing Guggenheims in New York, Berlin, Bilbao, Las Vegas, and Venice. French architect Jean Nouvel designed the desert Louvre. Abu Dhabi is engaged in an ambitious development plan, “Abu Dhabi 2030,” aimed at modernizing the emirate and diversifying its economy. Despite the global financial crisis and its severe impact on neighboring Dubai, construction has continued in Abu Dhabi, but at a much slower pace than planned.—AFP

A bronze “Head of a Man” dating back to 1st century BC to 2nd century AD.

might emulate the uprisings, making it difficult for artists to address a subject that held the whole Arab world rapt. “It is not the right time to put red lines. Now everyone is crossing red lines... Even if they do restrict them, artists will find their way around it,” Saudi artist Ahmed Mater said. Other taboos include anything seen as blasphemous, criticism of the conservative nature of Saudi society, and sex or nudity. Saudi artists say they have to find imaginative ways to manoeuvre around the censors to ensure the continuation of a local art scene that is still at an early stage of development. One, in a piece called “Food for Thought”, displays baking trays lined with hundreds of cassette tapes of religious lectures recorded and distributed in the 1980s, when Saudi Arabia experienced a wave of religious extremism. As the viewer backs away, the words haram (forbidden) and batil (wrong) become legible in the arrangement of the cassettes. “We want to avoid being overly controversial and stepping over a lot of toes because that will be counter-productive to us,” Alireza said. “The reason I find Saudi art particularly good and inspiring is because the restrictions the artists face is what actually lights the fuel under their creativity, forcing them to think more deeply and to be more subtle in their work,” he added. Right time Edge of Arabia, the group behind the exhibition, has showcased Saudi artists’ work around the world since 2008, with displays in London, Dubai, Venice, Istanbul and Berlin, but this is its first public show inside the kingdom. “I think a lot has changed in Saudi Arabia in the last four years and now is the right time for our exhibition. You should not force things� 2012 is the right time in Saudi,” said Stephen Stapleton, founder of Edge of Arabia. The exhibition, which opened last week, includes more than 50 works by 22 Saudi artists giving their views on the country. Artist Ahmad Angawi brings the Saudi public into his work by installing microphones throughout various loca-

A “Male Statue” with typical Mesopotamian features, dat- A visitor looks at tombstones from the historic cemetery of aling back to the mid 3rd millennium BC is on display dur- Ma’la, near Makkah. ing a press preview of the “Roads of Arabia” exhibition at Berlin’s Pergamon museum yesterday. — AFP photos

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undreds of photographs by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo that were sealed away when she died will be publicly displayed for the first time in the United States next month at the Artisphere arts center in Arlington, Virginia. Artisphere announced plans yesterday for an exhibition titled “Frida Kahlo: Her Photos,” which includes more than 250 images from her personal collection. They were packed away in 1954 when Kahlo died, along with items from her husband, artist Diego Rivera, and were unsealed in 2007. The exhibit opens Feb 23, and Artisphere is adjusting its hours to accommodate more visitors. It will be the largest exhibit since the museum’s 2010 opening. Artisphere landed the unique exhibit because Kahlo was a lifelong resident of Arlington’s sister city, Coyoacan, Mexico, a suburb of Mexico City. Online: Artisphere: http://artisphere.com/.—AP

A visitor looks at a curtain of the Kaaba door, made in the 20th century of cotton, silk embroidered with gold and silver thread. tions in Jeddah for his project, “Street Pulse”. Participants record messages into microphones and hear those left by others through headphones attached to his installation, hundreds of microphones bound together in the shape of an atom. “It shows the various voices we have, all confined into one sphere. The idea behind it is, if we don’t speak up, if we remain silent, if we keep putting our feelings aside, one day� we will explode,” Angawi said. “I firmly believe we do not need some sort of revolution� but that still does not mean that we should be static. We need to develop gradually in a way that suits the place,” he said. Angawi said he accepted that he might not be able to play some of the comments people recorded, and that finding the right balance between freedom of expression and the demands of a conservative society would be difficult. “We are at the early stages. This is a launch, a beginning... Baby steps are always the ones that will last,” Alireza said. “The giant leaps are the ones that cause backlashes that may force you to take a step back,” she added.—Reuters


26 Jan 2012