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Govt plans airport tender worth up to KD 800 million


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150 FILS

Kuwait National & Liberation Days

Panel seeks wage details • MPs urge return of Kuwaiti jailed in Iraq

Max 30º Min 17º High Tide 02:57 & 14:11 Low Tide 08:06 & 20:52

By B Izzak and Agencies conspiracy theories

No ‘Meet and Seat’ for me By Badrya Darwish


his is the craziest phenomenon I have encountered in the airline industry since the start of flying. The airline that launched this new service, I cannot name them because I don’t want to be held liable, might have run out of other advertising options. The airline says that with their new service, passengers can simply connect to the profiles on social networking sites of other people who are on their flight and they can choose to sit near you if they like. The airline says passengers can choose seat mates based on common interests. Oh my God! As if I cannot bear to fly for seven hours without having somebody who shares the same interests and hobbies as me? OK, maybe he or she has similar things to share but I may not like him as a person. Although the service is optional, people could still choose to sit near you and annoy you throughout the flight. Who told the airline this would please passengers? It could annoy me for example. Besides, many people travel and do not report to relatives, work or friends their destination or that they are even leaving the country. This is exposing people’s privacy. Third, it is a security hazard to open files and profiles of people who are flying. There could be millions of security reasons too for people to create fake identities and say that they share your interests so that they can pick a seat near you. Why would an airline do this? In which way is this making our travel more pleasurable? Did they run out of ways to entertain us on board? Or did the marketing and promotion department of the company run out of entertainment ideas? I will freak out knowing that my personal profile is open to everybody and passengers can choose to sit near me. Is this service going to be applied only to single men and women? The ‘Meet and Seat’ service sounds like a dating company to me. What if I am flying with my family or friends and somebody comes from nowhere and sits between us simply because he enjoys the same music I enjoy or is a fan of Manchester United or Real Madrid just like me. Or is he or she going to interrupt my flight with my friend simply because we have a common interest in fishing, for example. Who says that businessmen and frequent travelers like to be annoyed during flights by somebody random who sits near them and wants to share the same taxi after the flight or maybe a dinner table. Imagine you end up sitting next to somebody who snores, who drinks like a fish and is so fat that he leans on you when he sleeps and you cannot do anything about it for seven hours. You suffer all this misery because he happened to share one of your hobbies. Thank you very much. I no longer want interests or hobbies. No ‘Meet and Seat’ for me!

Senegal wakes to new era after Wade bows out


KUWAIT: HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah (left) is welcomed at the airport by HH the Deputy Amir and Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah (right) after the Amir returned to Kuwait yesterday after concluding official visits to Japan and the Philippines. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Kuwait will launch an initial tender for construction of a second terminal at its international airport in coming weeks, a project worth around KD 700-800 million ($2.5-$2.9 billion). The project should be finished by late 2016, state-run news agency KUNA yesterday quoted the undersecretary for the ministry of works Hossam Al-Tahous as saying in an interview, adding 16 international companies had expressed interest. The first stages of the tender will include work on the design, and consultancy services, Tahous said. Tenders for the second phase, which will include construction, should happen in the middle of next year, he said. He said the ministry hopes solar panels will provide some 10 percent of the terminal’s energy supply. Meanwhile, a joint committee yesterday gave the government two weeks to provide all studies and information about wages of public sector employees in order to prepare a report on the issue as asked by the National Assembly, rapporteur of the financial and economic affairs committee MP Ahmad Lari said. Lari said the panel comprising the financial and economic affairs and the legal and legislative affairs committees discussed the issue of wages and salary increases based on the assignment by the Assembly which held a special session last Thursday to discuss the issue. The lawmaker expected the panel to complete its report within the next three months. The panel asked the government to provide it with all the documents and legislation regulating and governing wage raises in addition to all studies conducted in this regard, Lari said. The Assembly held a heated debate last Thursday to discuss increasing demands by Continued on Page 13

Syria tops agenda at Iraq summit Leaders won’t tell Assad to quit BAGHDAD: After decades at the centre of the Arab world, Syria now sits in the dock as regional leaders meet in Baghdad this week over how to end President Bashar Al-Assad’s bloody crackdown on a popular uprising. But wide disparities among Arab chiefs’ positions may hamper any hope of an aggressive resolution from the meeting, the first to be held in Iraq in more than 20 years and taking place under heavy security after deadly bombings just a week ago. Crucially, the Arab League will have to reconcile a proposal by Gulf countries to arm opponents of Assad with calls from states such as Iraq for a political resolution to the year-long crackdown monitors say has left

more than 9,100 dead. “ There is a mounting crisis in Syria, there is daily killing, there is daily bloodshed, there is a stalemate... in the political solution, what should be done?” Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told reporters in Baghdad. Zebari said there “will be a resolution definitely on Syria,” but admitted that he did not “think there will be a call on Bashar to step aside”. Deputy National Security Adviser Safa Hussein, meanwhile, noted Syria was “not an easy issue” because “there is division internationally and there is a division within the Arab world”. “I don’t think we should expect Continued on Page 13

in the

news Kuwait frees 7 Iraqi fishermen

KUWAIT: Kuwait yesterday handed over to Iraqi authorities seven fishermen who were arrested a day earlier after crossing into the state’s territorial waters, the interior ministry said. The men were “handed over to the Iraqi navy” after they were subjected to interrogation for crossing into Kuwaiti waters aboard a fishing vessel, the ministry said in a statement. The handover was made in accordance with a bilateral security agreement between the two Arab neighbours, it added. Seizing Iraqi fishing boats and arresting fishermen for crossing into Kuwaiti waters has become common in the past few months. Hoshyar Zebari

‘Titanic’ director dives to deepest point on Earth WASHINGTON: “Titanic” director James Cameron returned to the surface yesterday after a solo submarine dive to the deepest point in the world’s oceans that was hailed as the ultimate test of “man and his machine”. Cameron plunged about 11 km to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific, where temperatures are barely above freezing and the pressure is a crushing thousand times that at sea level. Speaking after the mission, the filmmaker-explorer described a barren “completely alien world” on the ocean floor, not unlike the surface of the moon. It was a “very lunar, very desolate place. Very isolated,” Cameron said. “I felt like I, in the space of one day, had gone to another planet and come back,” he said, describing the ocean floor as a “completely featureless, alien world”. The acclaimed film director described the experience of hurtling down the “yawning chasm” of the ocean: “Falling through darkness - that’s something that a Filmmaker James Cameron holds the robot can’t describe.” National Geographic Society flag after he The voyage was the first manned expedition to the trench in successfully completed the first ever solo more than half a century and Cameron said it was the dive to the Mariana Trench yesterday. — AP Continued on Page 13

Obama pledges nuclear cuts, warns Iran and N Korea


Pakistan bans film featuring Indian James Bond


Indian drivers need extra strong horns NEW DELHI: German carmaker Audi makes special horns for its vehicles sold in India where local drivers hoot so much as they fight their way through chaotic traffic, the firm’s country director has revealed. “Obviously for India, the horn is a category in itself,” Michael Perschke, director at Audi India, told yesterday’s Mint newspaper. “You take a European horn and it will be gone in a week or two. With the amount of honking in Mumbai, we do on a daily basis what an average German does on an annual basis.” Perschke said the horns are specially adapted for driving conditions in India.

Sarko says Qaradawi unwelcome in France PARIS: President Nicolas Sarkozy said yesterday that influential Qatar-based Sunni Muslim cleric Yusuf AlQaradawi was not welcome in France. Egyptian-born Qaradawi, 86, has been invited to visit next month by the Union of Islamic Organisations in France (UOIF). “I told the emir of Qatar himself that this gentleman was not welcome in the territory of the French Republic,” Sarkozy told France Info radio. Qaradawi, who hosts a popular show on Al-Jazeera satellite television, backed Arab Spring uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, and has launched a fund-raising effort for the Syrian opposition. He had been due to attend the UOIF congress at Le Bourget near Paris on April 6 alongside renowned Egyptian preacher Mahmud Al-Masri. (See Page 9)

Rooney keeps Man United record bid on track





International calls ‘bridge the gap’ in globalizing times How to spend KD 650 on phone bills per year By Lisa Conrad KUWAIT: A recently published report revealed startling figures regarding how much residents in Kuwait spend on telephone bills every year. It found that every year each Kuwaiti spends KD 650 on average on telephone bills alone. Hind Al-Nahedh, former head of communications at VIVA Kuwait, said the figures were modest, adding: “It’s higher than KD 650 a year. I’d say that KD 80 or 90 per month is around the average amount spent on telephone bills.” Expatriates are also spending considerably on their telephone lines, with middle-class expatri-

no surprise that there is plenty of opportunity for telephone expenses to devour considerable chunks of Kuwait’s pay packets each month. According to a telecommunications insider, keeping up with the newest technology and the packages needed to enjoy them to the fullest, see spending on telephone expenses soar. “When the newest phones are released, we sell out most of the time. In the case of iPhones and BlackBerry, there is huge demand with every new release.” He added, “Often, data packages stipulate a period of time, for example a one year contract. If, during that time, a more desirable handset comes out, many will get the

KUWAIT: With data packages increasing in popularity, Smartphones are becoming the latest accessory. With hoards of expatriates calling family abroad, it is no surprise that telephone expenses cut considerable chunks out of Kuwait’s pay packets each month. ates estimated to spend around KD 300 per year. Even those at the lower end of the income spectrum manage to rack up KD 150 worth of telephone bills. The question is: what are they spending on? With data packages increasing in popularity, Smartphones becoming the latest accessory and hoards of expatriates calling family abroad, it is

new handset and data package regardless and pay both contracts.” The insider noted that the trend of holding multiple handsets of course increases spending, especially given the premium packages attached to the newest Smartphones. He added that there are considerable differences between the use of data packages in Kuwait and abroad.

“Elsewhere, companies use data packages to encourage loyalty. Here, customers are willing to pay for multiple data packages, so you still worry that your customers will cut the contract completely once the time is up.” He continued, “That is why there is so much advertising here: there is fierce competition to attract and hold onto customers given how profitable the market is.” According to Al-Nahedh, companies looking to stay competitive should concentrate on carefully constructed data packages, “People are more interested in internet packages as opposed to packages that concentrate on calls and text messages alone. The public is catching on to new technology and is taking advantage of them more and more.” “Telecommunication companies must adapt to the behaviors of the customers, who are looking for lower costs now. Communications are increasingly e-mail based, so people will spend more time using e-mail than phone calls, so smart packages for businesses that cater to specific needs are an excellent way to stay competitive.” Data packages aside, this telecommunications insider noted that calls abroad account for a considerable amount of expenditure, “Kuwaitis travel a lot, and they will call relatives and relatives will call them while they are away. Parents call children studying or working abroad, and so on. The newer technologies and apps will most likely see a drop in this over time, but, as of yet, international calls are still very popular,” he said. “The world is globalizing, but Kuwaiti society is very close-knit and families like to be in touch regularly. The increasing distance between family members is being bridged with regular phone calls.” Kuwaiti student, Hussein, attributed the spending to keeping in touch with family and friends abroad. “My brother studies in the UK, and my mother calls on his cell phone from her cell phone at least five times a week, for twenty minutes each call. It is expensive, but there just isn’t the habit here yet of using free online calls, and getting international phone cards never took off.” According to Hussein, Kuwaitis outside the country are also in the habit of racking up large telephone bills, “When I’m in the UK I use a UK line, and I call Kuwait with it. My brother also calls here from his UK line, and pays the price.”

KD 2 billion Jaber Causeway delayed KUWAIT: M inistr y of Public Works (MPW ) Assistant Undersecretary, Engineer Saud AlNaqi, said the council of ministers has been asked to review the Jaber Causeway project to take the necessary action concerning the tender. The MPW is waiting for a response from the

council of ministers, he said. He said the ministry is waiting to get an alternative path for the Eighth Ring Road, due to the fact that the suggested track for the structure crosses Burgan oil field. He said the total cost for the roads projec t currently

amounts to over KD 2 billion. The reasons for the delay of the project, he said, is because of the delay in getting approvals from the concerned authorities in service ministries, like the M i n i s t r i e s o f E l e c t r i c i t y a n d Wate r, Communications, Oil and the Municipality.

delay in announcing results KUWAIT: Ministr y of Education officials have started to use the secret atmosphere imposed by the ministry to manipulate the results of leading supervisory jobs which candidates applied for. Sources said there is a delay in announcing results of the interviews for applications to the post of administration director for coordination and follow up and the directors of educational affairs in Farwaniya and Jahra educational areas. The delay has given a chance for some MPs to intervene and pressure the Minister of Education and Higher Education, Dr Nayef Al Hajraf, to benefit certain applicants. —Al-Shahed

Minister gives ultimatum KUWAIT: Minister of Housing, Shuwaib AlMuwaizri, is demanding an explanation from the Savings and Credit Bank (SCB) for failing to execute a decision to increase the marriage loan from KD4,000 to KD6,000, as well as the reason behind purchasing bonds from two Kuwaiti companies for KD13 million. Minister AlMuwaizri gave SCB General Director, Salah Al-Mudhaf, a Thursday 29 March 29 ultimatum to respond to his enquiries, according to a news report quoting sources with knowledge of the issue. “After receiving several complaints from citizens stating that the SCB failed to provide them with the KD6,000 loan as per the housing ministry’s decision, Minister Al-Muwaizri sent a letter to Al-Mudhaf asking for the reasons why the SCB chief did not yet adopt the increase”, said a source who spoke on condition of anonymity.—Al-Rai

KD 1 million fine for rogue TV stations KUWAIT: Recent amendments to the audiovisual law include tougher penalties on television stations, which now can face a KD 1 million fine if found guilty of damaging national unity, says a report quoting sources from the Ministry of Information (MoI). The MoI reportedly made a series of amendments to the audiovisual and press law following an incident last week in which MP Husain Al-Qallaf criticized chief of the Awazem tribe, Falah bin Jameaa, during a live talk show hosted by Scope Television. As a result, dozens of tribesmen stormed the station’s building in protest of what was regarded as an insult to the tribe leader. The incident garnered nationwide condemnation in which the Scope Television was accused of promoting sectarianism by allowing statements that “damage national unity” to be aired on one of its shows. The Ministry of Information ended up pressing charges against the private television station, which in turn announced an end to its broadcasting until further notice. “The tougher penalties come to control the state of chaos created by recent events”, said sources speaking on condition of anonymity

because they are not authorized to speak publicly about the subject. The report published yesterday further indicates the amendments come as part of the ministry’s efforts to “protect national unity”. The sources said amendments were also introduced to impose penalties against “misuse of social networking websites”, such as Twitter and Facebook. The insider indicated that the State Security Service recently detect a number of Twitter users who indirectly insulted the state’s Amir. Authorities eventually discovered, after tracing the account, that they are operated outside Kuwait; namely in India and other countries. The sources confirmed that Kuwait is coordinating with authorities in those countries to follow up the case. Despite harboring a democratic system with constitutional rights of expression and freedoms of opinion not found in other countries in the region, Kuwait has regulations by which any publication house, television or radio station are required to ensure that no insults to official, religious, sectarian or tribal figures are mentioned in their respective published or broadcasted materials. —Al-Qabas

Parliament discusses financial incentives, salary increase KUWAIT: National Assembly (parliament) yesterday discussed financial incentives and salary increase, as well as senior state posts. The joint financial and economic affairs committee and legislative and legal affairs committee discussed “primarily” the issue of financial incentives and salaries “and it is hoped that a report would be ready within three months,” committee rapporteur MP Ahmad Lari told reporters. “The committee asked the government to provide all needed legal documents for salary increase, as well as what

have been achieved so far regarding this matter,” he noted. As for senior state posts, Lari said “these posts must be announced about, along with their requirements,” adding “a neutral committee should also be formed in this regard.” Meanwhile, the parliamentary final account and budgets’ committee discussed earlier yesterday the 2012/2013 fiscal year for the Public Authority for Civil Information. It revealed that the Authority’s estimated spending came to KD 33 million, while revenues were estimated at about KD 8 million. — KUNA



External, regional factors hinder Kuwait’s development projects Need for comprehensive reforms: Safar By Ben Garcia

KUWAIT: The Asian driver pictured after his arrest.

Asian drug trader in police net By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: An Asian driver was recently arrested for drug trafficking, security sources said. Case papers indicate that narcotics detectives had been tipped off concerning the suspect’s activity. After surveillance, the suspect was arrested in possession of two packages of heroin he admitted he have for trading. The suspect also led police to more drugs he had buried below a tree. A case was filed and the suspect was referred to the relevant authorities. Car accidents Two citizens sustained facial injuries when their vehicles collided in Shuwaikh, security sources said. Both men were referred to Sabah Hospital for treatment. A 36-year-old Sudanese male broke both legs, his left arm and his pelvis when he lost control over his vehicle and it rolled over several times in Abdali. Security sources said the man was rushed to Jahra Hospital for treatment. A 45-year-old female citizen broke her right arm when her vehicle collided into another in the airport parking area, security sources said. She was rushed to Farwaniya Hospital for treatment. An 18-year-old citizen was rushed to the ICU at Farwaniya Hospital for treatment to a severe head injury he sustained in a traffic accident in Mubarak Al-Kabeer, security sources said. A 51-year-old Egyptian sustained a head injury and back pain in a traffic accident behind Kout Shopping Mall in Fahaheel.

Teachers lose KUWAIT: Informed sources revealed that religious edict and legislation department has approved most of the explanations in the memorandum of the Civil Service Commission for law 28/2011 which will change teachers’ allowances. One of the privileges which teachers will lose, which they thought they are entitled to by law, is to start with “H” group and not “D” group whether having educational qualifications or not. Further teaching allowances, for specializations, transport allowances and others like job level allowances, encouragement and supervision that are not clearly mentioned in the law will be deducted from teachers’ salaries during summer vacations and holidays as they are not considered to be part of the salary. Supervisors, directors of educational affairs, and directors of educational areas will not be added to the group of teachers to be granted financial allowances. Regarding end of service, the basic condition for teachers to obtain this allowance is 30 years of service as teachers, which means many teachers who did not complete 30 years of service will be deprived of it. Sources said there are attempts to return the law to the National Assembly for amendment, and to correct defects which have spoiled the dreams of teachers.

No MRI at Jahra Hospital KUWAIT: The main MRI unit at Jahra Hospital has been out of order for over two weeks, health sources revealed. Emergency and intensive care cases are being diverted to Farwaniya Hospital. Sources said the hospital x-ray department asked several months ago for a new unit to avoid defects that might happen to the only unit available in the hospital. But the ministry did not respond. There is a state of strong annoyance among hospital patients, sources said, in particular patients due to the stoppage of the equipment. Appointments for x-rays jumped from two weeks to 20 days last year. After stateless residents were allowed x-rays free of charge, the waiting list for an x-ray appointment became four months and now the equipment has totally stopped. Sources said the equipment is currently under maintenance, and it might return to service on April 5. Jahra Hospital is the only hospital with only one MRI unit among all public hospitals, despite serving half a million persons in the governorate. Demands for another unit have been in place since 2008. —Al-Anbaa

Army conducts SkyGuard drills KUWAIT: The Kuwaiti Air Force conducted live ammunition drills using the SkyGuard ground-based short range air defense system in Failaka Island in presence of Deputy Chief of Staff Lt General Abdulrahman Al-Othman. A SkyGuard fired on three mobile and stationary targets and hit all successfully, after which the Lt General praised the level of performance of the forces taking part in the drill. Also present were the Naval Force Commander, Land Force Commander, Air Force Command officers, and other officers of the army. — KUNA

KUWAIT: External and regional factors, coupled with exceptional circumstances, negatively affect Kuwait’s abilities to accelerate development and push forward for the implementation of many vital projects, admitted the Public Works Minister. Speaking at the two-day infrastructure and investment seminar, organized by International Quality and Productivity Center (IQPC) which kicked off yesterday at Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dr Fadel Ali Safar, Minister for Public Works and State Minister for Planning and Development, said external and regional problems are facts of life in Kuwait and that planners left no option but to adapt to the current circumstances. “The government and private sector are heavily engaged in the implementation of the goals, policies, and the projects of our development plan, which covers the period from 2010-14. Yet our development efforts face many challenges, hurdles, and constraints due to the geopolitical position of Kuwait,” he said. AliSafar commented on the bright prospects of development that will gradually improve the efficiency of Kuwait’s plan, “Your meeting today is one of the positive factors which convinces us that there are many ways to face challenges and overcome constraints,” he added. Ali Safar noted that the comprehensive development plan for Kuwait covers various types of projects across all social and economic sectors, “Physical and human projects are treated as one package since they reflect an integrated approach in our planning and development vision.” He added that priority is given to infrastructure projects since they are considered to be the foundation of development, “It must be kept in mind that all infrastructure projects should include human resources development programs to enable Kuwaitis to mange and run the facilities and services in the projects.” He further emphasized the need for comprehensive reforms to ensure that the developmental focus moves from traditional viewpoints to a more dynamic approach, which will pave the way for more efficiency and greater prosperity for the people of Kuwait, “This requires a greater transparency and special attention to the basics of sustainable development,” he added. He expressed determination to enhance and support the

expansion of the role of the private sector in planning and development, “Please do your best to be partners in our infrastructure projects by bringing your investments, know-how, skills, experiences in the country,” he requested. Ali Safar noted that the government is advocating the transformation of economic growth patterns and social changes to secure the balanced distribution of infrastructure facilities and services all over the country, “Development and progress cannot be fulfilled without fostering political, social and economic stability. This is essential to secure the business environment and to make sure that companies and con-

tractors will be working under safe conditions with no risks or unforeseen circumstances,” he added. Ali Safar noted that the current development plan includes around 324 projects and sub-projects with investments totaling approximately KD 3.5 billion for the year 2012-2013. Ali-Safar stated that the Ministry Of Public Works believes that the construction of tangible infrastructure facilities is the backbone of economic and social development. The two day seminar focuses on investment and infrastructure services in Kuwait and includes international speakers from various organizations, groups and countries.

KUWAIT: Al-Ahli Bank of Kuwait recently honored a number of its outstanding staff. On this occasion, ABK hosted a lunch to honor the employees in the presence of chief general manager and chief executive officer Colin Plowman, and head of various departments in the bank. Plowman thanked the staff for their commitment, continuous efforts and outstanding performance; and incentivized them to pursue excellence in work to further improve their performance.

Harbi to be released soon By A Saleh KUWAIT: MPs Abdul Hameed Dashti, Ali Al-Diqbasi and Saifi Al-Saifi said they are closely following the case of Kuwaiti citizen Ali Al-Harbi, who has been detained in Iraq since 2004, and that they are working hard to have him released soon. MP Dashti said he is going to visit Baghdad soon for that reason. MP Ali AlDiqbasi said he personally spoke to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maleki and Foreign Minister Zibari about Al-Harbi’s detention. He said they both promised to look into releasing him once the Iraqi investigations were over. MP Al-Saifi said he will question Kuwait’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister for releasing Iraqi prisoners without swapping them with Al-Harbi. Amthal response Sheikha Amthal Al-Ahmed, Chairlady of the Voluntary Work Center, said she was appointed by an Amiri decree and is the official in charge of all voluntary work. In an indirect response to MP Musallam Al-Barrak’s inquiries and criti-

cism, she explained that the center’s budget mainly depends on donations from various companies, individuals including the volunteers themselves and special donations HH the Amir frequently provided. “We never interfere in ministers’ work, but we usually cooperate for the best of Kuwait... and yes, I do have the power to stop strikes and replace striking employees, as my strength lies in the young men and women working with me and they can do anything...”, said Al-Ahmed responding strongly to Al-Barrak’s enquiries about the expenses of her voluntary activities and the authority she has to provide substitutes for striking employees. “You’d all better be doing your parliamentary jobs instead of questioning the intentions of others and throwing ungrounded accusations around,” she stated.

duration of the lease contracts, the lease fees per meter, the beneficiaries and the total sums collected from leasing them. Al-Yahya asked the Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled, about the annual allowances ministers receive and how much they have increased over the past ten years. He also asked which section of the budget pays such increments.

Ministers’ allowances MP Faisal Al-Yahya yesterday asked Finance Minister, Mustafa Al-Shamali, for a list of leased state-owned lands, the

MPs to question Al-Maleki Odai Awwad, Member of the Iraqi parliament Free Bloc, announced the intention of a number of MPs to collect signa-

MOD overseas treatment MP Saifi Al-Saifi yesterday filed two enquiries to the Ministers of Interior and Defense concerning the treatment abroad of retired police officers and army officers. Al-Saifi demanded full information about the number of and names of patients dispatched for treatment abroad since 1 January 2012 with an explanation as to why some applications were turned down or hindered.

tures of parliament members in favor of discussing the results of the Iraqi Prime Minister’s recent visit to Kuwait. Awwad said MPs from various blocs intend to summon Al-Maleki to parliament after the upcoming Arab Summit to discuss the visit and all the agreements made between the two countries. Maisoon AlDamlougi, spokesperson of the Iraqi List, said parliament ought to grill Al-Maleki on what she described as ‘major concessions’ he made with the Kuwaiti Government. ‘Mama Aneesa’ school Ministry of Education Undersecretary, Tomadher Al-Sdairawi, yesterday issued a ministerial decision pertaining to opening a new intermediate school for girls in Abu Hlaifa. It will be named after the veteran children’s television and radio program presenter, Aneesa Mohammed Jaafar, locally known as Mama Aneesa. Educational sources said the school will be operative next year once the Ahmadi educational zone provides all the necessary teaching and administrative staff members.


LOCAL In my view

Local Spotlight

Baghdad Realpolitik

Inflation in Kuwait

By Fouad Al-Obaid

By Muna Al-Fuzai Twitter: @Fouadalobaid


aghdad will be hosting its first major international gathering in at least two decades. It is set to mark its grand return into the global community of nations Iraq, despite being rid of its former Iraqi dictator for almost a decade, has yet to return to normality. It has a rather shaky security situation in many cities, which is the envy of none. Bombings and rampant shootings are at times a daily occurrence. Only five days ago, 46 people perished in different attacks throughout Baghdad - the city that will be hosting the Arab League Head of States summit. The summit itself is bound to be an interesting one, following the drastic changes that have taken place in the Arab world throughout 2011. The change of circumstances in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen are obvious. The ongoing situation in Syria Syria itself will not be present as it has been suspended from the Arab League - looks set to take much of the debates, further noting that the political instability in much of the rest of the Arab World certainly won’t be far off the minds of the said leaders. Two novelties will emerge in this summit should it go on as announced. It will be the first post Arab Spring summit and will usher a new era of more ‘legitimate’ leaders which will have to deal with their more autocratic cohorts. Further, it will be set in Iraq, which incidentally will be hosting the Arab League amidst a spike in Iranian influence that has settled ever since the eviction of power by the United States of Saddam. The effect of the Iranian dominance is selectively waning and/or waxing depending on which side of the global political spectrum you attempt to adhere to! Iran has largely been seen meddling into the affairs of Iraq due to its majority Shiite population. Its geographical proximity is causally unrivaled by an Iraq that has had a hard time re-arming its national army, and is facing tough decisions as to what to do with its numerous - thus so far tolerated - private militias that have denied the centralized government the complete monopoly of violence. Adding to the militias is the question of semi-autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan, which has been when compared to other Iraqi provinces largely at peace for over two decades now. As if the situation is not tense yet, the ongoing spat between Kuwait and Iraq over unresolved Gulf war business is not making the return to normality viable - at least in the short-term. Despite a halfhearted desire to make amends, Iraq is not yet willing to let go of past grievances, pay its dues and get out of Chapter VII. The case of Iraq Airways robbing Kuwait Airways planes during the invasion has sparked a 20 year case that has been in Kuwait’s favor, with $1.2 billion in compensation sought. The was an acceptance last week of a scaled down agreement, whereby Iraq will pay $500 million - $300 million in a direct financial down payment and $200 million to be re-invested in a new joint venture between both nations in the aviation field. Though positive, for it would implicitly indicates that Iraq was at fault, it nevertheless is only one of many issues that are yet to be resolved. The best case scenario would be for a genuine warming of relations. A mutually-agreed clear strategy is needed on the part of the Iraqi government to recognize Kuwait as a sovereign Arab brotherly state, and to make it a new Iraqi doctrine to teach that in public schools and in different media channels.

kuwait digest

NGOs in need of youthful outlook


kuwait digest

A political reality By Thaar Al-Rashidi


o start with, there is a question after the declarations made by Emirates Security Chief Gen Dhahi Al-Khalfan about the Muslim Brotherhood and their intention to seek to rule the Gulf states. The question is, is it true that the Muslim Brotherhood is seeking authority? The answer is not hard as some imagine and not as sensitive as some others might think. It is simple. There is no political organization on the earth whose members are not seeking authority, or at least part of it. There is no political organization, small or big in the world, whose members are not trying to reach power. This is politics and this is simple logic. Otherwise why do all political streams try to push with all their might to reach the largest number of members in decision making bodies, whether in Parliament, the Government or even large private organizations like banks?

What makes the Muslim Brotherhood different from others? Why accuse the Muslim brotherhood, as per the General Khalfan logic, without mentioning others? Al-Salaf, for example, who are always against elections have changed their style. They have indulged in the democratic process, after it was infidel, then it was ‘haram’ (forbidden), thereafter it became unlinked and gradually it became acceptable with conditions. They were very late, but they have at last returned. Their return was never in the public interest, as they are a political stream like all other political streams. The final aim is authority, or part of it, and liberals with their different names are also seeking authority. What Gen Dhahi Al-Khalfan said was not an accusation towards the Muslim Brotherhood but a political reality and very natural. All political streams and movements, with their leaders and bases, all are heading to

kuwait digest

‘Insult to one is an insult to all’


kuwait digest

State of Kuwait Inc.

By Abdullatif Al-Duaij


ny act of offense, defamation or disrespect to Almighty God, the Holy Quran, the Prophets, companions and wives of the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him), tribal chiefs or leaders of sectarian groups is prohibited in all shapes and forms” - according to article 19 of Kuwait’s press law. The terms ‘tribal chiefs’ and ‘leaders of sectarian groups’ were added a few days ago through an amendment presented solely by the Ministry of Information, following an incident that took place recently in Kuwait. Last Friday, a group of diwaniyas located in the first constituency released a joint statement in which they condemned the attack against MP Hussain Al-Qallaf ; whom they referred to as a descendent of the Bani

By Arwa Al-Waqian on government organizations (NGOs) are on the rise in Kuwait, which is great, but do they really play an effective role in Kuwaiti society? Do they really exist for the reasons they first claimed? Did they start off active, and eventually end up as diwaniyas, with members drinking tea over talks? There are many active NGOs that work day and night with humble budgets. Their only concern is helping the group for which the society was established, and we have all love and respect such NGOs. However, there are some groups that exist purely for media attention and to give their members and the chairmen of their boards of directors the chance to be photographed and get press coverage without having exerted any real effort. These groups leave their volunteers, who are the true back-bone of any NGO, to work and use the youth as fronts for their goals, which appear to be noble at first glance. In reality, however, they only are to give prestige, which essentially trades in the interests of the youth for the benefit of elderly, ‘prominent’ personalities. Many of the NGOs were established in the sixties, and they still have the same members since then, which is a tragedy. Such members maintain the old mentality and the youth aren’t as involved, so their demands end up being very old-fashioned and no longer resonate with the developments desired by the new generation. The reason for this is simple: time has moved on but the members have not. The fear of losing the media clout accompanied by their NGO involvement worries many involved, and while we do respect those memorable faces from our childhood, isn’t it time to handover the reigns to the new generation and young blood? Or, will they follow in the footsteps of many Arab leaders by staying in power until death, or until a revolution takes place and moves you aside? — Al-Jarida

obtain part of the authority for their representatives. This is regardless of the nature or size of the authority, legislative, executive or even ruling authority. To be more precise I will describe myself personally. If I decide to run for the next elections, the minute I take such decision I will be a person looking for power and authority, even if I was an independent candidate. Then what do you think of a political stream that has historical presence and real political organization. Note: What I said was not defending the Muslim Brotherhood, and for sure it was not defending ‘HADAS’ and it is not contrary to the declarations of Gen Dhahi Al-Khalfan. It is giving clarification to a very natural political fact, which says all political groups are seeking authority and power. However, seeking authority is on different scales. In Egypt, for example, it is different than in Kuwait and that is another story. — Al-Anbaa

he Government decided recently to increase the salaries of Kuwaitis working in the public sector by up to 25 percent and ordered measures to head off inflation in the prices of consumer goods. Government workers would get a 25 percent rise in their basic salaries, while all pensioners would receive 12.5 percent. A decision was also made to raise the pay by KD50 of all foreigners employed by the Government. This decision was made to help people to confront the inflation in Kuwait. In order to understand the impact of this decision, we must discuss the reasons behind this increase. Many Parliament members have been calling for a wage increase due to the increases in prices of basic necessities over the past year. According to the central statistical bureau report, Kuwait’s inflation rate rose to 3.8 percent in February 2012 from 3.5 percent in 2011, due to the increase of all consumer items. The report said food prices climbed an annual 8.6 percent from 8.1 percent in January, clothing and footwear rose 4.9 percent in February, compared with 3.2 percent the previous month. Prices rose 0.2 percent in the month. Inflation in Kuwait is something that should be taken with lots of consideration, seriousness and an action plan. I agree that inflation is something that all people with a limited income are facing right now in many countries, including Kuwait, and it is humane to consider the increase to provoke and reward them for their efforts. And to help them have a decent life. I believe inflation in Kuwait is a mixture of domestic factors, as the merchants want to increase profits. They apply high prices to rents and real estate in Kuwait, which are not cheap at all. The high rates of growth in money supply could also be an extra feature to that inflation. I don’t agree with those who claim that the living habits of people in Kuwait, expatriates or citizens, are increasing inflation! Because we can never save enough money to live a decent life. The items which we used to buy with KD10 two or three years ago are now found at double the price. We need to address inflation from the roots, by a long term strategy. We need to increase public awareness towards this issue by avoiding taking large bank loans and unnecessary spending on goods. We need the Government to consider new solutions on how to confront the inflation, otherwise corruption will increase and inflation will not stop.

Last Friday, a group of diwaniyas located in the first constituency released a joint statement in which they condemned the attack against MP Hussain AlQallaf; whom they referred to as a descendent of the Bani Hashim Arabian tribe, which they described as “the most honorable tribe in the world”. I am not going to argue with the expressions chosen in the statement to describe the tribe, but I have something to say about something else the statement mentions.

Hashim Arabian tribe, which they described as “the most honorable tribe in the world”. I am not going to argue with the expressions chosen in the statement to describe the tribe, but I have something to say about something else the statement mentions. The statement indicates that “an insult to (MP Al-Qallaf ) is an insult to the entire Shiite community in Kuwait”. By this logic, a slight criticism to something that a controversial figure such as Al-Qallaf says or does can be interpreted as an assault against the lawmaker’s Shiite belief. Of course, this is madness. However, such logic was previously expressed by members of the Awazem tribe when they announced that an offense to tribe chief, Falah bin Jameaa, is an offense to the entire tribe. Not only that, but leading tribal figures in Parliament such as Ahmad Al-Saadoun and Musallam Al-Barrak went as far as stating that disrespect to Bin Jameaa is a disrespect to ALL tribes of Kuwait. A criticism Al-Qallaf made against Bin Jameaa during a talk show on Scope Television is something that cannot be accepted by the tribal community in Kuwait. This happens despite the fact that the tribal leader never previously shied from making public criticisms during his political career. And while Bin Jameaa could have easily pressed defamation charges against Scope Television or MP AlQallaf himself, the Ministry of Information volunteered to do the job for him with a prompt decision to refer the private Television channel to the Public Prosecution Department. By this action, the ministry - which represents the Government - is siding with one party against the other in a legal dispute. This of course is madness as well. We can conclude from all these events that despite living in a democratic society were freedom of opinion and expression are protected, you cannot criticize religious, sectarian or tribal figures because your words could be misinterpreted as being an insult to said figure’s entire social group. All this is happening while a proposed national unity law - which would criminalize so-called hateful speech - has not even been enforced yet. —Al-Qabas

By Dr Fuhaid Al-Busairi


strike is a right attained by labor forces in capitalist countries following years of struggle, with the goal of fighting workers’ abuse in industrial countries. Strikes enabled labor forces to achieve rights that included reduced working hours, decent pay and obtaining life insurance. Since then, labor strikes have become a form of legalized civil disobedience used by workers to push for the enforcement of their rightful demands. In order to organize the process of seeking rights, workers established unions to represent them in their demands, as well as organize strikes when they fail to reach a compromise with employers regarding the said demands. This helped prevent the right of striking from being misused and turned it into a tool that can cause chaos in society. Labor unions became active members in capitalist societies, while their role was limited to nothing in communist countries. In Kuwait, the situation is a little confusing. We cannot say that society is living under purely democratic or communist systems. While labor unions are usually comprised of labor forces in capitalist countries, unions in Kuwait consist of employees, managers and heads of departments. In an attempt to cure this confusion, let us compare Kuwait to a large company; which seems more logical than when trying to figure out whether we live in a capitalist or communist state. Kuwait is like a company led by a legislative board in the form of Parliament and an executive board in the form of the Cabinet. What is different about this company is that whenever losses are suffered directors are never blamed, whereas shareholders (citizens) are left to suffer the consequences. ‘The State of Kuwait Inc.’ is a company with a huge capital and a board of directors incapable of long term planning. The problem doesn’t stop here, because this business is actually a holding company under which many companies are affiliated. These subsidiary companies are what we call ‘ministries’. All of them have different goals, ambitions and capabilities, and are led by CEO’s (ministers) who are con-

stantly struggling to reach the top of the main holding company. Not only that, but each subsidiary company has its own share of inner struggle. There are those who put personal interest ahead of the common good. What makes the problem worse is that the board of directors of the ‘State of Kuwait Holding Co.’ doesn’t realize the consequences of the ongoing troubles. It tries to handle the situation with political skills without weighing in the economic aspects of the case. Eventually, the board suffers losses in both fields. Financial demands from the public sector isn’t something new. It emerged recently after the Government decided to be selective and meet some demands under public and parliamentary pressure, much to the chagrin of overlooked labor forces. The Government eventually lost when it tried to use politics to solve economic problems. The only solution to meet all state employees’ demands is to restructure the public sectors payroll and come up with a balanced method by which salaries are increased via a criteria that does not leave negative long-term effects on the state’s economy. —Al-Rai

Kuwait is like a company led by a legislative board in the form of Parliament and an executive board in the form of the Cabinet. What is different about this company is that whenever losses are suffered directors are never blamed, whereas shareholders (citizens) are left to suffer the consequences.



NBK first to offer services for Kuwait’s hearing impaired KUWAIT: As part of its corporate social responsibility program, National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) is offering specialist services to support hearing impaired customers in Kuwait. NBK launched the service two years ago, and was the first to introduce such a service for the hearing impaired in the banking sector in the country. NBK staff member and sign language specialist, Najat Mokhtar Hussein, helps hearing impaired customers, providing them with full access to the range of NBK services and products. “NBK has proven its support to this segment in our community, by starting something no other organization initiated,” Hussein said. “As the premier financial organization in Kuwait, NBK takes its role in the community very seriously and never loses sight of the fact that it constitutes an integral part of

Kuwait society and community,” he added. NBK has donated more than KD

110 million with its corporate social responsibility programs, making it one of the largest con-

tributors in the development of Kuwait. Initiatives include support for the recruitment of National

Labor, healthcare, education, social programs, sports, and environmental awareness.

Kuwait hands over Iraqi sailors KUWAIT: Kuwait Coastguards handed over seven Iraqi sailors to authorities in their home country yesterday, following investigations. They were arrested on Sunday for entering Kuwait’s territorial waters

illegally. Major General Mohammad Yousef Al-Sabah, Ministry of Interior Assistant Undersecretary for Border Security Affairs, super vised the process. Lt Col Jarrah Al-Habshi,

Commander of the North Sector in the Kuwaiti Coastguard, represented Kuwait as the sailors were received by Iraqi authorities led by Lt Muthanna Jamal from the Iraqi Naval Force.

KJA acknowledges efforts behind festival’s success

Faisal Al-Qanaei

KUWAIT: Kuwait Journalists Association’s Secretary General, Faisal Al-Qanaei, released a press statement yesterday acknowledging the “huge efforts” that helped the Popular Heritage Festival achieve “great success” and live up to its expectations. “Head of the festival’s top organizing committee, Sheikh Dhari AlFahad, is credited for the huge efforts he exerted by closely monitoring the work of the subcommittees who organized the events with great success despite the poor weather conditions,” said Al-Qanaei in the statement.

He also commented on the efforts of the head of the judging committees, Sheikh Sabah Fahad AlNasser, “...for being able to handle the competitions despite the unprecedented participation numbers.” Al-Qanaei, who chaired the media committee for the Popular Heritage Festival, also acknowledged the local press and media outlets for their coverage, which continued throughout the event. AlQanaei also expressed gratitude to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah for his continuous support to the annual event.

Gulf employment situation worse online survey KUWAIT: An online survey conducted by, the Middle East’s number one jobsite, in partnership with the Program on Arab Reform and Democracy at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law as well as research and consulting organization YouGov, has revealed that while the Arab Spring had an immediate negative impact on the economy in the MENA region, its effect has been positive in driving higher interest in both economic and social development. The majority of survey respondents state that the Arab Spring has resulted in deteriorating employment conditions. In countries experiencing revolutions, the effect is worse: 58% of respondents in Tunisia, 68% of respondents in Egypt, 71% of respondents in Syria, and 65% in of respondents in Bahrain stated that the employment situation now is either worse or much worse than before the revolution. Personal economic situations are also perceived to be negatively affected by the Arab Spring. The percentage of respondents saying that their individual economic situation is now worse than it was before the revolutions ranges from a high of 66% in Syria, to a low of 11% in Algeria. 49% of Egyptian respondents say they have been affected negatively, while 30% of Tunisians say the same. In the GCC countries, the percentage of professionals saying that their individual economic situation is now worse is consistent, except for Bahrain: 30% in the UAE, 22% in Saudi Arabia, 24% in Qatar, 29% in Oman, and 25% in Kuwait. On the other hand, 55% of respondents in Bahrain claimed that their situation is worse. The negative economic impact of the Arab Spring is felt across all age groups and economic levels. However, 34.44% of professionals in the private sector say that they have been negatively affected compared to 20.22% in the public sector. Yet, even with this disparity, the survey shows that professionals are no longer looking at the government as the main provider of employment opportunities. In most countries, roughly two-thirds of respondents express interest in the pri-

vate sector, with 71% of Jordanians, 74% of Lebanese, 70% of Syrians, 68% of Egyptians, 66% of Saudis, 75% of Bahrainis, 48% of Tunisians, and 51% of Moroccans all saying they would prefer to work in a private company. Professionals in Algeria and Qatar were most interested in working in the public sector, with only 35% and 39% respectively wanting to work in the private sector. “While the effects of the recession are apparent, the Middle East’s businesses have also had to deal with the more recent Arab Spring. For the most part, countries consider their personal employment and business situations to be the same. Yet, in those countries hardest hit by the Arab Spring - Bahrain, Egypt and Syria - the tone is that overall employment conditions, both personal and countrywide, have become somewhat worse as a result,” said Sundip Chahal, CEO of YouGov. The survey reveals that the majority of respondents are familiar with the term “entrepreneurship” (only 29% are not familiar at all). On average, there is a higher level of familiarity with entrepreneurship in the Gulf countries, with 22% of respondents very familiar with the term in the UAE, Oman, and Kuwait followed by 20% in Qatar and Bahrain. Yet, most new businesses in the region fail. 44% of Egyptian, 45% of Jordanian, 57% of Omani, and 50% of Saudi business owners stated their current businesses were not performing well. In every country surveyed except Qatar, less than 20% of self-employed respondents stated that their business was running well. When asked about the key barriers that prevent professionals from starting their own business, the reasons that professionals most agreed with were: lack of financing, inability to self-finance, and fear of failure. Other reasons stated by the respondents include economic uncertainty, the lack of entrepreneurial skills, and strict government regulations. Regardless of low success rates, there is widespread interest in business ownership; in every country surveyed a large proportion of respondents said that if given the choice they would prefer to be self-employed or own a business. About 40% of respon-

dents expressed interest in being selfemployed, with the lowest being 29% in Algeria and the highest being 52% in Lebanon. As far as the reasons are concerned, 50% of respondents said that they started a business because they wanted greater independence. The second and third most popular reasons are tied to economic necessity and reasons: 27% said it was because they could not find a job at that time and 20% said because of higher income. Rabea Ataya, CEO of said: “Our data shows that over a quarter of entrepreneurs in the Arab world were motivated to start their own companies due to lack of job opportunities. Therefore, as a result of recent economic challenges in the region, we should expect to see a growing interest in entrepreneurship as a way to drive income and a growing contribution of the SME sector in providing jobs. At, not only do we provide a wealth of jobs and recruitment solutions to connect between people looking for jobs and business owners, we also empower our members with access to live data regarding the employment and economic pulse of the region.” Respondents also seem open to the idea of working in the field of social entrepreneurship. In general, the percentage of respondents not interested was higher in the Gulf countries; roughly 17% of respondents in Kuwait, Oman and Qatar, and 20% of Emiratis. Those who are interested in starting NGOs stated lots of challenges, with lack of finance, government interference, and the difficulty of registering NGOs as key factors hindering the progression of social entrepreneurship. In fact, 54% of respondents said that they were not able to start the NGO they wanted. “Entrepreneurship is one way in which the need for job creation in the private sector in the Arab world can be addressed, but it cannot prosper unless measures to resolve those problems are taken,” said Lina Khatib, Manager of Stanford’s Program on Arab Reform and Democracy. “The international development community can capitalize on the opportunity to nurture this sector in order to help with this process.”



Indian woman slaps cheating husband at police station Drug trader in police net KUWAIT: A woman decided that a smack on the face in front of police officers was punishment enough for her cheating husband, and decided not to press charges. Salmiya police officers were approached by an Indian woman Sunday who demanded to file a case against her husband after discovering romantic texts on his cell phone with an unidentified woman. Minutes later, the husband showed up at the police station and started pleading for her forgiveness. His pleading soon turned into crying when his wife slapped him, hard, on the face, rendering him speechless. The woman eventually apologized to the police for her actions, and left the station without taking legal action against her husband. Harasser escapes A reckless youth is likely going to think twice before he starts harassing women again after his latest victim decided to do something about his behavior by taking matters into her own hands. The incident took place Sunday in Al-Dajeej where the youngster was following the Kuwaiti woman as she drove through the area. The youth soon replaced his pickup lines with offensive terms, at which point the woman decided that ignoring him wasn’t going to work and decided to turn the tables on him. She started chasing him as he drove away in an attempt to escape. Eventually, the pursuit ended in Shuwaikh where the harasser managed to escape. The woman was soon joined by her brother before the two reported the incident at the area’s police station. Police are trying to identify and locate the suspect using the license plate number of his car.

‘A friend in need...’ A woman was arrested in Fahaheel for failing to carry identification. Her female companion was also arrested for attempting to facilitate her friend’s escape by attacking police. The two were walking in the area when patrol officers approached and asked for their identification. One of the women, a Filipina national, failed to produce her ID. As police were placing her under arrest, they were attacked by the other woman, a Nepalese national, in an apparent attempt to help her friend escape. The officers eventually referred the two women to the area’s police station. —Al-Rai Serial thief in custody An unemployed man responsible for 16 different theft cases was arrested recently in Um Al-Haiman following extended investigations by Hawally detectives. The 22-year-old Kuwaiti suspect was held at his home in a police ambush after he was identified as the prime suspect for multiple thefts reported around Kuwait. According to the police report, the suspect committed nine car thefts, four store robberies and three theft cases reported by car garage owners. The investigations also revealed that he’s been active in crime since his teenage years. The man admitted during investigations that he resorted to theft in order to cover his personal expenses because he couldn’t find a job. He also explained that the vehicles he stole were dismantled and sold as spare body parts. He remains in custody pending further procedures. Drug possession A man was arrested for possession of heroin in the

parking lot of Kuwait’s International Airport on Sunday. The suspect raised suspicion after policed noticed him driving around the parking area for an extended period of time, at some points even following women. The officers eventually stopped him and decided to search him when he began behaving suspiciously. The man, identified as a GCC national, was soon placed under arrest after heroin was found inside his car. He is currently held at the Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh police station pending legal procedures. 134 held in crackdown 134 people were arrested during security campaigns this past weekend. The operations covered areas of Farwaniya and the Ahmadi governorate and, according to a police report, 97 men and women were arrested for violating residency and labor regulations. All of the detainees are Asian expatriates, except for an Arab man who was found to be a wanted fugitive with a pending 10-year jail sentence. Meanwhile, Ahmadi police arrested 37 Asian nationals for violating residency laws. The detainees were referred to the proper authorities to face legal charges. Unlicensed weapon A Kuwaiti man was arrested for possession of an unlicensed weapon in the chalet area of Al-Jlai’ah recently. Police officers reported to the scene following multiple shooting reports from the area. While investigating at the scene, a man explained to police that he was trying out a new shotgun. He was taken in custody after failing to produce a license for his firearm. —Al-Rai, Al-Anbaa, Al-Qabas

Kuwaiti students visit Rolls-Royce DERBY: The five Kuwaiti prize winners of the Big Science Challenge, run by the British Council and Rolls-Royce, from Asma Bint Abibakr School for Girls visited the Rolls-Royce facilities in Derby, UK. The Derby facilities are the group’s largest in the UK and over 11,000 are employed by Rolls-Royce in the city. The students - Mariam Al-Shuail, Demah AlRadaan, Noran Al-Zankawi, Hessah Al-Rahmani and Ruqaih Al-Fahad - were part of a group of over 70 students and teachers from winning teams from the UK, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the UAE. During the day, they learned about Rolls-Royce’s activities at the Rolls-Royce flagship Learning and Development Centre. The students also took part in a practical lesson to better understand how a jet engine works, toured Rolls-Royce’s Customer Training Workshop, and met some of the apprentices who have been through the highly acclaimed program offered by Rolls-Royce.

The visit was part of a week of cultural and educational activities for the winning teams from ‘The Big Science Challenge.’ It followed the prize giving ceremony at the Royal Institution in London, which was attended by the winning teams, dignitaries from across the Middle East and the UK, and officials from Rolls-Royce and the British Council. The competition endeavored to inspire the future generation of scientists and engineers and invited schools in the UK and the Middle East to research and design an original, innovative solution to a problem concerning water, either locally, nationally or globally. It gave young people involved an opportunity to learn about science and engineering by tackling a real world challenge that affects communities around the world. Dr Rob Watson, Regional Director of Rolls-Royce Middle East, said: “Rolls-Royce has long championed science and engineering around the world and I hope

that this visit to our world class facilities in Derby has given the students a better perspective on what we do and some ideas about the exciting career opportunities available in science and engineering. We are pleased that our partnership with the British Council has given these students the opportunity to develop essential skills by working on real-life global problems. I hope that their example will inspire other young people to seek out similar challenges.” Patrick Brazier, MENA regional director, British Council said: “The Big Science Challenge has given young people in the UK a chance to find a real scientific solution to a genuine problem and the talented students from Cumberland School in East London did just that. The educational visit to Dubai will not only allow them to share, explore and learn with schools in the Middle East, they will also forge international links with other young scientists and gain an invaluable glimpse into another culture.”

Khairan Resort celebrates Mothers’ Day KUWAIT: The Khairan Resort hosted a special event recently to celebrate Mothers’ Day, featuring a program to reward every mother in attendance. “Sharing people’s joy on special occasions by hosting such activities is one of the main goals the Touristic Enterprises Company aspires to achieve,” said Khairan Resort General Manager Adnan Zinedine in a press release. The event featured several activities including competitions for visitors of all ages. The management presented each mother at the event with a special discount on the resort’s gym, as well as a cake in celebration of Mothers’ Day.

Adnan Zinedine

Swiss-Belhotel Plaza sponsors KT Photo Competition KUWAIT: Swiss-Belhotel is pleased to sponsor Kuwait Times Photography Competition 2012, the participants in which are the most talented photographers in Kuwait. The focus of the competition is Kuwait ’s National and Liberation Days, celebrated in

Ali Haddad February. Ali Haddad, General Manager, said “It is our pleasure to host this photography competition as a social responsibility to showcase the masterpieces of talented photographers in Kuwait. We will provide our utmost service to make the event outstanding and memorable to all participants and organizers.” The Belhotel will host the competition on April 16

in the Plaza Grand Ballroom. The closing ceremony will be attended by all of the par ticipants and organizers. Swiss-Belhotel Plaza grand ballroom is a contemporary-styled ballroom that can accommodate up to 200 people (banquet style). The ballroom can be divided into three smaller rooms, suitable for dividing sessions into groups of up to 50 people. The ballroom is most suitable for private gatherings, like weddings or anniversaries. The hotel rooms are being gradually renovated to provide more quality and convenience to all valuable customers coming for either leisure or business. The guest rooms have been totally renovated including furniture, carpets, bathrooms and televisions. Each guest room contains state -of-the -ar t technology, including a 32-inch flat screen LCD television and wireless internet in all rooms. The remaining floors are partially renovated with new bathrooms. Swiss-Belhotel is one of the sponsors of the Kuwait Times Photography Competition 2012. Other sponsors are Canon, Response Media and Caesar ’s Travel Company.


Pope heads to Cuba after call for change

Homs shelled as Russia warns of Syria civil war Page 8

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DAKAR: A street vendor sells Senegalese newspapers commenting March 25’s presidential elections yesterday in Dakar. The African Union yesterday praised the peaceful handover of power following presidential elections in Senegal, after incumbent Abdoulaye Wade’s acceptance of defeat. — AFP

Senegal’s Sall hails new era after victory World praises Senegal’s political ‘maturity’ DAKAR: Senegal’s Macky Sall yesterday hailed a new era after triumphing over veteran leader Abdoulaye Wade in a presidential poll lauded the world over as an example for African democracy. Senegal was jubilant after an election that brought Wade’s increasingly controversial rule to a crushing end and disproved fears that political chaos was on the way in a country regarded as a regional beacon of democracy. “Tonight a new era begins for Senegal,” Sall said in the early hours of the morning after his victory became clear following Sunday’s run-off presidential vote, prompting thousands to spill into the streets in celebration. Excitement was palpable in the capital Dakar as Senegalese woke up to the news that Wade had gracefully accepted defeat, scotching fears that the 85year-old would try to cling on to power. People smiled and congratulated each other on street corners for a show of democracy hailed by former colonial power France as “very good news for Africa in general and for Senegal in particular.”

The African Union also praised the “maturity” of Senegal’s democracy after an all-too-rare case on the continent of a hotly-contested election playing out smoothly. “Today is a great victory for democracy in Senegal and in Africa. Senegal is a great example for Africa,” EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton told a news conference in Brussels. “The real winner remains the Senegalese people,” the 50-year-old Sall, a former prime minister who was once Wade’s protege before falling out of favour, said in his victory speech. “I will be the president of all Senegalese.” The country’s press also praised the result as a victory for the people and for democracy. “Goodbye Wade” headlined Le Quotidien newspaper, praising the incumbent’s “honourable” exit over his phonecall to the country’s new president just three and a half hours after polls closed to congratulate him. “Wade’s defeat ... has transformed into a victory for the people and Senegalese democracy,” read the newspaper’s editorial. However both the press and observers said that while Wade had managed to save face by bowing out, his insistence on seeking a third term and the deadly riots this provoked prevented him from leaving with his head held high. “It is good that Wade congratulated Macky Sall. It enhances him, and it enhances the Senegalese democracy, but in reality he is leaving through the back door,” said Alioune Tine, a prominent leader of the anti-Wade protests. Hugely popular in the beginning of his 12-year rule in 2000, Wade distanced himself from the population amid nepotism, public finance scandals, rising food prices and power cuts while he focused on fanciful legacy projects. These include a a 50-metre (164-foot) bronze “African renaisssance” statue, which cost 15 million euros ($20 million). Defiant to the last, Wade had said just days before the poll that the mere idea he could lose was as absurd “as the sky falling on our heads”, raising fears he would try to cling to power. However in the midst of campaigning he had also promised: “I will do no less than (Abdou) Diouf,” his predecessor who was lauded for bowing out gracefully, phoning Wade 12 years ago to congratulate him on his victory. Swallowing a bitter loss, Wade kept this promise Sunday night, and made the call to his former protege, the country’s first leader born after independence. Even before Wade threw in the towel on Sunday night thousands of people spilled into the streets, chanting, dancing and sounding car horns as fireworks lit up the sky. The celebrations were in stark contrast to the riots which rocked the capital’s streets for four weeks in the run-up to the first-round February 26 vote as the opposition protested Wade’s candidacy for a third term. Having served his constitutional two terms, Wade got the backing of the country’s highest court to uphold his argument that since the law was not retroactive, constitutional changes in 2008 meant he could run again. The unrest claimed six lives in Senegal, hailed as one of west Africa’s success stories and the only country in the region never to have suffered a military coup. In an interview with AFP this month, Sall, Senegal’s first president to be born after independence, said “several emergencies” loomed.—AFP



Body of brutally beaten woman to be flown to Iraq EL CAJON: A Muslim leader says that the body of an Iraqi-American woman who was found brutally beaten next to a note saying “go back to your country, you terrorist” will be flown to her home country for her funeral. Shaima Alawadi, 32, was taken off life support on Saturday, three days after her 17-year-old daughter found her unconscious in the dining room of the family’s El Cajon home in suburban San Diego. Investigators said

they’re exploring all aspects of her slaying, including the possibility that the attack was a hate crime. Alawadi’s father is a Shiite cleric in Iraq and the Iraqi government will pay for have her body sent back, a Muslim leader in Michigan told the Detroit Free -Press on Sunday. “Ever ybody is outraged,” Imam Husham Al-Husainy of the Karbalaa Islamic Education Center in Dearborn said. “This is too evil, too criminal.” The daughter, Fatima Al Himidi,

told KUSI-TV her mother had been beaten on the head repeatedly with a tire iron, and that the note said “go back to your country, you terrorist.” Police said the family had found a similar, threatening note earlier this month but did not repor t it to authorities. Al Himidi told KGTV-TV her mother dismissed the first note, found outside the home, as a child’s prank. Flowers were piled on the doorstep of the home Sunday. A neighbor said

the family had moved in only a few weeks ago. Friends said Alawadi wore a hijab, the Islamic head scarf. Hayder Al-Zayadi, a family friend, told the Free -Press Alawadi moved to the United States in 1993 with her family and was par t of a wave of Shiite Muslim refugees who fled to M ichigan af ter Saddam Hussein cracked down on an uprising in 1991. After living in Dearborn for a few years, she moved to the San Diego area in 1996, graduated from high

school and became a housewife raising five children, Al-Zayadi said. AlZayadi said Alawadi’s brothers worked for the US Army, serving as cultural advisers to train soldiers who were going to be deployed to the Middle East. Another family friend told the San Diego Union-Tribune that Alawadi’s husband had a similar job.El Cajon, northeast of downtown San Diego, is home to one of the largest Iraqi communities in the United States. —AP

Homs shelled, Russia warns of Syria civil war Turkey shuts embassy in Syria

JERUSALEM: Holocaust survivor and friend of Anna Frank’s Hanna Pick, center, together with her granddaughter Tamar Meir, left, water a sapling from the chestnut tree Anne Frank mentioned 3 times in her diary, planted at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem yesterday. — AP

Egypt’s Islamists to tighten grip on power CAIRO: Egypt’s newly empowered Islamists have tightened their grip, giving themselves a majority on a 100-member panel tasked with drafting a constitution that will define the shape of the government in the post-Hosni Mubarak era. Led by the Muslim Brotherhood to victory in parliamentary elections, fundamentalists now have their eyes set on the next prize: the presidency. The new constitution, to be put to a vote in a nationwide referendum for which a date has yet to be set, will decide whether Egypt will undergo further Islamization, abandoning decades of secular traditions that did not completely check the spread of religious conservatism but accorded minority Christians and women an effective social and economic role. The charter also will determine whether the decades-old system of a powerful president will be maintained, or instead, an empowered parliament under Islamist domination will set the tone. “We don’t want another pharaoh,” said Yasser Burhami, a leader of the ultraconservative Salafi movement whose followers have won 25 percent of parliament’s seats. “We want a political system that is half parliamentary and half presidential.” A list of names published Sunday by the country’s official news agency showed that the panel will have nearly 60 Islamists, including 37 legislators selected the day before by parliament’s two chambers. The second half of the panel comprises public figures, also selected by members of parliament. The strong Islamist showing follows their victory in parliamentary elections - a seismic shift for groups that were heavily repressed under Mubarak but have used the vast organizational skills gained over years of working underground to rise to the upper political echelons. It also reinforced fears by secular and liberal Egyptians that the dominant parliamentary faction would pack the panel with supporters and ignore concerns of other groups,

including the youth activists who spearheaded last year ’s uprising against Mubarak’s authoritarian regime. “The Brotherhood’s monopoly on setting the criteria for selecting the constitutional assembly leaves us skeptical of whatever promises they make,” prominent rights activist Hafez Abu Saedah wrote on his Twitter account. Just a handful of Christians and women were selected for the panel, reflecting the disproportionately low representation in parliament of both groups. There also were only a few names from the revolutionary movement that ousted the leader. One significant exception, however, was Ahmed Hararah, a young dentist who lost sight in one eye during the uprising and later lost his second eye in clashes that broke out between security forces and protesters calling for a faster transition to civilian rule in Cairo. He has become a symbol of the revolutionaries. With the parliament and the constitutional assembly firmly in hand, Islamists are turning their attention to presidential elections, which are to be held on May 23-24, with a runoff between the two candidates with the most votes in early June if nobody wins an outright majority. The winner is expected to be announced June 21. Neither the Muslim Brotherhood nor the Salafis - which are sometimes at odds over policy - have publicly backed a candidate, but both groups say they will only support one with an Islamist background. The importance of the presidency to Islamists became clear Sunday with the eruption of a public dispute between the Brotherhood and the generals who took power following Mubarak’s ouster. The Brotherhood’s political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party, accused the military council of trying to “hinder” the transition to democratic rule. In a statement posted on its website, it also raised concern that presidential elections could be rigged to benefit a “certain candidate” it did not identify.—AP

Iran’s Ahmadinejad tirade on Afghanistan prompts US walkout DUSHANBE: A US delegation walked out of a conference in Tajikistan yesterday during a speech by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad lambasting US policy on Afghanistan as the source of all the nation’s troubles. Ahmadinejad launched his new tirade against Washington at the meeting in the Tajik capital Dushanbe attended by leaders of Afghanistan’s neighbours as well as a US delegation led by Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake. “The cause of all the ills in Afghanistan is the presence on Afghan soil of NATO forces and above all those of the United States,” the Iranian president told the Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA). As the firebrand Iranian president was giving his speech, Blake pointedly led the US delegation out of the conference hall. Once his address was over, the delegation returned to listen to other speakers. Encounters-even at multinational regional conferences-between the United States and Iran are extremely rare. The two countries cut diplomatic relations in the wake of the 1979 Islamic Revolution and ties have remained severed ever since. Tensions are rising again over Iran’s nuclear programme and Washington has never ruled out military action. Ahmadinejad, whose country shares a

huge border with Afghanistan, said that US forces had gone into the country with the aim of encircling the whole strategic region from Russia to south Asia. “They went into Afghanistan using the pretext of the fight against terror and now under the same slogan they are surrounding Russia, India and China,” Ahmadinejad said. Iran’s president repeated his doubts on the September 11, 2001 terror attacks against the United States, which he described as “enigmatic”. The attacksclaimed by Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden-prompted the United States to invade Taleban-led Afghanistan. Using his trademark populist rhetoric, Ahmadinejad declared that “the times of imperialism have long since passed” and in reference to the West said that “those who do not learn from the mistakes of history will be punished”. He called on foreign troops to leave Afghanistan “in the shortest time” and said there was “no doubt that the world needs a new order”. Ahmadinejad said that rather than keeping forces in Afghanistan, NATO should hand over to the Afghan government either 25 percent of its annual expenditure in the country or five percent of its member states’ annual military budgets. “I am sure that the peoples of NATO members will prefer this to interference in Afghanistan’s affairs.”—AFP

DAMASCUS: Syrian forces sent shells crashing into a rebel district of Homs city for a seventh straight day of a deadly onslaught yesterday, monitors said, as Russia warned Damascus to act to avoid a civil war. The assault came as Syrian opposition factions gathered in Istanbul in a bid to close ranks ahead of a Friends of Syria meeting in the same city on April 1, and Turkey closed its Damascus embassy. The crisis was also discussed in Seoul at a meeting between US President Barack Obama and Russian counterpart Dmitr y Medvedev. President Bashar al-Assad’s regime pressed on with its military campaign to crush opponents, however, activists and monitors said. Troops fired mortar rounds into Khaldiyeh, a rebel bastion in the flashpoint central city of Homs, setting houses ablaze, said the Local Coordination Committees. “ The regime is tr ying to storm the neighbourhood,” said the LCC, an activist group that organises protests. At least five people died in the assault, adding to the dozens already killed in the week-old bombardment of the district, said the Syrian Obser vator y for Human Rights. Activists fear a repeat of the month-long battering that killed hundreds in the Homs district of Baba Amr before the rebel Free Syrian Army withdrew and the military moved in on March 1. Two more people died else where in Syria. Snipers killed one in northwestern Idlib province and an 18-year-old woman died in clashes in Harasta, Damascus province. Violence was also reported in the eastern hot spot of Deir Ezzor, in central Hama, in northwestern Idlib and in southern Daraa province, cradle of the one-year uprising against Assad’s regime. The crackdown, which monitors say has seen more than 9,100 people killed, was one of the priority issues discussed between Obama and Medvedev at their meeting in South Korea.

IDLIB: In this citizen journalism image taken on Saturday, March 24 and provided by Edlib News Network ENN, Syrian citizens gather in front of a shelled mosque which was attacked by the Syrian government forces at Sarmeen town in Idlib province, northern Syria. — AP After the talks, Obama acknowledged there had been disagreements in the past few months between the United States and Russia, an ally of Assad’s regime. But he said both agreed “we should be suppor tive of Kofi Annan’s efforts to end some of the bloodshed that is taking place in Syria,” and that the goal was to have a “legitimate” government in Damascus. Russia and China last week backed a UN Security Council peace plan for Syria put forward by Annan, the UN-Arab League envoy. Annan’s plan calls for a halt to fighting, with the government pulling troops and heavy weapons out of protest cities, a daily twohour humanitarian pause to hostilities and access to all areas affected by the fighting. It also calls for the release of people detained in the uprising. Before flying to Seoul, Medvedev warned that Annan represented the last chance for avoiding a civil war in Syria. Russia has been facing mounting Western and Arab calls to step

up pressure and stop delivering arms to Assad’s regime. “This may be the last chance for Syria to avoid a protracted and bloody civil war,” Medvedev told Annan in Moscow. “We will be offering you our full support at any level at which we have a say,” he said. Annan is expected in China today to shore up backing for his efforts from the two UN Security Council members that have vetoed previous resolutions to condemn Assad’s regime. “China values and supports the mediation efforts of Mr Annan and hopes this visit will allow in-depth discussions on a political resolution of the Syrian issue,” foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said. In Ankara, a diplomatic source said Turkey’s decision to close its mission in Damascus was linked to security conditions, adding that the consulate in the northern city of Aleppo would remain open. Norway said it was also shutting its Damascus mission for security reasons. Meanwhile, Syria’s fragmented opposition was preparing to meet

later yesterday and Tuesday in Istanbul to try to find common ground. “We will have a welcoming reception tonight and will hold meetings all day Tuesday,” said Mohamed Sermini, a member of the Syrian National Council, the main opposition group. “The aim is for the opposition to agree on a united position and to outline the major points of a national pact,” he told AFP. The crisis is also expected to dominate a three-day Arab summit starting in Baghdad today. Syria is a “pressing issue... It has an international dimension, it has a regional (dimension),” Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told reporters ahead of the summit. On the ground, security forces launched dawn raids in the eastern hot spot of Deir Ezzor, in which 16 people were arrested, and operations were also staged in villages of Daraa province, said the LCC. In central Hama, an activist said regime forces early yesterday raided Kafr Zeita, setting up checkpoints and posting snipers to isolate the town. —AFP

Baghdad spruces up for Arab summit BAGHDAD: With renovated hotels and tighter security, Baghdad is putting on its best face for this week’s Arab summit in what Iraq has billed as its re-emergence as a regional leader after decades of unrest. But while thousands of soldiers and policemen have been drafted in and more than $500 million spent to upgrade facilities and host the summit, insurgents have still been able to mount devastating attacks, and little of the capital’s basic services or infrastructure have been improved. Key to Iraq’s plans for hosting the summit are security preparations that include more than 100,000 security forces members deployed in Baghdad, locking down key roads, closing bridges, and using helicopters to provide overwatch. “There are more foot soldiers on the ground, there are more patrols,” Deputy National Security Adviser Safa Hussein told AFP in an interview. “There will be sky cover, air cover, during the summit.” Hussein said Iraqi authorities had received intelligence reports of AlQaeda’s front group, the Islamic State of Iraq

(ISI), seeking to carry out attacks, but added: “We think that the security will go well.” He said the most likely form of attack during the summit was “indirect fire,” referring to mortars or rockets. Security forces have mooted plans to essentially shut down Baghdad on March 29, when Arab leaders are to arrive for the first such meeting to be held in the Iraqi capital since Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Already, several major roads have been closed for days, worsening Baghdad’s already choking traffic, and checkpoint searches have been dramatically toughened, with security officers checking vehicle licence plates against lists of suspected attackers. The government declared a week of holidays from March 25 until the end of the summit, in the hopes of keeping masses of people at home. espite the tightened measures, however, ISI was still able to carry out a wave of attacks last Tuesday in which 50 people were killed and 255 wounded. Among the acts of violence was a car bombing in a car park directly opposite the foreign

BAGHDAD: Iraqi Security forces stand guard in Baghdad, Iraq, yesterday. Iraq is preparing to host a meeting of the Arab world’s top leaders. — AP

ministry in the city centre, leaving three people dead. Authorities have also sought to spruce up parts of the capital, particularly six hotels where delegates, journalists and officials will be staying, as well as renovating Saddam’s Republican Palace where the main talks are due to take place. Some routes have also been repaved, including the famed airport road that was dubbed “RPG alley” by US soldiers for its high level of attacks, and 22 villas have been built to accommodate Arab leaders. State broadcaster Iraqiya has highlighted the improvements, broadcasting long interviews with officials detailing the work on the palace, one of Saddam’s many, and home to the US Coalition Provisional Authority which ruled Iraq from 2003 to 2004. Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told reporters on Monday that improvements for the summit had cost more than $500 million. “It has been a monumental task to do it, to finish it, under the most difficult of conditions,” he said. But despite the summit having been delayed by a year, largely because of regional turmoil as a result of the Arab Spring uprisings as well as concerns over security in Baghdad, some of the hotel renovations have yet to be completed. And the upgrades have done little to improve the capital’s sporadic electricity supply, poor clean water provision and creaky sewage network, leaving many residents frustrated. Officials, however, argue that the summit will bring with it recognition that Iraq is increasingly stable, with dramatically less violence than during the country’s brutal sectarian war of previous years. “This is a turning point for Iraq,” Zebari said. “For the last few years, many of these (Arab) countries were ... hesitant, undecided, half-hearted. Now, no,” he said. “I think we’ve made a major major leap forward.” It remains unclear how many Arab leaders will actually attend the summit, but Deputy Foreign Minister Labid Abbawi said Iraq expects at least 12 regional heads of state or government to come. “This is recognition that Iraq, as a country, is in a position to take up this responsibility” of being a leader in the Arab world, he added. — AFP




Britain seeks probe into death in Chongqing BEIJING: Britain has asked China to investigate the death last year of a British man with reported ties to a high-profile politician who was dismissed this month in a massive scandal. The British citizen, Neil Heywood, died in November in Chongqing, according to an embassy spokesman in Beijing. The request comes as an investigation into officials in the megacity of Chongqing widens, with Chinese media reporting that a district head has been taken into police custody. Chongqing Communist Party Secretary Bo Xilai was ousted earlier this month, although the reasons behind his dismissal remain unclear. Bo gained notoriety for a citywide campaign to revive Mao Zedong-era communist songs and stories, dredging up memories of the chaotic Cultural Revolution, themes that worried

some about a return of Mao’s dogmatic communist politics. Bo, 62, was one of the country’s highestprofile politicians and had been considered a leading candidate for the party’s all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee when new members are chosen this fall. A professional acquaintance of Heywood’s who spoke on condition of anonymity said Heywood was a consultant who had links to the Bo family stretching back to Bo’s time as the top official in northeast China’s Dalian more than a decade ago. The acquaintance said Heywood maintained his close ties when Bo moved to Beijing to serve as commerce minister and later when he took the top job in Chongqing, a city of 32 million, but declined to give further details. The Wall Street Journal yesterday cited

Sarkozy to bar imams from entering France PARIS: France will bar radical Muslim preachers from entering the country to participate in an Islamic conference next month as part of a crackdown after shootings by an al Qaeda-inspired gunman, President Nicolas Sarkozy said yesterday. Sarkozy, who has announced plans to punish those viewing Islamist Web sites and going abroad for indoctrination, said he would block the entry of some imams invited to a congress organised by the

Egyptian cleric Sheikh Youssef Al-Qaradawi Union of French Islamic Organisations (UOIF). The UOIF, one of three Muslim federations in France, is regarded as close to Egypt’s Islamist Muslim Brotherhood. “I have clearly indicated that there certain people who have been invited to this congress who are not welcome on French soil,” Sarkozy told France Info radio. He cited Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian cleric based in Qatar who is one of the most prominent Sunni Muslim clerics in the

Arab world and a household name in the Middle East due to regular appearances on the Al Jazeera news channel. A former member of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, Qaradawi is independent of the group but remains close to it. Sarkozy said the situation was complicated because the imam holds a diplomatic passport and does not require a visa to enter France. “I indicated to the Emir of Qatar himself that this person was not welcome on the territory of the French republic,” Sarkozy said. “He will not come.” Qaradawi was denied a visa to visit Britain in 2008 on grounds of seeking to “justify acts of terrorist violence or disburse views that could foster inter-community violence”, a Home Office spokeswoman said at the time. The cleric had defended Palestinian suicide bombers in Israel and attacks on US-led coalition forces in Iraq. Sarkozy, campaigning for re-election, rebutted criticism by opposition politicians that the security services blundered in allowing 23-year-old Mohamed Merah, a petty criminal known to have visited Afghanistan twice, to shoot dead seven people in a 10-day rampage in southwest France. “Here is a young criminal who suddenly becomes a very active terrorist without any transition. As far as we know there was no cell,” Sarkozy said. The conservative leader announced plans last week to make it a crime to repeatedly consult Internet sites advocating Islamic extremism and to punish those who travel overseas for indoctrination or terrorist training. —Reuters

unnamed friends and acquaintances of Heywood as saying he had told them he had close ties to the Bo family and could help arrange meetings and business deals in Chongqing. The report said the ties had been made through Heywood’s Chinese wife who was from Dalian. Chinese websites and British media reported that officials had said that Heywood died from over-consumption of alcohol. “At the time we had no reason to disbelieve the police’s findings,” the British embassy spokesman said in a phone interview. “But as concerns were raised to us, and those concerns became more numerous, we then passed those concerns to the Chinese authorities and asked them to investigate.” The official, who asked not to be named in line with embassy policy, said the British

Abdelkader Merah as a more radical Islamist than his brother who had long been known to police for what they called his “fundamentalist religious convictions”. They considered him a hardline Islamist who had played a part in radicalising his younger brother, a police source said. During the siege however, Mohammed Merah had told police he had taught himself from the Koran while in prison, dismissing the idea that his brother had influenced him. The elder Merah and his girlfriend, Yamina Mesbah, were taken in for questioning on

This undated and unlocated frame grab provided Wednesday, March 21, 2012, by French TV station France 2 shows the suspect in the killing of 3 paratroopers, 3 children and a rabbi in recent days, Mohamed Merah. —AP Merah, 23. Mohammed Merah, Wednesday. While Mesbah was who said he had links to Al-Qaeda, released without charge on was killed Thursday in an exchange Sunday, Abdelkader Merah was of gunfire after a prolonged stand- taken from the French police’s off with police at his apartment in anti-terrorist headquarters in a Paris suburb to face an investigatToulouse, southwest France. Abdelkader Merah’s lawyer ing judge in the city’s central Anne Sophie Laguens on Sunday courts. There, he was indicted for comdenied earlier reports that he had said he was proud of his brother’s plicity in the murders and conspiracy to prepare acts of terrorism. As actions. “He is not at all proud of the acts police surrounded Mohamed of his brother, as was said in the Merah’s Toulouse apartment last press,” she told reporters in Paris. week, the gunman claimed “He strongly condemns them. “He responsibility for all three attacks. In the first two incidents he hopes he doesn’t become a scapeshot dead three soldiers in attacks goat,” she added. Her client denied all the charges in Toulouse and nearby against him, she said. Abdelkader Montauban. Then last week he Merah, 29, now stands at the cen- opened fire at a Jewish school in tre of the investigation into his Toulouse, killing a 30-year-old brother’s lethal rampage. Police teacher, his sons aged five and and prosecutors have described four, and a seven-year-old girl.

have only said he has been replaced - has fueled a stream of speculation about Bo and his former longtime police chief, Wang Lijun. Bo is believed to have antagonized some in Beijing with a controversial crackdown on organized crime and penchant for self-promotion. Wang set the scandal in motion in February when he took refuge inside the US Consulate in nearby Chengdu. He left after a day amid rumors he had sought political asylum and has not been heard from since. A separate Chinese media report yesterday said a deputy police chief from Chongqing’s Yubei district who reportedly had close ties to Wang Lijun was also under investigation. Caixin said in an online report that Wang Pengfei was taken into custody more than a month ago. —AP

Spain’s PM fails to land big regional endorsement People’s Party wins most votes, but not a majority SEVILLE: Spain’s centre-right People’s Party failed to secure an outright majority in a regional election in Andalucia, missing out on the chance of a psychological boost for Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s looming austerity budget. Surveys had suggested the PP would win its first ever overall majority in Spain’s most populous autonomous region, a result that would have reinforced his mandate to deepen cutbacks in public spending as he tries to drag Spain out of the euro zone debt crisis. A solid win in Andalucia, known for its olive oil and beaches, would have put the PP in control of 12 of 17 autonomous regions and strengthened Rajoy’s hand before a general strike on Thursday and his presentation of a tough 2012 budget on Friday. “A day after the polls, the PP is still the dominant power in Spain ... but electorally it is starting to suffer the effects of the (economic) situation it has to deal with,” the left-leaning newspaper El Pais said in an editorial. The PP won 50 of the 109 seats in Andalucia, still the most it has ever won. But the combined totals of the Socialists, with 47, and the United Left on 12 open the possibility of a leftist ruling coalition. Opinion polls had forecast the PP would take between 54 and 59 seats as Andalucians tired of three decades of Socialist rule, high unemployment and corruption scandals. In April, Rajoy is expected to enact reforms allowing the regions to cut health care and education spending. He commands an absolute majority in the national parliament and will

Toulouse killer’s brother charged in shootings PARIS: The brother of an Islamist gunman whose murder spree shocked France was charged Sunday with complicity in the attacks, as thousands of people across the country paid homage to the victims. The political pressure on the government meanwhile did not let up, with two senior politicians questioning the handling of the crisis. Abdelkader Merah denied any involvement in the shootings of three French soldiers, three Jewish schoolchildren and a trainee rabbi in three attacks claimed by his younger brother Mohammed

government spoke with Chinese authorities to request a further investigation, but said he could not provide further details about the discussions except that they took place earlier this year. Police in Chongqing said Monday that they had no information on the case, and Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters at a regular news briefing that he also had no information. A Beijing-based business weekly known for bold reporting, the Economic Observer, said Sunday that the top party official in Chongqing’s Nan’an district, Xia Zeliang, was detained last week but that it was still unclear what charges he might face. The People’s Daily and other state-run media ran the report on their websites yesterday. A lack of public explanations from authorities of Bo’s case - state-run media

Police have said he filmed his attacks with a camera strapped to his body and had planned to post the footage online. Thousands of people across France paid homage to the victims Sunday. Local politicians and religious leaders joined a silent procession in the district of Toulouse where the attack on the Jewish school took place, many people clutching roses or small French flags. Police estimated some 6,000 took part. “We’re marching this afternoon to defend the values of France we love: Solidarity, respect for others, justice,” France’s chief rabbi Pierre Cohen said. When the march arrived at the site of the attack on the school, mourners laid wreaths of flowers under a banner featuring portraits of those who died there. Hassen Chalghoumi, the imam of Drancy, just north of Paris, paid a tearful tribute to the victims. He had come to the march to denounce the violence “and to say that Islam, it isn’t that,” he told reporters later. In Paris, thousands more attended another silent march in tribute to those killed, many carrying the French tricolour: 20,000 according to the anti-racism groups who organised the event; 2,800 according to police. Smaller marches took place in other parts of the country. Two senior politicians spoke out on Sunday, questioning the government’s robust defence of how the crisis had been handled. “The Republic has some questions to answer,” Francois Bayrou, leader of the centrist MoDem party and a candidate for the presidency, told an election rally in Paris. How did an unbalanced killer known to the authorities-and already on a US flight-ban listmanage to train himself, acquire weapons and carry out these killings without any alert being sounded, he asked. Eva Joly, presidential candidate for the Europe Ecology-Green Party, called for Bernard Squarcini, head of the DST domestic intelligence agency, and national police chief Frederic Pechenard to quit over the affair. —AFP

be able to forge ahead with plans for spending cuts to hit a tough public deficit target of 5.3 percent of gross domestic product. The extent of fear over the cuts will be visible on Thursday when Spain sees its first general strike since November 2010. “The vote should not be overinterpreted in the coming days. People are not suddenly shifting and voting against austerity. The PP still won in Andalucia. The mood has not changed for the Socialists and a general strike is not going to change the government’s deficit commitments,” said Antonio Barroso, political analyst with Eurasia Group. The Socialists suffered all over Spain in last year’s national and local elections as voters punished them for their handling of the economy. Spain is heading into its second recession in three years. “It’s a bittersweet victory for the PP. It would have given them control of 12 of 17 regions, and of all the main ones except Catalonia, which is committed to austerity anyway,” Barroso said. The United Left - which doubled its presence in the assembly hinted that it would consider a coalition with the Socialists, but analysts said tough negotiations lay ahead. “Today we’ve seen that the majority of voters in Andalucia have not voted for the right. They want change that defends the social model and equality of opportunity,” United Left leader Cayo Lara said on television. “The people of Andalucia want change, but they want change through the left.” A dozen Socialist leaders are to go on trial on accusations that they

diverted benefits meant for struggling companies to family and friends. “United Left knows it can either go into an alliance with a government that has been marked by corruption scandals, or with the PP, which won more popular backing,” said Jose Pablo Ferrandiz, a director at Metroscopia polling agency. Metroscopia had forecast outright victory for the PP and had not expected so many votes to go to the United Left. “United Left has the key to the next government, and it will sell it dearly,” Ferrandiz said. The smaller northern region of Asturias also held an election on Sunday. As expected, no party got a clear majority, and it was still not clear whether the Socialists or the PP would be able to form an alliance with another party to govern. Spain’s regions account for about half of public expenditure and overseeing their spending after years of profligacy will be key to the central government meeting its deficit targets. Andalucia is one of the most indebted regions in Spain relative to its output and has the highest jobless rate, at over 31 percent. It is home to almost a fifth of Spaniards and its economy relies on more than 20 million visitors to its cities and beaches each year, as well as agriculture. At least half of Spaniards support some spending cuts to social services as the government tries to avoid needing a bailout like neighbour Portugal. Spanish stocks were the main fallers in Europe on Monday morning. By 0844 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index was almost unchanged while the Spanish IBEX index was down 1.7 percent. —Reuters



Assailant who shot Florida teen fears for safety SANFORD: The neighborhood watch volunteer who sparked a national uproar by shooting an unarmed teenager to death has wept with remorse over the killing and now fears for his own life, a friend of the gunman and a legal adviser said on Sunday. Supporters of the boy and his family staged more protest rallies and prayer vigils across the country, many dressed in “hoodies,” or hooded sweatshirts, like the one Trayvon Martin, 17, was wearing when he was gunned down last month. His admitted assailant, George Zimmerman, 28, remained in seclusion after receiving death threats and learning of a $10,000 bounty offered by a group called the New Black Panther Party, said lawyer Craig Sonner, who added he would represent Zimmerman if charges were filed. Zimmerman, a white Hispanic, has said he acted in self-defense when he shot Martin, who was black, in a gated community in Sanford, Florida, near Orlando, despite an apparent lack of evidence the teenager posed any threat. The boy ’s Feb. 26 death, which

drew little attention at first, has grown into a rallying cry for AfricanAmericans pointing to his shooting and the decision by authorities not to prosecute Zimmerman as a blatant case of racial injustice. The shooting also has provoked a heated debate over “Stand Your Ground” laws enacted in Florida and other states and cited by Sanford police as the reason Zimmerman has not been arrested. Florida’s law allows people to use deadly force in self-defense. President Barack Obama weighed in on the situation on Friday, calling the shooting a “tragedy” and saying, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.” A longtime friend of Zimmerman, Joe Oliver, 53, a former television news reporter who is himself black, came to Zimmerman’s defense on Sunday, denying his friend was a racist and saying Zimmerman cried for days over the shooting. “He’s a caring human being,” Oliver told Reuters in a telephone interview. “I mean, he took a man’s life and he has no idea what to do about it. He’s extremely remorseful about it.” He also suggested there was more to the story

than had yet been disclosed. “What makes all these people who are threatening George any better than the person they think he is?” Oliver said. “You’ve got all these people wanting to lynch the man, and they don’t know the whole story. “There are huge gaps that are being filled in and interpreted without evidence,” he said. Late on Sunday afternoon in Sanford, about 100 people held a prayer vigil at the gate to the subdivision where the shooting occurred, quietly singing the civil rights anthem “We Shall Overcome.” Carolyn Skene, 52, a Canadian artist who has been renting a home in the neighborhood where Martin was shot and who attended the vigil, said someone like Zimmerman would have been arrested in her country. “We just can’t believe your laws,” she said. Civil rights leader and former presidential candidate Jesse Jackson was expected to attend a larger rally planned for Monday in Sanford before the city commission meets to discuss the case. Earlier in the day at Middle Collegiate Church in New York, the minister and members of the congre-

gation wore hoodies, pulling their hoods over their heads during prayers at a crowded service that made repeated reference to the shooting as a symptom of the discrimination felt by young black Americans. Jacqui Lewis, the church’s senior minister, gave a sermon in which she said people were “fed up with centuries of race-related hatred and fear in this country.” She asked congregants to mail packets of Skittles candy to the Sanford Police Department and post pictures of themselves on the Internet wearing their hoodies and holding signs saying: “I am not dangerous. Racism is.” Martin was carrying a bag of Skittles and an iced tea when he was confronted by Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain who later told police he believed the youth looked suspicious. In Seattle, hundreds packed the Greater Mount Baker Baptist Church in a “Rally for Trayvon.” Many of the protesters, some wearing hooded sweatshirts, carried bags of Skittles and cans of iced tea as they later marched a mile to a city park named for slain civil rights leader

Martin Luther King Jr. US Senator Charles Schumer called on Sunday for a Justice Department investigation into “Stand Your Ground” laws, adopted first by Florida in 2005 and by at least 16 other states since, to determine if they had led to a rise in gun violence or had hindered prosecutions. “They’re all new. They’ve been passed very, very quickly and I think the states who passed them, if they find out the real facts, they may decide to repeal them,” Schumer said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum called the shooting “a heinous act” during an appearance on “Face the Nation.” “We need to focus on being there to be supportive and for the family that’s going through this tragedy,” he said. Sonner said Zimmerman feared he was in danger. He cited a document circulating that bears Zimmerman’s photo with the words “Wanted Dead or Alive.” Sonner has also said Zimmerman suffered a broken nose, a gash to his head and had grass stains on his shirt after the confrontation with Martin. — Reuters

Pope heads to Cuba after call for change Pope Benedict wins over Mexico

SANTIAGO: People gather at the streets of Talca city, 250 km. south to Santiago, Sunday, after a 7.1 earthquake struck central Chile, prompting an evacuation of coastal areas for fear of a tsunami and causing scenes of panic in an area devastated by a massive quake two years ago. — AFP

Major quake rattles Chile SANTIAGO: A major quake hit central Chile on Sunday, rattling buildings and temporarily triggering a coastal evacuation on fears of a tsunami, but there was no serious damage and big mines in the world’s top copper producer were operating normally. Residents in Chile’s capital, Santiago, fled their homes as the tremor rattled television sets, kitchen cabinets and tables, and a mayor in the town of Parral in south-central Chile told local radio a 74year-old woman died of a heart attack due to the quake. There were no reports of serious casualties. The 7.1 magnitude quake struck 16 miles (27 km) north-northwest of the town of Talca at a depth of 22 miles (35 km) at 7:37 p.m. local time (1037 pm GMT ), the US Geological Survey said, revising down an initial magnitude of 7.2. The tremor struck 136 miles (219 km) from Santiago, home to about a third of Chile’s population of 17.2 million people. It was one of the strongest quakes to hit Chile since a massive 8.8 temblor devastated the south-central region in early 2010, which triggered tsunamis, killed about 500 people and hammered roads and infrastructure. The government lifted a preventive evacuation order just before midnight, after about 7,000 people were ordered to evacuate the Maule region’s coast due to signs the sea had retreated a bit, Chilean Health Minister Jaime Manalich said. No tsunami alert was issued. “Fortunately, save for one person who died due to a heart problem, there are no fatalities and fortunately the country’s infrastructure, both public and private, resisted the earthquake’s effects well,” President Sebastian Pinera told reporters in Seoul, South Korea, where he is on an

Asian tour. The government emergency agency, ONEMI, said two people were injured after the fake ceiling of a church in Santiago collapsed, and one person suffered injuries from a transit accident in the Biobio region. Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter said later there could be up to 10 people lightly injured from the quake. Electricity supply was restored after short disruptions in some areas. With the memory of the February 2010 quake still seared in their memories, many Chileans were visibly shaken up. “I was watching television and all of a sudden the sofa started to move, and lamps started to swing from one side to the other,” said Guilda Carrasco in Santiago. “It just kept moving and didn’t stop. It was very strong.” Canadian tourist Rob Huneault was enjoying the warmth by a Santiago pool when the quake hit. “It started going crazy, waves shooting out of the pool,” he told Reuters. Chilean state copper giant Codelco said after the quake that operations were normal at its Andina mine and El Teniente deposit, which is nearer the epicenter. The two mines produce about 635,000 tonnes of copper annually. Global miner Anglo American said its Los Bronces copper mine in central Chile was operating normally, and the country’s top oil refinery, Bio Bio, said operations were normal after the tremor. The central area is home to some important copper mines, but the bulk of output in Chile, which produces about a third of the world’s red metal, is concentrated in the north. Quakes of magnitude 7 or above are capable of causing major damage. The 2010 quake caused roughly $8 billion in insured losses and economic losses of at least twice that. — Reuters

Wife defends US soldier accused in Afghan rampage SEATAC: The wife of a US soldier accused of killing 17 Afghan civilians says her husband showed no signs of PTSD before he deployed, and adds that she doesn’t feel like she’ll ever believe he was involved in the killings. Karilyn Bales defended her husband, Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, in an interview with Matt Lauer for NBC’s “Today” show that aired yesterday. The Washington state woman said her husband joined the Army after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, to “protect his family, friends and country. He wanted to do his part,” and added that her husband is “very brave, very courageous.” Officials say Bales wandered off base in southern Afghanistan earlier this month and killed eight Afghan adults and nine children. The wife of the Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier said the accusations are “unbelievable to me.” “He loves children, he’s like a big kid himself,” she said. “I have no idea what happened,

but he would not ... he loves children, and he would not do that.” He was formally charged Friday with 17 counts of premeditated murder and other crimes. She said he never had nightmares or other signs of PTSD and she feels like he was mentally fit when he was deployed. She also said he never told her about a traumatic brain injury he suffered while in Iraq, until he returned home. “He shielded me from a lot of what he went through. He’s a very tough guy.” US investigators have said they believe Bales killed in two episodes, returning to his base after the first attack and later slipping away to kill again. He is reported to have surrendered without a struggle.The 38-year-old married father of two from Lake Tapps, Wash., is being held at a US military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Karilyn Bales has spoken to her husband by telephone twice since he was detained. — AP

SANTIAGO: Pope Benedict XVI headed yesterday to Cuba hoping to boost the Catholic Church’s special dialogue with the Communist regime, as dissidents said more than 150 were arrested to thwart demonstrations. Benedict, who departed from Mexico after a four-day visit, is seeking to bolster close church-state ties in Cuba while also urging authorities to embrace change. Marxism “no longer corresponds to reality,” Benedict said last week as he set off on his first trip to Spanish-speaking nations in Latin America, calling for “new models” in Cuba, the Americas’ only one-party Communist state. Meanwhile Cuban authorities have rounded up at least 150 dissidents in the past few days to stop any demonstrations during the two-city papal visit, the head of an opposition group told AFP in Havana. “So far the Cuban Human Rights and National Reconciliation Commission can confirm that in the past four days at least 150 peaceful dissidents have been arrested,” said Elizardo Sanchez, head of the illegal but long tolerated dissident information clearinghouse. “They were roundups to prevent” problems during the visit of Pope Benedict XVI who was due to arrive in Santiago, Cuba, yesterday and also visit Havana. Sanchez said a similar number of activists who were not detained have been blocked from leaving their homes or attend mass or welcoming activities along the route the pope will travel. At least 15 of those detained were members of the Ladies in White, a prominent group of wives and family members of jailed political opponents, according to the dissidents. The pontiff, 84, was due to leave Mexico yesterday and arrive in southeastern Santiago, Cuba’s second largest city, at 1900 GMT. Santiago is just down the mountain from Cobre, home to an important shrine marking its 400th anniversary this year. A crowd of up to million people, out a population of about 11 million, were expected to turn out for mass at 2230 GMT-about the same numbers, authorities say, as welcomed Pope John Paul II like a rock star 14 years ago. Early yesterday, groups of dozens of teenagers were streaming to the mass venue here, decked out in white souvenir T-shirts that read “Welcome Benedict.” A “human chain” of wellwishers also is expected to greet the pope. John Paul II’s 1998 trip was the first papal visit to Cuba. And expectations were high

then that the charismatic Polish pontiff, who had been linked with anti-communism movements, might stoke hurricane-force winds of change in Cuba after decades of centrally-run government, economy and media. The Polish pope did indeed help start a

amid rising calls for more opening up than the Cuban government has sought so far. “The Holy See knows the ideological positions of the Cuban government” and the government “is aware of the views of the Church,” said Archbishop Dionisio Garcia of Santiago de

SILAO: This handout picture released by the Vatican Press Office shows Pope Benedict XVI (R) wears a typical Mexican hat as he arrives to lead the holy mass celebration at the Parque del Bicentenario in Silao on Sunday. — AFP steady thaw, and then cooperation, in local Catholic relations with the Cuban government. Decades of official atheism in Cuba had ended just in the early 1990s. But more than a decade later, despite John Paul’s calls for Cuba to “open up to the world,” it remains isolated, its economy still centrally planned. Most Cubans earn under 20 dollars a month. The Roman Catholic church, though a religious minority in Cuba, has emerged as the most important non-state actor, even mediating prisoner releases. But it does not enjoy a free rein on the Caribbean island. President Raul Castro, 80, and revolution icon Fidel Castro, 85, were partly educated in Catholic schools, yet the church still does not have its own media or education system. While Latin America is largely Roman Catholic, Cuba is decidedly less so. And Roman Catholic church officials say Benedict, who is German, is keen to spark new and renewed faith. But he also has had to walk a fine line

Cuba. Benedict XVI has no plans to meet with members of the Cuban opposition. The pope “knows the Cuban reality” and the fact “he meets with the opponents or not does not mean he is unaware” of their situation, Garcia said Saturday. “They (all parties) want this (visit) to be constructive and positive in tone,” Wayne Smith, the top US diplomat in Havana from 1979-1982, told AFP. Even if dissidents may feel they are getting a cold shoulder “the church is in any event, more on the side of the dissidents than of the government,” said Smith, director of the Cuba Program at the Center for International Policy in Washington. In Santiago, a white metal framework of classical church arches towers over the altar where Benedict is to give his mass. Cuban authorities have carefully readied the mass venue for days, setting up crowd barriers and staging soundcheck after soundcheck. — AFP

Airport dog finds illegal food stowed in luggage NEW YORK: On a recent busy afternoon at Kennedy Airport, a beagle with plaintive-looking eyes was lying on the floor of Terminal 4, oblivious to the chaos of rolling luggage and human activity teeming all around her. There was no prying this dog off the ground - despite the best attempts of Officer Meghan Caffery, her closest companion and partner. “Izzy,” Caffery said, a note of exasperation in her voice. “You’ve only been here an hour.” The 6-year-old beagle, who works for US Customs and Border Protection, can’t be faulted for taking a break. She spends most of her time trotting briskly around the baggage carousels with Caffery in tow, searching for illegal food stowed in luggage arriving from international flights. Thousands of bags stream through this terminal every hour, and Izzy is the first line of defense against food or plants that could wreak havoc on American agriculture. “Some flights are, you know, just apples or sandwiches that people had from the plane they

forgot in their bags,” said Caffery, an agriculture specialist canine handler. “Some flights are notorious for bringing in sausages or fresh fruits.” Izzy is among a small cadre of luggage-inspecting beagles who live and work at the airport, though federal officials won’t disclose the exact number of canines employed. Technically called a “passive response dog,” she is trained to sit whenever she smells one of several odors: fruit, meat, plant, seed or vegetable. With just one sniff, Izzy can determine whether a bag is worth searching - a seconds-long appraisal that would take human officers hours to do, given that about 1 million travelers pass through Kennedy Airport in a single month. During her three years of employment, she’s found everything from duck tongues to pigs’ heads and feet. The agricultural products vary according to the time of year. On average, about 28 pounds of food are collected every day, most of it from people who are try-

ing to sneak in food from their native countries. “We pulled a fourfoot fig tree out of a bag one day,” Caffery said. “The roots and soil and everything, like it was just dug

right out of the ground.” Her nose never fails to spot a trace of food, sometimes even picking up the scent of a snack that was removed from a bag hours before. — AP

NEW YORK: In this Feb. 9, 2012 photo, Meghan Caffery, right, a US Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Specialist, works with Izzy, an agricultural detector beagle whose nose is highly sensitive to food odors, as the dog sniffs incoming baggage and passengers at John F. Kennedy Airport’s Terminal 4 in New York. This US Customs and Border Protection team works to find foods and plants brought in by visitors that are considered invasive species or banned products, some containing insects or larvae known to be harmful to US agriculture. — AP


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Afghans fear for future when NATO forces leave KABUL: The shattered shell of Kabul’s Darul Aman palace bears witness to Afghanistan’s years of brutal civil war, a history many Afghans fear will be renewed when foreign troops leave in 2014. Designed by French and German architects in the 1920s as part of a new government quarter, the building’s lion-headed buttresses are broken, its colonnades pockmarked by bullets, the metal sheets of its roof crumpled. Like tens of thousands of people in the capital, the palace fell victim to the carnage of the early 1990s as rival mujahideen groups fought for power following the fall of a Soviet-backed regime after Moscow withdrew its troops. With the end of the NATO mission looming in turn, analysts warn that with-

out a sustainable peace deal, Afghanistan could disintegrate into yet another virulent civil war. Some Afghans are similarly pessimistic. “Every time I look at this building I’m too upset, I can’t say anything,” said Mohammed Gul, 52, who sells drinks and snacks-along with the occasional toy gunfrom a stall by the palace. “If this country became good everybody could live in peace. After the Americans go there will be too much fighting,” he said. “Again the wars, again the fighting.” He had no confidence in the ability of Kabul’s security forces to maintain peace. “The Afghan police, the army, if there is an explosion or a suicide attack they can’t do anything.” The central premise of Washington’s

strategy is to leave behind a nation stable enough to secure itself and thwart an AlQaeda renaissance, supported by only a small US presence, subject to agreeing a strategic pact with Kabul. It is proving a difficult road, with a series of major setbacks this year a video showing Americans urinating on Taleban corpses, copies of the Koran being burnt on a US military base and a rampage by a US soldier that left 17 civilians deadplunging the countries’ relationship to new lows. After the massacre, Afghan President Hamid Karzai called for international troops to be withdrawn from villages-the frontlines of NATO’s anti-Taleban war-and an accelerated handover of security. The US commander on the ground,

General John Allen, told Congress last week that he thought a future 230,000strong Afghan force, scaled down from a planned 352,000, was “the right target given what we think will be the potential enemy scenario for 2017”. But a security consultant with 10 years’ experience in the country said of the Afghan army and police: “When you see them operating on the ground, their capabilities are pretty dire to be honest.” Even in two years’ time, he said on condition of anonymity: “It’s pretty unlikely they are going to be able to take care of security operations.” In a report released yesterday, the International Crisis Group think tank said “desperate and dangerous moves” by Karzai’s government to bring the Taleban and other insurgent leaders to

negotiations were unlikely to lead to lasting peace. The Taleban say they have suspended putative moves towards talks following the US soldier’s shootings in Kandahar, and some fear the insurgents are biding their time until NATO leaves. “The negotiating agenda has been dominated by Washington’s desire to obtain a decent interval between the planned US troop drawdown and the possibility of another bloody chapter in the conflict,” said the ICG report. US embassy spokesman Gavin Sundwall denied this, saying the US would “continue our strategy of defeating AlQaeda and strengthening the Afghan state so that terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda can never find a home there again”.— AFP

Afghan soldier kills two British troops 15 NATO troops killed in attacks this year

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Affairs Gamini Peiris, second right, Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Nimal Sripala De Silva, right, Minister of Justice Rauff Hakeem, walk in to participate in a press conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka, yesterday. — AP

Sri Lanka will not fully implement war report COLOMBO: Sri Lanka will not implement all proposals from its civil war commission because the panel went beyond its mandate, a government minister said yesterday after a UN rights council called for the report’s implementation. The commission’s report dismissed allegations that government troops deliberately targeted civilians as the long civil war was ending in 2009 but also proposed that complaints of isolated, civilian killings by government troops be investigated. It also said the defeated Tamil Tiger rebels committed serious human rights violations. When the government presented the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission’s report in Parliament in December, it promised the proposals would be implemented. Irrigation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said “the government will have to carefully consider the content of the report and take a decision as to which part of the report has to be implemented.” In certain areas, the report “has gone beyond the mandate of the LLRC,” he said at a news conference with six government ministers. Silva refused to elaborate on which parts the government thought were beyond the commission’s mandate. The government appointed the LLRC in 2010 after an expert panel appointed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon started investigating the conduct of both sides in the civil

war. The UN report found credible allegations of war crimes against the Sri Lankan government, including deliberate shelling of civilians and blocking food and medical supplies for them. Both reports found evidence the defeated Tamil Tiger rebels were responsible for serious violations. The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva last week passed a resolution urging Sri Lanka to implement the local commission proposals and investigate allegations of summary executions, kidnappings and other abuses its troops were accused of. It also asked the government to present a comprehensive action plan detailing the steps implementing the recommendations made in the commission’s report. Sri Lanka has called the resolution an interference in the country’s internal affairs and has said it could harm attempts at reconciliation. But human rights groups and ethnic Tamil politicians have praised the resolution as an opportunity for the country to build peace. US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has urged Sri Lanka to implement the constructive recommendations of the LLRC and “take the necessary measures to address accountability.” The US, which brought the resolution, has said pressure would grow for an international investigation to be launched if Sri Lanka failed to investigate alleged abuses properly. — AP

KANDAHAR: An Afghan soldier shot dead two British troops in southern Afghanistan yesterday, raising to 15 the number of foreign military personnel to die in such killings this year. One in six of the 90 foreign soldiers to have died in Afghanistan in 2012 has been killed in so-called “green-on-blue” attacks by Afghan security personnel, significantly raising tensions between NATO forces and their local colleagues. “It appears that a member of the Afghan national army opened fire at the entrance gate to the British headquarters in Lashkar Gah city, killing the two British service personnel,” said Britain’s Defence Secretary Philip Hammond. The attacker was shot dead by coalition forces and officials said another British soldier was severely wounded. Lashkar Gah is the main town in the Taleban stronghold of Helmand province, but was among the first places where security responsibility was handed from ISAF to Afghan forces as part of a gradual transition process. Provincial police chief Abdul Nabi Elham said the gunman was a lieutenant named Gul Nazar from Jalalabad. “As soon as the NATO soldiers opened the game for him and his team in their centre, this soldier opened fire at them and killed them,” he said. “We don’t know the motive behind this attack and have not found a link to the Taleban. We are still investigating.” A spokesman for the militants contacted by AFP described the gunman as being “in contact” with them, although he did not claim the attack as being mounted by the Taleban. “Today an army officer who was in contact with us killed three NATO soldiers in Helmand,” said Qari Yousif Ahmadi by telephone from an undisclosed location. The Taleban regularly exaggerate their claims. Exact details of the incident remained unclear, with accounts differing on whether an argument took place before the shooting started, and whether another Afghan soldier was killed. The shooting comes less than three weeks after six British soldiers were killed when a huge explosion ripped through their armoured vehicle near Lashkar Gah. Taleban insurgents claimed responsibility for that attack, which pushed the number of British dead in Afghanistan over the 400 mark. Monday’s deaths brought the number of International Security Assistance Force service members killed by Afghan security personnel this

year to 15, an ISAF spokesman said. The previous victims of green-on-blue attacks were six Americans, four French army trainers, an Albanian and two ISAF personnel whose nationality has not been disclosed. The US-led NATO force is training Afghanistan’s own units to take over national security by the end of 2014, allowing foreign combat troops to withdraw after a costly and lengthy war against the Taleban insurgency. But a classified coalition report leaked to The New York Times earlier this year described green-on-blue shootings as a “systemic” problem. The report put the killings down to a decade of deep-seated animosity on each side, and profound ill-will among both civilians and soldiers on both sides, downplaying the role of possible Taleban

infiltrators in such incidents. The frequency of the incidents this year reached a peak after copies of the Koran were burned at an incinerator pit at the US-run Bagram airbase, leading US President Barack Obama to apologise for what he described as an error. Around 40 people were killed in days of violent demonstrations as protesters targeted Western bases. At one point NATO withdrew all its advisers from Afghan government ministries after two US officers were killed inside the interior ministry, apparently by an Afghan colleague. Some, but not all, have since returned. On March 11, a massacre of 17 Afghan civilians, including nine children and four women, blamed on a lone American soldier brought relations between Kabul and Washington to a further low.—AFP

KANDAHAR: Afghanistan’s security forces stand guard during a show of siezed weapons in Kandahar yesterday. Afghan police in the southern province of Kandahar have seized at least 17 tonnes of explosives insurgents were planning to use for improvised explosive devices, a senior officer said. Around 5,000 packets of explosives weighing three to 10 kilograms each, with 200 fuses and two more tonnes of explosive materials, were found in two tractor-towed trailers, border police chief Tafseer Khan Khogyani said. — AFP

Talks on to free Italian held by Maoists

LAHORE: Pakistani demonstrators inflict damage to a petrol station during a violent protest in Lahore yesterday. The nuclear-armed Muslim nation, with a population of 167 million, produces only 80 percent of its electricity needs, starving industry that has slumped in the face of recession and over three years of Taleban-linked bombings. — AFP

Pakistan to charge bin Laden’s family ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani court is set to charge five members of Osama bin Laden’s family with illegally entering and living in the country, their defense lawyer said yesterday. The Al-Qaeda chief’s family has been in Pakistani detention since last May, when US commandos raided the house where they were living in the northwest army town of Abbottabad and shot and killed bin Laden. Pakistan was outraged by the raid because it was not informed beforehand. Officials have insisted they did not know the al-Qaeda chief was living there, and the US has not found any evidence that they did. A Pakistani court will charge three of bin Laden’s widows and two of his daughters on April 2 when the hearing against them resumes, said their lawyer, Mohammad Amir. The court gave the five women copies of the case and evidence against them yesterday, he said. Pakistani legal experts have said the maximum punishment the women could receive is five years in jail. Bin Laden and his wives were living with eight of their children and three employees in Abbottabad. Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik has

said previously that the children not involved in the case were free to leave Pakistan or could stay with their mothers for the duration of the trial. One of the widows is known to be from Yemen, another from Saudi Arabia. The nationality of the third woman is unclear. One of their relatives has reportedly visited Pakistan recently to urge authorities to let them leave the country. But it appears he was unsuccessful. Bin Laden, the subject of a massive international manhunt, had been living in Abbottabad for at least five years before the CIA traced his whereabouts. The unilateral American raid humiliated and angered the Pakistani army, which has also faced uncomfortable questions over why it wasn’t aware of bin Laden’s presence. A government commission is investigating the affair, but few expect it to come up with many answers. Its members have interviewed the wives. Last month, the government destroyed the three-storey compound the bin Laden clan was living in, removing a concrete reminder of the country’s association with the world’s most wanted man. — AP

BHUBANESWAR: Indian government officials and representatives of Maoist rebels yesterday resumed talks after one of two Italian men who were kidnapped 12 days ago was released. Claudio Colangelo, a tourist from Rome, and professional guide Paolo Bosusco were taken hostage in the eastern state of Orissa while on an adventure holiday trekking. Colangelo was set free on Sunday but Bosusco remains in captivity in a remote area of Orissa, one of several Indian states where an armed Maoist insurgency controls much of the countryside. ”I had requested the (Maoist) mediators... to continue dis-

cussion with the state government. I inform the House that discussions have resumed,” Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told the state assembly. The talks are also to free a state lawmaker who was taken hostage in a separate incident early on Saturday.”It was a frightening experience,” Claudio Colangelo told the NDTV news channel after being freed. “For the last four days, I was being promised that I will be released.” The two Italians were the first foreigners to be taken hostage by the rebels, who have previously kidnapped local officials and villagers, freeing some after negotiations but killing others. The rebels had

issued a series of demands for the Italians’ release, including a ban on tourists visiting tribal areas, the end of the government’s anti-rebel operations and the release of jailed Maoist leaders. The guerrillas, who say they are fighting for the rights of tribal people and landless farmers, have a powerful influence over large areas of central and eastern India, collecting funds through extortion and protection rackets. They have waged a low-intensity war against state and national authorities for decades, and have been targeted since 2009 in an offensive by government forces known as “Operation Greenhunt.” — AFP

Tibetan sets self on fire at anti-China protest NEW DELHI: A Tibetan exile lit himself on fire and ran shouting through a demonstration in the Indian capital yesterday, just ahead of a visit by China’s president and amid a series of self-immolations done to protest Beijing’s rule in Tibet. Indian police, who had already tightened security in New Delhi for President Hu Jintao’s visit, swept through the protest a few hours later, arresting dozens of Tibetans. The man apparently had doused himself with something highly flammable and was engulfed in flames when he ran past the podium where speakers were criticizing China and Hu’s visit. Fellow activists beat out the flames with Tibetan flags and poured water onto him. He was on fire perhaps less than two minutes, but some of his clothing had disintegrated and his skin was mottled with black, burned patches by the time he was driven to a hospital. The man, identified as Jamphel Yeshi, sustained burns on 98 percent of his body and his condition was critical, according to the Association of Tibetan Journalists. Protesters initially prevented police from taking him to the hospital, but officers eventually forcibly took him away.

Yeshi, 27, escaped from Tibet in 2006 and had been living in New Delhi for the past two years, activists said. Hu is expected to arrive in India today for a five-nation economic summit. While activists had been whispering yesterday morning that something dramatic was expected at the

protest, organizers insisted they were not behind the self-immolation. “We have no idea how this happened, but we appreciate the courage,” said Tenzing Norsang, an official with the Tibetan Youth Congress. He called on participants at the summit to discuss Tibet. “If you care about peace you

NEW DELHI: Witnesses attempt to extinguish flames which engulfed Tibetan exile Janphel Yeshi, 27, after he set himself on fire during a protest against an upcoming visit to India by Chinese President Hu Jintao,yesterday. — AFP

should raise the issue of Tibet,” he said. “Hu Jintao is responsible for what is happening there.” The New Delhi protest comes amid a series of selfimmolations inside Tibet. About 30 people - many of them monks or nuns, and often in their teens or early 20s - have lit themselves on fire over the past year, calling for the return to Tibet of the Dalai Lama and to protest Chinese rule over their homeland. The Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet amid a failed 1959 uprising against Chinese rule, has blamed China’s “ruthless policy” for the self-immolations. China accuses the Dalai Lama of stirring up trouble. At the site of the protest, a large poster of Hu - with a bloody palm print over his face - said: “Hu Jin Tao is unwelcome” at the summit. More than 600 demonstrators marched across New Delhi to a plaza near the Indian Parliament to protest Hu’s visit. Some carried posters saying “Tibet is burning” or “ Tibet is not part of China.” China says Tibet has always been part of its territory. Tibetans say the Himalayan region was virtually independent for centuries. Monday’s was the second Tibetan self-immolation in India in recent months. —AP



Hong Kong leader-elect gets down to business HONG KONG: Hong Kong’s chief executive-elect Leung Chun-ying got down to business yesterday after winning the most divisive leadership election the city has seen since the 1997 handover to China. He began assembling his team, met officials at the Chinese government’s liaison office and promised a smooth transition from the administration of outgoing Chief Executive Donald Tsang. Leung said he discussed the formulation of his administration, which must be approved by Beijing, during his talks with mainland officials. “I would like to gather as good a team as Hong Kong can offer, and it’s important that I do that as quickly as I can,” he said, adding he would visit Beijing soon to “initiate the process”. Leung, 57, garnered 689 votes from the 1,200strong election committee, stacked with pro-Beijing tycoons and members of the political class, to be anointed as incoming chief executive on Sunday. He promised to “reunite” Hong Kong and protect its “rights and freedoms” following an election which split the city’s establishment camp and forced

Beijing to heed popular opinion as never before. Pro-democracy protesters condemned the election as a farce and demanded full suffrage for the semi-autonomous former British colony, which is ruled by Beijing according to the One Country, Two Systems principle. But Tsang, whose public approval ratings are low after seven years in office, said the election “underlines the success of One Country, Two Systems”. “It is also an important milestone in our constitutional development,” said the bow-tie wearing career bureaucrat whose term expires in June. Leung is only the city’s third post-handover chief executive and could be the last to be chosen in a so-called small-circle election, if China honours its pledge to allow full suffrage by the time his first term ends in 2017. A policeman’s son turned self-made property guru and veteran government adviser, Leung is nicknamed “The Wolf” due to perceptions of his ruthless cunning and inscrutable intelligence. He lived up to his reputation throughout the election campaign, which he began as a rank out-

sider compared to Henry Tang, the son of a textile tycoon whom most believed had Beijing’s blessing to walk into the leadership job. But Tang’s campaign imploded in scandals including a confession of marital infidelity and the discovery of an illegal entertainment suite at his luxury home, sending his approval ratings plummeting. This left Leung the next-best choice for Beijing despite reservations from the city’s business elite about his populist promises to address soaring property prices, and persistent rumours that he is a secret communist. Observers said that with only 58 percent of the election committee’s vote, the man commonly known as CY could not rest on his laurels. “The immediate challenge facing Leung is daunting. He has to bridge an unprecedented political divide arising from the cut-throat race between the two pro-establishment camps,” the South China Morning Post wrote in an editorial. It noted that he received only 17.8 percent of the vote in a mock election by the University of Hong

Kong on Saturday. More than half of the 223,000 voters rejected all the candidates and returned blank ballots. “Had there been a popular vote, it would have been inconclusive,” the Post said, calling Leung the “weakest leader-in-waiting” the city had seen since 1997. The Apple Daily newspaper, which is critical of Beijing’s influence in Hong Kong, said the protests surrounding the election were unprecedented. “The leader has not even started his term, but he is already being asked to step down,” it said. “It’s a shame that Mr Leung was hiding inside the convention centre and could not hear the real voices of the public.” But the pro-Beijing China Daily newspaper said Leung “deserves the respect of the community, including election committee members who didn’t vote in his favour”. One of those, Asia’s richest man Li Ka-shing, refused to drop his support for Tang despite Beijing’s last-minute backing for Leung-a sign of the divisions that the policeman’s son will have to deal with from July. — AFP

Thousands of Malians protest against military junta Rebels threaten to capture key northern city BAMAKO: Malians marched in Bamako yesterday to protest against the junta while Tuareg rebels threatened to capture a key northern city, piling political and military pressure on the coup leaders. More than a thousand people gathered in front of the stock exchange for a brief rally organised by 38 political parties that have formed a united front against the junta which overthrew President Amadou Toumani Toure on March 22. “Sanogo, Get Out!” shouted a crowd of men, women and children, referring to coup leader Captain Amadou Sanogo, who has ordered civil servants and private sector workers to return to their posts by today. Life returned to normal in the capital Bamako where shops re-opened and people ventured out to do their shopping after several tense days following the mutiny in which

renegade soldiers shot their way to the presidency. In a statement on state television, which they are using to communicate with the population, the putschists had warned against any incidents during the protest, which falls on a public holiday celebrating the country’s previous coup d’etat. On March 26, 1991, Toure led a band of soldiers to overthow the 23-year-old dictatorship of Moussa Traore after a crackdown on a public uprising against the leader. Having led the country to its first democratic polls a year later, Toure was considered a hero and later democratically elected in 2002. He was due to step down after serving two terms following elections scheduled for April 29. However last week’s coup d’etat, roundly condemned at home and by the international com-

BAMAKO: Demonstrators protest outside the “Bourse du Travail” in Bamako yesterday against the military junta that took over the reigns of the country last week. The International Crisis Group yesterday urged the international community to act quickly to end a military junta in Mali, which ousted one of the region’s successful democracies. — AFP

Warlord says not guilty to Philippine vote fraud MANILA: A powerful Filipino clan leader who is a suspect in the 2009 massacre of 57 people pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges of rigging elections to favor former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s allies. Andal Ampatuan Sr., who is currently on trial for murder in the massacre, was separately arraigned on the charge of electoral sabotage. Arroyo, his former political patron, has pleaded not guilty to the same electoral charge. She has not been linked to the massacre. The court also entered a not guilty plea for former Philippine elections chief Benjamin Abalos, who questioned the court’s jurisdiction and refused to enter a plea himself. One of the most feared politicians in the country, Ampatuan, his three sons and more than 150 gunmen are accused of killing at least

57 people, including 32 journalists, who were traveling in a convoy to register the candidacy of a political rival of the Ampatuans. The ambush in southern Maguindanao province, the Ampatuans’ bailiwick where clan members held several positions, including governor and mayor of several towns named after them, was the worst political massacre in recent Philippine history and the worst single killing of journalists in the world. Ampatuan and the other accused have pleaded not guilty to murder charges. Ampatuan, the 70-year-old clan patriarch, was brought to court from his detention cell in a wheelchair Monday by heavily armed police. His arraignment had been postponed twice because he was treated for pneumonia in a military hospital early this month.—AP

MANILA: Andal Ampatuan Sr, center, a powerful Filipino clan leader who is a suspect in the 2009 massacre of 57 people, waits for his arraignment on electoral sabotage at the Pasay city regional trial court, south of Manila, Philippines yesterday. — AP

munity, has suspended all political processes in the west African nation. Fourteen members of government, including the prime minister and foreign minister, launched a hunger strike on Sunday at the military barracks where they are being detained in a small room, forced to sleep three to a mattress. The soldiers’ revolt was sparked by an ongoing insurrection by nomadic desert tribes in the north, who in January launched a decades-old battle for independence. Their last uprising was resolved in 2009, however many of the Tuareg rebels had gone to fight for Libya’s slain dictator Moamer Kadhafi and returned to the region heavily-armed and battle-hardened after his demise last year. Their lightning strikes on several northern towns have overwhelmed a relatively weak, illequipped army which seized power claiming it was fed-up with government’s incompetence in handling the conflict. The junta has suggested peace talks, but the rebels pushed forward Monday, targeting Kidal, one of the north’s most important towns. On Sunday the army said it had rebelled an attack on the city, 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) from Bamako. Armed Islamist group Ansar Dine (Defenders of Faith) said Kidal’s fall was “imminent”. The group is fighting alongside the Azawad National Liberation Army (MNLA) who has distanced itself from its demands for the imposition of Sharia law. The junta has been largely frozen out by the international community in a chorus of rebukes and suspension of aid. The African Union suspended Mali, while Europe and Canada froze aid and the United States threatened to follow suit. Leaders from the regional Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will hold an emergency meeting in Abidjan today. The wherabouts of president Toure remain unknown, however the junta has assured is is safe and in good health, without saying whether he has been detained. Earlier Toure’s entourage said he was under protection of his elite paratrooper guard. — AFP

South Korea warns it will shoot down North rocket SEOUL: Seoul warned yesterday that it might shoot down parts of a North Korean rocket that violate South Korean territory, as worries about what Washington calls a long-range missile test overshadowed an international nuclear security summit. Nearly 60 world leaders gathered yesterday in Seoul to talk about ways to keep nuclear material out of the hands of terrorists. But North Korea has dominated attention in Northeast Asia since announcing earlier this month that it would send a satellite into space aboard a long-range rocket. North Korea calls the launch part of its peaceful space program and says a new southerly flight path is meant to avoid other countries; previous rockets have been fired over Japan. Washington and Seoul, however, say the multistage rocket is meant to test delivery systems for longrange missiles that could be mounted with nuclear weapons. “We are studying measures such as tracking and shooting down (parts) of a North Korean missile in case they stray out of their normal trajectory” and violate South Korean territory, said Yoon Won-shik, a vice spokesman at the Defense Ministry. “We cannot help viewing (the launch) as a very reckless, provocative act” that undermines peace on the Korean peninsula, he said. The South Korean and U.S. militaries know that North Korea has moved the main body of the rocket into a building at a site near the village of Tongchang-ri in North Phyongan province and that it is making preparations for a launch, Yoon said. He said the two allies’ militaries are closely monitoring the situation, but he didn’t elaborate on the North’s preparations. The Tongchang-ri launch site is about 35 miles (50 kilometers) from the Chinese border city of Dandong. Analysts describe it as a new, more sophisticated site that would allow the North to fire the rocket from the west coast to avoid sending it over other countries. President Barack Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak urged North Korea in a joint news conference Sunday to immediately stop its launch plans, warning they would deal sternly with any provocation. Obama said the move would jeopardize a deal settled last month in which the U.S. would ship food aid to the North in exchange for a nuclear freeze.—AP

YANGON: Supporters of New National Democracy Party participate in a campaign rally for the April 1 by-election in Mayangone Township in Yangon, Myanmar, yesterday. — AP

Myanmar exiles test govt’s promise of change BANGKOK: For years, Myanmar’s former military regime regarded Aye Chan Naing as an enemy of the state, jailing 17 of his reporters and denouncing the exiled news organization he leads as a producer of “killer broadcasts” and a threat to national security. But when he arrived back home for the first time in nearly a quarter of a century, he was neither arrested nor harassed. Immigration police simply asked who he worked for, then smiled and waved him through. The director of the Norway-based Democratic Voice of Burma, which has broadcast independent news for two decades into one of the world’s most oppressed nations, is part of a trickle of exiles spanning the globe who have begun to see for themselves if the government’s reforms are for real. Myanmar, also known as Burma, needs its exiles back. Decades of harsh military dictatorship transformed one of Asia’s most prosperous nations into one of its poorest. Many of the country’s best and brightest fled, a brain drain that included doctors, engineers, politicians and journalists. For now, the vast majority of those abroad are staying put. But Aye Chan’s visit - he made a five-day trip earlier this month after the government issued him a brief visa - revealed something he found surprising among friends, family, even government officials - a sliver of hope. “It’s something I haven’t really seen in the last 20 years,” Aye Chan said in a telephone interview from Oslo, where he has lived for two decades. “Of course there’s still a lot of skepticism. People cannot forget the past.” But “there’s been a clear change. People are speaking out freely, going to meet whoever they want without getting followed or arrested or punished for it,” he said. A nominally civilian government took office a year ago, and since then it has freed hundreds of political prisoners, lifted restrictions on opposition parties, signed truces with rebel groups and enacted other major reforms. Last August, President Thein Sein issued a call for the diaspora to return. One of his top advisers later clarified that political dissidents could also come back, and would not be arrested if they did so. But half a year later, “there is still no official policy, no government strategy to bring us home,” said Aung Zaw, another prominent exile who founded the independent Thailand-based Irrawaddy newspaper. “They have no idea how to welcome exiles back.” Although international investors and foreign businessmen have begun rushing into Myanmar to take advantage of the rapidly changing climate there, and tourism numbers are on the rise, Aung Zaw estimated the number of exiles

who’ve gone back so far at only “a few dozen” and most of those are only visiting. “They need our skills and knowledge to rebuild, but they are giving no incentives or assurances,” he added. “People aren’t sure whether the doors are really open to them, and so nobody is comfortable enough to return home.” Aung Zaw fled Myanmar at the height of a mass student uprising that was brutally crushed by security forces in 1988. He returned home for the first time since then in February, and was on his second visit back last week. He said the official reception he has received has been “very warm, which was quite a surprise.” For the last two decades, he said, regime officials “rarely spoke to the public. There was silence all the time. But they have begun demonstrating they have the ability to listen, and that’s refreshing.” Still, he said, “everyone remains very cautious, and skeptical of government. They’ve seen a lot of ups and downs over the last 20 or 30 years, and they know” the wave of recent, positive change can easily be reversed. One thing the reforms have already given exiles is a look at the country they were compelled to leave long ago. Aye Chan, the Democratic Voice of Burma director, said Yangon, the former capital, hasn’t changed much since he left, despite some new hotels and roads. His high school is now closed and abandoned, swamped by weeds. Paint is peeling from dilapidated buildings all over the downtrodden city. And his old friends, he said, seemed poorer than ever. Even dentists - like the one he wanted to be - are struggling to survive. “There are lots of places that look exactly like they did 23 years ago or more,” Aye Chan said. “It’s like time almost stopped in 1988.” Aye Chan went on to help found the DVB, which began broadcasting news on shortwave radio into Myanmar in 1992. Since then, the news group has expanded online and into television. During a 2007 uprising led by saffron-robed monks, its reporters were crucial in getting news out to the rest of the world. Some 17 of them were arrested, but all were released in January. During his own trip back, Aye Chan met with government officials to request that his journalists be officially accredited. There were no definitive answers, but he said the meetings were positive. “They want to discuss. They want to talk,” he said of the government. “And we have more to gain than to lose by doing that.” Both Aung Zaw and Aye Chan both said they would like to move back to Myanmar one day, but the time is not yet right. — AP

JAKARTA: Indonesian terror suspect Umar Patek salutes prosecutors after his trial at the West Jakarta court in Jakarta yesterday. Patek, 45, went on trial in February on charges including murder, bomb-making and possession of illegal firearms for the church attacks and Bali nightclubs blasts, which killed 202 people including 88 Australians. — AFP



NEW DELHI: Tibetan exile Janphel Yeshi, 27, runs as he is engulfed in flames after he set himself on fire yesterday to protest against an upcoming visit to India by Chinese President Hu Jintao. — AFP

Obama vows nuke cuts, warns N Korea and Iran SEOUL: President Barack Obama said yesterday the United States would further cut its nuclear arsenal, as he warned in a hard-hitting address that North Korea and Iran must back down over their atomic plans. Obama delivered his speech just before the start of a nuclear security summit in Seoul, seeking to build global momentum in the drive to eliminate or safeguard material that could be used to make thousands of bombs. He said major progress had been made since the initiative was launched two years ago, citing a number of countries that had removed their stockpiles and forecasting more commitments from other nations during the twoday summit. “But we’re under no illusions. We know that nuclear material - enough for many weapons - is still being stored without adequate protection,” he said. “We know that terrorists and criminal gangs are still trying to get their hands on it, as well as the radioactive material for a dirty bomb... the danger of nuclear terrorism remains one of the greatest threats to global security.” Obama urged the leaders or top officials from 53 nations attending the summit to “keep at it”, and pledged further actions from the United States

including trying to persuade Russia to jointly cut their nuclear arsenal. He said that, with more than 1,500 deployed nuclear weapons and 5,000 warheads, the United States had “more nuclear weapons than we need”. “I firmly believe that we can ensure the security of the United States and our allies, maintain a strong deterrent against any threat, and still pursue further reductions in our nuclear arsenal,” he said. Obama also sought to ramp up diplomatic pressure on North Korea and Iran over their atomic programs, which although not on the summit’s official agenda were the focus of much discussion among leaders yesterday. In North Asia, tensions have escalated in recent weeks after North Korea announced it would launch a long-range rocket in midApril. South Korea announced yesterday it would shoot down the North’s rocket if it strayed into the South’s territory. Japan said last week it would do the same. The United States, South Korea, Japan and many other countries believe the launch is intended to test a missile capable eventually of delivering an atomic warhead. The nucleararmed North insists its rocket launch will merely put a peaceful satellite into orbit.

Obama told North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons ambitions or face further international isolation. “By now it should be clear, your provocations and pursuit of nuclear weapons have not achieved the security you seek, they have undermined it,” he said, in what he called a direct address to the North’s new leadership. “And know this - there will be no more rewards for provocations. Those days are over. This is the choice before you. This is the decision you must make.” Obama made an unusually blunt appeal to China on Sunday to get tougher with North Korea, its close ally, and made the issue a top priority during a 90-minute meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao yesterday. Hu agreed with Obama that the planned rocket launch was a “serious concern” and their two nations should coordinate closely on the issue, Ben Rhodes, a deputy US national security adviser, told reporters after the meeting. Obama also warned Iran in his speech that time was running out to resolve the standoff over its nuclear program through diplomacy. “There is time to solve this diplomatically... but time is short. Iran must act with the seriousness and sense of urgency that this moment demands,” he said. — AFP

‘Titanic’ director dives to deepest point... Continued from Page 1 culmination of more than seven years of planning. “Most importantly, though, is the significance of pushing the boundaries of where humans can go, what they can see and how they can interpret it,” he said in a statement. The journey down to the Challenger Deep valley of the Mariana Trench, which lies southwest of Guam, took two hours and 36 minutes, organizers said. He told reporters in a phone press conference that he was at the bottom of the ocean for about a little more than two and a half hours, and had to cut short the planned stay of six hours because of problems with the ocean craft’s hydraulics system. Cameron said that being able to make the journey was “the culmination from my perspective of a lifelong dream”, and that he hopes to be able to continue to marry his love of exploring the depths of the sea with his work as a director. He captured photographs and 3D moving images and was to collect samples for research in marine biology, microbiology, astrobiology, marine geology and geophysics. But ust as he was about to collect his first sample, a leak in the hydraulic fluid sprayed into the water and he couldn’t bring anything back. Cameron is the first person to make a solo dive to the Pacific Ocean trench. The last dive of any kind there was made by a two-man team in a relatively brief expedition back in 1960. After a faster-than-expected, roughly 70minute ascent, Cameron’s sub, bobbing in the open ocean, was spotted by helicopter and plucked from the Pacific by a research ship’s crane, organizers said. Expedition physician Joe MacInnis called Cameron’s descent “the ultimate test of a man and his machine”. Cameron didn’t see tracks of small primitive sea animals on the ocean floor as he did when he dove more than 5 miles deep weeks ago. All he saw were voracious

shrimp-like critters that weren’t bigger than an inch. In future missions, Cameron plans to bring “bait” - like chicken - to set out. Mission partner the National Geographic said Cameron had reached a depth of 35,756 feet (10,898 m) at 7:52 am yesterday (2152 GMT Sunday) in his specially designed submersible the Deepsea Challenger. Because of its extreme depth, the Mariana Trench is cloaked in perpetual darkness and the temperature is just a few degrees above freezing. The water pressure at the bottom is a crushing eight tons per square inch - or about a thousand times the standard atmospheric pressure at sea level, comparable to three SUVs resting on a toe. The super-strong sub shrank three inches under that pressure, Cameron said. The images collected by Cameron will be used to make a 3-D feature film, which is expected to be broadcast on the National Geographic Channel. Cameron’s tools included a sediment sampler, a robotic claw, a “slurp gun” for sucking up small sea creatures for study at the surface, and temperature, salinity, and pressure gauges. The submersible that Cameron designed - a “vertical torpedo” of sorts - had already successfully completed an unpiloted dive on Friday. In 1960, a two-man crew aboard the US Navy submersible Trieste - then the only humans to have reached Challenger Deep - spent just 20 minutes on the bottom, but their view was obscured by silt stirred up when they landed. Cameron, 57, had been running several miles a day, practicing yoga to increase his flexibility for the dive in the sub’s cramped quarters and studying deepocean science. Cameron already has 72 dives under his belt, including 12 to film the blockbuster “Titanic”. The Mariana Trench, a crescent-shaped scar in the Earth’s crust, measures more than 2,550 km long and 69 km wide on average. — Agencies

Govt plans airport tender worth up to KD... Continued from Page 1 public sector employees for raising their wages to cope with rising cost of living in the country. The session came amid a series of industrial actions in the country by employees of a number of institutions especially the customs department and the Kuwait Airways Corp employees whose strikes paralysed sensitive sectors in the country and caused a price hike. Employees in those sectors have been demanding that their wages be significantly adjusted to put them in par with other government employees. The customs men and KAC employees halted work in the past and were promised their wages would be increased but the promise was never fulfilled so they stopped work again for several days about two weeks ago. MPs are demanding a reasonable and fair increase of wages under which equality will be achieved among all Kuwaiti employees. The Assembly asked the joint panel to study the issue in a comprehensive way with the government and come up with concrete proposals. During the meeting, the government warned that national economy was sliding and it faced serious consequences if the wages bill continued to rise at the current pace. In recent years inefficient planning and tensions between the Cabinet and parliament have plagued policymaking, blocking important infrastructure and economic development projects in the OPEC member state. Any progress on the airport terminal project will come as a welcome sign that Kuwait is working to break down hurdles for foreign investment. Kuwait’s 2012-13 development plan includes 324 infrastructure projects worth around KD 3.5 billion, minister of public works Fadhel Safar said yesterday, according to KUNA. It includes projects such as roads, bridges and government buildings, he said, adding he would like to

expand the private sector contribution to the development plan. A parliamentary committee has recommended Kuwait amend its laws regarding public tenders to allow foreign companies to participate in bidding directly, without the need for a local agent. The suggested changes are being added to a draft bill. The new rules would apply to oil companies, services and military-related contracts, but exclude other state-owned company tenders, said Lari. Under the proposed changes, Kuwait’s Central Bank would be given the authority to deal with investment decisions and to supervise tenders. In the past decade, Kuwait has attracted just $1.5 billion foreign investment, or 0.5 percent of total Gulf inflows, while Yemen attracted $3.5 billion. In another development, around 25 MPs held a joint press conference yesterday to highlight the plight of a Kuwaiti student who has been in jail in Iraq since 2004 without any accusations. The lawmakers warned that if the government, especially Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah, does not raise the issue with the Iraqi government during the forthcoming Arab summit, they will use their constitutional tools. The man, Ali Al-Harbi, had reportedly gone to Iraqi along with three Emirati friends in 2004 to purchase racehorses owned by former members of the Iraqi regime. The men were arrested amidst total security chaos that prevailed in Baghdad at that time but Iraqi authorities released the three Emirati men in 2008 after the UAE government approached Baghdad authorities. The lawmakers believe that the issue of Harbi has not been adequately raised with the Iraqi authorities. But Shiite MP Abdulhameed Dashti announced yesterday that Harbi will be released very soon and he was about to travel to Baghdad to make the final arrangements. Meanwhile, MP Salem Al-Namlan proposed yesterday to increase the housing loan from KD 70,000 to KD 85,000 and the renovation loan from KD 25,000 to KD 30,000.

Syria tops agenda at Iraq summit Continued from Page 1 miracles to happen in the summit,” he said. Iraqi authorities have insisted that the summit will focus on structural reform of the Arab League in an effort to make the organisation more active, but Syria remains in the limelight, rocked by ongoing protests and deadly clashes, US and European sanctions and a UN human rights probe. Syrian forces bombarded a rebel neighbourhood of Homs for a seventh straight day yesterday, monitors said, as Russia, whose President Dmitry Medvedev discussed the crisis with his US counterpart Barack Obama, warned Damascus it must act to avoid civil war. Arab League chief Nabil Al-Arabi has told pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat, however, that it was unlikely the meeting in Iraq would call for Assad to step down. But while events in Syria will be discussed, the crushing of protests in Bahrain is not on the agenda, Zebari confirmed, though he admitted the suppression last year of Shiite-led pro-democracy rallies in Bahrain was a concern. The summit also marks a re-emergence of Iraq, hosting its first Arab League meeting since Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait, which triggered UN sanctions and was eventually followed by the 2003 USled invasion. “It is a big event, it is the most important event for Iraq, to host the Arab summit,” Zebari said, calling it a “turning point for Iraq”. “It is a recognition of the new Iraq that has emerged since 2003.” He added: “I think we’ve made a major major leap forward.” More than 100,000 members of the security forces are providing security in the capital, according to the Baghdad Operations Command, and Iraq has spent upwards of $500 million to refurbish major hotels and summit venues. But despite the dramatically tighter security measures, Al-Qaeda’s front group in Iraq man-

aged to carry out a wave of nationwide attacks on March 20 that cost the lives of 50 people. Among the attacks was a car bomb that exploded in a car park directly opposite the foreign ministry, killing three people. Iraq expects at least 10 Arab leaders to attend the summit, but while some countries such as Lebanon have announced top-level representation, the majority of the bloc’s 22 members have been tight-lipped over who will attend. Zebari yesterday telephoned his counterparts in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait to encourage their participation at the “highest levels”, Iraq’s foreign ministry said. The summit was originally due to be held in Baghdad a year ago but was delayed by regional turmoil resulting from the Arab Spring uprisings, as well as concerns over violence in Iraq. As a result of the revolts, many familiar faces will not attend: since the beginning of last year, Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi has been killed, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak forced to step down, Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Saleh has handed power to his deputy and Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia has fled to Saudi Arabia. In addition, League-member Sudan lost a quarter of its territory last year after South Sudan voted overwhelmingly to secede in an independence referendum. Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir, wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes and genocide, will head his country’s delegation, but Zebari said he will not be arrested. Baghdad itself will be represented by new faces, with a Shiite-led and Kurdish-backed government taking centre stage in the place of Saddam’s Sunni-dominated regime. And for the first time, the head of state of a country hosting an Arab League summit is a Kurd - Iraqi President Jalal Talabani. — Agencies





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New leaders, new politics at Arab meet By Amelie Herenstein his week’s Arab summit in Baghdad will be very different from the one that met two years ago, with many long-time autocrats swept away by the political tsunami that has struck across the region. Instead, new Islamist leaders will sit alongside long-serving hereditary rulers, while one country returns having lost much its territory to a newly created state, and all in meetings led for the first time by a Kurd. On March 28, 2010, leaders of the 22-member Arab League met in Sirte, the home town of late Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi. At the time, the focus of discussion was Israeli settlement-building in the Palestinian territories, and they agreed to next meet in Baghdad in March 2011. But before then, mass protests erupted, first in Tunisia, that radically changed the Arab world and delayed the Iraqi gathering. Uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt drove Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak from power respectively, Gaddafi was killed after a months-long rebellion, and Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Saleh this year handed power to his deputy after nearly a year of protests and clashes. Sudan also saw a massive chunk of what was its southern territory separate into newly formed South Sudan. Syria, meanwhile, has been suspended from the League for its bloody crackdown on a year-long revolt that monitors say has left at least 9,100 people dead, and Damascus has been subjected to wide-ranging sanctions, with Western and some Arab leaders insisting that President Bashar Al-Assad’s days are numbered. But there have also been deeper changes, according to one analyst. “This is a result of the Arab tsunami,” said Antoine Basbous, head of the Paris-based Observatory of Arab Countries. “Heads of state are terrified of their people, and the reverse is no longer true... There will be a real mixing of the old and the new guards.” Triggered by an altercation between a policewoman and a roadside fruit seller who burned himself to death in protest in the Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzid in December 2010, the Arab Spring has also touched countries that escaped mass uprisings. Popular protests still take place in Bahrain, although rallies there last year were crushed by the monarchy, while parts of Saudi Arabia have also seen demonstrations organised by the kingdom’s minority Shiites. And in several of the countries where the protesters, often Internet-savvy youths, prevailed, autocrats have been replaced by Islamists who were either repressed or shut out of politics by those countries’ now-deposed leaders. The changes have created new fissures within the Arab League. Islamist political blocs have fared well in elections in Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco, are the main political force in Yemen, play a major role in Libya, and are expected to do well should Assad’s regime fall in Syria. The arrival of several new Islamist leaders and politicians could give the League a more Islamist identity, after decades of the bloc promoting pan-Arab nationalism. The small, wealthy emirate of Qatar, meanwhile, sits at the head of an Arab League committee dealing with events in Syria, and is leading calls for armed intervention in that country’s conflict. And tensions between Sunnis and Shiites in the region have rarely been so acute. The summit will also see what Iraqi officials have described as the re-emergence of their country as a regional leader, after decades of conflict and sanctions following its last turn as host, just months before nowexecuted dictator Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait. “It will be interesting to watch the interplay between Iraq and new leaders in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya,” said Reidar Visser, an Iraq analyst and editor of the website. “Iraq is interested in reaching out to those countries at the expense of the conservative Gulf states.” The summit will take place despite ongoing violence in Iraq, albeit markedly less than in 2006 and 2007 when all-out sectarian war blighted the country. Much of the capital has been shut down as part of security efforts, and the government has declared a week-long holiday to cover the period of the summit, encouraging people to stay at home. Whether or not the security measures deter attacks, they may also have the consequence of reducing interaction between the various Arab delegations. “The summit will be minimal - no more than a dozen heads of state spending no more than 12 hours in Baghdad on March 29, and departing on the day of their arrival without spending the night,” Basbous said. —AFP


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Arab League goes from bluster to clout By Samer Al-Atrush ack in 2008, flamboyant Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi warned rulers at an Arab League summit in Damascus that they, too, could face the fate of executed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. The assembled dictators, who between them ruled more than 300 million Arabs, burst out laughing. Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak was there, as was Syria’s Bashar Al-Assad and Tunisian dictator Zein El Abidine Ben Ali. More than three years later, a wave of uprisings has swept away Mubarak and Ben Ali and left Assad clinging to power. In Libya, rebels dragged Gaddafi out of a drain pipe and shot him dead. Buffeted by the uprisings, the Arab League too has been forced to change. At a Jan 2011 summit, after Ben Ali’s overthrow, then secretary general Amr Mussa warned that “the Tunisian revolution is not far from us”. This time none of the leaders laughed. The 22-member league, under the rotating leadership of the tiny Gulf monarchy Qatar, realised that it had to trim its sails to stay afloat in the turbulent region, said its deputy leader Ahmed Ben Hilli. “ The Arab League had to treat this issue and stand with the people,” he said in an interview in the Cairo headquarters of the Arab


League, wedged between the iconic protest hub of Tahrir Square and the Nile river. “Because if it didn’t take this position, it would be marginalised, and find itself outside the tidal wave that calls for democracy,” Ben Hilli said. Superpowers who had previously ignored the League - satirised in the past as a forum for inconsequential bluster began to pay attention. Its decision to call for a no-fly zone in Libya after suspending Tripoli from the League was seized upon by the United States and allies as key support to commence air strikes against Gaddafi’s troops. Ironically, the seeds of that Arab League decision might have been planted by US President Barak Obama’s predecessor George Bush, widely despised in the Arab world for his invasion of Iraq. Bush had also pressured resentful allies in the region to reform, and as democracy protest groups appeared in Egypt and elsewhere, the Arab League adopted a human rights charter in 2004. The rights charter, said Ben Hilli, opened the way for the organisation to intervene in domestic conflicts. “There was a forceful response by the Libyan leadership, which threatened to wipe out every member of the opposition, and that was considered a violation of the charter,” he said. But there were also oth-

er factors, as Ben Hilli readily admits, that led to the League’s call for a no fly zone, knowing it would lead to NATO airstrikes. “The regime in Libya was shunned by many Arab countries. It had problems with most Arab countries and that made matters easier,” he said. Another, decisive factor was Qatar’s leadership of the League. “It was one of the factors in reviving the League, because the (League) leadership played its role forcefully and actively,” he said. The monarchy, with roughly 300,000 citizens and vast natural gas reserves, had sought for years to carve an influential regional role, often using its popular AlJazeera satellite news channel for that purpose. “Qatar, with its immense wealth wants to make itself heard. It wants to be able to shape events,” said Theodore Karasik, an analyst with the Dubai-based Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis. Qatar spearheaded the Arab League’s response on Libya and Syria, he said. “That was the moment the Arab League grew some teeth and became a regional entity that could make or break a situation rather than being a regional club.” The monarchy sent warplanes to join NATO in bombing Gaddafi’s troops, and sent weapons and soldiers to help the rebels. It has also led the opposition to

Assad, forming with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries the League’s hawkish camp which led a successful effort to suspend Syria’s membership and boycott the regime. The fall or weakening of regional pillars such as Egypt and Syria has given the wealthy Gulf countries even more clout in the League. Their influence has also kept the Arab League from coming down strongly against the Bahraini government’s deadly crackdown on democracy protests, which Ben Hilli described as “not a dangerous violent response.” It also left the matter of the Yemen’s uprising, which led to President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s resignation, to the Gulf Cooperation Council to deal with, he said. But the alignment of interests - of democracy protesters, conservative Gulf countries and Western powers that had supported the likes of Mubarak - has rejuvenated the Arab League, which hopes to maintain its newfound clout. Secretary General Nabil Al-Arabi tasked former Algerian foreign minister and UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi to design a plan to restructure the League “to put forward a vision that gives the League foundations to deal with these new developments”, said Ben Hilli. One proposal is a new, robust League security council, he said. — AFP

Cheney waited longer than average for heart By Julie Steenhuysen and Debra Sherman t 71, former Vice President Dick Cheney was older than average for a heart transplant and had to wait longer than the typical patient as well - 20 months compared with a year or less. The fact that he was still able to receive a donor heart after surviving five heart attacks shows he must have been in excellent health, doctors said on Sunday. They also pointed to advances in care that have made it possible for older patients to still be good transplant candidates. Cheney is recovering at a Washington-area hospital after undergoing the surgery on Saturday. “He’s obviously received superb care,” said Dr James Kirklin, director of cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a recent past president of the International Society of Heart & Lung Transplantation. “He’s an elderly man who likely has taken very, very good care of himself to be in this good shape at age 71. It appears that he has been relatively lucky to have avoided major organ problems that would have precluded a transplant,” said Kirklin, who is not treating Cheney. Hospitals have traditionally set 65 as the upper limit for heart transplant. But older patients increasingly are getting them, and there is no absolute cutoff age. “Dick Cheney’s overall risk would probably be a bit higher than a 60-year-old, but the most important thing would be the function of his organs, which we analyze in great detail,” Kirklin. Dr Valluvan Jeevanandam, chief of cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Chicago Medical Center, said his hospital has been doing transplants on increasingly older patients. “They’re not that different. The key is co-morbidities,” he said, referring to other chronic conditions that affect the health of the transplant recipient. Older patients undergo a rigorous evaluation and are screened for cancer, neurological abnormalities, kidney and liver dysfunction and other problems. Jeevanandam said a 71-old-year-old man has a 10-year survival rate of 60 percent to 65 percent. “I can’t predict how Cheney will do,” he said. Assuming that Cheney’s kidneys and other organ systems were working properly at the time of the transplant and he suffers no issues


with organ rejection, the latest procedure could extend the former vice president’s life by a decade or so, said Dr Randall Starling, a specialist in cardiac transplants at the Cleveland Clinic. “They have to be an excellent candidate without significant risk factors because age itself is a risk factor,” Starling said. In order to qualify for a heart transplant, patients must have end-stage heart failure but be otherwise healthy enough to undergo heart transplant surgery. The procedure uses a

donor heart is implanted into the patient to replace a heart that has become so diseased it is no longer able to pump enough blood to keep organs working properly. Cheney has survived five heart attacks - his first at age 37 - and his care has run the gambit of interventions, ranging from coronary stents to prop open blocked heart arteries, heart bypass surgery to re-route blood flow around diseased arteries, an implantable heart defibrillator to safeguard against potentially dangerous rhythms. In July 2010, Cheney underwent a procedure to have an artificial heart pump implanted called a ventricular assist device or VAD that takes over the pumping function of a diseased heart for patients in end-stage heart failure. The device is often used as a bridge to a transplant, offering a way of keeping organ systems in good enough working order for the patient to accept a donor heart. Doctors said Cheney could have stayed on the VAD, which has increasingly become a permanent solution for some patients. Cheney had been on a waiting list for a heart transplant for 20 months, which was a bit longer than the average wait time of six months to a year, according to a study published last year in the journal Circulation. About 5 million Americans have heart failure, and an estimated 400,000 to 700,000 new cases of heart failure are diagnosed each year, according to the Heart Failure Society of America. Some 3,000 Americans are on the waiting list for a heart transplant on any given day, and only about 2,000 donor hearts are available each year, according to the National Heart Lung & Blood Institute. “He waited quite a long time - nearly two years on a device. Even though the waiting lists are very long, that would be an extended wait for a heart transplant,” Kirklin said. Patients on VAD devices can experience blood clots and infections, and doctors said it was not clear whether a complication with his VAD device may have suddenly moved Cheney higher on the transplant list. “Did he crash in terms of his condition? How did he get to the top of the (wait) list? There are a lot of things doctors and hospitals can do to get a patient to the top of the list,” said Dr. Eric Topol of Scripps Clinic Torrey Pines in California. — Reuters


sp orts

Pedrosa fit and fast

Rugby players swept to sea

MADRID: Dani Pedrosa has fully recovered from his spate of injuries and is excited about his prospects on the new 1000cc bikes as he sets out in search of his maiden MotoGP title in 2012. The 26-year-old Spaniard, runner-up in the world championship in 2007 and 2010, has suffered a string of injury setbacks in recent seasons and missed four races last year after breaking his collarbone at the French Grand Prix. “I have been able to do a lot of physical preparation this pre-season and I have been able to recover from a lot of my old injuries,” a relaxed and smiling Pedrosa told Reuters on Monday. “Now I am much better, and feeling really good.” The Repsol Honda rider, who finished fourth last season, has just finished three days of official testing in Jerez, Spain, where his team mate and champion Casey Stoner set the fastest lap time. Pedrosa set the second-fastest time, getting to within 0.377 seconds of the Australian, and there was little separating him from his great rival and compatriot Jorge Lorenzo on a Yamaha. — Reuters

JOHANNESBURG: A team of rugby players with championship hopes relished practicing on the beach, away from their impoverished township in southeastern South Africa. But after going for a post-practice swim on Sunday, team members were swept away by rough seas and a strong current. One player drowned and five others remained missing yesterday. John Fletcher, coordinator for the Coastal Water Rescue Squad, said his volunteers rescued 15 of the players, but were unable to resuscitate one of the men, and five remained missing. He said strong winds created the rough conditions on the water. Capt. Andre Beegte, a police spokesman, said helicopters were being used as the search continued Monday. Searchers patrolled the coastline on horses and all-terrain vehicles, and police divers also were called in, Beegte said. Mncedisi Mazomba, a player-manager for the Motherwell Rugby Football Club, said city officials have arranged for counseling for relatives of the dead man and for those missing and presumed dead. He said the team was formed in 1992 as an outlet for boys and young men from Port Elizabeth’s Motherwell Township. It kept them away from crime and other dangers, he said. The club had three teams that played other minor league teams along South Africa’s eastern coast, and even traveled as far as Cape Town, on the western coast. — AP

NBA results/standings Phoenix 108, Cleveland 83; Minnesota 117, Denver 100; Atlanta 139, Utah 133 (OT ); Boston 88, Washington 76; San Antonio 93, Philadelphia 76; Oklahoma City 103, Miami 87; Portland 90, Golden State 87; Memphis 102, LA Lakers 96. (OT denotes overtime win) Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT 22 .551 Philadelphia 27 Boston 26 22 .542 NY Knicks 24 25 .490 Toronto 16 33 .327 New Jersey 16 34 .320

GB .5 3 11 11.5

Chicago Indiana Milwaukee Cleveland Detroit

Central Division 40 10 .800 28 19 .596 22 26 .458 17 29 .370 16 32 .333

10.5 17 21 23

Miami Orlando Atlanta Washington Charlotte

Southeast Division 35 12 .745 31 18 .633 30 20 .600 11 37 .229 7 39 .152

5 6.5 24.5 27.5

Western Conference Northwest Division Oklahoma City 37 12 .755 26 23 .531 Utah Denver 26 23 .531 Minnesota 24 26 .480 Portland 23 26 .469

11 11 13.5 14

LA Lakers LA Clippers Phoenix Golden State Sacramento

Pacific Division 30 19 .612 27 21 .563 25 24 .510 20 27 .426 17 31 .354

2.5 5 9 12.5

San Antonio Dallas Memphis Houston New Orleans

Southwest Division 33 14 .702 28 22 .560 26 21 .553 26 23 .531 12 36 .250

6.5 7 8 21.5

Stewart wins rain-shortened race FONTANA: When dark clouds ominously obscured majestic Mount Baldy north of Auto Club Speedway early in Sunday’s race, NASCAR’s drivers all realized they were probably in for a short day on a long track. Nobody did a better job racing until the raindrops fell than Tony Stewart. Stewart got his second NASCAR victory of the season when rain shortened the race at Auto Club Speedway by 71 laps, extending the defending Sprint Cup champion’s unusually strong start. Kyle Busch finished second, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. added to his good start to the season in third. “You hate to have it end with rain like that,” Stewart said. “But we’ve lost some that way, and we didn’t back into the lead.” Stewart has won seven of the last 15 races, including Las Vegas last month, in a remarkable stretch of dominance for a driver who rarely gets rolling until summer. Although Stewart sees nothing special about his approach to the new season, he’s clearly focused. Stewart and new crew chief Steve Addington didn’t mention the rain to each other until moments before it hit one end of the 2-mile oval, but they had already done the work necessary to win. “It’s been nice to get off to a good start this year the way we have,” said Stewart, who has been even more impressive this year despite firing crew chief Darian Grubb last December. “The history shows the last 13 years, we haven’t had the strongest start the first third of the year, but I’m really excited about the start we’ve got going. Daytona was probably our weakest race, and I know I made decisions trying to make things happen and it didn’t work out. I’m really proud of what Steve and all our guys have done.” Stewart’s Chevrolet passed Busch 44 laps before the race was stopped when the looming rain clouds finally burst and halted a race run entirely on green flags to that point. Although a few drivers weren’t happy when the race was called off after a delay of just over 30 minutes amid steadily worsening rain, Stewart collected his 46th career win and his second at Fontana. “Playing to the weather, everybody is trying to get everything they can get toward the midway point of that race,” Stewart said. Defending race winner Kevin Harvick was fourth, and Carl Edwards was fifth. Greg Biffle, Edwards’ Roush Fenway Racing teammate, finished sixth and kept a seven-point lead on Harvick atop the points standings. — AP

Darts world mourns death of Jocky Wilson LONDON: The world of darts is mourning the death of Jocky Wilson, a colorful character from a vanished age when overweight men clutching pints of beer and a cigarette commanded the attention of a national television audience. The former miner and coal delivery man, who emerged from a council estate in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, to conquer the bullseye and become world champion in 1982 and 1989, died on Saturday at the age of 62. “Everything about Jocky Wilson ... speaks of another age,” commented the Times newspaper in a second page leader article under a headline that declared nothing was more British than a darts hero. Even a toothless one. “With none of his own teeth by the age of 30, and a physique designed for the pub, he was a sporting hero for a time when sports and pubs were not, quite, incompatible,” said the Times. — Reuters

Hawks silence Jazz ATLANTA: Joe Johnson scored 37 points and Josh Smith added 22 as the Atlanta Hawks ended Utah’s sixgame winning streak with a 139-133 victory Sunday in the NBA’s first quadruple-overtime game since 1997. The four overtimes tied for the third-longest game in NBA history. It was the ninth NBA game to go four OTs and the first since Phoenix beat Portland 140-139 on Nov. 14, 1997. Al Jefferson finished with 28 points and 17 rebounds, and Paul Millsap had 25 points and 13 boards for the Jazz before both players fouled out in the final overtime. Johnson ended the first quarter with 18 points after going 8 of 8 in the period. He missed eight of his next nine shots, including a potential game-winning runner with 3 seconds left in regulation, before hitting a 3-pointer that forced the third overtime. With 16.9 seconds remaining in the fourth OT, Johnson’s 20-foot jumper over C.J. Miles gave the Hawks a 135-131 lead. Jeff Teague, who had 18 points and nine assists, added a pair of free throws with 13 seconds to go to make it 137-133. Johnson’s two free throws sealed the victory with 5.5 seconds remaining.

Wayne Ellington added 17 points for the Timberwolves, who have gone 3-6 since point guard Ricky Rubio was lost for the season March 9 to a torn ACL in his left knee. Kenneth Faried had 17 points, and JaVale McGee had 13 points and 11 rebounds for Denver. Love had 51 points and 14 rebounds Friday night in a double-overtime loss at Oklahoma City. Suns 108, Cavaliers 83 At Cleveland, Marcin Gortat and Markieff Morris scored 22 points each as Phoenix never trailed against Cleveland. Steve Nash added 13 assists for the Suns, who have

away jumper and two free throws that proved the difference in the final minute, leading Portland over Golden State. David Lee’s tip-in gave the Warriors an 87-86 lead before Aldridge hit a jumper to put Portland in front with 39.9 seconds left. Aldridge followed with two free throws. Golden State rookie Charles Jenkins, who scored a career-high 27 points, missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer as the Warriors lost for the sixth time in eight games. Grizzlies 102, Lakers 96 At Los Angles, Rudy Gay scored 18 points and O.J.

Thunder 103, Heat 87 At Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant had 28 points, nine rebounds and tied his season high with eight assists, and Kendrick Perkins added a season-best 16 points as Oklahoma City opened a difficult stretch in their schedule by beating Miami. The two title contenders opened the day tied for the second-best record in the NBA, three games behind the Chicago Bulls in the race for the top overall seed in the playoffs. Dwyane Wade led Miami with 22 points but also committed a season-worst six turnovers. LeBron James had 17 points, seven assists and four turnovers. Spurs 93, 76ers 76 At San Antonio, Tony Parker scored 21 points as San Antonio beat Philadelphia in a matchup of short-handed teams. DeJuan Blair added 19 points for the Spurs, who won for the seventh time in eight games and swept the season series with the 76ers despite being without Tim Duncan. With the Spurs playing three games in three nights, coach Gregg Popovich gave Duncan his second day off this season. Elton Brand led the 76ers with 12 points and Jodie Meeks added 11. Celtics 88, Wizards 76 At Boston, Avery Bradley scored a career-high 23 points, and Paul Pierce added 21 points and eight rebounds to help Boston beat Washington. Boston was without guards Ray Allen (ankle) and Mickael Pietrus (head injury) but still had plenty to hold off the struggling Wizards. Rajon Rondo had 11 assists, while Kevin Garnett finished with 10 points and six assists for the Celtics, who shot 22 for 34 (65 percent) in the first half. Boston led by as much as 25. Jordan Crawford scored 20 points, and Kevin Seraphin had 15 points and 11 rebounds for Washington. John Wall added 12 points and nine assists. T’wolves 117, Nuggets 100 At Minneapolis, Kevin Love followed up his 51-point game with 30 points and 21 rebounds to lead Minnesota over Denver. Luke Ridnour had 25 points and six assists, and

LOS ANGELES: Lakers forward Pau Gasol, middle, grabs a rebound from Memphis Grizzlies center Hamed Haddadi (right) as Grizzlies guard Jeremy Pargo (left) looks on during the second half of an NBA basketball game. —AP won six of eight to get back into the Western Conference playoff race. Phoenix trail Denver and Houston by 1 1/2 games in the race for the final playoff spot in the conference. Rookie Kyrie Irving scored 16 points for Cleveland, which has lost six of seven. Gortat scored the game’s first 10 points, including two dunks and three layups, to push Phoenix out to a 12-0 lead. Irving ended the drought with a 3-pointer 8:21 into the game. T Blazers 90, Warriors 87 At Portland, Oregon, Raymond Felton scored 24 points and LaMarcus Aldridge had 18, including a fade-

Mayo had 12 of his 16 in the fourth quarter, helping Memphis avoid a winless road trip by beating the Los Angeles Lakers. Mike Conley added 13 points and Tony Allen had 12 for the Grizzlies, who squandered a 14point third-quarter lead before pulling away in the fourth. Andrew Bynum scored 30 points on 11-of-16 shooting to lead the Lakers. Kobe Bryant finished with 18 points after a slow start and Ramon Sessions also had 18 in his second start with Los Angeles. Pau Gasol had 16 points on just 4-of-15 shooting while adding 14 rebounds. Mayo accounted for all the points during a 70 run in the fourth, during which the Grizzlies took an 89-76 lead. —AP

Quarter Miles Club’s team during the last preparations

Kuwait ready for UAE Drag Race KUWAIT: A team from the Kuwait Quarter Mile Club left for the United Arab Emirates to take part in the 2012 UAE Drag Race Championship which takes place this upcoming weekend at the Yas Marina Circuit. “Kuwaiti racers participate in the tournament coming

from their impressive showing at the 2012 Bahrain Drag Race Championship”, said board member of the Kuwaiti club, Ibrahim Al-Munaiseer, as he talked about the team’s morale as he was referring to the regional tournament held last weekend and was dominated by

Kuwaiti racers. The technical inspection for all cars participating in the event will take place tomorrow evening followed by free trials the same day. The qualifying rounds take place on Thursday before the main race is held on Friday.


sp orts

Woods ends title drought

CARLSBAD: Yani Tseng, of Taiwan, holds the keys to a Kia Altima as she stands next to the trophy after winning the Kia Classic LPGA golf tournament.—AP

Tseng wins Kia Classic CARLSBAD: Top-ranked Yani Tseng won the Kia Classic on Sunday for her second straight LPGA Tour title and third in five events this year, closing with a 2-under 70 for a six-stroke victory. “Today the first hole I just kind of felt like every day is the same,” Tseng said. “I didn’t feel like today was Sunday. I didn’t feel like I had a three-shot lead. I just focused on playing one shot at a time. I think I did a good job to just kind of focus on myself.” The 23-year-old Taiwanese star led wireto-wire and finished at 14-under 274 on La Costa’s Legends Course. She became the second-youngest player to reach 15 LPGA Tour win.Nancy Lopez was 22 when she reached the mark. Tseng won the LPGA Founders Cup last week in Phoenix and also won the LPGA Thailand in February. She led the tour last season with seven victories - including major victories in the LPGA Championship and Women’s British Open - and finished the year with 12 worldwide titles. “I think it is her work ethic,” said Brittany Lincicome, 11 shots back at 3 under. “She has put a lot of effort into being No. 1. She has definitely raised the bar for the rest of us.” South Korea’s Sun Young Yoo had a 71 to finish second. “I think I played pretty good,” Yoo said. “I just didn’t make the short ones out there. It was a little too bumpy. She (Tseng) played great. There is nothing I can say. Yeah, it was fun to watch.”

Shanshan Feng shot a 67 - the best round of the day - to tie for third with South Korea’s Jiyai Shin at 7 under. Shin had a 74. Tseng began the round with a threestroke lead over Shin. The straight-hitting Shin birdied the second hole to pull within one, but struggled with her putter, missing par ties of 3 feet or closer on Nos. 6, 12 and 15. Tseng chipped in for birdie on the par-4 fifth and also birdied the par-4 ninth. She made a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-4 15th and took a six-stroke lead when Shin bogeyed the par-4 16th. Tseng had a threeputt bogey from 30 feet on the final hole, her only three-putt green of the week. The Kraft Nabisco Championship, the first major of the year, is next week at Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage. Last year, Tseng had the 54-hole lead, but closed with a 74 and lost to Stacy Lewis. It was the last time in seven events that Tseng has lost going into the final round with the lead. “I was very, very close last year,” Tseng said. “But when I look back, I was very happy that I didn’t win because that’s why I’m learning. If you keep winning, you don’t know what you’re going to learn. “Last year was a huge experience for me, and I’m just heading into next week and I’m look forward to it. I know what I’m going to do and still play one shot at a time, be patient, and I love that golf course. The golf course suits me pretty well and suits my game. I can’t wait to start on Thursday.”—AP

GROS ISLET: Australia spin bowler Xavier Doherty dives to intercept a shot off West Indies’ captain Darren Sammy (rear) during their fifth and final one-day international cricket match.—AP

Australia level series ST LUCIA: Australia beat West Indies by 30 runs in the fifth and final one-day international at the Beausejour Stadium in St Lucia on Sunday to level their series at 2-2. The tourists, who had struggled to score runs on the Caribbean pitches, finally got their act together, piling up 281 for nine from their 50 overs. Their top three batsmen, David Warner (69), Shane Watson (66) and Peter Forrest (53), all made half-centuries, to set the platform for a big total. But the West Indian bowlers did a good job of restricting Australia to under 300, conceding less than 70 runs in the last 10 overs, with Andre Russell capturing four wickets and Kemar Roach three. “At one time it looked like we would be chasing 330 but we pulled it back,” West Indies captain Darren Sammy said at the postmatch presentation. “Against the world number one (ranked team), with our backs against the wall, it was fantastic effort from the team. “We have a ‘never say die’ attitude, everyone played their part, as a captain I was well supported and it’s good to see us getting results.” Sammy top-scored for West Indies with a

defiant 84 before he was the last man out and the home side were dismissed for 251 in the 48th over. Opener Adrian Barath made a patient 42 but got little support from the West Indian top order with Johnson Charles and Marlon Samuels both failing to score and Darren Bravo making just three. “It was good for us in the end, to close off the game, even though a fantastic innings from Darren Sammy ran us close,” said Australia skipper Watson. “We are in a bit of a transition phase, it’s been a pleasing series, there are a few things we have to work on but we’re going the right way.” The five-match series ended level at 2-2 after Australia won the first and last match and West Indies claimed victory in the second and fourth. The third game ended in a tie. The teams will play two Twenty20s, starting on Tuesday, before three tests. “I think we should have won the series,” said West Indian allrounder Kieron Pollard, who was named player of the series. “Both teams played well but I think we have won back some of the hearts of the people of the West Indies.”—Reuters

SCOREBOARD Scoreboard from yesterday’s fifth and final one-day international between West Indies and Australia at Gros Islet, St Lucia. Australia innings S.Watson c Samuels b Russell 66 D.Warner c Dwayne Bravo b Narine 69 P.Forrest c Roach b Russell 53 G.Bailey c Russell b Roach 19 B.Lee b Narine 12 M.Hussey c Pollard b Russell 25 D.Hussey c Baugh b Russell 0 M.Wade c Darren Bravo b Roach 26 C.McKay c Darren Bravo b Roach 0 X.Doherty not out 1 B.Hilfenhaus not out 0 Extras (b-2 lb-1 w-7) 10 Total (for nine wickets, 50 overs) 281 Fall of wickets: 1-118 2-161 3-193 4-212 5-241 6-241 7-279 8-279 9-279 Bowling: Roach 9-0-53-3 (w-1), Dwayne Bravo 6-0-40-0 (w-3), Narine 10-0-55-0, Sammy 6-0-290 (w-1), Russell 9-0-61-4 (w-1), Samuels 10-0-400 (w-1).

West Indies innings J.Charles c & b Lee 0 A.Barath c Bailey b Doherty 42 M.Samuels c Wade b Lee 0 Darren Bravo c Wade b McKay 3 Dwayne Bravo c Bailey b Watson 19 K.Pollard c M.Hussey b Watson 33 C.Baugh c Hilfenhaus b Lee 13 A.Russell lbw b Doherty 41 D.Sammy c M.Hussey b Hilfenhaus 84 S.Narine c Wade b McKay 7 K.Roach not out 2 Extras (lb-1 w-6) 7 Total (all out, 47.2 overs) 251 Fall of wickets: 1-0 2-5 3-37 4-63 5-76 6-111 7118 8-219 9-232 10-251 Bowling: Lee 9-3-42-3, Hilfenhaus 8.2-1-36-1 (w2), McKay 10-0-68-2, Watson 10-0-44-2 (w-3), Doherty 10-0-60-2 (w-1) Australia won by 30 runs to level series at 2-2

ORLANDO: Tiger Woods ended his two and a half year drought on the PGA Tour when he won the Arnold Palmer Invitational by five strokes on Sunday, sending a warning signal to his rivals ahead of next month’s Masters. The former world number one shot a final round 70 to finish at 13-under-par at the Bay Hill course where had won six times before. The American claimed his 72nd PGA Tour title and his first since the BMW Championship in Sept. 2009. “It does feel good. It feels really good. It has been a lot of hard work,” Woods said. “I am so thankful for a lot of people helping me along the way, they know who they are.” Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell, the 2010 US Open champion, finished second, five shots behind Woods, after starting the final round a shot in arrears. The win was the first for Woods since the very public breakdown of his marriage after sordid details of his affairs were revealed. It was also the first victory for Woods since the rebuilding of his swing by coach Sean Foley and comes just two weeks after he limped out of a PGA event at Doral, raising doubts about his fitness for the Masters. McDowell was never able to mount a serious challenge to Woods after he made a double bogey on the first hole, going from one greenside bunker to another and closed with a 74. “I believed I had a chance but I just never really got close enough to the guy,” said McDowell. “He played well and deserves his win and it is great to have him back winning tournaments. I think he is great for the world of golf and the excitement levels, atmosphere, television and fans, just great for this game,” he added. Woods led by four at the turn and maintained his composure on the back nine in a time to end his title drought and boost his confidence ahead of the Masters. “This is a steady progression, this was coming. I’ve been close a number of times and just had to stay the course,” said Woods. Fast greens and high winds made for some challenging conditions but Woods limited him-

self to two bogeys and made some key saves, including a 13-foot putt for par on the 15th that gave Woods a four shot lead and effectively ended McDowell’s hopes. “That was an important putt,” said Woods. “Three shots (is) easy to make up but four is a little bit different,” he said. “That was an important putt because, a three shot lead on the last three

“It was incredible to have that type of support here,” said Woods. “I used to live here for a long time, it was neat to see some of my friends come out and follow and it was just great atmosphere around all week.” Woods has already 14 majors but none since the 2008 US Open and will be among the favourites to challenge at Augusta, along with

ORLANDO: Tiger Woods hoists the championship trophy after winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament at Bay Hill.—AP holes, if he makes eagle and I, says soup it on 16 or 18....three shots easy to make up but four is a little bit different...pretty comforting,” he said. Fans followed Woods down to the 18th green, cheering wildly and after he made par on the final hole, the old chant of “Tiger, Tiger” boomed out from the gallery.

the world’s top two Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy. “I’m excited there is no doubt. I am looking forward for the momentum that I’ve built here and the things that I have worked on in my game all coming together at the right time,” he said.—Reuters

SCOREBOARD WELLINGTON: Scoreboard at the close of play on the fourth day of the third and final test between New Zealand and South Africa at the Basin Reserve in Wellington yesterday: New Zealand won the toss and chose to field South Africa first innings 474-9 dec. New Zealand first innings (overnight 65-0) D.Flynn c Boucher b Philander 45 M.Guptill lbw b Philander 59 B.McCullum c Boucher b Steyn 31 R.Taylor retired hurt 18 K.Williamson c Boucher b Steyn 39 D.Brownlie c Steyn b Philander 29 D.Vettori c Rudolph b Philander 30 K.van Wyk c sub b de Lange 7 D. Bracewell b Philander 0 M. Gillespie c de Villiers b Philander 10 C. Martin not out 2 Extras (lb-2, nb-1, w-2) 5 Total (for nine wickets, 96 overs) 275 Fall of wickets: 1-86 2-136 3-145 4-219 5-242 6-263 7-263 8-263 9-275 Bowling: Steyn 23-8-41-2; Philander 22-4-81-6 (nb-1, w1); Morkel 20-6-54-0; De Lange 21-1-74-0 (w-1); Duminy 10-0-23-0. South Africa second innings A.Petersen not out 38 G.Smith not out 34 Extras (w-2, nb-1) 3 Total (for no wickets, 15 overs) 75 Still to bat: Hashim Amla, Jean-Paul Duminy, AB de Villiers, Jacques Rudolph, Mark Boucher, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Marchant de Lange Bowling: Martin 6-0-24-0; Bracewell 5-0-29-0 (w-2); Gillespie 4-0-22-0 (nb-1) South Africa lead the three-match series 1-0.

S Africa extend lead, Taylor breaks arm WELLINGTON: New Zealand finished the fourth day of the final Test against South Africa yesterday trailing by 274 runs having lost Ross Taylor to a broken arm after the skipper was struck by a Morne Morkel bouncer. Vernon Philander took his sixth five-wicket haul in just seven tests as the Black Caps were bowled out for 275 before Graeme Smith and Alviro Petersen eased South Africa to a comfortable advantage in the final 15 overs of the day. Smith was on 34 at the close of play with first-innings centurion Petersen on 38 as the visitors moved to 75 without loss in their second innings to add to their tally of 474 for nine declared in their first. Taylor was hit just above the left wrist by Morkel’s delivery and, after facing one more ball, walked off the field at Basin Reserve to undergo an X-ray, which showed he had broken his left ulna. “When your captain gets injured and has to come off it’s devastating for the team and things change with that,” New Zealand assistant coach Trent Woodhill told reporters. “The team wants to make sure they can look after their skipper by putting in a performance tomorrow morning or tomorrow afternoon and make sure that we back Ross up.” Taylor did not return to the crease in New Zealand’s first innings and was “unlikely” to make any further appearance unless it was absolutely necessary, Woodhill added. “If it’s not going to damage his hand then he will probably bat, but that comes down to (facing) balls rather than overs and (we) will cross that bridge when we come to it. “He’s a resilient character and if he thought what was best for the team he would, but he won’t be batting at (his normal position of) four tomorrow.” Philander, playing just his seventh test, finished with figures of six for 81. The 26-year-old, who took 10 wickets in the second test to help South Africa to a nine-wicket victory and 1-0 series lead, also claimed his 50th test victim when he bowled Doug Bracewell for a second-ball duck. He has taken 21 wickets this series at 14.09. Mark Gillespie hit two boundaries off Philander to ensure New Zealand just avoided the follow on target before he became the South African’s sixth victim of the innings. “I think we would have more than likely made them follow on, but obviously we’ve missed it by one run thanks to me,” Philander said with a grin. “Yeah we would have made them follow on it’s just a pity we didn’t get it. It’s all in the start tomorrow morning. Hopefully we can get 350-plus and set them a good target.”—Reuters

GALLE: Sri Lanka’s captain Mahela Jayawardene plays a shot as England’s wicket keeper Matt Prior watches during the first day’s play of the first Test cricket match. —AP

Jayawardene’s ton frustrates England GALLE: Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene combined luck and pluck to hit his 30th test century and steer the hosts to a respectable 289 for eight wickets on day one of the first test against England yesterday. The 34-year-old right-hander remained not out on 168, his seventh test century against England, after a stellar 290-ball knock that stood out in a scorecard where the second highest score was Dinesh Chandimal’s 27. Jayawardene, who hit 20 fours and three sixes, had Chanaka Welegedara (10) for company at stumps. His cause was helped by England’s sloppy fielding with the visitors dropping him on 64, 90, 147 and 152. Monty Panesar was the chief offender, flooring two catches after England had taken the second new ball. “ The first session I had to dig deep because we lost wickets...later I could play some shots,” Jayawardene, who passed 2,000 test runs at the venue, told Sky Sports. The home team captain figured in halfcentury partnerships with Thilan Samaraweera (20), Dinesh Chandimal (27) and Prasanna Jayawardene (23) but none of this partners stayed long. “Mahela played unbelievably well, it’s probably one of the best test innings I’ve ever seen,” James Anderson (3-56), the pick of the English bowlers, said. England’s persistence on the field paid off as they took wickets consistently in the three sessions. They picked up three in the final session before the new ball was taken. Anderson took his third for the day when he trapped Prasanna Jayawardene lbw off the fifth ball after tea. Suraj Randiv followed him for 12, failing to beat Andrew Strauss’s direct throw, and debutant Samit Patel took his second wicket when he trapped Rangana Herath (five) lbw. Earlier, England new ball bowlers

Anderson and Stuart Broad had rocked Sri Lanka in their opening spells, claiming three quick wickets before the hosts staged a recovery. On a dry batting track, Sri Lanka’s delight at winning the toss and taking first lease of the wicket was short-lived as they slumped to 15 for three within the first 24 minutes of play. Anderson struck first, forcing Lahiru Thirimanne (three) to edge a catch to Graeme Swann at third slip when the batsman poked at a delivery without moving his feet. Anderson struck again with his next delivery, sending back Kumar Sangakkara, the number-one ranked test batsman, for a firstball duck when he pushed at a full-length delivery for an edge to wicket-keeper Matt Prior. Jayawardene survived Anderson’s hat-trick delivery but Broad struck in the following over when he had Tillakaratne Dilshan (11) edging a catch to Strauss at first slip. England wasted both their reviews inside the first 23 overs. Just when they were showing signs of a recovery, Sri Lanka lost Samaraweera immediately after lunch when he was run out in the third over of the afternoon. England picked up the bonus wicket of Chandimal who top-edged a catch to Ian Bell at cover to give debutant Patel his first Test wicket. Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford praised his team for their fighting spirit. “Lots of sides would have faltered under the pressure from the situation we were in earlier on today, but...what I have come to know of these lads working with them over the last six-seven weeks is that they show huge character. “They are never down and out and they are always fighting back,” he added. “I can’t honestly say enough of the quality of Jayawardene’s innings.”—Reuters

SCOREBOARD GALLE: Scoreboard at the close of the first day of the first test between Sri Lanka and England at Galle yesterday: Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to bat. Sri Lanka first innings L. Thirimanne c Swann b Anderson T. Dilshan c Strauss b Broad K. Sangakkara c Prior b Anderson M. Jayawardene not out T. Samaraweera run out D. Chandimal c Bell b Patel P. Jayawardene lbw b Anderson S. Randiv run out

3 11 0 168 20 27 23 12

R. Herath lbw b Patel 5 C. Welegedara not out 10 Extras: (lb 6, nb 4) 10 Total: (for eight wickets, 90 overs) 289 Fall of wickets: 1-11 2-11 3-15 4-67 5-128 6-170 7-191 8-253 To bat: S. Lakmal Bowling: Anderson 17-5-56-3, Broad 18-1-66-1 (nb-4), Panesar 23-11-42-0, Swann 23-3-92-0, Patel 9-1-27-2.




HH the Amir GP a huge success

Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah — Photos by Sherif Ismail By Abdellatif Sharaa KUWAIT: HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad International Shooting Grand Prix came to a close on Sunday, at the end of a very successful week at all levels. Shooters from 36 countries competed to have the honor of winning in this championship, as well as the 10th Arab shooting tournament which was held parallel to the Grand Prix. As Serbia’s shooters took the lion’s share of the medal, and ended at the top of the final list, Kuwait was the first in the Arab shooting tournament despite a fierce competition with Qatar which ended in second place. Serbia won four gold medals and the same number in silver and one bronze medal. Kazakhstan was second with three gold, two silver and one bronze, Kuwait three gold, one silver and a bronze, Qatar one gold, two silver and one bronze, Slovenia one gold, two bronze, India two silver, one bronze, Bahrain one silver and one bronze, Morocco and Turkey one silver each, Korea, Libya, El Salvador, Uzbekistan, Oman, and UAE one bronze medal each. On the last day of competition, Qatar’s Masoud Al-Athba took the double trap gold after scoring 141 hits out of 150, followed by his compatriot Rashid Al-Athba with 140 and Kuwait’s Saad Al-Mutairi with 139. Kazakhstan’s Olga Dovgun,

who was world champion in 2002 and 2006, and four time world cup champion, took the 50m, prone rifle, ahead of Bahrain’s Azza Al-Qasmi and Uzbik Mamedova Sakina. Meanwhile, at the Arab championship, Kuwait topped the final list of medal winners with 10 gold medals, nine silver and five bronze, followed by Qatar nine gold, 13 silver, and eight bronze, Saudi Arabia four gold, five silver and two bronze, Bahrain four gold, three silver and six bronze, Oman four gold, one silver and three bronze, Tunis three gold, one bronze, Algeria two gold, two silver and one bronze, Morocco one gold, three silver and two bronze, Iraq one gold, one silver and three bronze, Lebanon one gold, and three bronze, UAE two silver and four bronze, and Syria one bronze. In the men’s team double trap Qatar was first, followed by Kuwait and Lebanon. Bahrain’s Azza Al-Qasmi won the 50m prone rifle gold medal followed by Qatar’s Matora AlAseeri and Bahrain’s Ayesha AlSaleh, while the teams gold went to Bahrain, the silver went to Qatar and Iraq took the bronze. Qatar’s Ayesha Al-Suwaidi won first place in the 50m prone rifle juniors, beating her compatriot Kholoud Al-Saeed and Kuwait’s Heba Erzougi. President of the Arab Shooting Federation, Vice-president of Kuwait Shooting

Duaij Al-Otaibi with some of the winners Federation, and Member of the Higher Organizing Committee of the HH the Amir Grand Prix and 10th Arab Championship Eng Duaij Al-Otaibi thanked HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad for his patronage of the two championships, adding that His Highness always supported sports at all levels. Al-Otaibi thanked all concerned government departments that removed all the obstacles on the way of the championships, and lauded the support from the Public Authority for Youth and Sports. Al-Otaibi also thanked the delegates who came to Kuwait, and their appreciation of the organizing committee, and pointed to the higher technical level of the competitions, which will reflect on the shooters during this important period, just before the Olympics.

Meanwhile, secretary general of the Arab and Kuwait Shooting Federations, and HH the Amir Grand Prix and 10th Arab Championship director lauded the strong competition between all shooters from 36 countries, including 16 Arab countries. He said that he is very satisfied about how competitions went through at the technical level, as Kuwaiti shooters were able to be on top of the teams list in the Arab Championship. Al-Osaimi said Kuwait’s presence was very distinguished at the Grand Prix, as Kuwait’s team was third after Serbia and Kazakhstan. Al-Osaimi expressed hope that HH the Amir International Grand Prix will be held in the coming year, which will for sure witness developments at the administrative, organizational

Sheikh Salman with the Kazakh delegation

Duaij Al-Otaibi, Mohammad Hisham and Obaid Al-Osaimi and technical levels through the increase of participating countries. Al-Osaimi praised the support of HH the Amir to athletes in general and shooters in particular, which had a great influence of having four from the

shooting club qualify for the London Olympics. Al-Osaimi concluded his statement by thanking the Public Authority for Youth and Sports, and all committees that participated in making the championship a success.

Argentina eyes London rowing glory

KET BISCAYNE: Venus Williams returns to Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada during the Sony Ericsson Open tennis tournament. —AP

Venus fights back from brink of defeat MIAMI: Venus Williams, playing her first tournament since returning from an autoimmune disease, continued her inspiring comeback at the Sony Ericsson Open on Sunday. The former world number one followed up her shock win over Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova with a nailbiting victory over Canadian wildcard Aleksandra Wozniak. Williams lost the opening set then saved a match point in the third before eventually prevailing 4-6 6-4 7-6 despite making 70 unforced errors. “I tried not to let anything discourage me today,” said Williams, who needed a wild card invitation just to get into the tournament. “I kept thinking about how I really need this match and I need these points. I keep thinking about the

Olympics and I need my points.” Williams, who was diagnosed last year with Sjogren’s syndrome, advanced to a fourth round meeting against former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic, who beat Daniela Hantuchova 6-2 7-6. “You have to be ready emotionally,” Williams said. “I think about how miserable I’m gonna feel when I have a loss and I still spend that same time having a win, so I just keep try to digging deeper.” Victoria Azarenka, the current women’s world number one, continued to build her winning streak while Rafa Nadal and Andy Murray both sailed into the fourth round. Azarenka was untroubled beating British wildcard Heather Watson 6-0 6-2. The Australian Open champion is unbeaten in 25 matches this year and on course for her fifth title of the sea-

son. Nadal is still chasing his first title this year but made light work of his third round clash with Radek Stepanek, winning 6-2 6-2. “I’m just happy to be in the fourth round, winning two matches with a positive feeling and with comfortable results,” said Nadal, who has made the Sony Ericsson Open final three times but never won. “I’ll just try to keep doing well and try to keep improving my level a little bit.” Murray, the fourth seed in the men’s tournament, was given a free ride into the fourth round when his Canadian opponent Milos Raonic withdrew due to an ankle strain he picked up in the second round against French qualifier Arnaud Clement. Murray, who won in Miami three years ago, will next play Gilles Simon of France. —Reuters

BUENOS AIRES: Getting to London was the theme at the Olympic rowing qualifying regatta in Tigre on Sunday although a pair of thirdplaced Uruguayan scullers celebrated as if they had already won the gold medal. Argentina’s brand new rowing premises in Tigre, a suburb of the capital on the Parana river delta, held four sculling finals involving rowers from all over Latin America. Others will have their chance at the final qualification regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland, in May. Argentine Santiago Fernandez, who placed fourth in the men’s singles sculls at the 2004 Athens Games and was Pan-American champion in 2007, will be going to his fourth Olympics after finishing second in the final won by Mexican Patrick Lolliger. Compatriot Milka Kraljev also qualified for her second Games, winning the women’s lightweight double sculls with Clara Rohner. “I’m happy, very happy. What we dreamt of many times has become true. Every day I’d go to bed thinking of this regatta and I think that by mentalising it so much, if became a

reality,” Kraljev told Reuters. Cuba’s Yunior Perez, who with Manuel Suarez won the men’s lightweight double sculls, said: “This is what all sportsmen and women want, to get to the Olympic Games. “This is my second occasion, I already managed it for Beijing where I got sixth place so now I want to equal or better that in London,” Perez said after beating hosts Argentina into second place. Uruguayan fans and members of the media went wild with their celebrations, making a huge noise for a small country when Emiliano Dumestre and Rodolfo Collazo came in third to snatch a berth in London. Mexicans Alan Armenta and Gerardo Sanchez, Pan-American champions in Guadalajara last October, were fourth and missed out. Peruvian Victor Aspillaga, an example of the perseverance needed to succeed by competitors from lesser sporting nations, will be going to his first Games at the age of 26 after taking third place among the six qualifiers in the men’s single sculls final. “It’s been a huge sacrifice but I’m very happy,” Aspillaga told Reuters, adding he was grateful to his father

for emotional and financial support. “As in Peru there’s very little support for sports, I’ve had the luck to have had that backing,” said Aspillaga, who has had to practise in very basic conditions. “The last year and a half (I trained) outside Lima, 180 kilometres away at a lake in a barren area where there was no light and I’d have to camp because it was the only place where I could row.” Cuba’s Yariulvis Cobas won the women’s single sculls final in which the top five secured an Olympic berth. Rowing in Latin America has lagged behind Europe, North America and Australia as a result of limited state support but a sign of improvement is Argentina’s Tigre course with new state of the art facilities installed last year. Olympic success has been limited with Argentina and Uruguay the only nations to win medals. Argentina have won four, including gold in the men’s doubles sculls in 1952 and single sculler Alberto Demiddi’s bronze in 1968 and silver in 1972. Uruguay have also claimed four Olympic rowing medals, one silver and three bronze. —Reuters

Pacquiao vows to ‘fight to the finish’ in tax case MANILA: Manny Pacquiao, widely regarded as the world’s best poundfor-pound boxer, said yesterday he would fight charges filed against him by the Philippines’ main revenue agency and that the case had affected his training for his next fight. Pacquiao, who has won world titles in eight different weight divisions, is facing contempt charges for what the Bureau of Internal Revenue calls his refusal to provide documents relating to his sources of income and tax payments. “I shall fight this case to the finish, until the last and final round,” Pacquiao told a news conference in Manila. “I cannot train hard with this excess baggage.” Pacquiao is scheduled to fight Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas on June 9. Elected congressman in 2010,

the 33-year-old described the case against him as “plain and simple harassment” and said he was being singled out by the revenue agency. “Over the years as a boxer, product endorser and businessman, I have not short-changed the government of what is due,” he told reporters. He added that the tax agency had sent summons to the wrong person and the wrong address while he was fighting Juan Manuel Marquez last November. Lawmaker Ralph Recto defended Pacquiao, saying he deserved to be treated better. “How much goodwill and pride has he given to the country?” he asked. On Friday, Kim Henares, head of the revenue bureau, told foreign correspondents the case against

Pacquiao was to compel him to submit 62 documents, including contracts for endorsement of products and services, and earnings from his fights and pay-per-view deals. “Basically, they were given a lot of chances to present it and they still were not able to,” Henares said, adding that Pacquiao’s representative had been to the tax office but had not presented the documents. She said the government would withdraw its contempt case against him once the documents had been submitted. Henares added that the bureau began an inquiry into Pacquiao’s tax records after it noted a huge drop in his tax payments in 2009. In 2008, he paid more than 50 million pesos (S1.16 million) but only 7 million the following year, she said. —Reuters


S P ORT S Preview


Chelsea are wish come true for Benfica LISBON: Benfica coach Jorge Jesus got his wish when his side drew Chelsea in the Champions League quarter-finals but the hosts will need all their firepower to inflict damage on the wounded Premier League club in today’s first leg. Benfica face Chelsea after being held to a frustrating 0-0 draw at Olhanense which left them in second place in Portugal, one point behind leaders Porto. “I haven’t changed my opinion, I am still happy to face Chelsea. All teams are strong, some more than others. Chelsea is performing a nice recovery, has a good team, but I still maintain my opinion,” coach Jesus said. “I prefer to play against English teams, it is true that maybe we adapt ourselves better to the English.” The Eagles played a major role in knocking Manchester United out of the tournament in the group phase, drawing twice against the Premier League champions. Coach Jorge Jesus left Pablo Aimar on the bench at the weekend and when he brought him on the Argentine got himself sent off. At least the 32-year-old playmaker will be rested and looking to make amends on Tuesday when the hosts will rely on him to orchestrate their attacks and create chances for goal machines Oscar Cardozo and Rodrigo. Cardozo is Benfica’s top scorer in the Champions League and champi-

onship. At the back Brazil centre back Luisao will likely form a partnership with compatriot Jardel in the absence of Ezequiel Garay who is doubtful. Chelsea’s revival under interim coach Roberto Di Matteo has stalled in the last week with a 2-1 defeat at Manchester City on Wednesday and an uninspiring performance when they were second best in Saturday’s goalless draw against Tottenham Hotspur. Di Matteo said after Saturday’s match that Chelsea would now probably have to win all of their eight remaining league matches to finish in the top four, but that looks as unlikely as their other possible route back into next season’s Champions Leaguewinning it this season. If they should get past Benfica they will face either Barcelona or AC Milan in the semi-final with one from Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or Olympique Marseille lurking in the final. Chelsea head to Lisbon with Di Matteo claiming the English FA and Premier League could be harming Chelsea’s Champions League chances by making them play three days before European games. Chelsea are facing seven matches in 20 days and, asked if Premier League teams should be allowed to play on Friday nights before European games, Di Matteo said: “Absolutely, yes. Because the other federations, they do tend to help their teams to be

LISBON: Benfica’s coach Jorge Jesus listens to questions during a news conference yesterday at Benfica’s Luz stadium in Lisbon. Benfica will play Chelsea today in a Champions League quarterfinals soccer match. — AP

able to perform as good as possible in Europe. It just doesn’t seem to be happening in England.” “The fixture list has to take into consideration the fact that teams are maybe qualifying in the FA Cup, going through, and in the Champions League, going through, and try to give them an equal possibility to win games. “Because there is no doubt in my mind that, on Wednesday, City had a slight advantage because they didn’t play on Sunday.” Di Matteo also said Chelsea were in danger of becoming “victims” in Europe, with their FA Cup semi-final having been scheduled two or three days before a possible Champions League semi-final against Barcelona or AC Milan. Scott Minto, who played for both Chelsea and Benfica in his career said this week he expected Chelsea to beat Benfica, but they will be beaten if they underestimate them. “If they under-estimate them in any way it’ll be a similar result to the one in Napoli when they lost 3-1,” he told reporters this week. “If they do that, to ask them to reproduce the kind of second leg they produced against Napoli at Stamford Bridge will be difficult.” It is somewhat ironic that if results had gone their way earlier, Chelsea would still be playing for Portuguese coach Andre Villas-Boas. Last season his Porto side finished 21 points ahead of Benfica in the Portuguese title race which earned him his move to London, but after only eight months he was gone. Di Matteo’s first four matches ended in wins, but after a defeat and a draw some of Chelsea’s old failings look to be returning although former Benfica players David Luiz and Ramires will be desperate to help Chelsea start winning again on their return to the club they helped to the 2010 title. Chelsea’s Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and John Terry would also like to leave Lisbon happier than in Euro 2004 when they all scored penalties there when England were beaten 6-5 on spot-kicks by Portugal in the quarter-finals.—Reuters

Tigres keep close to leaders MEXICO CITY: Mexican title holders Tigres UANL kept pace with the Clausura championship leaders by beating Pumas UNAM 2-0 away at the Olympic stadium in the capital on Sunday. Emanuel Cerda put Tigres ahead in the 35th minute when he tapped in a cross from Argentine winger Damian Alvarez, who also laid on the second for compatriot Lucas Lobos 12 minutes from time. Tigres are one point behind joint leaders Morelia, who beat fifth-placed America 31 on Friday, and Santos Laguna, 2-0 winners at home to bottom team Queretaro on Saturday. Pumas coach Guillermo Vazquez said the defeat had left his team with a slim chance of qualifying for the eight-team knockout rounds of the championship with only five games left in the league phase.

“We have to swallow this bitter drink and somehow lift ourselves tomorrow to think about the other match,” Vazquez told reporters, referring to his team’s regional Concacaf Champions League semi-final against fellow Mexican side Monterrey. Puebla, two from bottom of the standings, ended a run of five defeats that sparked Colombian coach Juan Carlos Osorio’s resignation in midweek with a 1-1 draw at home to Cruz Azul under promoted Uruguayan assistant trainer Daniel Bartolotta. Argentine striker Emanuel Villa put Cruz Azul ahead after 11 minutes but American DaMarcus Beasley equalised in the 56th minute and Villa was sent off six minutes from time for head-butting defender Jonathan Lacerda in the chest.—Reuters

MEXICO: Pumas’ Efrain Velarde (top) fight for the ball with Tigres’ Fernando Navarro during a Mexican soccer league match. — AP

NICOSIA: Real Madrid’s goalkeeper Iker Casillas saves the ball during a training session at GSP stadium. Real Madrid will face APOEL in a Champions League quarterfinal soccer match today. — AP

APOEL cling to dream against mighty Real NICOSIA: APOEL Nicosia have been besieged by fans desperate for tickets for today’s Champions League quarter-final first leg at home to Real Madrid but even the club’s most ardent supporters know this will be the toughest test yet in their fairytale season. Record nine-times winners Real are big favorites to end APOEL’s stunning run in becoming the first Cypriot side to reach the last eight of any European competition, not that the APOEL faithful care about the threat of defeat. Chairman Phivos Erotocritou has apologised after thousands waited for tickets on Thursday but only a handful managed to get their hands on the prized asset. “It is truly shameful what happened, with the hassle we imposed on so many thousands of people with a wrong decision we made,” Erotocritou was quoted as saying by the Cyprus Mail. “I won’t try to justify the unjustifiable. We have responsibility, we did not handle this matter with the tickets the way we should have. I truly apologise and say sorry to everyone.” The scramble for tickets follows APOEL’s strong showings in the 23,000-capacity GSP Stadium during the competition with a motley mix of journeymen from around the world really making Cyprus home. However, a goalless draw against city rivals Omonia Nicosia on Friday suggested APOEL are not in the best of form. Even though Omonia played the whole second half with 10 men, APOEL failed to create any good chances with their mind probably on today’s game. Coach Ivan Jovanovic will be without suspended

Brazilian Gustavo Manduca, whose early goal was vital in the last-16 triumph against Lyon three weeks ago. The Serbian will have the rest of the squad at his disposal. APOEL fans are banking on Greek goalkeeper Dionisios Chiotis, whose heroics have been a crucial part of their dogged defence this term and who was in the AEK Athens team which drew twice against Real in 2002. Real return to European competition after a poor run in La Liga when two straight draws slashed their lead over second-placed Barcelona to six points and coach Jose Mourinho was sent off in a bad-tempered 11 stalemate at Villarreal last week. The controversial Portuguese, dismissed for criticising the referee, is due to speak to the media for the first time since then at yesterday’s news conference in Nicosia. The last time he visited Cyprus, his then Inter Milan side drew 3-3 against Anorthosis Famagusta in the 2008 group stage, so he knows not to underestimate Cypriot football. Mourinho was banned from the bench when Real crushed Real Sociedad 5-1 in La Liga on Saturday, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema each scoring twice and Gonzalo Higuain also finding the net. Real will be without influential midfielder Xabi Alonso on Tuesday after the Spain international picked up a yellow card in the round of 16 second-leg win against CSKA Moscow. With Lassana Diarra injured, Esteban Granero is likely to slot in alongside Sami Khedira in the holding midfield role. — Reuters


Spurs-Bolton set for emotional rematch LONDON: Bolton’s FA Cup rematch against Tottenham today is set to be as much a celebration of Fabrice Muamba’s remarkable recovery as a battle to reach the semifinals of the world’s oldest club knockout competition. The teams are set for an emotional reunion in the rearranged quarterfinal at White Hart Lane, where Muamba collapsed on the pitch after suffering a midgame cardiac arrest on March 17. Muamba - whose heart stopped beating on its own for 78 minutes - remains in intensive care but is making encouraging progress at London Chest Hospital, where he will be visited by members of the Bolton squad ahead of the match. “When we saw him go down that tunnel, we thought he might not make it to hospital,” Spurs manager Harry Redknapp said. “We’re so pleased with what’s happened. It’s a miracle.” After postponing its midweek Premier League match against Aston Villa out of respect of Muamba, Bolton returned to action on Saturday in a 2-1 home victory over Blackburn, lifting the team out of the relegation zone. Fans paid tribute to the former England under-21 midfielder in emotional scenes at the Reebok Stadium that are set to be repeated Tuesday at the scene of the incident, which left players and spectators horrorstruck. “It will give us a chance to thank the Tottenham fans because last Saturday it was almost like a sixth sense had taken over,” Bolton manager Owen Coyle said. “Is it going to be tough? Yes.” Tottenham says match shirts worn by players from both teams in the rematch will be signed and auctioned, with proceeds going to the London Chest Hospital, the London Ambulance Ser vice, the British Heart Foundation, Pan Africa Heart Foundation and Cardiac Risk in the Young. Messages of support from all over the world continue to pour in and the latest update on Muamba provides further encouragement, with the hospital saying he was able to “sit out of bed for a short time, watch television and has begun to eat” over the weekend. “Over the last few days, he has been able to take in more of the goodwill that globally he has been getting from people and the prayers and everything else,” Coyle said. “He is on his way to recovery. God willing that continues.” The winner of the match will play Chelsea at Wembley Stadium in the last four on April 15. Tottenham has won just one match since Feb. 11 - an FA Cup last-16 replay over third-tier Stevenage at home although Redknapp maintains Spurs haven’t picked up the results their performances deserve. They have dropped to fourth place in the league, below north London rival Arsenal, but were the better team in a 0-0 draw at Chelsea on Saturday. “We want to end in the top four and win the FA Cup it would be great,” said Tottenham playmaker Rafael van der Vaart. “It would be a dream, especially at Wembley. For me, it’s going to be the first time. So, let’s win Tuesday and then get Chelsea.” Sunderland hosts Everton today in a quarterfinal replay, with a semi against Liverpool the prize for the winning team. — AP

PARIS: Paris Saint Germain’s defender Christophe Jallet (right) challenges for the ball with Bordeaux’s forward Cheick Diabate (left) during their French Division One soccer match. — AP

PSG held by Bordeaux PARIS: Paris St Germain’s faltering Ligue 1 title challenge suffered another blow when they were held to a 1-1 home draw by Girondins Bordeaux on Sunday. PSG are level with Montpellier on 60 points from 29 games but the unfashionable southern side, who reclaimed top spot on Saturday thanks to a last-gasp 1-0 win over St Etienne, lead on goal difference. Visitors Bordeaux took the lead on 77 minutes when Nicolas Maurice-Belay set up Cheick Diabate who scored into an empty net but Guillaume Horau equalised for the hosts four minutes later with a powerful shot from a superb Mathieu Bodmer heel pass. Bordeaux moved up to eighth place on 41 points. Four days after their first defeat in four months in the French Cup, Paris played poorly once again. “Obviously, it was not a good game. We struggled to develop our moves, we had to react once again,” PSG football director Leonardo told French television Canal+.

“This game had been exhausting because we did not have the control. You suffer when you trail your opponent on the scoreboard,” he added. Paris had the first chances but Alex headed the ball against the post on 29 minutes and keeper Cedric Carasso brilliantly denied Mohamed Sissoko shoot from outside the box. Bordeaux reacted when Jaroslav Plasil hit the woodwork five minutes before Diabate netted. Keeper Salvatore Sirigu had to make a superb save to deny Diabate again only one minute after Hoarau equalised. Toulouse climbed back to fourth when they defeated bottom side Auxerre 1-0 at home thanks to a Franck Tabanou goal. Tabanou shot from outside the box on 38 minutes to take his side to 50 points, three adrift of third-placed Lille. Auxerre, who appointed Jean-Guy Wallemme as their new coach this week, are on 24 points, five from safety. —Reuters



Buffon, Del Piero lead Juve to win over Inter

BUENOS AIRES: Boca Juniors’ Cristian Chavez (right) and Lanus’ Silvio Romero fight for the ball during an Argentina’s league soccer match.—AP

Estudiantes go top as Boca falter BUENOS AIRES: Estudiantes went top of the Argentine Clausura championship with a 2-1 win at Argentinos Juniors as Tigre lost 1-0 at Arsenal and Boca Juniors were held 2-2 at home by Lanus on Sunday. The leaders are one point clear of Boca and Tigre but Velez Sarsfield can catch them on 15 points with a win at home to Newell’s Old Boys late yesterday. Estudiantes went ahead after only three minutes with a penalty by striker Mauro Boselli. Nicolas Berardo equalised before fellow defender Raul Iberbia tapped in the winner from a low right cross. The pick of the weekend, though, was the visit of Lanus to the Bombonera and neutrals were not disappointed with a fine match that Lanus might have won against a Boca side down to 10 men for half an hour after Clemente Rodriguez was sent off. The first half ended with a flurry of goals after Boca took the lead in the 39th minute when winger Pablo Mouche exchanged passes with Juan Roman Riquelme at a corner and hit a long, high ball over goalkeeper Agustin Marchesin and into the top corner.

Marchesin had only seconds earlier made a superb diving save from a fine Riquelme effort, giving away the corner. In the 42nd minute, Boca went two up when a shot by midfielder Diego Rivero was blocked and the ball fell to Riquelme, who shot low into the bottom corner. Lanus pulled one back a minute later when striker Mariano Pavone headed in a high cross from right back Carlos Araujo and he celebrated with glee after suffering jibes from Boca fans because he was in the River Plate side relegated last season. The visitors were level 10 minutes into the second half when central defender Paolo Goltz headed home Uruguayan Mario Regueiro’s corner and soon after Lanus’s former Italy winger Mauro Camoranesi had a goal disallowed for offside. Argentina left back Rodriguez was sent off just past the hour for dissent having just been booked. Arsenal, who are vying with Boca for a place in the knockout rounds of the Libertadores Cup, ended previous leaders Tigre’s unbeaten run when central defender Guillermo Burdisso headed the only goal in Sarandi.—Reuters

CARSON: Mexico’s Jeronimo Amione (left) and Honduras’ Hilder Colon try to head the ball during the second half of the 2012 CONCACAF men’s Olympic qualifier. Mexico won 3-0.—AP

Corinthians beat Palmeiras SAO PAULO: Corinthians scored two goals early in the second half to end Palmeiras’ 21match unbeaten streak with a 2-1 win in the Sao Paulo state championship on Sunday. Before the match, fan violence left one dead and three seriously injured. In the Rio de Janeiro state tournament, Vasco da Gama was held to a 1-1 draw by Resende, while Flamengo, Fluminense and Botafogo won their matches on Saturday. Luiz Felipe Scolari’s Palmeiras went ahead with a long-range shot by former Real Betis midfielder Marcos Assuncao in the 18th minute, but Corinthians rallied with quick goals in the first seven minutes of the second half. Paulinho equalized in the 50th and the Brazilian champion moved ahead in the 52nd with an own goal by Palmeiras midfielder Marcio Araujo. Sao Paulo took the lead from Palmeiras in the 20-team standings by beating Mirassol 10 for its seventh straight win. Defender Rodolfo scored Sao Paulo’s winner in Mirassol in the 64th. Sao Paulo reached 34 points from 15 matches, tied with Corinthians, but it is ahead on goal difference. Palmeiras is stuck with 32 points, two more than Santos. The top eight teams will advance to the playoff round. Palmeiras opened the scoring at the Pacaembu stadium with Assuncao’s rightfooter from outside the area. The ball deflected off a defender and fooled Corinthians goalkeeper Julio Cesar, striking the crossbar before going in. Palmeiras was mostly in control, but Corinthians rallied with goals from set pieces just after the halftime. Paulinho scored from close range after a ball deflected in front of net, and Araujo tipped the ball into

his own goal after another cross into the area. Palmeiras, Brazil’s most successful club with eight national titles along with Santos, hadn’t lost a match since Nov. 6. “We know the fans didn’t want to lose this one, but it happened,” Scolari said. “We have to keep working to stay near the top of the standings going into the final round.” Before the match, fans from both teams were involved in a confrontation involving about 500 people, according to police, and 21-year-old Palmeiras fan Andre Alves was killed after being shot in the head. Another fan was shot in the hip and two other were also hospitalized in serious condition. Police had to use tear gas and rubber bullets to halt the confrontation and at least four people were detained. Authorities were investigating reports the fight was set up ahead of time on social media networks. Earlier in the week, police prohibited fan groups from Campinas city rivals Guarani and Ponte Preta from attending their teams’ matches because of fighting that led to the death of a fan. The ban started on Saturday, when Guarani drew Ponte Preta 1-1. Also Sunday, defending champion Santos, led by Neymar and Paulo Henrique Ganso, beat Bragantino 2-0 with goals by Alan Kardec and Borges at the Vila Belmiro stadium. Santos played with an extra man from the 53rd because Bragantino defender Jean Pablo was sent off. In the Rio Cup, the second stage of the Rio de Janeiro state championship, Vasco was not able to get past a 1-1 home draw with Resende. Striker Alecsandro missed a penalty shot in the 58th but netted the equalizer for Vasco in the 83rd at Sao Januario stadium. —AP

ITALY: Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon produced an inspired display and 37-year-old Alessandro Del Piero scored his first Serie A goal of the season as Juventus beat Inter Milan 2-0 on Sunday to maintain their Serie A title challenge. Del Piero, used sparingly by Juventus coach Antonio Conte recently, came off the bench to slot home the second goal from Arturo Vidal’s incisive pass after Martin Caceres had given them the lead just before the hour. It was his second goal in five days after he scored in their Italian Cup semi-final against AC Milan in which a 2-2 draw sent Juventus to the final 4-3 on aggregate. Inter, now almost certain to miss out on the Champions League, had the better of the first half but were foiled by world-class goalkeeping from Buffon. Claudio Ranieri’s team are ninth in the table with 41 points, 10 adrift of third-placed Lazio in the Champions League playoff spot. Juventus, still unbeaten in all competitions this season, have 59 points from 29 games, four behind leaders AC Milan who beat AS Roma 2-1 on Saturday. There are nine rounds of matches to play. “Del Piero deserves everything, he has shown himself to be an outstanding professional, he has accepted this (substitute) role without causing a controversy and now he is being repaid,” Buffon told the Juventus website ( “It’s a bitter defeat because it was a good, lively game against a Juventus side who deserve to be where they are,” said Inter coach Claudio Ranieri. “I’m very satisfied with the first hour of the game and extremely disappointed with the way we conceded the goal.” Lazio strengthened their grip on third place and a Champions

ITALY: Juventus’ Jose Martin Caceres, of Uruguay, celebrates after he scored during a Serie A soccer match against Inter Milan.—AP

League qualifying spot with a late win over Cagliari and Napoli squandered a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw at home to Catania. Mobido Diakite struck in the 88th minute, heading in from Cristian Ledesma’s free kick, to give Lazio a 1-0 win over the Sardinians, leaving them with 51 points and a three-point cushion over Napoli and Udinese. Blerim Dzemaili and Edinson Cavani scored in a seven-minute spell to put Napoli in command against Catania, only for Nicolas Spolli and Davide Lanzafame to reply following corners in the final 20 minutes. Napoli, who reached the Champions League last 16 this season, were left on 48 points, level with Udinese who drew 1-1 at Palermo. There was little change at the

bottom with a flurry of draws keeping Lecce, Novara and Cesena as firm favourites for the drop. Lecce, 18th in the 20-team table, have 27 points, five adrift of safety, after a goalless draw against Novara, who are three points and one place behind them. Cesena are a further six adrift at the bottom after a 2-2 draw with 17th-placed Parma (32 points). Siena, who drew 1-1 at Chievo, and Fiorentina, held 2-2 at Genoa after Rodrigo Palacio scored an 89th-minute equaliser for the hosts, are both on 33 points. Buffon pulled off at least four excellent saves to foil Inter in the first half. He produced a one handed stop to deny Diego Milito at point-blank range, then brilliantly turned away Diego Forlan’s header. He foiled Milito again

before saving a Dejan Stankovic volley with his legs. Alessandro Matri wasted two good chances for Juventus while Mirko Vucinic just failed to make contact with Simone Pepe’s cross following a flowing move. Juventus took control after Del Piero came on early in the 53rd minute. Four minutes later, Andrea Pirlo swung over a corner and Caceres, left completely unmarked, headed in. Vucinic wasted an excellent chance in the 70th minute when he shot straight at Julio Cesar’s legs with only the Brazilian goalkeeper to beat. But one minute later, the tireless Vidal threaded the ball through two defenders into the path of Del Piero who sent the ball beyond Julio Cesar with a firsttime effort. —Reuters

FIFA to study cardiac arrest cases in soccer ZURICH: FIFA will be studying cardiac arrest cases involving soccer players to learn what caused Bolton’s Fabrice Muamba to collapse during a match. FIFA’s chief medical officer said the project will be put forward at FIFA’s medical conference on May 23-24 in Budapest, Hungary. “We have invited all nationalteam doctors to establish a worldwide database for cases of sudden cardiac arrest,” Dvorak told The Associated Press by telephone. “This will lead to analysis of the risk factors.” Muamba’s condition is serious but stable in a London hospital, nine days after he collapsed during the first half of an FA Cup match at Tottenham’s White Hart Lane stadium. The 23-year-old Muamba’s recovery has been followed across the world, but Dvorak hopes FIFA’s new project

will provide medical researchers with important information about lower-profile cases. “Sometimes we only get (details of ) individual cases through the media. When we get the files we can analyze them,” he said. The FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Center also helped complete a recent study of electrocardiogram testing in African players. Muamba was born in Zaire. Dvorak said the study of 230 healthy players in Gabon was needed because most data from EKG testing, which looks for electric faults of the heart, is related to people of Caucasian ethnicity. The variation in data from players of different ethnic backgrounds was discussed at the inaugural FIFA medical conference held October 2009 in Zurich.

FIFA also contributed to a summit of cardiologists in Seattle last month, which was hosted by the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine. The two-day session focused on how to better interpret readings of EKGs performed on athletes, Dvorak said. He pointed to the 2003 death of Marc-Vivien Foe, who collapsed while playing for Cameroon against Colombia in a Confederations Cup match in France as a turning point in soccer’s awareness of potential heart problems. “It was the imperative wakeup call that we have to deal with this situation and do everything to mitigate the risk factor,” he said. FIFA began insisting on cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory tests for all World Cup players before the 2006 tournament in Germany.

Mandatory testing was introduced ahead of the 2007 Women’s World Cup, and now applies to all FIFA age -group tournaments for men and women. Dvorak said a defibrillator, which was used on Muamba as he lay on the field, is required at all FIFA-sanctioned matches and should be available at all World Cup qualifying matches. Each of FIFA’s 208 national members receives funding for medical projects as part of its $250,000 annual FIFA grant, D vo r a k s a i d. F I FA’s m e d i c a l adviser said he had spoken with Bolton officials throughout Muamba’s ordeal. “From the ver y first moment, we are in contact,” Dvorak said. “We wish him all the best, and it’s fantastic that he is recovering.”—AP

Muamba making ‘encouraging progress’ LONDON: Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba is making “encouraging progress” in his recovery from a cardiac arrest, doctors said yesterday. The 23-year-old remains in intensive care in the London Chest Hospital, where his condition is described as “serious but stable”, after collapsing during an FA Cup quarter-final with Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, March 17. A joint statement issued by the hospital and Bolton said: “Fabrice Muamba remains in intensive care at the London Chest Hospital, where his condition is serious but stable. “He continues to make encouraging progress in his recovery. Over the weekend, he has been able to sit out of bed for a short time, watch television and has begun to eat. “However, he will need to continue to be closely monitored by the medical team at the

Fabrice Muamba

London Chest for some time. “His family requests that he receive no more visitors for the moment, outside of immediate family and members of Bolton Wanderers Football Club.” Earlier, Bolton manager Owen Coyle said the former England Under-21 midfielder had watched highlights of Wanderers’ 2-1 Premier League win at home to local rivals Blackburn Rovers on Saturday-the club’s first match since Muamba’s collapse and one preceded with tributes to the stricken player. “He was able to watch Match of the Day on Sunday morning,” said Coyle. “I am led to believe he fell asleep when it was 2-0,” he added of a match where victory saw Bolton climb out of the relegation zone. “I don’t know if he still thinks we won 2-0 but it is so great to know that bit-by-bit he is getting better, even if he still has a long way to go. “Over the last few days he has been able to take in more of the goodwill that globally he has been getting from people and the prayers and everything else. “He wanted to thank everybody for that support. “We have to make sure we continue that but he is on his way to recovery. God willing that continues.” Shortly after Muamba’s collapse towards the end of the first half at Tottenham’s White Hart Lane ground, the match was abandoned and the player-who was said to be “effectively dead” for 78 minutes taken to the nearby London Chest Hospital, where he has been ever since. The re-arranged FA Cup tie will take place at White Hart Lane on Tuesday and Coyle said

a group of players would visit Muamba in hospital ahead of the match. “It will give us a chance to thank the Tottenham fans because last Saturday it was almost like a sixth sense had taken over,” said Coyle. “There was a real sense of unity. “Is it going to be tough? Yes.” The Scot added: “Fabrice’s father, Marcel, and fiancee, Shauna, wanted to express their thanks to everyone. Football is a passionate game but nothing is more important than Fabrice’s recovery.” Muamba was born in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo but came to Britain at the age of 11.—AFP

Matches on TV (Local Timings) UEFA Championship League Benfica v Chelsea Aljazeera Sport +3


Apoel Nicosia v Real Madrid 21:45 Aljazeera Sport +5 FA Cup Tottenham v Bolton Aljazeera Sport +6


Sunderland v Everton Aljazeera Sport +7


Chelsea are wish come true for Benfica

Woods ends title drought




APOEL cling to dream against mighty Real

Page 18

LONDON: Manchester United’s Patrice Evra (right) attempts an overhead kick during his team’s English Premier League soccer match against Fulham at Old Trafford Stadium.—AP

Rooney keeps United on track Man United 1

Fulham 0

MANCHESTER: Wayne Rooney kept Manchester United on course for a record 20th title after hitting the winner in a 1-0 win over Fulham at Old Trafford yesterday. Rooney’s 21st top-flight goal of the season, which arrived towards the end of the first half, proved enough to see off spirited mid-table opposition. The result sent Sir Alex Ferguson’s side, who have won their last six league games, three points clear of neighbours Manchester City at the top of the table with eight games remaining. It was far from vintage United, but with their next four games against

teams in the bottom six, it is difficult to see where United are going to slip up. Having destroyed struggling Wolves 5-0 in their last outing, United were hoping Fulham would prove equally obliging opponents with the league delicately poised. The London visitors were looking to avoid a ninth straight Old Trafford defeat, while Fulham’s failure to score a goal at the venue in seven hours of action also filled United with belief they could use this fixture to improve their goal difference. Fulham spent the opening exchanges penned inside their own half. But this was a night for patience as United struggled to impose themselves until Rooney struck three minutes before the interval. Veteran midfielder Ryan Giggs headed an early chance straight at keeper Mark Schwarzer while Patrice Evra proved an unlikely goal threat in the 32nd minute with an overhead kick which flashed narrowly wide.

Rafael Da Silva spurned another chance when he shot straight at Schwarzer following good work by the impressive Antonio Valencia. But the ruthless finishing which was so evident eight days earlier at Molineux was missing as Fulham created just as many chances as United before the interval. Not for the first time this season, Clint Dempsey was his team’s main goal threat. The United States international twice tested David De Gea in the space of a few minutes, his second effort a lovely attempted curler from the edge of the area which had United’s Spanish keeper diving at full stretch to claw away. Moussa Dembele also proved a handful but the Belgian lacked composure to hurt United. Yet just when Fulham thought they had survived the opening half without damage, Rooney pounced from close range after Jonny Evans had teed-up the striker from Ashley Young’s 42nd minute cross following a mistake by John Arne-Riise.

The sighs of relief could be heard all around the ground. United, who meet City in what could be a winner-take-all game on April 30, dominated possession after the interval but were unable to add to their tally. Schwarzer was forced into action when Giggs played the ball over the top for Valencia, who seemed likely to score, but his shot was straight at the Australian international. With 15 minutes remaining, United spurned a glorious chance to double their advantage. Schwarzer, who had an excellent game, twice denied Young before Giggs had a goal-bound effort blocked by Brede Hangeland. United survived a scare in the 89th minute when Fulham substitute Danny Murphy went crashing inside the penalty area following a Michael Carrick challenge. But referee Michael Oliver waved away Fulham’s appeals for a penalty as United hung on for their ninth win in 10 league games.—AFP

EPL results/standings Man Utd 1 (Rooney 42) Fulham 0 Played Sunday West Brom 1 (Long 52) Newcastle 3 (Cisse 6, 34, Ben Arfa 12) Played Saturday Arsenal 3 (Gibbs 16, Walcott 25, Arteta 90) Aston Villa 0; Bolton 2 (Wheater 28, 35) Blackburn 1 (Nzonzi 56); Chelsea 0 Tottenham 0; Liverpool 1 (Suarez 47) Wigan 2 (Maloney 30-pen, Caldwell 63); Norwich 2 (Holt 26, 45-pen) Wolves 1 (Jarvis 25); Stoke 1 (Crouch 59) Man City 1 (Y.Toure 76); Sunderland 3 (Bendtner 41, McClean 70, Sessegnon 76) QPR 1 (Taiwo 79); Swansea 0 Everton 2 (Baines 59, Jelavic 76) English Premier League table after yesterday’s match (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Man Utd Man City Arsenal Tottenham Chelsea Newcastle Liverpool Sunderland Everton Swansea

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Mexican’s performance announced his arrival as a real talent. It will also have been welcomed in Austin, the Texan city which is due to stage the closest race to Mexico when Formula One returns to the United States, Ferrari’s biggest export market, in November. The perception of Perez as a ‘pay driver’, given his opportunity in Formula One because of his links with key Mexican sponsors including the world’s richest man Carlos Slim, now looks like a footnote to a much more promising story. Brazilian Massa, whose future at Ferrari is under increasing scrutiny, finished 15th after retiring in Melbourne. He has not been on the podium since 2010 and the paddock speculation is moving up a gear race by race, even as Ferrari try to dampen it down. Senna, nephew of the late triple champion Ayrton, was the quickest Brazilian on track at Sepang and triggered a reappraisal of his talents with a fine drive to sixth place after being last at the re-start. His eight points were more than Williams had managed in all of last season but it was the manner in which he grabbed them that stood out. His overtaking move on Michael Schumacher, Ayrton’s old rival, was rich in symbolism but it also indicated that he too could be much more than a driver who owed his place to sponsorship as much as speed. “For the first time now I believe Bruno Senna can cut it in Formula One,” declared former F1 driver and Sky commentator Martin Brundle. “I haven’t seen anything up until now that convinced me in the same way that this does.” The third grand prix of the 20race season takes place in China on April 15. — Reuters

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Inter fire Ranieri and promotes Stramaccioni

Perez, Senna burnish their F1 credentials LONDON: Even if the Malaysian Grand Prix ultimately stands out as an aberration, with Fernando Alonso celebrating an unlikely Ferrari victory, it could be a defining moment in the Formula One careers of Sergio Perez and Bruno Senna. In a rain-hit race that may also have hastened Felipe Massa’s departure from Maranello, the two Latin American drivers stood out. “He was a revelation.” McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh said of Perez, who finished second for Sauber to become the first Mexican on the F1 podium for 41 years. “I imagine he’s put a bit of pressure on Mr Massa, that’s my guessing on that one,” he told Sky television with a mischievous grin. “I don’t know what the odds are for him switching teams before China, but I think there must be some consideration there,” added Whitmarsh, whose 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton clashed repeatedly with Massa last year. Cynics might say that the odds on the 22-year-old Perez joining Ferrari will only have been enhanced by his failure to pass Alonso, now the championship leader, in the closing laps. The Mexican is also a Ferrari driver, a member of the Italian team’s youth academy who occasionally tests in the Ferrari simulator, while his team use Ferrari engines. Ferrari, with an ugly car that proved uncompetitive in the Australian season opener, were desperate for a moraleboosting victory at Sepang after the weather played into their hands and Perez looked the only man who could stop them. While there was no evidence of any collusion and Peter Sauber dismissed any suggestion of a team order, the

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FRANCE: In this Feb. 22, 2012 file photo, Inter Milan’s Italian coach Claudio Ranieri reacts after losing against Marseille during the Champions League round of 16 first leg soccer match. — AP

MILAN: Inter Milan fired Claudio Ranieri yesterday after a run of just one win in its last 10 league matches, culminating in a 2-0 loss to archrival Juventus a day earlier. Andrea Stramaccioni was promoted from youth club coach and will now direct the first team, Inter said on its website. Veteran coach Ranieri was hired in September to replace Gian Piero Gasperini but his tenure was marred by injuries and Inter’s inability to overcome the departure of Samuel Eto’o. Inter has lost 12 league matches, one short of the club low established in 1947-48. Inter president Massimo Moratti said earlier Monday that he thought he would keep Ranieri until the end of the season, but he apparently changed his mind following a meeting with technical and sporting directors Marco Branca and Piero Ausilio. The Juve loss dropped Inter to eighth place, 22 points behind league leader and crosstown rival AC Milan. Earlier this month, Inter was eliminated by Marseille in the second round of the Champions League after allowing late goals in both legs. Ranieri previously coached Chelsea, Juventus and Roma, but his only significant titles came with Valencia the Copa del Rey in 1999 and the UEFA Super Cup in 2004. His term with Inter lasted little more than six months. After a slow start, Inter had a run of seven consecutive wins in January, but then things fell apart again, with the performances against Marseille and Juventus sealing his fate. Stramaccioni led Inter’s youth side to a win over Ajax in the inaugural NextGen Series final Sunday but has never managed in Serie A. He becomes Inter’s fifth different manager since Jose Mourinho departed upon leading Inter to a treble in 2010 - with Rafa Benitez and Leonardo also not lasting long.—AP

India’s Kingfisher shares hit record lows on fears Page 23

Concerns over corporate profits send stocks down Page 24


Sinopec to diversify oil imports after Iran drop

Investors grapple with higher wages in China Page 25

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BRIGNLES: Sheep and goats are displayed in the street of the southern French city of Brignoles during a demonstration of shepherds to protest against the reintroduction of wolves, yesterday Shepherds notably came from the Isere, Savoie and Drome regions as talks take place during the local agricultural fair. — AFP

Merkel gives ground on higher euro firewall Berlin agrees to $662bn fund after international pressure BERLIN: Chancellor Angela Merkel indicated yesterday Germany was prepared to allow a boost in the euro-zone’s firewall against the euro-zone debt crisis ahead of talks on the issue by European finance ministers. In an apparent shift of position amid fierce international pressure, Merkel said Berlin was open to combining 500 billion euros ($662 billion) from a permanent rescue fund that comes into effect in July with 200 billion euros already promised to debtridden countries. While insisting that the permanent fund, the European Stability Mechanism, should stay capped at 500 billion euros, “we could imagine ... that it could run in parallel with the programs already handed out-so 200 billion (euros),” Merkel told reporters. The two funds could run in parallel until the 200 billion euros is paid back by so-called “program countries” that have already received bailoutsIreland, Portugal and Greece, she said. “This will take several years and then the ESM will stand alone with its 500 billion euros,” she

DP World to repay $3bn loan early with cash DUBAI: DP World, the world’s thirdlargest port operator, will repay a $3 billion loan six months ahead of schedule, it said yesterday, the latest Dubai entity to pay off debt early this year. The firm, one of the more profitable assets of debt-laden Dubai World, said the repayments will take place between April 4 to 10, ahead of its October maturity. The payment will reduce DP World’s total debt to approximately $4.7 billion, it said in a regulatory filing on Nasdaq Dubai, and leave its cash balance at $1.2 billion. Other Dubai firms have moved to pay off obligations early as the emirate recovers from its 2009 debt crisis. Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group, a unit of Dubai Holding, repaid a $500 million bond several days ahead of its February maturity while utility Dewa said it would pay off $327 million securitization prior to its November maturity.Investors are still focused on refinancing risks related to $3.3 billion bonds due from DIFCI Investments and Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority this year. Yesterday, DP World said it would cancel $2 billion of the existing revolving credit facility and replace it with a new $1 billion five-year revolving credit facility. —Reuters

explained. This would potentially give the euro-zone some 700 billion euros in funds to combat any possible future crisis-if for example a bigger country such as Spain or Italy were to require a bailout. European Union finance ministers are set to debate the issue during two days of informal talks in Copenhagen starting on Friday. Earlier yesterday, Amadeu Altafaj, spokesman for EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn, upped the pressure on ministers, saying: “We think it’s essential that we come to an agreement at the end of this week in Copenhagen. “Our baseline is very well known: we think that having a strong firewall in place is an element to reinforce confidence in our crisis response,” he said. Even the option now under consideration in Berlin is thought of as the least ambitious of the proposals put forward in Brussels. The International Monetary Fund, the United States and other top economies worldwide have

sought to raise pressure on Germany to drop its previous opposition to boosting the euro-zone’s firewalls against debt crisis contagion. The group of 20 top economies indicated at a meeting last month they would increase their loans to the IMF to bolster the international lender ’s defences against the crisis but insisted the eurozone first put its hand in its pocket. This decision is likely to be taken at a meeting in Washington on April 20-22. Merkel said that recent movements on the bond markets-particularly in Portugal and Spain where debt fears are resurfacing-has shown that the crisis is far from over. “Much has got better in the euro-zone but we are still not in a normal situation and I think we will still be busy for a long time with genuinely overcoming the sovereign debt crisis,” Merkel said. Any proposal on the bailout funds needs parliamentary approval and Merkel faces a public that is tired of providing the bulk of the bailout money for the ailing euro-zone. — AFP

RBS halts India tanker payment over Iran NEW DELHI/SINGAPORE: The Royal Bank of Scotland has halted payments to a Greek ship owner which transported Iranian oil for an Indian shipping company, in line with Western sanctions aimed at hindering Iranian crude exports, shipping sources told Reuters. The European Union in January placed an immediate ban on new contracts to import, purchase or transport Iranian crude and petroleum products. EU members with existing contracts, however, can honor them until July 1. India’s Great Eastern Shipping Co Ltd has not been able to pay Greek firm Eurotankers, which holds an account with RBS, for using one of its supertankers to ship Iranian crude because the UK-based bank would not clear the payment, the sources said. “Due to financial sanctions the payment could not be released. RBS said they are unable to transmit the money,” said one source with knowledge of the matter. The source said the deal was considered to be a new contract as it was made in the spot freight market. An RBS spokesman declined to comment. The action by RBS adds to the difficulties India and other Asian

oil buyers face in trying to maintain imports of Iranian crude amid sanctions. “Financial institutions are very careful about dealing with Iran related stuff,” said Robin Mills of Dubai-based Manaar Energy Consulting. “Even if activity appears to be okay, they do not like to do it because it is too hard to convince anyone they are complying with sanctions while dealing with Iran oil.” In addition to the EU, the United States has also imposed a raft of sanctions on Iran aimed at forcing it to halt its nuclear program which the West believes is being used to develop atomic weapons, but which Tehran maintains is for peaceful purposes. The Indian shipping company hired the tanker, the Remi, at the end of January to deliver 93,000 tons of Iran Heavy crude to Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd., the sources said. The cargo was delivered to Mangalore port on Feb. 7, according to independent shipping data. A Eurotankers official, who declined to be named, confirmed payment from Great Eastern was held up and the issue was now in court. “All the information has

been given in writing,” he said in a telephone interview. Great Eastern did not respond to repeated attempts by Reuters to seek comment. Iran is India’s second-biggest supplier of oil after Saudi Arabia, with some $11 billion a year in shipments meeting about 12 percent of India’s crude import needs. But India’s refiners are cutting imports as sanctions make supplies from Iran increasingly difficult and vulnerable. The number of maritime firms willing to transport Iranian crude has already dwindled significantly since the European Union announced it would proceed with the oil embargo, leaving Asian oil buyers to rely more on Iranian-owned tankers. India’s Essar Oil, Iran’s second biggest Indian client after MRPL, bought oil in three Iranian vessels in February, according to shipping d a ta. Insurance problems for shipments have also forced at least one company, Shipping Corp of India, to cancel an Iranian crude delivery last month. India publicly maintains it will not seek a waiver to US sanctions, and that it sees no need to reduce oil imports from Iran because that is not required under United Nations sanctions.—Reuters

WB must mirror global shift: Okonjo-Iweala WASHINGTON: Emerging economies must be given a fair shot at leading the institutions at the heart of global finance or they will end up going their own way, a challenger for the top job at the World Bank. “The balance of power in the world has shifted and emerging market countries are contributing more and more to global growth - more than 50 percent and they need to be given a voice in running things,” Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala told Reuters in an interview released yesterday. “If you don’t, they will lose interest.” Okonjo-Iweala, 57, was nominated on Friday by African powerhouses Nigeria, South Africa and Angola to lead the poverty-fighting institution when its current president Robert Zoellick steps down in June. Also nominated for the post are Jim Yong Kim, a Korean-American health expert whose name was put forward by US President Barack Obama on Friday, and former Colombian finance minister Jose Antonio Ocampo, who was nominated by Brazil. It is also the first time the post has ever been so hotly contested. Under an informal agreement between the United States and its allies in Europe, Washington has laid claim to the top post at the World Bank since its founding after World War Two, while a European has always led the International Monetary Fund, its sister Bretton Woods institution. Okonjo-Iweala said fast-growing emerging economies were becoming too powerful and influential in the world economy to continue denying them the leadership posts at global financial bodies. Leaders of the so-called BRICS nations China, India, Brazil, Russia and South Africa will meet at a summit in India next week to discuss the world economy and closer coordination. “I’m telling you, the BRICS are already talking about forming a bank among themselves to deal with infrastructure,” she said. “Why do you think they’re doing it? If they can’t get a leg in to be allowed to run some of these institutions, they will look elsewhere.” A respected economist and diplomat, Okonjo-Iweala painted the nominating convention as a vestige of a bygone era. “We’re not asking the US not to compete, we’re just asking for a level playing field where candidates can be evaluated on their merits. America can join the competi-

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala tion,” she said. A former World Bank managing director known for her colorful African head wraps and dresses, Okonjo-Iweala contrasted her experience with that of Kim, who made his mark fighting disease in some of the poorest corners of the world. She noted that she has hands-on experience running one of Africa’s largest economies, as well as a proven track record at the World Bank helping nations in Asia, Africa and the Middle East to tap financial markets and fund development. “I don’t have a learning curve because I know how the institution works and I know what needs to be done to make it work better and faster for developing countries,” she said. “I know what its strengths are, its weaknesses and importantly I know what policymakers need. I’ve actually done it.” US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told Reuters over the weekend that he was confident that Kim, president of Dartmouth College, would win global support for the job. Through his work in fighting HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and getting healthcare to the poor, Kim had shown an ability to get things done in tough environments, Geithner said. Okonjo-Iweala acknowledged that if the United States - the country with the largest World Bank voting bloc - and Europe held together, her candidacy would be doomed. But she expressed hope the World Bank’s 187 members would hold true to their pledge for an open, merit-based process.— Reuters



Experts urge transparency at stock auctions in Kuwait KUWAIT: Kuwait economists have called for greater transparency for auctioning held at Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) on stakes of listed companies for allowing more investors to take part in the bidding, namely Arab and foreign traders, thus serving the higher goal of transforming Kuwait into a business hub. The economic experts, interviewed by KUNA, forecast mounting number of such auctions, within the foreseeable future, with anticipation of suspending a number of the KSE-listed companies due to their failure of

restructuring their status, a condition that may warrant either liquidation of the establishment, disposing shares or searching for a strategic investor to make it up for share-holders. Shedding light on some of techniques involved in stock auctioning, Maitham Al-Shakhes said the holding of such bidding could be either in coordination with a party that desires to sell shares in a company and another that seeks to buy stakes, or upon a judicial rule. In such an auction, prices of floated shares are higher than those pro-

moted in the conventional market, warning that stock value might drastically fall in case it was sold for a price lower than that of the market price. Some of the main objectives of these actions is settling corporate debts, or arranging a short or long term transaction for acquiring a stake. For his part, Mohammad Al-Hajeri said such auctions are, usually held, upon desire of owners of a company, with the aim of luring an investor to buy a share, or for implementing a resolution by the judiciary. Al-Hajeri

affirmed that the basis of auctioning is publicity and transparency, hinting that illicit deals have been struck ahead of holding the public sessions. Negotiations should be public to “serve the market rights and inform all the investors who desire to be involved in the transaction,” he stressed. Another prominent Kuwaiti expert, Adnan Al-Dulaimi, concurred that holding secret deals, ahead of the actual auctioning, renders it null and void. He also protested that no ample time has been given to prospected bidders to

Saudi Electric may go for long sukuk tranche

Sinopec to diversify oil imports after Iran drop Q1 purchases from Tehran falls sharply HONG KONG: China Petroleum and Chemical Corp (Sinopec) is looking to diversify its crude oil imports, the company’s chairman said yesterday, following a sharp drop in its first-quarter purchases from Iran. A contractual dispute between China’s Unipec, the trading arm of Sinopec, and Iran’s National Oil Company ended in February with a statement by the Chinese refiner that it was slashing its crude imports for 2012 by 10 to 20 percent from the previous year, depriving Tehran of as much as $2.4 billion in oil revenue. “Sinopec has taken measures to diversify its imports. We have made a lot of efforts in terms of that,” said Fu Chengyu, who took over the helm of the top Asian refiner about a year ago. After more than two months of wrangling over price and credit terms between Unipec and Iran’s NIOC, the dispute was resolved thanks in part to the inter-

vention of Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi during a visit to Beijing last month. “We further clarified some of the prices that previously had not yet been confirmed (during Qasemi’s visit),” Fu said. Data from Chinese customs released last week showed China’s February crude imports from Iran, at some 290,000 barrels per day, had halved from the December level and were down 40 percent versus January and year-earlier rates. When asked whether Sinopec would cut its crude imports from Iran this year versus last, Fu did not comment directly but said, “there shouldn’t be any major increase or decrease”, as supplies were via a long-term contract. The Chinese refiner, which supplies some 45 percent of the fuel needs of the world’s second-largest oil user, plans to process 3.5 percent more crude oil this year than in 2011, with crude throughput planned at around 4.5 million bpd. — Reuters

Akbank falls on uncertainty over Citi stake sale ISTANBUL: Shares in Turkey’s Akbank fell nearly five percent yesterday after Citigroup said it plans to reduce its stake to below 10 percent from 20 percent, with uncertainty over the sale method and purchaser weighing on the stock. Analysts said they saw Citigroup’s move as a way to shore up its capital base after it topped a list of US financial institutions that failed the Federal Reserve’s latest round of stress testing. Citi said last week the current carrying value of its investment in Akbank is $3.4 billion. Akbank said Citi must make its offer to its parent Sabanci Holding under the terms of its shareholders’ agreement. “The critical point is which method will be used for the selling process,” said Garanti Securities analyst Recep Demir. He said selling the stake on the Istanbul Stock Exchange (ISE) would put pressure in the stock price while arranging a deal through corporate buyers should have no material negative impact . Analysts have doubts about a possible sale to a corporate buyer as the sale would not give management rights. “Citi has one member in Akbank’s board and it is highly likely that Citi will lose its seat in the board following the sale,” BGC Partners analyst Muge Dagistan said. “I do not see any bank showing an interest without any right for a member on the board,” said Sadrettin Bagci, an analyst at Yatirim Finansman. Citi’s stress test failure was a shock for the bank that was widely expected to return billions of dollars in extra capital to shareholders soon, analysts said. Akbank shares fell 4.68 percent to 6.92 lira by 0934 GMT, while parent Sabanci Holding shares dropped 2.11 percent to 7.42 lira. Akbank said Sabanci will make its assessment when the offer is made, adding Citigroup’s reduction of its stake was for technical reasons. — Reuters

SHANDONG: Cars wait to be refilled at a Sinopec gas station in Qingdao in eastern China’s Shandong province. — AP

Islamic banking to boost loan growth in Oman: NBK Capital MUSCAT: The introduction of Islamic banking in Oman will lead to loan growth of 15 percent this year, NBK Capital said and upgraded the sultanate’s largest lenders, Bank Muscat SAOG and National Bank of Oman.Oman reversed its secular approach to finance last year after seeing a steady trickle of investment flow to nearby countries with well-established Islamic banking. In December, Bank Muscat said it will set up a sharia-compliant banking arm operat-

ing. Nearest rival National Bank of Oman said it will launch Islamic banking between the second and third quarters. NBK Capital said Islamic banking is expected to capture 10 percent to 15 percent of the Omani market share in the next three to five years. Bank Muscat’s net profit is likely to grow 15 percent and National Bank of Oman’s 16 percent during the year, driven by strong loan growth, the brokerage wrote in a note dated March 22. — Reuters

New firm Zahil founded with KD 1m capital and any related rights, and may lend these for use by other companies within the Kuwaiti market and abroad. The company may also own movable and real assets necessary for its functions, and may utilize its surplus in investments into portfolios managed by specialized investment bodies and companies. Zahil is authorized to have a stake in and to strike a partnership of any kind with other bodies of the same functions or those that might help achieve its goals in Kuwait and elsewhere, and may found, partner in, acquire, or annex any such bodies in the future. —KUNA

KUWAIT: A new company was founded on a capital of KD 1 million under the name Al-Zahil Company as a shareholding company with 10 million shares worth KD 0.1 per share, said the latest issue of Kuwait Al-Yawm official gazette. The company is to own shares in Kuwaiti and foreign shareholding and limited liability companies as well as take part in founding such companies and manage, lend, and sponsor them before third parties, provided Zahil hold a stake of 20 percent at least of the capital of the borrowing company. Zahil may own industrial property rights including patents, commercial or industrial brands,

prepare themselves for the bidding. Current mechanisms include very hard terms for the investors, and that is rendered more complicated with the behind-the-curtain deals between sellers and buyers. Advertisements should be made ahead of time, and shares should be displayed for the largest number possible of people, for sake of justice, thus “we call for greater transparency and altering the current status particularly the duration set between start of publicity and holding of the auction,” he stressed. — KUNA

DUBAI: Massive demand for Saudi Electric Co’s (SEC) first international sukuk issue may prompt the company to include a rare long-dated tranche-and could encourage issues by other utility companies in the Gulf. Since last week, roadshows held by SEC in Asia, the Middle East and Europe have underlined the fact that its sukuk has almost everything possible going for it: it is the first issue of dollar-denominated Saudi paper since 2010, it is a rare investmentgrade issue from that country, the company is majority-owned by the Saudi government, and the debt is a sukuk, which means it will tap a pool of Islamic investors that have bought Gulf debt eagerly in the past six months. “The prevailing tight yields as well as market liquidity, especially within the GCC, is a key reason for SEC to tap global debt markets,” said Chanaka Dassanayaka, fund manager at Alistithmar Capital in Riyadh. “The dollar-denominated issuance allows for more foreign participation, and given it is a key Saudi entity with a history of several successful local issuances, they can bargain for better terms with the market participants. “In addition, at a time when ratings of European issuers are being downgraded, international high-grade issue seekers are definitely eyeing this paper.” Since SEC is majority-owned by the Saudi government it is seen as having a high probability of state support, as the kingdom’s national electricity provider. The prospectus provides investors with a put option if government ownership falls below 50 percent, said Dassanayaka. SEC’s sukuk trust certificates are rated AA- by Standard & Poor’s, and one notch lower at A1 by Moody’s Investors Service. SEC is coming to market 17 months since another Saudi entity tapped international markets Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) launched a €1 billion, five-year bond in October 2010. SEC has big investment needs in coming years because of a growing population and surging demand for electricity used in desalinating water supplies. State-run Saline Water Conversion Corp said this month it plans to nearly double energyintensive desalinated water production to almost 6 million cubic metres per day by the end of 2015. SEC appears to face no immediate difficulty in financing its investment domestically since 2007, it has issued 19 billion riyals (€5.2 billion) worth of sukuk and has benefited from two 15 billion riyal, 25-year interest-free soft loans from the Saudi government, with a further 51 billion riyal line granted in 2011, according to Moody’s. However, its international sukuk looks like a prudent step to diversify its funding sources and potentially lower its funding costs while US interest rates are still ultralow. US five-year interest rate swaps are at about 1.35 percent while the equivalent Saudi riyal swap is at 1.96 percent. “The currency of issuance as well as the rating suggest that the company is looking

to tap a wider pool of international investors, as opposed to the local investor pool that had dominated subscription to previous Saudi riyal-denominated sukuk,” said Karim Nassif, primary credit analyst at S&P in Dubai. Pricing of SEC’s sukuk could be spectacular, some market sources say, eclipsing the pricing of 190 basis points over midswaps seen for National Bank of Abu Dhabi’s є 750 million, five-year conventional bond last week. NBAD is rated Aa3 by Moody’s, one notch above SEC’s sukuk. “SEC could price tight with the kind of advantages it possesses. A fixed rate at about midswaps plus 100-150 bp range in the case of a five-year paper is likely,” said Dassanayaka. Some other analysts, however, are predicting pricing closer to 190-200 bps over midswaps. A tantalising prospect for the sukuk market is that SEC might include a tranche that is longer than the usual five-year maturity for Islamic bond issues in the region. “We might see a surprise of a longdated floater as well, taking a bet on the US policy changes beyond 2014,” Dassanayaka said. John Bates, head of fixed income at Silk Invest, said he had heard unofficial talk of a є1 billion issue which, he suspected, might include a 10-year as well as a five-year tranche. “Providing the pricing is right there is little doubt that 10-year money would be supported by the international investors, despite the shorter risk tendencies of the local banks,” he said. Bates noted it was hard to find comparable debt to SEC but Qatar’s €2 billion sovereign bond maturing in 2022, rated Aa2 by Moody’s, was trading at a yield of roughly 4.0 percent. “One would expect some premium over this level together with the fact that SE is a government-backed entity, not the Kingdom itself,” he said. Nigel Denison, head of treasury and wealth management at Bank of London and the Middle East, said he had heard suggestions that SEC’s sukuk would be comprised of two tranches, one five-year for €1 billion and one 10-year for €750 million. SEC’s sukuk would join debt from Dubai Electricity and Water (DEWA), the only other fully integrated regional utility which services end-users, in the international market. DEWA, a popular issuer from the region rated Ba1 by Moody’s, last tapped the market in October 2010 with a є2 billion, dual-tranche bond. Other Gulf stateowned utilities including Qatar Electricity and Water Company and Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA) have secured credit ratings, and could follow SEC and DEWA, analysts believe. ADWEA has picked HSBC to advise on the €2.2 billion refinancing of its Shuweihat 2 loan and plans to issue a bond in a first for a Gulf Arab power project, bankers involved said. Financing is expected to be a mixture of bank loans and the bond, and pitching for the bond portion is ongoing, two bankers said. — Reuters

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

.2730000 .4380000 .3660000 .3030000 .2760000 .2880000 .0040000 .0020000 .0753230 .7338450 .3830000 .0710000 .7194030 .0040000 .0430000

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES US Dollar/KD .2774500 GB Pound/KD .4399800 Euro .3678020 Swiss francs .3051250 Canadian dollars .2779090 Danish Kroner .0494650 Swedish Kroner .0411070 Australian dlr .2899210 Hong Kong dlr .0357160 Singapore dlr .2198150 Japanese yen .0033550 Indian Rs/KD .0000000 Sri Lanka rupee .0000000 Pakistan rupee .0000000 Bangladesh taka .0000000 UAE dirhams .0755690 Bahraini dinars .7362350 Jordanian dinar .0000000 Saudi Riyal/KD .0740060 Omani riyals .7209300 Philippine Peso .0000000

.2820000 .4470000 .3730000 .3110000 .2850000 .2980000 .0070000 .0035000 .0760800 .7412210 .4000000 .0760000 .7266330 .0072000 .0500000 .2795500 .4433100 .3705850 .3074340 .2800120 .0498400 .0414180 .2921160 .0359860 .2214780 .0033800 .0054850 .0021540 .0030900 .0034320 .0761410 .7418070 .3954030 .0745670 .7263870 .0065600

US Dollar Pak Rupees

Rate per 1000 (Tran)

278.600 3.069

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

5.445 2.150 3.409 6.530 75.955 74.450 740.700 46.120 447.400 3.190 1.550 375.400 284.800 3.510

Rate for Transfer

Transfer Rate (Per 1000)

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

278.250 371.700 443.700 280.900 3.395 5.425 46.105 2.138 3.406 6.488 3.069 740.600 75.800 74.300

UAE Exchange Centre WLL COUNTRY

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

5.426 2.139 3.403 3.074 75.82 741.20 46.12 396.43 724.19 76.84 74.40

5.730 2.600 4.150 3.175 76.50 741.20 47.45 394.85 725.00 77.55 74.85

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd

Al Mulla Exchange Currency

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. Currency

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

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

Selling Rate

279.050 282.725 443.005 367.850 304.965 738.960 76.950 76.595 74.375 392.800 46.252 2.226 5.556 3.081 3.412 6.502 684.499 4.340 9.165 5.875 3.555 92.335


295.53 283.35 309.95 370.96 443.43 3.44 3.402

296.00 283.00 311.00 373.50 446.00 3.70 3.650

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

Bahrain Exchange Company 10 Tola COUNTRY



Australian dollar Bahraini dinar Bangladeshi taka

295.500 740.940 3.660

294.000 740.940 3.401

Sterling Pound US Dollar

282.800 547.200 45.400 49.400 167.800 47.460 373.700 36.580 5.780 0.032 0.159 0.238 3.470 394.830 0.189 92.870 45.500 4.280 231.800 1.805 49.600 723.670 3.120 6.790 77.070 74.390 222.350 38.700 2.655 446.400 42.400 310.400 3.900 9.420 198.263 75.960 279.000 1.340 GOLD 1,733.610

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 444.400 278.600


222.300 46.169 372.200 36.430 5.465 0.031

394.780 0.187 92.870 3.420 230.300 723.490 3.079 6.495 76.640 74.390 222.350 38.700 2.139 444.400 308.900 3.900 9.260 75.860 278.600



Bernanke says US job market weak despite gains WASHINGTON: Chairman Ben Bernanke says the US job market remains weak despite three months of strong hiring and that the Federal Reserve’s existing policies will help boost growth. Further job gains will likely require more robust consumer and business demand, Bernanke said yesterday during a speech at the National Association for Business Economics annual conference in Arlington, Va. Bernanke’s comments were a strong indication that the central bank is prepared to keep interest rates near zero for some time. Recent job gains have lifted hopes for the economy. Employers added an average of 245,000 jobs a month from December

through February. The unemployment rate has fallen roughly a percentage point since summer, to 8.3 percent. Bernanke said the combination of modest economic growth and rapid declines in unemployment is something of a puzzle. Normally, it takes growth of roughly 4 percent annual growth to lower the rate by that much. He offered some reasons for the unexpected decline. Employers may be hiring rapidly because they cut too many jobs during the recession. He also said revision may show stronger growth over the past year. But Bernanke cautioned that he doesn’t expect unemployment to keep falling at the current pace without much stronger economic growth. He also

noted that the rate is still roughly 3 percentage points higher than its average over the 20 years preceding the recession. His comments provided further insight into the reasoning behind the Fed’s plan to hold short-term interest rates near zero through 2014. The central bank has stuck with that timetable despite three months of strong job growth and other signs of economic improvement. The Fed is concerned that the recovery could falter again as it did last year. Americans aren’t seeing big pay increases, gas prices are rising, and Europe’s debt crisis could weigh on the US economy. As long as inflation remains tame,

analysts believe the Fed will likely hold interest rates down to give the economy more support. Many economists believe that Fed officials will not make any changes in policy at their next meeting on April 25-26 and will only ease credit conditions if the economy slows further. While the recent job market gains may continue, economists believe the record-low rates will continue as well, at least through much of this year. One reason for that view: a pullback from the 2014 timetable could jolt investors and trigger a sudden rise in interest rates set by financial markets. That would slow the economy just as it is struggling to mount a sustainable recovery. —AP

Ben Bernanke

India’s Kingfisher shares hit record lows on fears License cancellation looks imminent

PARIS: (From Left to right) Bank de France Governor Christian Noyer, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelhia President and CEO Charles Plosser listen to former Deutsche Bundesbank president Axel Weber during a session about “monetary policy issues” as part of a conference organized by Banque de France and The Global Interdependence Center at the Banque de France headquarters in Paris yesterday. — AFP

No BRICS candidate for World Bank: India NEW DELHI: The BRICS bloc of emerging countries have no plans to unite behind a common candidate to head the World Bank, an Indian foreign ministry official said yesterday. Briefing journalists on the agenda of an upcoming meeting of the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS), the official said the grouping simply wanted an “open and meritbased” process. “I have not heard anything so far (about a common candidate),” Sudhir Vyas, the secretary for economic affairs at the foreign ministry, told a media briefing ahead of the BRICS summit on Thursday. The World Bank announced last Friday that there were three candidates to succeed outgoing president Robert Zoellick in the first challenge to the US monopoly of the top job in history. Jose Antonio Ocampo, a Colombian university professor, and Nigerian finance minister Ngozi

Okonjo-Iweala will challenge Washington’s candidate Jim Yong Kim, currently president of Dartmouth College. China’s foreign ministry said yesterday that “the voice of developing countries” should be taken into account when selecting a new leader for the World Bank. The Washington-based lender is expected to select its new president “by consensus” by its 2012 Spring meetings that begin on April 20. The BRICS meeting in New Delhi is the fourth time the emerging market countries have come together for a summit since the founding of their group in 2006. Sudhir also cautioned that the countries were far from completing work on setting up a muchdiscussed BRICS investment bank to fund infrastructure and development. “It’s still very much a thought that needs to be developed. Experts have met but it will take time,” he said. — AFP

MUMBAI: Shares in India’s Kingfisher Airlines slid to a record low yesterday, on fears that the national aviation regulator may soon ground the debt-laden carrier. The firm fell 5.8 percent to an all-time low of 16.9 rupees in early trading at the Bombay Stock Exchange, before pulling back to 17.2 rupees, but still down 4.8 percent. The stock’s previous record low was 17.55 rupees, hit in November last year. India’s aviation regulator, the Directorate Generate of Civil Aviation, is mulling action against Kingfisher,

which could include suspension or cancellation of its flying license, if passenger safety is considered to be under threat. The report is due to be submitted to the government in the coming days. Cash-strapped Kingfisher, which has completely shut down its overseas operations to curtail costs, has never turned a profit since its launch in 2005 and owes millions of dollars to suppliers, lenders and staff. The carrier is also facing severe disruption to flights due to some pilots refusing to work over unpaid wages and others joining

rival carriers. Kingfisher now operates 18 planes, down from a peak of 64, Aviation Minister Ajit Singh told reporters last week. “If Kingfisher cannot find a strategic investor to pump in fresh funds soon, there is little hope for the airline,” an aviation analyst with a Mumbai brokerage said, declining to be named. Analysts estimate Kingfisher needs up to $600 million in new funding to survive. A quarter of the company is owned by local banks and some have refused to lend more cash unless fresh capital is raised and a

viable restructuring plan is presented. Kingfisher ’s bank accounts were frozen by Indian authorities in February due to the non-payment of taxes and it has since been dropped from a global payments and booking system run by the International Air Transport Association. India’s airline industry-once a symbol of the country’s economic progress-is now plagued by high fuel prices, fierce competition, price wars and inadequate airport infrastructure, with Kingfisher one of the worsthit firms. — AFP

EFG Hermes, QInvest may merge units DUBAI/CAIRO: Egyptian group EFG Hermes and Qatari Islamic investment bank QInvest are in talks about a possible merger of some operations to create an investment bank covering the Arab world, Africa, Turkey and south and southeast Asia. The venture would include securities brokerage, asset management and investment banking operations, but not EFG Hermes Private Equity, the two said yesterday. The proposed venture could be a boost to both companies, analysts said, with QInvest’s wealth complementing the experience of EFG-Hermes, whose earnings were hit hard by last year’s popular uprising in its home market. “This makes strategic sense to do and is a win-win situation for both,” said Haissam Arabi, chief executive and fund manager at Gulfmena Investments. “Forming a mega investment bank is also in line with EFG’s plans to become the region’s largest bank.” EFG Hermes, Egypt’s biggest investment bank, has a market value of $1.08 billion and

runs offices in nine Arab countries. It also controls a 65 percent stake in privately owned Lebanese bank Credit Libanais, which it bought in 2010 for $542 million. QInvest has a paid-up capital of $750 million and offices in Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, its website says. Its shareholders include Qatar Islamic Bank, other institutional investors and high net worth individuals. EFG Hermes shares soared 9.4 percent, outperforming Egypt’s benchmark index, which closed 1.1 percent lower. “It’s probably one of the better consolidation stories that have been announced in the MENA region since the crisis,” said Mohammed Yasin, former chief investment officer at CAPM Investment. The joint statement by EFG-Hermes and QInvest gave few details on what the proposed investment bank might look like. “We cannot comment on anything,” EFG-Hermes’s CEO Hassan Heikal said when contacted by telephone. Aybek Islamov, a banking analyst

with HSBC, said the two banks could generate synergies through cross-selling, client sharing and by relying on each other’s expertise and goodwill in various markets. “The main question is the amount of capital EFG Hermes will commit to the venture and the returns they can generate on it,” Islamov said. Analysts said the merger could help QInvest expand its client base outside Qatar, where low trading volumes and operating restrictions have helped slow the brokerage business. The statement by EFG Hermes and QInvest said the two institutions would assess potential synergies and if they reached an agreement, they would announce a general framework of a joint venture and a timetable for its implementation. “Our primary objective in these discussions will be to create an investment banking platform that will play a vital role in the flow of foreign capital into the region,” while enabling Arabs to invest in the region as well, the statement quoted EFG Hermes as saying. — Reuters

Majid Al-Futtaim inks terms for $500m Egypt mall loan DUBAI: Majid Al Futtaim Holding (MAF) has agreed terms for a new $500 million loan to fund a shopping centre in Egypt where the mall developer had to take writedowns after Arab Spring protests, its chief executive said yesterday. MAF, the sole franchisee of Carrefour hypermarkets in the Gulf, said it took writedowns of 300 million dirhams ($81.68 million) on its hotel assets in Bahrain and 250 million dirhams on its Egypt assets in 2011, Iyad Malas said. “There was an adjustment of value of assets both in Bahrain and Egypt,” he told reporters, adding the firm had to write down valuations of two hotels

built adjacent to Bahrain City Centre. “Based on the lower occupancy rates we see at this stage at Bahrain, we decided to write the value of these assets down.” However, he said that the value of these assets has gradually increased now. In Egypt, MAF is developing the Mall of Egypt project in Cairo, a 160,000-square metre site in Cairo which will be one of North Africa’s largest shopping centres. Malas said the company is in the final stages to secure finance for the project. Earlier this month, sources told Reuters the company had chosen Banque Misr and National Bank of Egypt as lead

arrangers for the $500 million loan. The Mall of Egypt loan had been earmarked for early 2011 but political unrest resulted in the plans being postponed, according to another source. Daniele Vecchi, senior vice president for treasury, told reporters the commercial terms for the loan have been agreed. “We have talked to Egyptian banks and they are keen to look at the project. We have advanced our discussion with two major consortiums. It’s pretty much finalized. The commercial terms are pretty much agreed, “ Vecchi said. MAF has two malls, three

hypermarkets and supermarkets in Egypt. Malas said that despite the write downs, the overall asset value across its business increased. “ That’s because Dubai assets have improved ... revenue is improving everyday.” Gross revenue was up 10 percent in 2011 to 19.6 billion dirhams, while total assets hit 36.1 billion dirhams. The company issued a $400 million sukuk, or Islamic bond, in February, and Malas said the company will tap the bond market again, if needed, expressing a preference for longerterm financing options to fund the company’s projects. — Reuters

EasyJet sees narrower loss on cost controls LONDON: EasyJet, Europe’s second-largest low-cost carrier, said it expected its first-half loss to be narrower than previously thought as cost controls and better marketing help it through tough times. European airlines have struggled to overcome a toxic mix of high oil prices and sluggish demand in recent months, with low-cost airlines expected to pick up more business as struggling European consumers trade down. Since the start of the year, some airlines, including loss-making Spanair and Hungarian flag-carrier Malev have ceased operations, leaving gaps in the market that low-cost competitors have been quick to exploit. Others, including German flagship airline Lufthansa and the country’s second-largest carrier, Air Berlin , are looking to cut costs as a way to improve operating performance. “In a difficult environment for all airlines, improvements in revenue management combined with marketing and website initiatives have enabled EasyJet to take advantage as

weaker competitors have left the market over the last couple of months,” Luton, southern England-based EasyJet said yesterday. EasyJet said it now expects a first-half loss of 110 million to 120 million pounds ($174.5 million to $190.4 million), down from previous estimates of 140 million to 160 million pounds. Shares in the company were 7.5 percent higher at 496 pence, their highest level in nearly two years, at 0839 GMT and were the second-biggest gainers on Britain’s midcap FTSE 250 index. “ We continue to be impressed with EasyJet’s operational and financial performance in a difficult market environment and it is emerging as a very clear winner in the aviation market in Europe,” Numis analyst Wyn Ellis said. Yesterday’s statement comes two months after EasyJet posted strong growth in quarterly revenue, helped by an uplift in the number of business travelers flying with the airline and milder winter weather. “We hope that Sir Stelios will show his

appreciation by allowing management to get on with the job,” the analyst added, in a reference to the airline’s founder and largest shareholder Stelios Haji-Ioannou, who has repeatedly clashed with the company ’s board. Investec analyst James Hollins said EasyJet was driving better-than-expected yields, as well as benefiting from the failure of competitors. The analyst added that margin management and cost efficiencies had also helped. The company said its continued focus on cost control for the year helped it deliver improvements in ground handling and airport charges, with total cost per seat ex-fuel for the first half now expected to be up around 1.5 percent. The increase in total revenue per seat at constant currency for the first half of the year will be better than expected at a little over 10 percent, EasyJet added. The airline acknowledged, however, that the operating environment for airlines would continue to be “difficult.” —Reuters

WASHINGTON: Members of Occupy DC sleep on a city sidewalk as pedestrians pass by yesterday in Washington, DC. The Occupiers are no longer allowed to sleep in McPherson Square, although they still maintain symbolic empty tents. — AFP

Essential to wind down fire-fighting role: ECB FRANKFURT: It is essential the European Central Bank wind down its fire-fighting role in the debt crisis as soon as it can so as not to create new risks for the financial system, an ECB official said yesterday. “A timely exit from non-standard measures and a return to a less accommodative stance-once the economic conditions are ripe-are essential,” ECB executive board member Benoit Coeure told a banking conference in Tokyo in a speech made available on the bank’s website. “Monetary policy accommodation for prolonged periods of time might fuel excessive risk-taking, leverage and asset price bubbles,” Coeure argued. And “it might discourage banks, companies and governments from strengthening their balance sheets and therefore create a dependence on low rates,” he said. Since the eruption of the current crisis, the ECB has been busy trying to put out the crisis fires on a number of fronts. It embarked in 2010 on a controversial program of buying up the bonds of debt-wracked countries. It has brought its benchmark lending rate back to its previous historic low of 1.0 percent, effectively reversing last year’s two earlier rate hikes. It has eased the rules on bank collateral and cut banks’ minimum reserve ratios, and after long resisting calls to take a haircut or writedown on its holdings of Greek bonds, it finally agreed to forego profits on them. Most recently, it made more than 1.0 trillion euros ($1.3 trillion) available to euro-zone banks at rock-bottom interest rates in order to prevent a dangerous credit crunch. Critics suggest the provision of such vast amounts of liquidity could fuel inflation in the long run and that some of the measures have overstepped the ECB’s overriding mandate to safeguard price stability in the single currency area. Nevertheless, the ECB’s current president Mario Draghi and his predecessor Jean-Claude Trichet have repeatedly said the measures are only temporary and it is ultimately up to governments to get to the root of the crisis and put their finances on a solid footing. “It is not the role of the ECB to cure the root cause of the malaise,” Coeure said in Tokyo yesterday. “Monetary policy is not and cannot be a substitute for sustainable fiscal policies, structural reforms and adequate governance. These policies are indeed in the remit of governments,” he said.—AFP



Concerns over corporate profits send stocks down GLOBAL DAILY MARKET REPORT KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) ended trading on a negative note yesterday as global shares gave weak cues amid concerns about the impact on profits after a slowdown in the global economy. Global General Index (GGI) plunged by 0.17 percent to reach 184.78 points. The KSE Price Index declined by 13 points (0.21 percent) to close at 6,208.5 points. Volume and value of shares traded on the exchange ended the day on a mixed note, as investors exchanged 405.39bn shares (+0.31 percent), at a total value of KD34.73mn (-17.46 percent). The investment sector was the volume leader, accounting for 37.87 percent (153.52mn shares) of total volume. AlDeera Holding Co was the volume leader for the day with 42.8mn shares exchanged. The stock ended the day down by 3.67 percent at 43fils. Kuwait Finance House (KFH) was the value leader for the day with a total traded value of KD3.16mn. In terms of top gainers, Kuwait Resorts Company was the top gainer for the day, adding 7.14 percent. On the other side, Automated Systems Company was the biggest loser, as its share price fell by 7.69 percent to close at KD0.300. Sector-wise Sector-wise, five out of eight indices went down yesterday, with Global Food Index being the biggest decliner as it shed 2.37 percent to close at 354.29 points. Kuwait Foodstuff Company (Americana), and Livestock Transport & Trading

Company were the top decliners in the sector, dropping 2.67 and 2.15 percent, respectively. Global Non Kuwaiti Index was the second biggest decliner, which shed by 1.71 percent to close at 45.75 points. Gulf Finance House, and United Gulf Bank dropped 3.08 and 2.63 percent, respectively. Global Real Estate Index was the biggest gainer for the day as it increased by 1.35 percent to

close at 57.82 points. The index’s gain was backed by the heavyweights Mabanee Company adding 3.92 percent, and AlMazaya Holding Company adding 2.33 percent. Alargan International Real Estate Company managed to reach the top five gainers list by 6.41 percent increase in its share price. Corporate news Kuwait will launch in coming

weeks an initial tender for construction of a second terminal at its international airport, a project wor th around KD700mn to KD800mn ($2.5bn-$2.9bn), state-run news agency KUNA said. The price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at $122.77pb on Friday, compared with $121.79pb the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations.

Gold holds near $1,660/oz LONDON: Gold held near $1,660 an ounce in Europe yesterday, taking a breather after recording its first weekly rise in four last week as weakness in the euro weighed on prices and other commodities like crude oil eased a touch. Spot gold was at $1,660.79 an ounce at 1119 GMT against $1,662.14 late on Friday, while US gold futures for April delivery were down $1.70 an ounce at $1,660.70. Prices edged up 0.2 percent last week, their first weekly increase since late February, benefiting from a sharp drop in the dollar and a rise in crude oil prices. “If the dollar is going to strengthen over the next couple of days, gold should see more downward pressure,” said Standard Bank analyst Walter de Wet. “(But) looking past the next couple of weeks, I think the rally is not over,” he added. “In real terms interest rates remain negative, and we expect them to remain negative for at least another two years.” “And even if the Fed doesn’t expand its balance sheet, which has put downward pressure on gold in recent weeks, we still think that liquidity will continue to grow.” The euro came under pressure versus the dollar yesterday despite a positive reading of German business sentiment, as the numbers proved insufficient to ease investor concerns about the troubles facing the euro-zone economy. Concerns over the bloc’s debt crisis were a key factor driving gold to record highs last year, but it has since re-established its usual inverse relationship with the dollar as the US unit takes precedence as investors’ haven of choice. Bad news from the euro zone, which weighs on the euro and boosts the dollar, therefore now tends to be negative for gold.

Safe-haven German bund futures rose and European shares also declined, reflecting softer appetite for assets seen as higher risk, like stocks and other commodities. Oil prices softened after rallying on Friday. Data from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Friday showed money managers in gold futures and options cut their bullish bets for a third straight week to the weakest level in two months. “Declining a hefty 3.1 million ounces, the Comex gold book now sits at a relatively modest 17.58 million ounces, bringing positioning to its lowest level since the week of Jan. 10 and some 53.1 percent of the all-time high,” said UBS in a note. “In just three weeks, spec net longs have collapsed by 10 million ounces. So in theory, from a positioning perspective, gold’s spec baggage looks relatively light; much like it did in early January which suggests some upside price direction is possible. But gold is lacking momentum, sentiment is weak and the technical picture is challenging.” Volume data from the Shanghai Gold Exchange suggests demand from China, the world’s second largest consumer of the precious metal, is soft, the bank added. Meanwhile, a Reuters poll suggested India’s decision to double gold import duty to four percent could cut imports to the number one global consumer by a third in 2012, to their lowest level in two years. Chinese and Indian demand has a huge impact on gold prices. “ Those two countries together make up about 42 percent of total demand, compared to 23 percent of total demand five or six years ago,” Nick Holland, chief executive of miner Gold Fields, told the Reuters mining summit yesterday. — Reuters

Dollar rises against dinar KUWAIT: Exchange rate of the US dollar against the Kuwaiti dinar rose to KD 0.278, whereas the euro stabalized at KD 0.368, compared to Sunday’s figures, said the daily bulletin of the Central Bank of

Kuwait (CBK) yesterday. Exchange rate of the Sterling pound dropped to KD 0.440, and the Japanese yen also remained unchanged, at KD 0.003, the Swiss franc dropped to KD 0.305. — KUNA




Oil discovered in Kenya for first time NAIROBI: Kenya’s president announced yesterday that oil has been discovered in his East African nation for the first time, and a foreign oil firm said the find is similar to the light crude previously discovered in neighboring Uganda. President Mwai Kibaki cautioned that commercial viability of the oil find in the northwest Turkana region is still uncertain, but he welcomed the news, calling it “a major breakthrough.” The discovery was made over the weekend. “This is the first time Kenya has made such a discovery and it is ver y good news for our countr y,” Kibaki said. “It is however the beginning of a long journey to make our country an oil

producer, which typically takes in excess of three years.” Tullow Oil - which is carrying out oil exploration in the region - said that 20 meters (about 65 feet) of net oil pay was discovered at a site called Ngamia-1 in Kenya’s Turkana County. Tullow’s exploration director, Angus McCoss, called the discovery an “excellent start” to Tullow’s exploration campaign in the rift basins of Kenya and Ethiopia. “To make a good oil discovery in our first well is beyond our expectations and bodes well for the material program ahead of us,” McCoss said in a statement, adding that the firm is working with Kenya’s government and plans on further seismic and

drilling activities. Tullow said many other prospective sites similar to Ngamia have been identified “and following this discovery the outlook for further success has been significantly improved.” Echoing Kibaki, Tullow spokesman George Cazenove sought to stress that Kenya was only at the beginning of a long process. He noted that oil was first discovered in Uganda in 2006 and has not yet reached the production stage. Though Uganda will get some oil to market next year, production won’t reach full speed until 2016, he said. “I think Uganda provides a helpful parallel,” Cazenove said. “There’s a lot more work to do before we talk about how

we get this to production and how it would affect Kenya as a nation.” “It’s a great result but must be seen in context. It’s a long-term game for sure,” he said. Energy Minister Kiraitu Murungi was quoted by Kenya’s leading newspaper, the Daily Nation, as saying that Tullow informed him that Kenya’s oil deposits could be bigger than Uganda’s. Cazenove declined to directly comment on Murungi’s claim but said that Uganda’s and Kenya’s oil potential are similar. Tullow said the Ngamia well was drilled to 1,041 meters (3,415 feet) and would now be drilled to about 2,700 meters (8,858 feet) - a process that will be completed in May. Moveable oil with an API greater than 30

degrees was found - an industry measurement of how heavy the oil is. Tullow said the oil is light and waxy. Light crude oil has a low density and flows freely at room temperature. Tullow, which began its exploration work in Kenya last year, has a 50 percent interest in multiple sites in Kenya and Ethiopia’s Rift Valley basins covering more than 100,000 square kilometers (38,610 square miles). Tullow is partnered with Africa Oil at the site of last weekend’s discovery. Tullow is using aerial mapping and seismic geo-technology to determine where to drill. The oil find was near the border with Uganda and South Sudan. Both of those countries have oil industries. —AP

Investors grapple with higher wages in China White collar workers are creating their own pay raises

HONG KONG: Chief executive officer of Qantas Group Alan Joyce speaks during a press conference in Hong Kong yesterday. Australian flag carrier Qantas and China Eastern Airlines said they will launch a new Hong Kongbased budget airline next year aimed at cashing in on China’s booming aviation market. —AFP

Asia gets new budget airline eyeing Chinese flyers SYDNEY: Australian flag carrier Qantas and China Eastern Airlines said yesterday they will launch a new Hong Kong-based budget airline next year aimed at cashing in on China’s booming aviation market. The new low-cost Asian carrier, Jetstar Hong Kong, will fly short-haul routes, including in China, Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asia, the partners announced. The move marks a major expansion of Jetstar, Qantas’s budget brand, which flies domestic Australian and Asian routes, and comes as the embattled carrier struggles to refocus on Asia, the world’s fast-growing aviation market. “This is a unique opportunity to capitalize on the enormous potential of the Greater China market, where the penetration of low-cost carriers is less than five percent,” Jetstar’s Chief Executive Bruce Buchanan said. “Jetstar’s fares will be 50 percent less than existing full-service carriers, which we’ve seen create new travel demand in our markets across Asia because it enables people to make more trips, more often.” Qantas and China Eastern-which will each have an equal stake in Jetstar Hong Kong-told the Australian Stock Exchange that the new airline would have a maximum capitalization of $198 million. Jetstar Hong Kong, which will be a pioneer in the China budget market, will launch in mid-2013 with a fleet of three Airbus A320s, but will increase that number to 18 by 2015, aiming for a 6.0-7.0 percent market share. Shanghai-based China Eastern’s chairman Liu Shaoyong said the carrier was expected to be profitable by its third year of operation. “We believe there are huge opportunities in the Jetstar low fares model throughout Asia, including Greater China,” Liu said. Greater China boasts a travel market of almost 300 million passengers a year, which is forecast to grow to 450 million by 2015 as middle class spending and travel surge in the vast nation, according to Qantas. The announcement comes little more than a fortnight after Qantas’s Asian plans were dealt a blow when talks with Malaysian Airlines over a premium jointventure Asian airline collapsed.

Qantas is instead moving to build on the successful business model of budget Jetstar, which has branded operations in Singapore, Vietnam and Japan, by boosting traffic through more affordable travel. “We see tremendous potential for the Qantas Group in Asia,” Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said. “We hope it’s the first of a whole series of partnerships that we can get involved in” in Asia, he added. Qantas in August announced plans to establish a joint-venture in Asia as it repositions itself towards the region and seeks to turn around its loss-making international arm as the global industry struggles. Talks with Malaysia and Singapore on a premium joint venture have lapsed but Joyce told AFP both options were still under consideration. “We are still reviewing them but the time is not right for both Singapore and Malaysia, so we are not going to do them in the short term,” he said. Qantas’s Asia plans sparked a fierce domestic backlash when unveiled last year, with Australian unions concerned the move would see jobs sent abroad. The ensuing acrimony between management and unions saw Joyce ground the entire Qantas fleet in October, stranding thousands of passengers at airports around the world and digging into the airline’s bottom line. Last month Qantas announced it would slash at least 500 jobs and cut costs after an 83 percent slump in first-half net profits. Jetstar Hong Kong’s base will give it a China springboard and a home in one of Asia’s key aviation hubs, through which around 40 million passengers pass each year. “The number of Chinese people travelling internationally is growing at an incredible rate,” said John Lee, chief executive of the Tourism and Transport Forum, an Australian tourism lobby group, welcoming the announcement. “An estimated 70 million Chinese travelled overseas in 2011 and that’s expected to grow to 110 million by the end of the decade as household incomes continue to rise.” Qantas’s share price jumped 2.02 percent to end at Aus$1.765 after the announcement. —AFP

TEPCO execs ‘should face poverty’ over Fukushima TOKYO: A lawyer representing shareholders suing Fukushima nuclear plant operator TEPCO for $68 billion said yesterday the company’s executives should be prepared for misery and poverty to make amends. Hiroyuki Kawai, who is leading 42 shareholders in their bid for compensation from Tokyo Electric Power Company for negligence over the tsunami-sparked disaster at the plant, said senior managers must be made to pay. “Warnings have to be issued that, if you make wrong decisions or do wrong, you must compensate with your own money,” Kawai told a press conference. “You may have to sell your house. You may have to spend your retirement years in misery. In Japan, nothing can be resolved and no progress can be made without assigning personal responsibility.” The lawsuit, which is demanding a record 5.5 trillion yen, claims that 27 current and former executives of TEPCO

ignored warnings by researchers about the possible damage to the Fukushima Daiichi plant that a huge earthquake and tsunami could cause. The Fukushima crisis might have been prevented, had TEPCO taken the research seriously and carried out simple preventative measures, such as placing an emergency power source on higher ground, Kawai said. Reactors at the plant were sent into meltdown when huge waves swamped their cooling systems following the March quake. Radiation leaked over a large area, forcing tens of thousands of people from their homes and rendering vast areas unfarmable. No one from TEPCO has been arrested and there is no active criminal investigation into the case, despite a number of inquiries that found serious shortcomings in the company’s emergency safety procedures. TEPCO declined to immediately comment on the ongoing civil case. — AFP

BEIJING: US lawnmower manufacturer Briggs & Stratton is used to worrying about turnover - just not the human kind. Like many foreign investors in China, the Milwaukeebased firm has been hit by a steady rise in wages - which puts it in the same boat as many US businesses in China responding to a survey released yesterday by the American Chamber of Commerce. After decades of aggressive expansion in China, foreign employers like Briggs & Stratton face a relative shortage of experienced, English-speaking engineers and managers, and find it increasingly expensive to recruit and retain good staff. Rather than waiting around for extra digits on their paychecks, China’s white collar workers are creating their own pay raises by jumping ship at the slightest temptation. “Turnover is a huge issue for anyone in China. Our turnover is 9 to 10 percent,” said Mark Plum, Asia president for Briggs & Stratton in Shanghai. He added that in Shanghai, turnover rates were generally around 18 to 20 percent. “Anywhere else you’d say that was terrible. Here, it’s not half bad.” On the factory floor as well, cheap labor no longer looks limitless, prompting manufacturers to consider moving from the country’s prosperous coast to poorer, cheaper inland regions. Some are even taking their lowest-margin, most labour-intensive operations to other countries altogether, such as Vietnam. Employees and wages now top the preoccupations of American investors in China, according to

AmCham’s annual business-climate survey of 390 companies. “I think it speaks to the economic transition that China is in now that it will not be able to rely on cheap labor to drive exports into the future,” AmCham Chairman Ted Dean said. “Management-level human resource constraints” ranked as the biggest business challenge in the survey, cited by 43 percent of respondents compared with 30 percent last year. “Non-management level” constraints were ranked third. Labor costs ranked as the third greatest challenge, after an economic slowdown in China and the wider global economy. Though 39 percent of respondents surveyed by AmCham said their Chinese operating profit margins were higher than their global margins, only slightly fewer firms - equal to a third - said their Chinese margins were actually lower. For the rest, Chinese margins were comparable with their global operations. In a similar survey released by AmCham in Shanghai last month, 90 percent of respondents saw rising costs as a hindrance to businesses. About the same number said finding skilled labor was a challenge. “There’s been an absolute explosion of consciousness of this issue,” said Kim Woodard, of consultancy InterChina. “It’s not just because the media have covered it but also in internal budgets they are seeing a 20 percent rise in wages.” Government statistics show that average monthly urban wages rose by 13.3 percent between 2009 and 2010, although companies’ actual

cost structures can vary considerably. As the number of adults flowing into the workforce slows, China can no longer attract manufacturing with the promise that an unending pool of rural migrants will keep its wages down. China’s population of 20-yearolds to 30-year-olds fell to around 200 million in 2005. It is expected to climb through 2015 but then fall off again, to below the 200 million mark by 2020, according to a presentation by China International Capital Corp. That, plus competition for workers by expanded domestic and foreign-invested industries, should help shift more bargaining power to workers to get higher wages and better benefits. InterChina used to build in simple wage rises of 5 to 8 percent a year when helping clients carry out feasibility studies for new operations in China, Woodard said. That calculation is now a lot more complicated, with investors having to weigh China costs against Vietnam or India. Rising Chinese wages will surpass those of Mexico in about five years, he estimated, giving Mexican factories an advantage when exporting to the US market. Unlike the supply of manual laborers, the number of college graduates is rising steeply. But companies often complain that graduates with the right skills and experience are hard to find, and expensive to keep. An engineer with up to five years’ experience can be hired for $9,500-$20,000 in China, says recruitment firm JM Gemini. This doesn’t mean that jobs will flow back to the United

States: the average salary of a worker in Milwaukee is $33,140 a year, far above China levels. While Briggs & Stratton’s 3,000 employees in the United States are probably keenly aware that America’s manufacturing base is shrinking, Chinese graduates often view their current job simply as a springboard to the next one. “What happens here is that you get a young person who speaks pretty good English and has worked for two to four years. If the guy is under 30, he may have worked for four companies in just two years,” Plum said. “In the States, you’d never hire the guy because you’d say he can’t hold down a job. Here you just have to say well, that’s how it is.” Briggs & Stratton, which also makes snow-blowers and other small engines, employs mechanical engineers in China as well as people to figure out how to price and market products. It runs a factory outside Shanghai, one of five international facilities. According to its website, “Briggs & Stratton believes there is an engine inside everyone that drives him or her forward”. In China, it is forced to fuel that engine with team-building exercises to keep employees loyal, such as taking staff to outdoor sports events or on overnight company retreats. “As a company, we’re not used to having to keep people entertained,” Plum said. “If you get laid off in Milwaukee, there’s no jobs - so no one leaves the job they have. Here, if you get laid off or leave, there’s a hundred jobs.” —Reuters

Italy centre-left vows to force job reform changes ROME: Italy’s main centre-left party pledged yesterday to force amendments to Prime Minister Mario Monti’s proposals to make it easier to fire workers, but said it would not withdraw support for his technocrat government in parliament. The proposals have drawn a strike call from Italy’s largest union, the CGIL, and sharply dented Monti’s approval ratings. The plan to weaken employment protection measures is part of a package of labor reforms that the government says is needed to open up the job market and get more young people working. The drive is being closely watched by Italy’s euro zone partners and also by financial markets as a test of Monti’s ability to reform a rigid economy and generate growth to reduce Italy’s debt mountain. It is proving to be his toughest challenge so far, hitting resistance from the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), part of a coalition with the centre-right PDL that supports Monti’s technocrat government in parliament. The PD is closely linked to the left-wing CGIL. “We want to get the labor reform done but also to discuss it in parliament and correct the gaps there are in it,” PD leader Pier Luigi Bersani told the party leadership. Anna Finnochiaro, leader of the PD in the Senate, told reporters on the fringes of the leadership meeting that there was “no risk of a falling-out with the government”. However, tension is growing in the coalition ahead of May 6-7 city council elections that will be the first test of voter support since Monti was appointed in November. The PDL wants to see the reforms passed as quickly as possible. After four months of relative calm following Monti’s appointment in November to stave off a financial crisis, surveys suggest that a mood of consensus is starting to fray. In an ISPO opinion poll in the daily Corriere della Sera on Sunday, Monti’s support fell to 44 percent from levels as high as 62 percent in early March, with 54 percent now holding a negative view of his unelected government. The CGIL has announced 16 hours of stoppages including a day-long general strike to fight the reforms, which will be debated in parliament in coming weeks. The measures are part of a wider overhaul of rules that Monti says divide the job market between a privileged group of older, protected, full-time workers and a growing army of young people in insecure, temporary jobs that offer few prospects or benefits. The changes will ease restrictions on Article 18 of the Italian labor code, allowing firms to fire workers for business reasons and do away with an automatic right to reinstatement for wrongful dismissal except in cases of proven discrimination. Employers say the current restrictions on firing discourage firms from taking on staff because they find it hard to lay them off when business conditions get worse. —Reuters

BEIJING: Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, right, shakes hands with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny during their meeting at Diaoyutai Guest House yesterday in Beijing. Kenny is on an official visit to China from March 25 to 29. —AP

Irish PM seeks investment during China visit BEIJING: Ireland’s prime minister yesterday urged Chinese firms to invest in his country, on a visit to the Asian giant just days after official data revealed the euro member had slipped back into recession. Ireland-which was forced to seek a rescue package in 2010 after a deep recession left its economy close to collapse-has been working to boost its image in China as it seeks investment and new markets for Irish goods. “Ireland is open for business and this is a brilliant time to invest in and to benefit from Ireland’s recovery,” Enda Kenny-currently on a four-day trip to China-told business leaders in the commercial hub of Shanghai. “It is vital to Ireland’s national interests that our companies tap into the enormous business opportunities that exist here and that we also connect Ireland with China’s vast outward investment potential,” he said. Debthit Ireland sought a European UnionInternational Monetary Fund bailout to the tune of 85 billion euros ($112 billion at current rates) in 2010 after suffering a deep recession amid a property market meltdown and banking crisis. Official data on Thursday showed that the country once dubbed the “Celtic Tiger” due to its fast-growing econo-

my sank back into recession late last year, despite registering annual growth for the first time since 2007. Irish gross domestic product shrank 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter after a contraction of 1.1 percent in the third quarter. The technical definition of a recession is two quarters of economic contraction in a row. The news came as Europe continues to struggle with a serious sovereign debt crisis, which has also seen Greece and Portugal receive bailouts. Speaking before the trip, Kenny praised the “positive signals” from China in support of Europe’s efforts to resolve the crisis. Premier Wen Jiabao said last month that China was ready to increase its involvement in solutions to the EU debt problems, though he gave no specific details. Kenny travelled to Beijing later yesterday and met with Vice President Xi Jinping-widely tipped to be the nation’s next leader-and reiterated Ireland’s desire to do business with China. “We see Ireland as being very open, an inviting place for business and potentially a very strong partner for China”, he said. Besides seeking investment and market opportunities, Kenny is also aiming to boost the number of Chinese tourists to his country. —AFP




Tata Comm completes first wholly owned cable network ring KUWAIT: Tata Communications, a leading provider of The New World of Communications, yesterday announced the completion of the world’s first round-the-world fiber optic cable network with the official launch of its Tata Global Network - Eurasia ( TGN-EA) cable. The cable connects Europe to India, through Egypt, bringing increased capacity, resilience and enhanced communications links to not only the Middle East, but to the rest of the world. The completion of the final link across Egypt enables Tata Communications to offer its customers unique access to a wholly-owned

express route cable from Europe to India with improved latency, redundancy and scalability. In conjunction with the company’s recently launched TGNGulf these routes will cater to the increasing demand for voice, video and data services in and out of the Gulf region. Vinod Kumar, Managing Director and CEO, Tata Communications, says, “Our customers, whether a European automanufacturer, an Asian hotel group or a large US financial services firm, need to compete in global markets and are demanding faster and more reliable worldwide connectivity. Companies and carriers in developed and emerging

economies require the confidence and security delivered by a wholly-owned network such as Tata Communications’ TGN.” The round-the-world ring also offers city-to-city connections in contrast to more traditional networks which only link cable landing stations. This approach is more cost-effective, flexible and provides a faster time to market delivery, as well as being easier to maintain and manage. The completion of the final TGN-EA link follows significant investment from Tata Communications in its global network in recent years. The TGN-EA cable system now interconnects Europe, India, the Gulf and Middle

East seamlessly with the rest of the world while consistently providing higher quality bandwidth on a global scale. Tata Communications owns and operates the world’s largest subsea cable network which reaches countries representing 99.7 per cent of the world’s GDP. ‘This a landmark moment for Tata Communications as we officially launch the world’s first wholly-owned global submarine cable network as a complete and robust ring around the world.’ concludes Kumar. The 9,280 km TGN-EA system which links Europe and India, running across the Mediterranean and the Middle East, uses fiber-optic technology based on

microscopic glass fiber as thin as a strand of human hair, and offers customers the lowest levels of latency with RTD around 92 msec with speeds from 2Mbit/s to 10Gbit/s available. Today’s announcement together with Tata Communications’ recent global technology association launch with Formula 1 and its public commitment to drive cross-network video collaboration through the Global Meeting Alliance(tm) all complement and further strengthen Tata Communications’ vision to deliver a New World of Communications to advance the reach and leadership of its customers across the globe.

BMW Group’s flagship model gets the M factor Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive introduces 7 Series M Edition

Joyalukkas arrives to ornament Guntur GUNTUR: Joyalukkas, one of the largest jewelry retail chains in the world, opened its large format jewelry showroom at Guntur in Andhra Pradesh on March 24, 2012. Bollywood celebrity and Joyalukkas Brand Ambassador, R. Madhavan, inaugurated the grand showroom in the presence of dignitaries and VIPs, including G. Kamala Vardhana Rao IAS, Chairman of Tobacco Board, VN Vishnu IAS, Collector & District Magistrate, Guntur, Harish Kumar Gupta, IPS, Inspector General of Police, Guntur, Joy Alukkas, Chairman of Joyalukkas Group and the senior management team of Joyalukkas Group. “Guntur is an exciting city, the center of business, industry, agriculture and learning. It is our honor to be able to expand to this blessed city and serve the residents of Guntur with the Joyalukkas jewelry experience. My team and I are very excited and looking forward to serving the discerning jewelry lovers of Guntur with a refreshing experience in jewelry shopping, by offering them with breathtaking choices, best value, great convenience and world class service,” said Mr. Joy Alukkas, Chairman of Joyalukkas Group. Conveniently located on Amaravathi main road, the new showroom, which offers ample parking space and 20,000 sq. feet of floor space spread across 3 floors, features a wide range of collections in gold, diamond, precious stone, platinum, pearl and silver. The mix of jewelry offered includes a choice of traditional and contemporary designs to fulfil the needs and demands of all types of jewelry buyers. “I have been associated with Joyalukkas for over 2 years now, but every opening of a new Joyalukkas showroom is still very exciting for me. I love to see the great response they get and the opportunity to interact with the residents on these occasions,” said R Madhavan. Joyalukkas has announced some exciting promotions and offers to coincide with the opening celebrations,

to ensure the customers get the best buy at Joyalukkas. “Guntur is very special to us; hence we are pulled all stops to ensure we offer the residents here the best experience in jewelry shopping. Our Guntur showroom features over a million designs in all possible jewelry options and offering the best value for our customers. We look forward to the blessings and support of Guntur residents to make our presence here a grand success,” added Joy Alukkas. Joyalukkas is pursuing an aggressive expansion drive and the management has announced plans to open five more showrooms, at Nellore, Tirupati, Kakinada, Rajahmundry and Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, within the next 6 months. The Guntur Joyalukkas jewelry showroom showcases the signature Joyalukkas format with stylish, convenient interiors and the best collections of jewelry from around the world. Joyalukkas, is the only ISO 14001:2006 and ISO 9001:2008 certified jewelry retail chain, which also guarantees and adheres to quality standards like the BIS Hallmark for gold jewellery, IGI certification for Diamond jewellery and PGI certification for Platinum jewellery to ensure the customers trust, assurance and total peace of mind. Joyalukkas also features many convenient and value added schemes like ‘Easy Gold scheme’, Joyalukkas Golden Rewards Card, 100% buy-back guarantee and others, to make purchases of jewelry easy and convenient for jewelry lovers. Joyalukkas is also among the few retail jewelry chains to be recognized with many awards and accolades for its exceptional standards in jewelry retailing. Its popular Chennai showroom has been recognized by the Limca Book of records for being the largest jewelry showroom in the world. Joyalukkas Bengaluru showroom was also recently awarded ‘Best Single Store of the year’ by the ‘All India Gem and Jewelry Trade Federation’.

Commercial Bank presents success of prepaid card Prepaid Summit Middle East 2012 in Dubai KUWAIT: For the second year in a row, the Commercial Bank of Kuwait was invited to the prepaid summit held in Dubai on March 21, 2012 and organized by VRL financial and sponsored by VISA to share the experience of the prepaid launch and its success with audience. This prepaid summit gathers people from all around the world and very prestigious speakers to share new ideas and opportunities about this type of banking products with the attendees. The invitation was addressed to Ramzi Sabboury - the executive manager for Marketing and Sales - as he has been selected as one of the speakers to present the marketing techniques used to arrive at the remarkable success of Al Tijari prepaid card in the country. For this reason, the Commercial Bank of Kuwait was amongst the top 3 banks in the region for the “Best Marketing Campaign of the year” and the only bank in Kuwait to be short-listed for this award. Sabboury explained how the innovative ways in marketing led to place the prepaid card as one of the most successful launches in Kuwait. The features added to the card along with the strong and effective methods used to promote it, continue to attract new customers to the bank and with the ongoing campaigns held since the launch with the

partnerships of major retailers in Kuwait, the Al Tijari prepaid card has definitively ensured customer satisfaction in all segments. Commercial Bank of Kuwait continues to bring to its customers the most innovative offerings as promised and ensures all products meet customers’ expectations and needs.

Ramzi Sabboury

KUWAIT: Having led Kuwait’s premium automotive segment for the last two years and achieved excellent sales in 2011, the BMW 7 Series is at the peak of its success. To further emphasize its segment leadership, Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive, the exclusive importer for BMW Group in Kuwait, has unveiled the new BMW 7 Series M Edition that will add another string to its highest volume selling model’s bow. Arriving in the Kuwait this month, the new BMW 7 Series M Edition will feature the BMW M Sport Package to further accentuate the sportiness and dynamism of the 7 Series while allowing potential customers to individualize the model to their liking. BMW M Sport Package Features Made specifically for driving enthusiasts, the grippy M leather steering wheel ensures perfect control of the vehicle in every situation with a slightly smaller diameter and special thumbrests. Meanwhile, the driver and front passenger are welcomed by exclusive comfort seats designed for increased driving pleasure. These seats perfectly underline the sporting character of the BMW 7 Series and provide comfortably firm back support even on long journeys. Aesthetics and dynamics cast in aluminium, the exclusive 19 and 20-inch M light-alloy wheels of the BMW 7 Series M Edition deliver precise responses in every situation. This gives the driver the advantage of more precise steering at higher speeds, and ensures great stability and increased comfort. Finally, the front and rear apron, and rear diffuser of the M Aerodynamics Package accentuate the sporty character of the BMW 7 Series Sedan, designed with driving pleasure in mind. The flagship BMW 7 Series remained Kuwait’s highest volume selling model in 2011. The introduction of the BMW 7 Series M Edition will serve to strengthen the BMW 7 Series’ number one position in the Kuwaiti luxury sedan segment. Combining ultimate style, comfort and luxury with supreme driving dynamics and pleasure, the BMW 7 Series has been designed around BMW’s robust EfficientDynamics strategy to reduce fuel consumption and emissions and is the most fuel efficient engine in its class.

IKEA Foundation donations up by 44% in 2011 KUWAIT: The IKEA Foundation, which manages IKEA’s investments in social projects to benefit children in the developing world, donated EUR 65 million to 47 charitable programs in 2011. This constitutes an increase of 44per cent over the previous year (EUR 45 million). Funds were allocated to 15 different organizations including UNHCR (the UN refugee agency), Half the Sky, UNDP, Save the Children, and UNICEF, reaching children in more than 30 countries. The Foundation’s Annual Review is available at “Our vision is a world where children living in poverty have more opportunities to create a better future for themselves and their families, explains Per Heggenes, CEO of IKEA Foundation. “Profits give us the resources to reach for that vision, and we are grateful for the dedication of IKEA co-workers and loyal customers around the globe who enabled us to increase our giving so dramatically, despite the global recession and economic uncertainties.” The foundation funds a wide range of long term programs to address the basic needs for children and families, helping them break the cycle of poverty and take control of their own future. For the past 10 years, IKEA and UNICEF have been working together in India to end child labor and create a better future for India’s children. Additionally, the foundation provides in-kind donations of IKEA products to aid families struck by disasters, and shares key IKEA expertise, such as logistics and material handling. Highlights of the past year include:

l A three-year program for the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, to care for 120,000 refugees in the Horn of Africa. In total, the IKEA Foundation’s commitment amounted to EUR 45 million - the largest private donation ever to the UNHCR. l The “Soft Toys for Education” program, a collaboration with UNICEF and the Save the Children, provided EUR 11.4 million for children’s education in 2011. l Children’s rights programs in cotton production areas of India and Pakistan, which aim to strengthen children’s rights and fight child labor practices. Donations amounted to EUR 11.3 million in 2011. The IKEA Foundation aims to improve opportunities for children and youth in developing countries by funding holistic, long-term programs that can create substantial, lasting change. The Foundation works with strong strategic partners applying innovative approaches to achieve large-scale results in four fundamental areas of a child’s life: a place to call home; a healthy start in life; a quality education; and sustainable family income.

Jet Airways rated best on time performer MUMBAI: Jet Airways, India’s premier international airline and JetLite, its all economy subsidiary, have registered the highest ontime performance of 91.8% per cent & 89.7% respectively by scheduled airlines in the month of February 2012. According to Nikos Kardassis, CEO, Jet Airways, “Each department within our airline operates with great precision and focus, helping us achieve On Time Departures. Needless to state that our On Time Performance bears testimony to the unwavering dedication, commitment and integrated action of our employees from across departments. The services rendered by our team of highly talented professionals, have helped us in emerging as an efficient and responsive organization, sensitive to the changing needs of our domestic and international passengers for whom time is always of great significance. This has played a decisive role in helping us to be rated as the best on time performer amongst scheduled airlines and stay a step ahead of the growth curve.” As part of a strategic rebranding exercise, effective March 25, 2012, the erstwhile JetLite and Jet Airways Konnect services will operate under the new JetKonnect brand.




Car-charger maker aims to cut the cord Plugless Power to charge electric cars - wirelessly

A woman looks at the internet site Pinterest has become the Web’s hottest young website, particularly among women, by giving people virtual bulletin boards that they decorate with pictures showcasing interests in anything from food to sports, fashion or travel. —AFP

Tough times in US-China iPad smuggling game SAN FRANCISCO/HONG KONG: Early on the morning of March 16, Wong Tat joined a line of about 100 people waiting for the launch of the new iPad in a chilly rain outside an Apple store on the outskirts of San Francisco. When the doors opened, he was among the first to buy his quota of two iPads-the maximum Apple Inc allows per person. Then, sporting a bright red cap for easy identification, Wong began to direct a stream of people toting their new tablets to a silver Mercedes SUV in the parking lot. After about two dozen of the neatly boxed iPads had been put in the trunk, the SUV sped to a nearby run-down hair salon and massage parlor. There, the haul of tablets costing about $12,000 was transferred to red, white and blue wholesale bags, which Wong then spirited out the back door into another car. “They are headed for China,” said Amy, a 30-something hair stylist at the salon who had joined in the pre-dawn operation outside the Apple store. She would not divulge her last name. The iPads had embarked on the first leg of a journey that would ironically return them to the country where they were assembled in the first place. They may have been stuffed into suitcases and taken by passengers on a flight to China, or possibly flown by courier to the duty-free territory of Hong Kong and smuggled in students’ backpacks across the border into mainland China. Demand for Apple products, coupled with severe constraints on local supply, has created a thriving black market. A 16-gigabyte iPad bought in San Francisco for $499 — about $540 including tax-can be sold for more than $1,000 in Shanghai the next day. Apple sold more than 3 million of the devices- which now come 4G-ready with a sharper “retina” display-in its first weekend. “You can pretty much determine when the first iPad arrives in China by monitoring the first flight out from the US on launch day,” said an Apple employee who was not authorized to speak on behalf of the company. Companies that make iPad accessories, such as cases and speakers, also hire people to wait in line on launch day, a source involved in that business said. Accessory makers do not get an early peek at Apple products, so they have to scramble as soon as new iPads and iPhones hit the streets to reconfigure assembly lines and craft accessories that fit, he said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. Serious money People like Wong, dubbed “huangniu,” or yellow-bull black-market operator in Chinese, have operated richly lucrative businesses. They pay people like Amycode-named “nurses” because the word “hush” sounds like “helpers” in Chinese — $20 to $30 to stand in line and buy an iPad and iPhone for resale on the black market. Factor in as little as $12 to ship each device via a Chinese shipping agent, and small wonder Wong and his ilk found it worth their while. But it’s getting tougher and costlier to smuggle the devices into China as the Chinese customs authority has told some US-based shipping agents not to accept orders of iPads, and warned travellers to declare their gadgets at the border and pay a 10 percent import duty on electronics. Two small shipping companies that ship to China, BLZ Express and Global Courier

Services, said they now refuse iPad shipments. Fremont, California-based BLZ posted a notice on its website this month saying: “Our clearing warehouses have stopped receiving iPad in accordance with a recent customs authority notification.” UPS and FedEx, the largest US package delivery companies, did not return messages for a comment. In Shenzhen, across the border from Hong Kong, an online report from the state-owned Guangzhou Daily-a mouthpiece of the local government-said the newest iPad was among 20 taxable goods that should be declared by travellers. “I stopped carrying iPad a few months ago because now the customs at Shenzhen can be pretty strict,” said a Chinese student in Hong Kong, who declined to reveal his payoff for smuggling. Furthermore, Apple now simultaneously launches devices in multiple countries, boosting availability and depressing black market prices. “It’s getting really hard to do this compared to previous years,” said Amy, who wore a dyed red streak in her hair, as she trimmed a young man’s “faux-hawk” hair style in the San Francisco area salon. An electronics dealer in Oakland, California, said he struggled to break even this year, a far cry from previous iPad releases when he shipped upwards of 1,000 tablets and pocketed profits of $50 to $100 per device sent to his buyer in Hong Kong. This year, he had no choice but to send 250 iPads via FedEx which quotes $110 to ship a 2-pound tablet to Chinahours after they hit US stores. But the same-day launch of the tablet in 10 territories, including Hong Kong, cur tailed demand. “This whole game is over,” the dealer complained. “There’s an overabundance of supply. The market’s flooded.” He said he visited only a couple of stores in the San Francisco Bay area for tablets, with the Chinese black-market selling-price falling every day that passes. Wear it with pride Despite that expansion in inventory, demand in China still outstrips supply. Online retail site carried iPad listings last week for as much as $1,100, though $600 to $700 price tags were more common. IPads and iPhones have become badges of Western chic and status to upwardly mobile Chinese, yet they are usually the last to be able to buy them directly from Apple stores. Industry sources say smugglers operate out of multiple countries, but mainly in the United States because that is where stores carry the most products. Last Friday in Hong Kong, stores ran out of the newest iPad within hours. They are now sold via a daily lottery there, while they are still readily available in many US stores. The Chinese “nurses” are easy to spot-they stroll in, hand over a note describing the model they want and leave as soon as they get it. Whereas an ordinary buyer will often take their gadget out for a test drive before leaving the store and ask sales employees numerous questions. “Apple has gotten so big that they can flood the market. Before they released it, they probably had been making them for six months and had them sitting in a warehouse. Now they are selling it in Asia and Australia, and it’s out 16 hours before us,” said the Oakland dealer. —Reuters

British video games retailer GAME enters administration LONDON: British video games retailer GAME has collapsed into administration, placing more than 5,500 jobs at risk, the group said yesterday, becoming the latest victim of tough economic conditions. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has been appointed as joint administrators of the group’s UK and Ireland operations, which has 609 stores under the GAME and Gamestation brands and employs a total of 5,521 people. A PwC spokeswoman said that GAME’s international divisions were operating as normal. The company also has stores in Australia, the Czech Republic, France, Portugal and Spain. “The board of GAME has completed its discussions with lenders and third parties without resolution, and has therefore today appointed PwC LLP to act as administrators for the group,” the group said in a brief statement. “This decision is taken after careful consideration and

ceaseless interrogation of every possible alternative.” Administration refers to the process whereby a troubled company calls upon independent expert financial help in a bid to remain operational. The retailer’s demise comes after a string of profit warnings and the failure of nervous suppliers, including Electronic Arts and Nintendo, to go on providing new games. “The group has faced serious cashflow and profit issues over the recent past,” added Mike Jervis, joint administrator and partner at PwC. “It also has suffered from high fixed costs, an ambitious international roll-out and fluctuating working capital requirements. “Despite these challenges, we believe that there is room for a specialist game retailer in the territories in which it operates, including its biggest one, the UK. As a result we are hopeful that a going concern sale of the business is achievable.” —AFP

MORRISVILLE: Will the electric car recharger be the next technology to go wireless? That’s the question posed by Evatran, a Morrisville startup that has created a “plugless” charging station to juice up plug-in electric cars. The company’s founders - and funders - are betting that cutting the cord will be the next advance for electric cars, building on the same concept that has untethered telephones and computers from the tyranny of wall jacks. Evatran represents one of several efforts in academia and industry to develop wireless recharging on the theory that handling dust-caked, mudstained, rain-soaked cables will prove to be a major impediment to mass adoption of the electric car. Evatran’s approach allows an electric vehicle equipped with its device to recharge by parking over a recharging pad mounted on the ground. The concept is intriguing enough to encourage Duke Energy, Google, Clemson University, Hertz Rent-A-Car and others to test Evatran’s product this spring in anticipation of 2,000 Evatran units being sold this year. Sears, the tool and appliance chain, has signed on to be an authorized nationwide installer of the garage-based mechanisms needed to make Evatran’s system work at home. The car-mounted adapters would have to be installed by auto dealers. Raleigh, N.C., officials, meanwhile, are in talks with Evatran to test the outdoor version of the company’s Plugless Power technology at select locations around town. “Fundamentally, what we’re selling here is convenience,” said Evatran co-founder Rebecca Hough. “The cord gets really dirty. People run over the cord. And nobody wants to be using a cord in a rainstorm.” Three-year-old Evatran is a spinoff from MTC Transformers, an electronics manufacturer since renamed Schaffner MTC and based in Wytheville, Va. Evatran moved to Morrisville in January to be closer to a global technology hub. It currently employs 11 people here. The company is backed by about $3.7 million in funding, about two-thirds of which comes from MTC and private investors. But $1.2 million comes from the state of Virginia and is conditioned on creating 85 manufacturing jobs in that state over three years. Evatran expects to continue hiring engineers and other positions in Morrisville as it fine-tunes

and markets its device. Duke Energy, based in Charlotte, N.C., will install a Plugless Power unit next month at the South Carolina home of an employee who drives a Chevrolet Volt to see how the charging unit performs. “We don’t want to sit back and be surprised by new technologies that are coming down the pike,” said Duke spokeswoman Paige Layne. “The more we are prepared for new equipment that comes into use, the more we’ll be prepared to keep the lights on.” Jim Poch, executive director of Plug-In Hybrid Coalition of the

in Prius hybrids instead. Hough said Evatran’s technology will be adopted for other auto models soon. “We’re interested in exploring the technology,” said Julian Prosser, Raleigh’s assistant city manager and an owner of a Nissan Leaf. “Even if the city didn’t host one on city property, we could work with them to identify interested parties in the private sector that might want to host these.” Evatran has already logged 180 online reservations for Plugless Power. The unit is expected to retail for less than $3,000, not including the cost of installation.

applications the gap is infinitesimal. In Evatran’s wireless recharger, however, the gap is 6 inches, representing the distance between the ground pad and the adapter mounted under the car. The ground pad in the outdoor and indoor units can be embedded in asphalt or concrete so that it’s not visible and does not tempt thieves or vandals. The company’s Morrisville office displays an outdoor parking lot version of its technology as well as the indoor garage unit, which resembles an electronic scale or aerobics step. The lab in the back is an orderly

MORRISVILLE: Kevin Johnson of Evatran installs a vehicle charging adaptor at the company’s facility. —MCT Carolinas, says that as a longtime electric car buff, he’s not fazed by handling charging cables. Poch, a Volt driver in Charleston, S.C., acknowledged some customers might be willing to pay a premium for the convenience of wireless recharging, but he rejects Evatran’s general premise. “I think it’s self-serving and incorrect to talk about the huge need for this,” Poch said. “I don’t see it as being a barrier to someone purchasing an electric car.” Raleigh officials foresee another impediment: Plugless Power currently works only with the Volt and Nissan Leaf, and the city doesn’t own any of those models yet. The city uses converted plug-

The price would be twice as much as some conventional rechargers. Customers would have to retrofit their cars at the dealership for now, but in the future Evatran is counting on the units being factory-installed. Because Plugless Power drains energy, it would raise the cost of recharging a car to about $1.45, as opposed to $1.35 for a plug-in charger, said Steve Raedy, Evatran’s R&D director. Plugless Power uses induction technology that’s more than a century old and is common today in cell phone cradles, electric toothbrushes, microphones and generators. Induction is based on creating magnetic fields, but in most

disarray of wireless charging devices in various states of disassembly, exposing mother boards, capacitors, ribbon cables and other electronic entrails. A Nissan Leaf is elevated on a hoist, exposing a Plugless Power unit attached to its underbelly. An employee hops into another Leaf parked on the floor and slowly drives up over the device until a wall-mounted monitor indicates it has docked. The 240-volt device begins charging automatically. Hough, the co-founder, holds up the Leaf charging cable, dragging its tail along the floor. “It’s just a mess,” she said. “Your wife will yell at you because you didn’t wrap it up the night before.” —MCT

Technology, strategies help drive Citrix MIAMI: Citrix Systems, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based company with a wide international reach, has built itself into an important player in the highly competitive information-technology sector, recently posting strong growth in revenues, profits and employment. Last year alone, Citrix added 1,300 employees to its worldwide workforce, an increase of more than 23 percent, bringing the total to approximately 7,000 today. About 1,500 people work at Citrix’s main office in Fort Lauderdale, and the company also has its Latin American and Caribbean headquarters in Coral Gables, Fla. Citrix in 2011 logged record-high net revenue of $2.2 billion, a 17.7 percent increase over 2010, and record net profits of $356.3 million, 28.6 percent higher than the previous year. Cash flow from operations was $679 million last year, compared with $616 million the prior year. With more than 230,000 customers worldwide, about 45 percent of revenues came from the Americas, 26 percent from Europe, the Middle East and Africa, 9.5 percent from Asia and 19.4 percent from online services, such as GoToMeeting, GoToTraining and remote IT support. Citrix’s revenues are derived from product licenses, license updates, software as a service, and tech services. The expansion of mobile devices all over the world plays a key role in Citrix’s growth plans. “In computing, mobility used to be the exception,” said David J. Henshall, the company’s chief financial officer and executive vice president of operations. “Now it has become the rule.” With the explosive growth of smart phones and tablets, more and more companies and individuals worldwide embrace mobile work styles and cloud-based computing services that allow people to be as connected and productive outside the office as they are in the office using a company network and computer, said Henshall, a Colorado native who has been CFO at Citrix since 2003. Meeting the burgeoning demand for mobility at the corporate, small-business and personal levels is a driving force at Citrix. “We enable the mobile work style and cloud computing,” Henshall added. “We enable people to work and play from anywhere using any type of device.” Like cable and satellite TV, which collects an enormous volume of signals from all over the world and sends them to individual customers, Citrix securely facilitates transmission of data and Internet applications to its customers wherever they are located, and on virtually any device. Led by CEO and President Mark Templeton, Henshall and other members of Citrix’s executive team continue advancing a corporate strategy that

includes in-house technology development and innovation as well as an aggressive acquisition program that provides new technology and market access, plus expansion of the company’s business in mobility and cloud computing. Last year alone, Citrix acquired six companies and bought a stake in another, costing the company about $472 million, according to the company’s SEC filing. Partnerships also play an important role in its strategy _ more than 10,000 companies resell, host

Floor directory with conference rooms named after artist in the Citrix is displayed. —MCT and support Citrix products and services in 100 countries, providing the company with input on what the market requires. These partners include Microsoft, IBM, HP, Intel, Cisco, Dell, Amazon Web Services, Oracle and SAP, some of whom are also competitors. While most of the stock analysts who follow Citrix give the company high marks, some are concerned that its outlook for growth in a key area, desktop virtualization, may be too optimistic. Founded in 1989, Citrix develops and sells software, data center hardware and software as a service, or SaaS _ that is, ondemand software. The company has grown with and adapted to changes in Internet technology throughout the years. Beginning as a struggling software company in

South Florida with 18 employees, Citrix now has become a major player in the IT sector, with a wide range of products and services, an international customer base and R&D centres in the United States, including Silicon Valley, as well as in India, Australia, China and elsewhere. About 80 percent of the publicly traded company’s customers are large businesses, including Fortune 500 companies, while the remainder is small- and mid-sized businesses, professionals such as lawyers and accountants, and individuals. Among its partners, Citrix and Microsoft have a close and long-standing relationship dating back to Citrix’s early years. In 1997, for example, a marketing, development and licensing agreement with Microsoft provided Citrix with an important cash inflow - $175 million in royalty and other payments over time. Just the year before this agreement, Citrix’s net revenues were $44.5 million. Henshall said that Microsoft has been the company’s “most important partner for about 20 years.” Using desktop computers or PCs often means that businesses have to invest in desktop or mobile computers and servers, buy and install software, staff an IT department/help desk, train and support users, upgrade software and maintain the system. About 80 percent of IT expenses usually involve maintenance, Henshall said. Citrix and other companies offer desktop virtualization, which means that the operating system, applications and data are decoupled from the PC’s hardware and shifted to a data center, where they can be secured, managed and updated from one location. XenDesktop is Citrix’s virtualization solution for large businesses and a leading product. It converts Windows desktops and applications into an ondemand service for PCs, Macs, tablets, smart phones, laptops and “thin clients,” or computers that rely on a server to carry out processing. Help desk, security and backup for all desktops can be run from the data center, and companies can either replace obsolete PCs with low-cost thin clients or continue using existing PCs with XenDesktop and spread out IT costs over a longer period. Citrix’s desktop virtualization products, which are also available for small businesses, offer several advantages, Henshall said. “XenDesktop simplifies infrastructure, reduces hardware and maintenance costs and increases productivity by allowing workers to use any type of device anywhere.” Applications and data are delivered securely to users, and companies also enjoy environmental benefits, he added, since they require less space and cooling for servers. —MCT



Can lifestyle changes prevent Alzheimer’s? Physical exercise, good vascular health can help

LEIPZIG: An as yet unnamed giant otter pup, (Pteronura brasiliensis) eats a fish in the Leipzig zoo. — AP

Sharing the joys of pregnancy BURLINGTON: From unsolicited baby bump touches to having your big news scooped on Facebook, modern pregnancy has an etiquette all its own. To keep the pregnant glow, consider the following: Sharing the news There are few pieces of news as exciting to share as pregnancy. Whether it is a first or fifth, a surprise or long hoped for, it is joyful news. The choice about who to tell and when will vary from family to family. Though some couples share the news as soon as the pregnancy is confirmed, it’s smart to wait until the first trimester is well in hand. Most people tell immediate family first, followed by close friends. If you’re one of the first to know, this conversation may be accompanied by a request to hold the information close until the couple has the chance to tell others personally. Some women will make an announcement at a family event to make sure their closest loved ones hear about it directly from them. Facebook has added an extra twist: Until the couple is ready for anyone to know about a pregnancy, they might restrict their Facebook wall to prevent an over-eager well wisher from spilling the beans. Even if a Facebook wall is active, be sure the news is truly public knowledge before posting congratulations. If you deduce someone is expecting, either from an extra glow or a declined glass of wine, show respect by allowing her to tell you in her own time. When she breaks the news, it’s okay to share the insight you had then. The bump Some women enjoy the occasional belly rub or pat from close friends and family and see it as part of sharing the joy of expecting a baby. Others don’t. Never pat a pregnant woman’s belly without first asking or being invited to do so. If someone asks to pat your bump and you would rather they didn’t, simply say so-it’s not rude to tell them no. “Thanks for asking, but I’d rather you not.” If they reach out without asking, say, “I

know it’s tempting, but please don’t touch.” You can add action to words and step back, fold your hands over your belly, or reach out to gently stop their touch. And almost all pregnant women agree that a belly pat from a complete stranger is entirely inappropriate. It’s not okay to walk up to a nonpregnant stranger and touch their belly, and the same goes for a woman who is pregnant. If you have this impulse, curb it, and instead smile and offer congratulations and ask when she is duethis is the right way to show your excitement over a stranger’s pregnancy. Not Pregnant? Sometimes excitement is misplaced rather than mis-expressed. Be quite sure a woman is pregnant before assuming and asking when she is due. If she says, “I’m not pregnant,” there is no graceful exit beyond, “I beg your pardon.” Then drop the subject-there is nothing else that can be said to make it better. Successful seat giving It’s a lovely gesture (and sometimes the law) to offer your seat on the bus or subway to someone in need. Yet this is a gesture that too often fails to happen for pregnant women. Granted, some might be just fine standing. But others would appreciate the seat, and offering yourswhether you are a man or a woman-is the right thing to do. Though many people will say yes when offered that chance, others want to say yes but don’t want to inconvenience someone who was there first. No matter who you might be offering your seat to or why, the best way to get them to accept is to first stand up, then offer. It’s much easier to accept an empty seat than a filled one. And if no one offers but you need a seat, simply ask. “Pardon me, but would you mind letting me sit? I’d really appreciate it.” All but the lousiest of people will hop right up for a pregnant woman; and if they don’t, you can be sure the person next to them will. — Reuters

Gravity-defying workouts lift fitness routines NEW YORK: More exercisers are taking their fitness to the air these days, held aloft by technology borrowed from sources as far-flung as the space program and the circus. Experts say if you adhere to the learning curve, going anti-gravity can be just the thing to relieve overused joints and revitalize an earthbound routine. Stephen Csolak, fitness manager at a Manhattan branch of Equinox, the national chain of luxury fitness centers, uses an anti-gravity treadmill, called Alter-G, on a range of clients, from marathoners to the morbidly obese. “You have this bubble around you and you’re floating on top,” he said, describing how the Alter-G, which was developed from NASA technology, uses air pressure to gently lift the user. “If we remove a percentage of someone’s body weight by altering the effect of gravity, we come up with a lot of different benefits for a lot

of different populations,” he said. So marathoners can train for speed and endurance with reduced risk of injury, older adults can exercise with reduced pressure on their joints and the obese can work out unencumbered by their extra pounds. “Being on the anti-gravity treadmill allows the obese client to feel their target weight, what they’d feel like if they were 20, 30 or 40 pounds (nine, 14 or 18 kilograms) lighter,” Csolak said. First lessons on the Alter-G are supervised, he said, and clients get hooked easily because it’s such fun. “I don’t believe there’s anything like it, other than swimming,” he said. “Swimming’s also a zero-to-minimal impact cardiovascular workout.” Jessica Matthews, a spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise, said she’s seeing more anti-gravity group fitness classes.— Reuters

DALLAS: Bronwen Zilmer has three generations of Alzheimer’s disease in her family. She hopes not to be the fourth. Her great-grandmother and grandmother had Alzheimer’s disease. Her father’s illness was diagnosed at 56, and he died at 63. She’s now 35. After her father’s death, the Highland Village, Texas, resident and mother of two began running half marathons, taking fishoil supplements and eating more fish in hopes of avoiding the memory-robbing illness. “People are desperate to avoid it and desperate to find some kind of treatment or cure,” she says. “If somebody told me, ‘Do these 10 things and I’ll assure you that you won’t get Alzheimer’s disease,’ I would do it.” Researchers agree that the causes of Alzheimer’s have some genetic links, but they aren’t sure exactly what causes the disease or how it progresses. Although a growing number of studies examine how lifestyle choices may affect a person’s risk of Alzheimer’s, medical professionals disagree over the strength of the evidence. A National Institutes of Health independent consensus panel rejected a definitive scientific link between lifestyle habits and risk reduction in a 2010 report that said the amount of evidence and its quality was low. The panel called for more large -scale, randomized studies. “Currently, firm conclusions cannot be drawn about the association of any modifiable risk factor with cognitive decline or Alzheimer’s disease,” the report said. That hasn’t kept Americans from taking up brain teasers or buying supplements in the hopes of staving off the disease. Some books, such as “The Alzheimer’s Prevention Program” by Dr. Gary Small of the UCLA Longevity Center, promote a proactive approach, much like exercise or diet programs. The book includes a seven-day regimen of foods to eat and mental and physical exercises to do. “It’s a weak argument to say, ‘I’m going to wait here until we have conclusive proof,’ while we have so much compelling evidence already,” Small said in an interview. “We are not saying you can guarantee you’ll never get Alzheimer’s disease,” he says, “but what we’re saying is there is a possibility that we can delay the onset of symptoms through the healthy lifestyle approach.” Dr. Bill Thies, chief medical and scientific offi-

cer for the Alzheimer’s Association, a nonprofit organization and a large funder of research, says some basic health habits are associated with lower risk. Physical exercise and good vascular

Bronwen Zilmer, pictured in her Highland Village neighborhood, has a family history of Alzheimer’s disease.— MCT

Reduce your risk of alzheimer’s While experts don’t agree on the links between lifestyle factors and diagnosis, there are some habits that have been associated with risk reduction. The Alzheimer ’s Association recommends these strategies: Stay physically active. Exercise helps keep blood pumping to the brain and wards off heart disease, diabetes and stroke - other risk


in brief

Scientist who coined ‘Pink Slime’ reluctant whistle blower KANSAS CITY: Every time someone calls former US government scientist Gerald Zirnstein a whistleblower, he cringes a little. When he coined the term “Pink Slime” to describe the unlabeled and unappetizing bits of cartilage and other chemically-treated scrap meat going into US ground beef, Zirnstein was a microbiologist at the US Department of Agriculture. Pregnancy ups risk of heart attack CHICAGO: Pregnancy and hormonal changes that continue 12 weeks after giving birth increase a woman’s risk of heart attack, researchers said. Although the likelihood of having a heart attack during pregnancy is very lowjust 1 in every 16,000 de11liveries-it is still 3 to 4 times higher than non-pregnant women of the same age. Monthly shots of Amgen slash cholesterol CHICAGO: Monthly injections of an experimental drug from Amgen Inc slashed levels of cholesterol by up to an additional 66 percent in patients already taking statins, researchers said on Sunday, making it a potential strong rival to a similar drug being developed by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. Amgen and Regeneron are racing to develop medicines that cut cholesterol through a new strategy, by blocking a protein called PCSK9. Scientists find gene that can make flu a killer LONDON: A genetic discovery could help explain why flu makes some people seriously ill or kills them, while others seem able to bat it away with little more than a few aches, coughs and sneezes. In a study published in the journal Nature on Sunday, British and American researchers said they had found for the first time a human gene that influences how people respond to flu infections, making some people more susceptible than others.

Dr. Samer Abdullah

Mark Hurdle

New Mowasat Hospital hosts professor from Mayo Clinic KUWAIT: Professor Mark Hurdle, an awardwining Consultant at Mayo Clinic, visits New Mowasat Hospital from April 16-19, 2012. During his visit at New Mowasat Hospital, Professor Hurdle will provide extinguished services to the Rheumatology Patients alongside Dr. Samer Abdullah, the head of the Rheumatology and Physical Medicine Department. However, Professor Hurdle offers a number of Medical Services during his visit, including diagnosis and treatment of joint disorders, osteoporosis, non-surgical treatment of slipped discs, and treatment of back and neck pain with musculoskeletal laser. In addition to being a consultant at Mayo Clinic, he is also a Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Mayo Faculty of Medicine. Professor Hurdle won awards in 2003 and 2004 for his global scientific research and medical education at Mayo Clinic, one of the finest hospitals in

the United States. He is certified by American Board of Physical Medicine and, American Board of Spine Pain Management and an advisor on the National Board of Medical Examiners. Professor Hurdle is a prominent member of many professional organizations in the medical field, including: the American Academy of Physical medicine and Rehabilitation, the American Board of Anesthesiology, the association of Academic physiatrists. New Mowasat Hospital’s International physicians programs has given patients access to the best health care services in Kuwait by bringing physicians from exemplary hospitals and medical institutions around the world to Kuwait. This on-going program is continuously improved and altered to meet the needs of the community by providing Physicians of different subspecialists that operate at international standards.

health have the most scientific evidence as possible Alzheimer’s fighters - and they come with the added perk of lowering risk of stroke, diabetes and heart disease. A diet that’s lower in fats and higher in vegetables seems to be preferable, but little is known about an Alzheimer’s link to specific foods or whether there is one. Thies cautions against adopting a specific diet or regimen: “The more prescriptive the books, the less it’s supported by scientific research.” “ The weakest data exists around mental activity itself,” Thies says. Instead of doing solitary activities like crosswords or Sudoku, he suggests staying socially active and connected, which may keep the brain humming late in life. Dr. David Knopman, a medical doctor and professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., echoes the view. He says people should strive for a lifetime of brain-healthy habits rather than seek out a quick fix later in life. “Going out and spending hundreds of dollars on some computer program that claims to improve your mind is probably not a very good investment,” he says. Instead, he suggests reading books, joining a club or doing other activities that keep a person connected. While researchers look for answers, Zilmer has added healthy activities to her daily routine. “I am going to exercise and eat healthy, and if that gives me more time without Alzheimer’s, then perfect,” she says. She can’t help but examine her father’s life for clues, but it’s also difficult for her to identify any lifestyle choice that could have increased his chances. He exercised, ate healthy and held down a good job. “I could guess all day,” she said. In the end, it was probably just genetics.— MCT

China diabetics raise stakes BEIJING: In 30 years, the Chinese people have gone from having barely enough to eat to worrying about spreading waistlines, leaving the healthcare system struggling to keep up with an exponential rise in “nobleman diseases” like diabetes. The soaring cost of chronic disease could tax China’s effort to offer basic healthcare to 1.4 billion people. Almost one out of every eight Chinese households was racked by catastrophic health expenses in 2011, according to a paper published in medical journal The Lancet.

factors for Alzheimer’s. Eat a brain-healthy diet. Fill your meals with low-cholesterol, lowfat foods - especially fruits and vegetables. Stay connected to others. Being social may help the brain cells by reducing stress. Stay mentally active. Challenging your brain daily can strengthen existing brain connections and build new ones.

Daily headaches common in soldiers after concussion One in five soldiers who return from Iraq or Afghanistan having suffered a concussion develop chronic headaches that occur at least half the days of the month, with many suffering even more, according to a US sur vey. Army researchers, whose findings were published in the journal Headache, examined nearly 1,000 soldiers with a history of deployment-related concussion and found 20 percent had suffered frequent headaches diagnosed as “chronic daily headache” for three months or more. Of those, a quar ter had the headaches every day. More soldiers with chronic headaches had symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than those who did not suffer frequent headaches. Concussion is considered a mild traumatic brain injury and is commonly followed by headaches. But little was understood about how many military personnel were experiencing the intense head pain daily, or close to it, for months on end. “In general we know that chronic daily headache is itself one of the most debilitating forms of headache ... and can sometimes be difficult to treat,” said Major Brett Theeler, the study’s lead author. To gauge how widespread the problem is, Theeler - a doctor with the AMEDD Student Detachment, 187th Medical Battalion, Fort Sam Houston, Texas - and his colleagues surveyed 978 soldiers who had been deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan. Each of the soldiers suffered a concussion while abroad, and 98 percent of them reported headaches afterward. Twenty percent of the soldiers screened positive for chronic daily headache, while the rest had headaches on occasion. Those whose headaches

started within a week of their concussion were at greater risk for developing chronic daily headache as opposed to less frequent “episodic” headaches. A little more than half the soldiers with chronic headaches reported that they started within a week of the concussion. The chronic headache group was also more likely to score higher on a test for signs of PTSD. Nearly twice as many with chronic headache - 41 percent screened positive for PTSD, compared with 18 percent who didn’t have headaches as often. The finding that more soldiers with chronic daily headache also had PTSD symptoms supports the idea that the headaches could be related to the actual physical brain injury or to the psychological trauma of the event that caused the concussion. “Head injury is actually a stressful event, independent of what happens to the brain,” said Richard Lipton at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine in New York, who was not involved in the study. Lipton said he’d like to see whether the rates of chronic daily headache among members of the military are similar to those among civilians who have experienced a concussion. “I don’t know, but I would think, of people who live in a military context, in a heightened level of vigilance, it wouldn’t be surprising if rates of both episodic and chronic headaches were higher than in the civilian population,” he added. Although the headaches after concussion can be very debilitating for some people, the good news is that they usually clear up with time. Lipton said studies of civilians show that in most cases, they resolve on their own after a year or two. —Reuters

Merck blood clot drug in limbo CHICAGO: Impressive efficacy but worrisome bleeding was seen for a new type of blood clot preventer tested by Merck & Co in one of the largest heart-drug studies ever conducted, researchers said on Saturday, raising questions whether the company will seek approval of the drug and whether it can pass muster with regulators. Vorapaxar has been dogged by bleeding concerns since January 2011, when a safety committee overseeing the 26,449-patient study said the new type of anti-platelet drug was not appropriate for patients who had suffered a stroke, due to bleeding risk.. Statins in the time of heart damage CHICAGO: Patients who view images of their hearts and see for themselves the build-up of calcium within their artery walls become more compliant about taking their cholesterol-fighting drugs and are more likely to lose weight, researchers said on Saturday. The finding resulted from two studies presented at the annual scientific sessions of the American College of Cardiology in Chicago.

RENNES: Parakeets enjoy the sun in a garden yesterday in Western France. — AFP



Dental implants give people reason to smile More people opt for longer-lasting options to replace missing teeth SOUTHFIELD: She wasn’t even wearing heels. But on the sidewalk near the Southfield, Mich., law firm where she works, Arlene Bordman’s loafer got stuck in a crack and “I went right over and landed on my mouth.” A few weeks later, she felt something rattling and loose in her upper jaw. Her dentist ended up pulling out her upper four front teeth, just six weeks before her son’s May 30 wedding. Bordman, 68, of West Bloomfield, Mich., got through the wedding wearing a flipper: fake front teeth attached to a smooth acrylic denture molded to conform with a little dental adhesive - to the contours of the palate. While it looked good, she felt like she had to relearn how to talk. It didn’t give her the strength to bite into chewy bread. “I took it out and I looked like an old, haggard lady. I had no lips,” said Bordman, who prides herself on being physically active. Her dentist recommended she visit Dr. Timothy Kosinski, a Bingham Farms, Mich., dentist who specializes in dental implants. In September, in

the space once occupied by the roots of Bordman’s front teeth, Kosinski inserted two titanium implants, screw-like devices, into her upper jawbone. The procedure lasted about 30 minutes with local anesthetic. Over the course of the next three months, the screws fused with Bordman’s jawbone. Onto the screws, Kosinski threaded an abutment, which holds tightly to four replacement teeth. No more flipping her flipper in and out of her mouth. Bordman has her bite back. “I am like a new person. It’s so great. I can eat anything I want to,” said Bordman. “I’m a bread person, and I like a good thick roll or sandwich. And I can enjoy it now.” Bordman is not alone with her dental woes. Statistics show that 7 out of 10 adults ages 35 to 44 have already lost one tooth due to accident, gum disease, or a failed root canal, according to the American Dental Association. By the time Americans reach their mid-70s, 1 out of 4 has lost all permanent teeth. Before dental implants, the only alternatives

were removable dentures or a fixed bridge, which can affect adjacent healthy teeth and often needs to be replaced after several years. Dental implants are growing in popularity because of their long-term durability. With the aging baby boom population and advances in techniques, dental implants have exploded in use. “Especially in the last 10 years, there’s been an exponential growth in the placement of dental implants for missing teeth,” said Dr. Monish Bhola, an associate professor and co director for implant dentistry at the University of Detroit Mercy Dental School. “It’s really the next best thing to an actual tooth. It’s anchored in bone.” Most implants last for decades The small percentage that fail, said Bhola, usually are due to other health issues, such as a patient being diabetic, or a heavy smoker or just not taking care of one’s teeth - be they real or replacement. It can be a costly procedure. In the Detroit area, Bhola said the implant procedure

for one tooth can cost about $2,500 to $3,000. Insurance carriers typically haven’t picked up implant costs, Bhola said. But that’s beginning to change, he said, because of the long-term benefits of an implant compared to a dental bridge. With a bridge, the replacement tooth is secured to adjacent teeth, and that involves filing and capping otherwise healthy teeth to secure the fake tooth in place. That opens the door to weakening the healthy teeth, which can undermine the longevity of the bridge. “There are more chances for these adjacent teeth to develop problems because you’ve cut into them,” said Bhola. “If you look at the cost of a bridge with one tooth, it ends up being about the same as an implant.” University of Michigan Dental School professor Michael Razzoog said “the biggest thing with implants that a patient needs to hear first is that implants preserve bone.” That forestalls other future problems, such helping keep teeth aligned and reducing gum disease.

SOUTHFIELD: (Left) An X-ray of Kevin P. Brennan’s dental implant is seen at the dentist office of Timothy Kosinski in Bingham Farms village in Michigan. (Centre) Dental implant samples sit on display at the dentist office of Timothy Kosinski in Bingham Farms village in Michigan. (Right) Dental implant samples sit on display. — MCT

Implants can replace one tooth or many. In some cases, dentures are screwed securely onto implants, alleviating the tendency for dentures to slip, become dislodged or otherwise embarrass their users. Once it’s placed in the jaw bone, the screw-like implant isn’t visible. Kosinski, who is a fellow in the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, has been doing them since 1984 and says a work day doesn’t go by without him doing an implant. “It’s become very routine, because in many situations, it’s not traumatic. There are no pain receptors in bone. There’s little bleeding, no stitches,” said Kosinski. Human bone grows onto the surface metal so it becomes a permanent part of the jaw, said Kosinski. After three to six months of growth, a permanent replacement tooth made out of porcelain is cemented onto the implant. Kosinski said patients who have implants to support their dentures increase their chewing efficiency by 60 percent. “Patients can chew things they couldn’t chew before, like lettuce or grapes, because they have more force and stability,” said Kosinski. “And once that happens, they often eat healthier foods.” Dr. David Banda’s Bloomfield Hills dental practice is now about 50 percent implants, and he said he finds the most satisfaction from doing implants on people who’ve long struggled with dentures. “I get the most warm fuzzies from denture patients,” said Banda. “They withdraw from life as they become dental cripples. They feel they can’t sing in a choir because their dentures may fly out. “Once I snap the dentures on the implants, they start walking more upright,” said Banda. He recalls one patient who told him what she missed most in life was biting into an apple. On the day Banda finally secured her dentures to an implant, he also gave her an apple. “And she started crying,” said Banda. Kevin Brennan, 49, a Realtor from Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich., was in Kosinski’s chair this week, getting his new fake tooth attached to his implant to replace tooth number 20, on the lower left side of his jaw. The tooth had decayed because of a root canal procedure many years ago. His dentist sent him to Kosinski, who took out the bad tooth and inserted an implant about three months ago.— MCT



W H AT ’ S O N


Thuraya Al-Baqsami speaks at Visions 2012 at the Euston Gallery BSK.


ayal and her mother, Fatima celebrate Layal’s graduation from KG1 at the Pakistani school. Congratulations Layal and best of luck for the rest of your schooling.

Maria Pilar Fernandez Baker, wife of the British Ambassador, joins Thuraya Al-Baqsami to inaugurate Visions 2012 at the Euston Gallery BSK.

Visions Interactive 2012 opens at BSK


s part of Festival of Arts commencing this week, the Art and Design Team at The British School of Kuwait hosted their annual Visions Art Exhibition yesterday at the new Euston Gallery in Salwa. The Visions 2012 exhibition theme this year was interactive and the visitors were able to try their hand at ceramics, printing, card making, oil painting and a range of other artistic and design skills. Live music for the evening was performed by The British School of Kuwait’s string ensemble, La Camerata in advance of the forthcoming BSK Music Festival week.

Thuraya Al-Baqsami, renowned Kuwaiti artist, after a warm and heartfelt welcoming address, opened the exhibition alongside Maria Baker, wife of the British Ambassador, Frank Baker. Both expressed how impressed they were with the high standard of art work on display and the extent and range of facilities available to students of Art and Design courses at BSK. Baqsami remarked that nowhere in Kuwait or further afield does a school designate a whole building to Art and Design. Art teaching at The British School of Kuwait takes place in a dedicated art

facility where the ethos is that of a working gallery. Senior students in the Sixth Form, studying towards their A-levels for five hours per week in class, also have free access to their own specialist studios and equipment throughout the school day during their study periods and work at their own pace on their projects in a nurturing, creative atmosphere. Students across the school are encouraged to take an active role in their own education and develop an independent approach to their learning under the expert guidance of their teachers. The students themselves in art have developed a natural,

peer-guided approach to their studies where, without prompting, senior students volunteer their time to mentor and assist students in lower years. The Visions 2012 Exhibition is a celebration of this style of working and a showcase for the talents of the BSK students. Visions 2012 saw many of these mature students from across the school, from Year 3 to Year 13, working with the exhibition’s guests to demonstrate their skills and to share their remarkable creativity, enthusiasm and talent in the arts. The Visions Exhibition in the Euston Gallery space will be open until March 31.

Birthday greetings


appy birthday dear Nadia Rashid Nafisa who celebrates her sixth birthday today. May Allah the Almighty bless her with good health and a bright future. Best wishes from Haroon (Papa), Rinko (Mama), Shaukhat, Tara, Tanni and Hemo.

BSK students enjoy a pottery workshop at Visions Interactive 2012 at BSK.

La camerata performs at the opening of Visions 2012 at the Euston Gallery BSK.

Red Bull Street Style back in Kuwait

Announcements Cricket team selection Kuwait Cricket will have the selection trials of Under 16 boys for forming the Kuwait National Cricket team which will participate in the ACC U-16 Elite Cup 2012 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 2-13 May 2012. The age cut-off eligibility date is 1 May 1995 which will be later scientifically verified by ACC. Additionally, the player should be either Kuwait born or must be a resident since last 7 years. All interested youngsters satisfying these conditions should attend the selection trials at the KC Sulaibiya cricket grounds on Saturday 31 March 2012 between 8.30 am-12 Noon. Contact Asad Baig-Director General KC on Mob 97158856 for further details. Easter services St Paul’s Anglican Church Easter Services times is as follows: 5 April - Maundy Thursday: 1830 Church House, Ahmadi; 6 April - Good Friday: 1030: Salwa Villa; 8 April: Easter Sunday: 0615 Easter Sunrise Service, British Embassy. If you wish to attend then please ensure that you register on the St Paul’s website: click on ‘Services’, then on Easter Sunrise Service and enter name and Civil ID card number. You will need to be at the Embassy in good time to get through security. 8 April: Easter Sunday: 1900 St Paul’s Church, Ahmadi. Writers forum launched Malayalam Kuwait, the platform for readers and writers among the Keralites in Kuwait was launched during a meeting held at United I ndian School, Abbassiya. Sharing of reading and writing, debates and discussions, literary symposia and reinforcement of budding writing talents are the goals of the group. Bergman Thomas, John Mathew, K aippattoor Thankachan, Sam Painummood, John Mathews, sathar Kunnil, Lissy Kuryakkose, Swapna Jacob, Bessy K adavil, Unnimaya Nampoothiri, Shibu Philip, Dharmaraj Madappally, Uthaman Valathukadu, Rafeeq Thayath, Tiju Thankachan, Sunil K Cherian and Harikrishnan participated in the first ever meeting of Malayalam Kuwait. The group will hold its monthly discussion every last Friday at various locations, informed the group’s convener Bergman Thomas. Malayalam members will gather on Friday, March 30 at Successline, Abbassiya to discuss Bergman’s award winning novel, Puramkatal, recently serialized in Kalakaumudi Weekly. Anyone interested to join the group, please contact: 66556867 Earth Hour In Kuwait March 31, 2012 @ 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm. Where: Kuwait Sahara Resort (6th Ring Road) Contact: TES 2012 Spring Carnival March 30, 2012 @ 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm Where: TES-The English School (Salmiya, Block 12, Mousaed Al-Azmi Street) The much awaited Spring Carnival at The English School (TES) is coming up soon! Bring your family and friends and enjoy an afternoon of shopping and fun activities. Over 80 amazing stalls selling beautiful handicrafts and knick knacks! Bouncy castles, face painting, magic show and a large array of carnival games and activities for the kids. A fun day for all! See you there!

Red Bull Street Style

Aaskar Al-Shemmari


ed Bull Street Style is the world’s most important freestyle soccer tournament. This year, the third edition of the worldwide competition takes place. The best freestyle footballers will be showing off their extraordinary skills in a series of qualifying competitions around Kuwait. The goal is to win berths to the 2012 Red Bull Street Style World Final in Italy. The very best competitors from Kuwait will try to impress the jury by showing off stunning tricks on April 20 at the Marina Crescent at 6:30 pm. Red Bull Street Style is taking place for the third time in Kuwait. Five qualifiers will take place in Kuwait. Al-Kout Mall will host the first qualifier on April 6 while various GOAL venues will host the rest of the qualifiers between April 15-18. 16 players will be chosen for the finals in Kuwait. The rules of the game are easy: 3 Minutes, 2 Players, 1 Ball: in each “Battle”, 2 players square off against each other in a 1-on-1 duel. They take alternating 30-seconds turns with the ball to show off their best

Ali Abdullah

moves to the sounds of music within a 7 meter wide competition area. In the finals, 3 judges will be evaluating the flow based on control (uniqueness and quality of execution), creativity (Combination of floor, standing, foot, head and body tricks) and style (smooth style; connect with the opponent, crow and music). The winning player must demonstrate a strong level of comfort in all forms of the sport. The winner at the National Final will represent Kuwait at the Red Bull Street Style World Final that will take place in the city of Rome on September 20-22. Italy has won the FIFA World Cup 4 times. The first edition of Red Bull Street Style crowned Arnaud “Sean” Garnier was as the world freestyle soccer champion in Sao Paulo, Brazil at the Red Bull Street Style World Finals. In 2010, Anders Solum from Norway managed to win the World Finals in South Africa after overcoming local hero Kamal Ranchod.

Mohamed Bassem Al-Hammad

Family Day at Amricani


he Dar Al-Athar Al-Islamiyyah (DAI) is proud to announce that the first Family Day at Amricani will be held this Saturday, March 31, from 12 noon to 6 pm at the Amricani Cultural Centre. All three exhibitions (Treasury of the World: Jewelled Arts of India in the Age of the Mughals; Story of Amricani; The Golden Age of the Arab Sciences) will be open and special activities will be held for children and their parents throughout the day. This month we will be focusing on our latest exhibition: The Golden Age of the

Arab Sciences. Created and curated by the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris and sponsored by Total, the multi-media exhibition highlights the contributions to science made by scholars and scientists from the Islamic world. “The age of stuffy museums that require quiet and instilled boredom is over. Today’s museums are interactive tools that encourage guests to have fun while expanding their knowledge. Family Day at Amricani will take things a step further, offering specific opportunities for children, from age four through sec-

ondary school, to work with their parents to solve puzzles, discover treasure and replicate an early experiment,” said DAI director Abdulkareem Al-Ghadban. The first activity will begin at 12:30 and will be for 9-12 year olds. This activity will be repeated at 5:30 pm. At 1:30 pm and again at 4:30 pm there will be activities for 6-8 year olds. 4-6 year olds get their first DAI experience at 2:30 pm and the focus will be on secondary students at 3:30 pm. Each of the activities will take 20 - 30 minutes and involve both children and parents.

“All the activities are designed to allow families to have fun together while learning more about the art and culture of the Islamic world,” said Al-Ghadban. I hope to see lots of families there enjoying themselves.” The Amricani Cultural Centre is based in the historic American Hospital on the Gulf Road, near the National Assembly buildings. For more information, email



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 (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

GUST represents Kuwait at Gulf Programming Contest


he Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) participated in the Gulf Programming Contest (GPC), representing Kuwait with an active student team coached by Dr. Taher Ali, Computer Science Department Instructor and Applications Manager at GUST, and GUST Computer Science Instructors acting as part of some GPC committees, with Sarah Bargal, as a member of the Judging Committee and Fadi Deeb, as a member of the Steering Committee. The GPC is an extension of the National Programming Contest (NPC) that has been running for the last ten years for university students in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The National Programming Contest was initiated by the Department of Computer Science at the University of Sharjah and has been in existence since 2001. The contest provides an excellent opportunity for students majoring in Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Management Information Systems, Information Technology, or any IT related subjects to demonstrate their skills in programming and problem solving and also to meet students from other institutions around the Gulf. Furthermore, this contest prepares the teams for the ACM Regional and World

programming contests. GUST participated in the Gulf Programming Contest (GPC 2012) in Khalifa University on its Abu Dhabi campus. Kuwait was represented for the first time in GPC last year by GUST, and this year GUST continues to represent Kuwait in this contest on a wider scale

by having faculty members in the judging and steering committees of the contest in addition to the competing students and their coach. The GPC 2012 hosted 36 teams, totaling 104 students, from five countries: Kuwait, Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Oman. These teams, which represented

18 different universities, worked to solve several complex, real-world problems, with a grueling five-hour deadline. From Kuwait, GUST was the only participant with Computer Science students: Abdulaziz Esmail, Mohammed Al-Qaffas, Mais Nema, Mariam Khalil and Momina Ahmed and MIS student:

Khalid Al-Mutawa. In the contest, each team used a single computer and raced against the clock in a battle of logic, strategy and mental endurance. GUST students, coached by Dr. Taher Ali, ranked 11th, and were awarded certificates. Sarah Bargal was a judge in the contest’s Judging Committee. She has par-

ticipated by preparing two out of the 10 questions for the contest, and one of the two questions for the practice session. The Judging Committee reviewed the full problem set and all members were present during the competition where they judged 186 runs and replied to 60 clarifications during the five hour contest. The members of the judging committee were: Dr. Mohamed Salem (University of Wollongong in Dubai, UAE), Dr. NaoufelWerghi (Khalifa University of Science, Technology & Research, UAE), Sarah Bargal (Gulf University for Science and Technology, Kuwait), Dr. MehedyMasud (United Arab Emirates University, UAE) and Dr. Mohamed Al-Badawi (Sultan Qaboos University, Oman). Fadi Deeb was a member of the GPC 2012 Steering Committee representing universities in Kuwait. The members of the steering committee were: Dr. Abdullah Hussein(University of Sharjah, UAE), Fadi Deeb (Gulf University of Science and Technology, Kuwait), Dr. GerassimosBarlas (American University of Sharjah, UAE), Dr. RabebMizouni (Khalifa University for Science, Technology, and Research, UAE), Dr. Mohamed Watfa (University of Wollongong in Dubai, UAE) and Dr. Saad Harous (UAE University, UAE).

EMBASSY OF CANADA The Embassy of Canada is located at Villa 24, Al-Mutawakel St., Block 4 in Da’aiyah. Please visit our website at The Embassy of Canada is open from 07:30 to 15:30 Sunday through Thursday. The reception is closed from 12:30 to 01:00 pm for lunch break. Consular Services for Canadian Citizens are provided from 09:00 A.M until 12:00 P.M 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 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 nnnnnnn

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

EMBASSY OF INDIA The Embassy of India will remain closed on Thursday, April 5, 2012 on account of “Mahavir Jayanti”. nnnnnnn

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

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

Kuwait Hyatt Hotel hosts grand evening Kuwait Hyatt Hotel hosted a special evening recently at its newly inaugurated ‘Layali Lebanon’ Garden. General Manager Kamal Balout announced that the garden will host barbeque events every week. —Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh

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

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

EMBASSY OF VENEZUELA Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, request Venezuelan 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 Venezuelan citizens in cases os emergencies. Registration Information 25324367 or by email: Our time is from Sunday to Thursday from 8.30am till 2 pm. nnnnnnn

Kuwait KMCC holds IUML foundation day celebration


ndian Union Muslim League persuaded the Muslim minority to be in the mainstream of India and made them participate in democratic process which empowered them standing side by side with other communities for last 65 years, commented KM Shaji MLA, the young leader and great orator who was delivering the key note address at the function organized by Kuwait KMCC in connection with IUML foundation day. In great pluralistic society like India we need to respect each other, the unity in diversity, and the secular principles are the keywords. Keeping the individuality, IUML fought for the rights through democratic means winning the trust of other communities as well. The transparency of its policies yielded great results. There should not be any space for violence in politics, he commented, in the context of recent political vio-

lence in Kanoor. “Tit for Tat will not take us anywhere. Muslim league won the elections with support of other communities,”

he commented. Kuwait KMCC as an extension of IUML doing noble activities in Kuwait, he concluded.

During the function, a token of appreciation was presented to veteran KKMCC activist Abdul Rahiman Musliyar as he is leaving Kuwait for good. The membership card releasing was done by delivering the same to Ahmed Kadaloor, Fahaheel by KM Shaji. Also the CD for “Pride of Kanoor” award was also released by him. In the event presided over by Sharafuddeen Kenneth, chairman Sayed Naser Thangal inaugurated the same. OICC general convener Varghese Puthukulangara and Janatha Cultural Centre (socialist Janatha Dal) representative Saleh made felicitation speeches. Mubashir Muttichoor recited holy Quran. General Secretary Basheer Batha rendered welcome speech and Treasurer Nazeer Khan extended vote of thanks. Many organization representatives attended the glittering function.

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

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



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00:45 Untamed & Uncut 01:40 Shark Feeding Frenzy 02:35 Animal Planet’s Most Outrageous 03:30 Deep Into The Wild With Nick Baker 03:55 Deep Into The Wild With Nick Baker 04:25 Wild France 05:20 Gorilla School 05:45 Xtremely Wild 06:10 Wild Animal Orphans 06:35 Wild Animal Orphans 07:00 Orangutan Island 07:25 Chris Humfrey’s Wildlife 07:50 Talk To The Animals 08:15 The Really Wild Show 08:40 Project Puppy 09:10 Must Love Cats 10:05 Wild France 11:00 Michaela’s Animal Road Trip 11:55 RSPCA: Have You Got What It Takes? 12:20 Wildlife SOS 12:50 Ned Bruha: Skunk Whisperer 13:15 Ned Bruha: Skunk Whisperer 13:45 Animal Cops Houston 14:40 Wild France 15:30 Echo And The Elephants Of Amboseli 16:00 The Really Wild Show 16:30 Chris Humfrey’s Wildlife 17:00 Talk To The Animals 17:25 Dogs/Cats/Pets 101 18:20 America’s Cutest Pet 19:15 Orangutan Island 19:40 Wildlife SOS 20:10 Gorilla School 20:35 Xtremely Wild 21:05 Wild France 22:00 Wild Animal Orphans 22:25 Wild Animal Orphans 22:55 Venom Hunter With Donald Schultz 23:50 Animal Cops Miami

00:45 Eastenders 01:15 Doctors 01:45 Waking The Dead 02:35 Sport Relief: Walliams vs the Thames 03:30 Last Of The Summer Wine 04:00 Fimbles 04:20 Charlie and Lola 04:35 Teletubbies 05:00 Buzz & Tell 05:05 Tikkabilla 05:35 The Large Family 05:45 Spot’s Musical Adventures 05:50 Fimbles 06:10 Charlie and Lola 06:20 Teletubbies 06:45 Buzz & Tell 06:50 Tikkabilla 07:20 The Large Family 07:30 Spot’s Musical Adventures 07:35 Last Of The Summer Wine 08:05 My Family 08:35 The Weakest Link 09:20 Eastenders 09:50 Doctors 10:20 Holby City 11:10 North And South 12:00 Sport Relief Does Dragons’ Den 13:00 The Weakest Link 13:45 Eastenders 14:15 Doctors 14:45 Holby City 15:35 North And South 16:25 The Weakest Link 17:10 Eastenders 17:40 Doctors 18:10 Holby City 19:00 Last Of The Summer Wine 19:30 Him & Her 20:00 Spooks 20:50 Sport Relief: John Bishop’s Week of Hell 21:50 Lark Rise to Candleford 22:40 Him & Her 23:10 The Weakest Link 23:55 Holby City

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Glamour Puds Glamour Puds 10 Years Younger Fantasy Homes By The Sea Glamour Puds Glamour Puds Antiques Roadshow Cash In The Attic USA Glamour Puds Glamour Puds MasterChef Australia MasterChef Australia Bargain Hunt Antiques Roadshow Come Dine With Me 10 Years Younger Holmes On Homes Fantasy Homes By The Sea Fantasy Homes By The Sea Holmes On Homes Bargain Hunt Antiques Roadshow Diy SOS Glamour Puds Glamour Puds 10 Years Younger Holmes On Homes Fantasy Homes By The Sea Bargain Hunt Antiques Roadshow

00:00 BBC World News 00:30 World Business Report 00:45 Sport Today 01:00 BBC World News America 01:30 Asia Business Report 01:45 Sport Today 02:00 BBC World News 02:30 Asia Business Report 02:45 Sport Today 03:00 BBC World News 03:30 Asia Business Report 03:45 Sport Today 04:00 Newsday 04:30 Asia Business Report 04:45 Sport Today 05:00 Newsday 05:30 Asia Business Report 05:45 Sport Today 06:00 Newsday 06:30 Hardtalk 07:00 Newsday 07:30 World Business Report 07:45 BBC World News 08:00 BBC World News 08:30 World Business Report 08:45 BBC World News 09:00 BBC World News 09:30 World Business Report 09:45 Sport Today 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 World Business Report 10:45 Sport Today 11:00 BBC World News 11:30 Hardtalk 12:00 BBC World News 12:30 World Business Report 12:45 Sport Today 13:00 BBC World News 13:30 BBC World News 14:00 GMT With George Alagiah 14:30 GMT With George Alagiah 15:00 BBC World News 15:30 World Business Report 15:45 Sport Today 16:00 Impact With Mishal Husain 16:30 Impact With Mishal Husain 17:00 Impact With Mishal Husain 17:30 World Business Report 17:45 Sport Today 18:00 BBC World News 18:30 Hardtalk 19:00 The Hub With Nik Gowing 19:30 The Hub With Nik Gowing 20:00 The Hub With Nik Gowing 20:30 World Business Report 20:45 Sport Today 21:00 World News Today With Zeinab Badawi 21:30 World News Today With Zeinab Badawi 22:00 World News Today With Zeinab Badawi 22:30 World Business Report 22:45 Sport Today 23:00 BBC World News America 23:30 Hardtalk




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

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

00:00 Backstory 00:30 World Sport 01:00 The Situation Room 02:00 World Report 03:00 Anderson Cooper 360 04:00 Piers Morgan Tonight 05:00 Quest Means Business 06:00 Erin Burnett Outfront 07:00 World Sport 07:30 African Voices 08:00 World Report 09:00 World Report 10:00 World Sport 10:30 Talk Asia 11:00 World Business Today 12:00 Backstory 12:30 News Special 13:00 World One 14:00 Piers Morgan Tonight 15:00 News Stream 16:00 World Business Today 17:00 International Desk 18:00 Global Exchange 19:00 World Sport 19:30 News Special 20:00 International Desk 21:00 Quest Means Business 22:00 Piers Morgan Tonight 23:00 Connect The World With Becky Anderson


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

Destroyed In Seconds When Disaster Strikes Dirty Jobs Overhaulin’ Ultimate Survival Mythbusters How Do They Do It? How It’s Made Dirty Jobs Mythbusters Alaska’s Great Race Fight Quest How Do They Do It? Cake Boss Border Security Auction Kings Raging Nature Raging Nature Raging Nature Tornado Rampage Most Deadly Overhaulin’ Ultimate Survival Mythbusters Cash Cab Us Border Security Auction Kings How It’s Made How Do They Do It? Cake Boss Fight Quest Freddie Flintoff vs The World Scrappers Carfellas

00:35 The World’s Strangest Stories 01:25 The Tech Show 01:50 Mega World 02:40 Superships 03:35 How Does That Work? 04:00 How Stuff’s Made 04:25 The Future Of... 05:20 Thunder Races 06:10 The World’s Strangest Stories 07:00 The Gadget Show 07:25 The Gadget Show 07:50 How Does That Work? 08:15 How Stuff’s Made 08:40 Mega World 09:35 Superships 10:25 Mighty Ships 11:20 Thunder Races 12:15 The World’s Strangest Stories 13:05 The Future Of... 13:55 How Does That Work? 14:20 How Stuff’s Made 14:50 The Gadget Show 15:15 The Gadget Show 15:40 The Tech Show 16:05 Thunder Races 17:00 Mighty Ships 17:50 The World’s Strangest Stories 18:40 Race To Mars 19:30 Meteorite Men 20:20 The Gadget Show 20:45 The Gadget Show 21:10 Da Vinci’s Machines 22:00 Race To Mars 22:50 Meteorite Men 23:40 Mighty Ships





00:15 Fairly Odd Parents 00:40 Fairly Odd Parents 01:05 Brandy & Mr Whiskers 01:30 Brandy & Mr Whiskers 01:55 Replacements 02:20 Replacements 02:45 Emperor’s New School 03:10 Emperor’s New School 03:35 Brandy & Mr Whiskers 04:00 Brandy & Mr Whiskers 04:25 Replacements 04:50 Replacements 05:15 Fairly Odd Parents 05:35 Fairly Odd Parents 06:00 Fish Hooks 06:15 Recess 06:27 Phineas And Ferb 06:40 Timon And Pumbaa 07:05 Phineas And Ferb 07:30 Good Luck Charlie 07:55 Fish Hooks 08:20 Wizards Of Waverly Place 08:45 So Random 09:10 The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody 09:35 A.N.T. Farm 10:00 Camp Rock 2 11:40 Jake & Blake 12:05 Sonny With A Chance 12:30 Wizards Of Waverly Place 12:55 Phineas And Ferb 13:20 So Random 13:45 Suite Life On Deck 14:10 Wizards Of Waverly Place 14:35 Shake It Up 15:00 Good Luck Charlie 15:25 A.N.T. Farm 15:50 Phineas And Ferb 16:15 Hannah Montana Forever 16:40 Shake It Up 17:05 Jessie 17:30 Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior 18:56 Phineas And Ferb 19:10 Good Luck Charlie 19:30 Have A Laugh 19:35 Wizards Of Waverly Place 20:00 Hannah Montana 20:25 Phineas And Ferb 20:50 Shake It Up 21:15 Fish Hooks 21:40 Recess 22:05 Camp Rock 2 23:45 Kim Possible

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

Little Einsteins Jungle Junction Jungle Junction Little Einsteins Special Agent Oso Special Agent Oso Lazytown Little Einsteins Jungle Junction Jungle Junction Little Einsteins Special Agent Oso Special Agent Oso Lazytown Little Einsteins Jungle Junction Jungle Junction Little Einsteins Lazytown

06:15 Jungle Junction 06:30 Jungle Junction 06:45 Handy Manny 07:00 Special Agent Oso 07:15 Jungle Junction 07:30 Jungle Junction 07:45 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 08:10 The Hive 08:20 Handy Manny 08:35 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 08:50 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 09:05 The Hive 09:15 Mini Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh 09:20 Cars Toons 09:25 Handy Manny Great Garage Rescue 10:10 Cars Toons 10:15 Cars Toons 10:20 Imagination Movers 10:45 Art Attack 11:10 Imagination Movers 11:35 Special Agent Oso 11:45 Lazytown 12:10 Handy Manny 12:25 Jungle Junction 12:40 Imagination Movers 13:05 The Hive 13:15 Special Agent Oso 13:25 Little Einsteins 13:50 Lazytown 14:15 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 14:40 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 14:55 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 15:05 Mouk 15:20 Cars Toons 15:25 Handy Manny Great Garage Rescue 16:10 Cars Toons 16:15 Cars Toons 16:20 Lazytown 16:45 Art Attack 17:10 The Hive 17:20 Special Agent Oso 17:30 Jungle Junction 17:45 Handy Manny 17:55 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 18:10 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 18:25 The Hive 18:35 Little Einsteins 19:00 Mini Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh 19:05 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 19:25 101 Dalmatians 19:40 101 Dalmatians 19:50 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 20:05 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 20:20 The Hive 20:30 Mini Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh 20:35 A Poem Is... 20:40 Animated Stories 20:45 Mouk 21:00 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 21:25 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 21:40 Special Agent Oso 21:55 Little Einsteins 22:20 Timmy Time 22:30 Jungle Junction 22:45 Handy Manny 22:55 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 23:20 Special Agent Oso 23:35 Special Agent Oso 23:50 Lazytown

00:25 Kendra 00:55 Style Star 01:25 20 Most Shocking Unsolved Crimes 03:15 25 Most Stylish 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 Extreme Hollywood 06:00 50 Most Insane Celebrity Oops 07:50 Behind The Scenes 08:20 E! News 09:15 Scouted 10:15 THS 12:05 E! News 13:05 Kendra 13:35 Kendra 14:05 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 14:35 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 15:00 Style Star 15:30 E!es 16:25 Behind The Scenes 16:55 Khloe And Lamar 17:25 Khloe And Lamar 17:55 E! News 18:55 THS 19:55 Kourtney & Kim Take New York 20:55 Chelsea Lately 21:25 Khloe And Lamar 21:55 Khloe And Lamar 22:25 E! News 23:25 Chelsea Lately 23:55 Keeping Up With The Kardashians

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

Ghost Lab Psychic Witness I Married A Mobster Scorned: Crimes Of Passion Deadly Women: Face To Face Extreme Forensics Ghost Lab Psychic Witness Mystery ER On The Run Forensic Detectives Fugitive Strike Force Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Mall Cops – Mall Of America On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared Fugitive Strike Force Mystery ER Real Emergency Calls Mall Cops – Mall Of America On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared On The Run Forensic Detectives Fugitive Strike Force Real Emergency Calls Mystery ER Mall Cops – Mall Of America On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared Couples Who Kill Deadly Women Extreme Forensics

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Bite Me With Dr. Mike Leahy Banged Up Abroad Banged Up Abroad Graham’s World Destination Extreme Perilous Journeys

Game of Thrones returns with an epic second season less than 24 hours after it returns in the US exclusively on OSN.



he multi-award winning hit series Game of Thrones returns exclusively to OSN First on Monday, 2nd April at 21:00 KSA less than 24 hours after it returns in the US. The highly anticipated second season that promises to be even more epic than the first is guaranteed to satisfy fans with plenty of sword play, new cast members and old favorites, deadly omens in the sky and dragons. Based on George R.R. Martin’s best-selling book series A Song of Ice and Fire, the Golden Globe® and Emmy®winning drama chronicles an epic struggle for power in a vast and violent fantasy kingdom. Season one remained true to the harsh and brutal world created by the author - a man who’s never been afraid to swing the sword in the direction of his major characters - and a good number of key players lost their lives in some of the series’ most shocking and memorable scenes. After the revelations at the end of season one, which hinted at the dangers lying beyond the great wall, it’s set to be a season of exploration, danger and death

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Which Way To Bite Me With Dr. Mike Leahy Banged Up Abroad Banged Up Abroad Graham’s World Destination Extreme Perilous Journeys Which Way To Bite Me With Dr. Mike Leahy A World Apart Treks In A Wild World Endurance Traveller On The Camino De Santiago The Music Nomad The Green Way Up The Green Way Up Dive Detectives A World Apart Treks In A Wild World Endurance Traveller On The Camino De Santiago The Music Nomad The Green Way Up The Green Way Up

Kiss Of Death-18 Tortured-18 True Justice: Street Wars-PG15 The Warlords-PG15 Coach Carter-PG15 Last Breath-PG15 Law Abiding Citizen-18 Coach Carter-PG15 The Three Musketeers-PG15 Law Abiding Citizen-18 The Cry Of The Owl-PG15 Street Kings 2: Motor City-18 Alive-PG15

01:15 Brotherhood-PG15 03:00 I Am Number Four-PG15 05:00 Freestyle (2010)-PG15 07:00 Yogi Bear-FAM 09:00 Flipped-PG 10:45 The 19th Wife-PG15 12:30 I Am Number Four-PG15 14:30 Miles From Nowhere-PG15 16:30 Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides-PG15 18:45 The Social Network-PG15 21:00 The Cry Of The Owl-PG15 23:00 The Tender Hook-PG15

00:00 Allen Gregory 00:30 The Daily Show Global Edition 01:00 The Colbert Report Global Edition 01:30 Entourage 02:00 How To Make It In America 02:30 Family Guy 03:00 Melissa And Joey 03:30 Mad Love 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 The Simpsons 06:30 Yes Dear 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:30 Melissa And Joey 09:00 The Simpsons 09:30 Raising Hope 10:00 Traffic Light 10:30 Yes Dear 11:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:30 10 Items Or Less 13:00 The Simpsons 13:30 Yes Dear 14:00 Mad Love 14:30 Traffic Light 15:30 The Daily Show Global Edition 16:00 The Colbert Report Global Edition 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 Melissa And Joey 18:30 Mad Love 19:00 Raising Hope 19:30 Traffic Light 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 Weeds 23:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

this time round. The cold winds are rising across Westeros, as the bloody battle for the Iron Throne continues...

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Desperate Housewives Game Of Thrones Revenge Justified Live Good Morning America C.S.I. Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show The Martha Stewart Show The View Desperate Housewives Revenge Live Good Morning America C.S.I. The Ellen DeGeneres Show Emmerdale Coronation Street Grey’s Anatomy Private Practice

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Bones One Tree Hill Bones Emmerdale Coronation Street Franklin & Bash Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show Franklin & Bash Bones Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show Terra Nova Grey’s Anatomy House Pillars Of The Earth In Treatment In Treatment

01:00 RoboCop-PG15 03:00 True Justice: Street Wars-PG15 05:00 Sleep Dealer-18 07:00 Wild Bill-PG15 09:00 Bodyguard: A New BeginningPG15 11:00 The Sorcerer’s ApprenticePG15 13:00 Time Machine: Rise Of The Morlocks-PG15 15:00 Bodyguard: A New BeginningPG15 17:00 Attack On Leningrad-PG15 19:00 RoboCop 2-PG15 21:00 Street Kings 2: Motor City-18 23:00 Splinter-18

00:00 Josie And The Pussycats-PG15 02:00 Crazy On The Outside-PG15 04:00 A Lot Like Love-PG15 06:00 One Hot Summer-PG15 08:00 It’s A Wonderful AfterlifePG15 10:00 Nanny Mcphee And The Big Bang-PG 12:00 Big Fat Liar-PG 14:00 The Prince And Me 4: The Elephant Adventure-PG15 16:00 Josie And The Pussycats-PG15 18:00 The Dukes-PG15 20:00 Leap Year-PG15 22:00 Without A Paddle-PG15

01:00 Grace Of My Heart-PG15 03:00 Espions-PG15 05:00 The Maiden Heist-PG15 07:00 Cinema Verite-PG15 09:00 Star Trek III: The Search For Spock-PG15 11:00 Private-PG15 13:00 Searching For Bobby FischerPG 15:00 The Sunset Limited-PG15 17:00 Flying By-PG15 19:00 Tout Ce Qui Brille-PG15 21:00 Nine-PG15 23:00 Fragments-18

02:00 Super Rugby Highlights 03:30 European PGA Tour Highlights 04:30 Futbol Mundial 05:00 NRL Premiership 07:00 Super Rugby Highlights 08:00 Premier League Darts 11:30 European PGA Tour Highlights 12:30 Scottish Premier League 14:30 Volvo Ocean Race 15:30 Volvo Ocean Race Highlights 16:00 Super Rugby Highlights 17:00 Super Rugby 19:00 NRL Premiership 21:00 Trans World Sport 22:00 Futbol Mundial 22:30 Cricket ODI Highlights 23:00 Super League

00:30 Top 14 Highlights 01:00 Futbol Mundial 01:30 Trans World Sport 02:30 Premier League Darts 06:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 06:30 NRL Full Time 07:00 NRL Premiership 09:00 AFL Winners 10:00 World Cup Of Pool 11:00 World Pool Masters 12:00 Ping Pong World Championship 13:00 Futbol Mundial 13:30 Super Rugby Highlights 14:30 AFL Winners 15:30 Premier League Darts 19:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 19:30 NRL Full Time 20:00 ICC Cricket World 20:30 Mobil 1 The Grid 21:00 Futbol Mundial 21:30 Scottish Premier League Highlights 22:00 Trans World Sport 23:00 Golfing World

00:00 SPL Highlights 00:30 NRL Full Time 01:00 Super Rugby 03:00 Super Rugby Highlights 04:00 AFL Winners 05:00 World Cup of Pool 06:00 Ping Pong World Championship 07:00 Golfing World 08:30 NRL Full Time 09:00 Top 14 Highlights 09:30 Super Rugby Highlights 10:30 Volvo Ocean Race Highlights 11:00 NRL Premiership 13:00 European PGA Tour Highlights 14:00 Golfing World 15:00 NRL Full Time 15:30 Pro 12 Celtic League 17:30 AFL Premiership 20:00 Super Rugby Highlights 21:00 Volvo Ocean Race Highlights 21:30 Super Rugby 23:30 Premier League Darts

00:00 01:00 03:00 04:00 07:00 08:00 09:00 10:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 15:30 16:00 17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00

WWE Experience V8 Supercars Highlights Speedway UFC Unleashed WWE NXT WWE Bottom Line Speedway FIM World Prizefighter WWE Bottom Line WWE Vintage Collection Mobil 1 The Grid V8 Supercars Extra Speedway FIM World Power Boats WWE NXT WWE Experience UFC Unleashed UFC The Ultimate Fighter Prizefighter

Classifieds TUESDAY, MARCH 27, 2012

ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation two bedroom flat in Abbassiya, two bachelors accommodation from April 1st. Rent KD 40. Contact: 99162583. (C 3917)




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

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (

Accommodation in Farwaniya near Gulf Mart, big room for bachelor or couple, Filipino only, available April 21. Contact: 94418396. 20-3-2012

teacher, elementary and intermediate, long experience in Kuwait curricula, explaining grammar rules and starting those weak in reading and writing. Tel: 99262948. Senior chemistr y and physics teacher. Long experience for 10th, 11th and 12th stages. Intermediate science and applied institutions. Highly competent. Tel: 99542922. Mathematics and statistics female teacher for female students in the secondary, intermediate, university and applied institutions female students. Tel: 99410370.

FOR SALE Toyota Prado 2006, Golden color, 6 cylinder, excellent condition, price KD 5,200/-. Contact: 50699345. (C 3921) 25-3-2012 Household goods for sale, includes furniture, electronics, kitchen equipments, books, curtains, and other miscellaneous items. All at throw-away prices. Call 99510519 or 66210509. (C 3919) 21-3-2012

SITUATION WANTED Male Indian secretary B.Sc., 14 years experience, including 7 years in Kuwait, well versed in secretarial practices, computer operations & correspondence, conversant in English, Hindi, Malayalam & Tamil, Transferable residence. Contact: 97667430. (C 3924) 26-3-2012 Female 26 years post graduate 4 years experience in HR executive, seeking suitable jobs. Mob: 60473639. Email: (C 3918)

SITUATION VACANT Housemaid wanted for a small family in Farwaniya. Mob: 97514390 21-3-2012 Manager (Asian) in Maidan Hawally looking for a maid. Part time. Good salary. Call 97263962 for details. (C 3915) 17-3-2012

CHANGE OF NAME I, Donga Hanumanthu Ram holder of Indian passport No. F2522828, son of Donga Swamy change has changed my name to DONGA HANUMANTHA RAO. (C 3923) 26-3-2012 I, Murugesan Uma Maheshwari, holder of Indian passport No. E2156446 have changed religion (embraced Islam). Hence I will be known as Riyazudeen Safia Begum. (C 3922) 25-3-2012

TUITION Math teacher for secondar y stage, language schools, bi-lingual schools and intermediate stage: Algebra, Gmath, Geometry, Statistics for arts and science branches. Tel: 66974020. English language teacher specialized in starting elementary and intermediate, 10th and 11th experienced in starting functions, grammar, set book, vocabulary, notes and model exams available. Tel: 65791555. Arabic language teacher, masters in methods of teaching for secondary and intermediate students. Tel: 50644685. Senior Arabic language

Female Syrian Arabic language teacher for elementary and intermediate, and starting the weak using Halaby method in her house located in Abdallah Al-Mubarak area. Tel: 50513699. Senior biology and science teacher for 12th, 11th and 10th grades, and science for all intermediate classes, religious institutes, nursing, educational experience, simple explanation for fast understanding. Tel: 66543474. Senior Arabic language and Islamic studies teacher to help weak and slow learning students in a short time. 20 years experience, teaching all elementary subjects excep E. Arabic and Islamic studies for elementary and intermediate. Tel: 66896088. Senior mathematics and statistics teacher. Long experience in Kuwait curricula to teach secondary students both science and arts branches, and university admission exams. Tel: 97975096. Senior chemistry teacher for secondary students and science for intermediate. All reviews and exams, and university qualification chemistry. Tel: 99560268. Female senior mathematics teacher, 35 years experience in Kuwait for secondary, intermediate and elementary stages, applied, initial university, communications and navigation and special courses. Tel: 97926737. Elementary stage teacher, 12 years experience, ready to give remedial lessons for all topics in the elementary stage in a simple method. Tel: 66594901. English teacher specialized in elementary and intermediate, experienced in grammar, book questions and synonyms. Highly experienced in Kuwait curricula. Tel: 97373301. French language teacher, specialized in 11th and 12th grades, languages schools, Pakistani and Indian schools. Long experience in Kuwait curricula. Senior philosophy and logic teacher for the 12th stage, psychology for 11th grade, with notes and exams solutions. Tel: 99835421.

No: 15400

Senior mathematics and statistics teacher for the secondary and intermediate stages and fifth grade, clear and simple explanation for slow learners and exams method. Tel: 99410112. Arabic language teacher, long experience in general secondary with simplifying grammar for institutions and universities. Tel: 66900427/ Secondary physics teacher 10th grade, 15 years experience. Tel: 677020697. Syrian mathematics teacher for secondary and intermediate classes. Graduate from Damascus University. Tel: 99460277. Syrian Arabic language teacher. Masters to initiate weak students using the Halaby method (the alphabet then the word), follow up of intermediate, secondary, university and religious institute. Tel: 50513599. Female Syrian Arabic language teacher to initiate weak students using the Halaby method, and follow up of intermediate and elementary in her Abdallah AlMubarak area home. Tel: 50513699.

ing room + kitchen + 3 bathrooms + laundry room + maid room. Tel: 60308586. A floor in Zahra, 4 rooms + living room + kitchen + 3 bathrooms, second floor, elevator. Must be small family. Tel: 99719887. Flat in west Jleeb, 3 rooms + living room + kitchen + 2 bathrooms first floor. No elevator. Must be newlyweds or one child only. Tel:99719887. Flat in Salam, 3 rooms + living room + kitchen + 3 bathrooms + maid room. Must be newlyweds or two children only. 60308586. First floor in Rumaithiya. 4 rooms + living room + kitchen + maid room + 6 bathrooms. Super deluxe. Must be foreigners and expats only. Tel: 60308586, 99719887. Large first floor with the roof in Firdous. No middle men. Tel: 99490502. Fully furnished flat in Mahboula 2 rooms + 2 baths + living room + Gym + DSL, Satellite + full sea view. Rent starts from KD 450. Tel: 66060822.

Mathematics teacher for universities, applied, secondary and intermediate, experienced in Kuwait. Simple explanation. Tel: 97725411.

Furished flat in a Salmiya resort 3 rooms + maid room + garden + swimming pool + children play room + DSL. Sea view + hotel service + car parking. Rent KD 800. Tel: 66060299.

Mathematics teacher for the elementary and intermediate stages. Experienced in Kuwait curricula. Tel: 60421808.

For rent or investment, medical clinics in Salmiya. Good location licensed and unlicensed. No brokers. Tel: 66060299.

FOR RENT Flat in South Surra, 3 bedrooms, 2 of which are master + living room + kitchen + maid room, new, super deluxe. Tel: 97864628. For rent, commercial flat in Hawally, can be used as workshop, large area. No middle men. Parking. Tel: 66043961. Flat in Bneid Al-Gar, 2 rooms + 2 bathrooms + living room + kitchen + Gym + swimming pool overlooking the sea, central satellite + internet. For families, no middle men. Tel: 66043961. Flat in Salmiya 3 bedroom + 2 bathrooms + living room + kitchen + central satellite + internet. 4x4 rooms, 4x8 living room for expatriates only. Rent KD 330. No middle men. Tel: 66043961. Flat in Salmiya 2 rooms + 2 bathrooms + living room + kitchen + central satellite + internet. Families only, no middle men. Tel: 66043961. A commercial floor in Salmiya. Close to Blajat. Car parking. No middle men. Tel: 66043961. First floor in Shuhada, 4 rooms + living room + 5 bathrooms + maid room + balcony. Must be small family. Tel: 60308586. Flat in Zahra, 2 rooms + liv-

Flat in Salmiya, 3 bedrooms (2 master) + maid room + 3 bathrooms + 2 balconies + sea view + Gym. No brokers. Rent KD 550. Tel: 66060299. Commercial floor in Salmiya, main street, sea view, good location. Can be used for saloon, clinics, lawyer office. Rent KD 1650. Tel: 66297171. Complete building in Salmiya, 55 flats. 2 rooms + 2 bathrooms + kitchen + living room. Good location + central satellite. Good for company residence. Tel: 55939470. Ground floor in Jabriya. Private entrance, 4 rooms (2 master) + living rooms (10x10) + saloon 11x10 + 5 bathrooms + very large kitchen + guest wash area + 2 maid rooms. Rent KD 950. Tel: 94463321. Flat in Zahra, 3 rooms + 3 bathrooms + maid room + spacious living room + shaded parking + electricity and water + DSL, foreigners and expats, rent starts from KD 600. Tel: 66297171. Villa in Zahra. 4 rooms + 5 bathrooms + maid room + driver room + 2 large balconies. Super deluxe + satellite + DSL. Rent KD 1000. Tel: 66297171. New first floor in south Surra, 4 rooms + 4 bathrooms + living room + maid room. Not used. For small family. Rent KD 750. Tel: 66694740, 94024242.



stars CROSSWORD 629



Aries (March 21-April 19) You are coming into a creative and competitive phase, one in which you want to be admired and appreciated for who you are and what you do. Today you will be able to tackle tasks that require real discipline or organization. You find yourself in a very practical mood and working with, instead of against, yourself. You may have some serious or contemplative moments. You will probably want to relax with friends this afternoon and may find yourself involved in a group game or sports activity. Friends are our only true riches and the satisfaction that comes from accomplishing things in cooperation with others is something nobody can take away from you. Your favorite hobby and a young child are the outlets for much of your energy this evening.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) You might decide this is the right time for planning or taking that trip you have been wanting. If you do not travel today you will make plans for a trip in the near future. There is a yearning to broaden your horizons; reach for the ultimate. Security is on your mind and you may think that finances are the only answer to a secure feeling. One could have a feeling of security from finances and family, but the real sense of security comes from within your own spirit and practical planning. Difficult situations suddenly become solved this afternoon. Just about anything you want to accomplish may be easily accomplished now. Budget as you shop; then you can save for that special vacation. Encourage others to do the same. Home is fun tonight.

POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. East Indian tree bearing a profusion of intense vermilion velvet-textured blooms and yielding a yellow dye. 4. (New Testament) One of the three sages from the east who came bearing gifts for the infant Jesus. 10. The sign language used in the United States. 13. American prizefighter who won the world heavyweight championship three times (born in 1942). 14. In a racy manner. 15. Aircraft landing in bad weather in which the pilot is talked down by ground control using precision approach radar. 16. System of measurement based on centimeters and grams and seconds. 17. (commerce) The period of time permitted by commercial usage for the payment of a bill of exchange (especially a foreign bill of exchange). 18. Thigh of a hog (usually smoked). 19. A drug (trade names Calan and Isoptin) used as an oral or parenteral calcium blocker in cases of hypertension or congestive heart failure or angina or migraine. 21. The compass point that is midway between north and northeast. 23. Very attentive or observant. 24. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 25. Elevated open grassland in southern Africa. 27. Any of numerous local fertility and nature deities worshipped by ancient Semitic peoples. 31. The district occupied entirely by the city of Washington. 33. A toxic nonmetallic element related to sulfur and tellurium. 34. (informal) Of the highest quality. 36. Type genus of the family Arcidae. 37. The elementary stages of any subject (usually plural). 39. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 40. The basic unit of money in Thailand. 41. Any of a number of fishes of the family Carangidae. 43. Rock that in its molten form (as magma) issues from volcanos. 46. Any of numerous hairy-bodied insects including social and solitary species. 47. A very young child (birth to 1 year) who has not yet begun to walk or talk. 49. Type genus of the Hylidae. 51. A metallic element having four allotropic forms. 53. A light strong brittle gray toxic bivalent metallic element. 54. Lower in esteem. 58. The 19th letter of the Greek alphabet. 60. Sour or bitter in taste. 64. (Babylonian) God of storms and wind. 65. A defensive missile designed to shoot down incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles. 66. Conqueror of Gaul and master of Italy (100-44 BC). 68. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 69. The cry made by sheep. 70. (Greek mythology) The goddess of health. 71. A member of a Mayan people of southwestern Guatemala. DOWN 1. The capital and largest city of Bangladesh. 2. Of or relating to alga. 3. The third month of the civil year. 4. Cause to be more favorably inclined. 5. An associate degree in applied science. 6. The act of scanning. 7. Division of a usually pinnately divided leaf. 8. Genus of erect herbs of the Middle East having showy flowers. 9. The seed of the cereal grass. 10. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 11. A fraudulent business scheme. 12. A Tibetan or Mongolian priest of Lamaism. 20. (Greek mythology) Greek god of war. 22. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 26. An official language of the Republic of South Africa. 28. An Arabic speaking person who lives in Arabia or North Africa. 29. A dull persistent (usually moderately intense) pain. 30. Being or occurring at an advanced period of time or after a usual or expected time. 32. Counting the number of white and red blood cells and the number of platelets in 1 cubic millimeter of blood. 35. A feeling of grudging admiration and desire to have something possessed by another. 38. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits. 42. A light touch or stroke. 44. Traveling on horseback. 45. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 48. An area of sand sloping down to the water of a sea or lake. 50. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 52. A small cake leavened with yeast. 53. The basic unit of money in Bulgaria. 55. (Old Testament) In Judeo-Christian mythology. 56. An narrative telling the adventures of a hero or a family. 57. Mild yellow Dutch cheese made in balls. 59. A benevolent aspect of Devi. 61. A coral reef off the southern coast of Florida. 62. A graphical record of electrical activity of the brain. 63. The Tibeto-Burman language spoken in the Dali region of Yunnan. 67. An intensely radioactive metallic element that occurs in minute amounts in uranium ores.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) Good luck seems to follow you around this morning despite a co-worker’s negative intentions. Check out the facts you hear today so that you can come to the right decisions for yourself. True success is not found in the results of labor, but rather in the steps that are taken to achieve results. You may be receiving intuitive insights into your future just now. Today you can look at the big picture of how your goals are developing. As you think on important issues, try to avoid being insensitive to others. There may be a strong desire now to break the chains that hold back any of your close relationships. Say the word “no” more often when travel offers from the working world are optional—there is a need for more dedicated time to a special relationship.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)


This is a good working day—much will be accomplished. You may be able to express some of your futuristic ideas today. Innovative thoughts gather steam—you may find that eventually, your ideas will be accepted. Don’t be afraid of criticism—this is the fine-tuner that will create a successful end result to your ideas. You are way ahead of the competition, but do not forget . . . you still need the support and encouragement from others to move forward with your ideas. There is an emphasis on close relationships and a preoccupation with ideas of fairness and harmony this afternoon. There are some fun opportunities for your imagination and creativity to take flight this evening. A social gathering tonight is a very important event; network.

Leo (July 23-August 22) In the workplace, you could find that you are appreciated or valued for your feelings or your ability to act and get things done. Higher education, publishing, broadcasting or advertising could play an unexpected role in setting new directions. You are becoming more focused in your goals. You are always improving your physical attractiveness and today may not be much different. You have a routine and you do everything you can to stick to it. You influence others and may have to be a little patient for the next few days as a friend or neighbor wants to join you in your exercise program. This evening is an excellent time for social activity with friends or a group meeting. Take a little time to count your blessings; all is good.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) You might like to ignore responsibilities and do some socializing, but the day may demand that you tend to business. You are most convincing and articulate in speech and communication; you encourage others to do their work. You have good self-expression that lends itself to your particular ideas and thoughts. Outer circumstances tend to work in your favor. You may find that you are becoming good at organizational skills and you are able to reach new levels of self-discipline. Perhaps you are teaching a class or involved in giving a lecture. This is a time during which events seem to arrange themselves to your advantage. You may receive some recognition or special attention regarding a particular skill or ability today.

Libra (September 23-October 22)


Scorpio (October 23-November 21) A period of intellectual creativity has dawned in your life; expressing yourself with flair comes to mean more to you. Beating the odds through cleverness is appealing and this may lead to an interest in all kinds of financial speculation. There is a sense of testing the limits in many areas of your life just now. You could be most persuasive with others and successfully communicate your ideas. The situation is a natural for self-expression and lends itself to your particular thoughts. Although this could be a very busy day, it is one that can offer several opportunities for love and money. A lover or child who is bright and articulate plays a big role in your life this afternoon; pay attention. Enjoy a walk after dinner this evening and take along a friend.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) This is a lucrative time for you financially, but there are risks as well as rewards. Some kind of healing process is at work in your life: you isolate what doesn’t work, eliminate it and go on from there. Real insight into your own inner workings or psychology could surface today and in a manageable form. You may be in the mood for insightful conversations or thoughts—working through things in your mind. Engaging in social activities is not the best of ideas at this time. Rather, look to close family and friends for emotional support. You may experience many situations during this time when a new way of thinking will cause you to look on all things with love, appreciation and open-mindedness. Your may relax and enjoy a hobby this evening.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)


Yesterday’s Solution

You could find yourself in charge or responsible for some project that you would have never thought you could handle months ago. You have made great progress regarding your work, art or education—and it shows! You can direct projects into a forward motion with little difficulty. This is a good time to tackle the difficult—your mood is all business. Your management and directional abilities are in high focus. You have come to enjoy a challenge and almost take on a workaholic attitude. This is a creative period for you and a time to take a chance—a time to be appreciated and admired. You may enjoy good relations with friends or relatives this evening—there is still a bit of time left this evening to share with someone you love.

This could be a difficult time to relax or remain calm as there are many things you feel you will want to accomplish today. Tackle your goals with as much patience and confidence as you can muster. Community concerns may come to your attention this afternoon and you demonstrate a great deal of understanding to the needs of others just now. You are in a good position to work in groups and society in general. Perhaps the noise level is too high in your neighborhood. You could create a proposal for improvement with suggestions of tree plantings. Others respect you and follow your lead—expect a sense of support from those around you. You listen well and your focus tonight is in understanding and sharing with your loved ones.

Yesterday’s Solution Yester

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Work goals take on priority this morning. You have a need to be respected and may feel emotionally charged over some issue in your life at this time. Patience will guide you in the right direction. Someone may approach you today with a good investment possibility but you would be wise to move at your usual pace with regard to money—slow. You look for simple and sure investments: no long shots. Your type of desired investment may include some sort of insurance package. You keep up the pace in the workplace and look for ways in which to relax at home. You aim to have a place for everything and everything in its place. This evening you may find yourself helping a child with his or her room as well as with homework.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Word Sleuth Solution

Ambition and achievement may become tough taskmasters today. You win reward, recognition and authority through hard work and knowing the score; otherwise, you may find that someone hungrier and savvier will overtake you. Self-discipline and a sense of self-worth become important issues in your life as a new phase begins for you. A fear of asserting yourself can hold you back—as can coming on too strong. The trick is learning to make the most of your personal talents and abilities, working within your limitations instead of feeling hemmed in by them. This is a day in which you will need to confirm appointments. Guard against the negative and work in a steady manner. Take a timeout. You will realize just how much you have accomplished.



e niv rsar n



i n f o r m at i o n



DA AY: Y Monday


Clouds will decrease gradually with light to moderate variable wind changing to light to moderate south easterly wind, with speed of 08 - 30 km/h


Fair with moderate to fresh north easterly becoming south easterly wind, with speed of 20 - 40 km/h and some scattered clouds will appear later on


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

No Current Warnings arnin a







27 °C

18 °C


28 °C

15 °C


24 °C

13 °C


27 °C

13 °C

Amiri Hospital


Maternity Hospital


Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital



26 °C

12 °C

Chest Hospital



29 °C

16 °C

Farwaniya Hospital



28 °C

16 °C



26 °C

17 °C

Ibn Sina Hospital



22 °C

16 °C

Al-Razi Hospital



22 °C

17 °C

Physiotherapy Hospital



28 °C

16 °C

Clinics Rabiya


Issue Time

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

Adan Hospital

Ext.: 2627 262 - 2630

Fax: 24348714


Ministry of Interior

Sabah Hospital

Te el.: 161



26/03/2012 0000UTC



Wind Direction

Wind Speed

17 °C


25 - 50 km/h

16 °C


12 - 32 km/h

30 °C

15 °C


10 - 30 km/h

32 °C

14 °C


15 - 40 km/h



















Abdullah Salim




MAX. Temp.

29 °C





MIN. Temp.

13 °C

Industrial Shuwaikh





22 %




06 %





MAX. Wind






Bneid Al-Ghar






Ayoun Al-Kibla










Maidan Hawally




Khaldiya Keifan









New Jahra


West Jahra


South Jahra


North Jahra


North Jleeb































Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh













4732263 DA AY




partly cloudy

27 °C

sunny + blowing dust

29 °C

sunny partly cloudy + scattered rain PRA RA AYER Y TIMES


All times are local time unless otherwise stated.

Al-Madena Police Station Al-Murqab Police Station Al-Daiya Police Station Al-Fayha’a Police Station Al-Qadissiya Police Station Al-Nugra Police Station Al-Salmiya Police Station Al-Dasma Police Station

22434064 22435865 22544200 22547133 22515277 22616662 25714406 22530801


NE 39 km/h

about the Civil ID card is 1889988

00 mm V1.00

26/03/12 04:53 UTC









Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan

Fahaeel Makka St Abu Halaifa-Coastal Rd Mahboula Block 1, Coastal Rd

23915883 23715414 23726558


Modern Jahra Madina Munawara

Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92

24575518 24566622


Ahlam Khaldiya Coop

Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop

22436184 24833967


New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan

Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11

24734000 24881201 24726638


Tariq Hana Ikhlas Hawally & Rawdha Ghadeer Kindy Ibn Al-Nafis Mishrif Coop Salwa Coop

Salmiya-Hamad Mubarak St Salmiya-Amman St Hawally-Beirut St Hawally & Rawdha Coop Jabriya-Block 1A Jabriya-Block 3B Salmiya-Hamad Mubarak St Mishrif Coop Salwa Coop

25726265 25647075 22625999 22564549 25340559 25326554 25721264 25380581 25628241

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LIFESTYLE G o s s i p

Williams wants to buy Jackson death house obbie Williams wants to buy the house Michael Jackson died in. The Take That singer - who lives in a $16 million Beverly Hills mansion with his wife Ayda Field - was spotted visiting the palatial pad in Los Angeles’ Holmby Hills neighbourhood on Thursday after it went on the market on Monday according to gossip website TMZ. Michael was renting the seven bedroom, 13 bedroom property - which is worth $23.9 million - when he died from acute Propofol intoxication in June 2009 aged 50 and the property has been on and off the market since his passing. Robbie is said to be serious about the house as the realtor - Mauricio Umansky, the CEO and co-founder of The Agency in Beverly Hills - has said he will only show the property to serious buyers who have pre-qualified by proving they have the cash to buy the home. Last December, a number of items from the mansion went on sale including high-priced paintings by Maurice Utrillo and Henri Rosseau, candles and silverware. A kitchen chalkboard with a handwritten note which reads “I [heart] Daddy. SMILE, it’s for free,” written in childlike text - which is thought to have been penned by one of Michael’s three children, Prince, 15, Paris, 14, and 10-year-old Blanket, was also sold. Michael’s personal physician Dr Conrad Murray was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in relation to the King of Pop’s death last November.


Green accused of assault rian Austin Green has been accused of assaulting a photographer. The former ‘Beverly Hills 90210’ actor and his wife Megan Fox were photographed by paparazzo Delbert Shaw while holidaying at the Four Seasons Resort in Hawaii last December and, according to gossip website TMZ, he alleges they were so incensed that Brian punched him after Megan egged him on. The lawsuit Mr. Shaw is set to file at Los Angeles County Superior Court , says that after seeing him taking pictures Megan yelled, “Are you going to let him get away with that?” He claims Brian then began pummeling him, causing severe injuries before throwing his iPhone into the sea. Mr Shaw is suing for unspecified damages. Megan and Brian tied the knot at the Four Seasons Resort in Hawaii and often holiday there with his nine-yearold son Kassius, from his relationship with actress Vanessa Marcil even though Megan previously revealed Brian is terrified of being attacked by sharks in the water. She said: “My husband is terrified of sharks but we’re going to go diving with dolphins anyway. Sharks don’t usually go where there are tons of dolphins so we can do it. I didn’t used to be [scared of sharks], but I am now because of him. His fear is so intense, it’s smothered me and now I’m afraid.”


Jimmy Kimmel to host 64th Primetime Emmy Awards ate-night host Jimmy Kimmel just got a prime-time gig: host of the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards. ABC says the star and executive producer of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” will host the Emmy Awards ceremony on Sept. 23 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. This is Kimmel’s first time


Brand has Perry tattoo permanently removed

hosting the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ annual honors. ABC also announced yesterday that director and producer Don Mischer will executive produce the Emmy telecast. Mischer recently directed and produced the Academy Awards.

ussell Brand has had his matching tattoo with estranged wife Katy Perry “permanently removed”. The British comedian and the ‘Part of Me’ hitmaker opted for identical Sanskrit inkings on the inside of their right arms, which meant “go with the flow”, shortly after they got engaged in 2010. However, after Russell filed for divorce in December after just 14 months of marriage, he has since decided to have the etching removed for good. Visiting Hollywood’s Shamrock Tattoo studio in the early hours of Saturday morning alongside his new girlfriend Nikolett Barabas, the ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’ star opted for the permanent removal of the inking, Hollywood Life reports. Despite Russell’s relatively recent split from Katy, his new love has already been gushing about their fledging romance. She recently said: “He’s amazing, so funny, he’s beautiful. I like being with him; he’s amazing, so amazing. He’s a good person.” Meanwhile, Russell confirmed he is writing a third autobiography, with up to four chapters already planned, some of which could be set to document his decision to opt for a matching tattoo with his former spouse. He said: “Every time I get in trouble I think, ‘Oh yeah, that is another chapter.’ I have already got three or four chapters for ‘Booky Wook 3’.”


Crawford praises ‘butterfly’ Hurley hace Crawford thinks of Elizabeth Hurley as a “lovely little butterfly”. The 26-year-old actor is working alongside the British beauty on the forthcoming series of ‘Gossip Girl’, and he admits he loved working with her because she is so “charming”, and jokes he had to be forced to kiss her for a scene. He said: “My character gets involved with Elizabeth Hurley. It’s terrible they’ve really got to twist my arm to do kissing scenes. I mean look at her, she’s so hard to look at! She’s literally the most charming, outgoing, lovely little butterfly on set. She just actually wrapped, I’ve got a couple more days of shooting.” However Chace - who will star alongside Jennifer Lopez and Cameron Diaz in ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’ later this year - admits Elizabeth is not the only British personality he would like to work with; ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’ star Gary Oldman is also on his wish-list. He told BBC Radio 1: “I’d love to work with Gary Oldman. There’s a whole litany of people I’d like to work with.”


Paltrow Oscars dress ‘supremely elegant’

wyneth Paltrow’s Oscars dress was picked for its “supreme elegance, grace and royalty”. The ‘Contagion’ star only saw one dress - a sleek white off the shoulder Tom Ford creation complete with cape - and had one fitting for this year’s ceremony, and her stylist, Elizabeth Saltzman, said she knew straight away it would be perfect for her when she saw it. Elizabeth told “This dress screamed & Society at Harvard University - to help people Oscars to me. It simply was ‘the one.’ The dress was worldwide develop a new standard of care composed of all the elements that I look out for towards one another. She said: “Together we Gwyneth: supreme elegance, grace, royalty, extreme hope to establish a standard of bravery and kind- modern luxury, simplicity without lacking intense ness, as well as a comskill and risk. It had a positive edginess to it as well.” munity worldwide that Elizabeth says always considers her clients above the protects and nurtures clothes she puts them in, and admitted she has to others in the face of sometimes strike a balance between designer and bullying and abandon- her client. She added: “You have to think about the ment.” Gaga has fronted person, their body, their confidence, their coloring, many campaigns for their wishes, their needs and what will be successful charity and ethical for them. “Getting the right celebrity in the right issues, previously dress can mean huge, and I mean monumental, pubspeaking to gay rights licity for a designer as well as the client. “It’s about campaigners about the being honest with the designers and the other peorepealing of the don’t ple involved, listening to what they’re hoping for, and ask, don’t tell policy in striking a compromise between their vision and the the US - which didn’t client’s needs.” Gwyneth said her dress was inspired allow openly homosexual officers to serve in the in part by former US first lady Jackie Kennedy. She armed forces - before its repealing earlier this said: “I tried on one dress. That was the dress and I year. The ‘You and I’ singer is currently preparing thought, ‘it’s a little different but it’s sort of a throwfor the launch of her ‘Born This Way Ball’ world back. “I saw a pic of Jackie O in a white dress with a tour, which starts at the end of next month in cape and it’s been a while since anyone’s worn a Seoul, South Korea. cape, frankly, except for Superman.”


Fame is a freak, show says Theron

Lady Gaga is mourning the world’s problems ady Gaga wears veils because she’s constantly mourning the world’s problems. The ‘Born This Way’ singer is often pictured with her face covered by a dark mesh - traditionally worn by women who have recently lost their loved ones in many cultures from around the world - which she wears in order to show solidarity with those who are suffering. She tweeted: “People ask me why I wear veils. I reply, I’m mourning. Mourning what? Well I figure something bad must be going on somewhere.” Last November, Gaga, 25, launched her own charity for youth empowerment, the Born This Way Foundation. The eccentric star set up the not-for-profit group - partnered with groups including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Berkman Center for Internet


harlize Theron says being famous is a “freak show”. The ‘Snow White’ actress insists the attention stars now receive from the paparazzi and the public is beyond anything she ever imagined and she says celebrities seem to be fair game where ever they are. In an interview with Britain’s HELLO! magazine, she said: “It’s (fame) become a freak show. It drives me insane. There are certain places that you just can’t go. I’m OK with that, but it’s the things you can’t avoid like when you’re going home. That’s not even sacred anymore.” Despite the circus that surrounds Hollywood, Charlize - who was born in South Africa - tries to retain some sense


of perspective on her career and life. She added: “You can’t take this industry too seriously. We want to believe we’re curing cancer, but we really aren’t.” The attention that Charlize receives is seemingly only going to increase now she has adopted a baby boy called Jackson. The 36-year-old screen beauty announced she had become a mother earlier this month and she is adjusting well to parenthood so far. She said: “It has been overwhelmingly incredible. Every day there is something new. I think that by the journey I decided to go on, it’s evident that I really wanted to be a mom, so I’m just overjoyed and very happy that it worked out ... He’s doing great.” —Bang showbiz



By Islam Al-Sharaa


SN is a joint venture company and is the leading pay television operator in the MENA region. The company distributes its pay television service in 24 countries and distributes a number of its Arabic channels globally. International television industry veteran David Butorac, the CEO of OSN, brings a wealth of experience to OSN. He’s accumulated an impressive CV over his 30-year career, during which he worked in some of the world’s most successful broadcasting and multi-channel television companies. To date, he’s held positions including Head of Operations and Station Manager at BSkyB, Group Chief Operating Officer at Astro, Malaysia’s largest broadcasting and cross-media company, as well as President at the News Corporation’s Star TV in Hong Kong. Most recently, Butorac was Managing Director of the WIN Corporation, Australia’s largest regional cross-media company.

David Butorac, CEO,OSN

Emad Morcos, VP, Business Development and Strategy at OSN

What is OSN Play? OSN Play is an on-demand, online service that you can access from your PC or Mac. What can I watch? OSN Play offers you 100s of hours of premium entertainment including movies, series, comedy, Arabic series, cooking, lifestyle, talk shows, and sports. And, we’re adding lots of new content each month. How much does it cost? OSN Play is included as part of your OSN TV subscription at no additional cost.

Kuwait Times: You worked in Australia and Asia, what brought you to the Middle East? David Butorac: I have had the privilege of working in the subscription television markets of the UK, Asia and Australia at times of growth in each of those markets. I see a great opportunity to extend the quality and reach of subscription TV in the MENA region and was attracted by the opportunity to do so. The time for growth and modernization in the services offered to consumers in this region is now, and I am excited about the opportunity to play a part in doing so. KT: When you started out as a cameraman, did you cover any historic events? DB: My TV career started as a cameraman, initially in Australia, and then in London. During my time as Head of Operations with Sky News in the UK, I covered many major domestic and international stories. I was in Hong Kong and China in the immediate aftermath of the Tiananmen Square massacres, I worked on the downfall of the Thatcher government in the UK, covered the fall of the Berlin Wall and the unification of Germany, the first Gulf War from Saudi and Kuwait, the war in Yugoslavia, the funeral of Princess Diana, as well as many other stories. KT: How do you feel about the free TV versus paid TV issue? DB: Free to air and subscription television happily coexist in every market. They are not in direct competition with each other as we each gain our predominant revenues from different means, free TV from advertising and pay TV from customer subscriptions. We have a strong and positive relationship with the key FTA broadcasters, as evidenced by our partnerships in the region with MBC, Rotana, Dubai TV and others. KT: What was your experience in Kuwait like when you came to cover the Gulf War? DB: Being at the sharp end of major news coverage was always a privilege and a great experience, though there are no positive images that can be taken from a war. My initial visions of Kuwait in 1991 at a time of war, with damaged buildings, land-mined beaches, burning oil fields and the scars of war everywhere are vastly different to the Kuwait I enjoy visiting today. I first visited Kuwait City on the day after liberation from the occupying Iraqi forces, having driven up from Saudi with colleagues from Sky News. It was a time of terrible hardship for the population and I admired the resilience of the Kuwaiti people who had lived through the devastation of war. To see the country rebuild into the strength it is today is a wonder to behold. KT: Do you think that the current competition between channels and media companies has compromised reporting ethics? DB: No. The distribution of information has expanded in a great number of ways and the advent of 24 hour news channels and the expansion into online and digital distribution is a great benefit to the consumer. Whilst the task of news gathering and distribution has changed hugely over the last few years with the advent of the satellite and digital distribution means, the opportunity for consumers to get their information in a multitude of ways is a great positive. Today’s consumer globally can choose their information source, which leads to greater plurality and a better quality of journalism.

KT: Where do you see OSN over the next five years? DB: OSN will continue to expand its position as the premier pay TV platform in the region. With our continued investment in fresh, relevant and compelling content and advanced technology, we will continue to innovate and grow the opportunity to educate, entertain and inform our customers. I see great upwards potential for both OSN and pay TV in the region and I am excited and privileged to be a part of it. Emad Morcos is Vice President of Business Development and Strategy at OSN. nnnnnnn

Morcos is a seasoned television executive with 20 years of broadcast experience. He has worked in the US, Europe and the Middle East. The Business Development and Strategy division is based in Dubai and manages a number of key initiatives of the company, which include all third-party affiliate agreements, non-subscription revenue, global channel distribution and the new online digital platform. Morcos is responsible for the expansion and success of these initiatives. Morcos joined OSN from Showtime Arabia. Emad served as part of the executive group from Showtime Arabia responsible for examining and executing the joint venture with Orbit, the largest media joint venture in MENA region. Kuwait Times spoke to Emad Morocos: There’s a lot of buzz around Internet TV right now. How will it affect regular TV? Emad Morcos: We see Internet TV as a great accessory to regular TV. As technology continues to expand, Internet TV is an additional medium for us to continue to offer our content to those who want to consume it in their own time and in their own space. As consumption methods of media change, we want to be right at the forefront offering our customers the TV they want anytime, anywhere. KT: Do you think the future of broadcasting will mainly be over smartphones and tablets next? EM: Traditional broadcasting will always remain important, but it is as important to offer our content on as many mediums as possible. KT: Will OSN Play introduce apps to aid online services soon? EM: We have a rollout plan for the remainder of 2012, which will include the OSN Play offer on iOS devices, Android devices, Connected TVs and game consoles. KT: Which is OSN’s biggest competitor now? EM: OSN has established itself as the leading pay TV network in the region, and our intention is to remain that way.

Why has OSN launched this service now? OSN has today announced the launch of the regions first online TV platform, allowing its customers to watch the most popular content over the Internet on a variety of devices, anywhere, anytime. The launch of ‘OSN Play’ comes as consumers widen the devices they use for viewing entertainment, moving heavily towards the Internet and social networking. New research shows that 40 percent of consumers would like to watch TV on their laptops, with a further 38 percent wanting to use their iPad or tablet device. An additional 19 percent would like to watch their favorite programs on their mobile phones. Is OSN the first in the region to offer this service? OSN Play is the first of its kind in the region, and as an innovator in the technology and entertainment industry, we pride ourselves in delivering high quality content and services to our subscribers, and OSN Play is a testament to this. Why can’t I watch the same content on OSN Play as I watch on OSN TV? OSN Play currently shows a selection of the shows and movies that you can watch with your OSN TV subscription as well as content that is not currently available on OSN TV. We’re planning to add lots of new content every month. How do I register for OSN Play? To register for OSN Play, you need to be at home and tuned into an OSN channel. Here’s how to register Using the computer that you want to register as your main device, log on to and then.... 1. Click on the registration icon. 2. Enter your OSN Smartcard number of your main OSN TV subscription. 3. Create your username and password. 4. Enter your e-mail address. 5. Agree to the Terms and Conditions. Once you have created your OSN ID, you will receive an on-screen verification code through your OSN Box, which will stay on your TV screen for 60 seconds. Don’t worry if you miss this we also send this code as a TV mail through your OSN Box - this may take up to 30 minutes to arrive. We will then send you an email link which you will need to click on to continue the registration process. 6. Click on the link; enter your user ID, password and the authorization code 7. You will see a welcome message on screen. You’re now ready to start watching OSN Play. How many digital devices can I register with OSN Play? You can register up to two devices for OSN Play (PC or Mac.) The first two devices you use to watch OSN Play will be automatically registered to your OSN account. You have the opportunity to add or remove one of these devices every 60 days. Simply sign into My OSN go to the Settings menu and select Manage Devices. If you try and sign in on a new device that’s not registered with us, you’ll be directed to the device management page.

I have multiple subscriptions. How many devices can I register with each subscription? You can register OSN Play on up to two devices (PC or Mac) for each paid OSN TV subscription. Can I manage all my subscriptions with a single OSN ID? No, you need to register each separate subscription using a different OSN ID for each OSN TV subscription. Can I watch OSN Play on all my computers? You can watch OSN Play on a maximum of two devices (PC or Mac) both at the same time using two of your OSN IDs. The first two devices you use to watch OSN Play will be automatically registered to your account. If you have more than two computers or laptops, you can easily change which two are registered to OSN Play. Simply sign in to My OSN, go to Settings menu and select Manage Devices. Can I change the devices I’ve registered? Yes, just sign in to My OSN, go to Settings and select Manage Devices. You can add or remove devices that are registered to OSN Play. Once you’ve registered your two devices every 60 days you’ll have the chance to remove or replace one computer or laptop. Where can I check which devices I’ve registered? Checking is easy. Just sign into My OSN, go to Settings menu and select Manage Devices. You can remove devices and register new ones. What’s a sub-account? A sub-account allows different members of your household to watch OSN Play on either of your two registered devices. How many sub-accounts can I have? You can create three sub-accounts. What’s the benefit of having a sub-account? A sub-account allows each user to have their own personal experience. A sub-account also gives you the added assurance of parental control over the shows your family watches. How often can I change my sub-accounts? You can change your sub-accounts as many times as you like. Can my sub-account users change any access or settings? No, only you, the primary user can make these changes. The sub-account user can only update their user name and nickname. What are the technical requirements for OSN Play? To get the best quality viewing experience with OSN Play, you need to check that your computer meets the technical requirements. If you’re not sure about your computer’s technical specifications, you’ll be able to find these in the manufacturer’s handbook. Technical specifications Acceptable operating systems (versions of Windows): • Microsoft Windows 7 • Microsoft Windows Vista (32 bit) • Windows XP, Service Pack 3 • Apple Macintosh: Leopard (10.5) Snow Leopard (10.6) or Higher Browser (the program you use to access the web) • Internet Explorer 8 or above • Firefox 3.5 or above • Safari 4.0 or above Hardware specifications • Windows X86 or x64 1.6-gigahertz (GHz) or higher processor with 512-MB of RAM • Apple Macintosh: Intel Based

I can’t watch on my Mac. For OSN Play to work on a Mac, it must be Intelbased.

KT: How similar or different is digital media planning across US, Europe and the Middle East? EM: Our offering on OSN Play closely mirrors the catch-up services of other major pay TV operators who offer their content online worldwide. We have set ourselves apart from anyone in the region as we are the only providers of remote online content.

Visitors are seen interacting at the event.

Media delegates are pictured at the event.


lifestyle F a s h i o n


apan plans to open overseas shopping areas named after well-known Tokyo fashion districts including Harajuku and Ginza as part of a cultural promotion push, officials said yesterday. Japan’s economy ministry said it will host a “match-making” forum next month between major domestic retailers with outlets in foreign markets and smaller firms that sell everything from clothes and food to manga and anime, the wildly popular comics and cartoons that have attracted a global following. That move is aimed at the “export of whole fashion streets named after famous districts such as Harajuku,” a ministry

spokesman told AFP. In October, more than a dozen Japanese apparel companies opened a mini-commercial hub called Harajuku Street Style in Singapore, amid efforts to kickstart the country’s disaster-struck economy. Harajuku is a trend-setting fashion district especially popular with young people while Ginza is a centre of upmarket fashions and luxury brands. The ministry has started the Cool Japan programme to expand the overseas market for Japanese pop culture, fashion and games to as much as 11.0 trillion yen ($130 billion) annually by 2020.

Overseas markets being targeted include China, South Korea, India, France and the United States. “Young people in Asia, the United States and some European nations really admire Japan’s design and fashion sense,” Yusuke Kawamura, senior counselor at Daiwa Institute of Research, told the daily Yomiuri Shimbun. “Thus, the idea of exporting shopping areas to other countries is good. Clothes and other goods sold at small boutiques tend to be more popular than products from large brands.” But most smaller businesses do not have the capital or know-how to expand internationally,

the ministry said, adding that so-called “creative industry” was key to kickstarting the country’s moribund economy. Japanese companies have been aggressively seeking mergers and acquisitions abroad in recent years, taking advantage of the yen’s strength to diversify their operations and make them globally competitive. Already struggling, the Japanese economy took a fresh beating last year after the country’s quake-tsunami disaster and subsequent nuclear crisis.—AFP

Autumn/winter 2012 collection

Models present Italian luxury brand Cadini’s autumn/winter 2012 collection during the China Fashion Week in Beijing, China, yesterday. — AP/AFP

Moscow Fashion Week

Models display creations by UK designer Veronika Basharatyan during Fashion Week in Moscow. — AFP


lifestyle F a s h i o n

Brazil Fashion Show

Models present creations by Peruvian hairstylists as part of the Hair Brazil Fashion Show, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. — AP/AFP photos

Models present creations by UK Vidal Sassoon Academy. US hairstylist Robert Cromeans cuts the hair of a model.

Brazilian hair stylist Charles Veiyga cuts the hair of a model on the catwalk.

With this ring, I thee weld I

n the back of a historic Warehouse District loft, Tess Haun took a seat at a distressed wooden workbench, lowered an Optivisor over her eyes and fired up an oxy-propane welding torch. Her palladium wedding band took on an intense fiery glow. Nearby, Haun’s fiance, Jake Nyberg, ran a metal ingot through a rolling mill until he achieved a delicate ribbon of silver to insert into his wedding ring. Couples like Haun and Nyberg are taking do-it-yourself weddings-and their commitment-to a new level by making their own rings in daylong workshops led by master goldsmiths. “I was about to buy a mass-produced ring, and I’m so glad I didn’t,” Nyberg said, holding up his ring to admire his work. “This is so much more original and unique, and it’s awesome to say we’re wearing a work of art that we created.” Haun and Nyberg signed up for “The Art of Love Workshop,” a new offering by longtime Minneapolis goldsmith Stephen Vincent. Other couples have similar opportunities nationwide, and the trend is growing. Goldsmith Sam Abbay operates a one-man shop in New York’s Financial District and his “New York Wedding Ring” workshop has been filled since he began offering it four years ago. “People want their rings to be important and emotional and individual,” Abbay said. “Some people will make it important by spending a lot of money, but that’s obviously not the only way.” Abbay recently tutored a Minneapolis woman, a self-proclaimed “avid do-it-yourselfer” whose boyfriend surprised her with a romantic proposal on a sunny December morning in Central Park. He told her they’d be making her ring together the next day. Kristen Olson, 28, and her fiance, Steve Scherping, 31, spent the next two days designing and creating Olson’s blue sapphire platinum ring. Abbay walked the couple through each step of hammering, sawing, sanding, welding and polishing. Thankfully, jewelry-making is a difficult but forgiving craft, Olson said, so their small mistakes were easy to fix with patience and a steady hand. “It’s a one-of-a-kind ring with tiny imperfections that only Steve or I would ever be able to notice, but they remind us of the wonderful weekend we spent making it together,” Olson said, adding that they are planning a return trip to New York to make their wedding bands. The Wedding Ring Experience, which now has nine locations, including New York, Las Vegas, Chicago and headquarters in San Diego, held 340 workshops nationwide last year, up from 160 in 2007, said Lewis Barnes, owner of the Wedding Ring Experience in the United States. And while the Experience has no plans to expand

to Minnesota, in addition to the “Art of Love Workshop” in the Warehouse District, couples also can make their own rings at Metal Heart Jewelry in northeast Minneapolis. Metalsmith and jeweler Kirk Sklar has been teaching the occasional couple at Metal Heart to make their own wedding rings for five years. Some couples sign up for his classes to etch their fingerprints on each other’s rings, a simple process that takes 30 minutes. Others want to set their own diamonds, a tedious task that can take several days to learn, whereas at other wedding ring workshops, the stone setting is left to the professionals. “Every project really reflects the personality of the couple,”

the amount of time needed to complete the process and with the choice of metal, a rapidly changing variable. Vincent’s “Art of Love Workshop” costs $850 for eight hours of workshop time, plus the cost of the rings, which currently range from $240 for a women’s stainless steel ring to $2,370 for a men’s platinum band. Sklar says a conservative set of 14karat gold rings made at his workshop will cost about $600. For Vincent, the special details that couples think about when creating their own rings are emblematic of his philosophies and working methods. As a goldsmith trained in Italy, Germany and California, Vincent has created jewelry for 35 years. His store-

Tess Haun under the watchful eye of Steven Vincent as she and fiance and Jake Nyberg, back, create their own wedding rings. — MCT photos Sklar said. “It makes a very meaningful piece of jewelry ... far beyond what you could purchase in a jewelry case somewhere.” Darren DeBerg worked at Metal Heart for about six weeks to make three rings: one for the woman he married, Claire DeBerg, one for himself and one for Claire’s 9-year-old daughter, which he presented to her during an adoption ceremony at the couple’s wedding. “It’s quite a gift to receive something that is truly handmade,” Claire said. “My ring is quintessential Darren-thoughtful, creative and all wrapped into this poignant symbol of love.” The cost of making your own rings varies with

clients, Haun and Nyberg, kept busy learning the tools of the trade in what can only be described as a Santa’s workshop of jewelry-making with wall-towall Old- and New-World equipment, soft music playing in the background and candles burning. With an occasional visit from Charlie, Vincent’s three-legged Chinese crested hairless dog, and a break for a romantic lunch, the couple created oneof-a-kind rings to exchange on their wedding day: Haun’s simple palladium band on which Vincent will inlay 27 diamonds and Nyberg’s stainless steel band with a silver inlay. “I didn’t know how to do anything delicate at the beginning of the day and now I’m making a ring,”

Tess Haun and Jake Nyberg show off their wedding rings they made.

front location in the Warehouse District is filled with his work (the upstairs doubles as his workshop and home). Over the years, Vincent’s customers have asked to watch as their jewelry was being made and he’s given tours of his workshop. He’s taught dozens of apprentices and has always wanted to open a jewelry-making school. So when he was diagnosed with Stage 4 head and neck cancer a few years ago, he decided to close his store in Gaviidae, downsize and get back to his roots. Vincent celebrated one year cancer-free in December by launching the “Art of Love Workshop.” Just before Valentine’s Day, Vincent’s second

Nyberg said, towering over his workbench at 6 feet 4. The couple are already thinking about coming back to make anniversary rings. “I mean, with all the banging, bending and buffing,” he said while holding up his ring, “this definitely feels more permanent.” — MCT

e niv rsar n



OSN expounds on TV and tech




Korean artists perform at the National Theatre for the closing ceremony of the XIII International Arts Festival in San Jose on March 25, 2012. — AFP



he Indian James Bond can disarm a bomb while flying a helicopter, dodge bullets from deadly assassins and save his country from nuclear disaster. But getting into cinemas in neighboring Pakistan has proved to be an impossible feat. Pakistan banned the Indian film “Agent Vinod” a few days before its scheduled release, likely because of its critical portrayal of the country’s generals and spies. They are shown providing support for the Taliban in Afghanistan and scheming to set off a nuclear suitcase bomb in archenemy India’s capital. “It was our judgment that it should not be allowed to be screened,” the vice chairman of Pakistan’s Film Censor Board, Muhammad Ashraf

A Pakistani boy shows CDs of Indian film Agent Vinod he bought from a store in Karachi. Gondal, told The Associated Press yesterday. “It falls under the negative codes of our censor.” He refused to provide further details. The film, which was scheduled to open last week in Lahore and Karachi, likely hit too close to home because it echoes real criticism of Pakistan admittedly, in the exaggerated style of India’s popular Bollywood film industry. Although Pakistan has never been accused of


he Hunger Games,” the story of a teenage girl in a life-and-death game show in a dystopian world, North American weekend box office sales, figures out Sunday show. The movie took in $155 million in weekend ticket sales-the biggest weekend non-sequel movie opening ever, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations. The movie is based on a book for young adults of the same name by Suzanne Collins. It envisions a dystopian future where death games are broadcast on live television. The Lionsgate picture also had the third biggest movie opening ever, after last year’s final movie of the Harry Potter series, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2,” ($169 million) and the 2008 Batman movie “The Dark Knight” ($158 million). In a distant second were the youthful policemen of 1980s remake “21

trying to detonate a nuclear weapon in India, it has sponsored Islamist militant groups who have carried out attacks in the country. It helped the Taliban seize power in Afghanistan in the 1990s to counter Indian influence, and many believe support for the group has continued despite Pakistan’s denials. “Agent Vinod is for Indians, but it is not against Pakistanis,” Saif Ali Khan, the movie’s lead actor and co-producer, said in an interview with the Indo-Asian News Service. “But I understand if they get upset because we are beating them up quite often in the film.” Khan plays agent Vinod, dubbed “India’s James Bond.” He is a spy from India’s Research and Analysis Wing, which has spent decades in a real-world cloak and dagger struggle with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI. Pakistan and India were founded in 1947 following the breakup of the British empire. They have fought three major wars since then, two of them over the disputed territory of Kashmir. The Indian film shows Pakistani officials encouraging terrorist attacks in India and financing Lashkar-eTaiba, a militant group founded with the ISI’s support in the 1990s focused on pressuring India to give up Kashmir. “If you feel this is unreasonable or not true, then it is fair enough,” said Khan, the actor-producer. “I think it is all quite true.” Lashkar-e-Taiba has been officially banned in Pakistan, but the government has done little to crack down on the group. It is blamed for the 2008 attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai that killed 166 people. Agent Vinod is certainly not the first Bollywood film to be prohibited in Pakistan. The government imposed a blanket ban on all Indian movies in 1965, following a bloody war between the two countries. Pakistan lifted the measure in 2008 but has continued to block individual films. It banned an Indian comedy about Osama bin Laden in 2010, claiming it could spark terrorist attacks. The impact of such censorship is limited. Indian films are popular in Pakistan, but there are relatively few movie theaters in the country. DVDs are a more common means of watching movies in the country. Pirated copies are easily available at chains of stores that specialize in them.

Jump Street,” which pulled in $21.3 million on its second weekend in theaters. The film with underachieving cops Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, sent on an undercover counternarcotics mission at a high school, had a twoweek haul projected to reach $71 million. Third was the animated film “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” with a $13.1 million weekend haul and $177.4 million in the bank after four weekends on the big screen. The animated movie about the hazards of industrialized society, featuring the voices of Danny DeVito, Zac Efron and Taylor Swift, set a record in its debut weekend for the highest non-sequel animated film debut with $70.2 million. Fourth was the Disney critical flop “John Carter” ($5 million), based on books by “Tarzan” author Edgar Rice Burroughs. The film, about an ex-Civil War soldier magically transported to Mars, earned $5 million.

Huma Yusuf, a well-known Pakistani journalist, wrote a column in Dawn newspaper yesterday saying Pakistan should support films and other forms of entertainment that explore controversial issues rather than seek to block them. “They may be the only tools at the disposal of Pakistani society to stem the rising tide of hate, religious intolerance and ethnic differentiation,” said Yusuf. — AP

Newly released Bollywood film ‘Agent Vinod’ is displayed for sale at a movie store in Rawalpindi Pakistan yesterday. — AP photos

Disney earlier announced that it expected to lose $200 million on the movie in its second fiscal quarter. Rounding off the top 10 are “Act Of Valor” ($2 million), “Project X” ($2 million), “A Thousand Words” ($2 million), “October Baby” in its opening weekend ($1.7 million), “Safe House” ($1.4 million) and “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” ($1.4 million). Will Ferrell’s outlandish Spanish-language comedy “Casa de mi Padre,” which opened ninth for its debut last weekend, did not make into the top 10.—AFP

woman was remanded in custody yesterday after she appeared in court accused of breaking into the London home of British music mogul Simon Cowell. Leanne Zaloumis, 29, was charged with smashing the bathroom window of Cowell’s mansion on Saturday night and hiding in his walk-in wardrobe, wielding a brick. Zaloumis, who spoke only to confirm her name and address at West London Magistrates’ Court, was remanded ahead of a crown court appearance on June 12. Cowell, who created and judges British and US television talent shows such as “The X Factor” and “Britain’s Got Talent”, discovered the woman in his bathroom, his spokesman said. “There was a loud bang and Simon rushed upstairs to find out what was going on,” spokesman Max Clifford told The Sun newspaper. “It came from the bathroom so he went in and there was a woman standing there holding a brick,” added Clifford. “It was a very frightening experience for Simon, who told me it was like something from a horror movie.” Officers found blood marks in Cowell’s bathroom after Zaloumis was arrested, the court heard. The charge read out in court said she intended to “inflict grievous bodily harm”. Police had drawn their weapons as they arrested her after being called by Cowell’s staff, prosecutor Paul Mitchell said. Known for his blunt criticism of substandard talent show performers, 52-year-old Cowell claims to have worked with artists selling more than 180 million albums and more than 150 number one records. Syco Entertainment, which he owns jointly with Sony, owns the “X Factor” and “Got Talent” formats. Currently a judge on the fifth series of “Britain’s Got Talent”, the mogul is scheduled to return as a judge for the second series of “The X Factor USA” in September. — AFP

27 Mar 2012  

Kuwait Times

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